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How to Mix Premium and Supporting Content (and Why it Better Be Good)

How to Mix Premium and Supporting Content (and Why it Better Be Good) | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Don Dea's insight:

1. It takes just one piece of premium content to acquire a lead, but it takes multiple pieces of supporting content to properly nurture a lead and earn a sales discussion. (By the way, if you want to drive someone away, have a sales person call them right after they first download a piece of your premium content. Works almost every time!)

2. Many supporting content pieces don’t require as many resources to produce. You take the time to research and create a large premium content piece, and then can modify, rework and add to the material to create a variety of supporting pieces.

3. A series of blog posts, an example of supporting content, can serve to promote your premium content. After you write a premium content piece, it’s a good idea to write 3-5 blog posts that link to the landing page.

4. Producing quality supporting content will help your premium content get more downloads. A registration form is a barrier to entry, but if people love supporting content you’ve written, they will be more likely to fill out a form.

5. Supporting content is more shareable on social. People generally don’t link to landing pages on social; social shares of your supporting content expand your reach.

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Exploring leadership, management, innovation, and technology issues and trends; impacting associations & non-profit organizations in the digital age.
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Here's how people are using their smartwatches

Here's how people are using their smartwatches | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Smartwatches have yet to live up to the early hype. According to data published last week by the NDP group, only 9% of consumers 18 and older own one. That's not terrible, given how young the industry is, but it does indicate that many consumers don't yet consider them to be must-have devices. 

Apple initially touted its Apple Watch as a mini-wearable computer that could run loads of apps and free users from having to interact as often with their smartphones. But the company eventually realized consumers saw little value in running so many different apps on a watch, so with the second version of the device, it decided to focus largely on fitness tracking and text notifications. 

It turns out that those are the features smartwatch owners use the most, as this chart from Statista — based on data from NPD Connected Intelligence's Wearable Advisor Service — indicates. Focusing on such features seems to have paid off for Apple. It recently announced that Apple Watch sales were up 50% in its latest quarter.
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Startups Are the New Canary in the Coal Mine for Big Brands and Marketers

Startups Are the New Canary in the Coal Mine for Big Brands and Marketers | digitalNow | Scoop.it
In addition to saving the lives of hundreds of miners, Haldane’s work also led to one of the most common metaphors in the English language—the phrase “canary in the coal mine.”   This phrase has become a metaphor for any warning of serious danger to come, just like the warning that the canaries gave the miners.

In today’s business world, startups are the new canary in the coal mine, the early warning of danger for big brands. What danger? Consider that in 2015, 90 of the top 100 largest CPG brands in the U.S. lost market share. Or that in 2017, over 8,600 retail stores are closing their doors. If big companies had been paying closer attention to the world of entrepreneurship, they would have seen the emerging business models and consumer trends that would be predictive of this dangerous future.
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Mastering three strategies of organic growth

A diversified approach to organic growth

Growth is top of mind at many companies, according to respondents: 93 percent say theirs have pursued at least one strategy to generate organic growth in the past three years, and nearly two-thirds agree or strongly agree that organic growth is at the top of their executive teams’ agendas. But regarding the three strategies of growth we explored (investing, creating, and performing), the responses suggest that there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

Nearly 60 percent of executives identify one primary strategy for generating organic growth, while the rest of those pursuing organic growth say their companies follow more than one (Exhibit 1). According to respondents, a diversified approach is more common at larger companies than at smaller ones. It is also reported more often in developed markets than in emerging markets, where reliance on the creating strategy is most common.
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Playing offense: What it takes to drive growth 

Playing offense: What it takes to drive growth  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
In our budget reviews with the divisions, my standard question has become, “Can’t you take more money out of admin and put it into marketing?” Or “Where else can we find money to put into marketing?”

