Archive for June, 2009

Survive a computer  disaster with Carbonite

Survive a computer disaster with Carbonite
I am currently sitting in limbo in my profession. My peers in my industry, and in my age group, are facing similar situations across the workforce.

The major problem with progression through the ranks is the speed at which those in the top positions actually vacate those positions. This is always an issue between generations, when the younger talent believes it is more than ready to take over the reigns of industry, and the older talent either disagrees and holds on just a little longer until they are really ready, or actually agree but fear of not having anything comparably for them to do, stay well past their own usefulness while fresh talent goes stale, or goes elsewhere.

Mix in a horrible economy with less viable jobs and retirement plans all but emptied due to the plummet in the worth of stocks, and the older generation that is in place now, the Baby Boomers, are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Not that they didn’t get flack before, even from themselves, as being a little too selfish and self-centered as a group. They are literary being pushed out to pasture by my ilk, the now oddly named Generation X, and the even younger, more brash, but possibly more apply named Generation Y, who are looking to leapfrog over everyone to take their places in the CEO’s chair.

But here is the truly frightening part. Estimates put the number of 65-year-olds in the year 2050 at roughly triple what they are today, due to access to better healthcare. That means when my 13-year-old is looking at his options in 40 years, the 53-year-old will still be elbowing for position with the glut of other pre-retirees. I can only hope he isn’t facing the same economic crisis many of today’s 65-year-old’s are facing in losing hard earned and well invested retirement money through no fault of their own a decade later.


Send Flowers at 1-800-FLORALS

Send Flowers at 1-800-FLORALS
Over a year ago, I came across an article by Joan Lloyd on preparing for the New Year with a full evaluation of your job. With half of 2009 in the books, and the economic climate making many wonder if there futures really do lie with their current employer, now might be a great time to get a jump on your personal career analysis, assuming you have actually taken the time to truly evaluate your worth to your employer, and vice versa. And not to steal from Lloyd’s thunder, you can read her article and see the full listing of evaluation questions here.

UPDATE: I didn’t think about anyone asking me the status of my mid-year evaluation when I posted this. Since I have been asked by several people where my head and heart are in my job, I can tell you that despite the frustrations of the current economy, I like myself exactly where I am at the ‘day job,’ with hopes that sooner rather than later there will be some movement that will allow me and a few others the chance to grow and branch out. I would however seriously consider any offer that would be accompanied by a large sack of cash.

Winter Clearance at VistaPrint! Save up to 90%!

Spring Clearance at VistaPrint! Save up to 90%!

While there are as many detailed approaches to child raising as there are parents of children, here are two simple schools of thought that can adequately sum up the major approaches in teaching a child how to find their place among the world’s masses:

– Assurance Of No Limits: giving children expectations above their actual level of mastery with the hopes that having no limits will help them to surpass their expectations, and possibly even yours.

– Knowing Your Limits: knowing just how far along your children really are, and giving them expectation exactly on that level, to ensure they can reach their achievements with as little frustration from possible failure possible

While one would suspect ‘No Limits’ would be a more preferred philosophy than ‘Know Limits,’ there are pros and cons to using either approach, and the key lies in the individual child. Because eventually, they come to an age and level of maturity where their actual limits will play a greater role in the definition of their destiny, and their ability to overcome or circumvent these actual limits will make a difference.

Like say, in the work place, when they hit mid-twenties.

At that point, it will be their managers responsibility to make sure they are developing as well as possible in their career growth, or at least well enough to keep the manager from getting fired. This activity is a lot like raising an actual child, only the allowance and popularity contests that are now at stake are actually families, mortgages, career progression and possible lives, based on the nature of the occupation.

Here too, you can use the same basic approaches suited for raising children in hopes to lead your workers to fulfilled career growth.

The big difference here is that ‘No Limit’ is by far a more preferred philosophy over ‘Know Limits.’ But do keep in mind the exact dynamic you have to work with, and the abilities that actually exist in your company’s talent pool. You’ll probably not be lucky enough to have all-star talent to fill your entire work crew, and some employees will be adamant about how adequate (or not) they are in their performance.

Monster Learning
This Guest Post Written By Donald Mitchell

Continuing business model innovation is the most valuable activity that any enterprise an engage in. But it’s a problem for most leaders to take on this task. Why? They’ve never see anyone do it, and they have no personal experience.

To help overcome that problem, this article describes the key elements that such a process requires. With this template in mind, some leaders will be able to design and engage in the appropriate activities.

Here are the four elements in continuing business model innovation:

1. Understand and follow the current business model well. — Employ the optimum way that goods and services should be supplied now, by informing all stakeholders about what needs to be done to deliver the most benefits.

2. Understand and install the next business model. — Specify the next innovation to provide more stakeholder benefits through goods and services and how the transition will occur.

3. Understand and use a business model innovation vision. — The ideal benefits to deliver to stakeholders in your industry, which is used to test the appropriateness of developing future generations of potential business model innovations.

4. Ongoing design and testing of business model innovations. — Vision-defined probes and tests to elicit reactions to providing new benefits and various ways of supplying them.

A more valuable approach to continuing business model innovation also describes more than one future generation of innovations in terms of the second element.

For each of the first three elements of continuing business model innovations, you need to identify seven key elements — the who, what, when, where, why, how, and how much — viewed from the perspective of all direct and indirect stakeholders. Their combination defines either a business model or a business model innovation vision:

1. “Who?” defines all the stakeholders you are serving or affecting.

2. “What?” describes the offerings and their benefits and negative influences that affect each stakeholder.

3. “When?” captures the timing of offerings’ effects on stakeholders.

4. “Where?” identifies the location for delivering the benefits and other impacts.

5. “Why?” gives the rationale for providing the stakeholder benefits you deliver.

6. “How?” explains your method of providing your offerings and being compensated for them.

7. “How much?” states the price customers and users pay and incur.

Why is it important to know what these seven elements are? By examining these areas, organizations will be able to focus on places where important benefits may be added.

About the Author:

Donald Mitchell is chairman of Mitchell and Company, a strategy and financial consulting firm in Weston, MA. He is coauthor of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. You can find free tips for accomplishing 20 times more by registering at:

There is a difference in those you have it and those who don’t.

Sometimes, you have to remind those who have it that everyone one doesn’t have it, as they become frustrated interacting with those who don’t. But you don’t have to tell those who have it what it is.

In fact, you might not even be able to tell those who have it what it is. But if you have it, you can see it in them. If they have it, they can see it in you.

You don’t even have to understand it, but you’ll find life a lot easier once you embrace having it, assuming you actually have it.

You will probably find yourself constantly having to explain what it is to people who don’t have it. Or at least wanting to explain it so that they can understand it.

The effort is worthless. If they don’t have it, they can’t understand it.

At least not until they have their own personal light bulb moment, and they then get it for themselves.