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Rapid Growth and Obsolete Laws Threaten the Internet and the Global Economy

Rapid Growth and Obsolete Laws Threaten the Internet and the Global Economy | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Rapid growth and obsolete laws already put a lot of strain on the digital infrastructure. Unless industry and governments act, it's going to get much worse
Don Dea's insight:

The digital infrastructure already is feeling the strain, despite private-sector investment that now tops $300 billion per year. That’s because the challenges are not just financial. Europe, for example, has been slow to adopt certain technological advances, taking it “from digital leader to laggard in less than a decade,”

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digitalNow
Exploring leadership, management, innovation, and technology issues and trends; impacting associations & non-profit organizations in the digital age.
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3 leadership fads that undermine your success

3 leadership fads that undermine your success | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Authentically bad advice
 It seems difficult to argue against being an “authentic” leader if the alternative is to be an “inauthentic” leader. Maybe that challenge is what has allowed this idea to gain traction among leaders and consultants. The concept started with the best-selling book "Authentic Leadership," which stated that more authentic leaders -- open, self-aware, genuine -- were needed to bring the country forward.

Yet, leading academics at Stanford, INSEAD, and Wharton business schools have attacked the concept, and the science suggests that great leaders actually change their behavior and style to meet the needs of the moment. That means that always being the authentic you could hurt your performance more than help it.

Authenticity is often used as an excuse, as in, “I can’t change; that’s just who I am.” That sentiment is laughably false because we each control our behaviors. Other times, it’s the domain of leaders whose egos drive them to show the world how special they are.

What to do instead: It’s certainly helpful to understand the authentic you but your success depends on understanding the “you” that others need to see. Your style has to match the changing needs of your audience in order for you to successfully manage or communicate. In tough times, they may need to see a more compassionate “you.” When someone’s not performing well, they may need to see a more demanding “you.” That means that the authentic you might not get to come through every time. That’s fine. Science says that we can easily fake behaviors and that people believe those fake behaviors are genuine.

Remember that being a great leader or colleague isn’t about you; it’s about others. Forget authentic. Be the person that others need to see.

Take a stand (just not that one)
Launched like so many leadership fads, with a scientific paper and a popular TED talk, power posing comes from research that showed a boost of testosterone occurs when you stand in more aggressive postures. The authors claimed that, “High-power posers experienced elevations in testosterone, decreases in cortisol, and increased feelings of power and tolerance for risk; low-power posers exhibited the opposite pattern.” In other words, if you just stand the right way, you’ll feel ready to take on the world.
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Scaling Edges vs. Transforming Core 

Scaling Edges vs. Transforming Core  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Dual approaches are evermore finding their way into corporate strategy, development and innovation. There are several manifestations at play, such as

Organizational Ambidexterity: Drawing on Tushman/O’Reilly, an ambidextrous approach is deployed if a venture is of high strategic relevance and its synergies with core business are high, therefore suggesting a strong leverage of core assets and capbilities as well as an ultimate integration into core business in the course of scaling.
Dual Transformation: Drawing on Scott D. Anthony et al. from Innosight, Dual Transformation delineates the process of ‘Repositioning the Core’ and ‘Creating the New’ concurrently but separately. It makes use of selectively exchanging unique capabilities that provide the new venture with an “unfair advantage”.
Innovation Colony: Drawing on Owens/Fernandez, an Innovation Colony is a dedicated external space aiming at incubating new corporate ventures that have previously been spun out from the corporate umbrella. Once those ventures become validated, they are spun in again in order to scale them by leveraging core resources and capabilities
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10 Traits of Great Leaders in This New World of Work

Own and live the company values. Leaders need to be role models for their company’s values. They should take every opportunity to communicate and apply the values constantly, incorporating them to guide and help make better decisions.

2. Communicate openly and early. Leaders need to be open, honest and transparent with their employees. They should communicate news and information early, not shielding them from bad news.

“Be as open with your people as you can, as early as you can. Employees are much more likely to go to bat for something they understand.” --Helen Craik, Reward Gateway Co-founder

3. Inspire people to reach higher. Leaders need to create an environment where employees are able to do their jobs well, and a culture where they want to do their jobs well, inspiring them to be the best they can be each and every day.

