Do you want to get involved in getting or giving Digital Skills to others?

 

I spend my time as a networker, this is a key part of my life, and I join up dots and see opportunities, I see the gaps. Over the past 3 years I have learned how to join up the gaps in ‘funded skills programs’ which has enabled me to place young people into work and to provide ‘free’ training to small businesses, all around the subject of digital skills.

The past 16 years have been a test of my tenacity and passion (sound familiar?) and I sense now that the need for digital skills is reaching a point whereby those that don’t have the skills are very worried and those that have it and want to pass it onto others, are being well paid and reaching a saturation point in their own capacity. Is this a demand outstrips supply scenario? Soon will be I believe.

The issues of above

  1. If you need it, who do you trust and how do you pay for it?
  2. If you have the skills and can train others how do you build a business beyond your own time capacity?

 

So looking at each of these.

  1. You need more skills and not sure where to turn

If you employ less than 250 people you are eligible for a Funded Program called Skills Support for the Workforce. Here is a link to this, a bit heavy, so if you want to know how to access Digital Skills Training and not pay for it, contact me (details below). https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sfa-esf-programme-summaries

Secondly, you can have a website built for you fo free, under a program that Digtal Youth Academy are doing to give Work Experience and a Qualification to 16-24 year olds, called Youth web Builder. I have used this and it is amazing, my new Company website has been built by a young person on this 2 week program. Contact me below and I will connect you

Finally, you can hire a Social Digital Apprentice www.digitalyouthacademy.com – they will work for one year, under a great Apprenticeship and set up all your social network, run your website, (create one – as above) and also provide analytics and SEO – contact me, see below

  1. You have Social Media Training Skills and would like to get involved

I am creating a list by town/city of Social Trainers and selecting those that I feel have credibility and passion and critically understand that social marketing is very different to the traditional transactionally led campaigns. If you are a Social Media trainer, please Tweet me or email me (details below) and I would like to invite you into a Group on FaceBook, I want to be able to share more of the opportunities I see. I also feel that associations between people would help with increasing capacity of sole trading trainers.

There are so many programs being created now with Local Enterprise partners, cabinet office Funding, BIS Funding, so get in touch with me if this is of interest to you

If you would like to know more, I can be reached on penny@pennypower.co.uk. Or  you can follow/contact/chat to penny on Twitter @pennypower.

My beliefs and values around Social Networking

In November 2009, I wrote this poem. I felt so passionate about the opportunities of the social world and had been running Ecademy for 11 years with Thomas Power and Glenn Watkins

I re-read it today, while creating some material for Scredible. I found it really interesting to see how my life has gone in the past 5 years since I had these thoughts come to me, written in about 10 minutes, sitting on a train, they came to me. I thought I would share it here with you. It might give meaning to why you invest so much time in FB and Twitter and why ‘friendship’ is important to you.

You can download the pictorial version on my Front Page http://pennypower.co.uk/poem.html


When I understood Social Networking I……

Understood myself and who I was
I learned what my value was
I learned my unique value

I looked outwards
I understood others and who they are
I became open with my thoughts, my actions and my heart
I became random with my ideas and connections

I became supportive in my intentions to others
I shared my thoughts, dreams and plans openly
I shared my knowledge widely
I supported other peoples dreams

I liked meeting new people
I loved meeting people that weren’t like me
I stopped judging and started to listen

I allowed my world to be bigger
I felt I was no longer alone
I cared for others and others cared for me

I found new opportunities because
I learned to read better
And listen with intent
I woke up with purpose and intention
I felt people at the end of my keyboard as I typed

I realized I could write
I realized I could inspire others
I found my voice and
I learned to teach
I liked what I heard

I really deeply understood
What it meant to be connected
I understood I could feed others
As well as feed myself
I found that when I fed others
I could feed myself

I experienced serendipity
The ore people I knew and
The more knew me

I learned to trust again
I learned my strengths
I stopped worrying about my weaknesses
I learned how to adapt, survive and grow as a person

I learned to slow down
Notice my life
And others around me
I learned how to love my business life

I learned to master technology
So it served me and others
I could serve and support others in real time
On demand, globally

I changed my attitude to people and
became their friend
I changed my thoughts
I felt positive

I became stronger though my network
Self esteem became social esteem
Self worth became social worth
Everyone gained, not just me
I became stronger because I could see and feel my value to others

I became intuitive
I learned to listen with my heart
I realized being me is enough

I like myself, in fact, I am learning to love myself
Because others ‘like me’
I built my brand and I learned how to take care of it

I discovered my legacy
I realized that friendship is the most powerful force on earth
I cherished my network
I became happier

I felt a sense of freedom and relief
I became known, liked and followed

I became humane
I was richer in more ways than one

In this social world
Be a friend and watch business grow

Social Media Experts – I don’t think so- oh goodness!

