Amanda Setili provides business intelligence from a small business owner who found a solution to the issue of finding workers during the pandemic. 

“Like many businesses, Dan & Whit’s General Store in Norwich, Vermont has been having a problem finding enough workers. Out of desperation, they came up with an out-of-the-box solution.

One longtime customer recalls the email she received from the store’s owner. It said, “You want to do yoga? Come into Dan and Whit’s. Breath. Grab a can of peas, put it on the shelf. Reach, stretch, bend down, breathe. Do it again.”

Yes, the store asked its best customers to work a shift or two.

Betsy Maislen is one of over a dozen customers hired in the past month, working part time. Many are retired. Some have other full-time jobs and young kids. None resemble traditional employees.

“We are able to pick our own hours,” explains Dianne Miller. “We’re able to decide how many hours we want to work, when we want to work, what we want to do. So it’s not really a job.”

Dan Fraser is the grandson of the original Dan; he now runs the store. He came up with the idea to ask customers if anyone would be willing to work six hours over the course of a week, broken down in any manner that fit their schedule.

“If everyone does that little piece,” he figured, “Then together those pieces add up to a full person or a couple people that will help us get us through this.”

At the end of her first shift, Maislen found a typed note from Fraser wrapped around her timecard: ‘Betsy – Thanks for coming in for training today. It’s wonderful to have you here joining the team. You’re a quick learner and easily mastered all the tasks. Great job with customers, too. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks, Dan.’”


Key points include:

  • Employee appreciation
  • Customer communication
  • Customer innovation


Read the full article, A General Store Asks Its Customers to Work, on LinkedIn.


In this evergreen and ever useful post from Christophe de Greift, he provides the key questions an executive should ask a data analyst to ensure they can deliver what is required. 

Voice recognition, interview robots, real-time movie recommendations, advanced data analytics are a part of our everyday lives and cannot be ignored by the 21st century manager. The potential benefits for the company are found along the chain of value, from purchases to after-sales, through talent management.

To reap these benefits, an organization must develop diverse capabilities in data management, analytics and planning for example. Each of those capabilities represents a challenge in itself, but I would like to address another major obstacle to adopting advanced analytics in this article: executive confidence in the outcome. Indeed, the most valuable algorithms such as ‘deep learning’ in artificial intelligence are also the least understood, generating a natural fear of misuse that an executive must overcome before being able to properly use those tools.

Hiring the best scientist is not enough to avoid going from artificial intelligence to artificial stupidity, since the knowledge and business judgment of the senior executive is essential in the decision-making process supported by data analysis.

I learned during my years of consulting that asking the right questions is complex but powerful… Therefore, I recommend a list of questions for the executive to ask throughout the decision-making process, from problem conceptualization to conclusion.


Key questions include:

  • How do we ensure random selection of data?
  • Using what criteria do we filter inconsistent or atypical data?
  • Why is the algorithm used the most suitable?


Read the full article, 10 Questions to Trust a Data Analyst, on



Are you failing to attract the talent you want at your company? Paul Millerd takes some time to analyze what does and doesn’t work on a company career page with examples taken from a review of 100 sites.

Why Stripe has the only good career page on the internet (okay maybe Costco too)

January 30th, 2021: Greetings from Taipei. It’s day 9 of our quarantine here in Taiwan. We were lucky enough to stay in Angie’s parents apartment so we’ve been able to walk in and out of different rooms to keep us occupied. Thank you to Arvind and Peter for becoming paid supporters of the newsletter and greetings to the 75 new subscribers, hitting the 3,500 subscriber mark.

This week’s picture features Angie’s rock painting creations, a hobby she picked up only a few months ago. Crazy!

#1 Stripe seems to be the only company that has put effort into their career page

This week I went through more than 100 career pages. It started because I have been writing about how our expectations of work have changed dramatically since I graduated in 2007. When I graduated careers pages were simply a listing of jobs available.

However, somewhere in the last 15 years things started to change. Companies started to market working at their companies and use language like “find your calling” or “do the most important work of your life.” AirBnB’s page tells people that they can “life their best life” at AirBnB.

