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…

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…

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…

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…

Why Workplace is Changing the Way Retail is Conducted

The world’s largest private employer, Walmart, has signed up with Workplace by Facebook. It means 2.3 million employees are now able to connect and collaborate across the entire organization. Why did the king of retail align itself with Workplace, Facebook’s relatively new venture into enterprise social networking? Because the retail industry is being disrupted and its only defense is to disrupt itself. Traditionally, retail has been one of the major employers globally. It’s now one of the most affected by digital disruptions, including online shopping and virtual supply chains. The pressure for the retail sector to innovate and change has…

Five reasons you should update your staff profiles in SWOOP

For most large organisations, it’s an absolute pain to keep your staff directory up to date. Staff profile data tends to be spread far and wide across different systems, be they human resource data bases, email directories, payrolls and the like; with no single up-to-date repository one can rely on. Believe me, the journey is worthwhile for many reasons. In this post we are selfishly addressing our SWOOP customers and prospects.  SWOOP is founded on the science of social network analysis (SNA). Value from SNA is achieved by identifying the relationship connections between individuals. The follow-up core value then comes…