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A TikTok Intern, an Easy Work File and More Tips for August and September

Including putting meetings on hold and how to get the most out brainstorming.

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A TikTok Intern, an Easy Work File and More Tips for August and September

BRAINSTORMINGFreeze!

If you want to foster ideas from your staff, don’t tell them to ‘be creative.’ That just causes people to freeze up. A much better approach, according to a recent Businessweek article on brainstorming, is to say: “Do something only you would come up with — that none of your colleagues, friends or family would think of.” In experiments, this approach has been shown to yield twice as many creative responses.

MANAGEMENTNo Regrets

Want to know how to reframe a bad decision? How about: You were given incomplete information. The future is unknowable. And if you can view such “mistakes” as chances to learn and grow you’ll be even better off, says Dan Pink in his latest book, The Power of Regret.

MARKETINGTikTok Intern

Marketers have long turned to young people to help them navigate new social platforms. TikTok is no different. But according to a New York Times story (invisionmag.com/072301), it helps to cut them a lot of creative slack and even allow them to become the face of your brand, given the very direct nature of the channel, its often-confusing mix of voice snippets and song clips, and its unique vernacular. “The best way to do it is just to hire college interns,” the report quotes one small business owner as saying.

TIME MANAGEMENTEasy Work File

As busy as most business owners are, there are also frequent periods of forced downtime, as you wait for someone to get back to you with a quote, for the lunchtime rush of customers, for a seasonal project to be implemented. For such times, Greg Rudolph, founder and CEO of Board Blazers, recommends keeping an “easy work” file on your desktop. “This includes simple tasks that might require lots of time but can be easily interrupted, such as data entry, reading, or small unfinished items from the day before. That way, you have a simple task ready to go whenever you find yourself with a few free minutes in your day,” he tells INC.

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OPERATIONSPut Meetings on Hold

Feeling like your meetings just aren’t that productive? (According to a recent Harvard Business School survey, two-thirds of managers don’t think they are.) Hold a moratorium for a week or month or however long and look for alternative ways to disseminate the information. Make a note for when things aren’t being communicated well and then reintroduce meetings for those instances.

HIRINGForget ‘What Are Your Weaknesses?’

In the sci-fi novel Engines of God, the code-breaker Maggie Tufu says, “Tell me what a person admires and I’ll tell you everything about them that matters.” It’s profound and true, and a great interview question the next time you’re hiring.

SELLINGFirst Price, Then Features

When asked, “How much?” the first digit of a number should always be the first syllable out of your mouth. That’s the advice of sales pro Gene Chamberlain. Start with a sales line like, “Madam, you have excellent taste in eyewear” followed by a list of the features and the person stops listening. Start with the price, followed — without pause — by the features, and all those things you list make the price seem cheaper and cheaper.

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