Sunday, November 3, 2013

Amp up Your Career by Improving Your Analytical Skills

American Management Association

Why are analytical skills important?
A 2013 AMA/i4cp study found that:
—58% of company leaders say analytics are important to their organizations
—82% say they will be important in five years

However, only one quarter of the companies in the study felt they were equipped to meet today's analytics needs. Two of the reasons companies need greater analytical skills are:
—A massive influx of data
—Less expensive but more powerful technology that will enable a future increase in the use of Big Data

Organizations with fully developed analytics skills—the ability to organize, analyze, and communicate data that can be applied to their human capital and not just to the other elements of their business—will continue to be the top performers in the years to come.

The AMA/i4cp Analytical Skills study concludes, "The gap between where organizations say they are in terms of analytical abilities and where they would like to be is great. The next step in taming Big Data is closing that distance by drilling down to where those specific deficiencies are in different workforce segments. It is not sufficient to have analytical ability sequestered within traditional, number-crunching departments. Analytical ability must be strengthened throughout the organization, especially among human resources personnel and within the executive team."

The need for analytical skills is growing. The time to amp up your staff's and your own skills in this key area is now.


4 Ways Work Has Changed Forever


By 2016, 75 percent of employed Canadians will be at least somewhat mobile, according to recent research by IDC Canada, and smaller companies will be on the forefront of this work revolution. Furthermore, their employees are much more likely to spend at least three days a week away from the office ‒ whether that's in the field, on location or working from a home office.

1.      Teams are more dispersed. "Work is a thing you do, not a place you go." Many businesses use freelancers. "Engage external team members as effectively as if they were internal"

2.      When working on the go, mobile employees and freelancers need tools to remain productive both in and out of the office. There needs to be a central place for all team communications.

3.      Work is more fluid. "Companies need tools to start something on 1 device & finish on another"

4.      Work is more social now. You want conversations, seamless integration of workflow & tools that integrate with life. Reliable, easy-to-navigate technologies are a key step in building trust and effective working relationships between employees and freelancers as well as customers.

Work has forever changed.

The old world of work is fast disappearing. It's up to all of us to use smart tools, innovative thinking and clever management to ensure we reap the many advantages of mobile work.


Top 5 Health Innovations of the Week


Doctor Chair Brings Healthcare Into The Living Room
Japanese electronics company
Sharp has developed a healthcare support chair that can measure the user's blood pressure, pulse, temperature, body motion, and other vital signs.

Web Robot Can Analyze People's Moods Through Their Voice
MIVOR is a Mood Interpreting Voice-Operated Robot that is designed to visualize the user's inner self.

Keyring Makes Medical Records Portable And Secure
MedicalKeyring is a mobile storage device that helps anyone to carry their medical records wherever they go, protected by biometric security.

Fitness Program Uses Google Glass To Gamify Running
Race Yourself is the first app specifically made for Google Glass that enables users to augment their surroundings while exercising.

Slimming Perfume Repulses Dieters From Snacking
Stink Yourself Slim, which markets itself as the 'world's first malodorant,' is a non-toxic but foul-smelling perfume that people can spray around the food that they want to stop eating.


Why HR Should Bet on Tech to Find Top Talent


Too often, hiring can feel like a roll of the dice. You hope your company is hiring the best talent for your open positions, but finding these people is far from easy. While your gamble might sometimes pay off, just as often lady luck will leave your company with a bad hire.

So what should you do in order to find the best people? It's time to spin the wheel and place your bets on new technology. From video interviews to social media and big data, technology is taking the guesswork out of recruiting the best people.

The infographic below, compiled by Spark Hire, an online video resume and interviewing platform, shows why it's time for employers to place their bets on new technology. Some key reasons to consider new tech include:

  • 94 percent of recruiters plan to use social media in their recruitment efforts
  • Big data is expected to generate 4.4 million jobs by 2015
  • More than 6 in 10 companies are now using video interviews in their recruiting process
  • Companies will spend upwards of $2 billion on gamification services by 2015
  • 70 percent of active job seekers are using their mobile devices to look for jobs


Showing Workplace Competition Who's Boss

Talent Culture

"How will I stand out in the crowd?"

"Do I really have what it takes to succeed?"

These classic workplace questions cross everyone's mind from time to time. No matter where our profession leads us — sales, engineering, consulting, service — we must continually navigate through a sea of highly qualified talent. As our careers progress, so too, does the level of talent that we encounter.

7 Ways To Deal With Workplace Competition

1)      Accept its presence. Competition is ubiquitous.

2)      Recognize it's not a "zero sum" game. Opt for an "abundance mentality."

3)      Identify your "comparison other." How you gauge your career has much to do with those against whom you measure yourself.

4)      Be the "best of you." We're not required to be all things to all people (and shouldn't feel pressured to do so).

5)      Build alliances and collaborate. Network without staying too close to the cuff

6)      Get a mentor or a sponsor. Many successful people speak of a mentor that has either inspired or guided them.

