Follow by Email

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

E MAIL SPECIAL..... The 7-Step Guide To Achieving Inbox Zero—And Staying There—In 2018

The 7-Step Guide To Achieving Inbox Zero—And Staying There—In 2018

Getting your email under control is the best thing you can do for your productivity. These strategies and tactics will make it happen.


Our inboxes have become perpetually overflowing mountains of irritation—and instead of helping us to be more productive, they just seem to suck hours out of our days.
So what’s the secret to managing your inbox while also managing to stay sane? I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure that out. And while I’m still working on achieving that ever-elusive state of email nirvana, I’ve identified the optimal formula for getting an inbox in order and keeping it that way.
Incorporating any part of this process into your email routine will help you stay organized and avoid unnecessary time wasting and frustration. If you can actually manage to internalize every step listed below, email enlightenment will be yours. Consider it the ultimate New Year’s resolution for busy people.

1. REFRAME THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR INBOX
Quick: Look at your inbox and see how many messages have been sitting there for 24 hours or more. If the answer is anything other than “zero,” it’s time to step back and reevaluate your strategy for managing email.
When you stop and think about it, it’s actually pretty obvious: Having a giant list of pending messages in your face all the time isn’t an effective method of organization. How often do you lose track of emails or realize you never got around to taking care of something you meant to handle several days ago? Being visually overwhelmed tends to lead to those sorts of issues rather than efficiency.

That doesn’t mean you have to answer every email immediately, of course. For most of us, that’d be impractical. It just means you have to make it your goal to deal with every email in some way soon after you see it.
For every email you encounter, choose from the following fast-triage options:
1. If a message requires no action on your behalf, archive it immediately.
2. If a message requires a simple reply that you can knock out in a minute or less, respond right then and there—and then archive it immediately.
3. If a message requires some level of thought or response that you can’t get to right away, snooze it to a time and date when you will be able to handle it—whether it’s later that same day, sometime the following week, or on a Friday two months down the road. That’ll get the message out of your way so it doesn’t serve as a constant source of distraction. And then it will reappear and grab your attention when the time is right.

(Google’s Inbox app has a native snooze function designed for this exact purpose, while several excellent add-ons can bring the same concept into Gmail. If you’re stuck using Outlook, meanwhile—well, good luck.)

A good rule of thumb: Never open an email twice, and never leave an email in your inbox beyond a single day. The next several items will help make that objective even easier to maintain.

2. START THINKING OF EMAIL LIKE A MESSAGING SERVICE
An entire movement exists around the idea of writing every email in five sentences or less. There’s even a website you can reference in your signature if you’re worried about coming across as rude.
But being concise doesn’t have to be boorish. Heck, five sentences leaves you ample space for a quick “Hope you’re well” opening and a friendly closing line, if you feel the need. (Hey, I’m from the Midwest. I get the yearning for unwavering politeness.)
The secret is to think of email like a messaging service: Ask yourself how you would compose any given email if it were a text. Make it a touch more formal, perhaps, and add in pleasantries as appropriate, as there’s your message.
Aside from saving yourself time and letting you plow through incoming emails more efficiently, this approach comes with an added bonus: It’ll make your outgoing emails more effective—because you’ll be making it easier for the recipient to read your message, understand what you want, and then fire off a similarly succinct reply.
This doesn’t have to be a hard-and-fast rule: You can get more wordy when you’re describing a meaty project proposal or writing your dear Aunt Ethel. But it’s a good guideline to keep in mind for most emails, most of the time.

3. STOP WRITING THE SAME STUFF OVER AND OVER
We all have our own sets of stock emails—the standard messages we write over and over for our work or personal affairs. Maybe it’s making an introduction, declining an invitation, or sending an expected document. Whatever the case may be, you almost certainly waste your time (and test your sanity) by hammering it out repeatedly, day in and day out.
So here’s the fix: Stop repeating yourself. Almost every email service has some sort of system for creating and using templates. Take 10 minutes to create templates for all of your recurring messages, then take care of all future instances with a two-second click. Gmail’s Canned Responses feature, available in the Labs section of the website’s settings, lets you create and insert templates for common responses.

