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5 Human Reasons People Are Drawn to Negativity 

5 Human Reasons People Are Drawn to Negativity  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
5 Human Reasons People Are Drawn to Negativity
Security. Being negative makes some people feel protected and secure. To them, thinking life is wonderful is risky.


Survival. People believe if they are always on watch for trouble, they will not be caught unaware. They will be ready to handle it.


Validation. People have unaddressed scars from past events. They live those negative scars and constantly seek validation for the wrong done to them.


Ease. It is easier to think that life and work are bad. Believing it could be better brings the challenge of making them better!


Voice of Powerlessness. The voices of negativity give a boost to people who feel powerless and disenfranchised. (Candidates running for office often use this human need to their advantage.)
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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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Brain-Based Whiteboard Animation Sparks Customer Engagement

Brain-Based Whiteboard Animation Sparks Customer Engagement | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The Science Behind Attention Spans

When whiteboard animation videos unite the latest discoveries in neuroscience, psychology, and marketing research, they can become one of the most lucrative mediums in your Web marketing toolkit.

Whiteboard animation videos can be used as highly effective explainers and building tools for conversions and customer relationships.

Let's look at the science behind attention spans.

1. Simplicity secures highly focused attention

Cartoons, which are a non-photorealistic style of whiteboard animation, capture and sustain viewers' attention, according to recent experiments. That results in higher conversion rates than other popular video formats.
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Keeping It Real: Staying Out of the Knowledge Dump and Getting to Performance

“In that moment, theory became practice. It was ingrained in me. And, while it might be true that my eye twitches when someone asks me to understand something after the book-slamming experience, I'll always remember—and be thankful for —my professor slamming that book on the table.”
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Speaker highlights importance of positive branding

In order to compete effectively, Nationwide takes a different approach, he said, tying its marketing efforts to the human side of sports stars. Former NFL great Peyton Manning has starred in a series of ads singing the company jingle — “Nationwide is on your side” — with silly lyrics.

In order to have a marketing impact with less, companies must be clever with their resources, he said. By doing so, firms can impact more people with their businesses and services
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How to make the office environment more bearable

Consider two principles, briefly:
Encourage flexibility in methods and settings while all working toward a common goal.
Productivity is not simply about quantity of output or length of work. Quality and efficiency matter, as well as the environments that enable those outcomes.
I can speak to this as someone who works in an office but also spends 20% to 60% of my week working from home. I have a desk, but it’s in an open space without dividers. Almost all of the co-workers I interact with daily are remote; many I’ve never met or even had a phone call with. Work is already flexible; the only question is how we can make it bearable without sacrificing the business.
So, we have off-site people who work in a home office. We surely have folks (freelancers and/or full-timers) working from their couch or bed, or in a coffee shop. Many of them are working for us between other jobs or obligations. In my apartment, I have a dedicated room for work, but it’s only because I recently moved. For the past five years, I worked and lived in roughly the same space.

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Productivity -- A Tool, Not the End Point

Productivity -- A Tool, Not the End Point | digitalNow | Scoop.it
How Efficient Do We Really Need to be?
Productivity itself should be something that relieves some of our stressors, not adds to them. Fretting that we’re not using the right combination of hacks to be at our productive best can add a weight of unnecessary expectation. Feeling that we’re never quite as efficient as out projected selves would be, causes its own sense of frustration.

But how efficient do we really need to be? How much is enough?

There are a multitude of tools and tactics that can help us but we can personalise them. They can be simple. They don’t all need a fancy or exotic name. They don’t require we fill our heads or bookshelves with the words of every productivity ‘guru’ out there.
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Forget Content, Cadence Is King!

Forget content, or for that matter, any other C-word, if you’re a brand utilizing video to engage a consumer marketplace, it’s all about the cadence of your content, not the content per se. That was the main takeaway from Ernie Kelsey, Senior Manager, Regional, Experiential and Social Marketing, American Honda Motor, during his opening keynote at OMMA Video in New York City this morning.

