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The End of Cash (it ‘aint necessarily so)

The End of Cash (it ‘aint necessarily so) | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Don Dea's insight:

Like all logical extrapolations, the argument that cash will disappear contains a number of critical assumptions. One is that people will trust digital transactions and exchange as much as – or more than – physical money.

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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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Poorer than their parents? A new perspective on income inequality 

Poorer than their parents? A new perspective on income inequality  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The encouraging news is that it is possible to reduce the number of people not advancing. Labor-market practices can make a difference, as can government taxes and transfers—although the latter may not be sustainable at a time when many governments have high debt levels. For example, in Sweden, where the government intervened to preserve jobs during the global downturn, market incomes fell or were flat for only 20 percent of households, while disposable income advanced for almost everyone. In the United States, lower tax rates and higher transfers turned a decline in market incomes for four-fifths of income segments into an increase in disposable income for nearly all households. Efforts such as these—along with additional measures such as encouraging business leaders to adopt long-term thinking—can make a real difference. The trend of flat and falling real incomes merits bold measures on the part of government and business alike
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Technology, jobs, and the future of work

Unemployment and underemployment are high around the world. In the United States and the 15 core European Union countries (EU-15), there are 285 million adults who are not in the labor force—and at least 100 million of them would like to work more. Some 30 to 45 percent of the working-age population around the world is underutilized—that is, unemployed, inactive, or underemployed. This translates into some 850 million people in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Brazil, China, and India alone. Most attention is paid to the unemployed portion of this number, and not enough to the underemployed and the inactive portions, which make up the majority of untapped human potential.
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The Design of Value Proposition Design with Alex Osterwalder

Why was this product needed – the Value Proposition Design book?
There were two triggers. The first one was that the Business Model Generation book was pretty successful and a lot of people started using the business model canvas. What we didn’t realize is that some people were repurposing the business model canvas to sketch out their value proposition. The business model canvas was never designed to help with that particular job. The only job to be done was how to sketch a business model. So we tried to figure out what would another tool be to satisfy the need. So that was the origin of the tool – addressing an unmet need of our existing customers. The second tool customers needed was the value proposition canvas. It’s like zooming in. The business model is the big picture perspective and you zoom into the value proposition. The other trigger was that we learned so much over the year since we launched Business Model Generation that we had a huge need to share that learning. We built upon what was working, integrating customer development and lean startup approaches into the new book with what we were learning as well.  Also, we had just launched the Strategyzer brand and the book was an opportunity to promote the brand with “Strategyzer” on the cover.
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Why You Should Quit Predicting What’s Going to Happen 

“A McKinsey study in 1980 projected 900,000 cell phones would be in use by 2000. The actual number was just under 1 billion. That’s no rounding error.”
We should know better but we keep making the same mistake. Twenty-seven years later, when Apple introduced the iPhone, pundits thought that the market had peaked at 2.7 billion cell phones–after all, that was nearly half the world’s population and the economic outlook was turning pretty grim. And yet, in the midst of a recession (as it had with the iPod in 2001), Apple was building the future. In 2014 we stood at 7 billion cell phones and 7.2 billion people! Each day globally there were about 350,000 births and 400,000 iPhones sold; so much for predicting the future.
“Each day globally there are about 350,000 births and 400,000 iPhones sold; so much for predicting the future.
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Web Content Management Comes of Age

The term Web 2.0 started to gain popularity as our relationships with websites evolved. The web was moving from a collection of static engines, akin to a gigantic encyclopedia, to a dynamic environment where people directly interacted on the websites.

The days of a dumb web server were over. There was no time for processes that sent visitor content back to the repository server in order to have that content republished after approval. Interactions had to happen instantaneously and at scale. Things had to happen without human involvement. Discussions of capturing all information as a record or timely snapshot faded into the background as the clamor grew louder to keep things shiny, new and fast.

Agile became a defining characteristic of successful organizations.
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7 Reasons how Business Intelligence is Changing Business Environment 

7 Reasons how Business Intelligence is Changing Business Environment  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The chief objective of business intelligence is to improvise timeliness and quality of information that helps you charter the best course towards growth and success.

