The exponential results from social channels and new events

It is so much fun and intriguing to watch all the rhetoric coming across all the social channels surrounding the “earthquake” on Tuesday. So many news outlets were competing for coverage, social channels were blown-up with updates from personal accounts…many organizations sharing information.

The one thing that fascinates me is how we share so much information as it is happening. We want to be a part of the conversation. We want to share our experiences in the same manner that news outlets provide coverage. This mass volume of information can be perceived as a competition…organizations want to share the coolest photos, the most interesting facts, news outlets bringing in experts to analyze, even false reporting with photos not accurately representing Tuesday’s events.

The exponential results of the social channel is tremendous. We have become our own news outlets, competing and sharing information just as fast (if not faster) than traditional outlets.

I spoke with Jodi Gersh from Gannett during SOBCON in Chicago this year, and she shared how they are re-evaluating how they share information across social channels. Traditional news outlets have wanted to confirm information before it was reported…but taking “Live” television or “Breaking News” reporting to the social channels is a new strategy.

I think back to when I was in broadcast television, “Breaking News” coverage was all about the pictures, just showing what is happening was more than sufficient to provide realtime coverage when stories are developing…the idea of “this is what is happening now.”

When you add the social channels into the mix, you are writing textual information and delivering to a mass audience. When it is written, it must be true. So a whole new strategy for media outlets is evolving, reporting on social channels is a game changer…typing the information and sharing it as it happens. Removing some of the confirmation elements, yet sharing “what we know.”

This is fun to watch…

I remember back when LA television stations were giving small video cameras to local people, shooting video of local events so that they could cover all their news basis. At the same time, embeds were emerging with small video cameras on political races. CBS, NBC, and other outlets were giving young journalists cameras and following many of the candidates on the campaign trail, just incase something happened…they could have video of the event. The CNN idea of the iReporter, giving young people a chance to provide coverage. This allows CNN to cover all their basis just incase something big happens.

Now…we are the social reporters. We are challenging the main stream news outlets with real time streams of information. The first hand accounts show up in Facebook streams, Twitter Streams, Flickr, YouTube, etc., etc., etc. We are creating media faster than the news outlets can report the main story. Conversations are shaping around these updates and before we know it…communities are growing and connecting.

Think back when the Haiti earthquake happened…it was a Twitter stream that provided much of the updates and even helped locate some people. I remember when I was on the ground at Katrina. We had no cell phone access. We could only use the satellite phones in the satellite trucks, but text messaging was the way we communicated…next to our two-way radios.

It is amazing how far we have come.

Facebook once again influenced, privacy changes via Google+?

Yep….once again Facebook is leveraging other social networks knowledge and incorporating into their own space. Facebook has introduced a new privacy setting to allow you to select who can see a status update.

This is a radical shift in the way they allow users to present information. Before, you had to navigate to a group, page, meeting, or another space to communicate to a specific group. Now, this can be done via the status bar, allowing you to select who will see your status update.

Hmm…this seems very similar to Google+, the way you can make an update and select which Circle will see the update.

Here are the items/updates Facebook has made to adjust privacy settings:

  1. Privacy Controls: Profile Editing
  2. Tag Approvals
  3. Photo Tag Approvals
  4. View Profile As
  5. Great Control of Status Updates
  6. Adding Locations to Status Updates
  7. More Control Over Photo Privacy

Privacy Controls: Profile EditingTag ApprovalsPhoto Tag ApprovalsView Profile AsGreat Control of Status UpdatesAdding Locations to Status UpdatesMore Control Over Photo Privacy

Mashable does a great job laying out all the details of the above changes. Here is the link to the article: http://mashable.com/2011/08/23/facebook-privacy-changes/#23921More-Control-Over-Photo-Privacy

Searching for Inspiration: Leadership Summit 2011 – Part 8

Here is a question that I think plagues us creatives…those times when we feel we lack creativity and passion. Enjoy the eighth question in this series from the Clemson’s Leadership Summit 2011.

Do you recall a time when you lacked creativity and passion, but needed it to be successful? What was your emotional response to the situation? What lessons did you learn from it? Do think those lessons are still relevant for today’s leaders?

