4 Hot Tips To Swingin’ In Paname

“Because you love Paris Fashion Week…”

With June here, the floodgates are open to another wild season of frivolity in the City of Light. For Paname fans there are many hot choices to eat, drink, and let out your inner party animal. Here are our 4 hot picks for swinging in Paname.

SoPi is old news to Panamers. However, this neighborhood continues to sizzle across the board. There’s a new steakhouse serving up aged beef to down for just up the road from Alex Haircuts. These guys continue to trim and cut the hottest locks in town. Best of all you can spot anyone who has been to Alex. His cuts are distinctive and highlight the best in the barber’s art.

Once you’ve got the SoPi look head over to Glass. It sits next to a typical Pigalle sex shop. Don’t be put off by the guerrilla outside or the unassuming neon sign. Be prepared to wait like a sardine in an enclosure before you’re given the green light to enter the bar.

“When you love a make believe ballroom…”

The ambiance is dark and the crowd is always in party mode. One of my colleagues says this is where disco jive meets dacha dive. The big ticket this season is Tattoo You. No, they are not selling signed copies of the Rolling Stones record. It’s the must drink cocktail of the season made with mezcal, ginger, grapefruit, lime and beer. Drink two of these and you’re ready to cha-cha.

Hep cats munch on hotdogs and homemade pickles when they’re not bobbing up and down like fish bait. No this is not Studio 54, but the lights on the dance floor will give you dirty dancin’ flashbacks. If you can’t get in, try Dirty Dicks across the street. DDs specialize in Mai Tai’s. Pretend you’re in a re-make of South Pacific. Throw caution to the winds, Bali Hi style.

“Because you love smoke ‘n mirrors…”

In case you find yourself near the Louvre, check out Le Fumoir. Since it’s opening, it’s been packed out day and night. Punters love the food while tipplers go big on their cocktails. We counsel booking in advance. No point in being turned away at the door. If you want to pretend that you’re living in a Scott Fitzgerald novel order a couple of gin fizzes. If you really want to go big time, make them pink. This was Zelda’s favorite. Great place to people watch and have a stellar lunch.

“When you’re seeking out Montezuma…”

For something a bit out of the ordinary, we recommend this taqueria. Think Montezuma and Indiana Jones. Perfect for stoners who love anything grilled. Although the eating area is just large enough to swing a cat, right behind the back wall is one of the best cocktail lounges in Paris.

Their margaritas kick ass and will put you under the volcano in no time. Who knows you might even meet a Malcolm Lowry wannabe. Reminds me of a place I knew in the West Village. Speakeasy gravitas laced with the casualness to keep you smiling. Their tacos and tostadas should soak up all that alcohol. To top the evening off you could head to Chez Castel in Saint Germain. Just bring someone with long sleek legs. Then you’re guaranteed to get in. Cheers!

Article Title: 4 Hot Tips To Swingin’ In Paname
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at RedHerring, a digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit RedHerring: Life In The Fast Lane

How To Inspire Your Leadership With A Higher Purpose

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“Because you love singin’ in the rain…”

Is your management threatened by disruption? Then it’s time to take the bull by the horns. If you are a business leader put your employees first and set a healthy vibe in the workplace. Change management should start with a smile. The secret is to generate trust, which should be central to any working relationship.

Without trust, nobody will take risks. Sure, they’ll do their jobs, but at arms length keeping their heads in the sand as a form of protection. Everyone has had the experience of working with individuals not worthy of their trust. The atmosphere is deadly and we are highly unlikely to engage our full potential for fear of criticism or worse.

It goes without saying that change management is disruptive. To step up to the leadership challenge, inspire your mission with a higher purpose.

Start by demonstrating respect for your employees. They are after all, the front line between you and your clients. They are your brand ambassadors. People speak. Spread the word. Share the wealth. The negative tactics of force and manipulation are so yesterday.


Here are just a few cues to change your leadership style in order to inspire your business with a higher purpose. Start by Implementing a positive incentive program and build your CLQ (company likability quotient).

I know like you do that the raison d’être of an enterprise is to generate loot. Nobody is debating this simple fact. It doesn’t mean that you must run your business like a sweatshop manufacturing T-shirts in Bangladesh.

Take the example of Richard Branson. This guy leads the Virgin Group front and center. He knows everyone’s name. He asks employees about their children’s football matches. He’s engaged, and his employees know he cares about their welfare and growth. The final result: they work twice as hard because they believe what they do matters. Every person feels empowered and valued.

RB emphasizes coaching skills. His managers are effective because they support their teams. When managers coach employees, positive outcomes become reality. Empathy and a respect work wonders. Test this out and you’ll witness a dramatic change. Nobody wants a guerrilla in the room. When employees harbor resentment, it will be terribly hard for you to win back their trust and allegiance.

Recently Seattle CEO, Dan Price cut his salary 90% so he could increase his employees’ wages to $70k. “There’s greater inequality today than there’s been since the Great Recession,” Price told The Huffington Post.

“I’d been thinking about this stuff and just thought, ‘It’s time. I can’t go another day without doing something about this.'”

Because it was unexpected, every employee was thrilled to bits. Why did he do it? Because he felt it was the right thing to do. Talk about social responsibility and inspiring his work force.

“Because there are times you need to think the business through…”

How Employees View Their Organization
I find it fascinating how employees rate their organizations. It is quite revealing. It takes you to the heart of the mechanics underpinning organizational culture. Before you start tooting your own horn, remember admiration and respect must be earned. Leadership that get’s it understands. They don’t live in a glass tower.

Just For Fun
Just for fun conduct a survey and tally the results. Do you work in a culture where collaboration and unselfishness are business mantras? Do appreciation, compassion, and respect flourish? Does C-suite generate a culture of respect where everyone is really on board?

Clearly great leaders don’t need to be told about their greatness. It would be meaningless. They strive to invest their energy into productivity, profitability, and client satisfaction. However, they also recognize that nothing would happen if they didn’t express their gratitude to their team for making it happen.

The team here is not an inner circle of psychopaths. The team is everyone who works for or at the organization. This includes the guys who sweep up at the end of each working day. When everyone is valued, the pulse of a vibrant business environment becomes a sine quo non. Work should be a passion not just a job.

Why You Should Inspire Hope
People need a reason to wake up in the morning. Even a great paycheck is insufficient. You need more to inspire your team to greatness. This is where hope comes into the picture. Everyone wants to believe that what they do matters. In my experience at WCW, everyone knows that our future lies in our hands. We thrill to the challenges as a team. We recognize that changing people’s lives is a privilege, and we strive to do this one person at a time. Does everything run smoothly? Not always, but together we laugh, joke, and drink barrels of espresso.

I recognize that not all business organizations are the same. Some are more vertical than others. However, you have the power to put into place a culture of hope no matter what your firm’s activity is. It is easy to calibrate lists of things that don’t get done fast enough, why goals are hard to obtain, or why certain initiatives cannot generate successful outcomes sooner.

To do this consistently creates a negative atmosphere. Not only will talented employees leave your organization so will you if you look in the mirror. Every great business leader understands that people need to dream and hope. A corporate culture void of hope is doomed to implode at some stage.

“When the time has come to change your tapes…”

Take A Reality Check Jack Welch once stated, “Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it were.” Unconsciously, he reiterated one of the old and noble Vedic truths: “The world is as you see it. Embrace it.” This is what I refer to as crazy wisdom. Injecting a small dose of crazy wisdom into your business will work wonders.

