The Power of Noticing by Max Bazerman – main ideas and learnings
Can you imagine what advantage you would have in negotiations, decision-making, and leadership if you could teach yourself to see and evaluate information that others overlooked? The Power of Noticing provides the blueprint for accomplishing precisely that. Max Bazerman, an expert in the field of applied behavioral psychology, draws on three decades of research and his experience instructing Harvard Business School MBAs and corporate executives to teach you how to notice and act on information that may not be immediately obvious.
Some of the most important ideas and learnings that Max Bazerman presents in his book are:
Human beings have an amazing capacity to ignore clear warning signs of others’ unethical behaviour,therefore is important to always be alert and pay attention to details and the history behind us.
Leaders often fail to notice when they are obsessed by other issues,when they are motivated not to notice and when there are other people in the environment working hard to keep them from noticing. Still, it is the responsibility of leaders to notice when things are going wrong in their organization. If you see an anomalous trend, investigate until you are given a clear answer. It is the job of the leader to identify what information is needed and how to obtain it,rather than acting on the information that is in the room.
Put it on your agenda to notice. Focusing is good, but sometimes you need to take a look around.
Extensive research demonstrates that our desires influence the way we interpret information, even when we are trying to be objective and impartial.
Take an outsider’s view.
Audit your organization.
Identify changes that will help to create a noticing organization.
When something is wrong, figure out what it is.
Acting to prevent predictable surprises:
- recognize the threat
- prioritize the threat
- mobilize action
Ideas for Strategic Thinking in Marketing
It’s the process of developing strategy for a business by researching the business and the environment in which it operates. A strategic analysis will be referred to as a SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Within these four areas, you will define your organization’s position relative to the competition and operational environments. While many believe it is best used at the organizational level, when properly implemented, a SWOT analysis will often return targeted, productive results at division or departmental levels of business. More about this step you can read here.
The scenario planning technique constitutes a useful and practical way to think about the enterprise as a whole and its interaction with the environment. It refers to the formulation of alternative possible futures for the firm and its environment as a means of exploring the utility of different strategies. The scenario represented a landmark shift in management perspective, from a deterministic view (‘‘we can control our destiny’’) to the view that the future is intrinsically unpredictable (‘‘we need to envision a range of different
possible futures and prepare for them’’). Its pioneering implementation is usually attributed to Herman Kahn’s cold war studies at the RAND Corporation and the Hudson Institute and to Pierre Wack, who was head planner of the Royal Dutch Shell business environment division in the early 1970s.
other variables that reflect the overall progress of the firm towards its long-term objectives.
What’s most important is achieving high performance while balancing the needs of all the stakeholders.
Gmail versus Outlook: which e-mail provider is better for you? Part I
According to a Radicati Group study from January 2017, there will be more than 3.7 billion email users worldwide by the end of the year. That means that nearly 54% of the entire planet is currently using email. Putting things in perspective, the same group reported about 1.9 billion worldwide users in May of 2009 and projects that that number will reach 4.1 billion by 2021.
According to wikipedia, Gmail dates from 2004, but Official Gmail Blog tracks the public history of Gmail from July 2007. In February 2016, Gmail reporter 1 billion monthly active users, up from 900 million the company announced during its I/O developer conference in May 2015 and up from 425 million in 2012, says TechCrunch. Outlook was re-launched by Microsoft in 2012 Microsoft migrated all Hotmail users to Outlook.com. The fledgling service has a ton of unique features including Clutter, email rules, and integration with Outlook calendar. In early 2017, Outlook.com had a reported 400 million users. However, that number hasn’t changed as drastically as Gmail’s statistics. In July 2011, Microsoft was said to reach 360 million active users for its Windows Live Hotmail service worldwide.
The Radicati Group counts the 3.7 billion email users in January 2017 as both consumer and corporate users. However, because it isn’t clear how the email accounts are differentiated between consumer and business users, it’s hard to measure the accuracy of the statistic.
