digitalNow
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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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Social Data for Business

Social Data for Business | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Social media data holds many advantages for businesses. Companies can leverage it to make more accurate comparisons with their competition. It can also improve business performance by decreasing the amount of time needed to collect and access important data, freeing up more time and resources to run more effective campaigns.
Don Dea's insight:

Businesses are always looking for the next creative method to reach more customers. Finding ways to engage with and interest new consumers is how a business is able to grow and thrive. One tool being used increasingly in recent years is social media. While many people may use sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to connect with friends and post interesting articles and pictures, many businesses see them as potential gold mines for finding new customers. Companies are now seeing some big benefits from using analyzing data from social media to better their business.

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The social media strategy I followed throughout the year

The social media strategy I followed throughout the year | digitalNow | Scoop.it
This has been my recipe for the last 365 days, the social media strategy I followed throughout the year.
Don Dea's insight:
  • Blogs: one post per day (rarely two or more) at isragarcia.es. Without exception, without taking a break or holidays. At isragarcia.com, one every two weeks, and other collaborations as a blogger.
  • Sharing: the daily post on Twitter (disseminating the tweet / post following a logical time scale over the month), Google+ (as an embedded post, not as a link), LinkedIn (as an update and, if it can give rise to a debate, in those groups that are closer to the topic at hand) and on my personal Facebook page (for friends, acquaintances and colleagues; my Facebook isn’t completely public).
  • Tripit: this has great functionality for me. I organise my travel, conference and public agenda here. Any updates are automatically shared on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and the widget inisragarcia.es. In this way, you know what I’m going to be doing where and perhaps we can connect.
  • Foursquare: I use this to share the location of my training sessions. In this way, I’ve been able to train with many people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. The only handicap is it only allows 1,000 contacts, a number I’ve already reached!
  • Instagram: this has become a great communication platform for both my work and for my adventures, challenges and travels. Every night, I reflect upon something that has marked my day. This allows me to grow personally and professionally.
  • LinkedIn: this has been the greatest letdown / neglect on my part this year. From 35% of my annual income in 2011 and 20% in 2012 to barely 2% in 2013. This is the result of hardly any activity on this platform this year, mainly due to an overwhelming number of invites to connect on LinkedIn. More than 1,800 invites this year. I’m currently working on responding to many of these invites and I’ve managed to bring the number down to 960, though it has gone back to 1,100 within the week; it’s all a bit too much. I’m starting to think that the more invites you accept, the more visible you become in connection lists, allowing more people to connect with you. If this is how it’s going to be, I’m considering closing down my LinkedIn account.
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The 10-60-30 Rule of Social Selling

The 10-60-30 Rule of Social Selling | digitalNow | Scoop.it
If Social Selling is all about Connecting, Listening and Content Sharing, then getting started on Social Media can be a daunting task. Have you ever wondered which tools you could/should be using? And more importantly, how much time you need to spend on it. Here is my take (and experience) on it.
Don Dea's insight:

10-60-30 Rule of Social Selling
Social Selling is more about the approach rather than the use of a number of tools (see above). Over the course of time, this has evolved into a daily routine. My experience has demonstrated that the different steps and tools must be interwoven with everything you do during the day.

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Content Marketing Challenges of 2014

Content Marketing Challenges of 2014 | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Don Dea's insight:

Content Marketing Challenges of 2014

  1. Limited staff
  2. Limited budget
  3. Creating enough content on a regular basis
  4. Finding the best sources to create amazing content
  5. Organizational culture
  6. Measuring the impact of content
  7. Promoting content
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Online Advocacy Trends in 2014

Online Advocacy Trends in 2014 | digitalNow | Scoop.it
What are the big developments to watch in online advocacy? Here are three key trends that I’m following closely in 2014.
Don Dea's insight:
Data-Driven Targeting = Individually Targeted Media

More and more, political advocates are learning the power of TARGETED communications with their supporters, with potential advocacy partners and with the actual targets of their advocacy work. Once-exotic animals like cookie-targeted online ads now get their fair share of attention, but advocates can employ data to target their outreach other ways as well.

