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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 22:35

Welcome to Conspire’s Super Happy Fun Friday Link Time, a weekly collection of cool discoveries from around the Web. Most times the goal is to get you thinking differently about communication, collaboration, culture, and life in general. Other times, LOLCAT ATTACK! Submissions are welcome, and you can send them to conspire@mindjet.com for consideration.

6 Ways to Spring Clean Your Finances

It’s all well and good to throw out moth-eaten clothes and old furniture every spring, but that urge to get organized doesn’t have to be limited to wardrobes and decor. From creating “in case of emergency” funds to setting up automatic bill payments, putting your financials in order takes a little elbow grease — but it’s worth it in the end. From LearnVest:

“There are few things better than that amazing, fresh-start feeling you get from blowing the dust off everything. Guess what? The same can be true when it comes to your money…Just like how now can be the perfect time to clean out your closets, it’s also an ideal time to consider organizing, simplifying and helping set yourself up for months of financial success.

To save you time, we asked financial advisers around the country for their best advice on how to spring clean your finances. Consider trying these tactics to do a quick spruce-up.”

Read the full article >>

Why Innovation Should Be More like Easter Eggs

Thought innovation and creativity are not one in the same, they do have an undeniable relationship to one another. It takes a creative perspective to be innovative, and many an innovation has inspired subsequent creativity. In the spirit of all the colorful eggs that are about to be hidden away in baskets or forgotten under couches this weekend, Ideas To Go‘s Susan Robertson offers up her reasoning as to why our collective approach to innovation should mirror the way we go about dyeing Easter eggs.

“I recently attended an Easter egg decorating party, where a bunch of adults spent an entire afternoon coloring and bedazzling boiled eggs. None of us have any kids—we did this for the sheer pleasure of creating interesting and attractive objects. I was amazed at the creativity of the ideas that the group came up with in decorating the eggs. (And in case you’re wondering, no, none of us are artists.)

This got me thinking about why, as adults, we don’t exercise our inner child-like creativity more often. And what was it about the Easter egg party that allowed us to so freely generate and express such range and diversity of ideas? I think there were several factors—all of which also apply to innovation.”

Read the full article >>

Weekend Habits of the Highly Successful

Super-successful folks are only human, of course, but they’ve managed to capture something a lot of people never really achieve. Some claim they do nothing special in their free time; others have honed secret approaches to life and business; and still others don’t have such a thing as ‘off-hours’, period. But whatever their strategy, it can’t hurt to take a hint from the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, authors, and business leaders when it comes to tackling time spent out-of-office.

Business Insider recently put together a video that offers up some great insight into the weekend habits of people like Malcolm Gladwell and Soledad O’Brien. The biggest surprise? They have virtually nothing in common.

Watch the full video >>

The post Fun Friday Links: Financial Spring Cleaning, Innovation and Easter Eggs, and What Successful People Do on the Weekend appeared first on via @Mindjet's Conspire #ideasquad.

Author: "Arwen Petty" Tags: "Featured, Mindjet, business insider, eas..."
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 18:28

In case you find yourself more focused on daydreaming than task management today, it might be a good idea to remind yourself why productivity is so important, and what you can do to keep yours from slipping.

The below infographic from Samsung showcases recent findings about common time-wasting activities and approaches, and offers up suggestions on how to avoid them.

 

The Road To Ultimate Productivity

by infogr8.
Explore more visuals like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

 

 

Source.

The post The Road to Ultimate Productivity appeared first on via @Mindjet's Conspire #ideasquad.

Author: "Arwen Petty" Tags: "Mind Mapping, business productivity, Inf..."
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Date: Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 22:54

In this week’s thought leadership roundup, we look at when to use thought leadership, listen to what the “Godfather of Government Marketing” has to say, and explore what questions to ask in order to identify TLs in your corporate hierarchy.

Who is a Thought Leader?

From ShiftComm:

“Someone who is an exceptional executor, an exceptional do-er, may not necessarily be a thought leader. Consider the difference between a chef who can reliably cook exceptional meals from existing recipes and a chef who can create new, never-before made recipes. The former may be a leader, may be a peerless performer, and certainly is someone whose restaurant you’d want to frequent if you wanted a favorite dish cooked just the way you remember it. The latter chef has the restaurant you go to when you’re just not excited about the same-old meals. You want something new, something different, hopefully something better. That’s the difference between a leader and a thought leader. Both are needed. Both are essential.”

Our take: The author makes an excellent point about thought leadership as a practice — the times when it works best are when the TL in question is not actively trying to become, or come of as, a thought leader. They also make several valid points about when and where the TL approach is actually appropriate enough to be effective, which is very useful to think about.

Read the full article or Tweet this!

Thought Leader Life #18 with Mark Amtower

From ThoughtLeaderLife:

“Mitchell Levy and Michael Procopio talk with Mark Amtower, known as the ‘Godfather of Government Marketing’. Thought Leader Life with Mitchell and Michael covers all things around thought leadership, how to become one, how to use it as a form of communication, how to help others become one.”

 

Our take: In addition to earning his Godfather moniker, Mark Amtower is an award winning consultant, Amazon best-seller, speaker, and one of LinkedIn’s experts and trainers. It would be difficult to find someone more qualified to bear the TL title, so anyone who takes the time to listen to what he has to say is doing themselves a big favor.

Watch the video on YouTube or Tweet this!

Five Questions to Identify Thought Leaders In Your Corporate Ranks

From Forbes:

“Let’s say you run a large industrial firm. When looking for a non-CEO to share the company’s vision, engineers or product designers usually are the first to come to mind. These individuals may have expansive knowledge of your signature product and even the state of the industry, but do they have the ability to talk about more than the product? Can they look beyond the benefits and features of design, and expand their thinking to include a vision for your industry’s future? And how that vision impacts customers?”

Our take: The author makes some exceptionally insightful observations here about the clear benefits of leveraging thought leaders the right way for business returns. What seem like obvious questions are often passed over for cheaper, easier answers, but this article deftly shows why that’s a mistake.

Read the full article or Tweet this!

The post Thursday Thought Leadership Roundup: Critical Thinking, Thought Leader Life #18, and 5 Questions appeared first on via @Mindjet's Conspire #ideasquad.

Author: "Arwen Petty" Tags: "Featured, Mindjet, becoming a thought le..."
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Date: Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 17:51

Twenty years ago, businesses seeking to drive innovation initiatives had a limited number of touch points to consider, and few technology options. Back then, the majority of customer interactions involved one of three scenarios: face-to-face in a retail store or corporate office; over the telephone; or, in writing delivered via snail mail.

Fast forward to the now — my, how things have changed. Today, businesses serve customers through the aforementioned channels, plus a multitude of others, including web, e-mail, SMS/text, and social media.

As a result of this shift, mobile tech has become the vehicle through which businesses have to make innovation scalable. With the propagation of mobile devices, this now requires internal innovation management strategies that leverage a large, diverse, and often geographically dispersed workforce. Savvy enterprises are harnessing this profound power-shift to focus on the differentiation and strategic opportunities offered by mobile technology.

CIOs responsible for supporting effective enterprise deployments of mobile devices and applications are working closer with CMOs, who are striving to leverage mobile technology to enhance employee and consumer engagements while enhancing business performance.

A Top Driver of Innovation

Organizations that wish to boost productivity will leverage mobility to scale innovation performance across their enterprise.

