HR Online Influencers: Top 25

I've been tracking John Sumser’s unfolding list of top 100 HR influencers with interest

Top 25 Digital BadgeJohn has now published a new list which uses algorithms to rank online footprints and identify the top 25 online HR influencers -we're ranked at #19. Check out the HRExaminer site for info on all of the writers; you'll find some unique contributors.

I found John's approach to the rankings refreshing. He took time to decide upon a set of meaningful criteria and stuck to them. The ranking is a combination of three different percentages:

  • Reach: This score (a percentile) estimates the number of people who see the material. It’s a measure of "eyeballs" or audience size.
  • Resonance: This measures the number of inbound links, mentions, blogroll listings, & community participation
  • Relevance: This score describes the fit of the individual's work with a cloud of keywords.

Many thanks to the other influencers and contributors for linking here.  And special thanks to you for reading!

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HR & Social Media: What Would Jesus Do?

Are you an HR person wrestling with how best to use social media?

You've got plenty of company.

At this week's IQPC Corporate University sessions there was an entire two-day track dedicated to Social Media. Speakers included Sharlyn Lauby and Jessica Lee, HR pros who know their way around the online community and the tools available to best do that. 

The questions from the audience surprised me since I've been online for some time:

 1. Do we need legal regulations before we start using social media? (This was the starting point for a lot of people; their management wanted to nail down any liability before seriously discussing social media).

2. How do we control "it"? The concept of losing control to gain relationship--as well as instant feedback from customers and employees--is still terrifying to many.

3. How do we explain and best use tools like Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and LinkedIn?

Socialmedia-icons These are all reasonable questions.

They are also indications that, while a portion of the population takes social media for granted, businesses do not. That means HR pros who believe there is a place for social media will have to introduce them in the same way as any other change: Awareness, Education, but most importantly, specific examples of Application.

Then, organizations need to do what they do with everything else: answer the question, "What is our strategy and how can we use some or all of these to further it?" 

Note: If you are charged with this, a good example would be Scott Monty at Ford Motor Company

Fluoride, @Jesus,
& Social Media

You may not know this but there was a time when, like social media,  people were scared to death of Fluoride. Yep, the stuff that's in your toothpaste to help prevent cavities. When I was a child there was a movement to put Fluoride into drinking water. The population rose up indignantly claiming, amongst other things, that it was a Communist plot to poison us all. I recall my parents and our neighbors in hugely emotional discussions about Fluoride. (If you Google "fluoride" you'll see that it is still unpopular in many circles). 

Fluoride was Twitter. All of the implications weren't understood, it was a new "solution" and, as such, it became a rallying cry for many "slippery slope" arguments.

Which is why executives aren't totally crazy when they hear the mention of a new solution named 'Twitter' as a business tool. I give you, cut and pasted directly from Twitter (drumroll): @JESUSLordThyGod, Thank you for being my 3000th follower.

This first grabbed my attention because, as a follower of Jesus, I thought that the "following" part was the other way around. I had absolutely no idea that Jesus was using Twitter Himself.

Then I put myself in the position of a COO sitting next to the kids at home watching this particular tweet go by. If I'm the COO I'm not going to be comfortable with this as a  "solution" until someone shows me specifically, with a 'sticky' business example, how my company can use Twitter to further some part of the mission. And, in ways that minimize misunderstandings and liability.

There was a time, not long ago, when web portals and email raised eyebrows. It took time to figure out what was useful, what was 'safe', and what simply didn't matter. Most of all, it took hands-on experience to discover the answers.

What to do? Stop talking about social media and start showing examples of internal chats and how they cut communication time and increase project understanding. Show how many high potential employees have been hired through LinkedIn and Facebook. Design a learning program using all of the tools, pilot it, and do an honest evaluation about what works and what doesn't.

Don't dump social Fluoride into the organizational drinking water. Introduce it purposefully--think "business toothpaste" for a better chance at a brighter smile.

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Apologies and Thanks to Commenters

We just realized that spammers have been somehow overwhelming the site with "comments". As a result, the real comments have been getting buried and were unseen by me.

I apologize to all of you who have taken the time to give thought to the different threads of conversation going on here. As you know, I really value the give-and-take and the relationships built here.

When I get back to the office tonight I will respond to all valid comments. In the meantime, we'll try to figure out how to fend off this latest barrage of webgarbage.


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Did You Know? I'll Bet Not.

If you ever had the sense that information technology is progressing faster than we are, this terrific video is a must-watch:

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When Good Apples Turn Sour

I'm posting "live" from the Apple Store.

My trusty original white MacBook waved good-bye in the middle of writing today's post at 6 am. The Apple Genius assured me that I got my money's worth since it ran around the clock for 2 1/2 years on multiple continents with brief sleeps and restarts for Homeland Security.

The problem? It needs a new logic board. After asking a few questions, it turns out I can get a new logic board, with warranty, for $280. The hitch: 7-day turnaround.

The solution: A new MacBook Air and a new logic board for the MacBook. I'll use the original with my 24" monitor on the office desk and the Air for the much-needed mobility.

For those of you thinking, "Steve, it sounds like a semi-lame excuse to score a new MacAir," I say:

You may be right:-)

Back later carrying a lighter load.

