Gifts for graduates

It’s graduation season across the country and your chance to show your community credentials. Bay Optical Lab, in North Bend, OR, did that last year by making up gift baskets to give to one male and one female student at each local school’s graduation. “The baskets consisted of sunglasses, eyeglass accessories, pens, picture frames, etc. They were well received and we’ve already had requests for this year,” said manager Gayla Mitchell.

competition Uniqueness Guaranteed

While a lot of women apparently want to look like Kendall Jenner or Victoria Beckham in sunglasses, they are rarely so keen for other women in their community to sport the same style. Great Spectacles in Stockton, CA, ensures they won’t by promising exclusivity. “We will only buy one of each piece; that way no one else in the area should have your same frame,” says owner Lynda Winter. “Our inventory is constantly changing and is made of only the latest styles.” 

ManagementGo With Plan B

When an employee comes to you with an idea, particularly if he is suggesting a change to a plan you made, adopt this useful bias: If the plan is at least 60 percent as good as yours, go with the subordinate’s. He or she will execute it twice as well, just through feelings of ownership, write Timothy Saint and Nicholas Smith, two former Marine lieutenants in a Business Insider post titled “11 Lessons from the Battlefield.”

performanceForty Winks

If you feel like you’re functioning pretty well on six hours of sleep a day, research suggests you may be pulling the wool over your own eyes. A study by a team at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that subjects restricted to six hours of sleep a day showed steadily deteriorating performances in cognitive tests and that by the 10th day were doing as poorly as those limited to four hours’ sleep or less. Interestingly, Fast Company reports, the six-hour group didn’t even think they were that sleepy.

Is this the most badass cleaning cloth ever?

accessories Bad to the Bone

Move over humble cleaning cloth, there’s a new, cooler hombre in town. Announcing the arrival of its new The Drifter line on Facebook, SPEX BY Ryan Inc. in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, called the new addition the “most badass cloth ever.” We tend to agree. Who said cleaning cloths have to be dull and gray? 

management A Bias for Action

Ready, aim, fire. That is overwhelmingly the approach of successful entrepreneurs, according to UVA scholar Saras Sarasvathy: The successful ones rarely made long-range plans and typically scorned market research. Instead, they went for quick sales, observed how the market reacted, and then a few more.

MERCHANDISINGThe Rule of $100

There’s a belief in retail that “dollar off” discounts are more effective than percentages. But Jonah Berger, author of the bestseller Contagious, adds a proviso: When setting an offer, remember the “Rule of $100.” For prices under $100, use a discount percentage (25% off!). For prices over $100, use a straight dollar figure ($250 off!). Try an A/B test.

operationsBetter Meetings

Stride into a meeting, dominate the dialogue and repeat your point insistently, and you have a good chance of winning the day, thanks to a human weakness for interpreting confidence as competence. But it doesn’t mean you’ll arrive at the best solution for the challenges facing your business. To prevent this happening at your meetings, reframe them as fact-finding exercises with a focus on what is being said rather than who is saying it, says the University of Utah’s Bryan Bonner. 


This article originally appeared in the June 2017 edition of INVISION.

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