Talent Management Consulting & Executive Coaching Raleigh, NC

Infusing a New Kind of Workplace
For the Future.

Becoming One at Work

Reprint from 2011

Each day, millions of people around the globe collaborate using various platforms and devices to share and communicate vital information. Key initiatives and critical challenges move forward due to the unique problem solving, innovating, and collaborating skills that individuals offer. When such skills are combined to meet a common goal or objective, the collective power of the communities that result is immeasurable. The benefits of advanced learning, performance agility, and positive change instill a sense of potential that invigorates those involved.

As the global marketplace continues to expand, designing a workplace environment that can compete as well as collaborate presents new challenges to the traditional leadership mode and future core function of management.

The new workplace has become more than just a group of individuals working well together. They must now work as one within the organization. Committed to a deeper purpose and clear understanding as to why the organization exists, a common vision must be shared by all that is specifically designed to attain the organization’s purpose. The focus on collaboration may challenge the traditional norms, leadership modes, and approaches that were highly effective in the past. Given today’s challenges and a dramatically different workforce ahead, management’s traditional mode may now only work in some circumstances.  For instance, let’s consider Apple’s business model.

Apple is known for dynamically changing the world and industry of telecommunications.  In 2007 innovators launched the infamous iPhone. From that time onward, the world has eagerly awaited the next “i” something to come from the organization now known for its inspiration, creativity and innovation.  The advent of the iPhone produced record breaking sales and resulted in the creation of the App Store for Apple’s loyal followers. Generating revenues through high volume and low cost downloads, the virtual retail mall served to not only disrupt its competitors, it created a community where professionals and freelancers alike could create and design with great ease and convenience. Those apps that reflect Apple’s high standards and become successful downloads have allowed members in the community such as Ethan Nicholas, the inventor of the game iShoot, to gain a sense of freedom and creativity not found in most positions.  Apple’s strategic move disrupted more than the telecommunications industry. It has  disrupted and altered the perceptions of a segment of the future workforce. A unique dimension must now be considered when organizations think of retention and creating opportunities that will lead the organization forward. It calls attention to the need to redesign the workplace of the future.

While creativity and innovation are embraced and celebrated in Apple’s culture, it is understood that there is a code of conduct and protocol that members of the community must adhere to; must operate within certain parameters and restrictions. Unique leadership characteristics and an unwavering commitment to values must be instilled from the top down in order to allow the existence of a community that benefits from so much freedom of creativity and design. It is the collaborative undertone that permeates the culture at Apple that allows for the celebration of individual creativity as well as collective contributions.

The transformational journey and increased accountability for many industries will be a marathon. As leaders,

  • What does it mean to put forth the effort that this new environment is requesting from all of us?
  • What does it mean to grow leadership and model the organizational values of excellence?
  • What does it mean to allow your organization to be transparent, accountable and able?
  • What does it mean to give up smart control?

Time to refocus your culture and shape key priorities toward becoming one?

You can learn more by calling us at 877-628-3873 and explore new approaches towards becoming one.

© 2011  All rights reserved. Judy White, SPHR, GPHR, HCS, SPHR-SCP™ is the founder of The Infusion Group™.  A trusted partner in creating new possibilities in workplace design, future of work strategies and organizational management to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, and society.

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5 Keys To Increasing Customer Satisfaction Through Employee Engagement

If there is one thing that large enterprises have learned over the last decade: they need to constantly evolve and adapt with consumer habits in sociallisteningcustomerjourneyorder to stay viable. The emergence of new technology and the ability for the consumer to have unlimited information at their finger-tips makes maintaining an advantage over your competitors a daunting task.

Similarly, maintaining employee satisfaction can be equally as challenging. Online platforms like Glassdoor make the employee experience transparent for everyone to see. This is especially crucial as millennials start to comprise the majority of our workforce. Millennials now make up one-third of the U.S. workforce¹, according to the Pew Research Center, and with this new generation of workers comes noticeably different goals.

Traditional top-down strategies, methods and tactics on measuring employee engagement needs a reset, just as much as tactics towards customer engagement have shifted over time.

The importance of optimizing employee engagement is immense as millennials are not the only ones changing the world and impacting the workplace. Generation C, the connected customer, is here and the customer experience is on track to outpace product and price strategies by 2020.²  Fostering an environment where people feel connected to the organization and allowing employees to develop is important in employee retention. Innovation is part of daily operations, and while retention has been a place of importance for HR and leaders for decades, it couldn’t be more important now, with the emergence of a new generation dominating the majority of our workforce, changing work infrastructure, and increasing customer interactions across every digital channel.

