Simplicity Brings You Focus

Roundup for Weeks Ending Oct 16, 23, 30

One way to protect against being overwhelmed with information is to just focus on one of the main business areas for improvement in a given week or month or even quarter. I like to divide a business organization into 4 main parts: 1) sales, marketing & branding, 2) operations, product development & customer service, 3) finance, legal, HR & IT, and 4) management & leadership. You can even go deeper in one those areas and focus on those. simple_but_not_simpler_einstein_ii

For instance, you can focus just on sales one week, marketing the next and then branding the following week. Ask yourself: which one area do I want to focus on in my company, my work-team and my circle of influence this week for improvement?

TIP: You don’t always have to focus on your weakest area. You can also focus on one of the strongest areas. One of the best strategies for businesses is to operate around its strengths. You can always make your strongest facet even stronger and maintain that edge in the marketplace.

Here we go…

Leadership and Management

Managers: When you meet your employees, how do you structure your conversation? #awayre (How Clear Communication Contributes To Successful ProjectManagement)

How often do you ask your employees for feedback? What would happen if you did it more often? (Everything you need to know about employee pulse surveys)

Why repatriated expats often make great employees. #awayre (Are Expats and ‘Repats’ the next unicorn candidates?)

Being an a-hole is NOT a good leadership strategy! #awayre (Jerks Be Warned: You’re Never Too Busy to Be Nice)

You have a business plan even when you think you don’t have it. The question is: Have you written it down? #awayre (What a Business Plan can do for You)

Sales, Marketing, and Branding

What’s the probability of closing a sale at each how_do_you_structure_conversationstage in your sales pipeline? (Sales Pipeline Stages and Probability Percentages)

Is your customers’ perception of your company consistent across social media channels? (The Importance of Brand Consistency on SocialMedia)

Are your customers receiving conflicting messages about your company from different channels? (How to Deliver A Seamless Customer Experience Across Digital Channels)

Test: Do you think it’s important to *engage* your prospective customers? (How To Create Brand Loyalty With Your Small Business Customers)

Comprehensive yet un-fluffy (it’s a word now!) (The Ultimate Guide to Building Your PersonalBrand: The step-by-step playbook)

Does your branding drive your operations and your culture or is it only a marketing-brochure deep? #awayre (The best branding comes when you align what you SAY with what you DO)

Innovation, Operations, and Customer Service

Would your customers engage with your company more if they thought it was fun? (Optimizing Customer Retention Through Gamification)

Legal, Finance, Insurance, Taxes, HR, IT

We are nearing the end of 2016. Is it time to start getting your financial house in order? (Financial yearend: the ultimate survival guide)


It’s not just a theory, by the way. It’s common sense and oh so true. “…while people buy quarter-inch drills, what they actually want are quarter-inch holes.” Also, this is not just you_have_a_business_plantrue in strategy but also in sales and marketing.  (The question about ‘grand strategy’ that made Tim Cook unhappy on Apple’s earnings call was based on a Harvard professor’s theory that is uncomfortable reading for Apple)

Ever wonder how Pokemon Go makes money? #awayre (Revealed: Secret Strategies of World’s Most Lucrative Apps)

But… you can always have ONE flagship product and then create variants of it. (How Malcolm Gladwell and spaghetti sauce helped me build a company)

Productivity and Mindfulness

How do you *feel* when you procrastinate? (How to Stop Procrastination and Accomplish Your Daily Goals)

I say they are more relevant now than ever. #awayre (Are the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Still Relevant?)

TIP: Just because you detest office politics doesn’t mean others won’t be political with you. #awayre (Winning in Office Politics: Lessons from Game of Thrones)

Ask yourself: How can I be relaxed while in control? (How to control your business vs. having it control you)

ONE WAY to get different results is to change your habits. (Transform Your Habits)

‘Till next time,


Is your business built around your people’s strengths? You can find out here by taking Business Health Check AQ. It’s free and comes with a strategy guide to help you leverage your people’s strengths and compensate for their weaknesses.

Copyright 2016 Bhavesh Naik and Awayre, LLC. All rights reserved. Articles referred from this site are the properties of their original authors.