As a business leader, you clearly want to be frank with everyone on the team. However, frankness doesn’t give you license to exercise bad manners. Nobody wants to work with an ogre. If you are having a bad sales quarter, firing the sales team is not necessarily the solution. Maybe your strategy needs recalibration? Perhaps rather than thinking within a box, you should drop your box mentality completely. Learn to be more flexible. Above all, learn to laugh at yourself. Be serious, but take yourself less seriously.

Lastly, we counsel building alliances. Work should be a collaborative experience. Fostering steadfast relationships ensure that team members have opportunities to fulfill their own developmental goals. This builds a sense of reciprocity. When you’ve done so, trust will flourish and harmony in the workplace will dominate.

Article Title: High To Inspire Your Leadership With A Higher Purpose
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit CAREO: Building One Success Story At A Time

Why Mentorship Must Embody Human Values

“She sells seashells at the seashore…”

Mentorship is the path of true business leadership. It’s like opening the window and letting the light enter the human heart. Acting as a mentor is a responsibility many shirk. Either they feel they can’t spare the time or they feel there is no return on investment. If this is how you feel? However, reflect on how you are where you are today? It’s a no-brainer. You become the leader you are because others selflessly took the time to counsel and help you grow, stretch, and reach out of your comfort zone. Now is the time to give back. Not because you must, but because you want to. This feeling doesn’t originate in the head. It comes from the heart and is the true hallmark of business leadership.

Contrary to the popular view that most people are inherently selfish, self-centered and narcissistic, there are many who hold the opposite view. To succeed in any field, we all require role models. These unique personalities inspire us to do more, be more, and share more. Think of that great sage from Arunachala Mountain, Ramana Maharishi. He rarely spoke. He taught from the depths of silence because he understood the nature of mentorship.

“When you cherish the words of wisdom in silence…”

This is particularly true in business education and career management. People in these fields have the power to help shape the destiny of another individual’s life. Remember, “A life is a terrible thing to waste.

Acting as a mentor or coach is not about bottom lines. Leave this to the humorless accountants who would outsource every person’s job to God knows where on behalf of their soulless masters. Mentorship is about building relationships, authenticity, and recognizing that we belong to one family, the human family. When you see each individual as part of your Self, how can you turn someone away? This is why many societies are in meltdown mode. They were brought up to believe that only the Darwinians survive. They have forgotten that zero sum games have only losers. The rest of us were inspired by respected and successful people, who helped change our corner of the world.

The Beauty Of Mentorship
There is nothing more beautiful than watching some else succeed when you facilitate a growth environment. Sharing your expertise and experience is not just a way to leave an invisible legacy. It challenges you to use your knowledge in a creative and dynamic format.

Although you may have no wish to become the Dalai Lama, the mentoring experience will deepen your sense of humility and appreciation of everything around you. In this sense, we act as bridges across cultures, diversity, and even generations. Each of us was born with a sense of uniqueness within set communities. It is when we step beyond these frontiers and confront what is different do we optimize our potential and see that once superficialities are stripped away, we are indeed all the same.

“Because one size doesn’t fit all scenarios…”

This is a particularly useful skill set if we manage people. Managing people is not about giving orders like a drill Sargent having a bad hair day. It’s leading by example. Some individuals believe that a title empowers them to use authority and control to manipulate, humiliate, and intimidate. This is what one of my colleagues refers to as the France Telecom mentality. This is a casebook example on how not to manage or lead teams. Coercive leadership corrodes the heart and soul of the organization. It is a destructive path, which leads to negative outcomes and unproductive scenarios. Mentorship cannot flourish under these conditions.

A Question Of Balance
Mentorship requires an open heart. Having an open heart does not imply as Cole Porter wrote, “anything goes”. It demands honest criticism, which enhances the role of the protégé through guidance. Putting somebody down is not criticism. It is an exercise in bad behavior and at best stupidity. Demonstrate to junior colleagues that improvement comes through determination and the willingness to adjust by being pragmatic.

“Because nobody lives on Gilligan’s Island…”

Fostering and retaining talent in any group demands a light hand not a hammer blow to an individual’s head. By providing a support network, careful planning, and implementation systems establish a series of reachable benchmarks. When you walk this path, you are building confidence. Remember that line in Skyfall: “Youth is no guarantee of innovation; Age is no guarantee of wisdom.” What is required is balance as the Buddha would say.

When people reach out, they help one another. Ultimately the path of mentorship gives satisfaction to everyone. Changing somebody’s life by providing them with the tools to build a successful future is beautiful indeed.

Article Title: Why Mentorship Must Embody Human Values
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit CAREO: Building One Success Story At A Time

Why Leadership Is A Journey Not A Destination

“Because you need to change your perspective…”

To an earlier generation, Bob Dylan’s music captured the leadership of the 1960s, its hopes, its dreams, and its desire to remake the world into a better place. For Millennials, this is ancient history in the way living through the Depression was to Boomers.

Fast forward to 2015. The world is a vastly different place to anything we could have imagined. Some of it is amazing. However, many problems are still with us and some have become exacerbated. Think income inequality, race, war, and environmental degradation.

One of the drivers to our brave new world is the digital revolution. It has changed everything from the way we network, interact, create value, share, and solve problems. We don’t work the same way nor do we lead teams as previous generations did. Technology has made it possible to create different business models. Just look at Snapchat.

This is the great paradox. It is easier to launch a new enterprise now than at any other time in history. The hunger for connectivity is exponential. It’s not just the Millennials. It’s everyone. If you were born before 1985, you watched as our world changed. It’s as if we were born before electric lights and along came Edison to light up our universe.

No matter which generation you belong to our challenge is not to be left behind. Leadership therefore, demands an understanding of shifting market trends and the ability to capture or better still, generate new trends. Here are some of keys:

“Because every generation seeks to establish its own voice…”

The New Ideology
Although the customer has always been front and center of any business paradigm, the rules of engagement have changed. My colleague, James D. Roumeliotis, has been writing about this for years.

Because customers are better informed than ever before, they have become more discerning and more demanding. Anyone can broadcast their views to God knows how many social media channels in a flash. Bad service or poor products were never acceptable. That goes double time for today. Creating customer advocacy is a relatively new phenomenon and one that business leader must master. Think community engagement, the onslaught of blogging, and sharing. The hardest strategy is to remain focused because customer advocacy is multi-dimensional.

As another colleague of ours points out at RedHerring, even a toothpaste brand must have a soul. It’s no longer about cleaning your teeth.

Constant Reinvention
Since our world continues to change at lightening speed, it can be quite challenging to managing what one advocate refers to as disruption. Innovation causes disruption and sweeps everyone in its path. Others will copy and a new standard comes into place.

The case of Blackberry is iconic. It set the proverbial standard until Apple created the touch screen iPhone. Millenials live on their smartphones. Mobile apps have altered communications, the way we shop, buy, and sell products and services. Google has even re-calibrated its algorithm to favor mobile handsets.

Digital enablement continues to feed the fire of change. In a recent interview, Evan Spiegel revealed, “I want to make it easier for brands to be brands.” Given the nature of his leadership and vision you are now witnessing how this generation wants to further reshape the world in which we live. In retrospect, he makes Facebook appear as a stick in the mud. The takeaway here is you will need to restructure the way your venture communicates sooner than you think and more often than you ever imagined.


The Power Of Culture
Culture has always mattered. The challenge is that now we live in a world both online and off of intersecting identities and allegiances. Customer culture must reflect these dynamics. For leadership to thrive, trust must be established.

