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  • 24 Aug 2017

    Gyroscope Business Coaching: Narcissism; The New “It’s all about me generation”.

    The Effects of Social Media on Narcissism

    The Greek Methodological character Narcissus was handsome, self-involved and arrogant. He enjoyed spending all his time staring at his own reflection in a pool of water. Due to this behaviour, the Gods grew angry and turned him into a statue. However, after realising that they might have taken their anger too far, they turned him into a flower called “The Narcissus” (Lowrey, 2016).

    Social Media Platforms provide each individual with a podium to inevitably drive ego and self-celebration. This article endeavours to explore the effects of social networking, with specific reference to Facebook, on narcissistic behaviours.

    “Facebook and other social networks are mediums for narcissists to construct and maintain a carefully considered self-image” – Eliot Panek (Runkevicius, 2014).

    Based upon research completed by a team of psychologists at the Brunel University in London, a direct link was found between one’s Facebook posts and the underlying psychological meanings they possess (Osburn, 2015). The study divides Facebook posts into categories such as romance, worldly happenings, the publisher’s children and the accomplishments, meals, diet and fitness regime of the publisher         (Osburn, 2015). The latter is described as being narcissistic behaviour (Osburn, 2015) or otherwise known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) (Lowrey, 2016). Runkevicius concurs with Osburn’s views by stating that there exists a link between Facebook activity and the degree to which the publisher is socially disruptive and narcissistic (Runkevicius, 2014).

    In her article, published in Psychology Today, Catalina Toma discusses the characteristics of narcissism. Although it might be difficult to identify a narcissist due to their charming, animated and engaging manner (Toma, 2015), she describes this as someone:

    1. With a grandiose self-view;
    2. Who is pre-occupied with themselves;
    3. Who is fixated on their own accomplishments;
    4. With the inability to admit to personal flaws;
    5. Who spends excessive amounts of time talking about themselves (Toma, 2015).

    She furthers her definition by contextualizing that narcissism can be divided into two subdivisions. Firstly, exploitive (taking advantage of others) and secondly, entitlement (believing that they are the best)         (Toma, 2015). She explains that this behaviour is often driven by self-doubt and the lack of social acceptance (Toma, 2015). Furthering on the exploitive nature of the narcissist, she explains that they are duly uninterested in people other than themselves. They merely use others as a source of affection, affirmation and validation (Toma, 2015).

    In her article “Is Facebook Really a Playground for Narcissists”, Toma argues that all social networking, and specifically Facebook, acts as a haven for narcissistic behaviour (Toma, 2015). This is due to the fact that (by definition) Facebook invites a discussion of oneself, with the main aim of attracting “likes” and “comments”, irrespective of how insignificant the post might be (Toma, 2015). She continues that, based upon a study conducted at the University of Michigan, Elliot Panek found that narcissists spend more time on Facebook than non-narcissists due to the engagement of self-promotion and aiming to attract attention (Toma, 2015; Panek, 2013).

    Together with Panek, Toma, Mina Choi and Yioryos Nardis, conducted a study titled “When social media isn’t social: Friends’ responsiveness to narcissists on Facebook.  Personality and Individual Differences (2015)”, they found that narcissistic posts received less attention on Facebook compared to non-narcissistic posts. They came to the sub-conclusion that although the publisher’s friends recognised the post, they intentionally kept their distance by ignoring the publication (Toma, 2015).

    Concluding their research, Panek and her team argue that Facebook gives the narcissist a platform to self-promote, however, these posts alienate the Facebook audiences resulting in a lack of social validation (Toma, 2015). Are we then not dealing with an unstoppable cycle? Narcissists post to Facebook in search of social validation but (according to Toma) they never seem to find it, ultimately leading to more posts. Has this cycle built up too much momentum to rectify?

    In his article “How Narcissistic Are You?”, “Take a Look at Your Facebook Status”, Jan Johnston Osburn opposes Toma’s findings above. Based upon research conducted through the Brunel University in London, he argues that narcissistic posts got a greater amount of “likes” and “comments”, compared to non-narcissistic posts (Osburn, 2015). This gave the narcissist the attention and validation he/she was looking for (Osburn, 2015). He further identifies a trend which Toma does not discuss. He argues that even though these narcissistic posts received more attention in the form of “likes” and “comments”, friends merely reacted in support of the narcissist, while secretly disliking the egocentric posts (Osburn, 2015).

    Tom Lowery’s article as published on business2community.com, partially agrees with the arguments of Toma, Osburn and Runkevicius, however, he cautions Facebook users against the paradigm that Facebook or any other form of social media causes NPD (Lowery, 2016). He argues that although it is true that social media encourages self-promotion, NPD stems from self-esteem challenges on the part of the individual that is not “created” by social media (Lowrey, 2016). It is often grounded in something far more fundamental such as a fear of failure (Lowrey, 2016).

    According to a publication on Mayo Clinic, NPD can be assisted through various therapies. These include sessions with clinical phycologists and psychiatrists (Mayo Clinic, 2014). Even though the three main studies referenced to within this article accumulated different results, they agree that social networking with specific emphasis on Facebook is a haven desired by narcissists searching for social acceptance through self-promotion in order to maintain their “carefully considered self-image”.

    However, it is imperative to note that social media does not “create” NPD cases. It rather extends the reach of the narcissist.

     

    Kind Regards,

    The Gyroscope Executive Coaching Research & Development Team


  • 25 Jul 2017

    Butlers Point of Sale Logistics:The Sweet Taste of Growth in the South African Chocolate Retail Industry.

    The South African Chocolate Retail Industry, as a result of international inclinations, seems to be bulletproof. Although the industry is currently dominated by the larger role players, what impact does the individual’s search for a unique chocolate experience mean for the industry?

    “Chocolate is one of those products that is recession proof. The market is still growing at around 10% per year.” These are the words of Cathal Queally, brand manager of the South African based company, Chocolate Direct (IndustrySurvey, 2017). Given the current global financial climate one does not seem to find this kind of reaction in many retail industries worldwide, however, on closer inspection it seems that Queally’s description on the Chocolate Retail Industry to be “recession proof”, is more than reliable.

    The constant growth in retail figures owes thanks to a few key aspects, the first of which is the increasing awareness of chocolate’s health benefits (FranchiseHelp, 2017).

     

    Health Benefits

    Research over the past decade has proven that the presence of antioxidants found in darker chocolate (chocolate containing more than 60% cocoa) could prevent or delay the development of cardiac medical diseases. The famous medical doctor and television personality, Dr Oz, argues that “Dark chocolate keeps one looking and feeling younger as it helps control blood pressure, avoids wrinkles and keeps one’s skin younger and slimmer.” This medical breakthrough has caused increased sales of dark chocolate, which in turn has led to an increase in the demand to cacao (FranchiseHelp, 2017).

    Cocoa Demand

    According to the article published by Franchise Help, Chocolate Industry Analysis 2017 – Cost & Trends, the increased demand to cacao seems to be met with poor supply (2017). The reasons therefor are threefold:

    Firstly, 70% of total cocoa production originates from West African countries. Due to the politically unstable nature of these countries resulting in sporadic outbreaks of war, the international supply of cocoa seems to be subdued at times. Although the expansion of supply to different parts of the world seems imminent, the International Cocoa Organisation explains that it takes up to five years for a new cocoa plant to yield its first crop. This results in expansion of supply being a timely process (FranchiseHelp, 2017).

