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10 января, 01:18

«У меня есть семья дома и семья Lego»

Йорген Виг Кнудсторп не только спас Lego от гибели, но и сделал ее опасным соперником крупнейшей компании по производству игрушек в мире – Mattel. Теперь же он ушел с поста гендиректора Lego Group ради того, чтобы решать стратегические вопросы развития бренда Lego во главе новой компании – Lego Brand Group.

06 января, 19:27

Consumers are Open to Artificial Intelligence, but Quality Experiences are Key

Sam Costello, Associate Director/Business Analyst, Creative Technology & Innovation, DigitasLBi At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), dozens of companies selling all kinds of products and services are touting their use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI has been hot for a year or two, and it’s only getting hotter as it becomes incorporated into increasingly novel products and services. Jetsons-style robot assistants for the home were on display on the show floor, boasting intelligence that helps discover and adapt to the layout of your home, identify your family’s habits, recognize faces, learn from conversations, and even control smart-home devices. LG was the biggest name with a new robot, but smaller companies also unveiled compelling options, including Mayfield Robotics’ ultra-cute Kuri and Yumii’s Cutii companion for the elderly. AI-powered robots that used to be the province of science fiction may soon be common in our homes. Intelligent assistants like Amazon’s Alexa are familiar to millions of families. Alexa expanded its reach with an Echo-style speaker from Lenovo, a child-focused device from Mattel, and integration into TVs, refrigerators, and even new Ford cars. Voice interfaces are quickly gaining ground for consumers’ attention on smartphones; brands should start earmarking marketing dollars for these platforms now. Other AI tools help computers “see” and recognize objects in real-time and make chatbots and conversational interfaces smarter than ever. AI is even being used by Tellmeplus to help forecast subscriber churn and help industrial machines understand how they can work better and schedule service before they break down. There’s even a US$130 toothbrush that claims to have AI (spoiler: it doesn’t, really). Growing Interest in Chatbots With an ever-growing number of products using artificial intelligence, consumers are ready to embrace the technology. New research by DigitasLBi found that 37% of Americans would trust intelligent chatbots enough to make purchases through them, and would spend an average of $55.80 per purchase. But while consumers are open to AI, they have a high expectation of quality: the study also revealed that almost 75% would not use a company’s chatbot again after a poor experience. What AI Is and Isn’t AI will continue to expand into new products and markets over the next few years. Along with powerful and useful applications, many products and services will grab for the buzzword without really delivering intelligence (remember that toothbrush?). Artificial Intelligence is much more than a recommendation algorithm or voice interface that can understand a small set of phrases. AI is machine learning that evolves on its own, based on its experiences. In this transitional stage, when consumers and brands are just starting to truly encounter AI, and because it will be used so much, the average consumer may struggle to separate products that claim to use AI from those that truly deliver on its promise and its value. While AI will continue to be a buzzword and a differentiator, brands that want to use it—and many should—have to ensure they deliver quality intelligent experiences, or risk consumers seeking smarter options elsewhere. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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30 декабря 2016, 12:14

