Archive for category SocialMedia
Since a few of my colleagues at Deloitte began tweeting about it Monday night, and my friend Luke Fretwell (founder of GovFresh) retweeted it yesterday, I realized the cat was out of the bag and I couldn’t wait any longer to talk about it myself. So I mentioned it briefly last night at our Social Media Trends 2011 event for Social Media Club San Francisco and a bunch of attendees tweeted it out only to be picked up more widely.
I am really excited to announce I have taken a position at Deloitte Consulting LLP as a Specialist Leader (aka Senior Manager) with a focus on Social Media, Enterprise 2.0, Innovation and beyond. I am perhaps even more excited about the extraordinary people I’ve met at the firm so far and the tremendous potential we have for continuing to build out a great consulting practice that supports some of the best companies in the world who are Deloitte clients, or soon will be.
I was hoping to get a better handle on my surroundings and to better define my role in the organization before talking about this publicly, but as we have been saying for so long, “you can’t control social media.” So here’s the short version of a longer story we will be talking more about in the near future:
- Big thanks to my friend and colleague John Hagel for making the introduction last summer that lead to this opportunity and the many senior partners with whom I will be collaborating.
- I am going to be based out of the San Francisco office, but expect to be traveling all across the country.
- I get to work with an incredible team, in what is known as the Social Computing and Collaboration group under the Technology Strategy and Architecture practice within Deloitte Consulting LLP.
- I am staying on as Chairman of Social Media Club and will remain active in an evangelist role and fulfilling my board duties while my wife Kristie Wells will stay on as President and continue to build out the association with our Gamma Chapter Leaders.
- I made this decision because its the right sort of environment and the right sort of smart people who can enrich my professional life, help me seize some of the opportunities that I see in the market (such as holistic business strategy) and where I can contribute to the greater well being of the organization in a multitude of ways.
For now, that’s all I can really say, not only because we will still be doing an official media alert or something like it, but also because there are some things we still have to figure out together. What I can say is that its going to be an amazing journey, and I am very much looking forward to 2011 and beyond.
If you would like to schedule an interview with me, you should reach out to Deloitte PR. If you are looking for a job, check out Deloitte’s open job positions and see some of the reasons I decided to join. If you are a Deloitte client and want to talk to me about your projects, reach out to your team lead and they will figure out what to do to get me engaged.
Disclaimer: Of course, none of the statements here reflect the views or opinions of Deloitte, they are all my own personal observations and statements. All links to the Deloitte Web site are made for your convenience. I am merely sharing my personal perspective on a significant personal life event, taking on my first ‘real job’ in over 10 years, when I previously worked for the United States Mint as Chief of eBusiness.
Earlier this morning, my post on “The Time Has Come for Holistic Business Strategy” has finally seen the light of day, published over on my good friend and colleague Brian Solis‘ site. Each January the last few years I have promised to start writing more and getting beyond my own internal writing challenges, and each year I have failed to live up to my own personal goal. I think this year we are finally ready to change that abysmal track record.
My internal critic is often just too powerful for me to overcome. It’s silly, but I really don’t believe I can write all that well, and the process of writing/editing is very difficult for me – often times it feels too difficult and I have just given up on it. While its true that I am much more comfortable talking with people about these concepts and visions for game-changing notions, I need to get to the point where I believe deep down in my soul that I am not only a decent writer, but a damn good one.
Over on Formspring the other day, my friend Todd Jordan asked what is my biggest plan for 2011? My answer was actually magically annointed with brevity, to “change the way business leaders think about managing their organizations and enhance their ability to create value”.
Michael Porter’s publishing of this great article on “Creating Shared Value” has really inspired me to put my nose to the grindstone and invest in advancing this big idea – that we must think about not only the whole of the business, but also the whole of society and the impacts every member of the broader ecosystem has on the other players and the ecosystem itself.
Yes, there should still be competition, as there is in the natural world it helps maintain balance. But what we have found with species like the silver carp in the fresh water rivers of North America, is that the introduction of a predatory competitor that is not naturally a part of the ecosystem, has disastorous effects on the survival of everyone and the ecosystem itself. This analogy holds true when looking at the ecosystem in terms of the market. In fact, we have seen the same sorts of results in the world of Social Media, with the prevalence of douchebags having harmed the market for social media services/consulting in a very similar manner.