    Secondly, the supply of cocoa is under a great deal of stress due to global warming. The International Centre for Tropical Agriculture has issued a warning that, at the current rate of temperature increase, West African countries may experience an increase of average temperature of 2-degree Celsius by 2050. As argued in the article Future of the Chocolate Industry Looks Sticky, Barnato and Graham explains that the temperature in West African countries by 2050, might be too high for cocoa crops to grow, as trees could struggle to obtain enough water (Barnato and Graham, 2017).

    Finally, Barnato and Graham argue that due to the high level of child labour utilised within the harvesting of cocoa crops, delays are experienced in the supply of cocoa due to protest action based upon the ethical matter surrounding child labour. There are reportedly more than 2 million children working in the cocoa harvesting industry, 500 000 of which under “exploitative conditions” (Barnato and Graham, 2017).

    These reasons have led to global cocoa production decreasing from 4,3 million tonnes in 2013 to 4,1 million tonnes in 2016 (FranchiseHelp, 2017) (Barnato and Graham, 2016). This inevitably resulted in an increase in cocoa price and subsequently the price of chocolate to the end user. According to Franchise Help, consumers do not mind the increase in the price of chocolate as it is seen as an “affordable luxury” (FranchiseHelp, 2017), indirectly concurring on Queally’s views as set out above.

    Industry Growth

    The Global Chocolate Retail Industry grew by 13% between 2010 and 2015 hitting the $101 billion mark (Barbato and Graham, 2016) with the USA occupying the largest portion at $21,1 billion (FranchiseHelp, 2017). The reasons therefor are twofold:

    Firstly, over the past decade, Asian Pacific countries have shown a growing interest in chocolate (FranchiseHelp, 2017). As these countries get increasingly more accustomed to “western tastes”, their demand for chocolate has grown to such an extent that the impact thereof on global sales may increase with approximately 30% by 2020 (FranchiseHelp, 2017).

    Secondly, one has to consider the emergence of niche chocolatier chocolate stores who create unique and individualised products (FranchiseHelp, 2017). Alternatively known as Retail Chocolate Stores, these are defined as stores that retail exclusive chocolates to consumers who focus on premium and seasonal sweets (Watt, 2015). In her article Chocolate Retailers to Grow Through 2020, Watt argues that, although the majority of chocolate sales emerge from the grocery store sphere (22%), exclusive chocolate stores are experiencing growth due to the rise in individuals’ disposable income combined with their high demand for premium chocolate (2015). According to Watt, the international chocolate sensation Lindt showed to most growth under these circumstances (2015).

    South African Context?

    Parallel to the international market, the South African Chocolate Retail Industry, valued at R5,03 billion, is highly secure with Cadbury, Nestlé and Beacon controlling 85% of total sales (InsightSurvey, 2016). Considering that 50% thereof emerge from chocolate slabs, the leading South African brands are currently Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, Lunch Bar, PS and Chomp, as well as Nestlé’s Bar One and KitKat (InsightSurvey, 2016). According to the international snack manufacturer Mondelēz, South Africa will be responsible for 70% of the global chocolate growth by 2020 (InsightSurvey, 2016).

    Although these role players are currently occupying the local market, since 2014 South Africa saw a growing amount of private chocolatiers creating unique dark, vegan, spicy and fruity speciality chocolates. According to the SA Chocolate Industry Landscape Report as published by Insight Survey, it becomes apparent that niche chocolatiers are eroding the market share of big role players (2016). Kees Beyers argues in the report that this is due to the eradication of import duty on raw materials combined with the consumer’s association of small speciality chocolates with quality, good service and attention to detail (InightSurvey, 2016).

    Conclusion

    The South African Chocolate Retail Industry currently parallels the international horizon. Although there exist intercontinental factors that may cause an increase in the price of chocolate to the end user, the nature of the industry seems to accept this fate better than others. Through the course of this article, it had become apparent that the consumer is constantly searching for a unique chocolate experience. Even though this might have detrimental effects on the larger role players within the industry, it currently ensures a brighter future for the individual chocolatiers.

  • 27 Jun 2017

    Butlers Point of Sale Logistics: The Future of The Village Pharmacy.

    The pharmaceutical retail industry is still subdued after the global financial crisis, however the industry has introduced various methodologies endeavouring to rectify the situation at hand. Although the introduction of online pharmaceuticals and automated dispensers has brought about a marginal level of relief to the industry, it has led to severe consequences for the traditional community pharmacies.

    The Pharmaceutical Retail Industry (PRI) consists of businesses that retail prescription medications, patent drugs, cosmetics and toiletries. This industry is merely one subdivision of the overarching Retail Trade (RT) industry (Bankwest: 3).

    While the international consumption levels of pharmaceutical products have stabilised following the global financial crisis (GFC), there remains organic factors that are keeping the consumption of pharmaceuticals passive compared to the powerful upswing recorded between 2002 and 2007 (Bankwest: 3). According to statistics released by the World Bank, South Africa had an average yearly spending rate of $362 per capita on pharmaceutical and healthcare products, in said time period (data.worldbank.org).

    Following the GFC, families are struggling to manage and structure their salary expenditure in an everlasting attempt to afford the increasing costs of not only pharmaceutical products, but all additional living costs (Bankwest: 3). Based upon the annual 4,8% increase in the price of pharmaceuticals within South Africa (2016, health24.com), the average South African household can not afford to spend more than merely 1,9% of their total income on pharmaceutical and healthcare products (2013, StatsSa). As a result, this has caused a major setback to the South African pharmaceutical retail industry.

    In order for the PRI to attempt sustainable growth, the industry has introduced various different methodologies to bring down the price of pharmaceutical products to the end user. Although this might be advantageous to the end user, it may have detrimental consequences for the traditional community pharmacy. The first of these methodologies being the “online pharmacy’.

    Online pharmacy

    Seen as the next “big challenge”, parliamentary changes combined with higher demand from “convenience focussed” consumers, could potentially cause havoc to the traditional community pharmacies (Bankwest: 3). In Robert Whitaker’s article Buying pills on the net, he argues that the success behind the online pharmaceutical market resides within the aspect of convenience (Whitaker, 2009). He explains that purchasing medication online offers the client the opportunity to not only conduct their business from the comfort of their own home, but provides them with the opportunity to “shop around” for the cheapest available option (Whitaker, 2009). Mark Davison, opposes Whitaker’s views by arguing that the online pharmaceutical trade has major concerns, one of which being the outdated and substituted medications that are often sent to the end user as a result of the lack of reliable pharmacists’ input, support and advise (Davison, 2001: 426).

    Remote dispensing machines

    An alternative approach endeavouring to support growth within the pharmaceutical retail industry is born from the recent successful trials in remote dispensing machines (Fitzgerald: 9). These machines are used to describe automated dispensing systems that package and label prescription medications as well as cosmetics and toiletries, without an on-site pharmacist. In their journal article Can telepharmacy provide pharmacy services in the bush?, Nissen and Tett argue that although the same elements of convenience apply to these machines as to the online pharmacy, this method of attaining pharmaceutical products has its own set of challenges that requires further investigation. They claim that these machines place a barrier between the pharmacist and the patient that could potentially lead to fatal consequences (Nissen & Tett, 2003: 9). They explain in an example that a patient with alcohol on the breath will go unnoticed by the remote dispenser. This might cause fatal interactions between the alcohol and various medications such as sleeping tablets, tranquilisers and narcotics (Nissen & Tett, 2003: 9). Louise Slabbert, South African based doctor of dentistry, concurs on the views as set out by Nissen and Tett. Her principle concern with both the automated dispensing system and the online pharmacy is more focused on the effects of dispensing medication without the presence of a pharmacist that is familiar with the patient and his/her family’s medical background (Slabbert, 2017).

