Thursday, June 30, 2011

21 Ways to Promote Your Blog

Your blog is one of the "Big Three" platforms for your on-line presence (the other two are your Web site and e-mail newsletter). One of the most common questions people ask me is: "How do I promote my blog?"

It's a good question, because you can't just publish a blog and hope it will promote itself (or that Google will discover it and magically push it to the top of its search results!)

So today I'll give you 21 ways to promote your blog. I don't have space to go into these in detail, but I hope they will give you enough ideas for your own blog:
  1. Add to your e-mail signature: Show your Web site address and your blog address.
  2. Link to it from your Web site: Some people will find your Web site before your blog, so include a prominent link to the blog on the Web site itself.
  3. Link to it from your newsletter: Direct people to your blog from time to time, perhaps to add their comments to your newsletter article.
  4. Tweet every blog post: You can automate this using TwitterFeed.com, so that every blog post is tweeted automatically.
  5. Tweet it again: Tweet your best blog posts again, on different dates and times, for people who missed it the first time.
  6. Add your posts to Facebook: TwitterFeed also does the same thing for Facebook.
  7. Show it automatically in on-line community profiles: Some on-line communities allow you to show your blog posts automatically on your profile page.
  8. Show it on your LinkedIn profile: You can configure LinkedIn to show your blog posts automatically.
  9. Add it to your business card: As with your e-mail signature, show your Web address and your blog address.
  10. Include it in handouts: Encourage your presentation attendees to visit your blog (and explain why, of course)
  11. Include it in your books and e-books: Promote your blog prominently in other material you publish.
  12. Add it to articles and "tip sheets": Include your blog address prominently on these shorter publications as well.
  13. Give permission for people to reprint the tip sheets: This gets your blog address out to their networks as well.
  14. Mention it in presentations: An obvious choice for presenters, but many presenters only promote their Web site address!
  15. Participate in relevant on-line communities: Actively participate in on-line communities, and people will be more likely to check out your Web site and blog.
  16. Comment on other blogs: Find relevant blog posts on other people's blogs, and add your comments.
  17. Write guest articles for other blogs: Find related blogs that complement yours (and reach the right market) and offer to write a guest article.
  18. Submit articles to article directories: Publish to places like EzineArticles.com and include your blog address at the bottom of each article.
  19. Mention it in a podcast: Mention your blog in your podcast (which is an audio newsletter), so listeners can follow your blog as well.
  20. Invite people to comment on it: For selected blog posts, find colleagues and clients who could have something to say, and e-mail them to ask them to add their comments.
  21. Write great content!: Finally, write high-quality content regularly, and you'll find that people and Google alike will promote your blog for you.
Even if you can't use all of these ideas yourself, I'm sure you can find some that are right for your blog.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Leading Australian Businessman, Mark Bouris, on Motivation for the Impossible

I have always been impressed with Mark Bouris since he took on the banks years ago and started Wizard Home Loans. His "Insights from Entrepreneurs" in the current BRW Flagship Issue(June23-Aug 3, 2011) is essential reading for Difference Makers. It's worth buying the magazine just to read it.

While most of us in business are aiming to gain stability and grasp what's possible, Bouris adopts "a disruptive business model" that he says motivates and challenges his staff and produces his results. His office has a large photo of Muhammad Ali on the wall with his famous quote about the Impossible on it.

This is the man that has ideas that make him jump out of bed in the middle of the night because his passion moves him. I can get excited about that. This is the man who when people say "you can't" always proves them wrong. This is the man who sets up his new financial services business - Yellow Brick Road - in the middle of the global financial crisis to bring top quality financial services to every day Australians.

Just one final quote: "Most CEOs look for ways to better order their day", he says. "I look for ways to disorder it. If I start to see a pattern, I seek out the change. Change is what it is all about..........If you want to make a difference, you have to be different. Find your motivation, take the challenge head on, create your own rules and aim for the impossible. You never know where you might end up."

Highly recommend buying the issue. Also in the issue are the 50 best places to work in Australia and why.

Monday, June 27, 2011

1 am GMT 29th June 2011 could be an important deadline for you

I am offering the ebook version and companion online vault of my changing what's normal do it yourself program for half price until 1 am GMT 29th June 2011.

You can take advantage of this offer here.

It is fair to say it has taken me my life to write this book

I believe every human being wants and deserves to be loved, valued, and fulfilled.
Imagine our world when everyone is.

When I made this statement in a speech recently a guy yelled out:
“He believes in Utopia” and laughed out loud.

I don’t believe in Utopia. I do believe in possibility.

Turning possibility into reality is what my book is about.
Most people don't want to sit idly by and accept the so-called new normal as how things are. This new normal is not what most of us want!

If you want to be the difference you want to see in the world then I am offering to partner with you as you do your work.

What I say is not important, rather what you hear yourself say to yourself, and then what you intend, feel, think, and do, that’s what’s important. What I provide is sparkenations.

A sparkenation is a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what’s normal.

It will be up to you to keep your fire burning.

This book and companion online vault package are for you if you are passionate about:

Creating organisations people really care about
Being the difference you want to see in the world
Doing something pioneering, breathtaking, and truly innovative
Change where everyone can win
Leaving a legacy for your children and their children
Change people can actually believe in and make happen
Changing what’s normal for the good of people, our planet,and for profit

In my book I explore 58 sparkenations for you to act on in your own way in order to change what’s normal, thrive on the challenges of change, and to co-create change where everyone can win.

