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As the holiday season approaches, you may be thinking about employee gifts. While everyone appreciates a holiday treat, Cindy Ventrice, author of Make Their Day! Employee Recognition that Works (Berrett-Koehler Publishers) says holiday gifts and bonuses are now considered an entitlement in many organizations rather than a reward for hard work. People bank on their holiday bonuses.

“They plan their vacations, their gift giving, some plan it right into their income in terms of paying their bills. So, there is no appreciation element in many cases. They’re not seeing it as the reward. They see it as a piece of their compensation,”

says Ventrice.
While Ventrice is clear that companies shouldn’t do away with the holiday bonus, she argues that true recognition is not given through a one-time bonus check. Here are four things to consider when deciding how to thank your employees.
1. Include a personal message

“We often overlook the strength of written praise,”

says Ventrice.

She gives the example of an employee who kept handwritten notes of praise for years, pulling them out when they needed a confidence boost.

When you take a little bit of extra effort to put it in writing, it pays you back many times over. People read that over and over again,”

she says.
Messages should include specifics about the employee’s work and what was appreciated. They can be included in employee’s bonus envelopes or made into a group experience, such as a message board handwritten notes highlighting at least one thing that you value about each employee.

2. Know your audience

Ventrice says it’s difficult to come up with best practices when it comes to employee gifts because rewards will mean different things to different groups. Understanding what will make your staff enthusiastic is the first step in determining appropriate rewards.

“Know your staff – who they are and what they’re going to value,”

says Ventrice.
While a white water rafting adventure may be the perfect team-building reward for a young, fun office, a formal dinner at a fancy restaurant may be more suitable for a serious work culture.

3. Offer non-monetary compensation

Ventrice surveyed over 200 employees from 98 companies to find out what rewards they valued the most.

Across all ages and cultures, time off was absolutely number one,”

she says.

Flex time given for a specific accomplishment in the form of a longer lunch hour or going home early is a great way to show appreciation for a job well done.
The study confirmed that the cost of recognition awards has only minimal impact on employee perception of appreciation. Fifty-seven percent reported that the most meaningful recognition was free.Other forms of recognition that scored high included opportunities to learn from senior staff or take a course that wasn’t offered to everyone, and being given challenging assignments.

“Programs run by managers who know what makes recognition meaningful and know how to provide it translate into higher engagement, retention, loyalty and productivity,”

says Ventrice.


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Latest News for Strategy Business Developments

Corporate trajectories

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The business landscape will look dramatically different in coming decades.”

A culture change dialogs across geography, across business units and also across functions. By embracing people’s differences, we can spark innovation, better understand and serve our customers and gain competitive advantage.
Driving a successful diversity strategy begins with the senior leaders, but to be fully sustainable it needs to be lived by every one of us. If that seems challenging, think about this:

“Many leading researchers and social scientists have proven a link between diversity and productivity. “

In the United States, management researchers found that when people work directly with someone with at least one diverse trait, it challenges them to prepare more and work harder.
By embracing diversity in your business today, you can adopt an intrapreneurial mindset and sustainable skills that will help you succeed.

Here’s how you can start:

A.Learn to think like an intrapreneur

Intrapreneurship, or disrupting internal processes or cultural norms, is at its heart about innovation.

One group of innovators in particular figured out how to advance their industry through the way they approach challenges.”

– these are open-source software engineers, and they use design thinking.

It’s a good example of what intrepreneurship can be: pick a diverse team with a range of experiences and perspectives; make your mistakes early and be open about them. Without the diverse and constant input, these engineers would be less successful in the way they solve challenges.

B. Discover new places to network

As collaboration with diverse individuals provides new points of view, networking accomplishes this on a larger scale. By going to events for closely related professions, or simply connecting through social media channels such as Twitter or LinkedIn where you can virtually engage in conversations with anyone, you put yourself in a position for growth.

“Inside your organization you can join or organize a powerful employee network with a diverse set of peers.”


While interacting with your network, look for, accept and appreciate differences. Friction leads to heat, and our heat makes the atoms move faster!

C. Focus on the strengths everybody brings to the table

We are brought up in the Western World to focus on what doesn’t work or what is different. Challenge yourself to appreciate the differences of others and see them as potential drivers of change.

The more opinions, the more variety, and the more diversity we bring to the table the more we can unchain our creativity, which is hidden in every one of us.”

People with different communication abilities, for instance, can be diverse. Autistic people are known for thriving in repetitive tasks, which is an especially valuable skill set in today’s data-driven work environments.

These skills help uncover insights into customer behavior and business trends, and can lead to discoveries that alter how a company operates.

In the future of work, diversity will not be an option, but an imperative to sustain in our global, fast paced economy, where never just one person owns and knows the truth.”

D. Stand up to discrimination

Stand up if you see or experience discrimination.Raise your voice for the unheard opinion.

Help others appreciate how every person has a different strength and realize that in that strength there is opportunity to grow and be more productive.

For instance, if a colleague comments that a women aren’t as capable of understanding technology, remind them that CEOs Meg Whitman at HP and Marisa Mayer at Yahoo! have both outlasted their male predecessors.

By being critical of someone’s weakness you miss the chance to appreciate and benefit from their strengths.
The need for new perspectives becomes especially important when we examine the future workplace. As our world gets smaller, diversity doesn’t only mean differences in gender and race, but age and geography as well.

“Our world has become ultra-connected – successful companies find that to harmonize these connections relates directly to how fast they innovate. “

The implications are key for our global workforce because innovation thrives when we are faced with the unfamiliar. Diversity is what makes business more sustainable.


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The Latest Publication On Data Surveys

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In the fast-moving world of online marketing change is the only constant, emerging technologies, tough competition and increased consumer expectations have created plenty of uncertainty.

Many digital agencies are confused about how to deliver relevant ad experiences moving forward. However, in that uncertainty there are also tremendous opportunities to leverage data and deliver the personalized ad experiences consumers prefer. Advertisers can make the most of this and position themselves for long-term success – if they’re willing to question some longstanding assumptions.

Executing ad campaigns today takes a different set of skills and real-time bidding (a strategy search marketers have used for years) is now feasible for display, social, mobile, video, text, radio advertising and even TV.”

Executing search and display campaigns, for instance, used to require completely different skill sets. Now programmatic technologys merging them.

