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How the Little Guys Can Win In Today’s David-and-Goliath Business World

23a1ca5Before the internet, small companies didn’t stand a chance against the Goliaths, says Corrine Sandler, a globally recognized leader in business intelligence and market research.

That’s because no war can be won without intelligence and, before the digital era, collecting actionable data and information about one’s competitors, market and customers cost a lot more than most small businesses – the Davids – could afford.

“But today, the Davids are taking down the Goliaths,” says Sandler, founder and CEO of Fresh Intelligence Research Corp., a global business intelligence company, and author of the new book, “Wake Up or Die” (www.wakeupordie.us), a comprehensive guide to the use of intelligence in the contemporary business environment.

“Thanks to the internet, the boutiques and startups have access to all kinds of free tools for gathering intelligence. They’re also much more agile than the big corporations; they can make a decision and act immediately. That’s essential in a marketplace where conditions change quickly.”

In “Wake Up or Die,” Sandler applies lessons from Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” – the 2,000-year-old military treatise penned by one of the greatest commanders in history – to the modern business economy. Sun Tzu held that the goal in any war is to win without ever entering into physical battle.

“By gathering actionable data and acting on it immediately, by using it to predict next moves and spot opportunities, small businesses can and are taking down the big ones without a drop of blood being shed,” Sandler says.

She offers smaller business owners these tips for acquiring and using intelligence:

• If you lack resources, make use of free or inexpensive intelligence-gathering tools. Visit competitors’ websites and collect data about them. Many businesses put a great deal of revealing information on their sites, which can benefit you. Also, make note of any changes on their sites. Google Alerts can tell you when they’re releasing new products or expanding. Use Google analytics tools such as Google Hot Trends to tell you what’s in the collective consciousness – potential consumer demand – at any given time. Google’s key word tool will give you ideas for powerful key words in search terms, and use the traffic tool to measure global volume on those key words.

• Make intelligence-gathering part of your company’s culture. From the manager who overhears a conversation in the grocery checkout line to the clerk obsessed with Twitter, every employee in your business is a potential intelligence resource. Encourage employees to pay attention as they interact with others outside the company. They may discover a nagging issue that no other company is addressing, allowing you to create uncontested market space. Or, you may learn critical information about a competitor that allows you to seize an advantage. Make intelligence gathering a company lifestyle.

• Appoint a Chief Intelligence Officer (CIO) to coordinate and analyze information from a variety of sources. In smaller companies, leaders tend to rely on pipelines of internal information provided by employees who don’t understand how to use intelligence to make empowering decisions. That can render important data inactionable (unusable or simply not used). A CIO can oversee and coordinate the collection and analysis of intelligence, and brief you – the business leader – daily so that all data is actionable.

“What enables you to make smart, timely decisions is access to precise intelligence,” Sandler says. “Your advantage, as a smaller business, is that you don’t have the corporate processes and protocols that inhibit fast action.

“As Sun Tzu wrote, ‘It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win 100 battles without a single loss.’ ”

About Corrine Sandler

Corrine Sandler is the founder and CEO of Fresh Intelligence Research Corp, a global market research agency; international professional speaker and author of  “Wake Up or Die,” (www.wakeupordie.us) a new book that applies lessons from Sun Tzu’s ancient classic, “The Art of War,” to contemporary businesses. Corrine’s company was ranked No. 2 on Profit Magazine’s list of top 50 fastest-growing companies, and Corrine has been on Profit’s top 100 Female Entrepreneurs list two years in a row. With more than 20 years’ experience, she has established a reputation for unparalleled consumer understanding and insight development working with Fortune 500 companies.

 

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Carrots Are For Horses: 3 HR Rules For Managing Incentives at Startups

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Dangling carrots in front of your employees won’t work; not unless your employees are horses! This argument is propounded by renowned business & management writer, Dan Pink, in his book – Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us and in his 2009 Ted Talk on The Puzzle of Motivation.

