A 2008 Harvard Business Review survey involving 125,000 participants at companies in more than 50 countries found that three out of every five companies surveyed rated their organizations as weak at execution. This sounds shocking. But understanding why so many managers have such little faith in their organizations’ ability to execute strategies isn’t hard if you look in the right place.
Superior execution requires more than just having superior strategy, superior processes and superior technology. Achieving any of these three things on their own isn’t enough to get things done right. Nailing all three at the same time also won’t suffice, at least not without achieving something else. To perform well over the long term, you need something basic and seemingly ordinary — appropriate behaviour. As a result, if you are seeking improved results, you need to focus on importing new behaviours. It’s that simple — and that difficult. And that’s why understanding how and why people do what they do is just as vital in the business world as it is in medicine.
The following survey results also help paint a clear picture of boardroom perspectives on leader character:
70 per cent of respondents believed that boards spend insufficient time addressing or assessing the character of potential nominees to their boards, notwithstanding the fact that they believe that character is very important.
79 per cent of respondents agreed that it is difficult to assess character compared with assessing competencies. But more than 60 per cent of respondents believed good interviewing and deep reference checking can be successfully used to assess character.
64 per cent of respondents believed that the educational system does a poor job of developing character and an overwhelming 92 per cent believed business schools need to better address character-related issues.
66 per cent of respondents believed character can change after someone becomes an adult.
82 per cent of respondents believed early workplace experiences can have a substantial impact on character formulation.
92 per cent of respondents believed that a critical role of the board is to evaluate the character of their CEOs and C-suite executives.
Finally, 94 per cent of respondents agreed that the character of the CEO has a tremendous impact on the effectiveness of the board. We ran statistical tests to explore whether gender and years of experience on boards affected the results; however, no significant differences in responses emerged.
Advertisers have long lusted after the adults 18-49 demographic, and most broadcast deals are made based on those ratings.
But suddenly, for the first time ever, the average TV viewer does not fit into that demo.
This year the median age of viewers on the Big Four networks in primetime has crept above 50.
It’s 50.2 as of the end of January, according to Nielsen data crunched by Horizon Media’s Brad Adgate. That’s up from 48.9 at this time last year.
While the median age has been rising for years, the surge past 50 likely reflects the new ways people are consuming video. Young people watch less traditional television and more on second screens such as iPads and smartphones.
A recent study by (admittedly biased) Word of Mouth Marketing Association found that online and offline word-of-mouth recommendations account for 13 percent of consumer sales, which works out to a total of $6 trillion in spending annually.
For higher-priced categories word of mouth is an even larger factor, accounting for nearly 20 percent of sales.
While social media no doubt plays a role, traditional face-to-face word of mouth produces about two-thirds of WOM’s measured business impact, compared to just one-third for online WOM.
The study also estimates word of mouth amplifies the effect of paid media by 15 percent on average, and that its impact happens closer to the time of purchase than traditional media, usually within two weeks.
3 amazing Google Analytics features your small business should be using!
Don Dea's insight:
The Term Cloud
Google Analytics has introduced a new tool called the Term Cloud, and it can dramatically reduce the amount of time you spend on keyword analysis. While it’s worth looking into the finer points of data once in awhile, Term Clouds can let you quickly view the results of paid and organic keywords in either a percentage or table format.
If you love visuals, then you’ll love the In-Page Analytics feature of Google Analytics, which many users tend to overlook. This tool is essential if you’re interested in finding out whether your website layout is helping you reach your goal, whether it’s to drive sales or raise awareness of your company. You can use In-Page Analytics to determine how people are navigating your site. The feature shows the percentage of clicks that certain areas of your website are receiving.
Marketers have traditionally been focused on the front-end of the customer relationship -- things like brand awareness and lead generation. But in today’s digital world, marketers can't simply hand over that relationship to the sales department.
Don Dea's insight:
But today, marketers are the tip of the spear when it comes to nearly every customer interaction. That's because interactions happen digitally, and marketers are the owners of the digital relationship. Marketers can't simply hand over the digital relationship; they must guide the customer throughout the entire lifecycle.
Of course, this is uncharted waters for marketers.
Google has consistently told marketers attempting to rank more highly on its search engine that content quality is much more of an important factor than how much content is posted or how fast. Long-form content usually provides more value for readers, which means Google is more likely to rank it higher in search results.
2. Mobile Continues to Grow
The rate of use of mobile devices has grown tremendously over the past few years. It’s now estimated that 9 out of every 10 American adults has a cellphone, and nearly 6 out of every 10 has a smartphone. This trend is not lost on Google and other search engines. They know that more and more people are now browsing to websites on mobile devices, which means they need to have an experience that can be loaded clearly on these devices. This year, mobile optimization will be one of the SEO rules that is more important than ever.