Everyday I battle the ability to deliver creatively! I get paid to be creative and to be passionate in the way I deliver this creativity. Creativity strikes when I do not expect. I cannot force it to come to fruition…it is like an old, dependable friend who chooses to visit when you least expect it.

Some of my greatest ideas have come to fruition in the middle of the night. I have won all my awards from 3am inspiration. I remember working in Phoenix, producing a story of a lady who broke out of South Phoenix and welfare, working to get her life back on track. We had been following her story for months…tracking her progress from the rundown apartment with a littered front yard…to a new home and new job. I just could not figure out how to put it all together. To write the words, to weave the interviews, to expose the moments in time that bring an audience to the edge of their seats. I lived an hour away from the office and at 3am…I sat up in my bed, jumped in the car, raced to the station, and edited the story. This was when Avid and FCP were not available on cute little MacBookPros. We had large computer systems to edit.

We have to be willing to listen to our hearts and when inspiration comes to visit, just like that old friend, we have to be willing to capture that moment in time and exercise that creative passion.

Here is this story below that I was referring, big thanks to my partner Laurie Raymond from KPHO-TV for her great reporting!

K-Mart, Apple, and CUICAR…the cultural shift in influence. Tomorrow’s Innovation.

Sarah and I were sitting around tonight watching a little Friday night television and a K-Mart commercial caught my attention. I am not sure why, maybe it was the music that made me cue into the message. The song sounded familiar, but I was not interested in the song…I was interested in the clothes the kids were wearing.

This was a back to school message, showing off all the new cool kids clothes. Those back-to-school fashions that grab the dollars right out of the pockets’ of moms and dads. I was thinking back to when I was in middle school and even high school. What clothes were in fashion. I remember in 6th grade, all the girls were wearing “Jellies”. Do you remember those “flats” that girls were wearing. How about break dancing pants, the ones with all the zippers. Yes, I am remembering those 80’s influenced by pop culture icons like Michael Jackson.

But where did those fashions originate. How did they end up in our closets. How did they trickle down into little South Carolina, influencing kids interests which influenced moms and dads to make that purchase. Did those fashions come from Europe where fashion is truly influential in international hearts and minds? Was there one designer that create that one design, ultimately creating a cultural fad in all the American schools, making it the cool thing to wear?

Think about Apple and the cultural shift this technology and design animal has created with an iPhone. The idea of making a touch screen cool and desirable. Not only making this concept the technological break through in American culture, but making it the most desirable brand item…creating so much demand people line outside of stores days before the release. What one person came up with this idea which influenced technological pop-culture. We could list company after company, one after another that have influenced the way we purchase items.

I sat in a fascinating forum this morning, listening to some of the most renowned automotive thinkers. The InnoMobility Forum at CUICAR. As I was listening to a presentation over WebX, a gentleman from Munich, Germany was talking about building innovative communities of automotive creation. People from BMW and numerous automotive suppliers were sitting in a room listening through this presenters German accent, fascinated with his thoughts as he flipped through slide after slide.

The next presenter was talking about bearings inside transmissions. Now this does not sound exciting, except when you think about all the new battery powered cars on the road now. They no longer have engines that create exhaust, ultimately noise. If you remove this noise by removing the internal combustion exhaust system…you begin to hear all the little clicks, ticks, and tocks. Those metal parts rubbing against each other that create friction and noise. Now, engineers are having to make metal to metal quieter.

At the end of the presentation, a question was asked that surrounded the cultural shift in way we will one day use transportation. The presenter explained that we will be shifting back to the way we built transportation in those early days of the automotive industry. He began to explain we will not just see just electric cars or just hybrids…we will see a host of solutions based on geography. Electric cars in the city, since it is easier to provide charging stations, hybrids for metro to suburbia, and internal combustion engines for rural areas where gasoline makes the most sense, except in a more fuel efficient manner.

He went on to describe the shift in the cultural circle from those early days. The days when the first automakers were creating gasoline engines, steam engines, and even battery powered vehicles. The presenter noted this cultural circle as a shift in the way the automotive industry is now creating transportation, influenced by industries including the airline industry.