Metaphors aside, I am excited to think about writing more this year on Holistic Business Strategy and working on my book project where many of these ideas will reside. “Serve the Market” is the embodiment of many of these ideas and will hopefully inspire a change in the way managers not only think about marketing, but in how they approach the very nature of business itself.
To understand more of what I am talking about here, please watch this 12 minute video of a speed keynote I gave at Webcom Montreal last year that outlines some of the higher principles at play.
We are really excited to be working with our good friend Sukhjit from Sony’s Social Media team to host a tweetup in San Francisco on Thursday June 17 from 6-8pm at the Westfield Center downtown. The tweetup will take place next to a recently opened kiosk for their Sony Dash product on the 3rd floor near Bloomingdales. In addition to good conversation with friends and Social Media Club members, people who register in advance will get a chance to win their very own Sony Dash (a $200 value). You can get an extra chance to win by checking in to the kiosk on Foursquare that day and showing one of the organizers, and another chance to win if you wear your Social Media Club t-shirt. (t-shirts are sent to Professional members of Social Media Club).
As a little background, the Sony Dash is sort of like a next generation alarm clock, but so much more. They call it a personal internet viewer and according to our good friend Jeffrey Sass, it’s not only cool, but is an incredibly useful social connectivity tool. In fact, when we spoke with him recently at SF Music Tech, he told us how cool it was one day when he woke up and saw our pics from our Cabo San Lucas trip show up on his Dash. Personally, I can’t wait to get mine and set it up (very excited to be given one as part of our compensation for helping organize and promote the event).
The tweetup is pretty straightforward – Sony is setting up a sort of lounge there with adult beverages and some light appetizers. Folks will of course get a chance to check out the Dash, but mostly we will be just hanging out in the mall, just like the good old days… with a bit of modern social flair. It’s a good chance to talk about our increasingly connected lifestyles and just hanging our with friends. It’s also a chance for you to get a last minute gift for dad for Father’s Day, which is Sunday June 20.
Please take a moment to register in advance (so you can get your chance to win a Sony Dash, you must be present to win) and we look forward to seeing you there.
[disclosure, Sony has hired Kristie Wells and myself to help organize the tweetup and is a sponsor of our Social Media Club San Francisco/Silicon Valley meeting on Tuesday January 15 on Geolocation where you will also have a chance to win a Sony Dash as a door prize drawing.]
Not a lot of time, but I wanted to share the fun from last night with everyone. This was such a blast. We (Social Media Club) are so fortunate to be able to work with such great people at Lenovo along with GDGT and Jeff Pulver on putting this together. Looking forward to one more time tonight…
If you haven’t seen what we are doing with Social Media Club here in Paris at Le Web, now is the time to pay attention because we are just heating things up. As we prepare to embark on our 3rd day of Parisian adventures before Le Web starts tomorrow, everyone is finally arriving today. After touring Montmartre and Sacre du Cour yesterday, we went to La Cantine for a Social Media Club Paris happy hour.
Today we did a live stream over on Justin.tv talking politics, culture and technology with Fabrice Epelboin from Read/Write Web France. Now we are off on a tour of Paris with Juliette Drumas of Briller en Ville a sort of Daily Candy for Paris (but we think cooler .
These are a few of the photos I took that tells the day’s story quite well.
The Lunch For Good event format has really proven to be magical after a fountain of insights erupted during last month’s event discussing critical thinking. In San Francisco on Thursday October 23, 2009 we asked participants “How can online contribution evolve to encourage more critical thought?”
Apparently, it was a powerful question as you can see from the videos we captured summarizing the conversations happening at each of the tables.
I also spoke with Ravit Lichtenberg about the importance of critical thinking and she ended up turning the camera on me. For me personally, having a society in which a greater number of people apply critical thinking to what they are being told by others is essential for the well being and prosperity of everyone. Critical thinking skills are a foundational element of a media literate society, which means it is very important part of Social Media Club’s mission.
