Employee: Excuse me sir, may I talk to you?

Boss: Sure, come on in. What can I do for you?

Employee: Well sir, as you know, I have been an employee of this prestigious firm for over ten years.

Boss: Yes.

Employee: I won’t beat around the bush. Sir, I would like a raise. I currently have four companies after me and so I decided to talk to you first.

Boss: A raise? I would love to give you a raise, but this is just not the right time.

Employee: I understand your position, and I know that the current economic down turn has had a negative impact on sales, but you must also take into consideration my hard work, pro- activeness and loyalty to this company for over a decade.

Boss: Taking into account these factors, and considering I don’t want to start a brain drain, I’m willing to offer you a ten percent raise and an extra five days of vacation time. How does that sound?

Employee: Great! It’s a deal! Thank you, sir!

Boss: Before you go, just out of curiosity, what companies were after you?

Employee: Oh, the Electric Company, Gas Company, Water Company and the Mortgage Company! LOL

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Is Pink Necessary?

January 24, 2011


Is Pink Necessary?
By ANNIE MURPHY PAUL
Published: January 21, 2011

The “princess phase.” So inevitable is this period in the maturation of girls today that it should qualify as an official developmental stage, worthy of an entry in Leach or Brazelton: first crawling, then walking, then the urgent desire to wear something pink and spark­ly. Whether we smile indulgently or roll our eyes at the drifts of tulle and chiffon that begin accumulating in our daughters’ rooms around age 4, participation in these royal rituals has come to seem necessary, even natural.
Yet the princess phase, at least in its current hyper-feminine and highly commercial form, is anything but natural, or so Peggy Orenstein argues in “Cinderella Ate My Daughter.” As she tells the story, in 2000 a Disney executive named Andy Mooney went to check out a “Disney on Ice” show and found himself “surrounded by little girls in princess costumes. Princess costumes that were — horrors! — homemade. How had such a massive branding opportunity been overlooked? The very next day he called together his team and they began working on what would become known in-house as ‘Princess.’ ” Mooney’s revelation yielded a bonanza for the company. There are now more than 26,000 Disney Princess items on the market; in 2009, Princess products generated sales of $4 billion.

Disney didn’t have the tiara market to itself for long. Orenstein takes us on a tour of the princess industrial complex, its practices as coolly calculating as its products are soft and fluffy. She describes a toy fair, held at the Javits Center in New York, at which the merchandise for girls seems to come in only one color: pink jewelry boxes, pink vanity mirrors, pink telephones, pink hair dryers, pink fur stoles. “Is all this pink really necessary?” Orenstein finally asks a sales rep.

“Only if you want to make money,” he replies.

The toy fair is one of many field trips undertaken by Orenstein in her effort to stem the frothy pink tide of princess products threatening to engulf her young daughter. The author of “Schoolgirls: Young Women, Self Esteem, and the Confidence Gap,” among other books, Orenstein is flummoxed by the intensity of the marketing blitz aimed at girls barely old enough to read the label on their Bonne Bell Lip Smackers. “I had read stacks of books devoted to girls’ adolescence,” she writes, “but where was I to turn to under­stand the new culture of little girls, from toddler to ‘tween,’ to help decipher the potential impact — if any — of the images and ideas they were absorbing about who they should be, what they should buy, what made them girls?”

She turns, like many a journalist before her, to the child pageant circuit, the world of sequined “cupcake dresses” and custom-made “flippers” (dental prosthetics that disguise a gap-toothed smile) that has proved irresistible to reporters since the killing of the 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey in 1996. To her credit, Orenstein recognizes this as well-trodden ground. “It would be easy pickin’s for me to attack parents who tart up their daughters in hopes of winning a few hundred bucks and a gilded plastic trophy; who train them to shake their tail feathers on command, to blow kisses at the judges and coyly twirl their index fingers into their dimpled cheeks,” she writes. “But really, what would be the point? That story has been told, to great success and profit.”

