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Generation X at Bat #TChat Recap

Do you ever wish you could instantly capture expert advice or opinions from across the World of Work?

Here’s an easy solution: Just ask a quick question on Twitter about generational differences in today’s workplace. Even better, ask that question during a #TChat event. I guarantee that, within moments, you’ll be drinking from a fire hose of thoughtful, passionate, articulate responses!

That’s exactly what we experienced on the #TChat stream last night with special guest, Mark Babbitt. As founder + CEO of YouTern, an organization that helps young professionals grow through high-impact information, mentorships and internships, Mark has developed strong opinions about the silent strength that Generation X brings to the workforce.

Do You Mind If I Talk About Your Age?

We were curious if the TalentCulture community agrees with Mark’s perspective. And we wondered how important generational similarities and differences are in shaping tomorrow’s organizations.

The conversation exposed what at first blush, might seem like opposing viewpoints. For example, on one hand, many participants emphasized the benefits of celebrating diversity:

“It’s not one-size-fits-all.” …and… “Let’s value the differences.” …and as Tom Bolt suggested…

Meanwhile, other participants emphasized the importance of focusing on similarities:

“Empower people; stop focusing on generations.” …and… “There are inspired, innovative, connected people in every generation.” …and as Kelly Blokdijk noted…

Of course, upon reflection, these perspectives are really two sides of the same coin. Both hold truths that can propel organizations forward.

But key questions remain — HOW BEST can we bring together both ends of this spectrum to create more effective organizational cultures? And how prepared is our next wave of leaders to accomplish that mission? Whenever human behavior is involved, there are many roads to the same destination. Some paths have many more detours and roadblocks. Organizations need smart navigators. Meanwhile, the business world continues to grow more complex and challenging. That’s why we’ll need extraordinary leaders in the future — regardless of their generation.

What’s Age Got To Do With It?

In the meantime, we look to one another for guidance. It’s actually phenomenal how much information has been created and shared about generations in the workplace. And yet organizations still struggle with how to “make it work.”

Just for fun, consider this quick, unscientific peek at the magnitude of commentary available online:

GOOGLE SEARCH RESULTS:
“Millennials” work = 39,000,000
“Boomers” work = 37,000,000
“Generation X” work = 3,260,000

You’d think there are enough nuggets of wisdom in there to help us understand and resolve these issues. But ideas, alone, aren’t the answer. Action is also required.

I wonder what “old-school” sage, the late Peter Drucker, would have said about this, if he had joined #TChat Twitter last night? Perhaps only this:

“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.”

After all, no matter how old or young we are, that’s really the only path to progress.

So let’s keep the ideas flowing. Let’s keep the lines of communication open. Let’s share what works, and toss out what doesn’t. But most of all, let’s encourage one another to be bold and try “something new.” Let’s keep trying, and learning, and growing, and evolving. Let’s look forward to creating that “new” future together!

#TChat Week-In-Review: Gen X — Leading From The Middle

MarkB

Watch the Hangout now

SAT 10/12:

#TChat Preview:
TalentCulture Community Manager Tim McDonald framed this week’s topic in a post that featured a brief G+ Hangout video with guest Mark Babbitt. Read the Preview: “Gen X: Leading From The Middle.”

SUN 10/13:

Forbes.com Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro suggested how leaders can overcome generational differences. Read: “5 Ways Leaders Bridge the Generational Divide.”

TUE 10/15:

Related Post: Dan Newman, author of “The Millennial CEO,” examined the source of effective leadership. Read: “Anatomy of a Leader: Not Just Skin Deep.”

WED 10/16:

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to the radio show now

#TChat Radio: Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman spoke with special guest, Mark Babbitt, about the unique challenges and opportunities that Generation X faces in today’s world of work. Listen to the radio recording now!

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Mark, Meghan and Kevin joined the entire community on the #TChat Twitter stream for an open conversation about 5 related questions. For highlights, check the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Highlights: Gen X: Leading From The Middle

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/tchat-insights-gen-x-leading-from-the-middle.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Mark Babbitt for adding your voice to this week’s discussion. Your insights about Gen X have helped challenge our assumptions and expand our understanding.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about the multi-generational workforce? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, we tackle another important “world of work” topic. So save the date (October 23) for another rockin #TChat double header. And keep an eye out for details in the next few days.

Meanwhile, the World of Work conversation continues! So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, on our LinkedIn discussion group. or elsewhere on social media. The lights are always on here at TalentCulture, and your thoughts are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Gen X: Leading From The Middle #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Are you looking for a complete overview of the week’s #TChat highlights and resource links? Read the #TChat Recap: “Generation X At Bat.”)

I just discovered that I’m exceptional! Or to be more accurate, I’m unconventional.

I’m a member of Gen X — and according to those who analyze age-related attributes, I should feel disadvantaged and overlooked in the workplace. Fortunately, I’ve had an interesting and rewarding career path, so perhaps I just got lucky. Or perhaps the assumptions aren’t as universal as we think.

But that raises some related questions — Just how “real” is the generational divide at work? And what do those differences mean, as Baby Boomers begin to retire, and a new wave of leaders steps up to drive the world of work?

Last week at #TChat Twitter, our community collectively agreed that the office is no place for age discrimination. However, for better or worse, each generation brings a unique set of shared experiences to the workplace. Are Baby Boomers and Millennials stealing attention from those of us who are “in the middle”? If so, what kind of impact will that have on the future of work?

This week, we’re addressing those questions head-on. We want to give Gen X the attention it deserves. And we’ve invited an ideal expert to lead the discussion:

Mark Babbitt, Founder + CEO of YouTern, an organization that helps young talent develop professionally through high-impact mentors, internships and information.

I spoke with Mark briefly in a joint G+ Hangout, where he set the stage for this week’s topic:

No matter what generation you represent, we want to hear your thoughts about how organizations can prepare tomorrow’s leaders for success. So please join us, and bring your ideas and opinions!

#TChat Events: Gen X — Leading From The Middle

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

#TChat Radio — Wed, Oct 16 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Mark Babbitt about the unique challenges and opportunities that Generation X faces in today’s world of work. Follow the action LIVE online, and dial-in with your feedback and questions!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Oct 16 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, we’ll move this discussion to the #TChat Twitter stream for an open chat with the entire TalentCulture community. Anyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these questions:

Q1: Gen X is “forgotten” in today’s workforce — myth or reality?
Q2: How can Gen Xers elevate their visibility and value at work?
Q3: Why is it smart for employers to empower all generations?
Q4: How can today’s leaders develop tomorrow’s decision makers?
Q5: What could technology do to remove generational barriers?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Why Recruiters Should Bet on Technology

Hiring the best talent for your company’s open positions should never feel like a gamble. Yet all too often, recruiters feel like they’re just rolling the dice, hoping to discover the ideal candidate.

Fortunately, the hiring process no longer has to feel like a game of chance, thanks to a wealth of smart new technologies, from social media sourcing to video interviewing. It’s always a good move to leverage innovative tools that can help make recruitment faster and easier.

The infographic below (compiled by Spark Hire, an online video resume and interviewing platform), shows that more employers are taking their chances with HR technology. It also suggests some compelling reasons why. For example:

 94% of recruiters plan to use social media in their recruitment efforts
  More than 6 in 10 employers now use video interviews in their hiring process
  Big data is expected to generate 4.4 million jobs by 2015
  Companies will spend more than $2 billion on gamification services by 2015
  70% of active job seekers are using mobile devices to look for jobs

New HR technology can help remove the guesswork from the hunt for top talent. Mobile recruiting can make it easier for candidates to apply, while video interviews can help you see beyond a candidate’s online poker face. If you roll the dice and apply winning technology across the recruiting process, the odds are likely to give you an advantage in today’s talent acquisition game.

Does your organization compare with others in applying new technology to HR? Check out infographic below, and share your opinions in the comments area!

What do you think? What new hiring technology has helped your company the most?

5 Social Skills Business Leaders Must Master

(Editor’s Note: This week, TalentCulture founder, Meghan M. Biro is speaking at the Peoplefluent WISDOM2013 Conference about a topic that is central to the world of work: “Leadership, Workplace Culture and Brand Influence.” In the spirit of her presentation, we’re sharing one of many articles Meghan has written about this topic. We hope it’s the next-best thing to being there!)

Recently, I consulted with a software company as it navigated through a treacherous sea change — the upheaval of its organizational culture. This shift was triggered when my client hired a Chief Technology Officer from another company – not exactly a competitor, but a company in an adjacent market space. However, technology market spaces aren’t entirely independent — and in this case, the overlap only added fuel to an already volatile clash of personalities. Needless to say, the change wasn’t graceful or happy. In fact, it was a nasty, stressful process. And for those of us who mopped up the mess, it was a sobering wake-up call.

Faceoff: Old Workplace Culture Meets New

The previous workplace culture was cut-throat and intensely political. However, the workforce knew and accepted those rules. The organization had been socialized.

When the new CTO arrived, he imposed his own culture – one that obscured motives and withheld explicit information from employees. Suddenly without warning, people were receiving email messages saying that their jobs had changed and their staffs had been reassigned. Plans and strategies were were not discussed. Details were not communicated. Nothing was socialized.

The company quickly began hemorrhaging top talent, much to the dismay of its puzzled CEO. This exodus was good news for industry recruiters (fresh job vacancies to fill), but it was clearly a bad scene for the company and its employer brand. Even worse, a few former employees started blogging about the drama. The message wasn’t pretty, and in today’s socially hyper-connected world, word traveled fast. That made recruiting high-caliber talent a far more challenging task. Even today, recovery remains a long, rough road.

Social Connection: The Missing Link

Of course, none of this had to happen. What could have prevented the chaos? In my opinion, if the organization’s senior executives had been socially adept, I would be telling an entirely different story. Perhaps to some people it sounds insignificant, but social leadership can make all the difference.

Socially savvy, engaged leaders share a set of skills that help protect their organizations from the havoc of sudden, devastating change. Don’t get me wrong. I recognize that change can be healthy — and often it’s necessary. But successful large-scale cultural change requires finesse and an understanding of the “human side” of business.

In this case, the company hired an outsider to change its technical direction. That part is normal and appropriate. But the CEO didn’t anticipate the painful change in culture that would follow, or the subsequent loss of valued employees. It’s not because the CEO is weak, but because he lacked critical social skills.

In my practice, I work with lots of leaders seeking to expand their teams and make their workplace culture attractive for both potential new employees and current ones. Some clients are very socially aware and engaged. Some are socially tone-deaf and isolated from what’s happening both within the walls of their own companies, and across the broader business landscape. Both types of leaders can be successful to a point – the point where trust, loyalty, values and expectations affect financial performance and company growth.

Being a socially engaged leader is not an innate skill. However, it’s increasingly necessary in today’s networked business environment, as today’s multi-generational workforce puts more strain on corporate cultures to “open up” communication, and social media creates direct channels that reveal what it’s really like to work at various companies.

