Posts

Showing posts from November, 2015

The Importance of Selecting the Customer and the Channel

Businesses can't and won't succeed without marketing. Whether the business is as simple as a lemonade stand or as complex as a multi-billion dollar conglomerate, the marketing plan is the main avenue of communicating with and attracting potential customers. Ensuring the marketing plan is focused on the "right" customers and reaching them through the proper channels is what ensures a company can achieve.  The "Right" Customer: The "right" customer is one who has the most need for the product and has the will and way of paying for it. The target customer is selected after extensive market research that ensures the company is focused on attracting those who have the most interest in the products/services. Most companies build a customer profile and use this as a guide in their marketing decisions. Some of the considerations a company chooses in selecting their target customer are age, income, interests, geographic location, related purchases, an

The Benefits of Critical Thinking and Self-Awareness

Naturally each of us holds bias in the way we think about and understand the world around us. Critical thinking is a process of thinking about thinking using our meta-cognitive abilities in ways that ensure we understand how our thinking impacts our conclusions. Being self-aware of our own thoughts and needs creates higher order thinking that leads to better final conclusions. Almost all human beings have blind spots in their thinking that damages their ability to think critically about issues. Many of these blind spots come from memories, feelings and identity that lead to a particular way we view the world and formulate an understanding of our being. For the vast  majority of the world, we are stuck in a vicious cycle of bias where we self-confirm our being in nearly all of our conclusions. That makes us poor critical thinkers seemingly doomed to always push our personal beliefs and fallacies onto each situation. Only when we are able to used critical thinking to weigh and explor

Allowing Higher Education Institutions Be Incubators for New Ideas

Universities serve an important function in society as incubators of new concepts. Sometimes these new ideas create groundbreaking scientific discoveries that changes entire industries. Other times it might be a new way of looking at the world which in turn creates paradigm shifts in thought that advances civic and governmental interest.   Keeping universities as places where thought is advanced which means we need to accept new ideas as part of the process even when we don't like their implications. We should not stifle intellectual thought because it can destroy its development that may lead to ideas that have practical benefits for society. We often are quick to criticism an idea because all of the details have not been thought out and its use not immediately apparent. However, over time beneficial ideas will grow and adjust as they become confirmed through testing while poor ideas die off because they are not confirmed through testing. Ideas take time to develop. They start

Consumer Spending Slides! Animal Spirits at Work?

Consumer spending slows to a walking pace. According to the Commerce Department both September and October saw very modest .1 % growth in consumer spending from the previous third quarter 3%. Is this dip based in real market concerns and expected to be prolonged or are something else like animal spirits at work that indicate a shorter time-frame? The reason why the slowdown might not be long-term is because of other indicators such as jobs, inventories, wages, and investments don't seem to be doing too bad. If multiple data sets across varying industries show the same trend this could be indicative of a problem. At present it isn't. Of course projections can always be wrong and I take some fun in seeing if I can find some accurate way of perceiving future trends based on present data. I see people being more cautious than anything else. Yes...I know what a few polls have said but.....there is no economic basis for it if other aspects of the economy have improved. If

A Holiday Season Drop in Consumer Confidence Confuses Economists

Consumer confidence for November plunged (99.1 to 90.4) to their lowest levels in a year frustrating retailers who hope the holiday season starts out well. Economists are at a loss over how to explain it as the economy is zooming forward with labor increases, contrary reports, and lower gas prices. When all other factors don't seem to jive it is beneficial to look at how questions are being perceived and what else might be going on. These types of surveys have been around a long time and are commonly used raising its external validity. Internal validity is a little more difficult to gauge as it is based on how the study is conducted and the potential confounding variables the study has within it. Sometimes an answer about optimism of the U.S. economy may be mixed with other factors related to the participants frame of mind. It is also possible that at the time the poll was conducted something else was going on, a bad sample, or some news came out creating pessimism. The questio

