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The Innovators Apr 27, 2020
Why We Should Keep the Kindness Going When Our Offices Reopen

Since the pandemic hit, we've been experiencing an unprecedented level of collective anxiety. For some, the sudden shift to working remotely has only exacerbated that anxiety, adding a whole new set of challenges to an already uncertain situation. But it's not all bad. The fact that we're going through this together has increased our empathy for one another. People are connecting with...

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The Innovators Apr 21, 2020
How to Get Your Employees Used to Working Remotely in a Time of Quarantine

At least one aspect of the current COVID-19 pandemic may be viewed as a silver lining: Many people who could not previously work from home now can. For years now, remote work options have been something of a key perk for workers across industries and age groups. In fact, according to a 2019 Zapier poll, more than a quarter of employees have quit jobs for ones that allowed remote work....

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The Innovators Apr 17, 2020
The 1950s Leadership Ideal Won't Serve Us in 2030 

Artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, 3D printing, nanotechnology, and 5G wireless networks are just some of the technological advances set to dramatically change the way we work — and earlier than you might think. According to the World Economic Forum's "Future of Jobs Report," companies anticipate reducing their workforce requirements as soon as 2022. Even the jobs that remain will...

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The Innovators Mar 23, 2020
Want to Scale Your Business Smarter and Faster? Hire Remote Workers.

For decades, the ability to work from home was the holy grail of fringe benefits. But times have changed, and — especially in light of recent events — remote work is less of a sought-after perk and more of an operational standard. In fact, it has become increasingly difficult to find a company that has not adopted some kind of flexible work policy. According to some estimates, as many...

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The Innovators Mar 19, 2020
Shut It Down: PwC Pioneers a New Way to Beat Burnout and Boost Work/Life Balance

Over the last year or so, advocates of employee health and well-being have not had an easy time of it. We know that workplace wellness drives organizational performance: According to a Virgin Pulse survey, 85 percent of employers said effective wellness programs had a "high impact" on employee engagement, recruiting, retention, and company culture. We also know that employees want to...

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The Innovators Mar 18, 2020
Going Remote? Here Are 6 Tips to Set Your Employees Up for Success

While the number of remote workers has grown steadily over the past decade, the majority of employees are still bound to their desks. That may have made sense in the days when hardwired connections tethered employees to physical workstations, but modern technology brings more freedom to all of us. In the midst of a national emergency like the the spread of the coronavirus, embracing that...

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The Innovators Mar 16, 2020
Think Like a Decision-Maker: Why Persuasion Is More Powerful Than Selling

Have you ever felt like you were talking to a brick wall when trying to sell someone on a product or idea of yours? No matter what you tried, you simply couldn't get your target to see your point of view. Most, if not all, of us can relate to the frustration and lack of resolution that comes from this type of exchange. But what if you could learn how to consistently persuade others and...

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The Innovators Mar 12, 2020
The 4 Major Challenges Strategic Teams Face — and How to Overcome Them

If your company needs to solve big problems or meet major goals, it's likely you create a strategic team — or a set of strategic teams — tasked with moving the needle on those key issues. Typically speaking, strategic teams are chartered as part of a special program or initiative, such as closing the gap on operating margins or improving market position. Because of their role in...

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The Innovators Mar 11, 2020
Recession? No Sweat. Here's How to Create a Culture to Withstand Economic Downturns:

In 2009, the global economy was reeling from one of the most damaging recessions in history. People were scared, and many faced the prospect of losing jobs and homes. Fast forward a decade or so, and now another recession appears to be looming. The same anxieties are surfacing, and many people have yet to fully recover from the last one. Many companies had to let people go in order to stay...

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The Innovators Mar 10, 2020
Learning for the Jobs of the Future: Is Your Organization Prepared?

According to a report from McKinsey, about 60 percent of all occupations are susceptible to a substantial level of automation, meaning about one-third of their constituent tasks could be automated. Similarly, IDC research found that 50 percent of structured repeatable tasks will be automated by 2024, and 20 percent of knowledge workers will rely on artificial intelligence (AI) and similar...