In this little black page-turner-of-a-book, Ian got my attention from line one – and kept me to the end. His short, sharp, compelling words of wisdom resonated at every point. He had me drooling as I scribbled copious notes and wonderful reference points that have already proven their worth. Changing What’s Normal – as we shift, and we are shifting, every home, office and handbag should have one!
--- Susan Furness, CEO of UAE-based Strategic Solutions, a global Edgewalker and guide for Conscious Communications.

News Release about my book is here.

and a short review is here.

When I review books I look for two key things: An idea big enough to create change and a way to implement it. This book has both in spades. It's filled with potent insights you can apply to make your future come true.
--- Geoff McDonald, BookRapper.com

Take advantage of my very special offer of the eversion of my book and 24/7 access to the companion online vault for just $15
here.

Remember to take up this offer you must do so by 1 am GMT 29th June 2011.


Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Founder Differencemakers Community

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Thriving on the challenges of change

How to engage and retain your best employees in difficult times

The fallout from the financial crisis has been loss of face, wealth, homes, jobs, and/or businesses for many people.

What disturbs me is that the financial crisis is not the root problem, the attitudes that caused it are. Greed, lack of accountability, stupid business practices, and poor legislation in some countries are no longer acceptable. In my view they never were.

People engagement is one way to create the appropriate attitudes for the modern world, which must be about sustainable business practice in ways that contribute to the very sustainability of life itself and the planet on which we live.

People engagement is still for many, a buzz word. To thrive on the challenges of change, and there are many challenges at this moment in time, leaders must turn the words into action.

Employee retention is an outcome of engagement and engagement is an outcome of how well we recruit and induct new employees, and then how effective our performance leadership and management system is in enabling ongoing engagement for new and existing employees.

The journey to employee engagement and ultimately retention, begins with making three key intention, feeling, and thinking shifts. These are:

1) a move away from traditional vision, mission and values, to vision become a sparkenation (a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal)

2) mission becoming a cause beyond profit

3) values becoming virtues. Unless values become verbs they are just meaningless words!

I have seen many, and at one time (15 years ago) assisted organisational leaders in the development of vision, mission and value statements. These often ended up on foyer and office walls and in annual reports.

I learned from bitter experience that when stakeholders are not involved in the creation of such statements, there is rarely any ownership of them, and therefore no commitment to turning the words into reality. Many people are now very cynical and skeptical about these kind of statements.

Every organisation has a story to tell. The question to ask is:
Is your story a sparkenation?

Discovering your story requires a meeting of hearts and minds over time until a story emerges that can be distilled into something that inspires and engages all stakeholders, not just employees.

Organisations who have profit as their only goal rarely have an inspiring story to tell. Such organisations are becoming dinosaurs.

The successful modern organisations have people goals (they are sometimes called social enterprises) or they have people, planet, and profit goals. In the for profit sector this latter organisation will be the one who thrives in these difficult times and in the future.

In broad terms the following is a typical picture of employee engagement percentages: 10% are fully engaged, meaning for me, people are bringing everything they are, that one-of-kind person that each of us is, to their work on a consistent basis. 80% are open to being engaged, and 10% are disengaged. I see very few organisations reaching the best practice level of 80% engagement!

Once you have a story that is a sparkenation, which will most likely be heavily linked to your cause beyond profit, you will be able to tell your story with integrity.

You should only recruit people aligned with your story and cause because they are likely to be engaged right from the moment they start employment.

People will soon become disenchanted however, and eventually leave, unless the stated values of the organisation are actually lived, in other words, values are virtues.

A powerful performance leadership and management system is essential to maintain employee engagement. There are three key components of such a system:

1) Documented agreement with employees on their personal and business goals and how they will be accomplished

2) Processes and techniques leaders and managers follow and employees agree with, that appreciate people when they do well, and help them to be accountable when performance is less than agreed it will be

3) Formal performance reviews, held at least every 90 days, that are a celebration of people’s performance as well as a time to adjust goals and plans to achieve them, for the next quarter if required.

Turn your vision into a sparkenation, your mission into a cause beyond profit, your values into virtues, and your performance leadership and management system into an ongoing people engagement enabler, and you will not only thrive in these difficult times, you will remove the key causes of the challenges you face, and, future proof your business.

One of the 58 sparkenations in my Changing What's Normal book and companion online vault released this week is about how to ensure your story is a sparkenation.
Please check out my book here.
You can download the News Release here.

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Founder Differencemakers Community

Author of Changing What’s Normal

Partner of passionate and enlightened leaders in several countries since 1991, to change what’s normal for the good of people, our planet, and for profit.

Friday, June 24, 2011

In the Gardens of Children








I am passionate about kids. They are born richly imbued with genius and knowledge of strategy development. They think outside the box, with the speed of fresh innate intelligence and they are eager and curious and expectant toward life. Oh, yes, and they are extremely proactive.

They watch us. Adults we call ourselves. Parents, Mommy and Daddy, we proudly, and glibly announce our roles in their lives. They love us. Passionately. In the most authentic interpretation of the word 'love' they are incredibly loving. They actually ingest more nonsense and misinformation from us than we would ever tolerate from them... or a colleague... and they spend endless hours on developing strategies to establish rapport and dialogue for they did not come into this world to make trouble, they didn't come into the world to be a headache or a problem; they came in to contribute to a world full of joy, play, and enterprising.

