Technalink is a Women Owned 8(a) and 8(a) STARS II Certified Leading IT Services and Management Consulting Firm located in the DC Metropolitan area. We help clients succeed by ensuring their IT resources, Financial Management capabilities and Process Improvement initiatives are aligned with their core mission
ABOUT
SERVICES
   
MEDIA CENTER
CAREERS

Technalink News Room

PrevNext
How to Bounce Back After Getting Laid Off

Losing your job is hard. It dents your self-esteem; it’s tough on your bank account; and if you’re not smart about your next steps, it can derail your career. Aside from getting back on the horse and looking for a new job, what else should you do to get back on track? How do you maintain your self-confidence? Who should you talk to about the situation? And how should you frame the layoff to future employers? What the Experts Say Getting laid off is perhaps the most professionally traumatic experience you’ll ever have. “The old adage that it’s not about you is nonsense,” says John Lees, the UK-based career strategist and the author of How to Get a Job You Love. “It’s a rejection — the company is saying, ‘We don’t need you. We can manage without you.’ It feels person....
Companies Collect Competitive Intelligence, but Don’t Use It

The first requirement for being competitive is to know what others in your space are offering or plan to offer so you can judge the unique value proposition of your moves. This is just common sense. The second requirement is to anticipate response to your competitive moves so that they are not derailed by unexpected reactions. That’s just common sense, too. The third requirement is to ask the question: Do we have common sense? In my work in competitive intelligence I have met many managers and executives who made major decisions involving billions of dollars of commitments with only scant attention to the likely reaction of competitors, the effect of potential disruptors, new approaches offered by startups and the impact of long-term industry trends. Ironically, they spent considerable time deliberating potential customers’....
7 Ways to Improve Employee Development Programs

Making the right investments in learning and development programs has never been more important – or more of a challenge – for business leaders. Unfortunately, despite spending approximately $164.2 billion dollars on learning and development programs, many executives still grapple with how to improve and enhance their effectiveness. As research shows, the need to revamp and improve learning programs is an important concern among HR executives. To better understand this problem, my consulting firm did a thorough review of recent research into learning and development programs, followed by a structured survey with top training executives at 16 major corporations in a diverse set of industries, ranging in size from $1 billion to $55 billion in annual revenues. To understand how providers of training and development view these ch....
What You Miss When You Take Notes on Your Laptop

HBR STAFF Even in my relatively short foray into office life, I notice that few people bring a pen and notebook to meetings. I’ve been told that over the years, the spiral notebooks and pens once prevalent during weekly meetings have been replaced with laptops and slim, touch-screen tablets. I suppose it makes sense. In a demanding new age of technology, we are expected to send links, access online materials, and conduct virtual chats while a meeting is taking place. We want instant gratification, and sending things after the meeting when you’re back at your desk feels like too long to wait. It seems that digital note-taking is just more convenient. But is longhand dead? Should you be embarrassed bringing a pen and paper to your meetings? To answer these questions, I did a little digging and found that the answer is no, acco....
How I Brought Ashley Stewart Back from Bankruptcy

In 2013, Ashley Stewart was on the brink of bankruptcy — its second in a little over three years. Decades of operating losses and rampant turnover in both the employee base and ownership group had cemented a fearful culture. The fast-turning nature of the company’s inventory and the constant specter of insolvency undermined long-term investments and strategic planning. The company did not even have WiFi at its corporate headquarters — a dark, converted warehouse that time had forgotten. The nascent e-commerce effort, viewed suspiciously by most in the company, operated independently on an antiquated platform. I did not want the company to liquidate. I had been a member of the board since 2011 and loved the brand and everything it stood for. Ashley Stewart had been founded to provide plus-size fashion for wom....
What Email, IM, and the Phone Are Each Good For

A few weeks ago, I saw an email in my inbox from a member of my sales team. I realized an appropriate response would take more time than I had at that moment. So I skipped it, planning to return to it later. The email quickly got buried, and after a week went by, it was forwarded to me again, with a note: “Wanted to make sure you received this.” This time, I picked up the phone, and after a five-minute discussion, he got what he needed. We default to email to connect with people – to the tune of 122 business emails, on average, per person per day. And while email is great for recaps, updates, and other informational exchanges, there are many situations where it’s not the best form of communication. In fact, it can slow you down or muddle an important message, such as in the example above. As the person sendin....
Question What You “Know” About Strategy

