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It's the Little Things that Really Matter

It's the Little Things that Really Matter | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Features and usability are make or break issues for websites and apps.

Today's focus on digital transformation misses a key point: The seemingly little things matter. How an app works, what features it offers, and how simple or difficult it is to initiate a service or pay for something speaks volumes.

No activity makes usability and functionality more apparent than international travel. Here's a rundown of some winners and losers from a recent vacation abroad.
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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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The Cognitive Dissonance of the CEO

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

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

The first task is to break down the customer’s high-level needs into the most meaningful episodes. A company defines an episode by what the customer wants to do, with a clear start and end, and each episode consists of a number of underlying operational processes. For instance, a bank would unpack the customer’s overall need to “pay for things” into “pay another person,” “set up online bill payment” or “make an international transfer.” Creating a clear taxonomy of episodes, including how they fit together, is essential for focusing team efforts.
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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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Praise your employees: 5 ways to reward and recognize

Praise your employees: 5 ways to reward and recognize | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Studies show that people are far more motivated by positive reinforcement than by the fear of failure, yet many workplace cultures are still buzzing with the daily energy of “just not screwing up.”

If you work in one of these offices, where employees are frequently distracted from the goals of the organization by anxiety about being called out for mistakes, what can you do? The good news is that no matter what level of leadership you currently hold, you can help to create a more positive workplace culture just by adding two words to your routine: Thank you. It seems simple, but praise and recognition are often overlooked by busy professionals focused on the bottom line.

If you want to draw people to you with positivity and motivate your team to strive for greatness, read below about the art of offering up positive recognition in the workplace.

Offer praise one on one
Research shows that employees today, especially millennials, crave one-on-one attention from their managers and superiors, and most feel they don’t get enough. Make sure that the interactions with your team aren’t strictly about corrective feedback -- make time for praise and recognition in a solo setting, too. Give people time to recap and review the success with you, highlighting what went well, and what they learned or would do differently next time. Give them a few minutes to talk about their wins, and congratulate accordingly.

Give praise publicly
Recapping in a one-on-one setting will set you up well when you speak publicly about your team’s accomplishments. Now you have all the details to sell their successes to your superiors, other teams and the organization as a whole. Give praise and recognition to others in multiple forums, making sure that others are seen as trailblazers, innovators and problem-solvers.

Publicly celebrate the achievements and invite the organization to mark their accomplishments. You have to advocate for yourself, too, at the right time, but don’t worry too much about highlighting your own role in most of these public situations. Noting the success of your team will show more positive leadership than taking the credit for yourself. Both those higher up and those high-performers you’d like to attract to your team will remember how you praised others.

Say "thank you"
On my local station, the news anchors, meteorologists and reporters thank each other when handing off from segment to segment. This is a lovely and simple expression of gratitude, and it goes a long way in enforcing a positive culture; don’t become a stereotypical boss who fails to use these critical words merely because the work is “someone’s job.”

The men and women we work with deserve appreciation for a job well done, and “thank you” should be delivered with intention, eye contact and sincerity on a regular basis.
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How structured is your approach to problem-solving?

How structured is your approach to problem-solving? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
How structured is your approach to problem-solving?

Very – we have clearly defined steps and output at each step: 19.5%
Kind of – we generally follow a repeatable problem solving process: 50.5%
Not very – our problem solving is a bit haphazard: 21.5%
Not at all – we never solve problems the same way twice: 8.5%
A weak structure means weak solutions. Problem-solving is a repeatable process with predictable end products for most common problems. A structured approach to problem-solving ensures you fully understand the problem and are comprehensive in your search for solutions. The structured approach is also efficient. If you can be hypothesis-based in your problem solving and focus on the highest opportunity solutions, you can save a lot of time by not chasing small ideas.
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 Spot Leadership Character 

 Spot Leadership Character  | digitalNow | Scoop.it

They receive a compliment with grace.
They receive negative feedback with humility and non-defensiveness.
They give voice to disagreement while still extending respect.
They give thoughtful answers, not off-the-cuff reactions.
They might criticize the merits of an idea, but not the person bringing the idea to the table.
Their apologies are unreserved; they don’t say, “I’m sorry, but” or “I’m sorry if…”
If they don’t know the answer to a question, they say so; they don’t bluff their way through.
They never “humble-brag”.
Their conversation includes plenty of “pleases” and “thank you’s”.
Their words shine the spotlight on others.
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How Brilliant Careers Are Made — And Unmade 

How Brilliant Careers Are Made — And Unmade  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Career Derailment 101
First and foremost, career derailment does not indicate a lack of managerial talent. Instead, it often afflicts talented managers who are either unaware of a debilitating weakness or interpersonal blind spot — or are arrogant enough to believe that the rules don’t apply to them.

