Generation X – Bridging the Gap in Leadership

There is no clear decision when “Generation X” begins or ends, it is typically said that is starts in the early 1960s and ends in the early 1980s. Generation X follows the baby boomer generation and are often referred to as “Gen Xers”. “Gen Xers have been called everything from slackers to disloyal, from dumb to just plain bad” (O’Bannon, 2001). It seems that this could not be any farther from the truth.

Gen Xers come from a time when the divorce rate in America was skyrocketing. “Between 1965 and 1977, the divorce rate in America doubled. Over 40% of Xers come from broken families, and 12% of elementary school children grew up as “latchkey kids,” responsible for their own welfare after school until their parents returned from work” (Zill & Robinson, 1995). Although no one realized it at the time, this taught the Gen Xers how to be self-sufficient. It also taught them how to handle difficult situations.

Gen Xers are looked at as being responsible for bridging the gap between the baby boomers and millennials. Carolyn Wiethoff states, “Gen Xers grew up in the information age, and they are quite comfortable with technology. Politically, they grew up as America’s global power was declining. In the business world, Generation X saw a record number of corporate bankruptcies, Wall Street scandals, and massive corporate downsizing.” They have shown they are capable of being tech savvy, such as millennials, and exhibit leadership skills shown by the baby boomers.

Gen Xers were forced to be responsible and handle adversity at a young age. This valuable skill translated to the workplace and created great leaders. In a study published by DDI, it looked at more than 25,000 leaders spanning 54 countries and 26 major industries. They found Generation X accounts for 51 percent of leadership roles globally (Neal & Wellins, 2018). Their ability to be responsible and handle adversity has showcased their leadership skills.

Gen Xers are viewed as loyal employees, but also value time spent with their families. This can be directly related to how Gen Xers were raised. They take pride in spending time with their families because it was something that was taken from them at a young age. They understand the value of family and what it can mean to their spouses and children.

Their life experiences have impacted the way they communicate, act, and react to the world around them. Their experiences have given them the tools to communicate to both younger and older generations. They have risen to leadership levels without sacrificing the value the of family. This can be directly related to their upbringing. They were shown family and financial instability. In turn, they have made it a priority not to repeat history.

Sources:

Neal, S., & Wellins, R. “Generation X-not millennials-is changing the nature of work.” 11 April 2018, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/11/generation-x–not-millennials–is-changing-the-nature-of-work.html

O’Bannon, G. (2001). Managing our future: The Generation X factor. Public personnel Management, 30, 95-106.

Wiethoff, Carolyn. (2004). Management Basics: Managing Generation X . Indiana libraries, 23(2), 53-55. https://scholarworks.iupui.edu/bitstream/handle/1805/1343/Management%20Basics.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Zill, N., & Robinson, J. (1995). The Generation X difference. American Demographics, 17, 29-32.

By: Tyler Houchin, General Studies Major – IUPUC

Adidas vs. Nike

There has always been a constant competition between Nike and Adidas, but what about their online websites? Which business has the better website? While shopping online the other day I found myself going back and forth between the Nike and Adidas websites. One website was catching my attention more than the other one was but why was that?

After doing some research on what makes a business website successful I found that some of the most successful business websites are easy to navigate, informs their visitors, keeps the visitors on their page, and eventually converts them into customers. Also it is important to make sure that the website is responsive and can adjust to the screen of any mobile device. Turning a visitor into a customer by the time they leave the website is one of the main reasons for having a website for a business.

When comparing Nike’s website to Adidas’ website, here is what worked, what didn’t work and which one was more successful:

When I pull up Nike’s website I notice how there is a lot of use of the colors white and black. The only major use of color on the home page is when looking at the different boxes that were promoting certain products like running materials for men, women and young athletes. At the very top of the home page there is an ad promoting a new shoe, but there again was a lot of the color white. This didn’t make me very interested in the product and resulted in me just scrolling on past the ad. The home page also appeared to have only the main purpose of advertising running products. This in my opinion didn’t work for their website because not everyone is buying only running products from this brand. What really was successful for this website was that on the home page the links to men, women, and children products are right at your eye level in the center of the page. This made it easy to navigate. Also, when I first pulled up the website a box popped up for me to enter my information to sign up for a newsletter with coupons and information about new products. I felt that this was a good way to give customers information and to draw them back in to buy products later on.