    Conclusion

    Although the PRI has taken some drastic measures to ensure sustainable growth, it seem that although these measures might be detrimental to the community pharmacies, the abovementioned systems are still far from acting as a replacement for the community pharmacy. But the question that still remains, is an ethical one. – Can the PRI afford to rid the bond of trust between pharmacist and patient?

  • 29 Mar 2017

    Aquila D’oro Coffee Roastery: Top Baristas Spill The Beans

    In a world gone coffee crazy, we are all in search of that perfect cup of coffee, but there’s no shame in having untrained pallet, sometimes we need a little help from the experts themselves.

    In true eat, pray, love fashion, our Group Marketing Division went in search of answers, how we too could recreate perfect cups of coffee to satisfy our growing coffee need. Here’s what we discovered.

    Rule the Roast

    The freshness of the beans you use has a major impact on the taste you’ll enjoy. Shawn Steiman of Coffea Consulting says beans are at their best three weeks after roasting.

    Coffee lovers need to pay close attention to “roasted on” dates and support smaller, artisan roasters that only roast to order.

    In search of freshness, it is better to buy from roasters who roast to order or roast in small volumes, In Supermarkets coffee can stand on the shelf for weeks or months compromising the freshness of the coffee, consumers should never assume coffee is fresh just because it comes from a retail outlet.

    Quick Tip: Fans of darker roasts should split large orders, as darker roasts oxidize quicker.

     

    Pure water

    Anson Goodge, head trainer at Ozone Coffee Roasters in London, believes that using filtered water or even bottled water opposed to conventional tap water influences the quality of the coffee significantly.

    Filtered water removes sediment and chlorine from water and also reduces the total hardness (TH) of the water which influences cup quality and bean extraction. Using conventional tap water you also run the risk of limescale build up which is harmful to your health and can also damage your machine.

    Expert coffee roasters, Jazmin & Christian Medrano of Brew Brew in Chicago, suggest heating filtered water between 90 °C to 121 °C for the perfect brew. This temperature allows for better diffusion during the percolating process and enhances the coffee flavour more effectively than cooler water. Beware of using water that exceeds 121 °C as this will bring out bitterness in the bean, which you don’t want.

     

     

    Refrigeration myth

    Contrary to what you may have heard, keeping your coffee grounds in the fridge or deep freeze is probably the worst thing you can do.

    Keeping coffee in a cold moist environment speeds up the aging process and draws in unfavourable smells into your coffee.

    Coffee should be kept in a cold dry, temperature-stable environment away from direct sunlight, in an opaque container preferably.

    Todd Goldsworthy, US Brewers Cup champion, says it’s important to keep your coffee airtight to prevent oxidation that will compromise bean quality.

    Quick Tip: Expert coffee roasters, Jazmin & Christian Medrano, store their beans in a “dark coloured ceramic or glass container” for ultimate freshness.

     

    Good Grind

    It’s important to only grind the beans you will be using right away, as pre-grinding leads to flavourless coffee when used at a later stage.

    Katie Cargiuilo, winner of the 2012 U.S Championship urges coffee lovers to buy whole beans and swears that Barista enthusiasts need to grind their own beans if they want to create and recreate perfect cups of coffee.

    Choose the correct grinder – stay away from blade grinders that burn grains and leave inconsistent grounds, as this influences the extraction process of the bean when brewed.

    Quick Tip: For a stronger coffee taste, don’t add more coffee, rather grind the beans finer to increase the surface area of the bean to release more flavour.

     

    Nice device

    Many people don’t know that different blends should be brewed in different ways to bring out the best flavour of the bean.

    • Mocha Java and Blue Mountain for example, because of their fruity undertones using a pour over machine with a metal filter is the most appropriate method for brewing.
    • Smooth, well-balanced blends are best suited for a Bean to Cup or Espresso machine.
    • Blends with a sweet undertone are a perfect match for a plunger.

    Expert pick: Katie Cargiuilo, winner of the 2012 U.S Championship, swears by Ceramic drippers for a homebrew single cup soloution. She mentioned that in her experience plastic drippers “underextract your coffee as it cools down” because plastic drippers are unable to effectively trap heat whilst brewing.

    Quick Tip: When using a drip machine, use metal filters, these filters allow small coffee particles and oils into your cup of coffee whilst percolating and create a fuller body coffee. For more distinct flavours, make use of paper filters that prevent the filtration of those coffee particles and oils. Brown paper filters are not recommended as they tend to give coffee an undesirable taste.

    Practice proportions

    Nat Fried, one of Canadas top Baristas says consistency is one of the most important elements in creating a great cup of coffee, you have to practice your proportions!

    Learn the correct coffee to water ratio and length of brew to re-create the perfect cup of coffee.

    Don’t over scoop, use accurate measuring tools such as a scale with a decimal point to ensure you are using the correct amount of coffee every time.

    Quick Tip: For Darker blends it is recommended that you start with a ratio of 1 rounded tablespoon (+- 12 grams) of coffee grounds per 180 to 240ml of water, you can gradually add 6 grams of coffee as you go, until you have reached your sweet spot.

    Another interesting tip for darker roasts, you can add a pinch of salt to your coffee grounds before brewing to get a strong taste without bitterness

     

    Spice it up

    Next time you make a cup of filter coffee, try this: Once you’ve added your coffee grounds into your machine sprinkle a generous amount of Cinnamon along with it and brew as per usual. It’s the quickest and simplest way to add a little extra flavour to your cup of coffee. You can also top your coffee up with grated chocolate and a few pinches of vanilla.

     

     

    Clean Machine

    After every brew, coffee oils collect in the machine. These oils need to be properly cleaned out as they will distort the flavour of the coffee you are making and give off a burnt taste, not to mention not cleaning your device regularly is unhygienic.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The perfect cup of coffee takes practice and diligence, but it’s totally worth it!

     “Coffee is really honest. Whatever you put into it, you will get out” – Nat Fried

     

    – The Aquila D’oro Research & Development Team

  • 22 Feb 2017

    Butlers Point of Sale Logistics: Change in Consumer Demand Shapes Online Shopping 2017

    Online shopping has taken the Global market by storm, with 53% of Global internet users having shopped online in 2016. Fierce competition has reshaped the industry and has created a more demanding consumer then ever before.

    We investigated exciting new developments in the online shopping world for 2017 and invite you to explore them with us!

     

    Online Shopping & The South African Consumer

    Efi Dahan, Regional Director for PayPal Africa mentioned that South African’s online consumer base is relatively low, compared to Global statistics, but expects online shoppers to triple within the next few years. Research has shown that 70% of South African consumers have already made use of online shopping.

     

    A Study conducted by Ipsos, revealed that:

    1. 88% of South African online consumers are price sensitive,
    2. 85% would shop online for faster delivery,
    3. 75% were concerned with safety online
    4. 71% expressed re-entering information made them reluctant online shoppers.

     

    Live messaging ChatBots

     

    Chances are you have already encountered automated Chatbots when placing an order online. Although a work in process, top marketers can’t stop talking about this new trend. Due to the popularity of instant messaging apps, Chatbots were developed to assist online shoppers with any queries they might have.hsetj

    With automated responses they are able to answer a variety of product related questions and resolve any problems faced while ordering online. Bots are also able to recommend products based on purchase history and preferences.

    Retailers noticed the need for an middle man between the online store and the end user and it is for this reason Bots were uniquely designed. Econsultancy indicates that 83% of online shoppers require assistance from a live person mid-way through placing an order and for new online shoppers, this figure reaches 90%. The Report also revealed that 51% of shoppers abandon their carts if they receive no assistance. The Bot is a way to combat this problem, they offer time-based invitations when checkouts are prolonged, send alert messages when payments bounce back and send subtle advertising messages in the form of personalized suggestions based on items added to cart.

