Archive for the ‘Business’ Category


The old saying that breaking up is hard to do has major resonance in the workplace.

It’s not only difficult to quit a job, in some cases people avoid leaving an employer altogether, deciding they’d rather stick with the status quo than take a stab at a new position with a competitor—or even a new career altogether.

The fear of the unknown keeps many creative professionals from realizing their career potential or seeking out greener pastures where they might be far happier and more fulfilled. While the mindset makes sense, this sort of career paralysis hurts both employers and employees. After all, unhappy, disengaged workers tend to be unproductive and are last to bring new ideas to the table.

That’s why at times, quitting is just the right thing to do, particularly in situations where you feel undercompensated, the structure of your company has changed or a glass ceiling holds you in one position. Then there are the inevitable lifestyle changes—think the arrival of new babies or even age—that demand a corresponding career shift. In short, when you find yourself disengaged in a position, when the company moves in a direction that doesn’t suit your skill set or lifestyle needs, or when Monday morning treks to the office become torturous, it’s probably time to find new work.

Still, I meet dozens of disengaged professionals every week who are seeking new positions, some of whom still aren’t sure whether they’re making the right decision. I deliver the same message to each of them: No one cares about your career as much as you, so now is the perfect time to take control. Despite my pep talks, many of the permanent-position candidates with whom we work go through the interview process and turn down offers because they get cold feet. Others are counter-offered by their current employer. Although accepting an offer of a better position or compensation may give them reason to stay aboard, it should make them want to jump ship because it’s only a matter of time before most of these people will be moved out of their job. Why? When management senses disloyalty, those who threaten to leave are often the first to be shuffled internally—or out the door—when the company’s long-term plans change.

If you’re stuck in a rut and simply can’t decide whether to wave goodbye to the current creative position that no longer has you thinking creatively, it’s time to look at the opportunity cost of not making a move. How will your career benefit/suffer by staying put?

In my next post, how to decide when it’s time to move on, as well as a few tips on finding a new position that suits your career aspirations.

Craig Hodges,
Relationship Manager

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Some of you may have tried to reach me this morning and found that I was unavailable. That’s because I was knee high in muck with my husband and some friends. We were out having what I call clamming wars, here on Cape Cod.

I have to admit, my team was quite vocal everytime we scored a clam, which by my count was many. The other team raked for clams quietly in the distance. You can imagine our surprise when the quiet team hauled in considerably more clams than our team. Who would have thought?

Sometimes we forget that the most productive people in an organization aren’t the ones who make the most noise. In fact, it’s often the quiet ones who out-produce everyone else.

Here are some reasons I think this is so.

Being quiet strengthens focus. It’s hard to focus on the task at hand when you yourself are making so much noise. The other team, who participated in the clamming wars, never took their eye off the prize. Our team, on the other hand, did a happy dance in the sand every time we hit pay dirt. In retrospect, this was probably valuable time wasted.

Being quiet calms others. Quiet people have the ability to calm those around them. For example, when everyone is stressing out because it looks like a team isn’t going to meet their deadlines, it’s usually the quiet people who are able to calm people down and carry them over the finish line.

Being quiet conveys confidence. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone when you are confident. You know you do a good job and you believe that eventually others will take notice.

Being quiet means you think before you speak. Quiet people are usually thoughtful thinkers. They think things through before making a statement. Something you probably wish many of your workers would do before taking up your valuable time.

Being quiet gives you the space to dig deep. Quiet people tend to delve into issues and ideas before moving on to new ones. Compare this to the surface people in your organization, who often move onto other matters without giving thought to the gold that may be sitting right below the surface.

The next time you evaluate team performance, be sure to give credit where credit is due. Remember that at the end of the day, it’s not about the noise one makes, but what one actually gets done

Guest contributor Roberta Chinsky Matuson is an internationally recognized expert on increasing profitability by maximizing employee contribution. Her website is She is the author of Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around, a Washington Post Top-­5 Leadership pick. Download a free bonus chapter. Her new book, The Magnetic Workplace: How to Hire Top Talent That Will Stick Around will be published in 2013. Sign up to receive a subscription to Roberta’s complimentary newsletter.

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Making Sustainability Part of the Brand Story

 Sustainability may have become a mainstream concept but it’s not an easy fit within a brand    strategy. From first identifying the issues that matter to finally taking a message to market, it’s a long distance for a brand to journey. With brand reputations at stake and consumers empowered by social media, marketers can’t be too careful about how they integrate environmental and social messages within their communications.

Fortunately, marketers can benefit from the lessons learned by two iconic brands: Coca-Cola and Tim Hortons. Their stories are featured in the Canadian Marketing Association’s latest leadership paper, “Sustainability: Why the Marketing Needs to be Firmly Rooted in the Movement”. The 22-page publication was co-authored by Weber Shandwick, the Sustainability Learning Centre, The Packaging Association and me.

The experience of Tim Hortons highlights the importance of getting the fundamentals right before going to market. With over 3,000 locations across Canada, the company is well aware that its corporate decisions impact hundreds of restaurant owners, thousands of employees and millions of customers. When Tim Hortons decided it was time to develop an overarching framework to anchor sustainability initiatives, the process had to start with listening closely to corporate business groups, restaurant owners, employees and customers.

Working with social change agency JWTEthos, Tim Hortons conducted workshops to better understand what social responsibility meant to those on the frontlines. Coming out of this inclusive process was the articulation of Tim Hortons’ perspective on responsibility, expressed as “Making a True Difference.” Paired with key performance indicators and embraced by stakeholders, Tim Hortons had a sustainability platform that was ready for public consumption.

Coca-Cola’s story is instructive for brands ready to build an emotional connection with consumers around sustainability issues. As a global giant, Coca-Cola saw the need to establish local relevance and credibility while rolling out its sustainability platform in Canada. Global sustainability goals are certainly admirable but Coca-Cola needed to communicate Live Positively in a way that would specifically resonate with Canadians, an environmentally-savvy audience with high concern for local communities.

The solution was to partner with highly respected non-profit organizations that were already well established in the hearts of Canadians: ParticipACTION, an advocate for active living; Breakfast Clubs of Canada, dedicated to supporting school breakfast programs; and WWF, arguably Canada’s leading environmental organization. These partnerships form the basis of a recent campaign, housed at, which profiles local heroes and calls on Canadians to get involved in community programs.

The in-depth case studies are available for download here. The webinar will be held on August 21, 2012.

Stephanie Myers

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