Oct 26, 2011

Entrepreneurial employees to boost innovation

A growing number of companies are putting strategies in place to let their employees express their entrepreneurial spirit. Intrapreneurship is gaining ground among companies facing constant innovation challenges  as well as constantly exploring ways to improve the motivation of their personnel.

Intrapreneurship bypasses the constant financial problems entrepreneurs face. It gives individuals the opportunity to initiate entrepreneurial and innovative projects in a secure environment provided by the company for which they work.  It creates  new  professional development and personal achievement  opportunities that  boost employee  motivation  and  increase retention. Intrapreneurship brings  undeniable  value  to  Human  Resource strategies, in addition to growth potential to the company; a win win situation for employers and employees

Experienced innovators and some of the most inspiring speakers in the areas of intrapreneurship and innovation will share their views and experience during Intrapreneurship Conference 2011, the first international conference on Intrapreneurship.  Major entrepreneurs from Alcatel-Lucent,  Google, Rabobank & Exki will address the positive impact of intrapreneurship in their organizations, how it unleashed creativity and empowered employees to better achieve personal objectives as well as  getting higher recognition for what they are doing. They will also address challenges that may be faced when developing Intrapreneurship strategies.

Intrapreneurship Conference 2011 will take place on December 2nd, 2011 in Brussels.

For more information and registrations: www.intrapreneurshipconference.com

Source: Press Release from organizers

Personal note: I was honored to be invited to this conference, as I am organizing International Conference on Intrapreneurship next year (19-22 July, Mamaia, Romania). I am a huge fan of people joining forces in promoting good concepts, so I hope that our two events will have a great impact on future workforce and employers in order to bring more innovation in our economies.

Oct 2, 2011

Networking without a purpose

You probably got used to be advised to have very clear objectives when you go to a conference, to have a clear purpose for networking. Yeah sure, if only we will work all our life in the same field/ company.

 What most people tend to forget is that we build a personal network of contacts that we should be able to use no matter the changes in our career, or the career changes of our contacts. We should connect to people, not with their current positions or companies. These can change even in a few months (which actually happens more and more in our endless opportunities and dynamic world). And another thing we tend to forget is that nobody likes at a conference to feel hunted for his/ her position. A great person is great in any professional position, so your interest should not change if he/she works somewhere else.

 I do network without a clear purpose at the time of the conference. I just like to meet new interesting people. And I like to connect with them, make them remember me, without wanting something from them. Sometimes I just give first, without asking for something. Of course, sooner or later I have ideas on how to benefit from the contacts I have - but that becomes just a way to maintain the relation over time. Is just like connecting the dots later on.

 So my advice:
- You are not just X Manager at Y company. You are more complex. And you might have different needs in the future than the needs you have now. So don't waste opportunities for the future just because you think they are not useful for now.
- He/ she is not just Z Manager at W company. He/ she is more complex. They might change their field/ company anytime. They might have parallel cool projects, or hobbies...
- Keep yourself curious. Explore. Get inspired.
- Make yourself pleasant, human. Don't make them feel as if you hunt them for their positions.
- Be yourself. You are a person, not a business card.

Sep 20, 2011

Not really working from home

The working remotely phenomenon is increasing. No doubts on that.

But I disagree that the good old saying "working from home" applies anymore. Instead, people start to work more from public places like cafes, restaurants, concept stores, business hubs. And these places apply also for business meetings.

Why? Because we don't want to work from here or there (office/ home), but we simply want to be free/ completely mobile and to have diversity. And yes, these spaces should have: plugs, wireless, inspirational environment.

Would this be a business trend that will emerge into the development of new types of working spaces?
Well, I am betting that it is starting to be a perfect market time for a hi-tech cafe for business clients :)

Aug 23, 2011

I don't have time

That's a lie!!! Perhaps you don't lie to the others, but you lie to yourself.
Here is the truth:
You will always have time for what you love to do. Your lack of time does not come from lack of good planning/ time management, it just comes from lack of motivation. You don't like what you have to do or you think that you should not do more than your colleagues etc.
And one more thing:
The most successful people I have met always have time to run their things and keep an eye on what is going on around. The most unsuccessful people I have met always say they don't have time.
You get it...So it's time to start having time :)

Jul 26, 2011

Europeans, get ready for Startup Week 2011

Last week in Vienna  I met Andreas Tschas, CEO at STARTeurope, with who I've been in touch for a while.