“Search and display are uniting under a common theme: leveraging data to target consumers with the right message, in the right place, at the right time.”

This creates huge opportunities (IDC estimates real-time advertising is growing 59 percent per year) only if agencies and marketers are willing to develop new skills and reassess how they’re delivering ad experiences.

The media buyer and agencies that win today -and tomorrow – have started to look a lot different than successful media buyers from the past.”

In understanding and developing the ability to buy in real time, traditionally, display media buyers negotiated with sellers to run ads for a fixed number of impressions or amount of time. All the terms were worked out beforehand in a conversational, delayed executed setting. Programmatic technologies allow advertisers to be more nimble. Instead of committing a significant chunk of their ad spend before seeing any results, advertisers can make small-scale buys, generate feedback and make adjustments in real time.

Buying becomes an ongoing process. Kellogg’s used real-time targeting to increase its ROI between five and six times.”

This creates enormous opportunities to maximize the ROI on every campaign. Buyers can use feedback to optimize campaigns on the fly – scaling successful ad buys and ceasing unsuccessful ones.

To develop analytical skills and strong technical knowledges,
the analytical skills could become increasingly important in executing successful ad campaigns. Seventy-five percent of CMOs are already using customer analytics to mine data. Acquiring these skills might seem intimidating for some media experts, but it offers huge advantages as advertising technology evolves.

“Going forward, successful media buyers will behave more like stock traders. They’ll analyze large sets of data, cross-reference them and run regression models.”


But they won’t stop there. It will be up to them to “translate” those numbers into actionable insights to best optimize ad campaigns.


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Latest News & Developments in Business Strategy Practice

A chance to catch up on much-needed reading to refresh and recharge your standards and leadership style scoured this lists of books that look at life and work in a whole new way. While these books are not your typical newest releases, they have timeless value and are best read together to rejuvenate yourself and, by extension, your team.
The review by Rebecca Talbot, Content Marketing & Research Manager & Leadership Story Lab sais:
Feeling comfortable in our workplace can have its downsides. It’s easy to fall into patterns and make assumptions about the people we spend our days with.”
The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier offers a way to get beyond our assumptions about our coworkers’ behavior and learn their stories instead. Stanier’s short book explores seven questions managers can use to get people talking, and to train themselves to avoid thinking they “already know” what’s motivating people. His first question is simply:
What’s on your mind?

When we are willing to start our conversations with an open-ended question, the answers might surprise us!And that’s Stanier’s whole point-that we need to approach each other with far more curiosity.
The “what’s on your mind” question resonated with me because it is a question my dad used to ask me often when I was a teenager. The respect and curiosity implied in the question worked well to encourage a teenager to talk.
Likewise, family, friends and colleagues generally need an invitation before they will share what’s been important to them lately. Now that Stanier has reminded of that, I’ll be using this question more frequently and to that meaning find irresistible reading suggestions on new different ways of thinking as the following highlights. Find out more! Books are the only thing you can buy that gives you wealth and wisdom.

BEAT THE CLOCK! 2020 New Edition Available


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NEWS & OVERVIEW DISCUSSIONS IN DIFFERENT MARKET INDUSTRIES

Connecting Successes


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In challenge, success is based on others success.
The adage that two brains are better than one may explain why a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners, create partnerships. However, it’s not just those brains that should work well together. Partners’ personalities need to get along too.

If you are a serial entrepreneur who’s launched many companies, making a number of partnerships in the long way, this could brought the learning of some priceless lessons when creating those partnerships.
Among the most helpful tips that they are to be discovered, a reliable one îs making sure that you get along with your business partner. It’s important to find someone who complements your skills, but don’t underestimate the importance liking one another.
Communication is another big part of a business relationship
There’s a great article from earlier this year about a long-lasting business partnership and communication is a theme that runs throughout.
You can learn many things about creating and maintaining partnerships during this past two decades. Although there are dozens of tips, here are five key lessons:

  • Partnership agreements: As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, a good thing to do is to have the right agreements in place. It’s important for business partners to have clear partnership agreements drafted by attorneys.
  • Clear expectations: I’ve also suggested to avoid the hard way thinking people, including business partners that can not predict the next step. I believe business partners should consistently set their expectations with each other.
  • Think about your clients: When evaluating a potential business partnership, I look at weaknesses. I also think about clients and what type of partnership would benefit them.
  • Mutually beneficial: It might sound obvious, but still should be noted. Partnerships should be mutually beneficial. In my experience, both sides need to gain something from the relationship for it to be worthwhile.
  • It’s ok to walk away: Like any relationship, a business partnership holds a great deal of promise. However, sometimes it doesn’t work out. That’s alright. Don’t stay in a business partnership if you believe it’s no longer viable. I’ve learned that it’s better to end the partnership and regroup than to force something that’s not working.

“For a better understanding to how to get started in achieving good partnerships, is taking in consideration the history in the early 1700s when workers gave way to machine operations and then the 1800s Henry Ford in mass production changed manufacturing forever, then came robotics, computers, lean manufacturing and the lean sigma. “

Each success is connected to get products out the door and now we got a connected understanding.


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The Latest News On Contemporary Developments in Business Strategy Practise


How Marketers Can Connect Profit and Purpose
It takes time for a big idea to make its way into business practice. Six years ago, Harvard’s Michael Porter and FSG’s Mark Kramer made the bold statement that shared value —the idea that the purpose of a company is to achieve both shareholder profit and social purpose —

To reinvent capitalism.

They encouraged companies to go beyond CSR (corporate social responsibility) and integrate social impact into companies’ competitive strategy. And, Nathaniel Foote and Russ Eisenstat proposed

“ A better way to manage in the 21st century.

They found “higher-ambition” leaders achieved superior performance by doing well and doing good. For the last six years, they have worked with a group of top marketing executives and business leaders in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area from companies large and small. Each year they assess the issues that are most top-of-mind. From digital platforms to customer experience to crisis management, these priorities have been a bellwether for what would soon dominate boardroom discussions and headline business publications.
This year the issue of profit and propose came to the fore, echoing the earlier manifestos. To understand the connections and applications, interviews with over 20 CMOs and CEOs, finding a remarkably similar pattern across a highly diverse set of companies. To find widespread agreement that having great products and services and being a “good corporate citizen” are table stakes in a world of empowered citizens and consumers.
Melissa Waters, CMO of Lyft, says,

Any customer these days is asking for transparency on what a company stands for and why they operate. But you can’t exist just to make the world a better place.

