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Five Essentials of Strategic Planning

A culture of strategic planning can provide a framework for aligning priorities, making decisions, allocating resources, and measuring impact.
Don Dea's insight:

Here are the five essentials of strategic planning that nonprofits large or small can employ to transform their organization.

  1. Begin at the top. For us, it was about preserving a legacy by allowing us to propel forward, thinking bigger but within the context of a unified vision, mission, and values. The commitment to “The Longwood Way” begins with the board, CEO, and senior leadership; the senior-most leaders live, breathe, and demonstrate actionable commitment to the planning process. Strategic planning will never succeed if leaders delegate it. It begins at the top. In year one of our strategic plan, we set on accomplishing more than 150 tasks associated with strategies that fell under five core objectives. With executive and senior team leadership driving the strategy and explaining the “why” behind each task, we accomplished all that we aimed to do 12 months.
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Bryce Wettstein's curator insight, December 3, 2013 3:55 PM

This article listed five essentials for strategic planning. It spoke about how the strategic plan needs to start at the top with the executives and CEO's, and then goes into how the whole organization needs to be able to buy in and have a voice. You must then start building around that plan by using empoyees with expertise. Everything must align and follow the plan, but you have to also be flexible with that plan if certain issues begin to arise.

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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5 hard truths about employee engagement

5 hard truths about employee engagement | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Engagement affects performance

You might think that corporate perks and policies can help improve the performance of your employees, but the greatest impact on employee performance stems from engagement. Even if you offer a flexible schedule, unlimited vacation time and free snacks in the breakroom, if your employees aren't engaged, those perks won't actually do much to motivate them. Engagement at work is the biggest predictor for employee success, and engaged workers statistically perform better across the board, according to Gallup's data.

Ochstein agrees. "When employees are engaged, they want to stay an extra hour to finish up a project, or read industry-specific content to learn about the latest techniques. They want to get to know their coworkers and clients better. Engaged employees make the office a fun place to work, and positive attitudes are contagious. When employees genuinely enjoy coming to work, the entire business improves."
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Why CEOs must go big in digital (or go home)

Why CEOs must go big in digital (or go home) | digitalNow | Scoop.it
“CEOs now understand that digital business is substantial enough to warrant them leading it personally,” Raskino says. “If they delegate primary responsibility, then the next most likely leader is the CIO.

And as the CEO grapples with managing the digital transition, the CIO often helps communicate what the digital value proposition means to human resources, product development, sales, legal, and risk and compliance leaders. "The CIO role is evolving to be a more progressive, agenda-setting role,” Raskino says.

Raskino also offered some cautionary advice for CEOs and CIOs. If economic conditions deteriorate further, companies could slip back into "old IT" behaviors, including slowed or halted approvals, budget bickering, biases toward cost-savings from revenue-generating projects and the "false comfort," of waterfall software development and project management.

Raskino said CEOs and CIOs need to fight this temptation, and offered this analogy: "Try to use an economic slowdown as a racecar driver uses a curve -- head into it a bit more aggressively and accelerate out of it faster than your competitors."
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7 powerful ways to turn your failures into successes

7 powerful ways to turn your failures into successes | digitalNow | Scoop.it
There’s no positive side to failure if you don’t learn from it, because when you know what went wrong, you can avoid repeating the same mistake again.
Instead of taking the lazy person’s route of proclaiming a learning experience without sitting down and considering what happened, find the cracks that weakened the experience and ultimately caused you to fail.

Spend some time journaling about your experience. Was the entire thing a failure or were there just a couple of actions that changed the course of your project? When you know what truly created the failure, you can avoid repeating it.

Reflect on what you would do differently given the chance to start over.
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Time Spent Searching Declines As Mobile Overtakes Desktop

Time Spent Searching Declines As Mobile Overtakes Desktop | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The average time spent via a smartphone on Google's search engine fell by 2.17 seconds, according to data released from SimilarWeb, with help from JBH, and Smart Insights. The report on the state of mobile marketing compares data from December 2014 to February 2015, with December 2015 to February 2016.

Time spent on the Bing search engine fell by nearly 10 seconds. On Yahoo that number rose to more than 21 seconds. The numbers show the challenge of keeping users engaged for the same time as on desktop visits.

