Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

Leader driven Harmony #41: Read a Book, ANY Book!

by Mack McKinney on October 14, 2011

Have you Gen-Yers noticed how seldom any of your friends mention a great book they have read?  Not an online article or a short news article but a real, honest-to-goodness BOOK?  Not very often, huh.

I know.  Why bother?  You can learn everything you need to know about most any subject with just a quick search on Google or Wikipedia, right?

Wrong.  An insidious, sneaky thing is happening to us.  We are losing the ability to read.  Book sales have plummeted in just the past 5 years.  This is more common among young people than middle-aged and older people.  And here is the danger – – – if you don’t read books at all, very soon you’ll notice that you NEVER read books anymore and now here is the contentious question:  WHY is that?  Why do we stop reading books?  Several respected studies and books conclude that the reason is as follows:

  • When we read short articles, and get quick answers, two things happen – – – 1) our brain gets a shot of the feel-good chemical dopamine as a result of our completing the research task we assigned ourselves and 2) our attention span shrinks just a bit.
  • Soon we are more comfortable tackling short-duration tasks and so we do just that – – – every study task becomes a short-duration task as we force the problem-solving job to match our now-shrinking attention span.
  • We are almost never required to consult a book to solve a problem or learn a new skill since someone else usually has developed the Cliff Notes © version which spoon feeds us ONLY what we must know to gain a basic familiarity with any new subject, computer, phone, TV, etc.
  • Eventually, we no longer have the patience to tackle a thick book with its slower progress and less fulfilling (no dopamine) effect on our minds.  The lure of the quick fix has dominated our actions for so long that any process that requires deep, detailed, significant thought will be avoided in favor of a shorter, more intense-feeling approach. And since we lose what we don’t use, before we even know it has happened to us, we no longer CAN read a book on a complex subject that requires deep thinking, introspection and internal debate.

Multiple studies are showing that it is just becoming extremely hard for young professionals to force themselves to read a book, ANY book, even on subjects of great importance to their chosen professions.  Begrudgingly, they will read a book when assigned by their boss or as part of a course of study but not otherwise.

We get best at the things we do most frequently.  If we never read deeply, many of us lose the ability to think deeply especially over a long period of time, which is the very type of thought required to solve tough problems in life, to make decisions about courses of action (one career vs other candidates, where to live, etc.).  If we ONLY make decisions quickly, after little/no deliberation, several things can happen and most of them are bad:

  • We start to view ALL problems as being relatively simple, lending themselves to knee-jerk solutions.
  • We lose the ability to stay engaged in a course of study over a long period of time, without getting bored.  So we begin to avoid making decisions about any problem whose solution is not apparent after a few minutes of deliberation.  And such “vexing” problems fester and often worsen, leading to crises in our lives.
  • We don’t just enjoy the short-cycle of thinking and acting that shallow thinking brings us, we actually begin to need it.  Studies show that the same people who do not read books also text frequently and spend a lot of time online.  We’ll discuss this more in a later post but there is ample scientific evidence that Gen-Ys who seldom read books and who are constantly texting and tweeting and browsing Facebook and other social network sites are rewiring their brains in ways that we don’t yet really understand.  But the need for constant social stimulation appears to be a byproduct of the rewiring process.

So here is some advice for people whose brains are in development, people between the ages of 12 and 24.  Read a book, any book!  Hang out at the library once a week for an hour or two.  Download  a book to your Kindle.  Take your Color Nook to Barnes and Nobles and read eBooks there for free!  No matter how you do it, just find subjects that interest you and read books on those things.  Then branch into related topics.  Go where the ideas take you and read, read, read.  Or before you know it, you won’t have either the patience or the ability to do so. Use it or lose it!

Copyright: Solid Thinking Corporation

Mack McKinneyMack McKinney is on a personal crusade to eliminate conflict and stress in our lives. Mack’s mantra is “People treat you like you TRAIN them to treat you!” His company Solid Thinking Corporation teaches creativity, concept development, relationship management and high-performance project leadership to major US corporations and the US government
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If you’re a business owner or an author using a sample chapter of your book, a report, or a tip sheet as a list-building incentive, consider replacing it with a manifesto. A well-written manifesto can do a better job of helping you build your brand and grow your list, paving the way for you to sell more books.

