Archive for October, 2011

by MindTools

“There’s too much wrangling and maneuvering going on – I just hate this office politicking”. “Joe, well he’s a smart political mover – knows exactly how to get what he wants and how to get on.” Whether you hate it, admire it, practice it or avoid it, office politics is a fact of life in any organization. And, like it or not, it’s something that you need to understand and master to be sure of your own success.

“Office politics” are the strategies that people play to gain advantage, personally or for a cause they support. The term often has a negative connotation, in that it refers to strategies people use to seek advantage at the expense of others or the greater good. In this context, it often adversely affects the working environment and relationships within in. Good “office politics”, on the other hand, help you fairly promote yourself and your cause, and is more often called networking and stakeholder management.

Perhaps due to the negative connotation, many people see office politics as something very much to be avoided. But the truth is, to ensure your own success and that of your projects, you must navigate the minefield of Office Politics. If you deny the ‘bad politics’ that may be going on around you, and avoid dealing with them, you may needlessly suffer whilst others take unfair advantage. And if you avoid practising ‘good politics’, you miss the opportunities to properly further your own interests, and those of your team and your cause. (more…)

Via Anni Rautio

Hello Jamk IB:ers! Next week it’s time for the year’s largest start-up event in Northern Europe and Russia: Slush is here! Held November 2nd & 3rd in Helsinki, students can join Slush for the modest price of 25€ – but what you get in return is priceless.
Slush gives you access to 150+ potential future employers, 20+ world-class keynotes, two breakfasts, two lunches as well as an after-party hosted by Accel Partners, one of the leading venture capital firms in the world!

Some participants of JAMK’s LaunchPad will be at Slush, you should too! Represent Jyväskylä! 🙂

Like Slush on FB:
SLUSH2011 | Startup conference
Slush 2011 is Northern Europe’s leading startup conference. The event features world-class keynotes, cutting-edge panels on, thrilling product launches, and much more

Friday Humor: Organization

Posted: October 28, 2011 by Alison in Just For Fun
Tags: , ,

Written by Celestine Chua

Ever encountered someone who frustrates you so much that you feel like you want to pull your hair, jump around the room and just scream out loud? You’re not alone.

Over the years, I’ve encountered my fair share of difficult people. People who don’t turn their work in as promised, people who don’t show up for meetings, people who stick vehemently to their views and refuse to collaborate, people who push back on work that they’re responsible for – and more. Even as I run my own business, I work on collaboration projects and there are times where there are difficulties in getting a consensus because everyone is so firm in their views.

Years ago, I used to get bothered and worked up over such situations. I’d think, “Why are these people being so difficult?”, “These people are so irresponsible!”, “Just my luck to work with them” or “I don’t ever want to work with these people again!”.

After a while, I learned that these people are everywhere. No matter where you go, you can never hide from them. Sure, it might be possible to avoid the 1st one or two difficult people, but how about the 3rd, 5th, 10th person you encounter? Hiding isn’t a permanent solution. What’s more, in the context of work, it’s usually difficult to avoid or hide from someone, unless you quit from a job totally. Well – I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t seem feasible to quit every time someone has an opposing view or is being difficult.

So rather than turn to some drastic decisions each time, why not equip yourself with the skills to deal with them?

Here’s 9 tips which I’ve found to work in dealing with such people:

  1. Be calm. Losing your temper and flaring out at the other person typically isn’t the best way to get him/her to collaborate with you. Unless you know that anger will trigger the person into action and you are consciously using it as a strategy to move him/her, it is better to assume a calm persona.Someone who is calm is seen as being in control, centered and more respectable. Would you prefer to work with someone who is predominantly calm or someone who is always on edge? When the person you are dealing with sees that you are calm despite whatever he/she is doing, you will start getting their attention.
  2. Understand the person’s intentions. I’d  like to believe that no one is difficult for the sake of being difficult. Even when it may seem that the person is just out to get you, there is always some underlying reason that is motivating them to act this way. Rarely is this motivation apparent. Try to identify the person’s trigger: What is making him/her act in this manner? What is stopping him/her from cooperating with you? How can you help to meet his/her needs and resolve the situation?
  3. Get some perspective from others.  In all likelihood, your colleagues, managers and friends must have experienced similar situations in some way or another. They will be able to see things from a different angle and offer a different take on the situation. Seek them out, share your story and listen to what they have to say. You might very well find some golden advice in amidst of the conversation.
  4. Let the person know where you are coming from.  One thing that has worked for me is to let the person know my intentions behind what I am doing. Sometimes, they are being resistant because they think that you are just being difficult with them. Letting them in on the reason behind your actions and the full background of what is happening will enable them to empathize with your situation. This lets them get them on-board much easier.
  5. Build a rapport.  With all the computers, emails and messaging systems, work sometimes turn into a mechanical process. Re-instill the human touch by connecting with your colleagues on a personal level. Go out with them for lunches or dinners. Get to know them as people, and not colleagues. Learn more about their hobbies, their family, their lives. Foster strong connections. These will go a long way in your work.
  6. Treat the person with respect.  No one likes to be treated as if he/she is stupid/incapable/incompetent. If you are going to treat the person with disrespect, it’s not going to be surprising if he/she treats you the same way as well. As the golden rule says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
  7. Focus on what can be actioned upon.  Sometimes, you may be put into hot soup by your difficult colleagues, such as not receiving a piece of work they promised to give or being wrongly held responsible for something you didn’t do. Whatever it is, acknowledge that the situation has already occurred. Rather than harp on what you cannot change, focus on the actionable steps you can take to forward yourself in the situation.
  8. Ignore.  If you have already tried everything above and the person is still not being receptive, the best way might be to just ignore. After all, you have already done all that you can within your means. Get on your daily tasks and interface with the person only where needed. Of course, this isn’t feasible in cases where the person plays a critical role in your work – which leads us to our last tip.
  9. Escalate to a higher authority for resolution.  When all else fails, escalate to your manager. This is considered the trump card and shouldn’t be used unless you’ve completely exhausted your means. Sometimes, the only way to get someone moving is through the top-down approach, especially in bureaucratic organizations. Be careful not to exercise this option all the time as you wouldn’t want your manager to think that you are incapable of handling your own problems. I have done this several times in my previous job and I found it to be the most effective in moving people who just refuse to cooperate otherwise.

Try out these 9 tips for the difficult people you face at your workplace and see how they work out for you 🙂



Love it or hate it, the new Facebook is coming, and if you’re a small business owner, you’re going to have to learn how to deal with the changes or get left behind. The new Facebook offers even more opportunities for social engagement, Page insights, and even some free advertising, all of which can mean great things for your business if you can go with the flow. Read on to find out 25 things you really need to know to survive, and thrive, with your small business on the new Facebook.

  1. You need to be on Facebook

    If you’re not on Facebook already, here’s this for a fact: there are 800 million users on the site, and most of them are active. In fact, Facebook recently hit a record for the most visitors in one day with 500 million. That means you can’t ignore the power of this social media site anymore.

  2. Liking is no longer enough

    Facebook is introducing new custom verbs, including “listen” and “cook.” That means brands can and must get more creative with engagement, such as building campaigns around using specific words for the brand.

  3. Public personal profiles may be more appropriate than Pages

    Facebook is offering the ability to turn your profile public, and allowing people to subscribe to your updates without becoming Friends. This means that independent business owners, experts, authors, and other more personal Pages might find that a profile is more appropriate now.

  4. Nonfans can comment

    On the new Facebook, any fan and non-fan alike can engage on your Facebook Page. This means that you need to have a plan for dealing with negative comments, if you don’t have one already.

  5. Social actions will hold more weight

    Checking in, commenting on photos, and more social actions will be more prominent on the new Facebook, so Liking is not really all that important anymore.

  6. You can get recommendations on your page

    When fans Like your page now, they can add endorsements, offering even more opportunities for engagement in small business.

