Indeed, we can now appreciate it as being a critical source of feedback that we should be offering to our employees to not only provide them with some context for the value they are creating through their efforts, but to ignite within them the drive and desire to become that better version of themselves.
So whether or not you celebrated Thanksgiving as my family and many of my fellow Canadians did this past weekend, allow me to take this opportunity to express gratitude to all my readers who’ve supported and championed my writings and insights on leadership.
And here’s to hoping that leaders everywhere will recognize the benefits of expressing gratitude to those they lead. Specifically, of how gratitude helps to draw our focus outwards to those we lead and the unique benefits they bring
The leader needs to acknowledge this, in their words and in their deeds. A leader cannot “look down” on any person or task. A leader, by respecting the work, and explaining how that work makes a difference, puts the person behind the work in a much better position to succeed.
What are some of the “words and deeds” where leaders earn respect? Here are what I consider to be the 4 key actions.
First, care enough to KNOW their jobs, even in a general sense. To use my corporate experience at a cable company, KNOW that a cable installer has to work in all kind of weather conditions, and in all kind of home conditions – including crawling around on hands and knees in 105 degree attic crawlspaces, or climbing telephone poles in minus-10 temperatures.
The bone marrow transplant-match foundation adopted the cloud and cut its IT administration costs and created an integrated business and fundraising framework.
Operating a nonprofit organization is rife with challenges. But somewhere between collecting donations and ensuring that they are put to good use lies the difficult, if not overwhelming, task of operating efficiently.
The Be the Match foundation, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), manages the world's largest bone marrow matching program. For many, it's a life or death proposition.
"A marrow or umbilical cord transplant is a lifesaving treatment for patients with blood cancers," explains Kerrie Goughnour, senior digital project specialist for the organization. "The technique can help treat more than 70 different diseases."
Big fish in a little pond There's no doubt that the big fish gets respect, more attention and more than its fair share of business as a result.
The hard part of being a big fish in a little pond isn't about being the right fish. It's about finding the right pond.
Too often, we're attracted to a marketplace (a pond) that's huge and enticing, but being a big fish there is just too difficult to pull off with the resources at hand.
It makes more sense to get better at finding the right pond, at setting aside our hubris and confidence and instead settling for a pond where we can do great work, make a difference, and yes, be a big fish.
When in doubt, then, don't worry so much about the size of the fish. Focus instead on the size of your pond.
The IoT will change more than just the way companies use data collected via social media. It may actually change the way we interact with each other as well, changing the very meaning of what it is to be social.
One area that is gaining a lot of attention within this realm is the notion of privacy, or more specifically, the definition of privacy. While some argue that privacy is “dead,” and anything that promises privacy is an illusion, others argue that the IoT is simply going to change the definition of privacy. Decisions about what to share with whom and where will become more nuanced, and the expectation of complete privacy is bound to become somewhat untenable as devices are developed with the ability to share reams of information, no matter how seemingly insignificant it may appear.
The social IoT is also likely to change our definitions of community - and how we interact within each community. We already see context-dependent communities in social media, as individuals join groups or interact using specific hashtags. However, as everything becomes more connected, additional communities will develop as a way to develop a more meaningful experience as individuals interact with each other based on a shared connection.
The social IoT is going to do more than simply allow us to live better or manage our lives more easily with the few taps of a touchscreen. With everything becoming more connected every day, the very nature of our social interactions is going to change - as will the way that social media integrates into our lives.
Customers who don’t hit the target to qualify for a reward are apt to hold it against the company and make fewer subsequent purchases.
Loyalty programs have exploded in popularity in recent years as firms seek new ways to keep customers coming back — both to the benefit of those companies and to the detriment of their rivals. Companies can turn a frequent-purchase card into a powerful marketing weapon by inducing customers to shop exclusively with them, and by promising a reward in exchange for their repeat business.
Despite the proliferation of loyalty programs, little research exists on what consumers think about reward structures, whether all customers react similarly to the plans, and how failing to hit the requisite target to earn a reward affects program members’ future business with the firm. On the face of it, this lack of research isn’t so surprising. Companies have a tendency to think only of the benefits that come from a loyalty program — after all, the thinking goes, enticing consumers to shop more at your store can only be a good thing.
