14 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative


Product development, web design, free-style rapping, writing, cooking, art, music, to the way you make your bed in the morning, what are we talking about here?

Everything.

From forward-thinking tech-product managers such as Ryan Hoover, to the barista who serves your coffee art, we all have creativity within us. Here’s a hit list of 14 things nobody told you about being creative:

Read on.

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/249423

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3 Steps to Build a Strong Team


By Daniel Burrus

Tech Futurist & Innovation Expert

An old cliché has it that there is no “I” in team. Like many well-worn phrases, that one holds a certain amount of truth—and not just in the literal spelling. In effect, a strong team emphasizes the group, not just one individual. The thinking is, when the team advances as a whole, so, too, does everyone within it.        

That begs a question: How do you build a team that is characterized by strong, coordinated teamwork?

It’s not as difficult as you might assume—particularly if you adopt an anticipatory mindset.

Break Down the Challenges

The obstacles that organizations face in fostering teamwork can be highly specific, depending on the particulars of the industry, the culture of the organization and the individuals involved. However, Harvard Business Review’s Answer Exchange offers a useful list of eight challenges that teams often encounter:

Absence of team identity
Difficulty making decisions
Poor communication
Inability to resolve conflicts
Lack of participation
Lack of creativity 
Groupthink (unwilling or unable to consider alternative ideas or approaches)

Ineffective leadership

Taken on its own, that can be a daunting set of obstacles. But certain core principles of my Anticipatory Organization Model™ can effectively address all of these issues and create a well-coordinated, focused team:

Step One: Communicate, Don’t Just Inform

One of the biggest stumbling blocks in helping to create a solid team is effective communication. Take a quick glance back at the list above—every one of those issues can be traced in some manner to poor communication.

The reason is simple—instead of genuinely communicating, we can all fall into the trap of merely informing.

Let’s break that down a bit. Informing is one-way and static. It merely passes along information without any related form of action. When you inform someone, you’re not even sure if they agree with you or not.

Communication, on the other hand, flows in both directions and is dynamic. The dialogue is genuine, and an enhanced level of engagement results. In effect, you wish to hear as much as you wish to speak.

As a leader, it’s simple to promote that sort of environment. Whether you’re chatting one-on-one or participating in a large group meeting, set the tone by being as active a listener as you are a speaker. You’ll get better results and, at the same time, offer an ideal example to those around you.

Step Two: Collaborate, Don’t Just Cooperate

The terms collaborate and cooperate might seem rather similar but their differences are both distinct and meaningful. It’s amazing how many companies and organizations say they are collaborating when, in reality, they are only cooperating. That’s because they don’t know the difference, and in this case, the difference can make all the difference.

People cooperate because they have to. And because they have to, the focus is on protecting and defending their piece of the economic pie. It’s a strategy based on scarcity.

On the other hand, people collaborate because they want to. You choose to collaborate because you understand that by working together you can create a bigger pie for all. It’s inclusive and expansive.

Need examples? In technology, Apple, Microsoft, Google and others can attribute much of their early success to strategic partnerships with competitors. Likewise, pharmaceutical companies are increasingly collaborating to share resources and information to develop and distribute life-saving medications.

In many ways, collaboration and communication are closely intertwined. It makes sense—if you’re communicating effectively with someone else, you’re more likely to build the level of trust with which collaboration flourishes. By fostering effective communication, you’re also building a collaborative environment—and, in the process, a stronger team.

Step Three: Use the Tools

One fortunate factor that can help build communication, collaboration and a better team is that we have so many tools with which to approach the challenge. Consider our smartphones, Skype, FaceTime, Twitter and any number of other devices and platforms. They’re tied to the moniker “social” for a very good reason—encourage their use, dialogue and engagement.

There are a great many effective strategies with which to build a strong team—one that’s characterized by communication and collaboration. Build those two competencies, and all those smaller, more defined challenges will likely melt away.

