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Leading in a Systems World

Leading in a Systems World | digitalNow | Scoop.it
By Linda Fisher Thornton

The impact of our leadership decisions is felt far beyond the spaces where we work. The choices that we make may impact people, communities, the environment and society ...
Don Dea's insight:

Our Choices Have Impact 

We cannot make decisions without considering systems, because we live and lead in a systems world.  The systems in our world are multicultural, global and complex.

       ”Systems thinking is a discipline for seeing wholes.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Peter Senge

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Roy Sheneman, PhD's curator insight, June 8, 2013 8:21 AM

All things are ultimately related...when we try to isolate one aspect of our lives from another, we ultimately suffer...

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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Marketing Analytics Trends for 2016: Where, How, and Why Marketing Drives Revenue

Marketing Analytics Trends for 2016: Where, How, and Why Marketing Drives Revenue | digitalNow | Scoop.it
1. The use of predictive- and prescriptive-only analytics decline, and explanatory analytics rise

Predictive analytics is an incomplete approach because it only gives you a likely outcome if nothing changes. It doesn't tell you why outcomes are likely, the correlations driving those outcomes, or—perhaps most importantly—how to change those outcomes.

Prescriptive analytics is something of a step beyond predictive analytics in that it tells people not only where they're headed but also the moves they can make to improve the outcome. However, that is still basically a black box approach; most prescriptive platforms don't let people understand why the platform made certain recommendations.

Enter explanatory analytics. Marketers are smart people, and as such they (not computer code) should be asking the analytics questions, driven by their curiosity and intuition. They should then bring in the machine to investigate the correlations that matter.
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Next Stop, The Cognitive Business Era

Next Stop, The Cognitive Business Era | digitalNow | Scoop.it
3 Trends Feeding Into Effective Engagement
What this calls for is a fundamental rethink of how we work with one another digitally. We need to break out of the “productivity trap” to reach a higher level of effectiveness. We’ll start to outthink our distractions, our competition, and our limitations.

1. Virtual personal assistants make the leap from algorithmic consumer toy to cognitive business tool
It is physically impossible for the average person to process even a fraction of the information we are exposed to daily. Ninety-four percent of people reported feeling overwhelmed with information to the point of incapacitation at one point or another.

Many vendors are already experimenting with algorithmic and analytical approaches to help consumers prioritize and organize the incoming flood of consumer interactions: think Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, Google Inbox. 
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Deflating Common Mobile Content and Design Misconceptions

Deflating Common Mobile Content and Design Misconceptions | digitalNow | Scoop.it
True or False
Misconception: 'Write less content'
The idea that mobile content should be shorter and more to the point is now conventional wisdom. The argument goes that people no longer engage with deep-dive content on mobile due to the smaller screens and “on-the-go” nature of phones or tablets. 

But Google found that 90 percent of people use multiple screens sequentially, meaning users often take their experience from desktop to mobile whenever convenient for them. Some professionals make the mistake of offering less content on mobile than on desktop. If someone moves from desktop to mobile and can't find the content as they’d (understandably) expect, they’re going to have a poor experience.
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Reading Into Microsoft's Roadmap

Reading Into Microsoft's Roadmap | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Spotting the Trends
Microsoft successfully delivering features is not a breakthrough for the company, but the roadmap reveals a dedication to the iterative development and a commitment to listening to end users. The roadmap offers a self-service portal for users to inform themselves on new items in development, and timeframes for new features that will affect you and your company.

As organizations start utilizing the features available in Office and Office 365, they will be able to provide even more feedback than today. I predict we'll see a much bigger roadmap over the next 12 months and the transition to the ‘Cloud First’ culture will become a reality.
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Navigating Successfully in an App-Centric World

As mobility has moved into the center of the enterprise, business and IT leaders have been forced to shift their focus to an app-centric environment. This means creating new apps, updating existing apps and managing all the apps, which includes building in robust security protections. A new report from Apperian, "2015 Enterprise Mobile App Trend Report," examined nearly two million app deployments across hundreds of thousands of enterprise users. It found that mobile apps are rapidly expanding beyond external customers and encompassing partners, dealers, contract workers and others. Organizations are using these apps to streamline core business processes and drive productivity. "While there are examples of successful apps deployed across entire enterprises, [there are] some remarkably innovative apps that are fundamentally changing how business is done—even when only one or two apps are deployed to smaller organizations or single teams," said Mark Lorion, CMO at Apperian. Among the key findings: Companies are developing portfolios and mobile apps to serve their workforce, and these apps tend to revolve around function rather than industry-related or companywide initiatives. Not surprisingly, technology organizations lead the way in deploying mobile apps.
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How to ensure clarity in your communication

How to ensure clarity in your communication | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The burden of clarity in communication is always on the communicator. That is the person who is committed to the mutual understanding that must occur in order for effective communication to actually take place.

