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Why the 'most innovative companies' aren't

Why the 'most innovative companies' aren't | digitalNow | Scoop.it
You may recognize their brands, but these admired companies have few practices in common that would distinguish them from the rest.
Don Dea's insight:

Pull out the list of the "most innovative companies" from your favorite business magazine. With the exception of their brand recognition, which is the entry fee for these beauty pageants, they have few innovation practices in common that would distinguish them from the rest of the rabble, whether it's unique strategies, unusual financing, or novel ways of hiring and staffing.

The fact is that one size never fits all. What makes innovation companies unique is, well, unique. They are highly adapted for their specific situation.

Corporations spend billions of dollars on innovation training every year. Take a close look at popular leading innovation programs, and you are likely to find a wide array of distinct subjects and approaches.

While important, the problem is that these subjects don't get at the real issue that stops companies from innovating. Connecting the dots makes innovation functional.

Unlike most other forms of value, innovation doesn't belong to any one department, discipline, or region. Ask leaders in five different divisions of your company what innovation is and how it happens, and it will become clear that they are not talking about the same thing. You might have tremendous research and development, marketing, and logistics innovation and still fail miserably in the marketplace where these individual departmental functions are of no consequence.

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digitalNow
Exploring leadership, management, innovation, and technology issues and trends; impacting associations & non-profit organizations in the digital age.
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Innovation Strategy – Delegating the Wrong Question

Innovation Strategy – Delegating the Wrong Question | digitalNow | Scoop.it
If you are in charge of developing innovation strategy, you have to answer the question, “What are our next big innovation opportunities?”

Being responsible for developing innovation strategy also means reaching out beyond your innovation team to employees, customers, and other stakeholders to gather valuable input.

When your outreach consists of asking stakeholders what your next big innovation opportunities are, however, you are missing the mark.

Delegating the Wrong Question to the Right People
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4 steps to success for a new CIO

4 steps to success for a new CIO | digitalNow | Scoop.it
New CIOs have about 90 to 120 days to make their mark on an organization. The transition also creates a tremendous opportunity for CIOs. Anticipation of what digital can deliver is great.

But it is not an easy task. The lines of demarcation in companies are blurring.   New CIOs must read between the lines – between industries, customers and product developers -- as they move swiftly to learn the business, find their niche and make an impact on the enterprise. Speed – or multiple speeds in the world of IT, given legacy systems and the arrival of digital – is the focus as digital drives the rate of innovation and business leaders’ expectations.  


State of the CIO 2015
More than 500 top IT leaders responded to our online survey to help us gauge the state of the
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But new CIOs are not the sole masters of their enterprise’s technology. As reported in the Accenture 2015 Technology Vision, only 34 percent of executives expect the IT organization to be the main generator of innovation in the next two years, down from 71 percent just two years ago.

That compounds the challenges faced by new CIOs who walk into the job fully aware that the average tenure of a CIO tends to be shorter than that of their other C-suite colleagues. Still, the opportunities are great for those CIOs who heed four imperatives.
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Salaries for STEM jobs in decline

Salaries for STEM jobs in decline | digitalNow | Scoop.it
After several years of strong growth, wages across all industries stalled in the first quarter of 2015 and previous top-performing sectors such as the professional, scientific and technical services industries as well as the oil and gas industry have declined, according to cloud compensation data and software provider PayScale's most recent PayScale Index.


State of the CIO 2015
More than 500 top IT leaders responded to our online survey to help us gauge the state of the
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Wages flat or in decline

The PayScale Index shows national wages for Q1 across industries barely increased (0.1 percent) and the average 12-month change in U.S. wages across all industries was a small 1.8 percent. While STEM fields experienced a decline in wages, construction jobs and the real estate industry are now showing signs of recovery, according to the Index.
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When Do You Trust a Creative Genius' Extreme Creativity?

When Do You Trust a Creative Genius' Extreme Creativity? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
“At what point do you trust a creative genius who comes in as your new boss?”
That was a fantastic, completely new question at a recent creative thinking workshop.
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New managers as leaders: Closing the skills gap

New managers as leaders: Closing the skills gap | digitalNow | Scoop.it
New manager training is often focused on skill-set building, but for true leadership development to occur, programs also need to create mindset development, or the behavior change that is so critical to a leader’s success. Most organizations have company-specific skill development covered through in-house new-manager training focused on the organization’s internal business practices and processes, and some may also offer training in basic management skills, like budgeting and planning. But leadership training requires that new managers understand their connection to their organization’s strategy and gain the skills and experience to help them use that knowledge to inspire and focus their teams on the front lines every day.
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"Leading Up": Being a values-based leader at any level

"Leading Up": Being a values-based leader at any level | digitalNow | Scoop.it
For leading up, self-reflection can act as an early warning detection system when something feels uncomfortable or “off.” Through self-reflection, you become more honest with yourself: “Am I being resistant to change, or am I truly concerned?”
Don Dea's insight:

Without question, what happens at the top — priorities established, strategies set or changed — cascades throughout the entire organization. How can it be true, then, that anyone at any level can be a leader? The answer is by “leading up” (or “managing up”), a key part of values-based leadership that allows people to positively influence their boss or even the boss’ boss.

