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Fire Fast: Fixing Bad Hiring Decisions

Fire Fast: Fixing Bad Hiring Decisions | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Hire slow, fire fast is both a strategy and an encouragement for fixing bad hiring decisions. Fire fast should also be taken as permission to use firing more
Don Dea's insight:
No Time for Euphemisms

Understanding the importance of fire fast requires that we not rely on euphemisms. In fact we have to get more comfortable with the word firing because it helps you regain your power over your apprehension of firing people.

If You Can’t Take the Heat



Read more: http://blog.thehigheredcio.com/2013/03/17/fire-fast-fixing-bad-hiring-decisions/#ixzz2ZYYLPBpR

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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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Slow Down, Do Less, Observe More: A Leadership Journey

As I began to think more about it, I also realized that doing more was not only making my life harder, it was getting in my way as a leader. I wasn’t giving others the space to bring themselves fully to their work. I began to notice when I was doing too much of the thinking and the planning and not allowing others to step into the challenges that would help them grow. I needed to learn to step back, to make room for others.

This was a turning point for me as a leader. I began to experiment (though I wouldn’t have used that word at the time) with slowing down, doing less and observing more in my work. Most of the time other people stepped in–and sometimes they didn’t. I experimented with different ways of responding when they didn’t–short of taking over. Thanks to Feldenkrais, I knew what it felt like in my body to slow down. I was able, with practice, to translate that to work settings and, in the process, becoming a better leader. And, remarkably, one with more time for both work and home.

I realize now that Eileen, my Feldenkrais practitioner, was also my first leadership coach. The shifts I made when working with her were essential to the shifts I made in my leadership practices. Since then I’ve developed a regular yoga and meditation practice, and learned many in-the-moment centering practices that have, collectively,  further enabled me to embody the idea of “slow down, do less and observe more.” To a degree I couldn’t have imagined, this has become who I am. I can still move too fast, step in too quickly, speak too much. And, I do these things a lot less frequently–catching myself a whole lot sooner. I am better able to recognize when I am not present and find my way back to presence.
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Should You Fix the Problem or Design it Out? 

Should You Fix the Problem or Design it Out?  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
next time you’re wrestling with a problem and trying to solve it, look at it in a slightly different way just for fun, try asking yourself how you could design the product, service, or experience (or all three) in order to design out the problem.

You may or may not get to a more viable, desirable, and feasible solution than trying to fix the problem.

But, looking at the problem from a range of different perspectives is always worth the effort.

Keep innovating!
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Why nonprofits should think more like tech companies

Why nonprofits should think more like tech companies | digitalNow | Scoop.it
On the latest episode of Recode Decode, Stanford University lecturer Kathleen Kelly Janus talked about the field of social entrepreneurship and her book, "Social Startup Success." In it, she argues that there’s more overlap between what works for nonprofits and for-profits than people might assume.
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 Skills That All Great Innovators Share 

great innovators are more than just dreamers. The random ideas they come across only become useful when applied to a specific problem. Often, they spend years or even decades working on something before they hit on that one missing piece to the puzzle. So it is that kind of tenacity, combined with the eagerness to probe new spaces that makes the difference.

That’s why innovation needs exploration. Not all who wander are lost, but you have to wander with purpose.
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A New Model for Integrating Behavioral Science and Design

A New Model for Integrating Behavioral Science and Design | digitalNow | Scoop.it
A new book, co-authored by Tuff, bolsters the case for stretching beyond “core” behavioral interventions. His updated model parallels the structure of our proposed bottom-left and top-right triangles, labeling them “known/knowable opportunities” and “unknown/unknowable opportunities,” respectively. The former is the terrain of identified challenges, which can be addressed with known insights and tools. This is largely where behavioral science has played so far. The latter, by contrast, requires new approaches to identify those challenges, let alone solve for them and gauge the success of solutions—exactly the conditions that play to the strengths of design.
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The Romero Team's comment, November 12, 9:31 PM
nice article!
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It's Okay to Say No at Work

It's Okay to Say No at Work | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The “Yes” Compulsion
As an A-player, Sarah is probably going to say yes to all these tasks, even though she doesn’t have the time and energy to give each one its due. Saying no to any of them would mean disappointing someone and tarnishing her image as someone who makes things happen, wouldn’t it?