I don’t often rant. I am kind of known for being nice and supportive and not too opinionated, however. …

I have spent today deeply researching Skills for Scredible to access.

I am seeking skilled Social Media Experts that we could pay around £1500 a day to deliver training for us

We want

1. Socially Credible people
2. People who understand that Social Credibility is about who you are as a person and what you share
3. People who understand that they can influence others and know in what way they would like to achieve this
4. People who have a VOICE and know how to elevate it

This is so we can grow a community of Associates and enable them to scale their businesses and support one another so that being Freelance doesn’t mean you can only sell your own time. The really good experts are now hitting their own personal capacity.

The result today is so disappointing, when I searched those who have ‘Social Media Expert’ in their Biog

1. Few have decent photo of themself (some use a logo or a silly photo)
2. Few use their personal name
3. Most are Broadcasting-not engaging
4. Few are sharing good knowledge
5. Few have a Klout Score of over 45
6. Few look professional enough for me to take them into a client to represent me

So, to look at this from a positive angle

1. We (Scredible) have an opportunity to serve this industry by training them (arrogant – yes- but true!)

2. We have an opportunity to really help the good ones elevate themselves and earn more

3. We have an opportunity to teach them Scredible and the tools so that we can help them achieve their intentions and find their voice

The tough bit is, I wasn’t expecting to have to do this part, but now I know, then I will do!

love and hugs to all those who share this frustration, please do contact me. The UK needs Social Digital Skills and I want to find a way to make this achievable

Social Influence now a priority for execs

I am thrilled to watch and listen to this Video interview between Sandy Carter – IBM’s Social Evangelist and the great Mark Schaefer.

If you know anyone who is not convinced that ‘being social’ is critical for their career then get them to watch this and take it seriously

Nuggets like:

1. Social Influence is having a greater role in our personal and business lives

2. “Those with a Klout Score of under 60 need not apply to our company”

3. Companies now wanting to know at interview stage ‘how well are you networked and how well are you influencing others

4. Companies rewarding their staff for sharing information when they used to reward for ‘hoarding it’

5. Social Value to your employers is becoming a key factor in career advancement

6. IBM now seeing their clients giving a ¢value for proof of social influence

Love it, this is this the shift and now the BIG challenge is capacity building for Social Media Trainers – rock-on Scredible!!!! On the money guys!

Digital Futures – the tools or your mindset?

Yesterday, 4th February 2014, I spoke at the Business South Event to a group of businesses and stakeholders that care about their growth and the growth of the local economy. 

I thought I would share the words I shared to see if they resonate or support you and your missions.

-Start-

Today I have been asked to share my thoughts on Digital Futures which to some of you may sound exciting, to others terrifying and to a few of you, utterly boring! Which ever camp you are in I truly hope I can add some value to you and your business

To set the scene, I am not going to talk about predictions and advances in technology. I think for the majority of people in the room the level of technology on offer now would fulfil you for the next 5 years if you embraced it fully.

Currently, about 79% of the population are online however the remaining 21% (10.8 million people) are currently non-users with either economic, social or physical barriers stopping them from enjoying the benefits and potential cost savings of online services.

My past 16 years have been focused on assisting Small and Micro Businesses embrace the digital opportunity. This started in 1998 when my husband and I founded Ecademy, a for-runner to LinkedIn which came along in 2003. Our belief was that the world would transform when we all become personally connected. Ecommerce and the fact this was a new way to sell was already taking off, but the ability to learn to connect and become friends with one another had not been considered until Ecademy.

Now I focus on two companies, The Digital Youth Academy that connects Born Digital Youths to Business and Scredible a USA backed online tool that helps busy people create great online profiles and connect easier to the stories and conversations that matter to them.

In the USA, FaceBook (which celebrates its 10th birthday today) shared that 80% of its users are over 55. If you connect on FaceBook you will see it is not just about sharing photo’s and updates, there are vast number of people discussing things that matter to them. They gain research, find suppliers, find business partners, become inspired, laugh, share joys and share sadness’s.

By doing this they are supporting each other, not seeking to transact. We share the belief and are driven by creating a more open and more connected world.

Yet, few companies have really embraced this mindset. Few really understand the shift that the technology is having on the way businesses grow and can innovate and solve problems.

A survey of 750 managers by the CMI found that two-thirds admitted they were ineffective at using social media, over half could not make use of large amounts of data. The open, random and supportive culture of this new world challenges many people.

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) said its research revealed “significant” skills gaps, ranging from using technology to networking.

