Client Resources

Flexible vs Remote Work Part 3 (keys to making Remote Work work)

By Kristen Harris

In Flexible vs Remote Work Part 1 we talked about these two workforce trends and dug deeper into Remote Work in Part 2.

So, depending on what needs to be done, Remote Work can be a great option for both the company and worker. But we don’t see a lot of companies embracing this trend, or even considering it. They may think about it in a traditional sense, where they outsource a project to another business or freelancer, but there are other situations where it works just as well.

For example:

  • a retailer needs someone to manage their social media for 10-15 hours per week.
  • a non-profit organization needs someone fulltime to handle a variety of marketing work, including press releases, an e-newsletter, and an online events calendar.
  • a corporate internal communications department needs someone to edit and proofread all of their materials; workload varies so this can take anywhere from 25-40 hours per week.

In all of these situations, once the person gets to know the business and brand voice, their work can easily be done remotely. There may be the need for the occasional meeting or project review, but most of the work and communication will be online whether they’re sitting in the company’s office or not.

One problem we’re seeing right now is a mismatch between business needs and expectations for these type of projects. The company may be trying to hire someone on a part-time, flexible or on-call basis to do these types of work, while also requiring that all the work be done onsite in the company’s office.

We’re in a hiring market where talented people have lots of options, and most want to know approximately how many hours they’ll be working each week. Unfortunately, a candidate may accept this part-time type of scenario but will leave for a full-time role as soon as they can. These companies are looking for a unicorn, or maybe a four-leaf clover...what they want might exist but there are very few of them.

Often someone who is set up to do Remote Work would be a better fit for these type of needs, but businesses often don’t take advantage of this option. Why? I think it comes down to trust.

Companies and managers have concerns about Remote Work. The idea of working with people they don’t see every day makes them very uncomfortable. And their concerns are legitimate.

They have questions like...

  • how do I know when the person is working?

  • can I be sure they’ll get the project done on time?

  • will the work be high-quality, to my expectations?

  • won’t people feel disconnected from each other?

  • how will we communicate?

  • can they collaborate with other team members?

  • what about attending meetings?

  • how will they absorb our culture and what we’re all about?

First, it’s important to select someone who has the right skill set and self-management ability. Then, the rest of these concerns come down to the ability to build a high-level of trust and communication on both sides.

If you’re working with someone you trust and they trust you, then you know they’ll do what they say, hit their deadlines, do quality work, and let you know if they run into an issue. Aren’t these the same expectations you’d have of someone, whether they’re in your office or not?

One thing that can significantly help build that trust and keep projects on-track is an abundance of communication. Utilize all the tools at your disposal to find what works for the two of you: email, chat, phone calls, video calls, and in-person meetings if it’s feasible. Be sure to include conference calls with teams or collaborators; video calls can be great for this because everyone can see each other and body language so the conversation tends to flow more naturally.

Create a schedule for communication so expectations are clear on both sides. For example, you could email and chat anytime, have a phone call every afternoon, and a group video call weekly. Communicate as much as possible...if it’s feeling like a lot, maybe verging on too much, that’s probably just about right for a remote relationship.

There are a lot of benefits of tapping into Remote Work for your business. Explore the options and find ways to build the trust that makes it work.

Flexible vs Remote Work Part 2 (are you missing great talent?)

By Kristen Harris

In Flexible vs Remote Work Part 1 we talked about these two workforce trends, and how they are NOT the same thing. Flexibility is becoming more commonplace in business and can be a great retention tool.

But Remote Work is another trend that is getting a lot of attention lately. As a refresher, Remote Work is when the job doesn’t need to be done in the company’s offices. The person might work from home, a coffee shop, the library or a co-work space.

With our knowledge economy and business being more global, many jobs can be done remotely. Recently I saw an article about 170 companies that operate with remote workforces. Some companies are embracing it and others aren’t; success can be very dependent on the industry and role.

This week someone was telling me about her last corporate role–she worked for a global company and was the only person on her team in the local office. Her boss was in Europe, and most of her coworkers had no idea who she was or what she did. She often worked at home or from a coffee shop because it didn’t matter where in Columbus she was, she was always remote in relation to her team.

This Remote Work option can have advantages for both companies and workers. The company can access talent from other geographic locations because candidates don’t have to be in their metro area or willing to relocate. This also allows businesses to tap into talent with different skills or experiences, maybe ones that are not easily found in their own market. Having the option to work remotely may also help attract or retain a valued employee who needs flexibility in their schedule or is not able to commute.

