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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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Exploring leadership, management, innovation, and technology issues and trends; impacting associations & non-profit organizations in the digital age.
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The Cognitive Dissonance of the CEO 

Most of my coaching clients are CEOs of growing companies, and a theme that shows up in my work with many of them is the stress that results from simultaneously maintaining two very different views of the world. Because my clients are constantly raising money from investors, or recruiting senior employees, or closing deals with major customers, they must be exuberant optimists, portraying a compelling vision of a successful future. And because the possibility of failure remains quite real--and those investors, employees, and customers will ask tough questions before signing up--my clients must also be keenly aware of the nearly endless list of risk factors and things that could go wrong, sometimes to the point of inducing anxiety.

One of my clients once jokingly called this state of mind "CEO schizophrenia," but to be precise it's a form of cognitive dissonance. The pioneering work on this concept was done by Leon Festinger in the late 1950s, and he described it concisely in an article in Scientific American:

If a person knows various things that are not psychologically consistent with one another, he will, in a variety of ways, try to make them more consistent. Two items of information that psychologically do not fit together are said to be in a dissonant relation to each other. The items of information may be about behavior, feelings, opinions, things in the environment and so on...

Such items can of course be changed. A person can change his opinion; he can change his behavior, thereby changing
the information he has about it; he can even distort his perception and his information about the world around him.
Changes in items of information that produce or restore consistency are referred to as dissonance-reducing changes.

Cognitive dissonance is a motivating state of affairs. Just as hunger impels a person to eat, so does dissonance impel a person to change his opinions or his behavior. The world, however, is much more effectively arranged for hunger reduction than it is for dissonance reduction. It is almost always possible to find something to eat. It is not always easy to reduce dissonance. Sometimes it may be very difficult or even impossible to change behavior or opinions that are involved in dissonant relations. Consequently there are circumstances in which appreciable dissonance may persist for long periods. [pages 93-4]
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Design Thinking Grows Up – Welcome to Experience Thinking 

Design Thinking Grows Up – Welcome to Experience Thinking  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The limitations lie not so much in Design Thinking itself, but rather in how Design Thinking is typically used.

The manner in which Design Thinking is typically used is what we refer to as a “static approach.”  That is, it is generally used to understand how a customer interacts with a product or service at one particular moment in time – typically the most critical moment in time – or in one particular mode of usage – typically the most critical mode of usage – as though everything were about this one particular “freeze frame”.  It may examine, for example, how they sit in a chair, how they use a toothbrush, how they read a user interface, or how they comprehend a set of service instructions.  This can work okay for very simple products and services, but not so much for complex ones.  Sometimes the lens of focus is zoomed out to examine more moments and more modes, but rarely does it venture so far out as to truly understand the entire product or service experience in its entirety, as well as the overriding brand experience it must convey.  To do this, we need a different approach.

A Different Approach

Fortunately, we have a different approach.  We call it “Experience Thinking”, or XT.  One can think of XT as a more “dynamic” approach to Design Thinking, in that it seeks to examine the entire product / service / brand experience in its totality.  By combining the tools of Design Thinking (the Design Methods) with the tools of Customer Experience Design and Customer Experience Management (CX Journey Maps, Stakeholder Analysis, NPS, etc.), it takes the practitioner through the Design Thinking journey for each and every touchpoint in the entire customer experience – or through whichever touchpoints are of interest.  This ends up being far more powerful than the narrow-lens focus of static Design Thinking, albeit at the price of additional work.
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How to choose a guide who'll help your organization refocus

How to choose a guide who'll help your organization refocus | digitalNow | Scoop.it
There are different types of coaches and systems out there, each with different styles. You need a guide who understands and can work with where you are on your starting line.

If you have the right guide on your journey, he or she can reduce the amount of time you need to climb the mountain. An experienced guide -- who has climbed in the conditions you are facing -- has seen what can go wrong and will prepare you to keep striving forward. A good guide watches your progress and provides objective feedback, helping you to confront reality.

Remember, your guide is not going to do the work for you. You can’t outsource the thinking and dialogue necessary to make the tough decisions. The goal here is to find the coach who is going to successfully work his or her way out of a job.

Evaluate
Once you have gathered a few names from your trusted advisors like your CPA or peers (not just the last consultant you heard speak at an event), it’s time to evaluate the candidates.

To do so, check out their toolboxes, and take note of the questions they ask and how they answer your questions.