No doubt about it — today’s brave new connected world of work requires brave new social leadership. Here are 5 must-have social skills that every business leader should develop:

5 Skills To Master As A Social Leader

1) Recognize non-verbal cues. A skilled social leader does not rely on only one form of communication, but is informed by all – verbal, written, non-verbal, viral and so on. Being sensitive to non-verbal cues is difficult because much of today’s communication is digital. However, to effectively interpret non-verbal cues in face-to-face interactions, you must be able to recognize how your personal perception filters input. You don’t have to be a paragon of mental health, but you do need to shut-off the noise in your head long enough to read other people and understand what’s going on with them.

2) Interact regularly. You don’t have to know everyone’s name or how many kids they have. However, you do need to be aware of how employees, peers, partners and customers are thinking, feeling and reacting. This means you must engage others proactively — even through digital forms of communication. How can you expect your organization to be cohesive internally, or build a coherent brand externally, unless everyone shows up to “represent”? You don’t need to tweet or send email round-the-clock, but you must be comfortable connecting in person and on social channels. By reaching out early and often, you’ll learn valuable insights that you’d never anticipate otherwise.

3) Openly discuss your values and purpose. People join companies for many reasons, but what’s more interesting is why they stay. They stay because they feel a sense of shared values, purpose, mission and vision. If you’re a leader and you don’t regularly reinforce the company’s value and purpose, be prepared to do a lot of remedial recruiting when you lose more talent than you’d like.

4) Encourage a community presence. Like it or not, social media is vital in the world of work. Paternalistic managers and top-down leaders sometimes have trouble with this skill, but it’s no longer an option. Companies don’t function in a bubble. They move in a social sphere, where business reputation and results can be shaped by online communities – even when they’re not your customers. Are you blogging on behalf of your company brand? Is anyone in your organization tweeting, blogging or developing a virtual community? Is that even encouraged?

5) Demonstrate authentic interest in your employees and others. You can learn some skills and fake others, but it’s tough to fake sincerity. Some might argue that this is a personality attribute, not a skill. But for me, sincerity makes the difference between a leader and a task manager. If you’re not sincere, you’ll do things that might make business sense, but eventually they’ll backfire. Think of the company snapshot at the start of this post. The CEO thought it made sense to hire new senior technology talent. But because neither he nor the CTO valued sincerity or honest communication, the company is paying a heavy price.

Social engagement is not a management overlay on a toxic culture. It’s not a Band-Aid, a work-around or a cure-all. It’s a way of thinking about business, and doing business. It’s about operating with awareness and engagement — using the power of social networks to demonstrate your brand promise in today’s dynamic marketplace. It’s how the world works. It’s how you need to work. So make your move. Your company’s future depends on it.

(Editor’s Note: Meghan M. Biro is an active contributor to Forbes.com. This article is adapted from Meghan’s Forbes.com blog, with permission.)

(Image Credit: Pixabay)

TMI? Fresh Take on Privacy by an HR Lawyer #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Want to see complete highlights and resource links from this week’s #TChat events? Read the recap: “The Social Workplace: Nowhere To Hide.”)

For better or worse, much of today’s world of work now plays out on a relatively open, social stage. Many of us — employers, employees and job candidates alike — welcome this as progress. However, it also raises core legal questions about transparency and confidentiality on all sides of the employment equation.

It’s like a scene from Goldilocks and the Three Bears. How do you know if you’re openly exchanging too much information? Too little? Or just the right amount? What business practices are accepted in your organization? What does common sense tell you? And what would a lawyer do?

Fortunately for the TalentCulture community, a smart, HR-savvy attorney is in the #TChat house this week to advise us about these issues!

Our guest expert this week is Mary Wright, former General Counsel of Ogletree Deakins, a premier employment litigation firm, and founding Editor of HR Gazette, a daily online newspaper for HR professionals and employment lawyers.

To kick-off this week’s conversation, I spoke briefly with Mary in a G+ Hangout, where she explained why it’s time to recast “privacy rights” workplace issues in a more positive light:

#TChat Events: Transparency vs. Privacy in the World of Work

This promises to be an enlightening week for HR and recruiting professionals, as well as employees and job seekers everywhere. So join us with your questions, concerns, ideas and opinions!

#TChat Radio — Wed, Sep 25 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Mary Wright about legal issues and implications surrounding privacy in the workplace — from the perspective of employers as well as employees and job candidates. Tune-in to the interview LIVE online, and call-in with your comments and questions!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Sep 25 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, we’ll move the discussion to the #TChat Twitter stream, for an open chat with the entire TalentCulture community. Anyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these questions:

Q1: What does transparency and privacy in the workplace mean to you?
Q2: Are transparency and privacy essential to orderly and efficient workplaces?
Q3: What are the most common legal mistakes employers and employees make with one another?
Q4: What can business leaders do to balance the two and avoid legal trouble?
Q5: How does technology enable and hinder transparency and privacy in the workplace?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Forbes Picks TalentCulture As A Top Career Site: 3 Reasons Why It Matters

“The people to get even with are those who’ve helped you.”
–J.E. Southard

Today it’s time for us to “get even” by expressing deep gratitude! Why? Because Forbes.com has selected TalentCulture as one of “100 Top Websites For Your Career.” Of course we’re thrilled — and not just for all the obvious reasons. So, in the spirit of lists everywhere, here are our 3 Reasons Why This Forbes List Matters:

1) It Matters For Our Mission

By including us, Forbes is acknowledging the rise of crowdsourcing and virtual communities of practice in today’s social business world. And, if you consider the breadth and caliber of the company we’re keeping, it truly is an honor to be featured.

2) It Matters To Others In The World Of Work

On this list, everyone is a winner because there are no rankings. Instead, as Forbes staff writer Jacquelyn Smith notes:

“Our goal was to assemble a comprehensive guide to smart and engaging…online destinations for interns, job seekers, business owners, established professionals, retirees, and anyone else looking to launch, improve, advance, or change his or her career.”

forbes-logoForbes has developed a highly eclectic mix of sites. It’s not just about wildly popular social platforms like Twitter; professional networking sites like LinkedIn; job boards like CareerBuilder; and reference sites like the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Forbes actually adds meat to those big bones with niche services like CareerBliss and PayScale, as well as informational sites like Lindsey Pollak and Jobacle.

However, for us, the most exciting sites on the list are the many valued friends, partners and participants in our TalentCulture community. For example:

Blogging4Jobs by Jessica Miller-Merrell
Brazen Life by Brazen Careerest
Come Recommended by Heather Huhman
Keppie Careers by Miriam Salpeter
The Office Blend by Dr. Marla Gottschalk
Tweak It Together by Cali Yost
WorkLifeNation by Judy Martin
YouTern by Mark Babbitt

3) We Hope It Matters To You

Most importantly, this recognition is a positive reflection on each of you — the tens-of-thousands of monthly visitors who rely upon TalentCulture as a resource for helpful “world of work” ideas, insights, connections and conversations with professional peers.

This milestone is also an opportunity for us to express our gratitude for the hundreds of community participants who, for nearly 4 years have generously developed blog content, appeared as guests on our #TChat Radio shows, participated in our popular #TChat Twitter events, and shared knowledge and peer support continuously on our social media channels.

TalentCulture exists only because of the time, effort and skill that each of you contribute. That’s the beauty of community. This isn’t merely a “website.” This is a reflection of a continuous collaborative process that our founder, Meghan M. Biro, calls a “metaphor for the social workplace.”

Truly, in this case, we could not have done this with out you. So thanks to you all! And congratulations on what you’ve helped us create. Stay tuned to this site — and let’s see where our living learning laboratory will take us next!

Image Credit: redagainPatti at flickr

 

Intrapreneurs: Creating Value From Within #TChat Recap

How can a culture of intrapreneurship help companies retain top talent, while serving customers more effectively? That was the focus of our community conversation at last week’s #TChat forums. We understand that the concept of intrapreneurship is new to some of our participants. So, let’s first look at its history and meaning, before we summarize the week’s events.

Innovation With Infrastructure

The term “intrapreneur” first appeared in a 1978 article written by organizational design experts, Gifford & Elizabeth Pinchot. A recent FastCompany article defines intrapreneurs as people who work within existing organizations to accelerate change, while simultaneously creating business value.

In another FastCompany article, Hilton Worldwide VP Jennifer Silberman takes a more expansive view, noting that intrapreneurs are integral to corporate responsibility initiatives. She says, “the intrapreneurial mindset helps drive innovation and uncover opportunities within the challenges of operating in a changing world.”

David Armano, EVP, Global Innovation & Integration at Edelman, describes intrapreneurs as people who have entrepreneurial DNA, but choose to align their talents with a large organization, rather than creating one from scratch. Of course, successful intrapreneurs are valuable employees, because they’re a source of sustainable competitive advantage.

More and more companies are leveraging intraprenuerial talent by establishing initiatives and cross-functional teams to design and launch new products, services and systems. Project leads are given autonomy and resources to generate and develop concepts. In return, they “own” their endeavor’s success or failure.

According to Douglas Brown of Post University, an intrapreneurial role can lead to greater job satisfaction, because individuals are able to perform in a leadership capacity, exercise creativity, build credibility, and make a meaningful impact on the business — all within a reasonably safe environment.

Fueling The Intrapreneurial Fire

GoGiver

Learn more about The Go-Giver

So, how can organizations nurture an intrapreneurial spirit in employees? And how can each of us tap into our “inner entrepreneur” to create business value?

Helping us explore those questions was the week’s special guest, business author and commentator, Bob Burg. Bob is widely recognized for his ability to bring complex concepts to life in ways that are entertaining and easy to understand. In this case, Bob asked us to consider behaviors that distinguish “go-getters,” “go-takers” and “go-givers.”

Go-getters are people who take action. Go-takers also take action, but feel entitled to receive without offering value in return. Meanwhile, go-givers focus on actions that continuously add value to others’ lives. Bob’s book, “The Go-Giver” outlines 5 powerful principles that contribute to success:

• The Law of Value – Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment
• The Law of Compensation – Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them
• The Law of Influence – Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first
• The Law of Authenticity – The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself
• The Law of Receptivity – The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving

This lighthearted video reveals more about the 5 “Go-Giver” laws:

Celebrating “Go-Giver” Intrapreneurs

In a recent Huffington Post article, Wharton professor Adam Grant emphasized the importance of Recognizing Go-Givers. This is just one way companies could build a culture that supports creative contributions. Our #TChat Twitter participants offered hundreds of other suggestions. (For highlights from the conversation, see the Storify slideshow below.)

Thanks to everyone in the TalentCulture community who shared opinions and ideas at this week’s #TChat events. We invite you to review the resources below, and continue this discussion about innovation from within!

#TChat Week-In-Review: Entrepreneurs In Your Organization

SAT 8/24:

Bob_Burg_TChat Preview

Watch the #TChat “sneak peek” video now

#TChat Preview: TalentCulture Community Manager Tim McDonald the framed the week’s topics in a preview post, featuring a “sneak peek” video with guest Bob Burg. Read: “Corporate Entrepreneurs: Best Of Both Worlds?”

SUN 8/25:

Forbes.com Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro challenged business leaders to rethink the ways they engage with their most creative employees. Read: “5 Ways To Unleash The Power Of Your People.”

