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Embracing feedback

Embracing feedback | digitalNow | Scoop.it
 I am a somewhat timid soul when it comes to learning things that I would consider negative (or distressing) about myself through the eyes of others. I know,
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Is there truth in this? We can choose our response to learning about our failings. I like the question about “truth” because it allows me to think a little deeper about what truth is in this instance and it leads into the next big question.

Does it matter that someone else sees this darkness in me? Why does it matter? Another way to choose how you’ll respond (or not) to what you’ve heard is to consider whether it matters to you and others. I like to think that most of the time my less-than-ideal behaviors matter to me because they might not uphold my own values. But they might also matter because I’ve inadvertently hurt someone else.

Am I willing to take responsibility for any of this? This is the question that will move you forward to act on what you’ve you heard – or not. If you’re still not sure whether you want to take action, circle back to the question above. If you decide you’re not going to take responsibility then don’t be surprised when this feedback rears its head again later.

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Exploring leadership, management, innovation, and technology issues and trends; impacting associations & non-profit organizations in the digital age.
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Missing the mark

Missing the mark | digitalNow | Scoop.it
They know that they can create characters who just happen to be deaf and that creates a more diverse cast," Matlin says.

Combating lack of understanding

So how do we move past assumptions and help level the playing field for students who are deaf, hard-of-hearing or who have disabilities? Matlin offers these suggestions.

Put them in the drivers' seat. Encourage students to create their own work, suggests Matlin. Social media and streaming channels now offer myriad of vehicles through which students to can tell their story. Teach them to network, build relationships, pitch ideas and write scripts. And foster resilience. "You need to get yourself out there; that's the way you do it," Matlin says. "I've been around for 32 years. Every day is still a fight."

Treat them as individuals. People with disabilities and people who are deaf and hard of hearing have unique needs and yet there's a tendency to lump them together into one group, according to Matlin. "We're not all the same," she says. "Some of us sign, some of us learn to speak, some of us do both. Some of us wear hearing aids, some of us don't. Some people use wheelchairs, some of us don't. There's a whole spectrum."

Improve technology. Technology has provided many benefits to those with disabilities, says Matlin. Computers have opened access to information and applications such as texting, Face time and video-relay services, among others, have improved lines of communication.

And yet, there's still work to be done, Matlin asserts. She cites the example of SOS audio notifications on phones and sirens for tornado warnings; these don't work for this who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Closed captioning also needs to improve, she says, citing places that lack this service, such as movie theaters, public announcements, planes and airports.
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Nice guys are, well, nice guys

Nice guys are, well, nice guys | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Being nice is inherent to golf. Competition does not preclude courtesy.

Fans know the good guys from the not-so-good ones. The ones who smile and make eye contact, and will pose for selfies or sign autographs, are fan favorites. The ones who won’t, aren’t. Pretty simple.

What we non-pros can learn from such behavior is how to behave in public. And this is important for leaders, especially. Why? Because leaders like golfers are always on stage, even in their off-hours. For this reason, making nice is not a “nice-to-do” (pun intended); it’s a must-do.

Now, no one is perfect. Bosses, like golfers, lose their cool, but like the nice-guy golfers, they apologize for their behavior. They also seek to make amends by acting more nice -- polite, courteous and approachable -- the next time.

And, guess what? You'll get nice in return, at least most of the time. And if you don’t, well, then suck it up. After all, not everyone plays by the same rules. But good guys always do.
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Innovation Metrics: Rock, Lava, Smoke 

This hesitancy is understandable, as innovation can carry within it the power to transform an organization and lever its growth, meaning that the discipline is a mandate for positive change. Change in any form can be perceived as a threat to those embedded in operations and well-defined processes. Therefore, many will not endorse even a single innovation project without the guardrails of metrics.

May this guide ease any concerns about measuring the value of innovation. Think about Innovation as having three types of very hard metrics, more fluid ones, and some that are as difficult to capture as air. Let’s call the three categories Rock, Lava, and Smoke to make them a little more evocative.

Rock metrics are rock solid: things you can count. Here are a handful of Rock metrics. The first one is the most telling metric of how well your organization creates, launches, and markets innovation: revenue of innovations launched.

The revenue can come from new products, services, and business model innovations. When robust you can account not only for the value for things sold, but also a rise in brand equity and market share.

