Friday, December 30, 2011

Who will be the key influencers in 2012?

Who will be the key influencers, the movers and shakers, the difference makers, the change champions in 2012?

This is a key question for us all.

What's your considered view?

I reckon it will be the people whose relationships rock. And a key is No BS relationships.

My research shows that 87% of our problems are gone when we remove the BS in our relationships.

The massive challenge facing all businesses today is being heard above all the noise, and the BS, that is much of social media. Check out this amazing infographic here which shows what is happening every 60 seconds on the internet.

In the super so-called connected digital world, a lot of people have forgotten about the awesome power of real connection and fair-dinkum relationships, especially in-person!

I believe in 2012 and beyond online matters less, in-person matters more, and a very savvy understanding of how to truly be in-person and online will matter most.

Will your relationships rock in 2012?

Relationships that rock with yourself, your family, your friends, your employees, and your clients is the road less traveled to real competitive advantage in the 21st century.

To make certain that all your relationships rock in 2012 take the BS Detector Pulse Check here. You might just be staggered by what it tells and shows you.

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

20 sparkenations to help you ensure that 2012 is your best year ever


May 2012 be your best year ever.
Ian 
I work with people worldwide who want to accelerate turning possibility into reality
+61 8 7122 4663
No BS Mentoring. It takes you further than you've ever imagined.

Have you taken the BS Detector Pulse Check yet? You might just be staggered by what it tells and shows you.

Presentations that solve your problems.

Resources that rock.
Please put ceo in the password box to access.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy holidays and much more

One of my mentors Peter Marshman taught me many years ago that:

Success = happiness
= a healthy self-image
= achieving what we want in areas important to us

I have found that when I achieve what is important to me I indeed feel good about myself. And I am blessed that my life’s work is helping other people achieve what is important for them, particularly those passionate about change who want to accelerate turning possibility into reality.

I wish you happy holidays yet much more - happiness always.

All the very best
Ian

No BS Mentoring. It takes you further than you've ever imagined.

PS
Have you taken the BS Detector Pulse Check yet? You might just be staggered by what it tells and shows you.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Resources that rock

Employee engagement a key challenge in 2012?
Do the fast employee engagement pulse check here and get a free analysis and my ebook 45 really useful tools, tips and techniques for recruiting, engaging and retaining great people.

Sustainability a focus for 2012?
Sign-up for my fortnightly changing what’s normal newsletter here and download straight away my ebook Differencemakers - how doing good is great for business. Inside are 142 actions for you to choose from to build a sustainable business and make a difference.

Want to improve the influence of your leadership?
Join the changing what’s normal torchbearer tribe here and you can access my 26 sessions over one year elearning course What real leaders do and fake one’s don’t that is one of more than 150 resources inside the life-long learning centre.

For more resources that rock put ceo in the password box here.

May 2012 be your best year yet!
Ian
No-BS mentoring that takes you further than you've ever imagined

Avoiding the dis-empowerment traps.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Avoiding the dis-empowerment traps

This weeks sparkenation.

I think this is priceless:

"Owners of capital will stimulate the working class to buy more and more expensive goods, houses and technology, pushing them to take more and more expensive credit, until their debt becomes unbearable. The unpaid debt will lead to bankruptcy of banks, which will have to be nationalised, and the State will have to take the road which will eventually lead to communism. " (Das Kapital, 1867)

My thanks to Paul Lange who twitted about this and Ann Andrews who unearthed this quote.

Reminds me of a sign I saw on a office wall a decade ago.


Stupidity and idiocy are the great dis-empowerment traps.

Ensure you don't get caught in either in 2012.

Ian
No BS differencemaker
helping people passionate about change to break free from the status quo through in-person relationships that rock

45 tools, tips and techniques for recruiting, engaging and retaining great people.

Presentations that solve your problems.

Resources that rock.
Please put ceo in the password box to access.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The great opportunity - What used to work well, often doesn’t anymore

I find the following words of Eric Hoffer staggeringly insightful:
“In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”

Many political, religious, education and business leaders are trying to live in a world that no longer exists.

How about you?

Once upon a time I could send one email to my databases in several cities and countries and fill a medium sized room for one of my seminars. Recently I have had to almost beg to get people to come and so I invented something else.

Once the baker delivered our bread to the kitchen table via an unlocked back door. Today most of us have to waste time finding a car park and then rub shoulders with stressed people we have never met, in a bland supermarket, all to buy stale bread.

Once I played in the playground free as a bird. Today I need a diploma in occupational health and safety, qualifications in security, and perhaps a lawyer, in order to take my Grandson to the local park.

What use to work well, often doesn’t anymore.

I don’t despair though. We are living in times of great opportunity.

I read much of what Thomas Friedman writes and his article ‘Something’s Happening Here' published in the New York Times on October 11th really caught my eye. Please read it yourself here.

Thomas writes about his views on two big perspectives of our time - one that says today is the time of “The Great Disruption.” The other that says today is all part of “The Big Shift.”

I think like most things in life it isn’t either/or. It’s both/and.

I am of the view that my Grandchildren will look back on this period of history as a great renaissance partly because our children and our grandchildren are creating a new world! The last great renaissance followed a period known for good reason as ‘The Dark Ages”

Today it is fair to say we have a lot of intellectual and other darkness. You only have to turn on your computer or the nightly news to know that. Yet at the same time there is much that is pioneering, breathtaking and truly innovative.

On the 8th December 1980 I was in a car with three colleagues driving from Los Angeles to Newport Beach when the announcement came over the radio that John Lennon had been murdered. I remember it as though it was yesterday and have used the word ‘imagine’ and Lennon’s song to inspire many things in my life.

In 2008 I was fortunate to visit Florence and see Michelangelo's statue of David up close and personal.

I stood for 2 hours without moving, my breath continually taken away by the magnificence of the statue. I wondered at what magnificent imagination Michelangelo must have had, indeed all of the great renaissance artists and thinkers.

These were defining moments in my life, one dark, one full of light. I carry the lessons of both these moments with me into every single day. I imagine each morning and then focus on bringing my art to the world.

We live in times of both disruption and shifts.

When I was a teenager my report cards often carried the words “Ian is a disruptive influence”. I haven’t stopped! I seek daily to be a disruptive influence as I carry out my mission to partner with people to break free from the status quo when same no longer serves. At the same time my hearts desire is to help people to make shifts and accelerate turning possibility into reality.

How about you? Are you a disruptive influence for good?

My wish for you in 2012 is that you will to do your bit to rid yourself of the darkness of the status quo that stains all of our lives. I wish that you will embrace the shifts you need to make to become more of who you are capable of becoming, that one-of-a-kind that each of us is.

We live in times of unprecedented opportunity. What used to work well, often doesn’t anymore. We cannot change the past. We can learn from our past and ensure that we do not let the darker side of our history repeat itself.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

PS
For the sixth consecutive year I am pleased to have again provided an article along with 37 other personal and professional development experts for Gihan Perera’s Expect More ebook.

