Meeting Nightmare Contest from Doodle

Meeting Nightmare Contest from Doodle
Laura Stack, CSP

I’ve talked before about Doodle, the great online scheduling tool. They are having a fun contest through November 12 Meeting Nightmare Contest: Tell us about your worst scheduling experience and you could win a Samsung Galaxy and other nice prizes, and I get to be a judge!

Get your submission in for your chance for great prizes.

Video: What do World Class Innovators Do?

Video: What do World Class Innovators Do?
Jim Carroll

Each year, Deloitte South Africa presents their annual “Best Companies to Work For In South Africa” survey, and coincident with that, they honour companies that show the best talent management practices. The companies are selected through a diligent process ; the entire event is built around the theme of world class HR and talent management practices.

This year, Deloitte engaged me to provide a “video keynote” that would touch upon the key themes from this years research into the best practices around talent management. The result is the video that you see below. It captures the essence of what makes for successful innovation in today’s global high velocity economy.

Should I Charge Less or Advertise More?

Should I Charge Less or Advertise More?
Jay Goltz

Many businesses these days are trying to figure out how to increase sales. Money is tight, and customers are holding on to their dollars more than ever. I just had an interesting meeting with my managers as we plan for next year.

We were discussing the picture-framing business. The entire industry is off, in part because in a rough economy buying a picture frame is not even as critical as, say, buying a sofa. It’s also true that picture-framing is considered expensive. We buy direct, do everything in-house, and run a pretty lean operation so our prices are competitive. But pricing is about perception, and some customers have told us that our frames are not cheap. One of the managers wanted to know if we could do something about that.
Continue reading

Office Productivity: Can Ambient Sound Make You More Productive?

Office Productivity: Can Ambient Sound Make You More Productive?
Laura Stack, CSP

“The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach.” — Henry Beston, writer and naturalist

“Ambient Music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting.” Brian Eno, musician

“You are one-third as productive in open-plan offices as in quiet rooms. If you have to work in space like that, carry headphones with you with a soothing ambient sound like birdsong, put them on, and your productivity goes back up to triple what it would be.” — Julian Treasure, Chair of The Sound Agency

We all know how difficult it can be to concentrate when it’s noisy.
But that begs a question: what exactly qualifies as noise? After all, what might drive me to distraction may be barely noticeable to you. And in any case, one’s ability to tolerate noise can vary according to health or mood. It’s a lot easier to ignore your cubicle mate’s snoring if you’re feeling fine and things are looking rosy. But imagine how annoying it would be if your allergies were acting up or your computer just crashed…

We’ve all been there, and we all know that distracting noises can affect our productivity. But by how much? You might be surprised…and possibly shocked. According to sound expert Julian Treasure, most people are one-third as productive in a noisy room as in a quiet one. Yikes! Assuming he’s correct, then if you normally earn the company $1,000 a day in a loud workplace, you could do $3,000 worth of business if you could work in relative silence.
Continue reading

Productivity Minute Video: How to Organize A Room

Productivity Minute Video: How to Organize A Room
Laura Stack, CSP

Increasing Productivity Video: Use Emergency Boosters to Change A Bad Mood

Increasing Productivity Video: Use Emergency Boosters to Change A Bad Mood
Laura Stack, CSP

“The Secret” from a Productivity Standpoint

“The Secret” from a Productivity Standpoint
Laura Stack, CSP

“To succeed in life you need things like talent, diligence, persistence, skills, hard work and maybe a little luck. You can achieve great things–but in order to do so you have to do a lot more than just think about them.” — Paul Sloane, author of The Innovative Leader.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave since 2006, you’ve certainly heard of The Secret. This popular philosophy, as outlined in a self-help book of the same name, purports to relate the true secret of success in all aspects of life. According to author Rhonda Byrne, it’s all about optimistic thinking and a faith in abundance; that is, a belief that the Universe will provide for you through a Law of Attraction, assuming you keep believing in whatever it is you really want.

The Secret has been widely interpreted, by supporters and critics alike, to mean that all you have to do is wish really hard for good things to happen, and they will. Naturally, this has resulted in a cynical knee-jerk reaction from those who refuse to believe in fairy tales. To be fair to Ms. Byrne, I believe that her thesis has been willfully misinterpreted by many of her readers. At its root, I think, The Secret is really a reminder of the value of positive thinking and self-belief in creating success. There’s nothing wrong with either; in fact, they’re necessary ingredients to any success.
Continue reading