Gemma Walford

What are the Best Collaboration Options for Modern Businesses?

As businesses increasingly move their operations to digital platforms, and in particular to cloud space, even the most traditional staples of running an organization are being improved by embracing technology.


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About the Author

Gemma WalfordGemma Walford is head of Sales and Account Management for Convene for the EU region. She has extensive experience of the Public sector and is interested in improving productivity and business change.

Gemma Walford

What to Ask When Choosing Collaboration Software

As a modern and forward thinking business, no doubt that if you don’t already use cloud based collaboration software, you’re embedded in the process of discovering what options are out there for you and what they could offer.

While taking advantage of free trials of various software is a great way to identify what really works for your business, by ensure you choose exceptional products in the first place you can find a quicker path to enjoying the productivity gains these platforms can deliver.


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About the Author

Gemma WalfordGemma Walford is head of Sales and Account Management for Convene for the EU region. She has extensive experience of the Public sector and is interested in improving productivity and business change.

Free Tech Tools for the Digital Economy

Whether you are a veteran of technological sophistication, just beginning one’s career in IT or technical communication, or even a novice player in the digital economy, there are many free technologies that can be used to complement, enhance, and simplify one’s technical tasks, business processes, documentation, as well as enrich and restructure workflows. These free tech tools can be directly applied in a work role or used simply to build one’s creative and technical skills. Furthermore, as technical, analytical, and even customer service work roles become more competitive, the catch-22 for those just entering the workforce is: no one will hire an individual without experience, but one cannot gain experience if no one will hire her or him. While having the right education is an essential asset in today’s cutthroat job market, it can become difficult to obtain a position without experience using various applications and technologies that enhance and amplify one’s resume. However, by just tinkering with some free technologies, one can add to her or his resume new technical skills and experience, and put one just a step above the rest in the competition for a position. More applicably, using these technologies will develop one’s technological skills, methodological knowledge, and subject matter experience, which is an asset to one’s career. Put these four technologies in your tech toolbox.


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About the Author

Jessica Lynn CampbellJessica Lynn Campbell is Marketing Coordinator for EnableSoft, the company that creates Robotic Process Automation technologies. She has a Master’s in English-Technical Communication and a Bachelor’s in Psychology. Jessica is an expert and experienced technical communicator, author, and multi-media manager having been published on multiple media platforms including print and online. She is skilled in APA, MLA, Chicago, and Bluebook citation styles. EnableSoft creates and develops the leading Robotic Process Automation technology, Foxtrot. Having more than 20 years of experience advancing and innovating Foxtrot, over 500 organizations have adopted EnableSoft’s Robotic Process Automation technology in order to increase their efficiency, productivity, profitability, and human-capital. Jessica can be reached at [email protected].

Key Leadership Strategies to Identify, Manage, and Prevent Office Idiocy

Office Idiots are those individuals whose actions, inaction, antics, and ridiculous behaviors generate widespread dissatisfaction and undercut the performance and productivity of fellow employees near and far and at any job level. Importantly, an organization’s leadership plays a critical role not only in terms of identifying office idiocy, but also from the standpoint of taking corrective and preventive action. The overarching theme is that when management ignores, tolerates, or even enables office idiocy, the outcome is destined to be a continuation and expansion of these counterproductive antics.

Not surprisingly, when managers and leaders act like office idiots, the population of office idiots in their departments tends to increase. There is no question that employees learn from their managers, and it is well understood that managerial behaviors and actions serve as models for the employees to emulate. As a result, when you find a manager who sits in meetings while texting and surfing the Internet on his smartphone, you will also find that his or her employees are far more likely to engage in the exact same idiotic behavior. And what should you do if you are trying to have a serious discussion with your manager or colleague and he or she is texting, glancing at the computer screen, and pecking away at the keyboard at the same time? You should say something, lest you are actually enabling this behavior. Tell this individual that you need his or her attention in order to discuss an important matter. And if the glazed look continues, simply suggest that the two of you meet later. In terms of the bigger picture, leadership assertiveness is a key element in dealing with most forms of office idiocy.


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About the Author

Ken LloydKen Lloyd, PhD, is a nationally recognized Southern California management consultant, author, speaker, and newspaper columnist. He has taught numerous MBA classes at The Anderson School at UCLA and lectures at many other universities. He is the vice president of planning and development at Strategic Partners, Inc. and a frequent television and talk-radio guest, as well. He has authored several books, including Jerks at Work and Performance Appraisals and Phrases for Dummies. A member of the American Psychological Association and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, he graduated from UC Berkeley and received his MS and PhD in organizational behavior from UCLA.

