星期五, 11月 29, 2013



The Sharing Economy: Why Even the Mainstream Wants a Piece of the Pie

Got an extra room, in fine condition but sitting unused? List it on Airbnb for adventurous travelers, and it can earn money. What about a car that no one uses for days or weeks at a time? Join RelayRides, and it can earn money. That empty closet, spacious attic or extra parking space? List them on StoreAtMyHouse and – you guessed it — all could bring profit.
The gap between the haves and the have-nots has narrowed with the emergence of the sharing economy, in which online and mobile technologies connect people who want goods or services – for reasonable prices and limited stretches of time – that others are willing to offer, said participants in a panel discussion titled, “Collaborative Consumption: Changing the Consumer Landscape,” at the recent Wharton Social Impact Conference. The owners of such goods and the providers of such services, meanwhile, can wring value from their unrealized assets.
Panelist Jennifer Lee founded ClosetDash to address a problem she seemed to share with many of her female friends: Closet space is at a premium, especially in New York City, but the desire to acquire new clothing is not. During periodic cullings of wardrobes, she found that about 30% of unwanted items could be donated to service agencies and 10% were worthy of consignment. The remaining 60%, Lee noted, had often been minimally worn — perhaps once, or, as intact price tags would suggest, never.
ClosetDash gives its shoppers credit to swap their items for those in the company’s inventory. To date, she said, ClosetDash has taken in more than 11,000 pieces of clothing. (The company charges a dollar to process each item it receives from swappers.) Shoppers can purchase online, at the firm’s showroom in New York’s Flatiron district or at swapping events. “We give them value for the part of their closet that they usually don’t get value for,” Lee noted. “It’s a green and sustainable way to shop and also refashion your wardrobe.”
“The reason [collaborative consumption] is happening is because systems are broken.”–Ted D’Cruz-Young
The sharing economy this year will generate $350 billion in transactions, said Melissa O’Young, founder of Let’s Collaborate! and moderator of the three-person panel, which in addition to Lee, featured John Wiseman, vice president and head of marketing and partnerships at Skillshare, and Ted D’Cruz-Young, founder of Mealku.
Sharing Skills, Food, Clothes and More
Before joining Skillshare, Wiseman was the third employee hired at Thrillist, a men’s digital lifestyle brand that during his tenure expanded from one city to more than 20 markets and from 15,000 subscribers to more than five million. Skillshare, essentially, is a democratic marketplace for knowledge and skills; the site’s users can participate in its offerings as students, teachers or both. Classes, which are project-based and offer no credentials, generally range in duration from one to four weeks, with enrollments anywhere from hundreds to thousands of students, costing anywhere from nothing to thousands of dollars, although most charge $20-$25. (Skillshare gets a 12% cut of enrollment revenue.) Some teachers earn more than $30,000 per course. By mid-November, Wiseman noted, more than a dozen Skillshare teachers had already earned more than $100,000 this year.
Students, meanwhile, complete their class projects 30% to 40% of the time, a rate of participation that rivals or surpasses many free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Wiseman said, adding that some projects have led students to job opportunities. Up to now, classes have tended to focus on design, art or fashion. Music, Wiseman said, is next.
D’Cruz-Young is the founder of Mealku, an online cooperative of homemade food in which members, who pay $10 a month for access, share food they prepare. What the popular online ordering website Seamless does for delivery and takeout restaurants, Mealku does for home cooks. “We’re deeply into personalizing food,” D’Cruz-Young noted. “This is something that’s made for me by someone. Betty Crocker isn’t someone.
“We just created the architecture to meet the very obvious supply and demand elements,” he continued. “The supply is almost limitless. There is huge, huge talent. There is an attention to detail and a quality of output from the home cook that puts industrial foods to shame. On the demand side, there is an untapped, deep interest in having food that is real, that tastes real and that is made by someone I either follow or like.”
Mealku’s architecture makes it possible for cooks to access foods even if they don’t have the money to buy the meals. Users have the option to make bicycle deliveries (incorporating recyclable, thermal food bags) on behalf of the site to earn points for ordering food, D’Cruz-Young noted. Members also can buy points.