You Bring Meaning to It

Weekly Roundup Weeks Ending 9.4.2016 and 9.11.2016

“Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it.” ~ Joseph Campbell

What’s the common theme in everything that shows up in your life? This may not be very obvious to you at first glance, but when you think about it, you will realize that, of course, it’s you. You are the one who gives meaning, if there is to be any, to everything that shows you_bring_meaning_to_lifeup in your life. You are the main character in the story that’s you and your life. And that story, your life experiences tied in a thread, gives you a perspective. That’s why, the meaning that you and your team give to the data and the information that’s there for you to process is extremely important. In fact, that – the meaning you have for the information you review – is the only thing that matters to you.

I suggest that you pick only one piece of information that’s relevant to you from the following articles and see where and how it could be applied to your business, your work or your life. Let the rest go by the wayside for now; it will be here on this blog if you need to come back and review later.

Branding, Marketing, and Sales

Never before in the known history was it easier to control how people perceive you. But, it’s also easier than ever for others to define you. Who is winning the war for your personal brand – you or them? (Nobody Can Define Who You Are)

My takeaway: Don’t trade your “humanness” – fun, creativity and independence in this case – for obsessive analytics and performance measures.  (4 Branding Lessons from Asking MailChimp Anything)

“Stories make us experience information, as opposed to just consuming it.” (Why storytelling is essential to effective communication)

Leadership and Management

Idea: The reason why managers become the bottlenecks in an organization is because they really don’t know what they are supposed to be doing as a manager! Agree or Disagree? (Are Your Managers Bottlenecks in Your Improvement Process?)

Our smartphones offer a terrific opportunity to minimize extraneous in-person communication. But it also means that we need to get the most out of those communications when they do happen. How would you make in-person conversations in your workplace more meaningful when they do happen? (Do face-to-face meetings matter anymore?)

How risky is it to be fully transparent about an important decision? How do you (or do you, really?) deal with that risk? (How one founder’s $5 million risk paid off)

As you read this, ask yourself: “How can I use data, ‘big’ or small, in managing my people better?” (15 Visual Insights To Get Your Organization Ready For The Future)

Research, Development, and Customer Service

#6: Find ways to make people feel like they are dealing with human beings, not machines, even as you build a process to manage incoming work requests. (5 Best Practices for Managing Incoming Work Requests)

 HR, IT and Finance

#9: They don’t use their superior technical knowledge to impress – or intimidate – the non-techies! Instead, they impress with their ability to fully understand and appreciate their customers’ issues and challenges. (8 attributes of amazing IT managers)

Learning, Personal Development, and Self-Mastery

Don’t let others define how you set and achieve goals. (Know Your Innate Goal-Setting Style to Move Forward in Life)

One way to truly learn is to question some of our most sacred dogma: “Taleb convincingly criticizes everything from the Gaussian curve and the scientific method, to heuristics and human cognition.” (Book review: The Black Swan)

When you multiply your efforts, you work smarter, not harder. (A guide to productivity – the Multiplier Manifesto)

‘Till next time,


Is your business built around your people’s strengths? You can find out here by taking Business Health Check AQ. It’s free and comes with a strategy guide to help you leverage your people’s strengths and compensate for their weaknesses.

Copyright 2016 Bhavesh Naik and Awayre, LLC. All rights reserved. Articles referred from this site are the properties of their original authors.

How Not to Die Before Death

Roundup: Weeks Ending August 21 and August 28, 2016

I heard this somewhere a long time ago. It has remained stuck in my head the last few years. I don’t remember who said it. All I remember is that it was on one of those motivational tape programs. So my apologies tcenter_of_your_being_confucius_IIo the original author for not being able to give him the due credit.

What I had heard was this idea of “going to the grave before going to the grave.” It’s also called dying before the actual death. Death before dying is when we stop growing. And we stop growing when we take everything that everyone tells us at its face value.

This is not to disrespect the advice we receive. There is certainly value in the wisdom of others. What I am asking is to trust your innate wisdom. The main purpose – perhaps the only purpose – of listening to others is that they trigger in us that which already knows the answers to our problems and challenges.

