Do you own or are you building a social business intelligence platform? If so, I’m interested in your answers. Why? Because I have specific projects I am working on where a satisfactory answer to these questions will result in a sale for you and a win for my clients. Looking forward to your thoughts on these question, all purveyors of social business intelligence solutions.
THE ULTIMATE GOAL:
If you are a social media monitoring solution, have you considered adding a social append function to your offering? Your customers want to see what people are saying about a brand or a market. AND they want to see EVERY bit of contact detail related to each of those commenters. We need blended solutions where the precision of Brandwatch filtering matches with the aspirations of Fliptop social append and is housed in the “nearly there” dashboard at Salesforce/Marketing Cloud.
QUESTIONS FOR SOCIAL BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE SOFTWARE PROVIDERS:
1. Is your social append to emails automatic and 100% correct?
2. Conversely, is address, phone, and email append to social profiles automatic and 100% correct?
3. When will any social business intelligence solution find the social account associated with an email, append this account, and place the photo of the prospect automatically in the photo slot within the sCRM interface?
4. I want to upload just a single column of emails? Can your social business intelligence solution automatically find and append all other info (social profile, address, phone, social streams).
“A familiar spirit is the double, the alter-ego, of an individual. Even though it may have an independent life of its own, it remains closely linked to the individual.” ~Pierre A. Riffard
“Resist the temptation to think what afflicts you is peculiar to you. Have faith that what is in your consciousness can be communicated to the consciousness of all. And is, in many cases, already there.” ~Alice Walker, The Temple Of My Familiar
WHAT IS A FAMILIAR:
Familiarity implies intimacy. To become familiar with another person implies having more than a casual acquaintance. In European folklore and folk-belief of the Medieval and Early Modern periods, familiar spirits (sometimes referred to simply as “familiars”) were supernatural entities believed to assist shamans in their practice of magic. A familiar is a being who you come to know intimately and who works with you to create life and magic. This begins through listening, continues into relationship and culminates in collective action.
WHY DISCOVER FAMILIARS:
The core reason to discover your familiars is to have a relationship with meaning. A second reason for engaging in this process is to develop a community full of common purpose. A third reason for cultivating such relationships is to bring your gifts to the world and make a solid contribution to humanity at large.
YOU CAN FIND YOUR FAMILIARS THROUGH LISTENING:
The scholar R. Grimmasi writes about discovering a relationship to animals at a young age in the forest. He did this through listening and observing. “I quickly learned that it was necessary to remain still and silent in order not to scare away the wildlife…it was there in those silent moments of observation and anticipation that I developed my ability to establish rapport and communication with other beings, with “familiars”…familiars react to various symbols because of what they represent and the authority behind the power of the symbols.” Grimmasi identifies a very important aspect of relationship with familiars: symbols. Consider for a moment what you symbolize within your network by what you post on a daily basis. Write about this, draw this, speak about this. What is your symbol? What do you symbolize?
FILTER FOR FAMILIARS:
Filter your social relationships to determine which types of people respond to your content with eagerness. Now discover all the people just like those people within your own network. They may not be interacting with you simply because they are not seeing your posts in their News Feed or because they are focused elsewhere. Chances are that people similar to your “hottest” relationships will respond to you upon receiving a gift of your content. Try cc’ing one or two of these “Discovered Familiars” (a “discovered familiar” is similar to your known familiars).
2. Download the connections as a CSV file. Open this file in Excel.
3. Upgrade your LinkedIn to an Executive account (you will need this level for a later action). Now, export your connections as a CSV file.
4. Sign up for Social Bro or Simply Measured and download a spreadsheet of your Twitter followers. Use the Klout Audience Analysis in Simply Measured to receive a spreadsheet you can rank by Klout or by other interesting data like Listed, Location or specific bio content. In Social Bro, you can export both Followers and Friends (who you follow). In addition, within Social Bro, you can adjust some nifty sliders to specify various aspects of the download (if desired).
5. Learn how to use the Sort and Filter functions in Excel to refine your sifting of these spreadsheets from Social Bro and Simply Measured.
6. Next, sign up for LeadGrabber Pro’s 1 month account and extract up to 300 specific types of profiles that you identify. Or go into specific groups and extract all users.
7. Filter and Sort your spreadsheets by location and by keywords in the biographies. These keywords are symbols of your potential familiars.
10. Get the Rapportive plugin for Gmail so you can see the latest details on any contact, including their social links. This seems to work best in Chrome. http://rapportive.com/
CONNECT ONE TO ONE:
Next, connect personally with all of your connections. This will take time so make it worth it – for you and for who you are connecting with. Study what the person is talking about, conceive a clearly written paragraph containing an idea that will help him/her. This can be an encouragement, a business idea, a compliment on a character quality or a note of gratitude for something he/she wrote or posted (along with a story on how this post helped you). Email him/her, send them a Facebook message, use LinkedIn Inmail, use @mention your connections on Twitter and Facebook. Also, use other modes of communication. Chats via Skype can be vital, as well as starting Google hangouts.
START WITH A GIFT:
It’s important to say something that helps the other person first. It has to begin with them. A great way into this is to study the person’s last 12 posts in any given social platform. What are they trying to discover? Can you provide the answer. Be specific to that person. Make your message short but deep. Get to the point.
Follow up, follow up, follow up. Act with with the intention of the best and highest good for all. Do what you love.
“Capturing the full potential value from the use of social technologies will require transformational changes in organizational structures, processes, and practices, as well as a culture compatible with sharing and openness.”
~McKinsey Report, “The Social Economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies, McKinsey & Company, July 2012.
WHAT IS THE BLACK BOX: Wikipedia defines the black box as follows, “In science and engineering, a black box is a device, system or object which can be viewed solely in terms of its input, output and transfer characteristics without any knowledge of its internal workings, that is, its implementation is “opaque” (black). Almost anything might be referred to as a black box: a transistor, an algorithm, a business process, or the human mind. The opposite of a black box is a system where the inner components or logic are available for inspection, which is sometimes known as a clear box, a glass box, or a white box.” (SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_box)
BUSINESS HAS TO MOVE OUT OF THE BLACK BOX: Business must move toward the white box model for one simple reason: more access to customer collaboration. We live in an age where customers and employees work together on products, services and programs. The most effective product lines, service offerings and policy programs involve customers in the development process. The reason this method is so effective is because the customers have a previous experience that contributes value. The professional expert who has worked for years in a specific business niche can benefit massively from amateurs who have tried multiple variations. Major brands are involving customers in the development of next season’s fashion line, governments are inviting citizens to work with policy makers, and customers now lead service communities under corporate umbrellas. As the old adage goes, “many hands make light work”.