Such meta-observations, which appear throughout the book, are part of Orenstein’s method: she argues with herself, questions her own assumptions, ventures an assertion and then has second thoughts — all in full view of the reader. At times, her assiduously cultivated ambivalence seems to paralyze her; she gets stuck between competing concerns, unable to say anything definitive about what she believes. By and large, however, Orenstein’s reflexive self-interrogation is a good match for her material. It allows her to coax fresh insights from the exhaustively analyzed subject of gender and its discontents.

In the case of child beauty pageants, Orenstein offers a shrewd critique of why media exposés of the phenomenon are so perennially popular. They “give viewers license, under the pretext of disapproval, to be titillated by the spectacle, to indulge in guilty-pleasure voyeurism,” she observes. “They also reassure parents of their own comparative superiority by smugly ignoring the harder questions: even if you agree that pageant moms are over the line in their sexualization of little girls — way over the line — where, exactly, is that line, and who draws it and how?” Orenstein allows us to watch her struggle with these questions, and when she arrives at a few answers, they feel well earned.

Orenstein finds one such enlightening explanation in developmental psychology research showing that until as late as age 7, children are convinced that external signs — clothing, hairstyle, favorite color, choice of toys — determine one’s sex. “It makes sense, then, that to ensure you will stay the sex you were born you’d adhere rigidly to the rules as you see them and hope for the best,” she writes. “That’s why 4-year-olds, who are in what is called ‘the inflexible stage,’ become the self-­appointed chiefs of the gender police. Suddenly the magnetic lure of the Disney Princesses became more clear to me: developmentally speaking, they were genius, dovetailing with the precise moment that girls need to prove they are girls, when they will latch on to the most exaggerated images their culture offers in order to stridently shore up their femininity.” For a preschool girl, a Cinderella dress is nothing less than an existential insurance policy, a crinolined bulwark to fortify a still-shaky sense of identity.

Orenstein is especially sharp-eyed on the subject of what comes after the princess phase, for in the micro-segmented world of marketing to children, there is of course a whole new array of products aimed at girls who begin to tire of their magic wands. These include lines of dolls with names like Moxie Girlz and Bratz: “With their sultry expressions, thickly shadowed eyes and collagen-puffed moues, Bratz were tailor-made for the girl itching to distance herself from all things rose petal pink, Princess-y, or Barbie-ish,” Orenstein notes. “Their hottie-pink ‘passion for fashion’ conveyed ‘attitude’ and ‘sassiness,’ which, anyone will tell you, is little-girl marketing-speak for ‘sexy.’ ”

As Orenstein forges on, braving Toys “R” Us, the American Girl doll store and a Miley Cyrus concert, the reader may occasionally wonder: Is she reading too much into this? After all, it’s just pretend; it’s just play. “To a point I agree,” Orenstein half-concedes, equivocal as ever. “Just because little girls wear the tulle does not mean they’ve drunk the Kool-Aid. Plenty of them shoot baskets in ball gowns or cast themselves as the powerful evil stepsister bossing around the sniveling Cinderella.” By this point the reader knows what’s coming. “Yet even if girls stray from the prescribed script, doesn’t it exert its influence? Don’t our possessions reflect who we are; shape, even define, our experience?”

The author’s process of restless self-examination continues, all the way to the book’s open-ended conclusion. Orenstein has done parents the great favor of having this important debate with herself on paper and in public; she has fashioned an argument with its seams showing and its pockets turned inside out, and this makes her book far more interesting, and more useful. Because the thing about a phase is: kids grow out of it. (The marketers are counting on that.) But parents’ internal deliberations about what’s best for their children are here to stay.

Annie Murphy Paul is the author of “Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/23/books/review/Paul-t.html?src=me&ref=general

To Really Learn, Quit Studying and Take a Test
By PAM BELLUCK
Published: January 20, 2011

Taking a test is not just a passive mechanism for assessing how much people know, according to new research. It actually helps people learn, and it works better than a number of other studying techniques.

