Think Finnish Innovation If You Want To Go Up Against The Norm
The Slush conference in Helsinki is certainly living up to its slushy reputation but it's a good place anyhow for networking and doing deals within Europe. And with the Nordic region accounting for half of the billion-dollar tech exits in Europe, it's a fast-growing startup hub that can't be ignored.
The connections between Finland with tech powers Silicon Valley and Asia are more limited but growing. A chartered plane from the Valley to Helsinki was loaded with venture capitalists making the 14-hour trip to check out what's going on in tech in the Nordic region.
A presentation I attended by Tesi, a key player in the Finnish venture capital and private equity sector, highlighted some interesting facts about rising interest by Asia technology investors in the Nordic region. Though far behind the UK and Ireland, the Nordics ranked second in Europe for technology deals with buyers from Asia, with 20 deals amounting to $14 billion from 2010 to April 2017.
CEO Jan Sasse of Tesi pointed to growing ripples from China into Finnish technology companies. These investments include Baidu in Indoor Altas in 2014, Alibaba in MarjaDB in 2017 and Tencent in Supercell in 2016. Chinese investors have yet to show up as limited partners in Finnish-based funds, however, he noted.
But Finnish companies are looking to China for its large and fast-growing markets. Backed by academics at the University of Helsinki, HEI Schools is taking the acclaimed Finnish early education model to China. It's running a pilot at a school in Baotou, China and is looking to expand in China and elsewhere, including Australia next year.
At Slush, Asia was represented by startups and investors from India, South Korea and Taiwan in the crowds but not many Chinese yet. A growing interest among European startups about breaking into the Chinese market was reflected by the presence of Comb +, which runs an accelerator in Beijing geared around successfully entering China.
The Nordic region prides itself on being small but with a global mindset and a growing ecosystem to support startups. The ecosystem includes commercialization of innovations from the University of Helsinki and funding and support by the government agency Tekes for innovation, R&D projects and work with some 3000 Finnish startups. The Tesi portfolio includes 723 companies and investment totaling Euros 1 billion.
via Forbes - Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/dTEDZf
November 30, 2017 at 01:35PM
17 of the Best Business Books to Give as Gifts This Holiday Season
Shopping for the holidays can seem a bit daunting at first. Especially if you're buying for a busy entrepreneur or business person. You may not know how to begin and have probably found yourself scrolling through countless websites trying to find that one, perfect gift. So let me help; here are 17 of the Best Business Books to give as gifts this holiday season.
1. High Performance Habits - Brendon Burchard
World-renowned high-performance coach Brendon Burchard is the hottest topic in self-led progress and success in today's business world. This ___ time New York Times Bestselling Author published his most recent book, High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way after conducting the most comprehensive study of high performers - people who have long-lasting and meaningful success in every aspect of their lives - in the world. In this book, he presents his findings in a scientific, yet anecdotal narrative about the struggles, successes, and habits that created the highest performing people across the globe.
This book would make a great gift for anyone, but it's especially helpful for those who have expressed feelings of boredom or disdain towards their career. The best part about Brendon's books? You can get almost all of them for just the price of shipping on his website! Simply plug in your email address and access his three most popular books - High Performance Habits, The Motivation Manifesto, and The Millionaire Messenger - and only pay for shipping! These books are valued at $20 each, and you'd be getting each of them for only $7!
A game-changing framework for staying top of mind with your audience―from the No. 1 company dominating content marketing. What do many successful businesses and leaders have in common? They're the first names that come to mind when people think about their particular industries. How do you achieve this level of trust that influences p
eople to think of you in the right way at the right time? By developing habits and strategies that focus on engaging your audience, creating meaningful relationships, and delivering value consistently, day in and day out.
I know John and his team and they truly figured out how to build influence and top of mind awareness. This is a must-read for any business person who wants to build a personal brand.
3. Leaders Eat Last - Simon Sinek
In true Simon Sinek fashion, this book has a perfect mix of humor, antics, and real-life strategies based on timeless theories and academic studies that explain why certain businesses thrive so much easier than others. This book is based on a conversation that Sinek had with a Marine officer during his time spent traveling the world, helping teams become better at teamwork and communication. "Officers eat last", the Marine said - unknowingly summing up the perfect explanation of success from the platform of leadership that Sinek had ever heard: "Great leaders sacrifice their own comfort--even their own survival--for the good of those in their care."
This is a great option for a gift to anyone who is new or struggling with a leadership position in their career!
4. Self-Employed: 50 Signs That You Might Be An Entrepreneur - Joel Comm, John Rampton
In Self Employed, Joel Comm & John Rampton detail 50 different qualities that personify those who could do well as entrepreneurs. These 50 qualities provide a framework for those already working or about to enter their careers so they can decide if they might make it in business on their own. Not sure if the entrepreneurial lifestyle is for you? Or do you want to double-check on yourself to see if the business you have already started is congruent with who you are?
I just read this after meeting John at a conference where we both were speaking. I have started sharing this with all of my coaching clients who are starting a new business or have been in business a short time.
