Tag-Archive for ◊ technology ◊

• Friday, August 24th, 2012


When branding goes wrong, and what you can do about it

The blogosphere has been abuzz with Microsoft’s newly unveiled logo, which replaces the former visual image created twenty-five years ago. While reaction from technology experts and graphic designers has thus far has been mixed, the change brings to mind another logo that so outraged customers, that the resulting hullabaloo led to the company to revert back to the original branding image.

What does your logo represent?

Gap is a shining example of a #fail when it comes to designing a new logo. When the company launched the refurbished image in 2010, customers complained so much that the clothing company went back to “iconic blue box logo” in less than a week after unveiling the new one.

Updating the company logo can be risky if you do not consider loyal customers or followers’ perception of the new branding, and the message you intend to convey. So, how can you know if a new logo will positively resonate with your audience? There are no guarantees that the image will be positively received when it is altered, however, keep the following considerations in mind:


  1. The new logo should capture the essence of your company, organization, or event. If your company provides childcare, you may not want to have a tattooed rocker as your image (yes, it has happened). There are other creative ways to develop a logo that appeal to a younger, hip clientele, such as an image of a stylish mom pushing a European baby stroller, rather than the typical cartoon character.
  2. The final logo should reflect collaboration from internal and external constituents. A focus group to review the top logo choices before selection should include employees or consultants who work on your company’s marketing, customer service, R&D, and program delivery, as well as interns who often bring a fresh approach. Most important, your group should include a few customers who can provide great feedback and impressions of the message your potential new logo conveys.
  3. Engage a designer who is open to input, change, and takes direction well. Whether the graphic designer creating the logo is in-house or contracted, there should be a sense of give-and-take during the creative process. Regular discussion, flow of ideas, and edits to the creation before finalizing are essential.
  4. Make fun of it! Your company can poll customers and fans by asking them to vote on the logo they like best. The campaign, which does not take long to implement, can be posted on the company website, in an eNews alert, or on social media pages like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Your customers, fans, and followers can vote on the logo they like best, and allows the company’s team to monitor voting trends. Ultimately, the company should select the best logo to reflect the organization’s image, even if crowdsourcing suggests a different choice.

Talk back to us: What do you think about the new Microsoft logo? Do you have a success story about your new or re-designed logo, or is there a logo that you absolutely love? Let us know about by leaving a reply below.

© Copyright 2012 Ask The Strategist™

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DISCLAIMER: ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that addresses business, career, workplace and etiquette issues. Any advice dispensed by Ask The Strategist is purely for informational and entertainment purposes. Take the advice and opinions at your own risk – and betterment! Follow @KesiStribling or @CareerConnectDC on Twitter. Post your questions/email your conundrum/send your question via video to ask@ksgsc.com. All submissions become the property of Ask The Strategist. Names and other identifying information may be changed to protect the person asking for advice.

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• Saturday, July 14th, 2012

LifeLock shares tips on protecting your identity on The Strategy Sessions radio show ( 7/17/2012)


Computers affected globally by Malware Monday and 400,000 leaked Yahoo! passwords were the leading headlines over the past week.  Clicking on bogus websites, leaked email passwords, and stolen credit cards are some of the issues that can easily lead to identity theft.


Tami Nealy of LifeLock

On the next episode of The Strategy Sessions radio show, Tami Nealy , Senior Director of Corporate Communications for LifeLock, shares how listeners can protect their online identities and minimize damage if sensitive information is stolen, and highlights what listeners can do if their online or personal information has been compromised.

Tune into The Strategy Sessions radio show on Tuesday, July 17, 2012

LISTEN LIVE at 11:00 a.m. ET:



Questions for LifeLock?

Call into the show: (347) 539-5143

Email talkback@ksgsc.com

Tweet @KesiStribling

View Tami’s bio and get more LifeLock resources on our website at www.ksgsc.com/thestrategysessions.



A radio show featuring industry leaders who share tips and strategies on business, careers, travel, health, and more, The Strategy Sessions airs live on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 11:00 a.m. ET. Prior guests have included Internships.com; DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency; American Express OPEN; Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship; AAA; the National Urban League, CommonHealth ACTION, Dress for Success – Washington, DC; and, Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA). For more information, or to listen to archived radio shows, visit www.blogtalkradio.co/thestrategysessions.


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• Sunday, July 08th, 2012

Article Excerpt: The Washington Post hosts July job fairs


Washington Post hosts job fairs








The Washington Post will host two career fairs during the month of July in the Greater Washington, DC region for job seekers in targeted industries. For minimum requirements, or to pre-register and post your resume, visit the Washington Post job fairs home. Job seekers are asked to bring copies of their resumes to the fair.

Some of the featured participating employers include BioReliance, Community Connections, and Contact 1 Inc.

Read the entire article

Read more DC Workplace articles on Examiner.com


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• Monday, June 18th, 2012


The Strategy Sessions radio show on 6/19: Dan Berger of Social Tables talks all things events

Listen LIVE online: www.blogtalkradio.com/thestrategysessions

A recent study revealed that the average couple spends $20,000 planning their dream wedding – half of the median yearly salary for many brides and grooms. Events can be costly in money, time, and effort. Our guest, Dan Berger of Social Tables, shares strategies on planning your special event, including corporate functions and reunions, with ease and style, in the most cost effective manner.

Social Tables founder at The Running of the Brides

Social Tables is an interactive online resource that enables users to manage guest lists, assign seating, share updates via social networks, and develop group categories. Featured in The Washington Post, Real Simple magazine, and Inc., Social Tables is the go-to resource for any special event. Kesi Stribling, host of The Strategy Sessions radio show, talks with Berger about how to plan a stellar event that leaves a lasting impression.