53% of managers say they have a hard time retaining millennials, and further identifies that 58% of millennials expect to leave their jobs in the next three years, according to a study done by Odesk,

Here are five ways to improve employee engagement at your organization and foster a culture of listening.

Define value for your organization

Every organization differs in its structure and method of communication between workers, managers, senior executives, and customers. In order to expand employee engagement you need to identify the point in your organization where improvements matter.

Do your employees appreciate giving feedback? When leaders receive the feedback do they make alterations accordingly, and do they have the ability to do so fluidly?  More importantly, do they acknowledge the employees feedback in a meaningful way? In order for your employees and leaders to feel like they are contributing to a bigger vision and strategic goal, they need to know that their voices are being heard in some capacity, even if the outcome doesn’t go their way.

Ditch the annual engagement surveys

For an organization to be relevant for the connected consumer and engage a modern workforce, companies must focus on building a listening capacity by creating a single source of truth and making people intelligence accessible throughout the enterprise. Annual surveys may have served a purpose at one time, but often lack the ability to provide real-time intelligence that is crucial in capturing specific feedback along the employee and customer experience. Modern workplaces must consider “people insight” as an engagement enablement function in order to provide  personalized employee experiences to effectively engage, grow, and retain employees and customers.

Real-time feedback is crucial in capturing specific points along the employee experience, just as you would with your customer journey. By listening and capturing feedback during certain touch-points, you can understand shifts in workforce sentiment and place context behind those changes.

A yearly summary is too long a duration of time to identify issues early in a process’s life-cycle. Some campaigns only last a matter of months, making this issue even more important.

Skip reporting mere numbers

Pure metrics are good at looking at overall trends but lack the deeper understanding of the question of “why?” Focus on answering critical business questions. For example,

“What causes our employees to change engagement over time?” and
“What is the impact on customer outcomes?”

Taking a holistic approach is often better at connecting inputs that can deconstruct findings to create real insight on value opportunities and solve business issues rather than reporting mere statistics.

Has your company recently introduced a new software system or has it changed a business process drastically? If a leadership change has taken place have the new leaders re-engaged their diverse workforce with the right consistency? How are flexible resources (contingent, freelancers, temps, etc.) connecting to internal people networks and impacting the customer and workplace experience?

Also consider opportunities of advancement and the potential for employees to expand their role at your organization. Evaluate whether these opportunities exist, and if they don’t, what can you do in order to make them more adaptable to meet the needs of the customer.

By looking at the context of your organization you can readily identify places where your employees are highly engaging or disengaging with their work, and the reasons behind it.

Rethink your Methods

Consider people intelligence by measuring and facilitating employee sensing in real-time rather than a one-time event in an annual employee survey. New tools and sophisticated text analytic engines can provide continuous social listening and are capable of correlating this feedback with the way employee’s engage in their work within your organization’s day-to-day.

Focus action quickly

As you rethink employee engagement, what changes may be required to guide your leaders in how to act on new people intelligence? Having real-time people intelligence is only part of the formula; you need to execute quickly in order to contribute to the customer experience. What structural changes may need to be made within your organization to allow greater ability for leaders to make the appropriate adaptations required to move with the speed of business?

Engagement is of paramount importance for companies looking to succeed in the coming decades. Retraining and onboarding of new employees is costly and time consuming. But it goes far beyond as employee engagement plays a critical factor in illuminating a positive customer experience.

60% of companies see customer service as a top source of differentiation in the next three years, and 71% of businesses are now putting a stronger emphasis on customer service, according to SAP. The results are clear. Employee engagement and the B2C relationship are strong drivers in what makes your business unique and ultimately viable in contemporary markets.

© 2015 All rights reserved. Judy White, SPHR, GPHR, HCS, SPHR-SCP™ is the founder of The Infusion Group™. A trusted partner in creating new possibilities in workplace design, future of work strategies and organizational management to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, and society.

This article was published on CEO.com

Photo credit:  Shutterstock

Sources:

¹ Fry, Richard. “Millennials Surpass Gen Xers as the Largest Generation in U.S. Labor Force.” Pew Research Center RSS. Pew Research Center, 11 May 2015. Web. 17 Dec. 2015.

² Customer 2020: The Future of B-2-B Customer Experience, Walker. Web 21 Dec. 2015.

3 “Millennial Majority Workforce.” Elance-oDesk.com. Elance-oDesk, 29 Oct. 2014. Web. 17 Dec. 2015. <http://elance-odesk.com/millennial-majority-workforce>.