So todays speech is about your Digital Future as  company and individual, not about the technology.

36% of small businesses and 55% of charities still do not have a functional website.  This is a shocking statistic in 2014 however, I empathize with it. I have a number of companies and we all find it hard to invest and keep up with the website content and social media. I have my own site and I worry about it daily.

I am going to come back to a solution to this later. When I discuss what Digital Youth Academy are doing and their new Youth Web Builder program with Nominet Trust and O2

Lets look at the business population statistics

  •  There are 4.9m private companies in the UK,
  • 95% are under 9 Employees
  • Roughly 300,000 are started a year, (even with about 3,500 insolvencies a year that is a significant growth))

The growth of start-ups is astonishing. It has never been easier to start a company.

Ensuring it thrives and grows is the issue.

  •  There are 1.5m sole trading women of the 3.3m sole traders.

The competition for SEO and to be heard, or as Scredible put it, ‘elevate your conversation)  is mounting and the individuals have a massive advantage. I see tremendous engagement, innovation and collaboration in the new entrepreneurs.

They know to survive they must

  1. Be online
  2. Be connected globally
  3. Support others and their problems
  4. Be liked , grow their influence and social capital
  5. Have a unique voice and say things that lead conversation
  6. Collaborate on big issues to solve big problems – change makers

Our mind-set for our business and how we share and talk about it is becoming a standard need for all companies.

We hear the word ‘Intention’ and Purpose all the time to drive engagement and attempt to stop people from just selling

Learning to give our knowledge away and sell our expertise is helping many companies grow, they gain trust, engage better and see the bigger picture and innovate – this ensures they are the ‘OUTLIERS’ of their industry rather than be than be the company that is destroyed by an outlier.

It is critical that we all know what our businesses can achieve for others, ask any business owner why they started their company and a passionate set of words will abound, thy know why, yet the day to day tasks and management takes over and their passionate voice shifts into ‘To do’ list and tasks and their staff mimic this, the business looses its direction and people turn up to get a salary rather than solve problems, finding their voice online involved re-finding it and making sure it is not based on tasks and selling.

I am focused on the SKILL agenda around Digital.

So Why have I gone this softer skills route on a subject of technology rather than fill your head with new tech?

……because too much emphasis is being placed on HOW and not enough on WHO and WHY. The majority of spend on Digital is on training technical skills inside a company and not on the context and voice the company wants to have online.

I can see so many business owners saying ‘we have gone social’ and what they mean is they have a person tweeting and broadcasting, not engaging and really networking.

I liken this to the Customer Service world in the 80’s when two blue-rinsed hair ladies answered calls from angry customers, they were the Customer Service department and their job was to LOVE the customers, while everyone else in the organisation ‘hated’ the customer. Customer Service was not taken seriously and soon the negative culture of staff affected the whole atmosphere of a brand.

Eventually the CEO embedded a customer culture throughout, this is what has to happened with ‘social’ and digital.

So, this is what I care about

  1. Your future in a connected digital world
  2. Your staff and the average age- more later!
  3. Your ability to grow a global network
  4. Your ability to innovate
  5. Your place in your local community and how well you serve it

97% of Google searches are for local search of services

I see the future as the bringing together of

  • The online and the offline world
  • The local and the global
  • The importance of the High Street in a very different way that we see it today.

Over the past 16 years I have both online and offline, local and globally and this is what I have learned

Being a local, global company that has a powerful online presence and a fantastic local network that sources locally, employs locally and cares locally

  1. Online and offline are critical – Ecademy held 5000 local events a year across the world – Friend in Every City – people want to meet up and stay in touch online
  2. People sit in their ‘transactional worlds’ of what can they sell and miss the wider picture of the problems they are addressing and the stakeholders involved,
  3. If we all collaborated more on the bigger issues we would grow the economy.

 This is what a Connected world looks like

In this area of the country there are many issues

  •  Housing
  • Health
  • Education
  • Unemployment
  • Lack of Skills
  • Infrastructure – transport, roads, congestion

Each of these sit in Silo’s, tactically delivering their solutions and doing their best

There are many strategic meetings where the top stakeholders in each silo get together and discuss things and then they go back to their day to day and continue their tactical tasks

My focus is on Digital and this is how I see it

SME’s need to embed digital skills into their minds, business and delivery and marketing

We have over 1m unemployed youths, they are not all unemployable, many are graduates and highly educated and very motivated and critically BORN DIGITAL

My mission has been to help the non-digital sector embrace Digital and in 2011 I turned to our youths and found the solution. I took my mind up the tree of problems and sought to meet everyone involved in this issue

  1. Government
  2. Local Educators
  3. Councils
  4. Parents
  5. Associations
  6. Charities

I made a great finding……………………Apprenticeships

I went to my local FE College for the first time and asked if they could provide me with an Apprentice to do my Digital work, my admin, marketing and IT and was offered either a Business Admin or a Marketing Apprentice.  Thus was not what I wanted, I needed a 21st Century Apprentice

So, I created a new Apprenticeship and created a channel of partners that hold the funding from Government for the training,

We created Digital Youth Academy and built a powerful e-learing system so all our learners could work in the workplace and learn at the same time

I thought my job was done!