Working on activating and fostering entrepreneurial thinking in Europe, they are now preparing for the European Startup Festival 2011 - an event gathering entrepreneurial people, mentors and investors, a total of 1000 European participants and 70 speakers for 5 days in Vienna.

Teaser STARTUP WEEK - The European Startup Festival from STARTUP WEEK on Vimeo.

The event is a great networking and business development opportunity I will not miss. Moreover, I want to spread the word about it and I hope that more like-minded entrepreneurs will join me there. I will be one of their ambassadors in Romania, so if my blog doesn't reach you, you will also find out about it on different media channels soon.

And this is not all. With STARTeurope's support, I will organize a local event to encourage the development of Romanian startup scene. To be announced soon...

Other articles about the event:

Jun 13, 2011

What about young women as entrepreneurs?

Some time ago I thought it is weird to see in the media topics about women entrepreneurship...I thought there is no difference between men and women when it comes to entrepreneurship and we should not be treated as a "different species".

But then...

I entered the entrepreneurship world myself (woman, 23 y.o....also Romanian) and I started to meet more and more entrepreneurs and investors. And yes, they are mostly men! Conferences on entrepreneurship and investments are packed with men. My network of entrepreneurs and investors...they are all men! Everybody I meet from this area is a man!

And then I wondered...

Why is this happening? I am a woman and I really cannot see any drawbacks in being an entrepreneur. But a friend of mine gave me a good answer: "We, as women, do not have examples/ models in this matter!" She also added: "The only few women entrepreneurs I can think of are in the fashion industry. But I would like to see women entrepreneurs on things men are currently masters!"

True or false? Is this the reason?

Was funny to see that by searching on google about young woman entrepreneur (tanara antreprenoare in Romanian), google thought is a misspell and showed me results for young man entrepreneur (tanar antreprenor):

But anyway, even telling google that I am not joking about my search terms, I got as results only a few examples, and all of them in fashion or anyway something related to this. 


If this is the problem, that we do not have examples, then I want to do something about it. Through JADE Romania I am able to organize an event on this topic and I want to do it. I want to discover the few good examples of young women entrepreneurs (under 25 y.o.), show them to the world and have some debates. So...step one...can you help me find them?

This has to change!

Jun 8, 2011

What do you brag about?

Bragging is normal. We all do it. One way or another. Ok, it also depends to a certain extent on the culture (for example, Latins brag more :) But... The most important thing to analyze is actually ABOUT WHAT do we brag?! Because that thing shows what we consider to be sooo special.

That is why I consider that if somebody brags about SOMETHING, then that means he/she is unexperienced in that matter. It is something new for him/her. And even more, I noticed the following differentiation by reflecting on certain discussions:

- beginners brag about what they do
- middle level brag about people they got to know, about their network...
- specialists avoid to talk about it...they will tell you about their hobbies instead of their successful careers

What have you bragged ABOUT lately? :)

May 27, 2011

Silent party: tune-in your music on your smartphone

When I was younger I was daydreaming about having a club where everybody listens to music in its headphones...to the same music. Advantages?
- No neighborhood noise, nobody outside the party place to complain
- When you want to talk to somebody at the party, you can just turn down the volume...no need to scream
- You can have different rooms/ spots with different music type, to satisfy different tastes in music

Later on I noticed that some places organize silent parties by using wireless headphones. But now, in the app economy and mobile revolution, we got something better: location-based music streamer on smartphones.

Last week, at Next Conference 2011, the winner of the elevator pitch was wahwah.fm and they will soon release their app.

Watch two interviews with wahwah.fm from last week in Berlin:
TechCrunch post
TheNextWeb interview

There are lots of cool stuff you can do with this. Like having DJs to compete on listeners at the same party.
I am so going to throw a silent party this summer! :)

May 25, 2011

What do we actually want to earn?

We have assisted lately to the valuations of different social networks (and we are talking about billions here) and some argue that this value mainly belongs to the users, to the value they create and share. I have discovered last week at Next Conference in Berlin a new rising social network (www.mycube.com) that promises very desirable founding principles, among which you can also find: monetization for the users in return of the value they create (more info in this article).

Apparently it sounds great for the users, but there is much more behind the obvious.

