In our high-powered, win-at-all-costs business environment, the word "empathy" often evokes derision and scorn. Who has time to be a squishy, touchy-feely wimp overflowing with empathy? We're all busy closing deals and kicking butt!
Kicking, closing, etc., is great and all -- but empathy has genuine business value. Don't forget that CRM has "relationship" right in the middle of it. Relationships are what keep customers, and keeping customers is the route to profitability. And you can't create great customer relationships without a degree of empathy.
Go Through the Motions
For the lexicographically challenged or sociopathic among us, empathy is defined as "the psychological identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts or attitudes of another."
This is not something businesses are especially good at. We all tend to have our thinking bent toward the concerns of our businesses, for obvious reasons. However, as customers awaken to the growing power in their possession, we need to break out of our introspective mindsets and see ourselves -- and our processes -- as others see us (to mangle the words of the great Scottish CRM expert Robert Burns).
One of the most important decisions companies make is simply whom they name manager, Gallup has found. Yet our analytics suggest they usually get it wrong: Companies fail to choose the candidate with the right talent for the job 82% of the time.
And great managers are scarce because the talent required to be one is rare. Gallup's research shows that about one in 10 people possess high talent to manage. Though many people have some of the necessary traits, few have the unique combination of talent needed to help a team achieve the kind of excellence that significantly improves a company's performance. When these 10% are put in manager roles, they naturally engage team members and customers, retain top performers and sustain a culture of high productivity.
Audit the brand promise. The promises that companies make to their customers today must be deliverable today. Leaders should objectively assess their company's brand promises and ask themselves:
Which promises are easy to keep? Which promises are harder to keep? Which promises are customer focused? Which promises define the brand? Which promises are gratuitous and could be eliminated? Which promises differentiate your brand from its competitors? Armed with the answers to these questions, leaders can better define their company's brand promise and ensure that it is truthful, compelling and unique. They can eliminate any promise that is false or difficult to maintain, and focus solely on the promises that their employees can consistently deliver.
Earned media: Isn’t a true media platform at all. Rather earned media is a marketing approach that’s akin to word of mouth (WOM). It aims to get people, especially customers, influencers, and other media entities, talking about your company and/or brand.
After decades of globalization and intensifying competition, it is widely recognized that the market for talent has replaced loyalty as the decisive factor shaping the relationship between employers and employees. It seems just as clear that this fundamental shift has led to a decrease in loyalty and trust on both sides.
Don Dea's insight:
Retention and Turnover
Just as employees can no longer rely on paternalistic management structures to shield them from the effects of market cycles, technological change, or international competition, employers can no longer assume that employees will stay if circumstances—and these can be push or pull factors—encourage them to leave.
This has demanded the attention of employers because the ability to attract and retain the best talent represents a decisive competitive advantage, one that will determine the current and future profitability of most companies. So, it is not surprising that increasing thought is being paid to issues of employee retention and to the costs of high employee turnover.
There are two propositions here. The first involves the retention of key employees. Employment may be insecure for a large portion of the American workforce, but for those with critical skills and talents the reverse is true. The transformation of corporate employment from corporate benevolence to a talent market has granted employees an advantage that gives every indication of being permanent. While this issue involves far fewer employees, its effects are magnified by the increasingly specialized nature of skills within the knowledge economy. Often, employees lost to one company will find a place with their direct competitors. And when it comes to innovators, the benefits lost with their resignation can be immense; Dr. John Sullivan suggests that it could be 5 to 300 times that of an average employee.
“Women are the most underutilized economic asset in the world’s economy.” Figure 1 depicts an assessment of the economic impact women’s work and leadership could have on various countries by the year 2020, these figures suggest a ripple effect: women’s contribution raises the GDP significantly around the globe
Problem 1: Results Will Be Skewed When it comes to surveys, timing is everything. Asking employees once in a blue moon about how they feel regarding their whole work experience will inevitably come with conditional biases influencing their state of mind in that moment.
A good mood, poor night’s sleep or frustrating interaction with a co-worker all become factors that can skew answers toward the positive or negative end of the spectrum. Additionally, by the time you’ve got all of the survey data on your desk, it may not include any new-hire feedback while, on the other hand, it still contains responses from employees who’ve since left the company.
Capturing feedback at one moment in time is like taking a snapshot rather than a video – it just won’t provide an accurate, comprehensive illustration of what’s actually going on.
In Dale Carnegie’s classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living*, a central lesson is to live in day tight compartments.
Carnegie makes the point that large ships have watertight compartments. In the event of an accident where a portion of the ship takes on water, any section can be sealed off to prevent a catastrophe from downing the entire ship (poor design of these on the Titanic led to its demise).
Living in day tight compartments means that you identify what you have the capacity to handle today and then “seal off” the remainder of your worries. Focus on what you can do today and stop worrying about tomorrow’s troubles.
