Let’s Talk Leadership for the Digital Age

Podcast Show with Des Walsh

Let's Talk Leadership
Consistency the Key to Effective Leadership: Kris Gale [Podcast]

Consistency the Key to Effective Leadership: Kris Gale [Podcast]

Kris Gale is Chairman of Michael Johnson Associates (MJA). The company specialises in helping Australian innovators make the most effective use of Federal Government industry assistance programs, especially via the Government’s R&D Tax Incentive.

He is a founding member of the Australian Federal Government’s R&D Tax Incentive National Reference Group.

Kris has lengthy experience in this field of Federal Government support for industry innovation. He joined Michael Johnson Associates in 1987 as a Consultant, became a partner two years later and in 1998 became Managing Partner. In mid 2014 he took up the role of Chairman.

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We talked about:

  • styles of leadership and what might be appropriate at this time
  • keys to successful leadership
  • why leadership role might not be for everyone
  • “dealing with difficult people”
  • and a couple more items

Keys to successful leadership in large and small organizations

  • Listen
  • Be decisive
  • Be consistent

Especially, be consistent.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt over the time that I’ve been involved in leadership roles, it’s that consistency is the absolute bedrock of successful leadership.

More from Kris:

“I don’t think that consultative leadership is ‘no longer making decisions'”.

People need to do some soul-searching to see if they really want to be in leadership roles.

Not everyone has to be a leader.

“Dealing with Difficult People”

We had an extended, nuanced conversation about this.

A couple of key observations from Kris

My general experience is that over time you can divine whether someone wants to be (in your organization) and achieve and contribute, or they don’t.

Are people capable of change? The answer to that is completely yes and no.

Coaching Conversation

Kris congratulated me on my receiving the President’s Award from the International Association of Coaching (IAC) and spoke about our coaching relationship, my style of coaching, and our friendship over many years and told me not to edit that segment.

More about Kris and Contact Details

He’s a man of many parts, a music lover and a DJ, a.k.a. The Godfather – his Twitter handle is @GodfatherDJ. He has diverse sporting interests. He’s a basketball player and coach, and I can attest that he has an amazing recall of cricket lore. He’s a died-in-the-wool supporter and Player Sponsor of the Wests Tigers Rugby League Club and co-hosts the very entertaining weekly segment on Rugby League Fireup! On FBI Radio and another program on Sunday nights, The Back Row on Triple M. With his friend Andrew Rose he also has a podcast, Losing My Edge. Kris never ceases to amaze me with his knowledge of US professional basketball and football.

And as any of Kris’s many friends will tell you, he’s a fount of information about pop culture.

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For Small Town Leadership, Gather Your Crowd: Deb Brown [Podcast]

For Small Town Leadership, Gather Your Crowd: Deb Brown [Podcast]

In this episode of Let’s Talk Leadership, I’m in conversation with Deb Brown, from Webster, Iowa. Deb shares stories and advice on social media, working and living in a small town and creating the kind of community you want to live in. You might recognize her online as @debworks. She grew up in a town of 141 people, Geneva, Iowa. She loves to tell stories and share real world examples of how people are changing their small town into the kind of place the community wants to live, work and play in.

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What We Talked About

We talked about leadership in small towns – and in neighbourhoods in big towns and cities. We swapped stories of communities, in Deb’s part of the world and in mine, who are leading by just getting together, sharing ideas freely and then doing: stories that include how the community saved the Webster City movie theater and made it a profitable concern again.

Some Deb Brown Pearls of Wisdom

Because of technology and where we are in the world today, leadership looks totally different and could look even better, if we all came to realize that there are no leaders. The crowd is in control.

The new way of leadership is very informal. You just gather your crowd…All of you get together.

One of my principles, in building possibility, is to tell your story. And tell it again. And tell it again.

In a small town “you have the opportunity to make a difference”.

SaveYour.Town

SaveYour.Town is a partnership with Deb Brown and Becky McCray where they share their passion for small towns and share practical advice on how to shape a brighter future for your small town. They are both great ideas people and sharers. They speak, sometimes together, sometimes individually, at a range of events. You want to give your event participants a memorable experience? Do yourself and your community a favor and get in touch with them (that’s me, Des, talking, not their words and they are not paying me for those words 🙂 ). And remember, it’s not dot com, it’s dot Town.

