Friday, September 24, 2010

You Snooze, You Win?

I have a recurring daily appointment on my calendar labeled “nap.”

It’s a joke (sort of). But maybe it shouldn’t be.

In fact, in my post-lunch stupor, I think a little snooze might be just what the doctor ordered—Dr. Sara Mednick, that is (author of “Take a Nap! Change your life.”)

Mednick’s extensive research demonstrates that 30 minutes of shuteye can dramatically improve employee critical-thinking, problem-solving and creative skills.

So a nap can be a big boost to a marketing communications professional, who thrives at the intersection of strategic and creative thinking.

But find me a company that even tolerates napping on the job, let alone encourages the practice.

Seriously, find me one. OK, Google (of course).

Tony Schwartz of the Harvard Business Review believes it’s time for a few more forward-thinking companies to give employee naps a try. By fueling innovation and productivity, naps are “a powerful source of competitive advantage,” Schwartz says.

Is there a better way to keep people at the top of their game? I guess we could try energy drinks instead. We’ve all seen those ubiquitous ads for 5-Hour Energy.

But come on—have you tasted that stuff? Also, do we really need more performance-enhancing drugs?

I’ll keep that nap on my calendar, thank you. And if I do get serious about a regular snooze, I hope it turns out better than George Costanza's attempt.

Friday, September 10, 2010

2 September Events You Won’t Want to Miss

Here’s a pair of great upcoming opportunities for business inspiration and marketing insight.

The MMAC Future 50 Awards Luncheon—Registration Deadline Sept. 10

n Event next Thursday, Sept. 16 at The Pfister Hotel

The Future 50 Program showcases companies that are leading the way to growth in the Greater Milwaukee region. It’s a great way to discover what up-and-coming companies are doing to break through—and how you might learn from their success.

By the way, I’ll be participating in the luncheon panel discussion. No hecklers, please.

PRSA-WI Welcomes Peter Shankman—renowned social media/PR thinker

n Monthly meeting Thursday, Sept. 30, at the Hilton Milwaukee

Peter is perhaps best known for founding Help A Reporter Out, which quickly has become the de-facto standard for thousands of journalists looking for sources on deadline. He is recognized globally for radically new ways of thinking about social media, PR, marketing, advertising, creativity and customer service.

Peter’s presentation, “First, SHUT UP. The New Rules of Communication in an Era of Social Media,” figures to be fascinating and fun. This will be his first visit to Milwaukee, so come on out and let’s make it a memorable one. BONUS: You could win a pair of roundtrip tickets on AirTran.

Friday, September 3, 2010

It’s Labor Day—Meaning We’re Still Working Our Way out of the Recession

The unemployment rate inching back up in Friday’s jobs report might seem like unwelcome news—especially heading into a weekend honoring the hard work of the American labor force.

Sure, it would be nice to break for Labor Day with some really solid economic news. Still, the numbers were actually better than anticipated, thanks to unexpected growth in the private sector.

Economists are expressing cautious optimism. The markets also took the jobs report as good news. Maybe you should, too.

Consider, as well, that yet another month of positive U.S. manufacturing data brought much-needed lift earlier this week. American manufacturers continue to lead the way.

Should be enough to ease worries at least a little for the holiday, right?

Here’s hoping that you enjoy the fruits of your labor this weekend, and that after that, economic momentum picks up the pace.