Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Archive for the category “Communication”

Four ways to read differently to be successful

With the amount of great content available we need to examine our strategies for consuming information.

An article on Forbes.com today questions whether you are reading fast enough to be successful

I’ve found four things really help effective information consumption:

1. Always have a reading objective. If you’re reading a book on innovation, ask yourself what you want to be left with after reading it (a checklist for launching your own product/ a basic understanding etc.). For pleasure reading however, just give yourself permission to lose yourself.

2. Fit into the gaps of your day. Have Pocket on your smartphone with saved articles of interest for a spare minute on the subway. Have a great feed reader like FeeddlerPro on your homescreen for a quick scan while you’re in the ATM queue.

3. Switch ways of taking information in. Audio books or your Kindle’s text-to-speech function whilst you exercise, walk to work or do the gardening allows you to absorb information with less effort.

4. A speed-reading technique that works for me for quick consumption of information: read it back to front. Reverse-reading by conclusion, paragraph opening sentences and sub-headings seems to crank my attention up a level and gives me a faster understanding.

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7 Lessons from Steve Jobs’ Career

Some thinking summarised from commentary on Steve Jobs’s career – and what other leaders can practice for success:

  1. Relentless pursuit of bold ideas – protect the organisational resources required to deliver them.
  2. Customer surprise & delight – this should drive the product/service roadmap.
  3. Ego can be acceptable if it makes the organisation more successful.
  4. It’s about results, not activity.
  5. The 3 Rs – strong leaders ensure right people/ right jobs/ right conditions enabled for success.
  6. Tell the truth – call out poor ideas and poor performance
  7. Inspirational communication – frequent and intensely motivational communication about compelling objectives

More details and pitfalls here:  The Real Lessons from Steve Jobs’ Career | ChiefExecutive.net | Chief Executive Magazine.

UnMarketing & the Social Brain

‘The notion that there is a ‘social brain’ in humans specialized for social interactions has received considerable support from brain imaging and, to a lesser extent, from lesion studies. Specific roles for the various components of the social brain are beginning to emerge. For example, the amygdala attaches emotional value to faces, enabling us to recognize expressions such as fear and trustworthiness’

So starts Chris Frith’s Royal Society article, The social brain?

I was reminded of this as I review my highlights from the start of Scott Stratten’s fast-paced book, UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging. Most of the highlights relate to the social/ trust/ engagement elements of what he writes. I make the links because my observation is that the most successful (Un)marketing comes from the act of engaging the social brain with an individual, company, product or brand. Creating and then building initial trust. Sharing and reciprocating. Acting together for a greater good.

A few of my initial highlights:

Marketing happens every time you engage (or not) with your past, present, and potential customers

….a tremendous trust gap. This is the amount of trust you have to earn before your potential customer will consider buying from you.

….most companies are guilty of hypocritical marketing. Why do we market to people the way we hate to be marketed to?

You’ve got to invest in something before withdrawing. Investing your social currency means giving your time, your knowledge, and your efforts to that channel before trying to withdraw monetary currency.

People don’t care about your business until they know you care about them. Look what gets shared on Facebook or retweeted on Twitter. It’s not ads or pitches. It’s knowledge. It’s stuff that makes people say “awesome” and they need to tell others about it.

Build a small stage—your platform—that you’re going to stand on and get people to come to. Pick one place where you want people to find you and play your best “show” there for as long as it takes to build a solid following

There are three steps to successfully building your platform: Traction, momentum, and expansion.

Momentum is the time when you switch from looking for new relationships toward enhancing current ones.

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