Deb Brown & Becky McCray, Co-Founders SaveYour.Town

More about Deb and Contact Details

Deb’s programs on small business, what to do with empty buildings, customer service, marketing and economic development have been received by chambers, economic developers, tourism specialists, museum experts, business groups, and small town conferences. Deb has keynoted at Rural X Summit, TEDx Brookings, Michigan Rural Economic Development Conference, Roscommon County Michigan, Central Iowa Tourism Annual Meeting, Milbank South Dakota Chamber Annual Dinner and several 140 Character Conferences, to name a few.

Contact details

Email: [email protected]

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Red Teaming and Other War Gaming for Business: Fred Aubin [Podcast]

Red Teaming and Other War Gaming for Business: Fred Aubin [Podcast]

Lieutenant-Colonel (retd) Fred Aubin, CD, MCGI, is Founder and CEO of Strategic Red Team Consulting, and is based in Ottawa, Canada.

A 34 year command-level combat veteran of the Canadian Forces, Fred leads a consultancy team with an extensive arsenal of expertise for what he calls, “The Corporate Battlefield”. Fred has commanded everything from specialized strategic advisory teams of 20 to large multi-disciplinary task forces of 600, both at home in Canada and abroad in harm’s way. He was a highly experienced strategic planner in the Canadian Department of National Defence and has designed, managed and coordinated business plans, transformational “change management” campaigns and corporate level strategies with values in the billions of dollars.

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Red Teaming and How it Helps Business

Fred explained that on leaving the military several years before he had seen – in comparison with what he was used to in the military – a gap in business operations, in terms of planning and especially business simulations, including such things as decision support simulation, war gaming and red teaming. Hence the focus of his consulting to business and government in the intervening years.

Red Teaming is a branch of war gaming.

There are many books on war gaming for business. See below for Fred’s specially recommended ones and other sources of information on the subject. For a one page synopsis, see this page on Fred’s website.

There are three types of war gaming, with same basic elements, different outcomes:

  • Course of Action War Gaming
  • Rehearsal War Gaming
  • Red Team Exercise

Course of Action War Gaming

A series of at least two, possibly more, sequential and comparable war games. Used in plan development stage to determine the most viable options in terms of the various factors to be considered, such as risk, execution and payoff.

Rehearsal War Gaming

When the course of action has been established, when you are getting ready to act, but “haven’t thrown the switch yet”. A rehearsal process, with all the key actors, prior to the plan’s execution. To “reduce risk by turning hindsight into foresight”.

Red Team War Gaming

Red team war gaming is not entry level. Where it happens it is a capstone exercise that follows course of action war gaming and rehearsal war gaming.

The Red Team exercise is similar to the Rehearsal war game, with the exception that ideally, the red team members are not drawn from the organization’s stakeholders. Each red team member is a subject specialist and is only given the amount of information about the organization that a normal competitor would have. Their task is to put the organization’s plan under “extreme competitive stress”.

The whole idea is you reduce risk by turning hindsight into foresight, turning individual knowledge into collective knowledge.

A Hack for Economy with Effectiveness

In the conversation, Fred explains the ideal composition of the Red team in a Red Teaming exercise. He also provides an option for corporates wanting a more economical setup without prejudicing effectiveness (find this at or about 22 min 35 sec into the episode, just after the music-backed interlude).

Recommended Books

Business War Games: How Large, Small, and New Companies Can Vastly Improve Their Strategies and Outmaneuver the Competition by Benjamin Gilad
Wargaming for Leaders: Strategic Decision Making from the Battlefield to the Boardroom by Mark Hermon, Kark Frost and Raymond Kurz

Another Resource

Fred recommended looking for military publications, especially the Joint Operational Planning Process (“the JOPP”) by the military in various countries. I went looking online and quickly found various documents in the public domain, such as this in the US, this in Australia, and this in the UK.

More about Fred and Contact Details

A firm believer in the principle that “all strategic issues are leadership issues”, Fred has been used extensively in executive leadership consultancy and strategic planning capacity building portfolios at Head of State, Ministerial, Ambassadorial, CEO and Senior Executive levels in Canada, Africa and Afghanistan. He holds a Masters in Military Technology from the Royal Military College of Science in Shrivenham, a Baccalaureate of Arts in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Ottawa, and is a graduate of the Canadian Land Forces Command and Staff College Kingston, the UK’s Joint Command and Staff College and the Canadian Forces College in Toronto.

