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Great post from @michealhyatt about delegation. Find ways to leverage your work.

To be an effective leader, you have to become good at delegating. The problem is that what made you successful doesn’t usually scale.

The Delegation Matrix

To grow—both personally and organizationally—you have to increasingly focus on those high payoff activities where you add the most value and get rid of everything else. As Dawson Trotman, founder of the Navigators, once said,

I purposed never to do anything others could or would do when there was so much of importance to be done that others could or would not do.

Over the weekend, I was talking to my daughter, Mary Crimmins, and her husband Chris about this. Mary is in the process of hiring a virtual assistant and wanted to know what she should delegate first.

After thinking about it for a few minutes, I said, “Well, the first thing I would get rid of are those tasks that I don’t enjoy and am not good at.” I then drew the 2 x 2 matrix on a whiteboard, similar to the one above. (It is similar to the one Bryan Miles shares in my ebook, The Virtual Assistant Solution: Come Up for Air, Offload the Work You Hate, and Focus on What You Do Best.

My wife Gail soon joined us and we had a great discussion about what virtual assistants could make possible in our personal and professional lives. We each identified one task or activity in each quadrant.

I see these quadrants as a set of priorities when it comes to figuring out what to delegate first. They are designed to measure passion (how much you enjoy a task) and competence (how good you are at a task). These are not the same.

  1. Priority 1: Delegate First. These are your lowest payoff activities. They are the ones you dread, because you don’t enjoy them and you aren’t good at them. By hanging on to them, you are holding you and your organization back. The sooner you delegate them, the better.
  2. Priority 2: Delegate Next. These activities should be delegated, too. They are not as urgent as Priority 1, because you are at least good at these tasks. However, while others may benefit, you don’t. They drain you and keep you from doing your best work.
  3. Priority 3: Pause and Evaluate. These are the tasks that are tough. You love doing them, but you aren’t particularly good at them. The question is whether or not you could become competent with the right training. Regardless, you should purpose to get good or get out.
  4. Priority 4: Don’t Delegate. These are your highest payoff activities—both for you and your organization. This is where you experience the most satisfaction and make the greatest contribution. You want to do more of these kinds of activities.

Often people don’t consider delegation because they think they can’t afford a virtual assistant. This is exactly backwards.

In my experience, resources always follow vision. Until I get clear on what I need, the resources don’t show up. Why should they? What would I do with them?

via What Tasks Should You Delegate First? | Michael Hyatt.

Great article from @MightyWiseMedia on the master of management, Peter Drucker, re: your success.

Entrepreneurship According To Drucker: Your 12 Keys To Success

Peter Drucker dies at 95

Legend Peter Drucker

No question Peter Drucker is a legend.

A man with a seriously keen eye for business — his insights still apply to entrepreneurs everywhere.

And even though Drucker is deceased, you can hear his words of wisdom calling from the grave if you listen closely.

In fact, I finally had the opportunity to open The Daily Drucker’ this week; a book containing 366 days of nothing but pure wisdom wedded to action.

Astounded at the depth of his knowledge; I grabbed 12 key insights straight from the mouth of Drucker. If you’re wise, you’ll apply each one right now to your world of entrepreneurship.

Key #1:

Those who perform love what they’re doing.

Yes — you need to love what you do. It’s called passion. Think about it; do you really believe guys like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates spent so much time in the world of technology if they didn’t flat-out love it? Find your passion because it’s the place to start on your road to success as an entrepreneur. Plus, according to Drucker, your performance depends on it.

Key #2:

Successful entrepreneurs do not wait until “the Muse kisses them” and gives them a bright idea; they go to work.

Passion without action is to have the Ferrari in the garage collecting dust. Not good. And yes I know you want to plan and think and strategize. But the reality is those who take action win the race every time over those who don’t. Stop putting off what you know needs done; listen to Drucker and ‘go to work’. Today please.

Key #3:

What is our business?