Please download Expect More from 2012 with my compliments here.

PSS
Resources that rock your world. Initially available in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.
Find out more about change champions circles here.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The juggling act that we all must master

If you are like me you will be taking some time to reflect in the next few weeks.

Part of my reflection will be about how well am I juggling my idealist/dreamer nature with the realist/pragmatist in me?

My key conclusions about the most successful people I have worked with and observed are that these folk have:

a firm grasp of reality and a passionate eye on possibility

a creative tension rather than negative stress between reality and possibility

an ability and willingness to live and act in the now

a comfortableness in their own skin, yet a constant drive to be better

a shared view with stakeholders, rooted in reality, about where their organisation is now, where it’s going, why it’s going there, how it will get there, and who will do what and when

worked backwards from possibility (goals, direction, vision etc) to milestones to tasks and relationships to a realistic and validated view of the gap between reality and possibility

buy-in and ownership by each individual involved of what they are doing and when to close the gap between reality and possibility

A pathway to achieving possibility is an article I wrote some time ago. It remains one of my most read pieces. You can read it here.

The article is about a central philosophy I hold: Principle before passion; passion before purpose; passion and purpose during practice = possibility

I trust the article and my other thoughts here will help you to be an idealist and a dreamer as well as a realist and a pragmatist at the same time.

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Helping people passionate about change to break free from the status quo and accelerate turning possibility into reality
+61 8 7122 4663

Seeing what most people don’t.
Saying what most people won’t.
Uncovering with you the shifts away from status quo that will make the big difference right now

Author of Changing What's Normal
Presentation packages that solve your problems.
Programs that take the guesswork out of leading and managing change.
Personal mentoring and community for change champions.
Founder of Differencemakers Community with members in 40 countries

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Essential Components of an E-Mail Newsletter

Despite all the fuss about social media, the humble e-mail newsletter is still one of your most powerful Internet marketing tools. It's true that e-mail in-boxes are full, but that's a good reason to keep publishing a high-quality newsletter. After all, if you have permission to be in your reader's in-box, you've proven your trust and authority. In this webinar, I share the 16 essential components of a successful e-mail newsletter. For more about this topic, read the Make Connections chapter in my book Fast, Flat and Free.

Watch the recording here:



Register for future webinars in the series here (there's no cost).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wishing you love and power for 2012 and beyond.

"What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love."
Martin Luther King Jr.

Wishing you love and power for 2012 and beyond.

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Helping people passionate about change to break free from the status quo and accelerate turning possibility into reality
+61 8 7122 4663

Seeing what most people don’t.
Saying what most people won’t.
Uncovering with you the shifts away from status quo that will make the big difference right now

Author of Changing What's Normal
Presentation packages that solve your problems.
Programs that take the guesswork out of leading and managing change.
Personal mentoring and community for change champions.
Founder of Differencemakers Community with members in 40 countries

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Expect More from 2012

For the sixth consecutive year I am pleased to have again provided an article along with 37 other personal and professional development experts for Gihan Perera’s Expect More ebook. In addition to Gihan and myself differencemakers members Karen Schmidt, David Beard, Shelley Dunstone, Maree Harris, Ann Rolfe, Shirley McKinnon, Gary Ryan, Geoff McDonald, and Helen Mac also feature.


Please download Expect More from 2012 with my compliments here.

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Author of Changing What's Normal
I partner with people passionate about change who want to break free from the status quo and accelerate turning possibility into reality


Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal

More sparkenations are here.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Online matters less - in-person matters more

Online matters less - in-person matters more; doing both in harmony with one another is really important for the growth of your business.

One of my favourite books is Zag by Marty Neumeier and published by New Riders, 2007. (If you are looking for a good read over the next couple of months please download my recommended reading list by scrolling down to sparkenation 11 here and clicking on the link).

A strategy of mine has always been, if everyone is zigging, then I will usually zag. It is part of my nature to be contrarian and part of my business model to always find ways to standout from others.

I admit to getting on the social-media/networking bandwagon. I found that meant I allowed myself to neglect in-person and so for the past few months I have been reducing my online to in-person ratio of hours from 20:1 to 3:1. I believe that being active online matters because it can enhance our reputation and attract buyers. I believe in-person matters more. In 2012 my focus is on maintaining harmony for me between online and in-person.

How about you?


As mentioned in my previous post I was thrilled that my presentations that solve your problems featured on Slideshare. In fact it went viral being viewed 1544 times and downloaded 43 times in the first 5 days. I am very grateful for the many who talked about it on LinkedIn, Twitter and other places.

Has anyone contacted me to start building a relationship? Nope. A few people will probably be in touch in due course as there is always a lag. What will happen is that my reputation for being different to most, seeing what most people don’t and saying what most people won’t, will be enhanced.

Social-media has become the masses. My market is not the masses. My market niche is very small and using social-media to find my market is like looking for a needle in the largest haystack every built.

A focus for me in 2012 is to maintain an online presence by continuing to provide high quality content in several key places for me on a consistent basis. My key focus in 2012 however is to meet more with real people in real places and build and grow relationships of high value and mutual reward that really matter.

How about you?

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Author of Changing What's Normal
I partner with people passionate about change who want to break free from the status quo and accelerate turning possibility into reality


Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal

More sparkenations are here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Face to Face Is Making a Comeback - some would say it never left.

This weeks sparkenation.

A great blog I subscribe to is Hello my name is blog by the name tag guy Scott Ginsberg. Scott’s 2nd December blog was titled Face to Face Is Making a Comeback.

Wise people have always known that face to face is what really matters in building and growing personal and business relationships. Millions of people have allowed social media/networking to disrupt the consistency and value of face to face, particularly in-person.

How wise have you been and what will you do in 2012 to change what’s has become normal?

This weeks second webinar in the Changing What's Normal series is about relationships. You can find out more here.

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Author of Changing What's Normal
I partner with people passionate about change who want to break free from the status quo and accelerate turning possibility into reality


Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal

More sparkenations are here.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Change Your Relationships and significantly increase your success

A recent global leadership study by Right Management, in partnership with Chally Group, found that "failure to build relationships and a team environment" is the biggest contribution to the failure of senior leaders. The table below highlights the key findings of the study. You can download the fully study here.


I am not at all surprised by these findings. Personal change and relationship change precede organisational change. All three are the key focus of my work and the three sections of my Changing What's Normal book.

Yesterday I hosted the first of my 3 part Changing What's Normal webinar series. Next week (the 8th) the focus is on Changing Your Relationships. I will be sharing:

*The key lessons I have learned from being married to the same woman for 38 years and how adaptability to change is the key to any strong relationship
*Why politicians are unable to collaborate and how to not make the mistakes they do and therefore avoid the catastrophes they cause
*Why life-work balance is nonsense and how to achieve life-work harmony

Why not join me? We can never stop working on our relationships!
Registration details are here.

