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Showing posts from August, 2015

Conferences and Tourism Success in San Diego

Most major tourist destinations have conference centers that act as an avenue for drawing in new visitors and interested investments. The type of conferences will determine the success of a diligent conference schedule. Beyond putting a city on the map it also helps brand an area to the rest of the world who come to know the genre of a place. Even though almost all conferences are beneficial the ones that support local industries have multiple advantages. Consider why conference locations are chosen. One isn't going to offer a conference on palm tree conservation in Northern Alaska unless they discovered a way to grow it in wet and cold soil. Therefore, conferences should be related to the local competencies and businesses to create the greatest impact. People  want to come to what San Diego has to offer. To do this well means that leaders must understand the local economy and try and highlight those conferences that will spur local economic growth. For example biotech, techn

The Benefits of Dining Like Our Ancestors-Fish!

You stand on a rock in a stream and look out over the horizon at the miles upon miles of clear tree tops. Looking back at the water you notice the swirls of sand that indicate a moving fish. With a quick pluck of the fingers and an outward scoop you fling a breeding bass onto the shore. Our ancestors knew the benefits of eating fish an perfected the art of fishing first by using their hands, and then tools and boats. The good news is you don't need to stand out in the wild with your buckskin trousers and hatchet to get the same benefits. Not that there isn't something about doing that and I must admit growing up in the U.P. of Michigan I got pretty good at plucking fish out of shallow streams. More difficult than you think because you got to find the right spot, angle, shadow, and river bend to make it work. Today most people buy their fish at the supper market and it still holds all the great benefits it did for our ancestors. The American Heart Association recommends th

Ideation Through Teamwork

Ideas don't come from no where but instead live in a context of other thoughts and knowledge. Creative cultures and people bounce new thoughts and discoveries off of each other creating the right environment for innovative breakthroughs. One idea is adapted through the man mental frameworks of a team to create something that can have tangible value on the market. Having the right people on the team can make a huge difference in its innovative capacities. Innovative teams have value on the market. They are able to adapt and react to complex, turbulent and ever changing environments faster than others (Andres, et. al. 2015). Their ability to understand problems and create novel solutions makes them more adaptable than other teams that are focus on more rigidly defined methods. Innovation Team Characteristics: -Education/Experience: It is difficult for teams to understand problems unless they have education, experience or both with the subject in question. -Diversity of Ba

Advanced Employee Disciplinary Processes

Policies can be good or bad but are generally processes and modes of handling situations when they arise. All organizations have policies and procedures that help them understand and guide work behaviors. In most cases the punishments are punitive by nature and should be used with great care to ensure the end result is positive. It is necessary to have a human element and checks/balances to ensure decisions are accurate and based on sound logic. The most common disciplinary method is progressive by nature and includes threats of termination that can be less effective than structured achievements in meeting goals (Miller, 2014). There are times when the standard punish all that come across the managers desk doesn't work. The approach is counter intuitive and can sometimes lead to lost capital. There is no such thing as perfect policies and procedures as they consistently run a course and don't often include a value judgement. Ensuring appropriate checks and balances along wi

Getting Into Biking

Biking is something we did when we were young and then we threw that bike the minute we got a car. From that point on we may have biked a few times a year for fun. If you were an outdoor enthusiast you might have biked the trails on a regular basis. In some places bikes are not that popular. For example, a bike crowd always existed around universities in Michigan and some of the recreational areas but not much elseware. Places like Detroit are making biking popular again. States like California have year round biking; depending on where you live.  They also have more designated bike trails making the use of bikes more practical. A culture of biking emerges. The difference between the two places is that biking in one area is mostly recreational because of the seasons while the other area it is both recreational and a practical form of transportation. It is augmented by strong public transportation, ride share, bike lanes and small stores.

Digging Your Corporation Out of a Hole!

Corporations move through cycles that include start up all the way through its death stage. Typically the death stage occurs when a company can no invest in itself, make payroll or other expenses, and must either liquidate, sell-out, or simply close down. Digging out of a corporate hole sometimes requires taking drastic and immediate changes. One of the most advantageous methods is to remove all low performing sectors and go directly to your main revenue sources. This is only beneficial if such revenue sources not only serve immediate cash flow needs but also have the propensity to grow. This could include short and long-term cash flow production. Remove or prune the rest. Once the income streams have been developed based upon the strategic goals of the company it is necessary to streamline. This means that all excess operations that don't add value to the organization must be removed. That value should include the needs of the most important stakeholders. Review all departme

Early Morning Beaching

Early mornings are the best time to attend the beach. It takes some time to figure this out as the most popular times are around noon and after when the younger crowd finally wakes up. True beach goers start early and get the choice spots. You can tell a seasoned beach goer by the vans loaded with   chairs, surf boards, canoes, and grills. They get their stuff right next to both the water and the grass making their commute easy. You might even find the restrooms within short distance.  Starting early also offers some other benefits. Some of the restaurants have specials on breakfast burritos. It doesnt take much time to bring your vehicle to the beach, unload the bikes and go to breakfast. Make sure you grab your coffee. It doesnt take much to spend a good day at the beach assuming you have the right gear. With towels, chairs, and umbrellas you can enjoy the water and shade. Bring your grill or sandwiches and save some money. Start early and enjoy ease of parking. 

