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Bes-bawl.” Well, that’s the way it sounded to me when Terrance Mann (played by James Earl Jones) said it to Ray Kinsella (played by Kevin Costner) in the movie “Field of Dreams” about why Ray should keep this baseball field in his Iowa cornfield. “Bes-bawl” is America’s game and “surely people will come.”

Mann continued, “people will most definitely will come. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. ‘Of course, we won’t mind if you look around,’ you’ll say. ‘It’s only $20.’ And they’ll pass it over without even thinking about it. They’ll sit in the bleachers in their shirtsleeves on a perfect day and watch the game. This field, this game will remind us of our past. The one constant through the years has been baseball. It reminds us of all that is good and could be good again.”

Normally, February is the month major league players go to spring training — first pitchers and catchers, then the rest of the team. However, Arizona officials requested MLB to delay the start of this year’s Cactus League due to COVID-19. Originally the plan for the 2021 season was to start April 1 (no foolin’) and would feature 10 divisional matchups. It will be only the fourth time all 30 MLB teams would play on opening day. Let’s hope that MLB has a successful season.

With MLB  back this spring, school baseball and softball games, hopefully, resume. The kids — both boys and girls — need physical activity. This will also provide an opportunity for parents and friends to attend games to cheer them on. We need this.

If I may offer a concern about major league baseball. My issue is with the MLB Hall of Fame elections. The hall is located in Cooperstown, New York, and for the 7th time since the hall started (1936) NO player for the 2021 class was selected to be inducted. The 2020 class which included Derek Jeter and two to three others did not have an induction due to the pandemic but will have their 2020 induction ceremonies in 2021 – COVID-19 permitting. The honor of being selected for the Hall of Fame is deserving – yet many are being denied with this slight!

Posted On Friday, 26 February 2021 00:00 Written by
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Wendy BjorkWendy is the MS Warrior Queen and now a mentor for empowering other women diagnosed with MS. She loves working with them to improve their Mind, Body, Relationship and Environment by bringing out their Inner MS Warrior Queen.

She lives in NW Wisconsin with her husband and two teenage sons but loves to travel. In her free time she loves to read and spend time outdoors as long as it's warm out since winter lasts so long in Wisconsin.

As someone who has dealt with MS for over 30 years, Wendy now wants to give others hope by designing premium custom programs to help them with their lifestyle reset.

She is an author for the National MS Society's Momentum magazine, as well as participated in roundtable discussions with Dr Terry Wahls in regard to her Wahls Protocol and has been featured on several podcasts.

For an introductory call with Wendy, visit www.wendybjork.com

Wendy's free MS Guide can be found at heartsofwellness.com/ms-guide

Posted On Wednesday, 24 February 2021 00:00 Written by

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, exponential digital transformation was the biggest disruption many organizations and leaders within those organizations concerned themselves with. Will artificial intelligence (A.I.) take my job? Will machine learning make our entire operation irrelevant? Is there something on the horizon that will change our industry, and how can we be the ones to discover it?

Even given the increase in the rate of exponential transformation of business practices thanks to those aforementioned digital disruptors, it astounded me how many of those same organizations feebly considered what would happen if digital technology truly disrupted them or how to get in front of it. They were agile and reactionary, resting on their laurels and taking refuge in the antiquated phrase “we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

Then as we kicked off 2020 with a booming economy, COVID-19 barreled into the United States like a freight train, disrupting every single industry in its path while impacting the entire world. It didn’t matter if you were “essential” or “nonessential,” COVID-19 changed you or your organization’s day-to-day operating procedure in some way.

There may have been no way to predict the level of impact the pandemic was going to have on us all, but it has given us new opportunities and, better yet, it has taught us that resting on our laurels and relying solely on agility can, even in the most extreme circumstances, be the end of the line for many.

Agility Alone Is a Risky Bet

Given the relatively slow pace of the early stages of exponential change over the decades, it makes sense that agility has been the established tool of many organizations—the practiced ability to react to problems, shifting market conditions and events as quickly, efficiently and effectively as possible.

However, agility alone has always been a risky bet to place your career on. I’ll venture a guess that now during the coronavirus pandemic, agility and reactionary behavior alone probably even frightens you to some degree.

