The Importance Of Considering Company Culture When Hiring

Company Culture


A great employee can be worth their weight in gold and finding one can be somewhat akin to winning the lottery. The ideals around what makes a “great employee” however, are constantly changing. Whereas the ideal employee of yesteryear might have been one that kept their head down, did their job and had a certain skill set, the “great employees” of tomorrow are generally those that are flexible and adaptable and display great leadership potential.

The truth is, great employees of the past were probably not great employees for the reasons their bosses and managers might have thought. For instance, a great employee will work hard to be excellent at whatever you give them to do. If you only gave them one job for 30 years, they would most definitely be excellent at it, but they would be just as excellent if you gave them 30 different tasks in that same time period. A less stellar employee may have done an adequate job of doing the same thing for 30 years just because anyone tends to get good at something they do for a long time. That doesn’t mean they would have fared as well if their jobs had changed, however. The ability to perform tasks well is also not the only thing that makes a great employee.

Modern HR philosophies revolve around the idea that it is also important for an employee to fit in well with company culture. This is actually true if you have a healthy company culture. One “bad apple” can spoil a whole bunch, so if you have great company culture it is highly important to find employees whose work ethic and personal values are in alignment with your culture. The opposite is also true, however. If you have a less-than-stellar company culture, you might be surprised what a difference just a single employee can make.

While it is important to hire employees that fit in well with the company culture you want to have, it is also important to acknowledge when the culture you are asking an employee to work in is less than favorable. By giving support to employees trying hard to make a difference, you can help them become the “guiding light” of your business. If you don’t provide them the support they need, however, your “bad apples” are the ones that will be setting the pace.

from Louis DeTitto | Business


The Future of Soccer in America

Soccer Stadium

They say that the World Cup wakes up the national spirit. For Americans, this has been the case despite the country performing dismally in soccer. When Europe and South American teams roar, Americans have watched on the terraces.

However, that seems to be changing thanks to exciting footballing prospects. Notable footballing names such as Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, and Tim Howard played abroad. Christian Pulisic is a promising talent ready to explode into the national scene after starring for Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund.

The fortunes of soccer no longer depend on the World Cup frenzy. Soccer aficionados in America realize that the World Cup is an opportunity. In the 2018 FIFA World Cup, fans watched football at the highest level every day. International Champions Cup organizers slotted the event four days after the final whistle of the World Cup.

They brought in Europe’s finest teams to the event. UEFA Champions League winner Real Madrid and runners up Liverpool graced the occasion. Other global soccer brands such as Manchester United, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, and Manchester city lined up for the event, too.

The good news is that Americans consume global and local football. The Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which is home to Atlanta United, averages over 50, 000 fans every week. The MLS side started just four years ago. When the English Premier League giants renewed their grand rivalry at the Michigan Big House, over 100,000 fans turned up.

Major League Soccer is not comparable to Europe’s leading leagues. The ICC is also not the equivalent of the UEFA Champions League, but there are significant strides to show that soccer in America has a bright future.

Big teams no longer come to hunt for fan base; they also come to prepare for the regular season. Big stars come to train and compete against the best. The pre-season friendlies are played at the highest level. When a team slacks, it gets a hammering. Elite coaches such as Jose Mourinho are taking pre-season seriously. In return, they are giving fans a reason to turn up in large numbers.

Whether America qualifies for the World Cup or not, soccer is standing on firm ground. The league is attracting the best talents globally, not just the former stars in their twilight years.

from Louis DeTitto’s Sports Blog

Stadiums Are Getting Smarter



While baseball isn’t generally the most forward-thinking of America’s most popular sports, the MLB has taken some sweeping changes in the past few years to integrate more technology into their activities. It can be seen in everything from biometric check-ins at stadiums to assisting umpires with their judgments. But one thing that might not get much attention is how tech can improve the safety and security of a stadium. Boston’s Fenway Park could serve as one of the most important testbeds for innovations in safety.

Johnson Controls, a company focused on creating smart ready spaces, recently hosted a panel at Fenway Park, and security options played a major part in the discussion. Smart technology could serve as one of the great innovations in sports stadiums in the coming years, and perhaps the largest application of this technology comes in the form of safety systems. Life safety systems top the list of uses for smart technology, with security following close behind, and that’s supported by the numbers. 85% of businesses surveyed by Johnson Controls intend on implementing smart fire and life safety systems, while 72% have plans to integrate smart security systems in their facilities.