Daniel Burris is considered one of the World’s Leading Futurists on Global Trends and Innovation, and is the founder and CEO of Burrus Research, a research and consulting firm that monitors global advancements in technology driven trends to help clients understand how technological, social and business forces are converging to create enormous untapped opportunities. He is the author of six books including New York Times & Wall Street Journal best seller Flash Foresight.   

Daniel Burrus is also the creator of The Anticipatory Organization™ Learning System–named a Top 10 Product of the Year.

The AO Learning System is a training process for executives and their teams to develop the skills to accurately foresee and take critical actions before disruption strikes.

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The Source of Ultimate Power – Know Thy Consumer!


You need to truly understand your consumer to have any chance at dominating their thoughts and actions in any given area. And more importantly, recognize that knowledge is not absolute, it is relative.

What about your spouse? Do you know him or her better than anyone else? How many marital infidelities occur and long and otherwise ‘healthy’ marriages end because one person “doesn’t understand” the other in the relationship? I’m sure you know someone who’s life has been thus affected… if it’s important to you, if this person, your spouse or significant other is truly a “consumer” in your life, you NEED to know them well, better than anyone else does, and they and everyone else in your life needs to acknowledge that.

Read the whole article.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140727103938-8825351-the-source-of-ultimate-power-know-thy-consumer

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The 8 Rude “Animal” Types of Bosses



Ever work with someone who hogs all the credit? Or a parrot who never seems to have an original idea? I bet you can think of a few people who act more like zoo animals than the professionals they are supposed to be. And if you work in an environment with these types of characters, then you know that rudeness spreads like a contagion. 

That is because when the boss blasts the team or dismisses effort, it sends the message that pushy, disrespectful behavior is not only acceptable — it is the only way to do business. You start to think that to get what you want, you need to assert your authority over others. Maybe even get primal. Act like a beast.

Read more.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/8-rude-animal-types-bosses-brian-de-haaff

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Wanted: Leaders



The manager tells people what to do, and how, while the leader explains why they should do it. Both are important, but only true leadership will move people by giving them a meaning and purpose within a larger context.

Read the whole article

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/wanted-leaders-bertrand-piccard

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Decide if you’re a hedgehog or a fox


In a 1953 essay titled “The Hedgehog and the Fox,” which focused on the view of history that Russian author Leo Tolstoy presented in his classic novel War and Peace, Berlin said writers and thinkers fall into two categories: hedgehogs, who view the world through a single central vision, and foxes, who chase scattered ideas pursuing many ends. Essentially, hedgehogs are simplifiers and foxes are multipliers.

Berlin’s prose is brilliant, but what is relevant from his essay for our conversation is captured in a single question: When you build a strategy, do you build as a hedgehog or a fox?

Think about that question, with your plans for next year in mind, as we explore this idea.

Read more.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/decide-youre-hedgehog-fox-peter-b-nichol

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Good internal communication doesn’t just happen


Good internal communication has countless benefits. It fosters a strong culture, improves collaboration, streamlines results and can even improve morale. In today’s diverse business landscape, creating clear communication channels can overcome generational, gender and cultural differences to create cohesive teams and ultimately, successful outcomes.

Good internal communication doesn’t just happen. It must be deliberate. Consider these five ideas to supercharge your communication efforts to create a happier, healthier workplace:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/good-internal-communication-doesnt-just-happen-molly-moseley

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Science Says This Single Action Will Make You a Better Boss, Employee, Spouse and Parent


By Justin Bariso

We all enjoy it when someone gives us sincere praise or commendation. It motivates us, encourages us, makes us feel good. When it comes to the workplace, science tells us that an expression of commendation is more effective than even monetary rewards (in many situations).

For example, research organization Gallup surveyed more than four million employees and found that individuals who receive regular recognition and praise:

increase their individual productivity

increase engagement among their colleagues

are more likely to stay with their organization

receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers

have better safety records and fewer accidents on the job

Researchers have also highlighted the benefits of showing appreciation to our spouses and children.

