Elaine Fogel

bernie-sandersAfter watching the recent plethora of presidential debates and primary speeches, and listening to broadcasters analyze candidates’ every word, gesture, and nuance, I’ve come to a conclusion. There are two candidate attributes that will win the day: inspiration and aspiration.

That got me thinking (yes, it happens occasionally). Aren’t these important features of a strong brand? Why, yes!

Merriam-Webster’s simple definition of “inspiration”:

  • something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create : a force or influence that inspires someone
  • a person, place, experience, etc., that makes someone want to do or create something
  • a good idea

When you watch the top candidates’ speeches, their supporters are cheering, waving posters, clapping and demonstrating exultation. They are truly inspired!

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IoTThe newest buzz word in technology? The Internet of Things (IoT). Do you know what it is and whether it will have positive or negative ramifications for you and your business/organization?

What is IoT?

“Simply put this is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other).” Forbes Leadership

What does it look like?

Your refrigerator, smoke detector, doorbell and air freshener may already be. Next, clothes, traffic lights and pedestrian walk buttons — and every part of a factory — and even your home’s windows, will all be connected, sharing information to make you healthier, your commute shorter, and everything more efficient.” CNBC

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office colleaguesAre your business or nonprofit organization employees or co-workers openly communicating? If not, it has a big problem.

How can they ‘live the brand’ internally and externally if they’re afraid to rock the boat or feel that their feedback is pointless? They can’t.

According to a recent Harvard Business Review article by James R. Detert and Ethan R. Burris, leaders use a variety of tools to get people to speak up. They focus on improving communication up and down the hierarchy.

But, these usually fail for two reasons:

  1. a fear of consequences (embarrassment, isolation, low performance ratings, lost promotions, and even firing)
  2. a sense of futility (the belief that saying something won’t make a difference, so why bother?)

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