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SenseMaking from the Web

This post is an aggregation of recent articles that I have collected over at Flipboard on my magazine there. It captures great sense making from others, in other words, great articles from other sites I thought worth capturing and sharing. Curating good articles is a discerning process and I’ve automated the delivery of it in WordPress using a Power Automate Flow to achieve this – more on that here.

We need a global reskilling revolution – here’s why

Posted on July 22. License and Republishing World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons …

Beware the rise of corporate rituals designed to manipulate employees

Posted on July 21. ONE of Apple TV’s latest shows, WeCrashed, is a drama series based on the founding and subsequent travails of WeWork, the workspace-providing company …

Rewired: Protecting Your Brain in the Digital Age

Posted on July 20. Dr. Carl Marci is a board-certified psychiatrist and Harvard neuroscientist. He spends time as a health technology entrepreneur and executive through …

Employee experience joins CX for total enterprise view

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Customer and employee experience: The new normal

Posted on July 19. In fact, Pew Research found that a full 86% of respondents to a survey about post-pandemic life expect the pandemic to have lasting effects on …

AI Art Is Challenging the Boundaries of Curation

Posted on July 17. Artists working with programs like DALL-E do more than push a button—selecting outputs and engineering prompts are acts of aesthetic expression. In …

Employee experience automation: Human-AI care for your workforce

Posted on July 17. The global workforce has, today, readily embraced the new normal of hybrid workplace models. Keeping up with expectations of flexibility at work, businesses are evolving rapidly with an eye toward post-pandemic life. The challenges and benefits of remote work coupled with the Great …

Why Microsoft Measures Employee Thriving, Not Engagement

Posted on July 16. As the pandemic continues and many people work hybrid schedules, people analytics researchers at Microsoft realized they needed to move from measuring employee engagement to measuring employee thriving. Defined as “to be energized and empowered to do meaningful work,” the authors explain how their …

9 Life-Changing Stoic Exercises Explained In Simple Drawings

Posted on July 16. It’s often said that if you can’t explain something in simple terms, then you don’t understand it well enough. With this in mind, I decided to put …

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Power Automate your content curation for WordPress

I started work a while back on trying to curate articles from a platform I use (Flipboard) and bringing them into WordPress. I started with a plugin called Feedzy, an RSS aggregator, but that had limitations. I documented those here in the first of a series of posts called SenseMaking from the web. This post is about an alternative which I am much happier with, using Power Automate from Microsoft. And a big shout out to a colleague who helped me achieve this: Amit Chug.

First, what is the purpose of curating content and who is this for?

Although I could always point people to Flipboard to the collection of articles I save in my magazine there, I wanted to be a little more intentional and bring them into this site and blog in separate posts, each taking a snapshot of recent articles I collected.

  1. Curating good articles and content from other sites around the web is a discerning process and takes time, effort and requires insights into what is good versus what isn’t. Automating the process is also very helpful.
  2. Curated content adds value to originally created content and recognises the wealth of other information and talent that exists out there on the web.
  3. It’s good for staying fresh with new content, which in return helps improve content marketing, boosts your SEO, increases audience engagement, and if that’s what you are in it for, it probably earns you more money.
  4. You become good by association if the articles you share are good.
  5. Who this is for: Anyone publishing their own content on a blog like this one or for people in companies responsible for content marketing or managing their company’s blog/s and want to achieve some of the aims above.

How to use Power Automate to do this

The above is the flow in brief, without each of the sections expanded or explained in detail aside from below:

  1. The first step is to create a recurring trigger that schedules the task weekly.
  2. The second step focuses on the feed source and details necessary to fetch articles.
  3. The filter array in the third step and the fourth step specifies further the tasks related to time period and items being fetched.
  4. The final step with multiple steps in it in the left branch, set up the formatting of the output and form it should take, namely a WordPress post containing all feed items from the last seven days should be created in draft form.
  5. Once the draft is created, I can perform some simple checks in WordPress before publishing. I have also automated the use of a featured image using another plugin called Quick Featured Images which creates a featured image based on the tag I assigned in the final step.

At this stage, I have just managed to get the automation to work but I have more work to do trying to improve the formatting of the output. If you compare the output of the Feedzy posts captured here versus the first version I achieved here using Power Automate, there is a gap I need to fill.

As I progress, I will update this post with more detail of how I improve things and how the automation works will become clearer.

In the meantime, if you are interested, I can share an exported version of the current automation if you contact me.

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SenseMaking from the Web

This post is an aggregation of recent articles that I have collected over at Flipboard on my magazine there. It captures great sense making from others, in other words, great articles from other sites I thought worth capturing and sharing. Curating good articles is a discerning process and I’ve automated the delivery of it in WordPress using a Power Automate Flow to achieve this – more on that here.

How to Create an Employee Handbook

Posted on July 15. Learn the benefits of having an employee handbook, what information to include for employees, and find easy-to-use templates. An employee handbook is …

The future of cars is a subscription nightmare

Posted on July 15. As cars get more expensive to make and profit margins dwindle, automakers are coming up with new and loathsome ways to squeeze more money out of their customers. Subscription-based access to vehicle features, like heated seats or remote-start key fobs, are the latest attempt to charge people for …

Forget long screen recordings. These tools automate your company’s how-tos.

