Top Trends in the World of Work This Week

It’s graduation season. The smell of victory is in the air as students all across the globe pay homage to self-courage with a smile and nod that says “I deserve a pat on the back for getting through this…alive.” Remember that feeling? I bet you do and probably still crave that experience today. I know I do. This is proof of life…long learning. We all deserve a gold star accolade now and then; a thumbs-up, high-five or smiley face sticker.

So this blog post is yours — it’s a tip of the ole’ hat to being human in the world of work. Raise your glass and toast yourself — this Top Trends is in your honor. Cheers!

How to Get an Easy A on Branding

Now that you’re celebrating your own awesomeness, let’s take this opportunity to learn how to package & sell it. This Forbes post shares 8 ways to successfully brand. You likely know some of the common ones like being memorable and likeable (duh, right?). But there are some key elements to effective branding that may not be top of mind. Take Protectability for example — ensuring you can keep your secret sauce to branding success on lockdown. Molson’s launch of Ice beer did not occupy unique space in the market for long because you can’t copyright the word “ice” (as Miller and Bud effectively show us). There’s also Transferability — is the slogan or identity universally applicable, across geographies and cultures, for example? Coors’ “Turn it Loose” translated into “Suffer from Diarrhea” in Spanish. There’s Authenticity, as well — one of my favorite words, but a controversial one in the digital space, so I’ll let you read up on it yourself.

The Trend: You can’t cheat on the basics when it comes to branding. Keep it simple, social and consumer sexy (appealing to the mind’s eye).

When Disciplinary Action is a Good Thing

“Many see innovation as sexy and mysterious.

It’s not. While it is accurately characterized as disruptive behavior, in its purest form, innovation is disciplined, deliberate and relentless. Repeat after me: “Innovation is…” This post by Harvard Business Review schools us on the misconceptions about innovation, and here’s what you need to know to pass the course:

A) Innovation and creativity are not the same things — awesome ideas do not necessarily yield relevant results.

B) Innovation is not an activity for the enterprise elite — everyone in an organization is responsible for thinking forward.

C) Innovation is not a “big bang” phenomenon — it’s the impact that matters, not the size of the vision.

These are the answers, now it’s up to you to test it in the real world.

The Trend: D) All of the above. Meaningful innovation is secured through sustained, systematic, intellectual interventions. Think about it…literally.

It’s Still Not Okay to Speak Out of Turn

We’ve learned today about branding and innovation — now it’s time for a lesson on communication. Are you committing these cardinal sins of connecting with others through conversation? You speak and think simultaneously — if you’re not auditioning for a play, play it right and ditch the monologue. You brainstorm to be fancy, but never really fuel anything — don’t be the leader who cried wolf. You get into it with everyone like you’re the captain of the debate team at the state championships — that speaks for itself. This last one is my favorite: You’re a one-person U.N. session seeking to solve mythical problems — listening is an act of leadership, practice it.

The Trend: Keep it real on the communication front. Own your actions and practice standing in a place that doesn’t block other’s potential.

Class dismissed.

image credit: Young Boy's Motivation, by Rob (a.k.a. koocbor)