5. Blue Ocean Strategy - W. Chan Kim
While not the most fun read in the world, Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make The Competition Irrelevant is a must-read for any aspiring entrepreneur or business marketer. Covering the simple, yet deep theory surrounding what Kim calls the "Blue Ocean Strategy", this book speaks in depth about the key factors that create a successful profitable business from the view of average clicks per day, average purchases per month, and average annual salary. Kim's book discusses the complicated world of finding a niche "sweet-spot" specific enough to make money, but not so specific that an entrepreneur limits their target market to the same 20 people.
If you know someone who is trying to start their own business and is still trying to figure out where to start, this book has the potential to be an absolutely transformational gift for them!
6. The Unlimited Mind - Zoe McKey
The author of titles such as The Minimalist Budget and Rewire Your Habits; Zoe McKey's newest book, The Unlimited Mind is a fantastic narrative on the importance of a disciplined mind. It teaches you key tricks that are used by some of the most successful people in the world in order to help you develop your mindset and conquer your intelligence.
Whether you're buying for a small business owner, a student, or anything in between, this book has something in it that applies to them!
7. Never Split The Difference - Chris Voss
In this book, author Chris Voss delves deep inside of his experiences as the FBI's lead kidnapping negotiator to help you on your way to developing fantastic negotiation and persuasion skills. Never Split The Difference isn't just about maneuvering negotiation tactics, or ways to overcome your adversary in a battle of wits. Whether you are negotiating the safe return of a child, or just negotiating a raise - the principles are the same. In this book, Voss takes some of the key principles of negotiation that he's learned over the years and applies them to real-world, mundane situations that are integral to the success of any professional trying to make their mark on the world.
This would be a great gift for young adults who are just starting out in the professional world, but includes amazing tricks that are applicable to anyone in the workforce!
These two books are under the same recommendation because, while they can be read as stand-alone books, the information covered is so integral that they may as well be a two-part series. In Start With Why, Sinek dives head first into the ever-curious world of business strategy and why some people and organizations are more innovative, influential, and profitable than others. By starting a business strategy or innovation with "Why?" instead of "Who?" or "What?", the world becomes your oyster. In this book, Sinek takes the core values of some of the most influential leaders in history - people like the Wright Brothers, Steve Jobs, and Martin Luther King Jr. - and explains that, while these men had little to nothing in common, they all started their movements by asking themselves one question: "Why does the world need this to happen?"
In Find Your Why, Sinek goes even further down the rabbit hole with the idea he began in his first book. The second part of this series speaks about the methods, tasks, and ideas that help someone who has begun to ask themselves the questions that are presented in Start With Why. It takes all of the information covered in the first section and applies it to real-world examples so that you can find even more inspiration in your work and in your life - and, in turn, inspire those around you to do the same.
This set of books is a great option for anyone who is interested in becoming more intentional with their time. It can be particularly beneficial for startup business owners, entrepreneurs, people who are in leadership positions within their career, or anyone who is struggling to find their path in the business world!
9. The 5 Second Rule - Mel Robbins
Mel Robbins explains the power of "push moments" in her book, The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage. She believes that by knowing exactly how to push yourself in a way that won't burn you out is key to successfully breaking through procrastination and self-doubt. In this book, she explores the use of one simple tool that takes five seconds to transform the attitude you bring to any situation. According to Robbins, it takes just five seconds to transform the way you think about confidence, uncertainty, happiness, courage, and self-doubt so that you can start truly living your life the way you were meant to live it - full of happiness and stress-free fun.
The 5 Second Rule would be a great addition to the library of anyone who talks about feeling like they've been "stuck in a rut" recently or someone who may not be the most confident in their ability to be successful in their endeavors.
10. How To Talk To Anyone - Leil Lowndess
In this short, no-nonsense book about social interaction, you will get some great reminders of things that we all learned back in elementary school but somehow seemed to forget. While you may remember learning some of the tips found in this book, there are so many tips listed that everyone could learn something powerful from this book! Tips range from how to answer questions with information that leads to a dead end without shutting down the conversation, how to prepare yourself to meet a new person, and good tricks for adjusting your body language to fit the conversation you're having.
If you have a loved one who works in a position that communicates with others frequently, this is a great gift option for them!
11. Presence - Amy Cuddy
Amy Cuddy has inspired over ten million viewers around the world with her TED talk about "power poses." In her newest book, Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to your Biggest Challenges, she presents the intriguing research behind power poses and several more fascinating body-mind effects. Then, she goes on to teach you about how to use some simple techniques to free ourselves from the fear and anxiety felt in high-pressure moments, perform at our best no matter what the situation is, and connect with others in an empowering and inspirational way. From her excerpt: "Brilliantly researched, impassioned, and accessible, Presence is filled with stories of individuals who learned how to flourish during the stressful moments that once terrified them. Every reader will learn how to approach their biggest challenges with confidence instead of dread, and to leave them with satisfaction instead of regret."
This is a great tool to have in the arsenal of anyone who has a career that involves putting yourself out on a limb for others! Marketers, business owners, or anyone that has that big pitch coming up that could make or break their career would definitely benefit from having read this book!