If you make the customer the center of your corporate agenda, then you have made him or her the final judge on what your firm produces or serves, unless of course, you are the trendsetter. Think of the entrepreneurial and business icon of this generation: Steve Jobs. He started a revolution of giving people things they never knew they needed and can no longer live without. He also taught this generation a new brand of leadership with a focus on how to be iconoclastic.

When I look back at the customer service culture CAREO created, naysayers said why did we give clients so much free time? Why did we put them at the center of our enterprise? We did so because to us, this venture was always more than a business. It was a way to invest in the dreams of others and help them make their aspirations a reality. Was this easy? If you have tried this, then you know the answer. It is constant hard work. But then again, leadership demands that you stand by your core beliefs, build trust, and to be responsive. In our view, involvement must be total.

Why Innovation Is Essential
Innovation is a term often misunderstood. A superficial understanding pegs this word to technology and science alone. This is only a small part of the equation. Real innovation also must call into play creativity and a revolutionary change in human behavior to instill personal growth and positive outcomes. This is a road less travelled because it demands something most people feel uncomfortable with: authenticity.

People feel that if I am too authentic than I am too personal. It’s this side of business that builds trust. Most organizations demand compliance not creativity or authenticity. You can identify these firms without a problem. They are ruled by an accountant’s mentality. These are the bottom line data driven nerds who took the word human out of human resources. In their lexicon, resources are to be used, i.e. expendable components in a machine to be exploited.

From our perspective, anyone can be an innovator. You just need the right culture for it to prosper. Empowering people and valuing their performance will certainly heighten your brand and it will also get you the commitment every firm needs to really thrive. So what are we implying?

Create a true learning environment. Encourage risks. Applaud boldness. Celebrate humanity. Millennials intuitively know this, which is why they are rejecting the business vision of their predecessors. Will they become better leaders? It is hard to know. Time will be the judge. For those of us in leadership roles today, we have the benefit of hindsight. Make your journey all it is worth and leave a legacy where people are truly valued. As a great sage once stipulated, “Life is a journey, not a destination…”

Article Title: Why Leadership Is A Journey Not A Destination
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit CAREO: Building One Success Story At A Time

How To Handle Career Experiments With Truth

“I wonder when Gene Kelly is gonna get here…”

Mahatma Gandhi stipulated that “experiments with truth were easier in the marketplace than in the wilderness”. Only recluses remove themselves beyond the mundane world. A true hermit lives in the cave of his or her heart. This is the ultimate experiment with truth. Perfect for fostering your career.

Like many professionals, one dear friend was determined to think and grow rich. She pushed everything else away. The results left her bruised. Does this sound familiar?

Stoically, she refused to give in. Slowly, alcohol took over, and she lost her center. Her career went dead. Everyone thinks they can handle career challenges. The genie however, is hard to put back in the proverbial bottle. Narcotics are not experiments with truth. Drugs are best left to shamans. Experiments with truth constitute a slippery path.

“When all that glitters is not gold…”

Fortunately, my friend discovered Patanjali’s Eight Limbed Path. This was her rescue. It led her to Babaji’s kriya yoga. Yoga is a secure platform to foster career change. It’s safe and has no negative side effects.

Seeking escape is nothing new. From time immemorial, people have had to clean their own dishes, take out their garbage, and do their laundry. It is a question of resolve. “Communing with nature” takes place without effort. It is natural. It permits us to clean out our own merde.

Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau understood the power of cleaning their stables. Reading their work will help you to re-evaluate your career as well as your lifestyle. Both Emerson and Thoreau believed that the spirit transcends the physical and empirical universe. They advocated reliance on “intuition”. In Emerson’s essay on Nature, he wrote:

“We will walk on our own feet; we will work with our own hands; The divine soul inspires all men.”

“Everything is a question of degree…”

Emerson ended his essay on truth by calling for a “revolution in human consciousness”. It is a shame that he was unfamiliar with Nasruddin. Nasruddin would have agreed with Emerson’s belief in intuition as a source of truth. However, he would have added, “You can lead a donkey to water, but you cannot make him drink”. Nasruddin is every generation’s expert when it comes to understanding the nature of a jackass.

Thoreau came closer to understanding his experiments with truth by gleaning wisdom from The Gita. I counsel Christopher Isherwood’s translation. It is the perfect blueprint to any anyone seeking career change.

Instituting a change in lifestyle puts us at a crossroads. Choices need to be made. Making the right decision is not as complicated as it appears. In fact, it is quite simple. Start by stripping hyperbole away from your reality. The truth will clearly manifest.

“When you’re searching for the unexpected…”

Last year, I met a wise sage who lives on the outskirts of Bangalore. Her words are pure japa and hold deep clarity:

“I feel clean
I feel free
I feel ready to live each day with zest
I am delighted by the adventure of each moment.”

See what you can do, when you conduct your own Experiments With Truth.

Article Title: Experiments With Truth
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit CAREO: Building One Success Story At A Time

Business Education: I’ve Got My Brand On You

“Because you love the theme music…”

Talk brand with someone and you think FMCG or fashion. However, the same concept of brand, identity, logo, and ethos goes into fueling the personality and the culture of an academic institution. Considering the fierce competition among business schools for qualified talent then you begin to get the bigger picture. Private or public, educational institutions strive to constantly differentiate themselves. When you add in how much it costs for an education today, it’s no wonder these schools put so much into marketing their brand.

Clearly, the target audience for the most part are the parents who must either co-sign loans or cough up huge bags of cash. The alternatives to pedigree in our times are not for the weak hearted. You can go it alone as many entrepreneurs demonstrate. However, for the vast majority, education is the track to get you the credentials you need no matter what career path you choose to embark on.

“Because an image is worth a thousand words…”

Take the case of Babson College located just outside of Boston. Many pundits have never heard of this institution, and yet it fosters a strong identity and pull particularly for entrepreneurs. Listen to how they describe themselves: “Immersed in business, engaged in liberal arts”. Quite a mouthful don’t you think?

With many people calling into question the high costs of education, parents are demanding that their offspring have salable skills upon graduation. Your classic humanities education has fallen victim to our very unequal times.

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, N.Y.) uses another calling card: “Why not change the world?” Clearly, someone at this school has read Gandhi or at least remembers Steve Jobs. Will this quote resonate with the majority of high school seniors looking to apply? I think not. Students for the most part are not so high minded. Many are idealistic. Most are pragmatic and some are hustlers. With hi-tech and instant fame on the brain, certain students feel they can ride a wave to glory like Mark Zuckerberg.

To meet another educational niche, there has been another category of educational institutions. Enter the For-Profit category best exemplified by the University of Phoenix. This school carved out its path within the market by offering options other schools chose not to such as evening classes, flexible scheduling, a social network, and online classes. As a pioneer in its field, UP has been leading the For-Profit pack for 20 years. It also became a template for other savvy business people looking to make big bucks from education.

Education is clearly not seen today as it was in the past. It has become a commodity and in some cases a luxury brand must have. Europe for example offers many For-Profit institutions. They compete alongside the highly visible schools. Their drawing card? Integrate internships into the academic curriculum and just about promise everyone a job upon graduation. For anxious parents, this is a big attraction.

For The Love Of Ivy
The ultimate dream education for many Americans and even overseas students is to attend an Ivy League school. True the standards are tops, the curriculum compelling, and the schools in this group offer an unparalleled network of resources and opportunities. The odds for admitted applicants is steep. Even with the right credentials, grades, and extracurricular activities most applicants are denied admissions.