Lava metrics are a little harder to capture at first, but are important inputs when understanding how much an innovation program can generate different types of value. In any Innovation Project a portfolio of market-tested concepts is generated that has short-term, mid-term, and longer-term and longer-reaching concepts. Many clients perform business cases on the whole portfolio and create a total valuation on the option value created in the process.

Then, a unit of measurement needs to look at the cultural influence of working on innovation. How much is deeper collaboration, short time cycles, cross-functional training, and key market insights worth to your organization? These elements of value are more fluid, but critical to the healthy growth of an organization.

Lastly for lava metrics, find a way to measure the value created by innovation work creating new strategic growth areas for the company and its influence on the organizational strategy.

Steam metrics are the hardest to capture. The include performance metrics on how many bootcamps, hack-a-thons, workshops, and projects were completed as well as the antidotal feedback from employees. This metric also puts a value on feedback from customers, partners, and consumers who participate in the process. In Steam you can find the cultural impact of an innovation program.

Between these three metrics you can capture all of the value of innovation.



Wait! Before you go…
Choose how you want the latest innovation content delivered to you:

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Michael Graber is the managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio, an innovation and strategic growth firm based in Memphis, TN and the author of Going Electric. Visit www.southerngrowthstudio.com to learn more.

 



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Don’t Start Strategy with SWOT 

Don’t Start Strategy with SWOT  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Here’s the rub: planning and analysis are convergent modes of thinking. But if defining a new strategy is about considering many possibilities and making critical choices, then this kind of thinking doesn’t work. Perhaps that’s why so many people struggle with strategy.

In fact, it’s probably the very reason the starting point for most is the S.W.O.T. (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) Analysis. S.W.O.T. is probably the most dominant way to begin strategy efforts. Sounds cool, right? “We’ve done a S.W.O.T.” Woo hoo! It’s a great acronym…sounds like SWAT (special weapons and tactics). So it’s a brilliant marketing gimmick. No one actually knows who came up with S.W.O.T., which is a bit curious…maybe whoever did wanted to remain anonymous for a reason.

Be that as it may, let’s think about S.W.O.T. for a moment. Generally what happens is that some poor young MBA gets sent out to do a S.W.O.T. analysis, which will then be turned into a “strategic plan,” complete with who, what, when, how, and how much ($).

But let’s back up and parse the S.W.O.T., starting with the “S,” for strength. What is a strength? When we say “strength,” we are loading the concept with a silent context. Context is what gives the word meaning in the first place. There is no such thing as a universal strength in business life. I cannot think of a single strength that is a strength in all contexts. A strength in one context can be a weakness in another context.

(Note: In fact, this is the very point Malcolm Gladwell made in his 2013 book, David and Goliath. This one line was my main takeaway from the book: “The powerful and the strong are not always what they seem.” Gladwell was talking about the power of context, which ironically he introduced us to in his first and best book, The Tipping Point. David beat Goliath because he changed the context within which the battle was fought, and what appeared as a weakness in one context turned out to be a strength in another.)

A strength is only a strength in the context of the two key strategic choices at the heart of strategy: a specific where to play, and how to win within that space. For that matter, a weakness is only a weakness in the context of a where-to-play/how-to-win choice. The same holds for opportunities and threats.
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4 reasons why failure can lead to spectacular success

4 reasons why failure can lead to spectacular success | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Failure produces scrappiness
Many leaders are allergic to the idea of failure. They cannot tell the difference between an iteration that didn’t work, and defeat. Ego may be part of the reason because success, unfortunately, can create big heads.

However, many hard-working entrepreneurs believe failure creates success. "Shark Tank" investor Barbara Corcoran said she looks to invest in individuals who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds for that very reason.

"My bias toward the poor person coming up is they're usually hungrier. They're more injured. They have more to prove," Corcoran said on an episode of the Business Insider podcast "Success! How I Did It." "So they've had a few bumpy endings and they're used to failure, and, my God, what's more important in building a business than failing?" she added.

How to make it work for you: Read up on Carol Dweck’s research on growth mindsets. It’s the idea that we can grow our brain's capacity to learn and to solve problems. There are two ways to think about a problem that’s slightly too hard for you to solve: 1) Are you not smart enough to solve it? or 2) Have you just not solved it yet?

2. Failure teases out the scientist
Scientific experiments are built on this simple concept: Make an assumption, experiment, prove it wrong, and continue until you can’t prove it wrong. Scientists are not afraid on being wrong on their way to being right.

