Just because you work virtually doesn’t mean you’re a robot. Nor are your coworkers... we hope! That means that social niceties like small talk and fun chit chat still apply, even when it’s through a Zoom call. The reality is that working virtually can be both challenging and lonely. We still need human connection.
Being quick on your feet is critical in life - and business. It takes creativity. You need to be able to figure out what's coming your way and come up with a smart and effective response. Sometimes the data will tell you what choice to make, but data is useless when you're facing something brand new. Because let's face it, sometimes there's no playbook you can refer to.
In business, flow matters. When your team, ideas, and goals are in sync, it's easy to build momentum. When all of those things are performing their own solos or playing in different time signatures, your organization is at risk of becoming discordant and all over the map. That might work for avant-garde jazz, but it's not great where profit margins and growth forecasts are involved.
According to Merriam-Webster, innovation is a ‘new idea, method, or device’ also defined as ‘the introduction of something new.’
In the creative world, being innovative is necessary to succeed. However, it’s not always the easiest thing to accomplish. Getting more focused isn’t always the cure, and neither is giving yourself more time or adding more teammates. So what does stimulate innovative thinking?
As we start to resume our regular work-life programming, organizations and employees alike are weighing whether to return to the office, stick with remote working, or meet somewhere in the middle. While many employees are contemplating a perpetual remote working situation, companies have mixed feelings. Notably, the tech behemoths who told employees they could work from home indefinitely are now encouraging workers to return to the office - and they're not alone.
To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the office's death are greatly exaggerated. Although there's been a ton of discussion this past year extolling the virtues of working from home - shorter commutes, less chit-chat, workday flexibility - a whopping 94% of people are itching to get back to the office in some form.
Here's why workers want to get back to the office, and how we can help them get the most of it.
Criticism is a part of professional work, and ultimately it helps us improve. However, it’s not always easy to accept, listen, or react to it. Some criticism is more constructive than others. But how do you know the difference? Below are some tips on how to gracefully accept criticism. The first step is to change your perspective on criticism and see it as a positive. By embracing and welcoming difficult conversations, we can become better professionals and creatives.
This past year has been a challenge for all business professionals. With lockdown and closures, we've seen our worlds become smaller, and our opportunities to engage with new ideas, explore new things, and seek out fresh experiences become fewer and less frequent. Unfortunately, without those stimuli, it's easy to find yourself bored and stuck in a rut creatively.
There are many crucial parts of being considered a great leader. In this day and age, it includes how you conduct yourself on everything from Zoom to emails to social media. It matters what you say in-person to a colleague through to how you address the entire company at a meeting.
Actions may set the tone-- but words are just as (if not more) important.
Diversity in recruiting and in the workplace is extremely important. It’s a crucial part of building a more just and inclusive world. It’s not acceptable to only avoid discrimination; it’s necessary to have conscious policies in place that actively prioritize diversity and inclusion.
It's a long way to the top, so it's tempting to sit and rest on your laurels when you get there. But the thing that worked once won't always work. That's because the contexts we lead in are always changing. Industries shift, markets change, new research and best practices emerge, and customer and employee expectations are always on the move.
Let’s be real—the goal of running your own company is to create more freedom in your life, not less. No one wants to be chained to a desk day in and day out.
Unfortunately, if you’re the type that struggles to let go of the reins, you’ll probably find yourself struggling to delegate in your business, too. After all, who can do it—whatever “it” is—better than you?
Leadership and management are inherently linked and often grouped together or confused as one, but understanding their differences is essential to grow and develop your company.
2020 brought workplace challenges no one could have foreseen a year earlier, and HR departments responded accordingly. With the introduction of remote work, HR departments have met this year’s uncertainty with grace and dignity. And that’s worthwhile. The skills learned in 2020 will be valuable in the months and years to come. Here are 4 ways the future of work will look different in 2021 and beyond.
No matter how high or low you are in the workplace pecking order, there is no escaping difficult clients and customers. Unfortunately, they abound but don't tell anyone. Though dealing with one can be super frustrating, you do have a choice in making it an experience that’s a “pulling teeth” kind of painful, or… something a little less so.
Operational inefficiencies can be costing your business 20-30% in revenues every year. If you've been struggling with complicated processes, hard-to-use systems, siloed information, or out-of-date tech, now's the time to seek out the problems and fix them before the losses add up. Here's how to find and deal with operational inefficiencies.
