Veritas Gravitas and the MBA Oath

Here is the website in question the MBA Oath

In my opinion it is window dressing, ethicsvalues and principles is not something you can swear a voluntary compliance with … it is something that you learn through life, either in essential relationship with your parents and during your childhood or you learn it in the military or in some sort of value driven public service organisation …. that actually does something … to the oath giver .. it is the basis of honour, truth, loyalty …. values which have a profound meaning …

For those that take the oath and it is not part of their soul, it will have no effect on their lives, the whole idea that you can swear a voluntary adherence to leading a  life based on ethics and principles is a nonsense …

It might look good on your PR brochure but it means nothing … as they will always default to the values that they learnt .. usually a reflection of the society as whole that values nothing, creates nothing .. and only values consumption and excess.. and money of course.

Only those leaders that have grown up in an ethical and principled based learning environment or those exceptional military leaders that know that the result of their work has to create value for all … such voluntary oaths are of no real value to society .. otherwise this comes back to the essence of society .. that it looks good, sounds good … but means nothing … unless you are swearing compliance with something that has teeth or means something to the oath giver … its just so much spin.

Which it seems all our society is about …

Its gets more political as we move forward .. it is about how it looks, how it sounds rather than how it actually is…

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Greece and the Euro Zone

It hardly matters why Greece is in the mess they are in … they just are …

What is the future … whatever the way forward it is serious stuff … every which way you turn there are serious consequences.

What is sure is that the current situation cannot continue …

If Greece stays in the Union, the future for the people of Greece is dire … already there is severe unrest … and unless a political solution is found the only way that this will be resolved is on the streets. From the information I have been able to glean the average person, especially those who are on fixed income and pensions are in severe financial straits .. with no likely hood of a positive outcome in the foreseeable future …

Why is the Euro Zone trying so hard to keep Greece in the Union, aside from the obvious far from small crack it shows in the community, there is a benefit to the manufacturing countries within the Euro Zone because of the perceived financial problems of countries such a Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland and even Italy … on the world markets this keeps the overall value of the Euro$ itself depressed ….

This has benefits for countries such a Germany, Italy and France with significant manufacturing sectors … by the virtue of Greece being part of the Union, the lower exchange rate works for these manufacturing countries …. as it makes their products competitive on the world stage …

If Greece and others leave the Union, aside from the financial meltdown that will affect Greece … it will strengthen the Euro and make their products more expensive … and less competitive … how do you think that this will affect those manufacturing countries  .. it will take them into a financial slowdown …

Really the future financial health of those manufacturing countries within the Euro zone … is in the hands of the Greek people ..

This is the reason I think that the Euro Zone wants to keep Greece in the Union …

Why is it that countries are beholding to the banks … all the assets of Greece will be sold off in a fire sale to placate the numbers me … what did the people of Greece do to deserve this …

Frankly I do not see the Greek people voting to stay within the Union …

How to build Online Influence without seeming to

I have watched with interest how organisations that operate in the Social Media sector .. and I have some observations about how to define your strategy

Lets start with the function of Social Media
….

Social Media is not a direct influence or sales path …. it is a tool to build a contact .. to build a relationship and ultimately to add to an experience of your brand from which you can then leverage, while you continue to add value to the overall experience.

Social Media is the Internets replacement in this insular world for your sphere of influence … you community, your friends, and those organisations that you are interested in engaging with.
Social Media has been hyped up to the point where people are living their life in this cyber space instead of the real world … please take note … Social Media is not your life, and the most important people in your life, are not on Twitter ! Well they shouldn’t be … professionally speaking I believe many mature bricks and mortar organisations would be more successful especially on Facebook if they de-activated their account – their strategy is all one sided, and is all about providing the information that they believe is important – which is not how you build a relationship .. One thing, numbers of Facebook does not means that they are actually listening to you … but on Twitter … I believe they are more engaged and therefore interested and note, the un-follow button on Twitter is a heart beat away.

In the early days, very early days on Twitter, on another account I did an experiment with that exact scenario .. and then changed the nature of the feed .. the response was immediate … that feed lost a large number of followers .. and note people remember … that … if you don’t value them .. well enough said

Now lets look at how to build influence

It is built by engagement and valuing the people you connect with, but you MUST speak with your own voice and from your own values …. if you do not offer up something of yourself then what makes you different than the thousands of voices of the Internet .. that say .. buy this .. do this .. see here … your strategy must be to enhance the experience of your followers … their world is made somehow brighter by following you on Twitter or any other Social Media channel, in other words you provide something they want in their life.

