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Please. Make me feel something.!

Please. Make me feel something.! | digitalNow | Scoop.it

Please. Make me feel something!

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digitalNow
Exploring leadership, management, innovation, and technology issues and trends; impacting associations & non-profit organizations in the digital age.
Curated by Don Dea
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Riding the wave of the upturn

With the economy recovering, now is the time to take a hard look at your business. Isn't it time you tackled dysfunctional client relationships, put a stop to scope-creep and over-servicing and – dare we say it –even increased your prices?
Don Dea's insight:

Hoping things will improve is not a solution. Hope is not a strategy. You have to take responsibility for improving your pricing and profitability. There is no Tooth-Fairy or Father Christmas. It's down to YOU.

Start by reviewing your client base. Which are you most profitable clients and potentially most profitable? Which are the least profitable? How can you improve the situation or replace them with more profitable business? Develop a strategy for each type of client.

Review your client relationships. Which are with senior decision makers and which are with juniors? How do those relationships need to be improved? The best client relationships are with senior decision makers who have authority, budget approval and can see the bigger business picture.

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Going flat: the re-imagined organization

Zappos announcement that it transforming itself into a self-governing
Don Dea's insight:

The multi-layered pyramid structure remains the predominant organizational design of today. It is popular because it facilitates and supports the use of command-and-control management approaches. However, the pyramid is becoming increasingly inefficient because it characteristically builds layers of management within it. Decision-making and quick response is made difficult when we have an organizational structure that reinforces the bureaucracy through its "managers managing managers" design.

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Knowledge-hoarding is a no-win proposition

Knowledge-hoarding is a no-win proposition | digitalNow | Scoop.it
If you try to hide what you know from your colleagues, you're shooting yourself in the foot. Because according to new research, knowledge-hoarding is counter-productive, damaging both trust and creativity.
Don Dea's insight:

"In contrast, knowledge-hiders can probably count on forbearance in companies with what we call a mastery climate, where the emphasis is on cooperation and learning. But, given the lack of emphasis on individual rewards in such settings, there is little incentive to hide knowledge.

"In short," he added, "it's a no-win option either way - incentive with retaliation or forbearance without incentive."

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Another nail in the performance review coffin

No-one likes or benefits from a negative performance review, new research has found, and a critical evaluation can have a negative effect on any employee, even those normally motivated to learn and improve.
Don Dea's insight:

The learning goal-oriented group like to learn for the sake of learning and will pursue challenges despite setbacks. Performance-prove goal-oriented people want to prove that they have competence to perform a job, while performance-avoid goal-oriented people want to avoid looking foolish.

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Trust and attention, the endless dance

The two scarce elements of our economy are trust and attention. Trust is scarce because it's not a simple instinct and it's incredibly fragile, disappearing often in the face of greed, shortcuts or ignorance. And attention is scarce because it...
Don Dea's insight:

doesn't scale. We can't do more than one thing at a time, and the number of organizations and ideas that are competing for our attention grows daily.

The dance happens because often, it seems as though we need to trade trust in exchange for attention. We have to rely on gimmicks, or overpromise and hype in order to get people to, "look at me!" And of course, the dance happens because once attention is attained, asking for trust merely slows things down. The most viral ideas ask for nothing more than a click from your mouse, a share, more attention gained.

And so we find trusted brands and individuals rarely on the top of the attention list. And those that pay the price to grab some momentary attention almost always do it at the cost of trust.

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Perspective under pressure

When a business is under pressure it can be hard to see the wood from the trees - even more so if you have your own emotional and financial interests at stake. Perhaps it's time to learn some lessons about risk and pressure from professional poker players.
Don Dea's insight:

First of all, in the words of The Hitchhikers Guide, don't panic! Most of us don't need to clutch at straws. If a decision needs to be made quickly there is a temptation to make it immediately just to be seen to be dynamic but in fact that squanders whatever time was available for considered thinking. There is plenty of evidence that decisions made under pressure are likely to be sub-optimal or just plain wrong.

So we should fall back on the basics; SWOT analyses, innovation audits and so on. Ask the basic questions 'what can we do better? and 'what can we do differently?' Look for the opportunities, calculate the risks and make measured decisions rather than relying on 'intuition'. As the scientist Carl Sagan used to say, 'I try not to think with my gut'.

