The Euro Crisis-Bred In The Bone

Ed Dolan, economist, euro crisisThis post is by guest blogger, Ed Dolan (you can find him on Twitter as @dolanecon). He is an economist, writer and educator who wants to make economics understandable to everyone. We continue to celebrate our 3rd anniversary of this Twitter chat as we explore the Euro Crisis, politics and the global economy this Friday, July 27th, at 5pm BST/12pm ET/9am PT on #KaizenBiz.

The slow-motion disintegration of the euro area is the least surprising economic crisis of modern times. It was bred in the bone when EU leaders ignored all that was known about the benefits and risks of currency areas in pursuit of political objectives.

Advantages of the euro… Continue reading

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KaizenBiz Turns 3! Tell Us How It’s Inspired You

When Valeria Maltoni, the Conversation Agent, started the Twitter chat, #Kaizenblog, I wonder if she had any inkling that this chat would still be active at three years and continuously evolving. Valeria is a great advocate for conversation, exploring ideas and connecting people. When I became sole moderator for the chat, it was certain that we would continue using her foundation for the chat.

Kaizen is a philosophy for growth… Continue reading

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Social Media Is About Perception…Changing Our Vision

Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu Social MediaThis post is by guest blogger, Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu, (Twitter, @mediasres) the Director of Social Media for the Tonner Doll Company. We’re celebrating our 3rd anniversary of this Twitter chat as we explore Social Media, Perception and Organizational Decision-Making this Friday, July 20th, at 5pm BST/12pm ET/9am PT on #KaizenBiz.

In Social Media everything is about perception… but perhaps not in the way you think. Counter to the Marketing and PR “message control” approach to Social Media, what truly is radical about Social Media is that businesses have now a new way to perceive and this changes what they are and possibly influences how they make decisions. This new perception gives them insight into not only the World but also their own place in it. The challenge is how to become aware of this mode of perceiving and incorporate what is seen into new decision making processes.

Organize and organism

There are close conceptual connections between “organize” and “organism” and it sheds real light to consider our enterprises as living things. Living things have an inside and an outside, though the boundary can be subtly blurred. One of the most distinguishing characteristics of any organism is how it perceives the world. For instance that shark can smell blood kilometers away, or sense electrical pulses up close says something about sharks. Bats are both blind but can “see” flitting insects. Perception goes a long way in defining what an animal is, and what is possible. So any business that wants to understand itself needs to take stock in exactly how it perceives, or more specifically orients itself to the world around it.

What are the organs of perception of your business?                      

An important conceptual analytical tool in this question is John Boyd’s OODA loop. His Observe Orient Decide and Act bears close resemblance to the Kaizen PDCA Shewhart loop, with notable differences. Boyd’s OODA is a consciousness and strategy model that allows us to read businesses as if they are living things seeking to constantly orient themselves more quickly in ever changing environments. The OODA loop in a fuller schematic looks like this:

OODA LoopEssentially it is a feedback loop wherein an individual seeks to identify features and patterns in its environment, and to adapt its orientation as quickly as possible to changes, going through its loop faster than its target environment is making changes. It’s staying ahead of the breaking wave.

Speed of Feedback

One application of the OODA loop that perhaps appeals most directly to Social Media marketing is his emphasis on the speed of feedback. Rather than seeing Social Media as a new channel for company message, it is perhaps more enlightened to understand Social Media as a new mode of perception for a business, a quick-pulse, quick-twitch sensitivity that gives it striking new powers of knowing where it is and cues on how to proceed. Community managers and their spaces are no longer just low-end Customer Service features but have become human hubs of brand intelligence. Self-organized consumer consensuses – whether they be found in data or expressed in conversation – become real-time tea leaves to be read.

The problem with new sense organs though is that you can’t just plug a new mode of perceiving onto the old architecture without potentially causing a fair amount of confusion. One is ever in danger of overreacting to, or more usually censoring out completely the new information. It has no natural place in the modern Marketing business model. Its speed of awareness, the very proximity to the customer or user, do not fit easily into the time frame of long campaigns, or company customs of self-perception. Things can happen in minutes, or days in Social Media and those events can be large windows into a business’s environment and markets, keys to possibilities or dangers not otherwise seen.

Q1 If we think of your business as an animal, how does it perceive its place in the world? What are its organs of perception?

Q2 If Social Media comprises new organs of perception? How does it challenge the way business used to see? What is new in what it sees?

Q3 If Kaizen is continuous & gradual business improvement, how does the speed of Social Media enhance that?

Q4 How does the speed of Social Media perception and decision pose difficulty to Kaizen improvement?

