The first step is to create an analytical foundation on which you can build a strong case for resource shifts. This is essential to overcome resistance from losing parties and counter individual biases rooted in self-interest or mistaken assumptions. To identify and prioritize areas where boosting investment would generate the greatest impact for the whole organization, start by assessing the profitability and resource projections for every meaningful business cell.
In other words, the enormous amount of strategic planning in corporations seems to result, on the whole, in only modest resource shifts. Whether the relevant resource is capital expenditures, operating expenditures, or human capital, this finding is consistent across industries as diverse as mining and consumer packaged goods. Given the performance edge associated with higher levels of reallocation, such static behavior is almost certainly not sensible. Our research showed the following:
Companies that reallocated more resources—the top third of our sample, shifting an average of 56 percent of capital across business units over the entire 15-year period—earned, on average, 30 percent higher total returns to shareholders (TRS) annually than companies in the bottom third of the sample. This result was surprisingly consistent across all sectors of the economy. It seems that when companies disproportionately invest in value-creating businesses, they generate a mutually reinforcing cycle of growth and further investment options (Exhibit 2). Consistent and incremental reallocation levels diminished the variance of returns over the long term. A company in the top third of reallocators was, on average, 13 percent more likely to avoid acquisition or bankruptcy than low reallocators. Over an average six-year tenure, chief executives who reallocated less than their peers did in the first three years on the job were significantly more likely than their more active peers to be removed in years four through six. To paraphrase the philosopher Thomas Hobbes, tenure for static CEOs is likely to be nasty, brutish, and, above all, short.
The [even] bigger problem was a simple idea: People did not think strangers would stay with other strangers. They thought it was crazy. One person said, ‘Brian,I hope that’s not the only idea you’re working on.’ And at some point in late 2008, after the financial crisis had hit, one investor told us, ‘Listen, the stock market is cratering. I can’t even invest in good companies. I’m going to invest in air beds?’ That kind of hit home. We ended up not raising money. We probably each racked up like $25,000 in credit card debt. Until they stopped giving us credit cards. And then we didn’t make a lot of money with air beds, so we thought well, we’re Air Bed and Breakfast, let’s go into the breakfast business. We made $30,000 selling collectable breakfast cereal. And this is actually how we funded the company.
The line between IT organizations and line-of-business units is getting increasingly blurry, according to "Building Digital Organizations," a new report from CompTIA. By the end of this year, seven out of 10 Global 500 companies will have dedicated teams focused on digital transformation and innovation, according to industry research. A mix of both business and IT employees are likely to staff these teams, given that the majority of professionals feel either highly or extremely confident in applying tech innovation and functions to business goals, according to the CompTIA findings. Many respondents said technology now plays a critical role in strategic pursuits and is even redefining business. And a significant number of them believe that every work project is, in fact, a tech project. With technology budgets on the rise—in both the IT department and the business units—organizations will position themselves to better address major obstacles to digitization, including cyber-security threats, software development difficulties and data management issues. "Companies are starting to recognize that new tech trends are leading to a new operational model: the direct contribution of technology to overall business outcomes," according to the report. "In the past, technology served more of a supporting function … [however] over time, businesses have moved to a much more strategic approach when it comes to technology." Professionals from 350 U.S. businesses took part in the research.
We are less deliberative and more persistent in pursuing our goals when we gain power. In one of a series of experiments, researchers asked students to recall having or lacking power, then asked how much time and information they would need to make various decisions, including which roommate to live with or which car to buy.4 Those who felt powerful said they’d need less time and information. In a second experiment, participants made to feel powerful spent more time trying to solve an impossible geometric puzzle. In a third, they were quicker to interrupt someone who disagreed with them.
Overall, power makes us feel authentic. In one study, participants recalled a time they had power or a time they lacked it.5 Then they rated their personality traits in three contexts: with their parents, at work, and in a social gathering. They also rated their feelings of authenticity in the moment, with items such as “I feel like I can be myself with others.” Feeling powerful increased the consistency of people’s personality ratings, which in turn increased their feelings of authenticity.