Manifestos are better list builders because they take a stand. Because manifestos strongly advocate a position, and are usually passionately written, they operate on an emotional level, tapping into the power of commitment.

Cialdini and Commitment

Robert Cialdini, the best-selling author of Influence: The Power of Persuasion, has spent his entire career researching the science of influence, earning an international reputation as an expert in the fields of persuasion, compliance, and negotiation.

Influence: The Power of Persuasion has become one of the most frequently quoted psychology books among marketing professionals. In it, Cialdini describes 6 weapons of influence. The longest chapter is devoted to commitment. The main idea is simple: once individuals commit to an idea or a course of action, they tend to remain committed.

The power of commitment is rooted in an individual’s self-image and a desire to avoid appearing wrong to others; the more public the commitment, the stronger the commitment.

Commitment, social media, and list quality

I was reminded about the power of commitment when I ran across Sunni Brown’s Doodle Revolution Manifesto, one of the strongest community-building list-builders I’ve seen in a long-long time.

Sunni Brown is co-author, with Dave Gray and John Macanufo, of Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers. Gamestorming is currently one of Amazon.com’s top 1,500 bestsellers overall, as well as a leading book in several business categories.

My route to signing Sunni Brown’s Doodle Revolution Manifesto illustrates the importance of quality online content, backed up with the power of social media.

My journey to the Doodle Revolutionary’s Manifesto

Here’s the social media and quality content route I traveled that led me to Sunni’s manifesto (and this post):.

  • Friday afternoon. My journey began when I discovered Gamestorming at the local Barnes & Noble.
  • Early Friday evening. My exploration continued when I got home, searched online, and visited the Gamestorming site and blog. Later, I Googled each of the authors. My search lead me to a Tweet by @bangalaurent, Laurent Sarrazin. The post described Sunni’s free, i.e., no registration, Revolutionary’s Booklist. I was intrigued, checked it out, and downloaded it.
  • Late Friday evening. Later, after downloading the Revolutionary’s Booklist, I spent a couple of pleasurable hours with it, discovering interesting titles and exploring their authors online.
  • Saturday morning. I was so impressed with the list that I shared it with a dozen clients and friends, both local and around the world. Later in the afternoon, I received e-mails from several recipients, thanking me for sending them the list.
  • Sunday night. Pleased with my experience so far, I returned to Sunni’s site, reread the Doodle Revolutionary’s Manifesto, reviewed the names of the individuals who had already signed it, then signed it myself. I also added my name to her e-mail newsletter list (which was not required to sign the Manifesto).

Lessons from my Doodler’s Revolution journey

Here are a few of my big takeaways from my odyssey:

  1. Size of following does not equal influence. The Twitter post that began the journey was by someone who had less than 30 followers! But, Google didn’t care when they displayed their Tweet, and I didn’t care when I followed it to Sunni’s list.
  2. Content quality is more important than quantity. If I hadn’t been impressed by the Revolutionary’s Booklist, my journey would have ended. But, because the content was relevant, useful, and concise, I felt compelled to share it. Moreover, the Doodle Revolutionary’s Manifesto is just 2 pages long—it’s the Gettysburg Address of list-building incentives. I might not have read a 12-page report or an 8-page manifesto, but I had no trouble reading a well-written 2-page manifesto.
  3. Quality outsells “selling.” The Revolutionary’s Books PDF is free from selling; there’s only quality content and a clean layout, plus a tongue-in-cheek footer, “With love from www.doodlerevolution.com and www.sunnibrown.com.” A nice, light-hearted touch.
  4. Story and emotion win. The Doodle Revolutionary’s Manifesto wasn’t written by a committee and for a committee. It was written by a passionate believer speaking directly to other passionate believers. It succeeds because it’s engaging and provides a chance for believers to confirm their beliefs. In fact, the writing style is entertaining because it goes slightly overboard. But, overboard is sometimes OK! As opera proves, there’s a time and a place for colorful and passionate writing.