Data from SimilarWeb shows that installations for search engine apps also fell between February 2015 and February 2016. Google saw a decrease in installations of 3.6%; Bing fell 11.47%; and Yahoo dropped 1.66%.
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The connection between parenting and profit

The connection between parenting and profit | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The “culture of the now” in which we live permeates both our personal and professional lives. The average tenure of a S&P 500 CEO is only 7.4 years, while the average CMO lasts just 44 months. The pressure to demonstrate immediate results is immense, and that pressure flows downhill, from the c-suite to the management team to the rank and file.
In the short term, pressure can be motivating. Companies, like parents, can focus on performance and almost certainly prompt initial, outward compliance. But the extent to which they ignore the principle that behavior comes from the heart is the extent to which they can expect trouble down the road.
Employees, like children, ultimately make their own decisions, and sooner or later will gravitate towards people who treat them well and environments in which they can thrive. Wise leaders recognize this and, while not neglecting performance metrics, focus on the heart. As John Dijulius, author of “The Customer Service Revolution,” puts it, “What employees experience, customers will. The best marketing is happy, engaged employees. Your customers will never be any happier than your employees.”
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Do you have "still face" managers?

Sitting in the audience was a CEO who recognized that she had a “still face” manager in her organization. This manager was not performing well, and neither was an employee who reported to him. To address the situation, the organization was about ready to let the underperforming employee go. Reflecting on the presentation gave the CEO an idea.
“Still face” managers usually shut down their emotions because they feel threatened in a supervisory situation. As such, they tend to be hyper-focused on tasks when conversing with their employees. Not engaging in conversations that provide social and emotional support negatively affects the relationship between the manager and employee, and is probably more keenly felt by the employee.
There is a cost to the manager, too. The ability to hold conversations that connect is important because such conversations engage the rational part of the brain (i.e. the cortex) and quiet the part of the brain where we are more likely to make rash decisions (i.e. the amygdala).
People follow a “still face” manager because the manager has authority to hire, fire, promote and pay. They don’t, however, follow such a manager because they want to, and that makes all the difference to employee engagement.
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Top Qualities of High-Performing Employees

Top Qualities of High-Performing Employees | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Have you ever wondered whether you have what it takes to be one of your company's top-performers? Then consider the following checklist of must-have qualities of indispensable professionals, so you can perform a self-assessment. Sure, opinions will vary, but there are a number of core characteristics that employers and HR experts frequently cite. They include traits related to motivation, resourcefulness, knowledge base, time management and a team focus. Few workers can honestly claim to score "10s" on every quality highlighted here, but everyone can identify where on this list they shine and where they need to improve. Our top-performer qualities were adapted from a number of online postings, including those contributed by Laura Stack, author of Execution IS the Strategy (Berrett-Koehler/available now), and (through LinkedIn.com) Kevin Daum, an entrepreneur and marketing consultant. "It takes a lot to recruit and maintain top talent," Daum writes. "As an employer, I have always been grateful for those special employees who come along and just get it. They understand the power of cause and effect, drive the company forward, and know exactly what they need to do for advancement and rewards.
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How to Maximize the Benefits of a Platform Economy

How to Maximize the Benefits of a Platform Economy | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The Platform Economy represents a decisive economic shift–from supply-side to demand-side economies of scale. This results in companies creating value by tapping into resources and capacity that they don’t have to own. Apple, for example, has mastered demand-side economies of scale with the iOS App Store. Launched in 2008, the iOS App Store is an ecosystem of nearly 380,000 developers that created 1.5 million applications that have been downloaded more than 100 billion times. They have generated $33 billion in sales by the end of Apple’s fiscal year 2015.  Based on Apple’s 70/30 split with developers, the App Store has generated $10 billion for the company, enabling Apple to harvest the resources of the ecosystem–resources it does not need to own. 

Whether a company “owns” a platform ecosystem or is plugging into another’s, what matters is having both a platform strategy and the business expertise to exploit it. Progress starts with a clear understanding of which parts of the business are prime for adaptation to platform business models, along with those that are most vulnerable to unforeseen attacks from other platforms.

To survive and thrive in today’s digital economy, companies must master the strategic use of digital technologies to build successful platform business models. Their business’ future depends on it.
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Why Understanding Your Influencers is Vital

Why Understanding Your Influencers is Vital | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Who are my influencers?

None of us start with a blank sheet of paper. We have all been shaped by others, and we have had people, events and information draw some lines, colors and shading on our blank slate. We take those lines, draw around them, and create something new. In a recent Harper’s Magazine article, the author reflects on how often artists adapt from a previous work, tweak it and make something new. In this case, he points to Bob Dylan.

