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Know Box Thinking – 3 Ways to Promote Idea Sharing in a Multigenerational Workforce

We hear it all the time. “I need someone to give me an outside the box idea.” Outside the Box Thinking is generally viewed as something groundbreaking. It is recognized by your peers or leader as a unique idea that will increase customer or employee satisfaction to new levels, and in return, generate more market share, revenue and profits.

Let’s put a different spin on this and look at it from a leadership perspective. We have four generations in the workplace that all have different characteristics and motivations. The Traditionalist values hard work and expects to pay his dues to move forward in the organization. On the other end of the demographic spectrum, The Generation Y team member tends to be technologically savvy, needs frequent feedback and expects constant momentum toward his or her career goals. Throw in the Baby Boomers and Generation Xers and you can see why leaders are often left scratching their heads on how to get the most from their team members.

What might happen if we replace the adage of “Outside The Box Thinking” with “Know Box Thinking?” Let’s remove the idea of the four walls around us and use some other techniques. Listed below are three ideas on how to get the most from the multigenerational workforce using Know Box Thinking.

Reverse Mentoring – Take advantage of the Gen Y’s technological aptitude and knowledge through mentoring. Gen Y team members can help a Boomer or Traditionalist learn to use new technology applications like LinkedIn or a software package. In return, the Gen Y team member spends quality time with someone who can share their insight and experience about working in the organization and the business world. This is a quick way to build team rapport and transfer knowledge about customers, marketing strategies and institutional knowledge that would otherwise take years for the Gen Y team member to master.

Intrapreneurship – This is a way for employees of all generations to work within a company in an entrepreneurial capacity, creating new products and ideas that will generate a positive return for the company. The best example is Apple Computer’s Macintosh team, who went back to the garage to develop a product that is now recognized as one of the finest in its class. Employees who are encouraged to be internal entrepreneurs feel they are part of an exciting small business or startup. They become more committed and engaged, and customers benefit.

Pod Work – What’s a pod you ask? Recently, I was in a continuing education program, and the instructor told us we were going to work in pods. Am I that out of touch that I didn’t know the definition of a pod? Well, I wasn’t the only one. In the most literal sense, pod work is grouping team members together in a specific location. However, it’s much more than that. Yes, pods focus on teamwork, but pods work in a way where the individuals are trained to judge themselves on what they should do in the best interests of the team. They connect the team members, partners and networks of each member to ensure they have strong ties to get the work done well. Pods focus on cooperation and learning. The members focus on positivity, and ensuring there are a basic core set of team member behaviors that can be employed consistently.

As a leader, how do you think this kind of thinking will be received? It recognizes the differences among the multigenerational workforce and takes advantage of the respective skill sets of each group. Employees become engaged and feel they are setting their own course all the while engaging their colleagues along the way.

Yes, there are other tools that can be part of your “Know Box Thinking” approach. These three will get you headed in the right direction. You are going to be more successful in recruiting and retaining the best talent with Know Box Thinking. Don’t be surprised when increased productivity and improved financial results follow. Just do one thing! Don’t confuse Know Box Thinking with No Box Thinking. Don’t settle. The best leaders enable and encourage people to set their own dates and deliverables through a balance of independent and interdependent thinking. Isn’t this what all employees from all generations want from the leadership team?

Small Business Marketing – 3 Simple Promotion Ideas

A major hurdle for any new small business is attracting new customers. Getting the word out about your new product or service can be expensive, but there are some inexpensive methods that will have people finding your business in no time.

Get listed in the Local Search Engine Directories

Most people use the internet these days to search for businesses, including local businesses that they want to patron. Even if your target market is over 50, old and young alike are using the internet more and more to gather information on a business, before they visit or call. If you do not have a presence on the web, than you are missing out on a large number of potential customers.

A great way to be found quickly on the internet is to get listed on the Local directories for the various search engines. If someone is looking for a plumber in their town, they will generally do a search for town name plumber; for example, Philadelphia plumber, or plumber in Philadelphia. For that search, the search engines will display at the top of the page, a map of area plumbers and a corresponding list of these plumbers with links to their websites if supplied. If you list your business with the local directories on Google, Yahoo, and Bing, you will get listed on this map. Many people will choose one of the businesses from this map, especially if you have it linked to your website.

