Archive for the ‘Latest Updates from the Industry’ Category

How Entrepreneurs are Building Successful and More Efficient Companies


Every good entrepreneur knows it’s true: besides having a brilliant business idea, employees are any firm’s most valuable asset. But once a business takes off, the romantic idea of founding a successful business in the proverbial garage quickly fades and reality settles in. Fact is, day-to-day issues of HR management can distract you from another key to success: growing your business.

Saving Hours by Outsourcing
The average small business owner spends more than 25 percent of his or her day handling employee-related paperwork. With additional tasks added for recruitment, hiring and training of new employees, this number quickly grows to 35 to 45 percent. In other words, rather than innovating and expanding the business, they spend almost half of any workday on administrative tasks that are a necessary evil.

While 401(k) plans or a premium benefits package keep current employees happy and attract high-caliber candidates, most entrepreneurs prefer to focus on their passion for the business, rather than on HR. They have very limited interest in federal and state regulations regarding everything from workers’ compensation to workplace health and safety, not to mention additional complexities related to employee benefits with the recent passage of the Affordable Care Act. HR outsourcing firms like TriNet, provide small, growing companies a proven way to scale, protect and streamline their business. What’s more — this approach allows entrepreneurs to focus on what matters most to them.

Power and Efficiency Through Integrated Technology Solution
Employees have come to expect anytime access to their HR information. But the cost of implementing and maintaining a state-of-the-art HR information system (HRIS) is simply out of reach for the average small and medium firm. But that’s precisely what TriNet has done — creating an affordable, cloud-based solution and mobile app to enable employees, managers and executives to access the information they need, when they need it.

Risk Mitigation: Share the Liability, Focus on Your Business
In this litigious climate, there is little room for administrative error. HR companies, like TriNet, stay on top of all employment laws and regulations so they can help their clients remain compliant.

With TriNet as your partner, you’ll have the expertise, capabilities and scalable infrastructure to grow. Our core HR services and cloud-based technology streamline the HR process for managers and employees alike. Learn more by calling 888.874.6388 or go to TriNet.com/incredible. It’s time to start achieving some incredible results of your own.

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The Disrupters 2013: The Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing Their Industries


Disruption isn’t cool. Historically, disruptive ideas and companies haven’t been those behind the groundbreaking technologies or products–i.e., the cool stuff. Disrupters aren’t usually first to market with a new invention. They are, however, visionaries who grasp how an existing idea can be made better or cheaper or accessible to millions.

History is littered with examples: Ford’s assembly line and stripped-down Model T brought cars to the everyman. Steve Jobs took the computer mouse, at the time a custom-built and expensive gadget, and had someone figure out how to make it for less than a quarter of the cost. Amazon.com didn’t create online shopping, but it did bring millions of products to one storefront and deliver a better price.

The same goes for our disrupters here. They saw opportunities, ignored by existing players in their fields, to get in, grow big, change the game–and get rich along the way.

Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/227205#ixzz2YBP3VyAP

Do You Hate Mondays?


Do You Hate Mondays?

It’s Sunday morning. My alarm is off. The sun is peeking through the blinds, but instead of getting up, I roll over into my husband’s arms and fall back asleep. I don’t get out of bed until I feel like it. Later, I put on some great music, make French toast, and enjoy a lovely brunch. The rest of the day unfolds without a to-do list or any feelings of obligation to anyone.

Why can’t every day be like this?

At first, my logical mind jumps in with the status quo answer:

If every day were like Sunday, you would be broke, hungry, and homeless. You wouldn’t have a job, and you wouldn’t be able to afford your rent. Plus, you’d be terribly bored. Do you really want to sleep in and eat French toast every day?

Sometimes I think I would.

Lately, I’ve been contemplating the idea of time and the five-day workweek that holds many of us hostage. Who came up with the idea of a five-day workweek anyway? Does it have something to do with the biblical notion that it took God six days to create the universe, and only the seventh day was reserved for rest?

I recently started watching Downton Abbey (which I was skeptical about at first but have since grown to enjoy). The stars of the show (members of an aristocratic British family) view having a job as something below them. Even doctors and lawyers are considered middle class because they have to work. In one episode, the matriarch of the family is speaking with a lawyer, who says that he enjoys going to the country on the weekend. She looks puzzled and asks, What is a weekend?”

She might have been responding facetiously, but still, her answer made me think.

Why do we make a distinction between the workweek and the weekend? And would it be possible to live a life where the two become one?

Jump out of your conditioning and really think about this for a moment. The five-day workweek is a completely human creation. There is absolutely no logical reason why we have to work for five days and only get two days off. But many of us fall into this pattern even when we don’t have to.

