Posts Tagged ‘business’


Leadership matters! One of the Top 5 Social Business Questions Answered!

December 4, 2013

One of the Top 5 questions people ask me is does it matter if your leaders are sold on social and the answer is YES!

Getting your executives to buy into the concept of a social business in most cases is something that they will either get straight away or not.  Those who are switched on to “modern” technology will not need much convincing that implementing social technologies in the workplace will improve communications and enhance productivity.  Those who don’t see the need for it, of course, require a little more persuasion.

However you arrive at their participation, they will most likely be nervous about stepping into a less controlled environment.  It’s a bit like them going to the local swimming pool where all the employees swim.  There’s no hiding!

How do you approach executives who are not Social?!

My advice to getting them into the water is to let them observe for a while.  Get your enthusiastic evangelists publishing and propose that your leader checks in on these things.  With their permission ask a public question.  By that we mean something they will be happy to answer in public.  Encourage your other trusted evangelists to do likewise.  Use the fact that you have a team of enthusiastic users to vary the method of interaction.  Ask in a forum post for a suggestion, ask in a micro-blogging entry something else.

Make it easy for your leader to get into the water by making it easy for them to answer.  A couple of short sentences for the first few answers to things is all that’s needed.

Once you have the leader taking part, albeit on a light basis, we need to convince the leadership team that they too should look at taking part.  That team will only see value in doing this if they see the chief doing it.

The leadership team will likely be nervous about what their own areas of the organization are putting into the social system – they will be concerned that their dirty laundry might be getting washed in public.  Try to quash this concern.  Remember that a social business is one which is engaged and transparent (and nimble).

Show your leaders that by participating in the system and answering cross-departmental or cross-organizational issues their area of the business shows its value.  Remember – your value is in what your share – not what you know in a social business.


Altimeter’s report shows that only about 1/2 of executives are engaged.  How do you get that commitment in your organization? 

leadership factoids

Having a strong commitment among the leaders in the organization sets the tone, volume and enthusiasm for the use of the system.  Remember that in any organization the leadership team are essentially “celebrities” and when they post information or participate in the system the staff become engaged.  As an analogy to this, while many people consider the old-fashioned two-page memo from the chief executive setting out policy and priorities to be deadly boring, everyone reads it.  Everyone engages.  So to get the engagement, to cross the social chasm, you need your leaders to start becoming more transparent.

You can facilitate this slowly by driving engagement from your core Social Business team from below.  Encouraging the execs to take a more active role in forum discussions, making the technology available to them on their chosen mobile device and empowering the gatekeepers to your execs – the secretaries – are all good ways of driving top-down participation which in turn drives bottom-up engagement.

Reverse mentoring as a technique for helping with engagement.  You should, however, consider preparing the ground by producing some executive training materials.  An executive handbook – amounting to a maximum of 5 pages of tips and tricks, some one-to-one time, and perhaps a presentation provided to them on paper or some other medium to help them get into the concept are all good approaches.  Above all show them that these are “special” materials – these are designed only for them.  They are intelligent people and like to be treated that way.  Give them the facts in tweet-size points.

Ask if you can check in on them from time to time.  If you get their approval then MAKE SURE YOU DO IT REGULARLY.  But not too regularly to avoid getting on their nerves!


Saturday Infographic! Social Brand Advocacy!

November 9, 2013

infographic advocacy


Friday Tip: Always on listening

November 1, 2013

My  mom used to tell me that God gave me two ears and one mouth because I was to listen more than talk.   In Social Media, listening acts as a guide, through the magical and interesting world of the blogosphere.

Listening should be a passion and an ongoing process that is necessary to keeping your strategy fresh and competitive.  It enables you to find opportunities, potential new stakeholders and enables you to proactively manage Social Trust.  

The value of listening is that it assists you in understanding your prospects, clients, and of course, your competitors.   It leads to action and awareness of conversations which will compel your company to respond.  

Since your URL isn’t just your website anymore, but everywhere you are on the web, listening is important to your digital presence.  You are building a brand through images and test, and your head is on the “guillotine” everyday if you just rest and don’t stay totally tuned in a systemic approach. Business, corporation related and societal events and basically everything is simply interconnected and needs dedicated listening all at the same time.

How do you listen?   I use IBM Connections internally, and IBM Analytics externally and also set google alerts, Hootsuite and check Tumblr for trending topics.      What do you use?