7)      Be aware. There is no greater confidence builder than becoming your own advocate.


20 Tools for Coaching and Teaching

Ed Batista

Vickie Gray, a coach whose writing caught my attention a few years ago, recently became Learning Manager at the Acadia Centre for Social and Business Entrepreneurship, and she asked if I could recommend any resources. As an Instructor and Leadership Coach at the Stanford Graduate School of Business for the last seven (!) years, I've worked with hundreds of MBAs, and the books, articles and other resources below have been important tools in my efforts to help students develop their leadership and interpersonal skills (and in my private coaching practice as well.)


While I make use of these resources in my work at Stanford and my practice, almost all of them can be applied by a leader or manager within their organizations or by any individual seeking to self-coach.

The list easily could have been ten times as long, and there are plenty of great resources I hate leaving out, but a list of 20 seems more likely to actually get read and be helpful. And while I'm sure most of these are familiar to Vickie, hopefully even someone as experienced as she is will find a few new ones.


Your career will soar if you avoid leaders' #1 blind spot

Michael Lee Stallard

Many leaders unknowingly sabotage their careers by wrongly assuming their employees are actively engaged in their work.  This lack of understanding about engagement — enthusiasm, effort and enjoyment at work — will eventually affect the bottom line and make the leader look ineffective.

The average leader engages only three out of every 10 employees. The best leaders engage six or more out of every 10 employees.

Here are three things that will improve engagement among the people you lead and help you become one of the best, not one of the rest.

·        Connect Employees with Customers

·        Help Employees Achieve their Career Aspirations

·        Give Employees Challenging Work that Fits Their Strengths


8 Ways to Spot Great Leadership


Here's the thing – what politics and business would like us to picture as the perfect image of a leader bears little resemblance to the genuine article.  Following are eight ways to spot real leadership:

1.      Not about the platform: I've always said, but for the people there is no platform. You don't lead a platform you lead people.

2.      The art of and not or:  The best leaders don't fall into the trap of either/or thinking. The best leaders realize there's rarely a good reason to juxtapose one option against another in a vacuum.

3.      Ubiquity: I've often said the only place an army of one exists is in a movie. There is no doubt a good leader can accomplish much, but there's also no doubt a culture of leadership can accomplish much more. Leadership that can't be scaled isn't really leadership.

4.      Not tone Deaf: You'll rarely come across successful leaders who have a tin ear. The best leaders are tuned in to the emotional needs of those whom they serve. 

5.      Willing to take the hit: Real leaders are not afraid to give credit, nor are the fearful of taking blame.

6.      Understand Compromise: A my way or the highway attitude is not an attitude that serves leaders well.

7.      No paralysis: Leadership begins at the end of your comfort zone. It's not hard to spot good leaders, as they're the ones who not only live outside their comfort zone, but they inspire others to do the same.

8.      Alignment: I've often said, managing expectations is gamesmanship, but aligning them is leadership.


What Brain Science Can Teach Us About Leadership

Seapoint Center

Much of your brain is hardwired from birth. Our primitive reflexes make us hyper-alert for bad news. Our brains detect negative information faster than positive information, and we have a stronger memory for painful experiences than pleasurable ones. This hardwiring ensured the survival of our ancestors.

But the world has changed, and we now know more about how our brains can best help us in today's world. Studies in brain science have revealed that our prefrontal cortex provides thinking processes that allow us to override the primitive instincts that no longer serve us. It gives us the ability to make choices about our behavior – IF we are intentional.

Three lessons from brain science that can increase your effectiveness as a leader.

1.      When you are emotionally triggered, take a breath.

2.      Take responsibility for your relationships.

3.      Choose words and take actions that benefit others.


Want people to trust you? Try apologizing for the rain

BPS Research Digest

If you want people to see you as trustworthy, try apologising for situations outside of your control such as the rain or a transport delay. That's the implication of a new study by researchers at Harvard Business School and Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. 
The most compelling evidence came from Alison Brooks and her colleagues' fourth and final study in which a male actor approached 65 strangers (30 women) at a train station on a rainy day to ask to borrow their mobile phone. Crucially, for half of them he preceded his request with the superfluous apology: "I'm sorry about the rain!" The other half of the time he just came straight out with his request: "Can I borrow your cell phone?" The superfluous apology made a big difference. Forty-seven per cent of strangers offered their phone when the actor apologised for the rain first, compared with just nine per cent when there was no apology.

The field study followed three laboratory experiments. In the first, 178 students thought they were playing a financial game with a partner located in another room. They were told that on some rounds the computer would override their partner's decisions. Later, if their "partner" (actually the whole thing was pre-programmed) apologised for a computer override, the participants tended to rate him or her as more trustworthy and were more generous towards him or her as a result. This despite the fact the apology was superfluous and for a situation beyond their (the partner's) control.