Leading up is especially important when companies are undergoing periods of dramatic or rapid change. During these times, feedback from across the team is crucial. Let’s look at a couple of examples from the headlines.

Animation studio DreamWorks has put in place a restructuring after spreading itself too thin over multiple platforms. Before the restructuring, CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg reportedly told investors, DreamWorks endured a “painful” period. Based on interviews with current and former employees, The Wall Street Journal reported that “workers of all ranks grew to have little faith in creative decisions, watching as fast changes forced expensive rewrites and schedule changes kept production budgets fluctuating.”1 You have to wonder: could that painful period have been shortened or made less excruciating if more people had “led up” to influence strategic direction?

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Hahaha vs. Hehehe

Hahaha vs. Hehehe | digitalNow | Scoop.it
That’s just what I’d suspected and feared: while I’m ha-ha-ing my way into middle age, younger people have coined a new laugh. Good for them. They’re “heh-heh”ing to professors who hear “hee-hee”ing; they’re being conspiratorial with fortysomethings confused by the terms of the conspiracy. I’m just glad we’re all having a good time. If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to watch “Hee Haw.”
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How Some Men Fake an 80-Hour Workweek, and Why It Matters

How Some Men Fake an 80-Hour Workweek, and Why It Matters | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Imagine an elite professional services firm with a high-performing, workaholic culture. Everyone is expected to turn on a dime to serve a client, travel at a moment’s notice, and be available pretty much every evening and weekend. It can make for a grueling work life, but at the highest levels of accounting, law, investment banking and consulting firms, it is just the way things are.

Except for one dirty little secret: Some of the people ostensibly turning in those 80- or 90-hour workweeks, particularly men, may just be faking it.
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4 Common Communication Failures (And How to Fix Them)

4 Common Communication Failures (And How to Fix Them) | digitalNow | Scoop.it
But as many businesses have experienced firsthand, that flow of information isn't always smooth and seamless. When communication breaks down, the results can range from poor morale and strained relationships to missed opportunities and lost profits. Business leaders and experts shared a few of the most common points of failure in workplace communication:

Email overload. Employers and employees can get in touch via phone calls, text messages, chat services and social networks nowadays. And yet, across the board, most companies still use email as their primary method of communication. Phil Simon, business consultant and author of "Message Not Received" (Wiley, 2015), said that the average person receives 120 to 150 emails per day. While message delivery is typically reliable, he said, it's very likely that a person will misplace, delete or not even see a specific email, and therefore could miss a crucial piece of information.
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What You Do Right Before Bed Determines How Productive and Focused You’ll Be Tomorrow

What You Do Right Before Bed Determines How Productive and Focused You’ll Be Tomorrow | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The nighttime is the right time to set yourself up for a productive day.
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How Popular Are Mobile In-Store Payments?

he number of US proximity mobile payment users—where a proximity mobile payment is a point-of-sale (POS) transaction made by using a mobile device as a payment method—will reach 22.6 million in 2015, up 41.7% year over year but representing just 12.7% of smartphone users. By 2018, more than one-quarter of smartphone users, or 57.0 million people, will make a POS transaction via mobile.
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When Going to Market, LinkedIn Is B2Bs' Social Go-To

LinkedIn continues to live up to its business-to-business (B2B) reputation, based on recent research. In March 2015 polling by Regalix, LinkedIn ranked as the No. 1 social media site used for product launches among B2B marketers worldwide, cited by 81%.
Don Dea's insight:

Twitter, which landed in second, trailed by 10 percentage points, while Facebook and YouTube tied for third, at 54%. Google+, SlideShare and Pinterest didn’t even come close. In 2014 research by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs, LinkedIn ranked as the most-used social media platform for distributing content among B2B marketers in North America, at 94%. And that usage was well deserved, as the social platform was also the most effective. - See more at: http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Going-Market-LinkedIn-B2Bs-Social-Go-To/1012418#sthash.oGiunMCV.dpuf

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The 7 Success Factors of Social Business Strategy