Takeaways and opinions

What are your takeaways from my journey from anonymous prospective reader and website visitors to a person who has publicly committed to a cause? Would a similar manifesto and online approach help you build your brand, grow your list, & sell more books? What would your manifesto be about? How could you get your prospects to commit to it? Share your impressions and questions as comments, below.

rcp-heming-picRoger C. Parker helps others write books that build brands. He’s written over 30 books, offers do-it-yourself resources at Published & Profitable, and shares writing tips each weekday. His latest book is Title Tweet! 140 Bite-Sized Ideas for Article, Book, and Event Titles
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Flexible Focus #47: Clearing your Clutter

by William Reed on March 31, 2011

Pray for Japan

It seems strange to be writing an article about organizing, when a massive earthquake and tsunami have quite recently and ruthlessly stripped away the lives and livelihoods of tens of thousands of people, the aftershocks of which now threaten the economy of Japan and indeed the world. Never before in Japan in living memory has there been a natural disaster of this scale. There has not been a crisis of this magnitude for Japan since the Second World War, calling for a massive shift in perspective, a foundational shift in flexible focus.

For some the choice has been to leave. An estimated 140,000 foreigners (gaijin) have fled the country, out of uncertainty for their safety, to protect their families, or even encouraged to do so by foreign governments and media. Under the circumstances, and particularly for some, it is not hard to understand. But this phenomenon has created a new word called flyjin (literally, foreigners in flight), and even a website to track the phenomenon.

For those of us remaining in Japan, by choice or necessity, a part of our attention is constantly monitoring the situation, the impact it will have, and our role in helping others get through it. The crisis has made us all far more aware of what we need and don’t need. The loss of power from the disabled power plants has effectively shut off the source that had formerly supplied 1/3 of Tokyo’s power needs, creating the need for planned rotating blackouts in 3-hour shifts. By any stretch of the imagination, it must be a logistical nightmare to keep everything running. Remarkably, many of the planned blackouts have been cancelled at the last minute, and did not need to be implemented, because of a fundamental shift in flexible focus among the Japanese people. From the day that the crisis hit, the whole nation mobilized and cooperated with a massive campaign to conserve electricity. Factories and shops, people young and old have proactively spread the word, creating a shift in consciousness overnight that was driven by social media, which has kept everything running, and prevented the need to enforce power loss by taking down the grid.

This movement gained a name and quickly took on a national following, and Yashima Sakusen has mobilized the nation to do more than just pray. Although the cities and homes are dimly lit, these dark evenings shine like a spirit that has awakened from a long slumber. Once again, we can see the canopy of stars overhead, and have made connections with people around us and all over the world, who formerly were too busy to even keep in touch.

Many are saying that both conservation and cooperation were essential characteristics in Japanese culture to begin with, qualities which are now surfacing in this time of need. Crisis tends to bring out the best and the worst in people. In this case, it turns out that there was a lot of good in people just below the surface, which has come out for all the world to see. It has also brought forth a massive and profoundly moving show of support for Japan from around the world, as people offer their emotions, donations, and physical resources in the movement called Pray for Japan.

In addition to the cooperation of people to pull through this disaster, there has been a shift in consciousness. It is almost as if we have been granted a degree of clairvoyance, a new transparency in which people’s hearts and intentions are far more transparent than before. Perhaps it was the clutter, the non-essentials, the bill of goods that we had been sold over the years that prevented us from seeing this clearly until now.

As Samuel Johnson said in defense of William Dodd, a clergyman who was tried and hung for forgery in 1777, “Depend upon it, Sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.”

Wabi Sabi

How can the Mandala Chart help us to facilitate this shift in consciousness which has been brought on by the crisis? It is certainly a clarion call to get back to basics, and to devote your time and energy to the things and people that matter most. As a simple exercise, take a Mandala Chart and fill it in by answering the following questions:

  1. What are 8 ways in which I can serve the most important people in my life?
  2. If I had to keep or choose 8 things, what would they be?
  3. What are 8 things I can do to clear the clutter in my life?
  4. What are 8 goals or values by which I choose to navigate my life?