You are able to gauge the position of your company in comparison to competition.
You are able to detect change in customer behaviour and purchase patterns.
You can measure the capabilities of your company.
You understand market conditions, future trends, demographics and economic information.
You are able to understand what competition is doing.
Even start-ups and SMBs (small and medium businesses) are trying to take advantage of business intelligence just like the bigger players. Owing to more intuitive interfaces, intelligent data preparation tools, improved generations and lower pricing, small companies are empowering themselves to become their very own data scientists.
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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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Problems With Technology Make Employees Unhappy

A significant segment of professionals are either unhappy or only somewhat happy at work, according to a recent survey from Teem. The resulting "2016 Employee Happiness" report reveals that technology-related issues are causing a lot of the disengagement. Many professionals, for example, said they aren't getting the training required to work with new tech tools. They also feel that a part of their current workload could be automated. As for the technologies they'd like to see in their organization, artificial intelligence (AI) solutions top the list, followed by digital assistants. Given this, the IT organization should work closely with business leaders to ensure employees have the technologies they need to do their job—and are effectively trained on how to use them. "New technologies are rapidly overhauling everything about how we work," said Shaun Ritchie, CEO and co-founder of Teem. "Business must remain flexible to keep pace. … Employees associate these tools with happiness, and, by extension, productivity. [They also value] having proper equipment, usage guidelines and training to avoid burnout." An estimated 1,300 U.S. professionals took part in the research.
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How good is your company’s internal customer experience?

How good is your company’s internal customer experience? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
We needed to find a concrete and strong methodology to capture the experience of the customer—the user of the service. What is important is to understand that any user of a service, whether internal or external, wants the service to be real-time, efficient, quick, simple to access, and, if possible, nice.

In this journey of transforming yourself, probably the most difficult part is to start to understand what the problem is. And our methodology enabled us, first of all, to divide our services into a number of concrete user journeys, then to go and capture their satisfaction through surveys, and then deepen the understanding of the different pain points. What is so interesting in this methodology is that you don’t start your transformation from the usual point of view—you start from the point of your user. You start seeing the problem differently: for us that was a major discovery. We put ourselves in the shoes of our customers to really understand what they wanted from us, and then bring solutions.
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Gaps in Digital Strategy Harm Customer Experience

The vast majority of companies recognize that digital customer experiences (CX) represent a make-or-break proposition in terms of competitive differentiation, but digital strategy shortcomings are limiting their ability to deliver, according to a recent survey from Dimension Data. The resulting "Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report" indicates that very few organizations are able to connect all CX channels. Most, in fact, still rely on dated resources such as telephone and email communications to support customers. Very few consider their company's digital business strategy optimized. And, while most said customer analytics and connected customer journeys will greatly affect CX for the near future, the majority of businesses do not collect data to review and improve customer journey patterns. "The digital dilemma is deepening, and organizations need to choose a path between digital crisis or redemption," said Joe Manuele, Dimension Data's group executive for CX and collaboration. "The world has formed a digital skin, and business, service, technology and commercial models have changed forever. However, organizations are strategically challenged to keep pace with customer behavior." Representatives of more than 1,350 global organizations took part in the research.
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An operating model for company-wide agile development 

Research indicates that many traditional companies are experimenting with agile practices in discrete pilot projects and realizing modest benefits from them. But fewer than 20 percent consider themselves “mature adopters,” with widespread acceptance and use of agile across business units.1 Meanwhile, according to our own observations, the companies that are deploying agile at scale have accelerated their innovation by up to 80 percent.

