Tag Archive: news


New Business Models

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Ecommerce is an area being watched closely by entrepreneurs and wantrepreneurs alike. New business models are constantly emerging, making this a competitive and constantly evolving field.
The apparel category is particularly exciting: The recently launched Amazon Prime Wardrobe, for instance, allows consumers to have clothing delivered to their door, after which they can try it out for seven days before deciding whether to keep it. They can send items back whenever they decide; they don’t even need to be home to have return packages picked up.
Taking inspiration from Amazon and other businesses, many apparel and accessory ecommerce companies are similarly trying their hand at “something new and different.”
These innovative companies are taking ecommerce to the next level.

Crisp Clothing
The perfect shirt is hard to come by. But what if perfect fit could be achieved with the help of two simple metrics? That’s what Crisp Clothing does. By using your height and weight and what it calls “3D Measuring,” Crisp Clothing can tailor the perfect shirt for you.
Founded by Swapnil and Prakash Kamble — a father-and-son team — Crisp Clothing uses 100 percent Egyptian Giza cotton to fashion its handmade tailored shirts, which are currently available in black, white, blue and pink. The company recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funding for the project.
Not surprisingly, the cost of a single shirt isn’t cheap, but pledging to the Crisp Clothing campaign at the $78 level will get you one custom, hand-crafted shirt.
What’s clearly innovative about Crisp Clothing is the approach it takes to crafting the perfect shirt. Technology is the difference. It gives Crisp Clothing a more scientific way to tailor shirts that look and feel great.

Trunk Club
The Nordstrom-owned Trunk Club may be a familiar name to some. Its business model is a lot like that of Amazon Prime Wardrobe, except Trunk Club has been around a lot longer.
This is its process: First, the customer is prompted to answer a few questions about the style of clothing he (or she) is interested in, how the clothing should fit and what budget range is desired. Then, he can chat with a stylist who’ll offer help on exactly what he’s looking for (though this step is not mandatory).
The trunk is delivered free of charge once the customer approves it, and he or she has five days to decide what clothing to keep and what to send back. Then, the customer can either reorder on his or her own schedule or set up a regular delivery schedule, to keep the wardrobe fresh.
What Trunk Club did right was make it easier for the consumer to get items that are truly desired. Time can be a commodity in today’s busy world, and with the rise of online shopping, consumers don’t necessarily go to malls or stores to shop anymore. Trunk Club is an easy, fast and convenient way for today’s buyer to meet his or her clothing needs.

Bonobos
Bonobos was launched because its founders recognized how difficult it is for consumers to find pants that fit perfectly. To solve this problem, Bonobos developed a signature curved waistband that fits more naturally around your waist. The company offers free shipping as well as painless returns and exchanges.
Bonobos also has something called a Guideshop. Customers can schedule a one-hour appointment at a Guideshop, try on anything in the store and find the perfect clothing with the help of a Guide. Customers don’t have to take any bags home, as the Guide will place the order and have it shipped to the customer’s home or office.
Bonobos is doing a couple of noteworthy things for its customers. First, it came up with a solution where none previously existed, thereby creating more comfortable pants. Second, it created a unique in-store experience that allows customers to find what they’re looking for on their own time — a personalized experience they’re sure to remember.

Wanderlust + Co
Accessorizing is a term near and dear to many women. Jenn Low, founder of Wanderlust + Co, creates custom jewelry and accessories that many models and celebrities don at notable events. Her work is inspired by what she calls the #WCOgirlgang, which includes celebrities, fashion bloggers, editors, stylists and content creators.
What’s innovative about Wunderlust + Co is Low’s willingness to cater to a specific audience. She doesn’t create products consumers dn’t want. She built her own tribe, #WCOgirlgang, and stays in regular contact with them to come up with new product ideas her audience will love.
Entrepreneurs sometimes take the opposite approach, creating a product first and then finding an audience for it. Sometimes that can work, but there are no guarantees. A more reliable approach, especially today, is what Low does: She’s built a brand around a target audience, offering products they want and have even asked for.

