Don’t build an Employee Engagement Program, Engage People

Entrepreneur Magazine recently published an article entitled “5 Inexpensive Ways to Create a Company Culture like Google’s”. The pieces lives up to its title by providing a ‘quick hit’ list of fun office challenges, a weight loss/health initiative and celebrations as the missing pieces building a great culture.

The article is a great reminder how many people think employee engagement and great culture is a byproduct of a new mission statement and better birthday parties for employees.  If engagement is that easy, every company would have incredible culture, engaged employees and no one would want to leave their job.  But that is not the case, in fact according to a recentGallup survey; only about 29% of US employees are actively engaged in the workplace. Continue reading →

Do companies talk more then they listen?

You have two years, two eyes and one mouth so you should be listening and observing twice as much as you should be talking” is a phrase often used by elementary school teachers to convey one of the most basic principles of learning: it does not happen when you are talking,

Imagine if companies followed this advice when communicating with employees?

From the Intranet to newsletters to kiosks, companies use lots of tools to communicate an even broader array of topics to employees – wellness programs learning opportunities, activities and more.

But as one CFO recently lamented incredulously to me, “We make everything available to employees but they still complain about not being informed.” Continue reading →

Start Up Missouri Connecting Entrepreneurs Across the State

Start Up Missouri is an effort being organized by a group of entrepreneurs and organizations supporting entrepreneurs from across the State.  The project leverages the infrastructure and resources of the Start Up America Partnership, a national effort to connect entrepreneurs to valuable resources, each other and create regional start-up ecosystems around the country.

The kick-off event will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 31 at 611 Olive St. in downtown St. Louis and interested entrepreneurs can sign up at the Eventbrite page.  The agenda will focus on connecting entrepreneurs, sharing ideas how we can support entrepreneurs and developing goals for Start Up Missouri.

The event’s hosts include Barbara Brinkman of Innovate St. LouisJay DeLong of St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association; Chris Dornfeld of Dornfeld Management GroupTrey Goede of Affinity WindGreg Kratofil of Polsinelli Shughart, PCBrian Matthews of River City Internet Group and Judy Sindecuse of Capital Innovators.

Should be a great event and I hope you can join!

Entrepreneurs Create Jobs, Not the Wealthy

Guest blogger today for Patch:

Driving home today I was listening to the radio and yet another discussion of the politics of the debt ceiling and financial challenges facing our country.  On more than one occasion I heard the comment “wealthy people create jobs” as an argument to against increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

The tax policy debate aside, the statement is just wrong.  Entrepreneurs create jobs, not the wealthy.

Read the entire post here.

83% of Startups Hiring in 2011

Silicon Valley Bank recently published “Startup Outlook 2011” with results from 375 interviews of private and VC backed hardware, software and clean-tech companies.  Across the board the startup companies are reporting better results than in the past with increases in expected hiring, economic perception, profitability and overall growth.

Startup Outlook on Business Conditions from SVB

Continue reading →

US Broadband and the Death of the Land Line Internet Connection?

According to research from the OECD, the US continues to see growth in broadband connections and is the largest in terms of total accounts at around 81 million connections at the end of 2009.  But when the same data is reviewed based on connections as a percentage of population the US drops to 15th.  One article published on Gigaom.com looks raises some concerns about the type of connections and pace of growth.

Graph comparing US broadband penetration to rest of OECD countries

Continue reading →

Learning from Gaming

There is an interesting article published yesterday in the Harvard Business Review that takes a look at the idea of increasing the use of games in the classroom.  This is not surprising given the continue growth in the game industry and as a larger percentage of the population has grown up with technology, the percentage of people playing games is impressive.  So how many people are actually playing games?  Can games be an effective education resource?  How can games be used most effectively in education? Continue reading →