Then I discovered that FE Colleges find it hard to build a relationship with SME’s, how many of you have but lets think about this!

This is being seen as a weakness in the Colleges and the responsibility of the Colleges, they are adapting, they used to all work on the skills needed by sector, now some are realising the most important asset for them is the relationship with the SME and thir digital needs.

It is predicted that by 2017 there will be a lack of digital skills across Europe of 950,000 unfilled jobs.

Job vacancies in England have returned to pre-recession levels, but economic shifts into recovery will be impeded by a lack of recruits with appropriate skills, Government research suggests.

A study published by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES ) warned that skills shortage vacancies are growing at twice the rate of jobs. It recorded 559,600 job vacancies in England between March and July 2013, up 45% from 2009.

But the amount of skills shortage vacancies created nearly doubled over the same period, increasing from 63,100 to 124,800.

More than 90,000 employers contributed to the Employer Skills Survey. Their evidence suggests skills shortage vacancies account for more than a fifth of all vacancies (22%).

Confederation of British Industry director for employment and skills Neil Carberry said the findings suggested skills gaps in science, technology, engineering and maths needed to be addressed urgently.

“We must expand access to high quality apprenticeships and other ‘learn while you earn’ schemes and ensure that these meet the needs of both businesses and employees,” he said.

“To equip young people with the knowledge they need, there must also be a sea change in the quality of careers advice in schools, so they are more aware of the opportunities and rewards of working in key sectors which face skills shortages.”

UKCES commissioner and managing director of the UK rail business design, engineering and project management consultancy Atkins, Douglas McCormick, advised businesses to “start thinking about planning their talent pipeline now” and not wait “until they are unable to fulfil contracts because of a lack of skilled staff”.

He commented on results in the study that showed almost half of employers across the UK (48%) had recruited people with higher levels of skills and knowledge than required for the job.

“Under-using people’s skills like this risks a bored and demotivated workforce,” said  McCormick. “By providing high-quality and job-specific training, businesses can make sure they have the skilled workforce they need, as well as inspiring loyalty and keeping their staff motivated.”

Whose problem is it now?

 

It is a shared problem, a company can only be as good as its staff and a College can only survive and get funding if they service our employer workforce

Educators and YOU the business world,

YOU, need these skills and soon you will be fighting and competing for them. Currently you can get them at a low cost level,  soon they will be at a premium

So now who should be taking the responsibility of communicating with the very people in your towns and cities that will ensure you can recruit the skills you need.

The collaboration of stakeholders at a local level is critical for us to solve the economy. If you fully immerse yourself online you will build a local community and see the wider problems and the wider opportunities

The digital future is about YOU and your mind-set, the digital technology is forcing us to be more open and to seek partners who care about what you care about and solve things together

You need to know what you care about and then build the voice online to gather those stakeholders around you

Thank you

1st January 2014, a huge thank you to Ecademy Members -Penny Power #OBE!

1st January 2014, a huge thank you to Ecademy Members

It is with the most enormous amount of pride that I can announce here that I have been awarded an OBE in the 2014 New Years Honours list.

It is quite unbelievable for me to receive this and in order to give this context and the right level of respect I have to thank all the amazing members of Ecademy that made it possible for Glenn, Thomas and I to experience running the special business community that we were privileged to build and nurture for 14 years

The citation for my OBE is as follows – New Years Honours List 2014

 Founder, Ecademy. For services to Entrepreneurship in Social and Digital Development

I believe this award is shared with Thomas Power and Glenn Watkins and the amazing team we had working with us namely Julian Bond, Sophia Watkins, Anna Figiel and William Buist and to the vast number of Ecademy Members that showed huge loyalty and belief in Ecademy and whom still write to us and say how much they miss the Ecademy family.

I am in danger of making this Blog sound like a speech but I would like to mention our amazing children, Hannah -21, Ross -19 and TJ 16, they have spent their entire lives listening to Thomas and I talk about Ecademy, communities, connecting and geek talk and are so supportive and loving about it. Many of you know the Ecademy journey was not easy, they have moved house more times than we can count, lived with my parents when things got really tough and we all moved in there and generally shown us the most incredible love. Also my dad who loves to support and talk about what matters to us and has inspired me over and over again, and my poor mum who is unwell now and not able to take in this exciting news, but I know she would have been so proud.

