Articles on this Page
- 01/04/18--21:54: _People Have an Irra...
- 01/06/18--21:57: _Cellular division s...
- 01/06/18--22:30: _How Diversity Power...
- 01/06/18--22:46: _Why Working From Ho...
- 01/11/18--18:58: _World Economic Foru...
- 01/17/18--22:35: _Globalization in th...
- 01/17/18--22:53: _How Customer Servic...
- 01/17/18--23:11: _Cracking Tumor Defi...
- 01/18/18--02:57: _The Countries Where...
- 01/22/18--08:33: _Darwin’s theory wro...
- 01/23/18--06:06: _What Makes Work Mea...
- 01/23/18--07:53: _Forming Stronger Bo...
- 01/23/18--09:21: _The Troublemakers 0...
- 01/24/18--05:56: _The Healing Power o...
- 01/28/18--03:01: _An AI Bot Named Ein...
- 01/28/18--06:20: _Wearable IoT Neurof...
- 01/29/18--05:54: _Flip the Switch 01-29
- 01/29/18--06:20: _How to Build an Emp...
- 01/31/18--08:47: _Computational astro...
- 01/31/18--09:03: _robocop Ford is dev...
- 01/04/18--21:54: People Have an Irrational Need to Complete 'Sets' of Things. 01-05
- 01/06/18--21:57: Cellular division strategy shared across all domains of life 01-07
- 01/06/18--22:30: How Diversity Powers Team Performance 01-07
- 01/06/18--22:46: Why Working From Home Is a “Future-looking Technology” 01-07
- 01/11/18--18:58: World Economic Forum Award for Shah Rukh Khan 01-11
- 01/17/18--22:35: Globalization in the Age of Trump 01-18
- 01/17/18--22:53: How Customer Service Can Turn Angry Customers into Loyal Ones 01-18
- 01/17/18--23:11: Cracking Tumor Defiance 01-18
- 01/23/18--06:06: What Makes Work Meaningful — Or Meaningless 01-23
- 01/23/18--07:53: Forming Stronger Bonds with People at Work 01-23
- 01/23/18--09:21: The Troublemakers 01-23
- 01/24/18--05:56: The Healing Power of Stem Cells 01-24
- 01/28/18--03:01: An AI Bot Named Einstein Critiques Salesforce Execs Every Week 01-29
- 01/28/18--06:20: Wearable IoT Neuroflow for treating the PTSD patients. 01-29
- 01/29/18--05:54: Flip the Switch 01-29
- 01/31/18--09:03: robocop Ford is developing a robot police car 01-31
People are irrationally motivated to complete arbitrary sets of tasks, donations, or purchases—and organizations can take advantage of that, according to new research by Kate Barasz, Leslie John, Elizabeth Keenan, and Michael Norton.
“People really don’t like to leave things incomplete”
The Canadian Red Cross puts pseudo-sets to the test
People incur the cost of a bad gamble just so they can complete a pseudo-set
Future research and advice for managers
Archaea, bacteria, and eukarya use the same mechanism to maintain size...
SEAS researchers have found that these pink-hued archaea — called Halobacterium salinarum — use the same mechanisms to maintain size as bacteria and eukaryotic life, indicting that cellular division strategy may be shared across all domains of life. (Image courtesy of Alexandre Bison/Harvard University)
Working from home gets a bad rap. Google the phrase and examine the results — you’ll see scams or low-level jobs, followed by links calling out “legitimate” virtual jobs.
If I say, I am excited, it will be an understatement.....
If I say, I am ecstatic, it will still be an understatement.....
If I proudly say, India has become Incredible Again, probably it would be a statement closer to reality.
Today, all we need to do is, celebrate the in-imaginably astounding happening that has made India 'Incredible India' once again.
For the almost past three years, we had got used to being looked down upon by the people of world for our preoccupation with Gau (Cow) violence, Beef Violence, and now the Karni Sena violence.
While the political parties and politicians are busy muddying the beautiful landscape of the country, this event comes as an refreshing cleanser.
These events made even people forget the great economic reforms and progressive policies of P. V. Narasimha Rao, Shri. Vajpayee and Dr. Manmohan Singh.
Amidst all these, one person worked silently and unperturbedly for the upliftment and rehabilitation of women and children, and that effort is being by World Economic Forum.
Thanks Dr. Shah Rukh Khan, for making India INCREDIBLE again, and for giving us a reason to take pride in our Indian origin.
The World Economic Forum’s 48th Annual Meeting in Davos will begin later this month, under the theme of “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World”.
Artists are unique in the ways that they hold up a mirror to society—so that we can see the fractures more clearly, but equally that we can be reminded of our essential shared values.
The 24th Annual Crystal Awards celebrate the achievements of outstanding artists who have shown exemplary commitment to improving the state of the world. We are delighted this year to honor actors and directors Cate Blanchett and Shah Rukh Khan, and musician Sir Elton John. Each of them in their own way has taken action to uphold human dignity.
The awards ceremony will take place on the evening of Monday, January 22, launching the Annual Meeting. It will serve as a marker of the intention of the Meeting and as a reminder to us all of our responsibility to act with respect, generosity and compassion.
Cate Blanchett, for her leadership in raising awareness of the refugee crisis
UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett visits Syrian refugees in Jordan
Cate Blanchett is an internationally acclaimed award-winning actor and director of both stage and screen. Appointed a UNHCR Global Goodwill Ambassador in 2016, in recognition of her commitment to refugees, she has lent her voice and influence to raising awareness, advocating and fundraising for the UNHCR. Having met refugees in countries including Lebanon, Jordan and her home country, Australia, she advocates for increased solidarity and responsibility sharing for the 65 million-plus displaced people across the world. She has brought her creative skills to bear in sharpening focus on the individual human stories that lie behind the vast numbers.
“As a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, my job is simple: to help connect people to the human stories of those forced to flee, and to state the case for all of us to stand with refugees.”
Sir Elton John, for his leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS
Sir Elton John is one of the world’s most successful musical solo artists of all time, whose career has spanned more than five decades. With thirty-five Gold and twenty-five Platinum albums, he has sold more than 250 million records worldwide. In 1992, he established the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), which today is one of the leading non-profit HIV/AIDS organizations. EJAF has raised more than $400 million to date to support hundreds of HIV/AIDS prevention, service and advocacy programmes around the globe. In 1998, HM Queen Elizabeth knighted him Sir Elton John, Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to music and charitable causes. Sir Elton John recently received the Harvard Foundation’s Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award.