    Bots have already shown tremendous success in their short lifespan, they have shown to increase online shopping conversation rates from 10-29% and live chat users spend on average 5-30% more than non-users.

    In 2017, we will also see more staff members involved with instant messaging on their online stores in the form of a virtual personal shoppers.

     

    Personal Touch

     

    Using big data and predictive analysis online shoppers can expect a whole new approach to shopping. The shopping experience will be one created solely in the client’s image using tailored content based on their preferences, demographic variables, purchase history and geographic area, thus cutting through the clutter of mass marketing.

     

     

    Video Content

     

    Product descriptions often leave much to be desired. In the digital age consumers are looking for something a bit more interesting to tell the product story. In 2017, we will see video content in conjunction with product pictures and short descriptions whilst shopping online. New Research shows video content can increase ‘add to cart’ conversion rates by 74% and increase customer engagement to up to 340%. Consumers want to experience the product they are purchasing as much as possible before making a commitment, video content is a fool proof way to do so!

     

    Affordable Shipping within 24 hours.

     

    Free-Shipping-PNG-File

    Due to online shopping being a highly competitive and expanding market, consumers have become more demanding. Free-shipping is now what consumers expect when placing orders, 44% of consumers abandon their carts if delivery is too expensive, 58% of consumers admit they would increase their spend if delivery was free. Adding further strain on the supply chain, consumers are now expecting shipping of their goods within 24 hours of making payment. A Temando study revealed that 80% of consumers demand same-day shipping and 61% would find shipping 3 hours after payment ideal. Online retailers need to explore ways to make shipping faster and cheaper and still maintain high profit margins in order to stay competitive.

     

    “Cyber” November

     

    The much celebrated commercial holiday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are slowly merging into one whole weekend of respectable discounts globally. In 2017, we will see a change in the industry, marking November has a month of promotions and low prices across product categories. Industry experts say this will allow small and medium businesses to capitalize on widespread consumer spend whilst preparing for the festive season. From a logistics standpoint this will be easier for retailers to manage and will also reduce overwhelming foot traffic in physical stores and prevent website crashes.

    Online shopping website on laptop screen with female hands typing

     

    Carefree checkout

     

    Consumers are looking for convenient checkout solutions.

    This means online stores must have one checkout page and make use of predictive entry tools to reduce the amount of time spent entering information whilst placing orders. Interestingly, studies show that 84% of online consumers are reluctant to proceed with orders if they are obligated to create an account on site or provide too much information.

     

    Selfie spend.

     

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    What an exciting time to be alive! BMO have partnered with MasterCard to deliver an innovative, out of the box payment solution. Using identity biometrics such as fingerprint scanning and facial recognition, consumers will be able to pay for online purchases by taking a “Seflie” as proof of identification. “Selfie Pay” is currently available in 12 European markets, namely the UK, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden

     

     

     

    Mega Mobile

     

    In 2017 we will see even greater adoption of mobile apps and services to assist shoppers in the buying process, Arish Ali, CEO of Skava reveals that the mobile share of global ecommerce is expected to grow by 70% in 2017.

    internet-main

    50% of South African online shoppers use a smartphone to make purchases,

    21% plan to use a mobile device for future purchases.

    42% of in-store consumers investigate products on their mobile devices before making a purchase instore.

    Late adopters of mobile payment solutions will transition to accommodate mobile-payers or risk tremendous loss in profits as mobile advertising will significantly surpass desktop use for shopping in 2017, according to Zenith’s Mobile Advertising survey.

     

    The market has become flooded with mobile payment offerings such as Apple Pay, Amazon Play, PayPal, Android pay and Samsung also has a payment solution. Experts say, when it comes to digital wallets and making payment customers expect more than convenience they want real value in the form of discounts and promotions, only once this has been achieved with digital wallets infiltrate the mass market

     

    Marketers need to find a way to make mobile shopping even more user friendly. Research indicates that because of smaller screens, shoppers have shorter attention spans when checking out, which is why 78% of mobile payments are abandoned. Online Retailers need to ensure their sites are 100% mobile friendly.

    We look forward to an innovative and rejuvenated shopping experience for all online consumers

     

     

    Please follow our CEO Johan Slabbert on LinkedIn here

    Please be so kind as to find us on Facebook here

    Please be so kind as to follow our Corporates In Christ: A God Centred Balance Sheet page here,

     

    Best Regards,

    The Butlers Point of Sale Logistics Research & Development Team

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  • 17 Oct 2016

    Butlers Point of Sale Logistics: Great Leadership is responsible for longer Client Retention.

    Great leadership is one of the most important building blocks of a strong client-supplier relationship and has a direct link to an organizations bottom line.  Current clients are always the bread and butter of any organization and those relationships need to amplified and nurtured in order for the organization to exist.  The Harvard Business Review illustrated the importance of customer retention by stating that a 5% increase in client retention will increase organizations profitability by 25 to 95%. improve-customer-retention-metrics

    Important Leadership traits to create long-term customer retention

    • The Business leader needs to have a strong connection with the brand to start with and aim for service excellence and consistency at all levels to create a trust relationship customers can rely on and keep coming back for.  Leaders who are hard on themselves create the perception of perfection that clients admire.
    • Management and leadership must understand the notion that happy staff members create a ripple effect and create happier, more loyal Customers / Distributors.  Research conducted by Zenger Folkman noticed in their findings the impact management has on employee work performance and in turn the company’s ultimate profitability.  They found that great leaders created strong employees who engage more with clients and communicate value in a tangible way, which lead to high client and distributor retention.

    Writer, Bill Hogg, stated that a disconnect between employees and leadership will create a negative customer experience and stunt customer and distributor retention. Weak leadership discourages employees from their best work, it decreases cross-functional communication and negativity affects the service quality, which all damage new or existing client relationships.

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    A study first conducted in 2008 still rings true, stating that employee fatigue is a result of poor leadership support and can harm employee/customer relationships. When employees are energized they perform better and pay closer attention to the client, creating an experience rather than a transaction.

    • Leadership must put their heart into their client relations; customers will do business where they sense sincerity and transparency.  If clients are able to see your company’s values and belief by the way you act and treat them you will cement a relationship. Talk is cheap.  Leaders who are able to provide a constant stream of information and status updates to their clients build the peace of mind needed to form a long lasting relationship.
    • Motivational and inspirational leadership leads to customer / Distributor retention, because employees are driven by positivity and therefore pour their heart and soul into their functions and pass on that good energy to everyone they interact with.

    Studies show that an unhappy customer will tell 7 to 10 of their friends if they dealt with someone who was impolite or rude to them.  Adding social media to the mix, most people have about 400 Facebook friends who will all read a post about poor service.  Research also shows that negative experiences create a clearer memory and last longer in the customer’s mind and this negative belief, driving negative behaviours.

    • Leadership impacts client retention by setting a clear path for their employees.  By providing your employee with a broader sense of your organization and the community you serve, it will change their perspective on how they should engage with clients.  Loyalty is created when employees are fully aware of their clients / Distributors wants and needs, and set expectations and capabilities early on in the conversation.screen-1
    • Great leaders create client retention by creating collaborative groups, where customer service involves a number of people who are all as helpful and as friendly as the next. This projects a desired image of your company and shows the client that their one positive experience wasn’t an isolated incident, but the way in which your company operates on an ongoing basis.  Another factor to consider and why customer service should be a group effort, is that 30% of consumers are concerned when their account is taken over by another unfamiliar individual and causes strain on the relationship.
    • Great leaders create memorable experiences and create excitement around their brands, which encourages clients to become “unpaid brand ambassadors”.  This includes being able to sort out problems quickly and with ease and surpassing a client’s expectations, by using good judgement.plumbing-customer-retention

     

    As research has stated, leadership in an organization sets the tone and the pace for the organization. The way leaders treat and manage their employees have a direct influence on how employees engage with their clients and how the customer views the organizations value proposition.