Power’s effects on expression result largely from the fact that it frees us from dependence on others, allowing us to ignore their concerns and pursue our own objectives. Intoxication from power leads us to focus more clearly on whatever goal we have in mind. With clear focus on a goal, we then pursue it.
As digitization penetrates more fully, it will dampen revenue and profit growth for some, particularly the bottom quartile of companies, according to our research, while the top quartile captures disproportionate gains. Bold, tightly integrated digital strategies will be the biggest differentiator between companies that win and companies that don’t, and the biggest payouts will go to those that initiate digital disruptions. Fast-followers with operational excellence and superior organizational health won’t be far behind.
These findings emerged from a research effort to understand the nature, extent, and top-management implications of the progress of digitization. We tailored our efforts to examine its effects along multiple dimensions: products and services, marketing and distribution channels, business processes, supply chains, and new entrants at the ecosystem level (for details, see sidebar “About the research”)
Have a tough decision to make? Write down your options on small pieces of paper. Place them into a bowl. Place the bowl on a high shelf. Take a step back, take a deep breath and then reach up and pick one. Read it. Evaluate how you feel. Glad or sad? Excited or dejected? Likely you will feel a sense of relief. Why? Your instincts will take over and your heart will tell you whether you have selected the choice that appeals to your emotions. Of course, you are not obligated to make your decision on emotion, but your reaction will tell you how you will feel about it. Whatever you decide, you must live with the outcome. Time will tell if you make the right choice. In the meantime, trust yourself. It is the best you can do.
At an early stage start-up, every day is fraught with highs and lows. It’s never boring but it can be exhausting; there’s a lot going on at every moment- and your best is never quite good enough.
Today, Orchard Mile is a personalized digital shopping street, with visitors from over 20 countries and has over 110 partnerships with the best brands in the world. But in late 2014 when we started, it was extremely difficult to sign our first 5 brands to be on the platform; it was hard to gain their trust. Our company was brand new, we had no digital footprint; we were selling an idea and banking on the idea of trust. Finally, after pounding the pavement and endless calls for more than a year, we had a fantastic group of 30 best in class brands to launch in November 2015. And we launched on the cover of WWD with a quote from the CEO of Oscar de la Renta saying that Orchard Mile was the platform of choice- next generation retail. Since then, Orchard Mile has been named one of the six global ‘Breakthrough Brands of 2016’ by Interbrand and also was invited to present to the houses at LVMH in Paris on digital innovation. We raised capital and grew from a team of 3 founders to a team of 12. On the outside, it looks relatively fast and seamless, but my co-founders and I joke that we’re like swans- graceful on top of the water, but kicking and swimming madly to stay afloat. There is never a “downhill day” to coast and do nothing; but as I’ve been living this intense entrepreneurial life now for over 2 years; I see that how one deals with challenges is they adapt- the fires that seemed like huge disasters a year ago are now in the “it shall pass” category.
When IT staffs devote most of their time to day-to-day tasks such as managing hardware, software and networks and resolving issues, they have little time to devote to innovation. That's risky, given the growing need to improve customer engagement, adopt the internet of things (IoT), and leverage the use of big data and analytics. The lack of strategic thinking, along with the required investment in people, process, tools and technology, could lead to missed market opportunities. An IDC survey of IT managers in 275 large organizations in 10 countries reveals that enterprises have varying rates of investment in their IT infrastructure and operations, with most adopting automation for monitoring and support only. "Optimization Drives Digital Transformation," a study sponsored by information and communications technology provider Dimension Data, suggests that enterprises need to deliver IT services more efficiently by using new automation technologies and leveraging external partnerships. Though most of the managers surveyed view IT operations and infrastructure as critical to digital transformation, only a minority said their organization is fully automated. "Forward-thinking business leaders are developing their IT to achieve digital transformation now, in anticipation of future market opportunities," said Bill Padfield, Dimension Data's group executive for services. "Flexible, scalable and agile infrastructures are needed to support these new developments, and optimizing infrastructure through automation is key to this effort."
“And when did you first have a frank conversation about your concerns?”
“And now you want to terminate them?”
“Yeah, I mean it’s been a problem for a really long time. He’s got to go!”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this seen this scene play out–both in my HR exec days, and now in the frustrations of my clients looking to add more rigor to their performance management processes.
