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Archive for the ‘Observations and Inspirations’ Category

Millennials: the secret weapon.

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Millennials have a bad rap, it’s a fact. Words commonly associated with them are “lazy” “entitled” and “selfish”, just to name a few. But is that really what they are, or is there some untapped potential behind the superficial? The Millennial generation was the first to grow up with the experience of the technology boom. This rapid development of technology caused this group to become obsessed with electronics from a young age.

As the 77 million Millennials (defined as those born between 1977 and 1995) continue to enter the work force, they are seen as either an asset or a hindrance, but like it or not, businesses need to ensure they “play well with others” and that Boomers learn how to tap into them as resources. Millennials are tech savvy. This fact makes them an asset to any business. We live in a world where technology is king, so in order to keep up with the changing landscape; you need a Millennial who understands the ins and outs of the tech world. Business has switched from paper to screen, and in order to keep up with this change you need a team behind you that understands and influences this change. Millennials have developed a keen skill to transition business from face-to-face communication to connecting on an online platform. While face-to-face communication is still valued, technology is pushing businesses to develop their online presence just as much as in person. Through use of social media customers can feel their voice is heard, and the company can connect with anyone, in any location, in a matter of seconds. This type of development sets Millennials apart from any generation.

According to Inc., Millennials are now the single largest group within the work force, and will soon become the biggest consumer group as well. This means that Millennials will determine which direction your business will grow in. Rather than shaming them for their different style of working, try to gain a better understanding of why they operate the way they do, and see if it is more successful than the way it has been done in the past.

The traditional and structured work setting is slowly turning into a more creative, open-minded environment that Millennials thrive in. Millennials offer a fresh outlook that can be crucial for pushing your business in the right direction. This new way of thinking will help your business grow with the times, rather than be stuck in the past. Out of the box thinkers will push your business to the next level by gaining new perspectives in the workplace. Other generations may label Millennials as “slackers”, but in reality they just have a different way of doing business. As the world is evolving, so is the traditional business style. Because this style of work is different than in the past, outsiders may consider it as being “lazy”, but in reality Millennials are working harder than ever.

It’s no secret that Millennials can have a tendency to be obsessed with being successful, as seen by this generation holding some of the youngest millionaires to date. The problem most people have with Millennials version of success is that they can work in a less traditional manner and be successful. Their drive, although not one that most people are accustomed to, encourages this generation to put in the work and dedication needed to make their dreams a reality.

Millennials are the secret weapon that most businesses need in order to stay afloat. They bring a new work culture that is geared towards progression in all forms. Millennials want everything easier, faster, and better, which means they are driven to work hard to make this outlook on life come into fruition. Millennials are the future of the workforce, and are key players in the success of the business world.

Man vs. machine.

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Technology can be both a blessing and a curse. We are in an age where technology is constantly evolving, but more often than not, we overlook the potentially negative aspects of this rapid development to focus on the convenience factor. Technology has improved our lives in many ways, but we have to stop and think: what are the limits to this newfound discovery? Because modern technology, such as texting, is so new, we don’t know the power it can hold on us as a society.

We often use technology without thinking about the effect it could be having on us as a society. When we are bored, or want to avoid talking to a stranger, we often form the habit of pulling out our phones to dismiss making a connection, rather than having an actual conversation. This type of interaction has become so familiar that we don’t pay attention to what it could be doing to us socially. Are we using technology to escape our lives, rather than actually living in the moment?

The Huffington Post notes that technology could be ruining our ability to communicate in terms of how texting is impacting our social skills at the price of convenience. Is getting your statement across a minute or so quicker worth losing our ability to communicate face to face? As time passes and technology use gains more of our time and energy, it makes us wonder what the world will look like it ten years. Even now, you can look around the room in a crowded restaurant and see couples eyes locked on their screens, and children playing games on devices in the middle of dinner, rather than talking to their family. At some point we have to make a conscious choice to put our phones away and not let good old-fashioned conversation slip away. We should be viewing our daily conversations as “quality over quantity”, rather than the quickest way out.

Technology provides an outlet to stay connected in ways we never thought possible in the past, as well as a platform to express ourselves. It improves our lives in many ways, but it’s all in how it is used that makes a difference. Be conscious about how much screen time you use in a day, and put your phone away to have a meaningful conversation with the person in front of you. Overall the pros and cons of technology can be heavy on both sides, but in the end, we have to decide on our own if the benefits outweigh the risks. What are your thoughts; do you think technology is a blessing, or is causing society to lose value in face-to-face conversation?

What’s love got to do with it?