Beyond people appreciating the new "Robin Hood in town" that would like to share the wealth with all the people and beyond people always willing to earn some extra money, there is some interesting psychology behind it - and here is why I would call it a smart strategic move in the backstage of the business.

I believe that this strategy will reach and motivate three segments of users (contributors, socializers and gamers) in the same time, but for different reasons:

- Earning cubes (that can transform into real money) means that all this becomes a social game/ contest. A dynamic challenge in your circles of connections. And so many other social gaming platforms proved to be successful already (Foursquare, Zynga etc.)

- Earning cubes (that can transform into real money) means reaching a status that you can share into your network - hitting the top parts of Maslow's pyramid. You can see how much you are worth and brag to others too, you can get recognition. And we've already seen that people are more and more interested to measure their influence and make it public in their networks (e.g.: Klout)

- Earning cubes (that can transform into real money)  means that creators of content and socializers can receive incentives/ rewards for their work, knowledge, network. It is important as a user to feel like the time spent came up with a result. Just as good bloggers can monetize their blogs by displaying ads. 

And yes, having the cubes as a different currency than real money makes it even better. That is because it makes people think in a new points system, points that have the same value for everybody and that allows benchmark at international level, while competing and collaborating with your connections....or should I just say: playing together?

Bottom line, what we really want to earn is not money, but THE prize - be that social recognition, appreciation or just the top places in the competition...all in our relevant micro-world. And that's why I believe that this is a winning strategy, due to its behind-the-obvious reasons.

May 24, 2011

Reviewing Next Conference 2011, Berlin on Data Love

Last week I have attended a great conference in Berlin, dedicated to the upcoming trends in business and marketing following up from the huge amount of data that exists today. I am talking about Next Conference 2011, a two-day event on the topic Data Love, where I have been an Official Blogger.

How it felt to be there:

- The venue (Station Berlin) was awesome. Perfect fit and division for all the people there. 
- It was a great networking opportunity. About 2000 people from all over the world (well, most of them were Germans, but you could always run into an American, Swedish, French, Austrian etc.) I met lots of smart, open, creative people there. 
- I was the only Romanian there :)
- I liked the Press and Blogger lounge and all the special care of us, the Official Bloggers (and here you can see the list of all the Official Bloggers and their posts, in an aggregated post by Djure Meinen)
- The organisation of the event was awesome, as I already wrote in their post-meeting survey
- Berlin is a total different side of Germany: young, open, daring, entrepreneurial - loved it!

(here a short video I took, while mingling at the conference)

Key take-outs from the speeches:

- The future is all about bridging real and virtual, putting data into things.
- Not only big companies should analyze their data, but also small companies...and also each of us about ourselves.
- The challenge is now to make the best use of data by visualizing it.
- Privacy of data is still an issue. And also now the monetization - for individual, not just for companies.

#next11 on twitter meant over 10.000 tweets about the conference - see details here! And here are some of the most re-tweeted quotes from the event:
- The biggest barrier to innovation is making excuses (@sarahcuda)
- First of all I am French, therefore I make this in bad English (@rafigaro)
- If you came from Mars, you would think we're worshiping screens here (@undermanager)
- What gets measured, gets managed (@tferriss)
- Tracking is essential for success (@tferriss)
- Your body is an API (@irowan)
- Old thinking + new technology = fail (@jeremytai)
- Old scarcity = resources, new scarcity = attention (@jeremytai)
- It's the revenge of the nerds (@jeremytai)

Here you can watch the video registration of the speeches in the international track: http://nextconf.eu/next11/videostream/ (not all for the moment, but they will all follow soon)

And here some video interviews I took to some speakers and partners:

Mike Butcher, Editor at TechCrunch Europe
"Data is the new black"

Ralf Herbrich, Development Manager at Bing
"The social streams will help us search information about things in real life"

Wolf Allisat, Vice President at comScore
"Data is only loveable when is accurate"

Franziska von Lewinski, CEO at Interone
"I wish that we take many insights from all the data we have and we generate added-value for our consumers"
(and their study - The Retail Revolution)

Olivier Audouze, Global Marketing Director at Total Immersion
"M-commerce is ready for augmented reality"

Mike Arauz, Digital Communication Strategist at Undercurrent
"Visualization tools are becoming important. You need new people with new skills, people with backgrounds in mathematics, statistics, linguistics..."