“AIDS is the leading cause of death for women of childbearing age, yet the medicine and know-how exists to prevent this. If we want to give the next generation a better future, we could solve this problem. What it takes is our collective passion and compassion.”
—Sir Elton John
Shah Rukh Khan, for his leadership in championing children’s and women’s rights in India
Shah Rukh Khan is one of Bollywood’s most prominent actors who has been at the forefront of the Indian film and television industry for over 30 years. He is the founder of the non‐profit Meer Foundation, which provides support to female victims of acid attacks and major burn injuries through medical treatment, legal aid, vocational training, rehabilitation and livelihood support. He has also been responsible for the creation of specialized children’s hospital wards and has supported childcare centres with free boarding for children undergoing cancer treatment.
“With victims of acid attacks I have had the privilege to witness the unparalleled courage and compassion that women are capable of. I have seen the transformative strength of goodness and the healing power of gentleness.”
—Shah Rukh Khan
Crystal Awardees are part of a community of 40 cultural leaders in Davos “creating a shared future in a fractured world”.
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Good customer service seems like common sense for businesses. But how valuable is it really?
Until now, this has not been rigorously quantified across different companies. Businesses are understandably reluctant to share their CRM and sales data, and most research in this field has been based on surveys. But as more Americans seek customer service online, social media offers a better platform for analyzing interactions between service reps and customers.
Using data from Twitter (where one of us works), we designed an experiment to study customer service interactions in two industries that generate a significant number of customer service complaints: airlines and wireless carriers. We found that prompt and personal customer service does indeed pay off — customers remember good and bad customer service experiences, and they’re willing to reward companies that treat them well.
We identified more than 400,000 customer service-related tweets sent to the top five major airlines (American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and United) and top four wireless carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon) in the U.S. from March 2015 to April 2016. Our sample of tweets was comprehensive, including complaints, questions, and comments. Since all tweets are public, we could review the entire conversation between the customer and the customer service agent (except direct messages) and code the interaction for attributes such as customer sentiment and tone (e.g., Is the interaction praise or scorn? Is the customer happy or angry?)
We then contacted these customers on Twitter, up to six months after they tweeted at the companies, and invited them to take a brief survey. Without providing a reason for the survey, we asked them to participate in a common market-research exercise called conjoint analysis to see if their customer service experiences affected how they valued the brands.
For example, for customers who had tweeted at airlines, the conjoint asked them to imagine buying a ticket for a two-hour non-stop flight. They had to choose between several combinations or “offers” that varied across dimensions such as airline, seat type, on-time arrival rate, and fare — similar to how customers would shop for fares on sites like Kayak or Expedia. We offered a similar exercise for wireless service customers.
From the conjoint exercise, we could discern what value, in dollar terms, customers attributed to their preferred airline. On Twitter, 1,877 users completed the conjoint exercises – 673 of them had received responses from companies, 375 received no response, and 829 had no customer service interaction and served as our control group for baseline willingness to pay.
We then tested our hypothesis: do customers who had a positive interaction with a brand’s customer service representative value that brand more? Or in management parlance, when a brand provides better customer service, will customers reward that brand with greater loyalty or pay a price premium?
Good Customer Service Matters on All Platforms
Customers who had interacted with a brand’s customer service representative on Twitter were significantly more likely to pay more for the brand, or choose the brand more often from a comparably-priced consideration set, compared to our control group of customers who had no such interaction. On average, across all tweets and regardless of whether the customer used a negative, neutral, or positive tone, we found customers who received any kind of response to their tweet were willing to pay almost $9 more for a ticket on that airline in the future. This extra $9 can be thought of as incremental brand value the airline has gained in the customer’s mind. In other words, all else being equal, a customer would be willing to buy a ticket from the airline even if the airline cost $9 more than its competitors.
We found similar results for wireless carriers. Customers who received any kind of response to their tweet were willing to pay $8 more, on average, for a monthly wireless plan from that carrier in the future, compared to the control group. Unlike airline tickets, wireless plans are monthly and recurring, so an $8 per month higher premium can lead to a significant revenue boost.
We also surveyed customers on their likelihood to recommend the brand to others, so we could derive a Net Promoter Score (NPS), a common measure of customer loyalty. We found that receiving a response improved NPS by 37 points for airlines and 59 points for wireless carriers, consistent with our findings from the conjoint exercise. (This bump is significant considering NPS scores range from -100 to 100.) In addition, these effects held up for at least six months after the interaction, suggesting some permanence to the positive impact of good service.
Respond to Customers, Even If They’re Upset
The connection between good customer service and brand loyalty may seem intuitive. What’s more surprising is that seeking to engage an angry or confrontational customer can also have a positive effect on brands.
Handling angry customers is a daily task for any customer service rep. While most companies do earnestly try to solve customer problems, inevitably there are some problems that cannot ever be fixed — the canceled flight that causes you to miss your sister’s wedding, or the dropped calls during your critical business negotiation. In many cases, there is little a company can do to redress a customer’s specific grievance.
But sometimes customers are just looking for a little empathy. When customers used a negative or even an angry tone in their initial tweet to a brand’s customer service team, we saw that the best approach was to respond to negative comments instead of ignoring them.
In our study, simply receiving a response — any response at all — increased the customer’s willingness to pay later, even in cases where customers were aggrieved. While successfully resolving an issue created more brand value (about $6 for our airline sample), responding without providing a resolution was still worth about $2 in added brand value for airlines.
We found even larger effects for wireless carriers. For customers who received no response, we found no statistically significant change in their willingness to pay. But, customers who got any response to their negative tweet were on average willing to pay $7 per month more for a wireless plan from that company than customers who got no response. For cases where the issue was resolved, they were willing to pay $8 more; if the agent was unable to resolve the issue, they were still willing to pay $6 more.
The lesson for managers is to reply to every customer service comment online, even the proverbial “I’ll never fly your airline again!” A mere acknowledgement of the customer’s problem can defuse initial frustration and put the customer back on the road to loyalty. Instead of the customer seeing the company as the enemy, a sympathetic response can reorient the situation so that the customer now feels that the company is on his or her side.
That being said, don’t ignore your happiest customers. We found the highest increases in willingness to pay actually came when businesses responded to customers who tweeted a positive comment at the company. Receiving a response to a positive comment generated $28 more for a future airline ticket and $12 more per month for wireless plans. Customers who say good things about your business are your advocates and your brand loyalists. You can demonstrate that you value them by acknowledging them and thanking them for their loyalty.