To get a sense of how much a coach relies on a set style or is open to the right tool for your specific needs, ask what tools and processes he or she uses and why. These questions provide insight into how the coach handles different issues. You want to get behind the coach’s presentation and see how the person thinks and how much he or she has absorbed through trial and error.

The other key thing when evaluating a coach is determining if he or she has dealt with the challenges you and your team are likely to face. Look for the right kind of experience by asking prospective coaches about their past challenging projects. Here are examples of questions to ask:

Can you give an example of team challenges you have helped other clients navigate?
How did they deal with challenges?
What did they learn?
How have they adapted their styles based on challenges and feedback?
How have they evolved their process over the years? 
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From Imitation Games To The Real Thing: A Brief History Of Machine Learning

What do nonprofits need to do to develop great stories?

1. Make it clear who your story is about. Using community-driven storytelling events is an effective strategy to collect stories using characters who are both familiar and relatable. These events allow nonprofits to collect stories that donors in the community will relate to because the characters are members of the community -- and they likely share in all or part of their stories.

2. Lay out the plight of the protagonist. Storytelling events designed to address the needs of the community allow nonprofits to collect stories detailing issues that affect those who live and work there. Using community media to collect stories that community members share will help donors and volunteers to better understand the protagonist’s story.

3. Clearly state that you want to help the protagonist. Sometimes we don’t always make it clear that we want to help others; if we do state that objective, we’re not always clear about what’s stopping us from helping others. Once you explain the obstacles, it gives donors and volunteers a better idea of how they can help you help others.

4. Tell donors and volunteers how you want to help. State exactly how much money you need to raise or where you have the most need. Explain what needs to happen so you can provide a solution. Be very specific with the ask.

How do nonprofits marry storytelling with community media?

In a Medium article, I wrote that “nonprofit organizations have great opportunities with community media, as this platform can be used at little-to-no cost to engage with their local community.”
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How to choose a guide who'll help your organization refocus

How to choose a guide who'll help your organization refocus | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Evaluate
Once you have gathered a few names from your trusted advisors like your CPA or peers (not just the last consultant you heard speak at an event), it’s time to evaluate the candidates.

To do so, check out their toolboxes, and take note of the questions they ask and how they answer your questions.

To get a sense of how much a coach relies on a set style or is open to the right tool for your specific needs, ask what tools and processes he or she uses and why. These questions provide insight into how the coach handles different issues. You want to get behind the coach’s presentation and see how the person thinks and how much he or she has absorbed through trial and error.

The other key thing when evaluating a coach is determining if he or she has dealt with the challenges you and your team are likely to face. Look for the right kind of experience by asking prospective coaches about their past challenging projects. Here are examples of questions to ask:

Can you give an example of team challenges you have helped other clients navigate?
How did they deal with challenges?
What did they learn?
How have they adapted their styles based on challenges and feedback?
How have they evolved their process over the years? 
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Never Waste a Good Transformation 

The path of least resistance unfortunately is to staff these key positions with people who are available, those whom members of the leadership team are willing to "give up." While perhaps satisfying in the near term because of minimal disruption to the organization, the long-term consequences are severe. Not only does the transformation program begin to lose its credibility and impact, but it also is a missed opportunity to elevate the next generation of leaders. At the end of the day, putting the wrong people in the wrong roles destroys value.

From our forums, we find that the majority of individuals who play key roles in these transformations see an acceleration in their careers as a result. The cross-functional exposure, the direct access to the CEO, the executive team, and often the board, and the additional access to training all enrich and expand the skills of these individuals.

One CEO who was frustrated with his transformation team put it to me this way: "Why am I spending so much time and money training and coaching what at the end of the day is really my 'B-talent?' That's got to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard of!" He came to the realization—unfortunately late—that the people who had been selected to lead the initiatives as well as their version of the TSO were far from the franchise players of the business. Within a few months, they had lost the credibility of the organization, and progress began to sputter. Luckily, he intervened and with his senior team reconstituted the program, drawing in top talent respected within the organization. And just like pouring oil into an old and rusting engine, the transformation began to run with new life and increased speed.

Zig Ziglar once said, "You don't build a business. You build people and then people build the business." Business transformations are the ultimate training ground. They present a golden opportunity to find the real high-potential people in the business, give them the platform to grow into the next generation of leadership, and accelerate value capture. It's an opportunity not to waste.
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5 reasons you need to dump your loser friends

5 reasons you need to dump your loser friends | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Surround yourself with friends who will give you honest feedback
The Journal of Consumer Research recently published a study that summarizes the difference between amateurs and experts. Amateurs focus on positive feedback and want to hear what they’re doing right so they can continue on the same path.