4 “44 Facts Defining the Future of Customer Engagement.” 44 Facts Defining the Future of Customer Engagement. SAP CEC, 6 Oct. 2014. Web. 17 Dec. 2015.

 

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Staying Competitive in the Age of Automation

Say hello to machines that can now read your emotions! Yes, and that’s not all they are getting good at, according to the Wall Street Journal, robots are Robotshuttertaking on more elaborate tasks.¹

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are transforming the lives of many workers in retail, healthcare, manufacturing, and hotel industries. The aging workforce is growing and so is the use of robotic health aides. In reality, all industries since the 1990’s have been changed in some way due to software technology. This change is a constant and transcends socio-economic and industrial barriers; however that’s not to say some industries haven’t been more significantly affected by the improvement of AI.

One specific example is the refinement in math-based algorithms that track and predict trends and patterns, such as the algorithms that control high-frequency trades. While some content management systems give us insights into pure statistics, it’s typically left to a human to develop a strategy behind the numbers. This is not true with predictive trading, which in 2010 accounted for over 60 percent of all U.S. equity volume.²

As demonstrated by the stock market, every senior executive and professional needs to be asking what will be the implications of artificial intelligence and machine learning be for our business model, customer experience, employability and future work.

Even the CEO’s job is at risk of automation–a fact that has been verified by the report done by McKinsey&Company. Much of the tasks performed by high-paid professionals like financial planners, physicians, and senior executives can be automated. As much as 20% of a CEO’s working time, such as evaluation of financial reports and operational decision making can be automated by a program.³

As economic developers, executives and leaders take on the critical work of determining how do we reinvent and create high-paying jobs for a new century, management needs to take a proactive approach to reducing the fear and anxiety associated with these significant shifts and ensure they are taking appropriate actions to lead effective dialogue sessions in the workplace and rethink human capital strategy for the new era.

One thing is also certain, modern contributors need to become the CEO of their career. Workers need to take charge of it and constantly cultivate self-learning and development plans to ensure employability in an evolving world of work.

Robots and machines may be eliminating more technical and advanced tasks, but for the present, they do not reflect the same experience that people bring to customer, vendor, team, and investor relationships.

If technology will be able to emote human creativity in the future as author Erik Brynjolfsson predicts in his book The Second Machine Age,⁴ then what skills will modern contributors need to cultivate and maintain a high level of competitiveness for long-term employability?

As indicated in the McKinsey Report, the importance of this evolution isn’t whether or not some jobs tasks can be automated, but rather which portions of your job could and should be automated so you can allocate more time towards things that machines are incapable of doing.

Here are a few things you can do in order to stay competitive in an age of automation.

Extend Empathy

Empathy paves the way for relationship building and collaboration. Many business relationships are highly affected by the bond that employees share with one another. This also transcends to both B2B and B2C relationships. A report done by Econsultancy showed that 78% of respondents thought that a company’s customer service reputation was an important factor going into the decision on whether to purchase a product. 37% say that they expect to be able to contact the same customer service representative.⁵ This interaction, even on the smallest level increases customer satisfaction and retention.

Motivation and leadership are also two emotions that are unique to people as well and can contribute to a happy and engaged workforce. Developing leaders harnesses the human capability to take responsibility and innovate new processes, and cultivates an attitude of contributing to the whole organization for the betterment of others.

Maintain and Promote your Creativity

Things like art, design, and writing can be aided with the use of software technology, but still require a human to develop. For that reason, give your creativity a boost and place a larger emphasis towards igniting your creative side as thoughtful approaches to new problems could be your most valuable asset in the future.

What do you do to maintain and expand your creativity? Listening to music, reading a book, playing an instrument, learning, or taking a class exercises your creative mind and allows you to look at problems or challenges in an objective and unique way.

Trustworthiness and Understanding Human Relationships

In 2013 a Tweet was sent from a hacked account for the Associated Press and caused the S&P 500 to lose 121 billion dollars in value in the matter of minutes.⁶

Many cases have been made against this level of automation, and human brokers who in the past traditionally traded stock brought a level of market stability. The inability for the software to make a determination on early unverified reports caused a catastrophe that would have otherwise been avoided.

Think about how you can increase trustworthiness in your workplace. While a robot may provide accuracy and consistency, it’s impossible for a robot to replicate the kind of trusting relationship you build with your colleagues, partners, and customers when agreements are strengthened and every member can be relied upon to contribute their part in a meaningful way.

Additionally, it’s important to look at the ability for an effective leader to resource human capital on teams that are likely to work productively. This evaluation and understanding can only be achieved by embracing people’s emotions and the relationships that compose a team.