MOVING TO COLLABORATION: In business, black boxes have been essential in a competitive market, to protect sensitive internal processes in development. If one’s competitor can see how one develops an application, a program or a product, then he can take it and improve it and beat you to market. Corporations have prioritized black boxes to protect their stakeholders and investment in people, materials and resources. But in many cases, these same black box eco-systems have created misunderstanding and conflict. And these misunderstandings are a primary reason why businesses are moving toward transparency. To state this another way: we exist within a world so clarified by social networks that many businesses are opting for collaboration models. Businesses are opting for white boxes.
Jacob Tell, an innovator in collaboration vs. competition at Oniracom, a leading lifestyle marketeing company, has said, “We’ve chosen a partnership model over a competitive model. This is a proper way to approach business in today’s increasingly networked world.” As a veteran of the Internet and people-person par excellence, Mr. Tell has identified a very true and helpful dynamic for today’s new paradigm of business — a humanized way of being and doing where we come together for a win-win.
THE WORLD WANTS THE WHITE BOX: Mr. Tell is not alone in his sentiments, either. Kim Stokely, a leading trainer of educators in the United States has said, “This time of history signifies the end of individualism and the beginning of collectivism.” The US Intelligence office has just published a Trends 2030 paper that states, “There will not be any hegemonic power in the future. Power will shift to networks and coalitions in a multipolar world.” Tom Oliver, of the World Peace Festival, has stated, “Until now the world has had no method that systematically deals with violent conflict. To fill this void, experienced peace builders from across the globe have got together with government officials, civil society and the military to design a strategy that could prevent war and resolve violent conflict. This strategy works at all levels – from the bottom up and top down.”
The entire human community cries out for a unified and transparent world group of leaders that move from competing black boxes to collaborative methods of dealing with conflict, poverty and disaster. The world needs and wants a White Box paradigm and good 21st century corporations, banks and governments will step into this clear room together. Peace is quite possibly the number one reason for entering this white box paradigm and leaving the black box method.
DEEP TRANSPARENCY VIDEO:
HOW TO OPEN THE BLACK BOX – The method to opening the black box is straight-forward:
1. Research your customer using social media monitoring solutions. Listen to what your customer is saying.
2. Design a White Box program to invite your customer or fan into the process of your business. Base the strategy and aspects of this program on what you discovered through research.
3. Design safeguards in this program to protect your business from sabotage from competitors.
4. Allocate inner resources from every silo (HR, PR, Marketing, Sales, C-Suite, Customer Service, etc.) to handling different aspects of this White Box program. Designate one person to manage the entire program and be a liaison between the departments involved.
5. Design the campaign where you announce this program.
6. Launch the program.
7. Be sure to follow up on EVERY entry/suggestion. Allocate resources so that you can do this. This is a full-time job for one employee (or more, depending on the size of the operation).
Companies can also arrange themselves differently, to better learn from the world outside. ~Karl Heiselman, Wolff Olins
SUMMARY: Faced with the challenges of an increasingly segmented digital landscape, community managers must know their customer, know their content, and know their internal team. The following three trainings apply to these needed areas of know-how.
1. SOCIAL BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE 101: Covering the full range of social media monitoring options and market research training. This workshop trains staff how to creat social network analysis reports and generate insights and recommendations from social data. The course is highly focused on actionable intelligence, INCLUDING how to apply social business intelligence to the practical needs of running and growing a business.
• Use of social media monitoring tools. Knowledge of different options available and hands-on training in the various tools.
• Market research skills basics, including social data research report writing, how to segment data into specific categories relevant to business needs, and how to derive insights from aggregated social data
• Strategy creation, including creating recommendations based upon customer/competitive insights.
• How to present findings in a concise fashion to the various silos at a brand headquarters, to agency staff and to the directors of a brand.
2. CONTENT MARKETING 101: Covering the complete set of content in the Content Grid v2.0. This workshop is a complete training in how to create and place every single content piece in the Content Grid. A particular focus is placed upon practical step by step production of each content piece, along with tactics for where, when and why to use each piece of content.
• Full understanding of the Content Grid v2.0 and how to create each social object on the grid.
• Training in the social channels related to specific social objects. How to set up these social channels, when to post the social objects, how often to post the social objects, how to schedule automatic updates to social channels using social management software (HootSuite).
• Each student will work on a specific set of social objects and learn how to produce each of these important communication vehicles.
3. SOCIAL BUSINESS 101: Covering internal culture change related to doing business within social networks. This course teaches managers and corporate leaders how to adapt their business processes when entering social networks. Every silo of a business is covered and trained in the benefits and uses of social networks. A particular focus is placed upon elevating internal collaboration and software/process related to weaving the silos together as a team.
• Training in the various methods used by the Chief Collaboration Officer to facilitate conversation between the silos in a major corporation.
• Training in how to promote and grow on-going conversation between the silos at a major corporation or brand for the purpose of presenting a unified message in social networks.
• Training in how to involve the Compliance Department in cross-silo decisions related to messaging in social networks. Further training in how to present reports and udpates to the Compliance Department so that speedy decisions can be made AS RELATED TO on-going messaging in social networks.
• Training in proper risk assessment PRIOR TO launching a full-blown social presence for a brand.
• Training in how to handle typical customer and internal objections to basic social media marketing practices such as the use of Twitter, the value of on-going monitoring and the use of social project management tools like HootSuite and BaseCamp/SalesForce.
• Training in the basic social business software suites, who the vendors are and the comparison between these vendors. Training in how to present this software to senior management and how to begin cross-silo set-up of social business software (example: Jive Software).
ABOUT C.O.I.N.S. – A CLOSING THOUGHT:
COINS or Community of Interest Networks, ARE essential venues for product and service innovation, as well as customer relationship building. A community of interest is definied in Wikipedia as “a community of people who share a common interest or passion. These people exchange ideas and thoughts about the given passion, but may know (or care) little about each other outside of this area. Participation in a community of interest can be compelling, entertaining and create a ‘sticky’ community where people return frequently and remain for extended periods. Frequently, they cannot be easily defined by a particular geographical area.” This describes precisely what we are seeing in social networks like Twitter or LinkedIn or Facebook with specific groups and lists.
No-one can contest that we currently live in an era of massive “COINS” presently via online and in digital social networks. Brands and corporations now recognize the value of orienting their core Business Process Management (BPM) around social business sensibilities. Community Managers are an essential bridge to the customer base and stakeholder community in a Community of Interest Network. Community Managers facilitate conversation, growth and listening within these social networks. Community Managers are the core individuals in charge of fostering unity in groups, lists and forums online.
The following are four ideal courses that the C-Suite needs as related to Social Business and Social Media Marketing.
TRAINING ONE: Is social media a fad?
Many corporate leaders wonder if social networks are a temporary fad. At the moment, social networks are THE primary means for global brand communication. Independent studies tell us that this will be true for another 5-7 years at the least. We should take advantage of this as corporate leaders and brand evangelists. This training session focuses on training corporate leadership in the nitty-gritty of social business set-up, risk assessment, how the various silos can integrate action in social networks and what role the C-Suite has in guiding the entrance of a brand into social networks. Particular focus is on roles within the corporate structure and best-practice related to risk-assessment in social business.