Simplicity has always been at the core of the Japanese aesthetic, not through austerity but in refinement. The aesthetic of Wabi Sabi, wisdom in natural simplicity has a long tradition in Japan, on a par with the Greek ideal of Beauty in Western tradition. Indeed, the appreciation of Wabi Sabi has long been associated with the refinement of character, and even seen as the first step to satori, or enlightenment.

Roger J. Hamilton, author of Your Life Your Legacy, says that, “Wealth is not how much money you have, it is what you are left with if you lose your money.” This itself is a shift in perspective, because from this perspective, rather than hoarding money and defending your property, you might pay more attention to investing in and protecting your treasures in the eight fields of life, health, business, finance, home, society, personal, learning, and leisure.

I saw a cartoon many years ago, perhaps it was in The New Yorker, in which a Japanese couple were seated in front of the tokonoma alcove in a Japanese room, with a hanging scroll and a simple flower arrangement in a pot. The wife is saying to her consternated husband, “I was at my sister-in-law’s today…They have two pots.”

What the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi Sabi offers us is the realization that simplicity is more than austerity, and that you can experience abundance in many ways through appreciation and creativity.

Space Clearing

One of the things that prevents us from seeing life in this way, that shields our eyes from the wisdom in natural simplicity, is that we are surrounded by too much clutter. As a practical means to clearing the clutter in our lives I recommend books and websites by three amazing authors, which can help clear the way for a Wabi Sabi awareness, regardless of what culture you are from.

Karen Kingston The Feng Shui Art of Space Clearing, an internationally renowned consultant on Feng Shui, the art of clearing and revitalizing spaces in buildings, and whose approach is based on the lovely aesthetic of Balinese architecture and space clearing.

Terrah Collins Western School of Feng Shui, whose site opens with a Mandala Chart, and whose approach to Feng Shui uses the Chinese iChing as a Mandala to view the 8 sections of a room or home as a Bagua Map, including; Career, Health & Family, Fame & Reputation, Creativity & Children, Knowledge & Self-Cultivation, Wealth & Prosperity, Love & Relationship, Helpful People & Travel.

Erin Rooney Doland, Unclutter Your Life in One Week, a practical, fun, and no nonsense approach to clearing the clutter from your life, with a book and blog to support you in the process both mentally and physically.

Three remarkable Western women, who have mastered the essentials of an Eastern process, and made it accessible to the rest of us. Buy their books, follow them on Social Media, and give them your support. They will help you many times in return.

Then turn your thoughts and prayers to Japan, who needs your help more than ever, and in the Wabi Sabi aesthetic has a treasure that can clear the clutter from your mind, and help bring the world back to its senses.

Image Credit: widjana

William ReedWilliam Reed specializes in applying practical wisdom from Japanese and Asian culture to solving the problems of modern business and living. He is the author of the Flexible Focus column on Active Garage, the syndicated column Creative Career Path and the book A Zoom Lens for Your life. William is also a Representative Director and Co-Founder of EMC QUEST Corporation, which provides Coaching for Communication and Change, World Class Speaking™, and Accelerated Action with GOALSCAPE™.
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Business Intelligence in a Wiki World!

by Linda Williams on March 28, 2011

The role of the Business Intelligence (BI) function within the organization has become critical to thriving in today’s evolving business environment.   The ultimate purpose of Business Intelligence is to provide management with analytical insights that can be used to improve business performance and competitive position. Analytics provided by the BI department while intended to focus the organization on their core operations and progress toward aligning to their strategic objectives, increasingly can be the impetus for transformational change.

A review of top companies in their industries clearly shows that they all mange their performance using some sort of BI techniques.   The standard tools of BI are based upon gathering actionable metrics that can be used to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of their operations. This data is analyzed and compiled into reports including dashboards, scorecards, and predictive models. As an added service in  more evolved companies, the BI team generally provides consulting on metrics to propose ways to help make better decisions about operations and suggest improvement initiatives.

Often the development of these insights is closely guarded within the company to ensure at least a temporary advantage in the marketplace. The intent is that analytical capabilities will provide them the edge of a first mover as they develop new markets or approaches for their business.

The Problem

This advantage does not last for long in today’s connected world.

