Apr
25
2014

April 25, 2014 – April 26, 2014

UnknownENDURANCE

Tulsa Performing Arts Center – Tulsa
Liddy Doenges Theatre
GET TICKETS
Presenter: PAC Trust
Show Dates: April 25-26 at 7:30 p.m.

“Endurance” by Split Knuckle Theatre Company is set during the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression. Hartford insurance man Walter Spivey is struggling to justify his recent promotion and save his co-workers’ jobs. In his search for inspiration, he begins reading the biography of British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, who kept 27 men alive for two years after their ship, Endurance, was crushed by ice in the Antarctic. Both stories are simultaneously told by four brilliant young actors who also collaborated to create the play. “Endurance” illustrates the qualities of true leadership and the power of optimism.

The Book is a “Must Read” for this generation!!!

May
14
2013

By Luke Johnson Tuesday, 02 April 2013

I think the era of the PowerPoint presentation is over. Now no one wants to sit in a business meeting and listen to someone lecturing at length, accompanied by a series of slides.

Perhaps people never did. This generation demands interaction and participation. Lengthy, transmit-only monologues are dead.

One reads that audiences used to stand in the rain and listen to two-hour speeches by great orators like Gladstone. That level of sustained and deferential attention from a crowd is history.

This is why the TED talks are successful. To be relevant to listeners in the 21st century you need to incorporate their input. Often, I’m asked to give speeches and told to talk for 30 minutes. I always tell the organisers of such events that actually the attendees really only want at most 10 minutes from me – and then they want to ask questions and join in a discussion.

There are advantages to this new model of public speaking. It means audiences have to work harder – they cannot just sit back and doze. It is far more democratic. And speakers cannot minutely prepare their script – because they will be asked unexpected questions and will have to provide unrehearsed answers.

This means the content will be less likely to be edited by the PR department – and so probably will be more revealing.

Moreover, presentations using programmes such as PowerPoint tend to be stultifyingly technical and full of cliches, and they are frequently cut-and-paste jobs from the web.

Off-the-cuff responses during a Q&A session are probably much more honest and personal.

This trend doesn’t apply only to the corporate conference circuit. I believe traditional lectures in an educational context are similarly out of date. Instead, professors and teachers must actively engage with their students – in the room but also electronically, using video and websites as part of any teaching session.

Indeed, I think even classic linear entertainment like the 90-minute film may have to change.

The extraordinary Harlem Shake phenomenon suggests the old relationship between movie and TV producers and audiences is starting to crumble.

Hundreds of thousands of unpaid citizens have been making their own short clips of the song for fun and posting them on YouTube. This has exploded globally in a matter of weeks.

The old-school Hollywood studios don’t understand what is going on. But thanks to cheap technology, now everyone can make a little film and show it to the world.

The same involvement is happening with newspapers, magazines, radio and even books. We are all creators and part of the action.

Be it a pitch, a documentary or an article – this is the age of feedback and partnership. Authors, performers, directors, politicians, promoters and presenters who fail to realise this may soon be unemployed.

(EDITORIAL COMMENT:  so if PowerPoint is the best option:  MAKE IT SHORT!   mvf)

http://www.managementtoday.co.uk/news/1175136/era-PowerPoint-presentation/

Apr
24
2013

ARE WE UP TO SPEED?  OR DO WE EVEN WANT TO BE?!

“Keith Gormley wasn’t looking for a new job on a day last fall when he used his iPhone to pull up the Indeed.com job-search app during his morning commute.”I was bored, and maybe Twitter wasn’t as active as usual. I was just flipping through to see what jobs were out there,” he said.

A social-media position at Prudential Financial Inc. PRU +0.69% caught Mr. Gormley’s eye. He clicked through to the financial-services firm’s career site, then did some research on Twitter and LinkedIn. A few days later, he applied for the job from his home computer. By December the 31-year-old had been hired….”  Lauren Weber at lauren.weber@wsj.com

 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323551004578441130657837720.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Apr
16
2013

In life, we all have mentors along the way.  These people may or may not be known to us.   A mentor could be as unintentional as a look of approval from a stranger that came at a much needed time and that look has just stuck, forever! encouraging!  At the other end of the scale, a mentor could be one that chooses to invest large batches of time and energy to see us succeed in multiple areas.   This is a person that encourages and admonishes us with permission.