So I get back to that K-Mart commercial…how are we influenced to make purchasing decisions. Where does culture begin that influences the designers, engineers, developers, suppliers, marketers, and ultimately those consumers who choose to shift the way they purchase their next vehicle. Where will it originate? Will it begin in Europe…I think many hope that it might begin from the innovation right inside the doors of CUICAR.

Check out InnoMobility this coming October.

Integrating creativity/passion into a leadership style. [Leadership Summit 2011 – Part 7]

Here is the question that was posed during the 2011 Leadership Summit last week at Clemson At The Falls.

What are the biggest myths and/or mistakes leaders make in how they interpret and integrate creativity/passion into their leadership styles? What do most leaders often get right? Wrong?

A good leader knows how to find the creativity and passion in his/her group(s) of people, and help them unlock their god given natural talents to lead. My mentor Leighton Cubbage talks about this concept of providing a team to tap into their greatest potential. I also think about the idea surrounding how the Dalai Lama embraces this mentality, stating “there goes my people, I am following.”

I have worked for a few large organizations across the country, and leadership has mistaken passion/creativity as a threatening attribute. Whether it is insecurity or maybe they considered a person’s passion a liability.  But, what if leadership spent time trying to fully understand where this passion originated inside a person. What if an organization’s leader learned to channel that passion/creativity, capitalizing that energy to benefit not only the organization…but the person who is craving to be a part of the team.

IMHO…leaders must learn to listen and recognize that they do not have all the answers. John Maxwell tells a story in his book “Everyone Communicates Few Connect” how a new leader (CEO) broke away from his corner office and put his desk right in the middle of the whole business. He allowed people to connect with him, share ideas, and allow the freedom of expression to thrive. He listened to his people and allowed his people to share. Once again…it is about language and the ability to communicate. I love the interview above as John Maxwell talks about the premise of his book.

I was also fortunate enough to work with a very smart leader, Mike Riordan. He wanted to start a blog to share his thoughts as a leader in health care and as the CEO of one of the largest health systems in the Southeast. His blog allowed him to connect not only with the outside world, but the employees of Greenville Hospital System. From topics of heath care reform, big budget decisions, to the new academic center in the Greenville, the employees of Greenville Hospital System began reading and connecting. Yes, he may have a corner office, but this tool allowed him to open his doors and engage in conversation with all walks of people right inside the walls of Greenville Hospital System.

It is more than communication…it is connecting. But…communication tools can provide the opportunity for leadership to share their passions and creatively connect with like minded individuals.

Can passionate leadership hinder you? [Leadership Summit 2011 – Part 6]

What does Leadership Passion look like? What does your own Leadership Passion look like? How has it helped you? Has it ever hindered you?

This was a tough question to answer…but one that must be posed to leadership. Here is my thoughts to the above questions.

I think I started answering this question in the prevision: Can Passion be taught? [Leadership Summit 2011 – Part 5].

Passion is language. We are built with passion inside us…it is a part of our pathos. It just takes someone, something, an event, and time period…something to give passion “language.” We have those feelings inside, we get excited about something, but we must learn how to communicate that passion. Some can find the right words, some communicate their passion through music, dance, drawing, or whatever…but the ability to share our passion is finding language to express. That is where leadership comes into play…how can we lead those to find and share their passion? We must be willing to equally share our passions. We help the people around us bring language to their inner most desires…that desire is leadership.

Passion can sometimes have an equal force in the equation. When we share our passion, we can attract a group of common minded people. We can also marginalize those that do not share the same passion. Sometimes our passion makes us stand upon solid ground where others choose not to go, and it can sometimes hurt the relationships around us. This idea of passion and marginalizing groups of people makes me think of Dissoi Logoi…the idea of opposing arguments.