“If anything, retailers are starting to see the potential of recycling or turning in used items and somehow rewarding their customers for being green and sustainable.”–Jennifer Lee
“The reason [collaborative consumption] is all happening is because systems are broken,” D’Cruz-Young said. “Fundamentally, from the top down, [these systems are] overstructured. Frameworks that we have in many industries are going to start crumbling and falling apart, because they are, at best, anachronisms, and at worst, a complete waste of time.”
‘Nowhere to Hide’
Quality control is a concern of many first-time users of services in the sharing economy, panelists noted. As a result, reputation systems — mechanisms that establish ratings and feedback to help potential customers choose reputable providers — have become essential to such companies.
“People have nowhere to hide, and that’s great,” D’Cruz-Young said. “We’re removing bad actors from industry after industry after industry. You don’t have the layers between us and finding out who is responsible for making something bad. It’s just a person.”
Meanwhile, traditional retailers, Lee said, have been steadily nudged to address issues that upstarts have embraced. “Retailers are starting to look at their social and environmental impact,” she noted. “The fast-fashion companies especially are starting to look at this more and more. Europe is way further ahead than we are in terms of trying to make a difference. It’s only a matter of time before the big U.S. retailers catch on to this.” H&M in February, she added, launched a used-clothing collection program that offers customers a 15% discount on one item of their choice in exchange for the donation of a bag of unwanted garments.
“If anything, retailers are starting to see the potential of recycling or turning in used items and somehow rewarding their customers for being green and sustainable,” Lee said. “I think that businesses like mine are going to be able to work hand-in-hand with the bigger retailers, and they’re going to want to have [divisions] that actually focus on this area of business.
Traditional retailers that refuse to adapt to, or work with, the growing collaborative consumption market do so at their own peril, Wiseman said. “All of these entrenched industries feel incredibly threatened by the rise of collaborative commerce. If they don’t adapt, they’re going to lose and be out of business. It’s very simple.”
Adapt or Perish?
If, rather than innovating, the hotel industry keeps going after peer-to-peer room- and home-renting services such as Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO, for instance, Wiseman said, “they’re going to have a lot of trouble.” Hotels, he noted, aren’t going to disappear. “But are they going to lose 30% of their market share? Probably.
“All of these entrenched industries feel incredibly threatened by the rise of collaborative commerce. If they don’t adapt, they’re going to lose and be out of business.”–John Wiseman
“And that’s why they’re lawyering up,” Wiseman continued. It’s also why “Airbnb is lawyering up. But Airbnb is going to win. It just might take awhile.” These lawsuits, he added, “just help Airbnb gain more stature and become more known. I think the hotel industry would be wise to rethink their strategy because they can’t control it. It’s like Prohibition for alcohol — it just went underground. The Internet is the ultimate access tool. You can’t hide it.”
As an example, he pointed to Silk Road, the online black market on which anything — most notoriously, illegal drugs — could be bought and sold anonymously. The FBI in October shut down the site and arrested its alleged operator, Ross William Ulbricht, on conspiracy charges of narcotics trafficking, computer hacking and money laundering. “It’s just going to go somewhere else,” Wiseman said. Indeed, one month after the shutdown of Silk Road, someone who had adopted Ulbricht’s pseudonym, Dread Pirate Roberts, resurrected the site elsewhere as, once again, Silk Road.
Mealku, D’Cruz-Young noted, has received some attention from regulators and from the restaurant industry. “We’re not as lawyered up as Airbnb,” he said. (As an aside, he pointed out that many of Mealku’s participating cooks have also become hosts on Airbnb, a sign of increasing overlap in the collaborative-consumption economy.) “We don’t have so much money. But we are lawyered up. You’re ready to have the fight, but you have to have a plan to sustain it. An individual wrote us a love note last week, saying, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.’ She depends on us, and we have to defend her business. So, we have a B-plan that makes us compliant and neutralizes the threat.”
Asked by a member of the audience to detail examples of industries that perhaps would not be malleable enough for a collaborative-consumption model to thrive, D’Cruz-Young flipped the question. “There are very few industries that aren’t open to this,” he said. “I think it’s not a question of, ‘Where do you go?’ it is, ‘Where can’t you go?’”