Purpose today goes well beyond corporate social responsibility. According to Alicia Tillman, CMO of SAP,

Purpose can’t be viewed as a department or initiative. It must be woven into a company’s operational fabric. Purpose is a lodestar guiding and inspiring everyone to create economic and societal value together.”

In a sense, purpose is following the path that digital has taken in the enterprise.


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News & Economic Trends

Comercial Leaders



What it truly comes down to the employee-employer relationship? Information discharged by Virgin Pulse uncovers precisely what representatives got to cherish in their job – and expansive portion reveal that excellence comes from a great relationship with their boss.

In fact, nearly 60 percent of the more than 1,000 full-time employees surveyed said that their relationship with their employer positively impacts their focus or productivity at work, and 44 percent said it positively impacts their stress levels.

Considering nearly 50 percent of the 7,200 adults surveyed in a recent Gallup study left a job,

to get away from their manager.”

1. Open communication

The key to any great relationship is communication that goes both ways. Tragically, representatives don’t feel like their bosses are truly tuning in. A later study of more than 1,000 U.S. representatives by 15 Five appeared a unimportant 15 percent of workers are fulfilled with the quality of working environment communication.

great relationship is communication that goes both ways. Tragically, representatives don’t feel like their bosses are truly tuning in. A later study of more than 1,000 U.S. representatives by 15 Five appeared a unimportant 15 percent of workers are fulfilled with the quality of working environment communication.

What’s more, that same study found that 81 percent of employees would rather join a company that values “open communication” than one that offers great perks.

To create a work environment that supports open communication, consider implementing a web-based feedback platform. According to the survey by 15Five, 70 percent of employees said they’d be more likely to share information with managers if they could enter comments into an online feedback system.

2. Opportunities and investments

In a perfect world, both parties bring something in, and get something out from their relationships. For managers, the benefits of a great employee-employer relationship incorporates a workforce that’s exceedingly locked in the beneficials and fulfillement for their parts inside the organization. An viable and efficient workforce is nice for any business. For workers, the focal points of the relationship ought to go in the past to the paycheck and benefits that bundles into incorporate individualized training.

3. Gratitude and appreciation

It’s in our nature to need to be lauded for a work well done – a result of accepting “gold stars” amid our schoolyard days, no question. It consoles, propels and gives us the fuel we got to proceed doing what we do well.

In fact, Globoforce and SHRM’s 2015 Employee Recognition Report showed 86 percent of the 823 HR professionals surveyed said values-based recognition increased employee happiness at work, so don’t hold back on the “thank you” notes and pats.Employees will appreciate the recognition, and the employee-employer relationship will get a much-needed boost.

4. Interest in life outside of work

The employee-employer relationship ought to be proficient, but that doesn’t cruel bosses shouldn’t take the time to urge to know the individual behind the work. Endeavor treat workers as individuals, not fair worker bees. The key is to require an intrigued in employees’ lives exterior of work. What are employees’ individual and proficient objectives? Where do they trust to be in five a long time? Do they have a family? What do they like to do once the workday is over?

Questions like these help employers to know their employees on a more personal level. That helps them make sense of individual employee actions and preferences, and forms a much stronger bond between employers and their employees.


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Latest News for Strategy Business Developments

Scientific management


 

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No tyrant or slave driver in the ecstasy of his most delirious dream ever sought to place upon abject slaves a condition more repugnant.

There’s small space for Taylor’s thoughts in today’s world of freewheeling collaboration. But the works of individuals such as Michael Doorman and Michael Pound, with their accentuation on breaking commerce down into quantifiable (and controllable) exercises, hold more than a swoon resound of Taylor’s thoughts.

Taylor was the first man in history who did not take work for granted, but looked at it and studied it. His approach to work is still the basic foundation.


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The Latest News & Developments in Business Strategy Practice

Dealing With Diversity

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As a result of the suits and the reputation encompassing it, worker particularly directors must go to sessions approximately the preferences of a multiracial clientele.

reputation encompassing it, worker particularly directors must go to sessions approximately the preferences of a multiracial clientele.

The reasons, over and over human tolerability, are practical. One is the moving confront of the workforce, as guys, who utilized to be the overwhelming gather, are getting to be a minority.

A overview of a few hundred companies found that more than three-quarters of unused worker were from distinctive teritories – a statistic move that’s too reflected to a large expand within the changing pool of clients.

Another reason is the expanding require for universal companies to have representative who not as it were put any inclination aside to appreciate individuals from different societies (and markets) but too turn that appreciation to competitive advantage.

A third inspiration is the potential natural product of differences, in terms of increased collective inventiveness and entrepreneurial vitality. All this implies means implies that the culture of an association must alter in conclusion to cultivate resilience, indeed in case person predispositions stay.

Expect change

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.

Commerce streams is within substantial amounts of foreign trade and hence movements of currency, result from the activities of very large multinationals companies or enterprises.

One sign of this the number of companies from the developing countries shows up within the Fortune 500 list of the world’s greatest companies.

Substantial amounts of foreign trade and hence movements of currency, result from the activities of very large multinationals companies or enterprises.

The transnationality list gives the degree of an MNE’s inclusion overseas by looking at three proportions remote asset/total resources, remote sales/total deals and remote employment. As such it captures the significance of outside exercises in its in general exercises. These multinationals are tremendous associations and their showcase esteem regularly surpass the GNP of numerous of the nations in which they work.

There are over 60000 MNE’s around the world and they are estimated to account for a quarter of the world’s output.

The development in MNE’s is due to unwinding on trade controls, making it simpler to move cash between nations, and the enhancements in communication, which makes it conceivable to run a world-wide commerce from one nation.


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Latest News for Strategy Business Developments

Business cycle approaches

As the crest of the trade cycle approaches, the financial viewpoint is surprisingly shinning compensation are at last firming as the labor showcase starts to fix; tame swelling and continuously climbing intrigued rates are advancing soundness in budgetary markets; and the rising volume of worldwide exchange is creating worldwide thriving.