The research, published online Thursday in the journal Science, found that students who read a passage, then took a test asking them to recall what they had read, retained about 50 percent more of the information a week later than students who used two other methods.

One of those methods — repeatedly studying the material — is familiar to legions of students who cram before exams. The other — having students draw detailed diagrams documenting what they are learning — is prized by many teachers because it forces students to make connections among facts.

These other methods not only are popular, the researchers reported; they also seem to give students the illusion that they know material better than they do.

In the experiments, the students were asked to predict how much they would remember a week after using one of the methods to learn the material. Those who took the test after reading the passage predicted they would remember less than the other students predicted — but the results were just the opposite.

“I think that learning is all about retrieving, all about reconstructing our knowledge,” said the lead author, Jeffrey Karpicke, an assistant professor of psychology at Purdue University. “I think that we’re tapping into something fundamental about how the mind works when we talk about retrieval.”

Several cognitive scientists and education experts said the results were striking.

The students who took the recall tests may “recognize some gaps in their knowledge,” said Marcia Linn, an education professor at the University of California, Berkeley, “and they might revisit the ideas in the back of their mind or the front of their mind.”

When they are later asked what they have learned, she went on, they can more easily “retrieve it and organize the knowledge that they have in a way that makes sense to them.”

The researchers engaged 200 college students in two experiments, assigning them to read several paragraphs about a scientific subject — how the digestive system works, for example, or the different types of vertebrate muscle tissue.

In the first experiment, the students were divided into four groups. One did nothing more than read the text for five minutes. Another studied the passage in four consecutive five-minute sessions.

A third group engaged in “concept mapping,” in which, with the passage in front of them, they arranged information from the passage into a kind of diagram, writing details and ideas in hand-drawn bubbles and linking the bubbles in an organized way.

The final group took a “retrieval practice” test. Without the passage in front of them, they wrote what they remembered in a free-form essay for 10 minutes. Then they reread the passage and took another retrieval practice test.

A week later all four groups were given a short-answer test that assessed their ability to recall facts and draw logical conclusions based on the facts.

The second experiment focused only on concept mapping and retrieval practice testing, with each student doing an exercise using each method. In this initial phase, researchers reported, students who made diagrams while consulting the passage included more detail than students asked to recall what they had just read in an essay.

But when they were evaluated a week later, the students in the testing group did much better than the concept mappers. They even did better when they were evaluated not with a short-answer test but with a test requiring them to draw a concept map from memory.

Why retrieval testing helps is still unknown. Perhaps it is because by remembering information we are organizing it and creating cues and connections that our brains later recognize.

“When you’re retrieving something out of a computer’s memory, you don’t change anything — it’s simple playback,” said Robert Bjork, a psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who was not involved with the study.

But “when we use our memories by retrieving things, we change our access” to that information, Dr. Bjork said. “What we recall becomes more recallable in the future. In a sense you are practicing what you are going to need to do later.”

It may also be that the struggle involved in recalling something helps reinforce it in our brains.

Maybe that is also why students who took retrieval practice tests were less confident about how they would perform a week later.

“The struggle helps you learn, but it makes you feel like you’re not learning,” said Nate Kornell, a psychologist at Williams College. “You feel like: ‘I don’t know it that well. This is hard and I’m having trouble coming up with this information.’ ”

By contrast, he said, when rereading texts and possibly even drawing diagrams, “you say: ‘Oh, this is easier. I read this already.’ ”

The Purdue study supports findings of a recent spate of research showing learning benefits from testing, including benefits when students get questions wrong. But by comparing testing with other methods, the study goes further.

“It really bumps it up a level of importance by contrasting it with concept mapping, which many educators think of as sort of the gold standard,” said Daniel Willingham, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia. Although “it’s not totally obvious that this is shovel-ready — put it in the classroom and it’s good to go — for educators this ought to be a big deal.”

Howard Gardner, an education professor at Harvard who advocates constructivism — the idea that children should discover their own approach to learning, emphasizing reasoning over memorization — said in an e-mail that the results “throw down the gauntlet to those progressive educators, myself included.”