Everlane
Complete transparency is hard to find but has become somewhat trendier, thanks to online entrepreneurs like Pat Flynn and John Lee Dumas.
That’s where Everlane stands out. These founders aim to be as up-front as possible about the cost of their goods. They even offer a detailed breakdown on materials, hardware, labor, duties and transport. They also reveal what the true cost of the product is, in addition to what they’re selling it for.
If you’ve ever wondered where your money is going when you purchase a product, you won’t have to, with Everlane. You’ll get total transparency, and that builds trust. Though full transparency may not be the right approach for every business, it’s something to consider: Maybe no one in your industry is embracing it, making it worth considering as a strategy.

Final thoughts
If you’re an ecommerce business owner, what could you be doing to separate yourself from the pack? If you have a different business model, what can you learn from the above and implement in your business?
As ecommerce becomes increasingly competitive, it will be more and more necessary for more business owners to embrace innovation and find their unique approach. The ecommerce landscape will continue to be an interesting one to watch, especially as Amazon continues to launch new and noteworthy services.


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Latest Financial Topics for Strategy & Business Developments

Decisive Entrepreneur

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An overview on one aspect that captures almost all the economic activities include a representation to a change. This clue distinctions of when and where supports all those interested wantings for the future development and innovation, in the activity of the products and the services desired for the necesary market.

You never know where you are going to find a good idea.

That may sound like a saying from a fortune cookie. But for Normal CEO, and founder, Nikki Kaufman, it’s a management style.

It’s also why the headquarters of her 3-D printed custom earphone company are open and transparent across departments. It’s a guiding principle on how to run a team.

I encourage new ideas all the time here at Normal. That’s one of the things that I really like about having everyone in one office.
She included this advices from the floor of her New York City retail location, which also serves as the company’s factory and corporate office along with an incredible pursuatiation for advocating content into the shared markets .
An idea can come from anywhere.”



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Latest News for Strategy Business Developments

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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

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.

Here’s how:

 

An understanding (and 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.

 

Analytical skills and a strong technical knowledge base

Analytical skills are becoming 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’ll 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

 

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Emphasis the human element of strategy to identify the direction and scope which achieve an advantage in a changing environment through its configuration of resources and competences, has the aim to fulfill stakeholders expectations

“The competitive analysis is a statement of the business strategy and how it relates to the competition.”

The purpose of the competitive analysis is to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors within your market, strategies that will provide you with a distinct advantage, the barriers that can be developed in order to prevent competition from entering your market, and any weaknesses that can be exploited within the product development cycle.

The first step in a competitor analysis is to identify the current and potential competition. As mentioned in the “Market Strategies” chapter, there are essentially two ways you can identify competitors. The first is to look at the market from the customer’s viewpoint and group all your competitors by the degree to which they contend for the buyer’s dollar.

The second method is to group competitors according to their various competitive strategies so you understand what motivates them. Once you have grouped your competitors, you can start to analyze their strategies and identify the areas where they are most vulnerable. This can be done through an examination of your competitors’ weaknesses and strengths.

A competitor’s strengths and weaknesses are usually based on the presence and absence of key assets and skills needed to compete in the market. To determine just what constitutes a key asset or skill within an industry, David A. Aaker in his book, Developing Business Strategies suggests concentrating your efforts in four areas:

1. The reasons behind successful as well as unsuccessful firms

2. Prime customer motivators

3. Major component costs

4. Industry mobility barriers

According to theory, the performance of a company within a market is directly related to the possession of key assets and skills. Therefore, an analysis of strong performers should reveal the causes behind such a successful track record.

This analysis, in conjunction with an examination of unsuccessful companies and the reasons behind their failure, should provide a good idea of just what key assets and skills are needed to be successful within a given industry and market segment. For instance, in the personal-computer operating-system software market, Microsoft reigns supreme with DOS and Windows. It has been able to establish its dominance in this industry because of superior marketing and research as well strategic partnerships with a large majority of the hardware vendors that produce personal computers.

This has allowed DOS and Windows to become the operating environment, maybe not of choice, but of necessity for the majority of personal computers on the market. Microsoft’s primary competitors, Apple and IBM, both have competing operating systems with a great deal of marketing to accompany them; however, both suffer from weaknesses that Microsoft has been able to exploit. Apple’s operating system for its Macintosh line of computers, while superior in many ways to DOS and Windows, is limited to the Macintosh personal computers; therefore, it doesn’t run many of the popular business applications that are readily available to DOS and Windows.

