Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

10 Steps to Improve the Signal-to-Noise Ratio in Your Life
Jul28

10 Steps to Improve the Signal-to-Noise Ratio in Your Life

Did you ever stop to recognize that we are all bombarded with “noise,” be it in the form of sound or motion or the endless pressure of the workplace, robbing us of the time we need to collect our thoughts, take a deep breath, and perhaps even have the chance to innovate? Working with busy clients, I find the new normal to be one of near-constant interruption and a resultant inability to spend time in reflection – and real deep thinking. One executive, who was trained as an electrical engineer, put it simply: “The signal to noise ratio is unacceptable in today’s workplace.” Signal to noise is technically the ratio of the strength of any signal carrying information to that of the interference that is present while trying to discern that signal. While it is generally expressed in decibels, it has come to be used in any number of fields, including WiFi networks. There are a significant library of equations describing it. What my client referred to, however, was the ratio of useful information – the actual “signal” – we receive vs. the overload of “noise” that is endlessly transmitted our way. We effectively lose the “signal” due to the noise. Our workplace has been transfigured in a little over thirty years. In the late 1980s, an “in” box and “out” box sat on each desk and letters and reports were drafted by hand or on typewriters. Back then, a phone call could interrupt us, but it was not forced […]

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Don’t Overlook ‘The Great Resignation’ When Assessing Your Company’s Security
Jul28

Don’t Overlook ‘The Great Resignation’ When Assessing Your Company’s Security

As the world continues its return, many organizations could be in for a surprise. Millions of workers could soon leave their roles as part of “The Great Resignation.” Their reasons vary, and estimates indicate one-quarter to 40% of workers across seemingly every industry could shortly walk away from their roles. Such a worker exodus will have significant implications for hiring managers and staffing departments. But employee turnover also has severe consequences for organizational security if companies do not prepare. How should organizations begin? To start, organizations must evaluate their current security protocols. When entire teams reported to the office for work, an employee departure set in motion a formal process that included returning company property. Many companies have relaxed their processes regarding departing team members, with workers reporting for duty from remote locations. It is illogical, and organizations cannot afford such an indifferent approach to something meaningful. These businesses do not have a problem with their policies; they have an operations problem. Step one is to implement the correct policies and follow them. Once employees have left, they are less likely to return whatever proprietary information or devices they took with them. The best solution has nothing to do with security. Eliminating the security implications of “The Great Resignation” requires fixing the root cause. Organizations must make their people feel valued, so they are less likely to leave. It may be impossible to eliminate all resignations, but organizations shouldn’t start posting job openings, resigning themselves to the fact that some […]

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Why Companies Are Struggling With Becoming GDPR Compliant
Jul28

Why Companies Are Struggling With Becoming GDPR Compliant

If you have data about your European customers, employees, or suppliers, you need to become GDPR compliant. Or you could be at risk of being fined up to €20 million. This article will explain what GDPR is, why companies are struggling to comply, and how to become compliant. What is GDPR? GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a new law that came into effect on the 25th of May 2018. It’s the first update to European data protection laws since the 1990s and was brought in to change the way that businesses store data. The law is consistent across all 27 EU member states. After Brexit, data on UK citizens came under a new directive known as the UK GDPR. When compared with the U.S, Europe has very stringent data protection rules around how companies use the personal data of their citizens. Image source The standard of data protection set out by GDPR is high and it could require a significant investment to become compliant. There is a lot of information on GDPR, but it’s often full of legal jargon, making it confusing for the average business owner. Why are companies struggling with becoming GDPR compliant? The GDPR laws have been in place for over three years but many companies are still struggling to become GDPR compliant. After a year of the new laws, a Thomson Reuters report found that: 79% of organizations are failing to meet the GDPR’s requirements & 25% don’t consider themselves knowledgeable about the GDPR regulation. […]

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9 Ways to Cut Costs While Running a Business
Jul28

9 Ways to Cut Costs While Running a Business

Recent times haven’t been easy on entrepreneurs, especially those who are small business owners. Many companies have had to cut costs by downsizing their operations and letting some of their staff go to cope with the global economic changes. If keeping your revenue on par with previous years has been difficult for you, know that you’re not alone. Ways to Cut Costs While Running a Business According to payroll services provider OnPay, 32% of small businesses expected a decrease in revenue with the rise of the pandemic, compared with just 4% in 2019. Although the economy is still in the process of recovering, here are a few proven strategies to immediately cut down costs and make your business more profitable. Revise Your Yearly Budget Many business owners adapt ready-made budget plans or reuse their budget from the previous years when planning their present year budget. However, the true art of budgeting is to do thorough research and create a plan specific to your unique business needs. Every business builds itself differently, so what works for your competitors or similar businesses in your industry might not work for you. Besides, a lot can change on the market in a year (especially with a global pandemic), and you might discover that some of the items in your budget plan are no longer necessary or could be grouped together. Take a close look at the expenses you commit to in your yearly budgeting and adapt them to your current needs. This will help […]

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The ABCs of ESG
Jul28

The ABCs of ESG

Not long ago, I was talking to an attorney friend who works closely with a lot of startups. We were catching up on business when something I said prompted him to pause and ask me a question. “I keep hearing you, and others, say “ESG.” What is that?” It was a reminder that this niche world that I’ve spent eleven years in is going mainstream. But also that all of us who have spent time in this world speak another language, one filled with an alphabet soup of confusing acronyms: GRI, SASB, MSCI, SCRD, TCFD, SFDR, CDP, SDGs to name a few. What is ESG? It is an acronym for environmental, social and governance, and refers essentially to a framework for the environmental, social and ethical practices of a company. The term was most commonly used by the investment community to describe investors who made decisions not only looking at financial returns, but also factoring in ESG criteria. Use of the term has expanded as companies seek to set and operationalize goals in these areas, evaluate suppliers along these criteria, and consumer and employee interest in these topics is growing. The terms “Impact” and “Sustainable” are often used interchangeably with ESG. Why Does ESG Matter? If you are in a leadership position of a company, it matters tremendously. First, nearly 1 out of 4 investment dollars now has an ESG lens, meaning they will look at your ESG data as part of the investment. Second, companies with strong ESG track […]

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