The basic analytical tools of BI however are well known in the public domain. Implementing basic BI has become not a luxury but a standard cost of doing business. Books such as Competing on Analytics give many examples of the types of analytics that can be collected and analyzed. There is also a tremendous amount of open information on BI and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) on the web. Companies can use this information to identify enhancements to their current analysis through their own review of wikis and blogs and even competitors websites.

The Dilemma

The dilemma of what to hold close and what to open up is increasingly becoming a key decision point in a BI project’s lifecycle. The discussions weigh the pros and cons of when it is best to foster creativity through opening up their research to collaboration and when Intellectual Property (IP) should be preserved.  Often the decisions are not clear cut and there may be lively discussions between the BI team and the executive team around what is the best approach for this situation. At the heart of these discussions is whether competitive advantage would be better served by keeping their intent secret, for the short term, or whether in the interest of speed and expertise it would be better to tap into the wiki community.

Wikis

The overall purpose of Wikis is to provide a place to share content, ideas, links, and collaborate on information, technical documentation, or the development of new ideas. The Wiki world in contrast to the traditional BI world thrives on openness and transparency. Some of the key advantages of the wiki approach are:

  1. The potential to leverage the talents within the wider community;
  2. A reduction in the time to innovation; and
  3. The ability to incorporate social purposes that may go beyond the core competency of the company. An example is using external assistance in developing approaches to help the organization move into to being “green”.

Clearly there are compelling advantages to be gained by developing analytic dimensions with the help of the larger wiki community. Precedents for using this approach are also becoming more common. Some well-known examples of advances made by opening up IP include: the development of Linux; Netflix’s contest to develop an algorithm for customer preferences; and Google’s opening up application development for the Android. In each case the advantages of using the wiki world to enhance what may have been considered to be IP was outweighed by the benefits of collaboration.

Final Thoughts…

Secrecy in all areas of analytical review is no longer possible or even preferable in a world that is increasingly transparent with the pervasive use of social media by today’s employees who are mobile, connected, and less likely than previous generations to remain in one job for long periods. There are significant advantages to a business in tapping into the networked intelligence to speed up problem solving or make breakthroughs. These benefits may in some cases outweigh the potential risk of the competition using the same information or approach. The final decision however cannot be rote but must rest with the complexity of the use and the expertise of internal resources to meet that need.

Written by Linda Williams who is partnered with Datacenter Trust and also has a Business Intelligence consulting practice where she provides businesses with assistance in performance measurement, process improvement, and cost reduction.
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Week In Review : Mar 20 – Mar 26, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on March 27, 2011

Social Media and Tribes #32: Online Gamers become Contributors

by Deepika Bajaj, Mar 21, 2011

One of the fastest growing segment is interactive gaming where the user gets to play the game and also create content like videos, virtual goods and even produce story lines. For this behavior to continue it is critical to nurture the communities of gamers. So, the marketing departments in different gaming companies have to become competent in listening to these communities and engage with them by tweeting, blog posts and updates so that they retain the users who are HARD CORE gamers. more…

Project Reality Check #14: Death of a Project

by Gary Monti, Mar 22, 2011

When a project dies, the typical next step is a post-mortem or root cause analysis. This is the traditional approach to find where a fix is needed. No matter how hard everyone tries, workarounds have no impact or the workarounds make matters worse. A better approach is to perform learned BEFORE the next high profile project begins in an attempt to avoid the catastrophe. This the method of resilience and asks the questions “What is the nature of success? How can we sustain it? How close to the edge are we? Can we adapt? If we do, how must we change our structure and the way we do work?” more…

Custom Fit: 4 Proven Leadership styles that hold the Key to Success

by Art Gould, Mar 23, 2011

There is no foolproof formula for leadership success. The “right” way to lead depends on the product or service provided by the organization, skill levels and experience of the work teams, organizational environment, and the personal attributes of the firm’s leaders. As these things change over time, good leaders are usually able to adapt by instinctively modifying their styles as required. If there is such a thing as a common denominator for success, it is trust between the workforce and its leadership. But there are many leadership styles that can achieve this result.. more…