For employees, there can be advantages to Remote Work as well. They can take a job or work with a company that is not in their area. If they have a high-level of expertise or a specialized skill set, the number and variety of companies they can work with greatly expands when working remotely. And the ability to work remotely also may make it possible to juggle work and family responsibilities or provide the ability to work for someone who has physical limitations.

In the creative industry, we’ve always had the concept of Remote Work with freelancers building their own book of work, managing several projects or clients, and doing all the work from their own home or studio. They’re not hermits...they often meet with the client or collaborate with other creatives through in-person or video meetings. But the majority of their actual work is done remotely.

However, even with all of these potential advantages, we don’t see a lot of companies taking advantage of, or even considering, this option. Why? We think it’s a matter of trust, and will dig into that more in Flexible vs Remote Work Part 3.  

Flexible vs Remote Work Part 1 (p.s. it’s not the same thing)

By Kristen Harris

Flexible Work and Remote Work are two key workforce trends that keep gaining steam. They’re often lumped together but, while they CAN be related, these two things are not the same.

Flexible Work simply means there is some measure of flexibility in the job. This may be how, when or where the work is done. Having a 10-hours/4 days-a-week schedule, working from 7-4 instead of 9-6, or working 30 hours a week at a prorated salary are all examples of flexibility. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and being given the choice of a laptop or desktop computer are also flexibility. And the option to occasionally go offsite to work from home or a coffee shop is flexibility as well.

But, this is where it gets tricky. Flexible Work (even with the option to go offsite) is not the same as Remote Work. When someone has a Remote Work job they are inherently not in the company’s offices. They may work in another city, like a sales manager with the Western territory for a New York-based company, or they may be located in a client’s office instead of the company headquarters. Their job may be one where it really doesn’t matter whether they’re in the office or not; many call centers are going to this model and setting their employees up to work from home.

The difference is, with Remote Work there is an expectation that you will be working from home or another location. The job may also be Flexible, but that’s not always the case. A job may be Flexible, Remote, or both.

For example:

  • a call center job done from home with a strict 12-8 schedule, five days per week is Remote Work but not Flexible Work because it’s a set schedule.
  • a marketing job that only requires 25 hours per week, onsite in the company’s headquarters, is Flexible Work but not Remote Work because the person is required to be in the office.

  • a sales role that has no set schedule, working wherever and whenever is needed from home, a coffee shop or the airport, is both Flexible and Remote Work.

Companies are becoming more open to Flexible Work options, offering different schedules and occasional “work from home” days. Or they might realize their need is not a full-time role, and perhaps better suited to a part-time employee or contractor. Businesses that can offer this type of flexibility are able to tap into a broader pool of candidates and retain valuable team members as life needs change.

There are different considerations with Remote Work, we’ll explore that in Flexible vs Remote Work Part 2.

Maslow’s New Model? Career, Community and Cause

By Kristen Harris

I’ve always been interested in psychology and human nature–in another life I might have been a shrink. So a Harvard Business Review article about a recent Facebook study caught my eye. 

Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? It lays out five levels of human needs, making the case that each level must be met before you’ll care about the next level. The folks at Facebook didn’t feel the model fit today’s information age workforce, and wondered what a modern version might look like.

Facebook has data...a LOT of data. So they went to work analyzing recent internal workforce surveys and discovered three key buckets of motivation: career, community, and cause. 

Rather than a pyramid, I think of it as a three-legged stool. We need all three to feel stable and supported. 

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1. Career is more than just having a job. It means having to work with autonomy, the ability to utilize strengths, and the opportunity for learning and development.

2. Community is about having a connection with people. It’s feeling respected, cared about, and recognized by others.

3. Cause means having a purpose greater than yourself. It’s identifying with the mission, believing you’re doing good in the world and having an impact. 

While Maslow’s Hierarchy may have worked for the manufacturing economy, today we’re in the information age. Companies who understand these three key motivations are able to better meet the needs of their people. 

A few examples of how we help fulfill these needs at Portfolio Creative:

  • Career: We help creative people find new opportunities, utilize their skills and talents, learn through their work, and develop their career. Creative work is outcome-based so there may be autonomy in how, when and where it is done. Technology makes it easier to work anywhere, anytime, and to learn anything you can imagine.
  • Community: We’re all for autonomy, but we also value human connection. We meet our clients and talent, and connect in-person, online or via phone to keep building a real relationship. We listen and truly care about everyone we work with. Technology lets us build community online and in-person, locally and with people across the globe.
  • Cause: We believe that what we do and how we do it really matters. Our work helps people, companies, the local economy and our creative community succeed. We love seeing the impact we’re making and our mission gets us going every single day. 