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Technical Difficulties

For the past 14 hours or so, posts from All Things Workplace have not been publishing. I am working with the Typepad people to find out what's going on.

Update: Thanks to Laura at Typepad, we have found the source of the problem.

Oooh.. according to Laura, the cause is: me.

Time for an HTML refresher..


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Management by Kermit: It's Not Easy Seeing Green

You are in the meeting room with your team. Your manager is in her office with what looks like a lava lamp. You all laugh at a joke. She smiles when her lamp turns yellow. You are happy so she is happy.

GS Yuasa and the University of Tokyo released a Symbiotic Hosting Online Jog Instrument, or SHOJI, Shoji that supposedly gives a manager--or anyone--the ability to tell what the mood in a particular room is like.  Using LEDs, the SHOJI can determine  the mental condition of the occupants of a room. A single terminal determines the mood in one room (using the sensors and microphones) and transmits it by way of the internet to another room. The LEDs show the final output using color codes for each mood; in this case there is red for anger, blue for sadness, yellow for happiness, and green for peace.

So I'm wondering: what happens if half the room is angry and the other half is happy? Does the manager see orange? And what happens if a decision makes some people angry but gives those in agreement a sense of peace? OK, I think the technology looks like fun. Sort of a high-tech parlor game.

If a manager were to take this seriously--and some will--it's one more way to keep them from actually relating with their people. Instead of gazing at a managerial mood ring, they could say something really profound like, uh, "Hey, how do you feel about the new project software?" Then a real discussion might follow that leads to better implementation of the software. Suddenly, the skies would open and a yellow and green glow would fill the room.

In the meantime, I can see a lot of side benefits from having one of these gizmos at the company Christmas party.(If you want to save up to give it as a gift, it will set you back US$2,500-3,000).

Until then, "Hi, I'm Steve. I'm an Aquarius and I feel really Yellow about you. I like quiet walks on the beach when I'm feeling Red. Most of all, I hope everyone joins together for World Green."

And thanks for indulging me. This was my way of recuperating from a meeting that lasted well into the evening.

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Office Professionals: Office Arrow Is Your Online Champion

Try to get anything done and done right without an effective assistant or other office pro.

Now there is a resource "For Office Professionals By Office Professionals." It's called Office Arrow.

This is an ambitious undertaking already offering practical tips that the office pros and their bosses will find beneficial. Everything from travel hints to online resources to tricks of the trade when it comes to using different software and web platforms. Here's a tabbed look at the variety of resources available:


Chrissy Scivicque, Senior Content Manager and Founder of, is working hard at getting the word out. We did a podcast (no URL yet, will let you know) and you can join the community (or suggest it to your office pros!).

Here's a tip of the hat to another level of leadership in the office...

And: If leadership is important to you, we hope you'll acknowledge All Things Workplace. We're honored to be included in the voting here:

Cast Your Vote

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I Want To Work For You But You Won't Let Me

An international survey of more than 500 HR executives by global talent management firm, Bernard Hodes, found that the quality or reputation of products and services, the corporate culture and the work environment were a business's most important attributes when it came to bringing talent aboard.

Ethical reputation also scored highly. But benefits and compensation were, perhaps surprisingly, toward the bottom of the list.

What does it tell us? That job seekers have a keen idea about the kind of atmosphere in which they want to spend their work life and are savvy and discerning in their search. Discerning to the point that the Bernard Hodes people have a group dedicated to helping companies create a "brand" for recruiting. I think that's a worthwhile service. But consultants and their client companies have to pay more attention to what's actually happening: "the war for talent" can be hidden by a real life system-to-make-it-as-difficult-as-possible-to-get-through-the -door.

Is Anyone Else Experiencing This?

My daughter graduated from a well-known university four years ago. High GPA, two semesters of study abroad in two different countries, fluent in a second language and quite conversant in a third; leadership experiences during college, worked at a real job for a government agency in her junior and senior years and had additional work experience with a professional firm. Most of all she was motivated to work and clear about where she wanted to be.Jobpal_interface

Here's how the job search actually went:

1. All resumes had to be submitted online (not unusual or surprising). She understood the whole "keyword" deal in order to get through internal search machines.

    a. More often than not, there was no response indicating that the document was actually received.

    b. Many websites seemed to be designed by IT people for IT people. They were difficult for even the web-savvy to navigate.

    c. Frequently--very frequently--three quarters of the way through the process all of the information would disappear. On numerous occasions she had to enter the information multiple times before the site remained "up" long enough to complete the application.

2. Seldom did she ever receive any acknowledgment from a real human-being that the resume had been received. I understand that huge corporations receive many applications. If there is a "war for talent" and "company culture and reputation" are really important, then spending dollars on public  relations is wasted capital if no one is actually talking to the talent.

3. Career Fairs. My favorite. She figured that if the online application system wasn't yielding results,   then some face-to-face contact could move things along. So she registered for the Career Fair and  showed up with the requested twenty resumes. Please feel free to use the following dialog if you are a stand-up comedian and need some job-related material:

    Daughter: HI, I'm interested in talking with you about___________.

    Recruiter: HI, my name is_____________________.

    (Casual conversation, brochure distribution by Recruiters)

    Daughter: I think this might be an area where I'd like to contribute. Here is a copy of my resume.

