Brilliant Reads: why experimentation might be the new planning, and the latest Google and Twitter updates

Welcome to Brilliant Reads, where we’re looking at why experimentation might be the new planning, and the latest updates from Twitter and Google. Would you like Brilliant Reads in your inbox each week? Sign up here.

Experimentation is the new planning (Fast Company)

Make your company an ‘engine of possibility’. That’s Dave Gray’s suggestion in this article for Fast Company.

He writes that technology is disrupting every industry in ways that are difficult or even impossible to predict. He argues that the way to handle this is to create a system that allows you to continually develop options and explore possibilities, so that when disruption does arrive, you have a head start.

Gray references management theorist Henry Mintzberg, who distinguishes between deliberate and emergent strategy. Deliberate strategy relies on senior leaders to set goals and develop plans and strategies to achieve them. Meanwhile in emergent strategy, ideas emerge from all over the company over time, as the environment changes and the organisation shifts and adapts to apply its strengths to a changing reality.

In practice, what this could look like within a company is a 70-20-10 split of time and resources (a la Google), where 70% is spent on the core source(s) of revenue and profits, 20% is spent on pursuing new projects and ideas, and 10% is spent on scaling up the best ideas that emerge from the 20%.

Image credit: kannon

Two changes at Google: secure search and Hummingbird

There’s been not one but two changes at Google in the last few weeks.

The first is Google’s move to make all searches secure. All searches, except for ad clicks, are now encrypted, which means that you’re likely to see a huge leap in the percentage of ‘not provided’ entries in your Google Analytics keyword data. (Which already stands at an average of 75%, according to Not Provided Count.) While this is frustrating, all is not lost; some keyword data will still be visible in the Google Adwords system, and Google Webmaster Tools, gives you access to the data on the top 2000 keywords per day, but only for the last 90 days.

The second change is the Hummingbird algorithm update, which puts less emphasis on matching keywords and more emphasis on really understanding the search query. In practice, this mean the search engine will be more able to parse complex search queries, like questions or comparisons, and serve more relevant results. Google has said this is it’s biggest update since 2009 and affects 90% of searches. The update happened a few weeks ago, so if you haven’t seen any changes in your rankings yet, you’re unlikely to. (If you have seen a change due to the update, we’d love to hear about it.)

Image credit: Not Provided Count

Twitter launches web analytics (Marketing Land)

Twitter is rolling out a new analytics tool which lets you see how your website is performing on Twitter.

You can see all the tweets that link to your website, whether or not they include your @username. You can also see tweets that link to any specific page on your site, and how often Twitter users click on those links.

The tool isn’t available to all users yet; to check if you have it, log in to Twitter ads and look for ‘Websites’ in the ‘Analytics’ drop-down menu.

Brilliant read: what Breaking Bad can teach us about business (Slight spoiler alert if you’re still watching the earlier series)

Brilliant video: mapping the global spread of ideas

Brilliant gadget: get the smell meat on your phone (This might be more bizarre than brilliant…)

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