Keep Your Best Employees: 5 Steps |

Rachel came to us with strong work ethic, experience creating organizational hierarchies, an understanding of what it takes to be operationally excellent, and perhaps most importantly, a devotion to our company’s cause: promoting client needs in a collaborative team-oriented environment.Keep Your Best Employee

I put her in a role that made the most sense to me-that is, the job that took the bulk of my time. I was the project manager on almost every project for our customers, but in order to grow the company, I realized I needed to focus on higher-level goals, and not the day-to-day grind. I had intentionally hired someone who had a different skill set, someone who’d be good at nurturing employees by implementing human resource structure (which I’m not). Isn’t that what the experts tell you to do? But I made a critical mistake. I gave her a job that fit my personality, not hers.

She was miserable. She hated the job. The project manager role was external facing and required being heavy-handed with our clients to keep projects on task and within scope.  While Rachel is great at getting employees to tow the line, she struggled with this requirement when it came to our clients.

My instinct told me she was exactly the type of employee User Insight needed to be successful based on her background, professionalism, experience, and approach to the job, but I also knew she was on the way out if things didn’t change, and change quickly.So, in the lobby of a hotel during a business trip, Rachel and I sat down over a stale cup of coffee to discuss how we might carve out a job that would entice her to stay at User Insight.

This is how I did it:   Seguir leyendo “Keep Your Best Employees: 5 Steps |”

Keep Your Best Employees: 5 Steps |

Looking to attract and retain the talent required to take your company out of start-up phase and onto the next level? Be open to change.

Rachel came to us with strong work ethic, experience creating organizational hierarchies, an understanding of what it takes to be operationally excellent, and perhaps most importantly, a devotion to our company’s cause: promoting client needs in a collaborative team-oriented environment.

I put her in a role that made the most sense to me-that is, the job that took the bulk of my time. I was the project manager on almost every project for our customers, but in order to grow the company, I realized I needed to focus on higher-level goals, and not the day-to-day grind. I had intentionally hired someone who had a different skill set, someone who’d be good at nurturing employees by implementing human resource structure (which I’m not). Isn’t that what the experts tell you to do? But I made a critical mistake. I gave her a job that fit my personality, not hers.

She was miserable. She hated the job. The project manager role was external facing and required being heavy-handed with our clients to keep projects on task and within scope.  While Rachel is great at getting employees to tow the line, she struggled with this requirement when it came to our clients.

My instinct told me she was exactly the type of employee User Insight needed to be successful based on her background, professionalism, experience, and approach to the job, but I also knew she was on the way out if things didn’t change, and change quickly.

So, in the lobby of a hotel during a business trip, Rachel and I sat down over a stale cup of coffee to discuss how we might carve out a job that would entice her to stay at User Insight.

This is how I did it…     Seguir leyendo “Keep Your Best Employees: 5 Steps |”

5 cambios en Linkedin que suponen una oportunidad para las pymes


EñUT comunicación

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Con más de 175 millones de profesionales cualificados en todo el mundo, y más de 3 millones en España, la red de networking LinkedIn está incorporando numerosos cambios que significarán nuevas oportunidades para incorporar en las estrategias de las pymes.


El reciente lanzamiento de LinkedIn Ads en castellano va a suponer que los anunciantes y usuarios podamos interactuar de manera más local. 

Oportunidad: Poder comunicarnos de manera más específica con los profesionales o las empresas que pueden mostrar mayor interés en los productos y servicios que ofrecemos,siendo más eficiente nuestra inversión en publicidad.

  Linkedin ads


Aunque no estará disponible para todas las empresas hasta el próximo año, el rediseño de las páginas de empresa permitirá mostrar de manera más visual los productos y servicios de las empresas. Hasta ahora Linkedin ha estado más enfocada al uso individual de las personas, sin embargo, la popularidad del servicio ha obligado a modificar el producto para darle más importancia a las páginas corporativas.

Oportunidad: Más presencia de marca (actualmente las páginas corporativas solo tienen un pequeño icono y varias pestañas con texto).