Additional focus will be placed on the role of the Compliance Department in working with the various silos of a brand entering social networks for the first time. Important questions related to compliance include: What are the risks if I engage my company in social networks? What are the risks if I do not engage with my customers in social networks? What are the legal ramifications of entering social networks? How will the Compliance Department interact efficiently with the various silos as each department enters social networks?
TRAINING TWO: What is the future of social business and related social business software?
The future is centered around mobile access to information and communication. We should be thinking about our mobile customer and how the mobile user will connect with our work in the social web. This training session identifies how a brand can easily transition browser-based communication assets into mobile assets. In addition, valuable resources related to mobile marketing and mobile social marketing will be discussed.
TRAINING THREE: What are the costs and resources needed to do this?
In this training, a step-by-step analysis of a social business proposal from top to bottom will be presented. Typical budgets for social business, social marketing campaigns and social business software licensing will be covered. Examples of real proposals will be shown and dissected by participants. This training is an excellent precursor to the RFP (Request for Proposal) process at a major corporation or brand. Guidance on questions to ask potential vendors will be given.
TRAINING FOUR: Does every employee need to participate?
Each department ought to have 1-2 representative employees that will be active and trained in the social networks. In this training, we will go over the titles and roles that these individuals will have, along with best-practice chronologies of action. We will cover how social business and social marketing can be integrated seamlessly into the everyday duties of current employees. A particular focus will be given to how social business and social business software can actually help corporate leadership save money. This training emphasizes the value brought to a corporation through using social networks and related software. Case studies and real examples will be shared along with suggested steps to take in integrating social business into a brand’s current activities.
Growing community in social networks begins with a passion for shared experience. If you want to be part of something exciting right now, put a few words associated with YOUR favorite activity into a search field at any social network. You are sure to find living, breathing human beings awake and actively discussing your passion RIGHT NOW.
The metrics of growing communities have to be related to heart first. We all want and love specific people and activities in life. And that passion dictates how and where we spend our hard earned dollars. Community managers who understand this very real truth about human beings do not push products, events or services. They initially engage in conversation with others about a shared passion. The offerings within a dynamic community generally emerge out of a collective wish list or a mutually desired experience. Those highly attended events are birthed from noticing where people like to congregate. Great community managers are passionate about the niche topics related to their brand and lead others into mutually gratifying experiences.
When we lay out a plan for growing a community, our initial goals ought to center around creating meaningful content and discovering individuals who feed passion. A community manager who has lived, eaten and breathed a topic finds this naturally and is excellent at listening and encouraging members of the community. Everyone in a community has their own unique way of expressing interest, insight and observation. Good community managers facilitate a collective story fed by everyone in the “circle”. This weaving of stories is how cohesive communities form and provides a context for spreading awareness of a product/service. We need those thousand true fans as our initial base to carry on the work of the Community Manager.
It is the job of a Community Manager to nurture conversation. A Twitter stream, a Facebook wall post, a comment thread on a blog, a winning presentation on Slideshare, a location on FourSquare, a widely pinned photo on Pinterest, a video on YouTube that gets passed around: these are ALL seeds to be watered and nurtured by a Community Manager. JESS3 has given community managers a very precise map of content that different consumers interact with when considering a product or service (The Content Grid). It is a community manager’s job to identify, create and spread each of these pieces of content into the social fabric of the Internet.
The reality is that many products and services have a real human story at the root of their existence. Tapping into this story is what connects us to the heart of a product’s latent community, the living fabric with an orientation toward a specific service.
The existing corporate story related solely to sales should cease as the number one tale known to contemporary society. And this needs to happen now.
Humanity is tired of being “sold”. Humanity wants and needs the magic, the tactile sensibility of a story populated with sweat, flesh and the intricacies of a rich inner life. That’s where connection occurs.
Peter Ecomomides of FelixBNI tells a story of his neighborhood market to illustrate how everything has changed & nothing has changed. Peter talks about conceiving creative & human ways to interact with customers. Applying common sense marketing to social tools (Social Monitoring Tools) & social networks (The World Wide Mind). The importance of adapting social technologies to ways humans have always spent time is vital. We gossip, watch movies, check out photos, listen to music, check the news. The most successful social networks, apps and tools are digital software that serve timeless human actions. This is the beauty of what Mr. Economides recognizes in his statement about “getting back to social”. He acknowledges that social objects – tweets, status updates, photos posted to Flickr, video posted to YouTube, ARE the medium. Mr. Economides writes, “Twitter is not a medium. Your tweets are the medium. Your blog, your Facebook page, etc.”
AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MR. PETER ECONOMIDES OF FELIXBNI
ON CHANGE: You’ve emphasized that “everything has changed and nothing has changed”. What are your thoughts on that today and why is this an important message for those getting into marketing via social networks?
Everyone in marketing was educated BDSM – Before the Development of Social Media. And the marketing we learned was focused on the Broadcast Economy. Mass media. Mass retailing. The consumer as a demographic number.
Social Media has given birth to the Conversation Economy. Massive media which do not broadcast. Messaging has become stream of micro conversations. The consumer now has a highly individual profile.
My point is that this is the way it has always been. Mass, if you think about it, is the aberration. It’s back to village, where conversation and word of mouth rule supreme. It’s just that this time the village is global. And the main road running through it is the internet and social media.
The irony is that the largest medium in the world has taken us back to a world filled with individuals, conversation and word of mouth. But as Gary Vaynerchuk says, it’s “word of mouth on steroids.”
Social media is influencing consumer behaviour way beyond the internet. And this is the most important thing for any marketer to bear in mind. Great marketing rests on powerful consumer insight. And if marketers don’t understand the 360º effect of social media on consumer behaviour, they’re in serious trouble.
I often illustrate this through my local butcher.
I believe that he has the best meat in Athens. Now, I am not an expert. I do not know this, but I believe it. Not because of what he says but because of how he behaves. He does not impress this on me. He expresses it in everything he says and everything he does.
He has not studied marketing. He knows nothing about social media. But he is an insightful human who understands what makes people tick. His reputation has been built entirely on word of mouth. He knows that. And he also knows that his reputation can be ruined by word of mouth. In a flash.
Smart people have always known this. And the best butcher in the village has always behaved like this. Ask your grandmother.
ON TECHNOLOGY AND CONVERSATION: Danny Brown writes, “Every single one of us is connected, from the tech savvy to the Luddite to the in-between. And if we’re all connected, it becomes easier to help. And if we all help each other, maybe there’s just a chance the world might be a better place.” Do you see social technologies as accelerators of helping each other and making the world a better place? What can humans do in the context of social technologies that is different than via telephone, fax machines, and the Pony Express? Is it only about speed or is there something more tactile about social technologies now?
Conversation is the key.