12. The Conversion Code - Chris Smith
On the more technical side of things, The Conversion Code is all about refining one's ability to capture and close more internet leads than you could imagine. The greatest part of this book isn't the humor or the relatable narrative, but the extremely useful tools that Smith provides you with throughout the book. While the book itself is fairly small, it includes a state-of-the-art, extensively tested and refined sales script that successfully persuades new leads to turn into clients or customers; hard-earned tips and techniques that built the fortunes of A-list business owners and leaders; unbiased, honest advice on software, platforms, and design strategies from Smith's personal revenue-generating toolkit; and a complete list of the analytics and metrics that you should be focused on for your website, landing pages, email marketing, social media, and sales - along with the steps to take once you have those numbers!
This book's effect on a business far exceeds it's purchase price and would be an extremely valuable and meaningful gift for anyone who is starting a business or expressed anxiety towards expanding their business into the online market.
13. The One-Page Marketing Plan - Allan Dib
Another book that leans more on the technical side, The One-Page Marketing Plan is chock full of tools and tips that will help any business owner revitalize or create their marketing strategy. In this book, you will get help with topics ranging from how to get new customers all the way to the reason that "big business" style marketing could kill your business and strategies that work much better for small and medium-sized businesses. Along with the book itself, and similar to The Conversion Code, this book comes with a rigorously tested step-by-step process that builds a personalized marketing plan from the ground up - and it's only one page!
This book would be another valuable and meaningful gift for anyone who is starting a business or expressed interest in revitalizing their current business strategy.
14. The Motivation Manifesto - Brendon Burchard
Back into personal narrative books, Brendon Burchard is back at it again with one of his most popular bestsellers - The Motivation Manifesto. It is a poetically ferocious call to reclaim your personal power and start accessing the five freedoms life grants us: time freedom, emotional freedom, social freedom, financial freedom, spiritual freedom. By declaring your intent and independence, stepping into your personal power, and pushing through self-doubt and distraction, Bruchard argues that everyone can achieve their own level of Personal Freedom. As stated in the excerpt: "Recalling the revolutionist voices of the past that chose freedom over tyranny, Burchard motivates us to free ourselves from fear and take back our lives once and for all."
As stated earlier with High-Performance Habits, you can access this book on his website and only pay shipping! Simply plug in your email address and access his three most popular books - High-Performance Habits, The Motivation Manifesto, and The Millionaire Messenger - and only pay for shipping! These books are valued at $20 each, and you'd be getting each of them for only $7!
15. Do Good: Embracing Brand Citizenship to Fuel Both Purpose and Profit - Anne Bahr Thompson
Buyers today demand more than half-hearted pledges of great products and branding. In this book, you will learn how to actively link great branding strategies with a higher purpose in order to capture both the wallets and hearts of your target markets. Based on months of research with thousands of consumers, Do Goodreports on the findings of Anne Thompson and documents the changes in consumer culture, then gives you the tools necessary to adapt your business to fit the needs of these changes. By embedding social consciousness into the foundation of a company and being transparent with it's target market, a startup has the potential to become a Fortune 500 almost overnight. Packed with examples and the original data Thompson conducted, Do Good highlights the five new rules of business strategy and how to market your business to fit the needs of each one.
This book would make a great gift for business owners, CEO's, marketers, and business strategists who are looking for the most updated research on consumer behavior - or for someone whose business isn't doing as well as they could be and doesn't understand why.
16. The Dip - Seth Godin
Every new project (or job, or hobby, or relationship) starts out fun - only to suddenly get really hard, and not much fun at all. Popular business blogger and bestselling author Seth Godin proves that winners are really just the best quitters in his book, The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When To Quit (And When To Stick). He guides you through the stages that lead up to The Dip - that moment when it seems like your life went from really awesome to really hard for no apparent reason - and explains that, to be a "winner", you must seek out The Dip. Winners realize that "the bigger the barrier, the bigger the reward for getting past it." So, if you can push past The Dip and begin climbing your way back up to a time when your job, project, or relationship is really awesome again, you'll start reaping the benefits of all of that hard work.
As stated in the book summary: Whether you're buying a gift for an intern or a CEO, this fun little book will help them figure out if they're in a Dip that's worthy of their time, effort, and talents.
Romi Neustadt takes the time in her book, Get Over Your D*mn Self, to help you build a lucrative direct sales and marketing strategy in order to help create a life with more freedoms and flexibility than you ever thought imaginable. As you can probably tell from the title, this book is not for those who have a language sensitivity, but it is an extremely beneficial book that offers readers a chance at the same direct, no-BS coaching style she uses with her own clients. Filled to the brim with humor and playful call-outs, you'll be laughing at phrases like "weak sauce" and "funnel constipation" for days after reading this book, but it's so full of information that you won't have enough room in the margins to mark all of the brilliant tips and tricks she doles out in this extremely humanistic, to-the-point book that will put any business into overdrive.
This book is perfect for any young adult struggling to market themselves or their business ventures to an older generation.
One final book I have to mention is my own that came out last year by McGraw Hill. The Entrepreneurs Book of Actions: Essential Daily Exercises and Habits for Becoming Wealthier, Smarter, and More Successful will help you learn how to drive sustainable business growth by breaking bad habits―and developing good ones; managing your time and money more effectively; hiring the right people for the right job; motivating your staff to be mission-focused; and helping you create "free" time to feed your innovative side
Happy book shopping and reading.
via Inc.com https://www.inc.com/
November 30, 2017 at 01:34PM
How 5 Companies Found the Perfect Company Culture Within Their Business
A lot of companies talk about culture. However, not many truly define what it means to have an environment that makes work feel less like, well, work. Instead, that environment should be something that adds satisfaction, happiness and motivation to each workday. It should provide purpose and direction.
