All collaborations are a love affair

51p0mziztfl._sx329_bo1204203200_We fall in love with a creation, a work of art, a song, a poem, or piece of code. We’re floored. Just gagging. There’s something about it that we couldn’t have ever possibly concluded. Like Einstein and the Theory of Relativity.

We want to know what genius was behind it. What nurture/nature paradox produced the human being that thought this up? How audacious! How tenacious! How did they think so clearly and elegantly? How did they put such a novel spin on it?

So we google them,we watch their videos on YouTube, and we follow them on Instagram. Then we retweet their posts about Reactive Native because everyone needs to know about this right now because I’m really feeling this and I want to be the first one to recommend it to my friends.

In “The Culture Code – The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups,” Daniel Coyle explains that successful collaborations are like triangles. Stable. Three-pointed. Elementary.

“To live comfortably in a triangle, it seems to me that certain feelings about oneself have to be in effect. The individual has to feel good about himself and be able to stand on his own two feet without having to lean on someone else. He can be temporarily odd-man-out without feeling bad or rejected. He needs to be able to wait without feeling he is abused. He needs to be able to talk straight and clearly, and let the others know what he is feeling and thinking and not brood and store up his feelings.” – Daniel Coyle

Choose the wrong advice to follow and the triangle breaks down. The collaboration tanks. It’s barely noticeable but then the more you look at it, the more you realize it’s actually happening. The work doesn’t sing anymore. The paint starts to peel. The communication gets rough, like someone bumped up the elasticity in the physics world. The rice starts to taste sour. The gears rust and the collaboration seizes up.

“Pain instructs.” – Benjamin Franklin

This weekend I talked to my friend Larry on Zoom. First we talked about the new widgets at WWDC. Then we tried to figure out exactly how long the new laptop batteries could theoretically last with Apple Silicon. Then we started to talk about how the stay at home order has affected our moods and productivity. That’s when the conversation really got interesting.

Larry and I both work out. Not a lot. But we have “set it and forget it” routines that keep us fit and active. The spike in infections in California and Hawaii made us both reconsider how wise it is to run outside, and now we’ve both stopped running.

We’re both noticing our moods tanking. We have goals we’ve set for ourselves. And now that we’ve postponed them. We don’t feel good. Literally, we don’t physically feel good because we’re not coming through on the promises we made to ourselves.

“Self esteem became hooked more easily when a person had not really developed a solid, appreciative sense of his own worth. Not having his own, he would use an other’s action and reactions to define himself. If someone called him green, he would agree with no checking and take the other’s comment as one fitting him. He was green because the other person said so. It’s easy for anyone with doubts about his own worth to fall into this trap.” – Daniel Coyle

Larry and I discovered that getting things done contributes so much to our self-worth and actual feelings of well-being that we need to reassess our goals to set new metrics to gauge our success.

Sticking to the old goals leaves us feeling bad. Because we’re not coming through on what we said we were going to do. That’s the reason we’re so immaculate with our words.

“The single most crucial factor in understanding how an initial love relationship flourishes is the feeling of worth each has for himself, together with how he expresses it and what demands he makes of the other, and how each acts toward the other as a result.” – Daniel Coyle

All collaborations are a love affair. Even the collaborations you make with yourself. Keep the relationship from tanking by building up your own self-worth.

The way to keep your self-esteem high is to come through on the things you say you are going to. Be immaculate with your word. But also understand that these changing times may require you to take a moment and assess how you’re doing. Do you need to take a look at the script? Maybe it needs a rewrite? Maybe it needs some new characters?

Are you living your life from an old script?

“If humans never find their sameness, they will never meet; if they never meet their differentness, they cannot be real or develop a truly human and zestful relationship with one another.” – Daniel Coyle

Keep your collaborations on point and take care of your self-esteem. Did this post raise any questions for you? Contact me I’d love to hear about it.

When you want to change someone’s mood, tell a story

Today I finished reading the book “Thank you for Arguing” by Jay Heinrichs. Heinrichs uses historical figures like Cicero and Homer Simpson from fact and fiction to illuminate the art of argument.