The aforementioned explosive growth of mobile devices — smartphones and tablets — is growing innovation across mobile technology. On average, 45% of U.S. adults now own smartphones, with predictions that the number will rise to more than 80% by 2015. Worldwide, more than 1 billion people are on mobile devices.

In recent years, mobile technology has been utilized in an increasingly wide range of business scenarios, from enabling employees to perform office work on-the-go, to enhancing sales activities and improving productivity in the workplace. Each day, new projects launch that engage mobile devices in fields that, until now, have not fully utilized mobile — such as transportation, construction, healthcare, and agriculture.

Overcoming Barriers

There is mounting competitive pressure to deploy an array of new mobile technologies at scale, while simultaneously minimizing risk. In today’s enterprises, executives are acutely focused on accelerating the pace of innovation deployment to deliver best-in-class products and services that provide a competitive advantage.

Yet some are caught off guard by unexpected mobility issues, and lose sight of essential yet basic elements involved in daily operations management and innovation deployment at scale through mobile devices.

Some of the innovation platform barriers to achieve adoption at scale are:

  • A portal feature enabling central administration of multiple applications/services and single sign-on (SSO)
  • Comprehensive range of administrative features that are crucial to deploy smart devices, such as ID/authentication management, device management, and application control
  • Supplying developers with a software development kit (SDK), diverse application programming interfaces (API) and an interface for linking to business systems

Making your mobile device portfolio a platform for innovation requires that its operation is predictable. Establishing predictability for mobile devices, particularly for a large and heterogeneous portfolio, may require significant investment in tools, processes, infrastructure, and skilled resources.

Driving Innovation and Growth

Innovation manifests itself in many ways, whether through changes in technology that shape products and services, or through adaptations in business models that define an organization’s value.

Even the best innovation technology will not deliver success unless there is an early focus on business strategy and goals. Innovation leaders in the enterprise must execute a clear vision of where the company is going, and what the best path is to get there.

Equally important, is to define and establish the context for innovation’s role to enable scalable growth, while determining which type of innovation your company will drive, and how to organize to influence organizational change.

Types of organizational innovation to achieve:

  • Incremental innovation changes to your enterprise’s existing technologies and business models
  • Breakthrough innovations creating significant changes to either technology or business model, producing scalable and repeatable organizational growth
  • Radical innovations, which are more rare, combining technology and business model innovation, creating major new industry penetration, business model expansion, and exponential revenue growth

A Plan for Mobile Innovation

Overcoming the above issues is critical, and benchmarking performance is an important first step to assess the effectiveness of your current mobile innovation strategy, as well as develop a plan to drive future innovation initiatives. Given the business-critical role that mobile devices increasingly play in innovation for today’s enterprises, your business cannot afford to take chances with the integration and performance of their mobile innovation platform.

Develop an organizational rigor that embraces new technologies, while remaining open-minded about how to leverage them. Today, enterprises must establish an emerging technology or mobile-first mentality while constantly pursuing innovation expansion, evaluating how and where these technologies fit the organization, and where they will add business value.

Mobile innovation does not mean simply having a mobile presence. It means thinking strategically about if and how mobile innovation will enhance your product, service, or user experience to foster a culture of innovation.

The post Driving Innovation Initiatives Through Mobile Technology appeared first on via @Mindjet's Conspire #ideasquad.

Author: "Rik Walters" Tags: "Innovation, business innovation, busines..."
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Date: Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 13:05

Early last year, our partners at UNHCR told me about their new venture to employ the SpigitEngage online platform. Invited to carry out a review of the pilot-run for the platform, I was excited to learn more about how they were trying to use an innovation tool to facilitate innovation — not only amongst employees, but also partner organisations, refugees, and people of concern, with whom they work closely around the world. I was curious to see how UNHCR were engaging with a private company (Mindjet), how participants took to the platform, and what could be learnt more widely for humanitarian work.

Conducting Research and Making Connections

Collaboration, partnerships, and engaging with affected communities are not new ideals for humanitarian agencies. However many of them do struggle to regularly ensure that they are used effectively to improve their work on the ground. Humanitarian agencies can’t be compared like-for-like to commercial users of SpigitEngage, because the harsh environments they work in across the world pose vastly different social, physical, and political challenges. Planning and project implementation is difficult in such unpredictable environments — from working in zones of conflict or the aftermath of a natural disaster, to long-term situations supporting people in refuge or poverty. Although flexible working is a core practice at organisations such as UNHCR, their global reach to 126 countries and thousands of staff means that bureaucratic systems have gotten in the way of specifically finding funding for new ideas, and learning from them for use in other locations. It is this culture of innovation that UNHCR have been recently interested in nurturing.

Using SpigitEngage, UNHCR posted a question to invited participants — employees, partner organisations, and even some refugees. They asked: “How can access to information and services provided by UNCHR and partners be improved for refugees and people of concern residing in urban areas?” Three-hundred eighteen participants, moderators, and observers joined the platform to start posting their ideas and help answer the question. To obtain the information I needed for my research, I wanted to get a broad view from all angles of the platform. To do this, I regularly spent time observing the ideas and comments being posted, and held interviews with some of the participants. I also met with, and spoke to, a range of others involved in the running of the platform, including the team at UNHCR, an expert reviewer, and several of the Mindjet staff who were working on the project.

Suggestions and Implications

From carrying out this short review, there do seem to be some broad implications for humanitarian agencies interested in using innovation tools and practices. These are my recommendations to humanitarian agencies:

-        Use, but adapt, solutions from the private sector appropriately and specifically to humanitarian environments and context. This pilot showcased how both Mindjet and UNHCR took time to build a relationship and understand each other’s work cultures and needs. Mindjet specifically had to adapt the way in which they do business with more corporate clients, and apply it to the flexible and unpredictable environment of UNHCR.
-        Include affected communities in open innovation. The pilot in this case was used to better understand the platform before opening it to a more public audience. A few refugees did contribute to the pilot challenge, and offered important insights to the way that UNHCR works. For humanitarian organisations, it is often a huge challenge to effectively and practically include beneficiaries in the design and decision-making of their programmes. However, this type of inclusion may be one of the most important ways to ensure that solutions are appropriate and sustainable.
-        Do not solely rely on technical solutions to do innovation for you. Technological solutions may provide a more efficient method for achieving better communication, data collection, or delivery of items and ideas. However, operating them requires skills and management. Even in the case of SpigitEngage, parallel management practices, communications, and resources are needed to make sure the crowd uses the tool effectively, and more importantly, that the ideas brought to the fore are actually executed. Organizations should also consider that access to the internet is not always a luxury enjoyed in humanitarian field offices, or in the lives of affected communities.
-        Understand innovation beyond just ‘idea creation’. Pay attention to the iteration of ideas, as well as long-term implementation of any ideas that come out of innovation exercises. Do not only focus on getting the ideas and thereby neglecting how they can be applied, sustained, and scaled in the future. If ideas are not executed effectively, rehashed by the crowd, and learnt from, then participants may lose motivation to innovate.
-        Consider the wider culture and ecosystem of innovation. Use a variety of methods to reach-out to those you want to include. Not everyone will have the same access to technologies, or enjoy using the same tools. Communication and variety may help to get a wider audience involved in innovation activities.
-        Support emerging ‘innovation champions’. Individuals can motivate groups to be creative and positive about achieving change. Supporting individuals who stand out in the group may help them to become champions, eradicating the need to force ideas from top-level management or outsiders.

