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  • feedwordpress 17:45:51 on 2018/03/09 Permalink

    Analysis: Should Blockchain Power Your Customer Loyalty Program? 

    By Kaleido Insights Research Analysts: Jeremiah Owyang, Jessica Groopman, Jaimy Szymanski, and Rebecca Lieb

    Trend: Nearly a dozen companies have announced their intent to launch blockchain-based loyalty programs and/or branded cryptotokens to encourage customer engagement.

    But should your company? 

    Is it right for your loyalty program? Is it just hype? Should you deploy? Our analysis of what you should consider.

    Keep in mind, many of these are corporate announcements of intention to launch the programs, few are currently deploying. A few examples:

    1. Recently, restaurant holding group Chanticleer (franchises include Little Big Burger, American Burger Co., Hooters, Just Fresh, and BGR) announced its intent to use a blockchain-based loyalty coin for rewards across its dining brands,
    2. Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten just announced a token at Mobile World Congress called Rakuten Coin aimed at deriving additional loyalty from customers,
    3. Singapore airlines announced a blockchain based loyalty wallet across retail partners for frequent flyer loyalty wallets,
    4. Coffee brand Latesso announced partnership with qiibee for loyalty cryptocurrency across locations in Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Austria, and Benelux,
    5. A tea company rebranded to Long Blockchain Company, and their stock price tripled,
    6. In 2016, China Unionpay (CU), the third-largest payment network by value of transactions processed, behind Visa and Mastercard, recently announced a blockchain PoC project in collaboration with IBM to develop a loyalty bonus points exchange for its 200+ members across 150 countries,
    7. Snipps (digital marketing promotions provider) recently partnered with LoyalCoi,n
    8. Elements’ ELM token cryptocurrency miners can earn ELM for “proof of work” processing. These universal tokens can be used for shopping, airlines, movies, etc.
    9. Russian Burger King’s WhopperCoin announced their program

    Business Opportunities:
    While private blockchains and branded cryptos are nascent, bleeding edge technologies with limitations, we have to ask: Why is this a budding trend? We see many potential business opportunities including:

    • Fraud reduction: Blockchain reduces loyalty fraud, as members in the network have key information shared in the distributed ledger––a core feature of blockchain. It’s a “single source of truth;”
    • Loyalty exchange: Interchangeable points for other currencies, including other cryptos or even fiat based currencies, this provides more value than holding points to one single company’s loyalty program.  
    • Transferability: Tokens could theoretically be exchanged across other businesses or services, allowing customers to freely choose how to redeem for rewards, discounts, and more, all which encourages repeat engagement. Rewards or tokens become equity, monetizable to consumers.
    • More flexibility: Blockchain enables rewards to be more easily tracked, transferred, and allocated into micro-redemptions. In addition, new modes of engagement (e.g. tied to specific content consumption; IoT product use; biometric authentication; beacons; local or regional campaigns) could be more easily scaled up or down across loyalty networks.
    • More cost effective: Creating or expanding loyalty programs across affiliates is historically very time- and cost-intensive, especially considering systems integration. A distributed ledger can significantly reduce development, integration, reconciliation, and security costs.
    • Low(er)-risk: As blockchain-based applications go, loyalty programs are relatively lower risk initiatives than those involving capital markets, healthcare, or other highly sensitive data.

    Risks and Challenges:
    This nascent space is fraught with froth, due to media hype, low barriers to entry and more.

    • So. Much. Hype. Many of the announcements are not fully deployed systems, but rather a promise. In general, the blockchain space is brimming with more press releases than at-scale deployments (most enterprise blockchain projects are in PoC today). Some of these large companies are likely following the popular trend of tech startups launching ICOs (initial coin offerings) to raise funds.
    • Token fatigue, sigh: Consumers may soon feel overwhelmed by all the token offerings, and eventually become apathetic (as many have of current, disconnected loyalty programs)
    • “What’s Blockchain?” steep learning curve: Customers like loyalty programs––it’s unsure if they’ll see more value in a blockchain or token-based loyalty program.here are multiple steps to educate customers, as well as encourage them to download, setup, and manage token wallets and accounts.
    • But will it scale?: This remains an issue, particularly involving public blockchain networks or programs with high volume transactions, including other charges against the scaling issues with blockchain as an overall industry.
    • Hands off my data. Brands will have to collect less personally identifiable information (PII) data for these programs. Not only because of GDPR, and inability to scale, but will have to limit how much PII can be put on a shared network. This also means data aggregators and brokers become less relevant to loyalty programs.  