“Educators who embrace seemingly more active approaches, like concept mapping,” he continued, “are challenged to devise outcome measures that can demonstrate the superiority of such constructivist approaches.”

Testing, of course, is a highly charged issue in education, drawing criticism that too much promotes rote learning, swallows valuable time for learning new things and causes excessive student anxiety.

“More testing isn’t necessarily better,” said Dr. Linn, who said her work with California school districts had found that asking students to explain what they did in a science experiment rather than having them simply conduct the hands-on experiment — a version of retrieval practice testing — was beneficial. “Some tests are just not learning opportunities. We need a different kind of testing than we currently have.”

Dr. Kornell said that “even though in the short term it may seem like a waste of time,” retrieval practice appears to “make things stick in a way that may not be used in the classroom.

“It’s going to last for the rest of their schooling, and potentially for the rest of their lives.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/21/science/21memory.html?pagewanted=2&ref=general&src=me

Simple steps you can take to create a Customer-Friendly Organisation:

Communicate to every level the importance of customer service and the behaviours you are looking for regarding that service
Recognise employees when they demonstrate positive service behaviours, both formally with awards and informally with certificates, medallions and hand-written notes of thanks
Constantly give specific examples of good customer service
Emphasise the concept of internal customer service. And treat your employees well! The quality of service they offer your customers is directly related to how the employees are treated themselves
Empower your employees to make decisions and break the “rules” to satisfy a customer
Train your people—all your people—on this customer service-based culture from the moment they are hired

Teamwork

January 20, 2011


News Casting goes Funny Crazy

What News Anchors Do During Commercial Breaks w/sound

model falls and news anchor laugh their asses off

World most embarrasing moment

Decca Records and the turning down The Beatles decision
Mike Smith and Dick Rowe were the executives in charge of evaluating new talent for the London office of Decca Records. On December 13, 1961, Mike Smith traveled to Liverpool to watch a local rock ‘n’ roll band perform. He decided they had talent, and invited them to audition on New Year’s Day 1962. The group made the trip to London and spent two hours playing 15 different songs at the Decca studios. Then they went home and waited for an answer. They waited for weeks. Finally, Rowe told the band’s manager that the label wasn’t interested, because they sounded too much like a popular group called The Shadows. In one of the most famous of all rejection lines, he said: “Not to mince words, Mr. Epstein, but we don’t like your boys’ sound. Groups are out; four-piece groups with guitars particularly are finished.”

The group was The Beatles, of course. They eventually signed with EMI Records, started a trend back to guitar bands, and ultimately became the most popular band of all time. Ironically, “within two years, EMI’s production facilities became so stretched that Decca helped them out in a reciprocal arrangement, to cope with the unprecedented demand for Beatles records.”

Amazingly Clever Logos

January 17, 2011


A logo for Bison in the shape of a bison, pretty cool.


A logo for the CFO Cycling Team.


A logo for Ukraine’s Consumer Society and Citizen Networks.


“E” and “D”, and an electric plug at the same time, awesome.


Such a perfect logo for the Rehabilitation Hospital Corporation of America

Amazingly Clever Logos
Published on 4/14/2010


Typeface’s logo made of… well, typefaces.


If you look at it carefully, you’ll see Australia’s Map.


Sabine Clappaert, MD, Muse Communication

Marketing needs the woman’s touch…and why it makes good business sense
Sabine Clappaert, MD, Muse Communication
BY SABINE CLAPPAERT

Last year was the year in which marketing-to-women came to Europe. A greater number of articles appeared on the influence of women in the economy in newspapers, industry magazines and on marketing websites.

Bold titles heralding the fact that women control the finances in most families, that they buy the majority of almost everything including fashion, groceries, beauty, healthcare, DIY and consumer electronics, plus half of computers and cars and one third of power tools, seemed to be appearing everywhere. Phrases such as “contextual web thinking” and “holistic approach” were discussed at many marketing seminars and in the business section of many reputable newspapers. The untapped opportunity (and associated sales revenue) presented by women consumers was HOT news.

