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The Shanghai Secret

How these schools in China made it to No. 1 in the world.
Don Dea's insight:

You see so many teaching techniques that you can apply to your own classroom,” he remarks. Education experts will tell you that of all the things that go into improving a school, nothing — not class size, not technology, not length of the school day — pays off more than giving teachers the time for peer review and constructive feedback, exposure to the best teaching and time to deepen their knowledge of what they’re teaching

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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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This Electric Scooter Turns Into A Storage Cart With One Simple Move

This Electric Scooter Turns Into A Storage Cart With One Simple Move | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The Citrus was initially prototyped in the early 2000s, but Opsvik recently released a second version. It's core functions lie in its adaptability—with a quick flip of the wheels, the transformable design morphs from an electric scooter to a cart, complete with a built in storage sack. And it collapses down smaller than your average stroller which lets you take it along in in confined spaces like a train.

Plus the form in and of itself is light years less clunky and ridiculous than the behemoths that are Segways. (But truth be told, there's a still certain level of unavoidable dorkiness that comes with riding a scooter.)

It's still in prototype mode, but Opsvik's site says it's available for licensing. Any takers?
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CMOs Continue to Report Low Usage of Marketing Analytics

Just 31% of projects use available or requested marketing analytics, well within the 29-37% range seen over the past 3-and-a-half years, according to US CMOs responding to the latest edition of The CMO Survey. B2C product companies appear to be leading the pack in usage of marketing analytics, however, at twice the rate of their B2B product counterparts (45.6% vs. 22.8%). B2B product companies also give the highest rating to marketing analytics’ contributions to their firms’ performance.
Overall, marketing analytics are most apt to be used for customer acquisition, customer retention, social media and segmentation, per the report.
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Reflections for Personal and Business Development

When I was younger I used to think something was very wrong with me. I would think things that nobody else seemed to. I would be creative where conformity was expected and content where it really didn’t matter to me, though it did to others. My mind would go off on expeditions instead of paying attention to detail, and it still does. Today, I know it is the power of my thinking that opens and closes doors for me and others. I am more willing to ride the waves, to come up with more ideas that I can handle, and then choose to run with only a few, capturing others on paper or in enticing conversations. I am expecting miracles. I know that innovation is a Phoenix, born at the end of the previous one. So, as life goes on, I vow to celebrate the beauty of fire and the possibility of ashes. May it be so for you, also.
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Rising innovation star knocks Navy's career rigidity

Rising innovation star knocks Navy's career rigidity | digitalNow | Scoop.it
In my ideal world, you have billets tied to ranks, and you interview for billets. If you get selected, you’re spot-promoted,” he added. “That’s how you create a talent-based promotion system.”

There are also more opportunities for officers to go away for graduate school and bring their knowledge back to the fleet.

Or, through the soon-to-be launched SECNAV industry tours, mid-grade officers will be able to spend two years at a Fortune 500 company.

Kohlmann said that while he sees promise in these initiatives, he decided to leave active duty and pursue an entrepreneurial path because it made the most sense for his situation.

He doesn’t, however, encourage junior officers to throw up their hands in general.
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Marketing & Riding the Internet of Things Wave

Marketing & Riding the Internet of Things Wave | digitalNow | Scoop.it
All of the small things are now rolling out with a large number expected to be highlighted for the coming holiday shopping season, followed by the expected wave of IoT introductions at the annual CES International mega-show in Las Vegas in January.

At the moment, most of the categories of the IoT are essentially islands of connections, with some islands larger than others.

The longer term promise of the Internet of Things is to bridge those islands together, creating a massive highway of connections along which will ride messaging and advertising of all sorts.

Though the Internet of Things won’t arrive one day with a big bang, the realization of it may.
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Europe’s circular-economy opportunity

Europe’s economy has generated unprecedented wealth over the past century. Part of the success is attributable to continuous improvements in resource productivity—a trend that has started to reduce Europe’s resource exposure. At the same time, resource productivity remains hugely underexploited as a source of wealth, competitiveness, and renewal. Our new study, Growth within: A circular economy vision for a competitive Europe,1 provides new evidence that a circular economy, enabled by the technology revolution, would allow Europe to grow resource productivity by up to 3 percent annually. This would generate a primary-resource benefit of as much as €0.6 trillion per year by 2030 to Europe’s economies. In addition, it would generate €1.2 trillion in nonresource and externality benefits, bringing the annual total benefits to around €1.8 trillion compared with today.
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R.O.E. - Your Return on Engagement(s)

R.O.E. - Your Return on Engagement(s) | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Engagement [in productivity] is the reason for everything.  No matter what activity you have taken on to develop the organization or your people, the investment is, primarily, for the business.