Don’t be afraid; agility is still a valuable ability to have! There are many times, including the pandemic and global lockdown, where agility is needed. None of us saw the pandemic coming; we only knew very little about what it was doing outside of the United States. It is likely that nearly everyone practiced some agility in 2020.

But the missing competency here that perhaps could have made your 2020 much smoother throughout the unpredictable nature of the pandemic was anticipation. Anticipation and being anticipatory is a complement to agility, and the coronavirus pandemic is the perfect storm as to why the two of them go hand in hand in many cases.

Anticipation Could Have Complemented Our Agility

We exhausted the term “new normal” after flattening the curve in the early days of COVID-19, but I think of the “new normal” as being the “next normal” instead.

The reason is that COVID-19 leveled the playing field in many ways, while in other ways sped up what was already in motion. This juxtaposition of seemingly two opposite after-effects in the wake of the pandemic is why agility and an anticipatory mindset must be united in your business practices. Digital disruptions were already occurring prior to COVID-19, and how the world responded to it actually sped up the rate of those disruptions tremendously.

Take for example the education sector. Never before have we seen education become so virtualized, and seemingly overnight, every teacher, administrator, and dean alike had to pivot and figure out how to teach all grade levels remotely. Previous usage of software like Zoom, Google Chat or Microsoft Teams was minimal when, suddenly, the names of those very companies became verbs. “Let’s ‘Zoom’ and discuss” was just one of many popular phrases.

Virtualized education existed as an option as the Internet grew more prominent, yet look how fast online learning increased due to a pandemic disruption! While schools had nearly no time to plan for going completely virtual and went into agility mode, that is not to say that they could not have paid attention to the Hard Trend—or future certainty—that online education was becoming more accessible as video communications developed further. They could have used that Hard Trend to pre-solve any problems they could foresee with teaching completely online, and find solutions before a disruption occurred…instead of saying “we’ll cross that bridge if we get there.”

Guess what: we got there!

Connect Anticipation and Agility Going Forward

Agility is like playing defense in a sport: you’re protecting yourself or your organization from the “what if.”

But anticipation and implementation of my Anticipatory Leader System is like playing offense in a sport: plotting out how you’re going to score while the defense tries their best to neutralize your efforts. And while you may win more championships in anything with a strong offense, that’s not to say you will never have your defense on the field or court. You need both!

I truly hope we have learned something from the coronavirus pandemic; 2020 and having obstacles thrown at us unlike ever before should not go to waste. Implementing an Anticipatory Mindset, where we focus on the Hard Trends shaping the world both inside and outside of our organization, pre-solve problems that come with them, and become positive disruptors in what we do was paramount prior to COVID-19 and is even more crucial in our “new normal.”

Even in the face of absolute uncertainty, there are still future certainties. Therefore, the “new normal” should not mean that we all just revert back to our old ways. The lockdown has given us a chance to witness in real time the value of playing offense with an anticipatory mindset. Don’t squander it. Use it to turn disruption and change into opportunity and advantage!

Posted On Wednesday, 24 February 2021 00:00 Written by
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My 13-yr old son and I hopped in the JEEP to go grab a Garden Burger at the only restaurant he’ll order a burger from: Nielsen’s Frozen Custard in South Jordan, UT.

In fact, he gets two Garden Burgers, which to us is thrilling, as he won’t eat anywhere else (incredibly, he always passes up the Concrete shakes, which are other-worldly good, since he’s going 4 years strong off of sugar…he’s like SuperBoy).

Picky is an understatement for our son.  He demands to know the type of cow and where it grew up that he’s eating, and Nielsen’s staff has walked us through their process, so our health nut boy feels good about what he’s consuming.

As we drove past multiple gas stations we hit Maverik to fill up the tank because it was a Friday night, and that means only one thing: We will be in a serious line for the burger.

Pulling into the parking lot we guessed correctly – It was at least a 30-minute wait.

My son looked at me, eyebrows raised, as if to dare me to wait in the ridiculously long line.

Nothing spoken, we just smiled at each other, got in line, turned off the car, and started sharing and watching videos we had saved to our iPhones that we knew would make the other person laugh.

The wait at Nielsen’s Frozen Custard was over 30 minutes this time, and both of his Garden burgers were inhaled before we arrived home 6 minutes later, where he began his workout as we watched our beloved Utah Jazz on TV together for a fun Daddy-Son hangout.

