Tag Archives: motivation

News You Can Use: 11/23/2016


  • Are Women In Procurement Still Earning Less Than Men? It Seems So

    A female CPO, for example, can expect to earn around 94% of a male colleague’s salary. For regional category managers, women have been found to earn only 69% of a man’s wage.

    This tends to get compounded by the ‘glass-ceiling effect’, in which women find it difficult to break through into the higher levels of an organisation. Only 14% of our CPO sample last year were women.


  • 7 Ways to Politely Shut Down a Conversation
    This one is my favorite…

    5. The ‘pass off.’
    When you are trapped in a rambling conversation, pull in another person to join you if possible. Introduce the topic to the new person, and once the other two get a conversation going, politely excuse yourself and don’t look back.


  • DOD in ‘knife fight’ over supply chain, security chief says

    Department of Defense (DOD) officials increasingly view the Pentagon’s supply chain as a key vulnerability within the defense enterprise, with bad actors seeking to affect systems and steal innovative technologies. This risk extends beyond prime contractors, which have extensive resources to invest in security to medium and small contractors, which in turn may not have those resources.

    The Pentagon’s emphasis on affordability often pushes suppliers to use commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) items, said Frank Kendall, the DOD’s undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics.

    “All of this presents an opportunity for somebody with a nefarious purpose to get at our products,” Kendall said. “The thing that makes me most nervous is a high-end adversary who finds a way to hide something in our weapons systems and lets it sit there until it can be activated at the worst possible time.”


  • Hang in there (from Seth Godin)

    Showing up day after day, week after week, sometimes for years, as your movement slowly gains steam, as your organization hits speed bumps, as the news goes from bad to worse…

    Showing up, it turns out, is the hardest part of making a difference.

    Make a list of the organizations and voices and movements that have made a difference. How old are they? How long have they been at it?

    Creating impact, building something of substance, changing the culture… this is the work of a lifetime, not merely a fun project.


  • Amazon’s logistics venture has yet to make up for costs

    “A full-blown Amazon parcel delivery operation would likely take years to complete, so we believe [FedEx] and UPS would have time to react,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahoney previously told Retail Dive. Similarly, although UPS and FedEx have decades of experience, Amazon’s entry to the logistics market comes with a learning curve, particularly when it comes to aircraft operations and regulations.

    The earliest signs of success, however, may come through the cost-to-sales comparison made by Seeking Alpha. If Amazon seeks to compete with UPS and FedEx, the company needs to see a downward trend in the metric, which would indicate the logistics services are driving profit to the company.


Photo: Katie Montgomery

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News You Can Use: 11/11/2015


  • Could Detroit become the next Silicon Valley?
    I have actually talked about this before… I actually think the urban setting and rock bottom real estate costs could lure young technical people who have been passed over to make something new.  It has the right mix of social cause and opportunity.  The city just needs to get out of its own way. 

    Amazon announced plans at the end of September to help continue this growth by creating a center of technology in downtown Detroit. The tech giant plans to build a corporate office to bring more full-time technology jobs to Michigan. And as a friendly introduction to the city, Amazon donated 30 Amazon Fire tablets to the Carver STEM academy program in the Detroit Public Schools, as well as $10,000.


  • Federal IT outsourcing spend alarmingly poorly managed

    Leading companies approach IT outsourcing strategically, taking an aggregate approach to managing IT services spending rather than making such purchases on a piecemeal basis. By doing so, they achieve four to 15 percent savings on these services annually, according to the GAO. While this report noted that efforts by these federal departments to better manage their IT outsourcing has improved in recent years, with each agency designating officials and creating offices to identify and implement strategic sourcing opportunities, it found that most of these agencies’ IT spending “continues to be obligated through hundreds of potentially duplicative contracts that diminish the government’s buying power.”


  • IT Vendor Risk Management: Improving but Still Inadequate

    1. Nearly half of critical infrastructure organizations DO NOT conduct IT vendor security audits on a regular basis. These are the very firms that provide us with electricity, financial services, health care, telecommunications, etc. Very scary.

    2. Critical infrastructure organizations are especially lax around the security of third-party distributors. This is especially troubling since distributors not only source IT products as a proxy for customers but also provide value-added services (i.e. configuration, customization, installation, etc.). This gives distributors absolute carte blanche to corrupt otherwise clean hardware and software.


  • 3 Plays Great Coaches Use to Deliver Criticism
    I don’t know if feedback has to be all sunshine and puppy dogs, but I do think it should be focused and not stated in generalizations. Critiques should be made with specific examples and then provide suggestions to avoid them (especially for younger workers).

    Good coaches don’t let an error overshadow what the player has done right all game. They complement the athlete on something they did well that half or an aspect of their game that they are improving. This shows the athlete that the coach isn’t just looking at them when they mess up, but that they recognize and appreciate the athlete’s strengths as well. The same is true in the workplace. Support your teammate and let them know where they have been excelling. The rule of thumb is five positive comments for every negative one. Interestingly, research on relationships both in and out of the business world has found that a similar ratio works for delivering criticism. Psychologist John Gottman analyzed married couples and found  the single biggest determinant  of divorce is the ratio of positive to negative comments the partners make to one another. The happiest couples demonstrated a ratio of about five positive comments for every negative one they delivered.


  • Box CEO: ‘I’m the biggest anti-shadow IT person’

    CIOs didn’t get it, or chose not to, so Box initially circumvented CIOs, taking the product to departmental line of business managers. And when the software went viral, seeping its way into other parts of the business, Levie and his sales team would call the CIO and tell them. That angered CIOs, who often blocked Box. So Box ceased calling IT departments, quietly building up its technology features and bolstering security to make the software more palatable for enterprises. Now a mature, public company itself, Box counts General Electric, AstraZeneca, Proctor & Gamble and others among its customers. “I feel your pain now, I understand why you blocked us for so long,” Levie told the audience.


  • Is Your Team Starting to Look Like ‘The Walking Dead’? 3 Ways to Resurrect Team Morale.

    Innovate, disrupt, re-think. These are all key phrases in leadership buzzword bingo these days. Yet, all too often, companies don’t create a culture that really empowers people to take the healthy risks needed to bring about this kind of change. Speaking from personal experience, I was once fired for speaking my mind and challenging the status quo at one of my previous employers.

    You never know where the next great idea in your company might come from. So, it’s critical that leaders create a culture where employees know they will be heard and, more importantly, supported in seeing their ideas through to fruition.


Photo: Jordan McQueen

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Productivity Bulletin: 12/19/2014

Photo: Sean MacEntee, Flickr

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