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Technology + Technique

2 Apr
using zoom is fun if you use your personality too

I am a teacher and everything suddenly changed.

My students used to come to class where I used a whiteboard and overhead projector to instruct.

Enter the the COVID virus and the campus went into lockdown.

We had to teach online using Zoom.

With not much training we began.

At first it was a challenge just learning the interface. Chat + video + audio + breakout rooms.

Just setting up the conferences was a bit hit and miss at first.

But I learned one thing. What you do well face to face, you can translate into online learning. Here’s my tips.

Remember names.

Use your personality.

Acknowledge students.

Read and respond to chats.

Ask questions.

Use the breakout rooms for teams and individuals

Keep telling stories

Keep it light

Prepare and use graphics for share screen messages

So far I have enjoyed my online classes and I’m getting better at it!

Let’s go surfing now …

20 Dec

Source: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/b6hoBp7Hk-A/maxresdefault.jpg

The world of work has changed. Many of us may never have a fulltime job. This can be daunting for students who undertake qualifications at either a tertiary or vocational level. But there are some core skills that can help you surf from one industry sector and multiple workplaces to another.

Core skills keep you on the wave

Core skills are ‘skills’ that are highly regarded in the workplace. These transferable skills are around these main areas:

  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Team skills
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity

Leaders know when to paddle out

In these times of uncertainty around politics, climate change, increased competition and the digital environment, effective leaders use emotional intelligence to keep their people buoyant and centred. They know who their people are and what drives them. They also know the road ahead and the work that has to be done. True leaders are selfless and have their ‘fingers on the pulse.’ Leaders are strong and calm. They are also resilient and can manage and harness change. Leaders continually develop their people so that they have the skills and knowledge to function in a changing environment. They are well prepared for the waves and when in doubt … paddle out.

Managers should surf too

Skilled managers are not just task driven. They can see the big picture and the scope of the projects they work on. They find the best people and nurture them just as leaders do (a manager can also be a leader,) and they communicate and collaborate regularly in often informal ways like quick ‘catch ups) or ‘how you going?’ sessions. In that way they get to know their people and know where a project is at and if there are any risks or difficulties that need to be managed.

Teams surf together

High functioning teams work together to achieve outcomes. They have less of the ‘storm’ and more of the ‘norm.’ In that way they can move across the waves to not just get the work done, but also to build and sustain a team when the waves get choppy.

Communication in big wave surfing

Communication skills are vital in the workplace. Leaders, managers, teams and individuals need to be on the ‘same page’ and fully informed especially when unexpected change occurs which is often. Communication encompasses emails, meetings, presentations and reports. Skilled ‘surfers’ move across the wave and as they do, they keep their colleagues abreast of situations. Skilled communicators are smart enough to know who their stakeholders are and how to communicate with them. Skilled presenters are a key to the workplace. They have a voice and they know how to use it without boredom or drama. They engage to communicate. And … they are aware.

Collaboration when competing or rescuing

Surfing can be a solitary sport. That’s one of the things that make it attractive. Just you out on the board in the waves. But surf clubs work together to keep the beach a safe environment. They train constantly; they build skills in swimming, using the surf boats and first aid. They collaborate and work together. Collaboration is the key to getting the work done and to the encouragement of new ideas and ways of doing things. It’s the beginnings of creativity.


Source: http://www.live-swell.com/surfrentals/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Your-wave-image.jpg

Creativity in surfboard design

Surfing was practiced thousands of years ago by indigenous people using logs to ride the waves. But over time, surfboards have evolved to better catch waves and turn surfing into a dynamic and athletic sport. Surfing innovators used their knowledge of the topography, the sea, wave patterns and human physiognomy to design better boards. We are all creative. It’s just a key we can unlock by shifting our perceptions and training our minds to look for newer and better ways of doing things. 

Keep on developing transferable core skills

Energy, enthusiasm and entrepreneurship … new pioneers 2018

31 Dec

I can’t help it. I admire entrepreneurs and pioneers in small business. People with energy and enthusiasm who take an idea and make it work. I call them the new pioneers. More often than not the ideas don’t always work straight away.