You may have noticed I mentioned a few brands in the first few sentences.

Brands we love.  Brands we buy over and over.  Brands we’ll drive long distances for, pay outlandish prices to watch throw a ball in a hoop, brands we are willing to pass others who sell the same products in order to get to our chosen brands.

I know full well your inbox is full of emails that have their unique brands and I can’t express how grateful I am that you’d even commit to reading my brand of lengthy posts each Sunday

My question for you is:

What brands do you choose and would gladly give a 30-minute wait to experience? 

The reason we choose the brands we do is because of The Promise.

The Brand Promise from the company is to deliver what you want, how you want it, and your Promise back to the Brand is to drive any distance, wait in any line, spend what needs to be spent, do whatever needs to be done to support that brand, because they Keep The Promise.

Your Promise Prompt:

Share in the Comments your preferred Brands!  I named some of mine, what are yours?

Take it a step further and share WHY you choose those Promise Brands. 

EXTRA CREDIT:

Consider your Brand Promise (AKA: Signature Moves) and if you’re delivering the “commercial vs. the reality” for those who expect your Promise-Level Brand.

Watch the Video below to see what I mean and have a great week!

 

Source: JasonHewlett.com

Posted On Tuesday, 23 February 2021 00:00 Written by

We have seen a real jolt to the bond market and pricing is trying to find a new level. This happens from time to time and those of us who have been at this for a while are prepared for the questions and reactions of our clients, prospects, and referral partners. A few simple things to remember: 

• You don’t control the rate markets! If a client wasn’t locked on their loan, or were “waiting” for the “bottom”, that was a risk they took, not you. Don’t feel guilty unless you lied!
• Do the math! Take a few minutes and share the actual costs in monthly payment in a move of .25% . Sometimes rates are an emotional hurdle until they see the actual dollars.
• Share offsets and strategies. Maybe we borrow less money to keep the payment where they are comfortable or maybe we buy down the rate?
• Remember that car payment of $350 a month was equal to about $70K in mortgage proceeds? What are some of the budgetary things people can do to make the new payment work? 

We also don’t know where this ride will take us. Please don’t predict the markets! Your ability to share real information is priceless! Get a few charts showing the rate market over the last two years, people got loans in the 3% and 4% range and were happy to have them! Just because we came off the bottom, doesn’t mean it’s no longer a good deal to buy a house or to refinance one. A good number of people have mortgages they are paying right now that have rates of 4% or higher!

Watch the markets and your own company pricing! Be honest and provide options! Don’t be surprised at all of those people who were trying to wait for the “bottom” who now think they have to act right away because they “missed it”.

We are in the loan business, not the rate projection or prediction business. Share the facts, tell the truth, and show the math! 

Questions or comments: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Posted On Monday, 22 February 2021 00:00 Written by
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Part 3 in a series. 
Part 2: Would You Get a C Score on Your Relationship Report Card? Want to Kick Your Score From a C to an A+? Author Greg Godek Shares How a Relationship Report Card Boosts Love & Romance
Part 1: Need a Little Romance Tip for Valentine's Day? Get the Scoop From Mr. Romance Himself, Greg Godek, Author of 1001 Ways to Be Romantic


Photo Greg JugglingBooks copyGreg Godek

Sure, you could buy some roses.
Yes, you could cook an elegant romantic dinner.
Of course, you could give a heart-shaped box of chocolates.

But sometimes you want to do more than that. Sometimes you want to show just how much you really care, how much passion you really feel, and how much more your partner means to you than absolutely anything else.

Packed with unique suggestions, easy gestures, and thoughtful gift ideas, 1001 Ways to Be Romantic is a romance kit “worth memorizing” (Boston Herald). It’s a must-have for anyone, in any relationship (whether dating, engaged, or married for 50+ years!) who wants to spark some more love in their lives.

Posted On Friday, 19 February 2021 00:00 Written by

There’s nothing worse than being a non-profit organization when that was not your intention!

The first issue to address is that profit is a good thing. Companies don’t survive without it. Jobs do not endure without company profit. Yes, profit is a necessary component of your business plan, and we should be proud when we make a profit. It shows that we had the initiative to figure out how to make our revenues exceed our expenses.