Say you are competing in a fast-growing industry. How much do you care about profits versus market share? It’s a common rule of thumb that businesses should go for market share in fast-growing in­dustries. It’s conventional wisdom, though, not a law of physics; you don’t have to go for share. Whether to pursue profits or share is one of the questions posed in an ongoing tournament I conduct that uses computer simulation to test strategic decision-making among executives, students, and other management enthusiasts.  Over 700 people have entered pricing strategies in the tournament. A good strategy decision gets you what you want, so the tournament asks entrants what they want. That’s where the profits-versus-share question comes in: allocate 100 points between profits and market share as your goal. On ave....
6 Reasons Marketing Is Moving In-House

A new research report from the Society of Digital Agencies finds that in the past year there has been a dramatic spike in the number of companies who no longer work with outside marketing agencies — 27 percent, up from 13 percent in the previous year. This continues a trend The Association of National Advertisers first reported in 2013. But these companies aren’t getting rid of marketing – they’re just bringing it in-house. Mitch Joel, president of Mirum, recently has also noticed this movement of agency talent to the client side, calling it one of the most disruptive trends in the industry right now. SoDA describes this trend as “alarming” (and it is, if you work for an agency) but stops short of fully explaining why it’s happening. After interviewing several ad agency execut....
Obama’s Former “Body Man” on Being the Ultimate Assistant

At Duke University, Reggie Love played football and basketball, and after his 2005 graduation he tried out for two NFL teams, without success. He thought about joining an investment banking firm. Instead, in 2006 he took a job in the mail room of Senator Barack Obama, and a few months later became the presidential candidate’s “body man”—the staffer who awakens him each morning and travels at his side, procuring meals and providing support. After Obama won the 2008 election, Love spent three years as the president’s personal assistant before leaving to earn an MBA at the Wharton School. Earlier this year Love, now 33 and a vice president at RON Transatlantic Advisors, published a memoir—Power Forward: My Presidential Education—about the experience. Love told me how he made the most of a support ....
Jon Stewart, Superboss

This past February, when Jon Stewart announced his impending retirement from Comedy Central’s The Daily Show after sixteen years, the collective mourning began almost immediately. “I have this irrational feeling of sadness, bordering on hurt,” a commentator for Entertainment Weekly said. “I feel wounded. It’s not like a romantic break-up, per se—more like a childhood best friend announcing his family is moving away right before sixth-grade starts.” “Sixth grade” referring to, of course, the upcoming Presidential election. How would the nation possibly cope without Stewart around to skewer the candidates? “Jon Stewart, we need you in 2016,” pleaded a headline in the New Yorker. His departure, said the magazine, killed the “last hope for bringing some rationalit....
Create a Conversation, Not a Presentation

Nicholas Blechman When I worked as a consultant, I was perennially guilty of “the great unveil” in presentations—that tendency to want to save key findings for the last moment and then reveal them, expecting a satisfying moment of awe. My team and I would work tirelessly to drive to the right answer to an organization’s problem. We’d craft an intricate presentation, perfecting it right up until minutes or hours before a client meeting, and then we’d triumphantly enter the room with a thick stack of hard copy PowerPoint slides, often still warm from the printer. But no matter how perfect our presentation looked on the surface, we regularly came across major issues when we were in the room. These one-sided expositions frequently led to anemic conversations. And this hurt our effectiveness as a tea....
What the Auto Industry Can Learn from Cloud Computing

Transportation is one of the world’s largest industries. The five largest automotive companies in the world generate more than 750 billion euro in annual revenue. The names in the industry are global brands – BMW, Ford, Daimler. Yet despite its size and stature, it’s also an industry in the midst of transformation. Today, new transportation vendors like Uber, Lyft, Zipcar, and Grabtaxi are changing our relationship with cars. Few other industries with such a pervasive and tangible impact on each of our lives have gone through recent periods of similar upheaval. Information technology, however, is one of those industries. We all interact with computers on a near daily basis, and like cars today, the IT industry has been undergoing its own transformation over the past 15 years. Some of the same factors that have driven ....
Stop Trying to Please Everyone

Many of us are familiar with the concept of Getting to Yes, an iconic negotiation strategy developed by Harvard professor Roger Fisher and others. For many managers, however, the more difficult day-to-day challenge is “getting to no” which is what we call the process for agreeing on what not to do. “Getting to no” is a classic management issue because the vast majority of us tend to accept requests and assignments without first filtering them by what’s possible, what’s urgent, and what’s less of a priority. In an age when we are encouraged to be “team players” and responsive to colleagues, it may seem counter-intuitive or even selfish to encourage managers to say no more often, but that is exactly what many need to do. While saying yes to every assignment may initially please senior e....
Improve Your Writing to Improve Your Credibility

