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Brand Recommendations and Marketing Strategy

Brand Recommendations and Marketing Strategy | digitalNow | Scoop.it
What types of brand recommendations carry the most weight with consumers?
Don Dea's insight:

we know that 92% of consumers report that “word-of-mouth and recommendations from people [they] know” are the leading influence on their purchase behavior. Only 37% trust search engine ads, and just 24% trust online banner ads. They trust their friends and family the most when looking for brand recommendations. But what types of recommendations carry the most weight? 

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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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Learn the art of avoiding action for the sake of action

Sometimes it’s good to plan, but some other times action is the best way to figure the best action out. If you use actions as experiments (not solutions) you move into “doing” more easily and learn to correct course and refine based on evidence. Try approaching action as a test of your understanding and a step towards defining solutions iteratively. And start now. As the old Chinese proverb says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
Collective overthinking ensures quality solutions. When we succumb to our terror of analysis paralysis, we forget that the only way we know how to successfully deal with uncertainty is to share information and multiple interpretations. This is true as we navigate a new team, a new startup, try to build consensus or deal with an unprecedented event. Investing time isn’t about delaying action -- it’s about building connections to leverage diversity, knowledge and experience as a premise for success. This investment in connecting the system cohesively is the right way to achieve the variety and range of solutions needed to deal with complexity.
Get into action for the right reasons. We often get into action to satisfy our need for closure, not because we have the right action to pursue. Especially in groups, we are often so allergic to ambiguity that any course of action –- no matter which one -- will do for the sake of getting rid of our feeling of uncertainty. Action for the sake of action rarely accomplishes anything of value except for the decision-maker. When you feel that pressure in your meetings, be bold. Ask directly, “Are we choosing this course of action because we can’t deal with the ambiguity and need closure, or because we think it’s best?”
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Connecting People: The Key to Customer Centric Leadership 

Time and time again, I am immersed into companies that have a noticeable gulf, gap, chasm — call it what you will — between leadership and employees. Companies that possess talented, passionate people, who are open to and acknowledging of the need for continuous improvement. People who want to learn and become even better than they are today. People who seem to completely ‘get it’ — the need to become ever more customer centric to enable sustainable business growth.

Yet these people seem to work with leadership who are so far removed from their way of thinking, that they are living in a parallel universe!

It is more common than not to find businesses in 2017 whose employees have little sense of the following:

What the business purpose is
What the business ambition is
What the business strategy is
What the customer strategy is – or if there even is one
How the business is performing – financially and from the customer perspective
These businesses tend to be the ones whose people are not allowed to think. People who are employed to fulfil tasks that have been identified by leadership as being necessary to meet the purpose, ambition and strategy of the business, that only they are aware of.

It may seem as though I am being extreme in my description – but I can assure you that what I am describing is far more common than not. The misconnection between leadership and employees around the world is growing. At a time when there is increasing recognition of the need to put people – customers AND employees – at the heart of any strategy to drive sustainable business growth, this is a sad and startling issue.
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Is Customer Experience the New Marketing in 2017? 

Customer Experience and Marketing are Different

The definition of Marketing, per Merriam-Webster, is:

“the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service”

Dr. Philip Kotler defines Marketing as “the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit. Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and desires. It defines, measures and quantifies the size of the identified market and the profit potential.”

In a nutshell, marketing is all about communicating with people to influence them to buy from you.

Wikipedia defines Customer Experience as “the interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship. A good customer experience means the customer’s experience during all points of contact matches the individual’s perceptions.”

My favorite definition of customer experience – which comes from Forrester – is:

“every interaction, or touch point, your customer has with your brand. It not only includes the what’s (the interactions), but also the how’s (perceptions, feelings) the customer experiences.”

Thus, customer experience focuses on the entire customer journey. If done well, customer experience is in place before you even have initial contact with the customer and continues throughout the course of the relationship.

Here’s where things get murky…
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Artificial Intelligence: Overhyped and Underappreciated

Artificial Intelligence: Overhyped and Underappreciated | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The Future Belongs to Pragmatic AI
This is what Forrester calls ‘pragmatic AI’. It might not have the wow factor of a robot butler, a talking toaster or even deep learning technology, but it nevertheless manages to cut through the AI hype to provide meaningful impacts for businesses in the here and now.