Pioneers can face resistance and moments of failure. And it hurts. But we don’t learn from success.

New pioneer #1 THE LUCKY BEE AT FRANKIES ROOFTOP. 

Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting, drink and indoor

Matt Bennett and Rupert Noffs from The Lucky Bee at Frankie’s Rooftop. Who would have thought that a New York restaurant would land in Woy Woy on the central coast of NSW. Always scenically magnificent but not always classy (no offence!) – this dynamic duo has turned a pub into a destination for foodies. The boys have so much energy and  enthusiasm … you could bottle it. There’s an idea!!!

New pioneer #2 BREW HA HA 

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting, table and indoor

Denis & Mirjana Dordevic from Brew Ha Ha Coffee Roasters in Lilyfield, Sydney also rank as pioneers and entrepreneurs with flare and enthusiasm + great coffee and food. I’ve watched this business grow with the energy and love the owners and staff put into it. They regularly change their offerings to keep things fresh. 

New pioneer #3 JACK RABBIT SLIMS

Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, people standing and text

Andrea and his team from Jack Rabbit Slims Barbershop in Kings Cross have energy in spades. I remember when Andrea started out in a little concrete box next door to the Piccolo Bar. Just one chair and a toolbox but Andrea can cut hair. He’s not your ‘grab the clippers and mow the lawn type’ barber. He understand the nuances of hair and the directions it can take. I know because I have a lot of it and it grows fast in weird directions. Andrea takes a lot of care and it shows. It’s sometimes hard to get a booking.

New pioneer #4 GREENWICH MANAGEMENT COLLEGE

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing and text

I’m biased here. I do some teaching and instructional design for Greenwich and I have to say that in my experience in this field and with numerous colleges and RTO’s, this place stands out in a crowded space. The management and staff have built the machine but the students have brought the energy. They come from all parts of the world … from Mongolia to Brazil, Italy to Macedonia, Colombia to Azerbaijan, the US and Ireland. Often they work multiple jobs as well as study but they are amazing. The college services are fine tuned and the management skilled listeners and entrepreneurs.

Here’s to all the new pioneers of 2018. Doing things differently with enthusiasm and love.

It shows.

Welcome to the emojincey ward

1 Mar

emojincey ward

The digital sphere can be complicated for marketers and business operators, trying to keep up with all the new features social media is offering as well as apps and other whizz bang offerings.

I use the term whizz bang because when you really look at a lot of these innovations, they offer the excitement of the new. And we have been trained to upgrade from old to new even when the new features aren’t that special.

In the olden days marketing was relatively simple.

  • Create the message
  • Match it to your target market
  • Choose the best media option
  • Run the ad or the campaign.

Now targeting requires sorting through many variables to do with lifestyle and behaviours.

Ads or posts are run and testing is conducted using the analytics.

Often we are advised to run separate campaigns to ‘test’ the efficacy and effectiveness.

We are told to be strangely unique to cut through and to tell stories not to just sell.

TV channels have been replaced by internet influencers who command vast audiences.

It’s so un marketing in the traditional sense where a product or service was promoted to a market.

OK … that’s simplistic.

And there’s likes and follows. Shorthand ticks of approval from our ‘community.”

Other shorthands include the emoji.

now featuring an array of cute visages with stand out emotions. And gifs.

Like it or not, we are in the age of shorthand … short attentions span.

Ultra convenience services such as UBER Eats and Netflix stop people socialising.

But people are people and will no doubt get bored with social which is why they have to keep changing and updating and adding features.

Great advertising is still about the creative. Cut through only occurs when people stop and take notice.

So let’s open the emojincey ward where people are people and emotions aren’t a quick flick, insert and like.

emoji image:  

DISRUPTION HAS HAPPENED BEFORE

12 Jun

disruption is nothing new

Wow what an amazing world we now live in. Technology rules … OK!

Disruption like fake news is a hot cliche. Could be the hottest right now.

