Category Archives: Employment

How Technology could Cause an Instant Global Awakening

Imagine technology that enabled 2 people’s brains to momentarily sync.

In in instant, both people would immediately not just know every thought and action each other has ever had. They would actually have experienced it (as far as they know).

Now, imagine that same technology scaled large enough to “sync” every single person on the planet, for 60 seconds.

Instant Global Awakening.

For geeks, think of:

  • Telepathy (aka Professor X).
  • Vulcan Mind Meld.

It’s the same thing, but instead of cool but impossible magic powers (Trust me that would be “Plan A,” but my extensive research of trying to grab the remote control using “The Force,” isn’t looking very promising at the moment.

However, we can invent… and as impossible as this idea sounds, it could be done, with immense R&D, a bottomless pit of money, and a lifetime.

Most (or all) of the people starting the project would never live to see the result, but it would give your life purpose. We’d be building heaven, but never get to go…

What about our kids?

…and theirs?

Randomly thought of that… the same effect is happening with the gradual extinction of privacy, and our ability to instantly communicate.

It’d still be faster, but then you run into:

Is it wrong to force everyone to do something once, if it means putting an end to so much pain? Who gets to make that decision?

Think.
Have Ideas.
Be Wrong.

How to Get Endorsed for Skills on LinkedIn

Getting more endorsements on LinkedIn for skills — applicable both to yourself and the types of job you seek — is an important aspect of any modern career development.
THE TABOO IS GONE:

It used to mean that if someone was active on LinkedIn = they’re looking for a job. Times have changed. Now, it is accepted that people use LinkedIn… actually it’s expected.

WHY PEOPLE USE LINKEDIN:

  • To manage their network of professional connections.
  • To share their ideas and tips with others in your field.

  • To seek advice for a professional challenge you’re facing.

  • To give advice out to others for a professional challenge that they face.

  • To expand your network (more connections = more visibility & more chances of being discovered).

  • To always be ready. Your résumé, essentially, is in a constant state of keeping up to date.

  • To connect with people that might be able to help you get the job you want.

  • To connect with people that you’re considering for recruitment.

Personally, I invest an equal amount of effort adding contacts that could potentially help me or with whom I someday may want to recruit for myself. I also help connect others to their destinations, when I can.*

* = See “Law of Reciprocation” at the end.

GET ENDORSED FOR YOUR SKILLS:

  1. Establish & maintain continuous, gradual expansion of your network of connections.
  • Endorse other people often.

  • Done.

  • LAW OF RECIPROCATION:

    If you endorse “Joe” for a skill he has, the probability that Joe will endorse you for a skill increase exponentially.

    When you do something nice to someone, they feel compelled to return the favor. This is especially true on LinkedIn, with the endorsement of skills, because to do so is extremely simple, easy, and not time-consuming.

    20140513-153924.jpg

    It All Starts With the Customer…

    I started a huge focus on “Customer Experience” about 3 years ago, when I started looking for a new career path. I foresaw “Customer Experience” becoming the main focus of modern business (and also my way of getting into the tech industry).

    I didn’t have tech industry experience, but I did have a decade of leadership experience in customer-centric environments, mostly in restaurants. In restaurants, the customer experience happens quickly, which mirrors how almost every business operates now that we live in a “connected world.”

    • A customer reads an advertisement
    • Calls on the phone
    • Visits the host stand
    • Gets walked to the table
    • Gets taken care of by the waiter
    • Drinks are made by the bar
    • Food is made by the kitchen
    • Cleanliness is maintained by the bussers

    Every single one of those separate interactions serve as “touch points” where a customer interacts with the business. So, these departments must not be managed individually, but looked at as equally important aspects of a customer’s journey.

    If you drop the ball in any of the areas, the customer experience is bad, resulting in an eventual decline of sales. In the “connected world” that we now live in, every single business now has to take this “customer experience” methodology into account:

    • An advertisement that a user clicks on
    • The look, feel, and user-friendliness of the website.
    • All social media engagement.
    • Signing up for a service or buying a product.
    • The quality of the product or service.
    • Any support that a user needs or questions they may have.
    • Any problem that may arise and how it’s dealt with.

    All of them are “touch points,” just like in a restaurant. Every single interaction that a customer has with any area of a business contributes to their overall experience. If any of these areas fail to impress the customer, sales will eventually go down.

    Online Business’s Customer Experience:

    Online Customer Experience

    Everything now runs like a restaurant, with multiple areas of specialty converging simultaneously on the customer. Businesses can no longer be managed separately in compartments. Leaders in a business must be cross-functional, look at the big picture, and take into account how each department affects one another and what impact they have on customer experience.

