By Lori Ann LaRocco on April 23rd, 2014 | Comment on this post

Over the course of my two decades in journalism, I have met and interviewed everyone from the worker-owner of a corner deli to magnates of industry, and what separates the winners and loser is something very simple — working in a successful culture.

It doesn’t matter what size organization you are working or running — culture is key to achieving success. One of the easiest examples of how a weak corporate culture can topple a company was AOL/Time Warner. There was the buttoned-down corporate culture of Time Warner on the one hand, and the entrepreneurial spirit of AOL on the other. It was one of the key factors that led to the demise of the largest merger in the history of U.S. business.

So how does one create a healthy culture? There are four basic ingredients:

  • Knowing your strengths and weaknesses
  • Having a mantra
  • Staying the course
  • Valuing “human capital”

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses

To create an environment of growth and inclusion, you need to know the basics of who you are, what you want your business to be, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of yourself and your company as well as the strengths and weaknesses of your competition.Why?…

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By Jim Dillon on April 23rd, 2014 | Comment on this post

textbooksAt the end of a long day, a tired first grade student lifts her chair, flips it over and lays the seat down on the top of her desk. The story of the journey of how it got there can tell us a lot about what she learns at school and what it means to be a student.

Like the choice in Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken, how a teacher chooses to get the student to put the chair on the desk might at first seem not too matter much, but in the long run it can make all the difference. Or does it?

Before we look at the choices a teacher has in getting the chair from the floor to the top of the desk, let’s examine what both choices have in common:

  • First-grade students in general are not intrinsically motivated to put chairs on the desks.
  • Even though they might not be motivated to do so, it is a worthwhile task for a student to do and learn to accept responsibility for.
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By on April 23rd, 2014 | Comment on this post

The Food Waste Reduction Alliance released its Best Practices and Emerging Solutions Toolkit last week, as part of an effort led by the Food Marketing Institute, Grocery Manufacturers Association and National Restaurant Association to help the food industry reduce food waste. The toolkit includes best practices and strategies for measuring and managing food waste by keeping it out of landfills, overcoming donation challenges and reducing the generation of food waste to begin with.

“We realized early on that we needed to communicate beyond this group to the broader membership of our respective trade associations if we were going to be able to get traction on this issue and make meaningful progress,” ConAgra Foods Vice President of Sustainable Development and toolkit co-author Gail Tavill said. “This is only the beginning, but it’s a way to lay the groundwork to enable the entire food industry to address this environmental, social and economic issue.”

The dozens of organizations participating in FWRA realized they were all dealing with challenges related to food waste using different techniques, so the alliance’s Best Practices and Emerging Solutions Committee decided to start collecting those case studies and practices, she said.…

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By Aubrey Daniels on April 22nd, 2014 | Comment on this post

R+ Book 5th edition print cover v4The following is an excerpt from “Performance Management: Changing Behavior That Drives Organizational Effectiveness,” Fifth Edition, revised, by Aubrey C. Daniels, PhD., and Jon S. Bailey, Ph.D., for Performance Management Publications, a division of Aubrey Daniels International Inc.

Success in business is defined by an organization’s ability to produce results. If you don’t make a profit, you will go out of business. The same is true for each managerial position within your organization. If a manager does not produce results, he/she will not be judged as successful.

All organizational results are the products of human behavior. Every result is produced by someone doing something. If you want to improve results, you must first get employees to change what they are doing. You want people to do some things either more or less often, or in some cases, to do something entirely different.

To change results, you must change behavior.…

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By Maren Hogan on April 22nd, 2014 | Comment on this post

Going from a one-woman marketing consultancy to a burgeoning agency is not something one plans, but a couple of years ago, I found myself hiring talented people and plugging them into my own workforce plan and in time, to those of my clients.

Because I wanted to ensure top-quality work from my team, my initial plan was to make the each an SME (subject-matter expert) within a specific area. One person handled social, another e-mail campaigns and so on. This worked wonderfully until digital ad management became an offering and overlapped with social, and marketing automation grew over email marketing, and feathers quickly got ruffled.

I had worked my team into a corner. Business was booming, but my workplace was a morgue. If I didn’t act quickly, our effectiveness was going to suffer. As workplace collaboration specialist, Jacob Morgan says: “Collaboration should never be seen as an additional task or requirement for employees.…

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