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Google Launches Note-Taking App Keep - SocialTimes

Google Launches Note-Taking App Keep - SocialTimes | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Google launched an Evernote competitor today, after news of the app was leaked earlier this week.
Don Dea's insight:

Google launched an Evernote competitor today, after news of the app was leaked earlier this week.

The app, called Keep, is available for Android devices running versions 4.0 and above. According to Google, Web users will soon be able to access the app online. On mobile devices, a widget makes the app available even from the lock screen.

“Every day we all see, hear or think of things we need to remember. Usually we grab a pad of sticky-notes, scribble a reminder and put it on the desk, the fridge or the relevant page of a magazine. Unfortunately, if you’re like me you probably often discover that the desk, fridge or magazine wasn’t such a clever place to leave the note after all…it’s rarely where you need it when you need it,” software engineer Katherine Kuan on Google’s blog.

The app allows users to create, edit and color-code notes and checklists. They can also save photos. The service also transcribes voice notes and allows users to easily turn notes into checklists — a functionality that may lure iOS users away from the separate apps Notes and Reminders if and when Google launches

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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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Handle employee conflicts with confidence

Handle employee conflicts with confidence | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Bring quick and fair resolution to conflict

Regardless of the cause, don’t let the problem fester. Act as soon as you have hard evidence of a conflict or problem between employees.
There are always emotions in these problems. It’s up to you as a leader to minimize the emotion. You can do that as you:
See past the drama to the essence of the problem
Don’t play favorites. Really look to see all sides of the issue
Search for manipulation or self-serving behavior that tries to bias the issues
It often helps to define acceptable behavior. When you frame it as a company standard, it reduces the possibility of it sounding critical or biased. For example:
In this company, we treat everyone with respect. We expect professional behavior both in person and in emails.
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Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators's curator insight, Today, 3:24 AM
Handle employee conflicts with confidence
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Using marketing analytics to drive superior growth 

Identify the best analytical approaches

To establish the right marketing mix, organizations need to evaluate the pros and cons of each of the many available tools and methods to determine which best support their strategy. When it comes to nondirect marketing, the prevailing choices include the following:

Advanced analytics approaches such as marketing-mix modeling (MMM). MMM uses big data to determine the effectiveness of spending by channel. This approach statistically links marketing investments to other drivers of sales and often includes external variables such as seasonality and competitor and promotional activities to uncover both longitudinal effects (changes in individuals and segments over time) and interaction effects (differences among offline, online, and—in the most advanced models—social-media activities). MMM can be used for both long-range strategic purposes and near-term tactical planning, but it does have limitations: it requires high-quality data on sales and marketing spending going back over a period of years; it cannot measure activities that change little over time (for example, out-of-house or outdoor media); and it cannot measure the long-term effects of investing in any one touchpoint, such as a new mobile app or social-media feed. MMM also requires users with sufficiently deep econometric knowledge to understand the models and a scenario-planning tool to model budget implications of spending decisions.
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Sustaining the momentum of a transformation

The importance of sustaining a transformation may sound obvious—and the actions required straightforward. But they’re not. Companies typically neglect this long-term imperative because, understandably, they’re obsessed by the short-term gains. They underestimate the difficulty of kicking old habits and developing a healthy new approach that will be manifest in thousands of everyday actions rather than referenced by a simple checklist. New skills, intense discipline, and strong personal relationships are needed to maintain the momentum
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What if the Luddites were right?

What if the Luddites were right? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Modern-day Luddites, angry at the forces taking their jobs, aren’t able to smash the algorithms responsible, so they blame foreigners, globalisation or the establishment. Governments driven by populist demands rarely talk about the role of technology in taking their jobs, so one fears they’re unlikely to do much about it.

But maybe business has a role to play here. If you’re committed to sustainability and a purpose beyond making a quick buck, is there not an ethical case for opting out of a technology if you think it does more social harm than good? Maybe you could replace your 10,000 baristas with touch screens and many-tentacled coffee robots, but would it be right to do so?