While it can be easy to get sidetracked by the latest shiny tech, businesses have to consider whether or not the technology is available to help them to extract business value. Of course, this value can come in numerous ways: one company could use pragmatic AI to retain existing customers, while another could use it to maximize resources by automating specific repetitive processes.

Think Business Outcomes, Not Technology
The fact remains that the technology itself is irrelevant because it’s only a means to an end, a tool that enables you to reach a business outcome. Of course, none of this is to say that some of the cutting-edge technology that currently resides in the AI hype bubble won’t have significant business applications in the years to come.

Clearly, voice and language recognition will have an important part to play for enterprises as they look to interact with customers. For example, more sophisticated chatbots that can support new channels and maintain conversations across a number of different platforms in natural, conversational ways, will only improve the customer experience.
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Leading Late in the Game Can Be Dangerous 

"We found that learning you're in the lead early on in a competition was motivating, compared to learning that you're losing or getting no feedback," Etkin said. "It made people feel they could win and increased their motivation."

But the studies also revealed that being in the lead had a demotivating effect later on.

"In a later phase of the competition, when we asked people to estimate how many more points they needed to win, they estimated fewer when they were ahead," Etkin said. "Rather than focus on the fact they hadn't won yet, they focused on the fact that they had almost won," Etkin said. "That's maladaptive, because you can get caught."

The researchers also tested their theory that using a higher standard can help sustain motivation late in a competition. They invited more than 2,500 students from two university campuses to sign up for a competitive book donation drive, in which the campus with the most donated books would get cash to buy more books.

The researchers tracked how many students signed up and how many books each donated. Two days from the end of the drive, students at each campus were told whether they were ahead or behind. Some students at both campuses were also told their campus was 10 percent behind their best year for donations. Students at the leading campus who got that additional benchmark subsequently contributed more books than those who didn't.

"In domains where you're uncertain of your ability to win, reference points that make you feel you can do it should be motivating," Etkin said. "But when you already feel confident about your abilities, we want to be comparing ourselves to reference points that are better than we are. Working to close that gap between where we are and where that higher standard is will make us work harder than if we see ourselves as being better than the standard -- which is the case when we know we're in the lead."
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Technology, jobs, and the future of work 

Technology, jobs, and the future of work  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
We find that about 60 percent of all occupations have at least 30 percent of activities that are technically automatable, based on currently demonstrated technologies. This means that most occupations will change, and more people will have to work with technology. Highly skilled workers working with technology will benefit. While low-skilled workers working with technology will be able to achieve more in terms of output and productivity, these workers may experience wage pressure, given the potentially larger supply of similarly low-skilled workers, unless demand for the occupation grows more than the expansion in labor supply.

On a global scale, we calculate that the adaptation of currently demonstrated automation technologies could affect 50 percent of the world economy, or 1.2 billion employees and $14.6 trillion in wages. Just four countries—China, India, Japan, and the United States—account for just over half of these totals. There are sizable differences in automation potential between countries, based mainly on the structure of their economies, the relative level of wages, and the size and dynamics of the workforce.
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Are You a Self-Aware Leader?

Are You a Self-Aware Leader? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
One of the things I tell people is that other people’s self-awareness journey is not yours to own. If someone is saying, “Gosh, my boss is so not self-aware; I don’t even know what to do” — it can do more harm than good if you decide to take that on. But if we flip the coin and you are the leader that we’re talking about, there’s a lot of things you can do to instill a culture of truth-telling.

There’s a lot of ways you can get feedback in a confidential way. Many people are familiar with the 360 process where it’s a numeric, anonymous survey by which you get the results. But what I’ve found is there have to be certain building blocks in place before leaders can say, “Why don’t you just tell me the truth about how you see me,” because not only will people feel uncomfortable doing that, they might just sugarcoat everything.
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The Subscription Economy's Maturation

Cheapening products can take many forms. For instance, you can remove features or substitute materials or components in the process, shortening the product's useful life. You also can curtail services, which are expensive to provision when using employees rather than systems.

Until subscriptions, that was the reality of commoditization -- but by their nature, subscriptions do none of that. The same grade of product delivered as a service is available to all, though the current reckless actions by the FCC to degrade Net neutrality may be a retrograde step in the direction of cheapening the Internet.

Everyone also pays the same base price, though there's still opportunity for creativity when it comes to volume discounting.

