Let Your Employees Drive Your Innovation

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All businesses need to commit to innovation if they want to remain competitive in the market. One way to do achieve that is through idea management, enabling internal and external stakeholders to come up with ideas for improvement. To capture this innovation, idea management software can be of great benefit. However, there are still some businesses that struggle to understand why they should consider this, and how it could benefit their business to listen closely to every employee. Yet, if they commit to employee driven innovation, they could see their business grow exponentially.

What Is Employee Driven Innovation?

The system of employee driven innovation is one where solutions and ideas are put forward by employees. What matters about this is that they are encouraged to think outside of the box, and beyond the confines of their job description. For example, someone who works in the finance department can put forward ideas about how to sort the post in the post room. They may not know as much about that particular area of their business, but it is in this that their strength lies: they have a fresh, and outsider perspective. Naturally, they can also put forward ideas about their own departments, but it is the openness and influence on everything that makes this innovation so powerful.

Within employee driven innovation, every idea is accepted and considered. This does not mean that it automatically gets accepted, however. So considering that, why do businesses resist this concept so strongly?

The Resistance to Employee Driven Innovation

There is a big challenge to be overcome in terms of convincing everybody across the board that each individual member of staff has potential solutions within them. One of the reasons for this is because the concept goes above and beyond the skills for which each individual was hired. Rather, it encourages people to think outside of the box and to become more collaborative with every element of the organization.

What idea management software does, is enable every individual to talk about their ideas using a single platform. Through this platform, they are empowered to say what they think, rather than having to go directly to a manager or another individual in the organization. Essentially, it is a process that encourages collaboration without any form of hierarchy.

By implementing idea management software, people become more engaged with their company, which leads to greater happiness. It also has a positive effect on retention, because people feel more valued by having their voice heard. Employee engagement has huge positive effects on every element of an organization.

By enabling people to think outside of the confines of their personal job or even their department builds a great deal of trust. People have a greater morale and are more loyal to their company. As an added benefit, everybody works together, across departments that they had previously never worked with. Those are huge benefits that make a company more efficient and creates a collaborative workforce that feels happy within their business.

Using The Internet To Learn Something New

So, a few months ago I realized that I really wasn’t harnessing the immense power that the internet has, there I was, sat at the computer with a vast amount of capabilities in front of me and all I could think of to do was play retro Sega games, check my Instagram and watch videos of people falling off heir skateboards.

It was at this moment that I made a decision to use the power which the internet has and utilize it to learn something new, two things actually. My choices were that I would learn how to play the guitar and that I would learn all about the Ancient Egyptians, a topic which I have always been fascinated by. If you want to do what I did and learn something new then here are some great ways to do so.

Timing

How much time you will have each day will depend on your own schedule but I would advise that you set a certain of portion of time aside each day and stick to it if you want to get the most out of learning.

Expectations

If it has been a while since you studied then you are going to need to lower your expectations in the first month or two. When you are young, your brain is like a sponge and you can soak up knowledge in no time at all, as the years tick on this can become a little more difficult so bear that in mind when you begin.

Resources

Once you have made the decision for what you will learn about you should spend a good few hours on search engines discovering the best places to get your resources. Wikipedia serves its purpose pretty well but you should never solely rely on this as a factual resource. In fact you should cross reference facts across many different sites to get to the bottom of it.

I like to use the fantastic Great Courses material designed by Thomas Rollins teaching expert and educator who put together this fantastic study material for a wide range of subjects.

YouTube is a wonderful tool as well  if you are looking to pick up a new skill or watch documentaries, my guitar playing has improved greatly in a few short months and that is thanks to the step-by-step guides on the video site. I was also able to find some great footage from inside the pyramids and a mock-autopsy of Tutankhamen on YouTube, this is a great place for reference.

Self Discipline

The final part of learning something new online is to ensure that you are disciplined with yourself around your learning. There is nobody there to tell you what or when to study and for this reason you need to be able to have the commitment and the self-learning abilities to work hard and learn as much as you can all by yourself. Just think of it like this, you are doing this for yourself and if you fail to study or decide to relax instead of learn then the only person that damages is you.