Call for Papers: Indian Journal of Research

PRINT ISSN No.: 2250-1991 IMPACT FACTOR: 3.4163 INDIAN JOURNAL OF RESEARCH WORLD WIDE JOURNALS CALL FOR RESEARCH PAPERS FROM DOUBLE BLIND PEER REVIEWED & REFERRED INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL An International Multidisciplinary Research Journal Indexed/Listed at: International ISSN Directory, Paris PRINT ISSN No. 2250-1991 IMPACT FACTOR : 3.4163 Publish Your Article within 3 Working Days in December Issue Manuscript Submission Research paper prepared in MS word with double - column in single spaced typed pages should be submitted electronically as attachment on E-mail Id of Journals mentioned below. The manuscripts in all the subject areas are welcome. Moreover, submitted manuscript must not be previously accepted for publication elsewhere. Follow Our Author Guideline Journal Indexing Paripex - Indian Journal of Research is indexed with leading Inter

Why Defeating ISIS Requires More Coordination

The downing of a Russian warplane is an unfortunately event that takes away from the bigger responsibility to defeat the radical ideology of ISIS. Coordination of teams to achieve some goal means that people and nations should not act outside of that goal or otherwise old rivalries will rear their head and destroy the possibilities of success; something ISIS likely hopes will happen. Greater coordination will help ensure that mistakes and old grudges don't allow an enemy to continue to exploit miscommunication and misdirection. One of the advantages ISIS has is that they have a unified ideology that is supported by a large network of followers. They were able to build their pseudo nation-state right on the fault lines of ancient grievances. The fights between Sunni and Shia created natural socio-economic barriers that ensure they can count on a lack of coordinated efforts. Their enemies are already split! That same problem occurs in Cold War schisms that plague the East and Wes

Philosophy and Politics as Guides to Governance

Building a nation is the series of a million words and choices that lead to the power of the collective. Nietzsche once postulated, our instinctual behavior is to "will", or "will to power", in an attempt to reach the highest position in life.  The state is a collection of wills that seek to work together to create power to raise the position of life for all national citizens. Out of this, philosophy and politics are two guiding forces that help nations maintain their strength. Philosophy is the perpetual search for truth while politics is the art of influence. A nation has the best chances to move together when philosophy is the guide and politics is the push. Problems arise when politics and philosophy take two different paths that move the focus from the will of the people to the will of the individual. It is a question of raising the station of a nation or to seeking the fancy of a few? When philosophy and politics work together our nation grows the fastest

Words that Bind-Manager Tips for Communication

Image
Communication and communication styles are easily ignored by new managers who opt for task oriented achievements.Strong and positive communication is about long-term management that binds the workplace together into a cohesive network of people. As a collective of ideas, business is based on sharing of perspective and information that results in profitable outcomes. Managers should know how to communicate and talk in ways that have the best benefits. To formulate the best business environment where profitable work can occur the need to create trust between the employee and the employer is a must. Creating this trust is based on the quality of internal communications (Gavin & Mayer, 2005). The nature of that communication and its pathways helps to show who is connected and who isn't. Businesses that succeed over the long run have strong communication networks that utilize both formal and informal networks. People know what their expectations are, can find the answers they

Will Higher Education Need to Restructure to Keep Costs Low?

Tuition costs are slowing and will land somewhere around inflation (2-3%) according to a Moody's Survey last year. The reasons why this slowing of tuition rates has many factors that include public awareness and new technology. To keep costs lowering new technology is likely to force many traditional universities to change the way they view themselves and their roles in society. Consider the cost of buildings, taxes, sports teams, laboratories, and other overhead that large land-grant universities must endure. Elite schools may have large endowments but many state schools must find a way to keep their costs low while ensuring the quality stays high. Public money comes with public scrutiny over its use. The cost of college is of major concern to legislators and students. It has been rising steadily over the past decade and now increased scrutiny over spending has made its way into the government halls. Officials are looking for ways to retard growth while students are seeking to

The State of the Economy-A Harvard Professor's View

I had the pleasure of reading Michael Porter's interview about the state of the economy in USA Today .  Dr. Porter is a professor at Harvard University and a top economic expert. Reading the economic news I have come across great opinions and those opinions that have no basis in economics. Dr. Porter's analysis of the economy and the Trans-Pacific Partnership appears to be accurate and based on well thought out logic. Trans-Pacific Partnership: Consider the need to ensure the U.S. has a level playing field in international markets. We have great potential in this country, and still maintain that potential, but have failed in our and foreign policies. This failure is sometimes based in the misconception that other countries must follow our rules while at other times we develop poorly designed policies that don't protect our own future. Countries have engaged in unfair trade practices that have damaged our economy through tariffs, product dumping, subsidies, and other p

