Upper East Side trophy property tops luxury deals — again

first_imgShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Email Address* 109 East 79th Street and 1010 Park Avenue (Google Maps)An Upper East Side resident who jotted down the number of a developer after seeing it posted at a construction site has brokered the biggest luxury deal last week in Manhattan.The unnamed buyer and soon-to-be owner of a penthouse at 109 East 79th Street negotiated the deal directly with Cathy Franklin at Corcoran Group, who is handling on-site sales, according to the latest market report from Olshan Realty. The unit was last asking $32.5 million.The contract was one of 27 signed in Manhattan last week for properties asking $4 million or more, suggesting the momentum that started to build at the end of last year might be here to stay.“It’s encouraging signs,” said Donna Olshan, who noted that discounts, low interest rates and news of the Covid-19 vaccine all played a role. “It’s a more optimistic landscape than we’ve seen.”The 79th Street building, which is expected to be completed in 2022, was developed by Legion Investment Group’s Victor Sigoura, who previously worked for Naftali Group. The penthouse that went into contract has five bedrooms, five and a half bathrooms and three terraces.As Manhattan’s luxury market slowly finds its footing, trophy properties on the Upper East Side are proving particularly popular. In the last 10 weeks, sponsor units in the neighborhood have topped the list of contracts signed six times.“Everyone was saying they are leaving New York,” said Franklin. “And now they are all coming back.”Read moreHFZ’s Ziel Feldman sells Hamptons home for $50MOne57 condo sells at record 51% lossJordache’s Ralph Nakash buys Rockefeller pad for $9.9M Full Name* Tagscondo marketdonna olshanManhattanNYC Luxury MarketResidential Real Estatecenter_img Share via Shortlink Despite the bump, activity in the luxury market is not even across the board: In the last three weeks, condos have outsold co-ops 43 to 5, Olshan said. In the same period, there were 11 townhouse deals.The second-priciest deal last week was a 9th-floor unit at Extell Development’s 1010 Park Avenue.Purchased by a New York family, the unit was last asking $15.9 million, down from $18 million when it was listed in 2017. It measures 3,881 square feet and includes four bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms.“There was pent-up demand and there are some very good large properties out there that are selling,” said Hilary Landis of Corcoran Group, who represented the developer with Beth Benalloul.“There’s a pool and only 11 apartments in the building,” she added. “In Covid times, a small boutique building is often more desirable.”Contact Sylvia Varnham O’Regan Message*last_img read more

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Australia’s Wood Petroleum moves A-6 Development project into pre-FEED phase

first_imgThe A-6 Development involves the drilling of up to 10 ultra-deep-water wells in water depth ranging from 2,000m-2,300m Image: The A-6 project Development involves drilling of up to 10 wells. Photo: courtesy of gloriaurban4 from Pixabay. Australia’s Woodside Petroleum and its partners have moved its A-6 gas project offshore Myanmar from the exploration and appraisal phase into the pre-front-end engineering design phase.Located in Block A-6 within Woodside’s Southern Hub, the A-6 development project is owned by a joint venture of Total E&P Myanmar with 40% stake, Woodside with 40% interest and MPRL E&P holding the remaining 20% interest.Woodside development executive vice president Meg O’Neill said: “We appreciate the Government of Myanmar’s ongoing support and willingness to work with the joint venture to ensure the A-6 Development is progressed in a timely manner.“The Block A-6 Joint Venture and the Government of Myanmar have agreed a fiscal framework that will enable commercialisation of Myanmar’s first ultra-deep-water resource.“The A-6 Development will generate a significant long-term revenue stream for the country and pay taxes and royalties to the Government of Myanmar. We are also proud that this development has been structured to benefit the people of Myanmar through training, development and capability build for Myanmar nationals.”A-6 Development involves drilling of up to 10 ultra-deep-water wellsThe A-6 Development involves the drilling of up to 10 ultra-deep-water wells including six wells in Phase 1 and up to four additional wells in Phase 2, in water depth ranging from 2,000m-2,300m.The wells will be connected to a subsea gathering system, which is links a shallow-water processing platform.The produced gas is exported through a 240km pipeline to a riser platform located near the existing Yadana platform complex. The riser platform will distribute gas to Myanmar and Thailand.Wood said that the A-6 Development will enter FEED phase in the second half of 2020.Last year, Total and its partners announced a positive appraisal of the A6 block Shwe Yee Htun-2 discovery.The well, which was drilled to a depth of 4,820m, encountered 40m of net gas pay in a high-quality reservoir, and preliminary tests confirmed good reservoir quality, permeability and well production deliverability.According to joint venture agreements, Total will take over operatorship in the development phase.last_img read more

