Lessons from Vacation: Stop whatever you are doing to watch the sunset!

Here is the sunset I saw on my vacation.  Stop what you are doing!


The same is true in Social!  If your company is using social without a social governance policy -- stop whatever you are doing and create one!

The Social Business guidelines for your company should be based on your values. Consider following best practices from my book Get Bold. 

            1.         Guidelines should be written by your employees in a social group setting. Those guidelines developed in a participatory fashion will last.

            2.         Guidelines should state why the guidelines exist; for example, to innovate in a responsible way.

            3.         Guidelines should be short and to the point.

            4.         Guidelines should state your position on open dialogue what’s fair game and what’s not (confidential information).

            5.         Guidelines should state consequences.

            6.         Guidelines should encourage transparency.

            7.         Guidelines should state privacy and rights of your company’s partners and clients.

            8.         Guidelines should guide in adding value and learning from mistakes.

            9.         Guidelines should discuss time spent in social media.

            10.       Guidelines should encourage your company’s goals in social techniques.

On http://socialmediagovernance.com/policies.php you can find a collection of company social guidelines. Read through them and define your guidelines in sync with your culture and goals. For example, in sync with its corporate culture, Zappos’s Social Media Policy is “be real and use your best judgment.” This Social Policy showcases Zappos’s trust in their employees! Intel’s Social Media Guidelines have a few best practices as well. Examples include “be transparent” and “if it gives you pause, pause.” I also love their advice that “perception is reality and it’s a conversation.” I think the key is defining these with a collaborative group of digital citizens throughout your company.

For large global organizations, corporate culture sometimes needs to make way for local culture. For example, at IBM we have a very open-minded culture supported by our senior leadership team. We have sponsorship from the very top of IBM supporting our movement into end-user-generated content to become a Social Business. However, we do understand that there are also cultural differences across the globe. As such, we make sure to understand these cultural differences and embrace them.  With IBM operating in more than 170 countries, our team reviews privacy acts around the globe to ensure that we keep the interest of the employees at the center of focus.

Now, find a sunset and ensure your company has a policy!

You are never too old to boogie board -- or to social network!

In my summer vacation series, here's my next lesson from the beach!

I got to use my boogie board to surf the waves and the wave pool!  What I learned is that you are never too old to boogie!

Just like you are never too old or too high in a company to use social networking.  The fastest growing group on Facebook are those over the age of 55!  Did you know that 32% of top CEOs have at least one account on a social network! The % of CIOs who say that social is important to their business has more than doubled in the last year per the MIT Sloan Management Review.

What are you waiting for?  Catch the wave and boogie!

Talking social zombies and bootcamps at SXSW 2014

Wondering what are key trends you need to know when building your social plan? Come find out in these fun/interactive sessions proposed for SXSW 2014!

First, you need to remember that social is a global phenomenon. You can engage with folks in Nairobi, New York or Naples. But... we all have cultural differences, and if you fail to take these into account you run the risk of becoming a social zombie:

Vote now for this session! [http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/23204]

Second, unleash the vast power of social by tying it to those other big trends in technology right now: big data and analytics. Apply social across all your business processes, create an environment of expertise and trust, and develop a corporate culture that embraces collaboration:

 Vote now for this bootcamp! http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/23035

Will I see you at SXSW 2014? If so, reach out and let's chat further!

Thank God it's Monday! Social Business Trend 2

Everyone always celebrates Friday so I thought today we'd celebrate Monday with a great Social Business coffee Break.

Today we are focused on the 2nd core trend in Socialytics:   Marketing not just to a demographic but to the power of 1.  (Reminder;   trend 1 was the power of information sharing and that driving a need socially to recognize expertise and trust!)

As always tell me what you think!

Trend #1: Value of Social Sharing is > Information Hoarding

Happy Monday!

Today we are starting a new series of the Top 5 Trends in Social today -- actually involving Social, Big Data and Analytics.

The firs tof the trends is the shift in information value.   To illustrate, when I went to school, value was placed on what I memorized.   Today, it is about what I share. One of my daugther's assignments at school was to find the answer to a question and prove the answer was from an expert who could be trusted!

Take a look at how this trend applies to business!

Who is the smartest in the room? Social can tell you!

Ask a social executive, ‘who is the smartest in the room?’ and she will answer: the room.  (Now, since she answered this way, does that make her the smartest again?!)  

Why? The Fortune 500 lose “$31.5B a year by failing to share knowledge”  according to Lisa Quast, Forbes Online.    The "room" is the group that generates ideas because they are closest to the clients and the market.   But only 25% of companies are good at Idea Generation & Idea Conversion.

So yes, that executive who can harness the power of the room, wins everytime!

5 Year Anniversary for the Women's Toolbox! Why that is important to you!

I was able to catch up with Janet Powers, the CEO of the Women's Toolbox on the help she provides on social business to women Worldwide!

Here's our summary and check out her new focuses!!!

Sketch videos: http://ebusinessgreetings.com

Promotion of member blogs: http://womenstoolbox.com/2013/07/09/add-my-rss-feed


1.  Janet, tell us what drove you to start the Women's Toolbox?

I never dreamed of starting a business, I dreamed about starting an on line community for women in business that mirrored the support system I had thanks to my family, friends and colleagues.  So many people I knew from my days in corporate America had moved away from their core support group and they didn't have someone to sit across the kitchen table with and discuss the things that mattered most to them.  I wanted to create an on line community, a neighborhood, that allowed all women to share their expertise in the hopes that their experience and knowledge would help another woman's journey a little easier, help her succeed in business and life.

