Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy 2012: Leading the Future

Happy New Year!
And what a big one it will be! We're calling this "the year of transformation" as there are some really big shifts in the air -- with more to come. And a hungry need for bold, courageous leaders who can handle ambiguity and see all the possibilities right in front of us! You are a part of that front wave. And here is some inspiration to keep you going -- a short report filled with the blogs, videos and books that feed and guide us. Enjoy. And thanks for all you are already contributing. The future needs you now more than ever.

Friday, September 16, 2011

ADAge + MBA Online = Awesome Infographic

Media Consumption - 2011
Created by: MBA Online

Sunday, August 28, 2011

What can happen in 60 seconds?

Turns out a WHOLE lot!  Check out this fascinating infographic that clearly illustrates the amount of activity that occurs on the internet in just 60 seconds.  We can only imagine these numbers in five years!

Thanks to A Momentary Flow for the visual.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The State of Unemployment

Huffington post recently shared a  timely infographic illustration of the state of today's unemployment in America.  The graphic, shared via a great reference for those of you who like data visualization as much as we do, depicts unemployment rates across industries within the last two months.  With the ups and downs of today's economy, it is helpful to have a reminder that indeed some industries are starting to look up.

Learning From Mistakes

Jeff Stibel recently wrote a post in the Harvard Business Review regarding the value of learning from failures - especially those who have had recent blunders in the world of social media.  The article references personalities and companies who have experienced the backlash - or forgiveness - of their "social tribe."  A few referenced examples include the infamous Congressman Weiner, Kanye West's apology for stealing the mike from Taylor Swift and the insensitive promotion pushed by Kenneth Cole during the launch of their Spring collection (the tweet referenced their new line as the cause of civil unrest in Cairo).  In summary, he emphasizes the need to be transparent, authentic and honest when using these channels; essentially be true to who you / your brand.  Sounds simple enough, although apparently many companies and personalities are proving it to be a challenge. 

While the entire article is a fascinating read, one internal practice of his company is truly worth sharing; "The Failure Wall."  In the corridor, they have an affectionately named a wall in which everyone lists three simple things: 1. A time in which they failed 2. What they learned from the failure 3. Their name.  This practice has had a profound effect on the company, allowing the team to not only accept that failure is a part of growing and learning, but to recognize the value of what can be learned from their co-workers' mistakes.  Truly a brilliant idea considering the demand for best practice examples and innovation.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How Social is Your Business?

 Image via Socialcast

While many of your first responses may be something along the lines of "very, we have a Facebook and Twitter page" or "we're on the cutting edge and exploring the potential of Google+" there is yet another side to social networks.  Increasingly people are finding themselves involved in their company's own internal social network.  So, while much of the attention is given to the aforementioned networks, there is a growing number of networks being developed specifically for internal communication, collaboration and transaction.

Below are a few examples of some of the hottest business social networks on the market:

Yammer -  "The Enterprise Social Network" formed back in 2008 may be the most popular and is currently used by over 10,000 businesses including AMD, eBay, 711 and Groupon to name a few.  CNN recently produced a video explaining the network with interviews from CEO (and PayPal Co-Founder) David Sacks.

Convofy – As Inc. reports,"What makes Convofy different from the competition is the ability to do real-time annotation of Web pages and files, including PDFs, Word documents, and Excel spreadsheets, right in the app. When you click on a thumbnail of a PDF in the message feed, for instance, the full file will pop up in a new tab. Then, you can use a Markup tool do things like highlight text and make comments.” Convofy is an application that is downloaded to your desktop and the basic version is available for free.

- Taking things a bit further, Bizzingo has launched its first phase of Bizznet; a B-to-B network with "the overall goal is to create highly index-able (and searchable) profiles that will allow prospective partners, vendors, and customers to identify potential areas for commerce and collaboration" as reported by Eric Sass of MediaPost.  As chairman and CEO of Bizzingo, Douglas Toth, stated: "'s new, exclusive business-to-business search platform and social network actually delivers targeted leads and, for the first time, opens up the power of the Internet to millions of businesses who only seek to market and connect to other businesses for the purpose of transacting business." 

Socialcast -  Founded in 2005 and acquired by VMware in 2011, Socialcast adds yet another integration to the mix - outside partners.  Again, as MediaPost summarizes well, "[Socialcast] announced that businesses, which use its software to create proprietary social networks, can now selectively add partners, suppliers, and customers to these networks in special guest profiles, called "External Contributors," with access restricted to certain discussion groups, forums, or projects.  This step should make the social platform more collaboration- and transaction-oriented. Previously the proprietary networks supported by Socialcast were basically limited to the actual employees of each business. While network administrators could add non-employees, they were then included as full members, which might not be appropriate for some outside business contacts. Socialcast is also introducing a new org chart feature, which should help everyone keep the boundaries straight."

In summary, it seems like calling these companies a mere "social network for your business" just doesn't do it justice.  Indeed they are prime examples of collaborative enterprise and lend insight into how we will work in the future.  More on that to come!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Get Ready for HTML5

Photo thanks to Echo Enduring Blog

Perhaps the in the most provocative statement of his recent speech, Roger McNamee, a Facebook investor,  asserts that "social is done, it is now just a feature."  To back up, he is certainly not stating that the idea of social media is over, just that if you are going to form a start up, perhaps it may be smarter to invest in an application verses a network.  To be more specific, an application best suited for HTML5, which will change everything.  As he puts it, "In HTML5, an ad is an app, a tweet is an app, everything is an app.  It's a blank sheet of paper, and creativity rules again."   How exciting!

A few more great quotes pulled from Business Insider's take on his recent speech at the Paley Center for Media:

  • Don't try to be "social": the big social platforms are created. You can't create a social company, it's just a checkbox. "The last 500 social companies funded by the VC community are all worthless. I'm serious."
  • But this creates an opportunity: while everyone is focused on social distribution, there's a huge opportunity to get content right with HTML5. "Let's create a new product, the way music videos were a new product."
  • The iPad is the training wheels for HTML5. iPad apps show us what we need to beat in terms of creating a better experience on HTML5.
  • In HTML5, you don't need to have display ads: Amazon can have a section of its store as an ad. So if you're reading a book review, you can buy the book right from the page.   
  • Because HTML5 can make sites rich and interactive, engagement on a site can go from seconds to minutes.

Special thanks to Larry Hill for bringing this article to our attention.  In fact, if you have a couple of minutes, this is well worth the read.  

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