From hosting virtual family meals to dropping off presents on doorsteps, the holidays will look different this year. While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to rethink how we celebrate, that doesn't mean you can't make this season a special time for your team.
As we're coming into the last months of the year, it's an important time to take a look at your company and your teams and ask, "how are we thriving?"
Oh, what a year it's been! So many changes and disruptions that were definitely not on the radar when we rang in the New Year. While there has been a lot of devastating losses this year, there've also been new trends the business world can be grateful for.
From socially distanced desks to working outside, businesses have had no choice but to adapt to our new reality as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. But while working from home and virtual meetings can be quite successful, there are still occasions when a more personal touch is required.
Change is hard. It’s a challenge. That’s why so many people struggle with it. As humans, we all get stuck in ruts of comfort and resist change with all our might. This is especially true when the change feels big and scary, or you feel like things are “good enough” as is. Why change anything if it’s not broken, right?
2020 has been a year of shifts and changes. For too many brands it's also been a year of being on standby. We understand wanting to know where things are headed before diving back into doing business. There's risk in taking that leap. But there's also a risk in sitting out for too long - you don't want to be like those people who took their money out of the market after 2008 and missed out on the massive gains we've seen since then. If you try to wait until you have all the information, or until the uncertainty has passed, your brand will be left on the sidelines.
The New Year is creeping up on it, making now the perfect time to turn over a new leaf and do away with any of those bad habits you've accumulated during this year. Whether you've been blindsided by the events of 2020 or you're still meeting your milestones, there's always room for improvement. To get ahead of the competition, try incorporating these trending business management concepts into your approach.
Human resources are often overlooked when starting a business or working in a small business. HR tasks always seem to fall as extra work for management until it gets to be too much. But having a talented human resources team behind your business deserves attention. It can lead to growth opportunities and help you strategically expand and reach success. Let's discuss a solution that provides exceptional human resources without breaking the bank.
Over the last several months, we've been talking a lot about how to manage remote teams and communicate effectively while working entirely online. Even if you're back in the office now, it's still likely group collaborations are happening in a hybrid if not completely online.
As the economy begins to reopen, businesses are faced with a labor market with vastly different expectations. Flexibility, benefits, and work-life balance are still key draws. But the deciding factor for the current crop of job seekers is company culture. It's hardly surprising. With work-from-home life now the norm among almost half the nation, employees are worried about feeling isolated and out of the loop. A strong company culture gives them stability and community. Additionally, the events of 2020 have inspired many working professionals to re-examine their priorities. Where salary used to be the most important factor in taking a job, employees now want to feel that they're part of something meaningful and aligned with their goals and beliefs.
2020 has been a challenging year for most brands. Huge market shifts, dramatic changes in consumer behavior, ever-evolving rules and requirements, and belt-tightening across the board have upended our collective plans and projections. And we're not out of the water yet: there are plenty of unknowns to come! What this all means is that brands need to be resilient, adaptive, and transformative. This is where management consulting firms come in. Management consultants leverage extensive market and industry knowledge to help your brand move forward in a way that allows you to continue to meet your business goals - no matter what this year sends your way.
If you've been venturing back out into the world in recent weeks and months, you've probably noticed an outdoorsy trend. Mindful of COVID-19 health and safety recommendations, businesses are increasingly taking their businesses to the streets. Why is this? Well, moving operations outdoors means better air circulation along with easier social distancing, allowing businesses to continue serving customers without expensive retrofits or profit-killing limitations on capacity. Let's take a look at some of the creative ways businesses are making the shift from inside to out.
From online ordering to phone banking, the contactless trend has been on the rise for years. But it's now more important than ever. Investing in contactless technologies can help customers feel safe and comfortable doing business with you while also reducing risks for your staff. Let's take a look at how and why contactless is taking the world by storm, and why your business needs to be part of the movement.
As more companies confirm that remote work isn’t going away anytime soon, and others are indefinitely allowing the option, we continue to deal with the difficulties and new territory it comes with. In regards to human resources, this means virtual interviews and a virtual onboarding process. It’s especially important that you analyze the difference between in-person processes and virtual processes as the first few weeks are crucial to new hires' success at the company. Below is a how-to on successfully onboarding new hires.
