One more day to Octoberfirst!

Published September 30, 2014 by Mayr Berry

Horizon Octoberfirst

Join the fun at Media Magic Digital Publishing tomorrow and help us welcome the Fall Season with our Octoberfirst celebration! For one day only, these four titles will be available as complimentary copies on amazon.com!

For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

Media Magic Publishing.

Technology Tools and Communication Management

Published September 29, 2014 by Mayr Berry

iPhone 6

If you are excited about the release of the new iPhone 6 you are in a unique group of consumers, who like me, geek-out at upgraded gadgets! The downside of innovations like this in today’s society is that technology has changed the way we interact and communicate with one another. In my eBook, Breaching Communication Barriers (2013), also available in audiobook format, my research work revealed that transmitting information can easily be misinterpreted without having access to observe components like nonverbal cues (Berry, 2013). Furthermore, although many of us speak the English language fluently, that does not always mean we will receive a message accurately. A woman from Aberdeen, Scotland, for instance, may encounter a level of difficulty communicating with someone from Queens, New York that has a thick Brooklyn dialect, or vice-versa.

farmers market

Sometimes we are not even aware communication barriers exist until we make an attempt to transmit a message. For example, I resided in Central Virginia years ago. One morning we stopped at a local Farmer’s market and began to converse with one of the local vendors. As we were getting acquainted with him, he looked at me and with a very thick Southern drawl, said, “Could you repeat that? I didn’t understand. You have an accent!”

confused

This was quite a shocking statement coming from a gentleman that was speaking to me with a thick Southern dialect! I was intrigued by his comment because clearly in my mind, it was he that spoke with the thick accent typical of a Southern gentleman.

Southern couple

“What kind of an accent do I have?” I politely asked him.

“Why you talk like them folks on the TV,” he instantly responded.

talking heads

Silently I thought how happy I was that the performance and diction training I received from my Bachelor’s degree in theater had not been in vain! In reality however, what this situation helped me understand more clearly was that having an accent is a matter of interpretation. To the southern gentleman, I was the one with the strange dialect. Needless to say, I was now residing in a region that created an opportunity for me as a performer to study and learn the wonderful dialects of the Central Virginia region.

nonverbal cues

In summary, communicating can become a challenge not only from the absence of nonverbal cues, but the gentleman in Central Virginia taught me that speech patterns, dialects, and local colloquialisms can make the communication process a bit exciting if you can maintain a light-hearted attitude about it. In the meantime, as many age and begin to experience hearing impairment issues transmitting messages can become even more challenging … but that’s another conversation altogether.

That wraps things up for this post. We will continue with our discussion on communication comedy next time. Until then … stay organized!

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“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw

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autumn mist octoberfirst

Hey everyone don’t forget for one day only, this Wednesday, October 1st, complimentary copies of Mayr’s titles will be available on amazon.com! For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

Media Magic Publishing.

References:

Berry, M. A. (2013). Breaching Communication Barriers (Vol. 2). (C. Angela, Ed.) USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

 

Strategies of the DreamWorks Dream Team

Published September 26, 2014 by Mayr Berry

dreamworks team oil

Successful leaders use corporate strategic management to help them determine the navigational course for their firm. They also include other organizational tactics that focus on functional and competitive components. These elements provide a means for making sure the company can achieve its goals. In my ebook, The Value of Corporate Strategic Management (2014) my research work provides insights to some of these strategies and examines the methods top performers implement to run their organizations more efficiently (Berry, 2014).

On Wednesday’s post we began taking a closer look at one of the most significant dream teams to emerge in the entertainment industry when Jeffrey Katzenberg joined forces with two other world-class creative geniuses, film industry giant Steven Spielberg, and music industry mogul David Geffen, to create the DreamWorks Company (DWC). As a team, they produced a variety of highly acclaimed films including Academy Award winners A Beautiful Mind and Gladiator.

gladiator oil small

Prior to the DWC collaboration, Katzenberg was chairman at the Disney Studios when they produced the blockbuster films The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Lion King and the first animated feature film that earned an Oscar nomination for best picture – Beauty and the Beast. Before that, Katzenberg was president at Paramount Pictures where he was involved with such mega hits as Grease, Saturday Night Fever and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Incorporating a strategy that included world-class creative talent, DreamWorks included in their corporate culture other experienced top performers and as a result developed a powerful management team — one that shows how much they support and value their employees by cultivating a work climate which includes fresh-juice trucks that visit the studio facility daily distributing free smoothies to staff members.

