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Develop Your Skills

95 posts
    Christopher Ruel
Christopher Ruel
Community and Social Marketing, Wiley

We took a look at the five top trending tips articles related to business success in 2018 and selected the number one tip from each article. Find your path to business and professional growth by discovering what thought leaders believe to be the essential practices for 2018.

 

 

Do you have tips of your own to add? Let us know in the comments below.

 

    James Bowen
James Bowen
CEO, Experiential Simulations

 

 

 

shutterstock_21738007.jpgCurrently project management metrics focus on cost, schedule, and the ability to achieve requirements (deliverables, including quality). But, moving forward, project management metrics need to be more future-oriented to reflect the ability of deliverables to evolve and adapt.

 

As we move into the “internet of everything” era when AI will likely manage projects, many of our deliverables (whether they be a house, an IT system, or a marketing campaign) will have the abilities to change and progress built in.

 

Assuming that deliverables will be more akin to a platform than a static asset, we need project management metrics that incorporate measurement of these adaptive capabilities.

 

If we envision deliverables as evolving platforms, they will adapt over time as requirements change. For example, a house will need to have the ability to adjust to the environment and to its occupant(s). Moreover, the house may be continually incorporating new technology as it becomes available.

 

As such, project management metrics should measure the ability of the deliverable to:

• Evolve to incorporate new innovations

• Adapt to new user requirements

 

This need is applicable to a range of outputs across industries such as marketing campaigns, IT initiatives, and even new product development. Consequently, PM metrics need be updated to include the future potential of the initiative.

 

How do you think project management metrics need to change? Let us know in the comments below.

 

And, check out a project management simulation available for educational institutions here.

 

Our Top Ten Develop Posts of 2017

Posted Dec 19, 2017
    Sharna Goldseker
Sharna Goldseker
Wiley Author
 Michael Moody
Michael Moody
Wiley Author

Meet the next generation of big donors—the Gen X and Millennial philanthropists who will be the most significant donors ever and will shape our world in profound ways.  As these “next gen donors” step into their philanthropic roles, they not only have unprecedented financial resources, but also big ideas for how to wield their financial power. They want to disrupt the traditional world of charitable giving and they want to do so now, not after they retire to a life of philanthropic leisure.

 

531321011.jpgLike previous generations of major donors, Gen Xers and Millennials feel a responsibility to give and they want their giving to make a difference on a diverse array of causes. Unlike previous generations, they prioritize impact above all else, and they are willing to revolutionize philanthropy to get better results.

 

This drive for impact means next gen donors feel they have no choice but to make changes to philanthropic strategy and to take risks that could lead to new results. As one put it, “We need a different MO [modus operandi] here. This one isn’t working.” Next gen donors from philanthropic families are ready to work alongside their parents and grandparents on a multigenerational team, but they, and first-generation donors, will go it alone if they have to. They will even be “unreasonable”—to use Scott Belsky’s word—if having more impact requires that.

 

Their vision, though, is to be both revolutionary and respectful. They want revolution not for revolution’s sake but for impact’s sake. Next gen donors acknowledge what they have learned from previous generations and want to be good stewards of legacy. They see their philanthropic innovations as honoring what donors in the past have accomplished by taking giving to the next level. They credit parents and grandparents with teaching them positive values around giving and want to instill and inhabit those values seamlessly across all parts of their lives. In fact, this search to find the right balance of the past and future, of respect and revolution, is the central identity challenge facing Generation Impact.

 

We know next gen donors themselves are eager to launch the revolution now. To us, this means there are big transformations on the immediate horizon, and the pace of change will steadily increase in the next few years, with some areas shifting faster than others.

 

In the short term, we expect to see many donors launch trial experiments to test out new innovations—like more next gen giving circles and funding collaboratives, new social responsibility screens introduced for foundation endowments, and use of sector-blending giving vehicles by individual donors to maximize their options. Other changes will take much longer, like nonprofits retooling their donor engagement strategies to bring donors more meaningfully into their everyday work and families sharing full decision-making power across generations. But even these complex and long-term changes are starting to happen, as the next gen donor stories in this book have illustrated. Hannah Quimby is starting to fundamentally change funder-grantee relationships in her home state of Maine. Katherine Lorenz has guided her family foundation to become a working multigenerational team.