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Author of Changing What's Normal
I partner with people passionate about change who want to break free from the status quo and accelerate turning possibility into reality


Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal

More sparkenations are here.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Why less than 50% of employees are bringing their best to their work on a consistent basis in most organisations

The big challenge facing small, medium and large business leaders is employee engagement and yet despite all the buzz, billions (perhaps trillions) of dollars and untold energy and effort, according to every piece of research and results I have looked at, less than 50% of employees are bringing their best to their work on a consistent basis in most organisations.

This means of course that productivity is less than it could be and therefore achieving possibility in performance is a long way in the distance from reality.

Why is this?
In the slideshare below I explore my three fundamental reason why.


I am seeking to partner with organisations truly embracing change by working with key people for 1 or 2 days a week for a few weeks, perhaps a few months, as long as it takes to achieve the change/s you desire. My role is to pass on, in ways to be agreed on and measured, my crucial to success learnings about leading and managing change.

Let’s have a conversation and find out if I am right for you and you for me. We will know in a few minutes whether we can work together or not. My number is +61 418 807 898. Wherever you are in the world I respond to all messages within 24 hours.

Please check out at least one the following before you call.
My weekly sparkenations.
A few of my key articles.
My programs.
or simply complete my quick employee engagement pulse check. My ebook 52 actions of the wise is my gift to you for taking the pulse check.

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Author of Changing What's Normal
I partner with people passionate about change who want to break free from the status quo and accelerate turning possibility into reality


Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal

More sparkenations are here.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

25 Ways to Use a Free E-Book or Special Report

You might have heard the idea of writing a free e-book and sending it to as many people as possible. Maybe you know somebody who did it, and scored a new sale, a consulting assignment or even a long-term contract with a new client - based solely on her e-book. You can do the same.
Writing the e-book isn't difficult. The real value is in how you distribute it. Let's look at 25 different ways to use that e-book.

(Keep in mind that although we talk about "selling", this doesn't only have to be about products and services. As a differencemaker, you also have to sell your ideas, your passion and your cause)

Lead

Our first group of techniques is based on the strategy of getting more traffic to your business or Web site. In other words, it's about generating leads.
To lead more people to your business or Web site with your e-book, you can:
  1. List it in directories of free e-books on the Internet.
  2. Exchange links with related Web sites, where they promote your e-book and you promote theirs.
  3. Tell your audiences to visit your Web site to download the e-book.
  4. Create promotional CDs with the e-book on it (with links to your site).
  5. Give it to your existing e-zine subscribers who refer a friend to sign up.
  6. Tell other people to refer their clients to your Web site, so they can download the e-book.
  7. Promote it in newspaper advertising (Yes, you pay for the advertising, but it gets a better response than advertising a paid product).
  8. Mention it in radio interviews (even those that don't allow commercial advertising).
  9. Give it to colleagues to put on their Web site for download.

Sell

When clients are at your business or Web site, you can use your e-book to encourage them to buy. You can:
  1. Make a limited offer, so they get the e-book only if they order by a certain date.
  2. Offer it as an incentive for people to sign up to your e-zine.
  3. Make it a free sample - i.e. a cut-down free version of the full product.
  4. Use the e-book to help the reader identify their problems (but they have to pay for your products/services to get the solutions).
  5. Give it away, using the reciprocity principle, which says that people who get a favour from you are more likely to do you a favour in return.
  6. Demonstrate how much value you're willing to give away for nothing, which makes them wonder just how much more they will get when they pay.
  7. Demonstrate your credibility as an expert in the field.
  8. Help new Internet users get comfortable with downloading files, reading e-books, etc., so they are more likely to buy your other electronic products.
Notice that some of these "sell" items conflict with the "lead" items. For example, if you're offering it as an incentive for people who buy something else, you can't also have it as a free download available to everybody. That's why it's important to get your strategy right - otherwise, you'll have a mish-mash of techniques that bump into each other and diminish its value.

More

How can your e-book get them to spend more? You can:
  1. Put a dollar value on the e-book, and bundle it together with your other products.
  2. Use it instead of discounting (i.e. Instead of offering a discount on a product, offer them the added value of the e-book instead).
  3. Offer it as a freebie for people who leave without buying, so that they still get something from you, and might buy from you in the future.

Again

Finally, how can you use your e-book to encourage existing customers and clients to buy from you again? You can:
  1. Offer it as an incentive for signing up to your mailing list.
  2. Send it as an "unadvertised bonus" immediately after they order your product, so that it's a pleasant surprise and avoids buyer's remorse.
  3. Send it to loyal customers as a gift later, which reminds them that you exist.
  4. Offer it free as part of a "clients only" special offer.
  5. Send customers an e-book later that tells them how they can get more value out of the product or service they bought.
As you can see, there are many benefits to writing an e-book and giving it away. Not all of these will apply to you. But I'm sure some will; and if you put on your thinking cap, you'll probably find others that will work for you as well.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Choose - Decide - Do it this week

This weeks sparkenation.

I participated in an excellent webinar ‘Why should anyone believe your business is worth knowing’ on 24th November presented by my friend and colleague Kwai Yu, the Founder of Leaders Cafe and Linchpin Academy.

Kwai used a great insight from Sydney Harris to stimulate discussion. I love it and quickly captured the screenshot below.


Here are the key points for me.

Celebrate and be grateful for what you love about your life.

Whatever you don't love about your life, change it.

If you and I don’t change what we can, we end up with more of what we don't love.

Pick one thing about the status quo that is no longer serving you and do something personally to change it. And do it this week!

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Author of Changing What's Normal
I partner with people passionate about change who want to break free from the status quo and accelerate turning possibility into reality


Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal

More sparkenations are here.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Are we allowing social media to ruin our real relationships?

I estimate the total number of different people that I am connected to online is more than 3000 people. I am a minnow of course. I can’t imagine life for those with more than a million twitter followers!

The key for me is that I have real relationships with about 150 people. Significantly Robin Dunbar’s number has been the constant for me pre and post social media.

The main value of having a significant social media presence for me is five-fold:

1) We do meet people online we probably wouldn’t have met otherwise who become colleagues, collaborators and friends. An example: Six out of the seven members of the Leadership Roundtable of Differencemakers Community, which I founded, I first met online. Three of them I am still to meet in person.

2) We can enhance our reputation by consistent posting of high-quality content in the endless number of places to post that are available.

3) We can use technology such as skype and gotomeetings to strengthen and grow relationships and accomplish important tasks.

4) We can learn many things of value to our personal and business lives through online discussions, webinars, and other forums. Equally we can contribute much to others in the same ways.

5) Collaboration is much easier, more efficient and effective because of social media and the cloud.

