Posts Tagged ‘Robert Driscoll’

Week In Review – Aug 15 – Aug 21, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on August 22, 2010

4 tips for selecting the right consultant

by Brian Beedle, Aug 16, 2010

Vendor selection process can be an arduous, time consuming, and stressful task.  Receiving quotes that run the gambit of the budgetary spectrum, deciding which product will give your company the biggest bang for the buck and wondering if saving a dollar or two is really worth the frustration of finding the “right partner”.  Every Project Manager has dealt with these issues. In this article, Brian lists some key points may provide some clarity and assist with narrowing the decision-making process when seeking a value-added business partner. more…

Character and Personality #7: Courage

by Gary Monti, Aug 17, 2010

Tiger Woods’ difficulties with his swing and Mark Hurd’s (HP’s CEO) inability to fill out expense reports correctly can be traced back to complexes. In a very public way they both show how trying to succeed simply by ego has limits and the desire to be complete as Self will, when denied, erupt and wreak havoc without any regard to the consequences. more…

Working Hard – Still no progress?

by Vijay Peduru, Aug 18, 2010

According to most economic historians, the Industrial age ended about 20Yrs ago in 1989 when the Berlin wall came down and the internet came up. In the industrial age, working hard meant, using our body and working long hours i.e physical labor. The easiest way to do hard work in the post industrial age, is to love change, train ourselves to love challenges and question the status quo all by using and exerting our mind. more…

Flexible Focus #15: Karma and Connections

by William Reed, Aug 19, 2010

You reap as you sow. Therefore if we want to achieve positive results, you need to think, speak, and act positively. There is also collective Karma, which is often thought of as collective fate, but more constructively can be interpreted as collective action. Things are connected in ways that are not always obvious. Even when the connections are not obvious, it is possible to take small actions which use the butterfly effect to create good Karma. more…

A diverse workforce: The smart thing to do

by Robert Driscoll, Aug 20, 2010

Diversity in the workplace should not be limited to race, gender and age, but differences of views and personalities as well. If this diverse workforce is guided properly, they will share their unique knowledge and discuss their differences rather than what’s common between them. This will lead to generating innovative ideas that could potentially change the marketplace you are in. more…

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A diverse workforce: The smart thing to do

by Robert Driscoll on August 20, 2010

Business is no longer about what product or service you can provide in a local or regional marketplace.  Today it’s about competing in a global one.  The internet has allowed companies that once were only able to support a local or regional area to now make offers on a global basis.  Competing in the global marketplace not only means diversifying your products and/or services, but your most important asset as well: your workforce.

Some people still believe companies hire diverse workforces because it’s the politically correct thing to do.  What companies are finding out though is that hiring a diverse workforce allows companies to expand easier in to new markets with a diverse client base as they are in a better position to understand the demographics of the customers they serve.  At a high level, this is true, but just because you hire a diverse workforce will not guarantee you success in the marketplace.  Like with any group of employees, it’s what you do with them and how you use their diversities to your advantage in the marketplace.

Diversity in the workplace at your company should not only be limited to race, gender and age, but differences of views and personalities as well.  As a leader, you need to recognize these differences and align your people accordingly as it relates to their job function, whether it’s in sales, marketing, human resources, etc…  You wouldn’t have someone like Donald Trump head up your HR department unless you wanted everyone fired, right?  Understand your employees’ strengths and put them in positions where they will have the greatest impact.

At the same time, you need to get your diverse workforce to work together.  Simply putting them in a group setting and hoping they come up with unique and uncommon ideas will not happen on its own.  Without the proper guidance in a group setting they will talk about what they have in common rather than their differences.  All you will get is group-think and nothing innovative will come from them.  It is important to let the group know everyone’s background and who has knowledge in certain areas and to encourage them to share their unique knowledge.  But take it one step further.  Instead of just having the group share their unique knowledge, encourage an environment where they can debate so as to challenge the ideas of other members.  Yes, some disagreements and hard feelings might come of this, but it could lead to coming up with new and innovative ideas.  Ideas that could possibly change the marketplace you are in.

