The Schumpeter column in The Economist got it wrong: "It's complicated. Management thinkers disagree on how to manage complexity." The column comments on the recent 5th Global Drucker Forum – Managing Complexity and describes organizations as having two choices, deal with complexity or simplify.
Those that deal with complexity "may look complex and unwieldy but they have an inner logic and powers of self-organisation." In contrast, "the second, rival solution to dealing with complexity is to impose simplicity."
But to present the situation as 'either / or' is simply misleading, and I think it comes down to a failure to appreciate the critical difference between complexity and complication, a difference that must be well understood when redesigning the way your organisation works. Continue Reading
As he finished a game of Cut The Rope on his iPhone, my young godson asked what my phone was like when I was his age. I broke it down for him. I was in my twenties before someone offered to take north of ten thousand dollars for a basic digital camera, and not much less for a GPS device. And I got my first basic mobile phone (I explained that means just making phone calls and sending text messages) as I approached thirty.
A few days later, as she dispatched her umpteenth snapchat of the morning, my niece asked me why I obviously enjoy what I do for a living. Imagine a whole lifetime, I replied, during which the only innovation was a tweak to the angle of the plow shear.
Scientists and engineers have been good to us. We’ve come to expect serious technological innovation with the regularity of the seasons. So, just like Chris Heuer, I’m more than ready for corresponding organizational change.
As in right now!
Having reflected briefly on the vast progression of the Internet and the web, computing, mobile infrastructure and social media services – as if you needed a reminder – let’s look at what’s changed at the typical organization during this time, my adult lifetime. Or more pertinently what hasn’t. Continue Reading
I learned this week about the Cockpit-in-Court, an early London theatre that stood where we find 70 Whitehall today. Apparently, it did as the name conveys host cockfights, although they stopped as long ago as the Jacobean times. The current building includes Kent's Treasury, built 1733-37.
I attended an event in Kent's Treasury this week at the kind invitation of Professor Anne Gregory and Paul Willis of the Centre for Public Relations Studies at Leeds Business School, hosted by Alex Aitken, Executive Director of Government Communications, to celebrate the launch of Strategic Public Relations Leadership.
The vision we have for social business at Euler Partners is built up and out from public relations in its "excellence theory" manifestation (rather than the various flavours of publicity and spin with which some readers may be more familiar). It is a fundamental, and one that has too rarely contributed all it has to give to organisational success, and Anne and Paul believe the time has come for public relations professionals to step up to the mark. They cite the increasing complexity of the modern organisation as reason enough:
This context requires public relations professionals to be able to clearly articulate and demonstrate their own contribution to organisational effectiveness. This textbook provides public relations leaders with a framework to do this, as well as a checklist of essential capabilities which they must acquire and exhibit if they are to operate at the highest levels of any organisation.
I'm delighted to have provided a "product description" in Amazon's terminology or, in the jargon of the publishing industry, a "book blurb" for the back cover:
The authors write "an organisation’s reputation is determined not by expert publicity programs, but the alignment of declared and enacted values as judged by those with whom it has a relationship." If you understand what this means, this book will help you make it happen. If you don't understand what this means, you should read this book. Given the compelling association the authors identify between public relations excellence and organisational leadership, it can only benefit your career trajectory.
[Edited 7th October to embed the event video and move the slidestack to the end.]
I've been hosted by 3M today in Minneapolis St. Paul, and what great hosts too... a fantastic team and an incredible company heritage to boot. I could have spent a whole day exploring the Innovation Center, which is so well done I'm sure it brings out the geek in just about everyone.
Gregory Gerik is 3M's transformation social media leader, and he led the design and delivery of the 3M ThinkTANK conference today. Kicked off beautifully with a keynote by Brian Solis, we've been provoked, informed and entertained by: Continue Reading
Next week is Social Media Week. That's well known. What's less well known is that this is Social Data Week, and this facet of social underpins a lot of the stuff on next week's agenda. Nevertheless, many people with social in their job description, from public relations to marketing to 'digital', are not yet fluent in the data foundations.
One aspect of social data that particularly excites me is the Semantic Web, often referred to as Web 3.0. According to Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, Web 3.0 describes the web as a universal medium for the exchange of data, information and knowledge. It's an awesome vision that's playing out right now.
Brandwatch is one company that understands social data better than most.
I've known Giles Palmer, the founder and CEO of Brandwatch, since I interviewed him for one of the first ebooks on social analytics all the way back in 2008. Brandwatch shares my enthusiasm for the Semantic Web and related technologies, so I'm delighted that the company has sponsored the production of this stack.
