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Eight entrepreneurial truths

Separating truth from fiction can be difficult, but here are eight essential truths extracted from entrepreneurial encounters and experiences.
Don Dea's insight:

There are a host of competency studies, research into the characteristics and personalities of entrepreneurs, plus a steady stream of books analysing the careers of successful entrepreneurs. Separating truth from fiction can be difficult, but here are eight essential truths extracted from my entrepreneurial encounters and experiences:

1. Not everyone who says they are an entrepreneur is one.
Over the years I have talked with hundreds of would-be and practising entrepreneurs. I have started businesses and closed them. I have ideas for still more businesses on a daily basis. Am I an entrepreneur? I think not. Being an entrepreneur is not an occasional indulgence or distraction. It is more fundamental – something in your bloodstream. For this reason, I am always slightly wary of people who introduce themselves as entrepreneurs. To real entrepreneurs, being an entrepreneur is something they are, rather than something they merely do.

2. Entrepreneurs are turned on by businesses that work – they’re not slaves to a big idea.
We all have ideas for new businesses. What separates entrepreneurs from the millions of people with bright ideas is their willingness to make the idea a reality. They are driven and practical. So much so that, as John Mullins’ work suggests, they are quite willing to ditch their brilliant idea and business plan if they think that Plan B has a better chance of success. They are pragmatists who are, above everything else, interested in creating a business that works. That’s the real entrepreneurial buzz. Ideas are cheap; turning them into something viable and robust is much more demanding.

3. Entrepreneurs exhibit pure ambition.
The ambition of entrepreneurs sounds and feels purer. Usually, it is like comparing tap water to melted mountain snow water. Entrepreneurs see success in terms of changing the world or altering the marketplace. They want to make the world a better place and tend not to talk about money as a motivator. Instead it is a necessary commercial lubricant rather than a vital life force.

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A senior meteorologist's 3 steps for mitigating risks before a disaster 

A senior meteorologist's 3 steps for mitigating risks before a disaster  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
How to answer when catastrophe calls

Executives must be fully invested in any disaster-preparedness efforts; otherwise, something is destined to fall through the cracks. Executive buy-in allows the company to access the necessary resources to create a proper plan prior to the disaster.
Once higher-ups are involved, they then need to set up the whole team for success during an emergency. Here are three strategies:
1. Solidify your contingency plan. Nobody can completely prepare for what's unknown, but you can create a business continuity plan to help you stay one step ahead. What's most important is having systems in place to get your organization back to normal operations as soon after a disaster as possible.
This takes time, effort and money. Make the plan a successful one with organizational vision and an investment from members of the executive team.
2. Show employees your playbook. Executives should always help employees understand the risks that could affect the business and how to keep things going when the unexpected occurs. Furthermore, include provisions for secondary and tertiary disaster into your preparations.
To increase your company's transparency, give staff remote access to in-office systems. That way, if a disaster descends upon your business, people can remain operational in certain instances, even from afar.
3. Don't be afraid of experts. Base any information on solid reports provided by experts. Having a seasoned mind around will also help answer questions, explain processes and identity unknown variables.
For example, third-party experts or consultants in business continuity and preparedness can provide detailed information that's tailored to a specific business and its locations.This would provide quality insight and ensure gaps are filled and nothing is overlooked on the way to preventing injuries, mitigating damage, and keeping the business running.
When it comes to a potential disaster, it's always best to overprepare. In the long run, this will save you time and money by get things running again in a reasonable amount of time. And, most importantly, being overprepared protects your business's long-term prospects.
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We Pay Attention to Stories with Emotional Appeal

We Pay Attention to Stories with Emotional Appeal | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Vying for attention in ads
Threats to the status quo, sex, and remembering things we have seen before are good ingredients to have in an ad, says Medina. Steve Hayden, who produced the famous commercial introducing Apple Computer in 1984 included all three of them in the story, setting a new standard for Super Bowl ads.