To an extent, IBM’s OS/2 operating system suffers from the same problem. While it will run on all of the personal computers DOS and Windows can run on and even handle Windows applications, the number of programs produced for OS/2 in its native environment is very small. This is the type of detailed analysis you need in analyzing an industry. Through your competitor analysis you will also have to create a marketing strategy that will generate an asset or skill competitors do not have, which will provide you with a distinct and enduring competitive advantage.

Since competitive advantages are developed from key assets and skills, you should sit down and put together a competitive strength grid.

This is a scale that lists all your major competitors or strategic groups based upon their applicable assets and skills and how your own company fits on this scale., strategic management has three major elements: strategic position, strategic choices for the future and strategic in action.

To put together a competitive strength grid, list all the key assets and skills down the left margin of a piece of paper. Along the top, write down two column headers: “weakness” and “strength.” In each asset or skill category, place all the competitors that have weaknesses in that particular category under the weakness column, and all those that have strengths in that specific category in the strength column. After you’ve finished, you’ll be able to determine just where you stand in relation to the other firms competing in your industry.

Once you’ve established the key assets and skills necessary to succeed in this business and have defined your distinct competitive advantage, you need to communicate them in a strategic form that will attract market share as well as defend it.

Competitive strategies usually fall into these five areas:

1.Product

2.Distribution

3.Pricing

4.Promotion

5.Advertising

Many of the factors leading to the formation of a strategy should already have been highlighted in previous sections, specifically in marketing strategies.

Strategies primarily revolve around establishing the point of entry in the product life cycle and an endurable competitive advantage.

As we’ve already discussed, this involves defining the elements that will set your product or service apart from your competitors or strategic groups. You need to establish this competitive advantage clearly so the reader understands not only how you will accomplish your goals, but why your strategy will work.


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Latest News for Strategy Business Developments

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Internal experts and external brought in sessions, that articulate the organisation vision and added insights to new opportunities.

Is your team fully engaged to give their best, day in and day out? In a recent study by TowersWatson, an international HR consulting firm, fewer than 21 percent of employees surveyed described themselves as “highly engaged,” down from 31 percent. 8 percent admitted to being fully disengaged.“
Having only one-fifth of your employees highly engaged is not the hallmark of a “Winning Business.” Other studies show that employee engagement derives from three important factors:

  1. Alignment of the employee with the goals and vision of the company.
  2. Faith of the employee in the competence of management and their commitment to realize the goals and vision.
  3. Trust in their direct supervisor that he or she will support his or her people and help them to succeed.

It has often been said that employees rarely quit companies. Instead, employees quit their managers or supervisors by leaving the company. Mark Herbert, a consultant focused on engagement, says:

“Engagement lives and dies on the front line of your business.”
Increasing positive managerial behavior and reducing negative managerial behavior will go a long way towards improving employee engagement. When your talented employees are engaged, they are able to perform spectacularly and build and improve your winning business. Here are some ways to get managers and supervisors started in focusing on ways to improve engagement (and to be better managers).

1. DON’T get angry

Getting angry is easy. Anyone can do that. But getting angry in the right way in the right amount at the right time, now that is hard.”
Mark Twain

Anger does not belong in your managerial kit bag.

2. DON’T be cold, distant, rude or unfriendly

Especially in difficult times, employees take cues from their immediate supervisors and need to hear from them. As such, your team will judge you by your action, moods, and behaviors, not by your intent.

3. DON’T send mixed messages to your employees so that they never know where you stand

Keep your message simple, focused and prioritized. Too many messages and initiatives just confuse and alienate people.

4. DON’T BS your team

This includes saying things that you don’t believe in. This includes hiding information and just plain lying. By the time each of us is in our early 20′s, we have all developed very well-tuned BS detectors.

5. DON’T act more concerned about your own welfare than anything else
Your success will come through the success of your team. “Self-serving detectors” are also very well-tuned in most employees.

6. DON’T avoid taking responsibility for your actions
You are the boss. As such, you are accountable and the buck stops with you. You are trying to develop accountability throughout your company. So, lead by example.

7. DON’T jump to conclusions without checking your facts first

A few years ago, I watched in horror as a colleague of mine started screaming at an employee of his who had missed an important meeting that morning. After several minutes, the employee responded:

“I apologize and should have contacted you. But, I just got back from the hospital as a relative has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.”

