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Less is More Social Media Engagement

Less is More Social Media Engagement | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Don Dea's insight:
Why Less Social Media Engagement is More

Not every platform makes sense. New social media platforms emerge regularly, and there's usually a strong bandwagon effect after each launch. And of course early adopters and enthusiasts are always singing the praises of their personal favorites, exhorting others to join as well. But neither individuals nor organizations should join a social media platform just because someone says you should, or because it seems like “all the cool kids are doing it.”

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Jessica Segreti's curator insight, November 11, 2014 4:26 PM

In the article, “Social Media Engagement: 9 Reasons Why Less is More” breaks down traditional ways of thinking by illustrating the importance of how “less is more”.  In the time-crunched, information overloaded world we live, where we are taught from a young age the importance of being able to do more with less, it is easy to see how maintaining the right level of social media engagement can be intimidating and unnerving.  With hundreds of unique platforms out there individuals and organizations alike feel pressure to increase their social media engagement.  Organizations are encouraged to create blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, etc., often under the threat of obsolescence if they don’t.  In addition, individuals are influenced to believe that effective social media engagement is critical to their professional success and career management.  As college students ready to embark on our first jobs, we are actually seeing for ourselves that there are influences presented to young people to be aware of this very fact.

But not all organizations with poor social media engagement are struggling.  In fact, many professionals with low or no social media engagement continue to be highly successful.  This, in part, could be because the increase in engagement simply lowers risks by enhancing the ability to pursue opportunities and manage threats, but not eliminating those risks entirely.  This can be seen through the article’s insightful reasons for why less social media engagement is more.

            1:  Not ever platform makes sense

            2:  It’s not all about you

            3:  You can cannibalize your own activity

            4:  Trying to do too much is a recipe for failure

            5:  You don’t want to be part of the signal/noise problem

            6:  You look like you don’t have enough work to do

            7:  It’s not true that “anything goes”

            8:  A high volume of activity isn’t acceptable on all platforms

            9:  Too much cross-posting can seem spammy

 

Within this interesting read I find I agree with its content as well.  It is evident there’s no simple formula to successful engagement, only ever-evolving practices to learn from.

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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 Data quality varies greatly

 Data quality varies greatly | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Data is the lifeblood of digital marketing. It can tell marketers when to reach out to buyers, what to say, and how to personalize that message for maximum impact. And yet, data can also easily lead marketing efforts astray.
That's the key takeaway from a SmartBrief report on data-driven marketing that was released today. First-party data appears to be the most reliable, while many digital solutions are built on third-party data that can sometimes draw incorrect inferences and misguide marketers.
It offers three questions to help assess the quality of a data set:
How is this data collected?
Who owns this customer data?
Is this data driving intended results?
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4 secrets of a strong mind

4 secrets of a strong mind | digitalNow | Scoop.it
1. Confidence

When I took the physical fitness (FIT) test at the FBI new agents academy, I was the bottom 1% that made the top 99% feel better about themselves. I failed miserably, so my challenge became twofold. First, I needed to maintain confidence in myself. Second, I needed to train so I could pass the rigid FIT test. I worked with a coach at the Academy, who taught me the secret to building confidence.
“When you improve a little each day, eventually bigger things will come. Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made. Don’t worry about short, quick improvements. Seek out the small improvements, one day at a time. And when it happens, it lasts.”
Helping new agents boost their confidence is the primary goal of the Academy before sending agents out with a gun and badge. There were days when my heart raced and my palms sweat just thinking about the new challenges that faced me. But I learned that success would not make me confident -- rather, confidence in myself and my abilities would make me successful.
The result? I passed the FIT test and worked as an FBI agent for 24 years.
Tip: Confidence is a belief in yourself and your ability to meet your goals. Push out of your comfort zone and expose yourself to different situations. Learn how to push through the uncomfortable. Once you have confidence in yourself, you’ll be amazed what you can accomplish.
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Executive presence is an inside job 

If you consider any leader you know, and ask yourself “what would make this person an even better leader?”, we could add those attributes to the list of items that are encompassed within definitions of executive presence.