Goodman cites Intel's prediction that we'll go from 15 billion internet-connected devices now to 200 billion in 2020. That's an insane number of devices that can be hacked, and as Goodman says, we can't even keep our existing laptops and smartphones and internet servers safe now: Just look at the Target breach, where somewhere around 70 million people had their private data stolen by hackers.
"President Obama recently talked about cybersecurity in the State of the Union address and called for enhanced penalties for identity thieves," Goodman said during his talk. "We're going to need to think much much grander if we're going to solve this problem. I think we need a Manhattan Project for cybersecurity."
We will eventually get to mobile wallets, and the majority of consumers will use them. The biggest barriers are cultural, including sloppy business practices.
It's not exactly a news flash that technology moves forward faster than people do. The ATM was invented in the late 1960s, but it didn't achieve widespread adoption until two decades later. The earliest smartphones appeared in the early 1990s, but the concept didn't take off until 2007, when Apple introduced the iPhone.
House of Multitasking. Fifty percent of the general population considers texting or taking calls during meetings rude. Unfortunately, these individuals invite the ire of those who mistakenly believe they are "getting more done" by texting during meetings.
House of Awkwardness. Three-quarters of adults surveyed admit they use their mobile phones in the bathroom and carry on business conversations there. While it's probably not fair to describe this as a complete waste, one can only hope they wash up afterward.
Matt Rosoff Business Insider Yes, Apple computers are susceptible to malware, too. Apple used to brag its computers aren't as vulnerable as Windows PCs to viruses, but the company quickly changed its marketing page after a Trojan affected thousands of Mac computers in 2012.
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
A leader shows the way and guides his people to get it done. At the end of the day, the leader shoulders the dilemma. The approach they use will greatly affect the overall strength of the organization.
It is my belief that leaders always surround themselves with smart people who can help the organization grow and increase its capacity. If a leader finds herself to be the smartest person in the room, she either should hire new people or move on to another organization
The biggest challenge is not in the understanding or expertise associated with new technology. We can learn that. The biggest problem is our inability to recognize that the experience we have today is not the experience we need going forward. A notable separation exists between the expertise people have or are learning and the jobs companies need to hire for in an increasingly digital economy. This means that current employees possess expertise to perform jobs that are losing prominence in business while new jobs openings (or the need to create them) are becoming increasingly difficult to fill.
Stories placed through Instant Articles will load up to 10 times faster on mobile devices than other stories on Facebook, the company said.
Several interactive features come with Instant Articles. One lets consumers tilt their phone to zoom in and explore photos. Scrolling through stories will trigger autoplay videos. Readers can explore interactive maps, listen to audio captions, and even Like and Comment on individual parts of an article in-line.
Great managers consistently engage their teams to achieve outstanding performance. They create environments where employees take responsibility for their own -- and their team's -- engagement and build workplaces that are engines of productivity and profitability.
But not every team is led by a great manager. That's why managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across business units,
Don Dea's insight:
The Talent to Achieve Excellence
If great managers seem scarce, it's because the talent required to be one is rare. Talents are innate and are the building blocks of great performance. Knowledge, experience and skills develop our talents into strengths, but unless people possess the right innate talents for our job, no amount of training or experience will lead to exceptional performance.
While many organizations focus solely on shareholder value, other companies realize that positive financial results come when they invest in the human capital in their workplaces. When employees have sustained pressure to contribute to competitive and profitable organizations, it can result in negative consequences like physical illness and chronic health conditions.
If we drop our keys, we can still use them to start our car or open our house, right? If we drop our wallet, we can still pick it up and use everything inside, right? However when anything happens to our delicate smartphone, we are out of luck! And this is the device we are trusting with all our vital information and ability to get into our home or cars? Are we crazy! So what's the solution?
Don Dea's insight:
Smartphones are not sturdy. Many things can and do happen that make the smartphone unusable -- and when the smartphone is unusable, so are all these amazing features and apps. The smartphone can go from an amazing remote control to a useless paperweight in the blink of an eye.
In fact, that's what happens countless times, every single day, to users from coast-to-coast in the U.S. and worldwide. That's why handset makers and wireless networks sell insurance for these devices. Insurance makes fixing or replacing a smartphone more affordable, but it does not solve the other problems.
When the phone stops working, we are disconnected from our world. That's the problem.
Last week I lightly dropped my iPhone and it stopped working. Period. End of story. Unusable.
The meteoric growth of cyber-extortion as a prominent threat faced by enterprises has raised a new ethical conundrum for information security executives: to negotiate or not to negotiate? As extortionists have become more creative and precise in their theft and ransoming of valuable business data, what was once unthinkable—negotiating with criminals—has increasingly become standard practice. In fact, it's so standard that nearly one-third of security professionals surveyed are willing to play ball with cyber-criminals in order to get valuable data back. Such is the stand-out finding of a recent survey conducted by threat prevention software vendor ThreatTrack Security. "A surprising number of security pros would concede to cyber-criminal demands to avoid the consequences of data compromise, loss or misappropriation," said Stuart Itkin, ThreatTrack senior vice president. By re-evaluating their security strategies to ensure rapid detection and elimination of threats, as well as the ability to restore encrypted data, Itkin said that enterprises "will neutralize the incentives that are driving cyber-crime extortion and help ensure security professionals will not have to face this difficult choice."