The landscape of the marketplace is diverse and constantly changing.  You must embrace it or you will miss out on new opportunities.  The same goes for your workforce.  Diversity in your workforce isn’t just the “right” thing to do.  It’s the smart thing to do.

robert_driscoll_color This article was contributed by Robert Driscoll, co-founder of Active Garage. You can follow Robert on Twitter at rsdriscoll.
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Week In Review – Jul 25 – Jul 31, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on August 1, 2010

Don’t just invent. Innovate.

by Robert Driscoll, Jul 26, 2010

Invention is not the same as innovation. Starbucks, Microsoft, Red Bull and Ebay did not simply invent. They all did something that was different in the marketplace that connected with its users. Sometimes creating that next big thing is just simply doing it better than your competition or making it simpler.  Ideas are all around us.  Now innovate. more…

Character and Personality #4: Time

by Gary Monti, Jul 27, 2010

Temperaments refers to preferred ways of thinking. Knowing individual’s temperaments can help predict possible outcomes in situations. A typical company will have a mix of intuitive thinker, intuitive feeler, sensing judger and sensing perceiver. Each  of them perceives time differently and understanding that will enable your planning and execution to proceed realistically. more…

Social Media and Tribes #7: Is Twitter doomed to fail?

by Deepika Bajaj, Jul 28, 2010

Twitter has generated enough controversies and we have not seen the end of it. There is a constant debate if Twitter is good or bad. Just like most things in life, it’s not for everybody and not for all purposes. But it will be enormously useful if you know how to leverage it. Share, connect and reciprocate with somebody on twitter and you’ll see it’s potential. more…

Flexible Focus #12: The 8 frames of live – Business

by William Reed, Jul 29, 2010

What career you pursue and how you engage with your work is one of the determining factors in the quality of your life and your legacy. Most people are concerned with the mechanics and features of their work, salary and benefits, but there is one question that should come first – Are you engaged in your work with head, heart, and hands? This article identified 7 hidden opportunities to shift to positive engagement. more…

Author’s Journey #32: Speaking for Profit

by Roger Parker, Jul 30, 2010

Authors depend on information products, workbooks, audios and videos because there’s more money in the back-end products then they’re likely to earn from their books. However, the Internet is a crowded marketplace; there’s competition even in niche categories. Speaking engagements provide a valuable source of profit. In this article Roger explains how to maximize your profits from speaking engagements. more…

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Don’t just Invent. Innovate.

by Robert Driscoll on July 26, 2010

There are many misconceptions about what inventions and innovations are in the marketplace, but they are two very different things.  You can invent something and not do anything with it.  Think of Bell Labs which has hundreds of thousands of patented inventions.  Many of these inventions are just simply ideas and only some were great enough to be innovative where it changed the marketplace.  Or think about Leonardo da Vinci.  A great inventor who was ahead of his time, but many of his inventions simply were not practical during his lifetime.  Now look at Thomas Edison.  While he might have failed hundreds of times trying to invent the light bulb, when he perfected his invention and introduced it in to the marketplace, he created an industry.  He was an innovator.

  • Innovation isn’t about being new to the marketplace.  Look at the iPod from Apple.  It wasn’t the first MP3 player in the marketplace.  They just did it right and made it simple.
  • Innovation isn’t about technology.  Look at Starbucks.  They’ve created a business model around selling coffee in a comfortable environment and charging a premium.  They weren’t the first ones to sell coffee. They just created an environment that people wanted from a coffee shop and marketed in right.
  • Innovation isn’t about doing it better.  Sometimes you just need to make your product simpler and more affordable.  Look at Windows from Microsoft.  They opened up a new marketplace where people could afford it and gain access to it easier.  They don’t have the best operating system in the marketplace, they just made it easier to use and made it affordable.
  • Innovation doesn’t always come out of big research and development budgets.  There might be some initial research and development, but you don’t have to go broke in the process.  Look at Red Bull.  They tapped in to the youth culture in clubs and created their own viral grass roots marketing campaign and turned it in to a multi-billion dollar empire.
  • Innovation doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.  You don’t have to spend a lot when you’re innovating.  You can do it very inexpensively and create a new marketplace with low overhead.  Ebay, for example, was profitable from almost day one and found a way to connect with the marketplace immediately.  Its first year revenues were modest, but it took the earning from its initial years of operation and invested it in to research and development to grow the service.

