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Leadership and Management

Don Dea's insight:

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

A manager that is not concerned about doing the right things is a lousy manager. And a leader that doesn’t care about doing things right is a lousy leader.

Another theme of this contrasting type quote says some version of:

“Managers care about efficiency and leaders care about effectiveness”

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digitalNow
Exploring leadership, management, innovation, and technology issues and trends; impacting associations & non-profit organizations in the digital age.
Curated by Don Dea
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IT Pros Share Tech Responsibilities With Business

IT Pros Share Tech Responsibilities With Business | digitalNow | Scoop.it

The line between IT organizations and line-of-business units is getting increasingly blurry, according to "Building Digital Organizations," a new report from CompTIA. By the end of this year, seven out of 10 Global 500 companies will have dedicated teams focused on digital transformation and innovation, according to industry research. A mix of both business and IT employees are likely to staff these teams, given that the majority of professionals feel either highly or extremely confident in applying tech innovation and functions to business goals, according to the CompTIA findings. Many respondents said technology now plays a critical role in strategic pursuits and is even redefining business. And a significant number of them believe that every work project is, in fact, a tech project. With technology budgets on the rise—in both the IT department and the business units—organizations will position themselves to better address major obstacles to digitization, including cyber-security threats, software development difficulties and data management issues. "Companies are starting to recognize that new tech trends are leading to a new operational model: the direct contribution of technology to overall business outcomes," according to the report. "In the past, technology served more of a supporting function … [however] over time, businesses have moved to a much more strategic approach when it comes to technology." Professionals from 350 U.S. businesses took part in the research.

 
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Why Power Brings Out Your True Self 

We are less deliberative and more persistent in pursuing our goals when we gain power. In one of a series of experiments, researchers asked students to recall having or lacking power, then asked how much time and information they would need to make various decisions, including which roommate to live with or which car to buy.4 Those who felt powerful said they’d need less time and information. In a second experiment, participants made to feel powerful spent more time trying to solve an impossible geometric puzzle. In a third, they were quicker to interrupt someone who disagreed with them.

Overall, power makes us feel authentic. In one study, participants recalled a time they had power or a time they lacked it.5 Then they rated their personality traits in three contexts: with their parents, at work, and in a social gathering. They also rated their feelings of authenticity in the moment, with items such as “I feel like I can be myself with others.” Feeling powerful increased the consistency of people’s personality ratings, which in turn increased their feelings of authenticity.

Power’s effects on expression result largely from the fact that it frees us from dependence on others, allowing us to ignore their concerns and pursue our own objectives. Intoxication from power leads us to focus more clearly on whatever goal we have in mind. With clear focus on a goal, we then pursue it.
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The case for digital reinvention 

As digitization penetrates more fully, it will dampen revenue and profit growth for some, particularly the bottom quartile of companies, according to our research, while the top quartile captures disproportionate gains. Bold, tightly integrated digital strategies will be the biggest differentiator between companies that win and companies that don’t, and the biggest payouts will go to those that initiate digital disruptions. Fast-followers with operational excellence and superior organizational health won’t be far behind.

These findings emerged from a research effort to understand the nature, extent, and top-management implications of the progress of digitization. We tailored our efforts to examine its effects along multiple dimensions: products and services, marketing and distribution channels, business processes, supply chains, and new entrants at the ecosystem level (for details, see sidebar “About the research”)
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Make the right decision for you

Have a tough decision to make?
Write down your options on small pieces of paper. Place them into a bowl. Place the bowl on a high shelf. Take a step back, take a deep breath and then reach up and pick one.
Read it. Evaluate how you feel. Glad or sad? Excited or dejected?
Likely you will feel a sense of relief. Why? Your instincts will take over and your heart will tell you whether you have selected the choice that appeals to your emotions.
Of course, you are not obligated to make your decision on emotion, but your reaction will tell you how you will feel about it. Whatever you decide, you must live with the outcome. Time will tell if you make the right choice. In the meantime, trust yourself. It is the best you can do.
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Women in Business Q&A: Jennie Baik, Co-Founder & CEO, Orchard Mile

Women in Business Q&A: Jennie Baik, Co-Founder & CEO, Orchard Mile | digitalNow | Scoop.it
At an early stage start-up, every day is fraught with highs and lows.  It’s never boring but it can be exhausting; there’s a lot going on at every moment- and your best is never quite good enough.