 

The pacing of the revolution is one area where we noted a difference between first-generation earners and next generation inheritors. While both groups want to revolutionize philanthropy in similar strategic ways—to be more innovative and hands-on, to give and learn more with peers—they differ in their capacity to implement those changes right away. Earners can implement their ideal philanthropic strategy more rapidly, while inheritors usually face the added complication of working through established family structures. Earners can blaze their own trails, while inheritors often have to protect the trails as well as forge ahead.

 

All next gen donors, however, face the challenge of actually implementing their revolutionary visions, which will not be easy in a field full of large institutions, diverse stakeholders, and entrenched practices. There is no small amount of trepidation among nonprofits, especially about rapid changes that might negatively affect the people they serve or the crucial social outcomes their mission aspires to achieve. This means the Impact Revolution could take longer than next gen donors would like, which could in turn leave them frustrated. But if their focus is impact and they’re committed to being engaged, we expect they will stick around to see their changes take full effect.

 

Learn more about more about Generation Impact.

 

Image Credit: Joakim Leroy/Getty Images

 

    Allan Cohen
Allan Cohen
Business Author
David Bradford
David Bradford
Business Author

people-coffee-tea-meeting.jpgIncreasingly, gaining sufficient power and influence is a challenge for everyone who works. We need the knowledge, skills, permission, connections or resources from individuals or groups in order to complete work assigned to us or that we believe really important. Yet it is inevitable that many of those whose help we need do not have to cooperate – or even respond.

 

That leads to many forms of often ineffective attempts to influence: polite requests, the same request in a louder voice, false friendliness, bluffing or bullying, trying to enlist higher-ups, name-calling (overt or covert) or giving up in desperation.

 

But it turns out that there is a universal underlying process to all influence that you and everyone else knows, but somehow forgets or can’t execute when the other party refuses, doesn’t know you, has a bad relationship with you or your group, or has conflicting objectives.

 

All influence is based on reciprocity and exchange. People allow themselves to be influenced because they believe that in some way, in some reasonable length of time, they will receive something of roughly equal value back for what is being asked. It is as simple – and complex – as that. Complex because:

 

  • in execution the prior relationship and the one expressed during the transaction matters
  • people often value different things (we call them currencies as a metaphor due to the exchange going on) and it can be hard to assess how much what each side offers and values is worth
  • although everyone values several different currencies there may be no compatibility between what the two parties care about
  • the process of exchange can be implicit or explicit depending on the relationship and the culture of the organization in which people are functioning.

 

Because so much of everyday influence is automatic, when people get stuck they often resort to self-defeating irritation and stereotyping of the other person or group, which dramatically decreases the possibility of influencing them. But stopping to figure out what the other party really cares about and how to give them some of that in return for what you want, can dramatically increase your influence.

 

Here is an actual (slightly disguised) example. Vishwas was asked to lead a product development task force from his West Coast office. He had to collaborate with an Eastern group. He was friendly with that group’s leader, Tarun, but as meetings proceeded he found that Tarun seemed to become increasingly competitive, and as Vishwas saw it, was trying to undermine him by constantly claiming credit for more of the work. His instinct was to plot revenge of some kind. But he learned about reciprocity and exchange, decided to step back and ask what currencies Tarun seemed to be aiming for. It struck him that Tarun was driven by seeking recognition, exactly what Vishwas was plotting to deny him.

 

After a virtual meeting in which Tarun proclaimed – accurately as it turned out – that he and his group had made an important contribution to solving the problem they were working on, Vishwas gulped hard and acknowledged the terrific work. To his relief, the competitive behavior began to diminish, and with a few more public acknowledgments from Vishwas, collaboration and warmth increased. A potential disaster was averted. It doesn’t always happen so fast, but shifting to a partnership mindset and when possible giving what is wanted, not just insisting on what you want, is the core of influence.

 

In hindsight, the solution seems obvious, but think about the times you have been frustrated or furious at trying to influence someone whose cooperation you needed but couldn’t get. What currencies did they value? Could you have found a way to “pay” in those currencies and would it have made a difference? Making win-win exchanges increases your influence and power.

 

Learn more from Influence Without Authority, now in its third edition.

 

Image Credit: Pexels.com/startupstockphotos.com

 

    Laura Goldsberry
Laura Goldsberry
Marketing Manager, Wiley

Considering an MBA? Whether you're a recent graduate or an established professional, investing in yourself through a business master's degree can go a long way in producing financial, professional, and personal returns.