It would take a brave CEO to make such a call, but last time I checked there wasn’t an algorithm that can earn loyalty. Your employees – and those customers who still have a wage to spend – might well thank you for it, even if there’s a cheaper, soulless alternative available.
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Data As A Service: The Big Opportunity For Business

Data As A Service: The Big Opportunity For Business | digitalNow | Scoop.it
When silos are broken down, it reduces the likelihood that one department will overlook a data stream that another department controls. Essentially, DaaS offers a means for every department in a client company to access the data it needs, when it needs it, without having to worry about being locked out due to departmental restrictions.

Go Forward, Backed By Data

DaaS is an incredible opportunity for countless businesses and industries, and the companies spearheading the DaaS movement have an opportunity to reshape the business world for years to come. Modern companies have caught on quickly to how important data is (and should be) to the strategic business decision-making process, and DaaS offers a means to streamline data more effectively and with more acuity.
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The case for digital reinvention 

This finding confirms what many executives may already suspect: by reducing economic friction, digitization enables competition that pressures revenue and profit growth. Current levels of digitization have already taken out, on average, up to six points of annual revenue and 4.5 points of growth in earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT). And there’s more pressure ahead, our research suggests, as digital penetration deepens
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How to Create a Company of Owners and Why It is Smart Business 

CEO INSIDER How to Create a Company of Owners and Why It is Smart Business
ByStephanie BreedlovePublished on 03/17/2017 SHARE TWEET
A company of owners is a company of engaged individuals – Company culture has been an increasingly important focus of businesses over the last decade. In fact, a study led by Columbia Business School showed that more than 50% of survey respondents felt that corporate culture has an influence on productivity, creativity, profitability, firm value, and growth rates. Yet only 28% of U.S. workers are engaged, according to Gallup. The rest are killing time or disengaged at a level that is damaging your company.

A learning and growing environment where people can succeed often and want to succeed allows them to produce at higher levels, helping to maximize efficiency and profitability, and enhancing the ability to capitalize on new opportunities. When every member of your team takes ownership, produces superior results, and thrives, it’s a recipe for maximizing success.

The Call to Action

So what are the ingredients? The key ingredient is to establish a corporate ideology that becomes the foundation for every business decision, and is the engine that keeps everything moving in the right direction. Your company goal should also be the mantra for your team’s efforts. It should provide a passionate call to action. When strategies and roadmaps are consciously aligned against this goal, everyone in the company has a clear understanding of where you are going and how their efforts matter.

I have steered clear of layering on a mission statement, as it conjures up feelings of corporate prose that no one understands or bothers to remember. Keep it simple. Make it tangible. When you march in unison toward a common goal, you grow the power of company unity. Once you are all marching in the same direction, go to work on the methods that will grow and strengthen your company of owners. I have boiled our methods down to 10 that have been the core ingredients for building a culture that helps maximize impact and create sustained value.
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 Habits of Highly Effective Leaders 

Leverage the knowledge within their teams
They know that the reason that they have been put in charge is to get the best out of the resources in their team. So when it comes to deciding strategy, solving problems, or resolving issues, they look to identify the best resources available to get to a solution quickly. They understand that leading is not about providing all the answers, it’s about ensuring the best solution is found and implemented.

There are few things that engage teams more than letting them contribute, and feeling that their input is valued by the leader.

No involvement no commitment.
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To Create Innovation, Avoid the Shiny Object Syndrome

To Create Innovation, Avoid the Shiny Object Syndrome | digitalNow | Scoop.it
He has identified four things that help to create an innovation culture:
Focus on problem solving
Safe spaces
Informal networks
Collaboration.
I broadly agree with these four but would reframe these as:
Find the problems worth solving: No matter whether you are a startup or a large enterprise, there needs to be a disciplined and professional focus on identifying new problems to solve. It’s not about hipsters pulling all-nighters but about casting a professional eye over the short, medium and long term challenges facing your business and industry. Find the problems that are worth solving not the low hanging fruit of ideas that you can throw technology at.
Create safe spaces for all your innovations: Sometimes new innovation doesn’t fit with your current business. Pre-emptively killing off interesting or challenging innovations signals danger to the culture you are trying to create.
Strong ties and new blood: When you have teams that have worked together a long time, they can become stale or complacent. All-new teams can struggle to find a rhythm. The sweet spot is somewhere in-between – a balance of people who can work together with a dash of new blood to shake up the arteries is ideal.
Diverse teams outperform all others: Hard driving A-type personalities won’t necessarily deliver your culture of innovation. The research indicates that the number of women in a group and a broader diversity of makeup is what you need to consciously create.
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Here's who is stalling your culture efforts