Q5 If your company adopted a much faster decision cycle do you think the role of Social Media would be increased?

Q6 Community Managers are a new hybrid which speaks and listens as the brand. Has their position in the decision process changed? 

Q7 What business decision-making roles are most resistant to taking advantage of Social Media perception? How do you bridge this gap?

Q8 If you could imagine a business that is born with strong Social Media perception, what would it’s decision-making process be like?

About the author: Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu, currently based in Thailand, is the Director of Social Media for the Tonner Doll Company.  Interests include Social Media ethics and designing social spaces; he considers his work in Social Media an expression of his study of Spinoza.

 

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Multi-Directional Expressive Capability-Gold Dust For Organisations?

This post is by guest blogger, John Twohig, co-founder of the Ahain Group , a social business consultancy based in Ireland. Please join us to explore MDEC: Multi-Directional Expressive Capability with John Twohig this Friday, July 13th, at 12pm ET/5pm BST/9am PT on the Twitter chat, #KaizenBiz

Through-out history, humans have possessed the ability to express themselves by speech, body language, song, and the written word. Historically this meant we had to physically gather together in groups, large or small, for multi-directional expression to take place. By this I mean more than two people are involved in conversation and people expressing themselves freely and in different ways.

With the advent of Online Social Media Platforms that has all changed. Just logging onto your chosen platform allows you to instantly enter a “Mutli-Directional” conversation or dialogue. This allows you to exercise your “Expressive Capability”. For a Social Business Strategy to have success, it is my opinion that MDEC activity is the gold dust, one of key drivers and measurement of ROI.

This Multi-Directional Expressive Capability is spooking business and traditional marketers. They feel they have no control over the conversation’s direction after they put their message out onto the online space.

It is this very MDEC communication model that gives Social its power. Originally the marketing message direction was one way (what is referred to as broadcasting or push marketing). As in, then-a TV adverts tells you about a companies product/service; a one way conversation. Now, thanks to Social Platforms the messages are:

  1. Business 2 Consumer(B2C)
  2. Consumer 2 Business(C2B)
  3. Consumer 2 Consumer about Business (C2CaB)

Businesses and organisations feel they cannot control the C2CaB aspect of the conversation. In the C2CaB aspect of the conversation, consumers can and will discuss, review and /or rate your product or service in an honest open discussion.

Old Model

Broadcasting your marketing message is not the correct model for online marketing. Content has to motivate the online community. There has to be an edu-tainment value to inspire the community to express why they are happy or unhappy with your business/organisation. Coca-Cola is now measuring their success by the total amount of “Expressions” rather then the old metric of “Impressions”.

What are Impressions

Impressions are created when somebody clicks on a landing page containing a promotion. The numbers of clicks/impressions the advert receives indicates the ability of the company to drive traffic to that advert. The problem is I could really like an advertisement and not take action.  In fact, I could like the advertisement so much that I click on that page numerous times and never buy the product.

Expressions

Expressions are different…and the best way to measure your online success. If you take action and express an opinion about the business or organisation, you are contributing to that online community and online profile.

  • Commenting on their blog
  • Posting on their Facebook wall
  • Commenting on their posts on Facebook
  • Sharing their content with your community
  • RTing Tweets which you find interesting
  • Sharing your content with their community

Above are just six of the ways you can take action. This expression of interest in a business or organisation is the metric that Coca-Cola is now using to measure its online marketing success. There are many more methods of expression but the list above contains some of the most popular.

The Benefit

“Social Proof” and “Peer to Peer” recommendations are the gold dust to online marketing. These expressions are what all businesses and organisations should be pursuing to grow their market share and increase their profile in today’s popular culture. This Nielsen Report should provide some food for thought.

Real engagement matters

MDEC will help business, organisations and communities gain exposure in the online space. In a new model such as todays’ social platforms, which are only 7 years old, it will take time for people to adjust. People are driving this change as they are intolerant of businesses and organisations that are not authentic. They are intolerant of companies’ management do not engage and they are certainly intolerant of businesses and organisations that do not make an effort to edu-tain them.

How can the MDEC model help biz/orgs leverage “The Wisdom of Crowds” to achieve innovation and efficiencies?

What would be the most important area to focus a Social Business Strategy

If  impressions do not measure engagement, what role do they play in MDEC?

How would you describe the ideal model for marketing to consumers?

About the author: John Twohig is Co-Founder at the Ahain Group, Social Business Strategist and Blogger. He is the first person to name the new communication model that online social platforms facilitate, Multi-Directional Expressive Capability (MDEC) and its benefits to business and organisations.

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