Developing a great company culture is easier when you know what ingredients to put together, and in what measure. It's kind of like brewing the perfect cup of coffee. You make the brew and take that first sip; and the satisfaction you experience is hard to put in words. You just know it's good.
Here are some companies that exhibit the ingredients of that perfect brew, and why:
Prezi is a presentation-software company, based in Budapest and San Francisco, which recognizes that cultures don’t always have to be about the extroverts in their ranks. In the past, numerous organizations have seemed to only praise and move outgoing people up the career ladder. Since these people may also be loud and pushy, they're seen as the ideal; they must know what they're doing, right? In reality, however, the quieter types may actually be the key to a company’s success.
Consider Prezi, which takes looking inward to a new level, due to its CEO and co-founder, Peter Arvai. Arvai refers to himself as an introvert; he's even talked about this characteristic in interviews like this one in Fortune magazine. Arvai has said that at his company, introverts are encouraged to work on their own as well as be active team members.
That doesn’t mean that the company overall is quiet and antisocial. This CEO just believes that introverts can add more to a company in terms of their creativity and imagination.
“While partying and extroversion are the norm in some startups," Arvai told Fortune, "most companies need a variety of roles within the company and different personalities that fit those roles. Some [who are extroverts] need to be around others to thrive, while others [the introverts] need to be alone, so they can focus and get their work done.
"Some startups consist of drinking and high-fiving," Arvai continued. "Others, like Prezi, have quiet rooms and meditation rooms -- small areas to provide brain space -- and even more have a mix of both.”
JavaPresse Coffee Company, a ground-coffee seller headquartered in Cheyenne, Wy., has leveraged its strengths, including product functionality. According to the company’s website, its culture springs from its pride in its patent-pending burr grinder and its emphasis on the customer experience, which prompted the founding of JavaPresse's specialty coffee club.
The organization is internally unified by a common mission to help customers experience consistent happiness. As company founder Raj Jana noted in an interview with Inc. magazine: “I think, more than anything, our mission statement has united our team to deliver messages, products and designs with an air of consistency. Our core values are built around a desire to help customers stay grounded; and the energy we put out to achieve our mission returns itself tenfold, with the right customers, who are passionate and excited to be a part of our family."
SquareSpace, a website-development platform, was named by Crain's New York Business as one of the best places to work in New York City. Behind the scenes, it's Squarespace's company culture that accounts for that "best place to work" award. And that culture? Its base elements include free movement and communication between staff and executives, features also described in a feature story by Entrepreneur.
Related: Five Ways To Improve Company Culture
While this openness tends to be a standard feature of startups, something happens when those companies grow; the openness often is lost. However, Squarespace has worked to continue this freedom as part of its culture, by purposely not adding layers of management, and ensuring that all employees have a say.
In the Entrepreneur interview, the company’s CEO, Anthony Casalena, noted that the challenge was to get all 500 employees on the same page in terms of thinking and believing. That’s why the culture focuses so heavily on communication, he said. According to Casalena: "You have to do a lot of work to communicate what we're going for, what 'good' looks like, what 'bad' looks like, what the values look like."
According to the Crain’s article, the result is confidence, motivation and ownership, all of which define the Squarespace culture.
LEGO, the imaginative play-and-build platform company headquartered in Denmark, with offices and locations worldwide, has a fun company culture evidenced by what it makes -- and the new products its employees dream up. At LEGO, a continuous focus on wonder and imaginative play help make up company’s culture, according to an interview with Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, LEGO CEO, available on YouTube.
In order to have creative, happy and satisfied employees, the CEO said, he knew that the company had to build a work environment around the same values it was building into its products for the children and parents that are its customers. This has included setting up what is more like a studio and play space than your typical office format. WIthin this space, children often visit and interact with the team during tours and product testing.
Interestingly, there are no manuals or rule books at LEGO to frame what employees do; and the attitude behind that encourages a freer-thinking environment than that of traditional stuffy cultures. Such stuffiness might stifle the innovation LEGO wants.
Headquartered in Kent, Wash., REI is an outdoor lifestyle company, which, like the other companies described here, combines its brand and cultural values.
REI's culture is about social consciousness and the need to take care of the environment. The company models this characteristic by caring for its customers and employees, equipping them with what they require while making it easy for them to be environmentally sensitive in their jobs.
This ownership goes well beyond just words on a page. In fact, REI is a retail cooperative whose employees own the company. As Jerry Stritzke, the CEO since 2013, explained in an article for The Atlantic. “There’s a real sense of community that’s phenomenally important. I would say it’s a compelling competitive advantage; and, as we look to the future, I think that the idea of having a community organized around a shared passion -- in this case a love of a life lived outside -- is really important.”
In this context, employees are rewarded for outdoor-adventure product ideas. An example is the idea someone suggested, of sending out people to repair recently purchased REI gear so the gear can still be used -- rather than have the company encourage customers to buy brand new merchandise.
In this spirit, given REI's "shared passion" culture, the company holds town hall meetings to get employees comfortable with the idea that they have a say in everything, that their ideas drive change. Theirs is a culture of immersion -- whatever belongs to the company also belongs to the employees.