Flexible Focus #46: Lens on Consciousness

by William Reed, Mar 24, 2011

In the last eight articles William Reed delved deeper into the realm of the mind, looking through the lens of consciousness to see our life from higher, bigger, and deeper perspectives. And yet even from vastly different perspectives, it is all in the context of our daily familiar existence. Revisiting these articles will help you re-explore the territories where we have been, and see also how they fit together. These selections also correspond to the primary eight categories covered in the series, so this review provides an overview of one trip around the wheel, and also reflects the amazing range of topics possible to address with the Mandala Chart. more…

Leader driven Harmony #17: Gen-Ys need Special Handling when entering the Workforce – Part I

by Mack McKinney, Mar 25, 2011

If your company is hiring Gen-Ys (aka Millennials) fresh out of college, you will be eager to get them folded into your operation and feeling part of the team.  But you will need to handle this cohort of youngsters differently than any other generations entering the Western workforce. There are some simple things we can do to fix this disconnect between realities of the workplace and the expectations of our Gen Y colleagues. more…

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My work has given me the opportunity to be at the helm of rapid innovation in the world of gaming. And one of the fastest growing segment is interactive gaming where the user gets to play the game and also create content like videos, virtual goods and even produce story lines. This is largely influenced by video gaming.

Here are three scenarios to help you make sense of what I am saying:

  1. Communities get involved in creating content: Guitar hero is a game which allow users to create their own songs and share it with their friends. Also, game content creation enables users to create their own virtual goods to share with their friends. This leads to a new digital economy when the users can share the profits from the sale of their virtual goods with the developers. Allowing both communities of users and developers to benefit from each other – a win-win situation.
  2. Games become advertising channels: The massive amount of users on some of these games make it attractive for Brands to be in front of them. But now it is not an irritating ad banner but your hero in the game has the ability to get his favorite “drink”, stop by their favorite “Gas station” or  even dress their avatars in their favorite brands. For brands this is an ideal product placement since traditional media is not effective for reaching the growing demographic of digital natives.
  3. Story lines get interactive: Game developers are now building games where a player can engage in the story development. He is required to upload a video, find a clue in another website or even visit a real location to get a “clue” to progress into a next level if they wish to continue playing.

For this behavior to continue it is critical to nurture the communities of gamers. So, the marketing departments in different gaming companies have to become competent in listening to these communities and engage with them by tweeting, blog posts and updates so that they retain the users who are HARD CORE gamers.

Photo Credit: Papermag

DD-new-pic-headshot Contributed by Deepika Bajaj, President and Founder, Invincibelle, LLC and co-founder, ActiveGarage (the company behind 99tribes). Deepika is also the author of the book DiversityTweet: Embracing the growing diversity in our world and Pink and Grow Rich:11 Unreasonable Rules for Success You can follow Deepika on Twitter at invincibelle
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Week In Review: Mar 13 – Mar 19, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on March 20, 2011

Why the iPad2 and a good datacenter might be all you’ll need!

by Marc Watley, Mar 14, 2011

The time of the tablet has clearly arrived as evidenced by Marc’s informal survey of his flight form New York to San Francisco. You can be as productive with an iPad (and soon iPad2), if not more. Lugging a heavy laptop from meeting to meeting is not necessary anymore. But before you run off to buy a tablet, you need to understand some caveats. more…

Project Reality Check #13: Embracing the Project Fog

by Gary Monti, Mar 15, 2011

No project plan is perfect. It’s usually what the team thinks will work based on certain assumptions and drawn from a large universe of possible solutions. As the project starts, “things happen” and the fog begins to roll in. You can dispel the fog by embracing it. The solution is the fog’s equal in terms of appearance and a countermanding positive performance. It is the team’s wisdom focused into a new or modified deliverable and/or process commonly called the workaroundmore…

Social Media and Tribes #31: Social Media comes through during Japan crisis

by Deepika Bajaj, Mar 16, 2011

In the recent Japan quake, most infrastructure was knocked out, but interestingly Internet availability remains relatively unaffected. And what is most compelling is that Japan turned to social media for connecting with their loved ones. Less than an hour after the quake, the number of tweets from Tokyo topped 1,200 per minute. Facebook again helped in not only connecting friends and family but also became a broadcast channel for people to share their updates and checkin with their friends. Youtube and blogs became instrumental in giving people eyes into the disaster ridden areas with the help of citizen journalism. more…

