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Are you on the road to burnout?

The road to burnout is paved with good intentions. So if you're an idealistic, hardworking, self-motivating achiever with high aspirations and expectations, don't make the mistake of thinking that it can't happen to you.
Don Dea's insight:

 Indeed, these are admirable traits in our culture. It is unreality that is the villain. Unrealistic job aspirations and expectations are doomed to frustration and failure. The burnout candidate's personality keeps him/her striving with single-minded intensity until s/he crashes.

Burnout proceeds by stages that blend and merge into one another so smoothly and imperceptibly that the victim seldom realizes what happened even after it's over.

1. The Honeymoon

During the honeymoon phase, your job is wonderful. You have boundless energy and enthusiasm and all things seem possible. You love the job and the job loves you. You believe it will satisfy all your needs and desires and solve all your problems. You're delighted with your job, your co-workers and the organization.


2. The Awakening

The honeymoon wanes and the awakening stage starts with the realization that your initial expectations were unrealistic. The job isn't working out the way you thought it would. It doesn't satisfy all your needs; your co-workers and the organization are less than perfect; and rewards and recognition are scarce.


As disillusionment and disappointment grow, you become confused. Something is wrong, but you can't quite put your finger on it. Typically, you work even harder to make your dreams come true. But working harder doesn't change anything and you become increasingly tired, bored, and frustrated. You question your competence and ability and start losing your self-confidence.

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David Hain's curator insight, May 25, 2014 6:16 AM

Being strong is being able to bend - but there's always a breaking point!

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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On the dark art of software estimation

On the dark art of software estimation | digitalNow | Scoop.it
So: accept that estimates are always wrong, and your hope/goal/aim is not for them to be correct, but for their errors to cancel out; estimate by feature group, not by feature; and never even seem like you treat estimates as commitments. Do all these things, and while estimation will always remain a gauntlet, it will at least cease to be the lethal minefield it still is for so many.
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The Key to Greater Organizational Agility

The Key to Greater Organizational Agility | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Many people, especially in an organizational or commercial context, get confused between agility and flexibility. They are NOT the same thing.

Organizational agility is about how quickly an organization can change directions, while flexibility in an organization gives it the ability to do different things with the same resources, often by purchasing more flexible equipment (at a higher price) or by training people to do more than one thing (resulting in higher training costs) or by hiring people that are skilled at more than one thing (higher salary/benefit costs). Flexibility definitely has its benefits (being able to shift resources among purposes) but it also has costs like the ones mentioned above, and probably more importantly, flexibility usually decreases the efficiency of systems.

Fixedness on the other hand, reduces variability, allows you to focus on the things that do vary and get really good at executing all aspects of a system, including the acquisition of the very best tools and technology to perform each particular function. But, as you can imagine, fixedness has its downside too. If a human resource goes down due to illness or a piece of production equipment breaks, potentially, the whole system grinds to a halt.

So, as you can imagine, increased organizational agility is achieved by establishing the right balance between flexibility and fixedness.
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 The Changing Customer

 The Changing Customer | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Changing Customer Expectations

It feels as if the world is changing faster than ever before because the expectations of our customers and our expectations as customers are changing faster than ever before. Why?

Because we as consumers are seeing better customer experiences enabled by digital technologies in parts of our personal lives and more efficient and effective business processes in parts of our business lives, we are now expecting every organization (not just companies) and every aspect of that organization to deliver an efficient, effective experience and information exchange in whatever channel we choose, whenever we want to experience it.

This incredible change in expectations is being thrust upon all organizations simultaneously and threatening the very existence of entities that have existed for dozens or even hundreds of years. This discontinuity has created immense technical debt for organizations large and small to overcome and the only way for an incumbent organization to recover and to survive in this new digital age will be to undergo a complete digital transformation.

