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Archive for the ‘Influence’ Category

Between 22th and 24th of 2013, September was organized the “socialgood event”, by @mashable and other partners, to share and plan about how digital and social could help building a better future (#2030now).

It’s been years from now that many conferences bloomed (TED, Ignite, SXSW…) rising talents, needs and desire for social features. Panels, keynotes, witnessing…so many opportunities to learn and share this new awesome passion for collaboration spaces. I like these moments. They remind me some fantastic steps like:

1)   I meet there the “social chance…”

…to challenge my opinions and my environment. I like listening to an expert, solving or preventing a new challenge, these events allow to get straight to the point. In a single event, I can learn many things and meet many experts and can network with them. I live in what I call “the human-linked network”

2)   I’m a link like you: a huge network to play…

…where my incredible passion for human contacts calls for more: it engages me to a challenging posture and a more interactive life, with more transparency and trust.. “This is not a matter of quantity but more a mindset of creativity, passion and engagement”. I did it my quote, because that really changed my mind.

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3)   I dream like you to invent the future

…what’s more beautiful to overtake results, expectations and outputs. The digital posture makes us more interactive and creative people, who are more concerned in creating the future. I became “addict” of this on going relation where I share insights anytime and anywhere. “the trend is there, and the long tail is wide…”

4)   I create with many folks, things that are built to stay…

…hey wait a minute? There’s nothing more “valuable” than creating together, in a same team. This new vision is settled for a long time. The increasing need to be listened and the signs of working together call for a whole participation, in the new “crowd innovation”. Innovation  “from people, for people” , a complete new framework that redefines relations, power and working circles. The ones that companies break to implement in structures and project management, where decision has nothing to see with hierarchy or power. Widen against top-bottom reactions, to engage and become more social.

5)   I believe that social graph attracts social…

…the incredible passion for collaborative calls for many initiatives and draws talents.  Youngest or oldest, everybody is involved, crossing frontiers, cultures and generations. Technology forced us to overcome our fears and do what was impossible: communicate and share the next big pictures. “The more you pratice, the more you like”. This is now finally my lifestyle.

Are you already part of it? In which way, actions, outputs? Please share and tell your social life, as an incredible window for us to learn more…

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Being involved once more in a particular piece of survey, built by The Boston Consulting Group for its customers, and tested on different panels from HEC Business School. Always searching to shape the future, engaged since 50 years now, the famous consulting group conceived and held a great framework with different layers to grow a relevant model for new guidelines for leadership…We can, by the way, just imagine that leadership was in the past more dedicated to a specific “person” and then shifts to a collective movement, on the influence of collaborative sessions everywhere. Even is the spread has been done many years from now, on the Anglosaxon world, the dynamics from digital and tools ahead draw another picture of “work” and project building. The resume that was enlighted was “Why will leadership be different in the 21st century and what will it take to be a 21st century leader?” (if it’s still an individual matter more than a collective one). So?

The framework was built around a “navigation row”, with 4 poles like: Navigate, Empathize, Self-Correction and Win-Win. While past models celebrate things like “integrity, vision, intelligence, judgment, courage and drive”, it’s not enough for the next big pictures…The way we see risks is not the same we did, and the global uncertainty growing in the world, lead us to more flexibility. But that doesn’t mean not to be clear, because leadership is still a kind of example, that shows the way, with a clear course to follow.

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The social arena leads us to more “social” relations, and in the working environment that means to influence more than “manage” or use authority. Charism, experience or conviction are our best weapons to deal with negotiation and motivation. It supplies us more ability to forecast and embrace global uncertainty, through troubled periods. The shift from pyramid to project management leads us to rethink way of driving the change, with teams, empowering talents and guiding them more than ordering. We then develop a win-win method that grows the whole organization. It requires some underlined competences like: vision, intelligence but courage and judgment to be flexible and self-correcting, ongoing. Integrity, drive and tenacity will complete the panel of skills for success and garantee a strong footprint, mindset and influence for modern leaders.

A very interesting study/survey or tool to evaluate and frame the “how-to” for next generations, HR compliance and driving change with talents.

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You probably dream about a quiet place, a rest moment where you can muse and think about ideas, with no necessary goal. Or you would probably have some time, efficient time without being disturbed. No glory, fair enough, just simple life, we forgot. The fact is that, today, too many screens with interactive propositions that blink all over the day, make us fragile, distracted and less efficient. Times have changed, but not obviously for the single “better” side. We used to spend time, having time to discover, doubt, try while we are now, just interrupted, all over each single day. Is it this kind of life we need, want, desire to recover the ability to make good choices? Disturbed we are, troubled with no “cold time” to think deeply or work without being dissipated by ongoing commercials, “friends” requests or redundant news.
Oh I see and know what kind of subject I’m talking about. You probably didn’t have yet the conscient and awareness of it, but we’re immerged with digital signals, that we can’t deal with. Too many messages, too many occurencies, too many interruptions: and that’s the way you work more stressed, losing time anytime you’re disturbed, getting more and more difficulty to work efficiently with business matters, all along without being ongoing interrupted. That’s the sad way of “mainstream information”, a kind of flow you can’t stop and sort of, because it’s now to the reader to make his own opinion about contents and what he can stare at. That’s the bottomline of any “UGC”, where the reference is maybe hard to find and to believe. Can we believe all we receive? Can we trust anyone who “says”? And without even talking about the relevance of information, it’s about the whole “mass”, that flows on and on, every day.
We’re now living in a “microspaces” of times where we can spot, snap and do every little pieces of actions, like medias but like recipients too, where we swallow lots of datas…be careful to digest it!

