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Innovation in the Workplace

illustrated image of a women sitting at a desk with men giving her more work to accomplish

Advice to women - just say, "no"

Apr 16, 2021

Did you know that women are far more likely to volunteer for tasks that do not lead to a promotion or a raise? According to a small-scale study conducted at the University of Pittsburgh, 696 students participated in an exercise in which they were asked to volunteer. Researchers found that women raised their hands 48% more often than their male counterparts.

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Image of a woman, likely Hispanic, in business attire with the word in red across the image saying "She-Cession"

Let's keep talking about women in the workplace!

Mar 05, 2021

On Wednesday (3/3/21), I moderated the Pennoni Honor’s College Panel Discussion entitled, “COVID-19 and the ‘She-Cession’.” It was an excellent discussion - one that needs to continue. So, my goal in writing this week's post is to follow up on my call to action in the panel, which is to for all of us: women, men, trans people, marginalized people, everyone to continue this dialogue. The cat is out of the bag regarding the status of women in the workplace and the changes that need to occur, and we have to ensure the status quo doesn't continue. We do this by pressing the issue forward with all around us – with each other, with colleagues, with friends and family, acquaintances, our local representatives and our national representatives.

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Compilation of 6 headshots of Black entrepreneurs, some old and some current.

Highlighting 6 Black Entrepreneurs - Among Many

Feb 15, 2021

Each of these entrepreneurs shows us that life interrupts and life is not fair, but they also show us that grit, resolve, agility, and creativity is crucial to an entrepreneurial spirit. Some of the older entrepreneurs shared in this post, may not have been celebrated in my history books, but I have no doubt the newer ones will become, if they have not already, household names associated with innovation, tenacity and the epitome of an entrepreneurial spirit. They are true models of inspiration, showing us what it takes to succeed.

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Embroidered logo of Goodwin College in white on a navy fabric

I miss my colleagues

Oct 29, 2020

A few days ago, while listening to the news, one of the newscasters asked, “What do you miss most about the office?” In that moment, as if in a Harry Potter book, I apparated back to my Drexel office, but like the last time I was physically there, the office was empty. Eerily empty. Depressingly empty. Reminders of the time that has passed since we all congregated in the halls posted on the side of my computer or white board. Then the following day, Alba Berberena – the glue of Goodwin College - emailed us all and asked, “What do you miss most about the office?”

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Image of an empty desk with an Apple computer on it and a few other items, suggesting a home office

Looking toward the new normal

Oct 01, 2020

While you may have stopped talking about the “new normal,” there is no question most of the workforce who was suddenly catapulted into a home working environment, is wondering what work will look like post-pandemic. The answer is likely a hybrid model with employees working from home part of the time and in the office the rest of the time. Currently, employees are feeling burnout, having difficulty maintaining boundaries, and feeling a lack of community. These will all need to be addressed regardless of the number of days we return to the office.

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5 Tips for brainstorming in a virtual world

Aug 19, 2020

I've written before about the value of brainstorming, the electricity that fills the air as colleagues share their ideas and those ideas begin to gel. The brainstorming I talked about happened in a collaboration room or a conference room or an office, where the people involved could look at one another, scribble or sketch something on a piece of paper or on a white board for the others to see. I never described or thought about brainstorming through a computer. So, is it possible? Of course it is, but it takes a bit more planning.

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Image of an empty board room with white walls and chairs around a square table.

Preparing to Return to Work: 6 things to expect

Jun 17, 2020

For those of you who pre-COVID-19 worked in an office and have been working from your dining rooms, comfortable chair in the living room, home office, deck, or the kitchen counter, plans likely are underway to begin the process of returning to work. But what does that really mean? Who will return and when is still up in the air for most of us. And, the reality is, returning to work will look very different. So, what can we expect?

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Online vs. Remote Learning: What's the Difference?

Apr 22, 2020

Online learning and remote learning are often used interchangeably. However, there are major differences between them.

