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Erica Dhawan is a globally recognized leadership expert, keynote speaker and strategiest teaching companies and business leaders creative actions to drive elite performance, improve innovation across generations and cultures, capitalize on the expertise of Gen Y talent and prepare the global workforce for the future.





People are familiar with the concept of emotional intelligence. What is connectional intelligence? Why did you get interested in the subject? 


The world is changing. Everyone is connected today through social media, mobile devices and networks. But how do we leverage those resources? My new book, Get Big Things Done, co-authored by Saj-nicole Joni, revolutionizes the way we harness that connectedness to help us achieve greater impact than ever before. This is through what we call connectional intelligence - the ability to combine knowledge, ambition and human capital, forging connections on a global scale that create unprecedented value and meaning.


As a child of first generation immigrants, my goal was to check the boxes of success. I got a shiny degree from an Ivy League and marched into a glamorous job on wall street. Like every other millennial I worked incredibly hard. In the 2008 recession, I witnessed firsthand the disillusionment, confusion and burnout of my generation. I saw how our dreams and passions were being squashed everyday when we went into work. After the financial collapse, I switched gears entirely to try to find more meaning in my work and better understand how my generation could leverage our passion and purpose and the resources available to us. What I found was that whether at an NGO or at a private equity firm, many of the struggles were similar. People were trying to figure out how to work intentionally and cut through the noise of all our social, mobile and digital technology. This led to our research in connectional intelligence to answer the question, in today’s connected world, why do some people get big things done and others do not?


Your book is called Get Big Things Done. What are big things that businesses aren’t doing but really should be? 


A lot of how we measure success in the digital world is about quantity. How many Facebook likes? How many clicks? how many LinkedIn connections? This book shifts the focus from quantity to quality.


The other shift in our narrative is that simply building a network doesn’t lead to measurable change. The key is how you use that network. Creating something new and innovative and that actually changes people’s lives requires that we rethink how we use our networks and that we employ our resources and data in the smartest way. Connectional intelligence describes this skill that 21st century innovators have and that we all need to develop to maximize the potential of all of our connections and put them to significant use.


There is a lot of advice on making new connections. Are there are rules of thumbs when you should break existing connections or order to avoid ‘connection overload’? 


If you find yourself collecting a business card like a hundred others that you already have, just for the sake of a new LinkedIn contact, that may be leading you to feel connection overload. Again, look for quality over quantity. Open yourself up to new people and ideas when looking for connection. This means connecting with people of different cultures, different backgrounds, in different disciplines and of different ages. Often we like to play it safe and stick to our industry, but connectional intelligence is all about bridging generations and bridging skill sets. We all have something to teach each other and the idea that might revolutionize your normal way of operating is probably not going to come from someone who has exactly the same lifestyle as you. So look at if the connections brings value to your life and vice versa.


What are some simple things that people can do to improve their connectional intelligence? 


First, spend ten minutes day engaging with a new media source. If you always read The New York Times, spend ten minutes reading a niche publication like a financial magazine or even a gaming magazine. Follow a new hashtag on Twitter for a week or two. The point is to get out of your routine. The ideas we have are greatly influenced by the media we consume and if you want to start thinking creatively, you need to infuse your day with content that you might not have imagined would be relevant to you.


Another way is to explore some of the new apps like Treatings and Coffeeme - both are like LinkedIn meets Tinder - to meet professionals in other industries. Be courageous and take a chance going to coffee with someone who might think differently than you do.


What tools (as in software, services or gadgets) in your view are the best for staying connected and which ones don’t perform so well? 


I love Twitter because its an amazing tool of discovery of new interests and ideas. I also like a lot of the new team management tools like Slack and Asana. They are extremely helpful when collaborating.


I’m not sure I can make a blanket statement about tools that don’t perform well because it all depends on how people use them. One challenging tool has been Yammer. While it is an interesting knowledge sharing tool internally for companies, it naturally does not fit the normal way of working and communicating for many of today’s employees.


Thank you for the interview.


Bitrix24 is a complete suite of social collaboration, communication and management tools for organizations. Use promocode TIP10 when registering your free Bitrix24 account to get extra 10GB. 

See also:


How to Pull Your Team Together After a Crisis

Self hosted Dropbox server

Know When to Grow with These 5 Signs Its Time to Expand

Where to get free employee engagement software

5 Practical Ideas for Helping Remote Staff Stay Connected

Small Business Savings: 8 Ways to Cut Costs Now

How to Help Your Team Se t and Reach Good Goals

What’s best free CRM ?

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PickyDomains - World’s first risk free naming service 


The main problem of conducting business from home is isolation, broken daily routine and lack of motivation. Here are some tips you can use to conduct your business efficiently.


1. Choose tools for work. It’s the first and foremost thing you have to do. Everything will do – from Excel sheets to complex CRM systems – just make sure you have all the information at hand and don’t forget to update it.