Appropriation has always played a key role in Dylan’s music. The songwriter has grabbed not only from a panoply of vintage Hollywood films but also from Shakespeare, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Junichi Saga’s Confessions of a Yakuza. He also nabbed the title of Eric Lott’s study of minstrelsy for his 2001 album Love and Theft. One imagines Dylan liked the resonance of the title, in which emotional misdemeanors stalk the sweetness of love, as they do so often in Dylan’s songs. Lott’s title is, of course, itself a riff on Leslie Fiedler’s Love and Death in the American Novel, which famously identifies the literary motif of the interdependence of a white man and a dark man, like Huck and Jim or Ishmael and Queequeg — a series of nested references to Dylan’s own appropriating, minstrel-boy self.
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Four Mistakes That Marketers Make When They Conduct Surveys

Four Mistakes That Marketers Make When They Conduct Surveys | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Consider these top four mistakes that marketers make when launching surveys.

1. Forgetting to consider context

A 20-year-old and a 55-year-old will have different responses to a paper-based survey. Moreover, someone accustomed to interacting with your brand on social media may balk at an email survey.

Know your audience and which mode will work best to reach your customers (e.g., in person, on paper, or by telephone, email, social media, or mobile). Make sure you know the pros and cons of each methodology, and consider how you will compile data from multiple sources.

2. Failing to put mobile first

Daily use of the mobile Internet is increasing across all age groups. Americans between ages 18 and 24 check their phones an average of 74X a day. Those between 25 and 35 look at their devices 50X per day, and 35- to 44-year-olds check them 35X a day. Phone addiction is a real phenomenon—and one that can benefit mobile marketers.

The promises of mobile are scale, reach, and efficiency. If you need quick turnaround on your concept, mobile is the fastest, most economical, and most efficient way to obtain results. Case in point: My company recently conducted a survey on the "Brexit" (i.e., whether Britain should leave the European Union). We reached out to mobile users in the UK, and we needed only to connect with 771 users to receive 750 completed surveys in just over an hour.
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Is email marketing dead among younger demographics?

Is email marketing dead among younger demographics? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Email is neither dead, nor dying among the young

Every so often a new eulogy for the email marketing category surfaces. But, according to Buckstaff, in digital, email addresses are an indespensible key.

“[Email] can almost be considered a person’s ‘passport’ for the virtual world,” Buckstaff said.
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IT leaders pick productivity over security

IT leaders pick productivity over security | digitalNow | Scoop.it
But if security pros are worried now, it's only going to get worse as technology changes faster and becomes more advanced. And as the skills gap grows wider -- with too many security jobs and not enough qualified candidates to fill them -- the problem will only increase. The ISACA/RSA study also found that two emerging industry trends -- artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things -- are causing growing concern for security pros. The study found that 42 percent believed AI would increase risk in the short term, while 62 percent agreed that it will certainly cause problems in the long term. More than half of the respondents also cited the IoT as a potential platform for more expansive and intelligent hacks.

Ultimately, the results from both show businesses need to reconsider their cybersecurity measures. "IT leaders should see security as an intrinsic and critical part of their overall program. By doing so, they would be demonstrating leadership across their own organization and for their customers that they care about protecting information," Schwartz says.
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“Yes” vs. “Yes, If…”: Using Your Distinctive Contribution to Manage Priorities

“Yes” vs. “Yes, If…”: Using Your Distinctive Contribution to Manage Priorities | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The cluster of thought processes underlying the manager’s dilemma will vary from one person to another. Your thoughts might include these:

I can’t afford to recharge because things are too busy right now.
With more time we could do better, but we have to move on to the next issue.
With so many deadlines and demands, some priorities will have to be sacrificed.
It’s too busy now, but I’ll refocus on priorities once things settle down.
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5 hard truths about employee engagement

5 hard truths about employee engagement | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Engagement affects performance

You might think that corporate perks and policies can help improve the performance of your employees, but the greatest impact on employee performance stems from engagement. Even if you offer a flexible schedule, unlimited vacation time and free snacks in the breakroom, if your employees aren't engaged, those perks won't actually do much to motivate them. Engagement at work is the biggest predictor for employee success, and engaged workers statistically perform better across the board, according to Gallup's data.