When I clicked on the “women” link for Nike I am taken to a page that has advertisement boxes that say “bring on spring”, “lighten up for warmer weather” and “run your city”.  These categories seemed very vague to me and were in very tiny font. Even though there were tiny links at the tops of the page that said shoes, clothing and new releases, I have to scroll down even further to find the links to buy items such as shorts, sports bras, and hoodies. This page made it difficult to find what I was looking for right away. I would have to click on several links just to find the exact product I was looking for.

The home page of the Adidas website looks very similar to the Nike home page, but there were some major differences. On the home page for Adidas there is a large and colorful advertisement promoting a new shoe that they are selling. Already they have caught my attention through the use of color and have made me interested in looking into the new shoe. Unlike the Nike home page, Adidas’ home page featured a wide variety of products under the title “What’s Trending”. To sign up for the newsletter and receive coupons I had to scroll to the bottom of the home page. This was a downfall compared to the box that popped up on the Nike home page. What also didn’t work for the home page was that the links to the men, women, and children items were on the top left side of the page. The links weren’t the center of attention of the page and instead the large advertisement was. In my opinion those links are the most important links on the page and they should be placed in a way that shows that.

When I clicked on the “women” tab I was taken to a page that has around 7 pictures with the straight forward categorizes of Prophere, Ultraboost X, Bras, Tops, Tights, Shoes, and Adidas by Stella McCartney. Adidas had the tiny links for shoes, tops, new arrivals and other products as well, but I liked how the pictures were there as links too. That is so because these tiny links that both websites use are easy to miss.  This website made it easier to find certain faster by having them already categorized on the page.  I found that this made it easier for me to find my products compared to the Nike website. The large bold font that was used on the Adidas website made it easier as well.

Overall I found that the Adidas website was more successful than Nike’s business website. Adidas had better use of space, color, and text. I found that Adidas held my attention longer and had me looking into different products that I wasn’t even shopping for to begin with. Also, they were more successful with promoting a large variety of products whereas Nike seemed to focus in on only running materials. Adidas would result in me becoming a customer by the time I leave their website.

By Kaitlyn Richards, Business Major – IUPUC

 

Have You Heard That Men and Women Communicate Differently?

For years you have grown up listening to people tell you that men are physical/sexual beings while women are a roller coaster of emotions. Although, no two people are alike, I found that this statement is in fact true for the most part.

 

Men communicate with the intent of independently making a decision. Women communicate to process all the information that they have just received and talk it over again. In conversation, Women tend to have more in depth conversations. They add memories and emotions when communicating. While Men, have much more simpler conversations leaving out the fine details and only adding in extra information when asked to do so.

 

If you have noticed in a workplace that Women do not hesitate to approach Men with information or questions that they have directly face to face. While Men will approach Women from the side angle because face to face conversation is sometimes declared as to personal for Men while working. Have you noticed that Women tend to nod their heads as a sign of affirmation that they understood what you were saying or explaining? All women are secretly shaking their heads right about now. Well, Men tend to nod their heads as a sign of agreeing with you or the argument at hand. Women, next time you are listening to a male co-worker speak make sure that you are aware if you nod. Sometimes they will misinterpret this as you agreeing with them and not just you acknowledging what they said.

 

Communication also has an unspoken language. Body Language. Women, we have been doing this since we were born. It is almost like body language is hidden away in our DNA and it literally shows in our faces every day. We have faces for everything; sad, happy, disgust, confused, and lost. While Men on the other hand have one face with a hint of smile every once in a while. Too often we give ourselves away in our facial features. They should have a class in High School on how to contain your facial expressions when you are in the middle of a conference for work. Many times the way a Women shows her body language gives away how she is feeling or what she is thinking at the moment when she doesn’t necessarily want it to be known yet.

 

So, with all of the information I have given today I have a few pointers to remember in everyday life whether it be at home, work, or school.

 

Take these facts with a grain of salt. Like I said before, no two people are alike. Men and Women will always communicate differently.

Stay Aware. Make sure you know how to communicate correctly between people. The way to talk to one person may not be the same method you use to talk to another person.

Finally, Get Information. When you interact with people on a daily basis it is ok to ask them questions. If you know a little more about them you can communicate with them more easily.

 

By Brittany Sample, Business Major – IUPUC

 

 

Closing the Age Gap

If I had a dollar every time my grandparents asked me how to use Facebook, fix their phone, or even how to send a text with a picture attached, I’d be rich. In today’s society of ever-evolving technology, the baby boomers seem to have a much steeper learning curve than the millennials.