What would Maslow think about our new hierarchy? I think he’d like it. When the basic needs of food, water, shelter, and safety are covered, we can focus on the higher needs of love and belonging, esteem and self-actualization. We just keep moving up the pyramid.
 

 

The 3 Things Employees Really Want: Career, Community, Cause

By: Lori Goler, Janelle Gale, Brynn Harrington, and Adam Grant for the Harvard Business Review 

Strike up a conversation about work values, and it won’t be long before someone brings up a pyramid — a famous psychologist’s best-known theory. Abraham Maslow’s big idea was that we all have a hierarchy of needs: once our basic physiological and safety needs are fulfilled, we seek love and belongingness, then self-esteem and prestige, and finally self-actualization. But that pyramid was built more than half a century ago, and psychologists have recently concluded that it’s in need of renovation.

When you review the evidence from the past few decades of social science, it’s hard to argue with Maslow’s starting point. If your basic needs aren’t met, it’s hard to focus on anything else. If you have a job that doesn’t pay enough, and you’re up all night worrying about survival, chances are you won’t spend much time dwelling on self-actualization.

But Maslow built his pyramid at the dawn of the human relations movement when so many workplaces in the manufacturing economy didn’t have basic physiological and safety needs covered. Today more companies are operating in knowledge and service economies. They’re not just fulfilling basic needs; they’re aiming to fulfill every need, providing conveniences like meals and gyms, and competing to be the best places to work (from 1984 through 2011, those that won outperformed their peers on stock returns by 2.3% to 3.8% per year). In those environments, survival isn’t in question.

And once you get past that layer of the pyramid, the rest of it falls apart. People don’t need to be loved before they strive for prestige and achievement. And they don’t wait for those needs to be fulfilled before pursuing personal growth and self-expression.

If Maslow were designing his pyramid from scratch today to explain what motivates people at work, beyond the basics, what would it look like? That’s a question we set out to answer at Facebook, in collaboration with our people analytics team.

We survey our workforce twice a year, asking what employees value most. After examining hundreds of thousands of answers over and over again, we identified three big buckets of motivators: career, community, and cause.

Career is about work: having a job that provides autonomy, allows you to use your strengths, and promotes your learning and development. It’s at the heart of intrinsic motivation.

Community is about people: feeling respected, cared about, and recognized by others. It drives our sense of connection and belongingness.

Cause is about purpose: feeling that you make a meaningful impact, identifying with the organization’s mission, and believing that it does some good in the world. It’s a source of pride.

These three buckets make up what’s called the psychological contract — the unwritten expectations and obligations between employees and employers. When that contract is fulfilled, people bring their whole selves to work. But when it’s breached, people become less satisfied and committed. They contribute less. They perform worse.

In the past, organizations built entire cultures around just one aspect of the psychological contract. You could recruit, motivate, and retain people by promising a great career or a close-knit community or a meaningful cause. But we’ve found that many people want more. In our most recent survey, more than a quarter of Facebook employees rated all three buckets as important. They wanted a career and a community and a cause. And 90% of our people had a tie in importance between at least two of the three buckets.

Wondering whether certain motivators would jump out for particular people or places, we broke the data down by categories. We started with age.

There’s a lot of talk about how different Millennials are from everyone else, but we found that priorities were strikingly similar across age groups.

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Contrary to the belief that Millennials are more concerned with meaning and purpose, we found that younger people cared slightly less about cause — and slightly more about career — than older people. In fact, people ages 55 and above are the onlygroup at Facebook who care significantly more about cause than about career and community. This tracks with evidence that around mid-life, people become more concerned about contributing to society and less focused on individual career enhancement.

But overall, the differences between age groups were tiny. And that’s not just true at Facebook. In a nationally representative study of Americans across generations, Millennials, Baby Boomers, and Gen Xers had the same core work values — and tended to rank them in the same order of importance. As we’ve said before, Millennials want essentially the same things as the rest of us.

We also didn’t see any major differences by level, or by performance reviews: people valued these three motivators whether they were exceeding, meeting, or falling short of expectations. And when we compared office locations, it was clear that career, community, and cause were all prized around the globe.