Experts do not care about what they’ve done right. Instead, they’re more interested in how they can make progress. They don’t surround themselves with sycophants and other bootlickers who don’t have the backbone to be honest in their feedback.

As entrepreneurs and business owners, your focus shifts as you become more of an expert in your field. Your confidence is not affected by negative feedback, just as long as it’s constructive and honest.

How to make it work for you: It’s important to be surrounded by people who want the best for you and will be there when you need them. But, it’s also necessary to keep people around you who will provide you with constructive criticism and not just vacuous positivity.

The author of the study above believes the onus is on the person who provides the feedback. Often negative feedback is buried and not very specific. Encourage your circle of friends to be specific and straightforward with their critique.

2. Establish a benchmark for your inner circle
We all have different friends for different seasons in our life. It’s been said that the way we do anything is the way we do everything. So, be intentional about the people you select to be in your inner circle.

If you have a friend you wouldn’t recommend to a close family member, why do you spend time with them yourself? Remember, a wimp is someone who settles for loser friends because it’s the easiest path.

Choose friends who are dependable and honest. Select people you admire, show you love and respect, and reciprocate your kindness.

How to make it work for you: Ask yourself whether spending time with this person will lift you up or drag you down? If you spend time with this person, will they help you to become your best self? Will you be happier after spending time with them? Will they help you achieve your most important goals? If not, find friends who will.

3. Make room for a mentor or two
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Do you come across as arrogant? 5 workplace behaviors to curb

Do you come across as arrogant? 5 workplace behaviors to curb | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Arrogant habit: Acting entitled
Think about your everyday behavior and decide whether you would find it acceptable if it were coming from someone who worked for you, instead of someone at your level. Do you hog the conversation, interrupt people or expect the whole meeting to be rehashed for you because you arrived late? If you use your title as an excuse to demand others accommodate your habits and schedule, you could be driving people away with your sense of entitlement.

Instead: Be the team captain. Rather than use your title to lord over others and demand special treatment, use your role to guide the group to be better, do more and achieve superior results as a team. Genuinely engage in communication with the group and listen to their thoughts. Team captains aren’t always the best players -- they’re the players who are best at motivating everyone to work together. Use your role to empower and unite.

Arrogant habit: Belittling others
Dressing down someone in an open forum not only embarrasses and demotivates the person in questions, it makes others fear displeasing you. Since all humans eventually make mistakes, people will find opportunities elsewhere rather than stick around and risk being the next person you humiliate in public. Managers should also be careful when engaging in teasing or ribbing -- what’s acceptable between co-workers may seem hurtful from a superior.

The higher you rise in your organization, the more lightly you must tread with humor that might seem to be at someone’s expense.

Instead: Build up, don't tear down. The adage "praise in public, correct in private" should always hold true. Even when you have critical feedback to deliver, be sure to do it constructively, respectfully and away from other ears. Don’t hesitate to inject some humor into day-to-day life -- just be sure it’s light-hearted and positive instead of cutting. If you must poke fun at someone, poke fun at yourself, but keep self-deprecation to a minimum so people don’t feel uncomfortable or obligated to come to your defense.

Arrogant habit: Being hierarchical
Be wary of appearing to value only the work and the opinions of those higher up. If you seek advice strictly from colleagues and superiors, you risk not only missing out on a great idea but also alienating those who work below you. If you regularly pull rank and demonstrate that you think title matters more than good input, the team will see no point in going the extra mile to bring you exceptional work.

Everyone wants to feel their work has value and meaning; if you only recognize those around and above you, the team will feel unappreciated and move on to better pastures.  

Instead: Be inclusive. Forget titles and rank, and concentrate on cultivating good ideas and great work. Make meetings more like a roundtable workshop, and less like a one-way information briefing. Instead of telling the team how things are going to be, make an effort to create a level playing field. Take the time to explain company vision, philosophy and direction, but make more room for different ways of getting there and be prepared to compromise. You’ll be rewarded with a loyal group eager to bring you great ideas and work hard to execute them.

Arrogant habit: Being inconsiderate
Do you pay attention when someone is talking at work, no matter the subject or the speaker? Do you arrive on time to meetings? Do you fully engage in the conversation? Do you meet commitments you made to your team?
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Extending the Transformation – Innovation Excellence

Extending the Transformation – Innovation Excellence | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Innovation can be the spark that galvanizes an organization and resets the whole of it for higher and faster growth.