It opens with a scene showing an auditorium filled with robot-like men all wearing the same attire in a bluish light. The reference is to Nineteen Eighty-Four a dystopian drama film depicting a totalitarian future society written for the screen and directed by Michael Anderson in 1956, loosely based upon George Orwell's novel of the same name.

the men are staring at the screen where a giant male face is spouting off platitude fragments such as “information purification!” and “unification of thought!” The men in the audience are absorbing these messages like zombies.

Then the camera shifts to a young woman in gym clothes, sledgehammer in hand, running full tilt toward the auditorium. She is wearing red shorts, the only bright color in the entire commercial. Sprinting down the center isle, she throws her sledgehammer at the screen containing Big Brother. The screen explodes in a hall of sparks and blinding light.
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The Secret Ingredient for Extraordinary Leadership

The Secret Ingredient for Extraordinary Leadership | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Because what gets rewarded gets done, you adjust your actions to fit the preferred mold. Pause for a moment and reflect:

Do I make statements rather than ask questions to save time and keep things on track?
Do I reward consistency and conformity because they are the expected norms of behavior?
Do I label those who ask too many questions as disruptive and difficult?
Do I look for facts that support my position and ignore those that challenge my position?
Do I want answers given to me fast, clear, and unequivocal?
Do I tell the boss what he wants to hear?
Do I feel uncomfortable when there’s ambiguity?
The curiosity and joy of exploration (the insistent inquiry about why this or why that) that filled your childhood gets squeezed out by the expectations and standardized processes of academia and business.

It seems that organizations are claiming to value curiosity, but still discouraging its expression. They promote innovation, yet punish failure. They cling to legacy structures and systems that emphasize authority over inquiry and routine over resourcefulness. ~ Todd B. Kashdan, scientist and profession, George Mason University
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3 ways leaders can use curiosity effectively | SmartBrief

3 ways leaders can use curiosity effectively | SmartBrief | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Not all questions are equal. Questions can be probing, provocative or pushy (your intention sets the tone here). Regarding pace, there are two types of questions: close-ended and open-ended.
Close-ended question: “Do you enjoy your job?”
Open-ended question: “Tell me about your experience doing this job?”
In short, a close-ended question requires a yes or no answer, while an open-ended question requires explanation and deeper listening. There is a time and a place for both, and knowing this distinction helps you to direct the conversation.
Listening

All types of leaders struggle with listening. The type A, may be impatient and find listening difficult, therefore they multitask, cut people off, interrupt or abruptly end the conversation. Conversely, calm and mild-mannered leaders tend to lose control of the conversation or get distracted into taking on other people’s problems. Learning how to listen from the right intention helps guide the conversation and helps you to get to the desired end result.
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Why Business Departments Choose Their Own Tech

Why Business Departments Choose Their Own Tech | digitalNow | Scoop.it
While CIOs believe that their IT organizations are doing a good job delivering on business outcomes, line of business (LOB) departments are frequently taking the task of tech investment into their own hands, according to a recent survey from Logicalis. The resulting report, titled "Digital Enablers: The Challenges Facing CIOs in an Age of Digital Transformation," reveals that most LOB units are now employing their own IT staffers, and that CIOs regularly work with these LOB-based tech pros on strategic goals. It's also common for business managers to acquire tech apps and solutions without consulting the IT department. Instead of being alarmed about such developments, however, CIOs should view this as a natural evolution of the ongoing digital transformation—one in which the lines between tech and business get increasingly blurry, and close collaboration proves critical. "As digital innovation accelerates, the winners will create new customer experiences, make faster and better decisions through smarter collaboration, and create new digital business models and revenue streams securely," said Mark Rogers, CEO at Logicalis. "CIOs and IT leaders can play a leading role in enabling that innovation, drawing on skills from insightful partners to help shape their businesses and lead their sectors through the application of digital technologies." The findings cover a broad range of other tech topics—such as the internet of things (IoT), app development, big data, the cloud and cyber-security—and we've included some of those here. More than 700 global CIOs took part in the research.
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 Why "Am I a Success or a Failure?" Is The Wrong Question

that people who are preoccupied with success ask the wrong question. They ask, “what is the secret of success” when they should be asking, “what prevents me from learning here and now?” To be overly preoccupied with the future is to be inattentive toward the present where learning and growth take place. To walk around asking, “am I a success or a failure” is a silly question in the sense that the closest you can come to answer is to say, everyone is both a success and a failure.