Hopefully, we have mentored our kids, or have been mentored by our parents in an affirming way.  If not, we are not at a dead end.  We need to always seek to be under the the leadership and guidance of one a little wiser than we.   There are a bazillion folks in our network of associations that are full of the experiences of life who can help us to not get tripped up in the mine fields of life or keep us from wasting our time reinventing some wheel.  These folks are at least one step further along than we are in some endeavor or attitude or life crisis or wise living or any other milestone of life.

Someone may seek us out to be mentored by us. we may be the one looking for someone that is at least one step further along than we are.  Either way, we need to be identifying ourselves as mentors or mentees or both.  This is part of what we see happening with FocalPoint.

Just sayin’

Apr
16
2013

 

ARE YOU TRULY AN AMAZING BOSS OR JUST A GOOD ONE?   SEE HOW MANY OF THESE 10 TRAITS ARE NATURAL FOR YOU.

1. Good Bosses maintain control and get things done.

Amazing Bosses know efficiency can be the enemy of efficacy in the long run and so they work to create an atmosphere of expansive thinking. They empower their team with time, resources and techniques, to solve big issues with big ideas instead of Band-Aids and checklists.

2. Good Bosses foster a sense of community, making room for everyone.

Amazing Bosses form an internal culture by design rather than default, making sure they attract the right people to get on the bus and then get them in the right seats. They also make sure that the wrong people never get on the bus, or if they do, they get off quickly.

3. Good Bosses invite creative thinking.

Amazing Bosses know how to integrate creativity into daily conversation and procedures so that every employee feels natural about being creative and facilitating productive creativity when interacting with others in the company.

4. Good Bosses create an open environment for voicing concern and frustration.

Amazing Bosses create an environment where people are empowered to make change on their own to improve product, process, and procedures. They integrate open communication to the point where the expression of honest concerns is expected, required, and desired by everyone involved to achieve the highest levels of team performance.

5. Good Bosses encourage career development for their employees.

Amazing Bosses integrate individual learning and development into every job description so that personal growth is required and rewarded. They know companies that do this thrive thanks to new leaders rising from the inside. They make sure the company apportions time and dollars toward personal growth so that everyone shares reasonable expectations of commitment and success.

6. Good Bosses run effective and efficient meetings.

Amazing Bosses make sure that everyone on the team understands the difference between a valuable meeting and a waste of time and resources. They educate the team on facilitation techniques and give each person consistent practice at structuring and leading effective meetings with postmortem feedback.

7.  Good Bosses build trust so people feel safe.

Amazing Bosses encourage constant interaction and high performance within the team so they succeed or fail together, creating tight bonds of loyalty to the company and each other. Successes are met with equal high praise and rewards, while failures are met with encouraging acceptance and postmortem learning discussions yielding next-step improvements. (Of course amazing bosses know how to make sure people and teams fail safely in the first place.)

8. Good Bosses generate happiness in the workplace.

Amazing Bosses constantly seek and execute ways to help employees gain deep personal satisfaction from their responsibilities so they are inspired and excited to come to work and perform well every day.

9. Good Bosses make sure people are responsible for their roles and actions.

Amazing Bosses promote personal accountability by providing clear communication and buy-in as to the culture, vision, and goals for the company. They know how to effectively and efficiently align the team, communicate in rhythm, and measure progress so they can adjust quickly with minimal risk.

10. Good Bosses know how to praise and show gratitude.

Amazing Bosses know how to instill a deep sense of personal satisfaction and accomplishment in individual team members. They help employees develop a strong sense of self-confidence and self-praise that outweighs any pat-on-the-back or award provided.

Apr
16
2013

At the beginning of “Walden,” Henry David Thoreau makes a concise case against the complexity of modern life. “Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!” he writes. “[L]et your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail….Simplify, simplify.”

Every facet of our lives is complicated by an ever-widening array of choices, including dozens of options for jam or mustard or frozen foods.

That was the 19th century, though, and we live in the 21st. In a typical day, we encounter dozens—if not dozens upon dozens—of moments when we are delayed, frustrated or confused by complexity. Our lives are filled with gadgets we can’t use (automatic sprinklers, GPS devices, fancy blenders), instructions we can’t follow (labels on medicine bottles, directions for assembling toys or furniture) and forms we can’t decipher (tax returns, gym membership contracts, wireless phone bills).