Good Service Happens Fast
As important as it is to respond to every customer issue, it is even more important to respond quickly. We observed that a brand can capture substantially more value by replying right away. When an airline responded to a customer’s tweet in five minutes or less, that customer was willing to pay almost $20 more for a ticket on that airline in future months. Similarly, wireless customers were willing to pay a whopping $17 more per month for a phone plan when they received a reply within five minutes.
Darwin’s theory wrong, nobody saw ape turning into man......... Minister Satyapal Singh.
Union minister Satyapal Singh said Darwin’s theory needs to change in school and college curriculum.
This great statement is coming from a person who is Minister of State in HRD ministry.
Thank god, he did not say, no one alive has ever seen Darwin, so, even he is a fiction of imagination. Darwin faced a lot of opposition from the Christian church and clergy, and One of them most probably has reincarnated as our #MoSHRD.
Sometime back we had a statement from the health minister of Assam belonging to the same party telling us that Cancer is caused by the sins of previous birth by the person.
The medical world found this statement so amusing, it was shared by the leading health association magazines the world over..
It did not cure cancer anywhere, but certainly did provide some comic relief to the overworked medical professionals.
This is in line with the statements we had in the past like. Peacocks don't mate, earth is flat and others.
Yes peacock's don't mate ..
Most probably, the peacocks and peahens have a spiritual intercourse to reproduce offspring..
Darwin probably missed out on this important aspect. What Darwin missed out on is being made good by this minister.#FatalisingEducation.
Probably, this is also part of Modi's "Make In India" programme with the objective of making India a laughing stock in the eyes the people of the world.
This government is probably planning to export the ignorance of these people Which is available in huge measure, to all the parts of the world..
ARE THERE ANY BUYERS, BEST PRICE ASSURED...
I am a very possessive and fanatic student of Genetics and Evolution and hold Darwin and Darwinism in high regard.
Still wondering, how such people become ministers in education ministry.. As if one Smriti Irani wasn't enough.....One more to create laughs among people.
Finally Charles Darwin quote...
"We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities... still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin."
Union minister Satyapal Singh said Darwin’s theory needs to change in school and college curriculum.
Union minister Satyapal Singh has claimed that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution of man was “scientifically wrong” and it needs to be changed in school and college curriculum.
Singh, minister of state for human resource development, said our ancestors have nowhere mentioned that they saw an ape turning into a man.
“Darwin’s theory (of evolution of humans) is scientifically wrong. It needs to change in school and college curriculum. Since the man is seen on Earth he has always been a man,” he said while speaking to reporters on Friday in Aurangabad.
The IPS officer-turned-politician was in this central Maharashtra city to attend the ‘All India Vaidik Sammelan.’
“Nobody, including our ancestors, in written or oral, have said they saw an ape turning into a man,” he said.
“No books we have read or the tales told to us by our grandparents had such a mention,” the minister added.
Darwinism is a theory of biological evolution that states that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual’s ability to compete, survive, and reproduce.
It was developed by Darwin, a 19th century English naturalist, and others.
Meaningful work is something we all want. The psychiatrist Viktor Frankl famously described how the innate human quest for meaning is so strong that, even in the direst circumstances, people seek out their purpose in life. More recently, researchers have shown meaningfulness to be more important to employees than any other aspect of work, including pay and rewards, opportunities for promotion, or working conditions. Meaningful work can be highly motivational, leading to improved performance, commitment, and satisfaction. But, so far, surprisingly little research has explored where and how people find their work meaningful and the role that leaders can play in this process.
We interviewed 135 people working in 10 very different occupations and asked them to tell us stories about incidents or times when they found their work to be meaningful and, conversely, times when they asked themselves, “What’s the point of doing this job?” We expected to find that meaningfulness would be similar to other work-related attitudes, such as engagement or commitment, in that it would arise purely in response to situations within the work environment.
However, we found that, unlike these other attitudes, meaningfulness tended to be intensely personal and individual; it was often revealed to employees as they reflected on their work and its wider contribution to society in ways that mattered to them as individuals. People tended to speak of their work as meaningful in relation to thoughts or memories of significant family members such as parents or children, bridging the gap between work and the personal realm. We also expected meaningfulness to be a relatively enduring state of mind experienced by individuals toward their work; instead, our interviewees talked of unplanned or unexpected moments during which they found their work deeply meaningful.
We were anticipating that our data would show that the meaningfulness experienced by employees in relation to their work was clearly associated with actions taken by managers, such that, for example, transformational leaders would have followers who found their work meaningful, whereas transactional leaders would not. Instead, our research showed that quality of leadership received virtually no mention when people described meaningful moments at work, but poor management was the top destroyer of meaningfulness.
We also expected to find a clear link between the factors that drove up levels of meaningfulness and those that eroded them. Instead, we found that meaningfulness appeared to be driven up and decreased by different factors. Whereas our interviewees tended to find meaningfulness for themselves rather than it being mandated by their managers, we discovered that if employers want to destroy that sense of meaningfulness, that was far more easily achieved. The feeling of “Why am I bothering to do this?” strikes people the instant a meaningless moment arises, and it strikes people hard. If meaningfulness is a delicate flower that requires careful nurturing, think of someone trampling over that flower in a pair of steel-toed boots. Avoiding the destruction of meaning while nurturing an ecosystem generative of feelings of meaningfulness emerged as the key leadership challenge.
About the Research
Meaningful work is a topic that is receiving increased attention. However, relatively little empirical research investigates in depth what meaningful work actually means to individuals. To address this, we undertook an extensive review of the literature on meaningful work from various fields, including psychology, management studies, sociology, and ethics. Drawing on these findings, we defined meaningful work as arising “when an individual perceives an authentic connection between work and a broader transcendent life purpose beyond the self.”
To conduct our research, we wanted to garner insights from people in a wide range of work situations. We interviewed 135 individuals in 10 very different occupations and asked them about times when they found their work meaningful or meaningless. The occupational groups we studied were: retail assistants, priests from various denominations, artists (including musicians, writers, and actors), lawyers, academics from science disciplines, entrepreneurs who had started their own business, nurses in an acute care hospital, soldiers, conservation stonemasons who were working on the preservation of an ancient cathedral, and garbage collectors. All data were collected in the U.K. We transcribed the interviews and coded them by theme to uncover patterns in how people view their work.
