digitalNow
Follow
Find
24.0K views | +11 today
 
Scooped by Don Dea
onto digitalNow
Scoop.it!

Teams Can’t Innovate If They’re Too Comfortable

Lessons from a different kind of conference.
Don Dea's insight:

the cost of thinking with people like you hurts the rate of innovation – as measured by new ideas — by 15%. Thinking with people different from you improves the quality of decisions by nearly 50%. (Many other studies have shown similar results.)

more...
Don Cloud's curator insight, August 27, 2014 8:46 PM

Interesting idea on how to push your people and organization outside its institutional comfort zone to foster debate, new ideas, risk taking, and thus innovation.

digitalNow
Exploring leadership, management, innovation, and technology issues and trends; impacting associations & non-profit organizations in the digital age.
Curated by Don Dea
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

Five Forces of Complexity and Change

Five Forces of Complexity and Change | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Complexity and change is occurring fast today, and it’s getting faster. This is not news; you’ve heard it before, and doubtless you will hear it again. You also know it from your own experience.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

Innovation Enablers

Innovation Enablers | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Gamification – Time to get serious

Successful gamification requires an understanding of game-mechanics – the real-life behavioural rules for the decisions we make every day in deciding whether or not to participate in a given activity.

Your morning commute, the prioritization of your daily work tasks, your trip to the gym – they all have a goal, a reason for doing them, an incentive for completing them. If those elements are strong, you choose to participate, if those elements are weak, you don’t. In envisioning these processes as “games” you’re able to see many of the key “rules” that govern our decisions on whether or not to take part.

You can re-envision pretty much any given process requiring human engagement as a “game” of sorts; just because we choose (and it is a choice) not to envision the process as such, just because we choose not to design it as such; doesn’t make it any less of a “game” – it just makes it a bad game nobody wants to play.

Competition is probably the most well-known game mechanic to drive participation. For many, the kudos of providing an idea that gets commercialized is often enough to get most people at least interested in the process. For others, the community building aspects of Collaboration and Group Involvement are driving factors for participation.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

Top 21 Tech Complaints

Top 21 Tech Complaints | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Home automation. Paranoid control freaks don’t want all-knowing sensors and all-seeing lenses everywhere. And why does the camera on my MacBook keep staring at me?

Delivery drones. What, not enough instant gratification in your life?

Virtual reality. Where is it? If you happen to find it, look and see if the fiber to my home is there too, will you?  

Printers and scanners. I get why HP can’t get the drivers and settings to work right. The whole company’s a dysfunctional mess. What’s Epson’s excuse? Do they even do anything else?

PCs. Duh.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

Kindness In Leadership

Kindness In Leadership | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Kindness includes being positive and encouraging. It also includes helping people feel good about themselves. This is a great description of leadership: how we help make someone feel, how we inspire a can do attitude, how we help others gain confidence.
In my work with business leaders, with 360 leadership assessments and developing winning organizational cultures and teamwork, I regularly hear that people want their managers to be honest and make the time to help them learn and succeed. They realize this often means being forthright and leveling with them about areas of professional development. Yet, managers are often too busy to realize their responsibility to give constructive feedback to help their people learn and grow.
It is important to realize that giving constructive feedback, mentoring and coaching our team members and others are also acts of kindness. Everyone wants to do well and be successful. Their learning, growth and success is our responsibility as leaders just as much as it is our team members’ own responsibility.
We can give constructive feedback in a kind manner, letting our people know we genuinely care about them.
Ideally we have these conversations in person, and if we cannot be with them, we pick up the phone and call them.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

Risk, Great Ideas, and Your Business Model

Risk, Great Ideas, and Your Business Model | digitalNow | Scoop.it
your task is to understand the job that the user/customer wants to do, and then to figure out how to do it more simply, more efficiently, with less waste, and with more fun. When you discover experiences that are difficult, awkward, unsatisfying, etc. you know that a task or job is being done inefficiently, and hence you’ve also found the opportunity to remove inefficiency and replace it with the opposite, simplicity, ease, or fun, and get paid for doing it.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

Workers Want Ethics and Transparency From Leaders

When asked for a "top three" list of qualities they want from organizational leaders, a cross-section of generational employees ranked a strong sense of ethics, honesty and transparency at the top, according to a survey study from IBM. The accompanying report, "Myths, Exaggerations and Uncomfortable Truths," focuses primarily on perspectives held by Millennial workers. However, the findings also provide insights about both contrasting and shared sentiments among the three major workplace generations: Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers—especially when it comes to opinions about their leaders. As for the use of social media to gain a professional edge, Millennials predictably are well ahead of their Boomer colleagues. "The fundamental distinction between Millennials and older employees is their digital proficiency," according to the report. "Millennials are the first generation to grow up immersed in a digital world. Using mobile and social technologies; immediately accessing data, ideas and inspiration; and instantly communicating and collaborating [are] second nature for these digital natives." More than 1,780 employees worldwide took part in the research.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