Think hard — what is the purpose and mission of your business? And no, you can’t run and read me the Mission Statement hung on the wall in the dusty frame. You know the one, written only because someone told you to write it. Drucker was a firm believer in the power of ‘purpose’. Jobs at Apple lived it.Founder Clate Mask at Infusionsoft swears by it. Are you clear on your purpose as a business? It’s your North Star. So if you haven’t identified it — you’re lost in the dark and primed to walk off a cliff. Please don’t do that. Go here instead.

Key #4:

Who is the customer?

Of course it all starts and ends here. Your customer. You know, the reason you’re in business. Pack well because your journey to really know your customer lasts the lifetime of your business. Plan to walk 1,000 miles in their shoes. Not 10. One thousand. Alexander Osterwalder, co-author of Business Model Generation, created an innovative tool called the Value Proposition Canvas. Grab it here and work the right side. Answer the questions on behalf of your customers. And if you struggle with this? Slap on some shoes (hint: not yours) and start walking.

Key #5:

Neither studies nor market research nor computer modeling is a substitute for the test of reality.

Drucker called it “the test of reality”. Because we now live in a hyper speed world of communication thrust forward by mobile, social media and the Internet in general — the race to innovate product/market fit has turned it from a marathon to a sprint. Do you run your business around a culture of testing and experimentation? Or do you over indulge in the ‘study of the market’? A new breed of smart entrepreneurs choose option number one.

Key #6:

Measure innovations by what they contribute to market and customer.

One thing I noticed about Drucker and his wisdom is this: he drilled home that the life blood of a company is rooted in management and innovation. Take his advice in key #5; and combine it with an understanding that to simply ‘test’ is futile without the important marriage partner of ‘measurement’. Yes — not only do you need a culture of ‘testing’; but you must measure what you test. Again, wise entrepreneurs understand and use tools such as A/B Split Testing as part of their repertoire.

Key #7:

Often a prescription drug designed for a specific ailment ends up being used for some other quite different ailment.

Be ready to pivot. Go with the market. Don’t worry if it’s not the way you ‘planned’. Nothing ever is. As Drucker alludes to here, some of the greatest success stories in business are the result of a change in direction based on market response or product surprise. Just like the guy trying to invent a super strong new adhesive. Yes — he failed. His failure is called a Post-it Note.

Key #8:

Innovative ideas are like frogs’ eggs: of a thousand hatched, only one or two survive to maturity.

Your goal as an entrepreneur is to create a system and culture which allows you to quickly move through all the potential things you ‘could’ do so you can nail the things you ‘should’ do. Drucker drives home the point well in his frogs’ eggs metaphor. Every idea you have will not be a winner. In fact, most ideas will be lousy based on market response. But it’s okay. True entrepreneurs understand this is part of the game and are willing to search through a thousand hatched ideas to find the ones worthy of nurturing to maturity.

Key #9:

All one has to do is learn to say ‘no’ if an activity contributes nothing.

As you may know from reading previous posts, I am a huge believer in the power of the word ‘no’. And although I’ve taken some hits from some of my peers on this stance; Drucker backs me here. Yes — you have to learn how to say ‘no’. Those who understand their purpose and mission as a company, and therefore have steely eyed focus, should have clear boundaries around their time and resources. Do you?

Key #10:

In the Next Society’s corporation, top management will be the company. Everything else can be outsourced.

Pick up Tim Ferriss’ book The 4-Hour Work Weekand you will snag a thing or two on this matter. Although I’m not sure of the timeframe Drucker spoke of with his ‘Next Society’, I would argue we are there. Virtual Assistants in the Philippines, manufacturing plants in Shanghai and software coders in Croatia. But even here in America jobs are outsourced to… yes; other Americans. Want proof?Read this post by the co-founder and CEO of NextSpace, Jeremy Neuner, titled ‘40% of America’s workforce will be freelancers by 2020’. Yes — outsourcing has officially arrived and wise entrepreneurs make it part of their strategy.