And as I’ve learnt from a number of extended conversations, Fred is a fund of information and wisdom about leadership.

Contacting Fred

If you think Fred and his team can help your company, organisation, government agency, get in touch with him, have a chat. If my experience is anything to go by, you will at least come away from a conversation with Fred knowing something new, or seeing something with a fresh perspective. Make contact with Fred through the website for Strategic Red Team Consulting at this link: http://stratredteam.com

And follow Fred on Twitter: @FM_Aubin

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Diversity & Inclusivity Keys to New Leadership: Sunny Stout-Rostron [Podcast]

Diversity & Inclusivity Keys to New Leadership: Sunny Stout-Rostron [Podcast]

From sunny California, via London and Paris, and with a formidable array of degrees ranging from Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California, through the Universities of Portsmouth, Sussex and Middelsex (DProf, Executive Coaching from the last-mentioned), to South Africa, Dr Sunny Stout-Rostron has a deep and wide understanding of leadership and the profession of coaching executive leaders. She is based in Cape Town and has an office in Johannesburg.

Sunny coaches at senior executive and board level, with a wide range of experience in leadership development and business strategy. With 25 years’ international experience as an executive coach, working with executive leaders and their teams, Sunny believes there’s a strong link between emotional intelligence and business results.

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Is a New Style of Leadership Needed for the Digital Age?

Leaders today need adaptability:

  • to understand the tech world
  • to understand the cultures of difference age groups

Between Millennials and Baby Boomers, basic assumptions are completely different, requiring a different type of leadership.

On South Africa, Leadership and Coaching

An experiment in democracy, “coming out of a very violent history, which had a soft landing…Mandela.”

What’s happened in the workplace is that the diversity is extraordinary. 11 official languages, 12-13 spoken.

And cultural differences.

“You have tribal culture, you have mixed race culture, you have Afrikaans culture, you have South African English culture.”

Then there is the difference between the metropolitan areas and the country areas.

Another key difference: individualistic culture (Western) and collective culture (African).

Religious tolerance: South Africa is a faith-based country and that comes into the workplace.

Very patriarchal society: gender diversity a particular challenge.

Individualism vs Team Culture

In the corporate world, there is a lot of team-based work and individuals, including quite talented ones and potential leaders, can get “lost”.

In smaller, entrepreneurial companies, there is more opportunity to provide scope for individual talent.

Coaching in South Africa

Mentoring is part of how things are done in the broader society, especially for males. The case still has to be made for coaching.

Sunny’s experience is that where there is no buy-in for coaching, that is where the top level is not being coached.

“It’s almost like you have to have success in order to prove it (the value of coaching), but you can’t get success if your senior leaders aren’t behind you. So it’s a bit of a Catch 22.”

Coaching Millennials

Boomers, because of their own life/cultural experiences, are “beautifully place to work with Millennials”, wanting to do it their way (just as the Boomers wanted to do it their way).

Be open minded to who the people are.

  • They want to be understood
  • They do see things differently
  • They’re very individualistic
  • They have a different way of operating and being

The Recurring Question

I asked Sunny the “What keeps business leaders awake at night” question I regularly ask in these conversations.

There are some great observations and advice for leaders in her response. Especially about understanding and acting upon the fact that, to deal with conflict in the workplace, leaders need to be aware of and address the problem of lack of inclusivity.

“Diversity is all about inclusivity and exclusivity.”

Contact Details

You can contact Sunny via the website – http://www.ssra.biz

Or via her email – [email protected]

No Ceiling, Just Sky™ Institute Founder, Donna Karlin [Podcast]

No Ceiling, Just Sky™ Institute Founder, Donna Karlin [Podcast]

Donna Karlin is a global leadership coach. She works with senior-level clients on six continents: N. America, S. America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. She is a coach and mentor to TED Fellows, a Founding Fellow at Harvard Institute of Coaching, McLean Medical School, creator of the Shadow Coaching® Methodology, an international speaker and award-winning author.

Donna wears several hats professionally, including those of Founder of the School of Shadow Coaching®, and Founder of the leadership coaching and consulting firm A Better Perspective®.

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_____________________________

Donna was previously a guest on Let’s Talk Leadership back in late 2015. This time around we talked about Donna’s new venture, the No Ceiling, Just Sky® Institute, launching officially at the end of this month.