Why Asking For Help Is One Of Your Greatest Strengths

Why Asking For Help Is One Of Your Greatest Strengths | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Do you find it easy to ask for help? I’ll admit this doesn’t come easy for me. I’m getting better at it but still have a long way to go. I consider myself to be pretty independent so asking for help is definitely not something that comes naturally to me. There are many times I’d rather go it alone than admit I’m in need of assistance. I think this comes from, somewhere along the way something told me (or someone told me or society told me) that asking for help equated to weakness or dependence. What I’ve discovered is that it’s anything but that. It’s a sign of great strength to not only admit that you are in need of help but also to accept help from others. Why is it a sign of strength? Because it takes a strong person to be self-aware of their own limitations and admit to them. It takes a strong person to solicit the support of others and then actually accept that help.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

What Does Success Really Look Like?

to be effective as a leader doesn’t mean you need to have all the answers. Rather, it means having the ability to ask the big questions – questions that encourage your employees to question their assumptions, that transform obstacles into challenges that can be overcome, and that enable your employees to believe in your shared purpose and their ability to achieve it.

So what does success really look like? As the questions above illustrate, that all depends on what you want to accomplish and in particular, why that goal matters to your shared purpose and to the internal drive for meaning found within your employees.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

Ten Facts You Should Know About Telecommuting

While the number of U.S. telecommuters represents only a small percentage of the overall workforce, the trend is clearly on the upswing. Still, given that half of American employees hold a job that's compatible with a telework schedule, there's plenty of room for improvement. Managers and senior executives (most famously Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer) often present obstacles to telework, citing the need to keep staffers in the office for accountability reasons. There's also the prevailing perception that in-person interaction improves team cohesion and collaboration. With that in mind, if you want to state your case for a work-from-home arrangement—even on a part-time basis—you may want to present the following 10 facts about telecommuting. For starters, they show that organizations can cut costs significantly when they provide this benefit to employees—if just from savings in office space allocations and operational expenses. Meanwhile, research shows that employees who telecommute work more hours than office-based professionals. And they're more productive too. The following 10 facts are compiled from a number of online resources, including those posted by Global Workplace Analytics and PGi.

 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

Why do smart executives make bad decisions?

Why do smart executives make bad decisions? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Why do seemingly intelligent and well-meaning executives make bad business decisions?
Don Dea's insight:

Worst practices

 Rigid silos
Whether purposefully, a product of geography or a matter of culture, employees in many organizations are “siloed” in discrete units or departments. Rigid silos restrict the flow of ideas, hampering the collaborative process required for developing sound analysis and making informed decisions.

Executives who possess a siloed worldview — i.e. “empire builders” — can be particularly toxic. Unlike lower-level managers, these individuals have the power to inhibit the allocation of necessary resources and the development and implementation of strategy that serves the interests of the larger organization.

Excessive politics
Politicking is inevitable when any group is gathered to make an important decision. The trouble occurs when politicking gets out of control and supersedes sound logic. This sort of dysfunction breeds and emboldens bias and ago, which can hijack the process and lead to lousy decision-making.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

3 Difficult-To-Swallow Truths About The History Of Education And The Future Of Technology

One part of the current education reform agenda argues that the internet has made the world bigger. Or, more accurately, the boundaries of our everyday experiences have expanded. Therefore, because we are more connected than ever before, the story goes, we need to think about education as the practice of [...]
Don Dea's insight:

What’s confusing is that Plato’s Republic was not prescriptive. He didn’t want the system he described. Instead, he was trying to show readers the essential political, educational, and ethical qualities of a society that valued unregulated growth and expansion.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

Good values spark good customer service

Customer service is something that is a reflection of corporate values.
Good service is a reflection of good values. When an employee says that management makes it easy to do what’s right, it means they are teaching employees to put customers first and, most importantly, backing it up by example.
Organizations whose cultures place a premium on doing what’s right are organizations for which employees want to work and customers want to patronize.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

How To Stop Worrying

How To Stop Worrying | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Mindfulness practice brings all sorts of insights into the workings of the mind. Perhaps the hardest to grasp is the idea that thoughts are not reality. We’re so accustomed to providing a narrative track to our lives and believing in our story that to see things otherwise is a real challenge.
You know as well as I do that all kinds of ridiculous thoughts go through our heads. And sometimes you know not to trust them. When you’re tired, drunk, angry or sick you don’t take your thoughts as seriously.
Mindfulness says you should go a step further. Because you have lots of crazy or silly thoughts all the time. And they can make you anxious or bring you down.
Don Dea's insight:

The great psychologist Albert Ellis said we should dispute our irrational thoughts. Great advice — but it can be difficult. You have to be exceedingly rational for it to work.

