Category Archives: Business

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    ooo message

    Out of Office

    Category:Business

    I was trying to write an out of office (OOO) message the other day, and I wasn’t feeling any love flowing from the process. Rummaging through a number of my co-workers past OOO messages, it was apparent none of them were feeling the love when they wrote theirs either.

    I decided to search out some smarty pants OOO’s on the net. But… most of the ones I found of value, would probably have gotten me into serious trouble if I used them. Dang it!

    I didn’t want to leave the standard “‘ ….. — ……”

    I also knew I couldn’t post any pictures of my fluffy little pink body lying on the beach somewhere, sipping a cocktail either. It’s your loss!

    There was no in-between and no escape in writing this stupid out of office message. So I decided to borrow from a Twitter OOO, and invent my own headliner. I was inspired!

    1. Hi. I’m out enjoying the big outdoors – want to crash my fun? send me a tweet at: ‘ .
    2. I’m on vacation but will be reviewing my messages periodically. You can tweet me. Since we have limited space to chat, please use 1 and 2 letter words only in your reply. R u ok w/it?
    3. I’m on vacation – I’m okay. If you feel the need to check up on me, I will – all my travel adventures on Twitter at 6:30am and 3:00pm to go out during the daily board meeting times.
    4. Hi, I’m out of the office on vacation. Thanks for contacting me. You are now subscribed to my twitter feed and all 3000 followers. .
    0-6 Out of OfficeThere are also those that kind of leave you wondering if your co-workers are normal (locking your doors extra tight at night).
    1. I am on vacation, but I will be watching you. Not in the stalker type of way or anything – but watching. Always watching. I see you looked at my Twitter.
    2. While gone I have left (#name) in charge of your department. Tweet me your escape plan. We’ll plan a rendezvous.
    3. I am out of the office but I will be checking in on you. What’s your twitter handle?

    You also have the Sappy, Happy, and Don’t you wish you were ones.

    0-7 Out of Office
    1. Hi. I’m enjoying the islands with family and friends. We have o social media and/or email contact policy while sunbathing along the sunny shores and living the dream.
    2. So glad you stopped by to leave me a message. I’m currently on a cruise ship in the Carribean. You can Tweet me, but this bird has already flown the coop.
    3. I’m currently out of the office experiencing life. You should get one too! I know you want it. Raise your hand and say ” Please!”
    4. This is your boss. You aren’t allowed to have fun while I am gone. I’ve hidden the company credit card and reduced your wireless connection to “nothing”. I’ve had cameras installed and will be monitoring your movement throughout the day.
    5. I’m off to the lovely islands to drink in the sun and dance the night away. I’ll be bringing back seashells and beaded crafts – along with a better attitude when I return.

    I suppose I’m lazy. Or maybe I’m afraid of the replies I might receive from leaving my charming if not sarcastic jibs for my fellow office workers to read.

    My personal favorite: -!

    ____________________________________________________

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.


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    A Real Team

    Category:BusinessTags : 
    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAMRAAAAJDJkNTRlZDZkLWYwYjYtNDFmOC05ZGNmLWViMGY1OTRkODQyOA A Real Team

    A Real Team

     Ever wonder what a real team looks like, feels like, acts like? 

    I’ve worked on a multitude of different professional teams in my lifetime.  Some were good, some were so-so, and some were just flat out disappointing.  One particular team that I had the privilege to be a part of, rocked in every dimension. It was at the  Chamber of Commerce (Moab) when I was first starting out in the business world, almost 23 years ago.  The Chamber of Commerce at the time was located in the same complex as the local Grand County Travel Council.  The Chamber owned the building.  If you can imagine tourists from all walks of life, business professionals looking to relocate to the area, and local entrepreneurs seeking all forms of statistical information lining the counters and desks – that is where you would find me.  Phones ringing off the wall, a million questions coming at you, and staff running around trying to get literature out to the visiting masses. That was my world.

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAQ6AAAAJDViMl2E5ZmU5LWQ1YTEtNDU3MS1hMmM2LWZkZDc5NzY0OGYxOA A Real Team

    There were a number of things we as a team had memorized by heart, the brochures, and all the local attractions:

    • The restrooms are located around back and just across the bridge over the small dry creek
    • Please don’t forget your sunscreen and take plenty of water
    • When asked where the Arch was, we would go into a 2-minute informative speech about Arches National Park, and the many Arches contained inside the park
    • Yes the Chamber board is made up of elected local business owners and concerned private citizens
    • Economic development packets are available at our office or downtown at the County office
    • The film commission does not have an office in our building. Yes we have a brochure for that too
    • The pool, movie theater, bike repair, and where to eat were all hot topics

     As you entered the Chamber of Commerce/Travel Council building, there was a small room off to the left as you first walked in. Housed in this room were tons of  brochures and flyers on the local city and recreational areas.  An overhead TV played continually the lengthy jingles from the ads that helped to  teleport visitors minds to the great attractions that lay before them.  Often sunburned and chapped lipped youngest just off a river or jeeping excursion would run to and fro before exhausted parents could gather them up in an attempt to quiet them down. 