4. SEND YOUR TIME-CONSUMING CLUTTER AWAY
If you’re anything like me, less than 10% of your incoming mail is actually pertinent—in other words, anything you need to know or that requires a response. And that means a staggering 90% of your email is likely doing little more than eating up your day.
Let’s cut it off at the source, shall we? First, the easy part: For the next week, unsubscribe from every list-based email you get—unless you really, truly need it or benefit from receiving it.
Next, for recurring messages from which you can’t easily unsubscribe, create filters that automatically place them in out-of-the-way areas of your email hierarchy. (Google’s Inbox is designed explicitly to do this, with built-in sections like “Promos,” “Social,” and “Updates” that can be set to appear only once daily or once weekly. Gmail also has an option for a similar set of autosorted categories, though it’s a bit less powerful and intuitive.)
Inbox can identify certain types of emails and then show them to you in clusters periodically.
If you know emails from certain senders are never going to be relevant to you, meanwhile, consider the nuclear option: creating a manual filter that sends them directly into your spam or trash folder. Every future email you don’t have to deal with is time saved.
Finally, when you get a reply-all thread that isn’t going anywhere, use your email app’s mute or ignore function to quietly unsubscribe from any future responses. And think about giving out alternate addresses for certain types of emails, like those associated with online accounts or reward clubs.
If you use Gmail or Inbox, you can create a virtually infinite number of aliases by placing a period anywhere in your username or placing a plus sign followed by a word at the end of your username. That’ll give you a simple variable for creating scenario-specific filters to keep inconsequential messages out of your hair.
All of these steps work toward the same basic goal: turning your inbox into a place for messages that actually require your attention, with less time-consuming clutter getting in the way.

5. STOP ORGANIZING YOUR EMAIL!
In the physical world, devoting time to organizing documents into folders makes a lot of sense—because how else are you going to find all those papers when you need them?
In the virtual world of email, however, that same system has turned into a time-wasting shackle. The fastest way to find an old email is almost always by searching—and consequently, clinging onto a dated method of meticulous label-placing and folder-filing is giving yourself extra work for no real reason.
So you know what? As a wise virtual princess once said, let it go. Stop worrying about organizing all of your incoming email and just power through it. Then, when you need to find something in the future, search. Familiarize yourself with your email app’s advanced search parameters (Gmail and Inbox have some pretty robust options), and pat yourself on the back for letting machines do your heavy lifting.

6. CONSOLIDATE YOUR EMAIL-HANDLING SCHEDULE
If you were to set out to devise the most annoying and ineffective system for email management, you’d probably come up with something where a sound or alert interrupted you every time a new message comes in, commandeering your attention and while you’re busy doing something else.
And yet that’s precisely how most of us deal with email—in the most productivity-wrecking manner possible. Study after study shows that switching tasks causes us to work less effectively and efficiently, with some research suggesting we lose as much as 40% of our productivity by hopping between multiple things. Opening up email is no exception.
So stop fighting your brain’s nature and set up a system that works with your brain instead of against it. Pick a handful of designated times throughout the day to deal with email—maybe mid-morning, after lunch, and late afternoon—and then stop peeking at your inbox outside of those windows.
Set yourself up for success by keeping your email app closed by default and open only during the times you actively need it. And turn off email notifications on both your computer and your phone. If you’re worried about missing any urgent incoming messages—messages that actually demand immediate attention and can’t wait a couple hours for a response—take a few minutes to create custom notifications that’ll alert you only about those highest-priority messages.
The end result is a win-win: You’ll manage your email more efficiently by tackling it in a small number of dedicated moments, and you’ll be more focused and productive with the rest of your day without the constant barrage of inbox-oriented interruptions.