4. Own their mistakes. Leaders are no longer expected to be perfect. They are expected to be human and positive role models, which includes owning mistakes when they happen. Leaders should also think of mistakes as learning or teaching moments, using them as opportunities and not obstacles.

5. Recognize big wins, small wins and hard work. Leaders build a culture of employee recognition by modeling continuous recognition and where saying thanks is an everyday occurrence.

6. Trust people. Leaders should always default to trust and accept that most people are good and trustworthy. They must lead in a way that’s respectful and honors other’s good intentions, and not presume that their employees’ have malicious intentions.

7. Make the right decision, not the popular decision. Leaders need to prioritize doing what’s right over what’s popular. They should be accountable to their people and act as servants, being prepared to be unpopular when necessary, and striving to do what’s right for the business, the customer and their people as a whole. 

8. Add value to their teams, helping them to succeed. Leaders who deliver visible value to their teams, helping them bring their creativity, ideas and judgment to work, overcome the challenges of the new world of work and of more complex jobs.

9. Have the courage to be genuine and visible. Leaders need to bring their whole selves to work, having the courage to be authentic and to show vulnerability.

10. Take care of people. Leaders need to lead with compassion and kindness, showing their employees that they truly care about them and have their best interests in mind.
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Leading with social consciousness

Time and nature are great. Both of us live on our own little farms. For myself, it's spending time in the earth, in the forest and by the ocean. I live right by the ocean. It's getting a lot of free time to enjoy the bigger things in life than our little tiny business, because the world is much bigger. And always reminding ourselves that finding a way to take a 60,000-foot view of your business, because you will always get too caught up in it, and it becomes too 'micro.' Maintaining that 'macro' perspective is essential.”

“Besides being immersed in nature, it's also doing other projects. Helping young entrepreneurs to grow. They teach me because they're learning new ways, and they're a different generation that look at business differently. Some of them might have degrees and some of them might not. But just the idea of helping them and also at the same time learning from them has been very helpful."

Part of that 'macro' view is being involved and working with other entrepreneurs, similar size or larger. I do a lot of that by a group I co-foundedstarted called OSC2, One Step Closer to an Organic Sustainable Community”
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The Rise Of The Customer Data Platform And What It Means To Businesses

The Rise Of The Customer Data Platform And What It Means To Businesses | digitalNow | Scoop.it
A recent New York Times story cites some well-heeled academic research that confirms it. It quotes Amit Kumar, a University of Texas professor who studies well-being. He says that most of us underestimate the impact of sending an actual note rather than an electronic text or email. He says that after receiving thank-you notes and filling out questionnaires about how it felt to get them, many said they were “ecstatic,” scoring the happiness rating a 4 out of 5. The senders typically guessed they’d evoke a 3 at best.


To be clear — the notes in question were not your typical “thanks for the Amazon gift card.” Rather, the 100 or so participants in each of the four experiments were asked to write a short “gratitude letter” to a person who had affected them in some way. Sample letters included notes of appreciation to fellow students and friends who offered guidance through the college admissions process, job searches and tough times. In lab experiments, Dr. Kumar observed that it took most subjects less than five minutes to write the letters. Just five minutes to make another person feel ‘ecstatic’! That’s doesn’t seem like much to ask. Yet, in our ‘instant’ world we live in these days, the idea of finding an actual pen, writing an actual note, finding a stamp and a mailbox, etc. seems to never come to mind. We do what’s easy and convenient for us-an email or a quick text. Not much chance of ‘ecstasy’ there.

It’s easy to use the excuse of being busy, but even very busy and successful leaders find time to pen these kinds of notes.
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The Powerful Words All Great Leaders Speak

The Powerful Words All Great Leaders Speak | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The power of the tongue is life and death.” Leaders have been given the opportunity every day to speak powerful and life-giving words. Here are some of the types of words all great leaders speak:

Encouraging words

Leaders should speak encouraging words. Encouraging words provide hope and relief and show other people you value them. Whenever you see a team member having a hard day or difficulty working on a task, chose to speak a genuine word of encouragement to them. You will see them physically and emotionally raised up. It will likely make their day and encourage them to keep working hard.