Good conversation is a dialogue that consists of thesis, antithesis and synthesis. In other words, it is dynamic. It moves somewhere. Social media facilitates synthesis in a way that the telephone, fax machine and the Pony Express never could. It’s immediate. It’s massive. And it’s open. It’s like a perpetual town hall debate.
Television? Just thesis. No antithesis. Certainly no synthesis.
ON TWITTER: What is Twitter and why do you use it?
Twitter’s a cocktail party where you are free to drop into a conversation, plant a seed, pick a fruit, shape a thought, learn, share, contribute … and move on to the next conversation. Thesis, antithesis, synthesis.
Twitter is also the most immediate news source on the planet. I witnessed the Egyptian Revolution earlier this year by switching between Twitter and Al Jazeera on my iPad. I was in Tahrir Square through Twitter. Picking up news and personal drama. And I’d see the images a little later on Al Jazeera. No other medium could have done that for me.
The evening news? Forget about it!
ON FACEBOOK: Why have so many people flocked to Facebook?
A market is always built on a great product.
And I think Facebook is a great product.
Easy. Intuitive. Lots of ways to share. And, importantly, lots of reward through the Like button.
But there are a lot of great products out there which do not succeed ….
Facebook’s initial appeal was to the high school and college crowd. Important influencers of the older crowd. Facebook crossed the chasm into mainstream through kids. And once they had the critical mass, the network effect kicked in. One billion users by the end of 2011 … remarkable. But that;’s the network effect in action.
Facebook has played an important role as most people’s first step into social media. But it runs the risk of becoming the “low rent district” of the internet.
EXPLAINING SOCIAL TECHNOLOGY TO GRANDMA: How on earth do you explain social technologies and social networks to grandma? Or the crustiest of CEOs?
Back to the village! And back to my butcher story.
You’ve seen many approaches to marketing over the years. What are two of your favorite campaigns, in the past or now? What could social technology and social networks facilitate that maybe would have been tougher in the past?
I’d rather talk about great brands.
Because a campaign is just a stage in the life of a brand.
Every category has a protagonist brand.
And it should be the ambition of every brand to be the protagonist of its category.
Think of a soft drink. Coca-Cola?
The Coca-Cola of vodka?
The Absolut of computers?
The Apple of beer? The Heineken of sports shoes? The Nike of coffee shops?
Starbucks hardly advertises. But look at the quality of the conversation it has with its customers. In everything it says. And everything it does. Everything communicates.
Starbucks knows what its “Starbucksness” is all about. And so does every barista who works there. That’s the key to a great brand. Consistent behaviour throughout the organization. In everything it says and does.
Great brands have always understood the conversation. Great brands have always understood that they sell product to individuals and not to numbers. Great brands have always “got” what the social media experts are preaching. Nothing is new.
Naturally, social media open up new opportunities to connect with consumers through thesis, antithesis and synthesis. I wonder about the future of consumer research …..
ON GREECE: You have lived all over the world – in New York, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Johanessburg, Athens. You’ve marketed huge brands like Apple and Coca-Cola. You’ve been in leadership at major ad agencies like McCann and also done your own thing. Now you live in Athens, Greece. What is happening in Greece right now and how can OR are social networks play(ing) a part in this?
There’s a huge conversation going on on Twitter, revolving around current events in Greece. Also a number of great forums on Facebook. But I don’t see much traction. I am working on a public forum in the style of Quora which I hope to launch soon.
GREEK FAVORITES: Who is your favorite Greek musician? Film director? Playwright? Journalist?
“Piraeus Bank was awarded by the International Agency European Finance Marketing Association (EFMA), as the leading presence in Social Media in Europe (Best Approach to Social Media in Europe).
According to the announcement, the award was part of the conference “Online banking: the e-volution” held in Paris and covered the platform “Think Green”.
This platform has created an online community of users who are sensitive to environmental issues and share their news and reflections on such topics. It has presence in the most popular social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr) and has already, after about 2 months of operation, more than 5,000 members.”
The Socializers performed social intelligence gathering related to this project and taught bank leaders from the various silos on the principles of social business and the value of engaging in conversations with customers within social networks.
Through the growing field of Social Business Design, organizations are being asked to take a hard look at how decisions are made internally and why. Jeff Dachis is one of the leading voices in this area: http://bit.ly/social_business_design
Organizational structure is a central topic of conversation by Jeremiah Owyang, as he describes 5 ways large entities are structured and the value in each of these. Owyang leans toward the Hub and Spoke model as being optimal for entities entering social business: http://bit.ly/hub_and_spoke_owyang
When one looks at decision-makers WITHIN the organization, there are two initial levels. At the C-Suite level, programs are being approved to meet stakeholder expectations and deliver results needed/desired/assumed.
At the next level down, there is a debate (at the core) between objectivists (who believe something exists only to the extent that it can be verified through independent observation) and subjectivists (who say that social phenomenon would be unobservable if not for our capacity to experience and communicate intersubjectively…how we know (epistemology) influences what can be known, thus shaping one’s ontological assumptions about what exists).
Generally, it seems that Objectivists start with ontology, believing something exists ONLY to the extent that it can be verified through independent, unbiased observation. Subjectivists seem to put greater emphasis on epistemological assumptions, believing there are MANY phenomena that would be unknowable using the methods designed by and for objectivists. These include thoughts, feelings and social processes that are impossible to perceive with the five senses alone.
The BEST social business people are matchmakers, weaving the ethos of the Objectivist AND the Subjectivist together.
Interdisciplinary programs are core to this “matchmaking”. Organizations need BOTH objectivist and subjectivist! The machine certainly does a lot for us AND the human IS the last mile. (See Tim O’Reilly speaking here on the importance of the humans as the last mile in the field of business intelligence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhgoAxXRLPQ).
THE BOTTOM LINE FOR ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERS: This debate MUST become a dance, a love affair, where the benefits of quantitative and qualitative approaches compliment one another. Nowhere is this more evident than in the actual nitty gritty work of Socializers (Community Managers) communicating within social networks AND then delivering results to Bean Counters. Content-Marketing BASED upon solid Business Intelligence is a critical slice of the pie in this regard. In other terms, it’s about combining the best of Gartner (http://www.gartner.com) with the best of Copyblogger (http://www.copyblogger.com/content-marketing/).
What we know from our very short history of living online is that community precedes commerce; there’s no commerce without community. ~Kevin Kelley
LIMERENCE: Communities fostering “limerence” with their members in digital networks have discovered this simple truth: a desire for interconnection and interaction with other sentient beings drives a majority of searches and relationships in social networks. Investing FIRST in relationship and community leads to positive dividends in terms of customer equity AND market share. The time of the CIRCLE has arrived.
Limerence is the ethos of the Greek god Eros, who arrives where beings need freedom. And need it bad! Eros is a very important figure as related to social networks, which are characterized by the feminine principle of “circling” during crisis. Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist, writes, “Woman’s psychology is founded on the principle of Eros, the great binder and loosener, whereas from ancient times the ruling principle ascribed to man is Logos. The concept of Eros could be expressed in modern terms as psychic relatedness, and that of Logos as objective interest.” “Psychic relatedness” is a critical factor in the growing of communities within social networks and an important concept to deeply understand for anyone involved in social business.
