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Leadership Is Not a Solitary Task

Most real change is community-driven and community-focused.
Don Dea's insight:

Finally, the most inspiring leadership is that done for community. There are certainly moments when we do things purely for ourselves, and that’s not all bad. A distance runner racing to win a marathon is no less admirable if she is racing only to test her own boundaries and achieve an individual victory. But few will follow a leader who is focused solely on his own goals, and many of the most inspiring leadership victories are those done in service of a community.

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Don Cloud's curator insight, February 10, 2014 8:37 PM

When it comes to leadership, it's never about the leader ... but rather, how the leader brings the organization together and mobilizes it towards a greater purpose.  Great leaders are defined by the great organizations they build and the accomplishments of those organizations.

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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A Strategist’s Guide to Industry 4.0

A Strategist’s Guide to Industry 4.0 | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The term Industry 4.0 refers to the combination of several major innovations in digital technology, all coming to maturity right now, all poised to transform the energy and manufacturing sectors. These technologies include advanced robotics and artificial intelligence; sophisticated sensors; cloud computing; the Internet of Things; data capture and analytics; digital fabrication (including 3D printing); software-as-a-service and other new marketing models; smartphones and other mobile devices; platforms that use algorithms to direct motor vehicles (including navigation tools, ride-sharing apps, delivery and ride services, and autonomous vehicles); and the embedding of all these elements in an interoperable global value chain, shared by many companies from many countries.
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How CMOs Are Gearing Up for a Data Explosion

How CMOs Are Gearing Up for a Data Explosion | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The emergence of big data and other technology disruptions is putting pressure on chief marketing officers (CMOs) to rethink their strategic direction, according to a recent survey from IBM's Institute for Business Value. The accompanying report, "Redefining Markets: Insights from the Global C-Suite Study - The CMO Perspective," indicates that only a minority of CMOs feel prepared to deal with the current data explosion. They also realize that technologies such as the cloud, mobility, social media and the Internet of things (IoT) have just begun to make an impact, and their potential is enormous. In response, CMOs are striving to boost the digital literacy of their team members. In addition, they'll seek tech solutions that help them better map the consumer journey and otherwise enhance interactions with customers. It's the best way, they've concluded, to compete in a rapidly evolving global marketplace. "CMOs know they need to prepare for a future in which disruption is pervasive: a future in which technological advances are increasingly blurring the distinctions between different industries, [as] new competitors are emerging from left field and value resides in the entire arc of customer engagement," according to the report. CMOs must "use data-driven decision making to deliver customer experiences that are personalized, relevant and timely—on a large scale." The report draws comparisons between CMOs who are considered digital "torchbearers" and those who are considered "market followers," and we've included some of those here. More than 720 global CMOs took part in the research.
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Social Media vs. Content: Where Should You Invest?

Social Media vs. Content: Where Should You Invest? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Social media is an umbrella term for a type of marketing channel. Instagram is way different from Facebook, true, but then TV is way different from radio; both are broadcast media—a type of channel. Same with print media: The New Yorker isn't the Watlingsburg Gazette and Mail, or Trout Quarterly—but they're the same type of channel. It's social's social nature, in which every contributor is an equal (more or less—we'll get to the caveats) publisher and consumer, that defines social media as a type of channel. But that's what it is.

Content is what goes out on channels. Take a Shakespeare play—Romeo and Juliet, for example. There's a film version, stage versions, radio plays, TV shows, and probably millions of versions of the play published in print and online as PDF and other text files. That's the same piece of content, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, adapted for different channels. Content is what is published. Channel is how.
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How to pay attention to innovation

How to pay attention to innovation | digitalNow | Scoop.it
To what degree do people across your organization share a vision for innovation and looking ahead? Do they view as a great idea that belongs to someone else? And to what degree is diversity consciously linked to innovation as a resource for new ideas?