There is still a lot for humanitarian agencies to learn about managing and using innovation programmes effectively, and hopefully this example of UNHCR’s bold attempts to engage with a new tool provides valuable lessons and reflections for other organisations interested in humanitarian work.

Read the full report from the Humanitarian Innovation Project here.

 

 

 

The post Open Innovation: Inspiring Collaboration in the UN appeared first on via @Mindjet's Conspire #ideasquad.

Author: "Louise Bloom" Tags: "Featured, Innovation, Collaboration, hum..."
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Date: Monday, 14 Apr 2014 20:00

Are you familiar with the 12 Pillars of Innovation? Brian Solis, who’s worked with hundreds of startups and is the author of What’s the Future of Business, compiled a list of reoccurring traits that are all found in the world’s most successful and innovative companies. These include Google, Nike, Tesla, Virgin, and more. The 12 pillars represent cultural capstones that Solis has observed in these business monoliths, and has deemed effective tools for creating a culture of innovation in the workplace.

1. Articulate Vision and Inspire

According to Solis, “Organizations cannot move in a new direction unless that vision is conceived, articulated and motivating.” In other words, people need something to believe in and follow. Make sure that your organization clearly states its vision, and that it relates to the big picture — it’s necessary for success.

2. Form an Innovation Management Team

Solis states that, “Often, top executives need to band together to create alignment and build the infrastructure necessary to support a culture of innovation.” The innovation management team will be responsible for planning and implementing changes in the organization, which will facilitate growth and nurture a creative environment. They will be responsible for communicating and collaborating with key department heads to discover and develop best practices.

3. Promote Reverse Mentoring

Solis points to GE as an example of effective reverse mentoring. Reverse Mentoring fosters  understanding, creates mutual empathy and promotes collaboration between different generations of team members.

4. Optimize Decision Making

“Decision-making is a chokehold on corporate-creativity,” Solis has found. He recommends evaluating how to optimize decisions, as well as introduce paths for ideas to earn consideration, development, and expansion throughout the organization.

5. Invest in People and Processes

Solis aptly states that people are the core of an organization. Investing in the training, education, and the processes by which the employees performance is reviewed is key to a collaborative and creative environment.

6. Employ Technology as an Enabler

Organizations are often faced with the overwhelming amount of technology available to them for implementation. Rather than worrying that they will appear irrelevant if they do not implemented the newest technology trend, the greatest enterprises treat technology as an enabler of the greater vision, purpose, and bottom line business objectives.

7. Incentivize Ideas and Reward Risk

According to Solis, “The most innovative businesses take ideation further by instilling it in everyday job responsibilities and performance management (up and down). Everyone is expected to contribute and managers are expected to cultivate and consider ideas. At the same time, innovative companies find a way to reward risk.”

8. Teach Creative Thinking/Upside Down

Offsites, meetings, and events should inspire employees and leaders alike. Enterprises can teach creative thinking by giving employees time each week to learn something new, or develop a new concept outside of work.

9. Reward Contribution

The most successful enterprises reward employees who go above and beyond, recognize risk takers, and reward those who contribute every step of the way.

10. Foster Collaboration

Expand engagement beyond traditional work groups. Give employees a reason to convene and share ideas. Utilize enterprise social networks, social media, and collaboration tools to foster teamwork.

11. Fail Forward

The best companies communicate successes even in failures. Fear of failure creates risk aversion, leading to tired, uninspiring ideas. Encourage experimentation and learning to drive innovation.

12. Manage Accountability

Solis states that “In a culture of innovation, accountability is critical. It’s not just employees who are responsible for generating ideas and improving skills and expertise; managers too are measured by how well they cultivate ideas, spark imagination, and encourage collaboration.” Holding employees and managers to the same high standards helps companies move beyond just competing to becoming the industry standard.

Creating an innovative culture lends itself to success and relevancy of any company. It is not easy to build or maintain a great company. If it were, than everyone would already be doing it! The 12 pillars are effective tools for creating a culture of persistent innovation and disruption to help global enterprises stay ahead of the curve.

 

The post Building a Culture of Innovation: The 12 Pillars appeared first on via @Mindjet's Conspire #ideasquad.

Author: "Vanessa Reed" Tags: "Featured, Innovation, 12 pillars of inno..."
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Date: Monday, 14 Apr 2014 16:24

While working at a SaaS provider that was growing exponentially, one week I actually hit a saturation point where my entire work week was reserved in meetings. It was destroying my productivity and, worse, it wasn’t actually enabling any teamwork. Members were utilizing the meeting to avoid risk, assign blame, or simply to pass the buck. At the time, I was a product manager so there was high demand for my time with sales, customer service, account management and the development team. Since I was the decision-maker on the product, everyone wanted a piece of me.

So, I decided that I would not attend any more meetings until some changes were made.

Demanding Efficiency, Outlining Purpose

Making meetings worth the time they take isn’t all that difficult, though it’s surprising what monumental time-wasters they can become if people ignore a few simple needs. When I determined I wouldn’t participate in meetings that resulted in more lost time than gained insight, I demanded that those I did attend meet the following criteria:

  1. Every meeting invitation came with an agenda, a goal for the meeting, and a reason why each person needed to personally attend. Blank meeting requests were immediately declined with no reason provided. If partial information was provided, I would request the necessary clarification.
  2. Every meeting started with clarification of the goals, status of the tasks assigned in previous meetings, and why each person was in attendance. The person organizing the meeting lead the meeting and ensured that they were productive. We typically assigned both a timekeeper and a scribe.  The timekeeper kept us on time, the scribe kept and distributed the notes for the meeting.
  3. Every meeting ended with an action plan. Each item on the action plan defined who was responsible, what their task is, and when they had to finish it by. If a follow up meeting was required, it was scheduled at that point.

At no point did we ever automatically schedule weekly or monthly follow-up meetings. Meetings were scheduled dependent upon the tasks distributed and the date they were due (this, of course, was outside of daily scrum meetings). That doesn’t mean we didn’t have meetings — sometimes we had them more often! It just ensured there was a purpose to each meeting.

Unclogging the Productivity Pipeline

The results I witnessed were amazing. The meeting rooms weren’t clogged, the meetings were truly productive, the employees were held accountable, the teams worked better together and — best of all — my productivity skyrocketed. Meetings are sometimes necessary for clarification, but not always. They can be an inhibitor to progress and can be very expensive. I often liken a meeting to providing everyone on the assembly line with a button to stop production. At any point in a meeting, it can be derailed by “that person” and productivity is lost for everyone. The tip to productivity is to remove the barriers that slow us down, not add to them.

In terms of the bottom line, unproductive meetings make zero financial sense. If you have 10 employees, who each make approximately $90k+ a year, meeting once a week, that’s over $25k a year, just to account for the manpower to attend a single weekly meeting. Not to mention the first 10 minutes trying to get the projector to work, waiting for latecomers to show up, or the follow-ups that have to happen for people who couldn’t make it. Good business requires an intimate understanding of the returns gained on any investment. Do you know what the return on investment for your meetings is? Do you even know how much you’re company is spending on meetings? Collaborative platforms and modern communications offer the opportunity to remove the barriers that require in-person meetings. Rather than interrupting schedules and productivity, we can move the projects forward in a continuous effort utilizing these tools and avoiding meetings.