You must admit, it has to be a shock. Nonetheless, children are enterprising. They take in our words and behaviors, they study them, and us, discern which are authentic and which are not, then astutely innovate ways to bring us back on track; yes, sometimes they make a fuss but that, too, is a strategy and they picked it up after they were born. Where do you think they learned it?

In my latest journeys, a young child of friends sought me out as I sat alone in a field. The child wanted to talk about some scary things and I had demonstrated that I was a different kind of listener than most adults. After a few minutes the child said, "I don't think parents are very bright. They don't think things through, they only think about things from their point of view. Everything has to be their way. We don't matter."

It was an observation said without blame, spoken with deep passion, and compassion, and it was an open-ended observation that invited me into dialogue. The child also asked me not to share our conversation with the parents and my promise gave the child noticeable relief and ease in speaking freely. New color came into the face. The eyes seemed brighter. The voice had a healthy lilt. Ultimately, the child had forty minutes of free air space, zero performance expectations and therefore that complete refreshment that comes with freedom, the chance to exchange thoughts and consider them, no right or wrong, living the moment, growing with the moment, leaving things loose and fermenting, no need to put a rosy ribbon around the box.

 I was reminded of many things by this child. Trust, the sacred trust
we come into this world with. Authenticity, the safety and certainty of coming from authenticity. Innocence, the unbending genius
of innocence. Insight, the strength and precision of real insight. Timelessness and the sublime nourishment - body, mind and spirit - of living in now.

A child does not care how rich their parents are. They are not interested in how important a job Mommy and Daddy have. They want to know - without words - that they matter. And, just as Mommy and Daddy demand to be heard at work, just as they demand those five or ten minutes to lay out their innovative ideas to management in the hopes of making a difference, qualitatively and quantitatively, so does a child want to be heard, so does a child want to contribute their own innovative strategies in hopes of making a difference, brightening the lives of their parents as they grow into their own, charting their own course and then navigating their soon-to-be new world.

I encourage adults to watch children and study their innate competencies for strategy building, compassionate mediation and brainstorming. They did not come into the world with the intent to raise havoc, on the contrary, being unmanageable is most likely mirroring some form of untenable situation in the adult world. Could be something as simple as using the wrong words and therefore miss-communicating. Could be more complicated like infidelity, lies, biases, social influences regarding sex, color, religion. Children haven't mastered the armoring techniques adults have acquired over time, they respond instinctively, intuitively.


                                                                Watch. Notice. Listen.
                                                         Discover the smart strategies.
                                                                        













Lead measures matter much more than lag measures

I am always slightly amused when economic growth figures and the like are released usually followed by fanfare.

I amused because we won’t know March quarter figures until June! as an example. It's too late then!

These kind of numbers are measurements of the past, often called lag measures. They tell us where we have been, not where we are going. I for one am much more interested in where I am going than where I’ve been. The past is done, over, finished. We can’t change the past. All we can do is learn from it.

I am yet to meet an economist, a politician, or a media person who understands this.

As an 18 year old my boss came to me one day complaining my sales were down on expectations. I complained I didn’t have enough prospects. He spun on his heels and left my office only to return 5 minutes later with a phone book. Slamming it down on my desk he said “There are plenty of prospects in there!” He then went on to explain to me that all the prospects in the world matters little unless they are qualified. He further explained that qualified prospects was a lead measure meaning if I had a certain number at any given time I would almost be guaranteed the number of sales I needed. I could increase the likelihood of sales even more he told me if I kept appointments (another lead measure) with a certain number of qualified prospects every week.

My boss was right, and understanding lead measures matter more than lag measures has stood me in good stead all my life. It means I am never worried about or in fear of the future providing I am doing what I know works for me in the now.

The world right now is attached to outcomes or lag measures. The economy is an outcome. Profit is an outcome. What really matters is processes. Follow the right processes and the right outcomes are an automatic result.

We are in an economic mess in the world today because for centuries we have followed poor processes and we have kept on repeating the mistakes of our forebearers.

All the doom and gloomers do is send us (if we let them) on a self fulfilling prophecy path and we go down the same well trodden and wrong roads all over again only to end up where we have already been, except in worse shape.

When we go down the wrong road we always end up where we don’t want to be.

In your life and work are you attached to outcomes or do you follow proven processes and let the outcomes look after themselves?

What are the lead measures for your life and work that when you meet them you know that more than likely you are going to achieve your goals?


Achieving milestones matters. Milestones is another way of looking at lead measures.

What are the milestones you must achieve in your life and work that tell you, you are on track to achieve your goals?

I am on the look out for economists, politicians, and media folk I can mentor and teach them lag measures don’t matter anywhere near as much as lead measures. Will you join me? We are building a new world. We are going to places we have never been.

Time to let the old world go.

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Founder Differencemakers Community
The Change Master™ - catalyst for changing what’s normal inside organisations for the good of people, our planet, and for profit.

Sign-up here for my monthly changing what’s normal newsletter, and get your complimentary copy of my ebook Differencemakers - how doing good is great for business

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Social Entrepreneur as CEO/Business Leader

Towards the end of my corporate career almost 20 years ago there was much talk about how human resources executives would soon be the new breed of CEO’s. This hasn’t eventuated!

