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Nothing Is More Powerful Than Purpose, Adam Braun

Nothing Is More Powerful Than Purpose, Adam Braun | digitalNow |
Don Dea's insight:

Ultimately, non-profit (or for-purpose) leaders must decide if they want to build a life of success or significance. What is the footprint—the legacy—that we want to leave behind? Writes Braun: "Start by changing the subjects of your daily conversation from the life you are living to the life you aspire to create. By speaking the language of the person you seek to become, you will soon find yourself immersed in the conversations that make you most come alive. You'll sense the energy you emit attracting similar energy from others. Your conversations will lead to opportunities, which will become actions, which will become footprints for good." 

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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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Being a Leader is Like Being an Improv Actor

Don Dea's insight:

Being a Leader is Like Being an Improv Actor


Practice: They practice a lot when the stakes are low or negligible. We need to find out spaces where the stakes of making a mistake is low and practice our ability to channel our inner manager, listener, change agent or visionary or whatever else that we might need, on-demand.

Yes And: The fundamental rule of any improv act is for the actor to accept the reality that he has been given. And then add to it. The actor can’t go back on what has already been said or given. So, the only way is forward and onward.

No Mistakes: In improv, there are no mistakes. The “Yes And” mindset means that you can’t contradict anything that happens around you.


All your attention on your partner: In an improv act, if you are not fully present and responding to your partner or partners, you can be easily caught. So, it is when you are leading a team or an organisation.


Leaving no one behind: This is because Improv is a team game. So is leading a team. A team is only as successful as all the individual members of the team are. It is our responsibility to ensure that everyone on our team has our full support for them to succeed at their role.


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When dealing with someone who is manipulative, how do you react? 

When dealing with someone who is manipulative, how do you react?  | digitalNow |
Don Dea's insight:

Our reader poll today asks: When dealing with someone who is manipulative, how do you react?

I get away from them as fast as I can: 18%

I actively combat their manipulation and confront them on it: 16%

I try to understand why they’re doing it and avoid the trap: 61%

I try to manipulate them right back: 4%

I just let it happen: 2%

Beware the manipulator. 77% of you either actively battle against a manipulator’s efforts or try to understand their motivations and avoid the trap they’re setting for you. Most of the rest of you try to get away from them as best you can. Unfortunately there are situations where you’ll be challenged to get away – especially if they’re a teammate or a boss. Invest the time in understanding their motivations. Those motives might not make sense to you but that doesn’t matter. You simply need to understand the motivations and see how their behaviors can harm you or, more productively, how you can resolve whatever the conflict is either by meeting their needs or getting them to look at the situation differently. Regardless of the situation, avoid the temptation to manipulate them in return. Those situations rarely end well.


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As the Economy Recovers, Do You Have the Right Data to Ride the Wave?

As the Economy Recovers, Do You Have the Right Data to Ride the Wave? | digitalNow |
The economic rebound will present similar challenges to the shutdown, making data teams question whether they have the correct data for marketing needs.
Don Dea's insight:

What Happens When Your Data Is Irrelevant?

Think about it. Data teams had created and trained all their analytics and machine learning models based on specific data sets for certain market conditions


A Changing Landscape Requires a Fresh Approach to Data

As the economy recovers — whether V, U, or W shaped — businesses will have to respond fast. And they’ll need the current, accurate and relevant data to do so.


Change is constant. Beyond the pandemic, the loss of third-party cookies and Apple iOS14 changes will force dramatic shifts in marketing data acquisition strategies.


The companies with the right data, a lot of which will come from outside their four walls, will have the first-mover advantage to capture customers (and, ultimately, greater market share). Companies with the right geo-spatial data, foot-traffic data, median income, demographics, business filings and socio-economic data will be able to quickly and accurately find customers, evaluate them for credit or fraud risks and prioritize them in their sales force. They will have a huge leg-up in building new relationships with customers by supporting businesses coming out of the recession. The opportunity is tremendous if you know where to look.