    Recruiter: Go on our website and fill in an application.

    Daughter: Uh, I thought this was a place to talk about jobs and exchange information.

    Recruiter: We don't take resumes. Go on our website and fill in an application.

    Daughter's evil thought: (What are they paying you for if you don't handle resumes. I already knew there was a website. Maybe I should get a Recruiting job with your company so I wouldn't actually have to do Recruiting and could travel and turn in expense reports for meals and hotels.)

    Her target companies were well-known and in the Fortune 500 with some in the Fortune 50. Many tout their Talent Management initiatives. Experience tells me that the internal presentations may be more impressive than the practical execution.

Happy Ending: She started working at a global firm on a temporary assignment. She liked the company a lot. The relationship worked well and she was hired as a full-time professional.

If companies are waging a "War for Talent," then it would be useful to remember that wars are won by people on the front lines --not in the staff headquarters or the PR office. 

Carol Barber, Executive VP at Bernard Hodes Group, has offered some thoughts on this with a free Executive Summary for Recruiting in a Wired World.

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Use Online Assessments? Spam Filter Alert!

A lot of HR and consulting folks are regular readers here, so I hope this is a helpful tip--or reminder.

Spam When delivering third-party online tools such as assessments and surveys via an email link originating from the third party, give your respondents a "heads up" that the email is coming. Tell them if they don't see it in their inbox to check the spam box.

Different organizations use different spam settings automatically. Within those organizations, many individuals create their own additional spam rules.

How do I know this?

I'm re-sending a series of assessments right now.

Hope this saves someone else the extra work!


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Bowser Ate My Browser

Wikis, video conferencing, in-house IM's and blogs...the list continues to grow when it comes to staying connected in the workplace.

I'm not sure--universally--how much of the available "connecting" technology is being used effectively or used at all in many organizations.

But I do know this: The next generation of workers will simply expect it as a matter of course. For them, it's life...not new technology.

Doghomework_2 Educational consultant extraordinnaire, Angela Maiers, gave a tweet-out that pointed toward what's happening now with educational wikis. I had a look at the way some of the teachers were using them and was really impressed. Everything from podcasts to video to syllabi to this week's assignment. . .

Thinking back to my own (somewhat) misspent youth and the number of times our Labrador Retriever allegedly devoured my homework, here's a question for fourth-graders everywhere:

Can you keep a straight face when you say "Bowser Ate My Browser"?

photo attribution:

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When Systems Save Lives. Really.

Surge1jpg If You Own Electronic Stuff--(You Do)--Read On

Early this morning the electricity went out at 2 a.m. and, according to my wife, came back on almost immediately.

I didn't notice it. I can (and do) sleep through anything.

It sent a power surge through the electronics in my  home office. The surge protector into which things were connected is located on the floor. On the carpet.


When I awoke at 6:30 a.m., I sensed a familiar odor: electronic insulation burning.

My wife does not have a sense of smell. Really. She can sniff through anything.

The photos show the results of the surge on the surge protector as well as the carpet. I called my Firefighter friend, Mark McGuigan, who came right over and helped track down the source using his expertise. Thank you, Mark.

Note: A call directly to the fire department from a residence automatically prompts a three-alarm Carpetburnjpg_2 response. I am just a bit too introverted for that kind of attention until it's time to toast marshmallows.


1. Surge protector components wear out and become less effective over time. (Thank you again, Mark).

Update and upgrade your surge protectors with some regularity. Money well spent.

Here is the actual set of reasons from specialists Fowler Associates courtesy of Robyn McIntyre.

2. Make sure your smoke detectors are actually working. Ours are, and there wasn't enough smoke to set them off quite yet.

3. Put your surge protector on a non-flammable surface or create an insulated surface for it. As you can see from the photos, it began to burn through the carpet.

We're re-configuring and re-wiring things in the office (I have lots of electronics).

Back with more on Talent and Systems after all the batteries re-charge and things are just right.

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Let Alltop Do Your Online Legwork

Time-saving Suggestion:

If you are looking for ways to be more productive with your online time, check out Alltop if you aren't already using it.

The Alltop FAQ itself offers a time-saving kind of explanation:

Q. How do the Alltop sites work?

A. We import the stories of the top news websites and blogs for any given topic and display the headlines of the five most recent stories. When you place the cursor over a headline, we display part of the story so that you can decide if you’d like to read it. To read the story, click on its title. To go to the home page of the site, click on its domain name.

Q. How often do you update the feeds?

A. Approximately every ten minutes.

It's put together by folks who know what they're doing: Guy Kawasaki, Will Mayall and Kathryn Henkins.

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How About Some Good Reading?

Oblogblack Thanks to Troy Worman from OrbitNow! , there's a new blog meme recognizing outstanding bloggers. You'll find a breadth and depth of good reading here.

(And thanks, Troy, for including All Things Workplace).