Kelsey, who showed a number of current, as well as some soon-to-be-released videos from the Japanese automaker, said it’s not just the content, but the who, what, when, where and why of how a brand distributes it to its consumers, as well as the emotion and sentiment associated with it.

“People get confused with emotion and emotional,” Kelsey said, adding that the intention of the video campaigns it to leave consumers with a “positive sentiment,” but not necessarily to make them laugh or cry explicitly.
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Failures, Missteps and Discovery: Why Leaders Should Embrace Mistakes

Failures, Missteps and Discovery: Why Leaders Should Embrace Mistakes | digitalNow | Scoop.it
If you want to succeed as a leader, get comfortable with failing.

This concept is a whole lot easier said than done. Platitudes abound in organisations about the learning arising from failure. And yet, when push comes to shove, many organisational cultures demonstrate a serious preoccupation with success. Add the short term (often myopic) focus on bottom line results and it’s no wonder failing gets a hard rap in most companies.

This leadership approach has serious limitations.

Not allowing a certain degree of failure in your organisation impedes learning opportunities.
It kills creative thinking.
It prevents a growth mind-set.
And, it exposes you to being blindsided by your competitors, because you didn’t take risks.

Think about anything you’ve ever mastered in your life, like riding a bike for starters. You failed, you fell over and you floundered long before you reached mastery.

Anything important you’ve discovered about yourself, others or your world probably followed a botch-up of some kind or another.

Why would it be any different in the world of business?
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Step out of your comfort zone to develop trusting work relationships 

Step out of your comfort zone to develop trusting work relationships  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Finding different ways to be in your comfort zone: Like detail work? Pick up a hobby that requires attention to detail, satisfying your craving while allowing your employees to work without your interference. If you like to code or to do math or other detail -oriented work, find ways to do those things outside of work. This will keep you sharp in your area of expertise while continuing to give you some satisfaction doing work you love.

Assuring balance in all areas of your life: It’s easier to leave your comfort zone when you feel like you are paying attention to non-work activities that are important to you. When you’re off-balance, you are pulling against gravity and may tend to continue the behaviors that you are most at ease with. Make sure that you spend enough non-work time doing things that energize you so that you can use your reserve energy to develop those great work relationships that will sustain your leadership and your organization.
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The Secrets of Design Leadership

The way any designer starts is by mimicking those he admires. Innovation is a tricky subject but I’ve always tried in every company and project to do something new, something that hasn’t been done before. I am far from having it solved, but for me it’s about trying something even if you are not sure it will work. It is extremely difficult to try to present something that doesn’t have a precedent but could be awesome. Sometimes you have to push a little, and ask, “Why don’t we try?”

It all comes down to transparency and alignment with your client. You never know what is going to spark an idea. I don’t think of the client as someone you deliver stuff to, but someone you collaborate with. Clients are like junior designers in the sense that they have out-of-the-box ideas. I like to show my line of thought and design variations so they understand what took me to that place. In my experience, showing the client variations is a really good conversation point and you can come out with more great ideas from the meeting.
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Stop Trying to “Do It All”

That promise of more productivity is just a seductive way to avoid facing up to trade-offs.
At the risk of sounding melodramatic, it’s worth noting why trade-offs are a problem in the first place: because you’re going to die. Barring any breakthroughs in the efforts of certain Silicon Valley billionaires to “solve death,” you have an absurdly finite span in which to accomplish a handful of the infinite number of things that you could, in theory, achieve. It might seem like your mortality is irrelevant when it comes to deciding, say, whether to spend the next half-hour on email, or sketching project ideas. But if you had infinite time, there’d be no decision to make. Mortality is the only reason to care about time management at all.
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 How Mindfulness Rewires Your Brain to Be More Innovative

Two key traits of a person who can innovate according to the definition above are:

Empathy
Willingness to disrupt the status quo
Empathy is important for two reasons. First, understanding the needs of others helps determine whether or not an idea will be useful and worth the energy to develop. Second, understanding the needs of the team members with whom we work is essential for advancing an idea, and may even be the most important factor for advancing an idea within an organization.