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Agile PLaybook

Agile implementation is a group effort. Here's how to overcome some common stumbling blocks and make your agile transformation work
Don Dea's insight:

Key Issues

Lack of team buy-in. Adopting Agile at the team level is critical. Remember, your teams are the ones responsible for making it all happen and delivering tangible results to customers.

Decisions involve only C-level. Top leadership may be responsible for managing most of your organization’s operations, but if you want your team to respond, be proactive and support change, you must empower them to share their ideas and concerns. Agile transformation is possible only if you get everyone on the same page and excited for change.

The team is pushed to adopt and obey. Leaders can sometimes be too eager in their desire to change how things are done. Don’t forget that your team needs to change their whole way of thinking. If they feel pressured to do so without a clear reason, you may face resistance.

Lack of context. Your team may find it hard to follow new practices if they don’t understand the meaning behind them. If you fail to provide context for Agile principles, team members won’t necessarily see why they should do things one way over another.

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5 Phrases That Make You Sound Ridiculous

5 Phrases That Make You Sound Ridiculous | digitalNow |
Don Dea's insight:

Dumb phrase #1: “Things of that nature”

Used as: “I was reading a blog and things of that nature.”

Why it’s dumb: It’s lazy. It comes off as “…and some other stuff I’m too lazy to think about or articulate.”

Use instead: Either offer a few other examples of those “things” or don’t say it at all.


Dumb phrase #2: “At the end of the day”

Used as: “At the end of the day, the blog post is getting written.”

Why it’s dumb: All days end. We know you mean “regardless of all this other stuff, the big conclusion is…”

Use instead: Again, don’t say it or use something like “despite,” “in spite of,” or “no matter what.”


Dumb phrase #3: “Leverage [anything]”

Used as: “We should leverage our computers to write blog posts that leverage our knowledge.”

Why it’s dumb: Unless you’re in high finance conducting a buyout where you borrow money to do so or you’re in construction and you’re using a physical lever to move something, it’s a lazy word.

Use instead: A correct verb like “use,” “rely,” “draw upon,” etc. As in “We should use our computers to write blog posts that demonstrate our knowledge.” Much cleaner and more direct that way.


Dumb phrase #4: “Results-oriented”

Used as: “I’m a results-oriented job seeker who is updating his LinkedIn profile so it sounds fancy to recruiters.”

Why it’s dumb: One would hope all employees (especially job seekers) are results-oriented. Heck, I’d prefer someone who isn’t only oriented on results but who instead delivers results. This one goes without saying. Go do a search on LinkedIn for the phrase and be prepared to be shocked and appalled.

Use instead: “I’m a job seeker who has delivered/created/etc. over $x in actual results for my prior organization.” Now that will get someone’s attention.


Dumb phrase #5: “Win-win”

Used as: “Reading the blog post was a win-win for everyone because I learned some dumb phrases and the blogger got some traffic.”

Why it’s dumb: Say it. Just say the phrase and bask in its dumbness. I shouldn’t even have to explain.

Use instead: “This approach has the following benefits for everyone involved: [enumerate benefits].”

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Building the Boards We Need

Building the Boards We Need | digitalNow |
Don Dea's insight:

Representation certainly matters, and so does feedback, but unless organizations approach both with an equity mindset, they won’t adequately address longstanding inequities or correct power imbalances.  One of the most important steps in the Listen4Good approach to feedback is closing the loop — going back to those who participated in the surveys and telling them what the organization heard and what will be done in response. That step, which is where participating organizations experience the most challenges, is essential for building accountability and trust and shifting power. 

In much the same way, simply curating more diverse boards, without attention to inclusion, equity, and power won’t lead to the kind of change our sector needs. That’s why the new framework laid out in Anne Wallestad’s recent Stanford Social Innovation Review article, “The Four Principles of Purpose-Driven Board Leadership,” is so critical, and reflects such a welcome and much-needed shift. 