    Our miracle gals behind the front counter were Jacque, Melissa, and Annie.  One
    of them would burst out with the candy jar and take that heavy parental load off the parents; making little frowns turn into smiles as the children would gladly take the candy and whatever paraphilia was given to them.  Stickers and pens, key chains and other free swag kept the kids at bay, while mom and pop looked over the brochures, planning their next family adventure.

    Tucked away in the back were Judith and Rene.  They were always working steadily on the next travel council brochures and upcoming travel events.  They were designing some of the first displays for their overseas trips to sell the world on the idea of the Grand Circle tour ( Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches,Canyonlands and Grand Canyon national parks).

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAANRAAAAJDEyNjUxM2Y5LTI1M2EtNDg5Ni1hN2U4LWQxMzM1NDNiZTdkYQ A Real Team

    Val and I  had desks next to each other out in the open for the world to find us. She could be found busy entering all the travel information requests and filling out forms and making labels for all the seasonal guiding companies who came in weekly for marketing information.  I would be planning Chamber events and dealing with the business community concerns; or planning parades and Chamber luncheons,  and making my own packets for relocation and small business development. 

    Five o’clock was a good time.  We did things together.  We celebrated each other’s life moments.  We had Saturday coffee down the river road, or gathered at someone’s house for a team get together.   We all knew our rank in the organization, it was team member.  Sure we all had titles, but friend was the best one. 

    So many organizations have lost the title of team and friend.  Those titles have been replaced with negative titles that strip the humanity from a person, and leave an empty soul in its place. 

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAJBAAAAJGY5ZjZiZTdiLWQ0ZjItNGE1OS05ZmYzLWJiMTQ4ZmJkMmExNw A Real Team

    Being part of a team means

    • You get up and help the gals or guys behind the counter when she or he is swamped with customers
    • You grab the Chamber or Travel phone and ask for a number and  get a call back
    • You help your team mate by going outside with them, to tell that visitor that the bird bath is for the birds and not bathing
    • You gently bring out the fire extinguisher when you light your best friends 30th birthday cake at 7:30 in the morning
    • You lock up when  others can’t
    • You open the building up with a smile on your face and you do it all over again with each other helping along the way
    • Being a part of a team and helping to meet goals and deadlines. Just getting to the bank or the post office can be difficult.  Your team helps you with even these small steps
    • Group hugs – priceless

    Watching a team member move away, or move on to bigger adventures is bitter sweet. But we celebrated each other’s success and we acknowledged the fact that they were a part of who we are today – because they were in our lives. It is true I have worked on other great teams, but you never forget your first one. 

    A team can be a complex unit of individuals helping each other to research and discover new things.  A team can also be a group of like minded kind people just doing what they do every day.  Simple or complex - celebrate! Celebrate each other in your lives. 

    Thanks Ya'll!

     


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    Leadership, Social Media, Community Outreach, Research and Training

    Leadership, Social Media, Community Outreach, Research and Training

    Category:BusinessTags : 
    Leadership, Social Media, Community Outreach, Research and Training  

     Leadership, social media, community outreach, research, and training, they all mean very different things to different people.  What I  have learned is that you need to be able to show your work.  In a job interview, that can become a very interesting prospect to have thrown at you – unaware.  It’s those little questions….

    1. Show your work
    2. Show me leadership.
    3. Tell me how you perform community outreach.
    4. How many hours a day do you work in social media?
    5. How many social media applications can you link?
    6. What is content marketing for social media?
    7. While doing research did you actively engage in experimentation that provided you with factual data that could be useful to your organization or business?
    8. Training usually has some long-term benefit, plus you provide your learners with material or backup data, where do you store your assessment data?

    Have we reached the end of sensibility?  The honest answer is – maybe.  We can’t all be social media managers.  Nor can we thrive in a  constant research environment without some form of monetary benefit keeping us afloat.  Researching a paper is not the same as research that has value leading toward the benefit of society, or changing guiding principles for an overall operation.

