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Which Cities are Winning the Brain Game?

“Producing and attracting talent with the right mix of skills for today, and doing what it takes to create local employment opportunities is not just necessary, it’s the whole game,” said Robert Bell, Brain Gain’s lead researcher.
Don Dea's insight:

Each year the group announces the Top7 Intelligent Communities of the Year.

In 2014 the communities are:

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Exploring leadership, management, innovation, and technology issues and trends; impacting associations & non-profit organizations in the digital age.
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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 But mobile changed the customer journey and research shows that the traditional funnel is dangerously outdated.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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You Do Not Need the Answers. You Need the Right Questions

You Do Not Need the Answers. You Need the Right Questions | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Ask Meaningful Questions
Asking meaningful questions is an art. Your question becomes the canvas and the people around you become the artists. They fill in the blank white space. They create the perspectives, lines, shadows and coloring.

In meaningful questioning, the others you involve become the artists. Not you! You give that up. You provide the canvas for their thought to be expressed.

“The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions.”

Antony Jay

Asking enables. Telling weakens. Asking draws out. Telling fills in.

“It’s not that they see the solution. They can’t see the problem.”

G.K. Chesterton

In the act of asking meaningful questions, we step back so others can step up and think things through for themselves.

The art of questioning enables dynamic and critical think-through. Finding relevant questions uncovers and reveals richer, more relevant answers.
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(Re)Align Your Organization for Customer Experience Success

(Re)Align Your Organization for Customer Experience Success | digitalNow | Scoop.it
How Do You Define Success?
Implementing a new program or restarting a program that falls short of goals requires leadership dedicated to the task at hand. Having a well thought-out, planned approach that aligns everyone involved in the process greatly increases the likelihood that new capabilities will be successful.

Here’s an easy survey to see if you’ve achieved success: Ask people how they know if they are successful in their role … and see if they mention the new metrics. If you don’t hear them mentioned, the capability may not stick around for the long-haul.

I define success as everyone doing their job and the business meeting its outcomes six months after implementation. You need time to have new capabilities embedded into the fabric of the company.
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Will collective intelligence change the way we work? 

Will collective intelligence change the way we work?  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The new paradox of power: Give it to gain it

The most rapidly evolving kinds of "collective intelligence"--a phenomenon where a shared or group intelligence emerges from the collaboration and/or competition of many individuals--are those enabled by the Internet. Wikipedia and YouTube are the best-known examples of collective intelligence. Similarly, InnoCentive is a web community that outsources companies' research problems and invites answers from anyone who wants to contribute, awarding a handful to cash prizes to the best of the bunch. And at MIT, the Climate CoLab uses crowdsourcing to harness the collective intelligence of thousands of people all over the world in an attempt to solve the problems of climate change.These design patterns presented in technology-enabled collective intelligence is also represented more generally in the shift from traditional hierarchies to flatter organizational structures. For years, pockets of the U.S. military have been slowly taking decisions out of the hands of high-ranking commanders and entrusting them to teams of soldiers, who are told what problems to solve but not how to solve them. And last year, Zappos adopted a controversial flat organizational structure referred to as "holacracy." By order of CEO Tony Hsieh, the company abolished managers, eliminated job titles, denounced its organizational hierarchy and instead adopted a radical new system of self-governance. Automattic, the firm behind WordPress, only employs a couple hundred people, who all work remotely, with a highly autonomous flat management structure.
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Five Influencer Marketing Trends for 2016

Five Influencer Marketing Trends for 2016 | digitalNow | Scoop.it
New platforms will emerge: One of the biggest challenges marketers face is finding influencers within their industry. New platforms for finding influencers and organizing lists will emerge; for example, services like BuzzStream and Buzzsumo.

2.It will become more costly: Influencer marketing will continue to grow, meaning that influencers will become more selective in what companies they choose to work with and increase their costs to maintain their earnings. Be prepared to pay top dollar for top influencers within your industry.  

