Andrea Visits Iceland

A few weeks ago I used the travel voucher from Linda Steven Rivelis to visit the wonderful and magical country of Iceland. While there I saw some of the most beautiful and fascinating landscapes I’ve ever seen. I also had the opportunity to see the Northern Lights in Iceland, which are truly incredible. When I asked a native Icelander if they were still amazed by the Northern Lights, even though they can usually see them on any given clear night, they responded that while they still find them beautiful they generally don’t notice them unless they are around tourists.

Every place has something incredible or unique about it. It may even be so great that people travel from all over the world to see it. This exchange reminded me that while it’s great to travel and experience new things, it’s important not to take for granted the wonderful people, places, and natural beauty that exist right here where I live.

Andrea Perri
Project Specialist
Campaign Consultation, Inc. …Learn More

A Gingham Dress

From Steven Rivelis, CEO:  “This is a great story … one I tell often … about customer service, new business development, stakeholder cultivation, and civility.”

A lady in a faded gingham dress and her husband, dressed in a homespun threadbare suit, stepped off the train in Boston , and walked timidly without an appointment into the Harvard University President’s outer office.

The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard & probably didn’t even deserve to be in Cambridge.

“We’d like to see the president,” the man said softly.

“He’ll be busy all day,” the secretary snapped.

“We’ll wait,” the lady replied.

For hours the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away. They didn’t, and the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the president, even though it was a chore she always regretted. “Maybe if you see them for a few minutes, they’ll leave,” she said to him!

He sighed in exasperation and nodded. Someone of his importance obviously didn’t have the time to spend with them, and he detested gingham dresses and homespun suits cluttering up his outer office.

The president, stern …Learn More

Lessons from A Day in the Life

I attended a great session at the A Day in the Life: Baltimore Design Conference this year entitled “Play: Creative Brainstorming for Design” by Greg Eckler.

Eckler used a quote that really resonated with me:

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” – Plato

As we grow older and enter the business world, we are taught to work, work, work.  But is this really efficient?  Does this allow for the creativity that our minds are capable of?  What are we doing to enhance our creativity?

Eckler believes that through play you are able to discover the world around you.  He believes that we should always be asking ourselves, “What if?”.  What if we do this, what if we do that?  “What if?” – as simple as it may sound is a great business question.  It pushes us to go above and beyond in our thinking and really see what we can do.

While play cannot happen all of the time, it is essential to squeeze it into your business – without it you may miss many business opportunities.

Posted by:  Lorilei Barsh, Business Development Coordinator …Learn More

Get to the point!

19.4% of viewers abandon online videos after 10 seconds.

44.1% abandon them after 60 seconds.

Videos that are slow to reach the “punch-line” experience especially high rates of “view abandonment.”  In a recent Budweiser beer ad, which took a 12 seconds to get to the content, 40% of viewers were lost in the first 10 seconds.

Visible Measures studied this dynamic by looking at the over 40 million videos and over seven billion viewings. …Learn More

Innovation in Action

The term “innovation” is everywhere. This buzzword crosses sectors from businesses to non-profits to government. It is easy to tack “innovation” onto any strategy but the true test of innovation is in the actual doing.

A great example of innovation in action is demonstrated by the recent corporate alliance between Toyota and Tesla Motors to create an electric RAV4 sport utility vehicle, which was profiled in the Chicago Tribune by Nobuyuki Kojima and Takanori Yamamoto. Toyota leadership adopted and applied Tesla’s innovative development strategy for this particular project with remarkable results.

“While Toyota usually makes intricately-detailed plans before starting development, Tesla tends to proceed with development first and correct any problems as they arise. Respecting schedules may be appropriate when developing many cars, but one should not be afraid to make mistakes when trying to achieve something more quickly, Tesla Chief Technical Officer J.B. Straubel said. That is the basis of Tesla’s development philosophy.”

The result was a prototype of the car completed in just 3 week, an amazing feat and an inspiration to us all. While the car continues to be modified before its release to the public, the first major hurdle has been overcome – starting the project. …Learn More

A New Culture

Corporate culture.  Every organization has it.

A recent article by Soren Gordhamer on Mashable, entitled “5 New Paradigms for a Socially Engaged Company”, compared and contrasted both old and new business practices.  Empowering employees to contribute is key.  Here are the 5 old and 5 new paradigms that Gordhamer presents:

Old:  “Force people to do what you want.”

New : “Give people what you want them to offer.”

This concept relates back to the old treat others how you would like to be treated way of thinking.  Set an example for employees.   If you want your employees to come across as happy, you must first make them happy.  If you want employees to provide exceptional customer service, then you must provide employees with excellent service. 

Old: “Just put your body in the room.”

New: “Show up with a creative, open mindset.”

Instead of making employees feel like all they need to do is to show up, focus on what happens once they are there.  When hosting meetings, allow time for the employees to think creatively – instead of just sitting in a room listening to others.

Old: “All wisdom exists at the top.”

New: “Listen and make space for …Learn More

“Let’s Move!” Initiative to Save Children’s Lives

Read Michelle Obama’s message below to squelch the childhood obesity epidemic to literally save children’s lives.

Dear Friends:

Since we launched Let’s Move! in February, we have been so encouraged by the outpouring of ideas and support we’ve received from individuals and organizations across the country. And today, I am very proud to release the action plan from our Interagency Childhood Obesity Task Force, Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity within a Generation. This report provides a national road map that will help us solve the epidemic of childhood obesity in a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight.

For the first time, we’re setting measurable goals, benchmarks, and outcomes to help us tackle this challenge one child, one family, and one community at a time. We want to marshal every resource – public and private sector, mayors and governors, parents and educators, business owners and health care providers, coaches and athletes – to ensure that we are providing each and every child the happy, healthy future they deserve.

This action plan focuses and expands on what we can do together to:

  • Create a healthy start on life for our children, from pregnancy
  • …Learn More