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Will Sandman

I attended Beloit College in Wisconsin, where received a Bachelor's degree in Evolution, Ecology and Behavioral Biology and played soccer for 4 years. Directly after graduation I worked for Ken Hendrix, owner and CEO or ABC Supply (8th largest private company in the US) helping to recycle industrial foundry patterns into pieces of furniture and art. After getting my entrepreneurial feet wet, I then moved back to Louisville, KY (my hometown) to help my family import shoes, pottery and furniture from Vietnam, China and Malaysia. The highlight of these projects was Sandman Pottery that I managed and ran to distribute pottery regionally as well as having a retail location. Once deciding to return to school, I was lucky enough to help some very close friends start a staffing and recruiting company called Essential Edge. Once accepted to Portland State University in their Master's in International Managment (MIM) program I moved to Portland, OR. I will be done with my MIM degree, which focuses on Asia/Pacific Rim and Chinese language studies, in December. I was lucky enough to acquire an internship with Mass Ingenuity through Aaron Howard's lecture in my Social Entrepreneurship class with Professor Cindy Cooper. I hope I can add value to an already unbelievable team and help to elevate the level of achievement for the group.

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Things are moving very fast…


Needless to say technology is rapidly evolving and innovating.  To stay up to speed with this kind of change is nearly impossible and the farther a person gets behind on the learning curve, the harder it becomes to catch up.  John Bernard has remarked that by embracing the technological advancements in the workplace, you can empower employees to solve problems extremely fast.  This is particularly important when you are working in a company or society that wants everything NOW.  The speed of need is important to growing companies and cannot only increase employee engagement by increasing the autonomy and allowing an employee to master their skills, but it can also gain a competitive advantage in the industry or market.  Below is a video about just how fast things are changing.  Enjoy!

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Obama’s Diversity, Sir Robinson’s Organic Learning and Loving Work


In the one of the most recent issues of The Economist, it is reported that Barack Obama needs to start changing his attitude towards corporate America. For the most part, he is obviously not openly against big business, but many of his former supporters, CEOs and Executives, are now telling The Economist, they are dissatisfied with the job the president has done so far.  The main concern is that the president does not understand each Executives particular trade because he has never been in the private sector. On top of that, there is not one person on his staff that resembles someone that would represent or understand the private, corporate sector. These issues could come to the forefront of the political scene as the economy and unemployment have been major issues. I have a feeling that over the next several years we will see significant focus on the getting the economy on track and just at the right time, as this will be one of the major issues that could get Mr. Obama re-elected.

For CEOs and Executives managing large corporations, some things to watch out for are recent tax cuts and incentives to R & D.  In addition, a couple of strategic hires to the Obama team from the corporate world could start to add fuel to the fire that the economy, unemployment and focus on the US corporate agenda might be gaining importance.  In addition, an executive with significant international experience might also help to leverage an increase in exports and a focus on particular industries suitable for manufacturing in the US (job creation).  An international leader from the corporate world would also allow some strategic partnerships across borders that might increase our allies and positive relationships, especially with China, Brazil, India and Mexico, where so much of the corporate cross hairs are focused.

Diversifying Obama’s administrative team is easier said than done, obviously, and his political moves are well calculated when adding to the human capital of his administrative team.  In the TED talk below, you can see as Sir Ken Robinson adds that to get a diverse array of human resources, you can significantly add to the human capital of your team.  By creating the conditions in which the human resources flourish, you can have a talented pool of diverse skills.  These skills cultivated by the fact that the passion someone has for a job is what they have been doing their whole lives, simply because they love it.  Sir Ken Robinson talks extensively about how we organically educate young people, not only in the US but everywhere in the world.  The fast food chain model of standardizing the education system only stifles the potential growth.  More autonomy with some structure can allow people to flourish and finding that balance is tantamount to positive employee engagement.

The NOW management system allows for the diversity in the workplace and the autonomy to expand and discover new, unique and efficient ways to solve problems.  The NOW management system provides the structure and the conditions for any employee to grow organically by learning and solving problems on their own.  This allows for an increase in employee engagement because everyone can see the success and achievement.  The transparency and accountability leads to a new culture where the employees in a corporate environment are not just getting through the week, but are actively engaged in solving problems to eliminate inefficiencies, so they can focus on the growth of the company.

http://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_bring_on_the_revolution.html

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Marian Bantjes, People Watching, Graphic Design and Unstifled Creativity


Traveling through the Minneapolis airport I cannot help but notice the difference in attitude from people obviously traveling for business and those obviously traveling for recreation.  I cannot tell 100%, but those that I am sure of are traveling for pleasure or to see friends and family, you can see are pleasantly strolling along.  Those traveling for work seem to be on a mission like they are walking with a purpose.  People watching is one of my favorite things to do and there is no place like an airport to get a constant flow of new faces, styles and behaviors.  The only place I would say is better is a Tokyo train station.  That being said, how do you measure uniqueness and individuality in people and how do you touch each person from a unique perspective through advertising?  Each person has an agenda but each person is special.

In this next TED talk, Marian Bantjes talks about her specific graphic design work and how putting her own ego into her work allows her to produce better products and in turn, connect with consumers.  She believes that although her graphic design success is not measurable, what her graphic design does is inspire and it is important to have unique designs when telling the story of your company.  Mass Ingenuity measures everything and does not limit this kind of creativity for any organization, it only adds to the framework in order to structure more creativity.  This framework and order allows for employees to be creative about new ideas and improvements throughout the workplace, making it more efficient and therefore more profitable and able to grow.

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Malcolm Gladwell and Spaghetti Sauce


Examples of changes in the food industry through discovery of human variability

By William Sandman

Malcolm Gladwell has written many books and showed the world that tastes, trends and the way companies interact with products may be more complicated than we thought.  In this lecture, Mr. Gladwell shows us how a new direction and acceptance of human diversity can open up new business development and market share in places companies never thought to look.  As executives, being open to understanding not just how your best product will do in the market, but what your customers want might allow for new and entrepreneurial growth.  In addition, accepting the differences and unique aspects of your work force might allow for some of your employees to make contribution where you and they might not have expected.  Enjoy the lecture and embrace the differences in your market segment and employee base.

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