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7 behaviors that may predict your company’s odds of survival

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This article was originally published by Built In.

The old way of working is dead. Its death throes began decades ago, and the COVID-19 shake-up has slammed the lid on the coffin.

In a world of flux, we all have to be 24/7 learners, innovators and collaborators. Yet most companies continue to allow, encourage or even force workers to keep up their old rugged-individualistic, head-down, fear-driven, Industrial Revolution-era ways. Many leaders don’t even realize these old-school dynamics are at play in their company. And if they do, they may not know how dangerous they are.

No business can compete for long in a marketplace that requires constant transformation when people show up to work in a way that squelches innovation. And it doesn’t matter how much you insist your culture is innovative if the behaviors happening around you inhibit innovation. (To paraphrase Emerson, what your employees do speaks so loudly that no one can hear what your mission, vision or values say.)

The new way of working requires employees to continuously learn, unlearn and relearn so they can adapt to the reality of the world as it evolves. I call this “hyper-learning,” and it requires leaders to lead in a way that encourages this to happen.

My new book, Hyper-Learning, identifies seven foundational behaviors that are necessary for people to be hyper-learners. They’re a good yardstick for any organization. Look around. If you don’t see these seven behaviors in action, you don’t have an innovative culture. The proof is in how people act every single day.

Behavior 1: Managing self 

The best thinkers, the best learners, the best collaborators and the best listeners have learned how to manage their inner world: their ego, mind, body, and emotions. This means people have a quiet ego and are open-minded and good at not knowing things. They don’t reflexively defend, deny or deflect when someone challenges them. They are willing to change their position when they get better evidence. When talking to others, they have a quiet mind and are fully present and focused totally on listening and trying to understand what the other person is saying. They control their negative emotions and rarely fly off the handle.

Red Flags: A person who can’t “manage self” always has to be right. Others may describe them as defensive, arrogant, judgmental or super-opinionated. A person who frequently interrupts people or who multitasks while listening to others. A person who behaves in disrespectful ways or can’t control their emotions. A person who raises their voice or who glares at people.

Behavior 2: ‘Otherness

No one achieves success by themselves. In the Digital Age, their success will be highly dependent upon their ability to build caring, trusting relationships at work that enable the highest levels of thinking and learning with others. Otherness is a mindset — a belief that they need the help of others to see what they don’t see because of their tendencies to seek confirmation of what they believe. Otherness is a behavior — behaving in ways that show they respect the human dignity of the other person. Success in the Digital Age will require otherness. A competitive survival-of-the-fittest mindset will be the quickest pathway to failure. This person’s biggest competition in the Digital Age will be themselves, not others.

Red Flags: A person who rarely asks others for help. A person who believes he is better than most people. A person who views each conversation as a win-lose, zero-sum game. A person who will not prevent someone from doing something wrong because they want them to fail. A person who gossips negatively about others. A know-it-all. A braggart.

Behavior 3: Emotionally connecting in positive ways 

The science is clear: Positive emotions enable better learning, better decision-making and more willingness to explore, create and innovate. A positive emotional work environment comes about because people bring their positive emotions to the conversation. They understand the power of slowing down to be fully in the moment, and they express their positivity by smiling, by their tone of voice, by their calmness and by the words they choose to use. They behave in respectful ways to others — even if they disagree with what is being said. They express gratitude often (i.e., “thank you,” “I appreciate that,” or “you are kind”). A positive emotional environment in a meeting liberates people in that people can sync their positivity with each other and be fully engaged without the limitations of worries, insecurities and fears. People can be their best selves, so you have the opportunity to have high-quality conversations that can result in team flow that can lead to “wow” results.

Red Flags: People who are rude to each other. People who use body language that says, I am not really listening to you or I am dominant. People who put down others. People who are closed-minded or not engaged. People who are constantly interrupting or raising their voices and moving forward, getting ready to attack verbally.