Confident, experienced job candidates aren't intimidated by difficult interview questions: They welcome them as challenges to conquer. Professionals never know when they'll sit down with an interviewer who relishes putting applicants on the hot seat, so it's best to prepare for any contingency. To offer guidance on dealing with incredibly tough questions during a job interview, we present the following outstanding responses to 10 tough interview questions. They've been adapted from the book Powerful Phrases for Successful Interviews: Over 400 Ready-to-Use Words and Phrases That Will Get You the Job You Want (Amacom). At the very least, these sample questions and answers from author Tony Beshara will help you avoid that dreaded "deer in the headlights" moment, when you freeze up after a tricky inquiry is posed, and you can't think of anything to say in response. No matter what you're asked, you always want to answer honestly, while basing your answers on the tangible and hopefully measurable value you could bring to the organization
One of the key findings of a recent global cloud adoption study reveals that only 3 percent of organizations have optimized cloud strategies, although nearly 70 percent use some form of cloud. The biggest drivers fueling cloud adoption include cloud-native applications for security and the internet of things (IoT). Companies with the most advanced cloud strategies report, on average, $3 million in additional revenues and $1 million in cost savings, indicating better business outcomes at organizations that have mature cloud programs. The report, "Cloud Going Mainstream: All Are Trying, Some Are Benefiting; Few Are Maximizing Value," which was sponsored by Cisco and conducted by IDC, surveyed executives responsible for IT decisions at more than 6,100 organizations in 31 countries. The survey found that organizations face a variety of obstacles in adopting clouds, including gaps in skills and capabilities, the lack of a well-defined strategy and road map, and misalignment between information technology and lines of business.
Typically, implementation is defined as the act of conducting the activities and tasks to execute a strategy. However, there are many vital components bundled into that simple concept, such as: accountability, governance, timing, monitoring, resources, buy-in, and change management. Given all the moving parts within any implementation, is it really so surprising that it is not only where things can go wrong but also the hardest point at which to bake agility into the organization? For most of the study’s participant organizations, managing the implementation is either within the purview of the strategy department or a cross-functional implementation team
It might not be the most enjoyable aspect of leadership, but difficult conversations are part of the job, and possibly one of the areas where we learn the most -- about building our team, about ourselves and about human nature in general. If you’re dreading a conversation, take these steps to get you started. Step 1: Just do it, and do it now
It sounds a bit ridiculous, but it’s true -- the best feedback is given as soon as possible after an incident has taken place. The longer you put it off, the more daunting the task will seem. Studies show that employees -- especially millennials -- actually crave frequent feedback. Even though the conversation you might be difficult, you can make the interaction a constructive experience. Most of us would rather have the opportunity to correct our behavior or make amends. So if you have conflict, confrontation, controversy, disagreement or tension, get yourself set up for success and start having difficult conversations now. Step 2: Set a time, duration and clear agenda
Before you schedule a meeting, decide on a time limit and consider the location. Determine a reasonable but not onerous period of time to discuss, and decide whether you need to choose a more neutral or private location to talk. Using your office (or theirs) may only increase the tension, or you might have to worry about thin walls and other listening ears.
White-collar workers say they are spending 17% more time this year checking email, on average, compared with last year, according to recent research from Adobe.
The report was based on data from a survey of more than 1,000 white-collar workers in the United States.
Respondents say they send 19 work emails, on average, on weekends and that they read 29 work emails on weekends.
Some 38% of white-collar workers say texting has made their emails less formal, and 30% say texting has made their emails shorter.
Nearly half (45%) of respondents say they have tried a self-imposed email detox (i.e., a hiatus from checking email); these email breaks last for 5.3 days, on average.
More than half of white-collar workers say they check email while watching movies/TV (69% of respondents) and in bed (57%); 45% of white-collar workers say they check email while using the bathroom; and 44% say they check while on the phone.
A majority of organizations have either launched a formal internet of things (IoT) initiative or are piloting or experimenting with such an effort, according to a recent survey from CompTIA. The resulting "Internet of Things Trends and Opportunities" report indicates that by 2020, more than 50 billion "things" will be connected and/or have some level of intelligence. Anticipating the boom in demand, a significant share of companies are creating new budget allocations for IoT projects to enhance broad organizational objectives. The expected outcomes include cost savings from increased operational efficiency, better decision making through improved data usage and a boost in staff productivity. "There is a steady march to enhance the utility of devices, objects, structures and even people through connectivity, network effects and intelligent functionality," according to the report. "Over the past two years, this concept has evolved from a technologist's curiosity into a full-fledged business opportunity. While there have always been 'things' connected to the Internet—think computing devices, as well as things connected to other things, such as ATMs, RFID tags or E-ZPass—something has clearly changed. Advancements in a number of areas over the past decade have laid the groundwork for the steepening IoT growth curve." More than 510 business and IT executives took part in the research.
“Sometimes a strategic choice can limit the benefits of very effective leadership and vision.” –Harbir Singh
Looking at that case in some depth, I came to really appreciate that you’ve got to have a great strategy. You’ve got to have a great leadership to go with it. If you’re a little bit short on one, you’re going to be in trouble.