Because we have to grow the top line. A healthy business is growing the top line. You have to get the machine working in a big subscription business. You have to keep the flywheel turning because if it’s not turning, it’s hard to get started again. Expenses are easy. If you’re getting top-line growth, you’re buying time to look at expenses. It’s not a question of if you’re going grow the business. It’s just a question of how.
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Empathy makes you a more effective leader

Empathy makes you a more effective leader | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Understand the meaning of empathy

I have always found empathy to be intriguing because it allows you to read minds, something that came in handy as an FBI agent. By listening to another person’s words and reading their body language, you can figure out what they are feeling and thinking.
Empathy is not sympathy, nor is it feeling sorry for others. Instead, it is understanding what others are feeling or thinking. People tend to focus on the touchy-feely aspect of empathy, and it is indeed important to understand where another person is coming from. However, an empathetic leader is also capable of sensing what another person is thinking. This can be extremely helpful in everything from negotiating a salary to planning a social event for the office.
The solution: It’s important to examine your own attitude when dealing with others. Are you more concerned with getting your way, winning or being right? Put aside your viewpoint, and try to see things from the other person's point of view. Maybe you aren’t the center of the world after all.
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In US, factory jobs are high-tech, but the workers are not

If you don't keep up with the times," he said, "you're out of luck."

This is the paradox of American manufacturing jobs in 2017. Donald Trump won the presidency in great measure because he pledged to stop American jobs and manufacturing from going overseas. His message helped him capture Ohio and other Rust Belt states with the support of Mays and other blue-collar voters.

It's true that many jobs have gone overseas, to places where workers are willing to toil for less money. Yet at the same time, American manufacturers have actually added nearly a million jobs in the past seven years. And federal statistics show nearly 390,000 such jobs open.

The problem? Many of these are not the same jobs that for decades sustained the working class. More and more factory jobs now demand education, technical know-how or specialized skills. And many of the workers set adrift from low-tech factories lack such qualifications. Meanwhile, the dearth of qualified applicants has forced some manufacturers to pay more to fill those jobs.

Training opportunities are limited, particularly for older workers.
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Are you on the Value Wave of Innovation?

Are you on the Value Wave of Innovation? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
When developing an innovation a key question is, what value does this new product or process bring to the user? The next question then becomes what is value?  Often when we talk about value, we talk about monetary value.  How much does this cost or how much is this worth?  For an innovation, value can be measured by asking will it be used or does it have utility?  Edison described it this way, “Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.”

Edison learned early on that to create something that would sell you had to bring enough value to customers that they would be willing to purchase the product.  While this may seem like a simple concept, it is sometimes over looked.  Many seemingly great ideas do not make it to market because they do not reach a good balance between cost and value.   Often to make it work you either have to find a way to lower the cost or raise the value.  Being able to do this effectively is what often separates a good invention from an innovation.
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The Perspiration of Innovation

The Perspiration of Innovation | digitalNow | Scoop.it
When Edison said “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration,” he was not just talking about the 10,000 attempts on the filament of the light bulb.  He was talking about all of the other work to get the idea from the mind of the inventor to actual use by the user. A lot of people have new and interesting ideas, but to be innovative you have to do a lot more. Often the creating, improving and refining of the product or process is just the beginning.

Being able to focus on gathering the necessary resources, collaborating with the right people and focusing on the end user can be more critical than the product itself. The goal is not just to come up with something new, but rather something new that will be used.

The video below shows how Edison worked and promoted himself and his ideas to be successful. Follow some of his example, and you just may be able to have a great innovation.
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Who Gets Caught in Online Echo Chambers?

Who Gets Caught in Online Echo Chambers? | digitalNow | Scoop.it

Many businesses conduct marketing activities and develop their brands in online environments that highly manage the content that users encounter. Executives may not be aware of the extent that algorithms are influencing this experience. Understanding the context in which messages are being delivered is a critical first step. More so, our research shows that there are ways that the echo chamber itself might be managed.