    Kaleido Insights’ Recommendations: Deploy blockchain for your loyalty program if:

    1. You’re poised to experiment with an emerging technology that reshuffles economic benefits of loyalty programs, in favor of brand, affiliates, and customers,
    2. You’re ready to deploy significant upfront marketing spend to educate customers on what and how to use blockchain,
    3. Your company is a holding company with multiple disparate brands, products, locations, and systems,
    4. You’re part of a partnership with multiple companies that all share a common loyalty program, but the systems are not well interconnected,
    5. Current partnerships aren’t delivering meaningful business ROI; are too cumbersome or costly to scale; customer loyalty is not growing,
    6. You’re frustrated with the loyalty vendors in your market, and want to give them notice, there’s a new distributed way to maintain customer loyalty,
    7. Your customers deserve a more flexible loyalty rewards program, and you want to empower them (key segments: early adopters, millennials, crypto-enthusiasts).

    We’ve compiled a short list of a few vendors, including: Elements, Loyyal, LoyalCoin, Blockpoint, leave a comment if you hear of others.

    Learn More: Kaleido Insights
    We’ve published a number of reports on Blockchain including “Blockchain and IoT” and “Business models of Blockchain” and more, to learn more about our advisory, education and speaking services, contact us at Kaleido Insights.

    Image from Pixels

  • feedwordpress 17:30:24 on 2018/03/07 Permalink
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    What Assistant Certification Courses Are Best For You? 


    Are assistant certification courses necessary?

    At Office Dynamics, we are noticing a tremendous amount of interest in executive assistant certification or administrative assistant certification courses or programs. We regularly see interest in our certificate-based designation programs, World Class Assistant™ Certification program or our Star Achievement Series® Certification and Designation curriculum. This proves assistants are getting serious about their career and training and HR departments are valuing continued education for this role.

    More and more, administrative professionals are asking my opinion on having a certification. I hear questions like, “Will this give me an advantage in the workplace?” “Will I get more money with a certification?” “Is certification for the administrative profession becoming a requirement in the business world?”

    I am pleased that there is an interest in this topic because I am working with some top-notch organizations who are thinking the same thing – as they look to the future and what they will require of individuals coming into their organization and want to make a career in the administrative field. The good news for you is I have a lot of opinions and facts to share with you. So let’s just begin; my ideas are in no particular order, except for the first one.

    Assistant_CertificationFirst and foremost, it is not a document, paper, degree, certification or designation that makes a world class or star assistant. I have seen many assistants who have a designation from a well-known association and are not star performers in their job. I have observed on the job, at their workstation (for 2 days), executive assistants who have been in the field for 20+ years and are not stars or have ‘prima donna’ attitudes; feeling they have no more to learn or they arealready at the top of their game. I have seen young people in the profession who are smart, bright and great administrative or personal executive assistants who are very successful. In fact, in the past week, I was surrounded by 4 young, bright administrative professionals who are truly going to be successful as they continue to mature in the profession and as individuals.

    Second, I believe in all training, learning, and education. It will not hurt you to have a certification and to a potential employer, demonstrates you take your profession seriously and like to learn. When I interview people for any type of administrative position within Office Dynamics, I always look to see if they have any kind of continued learning or education on their resume. Then I focus in on whether the interviewee has taken workshops or classes in the administrative profession.

    Related Posts:

    Ok, now that I have that off my mind…

    What is going on out there with assistant certification and career paths?