I am loving life and the new businesses that Thomas and I are involved in, Digital Youth Academy, Scredible, Social Outsourcing and Digital Business Britain, but the memory and the love of Ecademy stays with us daily. This OBE will constantly remind me of the learning, the challenges and the extraordinary experience Ecademy gave me and the platform it has now given me to continue the commitment I hold to help all businesses and all individuals evolve into this connected world.

iMASLOW – how the Social Internet forces us to turn the hierarchy of human needs on its head

In my book in 2009 I shared a concept of how Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs can be applied and turned on its head when we look at modern life, communication and being part of a community (book published by Headline Know Me, Like Me, Follow Me).

Over the past 15 years since I began the journey of evangelizing ‘engagement online’ my focus has been on the behaviour and character – or perhaps philosophy of the ‘connected world’. The shift from being transactional and ROI (return on investment) focused to being a sharing, caring member of a business community. The term ‘social’ is now widely used in business but adapting a business and an individual mindset to being ‘Social in Business’, is a lot harder to implement in reality. The ‘reality ‘ is that business people want to grow sales, protect IP and the concept of giving knowledge away and connecting with strangers is very far fetched in the minds of P&L and Balance Sheet focused Boards of Directors.

The ‘connected’ world is now a social world though, the culture shift is being forced and knowing how to adapt a workforce to this connected world, enabling them to be open, random and supportive to a wide market, that might not even be a potential client takes guts, belief and a leap of faith into an unknown culture.

To this end, my determination has seen the development of some frameworks that help people to understand it, and the iMASLOW framework that I wrote about in 2009 is now becoming a truly relevant thought and structure and so I am now building a team of people with the team at Scredible to share this concept, or you could call is IP, in order to move people from ‘closed, selective and controlling’ into this new world of being ‘open to new things and new people, random in the connections and information you are willing to embrace and supportive to the people you connect with rather than seeking a controlled outcome.

You can discover your own behaviour traits in this context on www.leadors.co and perhaps discover which of the three concepts are your challenge. To be Open, not Closed, to be Random, not Selective and to be Supportive not Controlling.

 So onto iMASLOW

Maslow stated 5 levels of needs, he called them the Hierarchy of needs and as this diagram shows –

Maslow Hierarchy of Human Needs

When each level of need is addressed we can then focus on the next. He calls human’s ‘wanting animals’ and this is what drives us to never stay still, constantly innovating and constantly seeking the next level.

What is apparent is that we can all drop to the first level as soon as the top is reached as our ‘wants’ start all over again. Also the impact of job loss, recessions can make many of us drop to focusing on our own ‘physiological needs’ for water and food and warmth.

 

When I observe the way people behave online they tend to start at this first point ‘seeking food in the form of ‘prospects’ “ who can I sell to?”  is the primary task for many when they first go online. Over time as they feel safe and gain a sense of belonging they begin to question ‘who they are’ and what their role is and at this point the need for belonging and self esteem clicks in. The final growth point for anyone entering the ‘online communities’ is when they start to ‘give back’, they publish in order to help, they share and connect with others and their mindset shifts to ‘self actualisation’.

This is an extract from Know me, Like Me, Follow Me, that I published in 2009

Turning Maslow on his head

iMASLOW on headMy observation of this period that we live in is that Maslow now needs to turn his theory on his head for the Western world and state that ‘self-actualisation’, in the past a luxury for those who have already achieved their basic needs, is actually now one of the first needs we must embrace.  Maslow chooses the following words for ‘self-actualisation’. Morality, Creativity, Spontaneity, Problem Solving, Lack of Prejudice, Acceptance of facts. Today I can state that those that place these values at the centre of their lives are more likely to feed themselves, have shelter, have a sense of belonging and be part of a well nourished and functional family than those that only dream of being like this.

The point here is that we all ultimately want to help others and when we learn that it is through ‘feeding others we feed ourselves’, an age old concept that seems to be hard for people to understand when they hit the cold keyboard of the computer rather than when they are inside their communities at home.

The final part of my book is this, and this is what keeps driving me on… in the last 5 years since I wrote these words below there has certainly shown a great shift toward this mindset, perhaps 2014 will be an even bigger shift in the world, and we can all help to make that happen.

 

Chapter  Ten “Know Me, Like Me Follow Me”

Finally, my dream is that we stop seeing these networks as e-commerce, sales engines, or as media, marketing machines, instead we see these networks as humanity networks, full of people that are part of the change we all want.