 

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Have you seen the benefits of an MBA first-hand? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

     Tatiana Pacheco
Tatiana Pacheco
SEO Strategy Lead, Wiley

If you are new to digital marketing, the following three letters might send shivers down your spine: S.E.O. But Search Engine Optimization is not as hard to grasp as you might think. Below are four easy steps to help you get a grip on optimizing your sites and content for search engines. SEO is not optional in today’s world of digital business, in fact, it’s more important than ever. So, let’s get started!

 

SEO.JPG

SEO Is Not Difficult to Understand:

  • First, there are plenty of SEO resources online, and many of them are free. Take a few minutes each day to learn something new. You’ll be surprised by the amount of knowledge you’ll gain in just one week.
  • You understand SEO better than you might think. The results of SEO are seen every day when browsing online, reading articles, or looking for a new recipe.
  • SEO is a hot topic that everyone talks about, so don’t be afraid to jump in and ask a question or two

 

SEO Is More Important for Digital Business Than Ever:

  • SEO contributes to your number one business goal – revenue growth.
  • Creating digital content without SEO considerations has little to no value.
  • Creating a website without considering SEO can have an adverse effect on your site’s performance and that results in a waste of personnel and monetary resources.
  • Your online competitors are aggressive, optimizing your site is essential to stay ahead.

 

What is SEO?  SEO is a continuous process of optimizing websites visibility for Organic Search – it’s that’s simple!

 

What is SEO not? SEO is not an afterthought process; you should have an SEO strategy before creating a site, before creating a product detail page, and before deciding on the topic of any blog article.

 

How much time does the SEO process takes? SEO is a job unto itself, but understanding the basics is something every digital marketer needs to understand. Different SEO deliverables take differing amounts of time. Some can take 10 minutes, like briefly scanning through the Google Search Console, and some can take up to 50 hours, like conducting SEO Content Gap Analysis for one of the product lines on the site. Depending on the site size, how often you create content, and business needs you might need anywhere from one to ten SEO specialists serving the site.

 

How Can I Start Learning About SEO:

  1. Start at the Beginning.
    The SEO Beginners Guide is where I started learning about SEO. Read it on your commute to work, while having cup coffee or taking a break from your direct responsibilities—and if you’re a new digital marketer, SEO might very well become one of your direct responsibilities. As a digital marketer, it’s your responsibility to understand and speak the new digital language. Start reading the Beginners Guide on a Monday, and by the end of the week, your SEO knowledge will increase by up to 50%.
  2. Ask Questions
    Be brave! You may not think you can answer simple SEO questions, but if anyone asks something you don’t know how to explain, do some online research à la “Google it”! Search for articles related to SEO, learn how to apply the concepts, and then connect what you have learned with other digital marketing initiatives in which you may be involved.

    What if someone asked you about Rich Snippets. What would you do? Google it – “What are Rich Snippets?” You’ll probably get a Quick Answer. Some SEO strategist did research, tested concepts, wrote an article and optimized it for you to see the information at glance. Test this with your team and see how your SEO efforts affect your content’s organic visibility.
  3. Keep up with the latest trends
    Want to become an SEO expert? Hang around these two sites, bookmark them, and read them everyday.
    Search Engine Land https://searchengineland.com/. Here you can gain more in-depth knowledge of SEO and other digital marketing channels as well as industry updates.
    Search Engine Watch https://searchenginewatch.com/ is another excellent digital marketing resource. Check it out!
  4. Use Tools
    Finally, Download some must have SEO extensions for your Google Chrome browser:
    • MOZ Bar – this tool allows you to see SEO elements at a glance.
    • Redirect Path – enables you to view page redirects.

    • Open SEO Stats – Get site info, traffic, page speed and more.


Happy SEO Learning!

 

Image Credit: Pexels

 

    James Bowen
James Bowen
CEO, Experiential Simulations

shutterstock_62143846.jpgWhat do we mean by risks in a startup and if they ripple?

 

Over the years, I have seen my share of business plans, and in startup-speak, we often talk about calculated risks. (See my entrepreneurship simulation.)

 

Weighing risk requires asking two questions: 1) what might the impact of X be? 2) What is the likelihood of X occurring? Necessarily, every assumption in a business plan is one of risk; who will comprise the management, team? What will the pricing model be? Etc.

