Sweat the Small Stuff

first_imgCollaboration is the essential ingredient for intelligent “workplace” teams, as studies have told us for decades — yet for many enterprise organizations today, working together easily still remains elusive.I can point to a few reasons historically for this failure, but more hopefully, I see multiple trends that will change our future.Turn Quadrants Upside DownFirst, for the past twenty years or more, the team collaboration topic has often been approached with the classic 1970 Boston Consulting mindset: solve the largest problem for the largest gain. In fact, coming at “working together” from an individual user-based perspective is a better strategy in today’s product-as-a-service world.I would argue that IT apps should eliminate small, frustrating, and painful tasks to create instant user gratification. Doing this repeatedly over time, I believe, earns loyalists who are thrilled to use your collaboration tools and are then highly productive.Take the common collaboration roadblock of trying to share a file. Fixing this alone might dislodge the majority of pain holding back teamwork in your enterprise.In a typical scenario, a team working together wants to share a large PowerPoint file, but IT blocks large file sends through email. Instead, IT could enable shared folders with a smart phone app, then allow easily copy/pasted folder links sent in email. Work teams would gain immediate file access, even while traveling, to keep collaboration going.All it takes is prioritizing the user pain.Focusing on improving one small productivity task increases the likelihood of it getting solved. Choosing to solve the most frustrating or inhibiting user problems generates rampant user engagement – top criteria for enterprise software success in a cloud future.Similarly, using apps that do one thing well can drive productivity through the roof. Sweating the small stuff that holds users back will pay off in team motivation and their day-to-day ability to work together productively.Respect Muscle MemorySecond, old yet productive working habits have been outright forsaken for the new. If colleagues are adept with email and use it fluently, incorporate that habit into the newest services you deliver.Allow teams to continue using email as a sharing mechanism while taking away its inefficiencies. Better yet, give them improvements, such as protection from malicious email attachments.Habits are embedded in muscle memory. The fewer you have to change, the better. How much are your collaboration apps undoing productivity for the sake of productivity?Adapt to Users, Not to InitiativesFinally, rethink what’s causing frustration or creating inefficiencies in your teams in the first place. Does solving the root cause of working together really require a complete technical rearchitecture?Considering that the tenure of corporate leaders continues to drop, fitting collaboration projects into smaller 1-2 year efforts with rapid iteration cycles is critical. Look for creative and innovative solutions that keeps users productive first.My favorite example is that you don’t have to reconfigure SAP and change your invoice processing workflow just to solve getting SOWs signed. We simply incorporated electronic signatures into our file sharing app. If an executive is on the road, no need to print, sign, fax and return a document. Just fingertip sign and click to share, all in one place.Enterprises have enough company-wide initiatives to drive, and coming at collaboration as an entire reconfiguration can lose steam before it ever delights a single user. Adapt your collaboration services to users first, so approved apps are immediately desirable at the grassroots level. And rethink functionality from the user level to uncover potentially simple, shorter-term solutions.Why the Future Looks BrighterOf course, hindsight is 20/20, and there have been valiant attempts to make collaboration better. Recent studies are looking at how to design the smartest teams possible in the first place so they’re predestined to collaborate, for example.But from a technology perspective, I see several trends that were not pervasive decades ago. These have changed behaviors and laid the groundwork for us to come at collaboration differently. This is why I’m hopeful things will change for the better.For IT, for example, the ease of delivering incremental software changes to users has greatly improved. Users know how to self-procure apps. They are on the lookout for, and willing to try, better ways of working. IT can take advantage of this new mindset by delivering the best user-loved solutions. IT can lead impactful changes that address strategic organizational needs, like productivity and global collaboration.Vendors have changed as well, amidst the popularity of smart devices. The constraints of small screen sizes have forced the quality of software to improve. Only the most essential functions can be presented to today’s users, who are constantly swiping and mobile. This mobile design discipline has made it a requirement to do less things very well, rather than delivering distracting or unused feature sets that might slow users down.These future trends and an understanding of past failures can help us, as leaders, navigate to gain incredible team efficiencies in the present. Start by solving the painful annoyances that hold teamwork back; carry forward learned productivity habits that work; and focus on users, not initiatives.last_img read more

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Commentary: ‘Bearish Risks Dominate’ Across Global Coal Industry