Remember to let the ideas presented here trigger something in you, from your own innate wisdom, that you can use in solving one of your business or professional challenges.

Sales, Marketing and Branding

“Unlike text, video is able to display sentiment quickly. And it triggers people’s emotions with less ambiguity.” Compelling reasons to use video to drive sales. (How to Drive More Sales with Online Video)

#9: Assume that people always make rational decisions. (They don’t!) (8 Ways 99% of Sales Reps Screw Up Every Single Day)

(One More) TIP: Tell a story. Better yet, tell a series of stories. Always be collecting stories that get your points across. (Power corrupts but PowerPoint corrupts absolutely)

How would you change your sales team’s behaviors based on these stats? (15 Stats You Should Know to Improve Your Sales Team)

Leadership, Strategy & Organizational Culture

Sure, but first ask yourself: Do I know how to manage flexible work (and flexible workers)? (The Business Case for Flexible Working)

HR is – and should be – changing. Yay! (Trends in HR – How to Adapt & Change)

A broader issue, if you supply products, parts, components or raw materials from others, is whether they share the values you hold dear, including, of course, not condoning slavery and forced labor. (Modern Slavery – is your supply chain at risk?)

Myth #8: Apple is going the way of Microsoft. If you are old enough to remember the era of Apple vs Microsoft or Bill Gates vs. Steve Jobs, you may recall that at one point Steve Jobs conceded defeat, saying something like “Apple vs. Microsoft debate is over. Microsoft won.” That was around the time when Apple had lost the PC wars to Microsoft and Steve Jobs still had to make his comeback and relaunch the Apple we know today. In the end, Apple won, at least in terms of market capitalization. My point? History does not always repeat itself. Looking for patterns in the past events may keep us stuck in the old mindset and prevent fresh and original thinking. (Apple Is Doomed And 7 Other Myths About The Company)

Customer Service

Analytics are important but not more important than the human touch. Make sure you engage with your customers on a human level and get to know their needs before – or at least alongside – your use of analytics.(Stop Neglecting Analytics in Your Customer Engagement Strategy)

User (and client) onboarding is not a one-time event. Does your new user (and client) onboarding process go beyond the first touch? (Is Your User Onboarding Flow Too Shortsighted?) (Your User Onboarding Flow Is Too Shortsighted)

Learning and Personal Growth

Ouch!: “People with Impostor Syndrome often feel that their achievements aren’t based on merit, but sheer luck.” (Unmasking Impostor Syndrome: 7 Ways to Boost Your Confidence at Work)

Teaching soft skills – communicating and working with other humans – is even more important with generation-Y. TIP: Training does not have to be limited to a classroom. Use every on-the-job interaction you have with them as an opportunity to teach how to communicate. (Generation Y grows up: how to give today’s graduates the communication skills they need)

‘Till next time,

Is your business built around your people’s strengths? You can find out here by taking Business Health Check AQ. It’s free and comes with a strategy guide to help you leverage your people’s strengths and compensate for their weaknesses.

Copyright 2016 Bhavesh Naik and Awayre, LLC. All rights reserved. Articles referred from this site are the properties of their original authors.

Misconceived Notions Hide True Learning

Weekly Roundup Ending July 31, 2016

Myths often develop when we begin to pay too much attention to the popular business press and take their word on what’s right and what’s wrong, on what works and what does not. Buying into myths can inject dysfunction in our teams and our businesses.

Irrationaly_Held_Truths_IITwo examples of such myths are in leadership & management and in the idea of “mindfulness.”

I think that we give the art and the skill of management too much of a bad rap by believing that all managers need to be leaders. In working with over a hundred companies, I have found that nothing can be further from the truth. Businesses, small, large and all size in-between, need both management and leadership skills. A business can’t function well with just one of the two.

Another one is the idea of mindfulness. The misconception here is that it’s a “practice” that should be followed. Being mindful is simply being the consciousness or awareness that we already are. It’s not something to reach for and “practice.” When we make it a practice to follow, mindfulness becomes something that’s tedious and unpleasant. Truly being aware results in a sense of pleasant calmness that makes us clear-minded and, strangely, more productive.

