Not Enough Resources? – Find Some!

With so much going on in the workplace today from new technologies, increasing client requirements, too much data, even more reporting, and of course the human element of wanting to know everything, we are all short of time and resources, because there are not enough hours in the day to get it all done.  Sound familiar?  It is the world in which we live.  If we continue to use legacy behavior we will not get ahead of the productivity curve.  This is the definition of insanity – doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.

What to do?  Stop going to internal meetings!  There are too many meetings, they take too long, and they get too little accomplished.

Most meetings are really not necessary. Before you call a meeting, think about whether you can accomplish your goals through email or a quick phone call. If it is information sharing only, don’t call a meeting. Meetings are needed to debate issues, develop solutions and make decisions.

Do not attend every meeting to which you’re invited. Even if you can’t avoid the meeting completely, it can give you a good excuse for bowing out after a set time limit (30 or 60 minutes, for instance).  If a meeting is necessary, invite only those people that are critical to the meeting. Take great notes and send them out to others that you need to “inform”.  Smaller meetings with less people are always more productive.

Try to get the meeting done in 30 minutes.  Make sure there are no laptops open and that people are not using their smartphones.  No one can multi-task and stay engaged in the meeting.  Have them put these devices in a drawer or box so they cannot access them during the meeting.  Take the chairs out of the meeting room; more gets done while standing up.

Be prepared. If you spend the first 15 minutes getting everyone up to speed, it gives them an excuse not to be prepared.  Send out background materials and an agenda, at least a day in advance. If you do not get the agenda and goals, don’t go. If the leader sends out advance materials, read them carefully before the meeting.

If everyone prepares, you can have a more productive meeting. Frame the need and desired state in 5 minutes, debate the issue and make decisions.  Lots of powerpoint slides? – forget about productivity – people get bored really fast these days.

At the end of any meeting, all participants should agree on the next steps, along with a deadline for each step. The leader should resist the urge to make this decision himself or herself: if participants can set their own goals, they’ll will buy into them.

You cannot eliminate meetings totally. But you can get rid of most of them, limit their size, and keep them short. You can structure the meetings to maximize their value.  It is up to use to use your time effectively to get your initiatives accomplished.  You need to find time to make that happen and following the above recommendations will save you at least 2 hours per day.  Imagine what you can get done with that time.  Stop the insanity 🙂  Make that change – and that reminds me of a song.

Enjoy the weekend.

Webman

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9/11 – The Impact

11 years ago, America suffered a very chilling and rude awakening to hatred and death on our homeland.  That day changed America forever in so many ways.

As I walked outside yesterday, the day and the weather were exactly the same to me as they were 11 years ago.  Crisp temperatures, beautiful blue skies, not a cloud to be found.  Just as it was on that fateful day.  Like you I have many of my own memories of that time.  I did not know anyone that was murdered that day, but many of you may have.  The lives of those families were forever changed.

As I am a big baseball fan, I remember President Bush throwing out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium when the season resumed and the discussions about our resolve.  The incredible patriotism that captured all of us.  The new meaning of God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch.  The changes that have happened to security that have touched all of us.

I watched the Red Sox and Yankees game last night on TV and was reminded again of the power of God Bless America.  State Trooper Dan Clark sang one of the best renditions of the song that I have ever heard.  The video is fairly short but when you see his passion and hear his voice, I hope that you will be moved as I was.

As a Yankee fan, I heard Ronan Tynan sing God Bless America at Yankee Stadium many times.  Never failed to get chills from his performance.  Check this out.  Turn it up.

One more thing.  It was mentioned to me yesterday just how much the attacks on 9/11 have cost America over the last 11 years.  The impact that Bin Laden had on America is staggering and just continues to erode our families, lifestyles and economy.  Here are some facts:

  • 6,570 US troops have been killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars
  • 2,977 people died on 9/11
  • The costs to America for the two wars is conservatively estimated as $3 – 5 Trillion dollars
  • With almost 50 percent of returning troops eligible to receive some level of disability payment, and more than 600,000 treated so far in veterans’ medical facilities, we now estimate that future disability payments and health care costs will total $600 billion to $900 billion
  • The social costs, reflected in veteran suicides (which have topped 18 per day in recent years) and family breakups, are incalculable
  • The United States has spent more than $7.6 trillion on defense and homeland security since the attacks of September 11, 2001

Our nation has $17 trillion dollars in financial debt.  As stated above the cost to our society and people is incalculable.  Bin Laden did much more than commit murder than day.

Take a moment today.  Be grateful for what you have and do something that helps someone else.  We are all Americans and it is up to us to continue to build on the incredible foundation of kindness and society that our forefathers built and intended to sustain.   God Bless America.

Webman

Multiscreening

So many devices, so little time.  So guess what we now do; we use multiple devices at one time.  Yes even men with trouble multi-tasking (At least that is what the ladies think) are utilizing more than one device simultaneously.  Watching/listening to the TV while checking their fantasy teams on their tablets or smartphones while also on the web, social and texting channels.

Digressing for a moment, heard the first song ever played on MTV the other day.  The Bugles – Video Killed the Radio Star – this was when MTV actually played music videos – Enjoy!

Last week, Google published some interesting data based on research into how consumers are using different devices together, called The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-Platform Consumer Behavior.Headline for you90% of people move between devices to accomplish a goal. In other words, people may start reading an email on their phone,but finish reading it at home on their tablet.

Here are some really interesting statistics from the study:

Given these options, behavior has changed given the task at hand and has introduced the concept of sequential device engagement.  Here is one example.

Nuggets:

  • 90% use multiple screens sequentially to accomplish a task over time.
  • 98% move between devices that same day.
  • Browsing the internet (81%), social networking (72%), and shopping online (67%) are the top activities performed when sequentially screening between devices.
  • PCs/laptops are most often a starting point for more complex activities.
  • Tablets are most often a starting point for shopping and trip planning.
  • Consumers rely on search to move between devices.
  • We use an average of 3 different screen combinations each day.
  • Smartphones are the most frequent companion devices during simultaneous usage.
  • Emailing (60%), internet browsing (44%), and social networking (42%) are the top 3 activities performed during simultaneous screen usage.
  • 78% of simultaneous usage is multi-tasking, while 22% of simultaneous usage is complementary.
  • 77% of TV viewers use another device at the same time in a typical day.
  • TV is a major catalyst for search.
  • All information was sourced directly from the Google study.

What should a marketer do?

Optimize content for multiple devices. Consumers are increasingly accessing multiple screens in their day-to-day lives. It’s no longer enough to optimize your content for PCs/laptops. Mobile optimization on tablets and smartphones needs to be a priority. Furthermore, considering the popularity of sequential and simultaneous screen usage, it’s important for marketers to make their presence across multiple devices as cohesive and user-friendly as possible.

Context is critical.  Users will choose a particular device based on contextual triggers such as location, timing, goals, and attitude. Therefore it’s critical to understand how your audience accesses your content so you can cater your marketing strategy to accommodate those specific use cases and behaviors.

Getting more and more complicated as it relates to engaging your customers to purchase your product, engage with you socially, have a two-way dialogue with your customer segments and find new prospects that will respond to your brand.  To get great at this, think like your customers – walk through the device messaging sequentially and out of sequence.  What do you see?  Do you see a brand that is coordinated or fragmented?  Did you have an experience that engaged you with the brand/product?  If so, you are doing great.  If not, you need to figure this out.

Webman