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Think again about “simplistic” longer tenancies, landlords warn government

first_imgHome » News » Think again about “simplistic” longer tenancies, landlords warn government previous nextRegulation & LawThink again about “simplistic” longer tenancies, landlords warn governmentAs government consults on three-year minimum tenancies, NLA says proposals do not reflect diverse property market.Nigel Lewis9th February 201801,221 Views The National Landlords Association (NLA) has called on the government to think again about its proposed longer tenancies legislation following a meeting with new junior housing minister Heather Wheeler.The NLA’s CEO Richard Lambert met with her yesterday along with representatives of ARLA, RICS, NALS and the RLA to discuss government priorities for the private residential market ahead of a busy year for the government.This will include widening regulation within the HMO sector, the tenant fees ban, stricter energy efficiency regulations and a consumer and industry consultation on longer ASTs to increase tenant security.It is this last measure that is exercising minds at the NLA. During the meeting, the organisation says it pressed Heather Wheeler (pictured, below) to “think beyond simplistic calls for longer tenancies and look at how best to incentivise landlords to offer a wider range of tenancies to cater for the increasingly diverse range of what tenants may need”.ARLA also made an interesting point on longer tenants recently, which is likely to have also been put the minister, based on research by Capital Economics.It suggests that by abolishing tenant fees, which is scheduled to become law next year, the market will favour those who move more often and punish those who stay put in longer tenancies.“I welcome [Heather’s] willingness to talk to the NLA and other private rented sector representative organisations,” says Richard Lambert (pictured, right).“With its self-professed focus on tackling the housing crisis, it is vital that the government recognises and supports the prominent role that the private rented sector plays in housing over twenty percent of UK households.“Through the forthcoming ban on letting fees and other proposals the government has shown it is more than willing to intervene in markets when it perceives them to be failing consumers.“We urge the minister and her colleagues to work with the NLA and others to ensure that any intervention made is necessary, proportionate and maintains a fair regulatory regime within which landlords can continue to run their business.”NLA Richard Lambert heather wheeler RICS ARLA RLA February 9, 2018Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

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What’s next for Hoboken’s infrastructure?

first_imgDear Editor:The number one problem facing the city of Hoboken is the aging condition of our town’s infrastructure, and its continuing deterioration.Just last week, the residents of our city experienced another water main break. This time, a 12 inch underground pipe broke, causing a portion of the pavement at 5th and Willow to collapse. The unfortunate result was a sink hole so large that it swallowed up an SUV that had been parked in the area. Luckily, no one was hurt – this time.Are we going to wait until a serious or deadly incident occurs before we pro-actively address the pressing issue of Hoboken’s aging infrastructure, and make it a top priority?As someone who served on the North Hudson Sewage Authority, I am well aware of the seriousness of this situation and the steps that must be implemented to remedy this chronic problem. Piecemeal repairs to these ongoing occurrences are not the solution.The city government must act, and act boldly, to protect the people and property of the residents of our town. We need action on our century old infrastructure now if we are to avoid a future disaster of unthinkable proportions. Mayor Zimmer should realize that if our pavement does not hold up, there will be no place to put more bike lanes.Is City Hall listening?Frank Raialast_img read more