What do all of these have in common?  They’re obviously innovative products and services, but they all made an impact.  They all did something that was different in the marketplace that connected with its users.

Sometimes creating that next big thing is just simply doing it better than your competition or making it simpler.  Ideas are all around us.  Now innovate.

robert_driscoll_color This article was contributed by Robert Driscoll, co-founder of Active Garage. You can follow Robert on Twitter at rsdriscoll.
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The Foundation Principles of a Leader

by Robert Driscoll on July 14, 2010

In my last post, I talked about the pillars of success to help start your venture.  In order to make sure that the pillars stay up, you have to have a solid foundation, which are the principles of the leader.  These principles are: integrity, credibility, attitude, teamwork, excellence and vision.

In order to become a leader, you must have integrity.  Without integrity, you won’t have any followers.  Your integrity is your brand not only within your company, but in the marketplace with your customers as well.  As a leader, you are constantly building it and making it better.  You create, maintain and build your integrity throughout your career, but it only takes one unethical act to destroy it.

As you build and improve your integrity, you start gaining credibility not only within your organization, but with your customers as well, as you keep and fulfill on your promises.  You can’t have integrity and build your credibility without the right attitude.  You need to know how to build people up and help them overcome challenges and go above and beyond to not only create opportunities but create success as well.  An organization with smart people with the right attitude in an organization will go much farther than an organization without.  Sounds simple, but great people with the right attitude are the hardest, and most important, assets to find in a business.

A leader with integrity, credibility and the right attitude with a group of people following them who also have the right attitude must be able to create a teamwork environment.  Employees who are able to effectively work together allow a company to accomplish tasks and meet goals that would be very different, if not impossible to do, as individuals.

Being the leader of a company, you must strive for excellence.  You should constantly push to improve your product and services in the marketplace.  Not only listen to your employees recommendations, but more importantly, your customers as well.  Use these recommendations to continually improve your products or services.

In doing all of this, don’t forget about your company’s vision. Always remember it and ensure that your colleagues and employees practice it, believe in it and share it with your customers.  As a leader, you must be able to not only share the vision with others but also make sure it its being followed and practiced.

We all have skills and capabilities that help our organizations, but none of us are perfect.  If you can master most of these, along with the pillars of success, you will not only be an effective leader, but will create a company with effective employees helping you build a successful business.

robert_driscoll_color This article was contributed by Robert Driscoll, co-founder of Active Garage. You can follow Robert on Twitter at rsdriscoll.
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Week In Review – May 2 – May 8, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on May 9, 2010

Can we avert failures in our life?

by Vijay Peduru, May 3, 2010

This article reminds me of one of my high school teachers. This was his famous refrain: if a rocket destined to the moon is off by a fraction of a degree, it will not reach its destination. You can change your destination only if you change your direction. Nothing happens all of a sudden. There is no overnight success. Take small steps in the right direction every day. more…

Leadership Cancers #8: Anticipation

by Gary Monti, May 4, 2010

Wow, Gary… or should I say “The sage of Active Garage”? Performing action without becoming a servant of the desired consequences has been a subject of discussion for the longest time. This is a very nuanced concept and can be easily misinterpreted out of context. But understanding and putting this single principle to practice can bring you peace of mind and take your performance to new heights you have not experienced before. more…

Are You Preventing Your House Sale?