These are the most lessons from the primary quarter of this year:

1. Forecasts Agree on Continued Growth

A look at noticeable financial figures seem donate the impression of broad contradiction over the economy’s wellbeing. The Worldwide Financial Support ventures US genuine GDP development to drop modest of 3 percent this year some time recently abating to a 2.70 percent pace of development by 2020, whereas the more idealistic individuals of the Government Open Markets Committee are calling for 3 percent development this year and a maintained 2.9 percent development rate through 2020.

The contrast between the forecasts’ GDP projections shows up to be established in contradictions over the pace of labor efficiency development and the affect of a huge number of child boomer retirements.

Most forecasters agree that demand for labor will remain strong in the medium term, which implies that they expect the economy to perform at or near its full potential in the coming years. For US households, this is far more important than the actual pace of GDP growth. Household net worth and personal incomes should continue to climb in a benign economic climate. Strong demand for labor and rising asset values will benefit the average household, regardless of how quickly the overall economy is growing.

Strong demand for labor should also spur businesses to invest in productivity-enhancing technologies, such as automation and workforce development. The ensuing productivity gains will naturally tend to lift wages.

As of now, genuine hourly stipend is rising a full rate point quicker than swelling, reflecting efficiency trends.The 10-year Treasury abdicate, regularly utilized as a intermediary for long-term intrigued rates, is at last closing in on 3 percent. This can be a great sign that the economy is healty.

The gradual normalization of interest rates will help prolong the current expansion, even as full employment approaches.

2. Sets Stage for Normalization

Inflation is nearing the Government Reserve’s 2 percent target, setting the organize for consistent intrigued rate normalization. Financial analysts see to rising retail costs for clues almost total request and the limits of financial capacity, but customer costs are frequently skewed by supply stuns that are irrelevant to the broader financial picture. For this reason, the Encouraged looks to long-term patterns and advertise desires when setting money related approach. The long-term expansion picture is nearly perfect.

Bond financial specialists are estimating in an expansion edge fair over 3 percent, and since 1999, the customer cost list (CPI) has expanded by an normal yearly rate of fair beneath 3 percent. The Fed’s validity in setting expansion desires gives a capable approach lever, giving showcase members clarity around the central bank’s eagerly.

Investors can plan for the future with confidence, knowing that monetary policy will be crafted with the goal of maintaining 3 percent inflation over the long run.

3. Global Trade Is Generating Widespread Prosperity

As hundreds of millions of citizens in the Asia-Pacific region move into the middle class, they will form an immense market for US goods and services.


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Latest News for Strategy Business Developments

The power of systems

In selling directing through distributors and collaborate with installers and contributors for project service distribution, putting a system engagement employee it’s a solution that allows you to access information and make it available to your organisation.

An article from Harvart Business Reviews with the headline “The Digital Transformation of Business”, where they surveyed 537 of their customers that were asked about the most important place where they can begin in making investment, and there answer is in customers facing technology.
Although the four “megatrends” of cloud, big data, mobile and social technologies are clearly having a positive impact, industry watchers who believe that only a few early adopters have been able to transform their organizations with these technologies are mistaken.
Digital transformation is occurring rapidly at a majority of public and private sector organizations.

Business leaders are not simply deploying the four technologies to boost efficiency or otherwise cut costs. Instead, research shows that firms are embracing the megatrends to craft new business models, develop new revenue streams, or drive other material changes that lead to an increase in the top or bottom lines.

It’s a full-fledged mobile sales terminal for the whole customer experience,”

says Greenbaum.
Eventually, the mobile devices—together with a growing number of in-seat flat screen TVs—will enable Delta to sell higher-value seats, book new flights, reserve hotel rooms, or rent cars while in flight, delivering new services and new sources of revenue.
In addition, the airline says it will eventually provide flight attendants with customer-specific information from Delta’s customer relationship management (CRM) system on their mobile devices to enable more personalized service.

That’s pretty transformational,”

says Greenbaum.
The widespread use of mobile technologies is also having an impact on the public sector. For example, the Metropolitan Police in the United Kingdom wanted to dramatically improve the way suspects brought into the police station were processed.
Aside from the fact that the suspects weren’t always cooperative, the technology used to capture photos of the suspects was aging, and image capture had to be performed in a fixed manner by trained specialists in a specified location. At the end of the day “it was a cumbersome and difficult process,” says Richard Thwaite, chief information officer of the Metropolitan Police.

A. MOBILE CONNECTS EMPLOYEES TO THEIR WORK AND EACH OTHER

Benefits of using mobile devices and applications

To improve its booking process, the agency deployed tablets with specialized mobile applications to police officers so they themselves could capture multiple images and video clips of the suspects, including tattoos or clothing, in a less confrontational manner, and enter it into their systems quickly.

Other innovations the Metropolitan Police is pursuing include cameras on officers and a text messaging service to reduce emergency calls.

We are going to use technology to stop crime, arrest offenders, or help victims. We need to keep police officers out of police stations and reduce bureaucracy,”

says Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.

Digital policing will help us to do this.”

Similarly, the growing ubiquity of mobile technologies is having a transformative impact by helping to deliver healthcare services to underserved populations.

None quarter of all stillborn births happen in India—600,000 a year in that country alone—largely because so many expectant mothers live too far away from sources of good maternal and obstetric care.

Wipro, a system integration services company, looked at the inefficiencies in delivery of medical care to these women in India and decided that there were several areas where technology could dramatically improve the process.

Last year, Wipro unveiled a system that enabled healthcare providers to deliver remote prenatal and cardiac care using mobile technologies.

The AssureHealth platform combines a mobile application, integrated medical devices, analytics, and cloud services. A wireless monitor records heart rates or uterine activity and delivers the information via Bluetooth to the mobile device.

The device sends the data to the cloud, where it is analyzed, and a doctor hundreds of miles away can download the results and provide an assessment in real time. In areas of India where health services aren’t readily available, explains T.K. Padmanabha, CTO of Wipro,

what is available is the phone.”

With regard to the risks involved in deploying mobile technologies, the survey found that data security far outpaces other concerns.
Survey respondents who said mobile technologies are a critical part of their infrastructure are also likely to name data security as their number one worry.

Employees have access to your data on a device they can—and will—lose,”

says David Chappell, principal with technology consultancy Chappell & Associates.