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Moribund global demand growth and volatile pricing are what coal producers face in the next five years, with not even some bright spots in Asia able to outweigh a bleak outlook for Europe and the United States, and lower consumption in top user China.That’s the central message of the International Energy Agency’s Coal 2017 report, which outlines a future in which coal remains a significant source of global energy, but one that is decreasing in importance.Global coal demand will grow by only a compound 0.5 percent a year over the 2018-22 period to 5,534 million tonnes of coal equivalent (mtce), up just 177 mtce from 2016’s consumption, the IEA said.Top consumer China is expected to drop 0.1 percent a year to 2,787 mtce by 2022, while demand in the United States will fall 0.9 percent per annum over the five-year forecast period, and that in developed countries in Europe by 1.6 percent per annum.India remains the best hope for coal producers, with thermal coal demand expected to climb 3.3 percent a year to 605 mtce by 2022.Positive contributions to growth are also expected from newer consumers such as Pakistan and countries in Southeast Asia.But overall, it’s pretty grim reading for coal miners, traders and their political backers, such as U.S. President Donald Trump and the ruling Liberal Party in top exporter Australia.The IEA report also continues a trend of increasingly bearish forecasts from the agency, as it has steadily reduced its expectations for coal’s share of global energy.The IEA’s 2012 coal report forecast that global coal consumption would rise to 6,169 mtce in 2017, but the reality has turned out somewhat differently.The IEA didn’t provide a forecast for 2017 in its latest report, but said demand in 2016 was 5,357 mtce and estimated 2018 at 5,445 mtce.In other words, the IEA’s forecasts from five years ago were too optimistic for the industry, even if they seemed reasonable and quite cautious at the time they were published.More: Coal’s bleak future is stagnant demand, volatile trading: Russell Commentary: ‘Bearish Risks Dominate’ Across Global Coal Industrylast_img read more

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3 questions you should ask yourself before you retire

first_img 106SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for CUInsight.com. John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: www.cuinsight.com Details There are probably hundreds of questions someone should ask themselves if they’re planning on retiring in the near future. Some of those questions may pertain to you and some may not. Here are three basic questions everyone should know the answer to before they start the retirement process.Can you afford to retire?: This is easily the most important question when considering retirement. You may be ready to call it quits, but you need to make sure your income in retirement will be greater than your expenses. Is your house paid for? Do you plan on relocating? Do you have car payments? Can you max out your social security benefits if you wait a little bit longer? These are all things you should be thinking about before you declare yourself ready to retire.What are you going to do?: You can’t just sit around all day. You’ve spent your adult life working 40 hours a week and now you have nothing to do. Are you going to travel? Pick up a hobby? Woodworking? Golf? What’s it going to be? Figure out how you want to spend your time in retirement so you’ll know how you’re going to be spending your money. If you’ve got grandkids nearby you may be starting a new life as a babysitter. Whether you do a lot in retirement or choose to do as little as possible, that’s okay, but it’s good to have a plan.Who are you going to be doing it with?: You make a lot of friends at work. When work is your life, your coworkers are sometimes the only people you have time for. What are you going to do after you retire? Will those work relationships last? Do you spend a lot of time with family? Is your spouse still working? Plug yourself into activities or organizations that will keep you engaged with others. Finding ways to stay social will help keep you active and feeling young.last_img read more

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3 surefire office camaraderie killers

first_img 30SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Wendy Moody Wendy Moody is a Senior Editor with CUInsight.com. Wendy works with the editorial team to help edit the content including current news, press releases, jobs and events. She keeps … Web: www.cuinsight.com Details Being friends with your coworkers is not a requirement for a productive working environment, but it sure can help. Camaraderie lifts morale, promotes creativity, and creates a positive work culture. There are a variety of factors, however, that can have a negative influence on the office energy. Here are three guaranteed camaraderie killers and how you can work to prevent them from impacting office dynamics.Poor leadershipNothing adversely affects workplace camaraderie quite like bad management. When employees don’t respect their leader, it greatly affects their opinions on their workplace. Coming in to work each day to a bad boss is an unpleasant experience and leads to an indifferent workforce. Employees who aren’t well managed can begin to question their value, which can greatly affect overall office morale.Frequent turnoverWhen employees are frequently resigning, it can be a signal to the office that something is off. Turnover creates tension and can make employees uncomfortable and uneasy. It is also difficult to feel like part of a team if employees have the impression their colleagues are departing for something better.Constant conflictWhile productive conflict in the office can be the key to new ideas, disagreements and arguments are guaranteed camaraderie killers. Even if you’re not involved in the conflicts, just being witness to them can greatly affect your morale. Instead of dwelling on differences, employees should collaborate and put their opposing opinions to good use.last_img read more