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The Innovators Mar 10, 2020
Will Telling Your Coworkers How Much You Earn Lead to Pay Parity? Probably Not.

You don't really think you work for someone else, do you? You might be paid by an organization, even receive benefits, but the truth remains that you work for yourself. As an employee, you work "at the pleasure" of someone who decided to take a chance on you — and, hopefully, that has worked out for both of you. But the bottom line remains: You have to deliver measurable value, or you...

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The Innovators Mar 9, 2020
Coronavirus and Culture: How to Prepare Your Workplace for COVID-19

The first thing that has hit people about the COVID-19 coronavirus isn't the infection itself — it's anxiety from a drastic set of behavior changes we're being told we have to make to protect ourselves and others. No more handshakes. No more hugging. Don't even get near other people — best to stay at least six feet away if you can. Keep your hands away from your face, and stay out...

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The Innovators Mar 5, 2020
Don't Be Scared — and Don't Be Hasty: How to Nail Your Unlimited PTO Policy

For some workers, unlimited paid time off (PTO) is a reality — and most of those employees who don't have it yet want it. In fact, a recent MetLife study shows that 72 percent workers are interested in unlimited PTO. Yes, "unlimited" here really does mean "without a limit" — "infinite," if you wish. Slowly but surely, more and more HR managers are converting to the unlimited PTO...

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The Innovators Mar 3, 2020
What American Companies Get Wrong — and Right — About Work/Life Balance

Are you working too hard? If you're a senior-level employee based in the US, the answer is almost certainly yes. That's not a casual observation — it's one of the findings of Doodle's recent report on work/life balance at American companies. Forty percent of the executives Doodle surveyed said they face "tremendous pressure" to put in longer hours to advance their careers, and 99...

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The Innovators Mar 2, 2020
Corporate Social Responsibility in the Age of Gen. Z: Young Workers Expect You to Do More

Last summer, it came out that the online home goods and furniture company Wayfair had sold $200,000 worth of bedroom furniture to BCFS, a government contractor running child detention camps near the US-Mexico border. Wayfair employees were outraged and demanded that the company stop doing business with BCFS. Executives responded dispassionately. As CBS reported, company leaders first...

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The Innovators Feb 27, 2020
Here Is the Single Least Productive Thing You Still Make Your Employees Do

Numbers, numbers, everywhere — but one of the best lessons I've learned in my career is to stop reacting to every up and down in a metric. Stop trying to explain every data point that's off the average. Instead, it's more helpful to start looking at the bigger picture: performance over time. When we react less, we can lead better, and we end up improving more. The Virtue of Reacting...

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The Innovators Feb 25, 2020
True Profitability and Productivity Come From Striving for a Bigger Social Goal

In 2012, Hancock Lumber CEO Kevin Hancock was diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia, a rare neurological speaking disorder that made communicating difficult. While Hancock initially considered the partial loss of his voice a hindrance, he eventually learned to see it as a possible gift, an invitation to lead differently and strengthen the voices of others. Hancock traveled the world to...

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The Innovators Feb 25, 2020
Managing Workplace Relationships in the #MeToo Era

In the midst of the #MeToo era, many employers find themselves fretting about all of the what-ifs of workplace romance. For some of these employers, the knee-jerk response has been to adopt rigid policies that simply prohibit all workplace relationships. Given the realities of workplace romance, is that really the best response? How Prevalent Are Workplace...

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The Innovators Feb 24, 2020
The Author of 'StrengthsFinder 2.0' Says Understanding Your Strengths Is Really Just the Start

You probably know Tom Rath as one of the key figures behind eternal best-seller StrengthsFinder 2.0 — so it might surprise you to learn that his latest work is about moving beyond your strengths. Not that understanding your strengths isn't important — it's just not the full story of who you are at work and in life. Moreover, a purely strengths-based approach to careers, hiring,...