Formal and Informal Communication Networks

Communication can take two basic forms in terms of formal or informal. Formal communication occurs within the workplace and informal occurs among our personal connections. Both are important for understanding, integrating and using information successfully. To truly understand a situation often requires listening to both channels of the said and the unsaid. Formal Communication: Formal communication is official communication that helps the company make official statements. It may also include formally designed communication channels that help an organization, unit or team understand what is going on. Well designed communication channels will consider the speed of information and the reliability of the channels used to reach members. -Official statements -Memos -Email -Phone -Alerts -Company meetings Informal Communication: Informal communication occurs organically in the population and encompasses everything that isn't formal. These are the conversations that occur ov

Encouraging the Military's Innovation Initiatives

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter , a physicist by trade, announced at a visit to Camp Pendleton a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, or DIUx. The Pentagon's innovation outpost will make its way to Silicon Valley to scout for new advancements to see how they could be applied to the military. Keeping an eye out for emerging innovations means staying connected to the scientific scene. Companies continuously seek new technologies and ideas to invest in. Sometimes they buy those technologies outright while at other times they invest directly into the business. The military isn't that much different but typically has to rely on well established products and pricey contracts to make new equipment available. The process of developing something new takes years and costs much more than in the civilian world constituting a long-term risk. An advantage the military had was that they could buy in bulk and resell older models to make up some of the money. Contracts with the milit

Values or Duty?

It has been said that personality is stable over one's lifetime. By the age of seven we will maintain the same outlook on life unless something drastic has happened. Character comes with internal personality and values while duty is a promise to uphold a certain value system. To uphold a duty when no reward is forthcoming is a deeper value system based into the way the person sees themselves. Are we driven by values or duty? Consider a person with character who seeks to live life with meaning and ensure they treat people with justice and kindness. They have character and are capable of making tough decisions because they believe life is more than the fulfillment of one's own needs. Not that their needs are not important, but that there is a greater meaning to it all that transcends self. A person who believes in duty is willing to put in play certain actions in order to fulfill a promise they made to someone or a personal promise they made to themselves. Duties are often so

Emerging Online University Models

Online education is as credible as traditional education and is growing every year. Despite heavy regulation and the desire to support traditional models it is suspected that most universities will offer online classes to augment their expensive infrastructure. As online models change and adjust to meet multiple stakeholders and regulatory shifts one has to wonder about stronger emerging models. Models come and go but those that are likely to make it might transform higher education models as to provide what stakeholders need while still capitalizing on the efficiencies virtual colleges provide. Their biggest challenge is not their quality, as based in research, but their credibility as defined by a few bad actors and lots of protectionist language. That doesn't mean things will be this way forever. As traditional colleges adopt online techniques and online research supports the virtual model that image will change. The lines between virtual and traditional will be blurred as e

China at the Crossroads of Reform

China is at the crossroads between a path that goes left and one that goes right. To the left is political stability that pulls from the bag of old fashion communist economic policy while to the right is a path that forces Chinese businesses to be compete without as much government support. The process of reform will become more apparent as time moves forward. Recent market corrections are an opportunity for Chinese businesses to reach out to American companies for collaborative partnerships that expand both economies. Both mentalities come with some risks. Communist approaches provide for control and stability but ultimately lead the country to less wealth and growth. Something closer to communism with capitalistic overtones has been used to try and manage parts of the economy through one lens and other parts of the society through another. Until now officials were able to keep the balance. The Chinese leadership had a solid strategy for the past couple decades and their ability t

The Lines of Bureaucracy-Models of Inefficiency

Bureaucracy can be difficult to deal with. Waiting in lines, filling out large forms, waiting weeks for a response, and trekking down to some physical location can be pretty tough. Where we experience bureaucracy we generally feel annoyed and sometimes devalued as a person. The modern conveniences of this century sometimes feel absent when large clunky operations grip with white knuckles to ineffective models. Those organizations that don't change eventually are buried in history.  You know you are standing in one when everything looks worn out, old, and dilapidated. Bureaucracy breeds incompetence and stakeholder indifference that manifests in general customer annoyance. Bureaucracy become inefficient because it 1. ignores the legitimate complaints, 2. monitors the wrong things, 3. delays decision making, and has 4. biased oversight (Prendergast, 2003) Bureaucracies have many layers of management but are ultimately separated from the needs of their stakeholders. Their operatio