Tortas Madagascar 3

Another organizational strategy incorporated by the DreamWorks Animation (DWA) management team, is allocating stipends for employees to personalize their workstations. Plus, they regularly organize entertaining family events to support their projects. For example, when the third installment of the Madagascar movie series wrapped, the company had a Banana Splats party featuring the animators’ outtakes. These are some of the functional strategies that contribute to making the organization an exciting place to work at.

In addition, the company employs 2181 people; this figure reflects a job growth rate of 13% from the previous year by adding 32 new positions in the firm. The company also reveals an equal opportunity strategy in that 25% of their staff consists of minorities and 30% are women. Plus, the firm provides benefits that include some of the following perks: (a) paid sabbaticals, (b) an on-site fitness center, (c) subsidized gym memberships, (d) job sharing programs, compressed workweeks, and telecommuting; (e) nondiscrimination policies that include sexual orientation, and (f) they offer domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples (100 best companies to work for, 2013). These are a few effective management strategies that keep the employees motivated and excited about their jobs. Other companies can learn from these tactics because when staff members feel important and relevant, that firm becomes more valuable as well. Furthermore, employees are naturally enthusiastic, happy to offer their loyalty, and are most likely to perform at higher levels.

3d-Aniamtion-2

Another significant component DWA utilizes that gives them the competitive edge, is their advanced film-making techniques with innovative technologies. Mary Coulter (2010) advises that a company’s capabilities assessment profile can be identified by conducting a thorough analysis of the functional strategies. This is what distinguishes them from their competitors as well as how effective the firm is at developing and leveraging their abilities (Coulter, 2010). For example, DWA states clearly on their website that they always try to do things that no one has ever done before. This includes the inclusion of the latest technology that allows directors and animators to bring their ideas and whatever else they can imagine to life.

In addition, the firm nurtures the creative staff by cultivating a climate that offers them support. This helps motivate team members to create more vibrant and interesting characters like Shrek and Toothless, the lovable pet-like dragon that dwells in the lush new world created in the hit feature film, How to Train Your Dragon. With a sophisticated animation process, their intent is to provide heart warming storytelling while offering high quality entertainment on a global level (Company, 2014). In doing so, they have created an organization that is considered a people place – one that encourages everyone alike to contribute equally where they are supported both technologically and creatively.

How_To_Train_Your_Dragon_by_pinali

In short, at the heart of DWA is a unique selling point based on the basic desire to tell great stories that inspire audiences. In the article, 15 years of DreamWorks Animation and its Complicated Legacy, Mendelson (2013) revealed that in 1994, Spielberg, Geffen and Katzenberg co-founded DWA after Katzenberg left the Disney regime due to power struggles with Disney chief, Michael Eisner (Mendelson, 2013). In reality, the split provided an opportunity to create a new entity that would forever change the animation industry. They celebrated their 15 year anniversary and continue to prove that they have not only been able to stand up to their main competitors at the Disney studio, they have clearly given them a run for their money.

In summary, by branching off and creating DWA, Katzenberg, developed a corporation that not only encourages employees to participate in the innovative and creative process the team also cultivated an atmosphere that inspires employees to have fun in the process. These are a few of the strategic ingredients which provide the functional capabilities that keep the DreamWorks Animation Corporation on the list of the best 100 companies to work at.

Well, that wrap’s things up for this week. Have a great weekend everyone … and stay organized!

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The underlying principles of strategy are enduring, regardless of technology or the pace of change. – Michael Porter

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Red Tree Octoberfirst

For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

Media Magic Publishing.