With profit, we can retain some of the earnings for capital expenditures so that we can expand and produce more products or render more services over time. With profit, we can return some of it to the shareholders who enabled the entity to exist in the first place. With profit, we can entertain the idea of giving our personnel raises in pay and can hire more people to grow even more. With profit, we can expand our territory and broaden our product line to serve more people.

To make a profit we must focus on increasing revenues and decreasing expenses as best we can.

Rule number one in this entire process is for everyone in the company to be conscientious in their attempt to contribute to the organization’s profitability. In essence, the boss is buying the services of each employee at wholesale so that the fruits of their labor can be sold at retail. Everyone should have pride in the profitability of their company and the noble goal of making a profit. If we are to take advantage of the opportunity to thrive in our environment of free-market capitalism, we must believe that we are all participating in a good cause to help people (our customers) solve problems and satisfy needs. 

I agree with Sr. Winston Churchill who said that “Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, the gospel of envy, and its only inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery”. It can’t be said any better! 

So, if we’re going to attempt to make a profit, we must be focused on margin. Margin is the difference between gross sales and the cost of goods sold. Factor in all the other expenses and you come up with your net margin.

All employees need to be concerned about margin so that profit can be assured. That’s the reason that salespeople should be training on how to sell value rather than cut price! And all employees need to be reminded that a dollar wasted is another dollar off the profit column.

Let’s say a company sells a $1,000 item and has a 40% gross profit ($400). If a salesperson sells the item for $900, that’s only decreasing the sale price by $100 or 10%, but it reduces the gross margin from $400 to $300 representing a 25% cut in the margin! Margin should be sacrosanct. When you give away margin you are putting into question the viability of your enterprise!

What if in a similar scenario a company’s gross margin is, say, 30%, but after all other expenses, their net margin is only 6%? If that same salesperson discounted a product by 10%, it would wipe out all profit and impose a 4% loss on the company. These are simple lessons, but salespeople need to be reminded periodically of how the math works. 

I’ve known some salespeople who have worked harder to sell their sales manager on a discounted transaction than they did to sell the prospect on the value of the product offered at the quoted price! Once again remedial training is in order. 

Respect your company’s ability to make a profit, contribute to the continuing effort to do so, and take great pride in the fact that your company is enduring because you have the courage and initiative to sell value rather than cut price.

Posted On Friday, 19 February 2021 00:00 Written by

Third and thirty-three” certainly tells the story of Super Bowl LV played in Tampa, Florida on February 7th, 2021. That was the call by CBS announcer Jim Nantz as Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes was “sacked” by the Tampa Bay Bucs defense. Chasing Mahomes all night seemed to be the highlight of SB LV, also called “the double-nickel”.

The hype preceding the game was certainly overblown considering the final score: Bucs 31, Chiefs 9. You are reading that correctly “nine” points in 60-minutes for the Chiefs! No touchdowns, which was not Mahomes style as he threw 38 touchdowns and 4,740 yards this season. The Chiefs only had 3 field goals by kicker Harrison Butker. BTW, while I’m on the subject of field goal kickers, Ryan Succop, field goal kicker for the Bucs was drafted #256 by the Chiefs out of South Carolina. He was the last draft choice in the 2009 draft earning him the title  “Mr. Irrelevant” created by Paul Salata and earning a week of frivolity in Newport Beach, California which was not as exciting as winning the Super Bowl and defeating his former team.

Tom Brady at 43 years of age again was awarded MVP honors. Brady vacated his 20-year tenure with the New England Patriots after winning 6 Super Bowls. Following the 2019 season, Brady sought a transfer to the Bucs with a new and much different coach in Bruce Arians. It was a shaky start in their relationship, but Arians knew what he was getting with Brady, yet was forthright in his early criticism of his quarterback. Arians knew that Brady’s knowledge of the game combined with his successful experience would make the players around him better.

Brady did just that and in his brief, but sincere and humble, post-game remarks said “the credit (for this win) belongs to ‘them’” pointing to his T*E*A*M. Then he handed the Lombardi Trophy to a teammate standing next to the platform. Arians’ remark makes sense when you watched the performance of the Bucs defense as well as their running backs.