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The Language of Leadership in the 21st Century

The Language of Leadership in the 21st Century | digitalNow | Scoop.it
I've always loved language. Admittedly, my facility in it is sadly limited to English, a few French words and phrases, body language (on a good day) and oh yes, a little pig Latin. But, what I love...
Don Dea's insight:

The first word is Empathy. To me, empathy in action looks like this. You and I are sharing our viewpoints over a particular issue. It is a difficult conversation. What I’m hearing from you sounds foreign and unlikely and yet I want to make sense of what you are saying. So I stop. I let my ego and my belief that I am right go, and I step into your shoes. I do that by asking questions and exploring the issue from your perspective. I seek to see what you see. In so doing I search for what you might be feeling and when I find it, I begin to understand what it’s like to be there. In short, empathy is about understanding. But just to be clear, it is not necessarily about agreeing.

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"How do I get rid of the fear?"

Alas, this is the wrong question. The only way to get rid of the fear is to stop doing things that might not work, to stop putting yourself out there, to stop doing work that matters. No, the right question...
Don Dea's insight:

"How do I dance with the fear?"

Fear is not the enemy. Paralysis is the enemy.

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Is your IQ Stuck in Neutral?

Is your IQ Stuck in Neutral? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Don Dea's insight:

Intelligence could have been what Ford had in mind when he said:

If you say you can or say you can’t – it’s true.”  

See your IQ as fluid or fixed and it will become just that.  Daily choices literally fuel or fail your unique multiple intelligences. How so?

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The Two Questions Every Manager Must Ask

Make your offering both cheaper and better.
Don Dea's insight:

 “What might it not be good for?” When might it not work; what could be its drawbacks? If the presenter’s answer is “there are none,” a healthy dose of skepticism is warranted.

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Secrets of a Communication Curmudgeon

Secrets of a Communication Curmudgeon | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Don Dea's insight:

Conflicts and clashes are as common at most workplaces as black coffee on Monday morning.  If you’re looking to axe communication completely though, try ramping up curmudgeonese and then watch its magic spin.

Bickering is usually where curmudgeons nail their hottest acts. Get to water coolers early to …

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Making “Freemium” Work

Don Dea's insight:

Do customers fully understand the premium offer? Communicating two sets of benefits complicates your marketing efforts. If customers don’t clearly grasp what they would gain by upgrading, you will monetize fewer of them than you otherwise might.

Dropbox and LinkedIn are a study in contrasts. The former has attracted 200 million users with a simple proposition: Everyone who enters a username and a password gets two gigabytes of cloud-based storage free. If people run out of space, they can pay $9.99 a month (or, alternatively, $99 a year) for 100 GB of storage. The free version is adequate for basic documents, but anyone who wants to back up photos or other media quickly hits the limit, and the reasons to upgrade are obvious.

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The Silent Killers of Strategy Implementation and Learning

The Silent Killers of Strategy Implementation and Learning | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Many managers avoid confronting six common, silent killers of strategy implementation.
Don Dea's insight:

What were the barriers? The six silent killers listed below were most often mentioned, although structure, systems, management processes and human resource policies were sometimes identified.7

  • Top-down or laissez-faire senior management style (9 of 12 cases)
  • Unclear strategy and conflicting priorities (9 of 12 cases)
  • An ineffective senior management team (12 of 12 cases)
  • Poor vertical communication (10 of 12 cases)
  • Poor coordination across functions, businesses or borders (9 of 12 cases)
  • Inadequate down-the-line leadership skills and development (8 of 12 cases)
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29 Ways to Stay Creative

29 Ways to Stay Creative | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Need some motivation or inspiration to finish a project? Here are 29 ways to keep you going!
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What's happened to trust ?

The Deutsche Telekom spying scandal is just the latest example of an organization in which trust has broken down. So is honesty on the decline in the business world? And if so, why?
Don Dea's insight:

The study specifically pointed out the widespread perceptions that underpin this belief.


  • 39 per cent of those surveyed said their supervisors had failed to keep promises.
  • 37 per cent said their supervisors had failed to give credit when due.
  • 31 per cent said their supervisors had given them the "silent treatment" in the past year.
  • 27 per cent said their supervisors had made negative comments about them to other employees or managers.
  • 24 per cent said their supervisors had invaded their privacy.
  • 23 per cent said their supervisors had blamed others to cover up mistakes or to minimise embarrassment.
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Why there will never be an app for leadership

Great leaders spend years honing their skills. There's no pre-ordained template that they can tap into for wisdom. There's no magic potion or quick fix. And even your smartphone won't help you with this one.
Don Dea's insight:

In other words, as a leader your input should be shaped by the needs of your constituents. This requires flexibility and fluid thinking, not a quick fix. No app - no matter how great - has this kind of agility!

