Vulnerability: the best-kept secret of collaboration & leadership

Collaboration can be defined as two or more people working together towards a common goal; or in plainer speak, teamwork. If you examine all the world’s top performing teams, they’re underpinned by a common factor: trust. Without trust, people feel uncomfortable asking for help or admitting weakness. This scuppers our ability to get the most out of a team, since a balance of diverse skills and attributes always produces a better result. If we can’t openly tell our collaborators that we need help, have messed up, or aren’t really good... Read The Rest →

10 things you can do to sell to Gen Y Millennials

Blatant selling as we know it is dead, i.e. Gen Y consumers are all about pull, not push, to the point that they feel a direct approach – such as a phone call or unsolicited email – is highly intrusive. It will be deleted or ignored; and worse – it’ll put them off future interactions. This leaves many organisations who’ve relied on direct sales and push marketing wondering how to reach what seems like an unreceptive, unreachable audience… but in reality there are more opportunities to reach them than ever... Read The Rest →

Still blogging…

For those of you who’ve been wondering where I’ve been… the answer is here! Writing a lot about engagement, the workplace of the future and other people-related stuff over at Best Companies ‘engagement lab’ blog at the mo’… Back soon!

Why you should ditch your ‘social business’ strategy

Have you been wading through treacle for months, trying to get people in your organisation to understand social business? Maybe you’ve been attempting to get board-level buy-in to your social business strategy, but failing to get traction? Perhaps you’ve tried to articulate what ‘social business’ really means – explaining this way, that way, in smoke signals, standing on your head… but still haven’t really managed to change anything or get off the starting blocks? If so, it might be time to consider dropping the term ‘social business’ altogether. Chances are,... Read The Rest →

Why social media strategy doesn’t exist

As someone who has written countless social media strategies, social business strategies and content strategies, I have to confess I’ve come to the conclusion they don’t really exist. I also take my fair share of responsibility for propagating the myth – a distinct case of the Emperor’s New Clothes – by purporting they do. I didn’t set out to capitalise on the insecurities of those dreadful, shamefaced folk who supposedly ‘don’t get it’, but the fact I’ve used these terms for so long means I’m not completely innocent. In my... Read The Rest →

Top 10 Social Business Questions in 2013

6) What are the best examples of social business in my industry?

This is a dangerous question. If you want a literal answer, just google it (like most things in life). Google ‘social business case studies pharmaceuticals’, or ‘social media case studies financial services’, or whatever – you’ll find plenty. More to the point, I’d recommend you deliberately avoid focusing on what competitors are doing. For one thing, organisations that seem to have a leadership position in social, because they’ve dabbled in various ways and appear in abundance when you google ‘case studies xxxx’, are often no further ahead than you. Talk... Read The Rest →

Top 10 Social Business Questions in 2013

5) What if people say bad things about us online?

We’ve all heard plenty of horror stories, like these: Nestle Domino’s Pizza Starbucks Here’s a great list of social media crisis case studies. It’s not surprising that many organisations are paralysed with fear, when they’ve been used to controlling the message for so long. Now disgruntled employees and customers can air the dirty laundry in public; and too much PR gloss causes backlash and mistrust. So how do we overcome this problem? First of all, we need to acknowledge a few basics: - People are talking whether you like it... Read The Rest →

Top 10 Social Business Questions in 2013

4) What roles & governance do we need to put in place?

It’s widely recognised these days that social isn’t just a marketing thing after all; but rather it impacts every business area, including internal comms, HR, R&D and particularly customer service. Debates about who ‘owns’ social are therefore less common now, as the reality is everybody owns it; and efforts can be led initially by anyone who stands up, grabs it and has the ability to galvanise cross-functional troops. A best practice approach to governance that’s catching on is establishing a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for social business that sits at... Read The Rest →

Top 10 Social Business Questions in 2013

3) What does social business mean for my organisation specifically?

Social business isn’t a bolt-on, or a function, or just another project – rather it’s a set of practices that infiltrate every business area, helping you deliver all your existing projects and reach your existing goals and objectives better, faster and cheaper. That’s not to say investment isn’t required, as many organisations are struggling to resource their social efforts, particularly when it comes to monitoring and engaging in conversations online; and sharing useful and interesting content. And that’s before we even get onto internal collaboration and the reengineering of processes... Read The Rest →

Top 10 Social Business Questions in 2013

2) What’s the tangible business value?

Here’s the second of ten posts in this Q&A series covering the top 10 social business questions of 2013. 2) What’s the tangible business value? One of our mantras at Kanbee is ‘if it doesn’t save you money or make you money, don’t do it’. This is business after all. Social isn’t a shiny, gimmicky, nice-to-have – it’s a set of practices that deliver tangible business value. Fellow social consultant Leon Benjamin put it very nicely during a presentation on Virgin Media’s internal social networking platform when he said “Trying... Read The Rest →

Top 10 Social Business Questions in 2013:

1) What’s the difference between social business & social media?