After using innovation methods successfully to create meaningful products, services, and perhaps overhaul the business model itself, these methods and mindsets can be used to refine and advance many other operational segments of the business.

We call this growth tendency Extending the Transformation. We see this happen inside organizations after they experience some innovation wins in rapid succession, typically 18-24 months after they begin the innovation journey.

Once innovation metrics get assigned to a particular function, it is amazing how that function can use the methods to shake the cobwebs, dust, inefficient processes, and bloated costs out of the system.

Here’s the sticky point. This is not a value-engineering process or something akin to Six Sigma that has its roots in the Industrial Revolution, but rather a refreshing of perspective and a refining of objectives, reach, and actions. It is a question of creating and expanding new value and capability, not merely optimizing an existing system.

The mandate is to innovation, not just to improve.
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The Ideal Way To Deal With Bad Decisions

There are innumerable times when I’ve committed myself to a course of action that I soon realized was chosen for all of the right reasons but was fundamentally flawed.”

That’s a lot easier than it sounds, because when we make a decision our natural inclination is to stick with it as we dedicate resources, time, and energy to it. Not to mention the momentum that builds around any decision as we start to advertise it to our teammates, colleagues, friends, and family.

I’m not above this. There are innumerable times when I’ve committed myself to a course of action that I soon realized was chosen for all of the right reasons but was fundamentally flawed.

Taking the Penalty Shot

So, what if I were to tell you that your effectiveness as a leader and your likelihood of success are based as much on undoing bad decisions as they are on making good ones? Not something you want to hear, right? After all, we are measured based on our ability to take action and stand by our actions. But that’s exactly the problem. Action is not, in and of itself, a virtue. In other words, don’t just decide for the sake of deciding.

Measuring your effectiveness by simply measuring your ability to take action is like measuring the success of a soccer goalie by his or her ability to jump to one side of the net or the other without considering where the ball is going. That may sound contrived but studies have actually been done on goalies blocking penalty kicks which show precisely how great the danger of action can be when it’s done purely for the purpose of appearing to be decisive.
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The Twelve Disciplines of Consistently Innovative Organizations

The Twelve Disciplines of Consistently Innovative Organizations | digitalNow | Scoop.it
No 1 – They are constantly hungry!
No organization ever got to the top its game without being hungry.  The market leaders in most all industries got to where they are because they wanted it badly, and because they worked their butts off to get there.  They were hungry.

The opposite of hungry is complacent.  Complacency leads to distant follower status and ultimately to irrelevance.  Market leaders know this, and so they know that they can never resign themselves to comfort and complacency.  They know – just like Steve Jobs did when he infamously exhorted businesses to “stay hungry” – that doing so was the only way to stay on top.

It is out of this constant, unrelenting hunger that leaders deliver the sort of innovation to their markets that let them remain leaders in their markets for years and decades on end.  You will never find a market leader that was not first hungry to be there, and you will never find a persistent market leader that was not persistently hungry to stay there.

To be the market leader, you must be constantly hungry.
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Here’s Why Even Highly Successful Companies Find It Hard To Innovate In New Markets 

Here’s Why Even Highly Successful Companies Find It Hard To Innovate In New Markets  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Good Operational Practice Often Leads to Innovation Failure

To operate in a competitive market, you have to plan effectively. You need to hire the right people in the right quantity, invest in physical capital, equipment and marketing. If your estimates are off, you will either waste money on excess capacity or miss out on sales because you are unable to satisfy demand.

Yet this thinking often hinders the ability to innovate. The next big thing always starts out looking like nothing at all. So by instituting financial targets for a business that you don’t fully understand, you will almost guarantee that your second and third horizon opportunities end up getting scaled back to a first horizon ideas and, despite the best intentions, you will end up trapped in your P&L.

A number of companies have created separate units, such as IBM Research, Google X and the General Electric’s First Build innovation lab are set up specifically to pursue opportunities separately from the operational divisions. Failure rates tend to be much higher than would be tolerated in normal business practice, but the payoffs tend to more than offset them.

The truth is that every business is eventually disrupted, so it’s absolutely essential to be able to look beyond your current business and explore new horizons.
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The Twelve Disciplines of Consistently Innovative Organizations 

The Twelve Disciplines of Consistently Innovative Organizations  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
No 1 – They are constantly hungry!
No organization ever got to the top its game without being hungry.  The market leaders in most all industries got to where they are because they wanted it badly, and because they worked their butts off to get there.  They were hungry.