7. CONSIDER SOME NEXT-LEVEL EMAIL MANAGEMENT TOOLS
Throughout the course of this story, I’ve mentioned a few different utilities that make it easier to keep your inbox under control. If you’re in a position to try them out, you may find it to be a beneficial time investment.
The simplest option is Inbox—because it takes many of the concepts we’ve just discussed and turns them into a native part of your email environment (and if you’re a Gmail fan who’s tried it before without success, this Gmail-to-Inbox switching guide was written specifically with you in mind).
If Inbox doesn’t work for you but you are in Google’s email universe, some choice Gmail add-ons can go a long way in enhancing your email experience. From reimagining your inbox’s interface to adding on valuable productivity features, there’s a whole world of possibilities just waiting to be tapped—and there’s no better time to explore it than now.

BY JR RAPHAEL

https://www.fastcompany.com/40507663/the-7-step-guide-to-achieving-inbox-zero-and-staying-there-in-2018?utm_source=postup&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Fast%20Company%20Weekly&position=7&partner=newsletter&campaign_date=01052018

BOOK SUMMARY 423 ...The Compass and the Nail

BOOK SUMMARY 423 The Compass and the Nail

·         Summary written by: Ingrid Urgolites
“This is the decisive moment: Clearly establishing a foothold understanding where your organization’s values intersect with your audience, then digging into the detail as a means to create process and an operating principle to move forward. This is the new means to create lasting value in the relationship between an organization of any kind and the people it serves; applied to politics, economic strategies, causes, businesses, etcetera. It’s a universal truth.”
- The Compass and the Nail, page 33
Consumers have an ever increasing selection of similar products and services to choose from that will meet their needs. However, some brands inspire connection and consumers consistently choose them over others, and advocate for them. What transforms customers into passionate brand advocates? Craig Wilson explores a practical model for connecting with customers through shared company values to develop a fervent following in, The Compass and the Nail: How the Patagonia model of loyalty can save your business, and might just save the planet.
Wilson explains the science of advocacy in-depth. Ethics is at the heart of generating an intense following. People want to be part of something bigger that makes the world a better place. When they find a company that shares their beliefs they form a bond and become intensely loyal. Wilson quotes Sir Walter Scott, “A rusty nail placed near a faithful compass, will sway it from the truth, and wreck the Argosy.” The quote is referenced in the title of the book: corruption of values will steer an organization off course. For this summary I’ll focus on how maintaining a consistent character attracts a core of believers that sustain long-term success.

The Big Idea
Character Repels or Attracts an Audience
"This is the basis for long-term sustainable relationships. As long as the company’s character is tended to deliberately, the manifestation in product and service will remain valuable. A first impression leads to validation of that first impression, which leads to deeper understanding and an alignment of beliefs; blink, test, bond, love. We move from a superficial introduction to a deep state of resonance."- The Compass and the Nail, page 60
In the eye of the customer, it’s the company’s character that sets it apart from the competition. A company can build and lose loyalty for different reasons. Some companies build loyalty on convenience but, followers will be swayed if a competitor offers a better price, is closer, or faster. Other brands built loyalty on promotion but, big-budget advertising is necessary to keep the name visible. Some brands focus on supplying a superior product, but their following disappears if a competitor develops a more innovative product. Many organizations that identify with a mission or cause have a charismatic leader that inspires a faithful tribe. Tribes have a committed following as long as the leader doesn’t compromise their reputation or authenticity. If a brand’s loyalty is rooted in ethics, the organization must stay true to the deeply held beliefs of its followers, and dishonesty is quickly detected. These are all characteristics customers use to distinguish and choose, one brand over another. A brand must stay true to it’s identifying characteristics to inspire long-term relationships with a core group of advocates.
Wilson describes the stages of customer loyalty from prospect to brand advocate as blink, test, bond, love. The customer progresses through these steps because the company’s values resonate with the customer. Straying from that identity undermines customer confidence, and the group will not form a strong fan base.