List segmentation by demographics, past behavior (actions taken, emails opened) and acquisition source is one example. Facebook targeting (via ads and “boosted” posts) is another, which can also be done demographically and by people’s indicated interests. And of course, direct mail is still with us! Plus, some groups are beginning to use data to identify potential grasstops supporters among their email and social media followers using tools like Attentively and RapIndex.

Why is this kind of targeting so important? As we’re all bombarded by more and more information in our daily lives (hundreds of brand impressions per day), advocates need to cut through the clutter with messages tailored to individual people’s interests and needs. General-interest asks risk getting left unopened in the inbox and ignored on social media!

While we’re not quite to the level of individually targeted media (“Get me a dozen ads targeted at John Smith and make it quick!”), we’re getting there fast — and it behooves advocacy organizations to use data to pay close attention to what motivates different segments of their followers. Big data? It’s really all about listening to people.

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Images Are the Ultimate Secret of Killer Blog Posts

Images Are the Ultimate Secret of Killer Blog Posts | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Don Dea's insight:

As with your written content, the images you choose should be original, high-quality, and well composed. Never use photos that have already been used on other posts on your blog, and if you’re taking your own photos, be sure that they’re clear, bright, crisp, and well-composed. A hasty snapshot from your phone is fine for Twitter or Instagram, but for blog posts, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a showstopper.

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Gartner indicates rise in IT focus for CEOs

Gartner indicates rise in IT focus for CEOs | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Gartner 's 2014 CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey shows that growth dominates key business priorities in 2014
Don Dea's insight:

Gartner also noted strong interest in basing business operation in the cloud and in using data-driven decision-making via business analytics, big data and data science. Process-centric themes, which tend to associate with back-office efficiency uses of technology, are much further down the list where we see items such as business process outsourcing, dynamic business process management and electronic service enablement. - See more at: http://www.information-age.com/industry/uk-industry/123457896/gartner-indicates-rise-it-focus-ceos#sthash.WFgWSeLn.dpuf

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Gap Cred: How We Really Decide Whether To Trust Each Other

Your credibility in reporting on the gap between who you are and want to be
Don Dea's insight:

Such gap closing optimism is famously good for resilience and even long-term health. But it has its negative side effects.  An important one is to your gap cred, your credibility in self-reporting accurately about your goals and your progress toward them. 

All of us intuit who to trust in their claims about their effort and success.  We all know people who we intuit are more gap-posers than gap-closers, legends in their own minds, people who think they’ve closed more gap than we think they have. 

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Learning By Thinking: How Reflection Improves Performance

Learning By Thinking: How Reflection Improves Performance | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Knowledge plays an important role in the productivity and prosperity of economies, organizations, and individuals. Even so, research on learning has primarily focused on the role of doing (experience) in fostering progress over time. To compare the effectiveness of different sources of learning, the authors take a micro approach and study learning at the individual level. They argue that learning from direct experience can be more effective if coupled with reflection—that is, the intentional attempt to synthesize, abstract, and articulate the key lessons taught by experience. Using a mixed-method approach that combines laboratory experiments and a field study in a large business process outsourcing company in India, they find support for this prediction. Further, they find that the effect of reflection on learning is mediated by greater perceived ability to achieve a goal (i.e., self-efficacy). Together, these results reveal reflection to be a powerful mechanism behind learning, confirming the words of American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer John Dewey: We do not learn from experience ... we learn from reflecting on experience.
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The Exceptional Motivational Power of Pizza

The Exceptional Motivational Power of Pizza | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Small things make a big difference in employee engagement.
Don Dea's insight:

Of course the real reason she was so pleased had nothing to do with pizza or Pepsi or saving $3.25 - it was the recognition she received.

It was the simple gesture from her supervisor acknowledging that she was working diligently and doing well. The message was tangible and clearly communicated… and who doesn’t enjoy a slice of pizza?

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The Default-Thinking Method of Problem Solving

It’s vital for a business to understand the difference between the uncertainties present on an average day and the uncertainties of a major cultural shift
Don Dea's insight:

The Three Levels of Business Problems

1. A clear-enough future with a relatively predictable business environment. You know what the problem is, and you can apply a proven algorithm to fix it. “If I invest $ 1 in media spending for advertising, I know that I will get something like $ 1.5 back because of market stimulation.” “The industry has average admin costs of 8 percent of total revenue. Mine are 10 percent. We should cut that back.”