Financial incentives work for mechanical or completely rules based tasks. When tasks require some thinking / cognitive skills, incentives work the other way round. Pink quotes several studies including early work by Sam Gluckberg using the candle problemresearch by the US Fed at MIT and in Madurai, India using simulations and byLondon School of Economics, in their study of actual performance and incentives at corporate organizations.

Image_Incentives

Incentives narrow our focus and hinder creativity. The real motivators for cognitive tasks in dynamic environments are Autonomy, Mastery & Purpose. Now let’s take these learnings to the startup world. Startups have small teams with tons of multi-hatting. They seldom have defined processes for getting things done. Startup employees need to constantly think on their feet and creativity is survival! This is definitely not the rules based, mechanical environment where incentives will work.

Here are 3 rules for managing incentives at startups:

1. Award, don’t reward:

This is not semantics; it’s an important distinction. When you reward an employee, you are giving something – generally money – in return for service, merit etc. Expectations are set in advance – if you meet X milestone, you will get Y bonus. An award on the other hand, is an honour (generally non monetary) that is conferred with no prior expectations being set.

Startups should pay employees a fixed monthly salary but not have defined performance bonus plans. Performance planning is critical but adding the bonus shifts focus from milestones to money, making the employment deal more transactional. Bonus plans could work against you for 2 other reasons:

a) Business goals are very dynamic for startups. Setting clear performance metrics linked to money could be tough in an environment where metrics themselves may change frequently.

b) Failure to earn the expected bonus payout could lead to de-motivation as employees tend to perceive bonuses as entitlement. For an employee who is already de-motivated after missing the goals, taking away this ‘entitlement’ makes it worse. Not getting the entitlement after meeting personal goals (if the company didn’t meet its overall goals) could be disastrous.

You should have annual / quarterly awards to recognize high performing employees. Celebrate the achievements of your top performers and showcase this role model behaviour to inspire others. After all, actors don’t act in a movie to win an Oscar. But when the Oscar is won, it is a huge intrinsic motivator.

2. Award with experiences and memories, not money

Money is important; it is the single universal denominator for meeting all our material needs. But it is this same universality that takes away the effectiveness of money as a means of recognition. It brings in little emotion and the moment the money is spent, it also loses connect. Let us take up 2 situations:

a) You gift your employee a 2,500 rupee watch for a major achievement. Every time she looks at the time, she remembers what the watch stands for – an appreciation from her company for a job well done. She even buys bragging rights when she shows off the watch to friends and family.

b) You credit the employee’s account with 2,500 rupees, with which she buys a watch. Now, the watch is something the employee bought for herself. When she shows the watch to a friend 2 months later, she is unlikely to share that the watch was bought with money that she got as an award.

Several global studies have found non financial incentives to be highly effective. A recent study by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) and the Incentive Federation – The State of Tangible Incentive Research: Use of Tangible Incentives – indicates that “noncash awards can capture employees’ imaginations better than cash—thereby motivating them to increase performance.”

Avoid cash for awards. Plaques, trophies and certificates are a winner because the employee can showcase these. A team outing to celebrate an employee’s achievement is awesome – you are creating a collective memory that honours the employee. You could also nominate the employee for external learning programs. Not only are you are showing genuine interest in investing in the employee, you are also creating a more able resource. Such learning programs contribute towards the sense of Mastery that Dan Pink mentions.

3. Equity is king

When a startup that makes it big, there is a killing to be made out of stocks. Finance folks will add that equity makes it possible for startups to offer attractive pay packages to employees without putting a strain on the company’s cost structure and cash flows.

To me however, the biggest advantage of giving equity at a startup is to create a sense of ownership. With equity, you are no longer just an employee in the company; you own part of it! It adds to the sense of Purpose that Dan Pink elaborates on in his book and talk. Imagine telling an employee, “Given the value you brought for us, you now own x% of the company” as opposed to “…you will get y% of your salary as a bonus”.

Equity also plays another important role – driving longer term value creation as opposed to short-termism. Even for short-term results, equity will drive a more aligned and synergistic approach to achieving those results. The key here is to establish job levels and then allocate equity commensurate to contributions. According to Bill Coleman, Vice President of compensation at Salary.com, “Each tier in the organization should get half of the options of the tier above it.”