The truth is that “doing” isn’t enough because “presence” is a way of being, something that comes from the inside and radiates outward. If you want to pull off any of the behaviors listed you have to work on yourself.

So let’s borrow a new definition from Doug Silsbee, in his book “Presence-Based Coaching: Cultivating Self-Generative Leaders Through Mind, Body and Heart”:

“Presence is a state of awareness, in the moment, characterized by the felt experience of timelessness, connectedness, and a larger truth.”

This is your first step. So how do you get THAT? I would argue that you’ve been there whenever you became self-aware enough in the moment to:

Be purposeful about what and how you wanted to say something
Make a decision based on a belief or value
Chose to take the higher ground
Do the ethical or moral thing, even if it imperiled you
These experiences mean that you were fully connected to something and noticed an internal voice. It’s in that momentary millisecond of awareness that a choice can be made to continue on a path that you’re on or to choose to do something different.

That momentary presence is an instant of clarity and joy. And you can have more of that with practice by:

Self-observation: Learning to observe yourself in real time as you speak and act. Develop a practice of this by “splitting yourself in two at the same time” with one part of you acting in the world while the part observes. Sounds strange, but intentionality to do this will show you it’s possible.
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Teach your team how to disrupt

The essential factor for the success of an organizational initiative is the proactive behavior of self leaders.
Employees with proactive self leadership skills are more likely to accept responsibility, take initiative, generate ideas, problem solve, job craft, ask for feedback, hold themselves accountable, execute strategy, understand their needs, and ask for help when appropriate.
Proactive behavior is teachable.
If you want innovation and agility, enlist the individual contributors on the front lines of the battlefield. But focusing on training individual contributors requires a shift in priorities -- from a single focus on leadership training to a broadened approach that includes developing the folks on the other side of the equation.
Here are three ways to begin teaching your individual contributors the skills of proactive self leadership.
1. Set goals together.

Communicate what the organization needs to operate at an elevated level, and then collaborate on how the individual can best contribute. Help individuals to accept responsibility for the quality of their goals by teaching them how to…
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5 ways to create an ownership mentality on your team

5 ways to create an ownership mentality on your team | digitalNow | Scoop.it
1, Stop doing it all

Even if you think you have all the answers, if you want to create a sense of accountability in your team, you have to give team members something to be accountable for. This means that you’re going to have to delegate. If you’re worried about the quality of the outcome, ask for regular check-ins one-on-one, so you can monitor progress and offer guidance and training.
Start with smaller aspects of what you’re working on, and expand from there with the members who deliver timely, quality work. While you’re coaching them to have a sense of ownership, you’ll be coaching yourself to delegate and let go a little on the day-to-day details.
2. Connect with contributors

Just as you would solicit feedback and ideas from your superiors in your organization, be sure to gather ideas from the people regularly sitting around your table. Make it clear to them that you need and value their help. When people contribute, be sure to acknowledge their contributions, both in the moment and later, when describing the group’s accomplishments to others.
If Sam and Dana were instrumental in coming up with the winning strategy, and the whole team helped fine-tune it, be sure to say so. Not only will you connect with your team and make them feel a sense of ownership, you will also build your own reputation as a positive leader.
3. Reward the sharing of ideas

As a leader, it may seem like every idea has to come from you, but that’s not the case. The best leaders create a culture where it is OK to share ideas -- all ideas. Build a relationship with your team where they are rewarded for speaking up and contributing.
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Why Make Managers A Strategic Priority?

Managers influence at least 75 percent of the reasons people give for voluntary job turnover, and they account for 70 percent of variance in employee engagement. The impact managers have on turnover and engagement go straight to the organization’s bottom line. Turnover costs range from 48 to 61 percent of an employee’s annual salary, and disengaged employees cost organizations $3,400 for every $10,000 in salary.

It’s difficult to overstate the impact a great manager can have on organizational performance. However, organizations often under invest in their selection and training. In fact, in many organizations, the best front line employee (e.g. best nurse, best waiter, best carpenter) is promoted as the next manager. Furthermore, in many cases, the new manager receives zero training. One day the person is an hourly employee, and the next day they’re managing their former coworkers. Sound familiar?