Customer Service Failure and Recovery

One of the worst things a business can do is lose trust and credibility with their customers. It happens all the time and it can lead to a lifetime of lost sales. Each customer should be treated with respect and poor customer service shows that the customer not only not important but also artificially inflates the need of the company and/or the employee. When service "slip ups" occur a faster recovery is necessary to keep the revenue stream. Customers are spending their money and time and desire to be treated with respect. As purchases are either based in their self-perceptions or needs poor customer service leads directly to a sting of the ego. It is kind of hard to get them to make additional purchases if that ego sting destroys the excitement and enthusiasm of buying the product in the first place. It is important to understand that a single service mistake can damage the impression of the entire business. Perhaps they had great customer service throughout the entire p

Using Green to Create Functional Workplaces

Green is an eco conscious color that can tell a lot about a business and their working environment. Plants have many purposes that include workplace aesthetics as well as psychological comfort to workers. In a world where packing people into cubicles and personal space is declining it is important to enhance the aesthetics of the workplace to reduce stress and improve productivity. According to a Public Health Report regular contact to nature can promote workplace health and reduce stress (Largo-Wight, et. al. (2011). People are biologically and psychologically designed to be around and in nature.  As workplaces become more compact and corporate we are less connected to our natural history and this can produce anxiety.  There is little doubt that fundamental changes in society has produced large changes. There are simply more people, more things to do, more distractions, less time, and more pressures. Yet there is no reason to remove nature from our surroundings. That is the last

Making the Most of Your Time

Time is a limited commodity. We have choices between time and projects. Without some level of guidance in our lives and goals we can be wasting time on things that are not important to us, our companies, or society. Knowing what you want to accomplish and putting together some goals helps in aligning your time appropriately. You define goals in your daily life and you can define goals for your career. Career goals are accomplished through your work. Ensuring that you understand your job and what is needed to succeed can be helpful in obtaining your career goals. On any given day we have work to do that is both tedious and time consuming. We might procrastinate on that work hoping that it will magically disappear. Instead of being proactive we start wasting time on less important projects an activities that do not help our career or our goals. Take a few moments and think about what is important to you. This could be anything that includes money, family, recreation, travel, etc...

Factors that Influence Veteran Tansition from Military Service to Higher Education

Transition from military life to higher education can be a difficult one. People make assumptions all the time of veterans and their difficulties. Coming from high organized and often dangerous environment veterans understanding of the world is very different than that of the traditional college student. They were forced to grow up quick and college becomes another major hurdle for them. In university life, people are expected to be free thinkers. This may not be the case in everyday life, workplaces, or social circles but in our university work we are expected to think for ourselves. Military personnel were not expected to be free thinkers and the idea could be alien to certain members of the enlisted ranks. Their lives revolve around what is termed Total Institution. Total Institution means that the person lives under authority, works in a batch of others, formal rules, and a general exclusion of knowledge over decisions (Goffman, 1961). The person lives within a collective of

Dealing with Disgruntled Students-Feedback, Tips and Tone

Students can get upset when their expectations are not met. The very nature of giving feedback and pushing others to grow can be difficult in a higher education setting where fragile egos can be broken. Giving accurate feedback can break perceptions of perfection leading to frustration and anger as the next step for some students. Showing them how to improve and communicating in a way that lessens their fear can be difficult. It is important to provide accurate feedback to ensure that the student not only is getting a high quality education but they are also given an avenue for channeling their frustrations. If there isn't adequate feedback the professor becomes the target of student frustration as the student seeks to avoid responsibility for poor work. It is often easier to blame others than it is to blame ourselves. When we blame others we have no need to change, grow, or develop. Emotionally we are "off the hook" as all of the problems are the direct result of the

Organizations with a Purpose

Organizations with a purpose are more likely to succeed than those who don't. When organizations think beyond their current position they can aspire to higher forms of performance and attract top talent that ensures their goals are met. When organizations become a collection of process and procedures without a higher order function they begin to decline in performance and relevance. Successful organizations should have a purpose that draws people to a shared vision.  A purpose should be " brief, clear, and realistic, and it also should convey a representative picture of the future while enabling and appealing to employees, customers, and the broader community Schultz, 2014)." The purpose becomes the overriding goal that people can believe in.  Example 1: The purpose of a recycling center may be to create a greener community. They way the do this is by getting the community involved in recycling, putting out bins, and incentivising returns. The center's daily o

Chula Vista Harborfest

I went down to Chula Vista's Harbor Fest over the weekend and explored the sites. Warm weather, lots of games, food, ocean view, music, and good fun. The event was free and drew a Bayside Park. I spent a few hours there and then biked around the area for an hour or so. Great bike trails on the main road but almost none along the bay. That is a shame because it would be beautiful.