     

    Best Regards,

    The Butlers Point of Sale Logistics Research & Development Team

    bposs

     

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  • BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION

    • Butlers Point of Sale Logistics:The Sweet Taste of Growth in the South African Chocolate Retail Industry.

      The South African Chocolate Retail Industry, as a result of international inclinations, seems to be bulletproof. Although the industry is currently dominated by the larger role players, what impact does the individual’s search for a unique chocolate experience mean for the industry?

      “Chocolate is one of those products that is recession proof. The market is still growing at around 10% per year.” These are the words of Cathal Queally, brand manager of the South African based company, Chocolate Direct (IndustrySurvey, 2017). Given the current global financial climate one does not seem to find this kind of reaction in many retail industries worldwide, however, on closer inspection it seems that Queally’s description on the Chocolate Retail Industry to be “recession proof”, is more than reliable.

      The constant growth in retail figures owes thanks to a few key aspects, the first of which is the increasing awareness of chocolate’s health benefits (FranchiseHelp, 2017).

       

      Health Benefits

      Research over the past decade has proven that the presence of antioxidants found in darker chocolate (chocolate containing more than 60% cocoa) could prevent or delay the development of cardiac medical diseases. The famous medical doctor and television personality, Dr Oz, argues that “Dark chocolate keeps one looking and feeling younger as it helps control blood pressure, avoids wrinkles and keeps one’s skin younger and slimmer.” This medical breakthrough has caused increased sales of dark chocolate, which in turn has led to an increase in the demand to cacao (FranchiseHelp, 2017).

      Cocoa Demand

      According to the article published by Franchise Help, Chocolate Industry Analysis 2017 – Cost & Trends, the increased demand to cacao seems to be met with poor supply (2017). The reasons therefor are threefold:

      Firstly, 70% of total cocoa production originates from West African countries. Due to the politically unstable nature of these countries resulting in sporadic outbreaks of war, the international supply of cocoa seems to be subdued at times. Although the expansion of supply to different parts of the world seems imminent, the International Cocoa Organisation explains that it takes up to five years for a new cocoa plant to yield its first crop. This results in expansion of supply being a timely process (FranchiseHelp, 2017).

      Secondly, the supply of cocoa is under a great deal of stress due to global warming. The International Centre for Tropical Agriculture has issued a warning that, at the current rate of temperature increase, West African countries may experience an increase of average temperature of 2-degree Celsius by 2050. As argued in the article Future of the Chocolate Industry Looks Sticky, Barnato and Graham explains that the temperature in West African countries by 2050, might be too high for cocoa crops to grow, as trees could struggle to obtain enough water (Barnato and Graham, 2017).

      Finally, Barnato and Graham argue that due to the high level of child labour utilised within the harvesting of cocoa crops, delays are experienced in the supply of cocoa due to protest action based upon the ethical matter surrounding child labour. There are reportedly more than 2 million children working in the cocoa harvesting industry, 500 000 of which under “exploitative conditions” (Barnato and Graham, 2017).

      These reasons have led to global cocoa production decreasing from 4,3 million tonnes in 2013 to 4,1 million tonnes in 2016 (FranchiseHelp, 2017) (Barnato and Graham, 2016). This inevitably resulted in an increase in cocoa price and subsequently the price of chocolate to the end user. According to Franchise Help, consumers do not mind the increase in the price of chocolate as it is seen as an “affordable luxury” (FranchiseHelp, 2017), indirectly concurring on Queally’s views as set out above.

      Industry Growth

      The Global Chocolate Retail Industry grew by 13% between 2010 and 2015 hitting the $101 billion mark (Barbato and Graham, 2016) with the USA occupying the largest portion at $21,1 billion (FranchiseHelp, 2017). The reasons therefor are twofold:

      Firstly, over the past decade, Asian Pacific countries have shown a growing interest in chocolate (FranchiseHelp, 2017). As these countries get increasingly more accustomed to “western tastes”, their demand for chocolate has grown to such an extent that the impact thereof on global sales may increase with approximately 30% by 2020 (FranchiseHelp, 2017).

      Secondly, one has to consider the emergence of niche chocolatier chocolate stores who create unique and individualised products (FranchiseHelp, 2017). Alternatively known as Retail Chocolate Stores, these are defined as stores that retail exclusive chocolates to consumers who focus on premium and seasonal sweets (Watt, 2015). In her article Chocolate Retailers to Grow Through 2020, Watt argues that, although the majority of chocolate sales emerge from the grocery store sphere (22%), exclusive chocolate stores are experiencing growth due to the rise in individuals’ disposable income combined with their high demand for premium chocolate (2015). According to Watt, the international chocolate sensation Lindt showed to most growth under these circumstances (2015).

      South African Context?

      Parallel to the international market, the South African Chocolate Retail Industry, valued at R5,03 billion, is highly secure with Cadbury, Nestlé and Beacon controlling 85% of total sales (InsightSurvey, 2016). Considering that 50% thereof emerge from chocolate slabs, the leading South African brands are currently Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, Lunch Bar, PS and Chomp, as well as Nestlé’s Bar One and KitKat (InsightSurvey, 2016). According to the international snack manufacturer Mondelēz, South Africa will be responsible for 70% of the global chocolate growth by 2020 (InsightSurvey, 2016).

      Although these role players are currently occupying the local market, since 2014 South Africa saw a growing amount of private chocolatiers creating unique dark, vegan, spicy and fruity speciality chocolates. According to the SA Chocolate Industry Landscape Report as published by Insight Survey, it becomes apparent that niche chocolatiers are eroding the market share of big role players (2016). Kees Beyers argues in the report that this is due to the eradication of import duty on raw materials combined with the consumer’s association of small speciality chocolates with quality, good service and attention to detail (InightSurvey, 2016).

      Conclusion

      The South African Chocolate Retail Industry currently parallels the international horizon. Although there exist intercontinental factors that may cause an increase in the price of chocolate to the end user, the nature of the industry seems to accept this fate better than others. Through the course of this article, it had become apparent that the consumer is constantly searching for a unique chocolate experience. Even though this might have detrimental effects on the larger role players within the industry, it currently ensures a brighter future for the individual chocolatiers.

    • Aquila D’oro Coffee Roastery: Top Baristas Spill The Beans

      In a world gone coffee crazy, we are all in search of that perfect cup of coffee, but there’s no shame in having untrained pallet, sometimes we need a little help from the experts themselves.

      In true eat, pray, love fashion, our Group Marketing Division went in search of answers, how we too could recreate perfect cups of coffee to satisfy our growing coffee need. Here’s what we discovered.

      Rule the Roast

      The freshness of the beans you use has a major impact on the taste you’ll enjoy. Shawn Steiman of Coffea Consulting says beans are at their best three weeks after roasting.

      Coffee lovers need to pay close attention to “roasted on” dates and support smaller, artisan roasters that only roast to order.

      In search of freshness, it is better to buy from roasters who roast to order or roast in small volumes, In Supermarkets coffee can stand on the shelf for weeks or months compromising the freshness of the coffee, consumers should never assume coffee is fresh just because it comes from a retail outlet.