Killing the Annual Performance Review - Part III: After the Funeral

by Bill Sanders, Principal and Sr. Consultant with Roebling Strauss Time to read: 5mins Time to implement: The rest of your working life Now that we've identified three reasons to kill the annual performance review, (it has outlived its purpose, it is primarily one-way communication, and it isn't changing the current atmosphere of employee disengagement.) And we've identified its purpose and function, (measuring and providing feedback, indicating a career path, and providing a basis for adjusting remuneration), it's time to survey the variety of options vying to replace it. There are any number of solutions available. As a result of my review over the past several months, I've categorized them into the following three areas: The Increased Frequency Review Many of the solutions proposed, fall under the heading of "Well the millennials want more frequent feedback, so let's do the review more than once a year." While that isn't the most flattering way to identify this group of suggestions, the results indicate that it's accurate. Part of this stems from being caught up in the dominant paradigm of big company culture. The systems are all there; the main complaint is the lack of frequency and thus relevance, so let's require the managers to have these conversations more frequently. It's a Band-Aid for being 20lbs overweight. While performing the same annual review more frequently may increase the efficacy of the organization's ability to measure and provide feedback, most implementations retain the annual raise (now tied to 4 or 12 reviews) instead of one per year. It is also unlikely to increase engagement if it remains one-way communication, and is more likely to increase frustration if career path expectations are not met. Software Sometime in the early 2000's when I was still working for the remnants of what had been Mattel Interactive, I was on a call with the C-Suite as they discussed a major ERP software change that was being discussed as if it were a panacea for all the company's ills. (Names have been avoided to protect the guilty.) It struck me at the time as a "We have a completely dysfunctional family, and I hate my job, let's move to LA and see if that fixes everything" moment. I actually wrote the words "technical panacea" in my notes on the call. The only reason I was on the call was to be informed that we'd be changing our ecommerce platform, which I was running at the time. As you can guess, I was less than thrilled. I felt strongly then, and even more so now, that technology doesn't solve problems, people do. The beauty of technology is that it is great for reducing transaction costs, the ugly is that most of the time companies implement a technology solution in response to a human problem. Thus, I'm leery of the new Performance Management software movement. It's not that I oppose the idea. Chris Heuer, Rawn Shaw and I spent untold amounts of time, money, and heart to launch Alynd in the commitment/performance management space. In the end, however, the social change that our software required was not going to come without significant cultural, human transformation. We humans tend to love the idea of holding others accountable, but generally resist the idea of being held mutually accountable in return. With any software that replaces the annual review process, the question isn't how well it works, but how well is it going to work within your culture and your organization. Use it, but do your homework and make sure that the objectives, behaviors, and culture that you want to drive in your organization match the key drivers built into the software. New Frameworks The final area is best represented by a single book by Reid Hoffman; The Alliance. Recognizing that many of the paradigms that have driven our corporate hiring and retention behavior are relics of a distant past, he lays out a framework for honest conversations and "tours of duty" that benefit both the employee and the organization. It is less a system and more of a guideline for treating employees like human beings instead of "our most valuable resource" (that we can dispose of as we see fit). One of the key benefits of Hoffman's approach is that anyone can use it. A manager doesn't need upstairs approval to begin to adapt her framework to the way she relates to her team. Nothing else that I've read so far provides this aspect of flexibility. There are few books I recommend all managers read. This is one of them. Do the Heavy Lifting Addressing what needs to change in the annual review process isn't easy. We as leaders, managers, business owners and employees are dealing every day with our careers and livelihood. And we are also impacting the livelihood and careers of others. It is incumbent upon us to not accept the status quo as if it were handed down engraved in stone. If 2016 didn't confirm that everything is in flux, it missed its calling. Or, the people that don't see that 'Turbulence' is the new 'Black' aren't paying attention. In this environment, we have the choice of moving past the platitudes and engaging in honest conversations about how we are going to work together to meet the conditions of our mutual satisfaction, or we'll end up as the jetsam and flotsam of the new ever-evolving economy. In Jeffery Hayzlett's most recent book, Think Big, Act Bigger, he relates the story of when Dave Pottruck was asked to step down as Charles Schwab's CEO as a result of the impact of the first dotcom bubble burst. His assistant of 15 years, Colleen Bagan-McGill, cut her vacation short to return, resign, and help Dave find the "next thing." I haven't had the privilege of meeting either Dave or Colleen, but I'd make a substantial bet that Colleen didn't ditch her vacation because Dave gave her 15 great annual reviews. The heavy work is before us. Research, read, sit in on the software demos, but most importantly, engage in creating the kind of culture of which you want to be a part. We aren't going to be successful in replacing the status quo if we are too comfortable with it. It's your business, your division, your career, your job. Take the risk to have honest conversations, test the various approaches and software and then share your results with the rest of us. Bill Sanders is Principal and Sr. Consultant with Roebling Strauss, a boutique consultancy that specializes in delivering dramatic improvements in organizational effectiveness and Lead Link of the Finance Circle for Great Work Cultures, a community dedicated to creating a new norm for work cultures that optimize worker effectiveness and human happiness. Connect with Bill on Twitter. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

28 декабря 2016, 17:06

Why You Should Get Rid of Mattel (MAT) Stock Right Away

On Dec 28, the world's largest toy manufacturer, Mattel, Inc. (MAT), was downgraded by a notch to a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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19 декабря 2016, 16:44

JAKKS Pacific Cuts View Amid Difficult Sales Environment

JAKKS Pacific(JAKK) has once again reduced its guidance for the full-year 2016.