To that end, the material I share is meant to get you to think out of the box more than to educate and inform. I hope that you try some of this stuff in your world and make your own judgments about what works and what doesn’t. With that…

Leadership, Management, and Recruiting

Hiring – getting the right people onboard – is the most important thing a leader and a manager ever engages in. (Hiring to win: Why it’s easier to fix a broken product than a broken team)

But first, do you know what your ideal candidate looks like? (Expert Interview with Steven Rothberg on College Recruiting)

With a caveat that a boss needs to be both a leader and a boss. A myth is developing with these “leader vs manager” articles that a boss must be a leader and not a manager. A boss needs to learn how to do both* and choose the role she is required to play in a given situation. (3 Key Traits That Differentiate You From A Boss and A Leader)

Bottomline: We love our smartphones! Leader-Managers: How can you use this trend to improve your employees’ engagement and performance? (Released: 2016 Mobile Productivity Report)

Sales, Marketing and Branding

How do you convey to your customers the amount of thought and care you put into the development of your products and services – without saying it the way everybody else does? (The age of Innocent copycats is over: welcome artisans)

I will add that the process of revitalizing a logo – the dialogue amongst people about what your message is and if the logo is a good representation of that message – is just as important as the logo you come up with. Revitalizing a company’s logo is an excellent opportunity for its people to realign around its core marketing message. (3 Undeniable Reasons You Need a New Logo – Better Than Success)

Research, Development, Innovation, and Operations

Is your marketing team disconnected from your product team? Are your marketing efforts disconnected from your product development efforts? (What Happens When You Combine Product & Marketing)

Productivity and Mindfulness

Do you live so much in your head that you forget to live? (What being crap at wood carving taught me about perfection!)

Is the mind full when one “practices” mindfulness? Hmm… (How Being Mindful Can Help You Make Better Decisions)

‘Til next time,

Is your business built around your people’s strengths? You can find out here by taking Business Health Check AQ. It’s free and comes with a strategy guide to help you leverage your people’s strengths and compensate for their weaknesses.

Copyright 2016 Bhavesh Naik and Awayre, LLC. All rights reserved. Articles referred from this site are the properties of their original authors.

Sustained Attention Breeds Deeper Learning

Weekly Roundup for Weeks Ending 7.17.2016 and 7.24.2016

Ok, we have two weeks of content to cover this time so I will keep it short. Just a reminder that what I share in these weekly roundups is a collection of articles I have shared in the preceding week (or weeks in this case) with some of my own thoughts.

Always looking for a theme in what I share, what I find in these two week’s worth of stuff is the idea of getting overwhelmed – inundated, really – with the amount of advice, content and other things tugging at more Galileo_Sun_Planets_Grapesand more of our attention. I am not into predicting the future, but I can safely say, and I think you will agree, that the amount of content we get exposed to on a daily basis will only increase, not decrease over time. So something that we all need to master is how to keep our sense of equilibrium in the midst of a deluge of information that hits us every day. To me, that tells me that it’s increasing more important that we spend more and more time with ourselves getting our priorities straight, doing what we love to do most, and ruthlessly rejecting all else. This requires that we increasing bring more and more awareness into our lives: awareness of what makes us tick, what our priorities are, and what’s most important to us.

So this week, pick out from the following resources just ONE that you can focus on, read through in entirety and perhaps commit to following up with a concrete action.

Management & Leadership

Which leadership style are you? (I came out as “Coaching.”) More importantly, is that *always* your leadership style or is it situational? (Which of These Leadership Styles is Right for You? (Decision Tree))

A myth is developing with these “leader vs manager” articles that a boss must be a leader and not a manager. A boss needs to learn how to be *both* a leader and a manager and choose the role she is required to play in a given situation. (Key Traits That Differentiate You From A Boss and A Leader)

Agree whole-human-heartedly to the idea of reinvigorating the human side of HR. But I think the effort needs to go deeper than remembering and celebrating people’s birthdays. The “human element” must be made an integral part of the management process, not an after-thought. That’s the core premise of the work we do at Awayre, LLC. (How to reinvigorate the human side of human resources)