          1. I am working with a few very large organizations that are going to require an administrative certification or 2-year college degree in business administrative coupled along with administrative-specific training such as our Star Achievement Series®.
          2. Understand the difference between Certificate of Completion, Certification, and a professional designation. Normally, attendees receive a Certificate of Completion for attending a seminar, workshop, online course, even webinars and more. In most cases, Certifications are obtained through associations and meeting specific requirements. There are some special situations, though, as with our Star Achievement Series® course and World Class Assistant course. We offer a Curriculum-Based Certification and Designation. Both of these programs are a series or have multiple parts. Our clients “begged” me to figure out how this could be offered as more of their administrative employees attended either program. After a tremendous amount of research and discussions with the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) (Update: now known as Association for Talent Development-ATD), I learned how Office Dynamics could offer this. In addition to attendance, there is a list of objectives students have to meet; students have to demonstrate newly-learned skilled in the class; obtain a letter from their leader stating the behavior changes observed in the workplace and more. These are “no fluff” classes, although we have great fun while learning.
          3. Be prepared for big changes in the future as employers realize their baby boomer executive assistants will be leaving the workforce in about 5 years; the administrative role has shifted tremendously in the past 10 years, and managers are technically savvy and become more independent. You will have to support leaders in a new way and the bar has definitely been raised.
          4. The need for interpersonal skills is at an all-time high and its prominence will grow. When you look for administrative classes, be sure to seek out these competencies. This role is not just about technical skill. Yes, you need to be tech savvy and learn the numerous programs. Just remember, behind the technology is a person. When you send an email, a person is opening that email. When you leave a voicemail, a person is listening to your message. Even when you IM, a person is reading it.
          5. Certification seems to have more prominence today as we daily see the interest in Office Dynamics classes that provide a certification.

          Bottom line… if I were interviewing you today, I would not require a certification or even initials after your name. It’s who you are and how you perform on the job. But since the world is now saying this is important, then a professional certification in the administrative profession could serve you well.

          What are your thoughts? Do you have an administrative designation or some special type of certification? If so, has it helped you in the workplace? Any suggestions for our readers?

    The post What Assistant Certification Courses Are Best For You? appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 09:29:09 on 2018/03/06 Permalink
    Tags: , Demanding Roles, , , , ,   

    How to Be Your Best In an Emotionally Demanding Role  

    I think most of us in leadership can relate to the experience of emotionally demands in the workplace. It may be more closely tied with some roles than others, but it’s common in every field among leaders and others who give themselves fully to the work they do.

    But it doesn’t come easily. An emotionally demanding role can leave you feeling physically and mentally drained. Work may become less satisfying and you may have problems focusing or thinking creatively—which in turn can lead to irritability, frustration and even depression.

    There are things you can do to help yourself—for your own well-being, and so you and your team can keep bringing your best every day. Here are some of the top techniques I discuss with the leaders I coach:

    Identify your strengths. Emotional demands can tax your confidence and self-esteem, so it’s important to know your strengths and build on them. When you make the best use of your inner resources, you gain power that will bring you through low times and difficult situations.

    Leverage your weaknesses. We all naturally prefer to concentrate on our strengths instead of our weaknesses. But—as you already know if you’ve read The Leadership Gap—I’m a big believer in learning to leverage your own weaknesses. As you go through challenging times, your strength will come not only from what you are strong in but also from the things you struggle with, from overcoming the things you thought you couldn’t do.

    Practice radical honesty. Studies have found that you can alleviate stress and emotional burnout by creating a climate of radically honesty—in short, being as honest and authentic as you can be. When people feel free to be themselves and to communicate their emotions, both positive and negative, workplace tension is reduced.

    Work on conflict resolution. In conflict, don’t let the little things divide you when agreement on the big things can bind you. Escalate or evaluate until you come to a resolution. Being stuck is among the worst things that can happen when you have a lot going on and you’re trying to be productive.

    Know your role. Think about whether in your current situation you’re acting as a teacher, a student, or a peer, and whether you should be teaching, asking questions, or debating. Knowing your specific role is especially important in times of high emotional demands, allowing you to bring people together in a shared spirit of humility and open-mindedness.