This doesn’t mean creating a digital strategy to address one part of the organization or a single constituency, but a path to a complete transformation that brings digital approaches to both every part of the organization and its operations, but also to all of its constituencies, at the same time. This means re-imagining every system, every policy, every procedure, and every process as a digital native organization looking to enter and disrupt your industry might, and then make a plan for transforming yourself. This will require IMMENSE amounts of change, and is no small task given the 70% change failure rate, but it is the key to your organization’s survival.
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Ask More Cool Questions … Tell Far Fewer Boring Facts 

Ask More Cool Questions … Tell Far Fewer Boring Facts  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
If I could go back to my first years as teacher, I’d ask more cool (two-footed) questions and tell far fewer boring facts. How so?

Let’s say the lesson was CLOUD FORMATION. I’d skip listing of cloud formations in favor of asking a curiosity builder such as: if you were a cloud – how would you impact nature?

Or to launch a lesson on the CIVIL WAR, I’d leapfrog beyond memorized dates, battles and bad boys – to ask instead, If you had been in charge of leading the civil war, what would you have done differently?

Let’s say the lesson covered CHANGE FROM HUNTING TO FARMING. I’d challenge students with the prompt: If you were a hunter, what advantages would you find in farming?
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Leading with Character: Social Intelligence

Leading with Character: Social Intelligence | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Actions You Can Take to Develop Social Intelligence Among Your Team

Make quick connections with new acquaintances. If you are meeting an individual for the first time, develop the habit of using his or her name several times in the conversation so that you will be more likely to remember it. Another way to remember names is to think of someone else you know who has the same first name as that individual. Connections with others are strengthened when you discover shared interests and experiences. To do this, ask a question such as “what are your interests outside of work?”

Practice active listening. Listen carefully and be present in conversations. When you speak with others, maintain eye contact and don’t get distracted by averting your gaze, daydreaming, or checking your email or telephone. During conversations, pay close attention to what is said, actively ask questions and write down any items you need to remember or follow up on.

Don’t suppress empathy. Mutual empathy is a powerful connector. If an individual you’re interacting with expresses emotion, and it’s appropriate, allow yourself to feel the emotion rather than suppressing it. For example, if the individual shows enthusiasm, try to feel it. If the individual is sad, it’s ok to feel his or her sadness. Feeling another’s pain often reduces it and helps the person feel better.
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Virtual Reality Is Changing Mobile Marketing Forever; You'd Best Keep Pace

Virtual Reality Is Changing Mobile Marketing Forever; You'd Best Keep Pace | digitalNow | Scoop.it
At this year's Mobile World Congress, there were many dazzling new gadgets, engaging talks, and more innovation than should be legal in one location. Marketers could also glean several insights about the future.

The biggest takeaway was that smartphones are now a utility (and a given) much like a television and computer. They aren't the innovative new platform, they're simply the platform.

If you aren't marketing to smartphones users, you aren't marketing at all. And what's growing in popularity among smartphone users right now is virtual reality.

With campaigns aimed at making virtual reality accessible to anyone (such as the recent Coca-Cola packaging that could be folded into a VR viewer), global companies are pushing to make virtual reality a part of everyday life. 

Facebook's multiple appearances on different stages throughout the event drove the message home that marketers who don't get on board will soon be left in the dust.
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Boards: 5 Trends That Require Serious Discussion

five trends that are especially relevant today and “need to be the subject of serious conversation” in every boardroom.

* Fundamental questions about the role of philanthropy as the so-called establishment comes under fire;

* Questioning the traditional approach to endowment management;

* An evolving notion of what good strategy and measurement look like in philanthropy;

* The embracing of – or return to – aligned action among funders (and with other actors); and,

* A new sophistication in considering how to support nonprofits effectively.
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App Fatigue and Other Growing User Issues

App Fatigue and Other Growing User Issues | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Is 2016 the year app fatigue will reach its tipping point? What should CIOs do to adapt to the changing needs of their employees? What will come of the duel between Google and Microsoft, and what implications will it have for future offerings? Can IT decision-makers and information workers reap the benefits with increasingly competitive prices, licensing structures and enhanced product features, innovations and ecosystems? "The way work gets done will continue to shift in 2016," said Mark Mader, CEO of collaboration work management company Smartsheet. "From the transition of bring your own app (BYOA) to bring your own platform (BYOP), to the impact end-user-introduced and managed solutions will have on employee engagement and satisfaction, the agility and flexibility of CIOs to keep up with the changing demands of workers will be pivotal," he said. Mader addresses these topics in his predictions for 2016, which enterprise IT executives and CIOs should watch closely.