The portability of data and apps, plus the use of personal devices, raises red flags.

B.SECURITY RISKS ARE RELATIVE

Data security ranks as an important risk, especially for mobile and cloud

Security is an important concern with all four of the megatrends. When it comes to the public cloud, for example, security is

“a trust issue,”

says Chappell.

And it takes time to build that trust.”

Greenbaum notes that executives are more aware of security issues these days because of recent events, including revelations about the U.S. government’s National Security Agency (NSA) snooping, massive data breaches at Target and other retailers, and the Heartbleed bug that exposed vulnerabilities in a widely used web security protocol.
Leading companies are dealing with the security risks associated with the widespread adoption of mobile technologies by developing sound BYOD strategies.
They are adopting device encryption and two-factor authentication, as well as using Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions to wipe out corporate data on devices if they are lost or stolen.

C. CLOUD COMPUTING DRIVES BUSINESS AGILITY

According to the study, 53 percent of respondents said that the cloud’s ability to deliver flexible capacity as needed is the technology’s leading benefit, followed by 50 percent of respondents who said that increased business agility was its main benefit.

Forty-three percent pointed to lower fixed costs from using cloud-based solutions as its key benefit. Going forward, cloud computing is primed to have a powerful impact on businesses in 2015.

More than three-fifths (62 percent) of respondents say cloud will transform their businesses in the next 12 months, up from 47 percent who say it’s doing so today. It will also change the way people work, according to 56 percent of those surveyed.

While cloud technologies have clearly had an impact on IT departments, companies are doing more with them than revamping IT operations.

We’re beyond the first generation of cloud transformation, which was just facilitating the move from capital to operating expense. Now we’re looking at ways in which we can more easily enable collaboration and deploy services in elastic fashion,”

offers Greenbaum.

D. CLOUD MAKES BUSINESS FLEXIBLE AND COST EFFECTIVE

Benefits of cloud computing

Companies need to be agile, flexible, and fast to meet customer expectations. Cloud computing can be key to that responsiveness.

We have customers who give us 90 days to get something up and running,”

observes Padmanabha of Wipro.

There’s no way I can do that in my traditional data center.”

The public cloud delivers a time-to-market advantage that’s hard for enterprises to beat.

“We see a lot of traction with customers who have projects that have a short window of time to deliver results,”

Padmanabha says.
Wu Feng, a professor of computer science, electrical & computer engineering, and health sciences at Virginia Tech, concurs that the flexible capacity of cloud-based solutions can enable dramatic increases in performance that weren’t available previously.

Next-generation sequencers are capable of doubling the amount of data that they generate every eight or nine months.

We’re generating data faster than we can analyze it,”

Feng says.

A cloud solution, which optimizes data management and data transfer, delivers better performance and access to DNA sequencing tools and resources, leading to faster advancements in medical research.
As with mobile, security issues and privacy concerns are the main barriers that inhibit cloud adoption.

“I’m in a highly regulated business. Beyond that, I’m in a consumer-facing business where I’m accountable for the stewardship of personally identifiable customer data,”

says Ray Voelker, CIO of Progressive Insurance.

Because encrypting data in the cloud would slow down the speed of analytics, Voelker says he’s evaluating hybrid cloud solutions.

Most companies look at a hybrid environment,”

says Greenbaum.

“They don’t do everything in the cloud. But as new services and capabilities and opportunities come up, they look to do that via cloud services.”

Despite some hesitation, the study identified strong support for cloud-based solutions as more than just a way to reduce IT infrastructure and personnel spending.

The study found that leading companies are using the rise of public and private cloud computing to create new business models and services in addition to taking advantage of the greater cost efficiencies and scalability features that the cloud provides.

E. BIG DATA HELPS COMPANIES INNOVATE

The advent of new data analysis solutions such as in-memory computing, along with the ability to host many of these solutions in the cloud, is enabling enterprises to overcome the traditional barriers to big data analysis.

Organizations today have the ability to process and analyze large quantities of structured and unstructured data to generate business insight in real time. With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT)—including wearable computing, connected cars, and smart cities—the amount of data organizations have available to analyze is set to increase exponentially.
Even now, just over half (54 percent) of respondents say that big data has transformed their organizations; 70 percent expect it to do so going forward.

For those who master big data, the biggest payoffs are allowing the integration of more data into decision making processes (according to 62 percent) and enabling faster generation of insights (cited by 52 percent).
Progressive has collected more than 178 terabytes of data via Snapshot—11 times the amount of all data stored by the Library of Congress.

It provides for a much more accurate pricing method for Progressive than estimating a customer’s potential for loss based on information like age, gender, and type of car, says Voelker.

What’s more, it has enabled an entirely new and successful product category—usage-based auto insurance.

It’s revolutionary to us,”

says Voelker.

Every time we find a more powerful segmentation variable, it drives more growth.”

Another example of a leading organization using big data to innovate comes from Auckland Transport, New Zealand’s public transport agency.
The agency analyzes four terabytes of operational data, including bus ridership, to discover the most popular routes, identify routes to expand, and improve the customer experience.

It’s a substantial undertaking,”

says Roger Jones, Auckland Transport’s manager of IT and business systems.

We have to figure out how to transform that data to information and then make that information relevant to the customer.”

In the future, Auckland Transport plans to analyze images from around the city to understand where traffic congestion occurs or to assist with public safety.

Ultimately, the agency will deliver personalized alerts to citizens letting them know their bus is running late or that there’s increased traffic on their usual route to work.
Despite the promise of big data, however, it remains hard to manage, hard to interpret, and hard to integrate into day-to-day business operations and decision making. Further, success doesn’t happen overnight.

The companies that are good at [big data] have been working on it for quite a while,”

says Thomas H. Davenport, professor of IT and Management at Babson College and author of Big Data @ Work.

Davenport points out that one of the earliest users of business analytics—UPS—has been working on telematics to track its packages and delivery trucks for 25 years but only recently announced plans for analytics-based dynamic routing (itself a project 10 years in development).

Further, skilled data analysts and scientists, who understand both the statistical modeling and the business applications of big data, are hard to find.
Nearly half of respondents (48 percent) say that a lack of data analysis skills is the biggest barrier to big data. Even those who regard big data as a critical part of their operations find it difficult to hire the necessary talent.