The Interests of the Crowd vs. the Interests of the Individual

For our research, we examined two things: the types of users most likely to get caught in content echo chambers, and the role of the content’s popularity — such as “like” counts and view counts. We created a simple online environment for content exploration that broke down search into two dimensions — content topic and content popularity. We then looked at the ways that individuals moved through the material. We observed, for instance, the weight that users placed on their own interests versus those of the crowd, and how these patterns relate to an individual’s characteristics, such as how social they regard themselves and whether they try to influence others in their social circles (what we term “opinion leaders”).

Our assumption was that users who conduct little exploration and rely more heavily on the crowd will, over time, see less diverse content. As a result, they’ll be at a higher risk of getting caught in an echo chamber.

In our experimental search environment named TED-it, 1,846 study participants explored the collection of TED talks posted on YouTube (roughly 1,600 short videos).1 Participants navigated using two buttons, Category and Popularity. The Category button allowed users to choose one of 15 content groupings and presented a list of talks in random order, without any ranking. By contrast, the Popularity button sorted the displayed search results by their number of views on YouTube — from most to least popular — or simply sorted all talks by popularity if no category was chosen. Users could click each of the buttons as many times as they like, creating a search sequence. This search journey was the object of our study.

The relationship between search patterns and viewers’ social characteristics was further determined by a series of questionnaires, which assessed users’ sociability, opinion leadership, and previous experience with TED content, along with some demographics.

Entertainment Search Results on TED-it
A screenshot with search results on TED-it, appearing after a user clicked on Category and chose the Entertainment category.


As with most content platforms, there are popular TED talks and many less-viewed options. We found that generally, people who explored content with less reliance on its popularity metrics ended up at content that is less known by their peers, but more suited to their personal interests. As assumed, users who consistently search by their topics of interest and rely less on the crowd’s previous choices were less likely to suffer from echo chambers. On the flip side, people who were susceptible to echo chambers in our research setting had a strong reliance on Popularity sorting and a low utilization of Category search.

Furthermore, we found that three types of people were most at risk for falling into echo chambers: highly social individuals, those already familiar with TED content, and young users. They were all more likely to rely on popularity considerations and explore less. They also were less likely to choose from unsorted topical results.

People who consider themselves opinion leaders were more likely to explore the videos and had lower reliance on the content’s popularity. We found that male opinion leaders in our sample conducted more topic-based exploration and invested more effort in search than male non-leaders. Apparently, these opinion leaders are more likely to seek new avenues for influence, and look for novel content to introduce to their followers that may ameliorate their group’s own echo chamber.2

We also studied how influenced people are by knowing how popular a piece of content is. With “like” counts and view counts now baked into most online environments, was this information making people more likely or less likely to explore unfamiliar territories?

To answer this question, we randomly assigned users to one of two conditions, where popularity information was either shown or blocked in category-based searches. Interestingly, in our study, only male opinion leaders were affected by the display of view counts.



Business leaders should be aware of echo-chamber dynamics and the human factors feeding into them. Our findings can help identify individuals who are seeing more or less diverse content, which can help shape marketing strategies in online environments that are increasingly dominated by algorithms.




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The essential behaviors in healthy, successful people and organizations

The essential behaviors in healthy, successful people and organizations | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Here are the eight essential organizational values: attitudes and behaviors found up the Mood Elevator:
Positive spirit/vitality. Creating an environment where there is teamwork, mutual support, and cooperation between and among people. Where people are fun to be around, proud of what they do, and willing to put in the effort that is beyond normal expectations.
Collaboration/trust. Creating frequent and open two-way communication with people, and maintaining openness and trust among people with high levels of feedback and coaching.
Appreciation/recognition. Appreciating and valuing people, and recognizing and rewarding performance.
Agility/innovation/growth. Encouraging people to innovate, create, and be open to change. Empowering people, and having a bias for action and an urgency to move forward.
Customer/quality focus. Having a high focus on and awareness of quality and customer service.
Ethics/integrity. Acting with honesty and integrity. Core values and ethics are very important and decisions are made for the greater good of the organization. Seeing healthy differences and diversity as strengths.
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Work Can Be Stressful, Dangerous And Sometimes Great

Work Can Be Stressful, Dangerous And Sometimes Great | digitalNow | Scoop.it
What the researchers found was that more than 1 in 4 Americans surveyed say they don't have enough time to do their jobs, with about half of Americans reporting that they do some work in their free time. This was most prevalent among white-collar workers. Two-thirds of all workers say they frequently work under tight deadlines or at high speed.