 

The creation of a business plan risk score has some value, but more significant value arises from understanding where within the business plan risk resides and then working to reduce it. For example, the selection of a management team is a risk, but hiring a high-quality management team tends to have an overall impact on reducing risk.

 

A calculated risk entails minimizing impact and the likelihood of each risk. How is this accomplished? Startups reduce the number of assumptions by putting them to the test, i.e., will customers pay X amount of money for this product? In this case, the entrepreneurs can reduce the risk associated with pricing assumptions by finding a sample of potential customers who are willing to commit to purchasing the product before its completion, i.e., advance sales.

 

A startup, therefore, is a set of risks differing in impact and likelihood, each with unique significance. I have seen investors who refuse to invest in any company where the management team is unproven. Why? The selection of the management team is one of the highest-impact risks a startup can take.

 

What if a startup develops a two-dimensional impact versus likelihood chart and assigns values to each to derive an overall risk score? While the term impact could be interpreted broadly, it is typically understood to mean an immediate impact, such as an angel investor who decides not to invest, or a particular partner who does not align with the overall vision of the company.

 

This narrow interpretation fails to capture a more strategic impact such as the integrated nature and the system-wide impact of some risk items.

 

Returning to the example of selecting a management team and developing a pricing model, if the team is of poor quality then the ripple effects can be broad and deep, if a particular customer chooses not to buy the product, then the impact might be short-lived.

 

Generally, the guidance around startups is to reduce risk as much as possible and then proceed with launch. However, this advice is too coarse.

 

The recommendation should be more along the lines of focusing on and reducing the risk items that have the most significant ripple effect across other risk items within the business plan. In other words, startups need to consider the cause and effect of linked risks items. One risk item could increase the likelihood and impact on another risk item(s). Risks that ripple include management team selection, barriers against competition, and the shortage of financing.

 

To wrap this all up in four bullet points, here are the items to consider when devising a risk plan:

  • Understand that assumptions are risks.
  • Some risks have a ripple effect due to their systematic and integrated nature.
  • Identify ripple risks by considering their impact on other risk items.
  • Potential investors who spot ripple risks tend to shy away from financing, so reducing or eliminating them early on is in a startup’s best interest.

 

Reduce ripple risks impact by figuring out a way to decouple them from other risks; for example, create advisory panels for an unproven management team.

 

Do you see ripple risks in your organization? Share your experiences in the comments below.

 

Image Credit: BlackJack3D/iStockphoto

 

    Tara Trubela
Tara Trubela
Content Marketing, Wiley
MA, Columbia University

 

 

Trubela_Vacation_Xia Yuan_Getty Images_533807210.jpgEvery summer, I look forward to our week-long vacation at the shore. It’s a chance for me to unplug, unwind, and just be in the moment: long beach days, miniature golf, and seafood dinners followed by a glass of wine on the deck once the kids are asleep.

 

It’s a great week to reconnect with my family, and I always come back to work feeling refreshed and ready to tackle any unfinished projects that are still on my desk.

 

Most Americans get about two weeks of vacation compared to countries like Brazil that grants employees 22 days of paid leave and Australia that gives workers at least four weeks off plus ten holidays.

 

And even though we’re lagging in the rest-and-relaxation category compared to the rest of the world, Americans still don’t take all of the vacation time that’s allotted to them. In fact, 54% of employees finish off the year with unused vacation days—collectively relinquishing 662 million days.

 

The reasons employees forfeit their days range from wanting to prove their dedication (read: they don’t want to get laid off) to dreading coming back to hundreds of unanswered emails and an overwhelming workload. And some people simply feel guilty about taking a breather from work.

 

However, studies show that never coming up for air isn’t the way to get recognized—but giving yourself a break to recharge is.

 

Top Three Reasons You Need to Book That Vacay Right Away:

  1. You’ll be more productive. When my son was a newborn, I was so sleep-deprived that I crashed my car into my husband’s parked car before ever leaving our driveway (true story). Especially if you have the kind of job that requires mental agility, not getting enough rest can result in damaging consequences.

