Time To Reinvent Yourself

Time To Reinvent Yourself

Featured, Improvement
For businesspeople to survive they must always be moving forward. In a difficult economy, you must develop new skills and reapply old ones. Sometimes, this means shifting your industry, shifting your focus, or changing direction completely. A mid-career switch can be challenging, especially if you've become pigeonholed in your current role. Instead of becoming stuck contemplating how to move forward, Harvard Business Review recommends these ideas: Craft experiments . Take on freelance or pro bono assignments that allow you to try new roles while staying in your current job. Shift connections . To move in a new direction, you need a new network. Reach out to people who can give you a fresh perspective on what you're trying to achieve. Make sense of it all . Tell others the story of who you…
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The “New” Normal Isn’t New

The “New” Normal Isn’t New

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Improvement
There has been a lot of talk about "the new normal" during the Covid-19 crisis. This seems to be a favorite phrase in media. In 1977 the new normal was that oil and gasoline would be scarce. In 1999 the new normal was that retail stores would go out of business and all shopping would be done online. In 2009 the new normal was that there would be high unemployment and if you were older than 50 you may never work again. None of these predictions were accurate and neither are the current ones. The reason for this is that they all fail to take into consideration what "normal" really is. If you've been in business for any amount of time, you should already know that normal is adapting to…
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Who Do You Want Your Customers To Be?

Who Do You Want Your Customers To Be?

Featured, Improvement, Innovation
Who you want your customers to be is different from who do you want as your customer. Who you want your customers to be is about evolving your existing customer, and its a question you need to ask to spur innovation and make your existing customers more valuable. It seems to be an obvious question, but many of us never ask it. In an environment of open source, crowdsourcing and social media, its important to look at innovation as an investment in our customers, as a way to add value to your customers, not just for your customers. Most innovators ask, “How can we create new value for our customers? How can we do things that allow customers to do things that they’ve never done before?” Now innovators are starting…
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Adapt Your Leadership Style To The Situation

Adapt Your Leadership Style To The Situation

Featured, Improvement
Different work situations call for different leadership styles, and most managers use one of two approaches: dominance or prestige. When you lead through dominance, you influence others by being assertive and leveraging your power and formal authority. This approach works best when your job is to get everyone aligned and moving in the same direction. When there is a clear strategy for a new product launch, for example, and the challenge is in getting your team to enact that vision, dominance is an effective way to create a unified front. Prestige, in contrast, means influencing others by displaying signs of wisdom and expertise and being a role model. This approach works best when you’re trying to empower the people who report to you. If a marketing team is charged with…
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When Creating An Experience The Details Matter

When Creating An Experience The Details Matter

Featured, Improvement
Whether you are trying to get people to come into a retail location or selling educational programs online, creating an experience is crucial to building your success. When you create an experience all the details matter. When you use fewer sensory inputs to create the experience, the details matter more. What do we mean by sensory inputs? Those are the parts of the experience that impact different senses. In a restaurant, you create experiences that impact taste, touch, sight, smell and hearing. In a non-food retail setting you impact sight, hearing and smell. If you are creating an audiobook, you only impact hearing. The fewer senses you impact, the more every detail matters. An example of this is two audiobooks. Both of these are on very similar topics and written…
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Set “Time Boundaries” to Protect Your Schedule

Set “Time Boundaries” to Protect Your Schedule

Featured, Improvement, Process
Meetings that run long or unexpected requests from colleagues can prevent you from getting an important task done, make you leave work late, or even disrupt family time. How can you set and communicate boundaries so that you feel your time is respected? Start with your calendar. Block out times when you’re commuting, taking your kids to school, or when you’re getting focused work done, making sure you’re marked as unavailable. Next, ensure that you’re setting meetings for an appropriate amount of time, and stick to a focused agenda. If you’re not running the meeting, tell your colleagues that you have a hard stop. You also need to manage communications. Make your preferred way of communicating — for example, email versus Slack — clear with your colleagues, and respond on…
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The Problem With Studies

The Problem With Studies

Featured, Improvement
There are a number of business books which talk about how you should sell, what you do to grow, how you should run your business, etc. Many of these are from academics and the work is based on studies that they have conducted. Unfortunately, despite their ideas being validated by studies, while they do have some valid ideas, they are almost invariably wrong. Here's why. The methodology is flawed: Every study has an audience that is surveyed. That audience is selected by the researchers. How the researcher defines that audience biases the study. The audience is then further limited by only including those who want to answer the survey. The end result is not a representative sample so researchers attempt to fix this problem with a statistical analysis. As Mark…
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Skate To Where The Puck Is Going To Be

Skate To Where The Puck Is Going To Be

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Improvement
Hall of fame hockey player Wayne Gretzky famously described his method for success in the quote, "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where the puck has been." Business people have recited the quote for years, but what does it really mean? In its simplest form, the quote refers to success being a moving target. You can't hit a moving target by aiming where it has been. You need to be able to anticipate where the target will be. While this sounds obvious, in practice more people try to move the target back to where it was rather than figure out where it is going. In an age of fast moving innovation, the target doesn't move back. Employees are being replaced by contractors. If you…
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Why An Ecosystem Works For Your Business

Why An Ecosystem Works For Your Business

Featured, Improvement, Process
Companies offer all kinds of products and services to help you build your business. At The Modern Observer Group, we offer an ecosystem of products and services that can be used individually or in conjunction with other. What is the advantage of using services that are part of ecosystem? The fact is that no segment of your business runs in a vacuum. Each part of your business affects every other part. For example, you can focus on your branding and create exactly the brand you want to portray. However, if you don't have proper processes in place a customer can have a terrible experience when they interact with your business. If that happens, all the time, money and energy you spent building your brand has just gone out the window.…
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Ease Your Employees Into Change

Ease Your Employees Into Change

Featured, Improvement
Change can be scary. But the best leaders smooth over the transition by supporting their teams and advocating for them. To foster this kind of environment, try these three things: Create a "safe" space. Individuals should feel comfortable bringing up any conflicts, emotions, and stresses related to the change. In these conversations, give everyone's ideas serious consideration. Be honest, admitting when you've made a mistake or you don't have an answer.Protect your team. Shelter them from interference, stand up for them to get the resources you need, and show courage in sticking up for your people.Manage workload. Overwhelmed employees will have more trouble handling change. Effective leaders are masters of pacing work. Prioritize tasks to minimize confusion and chaos.
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