The Revolution Goes On

Most importantly, development and maintenance in many subscription industries are ongoing. If they aren't, like when you subscribe to a car through a lease, at least the service level remains high. The reasons are all the same: Subscription vendors are always in the hunt for the renewal.
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E-Commerce Gets the Einstein Treatment

E-Commerce  Gets the Einstein Treatment | digitalNow | Scoop.it
This is the year that Salesforce is inserting its Einstein AI functionality into all of its products. Salesforce Commerce Cloud Einstein now has its share of technology innovations that enable retailers to provide shoppers with personalized, AI-powered experiences that span Web, mobile, social, in-store and more.

There's a hierarchy of needs that applies to retail commerce customers, noted Dwight Moore, senior director for retail and GTM at Salesforce. They can be summed up as, "know me, remember me, make it easy for me, surprise and delight me, and make my life better."

That sounds an awful lot like "engage and delight me, and you can make a friend for a long time" -- a sure recipe for loyalty and repeat business.

Good Timing

There's a big role for AI and ML in all this. Personalizing interactions means capturing customer data, supplementing it with additional information -- and using it not to browbeat customers into buying things, but to be there with relevant offers.

Using order history and Web behavior, the Commerce Cloud generates a predictive model for each shopper. To do that, in addition to adding Einstein, Salesforce has brought to market a suite of capabilities that include a mobile site reference architecture, a prototype mobile app, and a data model that retailers can modify, rather than starting from scratch when building a commerce site.

Also in the kit are features to help manage orders through a retailer's ERP system and Google Android Pay, complements to Apple Pay, which already was available.
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The Challenge of Enterprise Security in the Cloud

The debate about whether to migrate to the cloud is largely over—and the cloud won. Yet, as adoption rates grow and IT systems become more interconnected with cloud architectures, the challenge of locking down security is growing. Overall, cloud computing may deliver the potential for better security, but it also introduces new risks. A recent report from Blancco Technology Group, "Lost in the Cloud: Data Security Challenges & Risks," offers insights into this evolving space—and how it impacts the enterprise. In many cases, global IT professionals are not confident about their company's ability to use cloud services properly, and many organizations lack essential visibility into processes and procedures. This leads to unauthorized access to data, improper handling and storage of data, and improper data removal methods being used at various stages of the data lifecycle. "It's important to have the tools and processes to get rid of data that's no longer needed," pointed out Fredrik Forslund, director of cloud and data center erasure for Blancco. Here's look at some of the key findings from the survey of 290 IT professionals in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, India, Japan and China.
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Culture isn't enough

Here are three starting points for achieving strong culture/brand alignment and integration:
1. Adopt a single brand purpose to inspire, focus, and guide everything your organization does. Instead of using a corporate mission statement to describe your business scope and/or goals -- which is distinct from a brand essence statement, which articulates what your brand stands for -- identify a single brand purpose that explains why your organization exists.
In today's cluttered, uber-competitive, choice-overload world, your company must have a clear, meaningful reason for being. You need to play an invaluable, irreplaceable role in people's lives. A brand purpose expresses the cause or belief that inspires you to do what you do, so it resonates with today's customers and employees, because both groups make decisions based on the motivations behind the companies they associate themselves with.
A definitive brand purpose also helps establish and maintain a singular focus for all your efforts. Your business goals should relate clearly and directly to the brand identity you want to build, so instead of confusing people with separate messages about each, integrate them into a single brand purpose.
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Cybersecurity: How Business Is Protecting Itself

Cybersecurity: How Business Is Protecting Itself | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Under attack
In the summer of 2015, several of New York’s most prestigious and trusted corporate law firms, including Cravath Swaine & Moore and Weil Gotshal & Manges, found themselves under cyberattack. A trio of hackers in China had snuck into the firms’ computer networks by tricking partners into revealing their email passwords. Once inside the partners’ accounts, the thieves snooped on highly sensitive documents about upcoming mergers. Then, from computers halfway around the world, the cybercrooks allegedly traded on the purloined information, netting $4 million in stock market gains.
Like most other victims of corporate espionage, the firms preferred to keep mum about having been victimized. They feared antagonizing other digital thugs as well as damaging their reputations as keepers of clients’ secrets. Instead, word of the attack leaked in the press and then was confirmed by federal prosecutors and the firms themselves. The Feds made public their discoveries and trumpeted their efforts to bring the alleged perpetrators to justice. “This case of cyber meets securities fraud should serve as a wake-up call for law firms around the world,” said Preet Bharara, then the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan. “You are and will be the targets of cyberhacking because you have information valuable to would-be criminals.”
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Data Analytics Jobs Offer Top Salaries