This is the same idea behind innovation. The innovation curve of a startup reflects how a company learns based on trial and error. Too often we only hear about the success of Google and Facebook, but the more common story is about the entrepreneurs who fail multiple times before they nail it.
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4 reasons why failure can lead to spectactular success

4 reasons why failure can lead to spectactular success | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Here are four reasons why failure can lead to spectacular success, it:

1. Failure produces scrappiness
Many leaders are allergic to the idea of failure. They cannot tell the difference between an iteration that didn’t work, and defeat. Ego may be part of the reason because success, unfortunately, can create big heads.

However, many hard-working entrepreneurs believe failure creates success. "Shark Tank" investor Barbara Corcoran said she looks to invest in individuals who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds for that very reason.

"My bias toward the poor person coming up is they're usually hungrier. They're more injured. They have more to prove," Corcoran said on an episode of the Business Insider podcast "Success! How I Did It." "So they've had a few bumpy endings and they're used to failure, and, my God, what's more important in building a business than failing?" she added.

How to make it work for you: Read up on Carol Dweck’s research on growth mindsets. It’s the idea that we can grow our brain's capacity to learn and to solve problems. There are two ways to think about a problem that’s slightly too hard for you to solve: 1) Are you not smart enough to solve it? or 2) Have you just not solved it yet?

2. Failure teases out the scientist
Scientific experiments are built on this simple concept: Make an assumption, experiment, prove it wrong, and continue until you can’t prove it wrong. Scientists are not afraid on being wrong on their way to being right.
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Compassion in action

Compassion in action | digitalNow | Scoop.it
One way to help combat school violence is by equipping students with social and emotional learning skills and tools, said Lewis. Her free Choose Love Enrichment Program focuses on teaching students SEL skills such as self-awareness, self-management and responsible decision-making. These skills have been linked to better academic performance and success in career and life, Lewis said, and can help prevent issues such as mental illness, anxiety, trauma, bullying and, ultimately, violence. “Kids that are connected, that can have positive relationships, that can manage their emotions, that are resilient, they do not want to hurt other kids,” she said

After learning more about the life of the shooter in Jesse's murder, 20-year old Adam Lanza, Lewis said she now believes that Lanza exhibited behavior and shared thoughts that should have raised red flags indicating he needed help. “He was overlooked,” she said. She believes if Lanza had had the tools and the environment he needed to manage the thoughts and feelings he had been experiencing, the tragedy at Sandy Hook would not have happened. “It is easier for me to be angry for him than it is to be at him,” she explained.
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Time to Rethink NPS for Support Transactions 

Time to Rethink NPS for Support Transactions  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) surveys are often used after customer support transactions. But the question is contextually confusing and the practice yields biased results. NPS® may work fine as a relationship-tracking metric, but when it comes to how the brain evaluates short-term episodes, it’s better to use a different type of survey.

Companies often send NPS® surveys to customers after they contact technical support. Triggered by ticket closure, surveys ask, “How likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or colleague?” on a scale of 0 to 10. Customers scoring 9 or 10 are labeled “promoters,” those rating 7 or 8 “passives,” and the remaining 0-6 “detractors.” NPS® is then calculated as the quantity of promoters minus the number of detractors divided by the total number of responses. This approach is very popular. The simple, one-question survey collects customer feedback, and for companies just getting started in customer satisfaction measurement, NPS® can lead to improvements.

Logically, however, business customers don’t buy a product because of the quality of the vendor’s customer support. If fact, good service is generally assumed, and unless the vendor’s support function is award-winning, salespeople tend not to mention it. In practice, B2B customers are more likely to give recommendations considering the product’s value and the entirety of the relationship. So the question about endorsing after a single service experience is out of context.
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9 ways you are demotivating and disempowering your team

9 ways you are demotivating and disempowering your team | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Inflexibility
If you’re already sharing and coaching on your approach, resist the urge to cling too hard to “your way” of doing things. If you’re unwilling to hear about different ideas, you’re not making room for innovation, personal growth or potential improvement. You may have to learn to let go a little and allow room for possible mistakes in order to foster and motivate your team to achieve new levels.

Delving into the weeds
Most of us have worked our way up through the various levels of management in a company – at one point in our careers, it was our job to dig into the details of every issue or problem and it can feel right to return there.  It might seem like you’re helping your team by jumping into the weeds with them, but the opposite is often true – it’s profoundly disempowering. Let your team manage the details, status to you and gain your input on the larger situation. Trust them to do their jobs and empower them to make the decisions at their level.