For those who haven’t read Anne’s piece (please read it!), the four principles are 1) purpose before organization, 2) respect for ecosystem, 3) equity mindset, and 4) authorized voice and power. Each of the principles is worth a post of its own, but equity mindset and authorized voice and power are especially relevant when thinking about board composition.

Approaching their work with an equity mindset requires boards to consider how their decisions are perpetuating or dismantling systems and structures that produce inequity. And the principle of authorized voice and power challenges boards to reconsider whether their deliberations are centered around the voices and lived expertise of the people and communities most impacted by their decisions.

Within the framework of purpose-driven board leadership, having a diverse board is not about optics or even inclusion.  Representation matters, of course. And so does inclusion. But ultimately the conversation boards should be having is about purpose and power and what board composition is needed to work in genuine partnership with the people and communities they exist to serve

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The future of cloud machine learning

The future of cloud machine learning | digitalNow |
Start with the business case, assess your data and model requirements, invest in the right talent, and be willing to fail fast to reap the maximum benefits from cloud machine learning.
Don Dea's insight:

Five key considerations to set up cloud ML initiatives

Cloud ML can be transformational, and there is strong evidence that organizations are already reaping its benefits in wide-ranging initiatives across industries, use cases, and archetypes. Based on our research and interviews with industry leaders, here are some important points for organizations to keep in mind while starting out on their cloud ML journey:

  • Strategic alignment. Identify a business problem ripe for transformation that has the highest potential to benefit from AI augmentation. The wrong process may lead to frustration and wasted resources. Gaining both awareness and enthusiastic buy-in from the highest level of leadership into these initiatives can help identify meaningful problems to solve and maximize success.
  • Orchestrated talent. Remember that cloud ML is a team sport. It is not just about modeling. Investing in the right balance of data science and ML, cloud, and data engineering talent brings cloud ML to life.
  • Cost savings and elasticity of cloud. Take advantage of the opportunity cloud provides to bring infrastructure cost from capex to opex. Given the extraordinary stress on infrastructure, cloud provides the elasticity to use infrastructure on demand.
  • Data requirements. Know the quality and quantity of the training data you have and also what data you need and how you are going to get it.
  • Importance of trial and error. Embrace the notion of “failing fast.” AI needs experimentation and innovation. It is not a tried-and-tested recipe.

By putting some forethought into these key recommendations and gaining a thorough understanding of what they want to achieve, organizations can optimally employ cloud ML. They can thus reap the three-pronged promise of cloud ML—extending the reach of critical ML talent and technology investments and cutting time to innovation.

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Ideating the Future State Customer Experience

Don Dea's insight:



Future state journey mapping serves many purposes, including:

Identifying and examining future experiences or journeys in collaboration with real customers

Co-creating and designing the ideal experience with customers

Co-creating and designing a differentiated experience with customers

Envisioning what the experience could look like in the future at minimal risk because it’s tested first on paper


How Will You Prioritize?

You’ve received a lot of awesome ideas from your customers during the ideation session. They’ve voted on their favorites based solely on their preferences; they’ve not taken into account how you might prioritize the ideas given a variety of factors, including those that I mention in this post:

cost to implement

time to implement

effort to implement

resources required to implement

impact on the business

impact on the customer, as well as

type of customers impacted

volume of customers impacted

Here’s a tip, though: impact on the customer should always be a part of your prioritization framework.

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Leader, know thyself

Leader, know thyself | digitalNow |
To improve executive performance, thinking about thinking is a really good idea.
Don Dea's insight:


What Leaders Need to Hear but Are Rarely Told: the many CEOs who mistime their own departures and get fired by their boards. You might think that executives who are savvy enough to reach the top of the pyramid would have a very sophisticated and objective understanding of their position and place. But, as Fubini writes, “the system is far more critical of CEOs than they believe it to be.” Why? He points to cognitive blinders such as ego, denial, optimism, and hubristic pride.

One way to avoid pitfalls like this is to hone your metacognitive ability. Here are three ways to start.


1: Stand outside yourself and consider what you see.

2: Another avenue to improved self-awareness is to observe how other people respond to you

3: You might also try to enlist an objective observer or two.