A lot of us, like Sarah, get a rush from saying yes at work. We want to seem helpful, willing to create value wherever we can and for whomever we can—and we want to be top of mind when the next promotion comes around.  But if your A-players (or B-players) get in the habit of spreading themselves thin with yeses, their effectiveness is going to plummet.
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The Romero Team's comment, November 7, 11:45 PM
i agree
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9 Elements of Digital Transformation that Guide Digitization

9 Elements of Digital Transformation that Guide Digitization | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Digitally Modified Businesses:
Traditional business is rapidly moving towards digital models, for instance, brick and mortar retail is shifting its focus towards eCommerce. This helps them secure new customers, retain clients and improve cross-selling. Omni-channel sales also allow the establishment of an authoritative position in the market.

While for retail the process of using digital media for new business is obvious, other businesses like food and beverages, fashion and even industrial goods manufacturers are incorporating digital mediums into their current business process. This lets them inform customers about their products and services and efficiently sell them once they enter stores or when sales reps approach them.

New Digital Businesses:
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Study Shows Executive Teams Barely Communicating

The research reveals that most nonprofits falter when it comes to executive team effectiveness, characterized by productive group interactions, clarity of the team’s role, and capable CEO leadership, said Henry Barmeir, Bridgespan manager and co-author of the report.

From the research, Bridgespan created a sequence of five steps, formulated as questions, that executive teams can implement as a guide to increase their overall effectiveness:

Is the CEO effectively managing the executive team?
Is the executive team focused on the most important work?
Does executive team composition support its ability to do the work
Do meeting and communication processes support superior decision and execution?
Does the team’s dynamic foster the right conversations and results?
“Executive teams play a critical role in shaping organization-wide decisions and share responsibility for the organization’s results,” Bridgespan partner and co-author Libbie Landles-Cobb said. “Yet we’ve seen surprisingly little research into how effective nonprofit executive teams are today, and what can be done to increase effectiveness. Our study attempts to address this gap,” she said.

For the three-quarters of respondents that did not rate their executive team as highly effective: “Imagine the productivity boost for your organization, and you personally, if the team advanced from good to great,” Kirk Kramer, head of Bridgespan’s leadership practice and co-author of the paper, said via a press release announcing the survey results.
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If You Quit You Die – Points and Figures

Many of our friends are moving to places like Florida.  I empathize because the year round weather is better and the tax bite is significantly less. But, I have always joked that Florida is “God’s Waiting Room”.  There are a lot of older people down there. To me it lacks the vibrancy of other places.  Except, in January it sure looks good.

I know other buddies of mine that made a lot of money trading and quit.  They tried to play golf or tennis every day.  It drove them nuts.  They didn’t have a purpose.  I don’t think a hobby can replace a job.

I had a friend who was related to a CEO/Founder of a Fortune 100 company.  The CEO had retired.  We went with our kids to his home to go swimming.  He had an indoor pool.  It was the afternoon and he was in his pajamas having a cocktail.  I was a bit taken aback.
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Great Leadership: You Don’t Have to Be Gates (or Buffett) to Shake the World

Information and opinions about leadership and management development by expert Dan McCarthy

 

Here are some details about each of these three tenets in the GTY process. Add your own items to the lists!  

1. Expand Yourself.

Take a personal inventory of:

· Things I do well

· Meaningful experiences I have had

· Life lessons I have learned

· People I know

· My admirable qualities

· My personal values

Then ask, what more can I do to improve the quality and depth of my experience and knowledge?

2. Give Yourself

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5 Ways To Thrive When The World Is Always Changing

5 Ways To Thrive When The World Is Always Changing | digitalNow | Scoop.it
5 principles of change
Understand the foundational knowledge of your organization – It’s well known that incumbents fail to see new rivals on the horizon.  To better adapt, organizations must reassess the foundational, or core, knowledge that is central to their business, and appreciate it’s maturity.  In other words, you must begin by knowing where you are.
Acquire and cultivate new knowledge disciplines – I’ve written many times about the recombinative nature of innovation, where knowledge of disparate disciplines pays dividends.  Innovation, and competitive advantage, derives from the assimilation of new knowledge and the timely creation of new markets.
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The Cognitive Dissonance of the CEO