Beware of ghoulish cyber-attacks!

October 28, 2013

Happy Monday and the week of Halloween!

Today, we are going to talk about cyber-attacks and the best practices to try to avoid them.   One of the top vulnerabilities is trust through social networking!


Friday Social Tip: Spend Time on Your Influencers – The 4-1-1

October 25, 2013

Spend time on your influencers!

I think this is one of the best social media tips I ever discovered.

First, a definition of an nfluencer.  An influencer is someone who influences the rest of the clients and potential clients online and offline, usually about 15% to 20% of your followers or fans!

I discovered this concept in a book by Andrew Davis, author of Brandscaping,  The 4-1-1 (for your informtion!) is a way to show value and care to your social influencers.

This concept says that if you communicate 6 things socially, 4 of those 6, or 67% should be showcasing content from your influencers.   The other items you should be showcasing are your Point of View or Subject Matter Expertise .  The other could be something that is more sales oriented.

Complements of Joe Pulizzi here is a great visual of what this concept is!



The Customer Activated Enterprise – Infographics

October 14, 2013



Happy FRIDAY!! Social Tip of the week! Create a Social Calendar

October 11, 2013

Yes, a calendar.  If you have a blog, or Facebook page, or even Twitter think through your strategy of content that you need to study, learn, or create.

Then plan out your posts.   Now this does not mean that will not do the article and post that is in sync with real time events, but planning out your content helps you to add more value for your readers. 

For instance, I plan my series for my Social Business Coffee Breaks.   Each Monday, I post one of my VBlogs and I plan out the content.    5 Tips for better social selling for instance has a great following!   

Each Month, I plan my series, and my topics.  And then each weekend I write, research, poll, and ensure that I can add value to my readers!

Do you create a social calendar?


The Social Caveman

October 10, 2013

I just watched the Croods with my kids! It was such a great movie.

It was funny to watch the Crood Family move from Cavemen to being transparent and living out in the open!

The same is true for people who are hiding from Social! They are cavemen and woman!

Here’s some incentives to move out of the cave!

* Determine what your brand stands for and what you want it to stand for.   Search yourself on: Google, Technorati, Twitter

*  Come up with your own tagline and ensure that you have the tagline (your brand) on all your social tools.   Make it short and sweet like:  John:  Scholar, Nice Guy, Sales leader or Sally:  Highly recognized Corporate executive  with Top Tier MBA

*  Remember every interaction and experience is a nonneutral brand experience.  Make each one count!

*Engage your core community of enthusiasts, customers & employees where they spend their time — pick the tools you leverage based on who you are targetting
*  Build/engaging with a loyal “brand army” of enthusiasts that make your success their cause.   Social is about forming a relationship.   This is not about marketing.    Acknowledge and harness their goodwill to generate insight and return on your investment
*  Increase your engagement in important conversations.   Have a POV (point of view).     State it and add value!

*  Remember, it is not JUST about social.  It must be supported with real-world events and experiences (F2F is still the most meaningful interaction!)

Move out of the cave and get started!  Reach out if you need help!


Women’s Toolbox Conference: Giving women the tools to excel in the workplace!

October 9, 2013

I’m so thrilled to be speaking at the Women’s Toolbox Conference on Friday, Oct. 18th! 

What is the Women’s Toolbox Conference? Exactly what it sounds like! It will deliver thought leadership, resources, and networking—all the tools that can help women create a lasting impact in the workplace, marketplace, and community.

Now what does making an impact mean for women? Well, not only can it translate to making more money, but also getting more clients, finding a better job, and being known for your expertise and what you bring to the table. All these things can set you on the course to living a more balanced and happy life!

I love initiatives that champion women in the workplace so I’m excited to be sharing some of my experiences and knowledge at this conference, specifically around social. I’ll be discussing how to become essential to your customers with social business by building your social presence, knowing your prospects and customers and their influencers, engaging and responding with speed, and celebrating your customers! 

Interested in attending this wonderful event and hearing from business superstars and thought leaders?

Register  for the event, which will take place Oct. 16-18th in Beverly, MA!


Social Networks Help me Survive! 6 Degrees of Separation goes to 0!

