Archive | Communicating RSS feed for this section

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

Manglement v’s Management

22 Sep

Mangle

source: https://www.findmypast.co.uk/

Leadership and Management have never been more important in this era of disruption that some are calling the 4th Industrial revolution where:

  • Traditional business models are breaking down and being replaced by big tech (the so called FAANGS of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google)  – add to that the gig guys = UBER et al.
  • Traditional politics and government seems to be in a freefall with demagogues and political de-stabilizers running amok.
  • Traditional Work and employment being replaced by AI, robotics and software.
  • Intergenerational skepticism regarding the threat to the environment and climate change

This can lead to manglement (see above illustration of the old fashioned mangle … used to wring clothes out manually.)

Manglement leads to problems in organisations and businesses such as:

  • Lack of communication = people unsure of their role or status or even what they need to accomplish
  • Loss of motivation from former high performers who feel misunderstood and sidelined
  • Heightened loss of a positive culture
  • ‘Office’ gossip and backbiting

Manglement breaks down teams, loses productivity and often leads to high performers taking their talents elsewhere.

Manglement doesn’t care. Manglers don’t have the emotional intelligence to understand or even care. They see people as just numbers. They are unaware of the impact that this type of non management has on the people and ultimately the organisation.

Leaders and managers know their people and the value they bring and they communicate, consult and recognise.

Sometimes they even reward.

The new pioneers: Brew Ha Ha

29 Nov

Brew ha ha case

I love small businesses that work hard to differentiate themselves from the competition. I call them the New Pioneers. They work their businesses like the old world drovers who rode quarter horses and steered them like cars to round up and drive the flock. They don’t rest on their laurels and plan and produce new products to offer something fresh and wonderful to their customers and they use marketing and social media so well to be liked, viewed, commented on and followed = all good for SEO.

Screen Shot 2018-11-29 at 9.57.44 am

Brew Ha Ha Coffee Roasters in inner city Sydney could be just another cafe, but it’s not. They keep producing not just the best coffee from premium roasters and skilled baristas – they also offer great and creative food in a ‘foodie’ society … and they get recognised (see above).

Screen Shot 2018-11-29 at 9.58.17 am

Vibrant businesses like Brew Ha Ha obviously love what they do because they do it well or vice versa. Screen Shot 2018-11-29 at 10.10.08 am

Do what it takes to stand out

1 Jan

Rombaut shoe copyAs I delve deeper and deeper into the world of digital marketing and social media, discovering countless apps, knowledge bases, channels, classes and courses, tips, tricks (hacks), opinions, videos, podcasts and webinars, influencers, etc. – it can tend to be overwhelming.

One thing hasn’t changed though and that’s the need to be creative. To have big ideas (thanks David Ogilvy) and to be brave.

It doesn’t matter what medium you are on – achieving cut through is more important than ever.

It might get people to stop just for a second.

AIDA = Attention Interest Desire Action

 

How Neruda let me be innovative

24 Jun

Last week I went to see a movie and there weren’t any super heroes in it.

Wait a second … there was a super hero but he didn’t have tights, a mask and a logo emblazoned on his muscular chest. No. This super hero was a middle aged, portly man with thinning hair. His super powers weren’t your usual mix but instead consisted of words and phrases and phrasing. The hero was a poet. The movie was Neruda. 

neruda_ver6

It was a beautiful film but not easy to follow. It was a portrait of a poet and a politician from Chile set in the 1950’s and it was a crime drama. Neruda was a member of the Communist Party (along with Pablo Picasso) who idealised communism as an ideal and an antidote to fascism. Of course these intellectuals were to be proved wrong when the walls went up but at the time it was about equality for all. When the government decreed that Neruda was to be arrested, he begrudgingly fled. The crime drama was the chase by a young detective who had his own back story.

neruda

Neruda performed his poems throughout the movie and that’s what opened the gates for me. During the movie, (which was subtitled), I listened to and read the words and i felt free. A lot of the poems were about love.

Neruda was romantic and seductive.

I’ve never been a great reader of poetry and to be honest it baffles me.

I just know that the words sometimes clash and when they do there’s a spark of freedom. Freedom opens the mind and can lead to innovative thoughts.

When was the last time you felt free?

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

How to study

11 May

Recently my son had to study for up coming exams. I realised that he didn’t know where to start. So I put together this simple and practical infographic.

Great thingsto do with just

Pioneers of Digital Influence

13 Apr

The Smart Set

The Smart Set was a magazine that was founded in 1900 for and about New York’s social elite, The magazine evolved into an expression of popular modernism and it’s heyday went from 1913 through 1922.

It had a literary side publishing some of the best authors of the day (including Joyce and Conrad) and gave F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby) his start.

Subtitled “A Magazine of Cleverness” The Smart Set never gave up its aim to entertain, to win a large audience, and to make money through advertising.

Thoroughly modern

The magazine covers (see above) are images depicting modern women. The flappers and ‘it’ girls who made the news and social pages of the day through there ‘shocking’ displays that went against the moral norms of the day. They smoked and drank and used colourful language. In that way they were liberated some might argue. But that’s not the point.

Digital influencers and advertising dollars

These were the pioneers of today’s online digital influencers who garner huge crowds of followers just by posting a pic or a little message on their instagram pages. They are trend setters (sometimes) or trend followers but they have built a brand image around themselves by understanding what their ‘tribe’ want, need and often just aspire to.

And when they attract large numbers of followers, that translates into advertising dollars.

So things haven’t changed that much – just the mediums.

and the hipsters just look like Ned Kelly.

Marketing and Mindfulness

24 Nov

marketing-and-mindfulness

There’s a revolution going on not just in politics but in other areas.

An interesting article from B&T about the new consumers who value sustainability, health and well being above therapy shopping.

http://www.bandt.com.au/marketing/marketing-mindfulness-future-holds

We need to listen to our customers.