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Is Corporate Culture Part of Your Business Plan?

Business People at Beach

Whether you’re launching a new business or wondering why your existing company isn’t performing as well as predicted, longtime corporate executive Larry Katzen suggests taking a careful look at your business plan.

Did you include a section describing the workplace culture and the steps you’ll take to foster that culture?

“When you look at why businesses fail, it almost always has something to do with the culture,” says Katzen, author of, “And You Thought Accountants Were Boring – My Life Inside Arthur Andersen,” www.larrykatzen.com. “For nearly half of the startups that fail, incompetence is cited as the major cause, according to Statistic Brain. Tolerating – or not tolerating — incompetence is part of corporate culture.”

Katzen, a former managing partner at one of the world’s top five accounting firms, said his experience taught him a great deal about what kind of culture results in successful businesses. It was sadly ironic, he says, that Arthur Andersen, which held integrity chief among its values, was wrongly convicted of fabricated accusations related to the Enron scandal. The Supreme Court eventually exonerated Arthur Andersen, but the damage was already done.

“Today’s business leaders cannot leave culture to chance,” Katzen says. “They must decide what values and beliefs will form the foundation of their company, and they must ensure those values are integrated every day through example, communication, policy and incentives.”

He lists four cultural values and behaviors your company must have to be successful:

•  Integrity – from the top down. From the executive level to part-time support staff, each individual must adhere to a code of values and ethics that’s based on doing the right thing, Katzen says. “It’s absolutely essential that you and your managers make decisions based on honesty and fair play. When appropriate, take the time to explain to employees the reasoning behind big decisions, to reinforce that they’re made in accordance with ethical considerations.” Have a consistent, well-publicized policy for dealing with integrity breaches among employees, and a zero tolerance policy for breaches among management. Managers and executives who don’t adhere to company values will sabotage the culture.

•  A positive perspective at the executive level. The business leaders set the tone for the company, and if executives or managers have negative attitudes, especially in times of crisis, employees will, too. “You and your employees are not just doing jobs, you’re on a mission to improve people’s lives with the product or service you provide,” Katzen says. “The team that embarks on a mission with no hope of achieving that mission will not achieve it.”

•  Be a leader in the office and in the community. As a business leader, you should take an active role in working with organizations that benefit the community. Find ways to encourage employees to volunteer time as well, even if it’s a corporate project to which you allow each employee to dedicate a certain number of their payroll hours. “We’re all more gratified when we know we’re contributing something meaningful to the greater good,” Katzen says. “And remember – healthy communities grow healthy businesses.”

•  Make health and well-being a company priority.  Employees who exercise regularly, make healthy lifestyle changes and get regular checkups and vaccinations are doing you a big favor. They’ll be more productive and energetic and you’ll have less absenteeism. Make it easy for employees to schedule time for doctor visits, especially if you have a 9-to-5 office. Have health fair days, where employees can get free screenings and flu shots.  Reward trips to the gym, weight loss, smoking cessation and other healthy choices with drawings for prizes. And keep in mind, this is already a value among millennials – the teens to early 30-somethings who will soon make up half the work force. “They’ll enjoy being a part of that culture,” Katzen says.

Sometimes, Katzen says, CEOs with firmly held values conducive to an energetic, thriving workplace will naturally and unconsciously create a great corporate culture. But those who take time to think about the culture they want, spell out the details and exemplify and communicate them have a greater chance of success.

“Make it part of your business plan, because it’s as important as anything else in that plan.”

About Larry Katzen

After graduating from Drake University in 1967, Larry Katzen started working at Arthur Andersen and quickly rose through the ranks to become the Great Plains Regional Managing Partner. An honorable, hard-working man who devoted his life to Arthur Andersen, Larry was there from the company’s meteoric rise to its unjust demise. He stayed with the firm for 35 years, serving clients globally until 2002. He recounts his experiences in, “And You Thought Accountants Were Boring – My Life Inside Arthur Andersen,” (www.larrykatzen.com).

 

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4 Ways the Workplace Has Become More Dangerous

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Tips for Preventing & Handling Disaster
& Distress on the Job

Disgruntled employees, workplace bullies, active-shooter situations, illegal drug use, ex-spouses and dissatisfied clients – all can be found in a random sampling of the 2 million people affected by workplace violence in the United States, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

“Of course, of the millions of reported cases, there are many more that go unreported; workplace violence includes any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site,” says Timothy Dimoff, one of the nation’s leading voices in personal and corporate security who has worked with the U.S. Army, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, corporations, universities and non-profit groups.

“From demeaning jokes to sexual innuendos to genuine fear of shots fired at work, hiring managers and their bosses need to understand these problems of human nature and know how to react. In my decades of experience with law enforcement and as a security entrepreneur, I’ve seen the evolution of workplace violence and management often do not know how to respond.”