2.  What is the Women's Toolbox and how does it relate to Social?

The Women's Toolbox is the premier destination on line for women in business to find the information, resources and support they need to succeed.  Named by MORE Magazine as one of the best websites for women to polish your professional skills, sharpen your business skills and get your name out there, our tagline is "within you lies the ability to do anything, Find It".

The Women's Toolbox built an engaged, social community long before all the research proved that social builds engagement and increases loyalty, productivity and revenue.  We believe that to build a successful social business, you must change the way you engage with an audience.  Engagement is not about the most eyeballs, it is about the best listeners.  You must provide something every day that interests them, you must help your audience succeed PLUS truly believe that they have value to your organization and are important to your long term success.  That has been our mantra in building the Women's Toolbox and it works...not everyone is your target audience, don't try to be everything to everyone, be engaging with the audience that matters and they will be your best listeners.

3.  Give us your biggest AHA moment from the Women's Toolbox work.

I have had three AH HA moments the past five years:

First was the realization that my instincts were right...People want to be part of a community.  People thrive in groups.  People want to belong.  In today's world, so many feel like they are all alone and that makes even small challenges scary.

Second was the understanding that the steps, strategies and knowledge to successfully grow a career and grow a business were very related.  Whether you are marketing yourself or your business, you need to understand the basics and the best practices related to growth, marketing, pr, social media, money, sales and so much more.

Last, and by no means least, was learning how many people do things the hard way because they are afraid of technology or don't understand what it can do to save them time and money.  I hear so many people say they don't understand technology or that they are tech challenged - and my response is always - technology is not hard, change is hard. If adopting new technology was hard, millions of people would not be using social media nor would they be playing words with friends and candy crush on their mobile devices.  I think it is our responsibility as women in technology to help those who think they are tech challenged to understand the possibilities for them and their business related to new technology.

We must be committed to using words they can relate to not just industry terms when describing what technology can do. For example, those comfortable with technology talk about being in the cloud...well if you are not up to date on the terminology, you are not likely to ask what the cloud is for two reasons - one you don't want to sound out of date and two, you don't have time to learn something new right now.  Instead think how many more people would embrace cloud technology if it was explained in words and concepts everyone already understands...gmail is email in the cloud - people understand that concept.

4.  How does this help woman in the social world?  Can you give me a example!

This is an excerpt from my about page:

The Women’s Toolbox is a natural outgrowth of its founder’s combined life experience. She started the company following a successful corporate career at Fidelity Investments, where she served as Vice President of Program Management. There she served as a liaison between its business and technology departments, sourcing and building technology solutions to solve the business problems of Fidelity’s internal and external customers. She was also part of a team that brought new products and services to the market.

Earlier in her career, she worked for a global non-profit delivering health programs to expand opportunities for women and families. There she was responsible for educating the group’s regional representatives on how to use technology to run and report on local initiatives. Traveling internationally to deliver onsite training, she witnessed the challenges women face in developing countries.

Today, Janet Powers have melded the two, helping women leverage technology for economic growth. She comes to the table with a solid understand of the women’s market and a personal, deep felt commitment to its long term success. She actively participates in major women’s conferences and philanthropic efforts that support women across the globe.


Here is an example:

Using the Women's Toolbox knowledge of major media's need for experts for their stories and willingness to accept user generated content for their websites, we created 15+ webinars using the IBM Smart Cloud tool to teach women in business how to expand their reach and readership to their blog by submitting content to major media sites for publication.

The results of this initiative can best be described in this testimonial from one of our members:

I love the Women’s Toolbox for so many reasons! I have my articles posted here regularly because of the high quality leads that are generated for my business…I’ve been featured on Yahoo.com, More.com and have gained clients. It’s like my secret weapon for national exposure, visibility and credibility. — Meredith Liepelt, President of Rich Life Marketing, www.richlifemarketing.com


5.  What's your vision for the next phase or next 5 years of the Women's Toolbox?

Three BIG and BOLD goals for the next five years:

1.  Provide access and training on how women in business can leverage technology to make life easier.

2.  Empower women in business to be seen, be heard and be well in the workplace, marketplace and community.

3.  Engage an international audience of women in business to understand we are more the same than we are different.

In summary, our vision is to connect women across the globe (international audience) who blog (be seen) get more exposure to their articles and expertise (be heard) by publishing their blogs on the Women's Toolbox using their RSS feeds (leverage technology to make life easier) thus saving them time and energy (be well).

Rheinmetall is a Social Business!

Happy Monday and welcome to our Social Business Coffee Break!!!

Rheinmetall is a client that has become a social business!  Listen to their story!

The Ava Awards!!! Social Media Videos from IBM SOA Win!

The Ava Awards have just been posted on their Web site!!
Two of our IBM Social Media entries received awards!!!!

Platinum Award
-- World Tour "Get Smart" Videos --

Gold Award
-- Innov8 Trailer --

The international Ava Awards recognizes outstanding work by creative professionals involved in the concept, writing, direction, shooting, and editing of audio-visual materials and programs. Entries include film, analog and digital productions viewed in a wide variety of mediums- from movie screens to televisions to computers. Entrants include video and film production companies, web developers, advertising agencies, PR firms, corporate and government communication departments, producers, directors, editors, and shooters.

Ava Awards is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP). The international organization consists of several thousand production, marketing, communication, advertising, public relations, and free-lance professionals. The Association administers recognition programs; provides judges and rewards outstanding achievement and service to the profession.