Leading companies are addressing this talent shortage by hiring skilled contractors or working with consulting firms that have big data practices.
Some are getting more creative. Jones, at Auckland Transport, is addressing the talent shortage by working with data scientists at local universities.

There’s a wealth of opportunity for PhDs who might unearth something interesting mixing our data sets with other data sets,”

There’s a wealth of opportunity for PhDs who might unearth something interesting mixing our data sets with other data sets,”


he explains.

The department is also sponsoring a hackathon.

It’s about exposing some of our data feeds so others can analyze it in ways we might not be able to internally.”

Further, the study results highlight that successful organizations are those that adopt a big data mind-set.

Business leaders must create a culture that embraces the intelligence big data delivers, agrees Donald A. Marchand, professor of strategy execution and information management at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD).

You have to treat bad news as good news and be willing to act on it,”


he says.

You need the ability to see that the way you thought about things in the past may not be productive in the future.”

And this point of view has to be pervasive—from the C-suite to sales and product development to the front lines.

F. SOCIAL TRANSFORMS CORE BUSINESS PROCESSES

According to the survey, the consulting and business services sector is the most transformed by social media—more than half of that sector’s respondents indicated that they had already experienced a transformational effect from social. Early business successes with social networking are most visible in outbound marketing activities: 51 percent of respondents say that social media has increased their company’s ability to effectively communicate with its customers.

G. THE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION OF BUSINESS

Industry experts observe that social media is becoming a core aspect of modern digital marketing strategies, and they see potential for it to radically transform the marketing function.

But forward-thinking organizations are not using social networks only to listen to and better understand customer sentiment about products, brands, and companies as a whole.

They are also using social technologies for recruiting and HR management, and for collaboration and communication with employees, partners and suppliers. The survey findings indicate that social technology is positioned to have a broad impact.

Survey respondents who deem social technology to be critical to their infrastructure (22 percent) are significantly more likely than their peers to say they benefit from an increased ability to innovate.
Even businesses that haven’t yet embraced social media anticipate its potential. More than half of all respondents say that social technology will transform their organizations (57 percent) and the way they work (58 percent) in the next few years.
Four years ago, Ask.com, a leading online brand for questions and answers, hired Eric McKirdy to improve the customer support experience and improve the support team’s internal operations.

By deploying a CRM application that integrates mobile social media listening capabilities, the company has transformed both. One key change in how Ask.com’s customer support team works is that they can now manage support tickets, including those generated through social media, entirely by smartphone, without being tethered to a laptop or an office.
Similarly, Auckland Transport is evaluating social tools to listen and respond quickly to citizen comments and even prevent security dangers.

The agency plans to mine that unstructured data, analyze it, and feed it to the operations team to respond to—and someday prevent— transportation problems. Like Ask.com, Auckland Transport eventually plans to create service requests from complaints posted on social networks, feed them into a CRM system, and manage them proactively.

Business leaders note, however, that it isn’t always clear how best to incorporate social media into core business operations.
Social technologies are often not integrated with core operational systems, and the data they generate is unstructured.

As far as enabling line of business transactions and being used beyond boosting marketing and the employment brand,”

says Progressive Insurance’s Voelker,

says Progressive Insurance’s Voelker,

“it’s less mature as a business tool.”

The main concerns survey respondents have about social technology include the time spent by employees using it (cited by 45 percent) and employee information overload (cited by 40 percent).

But leading companies are using social in their core lines of business, turning to social tools that provide a greater level of integration with their mission critical business systems.

For example, McKirdy of Ask.com said the company once used a variety of social media monitoring and communication tools to identify and respond to issues. But now that Ask.com uses one social module in a cloud-based CRM system,

We monitor all major social media channels and can respond with the click of a mouse,”

says McKirdy.
While it is clear that each of the four technology megatrends has had a tremendous impact independently, the study finds that deploying integrated solutions is where the greatest impact is achieved.

The most important trends, the most interesting things, are happening at the intersections of these four different technologies,”

asserts Babson College’s Davenport.

Similarly, Horrom, of the Detroit Lions, says,

There’s less value to the Lions in having big data coming in if we don’t have a method of compute in the cloud or on premises to interact in real time with our fans via a mobile platform.”

The survey found the likelihood that organizations are being transformed to be significantly greater among those that deem multiple technologies to be critical.

Among “multi-adopters”— organizations that view at least three of the megatrends as playing a critical role in operations— more than two-thirds (67 percent) report they have transformed, compared to as few as onethird (34 percent) of single adopters.

Even dual-adopters (using two technologies in critical areas) are better poised to reap the benefits that sit at the nexus of these technology trends.
Most importantly, the innovation and improved agility described in the examples above are not simply a result of spending more on IT.

At this point in cloud, mobile, social media, and analytics development, C-level and senior line of business executives should be assessing the various business capabilities of their organizations and developing a strategy and a road map to improve and differentiate their core capabilities with these digital technologies.

The firms that take advantage of the new capabilities can not only transform themselves but also achieve success in the 21st century.

None of the changes enabled by these technologies comes without accompanying organizational changes—management mind-sets, organizational behavior, operating cultures,”

says Marchand of IMD.

Deep change over time coupled with these technologies is where transformation happens.


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True contrast



Even though there is widespead acceptance, entrepreneurs often ask how to value the sweat equity invested in their startup. A quick and easy response:

It’s worth whatever your investors tell you it’s worth.”

But over the years, come to realize that sweat equity isn’t the same thing as market value for your startup.

“Investors have no idea how to value sweat equity, and I now believe it’s a bad idea to let them tell you how to do it.”

At a minimum, they could use this as a negotiating tool to undervalue your startup.When you’re getting started, sweat equity is often a critical component of your negotiating leverage with co-founders, early stage employees and others who aren’t paid market wages to help you grow your business.As the business owner, you should be the expert on valuing sweat equity, not your investors, accountants or lawyers. Here are some tools for tackling the challenge.When determining the value of the sweat equity provided by an employee or potential co-founder, first assess these three characteristics of the person in question:

  1. Commitment:Is he or she committed to being a founding partner for the long haul?
  2. Unique contribution:Does he or she bring specialized knowledge, skills, leadership ability or experiences that you don’t have?
  3. Hopes and dreams:Are his or her hopes and dreams for personal wealth, business success and autonomy the same as yours? If not, are the differences substantial enough that they’ll pull the company apart?

