Archive for the 'career' Category

I’ve got a new business card

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As I was writing my last post about Kip Knight and eBay, I noticed it was just about a month to the day between my posts.  I consider this a bad revelation as I’ve really been trying to post at least once a week, if not more.

I’ve had a lot less time to blog recently because of a new development in my life – new business cards.  These new cards have a pretty significant change that indicate the new development; I’ve accepted a new position at Abunga.com as CEO. It’s quite the jump as far as work, and I’m really in a trasistion period working to re-allocate current responsibilities  to make room for the new ones I’m taking on.

For those interested, our previous CEO Adam Slack, made the decision to return to his other companies.

Anyway, exciting times ahead, but sorry if my posting gap starts to grow.

Have a great day.

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The Me in Team

Go Team

Anyone remember that LL Cool J commercial from a few years ago for the Gap where the key phrase was “fall into the gap”?

Well I ran across an post on Penelope Trunk’s blog, the Brazen Careerist recently that talked about the rising generation gap between baby boomer, X and Y at work.  I’m part of generation Y, and I’d agree that in my experience there are times where I clash with the older generations at work on many things.   I’d attribute some of these clashes to a difference in how I’m used to getting work done.  By nature I am a collaborative person, I believe differing perspectives bring depth to a problem, project, etc.  Thus, my workflow regarding a problem, site update, page redesign and so on often falls to asking those around me what they think of the issue.  It’s my way of attempting to address the problem as a team, not asking for advice on what to do, but what they view the problem as.  But as Penelope notes,

 Being part of a team is the best way for today’s new workers to get interesting high-level work for themselves. However even though reams of research shows the effectiveness of teams in the workplace, Baby Boomer management has had a tough time with implementation.

More often then not in these times I’m asking for perspective, I get answers.  What I mean is that I get definite “do it this way” answers as opposed to a collaborative/team process looking at various perspectives.   In a world used to hierarchy, people who are used to making decision see “team”, and they only see the “me.”

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that by nature I ask a lot of questions, and often attempt to get a full understanding in lieu of making a decision, when I should just make a decision and learn from the result.  But there is a shift that is happening in workplace culture, where a generation of teamwork-oriented employee’s, combined with the job-hopping culture trend will push companies large and small to make changes to accommodate them.  Those companies that don’t accept these changes will not attract younger workers and the world changing ideas they bring.

What are you doing to appeal to these workers?

Have a good day everyone.

maybe I need a wizard

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As some of you may know I’m in the process of searching for a marketing job. So I’ve been contacting a lot of different companies following up on job leads. This post is about closed organizations. I consider a closed organization one where the barriers to entry for getting basic information are VERY high. I’ve recently dealt with two companies that I consider closed. The first is Scripps Networks, they produce/own the TV shows HGTV, Fine Living, DIY, etc. They have some pretty on demand shows, and they’ve grown a ton. However, they make it hard for people to join their ranks. Like most people I try to do research on a position before I apply for it, I like to find out who I’ll report to, and what they’ve done, and general company info. So I was doing research on the position that was listed on the Scripps website. I couldn’t find the information I was looking for on Google so I figured I’d just call them up directly. I received at the time the curtest treatment I’ve ever received when I was asking about a job – a posted job. Basically, the receptionist told me that the information I was asking about, wasn’t public knowledge and never would be and I couldn’t know it. So you’re thinking it’s some top-secret trade secret right? Nope, just the name of the Director of Innovation. Not their email, or phone number just the name. I find that ridiculous.

The second company is Lynskey Performance Designs. They are based in Chattanooga, TN and they make great custom titanium road and mountain-bike frames. To the tune of a few thousand dollars each for the frame only. So I stopped in at their shop one day to hopefully talk with the Director of Marketing. Well attempted to. The first sign is that you can’t walk in their building. You can see in the door, but you have to get buzzed in from their receptionist. Who WILL give you the third degree before she lets you in. My session with her went like this:

Her: “Name and who are you with”
Me: “Hi I’m Gavin Baker, and I was just hoping to look at your bikes”
Her: “We don’t sell bikes, this is a manufacturing facility”
Me: “I’m sorry, I thought you made custom bike frames? I was just hoping to see one”
Her: “We don’t have any you can look at”
Me: “Oh, well I was just hoping to see a couple. I was just driving past on my way down to Atlanta.”
Her: “From where?”
Me: “Knoxville, TN”
Her: “I’ll see if someone can talk to you”

A couple of notes, I was able to talk to their sales manager, and he showed me a couple of their bikes, and they are beautiful and well crafted for sure. And I appreciate the time he gave me. But I want to break a few things down.

First she can’t see me. So she doesn’t know if I’m Joe Blow, or I am the most important client she’s ever talked to. Secondly, if I owned a company that made CUSTOM frames and someone stopped in to see them, you better believe I’ll show them a few. This isn’t the corner bike shop, we are talking about thousands of dollars per sale. Turning away dollars at the door is not a great strategy. Personally, I think Lynskey should open their shop up, say come on by. Create an owner community. It’s not unheard of for people that custom order cars to fly to the factory to drive it off the lot, or Saturn owners to show up in droves to see where their car was built. The same will hold true of people that are buying a custom frame. Would all that many people stop by, maybe not. The one’s that did, would probably be in the percentage to share with EVERYONE their great experience, and their great bike, and how awesome it is. WOM straight and simple. Maybe it wouldn’t be that many people, but they wouldn’t lose potential customers in the process.

So from my experience with these two companies I’ve become jaded. I sit here and think, these two companies want good people to work with and for them, but they make it incredibly hard for anyone to get to them. Should it be the yellow brick road? Certainly not, but should it be the Great Wall of China?

Have a great day.


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