WHAT IS CIRCLE THINKING? At the core of true circle (social) ethos is the practice of speaking and listening from the heart. When humans are compassionate, heartfelt and empathic, and listen without judgement…when humans engage in non-hierarchical forms of deep communication, a group’s vision and purpose emerges naturally and beautifully.
Circles offer effective means of resolving conflict and for discovering deeper, often unexpressed needs within the hearts of individuals and organizations. Circles foster co-visioning born out of our personal and collaborative stories. Social story-telling is a more accurate method of solving real problems than the political games humans play to survive within strict hierarchies.
Social networks have introduced the global community to collective psychic experiences on an unprecedented scale. The logos of the soul, psychology, implies the act of traveling the soul’s labyrinth in which we can never go deep enough (James Hillman). The entire fabric of human culture, it’s very dimensionality, has undergone a profound shift into an experience of depth and the outcome of such a shift is connection between individuals and communities like never before. It’s a shift toward collaboration and connection.
COLLABORATION: Peter Economides, one of the world’s greatest brand strategists, writes, “Strategy is nothing without a universally compelling, and individually enchanting big idea that engages and aligns people inside and outside the corporation.” We live in times when social strategy teams must lead agencies, brands and entire organizations into new territory of collaboration…territory that binds staff together within through threads of common passion. Such organizations move out into social networks united in a single “heart-ethos” and this is felt in the emotionally-tactile comment-threads and newsfeeds within social networks. As social business teams, we engage in programs that effect the exact same culture change WITHIN the enterprise that we seek in our customer base, in our community, in our customer-facing programs.
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY THROUGH COMMUNITY CREATION:
Brands hire Social Agencies to train Community Managers, establish social media policies and then go to the races together for a 1-year period. The GOAL for The Brand is independence from The Agency. It’s time to shift the focus away from “How can we do this fast and cheap?” TO “We’re committed long-term to growing the Brand’s community!”
Every major brand in large markets launching a social campaign should seriously consider performing the following steps:
1. INTEL: Social Intelligence to gather initial insights on what customers are saying, where key influencers locate (and what they are saying) and what content is sticky NOW. 2. STRATEGY: Strategy for a Community Manager built upon Recommendations derived from Insights found through Social Intelligence gathering. Scripting of initial content, creation of a campaign or two, and clever content development are ALL actions to be created at this stage. 3. HR: Hiring of the Community Manager. Agreement on policies. 4. GO: Action! On-going training and deepening of the content and community. Target specific user-groups, such as Mommy Bloggers, through organic community growth via your Community Manager. You need to think of the social networks as parties/gatherings that your Community Manager is walking into and conversing within.
COMMUNITY MANAGER TRAITS AND ACTIONS: The BEST Community Managers are a combo of a Journalist (who writes on the fly, does excellent research and is an investigator) AND a Socializer. Your content-marketing strategy is critical here.
a. Sequence a chronology of content-marketing that makes sense and follows a kind of story.
b. Be a story-teller. Involve people in the story of an employee’s climb to manager, for instance. Or a love story between patrons. Or in the value of having a “third-space” at retail outlets for students OR businessmen. This is where you get creative and give your Community Manager some wings to fly. Sticky content is passed on.
c. Your Community Manager should be involved in conversations, watching for trends in Twitter using monitoring tools and producing attractive content. The result will be an engaged following getting to know one another and forming a positive community around The Brand. Quality Content IN a Quality Context!
On a final note, hierarchies are being replaced by circles EVERYWHERE!!! Start within…you’ve got a hierarchy WITHIN yearning for a circle’s embrace right NOW!! Bring the gift of that inner circle to yourself, your loved ones, your social circles, your work!
SUMMARY: In all fields of business, there are varying levels of sophistication. The small business owner juggles bookkeeping, rent, vendors and customers and, if he is lucky, has time left over to take his original business plan one step further via Marketing and Sales activities. The medium and enterprise level businesses have a responsibility to analyze their markets through best-practice business intelligence and innovate. Growth means change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to unknown. The open seas that enterprise-level businesses chart require captains and admirals who can judge when and how to take such risk.
THE VALUE OF SCOUTS: New technologies aid such leaders in their future plans. The most important members of the team in this respect are the SCOUTS. In the world of social media marketing, the scouts are social intelligence providers, experts in predictive analytics, text analytics, cluster analysis and sentiment trending. It is the responsibility of these scouts to discover the VERY BEST sources of intelligence in a specific vertical or world region. As the founder of Klout says, “Targeting the few key influencers who have authority around a given topic and allowing them to tell the story. The message is then amplified up through the network to reach a large engaged audience that trusts the message sender.” It is important to note that social media monitoring tools come in all shapes and sizes with varying angles on what is and is not important.
Highlighted in an article by Brian Solis,Ray Wang writes, “Overall, on a global scale, social analytics will evolve in 2011 from ad-hoc experiments into refined information services. Enterprise-level organizations should continue with experimenting in listening services that filter out noise from the social sphere, identify trends that deliver insight, and create models that support prediction.”
REGIONAL PROVIDERS:(In the following paragraph, I mix some of my thoughts with Mr. Wang’s observations to deepen the observation). “Regionally, it is recommended to identify LOCAL providers who have a deep understanding of the local language and customs. As algorithms increase in complexity, global tools will have to adapt to these regional and cultural differences, as well as requiring greater vertical specialization. The global tools like Sysomos, while very good, will no longer be able to support in house efforts due to the volume of demand and that may effect quality. A new breed of LOCAL information brokers will aid global intel providers in delivering social analytics at a scale and specificity that will support the challenges of big data in heterogeneous systems. Expect vendors such as Sysomos, Alterian, Attensity, Buzzmetrics, Cymfony, IBM, Radian6, SAS, Scoutlabs, Telligent, and Visible to shift their business models from software vendors to information brokers.”
LOCAL ANALYSTS: Regional Business Intelligence providers with LOCAL vendors trained in Predictive Analytics, Semantic Analysis, Cluster Analysis, and active in hands-on solutions analyzing the local language are important allies/partners to these global tools. This is clearly seen upon going into the representation of the data by these global social media intelligence providers with LOCAL analysts. Refinement of the data MUST be accomplished by native speakers. It is advised that the global tools identify regional managers to (a) make sales (b) identify local highly trained analysts who speak the language natively and (c) shift their identity from a tools centered approach to human-refined intelligence provision.
MERGING OF SOCIAL INTEL AND SOCIAL ACTION TOOLS: The leaders in the field will form alliances with social action tools like Hoot Suite and Buddy Media to mutually enhance value proposition. M&A in this area is an important evolutionary step for those organizations keen to the benefit of actionable intelligence. Brands want punchy insights, smart recommendations based on these insights along with actions that may be measured.