Ochstein agrees. "When employees are engaged, they want to stay an extra hour to finish up a project, or read industry-specific content to learn about the latest techniques. They want to get to know their coworkers and clients better. Engaged employees make the office a fun place to work, and positive attitudes are contagious. When employees genuinely enjoy coming to work, the entire business improves."
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How to make game-changing business decisions without fear

How to make game-changing business decisions without fear | digitalNow | Scoop.it
When the decision needs to be made on the spot...
1. Address and evaluate your fears head on

Even the best decision-makers with strong intuition and confidence are subject to fear. To make a good decision, you've got to give yourself space to rationally address any fear surrounding your choices. Fear biases us toward mediocrity, but leaders are in a position of having to make bold, forward-thinking and potentially risky choices regularly. We can't let fear cloud that process, so pause and be certain you're addressing your concerns honestly.

2. Pick your battles

Not all decisions are equal; some are more important than others. Be honest — is this decision truly critical, and worth obsessing over? We have a finite amount of brainpower to expend each day. If this decision isn't as important as others you must make, bite the bullet and chose a direction.
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Competition Makes Us Stronger, Faster, Better

Competition Makes Us Stronger, Faster, Better | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Operational Agility was originally created for manufacturing processes. The objective was to remain competitive when customer expectations for quality and delivery continued to change. It’s all about moving quickly in a much more customized world. That is to say, speed is just half of the equation. Quality is equally important. You don’t want to be too quick to move in the wrong direction!

To incorporate Operational Agility as a best practice, you need to maintain two apparently contradictory points of view.

Begin with the premise that projects are unpredictable, uncertain and change is inevitable. In fact, you need to welcome the change – and be prepared for it.
To maintain high-quality standards and error-free execution, you must still rely on tightly controlled Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
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EMC's Rohit Ghai leadership style is driven by his strong emotional intelligence

EMC's Rohit Ghai leadership style is driven by his strong emotional intelligence | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Don’t think of introversion as a liability as it pertains to being a leader. And that’s often a common fallacy, especially in early career journeys.

A second piece of advice is, as introverted as you may be, in terms of projecting a persona and as a leader, there is a difference between what you relish and enjoy doing, versus what you need to do and can do effectively as part of your role. You can thoroughly exude and have a persona which is more extroverted, which can mime people’s ideas and attention.
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Most people aren't willing to pay even $1 a year to avoid mobile ads

Most people aren't willing to pay even $1 a year to avoid mobile ads | digitalNow | Scoop.it
More bad news for publishers in the ad-blocking war: most mobile users wouldn't pay even $1 a year for an ad-free experience in mobile apps.

That's the conclusion from Tune, a company that measures and analyzes user behavior in mobile apps. The company surveyed nearly 4,000 smartphone users in January 2016, and asked how much they'd pay to block ads. Only about 30% would pay anything, and most of those would pay less than $1 a week. The numbers didn't change much even when Tune asked people who had previously installed ad blocking software.

As Tune writes in its report, that amounts to "just 9% of the total revenue that mobile publishers actually bring in from advertising." So it looks like mobile ads are here to stay, ad-blockers be darned.
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The No. 1 thing CEOs want from executive coaching? Self-awareness

The No. 1 thing CEOs want from executive coaching? Self-awareness | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Many executives rose through the ranks on the strength of their technical skills, intellect, and ambition. Once they reach the top of the organization, they can no longer manage people through force of will—they need a new set of skills to persuade and influence. That’s particularly true in multinational corporations, where lines of control aren’t always clear, says Janet Feldman, a managing principle with Korn Ferry, which employs 600 coaches.
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The Essential Requirements of a Digital CIO

The Essential Requirements of a Digital CIO | digitalNow | Scoop.it
What's the difference between "yesterday's CIO" and the modern-day digital one? Digital CIOs maintain a higher profile in the corporate board room, where board members have raised their expectations of IT performance and the delivery of new, business-benefiting innovation, according to a recent survey from BT. The resulting "The BT CIO Report 2016: The Digital CIO" also indicates that, given these challenges, board members increasingly recognize that today's CIOs must be more creative than in the past. Indeed, in assessing the "must have" qualities of digital CIOs, survey respondents were most likely to cite the need to work in a flexible manner with new business models and remaining open to new ideas/solutions, along with "soft skills" such as effectively responding to feedback and looking at situations from different perspectives. However, even with these shifting needs, CIOs still spend more time maintaining IT systems rather than looking for new solutions, but that balance appears to be reversing. "Digital transformation is under discussion at the board level, in IT and operational teams, in every organization and in every industry," according to the report. "That's exactly how it should be (because) the scope of what is digitally possible is uncertain. Every enterprise is working out their unique approach of adapting in this digital era and already using technology in new and creative ways to transform their business … CIOs are becoming ever more central to the boardroom and overall business strategy. The creative use of technology is absolutely accepted as a differentiator, not just in transforming costs or efficiency, but in improving customer experience and enabling disruptive growth." A total of 1,030 global senior IT decision-makers took part in the research, which was conducted by Vanson Bourne.
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Think Like a Disruptor Before You’re Disrupted