Here's who is stalling your culture efforts | digitalNow | Scoop.it
To address mid-level managers' hearts and to motivate them emotionally, we assembled inspiring, relevant success stories from their peers. Hearing from people at their level not only made them feel more personally engaged, but also communicated that the organization valued contributions and insights from middle management -- a message that needs reinforcement at most organizations.  
And, to instruct them on how to embed D&I into their daily operating activities and reap its benefits, we looked at tools such as diversity action plans, which included templates, examples and recommended timing, and which could be implemented in the company's standard performance-planning process. Middle managers are more likely to adopt methods when they are designed to effortlessly integrate into existing processes.
By thawing the "frozen middle" at the company, we were able to shift attitudes and generate increased momentum for D&I among all levels of the organization.
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Here’s Why You Should Think Twice Before Listening To Business Gurus

Great innovators constantly seek to identify new problems. The manner in which they did that took on a myriad number of forms: talking to customers, engaging with the scientific community, identifying new markets for existing technology or whatever, but that single theme stayed constant.

So if you want to make your organization more innovative or become more innovative yourself, the best place to start is to look for a problem worth solving, then go figure out what solution fits it best. Revolutions don’t begin with a slogan. They begin with a cause.
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US Companies With the Best and Worst Customer Experience Ratings in 2017

Supermarkets continue to lead the way in customer experience, while health plans are again among the worst-rated, according to the 7th annual customer experience ratings from the Temkin Group. Indeed, of the 331 companies measured across 20 industries, supermarkets occupied 2 of the top 3 positions this year, while health plans took 3 of the bottom 5.
Publix led the way once again – it was also last year’s leader and the leader in 2015. Chick-fil-A and H-E-B rounded out the top 3. Health Net dropped to the last spot from second-last in 2016, though its “very poor” score of 42% was actually an improvement from last year’s rating.

Overall, supermarket chains scored the highest average ratings (78%) of the 20 industries; recent data from the American Customer Satisfaction Index also notes that supermarkets have improved considerably this year.
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Magazine Media Audiences Grew by More Than 6% Last Year

Total magazine media audiences – measured across online and offline channels – grew by 6.4% year-over-year in 2016, exceeding 1.7 billion, according to a recent MPA report. Magazine brands’ video audiences showed the fastest growth, of 49.7%, followed by mobile web audiences, which grew by 24.9%.
Print and digital editions, for their part, maintained the largest average audience, but were stagnant in audience numbers, down by 0.4%. These editions accounted for a slight majority of the total audience (52.4%).

Research suggests that print magazine readership in the US has remained steady over the past couple of years, continuing to outnumber digital audiences.
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Budgets, Cultures Holding Back Data-Driven Strategies

Inadequate budgets are the biggest obstacles to implementation of truly data-driven customer strategies, cited by 54% of marketers responding to a new CMO Council survey [download page]. Challenges associated with internal cultures are also proving impediments: 43% cited a failure to fully embrace a customer-centric culture, and 32% feel it’s due to a lack of senior-level support to spark change.
CMOs’ Role in Data-Driven Strategy
Marketers have differing views on what they believe the role of the CMO should be in the development, deployment and optimization of a data-driven customer strategy. A plurality feel that CMOs should be the catalyst to rally the entire organization around the customer (34%). Yet the remaining two-thirds of respondents are equally divided between thinking that the CMO should: guide the organization toward a data-driven approach without owning the entire experience
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The heartbeat of modern marketing: Data activation and personalization 

Data foundation: Building a rich view of customer

Many companies have the elements of a relatively complete view of the customer already. But they reside in discrete pockets across the company. Just as a recipe does not come together until all the ingredients are combined, it is only when data is connected that it becomes ready to use. The CDP takes the data a company already has, combines it to create a meaningful customer profile, and makes it accessible across the organization.