Jorg Rensmann, CEO at infoMantis
"We take important information and give it to the users on different channels, others than emails and newsletters"

Very good live blogging by Adam Tinworth:
#next11: Boon and bare of analytics
#next11 - Socialising Search with Bing
#next11 #media - New metrics for a new media age
#next11 - Driven to Distraction
#next11 - Social Media for Good
#next11 - An API to your body's data

All in all, I would like to go to Next Conference 2012 and maybe this time with a few more Romanian people with me.

May 8, 2011

What type of leader are you?

I had the pleasure some days ago to attend an MBA class on Leadership, held by Stephanie Jones. For the first time, I meet somebody not trying to give answers on this debated topic, but trying to present all the facets of leadership, in its diversity.

Leadership exists in many forms and according to different contexts. And the most important is not to define if you are a leader or not, but to define what type of leader are you? And according to this, to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages, and also about the contexts where you are needed or not.

Based on extracts from her new book on Leadership, Stephanie presented eight questions that we need to reflect on to define our leadership style:

1. following a purpose/ being opportunistic?
2. in any field/ only in your field of expertize?
3. you do it in a visible way/ you stay behind and quiet?
4. focus on job/ work-life balance?
5. involving colleagues in decision-making/ authoritative?
6. leader/ manager?
7. inspirational/ ordinary?
8. thinking only of here and now/ thinking what you leave behind?

(the choices in bold reflect my style of leadership)

All the details can be found here:

May 3, 2011

Invited as official blogger at Next Conference in Berlin

"Today, data is what electricity has been for the industrial age." 

We do have easier access to information nowadays, but in the same time we are exposed daily to a huge amount of data. How do we capitalize on the data that surround us? How can marketers and business people use what their customers share online? Does the future belong to analytics?

More than 2000 international people will gather in Berlin on 17th and 18th May 2011 to discuss on this, during Next Conference...that is all about Data Love.

And I will be there! Moreover, as I will be an official blogger, I will happily share interesting debates and findings. So stay tuned for fresh insights from business developers, marketing experts and more.

May 2, 2011

Why move on?

Usually we go through our university years trying to develop ourselves for the world that comes after inside companies (employed or as entrepreneurs). But what if you actually prepare yourself to be a specialist on students and academia market?

I got my Bachelor degree two years ago. And I did not go for Masters. Even so, I am still a lot involved in the students world...and probably will still be for a while. My business is about internships for students, and I am still involved in JADE - an organization that fosters entrepreneurship through students.

Most of the people around me do not understand this phenomenon. For them is normal to move on, go out of the students world and enter the corporate world. Actually, if I think more about it, just the students were those who did not understand why I don't move on, as they are in the rush to leave "this world" and jump in the next. But experienced business people looked at me with admiration for what I am doing, seeing in it a normal evolution that most of them did not think to grasp when it was their time.

So if I got to know and understand well lots of aspects related to academia and students life, why not capitalize on it, and in the same time develop it for the wellbeing of future generations of students?!

So prepare to hear soon more about my current and near future projects:

- An innovative business incubator for students entrepreneurs in Bucharest

- A new Junior Enterprise in Bucharest that will act as a Marketing Agency that will operate for companies that target students

- Business lunches between entrepreneurs and Junior Entrepreneurs from Bucharest and Cluj

- A business developing the Romanian internships system as a bridge between education and business

...and maybe more! (all with the help of other great young people)

Mar 11, 2011

Connecting the dots (a.k.a. How internshipin.ro started)

Every choice we make and everybody we meet makes us what we are today. But even if we plan something, we do not truly know where life is taking us...until we reach a milestone in our life and we look back at the things that brought us there...and we see how things connected.

At this moment I am launching my first real business! So I am proud to present you my startup, 18 days before its official launch: www.internshipin.ro - an online platform that aims to build a community of top students that will benefit from the best internship opportunities in the most diverse range of companies.

But how and why did I do it? Here is the story (quite long article)- the dots that connected to lead me to this:


After one year of studying at the university (of Marketing), I got bored of so much theory (also not the most updated one) and I started to look for practical experience opportunities.