Today, Orchard Mile is a personalized digital shopping street, with visitors from over 20 countries and has over 110 partnerships with the best brands in the world.  But in late 2014 when we started, it was extremely difficult to sign our first 5 brands to be on the platform; it was hard to gain their trust.  Our company was brand new, we had no digital footprint; we were selling an idea and banking on the idea of trust.  Finally, after pounding the pavement and endless calls for more than a year, we had a fantastic group of 30 best in class brands to launch in November 2015.  And we launched on the cover of WWD with a quote from the CEO of Oscar de la Renta saying that Orchard Mile was the platform of choice- next generation retail.  Since then, Orchard Mile has been named one of the six global ‘Breakthrough Brands of 2016’ by Interbrand and also was invited to present to the houses at LVMH in Paris on digital innovation.  We raised capital and grew from a team of 3 founders to a team of 12.  On the outside, it looks relatively fast and seamless, but my co-founders and I joke that we’re like swans- graceful on top of the water, but kicking and swimming madly to stay afloat.   There is never a “downhill day” to coast and do nothing; but as I’ve been living this intense entrepreneurial life now for over 2 years; I see that how one deals with challenges is they adapt- the fires that seemed like huge disasters a year ago are now in the “it shall pass” category.
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To Support Digital Transformation, IT Must Evolve

To Support Digital Transformation, IT Must Evolve | digitalNow | Scoop.it
When IT staffs devote most of their time to day-to-day tasks such as managing hardware, software and networks and resolving issues, they have little time to devote to innovation. That's risky, given the growing need to improve customer engagement, adopt the internet of things (IoT), and leverage the use of big data and analytics. The lack of strategic thinking, along with the required investment in people, process, tools and technology, could lead to missed market opportunities. An IDC survey of IT managers in 275 large organizations in 10 countries reveals that enterprises have varying rates of investment in their IT infrastructure and operations, with most adopting automation for monitoring and support only. "Optimization Drives Digital Transformation," a study sponsored by information and communications technology provider Dimension Data, suggests that enterprises need to deliver IT services more efficiently by using new automation technologies and leveraging external partnerships. Though most of the managers surveyed view IT operations and infrastructure as critical to digital transformation, only a minority said their organization is fully automated. "Forward-thinking business leaders are developing their IT to achieve digital transformation now, in anticipation of future market opportunities," said Bill Padfield, Dimension Data's group executive for services. "Flexible, scalable and agile infrastructures are needed to support these new developments, and optimizing infrastructure through automation is key to this effort."
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The Worst Mistake You Can Make With a Bad Hire

“When did you know he was a bad hire?”

“Pretty much from day 1.”

“And when did you first have a frank conversation about your concerns?”

“Err… yesterday.”

“And now you want to terminate them?”

“Yeah, I mean it’s been a problem for a really long time. He’s got to go!”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this seen this scene play out–both in my HR exec days, and now in the frustrations of my clients looking to add more rigor to their performance management processes.

The worst mistake you can make with a low-performing
new hire is being overly patient.

Why are we overly patient? Well first off, we hired them, and it’s just freaking awkward that they’re this bad. So we convince ourselves they’ll be okay, and hold our breath and wait. Or, we know how hard it can be in a new job…so we just give them time and space to get better, and assume it will all work out.
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Which Components Are Essential to Marketers Brand Strategies?

Almost 9 in 10 global brand managers and CMOs agree that brand marketing is an important component of their marketing program, according to a recent report [download page] from OnBrand Magazine. The survey – conducted among more than 560 respondents – also found that the majority have a documented brand strategy, with close to half updating it annually. So what aspects are being included in brand strategies?
As of December 2016, when the survey was fielded, brand vision and mission (94%), story and value proposition (87%) and brand guidelines (77%) were the most popular components of respondents’ brand strategies.

Interestingly, fewer than half (46%) said that a deep understanding of audience personas was a factor in their strategy. That’s despite 8 in 10 reporting having built a buyer persona, most commonly by interviewing real buyers and consulting stakeholders. Notably, buyer personas seem to be more effective for B2B companies (63% reporting them as extremely or very effective) than for B2C companies.
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Budgets, Cultures Holding Back Data-Driven Strategies

On an encouraging note, fewer than 1 in 10 feel that nobody wants to actually own the responsibility of driving the customer agenda.