“Feeding” the CDP starts by combining as much data as possible and building on it over time. Creating models that cluster customer profiles that behave and create value in similar ways requires advanced analytics to process the data and machine learning to refine it. Over time, as the system “learns,” this approach generates ever-more-granular customer subsegments. Signals that the consumer leaves behind (e.g., a site visit, a purchase on an app, interest expressed on social media) can then expand the data set, enabling the company to respond in real time and think of new ways to engage yet again. Furthermore, the insights gleaned extend beyond a customer’s response to a specific campaign, for example by driving more targeted product development.
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Transforming operations management for a digital world 

Digital capabilities are indeed quite new. But even as organizations balance lower investment in traditional operations against greater investment in digital, the need for operations management will hardly disappear. In fact, we believe the need will be more profound than ever, but for a type of operations management that offers not only stability—which 20th-century management culture provided in spades—but also the agility and responsiveness that digital demands.

The reasons we believe this are simple. First, at least for the next few years, to fully exploit digital capabilities most organizations will continue to depend on people. Early data suggest that human skills are actually becoming more critical in the digital world, not less. As tasks are automated, they tend to become commoditized; a “cutting edge” technology such as smartphone submission of insurance claims quickly becomes almost ubiquitous. In many contexts, therefore, competitive advantage is likely to depend even more on human capacity: on providing thoughtful advice to an investor saving for retirement or calm guidance to an insurance customer after an accident.
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The Emerging, Unpredictable Age of AI

“Over and over again, the robot economy will invent work we can’t even dream of today, much as the internet gave birth to unforeseen careers… Successful people in the AI age will focus on work that takes advantage of unique human strengths, like social interaction, creative thinking, decision-making with complex inputs, empathy and questioning.  AI cannot think about data it doesn’t have…   Only humans can think that way.”  We must come up with strategies that allow human workers to complement, collaborate and race ahead with our AI machines instead of racing against them.

“If this is a fairy tale about work and jobs, AI is both the bad witch and good witch - destroyer and creator,” writes Maney in conclusion.  “In such stories, good almost always wins.  But in the middle of the story, the characters don’t know that.  And that’s where we are now: face to face with the monster for the first time, doing everything we can to get through the scary forest alive.”
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Closing the skills gap: Creating workforce-development programs that work for everyone

The most promising approach, then, is to identify sectors with high growth potential where there are shortages or a high turnover of workers. Governments should conduct job-market analyses to identify each area’s distinctive attributes and supply-and-demand dynamics, as well as the current state of the workforce. This means looking at posted job vacancies, public infrastructure investment, demographics, local university-research commercialization, venture-capital spending, and regulation. The analysis should be done at the city and regional levels, and then buttressed by interviews with major companies in the area.

We have found the best workforce-development solutions happen when leading employers come together to address the talent problem for an entire sector. Assuming there are no antitrust issues, such collaborations can be attractive to industry competitors because the training costs are shared and the risk of poaching is limited. Such efforts typically take three forms: down a supply chain, with an anchor company taking the lead in encouraging its suppliers to participate; by a functional profession (for example, mechatronics) that is in demand by employers in different industries in the same location; and by sector, with competitors collaborating because they all face the same talent problem. One example of the latter is the Automotive Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative, which includes 19 automotive companies and 26 community colleges in 13 states.
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Why CSR and other grant-makers need to provide more 'good' overheads to NGOs

Why CSR and other grant-makers need to provide more 'good'  overheads to NGOs | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Tough Questions for the Sector

Moving to a pay-what-it-takes approach to grant making will not be easy. But some funders already are rethinking their approach. For them, paying what it really takes to run a nonprofit would send a powerful message to grantees: We want to solve society’s biggest problems and recognize that we must build strong, effective organisations to do so. This requires paying the true cost of the work we do together.

For nonprofits, including those receiving CSR grants in India, pay-what-it-takes means doing their homework to be clear about their operational needs and how those needs relate to desired impact. Some funders are already working with grantees to accomplish this goal.

