Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
It’s commencement time, so what job skills are corporate CEOs seeking most among candidates today? Engineering? Technology? Finance?
None of the above, according to a recent IBM report and some recent conversations with local CEOs. The most-sought skills are the “soft skills,” such as the ability to collaborate, to manage projects and – most appealing – to lead teams. In fact, IBM’s 2012 global CEO study noted “collaboration is the number-one trait CEOs are seeking in their employees,” with 75 percent of CEOs citing it as critical.
The CEO of a 100+-year-old public company in Cleveland told us the shortage of effective project leaders is so severe he’s had to delay launching several new initiatives. Why is there such a shortage of these skills among our employees and new graduates? Here are a few thoughts to ponder:
People aren’t really trained in soft skills like collaboration, team building, project management and group conflict handling. So if collaboration is the top skill we’re seeking, we are wre hiring people with no formal training in that area, and why aren’t companies providing in-house seminars/skill-building programs to address it?
People feel they don’t have time to collaborate. The downturn has forced people into roles where they’re juggling what used to be the responsibilities of two, three or even four jobs. They can’t keep up with email, let alone find the time to build teams and collaborate. There’s far too much stress in organizations today and far too much focus on responding to the deluge of incoming emails.
Younger employees may not be as familiar with face-to-face collaboration as older ones. This generation of employees is often far more comfortable with sending a text or an email than in engaging in dialog. Collaboration and leadership can’t be accomplished in 140 characters.
Tuesday, July 31st, 2012
Inc. Magazine, the granddaddy of publications for entrepreneurs, is a large, well-respected publication with a tremendous amount of print and online content. Yet, according to a conference speaker at a recent media event, the number of full-time editors on staff producing all this work may surprise you: three! In fact, as trade and business publications continue to evolve, more are relying on contributing writers and guest authors than ever – a great opportunity for positioning yourself as an expert! For nearly every industry, your leading publications are welcoming guest bloggers and contributing authors who are willing to commit the time and have something constructive to say. It’s the PR professional’s dream opportunity to generate prime content on leading and authoritative industry sites.
Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
It’s sometimes common for executives today to diagnose themselves as having ADD, or Attention Deficit Disorder, when they appear forgetful or impatient. But the truth is, particularly with young people, we live in a world that is increasingly based on doing two things at once. We do email during meetings. Talk on the phone while driving. Read something else when we should be listening to a speaker. Some even (gasp) can’t resist texting while driving!
As communicators, we have to accept that giving someone your “undivided attention” is rapidly becoming a thing of the past – and that communications are often better packaged in short, scannable, “Twitter-sized” bursts and videos rather than in longer blocks of prose, no matter how beautifully crafted. The explosion of online video isn’t necessarily due to us becoming too intellectually lazy to read. It’s just a reflection of the way we’re being conditioned to communicate – short, fast, to the point, and with the understanding that there will be something else distracting our audience from the message we’re trying to share.
Monday, March 5th, 2012
My daughters gave me the book Scorecasting for a birthday present, which talks about the surprising patterns that determine who wins games – applying a bit of the Freakonomics approach to sports. In the book’s first few pages, the authors identify four themes that drive sports, and they are amazingly similar to the same success factors behind most businesses:
- That which is recognizable or apparent is often given too much credit, whereas the real answer often lies concealed.
- Incentives are powerful motivators and predictors of how athletes, coaches, owners, and fans behave – sometimes with undesirable consequences.
- Human biases and behavior play a pivotal role in almost every aspect of life, and sports are no exception.
- The role of luck is underappreciated and often misunderstood.
Monday, September 26th, 2011
The way b-to-b marketers are using social media is evolving but gaining steady acceptance and growing budgets, according to a new study by B2B Magazine. We’re still in the early adopter stages of social media, in most cases, and few are able to measure impact and sales conversions from the new tools. However, companies have recognized that it’s an important marketing channel that deserves the growing investment it’s receiving. Key findings from the study:
- LinkedIn and Facebook are the “platform” sites for social media marketing for b-to-b companies. Twitter follows as a close third.