#3: DESARROLLO DE ALGORTIMO PARA DETERMINAR INTERESES DE LOS USUARIOS Seguir leyendo “5 cambios en Linkedin que suponen una oportunidad para las pymes”

Introducing Endorsements: Give kudos with just one click

LinkedIn announced a new feature on Monday called Endorsements that gives users a simpler way to recommend their professional connections.

Until now, the primary way to suggest a friend or coworker for a job on LinkedIn has been to go through the process of writing a formal recommendation. Now, with the Endorsement tool, you can simply click the “Endorse” button to recognize one of your connections for a particular skill or skills.

Starting today, when you look at a contact’s profile page on the social network, you’ll see a list of skills at the top of the page and be prompted to pick which ones if any you’d like to endorse. Similarly, if you scroll down to the Skills and Expertise section of their profile, you’ll have another option to endorse certain skills just by clicking a plus-sign next to each of the skills listed.

LinkedIn will notify the user by e-mail when he or she has been endorsed by someone and these endorsements will be displayed on their profile page. Users still have the option to write longer recommendations as well, but Endorsements may be more popular for more casual recommendations.

In essence, the Endorse button is really just LinkedIn’s version of Facebook’s “Like” button, but geared towards professionals. This is just the latest example of LinkedIn trying to boost engagement on the social network by taking a page from competitors like Facebook and Twitter.  Earlier this year, LinkedIn introduced a Follow button for brands, similar to Twitter, and just this month the company rolled out a Facebook-style notifications system to keep track of network updates.

Image courtesy of LinkedIn

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Introducing LinkedIn Endorsements
from LinkedIn

The Market that Needs a Market Maker

Tammy Johns
Tammy Johns is a senior vice president at ManpowerGroup, in charge of the company’s innovation and workforce solutions.

Do you wonder why there were an average of 8 million jobs posted online in the U.S. every month of last year, while 13 million people continued to search for work during the exact same months? The reason is that the U.S. — along with just about every other country — is suffering from a talent mismatch: employers cannot find individuals with the skills and capabilities they need, where and when they need them. The problem is not just one of location and timing, however. There is no mechanism that reliably signals which skills employers need so that individuals and schools can develop those skills. In other words, the relationship between supply and demand is tenuous at best. The job market simply doesn’t function the way a market should.

Experts have examined the problem from every angle and concluded that, if left unresolved, the skills mismatch will continue to eat away at U.S. competiveness. Research by the McKinsey Global Institute predictsthat by 2020, the U.S. will need to create 21 million new jobs to return to full employment but, should present trends continue, there will be 1.5 million too few college graduates to meet demand and that 5.9 million people will not have the education employers require and will therefore be unemployable. That’s why at ManpowerGroup we believe that investment ought to focus on youth, who are now entering the market and who most need training. Building their skills will help unleash their potential and start to close the widening gap. Still, while I cannot overstate the importance of training, it alone will not solve the labor market’s structural dysfunction.

How can the U.S. labor market become more efficient? Seguir leyendo “The Market that Needs a Market Maker”

The 10 Traits of Outstanding Leadership

Written by Mark Harrison |

This article is for parents, teachers, counselors, small business owners, managers, or anyone else who interacts with others and has some influence over them. If this is you – then you are a leader.

Having influence over people isn’t just about being in a formal position of authority. This is part of it, but influence works both ways: kids have influence over their parents, students over their teachers and spouses over each other.

What is meant by ‘leader’? Ask a hundred people and you’ll probably get a hundred different answers, although many of them will be able coercion or manipulation, since this is the experience many people have had with those in formal leadership roles. A parent may try to force a child to tidy his room; a team leader might try to push a member of his team to make more sales. But to manipulate and coerce is to misunderstand what leadership is about and, in the end, is counterproductive. The reality is that people cannot be coerced. In his book, Choice Theory, William Glasser makes the compelling case that, even in the most extreme situations, people cannot be forced into things, and that, even when coercive tactics appear to work, they do not produce the best or sustainable results. People might comply to some extent, but they will never be putting their heart into the task so long as they feel forced.