The communication style between these two generations is drastically different for many reasons. One of which being that the technology that is available today is very different than the technology that was available in the 1970s/1980s. Many millennials have grown up communicating through texts and snapchats instead of through outdated letters and phone calls. Baby boomers would not be able to figure out snapchat and can barely figure out how to text. Most of them would much rather call if they need to talk or reach someone. Although these two styles of communication are much different, the same idea is behind each form of communication and the same goal is achieved, just in a different way.

Another big difference between baby boomers and millennials is cell phone usage. Today, it is becoming more and more acceptable to carry a conversation through text, while also carrying a conversation in person. If you have ever tried to even send just one text while talking to a baby boomer, you most likely received a dirty look, or a snarky remark about your phone. To them, the act of even just checking your phone while carrying a casual conversation can come across as extremely disrespectful.

Even though at times the communication styles between these two age groups seems to be drastically different, the one thing we all have in common is all generations have a need for human interaction. No matter the form.

 

Emma Sanders

Psychology Major at IUPUC

What Martial Arts Belt Are You When It Comes To Presentations?

How well can you kick butt at presenting? I have videos and quizzes below; let us find out how much you know presentations and what belt you rank. Take notes while watching the videos to see what the mistakes or improvements are then take the quizzes to test your knowledge.  Please leave comments on the page to let me know what you think!

Delivering a bad presentation – spot the mistakesYoutube.com. University of Bedfordshire, 6 Jan. 2012. Web. 13 Apr. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATfY8dvbuFg&gt;.

Did you cringe as much as I did watching that video? Did you see any mistakes that were happening with this presentation? If so, then take this quiz and see where you rank in kicking presentation butt.

Presenter Quiz:

https://www.playbuzz.com/haleyt26/what-not-to-do-in-a-presentation

Power Point Quiz:

https://www.playbuzz.com/haleyt26/what-should-not-be-in-a-power-point

How well did you do? If you scored as a Black belt, then you are on the right track of kicking presentation butt, if you scored Blue belt then that just means you have a couple more things to learn!, if you scored White belt then my friend this blog is here for you. Take these skills and learn how to make yourself a Black belt when it comes to presentations! Here is a video of what a good presentation looks like. Take notes and see what you notice the differences are.

Delivering a good presentation – identify the good techniquesYoutube.com. University of Bedfordshire, 6 Jan. 2012. Web. 13 Apr. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5utoLhjUuAI&gt;.

If you are still not sure you got everything, check your notes with the cheat sheet below mark off what you got right. If you have the information down, try retaking the quizzes again!

Presenter Mistakes:

  • Does not have the technology prepared or know how to use the equipment when it is their turn to present.
  • Did not introduce herself
  • Was playing on her phone and taking a drink at the beginning of the presentation.
  • Presenter is facing the presentation screen and not the audience.
  • Presenter is reading from the slides instead of using it as reminder points.
  • Presenter has her arms crossed while talking.
  • Volume is too low or too fast.
  • No eye contact or scanning of the room to keep connected to the audience.
  • Audience did not have time to ask questions or receive answers.

Power Point Mistakes:

  • Bad choice of background color, and font color.
  • Inconsistency of images, spacing and fonts. (not professional or uniform throughout)
  • Overcrowded slides
  • Irrelevant & unprofessional pictures along with unnecessary and unprofessional animations/transitions.
  • No reference list at end for her citations.

Presenter Improvements:

  • Presenter introduces herself and her topic
  • Faces the audience instead of the board
  • Uses good volume and speed throughout the presentation
  • Moves hands but in a non-distracting way.
  • Does not read every point off the slides, only looks at slide to read the examples.
  • Breaks away from looking at the slide to make eye contact.
  • Gives the audience time to answer her questions before giving the answer.
  • Gives more time for audience to ask questions before ending presentation
  • Ends presentation with a positive attitude and conclusion.
  • Presentation is engaging the audience

Power point improvements:

  • Uniform slide colors (not too dark or too light)
  • Uniform font size and colors (does not blend into the background, easy to read from a distance)
  • Examples in presentation are a different color to highlight the point. (does not distract or blend with the background color)
  • Slides are not overcrowded
  • Great use of bullet points
  • Did not use unnecessary or unprofessional images
  • Did not use unnecessary or unprofessional animations/transitions.
  • Moved through slides at an even pace

 

Did you score better this time? If so then great! You are on the right track to being a Black belt at presentations! Take this information with you to help determine between good and bad presentations from here on out.