Key #11:

Most of the people who persist in the wilderness leave nothing behind but bleached bones.

Country legend Kenny Rogers, in his quest to describe playing poker, sang the lyrics “you’ve got to know when to hold ‘em; know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run…” Drucker speaks the same rule here. Entrepreneurship is about knowing when to let go. Venture capitalist Dino Vendetti told me once “The worst ventures are the ones which just linger. They neither discover the key to their success nor do they fail fast either. Drifting in no man’s land is the worst possible outcome.” If you find yourself adrift, it might be time to let go. No bleached bones please.

Key #12:

Finding and realizing the potential of a business is psychologically difficult.

Is it ever. According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs fail in their business within 18 months of startup. Only 2 make it to the top. Why? Because Drucker is right; it’s just plain difficult. Sometimes I would rather go to the dentist and have 8 cavities filled than fight the daily battle of entrepreneurship. But then a new day dawns and tenacity takes over. The perfect antidote for insecurity, complacency and hopelessness. Forbes writer Cheryl Connershares the story of entrepreneur Barbara Corcoran and 8 others on how they battle insecurity and fear.

Entrepreneurship according to Drucker. Learn it. Live it.

NOTE: If you don’t know me, I’m Eric. Husband, father & life-long entrepreneur.

If you’re an entrepreneur — let’s connect right here — right now.

Seriously. Here’s a proven formula:

Your Wisdom + My Wisdom = More Success

Entrepreneurship According To Drucker: Your 12 Keys To Success – Forbes.

(You can also find me hanging out at Mighty Wise Media; on Google+,Facebook or Twitter @MightyWiseMedia.)

Great article by +jasonmiller re: your linked in profile and improvements you should make TODAY.  Go here, do this.

7 Reasons Your LinkedIn Profile is a Hot Mess

bigstock Angry child screaming 32404832 7 Reasons Your LinkedIn Profile is a Hot Mess

Image via BigStockPhoto.com

badge guest post FLATTER 7 Reasons Your LinkedIn Profile is a Hot MessIn the age of personal brand marketing, it’s just not okay to let your LinkedIn profile sit collecting Internet dust until you’re ready to look for your next job. If your profile isn’t current, or if it communicates indifference, not only are you likely missing career-transforming opportunities, but you could also be giving people the wrong impression. Most important for marketers, a stale profile means you’re losing out on the chance to build thought leadership clout and keep your company’s brand top of mind.

Here are seven reasons your LinkedIn profile might be coming across as a social media hot mess.

1) Your headshot was taken at a BBQ.

Your LinkedIn photo should make potential employers or business partners feel comfortable with you immediately. Would you show up for a business meeting, beer in hand? Would you wear a strapless party dress? Not likely. Your photo should express “relaxed and at ease,” yes. But make it an energetic, in-your-element, confidence-exuding ease.

The only thing worse than an unprofessional photo is no photo at all. A profile page with a picture is seven times more likely to be viewed than a page without one. So put on your favorite (work) outfit, grab a friend you trust, think of a great moment from your last vacation, and get some good shots of yourself. It’ll be worth it.

2) Your profile is missing the basics.

Uploading your resume to LinkedIn is just a start — but it’s a critical start. If you haven’t included recent job history and education, your profile says loud and clear: “I’m not really serious about this LinkedIn thing yet.”

Try this: Do a quick Internet search of three colleagues. Do their LinkedIn profiles show up near the top of the list? What happens when you search for yourself? Are you happy with the results? LinkedIn profiles tend to be indexed highly on all the major search engines, which means that your profile is much more than an online resume — it’s your professional identity.

3) Your last update was a tribute to Steve Jobs.

An active page is an effective page. To gain any traction with co-workers, peers, and future employers, you have to share on a regular basis. Status updates show up on the homepage feeds of everyone in your network, so updating frequently is an easy way to keep your name (and your brand) in their field of vision. Share information that’s helpful, educational, inspiring, and sometimes entertaining. Keep your updates generally upbeat and relevant to your field of expertise, and post regularly.