Here is an interesting discussion centered around the idea of Dissoi Logoi:

By putting yourself as fully into each side as possible, you begin to see the internal logic of each position. This insight is important for several reasons. First, it may help you to be more understanding of your opponents’ position (they’re not always the fools we think they are when we haven’t explored their position carefully). Second, it may make it possible for you to find some area of common ground between the two positions that will produce cooperation rather than arguing to “win.” Third, even if you think the opponents’ view is wrong and must be defeated, you at least know what arguments they are likely to use, and you can figure out how to disarm those arguments ahead of time.

As leaders, we must be cognizant of our passion and fully understand the opposing viewpoints of those we marginalize. My passion may and has turned people off, hurt people’s feelings, or even created rifts in relationships. Learning to be a leader is learning how to manage that passion, channeling that passion when it is appropriate, and understand when it might have a negative effect on those surrounding us.

My passion has hindered me. I have lost friends, hurt family members, and even compromised business relationships. But those who stood by me during those times have been the ones that provided wonderful long-term relationships. Has passion hindered you?

Can Passion be taught? [Leadership Summit 2011 – Part 5]

I love this question! LOVE IT!

Passion does not need to be taught…it is already inside of us…it is part of our DNA.

It is embedded inside our very language…it is the discourse that cannot escape us. Think about one thing that if the world was going to end next week…what would you really want to do with your life?

What is the one thing in the world, in your world that makes you get up in the morning and smell the breath of life. The one thing that fuels your fire. This one thing that makes you do things that you never expected you would ever do if logic took complete control of your life.

Finding that passion is part of our coming of age. I remember the first time I found the entrepreneurial spirit inside of me. I was working for a technology company, and my mentor had passion like no other. He had the unbelievable ability to help me see life through his eyes. He taught me that there is no such thing as failure and that swinging the bat is a good thing. He has a passion for entrepreneurship.

Passion is language…it is like learning a new word, and once it has entered your vocabulary…it is hard to remove that word from your everyday routine. So how do you find that passion? You surround yourself with passionate people sharing a common cause. That is why you find great entrepreneurial leaders spending lots of time building great board’s of directors or advisors. They have a desire to surround themselves with the same, equally yoked, passionate people.

Passion is language and we have it embedded inside our hearts…we just have to learn the words to express those inner most feelings.

[Leadership Summit 2011] Creativity & Passion Means – Part 4

Here is the fourth post in my series of answering questions from Clemson’s Leadership Summit 2011, questions surrounding Creativity and Passion. Enjoy!

How have you incorporated creativity into your leadership style? Was it easy? Difficult? What are you still working on in the area of creativity & passion?

First of all, I do not consider myself a great leader. This is not a self-deprecating statement. It is the truth…I am a young professional with a lot to learn. But this is what I have learned about using creativity as a means to lead.

There is a lot of trust involved and you have to paint a great, tangible picture where the light at the end of the tunnel seems reachable. You hear many people talk about how business relationships are built on trust…HELL YES. I would not be where I am today if it was not for trust. But leading with creativity is not a tough idea to embark…it takes a plan. You have to have some sort of rubric in place that guides people through a creative process. Something that allows people to feel grounded in an approach.

John Warner tells a great story about Virginia Uldrick who started the Governor School for the Arts. Here is a school teacher who is teaching finger painting and positions herself on various leadership positions to create this high seminary of learning. In an interview, John Warner asks her how does she attract such fine teachers of ballet and hold them accountable to perform as teachers. Virginia has to answer to the legislature…so how does she hold such creative people accountable to perform. She states that she is an out-of-the-box thinker and John keys in on that statement…asking “What do you mean you are an out of the box thinker.” He wants to know how to harness this creative tension. She states to John…that if these ballet instructors can perform at the highest level…she will build the grandest stage for them to perform. John states…now who would not want to “work” for Virginia? Well…who would not want to work with Virginia, along side the vision of creativity?

*** Image is a Degas Painting from The Painter’s Studio Blog: http://thepainterstudio.blogspot.com/2010/04/my-love-of-ballet.html

[Leadership Summit 2011] Creativity & Passion Means – Part 3

Here is the third post in my series of answering questions from Clemson’s Leadership Summit 2011, questions surrounding Creativity and Passion. Enjoy!