Mobility and Adaptability

Many people are adaptable and in a high-paid profession, this is a crucial asset to have regardless of your career. Programs are limited to their intended function, something that both people and the companies that employ them will set in their programming. An individual’s ability to wear many hats, and easily transition from one task to another make versatility important.

In addition, many companies now run on an omni-channel platform which makes your ability to understand concepts in many different areas increasingly important. Again, while a robot may be good, or even the best, at handling a single task, it is unable to make correlations between things it doesn’t know–which is something a good manager or executive is completely capable of doing. Take every opportunity to expand your knowledge, and when given the opportunity delve into topics you may be unfamiliar, go in head first. Your versatility of knowledge and execution of tasks will make you an important asset in the coming robotic future.

Ignite New Ideas

Motivation and a feeling of community is the strongest asset for some companies. Inventing a new product, or creating a new operational task is very difficult, but that’s not all you can do. The ability to ignite new and innovative ideas in others by promoting healthy discussion and meaningful communication is something that AI is incapable of doing.

This is a fact that’s actually backed up by science. When someone is motivated dopamine is released in their brain and compels them to take action towards their goals.⁷

The fear of technology replacing jobs has been around since the 1930’s when John Maynard Keynes coined the phrase “technological unemployment.”⁸ Since then, jobs have still been available to humans, though we are entering a unique phase of advanced robotics. The key is, and has always been, to leverage your unique skills and attributes in order to develop a skill-set that is high in demand. Taking charge of your personal and professional growth through self-learning and development, especially skills in high-demand areas, will not only strengthen your contribution but increase employability for the future. Instead of looking at automation as a potential stumbling block, consider looking at it as a way to minimize tasks that will one day be deemed less important, and embrace our ability to allocate more time in enhancing what matters in our organizations, relationships.

© 2015 All rights reserved. Judy White, SPHR, GPHR, HCS, SPHR-SCP™ is the founder of The Infusion Group™. A trusted partner in creating new possibilities in workplace design, future of work and organizational management to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, and society.

Photo credit:  Shutterstock

Sources:

¹ Martin, Alexander. “Moore’s Law Will Bring Emotional Machines — SoftBank CEO.” Digits RSS. Wall Street Journal, 17 Apr. 2015. Web. 17 Dec. 2015.

² Phillips, Matthew. “How the Robots Lost: High-Frequency Trading’s Rise and Fall.” Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg, 6 June 2013. Web. 17 Dec. 2015.

³ Chui, Michael, James Manyika, and Mehdi Miremadi. “Four Fundamentals of Workplace Automation.” Four Fundamentals of Workplace Automation. McKinsey&Company, 1 Nov. 2015. Web. 17 Dec. 2015.

⁴ Brynjolfsson, Erik, and Andrew McAfee. The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies. Print.

⁵ Davis, Ben. “Omnichannel Customer Service [stats and Infographics].”Econsultancy.com. Econsultancy, 26 Nov. 2013. Web. 17 Dec. 2015.

⁶ Farrell, Maureen. “Twitter Flash Crash Fueled by High Speed Trading.”CNNMoney. CNN, 24 Apr. 2013. Web. 17 Dec. 2015.

⁷ Nguyen, Thai. “Hacking Into Your Happy Chemicals: Dopamine, Serotonin, Endorphins and Oxytocin.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 20 Oct. 2014. Web. 17 Dec. 2015.

⁸ “John Maynard Keynes.” The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. Library of Economics and Liberty. Web. 17 Dec. 2015. http:/www.econlib.org/library/Enc/bios/Keynes.html

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Every 60 Seconds This Happens on the Internet

The global internet population now represents 3.2 billion people; an 18.5% increase from 2013 – 2015. What we do every day in the digital space creates data.  Every time a person clicks, likes, uploads a photo or tweets, generates a volume of data that is staggering. Measuring and analyzing this data is critical for organizations and brands to understand shifting consumer preferences.

Just how much data does digital activity create?

Tech start-up Domo has released the third installment of business intelligence and the results are mind-bending.  Every 60 seconds, 

  • Twitter users send 347,222 tweets
  • Skype users make 110,040 calls
  • Apple users download 51,000 apps
  • Amazon receives 4,310 unique visits

Video 

  • Vine users play 1,041,666 videos
  • Netflix streams 77,160 hours of video
  • YouTube users upload 300 hours of NEW video

Here’s a look at Data Never Sleeps 3.0 Infographic by Domo: 
15_domo_data-never-sleeps-3_final1 (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2015 All rights reserved. Judy White, SPHR, GPHR, HCS, SPHR-SCP™ is the founder of The Infusion Group™. A trusted partner in creating new possibilities in workplace design, future of work and organizational management to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, and society.