Improving the process for identifying and training new managers presents a low-risk, high return, strategic opportunity to improve organizational performance. Here are specific steps you can take to make managers a strategic business priority. 

First, change your selection criteria.
Optimizing the impact of managers starts with changing your selection criteria. Performing with excellence as a manager requires very different talents than performing in an hourly employee role. Therefore, excellent individual performance is not a good basis for promoting someone to a management role. Instead, look for an employee who naturally exhibits these behaviors and attitudes.

1.  Takes Initiative. This particular combination of behavior and attitude is fundamental to everything else and should be a ticket to admission for promotion to manager. Who sees ways to help, to improve things, to add value -- and takes action?
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2018's Top Technology Trends From Gartner

2018's Top Technology Trends From Gartner | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Artificial intelligence (AI), "smart" apps, analytics and the further decentralization of technology architectures will be the biggest IT trends for the next year, according to recent research from Gartner. The accompanying report, "Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2018," points out that we live in a very intelligent world. In fact, ongoing innovation that essentially amounts to making machines smarter accounts for the majority of trends on this list. As a result, companies should position themselves to better visualize events such as customer experiences and more effectively anticipate business-impacting changes. "Digital business blurs the physical and virtual worlds in a way that transforms business designs, industries, markets and organizations," according to the report. "The continuing digital business evolution exploits emerging and strategic technologies to integrate the physical and digital worlds, and create entirely new business models. The future will be defined by smart devices delivering increasingly insightful digital services everywhere. We call this mesh of interconnected people, devices, content and services the 'intelligent digital mesh.' It's enabled by digital business platforms delivering a rich intelligent set of services to support digital business. As a … technology innovation leader seeking to exploit the intelligent digital mesh, you must respond to the disruptive technology trends driving this future."
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Some Animals Don't Actually Sleep for the Winter, and Other Surprises About Hibernation

Some Animals Don't Actually Sleep for the Winter, and Other Surprises About Hibernation | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Why do animals hibernate?

Put simply: “Hibernation is a means of energy conservation,” says Kelly Drew, a neuropharmacologist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks who studies the brain chemistry of hibernating Arctic ground squirrels. (Read more about how certain animals cope with cold.)

While hibernation is most often seen as a seasonal behavior, it’s not exclusive to cold-weather critters. There are tropical hibernators that may do so to beat the heat.
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The Future of Work: 7 Technologies That Will Unsettle Any Employee

The Future of Work: 7 Technologies That Will Unsettle Any Employee 
Tanvir Zafar | Oct 9, 2017 307 views No Comments


If there’s anything we can say about the future, it’s that none of us can say for certain what it will bring. Times are changing – sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. What used to be the norm 20 years ago is no longer the norm today – just like what is the norm today will not be the norm 20 years from now.



And once more, we are currently going through a series of changes – changes that will greatly affect the way in which we will work – or not work. Some technologies may seem like an improvement for the future – but it will surely bring unease into the hearts of every employee.

Writing Software
Artificial intelligence has become more and more common nowadays, literally sounding the death bell for more and more jobs. A software which is slowly but surely catching on is WordSmith, an AI program which will write content for anyone in need.

Now, you could ask the question: “how could an AI write better than an actual human?” Well, from present experience, you probably know that artificial writing software comes with a lot of errors – but it has definitely improved over the past couple of years. That’s because an AI learns as it goes, and in the near future, it will most likely reach perfection. This means that people working for a content writing company and anyone else making a living out of this will be at great risk in the future.

Translation Software
How many of you had fun using Google Translate in the past, simply because it seemed to you that the translations were way off? Granted, when online translators started taking shape, they did not have enough data to go one – which is why every translation came up with so many blunders.

Nowadays, however, translating software got smarter – to the point that even if you are trying to find a mistake, you are not very likely to find any. What does this mean for people that have a degree in translating? Well, the thought of going through a career change will surely cross their mind.

