Archive for category Best practices

CE#677: McKinsey Predicts The War For Talent Will Go Nuts By 2020 (Business Insider)

Despite all the talk from Peter Thiel and others about how college is a poor investment, a new study from McKinsey finds that one of the biggest employment trends in coming decades will be a shortage of high-skill, college-educated workers for all advanced economies.

An intensifying global war for talent means that there will be as much as an 18 million worker shortfall in the world’s richest countries. They’ll be producing too few of the workers businesses really need, and too many with only high school or vocational training.

Here’s McKinsey’s breakdown of future demand and supply trends for workers:

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CE#673: 12 Ways To Fail In Goal Setting (Business Insider)

Do you have something you really want to have in your life?

Is there an ultimate thing that would make you the happiest person in the world?

I think we all have at least one thing we badly want to get.

It could be popularity, power, friends, love, money, lasting marriage, children, or health.

But unfortunately, not all of us successfully obtain even just that one thing though we may live up to 85 years.


Well, it is simply because most people do not set goals.

However, even if we do, it does not guarantee achievement and success. You have to do things the right way.

You need to pay the price. Anything great necessitates hard work.

But in this article, we will discuss the not-so ideal things that make you fail and not reach your goals.

Setting goals that are too big. Goals bigger than you may just leave you exhausted but not victorious. Goals that are too big are those beyond your skills, knowledge, and capabilities, or even beyond your control and influence. You need to assess yourself, the things you know, the things you are good at and base your goals from them. Measure your capabilities. Do not set goals that seem impossible to achieve.

Setting goals that are too small. Setting goals that are too small does not challenge you enough which consequently makes you think those goals are not worth pursuing. Make sure your goals are not too easy otherwise you will not feel a sense of fulfillment and not be proud of reaching them.

Setting goals that are vague. Describe your goals. Be specific. Do not settle with goals that are too general. Detailed goals make you half-way there since they create a map for your subconscious mind; and you just need follow that map. This also helps you achieve your goals significantly easier and faster.

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CE#668: 10 Phrases That Are Holding Your Career Back (Forbes)

Jenna Goudreau, Forbes Staff

I write about navigating success for professional women.

10 Phrases That Are Holding Your Career Back

“The difference between the almost-right word and the right word is really a large matter–it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”—Mark Twain

Whether dealing with clients, coworkers or superiors, how you phrase and frame your message colors the way people perceive you. The words you choose may be the difference between being thought of as problem-solver or a problem.

“Words are very important because they shape not only how other people hear you, but how they feel about you,” says Karen Friedman, author of Shut Up and Say Something: Business Communication Strategies to Overcome Challenges and Influence Listeners. “If you garner some kind of positive emotion, then you’ll make people care. Then you’re in a much better position for them to listen.”

However, too often business communication is peppered with filler words (umm, uh huh, well) that muddle the message, qualifiers (sort of, kind of, mostly) that diminish authority, and negative framing (can’t, impossible, never) that is discouraging and unproductive. In an informal poll of communication experts and career advisers, these 10 phrases were voted the worst things to say in your career.

That’s not my job.

“This makes it about what you can’t do as opposed to what you can do,” says Friedman. “It paints you as not being a team player.” Furthermore, it flies in the face of crucial career assets like flexibility and the willingness to learn new skills, which are required for leadership roles. Take it to a positive place by saying, “It’s not really my area of expertise. Let’s see who might be able to better help with this.”


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CE#661: The Coming Collapse of Average Managers and Employees (HBR Blog Network)

by Michael Schrage  |  10:00 AM October 23, 2012

“Whip your thoroughbreds.” That’s the phrase I kept hearing from Jack Welch-era high potential managers hurtling up GE’s global hierarchies. Brutally simple and simply brutal, this Welchian aphorism disproportionately drove top management behavior. The company found it got far greater value working its best people harder than by pushing its multitudes of “better than average” managers to work smarter.