3.Engagement will become key: In the past, it was all about working with influencers who had the furthest reach (i.e. most followers). Today, however, it’s more about engagement. Key metrics that will become important include customer acquisition, website visits and social media shares.
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What Mark Zuckerberg Taught Me About Motivation

What Mark Zuckerberg Taught Me About Motivation | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Build trust
I listen as much, if not more, than I talk. Your people’s insights are valuable, and their concerns show where motivation is most needed. By paying attention to the way I communicate, I establish credibility with my colleagues so that they hear, accept, and support our company’s shared vision. Essentially, I’m building trust. With trust, the stories I tell of how we’ve succeeded in the past and how much we’ve accomplished resonate. They stand as reminders and provide proof of what’s possible. Then, when it’s time for a pep talk, I’ve got history on my side. My ideas aren’t just pie in the sky. What I describe is truly what we are capable of achieving, and it reinforces my staff that we are the best at what we do.
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Working in the Gig Economy Is Both Desirable and Detestable

Working in the Gig Economy Is Both Desirable and Detestable | digitalNow | Scoop.it
those engaged in these forms of work now constitute about 16% of the American labor force, up from 10% a decade earlier and 9% 20 years ago. (Interestingly, given all the headlines they grab, online “gig economy” jobs at Uber, TaskRabbit, and the like register barely a blip — just 0.5% of the workforce.)

Katz and Krueger based their results on a 2015 survey of nearly 4,000 workers, administered for them by RAND, that mirrored earlier analyses conducted by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics in 1995 and 2005.

Most remarkably, they discovered that all of the net employment growth in the United States between 2005 and the end of last year could be attributed to alternative work.
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IT Needs Better Insight Into the Mobile Experience

The majority of business and IT leaders surveyed consider the enablement of a mobile workforce a top organizational priority. However, they added that they need better monitoring tools to understand and improve the end-user experience, according to research findings from Aternity. The company's "2016 Business Transformation and User Experience Trends Survey" reports that mobility and cloud management and IT convergence are all driving the need for increased visibility into employees' use of these technologies. Many company leaders believe that this enhanced visibility will enable them to boost worker productivity, among other positive outcomes. Yet, while most companies allow for at least some staffers to use their own devices for work—bring your own device (BYOD)—a significant share are not prepared to manage mobile devices and apps that are connected to enterprise networks. Clearly, there is urgency for tech teams to respond to these issues, especially as users introduce more personal data to systems that IT can't control. More than 200 C-level executives, as well as IT directors and managers, took part in the research
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What Future-Ready IT Departments Do Differently

What Future-Ready IT Departments Do Differently | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Does your IT organization merely serve present-day needs because the staff and leaders are too busy keeping up with current demands to even think about tomorrow? Or does the team and management effectively anticipate future business shifts, and then develop winning strategies with business leaders to take advantage of those changes? Thanks to a recent survey from Dell and IDC, you can assess where your IT team fits in these scenarios. The accompanying report, "The Future-Ready Enterprise," focuses primarily on organizations that are described as either "Future Creators" or "Current Focused." Future Creators excel when it comes to converged infrastructure, the cloud, big data analytics (BDA) and other forward-thinking IT organizational practices. In contrast, Current Focused companies lag behind in these categories. Given their superior standing with these tech capabilities, it isn't surprising that IT organizations in Future Creators companies are better at supporting business needs, which results in higher customer satisfaction, increased revenue and greater employee productivity. "Future readiness is an ongoing journey," according to the report. "No matter where one's organization is today, taking the next step will deliver significant and immediate IT and business benefits. … An effective IT organization that can work closely with lines of business is critical to becoming a truly future-ready enterprise." Nearly 2,530 global senior and executive-level managers in IT and lines of business took part in the research.
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Why IT Spending Will Decline in 2016

Why IT Spending Will Decline in 2016 | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Overall IT spending is forecast to decline slightly this year compared to IT spending in 2015, according to Gartner. Currency fluctuations primarily account for the anticipated dip, as well as lingering reservations about the global economy in general. In addition, the smartphone market is approaching saturation, Gartner reports, while a slowdown in China's growth is eroding spending on fixed voice services. The sobering outlook does not, however, translate to any halt in digital initiatives on the part of enterprises. But it does mean CIOs and other leaders will need to revise spending models, such as the redirecting of savings from legacy system optimization to fund these new initiatives, to support continued innovation. "An undercurrent of economic uncertainty is driving organizations to tighten their belts, and IT spending is one of the casualties," said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. "Concurrently, the need to invest in IT to support digital business is more urgent than ever. Business leaders know that they need to become digital businesses or face irrelevance in a digital world. To make that happen, leaders are engaging in tough cost optimization efforts in some areas to fund digital business in others."
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What Mark Zuckerberg Taught Me About Motivation

What Mark Zuckerberg Taught Me About Motivation | digitalNow | Scoop.it
It could make you more successful

The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question: How do you keep your team motivated? is written by Suri Suriyakumar, CEO of ARC Document Solutions.

