Day: October 10, 2019

How Experiences Can Shape Your Business

  • Brands have to leverage the power of experience to connect with customers, grow their competitive advantages, and, perhaps most importantly, create a happy, productive workforce.
  • The smartest companies know the importance of cultivating employee experiences, right down to the people new hires will meet and the way they’re greeted.
  • To create a more engaging employee experience, start talking about it more often, find a partner and get your leadership team behind it.

As the world has become increasingly digital, intentional face-to-face interactions hold more power than ever. People crave these in-person exchanges – they’re rarer, more memorable and more powerful. Brands have to leverage the power of experience to connect with customers and grow their competitive advantages.

Just ask the team at Disney. In a recent Game Developer’s Conference talk, leaders from Walt Disney Imagineering discussed how the same experience-based strategies that have made Disney’s theme parks so successful have bled into other areas of the company, including video games. “The qualities of making games so impactful and evocative are also the things that make our guests’ experience possible,” said Creative Director Sara Thacher.

Experiences – intentionally designed moments of human interaction – are catalysts for desired change. Companies are getting on board with this movement, with a 2018 Bizzabo survey finding that 87% of C-suite executives plan to invest more in live events.

The Power of experiential thinking

In the world of marketing, brands collectively spend billions of dollars every year to tell consumers who they are: “We’re trustworthy,” brands say. “We’re loyal, exciting and cool.” Think, though, about a few of your closest friends. You might think of them as trustworthy, loyal, exciting, or cool. But why? Is it because they told you they were? Doubtful.

Our most deeply held beliefs are the ones we develop ourselves.


How to Be a Better Leader

“If you want to change somebody, don’t preach to him. Set an example and shut up.” – Jack LaLanne

No matter who, how, or why you lead, being a leader means eyes are on you: you’re looked to for answers, accountability and decisiveness. At the executive level, leading means both day-to-day and strategic decisions, but it also means existing as a symbol of your organization’s values. When you make a statement, decision or display of the values, mission, or policy of your company, these actions exist through the filter of your words, deeds and presentation.

In other words, effective leadership begins with aligning your message with your expression. Do what you say, say what you do.

I’m not saying anything radically new here; I’m simply bringing these principles of leadership to mind because effective leadership is a unique challenge when your values include digital well-being.

Leadership and JOMO

I’m in the business of joy: helping people find it, reclaim it, and keep it. The JOMO movement is centered on the essential principle of moving toward what brings joy, and moving away from what doesn’t (the “missing out” part). I’m especially excited when I have the opportunity to work with large companies or other organizations, because it represents a chance to bring this incredibly positive message to a greater number of people by transmitting it effectively to the leaders of those companies. Sometimes, the organization is small enough (or its management generous enough) that I can run workshops and presentations for each and every team member; more realistically, though, I’m presenting this information to top-level leaders, with the hope that they’ll be able to disseminate it throughout their structure and achieve the goals of greater well-being, productivity and team satisfaction.

Digital well-being is at the center of JOMO, because tech consumption


What Do Small Businesses Need to Grow?

Autumn is here, but my mind refuses to let go of the summer memories of the beach and ocean waves. One wave that is continuing to crest, even past the months of summer, is small business confidence. The MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index for Q3 shows Main Street confidence at an all-time high. Over 70% of small businesses have a positive outlook on their companies’ financial future and business environment.

When we dig deeper into the survey’s responses from 1,000 small business owners, recorded by IPSOS, the news gets even better:

  • Small business owners feel increasingly positive about their local economies, up five percentage points from last quarter.
  • Minority-owned businesses are the most optimistic about hiring, registering more than 10 percentage points higher than non-minority owned small businesses (38% versus 27%).
  • Millennials are in growth mode, with 43% planning to grow their staff compared to baby boomer or older small business owners (27%).

Small businesses are optimistic about growth

We’re seeing small business optimism across the country. The small business owners that I meet with consistently share stories of expansion, acquisition, and product and services diversification – all code words for “growth.”

I met with Natalie Kaddas, CEO of Kaddas Enterprises recently before our CO Regional Forum for Small and Growing Businesses that was hosted by the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce.  It had been 13-months since my first visit to Kaddas Enterprises and at that time, Natalie had moved into a new 50,000 square-foot building that was three times larger than her old place. Kaddas Enterprises creates plastic products through a thermoform process. (And, in case you’re curious, thermoplastic molding looks identical to freezing Han Solo in carbonite.)  

The company is a family-owned business that was started in 1966 by Natalie’s father-in-law, John


How Edtech Will Improve Employee Training

Edtech, like many other industry-specific offshoots of technology, has been disrupting the complex and diverse world of education, changing the way learners and their instructors interact in the process. First embraced by schools, colleges and universities, edtech, short for education technology, has gradually found its way into the corporate world, perhaps as a testament that learning and self-development don’t often stop on graduation day.

As office workers spend an average of 1,700 hours in front of computer screens every year and millions of others are highly dependent on their tech devices, it only makes sense for business owners to integrate technology into every aspect of their operations, including training. Nowadays, when companies have started using technology to manage even the most basis pasrts of their business like using rostering software for security guards, it is all the more important to embrace the same in advanced aspects. Thus, learning through edtech provides a uniquely efficient and convenient platform for businesses that are looking to train their employees.

While most companies are already using edtech in some form, the popularity and implementation of those facilities are set to grow at a rapid rate over the coming years, generating significant improvements that will ultimately lead to greater efficiencies and enhanced bottom lines.

There are four key reasons why edtech will change business training for the better:

  • Edtech satisfies the demands and expectations of the new generation.
  • Edtech boosts data absorption within the organization.
  • Edtech promotes teacher-student dialogues and feedback.
  • Edtech allows businesses to map out staff progress.

Here’s more on each of these key areas of improvement.

Edtech satisfies the demands and expectations of the new generation.

The working world is currently undergoing a clear generational shift as Baby Boomers retire and are replaced by the first waves of Generation Z workers,