There are many reasons traditional companies have not been able to successfully scale up their agile programs, but we believe a chief impediment is their existing operating models and organizational structures. In most of these companies, the process of software or product development remains fragmented and complex: a business request for a new website feature can kick-start a development process involving multiple teams, each tackling a series of tasks that feed into the original request. For instance, one team working on the front-end application, another updating associated servers and databases, and still another reconciling the front-end application with legacy back-end systems. What’s more, the supporting business processes (among them, budgeting, planning, and outsourcing) and existing roles and responsibilities in both the IT organization and business units continue to adhere closely to the legacy waterfall approach.2
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Machine learning in cybersecurity moves needle, doesn't negate threats

Machine learning in cybersecurity moves needle, doesn't negate threats | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The report, based on a survey of 412 IT and cybersecurity professionals, found that 93% of IT leaders are using or planning to use these types of solutions: 12% of respondents have deployed machine learning technologies designed for security analytics and operations automation and orchestration; another 27% said they're doing so on a limited basis, while 22% said they're adding them. Some 20% are in the project phase to onboard such solutions.

Only 6% of respondents said they're either not planning on or not interested in deploying these technologies.

Forte said it's no surprise that the appetite for AI and machine learning in cybersecurity is strong. Tech vendors and their corporate clients are deploying these advanced technologies in a variety of functions within the enterprise, and starting to see returns on investment. He said early use cases show that these tools likewise have great potential in cyber defense, too.
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Critical to your team's culture: Equal air time

As the leader or manager of your team, how can you facilitate this conversational equality?
First, take a moment and evaluate your team’s collective conversational aptitude. Overall, is there currently equal air-time among team members? If not, who speaks up most often? Who doesn’t? Then take a moment to think about why this might be the case.
Is it simply a matter of introverts as compared to extroverts?
Is it a matter of confidence?
Is there someone who struggles to sit through the slightest pause and has to jump in?
Is there competitive vying for air space?
Does someone consistently interrupt others (or a particular team member)?
Is someone consistently repetitive? Or who over-describes?
Do you tend to listen more closely to a particular individual on your team?
If there’s a lot of dead air space, does it feel safe to contribute thoughts?
Does anyone tend to steamroll, ramble, blame, stall or attack?
Does anyone consistently take the team off-topic or go from tactical to theoretical?
Perhaps those who are repetitive don’t feel heard. Perhaps those who are most vociferous are trying to prove their value to the team. Your over-describers likely want you to really know how hard they are working. While all of these are assumptions, consider why your current team’s conversational acumen is in its current state.
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Harnessing automation for a future that works 

The activities most susceptible to automation are physical ones in highly structured and predictable environments, as well as data collection and processing. In the United States, these activities make up 51 percent of activities in the economy, accounting for almost $2.7 trillion in wages. They are most prevalent in manufacturing, accommodation and food service, and retail trade. And it’s not just low-skill, low-wage work that could be automated; middle-skill and high-paying, high-skill occupations, too, have a degree of automation potential. As processes are transformed by the automation of individual activities, people will perform activities that complement the work that machines do, and vice versa.
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Innovation is the Most Potent Form of Leadership Development 

The primary objective of Leadership and Professional Development is to cultivate emerging leaders who show nascent traits of greatness—and to harness their value they bring to their organizations. Innovation training teaches many of the most valuable skills in an immersive, hands-on, non-theoretical way.
The hard skills including learning empathy for potential users of their product or service, a contextual understanding of the market, methods for analyzing primary market research data, tools for reframing business issues, mastering the creation and facilitation of ideation sessions, rapid prototyping, market testing of prototyping, incorporating adaptive market-feedback inspired changes to prototypes quickly and inexpensively, and practice of narrative-style communication skills that evoke and motivate.
Soft skills include expanding mindsets so they look for market potential even if it exists outside of the current business model, rank-less and multi-disciplinary collaboration training, deep listening, respect for others, creative confidence and conviction, an in-depth understanding of the human factors and psychology guiding the invisible forces of the market, adaptive thinking, iterative and non-linear approaches to problem solving, critical thinking, pattern recognition, and abductive reasoning.
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Ten Signs You Need an Innovation Intervention 

Signs You Need an Innovation Intervention
Nobody can articulate your definition of innovation (or you don’t have one)
Nobody can articulate your innovation vision/strategy/goals (or you don’t have them)
People struggle to tell the story of one or more innovations launched to wide adoption by the organization
Most of what passes as innovation inside the organization would actually be classified as improvements (not innovation) by people outside the organization
The organization no longer makes external innovation perspectives available to a wide audience
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Is Agile Marketing a 'Thing' or Just Business as Usual?