  1. 100 Bloggers
  2. 37 Days
  3. 3i
  4. 43 Folders
  5. A Clear Eye
  6. A Daily Dose of Architecture
  7. The Agonist
  8. All Things Workplace
  9. All This Chittah Chattah
  10. Angela Maiers
  11. Antonella Pavese
  12. Arizona High Tech
  13. A Writer’s Words, An Editor’s Eye
  14. Badger Blogger
  15. Bailey WorkPlay
  16. Being Peter Kim
  17. Brett Trout
  18. Best of Mother Earth
  19. Beyond Madison Avenue
  20. Biz and Buzz
  21. Bizhack
  22. BizSolutions Plus
  23. Blog Business World
  24. Bloggers Showroom
  25. Blogging for Business
  26. Blogher
  27. Blog Till You Drop!
  28. Bob Sutton
  29. Brain Based Business
  30. Brains on Fire
  31. Brand Autopsy
  32. The Brand Builder Blog
  33. Branding and Marketing
  34. Branding Strategy
  35. Brand is Language
  36. BrandSizzle
  37. Brandsoul
  38. Bren Blog
  39. Business Evolutionist
  40. Business Management Life
  41. Business Pundit
  42. Business Services, Etc.
  43. Busy Mom
  44. Buzz Canuck
  45. Buzz Customer
  46. Buzzoodle
  47. Career Intensity
  48. Carpe Factum
  49. Casual Fridays
  50. Change Your Thoughts
  51. Chaos Scenario
  52. Cheezhead
  53. Chief Happiness Officer
  54. Chris Brogan
  55. Christine Kane
  56. Church of the Customer
  57. Circaspecting
  58. CK’s Blog
  59. Come Gather Round
  60. Community Guy
  61. Confident Writing
  62. Conversation Agent
  63. Converstations
  64. Cooking for Engineers
  65. Cool Hunting
  66. Core77
  67. Corporate Presenter
  68. Crayon Writer
  69. Creating a Better Life
  70. Creating Passionate Users
  71. Creative Think
  72. CRM Mastery
  73. Crossroads Dispatches
  74. Cube Rules
  75. Culture Kitchen
  76. Customers Are Always
  77. Customer Service Experience
  78. Customer Service Reader
  79. Customers Rock!
  80. Custserv
  81. Craig Harper
  82. Daily Fix
  83. Dawud Miracle
  84. Dave Olson
  85. David Airey
  86. David Maister
  87. David S Finch
  88. Design Your Writing Life
  89. Digital Common Sense
  90. Director Tom
  91. Diva Marketing
  92. Do You Q
  93. Duct Tape Marketing
  94. Empowerment 4 Life
  95. The Engaging Brand
  96. Essential Keystrokes
  97. Every Dot Connects
  98. Experience Architect
  99. Experience Curve
  100. Experience Matters
  101. Extreme Leadership
  102. Eyes on Living
  103. Feld Thoughts
  104. Flooring the Customer
  105. Fouroboros
  106. FutureLab
  107. Genuine Curiosity
  108. Glass Half Full
  109. The Good Life
  110. Great Circle
  111. Greg Verdino’s Marketing Blog
  112. Hee-Haw Marketing
  113. Hello, My Name is BLOG
  114. Holly’s Corner
  115. Homeless Family
  116. The Idea Dude
  117. I’d Rather be Blogging
  118. Influential Marketing
  119. Innovating to Win
  120. Inspiring & Empowering Lives
  121. Instigator Blog
  122. Jaffe Juice
  123. Jibber Jobber
  124. Joyful Jubilant Learning
  125. Joy of Six
  126. Kent Blumberg
  127. Kevin Eikenberry
  128. Learned on Women
  129. Life Beyond Code
  130. Lip-sticking
  131. Listics
  132. The Lives and Times
  133. Live Your Best Life
  134. Live Your Inspiration
  135. Living Light Bulbs
  136. Logical Emotions
  137. Logic + Emotion
  138. Make It Great!
  139. Making Life Work for You
  140. Management Craft
  141. Managing with Aloha
  142. The M.A.P. Maker
  143. The Marketing Excellence Blog
  144. Marketing Headhunter
  145. Marketing Hipster
  146. The Marketing Minute
  147. Marketing Nirvana
  148. Marketing Roadmaps
  149. Marketing Through the Clutter
  150. Mary Schmidt
  151. Masey
  152. The Media Age
  153. Micropersuasion
  154. Middle Zone Musings
  155. Miss604
  156. Moment on Money
  157. Monk at Work
  158. Monkey Bites
  159. Movie Marketing Madness
  160. Motivation on the Run
  161. My 2 Cents
  162. My Beautiful Chaos
  163. Naked Conversations
  164. Neat & Simple Living
  165. New Age 2020
  166. New Charm School
  167. Next Up
  168. No Man’s Blog
  169. The [Non] Billable Hour
  170. Note to CMO
  171. Office Politics
  172. Optimist Lab
  173. The Origin of Brands
  174. Own Your Brand
  175. Pardon My French
  176. Passion Meets Purpose
  177. Pause
  178. Peerless Professionals
  179. Perfectly Petersen
  180. Personal Branding
  181. The Podcast Network
  182. The Power of Choice
  183. Practical Leadership
  184. Presentation Zen
  185. Priscilla Palmer
  186. Productivity Goal
  187. Pro Hip-Hop
  188. Prosperity for You
  189. Purple Wren
  190. QAQnA
  191. Qlog
  192. Reveries
  193. Rex Blog
  194. Ririan Project
  195. Rohdesign
  196. Rothacker Reviews
  197. Scott H Young
  198. Search Engine Guide
  199. Servant of Chaos
  200. Service Untitled
  201. Seth’s Blog
  202. Shards of Consciousness
  203. Shotgun Marketing
  204. Simplenomics
  205. Simplicity
  206. Slacker Manager
  207. Slow Leadership
  208. Socially Adept
  209. Social Media Marketing Blog
  210. Spare Change
  211. Spirit in Gear
  212. Spooky Action
  213. Steve’s 2 Cents
  214. Strategic Design
  215. Strength-based Leadership
  216. StickyFigure
  217. Studentlinc
  218. Success Begins Today
  219. Success Creeations
  220. Success From the Nest
  221. Successful Blog
  222. Success Jolt
  223. Talk to Strangers
  224. Tammy Lenski
  225. Tell Ten Friends
  226. That Girl from Marketing
  227. Think Positive!
  228. This Girl’s Weblog
  229. Thoughts & Philosophies
  230. Tom Peters
  231. Trust Matters
  232. Verve Coaching
  233. Viral Garden
  234. Waiter Bell
  235. Wealth Building Guy
  236. What’s Next
  237. Writers Notes
  238. You Already Know this Stuff
  239. Zen Chill