The recipe for an exceptional culture
The perfect company culture is not about ping pong tables, extra days off and the freedom to telecommute. Instead,it's one where on-site and off-site employees enjoy the same benefits. Other attributes might include an emphasis on workplace equality and fairness, ownership and trust, openness and appreciation.
The perfect culture looks and sounds great on paper, but it also looms large in employees' real-life experience because it emphasizes admirable core values. Finally, the perfect culture is one where leadership leads by example and where employees emulate that lead. In short, "culture" permeates everything.
via Entrepreneur: Latest Articles http://ift.tt/1V7CpeP
November 30, 2017 at 01:33PM
Why Some Employees Don't Like Having Freedom at Work
Many leaders are, by nature, entrepreneurial. But that doesn’t mean the workers they manage share a drive to think for themselves and solve problems. Some tasks simply don’t have room for it.
Some types of work require problem-solving and risk-taking, while more rote, structured jobs have less room for creativity. For workers in the first camp, having the freedom to dream up and experiment with new ideas is crucial to getting their jobs done. But those who aren’t responsible for creative solutions might be frustrated or confused when given autonomy.
A study published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior concluded that empowering workers -- letting them work without monitoring, asking for input and giving them a role in decision-making -- does not always translate to job satisfaction, skill-building and productivity. In some cases, employees may feel uncertain about how to proceed or even resent leaders who empower them.
Researchers from the University of Exeter Business School, Alliance Manchester Business School and Curtin Business School conducted the study. They examined the performance of 8,500 workers from 105 companies around the world in a range of industries and found that employees responsible for routine tasks do not respond well when presented with autonomy by their boss. Instead, many suspect a boss is dumping his or her own higher-level responsibilities, such as decision-making, on them. In turn, these frustrated workers are less productive day to day.
Conversely, empowerment encourages those responsible for more creative tasks to work harder, help others and be proactive.
What’s more important than granting everyone the independence to manage themselves is trust-building between bosses and employees, the researchers note. Sometimes, empowering a creative worker can backfire if a boss tries to have it both ways, saying they’ll let the worker make their own decisions but not giving them the authority to actually do so -- or not being there for employees when they inevitably want to discuss ideas from time to time.
Meanwhile, workers have to prove to their bosses that they can function productively without close monitoring.
“Workers have got to feel that their boss supports them to take risks when empowering leadership is being used,” says Allan Lee, a senior lecturer at the University of Exeter Business School who led the research, in a summary of the findings. “But bosses are also vulnerable when they manage people in this way. People could take advantage of the trust put in them. Trust is a powerful factor in how effective empowering leadership can be.”
Lee and his fellow researchers also made a counterintuitive conclusion about whether managers should give new hires more freedom: It turns out people who are new on the job both respond and perform better when empowered at work, compared to employees who have been on board longer. Even though they don’t know the ropes as well, they may be less cynical and more willing to experiment, the researchers note.
Related video: Do You Have the 7 Qualities of a Great Leader?
via Entrepreneur: Latest Articles http://ift.tt/1V7CpeP
November 30, 2017 at 01:33PM
Tension in the Workplace Can Be a Good Thing. Here's How to Use It to Motivate Your Team
Peak performance cultures maintain a felt sense of creative tension. Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline, says creative tension is the "gap between vision and current reality. It is a source of energy. If there were no gap, there would be no need for any action to move towards the vision."
Creative tension can create better ideas and outcomes. This tension causes focus and a deep-seated desire to resolve the tension thus catalyzing heightened activity and maximum production. You can feel the sense of excitement and even anxiousness.
Too little creative tension causes the organization to feel flat, compliant, and lethargic. Too much creative tension can take a sense of anxiousness to a point of anxiety.
Peak performance leaders pay close attention to the amount of creative tension being experienced by their people and they know how to increase or decrease this tension as appropriate.
There are three essential building blocks of creative tension. To establish and maintain creative tension there must be agreement on the following:
1. Current reality.
Your people must have a collective understanding of the way things are today. They need to be brutally honest and recognize the absolute truth about their current situation. Shared understanding of "what is" generates a sense of authenticity and credibility.
2. Desired future.
Your people must have a shared vision that moves and inspires them. The vision must be articulated in such a way that people are motivated to do whatever it takes to realize it. The vision is less about employees or the company.
A powerful vision is about the world and the opportunity to help cause this great world you desire. You will need to decide what needs to change about the current reality to achieve this vision.
3. What's at stake.
In addition, and critical to the establishment of healthy creative tension, people must be convinced that something important to them is at stake if they don't resolve this gap. Your people must have a shared and felt sense of consequence should they not rally and achieve this vision as well as a clear understanding of the benefits of moving ahead.
Creative tension exists when the people of your company sense a gap between their current reality and their articulated vision.The gap created calls forth action.The benefits of establishing and maintaining appropriate amounts of creative tension are:
Have you ever woken up at night plagued by thoughts of unfinished tasks at work or around the house? Perhaps you've had a nagging feeling after an argument with a significant other or a colleague about things you should have said and you keep replaying the discussion in your head.