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Finally, we turned to function. “If it weren’t for the people,” Kurt Vonnegut once wrote, “the world would be an engineer’s paradise.” Survey says: false. Our engineers care a lot about community, giving it an average rating of 4.18 on a 1-5 scale. And just as we saw with age and location, across functions people rated career, community, and cause as similarly important.

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“To know what one really wants,” Maslow argued, “is a considerable psychological achievement.” Our data suggest that people are very clear on what they want at work — and they fundamentally want the same things. When it comes to an ideal job, most of us are looking for a career, a community, and a cause. These are important motivators whether you’re 20 or 60, working in engineering or sales, in Luleå or São Paulo or Singapore or Detroit. We’re all hoping to find a what, a who, and a why.

Will New Tax Laws Mean More Independent Contractors? It Depends.

By Kristen Harris

Recent changes to US tax law have started a whole new round of conversation about independent contractors. The line of thought is that some of the provisions will cause many more people to leave their jobs and work independently. Is that true? Maybe. Like most things, it depends. 

First of all, let’s be totally clear...I am not an attorney, accountant, or tax law expert of any sort. This is purely my opinion and reaction to recent conversations and articles.

Now, back to the topic. Will these changes to the tax law create a whole new wave of independent contractors? While some provisions may seem to encourage it this trend is already happening, and I believe it will continue with or without government involvement.

When the Affordable Care Act was first proposed there was a similar level of conversation about how it would push many more people into being independent contractors. The theory was, if people had access to healthcare on their own, they would be much more likely to work for themselves instead of an employer.

The conversation around these tax changes is similar. One provision allows sole proprietors (in most industries) to deduct 20 percent of annual revenue from their taxable income. Some people believe these tax savings will entice employees to go out on their own. 

And, for some people, it might. For a certain person saving on taxes could be the tipping point, the last little thing that encourages them to start something on their own instead of being an employee. But, just like the ACA healthcare issue, I believe that someone who makes that choice was already considering it anyway. 

Rather than forcing people to become independent contractors, these tax law changes are just removing one more barrier that may have prevented someone from making that choice. I don’t believe it’s suddenly creating a flood of people starting their own independent businesses who never considered that option before. Starting and building a business is hard, it has to be something you actually want to do. And there are still other tax considerations, like tracking expenses and being responsible for both the employer and employee portion of the federal payroll tax. 

There has been a consistent shift to people working independently for years and that trend is likely to continue. Three key factors are driving this shift–employer choice, employee preference, and access to information–and they’re not going away.

Companies are evolving the way they build their workforce, and most use some percentage of non-employees (independent contractors, contract workers, SOW firms, etc) allowing them the flexibility to manage work in the way that is best for their business. On the other side, some people prefer to work independently for a variety of reasons–the ability to work on a variety of projects, flexibility in schedule and location, work/life balance, family considerations, or the ability to build a lasting business–just to name a few. The catalyst that has helped bring the employer and employee sides together is access to information. Many people can work anywhere, anytime.

Even jobs that involve some level of physical work or presence may have the ability to be independent due to information access (ride-share drivers, for example).

So, while the changes in tax law may make it easier or slightly more attractive to be an independent contractor, might encourage someone to go ahead and take that leap, I believe the trend towards more independent work will continue with or without government involvement. The more access we have to information, the more possible it is to have and be an independent worker. My two cents (earned independently).

Do You Love Your Vendor?

By Catherine Lang-Cline

The partnerships are the best business relations and where we really thrive. We really work hard to understand and anticipate what our client needs. We really want our clients to succeed and look great! In return, we love clients that really understand why we are different, trust us, really appreciate the niche that we fill. Those clients want us to succeed, too.

Like all relationships, this sometimes requires work. We all have budgets, we all have stress, and we all just need to get the work done. That can sometimes cloud the judgment on both parts, but we press on, we find the right solutions. We find the relationship that works and hope that it turns into a partnership. A partnership that we can both feel the love. Let’s face it if you love your vendor you take the call. If you don’t...well, that one may just go to voicemail. We want you to take the call.

So what makes a great partnership?

  1. Communication - Clients need to be clear about what they want, vendors need to listen and make it clear they understand the ask. Both sides need to be responsive, it's the only way everything moves forward. Everyone needs to be clear on expectations.

  2. Respect - Clients and vendors need respect for each other. Neither side wants a relationship where one side is always taking. The vendor just wants to make the sale. The client just wants a lower margin. Always be thinking about what you can do to make this easier. Then everyone gets what they want!