Some of the companies I’ve worked with have moved their meetings to standups so the attendees don’t get to comfy in those boardroom chairs. So is an empty meeting room a sign of productivity? I’d love to hear your thoughts and tips in the comments.

The post Is An Empty Meeting Room a Sign of Productivity? appeared first on via @Mindjet's Conspire #ideasquad.

Author: "Douglas Karr" Tags: "Productivity, collaboration software, dk..."
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Date: Friday, 11 Apr 2014 20:11

Welcome to Conspire’s Super Happy Fun Friday Link Time, a weekly collection of cool discoveries from around the Web. Most times the goal is to get you thinking differently about communication, collaboration, culture, and life in general. Other times, LOLCAT ATTACK! Submissions are welcome, and you can send them to conspire@mindjet.com for consideration.

How to Leave Work at 5PM and Still Get Everything Done

In theory, those of us with classic day jobs work a solid 9AM-5PM shift, with an hour for lunch, consistent commutes, and evenings and weekends set aside for all of the non-work tasks and leisure activities we can handle. But theories are rarely an accurate reflection of reality, which for many a career-having adult, is a far cry from this cut-and-dry ideal. Not all hope is lost, though — in this piece, Kathryn Dill assesses our obsession with getting everything done at the expense of getting anything done. From Forbes:

“Maybe you keep trying to write that proposal but can’t help clicking over every few minutes to see the emails pour in. Or your boss keeps strolling over to give you tasks while you try to complete the ones you’ve already got. Or you’re overwhelmed by trying to work while maintaining your superior command of Everything That’s Happening On The Internet.

Whatever the reason, doing too many things at once can diminish the quality of your work and add hours to the end of your day. If you’re looking to optimize the time you spend at work, figuring out how it’s actually allocated–versus what you think you’ve been doing–is a great place to start.”

Source: Forbes

Coming to Terms With Humanity’s Inevitable Union With Machines

Our worldwide connection to technology is undeniable — but even so, it’s difficult for modern society to fully grasp how dependent we are on it, or totally understand the intimate nature of our relationship with it. And while most people don’t believe we’re taking orders from the machines just yet, we’re not all that in control of them, either. From Mashable:

“It’s hard not to get philosophical. Or judgmental — I’m genuinely struggling with the idea that we’ll soon fully merge with machines.

As technology gains human level sentience, I need to evolve my mindset. What if my daughter wants to marry an algorithm? Can I have dinner with its parents? Can we expect to see anti robot-bullying campaigns soon? Or a reworked cover of Macklemore’s, “SIM love?”

I joke because I’m conflicted. I’m genuinely a bit freaked at the idea that humans and machines are already so inexorably linked. And I firmly believe that things like the wearables industry are simply intermediary technologies to mentally prepare us for our inevitable union with machines. They help reveal the personal data that’s currently invisible in our lives while providing a thin, albeit fashionable, buffer between the time devices will be on our skin versus within.”

Source: Mashable

The Death of Innovation, the End of Growth

Any person with an investment in economic or business growth faces the fear of failure, irrelevance, slowed growth, and unforeseen circumstances. This is especially true in a world increasingly accessible through technology, and where the commercialization of tools and services previously guarded by corporations is on the rise. In his TED talk, economist Robert Gordon discusses the possibility that innovation and growth are not quite as everlasting as we’d like to think. From TED:

“The US economy has been expanding wildly for two centuries. Are we witnessing the end of growth? Economist Robert Gordon lays out 4 reasons US growth may be slowing, detailing factors like epidemic debt and growing inequality, which could move the US into a period of stasis we can’t innovate our way out of. Be sure to watch the opposing viewpoint from Erik Brynjolfsson.”

Source: TED

The post Fun Friday Links: How to Leave Work at 5PM, Humanity’s Inevitable Union With Machines, and the End of Growth appeared first on via @Mindjet's Conspire #ideasquad.

Author: "Arwen Petty" Tags: "Mindjet, business growth, end of growth,..."
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Date: Friday, 11 Apr 2014 13:05

The latest service release of Mindjet MindManager for Windows version 14 is now available for you to download!

Updates and Fixes

The 14.2 release includes the following updates:

  • Reorganized and updated ribbon (menu) — and it’s still customizable
  • New easy to follow interactive tutorial covering basic MindManager mapping functionality
  • Update of the right-click context menu commands

The release also includes several bug fixes. Download the new update here.

Using the Updated Ribbon and Floating Topics

Below are step-by-step instructions for customizing the Ribbon.

1. Right click anywhere on the Ribbon menu and you will see the Context Menu(see below).

MM image 1
2. Select Customize the Ribbon.

3. The Customize dialog box will open.

MM image 2

4. The description of the Customize dialog’s commands is as follows:

a. Add: You can add Groups (e.g. Add Topics) into the original Tabs (e.g. Home, Insert). You can only add individual commands into New Groups that you create and customize. Select the destination on the right and source Group or Command on the left columns. Then press Add.

b. Remove: You can only remove whole Groups from the original Tabs. You can remove individual commands from New Groups that you’ve added to either existing or new Tabs. Select the Command or Group on the right column and then press Remove. Note: To hide a Tab, uncheck the check box on the right column.

c. New Tab: Create brand new Tabs to replace or augment the existing menu tabs.

d. New Group: Create your own custom Groups that can be added to existing or custom Tabs.

e. Rename: Use this to rename any Group or Custom Tab name.

f. Reset: Reset to original settings.

5. Use the buttons listed above to modify the Ribbon and then press OK.

Below are step-by-step instructions for using the updated Floating Topics.

The old default setting, which will remain unchanged for existing customers, allows users to click anywhere in the map background to quickly create a floating topic. Essentially, you click and start typing.

MM image 3
The updated Floating Topics feature impacts brand new installs. Users must right-click the map background and select Insert Floating Topic from the menu (or use the command in the Ribbon).

 MM image 4

This setting is controlled in the MindManager Options dialog:

MM image 5

Notes and Additional Information

We recommend downloading and installing the service pack to improve your overall experience with MindManager for Windows. In addition to the service pack executable, there is also a complete set of release notes here to help you review the specific issues that have been addressed. Download the new update here.

For additional handy data, check out the Mindjet Community support site, where you’ll find latest feedback from customers as well as replies from Mindjet employees. If you have any questions, please call us at 1.877.MINDJET (1.877.646.3538) or visit our website.

Mindjet and MindManager are registered trademarks of Mindjet in the United States and other countries. Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries.

The post MindManager 14.2 for Windows Service Pack Now Available appeared first on via @Mindjet's Conspire #ideasquad.

Author: "Mindjet" Tags: "Mindjet"
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Date: Thursday, 10 Apr 2014 22:56

This week in thought leadership: retiring the overused term, exploring Stanford’s entrepreneurial video and podcast library, and a handful of questions about whether or not your brand is mature enough to play the TL card. Plus: tweet your favorite selection!

4 Reasons To Retire The Term ‘Thought Leader’

From Forbes:

“Content marketing was all the rage in 2013, and continues to be a hot topic for digital marketing professionals. Arguably, the trend to beat in 2014 is establishing oneself as a thought leader. The only problem is that the very term is a misnomer.