The Cognitive Dissonance of the CEO | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The relevance to a CEO who's seeking not only to take action themselves, but also to influence the actions of prospective investors, employees, and customers, is obvious. And this is why it's so difficult to fully inhabit the two mindsets described above for any sustained period of time. In these circumstances most people would feel compelled to take steps to reduce the dissonance in order to move in one direction or another. They might remain committed to the entrepreneurial vision, but to do so they would discount the risks involved--and then they would likely be caught by surprise when problems arise--as they inevitably do in any new venture. Or their awareness of the risks would overwhelm their faith in the vision, and they'd opt for a safer, more secure path--which is one reason why relatively few people become entrepreneurs in the first place.
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 Savvy, Prosperous and Young

 Savvy, Prosperous and Young | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Define a consistent taxonomy of episodes

The first task is to break down the customer’s high-level needs into the most meaningful episodes. A company defines an episode by what the customer wants to do, with a clear start and end, and each episode consists of a number of underlying operational processes. For instance, a bank would unpack the customer’s overall need to “pay for things” into “pay another person,” “set up online bill payment” or “make an international transfer.” Creating a clear taxonomy of episodes, including how they fit together, is essential for focusing team efforts.
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Why You Can’t Innovate 

Why You Can’t Innovate  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Uncertainty = Opportunity

One of the most consistent correlations I’ve observed, when it comes to breakthrough innovation, is between uncertainty and opportunity. When uncertainty goes up so does opportunity–the opportunity to change, to reevaluate, to build new markets, new behaviors, new businesses. It is in the midst of uncertainty that we most often find the courage and the fortitude to reinvent and re-architect our businesses and our lives.

That’s why there is such a legacy of companies that were founded in times high economic uncertainty. A Kaufman study from 2009 found that “more than half of the companies on the 2009 Fortune 500 list were launched during a recession or bear market, along with nearly half of the firms on the 2008 Inc. list of America’s fastest-growing companies.”

So, why the correlation?
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Seven Verbs that Define Innovation Leaders

1. Focus.  They focus on the long term, on the strategic objectives and vision of the business. They are well aware of short term pressures, but they do not get consumed by them. They are committed to the long-term survival and success of the organization. They focus on the needs of customers and employees.

2. Listen.  They are smart and self-confident but modest enough to know that they do not have all the answers. They are always keen to learn. They ask great questions and challenge employees, customers and outsiders. Then they listen.

3. Tell.  Great leaders communicate by asking questions, by listening, by discussing and by telling. They tell people about the vision for the business. They tell people what a great job they are doing. They tell them that it is OK to fail. And they tell stories about people who display the values and behaviors they want to see. They are usually great story tellers.

4. Empower.  They trust their best employees to come up with great ideas and to implement them. They delegate and supervise. They grow new leaders by empowering people to try new things and to develop skills and experience. Talented people are motivated and inspired by leaders who trust and empower them.

5. Experiment.  They do not trust in conventional wisdom, theories or spreadsheets. They trust empirical results. They believe in getting out there and trying new things. They encourage people to experiment and try new concepts by building prototypes and testing ideas in the marketplace.

6. Welcome. Innovative leaders welcome risk – it is part of the game. They welcome and celebrate success. Funnily enough they also welcome failure; they treat it as a learning experience. They welcome technology and new ways of working. They welcome people – whether old friends or strangers. Above all they are open-minded and welcoming to fresh ideas.

7. Decide. These innovators are open to discuss and consider different options. Then they move swiftly to a decision. They might have only half the information that they would like to have but they are prepared to move forward and commit to a course of action. Often the chosen option proves wrong. In this case the leader of innovation is big enough to say, ‘I admit I got that one wrong.’ They quickly move to correct things and set a new course.

Many leaders and managers utter fine words about how important innovation is, how important their people are and how they have great plans for the future.  But ultimately leaders are judged by their deeds and not by their words.  The successful leaders of innovation are those who take deliberate calculated actions to drive the business forward.
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The Careful Art of Problem Solving 

Creativity can’t be forced through conscious effort, but comes together through careful observation, mental sifting, and the percolation of ideas. The drive for ‘right first time’ only results in ‘wrong every time’ when it comes to addressing problems.

It goes beyond approach to expectation. Some problems aren’t even there to be solved. Some of them never end. Sometimes it is more important to understand them and to let them iterate. Challenges are there to be overcome, but problems need to be accommodated.