  3. True compatibility - Do you really, really like working with each other? Are pricing and resources all a fit? Or are you just hanging on to a bad partnership because you don’t know what else is out there? Nothing is more terrible than if the partnership is simply painful. Get realigned or get out. That goes for everyone.

We just need to find our match. Wait a minute, am I still talking about vendors and clients? Yes, but it really isn’t any different in business vs life and love. We want someone easy to get along with, anticipate our needs, not be a bully or a taker. Sometimes we settle because we feel like we will never find the right person...I mean, vendor. Sometimes we make due with what is in front of us, afraid of the unknown, afraid to take a chance. Maybe we all need to show a little more give and take, not to mention a little more love.

We try daily to lay the love on our clients. Extra servings for everyone! Hopefully, everyone feels this way about their clients. If you don’t feel this way, you know where to find us, standing over here, holding this rose.

 

Leadership Strengths: Finding Your Highest and Best Use

By Kristen Harris

In real estate, there's a concept called "highest and best use." When appraising a piece of vacant land or property, under this concept the value must be based on the most reasonable, probable, and legal use that is physically possible appropriately supported and financially feasible. For example, if a property is currently an industrial site but would have more value when redeveloped with residential buildings, that higher use is how the property value is determined. (With apologies to real estate experts–I know there are many factors that must be considered, making it more complex than this simple explanation.)

Have you ever thought about your own highest and best use? Are you being appraised and utilized at your top potential value? One way to think about this is to know your strengths and look for opportunities to use them in your work. If you're a leader or manager of others there is also tremendous value in knowing how to leverage the strengths of your team members.

The CliftonStrengths (formerly StrengthsFinder) philosophy is one of the key tools we use at Portfolio Creative to better understand new team members and each other. If you want to know more about this tool, check out our previous article Be Your Best: Using Your Strengths at Work

Once our new team member has taken the assessment and we know their strengths, what do we do with that information? One thing we look at is how their strengths fall into the Four Domains of Leadership Strength. According to Gallup's research, each strength sorts into one of four domains: Strategic Thinking, Executing, Influencing and Relationship Building. 

These domains equate to how you absorb and analyze information or situations, make things happen, influence others, or build and nurture relationships. Every strength fits into one of these categories, and there is no good or bad category (remember, they are all strengths.) 

Knowing which categories a person's strengths fall into provides a clearer view of their overall balance. For example, three of my five top strengths fall under Relationship Building, one is under Strategic Thinking, and one is Influencing. By contrast, my business partner Catherine Lang-Cline has two strengths under Strategic Thinking, two in Executing, and one in Relationship Building. See how we complement each other? I'm strong where she is not, and vice versa. Together we're better. Now apply that to a whole team of people and you can see the power of this concept. 

Some people are heavily weighted in one or two categories (we have one person with four of their top five strengths in the Strategic Thinking category.) Others are more evenly spread across the categories, with top strengths in three or even all four categories. It doesn't matter how the strengths break down, but it's helpful to know if someone is heavily weighted in one or two categories or more evenly balanced.

Once you understand how individual strengths are categorized, you can also apply the concept to a whole team. We look at strengths categories for the entire Portfolio Creative team, and by each departmental team. Our team leaders can see the strengths of each individual on their team, their team's overall strengths, and gaps, and the strengths found on other teams.

Here a few ways we can utilize this information. If we're working on something that requires a lot of Strategic Thinking, we can reference our chart and pull together the people heavy in those strengths. A team leader can look at how the strengths of their team members are spread across the four categories, see where they are heavy and light, and pair up team members or put people in positions that best use everyone's abilities. Across the company, we can see where strengths fall, and pair up individuals or entire teams to complement each other. 

By understanding and leveraging the individual strengths of yourself and others on your team, everyone has the opportunity to work at their highest and best use. 

Be Your Best: Using Strengths at Work

By Kristen Harris 

At Portfolio Creative we welcome every new hire for our internal team with a copy of the book StrengthsFinder 2.0. We ask them to take the assessment and share their results. Why? Because StrengthsFinder is one of the key tools we use to better understand ourselves and each other.

 StrengthsFinder is built on the philosophy that we each have inherent strengths. They're part of our DNA, we can't change them, it's just who we are. The result of a lifetime of research, Don Clifton identified thirty-four unique talents. Everyone has a bit of each, but the top five are truly our unique combination of skills, talent, and knowledge that can develop into strengths. 

Why does this matter? Gallup's research shows that people are more successful when they focus on what they do best. Seems kind of obvious, right? You're happier, do better work and are more productive when you're doing something you're good at. The challenge is to identify those talents and then focus on developing them into strengths. 

