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.