We might as well admit it: we hate working in a team. Years ago when we still worked at corporate, wed shrink in dismay at being assigned to a team to make certain changes in a policy or in a process. Our first reaction was always, another traffic congestion in the making. To us, team work was synonymous to excessive yak-yak-yak, delays, unnecessary activity and frequent meetings with no meeting of the minds.Were sure were not the only ones who feel this way. Our dislike for team work was confirmed when we were downsized over two years ago. Instead of looking for another job, we decided to go it solo. Friends and family warned us of the dangers of being a solitary worker.You know something? We proved them wrong. Solitary work was our passport to happiness. Perhaps its the nature of our work, we dont know. But one thing was clear: going back to the workforce only to work in teams was out of the question. Its been over two years and there are certainly no regrets.Caveat: whats right for us may not be right for others. Team work is still a value cherished by companies. Team work is a virtue and it does generate benefits. Team work brings out the best in people; it also serves as a filtering process for great and mediocre ideas. The idea behind team work is to combine the thinking and experiences of others and to fuel motivation and initiative.Theres strength in numbers, so the saying goes. So for those of you who like working in teams to carry out change, what makes for good team work?Hail to the Chief!The one thing that team leaders must be careful about is to NOT let teams waste time and resources. To do that, these measures are essential 1.Lets be specific its fine to do a song and dance about goals and objectives but if theyre too general, they run the risk of being unattainable or unrealistic. A bad goal is: lets cut costs on the factory floor. A good goal is: monitoring of expenses on the factory floor reveals that 23% of raw materials are wasted. Lets cut that down to 15% in three months.2.Lets share the wealth when team members agree to work on a project, they like to think that their efforts will be recognized and properly compensated for. This is true especially when workers are asked to take on additional work by sitting in a specially-formed committee and are still expected to do their own work with no decrease in productivity levels. While you cant promise fat bonuses or perks, assure team members that there are rewards waiting for those who contribute to the group effort.3.Lets get some division of labor going the role of team leader is obvious enough. A leader leads, supervises, and accepts responsibility for progress. What about the members? A structure it doesnt have to be an org chart and a definition and assignment of roles are required. Who will take care of monitoring factory workers, who will inspect raw materials, who will look after machine maintenance, who will do the statistical analysis of idle machine-worker times?4.Lets get on board the time capsule the team leader must be firm about performance levels. He or she should state at the outset what minimum level of performance will be acceptable. How team members will interact with each other should also be described. What measuring tools will be employed to gauge success? And what are our target completion dates?5.Lets find out whats going on - keeping everyone in the loop about the project is indispensable. Clear communications at all times is vital. No one should withhold information. Accomplishments must be shared. Also, credit must be given to where its due. Make sure everyone understands the meaning of intellectual honesty.Eliminate DeadwoodWe said earlier that the purpose of a team is to filter good ideas from bad and to draw upon the experiences of others so that the learning curve for less experienced members is not steep. It can happen that one member will stick out like a sore thumb, be uncooperative, disruptive and be an irritant to other members. Non-performers are found everywhere. The team leader must immediately eliminate members who are draining the teams resources and taxing the patience of team members.By eliminating the deadwoods, we are sending a clear message to the group about the values that are cherished and behavior that wont be tolerated at any cost.