I have never ceased to be amazed at the depth and range of Donna’s work and the extent of her client group. In this conversation she shared a bit about how she keeps track of it all. I’m still amazed.

The No Ceiling, Just Sky® Institute

The Institute is about providing a “360° approach to human evolvement. Working with the intersection of human and organizational systems and their influencers“.

The Institute had its origins in:

  • an intention made by Donna in early 2016, about learning and sharing, and
  • a conversation with a friend

The Institute enables Donna to bring together under one umbrella her various resources – the School of Shadow Coaching, A Better Perspective, and her R&D team – and draw on all those resources to meet the needs of her various and disparate clients.

I asked whether, in an age when so many people in business are urged to develop expertise in one niche, someone might ask if the scope of the Institute was too broad.

The response would be that it might be too broad for someone asking, but not for Donna.

Which led to these observations as food for thought for coaches:

Are we giving clients what they need, or what they think they could get?

And maybe it’s time that more coaches… worked with their clients to co-create an intervention that was not only powerful, but was true to them.

Which. said Donna, is “what this Institute is all about“.

Observations on a hypothetical about decision-making at a senior level

Too many issues are seen as “either/or”, or “this or that”, when a better approach might be “why not both?”,

Or issues are approached from a perspective of scarcity rather than abundance.

We also talked about

Ideal clients and the pleasure of working with people who are eager to try things out, “dancing in realtime with potential change”.

The manifesto for the Institute, including “Dance with change”, “Embrace chaos”, and “Move”.

Marrying flexibility of decision-making and action with highly organised systems and protocols, as in – especially – the military, security services and such. Donna shared a fascinating example from her work with the military, with applicability in a broader range, beyond the military. NB for anyone interested in helping avoid leadership burnout. .

How she does it all. Yes, she has a team of people to call on, including the Strategic Red Team Consulting, of which Donna is an associate. A very flexible and adaptable team from the sound of it.

And two more quotes

We need to bring more of the curiosity kind of conversation into boardroom meetings.

I really believe there is no ceiling, just sky.

Note: there are a couple of references in the interview to Thomas Leonard (or just “Thomas”), a legendary figure in our coaching world, who died suddenly in early 2003.

Contact Details for Donna and Info about the Institute

For more information about Donna and her various activities, and about the Institute, just go to her Donna Karlin website at http://donnakarlin.com. And her LinkedIn profile is at http://linkedin.com/in/donnakarlin.

Leading Local Economic Development: Cr Hermann Vorster [Podcast]

Leading Local Economic Development: Cr Hermann Vorster [Podcast]

Councillor Hermann Vorster represents Division 11 on the City Council of the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. He also chairs the Council’s Economic Development and Major Events Committee.  He also serves on the City Planning and City Infrastructure committees.

Just before Christmas 2016 Cr Vorster was the guest speaker at the end of year event hosted by the IT Forum Gold Coast. I was very impressed with his vision of the economic development potential of this local region and seized the opportunity to invite him on to the Let’s Talk Leadership show. Happily, he agreed!

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City of the Gold Coast

With 38 kilometers of white, sandy beaches, ancient rainforest and hinterland, the city has great lifestyle appeal and on that basis has had extraordinary growth in a relatively short period: it’s now Australia’s 6th largest city and in area the second largest local government area in Australia.

Surfers at Snapper Rocks

Surfers at Snapper Rocks

Historically the economy has depended on construction and tourism, both subject – positively and negatively – to fluctuations in the economy.

The Council’s aim is to position the city to embrace the digital economy, in a way that adds value.

Download the Council’s Economic Development Strategy at this link.

We’re a city that has that entrepreneurial, “have a go” spirit.

Having gained experience in “the crucible of family business”, Cr Vorster became involved in public policy and the media.

Like a lot of people, I got a little bit frustrated with the decisions that were being made around me and decided – foolheartedly, I think – to enter public life.

Gold Coast by night, Yupeng Wu

Gold Coast view by night

Leadership and Balancing Interests

We talked about the Council’s decision to make a major investment in telecommunications infrastructure – historically in Australia the preserve of the Federal Government (with some partial involvement at times by State governments). So this was being done in the clear knowledge that there was an element of political risk involved.

Cr Vorster commented that when investment decisions are made for specific economic development projects, some may not see the benefit for them and may feel left out. It’s essential to communicate openly with them and, for instance, point to spillover benefits for other areas of the community.