Then, start thinking about the numbers.
1. Market value doesn’t equal the sum of sweat equity invested by you and your partners.

If you have invested $100,000 worth of your time in writing a business plan, and your partner, a young engineering student, has invested $25,000 worth of her time in building a prototype, it doesn’t mean the market value of your startup is $125,000.

In fact, it could be worth much more. Sweat equity is just one component of early-stage valuation. In a previous column, I discussed how valuing a startup is more driven by market conditions, comparable companies, exit potential, future capital needs and many other factors.
2. Foregone wages for an engineer aren’t the same as foregone wages for a prototype designer.

In the example described above, the $25,000 estimated by your business partner is likely to be based on wages that she could have earned in a full-time job. This is the typical way that a founder determines sweat equity: foregone wages.

However, your partner could just as easily have argued that her sweat equity is worth $250,000 since that’s what a prototype would have cost you to make had you hired a prototype development firm. Or she could argue that the prototype is so critical to the business that she should get 50 percent of the company’s stock.
In my experience, this is the basis for much of the negotiation that CEOs will have with their early-stage employees and co-founder. You need to determine the principle applied for valuing services invested in a nascent business. Foregone wages tends to be the anchor that keeps valuation negotiations from sailing into oblivion.Don’t be tempted to dole out equity to everyone who helps you found the company–even it makes you feel good to have co-founders. (Being an entrepreneur is lonely, but there are better ways to make friends or build a community of credible supporters than by giving early-stage equity to people who make small contributions to your business.)
One simple solution is to “pay” a slight premium for sweat equity to early-stage employees. For example, when valuing the sweat equity invested by your prototype designer, use $30,000 rather than $25,000 as a valuation figure and explain that you’re paying a 20 percent premium because of the risks associated with being paid in equity rather than cash.
3. Employees and founders are motivated by different things.

How should you decide if your prototype designer should be a co-founder who deserves 50 percent of your company or deserves $30,000 in sweat equity for her work as an employee or consultant?

Too often, I see entrepreneurs make this critical decision by trusting the opinion of their investors–or potential investors-rather than determining what their business will actually need. First-time entrepreneurs often think,

“If I approach a VC with a chief technology officer or chief prototype designer in place, then I’m more likely to get funded.”

So they end up getting a co-founder and parting with 50 percent of their company, even if their CTO is really a young prototype designer who will get discouraged or fired a few months later. Using a restricted stock agreement, you can mitigate risk, building in a buy-back right for the partner’s equity grant.Ultimately, it’s up to you. You get to decide what you need to give up to keep or get an invaluable partner on board.


All sorts of organisations use the vocabulary of strategy. Compare these extracts from the statements of communications giants Nokia and Kingston University, a public institution based in London with 200.000 students.

“Nokia’s vision and mission believes in communicating, sharing, and in the awesome potential in connecting the 2 billion who do with 4 bilion who don’t. Connecting is about helping people to feel close to what matters.”

If we focus on people, and use technology to help people, than growth will follow. In a world where everyone can be connected, Nokia takes a human approach to technology.
Nokia’s priority is to be the most proffered partner to operators , retailers and enterprises. A strategy where customers remain our top priority.

In line with this priorities, Nokia ‘s business portfolio strategy focusses on five areas, with each have long-term objectives: create winning devices; embrace customer Internet services; deliver enterprise solutions; build scale in networks, expand professional services.
There are three strategic assets that Nokia will invest in and prioritize:

1. Brand and design

2. Costumer engagement and fulfilment

3. Technology and architecture.

“Kingston University’s mission is to promote participation in higher education, which it regards as a democratic entitlement; to strive for excellence in learning,teaching and research, to realise the creative potential and fire the imagination of all its members.”

The vision is to be comprehensive and to create by present possibilities, with a grander and more aspirational vision of the future.
The University’s goals are to provide all students equal opportunities to:

🔹Realise their learning ambitions;

🔹Create authority in research and professional practice for the benefit of individuals, society and economy

🔹Develop collaborative links with providers and stakeholders within the region, nationally and internationally;

🔹Manage and develop its human, physical and financial resource to achieve the best possible academic value and value for money.

“Strategy is part of every day language of work.”

Strategy vocabulary therefore is used in many different contexts for many different purposes.


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A new branding around the initiative is to make it more visible to the organisations.

“To succeed with SEO you need trust.Trust is the core component of Google’s relevancy-oriented search. Without trust, you’re simply not relevant. “


Yet, building trust is a double-edged sword and somewhat of a catch-22. For newcomers, especially, gaining visibility without trust has become incredibly difficult.
However, without visibility, how are people supposed to garner those all-important shares and links to your content?

If someone can’t discover your products, how are they supposed to engage with it and like it enough to send it to their friends or share it on social media?

Clearly, in the beginning, the odds are stacked up against us. But there is a way forward. Trust is most certainly the pathway to Google’s heart, if there ever was such a thing. And by leveraging this understanding of trust, we can succeed with SEO to make money online, build passive income streams and build a successful business in the long term – as long as we play by Google’s many rules.
At the core of Google’s relevancy equation, trust itself is created through three fundamental pillars. Within those three pillars, there are more than 200 different factors that help to comprise the search giant’s core algorithms.

Once you understand these fundamental pillars, you can work on building up your trust across each of these areas. But before I launch into a discussion about that – and convey some of the strategies that will allow you to explode your presence by using the inherent power of search engine optimization -let me give you a bit of history.

You see, the reason why it’s so difficult to dominate Google’s search results is because the search engine has been scorned once too often. As Google’s search grew over the years and turned into the dominant player that it is today, people realized the importance of ranking high organically.
Clearly, the near-limitless amount of free traffic can send any business into the stratosphere. Everyone knows that, and because of it, everyone is drawn to it.Yet, over time, as people understood how the system worked, they began to take advantage of certain less-than-scrupulous strategies that allowed them to rank their content quickly at the top of Google’s search.

These weren’t the most relevant search results, which enraged Google. Because of that, Google knew things had to change. As an upshot, SEO has seen some dramatic upheavals in recent years at the behest of Google and its core mission to cultivate an internet to wield more inherent value for the global populous.