The harder it is to get in, the more people want to buy the brand. Despite their instant brand name recognition, even these top notch schools spend millions to promote their brand. There names are obvious: Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth, Brown, and the University of Pennsylvania. Attend one of these institutions, and you are set for life so each school claims. True, you certainly start off life on the right foot.

“Because you love luxury brands…”

So You Want To Be A Designer
Another basket of academic institutions include fashion and design schools. Previously some of these institutions were seen as vocational schools. Not any longer. Some consider these schools the royal road to creative directors and designers. Considering the appeal of luxury brands and anything to do with fashion and glitz, these schools offer many attractive options to future students. These schools include Parson School For Design (NYC) and Saint Martin’s (London).

The Issue Of Public Schools
Public schools in the American meaning of he term means a university funded by the individual states. In Europe, they are funded by their constituent governments. The quality of education varies from state to state and from country to country.

For example UC-Berkely, UCLA, University of Michigan, and the University of Virginia stand out as academic powerhouses. Their major attraction is the cost is less. In France, the university system is seen as worn out and chaotic. Students of means choose Prepa and then a Grande Ecole if they can get admitted. Others go the For-Profit route, if their parents can foot the bill.

Emotional Attachment
Brand management at any school revolves around establishing an esprit du corp. Alumni help foster the brand within corporations, and in the case of the USA, donate generously to their institutions later in life.

The Challenges
As the price of education continues to skyrocket, schools need to justify their purpose, fine tune their recruiting, and make every aspect of academic life, the faculty, and administration vibrate the brand. Top schools have no issue with this. Middling schools find this harder to accomplish, and For-Profits need to change their mentality that their faculty and staff are cheap labor and essentially cannon fodder.

Building and sustaining a brand, any brand, requires an innate understanding of human psychology, the actual market, and how you can make your institution stand apart from a highly saturated sector. Education for previous generations was first seen as a privilege. Then it was seen as a constitutional right. Now, it is seen in many circles as a luxury.

So what are the schools selling? What is the value proposition to coin a phrase? Is it knowledge? Is it an experience? Is it a right-of-passage? Or is it a paid systematic service to put their clients into decent and well paid paths to sustainable employment? (Notice, I did not use the term students. This should tell you something about how the price of education has morphed in the 21st century.)

Recently, The Guardian held a roundtable in association with Purpose, a brand communications consultancy. Their debate was conducted under Chatham House rules, which allows remarks to be reported without attribution to encourage a frank discussion, producing compelling recommendations. Here’s what they concluded:

• Focus on core values such as academic integrity that links teaching, research and scholarship. Offer business-friendly courses with employability appeal. Deliver a positive student experience.

• Target communications at parents as well as students

• Involve faculty as much as possible. Their enthusiasm can often bring big dividends when they are valued.

• Highlight student testimonies in university marketing materials

• Maximize social media influence and reach

“When you recognize the power of brand…”

The Case Of The 2 Ronnies

• New Frontiers School Board Continuing Education
(Montreal, Canada)
NFSB wanted to bolster enrollment and student engagement. Over a period of 12 months, The Watershed Media conducted an extensive communications audit. They developed a blueprint for an online and offline marketing plan. Then, they executed a new digital and social media strategy with a invigorated brand. On the basis of their investigation, they recognized that success of the brand hinged on fostering intimacy and dialogue between the school and its students in an honest and authentic way.

TWM injected the brand with a personal narrative that celebrated the theme of overcoming adversity and breaking through.

I Choose Me” and the “Journey Begins With You” were conversational brand elements that nurtured the empathetic quality that were the hallmarks of the school.

They also revitalized the website from the ground up, focusing on a modern image that gave its users clear information, helped them make informed decisions about their future, and then act on those decisions through online conversion tools. The Watershed complemented student tools with community resources that would make the NFSB a valued asset. Equally important was their work helping NFSB shift the marketing culture at the school and discover their shared capacity to influence change through everyday inter-actions.

  • Ramapo College of New Jersey (USA)
    The brand strategy was conceived and implemented by Words & Pictures Creative Service. The goal was to create an image campaign, featuring print and radio.

    The campaign harnessed successful, famous, and historical people who “could have been” Ramapo students. Welcome Shakespeare, Marie Curie, Andrew Carnegie, and Booker T. Washington. The chosen personalities represented the different schools at the College. This campaign elevated the College to a place where “some of the greatest minds in history could have started their futures” and where “the great young minds of today could start their futures.”

    Results: Ramapo College experienced direct benefits. The image building exercise worked wonders. Four years later, a follow-up survey was conducted by Eagleton. There was a dramatic increase in public awareness and improved perception of the school:

  • Ranked No.1 public comprehensive college by USNews in consecutive years. Combined SAT scores rose from 1120 to 1180
  • HS rankings moved from top 24% to top 17%
  • Full-time residential undergrads increased from 52% to 60%. Retention rate: first to second year increased from 82.4% to 89.4%
  • Retention rate: second to third year increased from 68% to 74.8% (currently,80%) Graduation rate: 42.75 to 62.3% (well over national average)
  • First-time donors increased by 35%
    (The advertising campaign received industry and CASE awards for its ingeniousness and creativity.)

    Educational institutions to survive and prosper need to channel their efforts where their strengths lie. Differentiation should be more than hollow words, slogans, and the usual dead leaf catalogues. As the tools of the trade change so must the communications strategy to make the brand stay true to its real mission. In this way, a unique vision can be marketing via authenticity.

    Article Title: Business Education: I’ve Got My Brand On You
    Photographs: curated by ES

    About The Author
    James D. Roumeliotis is a regular contributor to CAREO. He is a brand management specialist and lives in Montreal.

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  • Why We Pursue Full Abundance

    “From this angle, things are looking up.”

    Yves Saint Lauren might have said, “From this angle things are shaping up nicely.” Full abundance in any career is an attitude. It has nothing to do with possession. So where can you find full abundance? In the void of your heart.

    Do not be frightened. Contrary to naive beliefs, the void is not a negation of identity. It is an inner space. Many sages in India describe this phenomenon as sitting under the wish-fulfilling tree. Under the branches of this tree lies full abundance. Best of all, you will discover there is no need for possession.

    To experience this phenomenon gives deep satisfaction. It sounds so easy, and yet we make it difficult. Our problem is simple. We have conned ourselves into believing that we are incomplete. We feel ownership means full abundance.

    “Because you know its not about the number of shoes you own…”

    Here’s a silly example. You are walking down the rue St. Honore. You spy a vintage Daytona Rolex in the window. Your heart palpitates. You recognize the watch will look better on your wrist than sitting in the window. Now the unthinkable becomes doable.

    You enter the shop, clasp the watch to your wrist and feel complete. You become giddy with pride like a child with a new toy.

    However one day, the newness wears off. We entertain incompleteness again. The mind goes in search of the next acquisition. The mind loves filling this bottomless pit. It finds pleasure in personalized heritage collections. This exercise can go on indefinitely. Then one day something happens. It can be an ailment, loss of a loved one, or loss of a job. You feel empty. This time the emptiness comes as a relief.

    We have discovered that we feel ephemeral like the objects we preciously covet. Our mistake comes from the failure to distinguish among our dependencies arising from external phenomena. Recognizing our dependency is a great leap forward. It leads to an independence of being. It is bracing like a stiff sea breeze. Coming to this realization we see the dynamics of cause and effect. Every effect has a cause whether it bears immediate fruit or not.

    “Because life is a moveable feast…”

    Use this season to rebalance your full abundance equation. Find a quiet place. Take a few minutes and sit down. Close your eyes. No one is watching. Breath deeply and methodically. Feel your own presence. The energy is already within you. Feel the vibration mount and you will begin to understand the meaning of emptiness. In the void of full abundance, you are already complete.