MON 8/26:

Related Post: Hans Balmaekers, Founder of intrapreneurial incubator sa.am, offered relevant advice to young professionals who are looking for entrepreneurial opportunities. Read: “Want To Be Your Own Boss? Try This First.”

WED 8/28:

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to the #TChat Radio show now

#TChat Radio: In a thought-provoking warm-up to our community Twitter conversation, Bob Burg spoke with radio hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman about how intrapreneurs fit in today’s workplace, and how organizations can create an environment that supports those endeavors. Listen now to the radio show recording.

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, I moderated an open discussion with Bob and our entire community on the #TChat Twitter stream. For highlights from this dynamic session, watch the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Highlights: Entrepreneurs In Your Organization

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/tchat-insights-intrapreneurs-taking-entrepreneurs.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Bob Burg for generously sharing your expertise about the importance of creating value in business and in life. Your practical wisdom is deeply relevant and helpful to all of us.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did last week’s events prompt you to write about intrapreneurial values, behaviors and success? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: This week, we leap into a jam-packed fall season for #TChat events, starting with the topic, “Recruiting IS Marketing” with David Bernstein and Chris Fields, It’s one week you don’t want to miss! So plan to join us, and check for more details here and on TalentCulture channels.

In the meantime, the World of Work conversation continues — even on Labor Day! So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, on our LinkedIn discussion group. or elsewhere on social media. The lights are always on here at TalentCulture, and your ideas and opinions are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Corporate Entrepreneurs: Best Of Both Worlds? #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Want to see full highlights from this week’s events, including resource links? Read the #TChat Recap: “Intrepreneurs: Creating Value From Within.”)

Earlier this month, we kick-started a community conversation with Marcia Conner about ingenuity in our personal and professional lives — looking at how each of us can benefit by channeling our inner “McGyver.” More recently, we drilled down on the concept of disruptive innovation — how radically new ideas and technologies continue to create new business opportunities.

This week, we invite you to help us connect those two dots, as we explore what’s possible when organizations actively nurture an entrepreneurial culture. So-called “intrapreneurship” isn’t a novel idea. However, at a time when employee engagement seems stuck at low ebb, a dedicated effort to drive internal innovation can help retain top talent, and simultaneously create a competitive edge. But how?

To lead this conversation, we’re excited to welcome one of my favorite business authors and commentators, Bob Burg. Bob writes extensively and speaks enthusiastically about what it takes for organizations and individuals to leverage their strengths in today’s world of work.

For a glimpse of Bob’s view of intrapreneurship, watch this brief #TChat sneak-peek Hangout:

This week’s #TChat forums promise to be dynamic and informative. So bring your best ideas, questions and concerns — and let’s continue the conversation!

#TChat Events: Entrepreneurs Inside Your Organization

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

#TChat Radio — Wed, Aug 28 at 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

Bob joins our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman to talk about how intrapreneurs fit in today’s workplace, and how organizations can create an environment that supports those endeavors. Listen LIVE and dial-in with your questions and feedback!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Aug 28 at 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, Bob will join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, where Dr. Nancy Rubin will moderate an open discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. Anyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these questions:

Q1: How can entrepreneurs find happiness in a corporate workplace culture?
Q2: What’s the difference between a “go-getter” and a “go-giver”?
Q3: How do companies attract, hire and retain “intrapreneurs”?
Q4: What can business leaders and HR gain from being intrapraneurs?
Q5: What technologies today enable intrapraneurship, and how?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep this discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our new LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Quantum Change: Embracing Innovation #TChat Recap

Last night at #TChat forums, we came, we saw, and we disrupted. But this wasn’t random disruption. It was organized chaos — all in the name of knowledge sharing among talent-minded professionals. (For tweet-by-tweet highlights, see the Storify slideshow below.)

Business technology analyst Jim Lundy helped lead the TalentCulture community conversation this week, as we explored the most disruptive innovations on the horizon, and discussed their potential impact on the world of work.

As Jim explained in a blog post yesterday, innovation is at the heart of how we measure companies today. Organizations must have a robust approach to managing innovation. Although disruptive innovation is based on technology, its success actually depends upon how well people understand and apply it in real-world environments.

What Is Disruptive Innovation?

The concept of disruptive innovation was first coined by the soft-spoken Harvard professor Clayton Christensen in 1997. Think of it as technology that transforms a market or sector by introducing simplicity, convenience, accessibility and affordability where complexity and high cost are the norm. At first blush, a disruptive innovation may seem inconsequential or unattractive, but ultimately it can radically redefine whole industries or sectors.

In this brief video, Professor Christensen describes how he introduced the theory to former Intel CEO, Andy Grove:

The Value of Innovation: Big Dollars In Disruption

Disruptive Technologies_NewYorkTimes_McKinseyGlobalInstitute

See the disruptive innovation chart and article at the New York Times

What does all this mean, in terms of business benefits? A new McKinsey report examines the economic impact of 12 emerging disruptive technologies — led by the mobile Internet and knowledge work automation. As the New York Times illustrates, by 2025, these 12 technologies are expected to create a whopping $33 trillion a year in global business value.

Linking Disruption With Employee Engagement

Why and how can leaders encourage employee engagement via disruption? Recently, TalentCulture founder Meghan M. Biro examined this question, in response to a Gallup poll that indicates 70% of American workers are either actively or passively disengaged at work. Business collaboration and knowledge sharing tools can make a big difference in supporting connections and professional development that help employees feel empowered and appreciated.

In addition, talent strategist Gary Kastenbaum recommends that business leaders approach employee engagement with a disruptive mindset. He outlines three guiding principles:

  • Lesson 1: Corporate social responsibility programs and cause marketing are linked and drive employee engagement.
  • Lesson 2: Engaged employees are proud of your organization’s values and they are loyal to your company.
  • Lesson 3: Engaged employees are recruited, not created.

What do you think of this framework for “disruptive” engagement? How far into organizational process should “disruption” reach?

Big Issues — Big Ideas

This week’s events challenged each of us to take a fresh look at our personal and organizational attitudes, values and behaviors when it comes to technology and innovation. But we’ve only just begun to push the envelope! Thanks for contributing your thoughts and concerns — we look forward to hearing more from you on this topic. In case you missed any of the #TChat action, we invite you to review highlights in the slideshow below, along with other related resources.

#TChat Week-in-Review: Technology Disruption and Adoption

LucyChocolates-001

Read the Preview Post now

SUN 8/11:

#TChat Preview: Our Community Manager, Tim McDonald, outlined the week’s topic in the preview post: Tech Disruption: Too Much Of A Good Thing?

MON 8/12:

Forbes.com Post: Several previous posts from TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro underscored technology advancements, and their implications for today’s workplace. Read:

•  “5 Trends Defining The World of Work and Leadership in 2013”
•  
“Your Employees Are Engaged: Really?”
•  “Employee Engagement: Every Leader’s Imperative”

WED 8/14

TChatRadio_logo_020813#TChat Radio: This was a fascinating warm-up before the main Twitter chat event! Our radio hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talked with Jim Lundy about today’s hottest technology advancements, and their impact on business organizations. Listen now to the radio show recording.

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Jim joined the entire TalentCulture community on the #TChat Twitter stream for an open conversation about disruptive technologies in today’s workplace. If you missed the action, or want to review highlights, check out the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Twitter Highlights: Technology Innovation: Disruption and Adoption

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/tchat-insights-workplace-innovation-how-to-fuse-d.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Jim Lundy for generously sharing insights about today’s most innovative workplace technologies. It’s exciting to peek into the future of work with experts like you!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about innovation, disruption and corporate culture? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, our “summer restart” series continues, with a look into the strategic business value of workplace flexibility. So plan to join us, and check for details this weekend on TalentCulture social channels.

In the meantime, the World of Work conversation continues everyday. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, on our LinkedIn discussion group. or on other social channels. And feel free to explore our redesigned website. The lights are always on here at TalentCulture, and your ideas and opinions are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

 

Tech Disruption: Too Much Of A Good Thing? #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Are you looking for a full review of week’s events, including resource links? See the #TChat Recap “Quantum Change: Embracing Innovation.”)

Innovation at the speed of business.

That sounds like a tagline for countless high-tech vendors, doesn’t it?

Once upon a time, it was a strategic call-to-action for organizations seeking competitive advantage in the digital age. But what does this catchphrase imply today, for a global workplace that’s more turbo-charged than ever?

Ready Or Not — Here Comes More Change

For better or worse, disruption has become part of our lives. Technology is advancing at a feverish pace, and a new wave of digitally-savvy workers is entering the workforce in droves. Yet at the same time, employee engagement seems to remain stuck almost in neutral. This apparent disconnect raises nagging questions about how effectively innovation really drives individual and business performance.

We Have Seen the Future, And It Is Us

Most of us agree that tools, alone, have little value. It’s what we do with them that matters. So, in a world where technology is continually disrupting our organizational workflows, what lies ahead, and how can we prepare more effectively? As the rate of innovation accelerates, can adoption actually keep pace? How can we stay ahead of the learning curve? Why does it matter? And what are the human consequences — good, bad, and indifferent?

These are big questions with serious business implications. That’s why we’ve asked a workplace innovation expert to be our guest at #TChat forums this week. Jim Lundy, founder and CEO of Aragon Research has been at the forefront of enterprise collaboration and learning technology for almost 30 years — both in product marketing and sales executive roles at vendors like Saba Software and Xerox — and as an industry analyst at Gartner and now Aragon.

#TChat Events: Fusing Technology Disruption And Adoption

This week’s conversation promises to offer a fascinating peek at what’s ahead — and why that matters for all of us in the world of work. So join us as our “Summer Restart” series looks at why and how technology disruption and adoption are essential companions in business transformation. Bring your questions, concerns and ideas, and let’s talk!

#TChat Radio — Wed, Aug 14 at 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

Jim Lundy joins our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman to talk about the most disruptive technologies on the horizon, and their potential impact on organizations. Listen live and dial-in with your questions and feedback!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Aug 14 at 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, Jim follows us to the #TChat Twitter stream, as we open the discussion to the entire TalentCulture community. Anyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we explore these questions:

Q1: What are the top disruptive HR technologies today and why?
Q2: How can the enterprise leverage innovation for positive workplace outcomes?
Q3: Why disruption? Can’t we just improve the process/tech status quo?
Q4: What can leaders do to encourage employee engagement via disruption?
Q5: Has innovation flattened today’s world of work for the better?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our new LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Image Credit: CBS Television

Brainstorming Is Broken: Rethinking Group Dynamics

Creativity means looking at things differently. So let’s look differently at creativity, itself — and consider how we can do a better job of inspiring it in today’s collaborative workplace.

Creative Collaboration: What Works?

At Achievers, we recognize that no two people are the same. That’s why we’re advocates for personalized work environments. Every individual responds differently to public versus private praise, monetary versus intrinsic motivation, and other other aspects of employee engagement. So why do brainstorming practices tend to overlook those factors? When teams are asked to generate innovative ideas, why do we expect the best results by asking everyone to operate in a similar way?