Disruption describes new technologies and new business models that disrupt the current modelsprocesses and accepted standards of business.

  • Taxis were disrupted by UBER
  • Graphic design was disrupted by Adobe
  • Hotels/accomodation was disrupted by AirBnB
  • Commercial real estate was disrupted by WeWork
  • Photography and processing was disrupted by mobile phones + photoshop

It’s nothing new though. As the above photo depicts horses and carriages with a trolley car and next to that an early motor car. That was a disruption. But they didn’t have that neat phrase to label things.

In business we must track trends or we’ll be left behind holding the box brownie.

brownie_1

This why we need special rooms to be innovative

10 Jun

innovation cave

One of the myths around innovation is that you need some kind of ‘special conditions’ to bring out the creative in you. See the Google workplace and just about every ad agency in the known universe.

I love these rooms with their funny pics and pinball machines and pool tables.

And I like how I get to wear my jeans – wow I feel so free!

Hang on there … I’ve got an idea coming. Here it is.

No wait. It’s stopped somewhere up the line to get some new passengers on board.

The names of those passengers are Mr Tired, Ms Bored, Mr Lazy and the Count of no account.

We’re all creative and we don’t need any special conditions to think of new ways. Just some energy and imagination.

Education disrupted

7 Jun

education and technology

An interesting article from the ‘not failing’ New York Times about how the tech billionaires are making fore-roads into schools with innovation grants and other funding and the questions around who is profiting the most. In an era that promises to automate many jobs and where industries are either disappearing or being reinvented it makes for interesting reading.

For those of you that still read …

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/06/technology/tech-billionaires-education-zuckerberg-facebook-hastings.html?_r=0

Image via: edtechreview.in

The newer consumer decision journey

27 May

The consumer decision journey traditional

According to McKinsey, the way consumers purchase and the journey they travel to get to that purchase has changed. The traditional model (above) suggests that the process is fairly uncomplicated from awareness of a need > to familiarity with a range of solutions > to the consideration stage > next to purchase and finally loyalty (we hope.)

The consumer decision journey

The newer consumer decision journey model describes a more circuitous approach which fits with the digital age where research and comparison shopping is far easier and online reviews can make or break a product/brand. It also looks at buyer perception of brands which in itself is no new thing.

This old coke ad is all about building brand perceptions which they do nicely with their image – modern for it’s time.

old coke ad

To quote the authors ‘Our research showed that the proliferation of media and products requires marketers to find new ways to get their brands included in the initial-consideration set that consumers develop as they begin their decision journey. We also found that because of the shift away from one-way communication—from marketers to consumers — toward a two-way conversation, marketers need a more systematic way to satisfy customer demands and manage word-of-mouth.’ (+ online reviews.)

The research, according to the article, identified two different types of customer loyalty, challenging companies to reinvigorate their loyalty programs and the way they manage the customer experience. It also reinforced the importance of aligning all elements of marketing—strategy, spending, channel management, and message—with the journey that consumers undertake when they make purchasing decisions but also of integrating those elements across the organisation.

No more silos!

Source: McKinsey Quarterly

The revolution says goodbye to Henry Ford?

6 Nov

There’s no doubt about it – there’s a revolution going on which is affecting politics globally (see Brexit and the rise of Trump) and the way we live and will live in the future.

This revolution has been driven by technology and the internet which is not new news. However when you read an article like this one from the head of George Soros’ economic think thank the Institute for New Economic Thinking and ex boss of the UK’s former financial watchdog the Financial Service Authority it does give one pause to think.

The world of work and jobs is changing.

The tech breakthrough companies generate huge wealth but fewer jobs.

Work has gone part time with “British economist Guy Standing argues that most of the people who work on these types of platforms are part of what he terms the “precariat” — low-paid workers with precarious job security.

lord

http://www.businessinsider.com.au/lord-adair-turner-tech-capitalism-wages-inequality-precariat-2016-11?r=US&IR=T

Image

Making america great again

17 Oct

wake up