Monthly Archives: July 2012

Super Tuesday

Thanks to those of you who took part in our poll last week.  We asked, do you believe you can use the Penn State case as a way to avoid future mistakes within your own business?  The answer was an overwhelming, yes.

So what can we learn from the Penn State scandal?  Fox News offers some analysis of Penn States overall communication plan, or lack thereof.  The column’s author, Linda Dulye, writes that the following items were absent from Penn State’s communication plan:

  • Direct, open, 2-way communication
  • Personal accountability
  • Regular assessment

Dulye goes on to make suggestions on how to learn from history and avoid the same mistakes:

1: Face reality head-on.

What’s the state of your organization? Ask. Use paper surveys or online polls to quickly get data from all associates. Ask no-nonsense questions, like: Do managers sugarcoat messages? Do leaders listen to and value feedback that is considered negative or contrary?  Are people held accountable for sharing important information with team members? Are there real consequences for poor performance? Give people time on the job to answer them, anonymously. Use hard data to drive substantive discussion and decisions about the overarching strategy that will elevate openness and truth as a business imperative.

 2: Keep a steady-state schedule. All too often, initiatives designed to improve communication begin with big fan-fares and leader-studded roll-out campaigns, and then wither within months to afterthoughts. Don’t commit to any strategy for change without accepting daily responsibility for visibly leading it. You can’t delegate commitment. You’ve got to demonstrate it every day. Start your day with this reflection: What can I do or say at every appointment that will advance our strategy for effective communication? That will signal it’s safe to speak up?  Every phone call or meeting is an opportunity to model new practices that will break silence barriers.

3: Don’t shoot the messenger. A few months ago, [Dulye] interviewed a group of employees about the issue of silence during town hall meetings. “There’s no way I’m speaking up anymore,” emphatically said one worker. When pressed on the matter, he revealed that a question he posed at an earlier meeting raised the ire of his direct manager. Apparently, the manager scolded him for speaking up with a question that made him (the manager) look bad. The employee was verbally slapped silent. In [Dulye’s] study, fear reigned in answers to the question: What is the single biggest factor that causes lying in the workplace?.

4: Stand by your plan. Not walking the talk is the worst message that any leader can send. Stand by your plan by setting clear outcomes and metrics for evaluating progress. Execution with no excuses is required.
Read more: http://smallbusiness.foxbusiness.com/legal-hr/2012/07/23/communication-lessons-learned-from-penn-state-scandal/#ixzz21xzrxQxs

We’re going to stay in the realm of sports for this week’s poll, but we’re going to get away from the serious topics.  We want to know, are you following the Olympics during your work hours and how?

Monday Funday: Thinking Outside the Cubicle

Happy Monday! We’d like you to take a moment to scan your workspace.  Does it stand out or do you have the same Swingline stapler and box of paperclips as the person next to you?  Not to fear!  We’ve scoured the web to find some kookie office supplies to spice up your work life.
Click to enlarge
Electronic Tape Dispenser
$29.95 from QuincyShop.com

Sun-Star Paper Stitch Lock Stand Staple-Less Stapler - Mineral Blue - SUN-STAR S4766377

Stapleless Stapler
$9.50 from JetPens.com

Pinned Image
Step Into My Paw-fice Paper Clips
$9.99 from ModCloth.com

Bacon Scented Hand Sanitizer
$1.99 from ThinkGeek.com


METAL EASEL ADJUSTABLE FLOATING FRAMES $49.00
Adjustable Floating Frames
$49 at WestElm.com

iLive Enables an iPhone Alarm Clock and iPhone Charger
iPhone Charger and Clock Radio
$39.99 at iliveelectronics.com
See you tomorrow!

Deliver Your Message Instantly and with Impact!

Today, Friday, July 27th our “Ask the Expert” (aka-“Ask Heather”) will be featuring its first of many guest “Ask the Expert” bloggers! This is an opportunity for you, the business owner, VP, representative, associate, and the list goes on, to share some insight, advice, ideas, guidance, etc… in an area where you possess experience that, when shared, can benefit and be applied to the professional lives of every reader.