So today, as part of my ‘social work’ coming out of last month’s Lunch For Good event, I am seeking support on a project to assemble, organize and if necessary develop an educational program focused on critical thinking for digital citizens. It would seem this project would fit best under the SMC EDU program, but we can discuss details together. If you are interested in participating, please let us know by commenting below or emailing socialmediaclub at gmail dot com.
So today work begins in earnest on our final Lunch For Good event of this series where we will be focused on how online contribution can evolve to help more people find common ground. This event speaks directly to what I believe to be one of the biggest problems we face in the world today. The problem of “us vs. them” is something I have been speaking about for a long time as even Apple’s TV ads are further propagating a sense of elitism and social division.
We must transcend looking at the world as a matter of ‘these people are like me and they are ok, but these people over there are not like me so they must be bad’. It is not only based on race, sexual orientation, religion, politics and appearances any longer – today it extends to what brands you wear, what music you like, what social tools you use and even even what your job title is. So today more then ever, its important for us to explore the issue of how do we work to ensure more people can find common ground with one another instead of demonizing others for not being completely homogeneously alike…
The invites are going out over the next few days but if you havent been previously and have not received an invite, you can stillrequest an invitation on the Lunch blog and if we have room as the event approaches, we would be happy to have you participate.
On a closing personal note, I just cant thank JR Johnson, Melissa Cunningham and the whole Lunch.com team enough for sponsoring this great event series and Myles Weissleder for co-producing it with me. Myles and I are truly blessed to be able to do the work we love and have a client who really wants to contribute to the greater good.
Every time I travel to another city for another conference, the need for deep, broad, real, systemic change in our approach to marketing becomes more and more clear. This weekend at IzeaFest was no exception. Having the IzeaFest advertisers together with their bloggers along with social media professionals, SEO experts, affiliate marketers and some big brands was a real eye opener on many levels. Mostly though, what I saw was a lot of people trying to figure out how to do the right thing and a small few who were just focused on the money.
As more people come to realize that we are all in this market WITH one another instead of AGAINST one another, the tolerance for traditional advertising, publc relations and automated customer support phone systems will eventually reach zero. We have already lost our tolerance for not being able to get an answer from the company representatives assigned with that task, how much more efficiency can be squeezed in pursuit of profits over brand prosperity?
Marketing is not real.
Its what we design to seem real, to seem believable, to create a sense of desire, to tap into a need, to increase awareness, to communicate value propositions, to drive a call to action, to create a sense of comfort and familiarity with the brand and to create a sense of urgency. But let’s be honest, its carefully crafted, tested, refined and carefully controlled as its being deployed. It’s not real, and often times, its not really nice or considerate either.
Or as David Weinberger has infamously said, “Somewhere along the way, markets, what we did WITH each other, became marketing… what we do TO one another.”
Or as the Cluetrain Manifesto so brilliantly stated “Whether explaining or complaining, joking or serious, the human voice is unmistakably genuine. It can’t be faked.” But the best ads are the ones that transcend the chains of its innately false nature, to either really be genuine or too fake it so well as to seemingly create no doubt.
There is a very serious need for us to fully return to an emphasis on markets and get away from marketing altogether. Once and for all.
But where does it begin?
I had thought this was very clear over five (5) years ago in the time leading up to the first BarCamp. Going beyond interactive marketing, required genuine ENGAGEMENT. Or as I saw so clearly at that BarCamp in the summer of 2005, participation is marketing. But it’s more then participating, it’s contributing value, it’s respecting market participants, it’s having integrity and embracing transparency.
Since then, all segments of the communications industry has struggled with defining it, as the competing qualitative and quantitative camps argue about what is really most important with it. Engagement is dialog. Engagement is empathetic. Engagement is human. Engagement is mutually beneficial. Engagement can be measured by how it feels. Engagement can be measured by how the new philosophy starts to shift the bottom line.
Serve the Market
If markets are conversations as the Cluetrain posits, then what are executives supposed to do about it? The more we converse with each other, and the more we do so openly, leaving a trail of thoughts on our experiences and insights upon which others may stumble, the greater the importance of serving the market for mutual benefit.
