Making Mentoring Work at Your Company
Want to create common ground and expand everybody’s skillsets across a multi-generational workforce? Put a twist on traditional mentoring programs by having younger, less-experienced workers mentor older employees (instead of the other way around). According to GrowthPlay co-founder Amy Dordek Dolinsky and managing director Tracey Wik, these are just some of the benefits of implementing a “reverse mentoring” program. Listen to this interview with Dolinsky and Wik to hear the rest.
by Frank Kalman on Talent Economy
Finding Your Company’s Second Act
Ten years after launching its DVD mail-delivery service business, Netflix introduced Internet-based movie delivery, long before broadband speed was ready for it. Critics accused the business of cannibalizing its own revenue, but CEO Reed Hastings knew that thinking beyond the company’s first great idea was the only way to survive. Twenty years after its 1997 debut, Netflix continues to thrive with the latest iteration of its platform. Here’s how investing in a product architecture that can flex to meet market demand can lead to second-act success.
by Larry Downes and Paul Nunes on Harvard Business Review
28 Ways to Get Your Business Media Attention
Attracting media attention for your business can be an art in itself. Catch the right journalist’s eye by focusing on these key tips: 1) Pinpoint outlets that best match the audience for your business, 2) get your pitch to the right person by using online media contact forms, 3) provide a press release that includes everything a reporter needs to draft a story (such as product info, social media profile links, logos and images, etc.), and 4) engage directly with outlets via their Twitter, Facebook, and blog accounts.
by Joshua Sophy on Small Business Trends
Reducing Human Error in Capital Decision-Making
According to Deloitte research, more than 60 percent of finance executives say they lack confidence in their organization’s ability to optimally allocate capital. Considering the fact that people typically decide how capital will be used within a business, this statistic isn’t that surprising: Both human error and unconscious bias often play a role. But what if you could head off such mistakes by learning how to identify bias? Here’s how understanding behavioral science can improve your company’s financial outcomes.
by Charles Alsdorf, Timothy Murphy, and Val Srinivas on Deloitte Insights
How to Build a Successful Team
Want to lay the groundwork for a highly productive team within a culture of mutual trust and respect? Start by hiring the right people and giving them autonomy to complete tasks and make decisions within their roles. But keep your hands on the wheel. Step in to provide guidance, set goals, map progress, share metrics, and model appropriate behavior. By making sure that everyone on the team consistently receives the same information and direction, you’ll foster a strong sense of community and combat an “us vs. them” mindset.
by Adam Bryant on the New York Times
Why Some Companies Are Re-embracing Vertical Integration
These days, many owners and CEOs are approaching their businesses in one of two ways: either by focusing on core competencies and outsourcing the rest, or by owning the business up and down the supply chain. While adopting vertical integration could save your company money, allow it to retain control, and reduce its risk level, the value of these benefits varies by industry and can be difficult to measure. See what the costs and benefits might be for your particular industry, and whether it could make sense for your business.
by Rose Jacobs on Chicago Booth Review
Why You Should Consider This the Season of Incentives
U.S. companies spend more than $800 billion on salesforce compensation every year. To make sure your incentive plan truly inspires, match the incentive to the desired sales behavior. Clearly communicate exactly what you expect from your sales team and explain how they will be compensated. Then, use analytics to track their progress against goals. Share any data results in a timely manner so they can make course corrections. Throughout the year, review your incentive plan to make sure it still aligns with the needs of the business.
by Claudio Garcia on the Business Journals
United States Economic Forecast, 4th Quarter 2017
To predict future economic shifts, this detailed report looks at longer-term trends, considers the potential impacts of Trump administration policies and congressional action on the U.S. economy, and forecasts what’s ahead for the housing, consumer spending, and business investment sectors, as well as financial and labor markets. Consider these trends during ongoing business planning. Despite the current debates on taxes, trade, and more, the report predicts that few dramatic changes are on the horizon.
by Dr. Daniel Bachman and Rumki Majumdar on Deloitte Insights
Jobs Report’s Strong Demand May Not Be Lasting
Did you know that the unemployment rate is at a 17-year low, the demand for workers remains high in certain sectors, and the number of Baby Boomers leaving the workforce is being nicely offset by fresh workers? This is just some of the good news shared in the U.S. Labor Department’s recent unemployment report. What’s not so great? Companies of all sizes continue to face one significant challenge: They’re having trouble finding workers with the right talents and skillsets.
by Danielle DiMartino Booth on Bloomberg
The Neuroscience of Strategic Leadership
Managers who want to build their leadership acumen have everything they need inside their own brains, according to neuroscience research. All it takes is enough dedication to form a habit of mindfulness. Here’s how it works: Focus your attention on the messages that erupt in your brain during moments of stress. These messages present distorted perspectives of reality. Train yourself to reframe them and construct alternative ways of looking at a situation and you’ll open the door to constructive, strategic thought.