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The Innovators Feb 19, 2020
The Upside of Ethics: An Ethical Workplace Is a Creative One

Discussions about ethics at work tend to focus on the negative. Notoriously unscrupulous companies like Enron and Theranos often come up. Researchers survey rates of bribery, sexual harassment, theft, and other misconduct. Rarely do we discuss how ethics can inspire beautiful, transformative behavior. I'd like to change that. Creating an "ethical workplace" isn't just about minimizing...

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The Innovators Feb 13, 2020
Alarming Results From Workplace Drinking Survey: Leaders Need a Better Solution for Team-Building Than Afterwork Happy Hours 

The 4-6 p.m. happy hour is no coincidence: Going out for drinks after work has become an American pastime — and an expensive one at that. According to a new study from American Addiction Centers and Alcohol.org, the average American worker spends more than $3,000 a year on post-workday drinks. That's enough to buy 650 beers, and in some states, we're spending even more. Take West...

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The Innovators Feb 10, 2020
Talent Blocks and Beams: A Tool for Building Teams That Get Stuff Done

The work of a strategic team — that is, a team whose mission is to make strategy happen — is crucial to any organization's survival and growth. However, cultivating the right blend of talent for such a team requires far more than the normal recruiting, development,and retention efforts. I've helped companies large and small think about how to build the right strategic team for a given...

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The Innovators Feb 10, 2020
How to Make Your Employees Love You on Valentine's Day (and Every Day)

Let's face it: Most of your employees are not happy at work. In fact, research from Gallup shows that 85 percent of workers around the world are either not engaged or actively disengaged. That creates a whole host of problems for businesses, ranging from lost productivity to stifled innovation and growth. The pressing question for organizations around the world is: With such dismal...

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The Innovators Feb 6, 2020
Beyond the Buzzwords: 5 Questions to Ask as You Build an Ethical Workplace Culture

The words "culture," "ethics," and "leadership" are often thrown around loosely in today's business climate. Everyone wants a healthy and "positively contagious" culture. Everyone wants to establish and follow ethical business practices and ways of living. Everyone wants to lead well. But why? And what does it really mean to have an ethical workplace culture? The danger of any...

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The Innovators Feb 4, 2020
The Social Obligation of Enterprise: How Internal and External Stakeholders Benefit From a Diverse Workforce

Last August, Business Roundtable issued a new Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation. That landmark statement, signed by the CEOs of 181 of America's largest corporations, represents a major change in the way organizations perceive their essential functions. In short, according to Business Roundtable, a corporation should exist to benefit its stakeholders, not simply its...

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The Innovators Feb 3, 2020
To Improve Retention, Give Workers the Cultural Keys

Everyone knows it's cheaper to keep a customer than it is to find a new one. What you may not realize is the same holds true for employee turnover: The cost of replacing a lost employee can range from 16 percent of their annual salary to 213 percent, depending on the employee's level. Not all employee losses are preventable. People move. Interests change. But if you want to minimize your...

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The Innovators Jan 30, 2020
Culture, Environment, and Technology: How to Comprehensively Measure Your Employee Experience

Creating a great employee experience is vital in today's competitive business landscape. The benefits include both cost savings related to employee retention and increased revenue driven by higher productivity and greater sales. To build and consistently deliver such a great employee experience, however, you need a system in place to measure your current experience and identify where...

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The Innovators Jan 27, 2020
Understanding and Avoiding Pay Discrimination: How to Uncover Discriminatory Pay Practices in Your Organization

For organizations of all shapes and sizes, understanding and avoiding pay discrimination should be top of mind for 2020. Not only will this help keep your organization fully compliant in a changing regulatory landscape, but you'll also safeguard your organization's brand and standing with consumers and constituents. It's important to note that pay discrimination, like other kinds of...

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The Innovators Jan 22, 2020
Overworked? 5 Reasons to Outsource Your Administrative Tasks in 2020

As a business owner or HR professional, you are busy. Your organization is growing. Life is good. But you're often overwhelmed, you are always exhausted, and it feels like you have way too much on your plate daily. When is it time to surrender? When do you admit you need to outsource some of your work — especially your daily administrative work? 5 Ways Outsourcing Can Help...