Fixating on the big picture
It can be demotivating if your manager is fixated on the top-line corporate goals, at the expense of any attention to day-to-day job. Don’t make the mistake of letting your team believe you only care about the end result; everyone needs to feel empowered to do their job and to believe their job matters. Make sure your team knows you care about them, their daily achievements and their overall goals. It’s not just about the top (or bottom) line results.

Which of these habits do you see in yourself? Examine your behaviors and decide what you can change immediately, and what you can work on over time.

Motivated and empowered employees are critical to achieving overall success, so create a plan today. You will be rewarded with an engaged team that is ready to take on even the most challenging tasks with skill and confidence.
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What's Wrong with Virtual Communication

What's Wrong with Virtual Communication | digitalNow | Scoop.it
We are all unwitting participants in a massive social experiment that began slowly after World War II and gathered speed in the last decade with the introduction of the smart phone.  We have created virtual personas, online worlds, digital connections, social media lives, email relationships, audio-conference teams, video linkups – the whole panoply of ways that we now communicate with one another virtually.

That ability to communicate virtually seemed at first to be an unmitigated advance – we could communicate faster, more easily, with less friction, at our own convenience, to multiples of our previous audiences, with the click of a mouse or a ‘send’ button.

It’s only recently that we’re starting to realize that this huge social experiment has a downside too.  We’ve started to worry about shorter attention spans, and we wonder if the Internet makes us stupid.  But the real downside has remained largely invisible to us because it touches on the workings of our unconscious minds.

What’s happened is that, as we’ve made room for virtual communication in our lives, our workplaces, and in all the ways we connect with one another, we haven’t fully realized how emotionally empty virtual communications are.  Every form of virtual communication strips out the emotional subtext of our communications to a greater or lesser extent.  Every one.

Take email, for example.  We’ve all experienced the frustration of sending an email that was (to us) obviously meant to be a joke.  But the recipient, instead of being amused, was offended, and we had to spends huge amounts of time repairing the relationship.   That’s the simplest, most obvious form of emotional undercutting that virtual communications foist on us.
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Thriving In The Extreme Data Economy

Thriving In The Extreme Data Economy | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Clarity Affords Focus

"Clarity affords focus" was initially coined by Thomas Leonard, and as my friend Jim and I discussed the tanking sales of his car dealerships, I remembered those words. As time passed, I helped him understand that success is a direct result of keeping the focus of his business clear. It seemed to me that his overall company was at a point where it was the victim of its own success. It had expanded to various locations with a large team of salespeople and others supporting what had become a multimillion-dollar effort.


I asked him a specific question, “What do you do, Jim?”

At first, he was puzzled, but then he replied that he was the owner of several car dealerships.

I asked the question again, “What do you do?”

After a beat, he got the message. He replied, “I sell cars.”
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Insights in Action: How to Turn Market Data into a Competitive Springboard

Insights in Action: How to Turn Market Data into a Competitive Springboard | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Tools for Leveraging Insights  
To appropriately leverage your company insights, institutionalize a company process. Collecting data does not have to be an expensive proposition; however, you should continually and consistently gather information about your company, competition, and the customer.

Here is how to best take advantage of all three:

Company Insights

Employees are essential to helping your brand become more market-driven. The key is input and communication. The most effective methods are informal in nature, like a virtual suggestion box, or a question of the month. For example, ask your team about their ideas for cost savings opportunities, then offer an incentive for implemented ideas, so employees know their ideas are being acted upon.

Competition

While you get your employees engaged, foster a culture that scrutinizes the competition. Collecting this data gives you the background and rationale for future activities. Ideas include exploring trade publications, reviewing annual reports, visiting trade shows, and browsing LinkedIn for company insights. The tool Website Grader will help you assess how your website ranks in relation to your competitors.

Next, create category or brand trend presentations using information gleaned from your research. These should be updated regularly and sent to the sales group to be incorporated into presentations to prospective customers.  This practice helps position the company as forward thinking and innovative. Keep a current binder of competitive activities, then task someone within the company to present a quarterly assessment.

Consumer/Customer
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How Great Leaders Simplify Decision-Making (And Just Get Stuff Done)

First, good decision makers get the right data in front of them at the right time.