My online to in-person ratio is about 5:1 i.e. 5 hours online:1 hour in-person. It was once 20:1 as I allowed myself to be almost completely consumed. Of course my real relationships suffered. I am working on getting my ratio to 3:1.

As mentioned in my previous post and slideshare:
“Your Network is who you like, know and trust.
Your Reputation depends on who likes, knows, and trusts you.
Your Business growth depends on who likes, knows and trusts you and who is prepared to take you to who likes, knows, and trusts them.”

I can’t speak for you of course, for me I don’t take anyone to meet someone who likes, knows, and trusts me unless I am certain of their value to such a person, and I can’t be certain of someone else’s value until I have a real relationship with them.

In my view real relationships are primarily built in person and only online when we can see people and get a true sense of who they are. Relationships can be enhanced and grown online but not usually built.

I have requests from people I have never met or seen or witnessed their work asking me for recommendations and referrals. How could I have integrity and do that? I couldn’t.

Are we allowing social media to ruin our real relationships?

My answer is yes when the following exist:


*Our ratio of online to in-person is out of harmony for us
*Our focus is on getting rather than giving
*We email or text or post when a call or visit would better enhance the relationship/s
*We say things online we wouldn’t say in person
*Our focus is on what’s happening on our so-called smart phones when we are in-person with other people
*We pay more attention to what people are saying online than we do in person
*Online work and play has become more important than in-person work and play
*We can’t switch-off our phones or leave them at home occasionally
*We post, text or email information about other people we haven’t run past them
*We are paying more attention to what people are saying about us online than they are in-person
*We notice our communication skills and ability to have meaningful conversations in-person have waned
*We have stopped or reduced saying in person Please, Thank You, I love you.
*The amount of quality in-person, without technology time we spend with family, friends and colleagues is reduced

Would you add any?
And what will you do today to ensure to stop allowing social media to ruin your real relationships?


Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Author of Changing What's Normal
I partner with people passionate about change who want to break free from the status quo and accelerate turning possibility into reality


Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal

More sparkenations are here.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

It’s not who you know or even who knows you

Your Network is who you like, know and trust.
Your Reputation depends on who likes, knows, and trusts you.
Your Business growth depends on who likes, knows and trusts you and who is prepared to take you to who likes, knows, and trusts them.


Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Author of Changing What's Normal
I partner with people passionate about change who want to break free from the status quo and accelerate turning possibility into reality


Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal

More sparkenations are here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Power of Conviction

People often say "The missing link in strategy is implementation". What they mean is that the new strategy simply sits on the shelf and nothing changes.

I have always found this to be most intriguing. I would have thought that people in organizations would be particularly strong on implementation. Entrepreneurs tend to be "doers". They employ smart people with practical skills. They pay these employees to do what they are asked to do, and if they don't do it, they are at risk of being fired. There are plenty of project managers who have the skills to plan and manage the implementation of projects.

If you are going to install a new computer system, you tell all your employees what they are required to do. If they don't do it, they are in trouble. No one has a choice. Everyone has their own part to play, to reach the point where the new system is functioning properly.

So, when it comes to strategy, why is implementation such a problem?

For one thing, a strategy is not an action plan. First you have to define the strategy. Then you work out a plan to achieve it.

Secondly, it's been said that a failure to execute is always due to one of three things:


1. You don't know what to do,

2. You don't know how to do it, or

3. Someone or something is standing in the way.

I believe that with strategy, the first point is usually the main problem. If your strategy is empty rhetoric; just fine-sounding words, it won't have any substance and won't generate any action. If, however, you have a clear conviction that you've come up with the right strategy, you will know what you have to do. You will work out how to do it. Nothing and no one will stand in the way. But if you're not entirely sure about the strategy you've formulated, if you haven't developed a clear vision, if you haven't thought deeply enough about your specific value proposition and how you will differentiate, you won't have sufficient drive to mobilise the people around you to take action on it. You'll have a nagging concern that something's not quite right. A strategy has to feel right. It's partly a logical and partly intuitive decision.

If the thinking is done thoroughly and well, then the doing will follow easily.

Without strong conviction, you're just stuck in precedent.

A cure for all management ills

This weeks sparkenation.

I was most fortunate that my first management mentor 40 years ago taught me a principle I later discovered was a philosophy of Goethe. My paraphrase "See people as they are and they can only get worse. See people as they can be and they can only get better."

This attitude to people is a cure for all management ills. At least it is the beginning of such!

I have embraced this principle my whole working life.

It is breathtakingly simple. Simple rarely means easy in practice and so
20 years ago I first dedicated my life's work to that of inspiring leaders and managers to live Goethe's principle. I have partnered with 100's of people who now use this philosophy in their own way.

Today I describe my quest as helping people passionate about change to break free from the status quo and turn possibility into reality.

The status quo is sucking the life of of us. Just think politicians and global financial crisis 2.0 for a second. I don't see any wisdom whatsoever being put forward, just the same old crap. The only thing that stops me from joining in the protests is that I see politicians and financial leaders as they could be rather than as they are!

I am on a quest to change the world one leader/manager at a time. I believe business to be the last bastion of hope.

My Changing What's Normal book is my manifesto for replacing the status quo when same no longer serves us. It is the book I always wanted to write and judging by the feedback of people who have read it, and done their work, I am thrilled that I spent the decade I did thinking about it and then two years researching and writing it.

In my book there are 58 sparkenations. A sparkenation is a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal.

The key is not my sparkenations however, what's really important is what you hear yourself say to yourself when you hear them, see them, or read them,
and then what you do that you have never done before.

You can get your copy of my book by enrolling in one, two, or all three of my Changing What's Normal webinars. The next series is on 1st, 8th, and 15th December.

If you are put off by the stench of status quo and you genuinely want to do something to change what's normal, please join me online for one, two or all three of these webinars.

It may be the best $40 (one webinar), $75 (two webinars) or $100 (all three webinars) you have ever invested.
Details are at here.

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Author of Changing What's Normal
I partner with people passionate about change who want to break free from the status quo and accelerate turning possibility into reality

More sparkenations are here.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fast Food Charity


Except during the extraordinarily hot summer months, Palm Springs has a fairly large homeless population, known as Desert Rats. They migrate to the area for the warmth and dryness of the dessert winter, much like their better off "snow birds" from Canada and the northern states.

Of course, these "snow birds" have vacation houses and RV parks to live in, unlike the Desert Rats who sleep on cardboard scraps in public parks.

I usually make a trip every eight months or so to Palm Springs to visit my father, who is a full-time resident there. Each visit usually includes a couple of trips to a nearby burger chain for lunch.

It has now become my practice to always order an extra double cheeseburger with my own meal. As I drive out of the parking lot area, I give this freshly made burger to whichever homeless person is at the exit with their cardboard "please help" sign.