There are a few areas where monetary incentives are effective. One is when using the services of a short term contractor. Tying in a portion of the fees to “successful completion” is a way of protecting your interests. It is also argued that for sales employees, incentives play a vital role in achievement of targets. In both cases, I would contend that if not the tasks themselves, at least the nature of work is more quantifiable, measurable and hence rule driven.

 

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If You Ask Siri About “Her,” She Throws Some Serious Shade – Try it!

The intelligence may be artificial, but the rivalry is very real.

Warner Bros.

In writer-director Spike Jonze new film Her, Joaquin Phoenix plays a depressed man named Theodore Twombly who falls in love with the disembodied voice of his new smart phone’s operating system. It’s a futuristic, top-of-the-line program that utilizes a special breed of artificial intelligence, with uncanny depth and an ever-increasing ability to experience and feel seemingly human emotion. The fact that it has the voice of Scarlett Johansson doesn’t hurt, either.

The general sentiment among moviegoers is that this is an uber-advanced version of the iPhone’s Siri, the virtual assistant that more often functions like a bumbling intern. Siri — or her programmers at Apple — clearly got wind of this comparison, and seemingly decided to have some fun with it. Or, Siri is actually really smart and is super mad about the bad publicity. Either way, her responses to questions about the movie Her are a real treat.

Shots fired!

Shots fired!

Existential burn!

Existential burn!

Awkward…

Awkward...

Maybe this is where that jealousy comes from?

Awards season slam

Awards season slam

Clealry, Siri agrees with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that Scarlett Johansson shouldn’t be eligible for a Golden Globe for her performance in Her.

For now, anyway…

For now, anyway...

 

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Thank You LinkedIn – NOT Part 2

PUBLISHERS NOTE:  I was able to find this, that explains how to simply post videos and images.  It seems to work pretty well and is self-prompting. It still does’t have the flexibility, of the old SlideShare application, like autostart.  I can’t figure out why they are taking this approach after spending $116M on SlideShare, but it’s not my dime….

PUBLISHERS UPDATE – 5.31.13 – Ive just been informed, and sadly confirmed, that the features below are indeed NOT available to all accounts.  Although it seemed to be no problem to drop the applications across the whole platform, for some reason LinkedIn is only allowing some accounts to upload files.  It has nothing to do with premium status, but I can upload and some of my clients cannot – yet?

 Olympus
BY EMILY PRICE
LinkedIn added the ability to showcase users’ talents in a whole new way Wednesday: pictures and video. Now LinkedIn users can add visual content to their profile pages, giving more depth to the written content already displayed on the site.For instance, a photographer might choose to include several of her best photos, or a copywriter might upload a video of that ad he wrote for last year’s Super Bowl. Architects can upload the blueprints for a building they designed, and musicians can upload videos of past performances.

Visual content can be added to your summary, work experience and education sections on the site, and can come from your computer’s hard drive or from the web.

On the flip side of the equation, people who are browsing profiles on the site can now like or comment on media uploaded to others’ profiles. A sharing option — for sharing content you find interesting with others — is also in the works.

New media-rich profiles are available now for LinkedIn members in English-speaking countries.

To add media to your own profile on LinkedIn click the “Edit” button on your profile page and follow the prompts in the summary, education and experience sections.

What sorts of content will you be adding to your LinkedIn Profile?

Images courtesy of Flickr, Alex Murphy

 

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Thank You LinkedIn –NOT!

LinkedOut

Well they have finally outdone themselves.

I thought all the crashes and “try later” warnings were bad.   Just like the “your contact list is currently not available.”

Then we had to deal with the totally random attacks on keyword stuffing by the LinkedIn Trust & Safety team.  If you look up any keyword on LinkedIn, I guarantee you that the first 4 or 5 pages of results will be keyword stuffed in the projects section. So you do the same thing, or you can’t compete.  I explained this and the fact that they could write a pretty simple algorithm to detect this, not anything like Google, but they never made an effort.

