Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Blogging at FL250: Keep Your Nose Clean!

Those who are unprepared, those who had been expecting best-case career scenarios, may find disillusionment, boredom, complacency, or even a disregard for procedures and regulations creeping into their professional life.

Interesting post. It's one thing when the junior marketing manager falls asleep on the job (or frankly the CEO of a fund company) - but your pilot?! Truth is - pilots are people too. They have bad days, get pissed off at management, get bored with their jobs. Thanks to technology, good training, and I generally high level of professionalism (right?) most flights end well. Here's hoping your pipeline clears soon!!

Posted via web from Jim's posterous

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What a Declining Business Media Means to CEOs

One might argue that the weakened state of business media doesn’t matter much; it’s simply an overabundant commodity in a tightening market.

Hmmm. This isn't an issue I'd given much thought to. The arguments make some sense - fewer outlets for story-telling and learning from others, more fractured sources of coverage, potentially more bias. Those seem like they could be all true. Do they matter? Maybe. But in my mind, small and medium sized companies were largely ignored by the press anyways. Today, thanks to the web I see an incredible opportunity for companies to get their stories out however and whenever they want - regardless of size, location, industry, etc. And for CEO's to learn more than they ever imagined - in just an hour every morning on tools like Google reader. The real problem? Only a small percentage of companies and CEO's seem to take advantage of the cornucopia of opportunities out there. The majority of companies I see haven't even figured the power of search marketing yet, never mind having any hands-on idea about what social networking could do for their story. And I see way too many CEO's roaring around ensuring that the picture of business that they learned 10 or 20 years ago is what their business becomes. Which is a key reason in my mind why there are so many under-performing businesses. So I'm not sure the real problem is the success, decline or failure of the traditional press (speaking of what happens when you operate your business looking backwards) but the failure to take advantage of the changing but phenomenal opportunities to learn and communicate going forward.

Posted via web from Jim's posterous

Monday, September 28, 2009

How Twitter and Crowdsourcing Are Reshaping Recruiting - Conversation Starter - HarvardBusiness.org

For instance, the revamped job description included a requirement that the Senior Manager "understand the following acronyms: RSS, SEM, SEO, PPC, CPM, CPC, LOL, IMHO, WTF, API, B2C, B2B, CTR, IM, PV, RON, WWW, TTYL, LMAO, ROTFLMAO, WYSIWYG and, most importantly, RTFM.

....and have at least 250 followers on Twitter. Hey, I could apply.

Posted via web from Jim's posterous

Saturday, September 26, 2009

TheStar.com | Business | RIM's fall just a bump along the way?

The sell-off was a next-day reaction to Waterloo-based RIM's weaker-than-expected sales outlook for the busy back-to-school quarter, delivered after the markets closed Thursday alongside a slight dip in fiscal second-quarter earnings.

RIM's hardly going out of business. But....if I'm thinking of getting an iPhone (ok, looking forward to it) something's changed. I'm not my kids. Although I use and enjoy Blacberry Messenger it's not my primary connection to my contact list. Instead I'm absolutely loving the interface, apps and web browsing I get with the iTouch I've been experimenting with. I've even learned how to type easily on it. As a result, it's replaced my laptop and my Blackberry to a way bigger degree than I ever imagined (opening up the real possibility that my next laptop won't be what I currently use either, it will be a netbook and definitely not anything with a Microsoft operating system). Finally an observation. Now that I'm paying a little more attention to the iPhone, I was intrigued to notice that at the conference I attended this week, Blackberries were almost extinct. iPhones were the device of choice with a few cooler than expected Android phones thrown into the mix. Maybe it was the group (not investment bankers). But something's up for sure.

Posted via web from Jim's posterous

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lifestreaming: Evolving the Model from Import and Aggregate to Hub and Spokes #recruitfest09

Here's a follow up to yesterday's recruiting conference post. I'm a big Posterous fan (and clearly using it way below it's potential). Just an idea for those wondering whether/how to break from a pure Twitter/Facebook approach to social networking.

Posted via web from Jim's posterous

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

#Recruitfest09

Quick thanks to the organizers and passionate leaders of #Recruitfest09. Met some great people. The sessions today were spirited, co-operative and useful. At first the unconference approach takes some adjustment but once the flow starts it's a great way to learn and contribute (and U of T isn't a bad place to do it).

Some thoughts coming out of today.

  1. managing the talent puddle - forget the pool it's too big (and sounds like most are struggling with basic talent management - when WAS the last time anyone took a candidate for lunch?)
  2. Twitter - um, not so much - despite experts to the contrary I still say that brand and audience relationship building (never mind sound search optimization) requires a multi-platform approach, not just one (I use Twitter to get you to this post, not to write it)
  3. maybe a little too much talking to ourselves? - next time let's get some users in the room (clients and candidates) - it would be fun to hear their side of the conversation
  4. finally, yes it's been a tough year and competition is getting worse but...the most sustainable competitive advantage any company has is it's people - so hang in there. And even though the pricing of bits and bytes is going to zero so a lot of the process crap has no value any more, if you give me the BEST person for the position I'll always be happy to pay you a fair price (it's when I don't want the best - goodbye competitive advantage, or you can't provide it, then...we're both in trouble.)
Bottom line. Productive way to spend a day. Lots of opportunity going forward. Hope everyone enjoys Toronto.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Seth Godin's 'The Dip'

A good friend of mine got fired from his job this week. It's been a tough week for him and lots around him.

