LONDON – Inc Magazine has a good little online article about the well-documented fact that cash compensation is not always the best motivator. Not news but a handy little reminder for all of us.
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LONDON – At least that’s what this article in HBR states. And they are right (yes it was a deliberately provocative headline, but it worked). The point they make is that
It’s how you empower your people. Think about it. What is the primary purpose of a business organization? To assemble a group of people, who previously may have had no association, and empower them to accomplish productive work toward the organization’s objectives. More effective empowerment typically equals more productive work.
Yep. Empowerment. Erm, engagement.
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LONDON – This week I join former WPP colleagues at BrandPie to build their brand engagement and employer branding business. But first … I’m off to Zagreb to address their National PR Association Conference about the new employer reputation management landscape, the role of 21st century PR, and the opportunities and pitfalls social media present… Please wish me luck!
Good gaggle of articles circling Macleod … including one by yours truly. Interesting to see the different “tones of voice” taken with some of the authors … some speaking to the C-suite, others talking to their peers in the industry it seems … Sunday Telegraph Business Reporter
We’ve all seen it: a blog posting or a LinkedIn Group discussion amongst a community of interest, and in the middle of the discussion comes a comment – usually from an agency / consultancy to be fair – that is more for the benefit of self-promotion than contributing to the discussion.
To be fair, all of us are now in the business of managing and building our personal brands, particularly in the social media space – and part of that includes participating in the conversation economy. I’m sure I’m guilty of “ego commenting” myself.
But I’d argue that if the “ego posters” aren’t careful, just as with any other brand and marketing communications, their attempts could be counter productive.
Some examples: Bob responds to a post about X with a tenuous link opening door to a monologue about his experience as a general manager in the defence industry – a thinly veiled attempt to demonstrate high level trusted advisor status. Janet sends a hilarious email to several people who know Bob and his (ahem) propensity for self-aggrandisement – “Good thing we have Bob around so we can all sleep at night.” Just like with a business or consumer brand, your brand exists in the minds of your audience. Everything you say or do has an effect, sometimes not the intended one.
Another example: A client (Davina) gets a glowing write-up in the trade press spurring a discussion about the way she’s dealt with a challenge. The discussion is by and large about the technique at hand and exploring the idea – but of course there are a couple of posts from Niall (and the group is well aware of Niall’s combination of sanctimonious lecturing coupled with delusions of competence) that seem more interested in (a) subtly knocking down Davina and (b) implying that if Niall had been in charge, things would have been done a lot better and more effectively. Once again, the emails do the rounds and Niall’s brand is further damaged.
On the other hand, there are examples where someone shares a really insightful personal story. For example, the discussion on topic X is heading in one direction when Gary puts forth a simple and quite touching remark redirecting the conversation into totally new territory. Gary’s brand equity rises exponentially with a single, sharp intervention.
Now these might be a slightly apocryphal, but that’s how communities communicate and social communication happens.
What are your comments and posts like? I’ve got it wrong plenty of times (no shortage of self promotion, vanity, or ego here I’m afraid). But I do now strive to think – Is this comment for them, or is it for me?
LONDON – Mikkel Wiese, a Danish communicator on the LinkedIn Group from whom I stole the headline with permission, got it right. Enter Harlequin, ranting under a jingling of bells.
It’s a drum I’ll keep beating so long as professional associations from IABC to IoIC to Melcrum to CIPR to CIPD ad nauseum keep missing the point that while inward focus on the “how to” competencies, so-called “best practices” and tools is a threshold issue/hygiene factor, the real beef is in what CommScrummers call the “top of the T”, not the downstroke. Award submissions “judged” by people one wouldn’t hire to work for you … expense-paid trips to exotic destinations to hear the same presentation given 10 years ago (by a different person, if you’re really lucky) … presenters who pay a fee to get on the speaker’s platform, but neither they nor the conference organisers disclose this clearly … so-called gurus who earn their money selling seminars, not by delivering client work … positions awarded based on how long one has hung around the association, not on merit … the list goes on and on. As busy as I am I did a back of an envelope spreadsheet of recent conference topics and the results were, well, deeply disappointing. We are repeating ourselves and have been for 10 years. Why hasn’t anyone cottoned on to this? Is there that much turnover and career change in the industry that the conference platform and training agenda remain unchanged? For surely by now competence in these 11 topics has been well documented and you don’t need to go to a conference to learn about it?
For those who see the benefit in the above approach, that’s wonderful and I do not wish to rain on your parade. I, however, shall continue to attend non-communication conferences and take non-communication training from non-communicators to learn more about how people in business communicate to get results.
It’s simply too important to listen to any more reheated practices from a profession hell bent on ever increasing scrutiny and debate of meaningless minutiae. Anything with sponsorship from a communication agency, a human capital company, a recruitment advertising firm, or a social media guru shall be unceremoniously binned. Oh, we might pay to play and promote to play the game, but expect fireworks, not the same old crap. I will confer with CMOs, CTOs, CIOs, CEOs, CFOs and then apply my craft.
In for a penny, in for a pound – I plan to make myself the world’s happiest pariah and persona non grata.
Lyndon, I am on the outside of the tent…
Exit, pursued by a bear.
London – Has it really been 2 months since I posted? Egad. Victim of my diary!
Just some quick thoughts on the COMPETENCE vs CONFIDENCE topic that was debated a while back on CommScrum … I lead a global practice called “Brand and Talent” for MSLGROUP (part of Publicis Groupe). This practice ties together our offer in employer branding (talent acquisition) and employee engagement (talent development and management) across 24 countries. We recently met in Stockholm for our first global practice meeting.
First, it was fantastic to have all of the team in the same place at the same time – people from North America, India, China, France, The Netherlands, Nordics, and points in between.
Second, each market had its own challenges and levels of maturity and sophistication – not to mention cultural and employment market dynamics as you would expect. More on this in an upcoming post!
Third, each and every person in the room was a competent, well-skilled communicator able to tackle audience segmentation, measurement, message mapping, storytelling, social media, leadership communications, change management, etc. — even if they might not claim great strength in some of the areas. But the real outcome of the 2 day (3 day for the die hards!) sessions – some of which focused on technical processes and methodologies, and some of which were more strategic in tone – was that we built up our confidence as a Practice – that we are speaking the same language, using the same tools, sharing the same mindsets when it comes to servicing our clients.
While that might sound basic or fundamental to a professional service organisation – trust me, it is not always the case. I have been part of other big global networks who claim capability when all they really have is a dot on a map and an agency they bought there. What’s exciting to me is to be a part of a truly global practice with a team “on the same page.”
Most of them will have worked together on some of our global accounts in some way or other – but, in this age of mediated social communication, it’s refreshing that face to face is a premium driver of CONFIDENCE.