The real, and often misunderstood, job of a leader is simply this – to put people in a position to thrive. When people thrive – when they have a clear sense of purpose and are successful – they are using all their energy, achieving more and contributing fully. So how does a leader do this? Here are ten behaviors of outstanding leaders. See how you measure up. Seguir leyendo “The 10 Traits of Outstanding Leadership”

Is Gamification Right for Your Business? 7 Things to Consider

by 10

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

This year has lent itself to a slew of new buzzwords, andgamification is easily one of the most buzzed about in the marketing industry.

Businesses clamored this year to understand the concept of gamification and apply it to their digital and mobile products, offering badges and points galore … but how many of them actually understand the point of gamifying or if it’s even useful for their business goals?

Dustin DiTommaso, the experience design director at design studio Mad*Pow, recently spoke about designing meaningful interactions through game design thinking during his presentation at Geekend 2011, a techie conference presented by BFG Communications.

DiTommaso explained his framework for gamification and dished out seven essential steps for approaching the subject. Read on for a thorough encounter of DiTommaso’s model for creating more meaningful interactions and successful business goals, and let us know your thoughts on his method in the comments below.

1. Consider Why You Want to Gamify

Yes, gamification is a sexy word. No, it isn’t right for every business.

DiTommaso recommends that businesses looking to gamify their products or services ask themselves three critical questions before moving on:

  • What is the reason for gamifying your product or service?
  • How does it benefit the user?
  • Will they enjoy it?

If you can answer these questions with confidence, if gamification seems like a good fit for your business’ product or service and if the users enjoy it, then move on to exploring your business goals. DiTommaso recommends exploring the following three questions:

  • What are your business goals?
  • How do get the users to fulfill those business goals?
  • What actions do you want users to take?

If this exploratory phase yields positive feedback, your business is ready to move into user research.

2. Identify Your Users

It isn’t enough to understand your business goals when considering gamification — you also need to understand your users and what motivates them. Research your users before you begin designing your gamified product, focusing on how they use your software, what they want and what motivates them.

DiTommaso laid out a number of questions to help businesses achieve research-inspired design:

  • Who are your users?
  • What are their needs and goals? Why are they playing?
  • What’s holding them back from achieving their potential? Is it lack of volition (belief that completing the task at hand is valuable) or lack of faculty (ability to complete the task)?
  • What is their primary playing style (solo, competitive, cooperative)?
  • Who are they playing with?
  • What social actions do they find enjoyable, and why?
  • What metrics do they care about?

Game designers must also understand what motivates users to play their games. There are a number of motivational drivers, but DiTommaso recommends simplifying to four key factors. Decide if your users are motivated by:

  • Achievement of goals or enjoyment of experience
  • Structure and guidance or freedom to explore
  • Control of others or connecting with others
  • Self-interest in actions or social interest in actions

Knowing these details about users and their motivations will assist game designers in determining how the game should be laid out, how much autonomy to allow, what the users’ goals should be and so on. Let’s explore exactly what comes next in the designing process.

3. Frame Goals and Objectives Seguir leyendo “Is Gamification Right for Your Business? 7 Things to Consider”

Why Collaborating with Other Freelancers Can be a Great Idea

By Hilde Torbjornsen |

Being a freelancer is a great way to work for a lot of designers and creatives. To be able to give your clients the best possible package though, you may have to look at doing things a bit differently. By considering to collaborate with other freelancers, you’ll have an even better chance to offer something great, along with getting more social in a job that often is quite lonely. Here are some of the reasons why working with others can be a great idea!


Being a freelancer means a lot of responsibility on your shoulders along with many “lonely” days at work. Being specialized in one field can definitely appeal to clients if you’re good at what you do, but today the ability to be versatile becomes more and more important. Clients know what they want and with all the designers and companies in the market, they can also afford to be a bit picky.

How to collaborate with others?

This can be done in different ways and you need to have a look at your options, who you know, who are available in your area and if they’re interested. A collaboration with other freelancers can mean to share office-space with them, have “unwritten” agreements on helping each other out with things you excel at and pointing clients in the direction of others when getting enquiries that involve projects that are a bit outside your comfort area.

Picture by Oliver Tam

The collaborations can be small or big depending on what you prefer. In many cases freelancers can take on bigger projects together, dividing parts of the work between them according to their different skills. As long as you’re able to find a way of billing and time-tracking that can be dealt with in a legal and correct way, you have many options.