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Everyone’s been there, an awkward first date where you are trying to determine if you feel a connection with the person sitting across from you. What if there was a simpler way for you to make that decision within a matter of minutes, just by answering a few questions?

A study conducted by AsapSCIENCE, reported by Business Insider, determined that asking a series of 36 questions could create a connection that was solid enough to invoke the feeling of love. Sounds crazy, right? The science behind these questions proves that they might be on to something. The results determined that the questions lead to a strengthened emotional attachment to the person you share the responses with.

 

Here’s a little excerpt of the question list for context:

They start with using lighter questions on a surface level:

– Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

– Would you like to be famous? In what way?

– What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

 

As you get warmed up, the questions get deeper:

– If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

– What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

– What do you value most in a friendship?

From there the questions veer on the side of very personal, but in this case that is where the connection begins to come together:

– Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling …”

– Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share …”

– If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.

 

For many, these 36 questions would seem too invasive and personal on a first date. Asking these (rather long) questions to someone you just met could be seen as over the top, but is there some truth behind this study? Have we been fumbling around on first dates for years when falling in love with a stranger could be this simple, or is it all an illusion? What’s the harm in putting this theory to the test? Your date will either run for the hills, or you could potentially find your soul mate. If you already have a significant-other, test these questions out on them and see if you are really as compatible as you think you are. Try it out for yourself and see if there is any truth behind this science. If nothing else you will definitely get to know the person you are exchanging these answers with on a deeper level.

Young at heart.

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

Lauretta Taggert of St. Paul, Minnesota gives new meaning to the phrase ‘young at heart’ by becoming an exercise instructor at age 100. While most of us accept the trials of aging, Taggert attributes her vitality to a positive attitude and never letting her hair grow gray.

How often do we get caught up on the mundane day-to-day tasks and forget to enjoy life? Lauretta reminds us that we can live life to the fullest, no matter what our age may be. As a society, we have become obsessed with anti-aging and looking and feeling younger. The media tells us that we have to stop the hands of time in order to feel confident in ourselves. Millions of dollars are poured into marketing campaigns every year on the latest anti-aging creams that are supposed to ‘rewind the clock’, but is that really what we want to do?

We have lost respect for aging and the wisdom that comes with it. The more time we spend on earth, the more we grow from the past and develop into better people. Should your life be defined by your biological age, or how young you feel? At what point do we loose ourselves in this fixation with youth, and forget how beautiful aging really is?

The older we get, the excitement we once felt as children when our birthday arrives becomes replaced with dread and fear. Why is that? Very few people get to celebrate a 100-year mark on this earth like Lauretta, so why not celebrate every year that we are given the chance to make more memories? With every year that passes we gain more experiences that make our journey complete, and that should be celebrated. We get to choose what we do with our life, so let’s make the most of it. Take the time to do the things that make you happy, and never forget to stay young at heart. In the words of Charles Dickens, “To a young heart everything is fun.”

Is working from home still the future of business?

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

A flexible work environment is currently one of the most valued aspects of a job. Employees want to be able to work from home, make their own schedules, and find harmony in work-life integration. In recent years, many companies have made a transition to more flexible work schedules and an increased number of remote employees in hopes of cutting office costs, boosting moral and productivity, and attracting new talent. Although many companies have had success, some are finding there are unforeseen downfalls to this latest business trend.

IBM recently announced they’re discontinuing their popular program that allows employees to work remotely. Ironically, IBM was a pioneer of remote work technologies and structures, so the announcement was surprising to many of its remote employees. IBM believes that bringing employees back to the office will improve collaboration and accelerate the pace of work, and they’re not alone. “IBM may be part of a broader rethink of remote work under way at large companies, as corporate leaders argue that putting workers in the same physical space hastens the speed of work and sparks innovation,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

However, as these companies implement such decisive actions against the remote work trend, they’re taking a risk. Especially when other large companies, such as Aetna, are drastically expanding their work-from-home programs. Many employees, especially younger talents, list flexible work schedules and the ability to work from home as one of their most desired job benefits, putting these companies at risk of missing out on new talent.

However, while employee satisfaction and morale are certainly important, companies must find a balance that ensures work processes are as productive as possible. And while technology allows us to accomplish a lot, it simply doesn’t replace a human connection. Collaboration and communication are more fruitful and productive in person. There’s so much you get out of an in-person meeting that simply doesn’t yet translate on an email, phone call or via Skype, such as body language and the collective energy of progress. So while a remote job position is convenient, it may be a dying trend of the past, instead of the future of business as predicted.