Behavior 4: Effective collaboration

This begins with leaders. They know how to set up meetings so that people feel psychologically safe to join in. Leaders have created an environment where collaboration is not a competition — an environment where people care about each other and trust that no one will do them harm. During meetings, people are fully present, attentive and connected to each other. Everyone gets to speak. People challenge the status quo and seek the best possible idea, regardless of the status or position of who suggested it.

Red Flags: The highest-ranking people dominate and aggressively push their views. Meetings are not genuine open discussions. Instead, the answer is predetermined, and the real goal is consent and compliance. Some people don’t speak up at all. Too often, critiques get personal.

Behavior 5: Reflective listening 

People who exhibit this behavior allow others to talk. They reframe what they think the other person is saying to make sure they understand. They ask clarifying questions before telling, advocating or disagreeing. When they do disagree, they critique the idea, not the person.

Red Flags: People don’t make eye contact. They interrupt. They multitask during meetings. They are great tellers, not listeners. Their egos are wrapped up in showing the speaker that they are the smartest person in the room.

Behavior 6: Courage 

In the Digital Age, everyone will have to excel at going into the unknown and figuring things out. That takes courage: the courage to try. A person with courage is willing to experiment, even though they know they might fail. They also understand that most learning comes from having conversations with people who have different views. They don’t mind having respectful but difficult conversations. You’ll find them volunteering for new projects, openly sharing their views, and asking for lots of feedback.

Red Flags: People are unwilling to take risks. They seem guarded and closed-lipped. Because they fear making mistakes or looking bad, they rarely step out of their comfort zone.

Behavior 7: Evidence based decision-making 

When employees possess this behavior, they are not married to their ideas. They are more open-minded. They never assume. They are always seeking data, even if it will disprove their theory or even force a return to the drawing board. They seem to get the statement “I am not my ideas” on a deep level.

Red Flags: People defend their ideas even when there’s no data to support them. They rarely ask for the input of others (and if it’s given, they don’t listen to it). They are invested in being “right.”

 If you see most of these seven foundational behaviors in action, you’re on the right track. If you see a lot of red flags, you’re in trouble. The good news is that people can change their behaviors.

It takes a lot of intentional work. But as is always true, the first step is admitting you have a problem — and the second is realizing the upside of changing outweighs the downside of not changing.

Published October 12, 2020 — 06:30 UTC

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The 10 Best Deals of October 27, 2020

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Gif: Juliana Clark

Best Deals of the DayBest Deals of the DayThe best deals from around the web, updated daily.

Tuesday’s Best Deals | Kinja Deals

It’s October 27, and we at Kinja Deals are here to bring you the top 10 deals of the day. Kick back with some vegan CBD gummies. Prep for your future Zoom calls with the MySmile Teeth Whitening Kit. Try your hand at indoor gardening with the AeroGarden Harvest 360.

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If you’re still looking to snag some deals, take a look at Tuesday’s best deals overall.

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If you’re going to give OLED a try, this might be the time to start considering. I’ll contend you can still get away with an LG B7, the baseline from a couple of generations ago, but the TVs have gotten exceptional. Burn-in and input lag are two of the biggest knocks against OLED, especially for gamers, but according to reviews, that should be a non-issue on the LG CX. So long as you’re not watching the news or playing games with the same HUD for many consecutive hours on end, you shouldn’t run into any nasty image retention issues anytime soon.

Now down to its all-time low price of $1,497 on Amazon and at BuyDig, this 55″ TV is one of the best LG currently has to offer. It begins with that beautiful OLED panel, of course, which bids sayonara to muddy grays and backlight bleed thanks to its per-pixel lighting. For movies, Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision HDR return to give you the best cinematic experience possible, the latter adding a feature that automatically tunes the picture around your ambient lighting conditions and the content you’re watching.

The TV also includes both AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync, both of which are gaming features that eliminate screen tearing with little (if any) added input lag.

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This deal was originally published by Quentyn Kennemer.