Now here are the dos, which are even more important than the don’ts…

8. DO what you say you are going to do when you are going to do it

There is no better way to communicate the message that you are accountable for your promises and that everyone in your company should be accountable as well.

9. DO be responsive (return phone calls, emails)

As a manager, your team can be considered to be your customer.
You want your sales team to punctually respond back to customer requests, so you should do the same.

10. DO publicly support your people

Your disagreements and disappointment with your employees can be communicated later and in private. Nothing appears so hollow as your attempt to blame your team for failures.

11. DO admit your mistakes …

…and take the blame for failures.

12. DO recognize your team

“You can never underestimate the power of simple recognition for a job well done.”

13. DO ask and listen

“The manager of the future will know how to ask rather than how to tell.”
Peter Drucker

Some of the most dangerous words for a manager to ever say include:

But, you just don’t understand…” “Because I said so…

14. DO smile and laugh

Have some fun. But, be genuine; programmed fun and faked laughter is worse than doing nothing. 
When appropriate, laugh at yourself; it will humanize you.


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Latest News for Strategy Business Developments

Digital Year

 

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To a better understanding of a strategic decision and implication, here are some characteristics to exhibit:

Complexity is describing the feature of strategy and is particularly so in organisations with wide geographical horizons, such as multinational firms, or wide ranges of products and services.

For example, Yahoo! faces the complexity both of a fast-moving market environment and poorly organised internal businesses. Uncertainty is inherent in strategy, because nobody can be sure about the future.For Yahoo! the internet environment is one of constant and unforeseeable.

 

Operational decisions are linked to strategy.

For example, any attempt to coordinate Yahoo!’s business units more closely will have knock-on effects on web page design and links, carer development and advertiser relationships. This link between overall strategy and operational aspects of the organisation is important for two other reasons. First if the operational aspects of the organisation are not in line with the strategy, than no matter how well-considered the strategy is, it will not succeed. Second, it is at the operational level that real strategic advantage can be achieved. Indeed, competence in particular operational activities might determine which strategic developments might make most sense.

 

Integration is required for effective strategy.

Mangers have to cross functional and operational boundaries to deal with strategic problems. Yahoo! for example needs an integrated approach to powerful advertisers such as Sony and Vodafone from across all its businesses. Relationships and networks outside the organisation are important in strategy, for example with suppliers, distributors and customers. For Yahoo!, advertisers and users are crucial sets of relationships.

 

Change is typically a crucial component of strategy.

Change is often difficult because of the heritage of resources and because of organisational culture. According to Brad Garlinghouse at least, Yahoo! barriers to change seem to include a top management that is afraid of taking hard decisions and a lack of clear accountability amongst lower-level management.


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News & Economic Trends

 


 

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Among companies where big data, cloud, mobile, and social technologies are critical parts of the infrastructure, how technologies are, or will soon be? 

Forty-four percent of survey respondents say that mobile is now a critical part of their infrastructure. It’s especially important in some industries—51 percent of the respondents in the utilities and technology sectors indicated that mobile devices and access are critical. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents say that “anywhere access” to corporate apps and data is the biggest benefit to using mobile, followed by increased productivity (53 percent). The two are undoubtedly linked, as mobile access to systems optimizes employee time.

A majority of survey respondents indicate that putting mobile functionality in the hands of employees is now a key requirement, and leading companies are also leveraging the growing ubiquity of smartphones to innovate and drive top-line revenue growth. Management of the Detroit Lions professional football team, for example, is always looking for ways to improve the fan experience. In addition to offering wireless Internet access at Ford Field to Verizon customers and launching a digital raffle for charity on game days, the Lions released a free smartphone application that features exclusive in-stadium game day content, including instant replay from several different camera angles for every play, and concession maps. Eventually, the Lions intend to add other features to the smartphone app, including in-seat concession ordering.

 

“Mobile is a gateway to our fan base,”

says Thomas Horrom, vice president of technology for the Detroit Lions.

 

“Without it, we’re not able to get creative or innovative in our engineered touch points.”

Delta Air Lines is another company that is using mobile technologies to innovate. The airline announced it had begun equipping its 19,000 flight attendants with mobile devices, which have increased incremental revenue from in-flight purchases.

Here are some steps you can take to ensure that your clients receive excellent service every step of the way.