Insight #1
Cater to Values Instead of Customers
"The mistake to avoid is believing that your most avid buyer, your most profitable customer, defines your brand. They don’t. They follow your brand because of what you stand for. They follow your core users because of what they stand for as well."- The Compass and the Nail, page 98
Early adopters initially form the group of core supporters, and they are the first group to resonate with the company’s values. Late adopters follow the initial group of core supporters, and they resonate with the early adopters as well as the company’s principles. Late adopters may eventually join the core promoters if they develop a deep connection to the organization’s values. The group that follows the core advocates is much larger than the loyal core. The more substantial followers have broader values and needs, and they may generate more profit than the core group.
It might be tempting for a company to change its characteristics to cater to the large and profitable group of casual supporters in an attempt to enlarge their group of core users. In part, this category follows the company’s core advocates, and if the company changes the characteristics that resonate with these advocates, they will lose their support and consequently, the support of casual supporters. It might seem intuitively right to pursue profitable customers by tailoring your brand to their needs. Instead, changing may eliminate the reason they buy from you.

Insight #2
You Have to Earn Loyalty
"Ideally, loyalty should conjure up a vision of your organization’s actions: the actions that lead to committed behavior from your customers. Do you know what those actions are? Do you know where the missteps are? Do you know how healthy your relationship (loyalty) truly is?"- The Compass and the Nail, page 137
Customer loyalty programs dilute the meaning of loyalty. These programs, discount cards, airline miles, awarded points, and others, give customers something or pay them to buy. These incentives may generate sales but not avid loyalty. Price loyalty is fragile, customers will buy from a lower bidder and are easily dissatisfied with some other aspect of the product or service.
Statistics are also often quoted with the word loyalty. Companies often rely on statistics that measure customer satisfaction such as the Net Promoter Score (NPS). These statistics provide information about a customers satisfaction rating. They don’t analyze specific actions the company took to earn their satisfaction nor do they supply insight on building stronger relationships and genuine loyalty.
It’s more useful to determine what actions the organization takes that resonate with and inspire core supporters that are passionate, loyal advocates. It may be the customer’s experience with a salesperson or customer service representative or their online exposure. It could be a beautiful catalog depicting the quality and value of the items for sale balancing the company’s principles. There may be many different ways customers interact with the company, and all of them are opportunities to take actions that resonate with shared values.

To build an avid fan base, find the place where your organization’s principles connect to your following. The connection is the reason people choose you instead of another association. Develop your company around these values. Make them omnipresent in every interaction with your audience. Don’t abandon these ethics to suit a broader set of prospects; these morals are the reason people choose you. People fall in love because they resonate with who you are. Your consistency of character is the reason they select you repeatedly and advocate intensely.

GADGET GIZMO SPECIAL ......BATTERY MARATHONER

BATTERY MARATHONER

The Bharat series from Micromax are amongst the company’s big sellers in 2017. The Bharat 5 is a newer models in this series and it for users who demand the best battery life without spending too much.
The highlight of the Bharat 5 is the massive 5,000mAh battery. Thanks to this, the phone easily manages 2 days of battery life with normal use (constant 4G or WiFi). With light use, you can even stretch this to two and half days on a single charge. The only issue is that the phone lacks fast charging — it takes well over 3 hours for the battery to charge to full capacity.
Specifications include a 1.3Ghz quad core MT6737 processor, 1GB RAM and 16GB storage. For the price, these specifications fall slightly below par because phones like Redmi 5A offer a Snapdragon processor and 2GB RAM at a lower price. When it comes to performance, the phone works smoothly as long as you stick to basic use: email, web, social media and chat. You will need to keep a check on background processes and clean them up regularly because the 1GB RAM gets consumed quickly. Of the 16GB storage, you get around 10GB free for storage. It has a dual hybrid SIM slot — you can use either two SIMs or a SIM and microSD card. A dedicated microSD slot would have been a welcome addition.
We liked the overall build quality and design of the Bharat 5. For the price, it looks premium even though it has an all plastic body. What we did not like was the fact that the back of the phone has a glossy finish which attracts smudges quickly. Thankfully, Micromax includes a transparent case in the box. The unibody design adds to the overall look but do keep in mind that it is on the heavier side due to the large battery. On the front is the 5.2-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. It impressed us with excellent brightness level, good blacks and rich colours. We further liked that it has slim side bezels — these are usually not seen on budget phones. Under the screen are touch sensitive Android navigation buttons which respond well — it would have been great if they were backlit.
Cameras are the main weak weakness of the Bharat 5. The phone has a 5MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera — both come with an LED flash for use in low light. However, the image quality from both cameras is just plain bad. Even in bright daylight, the images are soft, colours are muted and there’s noise. There is a bokeh mode, a beauty mode and a ‘Facecute’ mode as well as HDR. The beauty and Facecute modes remove blemishes, smoothen skin texture and narrow your face to make you look slimmer. The trouble is that the image quality of the front as well as rear camera is sub-par which impacts the results you get from these additional modes as well.
If it’s just battery life that matters to you and you are on a strict budget, the Bharat 5 is a good option. However, if you can extend your budget, consider the Redmi 4 which offers superior cameras, similar battery life, IR port, fingerprint scanner and a metal unibody design.

