Saturday, December 20, 2014

Ten Things That Will Disappear In Our Lifetime

1. The Post Office

Get ready to imagine a world without the post office. They are so deeply in financial trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it long term. Email, Fed Ex, and UPS have just about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the post office alive. Most of your mail every day is junk mail and bills.

2. The Check

Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with check by 2018.  It costs the financial system billions of dollars a year to process checks.  Plastic cards and online transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the check.  This plays right into the death of the post office.  If you never paid your bills by mail and never received them by mail, the post office would absolutely go out of business.

3. The Newspaper

The younger generation simply doesn't read the newspaper.  They certainly don't subscribe to a daily delivered print edition.  That may go the way of the milkman and the laundry man.  As for reading the paper online, get ready to pay for it.  The rise in mobile Internet devices and e-readers has caused all the newspaper and magazine publishers to form an alliance.  They have met with Apple, Amazon, and the major cell     phone companies to develop a model for paid subscription services.

4. The Book

You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the literal pages  I said the same thing about downloading music from iTunes.  I wanted my hard copy CD.  But I quickly changed my mind when I discovered that I could get albums for half the price without ever leaving home to get the latest music.  The same thing will happen with books.  You can browse a bookstore online and even read a preview chapter before you buy.  And the price is less than half that of a real book.  And think of the convenience!  Once you start flicking your fingers on the screen instead of the book, you find that you are lost in the story, can't wait to see what happens next, and you forget that you're holding a gadget instead of a book.

5. The Land Line Telephone

Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you don't need it anymore.  Most people keep it simply because they've always had it.  But you are paying double charges for that extra service.  All the cell phone companies will let you call customers using the same cell provider for no charge against your minutes.

6. Music

This is one of the saddest parts of the change story.  The music industry is dying a slow death.  Not just because of illegal downloading.  It's the lack of innovative new music being given a chance to get to the people who would like to hear it.  Greed and corruption is the problem.  The record labels and the radio conglomerates are simply self-destructing.  Over 40% of the music purchased today is "catalogue items," meaning traditional music that the public is familiar with.  Older established artists.  This is also true on the live concert circuit.  To explore this fascinating and disturbing topic further, check out the book, "Appetite for Self-Destruction" by Steve Knopper, and the video documentary, "Before the Music Dies."

7. Television Revenues

To the networks are down dramatically.  Not just because of the economy.  People are     watching TV and movies streamed from their computers.  And they're playing games and doing lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent watching TV.  Prime time shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest common denominator.  Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about every 4 minutes and 30 seconds.  I say good riddance to most of it.  It's time for the cable companies to be put out of our misery.  Let the people choose what they want to watch online and through Netflix.

8. The "Things" That You Own

Many of the very possessions that we used to own are still in our lives, but we may not actually own them in the future.  They may simply reside in "the cloud."  Today your computer has a hard drive and you store your pictures, music, movies, and documents.  Your software is on a CD or DVD, and you can always re-install it if need be.  But all of that is changing.  Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all finishing up their latest "cloud services."  That means that when you turn on a computer, the Internet will be built into the operating system.  So, Windows, Google, and the Mac OS will be tied straight into the Internet.  If you click an icon, it will open something in the Internet cloud.  If you save something, it will be saved to the cloud.  And you may pay a monthly subscription fee to the cloud provider.  In this virtual world, you can access your music or your books, or your whatever from any laptop or handheld device.  That's the good news.  But, will you actually own any of this "stuff" or will it all be able to disappear at any moment in a big "Poof?"  Will most of the things in our lives be disposable and whimsical?  It makes you want to run to the closet and pull out that photo album, grab a book from the shelf, or open up a CD case and pull out the insert.

9. Joined Handwriting (Cursive Writing)

Already gone in some schools who no longer teach "joined handwriting" because nearly everything is done now on computers or keyboards of some type (pun not intended)

10. Privacy

If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it would be privacy.  That's gone.  It's been gone for a long time anyway..  There are cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, and even built into your computer and cell phone.  But you can be sure that 24/7, "They" know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates, and the Google Street View.  If you buy something, your habit is put into a zillion profiles, and your ads will change to reflect those habits..  "They" will try to get you to buy something else.  Again and again and again.

The Learning Strategy,

Thursday, November 6, 2014

How to Hire Great Business Developers in Higher Education

How To Hire Great Business Developers in Higher Education


How_to_Hire_Great_Salespeople_in_Higher_EducationLet’s face it: Colleges and universities are not accustomed to hiring salespeople. They hire educators, administrators, technicians of various sorts, and clerical staff of nearly every type. But they don’t hire great salespeople or what they call “Business Developers.”  And yet, increasingly these institutions find themselves hiring people who are setting appointments, providing need assessments, solving problems and delivering customized solutions that are addressing the business challenges of rapidly changing technology, employee performance and customer satisfaction.
Hiring salespeople is different. Of course, they need the qualities you look for in every hire—integrity, intelligence, focus, energy, and readiness to execute. But business-to-business salespeople also need at least these four additional traits as well.

