Author: Doug Ramsay
Doug handles the marketing and web presence for Adventure Associates. If he's not geeking-out with the latest, greatest web marketing tools, then you'll find him swirling and sipping his way through wine country.

The Power of Storytelling in Business

The Power of Storytelling in Business

Most employees think that storytelling is something reserved for books and the big screen, but this belief is robbing companies of one of humanity’s greatest tools. Stories have been used from the dawn of humankind to pass down valuable information and engage people’s attention. Yet somehow stories still aren’t utilized by business people to help aid them in their work. This is likely because we mistakenly think of stories as purely entertainment. Stories can be colorful and emotional, and sometimes they are embellished to make them come to life in the minds of the audience. Because of this, they can

The Four Part After Action Review

After Action Review Four Part Templaet Developed by US Army

If you’ve just completed a campaign or significant action of some sort – like internal restructuring, changing business processes, or launched a product in a new market – and you’re not setting aside time to examine how that action went, then you’re missing out on a tremendous learning opportunity. Successful business teams know the importance of a thorough after action review. A process originating from the US Army’s National Training Center, the After Action Review (AAR) process was started as a way to evaluate information learned after a military operation by systemizing the process of generating feedback and recording it

What is switchtracking and how does it affect feedback?

What is switchtracking and how does it affect feedback

Switchtracking is a fascinating phenomenon that you may not have heard of, but you almost certainly have experienced. With that in mind, let me paint a picture for you instead of giving a definition. Susan has begun a feedback conversation with a co-worker, John, and it goes something like this: Susan: I received your finished report, however, it’s using the old style of formatting and I am frustrated that you didn’t use our new template. John: So I turned in my report early, to make sure it fit your shortened deadline, and again you can’t help but criticize my work.

The Importance of Ongoing Relationship Building Between Employees

The Importance of Ongoing Relationship Building Between Employees

Technology is rapidly changing the workplace and the relationships therein. With myriad technologies to keep us connected, including phones, email, instant messenger, and video conferencing, it allows us to easily stay in touch. As a result of these technological advances, many companies have embraced remote working situations, allowing employees to stay home a few times a week, or even weeks at a time. Even more radical, some companies have gone almost entirely virtual, like app-integration company Zapier and Automattic, the company behind the world’s most popular content management system (and what our site is built on) WordPress. (Shoutout to Zapier,

Embracing Employer Review Sites

Embracing Company Review Sites for Job Seekers

If we were on a trip visiting a new city and I asked you to pick a bar, restaurant, or tour company, what would you do? More than likely you’d slip your phone out of your pocket and launch the Yelp! app. And if I asked you to the movies, you’d assuredly check Rotten Tomatoes before agreeing to meet me for Vin and Dwayne’s latest installment Fast and the Furious. (No judgment if you decide not to go.) With the dominance of sites like Yelp! and Rotten Tomatoes, it seems we’ve fully embraced the culture of ratings and reviews. So

Chief Culture Officers: Guiding Corporate Culture for Success

Chief Culture Officer

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” That quippy line, attributed to famous management guru Peter Drucker, seems to have taken on new significance with companies over the past decade. Corporate culture is showing up in the news with increasing frequency, often in reference to negative cultural attributes contributing to shady business practices or toxic work environments. While these negative cultures can show up in companies of any age, a lot of recent news has been focused on startups, like Uber, which employed questionable business tactics and had numerous recurring issues with sexism. Likewise, fellow tech-unicorn Zenefits’ culture was infamous – with

15 Myers Briggs® Personality Type Charts of Fictional Characters


Let’s face it — learning about our Myers Briggs® type can be pretty darn fun. Reading through the lists of traits and saying, “Man, that’s so me!” Comparing your traits with those of friends and family is especially entertaining. We think to ourselves, hmm, that’s why my co-worker Jackie and I get along so well, or that’s why my Uncle Bob drives me nuts. It provides a little framework and puts words to things we knew somewhat intuitively, but never quite put our finger on. With the amount of time we spend streaming video and with our noses in pop-fiction books,