    According to Dr. Jenny Brockis, author of Future Brain, only getting four or five hours of sleep a night reduces our cognitive capacity to the equivalent of a blood alcohol level of 0.01 percent. The good news is, the Alertness Solutions fatigue management consulting firm founded by former NASA scientists discovered that the “respite effect” of a vacation can increase performance by 80%―and rested employees experience a 40% increase in reaction times once they’re back at work.
  2. You’ll be in a better mood. Harvard researchers found that going on vacation has restorative effects at the molecular level. It only took one week away from the office for the study participants to report feeling less stressed, more aware, and happier—and these positive vibes lasted for about a month. When we take time to rejuvenate, the genes that normally combat stress and heal injuries don’t have to work as hard, and this temporary decrease in the levels of stress-related genes results in a natural antidepressant.
  3. You’ll be rewarded. I admit to checking work email while I’m away, but some people identify so strongly with their jobs that they feel compelled to work all the time. This all-or-nothing attitude is not only detrimental to your health and relationships, it’s also harmful to your career.

    Up to 27% of the work-obsessed are less likely to get a promotion and 78-84% less likely to get a raise or bonus compared to employees who take their vacation days. Eventually, the constant grind will catch up to you, resulting in lack of energy, clarity, and even creativity on the job.

 

The Trend: Companies Are Giving Back Time

To motivate employees to take vacations, some U.S. companies have instituted a “use it or lose it” policy that speaks for itself—either you use your annual paid time off or it’s gone. Other organizations, like the U.S. Travel Association, give their employees bonuses (yup, you read that right) for taking their entire allotment of paid leave. Still other employers are experimenting with implementing “unlimited vacation” to mixed results.

 

Do you use your full allotment of vacation time? Share your experiences in the comments below.

 

Image Credit: Xia Yuan/Getty Images

 

    Christopher Ruel
Christopher Ruel
Community and Social Marketing, Wiley

I’m an X’er. Members of Generation X were often characterized as slackers, latchkey kids, possessors of bad attitudes, and a bit nihilistic in their cynicism. I am part of the 66 million others known as the “neglected generation” or the “forgotten generation,” and as the citations below reflect, businesses need to pay attention to us, or they’ll miss out on a significant opportunity to grow their revenue, increase organizational performance, and benefit from the generation sandwiched between the Boomers and the Millennials. Here’s why:

 

 

  • We’re smart, even though we envied Ferris Bueller and Jeff Spicoli. 35% of us have a college education. That makes us one of the most highly educated generations ever. The research has also revealed that we like to share our knowledge. X’ers make excellent mentors for younger employees and our level of education is reflected in much that we do at work, and outside of the office.

 

 

  • We’re innovative. 55% of startups have been created by X’ers. Did you know Elon Musk is an X’er.  Because X’ers are a smaller cohort than the generations we’re sandwiched between, we tend to get overshadowed by the great things Boomers have accomplished and the vivacious minds of the Millennials.

 

 

  • We may be self-deprecating, but we don’t like to be ignored by marketers. Traditional media still matters to us, so continuing to place ads in newspapers, on the radio, and on television that are aimed at us isn’t throwing money away. Yes, we like our digital media, but we did not grow up in a digital world.

 

In the end, identifying those born between the mid- to late-60’s and the early-80’s, is a smart strategy if companies are looking to make revenue targets and increase their organizational effectiveness.

 

Not bad for bunch of slackers, eh Wayne? Party on, Garth!

 

For more on managing intergenerational workplace dynamics, check out Unfairly Labeled: How Your Workplace Can Benefit from Ditching Generational Stereotypes.

 

Image Credit: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

 

How to Work With Difficult People

Posted Oct 17, 2017
    Christopher Ruel
Christopher Ruel
Community and Social Marketing, Wiley

 

 

Tension among co-workers accounts for up to 80% of all workplace difficulties, but what can you do to improve uncomfortable encounters at work? There are some options. The use of positive body language, keeping control of your emotions, and knowing when to take a stand are excellent starting points. But don’t forget, the colleague you are struggling with has thoughts, feelings, and tensions as well. There are additional skills and techniques you can learn, develop, and improve upon that can your work week more enjoyable, your organization more productive and may grow career opportunities. NetCredit.com put together this infographic with nine practical ways you can learn to work with difficult people. Try out the tips today and see what you can achieve in creating healthy co-worker relationships with open and positive dialogue.

 

Courtesy of: NetCredit

 

    Curt Steinhorst

I have ADD. I speak about our distracted world and gen Y. I also help others speak. I’m relationally focused, sports obsessed, spiritually inclined.

