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A Simple Infographic With A Lot Of Great Email Marketing Tricks

A Simple Infographic With A Lot Of Great Email Marketing Tricks | digitalNow | Scoop.it
A handy infographic for those of you who want to master the art of email marketing.
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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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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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2 forces for shaping conversation and building relationships

2 forces for shaping conversation and building relationships | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Practicing intention and alignment
So, how do you stay aligned to your intentions?  First, you have to consciously set the intention. I have a practice of setting a daily intention. When faced with a difficult or specific situation, I think consciously about how I want to show up and what outcome I want. I think about how I want the other person to experience being in my presence.

A word of caution: You may have to adjust your attitude or check yourself so that you aren’t sarcastic, defensive or putting up walls. Think about your triggers. Practice the kind of conversation that creates bridges versus barriers.

Next, stop assuming wrong intention on others who have a different point of view. The moment you assume wrong intention is the moment you contribute and to the drama. When we assume wrong intentions, we shut down and forget to be curious. We participate in the very things we say we don't want
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The CEO's leadership role in optimizing emotional well-being in employees

The CEO's leadership role in optimizing emotional well-being in employees | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Executive leadership requires multifaceted capacity. Corporate leaders are responsible for every aspect of their organization, including strategic vision, finance and accounting, marketing and sales, operations, law, ethics and more. The smart ones know to surround themselves with experts who can complement their own knowledge so that the organization is strong on every front.
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A leadership lesson in "can" vs. "should"

A leadership lesson in "can" vs. "should" | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Can an executive be nasty, mean and selfish?

Of course, and therein lies an element of leadership that some leaders fail to grasp: the difference between "can" and "should."

Good leaders never tolerate such discrepancies. They know they should hold themselves accountable by working shoulder to shoulder with employees. Failure to do so erodes their influence and ultimately any hope of getting people to pull together to get things done.

When leaders mix up "can" and "should," they fritter away what all leaders must hold most dear: influence.

A leader must be able to influence the course of action in order to be able to develop a vision, stimulate buy-in, rally for execution and maintain the course. One can think of these things, but doing them requires the participation of others.

An executive who cannot distinguish between "can" and "should" is an executive who cannot effectively lead because he cannot effectively influence.
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How to be More Innovative by Winning the Brain Game

Those stored patterns manifest themselves as observable human behavior, and there are seven of them that I have catalogued over the years of watching folks wrestle with the thought challenges. What is amazing is how consistently they fall victim to the same thinking traps and exhibit these seven behaviors:

Leaping: brainstorming solutions before they understand the problem.
Fixation: getting stuck in mental ruts that prevent them from thinking differently.
Overthinking: complicating matters and creating problems that weren’t even there.
Satisficing: glomming on to easy, obvious, mediocre and thus inferior solutions.
Downgrading: formally revising the goal simply to declare victory.
Not Invented Here (NIH): automatically dismissing the ideas of others.
Self-Censoring: mindlessly rejecting their own ideas so others won’t.
The scientific community has a host of labels for these behaviors. Let me simplify things: they are fatal thinking flaws. Fatal in the sense that they prevent people from seeing the best of all possible outcomes: an elegant solution, which I define as one that achieves the maximum effect with the minimum means.

The good news is that there are seven time-tested “fixes” that neutralize, if not defeat entirely, those fatal flaws:
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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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How Great Leaders Simplify Decision-Making (And Just Get Stuff Done)

The great companies were always able to get to the “one pager”, and get it to the right people at the right time, so the real doing could get done.

Peters so aptly sums up a bias toward action this way:

“Ready. Fire. Aim. Learn from your tries. That’s enough.”

And by the way, in case you are wondering, I answered Cooke’s question with an emphatic “I want to be a doer sir!”.

That choice on that day has served me well.
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The Problem with Mindfulness

The Problem with Mindfulness | digitalNow | Scoop.it
“The overselling of mindfulness can lead to this idea that we should always be rigidly focused on what’s in front of us and our minds should be totally clear of any sort of input or thought,” Fisher told Nautilus. “That’s a total misrepresentation. Mindfulness doesn’t mean the eradication of thoughts, in any tradition. In any sort of basic, secular, clinical application, it just means paying attention to the present moment…Maybe we need to clarify what we mean by mindfulness before we slap it on a bunch of posters in every school and every workplace.”

Every year, at least 1 million new meditators arise in the United States alone. “Meditation Has Become a Billion-Dollar Business,” one Fortune headline announced. Willoughby Britton, director of the Clinical and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory at Brown University, and colleagues, wrote in a paper last year, “With more than 20 mindfulness phone apps, mindfulness is a major contributor to the billion-dollar meditation industry that serves more than 18 million meditators.” In a piece in Wired, Robert Wright, author most recently of Why Buddhism Is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment, argued “How Mindfulness Meditation Can Save America.”

One worry is the mindfulness movement’s heavy focus on positive, health-related perks, like stress or anxiety reduction. It turns meditation into a tool for mental hygiene. The reasoning goes like this, Fisher said: “Most of us spend at least four to five minutes a day brushing our teeth, so if we’re going to do that for our teeth, we might as well do it for our minds.” This, Britton and her colleagues write, “represents only a narrow selection of possible effects that have been acknowledged within Buddhist traditions both past and present.”
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The Four Steps to Building A Culture Of Innovation 

1. Get Culturally Creative

Think in terms of what’s valuable in your culture. In my second company I had a policy that no office, even my own, would have a door. Why? I wanted to signal that in our culture everyone had the license and the responsibility to work in interrupt mode. The result was that ideas flowed freely, constantly, and unfettered.

2. Set The Tone

You are a role model for innovation but you cannot be its only source. Advertise the success of others and their ideas. Talk about how the seeds of innovation are taking root throughout the company. Be sure to applaud, recognize, and reward innovators, no matter how small their innovations. Most importantly, let them fail; innovation is a numbers game.

3. Establish a Budget and a Process for Nurturing New Ideas.

This isn’t R&D. Instead it’s for any idea that is worth exploring. It’s a hedge bet against outside innovation. Every now and then one idea will fly out of the park. It only takes a few of those to illustrate how innovation is part of your culture.

4. Share The Story
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