There are three requirements for an executable leadership strategy:
A leadership selection system, to ensure the hiring and promotion of the leaders the business really needs. Leadership development efforts that support leaders at all levels so they can adapt as the business transforms. A succession management process that identifies, accelerates, and supports the identification and accelerated growth of the next generation of leaders. Each of these requirements plays a vital role in supporting your leadership strategy bridge. You need to review all programs and processes to determine if they support the leadership strategy, if they are neutral, or if they could be potential barriers. This review allows for the construction of an action plan that will maintain, improve, or eliminate programs, systems, or processes as well as determine what needs to be built and when. At this stage, roles and responsibilities should be clarified and modified as necessary.
What do you know now that you wish you had known earlier in your career?
The audience is on your side. “The audience is rooting for you; they will look past minor mistakes, so don’t focus on perfection. Instead, focus on the audience and giving them something of value, rather than trying to ‘survive’ a presentation. When it’s the latter, the audience wants it to be over even before you do!” -- Jeff Lennard Be yourself to achieve your goals. “Today, I know that success comes from within and not from others. Being my authentic self is the true path to success.” -- Andrea Conners, president, Athena International The more you do it, the easier it gets. “Presenting may be scary, but it won’t kill you! This is coming from someone who was terrified of public speaking. Get out of your comfort zone and embrace opportunities to speak in public, because the more you do it the more comfortable you become.” – Vicki Redding
The email marketing trends in 2017 would see the shorter body of the emails, context driven messaging, and the tone of the emails would be more conversational. Emails may be complemented by chatbots. Heat map studies would be more in vogue that enables the understanding of users’ habit patterns and which subject lines, users are focusing on.
More of email automation would be used with the machines matching the subscribers with content. This would also encourage cross-channel data to be leveraged even more with increased adoption of lead scoring data. With the emails getting shorter with more attention-grabbing subject lines and more contextual content, the call-to-action would be more clear and compelling. Thus, staying relevant is where the challenge would lie. It is already a fact that the emails are viewed more on mobile phones and thus they would be compatible with the devices used depending on the usage of the target segment.
SEO is an ever-evolving field as the search engine algorithm is improving with newer changes in the way things used to happen earlier. In this context, the usage of the schema as a markup is gradually stealing the show with the changes in the Google algorithm along with the users’ trends. Use of schema makes it comparatively easier for the search engines to assess your website which increases the probability of being shown up with any query.
The tendency of Google is to improve the ways in facilitating the users with what they want through their query. As Google’s algorithm and search pattern change as it has, through 2016, usage of the schema is bound to increase in 2017. Google has been observed to use more of Quick Answers that has grown from 22% from the end of December 2014 to over 40% at the beginning of 2016. Schema helps in making the context and purpose of the website clear to Google so that the content is clearer for the snippet boxes to understand.
Establish clarity. Standards reflect values, so before you establish or change them you need to know with certainty what’s most important to you and communicate that with clarity. When you’re clear on values, making decisions becomes much simpler. Show self-respect. Never lower your standards for anyone or anything. The self-respect that comes with firm standards is everything. Whatever everyone around you is doing, stay true to your ideals. Do what you need to do and do it with meaning and purpose. Passionately protest mediocrity. “Good enough” are some of the most dangerous words a leader can hear. Nothing great was ever established on a foundation of mediocrity. Always demand more from yourself than anyone else could ever expect. Never let anyone tell you your standards are too high. There’s nothing wrong with wanting the best for yourself and your team. When you shift your standards you create change—positive change when you raise standards, negative change when you lower them. Protect your standards. Make sure people know what’s expected, and be consistent in enforcing those expectations. If you allow disrespect, that’s what you’ll receive. Never apologize for demanding excellence. Never apologize for high standards. Those who rise up to meet them are the ones you want around you; those who try and need help are the ones you can work with; and the ones who reject it aren’t your people anyway. Lead from within: When it comes to standards, one thing I’ve found to be true: However high or low you place your standards, that’s how far people will rise.
We have recently witnessed a few highly visible examples of attempts to silence someone. Unfortunately, attempting to silence anyone will more often than not have unintended consequences, as we have seen in both the cases of Milo Yiannopulos being prevented from speaking by riots at University of California and Elizabeth Warren being silenced by Rule 19 on the Senate floor.
Whether you agree or disagree with either of them, in the United States our Constitution expressly empowers freedom of speech.