The Five Qualities of Meaningful Work
Our research aimed to uncover how and why people find their work meaningful. (See “About the Research.”) For our interviewees, meaningfulness, perhaps unsurprisingly, was often associated with a sense of pride and achievement at a job well done, whether they were professionals or manual workers. Those who could see that they had fulfilled their potential, or who found their work creative, absorbing, and interesting, tended to perceive their work as more meaningful than others. Equally, receiving praise, recognition, or acknowledgment from others mattered a great deal. These factors alone were not enough to render work meaningful, however. Our study also revealed five unexpected features of meaningful work; in these, we find clues that might explain the fragile and intangible nature of meaningfulness.
Individuals tended to experience their work as meaningful when it mattered to others more than just to themselves. In this way, meaningful work is self-transcendent. Although it is not a well-known fact, the famous motivation theorist Abraham Maslow positioned self-transcendence at the apex of his pyramid of human motivation, situating it beyond even self-actualization in importance. People did not just talk about themselves when they talked about meaningful work; they talked about the impact or relevance their work had for other individuals, groups, or the wider environment. For example, a garbage collector explained how he found his work meaningful at the “tipping point” at the end of the day when refuse was sent to recycling. This was the time he could see how his work contributed to creating a clean environment for his grandchildren and for future generations. An academic described how she found her work meaningful when she saw her students graduate at the commencement ceremony, a tangible sign of how her own hard work had helped others succeed. A priest talked about the uplifting and inspiring experience of bringing an entire community together around the common goal of a church restoration project.
The experience of meaningful work can be poignant rather than purely euphoric. People often found their work to be full of meaning at moments associated with mixed, uncomfortable, or even painful thoughts and feelings, not just a sense of unalloyed joy and happiness. People often cried in our interviews when they talked about the times when they found their work meaningful. The current emphasis on positive psychology has led us to focus on trying to make employees happy, engaged, and enthused throughout the working day. Psychologist Barbara Held refers to the current pressure to “accentuate the positive” as the “tyranny of the positive attitude.” Traditionally, meaningfulness has been linked with such positive attributes.
Our research suggests that, contrary to what we may have thought, meaningfulness is not always a positive experience. In fact, those moments when people found their work meaningful tended to be far richer and more challenging than times when they felt simply motivated, engaged, or happy. The most vivid examples of this came from nurses who described moments of profound meaningfulness when they were able to use their professional skills and knowledge to ease the passing of patients at the end of their lives. Lawyers often talked about working hard for extended periods, sometimes years, for their clients and winning cases that led to life-changing outcomes. Participants in several of the occupational groups found moments of meaningfulness when they had triumphed in difficult circumstances or had solved a complex, intractable problem. The experience of coping with these challenging conditions led to a sense of meaningfulness far greater than they would have experienced dealing with straightforward, everyday situations.
A sense of meaningfulness arose in an episodic rather than a sustained way. It seemed that no one could find their work consistently meaningful, but rather that an awareness that work was meaningful arose at peak times that were generative of strong experiences. For example, a university professor talked of the euphoric experience of feeling “like a rock star” at the end of a successful lecture. One actor we spoke to summed this feeling up well: “My God, I’m actually doing what I dreamt I could do; that’s kind of amazing.” Clearly, sentiments such as these are not sustainable over the course of even one single working day, let alone a longer period, but rather come and go over one’s working life, perhaps rarely arising. Nevertheless, these peak experiences have a profound effect on individuals, are highly memorable, and become part of their life narratives.
Meaningful moments such as these were not forced or managed. Only in a few instances did people tell us that an awareness of their work as meaningful arose directly through the actions of organizational leaders or managers. Conservation stonemasons talked of the significance of carving their “banker’s mark” or mason’s signature into the stone before it was placed into a cathedral structure, knowing that the stone might be uncovered hundreds of years in the future by another mason who would recognize the work as theirs.
They felt they were “part of history.” One soldier described how he realized how meaningful his work was when he reflected on his quick thinking in setting off the warning sirens in a combat situation, ensuring that no one at the camp was injured in the ensuing rocket attack. Sales assistants talked about times when they were able to help others, such as an occasion when a customer passed out in one store and the clerk was able to support her until she regained consciousness. Memorable moments such as these contain high levels of emotion and personal relevance, and thus become redolent of the symbolic meaningfulness of work.
In the instances cited above, it was often only when we asked the interviewees to recount a time when they found their work meaningful that they developed a conscious awareness of the significance of these experiences. Meaningfulness was rarely experienced in the moment, but rather in retrospect and on reflection when people were able to see their completed work and make connections between their achievements and a wider sense of life meaning.
One of the entrepreneurs we interviewed talked about the time when he was switching the lights out after his company’s Christmas party and paused to reflect back over the year on what he and his employees had achieved together. Garbage collectors explained how they were able to find their work meaningful when they finished cleaning a street and stopped to look back at their work. In doing this, they reflected on how the tangible work of street sweeping contributed to the cleanliness of the environment as a whole. One academic talked about research he had done for many years that seemed fairly meaningless at the time, but 20 years later provided the technological solution for touch-screen technology.
The experience of meaningfulness is therefore often a thoughtful, retrospective act rather than just a spontaneous emotional response in the moment, although people may be aware of a rush of good feelings at the time. You are unlikely to witness someone talking about how meaningful they find their job during their working day. For most of the people we spoke to, the discussions we had about meaningful work were the first time they had ever talked about these experiences.
Other feelings about work, such as engagement or satisfaction, tend to be just that: feelings about work. Work that is meaningful, on the other hand, is often understood by people not just in the context of their work but also in the wider context of their personal life experiences. We found that managers and even organizations actually mattered relatively little at these times. One musician described his profound sense of meaningfulness when his father attended a performance of his for the first time and finally came to appreciate and understand the musician’s work. A priest was able to find a sense of meaning in her work when she could relate the harrowing personal experiences of a member of her congregation to her own life events, and used that understanding to help and support her congregant at a time of personal tragedy.
An entrepreneur’s motivation to start his own business included the desire to make his grandfather proud of him. The customary dinner held to mark the end of a soldier’s service became imbued with meaning for one soldier because it was shared with family members who were there to hear her army stories. One lawyer described how she found her work meaningful when her services were recommended by friends and family and she felt trusted and valued in both spheres of her life. A garbage collector described the time when the community’s water supply became contaminated and he was asked to work on distributing water to local residents; that was meaningful, as he could see how he was helping vulnerable neighbors.
