Why more business leaders need to embrace digital

Marketing, advertising, hiring staff, everything in business is turning digital and if you can’t keep up you and the team of people behind you will be left in the dark.

Instead of burying your head in the sand, it’s time to start embracing digital more in your business model and as a leader, to open doors you never dreamed of. Here’s how:

A digital strategy for your business is important. Forget newspaper ads or good old-fashioned word of mouth (unless you’re only targeting local business), it’s a good idea to embrace digital for your hiring methods. From uploading job positions online to searching for new managers on specialist sites, such as www.exec-appointments.com, you will find and hire people you might never have discovered before. Social media sites such as LinkedIn also offer a whole new world of potential employees at your fingertips, who you can contact to discuss potential positions.

You should also be using digital to ensure your brand’s name is out there. Trade magazines are still around, but publishing is quickly becoming a lost art, with newspapers and magazines seeing dropping figures in sales and interest. Of course, some people out there still enjoy reading a physical magazine or newspaper but more and more are turning to the Internet to get their news and searching Google to source new products.

Use most of your advertising budget on promoting your company on the Google homepage, updating your Google business directory and paying to have banner adverts placed on leading websites or blogs. Any left over can go into print publications should they be covering an important event you are attending or at a peak time of year.

Hand in hand with advertising, marketing is the less ‘pushy’ version of promoting your brand. As a business leader it’s time to forget sending out generic press releases by email. Content Marketing is the new and improved method that fully embraces digital and allows you to get your company name out there in an article, with a good deal of subtlety i.e. by not reading as an advert.

Content marketing essentially works by placing a click through link to your website, within a post on a leading blog site, which people read because they find interesting, useful or entertaining.

The more interesting the article, the more it is shared online and the more the click through link featuring your website reaches potential customers. There are companies out there who can write great content for you, just to make things even easier. Read about the trend here.

In a sense, everything must be digital, from your communication system to your filing and technology is making it easier and easier. You don’t need to be an IT whizz to set up a Google account and use the apps for work available which include business email, calendar and the Google Drive to store and share files.

You should also consider hiring someone who has experience and know how in this side of things, to manage your business’s journey into the digital world. They can build up your digital brand while you get on with leading the business and team and watch as interest grows and sales increase as your company gets noticed online.

Digital is now a way of life for most of us, as we use our smartphones, tablets and computers to source information on a daily basis, catch up with friends and professional networks and buy goods, so as a business leader you must immerse yourself and the company fully to stay on top.

3 Ways Steve Jobs Made Meetings Insanely Productive — And Often Terrifying


American businesses lose an estimated $37 billion a year due to meeting mistakes.

Steve Jobs made sure that Apple wasn’t one of those companies.

Here are three ways the iconic CEO made meetings super productive.

1. He kept meetings as small as possible.

In his book “Insanely Simple,” longtime Jobs collaborator Ken Segall detailed what it was like to work with him.

In one story, Jobs was about to start a weekly meeting with Apple’s ad agency.

Then Jobs spotted someone new.

“He stopped cold,” Segall writes. “His eyes locked on to the one thing in the room that didn’t look right. Pointing to Lorrie, he said, ‘Who are you?'”

Calmly, she explained that she was asked to the meeting because she was a part of related marketing projects.

Jobs heard her, and then politely told her to get out.

“I don’t think we need you in this meeting, Lorrie. Thanks,” he said.

He was similarly ruthless with himself. When Barack Obama asked him to join a small gathering of tech moguls, Jobs declined — the President invited too many people for his taste.

2. He made sure someone was responsible for each item on the agenda.

In a 2011 feature investigating Apple’s culture, Fortune reporter Adam Lashinsky detailed a few of the formal processes that Jobs used, which led Apple to become the world’s most valuable company.

At the core of Job’s mentality was the “accountability mindset” — meaning that processes were put in place so that everybody knew who was responsible for what.

As Lachinsky described:

Internal Applespeak even has a name for it, the “DRI,” or directly responsible individual. Often the DRI’s name will appear on an agenda for a meeting, so everybody knows who is responsible. “Any effective meeting at Apple will have an action list,” says a former employee. “Next to each action item will be the DRI.” A common phrase heard around Apple when someone is trying to learn the right contact on a project: “Who’s the DRI on that?”

The process works. Gloria Lin moved from the iPod team at Apple to leading the product team at Flipboard — and she brought DRIs with her.

They’re hugely helpful in a startup situation.

“In a fast-growing company with tons of activity, important things get left on the table not because people are irresponsible but just because they’re really busy,” she wrote on Quora. “When you feel like something is your baby, then you really, really care about how it’s doing.”

3. He wouldn’t let people hide behind PowerPoint.

Walter Isaacson, author of the “Steve Jobs” biography, said, “Jobs hated formal presentations, but he loved freewheeling face-to-face meetings.”

Every Wednesday afternoon, he had an agenda-less meeting with his marketing and advertising team.

Slideshows were banned because Jobs wanted his team to debate passionately and think critically, all without leaning on technology.

“I hate the way people use slide presentations instead of thinking,” Jobs told Isaacson. “People would confront a problem by creating a presentation. I wanted them to engage, to hash things out at the table, rather than show a bunch of slides. People who know what they’re talking about don’t need PowerPoint.”