Your response to these loose ends is known as the Zeigarnik effect, named after Bluma Zeigarnik, a Russian psychologist and a member of the Berlin School of experimental psychology. Zeigarnik discovered that people remain unusually focused on aspects of their life that are incomplete. And they hold this heightened focus until the act is complete. This focus can help increase productivity and push you toward that desired future.
Increased ingenuity and innovation.
The desire to eliminate the gap and resolve the creative tension drives the people into a 'whatever it takes' mentality thus rendering them more open to new ideas and non-linear thinking.
My consulting firm manages creative tension through complete transparency. Everyone in the company knows what and why things are happening. We acknowledge shortcomings and celebrate successes. Our leadership team has weekly meetings with senior team members, informal feedback delivery during one-on-one meetings, and monthly discussions with the larger employee population so our staff has a full sense of how we are doing and what is required and expected to get us to our collective desired future.
Every employee, no matter their seniority, understands how their contributions and actions directly impact our ability to achieve our mission. This two-way dialogue and transparency helps our team stay focused and motivated.
Walk through the halls of your company and take the temperature of the creative tension. Is it too much? Too little? Just right?
Engage with people to see the degree of agreement they share in describing the current and desired future and what's at stake if they don't succeed. Through conversation, do what you need to in order to establish and maintain optimal creative tension.
via Inc.com https://www.inc.com/
November 30, 2017 at 01:27PM
Trump has used some bizarre words and phrases that left people scratching their heads here are 8 of the worst
Trump has used some bizarre words and phrases that left people scratching their heads — here are 8 of the worst
President Donald Trump's distinctive style of rhetoric has been the subject of scrutiny since the moment he launched his presidential campaign.
Trump's words provoke a range of emotions, from pride to anger and fear. But in many cases, the prevailing response is simply confusion.
Here are some of the most head-scratching words and phrases Trump has used since 2015.
'Big-league'Mark Wallheiser/Getty Imges
Perhaps the most distinctive of all of Trump's turns of phrase is "big-league."
He makes frequent use of the phrase in his improvised speeches at rallies, and for more than a year, prompted hysteria on social media over whether he was actually saying "bigly."
As linguist Ben Zimmer noted last year, "big league" is usually used as an adjective, so it was a bit strange to hear Trump use it as an adverb, like when he said he would "cut taxes big-league."
Trump put the confusion to bed in 2016 when he confirmed he was indeed saying "big-league."
Among all the words Trump has brought into the English lexicon, it's hard to find one more bizarre than "covfefe."
It first appeared in a late-night tweet Trump posted in May that read simply, "Despite the constant negative press covfefe."
Most observers assumed the word was a typo and that the tweet would be taken down, but it inexplicably stayed up until 6 a.m. the next day, giving online jokesters endless opportunities to speculate about its meaning.
Seemingly clued into the joke, Trump tweeted the next morning, "Who can figure out the true meaning of 'covfefe' ??? Enjoy!"
Press secretary Sean Spicer added to the confusion when a reporter asked him about the tweet, saying with a straight face, "I think the president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant."
'The cyber'Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Trump raised some more eyebrows in 2016 when he made repeated references to "the cyber" at a presidential debate.
Prompted by moderator Lester Holt to discuss cyberwarfare and foreign hacking, Trump gave an extended riff that included the following gems:
"As far as the cyber, I agree to parts of what Secretary Clinton said."
"So we had to get very, very tough on cyber and cyberwarfare."
"The security aspect of cyber is very, very tough."
"We have so many things that we have to do better, Lester. And certainly cyber is one of them."
His perplexing use of the term cyber led The New York Daily News to call the English language "the true loser of the presidential debate."
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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November 30, 2017 at 01:24PM
How 1 Founder Launched an Apparel Company Outside Her Comfort Zone--And Succeeded
Starting a venture has its challenges. For Jess Garbarino, founder and CEO of Brunswick Park, a line of performance apparel tailored for entrepreneurs, it was starting an apparel company as a fashion industry outsider.
Before starting Brunswick Park, Garbarino worked in technology public relations. Her idea of creating stylish outerwear that could be worn from morning to night raised more than $80,000 on Kickstarter and launched her into the world of textiles and manufacturing. Garbarino shares with us the challenges as well as the rewards of that kind of entrepreneurial journey:
Project Entrepreneur: What inspired you to start your business?
Garbarino: Short answer: my closet. I was working at a high-tech PR firm with no lack of exceptionally dressed individuals, [and] yet over the backs of each of their chairs, there was always some kind of sweatshirt, performance fleece or [other] outerwear.
We all layered ourselves in these products because frankly, they [were] the best fabrics for all-day wearability. [However], they looked so unprofessional. I decided it was time to create something that answered both needs [for wearability and professional style].
What's been the biggest challenge you've faced so far?
The biggest challenge [I've] faced is that I came into this business as a complete outsider to the apparel industry. I had to self-educate on everything from textiles to pattern making, to supply chain and digital marketing.
The most challenging part of this process was having the patience to do things the right way while still feeling like I was making progress. In the end, I feel I gave myself an MBA before I even launched.
What's been the greatest reward?
I can't put into words how amazing I feel when I see a happy customer, especially if I see them out "in the wild." I've been known to shoulder tap Brunswick Park customers in line at coffee, out to dinner or in meetings to ask them how they like their jacket.