Therefore, we decided to take a look at the most important two email providers: Gmail and Outlook, and give you the possibility to have a clearer picture on which one you would prefer better. Both Gmail and Outlook offer both free and premium versions. The premium email versions have, naturally, more features.
|Google’s Gmail||Microsoft Outlook.com|
|Storage||15 GB. The storage limit is shared between Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. If you’ve reached your limit you can buy extra storage. Your Google Account also has storage in the cloud-based Google Drive.||While the actual limit is unclear, it appears that you start with 5 GB of storage and this amount increases over time. Your Microsoft Account also has storage in the cloud-based OneDrive.|
|Search any combination of the following elements using the advanced search:
||Outlook.com has a simpler search. The search mail or people option allows you to search any combination of:
Or you can search your contact list. There is a separate search for Skype as well.
|Security||Includes 2-Step Verification and spam detection. You can enable a verification icon for emails from verified senders through Google Labs.||Includes 2-Step Verification. Uses trusted sender icons for emails from trusted senders. Suspected spam messages appear with colored red or yellow safety bars at the top of the message.|
|Default Gmail organization is based on labels and up to five tabs. Assign colors to labels and use stars and other symbols to flag important messages. Also, you can convert your inbox to a classic inbox or a priority inbox.||Default Outlook organization is based on categories, folders and subfolders. Flag important messages or pin them to the top of the folder.|
|Instant Messaging||Gmail uses the Chat function for instant messaging. You can find the Chat icon towards the bottom of the Gmail inbox on the left.||Outlook uses Skype for instant messaging. You can find the Skype icon in the upper right corner of your inbox.|
|Contact Management||Import contacts from a variety of other email providers including:
Import a CSV or vCard file.
Import contacts from your Google+ social media account.
|Import contacts from other sources, including:
|Advertisements||Ads appear as emails at the top of your inbox tab. The word “Ad” appears in a yellow box to the left of the subject line.||Outlook.com uses display ads that appear to the right of your inbox. They take up quite a bit of space on the screen.|
|Extras||Incorporates tasks, customizable themes, Google Lab.||Incorporates calendar, tasks, customizable themes.|
source: Business Tuts Plus
Head to head
As process.st points put, neither platform has a real solution that lets you view your calendar and email side-by-side. While both Gmail and Outlook sync events with your calendar, neither let you view your calendar and inbox at the same time, in one tab. When you click on the Outlook tool bar, you’re taken to a separate calendar window. On the other hand, when you click on Calendar in Gmail, it keeps your inbox open, and adds a new window (or tab) with your calendar.
Neither Gmail nor Outlook lend well to multi-window viewing. At least Gmail lets you view your calendar and email at the same time.
User Experience (UX)
Text in Gmail is larger than in Outlook. Coupled with the clear definition between bold and non-bold text, as well as the inbox shading available with most templates, Gmail is generally softer on your eyes. So if you are spending a lot of time in front of the computer, you might prefer Gmail on this one. Moreover, the provider is very useful when it comes to unread emails. “Read” emails appear in a darker shade than “unread” ones. “Unread” emails are also distinguished, because their sender and subject are in bold.
Outlook differentiates these by putting the sender and subject in blue. It’s bold too, but since the text overall in Outlook is flatter and smaller, you still need to squint to see if something is a new email. More opinions you can find here.
Filters & Organisation
Besides the already known features, lifehacker.com, points out that Gmail uses labels and stars instead of folders (although it has faux-folders, too.) You can apply multiple labels to your messages, which gives you greater flexibility in setting up exactly the kind of organization scheme you like, and stars let you set aside the most important emails for later. You can even enable Smart Labels that Google can apply labels like Finance and Travel automatically.
Gmail also uses a priority inbox system to automatically find messages it believes are important to you. Emails are deemed “important” based on who you email, which messages you open, what you interact with and other criteria. You can also manually mark an email as important to help it learn.
End of part I.
To multitask or not? This is the question
When I was little, my parents taught me to do one thing at a time and do it the best possible. Not trying to start ten projects or jump from one thing to another without finishing what I began first. Although I’ve always had the internal push to do several things at one time, I kept remembering their advice and trying to stick to it. As much as possible. Back then, the idea of multitasking wasn’t around and known to us, but I believe they were right. And recent studies seem to back them up as well.
