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It's Time to Let Go of These 7 Work-From-Home Myths

It's Time to Let Go of These 7 Work-From-Home Myths | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Telecommuting is a viable option for entrepreneurs, so put these falsities to rest.
Don Dea's insight:

Only IBMers can work from home.” About a decade ago, this may have been true. In fact, I used to know a guy who worked for IBM, and sure enough he was one of the privileged few at the time who worked from home. Obviously, the tech landscape has changed drastically in the last five years, causing an explosion in the work-from-home movement.

2. “You can’t make real money.” When I tell people that I work from home, I often detect skepticism in their reactions. Most people are polite and act like they think it’s great, but deep down I know better.

With the development of Elance.com and oDesk.com, the future of freelancing has never been brighter. Jobs from design and marketing to accounting and strategy are all online waiting. In fact, since oDesk’s founding in 2005, freelancers have earned over $1 billion online. Sounds like “real money” to me.

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digitalNow
Exploring leadership, management, innovation, and technology issues and trends; impacting associations & non-profit organizations in the digital age.
Curated by Don Dea
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Mobile Ad Responses, by Age Group

Mobile Ad Responses, by Age Group | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Among mobile users (smartphone and/or tablet), Millennials (16-34) are far more likely than Gen Xers (35-54) to say they respond to mobile ads in a variety of ways, according to a survey of 4,018 mobile owners aged 16+ in the US, UK, France, and Germany. In fact, almost one-quarter (23%) of Millennials surveyed said that an ad had prompted them to make a purchase, compared to 14% of respondents overall and 13% of Gen Xers. Of note, the survey results indicated that tablets were more likely than smartphones to generate a response from Gen Xers, with the opposite true for Millennials.
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Internet Adoption Rates, by Demographic, 2000-2015

Internet Adoption Rates, by Demographic, 2000-2015 | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The overall adoption rate among US adults stands at 84% this year as it has since 2013, and is up from 52% in 2000.
The study demonstrates that – among adults – internet access is almost universal among 18-29-year-olds (96%), those with a college degree (95%), those with household income of at least $50k ($50-75k: 95%; $75k+: 97%) and English-speaking Asians (97%). As one might expect given the growth trajectory of internet access, it’s the groups at the other end of those spectra that have shown the most rapid growth in adoption:

Americans aged 65 and older, from 14% in 2000 to a majority 58% this year;
Adults with household income under $30k per year, from 34% to 74%; and
Adults without a high school diploma, from 19% to 66%.
Among races and ethnicities, black Americans have shown the fastest rate of growth, more than doubling from 38% adoption in 2000 to 78% this year. And while rural Americans have lagged their urban and suburban counterparts throughout the 15-year period, the gap has been closing. Indeed, almost 8 in 10 Americans living in rural areas now report access to the internet, compared with 85% of adults living in urban and suburban areas.
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The 4 Ingredients of a Great Customer Experience in the Cloud

The 4 Ingredients of a Great Customer Experience in the Cloud | digitalNow | Scoop.it
 Software Quality: the robustness and innovation of the software itself.
A customer’s experience with a cloud vendor is first and foremost based on the quality of the software.  The word ‘quality’ is admittedly very overloaded with meaning: the innovation of the software vis a vis the competition, the richness and robustness of the feature set, and the dearth of bugs and/or product defects.  It’s this broad notion of quality that underpins any great customer experience since, despite the importance of the customer service model itself, it is the software product that is at the heart of the solution purchased.  It is impossible to build a great customer experience on a low-quality software product (please hold the Microsoft jokes :-)).
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US Ad Spending Trends, by Medium, in Q1 2015

US Ad Spending Trends, by Medium, in Q1 2015 | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Ad spending was down by 4% to $37.4 billion in Q1 2015, a fairly unsurprising result given that last year’s Q1 results were boosted by ad spend on the Sochi Olympics. Indeed, of the various media types examined, only outdoor advertising grew, by 2.9%, with radio (-0.1%) and digital media (0%) flat. For the first time, Kantar’s figures included paid search spending, which grew by 7%, as opposed to desktop display, which declined by 8.7% (with the analysts noting this is “likely attributable to mobile devices siphoning some desktop usage”. Meanwhile, print spend continued to plummet, as magazine media spend dropped by 8.7% and newspaper media spend by a more precipitous 15.4%.
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Using Fun as a Competitive Advantage

The fun strategy works if it is totally grin-qualified. This means the value-unique service experience is one very likely to make customers smile and tell a story. There will always be a few professional sour pusses that would never reveal their pleasure no matter how lively the deed. But, organizations committed to fun do not allow those “hearts of darkness” undermine their resolve to make the other 99.9% enjoy the fun.
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Do You Barely Exist As A Leader?