Bringing the Community with You

To bring the community with you on big decisions, it’s necessary to:

  • speak to people in their own language
  • research what their priorities are
  • respond to what that tells you

He gave the example of a street with schoolteacher residents but no broadband. People understand when the need to remedy that is explained in terms of enabling those teachers to prepare better to teach the community’s children.

Commonwealth Games 2018

The upcoming Commonwealth Games, to be held on the Gold Coast, is a major event, which, like an Olympic Games, is over in a short period of time. What people want is a legacy, so there are key decisions about how to achieve that.

Innovation Hub

There have been global success stories for businesses built on the Gold Coast.

Important to get those who have success to stick around and thus encourage others.

The Council’s role is to do what it can at a public policy level to create a supportive environment for that.

People do not like change and there is a challenge in how to talk to people about change.

More about Cr Vorster and Contact Details

A former Bond University Vice-Chancellor’s Scholar, he has degree qualifications in accounting, corporate strategy and business information systems.

Elected in 2016, Councillor Vorster became the City of Gold Coast’s youngest ever Councillor at age 30. He has had a number of leadership roles in community groups including Gold Coast District Neighbourhood Watch Incorporated and the Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland (CCIQ) Regional Policy Board.

Contact Details

Email: [email protected]

Phone (mobile/cell): In Australia – 0405 414 931 From outside Australia – 61 405414931

Image credits

  • Surfers at Snapper Rocks – Des Walsh
  • Gold Coast view by night – Yupeng Wu via Flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0
Transforming Careers, Guiding Business: Larry Cornett: [Podcast]

Transforming Careers, Guiding Business: Larry Cornett: [Podcast]

Dr Larry Cornett is a business advisor and career consultant and Founder of Brilliant Forge. He helps people redefine their career, regain their freedom, and reclaim their life.

Prior to founding Brilliant Forge, Larry was a product and design executive with over 18 years of experience designing, defining, and building consumer products at a number of technology and internet companies in Silicon Valley; including Apple Computer, Yahoo, eBay, and IBM. Most recently, he was the Vice President of Consumer Products for Yahoo! Search, leading a team of product managers, designers, and developers who were focused on creating world-class Search experiences to compete with Google and Bing.

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Different styles of leadership needed for different contexts

Brilliant ForgeThe style of leadership you need to use varies with the type of people that you’re managing.

Also with a global team there are different cultural considerations, with varying expectations about leadership and differences in the practice of leadership. And with different levels of seniority there are different issues to consider.

Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence

In 1993, some of the change we are looking at now was deemed “just around the corner”.

Now, with processing power and the miniaturization of components we have reached a point where what was dreamed of can now become a reality.

I think we’re right on the edge of a big transformation. It’s got some really good points, I think. There’s a lot of concern as well.

On the theme of concerns about impact, Larry mentioned the acquisition this year by Uber of the company Otto with its autonomous (“self-driving”) trucks.

So the fear is – I don’t know how long it’s going to take – that’s going to put over two and a half million people out of work. That’s kind of the flipside of the promise. Every time you do this – you automate something – somebody loses a job.

We Also Discussed

Education – we need to educate children to teach themselves: learn how to learn.

Leadership for global teams – a different style of leadership; requires practice; a whole new style people are going to have to learn.

Transaction-thinking vs Relationship-building and the lifetime value of a customer (LVC).

The increasing necessity for business leaders to become active on social media and deal with the challenge of committing the necessary time (some practical advice here).

What keeps startup founders awake at night?

The velocity required for execution and growth.

Hungry competitors – other startups.

Giant companies with deep pockets – uneven contest.

Larry’s Software Project

VoiceKick is a micropodcasting app for IOS. Their Pearl app combines voice with photos you have on your phone and allows you to make a 60 sec video with narration. Search for these on the App Store using VoiceKick for the search term.

More about Larry and Contact Details

As well as being part of those larger corporations, Larry has founded his own small businesses and tech startups.

He received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Rice University with an emphasis on Human Factors and Human-Computer Interaction.

On Twitter, he is @cornett

On his Brilliant Forge website there is Contact page.

Innovation Leaders are Learners: Annalie Killian [Podcast]

Innovation Leaders are Learners: Annalie Killian [Podcast]

Annalie Killian’s passion is combining humans and machines in ways that maximise creativity and grow performance and engagement.