Organizations’ Current Strategies
Many respondents reported on the state of their organizations’ current strategies for developing customer engagement and experiences as being somewhat fragmented or scattered across different teams or groups, and at times, lacking a cohesive and collaborative effort. Only 15% said they are working on connecting campaigns together into connected and data-driven experiences across both physical and digital touch points.
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Native Ad Spend Poised for Continued Growth, Majority Share of Digital Display Market

US native digital display ad spending is predicted to continue to climb through this year and next to exceed $28B, per new eMarketer estimates. In so doing, native ads are expected to take a majority share of all digital display ad spending this year, per the forecast..

The vast majority of native display ad spending is expected to be allocated to social media: last year, 86% of the $16.2B market went to native social display ads, and that share should only drop slightly this year (84%) and next (82%).

Growth rates should remain high though soften over time, as one would expect: after a 36% rise this year, native ad spending is projected to climb another 28% in 2018.

These projected increases are supported by survey data indicating expected increases of more than 20% for custom content/native advertising, and reflect some changes in the nature of advertising, as marketers seek more relevant and less disruptive ads. Thanks to largely mobile social platforms, native mobile is growing rapidly as well, comprising almost 9 in every $10 spent on native display advertising this year.
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The Power Of Constructive Impatience  

Constructive impatience is the result of changing the phrase, “somebody better do something” to “I better do something.” Since resiliency is about growing through challenge or opportunity, constructive impatience creates the actions that can impact the outcome. When a situation is intolerable, constructive impatience, coupled with courage – produces amazing results.

It was constructive impatience that prompted eight year-old Vivianne Harr in 2012 to open a lemonade stand so she could “take a stand against child slavery.” A picture of two Nepalese brothers holding hands as they struggled with boards on their backs was the only impetus she needed. Making lemonade in the kitchen with the help of her mother, Vivienne did what every kid does: stand on the corner and sell lemonade. But she had a purpose behind it. Within the first six months, her lemonade had raised over $100,000 for the anti-slavery campaign Not For Sale.
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The Risk of Yo-yo Organizational Change 

You are here: Home › Leading Change › The Risk of Yo-yo Organizational Change
The Risk of Yo-yo Organizational Change
by Dr. Dawn-Marie Turner on September 21, 2016 in Leading Change
Has your organization ever made a change that shortly after it was implemented it felt like nothing had changed? If you answered yes to this question then you have experienced yo-yo change. Yo-yo change is a contributing factor to change fatigue. The good news is, it can be prevented.

Definition of Yo-yo Change

Most people are familiar with yo-yo change on personal level. If you have ever have tried to change a habit or adopt a new routine. Take exercising for example. You go to the gym for a few weeks or even months. You feel great. You celebrate your success. Then something shifts. Perhaps you miss a couple of days due to illness, work, or family, and before you know it your newly adopted exercise routine is all but a distance memory. You’re back to your old pattern and the thought of starting again feels overwhelming.

The same thing can happen when it comes to organizational change. In the typical project-based approach, you form the project team, develop your plan, implement the change, people are trained, and the project closed. Another change successfully implemented. But is it?

Sometime later you notice people have created a work around for the new system, or the IT department is spending time “tweaking” the new system to accommodate an old process, or some steps have been re-introduced to the streamlined process, or all those silos you worked so hard to break down have begun to re-appear. Employees feel like nothing has really changed.

Yo-yo change is any change that is implemented only to find a few weeks, or months after implementation people have reverted back to their old ways of operating. Regardless of why it happens yo-yo change is destructive to your organization. It also makes future changes more difficult.

Preventing Yo-yo Change Matters

Yo-yo change disrupts your organization’s natural ability with change. It creates a history of failed changes that limits your organization’s ability to respond and adapt to future changes. Preventing yo-yo change matters.

