Tag Archives: mentoring

News You Can Use: 11/15/2017

  • I Learned a Lot About Strong Company Culture From Jeff Bezos — But There’s 1 Strategy I Won’t Copy

    Amazon’s culture is fairly cutthroat and trust does not run high. Every year employees are stack ranked and those at the bottom of the list are cut. In theory, it’s important to keep the bar for performance high and this is one of the ways Amazon does that. But, this practice pits employees against each other. Instead of working as teammates they compete as rivals. Trust is essential in building a healthy company. You need every person on the team to be willing to shift priorities and pitch in on initiatives that fall well outside their defined job role in order to make the company successful. You need a culture where people have each other’s backs. If you get the right people on board and align them all around a single vision, this will happen naturally.


  • Don’t Struggle Always to Be the ‘Smartest Person in the Room.’ Instead, Rely on a Mentor.

    Find several mentors who share your passions. When you reach out to mentors — and aim to have more than one — look for common ground according to your passion for similar challenges and objectives. Then, when you approach these individuals, emphasize these shared passions in a letter or speech to demonstrate the potential of a collaboration.

    Don’t just ask someone generically and blandly to be your mentor; you’ll risk coming across as a “social climber.” Mentors want to be aligned with those who share similar values and goals.


  • John Oliver: Economic Development (NSFW)

    Once again, I beat Mr. Oliver to the punch (Obviously I love Last Week Tonight, and just feel vindicated that we cover the same topics (and that I am a little ahead of the trend every once and a while).
  • Facebook, WeWork and others use this startup to make swag

    “People think of swag as junk but it shouldn’t be,” Swag co-founder Jeremy Parker told TechCrunch. “It could be an amazing marketing tool if it’s built right.”

    Swag.com offers products like water bottles, umbrellas, shirts, jackets, USB drives, bags and other items from brands like Patagonia, Case Logic. Once you pick the product, you upload your designs, specify how many you want printed and then wait for Swag to send you the production mockup for approval.

    Standard production time takes about 15 days while priority production takes 10 days and costs a bit more. Production doesn’t start until the customer has approved the mockup. Since Swag works directly with the manufacturer and vendor, it doesn’t have to hold any inventory.

    I really do enjoy good company swag and there is so much bad swag that I end up tossing.

  • How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You’ve Ever Met

    Behind the Facebook profile you’ve built for yourself is another one, a shadow profile, built from the inboxes and smartphones of other Facebook users. Contact information you’ve never given the network gets associated with your account, making it easier for Facebook to more completely map your social connections.

    Facebook isn’t scanning the work email of the attorney above. But it likely has her work email address on file, even if she never gave it to Facebook herself. If anyone who has the lawyer’s address in their contacts has chosen to share it with Facebook, the company can link her to anyone else who has it, such as the defense counsel in one of her cases.


Photo: Jase Ess

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News You Can Use: 11/30/2016


  • President Trump: Procurement, Supply Chain and Policy Perspectives

    Yet the pragmatist in me — and Trump is a pragmatist at heart — says we won’t rock the trade boat as much as some of the rhetoric in the campaign, and as much as DiMicco is likely to use his potential voice in a Trump administration to advocate for the laborer on the shop floor and domestic manufacturers alike, there are limits to how far Trump will go. Moreover, if China crashes, so too will commodity prices, which is not good for domestic producers.


  • Reconsidering Work-Life Balance in an Ever-Changing Workplace

    Increasing social interaction within the workplace is something else that can dramatically increase social well-being. For your company, this is best accomplished by creating social settings where employees get to know one other, independent of achieving a business objective. In fact, creating modern versions of coffee stations and watercooler-like opportunities and encouraging coworkers to eat lunch together can improve workplace morale and productivity by 25 percent, according to Ben Waber, CEO of management consulting firm Sociometric Solutions.


  • Bot-Proof Your Career

    To set ourselves apart in the Bot Era, we will need to be creative. Creativity enables us to harness the power of a tool to help do our jobs better and more efficiently. Bots can’t work without human creativity leading the way. I recommend starting with reading everything you can about AI and look to other industries for inspiration – the most creative ideas will not be born in the HR space. Some of the best recruiters and sourcers I know are what I call “tinkerers;” they don’t wait for executives to roll out the next big technology. Instead, they regularly find small, inexpensive (or even free) ways to innovate. I would start with asking yourself, “How can I leverage bots to do the things that are bogging me down?”


  • Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize the supply chain

    The public availability of the ledger would make it possible to trace back every product to the very origin of the raw material used. The decentralized structure of the ledger would make it impossible for any one party to hold ownership of the ledger and manipulate the data to their own advantage. And the cryptography-based and immutable nature of the transactions would make it nearly impossible to compromise the ledger. Some experts already believe that the blockchain is unhackable.


  • Mentorship and the art of the cold email

    Minshew echoes Wessel’s advice, but says she doesn’t just seek out multiple mentors for specific issues, she specifically looks for people who were recently wrangling with her particular dilemma. “When I look back to the people that were most helpful to me in the early days of The Muse, a lot of them were six months to two years ahead.” Her roster of confidantes isn’t filled with big-name executives, she says, but entrepreneurs who have just hired their first CMO, or recently scaled from 30 to 100 employees.