EzineArticles – Article Marketing

To further take advantage of your internet presence, you can submit informative articles to online article directories, such as and These article directories and others allow their articles to be reprinted, as long as they are kept intact. So if you write an interesting article on your area of expertise, with a link back to your website, this could be reprinted all over the internet. The more links you have back to your website, the higher it will rank in the search engines, and the more people will be able to find your business.

Rent Space on a Billboard

With the wide variety of marketing options available today, some forms of advertising have become cheaper. Renting space on a billboard is not extremely expensive, depending upon location, and can be used to increase awareness of your business. With a little creativity, a billboard can create interest and intrigue for your business. Provide little teasers about your product or service along with either your web address or phone number. People will visit your website just to see what you are all about.

So What Next?

Get the Most Out of a Giveaway Secret Product Promotion

Traffic and List building go hand in hand and to get the best results with sign-ups, sales and website visitors in the shortest time is a big goal for many marketers and that is why they are using JV giveaway events as an effective stating place. There are many ways to speed up your web presence. To name just the most popular ones:

- Social networking sites

- Blogging

- Article writing and spreading them widely

- Video and Audio marketing

- Pay per click ads

- Ezine ads and press releases

- Newsletters

- and more…

From my own personal results, I can say that no one of the mentioned methods are so effective as the giveaway events itself, which are usually offered by senior and well established marketers for a defined and limited time only. There is always a free and paid option for contributors and members.

Free is okay for checking out but it is much too hard work to promote the event until you get enough referral points to upload your product. You need to spend some money here therefore, but my personal results show that you can easily improve your list by 200 to 400 or even more new subscribers if your giveaway product is in demand and professionally offered through your squeeze page. Depending on the cost of the event, you will come out with a price in a range of $ 0.50 (50 cents) to $ 0.10 (10 cents) per new subscriber.

This seems eventually expensive at the first impression. However imagine the selling potential you get once all these new subscribers are on your list and start getting your further eCourses, special offers, newsletters and promotions. You can gently build up your positive relationship and profit for a long time from the links you have placed inside your mails for own or affiliate products. Therefore you will have recovered your investment in a giveaway within a short time only.

Once you have signed up to a first class giveaway event, you need to make full use of the whole promotion machinery on your own, using all the above mentioned tools plus whatever you think will create additional traffic for the site and finally to your product. That means you need to be prepared and have a plan how to proceed from the first day the event runs. Do not slow down; work on your traffic every day as long as the giveaway event runs.

Here are some ideas:

- Draw a Mind Map and write down all your tools you can actively use

- Create several short promotional texts to use on Social Networking Sites

- Write 3-5 different articles you can use for your Blog and Article Directories

- Save all your effort and promotion power to start the different campaigns on the opening day

- Prepare 3 Broadcasts to your list which you spread over the running time of the event

- Use all the tools your giveaway partner offers to promote the event

- Check what works and intensify these promotions for still better results

I think you get the picture. Most important is to be well prepared in advance and to remain under high tension during the whole giveaway event. Check your results from the tools you have implemented and reinforce or refine them. You need to have some tracking in place in order to know which promotions work best for you.

Also very important: stay in close contact with the organizers of the giveaway event. They themselves have an interest in high traffic and sign-up rates. They will gladly assist you with more inside information, tips and tricks or even help you to set up everything if you are new to this kind of online marketing.


If you are new to giveaway events, you first want to start with a free sign-up to learn and check out. You also want to learn more about the mechanism of such events by reading through the giveaway secrets eBooks and free information you can find online. Just do a small search and you will get plenty of links to check.

Once you are more familiar with the system, you should however pay the fee and upload 3-5 good and in demand products to see your subscriber list growing every day. Start promoting gently during the pre-launch phase and give full power with all your tools the day the event opens doors. Use the time between your sign up (as early as possible!) and prepare all your texts, ads, articles and email broadcasts. Write down a short action script what you want to do and promote every day. This is your sure-fire way to a secret giveaway success.

Take the chance and get it done. Good luck!