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Social Bookmarks: Help with Organizing

15 billion webpages--so little time.

Here's a terrific video to help your online productivity using a tool you already know about but may not use effectively (I don't!). And you can leave your boss amazed at your sudden display of time management.

Thanks to Mashable for evangelizing the always-helpful work from the folks at Common Craft.


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Age of Conversation: The Musical

Page_1_6 Before The Age of Conversation made it possible for people globally to help kids through The Variety Club, we raised money the old-fashioned way in Philadelphia: we sang for it (false_alarm.mp3).

I wondered when the shot on the left taken from an ABC broadcast would come in handy:TaDa!

Back in the day, our group did the Philly-Atlantic City circuit singing acapella street corner doo-wop . During one of our "Hey, We're Not Dead Yet!" revivals we did a spot on a TV show to help raise money for the Variety Club--a charity that has always been huge in the Philadelphia area. It was an honor to be a part of it. (Note: Yes, the suits glowed in the dark).

Great Buzz, Great Book, Great Cause

Fast Company, Business Week, Ad Age , and other publications worldwide have latched on to the phenomenon: 103 authors writing from 103 perspectives on the impact and future of social networking. My "chapter" on page 84 is "Want to Change the Organization? Change the Conversation."

The authors use their specific expertise as a starting point for looking at the Age of Conversation. You'll find the breadth and depth fascinating, with perspectives ranging from marketing to customer service, writing, blogging, branding...

Mine is where I'm most comfortable: organizations and workplaces. Here's an excerpt from my "chapter:"

            Critical Conversations Reaching Critical Mass Create Meaningful Change

Forty years ago we talked about tasks, got them done, and went home. Thirty years ago we added attention to “the process” and talked about “how” we approached the task—and we spent time learning more about who we were.  And now, it’s about task + process+ meaning.  “What is it about your organization—or the change you want to make—that enhances the meaning of my life’s work?”

Visit These

Drew McLelland, Gavin Heaton, and   David Armano provide regular updates on the global buzz and the sales generated for charity. For a look at what's happening locally, as well as some good reading, take some time to visit the authors listed below. You'll see why this is the Age of Conversation!

Gavin Heaton
Drew McLellan
Valeria Maltoni
Emily Reed
Katie Chatfield
Greg Verdino
Mack Collier
Lewis Green
Ann Handley
Mike Sansone
Paul McEnany
Roger von Oech
Anna Farmery
David Armano
Bob Glaza
Mark Goren
Matt Dickman
Scott Monty
Richard Huntington
Cam Beck
David Reich
Luc Debaisieux
Sean Howard
Tim Jackson
Patrick Schaber
Roberta Rosenberg
Uwe Hook
Tony D. Clark
Todd Andrlik
Toby Bloomberg
Steve Woodruff
Steve Bannister
Steve Roesler
Stanley Johnson
Spike Jones
Nathan Snell
Simon Payn
Ryan Rasmussen
Ron Shevlin
Roger Anderson
Robert Hruzek
Rishi Desai
Phil Gerbyshak
Peter Corbett
Pete Deutschman
Nick Rice
Nick Wright
Michael Morton
Mark Earls
Mark Blair
Mario Vellandi
Lori Magno
Kristin Gorski
Kris Hoet
G.Kofi Annan
Kimberly Dawn Wells
Karl Long
Julie Fleischer
Jordan Behan
John La Grou
Joe Raasch
Jim Kukral
Jessica Hagy
Janet Green
Jamey Shiels
Dr. Graham Hill
Gia Facchini
Geert Desager
Gaurav Mishra
Gary Schoeniger
Gareth Kay
Faris Yakob
Emily Clasper
Ed Cotton
Dustin Jacobsen
Tom Clifford
David Polinchock
David Koopmans
David Brazeal
David Berkowitz
Carolyn Manning
Craig Wilson
Cord Silverstein
Connie Reece
Colin McKay
Chris Newlan
Chris Corrigan
Cedric Giorgi
Brian Reich
Becky Carroll
Arun Rajagopal
Andy Nulman
Amy Jussel
AJ James
Kim Klaver
Sandy Renshaw
Susan Bird
Ryan Barrett
Troy Worman
S. Neil Vineberg

Click on your preferred subscription area at the top of the sidebar on the left. You'll always get the newest post!