Here are five steps to get the best 24/7 free executive coaching on earth. Access your Wise Self.
Don Dea's insight:
Five Steps to Access Your Wise Self
1) Feel the impact of a great decision. Take a few deep breaths. Think about a situation where you made a really good decision. This is a decision you’re proud of. Bring that memory to mind. Savor and sense the feelings and positive outcomes from that decision. As my clients return to this memory there is a feeling of strength, peace, confidence, and relaxation they connect to.
2) Find your Wise Self in the body. Our Wise Self resides in our bodies. For some they call it their intuition. Others make up a fun name for it. For some it is in their guts, for others it is in their hearts, and others just find it in a certain relaxed posture. It doesn’t matter where it is. The idea is to have a touchstone that is always accessible 24/7. Touch that place. Feel the experience of being in that space. What does this feel like? We are accessing our intuition here, so just trust it.
3) Bring a challenging situation to mind. What is a current challenge you’re faced with? What has you stuck? Get clear about the questions you have in this situation. One of my favorite Einstein quotes is “You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created”. If your problem comes from the saboteur perspective you’re in, you’ll need to step out of that perspective to solve the problem.
4) Access your Wise Self. Close your eyes and connect with the place in your body or posture where you found your Wise Self. Return to the feeling of confidence and peaceful knowing. Ask your Wise Self the questions you have and note the answers. When we access our Wise Self, the answers sometimes come in words, sometimes in pictures, and sometimes a feeling or sense of knowing. Doubting that your Wise Self actually exists? Einstein, notably one of the greatest scientists in history, also said “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” The answers from our Wise Self are simple, supportive, sometimes just common sense. Take some time to journal what you’ve learned and make a commitment to yourself to take the first step in that direction.
5) Practice, Practice, Practice – Access to our wiser self is like a muscle. The more we use the muscle the stronger it becomes. Think about it as a limitless, free, 24/7 all-you-can eat buffet (except it’s calorie free and gives you no indigestion).
The only way to defeat a new set of undetectable tools that the Equation Group is using is though massive computer behavioral analysis, writes Rob Enderle. If we don’t go on the offensive, cyber threats could evolve into just what Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Steven Hawking are worried about -- hostile AI with the power to destroy computers or turn them against us.
Don Dea's insight:
Right now, we are clearly in a cyber-arms race, and what is most frightening is that far more development is going into offensive than defensive tools. If that doesn’t change, we are likely going to have some future problems that make what we’ve seen so far seem like a walk in the park. Put a final way: While I’m not quite ready to replace Hawkins, Gates, and Musk’s view with Erick Horvitz’s far friendlier outcome, I do think if we don’t start working hard to ensure Horvitz’s vision, then the world we don’t want becomes unavoidable. Something to noodle on this weekend.
Content - Some 38% of B2B technology buyers say they have not seen any content from vendors on social networks in the past six months that influenced a business purchase, according to ...
Don Dea's insight:
Just over one-third (34%) of respondents say they have seen vendor content on Facebook in the past six months that assisted with a purchase, making it the most influential social network with B2B tech buyers.
LinkedIn is the second-most influential network (32% have seen useful content), followed by Google+ (28%), YouTube (27%), and Twitter (20%).
The most popular brand, according to social media, probably isn’t that surprising, considering it’s one that most of us use every day: Google.
That’s according to the social media analytics platform Infegy Atlas, which placed Google atop its “World’s 50 Most Popular Brands of 2014” list, the internet giant’s second straight year on top.
Infegy ranks brands based on a number of factors, including what people talk about most on social media, the overall positivity or negativity associated with each brand, levels of purchase intent, and topics most often discussed in relation to brands.
Among other trends on the list: Disney finished No. 6 overall but was tops in terms of positive brand sentiment, with 86 percent positive conversations. On the flip side, CNN was No. 31 but had the most negative brand sentiment on the list, with 52 percent negative conversations, 41 percent positive and 7 percent mixed.
Mexican food chain Chipotle saw the biggest year-to-year jump, moving up 10 places from last year to No. 30. Meanwhile, Chevrolet saw the biggest drop among the top 50, falling 13 places to No. 46.
Behind Google, Twitter, Facebook, Apple and Tumblr rounded out the overall top five.
Identify your customer’s problem is where adding value starts. And listening when they talk is your opportunity to fill the value gaps. Think of it as
Don Dea's insight:
Emotion Trumps Logic
Now you know the importance of adding value through knowledge transfer, you then need to know how to take actions with your knowledge.
Besides physically helping someone, the action part comes down to communication. And because emotions are the essence of the communication, marketers need to focus on the emotional needs of the customers at the time when feelings are vivid. This mean to empathize with your customers and truly focus on how to make their lives better.
You can not make people’s lives better if you don’t understand their lives.
