May 19, 2020

[VIDEO] 'Project Lightning' may enhance Twitter's user experience

United States
2 min
[VIDEO] 'Project Lightning' may enhance Twitter's user experience

In an attempt to run a new feature aimed toward making it easier for users to discover and share content during live events, the social media platform Twitter will hire an editorial team to package the best tweets, photos, videos and vines for the largest events across the globe.

Although it’s confined to only 140 characters, tweets have long been a way to break news and comment on the latest events and trends. Now there may be even more reason to market your brand on Twitter.

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This latest update may change the way people interact on the app, and will be available on both the desktop and mobile. It has been compared to a new remote control by several high-ranking executives.

Users simply select a button that takes them to a new section with compilations of events happening in real time. Codenamed “Project Lightning,” the project will highlight particular events and conversations.

RELATED TOPIC: [Infographic] What is the best time to use Twitter when marketing?

With Lightning now part of service, the loads of information cycling through timelines and TweetDecks will now be much more condensed. It will be very similar to Snapchat’s “stories.”

One of its most favourable aspects is the ability to follow breaking news stories as they happen for a short amount of time, as well as the having the top curated tweets from events appear in your timeline.

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“[It’s about] breaking this notion of a purely reverse chronological home timeline where the tweets are only from the people you follow, and reimagining it to make it more about what’s happening now in your world that you care about,” said Twitter’s head of product Kevin Weil.

Reportedly, it may even be possible to see it all without even being logged into Twitter which is all in line with the company’s broader strategy to widen the reach of its content and bring in new users.

Social media just keeps getting better and better.

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Jun 9, 2021

Q&A: Professor Loredana Padurean, Asia School of Business

Kate Birch
3 min
Teaching the MIT Sloan Executive Education program at Asia School of Business, Prof. Padurean talks innovation, smart skills and digital transformation

As someone who is creating Asia Pacific’s business leaders of the future, what do you believe are the essential skills leaders require?

In many ways, we need leaders who are Renaissance women/men or polymaths, as opposed to specialists of an industry or a field. A polymath is a person with profound knowledge, proficiency and expertise in multiple fields and today’s leaders have to be able to combine various ideas, look at problems in novel and useful ways, and develop a broad and yet still deep set of skills, talents, and knowledge.

You’ve coined ‘smart’ and ‘sharp’ as skills of the future. What are these?

They are replacements for ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills, a concept coined by a US Army doctor in 1972 who observed that his pupils had different skills: dealing with machinery required ‘hard’ skills, while dealing with people and paper were ‘soft’ skills. This concept has served us well since, but I find it too binary, not to mention the semantic implications of the words themselves.

Soft implies gentle, delicate, mild, quiet, tender, weak. However, there is nothing soft in navigating competing perspectives and cultures, handling and delivering critical feedback or dealing with office politics. Instead, I prefer to call these skills ‘smart’. Hard implies rigid, difficult, heavy, static. But how can we think of engineering or software development as static or rigid? I believe ‘sharp’ is more apt as such skills need constant updating or sharpening. 

I think it’s time to reflect on these classifications, because we can drastically change someone’s perspective by how we choose to talk about and frame something. 

How important are smart skills in leadership today?

Smart skills are more important than ever because we live in a world of extreme diversity: generational, ethical, value-based, gender, etc. Gone are the days when giving an order was an effective act of leadership. I personally work with people from five different continents and across five different generations, therefore as leaders, we need to know how to adapt, motivate, inspire and connect. We need to increase our investment in learning about them in action, especially as smart skills are more difficult to develop.

I believe that a successful leader today has to be both smart and sharp. Take cognitive readiness, one of my top 10 smart skills. In order to be cognitive ready, one has to master system dynamics, one of my top 10 sharp skills. Also, did you know that one of the primary reasons why digital transformation fails is not the absence of digital literacy, a sharp skill, but the need for more validation and adaptability, both smart skills. So, instead of thinking of these skills as binary, I prefer to think of them as the yin and yang; co-existing and complementing each other. 

So, you can teach leaders smart skills then?

Yes, you can, via a combination of the classroom experience, plus an action component supported by deeply embedded reflection. At ASB we call this Action Learning, and we teach it both in the MBA and in the executive programs. For example, in teaching a leader emotional maturity as a smart skill, first they need to learn what it is, and then act on it, before reflecting on what we did and how we did it. And then to repeat it, but this time with more expertise and awareness. It’s not easy, but that’s why my favourite mantra is ‘the job is easy, the people are not’. 

Discover Professor Padurean's successful skills for a digital transformation here


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