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The Innovators Jan 21, 2020
'Teaming' Is a Verb: What Building Great Teams Really Does for Your Organization

Teaming is the most fundamentally sound concept available to help businesses grow today. It enables organizations to adapt to new rules of play brought on by a changing economic landscape, maximize productivity, use time more efficiently, and leverage the positive attitudes and unique abilities of each team member. It is important to note here that "teaming" is a verb. We're not simply...

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The Innovators Jan 20, 2020
5 Generations, 1 Workforce: How to Build a Workplace That Meets Everyone's Needs

For the first time in modern history, five generations of employees are working shoulder to shoulder in American offices. While this represents a great opportunity for organizations, the situation is not without risks. Reports hint that intergenerational tensions are mounting, and companies must create harmonious work environments that accommodate a wide range of employee wants and needs...

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The Innovators Jan 17, 2020
Your Employees Aren't Performing to Their Potential, and It's Your Fault

It's bold of me to say your employees aren't performing to their potential when I've never even met them, but it's a matter of simple numbers. In the United States, 87.7 percent of employees are not working to their full potential. Chances are, at least some of your employees are included in that statistic. This stat is almost unbelievable, but you don't have to take my word for it. To get...

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The Innovators Jan 16, 2020
Your Company Isn't Ready for a Recession — But There's Still Time to Change That

Bad news: According to expert economists, we have between a 25 and 50 percent chance of experiencing an economic recession in 2020. Worse news: Your company is probably not prepared for it, according to recent research from leadership training company VitalSmarts. In a survey of 1,080 employees and executives, leaders said roughly half of their employees didn't have the skills necessary...

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The Innovators Jan 16, 2020
The CMO Does Not Create a World-Class Brand — the Product and the People Do. That Has Repercussions for Recruiting.

Electric is the fourth B2B SaaS startup for which I've led marketing. Of the previous three, I saw double-digit growth at one of them and triple-digit growth at two of them. When I get hired, CEOs typically look to me to drive growth. There are generally two pillars of B2B marketing that accomplish this goal. The first is making thoughtful investments like a hedge fund manager, and the...

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The Innovators Jan 13, 2020
'We're Simply Humans in Business': A New Book From Zappos Employees Explores 'Leading With Your Heart'

Few companies have the kind of cachet that Zappos has when it comes to matters of employee satisfaction. Touted as "the happiness business" and more of a "mission" than a company, Zappos is practically a byword for engaged company culture in the business press. But what do actual Zappos employees think of it all? A new book, The Power of WOW: How to Electrify Your Work and Your Life...

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The Innovators Jan 9, 2020
Don't Wait: How to Have More Meaningful Performance Discussions

The end of a year and the beginning of a new one often signal performance review season. What's the best way to prepare for these critical conversations? Don't wait to have them! As noted in a recent study from Reflektive and Wakefield Research, 94 percent of executives believe employees are satisfied with their performance review processes — but that's not really true. Sixty-one...

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The Innovators Dec 26, 2019
From Building Talent Supplies to Shaping Visions: The Top 10 Business Imperatives Strategic Teams Must Fulfill

What's the first thing you, as a business executive, do when you need to tackle big issues like closing the gap on operating margins, creating better operations processes, or identifying the best new path to growth and development? Chances are you put together a strategic team. An integral part of any organization, a strategic team is tasked with making strategy happen. It solves...

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The Innovators Dec 20, 2019
Managers Are a Prime Cause of Workplace Interference — Here Are 4 Ways They Can Change That

"Interference" is a lot more than a call in a football game — it's anything that gets in the way of progress, whether it be on the field, at home, or at work. And unfortunately, workplace interference is on the rise. My company, InsideOut Development, recently conducted a study on the topic and found that most employees (61 percent) experience interference at work every day, which keeps...

