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Use improv to improve your business skills

Susie and Ron had been working together for eleven years and had been managers for the last three. Ron was struggling with the challenges of getting his organization to perform at a high level. He had noticed that Susie consistently stayed within budget and not only met—but exceeded—her goals. Ron saw Susie in line at the company cafeteria and asked if he could sit with her at lunch. After some small-talk, Ron shared his struggles with Susie and jokingly asked what her secret was. Susie mentioned that she had been taking improv classes for a few years and not only were they a lot of fun, they helped her overcome her fear of speaking in public and make a bigger impact in meetings.

Business

Big 5 leadership: Learning from Africa’s animals

Domination and submission, survival of the fittest, constant adaption to change -- the wilderness and the corporate world have many similarities. The more detailed the look into each world, its routines, rules and ways of communication, the more obvious it becomes how beneficial it would be if the corporate world could learn from nature. In some areas, such as product engineering it is already happening, but in the area of personal development of leadership and teamwork skills this opportunity is still sadly missed.

Business

Beating the boomer bust

More than 60 percent of U.S. business owners are over 50 years old, and many of them are looking toward retirement and the process of attracting and vetting potential buyers to take the reins. The differences in yesterday’s and today’s business landscapes are stark—as Boomers were raised in a highly competitive environment, many face the problem of having built companies that won’t attract a new generation of buyers. Three major trends impact the salability of a business. Understanding these trends can help owners transition successfully in a challenging market, and ultimately identify the buyer who will carry their company’s torch going forward.

Business

A roadmap of manners from coast to coast

If you have done any kind of travel, especially for business, you will have noticed there can be huge differences in the way we communicate, ways of dress, leisure activities and business practices from coast to coast. Our cultural norms—how we behave socially or in business from region to region, or age group to age group—can feel as dramatic as visiting a foreign land.

Business

The most desired skills of the future

How many parents have a toddler that can work an iPhone or iPad better than they can? What about the parents of teenage kids or young adults that cannot communicate except through texting, e-mail or social media? With technology constantly evolving, technical skills and know-how will be the most common skills among the working and business public—but the ability to communicate face to face will always be one of the most important aspects of business.

Business

Seven tips for engaging your older staff

Employers today are facing the fact that we need to keep our older workforce in place longer and we need to help them stay healthy. Baby boomers make up about one-third of the U.S. workforce and for the first time in several generations, there are not enough younger workers to replace them.

Business

Nine bad habits to avoid at work in 2015

With a new year here, this is an excellent time to expunge work habits that irritate coworkers and make you less effective. Achieving success requires more than just doing the right thing. Success also means changing the behaviors that hold you back.

Business

Lower the anxiety associated with change

It is likely there have been situations when you have asked yourself, “Why are there times when I experience anxiety relative to a change I am facing in my life?” To answer this question, let’s start by thinking of your replies to the following few simple questions.

Business

Cracking the code to innovation

Everyone says they want innovation in their organization, but when an ambitious employee offers it to a CEO, for example, the idea is often shot down, says Neal Thornberry, Ph.D., faculty director for innovation initiatives at the Naval Postgraduate School in California.

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