People jump to all kinds of conclusions about you when they read documents you have written. They decide, for instance, how smart, how creative, how well organized, how trustworthy, and how considerate you are. And once they have made up their minds, it is hard to get them to see you differently. Research in social psychology shows how sticky early impressions are. It takes serious work on the receiving end to undo them — work that your colleagues, customers, and partners may not have time (or feel motivated) to do. In my editorial career, I’ve met hundreds of writers. Sometimes I can see that the person has more to offer than the prose would suggest, and the disconnect leads me to judge, uncharitably, that he or she has not tried hard to write well or does not know how. All you can be is you, of course, and nobody is perfe....
Who Benefits from the Peer-to-Peer Economy?

Elizabeth Ann Berwick drove for Uber for eight weeks in 2014. She, and two others, then brought suit against the company. On June 16, the California Labor Commission ruled that she as a driver should have been classified as an employee – not an independent contractor – and that she was due over $4,000 in expenses and penalties. As expected, Uber filed its rebuttal on July 9, bolstered with written statements from more than 400 drivers supporting the company. Are Uber drivers being exploited or fairly compensated? Should governments, consumers, and voters support or suppress the movement towards increasingly freelance labor? It depends. The 150-year history of industrial capitalism has led the US (and others) to tie benefits and workplace rules to full-time employment. “Choose the full-time job with benefits!” pare....
Yes, Your Résumé Needs a Summary

How long will recruiters spend on your résumé before deciding to toss it in the recycle bin? Six seconds, says online job search site The Ladders. That’s about 20 to 30 words. So how do you write those first few lines of your resume—the summary section—to compel the recruiter to keep reading? How do you make sure you get the call—and not the toss? How do you make your summary memorable? Here’s a checklist: Tailor your summary to each job application. Highlight your areas of expertise most relevant to that position. Then focus on specific results you’ve achieved in those areas of expertise—how other organizations have improved because of you. Note the types of organizations and industries you’ve worked in. Include years of experience. Avoid generic terms such as results-driven, pr....
Customers Like Self-Service, Unless It Undermines Customer Support

Due to my inadvertent idiocy, I lobotomized my smartphone by accidentally deleting an essential function. After 20-plus minutes of laptop Googling, Binging and YouTubing for a quick fix, I gave up. Nothing helpful could be found. Two days and mounting frustrations later, I pop into a Sprint store and whine for support. It takes the (very helpful) sales associate four swipes and fifteen seconds to make my phone smart again. After thanking her, I asked how she did it. She quickly demonstrates. I tell her I couldn’t find that on the Internet. She eagerly explains that my search needed to include the words “wallpaper” and “widgets.” She was being serious, of course. This sort of self-help is all too common. Survey after customer research survey suggests that even customers happy with self-service become l....
How Social Movements Change Minds

Marketers tend to like big, bold actions that grab attention and spew off metrics. Yet all too often, we ignore the much more mundane work that comes before. To market a product or an idea, you have to change minds, and that takes time and a lot of careful work. That’s a lesson we’ve seen over and over in the social movements of the last century—although the outside observer may only notice the movement when the dominoes start falling, the people inside the movement worked tirelessly for months, years, or even decades, to change minds. The arc of history is long—the length of a career, rather than a marketing campaign. And yet despite the differences, there are several lessons that marketers can learn from successful social movements. First, successful movements start by attacking perceptions. For instance, at the....
Greece’s Problem Is More Complicated than Austerity

It is easy to see Greece as a clash between “austerity” and “progressive economics,” with the Germans (and Finns and Dutch, alongside various international public servants and economists) on one side, and Keynesians and progressives on the other as Paul Krugman’s recent CNN interview suggests. This has certainly been the picture painted by Syriza, the left-wing political party of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, and by many friends of Greece and progressive economists. The reality, though, is more complicated. To be sure, excessive austerity is bad macroeconomic policy. But the issue at stake isn’t just austerity.  The issue is that Greek “resistance”—not just Syriza’s, but also that of the previous government—takes the form of protecting rent-seekers. This is whe....
How to Think About the Future of Cars

