Honoring America’s First Forester on His 150th Birthday

Peeling Back the Bark

The following is an op-ed piece by FHS staff historian James G. Lewis that appeared in the Asheville Citizen-Times on August 9, 2015, in honor of Gifford Pinchot’s 150th birthday on August 11. 

Born just after the guns of the Civil War fell silent, he died the year after the first atomic bomb was dropped. He was, in his own words, a “governor every now and then” but a forester all the time. Indeed, Gifford Pinchot, born 150 years ago on Aug. 11, served two terms as Pennsylvania governor but is best known as the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service (established 1905), which today manages 192 million acres. He also created the Society of American Foresters (1900), the organization that oversees his chosen profession, and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (1900), the oldest forestry school in America. And just south of Asheville, in the…

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The 5 A’s to Dealing With Problems

Why Lead Now

As a millennial, I’ve grown into a world where people expect things to be dealt with quickly, and they want as much information as they can get in the process. Just look at Domino’s pizza tracker. Why just wait for your pizza, when you can check when it’s being prepped, in the oven, and out for delivery?

This speed, and thirst for information, is transposed onto complaints and problems. According to a Lithium-commissioned study by Millward Brown Digital, survey, 72 percent of people expect a response to a Twitter complaint to a company in less than an hour.

To make sure I’m always ready with a response when someone complains, I like to remind myself of “The Five A’s to Dealing With Problems”. They provide a simple process that I can follow to connect with the disgruntled person in front of me, make them feel better…

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HBR: Does Your Company Need an Instagram Storefront?

Are you using Instragram as a marketing tool? You can share with Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. Here are some ideas on how to use Instragram as Building Supplier Dealer. Post photos of your overstock items, promote your customer’s deck design, or post photos of new products at your store. Below is a blog post from the Harvard Business Review by Mitch Joel .

Does Your Company Need an Instagram Storefront?storefront_deals

As the internet continues to make it easier to connect with potential customers, some entrepreneurs have decided that Instagram isn’t just for “selfies,” but for marketing. Blogger Jason Kottke reported last month on Kuwait’s “booming Instagram economy,” where anyone with an Instagram account is simply putting a price tag on an item, taking a photograph, and selling it via the photo sharing online social network.

Everything from Manga to make-up , and more is being sold in this very simple and direct platform, leveraging additional free technology like WhatsApp (customer service), PayPal, and Square(transactions) to make the business infrastructure as simple as possible.

Not unlike eBay and the power-sellers it spawned, Instagram has the scale, stability, and user trust to create a viable marketplace. Once upon a time, if you wanted to sell online you needed a sturdy e-commerce site with analytics, a robust hosting facility, and a web team to create, design, merchandise, market, and more. Today, you need a couple of free accounts on some of the major online channels along with the persistence to keep at it. Is this the digital equivalent of a garage sale, or the next generation of business?

The answer is likely somewhere in between. It’s doubtful that those in the upper echelons of the massive consumer packaged goods companies are going to care about this, or that Sephora and Walmart see this as a competitive threat, but the barriers to entry for someone to start and market a new business continue to be lowered.

These Instagram businesses may not be the next big thing, but they could well be the nascent stages of what is the next big, small thing in business today. On April 23rd and 24th of this year, the American University of Kuwait hosted a two day conference, featuring case studies, how-to’s and networking for those wondering what it takes to build a business on Instagram. The Insta Business Expo , featured a slew of new entrepreneurs who built and grew their respective businesses through Instagram.

While this may seem inconsequential in the grander scheme of global economics and business, consider the global reach of Instagram, the burgeoning ability to use 3-D printing to create or augment existing products, and the desire from consumers for more unique products and services . There is also potential here for more traditional brands to try moments of commerce; an Instagram storefront could help validate a new product line or market ancillary products.

Instagram should not be underrated as an engine of marketing, considering the engagement beautiful images can generate. Today’s Instagram entrepreneurs have uncovered an easy way for brands to quickly share new inventory, and a very simple way to conduct business from a smartphone. If your brand has the goods, you might want try out an Instagram store of your own.

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