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As 2013 comes to a close, SIM would like to wish its members and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of SIM Connect a look at the most accessed exclusive content articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume Jan. 8.


6 things managers should not talk about at work
By D. Albert Brannen
From Nov. 13: Managers have a special role for employers because they are legal agents. What they say, do and know can be attributed to their employer. Depending on the issue, employers can be strictly liable for the conduct of managers. Several laws come into play here, but there are certain things that managers should absolutely not talk about with employees or anyone else at work. This article lists six of these topics, but by no means is this an exhaustive list.
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Revamping the testing process for software applications
By Peter Balestrini
From June 5: In many IT-related industries, the development of more applications leads to additional testing, and often businesses find themselves struggling to develop and maintain their company's software. With a timeline that grows with every new feature and function, testing one's critical business software can be a challenge.
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Management lessons learned from HealthCare.gov launch
By Mike Wokasch
From Oct. 30:The embarrassing and problematic launch of HealthCare.gov is nothing short of incomprehensible in our well-established technology driven world of commerce. How could it be that the U.S. government could not put up a functioning website to support applications and enrollment for health insurance? If you are managing a small or large project, here are a few axioms that don't appear to have been taken into consideration when HealthCare.gov was constructed and launched. These lessons apply not only to launching new websites, but also to understanding how to manage large and small projects regardless of their complexity and regardless of the industry in which you work.
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5 ways to improve your LinkedIn profile
By Mark Kats
From Sept. 25: When it comes to social media best practices, there are multiple platforms — and countless strategies and tactics — to consider. But before we get into the more advanced tips and tricks, let's make sure we have a few important basics covered. Here are the five things you should check out and potentially update on your LinkedIn profile.
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How to crush departmental silos
By Deborah Wipf
From June 26: Have you ever been frustrated with another department at your company? Wondered why they just don't "get it"? Ever considered they might be feeling the same way about you? The phrase "departmental silos" refers to the lack of communication and understanding between departments that leads to inefficiencies, duplicate work and a decline in morale. Here are several ways to get rid of those silos and improve relationships.
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Compliance: Getting your staff to do what you want them to do
By Harry J. Friedman
From Oct. 16: How many hours a week do you spend being your staff's compliance cop? Whether you are responsible for one employee or 100, noncompliance is often a supervisor's biggest nightmare. You wear enough hats as it is. Want to get rid of the cop's hat? Let's start by looking at some basic issues. Why is it so difficult to get your staff to comply — to follow rules, to do what they are told to do, to conform with policy?
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101 bad business buzzwords — and why you should avoid them
By Joe Latta
From Nov. 6: Today’s marketing and proposal materials are littered with important-sounding words that have no real value. Seamless, top-notch, world-class, laser-focused, and best of breed. We've all been guilty of using terms like these in place of meaningful descriptors. Unfortunately, buzzwords can seriously weaken your persuasive messaging and give an impression of insecurity. In fact, a 2010 study by researchers at New York University and the University of Basel found that readers are significantly more likely to think your statements are untruthful when written with abstract language, rather than with concrete terms and phrasing. Not good.
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Meeting effectiveness: Do we need a meeting?
By C. Fredrick Crum
From April 17: Meetings are the most misused tool in a leader's communications toolkit. In most instances, meetings are used by executive leadership as a first response to most situations unnecessarily. X has just happened so we need to call a meeting, or we need to meet to talk about Y. If leaders took the time to peruse their communications toolkits they would discover they have a number of tools that would be much more effective than having a meeting.
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How powerful is your personal brand?
By C. Fredrick Crum
From May 8: As we hear of challenges from around the world and as markets shift, we can no longer rely on job security. Climbing up the corporate ladder in a singular firm is no longer the norm. In fact, looking into the crystal ball, we all may be self-employed private contractors working for, but not attached to, any particular firm or organization. Knowing these trends, there is only one realistic advantage that's certain to outshine the others: your personal brand.
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Meetings: Inviting the right people
By C. Fredrick Crum
From April 10: The same scenario occurs daily in every organization: Meetings are scheduled to discuss critical operations, and the wrong people are at the table. As with all premeeting planning, great thought must be taken to who should attend a meeting. Having the wrong people at the table not only wastes time, but it could have a disastrous impact on your organization. After the real purpose and clear goals of the meeting have been established, deciding who should attend the meeting is critical to the outcome.
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SIM Connect
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Ashley Whipple, Senior Content Editor, 469.420.2642  
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