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When to implement risky technology

first_imgThe programs are buggy and cause member experience issues. Overall growth. Improved member experience. Failed integration with the core system. 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Hayden Monson Hayden Monson is the Technical Marketing Manager for FLEX. Hayden has been with FLEX since 2013 and has worked in various customer service and marketing roles over that time. As … Web: https://flexcutech.com Details Attract new members. A steep learning curve for members and staff. The product doesn’t meet member needs. Ryan Smith, CEO of Qualtrics, named one of the most innovative companies by Enterprise, recently tweeted, “Whatever you are working on will be different a year from now, even if you nail it. The shelf life of innovation is short.”The same goes for technology innovation in the credit union industry. Technology is always pivoting and for many, it’s hard to keep up. The challenge arises when credit union leaders ask themselves which innovations will be doorbusters and which ones will quickly phase out in the next year? You don’t want to miss the wave of excitement that new products bring but you also don’t want to sink a chunk of capital into tech that doesn’t yield some sort of ROI.Possible negative outcomes to implementing new technology: First to market with new products. Frequent downtime and connectivity issues. Sunk costs. Possible positive outcomes to implementing new technology: Positive ROI and increased revenue. Product adoption is less than stellar. While there are pros and cons to being an early adopter of innovative technology, there is a time and place to do it. Here are a few do’s, don’ts and cautions:DO adopt a mentality of innovation.DON’T let that mentality push you to risk everything.DO verify the tech being implement will have an ROI.CAUTION – perform your research when the ROI is something besides money i.e. member experience, time savings, sexy User Interface (UI).DON’T risk the majority of your eggs at one time.DO break up your innovative implementations into small chunks. If you’re taking a big risk on a new core system, keep other consistent services in place until the dust settles.CAUTION – Be wary of the new guy on the block. If a new player in the core processing space promises you the stars, you might miss the moon and fall flat on your back. When it comes to the largest part of your credit unions technology, be sure you are implementing a tried and well-tested product.DON’T be fooled by the hype.DO find out who has beta tested the product and ask them, first hand, how their experience was.DO follow our gut. If you feel uncomfortable about the risk you are taking then walk away.DON’T, however, live a life full of fear. Sometimes the risk of implementing a better and more expensive piece of technology is exactly what your credit union needs to attract new members and grow.DO ask yourself, “how does this affect the bottom line?” and “how does this impact our members?”Just like many things in life, knowing when to implement risky technology can be more of an art than a science. However, do your homework, take calculated risks when appropriate, and lean on trusted technology partners to assist you in the process. Increased efficiency for staff and members.last_img read more

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Animal shelters adjust to COVID19: Can you still adopt?

first_img“No longer can you come in and just peruse the animals. You have to first have an approved adoption application and then you have to set up an appointment. We are keeping track of who’s coming in, their contact information.” she says. These are small operations that rely on volunteers, and many of those volunteers are required to stay home. Along with less staff, the general public isn’t allowed to come view animals without some notice. “We have changed our processes here. We are not allowing people just in to visit,” says Broome County Humane Society Executive Director Karen Matson. Despite the changes, adoptions are continuing. “My mission right now is to make sure these animals are taken care of and we can help the community the best we can,” Matson says. “The least we can do is be prepared to provide an emergency boarding situation. Of course it’s temporary, it’s not that you’re giving up your pet to us. You’re allowing us the opportunity to provide the care your pet needs while you get the care you need to become healthy,” says Matson. “We’ve decreased our staffing here as far as volunteers. They do not report in anymore until further notice. So we’re just working with our six staff that we have on here,” says Broome County Dog Shelter Manager Kelly Conlon. “We’ve got a ton of appointments set up throughout the week now. I’m pretty sure our numbers are going to go up as far as adoptions for this month,” says Conlon. Keeping adoptions going not only helps the animals, but it keeps shelters and humane societies ready to take animals in and care for them if their owner falls ill. We all have some part to play during this stressful time, and these animal caretakers are focusing on what they can do. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — Some parts of life continue on despite the pandemic, and for shelter and humane society workers this includes taking care of rescued animals. For more coronavirus coverage, click here.last_img read more

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Binghamton University’s theater department to live stream ‘Macbeth’

first_imgThe performance will be live streamed through the university’s website at 8 p.m. on Oct. 15, 18, 22 and 25. You can purchase tickets to Macbeth by clicking here. Gabe Pinciotti, who plays Macbeth and is a recent graduate, says the department gave cast members the materials and technology they needed to present the play virtually. The play was was cancelled just 10 days into rehearsal.  “We all have costumes,” Pinciotti said. “They gave us clip lights to put in our rooms with colored filters. We have makeup that they gave us. We had tech weekend where we had to work through all these cues for the show.”  VESTAL (WBNG) — After being cancelled in the spring due to the pandemic, Binghamton University’s theater department will be streaming William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” live. Over the summer, the department reached out to each cast member to see if they would be willing to do the show this fall virtually. The cast holds rehearsals over Zoom.last_img read more

