Good Habits for Success

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Folks who know me, also know I can be a little eccentric, absent-minded, and sometimes in a world of my own.  Encouraging Excellence is a motto that was embraced by me to keep others positive and myself focused on the big picture of what we can accomplish if we put our minds and hearts into making a difference.  Here is an article about the daily routines of some highly accomplished people as they made their impact on the world.  You will enjoy reading about some of the weird things these famous people would do.

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/oct/05/daily-rituals-creative-minds-mason-currey

Encourage Excellence every day. Bryan

Can 80/20 thinking impact IT decisions?

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Atlanta- While attending a NetApp executive briefing today in Atlanta, I caught myself daydreaming about how senior leaders can apply the Pareto Principle, or 80/20 Rule to make important organization decisions.

Using these 5 questions as guidelines, what key decisions can help your organization become more agile?

1. Improve employee productivity by eliminating or at least reducing activities that do not touch the customer.
2. Seek ways to reduce time to market bottlenecks in the supply chain. Study your “from Quote to Cash” decision tree to reduce complexity.
3. Be relentless to improve quality. Remember to focus on speed and simplicity.
4. Be able to quickly recover from unforeseen events. Don’t wait for a disaster, predict it.
5. Apply risk management and leverage proven architectures instead of implementing “cutting edge” technology that has not had time for the production bugs to be worked out yet.

How you apply 80/20 thinking? List the activities to be addressed, stack rank them and focus on a laser on the top 20%. Knock those activities out and then re-sort the remaining items on the list.

Let me know how it goes.

Remember to encourage excellence in everyone that you interact.

For a more detailed video segment on the 80/20 principle, click here:

Click below for Forbes.com’s approach to the 80/20 concept in the business realm:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/piyankajain/2013/05/26/the-8020-rule-of-analytics-every-cmo-should-know/

The Cognitive Effects of Social Media in Small and Large Businesses

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By: Suzanne Ostrander

Neuroscientist Susan Greenfield has researched the long- term effects of social media in the context of today’s businesses. In her novel, 2121, Greenfield argues that one of the most obvious “red flags” when it comes to hiring new college graduates is their dependency on social networking sites. In essence, this generation has become emotionally stunted as a result of the hours spent online. Interestingly, Greenfield believes that the social media revolution has reconstructed the brains of this generation to resemble those with Autism.  Without any form of non-verbal communication on sites like Facebook or Twitter, expressions of body language or tone slowly become overlooked.

“The human brain is only good at what it rehearses,” Greenfield remarks. “If you’re not rehearsing interpreting voice tone and body language, then you aren’t going to become very good at it. All those skills are vitally important. Until now, they’ve been our human birthright.”

Greenfield is suggesting that non-verbal communication is something that we must continue to practice, otherwise it will be forgotten.

When it comes to social media addiction, Greenfield worries that the Facebook-generation has become so used to seeking approval through idealized, rehearsed images of themselves that they no longer have the ability to be authentic.

“I’m not saying that we should ban [social media]. They’re part of the warp and weft of 21st century life. Very few people would deny anyone just a bit of chocolate,” she laughs. “But no one would recommend a diet just of chocolate.”

With the clear benefits that social media marketing has on small and large businesses, sites like Facebook and Twitter should not be banned in the business realm.  However, many corporations are taking measures to block employee access to such sites, in an effort to focus on interpersonal skills through face-to-face conversation.

Have you noticed a difference on how the younger generation perceives and uses social media sites?  In what ways have you seen the effects of social networking hinder the productivity and overall image of a business?

For access to Emma Byrne’s article on Forbes.com, click here:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/netapp/2013/09/17/rethink-hiring-social-media/

For a video segment on Greenfield’s philosophy on the psychological effects on social media, click here:

Tablets Shown to Increase Worker Productivity

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A recent study conducted by the Forrester Research Group reveals that tablets and other mobile devices significantly improve employee productivity. Portable electronics such as the iPad, iPad mini, or Windows Tablet give workers the flexibility to seamlessly access files and continue working while commuting, traveling, or even in the comfort of their own homes.

Roughly 30% of Americans are using some type of mobile device as part of their daily work ritual, and an increasing number of corporations are starting to distribute these products to employees to ensure productivity outside of the office. American Airlines, for instance, now provides tablets to flight attendants to improve the efficiency food orders, flight updates, or any special passenger requests. Physicians often rely on portable devices to access patient records, take notes, or even write prescriptions. The Forrester Research Group has furthermore predicted that tablet usage will triple to 905 million by the year 2017.

So what’s the catch? As we all know, there are both pros and cons to most groundbreaking, innovative technologies. For starters, most of these items come installed with a multitude of applications, games, and savvy gadgets that can tempt even the most dedicated worker. Twenty minutes on a solitaire app in the morning turns into an hour or two of real estate browsing, stock checking, and Fantasy Football recruiting. The next thing you know, it’s 5 pm and you’re reading an article about employee productivity on LinkedIn.

ipads and tablets are not made for all jobs. Marketing Specialists or Sales Managers can use tablets to easily access presentations, client data, or social networks. However, positions such as Data Analysts or Software Writers require much larger systems with ample memory.

An ideal solution would require some form of compromise on behalf of the companies providing tablets to their staff. Perhaps a way to maximize employee productivity would be to restrict certain apps, games, or websites on company tablets, in an effort to eliminate the temptation to procrastinate. Company tablet usage could be limited to those tasks requiring little to moderate memory, with the understanding that functions such as data processing or spreadsheet usage should be reserved for work or home desktops.

What are your thoughts?

To access this article from Forbes.com and related information, click here:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/capitalonespark/2013/08/13/how-tablets-can-increase-workers-productivity/

A relevant youtube video on tablets:

by: Suzanne Ostrander