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You can now commemorate your digital rags to riches story in Animal Crossing with a real world bell bag, now bundled with the game for $55. The bag alone is normally $20, and with Animal Crossing: New Horizons usually hovering around $50 these days, it’s a nice $15 value. We’ve talked at length about the game ‘round here, but this rave is all about that bag!

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This soft plush bag is super authentic with a brown star patch and a red drawstring to keep whatever you decide to carry inside from spilling out. The bag is about 5.95 inches wide and 4.9 inches tall, which isn’t a whole lot of room, but I’m sure you can find a good use for it!

Put down your purses, backpacks, and pocketbooks and try on an oldish-new way to transport your personal items and currencies. (Or, you know, just add it to your ever-growing Nintendo shrine.)

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This deal was originally published by Quentyn Kennemer.

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There’s nothing more vegan than letting everyone know you’re vegan, and while I don’t partake in the diet myself, I do try to reduce my animal-based intake where possible. And for avid CBD users like myself, it can be hard to find gummies that don’t use gelatin or other animal products to get their chewy mouthfeel. Complete with vitamins D3 and B12, Sunday Scaries Vegan AF gummies yield all the benefits of its classic Gummies for Chillin’ except, you know, without the dissuasive ingredients. Made from broad spectrum CBD oil and coconut oil, unlike some competing brands, Sunday Scaries’ gummies contain no THC, not even like trace amounts of the stuff. So if you’re trying to cut down on the devil’s lettuce, let our exclusive discount help with that.

Because CBD lacks the psychoactive chemical found in THC, it doesn’t get you “high” per se. Instead, it makes you feel relaxed while sober. Just pop a tasty gummy or two and you’re set to lie down for the night, free from racing thoughts about the impending doom of work tomorrow, hence the name Sunday Scaries. For a limited time, you can save 25% on these vegan CBD gummies using the promo code ESINV25 to see what it’s all about. Automatically applied at checkout, this brings the grand total down to $35, or $31 if you choose to subscribe and save. Before long, you’ll be singing its praises without ethical concern for environmental impact (well, save for the packaging I presume).

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This deal was originally published by Gabe Carey.

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If you need a massive storage upgrade and don’t need SSD transfer speeds, this Seagate Gold Box is perfect timing. External hard drives are up to 35% off at Amazon for the day, including a 2TB Backup Plus Slim that’s only $53, and you can get more than double the space for less than double the cost with this 5TB for $98.

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If you have tons of big games and large movies, you might want to step up to this 8TB instead, which is just $123 with the discount. There are options all the way up to a massive 10TB at Amazon, so shop around before the calendar turns.

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This deal was originally published by Quentyn Kennemer.

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Over 11,000 customers can’t be wrong. 60% of Amazon reviewers have given the MySmile Teeth Whitening Kit a 5-star rating. If you’ve been looking to clean up a few coffee stains or make those pearly whites a little brighter this is the kit you’ve been searching for. Save 30% on this kit today.

If you’ve seen these sets before you know it comes with a LED light that helps accelerate the whitening process. It has a built-in timer so you don’t need to worry about setting one yourself and each session will be accurate. Also in this kit are the three 3mL teeth whitening gel syringes and the mouth trays for top and bottom. This kit provides enough gel for nine treatments. The trays don’t need to be molded which alleviates a huge headache and is usually my biggest gripe when I’ve tried kits akin to this one. Several customers have mentioned this worked just as well with their sensitive teeth which are really nice to know if you’re on the delicate side. Use these bad boys once a day for ten minutes and see stains from your life fade away even after one treatment. If only you could remove other problems that easily.

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This deal was originally published by Sheilah Villari.

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I live in a basement apartment so I thought this would be a fun experiment when I got one of these. I also with a roommate who is an excellent cook and constantly looking for fresh herbs and our garden isn’t reliable with the neighborhood creatures. I was pleasantly surprised by the AeroGarden Harvest 360 and if you’re a foodie with a green thumb this is the deal for you. Save $50 on this model right now.