Dimoff, founder and president of SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc., (www.sacsconsulting.com), which analyzes and overhauls security for large public and private facilities, reviews today’s problems and offers a path for conflict resolution and prevention.

•  Inadequate use of hiring tools: Know who you’re hiring! “I can’t emphasize this enough; this is the age of information, yet potential employees often provide falsified or misleading details,” Dimoff says. “With so many candidates and so much information available today, employers often overlook useful tools in a hurry-up effort to maintain productivity with a premature hire.” There are many resources, including drug testing acknowledgment and consent forms; fully understanding laws including the Fair Labor Standards Act, equal employment opportunity guidelines and military leave guidelines; and simply knowing how to ask revealing questions to applicants.

•  Workplace intimidation & cyberbullying: Bullying is not exclusive to the schoolyard; it can follow adults into the workplace, and even home via email, texts and social media. “The first and best thing employers can do is prevention, and you do that by creating a positive and fair company culture,” Dimoff says. “Next, implement a zero tolerance policy for bullying; encourage employees to document and report bullying, and take those accusations seriously. Hold occasional staff meetings so that employees are taught to recognize signs of bullying and everyone is reminded of the zero tolerance policy.”

•  Gun violence: It can happen at what appear to be the most secure places in the world, and it can happen to the most innocent among us. Nidal Hasan, the U.S. Army psychiatrist turned jihadi, shot 13 fellow soldiers to death at Fort Hood, Texas. Twenty first-graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School never had the chance to become second-graders. We hear story after story about shootings in movie theaters, parking lots and neighborhoods. Train managers to recognize and attempt to de-escalate the situation, which can include talking to the potential aggressor in an empathetic, non-judgmental way. Fail that, there are situations for which heroes are necessary.

•  Violence against women: Homicide is the leading cause of death for women in the workplace, according to OSHA. Of the 4,547 fatal workplace injuries that occurred in the United States in 2010, 506 were workplace homicides. Once again, this comes down to a zero tolerance policy for bullying and sexual harassment, applicable to all workers, patients, clients, visitors, contractors, and anyone else who may come in contact with company personnel, such as an ex-spouse. A well-designed on-site security protocol can significantly reduce the risk of severe violence.

About Timothy Dimoff

Timothy Dimoff, CPP, founder and president of SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc. (www.sacsconsulting.com), is considered one of the nation’s leading authorities in high-risk workplace and human resource issues, security, vulnerability assessments and crime. A former award-winning narcotics detective and SWAT Team member, Dimoff analyzes security for churches, businesses and other places where people gather, develops a customized plan for each, and implements it. He has multiple certifications, including as a Certified Protection Professional (CPP™), a designation that is recognized worldwide.

 

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You Know You’re a Labradore Lover When:

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  • You let the new puppy sleep on your chest the first three nights after you bring her home, so she doesn’t miss her mommy so much.
  • You go to sleep by 10:00, even with the Giants up by only 2 and Romo closing out the game, recording the last 3 outs (hopefully) knowing that you will never have time to watch it in the morning, so you can wake up an hour and a half earlier than you did before you got her, to let her out of her cage.
  • You are actually happy to see three steaming piles of crap on your own lawn after you let her out.
  • You are too tired to protest when she finds a random plastic bag on the beach to play with.IMG_2607
  • You actively seek other dogs, even ones you do not particularly like or really feel safe around yet, for playdates to keep your puppy “active.”
  • You seriously consider spending thousands of dollars on an artificial lawn that they cannot dig or tear up.
  • Your trip to the laundry room now includes a 45 lb. passenger, treating the laundry bag like a tackling dummy.
  • You look forward to her greetings in the morning, even when those big paws/claws sometimes leave gashes in your cheeks that take weeks to heel.
  • You are damned sure after such experiences that the groomers are NOT trimming her claws nearly well enough, and vow to get a pair of clippers next time you are at the pet exSTOREtionist so you can do it yourself -  knowing that you would do a far better job.
  • You are willing to pay $12 for a bag of “treats” that look remarkably similar to what we call Beef Jerky, which costs $7 for the same size bag.
  • You think it’s cute when she jumps on the hand with the computer mouse in it and draws blood.
  • You tear up when you think about her, and the last Lab you had for 17 years, and know how much you are going to miss this one too–when she is gone.oak last

 

 

 

 

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ClickBank 3.0 Launch Adds New Features That Boost Sales Revenue For Online Merchants

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Digital entrepreneurs have more ways to drive growth with ClickBank 3.0 including Affiliate Finder, a data-driven tool matching online merchants with qualified affiliates

 

April 2, 2014, DENVER – ClickBank, the digital commerce & marketing platform serving tens of thousands of entrepreneurs and online merchants, today launched ClickBank 3.0 with a suite of new e-commerce features. ClickBank 3.0 includes an Affiliate Finder, which uses data to match entrepreneurs and online merchants to the best affiliates to promote their digital products. Also added to the digital platform to help online merchants increase sales: a new subscription management system, customizable purchase forms, and more.