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Take time for tea

first_imgAsk most customers if they want a hot drink to go with their cake or sandwich and they might be tempted by a cappuccino. A humble tea bag just doesn’t have the same allure as coffee, particularly if customers want to treat themselves. And let’s face it, there’s more theatre around an espresso machine, when you can make a bog-standard cup of tea at home.But that’s a shame, as quality, speciality tea is a different proposition altogether to most Brits’ usual brew. “The average person isn’t used to very good-quality tea, but if shops spent just a bit more, they could offer their customers a really good and different experience to the one they get at home,” says Christine Collins, director at Cup of Tea, which supplies Ronnefeldt Tea.Indeed, it’s only in recent years that coffee has become quite so high profile everyone used to be happy with instant coffee before they sampled cappuccinos and lattes. Gail Rowley, marketing manager at Mighty Leaf Tea, says: “Coffee has a lot of big-brand advertising behind it, with high-profile high street outlets such as Starbucks and Caffè Nero, while there is no tea equivalent.”Turn of the tideYet the tide is turning and Mighty Leaf Tea reports that it is seeing particular interest from new coffee shops and delis, which want to differentiate their tea offering.Customers are more interested in putting chai on their menu as the sector develops and it becomes more popular, says Drink Me Chai. Its Chai Latte offers that ’latte’ experience that is similar to the coffee experience. Founder Amanda Hamilton adds: “Tea bags do not attract a high retail price, but our product is a powder that uses real, ground spices and is usually made up with steamed milk. The price is similar to a premium hot chocolate or latte. Customers seem to respond to this price, as the product is seen as an alternative to coffee, not compared with a traditional cup of tea.”Ethically sourced teas can be another point of difference, and Country Range has sourced tea from one of the world’s first Rainforest Alliance Certified tea estates for its new range of tea bags, offering a premium blend Kenyan tea with the assurance that it comes 100% from sustainably managed farms. It believes that consumers would like to see more ethically sourced products on menus, while research shows that 92% are willing to pay more for a product perceived to be ethical.While English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Chamomile and Peppermint are often the most popular varieties with consumers, unsurprisingly, most manufacturers advise shops to stock a lot more across the range of black, green and white teas and herbal infusions. Teapigs recommends that shops start by selling six to eight of its varieties and rec-kons some end up stocking all its 21.Twinings senior customer marketing manager Andrea Stopher says offering a variety can drive incremental sales. “People don’t want to replicate the experience they have at home they want something slightly dif-ferent and will be interested in meal deals, such as Earl Grey and lemon cake or Assam with a scone.”Chatwins in Nantwich, Cheshire, offers a selection of teas at its four coffee lounges, including decaf, chamomile, and Earl Grey. Says chairman Edward Chatwin: “We only charge 5p extra for these speciality teas and have seen a steady increase in sales of herbal and decaf teas, as more people move away from standard tea for health reasons and are prepared to pay a bit more. It’s easier to offer a range of speciality teas as, unlike coffee, staff don’t need barista training to sell them.”Also, don’t imagine that you have to serve loose-leaf teas to attract tea drinkers, as many consumers are unused to strainers these days, while it’s just not practical when you’re doing takeaways.”There is a general perception that loose tea is better, as many tea bags contain very finely chopped tea leaves, even tea dust. But at Mighty Leaf Tea, we use exactly the same high-quality whole leaf product in our tea pouches as we do for our loose tea,” says Rowley.If you’re serving a choice of teas then individual string tagged tea bags are a popular choice as these can be displayed front-of- house for consumers to select, says Ward at Country Range.It can be more important to promote your offer with point-of-sale front-of-house, using branded tent cards, because consumers need to know what they are drinking. Literature to raise awareness of the benefits of ethically sourced products has led to a significant increase in demand, says Ward.Staff can also be an important weapon: “In general, the staff in coffee shops are coffee drinkers themselves, so they are more enthusiastic about promoting their favourite,” says Rowley. “However, where staff are committed tea drinkers, they are much more likely to engage in conversation and actively sell tea.”Sampling or promotions can be a good way to re-educate customers, and some manufacturers even spend time teaching staff about how tea grows, is produced, and how to brew and serve it, as a way of creating confidence around the product.They can help create the right tea-drinking experience, as good-quality teas are best enjoyed in-house where customers can relax with a pot of tea and savour the whole ’tea ceremony’ experience, according to Café du Monde director Mike Osborne which distributes Newby Teas. “The best way to drink it is from a cup not a mug,” he advises. “The water needs to be extremely hot and a pot is much nicer than just a teabag if you present it at the table, there’s a bit more of a ceremony. If you use loose leaves there’s a bit of an upsell stiuation in that you can charge more, even though it doesn’t cost any more.”Indeed, consumers do seem willing to pay more, if the product is right. “Many of our customers are finding that, with Mighty Leaf teas, they can command a similar price to a good cappuccino or latte, whereas ’regular’ tea has always trailed behind coffee in terms of price,” reports Rowley.According to Teapigs, some shops just absorb the extra cost of its premium product, while others put prices up by about 15%, so customers pay £1.60 rather than the usual £1.45. “The difference doesn’t usually register, as it’s still generally below the price of a coffee,” explains sales and marketing manager Sofia Buttarazzi.Belgique bakery chain is an inspiration for any baker or coffee shop owner debating whether to trade up. It used to sell Lipton/Twinings teas for 90p, but decided to introduce 12 Teapigs-branded whole leaf teas as a way of generating extra turnover and margins, and now charges between £1.70-£1.85 a cup. Despite the price hike, sales quadrupled to 25,000 in three months.Says owner Igor Bakaert: “We marketed them quite aggressively, putting a spread in our menu with a description of each tea, and advertised them in-store. Every three months, we take off the two least popular and replace them with new ones from the range. Our strategy worked, as the products are great quality and offer customers good value.”last_img read more