I have seen worthy organisations who are so focused on getting their message across, without seeing the other side of the picture …. you need to involve people in your world on a more personal basis or should I say your persona …. which on the Internet is not the same thing .. well it shouldn’t be. Also if you are speaking as the voice of a organisation, you need to follow strict protocols of how you engage … what you say .. and how you say it … bring your personal views of what they did, or how they have treated you is counter-productive and will lose you followers.

There are specific processes and strategies to interest, to engage, involve the customer / follower, to retain them and use that connection as a leverage to a wider audience … but so many are missing the mark here …. to start look at your own interests and those sites you follow and ask yourself, why am I interested in this information, and how do they retain my interest and how do they interest me enough, that I want to re-tweeted my message to my followers … this is a critical point … to a large extent I choose the people I follow and likewise unless I believe they overall experience of my feed will be enhanced and will add something to my message … I will not engage … so I this is how I value them by not devaluing our relationship –  and therefore I will only re-tweet a message and content that I can relate to … and I believe my “friends” for want of a better world will find of value …. basically because I do.

At the end of the day … you need to remember on thing .. this is Social Media … it is not a one way passive “relationship” as in Mass Media, it is or at least it should be a engaged interactive relationship, that value and engage with your people … to build a joint experience, and note joint means together …. do not make the mistake of seeing your followers as a means to an end .. as the equivalent of email fodder … value them, respect them and you will succeed … don’t .. well we know what happens if you don’t.

Comments Off on How to build Online Influence without seeming to Posted in Engagement

Introduction to Issues surrounding Engagement Consulting

I was recently speaking on chat to a friend of some problems I had with trying to impress on 
the company, the seriousness of their disconnect with their end clients who were, after all, you know real people… (like them?) it sort of went like this..

We are all much more creative than we give ourselves credit. Sorry for my disconnection with you … I have been trying every which was I can to relate and communicate to non-creative (C level Operations & Executive personnel ) to get them to comprehend what I consider as real business concerns … they consider as irrelevant emotive concepts like customer experience, engagement, feelings, and other more tangible concepts such as sustainable growth (that they understand) and future growth strategies that require innovative and out of the box thinking .. any real growth without innovation is a fantasy .. future real growth will come from disruptive products and services that fracture and re-define the markets

I am certainly passionate about those areas …. where the corporate world think they are operating in a vacuum …. the psychological aspects of individual C Level career success restricts focus, narrows perspective & may break engagement & understanding of customers – I think it more than breaks the connection with the customers … except for those very rare people who have their feet on the ground – not too many of those …
Its amazing the mess that this one issue is causing the likes of News Corp, HP, Netflix, Yahoo and the obvious one is the looming changes facing Mass Media … you know Film, Mass Media (TV)+ Cable + Newspaper + Magazines .. Amazon must be loving this ..

I am been quiet on the blog, because I have been trying to process the so many changes since the uncloaking of the morally reprehensible behaviours of News Corp and a separate free lesson on how to damage your brand and lose over a million of subscribers courtesy of NETFLIX, Yahoo and the bickering … and the fork in the road that HP find themselves — put there through their own bad strategic planning … and lets not forget Delta who are without doubt the singularly worst client and customer culture I have ever observed in a company ….. and finally what the death of a truly inspiring creator, Steve Jobs will mean for Business in general but for Apple in particular, so I will come back here … give me a while to compose my thoughts and we will get at it.

PerhapsI can point to a letter sent by a recent passenger of Delta by my friend Sandra Maxey … here is the link … @sandymaxey Letter to Delta Airlines CEO – http://bit.ly/qcPxoK

But a couple more points while  we are here, I am wondering if we are all in the mess because of the MBA Program … it may make business understandable, but business is not a thing, each company is a life, made up of their own dreams and aspirations, full of individual people whom it might be nice to think are actually going in the same direction as the company, (most aren’t because of flawed Corporate cultures) and the most important aspect, their customers, who are all real people, who want to be valued and engaged … and refused to be categorized and sorted just so it makes it easier for the company to dissociate themselves from this truth .. companies are people … so are customers, people even own it … (maybe not directly) people manage it, operate in it, and who they sell their product or service to … you need to value them or basically become irrelevant .. you will cease to exist.

One last observation, the large aspect of the MBA attitude is one of expedience .. which is kind of abhorrent to me .. however that aside, recently I heard that Harvard and Wharton Schools were adding ethics classes to the MBA .. what a total wast of time, ethics, principles and integrity is not something you can teach, it is something that has to be part of your values, the actual make-up of your personality – if not, when you are put under pressure they (ethics) will not be your go to code of conduct.

So I would say again, to change the way the world thinks we need to teach our children what is really of value – and guess what its not money .. more later

Reader Engagement

It does not matter how the content gets to you, by what ‘road” or in what form, whether in a library book, a hard copy magazine or newspaper, the web and its various forms of streaming … it has something in common … you have to have interest in the content, it has to engage with you .. and make you want you to focus and read on.