The opposite of hungry is complacent.  Complacency leads to distant follower status and ultimately to irrelevance.  Market leaders know this, and so they know that they can never resign themselves to comfort and complacency.  They know – just like Steve Jobs did when he infamously exhorted businesses to “stay hungry” – that doing so was the only way to stay on top.

It is out of this constant, unrelenting hunger that leaders deliver the sort of innovation to their markets that let them remain leaders in their markets for years and decades on end.  You will never find a market leader that was not first hungry to be there, and you will never find a persistent market leader that was not persistently hungry to stay there.

To be the market leader, you must be constantly hungry.

No 2 – They have a clear plan for where they want to go, and a sound strategy for how they intend to get there.
No market leader ever got to where they are by being unfocused and throwing its energies around haphazardly.  They got to where they are by having a clear plan for where they wanted to go, and a clear strategy for how they intended to get there.  The plan focuses everything they do toward this aim, while the strategy lets them know what to say “yes” to and what to say “no” to.

Today we codify these in the form of a formal Innovation Strategy.  Such a strategy will lay out – in detail – the specific areas the business intends to go after, as well as the specific types and scopes of innovation it intends to deliver for each of those areas.  It will also lay out the specific innovation vehicles the business intends to leverage to deliver those innovations.

By defining, articulating, documenting, and religiously pursuing this strategy, the business is able to – bit by bit, and piece by piece – claw its way up into the market leader position.  All of its investments and energies – on account of this strategy – will be funneled down this path; none will be wasted and squandered on things that do not contribute to this goal.  This ensures they remain highly focused on achieving this key objective.

No 3 – Their radar is perpetually on.
In consistently innovative organizations, their radar is always on.  What this means is that they are constantly out doing needfinding work – eagerly looking at every turn to connect new dots and find new opportunities to deliver breakthrough innovation and value to their markets.

Like a wild beast guarding its lair, nothing gets past their gaze.  If a new emerging (unmet) need begins to surface, then they are the first ones there… the first on the scene responding with a well-considered solution.

Being able to do this requires a very sharp sense of “market acuity”, a skill that engages the business’ five “discovery senses”…

Feeling for their customers – making customer-centric thinking their constant way of life.
Tasting engagement – working hard to turn their customers into a true community.
Listening acutely – hearing all the voices around them to find persistent pain & friction points.
Seeing the world differently – reframing every situation into its most fundamental needs.
Sniffing out nascent opportunities – always asking themselves “What’s next?”
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The Platform Fallacy 

The Platform Fallacy  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Creating Value
When Elance was founded in 1999, it seemed like a really good idea. Taking its name from a Harvard Business Review article titled The Dawn of the E-Lance Economy the founders sought to match freelance contractors and firms much like Monster.com did for full-time recruiting. Unfortunately, the business really never gained any traction

So the investors decided to hire a new CEO and take the company in a new direction. Instead of matching firms to freelancers, it would help companies manage relationships. This idea met with much greater success and Elance became a pioneer in vendor management software. In fact, it became so successful that it attracted stiff competition from the likes of SAP and Oracle.

So Elance sold the software business and return to the original idea. This time though, it applied what it had learned about making relationships successful rather than just making matches. It partnered with training firms to help freelancers build and certify skills, created private talent clouds for customers and developed algorithms to create better engagements.

The strategy was a resounding success and the company later merged with oDesk to form Upwork, the world’s largest freelance platform. Elance is no exception either. From Netflix to Amazon to just about everything in between, it seems that eventually platform businesses eventually need to go beyond merely making matches and create a product or service.
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Three Behaviors that will Grow Innovative Teamwork 

Three Behaviors that will Grow Innovative Teamwork  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
To conduct this type of conflict, each team member must exhibit these three behaviors:

1. Be vulnerable. Ask stupid questions
You must allow yourself to ask stupid questions and propose stupid ideas. For that, you obviously have to trust that others won’t make fun of you and, even worse–share your stupid ideas and questions outside the team and the meeting. You never know when a stupid idea or question would give someone else a great idea or, God forbid, would actually not be stupid to start with. Great ideas come from the fringes of knowledge. That, however, is also where the majority of stupid ideas exist.

