Creativity and Aging

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Finishing up a great read, The Mature Mind, The Positive Power of the Aging Brain by Gene D Cohen. Cohen expanded on Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages that looked at human development up to around age 40. Cohen’s work looks at Midlife Re-evaluation => Liberation => Summing Up => Encore stages from 40 beyond. Integrating this type of thought and understanding of this kind of brain power and creative thinking shows the importance of leaders and team members in this age group. We cannot afford to lose their insight, wisdom and perspective when trying to innovate. I will no longer associate the senior moment with things forgotten. Let us look to them as moments of wisdom derived from experience and perspective.

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Visualising the Rise of Collaborative Spaces

Visualising the Rise of Collaborative Spaces

This visualisation is part of an article on collaborative spaces. For several days in Malmö, Sweden, faculty and doctoral students from Fielding Graduate University, members and leaders from Media Evolution and various guests that represented different parts of the greater community gathered to discuss collaborative spaces. We looked at Malmö as a city, Media Evolution as a community and Fielding as an institution. I am posting the visual with intent to open for discussion and make room for further evolution in this case and others. After the launch of the B Team yesterday, I was inspired to share this add to the conversation. The full article on collaborative spaces will be coming shortly. In the meantime, please feel free to comment, share and reflect. I might even suggest, take time for a fika and reflect with others who imagine the change.

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Social and Visual Leadership

The paradigm has shifted, and the learning curve is steep. Some will rise and some will fall. Social media marketing is only a small piece of the picture. Understanding that social is people, and people are not just our customers is a start to the journey.

Organizations are made up of people in many different roles. Their jobs require people both internally in the organization and externally in partners, product & service providers, new hires, investors, and so on. Relationships are what count whether business to business or business to consumer, it comes down to people.

Each person has a story that contains knowledge, experience, passions, interests, skills, and people.  Each individual is a unique part of the whole organizations and defines its collective story.  It is this story we share and grow in social technologies.  Leadership must take active part in the story for an organization to succeed in this new paradigm.

Social Optimization, the building and maintaining of MUTUALLY beneficial and effective relationships, is a key behavioral shift when mastering the Art of Social Strategy.  This does not come simply from balancing the gives and takes by counting interactions.  The behavior change must be a result of recognizing the value of all relationships as part of the whole.  It comes from understanding who we are (as individuals and organizations), what we have to offer and what/who we need and how to reach it/them.

Social technologies are tools that help us optimize this change in behavior when we learn how to best apply them.  They simplify our processes for supporting our networks and communities, receiving that support in return.  Sharing knowledge globally through different sensory stimulus has never been easier. It has evolved beyond text.  It is visual, interactive, musical and memorable. Language and time are no longer limitations for creating a global community of advocates.

Understanding who we are and who is part of our story is the first step of the journey.  How you apply social optimization is what will determine your success over the long haul.

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Measure Engagement: Micro-Engagement with Macro-Impact

ROI of Engagement and the value of relationships is no new conversation. What is new is how we develop and maintain the relationships, especially as leaders. In developing leadership seminars for the new social paradigm, we came across the same challenge of measurement but looked at new solutions. “Quick and dirty” ROI measured from campaigns and their impact is not relevant or feasible when talking about social leadership. Unlike a short term campaign or solution it is a long term adjustment to culture and approach to communications.

 

Finding the tools that can help us measure more effectively are a start. Of course, looking at numbers of connections give us one view. Yet, they present several problems in themselves and only show us a small part of the greater picture. The greatest being that leaders are predominantly absent from these tools (Forrester Research), and resistant to entry for fear of exposure or distraction. Another being the need for measurement of network engagement that occurs outside these sites (intranets, industry specific networks, public following, etc.). Then of course there is long term and the secondary effects, the MacroImpact.

 

Klout.com does a great job aggregating the numbers of followers on Twitter, links on LinkedIn and friends on Facebook and their influence to see what kind of a role individuals play and their online influence. It may not be the MacroImpact we require to create the argument for investing in teaching social leadership, but it is a good place to start. Then we need to look at layering of other factors, after all, changing behavior and culture is no “quick and dirty” fix.

 

BUSINESS IMPACTS: To start with there are several areas from which we can measure shifts that are have MacroImpact from the Leader’s MicroEngagement (must be measured over time). Of course this assumes establishing a baseline and keeping in mind other externalities that can cause spikes:

 

* INCREASE/DECREASE in new applications for jobs under leader’s management or control
* ATTRITION of existing employees desire to stay/leave working with the leader
* TEAM COHESION project completions advance of schedule, faster to market cycles
* INNOVATION cycles decrease with open acceptance of new ideas within clear parameters
* IMPROVED HEALTH decreased stress from greater job satisfaction, less sick days
* PARTNER/CLIENT LOYALTY return clients and partners desire to continue relationship
* COLLABORATION new opportunities in-industry based on respect for knowledge and trust
* LEARNING community shortens time to response from internal subject matter experts,
saves need hire external consultants when knowledge available internally
* MEETING lengths and volume decrease due to better collaboration and clarity in
communication
* AGILE RESPONSE to opportunities and threats in PR through direct engagement savings in
“Fire fighting” and valuation dips

 

This is just a first “whack” at a list as we look into measuring tools to pull together for leaders to understand their own MacroImpact and for organizations to evaluate their social leader’s performance. I would love to hear your thoughts on what other factors could be included, and what tools can be used to measure this effectively. It is not simply performance review we are considering, but rather effective engagement.

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5 for 2011: Walk the Talk to the Finish

I admit, I have always been a little impatient with technology.  Somehow I was born with the “when” gene not the “if”.  It has served me well in deciding where to live, what path to choose and the methodology to get there.  As one friend so aptly told me, “you are one of those people that has to swim across the river with the rope to determine where the bridge will be placed.”  I admit, there were times, when the current was too strong and I swam back to safety in order to survive. I realize I have had the luxury of a safe shore to return to.  For the most part, my tenacity (others might call me “stubborn”) eventually got me to the other side.  What it takes most of the time is neither the tenacity/stubborness nor the strength, but rather the belief in the path and the result.  Often this takes a leap of faith, but that is part of the process of acceptance of the result. I have always been determined to conquer my “what if’s.”

So enough of metaphorically speaking, as there is much to be said there, but may risk being “fluffy.”  After a nice off-line break in which I had the opportunity to catch up on much overdue reading and sleep, I found myself excited for many things in 2011.  This is what I wish to share with you.  You can call them predictions, you can call them wishes, you can call them dreams.  I will do whatever I can in my power to help them come to fruition. Read More

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Cultivating Social Business Success

Cultivating social business success requires renovating your communications to find value in your human and social capital. 2BalanceU’s methodology of cultivating a landscape for maximum added value of social communications tools (dialog not broadcast based) implementation. Achieve balance between listening and broadcasting for success in the new marketplace.

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