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The Innovators Dec 20, 2019
The Apology Response Plan: 3 Questions to Ask Before Responding to Criticism of Your Company

Whether as an individual or as a corporation, being told you've failed in some way is hard. When we're criticized, we feel an intoxicating blend of anxiety and shame. We're hardwired to avoid alienation, and our survival instincts tell us criticism is the first step on the path to ostracization. It's nature. So it's understandable that people often respond to criticism impulsively. While...

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The Innovators Dec 18, 2019
Transactional and Transformational: Why Today's Leaders Need to Be Both

Are you working too many hours, neglecting friends, and sacrificing your health in the name of professional success? If so, you're not alone. Many organizational leaders share this experience — even multimillionaires like Arianna Huffington, who once passed out from sheer exhaustion, hit her face on her desk, and woke up in a pool of her own blood. Leadership training today tends to...

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The Innovators Dec 17, 2019
The Lowest Vibration in the Room: How Negative Energy Costs You Money and Morale

We all know them, have worked with them, and at some point have probably been them: the lowest vibrations in the room, otherwise known as "energy vampires." These people can suck inspiration, hope, enthusiasm, and peace right out of the room. And they're expensive. Negative energy in the workplace is a huge contributor to — and byproduct of — low productivity. Actively disengaged...

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The Innovators Dec 16, 2019
There Is a Benefits Disparity Between Single and Married Employees. What Are Employers Doing About It?

According to the US census, more than 110 million Americans over the age of 18 are currently unmarried. That's 45 percent of the adult US population. And yet, many employers have been slow to adjust their benefits to support modern lifestyles. As a result, a significant value gap has emerged between the benefits offered to married employees and those offered to their single...

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The Innovators Dec 11, 2019
ReHuman: How Corporate America Is Reconnecting With Humanity to Drive Growth 

In a single joint statement this August, 181 CEOs of the world's largest companies threw a century of corporate thinking under the bus by declaring shareholder value was no longer their main objective. What's noteworthy isn't that these powerful CEOs agreed there's more to a company than shareholder return — it's that they're being forced to acknowledge a new corporate reality: Corporations...

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The Innovators Dec 9, 2019
Mixed Tables: How to Create Breakthrough Solutions Through Surprising Collaborations

If you were asked to help soldiers detect roadside bombs, where would you start? I'm guessing it wouldn't be Hollywood. This was my exact dilemma in the mid-2000s, when the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) asked me to do just that. At the time, roadside bombs were a prime cause of casualties for US Army soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. Something had to be...

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The Innovators Dec 6, 2019
Your Employees Are Crying at Work Because They Feel Unappreciated

If you've ever cried at work, it turns out you're not alone. In fact, you're in the majority. According to Monster, 80 percent of us have cried at work. But why are so many of us shedding secret tears? According to a new survey from my company, enterprise gifting platform Snappy, a lack of appreciation may be to blame. Employees should feel good where they spend nearly half their lives,...

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The Innovators Dec 3, 2019
Feeling Alone and Undervalued, Almost Half of Managers Are Heading for the Exit

We all know it's a tight talent market out there, but retention conversations often revolve around employees. HR pros and organizational leaders are pouring a lot of time and energy into keeping top performers engaged and on board. That's an important initiative, but it often overlooks the company's managers — the very people responsible for keeping talented workers happy. As it turns...

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The Innovators Dec 2, 2019
How to Spread Holiday Cheer Across a Distributed Team (Without Breaking the Bank) 

The popularity of remote work has skyrocketing in the United States. From 2005 to 2017, the number of remote workers increased by 159 percent according to FlexJobs. Modern professionals are looking for remote work for a multitude of reasons, but they all generally boil down to a desire for flexibility and work/life balance. While remote work may make employees happier, employers should...

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The Innovators Nov 27, 2019
How to Help Your Employees With Anxiety Feel Motivated

Wellness and performance go hand in hand, so it makes sense that employee well-being has become an increasingly important part of regular performance discussions. Your employees need the support of their managers if they are to perform at their best, and this is especially true for any employees who may be dealing with mental health challenges like anxiety or depression. Your employees...

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