References:

100 best comanpies to work for. (2013). Retrieved January 28, 2014, from money.cnn.com: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2010/snapshots/6.html

Company. (2014). Retrieved January 28, 2014, from Dreamworksanimatin.com: http://www.dreamworksanimation.com/company

Coulter, M. (2010). Strategic management in action (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Mendelson, S. (2013, October 02). 15 years of DreamWorks Animation and its complicated legacy. Retrieved January 28, 2014, from forbes.com: http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2013/10/02/15-years-of-dreamworks-animation-and-its-complicated-legacy/

Octoberfirst Celebrations!

Published September 25, 2014 by Mayr Berry

Red Horizon OctoberfirstHey everyone! Come celebrate October with Media Magic Digital Publishing! For one day only these titles will be available at no charge on amazon.com!

For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

Media Magic Publishing.

Using Strategic Management to Spot Strengths and Weaknesses

Published September 24, 2014 by Mayr Berry

know-your-strengths-and-weaknesses-when-choosing-a-college-degree

Leaders that want to reach successful outcomes know that a clear plan to help them navigate that route is a smart choice to achieve organizational goals. However, many leaders make the mistake of relying on their instincts alone to guide their company when they run into unforeseen obstacles. In my ebook, The Value of Corporate Strategic Management (2014) my research work examines more closely some of the strategies that Fortune 500 companies implement to manage their successful organizations as well as maintain their competitive edge (Berry, 2014).

marketanalysis

Top performing leaders also acknowledge the importance of an organizational analysis to help them identify a company’s strengths and weaknesses. For example, in her book, How to Conduct Internal Investigations, Natalie Ivey (2013) points out that asking the right questions can help reveal dysfunctional organizational behavior so that systems can be developed to address them as well as avoid them in the future (Ivey, 2013). Asking a question like, “Who does what and by when?” for instance, is an important inquiry in this type of situation, because management can determine employee behavior patterns and how well they interact with each other by the manner in which they respond.

postive outcomes

In the meantime, in her book, Strategic Management in Action, Mary Coulter (2010) purports that in order to develop effective strategic management plans, it is imperative that the decision makers have a firm grasp on what the organization does well, in addition to what assets and resources are available, to how well they are being utilized (Coulter, 2010). In short, the more focused the questions are, the more effective the responses will be. For instance, posing a question like, “Will you help me?” transmits a message that some needs assistance. However, asking a more directed question like “Are departmental accountabilities clear and are they reviewed frequently?” communicates that a more focused reply is required.

Supervisor-Training-tip-Be-firm-then-flexible

The bottom line is that an organizational analysis should reveal significant functional and dysfunctional issues like: (a) are supervisors effective in enforcing organizational policies, (b) can they spot workforce problems that are unmanageable, (c) are there political interference issues, (d) is the organizational efficient in recognizing and responding to complaints or other challenges, (e) does the organization have the ability to handle disciplinary action without stepping on legal landmines, and (f) are they able to gather information and separate fact from fiction accurately?  By formulating the right questions, leaders can conduct a more comprehensive and thorough analysis that will provide them the sufficient data to help them devise more effective systems to reach organizational goals.

dreamworks oil

DreamWorks Animation SKG (DWA) is one of my favorite companies because of the way they repeatedly touch my heart with great storytelling abilities that are delivered in their high quality animated films. These include industry franchise giants like Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, and How To Train Your Dragon with the latter two having successfully launched into popular television series.

The company takes pride that they have been listed on the best 100 firms to work for by Fortune Magazine for five consecutive years. In 2010 they were ranked number 6, and have been bumped to number 12 because of entries like Google, Quicken, and Intuit. Their high ranking status for the last five years is evidence that the firm has a well-organized system of functional strategies. A closer look reveals that some of these strategies include: (a) world-class creative talent spearheaded by CEO and Co-Founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, (b) a strong and experienced management team, and (c) the firm’s ability to utilize resources that include advanced film-making technologies that incorporate innovative techniques (Company, 2014). This strategic management plan helped the company develop their distinctive organizational capabilities and in doing so have made it difficult for competitors to keep up. In other words, their functional strategies include an intricate assortment of knowledge and skills that is unique to their organization.