It’s a good thing to be front and center in the minds of your employees during those times when they are unfamiliar with a task and need extra direction and support. But it’s also a good thing to be able to fade into the background and give people autonomy when they have earned it by showing competence at a task. It’s great way to help people grow and develop in a self-directed, satisfying, and enduring manner.

Know when your people need you to be in the spotlight with them—and when it’s best to take a step back and let them shine on their own.
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Do Your Customer Service Policies Show You Trust Your Employees? 5 Strategies to Consider

Do Your Customer Service Policies Show You Trust Your Employees? 5 Strategies to Consider | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Operate from the mindset that people are generally trustworthy – Unfortunately, most organizational policies are developed from the opposite mindset: people are not to be trusted and the organization must protect itself from being taken advantage of. That’s operating from a distrusting, fear-based mindset. Undoubtedly there is a small percentage of people who look to take advantage of any given situation. Is it better to tailor your policies to the minority who want to abuse the system or design the policy to support the vast majority of trustworthy people? I advocate for the latter. When operating from a trustworthy mindset, the worse case scenario is you can monitor your policies over time and adjust as necessary given your particular business conditions. But don’t just assume your employees or customers aren’t trustworthy, because the vast majority of us are.
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7 Steps for Successfully Addressing Negative Behaviors

7 Steps for Successfully Addressing Negative Behaviors | digitalNow | Scoop.it
a model for leaders looking to provide feedback in a way that helps people learn and see what they need to do differently.

Re-direct the person as soon as possible. Do a re-direct as soon as you become aware of the mistake. When you catch mistakes early on, you can give feedback in small doses and the person can learn from it.

Confirm, review, and be specific. Review what went wrong. Make sure the goal you originally set with the person was clear. If it wasn’t, take responsibility for that, and clarify the goal. Specify exactly how the person’s behavior didn’t support your mutual goal.

Express how you feel about the mistake and its impact on results. Don’t attack the person, but do share how you feel about it. Sharing honest emotions about what you see going wrong—as well as concern about the possible negative effects on results highlights the importance of the work and your shared responsibility for succeeding.

Be quiet for a moment.  Allow people time to feel concerned about what they’ve done. Once you’ve told the person how you feel, pause for a few seconds to let it sink in. This quiet time is surprisingly important. It gives the person a chance to feel concerned about their mistake and think about the impact it might have.
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Making the Most of Manager, Mentor, and Coaching Relationships

“In times of change, learners inherit the earth while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” 

In today’s rapidly changing world we are all learners. And our busy lifestyles can make it hard to find the time for development. Three people that can help you succeed with your development plans are your boss, a mentor, or your own professional coach if you know how to employ each properly.

Each of these relationships is different by nature and all have their pros and cons.

Your Boss: In an ideal world your boss facilitates your ongoing development, assisting you to be as self-reliant in your role as possible. Many leaders offer this type of support and since they interact with you fairly frequently they have a sense of your development needs.
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Your Success as a Leader Depends on This One Thing

Your Success as a Leader Depends on This One Thing | digitalNow | Scoop.it
It’s the foundation of any successful, healthy, thriving relationship. Without it, your leadership is doomed. Creativity is stifled, innovation grinds to a halt, and reasoned risk-taking is abandoned. People check their hearts and minds at the door, leaving you with a staff who has quit mentally and emotionally but stayed on the payroll, sucking precious resources from your organization.

However, with trust, all things are possible. Energy, progress, productivity, and ingenuity flourish. Commitment, engagement, loyalty, and excellence become more than empty words in a company mission statement; they become reality. Trust has been called the “magic” ingredient of organizational life. It simultaneously acts as the bonding agent that keeps everything together as well as the lubricant that keeps things moving smoothly. Stephen M.R. Covey likes to say that while high trust won’t necessarily rescue a poor strategy, low trust will almost always derail a good one. Trust is essential to your success as a leader.

But trust doesn’t come easy and it doesn’t happen by accident. It’s advanced leadership and requires you to work at it each and every day. It starts by you being trustworthy. The ABCD Trust Model is a helpful tool to help you understand the four elements of being a trustworthy leader.

Leaders build trust when they are:

Able—Being Able is about demonstrating competence. One way leaders demonstrate their competence is having the expertise needed to do their jobs. Expertise comes from possessing the right skills, education, or credentials that establish credibility with others. Leaders also demonstrate their competence through achieving results. Consistently achieving goals and having a track record of success builds trust with others and inspires confidence in your ability. Able leaders are also skilled at facilitating work getting done in the organization. They develop credible project plans, systems, and processes that help team members accomplish their goals.
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3 Ways to Recognize—and Embrace—a New Season of Life

you are in, or moving toward, a new season.