Kind words

Leaders should speak kindly to other people. Kind words are peaceful, respectful, and always professional. They leave out force, authority, or rudeness in conversations. Don Miguel Ruiz said,

Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Chose to speak kind words to those around you.

Challenging words
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Compliance is good, but not enough

Compliance is good, but not enough | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The bottom line is this: There is a big difference between an organization with a robust compliance program (a minimum standard program), and an organization that has taken steps to implement a “high-quality E&C program.” The difference is evident in the buy-in of leadership and the breadth of the program. It is also evident in its impact. Organizations that have implemented high quality E&C programs significantly outperform compliance programs in reducing risk, as well as in preventing and detecting wrongdoing.

According to the June 2018 Global Business Ethics Survey, a longitudinal study of employees in for-profit organizations, there is evidence that a high-quality program is more likely to have a favorable effect on employee behavior than a minimum-standard compliance program. For example, employees in an organization with a HQP are:

Twice as likely to report suspected wrongdoing to management;
Four times more likely to express satisfaction with their company’s response to their report of wrongdoing; and
More than four times likely to say that they work in a strong ethical culture.
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Nine Steps to Make the Hardest Decisions Easier 

If you want to make good decisions you have to get out of the emotional weeds.

I’ve seen some of the smartest people I know struggle with decisions, especially those really tough decisions that seem to have endless risks and possibilities. The reason these decisions are tough has nothing to do with the intelligence of the people making them but rather their emotions. Nowhere is that more true than in small and medium sized entrepreneurial businesses and especially those where creativity takes center stage. But you know that! This is your life we’re talking about here. It’s not an antiseptic spreadsheet with rows and columns. It’s your passion; your heart and soul. And creativity is always tied intimately to deep emotions, right? Yes, which is exactly why you need to get out of the emotional weeds and find some perspective. Otherwise you’ll end up emotionally paralyzed by the same creative passion that got you here!

So, here’s the good news, even the hardest decisions are ultimately about being able to ask some very simple, but brutally honest, questions about the drivers, fears, and ambitions behind the decision.

“…you need to get out of the emotional weeds and find some perspective. Otherwise you’ll end up emotionally paralyzed.”
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Innovation & Artificial Intelligence: Right Here, Right Now! 

the overhyping of AI/ML has led to a confusion between three distinct levels of the technology:

Data Science – Using relatively straightforward statistics such as means and standard deviations to analyze large data sets.
Machine Learning – Systems that not only analyze data sets but also use data to inform and modify their own analytic algorithms.
Artificial Intelligence – Systems that mimic human intelligence in a host of ways.
There are relatively few examples of “pure” AI and the examples tend to be limited to well-funded, high technology giants (and to very narrow, specific tasks). However, companies beyond Silicon Valley have made use of the more modest levels of Data Science and ML technology in novel and surprising ways.

Examples of AI/ML – Minus the Hype

Fortunately, there are emerging examples of real companies that are using Data Science and ML in ways that make a difference for customers and many of these companies are not necessarily the large, technology players. Some of the clearer contemporary examples come from the unlikely field of agriculture, one of humanity’s oldest forms of production.
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you are the lead dog?

But what if you are the lead dog? No one ever seems to talk about that.

Sure, the view changes when you’re out in front. But it’s not all sunshine and packed powder. The lead dog gets to bear the full brunt of the wind, snow, sleet, near-zero visibility, uncertainty about which way the sled is heading, as well as second-guessing from the rest of the team.

A case in point:

“[We] had never done anything this massive before.”
“It was all new. I was so nervous about it.”
“It was so cumbersome it was like ‘this is never going to work.’”
“This isn’t good enough. This is not good enough.”
“That team worked 168 hours a week for two weeks. They never stopped.”
“Our reward...was to kill ourselves over the next two-and-a-half years.”
“If we would have known then what we know now...we would have done this differently and this differently and this differently.”
“It’s a roller coaster ride. And if it ain’t scary it ain’t fun.”
Those are a handful of quotes from the “lead dogs” responsible for developing the iPhone, recounting what it the process of invention was like. We’re so used to companies like Apple leading the way that we may assume it’s second nature to them. Not true. They know that victory can be perennial but it’s never permanent; just ask Budweiser, Mattel and McDonald’s, three longtime industry leaders feeling the effects of inevitable decline. Apple’s turn is coming soon.
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Great Leadership: A Proactive Approach to Tough Feedback

One of the hardest things a manager has to do is sit down with an employee and discuss a serious behavior or performance issue, especially when if it’s going to be an unpleasant surprise to the employee.