On Friday, we will wrap up our discussion on strategic management by taking a closer look at the types of functional strategies that are used at the DreamWorks Company and what other firms can learn from the management plans being utilized there. Until then … stay organized!

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Good leaders need a positive agenda, not just an agenda of dealing with crisis. – Michael Porter

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Value Titles Ad

For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

Media Magic Publishing.

References:

Berry, M. A. (2014). The Value of Strategic Management. USA: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Company. (2014). Retrieved January 28, 2014, from Dreamworksanimatin.com: http://www.dreamworksanimation.com/company

Coulter, M. (2010). Strategic management in action (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Ivey, N. (2013). How to conduct internal investigations. Boca Raton, FL: CreateSpace Publishing.

Set the Date for the Octoberfirst Celebration!

Published September 23, 2014 by Mayr Berry

Octoberfirst ad

Set the date and come celebrate October with Media Magic Digital Publishing! For one day only, all eBook titles will be available at no charge on amazon.com!

For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

Media Magic Publishing.

Asking the Right Questions

Published September 22, 2014 by Mayr Berry

questions

Asking the right questions is an important component in the strategic decision making process.  In my ebook, The Value of Corporate Strategic Management (2014) I provided insights to effective leadership skills and examine more closely strategies that top performers implement to manage an organization more efficiently (Berry, 2014). For example, to help them devise the most effective strategic plans, leaders contemplate some of the following common questions that might be useful in the planning process:

  • How can we do that (don’t ask “Why can’t we do that?”)?
  • How else can we do that?  What else could we do?
  • Will you help me? What else could we do?
  • Who, what, why, where, when, and how much?
  • Who will do what and by when?

Conducting an analysis is important because it helps determine whether the functioning processes of an organization are operating efficiently. Ivey (2013) explains that by asking the right questions, managers can help identify root causes that affect employee outcomes. For example, are the issues that staff members face based on cultural or generational factors? Determining the answer can provide insights on how employees interact with one another (Ivey, 2013). In other words, by conducting an analysis, leaders are in a better position to diagnose a problem. The first step in this process is to gather information to determine the challenges as a means to better comprehend concerns and identify potential opportunities or threats. Asking the right question is a significant skill that can be extremely helpful in conducting an analysis because it gives the decision makers the opportunity to discuss their concerns and develop a collaborative effort on how to devise effective strategies to improve performances and outcomes.

questioning

Asking questions like, “How can we do that?” or “How else can we do that?” are excellent questions to begin the process, however, as these kinds of questions are more general, they do not address specific topics like whether supervisors are achieving their goals or whether employees are engaged in high performances. In their book, Corporate Internal Investigations, Kramer and Lomas (2013) suggest that it is important for leaders to begin the internal analysis process by devising one single point of management control to prevent output chaos or derive at conclusions that are not reliable or credible. In addition, the analysis process should include a strong commitment from the highest level in the organization, supported by the appropriate authorities and provide terms that are plain and concise. This can serve to help dissuade any possibility of misconduct or undermining the investigation process (Kramer & Lomas, 2013).  These components can serve to help establish the integrity of the analysis process. In addition, conducting an organizational analysis can cause staffers anxiety where they become fearful of losing their jobs so, it should be managed in a way that does not interfere with daily operations or create an atmosphere of distress.

On Wednesday, we will take a closer look at how organizational analyses are used as a strategy to identify a company’s strengths and weaknesses. Until then … stay organized!

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Strategy must have continuity. It can’t be constantly reinvented. – Michael Porter

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acelerated learning ebboks ad Aug 2014

For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

Media Magic Publishing.

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References:

Berry, M. A. (2014). The Value of Strategic Management. USA: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Ivey, N. (2013). How to conduct internal investigations. Boca Raton, FL: CreateSpace Publishing.

Kramer, D., & Lomas, P. (2013). Corporate internal investigations (2nd ed.). Croydon, England, Great Britain: CPI Group (UK) Ltd.

 

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