Major life events. Any major change to your normal daily routine—such as graduating from school, marriage, the birth of a child, divorce, a new job, or caring for an elderly parent—is a clear signal. These life events will automatically cause a change in priorities and create a new norm.

A feeling of imbalance, lack of motivation, or low energy. Any of these may be an indication that you are stepping into a new season and a change of some kind is taking place. For example, if you lack motivation and commitment in your current role, it could be a sign that your new priority is to be proactive with your manager in expanding your role. The new season is about you taking control by initiating conversations and exploring how to increase your commitment and satisfaction on the job.

A shift in perspective. A conscious decision is made to take a different approach—for example, deciding to focus on helping others achieve professional growth rather than on your own professional climb up the corporate ladder. The new season is about you accepting your level of success in order to support others.

Change is an inevitable part of life. Recognize when you are stepping toward, or maybe already in, a new season. Take some time to reflect on the new priorities and behaviors that will best serve you now—and create your new norm.
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Ten Tips That Help You Work Smarter

Ten Tips That Help You Work Smarter | digitalNow | Scoop.it
We're sure that, by now, you're tempted to clobber the next person who tells you to "Work smarter, not harder!" That's easy to say—and easier to do—when you're not saddled with demanding bosses, fickle customers, dysfunctional co-workers and unforgiving deadlines. That said, the harsh reality is that these issues aren't going to go away by themselves. And if you allow them to build up, they'll create a perfect storm of relentless pressure within your daily routine. It doesn't have to be that way. Those who know how to "command the load" constantly emerge on top, while not appearing to break a sweat. With this in mind, consider the following "work smarter" tips from management expert Daniel Pink. His advice covers a wide range of must-have skills, including the need to work more efficiently, cultivate creative excellence, routinely meet (and exceed) expectations and market yourself. Pink is a bestselling author of, among other titles, Drive
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Millennials Outnumber Boomers: The Meaning For Marketers

Millennials Outnumber Boomers: The Meaning For Marketers | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Millennials seek experiences, not things
Just like their boomer parents, millennials see themselves as different from their parents.

69% of millennials crave adventure. Millennials count their worth in terms of experiences.
25% of millennials are parents according to Millennial Marketing Research.
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From Products to Services and Solutions. Embracing Customer Centricity in B2B

From Products to Services and Solutions. Embracing Customer Centricity in B2B | digitalNow | Scoop.it
a service infusion continuum. It shows the different types of services that manufactures and technology companies and others offer to their customers and it’s a variety of different types of services. They start on the one side of the continuum with services and support of their own products. This is something that almost every manufacturer, every technology company does, things like warranties, repair and maintenance, customer service phone lines. Things that they need to do to be in business around their products. But we were seeing that companies were moving into a lot of other types of services. And that was really for the purposes of growing, profiting and building their business. As they moved across the continuum, those services increasingly became more complex and more sophisticated. They are moving in the direction of services that really support their customers now, not so much supporting the products, but services that support the customers themselves. As they move along that continuum and get all the way to the very end that’s where we talk about services and solutions that really do whatever is needed that the customer needs to solve their problem rather than services associated directly with the product.
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Are Young People Watching Less TV?

Are Young People Watching Less TV? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
youth as a whole are watching less TV – and the decline appears to be accelerating. Indeed, as the data in the Q1 2015 total audience report [download page] from Nielsen attests, the drop-off in viewing by the 18-24 demo isn’t showing any signs of reversing.
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Marketers Increasingly Relying on Behavioral Research to Influence Decisions

Marketers Increasingly Relying on Behavioral Research to Influence Decisions | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Results from the survey also show that a majority are using audience measurement tools (61%), but that fewer have adopted marketing mix modeling (30%).
Achieving the optimal marketing mix is a work in progress, per the survey’s respondents, as only about half of media and agency marketers are confident that they have an optimized media mix. Even fewer – 1 in 4 – brand marketers share that confidence.

For brand marketers, a best-in-class media allocation (based on time and effort designated to each channel) breaks out as follows:

Website / content development (18% share of time and effort, down 1% point from last year);
Traditional advertising (17%, up 1% point);
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Customer Journey Maps – the Top 10 Requirements

Customer Journey Maps – the Top 10 Requirements | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Understanding your customer experience is the key to improving it, and the best way to find out what customers do, think, and feel while interacting with your company is by creating a customer journey map. This visual representation shows how a customer uses your product or service, or the decision-making process that turns a potential user into a customer.

But not all journey maps are created equal. There is no “standard map,” because there is no “standard” customer experience. The best maps are highly customized, documenting your customer’s journey, as it is today, through your customer’s eyes. This allows you to easily identify where to focus your resources in the future, and the most effective changes to implement.
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Forget Algorithms. People Rule!