Here are some reasons why you should consider working alongside other freelancers to get more clients by offering what they want!

Being able to compete better with bigger companies

Picture by Martin Boulanger

As companies with several designers also have more knowledge and a broader skill-range, collaborating can help you get up to that same level. This means that as you are more people doing the project, you can offer the skills and deadlines that usually are some of the benefits clients get when choosing to work with companies over freelancers.

Offering more

A bit of the same as the first point. If you are a web designer collaborating with a freelance writer, graphic artist or photographer, you will most likely be able to offer the client a more complete package. Clients love it when they don’t have to look around for many different people to work with. If you have a deal with others you can simply tell the client that you’re able to also take the pictures for the website, design the logo and so on. Seguir leyendo “Why Collaborating with Other Freelancers Can be a Great Idea”

Build Your Future: Invest in Yourself

Photo credit: Arkady Golod

My friend (and writer of brilliant blog, Exile Lifestyle), Colin Wright, once said to me (paraphrasing), “You can never go wrong with investing in yourself – that way, everything that you learn and have can go with you. You can invest in three ways – your health, your network, and your knowledge, and all three are necessary to be successful.”

Wiser words have never been spoken.

Investing in yourself is the true way to improve yourself. If you trade your time and effort now for increased skills or knowledge, relationships, and better health, your results will multiply in the future. While we all have to do what is necessary and proper to maintain equilibrium – keep working at our jobs, for instance – we should be leveraging our spare time for self-investment instead of wasting it on things that truly don’t matter.

Taking an attitude of investing your time in yourself now will result in payoffs later. The key is to discriminate between what is investing and what is not – because more things can be considered “investing” than we think. Being social – talking to just about anyone – is investing because it improves your communication skills, extroversion, and builds relationships. And, yet, many people like being social because it’s fun. Investing doesn’t have to be boring – in fact, by pursuing what you’re interested in, you can invest in yourself very effectively.

However, no amount of intellectual or emotional investment is worth it if we don’t invest in the first pillar: health.

The Importance of Health

Your health, first and foremost, determines how effective you are. How you treat your body determines your mood, your ability to focus, and how you treat others. In short, how you feel determines how you behave – and the best way to feel great is to live a healthy lifestyle.

Here are some simple ways to invest in your health:

  • Exercise Often: Engaging in exercise makes you burn calories, lose weight, feel good, and stay mobile. It’s the catch-all for good health, in my mind. Make sure to switch things up to keep your body adapting and to make things more interesting; don’t do the same workout 5 days a week.
  • Eat well: People will tell you different things, but as long as you maximize your green vegetable and fruit intake, while minimizing processed foods, you’re eating pretty well. Buy organic produce as often as you can: the difference in things other than price – like taste and nutrition – is very noticeable. Eating smaller meals and sticking to “natural” foods like nuts, fruits, veggies, and meats is a nice rule of thumb, though you can eat some carbs as well to give you energy that lasts throughout the day.
  • Sleep well: Figure out what you need to function at your best, and make it your mission to get that much sleep every night. This is simple but the hardest change to implement, in my opinion, but the rewards are great. Don’t get cocky – your body does need sleep. Give it the rest you deserve. Seguir leyendo “Build Your Future: Invest in Yourself”

Innovation and Human Capabilities

John Steen wrote a series of  posts on why experts and crowds usually miss disruptive innovation and how to use networks to tap expertise and knowledge. I’d like to expand these thoughts a bit more towards the question: what’s the role of human capabilities in innovation? For elaboration, I’m going to combine two concepts I’ve recently come across:

In a terrific post, Nicholas M. Donofrio, Kauffman Senior Fellow and retired EVP of Innovation and Technology, IBM, comments on the need for transformation of human innovation capabilities:

“The innovation that matters now – the innovation that we’re all waiting for, even if we don’t know it – is the one that unlocks the hidden value that exists at the intersection of deep knowledge of a problem and intimate knowledge of a market, combined with your knowledge, your technology, and your capability … whoever you are, whatever you can do, whatever you bring to the table.”