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Lead Well and Prosper While Coolhunting

Books Two Books Worth Reading

The beautiful thing about being a good manager is that you don't have to be great. There is so much mediocrity that being "good" will vault you way ahead of the pack. The difficulty is that it's not easy to be good. If it were, everyone would be good. If you make a commitment to act, however, you will succeed.

Those words are from Nick McCormick at BeGoodVentures and come from his handy  book  Lead Well and Prosper: 15 Successful Strategies for Becoming a Good Manager.

What this book is: A useful handbook for new supervisors or managers who need to understand how to view their role and their people.

The author uses two characters, Joe and Wanda, to highlight typical situations facing managers and their employees. He then provides simple and useful guidelines for what to do (and not) in each situation. The advice is practical.

What this book is not: A deep tome on the psychological and sociological underpinnings of leadership.

How you might use it: This is one of those books that I'd hand out to new managers, ask them to have a quick read, and then sit down and review each of the brief chapters periodically. It's a useful resource to help focus and structure regular follow-up and coaching conversations. The information is practical and there is more in this brief volume (93 pages) than one might imagine at first glance.

The graphics may seem too simplistic for some in this digital age of sophisticated media. However, the lessons presented are ones that people at every organizational level are confronted with daily.

Coolhunting is an entirely different experience and targets those of us who are fascinated by social networks, how they work, and what's "cool." Authors Peter Gloor and Scott Cooper have really done their homework when it comes to showing people how to go about  accomplishing the tag line, "Chasing Down the Next Big Thing."

I have to admit that I was captivated by the way they laid out relationships, trends, and technology--and then provided practical guidance to go "Coolhunting" on your own.

If  you are at all interested in innovation, you'll see how to find and visualize emerging innovation in a wide array of settings. For those who think that innovation is a nebulous concept, this could be a big help.

Happy reading!

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Note: Complimentary copies of the above-mentioned books were forwarded to me. There was no compensation received nor any promise of favorable comment.

Photo attribution:

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Corporate Connections and Social Networking: Worksona

Back on October 5th I did a post about social networking and its potential application in organizations:Worksona_3

"Instead of filling each other's email folders with forwards, cc's, and cover-your-behind messages, a lot of organizational knowledge could be shared and archived in a way that's more interesting and useful. Digital images can be parked for researchers in different locations to access. Projects could be organized by topic. Ideas could be inserted by people with knowledge or interest who aren't on the official email distribution. Employees could know what's happening in real-time; they wouldn't have to wait for a company newsletter.

I understand that security is an issue. Many company intranets have already addressed that issue so it's do-able.

Social networking is 'what's happening'--why not use it to make things happen on the job."

If this makes sense to you, have a look at Worksona. They're all about launching communities inside of existing organizations, which alleviates some of the angst around security and makes it all about connecting on the inside.

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Great Blog Now At A Magazine Stand Near You


Guy Kawasaki's blog appears in Entrepreneur Magazine as hard copy next month (March).

Will this lead a significant number of blog fence-sitters to the online world?

Is it telling us there is a demand (certainly there is the opportunity) to upload our content into wider distribution as print material?

As they say on U.S. TV, "Film at 11."

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Nelements--The Language of Thought

Zahid Ayar commented on my Creativity, Adults, and Your Business post about some mind-mapping software that is quite interesting. It's called Nelements and allows you to map your thoughts in 3D. I'm putting up a couple of screen shots from their site so you can see what I'm talking about.

If you are interested in thoughts and related language, have a visit to the site.

Thanks, Zahid!




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Holiday Shopping: Zune or iPod?

If your credit card is calling to you--demanding action for a new media player--here is some information on the Microsoft Zune vs. Apple iPod choice. Hope you find these links useful.

A look at installation: Zune

A comarison from Asher Moses at the Sydney Herald.



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No Connectivity--More Connections

"We Feature Wireless Access in All Rooms"

You look for online capability when you pick a hotel, right? Me, too. So when I checked in last SundayBos_p_room_laptop night for 3 days of meetings in NYC I unpacked, plugged in, and logged on. That lasted for 3 hours. Then, no connection. By the time I checked out on Wednesday it still hadn't been fixed.

I know what you're thinking: "Steve, just go to a Starbucks."

Thank you for the advice. I did. Have you been in a wireless-less Starbucks anytime since the Eisenhower administration? Ha! I found one. The one near my hotel.

Our daytime meeting room at the conference was secure. So I spoke with the administrator.

"Hi, I'm here for 3 days of meetings with your folks. Can I get a password so I can check my email?"


"Gee, thank you."

When I realized that I was not going to get online, check emails, or do my blog posts, a peace actually came over me. The kind of peace that you get just before you see the white light at the end of tunnel when you realize that you will probably be out of business in 72 hours because your clients think you are a jerk for not returning any of their emails.

However, here's what I actually discovered.

You Should Join Me Offline Because...

1. I was forced to constantly interact with other human beings. I now have close to a dozen new friends.

2. I was completely focused on what we were doing in the meeting. I learned a lot.

3. I received a voicemail asking when I would be in NYC. Someone wanted to talk business. I was able to be there in a half hour. Now I have a new client.