Forget Algorithms. People Rule! | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Silicon Valley has realized that nothing beats the human touch. The industry is tired of waiting—or can't afford to wait—for algorithms to exceed human curation.


For more than a decade now, we've been witnessing a Google-led process by which things that used to be done by people were instead done by computers, databases, applications and algorithms.

This technology-centric approach provided the immediate benefit of lowering the cost of processing content—but at a cost. The machines never quite "got it," and they often produced results that were a little weird, incomplete, tone deaf and ultimately less-than-compelling to users.

Never mind, we were told. The algorithms are getting better all the time. They'll match and overtake human curators any day now. Just wait.
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Forget Algorithms. People Rule!

Forget Algorithms. People Rule! | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Silicon Valley has realized that nothing beats the human touch. The industry is tired of waiting—or can't afford to wait—for algorithms to exceed human curation.


For more than a decade now, we've been witnessing a Google-led process by which things that used to be done by people were instead done by computers, databases, applications and algorithms.

This technology-centric approach provided the immediate benefit of lowering the cost of processing content—but at a cost. The machines never quite "got it," and they often produced results that were a little weird, incomplete, tone deaf and ultimately less-than-compelling to users.

Never mind, we were told. The algorithms are getting better all the time. They'll match and overtake human curators any day now. Just wait.
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Big Data and the Future of Business | MIT Technology Review

Big Data and the Future of Business | MIT Technology Review | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Big data will change business, and business will change society. The hope, of course, is that the benefits will outweigh the drawbacks, but that is mostly a hope. The big-data world is still very new, and, as a society, we’re not very good at handling all the data that we can collect now. We also can’t foresee the future. Technology will continue to surprise us, just as it would an ancient man with an abacus looking upon an iPhone. What is certain is that more will not be more: It will be different.
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Why the Demand for Embedded Analytics Is Soaring

Why the Demand for Embedded Analytics Is Soaring | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The development of software now extends into every conceivable industry sector. And, more than ever, organizations seek to embed analytics and business intelligence capabilities into their applications, according to a recent survey from Logi Analytics. The self-service analytics company's third annual "State of Embedded Analytics" report indicates that most of the companies surveyed will invest in the expansion and improvement of embedded analytics over the next year, as users' interest in this technology is expected to grow considerably. Targeted outcomes include improved customer satisfaction, end-user adoption and competitive differentiation. "All modern software applications today must deliver insights and analytics at the core," says Alvin Wong, manager of product marketing for Logi Analytics. "We see the use of data transforming all products and services. Not only are all companies becoming software companies, all software applications are becoming analytic applications. As more companies adopt this point of view, we anticipate more compelling and intuitive business applications [being developed], and more users will be able to make smarter business decisions." More than 500 business and technology professionals took part in the research.
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Digital Dark Age

Digital Dark Age | digitalNow | Scoop.it
what would happen if we, as a species, lost access to our electronic records? What if, either by the slow creep of  technological obsolescence or sudden cosmic disaster, we no longer could draw from the well of of knowledge accrued through the ages? What if we fell into...a digital dark age?
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What Coaching Really Is

The beauty of coaching is that it uncovers what people already know in their hearts but maybe just needed a little digging to get to.  Giving advice is easy—in fact, I do it all day long for free.  Coaching requires skill and practice, and that’s why people pay for it.
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The Social-Network Illusion That Tricks Your Mind

The Social-Network Illusion That Tricks Your Mind | digitalNow | Scoop.it
And the majority illusion can occur in all of them. “The effect is largest in the political blogs network, where as many as 60%–70% of nodes will have a majority active neighbours, even when only 20% of the nodes are active,” they say. In other words, the majority illusion can be used to trick the population into believing something that is not true.
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Creepy New App Lets People Eavesdrop

Creepy New App Lets People Eavesdrop | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Why leave eavesdropping on phone calls to law enforcement? With the new app Crowdpilot, you can invite anyone to listen in on your phone calls. 

The idea is that you invite people to listen to a live stream of your phone call. Though listeners can't participate, they can offer you text-based advice on how you should proceed in your conversation. It even comes with a handy array of categories for your calls including "argument," "meeting," and "date."

Of course, the CrowdPilot's terms of service strongly recommend that users inform anyone on the call that other people will be listening in, but there's no built-in mechanism to inform them. Given all the news lately about state-sponsored surveillance, the appeal of an app like this is lost on me.

Still, I'm sure it will appeal to the same casual online voyeurs that services like ChatRoulette have catered to in the past. And it will make me just a tiny bit more paranoid than I was yesterday.
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