But here’s the question: If we know how effective praise can be, why don’t we do it more often?

Read the rest of the article

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/science-says-single-action-make-you-better-boss-employee-bariso

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How To Turn Risk Taking Into A Marketing Asset Again


Forbes

CMO Network #GettingBuzz

1/21/2017 @ 11:45AM

Avi Dan , CONTRIBUTOR

The collapse of Lehman Bros. in 2008 and the ensuing financial crisis is seared into the psyche of companies. It is known as the “Lehman Effect,” and it wrecked self-confidence and tolerance for risk-taking. It has manifested itself in the rise of Finance and Procurement and greater emphasis on efficiencies and cost cutting, often­­ at the expense of marketing investment. Add to this the fact that CMOs are first on the firing line when companies miss their growth goals, and it becomes clear why taking a risk is, well, risky.

Agencies too are risk averse. In some respects, the holding companies that now dominate the communication ecosystem shifted the emphasis on Madison Avenue from inspired virtuosity to financial predictability. Their entire approach is to mitigate risk, even at the cost of blunting creativity.

However, it’s time to consider renewed tolerance for unpredictability. Avoiding risk is not a sustainable strategy because it’s impossible to deliver top-line growth with cuts alone. It’s time to change the risk/reward ratio in a meaningful way by applying a responsible, disciplined risk strategy at the center of the enterprise:

1. Establish a 70/20/10 approach: 70% of the budget is the bread-and-butter marketing activities – undertakings that don’t not require excessive risk-taking. This is the stuff that pays the bills. The next 20% should be applied to quasi-radical innovations, essentially gradual, evolutionary ideas, improving on the 70% bucket, ideas new to the brand or service.The last 10% of the budget should go to experiment with high-risk, high-reward undertakings. It’s the extreme ideas totally new to the marketplace – new ways to inspire the audience that could become tomorrow’s 20% or 70% bucket. It’s the portion of the budget that’s meant to see into the future and, when done right, can pay big dividends by setting you up as a thought leader in your market.

2. Hire the right people: Risk and innovation depend on people almost more than any other activity of the enterprise. Companies should rededicate themselves to hiring people who intuitively understand the discipline of innovation and risk taking. Innovators are inquisitive, passionate, and self-starting. They multi-task and often experiment with multiple approaches. If innovation is the ability to recognize opportunity, then the essence of being an innovator is being able to mobilize talent and resources quickly enough to seize that opportunity and turn it into a business idea.

3. Create a culture of risk: Don’t create an elaborate centralized bureaucracy that would stifle creative energy. A flat, open organization designed around fast decision-making, is more suitable to risk taking and innovation regardless of the reporting hierarchy. Proposals should move quickly through the approval process. Most risk takers are worried that the window of opportunity is closing while their sponsors are still making up their minds, and that sort of thinking will dissipate their creativity. Particularly for big companies, the challenge is to find ways to nourish the activities that give rise to innovation, while at the same time cultivating the ability to move decisively once an opportunity presents itself.

4. Compensation: A critical aspect of being innovative is the ability to negotiate the tension between risk taking and discipline. Innovation is a risky business, and failure is commonplace. Rewarding success is easy, rewarding intelligent failure is more important. People should not be evaluated strictly by results but rather by the quality of their efforts. You’d want people to feel secure enough taking intelligent risks without also jeopardizing their compensation or their careers.

5. Data: Risk and data are not the opposite of each other, they are the two sides of the same coin. This is where many companies falter with marketing, and it’s because they don’t rely on data to perform the necessary analysis and analytical work to measure past ideas. Setting goals with specific benchmarks and iterating based on results from the past is the best way to mitigate risk and differentiate yourself from the competition.

Avi Dan is CEO of Avidan Strategies.

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How to Manage an Employee with a Bad Attitude



Jeff Toister, CPLP, PHR

Author. Consultant. Trainer. Passionate about customer service.