For example, on Cooke’s billion dollar deal, he was able to decide in 20 minutes because he had developed a one-page analysis that cut to the core of the company’s potential, and therefore could point to a value that made sense to him. All he had to do was review it, ask a couple of questions, and BOOM!.

Decision made.

Of course, he had to trust that the data and analysis on that page was trustworthy and accurate, and that’s the second element to being a great doer – hiring the right “numbers people”.

I was the person responsible for that page, and you can bet I spent a LOT of time working on it, and cranked out a lot of spreadsheets to support it.  Cooke hired me because of my financial background, and my ability to do the proper analysis -traits that were vitally important to his decision-making process.

Then, there’s the third element, the intangible.  Guts.

Cooke had ’em in spades – he was fearless. He trusted his business instincts, and had the courage to manifest that trust in quick decisions.  Getting over the fear of failure is paramount.  In the business world, if you are a decision-maker, above all else you need to trust yourself.

Lastly, there’s the fourth element – organizational and structural simplicity.

Over my career I figured out that too much complexity in an organization, and too much data, can hamper the doers. Peters also noted this in “In Search of Excellence”.  The successful companies were able to streamline to the point where they create

“action devises that simplify their systems and foster a restless organizational stance by clarifying which numbers really count or arbitrarily limiting the length of the goal list”.
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Compassion in action

Compassion in action | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Thousands of students and advocates turned out to rally against gun violence at March for Our Lives protests across the country on March 24, 2018. These demonstrations were organized in response to the tragic school shooting in February at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where 17 lives were lost and many more were changed forever.

Another school shooting on Dec. 14, 2012 forever changed the life of Scarlett Lewis, mother of six-year-old Jesse who was among those killed that day at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. As the debate over guns and school safety focuses on external fixes to the problem, Lewis is taking a different path, one that examines the internal causes for violence in our schools today. Lewis presented her insights, plus a “proactive, preventative” approach for taking action, at ASCD Empower18. 

One way to help combat school violence is by equipping students with social and emotional learning skills and tools, said Lewis. Her free Choose Love Enrichment Program focuses on teaching students SEL skills such as self-awareness, self-management and responsible decision-making. These skills have been linked to better academic performance and success in career and life, Lewis said, and can help prevent issues such as mental illness, anxiety, trauma, bullying and, ultimately, violence. “Kids that are connected, that can have positive relationships, that can manage their emotions, that are resilient, they do not want to hurt other kids,” she said
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Six Things You Have to Believe in Order to Succeed 

Six Things You Have to Believe in Order to Succeed  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Here are the six beliefs that I’ve found to be essential if you are to build the right lens through which to see the path to success.

1. Believe in Yourself

Believing in yourself is more than just a platitude. You need to develop a deep belief in your ability to not only affirm your choices but to also accept the resistance that you will encounter, sometimes from the people closest to you. I recall when I started my first business an overwhelmingly unexpected response of gloom and doom from close friends and even relatives. One even went so far as to tell me that I was making the biggest mistake of my life! I was absolutely dumbfounded. You can take that sort of advice and tell yourself it’s absolute uninformed rubbish or start to second-guess yourself. If you choose the path of doubt be prepared to wallow in it until it swallows you whole.

2. Believe Everything Happens for a Reason

There are two ways to read this. One is that there is some preordained plan that plots our course well in advance. Another is that bad things happen for no good reason other than to force you to find a reason. The problem with the former is that it implies you have no choice in what the reason is. But you do have a choice! One of the most enlightening and empowering things you can do when obstacles arise is to find a reason to leverage them as launching pads for learning and greater success. That’s a tough thing to do when something that seems totally out of your control derails you. But the only control you have in those situations is the choice to find a reason, even if you have to manufacture it.

3. Believe in Your Idea

This is another of those platitudes that ends up being often misconstrued to mean that just because something is your idea, then it’s a good idea. That’s an inaccurate belief. Instead, think of the belief in your idea as being similar to the belief a parent has in his or her child; you don’t believe in them simply because they are your child, or because they agree with you all the time, or even because they always make the decisions you want them to make, but rather because you believe in their ability to chart their own course. In that same way ideas take on a life of their own. The best ones morph and change over time into something you never expected. When Apple introduced the iPod it was actually not what Jobs had originally planned to do. The original idea was to roll out iTunes for any MP3 player–of which there were many at the time. The problem was that the original idea did not provide the sort of control and digital rights management needed to get the music industry onboard. The idea had to change radically to accommodate the iPod. Yet, that reconstituted idea was the foundation on which Apple changed the music industry, and ultimately mobile communications.
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Taking the Path to Digital Transformation – Innovation Excellence

Taking the Path to Digital Transformation – Innovation Excellence | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Digitization is a genuine source of competitive advantage
The Boston Consulting Groups’ (BCG) Most Innovative Companies Report 2018, states that:

At leading innovators, R&D and new-product development have become digital endeavours. Eleven of the fifty companies named in BCG’s 2018 ranking of the most innovative companies – including seven of the top ten — are digital natives and thus digital innovators by definition.

