What’s Your Personal (Social) Manifesto?

Let’s follow up on my social talent post and go a bit further. Is it ideal to broadcast tons of content and to be talkative on social media?

Content is often put at the center and taken as king. However, there’s a starting point: “Leading First.” Designing a personal (and distinctive) manifesto is a thinking advantage and an important career tool that enables you to better connect with like-minded professionals and organizations.

With this in mind, after observations and experiments, I came up with a straightforward three-step approach for social: Leading, Organizing & Executing.

We, consciously or not, tell a story through every tweet we share, every comment we make and every video we shoot. Below are nine steps to take before creating social presences and distributing content:

1. What’s so important and in urgent need of change? At this stage, make a list of up to five topics. For each, what are the current thinking and the main limit? Are people already attacking the problem and suggesting solutions? What are the key roadblocks and leverages?

2. Ask yourself a couple of questions for selecting the right topic. Are you deeply passionate? Is it something you consistently enjoy? Does it affect your life? Do you really care? Do you need to get paid a lot in order to start working more seriously on this? Would you relentlessly advocate for it, even when facing strong adversity?

3. Go further and start conversations with people. It would be tempting to jump in and start writing your personal manifesto. Before that, take the time to get feedback from people interested in similar topics. Following online conversations, joining communities and attending industry events could also help you gather useful information, and have a better sense of what matters.

4. Put it all on paper. Your personal manifesto should be precise and short (one page), with a memorable title (between three and six words). There are basically three parts: a description of the current system, a list of all the major flaws (with two or three examples), and a viable alternative with its key benefits.

5. Sip your own champagne. There’s a need to incarnate the targeted transformation and generate success. Living it makes it more real and inspirational. Also, you’ll have more insights on how to manage that transformation, and, that way, you’ll be able to add even more value.

6. Refine it and make it as visual and audacious as possible. It’s time to build a final version and share it with a small list of trustworthy connections. The title of your manifesto should be put in a large font. The core picture should be an emotional trigger, and the three stages have to be visible enough (current situation/flaws/alternative).

7. Pair it with your key skills. Some people would prefer spreading the word about their purpose through writing, selling, public speaking, training, organizing events or other means. There’s no unique way to do it.

8. Add three core values and elaborate each of them with three principles. Having a personal manifesto is one thing. By adding values-based elements, you’ll make faster decisions and get to collaborate with the right people. In certain situations, you could share the same core beliefs but not necessarily the same values and principles.

9. Connect and start a movement. There are basically two main options when it comes to connecting and growing a change community: being a soloist or cofounding (building a team). Being a soloist allows more freedom with less coordination efforts. Cofounding is great for mixing different skills, experiences and connections, and having complementary roles.

10. Now, start thinking about organizing and executing. What are the ultimate/macro goals? What’s the strategy for reaching out to the targeted destinations? How will social be integrated with and support all this? What are the key indicators to track (beyond vanity metrics)? What persona should you have in mind and what/whom should you listen to? Where should you build social presences? What should the editorial calendar look like? What kind of content format would be shared? Whom should you partner with?

About the Author: Lilian Mahoukou is a French blogger and aspiring author, interested in the future of work and the impact of social.

photo credit: silkolive via photopin cc

Are We Ready For Social Talent?

With the rise of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other top-listed social networks, some candidates and recruiters have been commonly asking themselves the following questions: How do we leverage these new channels? Do they represent a threat or a real opportunity?

I headed to #rmsconf (leading social recruiting conference in France) a couple of days ago, and had a fantastic time there. In addition to this large event, a lot of smaller ones have been happening for four years, with hot topics such as employer branding, employee advocacy, digital HR, digital transformation and robotization (just to list a few). After all these tweets, quotables and brilliant posts, there’s this recurring theme: social talent.

social talent

Social Talent Is Different

We’re at the opposite of traditional employment, though social talent could be complementary as well. It’s about:

  • being part of communities and actively engaging
  • thinking collective intelligence and knowing when to be egoless
  • a thirst for emerging trends and learning something new on an ongoing basis
  • the habit of running small experiments and generating insights
  • being vulnerable and authentically voicing constructive opinions
  • going beyond the corporate walls while continuing to create serious value
  • connecting with peers from diverse backgrounds, networks and geographical areas
  • a bold purpose and set of beliefs
  • mutual empowerment and trust
  • understanding company goals and supporting the chosen strategy with adapted social media uses
  • having fun and occasionally meeting at informal or industry events (the offline part)

There’s no need for fancy titles to differentiate people, because “social” is a mindset first. We don’t do social; we are social or not (yet).

CVs and More…

The old good CV has been discussed a lot. Is it the end of this format? For the moment, recruiters still need to run through this document and organize interviews for shortlisting candidates. However, social profiles add another dimension that can’t be ignored, and it’s where social talent comes in. This latter deeply changes the rules, as candidates can tell their own story. All the connections, visible community building efforts and roles, lived values and built reputation are precious elements to better evaluate candidates at the end of the day. It’s been advised to keep CVs as short as possible, but now social talent takes it to more conversational lands.

Recruiters have to make a choice now: being conservative by only considering CVs and cover letters, or valuing and integrating all that social part.

Why Social Talent Now?

Below, some examples:

  • Having a team of active brand ambassadors is a clear competitive advantage. Employee advocacy is all the rage and a reality. The Zappos “Insiders Program” wouldn’t be that brilliant without devoted and connected “Zapponians.”
  • Hiring people that can do the job is one thing. Then, what about their values and principles? Social talent is about more transparency on these points, and employers could identify potential culture promoters.
  • Some CVs may be too atypical and eliminated by an ATS. A focus on social talent increases talent pool diversity.
  • Social listening is usually led by social media teams inside marketing/communications departments. Employees with social talent are not necessarily part of these groups, though they’re very skilled at listening, connecting and sharing what matters.
  • Digital transformation may keep on interesting more and more people in 2015, and new kind of leaders will be needed.

About the Author: Lilian Mahoukou is a French blogger and aspiring author who is interested in the future of work and the impact of social.

photo credit: iredes via photopin cc