The worst mistake you can make with a low-performing new hire is being overly patient.
Why are we overly patient? Well first off, we hired them, and it’s just freaking awkward that they’re this bad. So we convince ourselves they’ll be okay, and hold our breath and wait. Or, we know how hard it can be in a new job…so we just give them time and space to get better, and assume it will all work out.
Almost 9 in 10 global brand managers and CMOs agree that brand marketing is an important component of their marketing program, according to a recent report [download page] from OnBrand Magazine. The survey – conducted among more than 560 respondents – also found that the majority have a documented brand strategy, with close to half updating it annually. So what aspects are being included in brand strategies? As of December 2016, when the survey was fielded, brand vision and mission (94%), story and value proposition (87%) and brand guidelines (77%) were the most popular components of respondents’ brand strategies.
Interestingly, fewer than half (46%) said that a deep understanding of audience personas was a factor in their strategy. That’s despite 8 in 10 reporting having built a buyer persona, most commonly by interviewing real buyers and consulting stakeholders. Notably, buyer personas seem to be more effective for B2B companies (63% reporting them as extremely or very effective) than for B2C companies.
On an encouraging note, fewer than 1 in 10 feel that nobody wants to actually own the responsibility of driving the customer agenda.
Organizations’ Current Strategies Many respondents reported on the state of their organizations’ current strategies for developing customer engagement and experiences as being somewhat fragmented or scattered across different teams or groups, and at times, lacking a cohesive and collaborative effort. Only 15% said they are working on connecting campaigns together into connected and data-driven experiences across both physical and digital touch points.
US native digital display ad spending is predicted to continue to climb through this year and next to exceed $28B, per new eMarketer estimates. In so doing, native ads are expected to take a majority share of all digital display ad spending this year, per the forecast..
The vast majority of native display ad spending is expected to be allocated to social media: last year, 86% of the $16.2B market went to native social display ads, and that share should only drop slightly this year (84%) and next (82%).
Growth rates should remain high though soften over time, as one would expect: after a 36% rise this year, native ad spending is projected to climb another 28% in 2018.
These projected increases are supported by survey data indicating expected increases of more than 20% for custom content/native advertising, and reflect some changes in the nature of advertising, as marketers seek more relevant and less disruptive ads. Thanks to largely mobile social platforms, native mobile is growing rapidly as well, comprising almost 9 in every $10 spent on native display advertising this year.
Tempting as it is to believe that one’s own company avoids these traps, our research suggests that’s unlikely. Our experience also suggests, though, that taking steps such as those described below can materially improve a company’s resource allocation and its connection to strategic priorities. These imperatives apply not just to capital but also to other scarce resources, such as talent, R&D dollars, and marketing expenditures (as shown in Exhibit 3, for advertising spending by one consumer goods company). All of these also are subject to the forces of inertia, which can undermine an organization’s ability to achieve its strategic goals. Consider one company we know that prioritized expanding in China. It set an ambitious sales growth target for the country and planned to meet it by supplementing organic growth with a series of acquisitions. Yet it identified just three people to spearhead this strategic imperative—a small fraction of the number required, which is typical of the problems that arise when the link between corporate strategy and resource allocation is weak. Here are four ideas for doing better.
he quality of many work environments around the globe isn’t very good. The frustration and stress most employees experience at work quash hope, discretionary energy, well-being, cooperation and performance. SHRM’s 2015 job-satisfaction study found that 72% of employees believe the most important factor in their job satisfaction is “respectful treatment of all employees at all levels," yet only 33% experience that respect. We need less divisiveness, less dismissiveness, and fewer demeaning words and actions from leaders today. We need leaders who create respectful workplaces and meaningful work that serves others, not themselves. One simple shift can transform the quality of your work culture. Watch this short video episode to learn what that shift is and how to make that shift with your team.
