From Harvard Business Review

Presenting in a webinar — when you often don’t have access to visual cues about how the audience is responding — can sometimes feel disconcerting or awkward. Here are a few strategies to improve the experience for you and your audience. First, make use of the camera. Many professionals don’t like looking at themselves on camera, but that’s not a valid excuse when you consider how much more engaged listeners are when watching a real person talk to them. Next, an important corollary point: If you’re using the camera, you have to be mindful of visual aesthetics. Specifically, adjust your camera so that it’s giving a straight-on view of your face, and test out how your chosen backdrop appears to participants. It’s also a good idea to rehearse the mechanics of the webinar software you’re using. And finally, decide in advance how you’ll handle audience participation. READ MORE

From Jamie Notter

I’ve been searching the web for a good definition of employee engagement, and I have to say, I’m disappointed. There are a LOT out there, though I think that is fine. It doesn’t need to be oversimplified into a single definition. And given the amount of money we spend trying to fix employee engagement every year, it doesn’t surprise me that everyone and their brother are trying to define it. READ MORE

From Harvard Business Review

Knowing how to read between the lines and pick up on colleagues’ subtle social cues is a critical skill. After all, there’s often an explicit conversation happening in a meeting or around the water cooler — and a tacit one. The best way to take the temperature of a room is to pay attention to the people in it. Note who’s next to whom, who’s relaxed, who’s not, who’s standing, and who’s sitting. Look at their facial expressions, posture, and body language. Then try to make sense of what you’ve observed. Reflect on possible reasons for your colleagues’ emotional states. What’s happening in their lives and in their jobs? If the atmosphere feels tense, don’t let yourself be hijacked by negativity. Instead, shift the mood using humor or empathy. Keep an eye out for positive signals, too — the executive in the corner who’s smiling, for instance — and concentrate on those. READ MORE

From Inc.

You can create an environment where everyone can contribute to your company's innovation efforts. READ MORE

From Forbes

Businesses today operate in an unprecedented environment of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA). Things have become too complex and change too quickly for organizations to effectively deal with challenges of the day—yet they still train leaders in traditional leadership competencies. The wisdom that made organizations successful in the past now jeopardizes their survival. Innovation is the only way to survive in today’s fast-moving environment, and success demands new leadership skills. Let’s contrast outdated rules of thumb with updated reality. READ MORE

From WiseBread

Owning a small business is no small feat. There are hundreds of articles written on how to effectively market yourself, attract customers, and drive traffic to your website. With so many gimmicks and tricks out there, it can feel impossible to determine what you should actually do in order to be successful. READ MORE

From CMS Wire

As the online economy continues to affect existing business models, many companies are finding that the biggest hurdle to future success may well be doing things the way they always have in the past. READ MORE

From Entrepreneur

A shifting power base in a polarizing political climate is changing the landscape of leadership. How do you garner trust, create a culture of accountability and ensure a healthy and productive workplace? READ MORE

From MultiBriefs: Exclusive

Sports championships, scientific breakthroughs, technological developments — in addition to reams of negative political events, the news is constantly full of stories of amazing achievements few of us could have ever predicted. Records are broken regularly, huge advances are made in the fields of medicine, and innovative solutions have become as common as downloading a new app. READ MORE

From Fast Company

It’s not about sleek graphics or the presentation software you use. It’s about whether the story you tell resonates with your audience’s needs. READ MORE

From Forbes

Even the most creative of business minds hit a wall at one point or another. The creative juices stop flowing, and it all just comes to a head. Taking the time you need to get away and reignite that internal flame can help you get yourself back in the mindset needed to come up with those innovative ideas once again and make thing happen at your business. READ MORE

From TED.com

We often find ourselves stuck in narrow social circles with similar people. What habits confine us, and how can we break them? Organizational psychologist Tanya Menon considers how we can be more intentional about expanding our social universes -- and how it can lead to new ideas and opportunities. Watch the Ted Talk.

From Harvard Business Review

Most great innovators are nothing like the stereotype of a mercurial genius. Managers can help the teams they lead become more innovative by doing four things: First, hire for mission. If people care about the problems you’re solving, they’ll come up with better solutions. Second, promote psychological safety, so people can speak their minds. Third, foster diversity. Research has consistently shown that the most-creative teams are diverse. And finally, value teamwork. While the stereotype of a great innovator may be a lone inventor, the reality is that none of us can come up with great solutions — and implement them — alone. READ MORE

From Fast Company

These five steps can help you say goodbye to low-value clients and get more out of those that will really help you grow. READ MORE

From Entrepreneur

Innovation happens by design. Build it in to your company, and it will show through in your results and relationships with customers. READ MORE

From MultiBriefs: Exclusive

Operational excellence is essential for success in any business. Yet it does not get the attention strategy does, even though we all know it is critical. READ MORE

From Jamie Notter

I was talking the other day to a leader in an organization whose culture was fairly traditionally “hierarchical.” There was a clear hierarchy there, and people had it on their radar that you shouldn’t do things or say things unless someone above you in the chain either knew about it or had approved it. This also left the culture somewhat “guarded,” as people were often unsure what they could say, so they simply chose not to say much. READ MORE

From Inc.com

If you want the fame, big paychecks and respect, cut these mistakes from your repertoire. READ MORE

From Jamie Notter

I’m not in the digital transformation business, though I know many consultants and client organizations who are in the middle of it. And Maddie, of course, is a digital strategist, so I’ve got an inside track to someone who knows the business and has done the work. Maybe that gives me just enough information to be dangerous, but I have to say, I get the feeling that the people who are deeply immersed in digital transformation seem to be missing something hugely important READ MORE

From Jamie Notter

I see a lot written these days about this mysterious new generation that follows the Millennials, often called Generation Z. Yes, just when you thought you had figured out the “kids these days,” now you have to start all over again with a whole new generation! READ MORE