by Guy Ralfe, May 5, 2010

One of my teachers insists on learning the art of quitting. You got to listen to this Kenny Rogers song on this topic. While quitting is an essential art, it is equally important to not shut the doors of opportunity. When you don’t give into emotions and think strategically, you can leverage every thing that comes across your way for your ultimate benefit. more…

Pillars of Success

by Robert Driscoll, May 6, 2010

Based on movies, TV and what we read in the media, we have a pre conceived notion of what a hugely successful CEO is. You cannot be more wrong. Robert has captured the essence of one CEO’s practices for success in this article. more…

Author’s Journey #20: Choosing the right incentive to build your List

by Roger Parker, May 7, 2010

One of your most important marketing and promoting decisions is choosing the right incentive to offer as a bonus to visitors who sign up for your e-mail newsletter or weekly tips. It’s not enough to offer great information delivered at consistent intervals via e-mail. In this article, Roger has listed a great array of incentives you can provide your readers. more…

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Pillars of Success

by Robert Driscoll on May 6, 2010

Recently I was listening to what I thought was going to be just another training class about how to be successful in business. Work hard; think differently; empower your employees. The usual.

The gentleman speaking was the President & CEO of one of the world’s largest wireless companies. At first I figured he was your typical blue blood, Ivy League educated executive who would give us some words of wisdom and then he would be on his way. How wrong I was. This gentleman talked about his life story and the struggles he had to overcome just to simply get an education, let alone build the company he ran today. From his life lessons, he built the foundation of his work ethic that he has kept throughout his personal and professional life.

He stated that you learn to be a leader through your personal and professional experiences as well as your formal (high school, university, graduate school) and informal (training classes, certifications) education. This is your foundation. Continuous learning and the accumulation of knowledge is what helped him build what he calls his pillars of success which looks like this:

Everything starts with an idea, a dream, but don’t just dream, dream big. Believe in yourself and don’t limit yourself to what others say. But dreaming is not enough. You have to have a good strategy on how you want to execute your dream, a winning game plan. Hope is not a good strategy. Don’t just expect things to happen. You need to have a good understanding of how you are not only going to start your new venture, but how you will get your customers, areas to target, etc..

Developing a winning game plan is just the beginning. You have to be willing to take risks. Calculated risks. This is where you need to get out of your normal comfort zone. You need to start thinking and acting differently than others in your market space and creating offers that have marginal value in the marketplace. Don’t just do something simply because it feels like the right thing or even worse, introduce a “new” offer that is just simply another flavor of a similar product or service already in the marketplace. If you do, you will never be noticed. Be different.

As soon as you have a game plan and you start executing on it (and taking risks), you will most likely come across obstacles that you have never come up against before. Don’t avoid them. Tackle and embrace them and learn from them. These experiences will only make you stronger.

Overcoming obstacles, if approached properly and you learn from them, will only create new opportunities for you. Find the value in them and incorporate them in to your offer. This will only increase the marginal value in your offer. As you add more features or functionality in to your offer, go back to the first pillar and start the process all over again. This should be a continuous cycle in your business.

The foundation that holds up these pillars of success is the leader’s principles: teamwork, integrity, credibility, attitude, vision and excellence. These will be discussed in my next post, but I hope this post can help jumpstart your dream to start a new venture where you can build your own pillars of success.

robert_driscoll_color This article was contributed by Robert Driscoll, co-founder of Active Garage. You can follow Robert on Twitter at rsdriscoll.
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Week In Review – Apr 25 – May 1, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on May 2, 2010

Achieving IT Financial transparency with activity based costing

by Brian Superczynski, Apr 26, 2010

Rather than representing IT budgets in dollars and cents, it will help business leaders and IT leaders in an organization to better allocate resources and drive efficiency if the costing is based on region, function, portfolio, business units, etc. This will also pave the way to compare costs across the organization. more…

