Managing the fear of change

I have been a facilitator of change for most of my career. For me, being the facilitator of change is easy. I can manage it well, and I have learned how to help others manage it well. But, admittedly, I am not perfect, because I fear change — personally and professionally. Years ago, in a meeting with my supervisor, I broke down sobbing because of change happening to me. The strong, “tough cookie” that I am ended up breaking down in tears. I was an emotional mess. You see, my professional role was shifting into the “unknown” because of a […]

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Bottom lines: Our views on recent news

Here are our bottom-line views on a few items of note in the Crossroads Business Journal region: • A hopeful thumbs-up to economist Anirban Basu of the Sage Policy Group, who shared his 2019 forecast with the Crossroads Business Journal. Basu said President Donald Trump and the new Democrat-controlled House of Representatives aren’t likely to agree on much, but they might be able to strike a deal on a federal infrastructure package, and that would be good news for this region. • Kudos to Hospice of Washington County (Md.), which recently announced that its Doey’s House had earned The Joint […]

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Breaking Down Silos

Global economies, competitive advantage, market share, online everything — all terms that we have come to accept as part of our daily business lives. Whether or not by choice, we have all come to expect interaction on a global scale with practically everyone. However, there is one area that struggles with communication in almost every instance; that being the internal communications of the organization itself. Silo mentality has been discussed in many boardrooms over the past several decades but has recently come to the forefront as the need for competitive advantage has become increasingly more difficult to obtain. Age old […]

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‘Teamwork makes the dream work’

Successful companies in all industries have one thing in common: strong teamwork. Healthy workplace teams, regardless of the industry, provide a number of benefits to the company, to the individual and to the community. High-functioning teams have greater productivity, lower turnover, more creativity and positive morale. These teams, however, do not appear on their own. They are the result of an organizational culture that fosters cooperation and collaboration over competition and individual achievement. In other words, strong high-functioning teams are made, not born. There are several steps that any organization can take to begin to create an organizational culture that […]

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Artificial intelligence moves toward general applications

Artificial intelligence, also known as AI, is popping up often in conversation at J.L. Grove College of Business at Shippensburg University. The term is also regularly mentioned in media headlines. Some people are excited; many are worried. AI is such a wide umbrella term that it is often necessary to be more specific about the type of AI we are speaking about. Here, I hope to clarify and highlight the positive opportunities AI is creating, and to map the AI field into two parts. Repeatedly, technological advances have left us uneasy about the role of machines in our society. Inventions, […]

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Bottom lines: Our views on recent news

Here are our bottom-line views on a few items of note in the Crossroads Business Journal area: • Good luck to the work group that is exploring how to develop a Western Maryland Autonomous Technology Center. “Autonomous technologies” covers a lot of territory, from unmanned aerial systems and connected autonomous vehicles to industrial robotics, cybersecurity and data analysis. • Hats off to Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pa. Bucking a national trend of lower college enrollments, Wilson reported that 1,499 students are enrolled for the fall semester, the most in the college’s 149-year history. • Congrats to Valley Storage, based in Washington County, Md., for […]

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On-the-Job Training Program a tool to connect employers, workers

Guest column By SUSAN SMALL Employment. It’s the age-old adage: Unemployed are looking for a job, underemployed are searching for a better job, and companies are on a quest for qualified employees. As the Washington County (Md.) Business Development staff is out in the community, workforce efforts are often a hot topic. Whether we find ourselves in the position as the employee or employer, we may often become stuck at a crossroads asking questions such as, “Which candidate is the best hire?” “Where can I find a job?” “Where can I find training to work at a different job?” For […]

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A good economy and the role of higher ed

The U.S. economy continues to grow at a healthy rate, and in the first half of 2018, hiring has been better than expected. The growth in the economy has been mainly fueled by job gains in retail, professional and business services, manufacturing, and in health care and social assistance.  In the last seven months, U.S. employers added an average of 215,000 jobs a month to payrolls compared to an average of 184,000 added during the same period of 2017. In July, manufacturing added 37,000 jobs, with most of the gain in the durable goods industries. Overall, manufacturing has added 327,000 […]

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Applying management science in succession planning

Experienced managers know that building, retaining and leading your team well is an important prerequisite of reaching an organization’s objectives. After hiring and firing employees myself, I find it appropriate to share what advice the business academics are giving. There is a whole discipline of human resource management dedicated for such thoughts. However this time, I took a look elsewhere for more accurate advice — namely to the quantitative discipline of management science. We know that there are no easy answers. In management, we are always forced to make trade-offs to seek a balance. Real business management is more like […]

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When it comes to etiquette, at least remember the coffee

If you’re a coffee drinker, you know. The clock hits 2 p.m., and you’re dragging. You need the caffeine from the blessed bean, lest you lose any momentum you have left to complete your work. Mug in hand, you drag yourself to the coffeemaker. The pot is empty. Someone — and you don’t know exactly who — but someone took the last ounces of wakeup juice from the carafe and did not have the common courtesy to make another pot for those who would be needing a cup of Joe later in the day. Etiquette would dictate that if you […]

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