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Unclogging the innovation pipeline
September 1st 2014
How can you get more high-impact new products to market quicker? Establishing a robust set of criteria with which to evaluate feasibility is the first step, as weeding out underperforming projects at an early stage frees up employee time to concentrate on stronger prospects. Performing trials on fewer new ideas at any one time enables executives to keep closer track of projects in the portfolio. Getting more projects over the finish line will ultimately reduce time-to-revenue and improve cash flow, Mike Dalton writes on

Don’t believe these seven work/life balance lies
August 28th 2014
Ignore all the hints and tips you’ve heard about how to gain some sort of equilibrium between work and personal life. Trying to follow them all just means that you set impossible standards, according to Time. Supposed “pearls of wisdom” that you would be well-advised to ignore include hiring a life coach and being courageous in your career choices. Although these may sound like sensible suggestions on the surface, they could prove much more problematic on closer inspection, experts warn.

Five tips for taking full advantage of your mentor relationship
August 27th 2014
The right mentor can help professionals develop their skills, undergo new experiences, and further their careers. However, according to City A.M., 30% of mentor/mentee relationships falter because of a lack of momentum. Carefully selecting a mentor with whom you have a relationship of mutual respect, as well as someone who has the skills that you wish to gain, will enable you to capitalise on the mentor’s knowledge and experience. Taking time to gain the trust of your mentor, as well as creating and sticking to a prescribed meeting structure, will ensure that your appointments don’t fizzle out.

Steps to prevent vendor fraud
August 26th 2014
Just one unethical vendor slipping into your accounts payable system exposes your company to risk of misappropriation and reputational damage. A robust screening programme can help you understand who actually owns vendor companies and whether they have links or potential conflicts with existing employees or partners, or even a criminal record. Joseph Palmar, in Corporate Finance Insider, outlines the steps required to set up an effective vetting procedure and details how to verify and act on your findings.

The world’s 18 most innovative cities
August 25th 2014
Whether you are looking for an inspirational environment in which to locate your company, or simply for a change of scene, some of the world’s most innovative cities are waiting for you. Business Insider devised a ranking based on factors such as approach to health care, public transport, and energy. Vienna is best for quality of life; San José, California, registers the most patents per capita; and Santiago, Chile, is one of the most start-up friendly cities in the world. How does your city fare?

Boards yet to give cybersecurity C-suite respect
August 14th 2014
Despite the heightened need for robust cybersecurity programmes, there is little love for chief information security officers (CISOs) in the boardroom as departments compete for cash and resources. Research shows that 74% of C-suite execs say CISOs don’t belong on the board. The executives consider them a convenient fall guy should a breach occur. It seems that CISOs just can’t win, writes Gigaom; if all goes to plan and there is no breach, colleagues will consider that chunk of the budget wasted.

7 do’s and don’ts of psychometric testing
August 13th 2014
Done well, psychometric tests can benefit employee and company alike, allowing both sides to explore development potential. But a poorly managed testing process can dent candidates’ professional confidence or leave them feeling drained and demeaned. The secrets to successful implementation, advises INSEAD Knowledge, include explaining clearly to those tested why the process is being conducted and how the results will be used, taking cultural differences into account in assessments, and providing swift, constructive feedback.

The price of employee happiness? £476
August 12th 2014
Managers need to look beyond the traditional pay rise when seeking to put a smile on employees’ faces, suggests HR Magazine. According to new research, social activities such as karaoke, bowling, or drinks on a Friday night are far more effective ways of engendering harmony in a workforce and quelling discontent. Making workers feel valued by introducing regular training is another way to raise spirits, by as much as 22%. The price of social events and training per employee, a mere £476 (about $800), versus the much bigger cost of each individual pay rise, is sure to leave managers smiling, too.

Work three days a week and boost innovation
August 11th 2014
Want to spur innovation? Consider the three-day work week. According to The Washington Post, a three-day work week could enhance employee creativity, as well as boost productivity around the world. Condensing traditional hours into just three days and retiring later in life would better reflect the modern economic context. Perhaps more important, the approach would not only free up time for recreational pursuits but also allow employees to work on creative projects and ventures that benefit business as a whole.

Bosses: You don’t have to be experts
August 7th 2014
There’s something to be said for confidence and knowledge as strong managerial traits. But the need to always appear knowledgeable can be detrimental for bosses, David Burkus writes for Forbes. He says that people who feel the need to act like they know everything end up faking it when they can’t possibly know every wrinkle of every topic in their world. Burkus says bosses can escape the tyranny of certainty by admitting they don’t know something every now and then.

Six tips on taking charge of your career
August 6th 2014
Mapping out an ideal career path helps you make coherent decisions to get you where you want to go. But it’s not just a one-off exercise. Taking small steps towards that goal each day is what success is built on, James Rosseau writes in Fast Company. He advises professionals to seek progress over perfection and stay alert to opportunities that crop up. Leverage your network of friends, family, and mentors to help you achieve objectives, remembering to return the favour whenever you can. Perhaps most important, be true to yourself and don’t ignore your passions.

Why your company needs a “high potential” programme
August 5th 2014
A leadership development programme is an important weapon in the battle to retain talent. Identifying employees with high potential and giving them the opportunity to gain leadership skills not only boosts their engagement but also helps build an organisational succession plan. As participants move around the business, they develop understanding of other functions and build strong internal relationships, enabling them to lead the transformation of your business in the years to come, according to Director magazine.

What investors are looking for in a business pitch
August 4th 2014
When it comes to parting with their cash, investors want to see much more than a sound business plan. Ideas not only need to be unique but also appropriate to the potential backer’s values or mission. Your skills and personality, and the rapport you have with them are also essential, as is a demonstrable, long-term commitment to the idea. Investors told the BBC that a personal referral or recommendation from someone they trust is the most effective form of introduction.

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