“The launch of ClickBank 3.0 combined with Pytch, our mobile offering, is in direct response to the feedback we’ve heard from our online merchants as well as their customers,” said Matt Hulett, ClickBank Chief Executive Officer, who joined the company last year. “And the timing is perfect as the independent workforce is expected to rise over the next five years as more people aim to increase their personal success.”

Along with a visually stunning new look and feel, ClickBank 3.0 provides entrepreneurs and online merchants with a single digital destination to manage their sales and marketing operations. No other payment processing service or affiliate network currently on the market provides online merchants with the same range of features as ClickBank. That means online merchants using ClickBank have more opportunities to drive sales than on any other digital commerce and marketing platform, and they can begin using these new features today:

  • Affiliate Finder. Online merchants using ClickBank can tap one of the largest affiliate networks in the world in 2014, according to Revenue Performance, and easily find relevant marketers who can help drive more traffic to their site thanks to today’s launch of Affiliate Finder. Now online merchants can be matched with qualified affiliates that can best promote their digital products, thus generating more traffic and sales on their sites.
  • Subscription Management System. Online merchants can now offer their customers flexible subscription options, which are all effortlessly managed within the ClickBank dashboard. Subscriptions can be changed, suspended, extended or reactivated via the new ClickBank dashboard, which was designed from the ground up for entrepreneurs and online merchants of paid lifestyle-centric content in the areas of health and wellness, relationships, wealth creation and more.
  • Advanced Custom Order Form. ClickBank now provides a highly customizable customer order form for online merchants, helping keep a consistent brand presence throughout the purchase cycle. Online merchants using other payment processors often have little to no control over their brand presence on the order form at the time an online sales transaction takes place. But with ClickBank, online merchants can now add images, testimonials and even change the layout of their order forms to increase brand recognition and ultimately drive conversions.
  • Automatic Upsell. Only with ClickBank can online merchants earn affiliate commissions from consumers at checkout, further boosting their revenues. Once an online purchase of a digital product is complete, ClickBank will automatically recommend other digital products targeted to that consumer on the confirmation page. ClickBank has extensive visibility into the entire transaction process, and digital products recommended are based on historical event data collected over the past 15 years, such as related products viewed or purchased by consumers.

ClickBank 3.0 launches almost one year after Hulett took his post as CEO of the digital platform company. Since joining ClickBank, he has successfully lead new growth strategies for the digital platform company by strengthening and expanding end-to-end experiences for online businesses and their customers.

“We’re excited to open up even more business opportunities for online merchants in 2014 and beyond with the launch of ClickBank 3.0,” Matt added.

ClickBank serves entrepreneurs and online merchants offering digital goods and educational content with a full suite of digital commerce, sales and marketing tools designed specifically to help them increase revenues. The ClickBank platform, which has one of the most reliable and simple e-payment systems in the world, has already paid out more than $2.5B in the past 15 years to its clients.

For more information about ClickBank 3.0, please visit: www.ClickBank.com.

About ClickBank

ClickBank is all about helping entrepreneurs worldwide reach their financial goals. By combining its digital commerce and marketing platform with its global marketing network, ClickBank has helped hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs create, manage and sell digital products (e-books, how-to videos, audiobooks). From getting in shape and dating advice to learning how to start a business, ClickBank’s digital products are some of the hottest selling products online, which is why ClickBank consistently ranks as one of the most highly trafficked e-commerce platform with 30,000 digital transactions per day across 190 countries. For more information, visit www.clickbank.com.

 

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Google’s Matt Cutts April Fools Video: No We Won’t Stop Changing; While Shirt Constantly Changes

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matt-cutts-shirt-trickIf you didn’t have enough April Fools day fun today, here is one more for you.

In today’s video from Matt Cutts, Matt answered a real question from Dave in the UK, who asked, “When will Google stop updating its search results?” The answer was never! And to prove his point, Matt animated his shirt to change different colors and then overlay flowers on top of the shirt.

I made an animated GIF image to show the various colors and tricks with the shirt but the video is below. In short, Google won’t stop changing, like Matt’s shirt that day.