Moments of especially profound meaningfulness arose when these experiences coalesced with the sense of a job well done, one recognized and appreciated by others. One example of many came from a conservation stonemason who described how his work became most meaningful to him when the restoration of a section of the cathedral he had been working on for years was unveiled, the drapes and scaffolding withdrawn, and the work of the craftsmen celebrated. This event involved all the masons and other trades such as carpenters and glaziers, as well as the cathedral’s religious leaders, members of the public, and local dignitaries. “Everyone goes, ‘Doesn’t it look amazing?’” he said. “That’s the moment you realize you’ve saved something and ensured its future; you’ve given part of the cathedral back to the local community.”
These particular features of meaningful work suggest that the organizational task of helping people find meaning in their work is complex and profound, going far beyond the relative superficialities of satisfaction or engagement — and almost never related to one’s employer or manager.
Meaninglessness: The Seven Deadly Sins
What factors serve to destroy the fragile sense of meaningfulness that individuals find in their work? Interestingly, the factors that seem to drive a sense of meaninglessness and futility around work were very different from those associated with meaningfulness. The experiences that actively led people to ask, “Why am I doing this?” were generally a function of how people were treated by managers and leaders. Interviewees noted seven things that leaders did to create a feeling of meaninglessness (listed in order from most to least grievous).
1. Disconnect people from their values. Although individuals did not talk much about value congruence as a promoter of meaningfulness, they often talked about a disconnect between their own values and those of their employer or work group as the major cause of a sense of futility and meaninglessness. This issue was raised most frequently as a source of meaninglessness in work. A recurring theme was the tension between an organizational focus on the bottom line and the individual’s focus on the quality or professionalism of work. One stonemason commented that he found the organization’s focus on cost “deeply depressing.”
Academics spoke of their administrations being most interested in profits and the avoidance of litigation, instead of intellectual integrity and the provision of the best possible education. Nurses spoke despairingly of being forced to send patients home before they were ready in order to free up bed space. Lawyers talked of a focus on profits rather than on helping clients.
2. Take your employees for granted. Lack of recognition for hard work by organizational leaders was frequently cited as invoking a feeling of pointlessness. Academics talked about department heads who didn’t acknowledge their research or teaching successes; sales assistants and priests talked of bosses who did not thank them for taking on additional work. A stonemason described the way managers would not even say “good morning” to him, and lawyers described how, despite putting in extremely long hours, they were still criticized for not moving through their work quickly enough. Feeling unrecognized, unacknowledged, and unappreciated by line or senior managers was often cited in the interviews as a major reason people found their work pointless.
3. Give people pointless work to do. We found that individuals had a strong sense of what their job should involve and how they should be spending their time, and that a feeling of meaninglessness arose when they were required to perform tasks that did not fit that sense. Nurses, academics, artists, and clergy all cited bureaucratic tasks and form filling not directly related to their core purpose as a source of futility and pointlessness. Stonemasons and retail assistants cited poorly planned projects where they were left to “pick up the pieces” by senior managers. A retail assistant described the pointless task of changing the shop layout one week on instructions from the head office, only to be told to change it back again a week later.
4. Treat people unfairly. Unfairness and injustice can make work feel meaningless. Forms of unfairness ranged from distributive injustices, such as one stonemason who was told he could not have a pay raise for several years due to a shortage of money but saw his colleague being given a raise, to freelance musicians being asked to write a film score without payment. Procedural injustices included bullying and lack of opportunities for career progression.
5. Override people’s better judgment. Quite often, a sense of meaninglessness was connected with a feeling of disempowerment or disenfranchisement over how work was done. One nurse, for example, described how a senior colleague required her to perform a medical intervention that was not procedurally correct, and how she felt obliged to complete this even against her better judgment. Lawyers talked of being forced to cut corners to finish cases quickly. Stonemasons described how being forced to “hurry up” using modern tools and techniques went against their sense of historic craft practices. One priest summed up the role of the manager by saying, “People can feel empowered or disempowered by the way you run things.” When people felt they were not being listened to, that their opinions and experience did not count, or that they could not have a voice, then they were more likely to find their work meaningless.
6. Disconnect people from supportive relationships. Feelings of isolation or marginalization at work were linked with meaninglessness. This could occur through deliberate ostracism on the part of managers, or just through feeling disconnected from coworkers and teams. Most interviewees talked of the importance of camaraderie and relations with coworkers for their sense of meaningfulness. Entrepreneurs talked about their sense of loneliness and meaninglessness during the startup phase of their business, and the growing sense of meaningfulness that arose as the business developed and involved more people with whom they could share the successes. Creative artists spoke of times when they were unable to reach out to an audience through their art as times of profound meaninglessness.
7. Put people at risk of physical or emotional harm. Many jobs entail physical or emotional risks, and those taking on this kind of work generally appreciate and understand the choices they have made. However, unnecessaryem> exposure to risk was associated with lost meaningfulness. Nurses cited feelings of vulnerability when left alone with aggressive patients; garbage collectors talked of avoidable accidents they had experienced at work; and soldiers described exposure to extreme weather conditions without the appropriate gear.
These seven destroyers emerged as highly damaging to an individual’s sense of his or her work as meaningful. When several of these factors were present, meaningfulness was considerably lower.
Cultivating an Ecosystem For Meaningfulness
In the 1960s, Frederick Herzberg showed that the factors that give rise to a sense of job satisfaction are not the same as those that lead to feelings of dissatisfaction. It seems that something similar is true for meaningfulness. Our research shows that meaningfulness is largely something that individuals find for themselves in their work, but meaninglessness is something that organizations and leaders can actively cause. Clearly, the first challenge to building a satisfied workforce is to avoid the seven deadly sins that drive up levels of meaninglessness.
Given that meaningfulness is such an intensely personal and individual experience that is interpreted by individuals in the context of their wider lives, can organizations create an environment that cultivates high levels of meaningfulness? The key to meaningful work is to create an ecosystem that encourages people to thrive. As other scholars have argued, efforts to control and proscribe the meaningfulness that individuals inherently find in their work can paradoxically lead to its loss.
Our interviews and a wider reading of the literature on meaningfulness point to four elements that organizations can address that will help foster an integrated sense of holistic meaningfulness for individual employees. (See “The Elements of a Meaningfulness Ecosystem.”)
The Elements of a Meaningfulness Ecosystem
Individuals can derive meaning from their job, from particular tasks in their work, from interactions with others, or from the purpose of the organization. Although it is possible for someone to describe meaningfulness at work in terms of just one of the four elements, meaningfulness is enriched when more than one is present in a job, and these four elements can combine to enable a state of holistic meaningfulness.