Accountants, lawyers, and engineers still dominate CEO ranks. In many cases this means logic overrides intuition, in personal and organisational decision making, rather than the ability and willingness to find the relationship harmony point between logic and intuition.

Could a change be in the air? Human resources executives will probably still not become the new breed of CEO, however my sense is that Social Entrepreneurs will.

The causes of the financial crisis, greed, incompetence, poor legislation in some countries, all defy logic. The good news is that the crisis has accelerated the need, indeed the imperative, for a new breed of CEO.

For me intuition is an inherent human gift. It is something we all have access to when we allow it. When intuition, our sixth sense, our gut feel, is supported by logic we create a dynamic that enables us to create and enact new forms of decision making, and the premises on which we make them.

My intuition is telling me that the way we operate in business, particularly in financial services is broken, and so far very few political or business leaders have come up with anything to fix what is broken.

Business cannot survive in societies that fail. says Bjorn Stigson the President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. His words are a rally cry for common sense to finally become the common thing.

Social Entrepreneurs are folk who conduct business by putting people and the planet before profits. They realise that profit is a result of being good at business, not a reason for being in business.

The key question for you as a leader today is are you for people and planet first? If you can answer yes, you are the new breed of CEO/Leader. If you answer no, you are destined for the graveyard of CEO’s/Leaders who failed to follow their hearts.

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Founder Differencemakers Community
The Change Master™ - catalyst for changing what’s normal inside organisations for the good of people, our planet, and for profit.

Sign-up here for my monthly changing what’s normal newsletter, and get your complimentary copy of my ebook Differencemakers - how doing good is great for business

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

5 Star and 2 Star service can both be great, or not!

Many people think that good service is only provided ‘at the top end’ of the service star scale. In other words, if I’m running a 2 star motel then only a low level of service should be provided. In the context of WHAT is provided and WHAT is paid, this is true. But the service experience can still be above expectations. 

For example, the person greeting me may be genuinely happy to check me into my room. When provided directions to my room I am asked if I am interested in knowing where some cheap but good quality food can be found. In responding yes to that question I am provided with the appropriate information, which includes a range of discounts should I choose to eat at those places. (Later, when I do choose to eat at the place, my discount is honoured and the food is reasonable for what I have paid for it).

I go to my room, the key works and my room is fresh and clean. I have asked for a non-smoking room and there is no evidence that the last person who used it smoked like a chimney. The information booklet is up to date and includes relevant information about public transport, taxis, health clubs and eateries. When I check out the staff member is courteous, quickly processes my payment and bids me farewell.  If you wish to consider a poor ‘2 Star’ experience, simply go back over this story and reverse each experience that has been described.

It would not be very difficult to translate this ‘2 Star’ story into a ‘5 Star’ story. The differences in the experience will relate to what we have paid and what we then expect to receive in return. The room may be bigger. The location may be more convenient. The bed may be bigger with higher quality linen. Internet access may be available. The fixtures and fittings may be of higher quality. An on-site restaurant and 24 hour in room service may be available. Laundry services may be available and a concierge service may be available to assist us with any needs or enquiries that we may have regarding the hotel of surrounding area. 

Each ‘Moment of Truth’ (MoM) can contribute to our expectations not being met if the experience of the MoM is not up to our expectations. In this way, 2 Star service can be great service and 5 Star service can be poor service. It all depends on the perceived experience of the customer.
Copyright Gary Ryan 2011
 
“Visits are not limited to the public areas. I head for the heart of the house, too. There’s method to my madness. If I see smiling faces and well-scrubbed surfaces behind the scenes, I know that the rest of the hotel more than likely is doing just fine.” 
J.W.Marriott Jr from his book, ‘The Spirit to Serve’

Gary Ryan
Organisations That Matter
Providing services and resources to Senior and Developing Leaders who believe that people matter!
Connect with Gary on LinkedIn

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Rise and Rise of Difference Makers

Difference makers are bobbing up everywhere, everyday. They are famous people, and non famous people, just like you and me. To me at least, it seems, that difference makers are making themselves known at an ever increasing rate.

I describe difference makers as folk who are making a social, environmental, economic, spiritual, and/or universal difference for the good of other people, our planet, and peace. They are people like Karen Armstrong, Bono, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet, Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, and Nelson Mandela. And, I suspect, you.

In some circles difference makers are called ‘social intrapreneurs’, folk who make a difference as a part of their daily life. Difference makers are also leaders who are often called ‘social entrepreneurs’.

I am most fortunate that in my work as a writer, speaker, mentor, and instigator of change programs, that almost everyday I meet people doing brilliant things that really make a difference.

Here are some of my observations about who difference makers are and what they do.

Difference makers:

put other people first
never knowingly do anything that harms our planet
show kindness at every opportunity
speak up about issues affecting the welfare of people, our planet, and for peace
have a cause beyond profit
don’t wait for other people to take action
serve without attachment to getting back
put people and the planet before profits
collaborate
strive for a shared view being prepared to let go previously held view/s
turn information into insight
turn insight into inspiration and ideas
persevere until ideas are successfully implemented (innovation)
pick themselves up and dust themselves off when ideas don’t work or fail
inspire others by example
co-create workplace cultures that are empowering and often like great families
give away a percentage of their income
know how much is enough
raise children who take personal responsibility
volunteer to help others less fortunate than themselves
see themselves as global citizens who know that what they do has huge effects locally, nationally, and internationally

If the above is you, then you may wish to join The Differencemakers Community which I founded in 2008. We currently have over 500 members from 38 countries.