Yo-yo change also erodes employees’ trust in the organization’s ability to follow through and support change. Trust is a necessary ingredient for building readiness to change. If people don’t trust that the organization has the capability and resources to maintain the changes it implements, you can’t build readiness. When people are not ready for change their efforts are focused on maintaining the current state. Alternatively employees who feel prepared and ready for change move toward it and resistance is prevented.

The erosion of trust associated with yo-yo change can set off a chain reaction—change capacity is reduced which leads to decreased employee engagement, which increases employee cynicism—making current and future changes more difficult.

Three Actions for Preventing and Reducing Yo-yo Change

The good news is yo-yo change can be prevented. In this post I will share with you three actions you can take to prevent yo-yo change.

1. Think Integration Not Implementation
Every organization and any leader can implement change, but implementing change is not enough. The key to using change to increase your competitiveness, growth, and productivity while ensuring the health of your organization is integration. When you integrate the behaviours and activities required to achieve the intended outcome, the new way becomes the normal way.

Preventing yo-yo change begins with a shift in thinking away from implementing a change Event to integrating the new behaviours as normal operation.
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Marketing Audits Lead to Improved Marketing Performance 

Marketing Audits Lead to Improved Marketing Performance  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Five Dimensions to Explore When Designing the Marketing Audit

As you prepare to conduct an audit, frame your process so that you can learn at least these five things:

The marketing skills, competencies, knowledge, attitudes, and satisfaction of and with the marketing personnel;
The extent to which the marketing organization is aligned with the rest of the business;
The extent to which the marketing plan and planning process supports the organization’s initiatives and which aspects of the plan were achieved and which aspects failed to meet the performance objectives;
The extent to which the marketing programs were successfully executed and communicated internally;
The performance of the marketing programs and the personnel.
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How to Use Big Data to Improve Business Decisions

How to Use Big Data to Improve Business Decisions | digitalNow | Scoop.it
We are flooded with an almost infinite number of data streams these days. From traditional sources such as registration and consumer purchasing platforms to social media feeds, tweets and Instagram updates, the amount of new data being created and disseminated is almost endless.
So the challenge isn't ensuring that you have enough data about your constituents. Rather, it’s knowing which data is salient and having the right data at the right time to reach your audience with the right message to deepen the level of engagement.
Almost every organization I know has various islands of data. We are all struggling with ways to integrate all that data into a holistic picture of who the consumer is and what makes him or her tick.
Part of the challenge is having multiple vendors manage multiple consumer-facing applications and platforms. Another is the fact that various parts of a company engage the same consumer with different messages about multiple product or service offerings.
To the consumer, this can feel disjointed and annoying. For example, I routinely get messages from my cable provider asking me to sign up for its “triple play” package, even though I’ve been a customer of that package for more than four years!
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The seven decisions that matter in a digital transformation: A CEO’s guide to reinvention 

The seven decisions that matter in a digital transformation: A CEO’s guide to reinvention  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
What to do when

More than 70 percent of transformation programs fail.14 While the decisions covered in this article go a long way toward improving the odds, loss of momentum can undo even the best transformation efforts. To forestall that possibility, CEOs should carefully decide how to sequence the transformation for quick wins that yield revenue payoffs and reduce costs, gains that can then be reinvested. One e-tailer, for example, unlocked $300 million in just five months by prioritizing initiatives with the fastest payback. That turned into more than $800 million within a year, thanks to momentum from the early windfall.

Effective sequencing requires clear criteria to evaluate the potential payoff of various parts of the transformation initiative. These should include a hard-nosed assessment of projected benefits, the time needed to capture them, dependencies, investments required, and impact on the overall transformation journey. Sequencing with an eye toward cumulative effect is also necessary, so the business builds towards a cohesive digital whole rather than a jumble of loosely affiliated programs, which can undermine the ultimate benefits of scale.
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Is Cognitive Computing Ready for Prime Time?

Is Cognitive Computing Ready for Prime Time? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Radical advances in artificial intelligence, along with greater processing power, are pushing cognitive computing and deep learning into the mainstream.

Since the dawn of computing, the goal of engineers, designers and developers has been to imbue machines with greater intelligence so they can think more like humans. Today, marked leaps in processing power and incredible advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are pushing the concept from the pages of science fiction novels to our homes and workplaces.

