Archive 2013

A corporate environment gives life to the words ‘daily grind.’ Weekly schedules and looming deadlines can begin to take their toll on the productivity and sanity of the team, and a company meeting that drags on in endless disinterest and boredom can ruin any chances for creativity that may have previously been brewing. One-sided conversations will lead to doodling and general sleepiness, and the meeting will conclude without moving any issue forward or allowing new innovations to be voiced.

15 Creative Ideas for More Productive Meetings

However, a meeting is a real chance for the team to collaborate and create new strategies and goals, so a meeting lacking in creativity is nothing but a missed opportunity for a business.

Employees zone out during meetings for a variety of reasons, the primary reasons including:

  • “This meeting doesn’t really apply to me.”
  • “I’m not prepared, so I’ll just listen.”
  • “What is the point of this meeting?”
  • “I don’t know what I’m supposed to be getting from this.”
  • “This is wasting my time. Nothing is being decided.”
  • “Wasn’t this called a brainstorming meeting? No one is talking but our boss.”
  • “This meeting seems to be nothing but complaining.”

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Subscription Service Enhanced with Summaries of TED Talks


getAbstract is proud to announce the launch of TED Summaries, the result of a novel collaboration with TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design). getAbstract is the first company in the e-learning industry to provide this service.

TED offers the world’s most renowned and innovative leaders and thinkers a platform to present and publicize their ground breaking ideas and research. getAbstract carefully curates and professionally condenses TED Talks into succinct executive summaries – a format that executives can readily absorb. getAbstract has tailored the format of its business summaries specifically to the needs of an audience of corporate professionals and entrepreneurs who strive to be creative and innovative and to stay abreast of change. Each pithy summary encapsulates the core ideas of a TED Talk into a short, easy-to-digest text that requires just a two-minute investment of reading time. Every TED summary contains hyperlinks that lead readers directly to the pertinent section of the video where the linked information is discussed.

getAbstract Goes Beyond Business Books with TED Summaries

Every week, getAbstract adds new summaries of the most relevant TED Talks to its growing business library. TED Summaries are integrated into getAbstract’s Gold Subscription and are also available to corporate subscribers.

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In a world that is moving faster than ever, nearly 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, information is everywhere. Distractions are everywhere and often times there appear to be too few hours in the day to complete tasks like leisurely reading a book. While not all reading is done solely for enjoyment, many are tasked with reading assignments for both school and work and must find the time to dedicate to reading and comprehending such material. What happens when one gets behind on their required reading? There are many different ways to get the necessary information from a piece of literature, even in a hurry!

What Is The Fastest Way To Read A Book?

Regardless of how one feels about reading, from time to time, it simply needs to get done. Whether the purpose is to gain knowledge on a particular topic, for enjoyment, to discuss with coworkers at a networking event or perhaps to complete a school assignment, many are looking for the fastest, most effective way to read a book. Depending on how quickly a book needs to be read and comprehended, many professionals and students are turning to book summaries to provide an overview and understanding into what the books material entails in as little as ten minutes.

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Shelf life of skills limited

As a society at the forefront of science, we’ve learned how to make a loaf of bread last weeks instead of days. We learn to make physical necessities last longer, but the shelf life of our professional needs, like skills and knowledge, has diminished. While it’s debatable whether food that never molds is a good thing, there’s no denying the positive results that come from the ability to stay ahead of the curve and ensure your technical knowledge doesn’t expire.

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Break Rules and Get Smart Results

Do you ask your boss if you can try out a new idea?

Or, suggest your employees try a new approach?

Asking these questions are characteristics of a good hacker. “Hacking is… understanding a system well enough to take it apart, play with its inner workings and do something better with it,” says Josh Klein in his book Hacking Work. He describes how this type of hacking circumvents restrictive corporate practices. When it’s done right, a company can become a place where people work better, become more creative and generate high-quality work for less money.

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Become an exceptional father

So, what makes dads so special?

Well, today, fathers are more than providers and disciplinarians. They are becoming more committed, hands-on caregivers.

Many dads desire more involvement in their family life. They share more responsibilities around the house, and they have increased their involvement in child care, housework and cooking.

However, this role change means many fathers are juggling increased demands at work and at home.

What’s a dad to do?

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Remember, years ago, the delays you encountered when making a long distance call overseas?
A pause lasting nearly a minute would occur before the ringtone or before you received a response from the person you called. The hollow sound in the phone really made you feel the distance between you and your loved one, friend or colleague.
Now, those issues occur less and calling people overseas is not so much of an event that happens on special occasions; instead, it is more of a daily occurrence for some families and organizations.
Today, the distance that used to separate us has lessened because new technology is eroding barriers in areas such as communication. It’s allowing us to make more contacts and more connections with people all over the world. This interaction with different cultures is creating more demands in the work environment and rapid changes, which means you have to stay more aware of the trends occurring within your industry. Read the rest of this entry »

One of your company’s most valuable assets might not be an obvious choice. Sales leads, in reality, can predict a business’s financial future and success. That’s why it’s important to gather high-quality leads wherever and whenever you can.