This is a big shift and has led to a vicious cycle of increasing expectations and bolder language around what the company claims to offer. This is great except I’m not sure that most companies can guarantee that people will live their best life or do the most meaningful work of their careers. Most jobs, well, just aren’t all that exciting.

Someone suggested I walk through the Stripe site and explain why there site is so good. Here are five things they do:


Key points include:

  • Authenticity
  • User experience
  • Effective communication


Read the full article, The Career Page Crisis | #126, on



The scope of an internship or employee position can be difficult to define; fortunately, Robbie Kellman Baxter shares key tips that help clarify communication and identify requirements, ensuring expectations are understood.

The needs of a new subscription business change rapidly, especially early on.

Before organizations invest in technology infrastructure, they often serve subscribers in a more labor-intensive way. This is a good strategy for businesses to take as they work to refine product market fit and race to launch that first offering (minimum viable product) into the market.

Having an intern, or a contract (short-term) employee can be a cost-effective and flexible resource. And because of the global pandemic, there is a lot of talent available. Many talented people have been laid off and want to get into something new and growing. Students taking all their classes online have extra time available that would have gone to extracurriculars, sports and socializing. And many students are taking time off from college.

Even though the market for interns and contractors is huge and highly active, many executives seem unclear about how to optimize roles that work for both the organization and the individual workers.

I know this is a little bit of a departure from my usual newsletter content. But I hope many of you find it useful as you get creative in building out the talent for your team. And I also hope it is helpful for students and jobseekers who are open to roles that are less structured than the standard full-time employment.


Areas covered in this article include:

  • Intern vs Contractor
  • Payment Options
  • Negotiation and communication


Read the full article, How to Scope and Define an Internship, on LinkedIn.



Duygu Cibik shares an article that identifies the key factors that can help you find an efficient and effective customer success manager.

What is the right customer success manager (CSM) profile?

This is another question that CEOs and other executives raise often.

Clearly, desired CSM profile depends on your expectations from CSMs tied to CSM role definition. I’ve summarized my expectations in a previous post titled “What is Customer Success?” and I’ll cover the desired CSM skills and experience in line with those expectations.

  •     Consultative skills

To be able to provide advice to clients regarding the product, potential use cases that would benefit the clients and help clients optimize their business processes, CSM should act as a consultant partner to their clients. Because consultative skills is a broad term, I’ll try to divide it into specific components.

  •     Analytical skills and intellectual curiosity

For CSMs to be consultative, they need to possess strong analytical skills and be curious so they can quickly understand their client’s business model, the revenue and the industry dynamics. This would enable them to understand and position the most relevant use cases for those clients.

For example, consumer good clients use Sprinklr primarily for marketing, a retail bank may use it both for marketing and brand reputation management while an investment bank typically leverage Sprinklr to identify and manage potential risks to their brands.

Developing industry based playbooks help CSMs to gain this knowledge to a certain extend; that said if you have analytically skilled CSMs, you can put them in any client situation knowing that they’ll figure out how to deliver value to the client.


Additional points identified include:

  • Emotional intelligence
  • Client management skills
  • Domain knowledge
  • Project management skills
  • Commercial acumen


Read the full article, What is the right Customer Success Manager (CSM) profile?, on LinkedIn.



Ben Dattner co wrote this article for Harvard Business Review on the issue of building ethical AI for talent management. 

Artificial intelligence has disrupted every area of our lives — from the curated shopping experiences we’ve come to expect from companies like Amazon and Alibaba to the personalized recommendations that channels like YouTube and Netflix use to market their latest content. But, when it comes to the workplace, in many ways, AI is still in its infancy. This is particularly true when we consider the ways it is beginning to change talent management. To use a familiar analogy: AI at work is in the dial-up mode. The 5G WiFi phase has yet to arrive, but we have no doubt that it will.


Areas covered in this article include:

  • Training data sets
  • Efficient predictions on a candidate
  • Bias and creating homogeneity in organizations


Read the full article, Building Ethical AI for Talent Management, on the Harvard Business Review.