IT 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.
After considering several options, Perficient recommended Progress Sitefinity, a flexible, easy-to-use CMS and digital platform that provides a consistent way of entering and managing content. It is also SEO-friendly and scalable and supports analytics across the Website. Implementation began in mid-2015.
Working with Perficient, Majeski and the digital team developed a unified customer experience from the 40 Websites and microsites. They consolidated multiple data repositories into a single, integrated entity with a secure hosting environment and searchable global access to digital images and videos.
The system was fully operational by February 2016. "In one day, we turned off 17 years of accumulated infrastructure and launched the new system," Majeski reports. "There were no issues, which is what other Sitefinity users had told us when we were researching this product."
The system simplified site maintenance, resulting in a 50 percent improvement in efficiency. That freed up the digital team, a cross-functional group of 10 staffers, to focus on other work. Some create daily digital content, while others work on the user experience, digital collection and analytics.
What fuels you to push forward when the pressure is on?
If you’re like the majority of the Western world, you’re probably motivated by greater and greater personal financial success, the yardstick most leaders use to assess their value. Year after year, you work longer hours, pushing yourself to even-higher heights — the next promotion, broader recognition, or another impressive leap in income — only to discover that the “high” of reaching that next level disappears in mere minutes or days.
But our individual success is not what we care most about.
Each of us has a powerful need to positively affect the people and world around us. This need and inspiration is called our “noble goal.” In its simplest form, our noble goal is our personal response to the question: What context, atmosphere, or environment do I want to create for myself and others?
When we remain in the narrow, scarcity mindset of self-focus and self-promotion, we lose our care for others and the broader perspective. When our motivation is exclusively centered on elevating our own “success,” we create an environment of distrust, competition, animosity, and separation.
But, when we connect to a noble goal, it’s clarity inspires us and guides us toward what we really care to bring about in the world, in all domains of our lives – our families, our workplace, our communities, and our society. It is our North Star, and it has the power to guide both our long-term direction as well as our moment-by-moment choices.
PARTY POOPERS Some leaders assume that every party needs a pooper, and that a leader should point out flaws in others’ work—or say ‘No’ to others’ ideas. Their guiding principle seems to be negativism, and if something does turn out right, they feel compelled to point out that it could have been done better. Few things demotivate and demoralize a team faster.
IMPROV CORRECTIVE: Understand the difference between Divergent thinking (generating as many ideas as you can) and Convergent thinking (winnowing them down to one or two killer ideas). During divergent thinking, take off the “critical thinking” hat so you and your team can fully explore the possibility and potential of ideas before shooting them down. Then reapply the critical thinking skills in a separate convergent thinking phase, as you drive toward a productive outcome.
DR. KNOW-IT-ALLs For these leaders, there has never been a good idea that couldn’t be dismissed in favor of their ‘better’ idea. These people judge the decisions of others without collaborating or contributing to the team in any meaningful way. They are much more interested in highlighting their own achievements, accolades, status and rank.
IMPROV CORRECTIVE: Set the ego aside. Make sure that your subordinates and colleagues perceive your own goal as a leader to be the achievement of positive team results, not personal gain. If you’ve created a strong, improvisational team and a ‘Yes and’ environment, everyone will help each other succeed; team success is personal success. A good leader will make a good team look great, and a great team will make a good leader look amazing.
Mobilizing your boss: Focus on strategic issues and demonstrate financial results
When we asked CMOs about their primary role, some responded that they “ran the marketing organization” or “led their companies’ advertising and brand campaigns.” We believe many other functional leaders would provide similar departmentally focused responses. By contrast, the most effective and successful leaders in our study were more likely to describe their primary role as increasing company growth or better outreach to customers to improve performance. We found that a key determinant of success was taking on the big issues, those in sync with the CEO’s agenda and contributing to the company’s overall performance. Aligning with the CEO’s strategy explained 10 percent of CMO business impact and 10 percent of career success.