Adults and children alike should always be both seen and heard because they teach us almost everything - or if not everything, at least most of what is essential to life. This has far greater currency then any formalized qualification or training program designed to teach leadership.

So use your powers of observation, ask great questions and always hone your ideas within the context of multiple perspectives.

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Do narcissists make good leaders?

Do narcissists make good leaders? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Vision, confidence and pride in one's own accomplishments are all desirable leadership traits. But they're also signs of a narcissist. Which is why a new study has tried to come up with a definitive answer to the question: do narcissists make good leaders?
Don Dea's insight:

"Narcissists are usually very good in short-term situations when meeting people for the first time. But the impression they create quickly falls apart," said Peter Harms, assistant professor of management in University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Business Administration and a co-author of the study, "You soon realize that they are nowhere as good or as smart as they say they are."

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When Empathy Leaves the Room

When Empathy Leaves the Room | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Empathy is a word being highlighted as an essential part of successful 21st Century organizations and a key element of good leadership. I think it is safe to say that we wouldn’t get too many argum...
Don Dea's insight:

In these times, there are rules and edicts meant to govern and guard against the kind of behaviour described here but, to me, 21st Century leaders can really only be truly successful if they are willing to stand in another’s shoes as a matter of common practice; seek to feel, understand and simply care, without the prod that such rules produce.

That’s what I think anyway.  What do you think?

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Connecting dots (or collecting dots)

Without a doubt, the ability to connect the dots is rare, prized and valuable. Connecting dots, solving the problem that hasn't been solved before, seeing the pattern before it is made obvious, is more essential than ever before. Why then,...
Don Dea's insight:

Why then, do we spend so much time collecting dots instead? More facts, more tests, more need for data, even when we have no clue (and no practice) in doing anything with it.

Their big bag of dots isn't worth nearly as much as your handful of insight, is it?

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Six signposts to greater creativity

How others describe their creative process can be a useful guide for our own journey to greater creativity. So here are six quotes about creativity and some practical ideas to help us put their messages to work.
Don Dea's insight:

 "If you hear a voice within you say, 'You cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." – Vincent Van Gogh
ACTION: The same applies to whatever your voice may be saying you cannot do. We tend to think that the belief comes first, then action, but it works the other way around, too. If you think you can't write, paint, get fit, learn a language...just start. Don't wait for that voice to stop, treat it as background noise.

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5 Simple Secrets To Leadership Productivity

5 Simple Secrets To Leadership Productivity | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The best way to leadership productivity is simply this: Making the best selection of WHAT to do at any given moment. Here are 5 ways to pave the way.
Don Dea's insight:
  • Turn off the yes reflex. Your brain doesn’t have a chance to react and process if “yes I can” is the first thing out of your mouth. Overcommitting is the cardinal sin of productivity. Try “Let me think about it” or “I’ll get back to you“ – or just “no” (once you get better at the intuitive stuff)
  • Reduce the multitasking – severely. Think about how hard it is to have a meaningful phone conversation while you are answering e-mail, texting,  or Tweeting at the same time. Now add the critical task of prioritization on top of that. Tilt!! Our minds are a marvel of nature, but they’re not that good!
  • Come up with a daily “Top 5″. While writing down everything is impossible, you can certainly sit down and focus for 5 minutes every morning and put to paper (or your iPhone notes) the 5 most important things you need to do that day. That’s it, just 5. Your brain will thank you for the assistance (I do this as often as I can, and it works very well).
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Your Brain on Innovation

Your Brain on Innovation | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Don Dea's insight:
Yet passion’s at an all time low in today’s workplaces? Why?
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The Most Precious Resource of Leadership

It takes work to secure, it’s hard to keep, and if you lose it, you lose – BIG. And, it’s really hard to get it back. It’s that precious to the effective leader. It MUST be kept, at all costs, and with all the effort you can muster. What is it? Your word. I’ve never seen a …
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Do Nice Guys (and Leaders) Really Finish Last?

I've been vexed by the word "nice", and expressions like "nice guys finish last", for many years. Is this true, especially when it comes to leadership?
Don Dea's insight:

Nice guys finish last.
You’re running out of gas.
Your sympathy will get you left behind.

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Torn From The Headlines Leadership Lesson: To Fire Or Not To Fire?

Torn From The Headlines Leadership Lesson: To Fire Or Not To Fire? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
To Fire or Not To Fire? One such challenge came up earlier this week over at US Airways, when a company Tweet went way off the rails. WAY off.
Don Dea's insight:

Good leadership requires the courage (and patience) to take the time to stop, evaluate, and process errors through a human lens, BEFORE any actions are taken – no matter the magnitude.

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