    Article Title: Why We Pursue Full Abundance
    Photograph: archival, curated by ES

    About The Author
    Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

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    Business Success: When Is The Best Time To Apply For An MBA

    “Because you ready to make the leap…”

    If you are serious about an MBA, then our advice is do it. There are excellent choices. Depending on your status, there are a host of programs to match your aspirations. Don’t just consider the usual suspects. Think outside the box. Top European business schools are world class. Whether you want to study in Europe is another issue. Australia and Asia also have excellent options.

    “Gather round MBA candidates from across the land…”

    Here are a few keys to consider:
    * Eleven of the top 100 programmes cost +$100k in the USA. European programs are a bargain in comparison.

    * In India and China, many MBA candidates prefer to stay at home. Cost is one factor. Recent MBA grads testify that the Asia-Pacific region offers the best job opportunities. Is it any wonder that non-Asians are looking for alternative solutions?

    The traditional MBA degree program still dominates the North American market. Part of this is historical. Schools continue to recalibrate the age groups they want to attract. Young and recent undergrads are solicited to apply sooner. If you are 27-30, do you want to study with 21-22 year olds? Most don’t. Simply put, they prefer to be with their peers.

    In Europe, there have also been drastic shifts. Pre-experience Masters in Management degrees still dominate. However, change is afoot. This has more to do with how the business education system is built rather than a degree preference. For example in France, business school students within the “Grandes Ecoles” system are all awarded a Masters degree.

    “Because we’ve got you covered…”

    Is this the equivalent of an “American” masters? Clearly it is not. However, the Europeans have blended the undergrad curriculum with the masters. Some students therefore, do not feel the immediate need to do an MBA.

    First, when they graduate they are older than their North American counterparts. Secondly, these programs have required internship components built into their education cursus. Some benefit from Erasmus exchange programs. European partnerships with leading Asian institutions have also created a two-way traffic, giving students exposure and internships in constituent countries.

    Europeans who do decide to pursue an MBA have a different professional requirements. They tend to be +26 and know where they want to push their careers. They do not want nor need a 2-year program. Schools such as INSEAD, IMD, and IE Business School offer one-year accelerated programs to meet this demand. Some Europeans wait until their thirties before seeking an MBA. These candidates opt for an EMBA.

    Asian MBAs
    Although the Americans invented the MBA curriculum, global audiences are looking for different variants of program delivery. Take ISB (Hyderabad) and Ceibs (China) for example. The Indian School of Management in Hydrabad offers a great education, placing grads in leading firms from Mumbai to Bangalore.

    Ceibs is clearly the business school beacon in China. If you really want to capitalise on doing business in China, then perhaps you should be here.

    These changes are forcing more American business schools to start changing their business models. The Dean of Columbia Business School in New York was quoted stating: “I think people may want to get an MBA in a slightly different way”. Clearly the dean was referring to another trend, which is gathering steam: blending classroom-based learning with online teaching.

    Online Options
    Kenan-Flagler at UNC launched MBA@UNC in 2011. Is it successful? Ask UNC for direct feedback. Online learning is not for everyone. Another key issue the business schools are grappling with deals with culture. What impact does culture have on teaching business? As one analyst puts it, “business schools will need to move from content to the context in which the business operates”.

    There is much food for thought here.

    “Because you want to take this challenge in stride…”

    Up Close & Personal
    The current dean at Stanford GSB, Garth Saloner, who was appointed in 2009 has been responsible for instituting sweeping reforms and changes. The key term here is his personalized approach. This is something many business schools still don’t get. If you create a factory, you get factory workers. A personalized approach to education delivers people who are innovative, creative, and go on to do amazing things.

    Just to prove my point, Stanford GSB has the smallest class size of any American MBA: 397. That’s less than half the class size of either Harvard or Wharton. Their career services department is outstanding with facilities second to none. Perhaps, Stanford will become the business education template of what a business school can become if it puts its mind into generating real business leadership.

    Just think, a revolutionary course delivery system has left the Stanford entrepreneurial incubator. Tom Freidman of the New York Times waxed lyrically over Coursera, which is an NGO dedicated to delivering free classes online.

    That’s right folks: F-R-E-E!

    The catch is that there is no credit or pedigree. However, the plus side is quite impressive. We stand on the cusp of a complete rethink on the value of education and its delivery to those who do not possess the financial means to buy their pedigree.

    Join the conversation. Let us know if you are applying for an MBA. Better still, send us an email. We can help you meet your MBA targets.

    Article Title: Business Success: When Is The Best Time To Apply For An MBA
    Photographs curated by ES

    About The Author
    Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

    For further inspiration
    Visit CAREO: Building One Success Story At A Time

    Even Goethe Had Elective Affinities

    “The mirror only reflects our image not our true nature…”

    Choosing your elective affinities is the first step towards career empowerment. You never know when a storm can crop up on the horizon. Best to be prepared. Identifying your career choices will also determine your opportunities. They can be simple or complex such as pushing you to do a top MBA, rebuild your CV, or work on your personal brand. Although these forms of career change are a positive form of engagement, they are not elective affinities.

    Understanding the source of elective affinities take us into the deeper reaches of career management. Coming to terms with career change determines more than career enhancement. Before we get hot ‘n bothered, a word of caution:

    “Much of our planning is like waiting to swim in a dry ravine”.

    Paltrul Rinpoche uttered these wise words. He has a keen sense of elective affinities. Paltrul Rinpoche states that managing change starts with managing your self. Let’s start at the beginning. One day you decide your career has lost traction. You take the decision to do a top MBA. Everybody is doing a top MBA or so it seems. You do not want to stagnate or be left behind. Is this choice the right choice?

    Sometimes, we are blind as bats when it comes to career management choices. Our senses contribute to this lack of understanding. For example, the mind bases its assumptions on preconceived information. An ignorant mind does not question. It takes facts at face value. For example, if the FT ranks the top MBAs, then clearly it seems obvious to which schools we must apply.

    Step back for a moment. Although the list is tops, are these the best schools for your development. Are there other options? Am I better off starting my own company? Take a breath. Conscious choice should go beyond received wisdom. Understanding your own elective affinities implies the ability to grapple with statements such as this one:

    “Because you like a good detective story…”

    “If this is not true, then what could possibly be true?”

    Sounds like quite a mouthful. At this instant, your mind is in neutral. Understand that elective affinities aren’t value judgements. Your career choices for the moment are either attractive or unattractive. It is your mind, which decides on the bias of desire. Notice, our neutrality disappears. We believe in our choice and claim ownership. The deeper our sense of possession becomes the more risks we run.

    Career management therefore, can be a tricky business. Understanding our real nature makes choosing easier. So what are elective affinities? Understanding what makes you tick. Without this understanding, we move from awareness to misconception. Ignorance can exaggerate any situation. What we don’t want is to be trapped, making the same mistakes like a ferret running round a wheel thinking we will arrive at our destination if we run faster. All we get for our efforts is fatigue.

    We have the power to get off the wheel and instigate change. All we need to do is alter our approach. We do so by giving ourselves the capacity to be present. Feel your body breath through every pore. Watch the source from where your choices arise. Ignorance dwells in afflictive emotions. Once you overcome this tendency, you’re on track to discover your elective affinities, which will put your career back on track.

