Roy's Blog: March 2016
March 29, 2016
It’s not common to think of a keyboard as a tool that adds a great deal of value to the process of creating content. After all, it’s primary use is to produce a sentence with appropriate punctuation, right?
Any added functionality to this point has primarily focused on predictive technology to complete words or sentences. In so doing it tries to make the single function of sentence production easy. Of course in reality we all know the pitfalls of predictive technology “damn autocorrect!” in the errant posts we send without proofing, but developers of mobile keyboard apps like Swiftkey and Swype have made significant progress.
I am a writer; a blogger.
I market my BE DiFFERENT or be dead content constantly through a variety of social media channels. What is critical to me is simplicity and ease of use when it comes to creating and sharing to social media; for me Twitter and LinkedIn primarily.
This translates into productivity; I need to get more accomplished when on the go with less time and energy.
I recently discovered a unique mobile tool that enables me to create posts fast and easy.
That tool is the AIR Social Keyboard, the ONLY social media keyboard for iPhone that possesses the functionality it provides.
It has no comparators; it is distinct.
It stands out from Apple’s native keyboard and third party keyboards alike.
It’s benefits are unmatched.
The challenges I face as a content creator and marketer are not restricted to me; literally everyone else in the content marketing game covets ease of use, speed, and of course quality.
These 4 actions AIR handles while the rest of the keyboard herd merely looks on.
1. You can store all of your tweets complete with #hashtags and @handles in AIR’s Content Manager and retrieve any one of them with merely a tap. You can create groups of contacts or hashtags, retrieve, and then use them with a tap.
2. Using AIR’s Image Editor, you can create and edit professional-looking photos, complete with message overlays and YOUR unique branding AND copyright, all from within the once lowly keyboard. I’m not a big Instagram user but for photographers and artists alike, what a great way to protect, beautify and brand your content, right?
3. For me, the best feature is AIR Memo. It enables content creators to beat Twitter’s 140 character limit! Simply type your message (or add it from your saved Tweets in AIR’s Content Manager), tap AIR Memo and your message is automatically converted to an image and saved to your camera roll. Really?
4. Lastly, on other keyboards I have to go through up to 3 layers to get to the symbol I want. If I want the #hashtag, for example I have to dive to level 3 on the Apple board to retrieve it. On AIR the most commonly used symbols are all on the first layer with the alphabet; at most they are only one layer away. Brilliant! Saves tons of time.
ONLY on AIR!
A successful product does two things exceedingly well: first it addresses a customer need in a compelling way, and, second, it is the only one that does it the way it does.
AIR is such an example.
- Posted 3.29.16 at 12:15 pm by Roy Osing
March 28, 2016
This is the bookend of the stand-out leader’s week.
Friday is “change the conversation” day.
Language expresses what people view as “what’s important around here.” Vocabulary paints the picture of the journey that employees see the organization taking.
This day is focused on changing the conversation in the organization.
Moving away from discussing what needs to be done to improve; to incrementally change the organization. Muting the conversation about the practices of “best in class” organizations and what is required to copy them.
Today is all about introducing the conversation around how to BE DiFFERENT; how to move away from others in the market.
“What do we have to do to leave the herd; to distance ourselves from the common crowd?” “How can we stand-out not blend in; be contrarian and take the opposite direction to everyone else?” These are the questions this day is about.
This day involves meeting with team leaders throughout the organization; across all responsibility areas.
BIG NOTE: this applies if you have 1,000 employees, 10 or 3. The point is to engage with people who represent the various functions of the organization.
This day the leader declares that the BE DiFFERENT conversation will define the new communications in the organization.
This day the leader has a simple agenda when meeting with team leaders. Look introspectively. Dissect the conversations that are common. What topics do they most engage in? What words are used? What questions are asked?
Then disrupt the conversation with questions around divergence not compliance.
“What are we doing to create space between our organization and others?” “What breakaway projects with new innovative thinking are we pursuing?” “What NEW boxes are we building to play in?” “What contrarian opportunities have we identified that will take us in the opposite direction to the rest of the market?”
Far too many organizations and people think success is fitting in; conforming; being the same as others; going in the direction of the industry. Going with the flow.
This is lazy thinking.
Success has been and always will be a function of being different in some way.
The next time a proposal is brought to you, ask “How does this make us DiFFERENT?” Avoid asking what others are doing and how the proposal conforms with best practices.
Call your head of Marketing and ask what they are doing to move away from flogging products and services meeting the needs of “me” markets?
What is Sales doing to build a unique brand in the market based on building deep and intimate relationships with their clients?
