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Where Does Advantage Come From in the Social Era?

We have observed the economy move from one where centralized organizations initiated value creation to one where that same value creation develops with the help of multiple outside, contributing networks. This tectonic shift means that all modern industries now have a different source of advantage. We have seen this documented in examples starting in the 1990s, when influencers enabled innova- tion platforms as business models, and continued to what we see today in the Social Era with crowdsourcing, open innovation and business models.

The Social Era will reward those organizations that realize they shouldn’t cre- ate value alone. If the industrial era was about building things, the social era is about connecting things, people, and ideas.
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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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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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Cultivating the courage to lead

Why,” you might ask, “does leadership require courage?”

Leadership in any area of life involves risk. Granted, a career in business, education, health care or other mission-driven organization does not generally involve running into a burning building to save the family cat, but there are still challenges that can produce enough fear to stop us in our tracks. Here are three:

Fear of failure. We live in a success-oriented culture. The fear of failure encourages us to remain on the safe, yet ultimately self-limiting, path. The sad thing is, “failure” is rarely well-defined and in fact means different things to different people, and at different times in different places. It is worthwhile to ask yourself honestly and often, “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” Usually, the worst possible outcome of a situation is not only unlikely but is something you really can deal with.

Fear of success. I know, it sounds weird. But don’t be fooled: I have seen many talented professionals sabotage their success over the fear of achieving it. Reaching your goals might leave you with a blank slate, a gnawing feeling of “What’s next?” Worse, what if achieving success doesn’t feel as great as you thought it would?
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How informal education can enhance your professional life

How informal education can enhance your professional life | digitalNow | Scoop.it
1. Develop micro skills

Informal education can help you specialize in a certain area therefor transform you into a person that can offer a unique value to the market. The beauty of informal education is the fact that you can pick a certain bottleneck and problem that you are facing on your work or during your studies and then use all of the available online material to become an expert in that area.

For instance, you can become an expert for paid advertising on LinkedIn or specialize in content marketing. The world wide web offers many opportunities; all you have to do is research and act.

2. Get sound wise

If you don’t have time to read or want to use that wasted time on commuting, you can always use podcasts and audiobooks. It may be surprising to know that audiobooks can actually improve your performance significantly if applied correctly over a certain period of time.

Fortunately, nowadays various online sources offer free materials that you can use. From business, entrepreneurship, marketing and accounting, you can find anything on the web. Forums are the best way to find inspiration and discuss ideas of interest.

In the end, investing a certain amount of money to buy a valuable audiobook is always a good idea.  You will get an expert advice and be able to educate yourself even when you work out in a gym or outside.
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Navigating Nepotism Is Possible: Done Right, It Can Be an Asset

Navigating Nepotism Is Possible: Done Right, It Can Be an Asset | digitalNow | Scoop.it
My father experienced the negative side of the equation firsthand: He put together a wildly successful sales team before having to defer the strategy to one of the company owner’s family members. The direction changed, causing small riffs between clients and employees alike. Eventually, my father left the company, feeling as though nepotism had burned his efforts.

 

With this negative experience of nepotism forever etched in his memory, it’s understandable that my old man was stubborn about working with his son — or any other family members, for that matter. I eagerly expressed interest in the family business, not understanding his anxiety about nepotism; over and over, he turned me down. Eventually, however, my persistence won out over his reservations, and my father offered me the opportunity to apply for a position with his company.

 

Unlike the traditional nepotism narrative, I started at the very bottom. After I had mastered cleaning and maintenance, I graduated to driving trucks. Later still, I moved onto accounting and engineering. Often my moves were lateral, and only after I proved myself in one area did my dad allow me to explore another.

 

What I learned is that the beneficiaries of nepotism receive unique opportunities, but they come with extra expectations. To account for the perception of privilege, friends, and family of people in power must demonstrate every credential and earn every advancement.

 
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Why Bother Speaking Up? It Won't Help (and Other Destructive Thinking)

Why Bother Speaking Up? It Won't Help (and Other Destructive Thinking) | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Have you ever heard yourself saying those words?

“Why bother speaking up, it won’t do any good?” Or

“I’ve tried speaking up in the past, and no one cared.” Or

“Speaking up isn’t valued around here, I’ll just keep my head down and do my job.”

