Is creativity important in your field? Chances are the answer is yes. In a recent poll, almost sixty percent of CEOs called creativity the most important quality for leadership. If creativity is paramount to what you do, then here are a few ways to help cultivate creativity in your workplace.
Look at the Environment
Take a moment to look around your workplace. Is there adequate lighting? Are there multiple styles of workspaces such as smaller individual work areas and then areas where groups can brainstorm together? Is the area clean and uncluttered? Studies have shown that conditions such as dim lighting, reduced clutter, taking a walk, and even rooms with high ceilings can enhance creativity. Talk to your team members about the work environment and ways that you could make adaptations to encourage productivity.
Allow for Brainstorming
We all remember the rules of brainstorming from our school days that said that no idea was stupid. Let’s go back to that. Encourage brainstorming when a new project has been assigned and allow for time to mull through each idea. The process may seem chaotic at times but fostering the concept of brainstorming can help employees and leaders feel supported in their quest to innovate.
Identify Creativity and Reward It
If you really want to foster creativity in your workplace, you need to seek it out and, when you find it, reward those who are being creative. A simple compliment would go over well, but some sort of incentive such as an all paid luncheon for employees when creativity is blooming would also be welcome. Use your budget and business know-how to guide you in identifying creativity and encouraging it to occur again.
As business leaders, it is often too easy to be rigid about the hours of operation, getting projects completed, and working outside the box. Sometimes being a little flexible can help your staff be flexible too. You may want to experiment with flexible hours that accommodate family activities or school hours. Some employees find they accomplish more when they are allowed to work from home for a day or two a week. While still others find that meeting in a coffee shop for a brainstorming session works best for them. Think about being flexible in ways that work for your business.
Need more ideas on cultivating creativity? Check out our workshop on Creativity and Innovation.
(Initial or Renewal Course based on the 2015 AHA Guidelines)
Basic Life Support (BLS) is the foundation for saving lives after cardiac arrest. This course teaches both single-rescuer and team basic life support skills for application in both in-facility and prehospital settings. This course is designed for healthcare professionals and other personnel who need to know how to perform CPR and other basic cardiovascular life support skills.
In addition, BLS training can be appropriate for first responders, such as police officers and firefighters, as well as for laypeople whose work brings them into contact with members of the public, such as school, fitness center, or hotel and restaurant employees.
Students must pass a written exam and skills test in order to qualify for a BLS Course Completion Card.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will receive a completion cad valid for 2 years.
Conveniently scheduled on Saturday, please choose the session that works best for you.
According to the Small Business Association, one of the biggest issues facing small businesses is the inability to access sufficient credit and capital. According to numbers from just a year ago almost 8 million small businesses are strapped for cash and may be unable to hire new employees, take on new clients, or sadly, even keep their doors open. Lack of capital is one of the primary reasons that businesses flounder. What are the options then for small businesses when it comes to gaining access to capital in today’s economy. Let’s explore the various channels for achieving access to capital.
- Small Business Administration -SBA The SBA is a government agency that collaborates with private lenders to create (and guarantee) business loans. “Guarantee,” in this case, means the federal government will back up to 90% of a loan. The Office of Capital Access within the SBA mission is to help make capital available through banks and other lending partners to small businesses. They sponsor loans that offer more favorable terms and interest rates. They are accessible to more businesses, and are open to fixed assets and operating capital. They also attempt to streamline lending through an automated process that encourages faster decisions and reduces lender underwriting time.
- Conventional Loans –In contrast with SBA loans, conventional loans are private and are not guaranteed by the federal government. As such, they normally carry higher rates. Conventional loans examine your businesses credit history, your monthly expenses, and your overall business pattern. Some conventional loans would include: Commercial Loans, Equipment and Vehicle Loans, Business Line of Credit, or General Business Loans.
- Crowd Funding – An alternative access to capital that has really taken off in the past few years. Crowdfunding is by definition, “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.” (Forbes) There are numerous crowdfunding platforms where consumers can safely ask for or donate money such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, RocketHub, and Onevest.
- Venture Capital – Venture Capital is money provided by investors to startup firms and small businesses with perceived long-term growth potential. This is a very important source of funding for startups that do not have access to capital markets. It typically entails high risk for the investor, but it has the potential for above-average returns. (Investopedia) This type of access is great for start ups and tends to heavily favor the technology industry.