Think Like a Disruptor Before You’re Disrupted | digitalNow | Scoop.it
It's clear that digital disruption is everywhere. Over the last few years, we've seen the taxi industry reel as a result of Uber and the hotel industry recoil as Airbnb has taken shape. Countless other industries and sectors are in the crosshairs.

Unfortunately, business leaders—particularly in legacy industries—aren't keeping up. In many cases, executives are mired in industrial-age thinking. They fail to view disruption as a way to remap business models and exploit opportunities. As a result, they miss revenue opportunities and ways to boost brand loyalty.

Here's an example: I just booked a vacation to Spain and France on Delta Airlines. The website was easy to use, the booking went smoothly and there wasn't a hiccup or a hitch. On a scale of 1 to 10, the experience was a 10. However, two days later, when I realized I'd like to add two days to the front end of the trip and asked Delta about changing the departure date, I was told by a Delta Airlines representative that I would have to pay $300 in change fees per ticket.

One has to wonder why an airline, which has all this data completely computerized, would charge such an exorbitant fee. All that's required is a change in the computer. We're not living in 1960, where an agent would have to reissue a paper ticket and send off a blitz of documents to other departments or airlines. Heck, it's not even 1985, when it would have been necessary to fax the changes.
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 What Companies Can Do to Digitize 

 What Companies Can Do to Digitize  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Digital transformation is inevitable – and laggards need to equip themselves with a digital distribution platform that supports 21st century growth. There are platforms available today that can take companies where they need to go – tools that snap into back-end systems for instant deployment, expand product offerings, and streamline customer interaction – all while offering goods and services through traditional and digital channels of engagement. Combined with the ingenuity of innovative leaders and an executive team that embraces technology, companies armed with the right digital distribution platform will position themselves to deliver strong corporate growth that drives market share, boosts customer wallet share, and fosters consumer loyalty and retention.
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Why 'naked marketing' is a powerful way to connect with customers

Thinking like a 'naked' marketer

The first step toward becoming a naked marketer is simply to be transparent about a brand's products and services. Taking on that mindset, brands stand to benefit from the reviews and information-sharing customers partake in, be it in-person or online.

"Brands that are engaged in naked marketing are thinking about how and why they want to engage with all of their customers," Weissman said, adding that that includes any unsavory feedback customers might have. "There is not one brand that has only happy customers. It's common sense. You cannot make everyone happy. Don't be afraid of the less-than-happy customer."

Marketers shouldn’t just look to their best customers for feedback. Unhappy customers might be able to shed light on issues that brands and products teams weren't aware of, and negative reviews, for instance, can serve as a learning experience.

"Regardless of the variety of feedback, it is a highly valued resource. Leverage, use it, share it," Weissman explained.
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How Business Leaders View Digital Marketing

How Business Leaders View Digital Marketing | digitalNow | Scoop.it
More than three-quarters (78%) of business leaders say their company's digital marketing efforts are somewhat or very successful, according to a recent report from Act-On Software and Ascend2.

The report was based on data from a survey of 73 owners, partners, and C-level executives at companies in the United States (68% B2B-focused, 15% B2C, 16% mixed).

Some 56% of respondents say their company's digital marketing efforts are somewhat successful, 22% say they are very successful, and 22% say they are not successful.
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We Will All Pay!

We Will All Pay! | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Expect business, life and tech to change radically, as the IoT connects dots that were once invisible and introduces pricing models that were once impossible.

As the Internet of things (IoT) takes hold and the ability to measure just about everything takes shape, it's becoming clear—sometimes painfully so—that pricing models are changing dramatically. We've already witnessed the shift to subscription-based pricing for software.

Now, a growing number of once pricey IT products and services—from hardware to bandwidth—have been reduced to commodities. Think Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace and others.

In addition, in the industrial space, we're seeing everything from jet engines to hospital equipment charged by engine cycles or precise usage models.
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