And so…..without further adieu……

Please enjoy the informative blog of Michelle Wartluft!!

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Deliver Your Message Instantly and with Impact!
By Michelle Wartluft

The topic of video marketing is consuming the social media world. You can’t get through a day without seeing a post or reading an article stating why you should have video on your website or utilize video marketing in your business. In fact, a recent report from Cisco Systems says by 2015 (three short years from now) 90% of all content on the web will be video. Where will you be?  Where will your competition be?

Well for some of you (and you know who you are) don’t let the silly, and I mean silly reasons like…I don’t like being in front of a camera…..I look too fat…….I sound like a dork……or……..it’s too expensive, ruin a great opportunity for you to create an impact on your customers. Instead, come up with five reasons why you SHOULD incorporate video in your business. I’ll even start you off with a few:
1. Video allows you to deliver your message instantly and with impact (do you notice I keep using the word impact!?)
2. Video gives you the opportunity to communicate your message and build trust and personal communications.
3. Video is the best way to convey your message in a more effective and attractive way and provides an opportunity for you to showcase your products and services.

I could go on and on, but I’ll let you come up with and share a few of your own. Now….I’m going to let you in on a little secret…shhhhhhh don’t tell anyone! It CAN be easy, it CAN be fun and, it WILL leave an impact! So, now it’s time for you to Create, Produce and Deliver videos quickly, easily, and affordably! And, you know what else???…..WE will walk you, step by step, through the process! It’s not IF…It’s WHEN…………It’s NOW!
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Michelle Wartluft is VP of Business Development for MiWare Corp., LLC. MiWare Corp is the creator of the “PiXcara” Video Production System. Users of the PiXcara can create videos to promote new businesses, products, grand openings and upcoming events, as well as, commercials, video newsletters, blogs and so much more. The video can be placed on websites, local news casts, and instantly uploaded to social media sites. In addition the PiXcara offers live streaming opportunities which businesses utilize for meetings, events, and more (and this is just the beginning.) Here at MiWare we have a saying “Imagine Everything Is Possible!” For more information on MiWare Corp visit http://www.miwarecorp.com or contact me at mwartluft1@miwarecorp.com.

T.G.I.F.

You’ve earned it…the weekend!  Go out and enjoy and here are some suggestions to make sure you have fun!

Art Walk
Saturday, July 28, 4:00-8:00pm
Downtown Bethlehem, Northampton County

Raven Hill Bluegrass Concert
Saturday, July 28, 7:30pm
Green Lane Park, Montgomery County

Wine & Cheese Pairing Class
Sunday, July 29, 2:00pm
Crossing Vineyards & Winery, Bucks County

Webinar-it Thurdsay!

Hello all!

Welcome to another addition of “webinar-it Thursday! Today we will learn 12 insightful, informative, easily applicable ideas for success in your business as learned from Steve Jobs, by, well-known author and speaker, Guy Kawasaki.

So….push play…..sit back…..and learn!!

See you tomorrow!!

Over the Hump Day: Get an Office Makeover

There are a million and one theories about how to make your workplace more like home and the many benefits that will follow when you invest in some level of creature comforts for your employees. Some say you should introduce scents to increase productivity. Others recommend a “play space” for employees to relax and recharge their creativity. Still others point to the colors on the wall as the key to optimum efficiency. Whatever theory you buy into, employers, like Google and Pixar, have made major investments into posh workplaces and have boasted a return in efficiency and creativity.

It may not be a bad idea to up the comfort factor of your workplace, so we want to offer you some tips to beat the blahs without breaking the bank.

Maybe your workplace isn’t ready to usher in the era of swings, like this Google office, but you can still spice up your workspace.

Change It Up
Designer furniture may not be in the company budget, but taking a little time to rearrange what you have can give your room a fresh look and offer you and your co-workers a fresh perspective. Make the redecorating a team effort and ask the staff to chip in.