Strong workplaces are all about communication. In fact, great communication is associated with increased morale, productivity, and engagement. But now that many of us have spent months working remotely, we realize just how hard it is to keep a team connected, looped in, and feeling heard. Here's how to leverage your hard-won communicative skills to their fullest extent.
If there’s one thing you can be sure of, industries are continually evolving. When you throw AI (artificial intelligence) into the mix, you can bet on some pretty major disruptions, impacting everything like transportation, medicine, software, consumer goods, and yes, even HR.
Successful businesses don't just happen. Just like the world's enduring architectural icons, they're constructed according to painstaking blueprints, with the end goal being to bring a particular creative vision to life. Every great business rests on solid, time-tested foundations, and enjoys structural integrity on the ground floor all the way to the top.
Here's how you can build a business that stands tall for years to come.
We've spent the past week with our eyes glued to Discovery's Shark Week extravaganza, during which time we've gleaned some invaluable insights about how these fearsome apex predators have made their way to the top of the food chain. One that we keep coming back to is how sharks have continuously adapted and evolved in order to keep their place at the top. Why has that resonated so much with us? Because adaptability is the new competitive advantage.
Discovery's Shark Week is once again closing in on us, and we've got sharks on the brain. Maybe it's all those vintage clips we've been watching to get us in the Shark Weed mood, but we can't help but feel that there's something shark-like about the way a star recruiter hunts down and reels in a top candidate. Here's how to channel your inner great white - and blow all your previous recruiting efforts out of the water.
They may be some of the most fearsome predators around, but even sharks have predators of their own: humans, killer whales, sperm whales, and other, larger sharks, just to name a few. The lesson for business owners? No matter how strong or standout your business is, there's always someone out there ready to take a bite out of it. In honor of Discovery's Shark Week, we've channeled our inner Jaws to give our thoughts on how to hunt down your competition - and ensure you keep your place at the top of the food chain.
It's a shark-eat-shark world out there. Every business wants to shore up its corner of the market by sinking its teeth into that perfect differentiator. But that's much more easily done when you're a big fish in a small pond versus one of many vying for supremacy in the same waters. While competition drives innovation, creativity, and customer-oriented approaches, it also puts a lot of pressure on brands to stand out and deliver serious value.
In honor of Discovery's Shark Week, here's how to channel your inner predator to carve out your niche in a competitive marketplace.
Curiosity killed the cat.
If ever there was a saying that shouldn't EVER become your life motto, this is it.
At some point, someone somewhere thought it was prime advice to tell someone not to ask any questions. Curiosity in this cliche is a road you don't want to go on.
Virtual meetings have been gaining momentum for years now, but it's only been over the past few months we've really come to appreciate their value. However, with business travel way down and remote work becoming an indefinite prospect for many, virtual meetings are here to stay. Here's why virtual meetings have taken such a stronghold in our imaginations - and how to make the most of them.
There's so much that goes into being a successful, well-rounded business leader. From drive and discipline to flexibility and empathy, it seems leaders need to have it all. But one must-have quality of a good leader is decisiveness.
As the days warm up, our motivation to work often cools off. It's hard to stay on task when the sunshine is calling - especially when we've spent the past few months cooped up inside. But since a sabbatical isn't on the cards for most of us, we need to find ways to stay focused and productive even when we'd rather be at the beach or by the pool. Here are a couple of ideas to try.
It's no secret that when employees feel safe, confident, and supported at work, they're more likely to let their best selves shine. But the seemingly endless challenges of 2020 have brought home just how vital it is for employers to ensure that their workers are given what they need to feel comfortable themselves at work. Here's how you can foster an environment of psychological safety - and create space for excellence at work.
Meetings have always had a bad rap. According to a Clarizen survey, 35% of employees think they're a waste of time, and 46% would prefer to do anything instead, including going to the DMV. But now that most of us are working remotely, meetings have taken on all-new importance. They're an opportunity to catch up, talk to other humans, get on the same page about work, and connect as colleagues.
At StellaPop, we don't think it's meetings that are the problem per se, but rather how they're run. Here are our tips for making meetings something we can all look forward to.
In our constant push for convenience, optimization, and productivity gains, it's easy to lose sight of one of the most important factors in workplace success: being human. Sure, it may be faster to assign a task in Asana than it is to talk to someone, and knocking back a protein shake may be more convenient than having lunch with coworkers. Still, both of those choices mean missing out on an opportunity to interact, share, and empathize with others.