Together we are making this change with your input the world can become a more connected world working as one world to increase global wealth and reduce friction and anger.

When we are part of this movement we can feel it in our finger tips. As we immerse ourselves though our keyboards into the networks we can sense the emotion. This is not technology; it is the people inside these networks that are truly incredible, the people who share unconditionally and in doing so become the most respected and attractive people in their industries.

I am driven by this change. Social media gives you your voice, it provides the environment and the philosophy for you to create change in your life and while doing this helps others to achieve their dreams.

Social media and social networks help you to make friends, helps you to build your financial future and help others to leverage from your success. What is more amazing than that is that these social networks are actually humanity networks; they connect people emotionally without the need for greed and without the need for competition.

Enjoy this new world and watch your personal, emotional and spiritual wealth build in ways you previously thought impossible, it is not just financial wealth that you will achieve, it is far greater than that.

 

Happy 2014 all. May I wish you a fabulously connected and warm Christmas and new Year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes from Social Power in Business with @jobsworth – JP Rangaswami Chief Scientist at Salesforce session at #spib

I took these notes to share with the delegates of Social power in Business and those who couldn’t attend. I hope they help

I want to mention that Salesforce sponsored this event and made it possible for Thomas to bring Robert Scoble @scobleizer to London.

Thomas introduced JP he considers JP as a time traveler – balances tech commercial world with family and personal world brilliantly.

In this talk JP helped us all see that the new world is not really that new, it is just different. Reputation could always be damaged. We have always had onlookers and gossipers….

Authentic is not about painting yourself green and then believing you are green

Does B2B have a place in B2B

Brands cannot tell stories to brands. B2B environment is about becoming your own brand ambassador

You have many roles in your life as husband, wife, father, son, friend. Engagement between people. When you become personal the engagement takes place

Let’s look at the customer first. Welcome to the Internet of Customers http://youtu.be/jv25DodsoFo

Unless we talk about customers first there is no Internet. Human beings have a voice

Salesforce rated as the No1 Innovative Company in the world.

Moving into 50 Billion Connected ‘things’ – in the Cloud – the Third Wave of Computing

The new way of being connected relies on the value of social in business. This is a renaissance of the old world

Good hotels always had an index box of their greatest customers and their preferences, this is not new, it is just different

Becoming a customer company, is not easy – two thirds of companies are unprepared for the next generation of apps

How do you become a customer company?

In the day and age we live in privacy is a scarcity. We live in an age when everyone in the world could be connected in our life time. This creates a lot of noise.

This means there will be corruption in the system and listening at scale is not easy. I

Idea of someone looking at what you are doing is not knew. What is new is not knowing who is looking at you

We live in a world where we can follow a complaint, a person, a company. Now easy to find out what your friends think about something.

Change in cultures always creates myths about what will happen. Second life will change first life. People online will not have an offline world. The reality is they merge. It is an AND not an OR

People on trains use to hide behind huge newspapers, now the have an ipad in front of them. Which is most off-putting?

Human beings were bon social, community matters. Relationships matter. JP shared the ‘social sharing sites’

Loves Flightcar, the concept of connected people sharing inventory https://flightcar.com/

Loves AirBNB https://www.airbnb.co.uk/

Loves sharing home cooked meals https://www.mealku.com/

Social logins is an amazing way of sharing – your inventory of friends

Trust is the currency of everything that runs through this.. We live in the stream/feed, events come past us, related to things you subscribe to, or events you see adhoc. Living in the stream makes sense when you have context. Metadata is important to understand and embrace

Ability to route the Internet of everything. “if this then that”. This is trigger, that is the action, together they are the recipe for context

Mark Osborne from Salesforce joined the stage to demonstrate  @markorsborn

Discussed Salesforce One Global Application

War for talent is here. If you are not investing on the right tools you have an problem

Capturing things while they are happening.

Credible, trust worthy, instant way, that is what clients expect

Great demonstration of Salesforce1 by Mark Orsborn, thank you salesforce, @jobsworth -JP and Mark orsborn

 

Notes from #spib for delegates and those who couldn’t come to @scobleizer and @thomaspower event

I have taken these notes while listening to the first session with Robert Scoble @scobleizer at the TPL Event #spib (social power in business) – hope they make sense, great tips.