    “So you want to be a designer…”

    To help yourself focus, recognize that every choice has limitations. You can also conclude that choice attributes are intrinsic to the choice. False beliefs are internal. If you get a splinter in your foot, you can pull it out with a tweezers. However, to get rid of an internal attitude, you must see the beliefs on which they are based. The Buddha once remarked, “whatever changes is unreal. Why carry unnecessary baggage?”

    Food for thought.

    Article Title: Even Goethe Had Elective Affinities
    Photographs: curated by ES

    About The Author
    Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

    For further inspiration
    Visit our: blog

    How To Gain A New Sense Of Harmonics

    “Because choosing the right cocktail is not enough…”

    According to the New York Times, more MBA candidates are hiring coaches in order to learn to be audacious. Rather than creating a more level playing field, the advantage has shifted to those MBA candidates savvy enough to engage professional assistance. So what should you do? Perhaps the time has come to contact MBA coaching Paris: CAREO.

    It is no longer enough to have an excellent track record. This has become a sine quo non. Bog standard won’t get you accepted. You will need to be audacious. You will need to know how to differentiate your profile. So we’ve decided to cut out some of the guesswork and give you a leg up. Start by following the steps listed below Get inspired, and your MBA application will stand out like a diamond in the window of Cartier.

    | Step 1: Choosing The Best Business Schools|
    Choosing the best business schools is easier said than done. We advise consulting the rankings such as those cited in the FT, US News, and BusinessWeek. Recognize that rankings are essentially beauty contests. However, the rankings are a good place to start and identify where you think you might want to be. Some candidates prefer a one year program and others prefer a two year program.

    Identity between 4-6 MBA programs geared to your professional objectives. Sometimes, the usual suspects are not necessarily the best fit. Besides investigating online, which is relatively an easy affair, try to visit the campuses you hope to enroll in. MBA campus culture varies at each business school. Get beyond the cocktail-marketing brochures. Get in touch with real alumni. Contact the school and ask to speak either with admissions officers or the school administration. Feel out your prospects. You are about to embark on a marketing offensive in a highly competitive and saturated market.

    | Step 2: Analyze Your Profile |
    Conduct a type of SWOT Analysis of your profile. Identify your strengths both inside and outside the workplace. Try to list points that make your candidacy shine. Be clear in your mind as to what you hope to achieve. List your real developmental needs. What do you really want to gain from an MBA aside from acquiring another diploma? You will need to build a strong case as to why the schools should accept you rather than someone else with a similar profile.

    “When you’re still undecided…”

    | Step 3: Handling The Entrance Exams |
    Make yourself a study agenda for the required entrance exams, which concern you. For the majority of MBA candidates, this means tackling the GMAT & TOEFL. The number of schools, which will accept your profile without these exams, is extremely limited. Test prep should be taken seriously. Plan on taking the exams more than once. Most people do.

    | Step 4: How To Study |
    Determine whether you can prepare by yourself or need help. Most people enroll in organized Test Prep centers where large group classes are the norm. Some organizations are better than others. Look at the results of the organization you wish to enroll. The quality of the teachers coupled to your own sweat equity will determine your test prep success. The key here is practice, practice, and yes, practice. Average GMAT scores at the top MBAs are +680 (GMAT) & +105 (TOEFL).

    | Step 5: Learn To Build Persuasive Essays |
    Once the GMAT & TOEFL are out of the way, the time has come to tackle the MBA essays. The essays must engage. Think storyline. Build the type of content, which makes your profile stand apart. Everyone of us is unique. However, as George Orwell might have said, “Some of us are more unique than others”. Differentiators will set your MBA application apart from the pack.

    With so many applicants, the schools are spoiled for choice. Make sure that your professional objectives are clear and concise. One way to convince the Admissions Committee is to go outside the box with subjects on non-work related activities, which demonstrate your vision, achievements, and skills.

    Most schools field different questions. This is done on purpose so that you do not copy and paste. Getting the essays right is not just about writing. Essay writing is really an exercise in strategic marketing to a highly targeted constituent audience. The MBA Admissions Committees will give you no slack. Therefore, you must be persuasive.

    | Step 6: How To Train For Your Interview |
    Interviews are not required for every MBA applicant. However, most of the top schools have made this part of the MBA application process. The point is to meet the person behind the written word. To go to an interview unprepared is sudden death. We advise serious training with someone in person. Practice until you are comfortable and can manage the unexpected.

    | Step 7: Find A Unique Sense Of Purpose |
    For inspiration, take Mohammed Ali’s advice: “Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.

    Although you can sting, you should prefer to float like a butterfly. Manifest your own beatitude. Believe that you can give joy to many. By doing so, you will show that you have the perception to think beyond your own sand box. A butterfly serves its purpose with a fruitful and productive life. You can too. It is just a question of direction and will. As human beings, we feel the need to do more than just drive to the office in the morning doing the same old, same old.

    “When you’re looking for a whole new sense of harmonics…”

    Many of us are truly blessed and do not lack a sense of prosperity. Wealth is such an open-ended term. It is not about bags of gold. It is about health, humour, and love. As they say in social media: share the wealth. Prosperity is about the privilege to access opportunity. Harvest the resources at our command. It does not mean living in a dwelling so large that you need a GPS to find you’re way from room to room.

    There is a beautiful verse in Sanskrit, which will give you a whole new sense of harmonics. It is from the Gunaratna of Bhavabhuti:

    “For the wicked, knowledge is used for conflict or war, wealth is for pride and vanity, and strength and power are used to oppress or torture others. For a noble person, it is completely different: Education is for knowledge to make everything better, wealth is for charity, and strength or power is solely for protection.”

    There is much food for thought here.

    I therefore urge you, if you are planning to do an MBA: Become audacious. Jump and be free of the expectations of others. Find your true fulfilment and a transformational educational experience in the bargain. If you have wealth or resources, then share them with those in real need. If you are strong and have a sense of purpose, then use your strengths in the service of your community. By doing so, you hold the keys to business leadership in the real meaning of the term.

    (If you enjoyed this article, please click the thumbs up icon and let us know! Be social & share.)

    Article Title: How To Gain A New Sense Of Harmonics
    Photographs: curated by ES

    About The Author
    Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

    For further inspiration
    Visit CAREO:

    Why Business Leaders Need Meditation

    Forget any notions of a glass ceiling…”

    Meditation can certainly drive us 8 miles high. Call it the acid test of experience. When we can get too big for our spats, we need balance grounded in humility and awareness. Otherwise, our attitudes on self-aggrandizement can ruin the best of us.

    Meditation calls for an attitudinal transformation. It is perfect for career management and MBA coaching. Nothing is more transformational than chanting on the top of a mountain. There are many forms of meditation from which to choose. It is best to choose one, which is easy to practice and comfortable. The key is consistency and daily practice.

    “There are just some things from which you can never hide…”

    If you have the power to breath, you have the capability to meditate. To claim you do not have enough time is a feeble excuse. Although our world has changed, there are still many in business leadership who are uncomfortable with the concept of meditation and spirituality. However, whether you are comfortable or not, the spiritual world permeates every entity and activity both organic and inorganic. This includes business activities and organizations.

    Simply put, meditation will enhance your effectiveness. There is nothing to fear; it is a question of insight. From this standpoint, meditation is a path of audaciousness. Warriors and Zen masters have used its power for centuries. The good news is that it is not linked directly to occupation. It is an applied science. It forces you to consider your place, your purpose, and what you are really doing.

    Nobody wants to hear about impermanence nor about emptiness or death. It makes us feel uneasy and we start to fidget. However “real” we believe that we are and the circumstances in which we find ourselves, the reality of any situation is different from our perception. This does not imply that what we do in the time in which we are given does not matter. The Big Boss is in the details. So everything does matter.