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A Guide to Working from Home

Mar 19, 2020

Learn how to be productive while working from home—whether it's your first time or you work remotely often—with these eight essential recommendations.

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3 Benefits to an Age-Diverse Team

Mar 05, 2020

As a professor, I have taught multiple classes with students ranging in age from 22 to 65. I love the diverse age range in class because I find the more mature students bring a life perspective the young students rarely have, and the younger students bring a vitality the older students have perhaps let lapse. I believe this to also be true in a team. So, what are the benefits of an age-diverse team?

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Image of a doctor's mask and the words "be Prepared" underneath

Coronavirus: Be Prepared From a Work Perspective

Feb 28, 2020

There is no doubt the next couple of months, while the Coronavirus progression is being monitored, will be uncertain. The more you can do to keep your anxiety and your team’s anxiety at bay, the better off you will be in the event this virus spreads quickly and drastic measures are enacted.

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All Aboard: More Women CEOs and Fewer All-Men IPOs

Jan 30, 2020

Why do women only represent 36 percent of the top positions in the nonprofit industry when 75 percent of its employees are women? 

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Image of a group of co-workers reaching across a table with computers in a fist pump, as in being supportive of one another.

The Value of Supporting Your Fellow Colleagues

Nov 07, 2019

I am lucky to work in an environment where we all value supporting one another. In fact, collaboration is the first value on our list of core values for our college. We do it knowingly and unknowingly, in formal meetings, and in the hallway, and we are all the better for it, and as a result, our students are also better for it.

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Image of a board meeting with many employees around the table, looking disinterested

3 Reasons to Avoid Meetings

Oct 03, 2019

How many meetings do you attend in a given week? You might be surprised, or not, to learn the average person spends five hours and three minutes per week in meetings and another four hours and 15 minutes preparing for those meetings. This translates to 11 million meetings every day in the United States. Now, some of these meetings are likely useful and productive, but not all of them. In fact, $37 billion is wasted on unnecessary meetings every year. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX said, “Excessive meetings are the blight of big companies and almost always get worse over time.”

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Black print - arrow hitting a barrier, moves around to hit another, and then goes in a different direction - meant to depict how one adapts to challenges, change, etc.

4 Ways to Boost Your Adaptability Skills

Sep 18, 2019

Charles Darwin’s words still very much ring true, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, it is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Adaptability is one of the top “human skills” otherwise known as soft or essential skills employers are seeking. Historically, little emphasis has been placed on these skills, but employers have realized that hard skills on their own are not enough. Employees need to be able to communicate, negotiate, interact with fellow colleagues, think critically and creatively, and they need to be able to adapt.

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Image of the Fellows wearing Drexel t-shirts in front of Mario the Dragon

Personal Reflections on the Mandela Washington Fellowship

Aug 21, 2019

Learn about the impact the Fellows had on the Drexel community and what they're up to today!

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Image of the Museum of African American History and Culture. It is brown stricture depicting 3 levels with a reflection of it in the water.

Stepping Out of Your Own Experience

Jul 11, 2019

We get stuck in our own worlds, doing little to step out of our experience and that has an impact on us both personally and professionally. By broadening our experience, we open ourselves up to new ideas, new people, new perspectives, which in turn provides a space for creativity and collaboration.

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Welcoming the 2019 Mandela Washington Fellows to Drexel University

Jun 19, 2019

Learn about the Mandela Washington Fellowship and how much we can discover together.

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Using Improv Comedy to Improve Organizational Culture

May 03, 2019

Learn how leadership at the Delaware River Port authority applied the concepts of improv comedy in the workplace to stimulate creativity and collaboration. 

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Line drawing in a light blue color of three women standing in front of a city skyline

Celebrating the 100 Most Powerful Women

Dec 06, 2018

If you are a young woman, just starting your career, or one in mid-career, only you can define what success means to you. For some of you, that may be owning your own business, for others of you it means service, and for some still it is a path to the C-Suite. Regardless of your trajectory, we should applaud their hard work and dedication and look to their journey for inspiration.

