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8 Hard-Earned Innovation Tips For Startups

8 Hard-Earned Innovation Tips For Startups | digitalNow | Scoop.it
How do startups find time and energy to maximize innovation when they always have so much else to do?
Don Dea's insight:
Prove Your Concept With Current Customers

When we’re looking to launch a new tool or product, we poll our customer base. We never spend time or resources developing a product that won’t sell. So many businesses get caught in the love affair of some idea someone thought their audience would love. Always prove the concept will sell before producing it. - Brian Moran, Get 10,000 Fans

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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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6 Trends That Will Define The Workplace In 2015

6 Trends That Will Define The Workplace In 2015 | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Generation Y is on charge. But how long for?
Don Dea's insight:

From a huge increase in job-hopping and the bizarre trend of working from petrol stations, to a worldwide Gen-Y takeover, corporate life will see some significant shifts this year.

Understanding these is imperative to success in the corporate world, both as an employee and an employer.



Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com.au/6-trends-that-will-define-the-workplace-in-2015-2015-1#ixzz3Q5ls9S2f

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The do-or-die struggle for growth

The largest corporations rarely sustain strong growth unless they compete in the right places at the right times. A McKinsey Quarterly article.
Don Dea's insight:

Growth is once again top of mind for business executives. As they turn their attention from improving the operational performance of their companies to making those companies grow again, many of them will follow the standard message: consistently strong, value-creating revenue growth lies within reach of major corporations that pursue best practice in strategy, marketing, operations, and organization.

Or does it? Execution and fundamentals are certainly vital, but growth, particularly for the largest companies, requires more than best practice. At the median annual revenue level of today's Fortune 100—about $30 billion—a corporation would in effect have to create a $2 billion company each year to sustain 6 percent top-line growth. Can investors and capital markets reasonably expect that kind of performance? How do some companies achieve it?

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Just-in-time strategy for a turbulent world

Uncertainty and rising levels of risk make it impossible for companies to determine the future. But a portfolio-of-initiatives approach to strategy can help ensure that companies take full advantage of their best opportunities without taking unnecessary risks.
Don Dea's insight:

The classic approach to corporate strategy starts with a presumption: that with sufficient analytical rigor and an adequate assessment of the probabilities, strategists can pave a predictable path to the future from the matter of the past. In this world, they make reasonable assumptions about the evolution of product markets, capital markets, technology, and government regulation and, in effect, "assume away" most risk. Chief executive officers articulate strategy every few years, often in the context of a change in top management.

Such traditional strategy formulation often pays lip service to the perspectives of the capital markets, to changing industry structures, and to the forces at work in the environment. But in reality, a "visionary" corporate strategy is often an internally driven reflection of what the company wants the world to look like.

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Planning on resilience

Batch processes gives you a fallback. If the first printing is a little off, you can fix it in the second (if the first printing is small enough). When you know the email address of the people you're dealing with, for example, you can easily reroute people and change expectations. If you know how to contact the ticket holders, you can let them know in advance that the theater roof is under repair. You can fix things today and get them right for tomorrow without disappointing a mob of people in real time.

There's a huge difference between interacting with customers one at a time, one after another, and learning as you go, vs. interacting with everyone, all at once, in parallel.

The arrogance of most web launches (from hip new sites to healthcare signups) is that they assume that nothing will go wrong if they do it live. So they try to do it live for everyone, at once.

When someone you have no data on bounces, you have no way to ask them to come back.

The only part of a launch that should be live is the part that benefits from being live. Everything else ought to be in a batch, reserved, asynchronous and capable of recovery.

It's a journey, not an event, and working in asynchronous batches is a smart way to stay resilient.
Don Dea's insight:

That thing you're launching: what if it fails to function?

The challenge of doing something for a crowd in real time is that if it doesn't work, you're busted. You have no way to alert people, to spread out demand, to reprocess inquiries. 