I’ll use myself as an example. For the past three years of my professional life, I’ve been flying solo—first as an entrepreneur and now as a postdoctoral research fellow. I have no fixed schedule in either of these roles. As an entrepreneur, I could work whatever hours I wanted, whenever I wanted, from home. As a postdoc, my supervisor has told me on multiple occasions that he doesn’t care where I work or when I work, as long as the work gets done. I have absolute freedom with regard to my schedule.

But guess what? I still tend to subscribe to the nine to five.

Monday to Friday, I wake up at 6:30 a.m. (even though I could sleep until noon if I wanted). I make a healthy breakfast, meditate, and head to work. I’m usually at my desk by nine; I take an hour lunch break, and I leave at around five.

Lately I’ve been asking myself, why?

Why do I only make French toast on Sundays?
Why do I only give myself permission to take my time on the weekend?
Why have I (and so many others) enshrined the nine to five grind?

I don’t really have an answer.

Perhaps it’s because humans love routine. We’re habitual creatures, and old habits die hard. I’m sure it’s also healthy to get up at the same time every day, eat well, and get plenty of rest by going to bed at the same time every night. Maybe it’s true that we would be bored without this routine. Maybe working hard during the week helps us appreciate the weekend.

I don’t know.

What I do know is that weekends feel awesome. And I want every day to feel awesome.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my work. But I also enjoy getting away from the computer and taking in everything else that life has to offer. I don’t think humans are meant to sit at desks for eight hours a day in artificial light. I don’t think cubicles are designed to promote happiness.

So what is the solution?

The nine to five is a perfect fit for some people, and that’s great. For the rest of us, I think we need to be courageous enough to buck the system. I already did this once, when I left my cubicle in 2010. But I’ve realized that I’m going to continually need to do this, to prove to myself and others that it is possible to do what you love, make money, and not have to subscribe to a five-day workweek.

Let’s be honest. The minute I say, “Screw the nine to five!” many of you experience a jolt of fear straight through your heart. This fear is about money. You most likely think, “Without the nine to five, I won’t be able to afford my house or send my kids to college.”

I encourage you to bust out of this traditional line of thinking. There are examples of people all over the world who don’t subscribe to a typical workweek but who live very comfortably. Or who live very modestly but are insanely happy.

Why do you feel as though this life is only reserved for a chosen few?

Why not you, too?

Seriously question your beliefs about what it means to live a happy, comfortable life. Don’t force yourself into a box—or a cubicle—just because the robots around you are doing so. The world wants and needs your gifts. Have the courage to put these gifts out there.

As for me, I’m setting an intention to experience more Sundays. I know that this is going to be uncomfortable at first. I’m going to feel like I should be producing and achieving instead of relaxing. But I’ll just close my eyes, take a bite of my French toast, and allow myself to ease into the day and break out of my routine.

What about you?

 

 

Apple


Apple

Started by Steve JobsSteve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, Apple has expanded from computers to consumer electronics over the last 30 years, officially changing their name from Apple Computer, Inc. to Apple, Inc. in January 2007.

Among the key offerings from Apple’s product line are: Pro line laptops (MacBook Pro) and desktops (Mac Pro), consumer line laptops (MacBook Air) and desktops (iMac), servers (Xserve), Apple TV, the Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server operating systems, the iPod, the iPhone (now available for sale in over 90 countries), and the iPad.

Recent Milestones

Read more: http://www.crunchbase.com/company/apple#ixzz2RJ4YgrSp
Follow us: @crunchbase on Twitter | crunchbase on Facebook

 

56 Inspirational Picture Quotes That Will Motivate Your Mind, Body & Soul


(Images) 56 Inspirational Picture Quotes That Will Motivate Your Mind

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Top Performers Never Work “For” A Company


I recently got asked:

What’s the one key difference you see in top performers
compared to the rest of the workforce?

My answer: Top performers never see themselves as working “for” a company. They believe it’s better to work “with” a company.

Do you know the difference?

When we believe we work “for” a company, we give up control. They set the rules and we blindly follow them. They plan the future and we obediently execute the plan. They are the master and we are the ____(insert whatever you want). In short, we place a set of golden handcuffs on and silently suffer.

But J.T., if I stand up for myself, I’ll get canned.

I’m sure many of you read the above and immediately fear standing up for yourself will get you in trouble. Yes, if you decide to be aggressive and demand your employer make changes or else, you’ll most likely be shown to the door. That’s not what I’m suggesting. It’s about changing the way we see, and subsequently, work “with” the employer. The fact is, they don’t think they owe us anything. Why? We’ve been compensated for what we agreed to as the working arrangement. If we want to change the results, we need to change the approach.