"The growing complexity of computing and information—and the need for more intelligent automation—is leading to the next wave of transformation, including cognitive systems," says Paul Brody, technology sector strategy leader for the Americas at consulting firm EY.

Systems such as IBM's Watson, as well as interfaces such as Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana and Google Voice, are transforming the way data and information are routed to people. At the same time, advanced cognitive and deep learning systems—which aim to think and act in human-like ways and, in some cases, mimic neural brain networks—are able to collect and digest massive amounts of data. This leads to new insights and the ability for these systems to learn and evolve on their own.
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 Why Business Speakers Should Be Excellent Storytellers 

Storytelling is a leadership tool, not a management tool. So, if you’re trying to manage things, processes, and decisions, it’s not your best technique. But if you’re trying to lead people, it’s the best tool you’ve got. That means when you need to set a vision, lead change, make a recommendation that really sticks, get people to collaborate better or be more innovative and creative, deliver tough feedback, or inspire the organization, your best asset is a great story.

It works so well because the human brain makes most decisions subconsciously, emotionally, and sometimes irrationally in one place in the brain; and then justifies that decision rationally, logically, and consciously in another place. So, if you want to influence people’s opinions, decisions, and behavior (in other words, leadership), then facts, logic, and data alone are not enough. It turns out that you need to influence them emotionally. And stories are excellent emotion delivery vehicles.
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Why are managers such lousy motivators?

Why are managers such lousy motivators? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Many managers may be high achievers who prefer concrete measures, such as money, that reflect on performance. Money may serve as a quantifiable way of keeping score. Thus, even though good wages might rank in the middle of employees’ motivators, it almost always appears at the top of managers’ lists of what they think motivates employees.
A more likely explanation for the gap is that leaders cannot see into the minds or hearts of their employees. Managers do not have access to an employee’s internal state of motivation, only their own. Thus, managers tend to attribute internal motivations to themselves while judging others to be externally motivated. And once you start looking at the nature of remote employees, whose managers literally don’t see them face-to-face on a regular basis, it becomes nearly impossible to determine what might motivate them.
Is it any wonder that managers tend to default to external motivators such as incentives, bonuses, raises, prizes, and rewards -- despite compelling evidence they don’t motivate people in a way that improves productivity, creativity, well-being, or sustained performance? This leads to the next syndrome.
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New Milestone for Millennials Media Time: Smartphone Web+Apps Tops Traditional TV

Nielsen recently released its latest Comparable Metrics report [download page], a quarterly look at device and media usage trends across various demographic groups. Upon review of the latest report, one statistic caught our eye: for the first time in Q3, Millennials (18-34) as a group spent more time using smartphones (app + web) than watching traditional TV.
It seems inevitable that such a milestone would be reached, given the seemingly endless growth in smartphone use (although app use may be peaking) and continuing decline in traditional TV viewing – at least among this age group. Yet it took a surge in smartphone internet use in Q3 (a 21% quarter-over-quarter and 48% year-over-year jump) to get there. We’re going to brief you on that surge shortly. TV time, by contrast, remained quite steady, down only a little more than 4% year-over-year.

What are the actual numbers? In Q3, according to the study, Millennials as a cohesive block spent 1084 minutes during the average week (or about 18 hours a week) accessing the web and apps on smartphones versus 1059 minutes a week (or slightly less than 18 hours a week) watching TV. The gap was a paltry 25 minutes a week (or about 3-4 minutes a day), but it lets us go with a catchy headline, so…
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Mind the Gap: 9 Ways to Close the Trust Gap on Your Team

1. Keep the train clean. To begin with, if the train rolling into the station is rusted, dirty, and belching black smoke, people are going to think twice about getting on.  If the doors don’t open smoothly and there’s a strange smell coming from inside, they might turn around and see about hailing a cab.

They will make decisions about the ride based on what they can see, hear and smell.  That’s like your team’s reputation, and more importantly, character.   Run your train with integrity, positive values, mutual respect, and disciplined maintenance, so that it will be a clean, functional train that others will be happy to board.

2.  Run on time.  In well-run countries, people like to say that “the trains run on time.”  If you say you are going to pull into the station at 5:17 and you do exactly that, they will see you as reliable, trustworthy.
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Five Proven Approaches To Bring Out Introverts

Five Proven Approaches To Bring Out Introverts | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Smart managers know workarounds to this dilemma and use 5 proven approaches to bring out introverts.