Which Are The World’s Most Respected Jobs

When you consider the types of things that you want to receive from your career, many people will suggest that money and power are the key components which they would like from their job. Whilst this is all well and good, there are many others who want a job which commands respect. On a personal note, respect is something that is not always easy to come by yet there are jobs which will demand instant respect and today we are going to take a look at just some of the professions which you could do if it is respect that you are after.

Medical Profession

What more respectable position is there than one which helps to cure and save lives on a  daily basis. That is exactly what medical professionals do and it is for that reason that they are so widely respected. Whether you decide to become a nurse, a neurosurgeon like the fantastic Joseph Yazdi or a family doctor, you will be able to command respect as a result of the amazing work which you do.

Lawyer

Lawyers earn and deserve respect because of their work towards uploading the law and ensuring that everyone receives a fair trial no matter what they have been accused of. Lawyers must work incredibly hard to gain the position which they hold which is yet another reason why they can command so much respect from the public and from others within the legal profession.

Politicians

They may not always hold our respect but politicians by their very nature command respect form those around them. At whatever level of government they are working in, politicians are representatives of the people and it is for this reason why they automatically earn respect. Even those with opposing views will respect politicians for the work that they do in upholding democracy and working for the people.

Priests and Religious Leaders

For anyone of faith, religious leaders hold a position which is to be completely respected, these men and women of god are spiritual leaders who believers look to for advice, teaching and counsel. Priests and religious leaders must also work and study hard to achieve their position and they are also heavily respected not only for their level of belief but also the amount of knowledge which they hold and have amassed over the years.

Teachers

They may not always earn the respect from their class but teachers are widely respected by the general public and it is easy to see why. Teachers work tirelessly to shape the minds of the future and the next generation of the World, they must put in long hours and have the ability to teach a wide variety of people to the exact same standard. Without teachers we would not be able to achieve the knowledge that we have nor the belief in ourselves to succeed and it is for this reason that they are so well respected.

Great Day Sessions to Have With Your Staff

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It is the staff who you rely on for your business to become a success, your staff are the front line of your company, they are the ones who help to create the brand and the reputation of your business and it is them who ensure that the business runs like clock work. As Haris Ahmed Chicago based leadership and staffing guru says, it is for this reason that you must look after the staff, you need to ensure that they have everything that they need, a comfortable work place, a friendly environment and of course, all of the trading and tools which they need to do the job.

A great activity for your staff is to hold various day sessions, different activities which serve to improve their time at work and today we will look at some great ideas for which ones work well for them.

Team Building

A team building day can be a great way to get the staff together for some fun activities which can help to unify your work force. This work shop should feature plenty of fun and many different team activities where the team will need to overcome challenges. It is important that you mix up the team so that people who perhaps don’t spend much time with each other at work, have to join together and work with one an other to reach a goal. Team building exercises every 6 months or so is a great way to keep your team working for each other and can help break down conflicts.

First Aid

Nobody would like to think that something terrible could happen in the workplace but unfortunately, they do and you can prepare your staff with a basic first aid course. A first aid course will give your staff the basics around CPR, how to treat cuts and wounds and what to do in case of an emergency, this may not be an incredibly fun activity for your staff but it could end up saving someone’s life in the future.

Conflict Management

Your leadership team should definitely get involved in a conflict management course, this will help them understand how they can best deal with issues between members of the work force. Conflicts do happen at work, it is a simple fact of life but these should be nipped in the bud as soon as possible. What a conflict management workshop will do is to give your leaders within the business, the tools and the confidence to successfully deal with any conflicts which happen to arise.

These are just a few samples of the types of courses which you could hold for your staff to better equip them in the work place. If you are worried about losing trade or business whilst you run the work shops then try to run two different sessions and half your team for each one, this will allow your business to still run whilst you are helping the other half of your team to do their job better.

Releases in 2017 worth seeing on the big screen

It might have gotten more expensive to indulge in this taste in recent years, but it takes a bit more than price hikes to keep hardcore film fans away from enjoying films where they should be seen: on the big screen.

Take Larry Polhill for example; while he is usually busy helping corporate clients across America crush it in their business endeavors, he occasionally finds a few hours here and there to spend in the darkness of a multiplex movie theater to take in the latest Hollywood releases.

You might love to unwind in the same way that he does, but with so many disappointing films being put out lately, you don’t want to waste your money either.