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BSB conference focuses on ‘Better Business’

first_imgThis year’s British Society of Baking (BSB) conference focused on ‘Better Business’ in today’s economic climate, asking bakers to develop their baked offerings and benefit from technology.Members and guests were invited to the Ardencote Manor Hotel, Claverdon, Warwick from 8-9 October, to hear from Wayne Caddy. Head of baking at the School of Artisan Food, Caddy is currently in training for the Bakery Masters, held in Paris next year.Led by chairman Sara Autton, the BSB conference featured talks from Chris Brockman, global food and drink analyst at Mintel, who discussed on innovation in the bakery market and consumer trends. Brockman urged attendees to embrace gluten-free and consider heightening flavours.Mich Turner, celebrity judge and founder of the Little Venice Cake Company, explained how cake decorating is no longer an activity for those in their 50s, fuelled by The Great British Bake Off, and how to develop a brand via commercial opportunities.Attendees were also asked to consider the technology used in their business by Robert Pate, services product manager, Castle Computer Services, who explained Cloud computing. Automation was also discussed by Graham Jones, managing director of Logistics Planning.Jim Brown, treasurer and conference coordinator for the BSB, said: “I felt the conference was excellent. We’ve had a lot of positive comments, and I think visitors gained a lot of value from the talks. Gaining inspiration is what it’s all about, and I felt there was a good mix of practical and technical information.”Autton added: “I thought it was a brilliant conference with very good, varied papers. At every conference we aim to deliver diversity, and I think we managed it. I am very grateful to all those who spoke.”British Society of Baking Conference – speakersInnovation and consumer trends in the global bakery market, by Chris BrockmanAn introduction to Cloud computing, by Robert PateFrench flour for quality French and artisan breads, by Paul Matthews and Graham EmbersonTop-class cakes and Britain’s best bakeries, by Mich TurnerEnergy-saving and control, by Vahid TambeABST (Alliance for Bakery Students and Trainees) by Matthew MayWhy training matters by Alan Clarke and Karen TaylorUsing automation to reduce bakery distribution costs, by Graham JonesMaintaining innovation, sales and quality in baking, by André Sarafiloviclast_img read more