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Average is just another word for mediocre

Average is just another word for mediocre
If you think your organization needs a bigger marketing budget, maybe you just need to be less average instead
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Logo vs. Brand

pend 10,000 times as much time and money on your brand as you spend on your logo. Your logo is a referent, a symbol, a reminder of your brand. But your brand is a story, a set of emotions and...

Don Dea's insight:

But your brand is a story, a set of emotions and expectations and a stand-in for how we think and feel about what you do.

Nike spent $250 to buy a swoosh. Probably a little more than they needed to. But the Nike brand, the sum total of what we think and believe and feel about what this company makes--it's now worth billions.

The swoosh is just pixels.

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What SMB CRM Shoppers Want

What SMB CRM Shoppers Want | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Nearly all CRM buyers -- 88 percent -- want a sales force automation application, according to the survey, while only 10 percent want a customer service application. This may be a reflection of the increasing sophistication of SFA applications, which now routinely come equipped with analytics and advanced reporting functions.
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Does Posting More Content Lead to More Engagement?

Does Posting More Content Lead to More Engagement? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Content - Brands are producing much more content now, but the engagement with each piece of content is less than it was two years ago, according to a recent report from Track ...
Don Dea's insight:

The report was based on 24 months of marketing activity (January 2013 through December 2014) for 8,800 B2C and B2B brands, including 7.2 billion combined interactions on 13.8 million pieces of content across seven digital marketing channels (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn).

Read more: http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2015/26889/does-creating-more-content-lead-to-more-engagement#ixzz3Q0WtYeiF

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Better and Better | Analytics | CRM Buyer

Better and Better | Analytics | CRM Buyer | digitalNow | Scoop.it
James Surowiecki, author of The Wisdom of Crowds and business and finance columnist for The New Yorker, published an article in the magazine's Nov. 10, 2014, issue entitled, "Better All The Time." The piece connects the importance of culture-wide continuous incremental improvement using data and analytics -- what the Japanese call kaizen -- to business and employees.
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Learning from Their Mistakes—3 Social Media PR Disasters of 2014

Learning from Their Mistakes—3 Social Media PR Disasters of 2014 | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Social media fiascos continue to haunt companies, serving as shameful reminders of what can go wrong with tasteless or uninformed posts. When your social media strategy goes awry, it can lead to public relations nightmares, and continued attention is heaped on that one awkward and very public moment. Viral content can work for or against companies, and it can dramatically hurt and organization if their mistakes are broadcast to millions online. Removing the offending post doesn't always help.

An Internet culture phenomenon known as "the Streisand effect" was coined after the singer, Barbra Streisand, brought attention to photos of her own home by suing the photographer. Her attempts to remove the images off the Internet ended up having the reverse effect: the publicity caused thousands of people online to access and save the images. When companies strive to erase their errors from the Internet, it can actually draw greater attention to the content in question. Here are three examples of the worst social media PR disasters in 2014, and how your company can learn from them.

1. #AskThicke

VH1 did not know that they were opening a can of worms when they decided to solicit questions from the public during campaign promoting Robin Thicke's music on Twitter. The hashtag quickly went viral, but not in the way anyone anticipated. Audiences have long criticized Thicke's lyrics and stage appearances, speculating that these materials can be interpreted as sexist messages. As a result, Twitter was flooded with thousands of questions with the #AskThicke hashtag, grilling the singer about his views on women and rape culture. While it would have been difficult to predict a backlash of this magnitude, companies should be wary before publicly asking followers for feedback.
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Crossing the Experience Divide: Creating positive, lasting experiences is a crucial mandate for any brand

Crossing the Experience Divide: Creating positive, lasting experiences is a crucial mandate for any brand | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Don Dea's insight:

The root problem is that most companies are built on a platform of critical thinking — built to keep things from going wrong, not to try to break things apart. When technology pushes us to move forward faster and faster, the first reaction is usually to go back before moving forward. Creative disruption becomes a business strategy to either invest in or acquire the very things you feared, rather than simply protecting what it is you have