We also like how StrengthsFinder takes a very positive approach. Many personality assessments identify strengths and weaknesses, then encourage you to work on improving the weaknesses. While that might seem logical, what's the best possible outcome? You'll probably only improve that weakness enough to be marginal or average. Who wants that? It's much more empowering to be great!

We prefer to have people focus on their strengths, on what they're already inherently good at, and keep building upon that base. It's much more rewarding to take something that is good and make it great; to take something you're already good at and become the best. 

Yes, everyone has to overcome their weaknesses enough to not get in the way or hold them back, but that's it. We don't want anyone our team spending significant time in areas where they'll never be great. It's more productive to keep building strengths, then partner with others who have different strengths. Remember, there are thirty-four strengths and everyone has a combination that makes up their top five. That means there's someone else out there with a different top five to complement yours. 

If you’re not familiar with StrengthsFinder, I encourage you to check out the book or online materials. It is truly empowering to discover, build and utilize your strengths. By focusing the majority of your energy on things you're naturally good at, you are able to bring your best every day to whatever you do.

Hiring and Employment: Change is Here

By Kristen Harris

Growth is one of our company values at Portfolio Creative – we are always learning, improving, and adapting. In the spirit of growth, I recently attended the American Staffing Association’s Staffing World Conference. It’s important for us to stay on top of employment and hiring trends so we can provide the best possible service to our clients and talent.

Here are the highlights of what we heard at this year’s conference.

Top Five Trends:

  1. Gig Economy and Free Agency. Depending on which report you read, something like 30-40% of the workforce today is “independent” or part of the “gig economy.” While there is not a clear definition of these terms, we can all agree that the era of having a job at the same company for thirty years is long gone. Most people in the workforce today think like free agents, choosing their work opportunities based on what interests them and where they can best deploy their skills. Technology is enabling a sea change in how and where people work. More than ever people are able, interested, and willing to work independently. This may mean finding work through an app or platform, having multiple less-than-full-time jobs that feed different interests or taking on contract roles and projects that leverage their skills.

  2. The Robots are Coming. There is some fear around robots “replacing” humans in jobs, but the reality is probably less dystopian. Yes, robots and artificial intelligence will become part of the workplace. Actually, it’s already here–you’ve probably used a self-checkout station at the grocery, ordered lunch at a kiosk, or know about driverless cars currently doing test runs. What they can’t and won’t replace are the types of work that require what truly makes us human. Work that is creative, innovative, emotional, or requires decision making and problem-solving. Some of us remember when graphic design required hand-drawing graphics and rubbing down perfectly space type; now we have computers to help us execute our creative ideas, but they can’t create the idea for us.

  3. The Millennials Are Here. Honestly, I don’t like categorizing people solely by their birth year, and Millennials are pretty much tired of everyone talking about them like they are alien beings; but the reality is that the balance of our workforce has shifted. There are more Millennials entering the workforce and more Boomers retiring daily. The Millennials, being such a large generation, are literally changing the workforce and society. We are in one of those rare eras where older people are becoming more like younger people, instead of the other way around.

  4. Google and Amazon – Part 1. We live in an Amazon and Google-driven world where there is quick access to products, services, and information 24/7. Quick access used to be novel and exciting; now it’s becoming the norm and soon will be an expectation. Amazon’s ability to provide near-immediate access to products and Google’s dominance in gathering and utilizing data will drive how business is done across most industries. To a large extent, life is happening on a smartphone. These two behemoths are re-shaping expectations of how services are delivered, how work gets done, how jobs are found, and how people are hired. Not to mention the impact they have on the communities where they are located (238 cities put in a proposal to woo Google’s HQ2 to their city), and it’s clear the impact Amazon’s facilities have had on hiring in Central Ohio.

  5. Google and Amazon – Part 2. In this Amazon and Google-driven world everything (and to some extent, everyone) is being rated. How many stars do you have? How many reviews? How many Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections, or Instagram followers? When you’re doing a good job and creating quality, take the effort to get credit for it. People pay attention to both the quality and quantity of online ratings, crowdsource information and referrals, and judge others by their online presence. Creepy? Maybe. Unfair? Perhaps. But this is the world we live in, so learn how to participate in a way true to you and your values.

The biggest threat to any industry, business or career is inaction. If you are not creating, innovating, and developing new ideas, rest assured someone is. Don’t fear being disrupted, be part of the disruption.