The number of data science and analytics (DSA) job openings will continue to grow impressively between now and 2020, according to recent research from Burning Glass Technologies, IBM and the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF). The accompanying report, "The Quant Crunch: How Demand for Data Science Skills Is Disrupting the Job Market," indicates that DSA jobs are paying many thousands of dollars more than other positions that require a bachelor's degree. And if you command a highly sought DSA skill—such as MapReduce, Apache Pig or machine learning—you'll be able to negotiate an even higher salary. What's more, it's taking employers more than a month to fill these openings. Given the extensive vacancies for these mission-critical roles, organizations are prepared to pay well to build a data-savvy workforce. "The democratization of data is transforming our world," according to the report. "Sensors are everywhere. … Old businesses are being transformed by data. Dynamic new businesses are powered by data. Anyone with a smartphone now carries with them a sensor platform generating data. In response, workforce needs have shifted rapidly. Demand for a new breed of professionals skilled in data, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence requires a requisite response from both higher education and workforce development. … To close the gap, workforce development and higher education must look beyond the data scientist to develop talent for a variety of roles, such as data engineer, data governance and lifecycle, and data privacy and security specialist, and data product developer." The research is based on an analysis of the Burning Glass Technologies jobs database
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Protecting your critical digital assets: Not all systems and data are created equal 

Protecting your critical digital assets: Not all systems and data are created equal  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Cybersecurity spending: When more is less

In the face of such diverse threats, companies often decide to spend more on cybersecurity, but they are not sure how they should go about it.

A global financial-services company left cybersecurity investments mainly to the discretion of the chief information-security officer (CISO), within certain budget constraints. The security team was isolated from business leaders, and resulting controls were not focused on the information that the business felt was most important to protect.
A healthcare provider made patient data its only priority. Other areas were neglected, such as confidential financial data relevant to big-dollar negotiations and protections against other risks such as alterations to internal data.
A global mining concern focused on protecting its production and exploration data but failed to separate proprietary information from information that could be reconstructed from public sources. Thus, broadly available information was being protected using resources that could have been shifted to high-value data like internal communications on business negotiations.
These typical examples illustrate the need for a unified, enterprise-wide approach to cyber risk, involving the business and the risk, IT, and cybersecurity groups. The leaders of these groups must begin to work together, identifying and protecting the organization’s critical digital assets as a priority. The process of addressing cyber risk will also have to become technologically enabled, through the implementation of workflow-management systems. Cybersecurity investment must be a key part of the business budget cycle and investment decisions must be more evidence-based and sensitive to changes.
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Why effective leaders must manage up, down, and sideways 

Why effective leaders must manage up, down, and sideways  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
If you want to build a “movement” within the company, lead from the front with an inspiring story to win the hearts and minds of colleagues, including those who don’t report to you, and with a clear action plan to deliver tangible results. That can initiate a virtuous circle of internal recognition by energizing a cadre of early followers among colleagues. Our research suggests that leading from the front and having a strong narrative together explained nearly 10 percent of business impact and about 20 percent of career success. The ability to reach beyond the marketing silo to executives in areas such as IT and finance explained an additional 13 percent of the variation in both business impact and career success.

Only 56 percent of CEOs, however, described their marketing leaders as role models who lead from the front, and only 61 percent of CMOs said they use their storytelling skills. Tellingly, while marketers are adept at telling stories that mobilize customers to buy their products, we find they are less likely to ply that strength internally, despite the importance of effective engagement with colleagues.
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Leading in the digital age 

Leading in the digital age  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
I think the leadership challenge is even deeper than that. When we talk about leaders, we too often think about an individual with specific abilities. But no one can do everything. Leadership is a team sport. What’s really at stake here is finding the right combination of complementary talents. The CEO playing Moses is a distortion, particularly in America, compared with Europe. Leaders should be asking themselves “how do we build a diverse and creative team that can reach better decisions?”
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4 Agile Principles for the Modern Marketer

4 Agile Principles for the Modern Marketer | digitalNow | Scoop.it
4 Core Principles for the Modern Marketer 
Agile was born in 2001 at a ski resort in Utah. On a cold winter’s night, 12 collaborators brainstormed ways to deliver results quickly, without losing the ability to be nimble and enhance the final product. The result of their work was the Agile Manifesto, a working philosophy that has proven incredibly effective in its simplicity.