Automatic Insurance Software
Ai strikes again, this time in the insurance industry. In Japan, for instance, they developed a piece of software that can analyze and process all kinds of data very fast – much faster than any human possibly could. What could this mean for employees in the insurance industry? Well, it’s definitely something to lose sleep over.

Scheduling Software
In a world dominated by computers, we will enter a world where computer will make our schedules for us. Backed up by an AI, this technology will arranged our days based on collected data, putting the jobs of people in secretarial offices at risk.

Furthermore, this is also a good way to stalk keep track of your employees. The employee time clock, for instance, is another piece of software that is heaven for employers – but hell for
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Stop Social Loafing: 6 Ways to Get Everyone Working

Social Loafing: Reasons to Coast

Social loafing is the tendency for people to exert less effort when they are part of a group than when they are by themselves.  You’ve probably witnessed this yourself.  Whether it’s those dreaded group projects in school, or watching a construction crew by the side of the road, some people just don’t seem to be giving it their full effort.

Why does this happen?  There are lots of possible reasons.

Group size.  The more people in the group, the easier it is to hide and let others do the work.

Goal Achievability.  Those who believe the group’s goal is impossible to achieve are more likely to slack off; they think effort is futile.

Goal Value.  Even if the goal can be attained, if they don’t believe achieving it will be meaningful, they are more likely to go easy.

Goal Low-balling.  If the goal appears relatively easy to achieve and only requires a minimal amount of work from group members, that’s just what they’ll do.

Skill differential.  Group members who believe they aren’t as skilled as their teammates are more likely to let others do the work.  They think that they don’t have the ability to contribute meaningfully.

The Sucker Effect.  When people begin to feel that others are slacking off, they try not to get stuck “holding the bag” themselves.  In the effort to avoid becoming the “sucker,” overall group output goes down.

Getting Them Off the Couch
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Why Make Managers A Strategic Priority?

First, change your selection criteria.
Optimizing the impact of managers starts with changing your selection criteria. Performing with excellence as a manager requires very different talents than performing in an hourly employee role. Therefore, excellent individual performance is not a good basis for promoting someone to a management role. Instead, look for an employee who naturally exhibits these behaviors and attitudes.

1.  Takes Initiative. This particular combination of behavior and attitude is fundamental to everything else and should be a ticket to admission for promotion to manager. Who sees ways to help, to improve things, to add value -- and takes action?

2.  Improves Morale. This should also be required. Who has a strong positive attitude and positively impacts the attitudes of others? Things feel better in the department when this person is working. He or she encourages others to maintain positivity and optimism in the face of adversity.

 3.  Helps Other Employees. Who notices when another team member could use some help and just spontaneously moves in to help them?  This person might reach out proactively to help you as well.

4.  Teaches Other Employees. Who naturally shares knowledge, expertise and new learning to help other people do their jobs better – and really enjoys that kind of teaching?

5.  Generates Ideas For Improvement.  Who always sees ways to make things function more effectively -- and then speaks up? This might be annoying sometimes, but it’s a sign of management talent.

6.  Demonstrates Leadership. Who sees that something needs to be done, asks others to pitch in and gets results? This goes beyond simply taking initiative. The key is in asking others and getting them to pitch in. Again, it’s natural.
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4 Social Advertising Tactics You Aren't Using

4 Social Advertising Tactics You Aren't Using | digitalNow | Scoop.it
 LinkedIn Account Targeting

This awesome social advertising tactic allows you to serve ads on LinkedIn to specific companies as a means to get your marketing messages in front of their employees. If you layer on Experience Targeting, you can effectively target decision makers at companies that you would like to do business with. While this feature isn’t exactly new, it’s often overlooked.  To take advantage of Account Targeting, simply upload a list of companies that you would like to engage with and LinkedIn will match that list against the 8 million Company Pages in their system. Then apply the targeting when you are setting up your next campaign.  Quick and easy!