2. Be comfortable challenging the others
When you hear a stupid idea or question, you must feel comfortable enough to challenge it. To state that it was stupid. To criticize it, and to provide direct and honest feedback, without the intention of hurting the recipient, but at the same time without having to worry too much about offending them. Your willingness to provide such feedback would allow that person to improve the idea and to improve themselves.

3. Be confident enough to accept feedback
At the same time, you must feel confident enough to accept such criticism without taking it personally or emotionally and attacking back. You must listen to the feedback. You must remember that maybe only 10 percent of it is true, but that 100 percent of it is true in perception. You have to see the other side’s perspective, and you must focus on building on that feedback, rather than letting it destroy you.
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Do you have an innovation strategy? 

Do you have an innovation strategy?  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The strategies are based on the approach to incremental v breakthrough innovation and the role that end customers play in defining future product or service needs.

Need seekers actively and directly engage both current and potential customers and patients to help shape new products and services based on superior end-use understanding. For example, doctors interact with patients directly and via social media to g

Thus, depending on whether your are marketing new or old products to new or old markets, there are four boxes in the 2×2 matrix.

Here is another model.et feedback about their care and how it might be improved.

Market readers , sometimes called market perceivers, closely monitor their customers and competitors, but are more cautious and incremental in their approach. They are “fast followers”. Are you following other industries, like telecommunications, IT and other service industries for the next “new,new thing”?

Technology drivers , also referred to at technopreneurs, They seek to solve the unarticulated needs of their customers (think Steve Jobs) through leading edge technology. They don’t do focus groups, because they anticipate, not respond to customer needs and wants. They create new drugs and devices that leapfrog the competition.

In other words, are you working inside out, inside in or something in between?

There is a fourth, more common strategy, which is to sell more existing products and services to more existing customers and just call it innovation.
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The Power of the Experience in Developing Teams

The Power of the Experience in Developing Teams | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Define your goals. Begin with a discovery session to define your goals for the training. What problem are you trying to solve? Deciding what you need and want to achieve from the experience can help you define your purpose, and then use that as the framework for all decisions when planning the event. If better customer service to improve sales is the goal, then define in advance how you hope to move the dial on your bottom line by the number of new or repeat customers you gain within a certain time frame after the event.

Identify trendsetters. What organizations in your area already excel at the training you want to deliver? Maybe you are targeting better change management practices. If that’s the case, locate a few organizations or other companies that excel at change management and approach them about having your company learn from their best with a site visit. That will require advance research on your part. Then, equipped with what you find, reach out to those organizations until you find one to partner with on your idea. You’ll also need to outline in advance the overall program for the training (don’t just show up and ask for a tour). In our experience, even companies in the same or similar industries are willing to participate in experiential learning. That factor alone can provide a unique perspective to motivate and excite your team.

Make the experience memorable. Ideally, the experience should be one that is both fun and fruitful. When the team participates in an activity that speaks to them both professionally and personally, they are more likely to apply the principles learned. It’s far more enlightening to see successful tactics already being employed, for example, by having your team be part of another company’s inspiration session.

Have an ideation session. After the activity, bring your team together to talk about the experience. What did it mean to them? What ideas or inspiration did they gain? How can they apply what they learned to their role—or even another role or process—in your company?

Follow-up. Six months after the activity, assess the team and your company operations to see whether the learning is being applied. Be sure to share with the team any new best practices being used to further strengthen your operations
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Soul Searching: True Transformations Start Within 

Soul Searching: True Transformations Start Within  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Conventional wisdom says that most transformations fail. The truth is, companies are learning how to avoid complete failure, but most haven't figured out how to succeed. Winning the outer game of cost, competitive position and strategy is vital. But no matter how brilliant a company's business choices, the inner game determines whether a transformation will succeed. When leadership teams plunge forward without investing sufficient time and resources to manage all the related risks, transformations stall out. The 426 leaders we surveyed reported that steering change effectively inside the company had a tremendous impact on reaching their goals. In fact, leaders who achieved or exceeded their transformation targets said inner-game factors made up 80% of the reasons for their success.

