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Crowdtap has released an infographic that details the results of research into the intersection of holiday shopping and social.

This research was conducted with Crowdtap’s head of research, Rachel Schwartz, formerly director of the Innovations Practice at Nielsen.
Some of the key takeaways:

  • Holiday gift discovery on social is up from 64.8% in 2013 to 76% in 2014.
  • About two-thirds of holiday shoppers find gift inspiration on social media, and the number of people who say they use traditional media as a source of inspiration is dropping.
  • Facebook is most influential platform on holiday purchases, according to 59% of respondents.

Click the infographic to the right for more information.…

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Major change initiatives may bubble up from the ranks, but their success depends upon the advocacy of those at the top. Winning those folks to your side is essential, but it’s not enough. You have to make your influence felt one on one, person to person.

Get involved where you can have the most positive impact.

As a change agent, your challenge is to integrate your way of thinking into the organization in ways that do not threaten individuals but rather complement the goals and strategies of the organization.

John Baldoni is chair of leadership development at N2Growth, is an internationally recognized leadership educator and executive coach. In 2014, Trust Across America named him to its list of top 100 most trustworthy business experts. Also in 2014, Inc.com named Baldoni to its list of top 100 leadership experts, and Global Gurus ranked him No. 11 on its list of global leadership experts.

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Diversity has long been an issue in technology. Less than 30% of tech jobs are held by women, and that number is even smaller for leadership positions.

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Gender diversity: How top tech companies compare

Many tech companies are working hard to improve the industry’s gender gap, releasing diversity numbers to the public and launching hiring initiatives geared specifically toward women. But for real change to happen, it needs to start earlier – specifically, in STEM education.

Current trends suggest that more women are studying STEM now than ever before – in fact, in 2010, women represented 50.3% of all science and engineering bachelor’s degrees. But there’s still a long way to go when it comes to getting – and keeping – women interested in tech.

Below, we’ll look forward at what’s being done – and what can be done better – to improve gender diversity and help get women and girls started in technology.…

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Coffee prices fluctuate with supply, but a severe drought in Brazil and a fungus called coffee rust in Central America have taken a toll on crop yields, sending coffee bean costs soaring this year with the expectation that they’ll go even higher in 2015.

A report earlier this year from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Colombia predicts that climate change will bring more of the same in the future. Arabica bean prices rose at least 72% this year, and they’re likely to continue climbing in 2015, according to Citi Research.

Total global supply is on track to rise 1.5% this year compared to 2013, but it’s the second year of a supply deficit, according to a report by Rabobank earlier this month. And the hit comes as coffee consumption around the globe continues to rise, driven in large part by Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts expansions into new markets, and the expansion of quickservice coffee programs like McDonald’s McCafe line.…

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All that planning, hard work and sweat equity is paying off. Your business is growing. Is it time to grow your workforce, too? You could be ready for hiring an employee if you:

  • Get bad reviews or complaints. Negative customer feedback is an early indicator that something’s amiss. Analyze this data to determine whether the issue is related to insufficient staff or a problematic process/procedure, and to identify specific times of day or functions where you need the extra help. The Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Survey found 62% of customers switched service providers because of unsatisfactory customer service or experience. So hiring an employee can address the problems and improve business.
  • See a new revenue opportunity. Sometimes in the course of doing business you uncover a new line of revenue stream or line of business that’s worth pursuing. But if you’re like most small-business owners, you’re already working at full tilt.
  • (read more…)