When Research Becomes Important

Throughout history research and information has been ignored, and sometimes ridiculed, because it doesn't fit into the standard mold. I am not discussing the quality of the research but the mold in which it was driven and its eventual results. Every great idea breaks the "status qua" in some way and if it isn't being criticized it isn't  worth anything. Sometimes it takes a decade or more to realize the profound nature of findings. Events take place that make the search for information important to societal stakeholders and result in rediscovery of past research and its importance. Time is the ultimate judge of the quality of findings when seemingly useless findings start taking greater and greater meaning. Looking back through history you will find that uniqueness and novel have not always been rewarded in society. People expect others to act and be as they are in order to validate the benefits of both themselves and their social groups. In science, there sho

Enhancing Job Satisfaction at Large Firms

Job satisfaction leads to retention of qualified individuals and in turn raises the intellectual capital of an organization. Not all organizations know how to develop job satisfaction. Certainly, pay, independence, culture and other company factors can make a big difference but they are not the deciding factor. Smaller firms are more likely to to cultivate job satisfaction than larger firms (Tansel & Gazioglu, 2014). Job satisfaction seems to rest on the relationships people have with their bosses and their co-workers. When these relationships are strong and positive people naturally feel more "in tune" with their environment which raises their positive impressions. When these relationships are positive the enjoy coming into work. The study highlights the importance of humans capacity to be social. This social ability impacts just about everything within one's life. Job promotion, pay, friendship, stress, and even romance are all based in the ability to connect w

International Journal of Engineering and Advanced Research Technology

Dear Professors/Teachers/ Academicians/Research Scholars, IJEART is a rapidly growing academic publication  in  the fields of Sciences and Engineering like Electronics & Communication Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science Engineering, Information Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering etc. Engineering Research Publication is a registered organization, services to inculcation professionals, especially researchers around world.          The organization aims at undertaking, co- coordinating and promoting research and development. It provides professional and academic guidance  in  the fields of basic inculcation, Higher inculcation. IJEART mission is to Promote and support, High Quality basic, Scientific Research and development  in  fields of Engineering Technology and Sciences, Generate Public awareness, provide advice to scholar’s researchers and communicate research outco

Improving Communication Skills to Develop Management Techniques

Communication is an essential skill that makes or breaks a manager's career. Those who can communicate effectively and in a positive manner in a way that motivates others and creates trust are going to be more influential than those who can't. People live within a social network and take cues from their managers in ways that determine employees' work engagement. You might wonder why communication is so essential to strong management? A department is a social network based in shared knowledge and work function similarities. Managers use their work experienc and people knowledge to create greater performance. The manager should be the center of work communication within his/her network. The manager is the one who communicates the daily work tasks to fulfill organizational objectives. Without this knowledge and ability to keep the social group moving forward toward  organizational objectives t every idea of management dissipates. Effective communication is about steering

Small Business Keeps Large Business Adapting

Small business is a major contributor to the U.S. economic system. It doesn't get the same focus as large businesses because of its inability to funnel large amounts of money into the political machinery. It does, however, constitute the future of American society and should be a central part of government decision making. Consider that all major businesses started from someone's entrepreneurial activity. That activity led to a new business venture that if successful grew and accumulated enough resources to create the large corporations of today. Successful business models moved forward but poor models collapse by lack of competitive ability. The process of growth and regeneration starts and ends with small business. New businesses rise, put pressure on large businesses, and then are bought out or drowned out by adapting corporations. Without this constant process of innovation the economic system would slow and eventual lose its place among nations. Small business may no

The Mixed Blessings of Genius and Scientific Breakthroughs

Image
Scientific discovery is about creating something new, doing something unique, or solving an unsolvable problem. It requires uniqueness and novelty not seen in the general population in a way that only statistical outliers can offer. Geniuses and their propensity to push the limits are national assets that lead to scientific breakthroughs. It is hard to advance a field or thought if you don't think much about them. Geniuses often have certain personality traits and idiosyncrasies that lead to thinking and discovering ideas in new ways (Robinson in Topper, 2011). It can take up to 10,000 hours of practice on an idea and thought to make it into something ground breaking. That takes a whole lot of self motivation not found in the average person. Most people are consumed by their daily affairs and work on getting ahead each day. The genius might be more focused on complex ideas while taking relatively poor care of their own needs. One of the reasons why Einstein didn't always