Not easy to start from zero though: everywhere I turned, all the companies were asking you to have previous experience in the field. So I was wondering, in this case, how can you break this ice? How can you ever start, if everyone is asking you to have some experience already?

There were actually some jobs for students in my situation, like Sales Representatives in shopping malls, Call Center operators etc. But all these were just bringing some money on the table, some professional experience indeed, but not professional experience in your field of studies, in the field you would like to build your career. I have to admit that I did try one of these for a few months.

It came to my mind then an advice from my cousin when I was applying for university: "No matter what, during your studies, do get involved into a students association." Alright I said, let's try! I picked one of them from my university, due to some random circumstances: Business Organisation for Students.


Still in my second year of studies (but towards the end).

Being involved in the students association still was not satisfying my professional needs and my goal to "grow" faster. Attending some conferences in my field of studies, I noticed some cool companies (well, deciding this by their representatives). I looked on the website of two of them and I applied for two jobs. One called me for an interview. Some weeks and some tests later, I was starting my first job in the field: Marketing Assistant at Daedalus Millward Brown (a top Marketing Research agency) - and I was actually one of the few lucky students to manage to get a job in the field of studies. And this is where I realized how much you can actually learn by doing, through real experience (and adding the workshops and trainings provided). Was a full time job, but I felt it is worth more the time spent there than the time spent at the university...I was learning more.

Some months after, I thought I can use my experience (not much at that moment, but still something compared to what other colleagues knew) to share it with other enthusiast students. Therefore, I have decided to build a new department in the students organisation: Marketing Strategy & Research. After some elections, I was the Manager of an 8 people department. Was a parallel experience with my job and it was complementary. I really liked the knowledge and experience exchange with my colleagues, but also the additional managing and leading part.


After graduating from my university (3 years of studies), after 1.5 years working in the company and after 2 years of being involved in the students organisation, I found and took a big opportunity: to move abroad and be in the Executive Board of JADE (European Confederation of Junior Enterprises) for one year (random circumstances and lots of courage brought me here). I left all my life in Romania and moved to Belgium (well, actually all over Europe :) Great learning by doing experience...and great life lesson! Also, this made me discover how things work in other countries. And this is how I also noticed all that internships system they have (and in Romania was missing...this was missing from being able to break the ice for starting a career).


My term in JADE was finishing in October, and I had to decide on and find something to do after. I wanted to get a cool job in Marketing in some other country and explore more the international life. But things did not work out as planned (various reasons).

In September I changed my mind and decided to start my own business. A big one actually that required good planning, lots of involvement, a big investment and going back to Romania. Spent on it 3 months of learning about entrepreneurship and planning it (one month in Belgium, one month in Germany and one month in Romania).

In November I realized that starting this business might take longer than I thought. And I could not stay on the edge meanwhile. So I was back home, not knowing how to start, but aiming high. I went back to the thought of looking for a job....of course, I said, just temporary until I am able to start my business. And I looked for jobs abroad and in my country. This whole "looking for a job" thing made me reflect more on how the hiring process is working...what are the good and bad aspects of it, in different countries.

In December I decided to start an online platform in the HR area, on a niche: internships for students. That was because I wanted to make it possible for future generations of students to have an easier career start, unlike my generation and previous generations had. And also to make the recruiting and hiring process more friendly for both students and companies. The internships are quite a new concept for Romania, although some players are already on the market. So I felt there is still need for more players to develop the market and also that I can do things differently than already existing (and future plans include more aims of expansion).

And I took the first steps: defining a basic concept and looking for the right team.


Things developed with the speed of light.

In January I already had a great team (and this felt like the biggest challenge...and then achievement), a web agency, a lawyer, a more developed concept, some first potential partnerships and sales leads. And it all started to be bigger than I thought it can be. Of course, this part of the story can expand into a long story itself (but this with another occasion).

And until today (middle of March) we worked a lot on it. And we still have a lot to work on it, to develop it. And me and my team colleagues are happy to announce that www.internshipin.ro is already a real business project, waiting to be officially launched on 29th March.

Mar 6, 2011


I remember one of my first teachers in school was always saying: "You cannot evaluate something, unless you compare it with something else." And this is so true.

When we have several elements to evaluate, we are always more critique with the first (one or two) options. Then for the next ones, we start comparing with the previous options and most of times this also means that we become less critique.

