The Lead: Sunscreen Industry, 3D Printing, Vaccination Campaign

The Lead, AchieveForum’s weekly brief of leadership news and insights, provides quick clarity into relevant headlines and straight-forward analysis for applying effective leadership tools and techniques.

Sunscreen Industry Looks to Congress to Improve U.S. Sunscreens

The FDA hasn’t approved any new sunscreen filters since the late 1990s, but pending legislation geared at speeding approvals are underway as skin cancer rates are on the rise. A study conducted by dermatologist Dr. Steve Wang last year found that nearly half of U.S. sunscreens tested didn’t offer enough UVA protection to meet European Union standards. He advised that this won’t improve until the FDA approves new ingredients with more protection.

Our View: Best practices transcend companies, organizations, and countries, and they serve as industry benchmarks to create a frame of reference for comparison. The process of finding the most efficient way to complete a project or task to achieve the best outcome becomes simplified by studying your industry’s best practices. Further Reading

International 3D Printing Business

With a mission to accelerate adoption and development in 3D printing, the International Advanced Manufacturing 3DHUB has incubators and pilot lines to validate production at the industrial scale and is the first innovation hub in Europe devoted to 3D printing. Located in Terrassa, about 30km north of Barcelona, the IAM 3DHUB is spurring an accelerated international adoption of best practices for new technologies.

Our View: When people collaborate internationally, certain training principles that work cross-culturally can move from tacit knowledge to well documented lessons that can be used and retained. For example, learn to question your assumptions when working internationally. Surveys are excellent concrete tools to assess the starting point of your team prior to training so you don’t waste time with repeating basic information or plow too far ahead before people have mastered fundamental content. Further Reading

Vaccination Campaign to Combat Ebola Outbreak

An experimental Ebola vaccine is being issued in the Democratic Republic of Congo to avoid the spread of the deadly virus. While the World Health Organization has not yet called the situation a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, an emergency meeting was held to address the 21 confirmed Ebola patients. Nine countries neighboring the Democratic Republic of Congo have been supported with equipment and personnel as a critical precaution.

Our View: Risk mitigation needs a strong leader to demonstrate the gravity that prevention holds for superior consequences. A study of 300 C-suite executives found that individuals and companies that suffer the most during catastrophes did not seem to anticipate risks, especially those that could cross markets and borders. Leaders should build solid policies and procedures for predicting, evaluating, and managing risk by asking the right and often difficult questions. Seeking contrasting viewpoints to prompt dialogue that shakes the status quo can be challenging and uncomfortable, but organizations with leaders who consult with a wide array of diverse perspectives to assess risks do better in a crisis. Further Reading

New Features on Google My Business

You can now add a custom FAQ to your Google My Business (GMB) listing which can help promote your business and help you stay ahead of your competition. Many businesses are unaware of this feature which not only creates missed opportunities but also has the downside of having customer questions go unanswered by your business or answered by anyone who responds with potentially incorrect or unhelpful answers.

Our View: Erase your business’s blind spots by keeping up to date with relevant and current information. Melanie Herman, executive director at the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, shares, “I believe that the very best way to stay up to date is to read every day. I read a half dozen articles every day, several magazines weekly, and at least two books every month. I markup things that resonate with me, create separate documents with notes, and forward or share anything with ‘a-ha’ content.” Further Reading

The Science of Being Happy

Journalist Johann Hari interviewed over 200 social scientists and psychologists to study what creates unhappiness and determine ways for people to live happier lives. The findings showed that connection is a key ingredient for living a happier life. For enduring happiness find ways to connect with friends, family, coworkers, your intrinsic values, and the great outdoors.

Our View: Dr. Stacy Blackburn, a family physician at Mayo Clinic Health System, says “research has shown you have control over your happiness. It all relates back to your personality and also your thoughts and behaviors, which can be changed.” Like developing any other skill, achieving happiness takes practice. Your choices, thoughts, and actions all impact your level of happiness, so cultivate optimism regularly. Further Reading

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