Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Conference postcards for the #UnfurlingHR unconference

I thought that this was a great idea. At the end of my first 'unconference' postcards were handed out to the attendees. We were all asked to send a note to someone who had inspired us in some way throughout the day. I was pleasantly surprised when, a few days latter, this arrived in the mail from Megan Borrie.  Thanks Megan :-)


ANTARES EXPLODES!!! Panic at the press site! Orbital's rocket blows up

Everybody has good ideas but not everyone can make an idea happen

A couple of weeks ago I attended a conference where I was leading a stream entitled "Resistance to change". While talking about this, I asked the group about what they do to get ideas from employees throughout the organisation. One of the group members mentioned that it was not good enough for an employee to provide an idea without doing something to make it happen. They talked about a drop and run approach

Right away, I jumped on this. The interesting thing is that while employees have hundreds of great ideas very few people can actually make an idea happen within a business. Most of them wouldn't even know where to start. Employees often find fault with processes and things that they are asked to do, however they may not be able to articulate their ideas on how things can be improved.

One of the favourite topics that I like to talk about in regards to social media is 'ideation'. This is about providing the ability for people to share their ideas and for those ideas to be developed by their peers.

A good example of this is Mystarbacksidea.com. This is a website which is been provided by the coffee shop to allow its customers and employees to contribute their ideas. Once a new idea has been added, peers are able to vote the idea up or down through the simple click of an icon. Not only is there a voting system, but they are also able to add comments and those comments form the basis of a discussion.

Over time, as discussion takes place and ideas are voted on, the ideas get developed. Arguments and debates provide a platform for healthy discussion that will help people to think the idea through. Over time, management is able to review the top ideas and consider whether or not they should be included in the business.

When I was at IBM, we had this sort of functionality on our internal social enterprise network (social intranet). Employees were encouraged to provide ideas and this was done through what was called an idea jam. The ideas could cover things like product and feature enhancements through to process improvements throughout the business.

By using a system like this, organisations are able to harness the power of thoughts and ideas from both their employees and their customers. Some people would call this crowdsourcing. While reviewing these ideas, the organisation is also able to identify the people who were involved in the development of the idea. These people may also be critical resources during the implementation phase of the idea. What a great way to spot talent within an organisation!

One of the good things about social media is that it allows people to connect with people the matter with they are within an organisation. When an idea gets developed, it could involve a range of employees. Some of these employees may be an junior positions within your organisation while others may be an quite senior roles. This can be quite magical when people can connect and the sort of way.



Time Saver: A few simple steps to connect with your email contacts on LinkedIn

This video shows you how to import your contacts from your email (Outlook, Gmail, etc) so that you can connect with them on LinkedIn. This will save you a lot of time!

 

Is engagement the best metric to have & do live events lose context through social media?

Yesterday, I was reviewing a few tweets on Twitter when I came across a conference that would appear to be hosted by Socialmedia.org. Some quick research revealed that Socialmedia.org is an organisation with brands only membership for the people running social media at really big companies.

I saw the following tweet appear on Twitter. A photo of the slide being used during a presentation by Lutz Finger, co-author of the book entitled "Ask, Measure, Learn - Using Social Media Analytics to Understand and Influence Customer Behavior". The comment on the slide challenged my thinking. Is the magic formula really "Influence + Frequency + Content = Engagement?"


One of the great things about social media, is it allows you to connect with people. By responding to this tweet I was able to connect with Lutz Finger directly.  Upon challenging this "magic formula", and suggesting that success was not 'engagement', I entered into a dialogue with Lutz and Tracy. It is my view that success can only be established where efforts have a direct positive impact on an organisations key goals and objectives.

Typically, most of the world's largest brands are accountable to shareholders. Obviously, shareholders are expecting a return on their investment. C-level executives are typically setting goals around customer loyalty, new customer acquisition and profitability. If engagement on social media leads to this then all is good and well. However, most attempts at marketing and engagement generation fall well short of this.

One thing that interested me was that Lutz suggested that the comment had been taken out of context. He even went as far as to suggest that I wasn't at the session. He was correct, I wasn't physically at the session but I was able to participate through the use of social media. All I was able to go on was the information provided to me through what was being shared on social media.

So I ask the question, do live events lose context through social media? On this occasion it may well be the case. However, when a number of people consistently tweet the same message and that message contains a photo of the slide from the presenter, then we as presenters need to ensure that audiences beyond the one sitting right in front of us will be able to understand the message that we are trying to get across.
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