Directing attention toward culturally intelligent innovation begins with leadership. Some companies actually appoint someone as the chief innovation officer, but not everyone agrees that’s necessary or helpful. Google executives Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg write, “The Chief Innovation Officer position is doomed to fail because it will never have enough power to create a primordial ooze ... The CEO needs to be the CIO.” Aditya Ghosh, CEO of IndiGo, leads the charge on creating a culture of innovation at the fast-growing Indian airline, where employees at all levels are unafraid to make mistakes and think outside the box. The most important way to prime for culturally intelligent innovation is for the leadership to surround themselves with a diversity of perspectives, utilizing that breadth to drive their own innovative approaches. Innovation needs to be built into every person’s role and across all the systems and processes for product development and implementation.
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Preparing the next generation: A leadership manifesto 

As a leader, there are many actions you can take to welcome this budding generation into the workforce, but doing so starts with your commitment to establishing a process that develops young talent well. Beyond process, your ongoing personal involvement is key, as it encourages everyone in the organization to place the same level of importance on growing talent as you do. This is work that is just as essential as your boardroom discussions and analyst briefings, because it’s work that ensures your organization will thrive into the future.
Defining a “Leadership Manifesto for Talent Development” might be a way to clearly highlight what new hires can expect to experience when they join your company, while establishing your expectations of existing leaders, managers and employees.
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Brain-Based Whiteboard Animation Sparks Customer Engagement

Brain-Based Whiteboard Animation Sparks Customer Engagement | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The Science Behind Attention Spans

When whiteboard animation videos unite the latest discoveries in neuroscience, psychology, and marketing research, they can become one of the most lucrative mediums in your Web marketing toolkit.

Whiteboard animation videos can be used as highly effective explainers and building tools for conversions and customer relationships.

Let's look at the science behind attention spans.

1. Simplicity secures highly focused attention

Cartoons, which are a non-photorealistic style of whiteboard animation, capture and sustain viewers' attention, according to recent experiments. That results in higher conversion rates than other popular video formats.
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Keeping It Real: Staying Out of the Knowledge Dump and Getting to Performance

“In that moment, theory became practice. It was ingrained in me. And, while it might be true that my eye twitches when someone asks me to understand something after the book-slamming experience, I'll always remember—and be thankful for —my professor slamming that book on the table.”
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Speaker highlights importance of positive branding

In order to compete effectively, Nationwide takes a different approach, he said, tying its marketing efforts to the human side of sports stars. Former NFL great Peyton Manning has starred in a series of ads singing the company jingle — “Nationwide is on your side” — with silly lyrics.

In order to have a marketing impact with less, companies must be clever with their resources, he said. By doing so, firms can impact more people with their businesses and services
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How to make the office environment more bearable

Consider two principles, briefly:
Encourage flexibility in methods and settings while all working toward a common goal.
Productivity is not simply about quantity of output or length of work. Quality and efficiency matter, as well as the environments that enable those outcomes.
I can speak to this as someone who works in an office but also spends 20% to 60% of my week working from home. I have a desk, but it’s in an open space without dividers. Almost all of the co-workers I interact with daily are remote; many I’ve never met or even had a phone call with. Work is already flexible; the only question is how we can make it bearable without sacrificing the business.
So, we have off-site people who work in a home office. We surely have folks (freelancers and/or full-timers) working from their couch or bed, or in a coffee shop. Many of them are working for us between other jobs or obligations. In my apartment, I have a dedicated room for work, but it’s only because I recently moved. For the past five years, I worked and lived in roughly the same space.

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Productivity -- A Tool, Not the End Point

Productivity -- A Tool, Not the End Point | digitalNow | Scoop.it
How Efficient Do We Really Need to be?
Productivity itself should be something that relieves some of our stressors, not adds to them. Fretting that we’re not using the right combination of hacks to be at our productive best can add a weight of unnecessary expectation. Feeling that we’re never quite as efficient as out projected selves would be, causes its own sense of frustration.

But how efficient do we really need to be? How much is enough?

There are a multitude of tools and tactics that can help us but we can personalise them. They can be simple. They don’t all need a fancy or exotic name. They don’t require we fill our heads or bookshelves with the words of every productivity ‘guru’ out there.
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Forget Content, Cadence Is King!