Leigh Thompson, professor at Kellogg School of Management and author of Creative Conspiracy: The New Rules of Breakthrough Collaboration,” says that we should rethink multiple assumptions about collaboration and creativity. Research by Leigh and others indicates that established brainstorming practices can actually limit the flow of creative thinking, and potentially jeopardize successful outcomes. For example, many people assume that it’s best for contributors to meet in the same location, and openly share ideas in an environment that’s free from critical feedback. However, real-world evidence suggests otherwise.

3 Ways To Rethink Brainstorming

The next time you need to challenge your team to generate big ideas, consider a fresh approach. Specifically, look for ways to allow for alone time, anonymity, and criticism:

1) Work Together, But Alone

For some of us, ideas flow more freely when we write on a whiteboard whatever comes to mind as we stand in front of a group. Others prefer to reflect on a problem before joining a brainstorm session. Often, taking time to work on a problem alone sparks an idea that would otherwise not surface in a group setting.

Give your team members time to generate possible solutions on their own, and frame the brainstorm meeting as a time to share, develop and refine those raw concepts. Employees who get nervous in group settings are able to prepare, and those who are most creative in the company of others get a chance to find and express their own inspiration.

2) Allow Anonymity

To avoid the effects of groupthink and hierarchy bias, introduce anonymity to the creative process. Leigh Thompson suggests that groups use index cards to collect suggestions, and choose the best options through a “blind” vote. Another technique is “cyberstorming,” which allows team members to anonymously enter ideas and votes in a database.

These methods level the playing field for those who are shy, new or have little seniority. They can also mitigate the influence of “loudmouth” participants who tend to dominate group interactions. Ultimately, it ensures that ideas will be rated according to their perceived value, not on the title or behavior of the person submitting them.

3) Encourage Criticism

We’re all familiar with the phrase, “Any idea is a good idea in a brainstorm.” However, science proves otherwise. For example, in a UC Berkeley study on brainstorming, psychology professor Charlan Nemeth found that when participants were instructed not to criticize teammates, fewer solutions were generated. On the other hand, when participants were encouraged to debate (but not attack) ideas, they contributed significantly more ideas than their “no criticism” counterparts.

By opening the floor to debate, all team members are encouraged to consider ideas from their unique perspective, and they tend to add value by suggesting with more ways to go about it. Try this approach in your next meeting and see how it works for your team.

Reignite Your Group’s Creative Fire

Brainstorming still holds an important place in the business world. However, to gain even more from this process, it’s wise to reexamine how you apply it in your organization. Consider how you can address the unique creative and collaborative styles of your team members, and you’re likely to see a dramatic difference in how they respond.

What are your thoughts? Have you tried any of the suggested techniques? What brainstorming conditions have made a difference in your experience? Share your thoughts in the comments area.

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Crowdsourcing: Hot Mess or High Art? #TChat Recap

Do you ever wonder what unsuspecting people think when they stumble across a #TChat event in-progress? Do they mistake it for some sort of wild, unchained idea orgy?

I can see why the uninitiated might assume that a magical “meeting of the minds” has spontaneously sprouted in a random social media moment.

After all, for 2+ years on Wednesday nights, the #TChat hashtag has consistently trended on Twitter, as the stream lights up in a blaze of 140-character glory about workplace culture. We’re creating our own gravitational pull with all those tweets. Could a TalentCulture zip code be far away?

But seriously, those of us who participate in #TChat conversations know that it’s not crowdsourcing’s answer to a flash mob. This isn’t just a way to fill an hour with social serendipity that evaporates when we turn out the lights. At least, that’s not the intent.

Instead, I like to think of TalentCulture as a living learning laboratory — or as Meghan Biro puts it, a metaphor for the social workplace. And each week’s events are carefully planned and presented with the goal of creating something bigger than the sum of its parts. Ideally, each of us can find something useful to ponder and apply in our professional lives, between those intense #TChat conversations.

For me, the most memorable and meaningful idea this week came from learning expert, Justin Mass:

What was your top takeaway?

Most likely, it was one of the brilliant thoughts from our guest, Nick Kellet. As co-founder of List.ly, a service that makes it easy for people to organize and share information through social channels, Nick deeply understands the art and science of digital discovery, curation and collaboration. His #TChat insights were so varied and powerful, I’m inspired to write a separate post that showcases those ideas. But in the meantime, here’s the “Nick” tweet that garnered the most retweets this week — with good reason:

So, in that spirit of discovery and sharing, we invite you to review other comments from Nick and the entire #TChat tribe in the “highlights” slideshow below. There’s an abundance of wisdom in this crowd, and we’re grateful for your contributions. Let us know how these resources help you gain a better perspective on tools and techniques can improve your world of work. We’re always open and interested in your thoughts!

#TChat Week in Review: Learning Through Collaboration

SAT 7/27

NickKellet

Watch the G+ Hangout with Nick Kellet

#TChat Preview: Our Community Manager, Tim McDonald, framed the week’s topics in a post featuring a brief G+ Hangout with Nick. Read the Preview Post: “Social Learning: Making Connections Count”

SUN 7/28

Forbes.com Post: In her weekly Forbes column, TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, offered advice about how organizations can create more value from collaborative endeavors. Read “5 Leadership Secrets of Collaboration Success.”

Audit ResultsTUE 7/30

Related Post: Our guest, Nick, contributed a fascinating post about blog content analysis, inspired by a benchmarking tool he has created with Listly. To learn more and to request a free audit of your blog site, read “Web Content: What Does It Say About You?”

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to the #TChat Radio show

WED 7/31

#TChat Radio: Just prior to our weekly Twitter chat event, Nick joined TalentCulture founders and radio hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman for a thoughtful look at why and how collaboration tools and techniques are redefining how we live, work and play. Listen now to the radio show recording.

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, the entire TalentCulture community came together for an open discussion on the #TChat stream. In case you missed the action, check out the highlights in our Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Twitter Highlights: Social Learning Through Collaboration

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/tchat-insights-social-learning-making-connections.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Nick Kellet for sharing his extensive understanding of core issues and opportunities surrounding learning in today’s networked business environment. Your passion and depth of knowledge inspire us to keep pushing the collaborative envelope.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about social learning tools, techniques or implications? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, we welcome workplace learning and innovation expert and author, Marcia Conner! Stay tuned to TalentCulture social channels for details.

In the meantime, the World of Work conversation continues each day. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, on our LinkedIn discussion group. or on other social channels. And feel free to explore our redesigned website. The gears are always turning here at TalentCulture, and your ideas and opinions are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Punkrose via Flickr Creative Commons

Web Content: What Does It Say About You?

Written by Nick Kellet

In today’s digital world of work, all of us are content consumers and producers. Our personal brands are defined by the thousands of ways we express our preferences and communicate our personal values. Our choices become us.

This is the power of social media in the age of self-expression. We can be anything we choose. We’re defined both by our inputs and outputs:

• We are what we create.
• We are what we consume.
• We are what we share.

What’s more, our experiences with content reveal how we learn, across multiple dimensions:

• What we know and aspire to know;
• What we like and dislike;
• What sources of information we trust;
• Who we know and want to know.

It’s useful to see how, why and where we share ideas, because this helps us understand the social learning process. I’m particularly fascinated by this “social” side of learning, because my company (Listly) exists to help others easily find, organize and share meaningful information on the web.

Let’s Look Closer at Digital Content

Recently I analyzed popular content networks like YouTube and Slideshare — comparing them to social networks like Facebook and Twitter. I concluded that both types of content sources have their own unique advantages. (For details, see my posts about Content Networks and Social Networks.) I also concluded that there are 6 key types of “sharable” digital content: Video, Audio, Slides, Lists, Graphics and Documents.

Shareable Content: Content Networks

(Infographic: Courtesy of Visually)

We can freely create and embed these types of content in blog posts. We can also share them directly with others on social media and through private communication channels. It’s now easy to track and measure activities involving any of these content types, so we can understand what works best in various scenarios. The metrics also help us decide which content is worth consuming.

I took the analysis one step further and devised a quick way to perform a blog content audit. This enables us to generate a “snapshot” of any blog’s content mix, and compare that profile with others. The results appear in a customized “trading card” for each blog.

This initiative began by focusing on 22 top blogs, but because we’ve received such a strong response, we’re now expanding that scope and deepening our analysis.

Sample Blog Analysis: TalentCulture

To illustrate how the process works, let me explain how I audited TalentCulture.com. I reviewed the site’s most recent 25 posts, and simply tagged posts that include videos, slides and other content elements. If a post contains more than one type of embedded media, all the content elements are counted. Here are the results, in our “trading card” format:
TC TradingCard

Interpreting Results

So what does this all mean? Relative to other blogs we’ve analyzed, TalentCulture very frequently features lists, with videos as a secondary form of content. Audio, slides and graphic content play a much less prominent role, compared to benchmark sites.

What is the perfect mix of “sharable” content elements? That’s a hard question to answer, because each blog serves a different audience. However, here are results from 70+ blogs analyzed thus far:

Blog Audit Benchmarks

Key Takeaways

Here are some recommendations worth noting, based on our findings to-date:

1) Consider “mixed media” a strength. There’s clearly a trend toward posts that include multiple content types.

2) Include slides and video where possible/applicable. (Don’t just embed your own content — shine a light on the work of others.)

3) Transform existing content into other forms of media, when appropriate. (For example, turn a blog post into a slidedeck or a video.)

4) Make sure you integrate some audio content — whether it’s a podcast or simply a recording of an author reading post content aloud.

5) Lists are the most frequently used form of content. Blog posts that include a list in the title are usually popular, simply because they imply that the content will be easy to skim.

6) Include “Pin-friendly” images, with meme-worthy quotes in your posts. This lends itself to sharing — images with text are much more meaningful than isolated images without written context.

7) Use embedded content to break-up your copy visually. This makes your body copy more approachable and easier for visitors to digest.

8) Consider performing a similar content audit of blogs from competitors or from thought leaders who have creative blogs that your admire.

9) Be aware of your content mix, and follow a weekly or monthly format that repeats themes. This makes it easy to manage your mix.

In summary: You are a reflection of not only what you write, but also of the content that you include in your digital space. Aim to help people think of your content as fun and easy to consume. It will create a more inviting experience for visitors, and will add a more authentic human personality to your web presence and your brand image.

(Editor’s Note: To request a content audit of your blog, “like” Nick’s “Top Content” post at Slideshare and add your URL in the “comments” area of that post. We look forward to hearing about your score!)

015_img_2801(Author Profile: Nick Kellet is co-founder of social curation platform Listly. He believes that effective curation is as much about listening and engaging as it is about publishing and the tools themselves. A serial innovator who loves to jump domains from board games to business intelligence, Nick also believes that passion in the company of friends and community is an unstoppable force.

Connect with Nick on Twitter, on LinkedIn and on G+, and follow his writing via his other guest posts and on his blogs at NickKellet.com and at blog.list.ly.)

Social Learning: Making Connections Count #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Want to see a full overview of this week’s event’s and resources? Read the #TChat Recap: Crowdsourcing — Hot Mess or High Art?)