A lot of hard work lies ahead for paying-what-it-takes to become the solution to breaking the nonprofit starvation cycle, but this work is crucial to building sustainable, long-lasting organisations that are real agents of change.
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Myths that can undermine ethical culture

Myths that can undermine ethical culture | digitalNow | Scoop.it
It’s easy to be ethical
Some people believe ethics are easy: you just apply the ‘smell test’ and if something stinks, don’t do it. Or would you be proud to tell your mum about some action you are taking? In other words, if one wants to be ethical it’s easy; it doesn’t need to be managed.

This myth ignores the complexity surrounding ethical decision making, particularly within business organizations. Ethical decisions are seldom simple. For example, people often do not automatically know that they are facing an ethical choice. They simply do not recognize that there is a moral choice involved. Few problems come along waving a red flag saying: ‘I’m an ethical issue, you had better think about me in terms of morality.’ This is why organizations often spend precious time training their people in how to become aware of an ethical issue.
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How to Harness Your Ego For Good 

Looking back, there were many things that allowed me to distinguish ego along the way. I have taken countless hours of personal development courses, developed skills and tactics and techniques for finding and distinguishing ego. I have created social circles of friends around me to keep me honest and call me out when my ego shows up. I have a business coach that I work with on a weekly basis to keep me performing at my highest level.

Today, I realize that it really doesn’t matter whose idea it is, what brand it is, or whose company it is. Letting go of ego, performing at our highest level and focusing on making a positive impact on the world are what matter most to us and seem to drive our success.
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6 Quick Ways To Know If You Are An Effective Leader

The venting stays private – If you are leading well, you are acting like a plumber, acting as a safety valve for your teammates to vent any frustrations.  If that venting goes public, or worse, viral, you have some work to do.
The back door for information is locked – In larger organizations there are occasions where other departments try to use the “back door” to get information, bypassing the leader and going right to the teammate. If you are leading well, those teammates will always let you know that those contacts were made, and the “asks” behind them, thus locking the back door and keeping you in the loop at all times.
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9 strategies for becoming a super-communicator 

Select one or two communication tips to use repeatedly, for about a week or two, until they become more natural. They still won’t be second nature, but they will start to flow with less forethought. (Experts estimate it takes about 63 days to create a new habit.)

2. Pretend you’re on Shark Tank. You’ve probably noticed that entrepreneurs on Shark Tank stop talking almost immediately when a Shark starts to speak. Clearly the entrepreneurs have been coached. They have a lot at stake, so they pay attention to the new ways they need to behave in order to get what they want.

Likewise, when we want better business relationships, we have a lot at stake, so we need to pay attention for opportunities to use new communication tools.

3. Tune up your awareness of process and content. When you’re in a conversation, or watching one, pay attention to the process of the interaction — did you see a credit-acknowledge? A possible discount? (Was there any revenge? They’re often within 20 minutes.)

What kind of questions were used? (Watch news stories on TV and spot the questioning techniques.) How were ideas responded to — with open mindedness, with dismissal, or non-committal?
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How to Build Team Culture One Test at a Time

You are only as fast as your slowest runner.  We all recognize this “weakest link” idea, but sometimes forget to act on its implications.  If you want to move faster, get the best possible people on your team, and focus your efforts on helping your teammates get better.  Train, prepare, practice.  Challenge each other to improve.
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 Things Leaders Can Manage 

 Things Leaders Can Manage  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Things Leaders Can Manage (and Should)
1. Focus and Attention
You can manage what you put your attention on. You can focus strategically on where you’re going, or you can focus on short-term fires and go from crisis to crisis.
2. Priorities
In areas where you have autonomy, you can identify your priorities. If you choose too many, they will manage you, instead of you managing them. In settings where your priorities are identified by others, your success will be determined by how well you manage them.
3. Time
Time is a finite resource, but how you manage the time you have is up to you. It helps to sort what’s urgent and what’s important.
4. Expectations
You can best manage your own expectations by finding the sweet spot between your dreams and reality. You manage other people’s expectations by communicating honestly and frequently.
5. Budget
We rarely have enough money for everything we need and want. So setting up a clear budget puts you in a better position to make it work. And by tracking your budget, you know early if you need to make adjustments or seek help.
6. Exercise
You have many choices on how to get the exercise you need. It is up to you to set up and manage a healthy exercise regime.
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