Just as it takes two to tango, it takes two to realize a successful recruitment effort. As the nation slowly reopens for business and organizations look to bolster their staff rosters, both recruiters and job-seekers are hard at work looking for that perfect fit.
Let's take a look at what a winning recruitment effort looks like from both sides of the interview table.
Who in your leadership is an expert on the impacts of global trauma, stress, and anxiety? Whose your specialist in pandemic response?
Do you have someone or a team that can assess and predict the effects of stress on consumer behavior? Who in your C-suite has the authority to make decisions based on market scenario planning? Whose your expert futurist?
Do they have the tools to find patterns and shifts quickly and accurately?
The terrifying boss who shouts commands and berates subordinates may make for good TV, but not so much for a good leader. In fact, it turns out that bosses who have mastered the "soft" skills - i.e., the people-centric skills - are the ones who get top marks in today's workplaces. Unlike the organizations of old, where hierarchies reigned, and workers simply followed orders, today's workplaces are built around adaptiveness, collaboration, and flat leadership structures.
Over the past few months, COVID-19 has completely reshaped how we live and work. As the nation gradually reopens for business, we will see even more changes in how we go about our days. While measures like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing are the visible face of our new normal, there are plenty more underway - many of them designed to make life better, easier, and more equitable for today's workers. Here are some of the workplace shifts we hope to see in the coming months.
Good habits are all about routine, and with so much of our lives up in the air right now, it's easy for those habits to go out the window. Maybe you're sleeping in, slacking on deadlines, or spending too much time scrolling Twitter. Now's the time to stop and take stock before those new behaviors become your new habits.
The changing times mean that those who can are working from home. Where possible, all of our daily responsibilities have shifted online, including the interview and hiring process. While virtual interviews aren't new, it's only with the coronavirus that they've become the norm across the board. Since lockdown, organizations ranging from universities to tech giants have started conducting interviews online or over the phone.
Performing at your peak during uncertain times is no easy task. When what worked before won't necessarily work going forward, and when no one knows what tomorrow will bring, decisive action and decision-making is an all-new frontier. But although COVID-19 may have thrown a wrench in your business plans, it doesn't have to mess with your management style.
With most of the world under lockdown, our entertainment options are limited to whatever we can pick up or plugin at home. Unsurprisingly, video games are seeing a huge surge in interest - and we're not just talking about Animal Crossing, the simulation game that's taking your social media feeds by storm. But if you're feeling guilty about all those hours spent trading turnips or battling strangers in a PvP matchup, don't. Gaming is not just an escape. It can also be a valuable way to level up your workplace skills. Here's how.
We've all had that awkward experience where we've zoned out during a conversation, only realizing we've done it when we're asked a question we can't answer. Our attention spans are short enough, to begin with - and the stresses and challenges of remote working during a global pandemic definitely aren't helping matters.
Being great at our jobs is all about continuous improvement across every dimension. But the coronavirus lockdown means that many of our usual professional development avenues are closed off to us. But it's not all bad news. Even when we're sheltering in place, most of the world's knowledge is just a Google search or app download away.
Here are some tips for building your on-the-job skills and smarts while out of the office.
Remote working has long been the dream for many. But until the coronavirus turned life as we know it upside down, most of us spent our 9-5 in a face-to-face environment. Believe it not, only about 3.5% of the US workforce worked from home more than half the time.
Working from home can be a catch-22. On one hand, freedom! It’s freeing not to have to commute to work each day, to be able to set your own schedule, and to work from your bed in your pajamas if you want. However, there are costs to working from home too. One of those costs is burnout. With the current COVID crisis, many are forced to work from home and have no idea how to do that in a healthy way.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world as we know it. The global economy is on pause, with entire industries halted. While things may start back up again in May or June, we probably won't see a return to "normal" until 2021.
Remote employees are on the rise. For some, this might be a temporary change in response to the Novel Coronavirus. Other's the increase in remote workers is an ongoing shift in direction, reaching for the advantages of a remote team.
Regardless of your reason to utilize remote teams, you'll need to prepare for the challenges that come with managing a remote team.
Tom is frustrated that he's not further in life. Tom feels like there is never enough time. Tom spends his days banging his head against the wall and then asking why his head hurts.
Bob has a lot of goals set out in front of him but feels content in life. Bob has developed habits that allow him to make the most of his time, spending it purposefully. Bob starts and ends his day refreshed.