  • Zuckerberg says fake news on Facebook didn’t tilt the elections

    “Personally I think the idea that fake news on Facebook, which is a very small amount of the content, influenced the election in any way — I think is a pretty crazy idea. Voters make decisions based on their lived experience,” Zuckerberg said in an interview at the Techonomy 2016 conference in Half Moon Bay, California.

    Facebook provided a safe place for the disinformation that fueled Trumps Rise

    While genuine political arguments do happen among friends on Facebook, the company’s “personalized news front page” is not designed to foster meaningful discussions. On the contrary: The stories surfaced there are based on the interests of like-minded friends. Facebook believes, and has from the start, that agreement and harmony make for better engagement than argument and disharmony. That’s why there’s never been a “thumbs down” button on Facebook, and the reason that adding the “angry face” emoji was such a tough internal decision for the company.



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News You Can Use: 8/19/2015


  • Defusing The Internet Of Things Time Bomb

    Perhaps the most concerning issue is the ticking time bomb of sustainability, or ensuring IoT devices remain secure long-term, throughout their entire life cycle. New paradigms are present here — who would have previously considered software upgrades for garage door openers or washing machines that might impact security or privacy?


  • Three Ways Procurement Can Gain Millennial Appeal

    Millennials make data-based decisions every day, whether it’s using Yelp reviews to pick a restaurant or Mint to balance their personal finances. Luckily for procurement departments, Millennials expect to bring the same data-driven decision-making processes and skills into the workplace. Regretfully, though, few organizations have the right tools in place that make this a possibility. Many procurement departments still rely on siloed solutions, giving employees limited access to company data and making it nearly impossible to make accurate, data-based decisions. Without having a fully integrated solution in place that collects, stores and analyzes data from across the organization, employees aren’t able to make more informed, strategic decisions—another millennial repellent.


  • 5 takeaways for companies overseeing interns

    At many workplaces, your manager is your mentor. And, sometimes your manager is open, communicative, and engaged. However, on those rare occasions an intern ends up with a manager like Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada (someone who ends conversations with the neck-tingling “That’s all”), it’s nice to have options.


  • Apple’s diversity numbers
  • How to Retain Millennial Employees Through Workplace Equity

    According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median tenure of workers ages 25 to 34 is only three years. The cost of this turnover averages between $15,000-$25,000 per employee. Do the math.


  • Three signs you are better off abandoning your idea

    Unfortunately, you may not be the first and only person to come up with your particular idea. The last thing any entrepreneur wants to hear from an investor is that their groundbreaking work is an “uncommonly popular idea” but it happens. When it does, differentiate yourself in a crowded marketplace or accept failure and use it as an opportunity to regroup and pivot to a better idea.


Photo: Genta Mochizawa, Unsplash

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News you can use: 7/22/2015


Photo: Nico Time, Flickr

  • The End of Buying and Selling

    Yet buying and selling became central enterprises of business over the course of the last century. Corporations focused on standardization—the Deming ideal—so needs became predictable enough to compare vendors directly, find the greatest price value through the routinized process of request for proposal (RFP), and thereby provide what everyone needed. Buying became the science of squeezing price, sales the art of justifying price, and both functions grew into large organizations. Business is getting too complex and dynamic for centralized buying and selling machines. What’s more, the strategic sourcing initiatives of the past two decades all but erased margins for high-volume suppliers. When the absolute floor is the baseline, there is no need to sell, per se. There is only a need to serve. In fact, there is a heightened need to serve. The only way to differentiate a company is in helping customers profit through the use of products.


  • 7 Mentors You Didn’t Even Know You Had

    You want to build an awesome business right? Then you need to understand how to create an awesome customer experience. Well, you’re a customer too right? Most of what I’ve learned about customer service has been from being a customer. I look at each person or company I buy from as a mentor because they help me create better experiences for my customers by creating a good or bad buying experience for me.


  • McDonalds vow to end deforestation in its global supply chain

    Applying throughout the entire supply chain, the core principles and practices of McDonald’s commitment on deforestation include: No deforestation of primary forests or areas of high conservation value; No development of high carbon stock forest areas and no development on peatlands regardless of depth, and the utilization of best management practices for existing commodity production on peatlands.


  • 83% of supply chain executives report lackluster performance as they struggle to get to grips with effects of globalization

    Supply chains are being held back by the effects of globalization, according to a new survey, with 83% of executives from leading enterprises claiming to see only average or poor performance. Over 60% said this is primarily due to the number of partners involved and the risks this creates, which is in turn limiting their flexibility.



    The two new services include the Order Management Cloud and the Global Order Promising Cloud. Together, they offer order management, visibility and order fulfillment capabilities, the company said. But to go a step further, Oracle’s new services connect businesses’ current sales and order processes in its Configure, Price and Quote Cloud product and their current packing and shipping services in the Inventory Cloud product, all to Oracle’s billing in the Enterprise Resource Planning Cloud.


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Productivity Bulletin: 10/22/2014

Photo: Sean MacEntee, Flickr

  1. Make the most of a mentor and to advance:
    Align yourself with someone who does what you want to do, define what success means to you,  make friends with your mentor’s critics (figure out what they aren’t good at and learn from that), don’t try to be identical to them (you are you).  
  2. 5 simple steps to prioritize your task list:

    Does this take me closer to my goal?
    Does this really matter to my boss?
    Does this make me money?
    Does this lighten my mental load?
    Does this have to be done today?


  3. Why privacy matters even if you aren’t doing anything wrong:


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