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Brilliance is Distributed Around The World; Opportunity However is Not

Don Dea's insight:

The rate at which we progress is defined by the time and energy we invest in ourselves. We can’t do everything alone however. As John Lennon and Paul McCartney famously wrote, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” But not everyone has access to the same resources you and I do. Sometimes those friends aren’t so readily visible or available and thus progress inches along, stalls or sometimes regr

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Culture Can Make or Break Strategy

Culture Can Make or Break Strategy | digitalNow | Scoop.it
A company however big or small, cannot successfully implement corporate strategy without employees who believe in the mission and understand how to...
Don Dea's insight:

Without a deep and accurate assessment of their organisation’s culture, boards and management teams will find it very challenging to initiate and implement strategic change.

A company however big or small, cannot successfully implement corporate strategy without employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it. As Louis V. Gerstner, former CEO of IBM once noted, “Culture isn't just one aspect of the game, it is the game.”

One of the starting points of understanding an organisation’s culture is to understand its founding principles. What is its heritage? Its legacy? Its points of differentiation? And the markets and customers that it serves?


Read more at http://knowledge.insead.edu/strategy/culture-can-make-or-break-strategy-3730#Sf6kixyCvPblzj8r.99

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Eloquens's curator insight, January 25, 11:10 AM

Workplace culture might seem like an intangible concept, but it's vitally important to the success or failure of your strategy.

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The granularity of growth

A fine-grained approach to growth is essential for making the right choices about where to compete. A McKinsey Quarterly article.
Don Dea's insight:

What are the sources of corporate growth? If, like many executives, you take an average view of markets, the answers may surprise you: averaging out the different growth rates in an industry’s segments and subsegments can produce a misleading view of its growth prospects. Most so-called growth industries, such as high tech, include subindustries or segments that are not growing at all, while relatively mature industries, such as European telecommunications, often have segments that are growing rapidly. Broad terms such as “growth industry” and “mature industry,” while time honored and convenient, can prove imprecise or even downright wrong upon closer analysis.

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Learn to tell a great story

Learn to tell a great story | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Now more than ever great leaders are great storytellers. Storytelling helps executives weave rich narratives that inspire their organizations, set a vision
Don Dea's insight:

While it sounds wonderful, storytelling can be hard work and labor-intensive. You don’t want to tell just any story, but rather one that really captures your call to action. These steps, adapted from an article by Robert Thompson, can help you develop effective stories for your workplace

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11 Things Remarkable Leaders Think Every Day

11 Things Remarkable Leaders Think Every Day | digitalNow | Scoop.it
By getting to the heart of what makes some leaders truly great, you can become pretty remarkable yourself.
Don Dea's insight:

What's happening in the world today?

The best leaders begin their day with the news because they know that what's happening in the world today can have an effect on their business. They stay ahead of technological and industry advances so that they — and their companies — can evolve along with the rapid pace of change.



Read more: http://www.inc.com/peter-economy/11-things-remarkable-leaders-think-every-day.html#ixzz3Q5kVPJii

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Six Things to Keep in Mind Before Goal Setting

Six Things to Keep in Mind Before Goal Setting | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Too often goal setting is a waste of time. The problem is not with goals. It's with the goal setting process itself. Here are 6 tips to set goals that work.
Don Dea's insight:

The problem is not with goals. Goals provide focus, create momentum and help us stay on track.

The problem is with the goal setting process itself – choosing the right goals and setting up the right support for them.

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Creating Value With Context-Aware Collaboration

Creating Value With Context-Aware Collaboration | digitalNow | Scoop.it
How to Get Started

The key to a more successful context-aware collaboration initiative, as with most other enterprise IT projects, is to avoid big-bang approaches that maximize disruption based on the assumed needs of the target users. Instead, begin with a small pilot project that can help you understand what will provide the most value and that can be championed as a success story for broader deployment.
Don Dea's insight:

How to Get Started

The key to a more successful context-aware collaboration initiative, as with most other enterprise IT projects, is to avoid big-bang approaches that maximize disruption based on the assumed needs of the target users. Instead, begin with a small pilot project that can help you understand what will provide the most value and that can be championed as a success story for broader deployment.