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Founder Differencemakers Community
The Change Master™ - catalyst for changing what’s normal inside organisations for the good of people, our planet, and for profit.

Sign-up here for my monthly changing what’s normal newsletter, and get your complimentary copy of my ebook Differencemakers - how doing good is great for business

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Decision Making: Being average

We all seem to make overly strong perceptions of our own personal abilities.


In surveys far more than 50% of people believe that they are:




  • more intelligent than the average person



  • less prejudiced than average


  • more attractive than average


  • etc.


We tend to overestimate our own abilities or view in a more positive light the abilities than we have in a certain area and pay less attention to the abilities in this area in which we are weak.


This is easy to try out for yourself. Choose a random group of people and ask them if they are better or worse drivers than the average person. You will find that most people think they are better than average.



We tend to attribute success in our decisions as being something that happened because of our own personal abilities. We attribute failure to external events.


This tendency makes us also believe that we are better decision makers than the average person. Fortunately we can make some inroads on this bias by asking others how they would evaluate the quality of our decisions. This is something we should try to do often in an unbiased and detached manner to get a better evaluation of the quality of our decisions.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Last chance

Today (wherever you happen to be in the world) is your last chance to buy my book Changing What's Normal, at the special price of just $30 AUD.

There are 58 sparkenations in my book to help you change yourself, your relationships, and your organisation, for the good of yourself, other people, our planet, and for profit.


I created 'sparkenation' to describe a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal

To see if my book is for you please download the prologue, 3 sparkenations, and the table of contents with my compliments here.

Changing What's Normal is a do it yourself change program.

You can purchase my book and 24/7 access to the companion online vault that contains downloadable files, references, links, tools, tips, techniques, templates, for just $30 here if you buy today.


Here's what some of the pre-publication-readers have said about my book:

Ian’s book is full of a wide range of wonderful insights and anecdotes that really cause you to stop, think and reflect. I found myself fully engaged with Ian’s challenging questions from the start to the finish and I am confident that you will too.
Gary Ryan, Founder, Organisations That Matter

Most people know the phrase 'what got you here won't get you there.' So why is it many still can't 'get there'? It's because they are not changing what's normal. I will be forever indebted to Ian for sharing his insights with me and guiding me through the journey of Changing What's Normal. Straight talking and no bull (what do you expect from an Aussie!)

We live in an abnormal world and being normal won't get you a seat at the table. Changing What's Normal is your key to a new world of contentment and of being valued and loved by those who love what you do. Changing What's Normal helped me to move from the 'how to' guy to the 'go to' guy.

Kwai Yu, Founder and CEO of Leaders Cafe

I strongly recommend this book to people who share a passion for making the world a better place through collaboration, shared values, noble objectives and a desire to get the very best out of the people around them and as a consequence out of themselves.
Terry McGivern, Executive Team member Smurfit Kappa United Kingdom

This book is full of valuable insights and thought-provoking questions that truly go beyond the normal business platitudes; and invite and challenge YOU to change what's normal in your life and your organisation.
Gihan Perera, Business Strategist

Ian Berry is NOT NORMAL – and that’s a compliment. Normal is not the behavior that the world needs from you right now. Read Ian’s book to take a look at yourself and learn some straightforward ideas you can use to add a bit of abnormal to your life.
Julie Poland, corporate coach, speaker, and author of Changing Results by Changing Behavior.

In my opinion anyone picking up this easy to read book could only find it a valuable resource but more importantly a reflective personal development tool for all aspects of their life.
Gary Anderson, Strategic Marketing Director, Tucker Creative

This is a book that will be a constant reference on my desk - whether applying to myself and my business or to that of clients'. Change what's normal? The days of normal are always yesterday. The day of change is today. Tomorrow is the beneficiary of that change. Ian Berry's practical insights and helpful tools present anyone reading this with an opportunity to change, to lead and to grow. Perhaps it is time that we embrace "abnormal".
Richard Norris, Serendipity Global Ltd

Ian’s book comes from his heart and in his desire to serve others to help them be what they were created to be. He gives many of the critical keys of finding joy and creating a life of meaning. Ian is making a difference in the world and his book is all about helping you choose to do the same.
David Bernard-Stevens, President, Leader Development Group, LLC

Ian’s story-telling method is very engaging. He invites the reader to consider things, in contrast to telling us what we should believe and do.

As someone who has made a difference in his own life, he encourages us to make a difference as a leader or an employee, whether as an individual or an organisation. In a society where conformity and shallowness are ever more the norm, he challenges us to be different.

Reg Polson, Polson and Co.

I’ve never read so many thought-provoking ideas in one book. The beauty of the book is that you can pick one sparkenation and explore it without having to read the rest of the book. It is a fantastic consolidation of a diverse range of incredible ideas that I found quite blessed to be gifted in one book!
Simon Starr, 10X BUSINESS COACH

Lots of folk talk about difference and change, whilst doing things the way you saw them do it last time you saw them. The incongruence between the message and the messenger talks louder than the messenger. Ian Berry has this uncanny “Edge” that is both a little unsettling and intriguing whilst creating an enticing urge in you to explore further out than you normally explore. Somehow he has managed to bring his very unique way of being into print. Yet again, you impress me and stretch my mind!
Allan Parker, Managing Director, Peak Performance Development.
2009 National Speakers Association of Australia, Educator of Excellence Recipient


Purchase Changing What's Normal for just $30 AUD here if you buy today.

