Thursday, December 13, 2012

Business IQ

I would like to take timeout this morning to thank everyone for all your insightful comments regarding last week’s post, Butterfly or Bee?  Today’s post, Part II in my LinkedIn series will address Business IQ.

Read On:
I am certain that anyone that is social networking for professional reasons has read their fair share of posts about how to gain maximum results from LinkedIn.  Do these titles sound familiar?  4 LinkedIn Tips to Help You Get Hired This Month.  LinkedIn Best Practices for Entrepreneurs.  LinkedIn Tips: 9 Things Your Should Never Do On The Social Network For Professionals.  What amazes me is that I have never read a post as it relates to my number one objective for participating on LinkedIn – how to raise my Business IQ.

Fact: In an IBM survey among 1,700 CMO’s from 64 countries; 71% admitted they felt unprepared for the challenges of today’s business environment.  Sad!  I learned this piece of information by reading Michael Brenner’s post in a LI discussion group.  More importantly I follow Michael in several groups because he is a consistent blogger – B2BMarketing Insider.  Consequently, I have learned a lot about B2B marketing, thus become an advocate for food manufacturers to step up their online marketing initiatives.  FYI: Michael and I engage on LI, but we are not even officially connected.  That might change after this post.

Fact: I am bullish about QR Codes.  I first learned about QR Codes back in 2010 due to engaging and connecting with Matthew Gallizzi, Leader of NotixTech.

Fact: Hyper-local sourcing (e.g., restaurant gardens) is one of the Top 20 Trends for 2013 according to the National Restaurant Association.  I learned about roof top garden by navigating through LinkedIn.  Thanks to reconnecting with someone I lost track of in Toronto, I learned about this unique hyper-local sourcing concept for honey.

Fact:  I learned about Pink Elephants thanks to connecting with Tanveer Naseer, business coach/management guru from Montreal.  Are their any Pink Elephants in your organization?

Etc., etc., etc., Bottomline I have developed the discipline to get on LinkedIn before breakfast to make rounds so I can aggregate information to sharpen my Business Catalysts skills as I position my business for the future.

What is your Business IQ?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Butterfly or Bee?

December marks the three year anniversary when I decided to step it up and commit myself to actively engage on LinkedIn.  In a two part series, I would like to share my current thoughts regarding LinkedIn.  Part I: Are you a Butterfly or Bee?

Read On:
In the past, I have shared that there are two buckets into which LinkedIn networkers fall: situational or sustainable.  I consider myself the latter, a sustainable networker who values long-term people relationships.  Consequently I commit a considerable amount of energy to nurture these relationships on a continual basis.  Nurturing involves engagement.  On the other hand, situational networkers are driven by the “what’s in it for me” networking philosophy. They are looking for connections to either expand their personal or company’s network.  Situational networkers have bought a new definition to the word ephemeral.

As I close in on my three year anniversary I am now realizing LinkedIn is all about the butterflies and the bees.  Butterflies are the situational networkers who float around LinkedIn, float in and out of groups, occasionally posting, rarely engaging.  They are only looking to add a few more connections in order to broadcast the size of their professional network.  Butterflies are the people on LinkedIn that read a post on Six Ways to Increase Your Network on LinkedIn, maybe hit the like button or post a comment, then move on to try their hand at Pinterest after reading a new post titled How Pinterest Will Help You Find New Customers. 
Bees are the sustainable networkers who actively buzz around their LI groups on a regular basis to aggregate/share information so they can pollinate their network and grow their long-term people relationships.  They grow their community (a.k.a. hive), one individual (a.k.a. cell) at a time.

Butterfly or Bee?  Suggestion!  Spread the honey!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Future Board Rooms

I have always been a strong supporter of gender equality as evident by my years as a volunteer for the WFF (Women’s Foodservice Forum) in my industry.  The United States is slowly making progress.  However, will more women on boards truly make a difference in how companies operate?

Read On:
According to Catalyst, a nonprofit organization focused on furthering women in business, the average number of women on a board in a Fortune 500 company in the United States is only 16 percent – fourth highest in the world.  Detailed below are the top six countries:

Percent of Women on Boards
United States
Great Britain

**Note: Norway passed a law in 2003 to ensure that 40 percent of directors for all public companies were women.  The European Union Justice Commissioner is proposing to introduce a similar law within the year.

There is a long standing economic argument that boards with women have proven to be more competent at decision making, thus companies’ profits are higher and they are more humanely/co-operatively operated.  Numerous research studies have concluded men and women have different value systems.  Some research has directionally indicated that with the greater representation of women (e.g., orchestras) has led to improved long-term organizational performance.   A recent study conducted by Miriam Schwartz-Ziv found that boards with three or more female directors performed better, mainly because these boards tended to ask for twice the amount of information to make decisions that ultimately led to greater results.

While the E.U. is looking to install a quota system, it is still unclear what direction the United States is going to move forward.  Gender equality is our goal, but will it change the way we run our boards?  Will the women that are added to our boards come from the same schooling/business backgrounds as the men already in control?  Or will companies begin to recognize the true meaning of diversity and start selecting women who believe in experimenting, taking risks in order to break through the clutter and truly innovate.  Personally I believe that if we do not change the way our boards currently think and operate, even as more women join them, we will continue experiencing “group verdict” better known as “group think.”

Support gender equality, but more importantly, shake up your current board room.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

App Saturation!

Last week I gave a presentation in New Orleans on mobile marketing.  I asked the audience if they knew how many apps there are worldwide.  One smart participant answered correctly, “a lot!”

Read On:
Last March Apple announced that they passed the 25th billion download which was 15 billion more apps since July 2011.  Recently they indicated that 46 million apps were being downloaded daily.  To put this number in perspective, McDonald’s has 33 thousand stores worldwide in 118 countries and serves an estimated 6.5 million burgers per day.  That means Apple downloads a little more than seven times the number of burgers McDonalds sells per day.  Apple’s counterpart Google announced in October that they surpassed the 25th billion download via Google Play.

App alert:
  • Lady Gaga’s next album Artpop will be launched via a paid-for app.  It will include chats and films for every song, Gaga inspired games comparable to her “Farmville” game, fashion updates, etc.
  •           The App du Jour everyone is buzzing about is Summly, a news condenser scanning service.  Its developer, Nick D’Aloisio who just turned 17 this month, realized that everyone only skims lengthy newspaper articles.  Consequently, the Summly app summarizes articles down to two-paragraph bullet points.
I forecast that someday in the not so distant future we will be able to buy an app to skim the skim!