1. Organizational Meaningfulness
At the macro level, meaningfulness is more likely to thrive when employees understand the broad purpose of the organization. This purpose should be formulated in such a way that it focuses on the positive contribution of the organization to the wider society or the environment. This involves articulating the following:
What does the organization aim to contribute? What is its “core business”?
How does the organization aspire to go about achieving this? What values underpin its way of doing business?
This needs to be done in a genuine and thoughtful way. People are highly adept at spotting hypocrisy, like the nurses who were told their hospital put patients first but were also told to discharge people as quickly as possible. The challenge lies not only in articulating and conveying a clear message about organizational purpose, but also in not undermining meaningfulness by generating a sense of artificiality and manipulation.
Reaching employees in ways that make sense to them can be a challenge. A clue for addressing this comes from the garbage collectors we interviewed. One described to us how the workers used to be told by management that the waste they returned to the depot would be recycled, but this message came across as highly abstract. Then the company started putting pictures of the items that were made from recycled waste on the side of the garbage trucks. This led to a more tangible realization of what the waste was used for.
2. Job Meaningfulness
The vast majority of interviewees found their work meaningful, whether they were musicians, sales assistants, lawyers, or garbage collectors. Studies have shown that meaning is so important to people that they actively go about recrafting their jobs to enhance their sense of meaningfulness. Often, this recrafting involves extending the impact or significance of their role for others. One example of this was sales assistants in a large retail store who listened to lonely elderly customers.
Organizations can encourage people to see their work as meaningful by demonstrating how jobs fit with the organization’s broader purpose or serve a wider, societal benefit. The priests we spoke to often explained how their ministry work in their local parishes contributed to the wider purpose of the church as a whole. In the same way, managers can be encouraged to show employees what their particular jobs contribute to the broader whole and how what they do will help others or create a lasting legacy.
Alongside this, we need to challenge the notion that meaningfulness can only arise from positive work experiences. Challenging, problematic, sad, or poignant jobs have the potential to be richly generative of new insights and meaningfulness, and overlooking this risks upsetting the delicate balance of the meaningfulness ecosystem. Providing support to people at the end of their lives is a harrowing experience for nurses and clergy, yet they cited these times as among the most meaningful. The task for leaders is to acknowledge the problematic or negative side of some jobs and to provide appropriate support for employees doing them, yet to reveal in an honest way the benefits and broader contribution that such jobs make.
3. Task Meaningfulness
Given that jobs typically comprise a wide range of tasks, it stands to reason that some of these tasks will constitute a greater source of meaningfulness than others. To illustrate, a priest will have responsibility for leading acts of worship, supporting sick and vulnerable individuals, developing community relations and activities, and probably a wide range of other tasks such as raising funds, managing assistants and volunteers, ensuring the upkeep of church buildings, and so on. In fact, the priests were the most hard-working group that we spoke to, with the majority working a seven-day week on a bewildering range of activities. Even much simpler jobs will involve several different tasks. One of the challenges facing organizations is to help people understand how the individual tasks they perform contribute to their job and to the organization as a whole.
When individuals described some of the sources of meaninglessness they faced in their work, they often talked about how to come to terms with the tedious, repetitive, or indeed purposeless work that is part of almost every job. For example, the stonemasons described how the first few months of their training involved learning to “square the stone,” which involves chiseling a large block of stone into a perfectly formed square with just a few millimeters of tolerance on each plane. As soon as they finished one, they had to start another, repeating this over and over until the master mason was satisfied that they had perfected the task. Only then were they allowed to work on more interesting and intricate carvings. Several described their feelings of boredom and futility; one said that he had taken 18 attempts to get the squaring of the stone correct. “It feels like you are never ever going to get better,” he recalled. Many felt like giving up at this point, fearing that stonemasonry was not for them. It was only in later years, as they looked back on this period in their working lives, that they could see the point of this detailed level of training as the first step on their path to more challenging and rewarding work.
Filling out forms, cited earlier, is another good example of meaningless work. Individuals in a wide range of occupations all reported that what they perceived as “mindless bureaucracy” sapped the meaningfulness from their work. For instance, most of the academics we spoke to were highly negative about the amount of form filling the job entailed. One said, “I was dropping spreadsheets into a huge black hole.”
Where organizations successfully managed the context within which these necessary but tedious tasks were undertaken, the tasks came to be perceived not exactly as meaningful, but equally as not meaningless. Another academic said, “I’m pretty good with tedious work, as long as it’s got a larger meaning.”
4. Interactional Meaningfulness
There is widespread agreement that people find their work meaningful in an interactional context in two ways:26 First, when they are in contact with others who benefit from their work; and, second, in an environment of supportive interpersonal relationships. As we saw earlier, negative interactional experiences — such as bullying by a manager, lack of respect or recognition, or forcing reduced contact with the beneficiaries of work — all drive up a sense of meaninglessness, since the employee receives negative cues from others about the value they place on the employee’s work.
The challenge here is for leaders to create a supportive, respectful, and inclusive work climate among colleagues, between employees and managers, and between organizational staff and work beneficiaries. It also involves recognizing the importance of creating space in the working day for meaningful interactions where employees are able to give and receive positive feedback, communicate a sense of shared values and belonging, and appreciate how their work has positive impacts on others.
Not surprisingly, the most striking examples of the impact of interactional meaningfulness on people came from the caring occupations included in our study: nurses and clergy. In these cases, there was very frequent contact between the individual and the direct beneficiaries of his or her work, most often in the context of supporting and healing people at times of great vulnerability in their lives.
Witnessing firsthand, and hearing directly, about how their work had changed people’s lives created a work environment conducive to meaningfulness. Although prior research has similarly highlighted the importance of such direct contact for enhancing work’s meaningfulness, we also found that past or future generations, or imagined future beneficiaries, could play a role. This was the case for the stonemasons who felt connected to past and future generations of masons through their bankers’ marks on the back of the stones and for the garbage collectors who could envisage how their work contributed to the living environment for future generations.
The four elements of the meaningfulness ecosystem combine to enable a state of holistic meaningfulness, where the synergistic benefits of multiple sources of meaningfulness can be realized. Although it is possible for someone to describe meaningful moments in terms of any one of the subsystems, meaningfulness is enriched when more than one or all of these are present. A sales assistant, for example, described how she had been working with a team on the refurbishment of her store: “We’d all been there until 2 a.m., working together moving stuff, everyone had contributed and stayed late and helped, it was a good time. We were exhausted but we still laughed and then the next morning we were all bright in our uniforms, it was a lovely feeling, just like a little family coming together. The day [the store] opened, it did bring tears to my eyes. We had a little gathering and a speech; the managers said ‘thank you’ to everybody because everyone had contributed.”