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
Founder Differencemakers Community

Thursday, June 16, 2011

How to Navigate the Internet Marketing Map

Facebook has over 600 million users; Twitter has over 200 million; and  LinkedIn recently announced that it had reached 100 million. These are the Big Three social media platforms, and you might be excused for despairing that you don't have time to be active on them all.

The good news is: You don't have to!

Despite what a lot of people say, social media isn't the be-all and end-all of your on-line presence, especially for infopreneurs like us.

Here's what you do instead ...

Think of your on-line presence like the solar system, with your Web site - the Sun - in the middle, and other planets orbiting around it. Here's a simple three-stage Internet marketing strategy ...

1. Build a solid Web site

First and foremost, you must have a Web site:

Your Web site needs to be current; it needs to reflects what you do; and it must help people get in touch with you.

Importantly, you must, must, MUST be able to update your Web site yourself. You won't be updating it every day - or even every week - but when you want to update it, you must be able to do it immediately and at no cost.

2. Lead with value

The next stage - the innermost planets of your solar system - is to share your expertise on-line. Lead with value (that is, high-quality content), not with advertising, so that your site visitors see you as an expert before they even visit your Web site.

Broadly, there are five vehicles you can use for this: A blog, an e-mail newsletter, a podcast, an e-book or special report, and a YouTube video channel:

Don't have time to do all five? No problem. Do just three: A blog, a newsletter and any one of the other three.

3. Invest in reputation

Being an expert is a good start, but it's not enough. You also need to be recognised, which makes you an authority. So the third stage - the outermost planets in your solar system - is to build your reputation in other on-line places:

The Big Three, as I mentioned earlier, are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. There are also other on-line communities specific to your area of expertise - for example, one of mine is Thought Leaders Central.

You don't have to spend all day here - and in fact, you can even automate some of this - but it's worth investing time in building your reputation here (slowly at first).

It's easier than you think!

OK, I admit it's not easy to build the Web site, especially if you're starting from scratch. But the rest of this plan is relatively easy to do ...

After all, you are an expert already (Aren't you?), so it's easy to share that expertise in a newsletter, blog and other such tools.

And it really doesn't take much to start building your reputation on these other on-line platforms.
So get started!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Beyond Belief

A client of mine is a devout Christian. Another client is a devout Muslim. Yet another client strictly follows what she sees as the Buddhist way. Still another is Jewish to his bootstraps. I could go on. I know people from most walks of life who strongly believe what they do. I greatly admire each of my clients, yet I share none of their belief systems. What we do share is the fact that behavour matters more than belief.

Many belief systems are tied up in a faith of some kind. Faith by definition cannot be proved. If it could be proved it wouldn’t be faith! The ‘proof is in the pudding’ the saying goes, meaning what we do counts for far more than what we believe. As one of the Apostles of the Christian Church is reported to have said, Faith without works is dead.

A lot of faiths are dead today because the actions of many of the faithful betray their stated beliefs. I meet a lot of people more interested in being right than being compassionate. Compassion for me is at the heart of all the world’s religion’s, most of which I have studied in great detail.

If we are not living and breathing a compassionate life we render whatever we believe as null and void, regardless of what we say.

A new world is being born. Compassion is a key component. There is a place for faith in this new world however belief matters little, what counts is behaviour.

One of the builders of our new world is Karen Armstrong. She has championed a charter for compassion which last time I checked more than 70000 people have signed. The goal is that millions will sign-up, and most importantly take action. Please see and listen to Karen and others here.

Whatever you believe, do your work, because what you do, whatever it is, is what really matters.

Be the difference you want to see in the world

Ian

PS In my book Changing What's Normal there are 58 sparkenations to help you change yourself, your relationships, and your organisation.

I created 'sparkenation' to describe a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal

You can purchase my book and 24/7 access to the companion online vault that contains downloadable files, references, links, tools, tips, techniques, templates, for just $30 here if you buy before 18th June

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Is it time to be unreasonable?

Two of my heroes are Muhammad Yunus, perhaps the greatest living social entreprenuer, and John Elkington, the originator of the Triple Bottom Line concept, so it will come as no surprise to you that my recommended reading includes books by both.

In Elkington’s case his co-author is Pamela Hartigan, who at the time of writing was the Managing Director of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. The book is The Power of Unreasonable People. I highly recommend it to you. It contains many examples of co-builders of our new world. As a result of reading it I have decided to become more unreasonable.

In Yunus’ Creating a world without poverty he introduces the concept of social businesses. The book is full of great insights, inspiration, and ideas.