The average American in prime working age drives more than 15 thousand miles a year. For these commuters, the thought of not owning a car is ludicrous. With hours each day spent in transit, it’s no surprise they often obsess over what type of car to own and what routes to work to take. But despite the prominence of today’s driving culture, disruption has planted its roots firmly in the transportation industry. Innovations in ride-sharing, car-sharing, and long-distance transportation are bringing us closer than ever to a world in which car ownership is a choice—not a requirement. The businesses attacking this massive market are quickly finding both a variety of customers and enormous access to funding. Companies like Uber and Grabtaxi have quickly become dominant. But even with the emergence o....
Why Cybersecurity Is So Difficult to Get Right

It seems like hardly a week goes by without news of a data breach at yet another company. And it seems more and more common for breaches to break records in the amount of information stolen. If you’re a company trying to secure your data, where do you start? What should you think about? To answer these questions, I talked to Marc van Zadelhoff, VP of IBM Security, about the current state of cybersecurity and the Ponemon Institute’s 2015 study of cybersecurity around the world, which IBM sponsored. HBR: Did the study find any new trends in cybersecurity? Marc van Zadelhoff: We have a large business dedicated to security and so we see even beyond the study, across thousands and thousands of customers that we monitor daily. One of the major things that we’ve seen over the last few years is how breaches are increasingly don....
B-Schools Aren’t Bothering to Produce HR Experts

A few decades ago, U.S. companies were making progress on the operations front, but now they seem to have lost their way—and business schools are in a position to help set them right again. Let me explain. In the 1980s, our organizations learned a great deal about how to improve productivity, quality, and costs from Japanese practices. Lean production, which includes a vastly expanded role for front-line workers in addressing problems, was brought to the United States by Toyota in its auto plants but has now spread to health care, professional services, and virtually every other industry. And in the 1990s, our companies began to learn more from innovations at home, particularly in the area of high-performance work systems. At their heart, such practices were about redefining the role of supervisor—from controlling dictator ....
Samsung Pay’s Older Technology Could Be an Advantage

The stakes are high in the mobile wallet market, projected to be over $140 billion by 2019. Most recently, Samsung has announced that it will roll out a payment system called Samsung Pay later this year and has already begun beta-testing it in Korea. Its foray into this industry comes on the heels of product entries by Google and Apple. But Samsung’s new mobile wallet strategy may be a sign that they are finally becoming a true leader and shedding their image as a fast follower. The irony is that they are embracing an older payment technology to pave the way for new growth, new visibility, and new strategic wiggle room. Apple was the first mover into mobile payment options with its Apple Pay, introduced to great fanfare in late 2014. Not to be outdone, Google countered with Android Pay, an improvement over the much-m....
Why I Write in PowerPoint

When writing business documents (aside from emails), most people turn to word-processing software. That’s not the only option. You can do everything — outlines, drafts, revisions, and even layouts, if you’d like — in PowerPoint or similar presentation programs. That’s what I’ve used to write my books, internal documents, sales collateral, and web copy, for several reasons: I can brainstorm with abandon. Because PowerPoint is so modular, it allows me to block out major themes (potential sections or chapters) and quickly see if I can generate ample ideas to support them. In early stages, each slide resembles a Pinterest board, with a simple but descriptive title, some rough text, and a few sketched or found images that clarify the concepts. If I can’t produce enough insights for a particular theme,....

TECHNALINK HIGHLIGHTS
  

In celebration of women role models in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), STEMconnectortm unveils in hard copy and online its inaugural 100 Women Leaders in STEM publicatin. The heroines included in 100 Women Leaders in STEM share stories about their commitment to serving as mentors and sponsors of those who are next in the stem jobs pipline.
           
Mclean, VA - Technalink, Inc. is excited to announce that Alka Dhillon, Founder & Chief Executive Officer has been selected as a winner for the 2012 BRAVA! Women Business Achievement Award Presented by SmartCEO.
    
Alka Dhillon, Founder and CEO, Technalink (McLean,VA) Recognized as one of the leading female CEOs in the Washington, DC, area, Ms. Dhillon is known for her irrepressible entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for giving back to the community.

© 2013 Technalink | 8201 Greensboro Drive, Suite 300, Mclean, VA 22102 | 703-883-1808 | Woman Owned (EDWOSB) | 8(a) | 8(a) STARS II | SDB | DUNS# 048120559 | GSA IT-70 Schedule
***