I don’t know what I was expecting but I don’t think it was for them to all grow so quickly. I put the AeroGarden in my room on a high shelf away from all the dogs, so a pretty lightless area. I will say the 20W LED grow-lights are very bright, but duh, they’re supposed to be the sun. They’re on a timer too so you don’t need to worry about turning it on and off. It was easy to set up and I really love that it’s got light indicators that let you know when your plant babies need water or food. Yes, it comes with plant food that’s easy to measure out and pour in the well. It was simple enough to get the pods into the AeroGarden with relatively no mess. I haven’t figured out how to harvest them yet which will need to be done very soon. My pack came with Genovese basil, Thai basil, dill, curly parsley, mint, and thyme. I can say the basil smells lovely. This was a fun experiment that I was pleasantly surprised by and I’d be willing to try some more advanced things like lettuce or tomatoes. The AeroGarden is a great alternative for the plant minded individual worried about pesticides or herbicides.

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This deal was originally published by Sheilah Villari.

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Listen, no matter how loud the anti-maskers have a temper tantrum, masks protect yourself and others from COVID-19. We’re living in a pandemic and you know, it requires a bit of preparation for going out in public. This 40-Pack of KN95 masks is $24. Yes, masks are overpriced these days, but these five-layer KN95 masks block 95% of air particles up to .3-micron levels. What are you waiting for? Grab a box and start using them!

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This deal was originally published by Ignacia Fulcher. 

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If you’ve been looking for a way to take your temperature (or anyone else’s) without touching, you should look into this infrared forehead thermometer. It measures the heat coming off you in about a second for the best possible reading. You can also use it in the ear. It’s only $22, which is about $40 off the original list price. I would grab it before it’s gone.

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This deal was originally published by Quentyn Kennemer.

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Our pals at Elle Paradis want to treat you not trick you this week unless you’re into that. As a lead up to the spookiest day of the year grab 2 extra good when you spend $75.

My favorite little devil bullet ($22) is one of the free goodies. Channel your dark side in a discrete and clever manner. This smooth silicone little satan vibe has ten different settings and will be as naughty as you want to. Easy to use as it has one button and it’s splash-proof for simple cleaning. This buzzing Beelzebub will need AAA batteries but it’ll be worth it when get to dance with diablo.

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A handful of bundles are on sale for All Hallows’ Eve too. This Ghouls Just Wanna Have Fun Bundle ($55) that’s discounted 77% in this deal. I do like the variety in this set though. A little something for the backdoor and the front door. Two massagers and a G-spot vibe. Stimulate the spirits just remember to clean the ectoplasm after.

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Free shipping on all orders.

This deal was originally published by Sheilah Villari.

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If you have the occasional pimple, much like me, chances are you don’t want it to be there. You should check out Rael Pimple Patches. Only $16, they’re made with hydrocolloid that’ll extract all the nasty-ass puss straight from your pimple without ever having to pop them. Which means no acne scars! They also come in two sizes, 10mm and 12mm for regular and extra-large pimples. Shoot, I might buy some!

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This deal was originally published by Ignacia Fulcher.


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Microsoft gets a pandemic boost thanks to Surface, Xbox, and cloud services

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Microsoft posted the first quarter of its 2021 financial results today, reporting revenue of $37.2 billion and a net income of $13.9 billion. Revenue is up 12 percent, and net income has increased by 30 percent. While the ongoing pandemic continues to force many to work remotely during an economic downturn, Microsoft is benefiting from the shift in the way people are now working, playing games more, and connecting to others through videoconferencing.

Cloud services are the biggest boost to Microsoft’s revenues from the pandemic shift in behavior. Both Office commercial and consumer are up, with Office 365 Commercial revenue growth up by 21 percent. Server products and cloud services revenue has also increased 22 percent as more businesses rely on cloud services for remote working. Azure revenue itself grew 48 percent.

The biggest news here from a consumer point of view is that Microsoft 365 Consumer subscribers have also increased to 45.3 million. That’s a jump of 27 percent year-over-year, and likely thanks to Microsoft’s renewed focus on consumers with Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams earlier this year.