If you take the label ‘thought leader’ at face value, what you’re aiming to become is the head initiator of ideas or opinions that occur in the mind. However, if you look at true pioneers of innovative concepts and disruptive technologies – the Elon Musk’s, Sheryl Sandberg’s and Larry Page’s of the world – you’ll find there is a lot more to these individuals than just ideas swirling around in their head.

There are dozens of articles that will offer tips on how to become a thought leader. This is not that article.”

Our take: While we’re not quite ready to give up on the thought leadership movement, the author makes some valid observations and offers sound reasons for considering what we really mean when we use the term. My favorite: “Too often, those looking to label themselves as thought leaders are really just expert curators of other people’s points of view.”

Read the full article or Tweet this!

Stanford University’s eCorner: A New Narrative for Leadership

From Stanford U:

“Based on the fact that the stories we tell ourselves have profound psychological impacts, magic experience designer Ferdinando Buscema suggests a new narrative model for successful, modern leaders.”

Our take: The speaker touches on the often misunderstood impact that language, narrative, and perspective have on customer psychology, and what that can mean for your brand or business. He reveals some intriguing facts about how this can inform leadership practices, and provides applicable advice for translating these concepts into strategy.

Watch the full video or Tweet this!

Is Your Brand Mature Enough For Thought Leadership?

From Forbes’ Phil Johnson:

“I was recently on a call with a client ready to launch a thought leadership marketing campaign. The campaign was based on research the client had just fielded, the results of which showed their company in a highly favorable light. Yet it became clear during the call that any findings that contradicted, or even served as an alternative to the client’s approach, weren’t going to make it into the final content.

One senior reviewer pulled no punches. “What would be the point of us publishing something that contradicts what we say?” he asked.

That led me to wonder: Is it possible that this client wasn’t mature enough for thought leadership?”

Our take: There are always good reasons to take certain approaches in business, but that doesn’t make them an ideal fit for your specific company. This article offers up some great questions to ask and elements to consider before playing the “thought leadership” card.

Read the full article or Tweet this!

The post Thursday Thought Leadership Roundup: Retiring the Term, Stanford’s eCorner, and When to Play the TL Card appeared first on via @Mindjet's Conspire #ideasquad.

Author: "Arwen Petty" Tags: "Innovation, becoming a thought leader, b..."
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Date: Thursday, 10 Apr 2014 13:05

This last January, we released our first issue of Mindjet’s INQ Magazine: Innovation for the Enterprise, and were thrilled with the impact it made amongst our customers and other industry thought leaders.

That’s why we’re so glad to announce that the second issue of this quarterly publication is now available! In our Q2 2014 edition, we’ve developed a selection of robust, industry-focused content that we believe best showcases how the enterprise innovation movement is taking shape, and that reflects what our community believes are key drivers of innovation in today’s companies.

Get your copy today, and stay tuned for the next issue, coming July 2014.

The post INQ Magazine: Innovation for the Enterprise – Issue #2 Now Available! appeared first on via @Mindjet's Conspire #ideasquad.

Author: "Arwen Petty" Tags: "Mindjet, 2014, Innovation, innovation fo..."
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Date: Wednesday, 09 Apr 2014 22:40

If there’s one thing that’s rarely guaranteed in business, it’s certainty. Even the most diligent teams and leaders are always taking a chance — that their efforts will pay off definitively, that they’ll be able to apply successful processes to multiple projects, and that they’ll be able to hold on to their competitive advantage, even in challenging circumstances and fluctuating markets. This is especially true when it comes to making innovation repeatable and successful.

But with the right practices and systems in place, repeatability and predictable ROI can become a reality.

Cambia Health’s Success Story

Join us April 23rd at 10:00AM Pacific for our next Innovation Café, which will focus on the highly successful innovation program at Cambia Health Solutions. Max Janasik, Director of Business Design for the Innovation Force at Cambia, will explore the foundation of their success — innovation as a company value. Max will share Cambia’s best practices, which have resulted in $114 million in return on value in 2013 alone. Case studies include a recent departmental challenge that yielded $4 million in cost savings associated with process changes, a new sales engagement tool that has supported over $60 million in sales and renewals, and Medicare program enhancements that led to tremendous revenue growth, a lowering of member premiums, and increased quality of service for seniors.

Register today for “Best Practices: Creating a Systematic Innovation Program with Repeatable ROI” in the Innovation Café happening on Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014.

The post 4/23 Innovation Cafe: Creating a Systematic Innovation Program with Repeatable ROI appeared first on via @Mindjet's Conspire #ideasquad.

Author: "Aly Kline" Tags: "Innovation, business innovation, cambia,..."
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Date: Tuesday, 08 Apr 2014 16:36

In working with our largest clients’ Corporate Innovation Programs, it has become apparent that Global Enterprise Campaigns are of utmost interest.

Campaigning for innovative ideas and solutions across large, diverse organizations is a great way to break down the silos and bring together disparate locations. While it seems to be a hot topic, it brings to mind my experiences at the 2013 Dreamforce conference. I had the pleasure of seeing Marissa Mayer speak about the importance of breaking down silos and involving the entire organization in the strategy. This is what I term the New Age of Leadership.

Empowering Crowds by Taking a Step Back

Amidst all the craziness of the city streets, which were completely packed with over 125,000 of Salesforce’s friends and employees, I was able to make my way to see Marissa Mayer. The Dreamforce event focused on innovation, so I knew they would ask Marissa questions related to the topic, and most likely get her perspective on leading Yahoo! through some challenging times.

Marissa did not disappoint. She shared her perspective on where companies can “get in their own way,” as well as what it means to break down the walls that typically exist to due to working with teams in different regions, with various structures, and doing so with respect to organizational hierarchy.

She shared an interesting idea: that really, it’s all about getting out of your employees’ way, and empowering them to do more themselves. But to do that effectively, it’s the company’s responsibility to make any necessary changes that will facilitate this kind of culture, and to showcase a new age of leadership by breaking down old, stodgy processes and structures of the past that have held people back.

She also suggested that, while we know that employees have a surplus of great ideas, the path is rarely cleared for them to share these ideas. Once that path opens up, it’s about taking the empowered employee through processes that will generate action. In regards to Yahoo!, Mayer pointed out that she specifically believes in empowering employees to craft ideas and help bring them to life. According to Mayer, employee transparency has helped Yahoo! achieve greatness.

One of the most interesting things Marissa spoke about — in regards to transparency and innovation — was when she challenged employees to help her construct slides to be presented to the board of directors. Her belief is that everyone owns the company, and board slides are a great outlet for them to demonstrate this very principle. Crowdsourcing her board slides gave her the ability to understand the ideas, thoughts, and points of view of her employees. It’s also lead to a new Yahoo policy: a Friday afternoon “all-hands meeting” to hear their ideas. To me, this demonstrates a new age of leadership.

At the Apex of New Leadership

What was especially intriguing during the interview with Marisa was the reaction of the crowd. Twitter blew up with some amazing tweets highlighting the new age of leadership that she is demonstrating. Here are some examples:

  • Voice for all #df13 My POV: good to see how @marissamayer is building an authentic business w/ high levels of transparency #df13
  • Providing transparency is critically important @marissamayer presented all yahoo employees with her board slides. Awesome.
  • Another great insight @marissamayer, CEOs need to listen to their employees.
  • Listening to @marissamayer, employees have good ideas. They just want to be told go #gomarissago #dreamforce #innovation
  • Democratizing innovation by giving ideation opportunities to all employees — or even those outside the walls of a company — exemplifies the new age of leadership for enterprises around the globe. And those that can do it fast, with the right amount of inclusion and adoption, will be the ones that win the market relevance race. CEO innovation campaigns are the very vehicle to help take companies to the next level.

