What is “Social” and why do I care?

Driven by the belief that knowledge is power and sharing is powerful, I dedicate my work to creating better understanding of the social tools that enable sharing of knowledge both in organizations and their stakeholders. The global benefit will be a greater use of knowledge resources to stimulate development and more effective and sustainable growth. Social begins with people.

The tools available today from new media to global networks and their events provide us with the ability to have far greater reach and impact with our social interactions. Handled wisely with strategic forethought, each one of us has the power to be a change-maker. With the right social strategy each organization has the power to make the world a better place, while improving their bottom line.

Social tools are not limited to new media or social media. They are the social interactions we have face to face that we support through online interactions. They are the communities we choose to support and participate it. They are the relationships that we develop and nurture over time that define us and the people that we interact with. They are the opportunities to interact with like minded people. When we understand how to use them more wisely.

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Growing Business Through New Media for Entrepreneurs

Here are the slides from my presentation at the Global Summit of Women in Beijing last week. The panel was titled Growing your Business through New Media. The other panelists were Bobbi Dangerfield from DELL and Kristina Bouweiri from Reston Limousine.

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Davos on Growing Influence of Social Networks

This entry is in response to the World Economic Forum’s commencing in Davos with the Growing Influence of Social Networks and the workshop topics they will cover.  First of all, It is great to see this critical topic put so high on the agenda at Davos.

“How are social networks changing society?”
 Working with face to face and on-line global networks, it is clear to see the benefit of the reach that on-line social networks provide. We are able to interact with our community members regardless of their location and mobility. We are introduced to secondary and tertiary communities for knowledge sharing that both sides benefit from. Knowledge is shared based on need or interest, not simply, who you know or what you can pay for. We therefore see accelerating growth in the developing markets, especially through women entrepreneurs who have been given access to knowledge previously unavailable. Women are building businesses that give back and are supporting each other through microloans, distribution of products and building networks for growth and education.

“What are the most important implications and risks for society?”
 The risks are that we ignore the conversations. Education and training are important. So is building the infrastructure to avoid creating further disparities in wealth in developing areas. One response here was that the risk is isolating those that are not connected. This is no different than with the emergence of email. Social media are a new communication form, NOT just a channel. The risk is that we treat it as a channel and miss the opportunity to communicate, share knowledge and learn.

“What should individuals and institutions do to leverage the power of social networks and improve society?”
Individuals and institutions should focus on learning and teaching effective uses of social media and networks. Face to face interaction is the foundation of networks and relationships, but social media provides a needed opportunity to have fare greater reach in depth and breadth. Knowledge sharing is critical for the future. Identify the thought leaders in social strategy (in your organization and from outside) and work with them to learn and teach you and your organization to benefit from the new tools not be left behind by them. Define a strategy, and align it to your vision. Create guidelines and policies to simplify the best practice both for yourself and for your organizations.

What are your thoughts on Social Networks at Davos and what they should be discussing?

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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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Professional Network Used Wisely

“Thank you for the invitation, but who are you?” Unfortunately this is becoming more common. Now, the tools to help us connect with the people we do know are great. Thank goodness they are there, they help us keep up to date, as well as to learn more about potential partners and associates. A credible network based on real relationships is of far greater value than one that is purely numbers.

In the past month I have been asked to write a recommendation for someone that I am in the same network (of 6000+ members), but have not met personally. I have been asked to connect to individuals that like my profile, but have no direct relationship with. Today I got invited to attend a seminar on how to maximise presence on social networks by someone boasting 2000+ LinkedIn contacts. Now, some people are social butterflies and maybe this person has an incredible memory for the people he speaks with at conferences. But if someone was to ask him for a reference about each of those people, could he honestly provide an accurate account of what they are like as a professional peer, potential employee or partner?

Maintain a quality network. Do not degrade the value of your network simply for looking connected. Instead, Link when you meet people and feel that you have made a connection. Link while the connection is fresh. Nurture that connection by building it into a relationship beyond the link. E-mail to follow-up your conversation, and keep them in mind as you continue your paths. Something that you discussed in that first interaction might come up along the way and be worth sharing. Take the two minutes to pass it on. When someone contacts them down the line asking about you, they will certainly have a better recall than digging for your LinkedIn page to see who you are. You never know, they might even become both a friend and business partner in the process.

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