Cloud and Office aren’t the only products driving Microsoft’s growth, though. Surface revenue has jumped by 37 percent this quarter to $1.5 billion. That’s a big increase for a quarter that hasn’t seen any new Surface devices introduced. Microsoft only just introduced a new Surface Laptop Go device and updated Surface Pro X earlier this month, but those will count to next quarter’s revenue.

Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox consoles.
Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

Over on the gaming side, Xbox content and services revenue has also increased significantly by 30 percent compared to the same quarter last year. A number of consumers have turned to gaming and services like xCloud or Game Pass during the pandemic, and it’s clear there’s an increased demand for Microsoft’s gaming services. Microsoft notes that Xbox Game Pass subscriptions and strength in third-party and first-party titles helped with revenue.

Microsoft is now gearing up to launch its next-gen Xbox Series X and Series S consoles on November 10th. The consoles complement Microsoft’s xCloud game streaming service that launched last month, and the company’s ongoing efforts with Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft revealed it has 15 million Xbox Game Pass subscribers last month, but the company hasn’t provided any fresh numbers today.

Microsoft appears to be bullish about demand for the Xbox Series X and S consoles. “We expect very strong demand following the launch of our next-generation Xbox Series X and S consoles,” said Microsoft CFO Amy Hood during a call with investors. This demand should drive “supply constrained hardware revenue growth of approximately 40 percent” next quarter.

Microsoft reported a jump in Windows usage earlier this year after lockdowns throughout many parts of the world led to remote working for many. This jump in usage hasn’t resulted in increased Windows OEM revenue during this quarter, though. Windows OEM revenue has dropped 5 percent, and Microsoft blames lower commercial demand for the dip.

While commercial demand for PCs might be softening, Windows OEM non-pro revenue has grown by 31 percent, thanks to consumer PC demand. It’s likely that students and families are driving this growth during the pandemic, turning to PCs to help support remote learning. During an earnings call with investors, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said “PCs have become mission critical,” and that Microsoft is seeing double digit growth in monthly active devices for Windows 10.

Surface Laptop Go.
Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

Elsewhere, LinkedIn revenue has also grown by 16 percent year-over-year with 722 million users. Search revenue has decreased by 10 percent, though. Microsoft splits its various businesses into three buckets: productivity and business processes, intelligent cloud, and more personal computing. The more personal computing bucket includes Surface, Xbox, and Windows, and Microsoft says gaming and Surface drove its revenue growth of 6 percent for this quarter.

Azure drove the intelligent cloud revenue growth, and Office 365 and LinkedIn helped the productivity and business processes bucket. It’s clear that these main revenue drivers — Azure, gaming, Surface, and Office — have been influenced by the pandemic.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said at the beginning of this pandemic that the company had witnessed “two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.” That transformation appears to be continuing for many businesses, students, and consumers.

Update, October 27th 6:10PM ET: Article updated with comments from Microsoft’s investor call.

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You can now buy Vizio’s rotating Atmos soundbar

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Vizio’s Elevate soundbar has finally hit shelves. You can buy it today for $999.99. The 48-inch soundbar supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. The soundbar houses 18 speakers and comes with a wireless eight-inch subwoofer. The cool thing is that some of the speakers rotate — they face upward while you’re playing Dolby Atmos content and point forward for standard audio.

I spoke to Vizio CEO William Wang about the Elevate earlier this year. He said the soundbar is intended to hook non-enthusiast customers on Dolby Atmos by showing them, visually, the difference between the two tiers of audio. He also noted that while the Elevate is asking a steep price, he expects the rotating speakers to appear in lower-cost devices down the road. The Elevate is being positioned as a good companion purchase for Vizio’s first 4K OLED TV, which is also now available.

Currently, you can order the Elevate at Best Buy and Walmart. Vizio says it’s coming to Amazon and Sam’s Club, too, but those don’t appear to have active links yet.

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