Karan.Bajaj@timesgroup.com

ET8JAN18

COMSUMER SPECIAL .....The Hop-on, Hop-off Consumer

The Hop-on, Hop-off Consumer

SPJIMR’s Dr Renuka Kamath believes brands must seamlessly integrate their online and offline channels because today’s channel hopping consumer wants the best of both worlds.

As the year was slipping by, queer yet expected things were happening! Just like us, brands were living a life of their own. Some in slumber, some in denial, yet a few energetically doing somersaults, but all trying to differentiate. But right through, there was a strange movement– brands were following the consumer who had begun her explorative shopping journey. This journey took her hopping across devices and platforms, and soon she became better at it. She walked across to her favourite store, navigated on her mobile or tab to order her favourite book. She did this while sitting in a restaurant, during a bus ride and even while she waited to pick up her kids from school. The past year saw a hybrid way of shopping that was here to stay. There were estimates of more than 100 million online shoppers (ASSOCHAM-Resurgent India) and the Indian Institute of ecommerce stated that by 2020, India was expected to generate $100 billion online retail sales. The mobile device (proxy for online) was probably the only channel through which a brand could reach every consumer it wanted. The fluidity, with which consumers had begun alternating between platforms and channels for making a choice was remarkable and at the same time also very challenging to marketers. Flexibility in time, ready access to everything at one place, ability to compare prices with greater variety and amazing discounts were the main reasons for shopping online.
With these changes, brand owners were forced to acknowledge the demands of retaining differentiation in the consumer’s mind and ensuring brand loyalty. While these principles were age old and applied to traditional branding, the evolution of channel hopping gave brand building the complexity none had seen before.
In these times of change, this competition between offline and online channels is more of a marathon than a sprint. At times, the transition to online channels was ‘brand-led’. Here brands were ahead of the consumers, pulling them along, while at other times, the transition was ‘consumer-led’, where consumers were ahead in their adoption of online purchases and brands had no option but to follow them. The consumers for brands like Zivame, Roadster, Xiaomi were ‘brand-led’ as these brands were tempting consumers to explore online purchasing. On the other hand, many traditionally rooted brands, masters in the offline world, were ‘consumer-led’ and tried to keep pace with the consumers’ excited discovery of the online world of shopping. These brands elbowed their way into the virtual shopping carts and tried to endear themselves to consumers, while building equity on-ground.
Intriguingly, the year also saw ‘brand-led’ categories comprising purely ecommerce brands, step out of the virtual world, into the real one of brick-and-mortar.
For instance, Myntra and Nykaa both used a mix of setting up shop-in-shops at retail outlets and their own stores since consumers were demanding a sensorial feel of the brands. Moreover cost of customer acquisition, high discounts and logistic costs were hurting online channel profitability and these brands were losing out on the high volumes and profitability of the offline channel. Meanwhile, there was a reverse pressure on brick and mortar brands and an urgency for a well-integrated brand strategy. Brands aspired to give consumers an experience of seamless consistency while dealing with their shorter attention spans and social sharing of content that they either ‘loved’ or ‘disliked’.
Where was all this heading? Clearly towards a need for a plethora of new skills in managing channel conflict and data analysis. Going ahead, a user-centric view will have to be taken for the consumer’s brand experience journey along the cross-channel shopping path. There is no question that online shopping is here to stay and consumers are going to hop across channels. The way forward is probably towards an omnichannel marketing approach. A brand’s physical and online channels can be integrated better to provide a seamless shopping experience for consumer. This will capture the best of both worlds.
In the intervening period, online companies will have to ensure that their brands drive them towards pursuing profits and not GMV. While traditional brick-and-mortar brands will have to embrace the omni-channel way of life.