  1.  Put your customer service policy in writing. These principles should come from you, but every employee should know what the rules are and be ready to live up to them. This doesn’t have to be elaborate. Something as simple as “the customer is always right” can lay the necessary groundwork, although you may want to get more detailed by saying, for instance,any employee is empowered to grant a 10 percent discount to any dissatisfied customer at any time.”
  2.  Establish support systems that give employees clear instructions for gaining and maintaining service superiority. These systems will help you outservice any competitor by giving more to customers and anticipating problems before they arise.
  3.  Develop a measurement of superb customer service. Don’t forget to reward employees who practice it consistently.
  4. Be certain that your passion for customer service runs rampant throughout your company. Employees should see how good service relates to your profits and to their futures with the company.
  5. Be genuinely committed to providing more customer service excellence than anyone else in your industry. This commitment must be so powerful that every one of your customers can sense it.
  6. Share information with people on the front lines.Meet with your employees regularly to talk about improving service. Solicit ideas from employees-they are the ones who are dealing with customers most often.
  7. Act on the knowledge that what customers value most are attention, dependability, promptness and competence. They love being treated as individuals and being referred to by name.

 

The efficient market hypothesis suggests that future share prices cannot be predicted by studying past prices and as we have seen, there is extensive evidence to support this view and the right information in collaborating with your partners. Despite the evidence, investment strategies based on the study of past share prices, or on the analysis of published information such as annual accounts, are common, and the view held by many financial analysts seems to be therefore that capital markets are inefficient.

Technical analysis involves the use of charts (Chartism) and other methods to predict future shares prices and share price trends, clearly implying that a relationship exists between past and future prices. For technical analysis to lead to abnormal returns on a regular basis, capital markets cannot even be weak form efficient.

Fundamental analysis are public information to calculate a fundamental value for a share and then offer investment advice by comparing the fundamental value with the current market price. It is not possible to make abnomal gains from fundamental analysis if capital markets are semi-strong form efficient, since all publicly available information will already be reflected in share prices.

Bolster the growing consensus among academics, consultants, and other industry experts that simply spending more on emerging technologies isn’t enough to boost business outcomes. Instead, companies that both identify which core business capabilities they need to differentiate and make a commitment to transform these core business capabilities with the right digital technology will greatly outperform competitors who don’t.

For example, a new study by George Westerman, Didier Bonnet, and Andrew McAfee found that firms with a strong vision and mature processes for digital transformation were more profitable on average, had higher revenues, and achieved a bigger market valuation than competitors without a strong vision.  As with any emerging technology, however, there are significant challenges associated with cloud, mobile, social, and big data initiatives.  The survey suggests that the primary risks preventing their wider adoption are data security issues, lack of interoperability with existing IT systems, and lack of control.

However, executives from leading organizations—several of whom were interviewed for this report— are overcoming those hurdles to achieve top-line and customer-facing business benefits. Strategic options involve the options for strategy in terms of both the directions in which strategy might move and the methods by which strategy might be pursued.

For example, an organisation might have to choose between alternative diversification moves, for example entering into new products and markets. As it diversification moves, it has different methods available to it for example, developing a new product itself or acquiring an organisation already active in the area.



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Latest News for Strategy Business Developments

Drive Digital


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

 

Learning and Flow

 

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Because flow emerges in the zone in which an activity challenges people to the fullest to their capacities, as their skills increase it takes a heightened challenge to get into flow.

If a task is too simple, it is boring; if too challenging, the result is anxiety, rather than flow.

It can be argued that mastery in a craft or skill is spurred on by the experience of flow that the motivation to get better and better at something, be it playing the violin, dancing, or gene spicing, is at least in part to stay in flow while doing it.

“Flow is an internal state that signifies a kid is engaged in a task that’s right.”

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The flow model suggests that achieving mastery of any skill or body of knowledge should ideally happen naturally.

Csikszentmihalyi found that it was those who in their student days had savored the sheer joy, became serious. Whether it be in controlling impulse and putting off gratification, regulating our mood so they facilitate rather than impede thinking, motivating ourselves to persist and try, try again in the face of setbacks, all bespeak the power of emotion to guide effective effort.


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Latest News for Strategy Business Developments

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A chance to catch up on much-needed reading to refresh and recharge your standards and leadership style scoured this lists of books that helped to 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.

 


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