The goal of all this self-assessment is greater self-awareness. Self-awareness is a key ingredient of traits that leaders need, such as emotional intelligence, radical candor, and empathy. It is also a prerequisite of learning: If leaders can’t reflect on what they expect and compare it with the outcomes they receive, there is no basis for improvement. Leaders need to know themselves before they can know anything else.


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Building Digital Resilience Around the Customer

Building Digital Resilience Around the Customer | digitalNow |
Resilient businesses use digital technologies, data and analytics to create long-term customer value.

Don Dea's insight:

Resilient businesses use digital technologies, data and analytics to create long-term customer value.


1: Digital use case approach

Effective transformation takes place through the successful spread and adoption of data-driven use cases that generate actual customer value.


2: Building digital resilience starts with an analytics transformation, which entails building first a dataset, a mindset and a skillset to build use cases. Along the way, each organisation will meet its own challenges. Still, we believe that significant growth awaits any company that successfully completes its digital journey – especially if it stays laser-focused on how data and digital tech could empower company collaborators in the service of the customer.

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The impact of agility: How to shape your organization to compete

Don Dea's insight:

Agility at scale goes beyond adding more agile teams and team-level practices. The broader operating model, the connective tissue between and across the teams, also needs to be transformed. The organizations driving highly successful agile transformations made sure to do that by building an effective, stable backbone. This means optimizing the full operating model across strategy, structures, processes, people, and technology by going after flat and fluid structures built around high-performing cross-functional teams, instituting more frequent prioritization and resource-allocation processes, building a culture that enables psychological safety, and decoupling technology stacks.


1. Agility results in a step change in performance and makes it possible to overtake born-agile organizations.

2. Instead of waiting for agility to happen bottom-up, organization leaders need to take charge.

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 Better Decision Making

If you want to help your leaders improve their decision-making skills, start by helping them avoid these two common decision-making mistakes.
Don Dea's insight:

“Our conversations just go in circles, it seems like we can never make a decision around here!”


Mistake 1: Combining “Where are we going?” conversations with “How will we get there?” decisions.

Start your conversation with two vital pieces of information.


1. What kind of decision is this?


2. Who owns the decision?...


Mistake Number 2: Failure to Define Who Owns the Decision


People hate feeling ignored. Unfortunately, when you ask for input and appear to ignore it, employees feel frustrated, devalued, and powerless. In contrast, when you are clear about who owns the decision and how it will be made, people will readily contribute and are far more likely to own the outcome.

This isn’t difficult, because there are only four ways to make a decision:

1. A single person makes the decision.

Typically, this would be the manager or someone she appoints.

In this style, you might ask your team for input and let them know that after hearing everyone’s perspective, you will make the call.

2. A group makes the decision through a vote.


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Self-Service Is Changing Member/Customer Service

Self-Service Is Changing Member/Customer Service | digitalNow |

Member/Customers often prefer to find solutions to their problems themselves rather than having to speak with a customer service agent.

Don Dea's insight:

Do Consumers Prefer Self-Service?

It’s not that customers just want to handle things themselves — what they are really after is convenience and speed. When it comes to customer service, they want solutions to their problems, or answers to their questions — and they do not want to have to put forth much effort in order to do so, nor do they want to spend much time on the task


AI Powered Chatbots.. investments are being made in AI-enabled chatbots to support self-service functionality. These chatbots are effectively being used more often to support hybrid and fully automated self-service. “These tools have matured dramatically, and now, combined with knowledge and collaboration tools, can provide an effective means to solve customer queries quickly.”


Knowledge Base/Repository

Along with a traditional Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page, more brands are beginning to offer a knowledge base or knowledge repository as a self-serve customer service library where customers can find answers to their questions without having to talk to a live customer service agent. 