The best leaders work to motivate themselves, as well as their employees, to achieve success. Once inspired, the clear articulation of a plan for the future – whether it’s for a quarterly operations goal or a multi-year strategic objective – isn’t easy. It takes preparation, perseverance, and a solid understanding of both what needs to be said and why it needs to be said in the first place. Here’s how to create a motivational workplace that will drive success:

Effective communication
To motivate people, you must invest in them and enable their success. And if you want results, you must do more than just communicate — you have to articulate your vision in a way that inspires others. You might have a good idea, but clearly communicating it is nearly as important as the idea itself. Only when you combine the two can you expect to overcome the fear of failure, inspire confidence, and build support in new possibilities.
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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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Things Successful Presidents Do

Things Successful Presidents Do | digitalNow | Scoop.it
They forge working relationships with journalists. Different presidents deal with the media in different ways. Some readily hand out their cellphone numbers to reporters and make themselves available for impromptu interviews. Others require media inquiries to be filtered through the PR office, and only talk to reporters directly when absolutely necessary — such as in a crisis. Regardless of whether they prefer to be chummy or formal, successful presidents understand the importance of a productive relationship with the news media.

They figure out how to cope with stress. The high volume of demands on their time is an inherent part of the job. Many of the leaders I met with preserve blocks of free time — perhaps an hour every day or Friday afternoons — in their calendars to do things like exercise, ruminate, read, or write. Others travel periodically to recharge. In short, effective presidents find ways to manage the near-constant barrage of demands they experience.

They continuously prioritize. Successful presidents and chancellors tend to be very good at — to paraphrase Stephen R. Covey in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People — keeping the main thing the main thing, both for themselves and the people they lead. Many CEOs do so by monitoring key performance indicators — such as via analytics dashboards, regular updates from staffers, and/or by poking around. And they do it because they understand that keeping their institutions focused, and away from distractions, is a central aspect of their roles.
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TEDx secrets to success for every speaker 

TEDx secrets to success for every speaker  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
TED-inspired tips to enhance your next presentation
1. Have an idea worth spreading
Whenever you step up to speak, take the time to develop a compelling core message — the one simple phrase or sentence that captures the essence of your presentation. My TEDx experience renewed my admiration for the brilliance and elegance of a simply stated core message. The most important thing you can do as a speaker is to develop your point of view, your idea worth spreading.
Here are some stand-out examples from TEDxRaleigh that are clear, simple, action-oriented and easy to share:
NO stands for “New Opportunity”
Choose hope and dream again
Create an experience
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A Headless CMS Won't Solve All Your Woes

A Headless CMS Won't Solve All Your Woes | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Headless content management has received a fair amount of hype in the last year. For anyone who’s managed to avoid the whole headless controversy, “headless” is the idea of dec
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We Might Be All Wrong About Robots Taking Our Jobs

We Might Be All Wrong About Robots Taking Our Jobs | digitalNow | Scoop.it
“It’s true that robots are taking away some jobs, but at the same time they’re creating lots of new jobs,” said Brynjolfsson, director of the Initiative. “The thing that’s different is whether or not the new job creation is keeping in balance with the old job creation, and there’s no economic law that says that’s automatically going to happen.”

In a report to Congress last month, White House economists forecast that there is an 83 percent chance that workers earning less than $20 per hour will lose their jobs to robots. Another projection, made by the World Economic Forum in January, suggests that robots will replace 5 million workers by 2020.

But in order for us not to see the effects of possible job loss, new jobs need to emerge at the same time that artificial intelligence replaces the old jobs.

“So, there’s a grain of truth to this idea that technology is eliminating jobs, but that’s a misunderstanding of the essence of what’s going on,” Brynjolfsson said. “It’s not that the technology is doing it. It’s that we’ve been using technology to automate jobs and create jobs, and those have not been in balance.”
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Will Robots Soon Replace Humans in the Marketing World?

Will Robots Soon Replace Humans in the Marketing World? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
It’s perhaps the oldest trope from any science fiction movie (outside of an alien invasion). Mankind creates a robot and imbues it with artificial intelligence. The robot then outsmarts mankind, and terror ensues.