Assuming an idea would be useful to others, we must be willing to challenge the status quo and stick with that idea despite initial opposition. According to the fascinating research of Dr. Prince of the Perth Leadership Institute, the reason most people don't innovate is that they are subject to a cognitive bias known as the status quo bias. As you would likely intuit, a person with a strong status quo bias is very unlikely to challenge the status quo. They feel very uncomfortable rocking the proverbial boat. Thus, one important element of being an innovator is being free from the effects of the status quo bias.
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 Why Hippies Make Great Business Leaders

First, hippie businesspeople exercised a principled approach to their ventures and innovations by insisting on using several high-minded ideals - such as environmentalism, support for local business owners and family farmers, non-violence, and the healthy nurturing of authentic and transparent relationships – to define and guide their creative endeavors.  These principles, seen at the time as pipe dreams that had no practical impact on everyday business lent a keen sense of definition, purpose, and mission that was quickly adopted by non-hippie businesspeople who made the connection between hippie ideals, outstanding customer relations, and developing product offerings that consumers loved.

Second, hippie businesspeople were sticklers for detail. Contrary to the idea that the hippies were spontaneous and haphazard, most took a very studied and thoughtful approach to their innovations.  Artist Wes Wilson, the inventor of psychedelic design, drew inspiration from 19th century artists, such as Austrian Gustave Klimt, spending days in San Francisco art museums and libraries.   Skip Yowell and Murray Pletz, won a product design contest sponsored by Alcoa and used their meager winnings to develop a scaled-down backpack that would appeal to college students more interested in climbing the corporate ladder than scaling Mount Everest.  Their company, JanSport, eventually became one of the largest makers of consumer backpacks in the world.  Mo Siegel took a simple hippie practice of combining regular tea with natural additives and sweeteners found in nature to develop Celestial Seasonings (today owned by Kraft), and he helped create the template for a highly successful, modern-day RTD (ready-to-drink) flavored bottled tea industry.
Third, the hippies were masters of re-invention and continuous innovation.  By expanding on and developing new ways to reconfigure old products – pressed jeans into distressed denim, Army Surplus-issued apparel into Camo clothing; and centuries-old German worship styles into a $4 billion dollar “contemporary Christian worship” industry of music, lights, and entertainment – the hippies were able to work with what they had and knew, skipping a costly and time-consuming R&D process, and becoming the first kids on the block in a city teeming with new Baby Boomer consumers open to innovation and intent on “doing their own thing.”
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Why Weird People Are Often More Creative

In a 2003 study, Carson found that eminent creative achievers were seven times more likely to to have low rather than high latent intelligence scores. That insight prompted her to form a hypothesis: that cognitive disinhibiting allows for way more info to enter into your conscious mind—which you can then tinker with and recombine. The result: creative ideas.

Carson's research gives us another angle for unpacking the nature of creativity: while we see the outputs in the form of a gorgeous painting, a masterful novel, or a "disruptive" business, that only comes as the result of recombining inputs—the experiences that you soak your mind in.

Which is why you might want to stay open.
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How gamification is driving learning space design

How gamification is driving learning space design | digitalNow | Scoop.it
With the advent of gamification as a legitimate tool for engagement, recruitment and enrollment, campuses are reimagining how their learning spaces reflect new instructional approaches.
Gamification is moving from simple trend status to a valid pedagogical approach that can deliver powerful learning experiences in higher education classrooms—and this growth has led to changes in how faculty approach physical learning spaces.

Today’s students demand engaging educational experiences and thrive on stimulation and immediate feedback. As games become integrated into learning, game developers are realizing that many gaming attributes—challenges, rewards, and collaboration, to name just a few—have relevance in the classroom, too.
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How Avoidance Destroys Strategic Initiatives

How Avoidance Destroys Strategic Initiatives | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Avoidance is an extremely common response to strategic initiatives that makes executives put off critical issues. To overcome it, look out for some crucial signs.

By definition, a strategic initiative is an “experiment” and, as Jeff Bezos once said, “If you know it’s going to work, it’s not an experiment.” Wherever there is uncertainty there will be anxiety. But a common way to deal with anxiety is to avoid it. This highlights a conundrum that strategic initiatives present: in situations where greater awareness is most needed there is a powerful force at play that compels people to lose their awareness and “dance around” in order to avoid critical issues. This behaviour is part of a sophisticated protection mechanism that renowned psychologist Edgar Schein refers to as “survival anxiety.”

We all “avoid” to varying degrees. It is part of our human nature. The problem is that when pursuing a strategic initiative, we often need to deal with difficult issues in order for the initiative to succeed. Avoiding these difficult issues can undermine the initiative and, in the worst case, lead to its failure.

By gaining awareness of the act of avoidance, people in leadership roles can minimise this dysfunctional behaviour. We say “minimise” to emphasise the fact that avoidance is not something that leaders should strive to suppress or eradicate. It is a deeply ingrained human behaviour and an important signal to keep us alert to what is going on. This “signal” quality of avoidant behaviour can be harnessed to make us more effective.
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5 evidence-based tips to mental toughness 

Set a super clear goal
Research confirms that the more specific your goal, the better you will perform. General goals are too vague so take the time at the very beginning to think it through so it will become more clear to you.
The goal must be real and important for you to achieve. Do not speculate—that will do nothing but waste your time and valuable energy.
Tips:
Define your need and really mean it.
Describe in detail exactly what you want.
List what you want—it will help you visualize your success.
Define what will interfere in achieving your goal.
Determine the starting point.
Establish a time frame for achieving your goal.
Break down the tasks necessary for completion.
Tell others what you plan to do.
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10 Qualities of the Leaders I Want on My Team

10 Qualities of the Leaders I Want on My Team | digitalNow | Scoop.it
If you were to make a list of the attributes you would want on the members of your leadership team you would likely include such characteristics as:

Go-getter.

Someone who ‘makes it happen’.

High achiever.

Driven to perform.

Results oriented.

If you were to assemble a team with these qualities there’s a good chance this would be a group who could accomplish great things.
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The rise of APIs

The rise of APIs | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Releasing software as an API allows those companies to pursue a number of different adoption routes. Rather than trying to sell specific industry verticals or use cases, often the customer is a developer, leading to an extremely low-friction sales process. The revenue model is almost always recurring, which leads to an inherently scalable business model as the end customers’ usage increases. While the ecosystem of API-based companies is early in its evolution, we believe the attributes of these companies will combine to create ultimately more capital-efficient and profitable business models.

This opportunity is not limited to new upstarts. Existing developers may have the opportunity to expose their own unique functionality as an API, morphing their product from application to platform. Some outstanding companies have built API businesses that match or exceed their original focus: Salesforce reportedly generates 50 percent of its revenues through APIs, eBay nearly 60 percent and Expedia a whopping 90 percent.
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Misconceptions About Boomers May Impact Your Bottom Line

Are you guilty of falsely stereotyping what could be a valuable and sizable customer segment? Here are a few of the most common misconceptions:

1. Baby boomers are not tech-savvy

Both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were born in the boomer years, and their generation was the first to experience the massive productivity increases that technology can drive. 

Baby boomers are just as tech-oriented as are younger generations. Eighty-two percent  of Boomers use Facebook, with 15.5% spending more than 11 hours per week on the site. Boomer women are also one of the fastest-growing categories on Pinterest. They also spend more time consuming and sharing content online than do other demographics. 
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Symbolic leadership: What do you stand for … or where do you sit?

Symbolic leadership: What do you stand for … or where do you sit? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Everything communicates. Walk the talk. Actions speak louder than words.
Leah understands the value of symbolic leadership. She understands that communication is more than spoken words; it’s the Gestalt of the actions we take and how they are interpreted by others.
Through the behaviors they demonstrate (or don’t), actions they take (or don’t), and choices they make (or don’t), leaders send constant and powerful messages to those around them. What they do (or don’t do) telegraphs their values, priorities, and more. And followers are highly attuned to these messages.
Public actions, traditions, rituals and even stories communicate volumes for leaders who use them well. But it’s easy to abuse this leadership strategy. People quickly see through the clever stunts, artificial contrivances and photo-ops of an inauthentic leader trying to manipulate a situation.
Becoming a genuine, skillful, symbolic leader involves more than doing things “for show.” It involves:
Enhancing self-awareness. Displaying leadership rather than gimmickry demands a look deep within. What do I stand for? What are my values? How can I bring life to what matters most? Is my ego or conviction driving me? Is what I’m doing about substance or show? These are the questions symbolic leaders must ask (and answer) before taking any action.
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The Planning Doing Cycle 

The Planning Doing Cycle  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Rarely will you have the luxury of time to plan everything out before you start a new project or change initiative. And even if you do, it’s likely that unforeseen circumstances will send you back to the drawing board.
However, jumping ahead with no plans is a recipe for disaster.
Instead of planning and then doing, try approaching it as an iterative process, as a planning doing cycle. Think of it as building the vehicle while you are driving it.
While more realistic, this approach does require continual attention on the big picture as well as the details. It requires attention to not only what you are doing, but also how you are doing it — how you make decisions, who is involved and in what ways, how you communicate, etc.
What you are doing is the “content.” How you are doing it is your “process.” Paying attention to the process is essential for success in a planning-doing cycle.
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Mobile Apps And Loyalty Cards – How They Are The Same 

Mobile Apps And Loyalty Cards – How They Are The Same  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Turning mobile apps as a way of loyalty program is advantageous in many ways but like every other thing the other side of the coin is hard to endure and thus a great deal of loss for the potential future good business. One should understand that mobile apps does drive customer loyalty and to keep it that way in the near future the extensive developments and improvements are required on a periodic basis
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How to Use Distraction to Your Advantage

The more creative the achievements, the more they tended to be distracted by what was happening
A real-life equivalent would be trying to concentrate on reading an article in a magazine, but realizing that you’re attention has just been grabbed by the ad on the opposite page. This is going to be detrimental to reading the article, obviously, but at the same time that ad could provide the spark for your next creative idea. 
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Mediocrity and disappointment are the outcome from following “Best Practices” for Managing Strategy 

Paradigm-Shifting Next Practices of Advantage Strategy
When you call a plumber to your house to fix a leaky faucet or burst pipe you want the plumber to be prompt, understand the issue, and fix your problem quickly. You don’t really care what tools are in their tool kit or which ones are needed; you just want him/her to use their expertise and the right tools to get your job done right. If you’re the experienced plumber, you know that every job is different and requires the right combination of expertise, experience, and tools. Think of Next Practices as the tools in your new strategy tool kit. They are all available but you only use the practices necessary in each situation that match the particular strategy needs of your organization.

In the table below, we’ve organized a partial list of Next Practices ordered as they are typically applied in the strategy management life cycle—Preparation, Design, Planning, and Execution. In practice however, the good “strategy plumber” only selects the ones needed by their customer to get the job done right.
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A New Level of Leadership Thinking

A New Level of Leadership Thinking | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Where in our world today do we see leaders creating synergistic, win-win alternatives? What can we do to demonstrate that behavior as the solution to two-alternative problems?

And to what degree do my own actions and old-world thinking create the problems we experience today? What can I do to introduce a level of thinking that rises above the problems and works together for a synergistic solution? What’s it going to take?
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