Why your employees can't think creatively.

Why your employees can't think creatively.

They’d like to, they really would.  Teresa Amabile, Director of Research at the Harvard Business School, conducted studies and found that there are six main ways to kill creativity (as reported in PsyBlog).  “Creativity” doesn’t just apply to activities like graphic arts or marketing or interior design.  Creative thinking can happen anywhere people find ways – on their own – to improve processes, resolve or avoid problems, and respond flexible to inevitable and rapid change. Creativity can only happen in an atmosphere that allows and encourages it.  People need to be in the right jobs and allowed to do those jobs with trust, without micromanaging.  They need the right tools; that may include software, or flex time, or a better chair.  And when they do take initiative – even if the outcome wasn’t exactly what the boss had in mind – they need to feel appreciated for making the effort.  The result will be happier, more productive employees. Do your employees think creatively?  If not, why not? Join us on Facebook.  Follow @LucidKim on...

Read More

The elements of search engine rankings.

The elements of search engine rankings.

As with most things, if it were easy to be listed at the top of a Google search via “natural” (unpaid) means, everybody would be doing it.  High search engine rankings are the result of a mixture of activities both on your website and off your website.  Search Engine Land provides the “periodic table” of the elements of search (below), but there’s nothing periodic about it.  Working on your internet presence takes a constant – and consistent – effort. While Google won’t divulge exactly how its algorithm works, we do know that it likes fresh, relevant content.  When is the last time the copy on your website changed?  Do you publish a blog?  These are places to start. (Click on the image for the full download.) Join us on...

Read More

No job? It's not technology's fault.

No job? It's not technology's fault.

Gene Marks’ article in Forbes blames the 9.2% employment rate on technology. That’s absurd. Sure, technology has reduced or eliminated certain jobs, like data entry clerks. You could argue that it has eliminated the need for receptionists, now that we have voice mail. Whether or not to hire a receptionist is a choice of technology over the human touch; choosing technology in that case simply means you value efficiency over personal service.  Technology didn’t kill that job; you did. If the business owner had more orders, he’d need more people to serve that business, regardless of how much technology he has at his disposal.  This notion that “the computer does that” is a fallacy most of the time.  Technology is a tool; would you say a hammer built  your house? A lack of jobs can be blamed on a bad economy, and blame for the bad economy can be laid elsewhere: policy and enforcement.  Bill Gates didn’t create the bad economy. Please subscribe here, and join us on...

Read More

Using QR codes and social media for social change.

Using QR codes and social media for social change.

A group of human-rights and ecology activist organizations have joined together in the “Raise the Bar” campaign to encourage Hershey to change its practices regarding sourcing of the cocoa needed to produce their chocolate.  The campaign maintains that much of the cocoa trade depends on forced and child labor, human trafficking, and unfair wages.  One of the tactics of the campaign involves leaving flyers in grocery stores, on top of Hershey products, with a QR code that leads to the campaign’s website.  The intent of the QR codes is to plant a seed of knowledge among shoppers and bring more activists to the movement. This type of grass-root pressure on a large corporate food company can and does work.  Activists working to improve conditions for tomato pickers in Florida waged a successful campaign against Taco Bell, convincing them not to purchase tomatoes from producers who use unfair and unsafe labor practices. At the “Raise the Bar” website, there are videos and printable pdf versions of the grocery store flyer. Do you have any examples of nonprofits or activist groups using QR codes and social media to good effect?  Please share them here. Join us on...

Read More

Tasty, with a few missing ingredients.

Tasty, with a few missing ingredients.

Website Review:  Gojee.com The gigantic, gorgeous, close-up shots of food at gojee.com will get you drooling all over your laptop; bring a large napkin.  So mesmerizing is the imagery that you may think the point is eye candy; sweet, but where’s the meat?  Look hard and you’ll find the teeny, tiny morsels of functionality.  Enter what you crave, what ingredients you want to cook with, what you have and what you dislike, and you’ll be taken out to hand-picked food blogs with recipes that suit your tastes.  That’s the idea, anyway.  You can dislike chicken legs, but not chicken.  You can’t dislike meat in general, so if you’re a vegetarian, you’ll just have to resort to googling “vegetarian recipes.”  Check out the writers and you’ll be greeted by humongous portraits that will leave you wondering if anyone over age 35 writes a food blog.  Beyond the assortment of eye-popping visuals on this site, I’m not sure why I wouldn’t just search for recipes the old-fashioned way. What do you think of gojee.com?  Hipper-than-thou, or an instant...

Read More