by Jeffrey Schwartz, Josie Thomson, and Art Kleiner on strategy+business
Three Practical Ways to Break Down the Silos Between Sales and Marketing
At one time or another, almost every business struggles to bridge the gap between their sales and marketing departments. If you’re ready to break down the walls and get these teams together, try these tactics: 1) Compile a list of shared goals that require participation and influence by both departments; 2) create a project agreement that clearly defines each team’s deliverables and expectations; and 3) hold regular strategy meetings that allow both groups to share their progress.
by Samantha Owens Pyle on the Business Journals
Spooked: How CEOs Are Handling Their Cash Differently
With the economy riding high, you might expect corporate expenditures to rise at a similar rate. Not so, according to recent trends. Instead of planning a new headquarters campus or looking into geographic expansion, CEOs are making more conservative, internally focused investments that will bolster the bottom line. Topping the list? Investing in digital and cloud-based technology solutions to improve sales efforts, increase customer service, or optimize operational efficiency.
by Russ Banham on Chief Executive
Workplace Accommodations Don’t Have to Be Complicated to Be Effective
When an employee becomes seriously ill, business owners tend to wonder “How can I help?” and “How will this affect my business?” Recent survey findings show that workers who receive reasonable accommodations for their health concerns feel better about their employers, return to work sooner, and are more effective in their jobs. Simple adjustments such as altering an employee’s workstation and arranging a modified or flexible work schedule to attend doctors’ appointments can go a long way toward making workers feel supported and cared about.
by Tom Foran on Workforce
Ten Principles for Winning the Game of Digital Disruption
When it comes to digital disruption, a business owner’s first instinct might be to dismiss any threats and stay focused on the task at hand. But ignoring the noise won’t make the sound go away. With nearly every industry experiencing disturbance, smart companies are plotting reinvention before competitors force their hand. To orchestrate your own disruption, start by studying your competitors’ logic; then ask what can be changed within your own business model to deliver more value on a grander scale.
by Mathias Herzog, Tom Puthiyamadam, and Nils Naujok on strategy+business
Why Startups Struggle With Innovation (and What to Do About It)
Describe a typical startup in its early days and you’re likely to use the words “agile,” “innovative,” or “audacious.” But almost all businesses in their middle years see a slowdown in innovation and flexibility when it’s time to cultivate a new product. To keep progress moving full steam ahead, put growth plans on hold, reduce costs, and reallocate human capital using this magic formula: Put 90% of your R&D resources toward creating new products and 90% of your go-to-market resources on marketing legacy products.
by Janessa Lantz on ThinkGrowth
Satisfy Customers First, and Cost Cuts Will Follow
The next time your company needs to save money, resist the urge to implement a cost-cutting initiative. Creating “win-win” scenarios that benefit both your customers and your business could have a bigger impact on your bottom line. For instance, could you partner with a top customer to reduce costs through process efficiency? Are there experts in your end-to-end supply chain who could redesign and improve your products? Unusual tactics like these could save money and ramp up satisfaction for everyone involved.
by Lisa Anderson on CFO
DACA in Flux: Five Things Business Owners Need to Know
In early September the Trump administration rescinded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), leaving many employers concerned about the fate of employees who gained the legal right to work under the program. Unless Congress enacts an alternative, DACA will end after March 5, 2018. With nearly 700,000 people affected, business owners are trying to understand what their employees need to do next. Here’s insight into what the decision means, how it impacts permit renewals, and how it could affect employees’ work travel.
by Parija Kavilanz on CNN Money
Four Secrets for Turning Insight into Execution
Why do big ideas and “ah-ha” moments tend to fade as soon as the lights go down on your annual team offsite? Lack of commitment may not be the problem. Neurologically, new ideas are fainter than established ones, making them difficult for the brain to recall. Help your team focus by giving employees time to mull over ideas and think about how they can fit them into workloads. Then, reconvene to ask questions that delve deeper into the idea. As key dates approach, nudge stakeholders by asking how the work is coming along.
by Elizabeth Doty on strategy+business
Why Memory Is Your Most Powerful Tool for Building Customer Relationships
Where local shopkeepers once welcomed returning customers with a hello and a handshake, larger companies like Amazon are using artificial intelligence to “memorize” consumer preferences and buying histories, and suggest future purchases. But convincing customers you really care takes more than data algorithms. Finding multiple ways to interact at different touchpoints—like call centers, stores, websites, and social media—can help even small businesses take their relationships to the next level of consumer love.
by Yannis Kotziagkiaouridis on Forbes
Dynamic Planning: The Core of Successful FPM
Match your company’s planning process with established best practices and the right technology and watch your business performance soar. How? By driving collaboration between functions, implementing proven templates, and continuously adjusting projections. Also recommended: Gain perspectives from top-level executives as well as front-line employees. When synchronized, these strategies and tactics will shine a light on performance gaps, expose alternative courses of action, and help you achieve more reliable forecasts.
sponsored by IBM’s Financial Performance Management Center on CFO