It should come as no surprise then that Fenway Park is working in close collaboration with Johnson Controls to revolutionize the technology in the stadium. And while the future of this relationship will likely constitute a number of practical life safety systems, the biggest focus seems to be on cybersecurity. With so much customer information passing through the stadium on any given day and with much of that data being digitized, the potential for security breaches is worrying.

Exactly what form these new security innovations might take are uncertain, but the Red Sox aren’t the only team getting on board with the revolution. The NFL’s New York Jets were one of the first major league teams to make changes to their policies – partnering with IdentoGO to create identity and biometrics policies that offer convenient new options to customers while also being cognizant of the security risks. A competitor to IdentoGO – Clear – recently signed a contract with Major League Baseball to implement similar systems into their stadiums. Where the next threat will come is uncertain, but the league seems to be taking abundant caution as they implement these new systems into their infrastructure.


from Louis DeTitto’s Sports Blog

Common Leadership Myths


Gone are the days when leadership was about nothing more than having superior tech knowledge and/or skills. In today’s world, a whole new approach is taken. Modern leaders are tasked with the ability to motivate and inspire those around them.

The world is full of distractions and noises like never before. An effective leader must be able to block them out to avoid misguiding those looking to them for direction. There are certain myths that leaders must be aware of and able to debunk. In doing so, they will forever guide those around them.

One myth is that there is a formula for successfully leading others. However, it takes more than a checklist to do so. In the past, the adage of “fake it till you make it,” was strongly believed. Now that adage is being questioned and dismissed as irrelevant. It is no longer enough to act like other leaders in the hopes this will make someone a leader as well. Doing so can lead to mistakes that result in weak leadership. A truly successful leader knows how to emulate others while still staying true to themselves.

Another commonly believed leadership myth is that showing vulnerability and fear is a weakness. Yet everyone experiences these feelings throughout life. To be an effective leader one must share their own. Guiding others requires one to show that they experience the same emotions their followers do. Failure to do so so can make a leader appear to know-it-all, something most people don’t like in their fellow man. The strongest leaders understand that sharing their vulnerabilities makes them more likable and easier to relate to. No one wants to take leadership from someone they feel doesn’t understand them.

The myth that leaders are always high-ranking is also false. Many of today’s leaders started life with nothing, yet worked their way up to an unprecedented level of success. Leadership is about the internal qualities one can make external. These qualities are not only possessed by those born into privilege. They are qualities anyone can display. It is these qualities that make a leader effective.

Exposing the truth about leadership myths is the first step to a brighter future. Anyone can be a leader if they embrace the necessary skills and knowledge to do so.

from Louis DeTitto | Business

How To Humanize Your Brand

Humanize Brand


The internet is awash with news stories about how millennials are abandoning brand loyalty, but recent examinations of business upheaval are suggesting another story lurking beneath the surface. Studies and surveys indicate that millennials simply have different standards for brands they will be loyal to. This generation is more inclined to follow a brand that shares its values, and that means that companies will have to take a different approach to branding to stay competitive. Here are some measures companies can take to build stronger relationships with their customers.

Social media personalities understand the strength of these platforms. The bite-sized posts that are the bread and butter of platforms like Twitter and Facebook allow them to project their unique personalities in bite-sized formats and some businesses are using this to their advantage. Wendy’s has recently garnered headlines due to its bizarre social media presence – one that draws from an irreverent sense of humor, pop culture cues, and a sometimes antagonistic relationship with their rivals. The reason that they’ve managed to succeed so well is that they’ve built a unique identity for themselves, and they understand that “humanizing” their brand doesn’t necessarily mean sanitizing it. By allowing their social media team to take the lead and let their personalities guide the ship, they’ve managed to create a unique identity that’s distinct and human, even if it isn’t all that warm and fuzzy. A similarly bizarre diatribe about millennial struggles on the Steak’Umms social media account created an identity that would have seemed anathema to public messaging just a few scant years ago but that resonated with their millennial audience.

But not all brands are trying to court controversy with their outreach, and they don’t need to. Most major brands have learned that they can connect with their customers by sharing memes, and while letting social media operators take the reins behind an otherwise faceless social media account can be a great way to build identity, it can be just as effective to put your team members front and center. Highlighting your staff directly and allowing them to talk about their personal experiences with your company can create a human face that connects the customer to the brand.