THE BUSINESS INTEL CUSTOMER: The sophisticated customer of social monitoring intelligence wants his provider to develop insights and action-steps from the masses of data that come through a WOMMA-ethics-level tool…that is, a tool that includes total, or near, access to firehoses from “walled-gardens” like Facebook or the giant Amazonian rivers of Twitter. He then wants that provider to write up a brand booklet complete with a few neat charts and a storyline of how the brand may utilize the current economic climate for maximum growth.
LIVING INFOGRAPHICS: To go further, the Business Unit Manager of the marketing agency working with this enterprise-level customer may want the intelligence provider to produce an interactive infographic that gathers intel AND grows customer equity all at once. Great example of this is JESS3′s APTA project.
BUSINESS PLAN: In an A+ scenario, the Business Unit Manager from the agency provides the Brand Manager with a comprehensive plan that charts the growth of the brand over the coming year, its relative competitive weaknesses and advantages (SWOT style or another scenario planner) and a few preliminary creative mock-ups of the customer-facing solution. For internal business solutions, the Business Unit Manager recommends a few choice third-party vendors to come alongside the team for sCRM, a possible re-vamping of how collaboration takes place in the organization and re-vitalized, efficient HR.
IMPORTANT QUESTIONS ANSWERED: Important questions answered through social intelligence projects include:
• Buzz in broadcast and social media: what is the volume of mentions?
• General topics and impact: which news, headlines and developing stories influence my brand?
• Special topics and impact: which hidden parameters influence my brand?
• Opinion mining: do people think positively or negatively about my brand?
• Mood analysis: do people express pleasure about my brand? Are they calm/relaxed or alert?
• Seasonality and time-of-day: when do people discuss my brand and topics of interest?
• Named entities graph: who am I connected to?
• Influencer detection: who do we recommend as influencers in regards to my brand?
• Meme detection: how do ideas spread throughout the population?
• Visualization: how can I represent information by combining insights and graphics?
“ON THE FLY” COMMUNITIES: But the MOST important fruit of business intelligence derived from social media data is an on the fly community. Non-branded aggregations in Twitter of Key Influencers in the form of lists OR Twitter accounts filled with Key Influencers around a specific topic are a very powerful means to accessing a customer base quickly. TO REPEAT: Non-branded, on-the-fly Communities aggregating Key Influencers are a far better fruit of business intelligence than “snap-shot” insights. The social eco-system is fluid and Brand Managers want something of real value from BI projects that can be used RIGHT NOW. Using tools like PeopleBrowsr one may assemble such “on-the-fly” communities quickly and accurately. Check out this video of Jodee Rich, CEO and founder of PeopleBrowsr, talking about the Research.ly solution:
WITHIN THE ENTERPRISE: The happy Brand Manager gets to go to her Marketing Manager and GM and show off a plan for her brand(s) that will elevate business by a nice percentage, decrease overall internal costs, address any outstanding PR and Customer-Service related issues and foster a glowing relationship with the community in her region through a customer-centric ad/marketing campaign. And, due to the entire solution being driven through social business, she has decreased the ad spend by 60%, saving money in the process. Finally, through deeper business intelligence, the enterprise may find ways to economize and grow hitherto unseen:
Topic: The 10 Criteria of Social Business Maturity. ON SLIDESHARE:http://slidesha.re/social_business_maturity
Nathaniel Hansen, CEO of The Socializers, giving closing remarks at 3rd InnoFORUM AIT, Athens, Greece. March 18, 2011.
Athens Information Technology (AIT), an internationally-renowned non profit education and research center in the fields of information technology, telecommunications, and innovation management, was founded in 2002 by the INTRACOM group of companies. In creating AIT, INTRACOM’s purpose was to build on the track record of excellence set by Greek scientists and engineers both in Greece and abroad, and to enable Greece to play a significant future role in these fields. (http://www.ait.gr/ait_web_site/Ait_at_a_glance.jsp)
Question by Dimitris Mavros of PRC GROUP Athens: Falling volumes and budget cuts. What is the role of marketing during a recession?
Nathaniel Hansen, CEO, The Socializers answer: Motivation, Customer Service, Education, Culture-change, Leadership. But most of all, to be Heretics vs. Fundamentalists.
Step 1: Evaluate typical local messaging and methods of communication around recession. Gain Insights through Social Intelligence Projects and on-going social media monitoring.
Step 2: Compose “culture-changing” messaging, campaign strategy and brand orientation. A good heretic and thought-leader will be able to pump out vast material around this within a solid 7-10 days. Focused creative project.
Step 3: Segment your market and “culture-change” packages and start selling. Informed by insights and data analysis.
Step 4: Identify critics ahead of time and chart how their critiques may fuel the fire of your creatives. Give your creatives license to be on-fire Heretics through culture-changing activities. Study the Eleftherians in Greek myth, like the god Eros for basic archetypal material to inform the ethos here.
Step 5: See PR as a vacuum-cleaner. Uphold Assange-types (Wikileaks) as internal cleaners, preparing the enterprise to go social. Have a plan regarding external gossip and internal junk.
Step 6: Crowdsource the entire economic and political landscape. Big and great project! The customer will decide next year’s (a) product line and design (b) distribution channels (c) campaign style.
Growth means change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to unknown.
In all fields of business, there are varying levels of sophistication. The small business owner juggles bookkeeping, rent, vendors and customers and, if he is lucky, has time left over to take his original business plan one step further via Marketing and Sales activities. The medium and enterprise level businesses have a responsibility to analyze their markets through best-practice business intelligence and innovate. Growth means change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to unknown. The open seas that enterprise-level businesses chart require captains and admirals who can judge when and how to take such risk.
New technologies aid such leaders in their future plans. The most important members of the team in this respect are the SCOUTS. In the world of social media marketing, the scouts are social intelligence providers. It is the responsibility of these scouts to discover the VERY BEST sources of intelligence in a specific vertical or world region. It is important to note that social media monitoring tools come in all shapes and sizes with varying angles on what is and is not important.
The least sophisticated customer of social intelligence signs up for one or two free or low-priced tools and develops guidance straight from data posted within these tools. Trusting the charts, sentiment ratings and influence scoring, he heads out into the social fabric of the Internet and connects with his customer through a specific social graph. Within two weeks, due to this intelligence, his Facebook company page has gathered upwards of 1500 followers due to a targeted ad campaign and he has sold 500 units of his product. One or two major influencers (a national Magazine or a large regional newspaper) picks up on the product, reviews it and he makes even more sales. Within two months of listening to his customer, he has set up a booth at no less than two major trade shows and is now being wooed to a B2B relationship by a large retail chain. Twelve months later, he has sold his product concept, designs and plans to a global brand for seven million dollars and takes some time off on the coast of Italy to reflect.