Is Agile Marketing New? 
As someone who has transitioned from technologist to marketing, I’ve managed both marketing teams and software development teams. 

In software development, Agile was a major change in how to get things done, especially in comparison with the legacy Waterfall method, which was characterized by long development cycles, annual major releases and a fairly rigid “go away we are building a big and important thing here” mindset.  

Marketing doesn't have this legacy. Marketing is agile by nature — or at least it should be. 

Every marketing plan is broken up into campaigns. These campaigns run for a finite time. You measure their effectiveness and if they worked you ran it — or some similar iteration — again, and if it bombed, you moved on and tried something else. 
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The Rules of Social Media Marketing Success: Leadership and Community

The Rules of Social Media Marketing Success: Leadership and Community | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Social media leaders — as is the case with their offline counterparts — are valued and respected for their knowledge, experience, passion and vision. The most effective social media leaders also demonstrate a strong sense of responsibility, serve as standard bearers, have a relatively high tolerance for risk, lead by example, think strategically, plan for the short- and long-term, express humility, and have the ability to inspire others.

Another important characteristic synonymous with social media leadership is integrity. And because of the ability for others to quickly and easily spot insincerity and dishonesty on social media, a leader's integrity must be rock solid at all times. 
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The Secret to Customer Satisfaction 

Customer Happiness Depends on Employee Satisfaction

We’ve all been on the receiving end of poor customer service, and a single interaction with a disgruntled worker leaves a seriously bad impression about the brand. That makes it even more important to ensure employees are genuinely happy in their work environment.

Plenty of companies pay homage to the idea that happy employees make for happy customers, at least in theory. But how many integrate this philosophy into their corporate cultures? Employee happiness needs to be more than a platitude hung on a wall if it’s to have any real impact on your business.
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Setting Standards: AI & Algorithmic Accountability

Transparency: Rometty discussed the need to be transparent with everyone about using these systems. She said the company is committed to detailing the purposes for which it will develop and deploy AI.

Skills: She affirmed that the company would help its employees obtain the skills needed to use this technology, so there will be jobs for them.

The substance of Rometty's recommendations are included in the principles advanced by the nonprofit Association for Computing Machinery US Public Policy Council, though the terms differ slightly. Here are the association's "Principles for Algorithmic Transparency and Accountability":

1. Awareness: Owners, designers, builders, users and other stakeholders of analytic systems should be aware of the possible biases involved in their design, implementation and use—and the potential harm those biases could cause to individuals and society.

2. Access and redress: Regulators should encourage organizations to adopt mechanisms that enable questioning and redress for individuals and groups that have been adversely affected by decisions based on algorithms.

3. Accountability: Organizations should be held responsible for decisions that are made based on the algorithms they use, even if it's not possible to explain in detail how the algorithms produce their results.

4. Explanation: Institutions that use algorithmic decision-making should provide explanations about the procedures followed by the algorithm, as well as the specific decisions made. This is particularly important in public policy contexts.

5. Data Provenance: A description of the way the training data was collected should be maintained by the algorithm builders. In addition, it should be accompanied by an exploration of the potential biases induced by the human or algorithmic data-gathering process.
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When the customer experience starts at home 

When the customer experience starts at home  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Yet many companies struggle to align themselves internally behind these goals. Some, like banks, face security and regulatory constraints that make it hard to deliver internal services in a smooth and quick way—for instance, tight criteria for storing and sharing data limit the access of employees to multiple sources of information across locations. Worried about noncompliance, some companies place extreme limits on themselves, hurting their efforts to work efficiently, smoothly, and quickly. One bank, for example, stored all its data at the highest level of confidentiality, restricting its employees’ access to useful nonconfidential information.