While this was ongoing, Mahomes was in the Chief’s locker room doing some self-talk: “It was a bad feeling in that locker room after the game. I don’t want to have that feeling again. It’s not the end of something. It’s going to be another chapter where we’re going to have to drive to make ourselves better so we’re back in the game.”

Will you set your goal to bounce back when you’ve experienced a setback?

Posted On Friday, 19 February 2021 00:00 Written by
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Posted On Tuesday, 16 February 2021 00:00 Written by

What do people say about you when you’re not there?

Are you the type of person who buys FIVE $1 Lottery Tickets every day and hands them out to random people who do their job well as you interact with them?

Keep reading to learn about this fascinating person who lives The Promise named Dr. Louis Sportelli!

The Promise to be uniquely you, and spreading your goodness, is how you will be thought of and remembered.

Do you make people laugh?

Do you make people think?

Do you do anything at all that is memorable?

I remember the first time I was trying to come up with a parody to the classic song, “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole and daughter, Natalie Cole.

Eventually I decided to just sing it straight because I didn’t want to ruin this beautiful song for everyone forever – as I have with all the parodies I have created.

You’re welcome!

The story goes that I had just failed, for the umpteenth time, to remember a person’s name that I saw nearly every week but couldn’t capture it in my brain.

I absolutely could not associate anything to this person that could help me remember them (which sounds terrible to admit, but I speak the truth!).

The following words came to me in relation to the consistent incident, with the tune of the song humming in my mind:

“You’re forgettable…that’s what you are.  

Unforgettable, you never are.  

That’s why darling, it’s incredible, how someone so forgettable, makes me want to be unforgettable, too.”

Ok, well, it’s a brutal parody now as I re-type this, I hadn’t thought about this in years until this moment!  I mean that’s just downright mean…

But when I was in my early 20’s that was how I was thinking:

How can I be NOT like this guy?  How can I be UNFORGETTABLE?

~

The following newsletter story was sent to me from my Dad, John Hewlett, a story shared by his friend, the successful filmmaker, Jeff Hays.

I hope you enjoy this unforgettable story as much as I did regarding the legend of Dr. Louis Sportelli.

I have a mentor named Louis Sportelli who built a successful chiropractic practice in a very small town in Pennsylvania. He ended up serving as chairman of the American Chiropractic Association as well as the primary malpractice insurance company for chiropractors. Without a doubt, he was the single most powerful voice in the chiropractic profession.

Soon after I met him, I got a thank you note in the mail, and then a month later a book with a sticker in it: from the library of Louis Sportelli, signed to Jeff Hays. He’d send a letter along with it saying why he thought it might be interesting to me. Over the next several years, I averaged a book from Louis once every two to three months with a handwritten note: “Hey, thinking of you. This book reminded me of you, thought you would like it.” 

I’m well known for never wearing a tie, but one year on my birthday, a package arrived with a Brioni tie inside, a very expensive Italian designer brand. Louis had pulled it out of the box and tied it, then put it back in the box with a note: “Jeff, I took this out and tied it because I know you don’t know how to tie one of these things.”

He doesn’t do this only with me. He does it with everyone. Every high school student who graduated in his town in Pennsylvania got a book from Louis called 1,001 Careers with a note made out to the graduate, saying, “Congratulations on graduating from high school. It proves you can finish something. You notice in the book I underlined chiropractic. I don’t want to steer you one direction or another, but if you’re ever interested in that career, call me and I’d be happy to tell you my experience. I wanted to send you this just to congratulate you for your accomplishment.” He did this for decades. 

Every day, Louis buys five $1 lottery tickets. When the guy at the car wash does a great job, when somebody smiles at the grocery store, he captures their name and sends them a note with a lottery ticket: “Hey, thank you for doing such a great job on my car. I hope you win a million bucks.” 

Can you imagine the effect? This is how you build a multi-million-dollar practice in a small town—one relationship at a time. The income he earns, that’s money. But the relationships? That’s wealth.

How are YOU unforgettable?

Even the simplest, smallest actions that seem insignificant can be HUGELY memorable moments for those you customize your connection with.

When you consistently connect with others due to your unforgettable commitment, the compounding effect will create countless celebrations of your character.

Today’s Promise Prompt:

What ONE ACTION do you utilize daily to be unforgettable, like Dr. Sportelli?