As part of my research, I conducted extensive interviews with three leadership consulting firms: the Centre for Creative Leadership, the Korn Ferry Institute and the Hay Group. All three indicated that organizations prefer to focus on the positive and don’t even like to discuss peoples’ negative qualities. The problem is, these personal weaknesses often override an individual’s strengths. Following are five major career derailers that every leader should be aware of.

DERAILER 1: INTERPERSONAL ISSUES.
Researchers agree that this is the most prevalent and damaging derailer. Stuart Kaplan, the former global chief operating officer of Korn Ferry’s leadership and talent consulting practice (now director of organizational development at Google) put it this way: 

“As you progress [in your career], your relationships with others are more important than your knowledge of and relationship with data. This need kicks in as you move into middle and upper management. It’s a mindset change. You have to let go of having the answer and embrace the relational world. It becomes less about competencies and more about trust.”
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What's the "why" of your job?

What's the "why" of your job? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Clarify
If your goal is to buzzsaw perfectly healthy trees, be sure you understand why. When your parents told you to do something as a child, they might not have appreciated your impertinence when you countered with “Why?” (They probably answered with,” Because I’m your father and I told you to do it.”) But as an adult, you have a responsibility to understand why you do what you do at work.

You might still get labeled as impertinent, but if you ask for clarification in the right way, you might also earn respect -- and maybe have people thinking twice about the fairness of what they are asking from you.
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Meaning Making – How the Innovation-Driven Organization Imparts Purpose & Meaning 

Meaning Making – How the Innovation-Driven Organization Imparts Purpose & Meaning  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Meaning-making refers to all of our attempts – both as individuals and as organizations – to make meaning of our world.  It is a fundamentally human and somewhat philosophical, if not spiritual, undertaking.  We see it in our collective attempts as a society to come together and explore the deeper realm of purpose behind the things we do.  We see it every time a business posts a statement of purpose or mission (or at least a good one).  And we see it every time an individual has a crisis of identity and goes in search of a new career.  In each of these cases, people – and businesses – are searching for some sense of purpose and meaning in what it is they find themselves doing in the world.

But one need not attend a festival such as these to engage in meaning-making.  Instead, many now – Millennials and Gen Zers in particular – are looking to their vocations to try to make meaning out of their worlds.  However, depending on the particular situation, that may or may not prove fruitful.

Indeed, many workplaces make this difficult to do because the endeavors the business is pursuing are so anemic and “me-too” as to not really seem all that significant in the scheme of the world at large.
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How leaders can foster a growth mindset

How leaders can foster a growth mindset | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Admit when failures occur, and capitalize on them
Growth-mindset leaders view failure as a part of the journey from success to significance. They don’t sweep failure under the rug; instead they embrace it. Spend time with your employees debriefing what is going well and what isn’t during the course of a project, as well as when it’s finished.

Ask people what they learned about the business and what they learned about themselves during the process? Where might they source support and insight next time? What did they learn that they might apply to another objective?

And remember, rewarding effort as well as outcomes is critical if you want your team to be willing to take prudent risks. As an added bonus, employees behave more ethically in organizations that place a premium on learning from both successes and failures.

Develop as many people as you can
Employees in fixed-mindset companies often describe the opportunities for success and recognition as being limited to “a few rising stars.”  The opposite is true in growth-mindset organizations, where leaders work to develop their entire team, not just a chosen few. What results is deep bench strength across the organization. Leaders who recognize that great ideas come from everywhere work to expand the diversity of talent and thought necessary for solving tough problems. They create teams that are built for success.
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Entrepreneurs Donate More to Charity, Study Finds 

Entrepreneurs Donate More to Charity, Study Finds  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
With a focus on the giving habits and priorities of entrepreneurs, the study, Entrepreneurs as Philanthropists (18 pages, PDF), found that 79 percent of entrepreneurs say that charitable giving is a critical part of who they are, while 47 percent said they consider themselves to be a philanthropist. Entrepreneurs also were found to give more than others, with median annual giving among entrepreneurs ($3,577) 50 percent higher than that of non-entrepreneurs ($2,383).