As usual, Weick sees things another way, and teaches us something.  One of the implications of this statement is that the most constructive ways to go through life is to keep focusing on what you learn and how you can get better in the future, rather than fretting or gloating over what you've done in the past (and seeing yourself as serving a life sentence as a winner or loser).  Some twists of Weick's simple ideas are explored in Carol Dweck's compelling research in in Mindset.
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Bad is Stronger than Good: Why Eliminating the Negative is More Important than Accentuating the Positive

Bad parenting can be stronger than genetic influences; good parenting is not. Research on social support has repeatedly found that negative, conflictual behaviors in one's social network have stronger effects than positive, supportive behaviors. Bad things receive more attention and more thorough cognitive processing than good things. When people first learn about one another, bad information has a significantly stronger impact on the total impression than any comparable good information. (p.362)

Bad stereotypes and reputations are easier to acquire, and harder to shed, than good ones. Bad feedback has stronger effects than good feedback. Bad health has a greater impact on happiness than good health, and health itself is more affected by pessimism (the presence or absence of a negative outlook) than optimism (the presence or absence of a positive outlook). (p.362)

Their closing paragraph, implies -- albeit weakly-- to one solution to overcoming the power of bad.

Although it may seem pessimistic to conclude that bad is stronger than good, we do not think that such pessimism is warranted. As we have suggested, there are several reasons to think that it may be highly adaptive for human beings to respond more strongly to bad than good. In the final analysis, then, the greater power of bad may itself be a good thing. Moreover, good can still triumph in the end by force of numbers. Even though a bad event may have a stronger impact than a comparable good event, many lives can be happy by virtue of having far more good than bad events.
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The Myth of Potential 

Most people are fed a steady diet of potential from the moment they’re born. Parents, teachers, coaches, and eventually employers all contribute to the problem by overrating potential as a certain predictor of future performance. Potential affords no surety of outcome; it merely offers hope. While hope can clearly serve as an inspiration, it can also quite easily become a delusion. Leaders would be well advised to place less stock in potential and focus their attention on effort and outcome. We must stop looking for leaders and recognize the leadership skills of those who exhibit more than just potential. Good leaders don’t promote people hoping they’ll perform – they promote people after they perform.

Ability and aptitude are only gifts if understood and used. The cold hard truth is you’re not special because of your potential, you’re special because of your dogged pursuit of your potential, and you’re even more special when you achieve your potential. Don’t tell others how gifted you are, provide them with tangible evidence you know how to use your giftedness – show them.
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What Are Small Businesses Most Important Factors When Making Tech Purchase Decisions?

Tech marketers targeting small businesses should focus on their owners, as 83% of small businesses lack an IT staff and 72% of owners say they’re typically responsible for making tech buying decisions at their business. That’s according to Salesforce’s recent “2016 Connected Small Business Report” [pdf], which delved into how small businesses use and perceive technology.
The report indicates that, on average, small businesses spend about 15% of their annual budgets on technology. That makes price a key consideration – and in fact it’s the most commonly cited “important” factor when making tech buying decisions, cited by roughly three-quarters (74%) of the small business owners surveyed.
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Study: Gen Z more discriminating, more advertising-resistant than Gen X or Y

Study: Gen Z more discriminating, more advertising-resistant than Gen X or Y | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The study spanned 39 countries and 23,907 interviews, including populations representing Gen X (35–49), Gen Y (20–34) and Gen Z (16–19).