What movies should you spend time and money seeing on the big screen in 2017? We’ll go over five of our favorites in the paragraphs below.

1) John Wick: Chapter 2

Love a good action flick? This spring, Keanu Reeves with be set to reprise his role as John Wick in the second chapter of this well-received original movie.

After engaging in a personal vendetta that ended in his retirement from the contract-killing business, he receives word from a friend in the scene that bad actors are poised to take over the guild that governs the conduct of assassins worldwide.

Honor bound to defend its integrity, John heads to Rome to confront and neutralize some of the baddest dudes and femme fatales he has faced in his life.

2) Kong: Skull Island

A blockbuster movie in March? With studios angling to get the movie-viewing public into seeing films earlier than usual, the release of Kong: Skull Island doesn’t seem that odd when viewed through that context.

The latest film to explore the mythology of everyone’s favorite giga-gorilla, Skull Island takes us his home island.

Explored by a military squad looking to uncover answers to the mysterious tales of a giant ape during World War II, this Vietnam War era exploratory regiment will soon discover they have bitten off more they can chew.

3) Logan

Superhero films more your thing? Checking out Logan will prove to be a worthwhile use of your entertainment budget funds.

The 10th installment in the X-Men series, the plot of this film revolves around Wolverine, who is living in civilian society under the pseudonym ‘Logan’.

He spends his days off the job as a chauffeur living in an abandoned smelter caring for professor Xavier, who is suffering from a neurogenerative disorder that have been interfering with his telepathic abilities.

Despite this quiet life, Wolverine is once again called upon to emerge into the light of day to put down a newly emergent mutant threat.

4) Alien: Covenant

Those who live for sci-fi and/or horror films will want to leave their media room at home behind to catch Alien: Covenant in theaters.

Drifting across the galaxy en route to a secluded planet, the crew members of the colony ship Covenant happen upon what appears to be a livable planet for humans.

Lucky enough to come across a survivor of a prior expedition long assumed dead, they are tipped off about the existence of a deadly alien life form that will put their survival skills to the test.

The importance of finding your own way in life

These days, there is a tremendous amount of pressure from family, friends, and the media for us to play roles in society that might not compliment who we are as human beings.

This happens to all of us; for example, Jack Elway, the son of famous NFL quarterback John Elway, stumbled his way along the path that society had set out before him, which was to follow his Dad’s footsteps into professional sports.

By the time he reached college, though, the writing was on the wall: he just didn’t have the same love for football his father did, so he hung up his cleats and decided to hack his own trail through the jungle we call life.

Whether you are the offspring of a famous athlete, or a child raised in a working class household, it is ultimately up to you to find your own way in life.

Need a few tips to get you started? Below, we’ll give you a few suggestions that will aid you in your quest to discover who you truly are.

Don’t shoehorn yourself into somebody else’s life plan

Working in a factory or an office is no longer the foolproof path to financial prosperity like it was in the 1950’s. The relentless march of automation and outsourcing has made jobs less secure in just about every economic sector, making the idea of a 40-year career a fantasy.

By exploring different career paths and picking one you actually like, you’ll have the passion to hold onto your position longer than those who are just there for the paycheck, and you’ll have the desire to learn new skills that will make it easier for you to switch jobs when the time comes.

Travel the world

Don’t be in a rush to jump straight into a career path straight out of college or high school. Take a year or two to explore the world, as it will expose you to different cultures, life philosophies, and ways of living life.

Along the way, you may gain the inspiration to pursue studies in a certain area, or you may come across digital workers.

In the latter case, learning how they combine technology and work skills to make perpetual travel possible will allow you to experience the globe for as long as you please, and it will make you a trustworthy freelancer, as digital nomads face more challenges than those bound to a single location.

Stop ruminating and start doing

You may have many dreams about how you want your life to look, but if you don’t pick yourself up off the couch and take the first step to make them a reality, you’ll just stumble into a survival job, and you’ll end up dissatisfied with your life.

Write down your dreams, break them into actionable steps, set a deadline for their completion, and get to work on them.

Heck yes or no

However, you might be wondering which dreams are worth chasing. Ask yourself this: when I think about this specific goal, do I get lightheaded with excitement? If the answer is yes, draft plans towards its completion, and get moving. If you are vaguely bored with a potential objective, cut it loose and move on.