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The Untapped Potential in Connect­Ability

udesign

This article was originally published in
the HR People + Strategy 

An estimated 11,000 people turn 65 each day in America according to the Pew Research Center.1 As our workforce begins to retire and more directors and managers need to be sourced internally, it’s crucial that organizations look at their succession management strategies in order to be prepared for workers who are likely to be different from both a generational and cultural standpoint. This not only applies to management, but to every level of the organization. Thus, it’s essential that in order to stay relevant to the consumer in a shifting global marketplace that a company adapt to these changes structurally as employees begin to retire.

One massively overlooked source for potential can be found in graduating university students with disabilities. More than ever, the ability for students with disabilities to not only operate, but thrive in a university setting is not surprisingly translated well to the professional and corporate environment.  As our workforce begins to retire and sourcing talent becomes increasingly more challenging, it’s important we look at fresh alternatives to the traditional train of thought on who can help run our organizations. According to the latest data by the US Census Bureau, 19 .5 million, or about 9.9 percent of those aged between 16­-64 have a disability.2 Instead of looking at the required adaptation as a sunk cost, executives should be looking towards the competitive advantage of having a diverse workforce who can understand the needs of an ever evolving consumer base.

This transition can help an organization retune embedded processes to fit a new age of opportunity. Adaptation, while on some fronts may seem costly, will only serve to improve an organization over the long term if implemented correctly.

Connect­Ability is the ability for a company to seamlessly integrate individuals with the best talent, credentials, and skills to job roles that fit the needs of the organization’s business strategy. Traditional human resource strategies of talent acquisition and outdated interview assessments often miss the potential of candidates. Businesses of all sizes are realizing the competitive advantage of adapting talent strategies and are creating new pathways in order to understand the abilities of university students and utilizing them in various roles and capacities at their companies.

One company who has fully embraced Connect­Ability is Pricewaterhouse Coopers who connects the disabled with mentors that guide them with career goals, as well as hosting workshops and events that encourages networking between university students and experts in the field. They also maintain a Disability Strategy Council which is comprised of partners and key leaders that make sure that policies and tools within the organization work for everyone. Pricewaterhouse embraces the advantages of having a diverse, highly skilled workforce and understands that having an employee base who operates inclusively produces the best results. If we look at PwC ’s strategy we see that instead of looking at the integration of employees with disabilities as a challenge, they instead look at it as an opportunity to field the best talent for the position.

Indeed, if we look at Fortune 500 CEOs we will also see that disabilities do not prevent one from being successful or bringing exceptional value to a company. Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has dyslexia which has not stopped him from conceptualizing and creating a multi­billion dollar, multi­tiered business. If we look closer we can draw correlating lines to the traditional methods of education and standardized methods of talent acquisition for a company, as Branson did very poorly on standardized tests but was highly intelligent and capable. If we stick to this standardized approach, we will miss out on tangible opportunities for human capital.

There are others, like Paul Orfalea , the 30 year CEO of Kinkos (now FedEx Office) who not only speaks out about his disability, but advocates for universal design principles and inclusion. Orfalea , who was diagnosed with ADHD and Dyslexia successfully developed Kinkos from a $5,000 loan to a multi­million dollar business with thousands of locations across the United States. Paul’s charitable foundation, the Orfalea Foundation, concentrates on improving the quality of early education and changing teaching models so that all children are included in the learning process.

Leading employers can benefit by developing relationships with University Students and students with disabilities early on, in order to learn about their experiences, achievements, and their keen ability to bring fresh thinking to complex business challenges. Collaborating with University Career Centers can enhance your organization’s recruitment models by building opportunities for leaders to meet with students on or off campus, participate in events, or support a company’s effort to host off site mentoring at your corporate office. This not only benefits the students, but will prepare your organization to quickly on­board talented college graduates.

Helping students achieve their full potential is a crucial aspect of Duke University‘s student experience. According to Leigh Fickling, Duke’s Executive Director of Disability Management Systems, “Our goal in DMS is to help students with qualified disabilities to gain access to the information, resources, and support systems here on campus and within the local community. Through our programs, peer­to­peer mentoring, and resources, we are able to work closely with students with disabilities, professors and their families to ensure that students increase their skills and are advocates for their educational experience. My goal is to empower them to achieve their full potential while they are at Duke. All of our students with disabilities graduate and go on to pursue advanced degrees.”