The book is written in a hilarious tone with lots of asides for pro tips on how to argue more effectively.

I had a hard time deciding what to post because there’s so much good content in this book. Today I want to focus on the topic of persuasion.

“Persuasion can attempt to influence a person’s beliefs, attitudes, intentions, motivations, or behaviors. In business, persuasion is a process aimed at changing a person’s attitude or behaviour toward some event, idea, object, or other person, by using written, spoken words or visual tools to convey information, feelings, or reasoning, or a combination thereof.” – Wikipedia

Persuasion gets a bad rap because of all the negative attention it receives. Books like The Hidden Persuaders and Influence shine a negative light on persuasion. They talk about how it can be used to compel people to do things they don’t want to do or that could even harm them.

Each of us uses persuasion on a daily basis. We need to use persuasion to communicate our needs, assess the needs of others, and work together to create win win situations like Stephen R. Covey talks about in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

In order to persuade someone, you need to sound like him.

“You persuade a man only insofar as you can talk his language by speech, gesture, tonality, order, image, attitude, idea, identifying your ways with his.” – Heinrichs

The audience only cares about three things. Have you prepared? Do you know what you’re talking about? And what do you have to offer me?

“Persuasion doesn’t depend on being true to yourself. It depends on being true to your audience.” – Heinrichs

Heinrich encourages readers to keep the three parts of the proposal firmly in mind as you are persuading:

“Every proposal should have three parts – payoffs, doability, superiority. Describe the benefits of the choice, make it seem easy to do, and show how to it beats the other options. You might even keep your audience in suspense, not telling them your choice until you have dealt with the alternatives. Rhetoric is most effective when it leads an audience to make up their own minds.” – Heinrichs

Don’t think you’re getting through to the person you’re trying to persuade? Are they expressionless in the face of your crystal clear valid points? You might need to change up your strategy.

“When you want to change someone’s mood, tell a story.” – Heinrichs

Finally here’s one of the pro-tips Heirichs shares in the sidebar of the book. The idea is to show the audience that you are just like them. It’s called the Pratfall effect:

“Reveal a weakness that wins sympathy or shows the sacrifice you have made for the audience.” – Heinrichs

How do you persuade in your work and life? Have any horror stories of taking persuasion too far? Contact me I’d love to hear about it!

Professional Marketing Trends – Creating Engaging Digital Experiences

I attended the “Engaging Digital Experiences” webinar on March 3, 2020 to see what I could learn about crafting more engaging digital experiences.

Make the most of the current situation

During the dot com boom/bust the big players now were investing big in digital: Apple, google, etc. Let’s take this time and really invest in digital. Take advantage of the opportunity this virus gives us. Leapfrog the competition.

Make sure you measure along the way

How do you measures your results? Customer Data is the customer journey. What are all the touch points and engagement points? What is the content? The expectation from our customers on content has changed.

The main goal

If customers can get their goals with your company they will stay with your company. If we keep customers, that is profitability. Strengthen the brand and use technology to augment our brand. Invest enough in digital to survive.

Why do you need a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM)?

Meaning of content has changed. Users are engaging with us through different fields. Augmented reality or virtual reality are two new options to connect. Augmented is a real thing and has advance into something called mixed reality. This allows for a transaction in reality.

How do we put plans around that to find out how to engage and immerse ourselves in this journey?

  1. Create a strategy – where is our content? Where does it go? What destinations do we need to come into contact with?
  2. What is our content? What destination is most optimized for what contnet? IG is good for video. Twitter is good for text heavy. Image heavy. Linked in is where you post articles.
  3. Create content on purpose that is optimized for that destination.
  4. Manage the content life cycle. To make sure what we have on there is relevant and fresh and helps our users accomplish their goals.
  5. Amplify that content. Drive traffic back to our source content. Connect the dots. Make the connections between our content management hub and who it will be distributed to.
  6. We don’t always have to look back what what has happened. We want technology to prescribe to us what kind of content needs to be established to what channel. It’s beyond what has happened, it’s now to this is what should happen. Get to that point.
  7. Manage that content life cycle.
  8. Measure and provide guidance to what we have next.