I hear you. It’s easy to let past experiences jade us into losing our voice.  It’s tempting to let our assumptions take over and persuade us that we already know the response. After all, we’ve seen this movie before and it doesn’t end well. And so the troublesome issue continues which validates our thinking: the other guy is a jerk who won’t listen.

Trust erodes further. So we speak up even less. Further convincing ourselves that it wouldn’t do any good.
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How effective are you at using found pockets of time to get work done?

How effective are you at using found pockets of time to get work done? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
How effective are you at using "found" pockets of time -- 10 to 30 minutes -- to get work done?

Very: I always have a ready list of tasks to do in these small moments.

Somewhat: Sometimes I use it productively and others I waste the time.

Not very: Most of that found time goes to waste.

Not at all: I never get anything done in those pockets of time.

Make a list of small tasks. Most of you are somewhat effective -- or less than somewhat -- at using small time slots of “found time” to get things done. This occurs because when we find 15 or 20 minutes, we spend 10 of it trying to figure out what to work on and then 10 minutes saying we don’t have enough time to finish the task. An effective way to use this time is to maintain a list of small tasks that can be done in 15-, 30- and 60-minute spans. When you are given the gift of some found time because a meeting ends early or is cancelled, you can immediately turn to your list, pick a task and get it done. This small productivity enhancer will help you fill these times effectively and get a lot more work finished in a given day.
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The Right And Wrong Way To Conduct Performance Appraisals 

The ideal performance review
The most common form of performance appraisals compare our current performance levels either with our previous performance levels or the performance levels of our peers.  When the two approaches were compared, the researchers found that comparing our performance now with our performances in the past were more effective because employees regarded them as fairer, especially on an interpersonal level.

Respondents also regarded such reviews as more individualized, and this was valuable in signalling to the employee that they were important to their employer, and indeed to their manager.  This opens them up to both positive and negative feedback during the review.

When we’re compared against our peers however, the results are less positive.  These social comparisons often lack any of the specific details we need to improve our performance, whilst they can also create an impression of being just another number in the workplace.  This made employees less open to feedback, regardless of whether it was positive or negative.
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"The Confidence Code": Turn thoughts into action

"The Confidence Code": Turn thoughts into action | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Are we born with a certain level of confidence? Or is it a skill that we can learn to cultivate? These are only two of the big questions journalists Katty Kay and Claire Shipman tackle in their book "The Confidence Code."

As we read, we’re invited along on their odyssey taking us through the cutting edge of neuroscience and psychology on a hunt for the confidence gene. Ultimately, what we find is a hopeful conclusion: While confidence is influenced by genetics, it is not a fixed psychological state. That means we can choose confidence! But what does that choice look like? According to Kay and Shipman, it looks like “less people pleasing and perfectionism and more action, risk taking, and fast failure.”

When a colleague recommended this book last year, it caught my attention.  The No. 1 goal for my clients has been to develop confidence or projecting an executive presence when they speak. And I’ve always been fascinated by the variety of what it takes for each individual to feel confident.
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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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Hiring with intention: 3 tips for slowing down to scale up

Hiring with intention: 3 tips for slowing down to scale up | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Define what you measure and who will measure it
Earlier in my career, I tended to approach interviews without a lot of formal preparation or consistency. But through personal experience and observing industry trends, I've learned that the ideal way to get the best results is to be methodical in the hiring process.

Without clear criteria, interviewers will default to their own biases, whether conscious or unconscious. A growing body of research shows that unstructured interviews help you get to know someone on a surface level, but they’re highly subjective and don’t reliably predict job performance. People tend to prefer candidates who resemble themselves, but this bias is mitigated when companies evaluate candidates systematically.

Slack recently redefined its interview process to support a more diverse and inclusive company. The hiring team assigns each role a list of desired characteristics and skills. They write a list of behavioral questions that assess this information, ask every candidate the same things, and measure their answers against each other.
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Strategic projects are the key to navigating uncertainty

Strategic projects are the key to navigating uncertainty | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The power of strategy-making lies in the ability to execute projects that consistently and persistently make meaningful progress toward your strategic objectives. That means triaging your strategic activities to include only those projects that are a high priority for the future you intend to create.