The 7 Success Factors of Social Business Strategy | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Invest in technology platforms that evolve. 
Resist the temptation to jump on the latest technology bandwagon before you have a long-term strategic plan in place. Hold off on making significant technology investments until you’re equipped with a sound vision and strategic plan.
Sure, much of this seems commonsensical. But you and I know that common sense is one of the most uncommon things around. And yes, these seven success factors are true for almost any solid strategy. But by following these seven characteristics of success social businesses, you can and will immediately change course from just another brand, social or digital strategist trying to make sense of social media and instead demonstrating the relationship between business objectives, social technology, and the people in between.
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When Loyalty Isn’t its Own Reward

Real rewards and real rewards programs may seem expensive. But I suspect that too many of today’s standard rewards programs have themselves become too costly — not just in terms of the balance sheet, but also in terms of human capital and marketing program costs. Most rewards programs simply do not work, and should either be redesigned or eliminated completely.  
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Strategic Planning: Nonprofit Board Orphan?

nearly 35 percent of over 836 nonprofit chief executives gave their boards a C, D or F grade in strategic development efforts. In addition, only 35 percent reported, extensive use of "meetings focused on strategy and policy."* This is further evidenced in the frequent absence of long range planning items on nonprofit board agendas. What are the root causes of such a deficit in an area that is of critical importance to the future of the organization? One or more of the following challenges may apply:

Reviewing the Outcomes of Operations Is More Interesting
Strategy discussion can be tedious, requiring a slow and careful process of analysis, forecasting and hypothesis development. Conversely, the board director in a nonprofit can often respond easily to the fascination of the current narratives from staff and how they operate to help clients. Discussing outcomes is also more managerially satisfying because they deal with current reality. A common result of these types of distractions is that a full agenda at board meetings discourages inclusion of strategy discussions. Studies show that for-profit boards also have these same types of strategic issues.
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The Decline of the COO

The advancing sophistication of IT extends the CEO’s ability to be everywhere at once.
Don Dea's insight:
When to Keep the COO

To be sure, there are several situations in which the chief operating officer role is not only relevant, but critical to the effective governance of a company.

The first is when companies wish to be transparent about their succession plan. Our research confirms that planned succession events have been on the rise since 2000, significantly so since 2009. Appointing a COO can be one way to advertise that a company has succession planning well in hand. The sitting CEO may have made clear that he or she will retire or resign in six months to two years, providing the board with a window to groom a single candidate for the role. Naming a COO helps make that handoff as seamless as possible and enables the “road testing” of external hires.

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Managers Account for 70% of Variance in Employee Engagement

As Gallup has reported, only 30% of U.S. employees are engaged at work, and a staggeringly low 13% worldwide are engaged. Worse, over the past 12 years, these low numbers have barely budged, meaning that the vast majority of employees worldwide are failing to develop and contribute at work.

Gallup has studied performance at hundreds of companies and measured the engagement of 27 million employees and more than 2.5 million work units over the past two decades. No matter the industry, size or location, companies are struggling to unlock the mystery of why performance varies from one workgroup to the next. Performance fluctuates widely and unnecessarily in most companies, in no small part from the lack of consistency in how people are managed.
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U.S. Workplace: No Progress in 12 Years

Organizations fail to choose the candidate with the right talent for the manager job a whopping 82% of the time. Virtually all companies try to fix bad managers with training. Nothing fixes a bad manager.

There's a reason for this -- authentic management talent is rare. Gallup's research shows that just one in 10 have the natural, God-given talent to manage a team of people. They know how to motivate every individual on their team; boldly review performance; build relationships; overcome adversity; and make decisions based on productivity, not politics. A manager with little talent for the job will deal with workplace problems through manipulation and unhelpful office politics.

Gallup's research also found that another two in 10 people have some characteristics of functioning managerial talent and can perform at a high level if their company coaches and supports them.

The fact is, real management talent exists in your company right now. Companies that use predictive analytics and intense development techniques for their managers will have the biggest advantage in the all-out global war for the best customers.
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Advisory boards: The when, why and how

So, now that there is proof positive of the merits of advisory boards, how do you recruit them?
In most cases, advisory boards are recruited by simply asking. Asking is done by the CEO, possibly other leaders in the company, to those he or she knows. On rare occasions do companies initiate a more formal process, such as engaging with a recruiter, although it would be remiss not to state that there are definite strategic advantages to going this route. Nevertheless, hopefully, candidates are proactively selected based on some objective criteria.
Don Dea's insight:

The final element to consider is whether and how to compensate an advisory board. In most cases, compensation is not a prerequisite; rather advisers participate because they are interested in the business, supportive of the mission or strategy or leadership. However, there is an argument for providing some form of compensation.

As advisory boards are often constructed in the early stages of a company, the compensation is usually in the form of equity. The typical range appears to be between 0.25% to 1.5% per adviser. As is the case with board directors, compensation is not the main motivator but can certainly add an element of formality and commitment to the relationship.

