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Storytelling: It’s an Experience

August 27, 2014

got time for a story“Got time for a story?” My friend and former boss, Barb… Wait, no one ever really stops working for Barb. She loves to use that line and she tells a great story. Once, when I did work for her, We were struggling with a Powerpoint deck for a big presentation she was giving. Finally, she said, “ditch the Powerpoint.” Smart girl. She presented with no slides and no props. She stood in front of the audience and told them a story. She captured them and held their attention. It was a great lesson for me.

Yesterday I wrote about our 1 in one hundred million storytelling campaign, and earlier this month User Experience (UX) design was the topic. Today they come together in an article in UX Magazine by Marc Cajolet (of Kronos), Sarah Bloomer, and Alexandra Stevens about how Kronos is using “User Narratives” in “a major new initiative to accelerate into the cloud-based market.” I love this part:

“…the UX team was tasked with evaluating and evolving many of Kronos’s previously held assumptions about their products and users. Rather than using existing products and well-documented solutions as the starting point, the team wanted to start from scratch and encourage new thinking.”

Check out the article, but first take a minute to listen to Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, explain the user narrative.

“Everyday Raconteurs” bring the workplace alive

August 26, 2014

1 in 100000000(Play)Joyce loves the Moth Radio Hour. I do too, but I’m not the avid listener she is. Last fall she took me to a live performance of The Moth in Boston for my birthday. I love storytelling, and the dead silence of the theater between words was achieved without anyone asking. The stories were raw, funny, heartbreaking, and all demanded attention. Storytelling is art. When the Moth Radio Hour won a Peabody Award in 2010, the judges wrote “Storytelling, likely the oldest art, is revered and reinvigorated by this hour for everyday raconteurs.” As a padawan raconteur , I’m thrilled to learn we’re working with Lea Thau, Executive and Creative Director of The Moth from 2001 to 2010, and creator of The Moth Radio Hour, for which she won… yeah, a 2010 Peabody Award as Director, Producer and Co-host.

Wow.

Working with Director and Executive Producer Alan Chebot (he’s only won 5 Emmys), Ms. Thau will interview “the people who do the many important and too-often unrecognized jobs we all rely on…” The 1 in one hundred million.

Here’s our first story. Meet Chris Merrick, a 34 year veteran firefighter. This is so cool…

Are You a Social Employee? Why not?

August 25, 2014

For someone that hates the term “personal brand,” I spend considerable time engaged in activities that are supposed to build it. The thing I loathe about the term is the inauthenticity of it. [Right now I sense (Play)Joyce rolling her eyes and thinking, “here he goes getting all righteous again.”] Sorry, phoniness irritates me. Why can’t we just be decent human beings, treat each other with mutual respect, and do our jobs? Aren’t those the traits of a solid professional brand? Anyway, the activities I mentioned are as an employee advocate, or “activist” as Karen Higginbottom defines in Forbes:

“an individual who draws visibility to their workplace, defends their employers from criticism and act as advocates, both online and off.”

I blog, therefore I am… a social employee. I then use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google +, and even Pinterest to “act as an advocate” for Kronos. Why don’t more of my co-workers use their social channels to advocate for Kronos? Employee advocacy is so powerful, and we have incredibly high employee satisfaction and engagement! I don’t get it. In the Tedx talk by Mark Burgess, President of Blue Focus Marketing below, he cites a Nielsen study that shows ‘nearly 90 percent of people don’t trust corporate pitches, but anywhere from 78 to 92 percent of people trust “earned media,” or peer recommendations and word-of-mouth through social channels.’ He also depicts the benefits of employee advocacy for employers and employees. There’s one benefit that really jumped out at me for employees:

“Employability”

Where in the World is Kronos?

August 22, 2014

I’ll bet you didn’t know Kronos helps thousands of customers control labor costsminimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity in over 100 countries

Click this map to find Kronos in your area.
Cliquez sur cette carte pour trouver Kronos dans votre région.
Haga clic en este mapa para encontrar Kronos en su área.
Clique neste mapa para encontrar Kronos em sua área.
Klik op deze kaart om Kronos vinden in uw regio.
Klicken Sie auf diese Karte, um Kronos in Ihrer Nähe zu finden.
点击这个地图,找到克罗诺斯在您的区域。

فوق هذا الخريطة لتجد كرونوس في منطقتك.

Kronos Global

 

And now you know. Happy Friday all.

Why you messin’ with my Java?