What can CEO lead campaigns do for the enterprise?

  • They inspire. Focus on building the company culture, reinforcing behaviors pertinent to an innovative global organization, and delivering compelling experiences to employees. Create energy and focus to drive your business forward.
  • They give permission. Encourage employees to innovate beyond their day-to-day tasks, and allow them to do it while on work time.
  • They eliminate barriers. Demonstrate global collaboration capability through highlighting data and insights from engagement, participation, and demographic insights.
  • They reinforce change. Promote, educate, and engage to further current efforts or change management initiatives
  • They distinguish. Focus on strategic opportunities that provide tangible, relevant solutions that drives continued innovation, have strategic fit, sizable market opportunity, and acceptable risk.

At their core, internal collaborative innovation campaigns advance the CEO’s agenda, demonstrating commitment to action, enabling new capabilities, and showing that executives value employee input. They let the CEO seek and identify innovative solutions from their greatest asset — their employees.

In my experience, CEO Challenges — when positioned appropriately — can drive sizable change and reinforce exceptional behaviors that set the stage for a cultural shift. The ability to bring together strategic and tactical initiatives leads to incremental, or even breakthrough, innovation. The new age of leadership has arrived. Are you living it?

This post has been republished with permission from The Innovation Lady. View the original article here.

The post The Corporate, Crowdsourcing CEO: A New Age of Leadership appeared first on via @Mindjet's Conspire #ideasquad.

Author: "Michele McConomy" Tags: "Innovation, ceo, ceo challenge, crowd, c..."
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Date: Monday, 07 Apr 2014 19:04

At Mindjet, customer success is our top priority — we want to make sure that each SaaS release in our regular cadence of software updates is a great experience for all SpigitEngage users. This April, we’re sharing a limited preview of some upcoming features, as well as a few that are available now.

To catch up on the backlog of updates, see our February release blog here.

Mindjet Graph APIs

With this update, SpigitEngage will be introducing a limited beta for our new Mindjet Graph APIs, which are our next generation REST APIs for SpigitEngage Innovation functionality. The Mindjet Graph API is being beta tested in this release by a small group of customers, who have elected to participate in the limited beta program.

An upcoming release of SpigitEngage will make the API broadly available to all customers, pending feedback from the beta participants and finalization of the API. We know though that all customers will be curious about the new APIs and what functionality they provide, so here’s a quick introduction.

The Mindjet Graph APIs embrace the philosophy of the semantic web – a web of data that can be processed by machines, rather than a web of applications and sites. Mindjet Graph APIs will introduce a new data model that describes innovation concepts and facilitates the merging of data, regardless of differences in underlying schemas. Mindjet Graph APIs will provide access to core innovation concepts in SpigitEngage, including the ability to retrieve lists of communities, challenges, ideas, comments, and associated scores. These APIs will also support posting ideas, votes, and comments.

semantic web 1
semantic web 2
Over the next few weeks and months, we will start sharing more details of the Mindjet Graph APIs and then officially make them generally available to customers after the beta period. We’re very excited with this evolution of our APIs, and hope that you will also be excited as we start to roll them out after the beta.

Additional Updates

Besides support for the limited beta, we also have a host of improvements and issues resolved in this release, ranging from an improved password reset flow, to testing for browsers including IE7, IE8, IE9, IE10, IE11, Firefox 27, and Chrome 33, and updated Google Play and Apple App Store apps that support Android 4.1.2 and iPhone iOS 7.1. The following language packs have also been updated: English (US and UK), French, German, Chinese, Russian, Spanish (Spain and Latin America), Japanese, Portuguese (Brazil), and Arabic. Additionally, a whole host of feature improvements, stability improvements, and defect resolution went into this update.

Like all SaaS releases, this update can be seamlessly experienced by customers already on our SaaS release cadence. For a full list of all issues resolved and updates in this release, customers of SpigitEngage can read the detailed Release Notes.

The post SpigitEngage April Update: Limited Preview of Mindjet Graph APIs appeared first on via @Mindjet's Conspire #ideasquad.

Author: "Milind Pansare" Tags: "Mindjet, business innovation, business p..."
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Date: Monday, 07 Apr 2014 15:41

Innovation in an organisation is not so much an activity; it’s more of a journey. However, you don’t get to the journey’s end of innovation, as by its very nature, it continuously creates new horizons and new peaks to reach.

Bringing Change, Driving Results

When you are on a journey, however, you want to know where you are and where you are going. It’s the same with the expedition of any innovation programme. It is difficult to know how you are doing and make comparisons, because most innovation programmes are new and different, and additionally, there is usually only one innovation programme in an organisation.

How can you tell if you are making headway in your innovation journey, or just heading very fast down a dead-end alley? How can you tell what you are doing well, and what needs to improve?

Albert Einstein is credited with saying, “If you do the same thing over and over again, don’t be surprised that you always get the same results.”

And it’s quite accurate. One of the more common things I hear from our clients is that they want improved results in their innovation programmes. Yet, they don’t change the way their programme operates. Guess what — it’s not going to get better by hope alone! Often, changes aren’t made for one of two reasons: either the impact of a change isn’t known, or it’s unclear what aspects of the programme need to be changed in order to make a real difference. It is very risky to make changes without understanding the impact they may have.

How can you identify what needs to change, how to change it and be confident of the result? If you are not confident, it’s very unlikely that you will be able to convince your stakeholders to agree to the changes.

The Mindjet Innovation Maturity Model

To build confidence in the direction and progression of your innovation excursion, we developed the Mindjet Innovation Maturity Model. This model enables companies to gain insight into the maturity and capabilities of their innovation programme, and is the foundation of the assessment processes we use.

At Mindjet, we believe that there are ten key dimensions of successful and mature innovation programmes. If you ignore a dimension, your programme will not be as successful as it could be.

Let’s explore each of these dimensions:

  1. Strategy. What is the focus of innovation and how does it align with the corporate objectives?
  2. Sponsorship.  Do your sponsors and stakeholders enable your programme to grow?
  3. Governance. Who’s responsible for the regulation and control of the programme?
  4. Process. Is your innovation process formalized, and is it widely used and communicated?
  5. Culture. Is the culture receptive to change, and does the organization encourage experimentation and innovative behaviors?
  6. Engagement. Who are you engaging with, and how?
  7. Skills & Capabilities. Are you giving your people the ability to think and act creatively to solve critical business problems?
  8. Implement & Execute. What resources and methods does your organisation have to implement ideas?
  9. Measurements & Metrics. Is innovation being measured, and is success clearly defined and communicated?
  10. Tools & Technology. Do you have an infrastructure of innovation tools and technologies, and a broad set of methodologies on how to best use them?

Each dimension can grow and develop through time, experience, and activity. Each dimension starts at a Novice level, moving through to Experienced, and finally, ending at Optimized.

When you get to an Optimized level, it doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels, but it will mean that you have a fully functioning innovation dimension that is driving tremendous value.

When we put the dimensions and levels together, it gives us the Mindjet Innovation Maturity Model, which is shown below. At the intersection of a dimension and a maturity level, there is a characteristic that provides an indicator of dimension maturity.