BE10JAN18

Monday, January 15, 2018

MEETING SPECIAL .....The-seven-imperatives-to-keeping-meetings-on-track

The-seven-imperatives-to-keeping-meetings-on-track

There’s nothing more annoying than a meeting that goes on and on and on. As a manager, it’s your job to make sure people don’t go off on tangents or give endless speeches. But how can you keep people focused without being a taskmaster or squashing creativity?

What the Experts Say
The good news is that meeting management isn’t rocket science; you probably already know what you should be doing. The bad news is that keeping your meeting on track takes discipline, and few people make the effort to get it right. “The fact is people haven’t thought about how to run a good meeting, or they’ve never been trained, or they’re simply too busy,” says Bob Pozen, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, senior fellow at Brookings Institute, and author of Extreme Productivity. “Organizations are moving faster and faster these days and few managers have time to think through their meetings in advance,” says Roger Schwarz, an organizational psychologist and author of Smart Leaders, Smarter Teams. But rushing now is only going to cost you more time later. So whether you’re getting ready for a weekly team meeting or convening a larger group to discuss your division’s strategy, it’s important to put in the effort. Here’s how to make your next meeting your most productive one yet.

Make the purpose clear
You can head off a lot of problems by stating the reason for getting together right up front. Schwarz recalls seeing a sign in a conference room at Intel’s headquarters that read: If you don’t know the purpose of your meeting, you are prohibited from starting. This is a wise rule. Send an agenda and any background materials ahead of time so people know what you’ll cover. Consider sending a list of things that won’t be discussed in the meeting as well. Schwarz suggests that you list agenda items as a question — rather than “Discuss video schedule” write “When will videos be completed?” to show what outcome you have in mind. Next to each item, you can also indicate participants’ roles — are they sharing information, contributing ideas, or making a decision?

Control the size
Meetings can get out of control if there are too many people in the room. “Chances are they won’t be attentive or take responsibility for what’s happening,” says Pozen. But with too few people, you may not have enough diversity of opinion. Only include those who are critical to the meeting. “Don’t feel you have to invite everyone who ever thought about the problem,” he says. “If you think someone might be offended, you can send out a memo and loop back with them afterward so they know what’s happening.”

Set the right tone
As a manager, it’s up to you to ensure that people feel comfortable enough to contribute. “You’re there to be a steward of all the ideas in the room,” says Schwarz. Set the right tone by modeling a learning mindset. Instead of using the time to convince people of your viewpoint, be open to hearing other’s perspectives. Explain that you don’t have all the answers, nor does anyone else in the room. Be willing to be wrong. Schwarz says you want “participants to see the team meeting as a puzzle — their role is to get the pieces out on the table and figure out how they fit together.”

Manage ramblers
“People often give speeches instead of asking questions,” says Pozen. It’s tough to cut a rambler off, but sometimes it’s necessary. Schwarz suggests saying, “OK, Bob, you’re absolutely right and is it ok if we talk about that later?” Getting his buy-in will ensure that he doesn’t return to his speech at the next opportunity. For someone who is prone to long-windedness, talk with her ahead of time or during a break, and ask that she keep her comments to a minimum to allow others to be heard.