Abstract: This article elucidates the rules of presentation visual design that, if heeded, will almost always assure that your audiences will be able to follow your ideas every step of the way. Of course, you must keep in mind that visual design is only one-third of the package required for a successful presentation, the other two being content and delivery. Like a fine dining experience that requires equal parts food, service and atmosphere to really work, the visual design part of the presentation process is every bit as necessary as the others to achieve the desired result in this case, true knowledge transfer. So without further ado: 7. Maintain paragraph integrity. First, all 1st Level Paragraph text must be the same size in every slide. Likewise, all 2nd Level Paragraph text must be smaller and of a different color. Lastly, dont go beyond the 3rd Level, and this text should not be smaller than 20 points. If all information of the same importance is of the same size throughout your presentation, your audience wont be raising question marks as to just how important this information is with each click of the slide. Take this concept one step further by ensuring that all material of the same nature is the same color. If, for instance, you use a lot of numbers in your bullet points, make them all one color, different from the text. Once your audience recognizes this pattern, theyll spend less time digging through the text to find their figures. 6. No boring fonts. Rarely is there a need to use more than two different fonts in any presentation. However, there is a HUGE need to use any two fonts other than the PowerPoint defaults Times New Roman and Arial! The problem is that because everybody else uses these two fonts 99% of the time, if yours is the fifth presentation your audience is seeing that day, pretty soon all the text starts to look the same, and you lose much of your meaning and impact. We often hear from clients who have to sit through presentations themselves that after a while, they cant remember which vendor said what it all becomes a big blur. Make sure youre not part of the blur. 5. Use proper builds. Without a sense of good design, which in most cases means simply showing restraint, animations can quickly overwhelm an otherwise well laid-out presentation. The trick then is to introduce concepts one at a time in a way that doesnt draw more attention than the concepts themselves. Builds are essential elements in turning slides that would otherwise have TMI into ones that audiences can follow; but like other elements of good design, a proper build should never announce itself. Rather, a well animated presentation should simply appear to happen, without a clue as to why it seems so easy to follow. 4. Be colorful - Light on dark. Watch much black-and-white television these days? Although black-and-white works as an art form in many ways, humans tend to like color. Even old-guard newspapers like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal finally concluded that to avoid losing readers to more modern media, they had to go to color. While humans can discern a dozen or so shades of gray, they can see millions of different colors. Weve evolved to use our sense of color to survive help your audiences survive your presentation by not blinding them with black on white. 3. Less is More. This rule is central to good presentation design, but absolutely essential for graphs or charts. We often see pie charts come across our review desk with over a dozen slices, many so small they need to be annotated with lines and arrows far from the graph itself. Do you really think anyone will remember all 25 competing products in your market and their percentage share? Might be good information for a handout, but in a presentation few people can absorb more than six elements in any graph. You make your point much more effectively when you limit your displayed data to the stuff the audience is likely to remember. Less information becomes more retention of the stuff you really want them to go home with. 2. One concept per visual. Heres another really common problem we see in the majority of business presentations, and the solution flows from rule number 3. When more than one concept appear at the same time, your audience not only tries to figure out the concepts, they also try to determine which one deserves most of their attention, how the two or more are related, whether one is the right one or the good one, and so on and so forth all having nothing to do with your actual message itself. This extra time and effort acts as a drag on presentation flow, and explains why a 45-slide presentation, properly broken down into one concept per, takes less time to present than the same information packed into 15. 1. Favor Right-Brain information. We humans have evolved with two different ways to deal with stimuli from the outside world so that we can react to it in the way most likely to keep us alive. Our right brain reacts to input such as colors, graphics, shapes and patterns instantly, without stopping to process the information first. Our left brain kicks in when presented with speech, text or numbers; however with this kind of information we first pause to analyze it before storing or reacting to it. We have filters on the left side on the brain, and not everything gets through. If you want your ideas to strike fast and be readily absorbed, then every time you can, figure out how to turn your left-brain type data into shapely and colorful right-brain images.
In the mid-1990s, coal was not king, but today, it may be taking back its throne. Back then, natural gas was at center stage as the preferred energy source of environmentally conscious Americans everywhere.But in 1998, a slight, yet significant, change occurred. According to a U.S. Department of Energy study, "The trend towards reduced levels of consumer coal stocks was reversed." This change coupled with continuing low prices for coal brought it back to the forefront, revitalizing the coal industry to this day.For example, more than half of America's electricity is now generated from coal. Coal mines that had been shut down in the 1990s are reopening, and former workers are going back to the mines and getting back to work.America has a lot of coal to be mined. With 274 billion tons of recoverable reserves, coal is 39 times more abundant than natural gas and 54 times more abundant than oil.Coal is also becoming safer for the environment. Because of efforts by the coal-based electricity industry, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions have dropped.The most recent study on these emissions shows that between 1980 and 2001, the sulfur dioxide emission rate dropped 38 percent, and the nitrogen oxide emission rate dropped 32 percent.The largest source of electricity in the United States, electricity from coal is crucial to America's energy present and future. Quest Minerals and Mining Corp. (OTC BB: QMMG.OB), is playing a major role in the future of the coal industry. Quest acquires and reopens properties in the southeastern United States that produce coal in compliance with Clean Air Act requirements.Quest recently announced that it has signed and closed its acquisition of Gwenco Inc., through which it gains more than 700 acres of coal leases with almost 13 million tons of coal in place in six seams. Quest plans to reopen two of Gwenco's former drift mines and begin commercial coal production. Coal produced at these mines will be sold to public utility companies in Kentucky and Ohio.