MJ Inno Mat Model Chart

Investigating Dimensions

To demonstrate the Mindjet Innovation Maturity Model in operation, let’s look at one of the dimensions, Engagement.

  • At a Novice level of engagement, the programme is connecting with a small group of people, but there is no linkage or collaboration with other areas of the business. This is needed to bring diversity of thought and ideas. The indicator is “Siloed & Limited.”
  • At an Intermediate level, departments and teams are agreeing to work together. The crowd is engaged and beginning to collaborate regularly. There is ideation, but teams are also beginning to work together to make ideas happen. The indicator here is “Internal Collaboration.”
  • Lastly, the Optimized level. Here, people are not only engaged, but are co-creating externally with customers and suppliers to identify, build, and implement ideas that solve key problems for a mutual benefit. The indicator here is “Internal & External Co-creation.”

At a macro level, our model can be used to assess the maturity of each dimension in an innovation programme. The model can also be used at a departmental or divisional level too, especially to compare and contrast approaches, which can lead to some very interesting discussions.

When we work with clients to assess their innovation programmes, we utilise different activities, such as in-depth face-to-face interviews, on-line tailored surveys, facilitated workshops, and other deep-dive activities.

This enables us to objectively identify the maturity level of an innovation programme; or, where the programme is on the path to optimization. However, it also demonstrates how the innovation programme can develop; what dimensions are adequate, but can be improved. This is used to develop a “future state” vision for the programme, as well as the appropriate activities to get there.

In summary, using the Mindjet Innovation Maturity Model will:

  1. Increase understanding of the organisation to plan, design, and scale innovation programmes.
  2. Enable benchmarking of innovation capabilities, as well as identify strong and weak areas.
  3. Build confidence and refocus innovation activities to drive greater success.
  4. Create clarity on the future vision and direction of the innovation programme.

If you are interested in finding out more, please let us know in the comments.

The post On the Road to Innovation Maturity: The Mindjet Model appeared first on via @Mindjet's Conspire #ideasquad.

Author: "Harvey Wade" Tags: "Innovation, business collaboration, busi..."
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Date: Friday, 04 Apr 2014 23:15

Welcome to Conspire’s Super Happy Fun Friday Link Time, a weekly collection of cool discoveries from around the Web. Most times the goal is to get you thinking differently about communication, collaboration, culture, and life in general. Other times, LOLCAT ATTACK! Submissions are welcome, and you can send them to conspire@mindjet.com for consideration.

The Most Common (And Harmful) Ways People Sabotage Their Own Success

Most people get in their own way at one point or another, but these kinds of self-inflicted hurdles are especially detrimental when we don’t know we’re causing them. In this piece by Kathy Caprino, she discusses the six most common ways people damage their chances for success and happiness, as well as some tips to help you cut it out. From Forbes:

“The behaviors that sabotage success fall into four key categories – in our relationship with ourselves, others, the world, and our higher selves. The sad truth is that the vast majority of people don’t realize when they’re destroying their chances for success and happiness. They remain oblivious to how they’re repelling the very outcomes they claim to be desperate for. And this type of self-sabotage leads to a great deal of pain and regret down the line. (I know because I sabotaged my own success in each of these ways for years during my corporate life.)”

Source: Forbes

How to Cope With Information Overload

If you’re not suffering from some degree of information overload, consider yourself both very lucky — and an enigma. Or in denial, which is just a tad more likely in an era where up-to-the-minute notifications and news dictate just about everything we do. From Mashable:

“information overload has been cited as a major factor in the rise of stress-related diseases. Some advocate a digital detox as the antidote to the curse of email, social media and constant communication but for many, that is just isn’t practical.

Others are turning to traditional mindfulness meditation techniques as a way of managing their digital dependence without having to switch off from their everyday lives entirely. It’s seen as a way to calm the mind and help the body to cope with the overwhelming amount of data coming our way from all different directions and sources.”

Source: Mashable

Mind Mapping Research is Simply Mind Blowing!

All right, I admit it. The title of this article is a little misleading, especially if you’re a regular reader of ours and a Mindjet enthusiast; it’s not about the practice of mind mapping for business or personal productivity, but instead about how scientists have made breakthroughs in mapping the actual human brain. Still, it’s conceptually similar to the process of building a traditional mind map, and it’s simply fascinating. From the Khaleej Times:

“Researchers at the Yale University carried out some experiments on subjects who were made to look at 300 distinct faces. While they were doing so, their brains were being scanned using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). The information was gathered, compiled and cross mapped to create a digital library of sorts. Subsequently, the subjects were made to see another set of faces with their brains being scanned in parallel. Based on the fMRI data thus gathered from the second set of faces shown to the subjects and analysis of the digital library, the study team was able to reconstruct sketch-like images of faces which the subjects were seeing! While the resultant images were a little hazy and not an exact replica of the originals, certain reconstructions such as skin tone, smile on the faces were remarkably accurate.”

Source: Khaleej Times

The post Fun Friday Links: Sabotaging Your Own Success, Coping with Info Overload, and Mind Blowing Mind Mapping Research appeared first on via @Mindjet's Conspire #ideasquad.

Author: "Arwen Petty" Tags: "Featured, Mindjet, forbes, fun friday, f..."
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Date: Friday, 04 Apr 2014 20:20

This is an age of constantly emerging technology that has far-reaching effects on all aspects of business planning and scalable innovation.  As enterprise organizations stand at the edge of major shifts in processes and approach, challenges around raising returns, lowering overall costs, and speeding up go-to-market rates remain paramount. Yet, many companies are only now acknowledging the breadth of technology that exists to support these global initiatives.

This April, we’re going to focus on current emerging technologies and their integral connection to enterprise innovation and market relevance.

Collaboration, Mobility, and Devices

Collaboration — and the technology that facilitates it across disparate regions — plays a critical role in how the enterprise approaches innovation. As workforces grow and expand across myriad time zones and cultures, finding more effective ways of bringing teams together is as imperative to project completion as it is to saving revenue. Tools like enterprise social networks and mobile conferencing are worthy investments, especially for organizations with high-speed growth trajectories.

DataRPM’s Gautam Shyamantak makes an excellent observation about the importance of these existing and emerging technologies. He says, ”When we discuss emerging technologies, we [cannot] ignore the tremendous focus on mobility. IDC estimates that more than 1.7 billion mobile phones will ship this year, with the predicted number reaching around 2.2 billion in 2016…Our most useful asset has become our smartphone. According to Gartner, 900 million connected devices were in use in 2009, by 2020 the market research firm expects the number to climb to 26 billion. The era of connected smartphone to connected smart devices is upon us. Can you imagine the type of industry enhancement this will make when we start connecting this type of technology to enterprise practices?”

Big Data, Predictive Analytics, and Disruption

Next-generation enterprise companies are exceptional at embracing change, as well as building cultures and strategies that are flexible enough to facilitate it. As new tools and innovative approaches become available, these organizations adjust how they incorporate processes,  structure their hierarchies, and maintain technology solutions. By willingly renovating the way they get things done, they’re able to successfully align their business models in today’s collaborative — and highly digital — economy — a vital transition to consider in order to maintain market relevance. Ultimately, this will help organizations avoid negative disruption and continue to engage with and provide value to their customers.

