Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Add art to your work - Linchpin series part 4

"Mother of Pearl Artist Ahmet Sezen" by Christian Senger

This is the fourth part of a five part series inspired by Seth Godin's book Linchpin. Make sure you read the first part giving an overview of the 4 tips to build a linchpin team.

"True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist." -- Albert Einstein

There are a lot of factories out there - maybe more than you know. Seth Godin defines a factory as “a place where people go to do what they are told and earn a paycheck.” It is hard to excel in this ‘factory’ and virtually impossible to find the passion needed to become an artist. To become an artist, you need the autonomy to create something new and take on the status quo. To build a team of artists, you must help people cultivate what they are passionate about or even guide them to something they can become passionate about.

Click here to read more on becoming passionate about your work.

Monday, April 14, 2014

iPads vs. chromebooks in a 1:1 environment

"The future of books" by Johan Larsson

Many schools are looking into 1:1 programs and the specific devices that can make up the foundation of these programs. Having access to a personal Chromebook as well, I would like to share my experience as a student in a high school that is beginning a 1:1 program with iPads.

I am acutely aware of many of the curriculum changes that these programs require. The school that I attend chose iPads for their 1:1 program and over the past several months they have performed to expectations. Teachers have begun to utilize them in many classes while constantly combating the inevitable distraction that iPads games provide to some students. (If you were given the choice of participating in class or playing games, you would probably end up playing games in class once and a while too.)

Throughout the course of the year I have noticed many differences between Chromebooks and iPads in terms of usability and factors of physical form.

You can find out about these differences here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

5 things to know when purchasing chromebooks

Photo by Newmind intern Meghan Muffett

Every day, we need to make choices. Mini Wheats or Cheerios? A right turn or left? Whether at the grocery store or on the road, life presents us with opportunities - both small and large - to act as a decision-maker. With so many options available on the market today, choosing a computer probably creates a little bit more pressure than say, making the right cereal choice. Because of this, really the first decision to make is the decision to educate yourself on the wide range of products that are out there. Well, in this first of a two-part blog series, I’m going to try and help out with just that for those of you considering choosing Chromebooks as your perfect companion.

There’s no doubt that Chromebooks are awesome. The evidence speaks for itself. Whether it’s by saving time, money, increasing collaboration, etc., schools and businesses can really benefit in profound ways. That being said, it is important to do the proper research and make sure Chromebooks are able to do all that you need from a computer. Not only that, but making sure to purchase the most suitable kind (since there are many models) and preparing your school or business for deployment is key. When it comes to purchasing Chromebooks, here are 5 tips to keep in mind and better equip you for a seamless experience - the overarching motto being: begin with the end in mind.

Click here to find out the 5 tips...

Monday, April 7, 2014

Overcome Fear - Linchpin Series Part 3

Safe on land, Newminder Nicolas Yarosz demonstrates the proper way to enter Lake Michigan as fellow Newminder James Duke looks on.

This is the third part of a 5 part series inspired by Seth Godin's book Linchpin. Be sure to catch up and read the first post with an overview of the 4 aspects of a linchpin.

Hit the Beach

Most of you can probably relate to this scenario: It’s a Saturday and one of the first hot summer days of the year. You’ve been dreaming of hitting the beach with your friends since the first few rays of spring sunshine. A few phone calls later, you and your best friends are packed in a car with the windows down, music blasting, speeding towards Lake Michigan or some other inferior body of water.

The excitement builds as the car screeches into a parking spot. Everyone jumps out and hauls over the dunes. You begin that tip-toe shuffle over the hot sand, shedding clothing piece by piece until you finally reach the shoreline.

And then you stop.

 Click here to read more about how to "Overcome Fear" by James Duke

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Newmind Group is Mother Approved

Happy Mom by @|vv@ldzen| via Flickr

Kalamazoo, MI -- Mothers all over Kalamazoo are exclaiming in approval over Newmind’s recent naming to Nine Lives Media’s 7th annual MSPmentor Top 501 at #214, a list identifying the world’s top 501 managed service providers (MSPs), leading one mother to exclaim,
“Those sweet boys deserve a top 10 rank. They were so nice and patient with me as we worked through copying and pasting in that Googley thing.”
"Our focus has always been on customer satisfaction and have seen very positive results with a 97% client retention rate over the last 7 years," said Matthew Vollmar, Newmind CEO. "Not only did we see 100% growth over the last year, but more importantly we’ve measured higher customer happiness which leads to longer and deeper relationships. And who do we need deeper relationships with more than our mothers? (Love you mom!)”

Read More about how mother's love Newmind Group.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Become an Expert - Linchpin Series Part 2

“How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?” ― Seth Godin, Linchpin: Are you Indispensable? 

"Student in Silhouette" by @mikebaird via Flickr

Forget about 10,000 hours

Everyone seems to think Malcolm Gladwell told us we need 10,000 hours or the equivalent of 10-20 years practice to become an expert. This is a misquote. Gladwell said:

“To become a chess grandmaster also seems to take about ten years. And what’s ten years? Well, it’s roughly how long it takes to put in ten thousand hours of hard practice. Ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness.” — p. 41

The 10,000 hours he is referring to is the average time it takes to become the absolute best of the best in the world. Most of us don’t need a movie made about our lives. Becoming an expert in our field relative to our environment and competition is good enough, right? Shoot for the moon but don’t feel like a failure if no one calls you G.O.A.T.

Click through to read the full article about becoming an expert.

Ben Morris is the reigning Funniest Newminder (yes that’s a thing), a father, and is a new member of Newmind Group's Google Apps team. He holds a bachelor's degree in communications from Western Michigan University and is determined to uncover the secrets of how humor can help organizational communication.

Ben loves the great outdoors and spends his time outside of work camping and boating with his wife and three children. Contact him at

Thursday, March 27, 2014

4 tips to build a linchpin team

“If you are deliberately trying to create a future that feels safe, you will willfully ignore the future that is likely.”
― Seth Godin, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

What is a “linchpin”?

A linchpin doesn’t play it safe. The future is filled with uncertainty and as Seth Godin’s quote points out, by playing it safe you are denying yourself possibilities. It may be difficult to stay motivated or focused because it’s such a long time-frame, but taking ownership of our own destiny really isn’t as hard as we may think.

We published a great series about managing small teams which described leadership as an expedition with no map or proof that the destination exists. While paying attention to priorities, data, rhythm, and the workplan of your team will help point you in the right direction, we believe that you and your team should also strive to become a linchpin within the organization.

So what makes a team or department a linchpin within an organization?