It’s Saturday — do you know where your employee morale is this week? More and more companies are realizing that the same sort of satisfaction measurements they’re using with customers could be aimed at one of their other top concerns: employee engagement. But few go to the lengths of John Deere, where continuous improvement in morale is built into the product development cycle.
by Brad Power on Harvard Business Review
Sign here: What is your company’s “signature story”? Does your company have a tale of when the true values of the organization gelled, with an inspiring hero who could be the founder, an employee, a customer? Such stories can shape a brand, fire up employees and customers, or send a company off in a new strategic direction. Learn how to find your signature story — and how to use it to the utmost.
by Clifton B. Parker on Stanford Business
Are you glad you went to that meeting? So few are really productive. Given the amount of time we spend in meetings, you’d think we’d be demanding a higher return on our investment. Leading a high-impact meeting is not really difficult — in this video, Chicago Booth professor Craig Wortmann gives his 5 tips for running a meeting that delivers.
by Craig Wortmann on Capital Ideas
Banking and money are changing, bit by Bitcoin. Crowdfunding, virtual currencies, the blockchain — where are they taking us? What is the social and legal landscape? Investors have put $152 million so far into a new venture capital fund that aims to find out, and become a way of funding emerging digital currencies. Some say it will fizzle; others see it as the future of the Internet, capitalism, even government.
by Nathaniel Popper on the New York Times
When it comes time to hire for executive positions, you may be thinking about long interviews and multiple cross-examinations, with reference checking something you’ll get to, briefly, at the very end. Beware! This is the time for “extreme referencing” — taking more time to talk to more people, and asking even tougher questions. Discover the 7 steps to adequately vetting your most critical employees.
by Jessica Leitch, David Lancefield, and Mark Dawson on strategy+business
Most companies have people on board equipped to lead the status quo. Yet when a “wicked problem” shows up — as they often do these days — that requires a business transformation, few companies find they have developed the leadership that can move the company through it. Learn how these 10 principles — implemented together — can help unlock the potential strategic leadership in your company.
by Josh Hannah on for Entrepreneurs
The pitfalls of disco balls: Are you asking the right questions? This short story teaches a valuable lesson about understanding the real needs behind a request. Learn how to save your company time, money, and screaming by taking the right look at what people are really saying they want and when they want it.
by Shelly Palmer on LinkedIn Pulse
Raising money through crowdfunding just got easier for everyone. Introduced earlier this week, new rules allow companies to raise up to $1 million a year in exchange for a stake in the business. Becoming a venture capitalist used to be reserved for the wealthy and wealthier, but now “ordinary Americans” will be able to get in the game. Here’s what you need to know to get this widening opportunity working for you.
by Stacy Cowley on the New York Times
What does a strong candidate sound like? A weak one? This new interview platform serves to eliminate any bias you may have as a hiring manager when interviewing potential employees. It modulates voices to scramble biases, allowing you to focus on what the candidate says. Start hiring who is best, not just who sounds best.
by Lydia Dishman on Fast Company
Can I sit here? Though marketers are growing ever more important to businesses, their worth is often overlooked when it’s time to fill a spot on the board. Marketers often have the best outside perspective on a company, and are directly related to its growth. While traditionally they have been thought of more as advertisers and cold-callers than strategists, that thinking is about to change.
by Kimberly A. Whitler on Forbes
Your business needs constantly change — shouldn’t your service provider keep up? SLA (service-level agreement) contracts often provide a company with just the bare minimum in IT support. When you have a specific problem, you need a specific answer, not some generic substitute. Step away from the SLA and into personalized solutions.
by Peter Bendor-Samuel on CIO
Crowdfunding has become as common as traffic, and almost as difficult to navigate. While it’s important and beneficial to raise capital from people actively involved in your product, it’s also important to try to do it on your own. To get their product off the ground, many Kickstarter campaigns now use consultants, who often take a large fee for small results. Make sure you’ve exhausted all your options before turning to someone else.
by Ruth Simon on the Wall Street Journal
If you’ve been there, maybe your mouth starts to water when you hear the name. Or you may know them for the strong local economy they’ve built in Ann Arbor. Or for customer service so outstanding they offer training to other companies. But to what do the founders of Zingerman’s Deli attribute their success? “Radical empowerment” of a workforce few others would hire.
by Jessica Stillman on Inc.
Give to get: All good relationships require investment — including the sales relationship. In this video interview, technology marketing expert Geoffrey Moore lays out his concept of strategic generosity, going above and beyond what even a locked-in customer is expecting — and in the podcast, how to embrace the next disruption in your industry and win where your competitors can’t.
by Bill Cushard and Sarah E. Brown on ServiceRocket
Advertisers are zeroing in on the millennial mobile phone for that big-bang video ad buck, and what does said millennial want? A little emotion (make it funny), a little information, and just the right length — not too long, and not too short. Oh, and those auto-play ads? No problem.
by Kathy Kayse on Adweek
Any type of revenue makes you happy when you’re getting your business off the ground. But when it comes time to attract investors, some types of revenue pull them in better than others. You might be thinking sales revenue from your core business activities — but you’d be wrong. Discover the 3 top revenue streams to start building now.
by AJ Agrawal on Inc.