4. I actually ate dinner in real restaurants instead of squirreling myself away in the hotel room with my laptop and a deli take-out.

Go offline. Make new friends...learn a lot...get new well.

And have a real-life blog post when you get back to the office.


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Corporate Social Networking? Congrats, IBM

I wrote a post on October 5 suggesting that Social Networking would be a great tool for the workplace.

Well, two guys at IBM in San Jose, California were already on the case.

"Programmers at Almaden designed a posting, tagging and networking component to Big Blue's employee directory so that the 330,000 IBMers spread around the world can find out more about each other when looking for collaborators or in-house expertise." For the full story on Steve Cousins, Steve Farrell, and their more-than-useful Fringe tool, here's the article.

This is simply a great use of technology.

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Think Red, because...


". . .if he stays here, he will surely die. But, if he goes with you, he will live."

Read the full context in Brian Williams' MSNBC online article. It's about a dad willing to give up his child in order to save him. And about U2's Bono and Bobby Shriver teaming to use consumer brands to help women and children with HIV/AIDS in Africa.

When I started this weblog I took a short course in business blogging. It was quite helpful. One of the guidelines stated firmly "Try to be positive. Word your suggestions in positive terms or people will tune you out." Well, life isn't always positive. Yet here is something positive to do: Read the rest of this post, click on the links, and find out how it is possible to help save a hurting, stricken person.

1. You and I are going to buy things anyway. Buying Red can help someone get what they need as well as get us what we want.

2. OK, so you want a good business reason? Read Jack Yan's post on Companies who see Red see black.

3. Need a few more specifics? Information Week highlights what Apple and Motorola are going to contribute.

Why am I writing about this topic in All Things Workplace? Because I've lost two close professional associates and friends to AIDS. I miss them and think about them regularly. Now global businesses are putting their brands out there to provide help. Sure, they are going to make money as well. That's part of the need: money. And it's still a risk to associate your brand with a disease that can provoke more self-righteous judgment than it does selfless help.

" . .if he stays here, he will surely die." Let's make his dad wrong.

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Death by Bullet Points

I'm not here to bash Powerpoint.  I do want to encourage business presenters to think about what you're trying to accomplish before you think at all about visual support. Simply Google the phrase "Death by Powerpoint"  Death_by_powerpoint and you'll find that countless others are already ranting about its use and mis-use.

Here's what prompted today's post.

About 20% of our  practice involves delivering our proprietary Presenting With Impact program; another 20% is dedicated to coaching leaders on the content, design, and delivery of presentations. So I was surprised when I got a referral from a client that went like this: "Oh, yes, I need to communicate better but I don't need presentations help--I already know how to use Powerpoint."

Wow. She heard "presentation" and immediately thought "Powerpoint." I recently referenced The Leader's Voice to emphasize how to genuinely  communicate and connect. And our presentations workshops and coaching emphasize "bringing out who you are" vs.some formulaic, stilted approach to dispensing information.

A dilemma

If you work in a large organization you may be required to use presentation software. But that doesn't mean you have to use it poorly--or even in the way in which the boilerplate templates would have you use it. Nor do you have to use it throughout your entire communication activity.

A first-class resource

If you've never visited Garr Reynolds or his Presentation Zen blog, then you are in for a treat. His sense of graphic design and use is second to none. And I'm partial to his Preparation, Delivery, and Slide tips because they mirror the approach that we use with our clients. Visit Garr's sites, click around, and enjoy your time there. You'll learn a lot.

As for the comment above regarding "Presentation means Powerpoint": I'll be doing a series in the near future on what really helps you connect as a speaker.

Finally. . .

Do you have any favorite "death by bullet point" stories? I invite you to add your own by clicking on the Comments button or sending an email. Your email address remains anonymous.

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Continue reading "Death by Bullet Points" »

Do You Have the New 43-hour day?

That's the total number of hours of daily activity listed by the U.S. respondents in a survey just released by Yahoo! and OMD. I shouldn't be surprised: it's Sunday and my day-of-rest includes a blog post. Clock_2

The survey targeted 1600 families with a total of 4,783 responses from individuals 18+ years old in 16 different countries. If you wondered how to squeeze 43 hours into 24, here are some of the results from U.S. respondents. Sleep is omitted:


-Spending time with family  4.5 hours
-Using the Internet  3.6 hours
-Working  6.4 hours
-Watching TV  2.5 hours
-Commuting  1.2 hours
-Using instant messenger  1 hour
-Spending time with friends  1.5 hours
-Emailing  1.2 hours
-Listening to the radio  1.3 hours
-Listening to music (non-radio): 1.3 hours
-Emailing: 1.2 hours
-Land line phone: 0.7 hours
-Reading online journals & blogs: 0.6 hours
-Mobile phone: 0.6 hours
-Text messaging: 0.6 hours

It's probably important to note that the survey was done online. So the respondents might be more tech savvy than the average person, causing the "time spent" categories to reflect a bias toward media and technology. But one thing is for sure: There is a lot of multi-tasking going on out there.

