You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2008.

Today The Gorv points us to this.

Make sure you have time to think about it though.

Nothing happens by “accident” these days, certainly not the comment Barack Obama and David Cameron made about having no thinking time whilst “unbeknown” to them their mics were still live.

Come on BBC, the public are a lot more savvy than you think they are.  Maybe you need a little time to think about it.

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Retention. Dealing with Change. Interpersonal Skills. Self development. Empathy. Basic skills training.

Sesame Street has it all. Do you challenge your audience with so many different training styles within 60 minutes?

And all with catchy tunes.

Do you find yourself slipping into an obscure job role?  Does your opinion just seem insignificant when offered?

We often get complacent in our jobs, it is human nature after all to get your feet under the table and get comfy.

If you want to be less of a passenger and climb into the spotlight here are 10 tips to put you on the right track.

  1. Increase your visibility.  Make a concerted effort to visit others in your office.  Use the first coffee in the morning productively and take it on a tour of the office everyday.  By doing this you can see what others are working on, see where you can offer help and just simply have a chat about stuff.  It doesn’t have to be the first coffee and you don’t need an excuse to walk around.
  2. Dress the part.  Getting noticed can be as simple as adjusting the way we dress.  This can have both a negative impact and a positive one.  Think for a minute about your office.  Who is the scruffiest?  Who is the smartest?  Does it have an impact on their role and how it is perceived?  Do you go to the scruffy person for creativity and the sharp one for marketing?  More on this here.
  3. Give your reputation a kick.  Your name needs to be seen and heard.  Try to start putting your name to more stuff.  Does your company have a blog or a forum?  If so start posting regularly.  If your company is large enough to have an internal publication start offering stories for it.  Get in touch with marketing and offer some hot stories for external press releases.
  4. Step up to the plate.  If an opportunity is offered and you have the ability to get the job done then raise your hand high.
  5. Learn to learn.  The world is in information overload, if you don’t know how to do something it is now as easy as opening up a new browser window on your computer and searching for the answer.  We should all be striving to learn something new every day no matter how small or big it is.  The opportunity is there.
  6. Keep in tune with the world at large.  Know exactly what your company’s competitors are doing. Are you reading the right blogs? Do some market research. What opportunities are out there? Is there a gap that could be filled? When an opinion is asked for you may be just the person to supply the answer.
  7. Show respect of others.  If somebody is doing a good job tell them. Also mention this to people higher up the chain.  Being fair and showing you care is a great way to set an example.
  8. Be a mentor. Don’t be selfish with your own knowledge.  Sharing is a great way to be noticed. Sharing regularly with the same people may not have immediate benefits but in the long-term you will reap the rewards and so will they.
  9. Find your niche.  What are you really good at?  Find out and make yourself the expert on the subject. Become the “go to” person in the office for that particular thing.
  10. There is no try only do. Just like Yoda said in his syntax error filled Jedi speak, there is no 2nd best. It’s no good moaning to your colleagues about not being noticed unless you are prepared to work hard at your job and be the absolute best you can be.

When talking with many of our customers the answer would appear to be a resounding yes.  Employees of companies that have adopted Blackberry technology tend to feel trapped, on one hand they hate their Blackberries but on the other feel they can’t live without them.

The big question is why?

I personally see a Blackberry as a more advanced version of a pager.  They feel more like a way of the company communicating to/at you rather than a tool to help you do your job better and more efficiently.

We’ve had so many reports of people not even able to get a full nights sleep because an email or a message will come through and they can’t resist reading it and responding to it.

So how do companies make a Blackberry more attractive to its employees?  How could it be more of a useful tool?

As an employee how would you feel if instead of a Blackberry you were offered a learning device which would not only send you corporate communications but also offer you a complete multimedia training solution?  Maybe a tool that could help you perform research for that important meeting you are on your way to?  A tool that is constantly connected to the company and the world at large but also has the ability to disconnect from work out of hours and offer social entertainment?

When the iPhone was first launched in late 2007 it was just a small object of desire, a phone with entertainment and web browsing as standard.  The problem was it had limited business use.  That has changed with version 2 though and Apple are now tackling Blackberry head-on with full support for Microsoft Exchange and push emails.

Blackberries would appear to be optimised for email first, iPhone for web.  In this information hungry world surely a phone that is optimised for the internet has far greater potential as a business tool?

Now that Apple have included 3rd party application support it has opened up a whole new world of possibility for the iPhone and its users.  Apps like Salesforce Mobile, a tool for organising and referencing prospect information and data or Lion Clock, an app that lets you keep track of project billing on the go.

As a company you also have the benefit with the iPhone of rolling out training to each and every handset no matter of the end users location.  Whether it’s a video message from the CEO or a Flash-based training exercise the iPhone can handle it no problem and report back to base when the results from the training are in.

This morning over on Jay Cross’s Informal Learning blog there is a video he filmed yesterday at the Future of Media Summit ’08 featuring Robert Scoble talking about where he feels learning will be in the immediate future.  For me the interesting point he made around his baby boy growing up in the world that is always connected seemed completely logical.  The ability to research absolutely anything right now is going to be vital going forwards, not just for businesses but also for individuals and life in general.  You can watch the whole video below.

So how would you feel if your company was to give you an iPhone instead of Blackberry?  Would it inspire you, motivate you or still weigh you down?

 

In the interests of furthering our edumacation(?), today we have stumbled over a site called Teacher Tube. The site pretty much does what it says on the tin and is basically a version of YouTube for teachers.

It features an interesting array of videos that are primarily designed as classroom aids but if you dig a little deeper you’ll find top tips for software like Word and Excel.

Check it out.  You might not find that video on leadership you were looking for but you might find a video which looks at leadership from an alternative angle.

Are we enterprising enough?  Do we see an opportunity and really take advantage of the chances we are given?

I’ve just returned from spending 3 weeks in Peru, a country where you can bet if an opportunity arises somebody will come along and claim it for their own.

Making money is very difficult for the people of Peru.  In fact just simply earning a living is hard enough with the average wage being 200 Nuevo Soles per month (around £40 or $75).
This chap however earns that in ten minutes.  How?  He offers a service which ships tourists between reed islands on Lake Titicaca.  It’s optional for the tourists to get on his boat as they could just get back on the tour ship but who in their right mind would want to miss out on such a once in a lifetime trip?  He charges just 10 soles (£2), for the privilege and he can fit 20 people on his boat.  One months wage in ten minutes.

Then there are the early bird tourists who want to catch the first bus up to Machu Picchu at 5:30am.  These people have left their hotels too early to get breakfast so a couple of enterprising ladies walk up and down the queue selling breads, pastries and hot drinks.  It’s a captive market again, the success rate is about 1 in 10 and the queue is about 400 people long.  Pretty good going for a business before 6am!

Finally there are the sales people who hang around the water tower where both the Puno to Cuzco train and the return journey stop to cross and to get water.  These people who normally work in the fields know the exact time of day these trains pass through and make sure they are ready to sell their local produce and gifts to their captive audience aboard the train.

These kind of opportunities happen for a reason – without them these people could not survive.

Opportunities don’t tend to present themselves to us in the same manner, at least that is to say we often have a choice to either follow them up or let them pass us by.  Sometimes we simply let things slip because they are too much hassle to follow up.

What if the next opportunity you see has the potential to earn you a months salary in 10 minutes?  Would you let it pass you by then?

Yes I realise this video is 25 minutes long. But none the less watch it. It covers these themes; passion, commitment, persistency, contracting, win-win, going the extra mile, inter-personal skills AND above all else – it demonstrates how to give a presentation that hold an audience.

Watch the film here.

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