“The kind of people who will be best able to seize these opportunities are those I call “T-shaped” as opposed to “I-shaped.” I-shaped people have great credentials, great educations, and deep knowledge – deep but narrow. The geniuses who win Nobel prizes are “I-shaped,” as are most of the best engineers and scientists. But the revolutionaries who have driven most recent innovation and who will drive nearly all of it in the future are “T-shaped.” That is, they have their specialties – areas of deep expertise – but on top of that they boast a solid breadth, an umbrella if you will, of wide-ranging knowledge and interests. It is the ability to work in an interdisciplinary fashion and to see how different ideas, sectors, people, and markets connect. Natural-born “T’s are perhaps rare, but I believe people can be trained to be T-shaped. One problem is that our educational system is still intent on training more “I’s. We need to change that.”

There are two consequences out of that: I-shaped experts need to transform towards T-shaped in order to thrive in the future. Moreover, companies need to align human resources and structures, so that the overall organization is able to act T-shaped. Seguir leyendo “Innovation and Human Capabilities”

Why the Old Recruiting Skills Are Dead, and Four Essential New Ones

There has never been a more challenging time to be a corporate recruiter. Hiring managers are very demanding and expect fast, personalized service by knowledgeable recruiters. Given the current unemployment rate and the perceived availability of talent, they may be unrealistic in what they expect. Nonetheless, they are the primary customer and need to be provided service at a high level. Candidates, too, are not what they used to be. The talented and highly in-demand candidates also want to be given fast, personalized service by an ethical and in-the-know recruiter.

All of this means that the skills that once defined a successful corporate recruiter are not sufficient. Indeed, those skills may even be detrimental to success.

A corporate recruiter has always had a different skill set than a recruiter working in an agency or as an independent. While agency recruiters have focused on building relationships (often in deep, vertical job families), on tapping into new sources of candidates, and on assessing candidates against a variety of criteria, the corporate recruiter has evolved three very different set of competencies over the years.

The first is the ability to facilitate hiring. These recruiters are adept at dealing with the corporate bureaucracy and legal issues. They are formidable navigators of the corporate landscape. They know every hill and valley, every bomb and sinkhole. These skills are unique to a particular company and do not transfer well. Recruiters with these competencies are most likely to have worked for the same firm for many years. Every bureaucracy has created people with these types of skills and could not function without them. The internal knowledge they have, and their ability to get things done in systems resistant to getting things done, makes them valuable, but only in that system. While this may seem as if it is practical and useful, the skills usually fail completely to help the recruiter navigate a talent-constrained marketplace, find the rare candidates, or convince them to work for the organization. Seguir leyendo “Why the Old Recruiting Skills Are Dead, and Four Essential New Ones”

Innovation Culture – We do not need a genius!


Managing people and spaces

“Managing people and caring about people is where the value is, because that is where the creativity is, where the innovation is.” – Steve Vamos

It is not easy to understand creativity and innovation without knowledge, especially since much of the innovative production processes resulted from R & D.

Without knowledge the paths of innovation are short or there is not even a starting point.

David Rock says that scientific research found four steps in the process of insight:

– Awareness of the impasse

– The time for reflection

– The moment of introspection itself

– Action.

It is our capacity for reflection that calls for a special status to have a quiet space and time to be focused.

Organizations need to lose fear to the creativity and create space and time to facilitate the combination of inspiration and the fringes of knowledge. The networks are of course facilitators of this process, but do not exempt a proper environment for the creation and direct contacts with other people.

People need not be subject to other stimuli that are often distractions.

The industrial era no longer exists and the concepts of normality are not the same. After all people still accepted as normal over- stimulation caused by the new digital revolution, like email, mobile or social networks, where the flags are a constant.

Leaders must encourage their employees to establish connections to find the deeper meaning of ideas and their purpose. Seguir leyendo “Innovation Culture – We do not need a genius!”

Prepping Candidates and Taming Hiring Managers

Photograph taken during the California rodeo, Salinas, 2006 edition Copyright © 2006 David MonniauxMost candidates — even high-level executives — need to be prepped before the interview. The reason for this is obvious: they all think they’re great interviewees. Most aren’t. Making matters worse, the hiring managers they’ll be meeting think they’re endowed with some special instinct that allows them to accurately assess candidate competency. Most aren’t.

