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Don Charlton Breeds a ‘Culture of Candor’

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Don Charlton is the CEO of Jazz, a recruiting software firm. Recently interviewed for Adam Bryant’s Corner Office segment, Charlton discusses the challenges of succeeding in business as a black man and how that has shaped the culture of his business. Ranging from asking very direct questions to acknowledging the dog-eat-dog nature of business, his management style is blunt and hands-on. Here are some other key points Charlton had during his interview:

  • Be Self-Aware: “So you want the candidate to recognize the aspects of themselves where they can be confident and the parts they’re going to need for them to be successful in a new company.”
  • Be Prepared for Self-Improvement: “If you failed at this job in your first 90 days, what things wouldn’t you be doing well? And what don’t you know, but know you need to know, in order to be successful at this job?”
  • Ask Others How They Got to Where They Are: “The more you know about those journeys, the more people you talk to — just asking a simple question like “How did you end up getting into this career?” — the more you’ll start to recognize when the ground under your feet is moving you in a particular direction.”
  • Be Direct: “One thing is the culture of candor. After we have a big meeting with all of our employees, I might say, ‘Hey, you know that conversation that you’re going to have over lunch or at the bar where you might say, ‘Why don’t we do such and such?’ Well, that’s the question you should ask right now.'”

This “culture of candor” conditions employees to be ready for the challenges that are brought on by the nature of business. Hammering out weaknesses before they become relevant is key to success, and we believe Charlton’s culture does just that.

Read the full article in the New York Times here.

Apple’s 5 Big Announcements That Are Important For Your Business

Apple’s WWDC 2015 took place yesterday announcing all of its upcoming releases. How will their upcoming developments affect your business? Here are a few of their new developments which we believe will be important for you:
  1. El Capitan:This is the name of the newest version of Mac OSX. It will be a free upgrade for current Mac machines and boasts increased speeds and a more refined version of Spotlight.
  2. iOS9: Your iPhone’s new operating system will feature improvements to Siri and multitasking. It also introduces a new battery conservation mode. This should make buying a new iPhone 6 or 6+ more compelling.
  3. Apple Pay: Apple Pay has being introduced in the UK, expanding payment options for you and your business abroad.
  4. News: This is the name of the new app that features content based on your history and current context to bring you up to the minute  news that is relevant to you. News will be launching with free articles from The New York Times.
  5. Swift: Swift is Apple’s new open source programming language which will have a huge impact in the programming community.
Having your company adapt to these upcoming technologies shouldn’t be a hassle but it’s important to know what they are and how to utilize them. When it comes to adapting to the latest technology, the goal is to make it an invaluable tool, not an expensive hurdle to overcome.
Don’t fall behind, be in the know.

Apple WWDC 2015 Recap from Mashable

Marketing Trends for 2015: Content Marketing

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The marketing landscape is changing rapidly before our eyes. Business owners and marketers need to plan strategies for the coming year well in advance – now more than ever. One of the big marketing trends for 2015 is content marketing. But what does “content marketing” mean, and why is it so crucial?

  • Content marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers.
  • In 2015, marketers must center their content around the reader, not the product. Those who merely pitch run the risk of being ignored.
  • Show your audience you care by dedicating resources to answering customer questions and providing valuable assistance online.
  • The more a company tries to “push the sale” the less likely potential customers will spend with the business. Show passion for your product without sounding like a used-car salesman.

Stay tuned next week for more 2015 Marketing Trends!

(Information sourced from Randy Schrum, Founder- Inspired Venture Group | Business Innovator and Speaker on Conversions, Marketing, and Sales)

Make Accountability and Learning a Habit

Natarajan Chandrasekaran is the CEO of Tata Consultancy Services, an Indian multinational IT service, consulting and business solutions company headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra. In a recent interview with Adam Bryant of the New York Times, Chandrasekaran opened up about his approaches to leadership, learning, and the importance of accountability:

  • Learning is achieved by culture, not mandate: “Everyone has to take some accountability for other people, and look for ways to make small contributions to help others. Innovation and caring for people are cultures; they are not departments. It takes time to build that culture.”
  • It all starts with passion: When hiring, assess the strengths and weaknesses of a candidate while finding out exactly what they’re looking for in a job. “The whole idea is to see if there’s a fit… The fit will require the person to have passion first.”
  • Success and learning go hand-in-hand: It’s important to know where you want to go directionally in your career. Define what success will look like after a few years. Remember, “learning is the most important thing in your career. Without it you’ll go nowhere.”

I am a firm believer that you should never stop learning! Do you agree?

To read the full article click here.