Mobile-Centric but Still Omnichannel

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Improving Data Governance: One Source of Truth To Rule Them All

Improving Data Governance: One Source of Truth To Rule Them All | digitalNow |
With more data entering the enterprise, business leaders are looking at new ways to keep it under control. One way is through creating a single source of data.
Don Dea's insight:

Three notable trends emerge:

Data privacy: Regulations demand that organizations account for the data they have and what measures they have in place to protect it. Siloed and ungoverned data is counterintuitive to meeting that objective.

Data from more sources: There is more data than ever before arriving in organization at an almost uncontrollable pace. To make sense of and trust data (and use for reporting and analytics), it is imperative that data not be siloed.

Cloud computing: The cloud has revolutionized the way organizations store and use data, however it could come at a great expense. The movement of data in and out of the cloud has the potential to cost organizations thousands of dollars in fees. Having an accurate accounting of your data — a single source of truth — can potentially cut back on this unnecessary spend.

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Innovate on Purpose: Staffing for growth and innovation

Don Dea's insight:

Let Pareto be your guide

When all else fails, a good rule of thumb is always valuable. Pareto says that 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people - or something to that effect. For thinking about staffing these three teams, I'd modify the Pareto rule to this degree:

70% of the people you employ manage the day to day operations, keeping existing products flowing, supporting existing customers and so on.  

20% of the people you employ manage new product development, creating new ideas for new products you can release in the next year or so, or new markets you can enter in the next year or so.

10% of the people you employ are working on real R&D, whether that is discovering a new technology or finding a new business model to deploy, something that will create really interesting new positioning and revenue streams, and can't be deployed for a while.


I've provided the Pareto logic as a way to think about structuring the teams. It is a traditional rule of thumb that companies should spend 70% of their time and resources on horizon one, 20% in horizon 2 and 10% in horizon three. However, companies in highly competitive consume markets may find that this investment weights too heavily toward the core, and may want to consider a 50%/30%/20% model.

The model isn't as important as the commitment and investments you place behind it. Choose a model that works for you and structure your resources, funds and most importantly your teams to accomplish more growth and innovation.

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Reputation Matters But Character Leads The Way 

Reputation Matters But Character Leads The Way  | digitalNow |
Don Dea's insight:

Reputation is the basis of leadership, no matter the job. It is built over many years, one word at a time, one action at a time, one deed at time. In leadership, few things matter more.

Reputation is among the most treasured and powerful assets. It is what others think of us, and it’s at the foundation of how we distinguish ourselves.

Our reputation is ours, very personal but also very easy to lose.

Reputations are earned slowly and are lost quickly.









If we have character, our reputation will take care of itself.

Lead from Within: Reputation matters, but character will always lead the way.

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Discovering the Right Approach for Leading in this Era

Discovering the Right Approach for Leading in this Era | digitalNow |
The right approach for leading in this era might just be a blended, adaptive approach drawing upon three different styles of leadership.
Don Dea's insight:

Three Styles of Leading

1. The Wartime Leader

The wartime leader in our organizations is driven by the need to fend off existential threats.

This leader generates a laser focus on the mission and draws upon the Commander’s Intent to provide clarity and acting parameters.


2. The Resilient Leader

The resilient leader focuses on a longer time horizon than the wartime leader and is continually working to see around corners and identify emerging opportunities and threats.

This leader inspires individuals to think differently and experiment to find “next” for the business.

3. The Servant Leader

The servant-leader is all about vanquishing fear and reducing the organizational friction that gets in the way of people doing their jobs. The focus is on eliminating bureaucratic bottlenecks and streamlining decision-making in pursuit of a better future.

The servant leader’s hallmark is empathy focused on meeting people where they are at and offering them the support of a healthy working environment where they are motivated to chase their potential.


The Bottom-Line for Now

We’re playing tridimensional chess where pieces move horizontally and vertically on multiple levels in our world today. The leader who brings the emotional intelligence and mental acuity to adjust and adapt their style on-the-fly based on the needs of the people and organization is one we desperately need. Unfortunately, there is no Philosopher’s Stone for developing leaders or turning crises into prosperity. This is going to be hard.