 

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: SEO | Top News

 

 

The Fashion 3D Virtual Dressing Room, Double Robot w iPad, and Chanel Holographic Book

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As seasons change so do wardrobes and room arrangements and fans of both style and future tech have found the perfect solution thanks to the Fashion 3D located in the FLUX Innovation Lounge at the offices of Engage Production Ltd  http://fluximpact.com/#!/home.

“We’ve received very good feedback from the retail brands involved including Alexander McQueen, Diesel, DKNY, Hackett and Jimmy Choo from the Virtual Style Pod that was in Dubai,” says Steve Blyth, managing director of Engage.  Fashion 3D is built by Engage, with partnership with Space3D,” said Steve Blyth, managing director of Engage.

 The Fashion 3D scans the shopper and reflects back a 3D virtual image of the customer wearing the high tech full-body image which allows them to “try on” high fashion outfits, the clothing appears on image of the user’s body in a 360-degree virtual reality display of the styles of their choice. Gone are the days of wrestling in and out of clothing, coping with crowded changing rooms and wondering if the new style is going to look good . Fashion 3D allows a shopper to achieve in minutes what would normally take hours in a process notorious for turning customers off to shopping. The Fashion 3D provides a fresh and exciting alternative to the traditional dressing room, engaging visitors and empowering them to shop at a higher level of style and trend setting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92eqBfGbXhc&list=UUD8vTAIDnIf464DTG2NAsNg

“The idea is to get people to engage with the technology,” said Andy Hasoon, Engage’s commercial director. “What we have here are augmented and virtual reality companies to show what the latest technology can do for business.”

Engage designs and produces branded technology concepts for its clients, with a view to enhancing customer interaction. They have worked with several famous companies such as Bloomberg, Sky, Chanel, Porsche, Ferrari, Nike and Visa.

Visitors see and experience fashion and business technology from Fashion 3D to the Double Robot, built on Segway technology, with an iPad allowing a client to “tour” a shop or venue virtually – they are showcased at the FLUX Innovation Lounge in London . Visitors can also expect 18-foot (5.5-m) touchscreens, holographic cabinets and immersive environments. There is the Chanel Virtual Book which looks like a book – it’s leather-bound and has real pages – but it’s actually a virtual magazine created by Chanel. Chanel commissioned Engage to create a digital page turner, but wanted something different, something unique to the Chanel brand. Engage developed a virtual book with a difference – incorporating real paper. Virtual content is displayed on the pages via an overhead projector, activated by a sweep of the hand – innovation writ large in a beautifully realized Chanel book. There are currently installations in central London and at Heathrow Terminal 3, with plans for more. http://www.vimeo.com/89607131

A projector above the book beams down pages from the magazine which are delivered over the Internet. Interactive sensors respond to movement, so when you move your hand over the book, the pages appear to turn. Because the pages are held on a server at Chanel’s head office, the book can be updated remotely, just like a website. The Virtual Book was created for Chanel and is currently installed at London Heathrow Airport.

About Engage Production Ltd.

Engage are Technology and Communication Architects – a boutique design house of innovation architects, technology alchemists and envisioning conductors who orchestrate ‘Communication Experiences’ using interactive technologies. www.engageproduction.com

 

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America’s Horniest States

​We know what you’re thinking: horniest state? How are they going to count all those animals?

So yes, while it’s true that doing the legwork on this piece was quite arduous, finally answering one of those long-nagging questions made it all worth it.

 

 

The first thing to know is that horns and antlers are completely different things. For starters antlers are temporary, whereas, like herpes, horns are forever. Therefore it would have been scientifically inaccurate for us to include such antlered animals as deer, caribou and elk. That said, we’re happy to report that we’ll be publishing a follow-up piece, “What Are The Antleriest States?” next week. Please check back for it.

As it turns out, there are only five horned animals native to the U.S. — bighorn sheep, Dall sheep, mountain goat, muskox, and bison — and they all reside in either Alaska or the West. It’s a scientific fact that any state east of Texas is not the least bit horny.

Our findings include:

• Not only is Alaska obsessed with smoking porn, but it also happens to be the horniest state in the union. Just under 80,000 wild bighorn sheep, Dall sheep, mountain goats, and muskox call the Last Frontier home.

• Colorado, known not for smoking porn but smoking pot, is the second horniest state. The largest bighorn sheep population calls the Rockies home, along with a growing number of potheads with bongs strapped to their foreheads.

• It’s only fitting that Montana, with its strong ranching roots, comes in at third. The Treasure State is of course home to part of Yellowstone National Park, where the nation’s largest natural bison population resides.

Frankly we had no idea what to expect when we began our research. We assumed all states were equally horny, except perhaps Kansas or Nebraska. But we were blown away by the horny numbers, and we hope you were too. Now back to our study on the adverse effects of caulk blocking.

 

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