btmason

82 Flips | 12 Magazines | 10 Likes | 34 Following | @btmason | Keep up with btmason on Flipboard, a place to see the stories, photos, and updates that matter to you. Flipboard creates a personalized magazine full of everything, from world news to life’s great moments. Download Flipboard for free and search for “btmason”

New To Budgeting? Try The 50-20-30 Rule

If you're new to budgeting, figuring out how to manage your money each month can feel overwhelming. Not only do you need to organize, but you also have to make difficult decisions about how to spend your cash. Relying on the experiences of others can help only so much, because your income and …

8 books you must read to become a better writer

All good writers know the best way to improve your writing is to write. And the second best way?<p>Study the craft.<p>Reading books can take you farther  —  and faster  — on your journey toward becoming a better writer. For a few dollars and a few hours of your time, you can absorb the strategies and …

Writing

The Art of Evangelism

Nearchos Ntaskas<p>“Evangelism” became a business buzzword during the internet boom of the late 1990s. In fact, as Apple’s second software evangelist, I helped popularize the term. The idea is simple: Derived from a Greek word that means, roughly, “to proclaim good news,” evangelism is explaining to …

How New Technologies Push Us Toward the Past

Reading all the stories and hearing the rumors about Apple’s autonomous vehicles, Google’s drones, and Amazon’s experiments with new delivery systems, it’s easy to imagine looking out your window in a few short years and seeing a world that is positively Jetsons-like. Think through the implications …

The Necessary Art of Persuasion

If there ever was a time for businesspeople to learn the fine art of persuasion, it is now. Gone are the command-and-control days of executives managing by decree. Today businesses are run largely by cross-functional teams of peers and populated by baby boomers and their Generation X offspring, who …

Too Many Infrastructure Projects Go It Alone

There is one best way to get big projects done. It has nothing to do with the technical side, and everything to do with people and relationships. Systemic problems that affect everyone but are beyond the ability of any one person to solve require collaboration skills. To renew and reinvent our …

Your Presentation Needs a Punch Line

It was late Saturday night on Chicago’s North Side, and the historic Green Mill jazz club was buzzing with nervous energy. So was I. Pacing on the edge of the tiny stage, I gave my notes one final glance, exterminated the butterflies in my stomach, and stepped into the blinding spotlight. “Welcome …

When Should You Fire a “Good Enough” Employee?

Craig*, a VP of inventory for a food packaging company, had always been a high performer. He had been with the company three years, had a reputation for taking an innovative approach, and had good relationships with his team. Craig’s boss, Louise*, had come to count on Craig for his expertise and …

Your Elevator Pitch Needs an Elevator Pitch

Ah, the elevator pitch. A favorite tool of the networking masses. A rite of passage of sorts. You’ve heard the scenario: you step into an elevator and go up one floor. The elevator doors open and in walks the client of your dreams. They start some small talk and ask, “What do you do?” and you’ve …

Customer-Centric Org Charts Aren’t Right for Every Company

The new conventional wisdom on corporate structure is that companies can do better by organizing themselves around customer groups. The logic sounds compelling: A <i>customer-centric structure</i>, as the approach is known, can help a company understand its customers better, develop deeper relationships …

Employee Engagement Depends on What Happens Outside of the Office

Companies spend over $720 million each year on employee engagement, and that’s projected to rise to over $1.5 billion. And yet, employee engagement is at record lows — 13% according to perennial engagement survey leader Gallup. What’s wrong here? Perhaps human resources leaders are spending their …

Your Company’s Networks Might Matter More than Its Strategy

In a classic <i>Harvard Business Review</i> article, Abraham Zaleznick contrasted two very different styles of authority. Managers, he argued, take a rational approach and seek order and control. Leaders, on the other hand, are more emotionally driven and seek to drive change.<p>Every organization needs both. …

Does Hardware Even Matter Anymore?

We are in the midst of a technological revolution that is every bit as profound as the impact of cheap computing power, but it’s subtler and harder to notice. It will ease the way for companies launching and updating digital products, but it presents steep new learning curves that companies will …

4 Ways to Build a Productive Sales Culture

All businesses face opportunity costs. In the case of a sales organization, money, time, and effort allocated to accounts A and B are resources not available for accounts C, D, and so on. That reality drives the distinction between effectiveness (optimization by doing the right things) and …

Leading People When They Know More than You Do

If you’re a manager in a knowledge-driven industry, chances are you’re an expert in the area you manage. Try to imagine a leader without this expertise doing your job. You’ll probably conclude it couldn’t be done. But as your career advances, at some point you will be promoted into a job which …

You Need an Innovation Strategy

Despite massive investments of management time and money, innovation remains a frustrating pursuit in many companies. Innovation initiatives frequently fail, and successful innovators have a hard time sustaining their performance—as Polaroid, Nokia, Sun Microsystems, Yahoo, Hewlett-Packard, and …

Firms Need a Blueprint for Building Their IT Systems

Winchester House in San Jose, California, was once the residence of Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun magnate William Winchester. This mansion is renowned for its size, its architectural curiosities, and its lack of any master building plan. It is, unfortunately, also a great analogy for how many …

The Price of Incivility

Rudeness at work is rampant, and it’s on the rise. Over the past 14 years we’ve polled thousands of workers about how they’re treated on the job, and 98% have reported experiencing uncivil behavior. In 2011 half said they were treated rudely at least once a week—up from a quarter in 1998.<p>The costs …

Cashing in: why mobile banking is good for people and profit

Whether it is lack of access to water, energy or education, development professionals are well versed in the plethora of challenges facing billions of people. The traditional approach to solving these problems has been to think big – in terms of the millennium development goals, government aid …

Contactless vs. cash: The three C’s

<b>Only a few years ago, you would have most likely paid for your morning coffee with cash. And why not? Who would pull out a card, swipe, wait for it</b> …

Legacy fintech providers must ‘open up’ for banks to innovate

Bradley Leimer, financial services industry technologist, consultant, and commentator, leads digital strategy for Northern-California-based Mechanics …

The Effective Way to Write an Executive Summary

You know what makes highly successful people less stressed, happier and more productive? They know that their personal priorities are worth more than …

Success

Cracking The Code Of Consumer Psychology

<i>This post is co-authored by John Corcoran, creator of</i> <i>SmartBusinessRevolution.com</i><i>.</i><p>Steve Jobs famously said “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” Of course, Jobs was famous for introducing the world to consumer electronics that invented whole new product categories, such as …

How to Use Your Fear of Failure to Fuel Your Success

Freedom… independence… money… and fame. Reasons why you’ve always dreamed about becoming a successful entrepreneur, right?<p>Then why do you feel like …

51 percent of adults now bank online, study says

Stopping by your bank to make a quick deposit, chat with the teller and grab a lollipop for your kids may be fading into the past, according to a new …

Banks Need To Reassess Cross-Selling Efforts

For decades, cross-selling has been a strategic priority of banks and credit unions since earning more business from current customers is the most …

Today's Mobile Banking Apps: Table Stakes or Cutting Edge

There is no disputing that the U.S. mobile banking landscape is changing rapidly. Larger banks are setting the stage for broader market trends, while …

Top 10 Mobile Banking Mistakes

There’s plenty of great information out there for consumers about the dos and don’ts of mobile banking—password protect your device, use caution with …

10 Great Ways To Make Money While You Sleep

<b>Passive income online</b> is something of a holy grail. Everyone wants to “<b>make money as they sleep</b>.” After all, if you can take care of paying the rent …

Leading Fintech Blog and Think Tank

When a house owner fails to pay the mortgage or falls in arrears, the mortgage lender requests a court to issue a repossession order that in most …