The study also found that entrepreneurs approach giving differently, with nearly six in ten saying their experience as a business owner reflects how they approach their giving. Entrepreneurs tend, for instance, to take a more hands-on approach to their giving, with 61 percent saying they appreciate the ability to be personally involved in a cause or organization and 62 percent saying they value the opportunity to demonstrate leadership in their community through charitable giving, compared to about half of non-business owners. In addition, entrepreneurs spend more time volunteering, with 66 percent saying they volunteer at least three hours every month, compared with 55 percent of other donors.

The study also found that entrepreneurs see a business exit as an opportunity to give back, with three out of ten business owners reporting that they intend to sell or pass the business down to a family member within the next five years, and nearly 68 percent of those saying they plan to donate to charity in conjunction with the transition. Just 14 percent of business owners have no plans in place to give to charity during or after an exit from their business.

"Five hundred and fifty thousand Americans become entrepreneurs every month," said Fidelity Charitable president Pamela Norley. "The sheer size of this group, coupled with an expressed interest in having a positive social impact, means they have a tremendous influence on the philanthropic sector."
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An Insight into the World of Voice User Interface Design 

What is Voice User Interface?
Voice User Interface is a speech recognition technology that allows the users to communicate with their devices with the help of voice commands. The assistance that VUI provides is not only for smartphones. It is also present in smart homes, smart TVs, and a range of other products.

Some examples of the Voice User Interface are Siri, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortona.

This technology has been eliminating the use of the traditional modes of communication majorly. This is done by bringing forth the most convenient and comfortable form of communicating to the users; the mode of language!

Now there is no specific task for which VUI’s have come into existence. They assist in tasks ranging from your daily routine requirements to complex tasks altogether.

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3 Weak Phrases You Should Drop From Your Leadership 

3 Weak Phrases You Should Drop From Your Leadership  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
1. At this time…
Think about it.

When a leader is asked, “Will there be layoffs at the company?” what does it mean if a leader responds by saying, “Not at this time”?

The leader is essentially saying, “There will be no layoffs today, but there could be tomorrow.” Or perhaps there really will be no layoffs. In other words, adding “At this time” to any leadership announcement renders it meaningless.

Take the “At this time” out of your leadership vocabulary.

2. If this is true…
This one is being heard far too often today.

A leader will hear a rumor or allegation against a member of the team, and rather than searching for truth will say, “Johnson, if these allegations I’m hearing about you are true, then I have choice but to let you go…”

Our culture today has replaced fact-based decision making for “allegation-based” decision making. This is simply weak leadership.

And you can spot it the moment a leader utters the phrase, “If this is true…”

3. People are saying…
Be wary of the opinions that are formed or the decisions that are made based on the “People are saying” reasoning.

“People are saying we need to change our product.”

“People are saying we should lower our prices.”

“People are saying we should add a traditional service in our church.”

Each of these statements begs the question, “What people?” “Who are these people saying these things?”

By all means, keep your eyes and ears open for feedback from a variety of sources. But remember that “People are saying” is the beginning of a decision making process; it’s far from the end of that process.

Here’s the point. When you’re a leader, you know that people listen to your every word.

So choose your words carefully.
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Concocting A 'Simple And Digital' Formula For Customers

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

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

Augmented Reality: Spreading Human Expertise Via Machine | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Put the customer “episode” front and center

From the customer’s perspective, the value of an experience goes well beyond the functional benefits of a given product. Customers often find value in the emotional elements of an offering, such as the ability to make connections or get organized. Human-centered design furthers these potent elements, and a growing number of firms have found the most authentic and practical design unit to be the customer episode. An episode consists of all the activities that the customer and the provider perform to fulfill the customer’s need. Episodes range from simple interactions (“I need to change my password”) to multistep, multiparty endeavors (“I need to move broadband to my new place”).

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The Friendship of Wolves

As a result, leaders can find themselves engaged with a large number of people over the course of a given day and yet feel profoundly alone. This can leave leaders vulnerable to the friendship of wolves--insincere expressions of care and interest from people whose agendas may not be aligned with the leader's best interests. And this danger is compounded in tightly-networked industries where people socialize frequently with colleagues and confidential information is highly valuable and travels quickly. (Sound familiar?)