The numbers were compelling. Even marginal returns from GE’s elite outperformed major enhancements from its mediocrities. “B” players proved poorer human capital investments than “A”s.

So “thoroughbred whipping” deserves a closer look in light of widely-publicized recent research entitled The Value of Bosses. The National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper empirically argued (unsurprisingly) that bosses matter. Better bosses generate better results. Using a variety of accepted econometric/statistical techniques, the study found that the most significant impact bosses had didn’t come from their motivational skills, but from teaching workers how to be more productive, i.e. capability building. That’s important.

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CE#658: The 10 Steps To Finding More Customers (Forbes)

Alan Hall , Contributor

Ed is like you and me; constantly looking for more business.  I am thrilled Mr. O’Brien walked away from my speech with a new growth strategy that will work for him. If anyone is interested in following and connecting with Bountiful Eatery, you can find the business on Facebook or on Twitter, at @bountifuleatery.

And now I am pleased to share with you my own list of the ten steps to building a strong future customer base.  They are as follows:

  1.  Start by knowing your current customers and everything about them. I suggest that you develop a precise profile of shoppers; age, education, gender, marital status, employment, hobbies, and the places they visit, on-line and off.  Once this is complete, it will be very clear to you who your true clients are.
  2. Know their needs and wants.  Take time to visit with them. Ask pertinent questions.  Listen and learn.
  3. Know what they think about your solution and what they think about the competition.  Look for problems and opportunities.
  4. Know what they watch, listen to and read.
  5. Recognize that your customers have friends who are like them.
  6. Ask your customers to invite their friends to engage with you.  Entice them to connect with these friends via the internet on your behalf.
  7. Invite these prospective buyers to try your offerings.
  8. Provide a special introductory offer to them and likewise reward your current clients who helped.
  9. Ensure a splendid buying and user experience.  Go out of your way to take care of these new shoppers.
  10. Ask your new customers to also make referrals.  Don’t be shy.  It’s how business grows.

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CE#657: 12 Guidelines for Deciding When to Persist, When to Quit (HBR Blog Network)

Whether it’s a start-up like Airtime, a turnaround, an elected official, or your own pet project, there are 12 key questions that can help you decide whether it should be shut down or helped through the messy middle:

  1. Are the initial reasons for the effort still valid, with no consequential external changes?
  2. Do the needs for which this a solution remain unmet, or are competing solutions still unproven or inadequate?
  3. Would the situation get worse if this effort stopped?
  4. Is it more cost-effective to continue than to pay the costs of restarting?
  5. Is the vision attracting more adherents?
  6. Are leaders still enthusiastic, committed, and focused on the effort?
  7. Are resources available for continuing investment and adjustments?
  8. Is skepticism and resistance declining?
  9. Is the working team motivated to keep going?
  10. Have critical deadlines and key milestones been met?
  11. Are there signs of progress, in that some problems have been solved, new activities are underway, and trends are positive?
  12. Is there a concrete achievement — a successful demonstration, prototype, or proof of concept?

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CE#656: The Way The Most Successful People Turn Obstacles Into Assets Works Everywhere (Forbes)

Serial entreprenuers, those individuals who have successfully started multiple companies, have mastered managing the unknown. To take control of the future, we have advocated that we follow their lead and take the same approach they do:

– Begin by taking a small (smart) step forward. It may not be the right direction, but we’ll never know unless we try. That’s why I want to be part of this new experiment in treating diabetes.

– Evaluate what you have learned from taking that step. This is one of the things I like about the study so far. They are actively seeking feedback.

– Build that learning into what you do next. They are. I suggested that it would be helpful to chart the changes to my day-to-day blood sugar readings to see if I could spot patterns and they did so.

– Take another small step and see what you learn.  In my case, changes to my exercise patterns have much less  impact on my sugar levels than how much I eat.  What I eat seems to matter less than the amount.

Build that learning into what you do next. This is where I am now. My next step is eat five small meals a day instead of three semi-big ones.

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