Posted on July 15. Scribe and Tango take screen recordings and automatically turn them into step-by-step lists. The leading metaverse theorist shares his thoughts on the …

Do these 5 things first starting a business

Posted on July 15. Not sure where to begin? Read on. When it comes to starting your own business, it can be hard to know where to start. After all, there are so many things to do. From coming up with the idea for the business itself, to creating a plan, to actually launching and getting things off the ground, the …

Agility Is No Longer Optional in Business

Posted on July 15. Agility is no longer an option, and agile marketing and CX organizations and businesses are best set up to weather whatever storms may be on the …

Top Five Reasons Customers Don’t Return

Posted on July 15. GUEST POST from Shep Hyken Whatever you sell, be it a product or service, your customers expect that it will do what it’s supposed to do. If you sell …

Strategic Planning as Leadership Challenge

Posted on July 15. Company strategies often fail and this is frequently ascribed to unpredictable changes in the context. But most failures are the result of fairly predictable challenges, including one factor that is constantly overlooked: the role and impact of loss. New strategic priorities inevitably generate …

Drive Profitable Growth And Deliver Value Through Digital

Posted on July 15. As the next era of digital unfolds, consumer expectations will continue to evolve, creating more demand than ever for high-quality, seamless digital …

Delivering product innovation in a customer-first, disruptive world

Posted on July 14. Would it be surprising to learn that decreasing company lifespans correlate directly with increasing rates of technological innovation? Over half of the Fortune 500 companies from 2000 no longer exist. Furthermore, it is predicted that 90% of today’s Fortune 500 companies will be acquired, merged, …

Gen Z Wants Video And Personalization, But Is Less Interested In Email

Posted on July 13. Email is the preferred communication channel of consumers: 52% choose it, versus a distant 17% for text and 14% for online accounts. But young people …

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Microsoft 365 customer questions – Power Platform and Teams Hackathon tips

I work in the business of dealing with customer questions on Microsoft 365 all the time (disclosure), either directly or indirectly. This is part of a series of posts where I share them if they can be of help to others. Where I can of course and naturally, not just the questions but the answers too. All questions and answers strive to respect both sides sensitivities (parts will have been redacted and/or anonymised) and the main topic is covered in each post title.

This was not so much a question as a request to present to all the hackers participating in the company hackathon in a launch event. I put a few slides together, here they are in a pdf below. Below that, a few notes of elaboration on the slides that I think need it. This follows earlier advice I shared with the same customer on how to organise the hackathon, captured in this story: How to run a Hackathon for Microsoft Teams and Power Platform. And it also builds on this earlier thought rocket: Hackathons the MVP and lean startup.

Slide 3

I wanted to instil some lean startup, entrepreneurial thinking into the hackers minds. This is also a setup for some of the later slides. The main point being that you have to have an idea of what you want to build in the way of problem/s to solve or opportunity/ies to leverage and that by definition (being future focused), you are not going to be certain that you can achieve it. I wanted to juxtapose this with the need to start building and iterating fast and testing your work as you go and that this has to mapped against your vision and course correction will be required all along the way. Course correction will require either that you refine your vision or your solution.

Slide 5

The clear point here is that you should try and build complete solutions (as far as possible) at every stage of your build. It follows naturally from the previous slide too. I also made the point that they should not be myopic in their thinking and focus too much on the technology or “product”. For instance, building a wheel which on its own, is not really usable. Rather they should think about solving a transport problem and in the image example, a skateboard could be a great first version, perfectly usable in its own right. Hopefully you get the point.

Slide 7

While the hackers were mostly focused on building apps, automations, reports and the like with the Power Platform, I did want to bring Microsoft Teams into the picture as the platform through which they should consider publishing their work. I made two points really. One is that they could develop their solutions either in the respective standalone environment in Power Platform but they could also create solutions directly from within the Teams environment – more on that here: Create low-code custom apps for Microsoft Teams – Teams | Microsoft Docs. More importantly, that they should think about bringing their solutions into Teams to become collaborative apps – a concept explained really well here: Stay in the flow of work with new collaborative apps for Microsoft Teams – Microsoft 365 Blog.

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How to run a Hackathon for Microsoft Teams and Power Platform

I’ve decided, while I work in the business of dealing with customers questions on Microsoft 365 all the time (disclosure), either directly or indirectly, I might as well share them if they can be of help to others. Where I can of course and naturally, not just the questions but the answers too. All questions and answers respect both sides sensitivities. This is where I started the activity and this post uses a slightly different format but is essentially the same approach.

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For citizen development to work address innovation culture first

I’m seeing more and more signals driving this trend which has only been around a short while. Gartner describes citizen development thus.

Its precursor was the consumerisation of IT. One of the key aspects of this trend was that decision making on the use of software in organisations was increasingly being taken by business users, not IT.

Continue reading For citizen development to work address innovation culture first