According to Larry Kim, Founder and CTO WordStream, our brains are designed to focus on one thing at a time, and bombarding them with information only slows them down. MIT neuroscientist Earl Miller notes that our brains are “not wired to multitask well… when people think they’re multitasking, they’re actually just switching from one task to another very rapidly. And every time they do, there’s a cognitive cost.”
This constant task-switching encourages bad brain habits. When we complete a tiny task (sending an email, answering a text message, posting a tweet), we are hit with a dollop of dopamine, our reward hormone. “Our brains love that dopamine, and so we’re encouraged to keep switching between small mini-tasks that give us instant gratification. This creates a dangerous feedback loop that makes us feel like we’re accomplishing a ton, when we’re really not doing much at all (or at least nothing requiring much critical thinking). In fact, some even refer to email/Twitter/Facebook-checking as a neural addiction,” said Larry Kim for inc.com.
As shown by Marketing Week, Academics at Vanderbilt University found evidence in 2006 that the brain’s frontal lobe creates a “bottleneck of information processing that severely limits our ability to multitask”. The proliferation of media channels and devices makes this worse. Another study, published by Stanford University researchers in 2009, found “heavy media multitaskers are more susceptible to interference from irrelevant environmental stimuli and from irrelevant representations in memory”. And this hampers the ability to switch between tasks.
We can shift our focus really fast, sometimes it takes just a 10th of a second. But the time doesn’t matter as much as the bandwidth the brain requires to move back and forth. Now that might affect your performance, and might also affect the quality of the work that you finally produce.
New research suggests the possibility that cognitive damage associated with multi-tasking could be permanent.
A study from the University of Sussex (UK) ran MRI scans on the brains of individuals who spent time on multiple devices at once (texting while watching TV, for example). The MRI scans showed that subjects who multitasked more often had less brain density in the anterior cingulate cortex, the area responsible for empathy and emotional control. Unfortunately, the research isn’t detailed enough to determine if multitasking is responsible for these affects, or if existing brain damage results in multitasking habits.
Moreover, there have been studies that show women are generally better at multitasking than men. Also, people who thought they were the best at multitasking are almost always in fact the worst. In fact, multitasking seems to be something not all of us are truly able to achieve, as only about 2% of the population is formed of super multitaskers (people who are truly able to do several different activities at the same time without losing efficiency or losing quality as they do all that work). Most of us don’t have this gift.
According to Forbes, the problem with trying to multi-task is all that shifting back and forth between tasks isn’t all that efficient because, each time we do it, it takes our brain some time to refocus. So while it might seem efficient on the surface, it isn’t – studies show that multi-tasking can reduce productivity by as much as 40%.
More than that, a study published by the American Psychological Association concluded that the ability to switch between tasks, which they term, “mental flexibility” generally peaks in the 20s and then decreases with age, in average of 30.9% from a person in their 40s to a person in their 70s. The extent to which it decreases depends upon the type of tasks being performed. The information is back up by another study, this time around conducted on UK soil, at the University of London where the results have shown that the participants who multitasked during cognitive tasks, experienced an IQ score decline similar to those who have stayed up all night. Some of the multitasking men had their IQ drop 15 points, leaving them with the average IQ of an 8-year-old child.
Top 10 Tips for Branding Yourself
source: Working Voices
Living in the era of social media power, when the information is the key and in everybody’s reach, finding oneself’s niche and becoming known is getting a more and more difficult task to accomplish. Even at first glance it seems the reality is exactly the opposite, the rapidity in which one can get into the public’s eye, but at the same time fade away, makes it even harder than before to make it last and create a strategic and smart path for one’s good brand positioning.
We’ve prepared some tips that we hope will help you on your road to success:
- Asses the market you are working on
Knowing the past, the competition and the market you are activating on is key in order to create a good positioning for your brand.
- Look deep within yourself and find your best features
According to Robert Half, branding yourself begins with self-reflection. Take stock of your strengths. What are your best attributes? What positive adjectives might a colleague use to describe you? Is there one particular talent or discipline in which you truly shine? What’s your personality? If you’re just beginning your career, choose a discipline or area of focus that truly interests you. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Hard-working, focused and reserved people get ahead just as often as social butterflies.
- Work on developing them even more
Go to extra classes / courses, attend workshops and seminars that will help be become even better on your field of expertize and that will enhance your talents. Learning never ends, no matter the time in your career you are at.