    Everything is a Touchpoint:

    All the Possible Touch Points of Customer Experience
    Department heads can’t just be grouped together once in a while during a staff meeting, either; There needs to be leaders who always look at the individual departments as pieces of a whole.

    This means that leaders in a “connected world” should not be extremely specialized in one function, but instead be adaptive generalists who can just as easily talk with developers, designers, engineers, customer support staff, business strategists, marketing specialists, salesmen, or executives.

    Generic Customer Experience

    More than that, they must be able to communicate the “big picture” to each department in a way that it can identify with. Leaders must inspire the big, shared vision of excellent customer experiences to every employee.

    “What we need to do is learn to work in the system, by which I mean that everybody, every team, every platform, every division, every component is there not for competitive profit or recognition, but for contribution to the system as a whole on a win-win basis.”

    – W. Edwards Deming

    The Connected World

    As society continues to evolve, due to connectivity, businesses must also evolve. This may mean changing the organizational structure or looking for leaders with a different set of skills than what has worked in the past.

    Connectivity can be good or bad. While people are waiting a long time or receiving bad service, they are equipped with smartphones and can post/ tweet/ text/ etc. their experiences in real-time to hundreds of their connections. Twice as many people talk about bad experiences than good ones, too. However, having a good experience is rewarded with repeat business and referrals.

    One thing that is becoming more apparent to those in the tech industry (as well as other industries, such as medical) is the focus on providing exceptional customer experiences. Looking at each and every touchpoint a customer has with a business as one aspect of the customer’s journey. This means breaking down the walls that separate departments and seeing the big picture.

    Medical Customer Experience:

    Medical Visit Customer Experience

    Where was “Customer Experience” a primary focus long before it became a buzzword?

    Restaurants.

    When managing a high volume restaurant, the lead manager must work together with every department, in real time, to ensure a positive experience for the customer (despite the fact that each department operates fundamentally different). A great restaurant manager must be in constant communication with all departments, despite their differences, to achieve the shared goal of excellent customer experience.

    The tech (and every) industry needs those same type of leaders: Someone who floats effortlessly from designers, developers, engineers, marketers, business strategists, and salesman. Someone who can speak the language of each department and inspire the same shared vision: excellent customer experience.

    Generic Customer Experiences - Exceptional vs Good

    If even one of the departments fail to share the vision, that customer may be lost forever to the competition. In the “connected world” that we live in today, it probably also means the loss of several other customers and tarnishing of the brand name.

    Customer Experience - Companies Can No Longer Hide in a Connected World

    Gifted Individuals Make a Significant Contribution to Innovation in Organizations

    With their creative talents, gifted individuals can make a useful contribution to innovations within organizations. Highly gifted individuals possess many more creative possibilities than the average gifted person.

    three-ring_model_of_giftedness

    To make use of their innovative ideas and to implement them, however, an effective interaction between gifted individuals and their work environment is essential.

    How do gifted individuals contribute to innovation?

    GiftedThinking

    • The gifted individual can easily identify the relationships between goals, missions, and assignments.
    • The gifted individual has the ability to focus intensely on the content.
    • Arguments based on content are key.
    • Habits, traditions and social pressure are quickly spotted. If these seem to be in conflict with the content, they are discarded as being irrelevant.
    • Thinking ‘outside of the box’ is second nature to them.
    • Switching between one’s own professional area and other disciplines is no problem at all.
    • The opinion of a formal authority does not weigh any heavier than the opinion of another party.
    • Information from others is checked against one’s own experience or against other information.
    • The gifted individual has a high degree of commitment and passion.
    • Existing protocols, structures and approaches are only followed if they seem to be effective and are well-founded.
    • A customized solution is sought for each individual situation, often when this has not been requested. ‘Standard problems’ are also approached in this way.

    Favorable environmental factors required for making use of these contributions are listed below. The favorable characteristics listed correspond strongly with the ‘task culture’ and ‘person culture,’ while the unfavorable characteristics correspond with the ‘role culture’ or ‘power culture’ from “Harrison’s typologies of organizational culture.

    Favorable and Unfavorable Organizational Characteristics for the Gifted

    Favorable organizational characteristics:

    • Flexibility.
    • Little hierarchy.
    • Few procedures (only if they are useful).
    • The development and needs of employees are of importance.
    • Room for productive conflicts.
    • Power and influence can be acquired through expertise, dedication and success (or, at most, through personality, ability and outstanding performances).

    Unfavorable organizational characteristics:

    • Procedures determine the work.
    • Power and influence are predominantly dependent upon your position.
    • The development and needs of the employee are of little importance.
    • Conflicts are often avoided.

    How can giftedness be recognized?