4) You have no recommendations.

When you find a mobile app that looks great, but no one has yet recommended it, do you download it, or do you move on to something with 36 five-star reviews?

You probably feel better paying $1.99 for something at least a few people like, right?Same goes for recommendations on LinkedIn. When people vouch for you on your profile, it might not make or break a potential employer’s decision to contact you, but it’ll raise her comfort level.

LinkedIn has made the recommendation process beautifully painless. Yes, you should still speak to anyone you’re requesting a recommendation from, or at least write a personal note. But emphasize that you respect that person’s time. Recommendations are meant to be short, concise, and to the point. Each should take only about 10 minutes to write. Request a reco within a couple of weeks after completing successful projects, and they’ll accumulate in no time.

5. You aren’t engaging.

Business is social. Hiding out in a cubicle for eight hours a day without speaking to the people around you has never been a good career choice, and it’s not a good move to behave that way online, either.

LinkedIn has made it supremely simple to connect socially with people inside and outside your immediate circle. Liking, commenting, and sharing are all great ways to network, get on the radar of influential folks in your space, and stay in touch with colleagues near and far. Plus, with LinkedIn’s mobile app, you can access the latest news and topics that are hot with your network and the companies you follow, share instantly, as well as direct message your connections, including prospects and clients — from anywhere.

6. You don’t belong to any groups.

LinkedIn Groups act as social networking hot spots that many members can’t imagine doing without. So, if you haven’t yet joined a group, give it a spin. It’s a great way to get noticed, share and collect ideas for marketing and content efforts, and build thought leadership.

Just as with your local PTA or Chamber of Commerce, the LinkedIn groups you join and participate in can act as badges of honor. I mean, who doesn’t want to show up as a top contributor of a popular, influential group? Be proud of the organizations you represent or belong to, and check in with them often.

7. You’re not showing off your treasure.

This one may be new to you, so listen up. You can now showcase a rich media portfolio on your LinkedIn profile: Slideshare decks, infographics, videos, eBooks, and more. We call it “building your treasury,” because this is where it’s okay to show off all the gems you’ve designed and produced throughout your professional life.

Whether you’re a chef, makeup artist, marketer, or journalist, you can now house all your important work in the place that makes the most sense: your LinkedIn profile.Here are some great examples.

If you’re hiding a hot career behind a messy LinkedIn profile, it’s time to make some changes and take control. Take these lessons to heart, and you’ll build a personal brand that is worthy of your past endeavors, and that can help you land the next sizzling opportunity to come your way.

 

 

7 Reasons Your LinkedIn Profile is a Hot Mess.

Just read this great article from strategy and business about addressing change.  I found the two points on culture change to be super poignant.  Be sure in change you’re taking a proper look at the current culture, then be sure you address it directly.  We are now working in my current change management occupation to amplify the behaviours we want to see continued.  Meaning we’re seeking ways to glorify the proper behaviours and encourage them to be replicated. Enjoy.

7. Assess the cultural landscape. Successful change programs pick up speed and intensity as they cascade down, making it critically important that leaders understand and account for culture and behaviors at each level of the organization. Companies often make the mistake of assessing culture either too late or not at all. Thorough cultural diagnostics can assess organizational readiness to change, bring major problems to the surface, identify conflicts, and define factors that can recognize and influence sources of leadership and resistance. These diagnostics identify the core values, beliefs, behaviors, and perceptions that must be taken into account for successful change to occur. They serve as the common baseline for designing essential change elements, such as the new corporate vision, and building the infrastructure and programs needed to drive change.

8. Address culture explicitly. Once the culture is understood, it should be addressed as thoroughly as any other area in a change program. Leaders should be explicit about the culture and underlying behaviors that will best support the new way of doing business, and find opportunities to model and reward those behaviors. This requires developing a baseline, defining an explicit end-state or desired culture, and devising detailed plans to make the transition.