And yet we're intensely social creatures who struggle--and even suffer--when we lack the requisite amount of interaction with people who we trust. So if you're a senior leader, what can you do?

Get out of the role: Cultivate relationships in groups and settings where people have a common interest outside of work, where job titles are irrelevant, and where status derives from sources other than professional accomplishment. Be known for your skills (or lack thereof) as a rock climber, ballroom dancer, horseback rider, weightlifter--anything other than leader.
Treat family like family: A leader's need to discuss work can easily extend beyond family members' capacity to listen. (This is one reason why coaches like me have a job.) I'm not suggesting that work shouldn't be discussed at home, but insure that family members feel empowered to set limits on those conversations in order to make room for other topics and other ways of interacting.
Treat friends like treasures: Some of the most important people in a leader's life are those few individuals who are A) successful enough to avoid feeling threatened by or jealous of the leader's status, B) sophisticated enough to understand and empathize with the leader's challenges, C) invested in the leader as an individual and NOT invested in the leader's company, and D) completely trustworthy. Over the course of your lifetime you may meet just a handful of people who fit all of these criteria--when you do, recognize how rare and valuable they are.
Beware the wolves: Leaders attract people with a wide range of motives, and while the cost of cynicism is isolation, there's also a cost to naivete. It's important to test for trust and to admit people into closer confidence over a series of repeated interactions. You may have to work with wolves at one time or another, but successful co-existence requires you to see them for who they are, with no illusions about their professed friendship.
Start now: A theme in my practice is the price leaders pay when they wait too long, and it's particularly steep when it comes to the activities discussed here. You can't magically create true friends in a time of need if you haven't been investing in those relationships--only wolves will heed that call.
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Time for a new approach to motivating millennials

What are generational values?
You might have first encountered the idea of values differences as I did, through Morris Massey’s fabulously popular lecture "What You Are Is Where You Were When." Massey was a professor at the University of Colorado and a wonderful mentor for me in the early 1970s. His lecture (and subsequent video) changed the way I thought about values (and the course of my education and career).

In 1991, researchers William Strauss and Neil Howe published their fascinating study in "Generations: The History of America’s Future from 1584 to 2069." They tracked US values through generations using documents, media reports and historical records. They described how each 20 years or so ushers a new set of values -- a generational values personality.

They created the terms we are now so familiar with, from baby boomers to millennials. They also found that types of values repeat themselves in predictable patterns. A generation lasts approximately 20 years, and types of values begin repeating after the fourth generation, or every 80 years. So, millennials born between 1981-2002, roughly speaking, have similar types of values as people born between 1901 and 1924. The two generations have similar peer-value profiles.

The research on generational values is still young and, admittedly, interesting. Seeing values echoed sequentially in a fixed pattern over the ages might demonstrate how we can learn from history, provide insight into the future by studying how values repeat in cycles and help us better understand ourselves and others.

However, generational values only describe the formation of a huge population’s programmed values -- values that are unexplored and generated by what a particular age group experienced growing up. Parents, take note: The greatest influence on your children’s programmed values are their peers and what’s happening in their world.
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How teaching instead of terminating pays off in business

How teaching instead of terminating pays off in business | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Understanding why talent may (temporarily) be lacking
Managers who don’t immediately hit the eject button may discover that what seems like an individual challenge is actually an organizational concern. The only way to figure out what’s really happening is to be willing to coach people who struggle to fulfill their requirements.

Truly, mentoring can be the key to solving many on-the-job conundrums. Michael D. Mumford, author of "Pathways to Outstanding Leadership: A Comparative Analysis of Charismatic, Ideological, and Pragmatic Leaders," says that hands-on, collaborative leadership support lowers employees’ resistance to be creative. He refers to this type of management as “respecting the ideas and the competence of the person as a creator,” which is in direct contrast to hire-fast, fire-faster philosophies.

Another benefit to switching to a coaching style when managing underperformers is that collective engagement begins to tick upward. A study released by Deloitte in 2016 explained that the key to engagement is an “enabling infrastructure.” Individuals who aren’t privately or publicly chastised for one-time errors feel more apt to come forward when they need different timelines or see an opportunity to make tangible changes to positively affect deliverables.

Opening the path to talk instead of terination
Is one or more of your team members continuously delivering unacceptable, uninspiring work? Implement these tactics to find out if the problem lies at the company’s — and not the worker's — feet.