In addition, 1 in 5 reported experiencing verbal abuse, threats, humiliating behavior or unwanted sexual attention at work in the past month; or they experienced bullying, harassment or sexual harassment in the past year.

"One thing that really struck me was the high prevalence of hostile social interactions at work," says Maestas. Her survey found that while such interactions were seen across the board, verbal abuse was much more common in customer service jobs and experienced at the highest rates among men who did not graduate from college. Younger women and women of "prime age," defined in the survey as ages 35-49, experienced the most unwanted sexual attention.
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Overcoming the Fear of Giving Tough Feedback

Overcoming the Fear of Giving Tough Feedback | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Think about how much energy we waste by skirting around the real issue. Often, when we choose to withhold feedback we think we are being nice or diplomatic, but in reality, were just being flat out scaredy pants. Because no matter how you cut it, there will be pain when giving feedback. In the case of Beth, we might be tempted to say, “Beth, mostly you’re doing well just step it up a bit.”

Yet the true irony is withholding feedback from people who would otherwise benefit from it is not a nice thing to do. Without it we give others a false sense of security in their less than desirable performance.

To overcome the fear of giving feedback and communicate better as a leader, we must first recognize that feedback can cause pain – and learn to accept that pain. Then, we must
say what needs to be said in way that enables others to hear it, with respect and concern for the person on the receiving end.
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2 Mistakes Leaders Never Make When They Disagree!

There are two mistakes that great leaders never make when they disagree.

Not listening
Point out why others are wrong and they are right
Let’s take the following scenario to illustrate this point. Let’s imagine I want you to do X and you want to do Y. You explain your reasoning to me. I listen. I repeat what you have said to make sure we are in agreement. In this way, I avoid the mistake of not listening.

Now, let’s say I do not agree with you. The worst thing I can do is point out why I am right and you are wrong. This is mistake number two.

A far better approach is to say something like, “Direct report, I want you to do X for the following reasons. You have said you want to do Y. I’ve listened to you. I’ve repeated what you said and I see the logic of it. In this case, I still want you to do X for the following reasons.”

Perhaps my direct report still disagrees and wants to do X. I can say, “I understand. You’re a smart person and I respect you. In this case, this is my decision to make and we will go with Y.”

Perhaps you come back again and say, Marshall, “I think you’re wrong.” You know what I can say?
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IT Leaders Use Freelance Help to Close Skills Gaps

IT Leaders Use Freelance Help to Close Skills Gaps | digitalNow | Scoop.it
A growing number of IT department managers reported that the hiring market for technology talent has gotten more difficult over the past year, and the majority of them said they need to hire freelancers to support IT needs, according to a recent survey from Upwork. The resulting "Future Workforce IT Report" reveals that most IT managers said they've had to evolve in their approach to hiring in order to maintain a competitive edge. By bringing on freelancers, their department gets more work done, and they can better balance teams to meet project demands. The IT managers also avoid the delay or cancellation of projects or the extension of deadlines. "The tech talent gap has reached a crisis point," said Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork. "Companies are struggling with a widening tech skills gap, particularly in areas such as AI, IoT and robotics. The shortage of skilled tech professionals has become a major concern for companies. To help bridge the gap, companies are innovating their talent strategies by leveraging freelancers with the specialized skills they need to develop new technologies." More than 200 IT managers took part in the research.
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IT Staffing Needs Are Affected by the Cloud

