Don’t Forget Tech!
Forty-six percent of nonprofits don’t have the training budget necessary for technology-related skills and knowledge, according to a recent report by nonprofit professional group NTEN. The annual survey on technology staffing and investments included nearly 800 responses from small to large nonprofit organizations. Among the other findings: “leading” organizations are nearly three times more likely to include technology in their strategic plans and have a “Tech Effectiveness Score” nearly twice that of “struggling” organizations. Read the whole report at nten.org.
General mental ability and fluid intelligence—the ability to reason—gradually decreases across age groups relative to employees under age 30, with more marked declines for groups older than 59, according to a recently published paper in the APA’s Journal of Applied Psychology. Detailing several studies designed to measure the general mental ability of older workers, the researchers note that while older executives score higher in crystallized cognition—including verbal ability and acquired knowledge, fluid abilities and inductive reasoning show marked declines with age. See the full study at apa.org.
Leaders’ ethical transgressions can also tarnish the careers and reputations of colleagues and subordinates, suggest researchers from Stanford University. Using data from nearly 700 participants, their recent study found that when people learn about the immoral behaviors of top leaders in a group, they report greater moral suspicions about the other group members lower in the organization’s hierarchy. Spanning immoral behaviors in the fields of scientific research, medical practice and finance, the research suggests that it’s in all employees’ best interest to work for ethical management and honest organizations.
It’s not a new idea: an old-fashioned phonebook organized alphabetically by location and cuisine. But PeoriaEats is the first online restaurant guide of its kind for Greater Peoria. The goal, says Astrid Stewart, marketing and public relations assistant at EP!C, is to create a full restaurant directory, not just an online database.
“There are plenty of [online database] sites,” she explains, “[but] they don’t produce great results, especially when you weigh their results against what’s truly available.” PeoriaEats will serve as a more comprehensive guide, she says, with continuous updates. In addition, individuals with developmental disabilities will be the driving force behind the project.
The brainchild of EP!C and local web developer Diana Bradbury, it serves as a useful public resource while providing a new employment opportunity for the nonprofit group’s clients, who are developing valuable new skills through data entry, learning to maintain hyperlinks, collecting and verifying restaurant information, and monitoring social media sites.
In total, PeoriaEats will provide information on more than 500 restaurants in the Peoria area with 4,500 links to their websites, menus, Google Maps and Facebook pages. Hours of operation, addresses and contact information will be updated in the project’s mission to provide the community with useful and accurate information, says Stewart. “This project will not only benefit our individuals through the opportunities they receive, it will also help our local restaurant owners.”
Visit the ongoing project at peoriaeats.com.
The Professional Name Change
Whether getting married, divorced or undergoing a personal reinvention, the decision to change one’s name is not an easy one, and the switch comes with professional ramifications. For one, if your name’s your livelihood, you’ll essentially have to re-establish your brand. The digital age offers implications as well. “The hallmark of the digital era is the past you can never erase,” writes the Harvard Business Review, yet a name change creates a new problem as you become a ghost without the typical identifiers of professional credibility.
Given all the considerations, such as type and level of profession, cultural and family traditions, perception, and simply personal preference, this decision is hard enough. Make the process a bit easier with the following tips to keep your professional identity intact during the transition.
- Announce the change. Be sure to let all your existing contacts know of your name change with a brief email blast. Include everyone so you don’t leave anyone in the dark when you email them under your new name later. Don’t forget to update your email signature, and check in with your HR department regarding any policies in place for making changes to beneficiary designations, insurance benefits, tax forms, email and directories.
- Be consistent. Take the time to assess all your online accounts—blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, every email address—and make a consistent update to your name in all locations at the same time. You may consider a built-in transitional period that some accounts (like LinkedIn) allow for, which will include both names on the account for a set period of time. For email accounts, be sure to set up forwarding so you can receive all messages and notify any senders you forgot to alert to the change.
- Make yourself easy to find. Start creating content under your new name. While much of the online content created in your previous name will remain online under that identity, attempt to change any content bylines you can, such as company or personal blogs—but focus on building a new body of work under your new name. Twitter and LinkedIn can be useful in establishing professional credibility. This is also a great time to update memberships or subscribe to new professional associations to build credibility. iBi
For more tips on a successful identity switch, visit hbr.org or time.com/money.