Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 5th 2017 Contents BG12 | BIZ TIPS
BUSINESS GUARDIAN guardian.co.tt JANUARY 5 • 2017
network over time
Once you've made a connection with
someone, how do you maintain it over the
long haul so that you can call the person
when you need a job reference or a profes-
The first step is to determine whom you
want to stay in touch with. Look for current
and potential clients, influential colleagues
and friends who are superb connectors. Then
figure out how often to be in touch. Some
experts suggest having 10 people you're
in regular contact with, 50 you reach out
to every quarter and another 100 you're
in touch with once per year. When you do
reach out, find ways to show that you're
interested in their lives. Ask how you can
be helpful to them.
(Adapted from "How to Maintain Your
Professional Network Over the Years," by
Help others to know
how to influence you
To demonstrate openness, consider your-
self a partner in helping others influence
you. Tell them what kinds of information
will lead you to change your mind. Never
use your rhetorical ability to weaken their
case --- instead, help them strengthen it.
For example, if you disagree with your
chief financial officer when she tells you
that you must reduce head count immedi-
ately, help her by saying something like, "I
was disagreeing with you because I thought
you were saying we're facing two quarters of
lower earnings. If that's the situation, I'm
willing to deal with the analysts.
But if you're saying we're really looking at
four quarters of lower-than-expected earn-
ings, then I'm willing to make cuts now."
The more others know what will influence
you and the more you help them articulate
their case, the sooner you can decide wheth-
er that information and reasoning warrants
changing your mind.
(Adapted from "How Leaders Can Help
Others Influence Them," by Roger Schwarz.)
when you're making
a tough decision
When faced with a hard choice, it's com-
forting to think that if you can just get the
right information and use the right analytics,
you can make the right decision. But tools
and techniques alone won't give you an-
swers. You also need empathy. Put yourself in
the shoes of the people who will be affected
by the outcome of your decision.
Consider what you would really care about
if you were in another person's situation.
Ask yourself, and others, what you would
be thinking and feeling if you were among
the people hit hardest by the decision. If
you're not sure, reach out to those people
or to people who can represent their expe-
rience in direct, concrete ways.
(Adapted from "Timeless Advice for Mak-
ing a Hard Choice," by Joseph L Badaracco.)
What to do when
everyone else is on
There are benefits to working when every-
one else isn't. You can use the alone time for:
• Focused work. This is the perfect time
to tackle important projects you've been
putting off. Work on tasks that require
the uninterrupted time you rarely get, like
launching a new podcast.
• Tidying up. Devote a day or two to clean-
ing up those minor tasks that have been im-
peding your productivity throughout the
year. Perhaps it's cleaning off your desk so
you can find your files when you need them,
or finally getting all of your expense reports
• Networking. Chances are good that you
aren't the only person in the office this week.
Connect with people who are also working
and schedule a long lunch.
(Adapted from "How to Stay Motivated
When Everyone Else Is on Vacation," by
What to consider
before asking for
When it comes to requesting new data or
analytics from data scientists, a lot of man-
agers don't know the right questions to ask
to get the information they need. Here are
three questions to think about:
• What will you do with the data? Be as
specific as possible about what decisions
you and the company will make based on
• Is the data readily available? Ask if some-
one has already collected the relevant data
and performed analysis --- either in your
company or using public data.
• How do we get the data? Data scientists
must decide between using data compiled by
the company through the normal course of
business, such as in observational studies,
and collecting new data through experi-
ments, which can be expensive.
(Adapted from the "HBR Guide to Data
Analytics Basics for Managers.")
25-45 years old: Earlier in 2016, Global Entrepre-
neurship Monitor released research from more than
100 economies around the world indicating that the
average age of an entrepreneur is between 25 and 45,
though people are increasingly starting businesses
at even younger ages.
54%: According to a survey of more than 4,000
workers in 75 countries conducted by Pricewater-
houseCoopers in 2008, 75% of millennial respond-
ents predicted that they would have between two
and five employers in their working lives. Four years
later, 54% of millennials said the same thing.
Ethical challenges in the workplace
41%: According to the results of the most recent
National Business Ethics Survey, conducted in 2013,
41% of American workers polled said that they saw
ethical misconduct at work within the last 12 months.
A major hack
500 million: Earlier this year, the internet giant
Yahoo announced that in 2014, hackers were able to
steal information from 500 million user accounts,
including names, telephone numbers and passwords.
US women edge out men
51.5%: According to data from the US Bureau of
Labor Statistics, 51.5% of professional positions in
management were held by women in 2015. However,
only about 27% of chief executive posts were held
by women that year.
US$185 million: After 5,300 employees at Wells
Fargo opened more than one million fraudulent ac-
counts for customers, the bank was fined US$185
million in September. Of that amount, the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau accounted for US$100
million, the largest fine the agency has ever levied.
Algorithms replace traders
400: According to The Financial Times, there were
more than 5,000 traders working on the floor of the
New York Stock Exchange in 2000. With the advent
of machines that run trading algorithms, that number
has declined to only 400 today.
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