    Use your empathy. When your environment and culture are demanding, empathy is especially important. It isn’t always easy to show empathy, especially when situations are challenging or taxing. But seeing through the eyes of another and working to truly understand how they feel will help you connect on a deeper level and cultivate a more meaningful relationship.

    Learn from your mistakes. Great leaders are big enough to admit their mistakes, smart enough to profit from them and strong enough to correct them. We all make mistakes—we all have struggles and challenges and even some regrets. You are not your mistakes, and you are not your struggles. Instead of letting mistakes bring you down, use them to take full ownership of your potential.

    Connect with your purpose. Purpose is incredibly important, not just to leaders but to team members at every level. When work becomes emotionally charged it can be harder to find that purpose or understand the meaning. Doing so may require that you shift your thinking and challenge any entrenched mindsets—individually and as a group—so you can identify how your work makes an impact on others, on the community, on society, and in the world.

    Leading through emotionally demands is often difficult, but the process can help you guide yourself and your team toward new ways to give your best selves in service.

    Lead from within: As a leader, the meaning of your life is to find your gift and the purpose of your life is to share it with others, challenging or not. Too many people have the means to live, but little meaning to live for.

    N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R


    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:


    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post How to Be Your Best In an Emotionally Demanding Role  appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 16:30:36 on 2018/03/02 Permalink
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    Blatant Pronoun Misuses You Want to Learn and Avoid 


    by Barbara McNichol

    I love watching the TV show “Dancing with the Stars” but even this escape doesn’t give me a break from grammar glitches. In one episode alone, I counted four times when participants and/or hosts misused the pronouns as they spoke.

    As a society, if we repeatedly hear words used incorrectly on national TV (and all around us), how will we ever know what’s right?

    Without attempting to overcome years of grammar neglect, watch out for certain common pronoun misuses so you get a feel for what’s correct—and what’s not.

    “Me and Jack” finished the report. It should be “Jack and I” finished the report.

    Rule: When the subject is more than one, you need a subjective pronoun (I, she, he, we, they, who). (“Subjective” refers to the pronoun’s place in the sentence—as a subject.)

    Clue: Say the sentence without “Jack.” I finished the report. Now it’s easy to tell which pronoun is correct.

    “Bob hired Peggy and I to draft the proposal.” It should be “Peggy and me.”

    Rule: “Peggy and me” is the object of the verb “draft” and therefore requires an objective pronoun (me, her, him, us, them, whom). (“Objective” refers to the pronoun’s place in the sentence—as an object.)

    Clue: Say the sentence without “Peggy and.” Does it sound right to say “Bob hired I to draft the proposal”? You know it doesn’t!

    “Between you and I, we got the job done.” It should be “you and me.”

    Rule: In this sentence, “me” is the object of the preposition “between” and therefore requires an objective pronoun (me, her, him, us, them, whom).

    “Roger, Lloyd, and myself finished the drawings.” It should be “Roger, Lloyd, and I finished the drawings.”

    Rule: You can’t use a “-self” pronoun (myself, yourself, himself, herself, themselves, ourselves) unless it refers to another noun or pronoun used earlier in the sentence.

    Clue: Look for the referring word that precedes the pronoun.

    To receive a one-page chart that shows at a glance which pronouns to use where in a sentence, email me with “Proper Pronouns” in the subject line.

    Barbara McNichol is passionate about helping administrative professionals add power to their pen. To assist in this mission, she has created a Word Trippers Tips resource so you can quickly find the right word when it matters most. It allows you to improve your writing through excellent weekly resources in your inbox, including a Word Tripper of the Week for 52 weeks. Details at www.wordtrippers.com/odi

    The post Blatant Pronoun Misuses You Want to Learn and Avoid appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 17:30:58 on 2018/02/28 Permalink
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    What is Holding Your Brand Back? PART 3 

    By Anel Martin

    Well, that is a big question!