There have been several shared predictions about which emerging technologies will infiltrate the enterprise in the near future, particularly around big data and predictive analytics. When it comes to enterprise innovation, both present very clear opportunities and challenges. This article from MongoDB explains that “With Big Data databases, enterprises can save money, grow revenue, and achieve many other business objectives, in any vertical.” For example, “Big data might allow a company to collect billions of real-time data points on its products, resources, or customers – and then repackage that data instantaneously to optimize customer experience or resource utilization. For example, a major US city is using MongoDB to cut crime and improve municipal services by collecting and analyzing geospatial data in real-time from over 30 different departments.” Of course, how exactly to use Big Data is not always clear — especially with respect to how much data to store, associated costs, security, and maintenance.

Predictive analytics are only as valuable as an organization’s ability to leverage existing information. “Often,” says Black Light Solutions’ Chance Coble, “that means starting with basic questions about your business, its opportunities, efficiency and risk and then using the evidence available to answer those questions. Predictive analysis is one of the basic tools for accomplishing this, and is essential when it comes to handling big data applications.”

Moving forward, what emerging technologies do you expect to see integrated in enterprise-level organizations, and how do you think they’ll change the way things are done? Tell us about it in the comments.

 

The post Enterprise Innovation and Emerging Technologies: Defining Needs appeared first on via @Mindjet's Conspire #ideasquad.

Author: "Arwen Petty" Tags: "Featured, Innovation, business innovatio..."
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Date: Thursday, 03 Apr 2014 22:09

This week, our thought leadership roundup highlights why the concept needs a reset, how to tap into your inner genius, and a webinar dedicated to author Ekaterina Walter’s bestselling book, “Think Like Zuck.”

Why Thought Leadership Needs a Reset

From Apex PR:

“Given the huge rise of claims to thought leadership by corporate and individual brands, one would think we are basking in a sea of clever, distinct and poignant thinking that genuinely challenges conventional approaches. And if you sift hard enough, you’ll find diamonds in the rough in most categories. But, these gems are getting crowded out by posers who are sullying the original principle of thought leadership.

A thought leader can refer to an individual or organization that is recognized as an authority and whose expertise is sought. The term was first used by Joel Kurtzman in 1994, editor-in-chief of Strategy & Business Magazine, to help staff access qualified area experts. It still serves this purpose, but has evolved into the realm of advocacy where people or firms offer new, perhaps unconventional strategies to persistent or emerging problems.”

Our take: If the growing disdain for haphazard use of the term “thought leadership” is any indicator, this article makes an excellent point — “If you’re not in it for the long-term with a specific mission, it’s not thought leadership.”

Read the full article >>

Doubling Your Brain Power [VIDEO]

This video from Brian Tracy pretty much speaks for itself, so the next time you have a half hour to kill, give it a go.

 

Our take: Who wouldn’t give up thirty minutes for a chance to double their brain power?

How to Apply the 5Ps of Zuckerberg’s Success to Your Business

From Social Media Marketing U:

In this live webinar, Ekaterina Walter, author of the Wall Street Journal bestselling book “Think Like Zuck” examines the five principles behind Facebook’s meteoric rise and success. In this free live training packed with real-world examples and actionable lessons, you’ll learn:

  • The five “P”s of business success and how entrepreneurs and marketers can use them to succeed.
  • How to leverage the success principles that Facebook, Zappos, TOMS, Threadless, Dyson and other leading companies are using to stay at the top of their respective industries.
  • What it takes to make your own mark in the world, build a business that makes a difference and lead your organization to long-term profitability.

Our take: While Zuckerberg’s incredible launch into success might be baffling to some, it’s pretty clear that he’s made some exceptionally smart decisions along the way. If Ms. Walter can reveal his secrets to business leaders in an applicable way, it’s a safe bet that attending this webinar will be anything but a waste of time.

Register now >>

The post Thursday Thought Leadership Roundup: TL Needs a Reset, Doubling Your Brain Power, and Thinking Like Zuckerberg appeared first on via @Mindjet's Conspire #ideasquad.

Author: "Arwen Petty" Tags: "Featured, Innovation, apex pr, becoming ..."
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Date: Wednesday, 02 Apr 2014 23:25

Mind mapping software is something we happen to know a little bit about here at Mindjet. And while not much could stop us from advocating the power of visualization — including the many productivity, creativity, collaboration, and business benefits it provides — it’s always nice to see data backing up our claims.

The below infographic does just that.

A Powerful Edge

Designed by Jesus Sabino, this in-depth visual is based on findings from Chuck Frey, one of our favorite mapping experts and founder of The Mind Mapping Software Blog. From tracking the biggest returns to data on increased productivity and enhanced quality of outcomes, the stats presented make an incredible case for why executives should look to mind mapping for better business outcomes. To learn more about Mindjet MindManager, our own mind mapping software, click here.

 

mind mapping software IG

 

Source.

The post Mind Mapping Software Gives Execs a Powerful Edge appeared first on via @Mindjet's Conspire #ideasquad.

Author: "Arwen Petty" Tags: "Mind Mapping, getting things done with m..."
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Date: Monday, 31 Mar 2014 22:02

This last month, we placed a focus on understanding the connection between innovation and productivity in the enterprise. From analyzing what it means to drive innovation through productivity, to unlocking your team’s potential through engagement, and being aware of how your senses affect the way you work, we made some intriguing discoveries.

Catch up on some of our favorite themed pieces with our March roll-up.

Dynamic Duo: Innovation and Productivity in the Enterprise

“At first glance, productivity and innovation don’t seem to have much in common. As philosophies, they’re fundamentally different: one is rooted in task management and efficiency, the other in expanded ideation and new perspectives. But research shows a distinct correlation between employee engagement and innovation, and productivity is also heavily affected by the investment of the overall workforce.”

Read the full article >>

Innovation in the Enterprise: When Productivity Comes Second

“When does productivity take a back seat to innovation? Does being hyper-focused on productivity actually slow down innovation efforts?

In my last blog on productivity and innovation, I described how productivity — much like innovation — cannot be effectively optimized without proper planning. But how much planning is too much? In the quest for innovation, should we abandon the strict confines of productivity to the back seat?”

Read the full article >>

Kickstart Innovation and Creativity Using the 5 Senses

“Research out of the University of Washington suggests that creativity may be on the decline. But don’t get discouraged just yet — studies show that actively tapping into our 5 senses gets our brain synapses firing.

Here’s how to tap into your creative potential and drive innovation with the power of sight, smell, touch, sound, and even taste.”

Read the full article >>

The Key to Unlocking Your Team’s Potential [INFOGRAPHIC]

“Here at Mindjet, we’re always trying to find new and improved ways to be engaged and productive — not just for our products’ sake, but to keep our overall company culture thriving.

One of the tools we use is 15Five, an employee feedback system that helps leaders “surface problems, celebrate wins, discover great ideas, and stay tuned in to morale.” Employees spend a little time each week answering pertinent questions posed by their managers within the platform. After submitting their responses, reports are generated for their respective higher-ups that take just a few minutes to read and respond to. Everything is transparent, and feedback is immediate.”

Read the full article >>

The post Enterprise Innovation + Productivity Roll-Up: When Productivity Comes Second, Unlocking Potential, and Cultural Change appeared first on via @Mindjet's Conspire #ideasquad.

Author: "Arwen Petty" Tags: "Innovation, business innovation, busines..."
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