Sure, it costs a bit more to do this than simply handing over a dollar bill (or ignoring their plea for help altogether). But at least I know my contribution won't be going for smokes, liquor or drugs. And it feels good knowing that a hungry person has just received something substantive to eat.

I also go out of my way to pack any non-perishable food in my condo at the end of each stay and drive to an area where the homeless hang out. Usually this means a couple bags of unused groceries get distributed to around a half dozen people.

Of course, not everyone lives or vacations in areas where there are hungry and homeless people (though I venture it wouldn't be too hard to find some if you really tried).

However, it is so easy to find a creative way to contribute to society's downtrodden. All it takes is purchasing an extra loaf of bread, a can of food, or even a few pieces of fruit and giving it to someone needy between your place of shopping and home. Or, as I do, buying an extra item at a quick service restaurant and handing it to someone.

Believe me, this is an easy routine to get into once you start seeking the opportunity to help feed one hungry person at a time. And by doing so, you will definitely be making a difference. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

"Screw Business as Usual"

There is an excellent article here by Sir Richard Branson for Business Fights Poverty an online community I have been a member of for sometime.

What will you do today and beyond to "Screw Business as Usual"?

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Author of Changing What's Normal
I partner with people passionate about change who want to break free from the status quo and accelerate turning possibility into reality


Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal

More sparkenations are here.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Who/what are you waiting for?

This article was the second of my Changing What's Normal newsletter this month.
You can sign-up for my newsletter here.

For the past two weeks I have been working in a somewhat isolated place in remote Australia. In many ways it has been a waiting game.

Part of my project has meant I have had to call many Government departments meaning many long waits. Typical recorded messages have been “we are experiencing greater than normal call volume ... and my favourite “your call is important to us ...

When I suggested in a light tone to one operator that if call volume was greater than normal perhaps it was time to change what’s normal and put more people on to take calls, I received silence on the other end, not a word! Maybe I wasn’t speaking with a human!

My average waiting time has been 15 minutes. I have calculated that in the 140 hours I have worked in the past two weeks, 30 hours have been spent waiting.

I have made great use of the time, writing this for example. Before making each call I decide what I am going to do that is productive while I am waiting.

I suspect more than 20% of your life is also spent waiting.
What do you do that is productive while you wait?

And what are you doing about people who make you wait?


I made a decision some time ago to not have relationships with people who make me wait.

I am very careful who I have relationships with. I am very careful to respect other people’s time and energy and never waste it. As a general rule other people treat me as I expect to be treated (Government departments are the exception).

When it comes to business relationships my aim is to always be collaborative.

Sparkenation 28 of my Changing What’s Normal book is titled “Only collaborate with people when you have achieved a shared view.” I put forward there 7 steps to collaborating successfully:

1. Establish that there is agreement concerning the goal/s, objective/s, or aim/s. Don’t move on until you are absolutely certain there is agreement.

2. State what you can and will do to achieve the goal/s, objective/s, or aim/s.

3. Ask the other person or people involved to state what they can and will do to achieve the goal/s, objective/s, or aim/s.

4. State what you feel are the milestones or measurements that will indicate that you are on on track to achieve what you say you will in 2.

5. Ask the other person or people involved to state what they feel are the milestones or measurements that will indicate that they are on on track to achieve what they say they will in 3.

6. Agree on the dates and times that you will be in touch with each other to discuss progress and celebrate achievements.

7. Confirm in writing via email or letter your agreements in 2. through 6. and ask for a confirmation response from the other person or people involved.

I make sure that in all my collaborative agreements there is absolute clarity around deadlines and what happens if unforeseen circumstances mean they cannot be met.
I have considerably reduced my waiting time as a result.

What kind of collaborative agreements do you have in place and what do they mean for your waiting time?

The most useless waiting time is when we don’t do what we know we should. Call it procrastination if you will. I call it wasting our lives.

In this weeks short sparkenation I said:
“This blog post "Will We Cry When You Die? An Open Letter" by Author of Start With Why Simon Sinek, stirred my heart and got me thinking. The great legacy we leave is the one others are acting on while we are alive.

What’s your living legacy? And is it making waves?

As Seth Godin says: “In a world of surfers, all you can do is work to make the best wave you can. The real revolution is that you get to make waves, not just ride them.”

I find that when I am focused on making waves and making my mark I spend less time waiting and I don’t have time to procrastinate.

What will you do today that you haven’t, that you know you should?

Do it now. Life’s too short to spend time waiting unproductively.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.

Ian

PS
I am excited to announce a Changing What’s Normal webinar series:
December 1st webinar - Change Yourself
December 8th webinar - Change Your Relationships
December 15th webinar - Change Your Organisation

Details are here.

And I am very excited to announce that the first ever Changing What’s Normal 1 day workshop is being held in 10 cities and 6 countries in early 2012. There are save great savings to be made when you take up the super early bird offer. Details are here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Simplify and Automate Your Internet Marketing

To be successful at Internet marketing, you don't need to spend every waking hour on-line - although it might seem that way by listening to what some Internet marketing experts say. Instead, make some smart decisions about which Internet marketing tools you're going to use, and which you can afford to ignore.

Broadly, you can group these tools into four categories, based on how you use them to deliver high-quality content (which is the basis of modern Internet marketing):


  1. Create: You create this once, and don't need to update it regularly.
  2. Generate: You generate material regularly and push it out to the world using these tools.
  3. Automate: This stuff gets out there automatically.
  4. Participate: You actively get involved in conversations and discussions.
The Generate tools are the most important for us as differencemakers to be positioning ourselves as experts; and the Participate tools are the most important for building a community or "tribe".

I'll explain and give you examples of each of these four categories.

Create

This will typically be your Web site itself. You create it once, and then adjust it as required. You do need to be able to update it yourself, but most of the updates are promotional (for example, adding testimonials, promoting new events, adding new products and services) rather than educational.

If you really get into high-level Internet marketing, you'll be updating this much more regularly - for example, fine-tuning the keywords on pages, creating landing page for search engine marketing campaigns, and so on. But most of us mere mortals won't need to be doing that.

Generate

These are the tools you use for generating and distributing your content regularly:
  • Blog
  • E-mail newsletter
  • Article directories
  • Podcast
  • Videos
  • Slide shows
Everybody should do the first two (blog and newsletter); and the others depend on your own skills and the preferences of your target market.

You don't have to create brand-new content each time. It's easy to write an article once, and then publish it to your newsletter, blog and article directories; to then record it as an audio file for your podcast; and then create a video and/or slide show from it.

This stuff is important - don't neglect it!

Automate

If you don't have the time to get fully involved in social media, at least get a simple presence by automating the process. Every time you publish a blog post, let your followers know on:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
This gives you a minimal, but useful, social media presence. You're pumping out valuable stuff regularly to your social media networks, so you can start building up a following for later use.