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Prof. discusses post-grad economy

first_img “Companies try really hard to keep pay scales secret from workers,” Wozniak said. “It does happen within companies that people who enter [the company] at different times have similar jobs but are earning different things.” She said that sometimes, those entering the job force compare their salaries to a sibling’s who started a job a few years earlier. She said to remember not to take salary levels personally. “The scarring effect takes about five to 10 years to overcome, but with this economic situation, it could take a bit longer,” Wozniak said.  “In fact, I think it will take longer.”  “Markets may improve dramatically in a few years, but they may not,” she said. “Even if they do, students who seek to avoid market conditions by staying in school longer will miss out on several years of earnings and advancement, and they will face stiffer competition for graduate school slots and post-graduate school jobs.” “I think it’s important for workers who started in a downturn to continually look for ways to catch up, especially after the economy improves,” she said. “Think more about changing jobs, moving to a new location, or asking for a raise or promotion.” Wozniak said this discrepancy in earnings takes time to overcome.  In addition, it is costly for these workers to adjust to their situation by going back to school, getting a higher degree or switching jobs, Wozniak said.  Wozniak found that the scarring effect was widespread, and moved across different demographic groups.   Research by Abigail Wozniak, Notre Dame assistant professor of economics, determined those who enter the work force during a bad economy will receive lower wages than those who enter during an economic boom, and this negative impact can last up to 10 years. Wozniak said there is a correlation between the state of the economy and job wages. She said higher wages of those who enter the job world during an economic boom stick with them, and lower wages of those who begin their job during a downturn stick with them as well.  The scarring effect is worse for college graduates than it is for high school graduates, Wozniak, said, “probably because they transition from jobs in more of a progression.”center_img College graduates assume they will enter a career and then build that career over the years. Therefore, these workers are likely to stay on a certain job trajectory, making it difficult to overcome the disadvantage they started with.  “The scarring effect is the idea that the conditions you have when you start working will affect your future [occupational achievement],” she said.  She concluded it impacts college graduates, high school graduates, college dropouts or those with two-year degrees, as well as high school dropouts.  “There’s a perception in the U.S. that what you earn exactly [corresponds] to how good you are,” she said. “Students and others as well should recognize that earnings are not driven entirely by individual productivity or ability. A very large component is luck.  It would be wrong to believe you are earning say 10 percent less than a friend or colleague did when she started just because you are not as qualified.” Wozniak also said that firms are not adjusting perfectly to economic changes. Wozniak said it is unclear whether getting a graduate degree and hoping to enter the job market during better economic times will be beneficial to students.  Job change is a major way in which one can overcome the scarring effect, Wozniak said. It is easier for those without a college degree to switch jobs and quickly overcome this negative impact, because they are not as reluctant to start over in a new job.   “My estimates suggest that workers lose six percent of wages for every two additional percentage points of unemployment above the average,” she said. “We’re currently about four percentage points above average, so wages for this year’s graduates will be roughly 12 percent below that of similar graduates from four years ago.” In her research, which will be published in the Journal of Human Resources this fall, Wozniak looked at almost 30 years of data of people entering the labor market. She used census data from 1980, 1990, and 2000, looking at workers five to eight years after they entered the labor force.last_img read more

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Idina Menzel on How She’s Preparing to Sing ‘Let It Go’ at the Oscars

first_imgIt’s almost time to see what she can do! Idina Menzel has revealed in a new interview with HuffPost Entertainment, how she’s preparing to sing Frozen’s smash hit “Let It Go” on the Oscars telecast March 2. The Tony winner admits that she’s “working on the song with my teacher, because it’s not the kind of song you can wake up and roll out of bed and sing. It’s a challenging song and quite acrobatic, so I have to be in my best voice.” View Comments We’re sure that the Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner will be! Menzel also drew parallels with the Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez’s-penned song’s success and a certain other one of our favorites. Menzel admitted that she knows “how lucky I am to have this. I had it with Wicked and “Defying Gravity.”” Star Filescenter_img And what of “Let It Go’s” main competition at the Oscars, the U2 song “Ordinary Love” from the movie Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom? Menzel just hopes “my soundcheck is back to back with Bono’s soundcheck, because I’ve never met him in my life and it’s like a dream for me to meet him.” If you can’t wait to see Menzel test the limits and break through at the 86th Academy Awards, check out the video of her below belting out the anthem recently in L.A.! Idina Menzellast_img read more