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Why every business needs a full-funnel marketing strategy

Don Dea's insight:

Why every business needs a full-funnel marketing strategy


Full-funnel marketing is not just a campaign strategy; it’s a total shift in how marketing works. Four essentials of full-funnel marketing


1. Brand-building measurement

2. A unified set of KPIs

3. An updated media mix model for integrated spending

4. A full-funnel operating model


Incentives for full-funnel performance. To help make measurement rigor a core part of marketing’s culture, marketers should be held accountable and rewarded for their ability to deliver on well-defined engagement or revenue goals. 


Cross-functional collaboration. Full-funnel marketing can’t be done effectively without close collaboration among all stakeholders, including brand managers, performance-marketing leaders, analytics marketers, and finance. 


Deeper collaboration between media agency and partner. 


Adoption of test-and-learn capabilities by brand marketers. The dynamic, rapid test-and-learn capabilities common to performance-marketing teams need to be extended to mid- and upper-funnel teams.

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An operating model for the next normal: Lessons from agile organizations in the crisis

Don Dea's insight:

An operating model for the next normal: Lessons from agile organizations in the crisis


Under immense pressure to set up an operating infrastructure to allow employees to work from home, many organizations gave up traditional processes and bureaucracy and solved instead for faster outcomes.


With the speed of change expected to continue, the need has never been greater for an operating model that can keep up. To use this momentum and fully embrace an operating-model shift, organizations need to engage actively now, following three steps for the next normal:

1: Reflect. Companies need to reflect systematically on what they have learned, assess what practices worked and what didn’t work during the pandemic, and decide which of those they want to embed sustainably. 

2: Decide and commit. Leadership teams, after reflection, should make conscious decisions on where to start, how to start, and which elements of their operating model need structural shifts. There is a wide spectrum of elements to pick and choose. Some may start with an effort to simplify decision making across the board.

3: Embed and scale. The next steps are to transition and scale the selected practice across the company and to go deeper into each of the levers of the operating-model transformation, including structural capability building, people-modeling changes, and enterprise-process changes.

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Enlarging the Nonprofit Recruitment Matrix: The art of selecting new board members

Enlarging the Nonprofit Recruitment Matrix: The art of selecting new board members | digitalNow |
Don Dea's insight:

 Strategic Thinking & Other Desirable Behavioral Competencies: Not every board member can be capable of or interested in strategic thinking. Their job experiences and educations require them to excel in operations, not envisioning the future. Consequently, every board needs several persons who have visionary experiences and high Emotional
Quotients (EQs.) Those with high EQs can be good team players because they are able to empathize with the emotion of others in the group. Finding board candidates with these abilities takes detailed interpersonal vetting because they do not appear on a resume.

• Subject Matter Expertise: Nonprofit Boards have had decades of experience in selecting board candidates by professional affiliations like businessperson, marketing expert, accountant, etc.

technicalhurdle's comment, June 9, 2021 1:45 AM
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Strategic resilience

Don Dea's insight:


Strategic resilience


Business-model innovation emerged as the key differentiator for those that have gained ground during the pandemic. In fact, the survey respondents who said their companies addressed the crisis very effectively were 1.5 times more likely to report undertaking business-model innovations than those who thought their organizations’ responses were not effective.

Those who adopted new business models have tended to focus on five areas:


1: New digital experiences, products, and services in response to changes in customer behaviors and needs. 

2: New partnerships, both within and outside of the industry.

3: Supply-chain and operating-model adjustments to manage risk.

4: Sales-model changes.

5: Faster product development through more rapid iteration.


Here are four ways you can adapt it to become more strategically resilient:

1: Set bold aspirations.

2: Develop scenarios, not forecasts.

3: Create a hedged portfolio of big moves

4: Adapt your strategy dynamically.

technicalhurdle's comment, June 9, 2021 1:45 AM
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What’s next for digital consumers

Don Dea's insight:

What’s next for digital consumers


Consumers say they will spend less time in digital channels once the pandemic ends. Implications:


The industries most vulnerable to the loss of digital consumers may be those that saw the biggest gains in digital adoption during the pandemic. New adopters had little choice during lockdowns but to embrace digital channels, and the channels they entered were more likely to have been newly built and with a less satisfying user experience than established ones.