星期日, 3月 31, 2013


星期三, 3月 20, 2013

太重視學歷 失去競爭力

轉載自【2013/03/21 聯合報】http://udn.com/


星期三, 11月 28, 2012


    敬祝  順心快樂              


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星期四, 6月 21, 2012


5月底,就在有跡象表明中國經濟增長可能減速的時候,中國發佈了一系列勞動力統計資料。雖然進出口增速可能會下降,但工資則在不斷增長。各個公司依然在擴張自己的員工隊伍。儘管中國的經濟增長速度可能降溫,但這個國家依然是全球吸引和留住員工最具競爭力的市場。“人才戰爭正在加劇。”翰德中國(China for Hudson)大中華區董事總經理關偉鵬(Mark Carriban)談到,“在大部分行業,可能都存在著高端人才供不應求的情形。”翰德公司是一家專注于人力資源業務的諮詢顧問機構,總部位於美國紐約。 在中國運營的公司,無論是跨國公司,還是地方企業和國有企業,都在面向相對較小的合格人才庫展開競爭。儘管中國每年都輸送出數量不斷增長的大量大學畢業生,但是,公司依然很難得到擁有管理技能或其他技能的員工,為此,公司正在竭盡全力吸引和留住這個國家的頂尖人才。 在這場全球性金融危機期間,雖然其他市場都在苦苦掙扎,但中國的經濟發展依然保持強勁。為此,很多企業都以增加在這個國家的業務、構建零售業務、製造更多的汽車以及針對中國市場量身定制研發中心等舉措做出回應。翰德公司最近進行的一項調查顯示,在中國大陸,有60%的受訪者談到,他們準備在下個季度擴展員工隊伍。“這一比例比香港和新加坡高50%。”關偉鵬談到。 此外,最近幾年來,工資也在不斷增長,雖然工資的基準相對較低,但漲幅之大確實令人驚異。2011年,工資增長了18%,2010年的職工工資同樣比前一年激增了14.1%。製造業部門的工資增長幅度則更為可觀,2011年的增長幅度超過了20%。關偉鵬認為,對人才的競爭,導致了一個懷有很高預期的人才群體的形成:他們尋求快速晉升的機會,為了加快這一進程,他們願意從一個公司跳到另一個公司,在這一過程,他們會獲得承擔責任、提高工資的機會。 “良好的人際網路和遠大抱負” 與歐洲和美國等其他市場相比,中國頂尖人才的人口統計學特徵是較為年輕。因為文化大革命導致的教育和工作經驗斷層,這個國家今天最炙手可熱的很多人才都是1980年以後出生的,他們就是眾所周知“Y世代”(Generation Y)。“這代人是中國迄今受到最良好教育、擁有最良好的人際網路而且最有遠大抱負的一代人。”關偉鵬談到。 最近30年來,雖然中國的教育體系已得到大規模的擴張,2011年的大學畢業生數量也達到了660萬人,但很多公司期望的並不只是一個學位。“我從獵頭公司和當地商學院都聽到過這個故事,”沃頓商學院管理學教授馬歇爾·邁爾(Marshall Meyer)談到,“從根本上來說,當地畢業生都沒有做好做出高級管理決策的準備……事實上,他們確實沒有爭取主動的經驗。” 全球性管理諮詢顧問機構合益集團(Hay Group)中國區產品化服務負責人盛蕻希(音)(Henry Sheng)談到,很多企業希望得到能快速進入角色並立刻產生影響的員工。但是,最近的畢業生往往都需要培訓。“原因可能在於中國的教育體系——你的學位常常與你將來的工作沒有多少關係。”盛談到。雖然某些公司願意在新員工培訓上投資,但是,年輕一代人從一個工作跳到另一份工作的傾向,往往造成企業的這項投資付諸東流。 