What would happen if you trusted your team members enough to give them the freedom to take risks and voice ideas openly? Some of the ideas you receive will sound crazy. Some will flop. But others will be just what your organization needs to solve an important challenge. One of the most remarkable examples of what can happen when group members are given autonomy and encouraged to voice their ideas occurred during WWII, as recounted by Stephen Ambrose in his book “Citizen Soldiers.”
If you've spent time Google searching and window shopping online, say, on an outdoor retailer's website, dreaming about a $400 graphite fly fishing rod, maybe even putting the fly rod in a shopping cart to keep the fantasy going only to click away when reality bites, you might see the fly rod following you around the Interwebs. It's on your Facebook feed. It's staring at you in a banner ad. It's hyped up in a native advertisement about local fly fishing spots. And it's in an email from the retailer offering a special sale on fly rods. Your fly rod.
IT Resume Makeover: How to add flavor to a bland resume Don't count on your 'plain vanilla' resume to get you noticed - your resume needs a personal flavor to READ NOW It's called the behavioral trigger, one of the most effective weapons of the digital marketer.
The key to unlocking personalized marketing messages that lead to higher conversion rates just might be behavioral triggers. In a nutshell, behavioral triggers are a way to identify a person's recent Web activity (maybe location, too) in order to strike while the iron is hot, so to speak, with targeted messages over many channels.
Cloud has become the platform for the next transition: Instead of being the "end state" and on-premise solution for business services and operations, Bova believes the cloud will transition into the "new place to begin," and will become less about technology and more about business transformation.
The face of cloud is expected to change into a hybrid IT solution which will be delivered as a service for traditional IT, private, public and hybrid cloud solutions - with end users behaving more like service providers as a result.
Don Dea's insight:
By 2017, 75 percent of IT organizations will have a bimodel capability -- and half will make a mess trying to maintain this balance: As companies adopt cloud computing, they will face an issue -- how to maintain operations and "keep the lights on while trying to innovate." In other words, Bova says in order to be flexible and deliver a range of needs, businesses will work on two speeds; using cloud technology to innovate while maintaining a price-for-performance model to keep consumers happy.
U.S. ad spending dropped 4% in Q1 year-over-year. Eight of the ten highest-spending industries saw falling ad budgets. This news comes amidst “reviewmageddon” where a number of large brands are in the process of reviewing their advertising budgets and agency structures
Don Dea's insight:
If the ongoing “reviewmageddon” (or "mediapalooza") with many large brands rethinking and reviewing their advertising budgets and agency structures wasn’t enough to trouble ad industry insiders, a report from advertising tracker Kantar Media won’t help ease any sleepless nights. The report found U.S. advertising spending dropped 4% in Q1 as compared to the same period in 2014, and adjusted for special event influence, such as the Sochi Winter Olympics, spending was still down 2%. One industry with a particularly large drop was automotive -- the largest ad spender -- with an 11% drop.
The Kantar Media report tracks spending in television, newspapers, magazine, digital display and search ads. The report does not include digital video and mobile ad formats -- both areas of interest for advertisers. One bright spot in the report was a 4.1% lift in cable network ad spending.
Here are a few of the key findings from the BI Intelligence report:
The Internet of Things will be the largest device market in the world. We estimate that by 2019 it will be more than double the size of the smartphone, PC, tablet, connected car, and the wearable market combined. The IoT will result in $1.7 trillion in value added to the global economy in 2019. This includes hardware, software, installation costs, management services, and economic value added from realized IoT efficiencies. Device shipments will reach 6.7 billion in 2019 for a five-year CAGR of 61%. Revenue from hardware sales will be only $50 billion or 8% of the total revenue from IoT-specific efforts, as software makers and infrastructure companies will earn the lion's share. The enterprise sector will lead the IoT, accounting for 46% of device shipments this year, but that share will decline as the government and home sectors gain momentum. By 2019, government will be the leading sector for IoT device shipments.
Any good craft needs a toolbox. If you’re a designer, your toolbox is style, which unfortunately you can’t put into organized drawers. This graphic, however, lays out your basic tools as a designer.
The image, courtesy of Creative Market, demonstrates design elements like lines, texture, dominance, balance and more. Each one comes with a general tip on how to use each element. It’s not a full education on each one, but it can give you a starting point if you’re just starting to learn, as well as a refresher later.