Warning: This is by no means the way to master social media! Like anything else, social media won't work for you unless you put some serious time, effort and focus into it. This is just a way of creating a presence slowly until you're ready to do more with it.

Participate

Finally, you can participate in on-line conversations. This can happen on the big social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn; or they can be special on-line communities you belong to.

This stuff is also important. And yes, it does take time! But if you pick the right communities and the right conversations, it can be time well spent.

You do this already in the off-line world (I hope!), when you meet up with colleagues for a mastermind group, attend your professional association's chapter meetings, or attend networking events where your clients hang out. This is the same thing, in the on-line world.

Here it is in a nutshell ...

Here's a summary of the four stages, written as a marketing plan:
  1. Build a high-quality Web site that promotes you.
  2. Publish articles regularly to your newsletter and blog; and optionally leverage them in other forms.
  3. Automatically notify your social media followers of new blog posts.
  4. Take part in on-line conversations of your peers and clients.

What's YOUR Internet marketing plan?

I hope this gives you a starting point for your Internet marketing plan. Yours might differ slightly, but stick to the principles of publishing high-quality content regularly and having high-quality conversations regularly.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Are you leaving a legacy while you are alive?

This weeks sparkenation.

This blog post Will We Cry When You Die? An Open Letter by Author of Start With Why Simon Sinek, stirred my heart and got me thinking. The great legacy we leave is the one others are acting on while we are alive.

What’s your living legacy? And is it making waves?

As Seth Godin says: “In a world of surfers, all you can do is work to make the best wave you can. The real revolution is that you get to make waves, not just ride them.”

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Author of Changing What's Normal
I partner with people passionate about change who want to break free from the status quo and accelerate turning possibility into reality


Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal

More sparkenations are here.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Leaders go first

I see a lot of people waiting. There are those waiting to see what happens in Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain etc. Will we avoid a second Global Financial Crisis? I don’t know. I won’t be sitting on my hands waiting in hope. I will do what I can in the areas I can influence.

I see people waiting all the time to try and control things they can’t.

Are you waiting or are you leading. Leaders go first.

Decide what you can influence and get going. The world has had enough of people waiting and we need leaders prepared to go first.
If not you, then who?

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Author of Changing What's Normal
I partner with people passionate about change who want to break free from the status quo and accelerate turning possibility into reality


Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal

More sparkenations are here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Are Private Bankers Poor at Describing What They Do or Simply Just Anti-Social by Nature?

Last night I attended a private reception for Financial Services Professionals (FSP) specifically focused on private bankers, investment bankers, hedge fund managers et al and a few of the companies that service them. As I moved around the room I’d ask ...


Me: “What do you do?”


... to which I received the response either


FSP: “eh ... what do you mean?”


... or they proceeded to recite the entire glossy corporate brochure by heart. Every one was wearing name tags with their name and the company so you knew where they were from and unless you were a complete industry outsider (in which case you wouldn’t be at the reception anyway) you knew what the company did. So I’d ask again,


Me: “Yes, but what do YOU do?”


FSP: “eh ... what do you mean?”


... I remained tight lipped and allowed a pregnant pause to ensue ...


FSP: “eh ... well I’m a XYZ Manager” or  “I work in the XYZ department”


Me: “Let me ask it differently; what do ***YOU*** do that adds value to your clients?”


The majority of the responses to this were along the lines of ...


FSP: “What do I what?”


In all fairness there were the occasional good ones, possibly proving the 5% 95% rule.


For now forget the question about value though and go back to the original question, ‘what do you do?’. What I found amazing was that these people all seemed to identify themselves as part of a corporate machine that does ‘something’, as opposed to being able to articulate what it is that they do within that environment that differentiates them as a person, an expert in their field, or a professional who makes a difference.


Remember that this was an industry reception so there was no need to tell peers what their company does ... everyone in the room pretty much knew what each of the companies did. I would have thought it more important to tell your peers what makes you the big swinging dick of your company or your department, blow your own trumpet, beat your own drum, and don’t bore me to tears with your corporate slogans.


Certainly this type of reaction is not exclusive to the financial services industry; I have seen it at other more generic neworking events and receptions. What stood out for me on this occassion was the number of people who seemed firewalled from the reality that they work in a service industry and that their right to survive (at least should) depend(s) upon the value they bring to their clients. Clearly the financial services companies they all work for are not creating a work environment that fosters this understanding; or am I simply over-reacting?


Warmest regards,


Paul 



About Paul J. Lange:
Paul J. Lange is a business mentor and business performance coach who helps small to medium enterprise and entrepreneurs to apply big business, enterprise disciplines and solutions to gain a competitive advantage and increase profits. 

Paul's 'Business DIET'© system has helped countless entrepreneurs and business owners around the world to launch start-ups, expand existing operations, and greatly improve bottom lines.

Paul is also one of Australia’s most connected management consultants, and leading business strategists, with a passion for helping corporate leaders, entrepreneurs and business owners who are committed to achieving outstanding results.

Paul’s support will help you to develop strategic direction, implement it, execute and make more money. He will have you starting to work on your business, instead of in your business, right from day one; and if you have already started down this path, he will help you to complete the transition to business owner from business manager.

There is usually trouble when the tail is wagging the dog

At the beginning of the 1997 comedy film ‘Wag the Dog’ a caption reads:
“Why does the dog wag its tail?

Because the dog is smarter than the tail.

If the tail were smarter, it would wag the dog.”

How many situations in your business is a small part controlling the whole, or something minor unduly influencing something major?

A classic case of the tail wagging the dog is happening in Australian politics at present where Independents hold the balance of power and often hold the government to ransom if they don’t get their way. A great example is one Independent trying to introduce gambling legislation in an endeavour to fix problem gamblers who from what I can see are a very small minority of the people who gamble for leisure. If the legislation is introduced the potential damaging effects in the pubs and clubs industry are huge, potentially even putting some out of business. The Independent pushing the change is threatening to bring down the government if his legislation doesn’t pass. In this situation like so many in politics all over the world, common sense is the uncommon thing.

I suggest reviewing your business as soon as possible to make sure that you have a great understanding of the little things making a big difference both negatively and positively. Then take action immediately to ensure you change what’s normal in all the negative areas.

“If you don’t believe little things make a big difference, then you have never been to bed with a mosquito.”
Anita Roddick

PS You’re smarter than any of the little things exercising undue influence over your business right now!

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Author of Changing What's Normal
I partner with people passionate about change who want to break free from the status quo and accelerate turning possibility into reality


Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal

More sparkenations are here.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

World Day of Interconnectedness


How connected do you feel to the global family of mankind?

Are you getting a sense that the early stages of a global partnership is underway, shifting perceptions of separateness to oneness?

Tomorrow is an opportunity  for all of us to enhance these feelings, no matter how fleeting or strong they may be. For tomorrow (11-11-11) is the third World Day of Interconnectedness. The theme is shifting from I-llness to WE-llness.