Tough feedback is just that . . . tough! And while we may not ever get to a point where we look forward to sharing difficult information, there are ways to make these conversations less difficult.

One of the biggest reasons tough feedback is so tough is that we realize what we are about to share will shock, disappoint, or even anger the employee. However, usually it’s not necessarily the information that causes the shock, disappointment or anger, it’s the fact that the employee never saw it coming. The difficult news seems to come out of the blue and completely contradict the employee’s perception of the circumstances.

A common myth of management is that people can’t handle bad news. WRONG! People can’t handle news that contradicts their frame of reference. If you want to make tough feedback less tough, focus on how to eliminate the shock and disbelief factor. Here’s how:

1. Clearly define and set the employee’s and your expectations up-front.

People don’t go from star performers to poor performers overnight and they definitely shouldn’t become aware of this fact for the first time at their annual review. Expectations should be clear and agreed upon up-front. Employees should know exactly what you expect from them, what they can expect from you, and what needs to be done to make improvements.

2. Give feedback throughout the year.
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 The commas that cost companies millions

 The commas that cost companies millions | digitalNow | Scoop.it
How much can a misplaced comma cost you?

If you’re texting a loved one or dashing off an email to a colleague, the cost of misplacing a piece of punctuation will be – at worst – a red face and a minor mix-up.

But for some, contentious commas can be a path to the poor house.

A dairy company in the US city of Portland, Maine settled a court case for $5m earlier this year because of a missing comma.

Three lorry drivers for Oakhurst Dairy claimed that they were owed years of unpaid overtime wages, all because of the way commas were used in legislation governing overtime payments.

The state’s laws declared that overtime wasn’t due for workers involved in “the canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of: 1) agricultural produce; 2) meat and fish products; and 3) perishable foods”.

The drivers managed to successfully argue that because there was no comma after “shipment” and before “or distribution”, they were owed overtime pay. If a comma had been there, the law would have explicitly ruled out those who distribute perishable foods.
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Recognizing Innovation Right in Front of You

Recognizing Innovation Right in Front of You | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The development of an innovation map is critical if an organization wants to develop an innovation or growth mindset. Without knowledge of the innovation activities going on in your organization, or without knowing the barriers that prevent ideas from morphing into market winners make success through innovation a shot in the dark.

You can build this innovation-readiness map by following the journey of innovation from the time an idea is introduced to the moment it goes into development and reaches customers or is abandoned somewhere along the way. This exercise is certain to highlight the barriers preventing ideas from germinating and becoming value-enhancing offerings.

You will learn why great ideas never become great products. You will learn why innovations that could be breakthroughs often get shoved aside (like the first digital camera developed at Kodak). It could be because they don’t fit with the existing business model or did not get the right attention or have a large enough contribution, or they got subsumed by a larger and more profitable business unit. Any of these factors can impede an innovation from achieving its full potential and becoming bigger than you can imagine.
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Four Ways to Overcome the Impossible 

Four Ways to Overcome the Impossible  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Seriously, stop and think about how often we fail to recognize the potential for new ideas. If I took you back 10 years and told you that self-driving and auto-piloted cars would be on the highway next to you and that the taxi industry would be disrupted and nearly annihilated by an outsider (Uber) that held no physical assets, what would you have said? Exactly!

“Overcoming the inertia of the impossible requires engaging in a coordinated dance with the future.”

Of course, simply saying something is possible doesn’t make it so. You don’t innovate the future by just wishing it into being. Overcoming the inertia of the impossible requires engaging in a coordinated dance with the future. It’s this coordination that separates successful startups from those that end up littering the streets with disappointment.