At other companies, siloed organizational functions address individual touchpoints in a customer’s journey but leave no one responsible for the end-to-end experience. What’s more, in the search for efficiency and the advantages of scale effects, companies build large teams devoted to specific topics, creating silos that disconnect support functions from their users. Still other companies, which emphasize their external image and customer-experience efforts to the detriment of internal services, treat support functions not as core drivers of corporate health but as targets for cost cutting.
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Ways to Give Customers Better Content Delivery

While IT and other departments are fully committed to content initiatives, they admit that they're falling behind in adopting the latest in content delivery technologies to boost efficiencies and better meet customer needs, according to a recent survey from Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL) and the Center for Information Development Management (CIDM). The accompanying report, "Following the Trends - Is Your Content Ready?" reveals that survey respondents are developing user manuals, training guides and embedded user assistance content (such as information for help systems). They're taking advantage of XML Editor and other tech tools to do so. However, many are not incorporating social media into their content practices, nor are they customizing content for mobile devices. A significant share, however, expect to invest in more dynamic delivery systems over the next two to three years. "The bar is constantly rising, both in functionality and data volume, and if you're not keeping up, you're falling behind," said Mark Gross, DCL's president. Nearly 370 content strategists, information architects and managers took part in the research.
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5 Easy Strategies to Manage the Company Rumor Mill

5 Easy Strategies to Manage the Company Rumor Mill | digitalNow | Scoop.it
strategies for managing the company rumor mill:

1. Maintain your credibility and use it to your advantage.
Credibility won’t stop rumors from developing, but it will unleash the truth. It’s about communicating what you know, when you know it, and make sure your messages are consistent across all touch points.

2. Be open, and careful.
We know that remaining silent in tough times feeds anxiety and fuels the rumor mill. But being too open can hurt more than it helps, especially if it adds to people’s fears because you're sharing information that people can't digest or process.

3. Pulse your people.
Ask your direct reports what they’re hearing from their people on a periodic basis. And walk the halls and ask employees what’s on their minds. Having a better sense for what keeps employees up at night will help you get ahead of any rumors that might be waiting in the wings. The best part is that employees will know you’re listening and that you care about what they are thinking.

4. Anticipate and address concerns.
When people are worried about what they don’t know, they often imagine the worst and share their concerns with others. If leaders don’t anticipate and address concerns, the vacuum will fill with rumors. Get out in front of anticipated worries by understanding the mindset that causes them and immediately address those concerns.

5. Include your own messages in the rumor mill.
Engage thought leaders who typically feed and influence the rumor mill, along with supervisors throughout the organization. When employees hear the same messages from their supervisor (always their preferred source) or from the CEO, read it on the internet, and hear it through the rumor mill, they’re more likely to believe it and, most importantly, act on it.
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Product managers for the digital world 

Product managers for the digital world  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Data dominates everything

Companies today have treasure troves of internal and external data and use these to make every product decision. It is natural for product managers—who are closest to the data—to take on a broader role. Product success can also be clearly measured across a broader set of metrics (engagement, retention, conversion, and so on) at a more granular level, and product managers can be given widespread influence to affect those metrics.

Products are built differently

Product managers now function on two speeds: they plan the daily or weekly feature releases, as well as the product road map for the next six to 24 months. Product managers spend much less time writing long requirements up front; instead, they must work closely with different teams to gather feedback and iterate frequently.
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How I Discovered The Values That Led Me To Leadership Success 

How I Discovered The Values That Led Me To Leadership Success  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
There were 7 “principles”:

Integrity
Commitment
Dependability
Teamwork
Responsiveness
Gratitude
Community
It was like a gift from heaven. I thought “My goodness, there were several that had been parked in my brain, ready for something like this to put it all in context. Wow! This is it.” I decided that I’d try to adopt them lock, stock and barrel for our use, since I didn’t think there were copyright problems with any of those words, and quickly got our CEO’s approval.

The marketing department created a little “gift” for each employee that represented each of the values – things like coffee mugs, mouse pads, and wristbands. We wanted to introduce them to everyone one at a time, over seven weeks, and reinforce them with the gift.

We went ahead with purchasing all the gifts (and it was a lot of stuff, filling up several of our closets in our corporate office in NY) and right around the time we were going to launch the first value, I got a phone call from my boss.

“Hold up, change in plan”

“What?! We’re ready to go here!”
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