    “When you are contemplating your inner light…”

    What I am suggesting is to add the spice of love and compassion to your perception. By doing so, you will witness and experience a quantifiable change in your working world and in your personal life. Remember, what matters most is around you at all times.

    There is a great quotation, which comes from a rather unusual source. Let me share it with you:

    I go to where the puck will be, not to where it has been.”
    – Wayne Gretzky

    And you thought, meditation was just for Bobos practicing yoga and eating wheat grass!

    Article Title: Why Business Leaders Need Meditation
    Photographs: curated by ES

    About The Author
    Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

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    Visit CAREO: Life In The Fast Lane

    The Timeless Style Of IGN Joseph

    “When you’re looking for something special…”

    Now, it won’t come as a surprise to our audience that we are big fans of Ign. Joseph. His solid reputation has been built over a decade of producing some of the finest shirts for discerning gentlemen and lovely ladies. They are made by some of Europe’s finest artisans and use some of the loveliest fabrics I have ever touched from top Italian textile mills.

    His style sports an effortless grace where elegance is clearly the bottom line. As a keen eye, he has managed to marry artisanal excellence that captures the spirit of Europe’s heritage when it comes to luxury. Pour Ignatious a glass of fine claret, and he will start to regal you with stories of living masters of craftsmanship.

    “Because elegance is timeless…”

    Did you know for example that over two thousand years ago, the elegance of fine textiles reached Europe from Asia via China, India, and Ceylon to the trading centers of Italy? Fortunately for us, the Italians continue to build on this tradition and still manufacture some of the worlds finest textiles. To his credit, Ignatious Joseph captures these traditions with effortless luxury, and they are the signature of his collection.

    The Spirit of Ign Joseph now includes men’s dress shirts, women’s blouses, fine silken neckwear and accessories all produced by men and women whose families perpetuate the legacy of craftsmanship styled to our times. His collection features
    crisp colours, soft, hand-stitched collars, fine woolen and silk fabrics.

    For women he has captured a line of exciting enamel and silver ornaments to wear with his garments. I can picture him as a modern day Marco Polo, marrying the best from the East and the West. He even produces carefully blended soaps to wash your clothes so his fabrics do not loose their remarkable qualities. Ignatious understands that great style is beyond fashion. It’s a question of great taste and reflects the personalities of the creators as well as the people who wear them.

    “Why wear trainers when you can stroll the boulevards of Paris on velvet…”

    Take for example his blue velvet slippers. The moment I laid eyes on these beauties, I had to collar a pair. No better way to sip cocktails on a cafe terrace. Now years ago, certain gentlemen would wear these at their country homes after dinner while playing billiards over cognac and cigars. However, today’s gent is more likely to wear them strolling about town sockless with a casual insouciance. What I particularly admire is that IGN Joseph captures a sense of romance that is both sensuous and sensible. They are made exclusively for IGN.JOSEPH by a traditional family firm in Italy’s Tyrolean region.

    “Because you love to travel in style…”

    As he has recently stated, “The delicacy of each detail makes no sacrifice to mere fashion. Like the finest highland teas of my native Ceylon, they have been selected with the eye and skill found only among those who truly understand the composition of the liquor of life– robust enough for everyday and fine enough to caress the most demanding tastes.”

    When it comes to shirts, IGN Joseph is the cat’s whiskers. Here’s a timeless classic.

    “Perfect for that weekend in Portofino…”

    No formal shirt is complete without neckwear that is equally exhilarating. IGN.-JOSEPH ties harmonise well with the shirting, whether one prefers the classic long knots or the slightly eccentric bow. All are handmade and can be had in light weaves for warm seasons or slightly flamboyant folded silks. Whatever you choose, you will certainly cut a dash.

    One of the latest hot spots in the J-Line is his travel gear. Forget those cumbersome suitcases or logo branded canvas. This bag conjures up journeys on seaborne and airborne Clippers. Talk about standing our in a crowd. The more you get to know Ignatious Joseph the more you feel you’ve discovered a long lost friend. His combined and carefully selected elements will undoubtedly enhance your wardrobe.

    His brand is the distillation of years of experience capturing the crafts that have made European, esp. Italian clothing style the benchmark of sartorial quality in the business world and beyond. As he so eloquently states:

    Embrace the inimitable because true individuality in style is not the watch—but the time itself.

    Article Title: The Timeless Style Of Ignatious Joseph
    Photographs: all courtesy of IGN. Joseph

    About The Author
    Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at RedHerring, a digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand.

    For further inspiration
    Visit RedHerring: Life In The Fast Lane

    Italian Shirts Fit For A Prince

    “Because you love all things Italian…”

    Every now and again, I come across shirts fit for a prince. What I absolutely love about these IGN. JOSEPH shirts is the cut, the feel, and the great styling. His shirts are clearly for connoisseurs.

    In certain circles, this term has an air of pretension. Not here. Making great shirts is an art form. Not many houses have the artisans with the skills to craft something built to last. When you find such a shirtmaker, you can take off your jacket and not be ashamed that the shirt is too tight or hangs like a bag.

    Now for those of you unfamiliar with Ignatious Joseph, let me introduce this fine gentleman to you. IJ is an evangelist for craftsmanship and style. He is immaculately attired with the dignity and poise you’d expect from someone with great taste. Not many men can pull off wearing red or green shoes and not seem naff. IJ can and does so with panache.

    He has spent his career crusading for good taste, and many guys have religiously followed his style cues. He is a regular feature at Pitti Uomo and his shirts are sold in some of the most fashionable stores in both North America and Europe. So, why haven’t you heard about him before? Simply put, many gentlemen don’t brag about their shirtmaker. They prefer to be discreet.

    “When great things come in beautiful boxes…”

    What Ignatious doesn’t know about fine shirt making is clearly not worth knowing. Although his shirts are ready-to-wear, the detailing and work on his shirts are rare and sometimes not even found on bespoke shirts. All his garments are manufactured to his exact specifications in Italy. Sorry, I can’t mention where. It’s a trade secret. The fabric comes from the finest Italian mills. One of my favorites is a blue and white check. It is as soft as a baby’s bottom.

    Since he understands that God is in the details, all his shirts are hand finished and feature mother of pearl buttons. Moreover, the collars are non-fused. This means you look smart but don’t feel as if someone is trying to choke you to death. His collar cuts quite a dash, and will sit splendidly inside your bespoke jacket.

    “Perfect for baccarat at Portofino…”

    Personally, once you try one of Ignatious’ splendid shirts you will be spoiled for life. Why not just order a baker’s dozen and give yourself a leg up before you head out to Portofino for the weekend.

    Visit: Ignatious Joseph

    Article Title: Italian Shirts Fit For A Prince
    Photographs: ES

    About The Author
    Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at RedHerring, a digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand.

    For further inspiration
    Visit RedHerring: Life In The Fast Lane

    Career Management For Your Eyes Only

    “Because everyone needs a check list…”

    When you’re bored, you’re ready for anything. You’ll even buy a stairway to heaven. Then someone drops a file on your desk. It’s tied up with a red ribbon and marked: Career Management For Your Eyes Only.

    You can choose to ignore this file at your own risk. However, your heart is beating just a few pulses faster. You feel restlessness like electricity, and it can be contagious. Consequently, your fingers pull the red ribbon like worry beads at a Greek wedding. In your heart, you know it’s time to move on.

    Now you are oblivious to the traffic outside your window. Your thoughts permeate the atmosphere. This is where a shift in perception becomes essential if career guidance is to become a proactive engagement. So you untie the next section of the dossier. It feels like a Bond film. And so you begin to flip through the contents and read.