 

I have ADD. As a child, I never took medication. My parents weren’t against it, but they didn’t feel it was necessary. I could work well enough in spurts that my grades were still fine. I learned how to cope.

 

That is, until I started my first business

 

A few years out of school, I started a company doing what I loved most in the world: helping people discover, craft, and share their messages with the world. Every day, I worked with NFL players, TV personalities, and Olympians to help them communicate better to their audiences.

 

(Me with Peyton Manning — yes, that’s actually him and no, I’m not really that short)

 

Steinhorst and Manning.jpg

 

 

It was my dream job. It should have been the best time of my life. Instead, I was miserable.

 

It wasn’t the work that was the challenge. It was that I’d look up and I would have 43 different emails started, two text threads going, and no clue whether my checkbook was evenly balanced. I couldn’t focus on the things that were critical to creating a successful business.

 

Communication was my passion, my entire life’s work. And now it was also destroying my business.

 

Eventually, I hit a breaking point. I was two weeks late on a major deadline I had promised to a client — an NFL Hall of Famer, no less. What’s worse, the Hall-of-Famer was my grandfather’s favorite football player of all time. What’s even worse, is that same Hall-of-Famer had, at my request, just recorded a personal video for my grandmother on her 90th birthday. And here I was ghosting him. This is the third“just checking in” email he sent me — the previous two I completely ignored. It looks friendly — but it was a clear indictment.

 

email chain.jpg

 

What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I get the work done? I knew it was either: get a grip on things or move back home with my parents. Something had to change.

 

Our Entire Workforce Has Issues With Focusing

It turns out, I’m not the only one struggling. Distraction in the workplace is an epidemic.

 

• The busiest hours of Facebook are 1–3pm during the working day.

• 60% of purchases online are purchased during working hours.

• 87% of people admit to reading and being involved in political discussions on a weekly basis during work.

• People lose anywhere from 1–3 hours on average every day due to personal distractions. In some industries, we lose as many as 6.

 

And we carry the effects with us, at home and in our bodies. We spend 60% more time connected to digital media than we do in conversation with our significant others. A study on workplace stresses found that the more pressure we feel to be available, the more likely we are to take sick days.

 

The Way Out

Over the last ten years, I’ve been on a journey to answer the question: what does it look like to thrive in an age of constant distraction?

 

Using myself as the lab rat, I experimented constantly with new approaches to manage and focus my attention. I spent thousands of hours researching and interviewing CEOs, managers, and employees. I recruited a team of experts way smarter than me: an Ivy League PhD professor, a psychologist focusing on ADD, and a pastor.

 

Together, we discovered a surprisingly simple but profound truth: we have lost our ability to control where we place our attention. And if we are ever going to recover it, we have to revisit every aspect of our work and life. We have to learn to become wise in the way we allocate our focus — placing the right amount of attention at the right moment and in the right context. It won’t be easy, but it is possible.

 

On October 9th 2017, my first book published by Wiley: Can I Have Your Attention?: Inspiring Better Work Habits, Focusing Your Team, and Getting Stuff Done in the Constantly Connected Workplace. It’s the culmination of everything I’ve learned about the science of attention and how to utilize it in the workplace: a comprehensive and holistic approach to become focus wise in the way we approach life and work.

 

Do you battle distraction in the workplace? Share you own strategies for overcoming it in the comments below.

 

    James Bowen
James Bowen
CEO, Experiential Simulations

crystals.jpgAI system voted Entrepreneur of the Year? Not yet, but recently Alibaba founder Jack Ma predicted that an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system will be voted CEO of the year within 30 years.  But can an AI system winning Entrepreneur of the Year within 50 years? Is that possible or is there something inherent to startups such that an AI system will never win over a human entrepreneur?

 

AI comes in a few different flavors including machine learning approaches and expert systems. Machine learning tends to work well in environments where it can learn from past data. Typically, it finds patterns in the data and is able to abstract from those patterns, hopefully acquiring the ability to apply the past pattern of action to a new situation. A weakness would then be operating in a situation that is new and unique and thus might not be represented in the data set, thus inferences extrapolated from the data are not applicable to the new situation. A machine learning situation would then evolve its learning.

 

The questions then become: is it possible to learn from all past entrepreneurial startups such that enough patterns are developed for all future startups? And, is any startup truly unique?