2. Alternative futures with a set of options available. You have a feel for the problem and might have seen something like it before. It makes sense to test your hunch as a hypothesis. For example, “Our sales numbers are down even when we invest in more salespeople, but we have seen the same pattern in the European Union and China. We might be hiring too many new salespeople too quickly and expecting them to deliver the same payback that the existing salespeople are delivering.”

3. High level of uncertainty, with no understanding of the problem. You simply don’t know what the problem is, let alone the solution. You can see that something is wrong, but have no clear idea about what to do. For example, “Our media division is losing business to internet start-ups,” “We are investing more in customer service, but our customers are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with us,” and “We are designing products that seem right for the marketplace, but the marketplace isn’t interested.”

Most of our problems tend to be in 1 or 2. Uncertainty, remember, happens when wefail to know the range of possible outcomes (and, correspondingly, their probabilities.) These are really messy problems.

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How to ‘Thrive’

Don Dea's insight:

“One of the recent changes we made that has been very significant has been making it clear that no employee is expected to be on work e-mail after hours. When they are off, they are off.”

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Better Deals Through Level II Strategies: Advance Your Interests by Helping to Solve Their Internal Problems

While most of us focus on our own interests in negotiation, our counterparts are more likely to say yes to a proposal if it meets their interests. Frequently, their interests entail satisfying, or at least not annoying, their behind the table constituencies. These may include a boss, board, investor group, spouse, client, union membership, community group, NGO, political party, or the United States Senate that must ratify the treaty that negotiators prepare on behalf of the President. The author of this paper argues that a potent barrier to success in negotiation is often the prospect that your or the other side's constituents will reject the deal. While most negotiators are highly sensitive to their own constituencies, they tend to pay far less attention to the other side's constituents: that's their problem. Let them solve it. Yet one low-cost way for negotiators to advance their own interests can be help the other side solve its internal constituency problems-in a manner consistent with each both side's interests. Sophisticated negotiators have been amazingly inventive in coming up with practical and highly valuable approaches to this often‐unexplored challenge. This paper develops and illustrates several such approaches.
Don Dea's insight:
  • Many negotiators experience the effect of constituencies that must formally or informally approve an agreement.
  • In negotiation, Level II challenges are the other side's internal or "behind-the-table" dilemmas.
  • Even where Level II parties do not have formal ratification power, they may often facilitate the implementation of agreements that they like and effectively block those that they do not.
  • Negotiators can meet their own interests by helping the other side resolve its Level II dilemmas.
  • There are several categories of practical measures that negotiators can use to advance their own interests by focusing on the other side's Level II negotiations.
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Better Features Doesn't Make a Successful App. Here's Why.

Better Features Doesn't Make a Successful App. Here's Why. | digitalNow | Scoop.it
If you really want to disrupt the field, your product has to be leaps and bounds over the competition. If not, prepare to be ignored.
Don Dea's insight:

A better app doesn’t always win. This is especially true if a large number of users are already using a competing app. A paper by John Gourville, professor of marketing at Harvard Business School, specifies that products fail because entrepreneurs irrationally overvalue their innovation, compared to consumers who overvalue what they’ve been already using. He states that for new apps (products) to stand a chance, they have to be 10 times better than the existing ones, “making the innovation’s relative benefits so great that they overcome any overweighting of potential losses.”

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on building online communities

Daniel Ha in 2007 created Disqus, software that facilitates online commenting on millions of blogs and news websites.
Don Dea's insight:

It's really not anonymity that people want. It's really the ability to adopt pseudonyms and have handles online and expressing yourself as you'd like. It's not like putting a paper bag over your head or your Guy Fawkes mask on, it's being able to wear a different outfit in different situations. You might wear a suit to a meeting and jeans and a T-shirt to a hip hop concert. It's hard to express yourself when you're carrying around the baggage of everything your name represents, whether it's professionally or personally, with your family. It simply isn't a debate about hiding yourself but being able to freely express yourself.

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Evolve or Die in the Age of the Consumer

Evolve or Die in the Age of the Consumer | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Don Dea's insight:

Listening to and truly engaging with customers wherever and however they choose to engage is the new secret to organizational success. While companies may think they’re safe by sitting back and hiding, the opposite is true. By giving the customer a voice, they’re  giving themselves the biggest competitive edge possible. In the Age of the Customer, one thing is for certain: Companies that fail to orient all aspects of their organization around their customers will die.