I get equally as excited when I see social media posts or receive reviews. This sounds cliché, but I poured my heart and soul into every detail [of] each of our pieces, so to see someone else appreciate that is the most gratifying feeling.
What is the biggest thing you'd like to see changed in your industry, and how are you working toward making that change happen?
The apparel industry is very inaccessible and fragmented. Since so much of our manufacturing and production process has moved overseas, there's a lack of visibility into how you can actually become a creator yourself and the work that people put in to making a great product.
I try to be incredibly transparent about every step of the Brunswick Park process so others can learn from my experience. I went down a lot of rabbit holes, visited a lot of factories, walked through the garment district with literally no idea what I was looking for; I was even laughed at when asking a question at a fabric show. I want others to feel welcome and not ostracized.
Who or what motivates you to keep going, even when things get tough?
Every entrepreneur and business owner has bad days and even bad weeks, but all it takes is one positive interaction with a customer, and I'm back on my feet. I also have the added advantage that my husband is [also] an entrepreneur, so we've seen a lot of ups and downs with our businesses -- when one of us is down we call it "the struggle" (based on this article from Ben Horowitz, co-founder and general partner of Andreessen Horowitz), and we pull each other up and out of "the struggle."
What's one piece of advice you'd give to another entrepreneur just starting out?
Accept that you will fail, and make sure you have a support system in place for when you do. The thing that surprised me the most about starting my own business was how isolating the process can be.
When you have one goal and the odds are stacked so high against you, you need to set the expectation with your family and friends that this is going to be the priority in your life. If you set that expectation and you've surrounded yourself with the right people, you will have the support system necessary to power through the dark days and celebrate your wins. Without my family and friends supporting me, I can honestly say Brunswick Park would not exist.
This article originally appeared on the Project Entrepreneur website and has been condensed for clarity.
via Inc.com https://www.inc.com/
November 30, 2017 at 01:13PM
From Uber to Amazon, Companies Try to Beat You: 6 Steps to Better Prices
The dance is old as commerce. But big data technology has given an advantage to sellers. They can follow data about you and your activities and use a technique called price discrimination to increase prices when they think you won't balk. Prices can vary by many factors: where you live, financial profiles on you, prior purchases, when and where you place an order, browsing history, and much more.
It's also easier to do online because companies don't display one price that everyone sees. Amazon has used price discrimination for many years. One blogger even found through experimenting that having an Amazon Prime membership could result in overall higher prices, and that's after the annual fee.
Others have caught on. Earlier this year cam news that Uber was adopting price discrimination tactics.
This isn't illegal, but it does mean that you may be paying more for products than necessary without getting any additional benefit. You can't completely eliminate the possibility. But you can minimize its effectiveness and start keeping more money in your pocket. Here are some steps to take. No single one is guaranteed to work all the time because sellers vary in the software and techniques they use. But creating a new habit in how you buy is bound to help.
1. Make yourself invisible
Online sellers depend on services that track you everywhere on the Internet. The more information available on you, the more accurately the most sophisticated retailers can tweak prices to get to the maximum you might pay. Set your browser to clear your browsing history, eliminate tracking cookies, and block ads and some other tracking mechanisms. Use the stealth browsing mode and sign out of services like Gmail, Google, and Facebook so they can't follow. Look for browser add-ons that can reduce the amount of tracking. And look at the privacy settings of your social media accounts.
2. Use VPNs to confound algorithms
Virtual private networks create a tunnel through the Internet and can appear to come from somewhere else. Some studies have shown that where your computer appears to be can affect the prices you receive. One reportedly showed that prices for identical goods were lower in Boston than in less-populated parts of Massachusetts. Experiment with appearing to be in different locations to see where the prices come in lowest. Once you have a good price, you can log in and purchase.
3. Use multiple browsers
I regularly run multiple browsers if I'm looking to buy something significant and think that price discrimination could play a factor. I'll have one where I'm logged into some service like Amazon and another where I appear as an unidentified guest. That lets me compare prices within the same service. You can always log off the first browser and log into the second if the price is favorable.
4. Compare to other sources, online and off
Always compare prices between different sellers when possible or look for alternative services. As an example, instead of assuming that Uber is the only transportation option, look at the same trip from Lyft or others. Also, look offline as prices in general can often be the same. But because physical stores show the same display to everyone, there's less room to push prices up.
5. Consider where you stop before you go to an online store
One technique used by pricing software is to examine what site visitors went to before. Depending on the retailer's systems, a stop at a recognized discount seller can result in lower prices because you're considered price sensitive. You can use multiple browsers, as mentioned above, to test whether it makes a difference for a given seller.
6. Use comparison shopping services
There are online services that monitor prices, sometimes factoring in shipping as well, across many sellers and categories of products. Of course, levels of service enter into the equation and you need to check the reputation of online sellers and service providers. Getting a lower price at the cost of your overall satisfaction isn't a good move. But knowing relative pricing is a great way to stay ahead of the game.
via Inc.com https://www.inc.com/
November 30, 2017 at 01:13PM
Cannabis Advocates Want 'Unjust' Federal Tax Code Changed
The United States tax code offers businesses the opportunity to deduct expenses on tax returns, including items such as payroll and rent. That can significantly lower a company’s tax bill. Unless you're in the marijuana industry.