One of those students, Jay Ruckelshaus, organized a National Disability Retreat in 2014 called “Beyond Disability, Beyond Compliance”. Ruckelshaus, who fell victim to a diving accident a year before attending Duke is a quadriplegic and leading national advocate for the advancement of the way we think about students with disabilities. Instead of concentrating solely on the traditional issues of compliance, he instead opened the conversation to a larger talk of campus culture and the unique experience of higher education for someone with a disability. He has created a national talk about how we view those with disabilities and how we can design learning, products and environments to be usable by all people. The ideas of universal design and inclusion do not only aid the disabled, but create a stronger community overall. Universal Design is not specific to Duke University, either. The University of Arizona implements Universal Design principles into all aspects of construction on their campus. The idea is to design things so that everyone can use them to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. This proactive approach of architecture is meant to reduce or eliminate the need for individual accommodations and increase the level of inclusion and participation of all users. These concepts are crucial in improving the ability for those with a disability to contribute, learn and thrive in the group.

Company’s methods need to adapt in order to harness the potential of a totally inclusive and diverse workplace. As a new generation begins to lead corporations and make impactful financial decisions, it’s important that we are pulling from the largest and brightest talent pool possible. Inclusion has historically aided companies in not only maintaining a healthier, more diverse, and educated workforce, but also in giving the unique perspectives and views that are needed in an organization to appeal to every consumer. Before we select the second or third best option, let’s change the way we look at hiring, engage potential candidates, and connect the unique talents, experiences, and skills that are gained from being a university student with a disability.

Judy White, SPHR, GPHR, HCS, SPHR-SCP™ is the founder of The Infusion Group™.  A trusted partner and catalyst in creating new workplace possibilities in a new world of work to achieve strategic growth and elevate business performance.

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Sources:

1 Cohn, D ’vera , and Paul Taylor. “Baby Boomers Approach 65 – Glumly.” Pew Research Centers Social Demographic Trends Project RSS. Pew Research Center, 20 Dec. 2010 . Web. 9 Sept. 2015 .

2 “Disability Among the Working Age Population: 2008 and 2009 .” Census.gov. The United States Census Bureau, 1 Sept. 2010 . Web. 9 Sept. 2015.

“Richard Branson Biography.” Bio .com. A &E Networks Television. Web. 9 Sept. 2015 .

Dudash, April. “Duke to Host National Disability Retreat.” Duke Today. Duke University. Web. 9 Sept. 2015.

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Management Innovation

Emerging patterns of work, technology, talent mobility, networks, shifting consumer preferences and supply chains are presenting leaders with a critical need to innovate their organization at all levels, especially management, in order to survive.

managementinnovationAccording to a recent Business Insider article, companies have to innovate rapidly. It’s a level of innovation that goes beyond just a workplace or technology solution. It’s an ability to innovate across an entire organization in order to adapt to new business models. In the article Red Hat’s CEO Jim Whitehurst states, “Frankly a large percentage of the Fortune 500 will be left behind. Change is hard.” He continues, “I think the majority will be left behind and be replaced by new companies. It will be the few great companies that are actually able to change.”

Transforming any organization is no small feat and for larger organizations it may be even more challenging.  Business thinker and author Gary Hamel shares,

“What confronts every company, large or small…is learning to thrive in a world where change is discontinuous, unrelenting and pitiless… companies are much better at optimization than they are at rule-breaking, game-changing…radical innovation – and yet, that is exactly what is required in turbulent times.”

While management changes may be inevitable for organizations to survive,  brave leaders must redirect the fear and apprehension that often accompanies constant change into positive actions that can open the doors to smarter investments and experiments, new workplace models, critical core skill development so that worker contribution can be maximized.

To elevate innovation, an effective workplace strategy must simultaneously address the social, physical, and technical components of the work environment as well as the financial considerations, since each factor impacts the others.

The workplace is the body language of the company. Its design and supporting structures send messages about who you are, what you stand for and what you value. While one’s connection to the company is largely financial, a good workplace can make that connection purposeful and emotional as well.  As human beings, isn’t this what most people desire – connection?

We have a responsibility to make our workplaces work. From a business perspective, they need to be adaptable, located properly and support the activities that help us meet company objectives. But we also have an obligation, driven by our humanity, to make our workplaces inspiring, connecting and healthy — empowering us to contribute from within – who we are and evolve toward who we are becoming.

The business and the people aspects of the modern workplace are two sides of the same laptop. People are the source of ideas, production, sales growth and customer connections. If the workplace works for people, it will work for business.

