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January 29, 2013

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 01/29/2013

Barter Company Raises $214,000 For Newtown Effort

Counseling services through The Cove Center For Grieving Children will be possible for many Newtown (CT) families because of the efforts of nearby barter company Barter Business Unlimited (www.bbubarter.com). BBU has raised $214,000 trade-dollars from the company’s barter members and trading partners (other barter companies).

Service Sector Growth Pushes Union Membership Lower

Union membership in the U.S. fell to its lowest rate since 1916 last year, dropping to 11.3% of the workforce, from 11.8% in 2011. The reasons for the decline include: (a) new laws that have reduced the power of unions in Wisconsin, Indiana and other states, and (b) the growth of the service sector, where organized labor has a small presence.

Hometown Money Book Is Updated

The 1995 first edition of the Hometown Money book, has been updated by its author Paul Glover. Glover is the founder of the community currency-system known as Ithaca HOURS, which was established in 1991.

For more information on Glover and his book click here. (www.PaulGlover.org)

National Zanderboard Planned

Direct traders will soon be meeting for another real estate and personal property session on the Zanderboard. It’s scheduled for February, in the Atlanta (GA) area.

All back issues of "From the Desk...” can be accessed by clicking here.

(Please feel free to forward our newsletter to your friends and colleagues. We have a “box” at the end of the newsletter for your convenience. See you next week. . .)



What Is Your Domain Name Worth?

It took until the first week of January, but the Colorado Rockies have finally made a high-priced off-season acquisition that should leave their fans happy. And while the “bad” news is that the pickup is not an actual player that will help the team, the good news is that Major League Baseball (MLB) is picking up the $1.2 million tab for the domain name rockies.com from the Tourism Canadian Rockies portal. Thus, clicking through that link now takes you to the official site for the Rockies’ baseball team, instead of to information for a vacation north of the border.

The sale was brokered by Venture Capital Group, which reported the sale was the largest for a sports domain transaction. Venture Capital disclosed last fall that the rockies.com domain name, would be put up for auction along with several other Canadian tourism web assets. The auction was expected to garner between $200,000 and $400,000 for the site, industry expert Domain News Wire reported in late September.

As noted, the $1.2 million acquisition is the largest for a sports domain. But in comparison to prices for all domains, rockies.com is tied with find.com and phone.com for 51st overall. The overall record was set by sex.com when it sold for $13 million in November 2010, breaking the previous record of $11 million that hotels.com had set in 2001.

Getting the rights to rockies.com was a coup for MLB, but it came at a big premium. The most the league had ever paid for domain rights was $200,000 for angels.com. There are now only four MLB teams that still don’t have the right to their nicknames + .com — the Giants, the Rangers, the Rays and Twins. And one assumes the league would like to have them all under its ownership.

Total domain domination, however, may be an impossibility, no matter how much money the league wants to throw around. Giants.com is owned by the National Football League, which means there’s probably no possibility that baseball will be able to pry that one away.

Defending Against Personal Burnout & Frustration

By Timothy Bednarz, Ph.D.

Many leaders will associate the implementation of change in their organization with elevated levels of stress, frustration and anxiety. These pressures, combined with a typical staff reduction requiring leaders to accomplish more, can lead to personal burnout.

It is important for leaders to understand that large, overwhelming changes will typically shake up the entire organization as wholesale modifications occur in the way business is conducted. The process is time intensive and traumatic for everyone involved, and people require time to recuperate after the event is over

While quick or frequent change can lead to burnout, leaders can use the strategies outlined in this section to defend against burnout and frustration — even in the face of ongoing change.

Part of the job

Effective leaders accept that change is a normal function associated with their jobs. In this way, change is no longer perceived as an event that threatens the organization, but simply a normal function of everyday business activity.

Managers embracing change will plan small, incremental adjustments that help their organization slowly evolve and adapt. As a result, the company will eventually see an increase in productivity and efficiency. It takes a change in management perception, to reduce both stress and pressures that once were associated with organizational change.

Anticipate rather than resist

When people oppose change in their organization, they end up focusing their energy on resistance rather than acceptance. This focus saps the energy required to maintain productivity and effectiveness, ultimately leading to burnout.

On the other hand, leaders who accept and anticipate change learn to harness its momentum to their benefit, using that energy to enact change throughout the organization. Thus producing positive outcomes and results.

Pace

When organizations implement far-reaching changes out of necessity, it can be overwhelming. Many of these changes include layoffs, which increase the intensity of the situation and overburden the leader. However, when supervisors plan for ongoing change, adjustments are made in small, incremental steps that allow the organization to transform itself on its own terms. When approached this way, wholesale organizational change is eliminated along with the stress and intensity of the adjustments.

Incorporate

The incorporation of small, incremental changes into daily activities allows the organization to grow and evolve while simultaneously increasing productivity, effectiveness and efficiency. This incremental nature of change allows leaders to build it seamlessly into the organizational culture.

Once the organization accepts change as a daily occurrence, managers are less like to feel pressured — which greatly reduces personal burnout from frustration and anxiety.

Experiment

Leaders that learn to accept and incorporate change into their daily responsibilities also learn the value of experimenting with new ideas and concepts. They discover that small changes can be tested with minimal impact, and lessons can be learned from all successes and failures. These lessons are ultimately incorporated into adaptations made by the organization.

Experimentation also helps supervisors reduce risks associated with change. And less risk equals less stress, frustration and anxiety — all of which are associated with burnout.

(From the “Impact of Change on Individuals: Pinpoint Leadership Skill Development Training Series,” by Timothy Bednarz.”