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16 декабря 2016, 21:09

Will Toymaker Stocks Benefit from Star Wars Rogue One?

The new Star Wars movie could be a huge game-changer for the toymakers

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15 декабря 2016, 18:09

Hands On With The Barbie Drone

Mattel’s aiming for a kid-sized slice of the drone market with their latest release, the Barbie Star Light Adventure RC Hoverboard.

12 декабря 2016, 16:28

Hasbro (HAS) to Be Added to NASDAQ 100 Index: Time to Buy?

On Dec 9, NASDAQ announced its annual modifications to the NASDAQ-100 Index wherein Hasbro, Inc. (HAS) lists as one of the four new replacements to the existing companies.

07 декабря 2016, 12:31

10 невероятных историй краха из эры доткомов

Шестнадцать лет назад лопнул пузырь на рынке технологий. NASDAQ рухнула с максимума в 5,132 в марте 2000 г. до всего 1,470 несколько месяцев спустя.

07 декабря 2016, 12:31

10 невероятных историй краха из эры доткомов

Шестнадцать лет назад лопнул пузырь на рынке технологий. NASDAQ рухнула с максимума в 5,132 в марте 2000 года до всего 1,470 несколько месяцев спустя.

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07 декабря 2016, 04:12

Amy Schumer says trolls' backlash over Barbie casting shows she’s right for role

Comedian says body-shaming attacks show ‘something’s wrong with our culture’ after news of Grammy nominations Amy Schumer has defended her credentials to play Barbie, “an important and evolving icon”, pointing to backlash as evidence of why she would be a great choice.The announcement on Saturday that Schumer was in negotiations to play the lead in Mattel’s debut movie was met with some criticism online, with some complaining she did not meet the physical standards embodied by the plastic doll. Continue reading...

06 декабря 2016, 16:32

Can Hasbro Continue to Grow Despite Prevalent Headwinds?

On Dec 5, we issued an updated research report on toymaker, Hasbro, Inc. (HAS).

06 декабря 2016, 12:39

Living doll: why Amy Schumer's the best thing to happen to Barbie

Why all the fuss over Schumer in the role of the iconic toy? It’s a winning situation for the actor, her fans, Sony Pictures and Mattel. The only losers are the misogynistsThere is a certain perspective on the current wave of female-led movies – the recent Ghostbusters remake and the similarly pitched forthcoming reworking of Ocean’s Eleven – that we’ll call, for simplicity, the Ernie Hudson rule. It suggests that these movies really ought not to exist at all, but if they must exist, let them feature gorgeous young women primed to appeal to male filmgoers’ base instincts. Hudson, who played Winston Zeddemore in the original 1984 Ghostbusters, typified such thinking when he told the Telegraph in 2014 that the new version of the classic supernatural comedy, then just an apple in director Paul Feig’s eye, was a “bad idea”. “I love females. I hope that if they go that way at least they’ll be funny, and if they’re not funny at least hopefully it’ll be sexy.” Continue reading...

03 декабря 2016, 23:35

11 of the Biggest Box Office Flops of 2016

Though 2016 has seen some big box office hits, it's also seen its fair share of bombs. Here are 11 of the biggest movie flops of the year.

03 декабря 2016, 14:21

Amy Schumer set for title role in Barbie movie

Comedy star in late-stage talks to rewrite and then take lead in big-screen debut for Mattel’s iconic dollThe Barbie movie has unveiled what might appear to be an unlikely star. Amy Schumer, the standup comedian known for her frank discussions of casual sex and politics, and who found big-screen success with the bawdy comedy Trainwreck, is lined up for the lead in Mattel’s debut movie outing for its ambitiously proportioned plastic bestseller.The film, to be released in summer 2018, is an Enchanted-style mix of animation and live action which sees Schumer evicted from Barbieland for eccentricities. Continue reading...

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25 ноября 2016, 23:00

DON’T MISS TODAY’S Black Friday deals at Amazon. Plus, big savings in Amazon Fashion. For men an…

DON’T MISS TODAY’S Black Friday deals at Amazon. Plus, big savings in Amazon Fashion. For men and women. Plus, today only at Amazon: Save on Bestselling Toys from Mattel. And, also today only: Sennheiser HD 598 Cs Closed Back Headphone, $99.95 (60% off). Plus: Save on “Harry Potter” multi-film collections on Blu-Ray and DVD. And: […]