If nothing comes to mind, what do you Promise to Commit to today in order to become that person?

 

Source: JasonHewlett.com

Posted On Tuesday, 16 February 2021 00:00 Written by

In 2018 I traveled the country sharing with real estate agents and mortgage professionals my concerns of pending troubles approaching our industries. I tried to share and warn people about the growing trend of buying leads and building teams of people to call and message those leads one after another in hopes of securing and potential transaction. This process was only further complicated by trainers and coaches in both professions sharing the belief that buy purchasing and chasing leads, and by building large groups of people dependent on those leads for their income, that the very skills needed to be self-reliant was in jeopardy. 

The matter only gets more complicated when those leads are largely purchased from companies who are not just in the lead selling business, but in the business of taking over the real estate and mortgage business. I also warned those people that once real estate agents, mortgage people, and the very companies they work for become addicted to buying leads and chasing deals, it wouldn’t be long before the prices of those leads would go higher and the very companies selling the leads would themselves become a competitor.

Well, it’s 2021 and look at the markets. More and more licensed people no longer have the ability to self-generate an opportunity as independent professionals and now work either for these companies in a call center, or for a company as part of a team that only funnel business up through a central person. It’s not hard to see right before our eyes it all happening. Those just a few years ago thought it never possible are now in direct competition with the same companies they are buying their leads from!

You only need to look and see these companies or subsidiaries of them are licensed real estate brokers in many if not all fifty states and DC. Partner companies are now originating mortgages as well. The lines are drawn and the battle is engaged but far too many still don’t see it. As I said in 2018, it would be less than five years before more than half of all licensed mortgage and real estate licenses were issued to those who DON’T work for themselves or work as part of someone else’s team or call center. I think that time may be coming even faster than that!

Just take a look around you and see the size and scope of the lead generation business. Look at the players who are buying up companies one by one and those who are the consumers of the leads as well as the ones paying for them. Then ask a simple question; “why would I be paying money to a company that has a mission to either put me out of business, or get me to work for them and earn less money for my work than if I did it myself?” What you see may surprise you; maybe even scare you! 

Questions or comments: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Posted On Monday, 15 February 2021 00:00 Written by
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With the lessening of COVID-19 restrictions, we are denying the healthful needs of young people. As adults, you and I were fortunate to go where and when we pleased – well, for the most part.

My youth was hampered somewhat by the ‘Great Depression’ but, for the most part, I didn’t have to be “sheltered-in” or wear a mask when outside or being with people. I was in school during World War II, but my ability to play outside was not affected as it is with our youth today. For most of my youth, I could –and did – go to school and be with my classmates on a daily basis. Distance learning was not available.

Today’s students are limited by staying at home and receiving instruction via the computer.  This wonderful internet device has given us tremendous access that wasn’t available to me. However, it takes second place to face-to-face classroom instruction. Young people want to go to school since that’s where their friends are. Students are reporting they are less excited, less concerned, less challenged, and less prepared with distance learning. I do see the concern for keeping a safe distance until Dr. Tony Fauci says it is OK to sit closer.

There certainly was a need to curtail or eliminate fall sports in 2020 since we saw many school and professional team players being stricken with the virus thus having to be quarantined to prevent the spread of the virus. While much attention has been given to this, we seemed to have avoided the need for physical activity that each of us — young and old — needs.

As a physical educator I learned, and have always believed, “mens sana in corpore sano, a Latin  phrase translated to mean “a healthy mind in a healthy body.” This expresses the theory that physical exercise is an important or essential part of mental and psychological well-being.

So, how about this: while distance learning is taking place, open the school grounds, fields and courts, swimming pools and the like so that our youth can run, play, or swim on their own. Of course, a playground director or teacher or lifeguard must be there to oversee the facility and equipment in use. No instruction need take place, but CCOVID-19 regulations are to be observed.

Will you agree that this method of allowing physical exercise is valuable?

 

Source: TunnySideofSports.com

Posted On Friday, 12 February 2021 00:00 Written by
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Brooke Small PhotoAssociate Broker & Team Lead Agent, Brooke Sines has been in the business of working with people all of her life! 

Brooke has been told over and over by her clients that it’s her dedication to personalized service that sets her apart from the rest.