 
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What I learned from moving 7 time zones from my company 

Don’t subscribe to the mantra of embracing risk; rather, avoid or mitigate it. Just because your company is successful doesn’t mean you have a license to take unnecessary risks. Risk-taking is overrated and costly.
Granted, every business decision, in essence, comes with some level of risk. The good news? Watching this process unfold from your remote location requires more thorough, in-depth explanation and buy-in.
Stakeholders should understand (and agree) on every part of the equation: the upside, the downside, and the probability of each outcome. In terms of evaluating choice, there’s no getting around this process. And once you’ve established how the entire scope, value add, and ROI projections of a decision are transparently communicated, you’ll find the upshot is more effective business practices and organizational synergy.
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Why IT Speed Is Essential to Business Success

Why IT Speed Is Essential to Business Success | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Business and tech executives said the swift pace of business and tech changes will only continue to increase for the foreseeable future—and that their organization responds too slowly to these shifts, according to a recently released survey from CEB. The resulting report, titled "Executive Guidance for 2016: Accelerating Corporate Clock Speed," indicates that there's plenty of blame to go around for these delays, as "handoff breakdowns" occur within IT, business, finance, legal and outside vendors and third parties. Such snags need to be overcome, lest companies fall behind in entering new markets, keeping up with new competitors and addressing regulatory requirements. "Enterprises must move faster to stay competitive and to manage emerging risks, and technology is increasingly the rate-determining factor,'' according to the report. "To ensure that technology clock speed accelerates rather than inhibits corporate speed, business leaders must create faster, more streamlined handoffs between all the groups involved in delivering new technologies. They need to streamline processes and methodologies so that most technologies are fast-tracked while the few that are risky or expensive get the scrutiny they deserve … These actions cannot be left to the CIO or to technology vendors and consultants. All members of the leadership team must recognize how their decisions and demands influence speed." More than 3,260 global executives took part in the research. The report includes additional research from MIT Sloan Management Review and other publications and organizations, and we've included some of those findings here.
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To improve CX, companies must rethink the customer journey to cater to Gen C

To improve CX, companies must rethink the customer journey to cater to Gen C | digitalNow | Scoop.it
To improve CX, companies must develop an understanding of the fractured, real-time customer journeys that Gen C consumers undergo to foster personal and shareable experiences. However, companies have relied on the traditional funnel as a starting point for improving customer experiences. Over the years, businesses have assumed that consumers take a linear path of awareness, interest, desire and, ultimately, action. But mobile changed the customer journey and research shows that the traditional funnel is dangerously outdated. In my research at Altimeter Group, now part of the Prophet company, I learned that the customer journey for connected customers is far more dynamic than most businesses realize. It’s rife with new patterns, expectations, resources of information, forms of media and screens, which is rendering the sales funnel frustrating at best. In fact, many journeys, even if modernized, compromise expectations and force connected customers back in time.
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Assessing cyber risk: Critical questions for the board and the C-suite 

Assessing cyber risk: Critical questions for the board and the C-suite  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Critical questions for the board and the C-suite
The evolving threat landscape means organizations today must worry about far more than fraud and theft. As attackers become highly organized and also focus their attention on disrupting services, destroying your data, and holding your systems to ransom, the risk challenges grow more complex—with regulatory fines, legal damages, loss of trust, and reputation damage becoming part of the equation.
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Humble Inquiry is the first and most important step in building any kind of relationship 

Some people seem to think that Knowledge Management is dying or has died but it hasn't - it is alive and well. One of the reasons for this misconception is that so much that falls in the realm of Knowledge Management masquerades in another form or under another name.

