Tag Archives: Business

TEDx Talk: The happy secret to better work

One of my friends who used to live here in Santa Fe shared this with me today. Besides having good advice, Sean Achor of GoodThink Inc is highly entertaining. I have seen some pretty dry TED talks but this was really captivating. It’s been a while since I was involved in Wisdom 2.0 or the Happiness movement but it is a passion of mine and increasingly important, as I traverse the Fortune 100 world.

Social Media and E-Mail

I have found myself in this position on nearly a daily basis. Emoticons are creeping into my e-mail, as well as the occasional LOL. I’ve see it happen to others that spend time on social media nowadays. The situation is made even worse by the expectation that we use Jabber at work.

Do you think it’s wrong to use microstyle when composing e-mail? Are your rules different, depending on who the recipient is? I consciously remove any SM-isms that I may have included, if the recipient is someone I know is unwired but I do find it rather painful to have to do.

Stuff in the news 6/19/2013 – Tech

Image courtesy of Luigi Diamanti/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Luigi Diamanti/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • Helping out our friends at Village Memorial in Portland, OR. They’ve entered a contest on the NASA Tech Briefs website and we want you to know about it and vote for them, if you would, please. The concept behind their project is that pathogens stay resident on a human body after it is dead, even up to a couple of days. This, of course , can be a health hazard to survivors of a disaster or first responders. Village Memorial has developed an eco-friendly method of removing these pathogens through the use of “mycelium enzymatic digestion”, or to use layman terms, pathogen-eating fungi. Here’s their video from YouTube:
  • There will be a full blog post coming soon but I want to mention this because it’s such a great use of virtual tech. I am at my new favorite hangout, Hillside Market, this afternoon and had a very nice chat with  the owners, Trish and Pam, who was paying barista today. Also here was Fernando Aleo, owner of the now closed Epazote restaurant that used to be on Agua Fria in Santa Fe.  Turns out that one of Fernando’s projects has been to host virtual dinners between Santa Fe, NM and Chihuahua, MX. He creates the menus and has staff in both locations and they meet by Skype. Is that not cool? Definitely looking forward to his new ventures here in Santa Fe!
  • Haiku Deck is one of those apps that I’ve been meaning to try but I’m so averse to doing anything on an iPad that I have to see extremely well, like spreadsheets. Still, this article is making me reconsider, as the author is pretty honest about the shortcomings it has. May major worry is the notion that you have to upload the presentation to their server and it’s not reliable. I do have a pico projector, so I suppose I could present directly from the iPad but it’s not ideal, since I like to share my slide decks.
  • Good stuff in here: 50 Ways Your Business Can Get The Most Out of Gmail
  • ” In the future, a grandmother’s crowning achievement—the thing she never forgets to remind her grandchildren about—will be that Justin Bieber retweeted her once. The framed screenshot of the RT will become a family heirloom.” — Has The Internet Changed Our Definition Of Success?
  • Feedly rocks! The pending integration with Sprout Social will make it even better. Feedly Cloud Available to All Users Two Weeks Before Google Reader Shuts Down, Press Updates With Support
  • Four ways OS X Mavericks will save your MacBook’s battery.
    • Great. Now fix the battery life on the iPhone….

Stuff in the news 6/18/2013 – Tech

Image courtesy of Luigi Diamanti/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Luigi Diamanti/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • Cat tracking – what better use of cameras and GPS, really? Secret life of the cat: What do our feline companions get up to?
  • Be one with the storm. “Our vehicles don’t fight the hurricane; we use the hurricane to take us places,” said [Kamran] Mohseni, the W.P. Bushnell Endowed Professor in the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering and the department of electrical and computer engineering.” Disposable Drones Will Collect Data by Surfing Along with Hurricanes
  • The Vasisala Lightning Explorer site depicts 20-minute delayed strikes on a map and refreshes every 20 minutes.
  • Ushahidi co-founder, Julia Rotich, gives a TED talk on developing resilient connectivity in Africa:
  • Given that I was just stranded by United Airlines overnight in Denver and couldn’t find more than about three outlets at the gate, it’s good to know that NYC is planning to Offer Free Phone-Charging Stations in Parks
  • The U.S. Government Wants Your Input on Human Spaceflight
    • “What good is human spaceflight?This is the question being posed by the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB) on behalf of The National Academies, and they want your answers….Submissions, which have a four-page limit, should answer three guiding questions:
      1. What are the important benefits provided to the United States and other countries by human spaceflight endeavors?
      2. What are the greatest challenges to sustaining a U.S. government program in human spaceflight?
      3. What are the ramifications and what would the nation and world lose if the United States terminated NASA’s human spaceflight program?”

Stuff in the news 6/11/2013 – Tech

Image courtesy of Luigi Diamanti/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Luigi Diamanti/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

Thanks @JazMans on Twitter for pointing someone to this post. I’m about ready to block said person. My favorite lesson to EMs when teaching them about social media is, “It’s not all about you!”


Pretty strong title, even coming from me, but I have some frustration this morning that has been building for some time. This morning it kind of came to a head.