Learning. It’s fundamental to human personal and professional growth. And increasingly, corporations recognize its critical contribution to overall business growth.

But how is the learning process changing in today’s more connected, “social” world of work? Are we making the most of opportunities to collaborate? How can we leverage personal and professional networks to be smarter and more effective in every aspect of our lives?

This week, our “Summer Restart” series moves beyond last week’s crowdsourcing event, to focus more specifically on how to get more out of tools and techniques designed to curate and share collective wisdom.

Our guest brings unique, first-hand understanding of how and why collaborative learning can enrich our lives, improve professional performance and drive business innovation.

Nick Kellet is a pioneer in applying purposeful collaboration to business challenges and opportunities. He is co-founder of List.ly, a service that empowers people to create, manage, share and engage with the web’s best lists.

Nick helped me frame this week’s events by discussing his perspective on social learning in a brief G+ Hangout:

#TChat Events: Connecting Collaboration and Success

This week’s topic is destined to shift your collaborative spirit into high gear. So be sure to join us on Wednesday, July 31, for a dynamic #TChat double-header. Bring your questions, concerns, ideas and suggestions, and let’s talk!

#TChat Radio — Wed, July 31 at 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

Nick joins our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman for a thoughtful look at why and how collaboration tools and techniques are redefining how we live, work and play. Listen live and dial-in with your questions and feedback!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, July 31 at 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, we’ll go wide with Nick for an open-mic community discussion on the #TChat stream. We welcome anyone with a Twitter account to join us, as we explore collaboration and learning together, with these questions as a guide:

Q1:  Social learning — what exactly is it and why is it exploding?
Q2:  What soft skills are needed to facilitate collaboration online and offline?
Q3:  How do collaboration and knowledge sharing enrich our integrated work/life lives today?
Q4:  Nick says “We are what we consume, produce and share.” Agree? Why/why not?
Q5:  What technologies enable social learning and collaboration today? What’s missing?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our new LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Your Digital Domain: Who’s The Boss? #TChat Recap

“With great power comes great responsibility.” -Voltaire

Do you suppose this is what it felt like back in 1967, during the “Summer of Love?” Our country was weary from years of war and civil unrest, and people were searching to reconnect with their humanity. That’s when “peace” took on new meaning as a symbol of promise for individuals and a new world order.

Flash-forward to today, when many among us are weary and searching to rediscover our humanity — but in a different way. This time, it’s fueled by the digital revolution. Why? We’ve been deeply engaged for so long with so many forms of networked communication that it seems we’ve reached a point of diminishing returns. Even the most intrepid “wired” geeks openly yearn for a certain kind of peace. And now, that discomfort is leading many to pursue serenity — either by dialing back on social channels or temporarily unplugging altogether.

Defining A Digital Destiny: To Each His Own

Grand as it may be, today’s “always on” social business experiment is taking a toll. And if this week’s #TChat forums are any indicator, workplace leaders are just starting to understand and respond to the consequences of an over-extended 24×7 workforce.

When do the productivity benefits of digital connections cross the line from the sublime to the ridiculous? When does hyper-connectivity become a drain on employee engagement and performance? How can workers maintain a healthy mindset in a world of nonstop demands? And how can leaders develop and sustain a healthy “connected” organization?

The TalentCulture community has only begun to crack the code on this issue. However, this week’s discussions revealed three key considerations:

1) Employers can no longer afford to ignore the cultural aspects of unrelenting hyper-connectivity. It’s actually a big-ticket business issue with implications that reach far beyond obvious security and privacy risks. Employee health costs, productivity and turnover are all expensive factors in this complex equation.

2) There are no single silver-bullet answers. However, there are a multitude of choices. The best solution for each organization will be different. But to find that solution, decision makers must take a mindful, active part in the process. As the digital realm unfolds before us, and choices expand, that responsibility becomes increasingly important.

3) This isn’t just about employers. Certainly companies must create processes and policies that address business interests and respect employee well-being. But at the end of the day, each of us is responsible for our own productivity, performance and peace of mind. The fundamental question rests with every individual: When and how should I leverage digital connectivity to improve my professional and personal life?

With so much at stake, #TChat-ters were grateful to welcome two work-life management experts to lead the way this week:

Their insights helped us frame the issues and expose new ideas, as we engaged the community in our weekly “world of work” dialogue. Below, we’ve captured event highlights (including a tweet-by-tweet Storify slideshow from Twitter) and other resource links.

We hope this inspires further discussion within your organization and professional circles. As ideas emerge, don’t be shy! Let us know what’s on your mind. For those at the forefront of work-life integration, the responsibilities may be great — but together, this journey of digital discovery is always better!

#TChat Week in Review: Connected Work-Life Reality Check

SAT 7/6

JudyMartin2JPG

Watch the G+ Hangout with Judy Martin

#TChat Preview: On the eve of his own one-week digital sabbatical, Community Manager, Tim McDonald, asked Judy Martin to frame this week’s topic in a G+ Hangout. See “Digital Breaks: Rethinking Connectivity”

SUN 7/7

Forbes.com Post: In her weekly Forbes column, TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, opened up about her own attempt to disconnect. Read “The Digital Realities Of Work/Life Blending.”

MON 7/8

Related Post: While preparing for her #TChat appearance, Judy offered helpful guidance about how to frame this work-life integration issue and gain a sense of control. Read “Digital Detox vs Digital Redux in the Work-Life Merge.”

WED 7/10

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to the #TChat Radio show now

#TChat Radio: 30 minutes prior to #TChat Twitter, radio hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman sat down with Judy and Heidi for a lively discussion about work-life integration — what it means for individuals, as well as employers, in today’s digitally dependent world. Fascinating stuff! If you missed the session, listen now to the recording.

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, our entire community came together on the Twitter stream to share ideas in real-time about the pros and cons of digital connections at the core of professional and personal life. Thanks to everyone who contributed opinions and ideas! To review highlights, watch the slideshow below:

#TChat Twitter Highlights: “Digital Breaks: Rethinking Connectivity”

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/tchat-insights-digital-breaks-rethinking-connecti.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Judy and Heidi for helping our community think more carefully about how to manage the demands of digital life in more productive and personally satisfying ways. Your passion and perspectives are inspiring!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about work/life integration issues? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week at #TChat events, we’ll continue our summer “professional reality check,” as personal branding expert and author, Dorie Clark, helps us look at how to “Reinvent Your Personal Brand.”

In the meantime, the World of Work conversation continues each day. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, or on our new LinkedIn discussion group. And feel free to explore other areas of our redesigned website. The gears are always turning at TalentCulture, and your ideas and opinions are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Your Digital Domain: Who's The Boss? #TChat Recap

“With great power comes great responsibility.” -Voltaire

Do you suppose this is what it felt like back in 1967, during the “Summer of Love?” Our country was weary from years of war and civil unrest, and people were searching to reconnect with their humanity. That’s when “peace” took on new meaning as a symbol of promise for individuals and a new world order.

Flash-forward to today, when many among us are weary and searching to rediscover our humanity — but in a different way. This time, it’s fueled by the digital revolution. Why? We’ve been deeply engaged for so long with so many forms of networked communication that it seems we’ve reached a point of diminishing returns. Even the most intrepid “wired” geeks openly yearn for a certain kind of peace. And now, that discomfort is leading many to pursue serenity — either by dialing back on social channels or temporarily unplugging altogether.

Defining A Digital Destiny: To Each His Own

Grand as it may be, today’s “always on” social business experiment is taking a toll. And if this week’s #TChat forums are any indicator, workplace leaders are just starting to understand and respond to the consequences of an over-extended 24×7 workforce.

When do the productivity benefits of digital connections cross the line from the sublime to the ridiculous? When does hyper-connectivity become a drain on employee engagement and performance? How can workers maintain a healthy mindset in a world of nonstop demands? And how can leaders develop and sustain a healthy “connected” organization?

The TalentCulture community has only begun to crack the code on this issue. However, this week’s discussions revealed three key considerations:

1) Employers can no longer afford to ignore the cultural aspects of unrelenting hyper-connectivity. It’s actually a big-ticket business issue with implications that reach far beyond obvious security and privacy risks. Employee health costs, productivity and turnover are all expensive factors in this complex equation.

2) There are no single silver-bullet answers. However, there are a multitude of choices. The best solution for each organization will be different. But to find that solution, decision makers must take a mindful, active part in the process. As the digital realm unfolds before us, and choices expand, that responsibility becomes increasingly important.

3) This isn’t just about employers. Certainly companies must create processes and policies that address business interests and respect employee well-being. But at the end of the day, each of us is responsible for our own productivity, performance and peace of mind. The fundamental question rests with every individual: When and how should I leverage digital connectivity to improve my professional and personal life?

With so much at stake, #TChat-ters were grateful to welcome two work-life management experts to lead the way this week:

Their insights helped us frame the issues and expose new ideas, as we engaged the community in our weekly “world of work” dialogue. Below, we’ve captured event highlights (including a tweet-by-tweet Storify slideshow from Twitter) and other resource links.

We hope this inspires further discussion within your organization and professional circles. As ideas emerge, don’t be shy! Let us know what’s on your mind. For those at the forefront of work-life integration, the responsibilities may be great — but together, this journey of digital discovery is always better!

#TChat Week in Review: Connected Work-Life Reality Check

SAT 7/6

JudyMartin2JPG

Watch the G+ Hangout with Judy Martin

#TChat Preview: On the eve of his own one-week digital sabbatical, Community Manager, Tim McDonald, asked Judy Martin to frame this week’s topic in a G+ Hangout. See “Digital Breaks: Rethinking Connectivity”

SUN 7/7

Forbes.com Post: In her weekly Forbes column, TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, opened up about her own attempt to disconnect. Read “The Digital Realities Of Work/Life Blending.”

MON 7/8

Related Post: While preparing for her #TChat appearance, Judy offered helpful guidance about how to frame this work-life integration issue and gain a sense of control. Read “Digital Detox vs Digital Redux in the Work-Life Merge.”

WED 7/10

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to the #TChat Radio show now

#TChat Radio: 30 minutes prior to #TChat Twitter, radio hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman sat down with Judy and Heidi for a lively discussion about work-life integration — what it means for individuals, as well as employers, in today’s digitally dependent world. Fascinating stuff! If you missed the session, listen now to the recording.

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, our entire community came together on the Twitter stream to share ideas in real-time about the pros and cons of digital connections at the core of professional and personal life. Thanks to everyone who contributed opinions and ideas! To review highlights, watch the slideshow below:

#TChat Twitter Highlights: “Digital Breaks: Rethinking Connectivity”

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/tchat-insights-digital-breaks-rethinking-connecti.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Judy and Heidi for helping our community think more carefully about how to manage the demands of digital life in more productive and personally satisfying ways. Your passion and perspectives are inspiring!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about work/life integration issues? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week at #TChat events, we’ll continue our summer “professional reality check,” as personal branding expert and author, Dorie Clark, helps us look at how to “Reinvent Your Personal Brand.”

