The best interviewers on radio or television or anywhere else are the best listeners. The best lawyers in trial are the best listeners. The best questioners are the best listeners. One of the things I raise in the book that I got from somebody, one of these brilliant people I talked to, is actually thinking, what kind of listener am I? Am I an interrupter? Do I have to fill gaps? Does silence make me uncomfortable? Because you can really use silence to effect sometimes. Am I a data person? In other words, I’m listening for numbers and trends and data points? Or am I somebody who listens in and keys into stories about people?
Knowing what kind of listener you are and really being mindful of that allows you to lay that over whatever you’re trying to do and whatever you’re after in terms of information, revelation or what have you, and the kinds of questions both you ask and what you respond to.
For example, if you’re asking in a confrontational context in a courtroom or in an interview, what you’re listening for is hesitation, inaccuracy, hypocrisy. I cite Terry Gross from Fresh Air. She’s a tremendous interviewer and likes interviewing artists and others. You think about this in the workplace, like a job interview, and you’re trying to really figure out what makes someone tick, where does their creativity come from, you’re listening for altogether different things. You’re listening for what she calls the essence of a person.
Who has had a major impact on your leadership? Why? What do you wish you would have known about leadership in your early 20’s? How have you coped with failure? Can you share what you’ve learned from past failures? Is there one book that has impacted your leadership more than any other? Who do you know that I should know? Where do you find your inspiration? How do you decide who to mentor? Do you separate your work life and family life? Why? When faced with two great opportunities, how do you decide which one to go with
Here’s what they found: • The most common reasons for leaving a nonprofit were being underpaid, lacking upward mobility and having excessive workloads. • Inflexible schedules are the norm, but maybe not the best—research shows flexibility in work hours reduces stress and burnout. • Just 29 percent of nonprofit leadership positions are filled internally. This factors into a lack of upward mobility and leaves many employees feeling overlooked. • Nonprofit workers often feel overworked, and research shows that employee output decreases significantly when the workweek reaches 50 hours or more. There are many challenges specific to nonprofit work that contribute to the high turnover rate, but knowing the causes helps in understanding how to minimize these factors and prevent high turnover rates. Allowing employees more opportunities to move up in the workplace is a good starting point. One benefit of hiring internally is that employees will see more career possibility within your organization. Upward mobility is a strong motivator in the workplace. It also means employees filling new positions will already have vast background knowledge on the organization and on job function.
Stay on target. An “improvisational” leader does not mean an “unprepared” leader. The improvisational leader begins any team-leading function with a clear understanding of end results and a deliberate strategy how to accomplish the mission. Elite improvisers know what the end goals are and adapt when needed to achieve them.
Communicate. The leader must distinctly and explicitly communicate expectations and goals to the individuals in the team and be open to receiving valuable information from people in the team in return. Improvisation is a communication-based art form. Improvisers must stay focused and in the moment to react and communicate in real-time.
Be thoughtful. Leaders must also be clear and specific in deciding how to personally achieve the expected outcomes. Be conscious of your actions and your language and make adjustments in real time to make sure you are affecting the people around you in the way you intend to. Great improvisers have a keen sense of awareness–self, team, process and project–and make subtle changes to influence and affect their fellow teammates.
The ‘semiconductor’ of the 21st century will be a solution to understanding behavior and behavior change.”
Effort is your engagement. It’s the quality and the quantity of your engagement ruminatively over time. They multiply, if you will, to produce skill, and once you’ve got a skill and you can do something — you can write well, you can present well, or you’re good at solving problems.
It’s the doers I most admire. As you think about yourself, you think, “What are my talents? What are the things that I’m going to be able to sustain effort in over the long term?” In general, that second question is answered more by your interests and your values than by things like salary.
[Consider] my job. It’s not that there aren’t headaches, or that there aren’t disappointments, but to love what you do requires a level of intrinsic interest. The only thing I want to encourage young people about this is, if you introspect a bit and you think, “Wait, I don’t have a passion,” and you’re panicking, just realize that it develops over time.
The vast majority of organizations have experienced a significant internet disruption within the last 12 months, according to a recent survey from Dyn. The accompanying report, the "Internet Disruption Study," indicates that the most common causes for these interruptions include network outages, provider outages, unplanned maintenance, hardware failures and configuration problems. Regardless of the cause, the issues typically take an entire working day to identify and resolve. In addition, these disruptions result in business-damaging impacts—frequently in the form of increased customer support calls, decreased productivity and revenue losses—that survey respondents describe as "painful" at best and "crippling" at worst. To ensure continuity, IT teams are stepping up efforts to monitor network activity, enforce user practices and restrict user permissions, improve network infrastructure, and learn about new threats and risks. More than 200 IT decision-makers from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom took part in the research, which was conducted by Spiceworks.