Power Negotiations Through Coercion or Inspiration

Negotiations are a natural part of life. Most of us do it without conscious awareness. We negotiate with our partners, friends, co-workers, mechanic, children and just about everyone else. Power is still a major factor in all negotiations but is not always the deciding factor. The type of power used will often determine how the negotiations will run but doesn't always determine the outcomes. There are two main types of power; coercive and non-coercive. Coercive power is often used in power over situations while non-coercive power is used in power with situations. One seeks to create power over individuals through negative consequences while the other creates power with people through inspiration. Coercive Power: If you don't do this I will do this! A reward and punishment system. For example, someone who is physically bigger than you or who has a weapon could simply force you do do something physically. It may even take the form of formal power where your boss tells you

When Free Trade Agreements can Help San Diego's Economy Bear Fruit

Trade Deals can be or not be beneficial depending on their design and the economic environment in which they are enacted. An article entitled Trans-Pacific trade pact benefits San Diego by Jerry Sanders in San Diego Union-Tribune does a pretty good job outlining the benefits of a trade deal and its potential impact on the San Diego Economy. The level benefits of any trade agreement rests on a few things that San Diego must have to maximize its opportunities .    W hen Businesses Crave Access to New Markets: Local businesses must want new markets. Opening up the international market affords an opportunity to sell more products, create more revenue, expand operations and hire more people. There must be a growing need to find new markets.   When We are More Competitive than Other Locations: One of the reasons why countries use tariffs is to protect their weaker businesses and encourage them to grow to a competitive positions. China is great at this. If San Diego Business are dev

Image and Impression in Sales and Business

In sales image and impression are everything. How people perceive the business person determines whether or not they trust them and if they should make a purchase. In business this impression is also important as people judge each other within the first few minutes of meeting. It is these first impression images you have to worry about as they will last a long time. Enhancing your impression is important for sowing the deal. It may or may not be fair to be judged quickly by a first impression. Unfortunately, this is they way in which most people's brains work. They simply take a quick look and assessment, compare that to their experiences, and make a judgement. Changing that judgement is very difficult so improving your first impression is important for business success. Considering that we are a little mentally lazy we go with impressions because they are quick heuristics. A person wearing a Rolex and driving a Mercedes will certainly look more financially secure than someon

Playing Sports to Get in Shape

Sports are a great way to keep you interested in your fitness goals. The type of sport depends on your interest and what you want to accomplish. If you don't know what type of sport you should play then go ahead and explore. The different muscles and activities will likely push your body to change quickly. Repetitive exercise is not only not good for you but it can get boring. We see how quickly people get redundant when they start a fitness routine and then quit within a few weeks or months do to lack of interest and life distractions. Mixing traditional exercises with sports can help alleviate this boredom. Let us say you are on a hardcore workout routine. You go to the gym and mix in your cardio and weights. Your workouts are stagnant and don't seem to give you a well rounded fitness. This is when augmenting your gym work with sports can be helpful. The type of sport is less important than playing. If you want to mimic sprinting join soccer, basketball or volley ball

Ethnic Shopping Communities

I have been in San Diego for a couple of years and am still dumbfounded by the amount of diversity the area holds. This includes people from nearly all corners of the world. There are shopping places for Italians, Asians, Mexicans, Arabs, and just about every other ethnic group. Besides giving people ethnic food I find it interesting that each culture seems to have their own emphasis. Shopping for some time in the area I learned that some markets have great butcheries at discount prices. Others might have fruit that is cheaper than anywhere else in town. A few places are great for cereal. What I noticed about the 99 Ranch Market is that they have a huge seafood and spice selection. Most of the writing is in Chinese (at least I think) but they do offer subtitles. Kind of neat place if you want to check out some of the foods they have and pick up a few things for supper. It is a full service store that includes just about everything you will need for your refrigerator. Just behin

Fostering Emotional Intelligence in Business Students

Emotional Intelligence (EI) has become popular as a determining factor of success over the recent past. The process of understanding one’s emotions, how they sit on issues, and resolve issues is important for moving forward to higher levels of management. The era of the emotionally infant boss throwing a temper tantrum to get people motivated no longer pushes people to the highest levels of performance. Developing emotional intelligence in business students can raise executive functioning.  No doubt business is stressful and that stress impacts every aspect of the working and non-working spheres of our life. EI is so powerful that it influences performance, leadership, physical, and mental health (Humphrey, 2013). It is one of those fundamental skills that reaches into every part of our life.  EI can impact how we manage employees, interact with business partners, make deals and handle the daily frustrations within the workplace. When confronting major business challenges