Control tangents
Sometimes it’s not that an individual goes on too long but he raises extraneous points. “If two or three people bring up things that are contiguous but not really related, the meeting can degenerate,” says Pozen. Try to refocus them on the stated agenda. On occasion, someone may intentionally go on a tangent. Maybe he feels territorial about a decision you’re making or is unhappy with the direction you’re taking the conversation. “Rather than accuse the person of trying to derail your meeting, ask what’s going on. Pozen suggests you say something like, “You’ve diverted us several times. Is there something’s that bothering you?” Addressing the underlying issue head on can help appease the dissenter and get your meeting back on topic.

Make careful transitions

End the meeting well
A productive meeting needs to end on the right note to set the stage for the work to continue. Pozen suggests you ask participants, “What do we see as the next steps? Who should take responsibility for them? And what should the timeframe be?” Record the answers and send out an email so that everyone is on the same page. This helps with accountability, too. “No one can say they’re not sure what really happened,” says Pozen.

Principles to Remember
Do:
·         Make the meeting purpose clear and send an agenda out ahead of time
·         Talk to anyone who might monopolize meeting time before you get in the room and ask him to keep comments to a minimum
·         Send out a follow-up email after the meeting that lists next steps, who’s responsible for them, and when they’ll get done
Don’t:
·         Feel obliged to invite lots of people — only include those who are critical to making progress
·         Move on to a new topic until everyone feels they’ve been heard
·         Let the group get distracted by tangents — ask if you can address unrelated topics another time

Case study #1: Let everyone be heard
As the vice president of maintenance, repair, and overhaul at American Airlines, Bill Collins was tasked with improving the company’s relationship with unionized workers. To help facilitate conversation, Bill set up town hall-style meetings with Tulsa operation’s 6,500 employees. He quickly realized that these gatherings weren’t efficient or productive. “There hadn’t been town-hall meetings in 15 years and people had a lot of pent up anxiety that they wanted to get off their chests. They wanted to hang me,” he says. The meetings were scheduled for one hour but often lasted two.
Bill decided to make some changes. First, he made the meetings smaller by dividing them up by business and shift so that each only had about 250 people. “They still wanted to hang me but as least the conversation was manageable,” he says. Second, he changed the tone of the meeting by opening with a proposed agenda and asking for input. “I’d say, ‘Here’s what we want to discuss. What do you want to discuss?'” And if someone wanted to talk about something that wasn’t on the agenda, Bill would respond, “We’ll go to any level of detail you’d like on that topic during the Q&A. Is that OK?” He’d then wait for at least a head nod before moving on.
When Bill first described this approach to his fellow executives, many expressed concern that the meetings would take even longer if everyone had the chance to be heard. But he was invested in making it work. “The natural tendency for the workforce is to not trust management,” he says. “This process builds trust.” And, after the first of these newly revamped meetings, he had the proof he needed. “There were no raised voices,” he says. “It was calm, cordial, and it ended well. Leaders of the local union said it was the best meeting they’d been to.”

Case study #2: Actively manage disrupters
When Betsy Stubblefield Loucks took over as executive director of HealthRIght, a nonprofit focused on healthcare policy in Rhode Island, one of her responsibilities was to convene a monthly meeting with 20 people from various organizations with a stake in healthcare reform, such as labor, hospitals, insurers, and consumer advocates. The goal was to problem-solve and reach agreement about how the organization should approach different aspects of reform. In the past, the meetings were structured around specific topics but they didn’t have stated outcomes or a process for reaching resolution. As a result, participants would often just talk about issues they cared most about. “People had hot button issues and would make speeches about them,” she says.
Betsy decided to do something different with the agenda; she put the desired outcomes for each meeting at the top. This helped focus the conversation. She also made an effort to build relationships with people who tended to dominate the conversation. “Health care reform is a very broad — and deeply sensitive — topic. Our members are very passionate about their issues, and some people would have the same debates over and over because they didn’t feel heard,” she says. She set up meetings with these participants in advance of the monthly coalition meeting to let them vent to her personally and check her understanding of their perspective. Then when the group was together, she would represent that person’s opinion — with their permission — in a more concise way.
For particularly difficult people, she would assign someone to actively manage them during the meeting. “There was one person who would give the same stump speech over and over,” she says. So she asked a member of her executive committee to sit next to him, and when he started going on, to interrupt him. The executive committee member did this respectfully saying, “I think you’re making a great point,” and then would summarize his perspective. This helped the rambler feel like his point had been understood. It also helped Betsy keep focused on the meeting. “That way I wasn’t the only one playing traffic cop and he didn’t have to get mad at me,” she says.
Betsy uses these same approaches in smaller meetings as well. “Anytime I meet with more than one other person, I use these tactics. When I have the right people in the room, send out a clear agenda, and talk to any difficult people in advance, my meetings go much more smoothly,” she says.