How to Manage an Employee with a Bad Attitude

February 8, 2017 • 6,577 Likes • 310 Comments
A Customer Service Tip of the Week subscriber recently emailed to ask for my advice on managing an employee with a bad attitude.
She explained that the customer service team she managed had an employee with a bad attitude who was starting to affect the rest of her team. This is a common challenge for customer service leaders, so I’m sharing some tips here.
But first, a short story…

I don’t have a bad attitude!
Years ago, when I was an inexperienced supervisor, I had an employee who had a bad attitude. I called a meeting with her one day to discuss the problem. “I want to discuss your bad attitude,” I said.
She was a veteran employee who was certainly much wiser than I, so she countered, “I don’t have a bad attitude.”
My plan to quickly tackle the issue was foiled! How could I argue with her without solid evidence?

I sought out the counsel of an experienced leader who explained it was important to separate inferences, such as the employee has a bad attitude, from the observable behaviors that led me to that conclusion.

I gave it some thought and realized one solid fact was that no less than five people from other departments had complained about working with this employee! Not only that, but I had a list of observable behaviors that the five people had told me were the cause of their complaints.

I sat down with her again, but this second meeting was very different.
I opened by explaining that I had received complaints from five people that she had a bad attitude and was difficult to work with. I then explained that I didn’t expect her to agree with her colleagues, but that we had to come up with a plan together to ensure that I didn’t receive any additional complaints.

She wasn’t happy, but she also couldn’t dispute the facts. So we put our heads together and came up with some ideas which she then put into action.
Thirty days later, her colleagues had warmed to her considerably. This person would never be the best employee, but she had talent and made solid contributions.

Lesson learned: focus on observable behaviors
A bad attitude is really an inference or judgement we make based on behaviors.
The way to manage an employee with a bad attitude is to skip the judgement entirely and manage the behaviors themselves.

Start by listing some behaviors that you don’t want to see.
I asked the people who complained about the employee I managed to give me some reasons for their complaints. Here are a few examples they shared:
She often skipped daily staff meetings.

When she did attend staff meetings, she usually kept silent or made negative comments.

She rarely smiled and was usually seen scowling.

She didn’t offer to help people from other departments.

She frequently got defensive when people asked her about her work.

Once you have your list, meet with your employee to discuss the behaviors and their impact. Make no mention of inferences such as “bad attitude.” Focus on the facts.

During the meeting, ask for your employee’s cooperation in making a change.

There’s a subtle but important way to approach the last part. As much as you can, convince the employee that you’re on their side. I like to borrow something that works well with customers called The Partner Technique.

You don’t want them to feel as though you are an adversarial boss who is simply nit-picking their work. You want the employee to feel that you are there to help them succeed. Be patient as this can take some time. (Nobody likes to hear they’ve being doing a bad job.)

Got a customer service question I can answer? Contact me. I’m here to help!

Update: February 9, 2017
I heard back from the customer service manager who originally asked me for advice. She tried using the tips outlined in this post and they worked!
A number of people asked, “What about a manager who bullies or has a bad attitude?” That’s a very difficult and very different situation. My recommendation is to check out Catherine Mattice’s excellent book on the subject, Back Off! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying @ Work.

Thanks for all the likes, comments, and shares!

Written by
Jeff Toister, CPLP, PHR

Jeff Toister, CPLP, PHR

Author. Consultant. Trainer. Passionate about customer service.

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SCADA and all related system integration, one that really work for end users, must have only the best combination of skills and materials for the job.

We do premium pricing for our job. Each project done proved to be the lowest cost in the long run. The product of our commitment to do the ordinary extraordinarily.
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Unit 719/722 City & Land Mega Plaza Bldg.

ADB Ave. cor. Garnet Road, Ortigas Center

San Antonio, Pasig City, Philippines 1605

gregoriojess@yahoo.com