In the meantime, the World of Work conversation continues each day. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, or on our new LinkedIn discussion group. And feel free to explore other areas of our redesigned website. The gears are always turning at TalentCulture, and your ideas and opinions are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Digital Breaks: Rethinking Connectivity #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Are you looking for a full review of this week’s events and resources? Read: “Your Digital Domain: Who’s The Boss? #TChat Recap.”)

Reset Connections — Reclaim Your Life?

How did you manage your digital footprint during the July 4th holiday? Did you keep your communication channels open? Did you selectively time-out? Or did you leave it all behind and go “off the grid”? Whatever your level of connectedness — how well did that work for you, personally and professionally?

When it’s time for a vacation, are the tools and technologies that make it incredibly easy to connect with others making it incredibly difficult for you to walk away? If so, you’re not alone. Finding the perfect digital fit isn’t easy for any of us in today’s hyper-connected world of work.

Busier: Not Always Better

So, in an era where vacation time is rapidly vanishing, and digital demands are all around us, what can we do to improve our productivity, our peace of mind, and our sense of professional power? Furthermore, what can business leaders and managers do to encourage individuals and teams to optimize their work-life fit?

As summer kicks into high gear, these issues are top-of-mind across the TalentCulture community. It’s a perfect time to discuss solutions. And that’s why we’ve asked two social-media savvy work-life experts to guide us at #TChat forums this week:

#TChat Sneak Peek Video

To kick-off this week’s conversation, Judy joined me for a quick G+ Hangout, where she recommended a smart summer course-of-action:

So tell us…how would you define the ideal “vacation” in today’s hyper-connected world of work? If you could shift your digital work habits to reduce your stress and improve your productivity, what would you change? This is one topic that we all understand. So, please join us, and bring your concerns, ideas and suggestions!

#TChat Events: Digital Vacation vs. Digital Redux

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to the #TChat Radio show

#TChat Radio — Wed, July 10 at 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

Judy and Heidi team-up for a interview with our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman. Listen live and dial-in with your questions and feedback!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, July 10 at 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, our conversation with Judy opens wide, as she moderates our community discussion on the #TChat stream. We welcome anyone with a Twitter account to join us, as we exchange ideas about these questions:

Q1: Do you (or can you) disconnect from your digital “hive mind”? Why or why not?

Q2: How do we get more time with family, friends and colleagues without compromising our work?

Q3: How does the enterprise balance our personal freedoms and online security issues?

Q4: What can leaders do to encourage digital vacations/resets without compromising productivity?

Q5: What technologies today help us connect and disconnect simultaneously? Good/bad?

To prepare for our discussion, check out Meghan M. Biro’s post at Forbes.com: The Digital Realities of Work/Life Blending. Also, throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our new LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Recruiters On Twitter: Rise of "Coffee Talk" Learning

Written by Mona Berberich

In college, one of my teachers regularly told me that the room with the coffee maker is the most important place in an office, because it’s where people learn the most. At the time, I thought that this guy was perhaps a lazy coffee addict who was definitely in the wrong job.

However, 10 years later, I realize that he was right. The space near the coffee machine was where people gathered to briefly put work pressures aside and open up in an informal way — sharing what was on their minds, getting advice from peers and even generating new ideas.

The New Coffee Room

Today, there’s a whole new world of coffee rooms out there — it’s called social media. Whenever people tweet, retweet, read, share or like, they are contributing to something bigger — the social learning community. One of the most important platforms for social learning is Twitter, where many business people “gather” to share information and ideas on an ongoing basis. These behaviors are studied by companies like Leadtail, a social analytics platform vendor, which published a detailed Social Insights Report last week, focused on the Twitter activities of HR professionals.

That report deserves attention because the HR community is vital in transforming workplace culture, defining social business policy, and driving workforce development. In short — talent-minded executives, recruiters and training professionals are shaping the future of social learning.

What Is Social Learning?

For those who aren’t familiar with it, think of social learning as a process where people rely on digital tools to connect with one another, and exchange information with a specific purpose in mind — typically to expand their knowledge, to develop their competence, or to collaborate in resolving a common challenge. In contrast to formal classroom training, where an instructor “lectures” to a group, social learning is characterized by a two-way communication flow. Thanks to advances in mobile, web and collaborative technology, most of us can engage in social learning whenever and wherever we want. And Twitter is one of the most powerful engines of social learning — with information flowing on the stream 24x7x365.

Who Helps Recruiters Learn?

At the request of ERE.net, Leadtail also drilled down within the HR realm to focus on Twitter behavior among recruiters — looking at engagement, reach and sources of influence from March-June 2013. During that time, recruiters shared 55,576 tweets with a total of 835,336 followers. And, as the graphic below reveals, Meghan M Biro, founder and CEO of TalentCulture, is the HR personality that recruiters most often retweeted.

ERE_Recruiters_MeghanMBiro

When you recognize that Meghan has attracted almost 56,000 Twitter followers to-date, the reach and importance of her Twitter presence becomes clear. A single tweet immediately can touch 56,000 people. But her impact doesn’t stop there. As the “most retweeted” recruiter resource, her Twitter “multiplier effect” is astonishing. For example, even if only 10% of her followers see and read a tweet, and only 4 followers retweet that item to their followers … and so on … and so on … you get where this is going. Even one tweet has the potential to get attention from thousands of people, over time. (Example below.)

The ERE.net Leadtail report features several other key metrics — top 25 media content sources, leading brands that attract recruiter attention, and recruiters’ favorite hashtags. Among those hashtags is #TChat – a moniker that many people associate with Meghan M Biro. Anyone can use the #TChat shorthand to “tag” information of interest to talent-minded professionals. It’s also the tag used to drive the TalentCulture community’s weekly interactive Twitter chat events. Bottom line: It’s hard to move around the Twittersphere and not bump into Meghan or TalentCulture in some form!

Social Learning Hot Spot

As these examples show, Twitter is becoming a magnet for social learning — by facilitating informal knowledge exchange, topic-driven chat events, or even backchannel for industry conferences (as recruiters discovered recently when rallying around the #SHRM2013 hashtag). The attraction is easy to understand. It’s a simple, low-cost, immediate way to engage with people — and it’s a natural extension of social recruiting best practices.

Many recruiters are now at the forefront of social learning on Twitter. And as a recent Huffington Post article suggests, people like Meghan M. Biro are leveraging Twitter to engage the HR community in a way that not only positions her as an expert, but also boosts the credibility and visibility other HR professionals, as well.

What’s Your Social Learning Hot Spot?

Are you a recruiter or HR professional? How are you using Twitter or other social tools to expand your expertise? What challenges and opportunities have you experienced? Let me know in the comments below, or share your perspective on the BetterWeekdays website!

Mona Berberich2(Editor’s Note: Mona Berberich is a Digital Marketing Manager at Better Weekdays, a Chicago-based company that has developed a platform to help HR leaders source, screen and develop talent based on job compatibility. She is a researcher and writer covering HR, career growth, talent management and leadership development. Contact Mona on Google+ or LinkedIn or Twitter.)

 

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Recruiters On Twitter: Rise of “Coffee Talk” Learning

Written by Mona Berberich

In college, one of my teachers regularly told me that the room with the coffee maker is the most important place in an office, because it’s where people learn the most. At the time, I thought that this guy was perhaps a lazy coffee addict who was definitely in the wrong job.

However, 10 years later, I realize that he was right. The space near the coffee machine was where people gathered to briefly put work pressures aside and open up in an informal way — sharing what was on their minds, getting advice from peers and even generating new ideas.

The New Coffee Room

Today, there’s a whole new world of coffee rooms out there — it’s called social media. Whenever people tweet, retweet, read, share or like, they are contributing to something bigger — the social learning community. One of the most important platforms for social learning is Twitter, where many business people “gather” to share information and ideas on an ongoing basis. These behaviors are studied by companies like Leadtail, a social analytics platform vendor, which published a detailed Social Insights Report last week, focused on the Twitter activities of HR professionals.

That report deserves attention because the HR community is vital in transforming workplace culture, defining social business policy, and driving workforce development. In short — talent-minded executives, recruiters and training professionals are shaping the future of social learning.

What Is Social Learning?

For those who aren’t familiar with it, think of social learning as a process where people rely on digital tools to connect with one another, and exchange information with a specific purpose in mind — typically to expand their knowledge, to develop their competence, or to collaborate in resolving a common challenge. In contrast to formal classroom training, where an instructor “lectures” to a group, social learning is characterized by a two-way communication flow. Thanks to advances in mobile, web and collaborative technology, most of us can engage in social learning whenever and wherever we want. And Twitter is one of the most powerful engines of social learning — with information flowing on the stream 24x7x365.

Who Helps Recruiters Learn?

At the request of ERE.net, Leadtail also drilled down within the HR realm to focus on Twitter behavior among recruiters — looking at engagement, reach and sources of influence from March-June 2013. During that time, recruiters shared 55,576 tweets with a total of 835,336 followers. And, as the graphic below reveals, Meghan M Biro, founder and CEO of TalentCulture, is the HR personality that recruiters most often retweeted.

ERE_Recruiters_MeghanMBiro

When you recognize that Meghan has attracted almost 56,000 Twitter followers to-date, the reach and importance of her Twitter presence becomes clear. A single tweet immediately can touch 56,000 people. But her impact doesn’t stop there. As the “most retweeted” recruiter resource, her Twitter “multiplier effect” is astonishing. For example, even if only 10% of her followers see and read a tweet, and only 4 followers retweet that item to their followers … and so on … and so on … you get where this is going. Even one tweet has the potential to get attention from thousands of people, over time. (Example below.)

The ERE.net Leadtail report features several other key metrics — top 25 media content sources, leading brands that attract recruiter attention, and recruiters’ favorite hashtags. Among those hashtags is #TChat – a moniker that many people associate with Meghan M Biro. Anyone can use the #TChat shorthand to “tag” information of interest to talent-minded professionals. It’s also the tag used to drive the TalentCulture community’s weekly interactive Twitter chat events. Bottom line: It’s hard to move around the Twittersphere and not bump into Meghan or TalentCulture in some form!

Social Learning Hot Spot

As these examples show, Twitter is becoming a magnet for social learning — by facilitating informal knowledge exchange, topic-driven chat events, or even backchannel for industry conferences (as recruiters discovered recently when rallying around the #SHRM2013 hashtag). The attraction is easy to understand. It’s a simple, low-cost, immediate way to engage with people — and it’s a natural extension of social recruiting best practices.

Many recruiters are now at the forefront of social learning on Twitter. And as a recent Huffington Post article suggests, people like Meghan M. Biro are leveraging Twitter to engage the HR community in a way that not only positions her as an expert, but also boosts the credibility and visibility other HR professionals, as well.

What’s Your Social Learning Hot Spot?

Are you a recruiter or HR professional? How are you using Twitter or other social tools to expand your expertise? What challenges and opportunities have you experienced? Let me know in the comments below, or share your perspective on the BetterWeekdays website!