1. Hold one-on-one meetings

These shouldn’t be scary, “you’re in big trouble, buster” conversations. Make your time with employees a prime opportunity for them to describe their obstacles. Listen fully. Then, explore ways to partner on closing gaps in processes to help them do better work. They’re the ones doing the jobs; you’re not helping if all you do is dictate.

2. Invest in necessary resources
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How teaching instead of terminating pays off in business

How teaching instead of terminating pays off in business | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Understanding why talent may (temporarily) be lacking
Managers who don’t immediately hit the eject button may discover that what seems like an individual challenge is actually an organizational concern. The only way to figure out what’s really happening is to be willing to coach people who struggle to fulfill their requirements.

Truly, mentoring can be the key to solving many on-the-job conundrums. Michael D. Mumford, author of "Pathways to Outstanding Leadership: A Comparative Analysis of Charismatic, Ideological, and Pragmatic Leaders," says that hands-on, collaborative leadership support lowers employees’ resistance to be creative. He refers to this type of management as “respecting the ideas and the competence of the person as a creator,” which is in direct contrast to hire-fast, fire-faster philosophies.

Another benefit to switching to a coaching style when managing underperformers is that collective engagement begins to tick upward. A study released by Deloitte in 2016 explained that the key to engagement is an “enabling infrastructure.” Individuals who aren’t privately or publicly chastised for one-time errors feel more apt to come forward when they need different timelines or see an opportunity to make tangible changes to positively affect deliverables.

Opening the path to talk instead of terination
Is one or more of your team members continuously delivering unacceptable, uninspiring work? Implement these tactics to find out if the problem lies at the company’s — and not the worker's — feet.

1. Hold one-on-one meetings

These shouldn’t be scary, “you’re in big trouble, buster” conversations. Make your time with employees a prime opportunity for them to describe their obstacles. Listen fully. Then, explore ways to partner on closing gaps in processes to help them do better work. They’re the ones doing the jobs; you’re not helping if all you do is dictate.

2. Invest in necessary resources

Money’s tight everywhere. That doesn’t mean leaders should justify holding back resources from employees. When you hear that your employees aren’t able to efficiently or effectively complete assignments because they don’t have the proper tools, take their words seriously.
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The importance of big-picture thinking

The importance of big-picture thinking | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Habit No. 1: Overanalyzing
Being someone who is ready with all the data and analysis is great -- it’s even good to be fully aware of what the data says at a high level. Your decisions can be guided by solid data, but you shouldn’t be living and dying by it. Analysis is fine when it comes to improving process and even in setting direction, but leave the deep dives to others and then have them present the information to you quarterly. You can use the numbers to course-correct and steer your larger-picture plan.

Habit No. 2: Fixating on results
Having a strong drive toward achieving results can serve you well early in your career – managers appreciate a desire to deliver ever-increasing quality and yield. While this is admirable early on, not every problem can be solved or every business goal achieved simply by doing more. Leaders must be able to take a step back from grinding out the daily performance metrics and hand the small projects over to others. Build a team that you can trust to deliver peak results without micromanagement, so that you can invest your energy on a broader focus and higher value tasks.
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The root cause of workplace drama: Lack of clarity

The root cause of workplace drama: Lack of clarity | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Failing managers
Your managers aren’t making good decisions. They continue to go to their vice presidents and executives to get approval. You believe this time-wasting workplace issue is due to a lack of confidence. You offer leadership training that includes a workshop on decision-making, but the problem persists.

There is a reason people do what they do, and that reason is often due to the culture and past experiences. For example, on a consulting project, I found out that the reason managers didn’t make decisions is because they lacked confidence. The reason the managers lacked confidence was because many of their decisions had been overridden by senior leaders. Therefore, the managers feared making mistakes and losing face in front of employees.

What to do: Look through old records and find examples of decisions made by managers that were overridden by a higher authority. If you see more than a couple of examples, you may need to develop a decision-making process or get some outside consulting support to get everyone on the same page. 
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Not All Innovation Looks The Same 

Not All Innovation Looks The Same  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The next time you are frustrated with the lack of innovation coming from yourself or your team, ask yourself:

Am I only making room for one approach to innovation?
Am I expecting people to approach innovation the same way I do?
Am I giving my team the room they need to innovate their way?
Am I trying to innovate like someone else?
You need to give yourself and your team permission to innovate in a way that works for them. At the end of the day, it’s not how they innovate you care about, it’s the results from that innovation that matter.

