Black Friday Finds

Here are some observations and insights that were shared on social media this past fortnight. I call these Friday’s Finds.

@doctorow“Once you admit that luck was crucial to your success, you have to confront the terrifying possibility that your luck may run out someday.” (more…)

Learning-oriented marketing

The best way to understand your markets in the network era is by learning together. If markets are conversations, then the quality of your conversations will affect your value exchanges. Your markets will learn with or without your company. But when you learn with and from your customers, marketing and learning become the same. This is often lost in one-way broadcast marketing messages that are not directly connected to customer service or even product development. Network era marketing can benefit from a new learning focus. Marketing has to be connected to the rest of the company as well as the entire value network.

“People in networked markets have figured out that they get far better information and support from one another than from vendors. So much for corporate rhetoric about adding value to commoditized products.” – Cluetrain

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Anarchists in the Boardroom

“I remember regularly reiterating the question, while out at the pub with fellow disillusioned colleagues, or after conferences with newfound allies from other dysfunctional NGOs, How have we ended up creating organisations that are meant to create good in the world, but make so many of those involved in them so miserable in the process?” – Liam Barrington-Bush

Anarchists in the Boardroom, by Liam Barrington-Bush, is a comprehensive read showing how organizations can apply the 3 principles of ‘more like people’ organizations:

  1. Humanity: What can we learn from ourselves?
  2. Autonomy: Trusting ourselves and others to be brilliant
  3. Complexity: Moving from cogs to consciousness

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Workshop Bank

If you conduct workshops, finding activities that relate to your themes can be a challenge. I have used one activity several times, first in Toronto in 2011. A while later, over a beer in Copenhagen, I met Nick Martin, who was beginning to develop a new website, WorkshopBank, to share ideas on ice-breakers and other workshop/training activities. He liked my use of the equilateral triangles collaboration exercise and it is now posted. In perusing Nick’s site, there are at least two new exercises I plan to try out. (more…)

Networked Knowing

I spoke at the UNL Extension conference in Nebraska last week. The theme was on the changing nature of work as we enter the network era and how learning is becoming integral to individual and organizational success. I noted how the period of 1900 to 1920 saw a significant shift in the American economy, with manufacturing replacing farming as the dominant economic activity. The resulting demographic shift was millions of men leaving farms and moving to factories.  The Cooperative Extension program was created in 1914 while this shift was taking place. One hundred years later and we are witnessing a similar shift, from the industrial economy to the network era and a creative economy. For a deeper look at this phenomenon, see Nine Shift. (more…)