Humble Inquiry - a term invented by Edgar Schein is one such example.

Edgar has written a book on the subject Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling and you will find a substantial excerpt of it online.

Quite simply, in Edgar's words, "Humble Inquiry is asking the question to which you already don't know the answer, bolstered by an attitude of inquiry, an attitude of interest in the other person, a curiosity."

He goes on to say that "And the importance of that very curiosity, that interest in the other person, is precisely why Humble Inquiry is the first and most important step in building any kind of relationship, whether you are just making a new friendship or wooing a girl or trying to talk to a team-mate on a more personal basis. It should usually almost always start with some form of Humble Inquiry."

Watch this video, where Edgar explains what it is all about, and notice this is not just at the heart of KM but about face-to-face conversation and relationship building - something that Conversational Leadership is all about too :-)
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Welcome to the post-app world?

Welcome to the post-app world? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Forcing a terrible choice

Apps provide an increasingly lousy way to get to what we want. Apple confidently says the future of TV is apps, which is stupid in the extreme. They merely replicate the false, anachronistic structure of the world of the TV channel.

Do I watch AMC or Breaking Bad? Do I want to see Superbowl or tune into CBS? Modern relationships are with the content, not the curator or the pipe. Can you imagine downloading 20 record label apps in order to get our music, and then needing to switch between them?

It’s the same with communications. Back in 2006, I could either call or text anyone in my contact list: a simple choice to make. Now with Viber, Line, WeChat, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Twitter and a million other ways to reach someone, I first need to pick the app before I select the person that I want to reach… and then hope that it’s the one which they’re on.

When I want to travel to the airport, I unfailingly want a car to take me there. I don’t want to choose the provider, then the size of the the car, then its destination.

This brings up the first mechanism for the future: aggregation.
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 The Eight Change Mindsets

Building and Maintaining Momentum

There are many different reasons why people will do the right thing to help you build and maintain the momentum for your change initiative and to help you achieve sustained, collective momentum. The key to building and maintaining momentum is to understand and harness the different mindsets that cause people to choose change; these include:

1. Mover ’n’ Shaker

give these people the chance to be first
2. Thrill Seeker

these people like to try new things and experiment
3. Mission-Driven

these people need reasons to believe
4. Action-Oriented

these people just want to know what needs to be done
5. Expert-Minded

teach these people how to do it, and they will seek mastery
6. Reward-Hungry
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Brain Based Tasks for Older Learners 

Enter six little namungos with big brainy ideas for your next class! These fun, fantasy characters with real brain parts come equipped to lead your learners into dynamic action on any topic. The best part? Every student comes to class with all they need to reach higher and brainier benchmarks!

In this video you’ll find brain-friendly discoveries that help you to nudge more genius opportunities into any learning circle. It’s fun too! Have you noticed for instance,  how students love to accomplish things never before accomplished by using parts of their brain never before used?

Enjoy these easy-to-launch brain based tasks to reach your next learning adventures. They’re each designed to unleash hidden and unused intelligences. Worth a go?
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The Benefits of Writing By Hand

The Benefits of Writing By Hand | digitalNow | Scoop.it
While most students can type much faster than they can write by hand, this doesn't mean it's a better way to take notes. While it's true that people who take notes with a laptop will, on average, take more notes than those who write notes by hand, there is a difference in memory retention that is reliant on the medium the notes are taken in. According to the Scientific American three experiments were done by Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer that tested different aspects of the handwritten word. In one study they had half the subjects take notes on a lesson with laptops and the other half take notes with pen and paper. While those with pen and paper took considerably fewer notes, they nevertheless showed a stronger conceptual understanding of the material. They were also more successful when asked to apply said knowledge.
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Leading with Character: Creativity

Leading with Character: Creativity | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Actions You Can Take to Develop Creativity Among Your Team

Encourage, respect and reward new thinking. It takes courage for your team members to bring up a new idea or a fresh perspective. By making sure that you are open to new ideas, and that you suspend judgment during the idea generation phase, you’ll be encouraging people to think about things a little differently. Take it a little further and encourage your team to build on and explore each other’s ideas, even the ones that might sound a little odd at first. Dismissing ideas too soon is a sure way of losing the best solutions and suppressing creative thinking. And remember to recognize people for their contributions and ideas.