Can you spot which employees are uncomfortable with you? Employees usually do not let you know that they feel uncomfortable; however the signs are embedded in day-to-day interactions. Even if you have done nothing to engender those uncomfortable feelings (e.g., new employees can feel insecure), you can turn it around. Step back for a moment and objectively consider if your employees show any of these signs on a consistent basis. Hide problems or mistakes — the last thing some employees want to do is bring your attention to their mistake. They scramble to either bury it or try a quick fix, yielding little or no new learning from the experience (and potentially leaving customers upset). Act defensively. These employees regularly blame others or the outside conditions for preventing them from getting the targeted results. And, while those other conditions may have been present, it is their lack of ownership toward making progress which is a sign that they are uncomfortable exploring this with you. Are overly formal. These employees are hoping you will keep your distance, not getting too close or digging too deep. They may be self-protecting because of vulnerabilities they don’t want revealed. Yet, if they cannot open up, there’s less opportunity to take development-focused actions.
The best executives with whom I have worked make a point of hitting the road. Executives who get out of their offices and make treks to the front lines, as well as to customer locations, get firsthand impressions of what is happening, as well as what is not happening. And it’s not enough to show up. You need to engage. Have real conversations about how the work is going, and especially listen to how people respond. Ask questions. And, most important, listen to what you hear. Hitting the road to discover what’s going on is time-consuming and wearying, but it is necessary for any executive who expects to lead with a clear head, and an even more clear vision of the future.
Over the last decade, enterprise social media has evolved from an appealing concept to an absolute necessity. Businesses are investing in new tools, systems and frameworks for connecting employees, customers and business partners. According to social media security provider NexGate (a division of security firm Proofpoint), the average Fortune 100 company it studied in a social media analysis has more than 320 branded social accounts, with more than 200,000 followers and 1,500 employee participants. Yet, all this opportunity also introduces significant compliance risks. In the United States alone, the FTC, SEC, FCA, FFIEC, FINRA, FDA, ABA and others have updated existing regulations to include specific social media provisions. A new report from the company, "State of Social Media infrastructure, Part III," examines this topic in detail. Among the issues it addresses: the number and frequency of compliance incidents, where and how incidents originate, and what is required to build a framework that minimizes the risk of violations and problems. Following are some of the key findings from the report.
In truth, there is no way to know whether Sony’s attackers would have prevailed over even impeccable cyberdefenses. Experts say Sony’s electronic security probably wasn’t worse than that of many others; weak, outmoded practices are the norm at far too many companies. But it’s clear that Sony, which failed to employ several basic safeguards, didn’t put up much of a fight.
As it was, the company had ample reason to have bolstered its defenses: For years, culminating with its release of The Interview, Sony Corp.’s business decisions have made it a virtual piñata for cyberassailants. And North Korea had been blamed for devastating high-profile electronic attacks in the past. Despite that, the company’s leadership failed repeatedly to take greater precautions.
This is transformative! As leaders, we are meant to be the salt and the light to our team members! Let’s ask ourselves:
Do people see me as a light? If not, what is blocking my light? How effectively am I using my gifts? Am I using my gifts to help others? Do others feel inspired by me? Are others moved to join with me in a shared collective vision? Am I a consistent source of positive energy for my team members? Do people know I genuinely care about them? Am I doing the little things, which mean so much, with kindness? What specialness do I bring to our team and our organizational culture? These are the ways we can use our gifts and strengths as leaders to be “salt and light” and positively influence our business environment.
What is the salt within us, the flavor, really the tone, we bring to our organization and to the world? Openness to the feedback of our team members allows us to more accurately assess the degree of our saltiness and light.
Our leadership presence stands on the shoulders of our character – our values, how we carry ourselves, how we think, what we say, and what we do.
Here are basic principles that will help us a great deal:
1. Have a positive attitude, be encouraging and helpful to others, and never – I repeat, never – speak critically about someone behind their back. (Doing so reflects poorly on you.)
2. Be an attentive listener. Listen to understand and learn. Lean forward. Let people sense your interest and that you care. If appropriate, take notes. It is a sign of respect.
3. Use your soft skills, being friendly, warm, and welcoming.
4. Don’t talk about yourself. Realize that your listening is your gift to others. Be curious. Try to listen 80 percent and speak 20 percent of the time.
5. Want to impress someone? Ask helpful questions that show your leadership presence. For example, “What first step could you take to help you achieve that goal?” or “What is holding you back?”
6. Appearance is important, dress neatly and for the occasion. Being well groomed and smiling helps, as do comfortable eye contact, a firm handshake, standing tall, shoulders back, and walking purposefully like an athlete. We can all do that.