Digitization is a pervasive trend across all industries
Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes is worried Australian businesses aren’t accepting they will soon almost universally be technology companies.

He states that the biggest mistake governments and businesses are making right now is thinking automation and technology are problem only the technology industry has to face, because we all have to face it!

“As every company becomes a software company, technology became a true source of advantage a genuine source of competitive advantage. It doesn’t matter if you’re a media company or a bank or an insurance company or a doctor, some form of technology’s going to be there.”

The shift to digitization is difficult
The Boston Consulting Groups’ Most Innovative Companies Report 2018, suggests that we ask ourselves three key questions and they all relate to taking a strategic, systemic and human centred approach to innovation:

1. Strategy. How do we apply technologies that expand the horizons of the possible in terms of new products, services, and business models?
2. Operations and Processes. How do we apply digital technologies to drive innovation, leveraging new tools, platforms, and processes (such as agile) in order to turn insights into new products and services?
3. Organization. How do we transform ourselves into digitally capable organizations and cultures that can bring digital innovations to market and make them work?

Initiating the cultural transformation
At ImagineNation™ our research, experience and knowledge reinforce the fact that all digitization efforts, no matter how intentional and well resourced, will fail unless the operating culture transforms to support their successful application.

This is reinforced by Deloitte, in their recent article “Digital workplace and culture – How digital technologies are changing the workforce and how enterprises can adapt and evolve” where they state that there has never been more pressure on companies to develop a positive, productive digital culture:
• 87% of organizations cite culture and engagement as one of their top challenges,
• 50% call the problem “very important.”
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Brands, you're doing experiential marketing wrong

Experiential marketing is the current flavor of the month, especially as broadcast spending dips and digital becomes increasingly fraught. But it's time clients and agencies took a hard look at whether spending millions of dollars on a one-time event is the best use of their investment.

The blink-and-you'll-miss-it event is all well and good, but it's hardly scalable. So instead of investing in one-off (call them "perishable") events, consider taking a cue from another lifestyle trend: The "sustainable" approach to experiential.

"Perishable" to me evokes a one-night party in the Meatpacking District in New York, with a bunch of jaded "influencers" and bloggers checking their phones, while ignoring the very thing that they're meant to have a hand in promoting: the lavish experience around them which cost a fortune to put on (and which generates a tremendous amount of waste in materials and food).
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Setting Expectations Leads to Greater Happiness

Setting Expectations Leads to Greater Happiness | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Here are four steps for setting expectations at work:

Setting expectations step one: Consider everything you need or want from a person. Make a list, even if it’s just for you.

Setting expectations step two: Determine what that person is capable of providing. What’s realistic given who they are and the constraints they’re under (financial, time, skills, experience, etc.)?

Setting expectations step three: Reset your expectations, if necessary.

Setting expectations step four: Ask for what you want and be specific about your request. Telling someone, “This needs to get better,” will get you nothing. Telling someone, “I’d like to be included in each meeting that relates to this project and cc’d on all pertinent emails,” may just get you what you need.

As William Ury said in his book Getting to Yes, be hard on the problem and easy on the person. When you address violated expectations, simply share what you expected to have happen and what actually did happen. That could sound like, “I thought we agreed I would be invited to each meeting pertaining to this client. There was a meeting last week I wasn’t invited to. What happened?” Watch your tone of voice when asking this question. Be neutral and curious.

Changing your expectations will likely be a daily occurrence. People won’t necessarily do things your way or even in the way you hoped. Decide what you must have, and let the rest go. Just think of all the time and aggravation you’ll save.
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Don't let data trick you if you want to create a new future

Don't let data trick you if you want to create a new future | digitalNow | Scoop.it
In business, like in personal life, we rely on data. Yet data is about yesterday, not tomorrow. Data can identify patterns and illuminate future choices, but relying exclusively on data is like driving relying only on the rearview mirror.