Such movies have always provided great entertainment, but now some in the field of content marketing have expressed fears that this fantasy could become a reality. As data analytics become more powerful and allow for greater customization of marketing efforts, some wonder if the utility of live, human beings working in marketing has been diminished. Are robocalls and mechanized content marketers the future of marketing?


via Pixabay
In addition to worries like this widely being sensationalized, they are largely unfounded. Yes, technology is becoming more and more advanced as well as more prevalent in the field of marketing. Yes, technology is likely to continue to spread its influence and increase its sophistication. However, there is no reason for panic. All the technology in the world is useless in the realm of content marketing without the proper human touch to guide it.

On the other hand, content marketers need to do everything they can to harness the immense power of technology. Thanks to powerful new data collection and analysis methods, marketers today have access to information about their customers in levels of detail that could only be dreamed of as recently as ten years ago. In the right hands, this information could be utilized to create incredibly powerful marketing campaigns that are tailor made to fit their customers’ desires.
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The Psychology of Ecommerce: Why Your Loyalty Program May Not Build Loyalty

The Psychology of Ecommerce: Why Your Loyalty Program May Not Build Loyalty | digitalNow | Scoop.it
How Much Is Enough?
So, if you simply have to give a larger reward for buyers to feel appreciated, how large are we looking at? Another group was split into sections, with some receiving a verbal thank you, and the rest receiving varying percentages of their purchase price as a reward.

Those who received the verbal thank you felt more appreciated than those who received up to 10% of the purchase price as a reward (remember the coffee example from earlier?). However, once the reward tipped into 15% and higher, consumers said they felt more and more appreciated.
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The New State of Business Interconnectivity

The number of enterprises that are expected to be interconnected will double between now and 2017, according to a recent survey from Equinix. The report, titled "The Enterprise of the Future: Unleashing the Interconnected Enterprise," indicates that companies are transitioning to IT/business models to obtain instant collaboration with partners, employees, customers and data sources—thus creating this state of interconnectivity. Among other positive outcomes, they're improving app performance while reducing systems risk. To ensure competitive advantage, CIOs and their tech teams must constantly find new ways to connect to omnichannel consumers who consider anytime/anywhere connectivity the norm, while supporting workers who increasingly pursue cloud-enabled collaboration and communication, findings reveal. These changes are "radically reinventing the face of the enterprise, altering how work gets done, how competitive advantage is forged and how revenue is generated," according to the report. "In this new interconnected era, organizations can't go it alone when it comes to creating value. They must rely on each other—and interconnection—to succeed. And they need an interconnected IT strategy to position their enterprises for growth." More than 1,000 global IT decision-makers took part in the research.
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Brands, You Gotta Be More Than Robots on Social Media

Brands, You Gotta Be More Than Robots on Social Media | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Your Audience Wants Connection
Personalization works for everyone. With personalization, information has a hyper-targeted focus. So it is safe to say that personal and business relationships are likewise focused.

Social media demands personalization. Being the odd one out in a stream of personal narratives will not do you good. People get hooked on social media because of the need for connection. So connect at a human level and reap human rewards. Start human conversations.

Want to “begin with the audience in mind”? Continuously talk with people. With feeds refreshed every 5 seconds, the best way to stay relevant is through content that speaks at a personal level, conversation that makes your front line audience share your story with co-workers, neighbors, and friends.

Want to create social media that cuts through the noise? Personalization is the way to go. 
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The New State of Business Interconnectivity

The number of enterprises that are expected to be interconnected will double between now and 2017, according to a recent survey from Equinix. The report, titled "The Enterprise of the Future: Unleashing the Interconnected Enterprise," indicates that companies are transitioning to IT/business models to obtain instant collaboration with partners, employees, customers and data sources—thus creating this state of interconnectivity. Among other positive outcomes, they're improving app performance while reducing systems risk. To ensure competitive advantage, CIOs and their tech teams must constantly find new ways to connect to omnichannel consumers who consider anytime/anywhere connectivity the norm, while supporting workers who increasingly pursue cloud-enabled collaboration and communication, findings reveal. These changes are "radically reinventing the face of the enterprise, altering how work gets done, how competitive advantage is forged and how revenue is generated," according to the report. "In this new interconnected era, organizations can't go it alone when it comes to creating value. They must rely on each other—and interconnection—to succeed. And they need an interconnected IT strategy to position their enterprises for growth." More than 1,000 global IT decision-makers took part in the research.
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It’s Time to Admit You Can’t Do It All

It’s Time to Admit You Can’t Do It All | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Admit that you can’t do it all
Many entrepreneurs and executives are excited about being successful and focus too heavily on too many things. You are only one person and there are only so many hours in a day, so prioritize 1-2 projects each day/month/quarter and give them your all.
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