Collaborate, communicate and click in 2014. A call from chiefs: Push beyond your office. Reach for new connections that are local and long distance. Starter tips:
• Meet the geeks. “Collaborate with technology companies both here and abroad to gain an advantage,” Dave Johnson, CEO of biomedical firm Alliqua, told IBD.
Example: His wound dressing company recently partnered with Germany-based Sorbion to exclusively distribute that firm’s wound care products, such as high-tech dressings that prevent infection, throughout the Americas.
• Choreograph the curb. “Like it or not, we are seeing the greatest regulatory oversight in a generation,” Johnson said. “We in the medical device marketplace deal with this daily.”
Insightful chiefs might fight against controls. But keep a smart mind, Johnson teaches. How can you navigate guidelines to maintain growth? Introduce yourself to the leaders in controlling agencies and learn as much as you can about how they do things and what they want to achieve. “It will let you form a new strategy for doing business most effectively in this new environment,” Johnson said.
• Link with a city. Working with local governments can be a great tool for firms on a budget that need to hire workers. “With the right strategy and the right investment, you will find there are some outstanding tax incentive programs that could substantially increase your bottom line,” Johnson said. “Very often, however, companies are not even aware they exist.”
• Learn Mandarin Chinese. Or try Spanish. These two languages are tops for professionals looking to dive into international business or boost a global brand. Portuguese, Russian and Hindi are also winners for workers who want to rise. “Eager young business professionals who did not come out of their high school or college truly conversational in a foreign language will find themselves at a disadvantage,” said Ryan McMunn, CEO of BRIC Language Systems, a Web-based language-instruction program.
• Charge. Ready to catch up? Carve out time for basics. Bonus: “A 10% to 15% pay increase is in store for those who speak a foreign language in 2014,” said McMunn.
• Join in. Solo efforts are vital for proving your can-do. But if you get the chance to work on a creative team or pair with another department, chase it in 2014.
“Contemporary technology tools allow each individual to do so much: Write an essay, a song or a rhyme, and it can be read or heard around the world,” said Peter Ross, president of the media and entertainment hub Manhattan Center.
“But there is an element that is just as vital to the creative process, and indeed to all business: namely, collaboration. The exercise of working with others more often produces the better results.”
• Think by design. “There will be a heightened appreciation for quality: quality of work, quality of performance, quality of life,” said Ross. “There will be less regard for that which lacks art and substance.”
• Mesh. Small and midsize firms with expiring patents and new breakthroughs will be looking to bond with larger companies that have new capital. “We will see many partnering and merger and acquisition transactions in 2014,” said Anthony Giovinazzo, CEO of Cynapsus, a pharmaceutical company developing a rescue therapy for motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
• Speak your spirit. Workers are ready to discuss topics they might have avoided, Ross said: “I anticipate more people seeking and giving expression to matters of universal human values and those also of the divine.”
Follow Ryan McMunn on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BRICLanguages