Company culture is an amalgam of shared history, explicit values and beliefs, and common attitudes and behaviors. Change programs can involve creating a culture (in new companies or those built through multiple acquisitions), combining cultures (in mergers or acquisitions of large companies), or reinforcing cultures (in, say, long-established consumer goods or manufacturing companies). Understanding that all companies have a cultural center — the locus of thought, activity, influence, or personal identification — is often an effective way to jump-start culture change.

A consumer goods company with a suite of premium brands determined that business realities demanded a greater focus on profitability and bottom-line accountability. In addition to redesigning metrics and incentives, it developed a plan to systematically change the company’s culture, beginning with marketing, the company’s historical center. It brought the marketing staff into the process early to create enthusiasts for the new philosophy who adapted marketing campaigns, spending plans, and incentive programs to be more accountable. Seeing these culture leaders grab onto the new program, the rest of the company quickly fell in line.

See the other 8 Principles here

via 10 Principles of Change Management.

B2B Brands Using Social Media | Social Media Today

Go where the people are and engage them.  Simple as that.  This article had six great points about how B2B brands can use Social Media.  First one was the best, we had to share here. Tell a story, share a victory, make us care, or tell us about what good you’re doing in the world but engage us as humans and we’ll remember you and love you forever.  Article from Social Media Today follows:

Go where the people are and give them a reason to engage

The marketing mantra – go where your audience is – isn’t just for B2C brands. Business leaders are people too. They use social networks, comment on posts and share interesting content. And really, that is the key. B2B brands can use (and have used) social media to attract people’s attention. Maybe they’ve told a story, or set a challenge to overcome.

With social media, a whole world of engaging content is open to B2B companies. It’s not just about cold calling and promotional leaflets anymore. There are dozens of B2B businesses, large and small, that are excelling at social media marketing. To be successful, each one has had to plan every campaign thoroughly. What would a win look like? Did they have the resources to create and run the best campaign possible, and to deal with a spike in site traffic or new business?

These are just some of the questions that need answers before a business launches a social campaign, because if it strikes a chord, the results can be mind-blowing.

via B2B Brands Using Social Media | Social Media Today.

On lifechngr.com I post a ton of business articles, productivity articles and other pertinent information around life in the business world and changes that are occurring right before our very eyes.  Well, this post is about something that changed me personally.  Organization.

 

I’m not a very organized person. I like to think I am by saying I keep everything in stacks.  I work on organization by reading books like Getting Things Done or other books about building a system around completing tasks.  I am a task oriented person and I am a doer so this is why I humbly submit to you today that I signed up for @alejandradottv’s blog and spent 3 days organizing as she asked me to.

 

Day One, we cleaned the bathroom counter before bed.

Day Two, we cleaned the counter + picked up 5 things.

Day three, we did one and two and added washing the dishes before bed.

 

Simply. Best. Experience. Ever.

 

 

I tell you what, this changed my life.  After day one, I went to my wife and asked for forgiveness for my frustration around organization and cleaning around the house. After Alejandra’s lessons it totally opened my eyes to where I am missing in my organization at my desk, in my bathroom, at the kitchen sink and places that I could really take ground in improving there.

I feel so much more organized on a daily basis by doing these few things and have a new appreciation for organization.  Now I need to find someone who organizes desks and garages.  :)

Looks like she’s already got a system for that!

Thank you Alejandra, preciate your help.

Link to the site here.

Alejandra.tv | How to Get Organized with Alejandra’s Home Organization Tips!.

Great article about how to improve your storytelling by @doktorspinn.  Best part of that article is something I’ve seen before, but never hurts to be reminded.  The three parts discussed in the article are: Find your Storyline, Purpose, and Business Values.  It’s worth a view if you click the link at the bottom of the screen.

The Pixar Pitch: Find Your Storyline

3 Powerful Ways To Improve Your Storytelling (And Business!) In Less Than 15 MinutesThis is pretty cool. Emma Coats, story artist at Pixar, has broken down the key elements of great storytelling in a very elegant way.

