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Linkedin - professionalism - or keeping up appearances?

Euen Semple

I reckon people who say that Facebook is for friends and Linkedin is for business are missing out on the wider changes in attitude to work and business that the social web is enabling. The web is all about people. It''s about connections, relationships and energy. So is doing business. Energy and connections are what help you do your work.

From gatekeepers to enablers

Euen Semple

It is easy to get carried away with the possibilities of new technology, and networked ways of working, and assume that this makes it possible to sweep away large chunks of our current corporate overheads. But do we really want to get rid of them all. Like the old saying "just because you''ve got a word processor it doesn''t make you a novelist".

"Employee engagement" and online bosses

Euen Semple

You may have seen me being grumpy in the past about the phrase Employee Engagement. It’s one of those buzz phrases that get bandied about and in fact end up becoming devalued as a result. But it would be foolish to ignore the truth that more managers making more effort to connect better with their staff would be “a good thing”.

Curatorship

Euen Semple

Many of you will have noticed, either through my Facebook updates or my newsletter, that I like to point to interesting things. Whether stunning images, quirky insights, or ideas that interest me, they are all things that have made me think "Ooh that''s interesting." The things I find interesting say something about me.

A rant about IT and losing our grip on reality.

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<rant> Foursquare just gave me extra points for having checked in at airports continuously for the last eleven weeks. This is a dubious distinction. In that time I have been to Riga, Amsterdam, most major cities in Australia, Hong Kong, Washington and Dubai. As a result I have gradually lost my grip of reality. This issue is endemic.

We the media

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A friend in Australia just asked me what I thought about an article on celebrities leaving Twitter as a result of trolls and the amount of vitriol they increasingly face. My initial response was "Don’t follow celebrities or people who post bile! Oh, and stop reading newspaper articles about it.". said this for two reasons.

Courage and patience

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Almost every day I hear people''s stories about how frightening it is to say what you think at work. Sometimes it is the fear that by speaking up on social platforms inside the workplace they will be opening themselves to ridicule or even hostility. also hear stories about outrageous acts of bullying in the workplace. Will it change overnight?

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You can't enforce curiosity

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The Internet is all about learning, even if just which film to watch on TV tonight or where to shop for the best prices, but it is all learning. Likewise social tools at work are great places for learning. Learning from the experience of others, learning what is happening around you, learning how to improve yourself and become better at what you do.

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Love at The Commission

Euen Semple

This wonderful article, reproduced with her permission, by Maria Podlasek-Ziegler at The European Commission totally nails why social matters in organisations. Love’ at the Commission By Maria (DG EAC). I was rather sceptical when somebody told me about using Facebook, Twitter and so on. And I thought ‘this time you cannot escape’. It does a lot.

Making an impact

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We celebrate those who change the world rather than those who just talk about it. But isn't this the western disease? Seeing problems as out there in the world rather than within us, sorting others instead of sorting ourselves? Aren't most of the world's biggest problems the result of our previous attempts to make an impact?

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Hiding from ourselves

Euen Semple

I sat next to someone at a dinner recently who very confidently said “Oh I only use Linkedin - Facebook is a complete waste of time”. The degree of confidence and venom with which this statement was delivered belied something deeper. What is the reason for such a strong aversion to Facebook? What was she so afraid of?

Better the devil you know

Euen Semple

Organisations fear the apparent messiness of internal use of social tools. They fear the possibility that people will waste their time. They fear the risk of dissent and disruption. These fears are raised and articulated in this article from Oliver Marks. The same is true of intranets.

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BG, Ryanair, JP Morgan and Disco Dads

Euen Semple

There has been a rash of Twitter “events” recently in which senior executives have been thrust out in front of their organisations for grandstanding occasions on Twitter, with predictable results. You have to wonder who was advising them. It would appear that a lot of PR, Communications and Marketing people just don’t get the social web.

Intentional marketing

Euen Semple

I am increasingly asked to work with marketing departments and run workshops for them on social media or "digital". This despite making no claims to expertise in the "profession". Listening to the conversations about their day jobs I am frequently surprised at the degree to which process takes over and thinking stops. Intent matters. Think about i

“Blogging is just people showing off”

Euen Semple

This was the reaction someone had to the discussion the other day about the benefits or otherwise of blogging. hadn’t heard it expressed so vehemently for a while but it used to be a very common reaction in the early days, especially in Britain for some reason. Well, yes, and…? No one is making them read this stuff!!

Giving up on the grown ups

Euen Semple

The first chapter of my book is called "We all need to grow up". In it I hoped to encourage people to make the most of the wonderful opportunity the web gives us to step forward and take responsibility for ourselves. And yet I have always mistrusted people who were too keen to grow up.

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I get so tired of social media

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Some days I get wearied by it all. The latest tools, the latest memes, the constant updates, the selling, the PR, the self promotion, the cats. wonder if we''ve lost the plot and the opportunity the web gave us to change the world. sometimes feel like giving up. That''s what it is all about. It always was

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Us and them

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It's so easy to do, to identify "them". Those not like us, those from that other "tribe", those we look down on, the enemy. I am as guilty of this as the next person and can slip into demonising managers, IT, and those who don't "get" the internet or technology. But there is only us.

Organisational anarchist or corporate jester?

Euen Semple

Phillipe Borrowmans just posted a great post about the possibilities of truly social business which he titled "We need more Corporate Anarchists". But today I see more and more "social business" projects that tend to have "better control" as an objective. Why not use social media to truly open up an organization ?