Some nitpickers are just highly arrogant types who think they know what’s best for everyone. Others are actually anxious and worrisome, and they nitpick because they need to feel some sense of control. Others believe that they are offering the team a valuable contribution by over-analyzing everything. Regardless the type, follow these steps to manage the behavior:
Tap into their strengths. While the nitpickers’ actions can be frustrating, their attention to detail and focus can also be a positive for the team. Offer them assignments that require them to dig into and analyze details, find problems and report them back to the team. Keep them on track. When they bog down brainstorming meetings with minutiae, reel them in by saying “We have time to sort out all the details; right now, we are focusing on generating big ideas.” Make them see the big picture. Progress often stalls when nitpickers need all the answers upfront or want to focus on planning, rather than taking the first step to move forward. When that happens, remind them what the overall goals are, and ask “Can we still hit those goals if we don’t address that right now/don’t take that step/don’t do that?” Take away their power. The nitpickers on your team shouldn’t be criticizing you or your coworkers’ work. If they nitpick your work, say “Thanks for your input, but I’ve got this.” And if you see them nitpick someone else, say “Thanks for your help, but this is Carrie’s assignment and she knows what she’s doing.” Plus, if a nitpicker ever “tattles” to you about someone else’s work, don’t allow it. Say, “While I appreciate that you care about this, it’s not your responsibility, and I will take care of any issues that I see.” If the nitpicker doesn’t catch on, be more direct and tell him or her exactly what behaviors you want to see end.
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.
Inadequate budgets are the biggest obstacles to implementation of truly data-driven customer strategies, cited by 54% of marketers responding to a new CMO Council survey [download page]. Challenges associated with internal cultures are also proving impediments: 43% cited a failure to fully embrace a customer-centric culture, and 32% feel it’s due to a lack of senior-level support to spark change. CMOs’ Role in Data-Driven Strategy Marketers have differing views on what they believe the role of the CMO should be in the development, deployment and optimization of a data-driven customer strategy. A plurality feel that CMOs should be the catalyst to rally the entire organization around the customer (34%). Yet the remaining two-thirds of respondents are equally divided between thinking that the CMO should: guide the organization toward a data-driven approach without owning the entire experience
Many companies have the elements of a relatively complete view of the customer already. But they reside in discrete pockets across the company. Just as a recipe does not come together until all the ingredients are combined, it is only when data is connected that it becomes ready to use. The CDP takes the data a company already has, combines it to create a meaningful customer profile, and makes it accessible across the organization.
“Feeding” the CDP starts by combining as much data as possible and building on it over time. Creating models that cluster customer profiles that behave and create value in similar ways requires advanced analytics to process the data and machine learning to refine it. Over time, as the system “learns,” this approach generates ever-more-granular customer subsegments. Signals that the consumer leaves behind (e.g., a site visit, a purchase on an app, interest expressed on social media) can then expand the data set, enabling the company to respond in real time and think of new ways to engage yet again. Furthermore, the insights gleaned extend beyond a customer’s response to a specific campaign, for example by driving more targeted product development.
Digital capabilities are indeed quite new. But even as organizations balance lower investment in traditional operations against greater investment in digital, the need for operations management will hardly disappear. In fact, we believe the need will be more profound than ever, but for a type of operations management that offers not only stability—which 20th-century management culture provided in spades—but also the agility and responsiveness that digital demands.
The reasons we believe this are simple. First, at least for the next few years, to fully exploit digital capabilities most organizations will continue to depend on people. Early data suggest that human skills are actually becoming more critical in the digital world, not less. As tasks are automated, they tend to become commoditized; a “cutting edge” technology such as smartphone submission of insurance claims quickly becomes almost ubiquitous. In many contexts, therefore, competitive advantage is likely to depend even more on human capacity: on providing thoughtful advice to an investor saving for retirement or calm guidance to an insurance customer after an accident.
“Over and over again, the robot economy will invent work we can’t even dream of today, much as the internet gave birth to unforeseen careers… Successful people in the AI age will focus on work that takes advantage of unique human strengths, like social interaction, creative thinking, decision-making with complex inputs, empathy and questioning. AI cannot think about data it doesn’t have… Only humans can think that way.” We must come up with strategies that allow human workers to complement, collaborate and race ahead with our AI machines instead of racing against them.
