Pros and Cons of Professional Gift Giving (and Gift Ideas)

Gift giving can be a challenge. While some say, "it's the thought that counts" with a gift, you want to avoid being the subject of a statement along the lines of, "What were they thinking?"

With the holidays approaching, you may be faced with the annual conundrum of figuring out who you should send gifts to and what the appropriate parameters are for gift giving. You aren't the only manager struggling with this issue.

Before you start shopping for those client and associate gifts, here are a few of the pros and cons of professional gift giving as well as some tips that can help you make the right choices this year. We've thrown in a few professional gift ideas to get you started.

Topics: Customer Relationship Management Customer Service Business Culture

Celebrating Excellence as CAMPS Recognizes Achievements in Manufacturing

On November 15, 2018 CAMPS (Center for Advanced Manufacturing Puget Sound) celebrated the successes and achievements in manufacturing in the Puget Sound region.  Regence, Capital Benefit Services and Shannon & Associates sponsored the fabulous event. The emcee for the evening was Randy Gardiner, President of CAMPS Board of Directors.

Topics: Awards Manufacturing CAMPS Events

Simple Marketing Strategies (and the Strategy Frankenstein)

Strategy is not a top priority for startups, entrepreneurs, and freelancers.  The leaders are hunters in unfamiliar territory. To consider a strategy in the early stages seems a bit like making a plan to survive on Jupiter. Relying on theory, science and data works until it becomes apparent that it doesn’t.

What is it?

Think of a strategy is a directed plan to which you commit your time and action in a single direction. A strategy aligns how you spend your time, money, resources, and your communication. This increases your chance for success.

Topics: Strategy Strategic Revenue Growth Planning

The Benefits Experts Receive from Writing Articles (Yes, it Matters)

When it comes to corporate communications, the writing is on the wall. Companies and their top managers need to develop a top-down approach to their online business, including social media, or find themselves left in the dust. The data supports this suggestion.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Strategy Brand Management

How Experts Fill the Knowledge Gap (Including Bill Gates)

I'm not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can sure pick smart colleagues.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Some have referred to September as the “New January.” They consider it a time to make good on resolutions.  For that reason, I think this is good to use this season of change to focus on goals, and to realize this year’s potential before you again sing "Auld Lang Syne" for the new year.

It may seem more difficult for an expert, after decades of success, to ‘raise the bar,’ ‘achieve a personal best,’ ‘learn something new,’ or set new goals to excel. Especially for someone who has ‘seen it all.’ Investing time in education paid off in the early years, but 20 years later there are fewer resources or people who can be trusted to provide valuable new insights. As a result, it appears to me that a personal/professional skills plateau is reached, even as better results are demanded.

Carol Dweck: “Many people have told me that when they were promoted to a prestigious position, they suddenly felt, now I have to have all the answers. Now, my period of growth is over. I have to be a fully mature person who knows everything. So yes, at any point, you can fall into that trap. People who become CEOs suddenly feel they have to be gods goddesses, and not people who say, gee; I don’t know. Let’s talk about it. Let’s think about it. Let’s feel our way through this problem.”  - Source: Great article/interview on Harvard Business Review

When does personal development become a factor? I believe more than ever that an improvement in revenue and profits also relies on developing the skills and wisdom of the team and leaders.

Topics: Planning Professional Development Training Recruiting Assessment

LinkedIn Groups are About to Change . . . Again

B2B revenue growth is near impossible without strong relationships. Good relationships lead to more introductions and referrals. The introduction often happens when networking at an event from which a LinkedIn invitation is made. LinkedIn provides a way to connect and communicate without a deep investment and offers professional details you would not have otherwise.

Topics: Social Media B2B News

The Social Media Reality - Feel Good Sizzle but Without the Meat (Value)

Social media is an astounding tool in the new world of media. There is an opportunity to monitor ‘buzz’ (if that matters), make introductions and invitations, appreciate and recognize remarkable, tell a story and use as a customer service tool.

When you want to know the latest about volcanoes in Hawaii or hurricanes in Florida, there is no longer a need to wait for the 5:00 News. Twitter to the rescue, Facebook photos and videos are available. Many are provided by the humans who carry a camera and mini-computer connected to the Internet in their pocket. Government agencies and news companies are catching up and use social media tools to deliver ‘the latest’.

Topics: Social Media Brand Integrity Brand Management

2018 CAMPS Manufacturing Conference (Post-Event Summary)

Without manufacturing companies, we would not have the quality of life we currently enjoy. They ‘make stuff’ is often taken for granted and what they build can be the difference between life and death.

Manufacturers are often under-appreciated as they work invisibly to deliver products that change our lives. Employees typically do not have glamorous work spaces and may appear unimpressive since their work clothing is more for function and safety than style.

Manufacturers are in a word: “Remarkable”. This is why I have come to appreciate CAMPS (Center for Advanced Manufacturing Puget Sound) as they do a great job of supporting local manufacturers.

CAMPS has grown membership of nearly 300 companies, organizations, education, and government partners supporting the region’s most innovative, high performing, and collaborating companies. These companies are focusing collectively on:

  • Serving domestic and international markets
  • CAMPS, as an organization, has taken a leadership role in 21st Century Workforce solutions
  • CEO’s and other leaders have adopted a primary goal of improving the image of Manufacturing to all sectors of the community, with a special focus on youth programs and transitioning military personnel

If you believe as I do about the importance of manufacturers and interested in giving support, providing service or products, you can learn more here.

What you might have missed:

On June 7th, nearly 200 CAMPS Members, industry experts, and guests were introduced to the future of manufacturing. The prime message was how technology is enabling manufacturing to reach new heights.

Topics: Events News Manufacturing CAMPS