The latest trend is all-in-one collaboration workspaces - Bitrix24 is free and particular popular. Besides Bitrix24, there are, for example, MangoApps, Freedcamp and some other. They substitute multiple tools like Trello or Asana for project management, Slack or Yammer for inner social communication, Dropbox for sharing files, Skype for making calls and provide CRM for maintaining client database.


2. Choose a special workplace at home. You should draw clear line between work and home so that to be able to focus on business. It’ll be good also to change into work clothes.


3. Make more calls. Seriously, you won’t even notice how you become less and less social, especially if you live alone. If you have an alternative: to call or to write a letter, it’s better to make a call (with a written follow-up, of course).


4. Write a plan and always stick to it. Better print it out and have before your eyes. You can use the method of Mark Foster from his book “Do It Tomorrow”: plan all your doings and the approximate required time for them the previous day. If something unplanned turns up, put it off till the next day. Thus, by the end of the day you’ll already have a plan for tomorrow. This will help you to keep yourself together.


5. Track the time you devote to work. You can use Pomodoro timer technique (there are plenty of apps for each smartphone platform) when work process is split into short 25-minute pieces. Or just use your kitchen timer. Always start working the same time and stop working by the end of the day.


Source - Free Tools For Running Your Business From Home


See also


Free office management software

Free CRM Tools

Best QuickBase alternative 

What is social HR ? 

Sage CRM vs (Sage CRM competitors)

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In every business there comes a moment when just sharing links to files on Dropbox becomes somewhat impractical. The most self-evident solution is to upgrade to Dropbox for Business. But remember – only fools rush in. So take a pause and before paying $15 for each team member every month (that’s a whooping $1800/yr for 10 employee company) and consider these free alternatives.


Free storage:  5 GB

Bitrix24 is more of an overall business solution. Using it only for file storage and sharing is like boiling eggs on a volcano. 

The free plan is ideal for small businesses with 12 or fewer employees (compare: Dropbox for 12 employees would cost $180 per month).

Bitrix24 has a convenient file access system: all the employees can be divided into groups and receive files according to their group affiliation and access level. Besides, there’s a document approval system, so that business workflows become more transparent. 

Documents can be created using desktop applications (MS office) or cloud apps (Google Docs, MS Office Web App). In document search is quite simple. 

Besides, you can plan you work, assign tasks, manage clients, exchange messages, do video conferences – nowadays it is called by a buzzword “unified communications”.  

Even the free plan offers 2-step verification with high level of security.

Google Drive

Free storage: 15 GB

Google Drive offers much space, but you should keep in mind that it’s shared between Drive, Gmail and Google+ photos. 

You can give access to folders and files and give different rights (can view, can edit, etc.) to your colleagues using their emails.

Few people know that the service also has a desktop client which allows to drag-and-drop files and synchronize them. And a set of mobile apps makes collaboration easy wherever you are.



Free storage: 2GB

SpiderOak might not offer much of a disk space, but it’s great for its security. It is known for its “zero-knowledge” privacy policy which means all the files are encrypted before they are uploaded, and the service has no access to encryption keys.

SpiderOak staff can’t even retrieve metadata such as the names or sizes of files; instead, they see sequentially numbered containers of encrypted data. Perhaps, the only risk is that you forget your password: it is also encrypted, so in this case you’ll lose access to all your data.

The service also has a desktop client which allows to upload, store and access documents.

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PickyDomains - World’s first risk free naming service 

It might be a merger, a buy-out, company-wide restructuring, a round of layoffs, or an industry-wide economic plummet that’s left your team reeling. Or perhaps it’s something on a smaller scale: an unexpected firing or resignation, the loss of a key client, or a project that exploded in everyone’s faces. 

Whatever the crisis, you’ve survived it, but now you’ve got a team of war-weary, discouraged team members looking to you. 

Here’s how you can help your team pull together again. 

Don’t Ignore the Crisis 

One of the worst things you could do as team leader is simply act as if nothing has happened. 

Unfortunately, team leaders who are uncomfortable with conflict or unsure of how to talk about a crisis may take this route. What happens, however, is that your team members feel betrayed and abandoned. By ignoring the effects of the crisis or acting as if nothing has happened, you’re sending a clear message: Deal with this yourself. You’re on your own. 

That’s not the message you want to send, of course. 

Instead, talk through what happened. You do need to exercise leadership: don’t allow a negativity fest, a big round of poor-me stories, a finger-pointing session, or any sort of personal attack. 

Honestly recap what happened. Acknowledge the crisis and how it has affected the team: “We’ve just endured a round of layoffs that were extremely stressful for everyone, and we’ve lost three team members. We’re feeling skittish and sad, we miss our team members, we don’t know how we’re going to do our job without them, and we’re wary of how things will work going forward.” 

Get Input from Your Team 

Give your team time to offer their own insights and opinions. 

Perhaps you’re most worried about how your smaller team will handle a workload, while your team members are paralyzed with fear over losing their own positions. Talking about the crisis will help you to deal with unnecessary fears or anxieties and note which major issues need fresh solutions. 