In general, the report concludes that there’s no “one size fits all” approach that will work equally well for each generational audience segment. And while many attitudes are consistent across generations, the report argues that Gen Z is the most difficult for marketers to reach and engage:

It’s particularly tricky to get Gen Z to engage, because they are highly discriminating and more averse to advertising in general. In the online space Gen Z are significantly more likely to skip ads, suggesting they have a lower threshold for boredom. They are also more turned off by invasive, interruptive online and mobile formats.
Interestingly, the report also finds that members of Gen Z are somewhat more positive than the other groups toward ads in traditional media vs. digital. Conversely, they’re hostile to some forms of digital advertising: search, display and video (especially mobile video).
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Robust vs. robot learning

Robust vs. robot learning | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Model curiosity

Machines might be able to crunch the data available, but (at least today) they aren’t able to demonstrate the inquisitiveness and wonder that a great leader can spark in others. When leaders model a healthy dose of curiosity, it infects everyone around them.
When leaders admit they don’t know an answer or ask "why?", when they openly follow an intuitive lead just to see where it goes, when they sit humbling at the feet of customers, watching in awe at how they really interact with your products: All this sends a powerful message through the organization. Others see how to improve the thinking they bring to their work and offers a learning advantage over machines.
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Where machines could replace humans--and where they can’t (yet)

Where machines could replace humans--and where they can’t (yet) | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Technical feasibility is a necessary precondition for automation, but not a complete predictor that an activity will be automated. A second factor to consider is the cost of developing and deploying both the hardware and the software for automation. The cost of labor and related supply-and-demand dynamics represent a third factor: if workers are in abundant supply and significantly less expensive than automation, this could be a decisive argument against it. A fourth factor to consider is the benefits beyond labor substitution, including higher levels of output, better quality, and fewer errors. These are often larger than those of reducing labor costs. Regulatory and social-acceptance issues, such as the degree to which machines are acceptable in any particular setting, must also be weighed. A robot may, in theory, be able to replace some of the functions of a nurse, for example. But for now, the prospect that this might actually happen in a highly visible way could prove unpalatable for many patients, who expect human contact. The potential for automation to take hold in a sector or occupation reflects a subtle interplay between these factors and the trade-offs among them.
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Using rivalry to spur innovation

The art of innovation

Companies looking for new sources of creative energy might want to look backward—to the productive rivalry that catalyzed much of the artistic innovation during the Italian Renaissance.

Business leaders tend to raise their eyebrows when they read about parallels between history and modern management—and for good reason. There are undoubtedly many people who offer better leadership lessons than Attila the Hun, and it is unclear whether Alexander the Great can tell us much about business strategy. So it’s with some trepidation that we set forth the premise of this article: that the Italian Renaissance was such an extraordinary period of creativity it can shed light on how to stimulate business innovation.

We’re quite conscious of other great eras of innovation—the 18th-century industrial revolution in Great Britain, the late-19th-century emergence of managerial capitalism in the United States, and even the present period of digital innovation. One thing that’s striking about the Renaissance, though, is that it took place on a scale not very different from that of many large, modern enterprises. Northern Italy is no larger than the state of Michigan, and at the beginning of the 15th century, the three great centers of Renaissance creativity—Rome, Florence, and Venice—had a combined population of roughly 200,000.1
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3 Techniques to Help You Master Even the Toughest Q&A

Your employees know the score, and your credibility (or lack of it) will be front and center in how you answer those tough questions.

Here are the Big 3 Techniques:

1. Bridge:
Move to a point you want to make – Use this technique to answer a question and then promptly shift in the direction of what you want to get across—your key messages.
Examples of bridging:

“Yes…” (the answer), “and in addition to that” (the bridge)
“(Brief answer), “and what I can tell you is…..” (the bridge)
“No…” (the answer), “let me explain…” (the bridge)
“That’s the way it used to be…” (the answer), “here’s what we do now…” (the bridge)
“I don’t know…” (the answer), “but what I do know…” (the bridge)
2. Hook:
Increase curiosity about a topic – End your message with a statement that likely will prompt a follow-up question. Hooking can create dialogue focused on what you want to get across.