August 21, 2014
clouds in my coffee by classina

clouds in my coffee by classina

It’s well documented that I’m no fan of the unauthorized refill. That’s when a server in a diner or other breakfast establishment refills your still-partially-full cup without inquiry. Don’t mess with my Java. It’s just the way I like it, and now you’re making me screw around with it.

It seems IT professionals go through this same aggravation with desktop Java, since the constant security updates force IT to re-stir everything Java touches so that it’s just right… i.e. working.

Yesterday our support team updated a technical advisory on the Kronos customer portal titled, “Microsoft Internet Explorer Update and Impact on Oracle JRE and Workforce Central.” You can read more about the issue on Ars Technica (including some illuminating and humorous reader comments) and on Microsoft’s security blog.

So while overanxious breakfast servers and responsible security experts will be messing with your Java maybe forever, Kronos is working hard to kick the habit so that Workforce Central is 100% desktop Java-free. Hey, with version 7, we’re almost there with Workforce Central 7 desktop Java-free for around 78% of end users. Do the math. Upgrading means you’ll have a lot happier users that won’t need endless Java “top-offs.”

Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that an upgrade is a perfect time to consider clouds in your Workforce Central coffee. I’m so vain.

Competition and Collaboration: 2 C’s of Success

August 20, 2014

Jesse Bilafer headshotIt’s August, and many of us are enjoying the dwindling days of summer. It’s still a little too early to be thinking about hockey, but it’s never far from my mind, and that’s why I’m thrilled to be able to include some ice and blade in today’s guest post!  Today’s feature is from Jesse Bilafer, an intern with the Customer Experience, Collaboration & Transformation team in our product and technology group. She’s a recent graduate of Endicott College where she majored in psychology. And, she’s a hockey player. How cool is that?

By Jesse Bilafer

In today’s corporate world, competition has reached a noteworthy high: between organizations, within organizations, and between individuals. When kept at a healthy level, this competitive spirit can drive the individual, focus his or her eyes on the prize, and encourage collaboration to achieve collective goals.

BilaferMy own competitive and collaborative nature has developed over the years as a collegiate athlete on the softball field and in the hockey rink, and I wondered how these characteristics would transition to the corporate environment.

On the softball field, I was an infielder. I played my position to the best of my ability and represented one part of the team. Our pitching staff, catchers, and outfielders had different responsibilities than me, but we all shared the collective goal of achieving victory. My teammates knew that combining individual successes with a confidence in each other’s ability was our winning recipe. The last few weeks of my final season included a big W as my team won our conference championship. This feat was only possible because of our ability to build off of one another, and collaborate in a way that ultimately led to a triumphant finish.

I’ve experienced that exact mindset here at Kronos. Having a group of competitive employees united and focused on a common goal is when the workforce will perform exceptionally well. And, just like on my softball team, I always feel like a trusted and reliable member of the Kronos team.

Stepping off the ball field at the end of my career was a tough thing for me to do, but my time at Kronos has proven that the skills, teamwork, and lessons I learned on the infield dirt will be applicable throughout my professional career.

An American Dream to reach higher

August 19, 2014

Man-Walks-on-MoonI realize we have plenty of problems right here on our spinning rock, and maybe that’s why we don’t have a space program like we used to, but that’s wrong, and here’s why.

“We’ve stopped dreaming.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson, American astrophysicist makes that the key of his passionate plea for funding NASA for more ambitious space exploration in the video below, but he nailed it for me with one statement:

“The 2008 bank bailout of $750 billion was greater than all the money NASA had received in its half-century history.”

Fifty years? For its budget, NASA put men on the moon, rovers on Venus and Mars, Voyagers out of our solar system, the Hubble telescope in orbit, plus invented a bunch of cool stuff. Yeah, they could run a project. The bank bailout? I’m sure it produced some dreams, too.

As Mr. deGrasse Tyson points out, pretty much the whole nation got behind President Kennedy’s challenge to the country when he declared to Congress, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”

I got behind it. I had dreams of the moon, and the stars, and aliens. That dreaming impacted who I am today, and who I want to be, but what do my grandchildren have to dream of today? Getting an iPhone? We need a more worthy dream for our younger generations. We need them excited about the STEM subjects that make space exploration and medical advances and water purification and fuel cells and many other beneficial technologies possible. We need to broaden their minds and engage their imaginations. We need them to dream that there’s more “out there” for them than the emptiness of today’s MySpace.

We can’t afford it? As Mr. deGrasse Tyson clearly states. we can’t afford not to.

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