IT Staffing Needs Are Affected by the Cloud | digitalNow | Scoop.it

The impact of the cloud on IT staffing has become clear: As workloads move to offsite infrastructures, hiring for lower-level IT positions is slowing, while the demand for skills in areas such as analytics, the cloud and security is on the rise. This finding from Computer Economics' recent study, "IT Spending and Staffing Benchmarks 2017/2018," illustrates the evolving makeup of the typical IT department. While IT staffing levels are remaining fairly flat, the move toward software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, cloud infrastructure, virtualization and increased automation—and the accompanying shift of IT dollars from CapEx to OpEx—has required IT leaders to adjust the mix of skills and capabilities at their disposal. Forward-looking IT professionals should make note of this trend to avoid getting left behind. "As the cloud shifts hiring priorities, IT professionals need to be upgrading their skills," said Tom Dunlap, director of research at Computer Economics. "Fortunately, the cloud makes it easy to get those skills, whether by setting up a virtual server on Amazon Web Services, or by developing a new app on one of the cloud platforms." The study, which also indicated steady operational IT spending growth, was based on a survey of more than 200 North American IT executives, and it includes IT spending and staffing benchmarks for small, midsize and large organizations in 25 industries.
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The roots of organic growth 

The power of the diversified approach

While approximately 60 percent of those surveyed identified one of the approaches as their primary source of growth, the largest group in our sample—representing about 40 percent of companies surveyed—were those that diversified their organic growth portfolio. A disproportionate number of the companies that grew significantly—at 4 percent greater than the rate of their sector’s over the past three years—were in this group.

These results make intuitive sense: companies creating new products or services frequently need to reallocate capital so they can place their bets, while an exceptional sales force or top-flight marketing team can accelerate a variety of new product or service initiatives. Our analysis further showed that companies exhibiting strong investor and creator tendencies particularly benefited from a diversified approach to changing their growth trajectory (Exhibit 1).
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Ask these questions to identify who you are as a leader

Ask these questions to identify who you are as a leader | digitalNow | Scoop.it
To find out who you are as a leader, ask yourself what you do well, which areas you need help with and how you can better help your team, says John Baldoni in this blog post and video. "Make sure there's an alignment between what you think you're doing and what they are receiving," he says.
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I Am Your Employee: Employee Wants and Needs to Drive Engagement

I Am Your Employee: Employee Wants and Needs to Drive Engagement | digitalNow | Scoop.it
What Employees Want and Need
If employees could collectively tell you what they want and need, here’s what they might say:
“I am your employee...

• I’ve been told I am part of the human capital equation and very important here. So, if I may, I have a couple of thoughts I’d like to share."

• It’s about why I chose this organization…and what I expect from my employment experience. I need to feel valued, to be treated with respect and to know my supervisor cares about me. I need regular information from my manager, but still need to hear from senior leaders on broader company issues."

• I need to know how I will benefit when I produce good results. And I need regular, tangible, specific, constructive feedback about my work."
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Empathy makes you a more effective leader

Empathy makes you a more effective leader | digitalNow | Scoop.it
While we crave being heard and valued, we have become so caught up in technology that we are dumbing down our social skills. Psychologist Sara Konrath at Michigan University found that young people are becoming less empathic than ever; American college students showed a 48% decrease in empathic concern and a 34% drop in their ability to see other people’s perspectives.
87% of the same millennials who expect to be understood and appreciated at work also admit to missing out on a conversation because they were distracted by a phone.
In a world that becomes increasingly automated and computerised, we are losing the very skills that are essential for effective leadership. How can we stop this shipwreck? Let’s take a look:
1. Understand the meaning of empathy

I have always found empathy to be intriguing because it allows you to read minds, something that came in handy as an FBI agent. By listening to another person’s words and reading their body language, you can figure out what they are feeling and thinking.
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The Need of Innovation: Are innovators leaders? 

There are several needs that must be met by a leader in regards to innovation.

1. The need for the leader who can innovate and foster innovation. Innovators often become leaders out of necessity. To take an innovation to fruition, the creator must often be the one who coordinates and leads the entire innovation process. Also, many leaders can only succeed if they can build an environment where people will create new and better ways for the company to function and produce better products. To succeed they must adopt the statement by Walt Disney, “I believe in being an innovator.”