Through your own individual actions, plus participation in any community events nearby, you can express feelings of interconnectedness through acts of compassion. The World Day of Interconnectedness website has a range of ideas on actions and activities, as well as a list of global events  being held.

Being a difference maker requires making connections with others. Tomorrow is another chance to create new connections that will, if only briefly, place focus and attention on the positives of the human family, replacing the negative noises we receive from news organizations, politicians and others.

The 2011 World Day of Interconnectedness may be a raggedy collage of loosely connected events, but so what. A movement towards global interconnectedness has to start somewhere!

What will you be doing to contribute to tomorrow's World Day of Interconnectedness? 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

“Your time is limited. Don't waste it living someone else's life."

This weeks sparkenation.

“Your time is limited. Don't waste it living someone else's life."

As Steve Jobs put it so eloquently:

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to....love what you do. Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. Your time is limited. Don't waste it living someone else's life."

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Author of Changing What's Normal
I partner with people passionate about change who want to break free from the status quo and accelerate turning possibility into reality


Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal

More sparkenations are here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Global Consumers Seeking Greater Corporate Social Responsibility


Consumers in major countries across the globe have begun acting on their desires for a higher level of responsibility by companies in dealing with societal issues.

This global consumer movement is revealed in the 2011 Cone/Echo Global CR Opportunity Study which was conducted earlier this year in 10 countries (USA, Canada, Brazil, UK, Germany, France, Russia, China, India and Japan) comprising roughly half the world's population. Over 10,000 consumers were surveyed.
The top three results were:
  • 81% of consumers say companies have a responsibility to address key social and environmental issues beyond their local communities.
  • 93% of consumers say companies must go beyond their legal compliance to operate responsibly.
  • 94% of consumers say companies must analyze and evolve their business practices to make their impact as positive as possible.
These consumers believe it is important for companies to address a full range of social and environmental issues, including:
  • economic development (96%)
  • environment (96%)
  • water (95%)
  • human rights (94%)
  • education (90%)
  • health and disease (90%)
  • poverty and hunger (87%)
Importantly, 94% of respondents indicated they are likely to buy a product that has an environmental benefit (76% did so in the previous 12 months) or one that is associated with a cause (65% purchased cause-related products in the past year).
Additionally, 93% said they would boycott a company for irresponsibility, with over half saying they have already done so.
Consumers are already using their own spending and loyalty to press their demands for greater corporate social responsibility, as this research clearly shows.

Now the question becomes, is anyone in the corporate world listening?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Nobody wins the blame and shame game

This is the first of my newsletters this month.

One of my heroes is Alan Weiss. Alan says “I’ve always believed that language controls discussion, discussion controls relationships, and relationships control business. You might want to substitute “influence” for control, but you get my drift.”

Last weekend the CEO of Qantas, a once iconic Australian company, grounded his entire fleet of planes in order to bring to a head an unresolved dispute his company has with three unions. His decision affected the travel of about 100,000 people and who knows the long term adverse affects.

The language of this CEO, his opponents, and the hapless politicians on both sides of the divide, clearly do not understand collaboration. They are now blaming and shaming one another in public, something that is happening in many situations all over the world right now.

In my changing what’s normal book (Sparkenation 5. One solution to the world’s pre-eminent problem) I wrote the following:

Normal

Fundamentalists are killing us, literally. In my view fundamentalists are people who believe their way is the only way. Today these folk of religious, political, business, and other persuasions are ruining our world. None of us has a mortgage on truth. And none of us has a right to use violence against anybody for any reason, let alone because we believe something different or are following a different path.

Changing What’s Normal

In the new world being co-created we will honour everyone's path to meaning, whatever it is, and we will be tolerant of another person's way and co-exist regardless of our differences, indeed we will celebrate our differences.

We live in three worlds: the world in here, the world out there, and the world we share. In here, our views are just that, out there are other people’s views. In the world we share are the views we agree on. In any successful relationship the world we share is the critical one.

Human conflict is fundamentally the result of failure to agree on the goal or failure to agree on the strategies to achieve the goal. I guarantee that today all of our troubles, personal, local, organisational, national, and international, are fundamentally based in our perceived need to hang onto the world in here, our issues with the world out there, and, our failure to focus more on the world we share.

What makes life really worthwhile is when we can share our views (without ridiculing one another or being violent with one another) and come together with a shared view, which may mean we have to let go of things we previously held dear.

I trust that today and every day you will resolve to build more of the world we share and be less precious about the world in here or the world out there.


What could you do today, this week, this month to be a more of a builder of a world that is based on shared view?

What modifications or changes would you need to make in your life to make this happen?

Please get started today on making the changes you have decided to make. We must move on from a world of shame and blame because nobody wins such a game.

"What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love."
Martin Luther Ling Jr.

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Author of Changing What's Normal
I partner with people passionate about change who want to break free from the status quo and accelerate turning possibility into reality


Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal

More sparkenations are here.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Show the Right Face On-Line

In August, we saw the resignation of U.S. congressman Anthony Weiner, who initially denied - and then confessed to - sending lewd photographs of himself to women on Twitter. After the so-called "Weinergate" affair, tweets from other U.S. congress members dropped 30%, as they evidently became far more cautious of what they were saying and doing on-line.

Clearly what Weiner did was inappropriate under any circumstances. But some things aren't so clear, especially when it comes to using social media for marketing. It's a tricky situation for us business owners, because we don't want to offend people but also don't want to miss the opportunity to reach them.

It can also get confusing when some experts say it's all about personal branding, and encourage you to disclose more of your personality in business situations, and vice versa.

The key is to understand each platform's rules.

If you go to a networking function, would you blatantly promote yourself and your services? No (unless you're a sponsor or advertiser). Most people should be there for sharing ideas, making connections and building relationships.

If you go to a friend's party, you wouldn't even go that far. You would usually leave the business cards and elevator speech at home, and just go there to have fun.

The same applies to on-line places. Some are for socialising, some for networking, and some for promoting. Here's a quick overview:

At one end of the spectrum is Facebook, which is primarily for connecting with family and friends.
Then come business networking tools like Twitter and LinkedIn, which allow some self-promotion, but are mainly for connecting, sharing and building relationships.
At the far end are places where you can promote to your heart's content: your Web site, blog, e-mail newsletter, podcast, YouTube ... and Facebook again (but this time I'm talking about Facebook pages, not your personal profile).

So show your face, but show the RIGHT face.

This means you turn up differently - and with a slightly different public face - in each place.

Don't push your products and services to your Facebook friends. On the other hand, this is the place where you can be the most casual and informal.

Similarly, be slightly more formal - more professional, if you like - on Twitter and LinkedIn. It's OK to be slightly self-promotional, but generally follow the 80/20 rule - and make at most 20% of your contributions promotional.

