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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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Where Are the Sinkholes in Your Strategy?

Where Are the Sinkholes in Your Strategy? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Answering two critical questions will fortify your company’s strategy—and your ability to implement it.
Don Dea's insight:

1. What distinctive capabilities make the company better than any other at how it adds value to its individual businesses, and how those businesses meet their promises to customers?

2. Are changes happening in the company’s world that could render its distinctive capabilities obsolete or insufficient?

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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.)

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Don Cloud's curator insight, August 27, 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.

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What Is More Human Leadership?

What Is More Human Leadership? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Don Dea's insight:

My More Human Leadership philosophy and practice is guided by 8 principles.

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Vulnerability -- use it to your advantage

Leaders should show a sense of vulnerability. This is advice I have given to many senior leaders because it shows a sense of humanity and openness, even
Don Dea's insight:

But does this advice apply to those in middle management and below? The answer is yes, but! Leaders who understand their limitations but know how to solve problems are those that senior leaders look to give greater levels of responsibility.

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The App Enigma: Users Love ‘Em but They Don’t Download New Ones

The App Enigma: Users Love ‘Em but They Don’t Download New Ones | digitalNow | Scoop.it
A new study from research firm comScore offers a puzzle: Use of mobile apps is outpacing the desktop, yet smartphone users don't download new apps.
Don Dea's insight:

But then, why aren’t people downloading new apps?

The data about adoption of new apps includes a surprising figure. A whopping 65% of smartphone users don’t download a single app each month. And of the 35% who do, most download only one or two apps. The data suggests that many smartphone users load up on apps when they first get a phone and then stop adding new ones. Then again, maybe this behavior shouldn’t come as a shock. According to comScore, the percentage of users who don’t download a new app every month hasn’t changed much in two years. The same survey in July 2012 found that 66% of smartphone users didn’t install apps on a monthly basis.

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Coaching to Support Learning? Avoid These 3 Common Mistakes

Coaching to Support Learning?  Avoid These 3 Common Mistakes | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Coaching as a follow-up to a traditional one- or two-day leadership development program can greatly improve the transfer of learning. But to be successful, sponsoring executives need to avoid a cou...
Don Dea's insight:

 identifies three of the biggest mistakes she sees executives make when implementing coaching to support learning.

Underestimating the amount of attention and follow-up that is required for people to apply what they have learned. Change is difficult under the best of circumstances. Research identifies that only a fraction of learning ever sticks without repetition, reminders, and reinforcement. Don’t underestimate the time required to make real change.

Underestimating the challenge leaders have in balancing their workload and engaging in their own learning and development. Time and competing priorities are the two big challenges. What usually happens is that well-meaning managers put their own personal development at the bottom of the list because it doesn’t feel central to the business of the organization. Coaching helps with that because it provides some structured time where people can slow down a bit and think about their leadership and how new behaviors can improve their effectiveness managing people and situations—it can help them address things early in the process.

Outsourcing responsibility for behavior change. According to Overland, to be successful, any leadership development initiative needs organization sponsors to support and push for a cultural environment that helps to sustain learning and change efforts. “Sometimes when we go into organizations, sponsors will want to offload everything to Blanchard. And while we are very, very good at what we do, that does not substitute for the impact a message from a senior leader will generate. One of the greatest ways to demonstrate the importance of any initiative is to have a senior leader check in on progress. That type of tactical approach makes a huge difference.”

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If it bleeds, it leads

If it bleeds, it leads | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Don Dea's insight:

Don’t let your primitive brain fool you. The truth is much of the world is better off today than it was 50 years ago. As Diamandis notes, in India, the number of high income middle-class households now exceeds the number of low-income middle class households. He’s realistic, in that much of the underdeveloped world still suffers from huge challenges: disease, malnutrition, and incredibly low living standards. 

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Little-Known Form Facts that Increase Conversion Rates

Little-Known Form Facts that Increase Conversion Rates | digitalNow | Scoop.it
There’s a lot of talk about how the right form can boost conversion rates. But is it a bunch of hooey? A new study answers your burning questions.
Don Dea's insight:

But underneath all of that well-intentioned advice, there are some questions that just haven’t been answered, like:


  • Do conversion rates vary by industry?
  • Does form logic (if the user does X, show them Y field) matter?
  • Are there peak form submission times?
  • What’s really wrong with labeling a button submit?
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Are we in a mobile app glut? Report says most US phone owners aren't downloading apps

Are we in a mobile app glut? Report says most US phone owners aren't downloading apps | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Nearly 2 out of 3 U.S. smartphone owners don’t download a single app in a given month. Isn’t this the age of the mobile app economy? It is, but most of the growth is long over at this point in the cycle.
Don Dea's insight:

Simply put, as the number of apps has grown exponentially, it has become more difficult for developers to create unique software that becomes a must-have download. Instead, the first-movers have traction, which is why you’ll see certain key apps on most people’s handsets: Think Facebook, Pandora, YouTube, GoogleMaps and Instagram.

There’s still room in the mobile app stores for the “next big thing” but it has to be really big to get smartphone owners in the U.S. to download it.

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Why Choosing the Right Trust Seal Increases Conversion

Adding a trust seal can establish credibility and reassurance, so your visitors feel safe buying from you. But have you chosen the RIGHT trust seal?
Don Dea's insight:
The Trust Seal That Is Most Trusted By Shoppers

Web research group Baymard Institute conducted a survey in which they asked shoppers which seals generated the greatest sense of trust when shopping online.

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The First Question to Ask When Building a Brand

Nine industry-defining brands prove that less is often more, writes Al Ries.
Don Dea's insight:

What can we do without?
Thanks in part to the digital revolution, life is getting more and more complicated. Yet many major developments have been created by first thinking, "What can we do without?"

BlackBerry was a roaring success until someone at Apple had the notion, "What if we did away with the physical keyboard?"

The result: iPhone, the first touchscreen smartphone.

Laptop computer sales were increasing every year until someone at Apple had the notion, what we if cut a laptop in half, threw away the keyboard and put all the software behind the screen?

The result: iPad, the first tablet computer.

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On Leadership and Reaching Beyond Wonder

On Leadership and Reaching Beyond Wonder | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Leadership is understanding the balance between the push for purpose and the need for action. Human beings are drawn to thoughts of what’s possible and what could be. We are built for a focus on a ...
Don Dea's insight:
Leadership is understanding the balance between the push for purpose and the need for action. Human beings are drawn to thoughts of what’s possible and what could be. We are built for a focus on a brighter future.

But a critical leadership skill is to the ability to link today’s actions to that possible future.

It’s an ongoing dance between helping people get excited about the wonderful future possibilities while not getting stuck in a “wonder” mode.

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I tried a virtual reality treadmill, and it was OK

I tried a virtual reality treadmill, and it was OK | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Everyone’s first instinct when they strap on an Oculus Rift is to walk around. Austrian startup Cyberith’s Virtualizer is an interesting way to recreate walking, but it wasn’t perfect for me.
Don Dea's insight:

Adventure games are, of course, a great fit for virtual reality. And for those who insist on simulating walking and running, the Virtualizer and its competitors will probably be a good fit. Cakmak also named training, real estate and therapy as potential big applications. Firefighters can practice putting out a blaze or someone afraid of spiders can walk through an arachnid-infested house.

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Lean Principles in the Digital Economy

Lean principles is the name given to a group of production techniques developed by Japanese manufacturing companies around the 1970s-1980s to maximize customer value while reducing wasteful resource. Lean production methods have also been described as aiming “to combine the...
Don Dea's insight:

A company can differentiate itself from competitors in one of two key ways: by providing a superior customer experience or by offering the lowest prices.  For companies that prefer the former, - and want to avoid the relentless low price pressures of the latter, - digital technologies are the best means of engaging with customers and providing them a superior value at affordable costs.  The Altimeter report succinctly observes: “Digital transformation represents the quest to understand how disruptive technology affects the customer experience.” 

But, providing such a superior experience to their increasingly empowered, - and fickle, - digital customers is getting harder.  New offerings are hitting the market faster than ever, brand loyalty keeps decreasing, and the increased competition is continuing to shift power from institutions to individuals.  Consumers have more choices than ever in virtually every category of products and services as well as in the channels used to acquire them.  Customers are taking advantage of all the information they can now access to search for the best possible values.

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So Many Social Users, So Little Trust

So Many Social Users, So Little Trust | digitalNow | Scoop.it
It seems like everyone uses social networks now, but that doesn't mean they trust such platforms. According to industry sources, the majority of internet users are concerned about their privacy on social media, especially older consumers.
Don Dea's insight:

One-third of internet users ages 55 to 64 said they didn’t trust social media sites, while just 1% did, with a similar trend among the 65-and-older group. Meanwhile, 24% of 35- to 54-year-olds didn’t trust social networks, compared with 6% who said the opposite. The under-35 bracket was the only one where those who trusted social media outnumbered those who didn’t—but by a small gap of 4 points (16% vs. 12%) - See more at: http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Many-Social-Users-Little-Trust/1011112#sthash.OSmPOBfk.dpuf

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Assembly Required: 12 Steps To Building A Leadership Juggernaut

Assembly Required: 12 Steps To Building A Leadership Juggernaut | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Once all the pieces were in their right place, it became a leadership juggernaut destined for success. Here are the 12 Steps I used to build it.
Don Dea's insight:

Let’s build.

Step 1:  Carefully remove “I” from vocabulary, and replace it with “we”.

Step 2:  Get out of office, get on a plane, train, bus, or automobile, and look in the eyes and talk with as many employees as you can, preferably in the AM before the work day begins, with plenty of coffee and donuts nearby (or some other breakfast substitute). Listen to their dreams and their fears. Discern what they value, and how they feel about work. Connect with them.

Step 3:  DO some of their work, and demonstrate a respect for it, and the importance of their role in the success of the business.

Step 4:  Once connections are made, ask for trust. If answer is no, repeat Steps 2 and 3. If yes, move on to Step 5

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Four Warning Signs That An Overactive Ego Might Be Undermining An Executive’s Career

Four Warning Signs That An Overactive Ego Might Be Undermining An Executive’s Career | digitalNow | Scoop.it
When leaders get caught up in their ego, they erode their effectiveness.  Leaders with an overactive ego find themselves unable to center. Instead they are constantly moving from a sense of inadequ...
Don Dea's insight:

Leaders dominated by false pride are often called ‘controllers.’ Even when they don’t know what they are doing, they have a high need for power and control. Even when it’s clear to everyone that they are wrong, they keep on insisting they are right.”

At the other end of the spectrum are the fear-driven leaders. Blanchard says these individuals are often characterized as “do-nothing bosses.” They’re described as “never around, always avoiding conflict and not very helpful.” Their fear of making a mistake and feelings of inadequacy keep them from taking action — even when they should.

Four Warning Signs

In their book Egonomics, authors David Marcum and Steven Smith identify four warning signs that an overactive ego might be undermining an executive’s career.

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4 Reasons Why the Quest for Happiness at Work is Misguided

4 Reasons Why the Quest for Happiness at Work is Misguided | digitalNow | Scoop.it
To borrow from Pharrell Williams' hit song "Happy:" It might seem crazy what I'm about to say... But I really don't care if you're happy at work. In fact, I think all the hype about happiness at wo...
Don Dea's insight:

I’m all in favor of being happy. Personally, I much prefer happiness over sadness. If I have a choice, I’ll take happy every day of the week and twice on Sunday. When it comes to work, I’ll take happy there, too. I’d much rather work with happy people than mean people, and I know I’m more productive, creative, and a better teammate at work when I’m happy.

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Henry Dummett's curator insight, August 27, 5:52 AM

This guy needs to read a book called 'The Happiness Advantage' - the evidence is clear. A happy workforce is a more productive and successful workforce so yes employers should be consciously considering the the happiness of their employees.

 

And no happiness is not about the external circumstances of our lives - it's about what goes on on in our heads and how we respond to our circumstances. Savvy employers are already on board with playing a role in helping their teams be able to respond effectively to pressure.

 

I'd avoid working for this guy.

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In a Healthy Travel Industry, Signs of Disruption

Upstarts like Uber, Airbnb and a few small airlines are creating ripples in the established order.
Don Dea's insight:

Uber and other ride-share services are evolving amid opposition from the taxi industry and sometimes from regulators. In fact, Uber created a stir last month with its first appearance at the Global Business Travel Association convention in Los Angeles, where representatives from traditional limo and black-car companies openly grumbled about the upstart.

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How to Create an Oil Lamp out of an Orange

Often innovation comes as a result of someone looking at things differently. And as I've laid out in the Eight I's of Infinite Innovation framework, innovation starts with inspiration.
Don Dea's insight:

Often innovation comes as a result of someone looking at things differently.

And as I’ve laid out in the Eight I’s of Infinite Innovation framework, innovation starts with inspiration. If you missed haven’t seen the framework, click the link in the previous sentence, but here is a quick recap of the eight continuous steps:

  1. Inspiration
  2. Investigation
  3. Ideation
  4. Iteration
  5. Identification
  6. Implementation
  7. Illumination
  8. Installation

- See more at: http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2014/06/28/how-to-create-an-oil-lamp-out-of-an-orange/#sthash.TTxDAVai.dpuf

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The Millennials Are Generation Nice

The Millennials Are Generation Nice | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The millennials are emerging as a dominant demographic force. What does that mean for the rest of us?
Don Dea's insight:

What Pew found was not an entitled generation but a complex and introspective one — with a far higher proportion of nonwhites than its predecessors as well as a greater number of people raised by a single parent. Its members also have weathered many large public traumas: the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, costly (and unresolved) wars, the Great Recession. Add to those the flood of images of Iraq and Katrina (and, for older millennials, Oklahoma City and Columbine) — episodes lived and relived, played and replayed, on TV and computer screens.

For a generation digitally wired from childhood, and reared on apocalyptic videos and computer-generated movie epics, not to mention the exploits of hackers, these events showed the real world to be as tightly networked, and for that reason as easily disrupted as the virtual one, even as the grown-ups in charge, the guardians of order, seemed overwhelmed and overmatched, always a step behind.

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Big Marketing Mistakes Are More Likely Than Small Ones

Al Ries: Too many people ignore the lessons of marketing history -- or learn the wrong lesson entirely.
Don Dea's insight:

Brand names make a difference
When organic food became a big deal, every supermarket chain in the country added organic foods to their shelves. But none of the chains launched a second "organic" brand. It was an entrepreneur (John Mackey) who launched Whole Foods.

When the Internet became a big deal, every media company (The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time-Warner, Forbes) launched Internet sites. But none of the big media companies used new brand names. That created opportunities for entrepreneurs to launch websites like Yahoo, Amazon, eBay,AOLGoogle, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, Airbnb, Netflex, Zillow and many others.

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The future of mobile commerce is commerce

The future of mobile commerce is commerce | digitalNow | Scoop.it
When it comes to mobile commerce, technology is not a strategy, and while a lousy checkout can definitely lose a sale, a good one is rarely the reason a consumer decides to buy.
Don Dea's insight:

Mobile commerce” is a bit of a rabbit hole. As a concept it makes sense to look at all the ways in which users will transact on their mobile devices. But mobile commerce encompasses a number of entirely different spaces. A Square-enabled mobile POS, a video game offering in-app purchases, FeLiCa’s tap-to-pay system at train stations, and a retailer’s mobile-enabled website all fit the criteria, but there’s very little overlap. The spectrum of mobile commerce into can be divided into six distinct areas:

  • Commerce website accessed via mobile device
  • Mobile-optimized/responsive website purchase via device
  • Mobile device payment at retail POS
  • Mobile app-only purchases (e.g. Uber, Square)
  • In-app social media purchases (ex. Facebook, Twitter)
  • Mobile-specific rewards, couponing to drive physical store traffic/transactions
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The eight must-have elements for resilient big data apps

The eight must-have elements for resilient big data apps | digitalNow | Scoop.it
If your company is building big data applications, here are eight things you need to consider.
Don Dea's insight:
Define a blueprint for resilient applications

The first step is to create a systemic enterprise architecture and methodology for how your company approaches big data applications. What data are you after? What kinds of analytics are most important? How will metrics, auditing, security and operational features be built in? Can you prove that all data was processed? These capabilities must be built into the architecture.

Other questions to consider: What technology will be crucial? What technology is being used as a matter of convenience? Your blueprint must include honest, accurate assessments of where your current architecture is failing. Keep in mind that a resilient framework for building big data applications may take time to assemble, but is definitely worth it.

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The New Army of Two: the CMO and CIO

Don Dea's insight:

Gartner predicts that companies’ technology spending outside of IT will increase to 90% of the total by 2015. Comparatively, at the turn of the millenium, technology spending outside of IT was at a mere 20%. 25% of organizations will have CDOs by 2015 in order to help them adapt to this drastic change in spending.

“The Chief Digital Officer plays in the place where the enterprise meets the customer, where the revenue is generated and the mission accomplished. They’re in charge of the digital business strategy. That’s a long way from running back office IT, and it’s full of opportunity,” writes David Willis, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.

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