Just as important is making sure that customers are engaged with the company. Humans are social creatures, and being humanized requires building direct lines of communications between business and consumer. That’s why so many companies are engaging their customers on social media, whether that takes the form of photoshopping or captioning contests or involves providing special benefits to social media influencers who share their love of your company.

Humanizing a brand is important, and it’s clear to many that the battle for customer engagement will be waged on social media looking forward. Many companies will have to reframe themselves in new terms in the coming years – creating a model where they’re selling a culture, a lifestyle, or a philosophy rather than simply pitching a product or service.

from Louis DeTitto | Business

How Tech Is Helping Perfect MLB Swings

Baseball Swing

A fastball pitch in the major leagues can travel across the plate at upwards of 90 MPH. This means it takes roughly a mere 450 milliseconds to travel from the pitcher’s hand across the plate. Just the act of swinging a bat alone takes roughly 150 milliseconds. Simply connecting a bat to a ball in flight in the major leagues is considered to be one of the most difficult feats in all of sports, let alone making solid enough contact to send it soaring off in the opposite direction.

As if the time factor involved were not astounding enough, the physical mechanics of hitting a 2.86-inch ball with a stick that is no bigger than 2.61 inches around is a mind-boggling feat in and of itself. To then further hit it precisely enough to send it where you want it to go is simply beyond comprehension when you really understand what all is involved. But this is what technology is helping to make happen.

Technology is helping to perfect MLB swings in a variety of ways. Smart clothing can help analyze and assess the biomechanics of how a batter swings. By making minute changes in the way they swing, a batter can swing more efficiently to potentially reduce their swing time from 150 milliseconds to 125 milliseconds. The less time they take to swing, the more time they have to align the bat with the ball.

Neuroscience is also getting in on the action, with neurophysiologists studying how batter’s brains work when reacting to a pitch. Considering how many different types of pitches there are, a seasoned batter has mere fractions of a second to figure out how to hit a certain ball or even whether to swing at it or not. By essentially slowing down the thought process to understand how it works, a batter can potentially increase the speed at which they make a decision.

Technology is also helping players analyze their performance after the fact as well. This can help them better perfect future performance. Players of all sports have long watched game footage again and again to analyze their choices, but technology is providing greater detail than ever before. Artificial Intelligence is even able to analyze minute details like ball velocity, angles and even wind speed to suggest a better course of action in the future.

from Louis DeTitto’s Sports Blog

What Will The Future of Baseball Look Like?


Baseball isn’t the cultural touchstone it once was. Where the sport was once intrinsically tied into the public understanding of America’s values and personality, “America’s favorite pastime” has since become dwarfed by football in terms of popularity. Perhaps it’s that the slower pace of baseball hasn’t kept up with the attention spans of American fans or that the steroid scandal of the 1990s and 2000s did some serious damage. But that doesn’t mean that baseball is dead, and some forward thinkers are examining how the sport, which went largely unchanged for decades, could stay relevant in the next two decades.

The pace of the game is one of the most critical components of keeping it relevant to fans, but the careful line to walk is how the game can be streamlined in a way that doesn’t radically undermine the legacy of the sport. Commissioner Rob Manfred has prioritized pacing as a major component of his tenure. A clock for throwing a pitch – similar to the shot clock employed in basketball – seems like one of the most likely options for keeping the game relevant, but it’s not the only option on the table. Stripping down the number of visits that coaches take to the mound could also prevent the unnecessary downtime in any given game, as could the rules that allow for ties to propel baseball games into extra innings. Undoubtedly, if baseball wants to stay competitive, they’ll take cues from other popular sports to create a snappier experience for fans.

But safety will also become a likely concern. The steroid scandal signified a move towards aggressive performance at any cost, and while that’s in the rearview now, safety is still a point of contention in many American sports. All you have to do is look at the controversy around concussions in the NFL to see that Americans matter and Major League Baseball would be wise to take these concerns into consideration. This could involve simple fixes like safety netting to protect fans in the stadiums from getting hit by stray home runs, but that’s just scratching the surface of the possibilities. Simple solutions like helmets could protect players more effectively, but the future will likely see biometrics that tracks a players’ vitals throughout the course of the game.

Whatever happens, it’s likely that baseball’s future will be iterative rather than radical. It’s a sport in need of updating, but changing the game too much would run the risk of losing sight of what makes baseball unique in its own right.

from Louis DeTitto’s Sports Blog