- Of all of them find the differentiator, your USP (unique selling point), that makes you unique
The USP is the big idea that brands are always searching for. A USP gives a brand a compelling and unique value proposition with its target audience. “Likewise, you want to represent something special that sets you apart from others and establishes a value equation about your abilities when you are pitching yourself for a job, a promotion or a free-lance assignment,” says Catherine Kaputa in Huffington Post.
- Define your brand and become an expert
Take the time to do some soul searching and determine exactly who you are and what makes up your brand. Whether you’re looking to garner media attention, attract new clients or build your business, you should focus on becoming an expert in your field. Avoid establishing an expertise that’s irrelevant to your mission, goals, and vision. You’ll just be wasting your time.
- Be present in the market and make yourself known
Make sure you are present at the most important events in your industry and start conversations with the right persons, the ones with whom the association with will help your brand and your career. Ask questions, mingle, try and show your expertize as much as you can.
- Generate brand awareness through networking and promotion
You should be connecting with other professionals in the industry by using social networks and commenting on their blogs. Networking is one of the best ways to become known in the industry. By forming relationships with people in your audience, you can grow your business and your brand long-term.
In time, once you have a known and appreciated voice try using the PR tools available to you and get your name out there.
- Be a constant presence on the social media channels that are representative for your work
Depending on the industry you are activating on make sure you know what social media channel suits you the best. Not every industry fits you having a profile on Linkedin and Facebook at the same time, not every industry requires an Instagram or Snapchat account. Also, make sure that the content you are delivering is customized to that specific social media account.
- Always keep on expending your network, strategic partnerships and focus on the game plan
The networks are meant to evolve, not stand by. So is the industry you are activating on. Moreover, you can never know what the future holds. The more people you know, the merrier. The more connected you are, the better. Make sure that at the same time you don’t lose the focus on your “final” game plan.
- Don’t look focus, get rid of your ego and accept criticism
According to the AICPA specialists, the true measure of your brand is the reputation others hold of you in their hearts and minds. Notice how they introduce you to others. Ask them what your top brand attributes and core strengths are. If they can easily tell you, then you’ve succeeded in branding you.
“These days, branding the company you work for isn’t enough. The world wants to hear what you have to say as a professional within a company. The work involved in uncovering your brand may seem daunting, but your efforts can benefit you immeasurably. Your unique brand message differentiates the best you have to offer, gives a good indication of what you’re like to work with, and shows how you make things happen,” says the American Institute of CPAs.
When it comes to being the best the ego shouldn’t be standing in your way. Accept the criticism, as it will only make you better and help you achieve your goals.
Best packaging ideas for 2017
In the very competitive and full of inspiration and imagination year such as 2017, a good product is not enough for it to become a brand and capture the consumer’s attention. Let alone make him/ her choose it from the numerous similar products on the shelf and lead to a future buy. Therefore, a great packaging design, in sink with the product’s qualities, characteristics and what it stands for, will mark the path to a successful rise and growth of a brand.
Here are some of this year’s main packaging design trends and ideas:
1. Back to basics. Simple, bold and clear
This year, the trend is better articulated and more compelling to the customer. Minimizing the elements used in a package design can elevate a product… as long as it gets the point across. In our fast-paced world, shoppers don’t always have the time to study each and every product detail. Sticking to the essentials and making sure the buyer will make a more informed decision, a clean-cut design can convey information and make a product shine using simplicity.
According to thedieline.com, the designers understood the purpose of the object and the thought process of their audience. In service of this, they simplified the message and stated it clearly and boldly across the face of the packaging. These designs are text-based and say what they are in no uncertain terms. They realize the value of a simple message in today’s crowded world. The simplicity does not come off as lazy or incomplete but refreshing and honest. This is the manifestation of the idea: clarify not simplify. These designs identified exactly what the customer was searching for and expressed it simply. It comes off as powerful and trustworthy.
2. Putting focus on the custom lettering
Almost every designer loves to get crafty and create some of their artwork by hand. According to Martin Lupus of 99designs.com this thing happens in order to get the organic effect: fluid imperfections—like irregular lines or natural texture fills— that can make a product stand out through warmth and set it apart from digital designs. “This warmth can create an emotional tie to the product, making it feel handmade and wholesome, or communicating a feeling of nostalgia. Either way, for 2017, we are seeing a massive comeback of hand-lettering,” added Lupus.