If you don’t know this, I want to be very clear… Social media marketing is not a direct marketing or push marketing platform. Done properly, social media marketing is about relationships. Connecting and engaging with your target market that results in trust and digital friendships.

I frequently get the social media newbie situations where only out of inexperience, requests are made for follows, article sharing or just plain sales pitches upon connecting. This I understand and expect, so I try to be very patient and helpful with these folks. I attempt to improve their understanding of social media so they do not damage themselves too badly, or for too long.

I also have a few folks that are not social…

View original post 380 more words

Offices With Walls And Working 9 To 5 Will Soon Be Things Of The Past

According to a new survey by the Teknion Corporation, by 2015 77% of the respondents will have more open, collaborative workspaces with less private offices in an effort to reduce their overall space. Kay Sargent, Teknion Vice President of Architecture, Design and Workplace Strategies, said “Companies rarely achieve a decrease in their overall square footage requirements solely by shifting from private offices to open, shared space. The overall square footage usually stays about the same because of the increase in collaborative or meeting areas. Open, collaborative spaces simply provide more options.”

The survey also found that many employers are offering flexible work schedules as a draw for new employees. “The number one draw according to 41% of respondents is access to flexible workplace options. Another 39% indicated that having the most leading-edge technology was the key. The shift from technology as the main consideration may result from people today being less dependent on the technology supplied by their offices as they often have better devices than those provided by their employer. Today we’re becoming a BYOT, or bring your own technology society, and companies are working to support the devices their employees are selecting,” said Sargent.”Technology is the single largest factor fueling change in the workplace today, so understanding it is essential.”
Of the companies surveyed, 89% reported that they plan to increase their investment in productivity-enabling technologies such as voice-activation technologies and sophisticated video conferencing by 2015 beyond current spending levels. “Today, the only thing we know will be constant is change,” Sargent concluded. “It’s inevitable so we need to embrace it.”

Could Apprenticeships Replace College Degrees?

Call me old-fashioned, if you will, but I already find the lack of a well-rounded education sorely lacking in the corporate world. Unless there’s an apprenticeship in critical thinking, I think this is a less than optimal educational approach.

With college costs skyrocketing and the number of jobs for new grads on the decline, it’s no wonder that students are questioning whether a degree is worth the investment. But given that the jobs of the future are projected to require some form of post-secondary education, a key question is how to provide academic knowledge and industry-specific training that will prepare students for the future. The answer might come from a throwback to the Middle Ages: apprenticeships.

Traditionally, we think of interning as the way for students to get on-the-job experience. But internships vary in quality and often aren’t paid, which means that students from low-income backgrounds are unable to take advantage of the opportunity. Apprenticeships offer a new model, combining paid on-the-job training with college or trade school classes.

The demand for apprenticeships is particularly acute in the United Kingdom, where a recent BBC survey of high schoolers revealed that two-thirds say they’d forgo attending college in favor of entering an apprenticeship. Businesses there also support the apprenticeship revival. Adrian Thomas, head of resourcing for Network Rail, a company that maintains the U.K.’s rail infrastructure told The Independent that “the investment that we make in our apprentices is driven by needing people with the right skills coming in to support our maintenance teams.” Thomas says organizing an apprenticeship program makes “both economic and safety sense,” because without the trainees, his company would be in the position of having to look outside the country for employees, or retrain workers from other industries.

Here in the United States, the Department of Labor is trying to expand apprenticeship models in high-demand fields like health care, green jobs, transportation, and information technology. One obstacle to the success of such programs is the need for students to commit to a field at a young age. It’s tough for a teenager, especially one from a low-income urban neighborhood, to sign up for a health care track if she doesn’t know whether the sight of blood will make her sick, or a computer apprenticeship if she’s never had any exposure to technology. And there’s no easy way for students to figure out which employers are accepting apprentices or get in contact with them.

That’s where tweaking the apprenticeship model to better align schools and employers could help. For example, a place like “P-Tech“, a new high school in New York City that’s the result of a partnership between IBM and the City University of New York, could prove to be a viable apprenticeship model. P-Tech students have the option of enrolling for six years of study—by graduation, they have hands-on experience, an associate’s degree in computer science, and a possible job offer from IBM.

Of course, apprenticeships require a significant time investment—the average program is four years long. But there are huge financial incentives for sticking with it: The average salary for someone who has completed an apprenticeship is $49,795—more than what some teachers with four-year degrees earn. And cash-strapped students will be attracted to the possibility of coming out of an apprenticeship without any student loans. For a generation looking for ways to gain knowledge and skills without being crippled by debt, that might make apprenticeships the way to go.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

How to Make It to Top of Your Field (Even If You’re a Woman in Science)

This is a valuable video for any woman in SciTech to watch. Joy Hirsch really does a fine job of describing a still existing glass-ceiling in the sciences. I think this is going to be a really good series overall at Big Think, so be sure to click through to the original source cited at the bottom and keep up with Meg Erickson’s articles.

How to Make It to Top of Your Field (Even If You’re a Woman in Science)

Here, Hirsch gives her advice for climbing the ranks and becoming an expert in your domain. Watch:


Hope your work day is better for you than it was for this little guy