Finding work meaningful is an experience that reaches beyond the workplace and into the realm of the individual’s wider personal life. It can be a very profound, moving, and even uncomfortable experience. It arises rarely and often in unexpected ways; it gives people pause for thought — not just concerning work but what life itself is all about. In experiencing work as meaningful, we cease to be workers or employees and relate as human beings, reaching out in a bond of common humanity to others. For organizations seeking to manage meaningfulness, the ethical and moral responsibility is great, since they are bridging the gap between work and personal life.
Yet the benefits for individuals and organizations that accrue from meaningful workplaces can be immense. Organizations that succeed in this are more likely to attract, retain, and motivate the employees they need to build sustainably for the future, and to create the kind of workplaces where human beings can thrive.
Reproduced from MITSLOAN Management Review
Sharpen Your Skills in Noticing Suffering
Perfect Your Capacity for Inquiry
Tune into Your Feelings of Concern
Unleash Your Creativity with Compassionate Actions
Chief executive Marc Benioff told Davos attendees on Thursday that, at a senior staff meeting every Monday for the last year, one seat has been occupied by the company’s “artificial intelligence” software, which is called Einstein.
“I ask Einstein, ‘I heard what everybody said but what do you actually think?'” Benioff said, according to a CNBC report.
Benioff explained that Einstein recently upset a European employee by saying “Well, I don’t think this executive is going to make their number, I’m so sorry,” before identifying the problems at hand.
While this early AI deployment is unusual, to say the least, it’s probably unsurprising that it’s happening at Salesforce.
The cloud software company has been very bullish on AI, having last year launched a $50 million fund to invest in startups that are deploying such technology.
The company has been pitching the Einstein AI—which it originally wanted to call “Optimus Prime“—as a tool for things like identifying sales leads more quickly and efficiently. It is trying to encourage the functionality’s incorporation into a variety of business applications.
A Veteran Entrepreneur
Neuroflow is his way of fighting back. Neuroflow uses wearables to measure the physical effects of stress, and quantify them in a way that is useful to therapists who are treating people for severe anxiety and stress. For the first time, therapists can use quantifiable measurements to see if their therapies are working—and adjust for maximum effectiveness.
The Importance of Persistence
Neuroflow is also a story of persistence. Chris started working with his cofounder, Adam Pardes, who is an engineering PhD candidate at Penn, on a project for the Y-Prize, which asks students to commercialize Penn technologies. In Chris’s words, they “lost miserably.” But the idea was what set them on the path to Neuroflow.
They won the Innovation Prize in the Penn Wharton Startup Challenge, and got a lot of other support from across the University. Chris says that, “before raising the investment capital we won a total of $140,000 in business plan competitions, thanks in large part to Wharton.”
But when they set out to raise serious money, it took time, and a lot of persistence. They ultimately raised $1.25 million. Doing so took them months of conversations, and talks with 140 investors. This, as Karl points out, isn’t especially uncommon—so for you entrepreneurs out there who are looking to raise funds, get ready to start calling.
Our Own Battle
For Chris, he sees Neuroflow as “our own war zone, our own battle, and we have to figure out a way. And we’ve got great men and women to our left and right in the office, and we’ll figure it out.”
What is Neuroflow,
Changes in fat metabolism may promote prostate cancer metastasis...
Prostate tumors tend to be what scientists call “indolent”—so slow-growing and self-contained that many affected men die with prostate cancer, not of it. But for the percentage of men whose prostate tumors metastasize, the disease is invariably fatal.
In a set of papers published in the journals Nature Genetics and Nature Communications, researchers at Harvard Medical School and the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have shed new light on the genetic mechanisms that promote metastasis in a mouse model and implicated the typical Western high-fat diet as a key environmental factor driving metastasis.
“Although it is widely postulated that a Western diet can promote prostate cancer progression, direct evidence supporting a strong association between dietary lipids and prostate cancer has been lacking,” said first author Ming Chen, HMS research fellow in medicine in the laboratory of Pier Paolo Pandolfi, the HMS George C. Reisman Professor of Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess.
Epidemiological data links dietary fats (and obesity) to many types of cancer, and rates of cancer deaths from metastatic cancers including prostate cancer are much higher in the United States than in nations where lower fat diets are more common. While prostate cancer affects about 10 percent of men in Asian nations, that rate climbs to about 40 percent when they immigrate to the U.S., mirroring the rates among the native-born U.S. population. That points to an environmental culprit that may work in concert with genetic factors to drive this aggressive, fatal disease.
“The progression of cancer to the metastatic stage represents a pivotal event that influences patient outcomes and the therapeutic options available to patients,” said senior author Pandolfi, who is also director of the Cancer Center and the Cancer Research Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess. “Our data provide a strong genetic foundation for the mechanisms underlying metastatic progression, and we also demonstrated how environmental factors can boost these mechanisms to promote progression from primary to advanced metastatic cancer.”
The tumor suppressor gene PTEN is known to play a major role in prostate cancer; its partial loss occurs in up to 70 percent of primary prostate tumors. Its complete loss is linked to metastatic prostate disease, but animal studies suggest the loss of PTEN alone is not enough to trigger progression. Pandolfi and colleagues sought to identify an additional tumor suppressing gene or pathway that may work in concert with PTEN to drive metastasis.
Looking at recent genomic data, Pandolfi and colleagues noticed that another tumor suppressor gene, PML, tended to be present in localized (nonmetastatic) prostate tumors but was absent in about a third of metastatic prostate tumors. Moreover, about 20 percent of metastatic prostate tumors lack both PML and PTEN.
When they compared the two types of tumor—the localized ones lacking only the PTEN gene versus the metastatic tumors lacking both genes—the researchers found that the metastatic tumors produced huge amounts of lipids, or fats. In tumors that lacked both PTEN and PML tumor suppressing genes, the cells’ fat-production machinery was running amok.
“It was as though we’d found the tumors’ lipogenic, or fat production, switch,” said Pandolfi. “The implication is, if there’s a switch, maybe there’s a drug with which we can block this switch and maybe we can prevent metastasis or even cure metastatic prostate cancer,” he added.