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Black background with the word in white #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday

Nov 26, 2018

#GivingTuesday is a global event that occurs on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. The event was created by staff members of the Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact in 2012 at the 92nd Street Y. Their vision was to “connect diverse groups of people, organizations, and communities together for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving.” Since its inception, #GivingTuesday occurs in more than 150 countries, more than 2.5 million gifts totaling over $300 million dollars (which translates to $12.5 million per hour) were raised last year.

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Image of a lightbulb in the center of a blackboard with chalk circles surrounding it.

Why Brainstorming is Important & How to Do It

Nov 16, 2018

Personally, I love brainstorming whether it is one-on-one or in a group. There is an energy that flows between the participants and as that energy builds, more ideas begin to flow. Essentially, it is a highly collaborative experience intended to bring a wide range of ideas to the table, some of which will fall to the wayside, while others will get pulled and shaped into something concrete, but what I find most exciting is when a new idea emerges, something no one entered the room with, and through the meeting it grows and develops.

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Image of millennial workers sitting around a desk collaborating.

2 Ways Companies Must Support the Millennial Generation

Oct 12, 2018

According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, millennials (aged 22-37) make up 35% of the workforce. Another 5% is made up of the post-millennials (aged 16-21). This 40% of the workforce faces incredible challenges such as carrying high student loan debt and earning low salaries, both of which will make it more and more difficult for them to establish themselves, feel comfortable financially, let alone save for retirement.

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Image of three women at a meeting.

The 3 Benefits of Using Ice Breakers

Jul 24, 2018

Next time you have a team meeting, suggest using an ice breaker. When this short 10-minute activity is effectively utilized, by choosing the right type and following some basic rules, it can pave the path toward a more functional team by fostering interaction, a sense of community, and empathy.

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Two headshots side-by-side of Wil Reynolds and Emily Allen of SEER Interactive

Interview with Wil Reynolds and Emily Allen of SEER Interactive

Jun 22, 2018

This is the 100th blog post! To mark this special event, I wanted to interview a thought leader, someone who could share their thoughts with me, and you, to help us put the professional world we navigate into some perspective. As I began to sift through potential interviewees, I realized that what I really wanted was someone who is actively engaged in making our working world a better place – someone who is leading by example.

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Image of a young person's open hands holding a rolled up ball of money

Millennial Impact on Corporate Philanthropy

Apr 26, 2018

Corporate philanthropy, the practice of corporations donating money to charitable causes, is technically on the decline. While the total dollar amount has increased some 115% over the past 30 years, as a percentage of pre-tax profits, corporate philanthropy numbers are dismal. According to Ken Stern in his article entitled, “Why Don’t Corporations Give to Charities,” published by MoneyBox, corporate giving has dropped over the past 30 years. In 1986 corporations gave 2.1% of their pretax profits, and as of 2012 that number had dropped to 0.8%.

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Image of a snow covered branch in a snow storm

The Snow Day

Mar 21, 2018

I am writing this blog post from the comfort of home…it’s a snow day and the University is closed. Snow days don’t happen all that often, so when they do, take advantage, and take the opportunity to reboot and relax.

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Black & White image of the words: People Using Business as a Force for Good

The B Corp

Nov 01, 2017

According to Bcorporation.net, they “aspire to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems.” Rose Marcario, the CEO of Patagonia said, “The B Corp movement is one of the most important in our lifetime, built on the simple fact that business impacts and serves more than just shareholders – it has an equal responsibility to the community and to the planet.”

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Chalkboard with the word Success in large letters written on it

Redefining Success

Oct 04, 2017

Yesterday, I attended the PA Women’s Conference with 12,000 other women (and a few men). In the keynote address, Shonda Rimes talked with former First Lady, Michelle Obama. There were plenty of great nuggets, but one really stood out. Mrs. Obama said, “At some point we need to create a different definition of success at work.”