2. The need for the organization that leads by innovation. Breaking into a new market requires innovation. Companies that can innovate become the market leaders and often can only stay at the top as long as they continue to innovate. Peter Drucker stated that, “Business has only two basic functions – marketing and innovation.” To be successful you must excel at both.
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Will blockchain upend digital advertising as we know it?

Will blockchain upend digital advertising as we know it? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Will blockchain upend digital advertising as we know it?
The tech could solve myriad issues pertaining to ad fraud and non-transparency, but would be yet another disruption to an industry still scrambling to achieve digital transformation
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The Fate of Online Trust in the Next Decade

The Fate of Online Trust in the Next Decade | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Some 1,233 responded to this nonscientific canvassing: 48% chose the option that trust will be strengthened; 28% of these particular respondents believe that trust will stay the same; and 24% predicted that trust will be diminished. (See “About this canvassing of experts” for further details about the limits of this sample.)

Participants were asked to explain their answers and were offered the following prompt to consider: Which areas of life might experience the greatest impact? Economic activity? Health care? Education? Political and civic life? Cultural life? Will the impacts be mostly positive or negative? What role might the spread of blockchain systems play?

Many of these respondents made references to changes now being implemented or being considered to enhance the online trust environment. They mentioned the spread of encryption, better online identity-verification systems, tighter security standards in internet protocols, new laws and regulations, new techno-social systems like crowdsourcing and up-voting/down-voting or challenging online content.
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3 executive takeaways about culture from the Google mess

3 executive takeaways about culture from the Google mess | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Co-opt the invisible hand of culture to create business success

Once you own your ability to help create a culture where psychological safety is the norm, you begin to access the power to wield the invisible hand of culture to produce business results. The reason it matters is that culture programs the organization’s default intuition for how to handle every decision, customer conversation and employee interaction. Culture takes your place in leading and providing direction when you’re not physically present.
If you want every employee to choose and reward actions that focus on, rather than distract from, the business’ success, then you need to become intentional about rooting out the behaviors that work against this dynamic. Certainly, shame, blame, discrimination and harassment fall into that category, but so do many others, and these are specific to your business. Learn what they are and help your people replace them with behaviors that support the growth and success you are personally committed to achieving.
Turn this cultural awareness and maintenance into an organizational habit and you’ll find the invisible hand of culture supporting you all along the way.
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The roots of organic growth 

Digital technologies and the pace of competition, however, also open new avenues to organic growth for those companies that have the capabilities and dexterity to take advantage of them. Today’s fastest growers, for example, price products in real time; they create meaningful and positive customer experiences with digital interactions; and they refine products continually with customer feedback. To understand the relationship between organic growth approaches, capabilities, and performance in this environment, we recently surveyed approximately 600 executives at leading companies in the European Union and North America.1 We found that companies exhibit three basic growth tendencies; that an approach combining two or more of these holds particular power in driving growth; that advanced analytics is an ingredient of standout growth; and that success depends on nurturing a set of reinforcing capabilities that fit the growth approach.
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IT Leaders Use Freelance Help to Close Skills Gaps

IT Leaders Use Freelance Help to Close Skills Gaps | digitalNow | Scoop.it
A growing number of IT department managers reported that the hiring market for technology talent has gotten more difficult over the past year, and the majority of them said they need to hire freelancers to support IT needs, according to a recent survey from Upwork. The resulting "Future Workforce IT Report" reveals that most IT managers said they've had to evolve in their approach to hiring in order to maintain a competitive edge. By bringing on freelancers, their department gets more work done, and they can better balance teams to meet project demands. The IT managers also avoid the delay or cancellation of projects or the extension of deadlines. "The tech talent gap has reached a crisis point," said Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork. "Companies are struggling with a widening tech skills gap, particularly in areas such as AI, IoT and robotics. The shortage of skilled tech professionals has become a major concern for companies. To help bridge the gap, companies are innovating their talent strategies by leveraging freelancers with the specialized skills they need to develop new technologies." More than 200 IT managers took part in the research.
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