June 2010 - Posts

Tell us your favorite office morale booster and you could win a Pendaflex® 7 Pocket Padfolio!
Monday, June 07, 2010 1:23 PM
Congratulations to Jason and Aimee! You've each won a Pendaflex ® 7 Pocket Padfolio! Please send your mailing address, along with a business name if necessary to contact@beyondfolders.com We'll send your Padfolio as soon as we receive your...
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The New Project Collaboration and Management Tools
Thursday, June 03, 2010 9:04 AM

Just ask any manager or leader in the average workplace and they will tell you that project management is pivotal to their team's success and to the company's bottom line. They will also tell you that the nature of project management is changing along with larger changes in the workforce.

As we discussed in (past posts here, here and here ), we are experiencing the rise of a mobile workforce that will number in the billions by the end of this year. The new workplace ecosystem thrives on remote collaboration and virtual teamwork. As this article on The Diverse And Digital Workforce suggests, adapting the old to the new is a challenge that every business organization - and each one of us - needs to rise to in order to survive and thrive.

As a starting point, it is important to learn about - and learn how to use - the latest project collaboration and management tools designed with remote workers in mind. To facilitate the learning curve, we culled this library of informative articles and posts:

As we shift how we engage in work collaboration and project management, we do not have to lose sight of traditional approaches that might still suit our businesses and us.

If you have tips on new project collaboration and management tools, please share them with us. We would also like to know which traditional approaches you are still using and why. We will report on your feedback in future posts.

by Bradley Eggers

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Seeing Both Sides of Workplace Gossip
Wednesday, June 02, 2010 8:09 AM

Have you been to the supermarket checkout counter lately? (And, by lately, I mean anytime in the last 30 or so years.) Look down to your left and/or right and you will see magazine racks filled with the likes of People, Star and National Enquirer. The evidence is right there in black and white: We are a gossip-loving culture.

This truth was exposed in a powerful 1976 issue of New York Magazine devoted to the topic of gossip : The spirit of triviality lurking in the bosom of the average newspaper reader will never be quenched, and is indeed now blazing up more fiercely than ever before. Fast forward a few decades and most of us can confirm how this truth plays out today well beyond the tabloids to blaze fiercely in our daily work lives.

Interestingly, experts disagree about the nature of gossip in the workplace. On the one hand, some hold the view that it is a toxic and destructive force. This post on workplace gossip, for example, discusses how the rumor mill typically "breeds resentment and becomes a roadblock to effective communication and collaboration." On the other hand, some experts see gossip as conducive to camaraderie and a positive work environment. This view is nicely captured in a recent article that asks: Might Office Gossip Be Good For You?

The article cites an Indiana University study and other research findings confirming that the workplace gossip mill "forges connections, builds trust, provides a means of learning unwritten social norms and offers a way of comparing ourselves with others." Proponents of this view consider gossip a social skill that provides a positive and powerful outlet for people who might otherwise be voiceless in the workplace. However, even those who see gossip's good side recognize that it is usually unpleasant to be on the receiving end as it can "feel malicious and exclusionary."

What do you think of the workplace gossip mill? Is it a constructive, destructive or neutral force? We invite you to share your thoughts and experiences with us here and on our the Beyond Folders Community's Twitter and Facebook pages.

by Candie Harris

 

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Tips for Identifying, Building and Managing Your Personal Brand
Tuesday, June 01, 2010 9:31 AM

Who are you?

It is a timeless question.

The Caterpillar posed it to Alice in Wonderland. The Who made it an anthem of their generation. And most of us would likely admit to asking it to ourselves from time to time.

But knowing who we are is more than just a personal matter. As business management expert Tom Peters observed in his seminal 1997 Fast Company article, The Brand Called You:

We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.

As Peters noted, over the last two decades, we have changed the way we work. For most of us, normal business life now consists of regularly switching jobs and occasionally shifting careers. One constant in this steady stream of change is our personal brand - the unique constellation of skills, interests, traits, passions and perspectives that we bring to our work.

According to Dan Schawbel, author of Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success , personal branding is an ongoing "process by which we market ourselves to others." It is also a constant process of learning how others perceive us. You know you are doing a good job of branding yourself, Schawbel says, "when self-impression is equal to perception (how you describe yourself is how other people describe you)."

The personal branding process starts with a good bit of candid self-scrutiny. Being as clear and specific as possible, you should identify:

  • Who you are - What do you consider your greatest personal and interpersonal strengths? What are your most notable personality traits?
  • What you do - What are your greatest professional interests and passions? What do you offer through your work that is remarkable and has measurable and distinctive value? What are you most marketable skills? What are you most proud of in your professional life?
  • Who you help - Who benefits from your work? How and why do you help these people? How do they benefit from working with you (as opposed to someone else)? What would they identify as your greatest attributes?

If you need some additional guidance, here are some great online resources on identifying, building and managing your personal brand:

Just as personal branding is an ongoing process, we consider this an ongoing dialogue on a very important topic. We welcome your comments, questions and experience shares about personal branding and look forward to continuing the conversation here and throughout the Beyond Folders Community.

by Carly Fadako

 

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About Beyond Folders™

Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization.  Believing in  "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.

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