People are more likely to read news than ads that is! They are thinking that ads are just a bunch of self-serving puffing so they divert to a more interesting activity and that is reading news. News keeps them updated with the current events, ads dont. In addition, they are not interested in reading purely marketing pitches. That is the reason why newsletters are a hit! Newsletters are informative letters mailed to subscribers. They are printed and mailed so as to inform and to profit as well. Quality and reliable newsletter printing services is thus, a must in order to come up with valuable work of art. Moreover, a good interaction and mutual purpose to succeed must be the goal of both the printing company and the customers. This goal will lead to persuasion. Persuasion will then result to an intimate contact and trust between the company and the target recipients. These elements will trigger the boost in your business sales. Newsletter printing services is a great way to keep your business associates, their employees and other subscribers aware of your companys endeavors, announcements, innovations and other changes. Printing options are ample color printing, digital printing, offset printing and the likes. These printing processes are of high-quality and budget-wise. Features like graphic and custom design can also be availed of. With these features you can make your newsletters flashy and eye-catching. With the latter, you can personalize by using your own images, logos and pictures. That way your company will be identifiable and retention will likely to take place. Further, when they decide to purchase or subscribe, your product or service will be on top of the list. Newsletter printing services also suggest having 90-95% news or content and only 10-5% ads so as not to bore the readers and close the pages to your business detriment. Do not forget to edit and proofread your contents. Any flaw or defect will reflect on your company. Editing and revision will surely improve the quality of your newsletter. To be more economical, you can opt for a one or two-color newsletter which measures 8.5 x 11 page-size saddle-stitched. Also use quality paper to complement the content and to give your newsletter an aura of finesse and an air of class. When you find it troublesome in various newsletter phases, seek assistance from the printing experts. Basically, newsletter printing services are backed up by skilled professional makers to assist customers in the complex environment of printing.
Recently, the 50 year financings enters the market with a bang. It all started on San Bernardino of Southern California. Now, a handful of mortgage lenders offer this mortgage option. It is merely a few cycles after the re-incarnation of 40 year mortgage. The 40 year financial debuts available the 1980s.Due the soaring piece of real estate prices, there were demands for longer mortgage. The house prices went up so excessive at Southern California. Consequently, the above average house prices stop the American dream. We all want to own something called home in our lifetime. So, the cash-strapped structure buyer wants to opt for longer mortgage. In fact, mortgage lenders get oodles of phone enquiries about 50 year mortgage.The "50 year mortgage" permits another loan to sole mortgage, and adjustable rate mortgage. During the astronomical house prices time, the cash-strapped home buyers opt for interest only mortgage, or adjustable market value mortgage. Naturally, the mortgage payment is lower covet the interest easily mortgage, or adjustable rate mortgage.In loan clearly mortgage, the home owner only pays the interest. The principal stays the same thru out the life of the mortgage. In adjustable rate mortgage, the home owner pays same funding payment on a regular basis. Some part of adjustable rate funding payment goes to pay out the principal. In specific instances, adjustable rate mortgage payment does not cover payment on principal. This is greater number of commonly known as negative amortization. This happens when the interest rate goes up.The home owners still step ups home equity. This is the main advantage of 50 year mortgage over the interest only mortgage and adjustable point mortgage. However, the home owner gains a larger amount of home equity quicker with shorter term mortgage. Not to mention, the home owner pays more interest at the maturity of the mortgage.Mortgage bankers actually prefer a shorter mortgage like 15 year mortgage. Generally, the longer go mortgage has more odds which the residence owner will be in financial trouble. Fifty percent of the first-time home buyers are on 30 years old or older. The mortgage matures around at the age of 80 years old. That is for a long while after the likely retirement age.50 year mortgage is riskier kind of financings to mortgage lenders. So, the bankrolling mortgage servicers would usually charge a higher interest rate. Even although the mortgage lenders charges ideal interest rate, the financing payments are in reality lower as opposed to shorter strive mortgage.The residential structure households can opt to buy higher priced home with 50 year mortgage. Or, the home buyers can save or invest the money of savings of the lower mortgage payments. This may be a even greater idea for unstable structure rate when there is a chances for homes to depreciate.