TIP: Don’t use a workflow automation tool unless you have a manual process in place for a major portion (I recommend 70%) of the work you are trying to automate. Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement of the product but it is free up to 15 users and may be worth a trial. (How to Use Asana for Project Management: The Complete Guide)

Steve Jobs: “… who wants to work for a manager from whom they can’t learn anything?” But that learning does not have to be technical skills only; it could be management and leadership skills. Do you agree with Steve Jobs who implies that the only way to lead is by example? Watch the video and think for yourself. (Here’s a young Steve Jobs giving the best advice on hiring, success and failure)

To me, the real question isn’t how to *measure* employee engagement. It’s how you know that an employee is engaged in a one-on-one interaction with that employee. That’s how a customer will judge whether to work with a company. (The Importance of Employee Engagement)

Social media *can* be an essential tool in recruiting. (Social Media Goes to Work – Is It An Asset or Liability?)

A perspective on how to build a good team. (How to Build the Perfect Team: Q&A with Award-Winning Author & Business Coach Nancy Butler)

And, as with everyone else, create forward-looking agreements; review and change them with a consistent frequency. (Here’s How To Manage All Those Millennials Entering The Workforce)

Leadership & Management: On Team Building Activities

Ultimately, the Work itself is the best team-building activity. Ideally, team-building must be built into the normal day of working and doing business. If the existing team culture is dysfunctional, doing “team building activities” will only highlight the negatives as the difference between “the way the team is working” and “the way the team *should* be working” become starkly clear. (Step away from the Lego! Four reasons why ‘team building’ can damage teams)

Having said that, here are some activities you can try. TIP: Don’t start any of these games with, “we are going to play a game.” Instead, get their attention ([clapy hands] “hello, everyone…”, for example) and launch straight into the instructions and see what happens. (Awesome Team Building Games Your Team Won’t Hate)

Sales, Marketing and Branding

#6: Don’t innovate just your product and hope that the market will understand what you are offering. Innovate the whole packaging that includes your *marketing message* and your product or service. (5 Tips To Become The Innovator Of Your Industry)

Disclaimer: This is not a product endorsement by any means; I have not used this product for myself or for my clients. BUT, it brings to mind a class I have often taught on what a salesperson and her manager can put on their “dashboard” to get a real-time snapshot of how they are doing, both as a salesperson (the salesperson’s perspective) and as a sales team (the sales manager’s perspective). The five benchmarks in this article are similar to what I have found to be important. TIP: Keep track of these things the old fashioned way at first, with pencil and paper, before jumping in and spending time and money chasing down the rabbit-hole of automation tools! (Sales Performance Benchmarking 2016: How does your sales team stack up?)

I think feeling better is always better than feeling worse. Anxiety is a form of fear; feeling anxiety or fear does not help in selling. A sense of relaxed confidence – not arrogance or cockiness – is the best way to be in selling. If you do feel anxiety before a sales event, however, you may need to find a coping mechanism and maybe even leverage it. (Could Sales Anxiety Be Your Secret Weapon)

A periodic table of apps for sales and marketing teams! (The Most Powerful Apps For Sales And Marketing Teams)

Operations, Product Development & Customer Service

How do these lessons apply to *your* business, even if you are not in the online retail business? (3 Customer-Centric Lessons from Amazon)


Contrast “Breaking Down Barriers,” “She’s Got Your Back,” “I’m with Her,” and “Stronger Together” against “Make America Great Again.” A message is the most important piece of any consequential undertaking, whether it be a political campaign or a business organization. In my experience in working with businesses, this is one piece of strategy that does not get enough attention from business owners and they suffer dearly because of it. A political campaign is a much more terminal reminder of how important it is to have a message – a narrative – that tie all its pieces together. A failure is much more public and visible in a political campaign. It may not be so in a business where it could be dying a slow and painful death and the owners will not know why unless they looked at this crucial piece of strategy: their core message. (Has Hillary finally found her voice?)

‘Til next time,

Is your business built around your people’s strengths? You can find out here by taking Business Health Check AQ. It’s free and comes with a strategy guide to help you leverage your people’s strengths and compensate for their weaknesses.