- See more at: http://www.baselinemag.com/messaging-and-collaboration/creating-value-with-context-aware-collaboration.html#sthash.7GLxcDIn.dpuf

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Retargeting May Work, but Pretargeting May Work Better

Retargeting May Work, but Pretargeting May Work Better | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The practice of repeatedly serving up ads for products consumers previously viewed or asked about -- called "retargeting" -- not only works, but works so well that its use is spreading beyond simple marketing. So says a recent survey of marketers conducted by Adroll, which provides this type of ad technology. The company released the results this week.
Don Dea's insight:

Marketers who responded to a poll conducted by pretargeting solution provider Adroll expressed unvarnished enthusiasm for pretargeting, but those results have raised some eyebrows. Some consumers might grow so weary of being pestered they end up developing a negative attitude instead of buying. Pretargeting, a nascent trend, is more difficult to carry out, but it might work better in the long run. - See more at: http://www.crmbuyer.com/story/81506.html#sthash.jZ3YYMZb.dpuf

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The paradox of rising expectations

Of course, over time, good work will lead to higher expectations. And the paradox is that this will sooner or later lead to disappointment. Raised expectations tend to be exponential... they grow faster and faster.

Raise expectations forever and even Superman is going to let us down.

One possible path is to do what Bob Dylan has done several times—destroy them. Veer left when everyone expects you to veer right.  Launch something that makes no sense. Reset expectations instead of raising them.

Hard to do if you're a public company, but probably worth considering if you're a human intent on making your art.
Don Dea's insight:

Perhaps this is what your organization desires: To be more trusted, to have people willing to pay more, choose you more often, expect more..

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4 Tips to Cultivate Resiliency Before You Need It

4 Tips to Cultivate Resiliency Before You Need It | digitalNow | Scoop.it
At sometime this year you will need to be resilient, whether pushed by pain or pulled by possibilities. Here are 4 things you can do to cultivate resiliency
Don Dea's insight:

If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that at some point this year, you will need to be resilient – whether pushed by pain or pulled by possibilities.

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Report: Some Brands Go All In on Mobile; Others Suffer from Mobile Mediocrity

Report: Some Brands Go All In on Mobile; Others Suffer from Mobile Mediocrity | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Don Dea's insight:

To win among mobile- and digital-first customers, brands must focus on learning more about the mobile journey as it exists and how it could exist. This includes understanding customer frustrations, expectations, and behaviors specific to mobile. When done in parallel to other digital investments, mobile (in each of its forms) becomes both a self-contained and complement experience to the digital/traditional journey. Only then can mobile CX be truly customer centric because you take into view the needs, expectations and behaviors of digital and mobile customers.

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Make Normal More Excellent

Make Normal More Excellent | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Don Dea's insight:

For you and your business to become a signal in an ocean of noise, you have to give yourself permission to do things others are not willing to do. Excellence is a form of deviance  that creates a pattern of courageous choices over time. When you watch the video, you will see me discuss how I believe we can make normal more excellent by choosing to do things differently than how we have done them in the past and how others are doing things today.

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Those Retail Promo Emails? They Better Be Personalized

Email marketers plan to up email personalization efforts this year, thanks largely to consumer demand. According to recent research, 80% of email users find it useful when retailers include product recommendations in promotional emails based on previous purchases, and 71% like when they recommend items based on what they have viewed but not bought. Other analysis indicates triggered retail emails blow general campaigns out of the water.
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Leadership Done Right

Leadership Done Right | digitalNow | Scoop.it

Every leader has a unique leadership style. Some leaders spend most of their work day talking to coworkers, employees, or bosses and then work late into the night. Others spend much less time talking to others because they work in their office all day long. There are also leaders that fall somewhere in between.

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