The right to speak up is more than a constitutional amendment — it is a cultural commitment and a widely embraced norm at many levels of our society.
Shut someone’s voice down, no matter how much you dislike or are offended by the message or the messenger, and you are more likely to draw attention to the very thing you wanted to silence than achieve the objective of actually keeping them quiet. There’s a actually a name for this phenomena. It’s been called The Streisand Effect.
However, this applies not only in the public arena. It applies behind the walls of organizations large and small, as well. Attempts to stifle dissent and discord only drive those conversations, and the emotions they evoke, into the shadows. This actually tends to build the pressure of the discontent rather than quell it. More often than not, it’s only a matter of time until the tension building beneath the surface will blow.
And even if it doesn’t, you can get there—but you may need to adjust your thinking first. 1. Curious. Great leaders are always curious. They never turn down the opportunity to learn new things, and they know that an opportunity to learn can come at any time. A curious mind and love of learning are part of any great leadership. 2. Positive. Great leaders know the importance of positivity. When you have to deal with the reality of life it can be easy to become pessimistic—but great leadership requires a mindset that can turn what is bad into good, what is negative into positive. 3. Attentive. A great leader is a great listener. Many of us who know the importance of communication focus on speaking and writing well but forget about the critical skill of listening. Great leadership means making yourself into a great listener and encouraging others to share their thoughts. 4. Open. Great leaders are open—to people, ideas and opportunities. If you allow people to come to you with their thoughts and ideas and visions and you listen and you take it all to heart, you have the right mindset for great leadership. 5. Empathetic. Empathy is among the most important leadership skills—it allows leaders to connect and quickly tune in to how others are feeling. Showing care and compassion to others is part of great leadership. 6. Resourceful. Great leaders know how to tap into resources. As John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” Leaders know how to use whatever’s at hand and make the best of any situation. If people look to you in times of crisis, you have the resourceful mindset of a great leader. 7. Flexible. Great leaders know change is inevitable. They’re ready for anything the future brings because they embrace the very concept of change, and they never waste time trying to uphold the status quo. Great leadership means rolling with the changes. 8. Communicative. The best leaders communicate clearly and concisely. Whether it’s your long-range vision, your thoughts and opinions on a current situation, or even bad news, you need to communica
The biggest lie that HR ever told the world is that it’s important to treat people equally. That’s important to the people who manage risk, but not to the people who are responsible for organizational results and performance.
You know the reality. 20% of your employees produce 80% of the value/profit. We’ll call those people the naturals. You got lucky when you hired them, because your “interview process” couldn’t have possible told you they were going to be that good. You’re lucky.
On the flip side of that, 20% of your employees aren’t really cutting it. Sure, maybe your managers gave them a “meets” so they could deliver their 2.8% merit increase, but you know the truth. Below average. You weren’t so lucky when you hired them. Same interview process—if you’re going to take credit for the good ones, you’ve got to take the blame for the bad ones.
What about the performance of the 60% in the middle? How do you get max performance out of them? That’s where it gets interesting…
Let’s talk about Employee Development Plans (EDPs) for the 60% of your employees in the middle. In my experience, that’s where the money is. The naturals at the top of the food chain don’t need your help. The people at the bottom aren’t great investments. The middle? Yeah, that’s probably where your mind needs to be.
Here are my super-secret cliff notes related to EDPs for the middle of your performance bell curve:
1. If you want to get max performance out of your company, don’t focus EDPs on skills and investments that help employees in the middle give you average performance. You need to focus on unlocking potential—by making investments and forcing them to target self-directed activities that are designed to unlock high/great/exceeds performance.
2. Your biggest barrier to making that happen is the set up of your performance management methodology. You need more than a Tony Robbins video. You need some elements that set you up for success, which follow below.
Much has been made about people living in bubbles without empathy for people outside the bubble. With thousands of media outlets, living in a bubble has never been easier. People are choosing outlets they affiliate with, that reinforce their current beliefs, and that limit their exposure to a wider array of perspectives. Media segmentation perpetuates our deeply divided bubbles, but major differences of opinion have always existed. Our bubbles made it easier to ignore them. We stifled conversations based on religion, politics, and personal issues in the workplace -- and even in our personal lives. Our differences never found the light of day, remaining hidden and festering in the darkness. Until now.
