We’ll be honest: There are some ways in which Microsoft falls behind other tech giants. In fact, when you think about revolutionary companies, Google and Apple have become the gold standard, with Microsoft bringing up the rear with an old-school image and sometimes lackluster software offerings.
Apple has Siri; Microsoft has Cortana; Amazon has Echo; and Google is looking for Google Home to be the next big thing in artificial intelligence. Unfortunately, most forays into the world of machine learning and artificial intelligence have been fairly underwhelming. But Apple hopes to change all that by banking big and bringing on developers and experts to build out their slow-moving AI division.
What’s Your Foundation?
Organizations are currently spending billions of dollars a year on sales training without seeing a lasting impact to their programs. As a sales training professional, I believe we can do better. By developing programs with a solid foundation, sales training can shift from being just a required organizational function to a strategic sales partner that provides direction and helps grow revenue.
A 2014 study by SAP had some interesting findings about workplace diversity:
When polled about the biggest concerns being faced by HR managers surrounding diversity at work, 60 percent cited employees’ lack of interest in assimilating workplace values, 50 percent were worried about conflicting generational values, and 47 percent said that they were concerned about the so-called “unrealistic expectations of millennial employees.”
What is Gamification?
The definition of gamification is the craft of applying the mechanics and experience of game design that trigger intrinsic motivation factors and emotional connection, to engage and motivate people to achieve certain behaviors or learning goals and to improve their ability to quickly comprehend complex and abstract issues.
Ah, mandatory diversity training. Everyone dreads it because it comes across as one of two ways:
- Much too harsh and confrontational
- Extremely condescending
But for many organizations, educating employees about their differences is a non-negotiable part of workplace culture. There has to be a better way to think about diversity at work though, right?
It’s a tale as old as time: You’re trying to motivate learners and find that what works with some doesn’t really work with others. Sound familiar? That’s because different personalities and individuals have different styles of learner interaction.
With Microsoft’s $26 billion-dollar acquisition of LinkedIn, the software giant also gets a bevy of other online businesses. One of the sites included in the package deal is Lynda.com, which LinkedIn acquired for $1.5 billion in 2015. It’s definitely not Microsoft’s first foray into online learning, but it might be one of its most useful; especially when you consider that Microsoft is already the most significant source of certifications on LinkedIn today.
Millennials have had the spotlight shining on them for a very long time and for good reason. They make up the majority of today’s business force and now are starting to take on management and executive positions within their companies. Now, however, they are going to have to take on one more, vitally important, role: Leaders for Gen Z and it’s not going to be a walk in the park.