This realization came to me during Community 2.0 in 2006 when Craig Newmark remarked that “all organizations used to be community service organizations”. It’s what was lost as we focused on scaling our ability to create profit during the industrial era and as profit above all else was so enthusiastically pursued without concern by just a few too many ‘leaders’. Then modern marketing evolved in certain corners of the profession with the goal of separating as much money as possible from as many customers as possible.
Of course, this wasn’t everyone, its just a few bad apples, but they certainly make the rest of the barrel full look unattractive.
Over time, the focus shifted for many companies to serving the stock market and the shareholder as opposed to serving the market itself. Research shifted to finding ways to tug at heart strings and wanting to be hip with trendsetters. Market researchers put people into “fish bowls” to observe their behaviour under fake conditions measuring their responses as if they were real and pure.
In short, and putting it bluntly, the science of marketing has for too long been focused on manipulation, not value creation.
The shift away from traditional marketing is finally gaining steam as a few brave souls lift their heads from our economic situation to once again think more optimistically instead of defensively. As the pilot projects of competitors become long running programs even though we never seemingly have enough B2B case studies, the increase in activity across multiple sectors is clearly evident. It is also seemingly proof enough for many in what Geoffrey Moore would call the early majority phase of adoption in “Crossing the Chasm“.
Serving the market requires you to have real relationships with the people within that market, just as you did if you were trading in the original souqs. Your reputation both preceded and followed you… everywhere. It requires the development of trust, that only comes with time and experience and that can never be created competely in a 30 second commercial.
As social media continues to make more information visible and the increasing market transparency shows us the little man behind the grand curtain working the controls isn’t all that he claims to be, the number of organizations not operating from a place of integrity will diminish. Of course there will be those that obfuscate, that wear their masks well and that pull the wool over our collective eyes, but they will hopefully be fewer in number.
Perhaps if we are successful at getting more companies to serve the market, the end of marketing as we know it won’t be as far away as it still seems today. Or perhaps, I am just overly optimistic about the level of change we can really have on this very well entrenched industry.
Let me know what you think, share your thoughts below.
Forgot about this page, but just seeing all the talk about the need for executives to take a more holistic approach to business made me look. This old static html page described the services I was offering in 1999 for my now closed consulting and software development firm called Conversal. It was a bit ahead of its time, and I really never connected with big brands to do this the way I wanted to… but of course this was also inhibited by the crash and my great time working with Palm, Inc.
I have been ahead of my time a few times too often. It seems like now with the rise of social media and the emergence of social business design, many of these ideas need to be dusted off and rewritten. For now, I will just quote it in its old entirety and add to it this weekend…
Holistic Business Strategy Consulting
Holistic – (adj) – taking
a view of the whole rather than focusing on the components;
the fundamental approach executives should take in setting strategy;
also used in holistic medicine, where a practicioner looks at
the whole body to diagnose a health problem and provide the
Don’t get us confused with some new
age group wearing purple Nike’s and bringing a bunch of crystals
into the board room though – holistic business strategy is serious
business that will revolutionize your company. The foundation
of each engagement is based on a holistic approach, looking at
the whole of your situation, not just one part of it. For example,
while engaged on a simple web site redesign project with limited
budget, we were able to discuss and radically improve the company’s
positioning strategy and corporate voice. This has lead to a clearer
and more consistent line of communications with customers and
partners that is being affirmed anecdotally and measurably.
With Holistic Business Strategy consulting, Conversal is focused
on helping you to see your entire business in an entirely different
light. While many consultants may offer
you "out of the box" thinking, it is our deeply held
belief that there is no box! Adopting this powerful belief is
the first step in making dramatic improvements in the way you
work, and most importantly, how you feel about the work you do.
This isnt some ra-ra jedi mind trick with a turn of a phrase and
a pumping of the fist. At Conversal, we firmly believe it is fundamental
to operating a successfull organization in the world of today
for you and all of your fellow team members to change your approach
and broaden your situational world view.
Conversal’s ability to contribute dramatically to your bottom
line with a Holistic Business Strategy engagements originates
from these core beliefs:
- A successfull business begins with an understanding
of the value your organization creates today and establishing
a simply understood set of brand values which define your potential
offerings and purpose for existence.
