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Meetings: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Meetings: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

They interrupt flow, and pop up unbidden on your iCal. They tend to convey all of the information you already knew and none of the things you really wanted to know. Meetings have emerged as one of the most universally despised conventions of American work life, and they show no sign of letting up. But if workers and managers alike feel put upon by meetings, experts say it’s not meetings per se that are the culprit. The problem is bad meetings.

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Problem Solving: How M&Ms Took a Small Insight and Turned It Into a Big Idea

Problem Solving: How M&Ms Took a Small Insight and Turned It Into a Big Idea

M&Ms’ 75th anniversary marketing campaign was sparked by a human resources presentation.

When Berta de Pablos-Barbier returned to Mars as VP-marketing of Mars Chocolate North America in February 2015 after years in the fashion industry, she spotted a slide during orientation showing that M&Ms debuted in 1941. The realization that the 75th anniversary was coming fueled a campaign that helped M&Ms grow eight times faster than the U.S. chocolate category and increase household penetration in 2016 after three years of declines. U.S. sales climbed 3% to $1.62 billion, according to Nielsen data shared by Mars. Here’s a look at how M&Ms focused on a simple idea with a new way of thinking.

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‘Where Does Cloud Storage Really Reside? And Is It Secure?’

‘Where Does Cloud Storage Really Reside? And Is It Secure?’

A reader asks: “Where does cloud storage really reside? And is it secure?”

“Cloud” data is stored on hard drives (much the way data is usually stored). And yes, it’s probably more secure than conventionally stored data. What makes cloud storage different? Instead of being stored directly on your own personal device (the hard drive on your laptop, for example, or your phone), cloud-based data is stored elsewhere — on servers owned by big companies, usually — and is made accessible to you via the internet. When people think of cloud computing, they often think of internet-connected public clouds run by the likes of Amazon, Microsoft and Google. (If you use Gmail, Dropbox or Microsoft’s Office 365, you are using a cloud service.) There are also consumer clouds that, for example, hold your pictures and social media posts (think of Facebook or Twitter), or store your music and email (think of Apple or Google).

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The Promise of Blockchain Is a World Without Middlemen

The Promise of Blockchain Is a World Without Middlemen

The blockchain is a revolution that builds on another technical revolution so old that only the more experienced among us remember it: the invention of the database. First created at IBM in 1970, the importance of these relational databases to our everyday lives today cannot be overstated. Literally every aspect of our civilization is now dependent on this abstraction for storing and retrieving data. And now the blockchain is about to revolutionize databases, which will in turn revolutionize literally every aspect of our civilization.

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Banks don’t get what they pay for with digital advertising

Banks don't get what they pay for with digital advertising

Soon after the emergence of the digital advertising channel, bankers were quick to embrace a medium that promised better targeting of prospective clients based on particular traits, customized messages to prospects and real-time customer feedback. Bank marketers especially appreciated digital advertising’s analytical benefits, available through social media giants and other tech firms, after having spent years blindly trusting that traditional advertising channels were generating results for the brand.

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State Street to Start Voting Against Companies That Don’t Have Women Directors

State Street to Start Voting Against Companies That Don’t Have Women Directors

Firms won’t have an exact quota for compliance with State Street’s mandate, but must prove they attempted to improve a lack of diversity…

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What’s the Value of a Like?

What’s the Value of a Like?

Brands spend billions of dollars a year on elaborate efforts to establish and maintain a social media presence. Think of the live-streamed video of a man setting a world record by skydiving from 128,000 feet (Red Bull) and the strange tweets sent from a supposedly hacked Twitter account that in fact originated with the company itself (Chipotle).

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Is ‘Conflict’ a New Marketing Tool?

Is ‘Conflict’ a New Marketing Tool?

Conflict as a Marketing Tool (CAMT) has its roots not in marketing but in screenplay writing. You will find frameworks for screenplay writing in textbooks on the subject — Syd Field’s Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting is generally acknowledged as an authoritative source. Field details how nearly all screenplays can be broadly divided into three sections: setup, conflict and resolution.

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How API partnerships could help banks win back small biz

How API partnerships could help banks win back small biz

Over the last several years, banks have lost some ground to fintech in the small-business space. For the customers, it is not as if they wanted to leave their banks. To the contrary, many have felt forced to look elsewhere because they felt either underserved or the experience was something from a bygone era. Banks have gotten hip to this in the last year or so, however. Online lenders have pushed them to improve their credit functions. The promise of blockchain technology has pushed many to look for ways to streamline processes now. And, increasingly, banks are trying to make it easier for customers to share their data with third parties.

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What the Best Mentors Do

What the Best Mentors Do

Mentorship comes in many flavors. It doesn’t always work unless leaders bear in mind a few common principles.

Over the past three years, as part of my forthcoming book, I’ve been researching how leaders can better judge and develop their talent in light of a changing, more purpose-driven, more tech-enabled work environment. Having interviewed close to 100 of the most admired leaders across business, culture, arts, and government, one important characteristic stands out: They do everything they can to imprint their “goodness” onto others in ways that make others feel like fuller versions of themselves.

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