What I’ve found in my own experiences as an entrepreneur, and also in those of other successful entrepreneurs I’ve worked with, is that choreographing this dance with the unknown requires at least three critical attitudes and behaviors if you’re going to stand a reasonable chance of causing any significant new idea to gain traction.

1. Don’t get so stuck on the specifics of your original idea that you ignore the ability to co-create with the future.

One of the greatest eye-openers when you bring any new idea to market is the degree to which it will change over time as you encounter unexpected and unpredictable forces in the market that threaten to alter your original idea. I use the term “threaten” intentionally, because when this happens you have two very distinct choices; be unyielding and defend the hell out of you original idea, or allow your idea to be shaped by these forces in a way that makes it something new and different. You’d think any sane person would go with option two. But that’s not always true. Entrepreneurs get so stuck on their vision that they become nearly religious about letting go of it. That’s when commitment turns to arrogance. Being arrogant with future is like staring down a tsunami–it’s not a contest you’re going to win. The real magic of bringing a new idea to market is the serendipity that naturally occurs and reshapes the idea in a way that makes it a natural fit for the future. The idea and the future evolve concurrently. Allow that to happen and embrace the new changing idea rather than building a fortress of defenses and resentment around the old one.

2. Don’t discount the naysayers. Instead, use their objections to build value.

“Innovation is always a negotiation between the possible and the impossible.”

Inevitably, you’ll be assaulted by very smart people with good reasons why your idea won’t work. It gets tiring listening to that sort of drivel. And yet, you need to. You’ll need to keep moving despite the naysayers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from them. Innovation is always a negotiation between the possible and the impossible. Eventually, the latter becomes the former and the cycle repeats. But for a brief period both of these exist simultaneously as a new paradigm forms and is accepted. Think of the quote often mistakenly attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, “first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” What’s missing in this quote is that in each of the first three stages you need to be gaining support–or at least attention–from the very same people doing the ignoring, laughing, and fighting!

3. Overestimate the time, money, and stamina it will take to build a new idea.

I have never seen a new idea that hasn’t nearly drained it’s owners of time, money, and stamina. The nature of radical change and innovation is that it has to push you to the absolute limits of endurance before you near success. Sorry, I wish I had better news for you on this one, but the best you can do is overestimate all three and still expect to fall short. The simple advice: be ready for it and keep the resources in reserve to deal with it.
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Leadership hacks that transform the way you work

To keep pace with the digital world we need practical strategies that fast track our approach to accomplish more in less time.  What we need are ‘Leadership Hacks’.  A leadership hack is anything that helps you (or your people) accomplish more in less time. This can include:  shortcuts that many not be commonly known, simplified steps to make a task easier to do or fast-track processes that speed things up.

One of the key areas that leaders need to hack is their approach to their email communications and inbox.  Tricia Velthuizen is the CEO of Churchill Education, a Queensland based business that has assisted thousands of students in studying and attaining further accreditation, with over 1400 qualifications awarded last year.  She was honoured with the 2016 Achieve Forum Australia HR Champion CEO of the Year award in recognition for her innovation and inspiring leadership.
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Building a servant-led culture

Flip your org chart. First and foremost, you must change your mindset regarding leadership. Employees do not exist simply to serve a leader’s needs. You are there to serve them. You are there to lead from your heart to inspire and equip employees. If you are at the top of the pyramid, you have no one to serve. Flip the pyramid and you now have the opportunity to serve everyone; if you truly embrace that mindset, you’ll become a leader worth following.
Be a good example. As a leader, you’re always being watched. As a servant leader, you’re being watched even more closely. It’s vital that you behave your talk. No one is perfect and you’ll make mistakes, but when employees know you care about them, they’ll give you grace, especially if you’re willing to apologize.
Use your mission and values effectively. The mission and values of your organization are extremely important if you want employees to understand their work has meaning. Too often, we use our mission and values on marketing collateral but not in our decision-making process. Equip people to make good decisions by allowing the company’s mission and values to become their North Star.
Communicate till you are talked out, and then communicate some more. People want to know what’s going on in their organizations. They’re eager to understand how the business works because it affects them. In addition to wanting to know about the status of the company, you need to constantly be talking about servant leadership. Use the vocabulary of the behavioral expectations you have for them. Make yourself available to answer their questions.
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What if you are the lead dog?