Examples of hooking:

“That’s just one of the ways we’re innovating to drive growth in the long-term…” (The natural follow-up is, “What’s another way?”)
“Here’s one result we’re seeing right now…” (The follow-up is, “What are other results?”)
3. Flag:
Emphasize main points – Use flagging to emphasize or prioritize what you consider to be the most important points.

Examples of flagging tools:

“If you only remember one thing today…”
“The most important point is…”
“It boils down to this…”
“The heart of the matter is…”
“I can’t underscore enough…”
“Fact is…”
Bridge. Hook. Flag. Three additional tools for your leadership and communication toolkit, which can help you be your best self, answer questions with ease, and ensure you’re getting across what’s important to you, and to your audience.
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Is Humble Leadership about How You Act or Who You Are?

In today’s discussion of humble leadership, that’s the missing ingredient—genuine humility.

A spate of recent articles from places like Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and Forbes offer some sound, common-sense advice about how to practice humility: admit mistakes, listen to other points of view, confess that you don’t have all the answers, seek feedback, and focus on the needs of others. The research shows that such behavior inspires greater employee loyalty and boosts job performance.

But that’s about how you act, not who you are—behavior, not character. Imagine how much more powerful that behavior can be when it flows from the deepest wellsprings of character, as it does with so many of the leaders I interviewed and have come to know over the years. They don’t need to think about humility consciously; it’s second nature to them. Jim Collins, the author of Good to Great, long ago identified what he called “Level 5 leaders”—the highest level in his hierarchy—as those who combine personal humility with fierce professional will.

What about the rest of us? Can you acquire a humble character by changing your behavior—fake it till you make it, as they say in 12-step programs. That’s what much of the leadership literature suggests. But maybe you don’t need to fake it. Perhaps your humility is already there but lying dormant, waiting be roused. An exceptional leadership coach, for example, can help you tap into the really meaningful people, places, and moments in your life buried under the years of forgetfulness.

Or you can try beginning with introspection. Looking inward isn’t easy in the age of social media and self-promotion, when we’re urged to develop our personal “brand” instead of our character. Our lives are too busy, our attention spans too fractured by the pings of mobile devices and the addictive glow of the screen. But it’s worth a try. And you have nothing to lose but a false sense of pride.
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Inside Sears' death spiral: How an iconic American brand has been driven to the edge of bankruptcy

Inside Sears' death spiral: How an iconic American brand has been driven to the edge of bankruptcy | digitalNow | Scoop.it
'The ceilings are leaking and the floors are cracked'
Lampert's plan is for Sears to one day be a tech company, more like Apple or Facebook than a traditional retailer, according to three former executives.

"He's got it all set out in his mind, how he wants things to run, regardless of any type of value proposition," said one former employee. "If Eddie thinks it's 'cool' and it will position us with Amazon or what the young people are buying, then you go marching toward it like a zombie."

Interviews with dozens of store-level and corporate employees over the past year yielded a common refrain: Lampert is out of touch with reality.

"He refuses to put a dime in updating stores," one former vice president said. "You walk in and you are embarrassed as an employee when the ceilings are leaking and the floors are cracked."

"No one believes in Eddie's vision," this person said. "He has just gone rogue."

Business Insider spoke to several store-level employees who said the stores are severely understaffed, with some operating on fewer than half of the employees they need. That has led to widespread complaints among shoppers that they can't find an employee to check them out, so they end up leaving the store empty-handed.