But are functional leaders well aligned with the CEO’s agenda? Seventy-six percent of our CMOs said yes—but just 46 percent of the bosses in our 360-degree database believed their marketers knew where the organization was going. Many functional leaders, it seems, could and should better align with the top.
The problem is that when you're, as a manager or a team leader, when you're in that Superman state, there's no room for anybody else. There's no room for anyone else to discover their inner leader, their inner manager. You've taken up all the room. You're the go-to guy, or gal. You're the one that everybody knows, whether they say it out loud or not, you're the one that's going to check it before that email goes out. You're the one that's going to follow up with the customer. You're the one that's going to track down that missing data. You're the one that's going to mediate the inner personal conflict when things get too ugly. You're the one, and this is what happens with leaders who care. We don't know how to modulate our care.
We don't know how to set a boundary and say, "You know what? I care so much that I'm going to stop interfering. I'm going to let you make mistakes, and I'm going to be here to help you grow if you're willing to look at your mistakes and say, you know what? I really screwed that up. I don't know why. Can you help me get to the bottom of it?"
That's Yoda, right? That's the Yoda style of leadership that says, "Hey, I'm here to support you. I'm not here to solve all your problems." The Superman leader is the one who's constantly running around saving the day. The joke that I made in the book is right. He never takes Lois Lane aside and says, "Hey, so that time when you decided to go down the dark factory in the middle of the night with nobody around to find out the evil genius...? Maybe don't do that next time. What was your game plan there?”
There's a huge pivot to make, and a lot of my clients, they started mirroring it back to me. They said, "Oh yeah, I totally Supermanned that." People start using it as lingo, so that's when it really started to catch on.
The approach you take in marketing should target your audience. There is no need to spend a lot of money selling to people who won’t buy your goods. Segment your market and put more efforts where your audience reside. Can you significantly increase the sales of the Holy Quran by marketing so much in churches? The same case is applicable irrespective of the product or service you are dealing with. The best approach is to undertake a market survey to know where and when to find your audience and target them. Online marketing is very effective when it comes to segmenting the market but you can still segment the physical market.
As your work on your marketing strategy, make sure that the target audience can get back to you with a lot of ease. Some companies offer call management services that can assist you reach your marketing goals with a lot of ease. You can understand how these cloud-based phone system companies work by visiting just to name a few. The most important thing is to remain in touch with your audience.
You waste creative energy struggling between your need for autonomy and your organization’s need for you to be a follower Based on the CEO’s rejection, I had three choices moving forward: I could continue to push the envelope and create “out of the cage” designs that would continue to get rejected; I could recognize the limits of the organization and work within them; I could meet the organization’s current needs while trying to help it begin to build better cages. Over time, I chose to do all three, depending on the importance of the project, the risks involved and the amount of energy I was willing to expend. The reality is you always have choices. Self leaders recognize the choices they have, including the ultimate choice of walking away. You waste emotional energy struggling between your need to find personal meaning and the organization’s need to move collectively toward a common vision If individuals are to find meaning in their work, they must seek it themselves. An organization can never meet everyone’s needs, no matter how noble its vision. It’s unrealistic. This means individuals must seek and derive their own meaning from work. But, an organization full of self-serving individuals cannot work, either.
"You can't scale up digital business experiments if you can't quantify what's going on and you're not going to quantify what's going on with proper hard targets and numbers if you haven't defined what IT is," Raskino says. "Only if you've clarified a strategy can you determine changes and put a KPI [key performance indicator] against it."
In the past, traditional process-driven organizations generally viewed data as a secondary byproduct. Now, however, many of these enterprises are using data strategically to help them become more competitive, increase revenue and profits, reduce risk and begin new initiatives, according to a new report. Some are even building entire business models in order to deliver exceptional products and services. The report, "Data and Advanced Analytics: High-Stakes, High Rewards," produced by EY and Forbes Insights, stated: "Global executives that understand the full value of advanced analytics are making it a core element in their business strategies and using it as a competitive differentiator." Chris Mazzei, EY global chief analytics officer and emerging technology leader, added, "Companies have moved from pilot projects that originated in business units or countries to using data and advanced analytics at enterprise levels to rethink and reimagine their entire business to identify new opportunities." The report surveyed 1,518 C-level executives based in the Americas, the Asia-Pacific rim region and EMEA
Buy Now, Book A Flight, Request A Quote--Whatever next step you want the user to take (which is typically the objective of your campaign) should be vibrantly displayed in your content.
