By on November 19th, 2014 | Comment on this post

I sat with two leaders in one of the last meetings we’d have. Six months of hard work by these two dedicated leaders who were leaders at odds with each other in an organization had paid off, and we were discussing what they’d learned.

These were not the same two people I saw in the beginning: blaming each other for the breakdown, angry, and worn down by fighting for their way. Recently, I had sensed a shift in them and their relationship.

They had the ability to make this shift all along. But when we started our work, it was buried under years of “stuff” that included judgment, assumptions and self-preservation.

Now, they didn’t shut down when the other person spoke. There was active engagement, a softening toward each other, and a willingness to appreciate each other. Today, they listened to understand the other’s viewpoint and to seek agreement on the important work decisions they jointly had to make.…

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By Jay Baer on November 19th, 2014 | Comment on this post

When was the last time you tuned into a podcast? If you’re like 15% of Americans over the age of 12, it was within the past month. While 15% may not sound like much, consider that Twitter is used by approximately 18% of American adults — an only slightly larger slice of the pie that has had a profound impact on everything from how we consume news to how we engage with our friends and favorite shows.

Given the rise of smartphones and 4G/LTE connectivity, it is now possible, affordable and easier than ever to stream audio from just about anywhere. Whether you’re at the gym, commuting to work or roaming the aisles at the grocery store, a limitless amount of information can now go anywhere you go. In fact, Edison’s research found a huge shift between 2013 and 2014 in the percentage of podcasts that are listened to on a mobile device versus a computer.…

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By Maeve Webster on November 19th, 2014 | Comment on this post

In the tech industry, the term “disruption,” referring to the drastic alteration of an industry or market, is practically a cliché. Everyone wants to “disrupt” a traditional business, often referencing an attempt to become the next “Uber” of a particular industry, referring to the private car service that has upended the taxi industry. These startups are looking to outsource the daily chores and nuisances that take up consumers’ time and energy, from laundry (Washio) to mailing packages (Shyp) to storage (MakeSpace). And now a new group of tech-savvy entrepreneurs have set their sights on disrupting the food industry.

For our recent Creative Concepts TrendSpotting Report on meal delivery services, Datassential looked at a number of these companies, from the ingredients, dishes and flavors you’ll find on the delivery menu to the ways they are using technology to set themselves apart. We also surveyed consumers for their opinions, from their interest in and experience using these services to the factors that are most important to them.…

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By Adisack Nhouyvanisvong on November 18th, 2014 | Comment on this post

textbooksDuring a recent parent-teacher conference for my fourth-grader, the teacher said she had been differentiating instruction for my child. I wasn’t sure exactly what she meant by differentiation. I assumed she was doing this for every student in the class and not just my child. I wondered how and what she was differentiating and what types of assessments she was using to help her differentiate.

This led me to think: Did she really mean differentiation? Maybe she meant personalization or individualization? Did the teacher know the difference between these strategies? Were her definitions and conceptions of these strategies the same as mine?

Personalization, differentiation and individualization all sound good. Every teacher wants to personalize, differentiate or individualize learning and instruction for their students. Many say they do at least one or the other. However, currently there’s not much consensus among educators about the definitions of these terms. Some educators use these terms synonymously.…

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By Joyce Warner on November 18th, 2014 | Comment on this post

Much has been written about leadership and “turnaround” situations. Loads of tips are out there for becoming a superhero executive , a heroic doctor who can take an ailing organization and bring it back from the brink. But what if you are the new leader of an organization that has been relatively healthy? That is poised for growth? That has a well-functioning team?

Some organizations need a family practitioner to help them flourish, so if you see yourself as a heart surgeon, be careful — or your patient might die on the table. Here are six things you can to do destroy a well-functioning team:

  1. Break what is working well. Even organizations that are struggling and in need of a turnaround superhero probably have some things going well. Keep your ego in check, and know the difference between what is going well and what needs improvement. Don’t focus on areas you are most comfortable tinkering with if those are going well.
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