Global technology leaders still consider the United States at the forefront of innovation, but China is catching up, according to a recent survey from KPMG. The accompanying report, "The Changing Landscape of Disruptive Technologies," also ranks the top global companies and visionaries for innovation. Beyond the lists, the findings reveal how companies are cultivating an innovation culture. A great many survey respondents, for example, said their organization has appointed a chief innovation officer to lead these efforts. In addition, they're measuring progress through patents earned, revenue growth, and brand and reputation barometers. They're also keenly focused on motivating employees to pursue disruptive advances, most frequently through financial incentives and career growth opportunities. "Technology continues to enable an unprecedented rise in creativity across the world to solve business problems and develop new markets in ways never thought possible," wrote Tim Zanni, global and U.S. chair of the media and telecommunications practice for KPMG Technology, in a forward for the report. "At the same time, the success of Silicon Valley's entrepreneurial culture continues to incentivize countries all over the world to become leading technology innovation hubs. ... Global and cross-industry collaborations and partnerships are key to staying ahead, as is learning how to embrace change in a nimble way to avoid the status quo for fear of failure or uncertainty." More than 800 global technology leaders took part in the research.
We are flooded with an almost infinite number of data streams these days. From traditional sources such as registration and consumer purchasing platforms to social media feeds, tweets and Instagram updates, the amount of new data being created and disseminated is almost endless. So the challenge isn't ensuring that you have enough data about your constituents. Rather, it’s knowing which data is salient and having the right data at the right time to reach your audience with the right message to deepen the level of engagement. Almost every organization I know has various islands of data. We are all struggling with ways to integrate all that data into a holistic picture of who the consumer is and what makes him or her tick. Part of the challenge is having multiple vendors manage multiple consumer-facing applications and platforms. Another is the fact that various parts of a company engage the same consumer with different messages about multiple product or service offerings. To the consumer, this can feel disjointed and annoying. For example, I routinely get messages from my cable provider asking me to sign up for its “triple play” package, even though I’ve been a customer of that package for more than four years!
More than 70 percent of transformation programs fail.14 While the decisions covered in this article go a long way toward improving the odds, loss of momentum can undo even the best transformation efforts. To forestall that possibility, CEOs should carefully decide how to sequence the transformation for quick wins that yield revenue payoffs and reduce costs, gains that can then be reinvested. One e-tailer, for example, unlocked $300 million in just five months by prioritizing initiatives with the fastest payback. That turned into more than $800 million within a year, thanks to momentum from the early windfall.
Effective sequencing requires clear criteria to evaluate the potential payoff of various parts of the transformation initiative. These should include a hard-nosed assessment of projected benefits, the time needed to capture them, dependencies, investments required, and impact on the overall transformation journey. Sequencing with an eye toward cumulative effect is also necessary, so the business builds towards a cohesive digital whole rather than a jumble of loosely affiliated programs, which can undermine the ultimate benefits of scale.
Radical advances in artificial intelligence, along with greater processing power, are pushing cognitive computing and deep learning into the mainstream.
Since the dawn of computing, the goal of engineers, designers and developers has been to imbue machines with greater intelligence so they can think more like humans. Today, marked leaps in processing power and incredible advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are pushing the concept from the pages of science fiction novels to our homes and workplaces.
"The growing complexity of computing and information—and the need for more intelligent automation—is leading to the next wave of transformation, including cognitive systems," says Paul Brody, technology sector strategy leader for the Americas at consulting firm EY.
Systems such as IBM's Watson, as well as interfaces such as Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana and Google Voice, are transforming the way data and information are routed to people. At the same time, advanced cognitive and deep learning systems—which aim to think and act in human-like ways and, in some cases, mimic neural brain networks—are able to collect and digest massive amounts of data. This leads to new insights and the ability for these systems to learn and evolve on their own.
Storytelling is a leadership tool, not a management tool. So, if you’re trying to manage things, processes, and decisions, it’s not your best technique. But if you’re trying to lead people, it’s the best tool you’ve got. That means when you need to set a vision, lead change, make a recommendation that really sticks, get people to collaborate better or be more innovative and creative, deliver tough feedback, or inspire the organization, your best asset is a great story.
It works so well because the human brain makes most decisions subconsciously, emotionally, and sometimes irrationally in one place in the brain; and then justifies that decision rationally, logically, and consciously in another place. So, if you want to influence people’s opinions, decisions, and behavior (in other words, leadership), then facts, logic, and data alone are not enough. It turns out that you need to influence them emotionally. And stories are excellent emotion delivery vehicles.