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Townsend Hotel chief aims to please, exceed expectations

Townsend Hotel chief aims to please, exceed expectations | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Meet the boss: Steven Kalczynski. He is the managing director of the Townsend Hotel, one of the ritziest hotels in the state.
Don Dea's insight:

“I like to give people the ability to make their own decisions. I believe in the trust bank theory,” Kalczynski said. “Like a bank, you open an account, make deposits and if you withdraw some money, it takes awhile to fill that back up. Trusts are earned. If you violate that trust, it takes awhile to fill up that account again.

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11 Lessons I Learned at Startups That Keep Me Up at Night

11 Lessons I Learned at Startups That Keep Me Up at Night | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Founding or working at a new business can be scary, but each experience can lead to improvements.
Don Dea's insight:

1. You’re replaceable. Your customers, strategic partners, suppliers and teammates will always appreciate your contributions, but there is always going to be someone that’s better, smarter and nicer than you are. You have no time to be complacent because the bar is set higher and higher each day for individuals in your field. Also, no one has the patience to deal with jerks. So stay hungry and never stop treating people well. Do these things and you’ll be irreplaceable.

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Why Is It So Hard to Think Different?

Why Is It So Hard to Think Different? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Don Dea's insight:

The Think Different formula: Look at the target market; figure out what customers want or will want; build a product that encompasses that; and bet the farm on the result. That may look easy, but it's scary risky, which is why there are so few CEOs like Jobs, Bezos or Musk. Most others are like the runners who just stare at the leader's butt and then wonder why they never win the race. - See more at: http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/trends/80285.html#sthash.aceilVhK.dpuf

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Don't Overlook the Mobile Searcher

Don't Overlook the Mobile Searcher | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The mobile browser is not dead, exactly, but if it were an animal it might be on the endangered species list. Mobile users are spending more time using mobile apps and less and less time surfing the Web from their mobile devices, based on recent statistics from Flurry. Apps took up 86 percent of the average U.S. mobile consumer's time online, or 2 hours and 19 minutes per day, the firm reported.
Don Dea's insight:

Forty-five percent of mobile searches are "goal-oriented," and are done with an eye to accumulating information to make a decision or purchase in the near term. The mobile search is an important indicator of buying intent. It increasingly is becoming part of the "last mile," meaning a searcher who goes to mobile to seek out information typically is close to pulling the trigger on an action. - See more at: http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/Dont-Overlook-the-Mobile-Searcher-80304.html#sthash.Whj9UrGu.dpuf

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The Cloud's Long Tail: Industry-Specific SaaS Solutions

A new wave of opportunities is emerging to create industry-specific Software as a Service and cloud computing vertical market solutions. A number of new examples of this phenomenon have crossed my radar over the past few weeks which clearly illustrate the long tail effect of the cloud. The most prominent recent example of SaaS verticalization has been Veeva's successful IPO.
Don Dea's insight:

Adopting an industry-centric go-to-market strategy isn't a new business model, but it is a key milestone for businesses that have reached a level of maturity such that their basic horizontal software offerings are no longer sufficient to meet the needs of their most important customers and prospects. However, it isn't about the high end of the market alone. - See more at: http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/The-Clouds-Long-Tail-Industry-Specific-SaaS-Solutions-80281.html#sthash.CsVp2gtc.dpuf

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The Internet and the Web in 2025

The Internet and the Web in 2025 | digitalNow | Scoop.it
We are now living during a wave of social change, and we will not know how the Internet has affected society until we look back on it in the future. A great example of this: When Alexander Graham Bell obtained his patent for the telephone in 1875, no one could have foreseen that a lawyer from Texas could make a cellphone call from the Great Wall of China in 2005, but I did!
Don Dea's insight:

2025 reports these 15 themes or scenarios about the digital future in 2025 based on its survey of open-ended questions about the Internet:


  1. Information sharing over the Internet will be so effortlessly interwoven into daily life that it will become invisible, flowing like electricity, often through machine intermediaries.
  2. The spread of the Internet will enhance global connectivity that fosters more planetary relationships and less ignorance.
  3. The Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and big data will make people more aware of their world and their own behavior.
  4. Augmented reality and wearable devices will be implemented to monitor and give quick feedback on daily life, especially tied to personal health.
  5. Political awareness and action will be facilitated and more peaceful change and public uprisings like the Arab Spring will emerge.
  6. The spread of the 'Ubernet' will diminish the meaning of borders, and new 'nations' of those with shared interests may emerge and exist beyond the capacity of current nation-states to control.
  7. The Internet will become 'the Internets' as access, systems, and principles are renegotiated.
  8. An Internet-enabled revolution in education will spread more opportunities, with less money spent on real estate and teachers.
  9. Dangerous divides between haves and have-nots may expand, resulting in resentment and possible violence.
  10. Abuses and abusers will 'evolve and scale.' Human nature isn't changing; there's laziness, bullying, stalking, stupidity, pornography, dirty tricks, crime, and those who practice them have new capacity to make life miserable for others.
  11. Pressured by these changes, governments and corporations will try to assert power -- and at times succeed -- as they invoke security and cultural norms.
  12. People will continue -- sometimes grudgingly -- to make tradeoffs favoring convenience and perceived immediate gains over privacy; and privacy will be something only the upscale will enjoy.
  13. Humans and their current organizations may not respond quickly enough to challenges presented by complex networks.
  14. Most people are not yet noticing the profound changes today's communications networks are already bringing about; these networks will be even more disruptive in the future.
  15. Foresight and accurate predictions can make a difference; 'The best way to predict the future is to invent it.

- See more at: http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/80253.html#sthash.Di8EVdYX.dpuf

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Develop a leadership code of behavior

 Is the line between acceptable and unacceptable behavior changing as you shift a culture or as you struggle with different generations of leaders who have
Don Dea's insight:

Respect others: We know it’s possible to understand a colleague without agreeing with their opinion. We respect each other by listening to understand, even if we disagree. When we disagree, we verbalize it in a direct manner, calmly, and with kindness. When we respect others, it is returned not only to us, but to our customers and clients. Give feedback: We provide feedback to each other in an open and honest way as soon as possible after we observe a situation that calls for our reaction, criticism or advice. We give critical feedback privately and praise publicly. When we deliver feedback with respect in this way, we create culture of trust. Communicate: We communicate clearly, openly, and honestly as much as we can and as soon as we are able. We communicate things consistently and often, and in more than one way often using more than one tool. We don’t gossip or speculate about others’ motives; we ask them respectfully to clear up any misunderstandings or confusion. When we communicate in this way, we are all are better informed and better able to act consistent with our organizational mission. - See more at: http://www.aspire-cs.com/develop-a-leadership-code-of-behavior#sthash.UbPR1WNl.dpuf

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Reimagine Your Enterprise

Make human-centered design the heart of your digital agenda.
Don Dea's insight:

Human-centered design represents a new way of life for business. It cannot be easily achieved with the embedded controls and constraints of a typical mature enterprise. In the digital world, time really is money. Companies no longer have the luxury of carefully developing new products and business models via a bureaucratic and waterfall-driven stage-gate process. Instead, successful companies evoke many of the attributes of a startup—creativity, speed, bias for action, flexibility with risk, and radical collaboration. People work fluidly across functions and business units and collaborate readily with outside vendors and business partners when specialized expertise is needed. These companies are less likely to force their talent, whether internal or external, to run the gauntlet of restrictive finance, IT, legal, and HR processes. Finally, the digital process is a viable contributor to the business, with significant revenue and profit growth rates.

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What to Do When You Are Your Own Worst Critic

Getting rid of your shame-based self-image
Don Dea's insight:

When you look at other people, you can see their qualities through their words and actions without hearing the labels they give themselves, while you may not be able to see yourself so objectively. My client was curious, "What can I do about this when I just find it very hard to see myself in any other way?" When your self image is rooted in shame, you fear being exposed as flawed, insufficient, or just plain bad. You are not likely to believe your successes are anything other than accidents but that your failures are the logical outcome of who you "really are." Your belief system has likely been around for a while and it is self-reinforcing. You are not allowing positive feedback to get into your self-image and change it, while you allow negative experiences to reinforce the shaming labels you apply to yourself. 

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