這些動態造成的一個結果就是,某些最讓人稱心如意的招聘是聘任海外歸來的人,中國將其稱之為“海歸”。因為這些人擁有西方教育、工作經驗而且瞭解中國的綜合背景,所以,他們對跨國公司和當地公司都極具吸引力。“很多跨國公司都在努力降低成本,並聘用當地人才。”邁爾談到。雖然海歸可能不像應屆畢業生那麼便宜,不過他們可能以低於西方應聘者的薪酬水準簽約,因為西方應聘者希望企業為他們提供“重新安置費”,以及可能包括住房津貼、子女教育費和每年探親的機票費用在內的“外籍員工津貼包”(expat package)。 新競爭對手以及變化的需求 雖然合意員工群體的數量一直較少,但想聘任這類員工的公司數量則在不斷增加。不但跨國公司要繼續擴張自己在這個國家的員工隊伍,中國的國有企業也漸漸成了人們心儀的工作場所。 關偉鵬談到,“情況在最近5年中已經發生了改變。”在這場金融危機爆發之前,如果翰德公司向一位高價值員工(high-value employee)提供一個在跨國公司和國有企業兩個職位中選擇一個的機會,跨國公司幾乎總是最優先的選擇。“他們認為,國有企業的工作不夠引人入勝。”他談到。 而今天,已有越來越多的人開始探求國有企業的工作機會。關偉鵬補充談到,國有企業已變得更加老到,隨著它們人力資源服務能力的提升,管理層已能更好地為員工的職業發展提供規劃了。“商學院畢業生已變得非常謹慎。”邁爾談到。“很多畢業生喜歡留在傳統而且安全的系統內。”而國有企業則被視為安全的選擇。 此外,隨著中國很多首席執行官和高層管理人員接近退休年齡,中國的企業已開始對制訂接班人計畫和培養斬露頭角的人才給予更密切的關注。“在中國的公司中,對公司的忠誠就像人們對家庭的忠誠一樣——我們都是一個戰壕的戰友。”邁爾談到。“我不知道你還能用什麼比喻來替代這種比喻。”邁爾還談到了發生在一家中國企業管理層的故事,這家企業對員工忠誠的問題極為清醒,所以,為接班人制訂了一個10年期的職業發展路徑,並為高層經理提供了只有在他們退休時才生效的10年期期權計畫。“這是構建一支忠誠管理團隊的激勵手段。”邁爾談到。 隨著對中國頂尖人才的需求不斷升溫,這個國家的大部分最令人滿意的員工都對雇主懷有很高的預期。合益集團進行的一項調查顯示,在中國大陸,員工優先考慮的條件隨年齡而異。最年輕的30歲以下的員工群體最看重的是學習機會,富有競爭力的薪酬和公司環境分列第二位和第三位。年齡介於30歲到39歲的員工,優先考慮的條件是工資,公司品牌和學習機會分列其後。而40歲到49歲的員工群體,則將富有挑戰性的工作環境列為最優先考慮的條件,富有競爭力的薪酬水準位列其後。 合益集團在調查中還發現,最近從一家企業轉到另一家企業的員工在羅列離職的主要理由時,將公司領導層的重要性列在渴望的薪酬水準和缺乏成長機會之下。關偉鵬談到,翰德公司在中國大陸對高素質員工訪談時發現,在選擇雇主時,他們常常談到,自己最關切的是薪酬和獎金。 然而,企業對人才的競爭還不止於此。“公司應該擁有適當的戰略管理流程,而不只是依靠薪酬。”盛蕻希談到。“最重要的是,要向員工證明,他們在公司內擁有職業發展的機會,尤其是對年輕的員工。”他還補充談到,如果員工覺得自己沒有足夠的學習機會,或者不能很快取得進步,他們就會離去。 關偉鵬認為,公司經理應該在面試過程剛開始的時候就制訂戰略。翰德公司進行的另一項調查顯示,60%的受訪者稱,他們最近一次就職的公司沒有滿足自己的預期。“黃金法則是,要確保你招聘到恰當的人才。”關偉鵬談到。“在這個市場中,公司承受著極大的壓力,因此,人們往往會做出第二選擇。” 關偉鵬建議說,要想找到適合自己需求的最佳人選,負責招聘的經理人應該對應聘者進行更嚴格的面試。應該測試應聘者的系列特殊能力,而不是坐下來泛泛而談。