Prepare an agenda. Even if you are not an agenda maker, pause and take some time to write down the items you want to address. Also, include a space for the action items and who will own the task. Introverts will appreciate having the time to carefully consider the topics and their input will be more substantial.
 Tell Introverts Why They Are There: If you have points you want quieter participants to contribute you can let them know by providing a quick email beforehand. Tell them why they are there. To avoid conflict introverts may not push back when they are not sure why they have been included on a call. If you explain the reason they are on the call they will be able to contribute in a more meaningful way.
Get There Early – Get on the call at least 10 minutes before the start time. Technology can fail and it is good to test all connections. You can also use this time to develop rapport with others as they get arrive. When you start the call, try to avoid immediately diving into the task. Go around the “room” if you have no more than 10 people and ask them for one short positive update which can be either personal or work related. Introverts,` who don’t usually volunteer personal information as easily as extroverts will appreciate this structure. As a team leader, you are building relationships between meeting participants, which will make the work go more effectively.
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The neuroscience of asking insightful questions 

The neuroscience of asking insightful questions  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
what happens when you ask an insightful question of one of your employees:

Neuroplasticity: The first thing you need to know is that the brain isn’t hard-wired like an electrical appliance. If it was, people would be stuck doing things the way they’ve always done them forever. Enter something called neuroplasticity, which means our brains can physically change to encourage creative thinking and new knowledge. The neurons can move into new locations in our brain when we learn. Questions can act as a catalyst for our brains to change and move forward with new insight.
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It’s About Damn Time We Stop Ignoring Social Media’s ROI

Think of social media as a prerequisite as opposed to an asset

Today, social media should be thought of as a prerequisite as opposed to an asset. What I mean by this is because social media is a saturated landscape, simply being on it is no longer an asset or advantage in itself. Instead, creating consistent, valuable social media content is where the advantage lies. Plain and simple.
Remember when having a website for your business was icing on the cake as opposed a necessity? The same thing will be true of social media, and largely, already is. It’s just a necessary part of the work now. It’s not supplementary.

You’ve probably heard people saying how every company today has to be a media company. It’s a content marketing world now. So think of social media (and the rest of your inbound marketing) as a standard piece of your infrastructure and NOT as a bonus package.
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Great Leaders Cultivate Curiosity 

Here are three examples of when to use curiosity over certainty.

1. When someone says something you perceive to be rude
Instead of accusing someone of evil intentions, or paying them back with sarcasm, or walking away with hurt feelings, get curious. A simple question, “What was your intention of saying that,” with a good ten second pause works wonders to increase awareness, open dialogue, clean up the mess, or stop the unwanted behavior.

2. When you want to criticize or disagree
Rather than interrupting with “I don’t agree” or “That’s not a good idea,” instead ask a question. “What are the possible risks?” or “Have you thought about any disadvantages?” Curiosity is a great conflict resolution tool. Certainty that you are right only invites argument and resistance, whereas curiosity invites exploration.

3. When you want to increase team engagement
It’s easy to get excited and immediately start sharing ideas with your team. Certainty tells and curiosity asks. Curiosity allows you to introduce new ideas by asking others about their ideas first. You can “test the water,” listen for resistance, or even find holes in your idea before you roll it out.  C
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Change is Hard, So How do you Make it Easier?

You are here: Home › Leading Change › Marketing Insight › Change is Hard, So How do you Make it Easier?
Change is Hard, So How do you Make it Easier?
by Laura Patterson on October 24, 2016 in Leading Change, Marketing Insight
Change is pervasive in our society. It is a fact of life in any organization. This constancy of change in organizations is why it has been studied time again by experts such B. Goodfellow. In 1985 he explored change within organizations in the seminal work, The Evolution and Management of Change in Large Organizations from the Army Organizational Effectiveness Journal.

Effective leaders recognize that change is part of continuous improvement. Change is often essential for your organization’s vitality, prosperity and growth. You know that to be more customer-centric, more competitive, and more effective you need to update your processes, send your team to training, and implement new systems and tools. You are also aware that sometimes you need to add personnel to support the operationalization.  At the same time, you recognize your employees find change unsettling. Why? One reason is that change is hard. It can be grueling. However, there are actions you can take to make change manageable and palatable.