1. Empathy

Successful salespeople identify with their customers and pick up on their feelings. They understand their needs and pressures they’re under; they get how business works and can wrap their heads around the challenges faced by each prospect. Yes, they represent the college and its specific B2B offerings, and yes they want to drive revenue for the institution. But the best ones—the ones you want—are geniuses at balancing the interests of the college and the interests of the customer as they assemble a tailored solution.

2. Trustworthiness

The salesperson is the primary interface between the college and the the customer; both must see that salesperson as perfectly trustworthy. Their word must always be good; their handshake has to signify unerring follow-through. Excellent salespeople see every contract in the context of a long-term relationship, and they consistently act in such a way as to preserve, the key quality that underlies long-term business arrangements.

3. Persistence

More than any other job on earth, sales entails daily disappointments. The best salespeople still have a losing record… which is why they need the precious talent of persistence, the ability to keep pushing through disappointments great and small. Their focus on the goal—whether that is closing one particular prospect, slogging through cold calls and the inevitable No’s to reach a Yes, or reaching their quarterly revenue target—is so strong that they just keep going. When hiring a great salesperson, the college need to make sure that person has a powerful mixture of drive, courage, and self-confidence.

4. Innovation

The biggest complaint from business today is that colleges don’t understand what they need. Serving the business community with training services requires real savvy about what those needs are and how they’re changing. The most valuable salespeople have “the wheels turning in their heads” all the time. They think creatively, not only about how local firms can use the services the college or university already has on offer, but also what new training services the institution might develop in order to better align their offering to evolving needs. Salespeople are in the perfect place to render this service to their employers, but only if they have an innovative mind. Hire for it.

Serving the business community and earning a profit doing so, remains a priority for a college or university, hiring excellent Business Development personnel is not an option. Selecting people who have innate strength in the areas most critical to success is a must! 

We have focused today on empathy, trustworthiness, persistence, and innovation, but those are only a few of the talents possessed by the very best salespeople for this kind of work. Make sure you use a scientific talent instrument that will allow you to identify and uncover all of the innate talents that you need in the job. The right assessment will allow you to compare the talents and behaviors of your candidate with those of top performers in the industry so you know how they will likely measure up. Making smart selection decisions and putting the right people in the right seats will greatly increase the likelihood that everyone’s needs and goals are met.

Friday, May 23, 2014

What value does experience bring to an organization?

Hi Jeffrey,

5 YEAR GUARANTEEBeing close to New York, it is hard to miss the organizational ups and downs of the Knicks over the past 10 to 15 years. The return to New York by Phil Jackson, holder of 11 championship rings, represents a significant event. But it's not every day that a 69-year-old gets a five-year contact in any industry.

Phil's success at finding a new role at 69 may be instructive to those feeling their paths are more limited with age — a question we often get asked because of quasi-age discrimination.

Admittedly, we all aren't Hall of Famers, but Phil's move demonstrated some points to remember when seeking to overcome the potential challenges of age in a job search:
  • Know the problems of the organization you are targeting and understand where you are valued. Not all NBA teams were interested in Phil, and he didn't worry about those who were not. It just took one organization with the right circumstances and need to look beyond the exterior and invest in "the right" solution.
  • Use your skills from past roles to demonstrate how you can solve problems in your next organization — even if it's in a different role. Phil targeted the problems the Knicks have of needing to pick and meld talent, including star talent, into a winning team, and used this to close the deal.
  • Demonstrate that you are still active, relevant, aware and adaptable to new environments and not resting on your laurels. Phil is known as the "Zen Master" for his unique approach to basketball and life. This brand identity for flexibility and innovative thinking should be the aspirin to the Knicks' headache and made him current and relevant.
  • Don't worry too much if you are turned down — you never know about the future. Phil failed to become coach of the Knicks several years earlier. But circumstances changed, and now he is back in a different role.
Phil is an inspiration for all of us. His mantra: Focus on the value you can bring to your next organization and never lose sight or confidence that you can strive for more — at any age!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Health Tip for the Day

*** Today's Tip:  PROPER PORTION SIZE IS IN YOUR HANDS             

Eating smaller portions of food is one of the easiest ways to cut back on calories. Knowing serving sizes can help prevent overeating. When you're not sure about serving size, use your hand as a guide. A healthy portion of meat, poultry or fish is about the size of an open palm. One serving (one cup) of most ready-to-eat cereal is about the size of a fist. One serving (one half-cup) of cooked rice or pasta is about a handful. A serving (one tablespoon) of peanut butter is about the size of a thumb.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Learn, Plan, Persist and Take Risks!