She is currently curating a “cloud of human creativity” for sparks & honey, a cultural insights and innovation agency in New York, experimenting with exponential organizational design and reciprocal networks.

From 2000-2015 she was SVP of Innovation & Communication at AMP – an iconic Australian Financial Services brand. She founded the Amplify Festival of Innovation & Thought Leadership and over 10 years grew it into a globally-recognized engine for systemic and culture change across a business eco-system, and a vehicle for accelerating learning and organizational agility.

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Click Here for More About Annalie

What We Talked About

We discussed a range of topics, including:

  • Innovation and what it means
  • Leadership for the digital age
  • Resisters and saboteurs
  • Challenges of having responsibility for innovation
  • Pay equity for women
  • What keeps business owners awake at night

Plus a special invitation to people in or visiting New York

Innovation – Towards a Definition

Having researched the various formal definitions of innovation, Annalie found and liked this:

You’re innovative when other people say you’re innovative.

And added:

When people think you’re innovative, that’s when your brand has shifted.

Perceptions can change – example of Apple and Microsoft

Implicit in this part of the conversation was a shared surprise, as in, who would ever have thought we would be talking about Microsoft stealing a march on Apple in the innovation stakes?

(Microsoft) have sort of captured the imagination of the makers and the creators and those are the people at the edge.

Leadership for the Digital Age

It’s about leadership being open and curious and understanding that the context has shifted.

Leadership fundamentally starts with listening and not talking.

Resisters and Saboteurs

The biggest barriers to innovation in large corporations are leaders who are threatened by admitting that they don’t know the answers.

Iconic brands are brands that stay in tune with cultural shifts.

The biggest danger for leadership is not to be plugged into the edge.

We shared a memory of an exemplary moment of servant leadership by Peter Mason AM, former Chairman of AMP, who in a workshop Des led at an early Amplify festival was the first and only volunteer for an online experiment with a personal data aggregator. Annalie spoke very eloquently of his leadership and his support for innovation.

Challenges of Responsibility for Innovation

Don’t do it if you need popularity.

…if you’re going to be good at your job you’re going to get up people’s nose.

Pay Equity for Women

I paid tribute to the fact that Annalie had achieved so much in some very traditionally male dominated industries – mining, financial services and now, as she reminded me in terms of industry traditions, advertising. That led to a discussion about pay equity and a strong call by Annalie for those in a position to change the injustice of any current situation to take action to change that. I recalled that some 55 years ago my late mother had made a speech to a State conference of her political party on this very subject – such a long and unjustifiable time to fix what is wrong!

What Keeps Business Leaders Awake At Night?

Going back to our earlier conversation about leadership for the digital age, a big problem for some leaders is feeling they have to know everything, be in total command of everything, which is no longer feasible.

Annalie’s surefire remedy for leaderly sleeplessness:

Be a learner

And a related paraphrase of a comment by systems scientist Peter Senge:

The only sustainable advantage in the long run is to outlearn the competition.

More about Annalie and Contact Details

 

Annalie is a Fellow of the Aspen Institute’s First Movers Programme and in 2013 the Hargraves Institute for Innovation recognized her contribution to the Innovation Agenda in Australia.

Contact Details

Annalie is @Maverickwoman on Twitter. You can find her also on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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Social Media for Tourism Leadership: Sheila Scarborough [Podcast]

Social Media for Tourism Leadership: Sheila Scarborough [Podcast]

Sheila ScarboroughSheila Scarborough is a speaker and trainer specializing in tourism, travel, and social media. She’s written for many blogs and print publications and is also a certified Navy Master Training Specialist, with years of experience as an instructor.

Along with Leslie McLellan, she’s part of the Tourism Currents team, offering an online course and in-person training in social media for tourism and hospitality.

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Leadership Qualities

Surprisingly, sometimes depth of knowledge is not as important as the ability to ask the right questions.

Does the experience of military leadership translate easily into the business world?

The greatest struggle can be in having been used to being on a team. As a solo entrepreneur “there’s no one to turn to, until you can hire someone you trust enough”. This is especially challenging for people who’ve been in very senior military positions.

It’s a constant learning process, as a leader. If you ever think you have it all figured out, that means you think you have human beings all figured out. And you’re wrong.

A key issue for leaders is keeping up with change – which means continuous learning

You’ve got to be educating yourself and letting yourself be foolish and letting yourself go and learn things and do things that maybe mean being a little uncomfortable and silly, but that’s how you learn.