Think about it.  Why has there been an investment in leadership development, culture initiatives, health benefits, strategic change processes, plans to foster diversity…  (okay, you get the idea)?

Answer:  To engage your people in (better) performance.
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Bad leadership & management advice to run away from

I’d recommend running away as far as you can from the following pearls of leadership and management wisdom:
1. “Ignore your weaknesses and leverage your strengths.” Try Googling any variation of this advice, and you’ll find plenty of credible sources telling you to ignore your strengths. This feel-good nonsense usually stems from a lazy misinterpretation of what’s referred to as the “strength-based leadership development” movement, made popular by Gallup, Marcus Buckingham, and countless other copycats. Gallup and Buckingham never said to ignore your weaknesses; the idea is to do whatever it takes to minimize your weaknesses (improvement, delegation, finding a different job, etc.). Ignoring a critical leadership weakness is a surefire path to leadership derailment.
2. “You need to know more than anyone who works under you.” I actually heard a senior vice president give this advice to a group of new managers. I wanted to set my hair on fire! Believing that you could possibly know more than the sum of everyone who works for you is arrogance at its worst!
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How To Make Difficult Conversations Easy

How To Make Difficult Conversations Easy | digitalNow | Scoop.it
1) First, You Need To Keep Calm

You already have one person overreacting. The worst thing would be to have two people overreacting. If you Hulk Out, it’s little more than a screaming match and nothing gets accomplished.
Al calls the emotional side of our mind the “dinosaur brain.” It’s millions of years old and only understands “fight” or “run away.”
If you stay calm, you can help someone escape its grip. But if you fall prey to it too, it results in what he likes to call the “Godzilla meets Rodan” effect: lots of yelling, buildings get knocked down but nothing constructive gets accomplished. Here’s Al:
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The 4 leadership principles that could undermine Amazon

The 4 leadership principles that could undermine Amazon | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The leadership behaviors described by some former employees dishonors Principle 11, which is to “Earn Trust.” To do so, the principle states that leaders should “listen attentively, speak candidly and treat others respectfully.” It’s hard to believe that the leader who placed a woman on a performance improvement plan once she returned to work after giving birth to a stillborn child was demonstrating respect, let alone compassion, anymore than the leader who did the same with a woman recovering from breast cancer because her personal difficulties interfered with fulfilling her work goals.
These employees were on notice that being fired was a real possibility. Whether they deserved to be told their jobs were in jeopardy, the optics couldn’t be worse with the rest of the organization. The code message to co-workers is, “Don’t get sick and by all means don’t let anyone know if you do. Keep working at your usual pace at all costs because you are dispensable.” It establishes a culture of fear, not a culture of creativity.
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10 ways to keep cool and not lose composure

10 ways to keep cool and not lose composure | digitalNow | Scoop.it
When leaders blow up, lose their tempers or let their emotions get the better of them, they can quickly develop a reputation as volatile, moody, defensive or having a lack of leadership presence.
Unfortunately, all it takes is one public outburst. When coaching leaders who have received negative 360-degree feedback about composure, I’ll ask them when the last time they lost their cool was. In most cases, it’s on a rare occasion, maybe months ago. However, people remember, and it becomes a tough reputation to overcome.
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Productivity tip: Make phone meetings more effective

Productivity tip: Make phone meetings more effective | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Perhaps the idea of deliberately blindfolding people will be intolerable to some. Perhaps they feel it would be too disruptive, would slow down the discussion and would reduce people’s effectiveness. If that is the case, one might ask why we put up with ineffective telecons in the first place.
Of course, our friends and colleague who are visually impaired already know what this is like, and businesses are supposed to make reasonable accommodations. Being blind and being on a phone are two vastly different situations, to be sure, but I think the same principle applies and can shape our approach.
The bottom line is that teams work best when we are all engaged, when everyone makes an effort to ensure everyone else can contribute. Teams work best when nobody is left out and all involved have empathy for each other. Teams work best when we understand each other’s limitations and strengths alike. And sometimes the shortest path to fostering such empathy is a simple strip of cloth.
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How secure is the hybrid cloud?

How secure is the hybrid cloud? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The term hybrid cloud is used loosely, which is probably why so many companies say they're planning to adopt it. If you’re planning a hybrid cloud strategy, the security questions you need to think about may not be the ones you’d expect.
Don Dea's insight:

 “The idea of using some services on premise and some from the cloud and some from the cloud is becoming the dominant customer viewpoint.”

Don't count on your 'plain vanilla' resume to get you noticed - your resume needs a personal flavor to

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In fact, 65 percent of companies in the Avanade study said if they could, they would downsize all their data centers tomorrow in favor of public or hybrid cloud-based solutions. That’s not just obvious cost-cutting; 61 percent believe cloud, especially hybrid cloud, is a more secure way of hosting their company’s applications and data than on-site data centers.

