Reduce friction to accelerate the progress of your team, says Rita McGrath, known for her savvy in connecting research to business problems.Her Valize team presents a morning workshop on Tuesday, January 31, in Lawrence.
Says McGrath: Most team effectiveness assessments focus on the level of satisfaction of team members. However, research has shown that there is not a strong correlation between satisfaction and team performance. During this 2-hour workshop, we will focus on five important elements that have great impact on the effectiveness of team performance.
Bring your team, she says, and you’ll leave with ‘actionable results.’
Thirty thousand grand will be on the line on Wednesday, February 15, at the Innovation Forum organized by Princeton University’s Keller Center. Participants present their research in a three-minute “elevator pitch” to the audience and a panel of judges. Simon Cowell’s got nothing on this show!
Register to come and watch the excitement. You get to see inside the Andlinger Center and there’s networking and refreshments afterward.
You can march, you can write letters to the editor, you can call your legislators, but you can also help protect our democracy by bolstering the budgets of the investigative reporters trying to combat fraud and lies.
Poignant detail #1: The print version of Chen’s article showed two lonely news boxes in downtown Trenton. One was for the Star Ledger, which has coopted the Trenton Times state coverage. The other was for U.S. 1 Newspaper. What?? U.S. 1 covers state politics once in a while, as in this investigative piece,. We cover important issues and the boss sometimes opines in his column, but statehouse reporting — that’s not our mission.
Tom Sullivan, in a Princeton Partners column,had some good ideas for how to deal with post-election stress in the workplace. “Use your company as an agent for change,” he says. Here is a five-step strategy, and for details on the first three, click through to the post/
Find a favorite issue:
Identify a common cause:
Take the first step: This can be scary, because inertia is hard to overcome. You can overcome that inertia if you have a strong team willing to take that first step together.
Be humble: Be gracious and helpful when you engage with others who are already engaged in the cause you seek to assist. Ask questions, offer assistance and recognize that you will be more effective if your primary strategy is to build trusting relationships.
I have my own story about meeting a celebrity at the Princeton Chamber event at the Hyatt but Rich Rein’s is better.
He interviewed Tommy Hilfiger about his book American Dreamer and muses on that experience in his U.S. 1 Newspaper column last Wednesday. .
For the occasion, Rein had outfitted himself in a T.H. shirt and tie from Macy’s, but apparently that wasn’t enough.
You’ll have to ask me in person about my own embarrassing story, it’s not something I want in print. But I can heap praise on the spectacularly displayed goodies at the VIP reception
and the enthusiastic crowd of 400 that filled the Hyatt ballroom to capacity. Fashion students from Philadelphia, attending on free tickets but buying Hilfiger’s book, were thrilled to be there, along with many many on the Chamber email list, some U.S. 1 readers, and people who heard about it on the radio (I polled those standing in the booksigning line that curled around the room.)
To my somewhat surprise, since I am not a fashionista, I liked the book, a tale of derring do. I particularly liked the part where one of his buddies recognized that the river would flood the town of Elmira, so they enlisted everybody — family and fellow high school students — to move inventory from the basement to the top floor. After the flood, the Hilfiger stock was the only dry clothing for sale in submerged Elmira. Everybody — grandparents and teens alike — bought and wore his tie-dyed shirts.
Hilfiger’s is a Horatio Alger story of overcoming — not poverty, but dyslexia. It’s just amazing how talent and focus — and maybe a little luck and grace — can conquer disability.
Engaging and inspiring, Rev. Dr. “Buster” Soaries simultaneously aggrandized his Princeton chamber listeners and challenged them. The pastor of the 2,000-seat First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens dealt with the latest Trumpisms right away. “This country has survived even more turbulent times,” he reassured. “Our strength is not only in the election of candidates, but also in our infrastructure of voluntary associations to preserve the integrity of our society — people who recognize others’ talents and are willing to share their resources, to invest in who we have been and who we will become.”
Partnerships are key, he said, referring to podium banners touting the chamber’s gold, silver, and bronze sponsors. “To be who we are called to be in history, we have to prove that the freedoms we enjoy work for everybody. To say ‘what’s mine is yours if you need it.’ By giving to others, we can be who we say we are.“
To combat “a Bermuda triangle of deprivation” three decades ago, he partnered with, for instance, United Jersey Bank’s Joe Semrod to transform the “worst public housing I have ever seen in my life” into what now looks like private condos. But he might also partner with current and former gang leaders to muster support for community change.
Three requirements for successful partnerships:
Partnerships must be relational not just transactional. It’s not just writing checks. Without spending extra money, a hospital can move its health screening facilities to a needy community. Police offers can visit schools. People can tutor other people’s children.
Partnerships must be horizontal. Those with money should trust the knowledge and talent that are in the community. For instance, a Thanksgiving turkey giveaway went awry because the people standing in line were just reselling the food. The ‘respectable’ church ladies needed to consult with those less ‘respectable’ to get their charity to the right people.
Partnerships must be sustainable, not seasonal. “As political seasons change, there go our projects. The government can fix a street but it can’t fix a broken heart. We are nurtured by the neighborhood we build. We need to focus on what it takes to build each other up.”
Helping people to live within their means is an important part of ministry, says Soaries, who believes that churches should teach people how to budget. He learned the hard way. As a young man he was a big spender, buying a Cadillac because he assumed preachers drove expensive cars and spending for expensive clothes. “I had more money on my back then I had in my bank account.”
Don’t blame government for the legacy of poverty, he says. “We could raise the minimum wage to $200 an hour and some people will still be broke.” Instead, switch from premium cable to basic cable and use the extra $75 for a life insurance policy. “Then you will close the gap for your children.”
Ken Kamen of Mercadian asked how to help people change their spending ways. “We live in a culture of entitlement that thinks fantasy and reality are twins,” Soaries said. In the first three chapters of his book, Breaking Free from Financial Slavery, “I trick people into confessing that they have a problem.”
Phil Slater of Omega Financial Services , a new chamber member at the Carnegie Center, revealed his company might be hiring loan processors.
And I was delighted to introduce Audrey Yeager, new on the staff of the Princeton Symphony, to Chip Jerry, brother of the late Philip Jerry, — a Joffrey Ballet star who spent part of his career at American Repertory Ballet/Princeton Ballet School — where Audrey studied when as a student at Rider. It was a serendipitous way to welcome her to Princeton’s business community.
A quick way to cure a hangover, a new medical imaging technique, an innovation in American Sign Language, a hackathon tool kit, a robot sous chef, and a fashion discovery engine — some of the best and brightest Princeton undergraduates are launching exciting startups. List here.
They’ve been working all summer in the Keller Lab, and their Demo Day in Princeton is Tuesday, August 9, 2:30 p.m. at the Friend Center. You need to register!
I can’t attend. If anyone who reads this can go, and wants to write it up for this blog, I’d welcome that. If you don’t have my email, put in the comments that you’d be willing to be a guest blogger.