Mona Berberich2(Editor’s Note: Mona Berberich is a Digital Marketing Manager at Better Weekdays, a Chicago-based company that has developed a platform to help HR leaders source, screen and develop talent based on job compatibility. She is a researcher and writer covering HR, career growth, talent management and leadership development. Contact Mona on Google+ or LinkedIn or Twitter.)

 

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Reboot: Personal Brands and the #TFT13 Conference

(Editor’s Note: We’re thrilled to welcome Nick Kellet to TalentCulture as a guest blogger. For more information about Nick, see his profile at the end of this post.)

For many members of the TalentCulture community, there’s only one conference this week — SHRM13, the Society for Human Resource Management annual meeting in Chicago. But I’d like to focus on another conference that happens on Tuesday. It’s called TomorrowsFutureToday (TFT).

At first blush, TFT may not seem relevant. The topic is IT service management. But TFT’s business model deserves a closer look. Founder Chris Dancy is leading a movement to rethink every aspect of conference design and management — including how speakers are recruited, how content is created and shared, and how participants engage during live sessions and beyond.

This fascinating story lives at the intersection of social business, content strategy and technology. It’s a disruptive model that signals the growing power of crowdsourcing, expert networks and personal branding. It touches on many of the same issues and opportunities that are redefining the “world of work.” And from that perspective, it’s an inspiring example for TalentCulture.

Snapshot: What Sets TFT Apart

TFTResultsTFT is a semi-annual, one-day “follow-the-sun” virtual conference, where 24 experts from around the globe speak for an hour each. Unlike classic conferences, the speakers are selected by professional practitioners and peers (via Listly). This replaces the “old-boy” model, where conference organizers control the agenda. Very cool.

Even cooler, all the speakers are paid. Yes, all of them. What’s more, the content “lives” long after the conference. Presentations are recorded and automatically converted into trans-media assets (slides, video, audio and transcribed text) that are reusable across a wide spectrum of digital channels. (This is accomplished via Zapier.)

  • Speakers are encouraged to redistribute content anywhere they wish, indefinitely
  • Access to all content is absolutely free to anyone who is interested, forever
  • The overall event experience — before, during and after — has a big impact on its perceived value
  • Similar to TED Conferences, the agenda development process ensures superior quality speakers and content. No pressure.

Implications for Personal Branding

The first TFT conference occurred in December 2012. That inaugural event demonstrated not only strong community engagement that won sponsorships, but also helped boost awareness and credibility of its speakers. Fact: since their appearance in December, half of the speakers have moved on to bigger and better professional roles.

So, what does that say about the power social media exposure, and its influence on personal brands? Chris Dancy took several moments to discuss this and several other related questions:

1) How do collaboration and social community relate to personal brand building?
“Collaboration and social community are the foundation of personal branding. Both depend on systems of attention, influence and altruism. Personal brands don’t transfer in hyper-digital economies without conscious consumption of community content. By serving the community first as a consumer, you then have the ability to understand the needs of that system. You have two ears, one mouth and 10 fingers — talent observes before it offers suggestion.”

2) Can you really crowdsource your way to a “brand” new career? How can others do so?
“I don’t believe you can crowdsource your ‘brand.’ You can crowdsource your values. If those values are stronger than the habits of a community, then your brand and career will reflect these systems. Others suffer from being overwhelmed by information, tech and connections. We must first teach people to make healthy tech and information choices. Healthy information diets are to the 2020’s what Tab cola was to the 1970’s.”

3) Did the speakers who landed new careers imagine this would be the outcome from a virtual conference culture?
“None of the speakers on TFT who transitioned to different careers imagined the vault in their careers.  The speakers at TFT12 and TFT13 never considered it a virtual conference. In large part, speakers felt honored to be selected by their peers. It was that empowerment that moved their careers. To feel worthy of attention and time in a climate short on both, is the brand found inside of confidence and outside of hubris.”

The next LIVE round-the-clock event is tomorrow, Tuesday, June 18, 2013. Click here to follow the action in real time, or check back anytime to find content after-the-fact. You can also follow the conference backchannel at #TFT13.

In the meantime, let me know what you think about this business model. Could this work for your business domain? And how could you shape and enhance your personal brand while sitting in front of your computer?

Interesting questions — and enterprising people like Chris Dancy are helping us fill in the blanks. Share your ideas below, or connect with me on Twitter @NickKellet.

Nick Kellet, Founder, Listly.com 015_img_2801(Author Profile: Nick Kellet is co-founder of social curation platform Listly. He believes that effective curation is as much about listening and engaging as it is about publishing and the tools themselves. A serial innovator who loves to jump domains from board games to business intelligence, Nick also believes that passion in the company of friends and community is an unstoppable force.

Connect with Nick on Twitter, on LinkedIn and on G+, and follow his writing via his other guest posts and on his blogs at NickKellet.com and at blog.list.ly.)

Connecting With Collaborative Leadership #TChat Recap

Early in March, I wrote a column for Forbes.com, focused on the consequences of collaboration. It was based on a simple but powerful premise:

Collaboration is the keystone of leadership success.

By coincidence, only days later I met Dan Pontefract, who introduced me to a theory he brings to life in his new book, “Flat Army: Creating a Connected And Engaged Organization.”

From the moment I skimmed the pages of Flat Army, I knew that this would be a profoundly rewarding “mind meld” relationship. That seems to be happening more frequently these days. I guess it’s one of the perks of spending most of my waking hours connecting with people who are on missions to unleash the best of human potential in the world of work.

During the months that have followed since I met Dan, he and his “Flat Army” open leadership model have validated what I have always believed:

Collaboration isn’t about being best friends, or even necessarily liking everyone you work with. It is about putting your baggage aside, bringing your best self to the table, and focusing on a common goal — a higher purpose.

Finding Proof: What’s On Your List?

Here’s why collaboration can make a difference. Take a quick moment, and make a list five products or services that you that you never want to live without. No rush — I’ll wait. OK. Got your list? Here’s mine: The iPhone. Downton Abbey. Pinterest. Kit-Kat Bars. Twitter.

Now, guess what? Every one of those items is the result of a successful collaboration. And I bet there’s a team effort behind every one of your “must haves,” too. Sure, some half-crazy genius like Steve Jobs may bring inspiration to the table. But inspiration without collaboration is just a lot of great ideas that easily vaporize before they see light of day.

Collaboration: Why And How

Hopefully, I’ve made a convincing case for WHY collaboration counts. But that’s only part of the equation. We also need a roadmap for HOW to make it happen. And Dan’s “Flat Army” is just the ticket. Together, our vision is complete. “Just like peas-and-carrots,” as Forrest Gump might say. Or at least that’s how I see it!

So this week, it seemed natural to fire-up the TalentCulture social engine, and ask all of you to weigh-in with your ideas about both the “why” and “how” of collaborative leadership. And as always, we weren’t disappointed!  I invite you all to review this week’s highlights and resources below. And I thank you all for your collaborative contributions — this week and every week.

As I said in closing my Forbes post (and as I believe even more strongly now), if you want to see what the potential for collaborative success looks like, you don’t need to look far, my fellow community members. Just look in the mirror. It starts with you.

#TChat Week In Review

WED 6/5

DanP

Watch the G+ Hangout now

Introductory Post: Our guest, Dan Pontefract, Senior Director, Learning & Collaboration at TELUS and author of Flat Army, framed the week’s topic in a special post, The Future of Work: An Army Of Open Leaders.

SAT 6/8

#TChat Preview + Sneak Peek Videos: Our Community Manager Tim McDonald, briefly interviewed Dan in a G+ Hangout. See the video in Tim’s post: “Open Leadership: Going Deep.”

SUN 6/9

Forbes.com Post: In my weekly Forbes column, I examined some ways leaders can effectively connect with their teams. Read “Open Up and Lead.”

TUE 6/11

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to the #TChat Radio show

#TChat Radio: I sat down with Dan to discuss in more detail the power of open leadership — not only in the office but in society as well. Listen to the recording now: How Open Leaders Win Employee Hearts and Minds.

WED 6/12

#TChat Twitter: #TChat-ters joined us on Twitter to share opinions and ideas about the role and impact of open leadership in today’s world of work. If you missed the event, or want to review highlights, watch the slideshow digest below:

#TChat Highlights: Open Leadership, Going Deep

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/tchat-insights-open-leadership-going-deep.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

SPECIAL THANKS: Again, thanks to guest Dan Pontefract! We’re inspired by your example and your passion for learning and leadership.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about your experience with workplace collaboration, learning and leadership? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, the Society For Human Resource Management annual conference takes Chicago by storm (#SHRM13)! That means we won’t have a Tuesday Radio show. But fear not! #TChat co-creator, KevinWGrossman and I will be reporting from the floor throughout the week — and we’ll drive two #TChat LIVE events:

1) A special “Margarita Meetup” panel discussion on Monday at 3:15pm in the Achievers booth;
2) A related #TChat session at our regular 7pm time on Wednesday.

For more details, see our related post: “Feeling The Future Of Work: #TChat Meets #SHRM13.” And join us anytime on the #TChat Twitter stream, or on our new LinkedIn discussion group. The gears are always turning at TalentCulture, and your ideas and opinions are always welcome.

See you — if not at #SHRM13, then most definitely on the stream!

(Editor’s Note: To see the original Forbes.com article by Meghan M. Biro, read  Smart Leaders And The Power Of Collaboration.)

Open Leadership: Going Deep #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Are you looking to see all resources for this week’s topic? Read the #TChat Recap: Connecting With Collaborative Leadership.)

Think back for a moment on your career. Who’s been your favorite boss? How would you describe that person’s leadership style?

Is it a command-and-control approach, driven by business goals and results? Or does that leader win support, loyalty and cooperation by putting people first?

Hands down, I bet you picked someone from the second category — someone who embraces the social side of leadership. After all, studies reveal that your relationship with your manager is a key to engagement. And it’s natural to think favorably of professional experiences that engaged you.

You Had Me At “Hello”

This week’s #TChat guest, Dan Pontefract, calls this social-minded manager an “open leader.” And in his new book, Flat Army: Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization, Dan says it’s time for companies to move the open leader concept to a whole new level. As he explains in a recent TalentCulture post, the future of work depends upon army “open leaders,” where everyone in a company drives collaboration, regardless title or role.

For Dan, this is much more than a theory. As Senior Director of Learning & Collaboration at TELUS, he knows first-hand about the challenges and benefits of leadership development, workforce engagement and business performance. That’s why we’ve asked him to lead the way through #TChat discussions this week.

To give you a better taste of what the topic is all about, I spoke briefly with Dan in a G+ Hangout video. Check it out:

#TChat Events: How Open Leaders Win Hearts & Minds

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

This topic touches on so many areas of interest and expertise across the TalentCulture community. I know many of you have related insights to add, so I hope you’ll join this week’s conversation!

#TChat Radio — Tue, June 11 at 7:30pmET/4:30pmPT – Dan joins our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman, for a LIVE 30-minute radio interview, where listeners are invited to call-in with questions.

#TChat Twitter — Wed, June 12 at 7pmET/4pmPT – Join the real-time community action, as we exchange ideas live on the #TChat stream, where Dan will moderate this week’s questions:

Q1: What does open leadership mean to you and why?