- Trust must be built between employees, managers,
partners and customers and constantly nurtured.
- Communication across all of the channels must
be in an authentic voice while remaining consistent, accurate
and most importantly, honest.
- Things don’t always have to be the way they are
today, change can happen in an instant if the situation can
be seen clearly.
- Management does not equal leadership. Leaders
earn the respect of their peers and those they lead through
courage, honesty, right action and through a genuine love for
everyone with whom they interact.
- In order to be effective, leaders need to see
the forest as well as the trees. The only path to long term
success is through a holistic understanding of your organization’s
strategy, its values and its operations.
- Technology for the sake of technology is worthless
– all key initiatives should primarily focus on value creation
for the stakeholders, which means getting them involved in the
decisionmaking process before technology is bought or developed.
- The knowledge exists within your organization
today to take you where you need to be tomorrow – you just need
to find a way to listen and respond better.
- We are now living in the knowledge economy, where
your assetts walk out the door every night, or at the end of
every shift. Ensuring this knowledge and the people employing
it constantly grow in their ability to innovate, learn new knowledge
and constantly improve must be your primary goal.
- There is no box. Whether inside or outside
of a box, people remain to focused on the box itself and what
it looks like, feels like and is. Without a box, your best assetts
will be utilized for your best benefit.
If you are curious about what a holistic business
strategy engagement might look like for your company, let’s
talk and see if we both have a good fit for our mutual success.
If you just have some ideas you would like to share on this topic,
we would be glad to hear from you as well. Regardless, we hope
these thoughts may have contributed in some small way to your
knowledge and ultimately your success.
I randomly caught this post from Leah Jones talking about Chris Brogan working with Sony on a project after meeting them during a Panasonic ‘junket’ to CES earlier this year. I was going to leave this as a comment but I exceeded the character limit by over 50%, so here is my reply to “Is this trust”
Its an interesting conversation but haphazardly pointed at Chris (a long time colleague and friend, but I am writing here not for him, but for the broader conversation as a whole) While I can understand where there might be some hurt feelings, it should be about an opportunity lost to develop more then a passing relationship. But its not like Chris is Brett Farve and a one and only fleeting opportunity to have loyally fighting for the Panasonic team!
This was a Blogger, being given the VIP treatment at CES. Happens all the time.
Have any of the folks commenting and thinking this is unheard of and rude and insulting been there? If you have then you would know that no company paying for anyone’s way (and I know the Intel Insiders pretty well personally and professionally) would expect they could keep those people from meeting and talking with competitors.
In fact, seeing other competing equipment is a comparison that Chairman Yoshi Yamada is hoping for people to make – because he believes in the quality of his company’s products against those of rivals. From speaking with many other people who were engaged in different aspects of Panasonics CES work, I understand that the Panasonic Chairman is a wise man and do not believe he would fret over such concerns as this.
Chris was not hired to be a consultant by Panasonic, he did not steal their trade secrets to give to the competition, and most importantly he did not harm anyone, not even the PR people behind the CES program. Chris was flown out to CES for his credibility and reach (lets face it, most blogger relations as Chris alludes to is only about reach). Sony hired him to manage a project and for that project to benefit from his credibility and reach.
What’s the common thread? he was compensated for his time… Panasonic got some coverage, some WOM from Chris at CES and a chance to make sure he was considering and trying Panasonic equipment. Sony is paying for his time to run a program, which already by your post has been a bit more successful in getting attention.
For a moment, lets just look at the practical situation one more time. Had this been an invite out to the Panasonic corporate headquarters, and while on that trip that Panasonic paid for, he met with and started selling his services to Sony, that would be something to merit a discussion on trust and loyalty and good judgment… but it wasnt a private meeting, it was the biggest event in the industry with every competitor in the same 2 square mile (or so) area.
I do not even believe this is a question of trust or loyalty, unless you think you owe everyone who gives you something (which is totally so messed up for so many reasons) a debt for the rest of your life. It’s just a matter of business…
And this post titled “Is this Trust” is honestly just an observation that turned into an implied accusation perceived imprecisely from afar that IMHO has no real merit – in fact, I think in re-reading the blog post that an inflamatory, headling grabbing word was chosen for the title merely because it is so prominent now with Chris’ recently published book… I do really think the rightly focused topic is loyalty.