      Quick Tip: Fans of darker roasts should split large orders, as darker roasts oxidize quicker.

       

      Pure water

      Anson Goodge, head trainer at Ozone Coffee Roasters in London, believes that using filtered water or even bottled water opposed to conventional tap water influences the quality of the coffee significantly.

      Filtered water removes sediment and chlorine from water and also reduces the total hardness (TH) of the water which influences cup quality and bean extraction. Using conventional tap water you also run the risk of limescale build up which is harmful to your health and can also damage your machine.

      Expert coffee roasters, Jazmin & Christian Medrano of Brew Brew in Chicago, suggest heating filtered water between 90 °C to 121 °C for the perfect brew. This temperature allows for better diffusion during the percolating process and enhances the coffee flavour more effectively than cooler water. Beware of using water that exceeds 121 °C as this will bring out bitterness in the bean, which you don’t want.

       

       

      Refrigeration myth

      Contrary to what you may have heard, keeping your coffee grounds in the fridge or deep freeze is probably the worst thing you can do.

      Keeping coffee in a cold moist environment speeds up the aging process and draws in unfavourable smells into your coffee.

      Coffee should be kept in a cold dry, temperature-stable environment away from direct sunlight, in an opaque container preferably.

      Todd Goldsworthy, US Brewers Cup champion, says it’s important to keep your coffee airtight to prevent oxidation that will compromise bean quality.

      Quick Tip: Expert coffee roasters, Jazmin & Christian Medrano, store their beans in a “dark coloured ceramic or glass container” for ultimate freshness.

       

      Good Grind

      It’s important to only grind the beans you will be using right away, as pre-grinding leads to flavourless coffee when used at a later stage.

      Katie Cargiuilo, winner of the 2012 U.S Championship urges coffee lovers to buy whole beans and swears that Barista enthusiasts need to grind their own beans if they want to create and recreate perfect cups of coffee.

      Choose the correct grinder – stay away from blade grinders that burn grains and leave inconsistent grounds, as this influences the extraction process of the bean when brewed.

      Quick Tip: For a stronger coffee taste, don’t add more coffee, rather grind the beans finer to increase the surface area of the bean to release more flavour.

       

      Nice device

      Many people don’t know that different blends should be brewed in different ways to bring out the best flavour of the bean.

      • Mocha Java and Blue Mountain for example, because of their fruity undertones using a pour over machine with a metal filter is the most appropriate method for brewing.
      • Smooth, well-balanced blends are best suited for a Bean to Cup or Espresso machine.
      • Blends with a sweet undertone are a perfect match for a plunger.

      Expert pick: Katie Cargiuilo, winner of the 2012 U.S Championship, swears by Ceramic drippers for a homebrew single cup soloution. She mentioned that in her experience plastic drippers “underextract your coffee as it cools down” because plastic drippers are unable to effectively trap heat whilst brewing.

      Quick Tip: When using a drip machine, use metal filters, these filters allow small coffee particles and oils into your cup of coffee whilst percolating and create a fuller body coffee. For more distinct flavours, make use of paper filters that prevent the filtration of those coffee particles and oils. Brown paper filters are not recommended as they tend to give coffee an undesirable taste.

      Practice proportions

      Nat Fried, one of Canadas top Baristas says consistency is one of the most important elements in creating a great cup of coffee, you have to practice your proportions!

      Learn the correct coffee to water ratio and length of brew to re-create the perfect cup of coffee.

      Don’t over scoop, use accurate measuring tools such as a scale with a decimal point to ensure you are using the correct amount of coffee every time.

      Quick Tip: For Darker blends it is recommended that you start with a ratio of 1 rounded tablespoon (+- 12 grams) of coffee grounds per 180 to 240ml of water, you can gradually add 6 grams of coffee as you go, until you have reached your sweet spot.

      Another interesting tip for darker roasts, you can add a pinch of salt to your coffee grounds before brewing to get a strong taste without bitterness

       

      Spice it up

      Next time you make a cup of filter coffee, try this: Once you’ve added your coffee grounds into your machine sprinkle a generous amount of Cinnamon along with it and brew as per usual. It’s the quickest and simplest way to add a little extra flavour to your cup of coffee. You can also top your coffee up with grated chocolate and a few pinches of vanilla.

       

       

      Clean Machine

      After every brew, coffee oils collect in the machine. These oils need to be properly cleaned out as they will distort the flavour of the coffee you are making and give off a burnt taste, not to mention not cleaning your device regularly is unhygienic.

       

       

       

       

       

       

      The perfect cup of coffee takes practice and diligence, but it’s totally worth it!

       “Coffee is really honest. Whatever you put into it, you will get out” – Nat Fried

       

      – The Aquila D’oro Research & Development Team

    • Butlers Point of Sale Logistics: Change in Consumer Demand Shapes Online Shopping 2017

      Online shopping has taken the Global market by storm, with 53% of Global internet users having shopped online in 2016. Fierce competition has reshaped the industry and has created a more demanding consumer then ever before.

      We investigated exciting new developments in the online shopping world for 2017 and invite you to explore them with us!

       

      Online Shopping & The South African Consumer

      Efi Dahan, Regional Director for PayPal Africa mentioned that South African’s online consumer base is relatively low, compared to Global statistics, but expects online shoppers to triple within the next few years. Research has shown that 70% of South African consumers have already made use of online shopping.

       

      A Study conducted by Ipsos, revealed that:

      1. 88% of South African online consumers are price sensitive,
      2. 85% would shop online for faster delivery,
      3. 75% were concerned with safety online
      4. 71% expressed re-entering information made them reluctant online shoppers.

       

      Live messaging ChatBots

       

      Chances are you have already encountered automated Chatbots when placing an order online. Although a work in process, top marketers can’t stop talking about this new trend. Due to the popularity of instant messaging apps, Chatbots were developed to assist online shoppers with any queries they might have.hsetj

      With automated responses they are able to answer a variety of product related questions and resolve any problems faced while ordering online. Bots are also able to recommend products based on purchase history and preferences.

      Retailers noticed the need for an middle man between the online store and the end user and it is for this reason Bots were uniquely designed. Econsultancy indicates that 83% of online shoppers require assistance from a live person mid-way through placing an order and for new online shoppers, this figure reaches 90%. The Report also revealed that 51% of shoppers abandon their carts if they receive no assistance. The Bot is a way to combat this problem, they offer time-based invitations when checkouts are prolonged, send alert messages when payments bounce back and send subtle advertising messages in the form of personalized suggestions based on items added to cart.

      Bots have already shown tremendous success in their short lifespan, they have shown to increase online shopping conversation rates from 10-29% and live chat users spend on average 5-30% more than non-users.

      In 2017, we will also see more staff members involved with instant messaging on their online stores in the form of a virtual personal shoppers.

       

      Personal Touch

       

      Using big data and predictive analysis online shoppers can expect a whole new approach to shopping. The shopping experience will be one created solely in the client’s image using tailored content based on their preferences, demographic variables, purchase history and geographic area, thus cutting through the clutter of mass marketing.

       

       

      Video Content

       

      Product descriptions often leave much to be desired. In the digital age consumers are looking for something a bit more interesting to tell the product story. In 2017, we will see video content in conjunction with product pictures and short descriptions whilst shopping online. New Research shows video content can increase ‘add to cart’ conversion rates by 74% and increase customer engagement to up to 340%. Consumers want to experience the product they are purchasing as much as possible before making a commitment, video content is a fool proof way to do so!

       

      Affordable Shipping within 24 hours.