Believe in the capabilities your team. Expect the best from your team, keep your expectations high yet realistic and your team will be inspired to perform at their best. In terms of creativity, a group is more likely to come up with innovative solutions if you believe they can. Just remember your optimism needs to be realistic, so raise the bar for top performance one step at a time.

Try the “six hats” technique. The “six hats” technique involves looking at a problem from six differing perspectives. By doing this, you’ll produce more ideas than you might have had you only looked at the situation from one or two points of view.

White Hat: Look at the situation objectively. What are the facts?
Yellow Hat: Use a positive perspective. Which elements of the solution will work?
Black Hat: Use a negative perspective. Which elements of the solution won’t work?
Red Hat: Look at the situation emotionally. What do your feelings tell you?
Green Hat: Think creatively. What are some alternative ideas?
Blue Hat: Think broadly. What is the best overall solution?
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Why Nonprofits Never Have Enough Money

Why Nonprofits Never Have Enough Money | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Executive Directors like my client are afraid of two key things:

The board will micromanage the process and the numbers. They’ll walk among the trees and forget they are supposed to be forest people.
The board will believe the revenue numbers are too aggressive or too conservative and never once mention its own responsibility in where those numbers will wind up.
So the way it ends up working most of the time is this:

The staff has some tough conversations.
They present a neat and tidy budget to the Finance Committee (you do have one, don’t you?)
The Finance Committee asks a few good questions, typically about the revenue assumptions.
The program side asks a question or two – cost of benefits, or sometimes the totally dreaded questions about whether someone is overpaid.
Guess what? This isn’t how it should look at all. What should budgeting for nonprofits look like? I’ll tell you.
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What Do Knowledge Workers Need to Succeed?

What Do Knowledge Workers Need to Succeed? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Thanks to rapid technological shifts and market changes, their job roles are constantly evolving, and they place more value on mission-supporting results rather than simply "clocking in" from 9 to 5. Also, many of these individuals believe that an ideal work space doesn't exist in a traditional office. Who are we describing? Knowledge workers, the vast majority of whom are seeking informal working environments that are less "controlling," according to a recent survey from Unify. The resulting report, "The Way We Work," defines knowledge workers as people who "think for a living" and engage with technology day-to-day. Most indicate that they're working as part of a virtual team more than ever. To stay connected, they depend on a mix of traditional technology tools (such as email) and newer cloud-based, on-demand solutions. These tools enable the workers to think more creatively and make quicker decisions. "Work is so much more complicated today than just the hours put in during any given day," writes Jon Pritchard, CEO at Unify, in the report's introduction. "In the average office, knowledge workers … have to contend with generational gaps, digital transformations, the on-demand economy, the fast evolving nature of work, frustrating technology and the growing realization that many of their jobs won't be in existence in the future. … As business leaders, we need to start shaping our businesses, our office spaces and the communications tools within them to suit the modern knowledge worker—or [we] stand a real risk of losing our top talent." An estimated 9,000 global employees took part in the research, which was conducted by Censuswide.
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12 nonverbal ways to improve speeches and interviews

12 nonverbal ways to improve speeches and interviews | digitalNow | Scoop.it
1. Rehearse.


When leaders prepare, they should practice in order to "develop the kind of muscle memory of the speech, of the rhythm of a speech," says Jeff Shesol, founding partner of West Wing Writers.

"Even if you're a naturally a good speaker, simply the act of having said it out loud even just once, but ideally more than once, really without any guidance, will improve your delivery," he says.