What is Collections doing to distance yourself from virtually all other organizations that impose unfriendly and inhumane credit and collections rules and policies on their customers? The collections experience in most organizations is generally one level above pain and suffering. Copying best practices here is nothing more than replicating a painful experience.
What is Internal Audit doing to simplify processes that touch the customer? Yes, control is important but it must be balanced with serving the customer in a hassle-free caring way.
And follow through to ensure that this theme gets driven into the strategic planning process and becomes a critical beacon to follow. If your strategy doesn’t enable you to be different, you will fail.
Check out my book “Weekly calendar for leaders”
- Posted 3.28.16 at 06:07 am by Roy Osing
March 21, 2016
Here’s the thing. We live in a world of uncertainty and unpredictability. No sooner have we put our strategic game plan to bed, an unforeseen event blindsides us and we are forced back to the drawing board to shift our strategy.
This is not a temporary phenomenon; this is organizational life that will only intensify in terms of the number of random forces that will impact us and the weight that each will impose.
Traditional strategic planning can’t successfully play out in this scenario.
The application of the standard analytical tool set won’t help thwart the unexpected missiles that will strike us; hours of debate over SWOTS won’t decrease the probability that we will likely have to take a random punch at some point. And the quest for a “perfect” plan is time consuming, costly and is doomed to fail.
So what’s the answer? How do we prepare our organization to succeed in the face of current market dynamics?
If the original strategy can’t be depended on to deliver intended results, we need to loosen up on the process employed to create the strategy; get the strategy “just about right” and focus our efforts on plan execution, learning from execution and on trying new things implied by the chaos that surrounds us.
Survival and success depends on the willingness to try new things constantly; if you’re feet aren’t moving you’re dead.
Progress = f(number of tries). The more tries; the more successes; the more progress.
Make “tries” a key success factor on your balanced performance scorecard. Set 30-day “tries”‘targets; track and monitor your results to ensure the trend is growing. Keep your “tries funnel”.
Ask “Why don’t we…?” at every opportunity.
But don’t make the same try twice; each try must be different in some way.
A try repeated indicates nothing was learned from the initial one, and you can’t afford to not learn from your tries.
Every new try has to include the learnings from previous tries. This will at least improve your odds of hitting a winner sooner rather than later.
Making tries is a core competency of successful organizations.
- Posted 3.21.16 at 05:53 am by Roy Osing
March 14, 2016
Leadership doesn’t have to be complicated; it doesn’t have to conform to doctrine advocated by leadership gurus (many of whom have little demonstrated experience in the art in any event).
I have learned that leadership boils down to how well you practice a few basic human acts.
1. Help others. It’s a basic human instinct to come to the aid of someone in need. When refugees from Syria needed help, the world responded. In an organization, it doesn’t happen as much. When someone is down we seem to pounce on the opportunity to use their misfortune as our own opportunity.
2. Walk in their footsteps. It’s not all about the business; it’s more about the people IN the business. Decisions get implemented only if people are on board with them. Consider how individuals will be before moving forward.
3. Practice what you preach. ALWAYS be in a position to show that you only ask others to do what you do yourself. Loyal followers are created when they see you act on your own words.
4. Keep your promises. If you say you will do something make sure you DO it. When you open your mouth others watch your follow up to see if your intent was honest.
5. Leave the glory to others. Your glory comes only through the success of your employees. Lavish them with praise. Your ego will understand.
6. Show your emotional side. Real people express their feelings; plastic people hide them. “Expose” yourself and watch the magic you create.
7. Look in their eyes and take notes. Paying attention to and showing interest in what people have to say will ignite their passion. A simple act; an amazing impact.
8. Say “thank you” a lot. It makes their hard work and “pain” endured worth it. And it provides fuel for them to do it again.
9. Share your status in the hierarchy. Everyone understands the organizational pecking order, but if you spread some of your special privileges around, THEY get to feel important and will engage on a higher level.
10. Call someone… everyday. It’s really important to connect and engage with people in your organization. Make a point of reaching out to a different person daily and have a conversation about what’s going on with them. You will gain incredible insights into what is going on in your organization, and THEY will transformed into a loyal follower.
Leadership is about convincing others that you are a “real” person by demonstrating basic human acts consistently.
It’s not about practicing textbook theory leadership dogma.
Other leadership articles you might like
If you were hit by a bus and killed…
A person’s strengths say nothing about being a #GreatLeader
6 actions stand-out leaders take when “shit happens”
- Posted 3.14.16 at 02:05 am by Roy Osing