And sometimes disputing those thoughts can be like a “Chinese finger trap” — the more you resist, the more they ensnare you.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

How data can empower, not replace, your managers

How data can empower, not replace, your managers | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Evolving middle management
It’s important to remember that this is not an all-or-nothing situation. This isn’t about replacing humans; it’s about redefining job descriptions. Big Data and your evolved middle manager positions should happily and productively coexist.
Data analysis tools have become so efficient that managers can access real-time data and take informed action immediately. This means our evolved manager can be inventive and focused on the future.
You should gradually bring together your data scientists, managers, and data tools to meet your unique business needs. You need to have a clear strategy so you can introduce this evolution without terrifying your team. Here are four tips to help:
1. Identify (and reap) the benefits. Replacing some middle manager roles with Big Data tools will shift your company’s mindset. It will free up time for your employees to focus on interpreting data to drive innovation. Big Data will make your company leaner and give you more bang for your salary buck.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

How Corporate Culture Affects Job Satisfaction

The majority of HR managers queried acknowledge that they've occasionally misjudged a job candidate's capability to fit in with their organization's professional environment, and these decisions have often led to employees either quitting or getting fired, according to a recent survey from OfficeTeam. In many cases, a company's culture can affect the overall job experience as much as the work itself or the salary. So it's up to professionals to understand the key qualities that determine their job satisfaction. For example, some individuals may prefer to join an organization in which assignments and office hours are highly structured. Others may favor a place that embraces employee autonomy and risk-taking—and pays little attention to when team members arrive and leave. Other cultural influencers include corporate values, career advancement opportunities and out-of-office social activities. To get a better sense of what to look for, we're including the following questions to ask yourself about what you seek in company culture. (They are adapted from OfficeTeam suggestions.) "Employers often focus on ensuring a skill fit when recruiting," says Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. "But a corporate culture fit is equally important and more challenging to gauge. Both hiring managers and candidates [should] ask questions during the interview to check that their values align." More than 300 U.S. HR managers took part in the research.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

Consumer-Facing Apps Help Attract & Keep Customers

Consumer-Facing Apps Help Attract & Keep Customers | digitalNow | Scoop.it
As digital business moves into the mainstream, a growing number of executives recognize the fact that software applications play a prominent role in attracting, servicing and retaining customers. What's more, as the environment heats up, these apps are critical to achieving a competitive advantage and boosting customer loyalty. A recently released study conducted by Zogby Analytics on behalf of CA Technologies, "Software: The New Battleground for Brand Loyalty," points out that consumer-facing software is now a make-or-break proposition that's critical to business growth and success. "Software is no longer just the economy's oil, but its oxygen," the report states. In fact, the study found that businesses delivering a sub-par application experience risk losing 25 percent of their customers. In addition, more than two-thirds of consumers expected a load time of six seconds or less, and slightly more than half of these respondents demanded a load time of less than three seconds. Overall, the report found that consumers are focused on three key areas: quick-loading sites and apps, simple functionality, and the assurance of security
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

Clear the fog that prevents great decision-making

What causes workplace “fog”? It might come from unclear expectations. If front-line leaders or team members do not understand the company’s purpose, values and behaviors, strategies, and goals, they won’t know what an “aligned response” is; so, they rarely deliver one.
It might come from distrust of the team leader or distrust expressed by the team leader.
Don Dea's insight:

It might come from a dysfunctional team culture, where peers challenge any proactive attempts to serve well, to fix bent or broken processes, to cooperate rather than compete, etc.

To boost productivity, engagement, and service, leaders must clear the fog from their workplace. A proven way to do so is to define your desired team culture, then align all plans, decisions, and actions to those “liberating rules.”

A perfect structure for these “liberating rules” is an organizational constitution, a formal statement which specifies the team’s purpose, behaviorally defined values, strategies, and goals.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

Excellence v equity

Excellence v equity | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Although individuals enjoy decent returns to their investment in higher education, it is less clear that society as a whole does. The big question is whether the graduate premium is the consequence of higher productivity or of establishing a pecking order. If universities increase people’s productivity, then society should invest in having more graduates, but if they are merely a mechanism for signalling to employers that graduates are cleverer than non-graduates, then it should not. And since little effort goes into measuring whether universities actually educate people—a matter to which this special report will return—society does not know whether investing in education is worthwhile.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

How to Change the World -- No Really

Truth is, the vast majority who say they want to change the world really just want attention. They want to feel important. Special. It’s really all about ego and self-interest. This phenomenon is more or less a function of the Me Generation’s unprecedented narcissism and entitlement fueled by Silicon Valley’s creation, Web 2.0.