Professional Emancipation = The Secret to Being a Top Performer at Work

Top performers don’t view themselves as employees. They don’t give up perceived control over their destiny. They see the employer as a means to an end – a client they want to work “with” as a way to create a win-win scenario. They patiently but persistently negotiate the terms until they feel there’s an equitable arrangement where both sides profit. And, when the situation changes (which eventually, it always does), and they start to feel like the agreement is out of balance, they proactively and positively explore ways to bring it back to equality. They plan their own futures and use the work they do with the employer to help them further their ambitions. They recognize they are their own boss and the employer is a consumer – an entity they must please to stay in business, but one that can be replaced, or even fired, as long as they keep their business relevant and in-demand.

I realize that is easier said than done. But please remember, I was asked about top performers – and in my experience, that’s what it takes.

So, which would you rather? Work “for” or “with” a company?

I believe we need employers and they need us. I believe we can free ourselves of The Golden Handcuff Effect and partner with employers to do great things. But most importantly, I believe it begins with deciding to stop working “for” a company and start working “with” them.

What do you think?

Why don’t Bees Teleconference while Building a HIVE?


SO_1.jpgWhat do pack of wolves, pride of lionesses, bees and ants have in common. What can we learn from them? What is self-organization (SO) and how does it form?

We are exploring different ways to induce this behavioral skill in the team members for greater commitment, motivation and accountability to the work. Many of us think, what is so great about it; we are self-organized and perform our daily course without fail. But, the question is can we perform equally well in a project, during crisis or with reduced resources.

NATURE has tuned the self-organized system. Be it the conduct of animals, insects, or eco-system, nature organizes optimally. What are the attributes of self-organization derived from the nature?  Can project teams organize themselves, the way nature does? Is it meaningful to compare the dynamism of NATURE with the dynamism that organizational teams face?

Before finding answers, let’s understand with few examples how self-organization is an adaptive attribute in animals and insects. Imagine how the pack of animals like wolves and lionesses hunt? How honey bees organize their affairs so well in their hive and devote themselves to the welfare and survival of their colony?

Wolves are known for their intelligence and social behavior. They organizeSO_2.jpg themselves for the hunt and care of their group. The motive of the pack is to be as successful as possible, no matter if they are not the strongest one. The whole objective is to make their hunt a success so that every member can get the sufficient food. Each wolf in the pack plays a role. There is always a leader in the herd (pack) but while hunting, it rarely interferes or directs its fellow animals (Michael, Wolf., 1995-2005). Another interesting thing about them is their sense of communication; they follow communication protocol and communicate in many ways (body language, gesture, and expression). The selection of communication mean is highly dependent on the distance between the two wolves. If they are close to each other the communication is non-vocal. Similarly when they are in large group, they do ‘Mob-greetings’.

They share a common objective – food for the pack. They have communication protocols and established patterns for hunting, individuals know how to respond to change to meet the objective. Their play mirrors the hunt patterns.

Let’s see how bees organize themselves and find the flower nectar. Bees are deaf hence they perform a series of movements called as ‘waggle dance‘. These dancing steps help to identify the source of nectar and also teach other workers about the location of food source 150 meters away from the hive. The bees have orchestrated movements for communication. Especially when they are hunting for flower nectar, the experienced bees walks straight ahead, vigorously shaking its abdomen and producing a buzzing sound with the beat of its wings (Debbie, 2011). The distance and speed of this movement communicates the distance of the food site to the other bees. Another exciting aspect is the group size, the bees’ colony size varies from 20000 to 80000 worker bees and they all work in coordination with each other without much direction and guidance.

The above examples of honey bees too display those benefits of the self-organization concepts discussed above. Adherence to shared objective set of practices, pattern of behavior, and communication. They show the benefits of self-organization, i.e. commitment, efficiency, and achieving self-sufficiency for the community.  Members of the community organize themselves repeatedly and continuously to meet changing requirements.

In a Direct communications with partners, iterative processes helps control conflicting interests and help them to adapt quickly to unpredictable and rapidly changing environments (Monterio et al., 2011).

  • In a research conducted by Hoda et al. (2011), it was proved that “balancing freedom and responsibility, balancing cross-functionality and specialization, balancing continuous learning and iteration pressure uphold the fundamental conditions of self-organization at certain level.”

Agile manifesto stresses on self-organizing teams, and we explored what techniques make the teams achieve a sense of teamness and spontaneous adaptability which makes it work in short sprints and what will make it work in the long run. In subsequent blogs we will learn how the concepts of self-organization can be brought in a structured manner and help teams adapt in a changing environment. The resulting framework would help us in recognizing when SO can be formed or in creating the right environment for it.

Our goal is to deconstruct the key concepts of the above examples and apply them in real teams to make it spontaneous and easy to transform into a self-organizing team. Support for the concepts comes from couple of papers we looked at.

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