Briefing Room

Briefing Room
When You Can’t Hit Unsend

When You Can’t Hit Unsend

Communication, Featured
Most people have made the mistake of hitting “reply all” on a private email or sending an insensitive message to the wrong person. After the panic sets in, you need to own the mistake. Approach the offended colleague quickly and apologize: “I’m sorry I did it and even more sorry that I hurt/showed disrespect for you.” Seek forgiveness: “I wrote without thinking, and if I could take it back I would. I can only ask you to forgive me.” Avoid insincere language like: “mistakes were made” or “I'm sorry if you were offended.” Apologize in person or by phone – you don’t want to risk getting it wrong again via email. And as awful as it feels having to make an apology, recognize that you may have done real damage.…
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Three Things You’re Doing That Kill Your Productivity

Three Things You’re Doing That Kill Your Productivity

Improvement, Process
There's always more work to do. To handle it all, it is important that we maximize our productivity. Some of the things that we think are helping are actually holding us back. Here are three things to stop doing: Trying to be perfect: You’re not perfect. No one is. So stop trying to pretend otherwise in your day-to-day tasks. When you get caught up in perfectionism, you typically waste time procrastinating because you never feel it’s good enough. When you let go of trying to be perfect, you feel prepared to meet the challenge and know when the work is good enough to move on to the next phase. It makes you more efficient and productive. Forcing yourself to be neat: In the corporate world, many companies have policies over how…
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Innovation Starts With Setting Clear Goals

Innovation Starts With Setting Clear Goals

Featured, Innovation
Sometimes entrepreneurs and executives fail to establish guidelines for innovation because they believe that creativity is all about giving people freedom. But if you don’t specify what kind of ideas you are looking for, you’ll end up with a lot of ideas to reject. While rejecting a lot of ideas is not necessarily a bad thing, it does take up time and resources that could be used in better ways. For better results focus on problems that are relevant to your business and overall goals. Define the type of outcome people should aim for. For example, are you looking to increase market share or improve quality or simplify a process? Give people an indication of what a “good enough” idea is – e.g., a target year-one revenue number or a…
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Leadership Is Not A Title

Leadership Is Not A Title

Featured, Leadership
It's natural to look to people in authority for leadership. Leadership, however, is not inherent in a title. There are many people in authority who are not leaders. Conversely there are many leaders who do not have titles and are not officially in charge. A leader is someone that generates trust and respect. People turn to leaders. You cannot wait until you are in charge to become a leader. Leadership has to be practiced before you are in charge. Here are some things to do to become a leader. Treat others with respect. When others feel you respect them, they respect you in return. Listen. A true leader values the opinions of others, even when those opinions differ. Leaders know that by listening to others without judgment, they can learn and…
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The Changing Face Of Work

The Changing Face Of Work

Featured, Improvement, Planning
People fear change. This is a universal constant. Change requires that people move into the unknown, which makes people uncomfortable. However, when change is happening, you have to adapt or be left behind. That is what is happening with the economy and the workplace. To thrive in the new economy you have to accept that things are changing. Big business isn't what it used to be. According to the Small Business Administration 47.4% of people in the United States are employed in small business. 99.9% of all U.S. businesses are classified as small business. The average person changes jobs every three years. The days of getting a job out of college and staying there until retirement have been gone for a while, yet people still act as though that is…
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Don’t Let Causes Outweigh Your Data

Don’t Let Causes Outweigh Your Data

Evaluate, Featured
It’s great for your company to support a cause, but you shouldn’t let that determine your products. Your products need to be driven by customer demand, not causes.  Case in point: female empowerment. For many years women complained that there weren’t enough female action figures. They argued that the lack of female action figures was a slight to female fans. Toy companies countered by saying the sales data showed that their target audience was boys and they put out toys for their customers. As the issue of female empowerment became more of a hot button issue, Warner Brothers, DC Comics, Mattel, Marvel and Hasbro decided to put out entire lines aimed to support girls.  Backed by blockbuster movies and animated television shows Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Storm, Scarlet…
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Zen And The Art Of Cab Driving

Zen And The Art Of Cab Driving

Featured, Improvement
In an episode of the classic sitcom “Taxi” titled “Zen and the Art of Cab Driving,” Reverend Jim transforms himself from the worst to the best cab driver in New York by practicing the “dynamic perfectionism” methods he overheard.  Jim, typically in a hilarious fog, clearly imagined how to provide perfect cab rides, and acted on his vision.  Delighted customers showered him with tips and extended rides.  By the end of the episode, Jim achieved his goal. While there is no such thing as dynamic perfectionism, the concept that Jim comes across has merit. Many people think that when they get to an important position, they will do it well. However, if you don't do things to the best of their ability before they reach an important position, they will not…
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The Problem With Surveys

The Problem With Surveys

Evaluate, Featured
Surveys are a valuable tool for getting feedback. There are some big drawbacks, however, for you to consider before acting on the results of a survey. Survey respondents may not be giving you the whole truth. This was illustrated recently when a survey and a data analysis were done to gauge the habits of millennials. In the survey, millennials overwhelming said they are looking for experiences and go out to eat frequently. The data showed something different. Looking at their actual purchases showed that millennials tend not to eat out. Instead, they order from restaurants and take it home. Why is this difference  important? One of the largest profit centers for restaurants is drinks. Take out orders generally do not have drinks, meaning the order is much less profitable than…
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How Companies Can Profit From A “Growth Mindset”

How Companies Can Profit From A “Growth Mindset”

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
Carol Dweck is a Stanford psychology professor,well known for her work on the power of mindsets to promote or discourage academic achievement and innovation. She’s famously seen an important distinction between people who view success as an outgrowth of talent that is inborn and immutable – those with a fixed mindset – and people who view failure as a chance to learn from mistakes and develop new skills – those with a growth mindset. Extending her work from individuals to companies, she conducted a survey of employees working for seven Fortune 1,000 companies. The survey results suggest that organizations similarly exhibit fixed or growth mindsets. Those in the fixed camp depend more on star workers, whom they tend to hire from outside, placing great stock on educational pedigree. Those with…
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