Flexible Focus #45: My Cup Runneth Over

by William Reed, Mar 17, 2011

In our pursuit of prosperity, we tend to take for granted the blessings that we already have in abundance. The Mandala Chart looks at wealth as part of a larger mosaic, and abundance as the experience of blessings in 8 areas of life: health, business, finances, home, society, character, learning, and leisure. The real appreciation of what we already have begins with gratitude. And gratitude grows into giving, and is a principle seen everywhere in nature. The quality of abundance is not something to experience in solitude. It starts with the appreciation that your cup runneth over even now, and that it gets even better when you share your blessings with others. more…

Leader driven Harmony #16: Rely on the most reliable person – YOU!

by Mack McKinney, Mar 18, 2011

With the horror of the Japanese tsunami catastrophe still unfolding, ask yourself this.  If there was a 9.0 scale earthquake in the city whereyou live and you managed to survive it, what would you do then? Well, it is time for you to go back to the basics and learn some fundamental survival skills. You don’t need to move into a cabin in the wild and become a fully self-contained homesteader.  But adding a few basic skills will improve your self-confidence and your sense of self-reliance.. more…

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From Morse codes to cellular phones, from x86 processors to Intel’s i7 processors and from email to social media, mankind has come a long way. All these methods have one thing in common – need to connect. And the most important thing we forget is that though these devices and technologies are designed to improve productivity, they are serving the basic human need to communicate. And the litmus test for all these advancements is when you can use them during crisis situations.

The recent crisis in Japan is a reminder to us to that Technology can be a boom and a curse.

When a nuclear reactor has radiation leak, it makes it impossible to justify benefits of nuclear power even if it is designed for making the world Green or Safe. After all, what is the point if families inhabiting that place will virtually never be able to go there for decades due to the radiations. And then technology renders the only way to either give your location in a crisis or communicate with your loved ones.

In the recent Japan quake, all the telephone lines got disconnected, earthquake knocked out electricity supplies, interestingly Internet availability remains relatively unaffected, according to a blog post from Internet monitoring company Renesys. And what is most compelling is that Japan turned to social media for connecting with their loved ones. Less than an hour after the quake, the number of tweets from Tokyo topped 1,200 per minute, according to Tweet-o-Meter. This is where the Twitter strategy to follow hashtags simply rocks. Check out #Japan #tsunami #earthquake.

Social Media sites such as Twitter & Facebook have also made it possible for people to get and provide real time help. There are numerous messages that provide links to charities for folks who want to make a contribution to organizations who are helping the affected folks. Then, there is also a “Trust” factor on sites like facebook – If a facebook friend of mine endorses a charity organization, chances are there is an implicit trust that I will have in doing the same… which basically helps the affected folks get help, quickly!

Also, people found it easier to share their stories on Facebook stories page. Facebook again became instrumental in not only connecting friends and family but also became a broadcast channel for people to share their updates and checkin with their friends. There was a positive outcome other than news and analysis since REAL people were able to connect.

In this mix, Youtube and blogs became instrumental in giving people eyes into the disaster ridden areas with the help of citizen journalism.

DD-new-pic-headshot Contributed by Deepika Bajaj, President and Founder, Invincibelle, LLC and co-founder, ActiveGarage (the company behind 99tribes). Deepika is also the author of the book DiversityTweet: Embracing the growing diversity in our world and Pink and Grow Rich:11 Unreasonable Rules for Success You can follow Deepika on Twitter at invincibelle
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Week In Review: Feb 20 – Feb 26, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on February 27, 2011

Author’s Journey Update: Easy ways to organize blog posts, books and ebooks

by Roger Parker, Feb 21, 2011

You need organize what you are going to write before you start writing. It helps you provide structure, sequence and relevance for your ideas. Roger provides 10 options you could use to get organized. Make it a habit to use them and it will help you keep up your writing commitments. more…

Project Reality Check #10: Personal Resilience

by Gary Monti, Feb 22, 2011

Being centered though all situations and avoiding distractions is key for a project manager’s success. You can achieve this by being resilient. Resilience is the ability to continue functioning while adapting to a changing situation. In this article Gary lists the questions that you can ask yourself and take appropriate action. Sometimes you get the elevator, other times you get the shaft. The idea is to build resilience, think, and keep moving to get more of the former and less of the latter. more…