As the Coronavirus spreads across America, businesses are feeling the pinch of self-isolation practices, curfews, and mandatory closures. But even though these are tough times, they don't have to spell disaster for your brand.
Here's how to make the most of a bad situation, and come out ahead.
The words "fail" and "failure" can have many connotations. There seem to be two schools of thought when it comes on the approach to understanding failure.
The first is failure means you didn't do whatever you set out to do and you never will. It's a period at the end of a sentence.
The second is its proof you're working towards a goal that's worth achieving.
The hiring process can be equated to a thorn in your side. That’s not how hiring has to go and if it is, you’re not alone. Many people don’t know where to begin with hiring and find themselves unsure of how to attract the right talent for their needs.
Right now, it’s an applicant's market. The demand for qualified, hard-working candidates is well outweighing the supply. This means if you want to attract and retain the best available talent you can’t afford to wing it.
To that end, let’s talk about the, how in successful hiring.
Your marketing and sales teams have the same goal: to generate leads, close deals and make you money. When they're in sync, it's good news: marketing and sales alignment can boost sales by 67%. However, it's all too common for these teams to be working independently, or even at odds with each other. This can impact your marketing ROI, sales productivity and top-line growth.
It seems like a simple question: Would you rather continually improve or hold yourself back from success? That may sound like a biased comparison, but that's essentially what's happening when you have a growth mindset vs. a fixed mindset. Let's explore how that impacts your employees and business.
This entire past decade has been about the foregrounding of experience. Experience is key to how we interact with brands of all types, from these we shop with to those we work for. Brands that recognize the value of experience give us something to align ourselves with and something to get behind. They don't just have customers or employees: they have fans. Those that don't? They risk being relegated into the dustbin of "businesses" instead.
Here's what will separate the brands from the businesses in 2020.
When a position needs to be filled, you recruit somebody to fill it. And when somebody leaves your organization, you recruit somebody to replace them. But you’d never stop selling once you hit your goals. So, don’t stop recruiting either.
It’s a competitive marketplace out there. And new talent needs a home. When you don’t nab the best people for the job, your competitors will. Today, I’m going to reveal to you how and why you should always be recruiting.
It's probably a safe bet to say that most business leaders want to be the best they can be — at the top of their game. Of course, that's easier said than done. Becoming a master at what you do can be intimidating. It takes time, patience, drive, and so much more.
But there are some strategies and tricks that can help you in your quest to become one of the best in the business.
With a new decade, brings a new wave of tech and I bet you are wondering what’s in store for 2020. On the rise is a wide range of tech that will affect businesses and consumers. We advise always staying updated on tech trends as they can help accelerate your business past your competitors.
Here’s a shortlist of what we think you should look out for in 2020.
Age gracefully. What on earth does it mean when someone tells you to age gracefully?
Everything in popular media tells us to freeze aging– stop it in its tracks while you can. But, time moves. Technology transforms everything from customer needs to business models. Everything Ages.
The thing to remember, however, is that to age gracefully isn't to go quietly into the night. It's not getting stuck in "old ways" and it's not taking on everything new for the sake of it being new.
Owning and/or managing a successful franchise requires you to stay on your toes and be constantly willing to learn, tweak, and re-evaluate processes to refine what works and eliminate what doesn’t. Not only are you managing your staff, but you’re also managing your franchisees. Obviously you want to do your best to help them succeed because their success is ultimately your success. Growing your franchise means implementing strategies that not only serve your customers well but also attract new franchisees for expansion.
Transparency in the workplace is a tricky matter. As Glassdoor CEO Robert Hohman nicely stated, "it comes with tremendous responsibility, but also an enormous opportunity." This responsibility and opportunity lie mostly in the hands of management and human resources. It’s up to them how much information is shared with employees and in what manner. So what are the best ways to be transparent within your business? Are you doing enough? How can you foster an open work environment that drives everyone forward?
Thomas Jefferson was known for his philosophy that learning doesn’t stop after graduation. At The University of Virginia, students are known as ‘first years’ rather than freshman, ‘second years’ rather than sophomores, and so on, in honor of this idea— that learning never stops. TJ has made a great point. Learning does not stop, even when we grow up and become adults. But how does this apply to the modern workplace? Do you have policies in place that embrace this idea?
