New women superheros are here- I Am Elemental action figures for girls

I understand it’s not an excuse, but I was very busy at work, details below*. If I managed to keep my happiness blog going, I did not do so well here. I hope to reclaim some of my life back starting from tomorrow. For the time being, some exciting new product + impact news from the world of toy manufacturing.

The 7 Elements of Courage

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Productivity- how to outsmart your inbox, free ebook from guys at SaneBox

No excuses of course, but I’ve been very busy at work, hence the silence. While I’ve been busy learning more about digital media strategies and innovation, my quest for productivity, prioritisation and stress management in the spare moments between sleeping and working produced a number of discoveries.

First of, I finally started using thread view on gmail. Only diehard (previous version) yahoo mail users will get the enormity of this decision. Oh well, thread view decreases a number of emails in your inbox and having recently had crossed 500 unread mark and normally being a zero inbox person, this was a major contribution to my sanity at work.

On the subject of email productivity, I might have mentioned that for my personal, yahoo mail account I use SaneBox, amazing app which sorts your emails as they come in. It’s $49 per year and it’s totally worth it. One day I may stop being sentimental and move to gmail completely. Or maybe I’ll unsubscribe from everything in a blind rage episode. Until then, SaneBox works for me.

Smart folks at SaneBox released an ebook called ‘How to outsmart your inbox‘. I have not read it yet but knowing these guys and looking at reviews, I am sure it’s going to be great. Oh, and it’s free to download at the moment.

Enjoy!

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Sustainability- plastic reduction action plan for UK supermarkets

The news of impact of our pollution on the environment and planet is everywhere, and news of the plastic pollution ever more so (eg see here). It’s hard to go on business as usual and not do anything about it. Supporting projects like Oceans Clean Up and applying plastic reduction strategies in day to day life is a good start, but we need to do more.

If you take a step back and go to the sources of plastic pollution, the retailers and manufacturers is where large scale plastic reduction strategies should be implemented in the first place. To be honest, it should be these guys footing the bill for the plastic clean up and recycling projects, like the one I mentioned, which will then hopefully and finally lead to them seriously reconsidering their supply chains and addressing the environment mess that they are playing such a big role in creating.  Continue reading

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What Exactly Is Facebook’s Strategy With Messenger? #tech

I updated Facebook’s iOS mobile app recently*. Naive of me to hope that they improved the app starting speed (takes up to 30sec on iPhone 4, I timed out of interest). Instead the main goal of the update seems to force me to install Messenger for mobile. So committed Facebook is to this purpose that they don’t allow me to view my messages until I install the goddamn app.

I don’t understand why I need to install a separate app to use the existing app’s functionality. I did read reviews, just in case, and they were mostly negative. I won’t be surprised if Whatsapp usage grows like crazy while Facebook react to the feedback. Oh wait. They bought Whatsapp. Ok… I still don’t understand what the strategy is here? Anyone enlighten me please?

* I started using Facebook again. Anonymously. I use it to follow various opinion leaders, charities, causes and happiness blogs for my blog on happiness. 

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Sustainability: The Oceans Clean Up Project – How You Can Help

Science news these days are all gloom. Global warming, pollution, mass animal extinctions and a large extinction now predicted for the humankind. We may follow in dinosaur’s steps and pronto.

Instead of burying my head in my hands and giving up, I do believe that this is the time we need to face the facts and start acting. Last week marked the World Oceans Day. And yes, we only still know about 5% of this amazing world. We have mapped more of the Moon than our oceans. What we know though is that we are poisoning oceans with our waste and that we need to get up, own up to the damage we have done, change what has been passive approach so far, roll our sleeves and get to clean.

Just activism and daily bag reuse are no longer enough. They won’t save you or your kids. We need more of guys like Boyan Slat, with bold vision, enough belief and drive to get the job done and above all, ready to do it.

If his project fails, it’s fine. At least we tried, right? And our support will show that projects like this matter. That we have to keep trying. Let’s do this.

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Business Models No Longer Last

I love business models. I love simplifying problems, in order to solve them. I love structure. And so I find business models fascinating. I still have somewhere a bunch of aged photocopied sheets with various business models which fascinated me in my time as a Master’s student. If like me, you love business models, and believe that they are as solid as say scientific models, you are in for a bit of shock.

Business models no longer last.  Continue reading

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Short Story: Don’t Blame Your Sales Slump On Recession

Today I want to share a short and telling story. I went to H&M to buy some tops for my son. My local H&M is 3 floors of stuff. I realised I was not going to be served on the 3rd floor – one cashier, a very slow, apathetic, young (read – inexperienced) guy, serving a lady with a mountain of clothes she wants to buy. Next to him 2 staff ladies, chatting to each other, laughing, not doing much else. He is looking at them jealously. Cool.

I go to the main floor with a larger cash desk which I expect would be manned by more than one person. Wrong. One slow, apathetic, young (inexperienced) cashier girl and a queue of 7 customers, in varying degrees of impatience. Not much movement. One customer leaves abandoning her bag. Another one. I step to the till and ask if she could perhaps call other cashiers to serve us. She coldly tells me, no, there is nobody else (how about those 2 laughing ladies upstairs?). I fuff, abandon my basket and leave.

I bet someone at the H&M HQs will look at this quarter’s data and record a sales slump in the UK. Oh wow, that must be recession and customer confidence must be low. Really? When have you last checked what your store staff is up to? Do you know how many cashiers you have at the till? Do you have a process where more of them become available once the customer queue exceeds three? Have you any idea what the customer service is like on the retail floor? No, of course not. These are difficult questions requiring drilling and a proactive approach. Blame it on recession instead.

 

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