More than 70 percent of transformation programs fail.14 While the decisions covered in this article go a long way toward improving the odds, loss of momentum can undo even the best transformation efforts. To forestall that possibility, CEOs should carefully decide how to sequence the transformation for quick wins that yield revenue payoffs and reduce costs, gains that can then be reinvested. One e-tailer, for example, unlocked $300 million in just five months by prioritizing initiatives with the fastest payback. That turned into more than $800 million within a year, thanks to momentum from the early windfall.
Effective sequencing requires clear criteria to evaluate the potential payoff of various parts of the transformation initiative. These should include a hard-nosed assessment of projected benefits, the time needed to capture them, dependencies, investments required, and impact on the overall transformation journey. Sequencing with an eye toward cumulative effect is also necessary, so the business builds towards a cohesive digital whole rather than a jumble of loosely affiliated programs, which can undermine the ultimate benefits of scale.
Living in integrity and being your word is essential for occurring as trustworthy to others. People are willing to trust those who occur as trustworthy. When we trust people, we are willing to speak honestly with them, which promotes interconnectedness, intimacy, and synchronicity. This leads to a feeling of oneness and unity. People do not trust others who are not true to their word, resulting in guarded communications and relationships.
To keep up with rapid technology cycles and improve their multiplatform marketing efforts, companies need to take a different approach to managing the consumer decision journey—one that embraces the speed that digitization brings and focuses on capabilities in three areas:
Discover. Many of the executives we’ve spoken with admit they are still more facile with data capture than data crunching. Companies must apply advanced analytics to the large amount of structured and unstructured data at their disposal to gain a 360-degree view of their customers. Their engagement strategies should be based on an empirical analysis of customers’ recent behaviors and past experiences with the company, as well as the signals embedded in customers’ mobile or social-media data. Design. Consumers now have much more control over where they will focus their attention, so companies need to craft a compelling customer experience in which all interactions are expressly tailored to a customer’s stage in his or her decision journey. Deliver. “Always on” marketing programs, in which companies engage with customers in exactly the right way at any contact point along the journey, require agile teams of experts in analytics and information technologies, marketing, and experience design. These cross-functional teams need strong collaborative and communication skills and a relentless commitment to iterative testing, learning, and scaling—at a pace that many companies may find challenging.
Our examination of the digital performance of major corporations points to four lessons in which we have increasing confidence:
First, incumbents must think carefully about the strategy available to them. The number of companies that can operate as pure-play disrupters at global scale—such as Spotify, Square, and Uber—are few in number. Rarer still are the ecosystem shapers that set de facto standards and gain command of the universal control points created by hyperscaling digital platforms. Ninety-five to 99 percent of incumbent companies must choose a different path, not by “doing digital” on the margin of their established businesses but by wholeheartedly committing themselves to a clear strategy. Second, success depends on the ability to invest in relevant digital capabilities that are well aligned with strategy—and to do so at scale. The right capabilities help you keep pace with your customers as digitization transforms the way they research and consider products and services, interact, and make purchases on the digital consumer decision journey. Third, while technical capabilities—such as big data analytics, digital content management, and search-engine optimization—are crucial, a strong and adaptive culture can help make up for a lack of them. Fourth, companies need to align their organizational structures, talent development, funding mechanisms, and key performance indicators (KPIs) with the digital strategy they’ve chosen.
Self-management and the leader’s desire for control
We typically prefer certainty—the more we know about the outcome of a situation in advance, the better we feel—and a consequence of this for leaders is that they can be reluctant to cede decision-making authority. Leaders may also believe that the perspective from their vantage point (or the expertise that helped them get there) allows them to make better decisions than others--and at times this is actually true, although certainly not always. And leaders tend to have a high need for power; this does not mean that they need to display (much less abuse) that power, but they care more about having impact and less about being liked than the typical person.
As a result, leaders often feel some discomfort or resistance when they initially consider alternatives to centralized decision-making. It’s simpler and more comforting to make the decisions themselves and instruct others to carry them out. This arrangement may work well at a small scale or in a venture’s early stages, but it breaks down once the organization begins to grow. The leader may still be the expert, but now they’re also the bottleneck. Or they’re no longer the expert, because they’re at a greater distance from the work, and their need for power is resulting in sub-optimal decisions. Or the leader’s desire for control is clashing with others’ desire for control, and employees feel disempowered and demotivated.