7. Try to always be early and remember names, which is very important and a simple way to impress people.
8. Speak with clarity. Clarity is a sign of your strength.
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the modern marketer has a lot on his plate. While the actual responsibilities will necessarily vary depending on organizational size and vertical, CMOs today typically have to deal with a plethora of technologies that are often non-overlapping in nature. This could range from promotional-focused tech such as programmatic ads and direct digital marketing, and layered on a range of platforms such as the Web, mobile devices, social media platforms, and others.
Further compounding the situation is how a disparate but pivotal suite of tools can have a multiplier effect on various marketing initiatives. For example, analytics can be used to measure the success of a particular marketing campaign, or to better fine-tune its initial parameters. In addition, technologies such as IVR (Interactive voice response) and IP telephony that are integrated into a customer relationship management (CRM) backend can make it easier to serve large number of customers than before with call centers located at different parts of the globe for 24/7 coverage at “follow the sun” economics.
“If you think about it, Airbnb is like a giant ship,” he says, holding up the napkin. “And as CEO I’m the captain of the ship. But I really have two jobs: The first job is, I have to worry about everything below the waterline; anything that can sink the ship.” He points to the scribbled line of waves that cuts the boat in half, and below that, two holes with water rushing in.
“Beyond that,” he continues, “I have to focus on two to three areas that I’m deeply passionate about—that aren’t below the waterline but that I focus on because I can add unique value, I’m truly passionate about them, and they can truly transform the company if they go well.” The three areas he’s picked: product, brand, and culture. “I’m pretty hands-on with those three,” he says. “And with the others I really try to empower leaders and get involved only when there are holes below the waterline.”
People want to make a distinction and to compare and rank one as more important over the other — usually leadership over management — but it’s more a question of applying what’s needed in a given situation to improve performance.
Our company conducted a yearlong study, which included an exhaustive literature review of hundreds of studies conducted over 25 years. Our researchers examined two kinds of leadership: strategic and operational. Strategic leadership is the “what” that ensures everyone is going in the same direction. It includes activities such as establishing a clear vision, maintaining a culture that aligns a set of values with that vision and declaring must-do or strategic imperatives the organization needs to accomplish.
Operational leadership is essentially everything else. It provides the “how” for the organization: policies, procedures, systems and leader behaviors that cascade from senior management to front-line workers. These management practices create the environment team members and customers interact with and respond to daily.
Leaders frequently make miscalculations in trying to influence change. Too often, they bet on a single source of influence rather than tap into a diverse arsenal of strategies. Our research shows that the main variable in success or failure is not which sources of influence leaders choose. By far, the more important factor is how many.
Influencers succeed where others fail because they know persistent problems are rarely fed by a single cause but rather a conspiracy of causes. Instead of looking for the minimum it will take to accomplish change, influencers combine a critical mass of different kinds of influence strategies.
To arrive at this conclusion, we studied nagging organizational problems such as bureaucratic infighting, lack of collaboration, and low compliance with quality or safety standards. Although more than 90 percent of the executives we interviewed described their problems as powerfully “destructive,” even “cancerous,” few had done much to confront them.
According to an infographic from social media monitoring platform Simplify360, the “Golden Era” of social media started in 2001. By this time there were already several chat application iterations, including ICQ, and one of the earliest blog platforms, Livejournal.
However, starting in 2001, there was a constant stream of social innovation that started with the first crowdsourced encyclopedia, Wikipedia. Wikipedia was followed by Friendster, MySpace, Facebook in 2004, and Twitter in 2006. While Facebook and Twitter are the two top social media platforms today, MySpace has undergone several pivots and is still in quiet operation.
While the infographic does include the launch of apps like WhatsApp and Snapchat, it doesn’t note the impact of mobile on the increase in social media use around the world. And there are plenty of networks that aren’t even mentioned, including Yik Yak, Whisper, Tsu and Ello, all of which are perhaps part of the ongoing Golden Age of social media.
There may never be enough hours in the day, but there are a few things you can do on a daily basis to be more productive in the office.
Don Dea's insight:
Skip the meetings Meetings are great for brainstorming and face-to-face interaction, except when they’re not. Go to the meetings you need to go to (and be present, don’t look at your phone). But skip the ones where a trusted colleague can easily speak or take notes on your behalf.
Take a break outside It sounds counterintuitive when your day is jam-packed, but try to make time to get outside at least once during your workday, even if the weather is bad, or if it’s only for five minutes. It’s like hitting the “reset” button on your brain. A brisk walk around the block (sans email or texting) can instantly refresh your perspective and creativity. For instance, I schedule walking meetings with our editor-in-chief, which have spurred some of our best ideas for the business.