The reason why? Provision 280E in the Internal Revenue Code. It forbids businesses engaged in the “trafficking of illegal Schedule I or Schedule II substances” from deducting normal business expenses from business income.
In a new report, the policy council for the National Cannabis Industry Association wrote that the tax code “amounts to a major financial burden for legitimate cannabis businesses.”
Why the provision exists.
Medical marijuana is legal in more than half the states and recreational marijuana is legal in seven. Cannabis, however, remains illegal at the federal level. It is listed as a Schedule I drug, meaning it is dangerous and without medical benefit.
In other words, highly illegal.
This causes all manner of issues for businesses, not least making it practically impossible to get normal bank services. Banks that work across state lines won’t work with cannabis busineses for fear of running afoul of federal law. Meanwhile, politicians at the federal level continue to debate the relative merits and dangers of marijuana even as states legalize it.
The original intent of provision 280E in the tax code was to further penalize those engaged in a criminal practice. But now the provision seriously impacts legal cannabis businesses.
A 70 percent tax rate.
Without the ability to deduct business expenses, some marijuana companies face as much as a 70 percent tax rate, according to the association report. In some cases, the federal tax can exceed the net profits for a business.
The report compares two companies. One is in the marijuana industry. One is not. Both companies earn $1 million per year. The non-cannabis company would end up paying about $45,000 in taxes. The cannabis company would pay $105,000.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has said his department is reviewing changes in the code to level the playing field for all businesses, according to the report, but no action has been taken on 280E. The report argues that ending the provision would not only benefit those in the marijuana industry, but also the federal government.
Judy Xanthopoulos, a former Joint Committee on Taxation staffer, wrote for the association report. She argued that by allowing a marijuana business to deduct expenses and increase profit margins, more businesses would move into the legal marijuana industry. That would mean more tax revenue for Uncle Sam.
It also would further increase the risks – and reduce the advantages – of trying to run a black-market marijuana business, she wrote.
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November 30, 2017 at 01:11PM
This New Year's: Change The Conversation, Change Your Life
Warning: This isn't about your business, or the latest marketing strategy. No, it is about you. Especially if -- like me -- you've ever struggled with a huge goal.
Every year, on January 1st, I head out to the beach early at sunrise, and I set goals for myself in every area of my life. I set one major goal for running my business and for parenting my two young girls, and also for my marriage, my faith and my physical health. Over the course of the year, I focus intense energy and attention on achieving those goals.
An aggressive physical goal for this year.
A few years ago when my first major book was published, and after traveling on tour, shaking too many hands and sleeping too little, I ended up in the hospital, on and off, for two months. During that time I packed on extra pounds -- weight that has hung on me like a constant reminder of those terrible, dark days that followed one of the best times in my life.
Back then, I literally went from celebrating my best-seller success in a penthouse suite overlooking the Statue of Liberty to being in a hospital a few days later.
Enough was enough.
So on the first day of 2017, I set a goal for myself to lose 50 pounds before the next New Year’s Day sunrise. I'm right on track to crush this goal. This alone is gratifying, as is wearing jeans in a smaller size than when I first had my kids. Almost more satisfying than the pizza I gave up (almost, but that's not the point) is something greater that impacts the way we all feel about ourselves.
I believe in accountably as a way to achieve my goals. As part of my weight-loss journey, I joined an online weight loss group for the program I am following. The group is terrific for getting and giving daily encouragement, recipe ideas and questions about protocol, and so on.
But what I have also noticed, now that my eyes are open to it, is the incredible amount of self-hate out there. Honest. Real. Unfiltered self-hatred. Men and women actually base their self-worth on whether or not they followed the eating program that day.
And it’s not restricted to weight-loss members. I also see this same destructive behavior in all kinds of groups. There is self-hate about whether people crushed their business goals or hired the wrong person, self-hate about making the wrong relationship choice or financial decision.
I know; because I used to have these same conversations with myself. But I realized that conversation had to change before I could change. And before you can create lasting change in any area of your life, your internal conversation has to change as well.
Here's the thing: We must stop beating ourselves up or thinking about ourselves as good or bad. Negative self-talk, self-loathing, self-judgment, all are precisely the same habits of thought that caused us to gain weight, to enter/stay-in bad relationships, to go into debt, to find ourselves in bankruptcy, to (insert issue here) and so on, in the first place.
A way out.
Instead, remind yourself daily that you are an incredible person with amazing gifts, and when you want to turn on the "crush weight loss" button, you can follow your protocol for weight loss. When you want to enjoy a bite or sip of something not on protocol, you don't.
You are in control, and none of it makes you good or bad. Your self-worth does not have to be based on whether you ate a piece of chocolate. Because every single day regardless of what you eat or don't eat, you are still incredibly amazing, unstoppable, and you freaking rock!
Whether you hired the right person, aced a speech you gave last week, said yes to the person you’ve had a crush on for years, or whatever challenge was in front of you, you are undeniably remarkable and powerful. And you freaking rock!
I love you, your Creator loves you, and you've got to love yourself. Because you are incredible, driven, and in control. And you freaking rock!
You get to decide what happens next. Now go and make it happen. Because you can, and you will. And it is going to be astounding.
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November 30, 2017 at 01:11PM