Since I don’t like to present great candidates who get inadvertently excluded for dumb reasons, I need to prep both my hiring manager clients and my candidates to increase the likelihood the candidates are appropriately and accurately evaluated. This way I don’t have to do searches over again and rely on luck to make placements.

To be taken seriously on this point I had to write a book: Hire With Your Head. Basically it describes a process on how to get hiring managers and candidates on the same page. From the hiring manager’s perspective, it’s describing the work as a series of performance objectives required for on-the-job success. (I refer to these as performance profiles.) From the candidate’s perspective, it’s having them describe a comparable accomplishment for each performance objective. For example, let’s assume the job required the new product marketing manager to develop and launch 25 new iPad apps over the course of the next year. During the interview you’d ask the candidate to describe in detail some comparable product-marketing-related accomplishment. I suggest spending 10-15 minutes getting lots of details for each accomplishment. (Here’s my one-question interview article I wrote for ERE in 2001 on how to do this.) These performance objectives can be split among the hiring team; then, during the collective debrief, the team can rank the candidate on how well the accomplishments compare.

At least that’s the theory. In the field other things happen to mess up this plan. Seguir leyendo “Prepping Candidates and Taming Hiring Managers”

Think Piece: The Only Competency That Will Matter Is Continuous Learning

“In a chaotic world, the only competency that matters is continuous learning.”

To improve and extend your career, you need to ponder what the near future holds. While predicting the distant future is tough, looking out a few short years using recent history as your foundation isn’t nearly as difficult. The last two decades have been marked by the radical adoption of technology in nearly every aspect of conducting business. The adoption of technology has eliminated once formidable barriers to entry, brought unrivaled transparency to reality, and accelerated productivity (particularly in the areas of product development and distribution). Given all of the change you have witnessed in the last 20 years, does it really make sense that the same competencies organizations sought out three decades ago will be those most of value moving forward?

I argue NOT!

Characterizing the Last 20 Years

While the adoption of technology has certainly been a major driver of change, there are ultimately four characteristics that define the business environment of the last two decades. Those characteristics are:

  1. Continuous churn — frequent cycles of both rapid economic growth and contraction that forced organizations to acquire and shed both talent and entire businesses. Many global organizations were forced to deal with both rapid growth and contraction simultaneously, i.e. churn.
  2. Intense global competition — as barriers to entry and competition fell, every firm, even those servicing once tightly defined regional markets, was thrust into a state of unrelenting and intense global competition. In a race for differentiation, technology was leveraged to accelerate product development and innovative delivery, kicking off a never-ending battle that has shortened product development lifecycles and forced innovation throughout all business functions.
  3. Rapid obsolescence — with product lifecycles getting shorter and new ways to deliver goods and services arriving daily, information, tools, practices, products, and skills are becoming obsolete at an insane pace. In some industries the knowledge required to produce a product is obsolete by the time the product hits the market. This characteristic impacts not only individuals and organizations, but also entire industries (print publication, photographic technology, communications infrastructure, etc.)
  4. Unpredictability foils planning — all of the above characteristics combine to create the fourth: the complexity that volatility in the business environment brings to planning. For industries that make long-term investments (airlines, heavy manufacturing, materials mining, etc.) long-term planning has become largely ineffectual.

The two words that best describe our current state: continuous obsolescence. Years ago, management guru Tom Peters predicted our current state. He called it “managing under chaos.” Seguir leyendo “Think Piece: The Only Competency That Will Matter Is Continuous Learning”

How to identify competent (and incompetent) managers

By Martin Goodwill, managing director of employment testing service, Profiles International

Effective managers do more than just supervise employees: they take responsibility for ensuring that an individual succeeds, and that the team, department or business unit achieves expected results.

The most productive companies provide their managers with the information and tools they need to understand the capabilities and styles of their teams. This gives managers a solid foundation for more effective coaching relationships.

Over the years we have identified eight signs of incompetent managers: Seguir leyendo “How to identify competent (and incompetent) managers”