2. Facebook Dynamic Creative

Facebook Dynamic Creative is an awesome tool available in Power Editor that allows you to upload different aspects of an ad such as image, video, title, description and Call to Action and the system will automatically deliver the best performing combination of the creative assets to the audience. Think of it as giving Facebook all of your creative elements and letting it optimize the ad for you. This is rather new, so you might not have access to it just yet. However, it should be rolling out very soon!

 3. Twitter Website Tailored Audience

When we discuss social advertising, Facebook usually hogs the conversation. However Twitter offers similar advertising tactic that will allow you to retarget your website visitors. By placing a little snippet of code on your website, you can serve relevant ads on Twitter to people who have already shown intent. Twitter hasn’t proven to be as cost effective as Facebook, however it is another great option!

4. Facebook Engagement Custom Audience

Facebook’s Engagement Custom Audience allows you to target those who have already engages with your content. Statistically speaking, people are more likely to buy from brands they engage with on social, so this would be a great test especially if your page garners solid engagement numbers. This also counts for Instagram too! Since Instagram is notoriously more engaging than any other social channel, you might want to consider leveraging this option!
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Increase Your Influence – Stop Talking!

Increase Your Influence – Stop Talking! | digitalNow | Scoop.it
. Here are two ways you can keep that commitment and more easily reach your goal of listening 80% of the time in every conversation you have:

1. Use Questions Effectively

First, use open-ended questions that have many possible answers. “How did that work out?” “How did you feel when that happened?” Use closed-ended questions to get a precise answer, and then follow up with more open-ended questions.

Second, avoid “Why?” questions. They tend to make people defensive. If the person is describing something from the past, ask them what happened. If they’re suggesting an action, ask what they think will happen. Either way, you usually get the same kind of explanation that a “Why?” question would generate, but without the negative emotional response.

2. Use Silence Effectively

Silence is the source of acknowledgment, the presence of appreciation, and the genesis of connecting one with other human beings.

After you ask a question, wait for silence before forming your next question or comment. Attune to what is being communicated to you. Don’t even think about what you should say next until you have first listened to what is being said and processed what you should say next during silence.

Allowing everyone to think during silence promotes discovery more than just jumping in with whatever question or comment comes to mind. If you wait and concentrate on what you’ve heard, you’re more likely to say something relevant and helpful. Getting comfortable with silence and using it properly will help you build relationships, trust, and influence.

Most Americans get uncomfortable when silence stretches on for more than a few seconds. Your conversation partner may be one of those people who need to jump right in and fill the silence. Allow it. Or, he or she may be much more comfortable with long silence than you are. You should practice being silent for long stretches to handle those situations.

Commit to spending less time drawing out your own insights and more time drawing out and exploring the insights of others.
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Reading between the lines of customer analytics

Reading between the lines of customer analytics | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Understand customers' online habits

One of the best insights analytical data can detect, and essentially predict, is the habits of your customers. Understanding information like items your target audience typically buys and patterns in web behavior is valuable knowledge for keeping customers interested and engaged. By simply studying the behaviors of your customers, you can create more personalized content, which in turn creates higher engagement levels and ultimately, increased revenue.
The best way to truly understand the patterns and habits of your customers is by creating individual profiles to track how they shop and what they buy – and buy more of the same! When you invite customers to create accounts on your website for an easier check out experience, your ecommerce platform – Shopify, for instance – lets you add a “reorder” option based on estimates of what they will need in the near future.
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Analyzing customer data successfully

Analyzing customer data successfully | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Are your data sources rigid and inflexible?

When you rely on traditional collection and analyzation tools, you create rigid data. For example, with traditional tools, once a data model is created, inflexible pipelines are created to move data from its source to the data model you analyze for insights. Creating these pipelines for each data source take some hefty programming skills, and a lot of time to implement, update, and maintain. Want to add a new data source? Time to build a new pipeline, slowing down your quest to garner new insights.
Adaptation is the name of the game in business, and business leaders need their data to keep up. Instead of models that require you to map out all of the data you think you’ll need upfront and punish you for changing it down the line, look for data collection tools that can adapt in real time to accommodate your needs. Start with the models that already exist, and rapidly connect these for insights and reporting on a unified view of data.
Data analysis is tricky, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. By prioritizing data democratization, integration and flexibility, you’ll quickly gain more impactful insights from your data. 
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On speaking up

On speaking up
The status quo is not kind. It works overtime to stay the status quo, and that means that new ideas, urgent pleas and cries for justice are rarely easily voiced.