Throw Down the Challenge
No matter if each employee’s personal space is a cubical an office or a locker, create a competition to encourage your co-workers to put a detailed personal touch on their work space. Offer up a theme for inspiration and set some parameters so your effort to create comfort doesn’t put others outside their comfort zone.

Lighten Up
Which do you prefer, a warm glow or the green glow of your coworkers’ skin under fluorescent lights? They call it mood lighting for a reason, folks! We know you probably can’t rewire your office, but you can look for ways to introduce softer lighting by way of strategically placed lamps or spotlights. If your workplace is blessed with natural light, move your desks and work places near the windows so you don’t have to rely on that icky industrial lighting.

Create a Fun Space
You don’t need to purchase a pool table or wire up a Wii, but you can create a welcoming break space to let your co-workers know you care. Add some colorful elements to a common space where your co-workers gather. Try to make it a relaxing spot for breaks by adding some throw pillows, a well-stocked magazine rack or a collaborative art project that staffers can add to over time before it’s displayed.

Whatever you do, try to think outside of your office “box”! If you have any ideas on how to make your work place welcoming, please share!

Super Tuesday

Well hello there, you little networkers!  Thank you to all of you who answered last week’s poll question, how do you turn a networking opportunity into a beneficial relationship for you or your business?  100% of participants said that you follow up immediately after a connection and offer an action item to further the relationship.  That’s fantastic!  Consider this some foreshadowing though. We’ll be offering up some ways to hone those awesome networking skills in the coming weeks.  So stay tuned for that!

This week, we really can’t ignore the big headlines, which all include Penn State.  For those of you keeping track, it’s been 16 months since the first story on the scandal broke.  And since then, hardly a day has gone by without news on the topic. That’s really remarkable considering the focus of the media typically changes more often than people change their socks.  With so much attention on one story, we believe there must be something that we can take away from this case and use in our own business.  Emotions and pride aside, this week we’re simply asking:

Monday Funday!

We’re starting the week with some wisdom from the one and only Dr. Seuss. Enjoy!Image

T.G.I.F.

It’s Friday! The weekend is here! Make it a great one!

Check out these events going on!!

Music In the Vineyards
Saturday, July 21st, 7:30PM
Nissley Vineyards & Winery Estate, Lancaster County

Step Back In Time Day
Sunday, July 22nd, 11AM-5PM
Heritage Center, Berks County

Sunday Night Salsa
Sunday, July 22, 5PM
Allentown Brew Works, Lehigh County

Have a great weekend!

See you Monday!!

Webinar-it Thursday~5 Laws of the Go Giver

Bob Burg, 5 Laws of the Go Giver

Last week Jeffrey Gitomer provided us with some great tips for successful networking. Hope you took notes and did your homework by expanding upon that which you learned. Success in business…success in life…..success with self is not measured by quantity but rather by quality. Having focused on networking last week……it only seems logical to follow that with how to turn that prospect into a customer/client. just like when a construction company builds a structure, the foundation must be build first and it must be built to last or the house will meet it’s demise as one by one the bricks crumble.
Phew…..standby as I apply my face mask…..this brick dust is caustic to the lungs…..eh hem….

I don’t want this to happen to your business and neither do you. So….let’s start to build the foundation.

The first set of bricks and cement are best explained by Bob Burg, co-author and author of The Go Giver, The Go Giver Sells More, and It’s not about you and well-known speaker and teacher of the philosophy of giving in order to receive as applied to business success.

Below are the cliff notes for this short, but content rich webinar on the 5 Laws of the Go Giver.

1. Value-“Focus on the value and the money will follow.”

2. Compensation-“Determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.”

3. Influence-“How abundantly you place other people’s interests first. People will do business with those people they know, like, and trust. Add value to their lives.”

4. Authenticity-The most  “valuable gift you have to give is yourself.”

5. Receptivity-“Stay open to receiving. ”

Thanks for stopping by!

See you tomorrow!!

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