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Finally we could say that “interruption draws creativity, flexibility and curiousity”. So, our brain has just to “teach how to deal with it, like darwinism theory for survivance”. The fact is that no one can really say actually, if there’s a strong progress doing this or in the long term an inefficiancy driving business and modern work to a major change. May we dream of an enjoyable “empty space” soon, maybe not. Up to you, to suffer daily this pollution or change your behavior. Healthier, simplier searching for “better”, more than “more”. Remember it’s worthier to “be”, than to “have”…

Any experience so far, before burning out? Share it quickly…

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Trust is probably the most rare thing to win, in the battle of competition, where all offers seem similar and mainstream. And while there is crisis, increasing the need for security, truth and transparency, trust becomes an unavoidable fact and skill. But above all, the derivated effects on business are out of limits, when you know how mesure and class them into smart groups. Because, the more trust you give/put, the more you are opened to loyalty, and then addict to brand and consumption.

Bearing in mind these groups, means having dedicated actions, plans and tone to address and hold several kinds of relations, customized to reality of relation. Let’s have a look at these groups/segments and the fine tuning to get the best of them.

It’s interesting to capture all the intelligence and trust you can find on social networks. And the resources you can leverage to nurture the « social effect » until the snowball. Check at the profile you can pretend within the 4 frequent types of digital implements: leaders, pioneers, scholars or novices. Each of them has a level of maturity , in engagement, knowledge and practicing of social media. We know now how social media can leverage trust and foster all efforts done by traditional promotion. The more you facilitate and offer a whole environment of engaging with your customers, the more you’ll get a builded trust with communication and Q/A from all the community, whatever the group of participant you are in. And this, while we saw very different behaviors in the segments therefore, and the consequences on revenue, loyalty and trust. If we could resume in one main thinking is : « seed, nurture and enlight the social energy in your communities, they’ll give you back lots of engaged trust ». Personaly, I do agree and foster this behavior, and moreover it’s very enjoyable to work and exchange like that…Feeling and hold the happiness level in business, may drive you to a kind of bliss and lead the brand to another values’ environment.

1) Hazard and Doubt: it always starts with this…Do you, personnaly give anyone, from the beginning, trust? It’s quite rare to bring such trust, despite spend more time and experiences, with any brand. And the rule is on for business and ability to give more money. The best action you can lend to these “beginners”: meet them and know, at first sight, what they’re looking for…

2) Triers: OK, you triggered the first reaction and you maybe heard a few details about the brand or products and just want to try. It makes you a perfect segment to have a first exception experience, to go further. The next goal is not probably spend more, but first become a fan, to hold the relation and discover the next surprise. Triers deserve the best first promotion or sample, kind of you’ll never forget. It’s not a question of “a lot” but more a question of “the whaou effect”.

3) Price hunters: ready for any promotion, they seem to be real transparent with no particularly awareness for the brand but the price. They can spend an average part, according to the proportion of rebate, and are attracted by “shots”, deals anytime that “worths” it. Now you know that language can be “figures” and promotions for that kind of segment, becaude they focus their attention to consume “rebates” of the brand, anyshape they may be. So the question is right now to stay aside, feeding them with prices but tempting a subtile charling approach of storytelling around the prices’ universe. Unfortunately, Price and rebate is not a long term debate and can’t be the only message, valuating the brand. That segment can be shifted toward “pay-to-see” ones, who are more curious and can be lead to another story, deeper and less price-driven.

4) Hot shooters: the ultime and extremism verse of price hunters, they have only one advantage, in “build-measure-learn” process inspired from the lean management: speed. They trigger any promotion and jump on any opportunity to make a deal. Even if they don’t need sometimes, just to have impression to close a good deal and play the leader role. “I control and have an extreme footprint on the brand because I make it perform efforts and deals for me. But we all know there’s so many “fake deals” and the complete energy that brands are able to invest in, is just sometimes incredible…

5) Pay-to-See: They are very discret, don’t make any noise but stare at the brand like a curious thing, ready to try something, but don’t know what and how. They need some teaching steps that allow them to enter in relation, smartly and with “try-and-buy” process. Build some “games” or contest which give them an opportunity to start an interactive relation, with no mandatory transaction. They will decide if they enter themselves in a “payment” posture, to taste the stickability or trustiness of the brand, or simplier test an offer they identified. Choose the trigger and catch the attention may be the two keys to get into relation for them…

6) Fan: let’s say you lived on an island and never heard about “fan” or “like” fever…and can’t imagine which kind of profile we have? And of course it’s where tha value and potential is with the rationnal evolution from “Fan” to “Come backer” to “Ambassador”. The tipping point and snowball effet are not obvious to trigger and scale but is worthy enough to pay attention since the beginning. Play, engage, make them participate in any “transactional”, while they stare at the “smart” brand and are supposed to be the next first adopters. They are fans, they like the brand, but probably didn’t find any opportunity to buy. And some will stay, remaining as true “ambassadors” without consuming. Yes, it’s possible, valuable and true. Check at it!