Challenges can be demanding, but the ability to cope with them is really just commercial table stakes. True competitive advantage lies not in the ability of the business to deal with its regular difficulties, but in how well it can manage its exceptional ones.
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A pioneering scientist explains ‘deep learning’

A pioneering scientist explains ‘deep learning’ | digitalNow | Scoop.it
AI goes back to 1956 in the United States, where engineers decided they would write a computer program that would try to imitate intelligence. Within AI, a new field grew up called machine learning. Instead of writing a step-by-step program to do something — which is a traditional approach in AI — you collect lots of data about something that you’re trying to understand. For example, envision you’re trying to recognize objects, so you collect lots of images of them. Then, with machine learning, it’s an automated process that dissects out various features, and figures out that one thing is an automobile and the other is a stapler.

Machine learning is a very large field and goes way back. Originally, people were calling it “pattern recognition,” but the algorithms became much broader and much more sophisticated mathematically. Within machine learning are neural networks inspired by the brain, and then deep learning. Deep learning algorithms have a particular architecture with many layers that flow through the network. So basically, deep learning is one part of machine learning and machine learning is one part of AI.
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Commentary: How Megadonors Could Save America’s Universities

Commentary: How Megadonors Could Save America’s Universities | digitalNow | Scoop.it
These current donors are different from past philanthropists in important ways.

First, these donors tend to be business builders, with most of them representing first-generation entrepreneurial wealth. Schwarzman is joined by other such builders who have given $100 million or more to higher education, including Michael Bloomberg, Phil Knight, Bill Gates, John Paulson, Michael Dell, and Ken Langone. All of these men are examples of those who achieved the American dream and wanted to give back.

Second, these donors tend to give while they live rather than defer to late life or posthumous gifts. By contrast, many past industrialists such as Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, and John D. Rockefeller made their gifts in their final years or through their heirs—too late to help guide the paths of their beneficiaries. Furthermore, these barons were motivated to cleanse earlier career controversies.
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How To Spot Leadership Character With 10 Easy Signs 

Listen for these 10 indicators of strong character. Chances are, if you’re seeing these patterns in their conversation you may well be dealing with the kind of person you want on your team.

They receive a compliment with grace.
They receive negative feedback with humility and non-defensiveness.
They give voice to disagreement while still extending respect.
They give thoughtful answers, not off-the-cuff reactions.
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The Collapse of Stategy

The very word “strategy,” according to Michael Porter, is overused. Sometimes, organizations conflate “strategy” with mission or operational effectiveness. Sometimes, organizations distort “strategy,” making it lopsided, an exclusive view of demand and customer needs. Or sometimes, after adopting an amalgam of competitor initiatives, organizations develop a “strategy” that has the same feel as a jarring cubist painting.

Perhaps the most alarming part is that most organizations believe they have a strategy when in fact they have none. In the book Understanding Michael Porter, The Essential Guide to Competition and Strategy, in an excerpt from an interview with Harvard Business Review’s Joan Magretta, Michael Porter says: “I'd have to say that the worst mistake—and the most common one—is not having a strategy at all. Most executives think they have a strategy when they really don't, at least not a strategy that meets any kind of rigorous, economically grounded definition.” 
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CEOs, Are You Confident in Your Marketing Team’s Ability to Drive Growth?

Increase External Focus – React Faster to Market Changes with Outside-In Thinking
Marketing must be the eyes and ears of the company – but most marketers don’t get out of the office on a regular basis. Every member of the team should observe your market from your customer’s vantage point. By engaging in this exercise, marketers are better prepared to bring the voice of the customer to the table when making decisions. Every key marketing decision and plan must be calibrated around the impact on the customer and focus on adding real value for them.
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BBC - Capital - An easy way to read more each year

BBC - Capital - An easy way to read more each year | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Over the past few decades, commuting times have risen dramatically in most major cities. As inner-city property prices have mounted, many workers are moving further to city peripheries for lower costs – but those searching for cheaper rents are encountering longer commutes. The number of Brits spending two hours a day commuting, for example, had increased by 72% in a decade, according to a 2015 study.

Indeed, the most recent studies available find the typical Londoner spends an average of six hours and 10 minutes each week commuting, while the average New Yorker clocks in slightly more, at six hours and 18 minutes.