In the spirit of Agile, my company has adapted Agile’s four core principles for the modern marketer: 

1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Agile is all about collaboration. When marketers, content creators, analysts, UX designers and technologists collaborate in real time, they form tightly knit, self-organizing teams focused on critical thinking and problem solving. For example, a marketer can assess the impact of a campaign by collaborating with an analyst, whose insights might shift how budgets are allocated to the best-performing channels.

2. Working marketing strategy over comprehensive documentation 
Planning documents, spreadsheets and PowerPoint slides are not substitutes for a working strategy delivered by a cross-functional team. For example, an analyst’s findings could reveal a behavior loop in a goal funnel, knowledge which a marketer could use to assess the impact on success outcomes and formulate a strategy. Based on the marketer’s strategy, a designer could then make design recommendations. The team could then run an A/B test to compare which design tactics achieve the desired marketing outcome.
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The future is now: How to win the resource revolution 

The future is now: How to win the resource revolution  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
1. Resource prices will be less correlated to one another, and to macroeconomic growth, than they were in the past. During the supercycle, all resource prices moved up almost in unison, as surging demand in China encountered supply constraints that stemmed from years of market weakness and low investment. China’s appetite for resources went well beyond just fossil fuels; in 2015, it consumed more than half of the entire global supply of iron ore and about 40 percent of copper.

Today, however, the underlying drivers of demand for each commodity have changed and are subject to factors that can be highly specific. While iron-ore demand could decline by more than 25 percent over the next 20 years as a result of the weakening demand for steel and increased recycling, copper demand could jump by as much as 50 percent. Or take thermal coal. Although it remains a primary energy source in emerging economies, coal faces competition from solar and wind energy, as well as from natural gas, and many economies would like to “decarbonize” for environmental reasons. As these interlocking shifts play out in the years ahead, past supply, demand, and pricing patterns are unlikely to hold.
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The Power of Storytelling

The Power of Storytelling | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Stories are an integral part to communicating effectively with your employees. A great story goes a long way, because it’s memorable and helps create an emotional connection with the listener. What we feel impacts what we do, so stories can be a great way to move employees to action.

So why not prepare some stories of your own. When you do, here are a few things to think about.
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The Art of Manipulation and Misdirection

There's an art to manipulation and misdirection. I first became aware of this skill in college while doing my undergraduate work. One of the modules in a class I took on manpower management was on manipulators -- people who were good at getting people to do things for them, changing minds, and generally, well, manipulating others.

There was a test for measuring this skill, and the scoring range was 1-20. Anyone who scored more than 12 had a high inherent ability to manipulate, according to the test. One poor guy scored 15 and everyone in the class made fun of him. However, there was another student who scored 17, and no one even noticed. He was the one who focused the rest of us on the guy who scored 15 -- and he didn't even know he was doing it.

People with this skill often end up in marketing where their ability is valued and utilized. If you are observant, however, you'll see the same skill applied by friends, family and coworkers -- both to accomplish their unique goals and often just to mess with people. Surprisingly, the person doing it often doesn't even seem aware of the behavior.
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Savvy Marketers Don't Ditch the Non-Digital

Savvy Marketers Don't Ditch the Non-Digital | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Which activities is it dangerous to deprioritize in the data era? Following are examples of three types.

1. Ungated Content

New customers often need a bit of education to understand the complexities of their problems and the applicability of your solutions. This is natural, and it happens for virtually any company.

If you want customers to understand that you're the best choice to fix their problems, they first have to understand the problems and then have to understand your solutions, in that order. The result is plenty of what often is referred to as "top of the funnel content" -- material light on your products but heavy on the ideas behind your products.

This is content you want people to see and to use. If your products are a fit for them, then you want to deliver valuable information that leads them to seek more details from you, which improves the odds that they'll buy from you.

If they aren't a fit, those prospects should be able to de-select themselves -- sucking them down the funnel is unlikely to earn a deal, but it is likely to waste sales' time on customers who aren't ready to buy.