We're pleased that Annie Kenney stood up for a woman's right to vote all those years ago, even if she got arrested for doing so. And we're proud of Elijah Harper, who brought a debate to a standstill when he stood up for the rights of indigenous people. We're glad that Lois Gibbs stood up to fight for the families near Love Canal, and that Rachel Carson was able to save countless lives by blowing the whistle on how we were poisoning ourselves.

The historical examples are pretty much beyond dispute. When we think about the past, our heroes are those that were willing to persist even when their critics tried to silence them.

Where it becomes challenging is when someone around us chooses to speak up. Today. Now. 

It might be someone in HR who risks his job to report the boss to the board. Or it might be an unlikely activist, standing up for a cause that wasn't on our radar. It might be someone in accounting who has found a better way to do things, or an unknown with no power or authority who stands up and says, "follow me."

We can't judge those that challenge the status quo merely on their rule breaking. Because the rules only exist to maintain the status quo. 

Instead, we have to work ever harder on seeing, listening and supporting the quiet voices who have something important to say. Perhaps, if we listen a bit harder, we'll be able to do the right thing that much sooner.
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10 Signs of a Bad Work Environment 

Many organizations struggle to develop a winning company culture. In fact, 87 percent of HR and business leaders acknowledged that a lack of employee engagement has emerged as their No.1 issue, according to research from Deloitte. Only 12 percent said they have a program in place to define and build a strong culture, and just 7 percent rate themselves as "excellent" in measuring, driving and improving engagement and retention. Given the findings, it's safe to conclude that many organizations are facing employee morale issues. When taken to extremes, these issues reflect what's known as a "toxic workplace," a company that represents the worst in organizational dysfunction, and/or counterproductive processes, and/or stress overload, and/or hostile environments. By staying at a toxic workplace, you risk succumbing to all of the negativity around you. And even if you try to leave after an extended period, potential employers may raise doubts about your professional judgment, asking: "Why did you stay there so long if it was so horrible?" The first step toward avoiding such scenarios involves assessing whether your office culture is genuinely awful. To lend insight, we've come up with the following 10 signs of a toxic workplace. They cover factors such as low morale, destructive cliques, company secrets, counterproductive policies and high employee turnover. They were compiled from a number of online resources, including those posted by CareerAttraction.com and PsychCentral.com.
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5 ways to create an ownership mentality on your team

5 ways to create an ownership mentality on your team | digitalNow | Scoop.it
1, Stop doing it all

Even if you think you have all the answers, if you want to create a sense of accountability in your team, you have to give team members something to be accountable for. This means that you’re going to have to delegate. If you’re worried about the quality of the outcome, ask for regular check-ins one-on-one, so you can monitor progress and offer guidance and training.
Start with smaller aspects of what you’re working on, and expand from there with the members who deliver timely, quality work. While you’re coaching them to have a sense of ownership, you’ll be coaching yourself to delegate and let go a little on the day-to-day details.
2. Connect with contributors

Just as you would solicit feedback and ideas from your superiors in your organization, be sure to gather ideas from the people regularly sitting around your table. Make it clear to them that you need and value their help. When people contribute, be sure to acknowledge their contributions, both in the moment and later, when describing the group’s accomplishments to others.
If Sam and Dana were instrumental in coming up with the winning strategy, and the whole team helped fine-tune it, be sure to say so. Not only will you connect with your team and make them feel a sense of ownership, you will also build your own reputation as a positive leader.
3. Reward the sharing of ideas

As a leader, it may seem like every idea has to come from you, but that’s not the case. The best leaders create a culture where it is OK to share ideas -- all ideas. Build a relationship with your team where they are rewarded for speaking up and contributing.
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Workers Have Problems With Collaboration Tools