There is nothing worst than being persistent with a business prospect without first learning and planning your approach.    

I was a senior corporate salesman and was basically charged with getting large enterprise accounts to buy professional certification training and degree programs. Verizon was one of my prospects who were really careful about outside training organizations who didn't understand their business model.  I realized if I was to develop a training partnership with them, I had to learn their business.  I learned about their fiber optic installation; I met and traveled with their line installers, I met and dined with their buying influences and chief decision makers eight or nine times.  It actually worked and I just kept learning, planning and persisting, waiting for an opportunity to arise.

One day, after about one year, Verizon realized they didn't have the training capacity to meet the demand of a $7 billion fiber deployment project across the US.  The deployment luckily started in the same territory that I was located in.  That was our opening.  Verizon decided to use us. We got the contract, and we eventually delivered this training across other areas of the US for about 3 years. The main decision maker and myself became good friends in the end.

It must have been worth close to $3 million dollars and the best thing about it was that, at that time, our partnership trained hundreds of technicians.  More importantly, the training increased resident scheduled visits from 1 to 2 residents per day and increased sales by 350% in the regions where the training was deployed.  On the value side, together our ground-breaking training across the US provided training cost reductions of over 120% compared to our competitors.

I'm not suggesting there is any justice in spending the amount time it took in learning about one business, and I probably bypassed some other prospect opportunities in the process.  But it was so good for the company that after one year of work, which could well have ended in failure, instead developed trust and a bit of luck ending in success that really paid off.

In getting any big deal or project, the first thing you have to do is want it. For example, you're never going to be golfer unless in your heart - you want it and in your mind - you can learn it.  These two eventually compete with one another.  So you have to really want it (heart) and you have to know how to play (mind), at least a little :-).  If you want something badly enough, you're going to have to learn it.  If you are working with a technology company, you're going to try an learn about technology and networking even if it doesn't come naturally to you, and you're going to do one thing that is probably the most important of all; you're going to take a risk.  Because if you've spent thousands of working hours, let's say over a year and you fail, you've probably damaged your career a bit and you've probably damaged, in a small way, the company you worked for a bit.  Another reason in being prepared to reduce the risk.

I sometimes fail...  Everybody does, but I certainly do.  But I don't give up if I learn and understand the prospect, if I can identify a problem or opportunity to work on and I think it's good for the organization.


  • The bigger the risk, the bigger the opportunity.
  • You must learn along the way, be prepared to do some things that come unnaturally, and be prepared to take a risk.
  • To land a big deal or project, you must remain persistent.
  • You have to know, not only in your mind but also in your heart.  
  • Ultimately, if you want to succeed, "Don't Give Up!"

Casting a Vision (Poem)

I had a vision within a dream
Something so powerful it awoke my innovation
In knowing that this would create change
I realized a furious battle could engage
Never wavering, I casted a vision in exchange

Thoughts hung along my vision’s edge
Is there a Mission, a Plan, to get ahead?
Using metaphors and stories to justify
Casting a Vision will take hard work to survive

Then came a visionary man, battle wounded, scared and fatigued
Who saw the same vision and began to believe
Hilt, buried in the past in the depths of his failures
He still ran and snatched it, and with a battle shout
Lifted afresh, telling others to come about

Soon another believed, another believed and another believed
Forming an army with a cause
We started shaping the vision  
A new day of hope, faith and applause

Our vision increased values, loyalty and self-esteem
People are now free to dream
Transforming a visions into personal drive
Casting a Vision, keeps all of us alive

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Who is responsible for the skills gap in America?

It's been a familiar lament over the past few years: Even though millions of Americans are unemployed and underemployed, companies across the country just can't find enough qualified workers. New data suggest that although many companies continue to complain about the so-called "skills gap," few are taking steps to fix it, says CNBC.

 A recent CareerBuilder survey of 1,648 U.S. hiring managers and human resource
 professionals found that nearly 80 percent of managers are at least somewhat concerned 
 about the skills gap, but just about 40 percent are doing anything to alleviate it.

 Manpower's own talent shortage survey, released earlier this year, found that 39 percent of
 employers are having trouble finding workers with the right skills, down from 49 percent in 

According to some sources like the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools who found that 45 percent of hiring managers think college students would benefit from a more workplace-oriented "trade school-like" higher education system that excludes or de-emphasizes liberal arts. However, the other 55% are fine with the education system that's in place now.

Obviously, the responsibility should be diversified to some extent, but who should take charge? Should colleges do a better job at preparing students for realistic job opportunities? Should businesses take responsibility in selecting the right employees and training them appropriately? Is it all up to the student or adult learner who's in the unemployment or underemployment bind to begin with? Should the military play a role in training their veterans in the workplace? Or should the government play a role with paid internships or On-the-Job training to help a student or adult learner when they successfully receive their degree or certification, but don't have experience to qualify for a company opening?