Copyright 2016 Bhavesh Naik and Awayre, LLC. All rights reserved. Articles referred from this site are the properties of their original authors.

True Learning Happens in the Uncomfortable Unknown

Week Ending 7.10.2016

Years ago, when I was still learning how to train grown-up business people in people skills, an accomplished trainer gave me an advice. “Never make people think,” he said, “or they will hate you.” I promptly proceeded to do what I do best when people give me an advice I don’t like. I ignored him. In fact, I proceeded to design my training sessions and workshop to do exactly what he had advised me not to do – to think, and think hard. And think unconventional, If_the_Path_before_You_is_Clear_Joseph_Campbelluncomfortable thoughts. Let me tell you, I didn’t make a lot of friends and I may have lost a client or two because of my insistence on
creating scenarios in training sessions that made them feel uncomfortable. Over time, I brought into my workshops another piece of advice that this mentor of mine had given me, which was to find ways to make those sessions so engrossing that they became a form of experiential entertainment, even as they thought out of the box and did uncomfortable things.

Today, I remain a firm believer in the idea that true learning happens on the outside of our comfort zones, not inside. The thoughts that we have thought before don’t really teach us anything new at our core. The new ideas that people spoon-feed us don’t make for a transformative learning experience. They may give us some new information to add to the database of other information we have collected. But true, inside-out change does not happen when we are comfortable in our thoughts and feelings;  it happens when we are slightly uncomfortable.

In this issue of the weekly rounds up, as you digest some of the content that you may find relevant, I implore you to especially look for ideas that make you uncomfortable. Just a little bit, not a lot.

Leadership and Management

More and more of our work is what Peter Drucker called “knowledge work” with a consultative element to it. So this article may be more relevant to your work than you think… (Productivity tips for you and your consulting workforce)

True, one-on-one meetings are a cornerstone of good management. But what do you talk about when you meet with your employees one-on-one? Is your conversation about meandering trivialities and fighting fires or a part of a long-term, structural dialogue that truly engages both parties – you and her – in a meaningful way? (Cancelling One-on-One Meetings Destroys Your Productivity)

Technology has made remote working easier than ever. But we often underestimate its human aspects. (How to get “remote” right)

Sales, Marketing and Branding

Using color is important in branding. But why, oh why, is Business so blue? (Internet, Why So Blue?)

This also applies if you are an established company with little or spotty social presence. (How to Find Your Startup’s First Customers on Social Media)

Interesting angle to social media marketing. I don’t see myself doing this but you may be different – so here it goes. (Co-opertition: How To Make The Competition Your Most Leveragable Asset)

Been there, done that. I would add one more. #16: Be human, don’t get overly “professional” and scripted. Always be learning, from your mistakes, your successes, and your failures. And, most importantly, have fun! (Outbound Sales: 15 Things We Learned Quickly)

Best lessons are those that you teach yourself.As you watch these videos, just keep in mind to take none of it literally! (12 TED Talks Every Salesperson Should Watch)

If you want your salespeople to only bring you good deals and good customers, in addition to the ideas presented in this article, also develop a profile of an ideal customer and provide additional rewards to salespeople for bringing them in. (Are your salespeople closing bad deals? Here’s how to fix it!)

Legal, Insurance, Finance & Taxes (LIFT) + HR & IT

Governance, risk, and compliance: Stay out of trouble, if not jail! (25 GRC thought leaders to follow on Twitter)

How do you make sure that your IT management is not just managing IT but is a partner who helps you manage your business and your team? (What does a modern IT manager look like?)

Personal Productivity

Even a non-Excel-geek like me can pick up a tip or two. (Pimp my Excel: 10 geeky power user tools and tips)


A better question: How to run (or build) a company that frequently reevaluates its rules. (How to run a company with (almost) no rules)

Make sure you have a pretty good answer to one question before getting too deep into using any of these tools: Who are my top-3 competitors and why? (39 Competitor Analysis Tools to Crush Your Marketing Campaigns)

Thanks for reading. Wishing you a very Happy Success,


Is your business built around your people’s strengths? You can find out here by taking Business Health Check AQ. It’s free and comes with a strategy guide to help you leverage your people’s strengths and compensate for their weaknesses.