此外,對員工的面試還應該根據每家企業的文化進行相應的調整。“所有的組織都有完全不同的文化,一位員工的心態和動機可能與他們即將進入的環境並不協調。” 關偉鵬談到。“如果一個組織在這一點上弄錯了,士氣的損失,以及對生產率的阻礙所造成的損失,就會讓該組織付出高昂的代價。” 某位員工被聘任後,對頂尖員工的競爭並沒有到此結束。“這一代人往往被人指責為缺乏忠誠。”關偉鵬談到。“但是,如果你在24歲或25歲的時候進入了一個組織,之後你從其他組織得到了非常好的聘用協議,那麼,這可能就是你在薪酬水準和承擔的職責上戲劇性躍升的最佳機會。”此外,“Y世代”還面臨著從家庭到迅速取得成功的諸多壓力。因為這個國家的獨生子女政策,“他們往往面臨著這樣的處境:父母、祖父母和外祖父母都在專注著自己的成功。” 關偉鵬談到。 為了留住更多的頂尖人才,越來越多的公司都在實施“輔導計畫”(mentorship programs),並開展了所有員工都參與其中的企業社會責任活動。這類計畫有助於提高員工的忠誠度。有專家指出,為員工制訂結構清晰的發展計畫,會他們覺得自己可以在組織內晉升,而不是呆在原職位不動。 工資以外 雖然中國的員工依然將工資視為最關切的條件,不過越來越多的員工已開始尋求其他福利待遇。衛生保健、教育以及工作和生活的平衡都是員工在某個組織是否快樂的重要因素。人力資源顧問機構Catalyst集團最近進行的一項調查顯示,80%的中國受訪者稱,保持工作和生活的良好平衡對他們來說很重要。49%的女性和43%的男性員工稱,取得這樣的平衡很困難。 “我們發現,在中國,人們總體上對組織提供的工作彈性並不怎麼滿意。”Catalyst集團研究高級主管、該調查報告的作者蘿拉·薩巴蒂尼(Laura Sabattini)談到。該報告對中國、印度和新加坡的員工情況進行了調查。改善工作和生活平衡的流行計畫包括允許員工實行彈性工作時間或者遠端工作。然而,因為中國的法律問題,其中的有些策略很難貫徹實施。舉例來說,兼職工作就很難安排。在中國,一個工作你一旦做過兩次,從法律上來說,這個工作就不能視為臨時工作了。 “在家裡工作是個不斷發展的趨勢,至少在上海這樣。” Catalyst集團戰略和市場行銷高級副總裁黛比·蘇恩(Debbie Soon)談到。尤其是在跨國公司,為了配合全球團隊的工作,公司常常要求員工在休息時間參加電話會議,蘇恩談到,人們對彈性工作的必要性有了越來越清楚的認識。 然而,讓工作場所更靈活並不只是為員工提供在家工作這一選擇那麼簡單。公司必須向員工清楚表明,實行彈性工作時間和遠端工作是可以接受的——甚至鼓勵他們這麼做——而且不會因此受到處罰。蘇恩談到,跨國公司在為員工提供同樣有望晉升的彈性工作時間表時,還面臨著其他挑戰。“如果你在一家跨國公司工作,而權力基礎在其他地方,”她談到,“那麼,如果你想在某些時候得到晉升,就意味著你必須遷居。”在中國,這就意味著大部分員工會喪失人際支援網路,這個網路常常包括員工的父母和祖父母等人。 蘇恩和薩巴蒂尼都認為,公司的策略需要將輔導計畫、團隊建設活動以及職業發展機會等計畫整合起來。沒有任何跡象表明,中國的人才競爭會很快降溫,想招聘人才的公司在發現和留住自己需要的人才方面還將面臨挑戰。雖然尚沒有化解這一挑戰的解決方案,但公司可以通過考量自己的企業文化,並與員工的最新期望保持同步而受益。“沒有哪個公司能提出普遍適用的計畫。”關偉鵬談到。“在這方面沒有‘魔術子彈’。” 轉載:knowledgeatwharton.com

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