Ask for insight, if appropriate, into why the crisis occurred in the first place. If your team missed an important deadline that jeopardized the entire company’s operations, now is the time to talk about why it happened and how you, as a team, can prevent it from happening in the future. 

As the team leader, don’t shy away from responsibility, even if much of the situation was out of your control. Own the responsibility, and don’t tolerate blaming and attacking from team members. 

Develop a Plan of Action 

Move your team’s attention to how you will move forward from this point. 

Start with encouragement. You don’t have to have the answers, but you can assure your team that you’ll work together to figure things out. 

Avoid the temptation to hand the responsibility off to the team and expect them to come up with all the ideas. Have some practical ideas of your own to offer. Share a few legitimate steps forward. 

Let them give input as well. From the combined ideas, work with your team to form a plan of action that make the most sense for everyone involved. 

Keep Your Team Informed 

People feel insecure after a crisis, so keep communication flowing even more than usual. Knowledge will help your team members to feel informed and aware, which contributes to feeling secure. 

Send regular team emails apprising team members of changes, updates, and new information. Be available for phone conversations and casual chats in the hallway or on social media. Be present, visible, and available. Offer open times for one-on-one meetings to help individuals tackle new roles and responsibilities. 

Revisit the Core of the Team 

To reestablish unity and team identity, revisit the heart of your team. What is the team vision? What is the purpose of the team? What are the values that the team shares and uses to help guide decisions and projects? 

A crisis, no matter how small, shakes everyone up; your job is to help them find their foundation again. Remind your team of their purpose, their ideals, and the core methodology will help your team to function together even in new or changed situations. 

Bitrix24 is a free sales automation and sales team management software. Use promocode TIP10 when registering your free Bitrix24 account to get extra 10GB. 

Source - How to Pull Your Team Together After a Crisis

See also:

Free CRM for freelancers
Free online contact management
Professional Services Automation
Free Quotation And Invoice Software
Free ShootQ alternative
Free ThoughtFarmer alternative

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PickyDomains - World’s first risk free naming service 

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape MarketingDuct Tape SellingThe Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network

What is the biggest online marketing mistake that companies make in your opinion? 

The biggest online marketing mistake a company can do is to not be present. Putting up a website and leaving it is not the way to generate traffic and leads for your organization. The key to online marketing is to be present and in the moment with your customers and future customers. As a retail company, you might be changing your offers on a daily basis, or as a marketing company you might have a blog that you keep up to date. Letting your customers know what is going on with your organization is key to gaining and maintaining customers. 

What is the single most impactful thing companies can do to attract more clients? 

Ask for referrals! If your current customers are willing to recommend your services to one of their customers or colleagues, you are able to start your relationship with that potential client one step further down the road in the “Know, Like and Trust” process. Many of your current customers are happy with your products or services, but they aren’t thinking of making recommendations. It’s your job to put yourself at the top of their mind for professional conversations. 

Marketers like to say that technology is just a tool. But technology (think AdWords or Facebook or even email before that) can significantly change marketing landscape. Are there any emerging disruptive technologies or tools that are on your radar? 

With new tools emerging in the marketplace each day, it’s safe to say that I think tools in general are changing the face of marketing. It’s never been easier to find influencers in your field, manage social media, generate content, build websites, etc. The value that tools offer gives marketing masterminds the opportunity to work with more clients and offer them more capabilities. 

One specific tool to note, RivalIQ is beautifully disruptive to the marketing landscape. RivalIQ gives users access to competitor information like we’ve never had before. The type of data they offer can affect marketing strategy decisions from initial planning to day-by-day updates and adjustments. 

Social is no longer just for customers. Companies are starting to use social collaboration platforms, private social networks, work chat, social task management, etc. inside their organizations to make faster and better decisions. Which of those tools in your experience work best for marketing teams? 

Collaboration is a key benefit of social. Each team takes to different management and collaboration tools differently, but we have found that something as simple as a private Facebook group is highly effective for our network to collaborate. 

What skills should marketers concentrate on developing in order to stay relevant in the next 5-10 years? 

To stay relevant, marketers and any business leader must find, polish and stay true to their core difference. The industry is constantly changing, but you can always learn new skills and utilize other people’s skills. Unless you have something that sets you apart from your competitors, you won’t stay relevant for long. 

What resources can you recommend to those who want to stay on top of their marketing game? Books, blogs, podcasts – anything. 

I definitely recommend the Moz Blog and HubSpot as great resources for marketers. I recently read “Pop!” by Sam Horn,“Fizz – Harness the Power of Word of Mouth Marketing to Drive Brand Growth” by Ted Wright, and “Zombie Loyalists – Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans.” They were some great outside of the regular marketing box books. 

Thank you for the interview. 

Bitrix24 is a free sales automation and sales team management software. Use promocode TIP10 when registeringyour free Bitrix24 account to get extra 10GB. 

Source: John Jantsch - Why You Should Ask For Referrals

See also:

Free hosted CRM
Free CRM System
Web Based CRM System
Free Insightly alternative
Slack alternative

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