We call this strategy the uncertainty advantage. It’s an approach in which corporate leaders leverage disruptive change by making targeted, bold moves toward new market opportunities. Many companies confront risk with a tactical framework based on mitigating and managing the potential consequences (as in the common expression of passivity, “We’ll manage”), but that approach might build bigger protective walls without guarding against the greatest risks — the ones that are unknown. The uncertainty advantage is something different: a strategy that compels managers to perceive the unknown as a market differentiator and an opportunity to unleash innovative solutions that appeal to customers, investors, strategic partners, regulators, and competitors. In short, it is a chance to go well beyond the typical meaning of risk management — that is, seeking ways to achieve the best of the worst outcomes — to create new and sustainable value out of confusion.
A certain amount of tunnel vision is necessary to get things done nowadays, with incessantly pinging phones and scrolling social-media timelines providing powerful distractions. The line between true multitasking – in which being “in the zone” helps you make better decisions across the board – and spreading your attention too thin can be blurry. Luckily, there are ways to harness self-control spillover without potentially short-changing important tasks.
Next time you need a boost in concentration, try listening to music at a very low volume as you work. The activity of mentally cancelling out the sound should be enough to tap the brain’s enormous reserves of willpower and focus.
While no one can stay “in the zone” indefinitely, our research implies that with careful planning, you may be able to prolong these periods of heightened productivity. In sum, we show that the brain seems more capable of negotiating the various self-control challenges of contemporary life than previously assumed. That means we may have less to fear from digital technology and its unceasing demands on our attention than we thought
Marketers need to understand this new type of shopper. If you are not adjusting your strategies to keep pace with this new reality, you could be setting your brand up for missed opportunities.
Here’s a quick overview:
Webrooming Consumers: research products online before buying them in a physical store. (78% of consumers say they have webroomed in the past 12 months.) Showrooming Consumers: visit store(s) to examine a product before buying it online. (72% of consumers say they have showroomed in the past 12 months.) Understanding why consumers engage in these practices is critical for strategy development. Per the Forrester study,
Webroomers don’t want to pay for delivery and want instant gratification. Showroomers want to touch and feel a product prior to purchasing. What can marketers do to engage this new shopper? In a Think with Google report it was noted that 82% of shoppers say they consult their phones on purchases they’re about to make in a store.
Beauty retailer Sephora has embraced the showrooming and webrooming concept. Mark Alexander, director of mobile product management at Sephora USA Inc. commented, “Mobile continues to be our fastest growing channel,” Alexander says. “We’re really excited about what mobile can do for online and in-store sales.”
Conflict as a Marketing Tool (CAMT) has its roots not in marketing but in screenplay writing. You will find frameworks for screenplay writing in textbooks on the subject — Syd Field’s Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting is generally acknowledged as an authoritative source. Field details how nearly all screenplays can be broadly divided into three sections: setup, conflict and resolution.
“Setup” consists of the introduction of the characters, the stage, the setting, the situation and the various relationships – that is, the background to the entire story. “Conflict” is the backbone of all screenplays; without it, the story becomes a yawn. Whether it’s Romeo and Juliet, The Godfather, a soap opera or even religious texts such as the Bible and the Ramayana, without conflict, the narrative would not come alive. Finally, of course, there’s “resolution” – does it end in tragedy or does all end well?
Our leadership becomes a richer and deeper experience – we are more likely to feel like we are part of a cause that is greater than ourselves. We have a much better understanding of the day to day lives of our teammates and staff, and that gives us insights that allow us greater clarity and wisdom as we set policy and implement strategies.
KISSSSSSSSSS. They know how important it is to keep it: Spontaneous: You don’t have to wait for the annual meeting, certificate season, or even for your regular one-on-one sessions. Catch people doing things right and seize the moment right there in the workflow to express appreciation. Swift: Recognition need not be time-consuming. In fact, if it takes longer than 60 seconds, you’ve likely not thought it through carefully enough. Strategic: Since recognition encourages people to repeat the appreciated actions, consider carefully what you praise. Identify the behaviors and results that are required to drive departmental or organizational results, and shine the light squarely on those. Specific: Since recognition will drive future focus and effort, make sure that people know precisely the act, behavior, or result you appreciate. The generic “good job” or pat on the back is unsatisfying and unproductive. Sincere: Authentic, genuine, heartfelt appreciation is a powerful motivator. A simply, sincere “thank you” can touch others in a profound way and initiates ripples that have a positive effect on relationships and results. Singularly focused: Recognition is not an excuse to share criticism or suggestions for performance improvement. Mixing the two eclipses your praise. So keep this space sacred and exclusively positive, saving save constructive feedback for another time. Special: Keep in mind that recognition is in the “eye of the recognized.” So, personalize, personalize, personalize. Some people love the public praise and others wither under the spotlight. Consider the individual and choose your approach accordingly.