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If Culture eats Strategy for breakfast - Let's make it a balanced meal

If Culture eats Strategy for breakfast - Let's make it a balanced meal | digitalNow | Scoop.it
As it stands, breakfast really isn’t a bad analogy.  There seem to be as many ‘brands’ of culture as there are breakfast cereals.  Are you hoping to describe your organizational culture as Irresistible?  Humanistic?  Purposeful?  Happy?  …Some other (mostly) ‘people-centered’ word?  Or, would you say Innovative? Customer Service?  LEAN?  Collaborative? …Another (sort of) ‘process-oriented’ description?  Well, they all sound pretty good to me.  And, of course, really, really important.  Because, as Drucker points out – “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”.

 

The caveat?  That goes for whatever your culture is, at any moment.  So, then, what do we do if any part of our culture is less than ideal?  [Please, please don’t say culture change…  Because if we aren’t there in the first place, then what are we changing?]
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Which Industries Lead in Consumer Perception?

Which Industries Lead in Consumer Perception? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The computer industry enjoys the best reputation with consumers, per Gallup, with 69% having a positive view of it versus just 10% with a negative view. The resultant net rating (% positive minutes % negative) of +59 points is almost double-digits ahead of restaurants (+50), the next-highest rated. Some other industries with strong net positive perception include travel (+37), retail (+34), automotive (+27) and publishing (+20), while TV and radio (+12) and advertising and public relations (+7) sit further down the list but still in the green.
Six of the 25 industries measured have a net negative rating (more people having a negative than positive view): education (-2); the legal field (-5); healthcare (-6); pharmaceuticals (-8); oil and gas (-13); and the federal government (-13).
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This Reading Nook Wraps You In A Glorious Cocoon Of Books

This Reading Nook Wraps You In A Glorious Cocoon Of Books | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The space celebrates the time-worn hobby of cracking open a book, sitting back, and sinking your teeth into a story. Thanks to a self-supporting structure that plays some tricks on the eye, the space takes on the form of a mini-cathedral complete with ethereal illumination. The torqued pine-wood shelves—based on a rhomboid module—arch over the reading nook and the firm painted the walls in a subtle blue-green gradient to amp up the depth of the space. To further the effect, they placed a glowing arch on the back wall to simulate the structure's vanishing point.

"The idea was to evoke the feeling of detachment with the external world," says Roberto Treviño, a partner and architectural director at Anagrama. "It's just you, the books, and this fantastic space. It really creates an amazing reading experience."
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alternative credentialing recommendations

Eduventures’ latest research outlines the need for clarity more than anything else. Everyone seems to be confused about where alternative credentials fit in. Prospective students still overwhelmingly prefer traditional degrees to alternative credentials when looking to further their education. For colleges and universities interested in expanding their offerings, Eduventures’ strategic planning can help define the value proposition and clarify the role such alternative pathways can fill.
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why Apple is making a big push into video

why Apple is making a big push into video | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Apple is negotiating with TV providers for a service that would compete with cable TV, and is reportedly considering making its own content. Comcast has an internet-based streaming video service in the works. Google is trying to figure out how to launch a paid version of YouTube. That's not to mention existing video players like Amazon and Netflix.

Why all the action? Because video is expected to be a huge opportunity, according to this chart from Statista. Revenue from online video is slated to grow from about $7.5 billion last year to $8.7 billion this year, and nearly $14 billion by 2020. In contrast, the online music market is going to grow a lot more slowly.
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Retail Is About to Be Reinvented, Driven by Digital Technologies

Retail Is About to Be Reinvented, Driven by Digital Technologies | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Retail is on the verge of total reinvention. And that reinvention is rooted in the user-centric practices of today's most savvy digital agencies.
Think of it this way: A brand is a galaxy, and all channels and touchpoints -- social, websites and branded content -- are planets. While a physical store is a planet, it's one with many circling satellites; an ecosystem with its own set of orbital forces. Digital agencies are already keeping brand touchpoints in sync, but the retail store of the future will become the nexus of all user data, informing the physical brand experience.
Understanding customers' intentions has, of course, long been the aim of retail architects.
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4 questions every leader should be able to answer

4 questions every leader should be able to answer | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Who am I?
This is more than a “name, rank and serial number” kind of question. Knowing who you are means you deeply understand why you’re here and the unique contributions you intend to make — not just to the organization, but also to the larger world. It means having a profound sense of purpose in your life and the capacity to articulate it well, so that you engage and inspire others. You should be able to fill in the blank in the sentence “My purpose in life is to
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Mark Wilhelms's curator insight, September 1, 12:36 PM

You have to be the leader who makes a difference for the business and for the people in it who make it hum. Becoming that authentic leader requires being able to answer four important, soul-searching questions:

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Business Embraces Customer Experience 2.0

Digital technologies introduce remarkable opportunities that can lead to a competitive advantage, but they also raise the bar on performance and what it takes to achieve bottom-line results. Nowhere is this fact more apparent than in the customer relationship arena.