Understanding this, one of Gerstner’s first moves as a new CEO was a short, sharp project to quash an initiative to break IBM into a series of smaller autonomous operating units, each with its own identity and direction. He called it ‘the most important decision I ever made – not just at IBM, but in my entire business career.’

Gerstner also knew he needed to create a solid financial footing for the company so that it had a future to adapt to. So, he put in place projects to improve the cost-pricing structure of IBM’s mainframe computing business, which had become grossly over-priced in an ever-more competitive market.
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Hiring with intention: 3 tips for slowing down to scale up

Hiring with intention: 3 tips for slowing down to scale up | digitalNow | Scoop.it
After years of focusing on growth at all costs, it seems that leaders at some of the world’s fastest-growing companies realize the importance of putting culture first.

CEOs including Uber’s Dara Khosrowshahi and Snap’s Evan Spiegel recently spoke up about the steps they’re taking to reshape toxic company cultures, and the broader conversation is beginning to shift. I recently attended the CloudNY conference and was struck by how many of my peers emphasized the importance of deliberately building company culture, even in the midst of rapid business growth.

Creating a great corporate culture requires many things. Perhaps first among them is thoughtful hiring. No matter the size of the company, you can’t build a great workplace without employees who embody your values.

The challenge is that it takes slowing down to create an intentional hiring process. Otherwise, you risk making snap judgments that can lead to missing out on great people or bringing on employees who aren’t the right fit long term.
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Are you undermining your leadership credibility?

Are you undermining your leadership credibility? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
1. “You can tell me anything!”

This statement is made to solicit input or feedback on a particular idea or course of action. However, sometimes leaders will completely discount the idea or opinion offered, especially if it’s something they don’t immediately agree with.  They don’t take the time to honestly consider the proffered information or to understand the reasoning behind it.  I have even observed leaders going so far as to label the idea as “stupid” or completely unacceptable.  Shutting down the conversation so abruptly and negatively will not promote continued sharing of ideas.  Rather, people will be so intimidated they will say little to nothing, or just tell you what they think you want to hear—correct or not.  People will learn that there is a price to be paid for speaking up and may decide it’s just not worth it.

2. Don’t coerce support.

Sometimes in an attempt to win approval for an idea or decision, leaders will say something like, “I need you to support my position today in the meeting. You have to back me up!” Often there’s an implied, “Or else.” Such behavior destroys candor, honesty and team morale. Negative interactions such as these will permeate your environment, and people will end up doing what they are told rather than honestly participating, speaking up and offering ideas.
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If I knew then what I know now ... I'd integrate strategy 

If I knew then what I know now ... I'd integrate strategy  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
About that same time, we had two different clients (that we adored) turn to outside brand strategy consultants for help with their business. We were invited to all the meetings, but while we partnered with the marketing department, they were working directly with the C-level. Inevitably strategy flows into creative and we ended up losing them both.

From there, we got really serious about strategy, really fast. Today, every new client relationship starts with some version of our Simplify X Amplify process. (Yep, Simplify = Strategy.) It's become a core competency of our business and a springboard for the best creative we've ever done.

If I've got any wisdom to share here, it's not that creatives should embrace strategy sooner – that just happens to be our version of it. My advice would be for Type X people to embrace Type Y thinking sooner. It's usually the quickest way to get better at what you do.
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Why you (and GE) are feeling dizzy

Why you (and GE) are feeling dizzy | digitalNow | Scoop.it
General Electric was one of the original corporations tracked by Dow Jones when it created its “Industrial Average” al the way back in 1896. But like American Tobacco, National Lead, and Tennessee Coal and Iron before it, GE’s role in the economy has become something less than it once was.

Corporate membership in the S&P 500 tells a similar tale: Five decades ago, the average tenure of companies in the index was 33 years. Two decades ago, it was 20 years. Over the coming decade, it's forecast to shrink to 14 years. What’s going on? The business cycle -- disruption, acceleration, maturation, saturation, commoditization, disruption again -- is spinning ever faster.

A Deloitte study of the UK census discovered that telephone and telegraph operators enjoyed a full century of growth before jobs began to decline. Similarly, a Harvard Business Review analysis of how many decades it took various 20th-century innovations to mature noted that it took 64 years for telephones to reach 40% penetration. By contrast, smartphones achieved the same result in a single decade (by then telephone and telegraph operators had all but disappeared).
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