Forget content, or for that matter, any other C-word, if you’re a brand utilizing video to engage a consumer marketplace, it’s all about the cadence of your content, not the content per se. That was the main takeaway from Ernie Kelsey, Senior Manager, Regional, Experiential and Social Marketing, American Honda Motor, during his opening keynote at OMMA Video in New York City this morning.

Kelsey, who showed a number of current, as well as some soon-to-be-released videos from the Japanese automaker, said it’s not just the content, but the who, what, when, where and why of how a brand distributes it to its consumers, as well as the emotion and sentiment associated with it.

“People get confused with emotion and emotional,” Kelsey said, adding that the intention of the video campaigns it to leave consumers with a “positive sentiment,” but not necessarily to make them laugh or cry explicitly.
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Failures, Missteps and Discovery: Why Leaders Should Embrace Mistakes

Failures, Missteps and Discovery: Why Leaders Should Embrace Mistakes | digitalNow | Scoop.it
If you want to succeed as a leader, get comfortable with failing.

This concept is a whole lot easier said than done. Platitudes abound in organisations about the learning arising from failure. And yet, when push comes to shove, many organisational cultures demonstrate a serious preoccupation with success. Add the short term (often myopic) focus on bottom line results and it’s no wonder failing gets a hard rap in most companies.

This leadership approach has serious limitations.

Not allowing a certain degree of failure in your organisation impedes learning opportunities.
It kills creative thinking.
It prevents a growth mind-set.
And, it exposes you to being blindsided by your competitors, because you didn’t take risks.

Think about anything you’ve ever mastered in your life, like riding a bike for starters. You failed, you fell over and you floundered long before you reached mastery.

Anything important you’ve discovered about yourself, others or your world probably followed a botch-up of some kind or another.

Why would it be any different in the world of business?
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Step out of your comfort zone to develop trusting work relationships 

Step out of your comfort zone to develop trusting work relationships  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Finding different ways to be in your comfort zone: Like detail work? Pick up a hobby that requires attention to detail, satisfying your craving while allowing your employees to work without your interference. If you like to code or to do math or other detail -oriented work, find ways to do those things outside of work. This will keep you sharp in your area of expertise while continuing to give you some satisfaction doing work you love.

Assuring balance in all areas of your life: It’s easier to leave your comfort zone when you feel like you are paying attention to non-work activities that are important to you. When you’re off-balance, you are pulling against gravity and may tend to continue the behaviors that you are most at ease with. Make sure that you spend enough non-work time doing things that energize you so that you can use your reserve energy to develop those great work relationships that will sustain your leadership and your organization.
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Virtual Reality Is the Real Thing for Marketers

Virtual Reality Is the Real Thing for Marketers | digitalNow | Scoop.it
It’s way too early to say precisely how the promise of VR will be actualized across the entire advertising landscape — particularly when the hardware that produces these virtual experiences is expensive, unwieldy, and has the extra drawback of making its users look downright laughable, almost as though they had strapped a shoebox to their heads. With the exception of a VR player known as the Google Cardboard, they range in price from $100 to $800, and even those high prices are misleading. The reason Facebook gave developers the Samsung Galaxy, which can sell for around $700, is that it’s basically a component of the Gear VR. Users have to put the phone in a special holder at the front of their headset in order to experience virtual reality.
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Common Challenges of Marketing-IT Collaborations 

Common Challenges of Marketing-IT Collaborations  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Today's marketing and IT teams are collaborating on projects more frequently, but working together is challenging. Here's a look at the challenges the teams face and how to overcome them, according to the following infographic by The Creative Group and Robert Half Technology.

The Creative Group surveyed 400 advertising marketing executives; Robert Half Technology surveyed more than 2,400 US chief information officers.

When asked the No. 1 challenge for creative/marketing professionals when collaborating with IT peers, the top responses mentioned communication and working together, and project and execution logistics.