Now, just as I am getting used to my profile supposedly among the top 1% viewed in 2012, we get a total new look:  They have changed all the tabs, removed all the applications, stopped supporting blogs altogether, and cannot tell anyone when they will have the “new application” that will allow you to put up your experiences now supposedly in your summary section -all without any kind of announcement or warning.

WTF?   I make my living (in part) as a LinkedIn coach.  I have spent the better part of a complete day scrambling to read what little documentation they have, and emailing back and forth to other supposed LinkedIn Guru’s (like anyone can figure out what they are likely to do next) to figure out how to work around this latest “improvement.”

Could this have anything to do with their attempts to monetize LinkedIn?  To this point it hasn’t really made any sense to upgrade.  Keep your eyes and ears open for some sort of suggestion that there are plug-ins and gizmos available to Premium users, like video upload etc.

I’ll keep you posted as I sort this out (another day or two I didn’t have to re-invent the wheel) as it is excruciatingly apparent that they won’t.

 

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The New Rules Of Customer Complaints Management

complaints managementCompanies in the business of dealing with people know how important customer complaints management is – after all, there are very few companies that do not interact with customers on some level; even if there is no direct interaction.

The rules have changed a lot over the past few years, and they are changing even more just about each and every month. What worked in the early part of the 2000s will not work in 2013 – consumers have a far greater soapbox now for one thing, and the way that we communicate in general has also changed greatly.

Customer Complaints in the Era of Technology

What exactly are the ‘new rules’ that need to be considered for our current era, and what should companies be doing to adhere to best practices on complaints management? Here are some important things to keep in mind…

  • Customers are no longer limited to posted letters, limited email and telephone calls. Now, they have all of those channels, as well as personal blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, consumer feedback websites, forums AND word of mouth. Worse still, feedback posted online that mentions your company will show up in internet search results when people are searching for your business online.
  • Customers are more likely to report on a bad experience than a good one. What this means is that even though the past 150 customers who have purchased your wildly popular gizmo via your snazzy online store are thrilled, not all of them will be shouting your praise to the world. The one or two customers who were not too happy about that gizmo (or your store, or even your delivery process) are another story. Those are the ones who will tell everyone they can just how terrible your company, products and store are – often, on multiple channels for good measure.
  • Customers can not only become happy again, they can even become your number one fans. This is however, provided that you deal with their complaints properly. Complaints should not be seen as a bad thing for starters – this is a chance to improve your services and goods for the better. For another thing, the way that problems are addressed makes a lot more difference than the actual issue in many cases. In order to effectively address the complaint, you first need to catch it early, escalate it properly and route it to the right person though.

As you can see, the rules continue to change pretty much all the time. What doesn’t change however is the fact that response time and reaction are both vital when it comes to making a bad situation into a good one.

Automating the complaints process with a good software tool is one way to improve your overall systems. You may also want to think about other tools such as competency testing for employees who deal directly with customers. Product reviews and preventative measures such as customer surveys, and also making sure that customers can easily air their views should be top of mind too.

At the end of the day you see, it is far easier to handle a small upset soon after it happens, than risk dealing with the public relations disasters that can (and do) happen overnight when customer complaints are left unchecked. Quite an easy choice really when you think about it that way.

Featured images:

Christopher Stainow is actively involved in the streamlining of business quality processes and procedures through the use of quality management tools & document control software. Learn more at lennoxhill.co.uk.

 

 

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4 Things Parents Should Know Before Paying for College

college_campus

Financial Specialist Shares Ways to Help Your Child
 While Protecting Your Retirement

From $20,000 to $65,000 a year – that’s the tuition cost for one year of college, says John McDonough, a money expert who helps retirees and parents plan for their families’ futures.

“For the 2012–2013 academic year, the average cost for an in-state public college is $22,261. A moderate budget for a private college averaged $43,289,” says McDonough, CEO of Studemont Group College Funding Solutions, www.studemontgroup.com. “But for elite schools, we’re talking about three times the cost of your local state school. Either way, your kid’s higher education can easily shoot into six figures after four years.”