“If this is a fairy tale about work and jobs, AI is both the bad witch and good witch - destroyer and creator,” writes Maney in conclusion. “In such stories, good almost always wins. But in the middle of the story, the characters don’t know that. And that’s where we are now: face to face with the monster for the first time, doing everything we can to get through the scary forest alive.”
The most promising approach, then, is to identify sectors with high growth potential where there are shortages or a high turnover of workers. Governments should conduct job-market analyses to identify each area’s distinctive attributes and supply-and-demand dynamics, as well as the current state of the workforce. This means looking at posted job vacancies, public infrastructure investment, demographics, local university-research commercialization, venture-capital spending, and regulation. The analysis should be done at the city and regional levels, and then buttressed by interviews with major companies in the area.
We have found the best workforce-development solutions happen when leading employers come together to address the talent problem for an entire sector. Assuming there are no antitrust issues, such collaborations can be attractive to industry competitors because the training costs are shared and the risk of poaching is limited. Such efforts typically take three forms: down a supply chain, with an anchor company taking the lead in encouraging its suppliers to participate; by a functional profession (for example, mechatronics) that is in demand by employers in different industries in the same location; and by sector, with competitors collaborating because they all face the same talent problem. One example of the latter is the Automotive Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative, which includes 19 automotive companies and 26 community colleges in 13 states.
The work of psychologist John Gottman is based on observations of couples in long-term relationships, but many of his conclusions have important implications for organizational life. One of Gottman’s key concepts is to distinguish between critiques and criticism:
[Criticism] is different than offering a critique or voicing a complaint. The latter two are about specific issues, whereas the former is an ad hominem attack: it is an attack on [the other person] at the core. In effect, you are dismantling his or her whole being when you criticize.
For example, here’s a critique I commonly encounter in my practice: “Chris is getting into repeated conflicts with other members of the exec team over seemingly minor issues.” And here’s a similar sentiment in the form of criticism: “Chris is an abrasive person who lacks people skills and a domineering personality who has to win every argument.” The former focuses on specific behaviors; the latter is a broad generalization. The ability to voice critiques and complaints is essential to working through challenges in healthy relationships, but criticism is a sign of trouble, Gottman notes, because it often leaves the recipient feeling “assaulted, rejected and hurt,” and it can lead to more serious interpersonal difficulties.
The first step in asking better questions is to pause, and set time aside to observe and query what you and your team are currently doing. Consider questions such as:
What does our gut tell us about this project? What would we do differently if we bet our own money on this? What are we not seeing that is new or different? Which bad decisions have we made that need to be reverted? These types of questions challenge conventional thinking. Asking them shows that you are a leader who explores better ways of doing things, who acknowledges that you don’t personally have all the answers and who encourages others to share their views and ideas.
You will never regret learning new things You will never regret being kind You will never regret smiling at strangers You will never regret trusting your intuition on new opportunities You will never regret chasing your dreams You will never regret being sincere You will never regret giving people compliments You will never regret being loyal You will never regret giving people a second chance You will never regret being respectful
Stop guessing. Stop taking stabs in the dark and just trying things out. When your business encounters a hard problem, people will want to come up with solutions immediately and try them out. But each of these solutions is a guess, and your business may be wasting valuable time and money on implementing sub-optimal solutions. Coach your team to stamp out guessing wherever they see it. Smell the problem. Many problem solvers spend their time around a conference table, discussing or brainstorming. Help them step away from their desk and get out into the field. They should spend time up-front using their natural sense and tools at their disposal to understand the nature and pattern of the problems they’re solving. When they adopt this behavior, they’ll solve some problems of more moderate difficulty right away. For hard problems, it’s a critical step to finding an elegant solution. Embrace your ignorance. Most people try to solve problems using the knowledge they already have. But it’s what they don’t know that matters, not what they do. Your team may be afraid of saying “I don’t know” in order to protect their reputation as experts. However, great problem-solvers embrace their ignorance. They ask questions others might find stupid. This behavior shatters old assumptions you have about the problem, so your team can look at it with fresh eyes
Forward-thinking organizations are adopting a new model for cyber-security that acts on analytic inputs and adapts to evolving risks and threats, said a new report from PwC. As a result, cyber-security is leading to innovations. The new approach includes data analytics and real-time monitoring, managed security services, advanced authentication and open-source software. The study, "Global State of Information Security Survey 2017," finds that more products and services connected to the internet are driving new approaches to cyber-security and risks to privacy. Another driver: Data privacy and trust have become critical business requirements as more consumer and business information is generated and shared. These trends and the cloud are having an impact on the bottom line. "The fusion of advanced technologies with cloud architectures can empower organizations to quickly identify and respond to threats, better understand customers and the business ecosystem, and ultimately reduce costs," said David Burg, PwC's U.S. and Global Leader, Cyber-Security and Privacy. "We’re seeing more and more that cyber-security can actually become a remarkable way to help a company innovate and move faster.”