The sad thing about all this grandiose perception and rhetoric is it just distracts people. It keeps them from doing what really matters. It keeps them from focusing on their own lives, their own families and their own jobs. It keeps them from building successful businesses with real products, customers and employees.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

Top Challenges Facing Project Managers

If you're a project manager, you probably deal with a lot of frustration—and you are not alone. Seven out of 10 organizations surveyed experience at least one project failure in a year. To make matters worse, nearly four out of five software development project professionals say that the business side is "usually" or "always" out of sync with project requirements. And only 40 percent of change-management executives say IT projects generally meet schedule, budget and quality-based goals. So what factors contribute to these issues? The top culprit appears to be giving project teams work that has nothing to do with the project itself, according to a recent survey from Janco Associates. In addition, there are an assortment of unrealistic expectations, time pressures, staffing shortfalls and inadequate tech resources, findings reveal. Clearly, IT projects need leadership that combines technology savvy with effective business-focused oversight to successfully navigate these hurdles. Following are the top challenges facing  project managers, according to nearly 180 IT project managers who took part in the research. All of them have at least one year of experience in managing teams with at least five members.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

Do You Have A Healthy Relationship With Opportunity?

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
Don Dea's insight:

Opportunities also serve as the driving force that pushes organizations into pursuing new territory, in the hopes of discovering potential new markets for their products/services to boost stagnant or declining revenue shares.

It’s no doubt the reason why we find it so hard to say “No” to new opportunities because of the inherent belief that any opportunity which crosses our path is an open door leading us one step closer to our objectives.

Although we spend so much time talking about seeking opportunities, we rarely consider the importance or value of the quality of the opportunities we’re offered. That’s why most of us approach opportunities from the vantage point of “if we don’t accept it or if we pass this up, what will we lose?”

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

The One Challenge All Leaders Secretly Face

The One Challenge All Leaders Secretly Face | digitalNow | Scoop.it
t’s also important to recognize that we all suffer from those moments of uncertainty, sometimes brought on by a very public failure, other times as a result of our own natural insecurities regarding our abilities as our organization continues to evolve and grow. Allowing ourselves to be open about these doubts and taking positive action to not only address them, but manage them, will help you pass through them quicker so you can dust yourself off and get back on the horse.
Don Dea's insight:

Offer help to those around you
No matter what your position is in your organization, all of us are driven by a need to know that we can be of help, that what we do matters to those around us. For leaders, these moments of self-doubt are a perfect opportunity to get out from behind the desk and wander around to see what your team is up to and how you can help them complete some of the tasks currently on their plate.

Your impromptu lending of a helping hand will not only remind your team of your role to help them succeed, but it will also give you that feeling of accomplishment you need to get past these feelings of uncertainty over your ability to contribute in a meaningful fashion.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

How Technology Disrupts Work-Life Balance

How Technology Disrupts Work-Life Balance | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Only a minority of workers surveyed think they have good work-life balance, and they cite the constant access to technology as a primary culprit, according to a recent survey conducted by the Harris Poll for Workfront. The "Work-Life Imbalance Report" points out that a combination of demanding bosses, the constant need to work outside of normal hours and inflexible schedules regularly intrude on personal time. As a result, many employees have missed major life occasions, such as birthdays and their children's events, and most feel that the concept of the family dinner has essentially been ruined. Citing other research, Workfront notes that studies show that employees are more focused when they receive appropriate amounts of downtime. The company suggests that employers should establish acceptable times to send and receive emails (and when not to send messages), and should encourage their staffers to use all their available paid time off (PTO). "Technology is infused throughout our modern lifestyle—be it in the home or at work—but we need to be conscientious about how and when to use it," advises Joe Staples, CMO of Workfront. "More times than not, there are no parameters set by employers on what they require from employees after hours. So the default can be an always-on lifestyle—with a potential for burnout." More than 600 workers took part in the survey.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

Why America’s obsession with STEM education is dangerous

Innovation is not simply a technical matter but rather one of understanding how people and societies work, what they need and want. America will not dominate the 21st century by making cheaper computer chips but instead by constantly reimagining how computers and other new technologies interact with human beings.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Don Dea
Scoop.it!

Building Emotional Competencies In Our Leadership

the key to our success lies in how well we’re able to understand the emotional environment we create in our organization and how much that serves to fuel the collective efforts of those we lead to bring their full selves to the work they do.
Don Dea's insight:

creating an environment where employees thrive is an emotional construct, not a technical one 

more...
No comment yet.