Why is it only up to that person and not their communication partner? It’s because unless we know they are a skilled communicator, we have no assurance they will have either the know-how or desire to accomplish this goal.
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Spend wisely, not more, on IT

Spend wisely, not more, on IT | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Spend wisely, not more, on IT
Recent research from the banking sector suggests that more IT investment doesn’t necessarily boost profits, but targeted investments in particular areas might.
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Small Business Owners' Top Marketing Priorities and Challenges in 2016

Small Business Owners' Top Marketing Priorities and Challenges in 2016 | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Nearly half (47%) of small business owners say they personally handle the bulk of their company's marketing efforts, according to a recent report from Infusionsoft.

The report was based on a survey conducted in December 2015 of 1,026 self-identified small business owners from across the United States. Respondents were polled on how they're tackling marketing and what changes they see coming in the year ahead.

Some 37.6% of respondents say they believe their current marketing efforts are effective, 13.9% say they are not effective, and 48.5% say they are not sure.
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Toward a value-creating board

Toward a value-creating board | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The amount of time board directors spend on their work and commit to strategy is rising. But in a new survey, few respondents rate their boards as effective at most tasks or report good feedback or training practices.
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Success! 7 Ways Knowing Your Communication Style Will Help You Be More Successful

About Others

Once you begin to understand your style as well as some other styles that aren’t your natural tendencies, you can be better equipped to communicate and work with others more effectively. Here are three initial advantages you can gain.

See Tendencies in Others. Your assessment results will tell you much about you – but they will also help you understand the other styles too. To get the most from the whole exercise, spend at least as much time understanding the other styles as understanding your own. Why? Because you are communicating with and influencing others, not yourself!

Have a Framework to Adjust Your Approach. The Assessment tool, whichever one you use, gives you a framework to understand human behavior in new ways. And since you are interacting with others (who don’t all share your tendencies), you have some guidelines and ideas to more effectively adjust your approach to better match theirs. This may seem like a lot of work (it is), but if you want to be a more effective communicator and influencer, this is at the heart of your success.
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Do Your Events Create a Measurable Digital Trail?

About 79 percent of marketers are measuring their event and experiential programs — an amazing 21 percent are not — but what are they measuring for? Marketers announced they were measuring success by total attendance figures, leads and social media activity.

With that latter metric, perhaps there is hope.

The State of the B2B Event Marketing report from Regalix bolsters it a bit. Beyond lead generation and sales figures, registration and attendance, the respondents at least said they measured ROI in terms of social media reach and positive customer attitude toward brand. A little math seems involved in that, perhaps even fueling future decision-making around event marketing.

Real Time Insights
But what Coburn is talking about is a step ahead of that: collecting data at an event, analyzing it and applying it in real time as the event is still taking place.

“With insights that demonstrate what content is resonating, event marketers have the ability to pull the right triggers (leveraging promoted posts, push notifications and more) at the right time, and delivered to the right people,” he said.
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The 25 Most In-Demand Skills on LinkedIn

The 25 Most In-Demand Skills on LinkedIn | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Statistical analysis and data mining was the second most sought-after skillset on LinkedIn in 2015, followed by marketing campaign management and SEO/SEM marketing.

Below is the list of the top 25 in-demand skills last year globally. Trends (up, down, flat) reflect changes in ranking from the 2014 list.
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Why Millennials Block Ads, In Their Own Words

Do you find other ways to support sites you like? I try to donate -- I'm in a decent spot in my life where I can afford to give to Web sites, so I definitely make an effort for the Web sites who I know rely on that ad money. In general, I've tried in the last few months to be more cognizant of which sites are showing me ads to be obtrusive versus showing me ads to support a valuable, but free, service. I like a free Internet, and if that means putting up with ads that aren't intentionally misleading or potentially damaging, then so be it.