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Potential Effects of the Solar Eclipse

Aug 23, 2017

Did you purchase the special solar goggles or make a home-made viewer to watch the solar eclipse in action on Monday? If so, you are not alone. Many people did just that, and then they stepped away from their desks, phones, and computers to withness the rare event. But at what cost?

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Amazon logo

Lessons From Amazon

Aug 02, 2017

Amazon has been the go-to website for shopping – continuing to achieve their mission. It has provided everything from books to batteries, dolls to diapers, and as of mid-June of this year, they entered the fresh food market. There is little one can’t purchase on Amazon. But what are the costs to Amazon's incredible online expansion?

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Black & White image of doodles: hearts, squiggly lines, etc.

How Drawing & Doodling Boost Creativity

Jun 21, 2017

I’m a doodler. I doodle during meetings. I doodle while I’m on the phone. I doodle when I I’m trying to think. Are you a doodler, too?

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Initials W F H which stand for Work From Home.

WFH? When is it okay to Work from Home?

Jun 14, 2017

What do you need to know if you are considering working from home? First, it is important to note that working from home is not for everyone. To be effective, you need to have good project management skills, be disciplined, and have reliable technology and access to the internet. And it is important to note that working from home is not right for all businesses.

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Selection of company logos

Think Like an Entrepreneur: Seven Strange Business Ideas that Worked

May 10, 2017

Ever wonder who thought of Crocs? Beanie Babies? The Go Pro? Or the newest trending teenage craze- the Fidget Spinner? Or what about diaper delivery services, dog walkers, food delivery services?

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Image os of a pyramid connected by steel balls, similar to a rector set

Power Systems

Mar 22, 2017

Recently I participated in a power system exercise. It was based on the research of Barry Oshry. Essentially, within any type of organization (this also applies to our personal organizational structures such as families and friend groups), people fall into certain roles: tops make the decisions and shape the vision, middles work to execute the vision of the tops, as well as prioritize the needs of both tops the bottoms, and bottoms are the ones completing the work. It is important to note, that we tend to float between the levels based on situations, areas of expertise, etc. For example, a CEO is considered a top in most instances, but in the board room, the CEO becomes a middle or even a bottom.

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Pink, red, and white small candy hearts

The Heart Business

Feb 14, 2017

Did you know Valentine’s Day is a 30 billion dollar holiday? Companies such as 1-800-Flowers, The Hershey Company, Hallmark Cards, Necco, Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Victoria’s Secret, Tiffany & Company, and we can’t forget the US Postal Service or the trucking company (Armellini Express Lines) that are responsible for getting cards and flowers to their respective destinations – all these companies rake it in during the days surrounding February 14th.

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Rainbow-colored wave

What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur

Feb 01, 2017

After combing through lists of characteristics shared by entrepreneurs, I started asking myself: What do these characteristics really mean?

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Student Interview with Nora Kzirian

Oct 05, 2016

Work experience is an integral part of one’s journey, but returning to academia ten years later can present challenges. It is one of the biggest concerns for most returning students. Nora told me, “My online educational experience started rocky. I had not been a student for nearly a decade and at that point had forgotten many of the rules for academic writing.”

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Image of a rocky coast with a close up of four rounded stone stacked one upon another

Work life balance

Sep 21, 2016

How do you define your work-life balance? And by the way – where did that phrase come from?

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Trending: Volunteer Sabbaticals

Sep 07, 2016

Today, there is an increasing trend to offer employees paid time off to volunteer. In a March 16, 2015 Forbes article, “These 21 Companies Will Pay You to Take Time Off” Colleen Kane highlights the options available at companies such as Pricewaterhouse Coopers, REI, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, The Cheesecake Factory, The Container Store, and Adobe Systems. While each company’s program is different, they all offer this type of paid time off to volunteer, and the employee can choose a charitable organization that aligns with their interests.

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