And while things have calmed down recently, the last five years has seen a massive overhaul in the way Google determines what the most relevant search result is.

A. SEO algorithm updates

Before you can really understand what it takes to rocket up Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), you have to digest what’s changed. The reason? The changes are integral to the bigger picture and just what Google’s intentions are with the web. Google’s main aim is to deliver the most relevant search result in the quickest manner possible.

“Clearly, it’s perfected that. So much so that it digitally obliterated its competition, vastly skewing the major market share towards its powerful search, while making the company a household name in the process. “

The algorithm updates that have been put in play have gone by names like Panda, Penguin, and more recently, Hummingbird, amongst droves of others. These algorithm updates have been intended to improve the user experience, eliminate spam and scams, and to increase the overall relevancy of search. By understanding what’s changed, you can gain perspective into Google’s intentions on what it’s attempting to achieve. It desires content that helps to improve the lives of others, delivers value and that users want to engage with. Those are the most relevant search results.

That’s what Google is after. But for years, it got quite the opposite. It dealt with unscrupulous individuals attempting to “game” the system.

B. How to dominate SEO

In a book entitled SEO, Master Search Engine Optimization, I lay the groundwork for Google’s trust, which is represented by three fundamental pillars. These pillars are integral to Google’s relevancy equation, and if you fail to address each of these pillars of trust, you’ll find yourself floundering in a sea of competition, unable to gain the precious visibility that you’re after.

1. Age

Age is more than a number. Google relies on its relationship with you over time to judge just how much it can trust you. The longer it’s known about you and the more often it sees you creating high-quality content that delivers tremendous amounts of value, the more it’s going to trust you. Age also doesn’t rely on the date you first purchased your domain. Age refers to the indexed age, meaning when Google actually discovered your domain. If you buy a domain and leave it dormant for years, that won’t help you. You have to actually do something with it.

2. Authority

The second pillar of trust is authority. Google relies on other sites that it already trusts to determine what newcomers should be trusted. If you have a site with great content, and other websites that Google already trusts are linking to you organically, your trust will naturally increase over time.

“However, building authority is incredibly difficult at the outset.”


When you’re new, and you’re unable to get discovered at the top of Google’s SERPs, how are people supposed to find you and subsequently link to you? Unless you quite literally go viral, you have a steep uphill battle ahead of you, but authority is also incredibly important to your overall ability to rank.

3. Content

The third underlying component of trust is content. Your content plays a large role in your visibility on Google’s SERPs. Simply put, you can’t push out subpar content and expect to gain traction. Your content has to deliver enormous amounts of value if you’re serious about attaining the search giant’s attention. But it’s not just about one-off content. You need to regularly deliver great content on your site, the kind that people want to share and engage with. Without great content, you have nothing, and no matter what SEO strategy you employ, it will fail. No one will link to a site with poor content. Don’t waste your time by trying to cut corners or take shorcuts. Content is most certainly still king.

C. Five SEO strategies to help you rank

Beyond these three pillars of trust, there are more than 200 ranking factors that are involved in Google’s search. These ranking factors run the gamut from obvious to obscure. For example, one such ranking factor is just how long remains before your domain name expires.
The rationale is that domains that are registered for a short period – such as a year – are more likely fly-by-night sites. The longer the domain is registered for, the more likely it’s going to be to stick around. While this is a small relevancy signal, it just goes to show you some of the obscurity involved in ranking factors of Google’s algorithms.

Strategy 1 –

Market your content

One of the most important SEO strategies to use in 2017 is content marketing. At the heart of this strategy is high-quality content that delivers a tremendous amount of value.

This so-called “anchor content” is located on your website. However, it doesn’t end there. You need to market that content on authority sites such as Quora, Reddit, WiseLike, LinkedIn and other highly-trafficked destinations on the web.
Engaging in content marketing is not easy by any measure, but this single SEO strategy will help you rocket just about any of your listings to the top of Google’s SERPs over time, as long as it’s done the right way.

To do this, there’s a very specific method. You have to ensure that you build similar and relevant content that’s keyword specific on authority sites such as Medium.com, LinkedIn.com and Quora.com, and that the content has a single link from the authority site back to the main anchor content on your primary domain.

Strategy 2 –

Improve page speed

The page speed of your site has a big influence on the user’s experience. Slow-loading pages take away from the user experience, while fast-loading pages help to add to it. Google is acutely concerned with the user’s overall experience, and improving the page speed is one such way you can drastically improve that experience.
Use tools such as Google’s Page Speed, GTMetrix or Varvy’s Page Speed Tool to run insights and gain suggestions on how to improve your site’s page speed. If you’re not technically savvy, you might need to enlist the help of a web developer to optimize your site’s page speed.

Strategy 3 –

Focus on mobile and AMP

Google has made a concerted push to mobile. Considering that mobile searches are now far surpassing desktop searches, it’s no wonder the search giant is so focused on mobile. However, most people are still behind the curve when it comes to mobile. Their sites load properly on desktop browsers, but not on mobile devices or even tablets.
Leverage a responsive design for your site, if you presently don’t have one right now, to ensure that your site is optimized for mobile devices. Google has also recently launched its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project, which further increases mobile load times. You can learn more about the AMP specification here.

Strategy 4 –

Leverage the power of videos

videos

Whether, for that matter, every SEO strategy needs the power of video marketing. Videos take your content into the stratosphere due to the popularity of video platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo. Creating useful tutorials and other informative videos are also a great way to deliver real value to people in a multimedia format that’s easily accessible to anyone with a smartphone camera.
Build relevant videos to further deliver the point made in a particular article on your site, and ensure that the description is keyword rich – but not keyword stuffed. Leverage elements such as the title and tags to fuse the keyword-centric nature of your video content.

Strategy 5 –

Be social and engage with others

Authority is built up over time, but it also can’t be built up unless you’re social and you engage with others. In the beginning, they won’t come to you. In fact, what you’ve likely noticed is that it’s incredibly hard to rank any content at the outset. That’s because most newcomers have very little age and very little authority. So you have to get out there and build it.
This isn’t just about sharing your content repeatedly with others. You can’t simply cheerlead your own cause and expect to get ahead. You need to be social, add value to conversations, follow others and take an interest in what those people are doing if you want them to take an interest in you.


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