The opportunities for innovation are right in front of us:

  • Management Innovation:  As the Boomers pass the torch of power and authority to the next generation of leaders – Gen X, Millennial and Gen Z, new workspace models will become the norm. How leaders lead and manage in the new model may be one of the biggest innovations in the coming era. The conversations executives are having today will be very different in just five years when the Millennials will comprise the majority of the modern workforce. The generation that changed everything, Boomers, still have one more change to make: paving the way for the more authentic, more cross-culturally infused workplace.
  • Priorities:  Organizations are spending money on workspace and technology, but leading organizations invest in the right areas — things that connect people, extend brand, drive innovation and send messages about who they are and what they really stand for to their customers, investors, contributors and potential hires.
  • Footprint changes: Whenever we move, expand or refresh our space, we have an opportunity to make a significant, lasting impact on our company and the people in our care.
  • Key success skills: We must redirect the fear and apprehension often associated with workplace change into positive actions that make lives better. Challenging changes, like those presented by new workplace models, outdated management and organizational practices, develop core skills critical for business today.

Managing costs will continue to be a responsible practice of management, however, the true reward will be reflected in making smart investments so that the experience of our contributors is the most enlightening and productive as possible.

Once we decide to invest in this noble effort to continuously innovate, there are experts, methods and tools to make it happen. Everything listed above can be prioritized, managed and measured and still remain true to business realities.

The workplace is where much of life happens. If we can get it right, we can make our contributors’ and customers’ lives even better. And isn’t that good for business and a modern world of work?

© 2015  All rights reserved. Judy White, SPHR, GPHR, HCS, SPHR-SCP™ is the founder of The Infusion Group™.  A trusted partner in creating new possibilities in workplace culture design and organizational management to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, and society.
Join the Innovate Work conversation 
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What Kind of Leaders Are Millennials? A New Study Reveals

A new survey shows how Generation Y will define the leadership of the future.

millennialleaderMany aspiring millennial leaders say that want to empower others to succeed and give followers a
sense of purpose according to a new study.  It’s important to understand this generational view as organization’s align future business strategies and growth priorities. It is noteworthy for Chief Talent Officer’s in designing succession management, an element of the organization’s overall Human Capital Strategy, and key for CEOs to take note as they cultivate younger executives and groom them for higher positions in the the C-suite, and potentially to take on the CEO role that leaders of this generation may require new methods to mentoring, learning and training than previous generations.

Leadership is a popular topic these days. You have probably read about a shortage of great role models or the need for a change in leadership styles. What we know for sure is that millennials, the next generation in line to be leaders, are beginning to step up to the plate and will define what leadership looks like in the future.

Millennials want to be leaders. Ninety-one percent of millennials aspire to be leaders, according to The Millennial Leadership Study, a new survey jointly conducted by Virtuali, a leadership training firm and consultancy, and WorkplaceTrends.com, a research and advisory membership portal.

Interestingly, of the 91 percent seeking leadership responsibilities, more than half are women. More women in leadership roles could impact or even break up the “good ol’ boys” network and pay inequality, criticized by so many today. And if women become more dominant and influential, their communication and work styles guarantee a shift in how companies are lead. Here’s what else to expect:

Read more:  U.S. News & World Report

To get fresh strategies that can help you free workplace potential, accelerate strategic growth and maximize business performance, please call or tweet us @InfusionGrpLLC

© 2015  All rights reserved. Judy White, SPHR, GPHR, HCS, SPHR-SCP™ is the founder of The Infusion Group™.  A trusted partner in creating new possibilities in workplace culture design and organizational management to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, and society.   @InfusionGrpLLC

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Give Power to Your Micro Moments

In the digital world, micro moments are often defined as a mobile moment that requires only a givemicromomentsglance to identify and deliver quick information through your smart phone that you can either consume, or act on immediately. Micro moments also represents a relational step along the customer’s journey and their interaction with a brand. Cultivating care in each micro moment is essential for brands who desire to build customer relationships and lasting value.

Like the digital world, the strength of each meaningful relationship in an organization requires authenticity, genuineness, and being present in the moment. Each interaction between a company’s leaders, their workers, and customers must build upon the relationship – micro moments like a warm hello when your contributors arrive to the office or when they log into the virtual office, alerting staff of each new customer, remembering each customer’s name when they call or visit, glancing up with a smile when someone approaches you, providing useful insight or respectful feedback, practicing service recovery with grace, or even extending a small gesture to delight your customer.