This is also used in negotiation techniques: for example, you start from the highest possible price and then you present cheaper options.

It is the psychology of human beings, that they are more likely to accept something if they were exposed to worse conditions in advance, rather than accepting it if it was the first thing to hear about.

But what happens to the quality of some deliverables you ask from your colleagues or a service provider?

Going through lots of possibilities, seeing many options...you tend to lower expectations. You can end up accepting something that was unacceptable in the first place, but later on you become open to it. Especially if there are also some time constrains. However, if you carry those results outside of the internal work (outside your team project, for example), the others do not have the same terms of comparison as you had. You might not even know with what they will compare it. And most probably they will have higher expectations than you at that point in time.

So what is there to do?
The best solution I can think of is to work on things on shorter terms and avoiding going through too many internal alternatives. If it isn't "love at first sight", then it shouldn't be - even in business.

Mar 2, 2011

Networking 20.11

I have attended (as participant and speaker) two conferences lately:

- Digital Marketing Forum in Bucharest (organized by Evensys)

- International Congress of Youth Entrepreneurship in Brussels (organized by JADE)

and I have noticed that there are some interesting ways in which networking has changed nowadays, as described below.

1. Speakers do not carry business cards with them anymore. You can remember their name or find it on the website of the event and then connect to them on LinkedIn (and from there on twitter, facebook etc.) However, LinkedIn is not that friendly if you want to connect with somebody you met during an event if you don't have his/her email address from the business card (and no other criteria apply, such as done business together or colleagues).

2. Most of the people do not have just one professional activity at a time, they usually run more projects/ companies/ jobs. Multitasking! So what happens then with the business cards? Some give you more business cards in the same time (one for each activity), some give you the relevant business card for the event you meet at, some give you a business card that sends you to their individual website where you can see all their ongoing activities. I also find myself in the same situation, I have 3 current positions at the moment and I am still thinking what to do about it regarding promotion (business card or something else). I have an idea so far and I will show you soon.

3. We do miss more tech tools. Like one that enables you to see who is in the room. Yes, we do have applications like Foursquare where you can check in and see who else is around, but there you cannot see professional profiles that are needed in these circumstances.

4. Twitter walls are so helpful. Is an easy way to connect with people in the room through twitter, share impressions and give feedback in real time. Every conference should have this.

5. There are some useful mobile apps that facilitate networking and managing contacts. I use and recommend CamCard for Android - an app that scans business cards with the phone's camera and then saves automatically all the info in your contact book, each at the appropriate place. If you know more useful tools like this, please share.

How do you connect?

* On the same topic: Business Insider article

Feb 13, 2011


Working on launching my business, I have hit the milestone of making a final decision over the branding - the essence of everything we do, representing what we stand for in very simple symbols, the logo, the slogan, the way we write/ put everything on the website.

It is funny how we thought about so many details regarding the concept, about communication elements, mission, values etc. But when we come down to make this final decision on what is the essence of everything, what is the one thing that will relate to all the other elements and resonate with both our target groups.....that is damn difficult. And I do know all the theory of branding, and I do know my business very well....still it doesn't help much matching creativity with pragmatism.

In 10 days the website with all its content, all the little details, has to be ready. And while most things can be adapted over time, let's face it - a rebranding will be a no for a while.

All the little details make the difference...

We are looking for perfection...is this possible?

Feb 8, 2011

When I grow up...

When you are young, at the beginning of your career, you want to grow. Maybe you plan to become a specialist in something, or you want to become someday a manager, or you want to become a successful entrepreneur like the famous examples from media. And in the same time you have lots of energy to invest and lots of fresh ideas. You are a young professional with high career ambitions and you would do anything to grab opportunities to get you there.

However, there are a two important things "mature people" do not consider when they have young professionals in their companies:

- Experienced employees and managers usually do not empower young people. If they have an intern or a junior, most of the times they will give them small tasks and projects and little responsibility. They are afraid their lack of experience will mess things up. But they miss one important thing: these young people are the ones eager to take on big challenges and they can also have different perspectives that would enable innovations. They can be their perfect intrapreneurs. The true leaders in business are the ones able to see potential in the young people, to empower them and to help them grow...themselves and the business.