1. Build resilience in yourself and those you lead. See here for practical ways to do this. In times of crisis or difficulty, connection is even more important than it usually is. Provide opportunities for people to connect and share their experience in ways that suit their different styles. Those who are expressive and outgoing might want to talk, whereas introverted team members may prefer the opportunity to connect in more introspective ways.
The key is to strengthen the connection within the team. Don’t slide into siloes and individually suffer in silence.
2. Build a sense of control. Even when it appears so much is out of your control. It is natural for people to feel powerless and victimised in tough times, so it is important for you to help your people shift from the mindset of the passive victim. Empathise, listen (and listen some more). But don’t encourage people to remain in victim mode for long.
Ask, “What is within in our power in this situation?” “Yes its tough. And, what is within our here and now?” “What are our options, given X, Y and Z?” There is always something you can do, even if its changing your attitude to those factors outside your control. These responses imply the power remains with the individual and that some positive outcomes can emerge from this tough situation. Help people face reality, but at the same time help them find appropriate ways to deal with it.
ou are trapped on a see-saw. You over-manage, under-manage, and sometimes do both. The problem is… you’re driving your team nuts. – They’re frustrated because they never know when you’re going to swoop in and change things. – They are waiting for you to provide information or make a decision and projects get stalled. – They’re afraid to make a decision because you might not approve. – They’ve lost confidence in their own judgment. – They’ve stopped thinking because they’ve grown dependent on you to think for them. – They’re dreaming of working somewhere else. They might like you, but they don’t like working for you. Break out of the trap by getting off the seesaw. Stop thinking like a parent, and treat your team like the adults they are. They’ve been passengers in your car. Stop thinking of it as your car, let them drive, and don’t be a backseat driver.
Three things to keep in mind about your reputation Your reputation has as much impact on your life as what you actually do. Early assumptions about you are sticky and are difficult to change. The single best way to maintain your reputation is to do things you're proud of. Gaming goes only so far. In a connection economy, what other people think about you, their expectations of you, the promises they believe you make—this is your brand. It's easy to imagine that good work is its own reward, but good work is only of maximum value when people get your reputation right, and they usually get that from others, not directly from you.
It's logical, then, to care about how your reputation is formed. But it's dangerous, I think, to decide that it's worth spending a lot of time gaming the system, to consistently work hard to make your reputation better than you actually are.
There is one exception: The most important step you can take when entering a new circle, a new field or a new network is to take vivid steps to establish a reputation. This is the new kid who stands up to a bully the first day of school, or a musician who holds off on a first single until she's got something to say. They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression, but what most people do is make no impression at all.
That reputation needs to be one you can live with for the long haul, because you'll need to.
As the social networks make it more and more difficult for people to have a significant gap between reputation and reality (hence gossip), the single best strategy appears to be as you are, or more accurately, to live the life you've taught people to expect from you.
Your reputation isn't merely based on your work, it's often the result of biases and expectations that existed before you even showed up. That's not fair but it's certainly true. Now that we see that the structures exist, each of us has the ability to over-invest in activities and behaviors that maximize how we'll be seen by others before we arrive.
Be your reputation, early and often, and you're more likely to have a reputation you're glad to own.
Women are more likely than men to always buy a brand regardless of price, quality, convenience or brand promise, according to a study from CrowdTwist [download page]. Based on a survey of more than 1,000 US adults, the study shows that women belong to more loyalty programs and consider themselves loyal to more brands. Women tend to be more involved with loyalty programs in the most popular categories: 80% are members of grocery loyalty programs (versus 66% of men); and 73% are members of retail loyalty programs (compared to 64% of men).
Loyalty program membership is also higher for women in the restaurant, beauty, and household supplies categories, while men show greater involvement in the financial services, media & entertainment and automotive categories.
Nothing kills a community faster than forgetting about it. As noted above, it's important to have a launch plan and map out the goals of your community. However, many companies forget to check in on how their community is performing once they’ve launched.
Metrics are core components of a community strategy. By identifying and monitoring key metrics, you can tie performance back to business-level goals. This enables organizations to increase executive buy-in and prove a more impressive return on investment.
Metrics of importance include:
How many new members join the community each week? Each month? How many members leave? Are new members actively participating? What content has the most engagement (i.e. likes, up votes or comments)? What content has the lowest amount of engagement? What content topic is the most popular? What content topic is the least popular? What content is lacking on the site that members are requesting? What content type is the most popular (i.e. video, Q&A, etc.)? What are the personas of heavy, medium, and light contributors? Don’t let simple mistakes make you an online community murderer. Begin with a strong launch plan, create great content to drive user engagement and spark conversation, and frequently assess the health of your community and how performance aligns with company goals.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” The difference between the life you have and the life you want is often just a matter of how you think and what you believe. If you confront and change your beliefs, you’ll clear the way on your uphill journey of growth.