I was inspired by Yunus’ wish list for his dream world, for it describes beautifully how I see our new world. Here is my shortened in part version of Mr Yunus’ list:

There will be no poor people, no beggars, no homeless people, no street children

There will be no passports and no visas

There will be no war, no war preparations, and no military establishments

There will be no incurable diseases

There will be a global education system accessible to all from anywhere in the world

The global economic system will encourage sharing of prosperity. Unemployment and welfare will be unheard of

Social business will be a substantial part of the business world

There will only be one global currency

All people will be committed to a sustainable lifestyle

There will be no discrimination of any kind

There will be no need for paper and therefore no need to cut down trees

Basic connectivity will be wireless and nearly costless

All cultures, ethnic groups, and religions will flourish to their full beauty and creativity

All people will share a world of peace, harmony, and friendship


I am an idealist and a dreamer and proud to be both. I am also a pragmatist. I am doing my bit everyday to co-build a new world. Our current world still has much about it that is broken as the recent financial crisis has vividly demonstrated.

How unreasonable are you being? Are you a real difference maker?

The good news, as the above mentioned books and the others I recommend clearly show, there are many co-builders of our new world.

Soon we will reach a tipping point and finally be able to assign the old world to the history books, perhaps a museum as Yunus suggests, as a reminder that greed, lack of accountability, fools in positions of power, war as a solution to our challenges, and other hallmarks, should never happen again. We have screwed up big time economically, emotionally, environmentally, and spiritually, and the time has come for ordinary people to stand up and take extraordinary action.

Are you a co-builder of our new world or are you hanging onto the old one by your fingertips?

Is it time to be unreasonable?


Please download my list of the top 21 books I recommend you read here.

My full list is here.

My own written contribution is my book Changing What's Normal which contains 58 sparkenations to change yourself, your relationships, and your organisation.
I created 'sparkenation' to describe a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what's normal

You can purchase my book and 24/7 access to the companion online vault that contains downloadable files, references, links, tools, tips, techniques, templates, for just $30 here if you buy before 18th June.

Be the difference you want to see in the world
Ian
The Change Master™ - catalyst for changing what’s normal inside organisations for the good of people, our planet, and for profit.

Sign-up here for my monthly changing what’s normal newsletter, and get your complimentary copy of my ebook Differencemakers - how doing good is great for business

Friday, June 10, 2011

Classical decision making techniques: Pareto Analysis

quote



"Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."




Winston Churchill




This technique uses a variation of the Pareto principle i.e. “80% of the advantage comes from 20% of the work”. In many situations changing 20% of the situation can resolve 80% of the problems. If we can identify a small number of changes we can make which will make a large difference then we can have a large impact with a small amount of effort.



This approach is particularly useful in innovation scenarios where a quick short term gain can produce and easy and early win and create buy in to the innovation process.



using the technique




  • Create a list of the factors that may be responsible for causing your desired outcome.


  • When you are reasonably sure that you have most of the significant factors listed create a second column with an approximate percentage estimate of each factor's contribution to the outcome.


  • Starting with the largest percentage and working downwards from a percentage point of view create a running total of the percentages. When you have reached about 80% then stop. You have now identified the most significant factors.



caution



This technique does not always work. If you find that you have many factors all with relatively small significance percentages then most of the factors will need to be included to get to the 80% mark. In this case the Pareto analysis may be of little use to you. In cases where you have only a relatively small number of factors (about 20%) needed to make up the 80% significance, this is where this analysis is the most useful.



You should also be cautious of factors that grow over time, they can start of with a small significance but one which gets larger as time progresses.



tip





If you enter the factors and percentages in a spreadsheet it is very easy to sort the spreadsheet by the percentages column and create another column for cumulative percentages.





making your decision




Once you have established the 20% (or so) of the factors that have the most (80%) significance then you can implement those ignoring the others. This will hopefully give you the vast majority of the advantage of the decision with a small amount of effort.



You of course can run the analysis again after a period of time has elapsed. The Pareto principle should still apply. Of the original factors which are left you should find that 20% of these are responsible for 80% of the remaining issues. Of course because you have already implemented the 20% easiest parts of the decision running the next analysis will not produce as big a difference and will take more work but this is a good approach for a rolling implementation of a decision.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Who is "The Customer"?

Many people don't like the term 'customer service' for good reason. However, this doesn't mean that the principles of 'service excellence' don't apply to how they go about doing their work. Gary Ryan explains how 'service excellence' enables you to exceed expectations no matter what you call your 'customers'.




Many people get hung up on the word ‘customer’. This is the challenge with the concept of ‘customer service’ because many people think that they don't have 'customers'. And maybe they don’t. Maybe they have clients, colleagues, administrators, staff, stakeholders, lawyers, doctors, labourors, community members, students, guests and any other label that you can think about. The issue is not the label; the issue is the ethic behind how you treat people.
Another way of looking at it is to say that 'the customer' is anyone who receives the output of your work. Anyone.
This is why we prefer the term, “service excellence” over “customer service”. Unfortunately many people think that they don't have 'customers' (because they use a different term) so they conclude that service has nothing to do with them. But it has everything to do with them. Everyone is your customer. Everyone.
Copyright Gary Ryan 2011
Research Participant
You know that I can’t stand the word ‘customer’. The people I serve are staff, not customers. I find out what they want and I do my best to exceed their expectations every time. So I wish people would stop saying that I have to be ‘customer’ oriented. I’m staff oriented and that is what is important!

Gary Ryan
Organisations That Matter
Providing services and resources to Senior and Developing Leaders who believe that people matter!
Connect with Gary on LinkedIn

Monday, June 6, 2011

Are you a sparkenationist?

A sparkenation is a word I created to denote:
a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what’s normal.