“Successful lead generation is predicated on a firm foundation strategy,” says Brian J. Carroll in his book “Lead Generation for the Complex Sale: Boost the Quality and Quantity of Leads to Increase Your ROI.” He says, “The generation of leads today calls for much more than salespeople getting on the phone in an attempt to schedule an appointment.” Read the rest of this entry »

Managing Your Time


You feverishly rush from one work task to another and from one meeting to the next. Even after a long day at work you still find yourself in a mad dash to pick up the kids from school, your clothes from the dry cleaner’s and some groceries from the store. Whew!

You’re overscheduled, stressed and exhausted.

Don’t you wish there were more hours in the day? Read the rest of this entry »

Your boss has given you the task of coming up with the next profitable idea.

So, where and how do you begin?

Finding unique ideas is valuable in the age of information overload, and coming up with something different isn’t as hard as you think. Great ideas not only exist, but they are also all around you. Read the rest of this entry »

“There’s not enough time in the day!” Sounds familiar? You may have uttered these words yourself. Or, they are words you’ve heard your mother say under her breath during a frantic search or state of urgency. Have you ever wondered how she does it?

At first glance, it appears mothers have it all together. They not only have mastered the art of juggling, but they are also amazing magicians.

They juggle the demands of work with the quality time they spend with their family. They show up at school events, and parent-teacher meetings after long and exhausting days. They listen to your troubles while they either postpone or struggle with their own problems. Most importantly, these ladies tend to have a knack at turning grumpy frowns and tearful eyes into a bright smiles and boisterous laughter.

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Tribes in companies get work done – sometimes a lot of work – but they don’t form because of work. Tribes are the basic building block of any large human effort.” – Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Group to Build a Thriving Organization by Dave Logan, John King and Halee Fischer-Wright

Do you agree? Read the rest of this entry »

Alex Ferguson, perhaps the most successful sports manager of all time, has retired as manager of Manchester United Football club. He is the English Premier League’s longest-serving manager. Ferguson took the reins in 1986 and has won 38 trophies with the club, including 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League crowns, five FA Cups and four League Cups.

As a listed company, Manchester United was required to make an announcement on Ferguson’s retirement once rumors began circulating that the veteran leader would resign. Favorites to step into Ferguson’s shoes include David Moyes of Everton and Jürgen Klopp of German side Borussia Dortmund. The media have even linked José Mourinhno, who will leave Real Madrid in the summer, to the vacancy, though he will likely take over at Chelsea.

Ferguson will not bow out of football completely, however. The 71-year-old will remain as director of football and ambassador for Manchester United Football Club. Ferguson’s example shows that retirement has modernized. Life doen’t end at 65. To learn more about your options, take a look at these summaries:

The Big Shift

Retire Retirement

Reworking Retirement

If you are a small business owner, it’s likely that you are sorting through piles of information about the Affordable Care Act. New rules and regulations have many of you wondering just how exactly it applies to your business.

Well, when it comes to this new law, the size of your business matters. The law is intended to help small businesses meet the health needs of their employees by providing business owners with more choices and control over health insurance spending. The Act doesn’t require small businesses to provide health insurance to employees, but it does give tax breaks to some of those businesses that do.

The credit of up to 35 percent goes to those businesses that have less than 25 full-time equivalent employees, pay an average annual wages below $50,000 and give 50 percent or more toward employee health insurance premiums. This credit goes up to 50 percent for two years starting in 2014. Nonprofits will see a tax credit of 25 percent which will increase to 35 percent at the beginning of the new year.

Small businesses that have 50 employees or less can participate in the Small Business Health Options Program also known as SHOP. This is a place where small business employers can select low cost health coverage from a number of providers.

Most large firms, those that employ 50 or more full-time employees or full-time equivalent employees, offer health insurance to their employees; but, those businesses that don’t will likely face employer responsibility requirements.

Take steps to reduce health care costs even further by making wellness a top priority at your business. Your workers are at their best when they and their work environment are healthy, which helps to increase productivity and profits.   Learn about the steps you can take to encourage a healthy lifestyle and a healthy organization in getAbstract summaries like’s Leading Under Pressure: Strategies to Avoid Burnout, Increase Energy and Improve Your Well-Being, by Gabriela Cora and “The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business,” by Patrick Lencioni.


Have you ever wanted to get away from it all and take a prolonged vacation to some distant destination? One company is offering that chance free of charge. It sounds too good to be true, right? It is. The catch: You can never return. The destination: Mars.

Mars One, a Dutch initiative, has launched a website to find four volunteers (no previous space experience required) who are willing to travel to and settle on the red planet in 2023. Every year, four more settlers will join the four pioneers. However, wannabe astronauts should read the fine print before signing up: The journey will take seven months in a confined space. Muscle atrophy as a result of zero gravity in space and reduced gravity on Mars will rule out a return to Earth, so the successful candidates must be willing to say goodbye to their earthling family and friends forever. Mars’s new inhabitants will have to hit the ground running and develop sources of food before their emergency supplies from Earth expire, an initiative with no guarantee of success. Despite these shortcomings, and many more, the opening has already received more than 600 applications.

The technology for sending man to Mars already exists. If star-trekking across the universe has always been your dream, read The Case for Mars by Robert Zubrin before submitting your application for Martian citizenship.