Workers Have Problems With Collaboration Tools | digitalNow | Scoop.it
With a significant share of professionals spending a quarter of their work week collaborating, the majority run into frequent, tech-related difficulties in attempting to connect and communicate with co-workers, according to a recent survey from Softchoice. The resulting report, "Collaboration Unleashed: Empowering Individuals to Work Together from Anywhere," indicates that most employees need to collaborate with people in different locations, and they expect their employer to provide the tech tools required to make that happen. These employees want to take advantage of apps that promise the latest in instant messaging, videoconferencing, teleconferencing and other collaborative capabilities. But the tech-related problems, which include quality and connectivity issues, continue to get in the way. "Bringing together individuals with varying disciplines, perspectives and experience generates fresh thinking and innovative results," according to the report. "It benefits the business when employees learn from one another by bringing their collective knowledge to bear on a single goal. Collaboration technology, when applied right, enhances the productivity of the group, and creates better connectivity among collaborators regardless of geography. … Before deciding on a technology solution, organizations must first understand how employees work and interact—and how technology can remove barriers to collaboration and support them in achieving their business goals." The report also includes findings about automation trends, and we've included some of those here. An estimated 1,000 North American office workers who use computers and/or mobile devices for most of their workday took part in the research.
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Innovation and Strong ROI Drive IoT Adoption

Innovation and Strong ROI Drive IoT Adoption | digitalNow | Scoop.it
With the majority of organizations having introduced internet of things (IoT) devices and sensors into the workplace, companies are reporting ROI that impressively extends well into double-digit territory, according to a recent survey from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. The accompanying report, "The Internet of Things: Today and Tomorrow," reveals that IoT adoption is boosting the efficiency of both business and IT teams. It's increasing opportunities for innovation, while expanding organization-wide visibility. And, in terms of financial impact, it's improving profits and creating prospects for new market growth. There are, however, challenges that present obstacles to continued success, including the threat of IoT-related cyber-breaches and an inability to create analytics-driven value from IoT data. "With the business benefits from IoT surpassing expectations, it's no surprise that the industry will move toward mass adoption by 2019," said Chris Kozup, vice president of marketing at Aruba. "But with many executives unsure of how to apply IoT to their business, those who succeed in implementing IoT to transform their organization are well-positioned to gain a competitive advantage. … Scale and complexity, proper security methodologies to protect the network and devices, and, more importantly, the data and insights they extract, must also keep pace." An estimated 3,100 global IT and business decision-makers took part in the research.
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No more excuses

No more excuses | digitalNow | Scoop.it
It is simply easier to blame external factors than ourselves for our lack of achievement or for letting ourselves or others down. The problem is, the more that we make excuses, the likelier we are to build barriers that will impede our chances of attaining meaningful goals in the future.
While excuse-making is common to everyone, it can be particularly problematic for leaders. Leaders are responsible for their own work and those whom they lead. When leaders excuse away failures, they lower the standard at which they operate, which will inevitably reduce their productivity and impact. Worse, such behavior helps to create a culture of excuse-making that quickly trickles down the pipeline.
In no time, people throughout the organization feel vindicated in justifying their miscues or lack of production. And if the boss makes his/her own excuses all the time, who is going to call them on it?
According to the World Economic Forum, executive excuse-making comes in many forms and includes personal excuses (such as being under excessive pressure, not being paid enough to deal with real problems, and being poorly trained) as well as perceived external factors (like an inherited political climate or how others respond to their leadership).
Obviously, for leaders to succeed they can’t be in the business of making excuses. They have to set high (but achievable) standards and then make sure to hold themselves and those around them accountable. The following strategies can help leaders create a more accountable and higher-achieving work environment.
Own the problem

Before leaders can do anything to change their excuse-making behavior, they have to be willing to own the problem. They must take an honest look in the mirror and recognize that they must own their behaviors as well as their reactions. The following anecdote captures this idea well. (While the context focuses on employee excuse-making, its relevance is equally applicable for the guy in charge.)
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How to Build Customer-First Operations 

Align employees around a shared, customer-centric vision.
If customer obsession isn’t already one of your company values, make it one. Zappos’ core values, most of which are focused on surprising and delighting the customer at a higher standard than anyone else, are incorporated into every move it makes, from hiring and onboarding to strategic decision-making.