    Back to my initial statement, leadership, social media, community outreach, research, and training, they all mean very different things to different people.Words DO matter.  Depending on the words you use, they may ultimately define your role in the working environment.  They may also generate feelings, good or bad.   I have learned the meaning of stress, and words that I associate with that stress are called project management and strategic planning.  I’m  not saying they are bad positions, but anyone who has ever been in a position where a large chunk of your daily role was finding yourself buried under a deadline – you’ll understand. They can be fun roles also; if you like the fast and furious pace that they often take.   Yea…I live for that crap!

    Yea…I live for that crap!

    Leadership verbiage is probably way over-used by many.  Leadership has to deal with taking a lead role in a project or endeavor. Leadership is not teaching someone how to turn on a computer or find information, that’s training or guidance.  It’s not leading a meeting where all you do is discuss the same thing over and over again – that’s training.  Leadership is more about directing others and assuming a role of authority and taking responsibility for that position.  When you do community outreach, that generally entails that you have many contacts and work through those contacts to form some sort of alliance that has a similar goal.  It is a bringing together of large circles of people, businesses, and community leaders for the common good.

    When you do community outreach, that generally entails that you have many contacts and work through those contacts to form some sort of alliance that has a similar goal.  It is  bringing together  large circles of people, businesses, and  community leaders for the common good

    Some people may have a completely different ideology about what constitutes some of the above skill sets.  I have an aversion to those who claim certain skill sets that are not unique to them.  On-the-other-hand, I  enjoy those professionals who put Microsoft Word or Excel on your list of skills.  Basically, unless I know you personally, the only thing I  can pretty much assume is that you can type.  I can probably glean a fair amount of information from your writings, but there has to be more.  Details tend to matter.

    Here are some fun little tools to test your skills.  It’s all hypothetical, it won’t determine your life work.  You might be a master in your craft, and end up with a weak score.  It’s a reality check, but a fun one.  What are you really good at?  Are you too good? Can you laugh at yourself and with others when you look at your own scores?

    Have fun with these freebie tests  

    When you go into an interview it is always handy to have first done a little research about the job you are applying for.  True there are some professional interviewers who can buffalo their way through just about any interview scenario  – but those individuals are rare.  Generally, they do tend to be older and probably come over-qualified, and they know it.  I hope you are not one of the ones who will discriminate against them due to age or fear they are after your job.  You might be turning away your companies next Einstein.  Okay, maybe not.   But let’s just say your training curve will be lower if you hire them, and we know how training affects your bottom line, not to mention your stress levels.

    Have fun learning what you are good at.  Take a good hard look at your resume.  If you have done the skills, and actually understand the meaning of the skill, leave it on there.  If you have tinkered with a skill, be very cautious about misrepresenting who you are and what you do.

    I’m to the point where I would like to see more companies go back to a just detailed application and lose the cover letter.   I’ve seen too many cover letters that don’t necessarily represent the true individual or give me enough information that would be beneficial to my company.   Another issue that clogs the process involves the use of resumes. Who really reads the resume all the way through?  The federal government has a computer that reads resumes for them. You have to take a class just to know how to design a federal resume.  It’s comprehensive and labor intensive.

    When we did our interviews with our staff, one of us was selected to develop questions based on potential candidate resumes.  A lot of companies do not do that. They read a few lines and put it back into the stack with the other resumes.  I read all of ours.  I was better able to gauge the sincerity of many of the candidates that we interviewed.   Read those resumes, and use them to develop your questions.

    I’m not a fan of traditional interviews either.  I dislike the questions that immediately tell me a lot about the person holding the interview.  Some really do not put a lot of thought into the interview process, and probably are just as unsure as the candidate, about what is needed. I am also not a big fan of the behavioral questionnaires either.   The one question that should be banned from all interviews is, “where do you want to be in five years?”  ALIVE!

    Where do you want to be in five years?  ALIVE!

    I understand the need to ask those questions that are burning in your bosom, but geez whiz, lighten up on those older folks – okay?  You gotta have a sense of lightness in an interview.  If I like you and your environment – I’m going to make sure you know before I leave your office – I will be paying you a compliment.  Ask people “how do you feel about this working environment”?  People don’t think about the environment they are stepping into very often.  That is the first thing I would look into – because you are going to be spending a lot of time there!