3 Post Meeting Questions to Support Better Decision Making and Get Things Done

Have you ever walked away from a lengthy meeting or conversation, one chock full of discussion and strategizing, and later thought to yourself, “Wait, did we actually decide on anything?” Often the answer is fuzzy. You may have thought you decided on something, but aren’t sure how the others saw things. Maybe there was consensus on a decision, but no follow-up steps. Or you don’t know who would be tasked with completing the assignments that said decision would imply. It’s not uncommon that one of two things happen – that either nothing gets done, despite everyone agreeing on a particular

Email Etiquette, Management, and Writing Tips

Email consumes an inordinate amount of our time these days – one-third of our work day, apparently – so we thought it might be helpful to review some email tips and etiquette suggestions to make your time spent in Outlook, Gmail, et al. more efficient and effective. Without further ado, here they are:   Never forward anything without permission. Whenever you receive an email from someone, you must assume that if nobody else was CC’d or otherwise included, then they are not meant to read the contents of the email. It is most polite to ask about forwarding the information

Optimal Leadership Team Size: Bigger May Not Be Better

Optimal Leadership Team Size: Bigger May Not Be Better

In the fast paced world of business it seems as though the landscape is constantly changing. Technologies evolve rapidly, policies shift with changing political climates, consumer interests fluctuate, and economies boom and bust. Regardless what the change is, things never get simpler. Proof of this change can be found in the ever expanding C-Suite, which has grown as companies try to adapt. It used to be that the executive trilogy of a company consisted of the CEO, CFO, and COO, but this management team has grown in the past couple of decades. Now we see things like Chief Technology Officer,

Leadership Lessons: The Right Way to Respond to a Mental Health Day Request

Leadership Lessons: The Right Way to Respond to a Mental Health Day Request

Have you ever taken a sick day because you were stressed, burnt-out, had some difficult personal issue arise, or just needed a mental respite? Likely you have, but you probably told your manager that you were feeling ill or a bit under the weather, instead of mentioning what it was really about. According to a report by the American Psychological Association, roughly one-third of employees report feeling chronically stressed by their jobs. Yet despite this fact, there’s still a palpable stigma around taking mental health days. The problem is two-fold – employees don’t feel safe enough to say they need a mental health day and often HR doesn’t

Flash Organizations: The Age of Crowd Sourced Pop-Up Companies

There are so many factors that go into creating a successful, long-lasting organization — and so much work involved — that it can be somewhat strange to think of a company that is actually designed to be temporary. Yet that is exactly what is happening with more and more frequency these days. The thing is, this concept isn’t new. These types organizations have existed for decades, chief among them being the groups that join together to put together Hollywood movies. These hyper-focused, project oriented groups bring together people with a myriad of skill sets to create one main product: a motion picture. Then they are disbanded and the employees move on to their next ventures. Two Stanford

Leadership Lessons: The New Programmer Who Deleted His Company’s Database

Leadership Lessons The New Programmer Who Deleted His Company Database

We all remember our first professional job out of college. Likely we shared a mixture of excitement and nerves – eager to make a good impression and to not do anything stupid.  Assuredly, these were the same things going through a young developer’s mind with the Reddit handle cscareerthrowaway567  – that was until the young programmer accidentally deleted his company’s entire production database and that nervous excitement turned into panic and terror. You can read the details of his error on Reddit, here.  In a nutshell, the young developer had to create his own test database, but in the onboarding materials, the login credentials to the

Annual Employee Satisfaction Surveys: Why You Should Be Checking In With Your Workers

There are many traditional ways that companies measure performance and they’re most often tied to the bottom line or some other financial or output indicator. While these measurements are, of course, important, a more difficult to measure, but oft overlooked component of performance is employee satisfaction and engagement. It’s not a coincidence that some of the top performing companies in the world often show up on “best places to work” lists. Employee engagement is actually a more comprehensive way of describing what is most important for companies to measure, in that, beyond general satisfaction, it indicates a commitment to the company and to co-workers, plus an enhanced sense of well-being. Often employee engagement is said to include

The Rise of Corporate Universities

the rise of corporate universities

As more and more companies are recognizing the benefits of investing in ongoing professional development, there has been a surge in the creation of corporate universities (or academies as they’re more commonly known in Europe and Asia). While the definition of what makes for a corporate university can be a bit fuzzy, the Boston Consulting Group found that the number of these universities doubled from 1000 to 2000 between 1997 and 2007, and then doubled again between 2007 and 2011 to 4000. What that means in terms of spending on corporate training is profound, with a 2012 estimate of around $400 billion for