Q2: Can harmonious “soft skills” be developed in leaders at any age? Why or why not?

Q3: How does open leadership produce higher levels of performance and engagement within an organization?

Q4: What can business leaders do to encourage open self-leadership within all employee ecosystems?

Q5: What business technologies facilitate collaboration and open leadership?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our new LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Future Of Work: An Army Of Open Leaders

(Editor’s Note: We’re thrilled that business collaboration and learning expert, Dan Pontefract, will be a featured guest soon at #TChat events. To set the stage, Dan shares insights below, adapted from his new book Flat Army: Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization.)

Flat Army? What the heck is a Flat Army?

Work environments need not feel like a military camp or a ruthless command-and-control operation. The process of work should be fun, innovative, creative and very engaging. I believe that the best way to create a connected and engaged organization is by invoking a “Flat Army” mindset. Why? Let’s unpack that analogy:

To be flat is to be on a level surface, not in a hierarchy. To be in an army (from armata, the Latin term referenced in 1533, meaning a flotilla of vessels) is to be part of a large group of people who are committed to similar aims or beliefs.

An organization with a Flat Army ethos benefits from an unobstructed flow of coordinated, constructive, creative behaviors that arise from the common interests of employees, leaders, partners and customers. It is a shift from “me” to “we,” using collaborative, participative and growth behaviors. Flat Army is a playbook that moves organizations toward increased engagement and innovation.

Profile Of A Flat Army Leader

flatarmy_frontcoverIn our Flat Army model, a harmonious, connected leader creates a situation where both the team and the leader are as open as possible to performing business tasks and achieving objectives. In an environment where even mundane day-to-day tasks are conducted in this open manner, there is harmony among all contributors, regardless of rank.

Openness — both as a quality of the leader and an expectation of the team — fosters a harmonious relationship among all parties. It’s arguably a step in the right direction towards higher levels of engagement, productivity and business results. A harmonious, open leader connects with the team — parlaying the culture as if it can only be successful when all parties are united, equal in nature and committed to openness. And if we agree that leadership is for all, we also wish that everyone in an organization will participate as a harmonious, open leader.

Getting Under The Hood With Open Leaders

I define open leadership as the act of engaging others to influence and execute a coordinated and harmonious conclusion. Therefore, open leadership is essential for every Flat Army organization.

A.G. Lafley comes to mind when I think of stellar Flat Army leadership. His name may not ring a bell, but I can assure you, he sets a standard of excellence for openness and collaboration. Between 2000 and 2010, Mr. Lafley was the highly successful president and CEO of Procter & Gamble (P&G) — the consumer products conglomerate with over $80 billion in revenue and over 125,000 employees worldwide.

Throughout his decade at the helm, he helped double total sales and quadruple profits, while increasing P&G’s market value by over $100 billion. Furthermore, he helped grow P&G’s portfolio of billion-dollar brands (such as Gillette, Pampers and Tide) from 10 to 24. How did he do it?

In his book The Game Changer: How Every Leader Can Drive Everyday Innovation, co-written with management thought leader, Ram Charan, Lafley refers to the unique relationship between openness and ideas:

Open architecture is the organizing principle that enables a business and its people to open themselves up to get ideas from anywhere at any time. P&G collaborates with anybody, anywhere, anytime. P&G likes unusual suspects. It will even compete with a company on one side of the street, and cooperate with it on the other. In an open innovation system, anything out there is fair game, even if competitors are sitting on it. And that’s fine with both partners because it works.

At P&G, Lafley opened up everything. He wanted his leaders to be more collaborative, and just as importantly, he wanted his employees to be open. As a results, magic happened. He branded this open architecture “Connect and Develop” or “C&D.” The framework reached across all employees, regardless of title, and it drove not only revenue and profitability, but also employee engagement.

Lafley and Charan explain:

The single characteristic of C&D is the willingness of all people at P&G to be psychologically open and to seriously consider new ideas, whatever the source, thus building a truly open global innovation network that can link up — and be first in line — with the most interesting thinkers and the best products to “reapply with pride.”

Lafley’s leadership example demonstrates what’s possible when a harmonious environment is created through a culture of open initiative. That is Flat Army in action. And perhaps that’s a key reason why P&G just rehired Lafley last month to lead the company forward.

The Open Leader Toolkit

Hopefully now the concept of open leadership is clear. But what are these social business and collaboration tools everyone keeps talking about? An open, Flat Army environment can’t thrive if leaders suffer from technology blindness or ignorance. In truth, tools for communication and collaboration are as integral to a Flat Army mindset as they are to employee engagement and productivity.

If your organization doesn’t embrace tools that support dynamic exchange of knowledge and ideas, then be a catalyst for change. Look for ways to integrate capabilities such as blogging, micro-blogging, expert networks, discussion forums, video sharing or instant messaging into existing platforms and workflows. Start using them to demonstrate that you are a connected, collaborative and participative leader who assists your team (and your organization) in achieving their goals and objectives — even as you strive for a high level of employee engagement and customer satisfaction.

What are you doing to help your organization embrace a Flat Army ethos? I invite you to share your ideas and experiences.

Photo: Dan Pontefract, author and head of learning and collaboration, TELUS(Author Profile: Dan Pontefract is the the author of “Flat Army: Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization.” He is also Head of Learning & Collaboration at TELUS where he is responsible for the company’s overarching leadership development, learning and collaboration strategy. Visit www.danpontefract.com for more about Dan’s professional experience, and his thoughts on the future of leadership and organizations.)

 

Image Credit: Pixabay

Finding Value in Enterprise Communities #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Are you interested in reviewing all of this week’s events and resources? Read “Communities of Practice and Purpose: #TChat Recap.”)

If you know me, then you know that I’m passionate about communities — digital and otherwise.

My interest in cultivating communities is what drives me as manager at HuffPost Live and TalentCulture, and as the founder of My Community Manager. It’s incredibly gratifying to help people build useful relationships, and to facilitate an ongoing exchange of ideas that is bigger than the sum of its parts.

Digital communities aren’t just a nice idea. They’re also a huge potential source of business value for enterprise organizations, according to management consulting firms like McKinsey. Yet large companies often struggle with how to connect the social dots among their various constituents — employees, leaders, customers, business partners, and beyond.

What Makes a Great Enterprise Community?

Of course, great networking and collaboration tools are helpful in creating and sustaining any kind of social community. But it takes much more than a solid infrastructure. What does it take? That’s the focus of our TalentCulture #TChat forums in the coming week. And we’ve invited two experts to lead the conversation:

#TChat Sneak Peek Videos

Both guests briefly joined me for a G+ Hangout to set the stage. First Jeff defined key terms — explaining how enterprise communities differ from other social networking groups:

And then Maria explained why communities are essential in today’s business environment:

#TChat Events: Why and How Enterprise Communities Work

Need I say more? As you can tell from their interviews, these two experts are just as passionate as I am about exploring the benefits of business-oriented communities. And they’re eager to exchange ideaTChatRadio_logo_020813s with a circle of like-minded professionals. So please join us next week, and add your unique perspective to this very special “community” conversation!

#TChat Radio — Tuesday, May 28 at 7:30pmET / 4:30pmPT — Maria and Jeff join our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman, for a LIVE 30-minute discussion about enterprise community issues and opportunities.

#TChat Twitter — Wednesday, May 29 at 7:00pmET / 4:00pmPT — Calling all #TChatters to join us for an open online discussion on the #TChat stream. Come on over and share your thoughts. The more, the merrier!

Q1: What are the differences between social and enterprise communities?

Q2: Why has community development and management been more difficult for the enterprise?

Q3: What are best practices for enterprise community management?

Q4: What can business leaders and internal champions do to facilitate quality enterprise communities?

Q5: What community & collaboration technologies make sense for today’s enterprise?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our new LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Good Works in the Workplace #TChat Recap

“If you can connect people, you can create the future.”
– Scott Heiferman, CEO Meetup

Thanks to the wonder of technology, network access continues to grow at an astounding pace around the world. According to Internet World Stats, 34% of the world’s 7 billion people are already online. And not surprisingly, North America leads the way, with 79% usage.

Making Connections Count

But there’s a more important challenge, here. It’s not just about counting connections. It’s about making those connections count. That led TalentCulture to ask a more specific question:

How can we leverage “always on” workplace connectivity to also do good works?

In response, some of the smartest and most passionate “world of work” advocates I know gathered on #TChat Twitter to talk about how social business initiatives can make a difference for those in need — locally and globally.

It reminded me of another event that happened last fall, where some of the planet’s smartest and most passionate philanthropy advocates gathered in New York City at the Mashable Social Good Summit. That’s where Meetup CEO Scott Heiferman, offered his quote about the power of connections in creating the future.

Two Think Tanks — One Vision

These two venues may be different — the participants may be different — and their overall reach and influence may be different. But the ideas and energy that were flowing last night on the #TChat stream were just as compelling as the vibe at the Mashable event.

To see what I mean, check this week’s archives, and get inspired to connect!

#TChat Week-in-Review

Two experts led us through this week’s conversation:

  • Jure Klepic, a digital marketing strategist and commentator focused on in social media innovation in consumer business environments;
  • Marion Mariathasan, CEO at SoRewarding.com a social network for that integrates giving into daily activities.
Jure Klepic - Google+ Hangout Video - #TChat Sneak Peek  interview with TalentCulture Community Manager, Tim McDonald

Watch the Sneak Peek video with Jure Klepic

#TChat Preview:  Our community manager, Tim McDonald, outlined the week’s topic and key questions in the #TChat Preview post: “Social Business and Social Good”

Sneak Peek VideosTim also conducted brief video interviews with our guests:

MON 4/22

Forbes.com: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, in her post: “3 Global Leadership Lessons From Boston.”

Meghan on Monday: Separately, Meghan shared a more intimate view of her connection with Boston in  “Lessons in Community From My Hometown.”

TUE 4/23

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to the radio show recording

#TChat Radio  Our hosts Kevin and Meghan talked with Jure and Marion about how social media can do a better job of connecting the “world of work” with the world’s charitable organizations.

WED 4/24

#TChat Twitter  Hundreds of talent-minded people joined our open, online Twitter forum to exchange ideas in real-time. Watch highlights from the hour in the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Twitter Highlights Slideshow: “Social Business and Social Good”

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

SPECIAL THANKS: Again, thanks to Marion Mariathasan and Jure Klepic for contributing to this week’s conversation. You brought depth and perspective that challenged our community to think more creatively about how we can weave “social good” objectives and behaviors into daily worklife.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about “Social Business and Social Good” or related issues? We’re happy to share your thoughts. Just post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, we’ll be looking into HR technology’s role in creating tomorrow’s workforce, as Meghan and Kevin go on the road at the HRO Today Forum. Stay tuned for “sneak peek” videos and a preview post on Monday!

Until then, as always, the World of Work conversation continues each day. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, or on our new LinkedIn discussion group. And feel free to explore other areas of our redesigned blog/community website. The lights are always on at TalentCulture, and your ideas and opinions are always welcome.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Image credit: Pixabay