Leadership Cancers #7: Hubris and the Titanic

by Gary Monti, Apr 27, 2010

A succession of successful endeavors can create an environment where powerful people exhibit extreme arrogance (hubris). This will lead to disaster. Gary explains this beautifully via the story of the Titanic. more…

The Model Leader

by Robert Driscoll, Apr 28, 2010

Ever wondered what is leadership? Robert has done an excellent job summarizing it in a nutshell! Great article… Leaves you wondering if Robert is going to be posting a series that elaborates each of the areas in this article. more…

iPad: Faster than a speeding gurney

by Marc Watley, Apr 29, 2010

I was wondering what took so long for an iPad article to make it to ActiveGarage… Thanks Marc! If you have not touched and felt one, you should. It’s got tremendous potential in all fields including the medical industry, particularly in hospitals. more…

Author’s Journey #19: Create an online hub for marketing your book

by Roger Parker, Apr 30, 2010

If you want to harness the Internet to promote your book, you must have a blog-based web presence. This will provide you the ability to make updates on your own and eliminate the costs and delays associated with outside designers. You will need only basic word processing skills to do this. Moreover, a lot of these technologies are available for free! more…

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The Model Leader

by Robert Driscoll on April 28, 2010

In its simplest term, a leader is someone who people choose to follow.  They influence others to do things and there is a difference between managing people and leading people.  There are certain characteristics that make someone a model leader, which I will list below, but we don’t need to have all of them.  If you have a good understanding of most of these characteristics, you can become a model leader.

Operate with honesty and integrity.  This is the most important characteristic and the foundation for a model leader.  People who work for you need to trust you and should want to work with you.   Without this foundation, everything else is irrelevant.

Execute efficiently.  You need to know how to formulate a plan and put measures around your plan.  You have to be able to take data and measure your plan and understand why you accomplished it or know what went wrong.

Demonstrate financial savvy.  It is imperative as a business leader to understand profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow statements.  In business, this is how we keep score.  More importantly, as a model leader, you need to know how to explain these statements to others.  If you don’t understand them, you can’t be effective in business.

Strive to optimize the end-to-end value chain.  A leader needs to develop and nurture not only the people in their organization, but partner organizations who can contribute to your organizations success.  While you need to have a team with your same values, inside and outside of your organization, you need to continually work to make them better.

Develop and nurture the organization.  As one moves up the corporate ladder, this area becomes more important.  It is important to not lose sight of what your front line employees do.  Spend time working directly with your teams and help them grow and prosper.  This in turn will help you grow and prosper.  As a leader, you need to be focused on making sure you have the right people in the right positions while helping them develop the right skill sets to help them prosper and grow.

Think independently and critically. Don’t just be a “yes” person, but don’t  always get in to fights with your colleagues.  Pick your battles and when your views differ, have data to back it up.

Practice situational leadership. Know and understand your dominant leadership style but also pay attention to the situation at hand and be able to effectively articulate what you need.  You might need to be able to act in a manner that is uncomfortable for you but is necessary to get the job done.

Communicate effectively.  Make sure that your message is clear so that it’s not misunderstood.  The last thing you want is to have the task not completely correctly.  Take your time.

Like what you do. If you don’t, then think about where you can be more effective.  Be up to the challenges that you are faced with in your job every day.  Be excited about it.  Negative energy spreads quickly.  Be positive and like what you do, otherwise move on.

The marketplace is always changing which requires you to constantly adapt.  As you work on improving these characteristics, before you know it, you will stop being a manager and will become a model leader.

robert_driscoll_color This article was contributed by Robert Driscoll, co-founder of Active Garage. You can follow Robert on Twitter at rsdriscoll.
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Week In Review – Jan 31 – Feb 6, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on February 7, 2010

Social Media ROCKSTARS!

by Deepika Bajaj, Feb 1, 2010

Social media ROCKSTARS are no different from traditional ROCKSTARS. They possess the same characteristics – Talent par excellence, Performance and Energy. They continuously produce new material, perform brilliantly that crowds love them and energize their audience. People like Kevin RoseMatt Inman and bloggers like Chris Brogan or Marshall Kirkpatrick are the genuine social media rockstars! more…