It pisses me off. Not that he got fired. It pisses me off that he didn't quit a long time ago. Like I suggested. If he'd done that, then he wouldn't have wasted the last 2 years. His reputation wouldn't be at risk. And he wouldn't be grieving getting fired now.

So it's kind of ironic that I came across Seth Godin's book 'The Dip' on iTunes yesterday.

Although it's only moderately rated by iTunes and Amazon reviewers, there's no way this book won't make you think.

There are a few key concepts:

  • set out to be the best, whatever that is (best friend, leader, search engine, blog - Godin talks about being the 'best in the world' - a concept I also believe in although it risks seeming to grandiose for many)
  • recognize that there will be obstacles to getting there
  • figure out the difference between obstacles and brick walls - what Godin calls the difference between dips and cul de sacs
  • the rewards for 'leaning into' the dips and making it through them are generally large because the dips thin the herd, creating scarcity
  • quit strategically when it's clear no matter what you do, you're not going to make it - you're facing a cul de sac, not a dip
  • quit fast before you waste resources like time, dollars and reputation which would be better deployed being the best somewhere else or in some other, better way
  • plan before hand what the conditions must be for quitting - quitting in a dip, just because you're winded, tired and it's raining (and therefore susceptible to quitting) is dumb if the finish line of the Boston Marathon is only 5 miles away

Godin works hard at blowing away the notion of 'never quit'. As he asks 'never quit bed-wetting?'. Really? If you haven't done that yet, it's time.

My friend needed to quit (his job) 2 years ago. There is no way what he was trying to accomplish was going to happen. It wasn't just the obstacles he was facing, it was how he was facing them. Another of Godin's points - maybe the goal's not the problem, maybe it's the strategy. Maybe that's what needs to be quit.

I couldn't agree more with what Godin's articulated.

Over the years it's not that I've seen too much quitting, it's that I haven't seen enough of it. Too many mediocre companies going nowhere. Too many Boards hanging onto lousy leaders. Too many CEO's hanging onto failed strategies. Too many employees hanging onto lousy jobs.

Why?

Laziness - quitting isn't easy.

Pride - "I'm not quitter".

And bad business - "what is it we're trying to accomplish again?"

Anyone looking for silver bullets will find 'Dip' a little frustrating. Is it a dip or cul de sac? Godin, trys to make it as black and white as possible but ultimately he can't answer that for all his listener/readers. But knowing those are the options is a good start.

It's helped me. There are a few cul de sacs I'm quitting as of today.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Reduce Your Chances of Dying in a Plane Crash | Information Is Beautiful

Cool data representation but...one of the things about knowing aircraft is knowing when they aren't the real aircraft. Like in the movies when a 737 takes off from New York and supposedly the same plane, but now a 747 lands in London. We notice. It's a curse. So...some of the aircraft pictured...aren't. The DC-9 is a Focker and the Airbuses are all 737's. Like I said, it's a curse. Regardless, I still wouldn't fly Aeroflot!

Posted via web from Jim's posterous

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Apple Is Expected to Update iPods

...of course they are...because I just got an iTouch (free with my daughter's new Mac - kids want Macs and Blackberries).

Getting the iTouch confirmed how difficult typing really is on this platform (easy texting and BB messaging is what the kids love about the BB). It makes me want to put my finger-tips on a Slimfast diet.

On the other hand I was immediately taken (and still am) with the rest of its touch screen interface and most of the other features. I love the wi-fi (not on my BB). In the first 10 minutes I'd downloaded an app costing $3.99 (ooTunes a radio app). Transferred over my address book from Outlook. Synched to Gmail and other Google apps includng Reader. Downloaded the new iTunes, purchased a song. And etc, etc.

Funny, after an hour setting up the iTouch I found myself 'fingering' the screen on my BB. No question, using the trackball now feels a lot retro/old school.

Does this mean if AAPL fixes the keyboard that I could become an iPhone convert?!

Say it ain't so.

Posted via web from Jim's posterous

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

TripAdvisor's 2009 Top 10 Dirtiest Hotels

I found this via the guys who wrote 'Made to Stick'. Their thinking on why this promo works - it's unexpectedness. For those who haven't read the book - if you sell anything you will find it interesting - the other principles of 'stickiness' from the book are simplicity, concreteness, credibility, emotion and storytelling..... or tah dah....'succes' (you would have thought they'd have come up with one more principle starting with s?). It's a pretty good book that will make you think. It's chock full examples so I find it interesting that the one example that 'sticks' for me is about Norah Ephron's first day of journalism school. Asked to write the lead for a newspaper story, the teacher provided these facts: "...the principal of Beverly Hills High School announced today that the entire high school faculty will travel to Sacramento next Thursday for a colloquium on new teaching methods. Blah, blah, blah.....". What's the right lead for this story? 'There won't be any school on Thursday'. What's the point? Stickiness is about finding the point, not regurgitating the facts.

Posted via web from Jim's posterous