As for whether Chris Brogan is less trustworthy as a result of his working with Sony, bollocks. Trust is about honesty and character demonstrated over time, and there is nothing here or anywhere to indicate that Chris was dishonest…. nor was he disloyal in that he owes no loyalty to Panasonic except respect and perhaps the friendships he might have with various people involved there.
There are plenty of people out there who are not trustworthy and who are disloyal, it would really be great to see more people telling those stories.
Is This Trust as a post title certainly works at getting attention, but it also serves to potentially harm Chris’ credibility.
To illustrate, just on WED someone asked me what I thought of Vivek Kundra being a phony? I heard the allegations, but didnt know any more about the story, so I expressed my optimism about Vivek based on the perceptions of people I trust who know him and went home to find out the latest news… even I was shocked to see that Om Malik had shot down the false accusations within hours of the story first surfacing. Point being, this person was spreading false information caught in a fleeting moment through the stream because he trusted the stream and formed a negative opinion of Vivek that may never be corrected as a result.
The better question here that other’s alluded to rightly is the matter as to what are the potential conflicts of interest we could get into when individuals can be a journalist, a celebrity and a consultant for hire all at the same time.
As for broader lessons learned, its important for brands to not think they are going to own a blogger’s stories if they treat them to a nice time. If a PR firm was selling them that, then there is something to really be upset about.
Well its not an official event like InternetWeek NY was, but for me it is a great Social Media Week in London. While I still have a few open appointment slots on Monday morning, the week is pretty booked up. I hope you will be able to join me at some point and say hello and we get a chance to talk about all the ways in which social media is creating growth opportunities and changing the way we work.
Thursday 25 June – 1700-1930pm
Open to everyone
The International Bar (near Charing Cross and Leicester Sq)
- Gov2Gov UK
Friday 26 June 1600-1900
Registration Required (sold out, but contact me if you really need to be there)
Canadian High Commission Office
Saturday 27 June 1000-1800
Waiting list only now
- Geek Field Trip – Tate Modern
Sunday 28 June 1100-1400
Open to Anyone – Show Up at Main Entrance, Look For Me
Bankside (on the Thames)
So it is pretty much a Social London Week for me and I hope it will be for some of you who join me as well.
The reason I am coming over is for the Gov2GovUK event and all the other opportunities to get together and talk present themselves when you think differently about how to connect with a community. We are really hoping to see Social Media Club take off again in London (Lloyd Davis was organizing Social Media Club events before starting Tuttle).
We are really excited about Gov2Gov as I think it will be the start of something very big, where we are bringing together an array of events to facilitate international knowledge exchange on social media between governments and amongst their citizens. This is one stone that kills about 20 birds, as the outcomes from these sorts of meetings are filled with amazing potential. Not only does it improve international relations and facilitate cross border knowledge exchanges, it creates opportunities for entrepreneurship, business development, new ways towards civic engagement and so much more. Pay attention to the conversation around this as the next announcements coming later in the month are going to be very big… in fact, we will start talking about it on Friday evening, at the Gov2Gov UK event.
I would be remiss if I didn’t give out a lot of credit for this event to Lovisa Williams from the U.S. State Department who helped in so many ways from introductions to organizational support and Dominic Campbell of FutureGov Consultancy who (very humbly) has contributed his expertise, his network and so much more. These are the sort of people that get me excited and make the work we do so much more fun. Am so glad I can call them both friends.
Of course, huge thanks to the High Commission of Canada’s office for hosting the event. Of course, we have always known how great our friends to the north are (particularly Our Vancouver Crew) – I have now found that their representatives in Ottawa and in London are just as wonderful.
So I hope to see you in London sometime this week, if not at our Tweetup on THUR at The International Bar, or The Gov2Gov UK Event on Friday at the High Commission in London, or at Tweetcamp on Saturday, then you better come out on Sunday for our Geek Field Trip to The Tate Modern.
Or, if you want to meet with me independently, I have some time for business meetings on MON morning 29 June and would be happy to book appointments with you while I am in the UK.
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