    Good Morning Mr. Bond. Imagine you are holding a beautiful Ming Dynasty jar in your hands. Caress the form and shape with your eyes. Notice the blue and white design of peonies. Admire the symmetry. Speculate who created this lovely object. Of course, you would love to meet the creator of this magnificent piece of bone china.

    Trying to come to grips with its creator, lift the lid of the jar. Is there a message inside? No, it is empty. Actually Mr. Bond, the pot is filled with air. If the jar suddenly slips from your hands, it shatters on the floor. What happens to the air trapped inside?

    It will merge into its surroundings. The lesson we should learn is that the form of the jar gave us the illusion that it was separate from its surroundings. The air represents our aspirations for career change.

    You put the dossier down. You stand up and down a glass of Evian. Something has happened, but you are not sure what. Your mind is playing tricks again. There is a parallel that your physical form is similar to that Ming dynasty pot. You recognize that these circumstances are not so far fetched. After all, the human form is just a jar. It is however, more precious than anything crafted during the Ming dynasty.

    A thin smile breaks out across your lips. You’re catching on. It wasn’t a Spector show at all. Now you get it. We need our bodies to perform many types of actions. In theory, the mind is a great deceiver. It cons us to believe that we are in control.

    And then you remember that accident when you jumped out of that airplane and fractured your foot. You could’t walk for the next 3 months. Control was no longer in your hands. What you previously took for granted became an issue.

    “OMG! I left the rice cooker on…”

    Normally, you never gave your feet a second thought. They did their job, which is to take the body from place to place. Through the body we experience pleasure and pain. It also goads us to take action. However, when you go to sleep, what happens to your body?

    Can you take the body with you as you glide into a state of sleep? Of course, you don’t. It remains nicely tucked up under the blankets. You retrieve your body in the morning when you open your eyes. Now, you are ready to tackle the day’s activities. Recognizing your responsibilities, you head for the espresso machine. For the moment, your compassion for your self is unconscious. To sustain your activities, it must be conscious.

    What disintegrates minute-by-minute can not be undone. Focus on what is constant. Listen to the sound of your breath and see it like the ocean tide. Identify all that can change as impermanent and let go. A plan of action is clearly indicated.

    Now Repeat To Yourself
    I forgive my self. I love my Self. I am happy and complete. If you engage and convince your mind that this is your real state of being, you will enhance your creative thinking, leadership & managerial capabilities. It is so simple, but you must take the time to do so. By re-booting your inner hard drive, you update your software for maximum contentment in both business and pleasure.

    About The Author
    Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

    For further inspiration
    Visit CAREO: Life In The Fast Lane

    Why Hipsters Love Tumblr

    “Because you’re reaching out to a trendy audience…”

    Mainstream social media mavens appear exclusively focused on the usual suspects, i.e. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Pinterest and SnapChat have their advocates. The key to social media is come to grips with which channels are best for the content you intend to foster.

    Are your stories content driven? Are your messages visually driven? Do you wish to combine the visuals with the story? Does your target community audience respond to your purpose of engagement?

    “Every picture tells a story…”

    True enough, many firms like to concentrate their attention, read resources on major channels with maximum input. However, it can be the more specialized platforms, which might be your best bet when building your marketing strategy.

    Our experience has been that a successful marketing campaign should focus on ingenuity. This is the less travelled field in marketing because it’s harder to calculate and the messages need to be more of a conversation than an advertising pitch. In fact, certain studies reveal that the more sophisticated online audiences become in their social media consumption that they relish the creative touch with human outreach. This implies building your platform with authenticity.

    Authenticity can only be driven with content. When this is established naturally and within constructed parameters, the story and images sell your messages. In our humble view, we therefore recommend to fashion brands in particular to harness the power of Tumblr.

    “Everyone likes something to chew on…”

    Tumblr has been around since 2007. The platform is not as sophisticated as others, and the templates can be constrictive. A little creative coding on your side can alter the visual layouts. Tumblr addicts on the other hand love this platform. It has a Polaroid feel, and as vintage fans recognize what is old is now new and exciting. People are rediscovering ways of tapping and using visuals as if they were part of a garage band. Viewers love it for its sense of the raw power it can execute.

    At first glance, the platform appears unmanageable. Take the time to examine examples of micro blogs you enjoy. Investigate different templates, and you will appreciate the individual context at which Tumblr excels.

    Promoting your brand on Tumblr will take time and not a small amount of sweat equity. Since the platform crosses text, video, photos, and quotes find a mix which suits you best. Considering the world lives on their smartphones, recognize that images and videos hold sway. Don’t shy away from content driven texts, but use sound bites. You can even have your audience click links to another platform by pasting in an invisible url taking your audience to a platform where content driven text is more appropriate or to a place where they can shop your content blog.

    The key call to action on Tumblr is to generate envy, must haves, humor, flavored with a strong hipster vibe. Perhaps this is why the hipsters deserted Facebook a long time ago in favor of micro-blogs.

    The Seduction Of Visuals
    Seduction is the principle rule for blogging. However, Tumblr is more than a blog. It’s a social media platform with great potential. Capture the attention of your audience with wit and great pics and you are one step closer to building and growing your audience of dedicated followers. Followers reblog and spread the wealth. Isn’t this what you want? Of course it is. Remember, balance is key.

    Brevity Is The Soul Of Success
    Once you have grabbed the reader’s attention, the reader should understand what you’re talking about. When there is a connect, your post will be re-blogged. Likes will be generated, and your site will be followed. Pay close attention to hashtags. Like on Twitter, hashtags matter.

    “Everyone likes quirky, even off the wall…”

    You understand that it is important to be quirky, and even off the wall…”
    Secondly, Tumblr users “value” their time. Translation: your audience has a short attention span. They want to be spoon fed. Give it to them in light and strong doses. Do not use a heavy hand. This is not the social media platform for this technique. Therefore, make the distance between the user and you evaporate. This is why we counsel being short and sweet.

    Someone once asked me, “Why don’t Tumblr users read?

    Good question. This almost demands a philosophic response, which is not the subject of this post. The take-away is clear: use language judiciously.

    The best way then to get the content delivered to your followers is with Social Media Integration. One platform is not enough. Interlink your social media channels. Many organizations do this via Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Follow the strategy called the Digital Donut so that content is fresh on each channel. Overlap in theme, not in content. Open an Instagram account. Tumblr practitioners are keen advocates and link their Tumblr accounts accordingly.

    This will improve the face of your brand in users’ eyes, but also will get your content some traffic on other social media sites via Tumblr. You should pay particular attention to integration with Instagram due to its popularity among the Tumblr audience.

    Concerning Themes
    Tumblr gives you the opportunity to choose or even design your own theme. Make the layout attractive and compulsive. We recommend surfing existing blogs and see what works. Then design your blog to be different. Why copy what exists? This is common sense, but you’d be surprised.

    Hipster Humor Works
    Humor is cultural. Think through which audience you are seeking to communicate with. Not all cultures share the same sense of humor. Humor also has the power to level the playing field. The key to hipster humor is irony. If you have a unique voice, Tumblr will be perfect to express this side of your brand. The zeitgeist which drives this platform is youth. Youth is not a question of physical age. It is a question of being in touch with current style trends.

    Now that you have a taste for Tumblr, why not take the leap forward!

    About The Author
    Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at RedHerring, a digital communications consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

    For further inspiration
    Visit RedHerring: Life In The Fast Lane