Based on the past, I should not have accepted the job. So, clearly the decision to facilitate the retreat was a different kind of decision — the kind of decision where faith has a role because it was about creating a new future. I had faith that this retreat was a way to stretch myself and experiment with the intention of helping others. I had faith in the power of coming together to create a new future for this organization. I had faith in people’s ability in that organization in crisis to make things better for themselves.

This raises the question: When should we rely on faith to make decisions in business? I believe the answer is every time we are creating the future rather than fixing the past, every time we are trying to answer questions we don’t even know we have. (I am sure you would admit that this is pretty weird territory!) We should rely on faith every time the work is not about not knowing in the domain of fixing — because if it were, we would simply look for an answer — but about not knowing about not knowing, in the domain of creating the future.

This is a strange place to be for business-oriented, fact-finding, strategy-minded, brilliant people!  Yet when we are in a place where we aren’t looking for answers but for better questions, when inquiry takes over it brings unexpected insights on our way of being in the world. And we soon discover that these kinds of decisions aren’t about “what to do” but more about “who we are.”

Data has been on the wrong side of history every time the world has changed. Data tells us that Goliath always has and will win against David, that 13 small colonies under British rule have no business asking for independence and will not prevail against the biggest empire on Earth, that women have never voted before and should not have the right now. Real entrepreneurship, even in large organizations, is about creation. Corporations, organizations and communities like to make decisions based on data, yet the entrepreneurial spirit of the founders who gave birth to those companies, organizations or communities is often the result of the courage of upholding dreams -- that goes well beyond the present data, to make connections, establish patterns and venture into unpredictable, frustrating and uncomfortable territory to create a place of possibilities.
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Is Value Co-Creation Always Necessary?

Is Value Co-Creation Always Necessary? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Let me start with the yellow box, which is the case for items/service for normal use. Many items are used in a routine, normal fashion. These include salt, soap, a smart phone for a lay user such as myself. I just want these to work for my satisfaction, and I do not desire an interaction with someone in your company. Many of us fall into this category.

Lessons for the company:

Make it simple to understand and use (the user should not need to find a knife to open a soap packet, or to find a button on a smart phone or put a sim card of a different size into the phone (a micro sim to be put into a normal sim slot or have multiple chargers for multiple phones)
Let it work as intended (my smart phone pushes the turn on image for an incoming call into a small inset on top of the phone, which I cannot easily enlarge, and so I have to go through gymnastics to answer a call. I know some of you are sniggering because you don’t have this problem, but those unlucky fellow creatures who have this problem are saying, give us a fix (which requires us to go into the red quadrant, and being made to do an useless task. This is not co-creation, it is destruction of value)
Do not make the user do unnecessary work when using your product (the above is an example)
Let the product/service not let the user down (the salt has coagulated in the packet and does not pour easily) (or my instant coffee from a flexi bag has completely powdered finely from the granules you find in bottles, and the coffee does not taste that good)
Make it easy for the user to contact an intelligent person if the user is unhappy or has an idea (so now you have a problem, whom do you complain to? My salt has coagulated. The call centre guy responds but it is not supposed to…. You idiot customer, how did you let it coagulate…Maybe this lot was chemically different (it cannot be, says the call centre person. Your option is to throw the salt away and re buy, and find a place in your fridge (but first make sure the salt will be ok in the fridge. You don’t know, but you know you should not put the salt in the fridge but you have no choice. You poor sap, you are only a customer)
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The Analytical Leader: Understanding Customer Experience Requires Thick Data 

The Analytical Leader: Understanding Customer Experience Requires Thick Data  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The term “Thick Data” entered my lexicon based on a TEDx talk and a wonderful Ethnography Matters article by Tricia Wang. Thick Data is data created using qualitative methods that provide insight into people’s emotions, motivations and ways of thinking. It provides important context to facts and behaviors. It reveals the social context that connects data points. It tells the stories that make the facts and numbers come alive.¹

The ever-increasing focus on Big Data has led to renewed interest in Thick Data. As the business world has become dominated by data and quantification many realize that we are missing something. The more we focus on numbers and spreadsheets and graphs, the more disconnected we are from the reality of the marketplace and our customers. We need both Big Data and Thick Data to form a complete picture of modern business realities.
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5 Factors that Damage Your Brand’s Online Reputation 

Negligible Social Media Presence
In a socially proactive digital world, ignoring social media can significantly harm your prospects of having a positive online reputation. Though social media is one of the most promising platforms for businesses to interact with customers, Clutch’s 2017 Small Business Social Media Survey found that 24% of small businesses do not use social media at all even today! Further, only 41% of businesses that use social media do so multiple times a day.