The lead dog gets to bear the full brunt of the wind, snow, sleet, near-zero visibility, uncertainty about which way the sled is heading, as well as second-guessing from the rest of the team.

A case in point:

“[We] had never done anything this massive before.”
“It was all new. I was so nervous about it.”
“It was so cumbersome it was like ‘this is never going to work.’”
“This isn’t good enough. This is not good enough.”
“That team worked 168 hours a week for two weeks. They never stopped.”
“Our reward...was to kill ourselves over the next two-and-a-half years.”
“If we would have known then what we know now...we would have done this differently and this differently and this differently.”
“It’s a roller coaster ride. And if it ain’t scary it ain’t fun.”
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How to build workplace symmetry and win

How to build workplace symmetry and win | digitalNow | Scoop.it
What do bosses do to engender such angst and ill will?

Let’s return to our military analogy. Some bosses act like they’re the biggest vessel in the water. They think that the power invested in their title gives them the right and even imperative to act authoritatively. This leads them to fall out of touch with their people as well as with market realities. When employing conventional, traditional top-down management tactics, they fail to tap into their people’s true talents, while muffling creativity and driving down engagement. They become infatuated with a particular way of doing business and lose the dexterity needed to adjust and win in a highly competitive, ever-changing market.

For leaders to succeed and bring out the best that their people have to offer, they have to be able to engage on multiple levels. Sure, they still need to maintain a level of authority and provide the “eye in the sky”, visionary guidance that sees beyond the moment and drives ingenuity. But they also must find ways to proactively create positive, “hand to hand”, ground level engagement with their people that produces winning results.

Here are some strategies that can help bosses win in any situation:

Communicate often. In “The Red Circle,” co-author and former Navy SEAL Brandon Webb contrasts two ships to which he was stationed during training. One, where the captain rarely communicated with his soldiers, ranked poorly and suffered from low morale. The other, which featured regular messaging from the captain with clear, directive communications, was of the Navy’s best. Her men would run through a brick wall for their captain.
Get connected. Strong leaders find ways to connect with their people. They build strong relationships, which encourages their people to come to them with concerns, knowing that the feedback that they share will be valued and possibly acted upon.
Listen well. To succeed in today’s business world, leaders must be proactive, skilled listeners. Leaders who make themselves accessible for conversation and listen regularly are well informed of the goings on in their workplaces. They better understand others’ opinions and attitudes and are able to take this information into consideration when making decisions. Read more about developing listening skills.
Build trust. Trust sits at the core of all relationships. One way that leaders can help to increase trust and reduce the defensive posturing that is all too often found in today’s organizations is to create a culture that encourages risk-taking. Risks are easier to take when there is less at stake. If I err in good faith and am encouraged to try again, odds are that I will. If I offer my opinion at a team meeting and my views are respected regardless of their ultimate acceptance, then I will likelier pipe up the next time. Learn more about trust building.
Simplify decision-making. Empower your people to make decisions and fix problems. Give them ways by which to cut through any bureaucracy to share ideas and alert higher-ups to potential threats.
 
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The Value Of A Well-Written Thank-You Note

The Value Of A Well-Written Thank-You Note | digitalNow | Scoop.it
To be clear — the notes in question were not your typical “thanks for the Amazon gift card.” Rather, the 100 or so participants in each of the four experiments were asked to write a short “gratitude letter” to a person who had affected them in some way. Sample letters included notes of appreciation to fellow students and friends who offered guidance through the college admissions process, job searches and tough times. In lab experiments, Dr. Kumar observed that it took most subjects less than five minutes to write the letters. Just five minutes to make another person feel ‘ecstatic’! That’s doesn’t seem like much to ask. Yet, in our ‘instant’ world we live in these days, the idea of finding an actual pen, writing an actual note, finding a stamp and a mailbox, etc. seems to never come to mind. We do what’s easy and convenient for us-an email or a quick text. Not much chance of ‘ecstasy’ there.