When you and your organization focus on making each interaction meaningful and creating bonds that leave memorable micro moments, you will become unstoppable in achieving a world-class, enlightened customer experience.

Give power to your micro moments and declare your standards for an excellent customer experience. Be a differentiator and invest your best self today.

To get more fresh strategies that can help you free potential, accelerate strategic growth and maximize business performance, please call or tweet us @InfusionGrpLLC 

© 2015 All rights reserved.  Judy White, SPHR, GPHR, HCS, SHRM-SCP is a former corporate leader of some of the award-winning brands in health insurance, health care, technology and Fortune Global 500 manufacturing. Judy believes that the route to success in any organization lies simply in its ability to really innovate how people live, work, and play in a new world of work. That’s why she left the corporate suite to create a company helping modern leaders to do exactly that.

 

 

 

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Multimodal Mobility That Matches Your Lifestyle

There are more than new ways of working impacting the new workplace. As cities across America address the Mobilityondemandaging populations, changes in lifestyle preferences, and rising transportation challenges, communities are looking at ways to improve the quality of life rather than diminish it.  Big data is going to work and giving citizens, especially urban dwellers, a new mobility.

What is the new mobility?

Changing lifestyle preferences among younger generations is opening the door to different modes of transportation and travel. Rather than own a vehicle and contend with traffic congestion and expenses associated with limited parking in many cities, the new mobility gives people choices that enable them to get around more easily and conveniently. It’s a mobility service that integrates different modes of transportation allowing interested citizens to subscribe thereby allowing easy access to car sharing, bike sharing programs, and public transportation.

The new mobility service is expected to provide a universal payment system accessed through an app or a subscribers cell phone.  The new mobility offers an attractive option for citizens who would like to increase their mobility and modes of transportation rather than rely only on automobile ownership.

Connected vehicles are beginning to provide intelligent transportation data and when this information is infused with new technologies like mobile ticketing, open payments, demand based parking pricing and real-time parking guidance is opening the doors to new possibilities.

What does new mobility look like?

Here’s a brief video to see what the new mobility looks like:

Are there implications for employers?     Yes.

While new mobility services are generally targeted toward individual subscribers, modern employers should also consider how these new services might lend to your organization’s overall business strategy, workforce initiatives, wellness and benefit offerings, and safety and security programs.

For example,

  • How will mobility and transportation services impact your organization’s business strategy or supply chain?
  • How might these services support initiatives to attract and retain talent segments in
    areas you do business currently or will be expanding to?
  • What parking discounts are you offering workers and are there opportunities to include
    cost-share or benefit discounts for alternate modes of commuting?
  • What security and/or policy implications might your organization need to consider regarding business travel for any devices or smart phones being provided to workers who may utilize mobility services?
  • Are safety awareness training efforts effectively meeting changing mobility and digital patterns?

These are a few thoughts that modern employers may find further discussion with relevant stakeholders necessary in order to ensure your organization is prepared for the new mobility.

Improving the quality of life and mobility through different modes of transportation can have a positive impact on cities everywhere.  To learn more about the mobility research, please visit Mobility Labs.

 

© 2015 All rights reserved.  Judy White, SPHR, GPHR, HCS, SHRM-SCP is a former corporate leader of some of the award-winning brands in health insurance, health care, technology and Fortune Global 500 manufacturing. Judy believes that the route to success in any organization lies simply in its ability to really innovate how people live, work, and play in a new world of work. That’s why she left the corporate suite to create a company helping modern leaders to do exactly that. To discover fresh strategies that can help you free potential, accelerate strategic growth and maximize business performance, please call or send us a tweet @InfusionGrpLLC

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North Carolina – What Makes the Quality of Work Life Fit Great?

 

Planning your next business expansion initiative or looking to make a career life fit move?

Consider a remarkable place to work and live, North Carolina.  It’s a state with a lot to offer. North Carolina is the recipient of numerous business accolades and home to an impressive list of schools and universities. The state’s quality of life is constantly recognized as exceptional and holds a rich history.  These notable features have been captured in this following infographic and celebrates a place people of North Carolinians consider a remarkable place to work, live and call home!

ncqualityofliving

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designed by: NCHeadlines

Questions about your expansion plan?
Give us a call at 877.628.3873 and explore new possibilities to maximize your growth and enjoy a
remarkable work, life fit.

© 2015  All rights reserved. Judy White, SPHR, GPHR, HCS, SPHR-SCP™ is the founder of The Infusion Group™.  A trusted partner in creating new workplace possibilities in a new world of work to free potential, accelerate strategic growth and maximize business performance.  @InfusionGrpLLC

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