This helps them determine where the pauses and emphases are. They also might sense where the speech drags and should be cut.

2. Relax.

"Some people talk with their hands; some don't," says Drew Keller, president of StoryGuide.net and an Emmy-nominated PBS writer and editor. "Typically, the more anxious they are, the more stressed they are, the stiffer they are."

Keller reminds interview subjects that in his medium—video—he usually isn't recording live. If they don't like the way they said something, he can start over.


3. Pace yourself.


When people get nervous, they talk more
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What’s Your Organization’s Values Operating System?

What values does your organization hold dear?

Every organization has values, just as every human has values. Some organizations have values that encourage an “I win, you lose” dynamic. Some embrace a “service to others” environment. Some emphasize “results, results, results” while others embrace a family and teamwork dynamic.

We see a wide range of values demonstrated in organizations, large and small, around the globe. Values are the foundation of an organization’s culture – for better or worse.

The challenge is that most leaders – senior executives, directors, small business owners, team leaders, regional heads, etc. – do not pay attention to the health and quality of their organization’s culture.

They’ve never been asked to do that. They may not know how. The vital metrics that leaders are typically held accountable for are performance metrics. It is rare for leaders to be held accountable for the quality of their work environment or for happy, engaged employees.
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The Cost of Waiting

What happens when we wait? Logical consequences happen. Logical consequences are things that naturally occur in work and life. If you do (or don’t do) “X” then “Z” naturally occurs. There are good and bad logical consequences.

What is a logical consequence of deferred furnace replacement? You saved money but you froze a couple of nights. Logical consequences of an unhealthy diet? Diabetes, heart trouble, obesity, and worse.

One business issue that is too frequently deferred is dealing with a lousy culture. Business leaders reach out to me because they’ve read my book or my articles, listened to my podcast, or heard me speak. They know their business culture is unhealthy. They’ve tried a number of things but nothing changed. They know they need outside expertise to guide them to a safe, inspiring, productive culture.

My job is to educate leaders on my proven process. My approach outlines specific phases that business leaders must drive. They can’t delegate the responsibility for culture refinement to anyone else.

Most embrace this responsibility. They let me serve as a behind-the-scenes coach so they can define, live, and enjoy their desired culture. Engagement, service, and results grow.
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5 Email Marketing Myths Debunked

Myth 1: Email Marketing is Not Effective Anymore

Reality: Email marketing might actually be one of the most effective tools out there. And it seems to be becoming even more effective in an increasingly mobile society.

According to an article by Aaron Beashel, an email is 6x more likely to get a click-through than a tweet. An email is also 5x more likely to be seen than a Facebook post. Beashel writes that email drives “more conversions than other marketing channels, including search and social”.

An article from the Campaign Monitor explains that for every dollar spent on email marketing, the average company sees a return of investment of $38. It also suggests that email is 40x better than Facebook or Twitter for acquiring new customers.

Not only is email marketing effective, it seems like people prefer it: 72% of people prefer to receive promotional content through email. In comparison, only 17% prefer receiving promotional content via social media.

“Consumers prefer email marketing because they are in control and they trust brands to respect their preferences,” said Bryan Wade, Salesforce Marketing Cloud SVP and Chief Product Officer, in a Q&A. “And they’re in control of email because marketers have rightfully given them that control, allowing customers to manage preferences and unsubscribes”.
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CEOs and Social Media: What the Public Expects of Leaders 

CEOs and Social Media: What the Public Expects of Leaders  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Americans say senior business leaders should have public-facing social media accounts, according to recent research from G&S Business Communications and Harris Poll.

The report was based on data from a survey conducted between March 24 and March 29, 2016 among 2,018 US adults (age 18 and older).

Some 39% of respondents say they follow business leaders online.

Additional key findings from the survey:

64% of respondents say business leaders at large companies should not share personal opinions on social media.
36% of respondents want business leaders to address their company's vision on social media.
35% want CEOs to talk about products and services.
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