Lampert continues to assert that the retailer is in the midst of a "transformation" into a more "asset-light" organization — rather than the "protracted liquidation" that critics describe it as.
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CIOs Face Tough Digital Transformation Challenge

CIOs Face Tough Digital Transformation Challenge | digitalNow | Scoop.it
T leaders are grappling with how to cost-effectively transform their organization into a digital enterprise even though they are being limited by traditional enterprise thinking. Many struggle to achieve the transformation while simultaneously delivering measurable operational and business improvements and staying strategically relevant, according to a meta-study of 352 surveys analyzed by research firm ISG Insights. "IT leaders feel the pressure, but they and their organizations are bound by traditional enterprise thinking, structures and processes," wrote authors Alex Baker, Charlie Burns, Ron Exler, Bruce Guptill, Jim Hurley and Stanton Jones. They said IT leaders consider the cloud as the top way to reduce and manage capital and operational costs. They also see the cloud as a way to deliver business-outcome-related ROI. But IT leaders are challenged to quantify ROI, while business leaders call for line-of-business (LOB) improvements. To improve digital transformation, IT organizations are outsourcing more strategic planning and transformation responsibility. While that may speed improvement and deliver more transformation expertise, it could also diminish LOB leaders' perception of the strategic value of internal IT. See key findings here.
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10 Fastest-Growing Tech Skills for Job Openings

10 Fastest-Growing Tech Skills for Job Openings | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Demand for IT skills continues to soar, pushing compensation for technology professionals to new heights. Annual IT salaries averaged $96,370 in 2015, increasing by 7.7 percent over the prior year, according to Dice. The average bonus was $10,194, up 7 percent from 2014. Clearly, there are many opportunities within the industry, but do you know which skills are considered the "hottest of the hot" with respect to job openings? Look no further than the following list of 10 fastest-growing skills for IT jobs, which Dice recently compiled as part of its annual IT salary survey. The list ranks the skills that are getting the highest percentage increases for job postings at Dice.com. At the top of the list is Apache's Spark, which emerged as one of the world's most active open-source frameworks, drawing more than 1,000 contributors last year. Other skills on the list speak to continued demand for advancements in cloud, big data/analytics and project management innovation. At the same time, the Dice ranking reveals that some more traditional skills—particularly those covering electrical engineering and router-based needs—are also highly sought.
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2017 Technology Trends to Watch

2017 Technology Trends to Watch | digitalNow | Scoop.it
AI and Machine Learning Go Mainstream

Artificial intelligence will become a "first-class citizen in the enterprise, redefining the workplace," predicts Marc Carrel-Billiard, senior managing director of Global Technology Research & Development at Accenture. Emerging AI areas include computer vision, natural-language processing, machine learning, deep learning, knowledge representation, expert systems, biometrics and video analytics.

"Due in large part to rapid advances in digital technology, including the plummeting cost of compute and storage, technology development is revolutionizing business and society," he adds.

Accenture's Technology Vision 2016 survey found that 70 percent of corporate executives are making significantly more investments in artificial intelligence-related technologies than they did two years ago, with 55 percent stating that they plan to use machine learning and embedded artificial intelligence. Accenture also released research that demonstrates AI has the potential to double economic growth rates by 2035, increasing labor productivity by up to 40 percent.
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Digital Transformation Or Digital Free Fall: What Every CEO Must Know 

Digital Transformation Or Digital Free Fall: What Every CEO Must Know  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Organizations whose business models are a few revolutions back on the digital curve cannot transform from lagger to leader by simply implementing blockchain or machine learning. Digital transformation is really more of a leadership, culture, strategy, and talent issue than a technology issue. Real digital transformation occurs when business models and methods are reimagined by courageous leaders willing to manage opportunity more than risk, focus on next practices more than best practices and who are committed to beating their competition to the future.

For the geeks, nerds and propeller-heads reading this piece looking for a more granular discussion on the topic of digital transformation, I’ll point you to a piece recently authored by John Nives, my Chief Digital Officer, who rather brilliantly explains the nuances of digital and why it matters to every business. The one thing I can promise you is that the tool kit that allowed leaders to reach the C-suite won’t be the one that keeps them there. Leaders who won’t embrace new thinking will simply be replaced by those who will.
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Half of Connected Teens Globally Say Theyre Using Voice-Enabled Digital Assistants

In fact, the use of embedded voice-enabled digital assistants in smartphones and PC/laptops has reached the mainstream among 14-17-year-olds, per Accenture’s survey of almost 26,000 consumers across 26 countries.
The results indicate that 31% of 14-17-year-olds regularly use voice-enabled digital assistants, with another 20% just getting started using them. Adoption – not surprisingly – declines with age, but still remains above one-third (38%) of Millennials (18-34) and higher than one-quarter (27%) of Gen Xers (35-54). Although only 15% of Boomers (55+) are currently using voice-enabled digital assistants, another 35% are interested in doing so.