A well-executed transformation can produce extraordinary results, lifting the energy and confidence of an entire organization. CEOs who have led successful change efforts know the biggest challenge is endurance. Like rally car drivers setting off on a trek across Africa, they make sure the organization has enough gas on board when it sets off, and they keep an eye on the gauge along the way, boosting the organization's energy reserves by mobilizing people and sustaining their commitment.
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The Cognitive Dissonance of the CEO 

The Cognitive Dissonance of the CEO  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Get Comfortable with It

Stress and anxiety are undeniably uncomfortable feelings, and they can't simply be turned off. While our inability to fully control our emotions poses many challenges, it's usually beneficial--emotions are attention magnets that alert us to potential rewards and threats in our environment, so it's essential that they have the capacity to interrupt conscious thought. But we can't be unduly distracted by these feelings while performing other tasks, and this requires entrepreneurial leaders to expand their comfort with discomfort. Again, this often involves a commitment to self-care practices--mindfulness, sleep, and exercise--that allow us to heighten our awareness of uncomfortable feelings without feeling driven to take some sort of action to minimize the discomfort.

Talk About It

Finally, we know from experience that talking about difficult emotions makes them easier to manage, and recent neuroscience research has helped us better understand the processes in the brain that contribute to this result. But it can be a challenge for CEOs and other entrepreneurial leaders to find relationships in which they can productively discuss the issues referenced here. In some cases investors and senior employees are appropriate discussion partners, but the hierarchical nature of these relationships can make them less useful for this purpose, particularly for CEOs. Friends and family members can play a helpful role, but at times it can be distressing or confusing for them to hear about the challenges a leader is facing.

So it's essential for CEOs and other leaders to establish and maintain relationships with people who are appropriate partners for these conversations. One solution is working with a professional coach, although it's always important to choose a coach who's a good fit. But I also encourage my clients to engage a peer group, either on their own or through a formal program like YPO. As I've noted before, the key is insuring that these partners are "A) successful enough to avoid feeling threatened by or jealous of the leader's status, B) sophisticated enough to understand and empathize with the leader's challenges, C) invested in the leader as an individual and NOT invested in the leader's company, and D) completely trustworthy."
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Time spent on Facebook is declining – here’s how you can continue driving results | CMO | Enterprise Innovation

Time spent on Facebook is declining – here’s how you can continue driving results | CMO | Enterprise Innovation | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Earlier this year, Facebook reported a 5% drop in time spent on its platform, which equates to about 50 million hours a day lost. Much of this can be attributed to the changes Facebook made to its News Feed algorithm – a decision to show more user posts from friends and family, and fewer from publishers. Another reason, according to Facebook, is the presence of fewer viral videos to make sure people’s time is better spent.

As it is, organic reach has been steadily declining over the past few years, but the latest algorithm change requires special attention. The fact that even fewer brands’ posts will surface means that marketers need to rethink their strategies around organic and paid in order to achieve meaningful reach on the platform.

So, how can brands continue to unlock value from social?

Strike a balance between organic and paid

Ever since Facebook tweaked its newsfeed algorithm in 2012, brands have been told that organic reach is dead and that paid advertising is where it’s at. This is only partially true.

Sure, paid media demonstrates tangible value such as improving brand awareness, loyalty, lead generation and conversions, but even the biggest budget or perfect targeting won’t work without strong organic content. Organic social media is still incredibly important, especially when it comes to nurturing relationships with customers, engaging communities and building a brand’s reputation.
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5 ways you can move outside your comfort zone

5 ways you can move outside your comfort zone | digitalNow | Scoop.it
1. Adapt or die
When you move into the unknown, it’s essential that you adapt to the situation if you want to land on your feet. Assess the best way of interacting with your team. Analyze new information in its context. To be a successful leader, you must evaluate what you think you heard and understand it from different angles.

How to make it work for you: Take what worked for you in the past and modify it to match your new situation. Chances are good that this is not the first time you’ve adapted when you’ve moved into the unknown. Grab and pen and paper and write down your survival tactics and why they worked. Mine your  experiences and let them guide you as you move out of a comfort zone in your current circumstances.

2. Keep your ego in check
Ego looks for ways to prove it is right and others are wrong. When we keep ego in check, there is room for the wisdom of others to get in. We are able to listen more deeply, learn with an open mind, and adapt new skill sets.

The ego is always asking “How will this make me look? How will I benefit?” This is one of the reasons ego resists change. It reminds us that the devil we know is sometimes better than the devil we don’t know. We fear that when we step into the unknown, we will discover painful secrets about the world and about ourselves.

We keep ego in check when we allow ourselves the luxury of trial and error. Like a child who learns to walk, we experience a feel-good neurological response that can be stronger than our ego’s fear of looking like a loser. When we tackle new and difficult challenges, we experience a rush of adrenaline -- a hormone that makes us feel confident and motivated.