It’s easy to use the excuse of being busy, but even very busy and successful leaders find time to pen these kinds of notes.
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10 Traits of Great Leaders in This New World of Work

10 Traits of Great Leaders in This New World of Work | digitalNow | Scoop.it
1. Own and live the company values. Leaders need to be role models for their company’s values. They should take every opportunity to communicate and apply the values constantly, incorporating them to guide and help make better decisions.

2. Communicate openly and early. Leaders need to be open, honest and transparent with their employees. They should communicate news and information early, not shielding them from bad news.

“Be as open with your people as you can, as early as you can. Employees are much more likely to go to bat for something they understand.” --Helen Craik, Reward Gateway Co-founder

3. Inspire people to reach higher. Leaders need to create an environment where employees are able to do their jobs well, and a culture where they want to do their jobs well, inspiring them to be the best they can be each and every day.

4. Own their mistakes. Leaders are no longer expected to be perfect. They are expected to be human and positive role models, which includes owning mistakes when they happen. Leaders should also think of mistakes as learning or teaching moments, using them as opportunities and not obstacles.

5. Recognize big wins, small wins and hard work. Leaders build a culture of employee recognition by modeling continuous recognition and where saying thanks is an everyday occurrence.

6. Trust people. Leaders should always default to trust and accept that most people are good and trustworthy. They must lead in a way that’s respectful and honors other’s good intentions, and not presume that their employees’ have malicious intentions.

7. Make the right decision, not the popular decision. Leaders need to prioritize doing what’s right over what’s popular. They should be accountable to their people and act as servants, being prepared to be unpopular when necessary, and striving to do what’s right for the business, the customer and their people as a whole. 

8. Add value to their teams, helping them to succeed. Leaders who deliver visible value to their teams, helping them bring their creativity, ideas and judgment to work, overcome the challenges of the new world of work and of more complex jobs.

9. Have the courage to be genuine and visible. Leaders need to bring their whole selves to work, having the courage to be authentic and to show vulnerability.

10. Take care of people. Leaders need to lead with compassion and kindness, showing their employees that they truly care about them and have their best interests in mind.

Great leaders understand and embody all of these qualities, and don’t just pay them lip service. They understand that in this new world of work they need to eliminate the barriers that separate them from their people, using every tool they have at their disposal to cut through the hierarchy and bring themselves closer to their people. By doing this, they will significantly improve upward feedback and employee engagement. And, they’ll earn the loyalty of not only millennials, but every generation they have the privilege to lead.
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Don’t Be Fooled By These 3 Overhyped Trends

Don’t Be Fooled By These 3 Overhyped Trends | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Robots Taking Our Jobs
Ever since Brynjolfsson and McAfee’s breakout e-book Race Against The Machine, the meme of robots taking our jobs has become a near obsession. From game-show playing supercomputer going to medical school to article writing software bots and cheap, collaborative robots in factories, it seems like our limited human abilities are losing the race.

The notion that automation reduces employment is nothing new, of course. It dates back at least as far as the Luddite movement in the 19th century. Yet so far, technology induced unemployment hasn’t come to pass. In fact, although the workforce has doubled since 1970, labor participation rates have risen by more than 10% since then.

Some argue that this time is different, because now machines are replacing cognitive skills as well as physical labor. That is, of course, possible, but so far there’s no indication it’s actually happening. In fact, the US is beginning to experience a labor shortage which is especially severe in manufacturing, where you would expect technology to have its greatest effect.

So, at least for the moment, we don’t have to worry about robots taking our jobs, but the nature of those jobs are changing as social skills begin to trump cognitive abilities and collaboration becomes a competitive advantage.
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To Solve Complex Problems, You Need A Networked Solution 

How Things Get So Complex
What is perhaps most important to understand about complexity is that it is, to a large extent, unavoidable. The US Constitution is prized for its simplicity and elegance, but the current federal legal code we use to execute that initial document is millions upon millions of words long. People work their entire lives to become experts in just a narrow slice of it.

In Overcomplicated complexity theorist Sam Arbesman gives two reasons why this is necessarily so. The first is accretion. We build systems, like the Constitution or the Internet, to perform a limited number of tasks. Yet to scale those systems, we need to build on top of them to expand their initial capabilities. As the system gets larger, it gets more complex.