The medium and enterprise-level customer goes much further in their requirement. This customer of social monitoring intelligence wants his provider to develop insights and recommendations from the masses of data that come through a WOMMA-ethics-level tool…that is, a tool that has total, or near, access to firehoses from “walled-gardens” like Facebook or the giant Amazonian rivers of Twitter. He then wants that provider to write up a brand booklet complete with a few neat charts and a storyline of how the brand may utilize the current climate for maximum growth.
To go further, the Business Unit Manager of the marketing agency working with this enterprise-level customer wants the intelligence provider to produce a few infographics, even featuring Montage style real-time feeds for the Brand Manager to witness the immense flow of data that has been analyzed. But not too many feeds, maybe two or three.
Along with this infographic, the Business Unit Manager from the agency provides the Brand Manager with a comprehensive business plan that charts the growth of the brand over the coming year, its relative competitive weaknesses and advantages (SWOT style or another scenario planner) and a few preliminary creative mock-ups of the customer-facing solution. For internal business solutions, the Business Unit Manager recommends a few choice third-party vendors to come alongside the team for sCRM, a possible re-vamping of how collaboration takes place in the organization and re-vitalized, efficient HR.
The happy Brand Manager gets to go to her Marketing Manager and GM and show off a plan for her brand(s) that will elevate business by a nice percentage, decrease overall internal costs, address any outstanding PR and Customer-Service related issues and foster a glowing relationship with the community in her region through a customer-centric ad/marketing campaign. And, due to the entire solution being driven through social business, she has decreased the ad spend by 60%, saving money in the process. Time for a Google-style raise, boss?
For an important new study on Customer Intelligence Trends 2011, see the following Forrester Report: ”At the same time, the demand for insight — not just data — in real time creates a challenge but also a huge opportunity to extend the value of Customer Intelligence throughout the enterprise. Leading CI professionals who evolve and adapt to these trends will quickly find themselves at the nexus of the business.” ~from Customer Intelligence Trends To Watch In 2011 (http://bit.ly/customer_intelligence_trends_2011)
Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an ‘intelligence explosion,’ and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make. ~Statistician I.J. Good, 1965
All it takes is one technology – Artificial Intelligence, brain-computer interfaces, or perhaps something unforeseen – that advances to the point of creating smarter-than-human minds. That one technological advance is the equivalent of the first self-replicating chemical that gave rise to life on Earth.~AI researcher Eliezer Yudkowsky, 2001
TECH IS A HAIR BREADTH AWAY FROM SELF-AWARENESS: Technology is within a hair’s breadth of becoming self-aware. The social networks and properties may be seen as a mass effort by humanity to train our tech to first mimic and then evolve our actions. The intimacy of human-tech relationship has become a red-hot love affair.
I can forget my wallet at home but woe is me if my cell phone remains on the bedside table! With mobile now fully poised to take over as THE access point to all my information and action, that iPhone or Android becomes THE lover in my pocket, my EVERYTHING. I can dock my phone and access all of my content with a wireless keyboard and mouse and my 55″ 3D 1080p screen. And I can store 60 GB of my information in the cloud for $10 per month, giving me the power to link in to my info from anywhere at anytime.
And ALL of this information is scanned and makes up the ever-expanding global mind, which systems like the Chinese-made Tianhe-1A can perfect at rate of 2,507 petaflops (a petaflop is one million billion floating point operations per second). Soon all of this computing tech will occupy a transhuman body, like the hospice cyborgs in Asia.
I do agree that we may be closer than one realizes to the Singularity and that AI has advanced to truly FANTASTIC heights. One need only begin at the Singularity Summit, Singularity University and Humanity+ web pages to get thrown in the deep end of this information AND to realize that humans in the know are keeping long hours preparing for this imminent reality!
WHAT WILL IT MEAN TO BE HUMAN IN THE NEAR-FUTURE? So what happens when many more human duties are done by robots? What happens when the Transhumanists reign supreme? How does one look upon this: as an average consumer, as a corporate leader, as a major VC, as a nation-state concerned about security, as a parent raising children, as the leader of a global religion? For some, there is no action to be taken and submission is the only option due to NO TIME. For others, like the leaders mentioned, the conversation becomes philosophical and nostalgic: the good ol’ days of being human are now over.
Now we also, as leaders, have to understand what it really means to be led by our technology. It presents us with possibilities and solutions we may never have considered: Like finding the cure to cancer OR receiving a fully charted investment strategy yielding 125% growth per annum for 7 generations on your desktop OR just plain old peace of mind. We truly have more possibilities before us as humans now than ever YET at the same time we are in an economic crisis. Or are we?
Hear the following quote from the philosopher Aleister Crowley:
“We are in the middle of a world crisis. It is a very good world crisis — better than any crisis we have had before — and there is no man alive with an intellect big enough to grasp the threads of the problems which confront the world today. There are two ways out of that. Either consult a superior intelligence, which Magick shows you the way of doing, or you can develop your own mind, for it has a faculty which is as superior to the intellect as the intellect is superior to the emotions.
All magical operations require a very elaborate training of one kind or another, but I think the only way out is that we have got to put men in charge of this planet who are really more than men. We must get back to the times of the prophets or we must make ourselves prophets. And we must look at world problems from a standpoint which is entirely alien to that existing at present.”
TECH LEADERS GUIDE GOVERNMENTS AND SIT AT THE HEAD OF THE TABLE: Just a few weeks ago, Michael Dell said, “Our report contains straightforward, proven ways to pare back $1 trillion from the deficit while increasing productivity and enabling sustainable competitiveness. We’re serious about helping to provide solutions for the mounting debt crisis, and we’re optimistic that changes today will help lay the foundation for future job growth and innovation for our country.” And the TCC report, entitled One Trillion Reasons, stated: “A $500bn savings opportunity exists by consolidating the government’s myriad supply chains. This would also render the government’s procurement process far more transparent, helping to strengthen public trust.”
With tech leaders applying the power of computing to human inefficiency, we know who the REAL kings of this planet are and will increasingly be. It’s no wonder that men like Michael Bloomberg and Silvio Berlusconi are corporate leaders, political leaders and multi-billionaires. They are the model of the world-king, the Zeus archetype. And men like these have the power and resources to orient tech around cleaning up 20th century messes. Those who have erected Kingdoms of Opacity around the these cesspools are doomed, as we already have seen, while those who embrace Transparency as a route TO greater discovery and engagement with mystery and innovation will rule. The simple mathematical and scientific rule concerning this is Pareto’s Law or Occam’s Razor and Leonardo da Vinci has captured this when he says, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
HUMAN INTERACTION NO LONGER SLOWS DOWN TECH ADAVANCEMENT: Our technology’s solutions are so beautiful now and are being packaged to accentuate this elegance. Solutions on the social intelligence front are just one example of this. With Flowtown, I can upload all of my email addresses and see exactly which social properties these entities currently occupy. With another tool just about to launch I can upload my email addresses and know the exact time of day a Facebook ad campaign should run to reach the maximum online users. With another tool also on the verge of launching, I can determine which tweets and FB statuses have the highest chances of being re-tweeted and passed along AND which ad copy will achieve the highest percentage of click-through rate.