Social Tables online resource for any event

Questions for Dan? Ask him about all things events!
Call into the show: (347) 539-5143
Email talkback@ksgsc.com
Tweet @KesiStribling
Hashtag #TheStrategySessions on Twitter
View Dan’s bio and online resources on www.ksgsc.com/thestrategysessions.


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• Friday, April 27th, 2012


Show sponsor: Career Connect USA

The Strategy Sessions Radio Show on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 11:00 a.m. ET

The Strategy Sessions is pleased to welcome guests Julie Kantor, NFTE, and Thurman Jones, Patriots Technology Training Center on May 1, 2012 to discuss what their organizations are doing to create opportunities for youth in the Washington, DC area.

Julie Kantor, NFTE

Julie Kantor, Executive Director of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship in Washington, DC, talks about the organization’s upcoming Dare to Dream Gala, which will recognize two youth honorees Khaled Khalifa and Jordan Brooks; veteran entrepreneur and CEO of iStrategyLabs Peter Corbett, and DC Teacher of the Year Maureen Naughton of Wakefield High School. Event supporters include E*TRADE, Microsoft: Geek to Chic, and Capital One Bank.

The show’s second guest, Thurman Jones, is the founder of Patriots Technology Training Center in Prince George’s County, MD, which will host their 15th Annual Youth Summit at Bowie State University. Jones will discuss the upcoming event, anticipated to draw almost 1,000 young people interested in STEM careers and sponsors such as Pepco, BAE Systems, and the United States Department of Defense.


Connect with The Strategy Sessions Radio Show

CALL-IN with questions: (347) 539-5143
EMAIL questions to talkback@ksgsc.com
TWEET questions @KesiStribling

Click here to LISTEN LIVE TO THE SHOW ONLINE on Tuesday, 5/1 at 11:00 a.m. ET

Thurman Jones, Patriots

ABOUT THE STRATEGY SESSIONS Featuring industry leaders and notables who share tips and strategies on business, careers, travel, health, and more, The Strategy Sessions radio show airs live on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 11am ET. Guests have included Robin Richards, CEO of Internships.com; Millicent West, Director of the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency; Glen MacDonnell of AAA; David Sheppard, Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS; and, Dr. Valerie Wilson, Vice President of the National Urban League Policy Institute. Visit the site to download previous shows/podcasts on iTunes.

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• Thursday, August 25th, 2011


Apple names former COO Tim Cook as top leader (photo: official Apple portrait)

What Steve Jobs’ resignation letter reminds company leaders to do

Although Steve Jobs’ seemingly sudden departure yesterday as Apple’s CEO comes as no surprise to technologists and business leaders who have been following Jobs’ health concerns, his announcement continues to leave the global technology world reeling.

Steve Jobs’ resignation letter: “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and   expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come. I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee. As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple. I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are   ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role. I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.”

The part of Steve Jobs’ resignation that is most striking to me is not the declaration of his intention to resign from his current position. I am fascinated by the immediate launch of the succession plan the company already had in place, in case of emergency, such as the departure of its Chief Executive Officer – former Chief Operating Officer at the company, Tim Cook is already listed on Apple’s website as CEO. Whether it is a health issue, corporate restructuring, or merger and acquisition, the succession plan, if constructed and implemented well, causes minimal disruption to the flow of business. A company like Apple, as the unarguable leader in global technology with the iPad, the iPhone, and iPod, cannot afford the perception of an unstable entity – there are billions of dollars in sales and stocks riding on the organization’s smooth transition.

But, how many companies or smaller nonprofit organizations have taken the proverbial bull by the horns and sketched out a workable succession plan before a major event or upheaval?

By definition, a succession plan encompasses the process for identifying current employees to fill key leadership roles in the event that there becomes a vacancy. The executed plan minimizes a lag in leadership, allays employee worries about corporate uncertainty in the midst of transition, and provides as little disruption to the production of goods and services at an organization as possible.

 Following are key issues to consider when developing a succession plan that we have used to aid clients in this daunting task:


Elements of a succession plan

  • Identify potential scenarios that would require the execution and implementation of a succession plan, such as funding changes, death, illness, corporate reorganization, merger or acquisition, physical move
  • Start with internal areas/departments that are most immediately affected by sudden change in the organization, including the executive level of leadership, customer service, human resources, program management, and fundraising
  • Assess employee knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) required to successfully handle the position, including technical skills, fiduciary and budgeting skills, knowledge of foreign languages, exercise sound judgment, and oral and written communication skills
  • Consult with department heads and employees to develop a list of individuals with promising leadership ability, their skill sets, and performance highlights to begin developing a list of potential employees to fill key roles
  • Engage the Board of Directors or Advisory Board and allow them to participate, as appropriate, in the succession planning process
  • Review your organization’s training programs and ensure that there is a methodology to capture employees’ KSAs, document them for future reference, and use them in the succession planning process
  • Conduct scenarios that enable selected staff to demonstrate skills and make critical decisions prior to transition into a new role, including managing projects, developing complex budgets and forecasts, employee supervision, and organizing a press conference
  • Document employees, their strengths, KSAs, and feedback from staff about the prospective leaders in a company database so that it can be referred to as needed to identify internal talent
  • Include a standard operating procedure (SOP) in the succession plan, so that if the plan needs to be implemented for a division with little warning, there is a step-by-step guide for selecting the employee, transitioning that person, and acclimating him to the new role

While these elements of a succession plan are not exhaustive, they will help get your organization started on the right track when developing or tweaking the plan. The most important thing to remember is that once the succession plan is cultivated, it should be available to all leadership within a company, and updated as needed.

Does your company have an outstanding succession plan? Leave a reply below to tell us about it.

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