Blog - (Archived)

Who’s Your Champion?

August 25, 2009

There are many successful companies out there that don”t yet have a structured approach to research. In this scenario, a critical factor is having a motivated and empowered internal champion that can rally and integrate the stakeholders and drive strategic success. This person must be skilled at facilitating a continuous, cross-functional communications loop internally – all the way from developing an effective study, to prioritizing improvement activities that result from the findings, to monitoring those efforts via established metrics. In an ideal situation, the research champion would offer the following attributes: Decision-making authority: At times, he or she will need ... Read more

Tales from the River

August 14, 2009

Earlier this month, we got to enjoy one of my favorite company benefits, our quarterly company outing.  We like to get out of the office one day each quarter to do something fun and different.  It gives us a great chance to get to know each other a bit better, and build more team spirit.  Our destination of choice this quarter was white water tubing on the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers, where online casinos we floated (and flipped!) down stream.  With the help of the folks at River Riders, in Harpers Ferry, WV, we got a quick safety lesson ... Read more

Ensuring Your New Name Is The Right Name

August 10, 2009

Organizations are sometimes faced with an unavoidable need to change their name. Perhaps the need is driven by changes in the industry, an expansion of offerings and markets, a new strategic direction, or a merger or acquisition. For example, Blackwater Worldwide recently changed its name to Xe – pronounced “z” – which the president attributed to the company’s shift away from providing private security to training and logistics. (The desire to make a clean break from the past after years of widespread negative publicity surrounding the company’s work in ... Read more

Marine Corps Blocks Access to Social Networking Sites

August 6, 2009

This week it was announced via this message that access to social networking sites (such as Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, and Twitter) was officially banned on NIPRNET, the Marine Corps enterprise network. While use of these sites had not been banned across the Marine Corps prior to this announcement, there were already many facilities for which access was restricted or denied.  Additionally, concerns continue regarding the security breaches that could be caused by allowing access to these sites.  The sites have had many security issues as use increased; just today, Twitter reported a denial of service attack, in which a hacker accessed ... Read more

OPM Seeks Public Input for their Strategic Plan

August 4, 2009

Last week Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry announced that OPM is taking a giant step forward in transparency,?? becoming the first government agency to put its proposed 5-year strategic plan online, open for both the public and employees to comment.  Further, they will make comments immediately available for the public to read.  What a great way to use the Internet to interact with interested constituents! The OPM Strategic Plan for 2010-2015 can be found here, and comments can be offered through this online form.  Those who prefer to “lurk” can read all comments here. Read more

Adventures from the MRA Annual Conference Part 1

June 26, 2009

Each year the Marketing Research Association holds an Annual Conference to bring together its membership for a few days of learning, networking and camaraderie.  I was pleased to represent Market Connections, Inc. at this year”s event in Chicago, IL at the Marriott on the Magnificent Mile downtown.  During the conference, there were several tracks one could follow: quantitative research, qualitative research, business of research, and research end-users.  Luckily, I got to attend a little bit of each! The highlight of the first evening was the new member/ first time attendee reception.  This was an intimate affair for say, 75 people.  It ... Read more

Tips for Choosing a Research Partner

June 17, 2009

Downsizing has become all too common in this economy. That’s why many organizations no longer have research departments or an experienced person dedicated to managing research projects and outside providers. Yet, those organizations still have critical needs for current market data. As a result, various departments and personnel are developing RFPs and assessing research companies for the first time. Here are a few tips for the first timers: Ask co-workers and industry contacts for the names of research providers they know and trust. Find providers through the Marketing Research Association or similar organizations. Visit the ... Read more

Helios HR Apollo Awards

June 12, 2009

Last Friday, June 5th, I was fortunate to attend the awards ceremony for the 3rd annual Helios HR Apollo Awards.  This award is designed to recognize companies who create a culture of learning and demonstrate best practices in professional development and employee growth.  In fact, Market Connections was an Apollo Award winner in 2007! This year, we partnered with Helios HR to manage the online nomination process.  As part of the nomination process, we mobile gambling were also able to collect survey data regarding the current best practices of nominees, and our CEO Lisa presented this information during the ceremony.  ... Read more

White House Releases Cyberspace Policy Review

May 29, 2009

Today the White House released their much-anticipated 60-day cyberspace policy review. According to the report, the review team found Cybersecurity to be lacking overall.  The White House team has already promised action.  On the White House Briefing Room blog, Melissa Hathaway, Cybersecurity Chief at the National Security Council, writes, “”¦we need a safe Internet with a strong network infrastructure and we as a nation need to take prompt action to protect cyberspace for what we use it for today and will need in the future.  Protecting cyberspace requires strong vision and leadership and will require changes in policy, technology, education, and ... Read more

Social Media and the Federal Government

May 20, 2009

On Monday, John Monroe with FCW Insider wrote an interesting post outlining five ways the use of social media sites (such as Facebook or Twitter) will change the way federal employees work.  He presents the case for allowing,?? and sometimes even requiring,?? use of social media at work, saying these types of sites could actually increase productivity, create more cross-agency collaboration, and increase interaction with the citizenry. Leave a comment and tell us what you think!  Will sites like Twitter and Facebook change the federal workplace, or are they merely a passing fad? Read more

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