Only a minority of IT and business professionals said they trust their organization's data to make key business decisions, according to a recent survey from Experian Data Quality. The accompanying "2017 Global Data Management Benchmark Report" reveals that most survey respondents said they're forced to rely on "gut feelings" to make important decisions about data. Data quality remains critical here, but relatively few organizations take a proactive approach to address this need, much less achieve optimized results. It doesn't help that few companies have completely centralized data quality control through a single director. To address these issues—and boost sales and customer loyalty in the process—organizations are starting to hire chief data officers and take on major data cleansing projects. "As organizations strive to call themselves 'data driven,' the need for increased governance and data management practices will become even more important," according to the report. "At the forefront of priorities this year, increasing revenue and better serving customers emerge as the two key areas where data will play a major role. To achieve these aims, establishing a foundational level of trust in this data will be a necessary prerequisite." An estimated 1,400 data management professionals and managers took part in the research.
One of the big differences between top-performing technology marketers and their less successful peers is that they deliver content consistently. In fact, consistency tops the list of factors they take into account while creating content — and it’s something they do more often than their top-performing B2B peers (93% vs. 85%).*
Regardless of the cause, don’t let the problem fester. Act as soon as you have hard evidence of a conflict or problem between employees. There are always emotions in these problems. It’s up to you as a leader to minimize the emotion. You can do that as you: See past the drama to the essence of the problem Don’t play favorites. Really look to see all sides of the issue Search for manipulation or self-serving behavior that tries to bias the issues It often helps to define acceptable behavior. When you frame it as a company standard, it reduces the possibility of it sounding critical or biased. For example: In this company, we treat everyone with respect. We expect professional behavior both in person and in emails.
To establish the right marketing mix, organizations need to evaluate the pros and cons of each of the many available tools and methods to determine which best support their strategy. When it comes to nondirect marketing, the prevailing choices include the following:
Advanced analytics approaches such as marketing-mix modeling (MMM). MMM uses big data to determine the effectiveness of spending by channel. This approach statistically links marketing investments to other drivers of sales and often includes external variables such as seasonality and competitor and promotional activities to uncover both longitudinal effects (changes in individuals and segments over time) and interaction effects (differences among offline, online, and—in the most advanced models—social-media activities). MMM can be used for both long-range strategic purposes and near-term tactical planning, but it does have limitations: it requires high-quality data on sales and marketing spending going back over a period of years; it cannot measure activities that change little over time (for example, out-of-house or outdoor media); and it cannot measure the long-term effects of investing in any one touchpoint, such as a new mobile app or social-media feed. MMM also requires users with sufficiently deep econometric knowledge to understand the models and a scenario-planning tool to model budget implications of spending decisions.
The importance of sustaining a transformation may sound obvious—and the actions required straightforward. But they’re not. Companies typically neglect this long-term imperative because, understandably, they’re obsessed by the short-term gains. They underestimate the difficulty of kicking old habits and developing a healthy new approach that will be manifest in thousands of everyday actions rather than referenced by a simple checklist. New skills, intense discipline, and strong personal relationships are needed to maintain the momentum
Modern-day Luddites, angry at the forces taking their jobs, aren’t able to smash the algorithms responsible, so they blame foreigners, globalisation or the establishment. Governments driven by populist demands rarely talk about the role of technology in taking their jobs, so one fears they’re unlikely to do much about it.
But maybe business has a role to play here. If you’re committed to sustainability and a purpose beyond making a quick buck, is there not an ethical case for opting out of a technology if you think it does more social harm than good? Maybe you could replace your 10,000 baristas with touch screens and many-tentacled coffee robots, but would it be right to do so?
It would take a brave CEO to make such a call, but last time I checked there wasn’t an algorithm that can earn loyalty. Your employees – and those customers who still have a wage to spend – might well thank you for it, even if there’s a cheaper, soulless alternative available.
When silos are broken down, it reduces the likelihood that one department will overlook a data stream that another department controls. Essentially, DaaS offers a means for every department in a client company to access the data it needs, when it needs it, without having to worry about being locked out due to departmental restrictions.
Go Forward, Backed By Data
DaaS is an incredible opportunity for countless businesses and industries, and the companies spearheading the DaaS movement have an opportunity to reshape the business world for years to come. Modern companies have caught on quickly to how important data is (and should be) to the strategic business decision-making process, and DaaS offers a means to streamline data more effectively and with more acuity.
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