The Pixar Pitch, lately made very popular by Dan Pink in his book To Sell Is Human, is a great way for you to find a narrative, a storyline, in your business.

Here’s the script for you to try:

Once upon a time there was _________. Every day _________. One day _________. Because of that _________. Because of that _________. Until finally _________.

Jay Connor of Working Differently gives this example of a plot for Finding Nemo:

1. Once upon a time there was a widowed fish, named Marlin, who was extremely protective of his only son, Nemo.
2. Every day Marlin warned Nemo of the ocean’s dangers and implored him not to swim far away.
3. One day in an act of defiance, Nemo ignores his father’s warnings and swims into the open water.
4. Because of that he is captured by a diver and ends up in the fish tank of a dentist in Sydney.
5. Because of that Marlin sets off on a journey to recover Nemo, enlisting the help of other sea creatures along the way.
6. Until finally Marlin and Nemo find each other, reunite and learn that love depends on trust.

via Improve Your Storytelling In 15 Minutes – Doktor Spinn.

Pretty cool article below about how Tim Ferriss mentored a business and helped them get started.  The best thing from the whole article though is what Tim coined the “Quad Bomb” in order to get a response to email.  I’ve shared the email he wrote for the wholesale businesses and his quad bomb technique below.  Enjoy!

And here’s the email for online retail stores:

Subject line: Best person to talk with for new climbing gear?

Hey John <store owner>,

Fan of your store and the fact your founder and I both do jewelry making :)

Noticed you didn’t have any belay glasses, which are becoming super popular with climbers.

Love to see if this makes sense for your store. Other climbing stores are seeing promising results with it.

How’s this Thursday 4pm CST for a quick 7-minute call to see if this makes sense for your store?

Belay on,

Daniel Bliss

http://www.belayshades.com

 

To actually get a response, I had Daniel use what I call the quad-bomb:

1. Search their name on LinkedIn. Send them a connect request as a friend with a CUSTOM message. “Hey <first-name>, Huge fan of your business and wanted to talk about some cool products for your customers.”

2. Email them.

I wait a day here as to NOT annoy them. If they don’t respond, then proceed to 3 and 4.

3. Facebook message them with: “Hey, just wanted to make sure my message got through”.

4. Tweet them. “Hey @twitter-handle. Love to see if we make some magic together. What’s best email for you?”

Why so many channels?

1. So many people are lazy and don’t put the effort in. You get out what you put in.

2. Sometimes people get busy, so your email may just get buried at the bottom of their inbox.

One of the key things that I drilled into Daniel’s head is to have a follow-up time with ANY person you are trying to work with. I use the line, “I have my calendar open, how’s X time to check in?”

Also I use followup.cc as a great free service to get reminders via email.

via How to Create a $4,000 Per Month Muse in 5 Days Plus: How to Get Me As Your Mentor.

Love this article on Personas and how we’re using them today.  We could do so much better.

The Art Of Personas

WHAT DO CUSTOMERS REALLY WANT?

World Congress of Play

The concept of personas is at an odd crossroads right now. For a variety of reasons, the need to develop personas is at an all-time high for both B2B and B2C organizations alike. Simultaneously, there’s this bubbling (and baffling) idea that simply developing personas is a silver bullet to hitting the mark every time.

These are our two key takeaways directly from “The State of the Art of Personas,” a February 2013 Forrester Research report that’s worth reading by any organization that wants to ensure that it’s not simply guessing and hoping about what its customers need. The author, Senior Analyst Jonathan Browne, says: “Recently, shortsighted firms have wrongly dismissed personas as passé. But firms need tools for sharing customer understanding now more than ever. That’s because design challenges have become more complex than ever, spanning the channels and business silos that customers pass through on their journeys.”

Browne is right on the money. As we learned from our work with one of the world’s largest insurance companies, customers’ personas change as their needs change throughout their journey. For example, our policyholder interviews identified two major personas: one representing individuals more self-directed, price-sensitive and interested in the insurer’s online tools for selecting and managing policies, and a second with a preference for working more directly with the insurer’s agent.