Overall, that means that a strong majority – ranging from a high of 84% of 14-17-year-olds to a low of 50% of those aged 55 and up – of consumers are either currently using or interested in using voice-enabled digital assistants.

China (55%), India (55%) and the US (46%) emerge as high-usage countries based on current adoption, per the report, while Canada (27%) and Germany (28%) are on the opposite end of the spectrum, with voice-enabled digital assistants not having made as much of their mark there.

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What Motivates Consumers to Engage With Online Content?

Consumers’ motivations for engaging with online content can be boiled down to 8 “content moments,” says AOL in a new study that analyzed more than 55,000 content interactions across 8 global markets. The leading content moment overall is the one termed “Inspire,” referring to consumers’ search for new ideas and desire to try something new.
This was the top moment in 6 of the 8 markets studied: Brazil; Canada; Italy; Japan; the UK; and the US. It’s particularly influential in the fashion and food categories, per the report, with product pages and photo galleries emerging as its leading formats.
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Q&A: New CEO of Lititz-based Woodstream on his new role, what it takes to build a better mousetrap

Q&A: New CEO of Lititz-based Woodstream on his new role, what it takes to build a better mousetrap | digitalNow | Scoop.it
What are some mistakes new leaders can make?

The No. 1 thing that a CEO must not do is think (that) when they come in, that they know the answers. You have to come in as a leader recognizing that you know nothing.

You come in humble; you come in open-eyed and willing to learn. No matter what my background is, no matter how good or not good I am, as a CEO walking in to Woodstream, the most important thing is to listen and learn.

What have you learned about what it takes to be a good leader?

Transparency is the most important thing for employees.

What I mean by transparency is: What are our goals? Are we achieving our goals? What were our numbers this month? What are the numbers supposed to be next month? How can each employee make a contribution to achieving those goals?
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7 Design Mistakes From 2016 (And How to Fix Them This Year)

Avoid Animation Overload

Page transitions or hover states are an easy way to liven up a site. But sometimes these effects can overwhelm or annoy users. Complicated transitions can cause unnecessary delays, take from important interactions, and cause drop-off. Designers should always prioritize the user experience and content, even if that means cutting back on some animations or cool effects. Stay on strategy and focus on ease of use.

2.Don’t Force Desktop Design On Mobile

Most time spent in the responsive design process can be on the desktop experience, oftentimes resulting in mobile becoming an afterthought. Instead, consider whether engagement on your site should be different for mobile. Often, mobile users don’t require the same experience or features as they do on desktop. It’s imperative to do research, pull actionable target insights and then dive into a mobile strategy with a consumer first approach.

3.Declutter the Screen

Confusion is time-consuming, and users won’t put up with it. Approach app design with simplicity first. Make sure whatever you want your user to do is clear and intuitive and avoid presenting them with too many options. By establishing a strategic hierarchy through the user experience, you can guarantee your design will be effective. Digital products like Airbnb or Oscar do an amazing job of this.
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Four fundamentals of workplace automation 

Four fundamentals of workplace automation  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The automation of activities

These preliminary findings are based on data for the US labor market. We structured our analysis around roughly 2,000 individual work activities,5 and assessed the requirements for each of these activities against 18 different capabilities that potentially could be automated (Exhibit 1). Those capabilities range from fine motor skills and navigating in the physical world, to sensing human emotion and producing natural language. We then assessed the “automatability” of those capabilities through the use of current, leading-edge technology, adjusting the level of capability required for occupations where work occurs in unpredictable settings.
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