Companies can respond by addressing the areas that matter most to digital consumers. According to our survey, these include improved user experiences, better offerings, heightened security and privacy, and phygital expertise, among other approaches. Innovations in digital services may hold the key to further penetrating digital channels, and to staying competitive in the ones that companies have already entered. Moreover, companies moving boldly in digital tend to see excess returns, in part through a virtuous circle that emerges: as more customers use digital channels, organizations learn from behavioral data to further improve digital offerings, which in turn draw more users. This opportunity might be particularly promising in industries most at risk of losing newly acquired digital users.


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Challenging Conversations and Difficult Decisions:

Challenging Conversations and Difficult Decisions: | digitalNow |
Difficult decisions and challenging conversations are inextricably linked. Here are eight ideas to help you and your team strengthen these behaviors.
Don Dea's insight:

1. Start with the values.

Amplify the importance and accountability for challenging conversations in pursuit of difficult decisions as a core value in the culture. Teams and leaders that get this right are open about the importance and obligation of every person to confidently engage in these discussions in pursuit of performance. Call it out!

2. Stop discussion swirl.

Adopt a specific facilitation process for tough topics. I love Edward De Bono’s parallel thinking/parallel dialog process outlined in his classic, Six Thinking Hats. I long ago adapted his approach to fit my style; however, the theory remains the same: stop the swirl by getting the group to focus on one narrow theme at a time. (See my article: Better Design for Workplace Discussions)

3. Always link to the business issues.

Teach the group to describe issues with a direct link to the business. Much of our time in meetings is spent debating variations of, “What I think is… .” Instead, hold people accountable to, “This approach will impact our business by… 

4. Use framing to improve decision options.

5. Ask these two critical questions about the facts.

6. Start every decision-discussion with this key question:

7. Create a coach-advocate, not a devil’s advocate.

8. Keep score.

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Here's How to Get Innovative Ideas Flowing in Your Workplace

Here's How to Get Innovative Ideas Flowing in Your Workplace | digitalNow |
It’s a great time to think about innovation. But teams are often great at execution, but so busy that ideation remains a struggle. Here's how to change that.
Don Dea's insight:

1. Generate a Lot of Ideas, However Off-the-Wall They Are

2. Embrace Diversity and Combine Different Perspectives

3. Take a Different Perspective, Look Through Unique Frames

4. Seek Unexpected Sources of Information

5. Deliberately Take a Divergent Mindset (aka Free Your Mind)

6. Get Distracted to Get Ideas

7. Bring Order to Your Idea Funnel by Applying Distinctive Selection Criteria


Ideas, Ideas, Ideas!

Generating and evaluating ideas is core for innovation. Teams may be great at execution and making things happen, but are often so busy that ideation remains a struggle.


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 The Paradox of Innovation

Creativity, Innovation, Team Building, Leadership, Brainstorming, Idea Champions
Don Dea's insight:

Innovation is full of it -- paradox, that is.

On one hand, organizations want structures, maps, models, guidelines, and systems. On the other hand, that's all too often the stuff that squelches innovation, driving it underground or out the door.

The noble search for a so-called "innovation process" can easily become a seduction, addiction, or distraction whereby innovation is marginalized, deferred, over-engineered, and worn like a badge.

True innovation is about allowing room enough for paradox to be a teacher and guide -- and to accept, at least for a little longer than usual, ambiguity, dissonance, and discomfort -- the age-old precursors to breakthrough.

Remember, there's a big difference between Six Sigma and Innovation.


Can we help the "innovation process" along with the right application of strategy, infrastructure, and planning?

Of course we can.

But beware! "Helping" the process too much often becomes counterproductive -- much in the same way that attempting to catch a milkweed floating through the air with a bold reach of your hand actually repels the object of your desire.


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