Here’s the first of ten answers in this Q&A series covering the top 10 social business questions of 2013. 1) What is the difference between social business & social media? Social media refers to tools that enable people to connect with one-another and connect with information, like Facebook and Twitter. Social business takes a much wider perspective, looking at how these capabilities impact the way we do business across every area – from customer service and marketing, to product innovation and internal comms. There are endless debates around definitions of... Read The Rest →

Top 10 Social Business questions in 2013

Over the past few years helping organisations understand what social business means for them and how to get there, I’ve noticed the same questions cropping up time and time again. Regardless of whether you’re a CEO, Marketing Director, Community Manager or Customer Service agent, there seems to be a list of common concerns. To help you address these in your organisation, I’ve decided to publish a Q&A series over the coming days and weeks. Here’s my top 10 social business questions in 2013: 1. What’s the difference between social business... Read The Rest →

Social Business & HR

Social business is about taking a step back from what’s essentially a worm’s eye view of social media; and looking at the bigger picture of how we can prepare to cope with the always-on, real-time demands of today’s social customer and today’s social employee; and internally, how we can become more flexible and resilient in an increasingly unpredictable world. It’s not a technology challenge that business is facing today, but a human, psychology challenge, so it stands to reason that HR plays a critical role in social business transformation; and... Read The Rest →

Struggling with social? Stop sweating the tech

So many execs I meet are bewildered by digital, social, all things funky new tech and 21st century. More specifically, they’re bewildered by their lack of understanding of ‘this new world’. The dark art. The thing is, we’re missing the point. There is no need for everybody to embrace all cool new tools. In fact, trying to do so would tie many up in knots and totally waste their time. CEOs should not fret about Facebook likes. The explosive boom in available tools has only just begun. There’s exponential growth... Read The Rest →

Powerpoint: A Substitute for Action (& Pub Strategy)

We invest a good chunk of our time and energy at work puzzling over strategies, measurable objectives, roadmaps and implementation schedules. The fruits of our labour culminate in a powerpoint that’s approved, a box ticked and a consensus reached that we all have very, very good intentions. In reality, 90% of organisations fail to execute their strategies successfully. What’s more, it’s estimated that managers spend more than $10 billion annually on strategic analysis and strategy formulation, meaning $9 billion is wasted every year. So what’s going on? Why aren’t we... Read The Rest →

A Message for the Lost Generation: Start Now

Communications technology – social, mobile, hardware, software – is changing so fast, that when I was 3 years old, there were about 1000 internet devices. Now, there are well over a billion. And I’m not that old. It isn’t just the tools that are changing so fast – the amount of information we’re generating has exploded. There’s more information generated in one year now than the previous five thousand years put together. In fact a week’s worth of The New York Times contains more information that someone living in the... Read The Rest →

Human Memory & Hilarious UX Design

This morning I was reading Joshua Foer’s Moonwalking with Einstein (buy it, it’s fabulous), in which he describes how anyone can master great feats of memory. Key to the technique – first documented in the 90s BC – is coming up with a novel image in your mind that represents the item you’re trying to remember, then placing that image in a physical space that you’re very familiar with, so you can retrace your steps and remember a long list of items in the right order. For example Joshua recounts... Read The Rest →

A Social Business Process

I’m a right-brain believer in process, which is not an oxymoron. Many creative types balk at the thought of process, with its rigid, stifling connotations. The reality, however, is that to improve something, first you must be able to see it. So by mapping process, you’re making the invisible visible; and from there you can begin to innovate and improve on the way work gets done. Given the whole point of social business is to change the way we work, I thought I’d share a social business process here. Like... Read The Rest →

Social Business & the People Problem

Social business is often described as a journey of technology, process and culture change. Many organisations have focused first on technology – often in a knee-jerk response to social media proliferation. In a bid to ‘do social’, often ‘because everyone else is’, internal social networking platforms, branded Facebook pages and customer communities have been launched without always seeing a great return. Tumbleweed, low engagement or a barrage of negativity can lead to them shutting down entirely, or dying a slow death. The result is burnt fingers and social skepticism. The... Read The Rest →

Avoiding half-assed knowledge management flops

Knowledge management is part of most social business initiatives. Equipping employees, partners, suppliers and customers with knowledge to smooth operations makes complete sense – from building FAQs and content for use by customer service agents, to crowdsourcing ‘how tos’ from customers. We all know intuitively that the gathering, sharing and distribution of knowledge is important. The trouble is, we tend to stop there; hence a bunch of failed knowledge management initiatives throughout the 90s to today. The fact is, an estimated 70% of workplace learning is informal. Just because you... Read The Rest →

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