It's no secret that digital processes are the key that unlocks competitive advantage and business success. Yet, putting the concept into motion and achieving gains can be elusive. A new report, "Accelerating the Pace and Impact of Digital Transformation," from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services in association with the Genpact Research Institute, offers insights into the state of the digital enterprise. It states that "only 21 percent of companies are truly reaping the transformative value of digital." It also found that digital is a competitive weapon, but its impact is unevenly distributed; risk-adverse cultures are a bigger problem than the lack of technology prowess, budget or talent; and the necessary leadership, skills, vision and approach are often fragmented or immature. In this emerging space, leaders focus their efforts differently—homing in on interdependencies across organizational processes through metrics and other tools. They learn how to adopt an approach that HBR describes as "lean digital." The report states that leaders "use digital technologies to strengthen competitive prowess by launching new products and business models, and revamping the customer experience, particularly the alignment of middle- and back-office functions/systems to support it." Here's a look at some of the key findings from a survey of 680 executives across a variety of functions and industries.
When we do not know what the future holds, variety helps our organization to discover what is possible. This truth is one reason why we often hear people saying that they want to increase the diversity of their employees. Just like the biosphere, organizations evolve better if they sustain variety.
Yet examples like Cray and Chen’s are rare. One reason is that sustaining variety is expensive. How inefficient to run multiple projects that are trying to do the same thing. But another, bigger problem is that sustaining variety threatens to divide a company. People object to having others in their company working at cross purposes. How can we encourage differences without being divisive?
One way is to live by the adage “disagree and commit.” Here in Silicon Valley people attribute the saying to Intel. The idea is that you should encourage disagreement during the decision-making process, in order to improve the quality of your decisions. But once a decision is made, everybody needs to fully commit to its implementation. Unfortunately, in practice this saying often is used to silence those who see things differently. Often managers say “disagree and commit,” but they are really saying “disagree and shut up.”
The third skill that every good CEO must possess is the ability to influence and persuade. Although a CEO can dictate his or her desires to the organization, the results gained from people who are simply complying will be very different than from those gained by a committed organization.
How can someone improve their ability to influence and persuade? It first requires that a CEO gain the trust and respect of the organization. Trust and respect are earned over time, and are determined as people observe the way in which we conduct ourselves on a daily basis. The level of trust and respect that people have for us greatly impacts the degree to which we are able to influence them.
The second aspect to influencing others relates to the fact that people “buy” emotionally. It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about selling widgets or a vision of the future, people make their decisions to accept or reject on an emotional level. (They then use facts and logic to rationalize and justify their decision.) One of the most effective means of evoking emotion is through the use of stories. And some of the most effective stories are analogies. The artful use of analogies not only can evoke emotion, but can avoid arousing defensiveness in people. Effective CEOs are master storytellers.
If you want to be a more effective CEO or want to prepare yourself to become a CEO, it is essential to have vision and foresight, make decisions without all the facts, and master the ability to influence others.
Brands take notice of consumers' TV usage by embracing the channel as a way to reach people and to encourage online interactions. Responsive TV or Direct Response TV (DRTV) is a quality tool for raising online awareness and activity because brands have a longer amount of time with longer ads to explain the benefits and features of a product or service.
For example, with a 2-minute or 60-second spot, brands can use DRTV to explain their product or service's uniqueness, which is especially important for more complex offerings. Graphics can be introduced to reinforce messaging. The look and feel of the spots can give viewers a sense of the brand's website experience, so there’s already a sense of comfort to conduct an online visit.
One of the best ways to exponentially grow an online business
The industry is seeing a significant amount of drive-to-Web campaigns on television, which reflect the power of TV across all channels.
For example, companies such as hotel search pricing aggregator Trivago and Progressive insurance both encourage immediate online action, with consistent mentions of the company's sites and content regarding the ease of use.
They point to a new Watson offering in genomics as a prime example of the company’s strategy. IBM is collaborating with Quest Diagnostics, the medical laboratory company, to offer gene sequencing and Watson diagnostic analysis, as a cloud service, to oncologists treating cancer patients, starting on Monday. The service will also tap the genomics data and expertise of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Broad Institute.
Sustainability requires a set of core goals, typically borne out of a solid strategic plan. That means recruiting and retaining the right students, and not having them graduate and go across the street to Home Depot for work; but giving them what they need. This is a challenge for many institutions as state funding has been cut back, federal funding, grants continue to be a challenge. Many of us operate at the edge, so finding leadership and charging it with building a sustainability program with revenue streams — graduate study, international engagement, distance learning, in addition to campaigns for fundraising, and private public partnerships bolster this effort.”
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.