That should prompt us to pause (assuming we're not pausing as part of a multi-tasking effort). While multi-tasking has become a mantra for productivity, all indications are that it is a detriment to quality. Dave Boggs cites a study on the impact of multi-tasking from the National Academies of Science. And Jeff Atwood at Coding Horror even charts the effects.

How about a multi-pause to catch our collective breaths and focus?

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Social Networking Instead of Emails

Why not use the social networking concept inside your organization? Instead of companies having to monitor online activity, I think companies might be able to create their own versions of social networking  for collaboration.

I've been thinking about this for a few weeks. Then I saw Guy Kawasaki's post yesterday about Fanpop. He describes it as "a network of social portals where communities of fans can discover and share content and participate in discussions around their favorite topics of interest."

Doesn't that sound like collaboration? Instead of filling each other's email folders with forwards, cc's, and cover-your-behind messages, a lot of organizational knowledge could be shared and archived in a way that's more interesting and useful. Digital images can be parked for researchers in different locations to access. Projects could be organized by topic. Ideas could be inserted by people with knowledge or interest who aren't on the official email distribution. Employees could know what's happening in real-time; they wouldn't have to wait for a company newsletter.

I understand that security is an issue. Many company intranets have already addressed that issue so it's do-able.

Social networking is "what's happening"--why not use it to make things happen on the job.

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Forms Follow Function 2.0

Everyone looks for the big breakthrough. How about using your imaginaton and some readily-available technology to streamline your business forms for internal and external use.

Look at what Shift Communications has done with the standared press release. The Shift folks say '''Love it or hate it, what is important is that the banal, unhelpful, cookie-cutter press releases of yore have outlived their pre-Internet usefulness." They've taken a model that's existed for years andPress2 designed it to link to everything from RSS Feeds to Podcasts. Bonus: If you are a PR/Corporate Communication pro, you can use it as is. Shift wants to make a contribution to the professional community. To see and use the real thing, click here for the download.

No matter what your role, you use forms. Take a look at what Shift has done, stretch your imagination, and give your colleagues and customers a useful surprise.

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Add This To Your OE Toolkit


Pioneer Thinking models the kind of "pioneer" thinking that could help Organization Effectiveness.

Are you looking for ways to introduce or support effectiveness in your organization?

That was a cheesy rhetorical question. Of course you are.

Since OE takes a systematic look at organizations, why not use all of the kinds of systems available in order to support your efforts. Or maybe you'll want to create a new one the way Edelman has so nicely done.

I really like what they've launched at their Pioneer Thinking site. The portal combines employee blogs, podcasts, a news feed, etc. I have no idea whether or not the HR notion of organization effectiveness was included in their thinking. But I'd ask you to use a little imagination and visualize how you could use this model for your organization.

Here are some of my thoughts:

1) Their customers can tell pretty quickly what's going on and get a feel for the personality and energy of the company

2). It's good PR. But it's also a medium for anyone involved in--or with--the company to hear what different departments and divisions are thinking and doing.

3). It is easy to navigate and everyone can find a topic of interest somewhere on the page. Initiating a new program or some kind of change? It can be disseminated and discussed daily. Want to have people see or hear parts of a training program to get them eager to participate? Do a podcast and publish some feedback quotes. How about a quick survey? Do it here.

It's obvious that a lot of thought and work went into this. There's also a lot of ownership as a result of the number of internal participants. If total organization effectiveness is your goal then I'd suggest you click, stare, and think hard about how a model like this could deeply impact your OE efforts.

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"Go Go Gadget"

All Things Workplace doesn't just mean "work." So here is a  brief interlude to check out some sweet products that will put points on that vanity credit card and add some great gizmos to the cubicle or the corner office.


The new Apple 24" iMac

That's right--it's got a 24" screen and it does it all. Even the IT department won't go too crazy (well, maybe) with the 64-bit Intel Core 2 Duo processor. It's available with speeds up to 2.33GHz and runs Window software using  Apple Boot Camp or Parallels software. You do need to pay for a fresh copy of Windows in order to make that happen. But hey, if you're looking for a way to do it all then this is where it's at.

I confess to being a long-time Apple user. But that's just because their stuff always works. We've got PCs and a PC laptop in the office but they only get used when a client's software is kind of old and the Microsft apps for Apple don't cross over very well to Powerpoint and Word layouts.

This is a super machine for anyone who likes media. I use mine for DVD and home movie editing, music and podcast editing, digital photo work and, of course, for storing all my music on iTunes. The built-in camera can be used for video IM--just make sure you've got your desired photo phace in place.

FYI: I'm not an Apple reseller. I've used their products since 1987 and have no problem suggesting that people kick the tires.  Click on the Apple link above if you'd like the official iMac tour.


How about an iPod alternative for $200?

Equal time for the competition.

Everyone knows iPod. It has nearly 80% market share in the U.S. The iRiver Clix offers another choice  at a reasonable price. Windows users will be especially pleased because the maker, Reigncom, says that it requires Windows XP as well as Windows Media Player. It plays videos and music and even comes with a radio. Nice touch.

MTV fans will smile when they find out that the iRiver Clix works with MTV's subscription service, Urge.

Downsides? Well, it's possible that your entire digital music collection may not fit. The Clix has only 2 gigs of memory.

Check it out. It's new, it's attractive, and it's at iRiver Clix .

'til tomorrow...


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The Steve Roesler Group
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