The more room you can provide for different innovation approaches, the more likely you are to get to the outcome you seek – innovation that helps you compete, and win.
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The Friendship of Wolves

The Friendship of Wolves | digitalNow | Scoop.it
So if you're a senior leader, what can you do?

Get out of the role: Cultivate relationships in groups and settings where people have a common interest outside of work, where job titles are irrelevant, and where status derives from sources other than professional accomplishment. Be known for your skills (or lack thereof) as a rock climber, ballroom dancer, horseback rider, weightlifter--anything other than leader.
Treat family like family: A leader's need to discuss work can easily extend beyond family members' capacity to listen. (This is one reason why coaches like me have a job.) I'm not suggesting that work shouldn't be discussed at home, but insure that family members feel empowered to set limits on those conversations in order to make room for other topics and other ways of interacting.
Treat friends like treasures: Some of the most important people in a leader's life are those few individuals who are A) successful enough to avoid feeling threatened by or jealous of the leader's status, B) sophisticated enough to understand and empathize with the leader's challenges, C) invested in the leader as an individual and NOT invested in the leader's company, and D) completely trustworthy. Over the course of your lifetime you may meet just a handful of people who fit all of these criteria--when you do, recognize how rare and valuable they are.
Beware the wolves: Leaders attract people with a wide range of motives, and while the cost of cynicism is isolation, there's also a cost to naivete. It's important to test for trust and to admit people into closer confidence over a series of repeated interactions. You may have to work with wolves at one time or another, but successful co-existence requires you to see them for who they are, with no illusions about their professed friendship.
Start now: A theme in my practice is the price leaders pay when they wait too long, and it's particularly steep when it comes to the activities discussed here. You can't magically create true friends in a time of need if you haven't been investing in those relationships--only wolves will heed that call.
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Is There a Blockchain in Your Future? 

Is There a Blockchain in Your Future?  | digitalNow | Scoop.it
What is Blockchain, and Why Should Anyone Care?
What is blockchain? I don’t know about you, but saying it’s a distributed ledger that supports Bitcoin doesn’t get me very excited.

A blockchain … is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block typically contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. By design, a blockchain is inherently resistant to modification of the data. It is “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way”.

So what? I’m looking for real business applications that will benefit consumers and enterprises.

Gartner cautions against irrational exuberance: “Most current uses of blockchain are not disruptive, because the majority of organizations that undertake blockchain projects find it hard to conceive of systems that are outside of their legacy, centralized models (both business models and technology platforms).”

Exactly. Why should large enterprises (think big brands like Amazon) or software makers (Oracle, SAP, Salesforce) support technology that undermines their business models? Amazon wants all of us to become customers and sell us more stuff. Oracle sells databases to big brands so they can centralize and control management of customers, suppliers, employees, etc.
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Scooped by Don Dea
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How to Make Your Organization Smarter

How to Make Your Organization Smarter | digitalNow | Scoop.it
What’s your shorthand in terms of describing what a multiplier leader looks like?

A: I’ll give you my two versions of shorthand, and it’s taken me years to boil it down. As I studied this, I looked at five big differences between how these diminishing leaders operate and how the multipliers operate.

The first is how they manage talent. Diminishers tend to acquire resources where multipliers use people’s native genius. They utilize genius in others.
The second is that when it comes to work climate, diminishers tend to create a climate of stress, whereas multipliers create a climate of safety. I don’t mean emotional safety as much as I mean intellectual safety, like it’s safe to disagree and to speak up, to take risks. 
The third is how they set direction. Diminishers tend to give directives whereas, multipliers tend to define possibilities and ask big questions. 
The fourth difference is how they make decisions. The diminisher tends to make decisions, but the multiplier tends to generate debate. They may not always be consensus-oriented in their decision making, but they do allow people to debate first.
The fifth difference is how they drive for results. Whereas the diminisher tends to get it done, the multiplier ensures other people get it done. It’s about where they put ownership and accountability. They put other people in charge and they hold them accountable.   
I can also boil the whole book down to two key words: safety and stretch. It’s a cycle these leaders use in the debate process, like how do I create a safe environment, and then how do I stretch people’s thinking. It’s also a cycle they use in performance planning – creating safety for people to take risks, but then giving them stretch challenges.
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