TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

Next Big Shift in Economics Takes Shape Under Covid Shadow

A rare regime-change in economic policy is under way that's edging central bankers out of the pivotal role they have played for decades.

Fiscal policy, which fell out of fashion as an engine of economic growth during the inflationary 1970s, has been front-and-center in the fight against Covid-19. Governments have subsidized wages, mailed checks to households and guaranteed loans for business. They've run up record budget deficits on the way -- an approach that economists have gradually come to support, ever since the last big crash in 2008 ushered in a decade of tepid growth.

And the public spending that put a floor under the pandemic slump is increasingly seen as vital for a sustained recovery too. When it looks like drying up, as it did in the U.S. last week, investors start to worry.

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TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

The Secret to Effective Time Management? Smaller Time Blocks

You know time management is important for busy entrepreneurs. But have you thought about it this way?

In case you aren't familiar, "time blocks" are intervals of time that you can use to schedule tasks, or groups of tasks, for your workday. Most people use blocks of an hour or half an hour to block out time throughout the day. For example, they might dedicate an hour to a morning meeting, half an hour to catching up on emails, half an hour for a client meeting and an hour for a heads-down project.

This system is effective because it helps you estimate the amount of time each task takes, helps you group similar tasks together and allows you to set priorities for your day proactively.

The problem is, if you're only using blocks of 30, 45 or 60 minutes, you won't be getting the full benefits of the strategy. Instead, you should be working with much shorter intervals - like 10 minutes, or even five minutes (a strategy famously used by Elon Musk).

Why are smaller time blocks so effective?

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TradeBriefs: What's important, not just what's popular!

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TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

Forget about the "new normal": Design something different

Five principles of service design, adapted for the COVID-19 era.

How do you as a company leader design for this different world? When the ground shifts beneath you, the first thing to do is find a solid place to stand - and that is your value proposition. Customers come to you for a reason: because you're innovative or top-quality, because you're a one-stop shop, or because you build deep relationships. Yes, you need to both stress-test that value proposition and do a gut check on it, but in all likelihood, you'll reaffirm it. Now is not the time to change it.

What might change, however, is how you deliver the value you promise, and that depends on five principles that translate a value proposition into the experience customers actually have. We first outlined these service design principles several years ago in "The art of customer delight." Today, we use the acronym SPICE, because they involve segments (which customers you serve), promises (the expectations you set), innovation (how you evolve and improve), coherence (how you orchestrate sales channels and ecosystem partners), and efficiency (how you become easy to do business with). When you apply them in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, they may lead you to new and different insights about how to design your customers' experience and employees' activities.

Continued here


TradeBriefs: What's important, not just what's popular!

Advertisers of the day

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