 

By: Haley Thompson, Business Major- IUPUC.

 

A New Business Environment

2004 was a year in innovation that everyone should remember. This is the year that effected nearly every human being either directly, or indirectly. It is said as of 2010 “one out of every dozen people on the planet has a Facebook account” (Grossman, 2010). Whether you realized this transformation or not, it plays a vital role in our economy. Some of us love it, others hate it. I have heard it called a gold rush, networking tool, and the demise of humanity. Which side you choose to be on is your individual filter of reality.

Yes, it is one of the most used social networking sites in the world today. Facebook.com. Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s owner is valued at “$55.9 billion dollars” (Wikipedia, 2017). The site works by allowing users to build profiles of anything that can assume an identity such as a person, pet, or business to name a few. Once the profiles are built, the user has now agreed to the privacy statements herein the agreement you accept for using the company’s service, which is social networking. In return for using this service, you agree to allow them to use certain aspects of your profile for marketing purposes, which is also a way that they make their money. Since nearly two billion have profiles, Facebook has a vast array of human assets that can spread viral content, making them one of the best ways to advertise in today’s economy.

The aspect of collectively networking so many people through a social platform that allows for individual personalization continues to drive growth and innovation throughout the technology community. This platform practice is a template for many to learn from and grow with

On the other side of the business websites, we have a local plastic engineering firm that makes their money from manufacturing goods rather than the internet. C&T Engineering, Incorporated was founded in 1986 and their practice is to provide tooling and engineering expertise. They may not be an internet minded company, but they do have a website with a dot com domain thus making them a company represented with an online presence.

After reviewing their webpage, the main objective of the site is to inform potential customers of their background, location, and capabilities. The site does not allow for individual personalization, but offers the ability to inquire about servicing a need in this industry of tooling and engineering.

In comparison, both web pages have dot com domains and are representative of their comparative knowledge of how users interact with their respective online content.

In contrast, Facebook allows users to build personalized accounts and socially network with their community in exchange for the information you provide on that account. This site is monetized, meaning that they use your demographics to sale to companies that are in the market for someone like you. Because they have so many accounts connected, they have an enormous field of assets to sale, making them the leader in this style of business webpages. C&T’s website on the other hand, is built to inform you about the certain information hoping to attract your business. From what I have seen, they do not have personalization or social networking capabilities directly on their web portal thus they do not monetize their online content.

After reviewing both sites, it is my determination that having the ability to personalize an individual profile drives users to want to be at your web site and the internet is a vast forum of content that everyone wants to share. As color tv was to black and white broadcast, the internet is the new age of advertisement compared to traditional news applications. Keeping this in mind, you have to decide if you want to your website to be a marketing tool or just a plain informative page that barely generates viewership.

In conclusion, websites that just offer information on their services are missing out on opportunities to increase capital by not generating the ability to network and personalize. Networking and sites that generate wanted content, will continue to share a multibillion dollar advertising industry.

Ad Web Audience Targeting

Defining and targeting an audience are vital steps in great communication.  In publications, the ads are an excellent representation of who the targeted audience is.  Websites of these publications also target an audience but with an added dimension, the ability to individually target the viewer (audience.)  The ads vary by the choices selected within the publication website thus, redefining the audience.

Forbes website was the chosen publication to illustrate this changing targeted audience.  On the homepage of Forbes, the ads are geared toward a well-defined target group.  The initial ads were for Wall Street Journal; government tax programs; CD bank rates; oil dividends; filmmaking courses; and senior cell phone plans.  Together, these ads are for older wealthy businessmen. These are representative of the homepage initial ads.  The target audience is towards one who is interested in financial issues of taxes, CD notes, dividends, and business news from the WSJ…a businessman of diverse monetary concerns.  Definitely, the “senior plan” refers to an older generation.  The filmmaking courses also reinforce the older target group with an advertisement for a new hobby or starting a new business.  This is an extremely focused target audience.

Having the advantage of real-time viewing, websites can narrow the target audience.  When a viewer chooses a selection, a story or an article, the site chooses ads focusing on the audience’s interests.  If the chosen article deals with businesses with negative issues then the ads may change to customer service aids for businesses, insurance ads, or company improvement ads.  Relating the ads to the different types of articles narrows the targeted audience.