Every successful advertising campaign contains a clear and compelling call-to-action (CTA). This “button” tells the user what the next step is and is how they get from the advertisement back to your site, moving them further down the funnel and closer to the point of conversion.
When it comes to selecting a CTA, you want to focus on language that is relevant to your brand, service or products, and completely obvious to the user. Anything ambiguous can confuse the user, and even if they click on the CTA, arriving at an onsite page that doesn’t meet their expectations won’t result in a conversion. That being said, you want to avoid generic language like “learn more” or “read more”—while this can be relevant to what you’re promoting, it isn’t unique to your brand, or even your industry.
. Privacy Privacy is all but dead — but that’s not the worrying part.
People, in general, have come to accept the loss of their online privacy as a forgone conclusion. If we go by usage statistics of privacy-pinching apps like Facebook alone, most internet users have succumbed to the fact that, to use the most popular online platforms, you need to part with elements of your privacy.
But Tim Berners-Lee is of a different opinion. In an article published by The Guardian, Berners-Lee stressed that privacy shouldn’t be viewed as a luxury of old. Instead, it should be seen as nothing less than a human right.
You “can't mess with human rights like that without massive unexpected and very disastrous consequences,” he stated.
In a separate interview with Wired, Berners-Lee accused governments of increasingly watching every move online, and passing extreme laws that trample on privacy rights. “Watching everyone all the time is simply going too far,” he said.
Product driven. For organizations whose strategic imperative is to design and launch products more effectively, advanced analytics combines with design to value, becoming analytics to value, or AtV. Journey driven. Many organizations have already seen a dramatic impact from applying lean management’s end-to-end perspective to their customer journeys. Digital technologies and agile processes let organizations make these changes more easily, quickly, and sustainably—and on a greater scale, with a bigger impact—than ever before. Together, the technologies and processes form EdgE, or end-to-end digital enablement. Cost and budget driven. Traditional cost-control measures have often been a blunt instrument at best, but a more sophisticated analysis required too much data and coordination to be practical. Now, sophisticated analytics techniques make zero-based budgeting, or ZBB, more feasible, flexible, and profitable than ever. Manufacturing driven. To help companies reach new levels of resource productivity and effectiveness, digital manufacturing connects novel and existing data sources with smarter machines and new process technologies.
The vast majority of companies recognize that digital customer experiences (CX) represent a make-or-break proposition in terms of competitive differentiation, but digital strategy shortcomings are limiting their ability to deliver, according to a recent survey from Dimension Data. The resulting "Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report" indicates that very few organizations are able to connect all CX channels. Most, in fact, still rely on dated resources such as telephone and email communications to support customers. Very few consider their company's digital business strategy optimized. And, while most said customer analytics and connected customer journeys will greatly affect CX for the near future, the majority of businesses do not collect data to review and improve customer journey patterns. "The digital dilemma is deepening, and organizations need to choose a path between digital crisis or redemption," said Joe Manuele, Dimension Data's group executive for CX and collaboration. "The world has formed a digital skin, and business, service, technology and commercial models have changed forever. However, organizations are strategically challenged to keep pace with customer behavior." Representatives of more than 1,350 global organizations took part in the research.