Jeffrey Gitomer

LinkedIn is great for business – er, I mean SMART business.

I am NOT a LinkedIn expert, but I do have more than 15,000 LinkedIn connections. Do you?

I may have more visibility and notoriety than you do, but we are equal in exposure and linking possibilities. And 98.5% of my LinkedIn connections are the result of people wanting to connect with me.

I do not accept everyone. I click on everyone’s profile before connection. Many are impressive. Most are average or less. Some are pathetic.

How’s yours? How many connections do you have? How are you communicating with your connections? How are your connections helping your sales or your career?

Your LinkedIn profile is one more social media image. And you choose exactly what it is. When others search for you on Google, LinkedIn is one of the first links they click on. You have a chance to make a positive business and social impression.

THE GOOD: When I realized the business significance of LinkedIn, I immediately sought professional help. I hired Joe Soto at One Social Media to help me with the keywords, layout, and what to include on my profile page. He also recommended what and how to post.

It must be working. In the two years since I hired him, I have added more than 9,000 organic connections. Or should I say, more than 9,000 potential customers. Huge opportunity. At an acquisition cost of ZERO.

REALITY OF LINKEDIN: I receive requests to link and I also get messages. Some are very nice, some are self-serving, some are insincere, and some are stupid (very stupid). And ALL messages are a reflection of the person sending them. That would be you.

Here are some THINGS about LinkedIn to make you think, re-think, and act:

  • Your picture is NOT an option. Show a professional, but approachable, image. Be proud of who you are.
  • Have a LinkedIn profile that gives me insight, not just history. Not just what you’ve done, but also who you are. Your profile is your pathway to connection.
  • DANGER: DO NOT USE stock LinkedIn messages. It shows your laziness, lack of creativity, and overall lack of professionalism. Standard LinkedIn messages need to be replaced with your own. EVERY TIME.
  • If you’re looking for a job, or working a lead, tell me WHY I should connect. (Where’s the value?)
  • If you’re looking for leads, use the keyword feature (rather than the job title option) in the ‘advanced search’ link to the right of the search box. It’s free, and you’ll find hundreds of people in your industry or in your backyard that you never knew existed.
  • • Why are sending me an e-card on Easter? I’m Jewish, not a good move. Three words to ask yourself with any message you send or post: WHERE’S THE VALUE? E-cards are a total waste, unless it’s family.
  • If you’re asking me (or people) to join your group, TELL ME WHY I SHOULD.
  • If you’re asking me to connect you with a 2nd level connection, DON’T. The only way to ask is from 1st to 1st. And tell me in a sentence or two WHY you want to connect.
  • Asking for a recommendation or endorsement is BAD. If you’re asking your connections for a recommendation: DON’T. It is perhaps the dumbest, rudest thing on LinkedIn. Think about it, you’re asking people to “please stop what you’re doing and tell me about ME.” Two words: GO AWAY. If you have to ask, it’s probably because you don’t deserve. Think about that.
  • Don’t tell me you “found something interesting” in your group message, especially if the link is to join your MLM down-line or attend your ‘free’ webinar.
  • Allocate 30-60 minutes a day to utilize this vital business social media asset.

THE BAD and THE UGLY: Here are some examples of MESSAGES and INVITES I have received on LinkedIn. Hopefully they’ll make you think, re-think, and act…

BAD: Hi Jeffrey, My name is — with —, a leading — provider that helps organizations connect with their customers through email, mobile, and social networks. I would like to connect about a potential partnership to help Buy Gitomer, Inc. increase their interactive marketing ROI.
This is a typical self-serving (and deleted) message. Why not give me a tip, and ask if I’d like more like it? And stop using dead sales words like ‘ROI,’ and ‘helps organizations.’ Help me, don’t sell me.

DUMB: Hi All, As I continue to work on building my network, can I ask that you do me a huge favor and endorse me here on LinkedIn? I would be more than happy to return the favor and endorse you as well. Thank you for your support! (name withheld to avoid public embarrassment)
Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. Give me a break. Spare me. Beg someone else.

BAD AND DUMB: I got this in my message box (I get a few like this every week)
(subject line) Your Opinion please. (name withheld) Supplier Business Executive
If you’re hoping for an endorsement or a recommendation on LinkedIn, or anywhere, here’s the two-word mantra: EARN IT!

LinkedIn is the business social media site of today AND tomorrow. Harness its power, do notabuse its options, and you will reap its rewards.

Reprinted with permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.


About the Author

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].