But our research also revealed that customers’ personas morphed as insurance needs changed. For example, we found that the self-directed and price-sensitive persona quickly preferred the assistance of an insurance agent when faced with larger and more complex product purchases and use situations. Why the switch? Major events such as a totaled car or the biggest purchase of a lifetime prompted them to seek new types of sales and support channels that better met their needs at that moment.

Those kinds of insights were key for helping the insurance company empathize with its customers—to the point that it’s now better able to meet their needs even as they evolve. We cemented that empathy by putting faces on each persona via life-size cardboard cutouts rather than simply providing a slide deck with bullets describing their attributes.

Empathy is key for ensuring that clients actually use their persona research on a daily basis rather than simply tacking it to their cubicle walls and forgetting about it. It’s equally important to keep the client stakeholders in the loop every step of the way.

As Forrester’s report explains, Manifest “used a standard set of presentation materials to inform stakeholders about progress in the persona development process, explain the research approaches being used, and outline the next steps. This helped stakeholders understand the multiphase approach to developing personas and provided input from the perspective of the business. An advantage to this participatory approach is that stakeholders have confidence in the validity of personas when the time comes to use them.”

ProgressReportPersonas

Although personas are often pigeonholed as a B2C strategy, they’re equally valuable for B2B. If we look at our work with telecom and cloud computing providers, we see a pretty diverse group of personas: The CFO, for instance, will focus on how cloud computing enables the company to shift its infrastructure from a CapEx to OpEx model, while the CIO is interested in whether the cloud incurs tradeoffs in reliability and security. Personas are key for understanding the needs of each type of person who specifies, evaluates and authorizes a major purchase, as well as their expectations about support after the sale.

Ultimately, personas are the starting point in a journey toward products, services, sales channels, kiosks, mobile apps and everything else that businesses provide to their customers. And the best personas provide the deep, actionable insights that inspire companies to come up with innovative ways to address their customers’ motivations and frustrations.

Dig deeper into personas with Brian Winters’s Webinar, “Real-Time Personas” on October 22nd. Click here to register!

Jason is a crazed evangelist for user experience design, accosting strangers with sermons on its value in solving business and social problems. He’s a leader in the experience design practice at Manifest Digital, Co-Founder of UX for Good, and serves as an adjunct faculty member in the HCI Masters program at DePaul University.

via The Art Of Personas | Manifest Digital.

 

What is strategy?  What is social strategy?  What is digital strategy?  I’m asked this at least once a week, and my usual response, “I know, right!” Tough terms to define, but more so to understand the expectations in the person’s head asking the question. Great strategy is understanding your expectations, and working to at least achieve them, if not to exceed them.

Good subject matter today though, with the turn of the interwebs. In a book called The Big Rich By Brian Burrough about the turn of the 20th century, the drilling of “Spindle Top”, the discovery of oil in Texas there is the discovery of resources then the creation of wealth so vast and enormous that they began to define politics, education and business.  I keep having flashes to the monumental shifts that are occurring in business right before our very eyes.  Major shifts in the music industry, book publishing, news, technology, communication and more have occurred in the last fifteen to twenty years similar to the shifts at the turn of the century around energy, ie. oil, then production of cars, and on to the obsolesce of horses as a mode of transportation.

Ford Cars, assembly line

Ford cars on an assembly line

In this mix of business models and investments, we easily lose sight of the goal.  Truly helping people.  We worry so much today about buzzwords and disruption that I feel like we put the cart before the horse.

I think the #1 point to any strategy is putting the customer first.  Starting with this, you can center all interactions, sales, marketing and promotion around the experience the customer has.  First reviewing, then refining, then optimizing and reworking the process.  Customer experience is definitely a journey and not a destination.  It’s about putting the customer at the center, creating human interactions and moving in a manner that is honest, respectful and beneficial.