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Economic Reality May Finally Kill Proposed Carmichael Coal Project

first_imgEconomic Reality May Finally Kill Proposed Carmichael Coal Project FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:Adani’s coal-fired power business has reported more heavy losses, prompting the Indian conglomerate to announce it would shift away from using expensive imported coal.Analysts say the fourth-quarter financial results for Adani Power, a subsidiary of the Adani group, showed the proposed Carmichael mega-mine in Queensland was no longer a viable proposition.Remarkably in the context of the Carmichael project, the billionaire Adani Group boss, Gautam Adani, acknowledged in a statement that the cost of importing coal to India had contributed to Adani Power’s struggles.“We expect to receive [domestic coal] for the Tiroda and Kawai plants in the near future, which will help reduce fuel costs and improve profitability of these projects,” he said. “Under-recovery of fuel costs for Mundra project have impacted its financial viability, and we are in dialogue with key stakeholders for an early solution.”The Mundra power plant, which operates on imported coal, was the planned destination for the spoils from the Carmichael project. After Mundra fell into financial trouble, Adani attempted unsuccessfully to sell the plant. It has not operated since February. The Indian financial services company Edelweiss said Adani Power was “on thin ice” and doubted whether Mundra would reopen.Tim Buckley, an analyst for the pro-renewables Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said Gautam Adani “didn’t become one of the wealthiest man in India by throwing good money after bad on bad projects. The result reconfirms the point IEEFA has made repeatedly. [Adani Power] is unable to provide a viable nor bankable coal offtake agreement for…the Carmichael proposal.”Adani told Guardian Australia the company was “100% committed to the Carmichael project”. “There has been no change to our marketing strategy. India will remain the key market for Carmichael coal,” the company said in a statement. More: Adani Losses Prompt Mining Company To Shift Away From Imported Coallast_img read more

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11 tactics top leaders use to inspire innovation

