Category Archives: Executive

Social media reading for those dipping their toes into the ocean: February 22 2010

These are on my radar screen today, courtesy of the talented bloggers and execs I follow. 

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Supernova: Clips from Thursday’s thought leaders

In the final analysis, on this day, anyway, the Internet is human
That's the takeaway of dozens of Supernova conversations, whether they
happened on Twitter with folks miles away from the conference or with
the person right next to you in the room.  The Internet, in all its
technology and technicality, is a tool for intimacy.  We just have to
carve out the boundaries that protect our privacy, our talents, our
corporate competitive differentiation, our social interaction, our
governing systems.  The thing is, we don't have the luxury of waiting
for the Internet to pause.  Like people, the Internet keeps flowing and
leading us to new discoveries about ourselves and the data we produce. 
With luck, our closer proximity will generate and sustain the kind of
trust only humans can do.

Read more of this post at Supernova Hub.

Supernova: Thought leading clips from the morning sessions

Some takeaway points from the Supernova conference, morning of the second day.

Supernova: Law meets technology

The meteoric rise of social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as social communications tools like Twitter, pose a series of new legal questions.  Here's how panelists Denise Howell ["This Week in Law"], Alex Macgillivray [Twitter], Kerry Krzynowek [Deloitte] and Gabe Ramsey [Orrick] begin to answer themRead the rest of this post on supernovahub.com.

The creative class: Networked, high performing and disillusioned

Not surprisingly, employee morale and
commitment has worsened during the recession — and in response to
company actions to cope with the downturn. A recent survey finds that
high-performing employees have been substantially more affected than
the rank-and-file.

                                                                                    Lin Grensing-Pophal

                                         Human Resource Executive Online, October 2009

… the creative class: a fast-growing, highly educated, and well-paid
segment of the workforce on whose efforts corporate profits and
economic growth increasingly depend. Members of the creative class do a
wide variety of work in a wide variety of industries—from technology
to entertainment, journalism to finance, high-end manufacturing to the
arts. They do not consciously think of themselves as a class. Yet they
share a common ethos that values creativity, individuality, difference,
and merit.

                                                                                           Richard Florida

                                                                   Washington Monthly, May 2002

Watson Wyatt and WorldatWork just released a survey that tracks, among other things, employee engagement, and Lin Grensing-Pophal explains how companies can do a better job of engagement in a recent article.  But that may not be enough, going forward out of the recession.  The survey's results inspire a look back to an issue economist Richard Florida raised several years ago:  how the drivers of employee performance are changing.  

Today, the combination of networking tools, with a power burst from social technology, and a recession that now appears to be the result of an infrastructure crashing under its own incongruities — foreseen by folks like Florida — is forcing companies to look not just at compensation methods but at how they categorize employee positions from the get-go.  It's no longer the distinction between management and rank-and-file that makes sense in a service-dominated economy, if it ever did in a manufacturing dominated world, but the quality of performance along the scale of creativity and actual contribution.  We're in the midst of another major industrial shift that is exciting at the same time it is mind boggling.  And its impact will be felt not just inside corporations but around the cities and towns they populate. 

… the economy is different now. It no longer revolves around simply
making and moving things. Instead, it depends on generating and
transporting ideas. The places that thrive today are those with the
highest velocity of ideas, the highest density of talented and creative
people, the highest rate of metabolism.

                                                                                           Richard Florida

                                                                                       The Atlantic, March 2009     

This post runs simultaneously on the Supernova Hub.                          

                     

Liberty Mutual at BlogHer

When I was at BlogHer last weekend, I was pleased to find a Liberty Mutual booth.  The company runs my most favorite television commercials today, the ones that show people helping each other along a theme of personal responsibility.  Powerful humanity without the schmaltz.  It's remarkable how thought provoking the content is within the short timeframe.  The commercials are part of a larger campaign called The Responsibility Project.

The company was at BlogHer as a sponsor and to do some more outreach on its campaign.  Liberty's PR firm, Ketchum, had folks manning the booth. I asked the Ketchum people to give me some background on the Responsibility Project, and here's what they wrote:

"Liberty Mutual’s Responsibility
Project was a sponsor of this year’s 2009 BlogHer conference. The Project was
created in 2008 and uses entertainment content to create a forum for people to
discuss what responsibility means to them. The Responsibility Project has
covered a number of topics including parenting, education and the environment,
among others.  The  Project never takes a stand on what we feel is
right or wrong – we are simply creating a forum for discussion. Knowing that
BlogHer ’09 would be a strong gathering, Liberty Mutual decided to sponsor the
event and present an opportunity for influential women to voice their opinions
and join the discussion on what it means to 'do the right thing.'"

Rather than just hand out toys, Liberty conducted a survey — and not just on responsibility in general but on the responsibility of bloggers.

With the FTC looking into the question of bloggers accepting products for review and whether there's some underhanded quid pro quo happening, the Liberty Mutual survey featured a quick but interesting set of questions about things like the proposed FTC revisions to the Guidelines for Endorsements and Testimonials, sponsored blog posts and appropriate blog content.  I asked the PR reps to share the results.  Here they are.

  • 98 percent believe it's acceptable to receive a free product
  • A majority of participants cited transparency, disclosure and honesty as key caveats to receiving free products and to writing sponsored posts
  • 84 percent say that honesty is a key trait of a responsible blogger, followed by transparency — 66 percent, and reliable sources — 56 percent.

Liberty also conducted video interviews of bloggers, and Ketchum shared the link.  Click here.

I'm not sure yet what I think of these results, except to say that the more we can discern between bloggers and journalists, the better. We are just at the beginning of this process, however, so patience is key.

By the way:  BlogHer itself was a fun, interesting experience.  It is terrific to see so many people dedicated to writing and to exercising their franchise for free speech as well as building rock-solid businesses.  It was a good weekend for seeing the right kind of branding, from participants, to sponsors, to BlogHer itself.