Social Media and Tribes #30: Virtual Valentine

by Deepika Bajaj, Feb 23, 2011

Thanks to Social Media, there’ve been very interesting shifts in Velentine’s day behaviors. This year people not only sent personal messages but wished their friends, shared their gifts, surprises, roses and even their  dinners on FB. People are broadcasting their love for friends and special ones. Moreover, there are Valentine Apps on the iPhone store, Groupon Deals, Valentine Events marketed on FB. Better watch out Hallmark! more…

Flexible Focus #42: Time Lapse as a Mandala Movie

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Manda Charts show relationship between the frames in a 3D perspective. What about the 4th dimension, time? This is not so difficult to imagine if you look at the effect you get in time-lapse photography. So as you create and use Mandala Charts, try to see them from the perspective of the 4th dimension, time and transformation. It will add a new dimension to your enjoyment of flexible focus. more…

Leader driven Harmony #13: 4 P’s to get your !deas MOVING – Part II

by Mack McKinney, Feb 25, 2011

Last week Mack showed you how to be a pro and likeable when pushing for change and I showed you key actions that would get you taken seriously. In addition to that, you need to be somewhat patient and promote your !deas. When you promote your ideas to others, let them become their ideas, because people will advocate their “own” ideas more passionately than other’s ideas. more…

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Social Media and Tribes #30: Virtual Valentine

by Deepika Bajaj on February 23, 2011

Yes, the fact that Valentine’s Day was a week ago is not lost on me! In retrospect, its actually a good thing I waited to write this post till now as I had the time to notice very interesting shifts in behavior, thanks to the Social Media & Valentine Tribes! Alright, lets get going…

Some of us probably remember the days when you had to write a letter while you were dating or wooing someone special. This was not a long ago, although it might seem so.  At that time, if you were in a long-distance relationship, you had no choice other than to write a letter or spend a ton of money making a long distance phone. In both cases, you were not sure if the person concerned will receive your message. Your best intentions to connect might be futile.

It is almost hard to believe but I have personally gone through that era. When I got my Valentine Card in the mail from my then boyfriend, now my husband; I did not receive it till the next day in my college hostel room. And when I did, I was already upset with him for being late (for apparently no fault of his since it was the nature of the postal system that caused the delay in the delivery).

Well! if you are late in today’s time only Heavens can save you. Since with emails, instant messengers, cell phones, text message, twitter, FB and smart phones you better have a good excuse. There is no way you can be late even if you were in a different time zone in a different country!

This year, I observed how people not only sent personal messages but wished their friends, shared their gifts, surprises, roses and even their  dinners on FB. Some of them were extremely creative and some of them were extremely bold. The bottom line is that you had a Virtual Valentine’s Day! All in all, you could broadcast your love for your friends and special ones. I am sure Hallmark did not expect that facebook will steal its thunder ever. They really don’t have a competing business model. But suddenly, no one is looking for Valentine’s Card in greeting cards section in a store. They are more interested in creating their own special Valentine and share it in one to many medium rather than a greeting card which is one to one.

Moreover, there are Valentine Apps on the iPhone store, Groupon Deals, Valentine Events marketed on FB. I was recently a DJ at one such event. I got to share pictures of the event, connect with everybody at the party on FB and got a lot of love since they enjoyed my music.

The pointVirtual Valentine enables you… make that “Super enables you” to connect with loved ones!

Of course! there are people who still did get a greeting card and mailed it OR had it accompany their gift. And that is really COOL. But there is a shift that we cannot ignore. Yes, you still need REAL people to celebrate this day. But the Virtual Valentine enables it and is here to stay!

DD-new-pic-headshot Contributed by Deepika Bajaj, President and Founder, Invincibelle, LLC and co-founder, ActiveGarage (the company behind 99tribes). Deepika is also the author of the book DiversityTweet: Embracing the growing diversity in our world and Pink and Grow Rich:11 Unreasonable Rules for Success You can follow Deepika on Twitter at invincibelle
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