We only get one shot at life (as far as we know)

While certain religions beg to differ, there’s no way to know for sure whether this is only life we get. You don’t get to know before you die, so it’s best to simply assume that you won’t get another chance to be awesome … so act accordingly.

Don’t Let These Ideas Prevent You From Saving for Retirement

No one wants really wants to think about retirement planning. When we are young, retirement seems so far away that saving doesn’t seem especially urgent, and when we are older, retirement seems so close that we think there is no point starting to save so late in the game. There is a strange sort of “magical thinking” that allows many of us to avoid thinking about what we know cannot be put off forever. But as industry professionals like Springer Financial Advisors will confirm, it is never too late or too early to begin saving for your retirement.  Here are some of the common misconceptions that need to be challenged.

It’s too late for me to save

As people approach retirement, many may begin to realize that they will have to find a way to pay the bills without a steady paycheck.  Perhaps there is a bit in the bank, but the potential that they will live for decades after they leave the workforce can be very daunting.  At that point, there may be an inclination to throw up their hands and let fate decide how things will go.  They may think that with only ten or five years until retirement, there is no way that they can possibly save enough to make a difference, and so they might as well not even bother trying.  This sort of fatalism may be understandable, but it is important to resist this kind of thinking.  The reality is that it is never too late to begin saving for retirement.  The later you accept the reality of your impending retirement, the more important it is that you work with an experienced financial planner to help you find the best way to make the most of the resources that you have.

I have plenty of time to save

It is true that people just entering the work force do have plenty of time to save, and they can probably delay implementing a serious savings plan for a number of years without seriously jeopardizing their future retirement.  It is understandable that young people will want to do this – for many, this is the first time in their lives that they have had enough disposable income to take vacations, drive a new car or buy a home.  However, math doesn’t lie, and the fact is that small amounts saved from your twenties will amount to a far greater nest egg than larger amounts saved later in life.  This can be done without compromising your ability to buy a home or take a vacation, within reason, and this is the biggest favor that your current self can do for your future self.

In different ways, we can be our own worst enemy when it comes to planning for our financial futures – that is exactly why it is important to seek the guidance of a financial planner who can help to dispel the myths about retirement.  Remember, it is never too early or too late to make your retirement as secure as possible.

How to Get That Perfect Smile

For many years I really hated my teeth, when the time came to take photos, I’d be the one at the back of the group with my mouth closed and my smile would appear like a grimace. I have to be honest, I was probably guilty in my teens of not looking after them properly and this really didn’t set me up well for later life. A few years ago however I made the decision that I was going to fix my smile, I wanted to be able to smile with confidence and not feel conscious when I was talking that people were looking at my teeth.

I spoke with my dentist, the fantastic Dr Peter Spennato who gave me plenty of helpful advice and tips on how to do so. Here I sit, 3 years later with a smile to be proud of and I wanted to share with you how you can go and get that bright white smile that you have always wanted.

Surgery

If you want a quick fix and you have the money to do so then you can opt to have dental surgery to fix your teeth in one fell swoop. Veneers are a great fix if your teeth are simply beyond repair or if you want and instant transformation. What basically happens when you get veneers fitted is that your existing teeth are shaved down and in their place the dental surgeon will put porcelain or composite veneers, a sort of plate on the front of your teeth. These veneers are very strong, they will last you for life and they cannot be stained. Once you decide to get veneers, you will never be able to go back to your original teeth which is something you should bear in mind before deciding.

Braces or Invisalign

Metal braces have been used for years to fix people’s teeth, they are designed to move the teeth slowly until they are in place. Many people think that once you become an adult that your teeth can no longer be shaped but this is not the case and metal braces can help people of all ages to improve the shape and form of their teeth. Invisalign is a relatively new treatment which act exactly the same as braces do yet instead of having unsightly metal across your teeth you will have an invisible gumshield-like device placed across your teeth.

Teeth Whitening

If you have more of an issue with the color of your teeth over the actually shape of them then a tooth whitening procedure can be a great way to quickly fix your smile. If you get your teeth whitened, it won’t last forever but you can keep going back and getting the treatment again. There are many different ways that a dentist will use to whiten your teeth, you can opt to have this done with laser treatment or choose from a range of chemicals and bleaches, the choice is yours and each comes with its own benefits and disadvantages.