       

      Free-Shipping-PNG-File

      Due to online shopping being a highly competitive and expanding market, consumers have become more demanding. Free-shipping is now what consumers expect when placing orders, 44% of consumers abandon their carts if delivery is too expensive, 58% of consumers admit they would increase their spend if delivery was free. Adding further strain on the supply chain, consumers are now expecting shipping of their goods within 24 hours of making payment. A Temando study revealed that 80% of consumers demand same-day shipping and 61% would find shipping 3 hours after payment ideal. Online retailers need to explore ways to make shipping faster and cheaper and still maintain high profit margins in order to stay competitive.

       

      “Cyber” November

       

      The much celebrated commercial holiday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are slowly merging into one whole weekend of respectable discounts globally. In 2017, we will see a change in the industry, marking November has a month of promotions and low prices across product categories. Industry experts say this will allow small and medium businesses to capitalize on widespread consumer spend whilst preparing for the festive season. From a logistics standpoint this will be easier for retailers to manage and will also reduce overwhelming foot traffic in physical stores and prevent website crashes.

      Online shopping website on laptop screen with female hands typing

       

      Carefree checkout

       

      Consumers are looking for convenient checkout solutions.

      This means online stores must have one checkout page and make use of predictive entry tools to reduce the amount of time spent entering information whilst placing orders. Interestingly, studies show that 84% of online consumers are reluctant to proceed with orders if they are obligated to create an account on site or provide too much information.

       

      Selfie spend.

       

      egw

      What an exciting time to be alive! BMO have partnered with MasterCard to deliver an innovative, out of the box payment solution. Using identity biometrics such as fingerprint scanning and facial recognition, consumers will be able to pay for online purchases by taking a “Seflie” as proof of identification. “Selfie Pay” is currently available in 12 European markets, namely the UK, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden

       

       

       

      Mega Mobile

       

      In 2017 we will see even greater adoption of mobile apps and services to assist shoppers in the buying process, Arish Ali, CEO of Skava reveals that the mobile share of global ecommerce is expected to grow by 70% in 2017.

      internet-main

      50% of South African online shoppers use a smartphone to make purchases,

      21% plan to use a mobile device for future purchases.

      42% of in-store consumers investigate products on their mobile devices before making a purchase instore.

      Late adopters of mobile payment solutions will transition to accommodate mobile-payers or risk tremendous loss in profits as mobile advertising will significantly surpass desktop use for shopping in 2017, according to Zenith’s Mobile Advertising survey.

       

      The market has become flooded with mobile payment offerings such as Apple Pay, Amazon Play, PayPal, Android pay and Samsung also has a payment solution. Experts say, when it comes to digital wallets and making payment customers expect more than convenience they want real value in the form of discounts and promotions, only once this has been achieved with digital wallets infiltrate the mass market

       

      Marketers need to find a way to make mobile shopping even more user friendly. Research indicates that because of smaller screens, shoppers have shorter attention spans when checking out, which is why 78% of mobile payments are abandoned. Online Retailers need to ensure their sites are 100% mobile friendly.

      We look forward to an innovative and rejuvenated shopping experience for all online consumers

       

       

      Please follow our CEO Johan Slabbert on LinkedIn here

      Please be so kind as to find us on Facebook here

      Please be so kind as to follow our Corporates In Christ: A God Centred Balance Sheet page here,

       

      Best Regards,

      The Butlers Point of Sale Logistics Research & Development Team

      bposs

  • PERSONAL & SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT

    • Gyroscope Business Coaching: Narcissism; The New “It’s all about me generation”.

      The Effects of Social Media on Narcissism

      The Greek Methodological character Narcissus was handsome, self-involved and arrogant. He enjoyed spending all his time staring at his own reflection in a pool of water. Due to this behaviour, the Gods grew angry and turned him into a statue. However, after realising that they might have taken their anger too far, they turned him into a flower called “The Narcissus” (Lowrey, 2016).

      Social Media Platforms provide each individual with a podium to inevitably drive ego and self-celebration. This article endeavours to explore the effects of social networking, with specific reference to Facebook, on narcissistic behaviours.

      “Facebook and other social networks are mediums for narcissists to construct and maintain a carefully considered self-image” – Eliot Panek (Runkevicius, 2014).

      Based upon research completed by a team of psychologists at the Brunel University in London, a direct link was found between one’s Facebook posts and the underlying psychological meanings they possess (Osburn, 2015). The study divides Facebook posts into categories such as romance, worldly happenings, the publisher’s children and the accomplishments, meals, diet and fitness regime of the publisher         (Osburn, 2015). The latter is described as being narcissistic behaviour (Osburn, 2015) or otherwise known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) (Lowrey, 2016). Runkevicius concurs with Osburn’s views by stating that there exists a link between Facebook activity and the degree to which the publisher is socially disruptive and narcissistic (Runkevicius, 2014).

      In her article, published in Psychology Today, Catalina Toma discusses the characteristics of narcissism. Although it might be difficult to identify a narcissist due to their charming, animated and engaging manner (Toma, 2015), she describes this as someone:

      1. With a grandiose self-view;
      2. Who is pre-occupied with themselves;
      3. Who is fixated on their own accomplishments;
      4. With the inability to admit to personal flaws;
      5. Who spends excessive amounts of time talking about themselves (Toma, 2015).

      She furthers her definition by contextualizing that narcissism can be divided into two subdivisions. Firstly, exploitive (taking advantage of others) and secondly, entitlement (believing that they are the best)         (Toma, 2015). She explains that this behaviour is often driven by self-doubt and the lack of social acceptance (Toma, 2015). Furthering on the exploitive nature of the narcissist, she explains that they are duly uninterested in people other than themselves. They merely use others as a source of affection, affirmation and validation (Toma, 2015).

      In her article “Is Facebook Really a Playground for Narcissists”, Toma argues that all social networking, and specifically Facebook, acts as a haven for narcissistic behaviour (Toma, 2015). This is due to the fact that (by definition) Facebook invites a discussion of oneself, with the main aim of attracting “likes” and “comments”, irrespective of how insignificant the post might be (Toma, 2015). She continues that, based upon a study conducted at the University of Michigan, Elliot Panek found that narcissists spend more time on Facebook than non-narcissists due to the engagement of self-promotion and aiming to attract attention (Toma, 2015; Panek, 2013).

      Together with Panek, Toma, Mina Choi and Yioryos Nardis, conducted a study titled “When social media isn’t social: Friends’ responsiveness to narcissists on Facebook.  Personality and Individual Differences (2015)”, they found that narcissistic posts received less attention on Facebook compared to non-narcissistic posts. They came to the sub-conclusion that although the publisher’s friends recognised the post, they intentionally kept their distance by ignoring the publication (Toma, 2015).

      Concluding their research, Panek and her team argue that Facebook gives the narcissist a platform to self-promote, however, these posts alienate the Facebook audiences resulting in a lack of social validation (Toma, 2015). Are we then not dealing with an unstoppable cycle? Narcissists post to Facebook in search of social validation but (according to Toma) they never seem to find it, ultimately leading to more posts. Has this cycle built up too much momentum to rectify?

      In his article “How Narcissistic Are You?”, “Take a Look at Your Facebook Status”, Jan Johnston Osburn opposes Toma’s findings above. Based upon research conducted through the Brunel University in London, he argues that narcissistic posts got a greater amount of “likes” and “comments”, compared to non-narcissistic posts (Osburn, 2015). This gave the narcissist the attention and validation he/she was looking for (Osburn, 2015). He further identifies a trend which Toma does not discuss. He argues that even though these narcissistic posts received more attention in the form of “likes” and “comments”, friends merely reacted in support of the narcissist, while secretly disliking the egocentric posts (Osburn, 2015).