There's nothing more frustrating than car trouble, it doesn't matter if it's flat tire on the way to work or the dreaded dead engine. Workplace culture is a lot like taking care of your car, invest a little early and it can pay big dividends later.
Workplace culture is the buzzword of the business world in 2019. It's catching on reflects the fact that consistent and positive workplace culture is essential to business success.
A workplace's culture is the sum of the company values, superior to inferior dynamics, norms, and goals from the top down.
Just like in life, everything in business is a tradeoff. Every decision that you make has an opportunity cost - basically, by taking one route, you're giving up the opportunity to take another route. Some of these tradeoffs are small, and others are major; some are simple, and some are extraordinarily complex.
Say you want to purchase a computer. If your only requirement is that it meets a certain price point, the decision is easy. If, on the other hand, it needs to be a certain size, have a certain amount of processing power, a touch screen, and four USB ports, chances are you're going to have to make some tradeoffs.
Most of us today can readily admit we’re suffering from data overload. Information comes at us from all directions, even when we aren’t necessarily looking for it. When you’re trying to run a business, it can feel as though there is an endless tide of data and analytics to wade through, information that sometimes feels tough to make head or tails of.
Though measuring certain things is definitely beneficial to the growth and success of your business, it can be easy for the most important data to be lost amid all the noise. The only way to combat this is to stick to measuring what matters. Don’t just focus on the nitty-gritty, make sure you assess the big picture too.
To each their own. To the same beat as Mitch Albom's The 5 People You Meet in Heaven – here are the 3 clients you'll meet in your career.
Every client comes with a different personality. Taking the time to recognize the type of client that you’re dealing with can put you ahead of the competition and make your life easier. Creating a strategic plan while keeping in mind who you're dealing with will eliminate problems down the line. Listed below are a few of the most common client personalities. We’ll go through how to spot them, the challenges they can bring, and some helpful tips on how to manage.
Are you a Kepner or a Yang? In T.V.'s longest-running medical drama, Grey's Anatomy April Kepner and Christina Yang clash constantly as they approach their work very differently.
Do you find a system of processes to be a valuable asset to effective work or do you see it as a hindrance? Either way, you're right and you're wrong.
A Balance of Method and Action
Building a system of processes for your business is an essential aspect of good business management.
Systematizing has serious benefits.
Since about 2010 we've been seeing articles about the increasing trend of mobile workforces and remote workers. More and more companies are offering remote work days. Some are moving towards hiring more contractors who work entirely from home, sometimes even from the other side of the country. Then we also have a fading away from restrictions on sick days or personal time.
All of this relies on the idea that your employees are adults who get their work done and can handle their business.
We're no longer seeing a new trend or expecting mobile workforces to become popular. It's here.
What's the vision of your company? Can you see it? Can you explain it?
Having a clear vision for your company is crucial to not only its success, but it's basic survival. Operating a business without one is like walking blindfolded through a forest, hoping that by just moving your feet you'll get to the other side.
Your vision should be succinct; a vocalization of your purpose; and a mark to aim your efforts.
Imagine that illusive mentor character that comes in at the right moment and says that little line, that's kind of cliche, but also totally drives the point across.
It might be your grandma. It might be Dumbledore. Either way. Get their voice in your head.
"A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link."
"Great leaders don't blame the tools they are given. They sharpen them." -Simon Sinek
"The only thing worse than training employees and losing them, is to not train them and keep them." - Zig Ziglar
"Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to." - Richard Brown
It happens to the best of us. It can derail high-level projects in the best companies. When scope creep shows its ugly head, we are forced to navigate those dreaded and turbulent waters. "Creep" can create a massive ripple effect that is real, that can extend way beyond that one project. It can have a domino effect on timelines, pipelines, and possibly a whole client base.
Meetings can be contentious things. Done poorly, they take time away from working hours and make participants feel as though their time isn't valued. Worryingly, some 67% of meetings a considered a failure - with these collectively costing the economy $37b a year.
However, managed well, meetings can be a high-value endeavor. They can be a great way to share ideas, make progress on projects, oversee decision making, and bring the team together. With middle management spending some 35% of their time in meetings and upper management a huge 50%, leading effective meetings is a must for productivity and profitability.
Do you know?
You might have numbers running through your mind about how much you're spending on a social media campaign, or how much it costs to maintain an active blog on your website - but this is a different question altogether.