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7) Come backers: some buy, some buy again. They are. They tried and probably are satisfied, and do it again. They start a returning relation, want to see more, consume moreover. Ok, that’s fine, you found some engaged customers to build on. Don’t miss yourself or be wrong with the message, they want your products, your relation but don’t want to be disappointed. They come from the early stages, fan or already consumer of the brand, they are not novice and probably “in the know” of the story, range or uses of the brand environment. Maybe they’re part themselves of a buyers’ environment, that guided them there. Whatever their reasons, you can rely on their relation. They did, and did it again. Not by random or foolish choice. They choose to remind you and buy your essence again. Reward them and meet their uses with your next features.

8) Ambassadors: that’s it, you are in and here we are. You achieved a performer level, having transformed mainstream customers to ambassadors. Ones that you can count on, anytime because they’re gonna be your next salesperson and your best defender. They can trigger their own advise for people who are not clients yet, convince some to jump and discover your brand and products. They are your best PR’s, arms and mouth, to spread the word about who you are, what you do and what are your values. This incredible force was far ignored before social web and has now power like never. But you know which efforts you did to bring such energy to that point of achievement. This is the ultimate step for trust, before fanatics, who could be, in a way, obsessed and dangerous. Shortly, never lose an ambassador, it could be really weaknessing your salespitch and your footprint to the community.

9) Roadies: they work hard to follow your ventures, but don’t have much revenues. They want to be at your side, in desperate long run, at all your events, doing or not, some evidences of loyalty. They like your brand, products, but for other people than their own consumption. They could be considered as “triers” in the term, but prefer be “angels”, worrying about your brand reputation and the future ongoing for you. They are “silent agent” who can give voice if they consider you in danger or being corrupted or attacked, by default. Your best “friends”, with probably less direct impact on your revenur, but keeping care of your “body”: local bodyguards, in a way…

10) Safe and Care/Admirers: the next kind is probably the most invisible, but exists. But this fact doesn’t mean that you must not stare at them, as interesting elements of your audience. They surround you, never took time or just a lift, to signal their friendship to you, but think of your brand as “cool, smart, trustable and reliable”. They have no reason to get into relation, because of lack of time, money or opportunity to get in. But they care, in an invisible “touch”. What can you consider and learn from them? The single fact that, your whole communication can sometimes risk them to be disappointed, without knowing it, so be careful for that segment too, who could wake up and give voice in the future. Voice or money, triggered by an event you can’t plan before. Just like clouds, they are energy who supports you and collaborate to your reputation, like silent witness. They deserve to be considered, like any other target, their way: “enjoy the beauty, the traction and the footprint of your brand”.

“With trust, you can raise mountains”, because you erase the last barriers to the core: the real conversation, emptied of politics, cosmetics and fakery between an environment (brand, company, organisation, people, products) and an individual. That’s where start great stories, and build a sustainable relation. That’s where we see, that relation is not only a matter of money, but lots of other things to consider, that probably in the end, grow tour business. Up to you to see and deal with it.

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Here it goes, here it is. The power of business is so important now, that the way we drive “relations” is no really efficient confronted with private efforts, taking markets, shares and business stakes. Long is sometimes the road for public diplomacy but the real angels now are more blue boss than politic icons. When you stare for example at Indian area and the crossroad to complicated relations with Pakistant, Russia and China in the same zone, we saw the importance of the last first trade exposition, focused with the influence of business private sector in the tough situation in stranger policy. More and more, economy and trade lead the diplomatic relationship in this area, and drive the international scene. Why?

The enforced moves with several organization (world trade, trade chambers, huge world companies with stakes strategy…) generate an interesting return on “investment”, more efficient than slow diplomatic shifts. the development of local markets, even if local represents in these areas, very important zones and high potential. Because trade shows real issues and useful outcomes to people, companies and organization while politic swamp into long and whispered relations, that bring on difficulty to advance safe, with no backtricks.

We can reinstall the famous quote “think global BUT act local”. Any fair and peaceful matter is now a kind few local acts of smart trade improvements that makes the wheel turning. And the most influencer as a ministry may be the trade minister of any regular and democratic country. Average class of citizen is growing fast in any corner of the world and is hungry for consumption, modernity and innovation. They in fact lead the growth and make the things happen: buy, share thoughts and opinions faster than any politic entity. The more we believe in our faith to local innovation and the fewest trade act, the more we step forward in a kind of silent diplomacy, finding its path to more exchange and democracy. Fair trade has been created as a volontee movement to go fairest and create fast, cheap and useful trade places in local, where politics never went anymore. Forget about stocks, think deals and moreover, connections between people, things and fair currency. And when polls comes in, be careful of “useful poll”, the one that creates employment and justice throughout the world.

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