When I observe Hidden Leaders in action, they lead through relationships in the following ways: They posses a technical or professional expertise. That expertise may be based on their function, like engineering, manufacturing or specific to technology. The technical expertise needn’t be technological though as it may come from a discipline like sales, or customer service, or accounting where they’ve established a track record. Whatever the source of that proficiency, it strengthens relationships and supports the connection to others in the business, because with expertise comes trust, which is the foundation of business relationships. They are recognized as having good judgment and rational thinking. Colleagues view them as being able to understand what the business is trying to accomplish, and having the ability to think of pragmatic approaches. That doesn’t mean they are always right, though. But even when they aren’t correct, it is easy to see the reasoning and course of thinking they used. In this way, Hidden Leaders are frequently able to express their rationale for an idea to be implemented, an innovation to consider, or a process to be changed. So even when there is disagreement, the logic is clear. They are good at making emotional connections with others. I’m always careful about using that phrase. In fact I wrote an article for Harvard Business Review on the ways leaders make emotional connections, and I’ll reiterate that I’m not talking about wild displays of emotion or what is pejoratively labeled as “being emotional.” I could replace “emotional” with “human,” I suppose, because the essence of these connections is that logic supports thinking and emotions support action. So using emotions as a means to connect with colleagues is powerful. That could be the energy-creating effect of enthusiasm or passion, the collaborative sense of mutual concern or frustration, and the effect of engagement on shared goals. People rarely act on information or data alone, and when we influence each other, emotion is almost always part of the equation. Hidden Leaders tap into those emotions.
1. You Insist Everything. Must. Be. Just. So. We can’t move on – I don’t have all the pieces figured out! Our site is too ugly – we can’t share it! Yes, I did just spend five hours deciding on this color. Do any of these sound familiar?
If you said yes: Get comfortable with good enough and ditch the all-or-nothing mentality. Remember, “Done is better than perfect.” And you can always make improvements later.
Fewer Distractions Have you ever had those days when the phone just wouldn’t stop ringing? Have you ever daydreamed about all you could accomplish if people stopped distracting you and you focused on your work?
With a non-traditional work schedule, this is completely possible. If your work week is, say, Tuesday through Saturday, then you could plan for Saturdays to be your “get stuff done” day. As most people don’t work on Saturdays, the volume of calls, emails, and interruptions should go significantly down, allowing you to focus on that all-important to-do list.
Another alternative is to plan regular long breaks during conventional work days to handle errands or simply relax, then pick up when the rest of the world has settled down.
The bottom line is that it’s easier to be productive when you can focus on the task at hand. Using a non-traditional work schedule is one of the easiest ways to give yourself this luxury.
Myth #1: You Can Either Work Smart or Hard. You Cannot Do Both. Why does it have to be one or the other? Why can it not be both?
Every day, I’d track how I was spending my time (I used Rescuetime) and I’d ask myself: Did each task help me move the business forward, or was it a distraction?
Since I was targeting 11 hours of “productive” work a day, I hardly had any time to watch that Youtube video. I wouldn’t want to watch it because this would mean I’d have to finish work later, which meant less time with my hubby. Driving and other necessary yet non-productive activities wouldn’t count towards my 11-hour goal either.
So I became very vigilant with my time. Back when I was working eight hours a day, I had time for busywork. But when I raised my standards to 11 hours of productive work a day, then there was just no time for not working smart.
By now, it’s become pretty commonly accepted that multitasking is bad. While it’s true that trying to do multiple high-concentration tasks at the same time isn’t a great idea, there are several opportunities throughout the day during where “double-tasking” can be your friend.
By grouping the activities below together, you can add up to four hours of productivity to your day without worrying about damaging your brain.
The key is to pair routine, muscle-memory tasks that don’t require much thinking with more challenging ones
Leverage the critical insights of even people who are idea killers by using their healthy skepticism and constructive criticism…
Don Dea's insight:
The Minimum Viable Product
In Silicon Valley, and elsewhere of course, new approaches to starting and growing companies are always being tried, and recently a set of principles has been defined by Eric Ries and documented in his fine book The Lean Startup. One of those principles is the notion of the “minimum viable product.”
That is, what’s the fastest, quickest thing you can put out in the market that would indeed be viable as a product, and which will enable you to learn how potential customers and actual customers feel.
Minimum means that you don’t have to load it up with features that aren’t essential, even with features that you know may be needed later on.
Viable means that you don’t just trust the judgment of the product design team; you actually put the product out there in the market and see how people really respond to it.
Ries also describes the process of split testing, or A-B testing, which simply means creating two versions of a product and testing both in the market to see which is more attractive. A structured series of A- B tests can yield tremendous insights, eliminate a lot of guesswork, and neutralize a lot of ungrounded opinions.
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