Reality is more complex than a simple process of cause and effect. The idea that a variable -- among hundreds -- is uniquely responsible for a mistake is simplistic and misleading, as action happens in a context and many forces are at play. The mindset "A didn't work, then let's do B instead" fails to understand that maybe “A” was perfectly fine, but with the presence of factors (like “C”), “B” will fail too. Not to mention that variables change as the system changes. Ignoring this systems approach, the "lessons learned" session delivers facile lists of dos and don’ts without getting a deeper sense of reality -- all in the name of quick and decisive action. I can imagine my biased-for-action readers reacting to these words with suspicion: isn't action and experience how we learn best? Yes, but only if we take the time to design meaningful actions designed as experiments, open hypotheses to be tested whose purpose is to give us a better picture of reality.
Most of us have already experienced this somehow. After all, isn’t it easier to find a workaround in a tricky situation than to risk a confrontation - even if that confrontation might open the door to a lasting solution? This is just one example among many.
Instead of trying to erase or evade the potential for pain in the midst of challenges, I advise leaders to lean into the experience. This begins with acknowledging that pain will inevitably arise - whether you’re holding a touchy conversation with an employee who has been an hour late for a week straight, or making the decision to cut back on departmental funding or personnel.
Pain can be a tricky thing. We humans experience pain differently. Our threshold for pain is entirely subjective. Pain is a stimulus, and how we perceive that stimulus differs based on our individual propensity to sense it and tolerate it. One person might faint at breaking a bone while another doesn’t realize it’s broken for days, if not weeks. To be an effective leader, you have to understand your relationship with pain and learn to endure it. It is, quite simply, part of the process of effective leadership. Leaders must be mentally prepared for this fact that pain and have a toolkit at their fingertips for rising to meet challenges instead of shirking them in favor of stability and comfort.
The findings offered additional insights on how CEOs may gain a clear-eyed perspective for action. In our sample as a whole, CEO’s joining low-performing companies derived the biggest benefits from conducting a strategic review. Our exceptional CEOs did not join struggling companies in disproportionate numbers, but they were significantly (about 60 percent) more likely to conduct a strategic review in their first two years on the job versus the average CEO in our sample (Exhibit 2).
To explore the effectiveness of different kinds of leadership behavior at companies in different states of organizational health, we surveyed more than 375,000 people from 165 organizations across multiple industries and geographies. Drawing both from our own work experience and from evolving academic research, we focused on more than 20 distinct kinds of behavior that cover a broad range of leadership characteristics and appear, at least under certain circumstances, to correlate closely with strong corporate performance.1 Analytically, we studied organizational health and leadership effectiveness in turn. First, health: We sorted companies into organizational-health quartiles, then observed which leadership behaviors were most prevalent in each quartile. We were particularly interested in identifying leadership behaviors that were almost always present (as it turned out, there weren’t many), and those that were more (or less) prevalent, depending upon an organization’s current state of health. Next, we repeated the quartile approach but this time, we focused not on health but on leadership effectiveness. Which behaviors did respondents perceive to be most effective?
1. Strong Writing Skills No matter the format, media is all about being able to communicate an idea, and the digital space is no exception. Strong writing skills are essential for nonprofit professionals because your organization needs to effectively and clearly communicate your mission and your goals to prospective donors. Your choice of words can stir an emotional response in people, which is exactly what you need to be able to do in order to get them to contribute to your cause. Without that ability to use language in such a way, the other skills won’t have as great of an impact. 2. Effective Community-Building Thanks to social media, the world is more connected than ever and that means building communities becomes more important for nonprofits. Nonprofit professionals need to understand how they can utilize social media posts and their content to create strong networks of people that promote a positive response in donors. Ultimately, this should drive them to action, which includes being interactive with that community and actively responding to the community’s requests and inquiries. In the past, it was thought that simply being on social media and engaging with donors was enough. However, the understanding today is that social media has to be a means of disseminating high-quality content that drives donations. 3. Flexibility and Versatility
If you struggle with this, here’s five tips to help you say no with more confidence:
Back-of-the-envelope pros and cons. Making a decision with information in front of you is always easier. By simply writing down the pros and cons of either a yes or no decision enables you to clearly see the implications of your decision. Actions speak louder than words. It is important that your actions are consistent with your words. If you are constantly answering yes to things and not following through because you really should have said no, then you will find yourself with more challenges that if you simply said no in the first place. Set yourself some clear rules and boundaries and stick to them. If you’re not 100 per cent committed to your answer, then ask for time.