Not having an active social media presence can hamper a business’ growth prospects in the digital world. When consumers look for a brand online, they expect to know more about it through its Facebook Page or interactions on Twitter. A poor social media presence portrays a brand’s apathy that it need not interact or engage its customers.

A lot of small businesses make the mistake of abandoning social networks after a few weeks of activity. The impact – a big turn-off for potential customers who go online looking for information about the brand.

Takeaways:

Post regularly at times when your customers are most active online.
Try to engage customers by starting conversations.
Identify friendly brands and try establishing mutually-benefitting liaisons.
Web Copy that Doesn’t Target Your Audience
A website serves as an online storefront for a business. It follows that a website, just like the store’s façade should be attractive, meaningful and have the potential to draw customers in. Web copy is what does that. Poorly-written copy makes the customer wary of a business, its capabilities, and its seriousness.

When visitors do not find something engaging on the website, they have no problem finding the door. This, on the top of degrading your web rankings (indirectly), results in lost sales opportunities. Don’t write copy like this.
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How Compassion Can Make You More Successful

How Compassion Can Make You More Successful | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Grit is the passion to pursue your goals, to do something hard, to be willing to work hard to get ahead. Outside of the professional domain, I think about grit in the social domain. To me, people who have grit are the mom who might work three jobs to put her kid through college and the grandfather with emphysema who will pull the oxygen tank behind him to go see his grandson’s game. What drives that is not this kind of planning, this willpower, it’s what you feel. Emotions are a big source of that.

We’ve been finding that these three emotions, which are intrinsically tied to social life, make people value their future goals and future rewards more. Because they do that, they’re an easy way to help you accept the sacrifices in the moment that are necessary to get there.
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Momentum as a management strategy

Momentum as a management strategy | digitalNow | Scoop.it
So, what are some steps that leaders can take to help fuel momentum and support results?

Set small and incremental goals. Certainly, figuring out how to achieve a significant or complex objective requires a sizable and inclusive strategy. But big plans can be overwhelming. People can become immobilized when the scale or timeline is daunting. So, rather than thinking big, think small. Break it down into doable increments. Let people experience early success and build the confidence and momentum to take on additional and more challenging successive goals.

Create a "next steps" culture. It’s frequently said, “the hardest part of any journey is taking the first step.” And while they may be hard, first steps are also powerful. They overturn the force of inertia and get things moving. First steps demonstrate what’s possible and create the opportunity for others to get involved. As a result, highly effective leaders create a cadence and a culture of "next steps." They don’t end a meeting without a discussion of next steps. They close all calls with next steps. They know that next steps build energy and momentum for further action.

Punctuate progress. In today’s results-oriented business environment, the idea of progress may not get the attention it’s due. According to researcher and author Theresa Amabile, progress is among the most motivating factors in the workplace. When people see and feel that they’re moving things forward, it inspires additional effort, engagement and momentum. But, even when progress is being made, given the daily grind, employees may not see it. So, point it out. Celebrate it. Recognize it. Encourage it. Progress not only feeds momentum; it is momentum.

Broker small agreements. Negotiating can be taxing and time-consuming. If you’re going to invest the energy, it’s natural to want to craft a comprehensive deal. But frequently it’s more effective to start small. A smaller agreement is easier to come to, approve and execute. Each party gets to know the other, trust builds, and momentum is established for the next (perhaps larger and more sweeping) issue to be agreed up.
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The Science of Stories: How Stories Impact Our Brains

The Science of Stories: How Stories Impact Our Brains | digitalNow | Scoop.it
When was the last time you got lost in a story? Perhaps you sat down to read “just one chapter” of a book and grew completely absorbed, spending three or four hours buried in the pages without realizing it. Perhaps you tuned into a podcast on your morning walk and became so engrossed you went on autopilot, finding yourself back at home without quite knowing how you got there. Or maybe you lost yourself in a movie, heart racing, tears flowing, breath caught in your throat right along with the characters.
Whatever the format, there’s no denying that a well-told story has a powerful impact on its audience. In fact, there’s an oft-cited statistic claiming that messages delivered as stories can be up to 22 times more memorable than just the facts. 

So why is that? 
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