Different password for all 800 systems

Use Two-factor authentication

Your brand is representing your company and yourself and hacking messes up your life

At some level you really should be on all the major systems, Li, FB, G+

Have a clear mission about what you are trying to do yourself and for your company how do I work toward my goal”

Signaling – where are you heading

What is your story? All stories are different

My phone number is public – make it easy for people to engage and call

Tooling is not where I start, I start with what is the company story and where am I taking it,

How do I do something everyday to push that story forward

The world will help you get to where you want to go

I think about scale all the time, I hate email, it is hard to scale the message

Use tools of scale

#tags is a way to get scale and to get a follower

If I have 5 mins of time how can I get some scale from that time

Not enough to be one guy today.  It is hard to start out as a single person, – you have to build a ‘club’

You can scale with a club as they all talk about the same thing that you like to talk about

“How do I build a group of people that will be on my side” click like  #reciprocity

I don’t think a lot about stats and measurement, my only concern is are people clicking on the content I create?

Measure the important things and they will improve

Are you only talking about yourself?

How do you force people to tell  good story on your behalf?

The best brands are playing ‘offence’ and changing the conversation I the public world

Redbull has the crappiest product, no redeeming qualities to it, so they hack your brain into thinking it is a cool product, playing advanced branding games

How do you listen to your marketplace?

Redbull only put their rand (t-shirt) on Gods in our society, those that do extreme things, staff cannot wear their t-shirt

Let’s talk about tricks, tools to make ourselves more efficient #ITTT (if this then that)

Buffer-delay tweets, – I don’t use, but many do

Filters, messages in FB, few see it, the algorithm study what you do with my content, like, share, emotional reactions – then it goes #boom!!!

Twitter just added a Discover TAB on Twitter and they pick 10 things to show me and it is getting better

 

What do you want to talk about?

If you go to FB page and look at your friends

Have you categorized into Close Friends, Notifications, – created your filter?

This affects your filtering mechanism; Close Friends will show up more

I set my notifications to ensure I don’t get too much, I only want to see important stuff

Operating systems turning contextual – knowing what you are doing and change what you are seeing based on your current context… skiing, then show me things local from their et

Think about your INBOUND in a different way, if you do this wrong, you get crap coming to you

Build a relationship first before you try to friend me

Robert has hit the 5000 FB friends, I have that problem!

I can friend you if you send me a message first

‘what value does someone add to me’ if they want to friend or have me follow them?

Any time you do anything interesting in the world, you will have lovers and you will have haters –(oh boy I know that “no statues to the critics)

Take risk and do something! Tougher when employed as you can get fired so understand the internal culture , know that you are taking the risk and calculate it

What is your view on paying celebrities to tweet and endorse?

 

Celebrity is a strong story telling tool, I know how people react to celebrities,  they have a strong pull. BUT you have to use them in the right way and be transparent,  Brand Ambassadors get paid a lot but admit you are paying them!

 

The celebrity affect your story.. make sure they reflect your brand values.

 

Always know what your story is and be authentic with message, associations and be holistic with integrity. You are what you appear to be

Learn how to best tell the story. This is an important strategy

Kids new that when the parents joined FB their world changed! Snapchat comes along to solve some of their issues around what the kids want to share. People now screenshot the Snapchat – which is really wrong – integrity issue around who shared it with you

We all need to have moments when we can share things that the person you send it to won’t share it on.

Anyone in B2B doing a good job? – audience asked, delegates couldn’t think about anyone

Robert has spent last 18 months really doing FB. Google+ is where I post, but FB is where I engage and do business development. Robert just got a $1m deal for Rackspace on FB last week

Effort on FB took Robert’s FB followers to 600,000 – Robert believes FB is B2B.

Robert will show us how to have family photo’s private but be public

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The disconnected leader

 

I want to share  some thoughts that have come to me through a journey of helping companies learn how to connect at a level that is not transactional in order to bring them gently into the ‘socially connected’ world of the Internet. A subject that terrifies most CEO’s and their Boards.

 

I have a certain advantage that you may have when spending time around companies, as a consumer, supplier and stakeholder. I can feel people’s emotions, I can read what really matters to a company between their words. I am driven by the emotional intent and experience of companies and how they treat their followers and customers.   I know I am not alone on this sensitivity.

 

30 years of my life has been spent within tech, helping companies to use it for improving their company and the experience of people that interact with them. I therefore love the ‘new connected world’. ‘New’ to me in 1998, perhaps new to some more recently.

 

Let’s look at the way businesses have changed since the advent of technology and whether technology has been used to bring us closer to the companies and people we buy from or whether we are in fact all more disconnected.

 

Companies have been led by CEO’s to automate, remove the customer from the people in the organization, to ensure time is saved for the company rather than for us the consumer, of course the consumer sometimes wins, but the intent was the companies driver in this investment. Technology has been used to be more efficient, to compete at a lower cost, to go global. Some have placed their phone based customer services in other countries, to save costs. They have learned to manage shareholders, they have learned to ‘manage’ the input of staff and pay salaries. They have served themselves, and let’s not be naïve, they have had to build all this infrastructure in order to compete in an economy that is driving down costs.