Many incidents inside companies never hit the headlines, but recent evidence suggests that more are turning into full-blown corporate crises (exhibit). The total amount paid out by corporations on account of US regulatory infractions has grown by over five times, to almost $60 billion per year, from 2010 to 2015. Globally, this number is in excess of $100 billion. Between 2010 and 2017, headlines with the word “crisis” and the name of one of the top 100 companies as listed by Forbes appeared 80 percent more often than in the previous decade.1 Most industries have had their casualties. For instance, the US auto industry recalled a total of around 53 million vehicles in 2016, up from about 20 million in 2010, while the US Food and Drug Administration sent out nearly 15,000 warning letters to noncompliant organizations in 2016, up from just north of 1,700 in 2011.
Leadership isn't confined to the C-suite. Companies increasingly look for solid leadership skills when adding to their workforce, whether the roles are entry-level or executive. Stephany Samuels, senior vice president of people strategy at IT recruiting and staffing firm Mondo, explains which qualities you should be looking for when hiring and how to identify the leaders in your talent pool.
"Companies thrive and grow when their workforce is comprised of leaders that instinctively explore creative solutions and bring out the best in their colleagues. So, how can you enhance your ability to recognize a leader in the hiring process? There are some qualities you should be looking for when you're hiring for leaders," she says.
A new survey says that technological innovation is crucial to modern enterprises' ability to solve business challenges, pursue innovation and drive higher revenues. Almost half of CIOs must follow the board's vision, but one-third said they have "wide scope to pursue innovations, whether they receive a free hand on IT or the directors' backing for their work colleagues' new ideas," the report said. The research was conducted by Sapio Research for Teneo, a specialist technology integrator. Teneo's CTO Marc Sollars said, "CIOs know that old-style board-driven or in-house innovation models won't satisfy customers who are already working closely with them in extended supply chains or federated business models, giving them far more clout than before." IT leaders are taking more sophisticated approaches to make innovation happen on a worldwide scale. To do so, Sollars said, CIOs must either set up new types of collaborations as they execute across multiple time zones and hundreds of locations, or cede specific areas to outside experts if their in-house teams lack the necessary skills. The reasons CIOs are ceding sole control of innovation strategy are complex global operations and extended supply chains. Sapio Research surveyed 400 global enterprises, half in the United States and half in the United Kingdom.
Shift #1: From running uncoordinated efforts within siloes to launching an integrated operational-improvement program organized around journeys
Many organizations have multiple independent initiatives underway to improve performance, usually housed within separate organizational groups (e.g. front and back office). This can make it easier to deliver incremental gains within individual units, but the overall impact is most often underwhelming and hard to sustain. Tangible benefits to customers—in the form of faster turnaround or better service—can get lost due to hand-offs between units. These become black holes in the process, often involving multiple back-and-forth steps and long lag times. As a result, it’s common to see individual functions reporting that they’ve achieved notable operational improvements, but customer satisfaction and overall costs remain unchanged.
A Chat Widget With More Than Meets the Eye In the end I selected a potential service that fit the requirements above, and by how it looked and interacted with people coming to the website: a sleek, unbranded app that didn't force people to enter details when they asked questions.
But the tool turned out to be something more than a chat widget. It automatically collects web viewers, tags them based on on-site behavior and sends emails to them — both manual and automated.
It was awesome, with one minor complication: many of these chat widgets charge you per agent using it or by the number of conversations. This one charged by the number of users it collected.
And it collected: over 3,000 users in its database in a span of a week. It ended up being too expensive for my purposes.
Does a 'Simple' Chat Widget Exist? In the search for the perfect chat widget, I saw a wide variety of solutions. It was hard to even establish a common meaning of what a chat widget really is.
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