Let's say you got up this morning to see a new sale from a brand new customer. A lead turned into a customer - huzzah! Now, how much did it cost you to convert that lead into a customer? And then convert them into a loyal customer?
When it's qualified.
Your sales funnel is working the way it should, and leads are coming through. But not all leads are created equally. We all know that you're going to have to kiss a lot of frogs. For every person who'll ultimately buy your product or service, there are the tire kickers, the preliminary shoppers and those who can't or won't buy what you're selling. In fact, only about 25% of leads end up converting into actual sales. Every business needs to create marketing (three touchpoints is a good standard) touchpoints that lead people through their funnel.
As a high-level executive, your days are bound to be extremely busy. But no matter how hectic your schedule is, it's critical to take time to build up the individuals who will become the future leaders of your company. Grooming someone to excel in a leadership role takes time, effort and resources - and it's best done by someone with on-the-ground insights into your company's culture, goals, and aspirations.
Ever asked a colleague about an email or task, only to get sidetracked talking about something else entirely? At StellaPop we call these moments "squirrel time," after Doug the notoriously distractible dog in the film Up.
Not all squirrel time is bad. We all need a break every now and then, and sometimes squirrel time can result in valuable discussions or insights about a client, a task or a process. But how do you control squirrel time so that you don't go nuts?
Here's how we ensure that we stay on task and meet our deadlines - while still allowing for occasional office chit chat and discussion.
Every new project starts first with conception. Conception is when the germ of an idea is born. That idea is then brought to fruition by creativity, sweat, and a healthy dose of humility if you’re doing it right. You have to be humble because the path from first iterations to final approval is a dark road littered with twists and turns and peppered with umpteen revisions.
Ever since we are little, we are conditioned to think about what we want to be when we grow up (which really means what we want to do for work). As a kid, we start out dreaming big. We want to be a firefighter and face danger; we want to be a doctor and save lives; we want to help people. As we get older though, money often comes into the picture. Your career path may change based on salary, but if you're lucky it doesn't have to.
Whether you’re dealing with wall-to-wall cubicles, an open layout, or a combination of both, here are four ways to help boost office morale and improve employee productivity.
1. Keep meetings to a minimum
One of the biggest traps most workplaces fall into is the habit of scheduling too many meetings a week. To help solve this issue, some offices have started designating specific timeframes for meetings (say, between 10 AM and noon), while others simply schedule one meeting a week and cover as many topics as they can. A weekly office gathering can often help cover most of the upcoming issues in one setting, as well as offer a little insight into what everyone has planned for the week.
As a leader, your team looks to you for answers and support. Being able to deliver clear, actionable feedback is a critical leadership skill - one that's both good for your team and good for your standing as a leader.
Here's how to deliver feedback that everyone can use to improve.
The beginning of the year is often flooded with goal setting. Goals are wonderful. They're motivating. They're often a way of tracking your success. Goals are great.
But let's get one thing straight. A strategy isn't the same thing as a goal. A strategy is the how and the why. It's choosing what to do and what not to do.
And a business without a sound strategy fueling its actions is sunk no matter how good you're at setting goals.
Almost all business leaders want to take their company to the next level — whether that means innovating product or service development, growing their consumer base, or becoming a household name. But what about really making waves? If you're looking to shake the very foundation of your space and take control, you're looking to disrupt your industry.
You may have heard this catchphrase before, but what does it really mean to disrupt an industry? It's about more than just developing innovative products or services — it's forcing deep changes to the way the industry operates. And because of the disruption, other companies are required to change to the new way of doing things in order to stay relevant.
The word resilient has two definitions in general use. The first refers to a person or entity that's able to withstand and recover from difficult situations. The second reference an object with the ability to spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed.
King Arthur ruled over Camelot, bringing it security and prosperity. How? By utilizing his best people - the knights of the roundtable - to get the job done. King Arthur didn't manage each and every farmer, blacksmith, and soldier individually. That would have been impossible- and possibly insane. King Arthur had a strong middle management team that executed his vision.
Savvy consumers are moving away from single-use products - and so are savvy businesses. After all, the easiest way to ensure customer retention is to build it into your business model. So how are they doing it? With the subscription model.