The key to getting the smile that you have always wanted is to chat with your dentist and just do it, the more time that you waste thinking about it the more you will feel self conscious and lack confidence in your smile.

Grassroots Lobbying Strategies that Work

The idea of average citizens lobbying the government is nearly as old as our current government system. For hundreds of years people have used grass roots ways to make an impression on their elected officials about topics important to them. Today there are dozens of experts, like Jack Bonner, who have made grassroots lobbying an art form.

Grassroots lobbying methods have always borne fruit because they demonstrate that the people are listening and watching, and if the official does not respond he or she may risk being voted or kicked out of office. So its impact cannot be overstated. Today there are lots of ways to do grassroots lobbying.

The best approach is to focus on a few things that you can manage well than attempt to do a lot and do a poor job on all of them. Here are the most effective ways to grassroots lobby. You should pick the ones you can manage.

Personal meetings: These will be more difficult to get, especially if your representative spends the bulk of his time in another part of the state, or even Washington. But if you can get a meeting, this face time is perhaps the most powerful way to convey your issues. Again have all of your points able to be clearly annunciated.

Petitions: Both the online and the printed versions are effective in showing that people are concerned about your issue. If you create an online petition make sure you can print it with the signatures. There are many organizations including Move.org, offering ways to create online petitions. Many of these have received hundreds of thousands of signatures.

Town-hall meetings: There is nothing more powerful than getting passionate people together in a live forum where they can discuss their grievances and ways to get them dealt with. You should hold them in areas affected by the issues and invite relevant officials to attend and participate.

Phone calls: Every official who has input on your issues has an office and phones. If it is an elected official, he has to take calls from his constituents. Your goals should be to have many people call and to do it over a sustained period. Before you make the calls however, make sure you have laid out a plan of what you will say and the questions you want to ask.

Personal letters: Short of a meeting, sending a personal letter addressed to your targeted official is a sure way to get attention. Make sure that your group sends all of their letters at a coordinated time so they make the most impact.

Lobbying at the Legislature: You need to do this in groups as large as you can muster. The idea is to show up when you know the official and you want to sustain your lobbying effort for a large part of the day.

You may have tons of enthusiasm about your issue and are ready to do whatever it takes to get it the deserved attention. And there may be many others who share your passion, but either are not willing or able to keep up with all of the activities you would like to plan. Then there will be those who support your issue but not as passionately. For these groups you need to pick and choose how to best use them. Do you get them to come for one lobbying day? Should you ask them to write one personal letter a week for a month?  Do you get them to attend a town hall meeting where they make lots of noise? These are important decisions to make because you will have to consider people’s time and availability as you move your grassroots lobbying efforts forward.

What Are The Prices And Fees For Using IRS-EIN-Tax-ID?

Whenever it comes to submitting forms to the government, you already know that there are usually fees and costs that go with it. No matter what you do, Uncle Sam will try to squeeze a few extra dollars out of you in the process. As a new business, applying for a federal tax ID number is no different, although there is an easier way to submit your paperwork, rather than dealing with the IRS directly. IRS-EIN-Tax-ID application prices are comparable to what you would pay anywhere else, but the convenience is second to none. To help you understand what’s involved, let’s look at the application process.

Choosing an Entity Type

As a new business, what kind of company will you be? A sole proprietorship? A corporation? There are many different options from which to choose, and most of them will require an Employer ID Number (EIN) to file properly come tax time. If you’re unsure of which entity you should be, irs-ein-tax-id.com offers brief explanations regarding each one as well as the benefits and downsides of choosing them.

Filling Out the Form

No one likes to do paperwork, even less so when taxes are involved. Fortunately, you can do everything online, meaning that you don’t have to waste paper or cramp your hand by writing all of your information down manually. Simply type in the various details (as spelled out on the form), and you’re ready to go as soon as you hit “submit.”

Paying the Fee

As you may have noticed, that is fee without an S. When you apply for a tax ID online you only have to pay a one-time expense of $185. Best of all, because the process is so streamlined, you can get approval within hours so that you can get your business up and running. Also, should there be any issues with your forms, you can request a full refund, minus a small processing fee of $10.

Applying for an EIN may seem like a complicated process, but now it doesn’t have to be.