- When the question is changed to “what’s the one MOST IMPORTANT method used,” blogging rises to the #3 ranking (followed by LinkedIn and Facebook). Blogging assumes an even higher priority among tech companies than b-to-b companies as a whole.
- Branding, website traffic and the promotion of products or events are currently the three most common uses of social media marketing. The main metric that marketers look for in gauging the performance of a social campaign is website traffic.
- YouTube reached “effectiveness” faster than any other social media channel. Forty-two percent of marketers using YouTube said it achieved effectiveness within a quick two- to six-month period.
A side note from another piece of research: we’re all getting older, and that includes the people using Facebook. A Pew Research report shows the average age of a Facebook user is now 38 years, and half are 35 and older. Fifty-six percent are female. Teens and young adults concerned about being friended or followed by parents have every right to be worried! (Facebook is now up to 750 million users, rapidly approaching the billion-user mark.)
Monday, January 17th, 2011
As I watched Lovie Smith’s Chicago Bears beat Seattle during this weekend’s NFL playoffs, I thought about where he started the season. He was on the watch list of coaches who might get fired this year, after finishing just 7-9 last year. So what did he do differently? There was no magic bullet, as there never is, but there is something unusual about this year’s Bears compared to other seasons: the coaching staff. In fact, Smith had the confidence and wisdom to hire three former head coaches (Mike Tice, Rod Marinelli and Mike Martz) on his staff, believing as most business execs do that hiring the best people you can find will ultimately make the boss successful.
And in fact, there are some who point to the coaching staff hires made during the offseason by the Kansas City Chiefs as a reason for that team’s 2010 turnaround – hiring former Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weiss to run the offense and former Browns coach Romeo Crennel to run the defense. Top talent on the coaching staff led to better performance by the team.
Lesson learned for any owner/marketing exec: as you build your team, top talent produces top results.
Wednesday, May 5th, 2010
GGC’s new web presence provides a platform for the agency to showcase everything we’re proud of – our people, our work, and our results. With an online portfolio, white papers, narrated PowerPoints, and links to the blog, we hope you’ll get a better sense of everything we do, and why we’re passionate about creating “wow” moments for our clients. We’d love to know what you think; visit us at www.ggcomm.com.
Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
Health of economy tidbit: a bank told me that their institution is three years into a five-year moratorium on writing any loans for commercial real estate, unless it’s an owner-occupied building. Unbelievable how much “inventory” exists and how much recovery remains to take place in the financial and real estate industries.
Monday, March 8th, 2010
A friend of mine from Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is Senthil Kumar, who owns the exporting company S&V Industries. He has a theory about global economics, in that we’re in the middle of a period now where the world economies are going through a selective sorting process. At the end each country will be known for being dominant in one area of production. On his trip to India, he came away convinced it will become not just a center of software, as it is now, but even a center of automotive manufacturing. Consider the Nano, he says. Not Apple’s Nano, but the world’s cheapest car at $2800. In India, he says they’ve sold 1 MILLION Nanos already since introduction 13 months ago! A comparison note for perspective, though: as of August 2009 the Chinese bought 1 million cars a month and will pass the U. S. as the world’s largest car market this year, 2010.
Thursday, May 28th, 2009
There’s no shortage of cool tools coming out for business owners. I heard about many at a conference a few weeks ago in New Orleans, and some of the hottest included:
- Google Voice (formerly grandcentral.com), a one-number voice mail/email service; grasshopper.com is similar.
- Heard of live chat? That’s soooo early 2000s! Try video chat inside gmail (Google) email accounts, where you can see friends while chatting.
- Run a timesheet-oriented business? Try www.slimtimer.com, an online tool to simplify timesheets.
- Worried about losing your company’s institutional knowledge, or scrambling to find the same documents again and again? Store it all on a free password-protected wiki, at Googlesites, without needing to code in html.
- Looking to create a group of like-minded people to share coffee, war stories, best practices, etc.? One may already exist, or create one on your own at www.meetup.com.
- Create your own live video streaming show, for free of course, at www.ustream.com. (Distribute it – for free – on www.tubemogul.com.)
- Go beyond old RSS feeds to www.feedburner.com (of course, now also owned by Google) to build your own audiences and push your content to more people.
Does anyone charge for software anymore? Enjoy.