As organizations look to rewire and reinvent the way they connect and interact with consumers and boost their brands, mobility and social media are increasingly the suns around which other digital planets orbit. "They are two critical engagement points," observes Basky Natarajan, a global practice leader for Tata Consultancy Services.

To be sure, improving the customer experience is paramount. Over the last few years, the power has increasingly shifted from the enterprise to consumers. It's possible to scan barcodes using a mobile app and instantly compare prices; find businesses and products that have high customer ratings and reviews; and demand faster, better and more customized products and services.

"Consumers don't have to be loyal to a particular company," points out Emily Collins, an analyst with Forrester Research. "The traditional lock-in mechanisms aren't as effective."

Within this environment, business and IT leaders must use mobile and social tools in a far more sophisticated way than they did only a few years ago. Monitoring Twitter for tweets and plastering marketing messages on a Facebook page aren't enough. Delivering basic information through mobile apps won't get the job done.

As business shifts from a multi-channel approach to an omni-channel focus, there's a growing need to embrace an entirely different social and mobile business model. "When businesses use these tools effectively, it's possible to light up the experience for customers," says Kim Smith, vice president of digital innovation at Capgemini North America.
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Overcoming obstacles to digital customer care

Where do you turn when you have an issue with a product or service? Today’s options go well beyond a traditional call center. Depending on what’s most convenient and useful, customers can turn to an increasingly complex array of digital channels, and each increases the pressure on companies to provide consistent and superior service. The reward for companies who excel at digital customer care, or e-care, is vast: we’ve found it can increase customer satisfaction by up to 33 percent and generate savings of 25 to 30 percent by reducing call-center volume.1 In addition, we believe this opportunity will continue to grow—especially given the explosive rise in social-media activity. After all, the volume of tweets targeted at a brand or service has more than doubled in the past two years, while the percentage of people who have used Twitter for customer service has increased by almost 70 percent since 2013–14.2
Yet while the benefits of digitizing customer care are significant, so is the challenge of developing and implementing a profitable e-care approach. Our latest research3 and client work confirms the extent of these difficulties: a lack of strategic and detailed implementation programs means not only are companies missing growth opportunities, but they are also failing to see potential threats to established revenue. In our experience, only by understanding the root causes of customer behavior can
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Plotting a Better Course for Your Company

This nation needs business leaders who, instead of licking their wounds and searching for someone else to fault, will plot a different course that will lead to a better outcome. A platform for sustained success in this economic climate might mean beginning at the beginning—and examining issues like these:

1. Company Purpose:
Given what leaders now know, does the company have a purpose that's sustainable for the long term? With all that has changed, it would be a mistake to assume that the mission of the company is still relevant in the new economy and that the present workforce is committed to it. It's worth the effort to revisit the questions: What do we offer in service to others that the current market will value, and what do we stand for? Only when armed with clear answers to these questions and an engaged workforce to support them can leaders begin to shape a better future for everyone.

2. Passionate Leadership:
Are the leaders who are guiding the company leading with authenticity? Do they know themselves well? It's important for any leader to have a profound understanding of who they are and how their passions can be applied to the business, but it has never been more essential than now. Leaders are being called upon to inspire the workforce, act with humility rather than arrogance, and demonstrate dignity in managing employees—both those who are asked to leave and those who will remain.
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Zero-Based Budgeting: Not for Crises Only

Zero-Based Budgeting: Not for Crises Only | digitalNow | Scoop.it
ZBB helps companies identify resources that are not generating an adequate return and encourages strategic redeployment of those funds in order to achieve business objectives and strengthen companies’ market positions. And in today’s era of digital disruption, many use those funds to invest in new technologies and capabilities that can help them out-compete traditional and nontraditional, digitally enabled competitors.
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Your Reputation Precedes You

Your Reputation Precedes You | digitalNow | Scoop.it
You can’t control whether or not people talk about you behind your back. You also can’t control what they say so don’t waste a lot of time worrying about it. Instead work to build a strong reputation and know that your efforts will result in a credibility bank loaded with positive examples of you being a person known as a trusted resource who can be counted on no matter what! 

That’s the kind of reputation that you want to precede you! 
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