    The-Gifted-People-How-Explained-Cursed-Smart-Brain-.jpg.opt640x480o0,0s640x480

    If an employee arrives at your consulting room, how do you recognize the above-mentioned characteristics of giftedness?

    • Wide interest in all kinds of fields (curious and passionate).
    • Sensitive to, such as, noise at work (highly sensitive).
    • Can speak passionately about a subject that interests him or her, starts speaking more quickly, the eyes light up, makes agitated gestures (passionate).
    • Quick analyses of the work situation: ‘that’s how it works’ (highly intelligent).
    • Focussed primarily on the content of the work (highly intelligent).
    • Wants to work in his/her own way (autonomous).
    • Wants to see a lot of variety in the work (creation-directed).
    • Produces unorthodox solutions that are not generally accepted (sparkling original).

    Focus points for the problem analysis

    • Gifted individuals suffer relatively often from stress and burnout. Factors that can be of influence here are the nature of the work (sufficient challenge), the degree of autonomy and the defining of borders. Gifted employees are especially passionate and have the tendency to insufficiently specify their own limits.
    • Bullying, or other forms of aggression: because a gifted individual does not fit the requirements of the ‘average’ employee. As a result, fear/anxiety disorders may arise.
    • Depressive feelings often start at an early age. Gifted individuals can therefore more easily feel lonely and isolated.
    • Fear of failure as a result of setting the bar high and the tendency to perfectionism.
    • The gifted individual can come across as having ADHD. The combination of giftedness and ADHD is not uncommon.
    • Gifted individuals have a high sensitivity for odors and sounds.
    • They more quickly experience certain circumstances as being a hindrance.

    ENTPs Make Poor Managers but Exceptional Leaders

    I was asked on a forum “how an ENTP can be an effective manager.” My original advice:

    • Look busy.
    • Keep making the rounds.
    • Allow people to know you for your spontaneity and use it as a plus (like you could be checking up on them at any time).
    • Stay available to reach.
    • Find a great ISTJ assistant who naturally thrives on organization.

    When I try too hard to stay organized, I usually end up exhausting all of my effort into creating the organizational tool (that’s just me personally). I find that by staying in motion and in touch with every department, your natural Ne will pick up on the missing pieces. I could spend ten hours inventing a method to stay on top of everything, or I could simply walk around and allow it to happen naturally.

    ENTPs don’t make good “traditional managers,” but can still be quite effective, even in traditional corporate environments (if the structure isn’t too rigid).

    To add upon my earlier half-joking statements about “looking busy and keep making the rounds,” or my support of getting an ISTJ secretary, the true power of an ENTP manager / leader comes from their ability to delegate, empower, and encourage. It is this quality that makes for poor ENTP managers but exceptional ENTP leaders.

    ENTPs don’t want to demand stuff of others, because we hate it when it’s done to us. However, an ENTP can delegate out responsibilities by simply asking, explaining why it’s important, and making their subordinates feel empowered and trusted. This makes an ENTP manager / leader a force to be reckoned with, and soon you’ll have the staff working with you to accomplish the goals, not simply working for you out of fear of reprimand.

    Surprise me

    The staff will respect and trust you, because you respect and trust them. I know it sounds cliché, but it actually works. Employees will work HARDER for you than any other type of manager, or should I say, leader. Good luck!

    Chris Hoeller – What’s Your Story?

    To be blunt, I’m a creative genius that took a “unique” path in life. I had a kid in high school and so didn’t go to Harvard as I had planned (not that I really hold any traditional education up with high regard, anyways). I got a job at a local restaurant, simply because I needed a source of income.

    I moved up the ladder ridiculously quick. I was recruited to run a start-up restaurant, which I opened with massive success (designing every process, hiring every employee, developing managers, creating the marketing, watching the accounting). I had a falling out with the owner, as he no longer needed someone to design the systems that had already been designed (he replaced me with himself).

    I stumbled for a while as I finished a degree, not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I got a job as a marketing manager, but most of my work was truly of a strategic, behind-the-scenes nature. I innovated entire departments using creative solutions. I was able to use my cross-functional, multi-industry experience to see things from a fresh perspective.

    As I looked for work, I became reattached to my roots as a creative problem solver. I was reminded of the work I did as a child and the large-scale of impact I could have.

    I became limitless, again, but I didn’t know exactly where to fully use this potential or how to prove what I was capable of. So, I network with people I see potential in, and I post what I’m thinking about. I await for someone with means to see in me what I see in others: their true potential.

    It’s not ideal, sitting and waiting, and it’s rather frustrating, so I apply for certain jobs. But, from the bottom of my heart, I believe that my greatest potential will be noticed by someone looking at a wider portrait than merely a resume or CV. It’s how I would recruit for someone like me.