For anyone attempting to grow and develop a business, a well-constructed advisory board can be worth its weight in gold. The key to success is not only in the selection and recruitment of these individuals but in their engagement. The experience on all sides should be productive, intellectually challenging and dare I say, even enjoyable!

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HR Isn't Meeting Global Business Demands

Executives can't transform their company's HR identity overnight, nor can they quickly erase HR's old reputation as a transactional personnel function. But four steps -- drawn from Gallup's observations of leaders across industries and sectors -- offer a solid approach to upskilling HR by focusing on improving talent and performance: 1) get better at leadership, 2) rethink training, 3) connect passion and purpose and 4) consider talent and culture when managing change.
Don Dea's insight:

Get Better at Leadership

To ensure a company's future success, HR professionals must support leadership development throughout the company and prepare future leaders faster. Upskilling leadership will require HR professionals to develop new skills themselves in the service areas they lead. HR professionals must learn how to use objective science rather than subjective opinion to help their business partners identify leadership talent early on.

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A Very Fast-Growing Group of Entrepreneurs: People Over 50

Gallup asked boomer business owners how they feel about the entrepreneurial ecosystem in which they live and operate, and their responses may interest leaders trying to foster job creation in their communities. The challenges boomer entrepreneurs face are fairly similar to the ones that confront younger entrepreneurs: access to credit, availability of training and information and coping with regulations, among others.

Two-thirds of baby boomers (66%) who own businesses agree or strongly agree that they can easily think of people who would be great partners if they ever decided to start a business. This is a clear advantage that boomers likely have gained from decades of cultivating professional contacts through work.

Outside of social capital, though, boomer entrepreneurs are less likely to agree or strongly agree that information relevant to growing a business (47%) and entrepreneurial training and education (35%) are easily or readily available in their city or area. And about four in 10 agree or strongly agree that the city or area where they live is a good place to live for entrepreneurs forming new businesses (44%).

Boomer entrepreneurs also say there are two major obstacles to starting businesses in their area. Specifically, only 12% agree or strongly agree that government makes it easy to start or run a business, and only 9% agree or strongly agree that it's easy for anyone to obtain a loan to start a business in their city or area.
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Consumers Doubt Their Personal Info Is Very Safe

Consumers Trust Banks the Most, Social Networks or Apps Least

When it comes to keeping their personal information secure, consumers have much more trust in certain businesses than they do others. About nine in 10 consumers (91%) have a lot or some trust in their primary bank in keeping their personal data safe. Trust in bricks-and-mortar retailers (69%), health insurance companies (68%) and credit card companies (66%) lag behind banks considerably, as does trust in email providers and cellphone platforms (63%).

Consumers also have lower trust in their state government (52%) and the federal government (45%) in keeping their personal information secure. And they place the least amount of trust in social networking sites and applications, with only about two in 10 (23%) having a lot or some trust that these sites and apps will keep their personal data safe.
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Many Potential Entrepreneurs Aren't Taking the Plunge

Many Potential Entrepreneurs Aren't Taking the Plunge | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Reversing the negative net number of startups in the U.S. depends on discovering and developing potential entrepreneurs by supporting them with the information, tools and experiences they need to succeed.
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Habits are the Invisible Architecture of Everyday Life

Habits are the Invisible Architecture of Everyday Life | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life. Research shows that each day, we repeat about 40 percent of our behavior, so our habits shape our existence, and our future.
Don Dea's insight:

In a nutshell, this framework distinguishes how you tend to respond to expectationsouterexpectations (a deadline, a “request” from a sweetheart) and inner expectations (practice guitar, get more sleep).

Your response to expectations may sound obscure, but it turns out to be very, very important.

Upholders respond readily to outer and inner expectations (I’m an Upholder, 100%)

Questioners question all expectations; they’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense–essentially, they make all expectations into inner expectations.

Obligers meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves (e.g., a journalist who can write for an editor but can’t work on a novel in his free time).

Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike.

To discover your Tendency, and its implications for habit formation, take this Quiz. More than 55,000 people have taken it.

Bottom line? When it comes to changing our habits—and changing our lives—the most important thing is to know ourselves. Then we can make the choices that will allow us to succeed, even if we’ve failed before.

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In Mobile Payment Adoptions, Millennials Lead

“Twenty-four percent of the millennials check their smartphone immediately upon waking, and that was excluding the alarm feature. That jumps to 52% within 5 minutes of waking.”
Don Dea's insight:

The younger generations always wants the new and hottest device. They want better features and functionality, they want the hottest thing, even just for a status symbol or a fashion statement. I don’t see any signs of that waning. - See more at: http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Mobile-Payment-Adoptions-Millennials-Lead/1012349#sthash.iPWpvdsf.dpuf

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