Posts

Showing posts from December, 2011

Creating an Organizational Culture that Nurtures the Freedom of Thinking

Image
This holiday, I visited San Francisco Bay Area, which is the home for many start-ups and IT giants. I can’t help but wonder why people in this neighborhood can create so many new ideas and innovative products. 
With this question in mind, I toured the GoogleCampus in Mountain View, CA today. The Campus is as nice and as “open” as what many business journals and case studies describe --- it provides great and flexible work environments with free workout facilities, free food and drink (even to visitors), childcare service (with a fee), and etc. It may seem to many visitors like me that there are “no disciplines” in this place. Yet, Google has introduced a large number of successful products and services. 
Many scholarly discussions contribute Google’s success to the company’s “exploratory culture.” For example, employees in Google have the options of allocating 20% - 30% of their work time in a collaborative or innovative project of their choice. Different from Google, many companies set…

Strategies for Responding to Online Reviews

Image
Voyager’s World --- an “India’s premier Travel and Tourism monthly” --- featured my comments about online reviews in its cover story of this month’s issue. I believe that no business can ignore online reviews anymore. It would be too late to fix a problem if a business has been labeled in the “worst list” of some sort by online review sites. Businesses can either manage their online presence with designated staff or pay for an agent to periodically feed the online reviews and comments about their establishments.

If monitoring online reviews is not a question, then how should a business respond to online reviews? Here are some suggestions: 
If the business makes a mistake, acknowledge it and fix the problem. If customers repeatedly complain about one issue, it is very likely that this is a serious problem, and the business needs to address it. If customers said anything good about the business, “publish” and “share” it on as many social networking sites as possible. In particular, if a c…

Science of Shopping: Do You Know You Are Being Watched?

Image
We just talked about how mobile technology allows marketers to track consumers’ shopping routines last week. Today, we are going to revisit more tracking tools available for retailers/marketers. According this ABC News video, retailers can tell if a shopper like or dislike a product by two indexes: 

The “enthusiasm level” measured by the indicators of body temperature, motions, and heart ratesThe “disagree score” with the aids of facial recognition technology. 
The goal of these marketers or retailers, however, is not to invade anyone’s privacy. Instead, it is intended to create a more pleasant shopping experience for consumers by tailoring to their preferences, habits, and budgets. What do you think of these tracking technologies?

Strategies for Managing a Company’s Social Media Presence

There is a voice among hospitality professionals, saying “People talk about my company and my brands all the time on social media sites. What should I do? Do I need to hire somebody to watch it 24/7? How many employees do I have to hire for this thing?!” 

I understand their frustrations, but if we think positively, it is nice to have people talking about the company/brand all the time on the internet because by default, Google Search will display the results pulled from multiple sources for the keyword(s) being used (e.g. the official websites, Wikipedia, news, pictures, videos, blogs, customer review sites, etc.). The more people talk about a company/brand, the better this company can “optimize” the search engine results. 
It is out of the question whether a company must manage their social media presence. The questions is probably how or which person (position) should be hired to manage the conversations on social media sites.
Today’s Wall Street Journal shared three best-practice appr…

A Tour of the Newly Renovated Courtyard by Marriott in Syracuse

Image
Yesterday, I toured the newly renovated Courtyard Hotel by Marriott in Syracuse. I was very impressed with its new lobby.  
Over the last two or three years, Marriott put big effort on transforming the Courtyard brand with a “refreshing business lobby.” Personally, I have stayed in several Courtyard hotels with the new lobby concept in different locations, but I have to admit that I really love the new lobby of this Courtyard in Syracuse. 
Like many other newly renovated Courtyard, this hotel’s lobby also has many functional zones. It also has a cozy feel. What I like the most about this lobby, however, is how seamlessly one functional space flows to another. These functional spaces look great as individual zones, yet they are nicely put together as different components of the lobby. I also love the blue and orange accent, which blends with the SU theme very well. I feel relax in this welcoming atmosphere. 
As food retail has become more important in hotel operations, I also saw the Mark…

Do You Want to Own a Successful Career?

Carmen Wong Ulrich, Russ Michell, and Rebecca Jarvis at CBS News discussed the traits that successful businesspersons have in common. They include: Stay “hungry” for success, creativity, and learning. Being curious and striving to acquire new knowledge and skills are very important.Maintain a positive attitude. Do you know that people will lose 10% of productivity in a day if they do not have the positive attitude?Pick your battles. Be effective. Ask yourself what you can accomplish after doing this or that. One must demonstrate his/her accomplishments at work.Less screen time and more face time. Networking takes place beyond social networking sites. It is important to sit down with someone for a face to face conversation. I, myself, use social media a lot, but I cannot agree more on this point. The truth is I will never get to know a person or a co-worker unless I spend time drinking coffee, having lunch/dinner, or working with this person.Career 24/7. Join affiliated groups and conne…

Going After the "A" Players: Is It the Best Strategy for Every Organization?

Image
The Fortune magazine published a three-page long “Special Advertising Section” in its December 12 2011 issue, where a company offers solutions for other organizations to recruit, develop, and retain A players. I have no doubt that A players can be the best asset and may create great value for an organization. When I think deeper, however, I wonder if it is the best strategy for every company to go after the A players.

According to the Theory of Personality Fit (Kristof-Brown et al., 2005) or the ASA (Attraction-Selection-Attrition) Theory by Schneider et al. (1995), an organization tends to hire those candidates who are the most similar to the organization’s existing members. Those who “fit” in the organization, the job, the group, and the supervisors are likely to stay. On the country, those who do not “fit” will probably end up leaving the organization voluntarily or involuntarily.

If an organization is not among the top performers in the field, chances are this organization hires…