Gone are the days when subscriptions were only associated with newspapers and magazines. In 2018, 29% of the value of the top 100 brands is in subscriptions - up from 18% in 2009. If you shop via Amazon Prime, watch TV through Netflix, cook using Blue Apron and pay for an annual Microsoft Office license, you're buying into the subscription economy.
So why are subscriptions so great, and why should you build them into your business?
What is a Fractional COO?
A fractional COO is a Chief Operating Officer (COO) that an organization brings on a part-time basis or as-needed basis.
They are there to provide guidance, expertise, and executive-level leadership to help businesses and organizations avoid roadblocks in their business model and ensure they are on the right strategic and operational track for maximum growth.
Fractional COO’s offer these services at a fraction of the cost of a full-time COO, which makes them an attractive success tool for smaller to medium-sized companies and organizations that are just starting out and don’t yet have the budget for a full-time COO.
Employee health and wellbeing is critical to your business. But where corporate wellness initiatives began with efforts such as quitting smoking or weight loss, they've since shifted to something that affects all employees: the environment that they work in.
Strategic thinking involves looking at how today will inform tomorrow - and making decisions accordingly. Where conventional thinking is reactive, short-term and cautious, strategic thinking is all about looking for and anticipating new ideas, opportunities and plans.
If you spy on your neighbors, it's considered creepy. However, if you keep tabs on your competition, it's just smart. To make sure you're not being left behind in your industry, it's important to know what your competitors — both known and yet to be discovered — are up to. So channel your inner Gladys Kravitz and try out these seven tools to keep an eye on your peers.
Coworking spaces are by their very nature fast-paced, ever-changing spaces. It's essential to seek out and adapt to feedback, market shifts and new trends sooner rather than later.
Here's how to ensure your space is a success going forward.
The culture of your coworking space isn't innate. It's set and cultivated by your leadership and your supporting team. One of your most crucial responsibilities is in helping create a culture that's empowering, positive and community-minded.
It's no secret that the U.S. is the most overworked country in the world. A staggering percentage of us (85.8% of men and 66.5% of women) work more than 40 hours a week. Let's face it: We're run ragged and stressed out with coffee pulsing through our veins. We need about four more hours of sleep a night and three extra days in a week just to get it all done.
We all do it: Sitting there, nodding our heads, still making eye contact, but waiting for the person we're having a conversation with to finish their sentence so we can talk. As soon as they finish, we jump in with our counterpoints — which now may not even be in direct response to what they just said.
Outsourcing has become a trend that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. With technology advancements come progress and change, and many companies are deciding that one of those changes is a move to outsource more of their business needs, instead of hiring in-house.
It's easy for business leaders to get bogged down by the day-to-day grind and demands of the job. Between flying from one meeting to another and staying up late to finish your budget, you're seriously tapped out at the end of the day. But there are two things you can focus on to pull you out of the weeds and motivate your team at the same time: passion and vision.
Every company’s greatest untapped resource is the unused data in its client database. If managed correctly, this knowledge can transform your business, making it smarter and more profitable. Today’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools can lead the way, turning data into answers and insights. By tracking and storing all your customer interactions – email, phone, website, live chat, etc. – they create a highly organized, central database.
The Rise of Mobile …where the UX must be accessible and visible
The number of mobile Internet users equaled its desktop user counterparts around 2014 and has since passed it. Also, the variety of mobile devices, especially the Android, is increasing.
By the year 2020, over 50 percent of the population will be made up of Generation Y, commonly referred to as "Millennials." Millennials are individuals born in the late 1980s through the 1990s. And the way they approach work is different than any generation before them. It is no longer a generation you can ignore or side eye. You have to adapt, change, and learn how to manage these individuals; however, this group has received a bum rap with how the media portrays them— truly!
Successful CEOs learn to anticipate business patterns, find opportunities in pressure situations, serve the people they lead and overcome hardships. To acquire and utilize such impressive skill sets, many top leaders apply seven strategies on a daily basis.
At many companies small and large, leaders spend their time addressing the day-to-day issues rather than focusing on the big, strategic picture that is most important to the organization's growth and direction.
Just Imagine . . .
Philadelphia, June, 1752. Benjamin Franklin and his son William are poised to make history. Flying a kite with a key tied to the string, they wait for an approaching storm to conduct their electricity experiment. The grey clouds linger on the horizon far too long, so Ben whips out his iPhone and hits the home button: “Miss Siri if you please, when is the storm likely to arrive in our fair city?”