first_img 185SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Matt Monge Matt Monge is a speaker, consultant, blogger, mental health advocate, and the founder of The Mojo Company. His mission? Simple. He’s on a crusade to make the world a better … Web: www.themojocompany.com Details Innovation has this certain mystique around it, doesn’t it? As we think and talk through what it will take for credit unions to be successful in an increasingly competitive future, we know in some abstract way that we need to be innovative to some degree to continue to compete and survive; but as far as how we can actually become more innovative, beyond simply proclaiming at a team meeting – We shall henceforth…innovate! – we’re a bit unsure.It seems to me that like most things, innovation, when conceptualized from an organizational perspective, can almost be thought of as a mindset or way of being that has to be cultivated. The organization has to be designed to be innovative in the same way it has to be designed to be anything else you’d like it to be. That’s why culture remains so incredibly important. Your credit union will only be as innovative as its culture is designed to be.So what might that look like? While this will vary from place to place, here are some tactics top leaders will use to inspire a more innovative culture within their credit unions. Top leaders inspire innovation by giving people time to exercise creative effort toward solving organizational problems.People can’t be innovative if their days are jam-packed with other tasks from start to finish. Innovation takes time. But don’t skip over the last four words above – toward solving organizational problems. Involve your people in solving organizational issues. Engage them in the effort. Top leaders inspire innovation by giving people time to think, read, and/or learn.Similar to the above, if you want folks to innovate, they’re going to need time to research, think, and learn new things. Top leaders inspire innovation by challenging people to be creative.You challenge them with sales goals because you want them to sell stuff. You challenge them with wellness goals because you want them to be well. So if you want them to be creative, you should…? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Top leaders inspire innovation by making it safe to try things.Now it’s important to notice I didn’t say to say it was safe for them to try things. It’s important to actually make it safe to try things. They need to feel the safety. Top leaders inspire innovation by rethinking meetings.This may seem an odd thing to mention, but think about it this way. Most meetings are almost universally acknowledged as a colossal waste of time. Some meetings are necessary and important, sure. But others? Not so much.There are a number of reasons they end up taking place, and perhaps that’s a post for another day. But think about all the time and brainpower wasted in meetings that could be put to use thinking of ways to make things better. Top leaders inspire innovation by encouraging the oddballs.Every organization’s got ‘em. You might even be one of ‘em. My theory is that they might just be your secret weapons. They clearly think differently than most people, but isn’t that exactly what you’re looking for? So why not encourage the oddballs? Top leaders inspire innovation by thinking about the workspace.I’ve jokingly said before that cubicles are tiny, cubed prisons where ideas go to die. And by jokingly, I mean I’m being completely serious. It’s not that you can’t use cubicles, but you’ve got to figure out ways to get the team out of them sometimes. Or have really low walls. Or something. Have meetings other places. Go outside, for the love of pancakes and pogo sticks.Does the workspace encourage creativity? I had an acquaintance who used to work at Pixar and his job was to – get this – create the spaces within which the creative folks would create their stuff. He didn’t create the films, but he worked on creating the spaces that would be conducive to helping the creatives be creative.Same principle here. Does the work environment encourage people to think differently? What do they feel like? Just looking at them, what sorts of actions or behaviors or attitudes do you think they encourage? What symbolism do they bring? Are they sterile? Bright? Uniform? Individualized? Formal? Relaxed? Closed in? Open? Buzzing fluorescent lights? Natural light? Colorful? Colorless?It all matters. It all combines to create a certain atmosphere. That atmosphere can be one that either encourages or stifles innovation. Top leaders inspire innovation by thinking about how they’re encouraging curiosity.Unless you’re employing cats, there’s no need to shy away from encouraging your team to be more curious. You see, curiosity is what leads to learning and innovation. We’re first curious about something, and then we learn about something or figure out if something can be done differently or better. So how are you encouraging curiosity?(For those of you still puzzling over that first sentence, just remember what curiosity does to cats…) Top leaders inspire innovation by making sure people have easy access to knowledge.I know, I know. This one seems weird too, but again, hang with me for a second. What people know about a given topic or subject is what gives their minds a conceptual framework within which it can work. In other words, it provides the backdrop and tools it needs to then think differently about something. Some level of knowledge about a thing is a prerequisite to innovation in that area.For example, if someone asked me to think innovatively about oh, say, theoretical physics, I’d be in deep trouble unless I was able to phone my close, personal friend, Dr. Sheldon Lee Cooper, B.S., M.S., M.A., Ph.D., Sc.D. And that’s because I have zero knowledge of theoretical physics.So do employees have access to information? How easy is it from them to learn and grow? How easily can they share knowledge across the organization? Those things affect an organization’s ability to innovate. Top leaders inspire innovation by hiring for innovation.This is all part of designing your organization and cultivating a culture to have innovation as one of its inherent qualities; but are you constructing your talent acquisition strategy with an eye toward finding and hiring innovative people? Very few interviews I’ve seen or heard of do anything substantive relating to uncovering if candidates have any inclination toward innovation or creativity.Can it be done? Absolutely it can. I’ve been part of teams that have done it, and we work with clients to do it. There are plenty of things you can ask and do throughout the recruitment process to uncover candidates’ inclinations towards creativity and/or innovation. It’s just a matter of building that stuff into the process and applying it consistently. Top leaders inspire innovation by proactively encouraging it.This is absolutely huge, of course.If leaders are OK with people flexing their innovative muscles every once in a while when they have free time, innovation will likely flourish at your organization.Right?No! It won’t, because that’s still way too passive if you truly want innovation to be something that’s ingrained into your credit union’s culture and organizational way of life. It’s not enough to be OK with something. Leaders have to be…well…leading. They should be pushing it, asking about it, facilitating it, coaching toward it, demonstrating it themselves, and so on.So what’s the bottom line? Like anything else your organization wants to see happen regularly, innovation is something that must be intentionally built into your organization’s culture or else it has no chance of being a sustainable part of your organization’s identity.last_img read more

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