When asked the No. 1 challenge for IT pros when collaborating with creative/marketing peers, the answers were communication and working together, and IT-related challenges.
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U.S. college enrollment is dropping. Bad sign?

U.S. college enrollment is dropping. Bad sign? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
"Historically, as the economy improves and Americans get back to work, college enrollment declines," says U.S. Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell.
But here's what these young people are giving up: College graduates make almost double the salary of workers with only a high school diploma. If you care about the rise in inequality in America, declining college enrollment should alarm you.
"A college degree is the surest ticket to the middle class," President Obama said last year. Now there are 800,000 fewer Americans on that college path to the middle class.
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An Imperfect Test: The Problem with Job Performance Appraisals

An Imperfect Test: The Problem with Job Performance Appraisals | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The thing about performance appraisals is they are ubiquitous. There’s probably nothing in the field of management that is more common. And there’s also almost no practice in the world of business that people hate more. The evidence on this is pretty overwhelming. It’s also surprising how little we actually know about it. There’s an awful lot that’s been done on psychologists with little slices of the performance-appraisal question. Mainly, what psychologists are interested in is, how did the person [doing the] rating and the person being rated get along? And how do the characteristics of the rater and the ratee affect the results? One of the things that we know from this is one of the best predictors of your score is bias. That is, how you and your appraiser map onto each other. Are you similar? [Then] you get higher scores. The more different you are in terms of ethnicity or age or sex, the less well you’re going to do.
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Stop Trying to Grow Influence. Grow this Instead.

Stop Trying to Grow Influence. Grow this Instead. | digitalNow | Scoop.it
What if I told you the path to greater influence isn’t about growing influence at all?

It’s about growing capacity.

Every fear fades when we are confident we have the capacity to face it. I play a game with my children. It’s like hide-and-seek only we play in the dark and I have a flashlight. I hide. They seek. They squeal with delight when I jump out and scare them. But it’s not the same for my older kids. They’ve learned my best hiding places. They know that when I jump out nothing dire will happen. They’re big enough now to get away when I chase them or keep me from tickling them if I catch them. Their capacity has increased. And for them, that’s a game changer.

Increasing your capacity is a game changer for you. To increase your capacity you must:

CARE PASSIONATELY

Passion is contagious. It drives an individual or organization to go further than they imagined possible. Passion is the fuel that inspires action. Influence will grow around those things about which you passionately care.
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How gamification is driving learning space design

How gamification is driving learning space design | digitalNow | Scoop.it
With the advent of gamification as a legitimate tool for engagement, recruitment and enrollment, campuses are reimagining how their learning spaces reflect new instructional approaches.
Gamification is moving from simple trend status to a valid pedagogical approach that can deliver powerful learning experiences in higher education classrooms—and this growth has led to changes in how faculty approach physical learning spaces.

Today’s students demand engaging educational experiences and thrive on stimulation and immediate feedback. As games become integrated into learning, game developers are realizing that many gaming attributes—challenges, rewards, and collaboration, to name just a few—have relevance in the classroom, too.
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How Avoidance Destroys Strategic Initiatives

How Avoidance Destroys Strategic Initiatives | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Avoidance is an extremely common response to strategic initiatives that makes executives put off critical issues. To overcome it, look out for some crucial signs.

By definition, a strategic initiative is an “experiment” and, as Jeff Bezos once said, “If you know it’s going to work, it’s not an experiment.” Wherever there is uncertainty there will be anxiety. But a common way to deal with anxiety is to avoid it. This highlights a conundrum that strategic initiatives present: in situations where greater awareness is most needed there is a powerful force at play that compels people to lose their awareness and “dance around” in order to avoid critical issues. This behaviour is part of a sophisticated protection mechanism that renowned psychologist Edgar Schein refers to as “survival anxiety.”

We all “avoid” to varying degrees. It is part of our human nature. The problem is that when pursuing a strategic initiative, we often need to deal with difficult issues in order for the initiative to succeed. Avoiding these difficult issues can undermine the initiative and, in the worst case, lead to its failure.