If we were to take a ‘behind the scenes’ look at your personal leadership journey, what was one of your toughest Challenges in leading with Creativity? Passion? Greatest rewards?

The toughest challenge that I have faced is learning how to articulate my passion and creative thoughts. Sometimes I have a hard time harnessing the words…the right phrases…the right thing to say. Do I consider myself a great leader…heck if i know. But where I have become humbled in my creative leadership is not in my everyday business relationships…but it is when I teach. “Teaching” will teach you how to lead and teach you how to articulate your vision over a period of time. The greatest challenge bestowed upon me was by one of my academic mentors Dr. Summer Taylor, who passed away this year at a young age, asked me to teach on the collegiate level.

Sharing my passion and vision with business leaders is nothing to compared to sharing the same energy with 20 year old college students. It has nothing to do with passion or vision…it has to do with language. Many of the businesses I work with or partner share similar passions and engage in mutual trust. But, walking into the classroom with a new set of students…you are having to change a culture, expose them to a new language, and build trust in hopes that the semester will go as planned. Then you have to learn how to move yourself into the same discourse level as the student, help them see the vision through your eyes…but you must view life through their eyes first.

And here is my greatest reward…the thank you letters. I tear up over them and treasure each one. I had a student who had no path, no idea of tomorrow, but she loved dolphins. I am not sure what her major was at the time…but she was not sure what to do after graduation. But, she loved dolphins. This is the note from Kara…

Aloha Bobby!

This is Kara Harper. I hope you remember me. I was in your Business Writing Class in 2009. I was the girl that wanted to be a dolphin trainer in Hawaii. Well, I just wanted to write you and thank you for everything you did for me in our class. My networking actually got me a job at Dolphin Quest Hawaii, and I am working with the dolphins every day, doing what I always dreamt of doing. I have you to thank for my success in achieving my dreams. I just wanted you to know how much of a difference you are making in every students’ life. Thank you for all you do.

Take care!
Kara Harper

I shed tears every time I read this…

How are we inspiring our tomorrow to be better leaders today? What is our lasting legacy?

***Photo courtesy from Aliens on Earth Blog.

[Leadership Summit 2011] Creativity & Passion Means – Part 2

So here is part two of my series on defining Creativity and Passion. As I stated in the first post yesterday, the question below was posed as primer questions to get us ready for Clemson’s Leadership Summit 2011 at Clemson at the Falls.

Here is the second question in the series of ten:

No one person or individual leader in an organization owns creativity and passion.” What’s your reaction to this statement? Do you think this statement is true?

Two books come to mind when I hear this statement...”Tribes” by Seth Godin and the “Brains on Fire” book. First lets look at the book “Tribes.” Seth does a great job sharing the idea of building a community around an idea with his newsletter story. He had the desire and passion to create and launch a product. While using his newsletter to share his passion for this project, he engaged other members of the company who took ownership in this project. In the end…a group of people brought their creative skills together and exceeded the expectation of the project. OK…who owns the creativity in this scenario? Everyone…it just took a leader with the passion and a vision to creatively engage a group of people with a common cause.

Now let’s look at the “Brains On Fire” book…it is nice to have one of the “Fire Starters” right here at the table with this discussion. Robbin Phillips sat right across me as a panelist durin this discussion. The book tackles the idea of what is a movement…more specifically a sustainable movement. It is defined as

“A sustainable movement happens when customers and employees share their passion for a business or cause and become a self-perpetuating force for excitement, ideas, communication, and growth.”

Well said…in my humble opinion. Now let’s take this model and look around us. Most of you might recall the Google On Main event over a year ago. Here is an idea of sharing Greenville’s passion with Google, in the hopes to attract some highspeed broadband to the area. A group of people in Greenville had the vision to spell out Google with light sticks and capture aerial video of this passionate mob, then submit it to Google. I am not sure if you witnessed this movement…but hundreds of people showed up to share their support. It started with a group of people with a common goal, who then shared their passion with more passionate people. Before you know it…I was flying over hundreds of people, hanging out of a helicopter, shooting video of a human glow stick sign spelling out Google. Now…who owns the creativity in this situation?

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