With IT organizations awash in changes driven by digital, CIOs need to question everything about their organization. How is it perceived across the enterprise? Is the organizational structure appropriately responsive to the business? How does it need to change? Does the organization have the right knowledge and skills to be competitive? Answers to those questions can help guide the new IT organization’s structure, governance and interaction models to make the best use of skills and capabilities across the ecosystem.
As the IT organization’s role is redefined, it should be positioned as one of data stewardship and a driver of critical enterprise technology functions, including business resilience. Ultimately, the CIO needs to construct a workforce, structure and culture that will orchestrate and drive innovation, working across the enterprise to create new technology solutions that enable a richer customer experience and foster business growth.
Many colleges and universities are using predictive analytics to implement retention programs. These programs often start by looking at the most at-risk groups of students and then encouraging behavior and providing support that helped some of their peers do well. The research model produced by vibeffect looked, instead, at students who were thriving, first. While the model was created to help parents and students make the right college choice, it can be used by college and university leaders, especially at a time when student success is being considered a key accountability measure for state and federal funding.
For the undecided, here are five compelling reasons for adopting a Business Rules Management System:
1. Keep up with the pace of change
If you’re like most businesses, you have an IT backlog of requested changes that may take months or years to deliver. A Business Rules Management Systems (BRMS) helps you to change business logic 10-25x faster than traditional development.
2. Improve efficiency and productivity
A BRMS helps to automate recurring decisions that are governed by policy and guidelines, significantly reducing the need for manual processing. A BRMS can be leveraged to automate role decision-making tasks, while your resources focus on high value exceptions.
3. Ensure compliance with policy and regulation
How do you prove that you are compliant with policy and regulation? With a BRMS, you capture policy and regulation in the form of business rules, which are enforced automatically with every business transaction. The policy and regulation remain transparent and not hidden in programming code. And, every automated decision in a BRMS provides an audit trail, showing exactly what rules fired and when. Your next audit will be a breeze with a BRMS.
CIOs must tune into this trend and ensure that digital messaging and signage systems deliver results without becoming creepy or invading privacy. Let's face it, there's a Minority Report-like element to the technology when it is used in an interactive way. There's also a need to resist pushing too far too fast.
Let's face it, just about everything will eventually go digital. But finding the right approach and putting the right software and systems in place will determine which companies soar and which stumble on the path to progress.
Companies can significantly influence the media visibility of their CEO with certain kinds of press releases — but having a prominent CEO can also work to shareholders’ detriment.
Don Dea's insight:
But are CEO media darlings made by effectively managing the press, or do they earn prominence as a result of their firm’s performance? Researchers have posited that the media tends to pay more attention to talented CEOs or those presiding over successful firms, but according to a new study, it’s not that straightforward. Companies and CEOs have a substantial ability to drive their own media narrative — occasionally to their disadvantage.
Executed the right way, this approach isn’t heartless. Circumstances will still arise where you’ll be asked for help by a close friend or family member and it isn’t right to ask for a work-related favour upfront. And that’s OK. You don’t need to be ruthless. It’s best applied to more casual relationships.
It might not scale. It might not ever show up as its own marketing channel in your reporting dashboard. But it’s a simple and reliable stream of quick wins. So think of your top priority, and ask for help as the currency exchanged for your time or expertise. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
When you frame an inbound inquiry as an opportunity, a new LinkedIn message to grab coffee doesn’t seem so bad at all.
So what does it mean that culture is the current embodiment of the values as the needs of the business dictate? Let’s go back to the value of Transparency. When you are 10 people in a room, Transparency means you as CEO may feel compelled to share that you’re thinking about pivoting the product, collect everyone’s point of view on the subject, and make a decision together. When you are 100 people, you probably wouldn’t want to share that thinking with ALL until it’s more baked, you have more of a concrete direction in mind, and you’ve stress tested it with a smaller group, or you risk sending people off in a bunch of different directions without intending to do so. When you are 1,000 employees and public, you might not make that announcement to ALL until it’s orchestrated with your earnings call, but there may be hundreds of employees who know by then. A commitment to Transparency doesn’t mean always sharing everything in your head with everyone the minute it appears as a protean thought. At 10 people, you can tell everyone why you had to fire Pat – they probably all know, anyway. At 100 people, that’s unkind to Pat. At 1,000, it invites a lawsuit
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