Once you have this going, use the tech to get us where we wan to go. Content Management System is decoupled from the front end.

Tag things. Have an image repository. Things the end user will not see. Grow the separation out. It doesn’t have to be a one to one relationship. You can build up tech info and then farm it out.

Don’t just keep your content on your website. Push it out to the destinations you have. Twitter, IG,  and your website are each only one channel. You need to push out your content. You need to control the journey that your customers go on.

Digital signage is big now

Control that content from a central location – your Content Management System. Billboards, hospitals, advertisements, this is one of those elements that we can take a look at and say this bridges the gap between digital and physical. We physically see the signs but we can bring the content digital.

Progressive web applications – next evolution of responsive web. If the device is a mobile device, I will reposition the content to fit on that mobile screen.

We don’t want to read an entire article on our device. We might want to transition to a different device to read it on a different device. We change the code of the content. We transition that content and optimize it for that device.

Push notifications – cannot be done with webpages
Have offline mode – cache your experience, if in dense spot or connect to network, you can still participate in that Progressive Web App (PWA) experience.

FT, twitter, NASA, have PWA experiences.

Transform the browser into something palatable.

Immersive Technologies

Immersive technology – Warby Parker, try on glasses without receiving glasses.

Augmented reality – we need to feel like we have a physical element in a digital world. Mixed reality.

Chatbots – was cool before but them leaves. Chatbots now have capacity of machine learning adn AI capabilities. We can gather data from other sources and provide that info in a chat. Allows us to accomplish things without human intervention.

Wearables – Realize how often you access data from that little screen. Even withpout adjacent devices. Don’t even need phone near me to access the data that I need if I do it from my Apple Watch.

Can enhance that experience through desktop or tablet or through mobile device.

Evolution of technology:

Social media – 2010 facebook dominant, tiktok, lasso, other platofrms – how is your digital experience on your social networks. Do you have a plan? Is all the style and tonality similar on our social media?

Big Questions:

  • Do we have a direct Call to Action (CTA) to drive users to a specific result?
  • Do your ads lead to an e-commerce platform? Make a click and have a sale and we are shipping a product to them?

“You want to be a little unpredictable.”

To have a different methodology: how are we taking our plans and experiences in ways to apply them to the customer expectations? They want seamless experiences wherever they go.

Develop and agile methodology for extensibility

How do we bolt things together to expand our footprint? How do we integrate with other partners?

Shoptalk conference – how do you know what people want? We don’t know what people want or what the next big thing is. But we are constantly putting things out, measuring the changes, and recording the results. Seeing what works – this works with tech, applications, messaging, etc.
Get our heads aroudn this, how do we get stuff out, test build, design, plan launch, = this is the agile methodology – fail fast technique.

Look into the cloud for tech.
We are still doing things on site. cloud allows to not set up infrastructure, we can initiate the output we are looking for. Saas tech, paas, get up and running faster if we do cloud based tech.

Mar Tech – Marketing technology – growing indusrty

Microservices – been aroudn for a while but gaining
One tasker = does one thing sreally well,
Rules or logic or workflow – this is a microservice.
Connect to personlization services
Electronic transactions – how do connect website to transaction capabilities (paypal visa, stripe, etc)
Lightweight and set up to use fast
Containerized – no need to spin up entire stack
Purpose built applications/services to accomplish goal and expand capabiliites.

CDP = Custoemr data platoform (REALLY SEE THIS AS BENEFIICAL)

Strategy to pull all this tech together

  • All starts with a modern CMS
  • Store your content and have it available
  • Content management to a digital epxerience platform
  • Make a better journey
  • Make more sales
  • Have more control over the digital experience
    This is where the matruity level compes in by integrateing all that we know

Ask yourself – Are you able to push your content from wordpress to your twitter, facebook, etc. To get your content out and so it is not jsut a webiste and it lives in multiple places.