Why is Change So Hard to Accept?
This can be a complicated issue to address as it is often multi-faceted. Often though, change adoption issues are related to normal acclamation challenges. Experts identify three common obstacles to change:

Sense of paralysis. Sometimes the effort required to change seems so daunting that teams don’t know where to start.  So they don’t start at all.
Existing heavy workload. Given current activities and responsibilities, employees may find thought of taking on more simply too much.
Lack of confidence. Occasionally, the work required to change is outside an employee’s comfort zone.
If you’ve ever implemented change within an organization, then these reactions should come as no surprise.  The question remains, “What can you do to overcome these situations?” 

You Need to Understand the Psychology of Change
The first step to overcoming resistance to change is understanding the psychology behind a reaction. In our list, the first two reactions are a result of what is sometimes referred to as Paralyzed Productivity, which stems from feeling overwhelmed. When people become overwhelmed, they tend to delay finishing projects in fear of doing something incorrectly.

This reaction becomes especially apparent in times of tumultuous change. Therefore, as a leader, it is your job to reduce the sense of overwhelming obligation that can occur. Instead, work to establish steps that will help your organization learn to manage for change.

When you ask your team to do something differently from what they are accustomed to you need to help them prepare. Often organizations will underestimate the herculean effort that is required to change.  Don’t expect them to solve all the unexpected issues that will surface.  Naturally, people will gravitate towards a solution that seems fast and easy. This option, however, is rarely effective and typically derived from the very things you want to change.

Author Dallas Willard tells us that to surmount the obstacles that are littered on the path to change and be successful it takes three elements: vision, method, and will. Only then, once you have designed your roadmap that incorporates these three key elements, can you begin to execute your plan.

Effective Execution Comes with Clear Communication
To carry out a plan that incorporates the three necessary elements of change, John Kotter, a professor at Harvard Business School and world-renowned change expert introduced an eight-step process.  In “Leading Change”, Kotter posits that without a sensible vision, change efforts can dissolve into a list of confusing projects that take the organization in the wrong direction. To avoid this, Kotter emphasizes that is important that your vision be easy to communicate. 

This is especially true for your marketing teams when they are adopting your request to address and improve performance measurement.  As the CEO it is paramount that you help your CMO create a sense of urgency for change. For an adjustment to be successful, you must be able to communicate your vision, remove obstacles, create short-term wins, and anchor the change in the organization’s culture.

Once you can provide this clarity, then you team will become mobilized and incentivized to change. They will also be inspired to eschew a state of paralyzed productivity in favor of integrating an organizational change into their daily behaviors and workflows.

In her book, Execution is the Strategy, Laura Stack offers seven tips for overcoming paralyzed productivity and encouraging change:

Reject perfectionism.
Accept the possibility of failure.
The simplest solution is probably the best.
Follow your core values.
Focus on getting started.
Establish milestones and a drop-dead deadline.
Listen to both head and heart.
People who study workload paralysis suggest honing in on only two of these tips to begin making headway. By taking a small step you will be able to gain a manageable momentum and focus your efforts.

Change Management Doesn’t End With Mastery
As your teams within your organization improve and master a new process, their confidence and productivity will increase. This is not an indication that you can stop managing change. Change management is a critical component of any organizational change and one that should be constantly monitored. Employ these three steps as an integral part of any change management plan.

Study up. Share articles and books written by experts on the subject. Create opportunities for everyone to discuss what and how to use what they learned. Help them step up and lead the process.
Choose an instructor. In any discipline, coaches and guides are instrumental to skills development and help you avoid pitfalls and obstacles. Identify your early enthusiasts and encourage them to be the change ambassadors to the team.
Take baby steps. Look for or create quick wins that have meaningful business results first. Then pursue more complex maneuvers.
Change is unavoidable. These steps will keep your team from becoming overwhelmed by it. Immerse them and yourself in the process. Create a vision that can be realized.  Work with others to create a methodology that is accessible to everyone. Use your willpower and influence to continue to drive the change. By developing an achievable plan, building confidence, and staying focused, you will be able to lessen internal angst and motivate adoption.
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