Posts Tagged ‘best buy’

All Beginnings are Hopeful!

January 26, 2009

This is actually a quote from the president of Oxford University, spoken to the entering freshman in 1944, in the midst of a world war.  This is a concept that we have seen confirmed throughout history.  In working with people going through change, I am often struck by the discouragement, frustration, and frequent anger and resentment they share. 

I have come to recognize however, that those feelings always tell me that the person is looking backward, at something that has already occurred.  As soon as we are able to create a clear plan for the future, those feelings quickly begin to dissipate and are replaced by hope, optimism and enthusiasm.  In all my years of coaching, I have never seen a person who has a clear plan and goals who is also depressed.  They just don’t go together.

We are now in a new “season” as a country and in starting a New Year.  While there are lots of opinions on the political and economic fronts, it seems to me that people are in general more optimistic and hopeful than they were a couple of months ago.  Saturday Joanne and I stopped to pick up a video cord at Best Buy, and the crowds were heavier than right before Christmas.  I am being overwhelmed with people who want to launch new businesses – releasing ideas they’ve had for years and they are excited that now is the time.  And the anticipation is not just an American phenomenon.  My alanytics show that in this time period —  Jan 19, 2009 – Jan 25, 2009 —  our website was visited by people from 76 countries.  It seems people everywhere are looking for new beginnings.

Viktor Frankl, in his wonderful little book, “Man’s Search for Meaning“, relates his observations of people in the German concentration camps.  Age, health, education or ability could not predict those who survived the atrocities there.  No, rather it was only those who believed that there was something better coming tomorrow who were able to survive and ultimately walk away from those camps.

Feeling discouraged?  Miserable in your job?  Just lost your business?  Draw that proverbial line in the sand.  What appears to be the end is actually a new beginning.  Welcome the new beginning tomorrow!   “All beginnings are hopeful.”


Who cares what the price of gas is – I’m working

July 8, 2008

With the cost of gas and real estate soaring, more companies are recognizing the value of embracing the “distributed worker.”  In Palo Alto, California they are seeing a 10 percent increase in office vacancies.  The reason is not a slowdown in business, but rather, a result of more companies encouraging their employees to telecommute.

Charlie Grantham, executive producer of the Work Design Collaborative, a Prescott, Arizona-based consortium that focuses on researching and defining the future of work says companies can reduce operating costs by 40 percent per person by letting them telecommute.  Yeah – I know you have the image of the slob sitting at home with no shirt, nursing a beer, and watching ESPN while pretending to work.  However, research coming in does not support that picture.

Cisco Systems, for instance, estimates a 25 percent increase in worker productivity among telecommuters.  IBM has saved millions on real estate costs; Sun Microsystems reports that they saved $67.8 million in real estate costs in fiscal 2006. More than 18,000 Sun employees participate in their telecommuting program.

Deloitte estimates a $40 million savings in reduced employee turnover costs; and Google has found that you can often hire higher-quality talent by taking the work to the talent.

And we haven’t even mentioned what it does for the worker.  With 50 mile commutes common, the teleworker would immediately get about a $250/month raise from the gas savings alone.  And what about wardrobe savings; and lunch at home rather than popping into the local restaurant where a Coke is $2.00?  To say nothing of the reduced stress.  This morning as am “working” I saw a deer in my front yard, stopped to fill my bird feeders and take a short walk, had my daughter and granddaughter stop in for a few minutes – but still am right on track with the deadlines I set for today.

The new “results-only work environment” (ROWE) seeks to demolish decades-old business expectations that equate physical presence with productivity. The new goal is to judge performance on output instead of hours.

Both companies and individuals had better be open to this option if they want to stay on the leading edge of innovation. Otherwise, they risk losing out to companies like Best Buy and IBM, who are already seeing the direct effect this new way of working is having on their bottom lines, and the happiness of their workers. Those high-rise office buildings can be leased to the government for prison cells or to farmers for veal-fattening pens.

Gumby Works Here

February 24, 2008


Remember the green clay humanoid figure named Gumby?  If you ever had a model Gumby you will remember that he was infinitely flexible.  It appears ole Gumby is pretty welcome in today’s workplace.

75% of the employees at Best Buy’s corporate campus participate in their Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE).  40 percent of Sun employees participate in that company’s “Open Work” program, in which they have the freedom to work flexible hours and off-site.  Nearly 50% of the 25,000 employee work force at PNC Financial Services Group is on some type of flexible arrangement including job sharing, telecommuting and compressed work weeks.  Some companies are saying flexible work arrangements are available to all staff.

Companies everywhere are discovering that happy workers are more productive – and one of the biggest factors in keeping people happy is providing them flexible work schedules and locations.  Even the U.S. government has discovered that flexible work schedules result in “greater employee productivity, higher levels of sustained performance, reduced traffic congestion and air pollution, and reduced real estate costs.”Could you imagine working from home for your current employer?  Would you want that arrangement?  Do you have a place in your home where you could have a work mind-set?  Do you need help in creating a flexible work proposal for your boss?

Just be aware that you may be able to increase your job security by being innovative with your suggested work model.  What if you could:

  • Produce more work than a comparable guy in the office
  • Work from your own real estate rather than taking up expensive space
  • Use your own electricity, water and gas
  • Help the company be a “green company” by reducing traffic congestion and pollution

Is the company going to choose your proposal or insist on keeping the slob in the cubicle who drinks too much company coffee, wastes company time by surfing the Net, and expects to be paid for time chatting with the new gal in accounting?