On your Web site or blog, of course, you can do what you like.

This is what you would do in everyday life.

It might seem difficult to remember to act differently on each platform, but in fact it's what you do in other parts of your life. You behave differently at a friend's party than you would at a networking event, and that's different again from a promotional flyer.

Adjust your on-line behaviour the same way. "On-line" is a place, not a medium; so treat it with the same respect.

How do you position yourself differently?

Of course, that's easier said than done! If you'd like to know how to position yourself differently on each platform, you can watch the recording of a webinar I did last month:



For more webinars like this, register for my Internet Business Revolution webinar series (it's free).

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Innovation or problem solving? is a great question to ask often

This weeks sparkenation.

The problem with solving a problem means that mostly that means a return to the status quo. Innovation on the other hand, changes what’s normal.

Next time you have a problem ask, Will solving this return the situation to what was previously normal? If your answer is yes ask, How can I turn this problem into an opportunity to do what’s never been done before as well as remove the cause of the problem in the first place?

Most problem solving fails to remove the cause/s.

Often the cause/s of problems have something to do with our why of where we’re going, how (strategy) we have decided to get there, and who will do what and when (execution).

Creative tension rather than negative stress can exist between reality and possibility when we get our why, how, and who, what, and when, right for us.


For some great insights into creative tension please read a guest post here by Gary Ryan from Organisations That Matter.

Gary acknowledges the great work of Robert Fritz who I too would acknowledge along with the great work of Peter Senge.

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

Rudyard Kipling

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Author of Changing What's Normal
I partner with people passionate about change who want to break free from the status quo and accelerate turning possibility into reality


Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal

More sparkenations are here.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Who is responsible for employee engagement - guest post by Ian Hutchinson

This is a guest post from Ian Hutchinson, Chief Engagement Officer & founder of Life by Design® specialists in ‘Employee Activated Engagement’ (EAE).

Sorry, but for some time now I've, excuse the French, had the shits with the level of thinking around employee engagement research.

Recently I've been frustrated with some comments regarding staff retention on LinkedIn groups and Google Alerts.

Generally I'm concerned with the level of employee engagement thought leadership being bandied around the corporate world.

I reckon if I read the question: "What engages employees?" one more time …. I think I'll have to harm myself :)

Short answer to the question anyway, is: It depends on the individual

Longer answer to the question is: Traditionally we do our employee engagement research, and then develop an organisational engagement plan (OEP) to improve engagement based on the findings.

But this shot gun approach to engagement initiatives is only OK as a starting point and unfortunately only one piece of the effective engagement solutions puzzle. Relying solely on this umbrella approach, based on 'an average employee' (who don't exist anyway) is why so many retention strategies have been flawed over recent years and haven’t led to any real meaningful improvements in engagement in most organisations.

P.S - If you have ‘an average employee’, please introduce me to them, I'd love to meet them.

Everyone Is different

The missing link to effective engagement is understanding that everyone is different and therefore motivated and engaged by different drivers. The good news is that there are fundamentally only 7 key engagement drivers that you need to focus on.

The key is Employee Activated Engagement (EAE) - the self-responsibility approach to engagement. This ‘inside out’ approach is the opposite to the current showering them with gifts and benefits ‘outside in’ approach which can creates the ‘whinge entitlement culture’.

The more you give, the more employees expect. Take the benefits away from staff and they will whinge (even if they aren't using the benefits). For example, one large financial client of ours was spending over $100K per year on weekly fruit bowls for staff. Were they being used… no! But take the fruit bowls away and look out!

The Engagement Missing Link

So the missing link to effective engagement is Employee Activated Engagement (EAE). So, Step 1: Get individual employees responsible and clear on what motivates them.
The challenge is that most employees know what doesn't engage them; fewer know what really does engage them. If employees don't know, the default driver simply becomes “give me more money”. Also if employees don't know what engages them, their people leader and organisation is stuffed! If employees don't know what they want how can we effectively engage them?

Anyway who is responsible for engagement?

Firstly, who does your culture believe is responsible for employee engagement?

A.CEO/Senior Management Team*
B.Human resources
C.People leaders & managers*
D.Employees
E.Everyone

Hopefully you answered E) Everyone …Yes ‘E’ is for everyone… but…

Caution: There is some danger in having everyone responsible for engagement in that if everyone is responsible, nobody is really accountable.

The key is everyone needs to be responsible for employee engagement; it’s just that different people (e.g HR, Leaders & Employees) need to be accountable for different sets of tasks.

Human resources - need to deliver on engagement measurement, umbrella strategies or Organisational Engagement Plans (OEP) and ensure that engagement plans are being implemented for people leaders and employees.

People Leaders* – need to be the catalyst for understanding and therefore optimising the seven engagement drivers throughout their Team Engagement Plans (TEP) and Personal Engagement Plans (PEP)

Employees – need to be responsible for getting clarity around self-leadership, doing their Personal Engagement Plans (PEP) and on-going self-awareness with systems such as meCentral.com.

The good news is that each set of accountability tasks for each group should be less than a 2% time investment.


Ian Hutchinson (B.Bus, Grad.Dip.Psy, CSP) is Chief Engagement Officer & founder of Life by Design® specialists in ‘Employee Activated Engagement’ (EAE). His self-responsibility approach to employee engagement is the missing link to simply and effectively implementing employee engagement at all levels of the organisation.

Ian has built a reputation as a talent maximiser and innovative strategic implementer. He is a thought leader, speaker and author of a number of books including his latest ‘People Glue: Engagement & Retention Solutions That Stick!’ Please contact Ian at ian@lifebydesign.com.au

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Author of Changing What's Normal
I partner with people passionate about change who want to break free from the status quo and accelerate turning possibility into reality


Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal

More sparkenations are here.

Why there's more psychopaths in suits than you think

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What Really Matters! Volume 3, Number 3, 2011 ebook out now!

The OTM Academy is happy to share our most recent ebook with the Differencemakers community - you will notice that Ian Berry is one of the key contributors (thank you Ian!).

Please enjoy!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Power on a page

Power on a page is this weeks sparkenation.

Last week Seth Godin’s The Domino Project released the one page book, Death and Taxes by Jess Backman, selling on Amazon for $19.99. Please check in out here.

And also last week differencemakers member from Campo United States Mary Rose sent an email to her list with the follow the money one page pictured by Thrivemovement. See infographics on their website here.



I have been helping my clients create one page documents for strategy and all sorts of things for many years. Power can be on a page.

What kind of one pagers do you have that you have created yourself that tell a great story, capture history, or focus in on something important to you?

And do they capture your passion? When your passion is on your one pagers you have powerful compasses that keep you heading in the right direction.

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Author of Changing What's Normal
I partner with people passionate about change who want to break free from the status quo and accelerate turning possibility into reality


Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal