Did you know that, on average, executives spent nearly 23 hours a week in meetings? What’s more, 65 percent of senior managers say meetings keep them from completing their own work and 71 percent say the meetings are unproductive and inefficient.
Photo credit: AleXander Agopian via Flickr
I came across these depressing stats while reading an article from the Harvard Business Review about how to “Stop The Meeting Madness.” My husband suggested I read it after yet another dinner-time exchange that resulted in me describing my day as mostly spent in meetings. In an effort to understand more about how this meeting culture developed and how it was impacting my day-to-day, I dug a little deeper to also find some solutions. Read more after the jump…
Nowadays things move so fast that spending time reflecting on what’s working and where you can improve on a specific strategy can feel like a luxury. Planning for the New Year? Sure – it’s possible to throw together a plan in an hour, but it’s unlikely you’ll see outstanding results. Now is the perfect time to carve out a few hours to meet with your team to look back on 2017 and talk about what success looks like for your team and your brand in 2018. It might be a challenge to find the time, but it’s an exercise that’s certain to pay off in the long run.
We’re just weeks away from the New Year, so now is the perfect time to evaluate how your social media content strategy performed in 2017 while considering how you might modify for 2018. Are the right team members on board? How often are you using video? Are you leveraging user-generated content? Consider these and more trends in this helpful article. Read more after the jump…
In the early days of social media, many brands had a real concern about consumers using these new platforms to seek out freebies.
Whether it was a customer complaining about a restaurant experience or claiming that a packaged good didn’t live up to expectations, brands were often concerned about publicly offering replacements or coupons in fear of opening the flood gates to greedy onlookers.
Why Customers Complain on Social
We can now report that, in our many years of experience, customers complaining on social are rarely looking for a handout. And, recent research from Sprout Social backs that claim. Most often, complaining customers are simply looking to raise awareness among fellow consumers (70%) or gain an apology or solution (55%) from the brand they’re targeting. Less than half the time are they looking for a refund (38%) or seeking a discount (19%). Read more after the jump…
Whether you’re a recent grad or preparing for a milestone high school reunion – there’s something about the “Back to School” season and quick change of seasons from summer to fall that drums up nostalgia for many people. And while my own children have been back to school for a little bit now, the very recent prospect of new backpacks, fresh notebooks and un-sharpened pencils really brought me back to that annual feeling of the chance for a fresh start.
Early New Year’s Resolutions
I recently read an article in Real Simple that offered “5 Excellent Habits to Start When School Does.” As adults, we often look to New Year’s Resolutions to start something new, but this article got me thinking that Back to School is a good time, too!
Start Assignments Immediately
My favorite tip from this article is to adopt a “read and discuss” policy. How often have you put off a project to the last minute, only to find that it actually would take only a few minutes to finish? I know I’ve done it before, and I love this tip for diving in to understand the components immediately. If it’s easy, just get it done! If it’s going to take a little more time, the “read and discuss” approach allows for some time to ponder the best plan of attack. Read more after the jump…
You won’t be surprised to learn that at GFM and CenterTable our team members share a lot of similarities. This goes so far as to include how we work (collaboration, big ideas and strategic thinking are tops), how we play (outdoors, in the gym and definitely with friends and family) and even how we eat.
Food in The Office
As a group of hardworking professionals, you’re as likely to find a frozen lunch in our office freezer as you are to find a homemade organic salad in the fridge – it all depends on who’s got what going on that week. In the last few years, however, the consumption of soda has gone down while the intake of soda water has gone up. There are more bags of apples and raw nuts around the office than bags of chocolate or chips. As we’ve matured as a team and continued to work with natural food companies, our approach to food has matured as well, and I’d wager the intake of healthier food during the workday is on the rise.
Food at Home
At GFM and CenterTable our jobs – just like those of our working colleagues in so many other industries – demand flexibility, which means our meals outside the office sometimes have to be flexible, too. Whether we’re rushing to get kids from school after work, squeezing in a workout before heading home, or driving to the mountains in the evening to avoid traffic – our team is often left with little time to get something healthy on the table. That said, on any given day you’ll hear dreamy descriptions of the dinner someone left simmering in their crock pot or the veggies fresh from the garden ready to go on their grill after work. Read more after the jump…
It’s official: more than half (55 percent) of Americans over age 50 are now getting their news from social networks. What’s more, 74 percent of non-whites claim social networks as their source for news, too. Facebook earned the top spot among platforms – in part due to its sizable user base – with YouTube taking silver and Twitter earning bronze. Chances are you’re using these platforms to grow your business and interested in reaching at least some of these audiences, so take a minute to dig into the latest Pew Research for more! In the meantime, here are a few updates to get you off on the right foot.
When we say “Instagram” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Pretty pictures of far-off destinations? Mouth-watering food photos? Sweet shots of your favorite kiddos? This week we’re expanding our horizons by peeking into Instagram feeds that feature shrunken heads and goats – yep, goats. And surprisingly, both are basking in followers and engagement. Wondering how? Join us on a little Instagram journey…
Believe it or not, the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) – yep, the folks running security at the airport – hold the No. 4 spot (ahead of Beyoncé!) on Rolling Stone’s “must follow” list. From frightening, confiscated items to tips on traveling by plane with live lobster, this article explores why there’s something for everyone on this unexpectedly awesome channel. Read more after the jump…
It may not be official, but summer is in full swing and everything feels fresh and new again. While some of the hotter social platforms are offering their fans cool new features, some of the classics are making a comeback, too. So, grab a cold drink, find a comfy spot under a shady tree and read up on the latest news in the world of social media.
It’s been just over a week since I returned from South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) where – in addition to learning about the latest in social media strategies – I had the opportunity to attend dozens of presentations in a variety of formats. I learned a few new presentation tips and enjoyed some effective presentations that inspired me to share some helpful pointers.
Stories Beat PowerPoints Every Time
The Science of Storytelling | Leo Widrich via Flickr
In a panel focused on the power of storytelling, neuroscientist Shonté Taylor noted that storytelling engages the right side (aka, the more creative side) of the brain. Specifically, she described how the body releases reward hormones such as dopamine when the right side of the brain is positively engaged, as can happen when a person is enjoying a great story. She went on to describe those reward hormones as “lighting up” the brain in a positive way, and left me with the point that if you light up the brains of your colleagues and customers, they’re going to remember you.
Reflecting on the various presentations I attended during SXSWi, the most memorable really did include great storytelling elements. Speakers from National Geographic and Outdoor Afro shared compelling stories and – often – images that took me beyond bullets on the screen. One week later and I can describe in detail the stories they told and the lessons they shared in a way that I cannot for other speakers who didn’t weave personal stories, images or testimonials into their presentations. Read more after the jump…
Believe it or not – we’ve reached the end of another amazing SXSW! We had a busy day of packing, automobiles and planes to begin our journey back home – but couldn’t help but squeeze in a few more sessions to take with us on the road.
SXSW may be over – but we worked hard on squeezing in a few more sessions and a final blog post!
I tried to work some variety into my schedule on the final day of SXSW, and in the session titled “Investing to Change the World,” a panel of bankers, investors and financial planners talked about how many individuals today are working to align their investments with their values. There are several individual stocks and mutual funds that fit the bill (humanitarian companies, environmental-friendly companies, etc.), and surprisingly, many are outperforming the market itself. The key is just like any other investment – look for companies who are investing in their own long-term success and are inherently resilient. Who wouldn’t want to invest in companies that produce returns AND are making a difference in our world?