Many managers may be high achievers who prefer concrete measures, such as money, that reflect on performance. Money may serve as a quantifiable way of keeping score. Thus, even though good wages might rank in the middle of employees’ motivators, it almost always appears at the top of managers’ lists of what they think motivates employees. A more likely explanation for the gap is that leaders cannot see into the minds or hearts of their employees. Managers do not have access to an employee’s internal state of motivation, only their own. Thus, managers tend to attribute internal motivations to themselves while judging others to be externally motivated. And once you start looking at the nature of remote employees, whose managers literally don’t see them face-to-face on a regular basis, it becomes nearly impossible to determine what might motivate them. Is it any wonder that managers tend to default to external motivators such as incentives, bonuses, raises, prizes, and rewards -- despite compelling evidence they don’t motivate people in a way that improves productivity, creativity, well-being, or sustained performance? This leads to the next syndrome.
Nielsen recently released its latest Comparable Metrics report [download page], a quarterly look at device and media usage trends across various demographic groups. Upon review of the latest report, one statistic caught our eye: for the first time in Q3, Millennials (18-34) as a group spent more time using smartphones (app + web) than watching traditional TV. It seems inevitable that such a milestone would be reached, given the seemingly endless growth in smartphone use (although app use may be peaking) and continuing decline in traditional TV viewing – at least among this age group. Yet it took a surge in smartphone internet use in Q3 (a 21% quarter-over-quarter and 48% year-over-year jump) to get there. We’re going to brief you on that surge shortly. TV time, by contrast, remained quite steady, down only a little more than 4% year-over-year.
What are the actual numbers? In Q3, according to the study, Millennials as a cohesive block spent 1084 minutes during the average week (or about 18 hours a week) accessing the web and apps on smartphones versus 1059 minutes a week (or slightly less than 18 hours a week) watching TV. The gap was a paltry 25 minutes a week (or about 3-4 minutes a day), but it lets us go with a catchy headline, so…
1. Keep the train clean. To begin with, if the train rolling into the station is rusted, dirty, and belching black smoke, people are going to think twice about getting on. If the doors don’t open smoothly and there’s a strange smell coming from inside, they might turn around and see about hailing a cab.
They will make decisions about the ride based on what they can see, hear and smell. That’s like your team’s reputation, and more importantly, character. Run your train with integrity, positive values, mutual respect, and disciplined maintenance, so that it will be a clean, functional train that others will be happy to board.
2. Run on time. In well-run countries, people like to say that “the trains run on time.” If you say you are going to pull into the station at 5:17 and you do exactly that, they will see you as reliable, trustworthy.
Smart managers know workarounds to this dilemma and use 5 proven approaches to bring out introverts.
Prepare an agenda. Even if you are not an agenda maker, pause and take some time to write down the items you want to address. Also, include a space for the action items and who will own the task. Introverts will appreciate having the time to carefully consider the topics and their input will be more substantial. Tell Introverts Why They Are There: If you have points you want quieter participants to contribute you can let them know by providing a quick email beforehand. Tell them why they are there. To avoid conflict introverts may not push back when they are not sure why they have been included on a call. If you explain the reason they are on the call they will be able to contribute in a more meaningful way. Get There Early – Get on the call at least 10 minutes before the start time. Technology can fail and it is good to test all connections. You can also use this time to develop rapport with others as they get arrive. When you start the call, try to avoid immediately diving into the task. Go around the “room” if you have no more than 10 people and ask them for one short positive update which can be either personal or work related. Introverts,` who don’t usually volunteer personal information as easily as extroverts will appreciate this structure. As a team leader, you are building relationships between meeting participants, which will make the work go more effectively.
what happens when you ask an insightful question of one of your employees:
Neuroplasticity: The first thing you need to know is that the brain isn’t hard-wired like an electrical appliance. If it was, people would be stuck doing things the way they’ve always done them forever. Enter something called neuroplasticity, which means our brains can physically change to encourage creative thinking and new knowledge. The neurons can move into new locations in our brain when we learn. Questions can act as a catalyst for our brains to change and move forward with new insight.
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