    Personally, I think what is holding us back from powerful, successful and valuable brands is the same thing that holds us back from fulfilling careers and happy lives. That is a big statement but here goes! I think it is the inability to speak up, trying to fit in, not being able to decide and FOCUS, believing we don’t deserve it (whatever “IT” is for you), lack of self-discipline and confidence.

    So let’s run the list down:

    1. Speaking up

    The old saying goes “if you don’t ask, the answer is always no” so many things in the world just get swept under the carpet, so many opportunities go to waste because we are unable to speak truth to power or make ourselves heard. How many times have you sat in a management meeting and had the most phenomenal idea (but you said nothing)? Well, I rest my case. If you want a strong brand you will need to find your voice. Start small, but start now!

    1. Fitting in

    The Industrial Age wanted us to fit in and be interchangeable because our offices were a factory, a big machine and if you were too special or different you were not replaceable. Remember that in the 4th Industrial Age people will pay more for special, unique and different. The artists and problem solvers will thrive (the people who do “human work” and creative work) they will pay for art but not for painting. So the challenge is to let go of this old wiring of being the same and fitting in. It will not serve you in the future.


    One of the most tragic things people say to me once I start working with them on brand is that if they make these radical changes/improvements their team members (most specifically other PAs) will notice and be judgemental (thinking they are trying to suck up to or impress the boss). To me, this speaks to a lack of team cohesion, insecurity (on their part) and a low-performance culture. Remember that it is your career and they don’t pay your bills. So do what you need to do to create the life you really deserve. Don’t let the critics slow you down. Cream floats to the top, always and without exception!


    1. Indecision and lack of focus and action

    What do you really want? It is a big question, and for most of us, an open-ended one because we don’t want to commit and make a decision. We happily float along in the grey area which has become our comfort zone. I could change things, improve things but that would require hard work, dealing with resistance and challenge.  So instead of doing what is important, we stay in the “urgent and too busy zone” when it comes to focus areas and priorities. Is it any wonder that so many of us feel stuck and uninspired? Are you living the same day, every day?


    1. Not feeling deserving

    I am not special, why should this happen or work out for me? Why should I get the promotion or the praise? Well, if you don’t believe you are good enough, no one else will either. This is an inside job and REAL work needs to be done on correcting and improving our inner dialogues. No one can fix this except you.



    1. No self-discipline

    Doing the work requires discipline. Standing out from the crowd and excelling requires you to do things, create habits and keep hours that few others would agree to or be able to maintain. This is what separates the good from the GREAT! What is YOUR STANDARD? What do you require from yourself? I am not asking you to strive for perfection but to focus on excellence, quality, and good value for money. I am asking you to do the hard work because the results are worth it! Self-discipline is not for reward or recognition, it is about YOU, your goals and ambitions!


    1. Low or no confidence

    Your brand cannot thrive until you can cure yourself from imposter syndrome and from that voice in your head that mistakes assertiveness and confidence for rudeness and arrogance.

    • Learn to say no.
    • Learn to respect yourself.
    • You are a LIMITED EDITION – OWN IT!
    • You only get one chance to do this, there are no do-overs.
    • What is the worst thing that could happen? Keep asking yourself that!
    • That voice in your head is a broadcast from behind enemy lines – tune OUT.
    • Learn to look after yourself physically and emotionally.

    My challenge to you is to break out and break free from these factors. You have unlimited potential, you were born into genius and it is time to escape from mediocre! Build a brand that earns you more money, more respect, more opportunities and creates more impact in the world and in your life. Be brave and walk TALL.

    How Do I Increase My Brand Value? PART 1

    Creating a Brand Story – Part 2

    Anel Martin is a former awarding winning administrative assistant from South Africa (now based in Dubai) who now works as a full-time trainer and Results Based Coach. Her goal is to help assistants to find their voices and their confidence. She is a published author and the book is titled “The Executive Secretary Guide to Building a powerful personal brand” https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1539535576/ visit her website for more free resources, information, and services www.anelmartin.co.za

    The post What is Holding Your Brand Back? PART 3 appeared first on Office Dynamics.

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