Wobbling and whying

A little bump in the road threw me yesterday. Someone I respect suggested that part of what we do around here sounds….negative. Specifically, the ‘Stop Doing Dumb Things’ part. As a cyclist I’m used to the odd wobble and even the occasional crash! What to do when someone throws a stick in the spokes? I had some time to pause on my journey so I put a question out to Twitter.

Which do you prefer, ‘stop doing dumb things’ or ‘better engagement for better service’ – couple of folk saying the first is too negative?

The responses were rapid and very useful.

Hackofalltrades I really dig the 1st, but can see it could be off-putting to those who do dumb things to customers. But stands out a lot more. 2nd is more bland, but safer. What’s more important (to you): initial interest, or not ruffling feathers (at first)?

Martincouzins I like the first one – shorter, sharper, direct. I know exactly what it means. No 2 is more ambiguous IMHO. The positive sounds a bit mealy mouthed. Take point about negativity, but maybe those words work well for what you do?

Inthecompanyof 1st one. More powerful, more direct.

Claireboyles Depends what you want it to achieve. For marketing purposes, getting your brand well known & talked about #1 wins hands down.  And it’s apt, because it’s true, so many people doing so many dumb things, even if they don’t realise they are dumb things!

Changecontinuum Personally the first – loud and proud will always defeat mediocrity. #whatdoiknow What does your gut say? Have you read Simon Sinek on “why”?

Jasonlauritsen I like the first. That probably means it’s appealing to a narrow audience. 🙂

Sarahjsargent Dumb things is straight talking – 2nd one is a bit corporate speak

Theatreacle Late reply – things always better expressed in the positive – how about “start doing great things”….

Stirthesource the first. I have spoken about you and your work to many. They ADORE the name. PS – I have to stop and think about the 2nd. The first is instant and makes you smile/has you nodding in agreement. Genius! PPS – I talk about it in its full name too, so my vote would be to stay with that (i.e. continue to include ‘customers’)

All great stuff coming in from all directions. Then things took another turn.

Bridge101 (aka Bridget Greenwood) Better engagement for better service sounds like corporate speak. I have to run it through my brain more than once to get it… they say keep marketing lit to level of an 8 year old. They say people engage more with what not to do than with what to do. So: “Stop doing dumb things to Your customers Your people, and start…..*fill in the benefit….” Then I’d keep reading… creating a movement, stand out, be strong on your vision, don’t fluff, do shock – you want a movement right? Let passion show. This considered and passionate input was followed by a text message containing more useful insight. Yep, Bridget went to the trouble to find my number and text me, so I called her back and we had a great chat about marketing, about purpose, about a whole bunch of exciting things. And Bridget also pointed me towards Why? By Simon Sinek. I checked out this very interesting talk by Simon on TED and I’m happy to repost it here, it’s worth a look if you are interested in self-definition, in ‘what’s it all about’?

Later in the day I read this great blog post on HBR by Lucy P Marcus. It’s all about being connected and she cites Twitter as a great place to throw out a question and get great thinking back in return. Couldn’t agree more!

So the bump was hit, the wobble had, the why whyed and with some minor adjustments we’re back on track. Truth is it would have been easy for me to just ride on past this one, but sometimes it’s worth taking a break and checking in with folks, I think I’m all the better for it.

What has the world of social media helped you with lately? I’d love to learn even more.

PS – two final thoughts on this. Jason popped back to say ‘different is awesome!’ and the wonderful jrkuhns simply adds – ‘Unconferences rule!’ thanks guys.

Singing About Social Recruitment

The Social Recruiting Conference rolls into town on 30 June.

I’m looking forward to my visit, to get to see a few familiar faces, and to meet and learn from some new ones too. What is social recruitment all about? I guess we all have our own ideas; I’d be interested to hear yours. I’ve had a few conversations with conference chair Alan Whitford about this and the thoughts and ideas we have bounced around include:

• Engagement
• Technology
• Behaviour
• Opportunity
• Innovate…(or die?)

We thought it might be useful to try and sum up these feelings and ideas, and I suggested that rather than write another blog post on the subject, we should experiment a little. So here’s a song for you. A song about social recruitment. I hope it prompts a few questions for the event next week – looking forward to seeing you there.


Career advice is plentiful
You’re lost in the maze
So many ways to do this stuff
A head banging haze

I’ve done all my research
My planning is meticulous
If I think about any more
Slide from sublime to ridiculous

Yet there is something wrong
I need experts to see what they meant
I don’t understand
Don’t get social recruitment

Is it about engagement
And the importance of communication
But these two terms so over used
Like verbal constipation

They say all this social
Do it now or fall behind
Better get your message sorted
Or your business will be blind

No one sits still no more your business must be Mobile
Your brand has to be authentic
Else how you gonna make a pile

Is your strategy about technology, or maybe it’s cost saving
If you get the behaviour right, folk’s careers you can be saving

I don’t have to tell you, it’s Innovate or die,
I want to be there laughing with you
Not sitting back trying not to cry

Be Locally global take this thing around the world
Be Globally local your banner is unfurled
Be locally Global you wanna make that call
Be globally local grow the market grow it all

Where can you go
Be in the know
Be energetic
I don’t want ponderous
Head to London town
On 30th June
To the social recruiting conference

I’m in the market for a new way to work