BLOGTASTIC!: Make more friends in the blogosphere fast!

by Rajesh Setty, Feb 1, 2010

Face to face conversations are valuable for networking, but this strategy has some constraints. Online conversations on the blogosphere gives you the ability to start and engage in multiple conversations with people far and wide, asynchronously. Rajesh leveraged this for his “Quought for the Day” project. Leverage your blog to communicate, collaborate and utilize your blog as a catalyst to enhance your relationships. more…

Change Management #2 – Morphing Organizations: The Executive Samurai and Complexity Theory

by Gary Monti, Feb 2, 2010

To take your organization through change, you need to be a “samurai” who is an expert at even-tempered decision-making. You need to be a martial artist in the sense that you need to adapt your methods to circumstances while maintaining core principles. Then, like Zen practitioners, be imperturbable. Now, you can take a tip from complexity theory on how to best organize: let the people do it themselves. more…

BLOGTASTIC!: What you don’t know might hurt you

by Rajesh Setty, Feb 2, 2010

If you are in the blogosphere, you need to keep abreast of the happenings in this arena. This is not any different from other domain like hardware, software, etc. Considerations for your blog should include SEO, RSS feed, mobile accessibility, etc. There are numerous resources like Squidoo: Blogging Starter Checklist that provide you the information – you just need to look for it. more…

Lessons From Our Past

by Guy Ralfe, Feb 3, 2010

A wise man learns from others’ experience, while a fool does not learn even from his own. In the latter case, history repeats itself. Guy narrates his travails with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). Over the past five years, rates have increased and service has degraded in some areas. All indicators point to a repeat of what happened in 1897. It would be interesting to see when MBTA wakes up to reality. more…

BLOGTASTIC!: The right tools

by Rajesh Setty, Feb 3, 2010

We all need need the right tools to excel in our professions and blogging is no exception. Some areas where you need to consider using good tools are infrastructure, tracking, subscriptions and optimization. If you don’t consider yourself a geek who is fascinated by tools, get professional help. more…

Information: The Most Precious Thing Your Company Has

by Robert Driscoll, Feb 4, 2010

Cloud computing is one of the most hyped technology currently. Computing is usually compared with electricity as a utility, but that is not a valid comparison. Electricity is a dumb commodity and who cares if it is stolen. But data on the on the other hand is immensely valuable. When moving your organization towards cloud computing, move slowly and start with applications and data that are not the lifeline of your business. Move at the pace of your comfort and not at the pace the providers recommend. more…

BLOGTASTIC!: Blogging stats can be addictive

by Rajesh Setty, Feb 4, 2010

Though it can be addictive to keep watching the traffic stats to your blog grow, that metric is not where the value is. You need to dig deeper and understand where your visitors come from, what posts they are reading, where they click through, etc. These analytics will help you understand your readers better and enable you to position your blog for greater success. more…

Author’s Journey #7 – Who can help you write your book?

by Roger Parker, Feb 5, 2010

When writing non-fiction books, understand that you don’t have to write every single word in your book! You can get help from a variety of sources. Consider co-authors, ghost writers, assistants and crowdsourcing. They provide key benefits of providing a different perspective and efficiency. Before you make the choice, identify your goals, choose the right option and structure the relationship appropriately. more…

BLOGTASTIC!: More help than you will ever need

by Rajesh Setty, Feb 5, 2010

We all need help with everything we do. Same holds true for blogging. Your blogging success depends upon what you are willing to invest in getting help. Your investment could be time to learn it all by yourself, or you could spend money to get good help. Irrespective, don’t forget the opportunity cost of your time or money. The old adage “when the student is ready, the teacher arrives” fits brilliantly with the blogosphere. Are you ready to leverage your blog and open new doors? more…

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