Copyright 2016 Bhavesh Naik and Awayre, LLC. All rights reserved. Articles referred from this site are the properties of their original authors.

True Learning is Not afraid of Truth

Weekly Roundup Ending 6.26.2016

One of the objectives I have in putting out this content on a daily basis is not necessarily to immediately solve a problem in your work or business with a trick or a strategy. That may or may not happen. My real intent is to get you to question the assumptions we make about things, about certain aspects of our business, our teams, our work and our people.

You may or mDecartes Quote Seeker of Truthay not be helped by the strategy or the trick that’s shared by a particular article. But you can certainly take a fresh look at an aspect of your work, your business or your people and perhaps develop some fresh insights that may make your work more effective. That may mean that sometimes we question some of the commonly accepted wisdom and assumptions behind how a business is run and how work gets done.

Recruiting is by far is the most important task that a manager can engage in, so we start with some thoughts on recruiting…


I disagree with the core premise of this article which is that “The future of HR is analytical and, well, more intelligent.” Recruiting is a very human affair and making it strictly data and intelligence driven sucks the soul out of a business. I think the future of HR is recognizing and honoring of our inherent humanness, which goes way beyond intelligence. (How Analytics are Transforming the Hiring Process)

How do you make sure that your employees are emotionally engaged, right from the get-go when you interview them? Tap into what their “pain” is, which covers all three layers of their brains mentioned in this article! And remember to make sure that you lay out what your expectations are if and when they come to work for you. Don’t ever beg or flatter; make it a business partnership. (Neuro-Recruiting: 5 Ways To Tap Directly Into The Candidate Brain And Influence Decisions  Recruiting)

Sales and Marketing

A story is an indispensable marketing tool. But a story does not always need to be told in words. Sometimes, a picture can tell stories that words can’t. Ask yourself: How can I use data visualization or infographics, even if it’s not a map, to tell my story? Pictures are also a great way to look at your business’s story from a yet another perspective. (7 Compelling Visualizations That Show The Power and Value of Maps)

Speaking of which: “…sales and marketing teams must be aligned.” Consider having a joint meeting between your sales and marketing teams frequently so they are in sync; and while at it, get them to develop a story together. (Closing the Gap: the Road to Quality Leads)

Here’s a good first step towards defining your personal brand. But don’t stop there. It’s the work of a lifetime. Bonus point: Develop your personal brand as a story! (Creative Personal Branding  – Find Your Brand in 4 Easy Steps)

Now that you have a story to tell, you might as well forget that you have one and focus on the stories that other people have to tell. If you remembered only one thing the next time you attended a networking meeting, this would be it!  (How To Open And Master The Art Of Conversation And Networking)

Leadership and Management

The problem today in management is not that there is not enough advice out there; it’s that there is too much. Judging by the number of books on sale at Amazon on the subject, there are over 100,000 theories on management and leadership. How do you pick (or create) the right one for you? Ask me the next time we meet! (70+ Free Resources For Becoming a Better Boss)

Consider this before you meet with your staff next time: “… ditch the chairs!” It could work especially well in meetings that you want to keep hyper-focused. But I think a good manager will also conduct meetings where things do get a little personal . When things get personal, we become engaged. (How to Get The Most Out Of Your Management Meetings)

Customer Service

“Focus on People, Not on Personas” and “Merge Product Development and Customer Development”: Among some nuggets of insight in this article. (Should You Listen to Your Customers’ Needs or Do They Even Know What They Really Want?)

LIFT (Legal, Insurance, Finance, Taxes), IT & HR

For the in-house IT management team, a company’s employees are its customers. So why are they not consulted for input in IT initiatives? (Why employee consultation matters with new IT projects)

Personal Productivity and Performance

There is only one reason why I have a to-do list (and I do have it), which is that it frees me up to do whatever I want to do, even if those things are not on my to-do list. But that’s me. Do you suffer from the dark side of the to-do lists? (Do Your To-Do Lists Damage Your Productivity?)

Thanks for reading. I will be back next week with more! Until then…

Wishing you a very Happy Success,

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