Such a drug already exists. Discovered in 2009, a molecule named “fatostatin” is currently being investigated for the treatment of obesity. Pandolfi and colleagues tested the molecule in lab mice.
“The obesity drug blocked the lipogenesis fantastically, and the tumors regressed and didn’t metastasize.”
In addition to opening the door to new treatment for metastatic prostate cancer, these findings also helped solve a long-standing scientific puzzle. For years, researchers had difficulty modeling metastatic prostate cancer in mice, making it hard to study the disease in the lab. Some speculated that mice simply weren’t a good model for this particular disease. But the lipid-production finding raised a question in Pandolfi’s mind.
“I asked, ‘What do our mice eat?’” Pandolfi recalled.
It turned out the mice ate a vegetable-based chow, essentially a low-fat vegan diet that bore little resemblance to that of the average American male. When Pandolfi and colleagues increased the levels of saturated fats, the kind found in fast food cheeseburgers and fries, in the animals’ diet, the mice developed aggressive, metastatic tumors.
The findings could result in more accurate and predictive mouse models for metastatic prostate cancer, which in turn could accelerate discovery of better therapies for the disease. Additionally, physicians could soon be able to screen their early-stage prostate cancer patients for those whose tumors lack both PTEN and PML tumor suppressing genes, putting them at increased risk for progressing to metastatic disease. These patients may be helped by starving these tumors of fat either with the fat-blocking drug or through diet.
“The data are tremendously actionable, and they surely will convince you to change your lifestyle,” Pandolfi said.
This work was supported by a U.S. Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program Postdoctoral Training Award and the National Institutes of Health (grants R01 CA142784, R35 CA197529, P01 CA120964 and R35 CA197459.)
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The marketing landscape is evolving rapidly. Hardly breaking news. There are new companies and products constantly popping up that enable more efficient and effective work across all channels. The teams that achieve the most success are the ones that are constantly up-to-date with these new tools.
Finding new products is also a lot easier today than it was in the past. Today, there are far more thought leaders, newsletters, and blogs sharing the latest trends and ways in which companies are taking advantage of them.
Moving forward, the landscape is going to continue to morph and expand, which is truly saying something when you consider the number of martech options that were available in 2017 as per Scott Brinker's infamous chart. And if you can't read it here, and who can blame if you can't, you can see the full version here.
Here are 5 ways that tech is going to change marketing in 2018 that you should be on the lookout for:
1. It Will Be Easier To Find Customers
There are inbound leads, like site visitors, and there are also outbound leads, like a group of Sales VPs that get sent an email. Tech is making it easier to find and sell to both of these groups.
For inbound, technology has enabled marketing teams to find out more about their website visitors. Companies can run reverse IP lookups to match a visitor with the company they work for. Different services are also making it easier to capture emails. Emails are more valuable than ever because enrichment products can tell you everything about a person once given an email. Plus, that data is becoming more accurate as time goes on.
Outbound leads have also become easier to find. Marketing teams can take advantage of lead generation services that offer unique targeting of
audiences. The customization that companies will be able to do to gather leads, and the quality of those leads, will also increase in 2018. This is, consequently, enabling companies to spend more time figuring out who their target audience is, instead of actually gathering their information.
2. There Is Better Customization
Once you know the visitor's title, location, company and/or industry, anything about their site experience can be changed. This could be the images they are presented, the customers or testimonials they see for social proof, and even the messages sent by a chatbot. This customization, and the functionality for it, is going to improve dramatically in 2018.
The early movers are also going to get a huge bump in conversion rates. They will be able to target messaging and pictures to fit the psyche of each company and visitor. Instead of needing a catch-all site, companies can segment their audiences. Mark Rabe, SVP of Art Concrete Solutions told me, “We have 2 very different customers. One group are potential franchisees for our concrete repair business. The other group are consumers who might purchase our DIY concrete repair bucket. We have to segment our visitors and show them relevant info or they’re gone fast. We can display the best option given data we have on the visitor. That, inevitably, will increase conversion rates.”
3. There Will Be A Greater Push For Immediate Sales
People have many distractions today, and that will only increase in 2018. They are constantly flooded with emails and content, as well as spend a significant amount of time on social media. Therefore, in 2018, marketing is going to move further towards quick sales. E-commerce sites are trying to capture the sale upon a user’s first visit. They are already offering discounts for immediate buys and will likely continue to do so. Email follow-ups about open online orders will also continue to emerge as the norm.
Implementations of blockchain technologies, like PureGold’s new gold-backed payment gateway, will enhance consumer access to e-commerce using cryptocurrency. Being a brick and mortar company with gold ATMs, gold minting factories and storefronts, PureGold also offers many offline ways to provide instant transactions for consumers. Whether mobile, desktop, or in person, maximum flexibility is offered.
The recent emergence of chat-bots like Drift and Intercom enable a site visitor to schedule a demo with a sales rep in seconds. Being able to do so prevents the need for back and forth email exchange. It also takes advantage of the currently attentive visitor before they become distracted or overwhelmed with other things.
4. No Excuse For Poor Web Design
Engineers have become better and there are new tools enabling novices to design quality-looking sites. In just a few clicks, developers and designers can now easily build content-ready, production sites for their products. Landing pages are critical components of a brand’s image and will largely determine the effectiveness of a company’s funnel. This trend is putting a greater emphasis on people that can design, build front-end sites, or even navigate a CMS like WordPress.
5. There Will Be A Greater Emphasis On Data (if that's even possible)
Marketers can look at more metrics than ever. These include open rates, time spent on pages, and how people interact with a page. This data can drive better decisions and keep marketing people from guessing. There has even been an emergence of machine learning in marketing. Machine learning can qualify leads and determine customer projected value.
Companies like Repux are using data and artificial intelligence to help businesses maximize their potential. On the Repux platform, businesses can sell anonymized data to developers for use with machine learning algorithms. Once optimized as intelligent applications, the applications can be sold back to businesses for better business decision making.
Larger brands will likely put more resources towards their branding, images and messaging because they can. Smaller brands do not have the budget or time for that. In the past, this meant that they were less effective. Now, though, smaller brands can test a handful of approaches quickly.
Then, they can use that data to inform their decisions.
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The development of ultra-intense lasers delivering the same power as the entire U.S. power grid has enabled the study of cosmic phenomena such as supernovae and black holes in earthbound laboratories. Now, a new method developed by computational astrophysicists at the University of Chicago allows scientists to analyze a key characteristic of these events: their powerful and complex magnetic fields.