During an interview, a Belgian journalist asked me a very interesting question that approached the topic from a strategic business perspective.

“Do you think we need more female marketers?” she asked. “Yes!” I replied. Then she asked, “Why?” which was the difficult part of the question.

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“When we overlay men’s more linear, compartmentalized approach to marketing with the female consumers’ complex, non-linear, web-based thinking (and consuming) patterns, things don’t quite match up, do they?”

——————————————————————————–

Why indeed! This leads me to the heart of this article, to explain why industry needs more women to think about and plan and execute its marketing.

Women marketers approach marketing differently. Men tend to think in linear, hierarchical terms. They want the facts, the numbers and the statistics. And the same goes for male marketers. Women (and women marketers), on the other hand, tend to approach topics more contextually, interconnecting knowledge, experiences, facts, opinions, relationships, goals and dreams in a non-linear, web-like manner.

When we overlay men’s more linear, compartmentalized approach to marketing with the female consumers’ complex, non-linear, web-based thinking (and consuming) patterns, things don’t quite match up, do they?

Now, I am in no way saying that products for women can only be promoted by women. What I am saying is that a product for women marketed only by men is going to be lacking in something. As in business, the exclusion of either gender in the marketing process is never a good idea.

To market a product well to either gender, women need to be included in the process. Women marketers, by the sheer fact that they are, well…women, will approach marketing a little differently than men do. They will tend to approach it the way they approach life: in a holistically, interconnected “everything matters” kind of way.

That does not mean women don’t crunch numbers too. Women marketers do demand statistics, facts and numbers just as much as their male counterparts. But they don’t use the number-crunched outcomes as an all defining influence on their marketing approach. Women marketers will often pay attention to their gut feeling, or react to something that is not reflected in the statistics, because they know – the way women do – that it holds an important element of truth that shouldn’t be ignored.

So do we need more female marketers? Yes, absolutely we do. They must be marketed to differently than men. And who better to understand the audience than someone who is part of it? The cardinal rule: really understand your audience. And when possible, BE your audience.

About the author
Sabine Clappaert is founder and Managing Director of Muse Communication, a marketing agency specialising in smart marketing to women.

http://www.20-first.com/599-0-more-women-marketers-needed.html

Women Are More Successful Than Men When Trading In The Stock Market. Why?
Posted: Dec 07, 2010

The majority of trading markets are made up of men. This is easily understandable since market most times are thought like an emotion provider for all these men that are not used to live in a regulated society. But, it is the women who have a better chance at the stocks markets and numbers prove that. If a woman does go to the market, she probably is not searching for a roller coaster of emotions and risky tactics; she is probably worried about her money, just the way you should be.

It won’t sound common sense, but many traders go to the market searching for an escape route from their boring lives. No one can succeed like that. No one can succeed when they are already starting with the wrong foot. The stock market is not meant to please or to spice up your life; the stock market is made for investors and traders that are willing to profit from it. Emotionless. The more you bring from your life to the chair when going for trades, the more likely you won’t succeed in becoming a prosperous trader.

When aspiring on becoming a profitable trader, you must realize that you need a full life balance in order. Your mental awareness and state will directly affect your ability to trade. If you are constantly worrying about how you will pay your bills at the end of the month, these emotions will probably pass onto your trades without you even realizing it. That also happens to people who try to trade in the market for the sake of fun. This can’t and it won’t work.

That is why women succeed the most in the stock market: they don’t chase emotions on it. Women really invest, opposite to many men that are really proud on taking risks and making huge gambles. Becoming a lucrative investor is all about minimizing the risks as much as possible and developing a complete disregard for money when trading. You must act almost like a robot when facing that scary blinking screen; if you don’t, you probably won’t last long enough to tell the story.

(ArticlesBase SC #3803936)

http://www.articlesbase.com/investing-articles/women-are-more-successful-than-men-when-trading-in-the-stock-market-why-3803936.html