This basic content costs the same to make as other content, and that makes marketing managers leery about leaving it freely available without a form-fill. How can you understand its ROI otherwise? How can you turn readers into leads?

Again, not all readers should turn into leads -- but this basic content needs to be read widely if it's going to have an impact -- and putting it behind a form is a great way to limit the number of people who bother to read it. It also tends to damage your SEO impact, so readers may not even find it to ignore in the first place.
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How Can Companies Create a Winning Work Culture?

A strong, vibrant workplace culture nearly always leads to high employee engagement, while a weak one usually results in poor morale, low productivity and high turnover. Why do some organizations' cultures thrive while others fail? A recent survey from CultureIQ provides some insight. The resulting report, "Building a High-Performance Culture: Key Lessons from Top Cultures for 2017," distinguishes companies that are "winners" (they score the highest on collaboration, innovation, agility, support, wellness, work environment and mission/value alignment) and "non-winners." Companies that excel remain true to their mission and values, with leadership teams that earn their employees' confidence. They often offer opportunities to learn new things, while encouraging staffers to question the status quo. These staffers are also very clear about what determines success in their roles. "Organizational culture is your company's competitive advantage," according to the report. "Two companies can have the same product, service, number of employees and perks, yet completely different cultures. By evaluating your organization's unique culture, you empower yourself to make informed decisions that can strengthen strategic behaviors in a way that supports long-term business goals. With culture as a competitive advantage, companies can function at a higher level of innovation, productivity and profitability." More than 28,370 employees took part in the research.
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Invest, Create, Perform: Mastering the three dimensions of growth in the digital age 

Invest, Create, Perform: Mastering the three dimensions of growth in the digital age  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Given this new dynamic, we wanted to understand better how businesses think about driving organic growth and what the top growers actually do to achieve it. To that end, we surveyed almost 600 executives at leading companies around the world. We found that companies are active across three broad growth dimensions:

Investing. These companies squeeze funds out of various sources (e.g., admin) to double down on existing high-growth activities. An example of this approach is Zara, which found a winning model in its rapid-fashion program and grew by relentlessly investing in it.
Creating. Winning companies build value by designing and deploying new products, services, or business models. Adobe, for example, has grown rapidly by developing its Creative Cloud services and establishing an innovative new model in which customers get access to all Adobe products for an ongoing fee.
Performing. These businesses continuously optimize core commercial capabilities in sales, marketing, pricing, and customer experience. Capital One epitomizes this approach by using advanced customer data to identify microsegments of customers, tailor products to them, track trends, and test products.
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Untangling your organization’s decision making

Untangling your organization’s decision making | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The ultimate solution for many organizations looking to untangle their decision making is to become flatter and more agile, with decision authority and accountability going hand in hand. High-flying technology companies such as Google and Spotify are frequently the poster children for this approach, but it has also been adapted by more traditional ones such as ING (for more, see our recent McKinsey Quarterly interview “ING’s agile transformation”). As we’ve described elsewhere, agile organization models get decision making into the right hands, are faster in reacting to (or anticipating) shifts in the business environment, and often become magnets for top talent, who prefer working at companies with fewer layers of management and greater empowerment.
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4 Dangers of Digital Communication and 8 Tips to Avoid Them 

4 Dangers of Digital Communication and 8 Tips to Avoid Them  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Danger #1: Easy to misinterpret.
Without hearing a voice or seeing nonverbal cues, people often miss the intended meaning, tone, value and emphasis because so much of the way we normally share information and ideas includes nonverbal communication like inflections, hand gestures, facial tone, and body position.
A study by Professors Justin Kruger of New York University and Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago on how well sarcasm is detected in digital messages found that e-mail senders overestimate their ability to communicate feelings and recipients overrate their ability to correctly decode those feelings.
Tips:
Use digital communication primarily for exchange of information, not resolving conflict.
Be alert to the possibility that your intentions might be misunderstood. If you get a response that is out of line with what you expected, check to see if your message was correctly understood.
Danger #2: Raises the temperature.
For many people, the distance of digital communication makes it feel safer to “yell” or to be critical. We can more easily muster up the gumption to criticize when we are typing words on our personal keyboards than when we have to look someone in the eye and share our feelings. Furthermore, the prospect of instantaneous communication creates a pressure to write quickly, which can lead to carelessness.
Tips:
Develop the habit of responding to email at intervals rather than being always available.
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