Every facet of our lives, even entertainment and recreation, is complicated by an ever-widening array of choices delivered at a frantic pace. Consider:

• More than 800,000 apps in the Apple App Store

• 240-plus selections on the Cheesecake Factory menu, not including lunch or brunch specials

• 135 mascaras, 437 lotions and 1,992 fragrances at Sephora.com

In 1980, the typical credit card contract was about 400 words long. Today, many are 20,000 words. “Fine print” complexity costs us money in the form of hidden fees (about $900 per year for the average consumer, according to research conducted by the Ponemon Institute), denied claims and unanticipated charges ($2 billion in one year for landline phone customers, according to the Federal Communications Commission).

Who has 90 minutes to read 20,000 words or the time to select a Medicare Part D prescription plan (a Web search on medicare.gov will return 45 plans for you to consider)? Ponder the fact that a dermatologist must sign his name to forms almost 30,000 times a year, according to a 2008 article in the Southern Medical Journal. We are on autopilot—blindly signing, agreeing, working and spending.

How did we get into this mess?

Read more…

Apr
16
2013

Sure, you want your company to be a great place to work. Here’s how to do it, starting today.

Paul Spiegelman, the founder and CEO of BerylHealth, a hospital call-center business, talks and writes often about the importance of building a strong company culture–not just because it’s a nice thing to do, but because culture can also improve your company’s financial performance.

Since Spiegelman wanted BerylHealth to be a premium provider, and to charge 30 percent to 40 percent more than his next closest competitor, he had to also offer a premium service. A premium service requires top-notch talent, and, he says, a workplace that values its employees.

In 2012, Beryl was acquired by Stericyle, a $9 billion (market capitalization) publicly-traded company with 13,000 employees, in no small part due to the culture Spiegelman has created. Spiegelman was named Stericycle’s chief culture officer, with the objective to roll out Beryl’s culture to all Stericycle.

At Inc.’s GrowCo conference in New Orleans Thursday, Spiegelman outlined how you can make your company culture just as strong:

1. Define and communicate your core values.

“I was a cynic about all that, until I realized how important it was,” said Spiegelman. So years ago he asked his employees to define what Beryl’s core values are, and gave them credit for it. Now, one Beryl core value is to “never sacrifice quality,” another is to “always do the right thing.” These became guideposts for decision-making. If a potential new client would require Beryl to sacrifice it’s quality, Spiegelman and his lieutenants would be empowered to turn it down.

2. Get in the dunk tank.

Culture is all about fun. “I don’t care what business you’re in,” says Spiegelman, “you can have fun.” Beryl, for instance, hosts events for families, and publishes a full-color magazine that is sent to employees’ homes. Spiegelman hosts a Halloween contest, and has done the Harlem Shake. It’s not about just being goofy; it’s about actually trying to blur the line between personal and work life.

3. Show your employees you care (really).

If you want to build loyalty among your employees, make sure to show you care about them in the totality of their lives, Spiegelman says. When they start working for you, find out their kids’ birthdays and their wedding-anniversary date, to commemorate those events with a card or a call. Ask about their hobbies and interests, so you can talk about those things, or reward them in ways they’ll actually enjoy.

4. Hire for culture fit.

Alhough finding people who are the right fit for your company is very hard, it’s an irreversible priority. At Beryl, Spiegelman screens candidates through tons of interviews. For every 125 people, his team hires only three–and that’s for call-center jobs.

5. Get rid of whiners, losers, and jerks–today.

Among an audience of 75 people at Spiegelman’s session, only two raised their hands to say they have no “whiners, losers, or jerks” on staff. Spiegelman recommends you give employees the tools they need to succeed. But if they don’t then succeed, and they have a negative affect on morale overall, you have an obligation to act and get rid of those people–now.

6. Contribute to the community outside your office walls.

Ask your employees what they’re passionate about in your community, and organize a way for your company to get involved in it. Get your hands dirty. Get your people doing good for those nearby.

7. Do the math.

Measure your employees’ satisfaction periodically, and then respond to their feedback. If your scores go up, convey your improvements and get “credit” for it.

8. Realize job satisfaction ain’t about money.

Sure, everybody wants to be paid, but what’s more important is how people are made to feel at the office. They want acknowledgement, respect, recognition, and a simple “thank you.”

9. You’re a teacher.

Ninety-nine percent of employees want to feel there’s a path to professional growth and a way to move up in your organization, says Spiegelman. You need to offer training and development programs, and show that you’re committed to their education, improvement, and advancement.

10. Commit to a higher purpose.

Make sure you convey your company’s higher purpose–to improve patient care, say, or advance the world technologically–so they have something they believe in beyond just a “job.”

Even if you’re eager to get going building your company culture, Spiegelman recommends you start slow. As does any solid foundation, it will take time to build, so don’t rush it.

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