The second force that leads to complexity is interaction. We may love the simplicity of our iPhones, but don’t want to be restricted to its capabilities alone. So we increase its functionality by connecting it to millions of apps. Those apps, in turn, connect to each other as well as to other systems.

So while it’s natural to yearn for a simpler existence, we still want to connect to Yelp to find a nice place where we can have a quiet beer and contemplate our spartan values. Then we want the app to connect to Google Maps so we can find that island of tranquility without getting lost and to Uber so we can get there easily.
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Leading Change? Time to Cash In Your Chips 

Leading Change? Time to Cash In Your Chips  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Do you know how many change chips you’re carrying around in your pocket?

Leaders possess a certain number of ‘change chips’. These chips are made up of credibility, respect, authority, good will and other essential leadership ingredients.

Every leader carries these around in their pocket knowing that at the moment when they must introduce change they will have to cash in some of these chips.

But if these chips are cashed in at the wrong time or for the wrong reasons it can make introducing real, meaningful change that much more difficult.

I learned this lesson in a painful way during my first weeks on the job when I served as executive pastor of a large Canadian church.

I led a staff of about 35 people, and soon after I was hired I saw that the office configuration was not optimal. Almost before I had settled into my chair I was moving staff around the facility from one office to another. Because I was the new sheriff in town, the staff dutifully followed my edict. And within a couple of weeks most staff were in new offices which, to me, was a marginal improvement over the previous set up.
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What if you are the lead dog?

What if you are the lead dog? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The lead dog gets to bear the full brunt of the wind, snow, sleet, near-zero visibility, uncertainty about which way the sled is heading, as well as second-guessing from the rest of the team.

A case in point:

“[We] had never done anything this massive before.”
“It was all new. I was so nervous about it.”
“It was so cumbersome it was like ‘this is never going to work.’”
“This isn’t good enough. This is not good enough.”
“That team worked 168 hours a week for two weeks. They never stopped.”
“Our reward...was to kill ourselves over the next two-and-a-half years.”
“If we would have known then what we know now...we would have done this differently and this differently and this differently.”
“It’s a roller coaster ride. And if it ain’t scary it ain’t fun.”
Those are a handful of quotes from the “lead dogs” responsible for developing the iPhone, recounting what it the process of invention was like. We’re so used to companies like Apple leading the way that we may assume it’s second nature to them. Not true. They know that victory can be perennial but it’s never permanent; just ask Budweiser, Mattel and McDonald’s, three longtime industry leaders feeling the effects of inevitable decline. Apple’s turn is coming soon.
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the difference between communicating and communications

Communication and communications each has its place, but we shouldn’t conflate them. The communication Alda speaks of is how you or I interact with people: how we listen to them, how and what we ask, how we absorb what they say and then how we respond -- and the tone, wording, volume, posture and aggression of those responses.

Communications is tactical, sometimes even strategic, but no communications plan can substitute for the actual communicating.

This post, for instance, is me hoping to communicate with some of you. My writing of a one-pager on the strategy for this leadership blog in 2019 would be communications. My carrying out this hypothetical plan with my co-workers and others would require a lot of communication.

The point here is not that one of these is good and the other is bad. The point is that we are prone to shy away from communicating by passively invoking communications, and we are prone to communicate blindly and screw up when a little communications strategy would have helped. Some common statements that illustrate the misuse of one of the other:

“Let the comms team handle that.”

“We’ve got to get a statement out to show we’re on top of things.”

“We’ve written X down in a handbook.”

“I’m sorry for anyone who was offended by …”

Many companies need a comms team and/or a communications strategy. Saying something as a public-facing person or firm is often better than hiding from whatever the news is. Handbooks have their place, too! But none of these things is an action or a living thing -- we must still speak and write and act, and that's where communications strategies succeed or fail.

For instance, how will you take that handbook and live its values, and help others do the same? If you think the handbook is bad, how will you win the argument and get the backing to change it?

Another case where communications doesn’t translate into good communication is the memo. How often do memos and policy declarations clearly think only of the organization’s most immediate need and not the real-life experiences of the people affected (employees or customers)? How many of these memos introduce new confusion or have unintended -- and often unaddressed -- consequences?
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