October 8, 2013

It began as a normal day. I flew to Brazil and when I landed, I Foursquared, Tweeted and Facebooked as I headed off to meet my partners and clients.  And when I finished, I would fly off to meet the CEO of one of my top clients! This was going to be a superb day!

But then a life-changing event occurred. With a bit of water, cobblestones and bad luck, I fell while heading up a ramp. When I saw people running toward me, I knew something was not right. I could not move my left side and was panicked because all I heard was Brazilian Portuguese. Employees at my hotel called for a doctor.  IBMers and others tried to assist and get me to the right hospital, but after four hours I was in intense pain with massive blood loss.

I was afraid and alone. I was scared, very scared. I have had few accidents in my life but before this, they all happened around my family.

But that was about to change.

My new family emerged…and rose up out of social networks, both online and in the real world. First, a colleague of mine came to ride with me to the hospital. I called my parents and husband. When I arrived at the hospital, I was greeted by three local IBM colleagues who gladly helped interpret and relay my needs, including the biggest at the time — pain killer, please!!!!

I broke two toes, my left rib,  and my femur — the biggest bone in the body. I also lost about 1.5 liters of blood. (They say shock sets in at 2L.) The surgery occurred the next day and went amazingly well. And yes, I do have a long recovery of about three months ahead of me (with no travel — ouch!).  But enough about the blood and gore…

This amazing story is about the people!

Let me start with the surgeon. strong>His name is Dr Jose Sergio Franco. He is a top-rated surgeon in Brazil and was a miracle worker for me. He did emergency surgery the day after the accident and did an amazing job. My doctor in New York said it was one of the best jobs he had ever seen — better than 95% of the surgeries for like injuries in the U.S. But Jose was more. He was my cheerleader, my comforter, and my hero.
He came to see me daily and encouraged me to hang in there (said of course in the Brazilian way) even though my family wasn’t nearby. I would not be where I am without him.

The IBM Nurse Dottie Robinson, who is based in New York, immediately jumped on the phone with me time and time again to advise, reassure and ensure that I was being taken care of. With bravery and compassion, she saw to it that I was cared for in the best possible way in a foreign land. She helped me get from Brazil back home. (This part was fun: medical evac plane to San Paulo to 10-hour flight through ambulances — and bigger cars to ensure my health at every step of the way!).  She more than did her job. She extended her heart to me like I was her very own family.

Our IBM Brazil Team was amazing. Fabio Pinto de Britto rode with me to the airport and got me that much-needed pain killer. His brother Djlama flew in from Mexico to make sure I was okay and worked through getting my husband a visa in four hours (a record!). Isabella Costa argued on my behalf to get me an English-speaking nurse, and offered to stay with me through the night. And Flavio de Figueiredo Mendes rushed over to the hospital immediately after returning from 40 days in China. The heart of this team, their care and their compassion moved me beyond belief. They came to visit every day while I was there — they were transparent, helpful, thoughtful … and as I learned, truly Brazilian in their actions. I can never repay them!

Back in the States, IBM HR Executive Leader Yara Saad was also amazing. As many of you know, I was recently placed in a new role as General Manager and new HR support. But since I had bragged so much about the support Yara had provided to me in my previous role, my husband called Yara when I was injured. Despite this “not being her job,” she worked my services, my flights, and my recovery as if it was her own. She is such an incredible and talented woman with so much on her plate. I was honored and deeply touched with the time and heart she spent helping me.

My husband Todd was of course his normal self. His giving personality came through and he was in Brazil within 48 hours. I could not have done any of this without him. No questions asked. He is a keeper!

My IBM Assistant Megan Mennonna has always been a blessing to me — but on this occasion, she went above and beyond. She and Becky Michel covered the meetings, and handled the top items that we needed covered. She is such a great friend and colleague.

Also, I have to say that I already knew IBM was a great company but this experience made me realize that it is a SUPERB company that cares and shows it!

Now, combine these in-person friends that I know with my blogosphere friends. From Facebook, I received messages from Africa, Turkey, U.S., Australia, India and more. More than 10 bouquets of flowers came to my hospital room. Candies and teas from around the world were also delivered. I had hundreds of check-up posts as well as calls that crossed the social bridge from the blogosphere to the real world. These friends crossed global boundaries, and included partners, clients, IBMers and more.

It made me realize that I never could have survived without my social networks. Six degrees of separation became closer than a family. I will always remember the kindness of all my friends!


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