Website activity to connect to better places and more engagment.

Wordspress post to out put and push it out to multiples.

When we get into the framework of how things are constructed and how they interact with each other

Digital eXperiecen framework is our guide to how to define a strategy.

Need data sources to tap into
CMS, ERP, CRMs, are data sources. Need to have them well defined, where they are and whatr they do. then we need to connect them.

The World’s Greatest Lie

alchemistToday I wanted to share 3 lessons I learned from reading “The Alchemist” by Paul Coelho. If you haven’t heard of this book before, it’s a novel about a shepherd boy who seeks the riches of the world and leaves his homeland only to find that he had all the riches he sought already within himself.

Reading this book made me think most prominently about the quote by Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

The rest of this post details three quotes from The Alchemist that remind the reader to stay true to himself, manifest his greatest talents through action, and understand that when you change everything else changes.

“When someone sees the same people every day, as had happened with him at the seminary, they wind up becoming a part of that person’s life. And then they want the person to change. If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry.” – Coelho

There will always be haters. It is up to you to manifest your truth through action. This book reminded me of some zen quote – By practicing your normal way of being you are encouraging others to be more themselves as well.

“What’s the greatest lie? That at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.” – Coelho

Pavlov the dog scientist is famous for showing that he could ring a bell and make the dogs salivate at the prospect of getting meat. What he’s less known for are his experiments in learned helplessness.

In another experiment to show how learned helplessness is developed, Pavlov would shock the dogs every time they got up when a person came to greet them.

Over time this group of dogs would simply stop getting up whenever someone came by to pet them. They feared getting shocked when they responded so excitedly to someone coming over to see them.

What a sad life when we give up on new opportunities because we’ve been so burned in the past.

In the Alchemist, when the king asks the boy go through the kingdom and see all the sights, the boy focuses too strongly on not dissipating himself and misses all the sights of the kingdom.

When the boy stops focusing so much on himself, he is able to focus on the world while still tending to his own needs, and he is happy. Never over-extend yourself. How are you meant to share with others when you have an empty cup?

“The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.” – Coelho

Thanks for sticking with me through this blog post. We’re almost finished.

“When something evolves, everything around that thing evolves as well.” – Coelho

Coelho is keenly minded. He foresees the stumbling blocks that might come up when you start to tune into yourself. Other people might get jealous. Other people might not understand your aims. Keep your best foot forward and stay on track.

What stuck for you? Contact me, I’d love to hear about it!

Proximity functions as a connective drug. Get close, and our tendency to connect lights up.

What’s your IQ? No, this is a serious question. Have you been asked that before? Probably not, because it’s quite a rude question. Almost as rude as asking someone what they do for a living at a party.

No one wants to talk about work at a party. No one wants to sum up their entire life by sharing their occupation. Share your interests. Share what’s got you fired up.

Let’s change it up. What is your emotional IQ? Did you even bat an eyelash? Doesn’t this question seems to be safer somehow?

Asking someone what their IQ is a status game. It’s a devilish question that leaves the person uneasy, unfairly come for, and treated poorly.

Asking someone about their emotional IQ leads to fun interactions, empathy building conversations, and opportunities to connect.

“Proximity functions as a connective drug. Get close, and our tendency to connect lights up.” – Coyle

The next time you’re at a party, share your interests. Be enthusiastic. Ask people about their interests. Build both your emotional IQs by being interested in other people’s lives.

“Collective intelligence is not that different in some ways than apes in a forest. One ape is enthusiastic, and that signal recruits others, and they jump in and start doing stuff together. That’s the way group intelligence works, and this is what people don’t get. Just hearing something said rarely results in a change in behavior. They’re just words. When we see people in our peer group play with an idea, our behavior changes. That’s how intelligence is created. That’s how culture is created.” – Coyle

Did this post make you think differently about how you conduct better conversations at parties? Think I’m full of hot air? Contact me, I’d love to hear about it!