Social Media and Tourism

Tourism Currents’ primary client group is the larger tourism organizations, but those organizations ask for help with social media training for tourism partners (hospitality, destinations…), so Tourism Currents have been doing quite a bit of partner training.

Some observations on that:

  • People get too concerned about the technology
  • Need to think of using social media as a different way to do what you’ve always done (in promoting your destination)
  • People become frozen with the options available – have to get people to focus

You don’t have to be on every social channel. You need to be on the ones where your market is.

Key advice they provide for these tourism partners – two essential steps

  1. Claim your business on Google My Business. Fill out all the information, upload pictures, respond to reviews
  2. Maintain one really good Facebook page

Do those two things well and you’ll probably survive…

It’s a long game: needs patience.

Social Media in Different Countries and With Different Cultural Groups

A number of things are the same everywhere.

One of the challenges – everywhere – is in getting people to understand that using social media effectively has to go beyond “pumping out the updates”. There has to be interaction.

Some say they hadn’t been told there was an expectation for interaction.

The Impact of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality on Tourism

Are virtual reality/augmented reality a threat to tourism destinations? Sheila does not believe so. She used the example of experiencing a virtual tour of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, in Winnipeg. Far from feeling she had seen enough, the experience made her want to visit the actual museum.

People still want to go and visit the Grand Canyon in person.

More about Sheila and Contact Details

Sheila is on the National Professional Development Committee for the AWC (Association for Women in Communications,) co-founded and still writes for the award-winning Perceptive Travel blog, helps run #tourismchat on Twitter, and serves on the Programming Committee for SXSWi, the South by Southwest Interactive tech conference.

A U.S. Navy veteran, Sheila is an NHRA drag racing fan “because there is one winner, one loser, and no whining”.

You can contact Sheila via the Tourism Currents site, which includes a blog and various resources.

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Social Media Strategy Checklist for Leaders [Podcast]

Social Media Strategy Checklist for Leaders [Podcast]

In this podcast episode I talk about how Business leaders need to be able to fit expectations and demands about social media into a strategic framework that is a good fit with their overall business strategy and I share a link to my Social Media Strategy Checklist.

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Whether you are a beginner in using social media for business, or an active or even advanced user, this checklist is for you. You can use it to guide your own thinking and as a basis for a strategy review session with your team.

The checklist is based on my Simple Social Media Strategy Template, which has been used effectively for a range of organizations, from small business through to a very large organization, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It’s scaleable!

Get Your Copy of the Checklist

To download your free copy of the checklist, just click here to go to the Home Page on this site, drop your name and email address into the box there, confirm that when requested and you will get an email with the link to download the checklist.

Key Areas

There are nine key areas requiring our attention for a comprehensive strategy:

  1. Commitment
  2. Culture
  3. Market
  4. Goals
  5. Resources
  6. Listening
  7. Engaging
  8. Technology
  9. Evaluation

(Each of these is explained in detail on the podcast.)

Tools to help research your market’s activity in social media and learn more about your customers’ and prospects’ concerns

  • Create a survey with Google Forms or SurveyMonkey.
  • Create lists on Twitter, either with Twitter itself or a dashboard application such as Hootsuite
  • Join relevant LinkedIn groups and listen
  • For the USA check out the Pew Internet research site and search on social media
  • For Australia, study the annual Sensis report on social media – here is the link to the 2016 report

Planning, Scheduling, Analytics and other Social Media Management Tools

(Note: the pricing structures of these services vary – the figures I quoted on the podcast and the figures here are as good as I can work out – open to correction/improvement)

  • Hubspot Marketing Platform – US$200 a month (paid annually) with $600 onboarding, up to enterprise level at $2,400 a month and $5,000 onboarding: there is a 30 day free trial
  • Buffer – free then $10 a month
  • Hootsuite – free then $9.99 a month up to $99.99 a month per user, then custom pricing – check addons
  • SproutSocial – $59 per month per user up to $500 per month for 3 users: 30 day free trial on any plan
  • Edgar – $49 a month basic (expected to rise soon to around $79: 14 day free trial

Other services that seem worth checking out

Agorapulse | Jollor | MavSocial | Oktopost (especially for B2B) | Sendible | Friends+Me (for Google+). TweetDeck is just for Twitter and seems not to be getting much care from Twitter.

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