 

What they haven’t learned is to us technology to actually care about the customer, and even more than this, to care about the wider community that exists around them. This is the part that Ibelieve is letting them down now in the ‘war on trust and loyalty’.

 

In the pre-tech days, the face to face times, businesses used to have to listen to the customer, they had to talk to them, build rapport; care about the wider implications of their products and services. We even have examples of how companies during Industrialization had to care about the education of the and health of the community, to ensure that they had a good workforce to recruit from locally. Now many companies are global, we they chose where to spend our ‘caring money’,we call this ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’.

 

Over the past 15 years I have been astounded by the lack of empathy and listening that large organisations show toward the people they want to sell to. They have totally lost sight that business happens at an emotional level. They way they treat a customer and treat their supply chain, impacts the sentiment we all hold about them. I rarely hear a good word said about a Bank, a Utility Company, a Retailer or any company that we end up buying our products from. So incomes the opportunity for the outliers! The companies that creep in with a different culture and a different solution to the same problem, focused on the problem a consumer has not on the service they want to sell! These outliers work at an emotional level, listening to the needs and culture of the ‘new consumer’.

 

No one can work at a pure practical level. Work has taken over our lives and we have to accept that emotion enters our being in everything we do. Highs, lows, confusions, stress, joy, impatience, fear, excitement, boredom, trust, distrust. There are very few things we do in life that doesn’t involve an emotional reaction, even if we have learned not to show these things, or even acknowledge they exist.

 

Try thinking of a time when you were making a decision to buy anything, from a paper clip to a computer, from a car to a house, from a business flight to a holiday. The thought processes you had were driven by emotions of hope, efficiency, organization joy, excitement combined with the fear of making choice. Think also of the time when you had buyer remorse, regretted a decision you made, what caused that? What could have stopped that feeling?

 

I have spent 15 year evangelizing the subject of a ‘connected world’ ‘my own mantra is ‘Connecting Hearts’ as I sense the real need to get people to connect at a deeper level than the brain, mind and wallet.

 

I thought that if I could influence the marketing department, then I could get this understood, help them to socially connect online. I then thought if I could influence the Customer Service Department they would care in a ‘modern way’, then I realized if I could get to the CEO of a business, he would see the light and change the culture of customer interaction. Now I see the problem is even deeper, it is about leadership internally before you can even see the external opportunities (and threats). Let me explain…

 

I recently re-read a part of Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple’s Biography and he tells this story… when Apple were preparing to launch iTunes they looked to build a partnership with Sony to acquire the rights to music. Following many meetings they soon gave up on that idea. The write Isaacson says that the reason for the decision to cease this relationship was that while Sony had all that Apple needed, the departments within Sony were at war with each other, each trying to protect its own interests and no one had a clear set of intents for the company, a sense of purpose, vision or future, so it was impossible for them to make a strategic partnership, that as we all know, could have changed the course of history for them and Apple.

 

Recently, I helped a company to consider the benefits of building a ‘Community’ for their clients’. I ran a workshop that would explore this and help the team who would be involved see the benefits of this.  What I discovered was a shock. While they speak of caring, seek to support their clients and they are built on family values and togetherness, the people themselves within the company felt very disconnected from one another.  What became clear as we looked into the companies intent was that none of them know what is was or felt connected to it. Each person had their own agenda, values and intent, but it was only by coincidence and good fortune that any of them shared the same sentiments of ‘why’ they existed as an organization.

 

These moments are like pure gold to me, the opportunity for people to come together and work as one, with the shared beliefs, values and intention. This is the basic starting point for any companies that seek to build community and expect to join up to the external world. Even communicating online as a company would seem disjointed if the ‘communicators’, the ‘thought leaders’ could not agree their shared intent and shared goals for their clients to benefit from.

 

It is impossible for a company to evolve into the socially connected world if its leaders and staff are not connected and caring about one another. True community starts at home, ensuring that our workforce loves their day and loves what they do and dare I say cares about each other as a starting point to caring about others.

 

I see many companies looking to evolve their customer engagement strategies, seeking to embed Twitter and FaceBook into their communication, this is a step forward, but if the people communicating for them online are not emotional about what they do, then it is a task, and the receiver of that communication feels that.

 

Emotion is a HUGE part of business life, embracing that and building on the emotional level of all those we interact with would truly connect us all. Kindness and love creates a chemical bond through the release of Oxytocin and serotonin, to me that must be the most powerful company strategy of all. Now that is my next Blog….. are you ready for hormones! I guess as a women I would hope you are!