When you solve someone’s problem, they’ll usually remember it not because of the facts but because of how they felt when it was happening. Simply put, memory is tied to emotions and emotions are more real than thoughts.
Competencies are what a person can do and commitment is the effort someone will put into doing it, while character influences the choices people make as they attempt to achieve goals (including whether they will acquire the requisite competencies and make the required commitment). All are necessary and work together to deliver short- and long-term performance, which is realized through the present and the string of present moments. Indeed, for great athletes, the ability to engage the moment isn’t reserved for grand competitive occasions. It is a habit. Being fully present during everyday moments provides the foundation and focus for tackling the big moments.
Effective performance requires competencies and commitment. But without the support of good character, the strengths that come from having competencies and commitment can be seriously undermined. The best example of this was the 2008 financial crisis. If anything, there was a surplus of competencies and commitment among many of the world’s bankers. But shortcomings of character still caused the global financial system to nearly crash.
People get hung up on having an advanced degree like an MBA. The thing is, your performance is much more important than a piece of paper on the wall.
Don Dea's insight:
learned a lot from that experience. The most important lesson for me was that it doesn’t matter what pieces of paper are on a person’s wall. The letters following their name mean they attended classes and seminars somewhere. And sure, that took a lot of effort to earn those pieces of paper and letters. The really important thing is WHAT HAVE THEY DONE WITH WHAT THEY’VE LEARNED?
If the answer to the above question is “not much” then I don’t want them on my team nor do I want to be a member of theirs. Business isn’t about letters and papers and prestige – it’s about IMPACT.
Me? I’m hiring for impact. I could care less if they have a degree or certification as long as they can get the job done and do so in an ethical and distinctive manner. If they can do that, that’s all that matters. They might be called “Doctor” but I’m more interested in if it’s Dr. Doolittle or Dr. Einstein. Having the letters without the substance is the business equivalent of being Milli Vanilli.
Look past the letters and see the person. See their capabilities for what they are before you judge them for what is or isn’t hanging on their wall. Correspondingly, if you’re out there hanging your hat on the letters after your name, ask yourself how those letters have helped you contribute to the improvement of your organization. Once you can articulate “I have XYZ degree and by using it I delivered A, B, and C improvements” you’ll be in a much better position to land that job you’re interested in.
There are three major reasons people don't listen to you at work. You're a hypochondriac, you ramble, and you're self-centered. Fix these behaviors to improve
Don Dea's insight:
Have you ever had the feeling that you were moving your mouth but no one could hear the sounds coming out of it? They go about their day as if you’re not there. There’s a reason this is happening: they’re really not listening to you.
There. I said it. People are tuning you out.
What are the warning signs of this dynamic? When you speak with people, they nod politely but are looking for the exits while they do. They check their Blackberry and have “urgent” calls come in every time you’re talking to them. Your emails never get replied to. Most importantly, the things you want to get done never seem to generate traction.
Informally builds relationships with board members: The CEO proactively works to communicate and build relationships with the chairman and directors via regular, informal interactions outside of board meetings. The CEO uses these interactions not only to share information and gather input but also to develop strong “professional chemistry” with each member of the board.
Communicates openly, proactively and transparently: The CEO maintains a strict “no surprises” policy with the board. The CEO is fully and effortlessly transparent on the implications and risks of strategic decisions.
My storeroom was packed to the gills. My office closet was worse. It was time to clear some of my stuff out. Today's venture started with gathering and testing my old photo studio lights so my daughter-in-law can have an easier time taking pictures of products for her cool
Don Dea's insight:
What clutter gets in the way of your clear thinking, clear creating, clear service, and clear contribution? Some clutter is literal – old files and books and boxes of stuff. Some clutter isfigurative – but it disturbs our efforts just the same.
The top 1% of anything is pretty impressive. To be ranked in that rarefied air means one has invested and IS investing time, energy, and passion into that avenue.
Don Dea's insight:
First, invest the time. Pay attention to more than just results. Connect with people at all levels in your organization every day. Learn their names and their passions. Learn what gets in their way of cooperative teamwork and top performance. Act to reduce those frustrations.
Second, get the data. Don’t just monitor performance metrics – monitor data that indicates how happy employees are working in your organization. You have some reliable data, like turnover, exit interviews, service levels, and more. You may need to measure other satisfaction metrics, like the degree of trust, frequency of proactive problem solving, etc.
I'm a rational thinker. There are times it helps me serve others well. And, there are times when it becomes a hurdle to helping others truly understand what I do! When I'm not able to clearly and simply describe what I do, that's not a good thing.
Don Dea's insight:
My strongest contribution to others is my ability to enable that internalization.
This description of my value proposition feels good and feels right to me. I know I’ll continue to wordsmith it – but the core of it feels right.
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