For the majority of the time I've used ad blockers, I really didn't think at all about how I might be negatively impacting the sites I valued most. I think recently there's been more of a push for "ethical" ad blocking, if that can really exist, and I like the recognition of service that comes with that for Web sites.
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Number of distance learners continues to grow

Number of distance learners continues to grow | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The Babson Survey Research Group’s final annual report about online education shows the number of distance education students growing faster from 2014 to 2015 than the prior year, 3.9%, even while overall enrollments in higher education was down.
The proportion of chief academic leaders that say online learning is critical to their long-term strategy actually fell in 2015 to 63% from about 71% the year before, and while 60% of those at the schools with the highest distance enrollments say their faculty accept the “value and legitimacy of online education”, the average is just 29%.
Among academic leaders, 71% say learning outcomes in online education or the same or better than face-to-face instruction, good news considering more than one in four students take at least one distance education course.
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Strategy, Staffing, Budgets: Your Content Marketing Checklist

Strategy, Staffing, Budgets: Your Content Marketing Checklist | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Hiring the Right People
How do you know you have the right talent and skills on your content-focused marketing team? Mike Volpe, who served as CMO for a little software company that practically invented inbound marketing, has spoken extensively on what it takes to build and scale a stellar marketing team.

The skill mix he looks for has to serve the three stages of the buying process where marketing can have the most influence: attracting an audience, converting to leads and closing customers. Regardless of team size, more than half of your team should have strong competency in content creation and digital channels.

Don't limit your team to just content experts. Look to other marketing functions such as social media or demand generation, as well as subject matter experts or customer-focused team members in your organization. Lead and demand generation managers might not love writing content, but their conversion and campaign-driven approach can make them great sources for ideas and feedback on what will best serve the buying process.
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Blackbaud: Online, Mobile Giving Continues to Grow

Blackbaud: Online, Mobile Giving Continues to Grow | digitalNow | Scoop.it
A new study found that 2015’s charitable giving increased 1.6 percent over the previous year while online donations grew 9.2 percent in the same time frame. And don’t forget about mobile giving—14 percent of online donors are utilizing their smartphones and tablets.
“Charitable Giving Report: How Nonprofit Fundraising Performed in 2015,” an annual survey from Blackbaud, compiled data from more than 5,000 nonprofits that amassed $18.2 billion in donations, including about 4,000 nonprofits that submitted $2.2 billion in online funds. The survey deems itself the “largest analysis of overall and online giving data anywhere in the nonprofit sector.”
Blackbaud also broke down numbers by nonprofit size and sector. Small nonprofits (less than $1 million in total donations) continued to see the biggest year-over-year increase with a 5.5 percent bump in 2015. However, online giving increased across the board, with large ($10 million or more in total donations) leading the way with a 9.6 percent increase. Medium ($1 million to $10 million in total donations) and small charities were right behind with 9.1 and 8.3 percent gains, respectively.
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What Worries IT Organizations the Most?

What Worries IT Organizations the Most? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
IT employees and leaders have a lot to worry about these days, according to a recent survey from NetEnrich. For starters, they're spending too much money on technology that either doesn't get used or fails to deliver on its promises, findings show. They devote too many hours to "keeping the lights on" rather than innovating. And the increase of tech acquisition decisions being made outside of the IT department (shadow IT) elevates existing risks about cyber-security and business app performance. Meanwhile, tech departments are still struggling with a lack of available talent to support agility and business advances. "Corporate IT departments are in a real bind," said Raju Chekuri, CEO at NetEnrich. "On one hand, demand for the services they provide has never been greater. On the other hand, they're spread thin due to a lack of skilled, available resources. … The result is poor oversight of existing projects, fewer new projects and more shadow IT. What's needed are tools and teams … that automate infrastructure management, while freeing up internal teams to be proactive in their support of business users." An estimated 200 IT executives at large and midsize companies took part in the research.
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Why a CEO Must Always Know Their Audience

Understanding the Customer Journey as Well as the Customer

In addition to understanding the customer, there’s tremendous value in the CEO understanding the customer journey from initial exposure to a product or service to purchase (and hopefully repeat purchases). When a CEO makes the effort to not only understand the customer’s need, but also how they research their decision and the steps they take that culminate in a purchase, he or she gains a world of insight about what all teams (production, shipping, customer service, marketing, etc.) should be doing. Understand the rational and emotional makeup of the purchase journey, and a CEO has even greater insight.

What CEOs Can Do
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The Money In Open-Source Software

The Money In Open-Source Software | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Despite the growing popularity of open-source software, though, many open-source companies are not financially healthy. Just like eyeballs didn’t translate into actual online purchases during the first dot-com era in the late 1990s, millions of free-software downloads do not always lead to sustainable revenue streams.