Along with worrying about rising tuition prices, parents also fear for their own futures if their retirement savings are drained by children’s college costs, McDonough says. Only 14 percent, for example, are very confident they’ll have the money to live comfortably in retirement, he says, citing a 2012 survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

“Families feel they’re faced with conflicting goals, but there are numerous ways to pay for college while investing in your future retirement,” says McDonough, who offers insights for parents to keep in mind while planning for their child’s education:

• The ROI of a college education: At a time when so many American families are financially strapped, college is an especially stressful topic because parents know higher learning will help their kids succeed. College graduates earn 84 percent than those with only a high school diploma, according to Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce. Here is how earning breaks down over one’s life time, based on education: a doctoral degree-holder will earn $3.3 million over a lifetime; $2.3 million is estimated for a college graduate; those with only a high school diploma can expect $1.3 million.

• Move retirement assets to qualify for grants: Most parents know about the 529 savings account, but that’s not necessarily the best or only option. Reallocating your retirement assets, such as 401(k)s, can better position a child to qualify for grants and scholarships. This legal and ethical maneuvering may be the single most important factor when considering how to pay for college.

• Know your student’s strengths and weaknesses: Consider independent and objective analysis of your future college student. Assessment might include a personality profile and a detailed search for a future career. Also think about a more nuts-and-bolts approach, including scholarship eligibility, SAT and ACT prep courses, review of admissions essays and an in-depth analysis of chances for enrollment in a student’s top four choices of colleges.

• Make a checklist of financial aid forms: In order to maximize a fair price of higher education, remember there is plenty of data to review. McDonough recommends a checklist with a timeline and notable deadlines. Be ready to troubleshoot the “alphabet soup” of data forms: FAFSA – Free Application For Federal Student Aid; CSS profileCollege Scholarship Service; SAR – Student Aid Report; and more. Think about this process as a second job, or find professional help you can trust.

About John McDonough

John McDonough is the managing member at Studemont Group, which is primarily focused on helping retirees gain peace of mind with unique market rescue and recovery programs. He is also founder, president and CEO of Studemont Group College Funding Solutions. His experience in the financial services industry includes managing partner at Granite Harbor Advisors in Houston and divisional vice president of AXA Equitable/AXA Advisors, the third largest insurance company in the world. McDonough is a member of the prestigious Forum 400, a qualifier at the Court of the Table qualifier for Million Dollar Round Table, an active member in National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors and Society of Financial Service Professionals, as well as American Association of Life Underwriters. He has completed the course work to sit for the Certified Financial Planner® professional designation exam from Rice University.

 

 

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Why The Cost Of New Cars Has Not Decreased Over The Year

aamco-newcar

In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield. –Warren Buffett

If anyone can be said to understand business, it would be billionaire Warren Buffett. His statement is apt, especially when discussing the reasons for car prices over the years not really falling as would be assumed in an industry with economies of scale, an ever growing demand, and decades of experience. Those three reasons alone should tell the average businessman that over time, the cost to produce a product should decrease, and the cost for the consumer should fall as well. However, in the automotive industry, that is not really the case.

When you look back to the Model-T being sold in 1908, the cost was $850, and when that is adjusted for inflation, the cost today would come to about $22,000. Over the course of 12 years, the Model-T fell to an overall price of $260 by 1920, which when adjusted for inflation would cost around $3,500 in today’s dollars. Now an average low-cost vehicle nowadays will generally run anywhere from $16,000 – $22,000, however, that asking price has been at that level for many years, with no real sign of change. Conversely, there are vehicles for sale under $3,500, the Tata Nano sells for $1,800 new in India. But these cars are very few and far in between, and are certainly not common in America. So why then, over the course of a century, are we paying nearly the same price for new vehicles?