Is Your Trade Exchange Missing Out On Valuable New Business?

If your barter company’s listing on BarterNews.com isn’t current, you are definitely missing out on new business. The web site BarterNews.com receives heavy traffic — with over 150,000 page-views every month. Entrepreneurs and corporate executives check the thousands of articles, the weekly “Tuesday Report,” and the “Contacts Section” of our site. They use the latter to find barter companies with which to do business.

Is your barter company’s listing up-to-date?

To keep your listing current is very easy. See the links below to (A) update any changes to your company’s listing, such as new location, phone number, web site or other information, and (B) if your company has not been listed.

Here’s how to get on board:

To make changes to your listing click here.

For new listings click here.


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Managing Change — The Transition From Chaos To Order

The process of organizational change is complex. A number of associated factors have the ability to impact an organization’s overall ability to successfully evolve. Improper development, management, and monitoring can result in the change-process spinning out of control and creating chaos. In the center of this storm, it is the leader who must then wrestle control of events and restore order.

As individuals are making the shift from a management to leadership style, the entire workplace is being buffeted by change. The leader is no longer controlling the employee’s actions, but guiding and directing them through involvement and empowerment. Properly executed, this should be a smooth transition. However, ill-conceived plans implemented by poorly prepared leaders and employees can turn the entire process into chaos.

Most organizational changes do not transpire quickly. Typically, organizations and leaders both evolve together as they transition from one style of management to the other. Leaders grow through the persistent application of leadership ideas and concepts, as well as development of their skills. The process is without an ending point, and continually moves forward over time.

Leaders who find themselves in the midst of a process that has swirled out of control, must not be swept away by the tide of events and circumstances. If they are, they will give up the ability to remain detached and view what is happening objectively.

This can be challenging, as they must regain control while dealing with the daily demands and pressures of the job. Because of this they must understand that they are staring down a complex and often daunting task. For the leader in these circumstances, the first step is to retain or regain emotional control and then proceed dispassionately.

Identify Causes

It is simplistic to think a single cause of a complex problem can be identified. Most problems are caused by ever-widening and overlapping circles of circumstances and events. What appears to be an obvious and clear-cut cause is often only symptomatic of a much deeper problem. When events appear chaotic, the problem can stem from more than one area and each has to be addressed in turn.

Leader’s Role

While real introspection is often painful, a leader has to identify any possible personal contributions to the problem. Chaotic events often occur for reasons directly stemming from the leader.

In certain instances the leadership role was thrust upon an individual lacking the aptitude and confidence to fulfill it. Once in the position, they fail to lead and are unable to manage due to the organizational change. Consequently, they leave a vacuum that is filled by disorder.

In other instances, the leader may be new and inexperienced and thus attempting to accomplish overly ambitious goals and objectives. Rather than evolve, they are pushing change too fast, or expecting too much of their employees.

Employee’s Role

When the process seems to be collapsing, the employee’s role must also be examined. In certain instances employees did not receive adequate training to fulfill the roles expected of them. In other cases, too much is expected of employees too quickly. They are immediately overwhelmed and unable to deal with the circumstances.

A lack of employee involvement and empowerment in the process can cause major setbacks. Their lack of input and feedback does not foster the ownership of ideas and participation. Consequently, they may have perceived too high a personal risk, which created resistance. Since their involvement is essential, this created a void that was quickly filled with chaos.

The Plan’s Role

Consideration must be given to whether the plan, underlying the process itself, may be flawed. This can happen for a variety of reasons brought about by both the leader and employees’ participation (or lack thereof) in its development.

Motivation, beliefs, resistance and lack of skills and/or experience, can give rise to a poorly conceived plan. Typically, such problems associated with either leadership’s or employees’ role in the process will impact the overall plan.

Timing & Timetable

Ill-conceived timing and timetables can wreak havoc. Inexperienced leaders might not be aware of the impact of certain implementation-dates on the organization. Additionally, attempts to accomplish too much too fast can overwhelm the entire organization.

The Organization’s Role

In certain instances, management can undermine their own efforts by micromanaging the process and issuing counterproductive dictates and mandates. In other circumstances employees might not trust the motives of the company, due to past experiences and existing policies.

Lack of management and financial support of the process undermines employees’ ability to accomplish their goals and objectives. Without proper support, leaders’ efforts will be severely hampered.

Question Premises

Leaders must question the rationale and premise for the process of change. Based on their current experience, they must revisit the assumptions, facts, data and other key factors identified at the beginning of the process. They must determine if the logic and thinking behind the process is still valid in light of their experiences.

Determine Solution

Once the causes have been isolated, leaders are often forced to begin the entire change process again. However, now they have identified the sources of the problem and have learned from the experiences of past failures.

With this base of knowledge and expertise, they should be able to streamline the process and eliminate many of the bottlenecks. However, if they have not addressed the causes honestly and objectively, many of the same problems will recur.

Implement Plan

Once control has been regained, implementation of the process should proceed more cautiously, assuring that a solid foundation for change is established and that each step is successfully and competently achieved before moving ahead with the next.

Astute leaders should enlist the assistance of key influencers within their employee pool. These are the natural leaders who have the ability to persuade others and enlist their support. If these individuals are sold on the idea of change, and understand that the benefits more than offset the risks associated with change, they will be able to convince others within their ranks of the same — thus making the leader’s job much easier.

The leader should also ensure his or her employees have been properly trained in the necessary skills to do the job. Once they have achieved this level, they should be involved and empowered to participate and control the process from within their organizational unit.


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