Make no mistake, open-source software is a brilliant delivery model to drive user adoption, and it’s poised to drive increasing market value in the coming years. But it’s not a business model on its own.
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How the best acquirers excel at integration

How the best acquirers excel at integration | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Ground integration in the objectives of the deal
The integration of an acquired business should be explicitly tailored to support the objectives and sources of value that warranted the deal in the first place. It sounds intuitive, but we frequently encounter companies that, in their haste, turn to off-the-shelf plans and generic best practices that tend to overemphasize process and ignore the unique aspects of the deal.

Since the deal rationale is specific to each acquisition, so is the integration approach, and it’s important to think through the implications of the deal rationale and the sources of value for the focus, sequence, and pace of the integration. Consider, for example, the experience of two companies where R&D was a primary source of value for an acquisition. After prefacing their integration plans with a close review of their respective objectives, they each took a different approach to integration.
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Salesforce is facing competition from an unexpected place: Amazon

Salesforce is facing competition from an unexpected place: Amazon | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Salesforce could face competition from a surprising new place: Amazon.

According to new investment research from Jefferies, Salesforce partners picked Amazon as the 3rd biggest threat to Salesforce, trailing only Oracle and Microsoft. 

Amazon doesn't sell any customer relationship management products itself. But it has a bunch of partners who sell CRM solutions through its AWS Marketplace. Apparently, some customers are choosing these apps to piggyback along with AWS services such as data storage and compute power, rather than buying a CRM system separately.

The survey should be taken with a grain of salt — it only asked 85 Salesforce partners that mostly target medium-sized businesses. Salesforce and Microsoft play in this space, but most customers of the bigger CRM players like Oracle and SAP are large enterprises.

Still, it's another sign of how powerful AWS is becoming in the enterprise.
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How Leaders Can Make their Messaging Meaningful

How Leaders Can Make their Messaging Meaningful | digitalNow | Scoop.it
People may not remember exactly what you did,
or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. ~ Maya Angelou
 

More than one CEO has said, “Leadership is 90 percent communication,” and research bears them out by showing that the way in which managers communicate with employees is one of the most important factors in driving employee engagement. The late Maya Angelou pinpoints the key to communication that engages and makes meaning: make people feel something. Inspire a felt sense of confidence. Build certainty and community. It makes the difference between compliance and commitment, meaningless work and meaningful work.
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Why You Should Care About Your Worst Employees

Increase workplace happiness, boost employee engagement.

Why bother? Ah, because a lot of unfortunate things will happen if you don't. According to Eisenhauer, there are at least 15 fundamental problems linked to employee disengagement.

Dissatisfied Employees: Few people are eager to work in a boring, stagnant and disengaged workplace. If you don't have a good bond with your employees, they won't have a good bond with their work.
High Turnover: People who don't feel connected to their work have little reason to stick around. If offered a position elsewhere, they're going to take it.
Money, Money, Money: According to Deloitte, federal agencies lose $65 billion a year as a result of employee disengagement. How much are you losing?
Low Productivity: Managers often use productivity as a benchmark when evaluating employees. But productivity suffers if employee engagement falls apart.
One Disengaged Employee Breeds Another: Bad attitudes rub off on people, and things will get worse if you don't address the issue immediately.
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Enrollment in online courses rises, but their importance to academic chiefs wanes

Enrollment in online courses rises, but their importance to academic chiefs wanes | digitalNow | Scoop.it
About 63 percent of chief academic officers consider the likes of massive open online courses, or MOOCS, to be critical to their institutions’ long-term strategies, down from 71 percent last year, the survey, by the Babson Survey Research Group, found.
Twenty-nine percent say the outcomes are inferior to those of face-to-face instruction, up from 26 percent the year before.
Nor are faculty growing more persuaded of the worth of online education. Only 29 percent of academic leaders say their faculty accept the “value and legitimacy” of online courses, a figure that has remained generally flat.
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Five Strategies to Map Out Your SEO

To increase your ranking in search results, check out these five rank-boosting tips.

"Navigate your way to the top with blogs," suggests Spark Pay in the following infographic. "Blogging is a fantastic way to build up your power ranking."

Blogging also increases your SEO footprint, lets you optimize specific keywords, and attracts social shares and inbound links.

Another tip is to "explore the social media landscape," recommends Spark Pay. "Social shares are arguably more important than 'follows.' Be as visible as possible by sharing social gems and becoming a social gem."
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