Meanwhile, millennials are reading more than their older counterparts. According to a Pew study, 72% of 18- to 29-year-old readers in the US have read a print book in the previous year, more than any other age group. At the same time, a third of book buyers under 44 want to spend less time on digital devices, says the Codex Group, which specialises in book audience research. Print book sales have risen in each of the three last years, following a period of stagnation.

You may also like:

- The man who swims to work
- The gruelling, six-hour commute of Beijing’s workers
- The man who takes a plane to work every day

Publishers are well aware of both these trends, and are actively chasing the 'commuter read'. Penguin has started publishing small-sized books “designed to pick up, pocket, and go”, says Philippa Cowburn, a spokeswoman. In a similar vein, Oxford University Press has released a selection of 35,000-word titles, formatted in specialised block paragraphs which aim to make it easier to find your place again after forced breaks in concentration.

If we consider that the average adult reads about 300 words a minute, in the six hours you might commute each week, you could read some 108,000 words, and still have enough time left to check in and update your Twitter. That’s about the length of Wuthering Heights, Gulliver's Travels or Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Of course, that’s assuming you’re riding on public transport and have the elbow room to open a book. Those behind the wheel have no such option – unless they’re listening to audiobooks, that is.
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How Do You Get People to Tell the Truth?

How Do You Get People to Tell the Truth? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
It is incumbent on the question-askers to decide, what is the more important information here? Is it more important for me to find out a problem with the car, or to find out that the car is OK? I know that feels a little bit wibbly-wobbly as a distinction, but recognizing when problems are really important to find out should help guide us to ask questions that focus on those problems.

If there are other problems that don’t matter too much, if you really don’t care too much about the air conditioning in the car or whether the person flosses every day, maybe you can be a little looser with those questions. But when there’s a problem that is really important to discover, then you should be especially careful in how those questions are phrased.

Schweitzer: We know that, for example, drug compliance is very low, even for people who have had heart attacks, even for people who have had heart disease, even for people who have had transplants. The way a clinician asks the question can really guide people to answer very, very differently, and these could have serious health implications.
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Avoiding the Pitfalls of Impromptu Speaking

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Impromptu Speaking | digitalNow | Scoop.it

A senior vice president I know had just joined a firm and was asked to speak at the next town hall. He was excited about the opportunity to address the company’s 3,000 employees and carefully prepared a scripted speech. But when he began to rehearse, the CEO took one look at the script, and asked,

“What’s that?”

“It’s my speech,” the new executive replied.

“Oh, we don’t give speeches here,” the CEO said. “Just talk to our employees.”

Fortunately, he had time to mentally master the thoughts he had written out, and he spoke without a text – to rave reviews.

Such spontaneous dialogue is the new normal for business leaders. No longer hidden behind podiums as their predecessors were, today’s leaders are far more likely to engage their audience in dialogue. These conversations might be interviews, town halls, elevator conversations, corridor exchanges, or brief remarks sparked by “Do you have a minute?”

As casual as these extemporaneous situations seem to be, they can be high stakes situations for leaders.

If you want to speak as a leader in impromptu situations, avoid the following pitfalls:

Pitfall #1: Not Preparing

Many leaders think of impromptu speaking as “winging it,” but doing so will lead to many stumbles – and who wants to be known for that track record?

Winston Churchill had fun with speakers who talk without thinking. He observed: “Before they get up, they do not know what they are going to say; when they are speaking, they do not know what they are saying; and when they have sat down, they do not know what they have said.”

As counterintuitive as it may seem, you can prepare to be spontaneous. There are times when you know you’ll be part of an impromptu event – a client chat, a conversation with a team member, a networking event, or a Q&A. Take whatever time you have to prepare notes, or a mental outline of what you will say. Even if you only have a few seconds, pause and decide what your message is.

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Concocting A 'Simple And Digital' Formula For Customers

Concocting A 'Simple And Digital' Formula For Customers | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Frustrated executives wonder, “To transform my business through digital, how do I get started, and how do I orchestrate things?”

Responding to the loudest voices within the organization is not the way. Instead, established companies that are reaping the greatest benefits from digital begin with the customer—his or her needs, priorities, points of pain and points of delight. Customers may not always know they want an innovation (few customers were clamoring for the first cars or computers), but they do know what they value.
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