- Experienced employees and managers usually do not even think about the great impact they have on somebody who has just started his/ her first job. The way they do business, the way they manage their internal processes, the way the team communicates - all these will impact the young professional and will reflect in his/ her way of working...maybe for all his/ her future career. The true leaders in business understand the responsibility of hiring somebody with no or little previous experience and are careful in the way they shape people - and this starts from ensuring that what is "inside" is good quality and improving.

Have you ever thought on how much influence the first professional experiences had on your life? Don't forget all these when you will work with/ manage younger people.

Jan 23, 2011

Business team's chemistry

While working on my business launch, I can say that the greatest challenge was to form a great team, with smart, motivated, ambitious people that, most importantly, get along very well. After many trials, I can say I managed to achieve this.

So, for whoever is interested how to achieve having a great team of business associates, I have here some tips and tricks:

- Be open! Don't be afraid to share your idea. Talk about it to people you already know, and also with new people that you meet in entrepreneurial environments. As many as possible. Some will just give you a feedback, some will lead you to useful contacts, some might become your associates.

- Motivate! Talk with enthusiasm. Get to know the other people better. Make the link between their interests and your interests.

- Check the other's attitude towards the project/ business! Being experts in their field is not enough. You need people who love the project as much as you, who perceive it as their own.

- Make sure you have a balance! Make sure "the chosen ones" complete each other and you have a variety of personalities, skills etc. However, it should all fit together at the end.

- Empower! Don't dictate and don't believe you know everything best. Let the others question your idea, your plan. Be open to feedback and give the others the opportunity to manage some aspects. Invest some trust because collaboration can take you further.

- Look more for potential, rather than existing skills! People develop over time. Create a team based on personalities, attitudes and personal goals, skills can develop over time if there is potential for growth in a specific area.

- Check how the others feel with each other! Don't follow only your opinions and chemistry evaluations, but make sure everybody in the team feels good about the others.

- Mediate! You are the link, you have the overview. So you can help the others find their place and mix well.

However, even with the greatest team, always be prepared for the unexpected! You need to be able to be flexible, and remember that good leaves to make room for better :)

Jan 18, 2011

How close are we?

In the year 201x, somewhere in the University campus:

- Students are invited to RSVP on meetup.com if they are going to attend the class
- Once the class has started, present students should confirm their physical attendance by check-ins on Foursquare for the place called Room 145, University of...
- If the teacher is absent, he can teach remotely by using his avatar for live presentation
- If some students are absent, they are free to attend the class online on the Facebook group
- The lesson is composed by tweets. At the end, the Q&As session is held on Quora.
- Students chat between themselves during the class on Facebook, posting on each other's walls and commenting

The challenge is, define x! :)

Jan 4, 2011

What do you do when shit happens?

Yes, shit happens! No matter how much you plan things. There are things you cannot control, or you simply collaborate with others and some can let you down sometimes.

What makes a difference is the way you react when shit happens. And your reaction is a thing you can totally control. This is the time when you can be a fighter, a problem-solver, a challenge-taker, an entrepreneurial spirit, a leader. There is no point to get down and cry, and to blame...others, faith, whatever.

Yesterday it happened to me. A key team member for my future online business had to quit the project suddenly. This was really messing up all the plans. However, already in the next second alternatives came to my mind - I didn't have time to be upset, I had to be fast in finding solutions not to delay things even more. I met later the rest of the team and we started by discussing alternatives and made a new plan. The meeting was really productive and the team spirit increased. I was pleased to see everyone results-driven, finding solutions and collaborating. In the end, the fact that we needed to find new solutions actually helped us, since we had to  rethink some aspects. So maybe is true that good is gone only to leave room for better. And I guess that among entrepreneurs, this is a common reaction to problems.....hmm, challenges :)

Also yesterday, I assisted a fight between some colleagues (another team) over a delay in tasks. To my surprise, I assisted to a blaming and defending attitude and a growing fight instead of finding solutions, for the moment and for the future. And I was wondering why? Why weren't these people getting out of the problem as soon as possible? Why were they wasting time and energy to fight instead of finding a solution and peace? I was glad I could give a solution that pleased them and stopped the fight. But as long as I don't discover the reason behind their reaction, most probably it will happen again. Conclusion was that everybody controls their own reaction, but as a team player you can definitely help your colleagues that are facing a problem, especially since you see the issue more neutral.

What do you do when shit happens? To you or around you?