By gaining awareness of the act of avoidance, people in leadership roles can minimise this dysfunctional behaviour. We say “minimise” to emphasise the fact that avoidance is not something that leaders should strive to suppress or eradicate. It is a deeply ingrained human behaviour and an important signal to keep us alert to what is going on. This “signal” quality of avoidant behaviour can be harnessed to make us more effective.
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5 evidence-based tips to mental toughness 

Set a super clear goal
Research confirms that the more specific your goal, the better you will perform. General goals are too vague so take the time at the very beginning to think it through so it will become more clear to you.
The goal must be real and important for you to achieve. Do not speculate—that will do nothing but waste your time and valuable energy.
Tips:
Define your need and really mean it.
Describe in detail exactly what you want.
List what you want—it will help you visualize your success.
Define what will interfere in achieving your goal.
Determine the starting point.
Establish a time frame for achieving your goal.
Break down the tasks necessary for completion.
Tell others what you plan to do.
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10 Qualities of the Leaders I Want on My Team

10 Qualities of the Leaders I Want on My Team | digitalNow | Scoop.it
If you were to make a list of the attributes you would want on the members of your leadership team you would likely include such characteristics as:

Go-getter.

Someone who ‘makes it happen’.

High achiever.

Driven to perform.

Results oriented.

If you were to assemble a team with these qualities there’s a good chance this would be a group who could accomplish great things.
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The rise of APIs

The rise of APIs | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Releasing software as an API allows those companies to pursue a number of different adoption routes. Rather than trying to sell specific industry verticals or use cases, often the customer is a developer, leading to an extremely low-friction sales process. The revenue model is almost always recurring, which leads to an inherently scalable business model as the end customers’ usage increases. While the ecosystem of API-based companies is early in its evolution, we believe the attributes of these companies will combine to create ultimately more capital-efficient and profitable business models.

This opportunity is not limited to new upstarts. Existing developers may have the opportunity to expose their own unique functionality as an API, morphing their product from application to platform. Some outstanding companies have built API businesses that match or exceed their original focus: Salesforce reportedly generates 50 percent of its revenues through APIs, eBay nearly 60 percent and Expedia a whopping 90 percent.
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Misconceptions About Boomers May Impact Your Bottom Line

Are you guilty of falsely stereotyping what could be a valuable and sizable customer segment? Here are a few of the most common misconceptions:

1. Baby boomers are not tech-savvy

Both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were born in the boomer years, and their generation was the first to experience the massive productivity increases that technology can drive. 

Baby boomers are just as tech-oriented as are younger generations. Eighty-two percent  of Boomers use Facebook, with 15.5% spending more than 11 hours per week on the site. Boomer women are also one of the fastest-growing categories on Pinterest. They also spend more time consuming and sharing content online than do other demographics. 
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Symbolic leadership: What do you stand for … or where do you sit?

Symbolic leadership: What do you stand for … or where do you sit? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Everything communicates. Walk the talk. Actions speak louder than words.
Leah understands the value of symbolic leadership. She understands that communication is more than spoken words; it’s the Gestalt of the actions we take and how they are interpreted by others.
Through the behaviors they demonstrate (or don’t), actions they take (or don’t), and choices they make (or don’t), leaders send constant and powerful messages to those around them. What they do (or don’t do) telegraphs their values, priorities, and more. And followers are highly attuned to these messages.
Public actions, traditions, rituals and even stories communicate volumes for leaders who use them well. But it’s easy to abuse this leadership strategy. People quickly see through the clever stunts, artificial contrivances and photo-ops of an inauthentic leader trying to manipulate a situation.
Becoming a genuine, skillful, symbolic leader involves more than doing things “for show.” It involves:
Enhancing self-awareness. Displaying leadership rather than gimmickry demands a look deep within. What do I stand for? What are my values? How can I bring life to what matters most? Is my ego or conviction driving me? Is what I’m doing about substance or show? These are the questions symbolic leaders must ask (and answer) before taking any action.
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