She is an expert in her field and a great communicator that treats every client as her #1 priority! Her clients say that they can tell she loves her job, and it shows in everything she does. She runs a real estate team with RE/MAX in West Michigan and Charlotte, NC. 

Full time/hands on Mom- of one very talented daughter and adorable son – and a fierce competitor in the best way possible.

Posted On Thursday, 11 February 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Wednesday, 10 February 2021 00:00 Written by

Human beings are meant to be creative. Year after year, entrepreneurs and employees alike are constantly driven to transform the world around them into something new, useful, and impactful in both their careers and personal lives.

One problem we witness too often in society is the treatment of creativity and business innovation as mutually exclusive occurrences. Trust me when I say they are directly connected far more than the average person realizes.

Most notably, older organizations are the ones that place creativity in one column and positive disruptions via innovation in another. The fact that many Americans work for organizations that have been around for many decades makes this divide between creativity and innovation all the more concerning. For example, Citibank started as the City Bank of New York in 1812, making them over 200 years old!

The Test of Time

Older organizations, especially those as old as Citibank, have been through a lot. Some have been through the Great Depression, world wars, the Great Recession of 2007–09, and now, most recently, the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent economic downturn.

This can certainly be viewed as a positive feat: For a company like Citibank to withstand so many outside disruptions, they have to be doing something right! However, for many other older companies, being around for decades and in some cases, centuries, causes them to more quickly protect and defend the status quo. Longevity like that fosters the mindset of “this formula has been working for over a hundred years, why change it now?”

What many don’t realize is that as time has passed and the world has changed, their traditional products and services may continue to sell well, but the margins are much lower and there is much more competition. In turn, the company will blame this stagnation on age—believing that only new and fresh things sell these days—when the reality is the issue is lack of innovation. And why might a company lack innovation? It is because they have deprioritized creativity!

Anticipation Can Aid Creativity

The age of your product, service, culture, and even your employees is not the problem. Corporate culture that has been in existence for a long time can work for you or against you, depending on the key values of that culture. If innovation, creativity, and change are important and these related behaviors are rewarded in some way, then an older organization can do well.

Let’s go back to our example of Citibank, for instance. Disruption of any kind, especially digital disruption and technological change, challenges companies in ways that often send them in two directions: one of agility, which we are all familiar with and only gets us so far, and one of anticipation, in which a company decides to pay attention to the Hard Trends shaping its industry both inside and out, and look to pre-solve future problems to creatively innovate and stay ahead of the curve.

For Citibank, a technological disruption came in 1975 when ATM machines exploded onto the banking scene, allowing individuals to withdraw their own money without the face-to-face contact with a teller needed prior.

Instead of only reacting, Citibank established a research center, which was a very early iteration of what would eventually become its first Innovation Lab in Dublin in 2009. This research center was intended to allocate finances to researching customer behaviors—both with these new machines and how they may behave—as technological advancements continued in the banking industry, up to and including the mobile banking we see today.

Often it takes a crisis to make us step back and rethink our products, services, and even our culture. When Citibank implemented my Anticipatory Organization Model, they took the opportunity to fund creativity by way of Innovation Labs, well aware that establishing a creative safe space such as an Innovation Lab fosters the ability for its team to solve customer problems before they even exist, anticipating customer needs and how they will evolve.

Keeping Your Organization Comfortably Creative

Citibank’s Innovation Labs are sure to keep them ahead of the curve, especially as blockchain technology develops further and disrupts the banking industry yet again, just as mobile deposits and ATMs have in the past.

To maintain a creative company, you must have creative individuals, but as a leader or a manager, you must be aware that, for many, creativity is a private endeavor. Some individuals are afraid of sharing their ideas for fear of judgment, or perhaps they’re afraid that they will not receive the credit they deserve if their idea is implemented.

How do you combat these fears? Citibank has traditionally kept its Innovation Labs separate from its corporate headquarters in an effort to provide a sense of privacy for those who work within said environment to openly create.

Think of how your organization can foster better creativity. Much like tactile art, sometimes it starts with a safe space, free of judgment. But remember, while a creative space and the traditional operations of your organizations can be separate, creativity and innovation cannot, and innovation will ultimately lead to anticipation!

 

Source: Burrus.com

Posted On Wednesday, 10 February 2021 00:00 Written by
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