So what is thinking strategically anyway? I believe it’s all of the below:
It’s making a plan in pursuit of the broader business objectives at play Asking why you’re being asked to do what you’re doing and identifying the broader business objective. Then designing a plan of attack. Finally, determining how to monitor progress against that overarching business objective so you get early data on what’s going well and where you need to pivot. It’s making tradeoffs along the way in pursuit of that broader objective Seeing the world as it is and confronting brutal realities Being willing to sacrifice where necessary Balancing the needs of the short-term and long-term in pursuit of the business objective It’s reevaluating the plan and pivoting in the moment, when necessary Always thinking two steps ahead of the next issue Maintaining the flexibility to respond in the moment, even if it means a new plan. Do those things above, and you’ll be thinking strategically. What other advice do you have about this ambiguous concept that we all discuss so casually?
Four guidelines to build the bridge for dialogue: 1. One person must reach out first, so it might as well be you. Stop waiting to be invited. 2. Make it clear that you simply seek understanding. You are not trying to change the other person’s views and you don’t want them to try to change yours. You might need to repeat that a few times, for the benefit of the other person as well as yourself. 3. Take the time to listen fully. Seeking understanding demonstrates your openness and establishes trust that you’re not trying to change them. And when you listen, you are likely to learn some important things about the other person, and perhaps even your own views. 4. Don’t jump in with your views. Wait to be asked. If the other person is not receptive to listening to your views, it’s a waste of time anyways. If the other person doesn’t ask for your views. Be patient. If you establish a bridge, there will be opportunity for more conversations in the future.
These decisions occur in the four phases of a successful digital transformation program:
Discovering the ambition for the business based on where value is migrating Designing a transformation program that targets profitable customer journeys Delivering the change through an ecosystem of partners De-risking the transformation process to maximize the chances of success
Evidence has begun emerging, however, that consumer bonds with many brands is simultaneously slipping, with active engagement in those same loyalty programs falling by 2 percentage points and 58 percent of loyalty members not using use the programs for which they are signed up. We see such data as an important signal that new technologies and greater choice are changing how consumers are thinking and acting across their consumer journeys. As one executive puts it, “In the digital world, your consumers can’t help but shop around.” The past few years have seen exponential growth in tools that have made researching and purchasing products online vastly easier. An explosion of mobile shopping apps that showcase options, simplify pricing, compare product specifications, and facilitate peer reviews is making it possible to size up brands effortlessly. In addition, social media lets consumers know exactly what their friends are buying and what they like and don’t like about those purchases. The sheer weight of all this encourages even your best consumers to shop around and changes paradigms that marketers have counted on for years.
How can a CIO or other enterprise leader determine when, where and how to put data scientists to work? How do executives approach the space? And how is the field evolving? While there are no simple answers and no one-size-fits-all approach, experts say there are ways to tap into the talents of data scientists and citizen data scientists, while also keeping a budget in check. The growing breed of citizen data scientists often don't have a technology background and usually work in a line-of-business department. However, many work collaboratively with data scientists in the IT organization to create projects that have business value. Promoting Data Scientists as Value Creators
CIOs should focus on several essential issues, notes Dorman Bazzell, vice president and Americas Practice Lead for Insights & Analytics at Hitachi Consulting. Ideally, these tech executives should provide data scientists with access to a broad range of data; create flexible repositories of pre-managed data; make sure data scientists have access to data with high integrity; ensure that data scientists understand the goals of an initiative; and fully leverage the value of data science by attempting to build an analytics-driven culture within an organization. The upshot? "Organizations would do well to begin promoting data science and its practitioners as value creators [that] foster a data-driven culture," Bazzell says. This, ultimately leads to "higher-value analytics that impact organizational effectiveness, including revenue optimization, customer satisfaction, product development and risk identification." Unfortunately, the task is easier said than done. "T
As digitization penetrates more fully, it will dampen revenue and profit growth for some, particularly the bottom quartile of companies, according to our research, while the top quartile captures disproportionate gains. Bold, tightly integrated digital strategies will be the biggest differentiator between companies that win and companies that don’t, and the biggest payouts will go to those that initiate digital disruptions. Fast-followers with operational excellence and superior organizational health won’t be far behind.
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