    For the younger generation who hasn’t yet learned to respond or develop their own questions,  there is a lot of feeling or emotion that determines their selections.    It’s humorous to hear them talk about “I like that one”, or “I think he would be a perfect match”.   Even if their skills are below the standard, they will select that person, based on emotion.  Skills be damned.  It is kind of a slap in the face to higher education and those with experience who are up against a younger touchy-feely kind of interviewer. Okay, to be honest, some of the older and more seasoned interviewers get emotional as well – but not as much.  Still doesn’t make it right.  You do want the right fit, but what are you really gaining?  Tough questions that we often have to ask ourselves after the storm has settled and new staff are learning their places.

    Age matters as well in some organizations.  Seventy-Five percent of the staff that I hired were all older than I was.   I wasn’t biased at all – the younger individual’s I interviewed did not have the qualifications for the job.  I had people who were in their 60’s and even a couple in their 80’s that worked for me.  I didn’t feel threatened at all.  The age myth is just that – a myth.  The real threat is hiring people who are NOT qualified regardless of the age.

    Take your tests, rewrite your resumes, and re-evaluate your skills that you list.  Your endorsements might be all smoke and mirrors if you can’t back them up in an interview.  You will come away looking really bad.

    I am a professional who looks for those out of the ordinary individuals who just want to work.  They don’t have anything to prove, their education and experience shine through.  Now that makes me all emotional in a touchy-feely kind of way; because I’ve just hired the best!

    geralt / 10127 images

    __________________________

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.


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    What went right

    The Way Forward Starts Here – What Went Right

    Category:BusinessTags : 

    The Way Forward Starts Here – What Went Right

    The title would better read “the way forward starts with you”.  We often find ourselves bewitched with words.  As Sigmund Freud once stated in a lecture in psychoanalysis in 1915 “Words were originally magic and to this day words have retained much of their ancient magical power”.

    With just a simple twist of words, we can motivate or provoke a person or group of people into action.  If you add a list of positives words into your speech, over a short amount of time you will begin to see the subtle hints of change in the attitudes and behavior of others around you. When people no longer think you are out to get them, they will feel more at ease with you when discussing matters.     As an example, you might consider changing references to individuals or groups by applying a few of the following:

    Positive Affirmation   (Empathy)                 Negative Affirmation (Sympathy)

    • I am glad you told me                                      At least you had….
    • Look for a solution                                           Talk about the problem
    • Your input is valuable                                      Yes, but…..
    • Everything is a process up                              Failed again I see
    • Working together                                              Not open to change
    • Allow others to have an opinion                    Discredit the opinions of others

    Using words to gain cooperation from others is the opposite of expecting opposition.  Even though some people may have repressed feelings or thoughts due to prior experiences – you can begin to implement change by breaking through with positive reinforcement statements.   Those reinforcement statements need to be sincere in their delivery.

    Just saying nice things isn’t the same as the meaning and context behind those words.  Were the words earned, were they just, did they pivot one group over the other?  There is a lot to think about. Immediate solutions start with acknowledging the positive.  What went right.

    Immediate solutions start with acknowledging the positive.  What went right.

    The way forward depends on your ability to get started. It also depends on your ability to want positive change.  You need to seek out solutions and focus a lot less on the problems.  Chances are everyone knows the problem – but does everyone know what went right?

    Learn to focus on the positives that you know work.  Make sure you document thoroughly what went right.  Don’t lose your best resources while searching for problems that may never be resolved, or even existed.  Sometimes you have to build cooperation by helping others learn to change. Change doesn’t have to be hard if you explain what went right.

    What went right.   

     

    __________________________

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.

     




     


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    Business Walks for Creativity - All Seasons.

    Business Walks for Creativity – All Seasons

    Category:BusinessTags : 

    Business Walks for Creativity – All Seasons. I watched a Ted Ex video the other day about chat walks. Taking your business meetings and making them outside meetings. Inspired by this talk, one has only to think about some of the following items:

    • decide on the location of the walk
    • the length of time available to walk
    • whom you will meet with
    • what you will discuss
    • and the weather of course.

    The amount of stress alone saved in taking a chat walk is worth its weight in gold. It also helps to cut your blood pressure down, beef up your cardio, raise those happy endorphin’s, and bring a level of wellness to your entire body. Many exclaimed that walking and creativity go hand and hand.

    Many exclaimed that walking and creativity go hand and hand.

    Save a back – your own! You have to get up away from that desk, put the mouse down, lace up a pair of tennis shoes, and head out the door. Find someplace, any place, where you can take your meetings to another level; one that risks going outside and breathing in fresh air, and feeling the warm sunshine on your skin. Walking has been proven to enhance your mental health as well as your physical health.

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.

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