Associated Costs for Production

Back in 1908, Ford only had a handful of things to worry about, mainly that being to make an automobile. Sure you could have it in any color you want, so long as it’s black. But what would the color matter if you were one of only a handful of people that owned one. Ford originally didn’t have to worry about much about their automobiles being unique, innovative, or stylish because they were really the only manufacturers in America. Their costs, due to this, were drastically less. However, they were trailblazers, and it always takes more effort, energy, and time when you’re the one creating the trail rather than following it. As such, their costs reduced drastically over the course of 12 years because they no longer had to forge ahead, but merely follow the path they created.

But since then, the numbers of costs have grown as well as the associated costs. Nowadys you have to consider labor unions, the multitude of materials required, the design phase, the countless funds that go into research and development, additional features to be offered, marketing, manufacturing plants, transportation, and the list goes on. All of this costs money, and those costs have to transfer into a vehicles asking price otherwise no money could be made. Imagine if the original Ford Model-T had color options, interior material choices, different engines, sun roofs, fancy rims, and anything else your mind could imagine. The cost would be drastically higher than it originally was, and that is because what was being offered was, with no insults intended, basic.

In order for all the add-ons and bonus features we have optional for new vehicles we purchase nowadays, there are a lot of costs associated with that. And the costs are not simply for the material, time to install, etc. Many of the vehicles produced never get sold, or in the least, take a long time to finally sell. Once a vehicle has a sun roof and leather interior installed, that car has a sunroof and leather interior. This means that in order for it to sell, there needs to be a person who wants exactly that, and is willing to pay a little bit more to get it. When you produce a lot of one thing, you have to hope that people are going to want that one thing; otherwise you have just wasted a whole lot of money. As insurance against this, as car manufacturers know not every car will be sold for their asking price, they need to bump the price a bit on all of them up to cover the gamble they are taking. Sometimes they win big, and other times, they lose the house.

Competition

Finally, we have to consider the number of competitors in the market. In the time when the first Model-T rolled off the line, there were very few other automobiles in the world. They quite literally had a very tight grasp on their market. Now generally, competition drives prices down because a lower cost usually drives more sales so long as everything else is equal for a product. However, competition in the automotive industry does nothing more than increase the total number of costs, as this is based on those few listed above, as well as many others.

With competition, options are now required to drive attention toward your product to differentiate it from everyone else. There are certainly manufacturers whose business model is to keep their automobiles cheaper, but even those have competitors and generally, car sales in this area don’t do so great. Though the number of them have been increasing over the year. Hyundai, Scion, and many others now compete in the affordable automobile market, and are making traction. But how long until the price of those go up as well?

These questions won’t be known until the future has occurred. But one thing is for certain, the overall cost of an automobile may not have decreased, comparatively, over the last 100 years. But the value of what is offered has increased more than any measurable amount. Before you got a steel carriage, 4 wheels, a seat and an engine. Nowadays… well, let’s just say we have cars that can drive themselves. So the cost may have indeed not gone down, but we’re sure getting a lot more bang for our buck.

Featured images:

The author of this article is Damien S. Wilhelmi. If you enjoyed this piece you can follow me on Twitter @CustParadigm. If you are in need of a Transmission Repair and live in Colorado, please be sure to check out AAMCOColorado.com for available locations.

 

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The Office Of The Future

FE_DA_100318_FutureOffice_OpenAs technology advances, attitudes and ways of working shift over time, our perception of the modern office changes accordingly, too.  But what does the future hold for the typical office environment and what can we expect to find?  Read on for an insight.

Open spaces

In the future, office environments will be more focused on creating open spaces for their workers.  An open environment is thought to be better for allowing people to commune, share ideas, let communication flow easier and foster feedback.

There will be less emphasis on people having their own desk areas that they sit at solidly for eight hours.  Instead, workers will move to different hubs or zones within the office to complete specific tasks.

Managers will also need to show a more visible presence on the work floor, with the days of bosses being segregated into their own office areas diminishing over time.

Technology and equipment

With strides in technology, the office of the future will be less reliant on some of the bulky, cumbersome pieces of machinery that has served them in the past.  Equipment to help workers do their jobs will become smaller and more efficient.