3. Letting geometry rule!
Hand in hand with the previous trend, this theme is centered around expressing simplicity, approachability, and honesty through patterns and shapes. Circles, triangles, and squares are, as the specialists consider, an attempt to treat the mindset of a weary, overwhelmed consumer. Particularly in industries with over-the-top design, these reduced approaches standout. Familiar shapes, colors, and patterns communicate an awareness of the world and a sensitivity to the consumer.
- Old school with a twist
The past is haunting us, but in a good way, through a “idealization of the past—a longing for simpler times when things were cared for, made by hand, and detail-oriented”, as Grant Wenzlau from dieline.com would say. But these designs are not simply regurgitating old forms and techniques, they are modernizing them and combining them in new ways. “This new take on what is old is refreshing because it selects the best parts of different periods of our history and juxtaposes them. These designers realize the increasing rareness of endangered techniques like calligraphy, letterpress, and foiling. These artisanal practices grow more and more desired each year. In the mind of the consumer, they are increasingly novel and related to greater value. But far from merely being historical, these techniques are being re-imagined in the context of mid-century layouts and applied to a 21st Century, cutting-edge materials”.
source: ACH Vegan Chocolate
source: cocktail kit
Moreover, vintage package design brings back memories for people who lived through the original era and satisfies the curiosity of younger generations eager to explore the past. The key to going vintage is to find a balance.
5. Making the color a focus and priority
Colors evoke emotions and affect purchasing decisions. Because of this, color has always been one of the most important choices in packaging design, presenting in new, exciting ways. Bright colors and vibrant associations are beginning to make a scene on store shelves. More than that the colors and their special use are able to differentiate the packaging and the product at the shelf, making it to stand out and attract the consumer that will always choose exciting over common and boring. Also, it is proven that the consumer will always remember a product that is interesting and has the wow visual factor.
6. Be playful and multi-functional!
In each of us lays a child and we love to be given the opportunity to loose ourselves from time to time. So does the consumer. He appreciates a good, interesting packaging that can be joyful, playful and multi-functional.
7. Repeating a pattern
source: Helmes Workshop
We learn and remember through patterns, as our brain is built that way. Using well-chosen and beautiful patterns can also elevate a package design from ordinary to ethereal. Although the idea of repetitive shapes might seem simple, the technique can be dynamic and compelling when used correctly. Moreover, as it happens in writing a book or a play or a song, repeating a visual motif that captures the essence of the brand sends a strong message. Whether the pattern is bold or playful, patterning the package can create a strong identity that customers will always remember.
8. Storytelling & narrative
source: Smith & We All Need Works
People love stories and, as previously said, having a story behind everything one does it’s always a plus, giving it authenticity and creativity, at the same time. We seek out and cherish the stories that feel closest to our hearts, therefore the packaging design are starting also to incorporate narrative illustrations, trying to get closer to the consumer’s empathies and emotions. The place where the real sale and conviction start.
9. Putting it in the mail
Internationally, there’s a strong comeback for the print and its values, for going to back to the roots, the life before the online. Coffee shops that are inviting their costumers to stop using the wifi and talk to each other, online magazines that are starting to get their first printed versions, people choosing books over kindles, etc. With faster, more efficient ways to communicate, the joy of receiving a letter via the post, in the real mail, not online, has started to disappear over the years. But there is a new trend that will take people back to that feeling. According to the specialists from 99designs.com, the packaging design is here to save the day with an emerging postal trend.
10. Going eco-friendly
The years to come will be more and more about sustainability. According to packaginginnovation.com, the new trends are about using green padding materials, with biodegradable bubble wrap and recycled paper being perfect eco-friendly alternatives. “One of the leaders in sustainable design, method sells bottles made with recycled ocean plastic. From using more renewable resources to keeping materials recyclable, more consumer brands are integrating eco-friendly design into their business. This is a trend that we hope to see grow with each year because it benefits everyone,” also added and concluded Martin Lupus.
source: Grow With Me