Another audience-targeting dimension of websites is third party advertising, directly targeting the individual viewer.  Third party advertising is advertisers which monitor viewers’ web surfing on their computers.  Directing ads of the real-time viewer’s interests allows the publication to broaden its audience.  These viewer-interest ads frame the articles with familiar and personal target ads.  Even though these ads may not have any connection with the article or the publication, the audience is familiar with these ads.  This frame may keep them reading the articles.  This allows for various changes so the targeted audience is the viewer even if the viewers do not fit the original targeted audience.  A young want-to-be businesswoman planning to start her own business would now be a targeted audience.  This real-time changing redefines the target audience as the current viewer to keep them interested in the publication even if they may not initially seem to be the audience targeted.

Concluding, this publication’s ads were aimed at a senior population of wealthy businessmen.  In general, this is the overall targeted audience but with websites drawing in different audiences with a specific article, the website uses ads to include the new audience in real-time viewing.  This advantage allows websites to reframe the site to include the viewer.  This is the magic of website ads – framing articles with advertising content this viewer is interested in seeing.

By Kentrina Freeman, Liberal Arts Major – IUPUC

Comparison and contrast of Newegg and TigerDirect

Today I am comparing and contrasting two consumer electronic business websites. Newegg is an award winning site for being one of the best sites to buy electronics by the web. TigerDirect focuses its success around electronic computer sales, along with retail stores to help with continued revenue. Let’s compare and contrast both companies’ websites. Comparing the site’s design, layout, and who the target audience is they are trying to focus. Also comparing to products both companies have on its websites. Contrasting what both sites do to stay ahead of the competition.

When you go to Newegg’s home page the first thing to catch any customers’ eye is the sale and saving ads playing at the center of the page. It’s a good way to keep the customer interested. Furthermore the next focus it wants the customer on is all the other deals, best sellers, and what other customers have browsed and bought. Not only that, it also had ads of Super Smash Bros on the outer edge of its webpage. Newegg’s current focus towards the consumer market is on college students, gamers, and everyday electronic users. My personal experience with this site is I bought my current computer parts on this site. It was easy to do research on the site alone. My research was easy given other customers’ reviews, along with on-site help finding parts compatible with each other. The parts prices were cheap, they arrived on the scheduled day, and the packaging was in great condition.

TigerDirect’s Home page is more simply for a newer guest to browsing the market for electronics. Having the same set up that draws the eye of attention on the fall saving sales, and deals scrolling across the center for the headline on the site. Its nesting of products is easy to find as well placed under the scrolling deal section. Mouse over this product search section it opens up for more products that draw less attention, such as: cameras, hard drives, smart watches, and surveillance products. TigerDirect keeps its site more simple color and layout wise from Newegg’s high designed layout. Its advertising on its site is on fall deals for every customer, but also on the football fans with football players displayed on TVs, laptops, and tablets. My personal experience with this site is the same with Newegg’s, but a better deal on the processor I was looking for. On time delivery, good condition packaging, but I spent less time on the research since I already knew what processer I was looking for.

Pricing of both sites varies on the products, both them have. Comparing the price of one product that both sites, is the Lenovo Y50 Intel core i7 laptop. TigerDirect lists the product for 1,179.99 from its original price of 1,249.99. TigerDirect advertises all the major details about the product to draw in the customer in, along with the option for warranties and accident protection for a big price. Newegg’s original list price is 1,299.99 but the 70.00 savings have made it 1,229.99 just a bit more than TigerDirect’s. Newegg though offers a free software package of a value of 200.00, along with the customer’s choice of parts in the laptop to make it less or more in price. To conclude Newegg’s price it offers warranties for less money and less timed covered as well.

Furthermore these sites have reasonable prices on products that the other site might have or doesn’t have. Newegg’s site has a lot of advertising, unlike TigerDirect’s site that targets upcoming releases, or hot deals the site is having. TigerDirect keeps its site simple and to the point with the viewer’s focusing on lower prices and customers that want the best electronics for football season. Newegg’s target audience leans toward the younger audience of gamers, and college students. TigerDirect’s target audience more the middle to older aged audience for the football guys out there. As for my personal experience with both sites they both have great qualities of information on the products, along with the pricing and customer support on customer’s needs. This concludes my comparison and contrast of both Newegg and TigerDirect.