How to make it work for you: You can step out of your comfort zone and move the focus away from the ego’s discomfort at the same time. Simply ask yourself, "What am I learning about me? What am I learning about the other people in this situation? How can I use this information in my professional and personal lives?”
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Decision-making 101

Decision-making 101 | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Executives are hired to make decisions. As such, it’s a topic worthy of study.

Evaluate your assumptions. Before you can move ahead, you need to know where you stand. What is prompting you to make a decision? What is the basis for your thinking?

Consider the alternatives. Knowing your assumptions, what choices do you have? Why would you pursue those choices? Sometimes there are not good alternatives. For example, shutting down a plant or laying off people. Neither is good, but one solution might be better for the health of the organization.

Game-plan the possibilities. When time permits, you can narrow your options to one, two or three choices. Consider what happens in each instance. It’s a bit like stacking dominoes.

Make a decision. Leaders are judged by their decisiveness. When an executive wavers over a major decision, the organization remains in stasis. Nothing happens. Therefore, a leader must choose what do it and why to do it. Next, the leader must communicate that decision widely so everyone knows what happens next.

Only the future will determine if a decision made today was the best choice, but when a leader makes time to think, that is all you can ask.
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8 Simple Ways to Become a Better Leader

8 Simple Ways to Become a Better Leader | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Build your stand.
What do you stand for? Most of us don’t take the time to consider our personal code of conduct—a guiding force to handle murky, difficult decisions. For example, what would you do if you observed a significant breach of integrity at your company? Or you made a mistake, and the blame fell on your teammate? If the answer is uncomfortable, that gives insights into the character you have, and where you need to develop. For example, my personal stand, shared by all Navy SEALs, includes being prepared in mind, body, and spirit, to work harder than expected, and never quit until the mission is done.

Define your personality principles.
You’ve probably attended a leadership course where the expert asked you to rank your favorite values like leadership, family, and faith. However, your character develops from focusing on personality principles that make you better and stronger, for example, health, courage, authenticity, gratitude, truth, growth, and decisiveness. Be cognizant of eliminating any negative principles that have slipped through your defenses, such as judgment and selfishness.
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How circumstances affect delegation

How circumstances affect delegation | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Here are two factors that can greatly impact the nature of what is being delegated.

Experience and expertise: What degrees of experience and expertise do the subordinate bring to the project?
Environment: How stable is the environment in which this task is occurring?
Let’s take a closer look at each.

The term “Situational Leadership” was coined by leadership experts Ken Blanchard and Paul Hersey to describe how different situations demand different types of engagement between leaders and their people. In essence, they offer four scenarios along a continuum of employee experience and expertise.

Directing. This approach is for subordinates who are least experienced in completing the desired task and may suffer from low self-confidence. Leaders in these situations need to do a lot of directing to ensure that the team member is clear on what needs to happen and in what way. The leader must also help the subordinate work through any deficits in self-confidence or other barriers to success.
Coaching. Coaching is appropriate for subordinates that are a bit more advanced but still need a lot of direction. Through coaching, a leader can bring him/her more into the conversation about how to do things and helps push things along when the subordinate’s initial enthusiasm for the project invariably starts to wane. At this stage, the leader still decides.
Supporting. Over time, the subordinate becomes more comfortable and takes on added responsibility and leadership. The leader’s role is to continue to support the subordinate through conversation but allows the subordinate increased decision-making authority.
Delegating. In this final stage, the subordinate “owns” the project and is largely left alone to achieve the necessary outcome.
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Blaming versus cultivating learners

Blaming versus cultivating learners | digitalNow | Scoop.it
When teachers look for blame rather than solutions and alternate paths for students to meet expectations, they become critics. As stated in the book "Success for Every Student: A Guide to Teaching and Learning", teachers can become blamers, or critics, for various reasons:

Past experience. A teacher assumes that a student’s past behavior is predictive of his or her future behavior, or makes assumptions about current students who share similar characteristics with difficult students from previous years.
Empathy. The teacher, with the best of intentions, feels empathy for a struggling student and blames the student’s circumstances (“he came into my class so far behind the other students already” or “if you only knew what she deals with at home”). Giving the struggling student less work or lowering expectations rather than working to elevate the student’s performance causes the student to fall further behind.
Teacher confidence. Many teachers feel like they do not have the tools to help struggling students meet expectations. They also may not understand why some students are not able to learn in traditional ways. Lacking the training and tools for providing differentiated support to struggling students can be paralyzing or frustrating to teachers, which in turn lowers their confidence in themselves and their students.
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