 

Serial entrepreneurs are sought-after individuals, whose success can be duplicated based on learnings and the ability to reason out new situations.

 

With large organizations, there is more structure and change tends to be slow. With startups, much is evolving and sharp pivots at times.

 

Does this suggest that startups are different enough from large companies that an AI system cannot apply its learnings from patterns found in existing data and thus wouldn’t be Entrepreneur of the Year?

 

With startups, there are always unique elements such as different management team combinations, different business model possibilities, or different technology possibilities. Therefore, the question, which I would like your comment on, is: Will there be some percentage of startups that are truly unique and new such that AI will not handle decision-making or implementation well? Alternatively, does it even matter; can we generalize entrepreneurial insights and models such that an AI system could be Entrepreneur of the Year?

 

Share your thoughts in the comments below and check out our experiential simulation for teaching entrepreneurship.

 

Check out my other articles here.

 

Image credit: PzAxe/Shutterstock

    Laura Goldsberry
Laura Goldsberry
Marketing Manager, Wiley

A loyal, productive, and enthusiastic staff is good for your customers and your bottom line.

 

Many unengaged employees suffer from what leadership expert Patrick Lencioni refers to as “job misery.” This condition kills morale and productivity and drives up the cost of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees. But the good news is “job misery” is treatable.

 

Lencioni_(2)_Monkey Business Images_shutterstock_174469118.jpgWhat causes job misery?

According to Lencioni, anonymity, irrelevance, and immeasurement all lead to a feeling of misery at work. Anonymity is the feeling that managers have little interest in their employees as individuals. Irrelevance can take hold when an employee can’t see how their job makes a difference in the lives of others—a customer, a coworker, or even a supervisor. The third cause is something Lencioni refers to as immeasurement, the inability of employees to evaluate their own success.

 

Managers hold the key.

“The primary source of job misery and the potential cure for that misery resides in the hands of one individual—the direct manager,” says Lencioni. “There are countless studies confirming this statement.” Organizations such as Gallup and The Blanchard Companies have found that an employee’s relationship with their direct manager is the most important determinant to employee satisfaction—more than pay, benefits, perks, and even work-life balance.

 

Motivate and retain.

“As simple as the three causes are in theory, the fact remains that few managers take a genuine interest in their people, remind them of the impact that their work has on others, and help them establish creative ways to measure and assess their performance,” says Lencioni. “Managers often forget what it was like when they were a little lower on the food chain and need to remember that the most important part of their jobs is providing their people with what they need to be productive and fulfilled (a.k.a. not miserable) in their jobs.”

 

The good news.

According to the CEB Corporate Leadership Council (CLC), engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their organization,* reducing turnover and creating a more stable and experienced workforce. These individuals also help attract other quality employees. They show more attention to detail, take pride in their work, and are more willing to help out in areas outside of their own responsibility.

 

Take the first step.

In their analysis of effective engagement strategies, the CLC notes that the first step to developing an engaged and high-performing workforce is recruitment. Lencioni believes the best recruits have a combination of three virtues: humility, hunger, and people smarts. He refers to these individuals as “ideal team players” and has developed targeted strategies to help identify these recruits during the interview process.

 

Before your next talent search, get Lencioni’s free interview guide, “Reduce Turnover Through Effective Hiring”. It contains thoughtful interview questions and offers insights and strategies to help you identify the right employee for your next hire.

 

Patrick Lencioni is a New York Times best-selling author, speaker, consultant, and founder and president of The Table Group, a firm dedicated to helping organizations become healthy. Lencioni’s books blend innovative storytelling, vibrant characters, and clear-sighted practical solutions to address the most sensitive and important pain points of today’s organizations: how to build successful teams, improve leadership, break down silos, engage employees, and ensure the health of the organization as a whole.

 

*Source: Driving Performance and Retention Through Employee Engagement. Rep. Washington, DC: Corporate Leadership Council, 2004. Print.

 

9 Tips for Pitching to the Media

Posted Sep 21, 2017
    Laura Goldsberry
Laura Goldsberry
Marketing Manager, Wiley

Pitching to the media is an essential task for marketers and publicists looking to get their stories and products blasted out to a wider audience. Follow these tips and learn how to best approach media contacts to increase your odds of media coverage.

 

 

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