Amy Gallo
https://hbr.org/2013/12/the-seven-imperatives-to-keeping-meetings-on-track



BOOK SPECIAL ..... You Can Have Both Business And Pleasure, And Succeed In Life

You Can Have Both Business And Pleasure, And Succeed In Life


Written by Richard Branson, Losing my Virginity is the philosophy that has allowed Richard Branson, in slightly extra than twenty-five years, to spawn so many a hit ventures. From the airline enterprise (Virgin Atlantic airways), to song (Virgin statistics and V2), to cola (Virgin Cola), to retail (Virgin Megastores), and almost a hundred others, ranging from financial services to bridal wear, Branson has a music file 2nd to none. Losing My Virginity is the uncommon, frequently outrageous autobiography of one of the awesome commercial enterprise geniuses of our time. Whilst Richard Branson started his first commercial enterprise, he and his friends determined that “since we’re whole virgins at business, permit’s name it just that: Virgin.” seeing that then, Branson has written his personal “policies” for success, creating a collection of groups with a global presence, but no imperative headquarters, no management hierarchy, and minimal paperwork.
How a dyslexic boy who did not carry out nicely in college went onto come to be one of the most a success businessmen ever? In his autobiography, Branson takes us through his adventurous, flamboyant existence and indicates us not anything is not possible. Regardless of over 600 pages, it by no means felt dull or sluggish. Definitely one of the maximum exciting autobiographies to study. It’s miles full of thrilling activities, adventures and amusing written in a completely thrilling way.

Branson’s get it done; but not always well

Losing My Virginity is a portrait of an effective, sane, balanced existence, packed with wealthy and colorful testimonies: Crash-touchdown his hot-air balloon inside the Algerian wasteland, yet ultimate determined to have every other go at being the primary to circle the globe Signing the intercourse Pistols, Janet Jackson, the Rolling Stones, Boy George, and Phil Collins preventing again whilst British airways took on Virgin Atlantic and correctly suing this pillar of the British enterprise establishment Swimming two miles to safety at some point of a violent hurricane off the coast of Mexico. Selling Virgin information to save Virgin Atlantic. Staging a rescue flight into Baghdad earlier than the beginning of the Gulf warfare. And lots more. Dropping My Virginity is the last story of personal and commercial enterprise survival from a person who combines the business prowess of Bill Gates and the promotional instincts of P. T. Barnum.

Branson doesn’t take no for answer; he thinks it and does it

A lot of Richard Branson’s groups–airways, retailing, and cola are exact examples–have been started out in the face of entrenched competition. The professionals stated, “don’t do it.” but Branson found golden opportunities in markets wherein customers have been ripped off or underserved, in which confusion reigns, and the competition is complacent. And on this confused-out, overworked age, Richard Branson gives us a brand new model: a dynamic, hardworking, a hit entrepreneur who lives life to the fullest. Own family, buddies, fun, and journey are equally critical as business in Branson’s life.
Reading Duration: 12 hours 53 minutes
One of the most thrilling and most tantalizing books ever made; this book will take you through the life of one of the most influential entrepreneur and marketer that has ever lived. 
Lifehack Reads

http://www.lifehack.org/651175/losing-my-virginity?ref=mail&mtype=daily_newsletter_v2&mid=20180108&uid=687414&hash=707e797f7e757e6d794c856d747b7b3a6f7b79&utm_source=daily_newsletter_v2&utm_medium=email&action=click&user_type=member&sub_time=817