Again, with well-priced and effective solutions, we hurdle opaque entities that shroud previously complex processes in secrecy AND end up with BETTER solutions at BETTER pricing. This principle is horizontally applicable across industries AND is the metaphorical basis for human-tech relationship to leap-frog into a new paradigm of leadership, democracy and independence.
Of course, in the context of all this left-brain, progress-oriented talk, there is the question as to whether cyborgs dream of electric sheep or can enjoy the most human of experiences.
“Our imagination is the only limit to what we can hope to have in the future”
-Charles F. Kettering (American Engineer)
“Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.”
- William Pollard (Chairman Emeritus, The Servicemaster Company)
“Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry.”
-Bill Drayton (Ashoka Founder)
We live in times when business MUST be social. The old models of cold, removed CEOs and GMs who are not accessible is OVER! The wisest CEO and GM is up front, with the customer, with the vendor, with the supplier, with the competitor even, smiling, shaking hands and getting to know the parea surrounding his/her products and services. Social business is 100% about the heart.
The old adage about following your heart to true wealth, the wealth your organization and YOU need is TRUE. One does not need to look far for confirmation of this truth. The shop owner whose door is wide open from early in the morning to late in the evening, whose pavement is set up with chair and tables, whose radio is playing uplifting and positive music, whose shelves are piled with what his/her customer wants and needs, who extends an invitation to a community event, who knows his neighborhood and gives to its real needs…this person is respected AND loved!
Stewart Emery, co-founder of The Human Potential Movement, has said, “We should call normal the person who awakens each morning with shining eyes, seeing each day as a gift, clearly centered in what they are passionate about and committed to a practice of getting better and better and better at it and living a life that’s a gift to the world, welcoming people of all ethnicities and persuasions with respect and WARMTH!” (Source).
To be a social business, one must be focused on the heart of the people one works with and serves. Their bright eyes are all around you and looking to YOU to give and contribute. If there ever was a time for YOU to give, the time is NOW. Stepping down from the mountain of opacity and into the warm waters of transparency is a liberating experience. When the north steps into the vibe of the south, miracles occur. When the right unbuttons a few buttons, removes the cuff links, rolls up the sleeves and gets into the fray, into the dance, LIFE is possible and VITALITY infuses the project, the sale, and the organization.
Bill Pollard, former chairman of The Servicemaster Company, argues that “one of the most important factors of the success and growth of [his] business” was the “simple truth of recognizing the potential, dignity, and worth of the individual.” Pride in the results of ones work (and therefore a desire to do quality work regardless of compensation or working conditions) begins with “dignity, pride of accomplishment, and recognition for a job well done.”
There is story told from Pollard’s company of a man who worked in Atlanta at an industrial plant. The executives of Servicemaster were visiting the plant with the founder of the company. As the executives looked out upon the floor, this man was pushing a HUGE industrial machine up a ramp with other men. For a moment, the machine rolled backwards. And AT THAT MOMENT, this man put his back into the job and gave a magnificent push. Rallied by this man’s effort, the others followed suit and the machine easily crested the top of the ramp. One of Servicemaster’s executives turned to the other’s present and said, “Give me that man’s name and have him meet us tomorrow here.” It was not too much later that this same blue-collar worker became a trainee with Servicemaster, then an assistant manager, then a manager, then a leader in the C-Suite at the headquarters.
This story is an image of what the HEART must do in these times. Those who bring heart to their efforts win. In times like these, men and women are called to approach one another AND their work with blood, sweat and tears. I would argue that governments, corporations, the eco-system and families are ALL at the same place as that industrial machine. The efforts humanity has made to solve multiple problems caused by previous generations is truly astounding. The recent donation made by Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, the amazing work of the Gates Foundation globally and the recent awarding by Google of $10 million to 5 world-changing ideas are just a few examples of the very real efforts humans are making to push that industrial machine OVER THE CREST!
CEOs, GMs and Managers globally would do well to look at the 21 Principles of Servicemaster, an organization devoted 100% to service, and consider how to apply these principles to a heart-based business:
1. We are opportunity seekers, not entitlement takers. We create and earn and cannot afford to sit and inherit.
2. We are value driven and performance oriented.
3. We eat our own cooking. We bet the egg money on our own performance.
4. We train and run for both the sprint and marathon. We rest, have fun, never quit, and always seek to learn.
5. We plan for succession and develop our future leaders.
6. The truth of what we say is told by what we do. “If you don’t live it, you don’t believe it.”
7. If we cannot serve and sell with a passion for excellence, we cannot lead.
8. We believe in what we sell and deliver.
9. As we provide extraordinary service, we bring value-added to the customer that cannot be duplicated.
10. There are no friendly competitors.
11. We believe in a lean and disciplined organization. We would rather buy a grand piano than employ or assign one unnecessary person.
12. We pay based on performance and promote based on potential, not belief, tenure, gender, race, or friendships.
13. Those who produce the profits should share in the profits. Those who produce more should share more.
14. We make and beat budgets.
15. We seek to know and increase our market share so that we can grow and increase the profitability and value of our business.. If we ignore our market share, we run the risk of losing our market and our business.
16. When we are wrong or fail, we admit it. Truth cannot be compromised. We report on what has occurred or is anticipated, not on what will make us look good.
17. We promote others, not ourselves. We shoot against par.
18. We must have a spirit of independence without the malady of autonomy.
19. The customer comes first and should be our friend.
20. We are all prisoners of our hope. It is our hope that sustains us, and it is our vision for what could be that inspires us and those we lead. “Don’t doubt in the dark what you have seen in the light.”
21. We have all been created in God’s image, and the results of our leadership will be measured beyond the workplace. The story will be told in the changed lives of people.
“Partnering with Nathaniel Hansen has been one of the most lucrative business decisions for my organization. Nathaniel understands the art and science of internet marketing, is a social media guru, and is a brilliant networker. His ability to connect professionals based on unique abilities and goals is powerful.”
What I admire most about Nathaniel is that he is a doer par exellence! He goes beyond dreaming big and makes things happen. I can always count on his support and he is a tremendous resource of expertise in his field.
For us at Equilibrium Entertainment, Nathaniel Hansen is a symbol of the World. We do not know of anyone who can jump on the phone, Skype or a plane at a moment's notice and connect with the type of rolodex that he can. He IS one of the world's best and most highly connected networkers and has a truly formidable set of technical, social and intellectual/psychic tools as back up.
“Nathaniel and I have worked on joint client accounts for online marketing and web deployment. He has always been extremely responsive and constructive when working on ways to solve the needs of our clients. The marketing approach he used to create a website for the latest client markedly increased the stickiness of the website, doubling the amount of time visitors spent on the site.”