If you're procuring or reviewing your current choice of social listening, analytics and intelligence service, then check them out.
Joining the original foreword by Microsoft Yammer co-founder and CTO, Adam Pisoni, is a new foreword by Social Media Today founder and CEO, Robin Carey. The book also has a new front cover and an additional chapter.
I'm in Atlanta today and for the next couple of days for Social Media Today's inaugural conference, the Social Shake-Up. If you're coming, do say hi. And as Robin says in her foreword, "Attenzi makes perfect reading for the flight to Atlanta, or indeed the flight home." :-)
Ever since we started the CIPR Social Media Panel we've been a pro-active bunch. I haven't got the stats to prove it, but I'd bet the panel is the most active CIPR group. We launched the successful "Social Summer" sessions, developed Wikipedia guidance (subsequently adopted by equivalent organisations in Canada, Australia and South Africa), created CIPR TV, published the CIPR Social Media Guidance, updated the CIPR's own social policy, published the CIPR Guide to Social Media Monitoring, and much more.
Social Summer was the genesis for the 2012 book, Share This, currently listed by Amazon amongst its UK Top 50 books in the PR category, and US Top 100. (Note to Amazon: PR is not a subsidiary discipline of Marketing, so the PR category should not be subsidiary to the Sales & Marketing category.)
Having had the distinct pain of editing Share This, Stephen Waddington demonstrated his masochistic side by proposing a follow up this year. Fortunately, Rob Brown volunteered as co-editor, and tonight is the launch party at the British Library of Share This Too.
Here's the blurb from the CIPR:
"The book is split into 33 chapters over eight topic areas, covering the future of public relations, audiences and online habits, conversations, new channels, new connections, professional practice, business change and opportunities for the public relations industry, and future-proofing the public relations industry.
"Each chapter has been contributed by one of the foremost experts in the given subject area, and the foreword for the book is from Brian Solis, digital analyst and author of What’s the Future of Business (WTF).
"Share This Too has been edited by CIPR Board Members Rob Brown and Stephen Waddington with contributions from Dominic Burch, Robin Wilson, Ged Carroll, Kate Matlock, Adam Parker, Mark Pack, Sharon O’Dea, Paul Fabretti, Michael Litman, Russell Goldsmith, Stephen Davies, Scott Seaborn, Dan Tyte, Matt Appleby, Kevin Ruck, Hanna Basha, Chris Norton, Becky McMichael, Rachel Miller, Stuart Bruce, Richard Bailey, Jane Wilson, Julio Romo, Jed Hallam, Katy Howell, Gemma Griffiths, Philip Sheldrake, Richard Bagnall , Drew Benvie, Andrew Smith and Simon Collister."
I'm kicking off #SCRM13 in London this morning. SCRM stands for social customer relationship management, and my role today is to get some energy into the room and, hopefully, encourage delegates to look up from simply slapping "social" onto business as normal.
Unfortunately, that's precisely what many have been charged with doing. Those with appropriate powers of persuasion will effect organizational change I'm sure, but more to the point I feel that more chief executives need to attend Luke's conferences, a sentiment I'm sure he'd endorse.
"Don’t you want CRM to help you and the customer mutually, allowing you both to manage the relationship? Surely the value of your understanding how influence goes around comes around is enhanced when those you interact with have similar understanding. Or would you rather propagate the status quo – CRM as a construct to manage the customer? Who do you think best knows the customer in the round today anyway – you or him?"
I was invited to kick off the CharityComms "Made to Measure Communications" event today. Being a fan of measurement, or business performance management more widely, I'm always excited about meeting new people and sharing ideas and insights, but given that many find the topic a little dry to say the least, I'm grateful for any and all interaction and enthusiasm event attendees might muster. And today's audience didn't let me down, so thank you for that.
As promised, here's the stack.
What, exactly, is the value of social? This was the question I sought to help answer in my slidestack ahead of the AMEC European Summit in Madrid earlier this month. And it was the overarching question that informed much of the three days of debate, discussion and deliberation.
This post is about two related developments – the latest from "The Conclave" (aka the #SMMStandards Coalition), and "A New Framework for Social Media Metrics and Measurement".
"Perhaps the most important Social Media launch of the year" is how Katie Delahaye Paine portrays it. This is so-Katie that I can actually hear her saying it right now (as she might hear me cry "the most exciting development in PR since the Cluetrain"!)
Katie refers to a suite of social media measurement standards that represents the work of a collection of organisations (including AMEC, a full list is appended here) informally referred to as The Conclave. Following 18 months of long conference-calls, meetings, slidestacks and email threads, we have posted standards for: Continue Reading