Work Out Loud Circles – Do they Bridge the Gap?

In celebration of Work Out Loud (WOL) week, we want to highlight the role WOL circles can play as a bridge between our world of exploration, discovery and innovation, and the one that occupies most of our time; the day to day tasks. In networking parlance, we use the terms ‘closed strong tie’ networks to represent our day to day collaborators, where interactions are frequent; and ‘open weak tie’ networks, where interactions are less frequent, but usually more considered. Open and closed networks are often positioned as a trade-off. In academic circles, the tensions between ‘explore’ and ‘exploit’ have also

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Connection In Isolation

Down in Invercargill, the southernmost city in New Zealand and one of the most isolated in the world, there are three employees running a busy car rental branch. Rarely do they work together as a team. Mostly it’s a passing update and a quick “hello” during a shift changeover. Yet, these three workers are some of the best-connected employees in their multi-national company of thousands. Each day, the team at Thrifty Car Rental in Invercargill stay connected with what’s happening at every other Thrifty branch across NZ through their Enterprise Social Network (ESN). If there’s a new Thrifty employee up

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The Power of a Question, Asked Online

The power of a question to spark imagination, challenge bias or entrenched thinking, or simply to help solve a problem has been long recognised. Life coach Tony Robbins talks about the ability to ask empowering questions as “a critical skill that will ultimately shape the meanings you create, and therefore the quality of your life”. Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen, author of best seller “The Innovator’s Dilemma”, bemoans the fact that business schools train managers to provide answers, rather than asking good questions. Yet, we have seen the power of employee engagement a CEO can gain by simply demonstrating vulnerability by asking staff for help. At SWOOP we have been able to capture that

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Will Customers Buy Into Your Seller Persona?

You’ve analyzed your prospective market, built buyer personas for your perfect customer, and crafted your website and Facebook pages with all the social media bells and whistles to ensure that the right people are coming to view your content, products and services. You also have social media monitoring tools in place to track your customers’ journey to you. Did they enjoy the experience? Is it simply enough that they stayed the journey? How can you be sure? Tara Hunt, founder of Truly Social, offers insight into the customer experience on her Twitter feed: “When your interactions with a customer are

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NBN boss Bill Morrow shows true leadership in response to the #MeToo campaign

As stories of sexual abuse flooded social media in response to the #MeToo awareness campaign, NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow’s thoughts went straight to his employees. Were there victims of sexual assault and harassment amongst his staff at NBN, Australia’s National Broadband Network? Did they need help? Could he help break the culture of silence around abuse? How could the leader of a large national corporation find out answers to such a sensitive topic and let staff know he is here to help? His answer was the most obvious – ask. Offer to help. Engage in conversation. Show true

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The Dying Art of Conversation

I started out composing this blog post with the intent of informing on how to start and sustain a good online conversation. As part of my research for the article I came across MIT Professor Sherry Turkle’s book on ‘Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age’. There is substantial material available for helping us conduct more effective online conversations. However, if you are like me, there is always that nagging doubt about whether online conversations ever achieve the level of fidelity and depth that a face to face conversation can take. Turkle’s book turned this nagging doubt

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