In my book Changing What’s Normal there are 58 sparkenations.
To see if my book is for you please download the prologue, 3 of the sparkenations, and the table of contents here.

You can purchase here.

Sparkenationists are people who:

Act in the best interests of others
Add value
Bring a sense of wonder to every day
Carry out random acts of kindness
Challenge the status quo
Change the status quo
Co-create change where everyone can win
Co-create change people can actually believe in and make happen
Collaborate
Create memorable moments
Create value
Cultivate curiosity
Deliver value
Do stuff pioneering, breathtaking, and truly innovative?
Do things every day that amaze you
Do well by doing good - thrive in your work and solve problems in your world at the same time
Fufill their personal promise
Help others be accountable
Inspire others by their words and their actions
Laugh a lot
Leave homes, workplaces, communities better by being there when it really matters
Leave a legacy
Listen with their hearts as well as their minds
Make a difference
Pay it forward
Seize the moment
Share inspiring stories
Show appreciation to people
Speak from their hearts
Stand for something
Take responsibility for intentions, feelings, thoughts, and actions
Thrive on the challenges of change
Walk the road less travelled
Won’t die wondering

In living in these ways we ignite passion in people that leads to action that changes what’s normal.

Are you a sparkenationist? You are needed like never before.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian Berry CSP FAIM
Founder Differencemakers Community

Friday, June 3, 2011

Be aware of the barriers of busyness

Over the past few weeks I have often been reminded of the barriers of busyness. Most executives, leaders, and managers I know are bound up by busyness. In no way is it exclusive to these roles however. Here are some of the tell tale signs:

* Problem Solving & Decision Making processes not being followed
* Decisions being continually revisited
* Documentation is produced in lieu of action
* Meetings occur with key players absent
* Meetings have no agendas
* Meetings are poorly conducted
* Whiteboards full
* Diaries full
* Inbox full
* Negative body language of staff
* Confusion between what information should be shared and what doesn't need to be

I could go on and on.

Here are a few tips to ensure you are not bound by busyness:

1. Educate yourself and others that communication requires both sending and receiving and results in agreement even if it is agreeing to disagree. Information sharing on the other the other hand is one way

2. Refuse to attend meetings where there is no agenda available well in advance. Don’t discuss anything not on the agenda

3. Review your efficiency and effectiveness weekly, monthly, fortnightly, quarterly, and yearly. A great way to be disciplined is to create and follow a rituals document like mine here.

4. Set aside time each week to do nothing. I sit under a tree somewhere for four hours per week. It is amazing how refreshed we can feel just by doing nothing

5. Get your leadership and management balance right. For some of us it is 80% leadership and 20% management, for others the other way round, and many other combinations. Remember leadership is about people and effectiveness. Management is about systems and efficiency. Leadership is art, management a practice. The two must be in harmony for us to be the best we can be

6. Do not tolerate negativity in any shape or form

7. Block out a lot of space in your diary and/or rituals document where nothing is planned. You will be astounded at how much more effective you become when your diary is no longer full

8. Work on things that are important and urgent. Forget the rest

9. Celebrate process more than outcome

10. Spend time with positive children as often as possible. They have an amazing sense of self, initiative, curiosity, creativity and wonder

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian Berry CSP FAIM
Founder Differencemakers Community

PS For a short time only you can buy my Changing What's Normal book and 24/7 access to the companion web page that contains downloadable files, references, links, tools, tips, techniques, templates, for just $30 here.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Has the World Changed While You Were Looking the Other Way?

I recently took my nephew and niece to see the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition at our local Cottesloe Beach. This is an annual exhibition, which started in Sydney in 1997, and has been in Perth since 2005. I remember visiting it in its early days in Perth, and it's certainly grown a lot bigger and better since then.

When I've mentioned it to various people in the past few weeks, I noticed there were two clear opinions about it: Some people were interested and curious in seeing it, regardless of their past experience; but some others had already decided not to go, based on what it used to be.

Which group would YOU have been in?

The point is, if you were basing your decision on what it used to be like, you would have missed the oppportunity to see what it's like now. For an exhibition of sculptures on a beach in Perth, this might not be a big deal. But when it comes to your business, it could be fatal.

Here are three examples ...

1. Google's search ranking

Google recently made one of the most significant changes ever to its search engine ranking system. It's designed to weed out low-quality content, so it affects all of us who rely on content to bring people to our Web site. If you're doing it properly, it should improve your ranking (for example, my blog traffic went up 25% in the last month, and I'm pretty sure it was due to this change); but if you're doing it wrongly, you'll be penalised.

2. Facebook business pages

Last week, Facebook made the biggest change ever to its features for businesses. If you've only ever thought of Facebook as a personal tool, or have been very careful when using it to promote your business, it's time to change your thinking or you'll miss out on the incredible opportunities now available to you.

3. PayPal

PayPal used to be seen as amateurish and very limited for business use. But that's changed now, and it's one of the most popular payment processors available. It can take orders for physical products, e-books and other downloadable products, webinar registrations, membership sites and even payment plans. Again, if you've ignored it in the past because of its limitations, you're missing out.

Take another look!

I remember my first wealth creation mentor, Paul Counsel, saying something along these lines:
"When you come across something new and there's some resistance, don't say, 'That won't work for me'. Instead, ask, 'How can that work for me?'"
What about you? Perhaps it's time to take another look at the things you've previously examined and discarded.