December 5, 2008
The Next Big Thing
With all of this year’s happenings and stress, the time to figure out your next big move for your business, career, and life is now. Shifts in public opinion and practices have changed how we view the world.
Rather than identify prospective trends, BlackEnterprise.com highlights what we see as the next big ideas shaping some of our core coverage areas. Along with Black Enterprise magazine, we’ve selected concepts influencing business, money management, health, technology, careers, and lifestyle. We share examples of how some people profit from global markets, and transform themselves both personally and professionally; in addition to how others embrace risk and apply technology to bolster each facet of their lives.
Our goal is simple: to keep you, our readers, ahead of the curve. By presenting a snapshot of how individuals and enterprises are changing lives and redefining business, we are positioning you to take advantage of the next big thing before it becomes the next big thing.
– Chana Garcia
At Lockheed Martin Electronics Systems in Bethesda, Maryland, one of the priorities is engaging employees so that they are up to speed as the military-defense manufacturer forges into new markets. In-house publications, forums, and hourly online chats are just some of the ways Lockheed lets workers know it’s paying attention. It is also a way for corporate leaders to maximize and harness the creative talents and resources of their staff.
Held once a month, the online chats allow employees to “bring their ideas forward and get real-time feedback,” says Stephanie Hill, vice president of programs and site operations of the company’s MS2 Maritime Security and Ship Systems line of business. Hill’s department brings in $259 million annually and comprises 730 employees in 28 countries.
“Employees need to know that they are being heard and that we are acting on the things that they share,” Hill says. “In order to grow we have to have a workforce that feels valued and is happy with what they are doing.”
Organizations benefit when people come together to work collectively on defining and solving problems and developing new ideas. Corporate leaders like Hill are encouraging their staff to share their ideas through internal channels and to work through challenges as a team. Top managers who measure their effectiveness by how motivated and engaged their staffs are realize that the result is innovative products produced on time and within budget.
Collective investing is nothing new, but a recent phenomenon is taking a cue from social-networking Websites, with the upshot of Web-based services predicated on sharing information about trades and stocks.
Social stock picking via the Internet has its caveats, experts warn, namely that group members are not licensed financial experts or analysts and that past performance is not an indicator of future success.
But make no mistake about it, technology is transforming money and investing like no other time in modern history. Web 2.0 is about collective