"Real Life"

Euen Semple

It is interesting how we cling to the idea of real life isn’t it? The most common push back on those of us who spend time online is that we are somehow cutting ourselves off from real life, that our exchanges are less than face to face in some way. But how real is real life anyway? We filter massive amounts of the reality around us. More intimate.

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The perils of projection

Euen Semple

It is interesting thinking back to the Thatcher era and how polarised we became. You can see it happening now online with the news of her death. You can see the same thing watching the current conservative government demonising people. Whether it is immigrants, skivers, it is always "them". We fall into the same trap in organisations.

"Most people"

Euen Semple

I love the ability the Internet has given us to share what we think with others around the world or around our organisation. Yet you would be amazed how often I get the reaction "Most people don''t want to have to think too much, especially at work". What would I have done in Nazi occupied Poland? What would I do if I had been born in Saudi Arabia?

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I don't get the iPad

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I bought the first generation iPad as soon as it came out. Couldn''t wait to own one. But three years later I still don''t get it! My problem is not so much the old argument about the iPad being a consumption rather than a production device. There are so many really effective tools that you can use on an iPad these days to do really useful work.

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Staying ahead by slowing down

Euen Semple

I have always loved the phrase "Don't just do something stand there." It conveys the paradox that very often doing things is less productive than taking a moment to reflect. moment to work out what is really going on. moment to ponder what we we really want to happen. This willingness to be still is becoming ever more important.

Why blogging still matters in business - and always will.

Euen Semple

It''s not about marketing, or SEO, or "going viral". It is not about internal "enterprise social" or external "social media" It is not even about the platforms or tools on which you choose to write. It is much simpler and much more powerful. It is about developing our awareness, our communication skills, and our collective intelligence.

Don't wait for HR, or anyone else for that matter, to save you at work.

Euen Semple

Here at HR tech World in Paris yesterday I heard Yves Morieux from Boston Consulting Group make the case that in a post industrial world an organisation's people, and their willingness to collaborate, are their greatest assets. When I reported this view online it was met with considerable scepticism! Finance?? They are part of the problem.

A slow and willing death

Euen Semple

Sometimes the furrows we plough at work get very deep. We stick to the familiar for so long that doing otherwise just doesn’t occur to us. Processes steer our days and straying from them causes enervation at best, fear at worst. The familiar feels safe even though it may prove our undoing. In these places the web is a distraction. slow death.

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Dumbing down and victimhood

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I have to confess I get frustrated when people complain about technology dumbing us down. The fear is often expressed that short attention spans will be forced on us by Twitter's 140 character updates or that we will all succumb to mob mentality as memes sweep through Facebook. What a bunch of wimps. Are we really that out of control?

Social tools and the filter problem

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I just saw someone comment that "Twitter would be improved by better list functionality". For years my only experience of Twitter has been through a list of about a hundred people who I trust to add more signal than noise. We are then faced with the problem of classification. The people I follow aren''t one dimensional. It''s a bit like "real life".

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Unsettled

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This nice little blog post from Jamie Notter caught my eye the other day - It’s Good To Be Unsettled. In it he talks about working with a senior group on various strategy choices and one of the participans came up afterwards to say that he felt unsettled by the conversaiton. We get complacent and stuck. But I wouldn’t go back.

Which side of the bed?

Euen Semple

One of the pleasures of my job is getting to work with different people all the time, people from a range of backgrounds and with varying priorities. Some are highly paid, some are not. Some are successful, some are not. Some are happy some are not. What strikes me often is how their happiness is independent of their circumstances.

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Radical transparency

Euen Semple

I am attracted to the idea of radical transparency both for individuals and organisations. The idealist in me believes that more openness speeds up the evolutionary process, even if it can cause considerable initial discomfort. We stay stuck because we hide the things we don''t like about our character. And yet…. Who gets to decide?

2.0 on the outside but 1.0 on the inside

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This is what I was getting at in the chapters "We all need to grow up", "The ultimate in democracy" and "Evolution on steroids" in my book.

Why blogging still matters

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"?Most of what we inherit is so clearly correct it goes unseen. It fits the world seamlessly. It is the world. But despite its richness and variability, the well-defined world we inherit doesn't quite fit each one of us, individually. And so you make your place in the world by making part of it -- by contributing some new part to the set.

Working out loud

Euen Semple

Our new found ability to share thinking and insights so readily using our online tools is key to solving some of our biggest challenges. Our problems are too big for single individuals or isolated organisations to deal with. As I wrote in a previous post we have to get better at working things out together.

Blogging angst

Euen Semple

My friend Dave Tebbutt is wondering whether to give up his blog or not. Many of us over the years go through periods of questioning why we blog and if it is worth it. For me the biggest reason to blog is personal. It’s like lobbing pebbles into ponds. So in fact I am currently making an effort to blog more often. Hope you found it interesting too

In praise of good managers

Euen Semple

I am aware that to some I may come across as anti-management in my writing. I am not. Most organisations, certainly those of significant size, need managers. They need people to design effective processes, select good teams, help them get a sense of direction, and help them resolve any issues that they face.

Telling stories.

Euen Semple

Present a human being with disparate bits information and we will try to make sense of them, to give them meaning, to get them to tell a story. We can''t help ourselves and do it all the time. We also try to get the world to fit our pre-existing stories. Those we learned from our families, our colleagues, our neighbours. We feel better when it does.

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Keeping up with aliens

Euen Semple

I heard recently of a senior manager who has to quit his and re-open his browser every time he wants to search for something on Google as it is set as his startup page and he knows no other way to get back there. This was a stark reminder of just how challenging many people still find technology. How many know about the Google Page Rank Algorithm?