      Tom Lowery’s article as published on business2community.com, partially agrees with the arguments of Toma, Osburn and Runkevicius, however, he cautions Facebook users against the paradigm that Facebook or any other form of social media causes NPD (Lowery, 2016). He argues that although it is true that social media encourages self-promotion, NPD stems from self-esteem challenges on the part of the individual that is not “created” by social media (Lowrey, 2016). It is often grounded in something far more fundamental such as a fear of failure (Lowrey, 2016).

      According to a publication on Mayo Clinic, NPD can be assisted through various therapies. These include sessions with clinical phycologists and psychiatrists (Mayo Clinic, 2014). Even though the three main studies referenced to within this article accumulated different results, they agree that social networking with specific emphasis on Facebook is a haven desired by narcissists searching for social acceptance through self-promotion in order to maintain their “carefully considered self-image”.

      However, it is imperative to note that social media does not “create” NPD cases. It rather extends the reach of the narcissist.

       

      Kind Regards,

      The Gyroscope Executive Coaching Research & Development Team


    • Seeing is Believing? – Sien is Glo?

      As jy na die makro-kosmos kyk gebeur daar een van twee dinge met jou:  Of jy verloor heeltemal jou geloof omdat dit alles net te groot is of jy val op jou knieë neer en aanbid hierdie Asemrowende, Alomteenwoordige, Soewereine God en Vader.

      Ek dink besigheidsmense kan soms sukkel om in te koop in die evangelie, omdat hulle met baie tasbare en sigbare dinge besig is.  “Seeing is believing”  is baiekeer die motto.

      Thomas een van Jesus se dissipels het ook die probleem gehad.  Hy was aanvanklik nie by gewees toe Jesus aan Sy dissipels verskyn het nie.  Toe die dissipels vir hom sê dat Jesus aan hulle verskyn het, wou hy hulle nie glo nie.  In Johannes 20 vers 25(b) sê Thomas die volgende:  “As ek nie die merke van die spykers in Sy hande sien en my vinger in die merke van die spykers steek en my hand in sy sy steek nie, sal ek nooit glo nie”

      Ag dae later verskyn Jesus weer aan die dissipels en Hy sê toe vir Thomas in vers 27:  “Bring jou vinger hier en kyk na My hande; en bring jou hand  en steek hom in My sy; en moenie langer ongelowig wees nie, maar wees gelowig”

      Nou ons almal is baiekeer so, dat ons eers wil sien en dan wil glo – want dit is net baie makliker natuurlik.  Maar geloof werk nie so nie.

      In vers 28 sê Thomas:  “My Here en My God!” Vers 29  sê Jesus vir Thomas:  “Glo jy nou omdat jy My sien?  Gelukkig is die wat nie gesien het nie en tog glo”.

      Geloof, so sê die Hebreërskrywer vir ons in Hebr. 11:1 is:  “Om te glo is om seker te wees van die dinge wat ons hoop, om oortuig te wees van die dinge wat ons nie sien nie.”  Ek was vanoggend so 08h00 by News Cafe in Bloubergstrand.  Die mis was geweldig dik, soveel so dat ek die see en Tafelberg glad nie kon sien nie – maar ek het geweet dat die see en die berg daar is alhoewel ek dit nie kon sien nie.

      Baiekeer ook in besigheid is dit asof daar ‘n misbank oor ons sak as gevolg van omstandighede, dit gaan nie goed met besigheid nie, die geld kom nie in nie en ewe skielik wonder ons of God daar is, want ons ervaar dat Hy afwesig is.  Weet verseker Hy is daar,  die misbank van omstandighede het Hom vir jou vir ‘n wyle kom wegsteek.

      Mag julle hierdie week goeie besigheid doen – al gaan dit partykeer sleg weet Hy is daar, al sien julle Hom momenteel nie.  Die besigheidsmense met wie ek te doen kry is mense met geloof – want hulle moet meeste van die tyd besluite in geloof neem en glo dat hulle besluite gaan uitwerk.  Bly glo en bid en vertel vir andere van julle geloof en wat Hy vir julle in besigheid beteken.

    • Can it be that there is a reluctance amongst some business people to buy into the Gospel ?

      I have been in the ministry for 21 years and during this time I came across many people, whom most of them are in business of some sort.

      Like all of us, these incredible people with a calling in difficult and challenging circomstances, are all struggling with really deep and honest questions about God.   It is in these environments that I have learned a lot about faith and about God.

      Most of the transactions that takes place within this hostile environment, our economic playing field,  is done in faith, for the business person must believe in the product or the person with whom he does business with.

      This same principle is valid in the Gospel where you have to believe in the person named Jesus Christ . The product of this belief, are then usually God ‘s children. However, many people have problems and reservations with this product and start questioning the gospel.  People only buy into the Gospel when they start believing, but in the process of buying in, lies a challenge.

      I think the biggest challenge comes whether you believe there is a God or not. Some of us do acknowledge on a more intellectual level that there is a God. The question is,   Do we really believe in this truth ?

      In Louis Giglio ‘s book , ” Indescribable ” Henry Schaefer ( Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry and director of the Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry at the University of Georgia ) makes the following remark, “The significance and joy in my science comes in those occasional moments of discovering something new and saying to myself….

      So that ‘s how God did It”.

      Most of us that believe in the existence of a God, struggle with taking the next step towards believing in the Triune God, God the Father , God the Son and God the Holy Spirit ? It has been in this particular instance that many intellectual people struggle and loose the plot . They say, ” It is impossible,  It is already Difficult to believe in a God, and even more so when it is a Triune God . ”

      At this point in time, I would like to take the opportunity and refer you to the book of John, John 8:58. Here Jesus is explicit in His direction and gives the following interesting answer ,

      ” I assure you, before Abraham was born , I am all that I am. ” With these words   He confirms that He and the Father are one .
      I always go back to the creation and look from the macro – cosmos to the micro – cosmos . It helps me a lot, for when I compare myself to the macro cosmos , which include all the stars and planets and the milky way , it never seems to stop amazing me how incredible small I am against all that He created . How will I ever be able to understand this great , mind-blowing , magnificent God ?
      Do not be discourage for next time our conversation continues .

      Riaan

  • AGL GROUP OF COMPANIES

    gyroscopeThe Gyroscope Business Model uses the proven navigational properties of a gyroscope and translates them into business principles and measuring tools that will help you to optimize your business potential, create a stable internal climate and monitor threatening economic factors.

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    butlers cateringButlers Catering Supplies & Office Consumables is a service-driven company focusing on distribution, sourcing and delivery of products including freshly roasted filter coffee, cleaning materials, cutlery & crockery and daily office consumables. Our state of the art delivery network allows for an informative and convenient approach to customer satisfaction.

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    Butlers is a world-class company offering low cost and flexible warehousing and logistics solutions for all Point of Sale/Point of Purchase materials and Promotional Items.
    This company has taken service delivery, logistics, customer satisfaction and the art of high-tech distribution to a new level. The leadership of this company will take care of the accurate execution and timing of the kinetics relating to your positioning strategies, continuously building on your professional reputation of  “ delivering on time, every time”..

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    aquaAquila D'oro (Italian for Golden Eagle) filter coffee is roasted, ground, blended and packaged in our world-class manufacturing plant in Paarden Eiland and has become the preferred brand of the coffee connoisseur. Like the eagle, Aquila D'oro promises to be just as majestic, bold and smooth. Experience the freedom of the Golden Eagle.

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