Modular Smartphones could replace computers and tablets, and there will be greater emphasis on using mobile equipment on the go.  Virtual keyboards that fit onto any surface will make working anywhere much easier.  Cloud services will mean more workers can edit or comment on information at the same time.

Workers will be able to keep their technology skills updated with the increase in e-learning services.

Pressure to reduce our carbon footprint and conserve energy will see offices striving to achieve a paperless environment, as well as using apps and devices to monitor or control energy usage.

Flexibility

Flexibility in the workplace will become the norm and accepted way of working for the office of the future.  On the one hand, this means workers will increasingly be able to dictate the hours and environment where they work to fit in with their lifestyle.  Changes in technology will make this much easier to happen.  Workers will also have much more say in what they get involved with and how they manage projects, rather than being reliant on guidance from hierarchical superiors.

On the other hand, flexibility in the workplace will mean a less rigid and structured environment.  Workplaces will become more fluid, to meet the ever changing demands of the business.  Pop up work environments will become more commonplace, with workspace design focusing more on adaptability.

Health and safety

The office of the future will be more health and safety focused, with specific emphasis on the individual.  As more and more employers recognise the necessity for good ergonomic office furniture to boost productivity, there will be a shift towards providing an environment that nourishes the worker.  Health-conscious designs of office furniture will promote physical activity in the workplace, reducing the reliance on a sedentary environment.  Treadmill workstations and using exercise balls to sit on instead of the office chair will become the norm.

Written by Crispin who enjoys keeping up with the latest technology and this post is a prediction. Written for Automatic Access.

 

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When Should You Hire A Keynote Speaker When Planning An Event?

orator in public

Did you know that if you are having a meeting, event, or convention, that having a great keynote speaker is a critical part of making your gathering a success? Whether you are looking to have a light-hearted even, or a serious conference, it is critical to hire the right keynote speaker.

When Is the Right Time to Look Into a Keynote Speaker for a Big Conference?

But when should you hire your keynote speaker? In some cases, the sooner, the better. If you have  a big budget for your event, and it is a high-profile gathering in which you want a speaker at the level of former president Bill Clinton, who generally gets six figures for each speech, you may need to hire a speaker a year ahead of time, or even longer. After all, the most expensive speakers are in big demand, which means that they are hard to book.

On the other hand, keynote speakers for, say, political conventions pick their keynote speakers pretty late in the process. Instead of a year or two ahead of time, it could be only a month or two ahead of time. That is because such speakers are based on timeliness, and political victories.

For example, if there is a state political convention, and there was a big battle to get the nomination for the U.S. Senate, the keynote speaker could potentially be the politician who won the battle for the nomination. On the national level, the keynote speaker could be an ally of the person who got the presidential nomination. For example, Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, was a longtime ally of Mitt Romney and one of the first major politicians to endorse Romney. He was rewarded for that role with the honor of being the keynote speaker at the 2012 Republican National Convention. Of course, his speech was overshadowed by Clint Eastwood and a chair, but still, Christie was given the honor.

Maybe your company is somewhere in the middle, where you need to spend some time looking for a keynote speaker, but you only need to get the speaker a few months in advance. It really depends upon your individual situation.

How Do You Get Everyone on Board for Agreeing to a Keynote Speaker?

Whether you are a business or an organization, it is important to have a policy in place in which you can decide on a keynote speaker. You do not want to have petty squabbles that prevent you from agreeing on a keynote speaker, and that could mean that you get either a lackluster speaker – or no speaker at all.

So depending upon your company or organization, you should have some sort of policy in place for picking a keynote speaker. Perhaps you have one person hiring the speaker. Perhaps it is a committee. At any rate, it is important to have some guidelines at selecting a keynote speaker. Are you looking for a motivator, a trainer, or somebody who simply puts everyone in a good mood? Deciding what type of keynote speaker you want can go a long way to finding the right keynote speaker for you. To learn more, click here.

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Lisa Swan writes for a variety of business and technology sites. She lives in New York City.

 

 

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