  7. There are plenty of new apps for Facebook Pages

    Facebook is offering a bunch of new apps for Pages, including Polls, Surveys, Coupons, and Extended Info, as well as a static FBML that offers lots of new customization and interaction with fans on Facebook.

  8. You can find out how many people are talking about your page

    A new metric on Pages measures user activity related to the page. however, it doesn’t offer a lot of information about what users are actually doing.

  9. You’ll need to tell a consistent story

    Random updates aren’t going to cut it anymore, unless you want to be lost in the noise of Facebook. Regular updates and user interaction will earn you more exposure in Timelines.

  10. Custom tabs have to be secure

    Facebook is ramping up privacy and security options, and Pages are no exception. All custom designed Facebook tabs with third party site content are now required to use SSL hosting, which is an added expense you’ll need to be aware of.

  11. Custom URLs are more easily attainable

    Previously, business pages needed a number of likes to get a custom URL, but now, there is no requirement. That means it’s even easier now to point fans to your Page on Facebook.

  12. Posts on public fan pages show up in friends’ Tickers

    Tickers show a lot more information than the News Feed, so every posts that fans make on your public page with show up in their friends’ Tickers. This makes it more important than ever to engage fans socially on your Page, so you’re constantly present in Tickers.

  13. Smart lists make it easy to divide your lives up

    If you’re having trouble keeping up with both your grandma and your business associates, Smart Lists can help you get things sorted. Just add different categories of friends (family, business, close friends) to different lists, and you can keep everything separate.

  14. Great exposure may not come free anymore

    Getting a strong presence on the new Facebook may mean using tools that aren’t free, such as third-party apps and Facebook Ads. Although these aren’t terribly expensive, it can be discouraging for small businesses who prefer to maintain a free presence on Facebook.

  15. Less compelling content means less exposure

    Facebook has added a control that allows users to unmark top stories, which is used to automatically edit feeds in the future. That means businesses with boring updates with not be given as much exposure as those who offer good content.

  1. Facebook is offering sponsored stories

    Facebook users may be getting good at tuning out that little ad box on the right, but marketers have a new tool: Sponsored Stories. That means small business advertisers can place their stories right in News Feeds, where most users are looking anyway.

  2. Facebook will soon offer premium ads

    Facebook advertisers will soon have a new option for customer engagement in the form of premium ads, including video clips.

  3. Facebook is offering free advertising

    Along with the new Facebook, you can expect to see a push for more small business on the site. In fact, Facebook will soon be offering a $50 ad credit for all small businesses to use to promote their brand, money that experts say will be well spent.

  4. Customers can actually shop on Facebook

    With Facebook Fan Stores, small businesses can actually sell items on Facebook. Fans can buy and share items, and stores can promote their pages through Facebook advertising.

  5. You can see who is sharing your posts

    Facebook is promoting more sharing on the site, and you can actually see how they are doing it. For any post that has been shared, you’ll see a link below it to find out who exactly has shared it. This is a great way to find out who your key influencers are.

  6. You have to feed your key users

    Key influencers in your fan base will be come even more important. Use them and reward them for amplifying your messages, because you will need them to pass along your popularity.

  7. You can find out how many friends your Page’s fans have

    Find out the raw number of people your page may be exposed to by checking out Friends of Fans, which shows you how many people you have the potential to touch with a fan interaction.

  8. You can learn more about post impressions

    Previously, Facebook only shared information about how many people saw your post, but now, you can find detailed information. This explains what your readers are commenting on and looking at the most, as well as when they are doing it.

  9. Facebook Timelines are more insightful

    You can learn more about potential customers and even employees with Facebook Timeline, which focuses on what’s important in a user’s life.

  10. You’re not getting choked with constant notifications anymore

    Have you been hearing crickets in your business inbox? It may be because Facebook isn’t sending notifications for every single thing that happens on the site anymore, instead sending a daily summary, and presumably, saving millions of hours of productivity.