Finding a bank that is reliable, easy-to-access and supportive should be a top priority for small business owners. Choosing the right bank for your company could completely impact daily operations and become a solid foundation on which you build and expand your small business. As an owner or manager of a small business you will need to consider what the business’ current needs are as well as what future aspirations may be before choosing a banking institution. How then should a small business go about choosing a bank that is the “right fit” and what questions should be considered before a final decision on a bank is made?
- Bank Size – In the world of banking size does matter. Small, neighborhood banks offer an intimate and human level of interaction which could be advantageous when you need fast cash and can contact a member of the bank easily regardless of your balance sheets. The value of your good name might carry more weight in a smaller bank. A local bank’s mission is to help a neighborhood thrive so they may go above and beyond the call of duty to help your business grow. On the other hand, a bigger bank can offer better interest rates, more flexibility in loan terms and a larger offering of products to fit your needs. Investigate what your needs are as a business to decide to go with a larger bank or one that is invested in the local economy.
- Bank Features – Things to also consider when choosing a bank include any special features that may be offered to small businesses. For example: What is the fee structure like? Nothing is free so look closely at the fee structure for everything from using the ATM, writing a check, and getting a monthly account statement. But also take note of other bank services you may need down the road, including wire transfers and credit-card processing. In addition to analyzing fees ask: What are the current interest rates? Is online access easy? Does the bank specialize in your special needs?
- Compatibility – Do not underestimate the intangible aspects such as customer service and personal compatibility. If you have a good personal connection to your bank, you’re more likely to have a successful working relationship. Ask other small businesses in your area what banks they recommend if you want a good personal relationship with your financial partner.
- Technology – Is your company tech savvy and wants to take advantage of bill pay by phone or deposits by phone? Do you want easy platforms for online banking? Some banks embrace technology more than others so consider asking about what technology they practice for daily banking needs.
As you ask yourself these questions while choosing a bank don’t be afraid to go with your gut. Which bank feels most like the best fit? Meet with the business officer at each bank to thoroughly discuss your company’s needs and how they can be a vital partner in your business.
April 2015 – A drone lands in Washington D.C. after violating restricted airspace.
December 2013 – Amazon founder Jeff Bezos created a buzz throughout the tech world when he introduced the idea of using drones to deliver goods to online shoppers.
You may have heard of drones recently in the news whether it is in regards to business, the military or from drone enthusiasts. Drones have been used by the military for decades. Predator drones, for example, have been used for surveillance and as unmanned weapons in the battle fields thus keeping our military safe for harm. Now drones are being considered for commercial use. Despite a current FAA ( Federal Aviation Authority) ban on drones for commercial use, drones will have an impact of the business world in the near future.
Let’s look at some of the ways that drones are currently being used and how they may be used in the future.
- Drones are currently being used in agriculture by farmers looks over fields for potential irrigation and crop problems. They have even been used to keep track of cattle.
- Police use drones currently to track down criminals and even for search and rescue missions. They are a cost-effective alternative to manned helicopters. Just last month drones were used in Nepal to search for victims in the massive earthquake that hit that region. Drones were able to get into areas that were not accessible by helicopters or search and rescue vehicles.
- Real estate agents use drones to show off high-end homes with wide expanses of property that would not be easy to show during a walking or driving tour.
- Photographers use drones to capture unique photographs that would be hard to get by walking.
Where is the impact of drones likely to be felt next in the business world?
- Archaeology – Believe it or not, thermal images enable the researchers and scientists to see beneath the first layer of earth’s crust, which can help them locate buried structures.
- Humanitarian Work – Researchers at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology are developing drones that can deliver vaccines and other critical medical supplies to remote locations in the developing world.
- Expanding Internet Access – Mark Zuckerberg, the Chief Executive of Facebook, has purchased Ascenta, a solar-powered drone company based in the United Kingdom, to extend the reach of Internet connectivity across the entire planet.
- Food Delivery – A Silicon Valley start-up announced plans to use drones to deliver tacos to its customers, until the FAA imposed its sanctions pending drone regulations.
- Early Warning Systems – Businesses may be asked to supply drones for emergency situations such as: natural disaster warning systems (hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires, and Tsunamis)
- Commercial Delivery Services – If regulations from the government allow commercial delivery services, the United States could see the delivery of commercial products via drones. This could include mail, grocery, packages, or medical items.
- Business Activity Monitoring – Drones could easily monitor what is going on aerially in several fields of work such as: construction, topology surveys, shipping services, geological surveys, and thermo imaging.
- Sporting enthusiasts could watch their favorite team from the sky, marketing teams can advertise from the air, and even college students could check out books from the campus library using drones. The options are endless for the use of drones in business.