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Midtown faces style challenge

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

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PREMIUMAfter coalition splits up, PKS, Gerindra face off for Jakarta’s deputy governor post

first_imgFacebook Topics : LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Log in with your social account Linkedin Google city-council Two former coalition partners, the Gerindra Party and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), are set to duel over the long-vacant deputy governor post in Jakarta in a fresh race after their post-presidential election break-up.The two, which supported now-Governor Anies Baswedan in the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election, have both claimed control over the second highest position in the city administration and named their own members to compete in a selection process at the Jakarta Legislative Council (DPRD Jakarta).  Gerindra named lawmaker Ahmad Riza Patria as its nominee for the position while PKS backed former city councilor Nurmansjah Lubis. Both have begun to lobby political parties to back them in the voting at the council.  “As a candidate, my task is to communicate, to discuss [with the parties],” said Ahmad on Tuesday.He still has to tende… Forgot Password ?last_img read more

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Long road to full economic recovery as Jakarta PSBB returns

first_imgThe capital city contributed the most to the national economy compared to other regions in the country as Jakarta’s regional domestic product accounted for 17.17 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter, Jakarta Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data shows. It was followed by East Java (14.6 percent) and West Java (13.45 percent), both also virus epicenters.The government will ramp up spending to increase the capacity of hospital beds and make vaccines available in the first quarter next year, Airlangga said.“Around 30 million vaccine [doses] will be available by the first quarter next year at the earliest, and the rest will follow in the second and third quarters,” he said, adding that the pandemic response and economic recovery efforts in 2021 would be supported by efforts to vaccinate people.The government will expand some social protection programs into next year, including cash aid for formal workers for the first three months next year and cash transfers for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) during 2021’s first half, Airlangga went on to say.The government still expects GDP to grow by 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent next year as the economy is likely to contract this year. It projects the economy to shrink by 1.1 percent at worst or grow by 0.2 percent at best this year.“The economy is more likely to contract than grow in the third quarter this year, even without other movement restrictions,” Bank Central Asia (BCA) economist David Sumual told the Jakarta Post on Thursday. “The economy has been losing steam since August as virus cases jump.”Indonesia’s economy shrank 5.32 percent in the second quarter as household spending and investment contracted.Although the country’s healthcare facilities are better now compared to during March and April, further restrictions by Jakarta administration will still take a heavy toll on economic activity, he went on to say.“The severity of economic contraction would depend on how long it would take to restrict people’s activities.”Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) deputy chairwoman Shinta Kamdani called on the government to pay more attention to small businesses and large corporations.“Although domestic demand has picked up gradually, the PSBB policy will heavily affect employment as businesses in transportation and [food and beverages], among other sectors, will be forced to furlough their employees again,” she told the Post.Shinta added that ensuring activity in sectors that were allowed to operate during the PSBB policy would be key to prevent further job losses, and the government should ensure the continuity of export-oriented manufacturing industry operations as global demand for Indonesian goods had risen gradually.“We are trying to keep the manufacturing industry operating amid rising global demand, and we want to ensure that their activities are not being affected by PSBB measures.”The association, Shinta added, would seek permission from the Industry Ministry and regional administrations, including Jakarta, to continue operations for companies that implemented strict health protocols.Topics : Indonesia expects a long road to full economic recovery after Jakarta brought back strict social restrictions measures amid a continued rise in the number of coronavirus cases.A full economic recovery would take at least two to three years, Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto said on Thursday following the Jakarta administration’s decision to reimpose large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) relaxed in early June.“If virus cases rise, then the economy will take a hit. The government expects that it will take until 2022 or even 2023 [for the economy] to return to pre-COVID-19 levels,” he told a virtual business forum held by Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin). “The economy is not only about the fundamental factors but also the sentimental factor, particularly in the capital market,” he went on to say, adding that “pulling the emergency brakes would need to be done by maintaining public confidence in the economy”.His statement comes as the capital is set to require non-essential industries to have their employees work from home, to limit the use of public transportation and to prohibit dining in restaurants starting on Monday, similar to measures imposed from April to June, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said in a press briefing late on Wednesday.Indonesian stocks fell by more than 5 percent at closing after hitting the circuit breaker on Thursday morning, following the announcement. The decline in the benchmark Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) stood in contrast with gains seen in most markets across Asia. The rupiah, meanwhile, weakened 0.38 percent against the United States dollar to 14,855.Jakarta has recorded a daily average of over 1,000 new cases this month and registered nearly 43,400 infections and 1,330 deaths from COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to government data, as the city gradually relaxes its restrictions. Indonesia has recorded more than 203,000 cases as of Thursday with 8,336 fatalities.last_img read more

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