The brands that are thriving today are creating experiences that consumers can feel, touch and see, anything from temporary graphics and in-store fixtures to flagship stores and influencer kits. They often have very diverse teams; on any given marketing project, they may have a creative veteran sitting at a studio 3000 miles from the manufacturing plant along with an hourly employee who works on the print press floor. Each contributes vitally to delivering a holistic, authentic and valuable customer experience.

Including all levels of employees in decision-making processes empowers them to understand how putting the customer first translates into daily operations and strategy alike. It can be as simple as sharing campaign-level customer feedback – both positive and constructive – with hourly press operators. Sharing context and end-result information with everyone who had hands on a project ensures that each employee has a stake in the end-consumer experience, which gives them the opportunity to learn, grow and better serve the customer.
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How to Think (More on Open Space and Deep Work)

How much time do you need to think? Note that strategic thought isn't necessarily a linear process. A client of mine regularly schedules 4-hour blocks of time for this work, primarily because it takes about 2 hours for him to get into the right state of mind. If he tried to force the process into a 2-hour block, the effort would be wasted, but because he gives himself enough time to "warm up," the second half of that 4-hour block is tremendously productive.

Your specific needs may be different, but you probably require more time to think than you needed in the past. As I wrote earlier this year...

The type of reflective thought that allows us to solve hard problems (and to even understand the nature of these problems in the first place) generally requires some time to allow our minds to wander and to make unexpected associative connections. Creative solutions rarely come when commanded--instead, we spot glimpses of them on the margins of conscious thought, and we invite them to join us.

Frequency

How often do you need to think? This is somewhat contingent on the answer to the question above; if you need more time in an unbroken block, other responsibilities will make it harder to protect that time on your calendar. A solution adopted by many of my clients is to schedule varying lengths of time for this work at varying intervals: For example, two hours on Monday morning, 30 minutes at the end of every day, a half-day once a month, and a full day once a quarter.

There's no one-size-fits-all solution, but the key is what I call defensive calendaring: looking out into the future and putting these events on your calendar first, before other commitments make it impossible to find the time you need. Note that strategic thinking is one of those important-but-not-urgent activities that won't happen unless you make it a priority.
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What is Customer Experience Value Creation?

What is Customer Experience Value Creation? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Customer experience value creation is creating mutual value for your whole customer base in any part of the end-to-end customer experience, across the full customer life cycle, spanning customers’ entire dealings with your organization, products, services, channels and affiliations. It’s value as seen by the customer, relative to their alternatives, relative to all the costs they endure, and relative to the outcomes they’re pursuing.

Value is one of those ambiguous words, yet it’s an extremely important word. Value can mean price, benefits received for the price paid, deep-discount price, benefits relative to alternatives, high importance, rare and precious, earnings per share, wealth-building, and more.



We tend to think of how valuable it is to formally manage customer experience. We like to see studies about the superior value received by leaders versus laggards in customer experience management. We dabble with calculating customer lifetime value (cumulative profitability of a customer). We accept for granted that “businesses exist to create value for shareholders”
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7 Ways Not to Screw Up Your Value Proposition

7 Ways Not to Screw Up Your Value Proposition | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Identify Distinctive Competencies
You may not have had an internal conversation around your business’ distinctive competencies recently—or maybe you’ve never had that conversation.  But simply, they are the foundation of every value proposition.

A distinctive competence is best defined as a strong competency that is maintainable in the face of competition. It is not easily duplicated, at least for a while. It can be thought of as an "unfair advantage."

Distinctive competencies can come from technology, industry position, market relations, cost, business processes, manufacturing processes, people, customer satisfaction, or just being first to market. 

Your value proposition needs to be solidly founded on your distinctive competencies.  Value propositions aren’t aspirational (that’s the role of a Vision Statement).  They translate what is unique about your business into something unique (like design or engineering services offered by manufacturers) and of value to your customers.
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