This has always been the case. How often have you picked up a book, looked over a few pages, and discarded it. Why ? because it did not engage with you, watched a movie, switched channels, went to sleep or worse still, walked out of a theatre .. or reading a web page and thought , no .. and moved on … read a Twitter stream and nothing, you either clicked good bye or went looking for content that you can relate to, regardless of how the content is delivered to you, how you view it or engage with it, it has to value you and engage with you as a person.

Think about this and we will come back to you … in the next blog entry with more .. of what I hope is interesting content

Socrates Fundamental Principles

My aim is simplicity and therefore clarity.

I came across a happenstance, a link to my childhood, and a time when philosophy and ethics of living were a integral part of my upbringing, that moulded my character, my values and therefore my integrity – in other words all that I am.

Socrates’ fundamental principles

P1: We must always act on the basis of good reasons and good reasoning, not out of fear, mere self-interest, etc.

P1(a): We value the opinions of those who know, not the many

P1(b): The principles on which we rely must stand the tests of time and change of circumstances, and the conclusions we draw from them must be ones which we can be constantly faithful.

P2: It is not enough to live; we must live well, nobly and justly.

P3: We must never do wrong willingly, even in requital.

P4: We must always keep our agreements, provided they are just.

You know looking at these Principles, I do not think our current society complies with one of them .. not even close.

Engagement & Content

Content of an interesting discussion …. starts the thought processes !

My thoughts at the moment, seem to be focused on “engagement”, the reasons why we aren’t and the bigger picture of flawed corporate cultures caused by basic systemic issues … as I said in the feed yesterday “Everyone is connected, but are we really connecting ?” – I think not .. or worse if we are … we are not listening. I have some views on the reasons for this … but it amazes me that organisations including governments seem to just go through the motions and are seemingly indifferent to the reality .. which is why their stakeholders .. us .. are not engaged (normally) with their strategies … this comes down to the education of the “masses” as well, as for the Gods in the marble halls – we are just too ‘aware’ for their own good.

However with the fragmentation of the mass market in all areas, including mass media, the outcome for me is that instead of organisations making systemic changes to move with the social and technological changes to improve their internal cultures and thus the engagement and transparency with “us”, they basically keep going the way they are going, and one day when the financial world is sorting through the carcass of what were “great” organisations (including governments probably) … they will ask .. too late .. “How did this happen” ?

To cut a long story short, there has to be change in the way things are done … we all need to realise that so far as the Universe is concerned we don’t amount to a hill of beans as individuals (but together ?? ) … as Carl Sagan said in his own meditation … we are just this little blue dot in a relatively small galaxy, within the infinity of the Universe, that’s the reality of our significance … numberless blades of grass or the grains of sands on every beach … in every world springs to mind …

So what can potentially makes us different .. one thing, which is “what if” we believed in engagement with each other, in true transparency (not just the words) we can become magnificent working together .. so what exactly is stopping us .. fear of “everything”, ego .. perhaps !

But we need to start, with one small step, how about within your own circle of influence, and then the circle will grow, and soon (this relies on engagement) .. we have the ability to foresee the magnificence which can be a social engaged one world … utopia, even possible ?? … it must be possible as I can see our potential …probable .. I hope so .. I hope I see the start of it before my time is over .. well this time around anyway.

There needs to be one thing, a world wide social revolution, that holds Governments at all levels accountable and likewise all levels of business … how about we bring all levels of abuse and inequity to the surface …. without all of the hype and b/s of the news organisations who are basically there to sell their own product, their content… so we come back basically to transparency and accountability … so long as there is a “rating” to be improved .. we cannot trust in the ethics of the organisation, who are only motivated by money .. for me (now) money is like the mythical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow .. when you get to it, there is nothing there … and I can tell you from personal experience that money and materialism does not make you happy … but I guess that is something you need to find out for yourself.

By the way, if I hear one more time, “We have always done it this way … “ but this is my point exactly … and here you are talking with some organisation that is in need of change, sometimes surgical change. In any organisation, you must be proactive and always be curious and strive for excellence. To drive policy … that is the function, or it is supposed to be of the Board / owner and the CEO .. to work on the question .. here is the direction we we want to go, how do we get there ? Too many CEO’s work in the company and therefore never understand the reality which is that their company is not entitled to anything .. they may have the best / greatest most exciting wiz bang product or idea in the Universe, but unless you really engage with your market, (before – you take it to market, so they are part of the process) – it will rarely succeed.

This post seems more about engagement rather than content … so next time .. content for your publications …

Ok .. time for my exercise …