7 Reasons to Rethink Your Blogging Strategy: New Research

Technorati found that a surprising one-third of bloggers have work experience in traditional media as journalists and in other capacities. They also found that consumers are increasingly putting their trust in blogs versus traditional media.

This reflects a major shift in marketing for brands of all sizes. Brands must become friendly with bloggers. If 40% of all blogs are business-oriented, that means there are around 72 million business blogs. Many of these represent an opportunity for you to foster mutually beneficial relationships with bloggers.

Not convinced? Check this out: 65% of bloggers follow brands on social media and most bloggers write regularly about the brands they follow.


By

social media researchIs your business working with bloggers?

Do you blog?

This article examines new research that shows blogging is here to stay.

Like many social media tools, blogs have seen a steady increase in numbers and influence over the last several years.

Note the growth charted by Invesp. On Dec. 2, 2011, that number was 178,637,835 (according to BlogPulse).

Number of Blogs Grows

blogs according to technorati14 million blogs were added since July 2011 (as of 12/2/2011).

If people are adding nearly 3 million blogs per month, surely this is a tool worth understanding and maximizing. That is the conclusion Technorati reached in their 2011 State of the Blogosphere Report.

In this report, bloggers fall into one of five categories:

  1. Hobbyist—Someone who blogs for fun and doesn’t report any income from blogging (this represents 60% of the study).
  2. Professional Part-time—These people typically blog to supplement their income and blog about personal musings or technology (approximately 9% of respondents).
  3. Professional Fulltime—These individuals make their living by blogging, but typically work freelance (approximately 9% of respondents).
  4. Corporate—Corporate bloggers blog full-time as part of their job or are contracted to blog full-time for a company (8% of respondents).
  5. Entrepreneur—Entrepreneurs blog for a company or organization they own (13% of respondents).

***Please note that Technorati’s data is heavily skewed by the presence of 60% hobbyist bloggers—people who blog as a way to express themselves or influence their community, but don’t seek to make money. I will focus on results from the 40% of bloggers who have a business objective with their blogging.

#1: Bloggers are young, educated and experienced

Bloggers come from all over the world and span the age range. But with that diversity come some commonalities worth noting. (Go here to see all the statistical comparisons made by Technorati.)

Nearly 60% of bloggers are between the ages of 25 and 44.

ageMost business bloggers are ages 25-44, but nearly 50% of entrepreneurs are over 45. Leer más “7 Reasons to Rethink Your Blogging Strategy: New Research”

The Manager as Idea Coach

The root of the word “manager” comes from the same root as the words “manipulate” or “maneuver”, meaning to “adapt or change something to suit one’s purpose”. Although these words may carry a pejorative meaning for some of us, there is nothing inherently wrong with them. Indeed, into each life a little manipulation and maneuvering must fall. For example, if the door to your office gets stuck, a handyman might need to manipulate it to get it working again. If there is a log jam at the elevator, you might decide to maneuver around the crowd and take the stairs. No problem there.

However, there is another kind of manipulation and maneuvering that is a problem – when managers use their position to bend subordinates to their will. While short-term gains may result, in the end the heart is taken out of people. Your staff may become good soldiers, but they will lose something far more important in the process – their ability to think for themselves. General George Patton said it best, “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” [Más…]

Unfortunately, ingenuity in many American corporations has gone the way of the hula-hoop. But intellectual capital is the name of the game these days – and it is the enlightened manager’s duty to learn how to play. Only those companies will succeed whose people are empowered to think for themselves and respond creatively to the myriad of changes going on all around them. Simply put, managers must make the shift from manipulators to manifesters. They must learn how to coach their people into increasingly higher states of creative thinking and creative doing. They must realize that the root of their organization’s problem is not the economy, not management, not cycle time or outsourcing, but their own inability to tap into the power of their workforce’s innate creativity.

Where does empowerment start? First, by recognizing what power is: “the ability to do or act”. And second, by realizing that all power begins with an idea. Clearly, one’s ability to “do or act” depends on there being something worth doing or acting upon. What is an idea? Where does it come from? And how can a manager increase the chances of a good one showing up?


by Mitchell Ditkoff
//ideachampions.com

The root of the word “manager” comes from the same root as the words “manipulate” or “maneuver”, meaning to “adapt or change something to suit one’s purpose”. Although these words may carry a pejorative meaning for some of us, there is nothing inherently wrong with them. Indeed, into each life a little manipulation and maneuvering must fall. For example, if the door to your office gets stuck, a handyman might need to manipulate it to get it working again. If there is a log jam at the elevator, you might decide to maneuver around the crowd and take the stairs. No problem there.

However, there is another kind of manipulation and maneuvering that is a problem – when managers use their position to bend subordinates to their will. While short-term gains may result, in the end the heart is taken out of people. Your staff may become good soldiers, but they will lose something far more important in the process – their ability to think for themselves. General George Patton said it best, “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” Leer más “The Manager as Idea Coach”

Companies Need All The Innovation They Can Get

by Sheldon Laube | Innovation Office, PwC

In a recent Bloomberg article entitled “Why Companies Need Less Innovation“ Pat Lencioni makes the case that companies should not be asking employees to be innovators. He goes as far as to say that leaders should not even be open to more ideas from their employees and that only a few people really need to innovative. He suggests that rank and file employees should not try to innovate but simply “do their jobs and satisfy customers in the most effective and charismatic way possible, but within the bounds of sound business principles.”

Lencioni has a far too limiting view of innovation. Let’s start with the definition of innovation itself. While this is widely debated, I always fall back to the simple dictionary definition:

Something new or different introduced


by Sheldon Laube | Innovation Office, PwC

In a recent Bloomberg article entitled “Why Companies Need Less Innovation“   Pat Lencioni makes the case that companies should not be asking employees to be innovators.  He goes as far as to say that leaders should not even be open to more ideas from their employees and that only a few people really need to innovative.  He suggests that rank and file employees should not try to innovate but simply “do their jobs and satisfy customers in the most effective and charismatic way possible, but within the bounds of sound business principles.”

Lencioni has a far too limiting view of innovation.  Let’s start with the definition of innovation itself.  While this is widely debated, I always fall back to the simple dictionary definition:

Something new or different introduced Leer más “Companies Need All The Innovation They Can Get”

The Power to Pull Prosperity

The richest, most nuanced books are also the hardest to describe. So trying to review Pull is like trying to catch the wind. Let me, nevertheless, endeavor to draw out just a few of the key lessons that resonate with me.

Flows, not stocks. Economists divide the world up into stocks and flows: think, literally, stockpiles of the many different kinds of resources, and the stuff that flows into or out of them. Arcing through Pull is the central idea that while 20th century advantage was created by hoarding stocks, 21st century advantage will be created by gaining access to richer, more intense, higher velocity flows.

Relationships, not transactions. You can buy or sell bits of stocks in isolated, arms-length exchanges. But surfing a set of flows usually requires deep, enduring, trusted relationships — because flows are like always-on sets of transactions that happen in continuous time, embedded in a social and cultural matrix.


Umair Haque

By now, you might be grudgingly inclined to agree: there’s no recovery because this isn’t just another humdrum recession. You might even be on the verge of grumblingly conceding: the Great Stagnation just might be a crisis of a set of obsolete institutions (corporations, accounts, jobs, markets, even “profit” itself), left over from the industrial age. And, perhaps, you might even be coming around to the notion that rebooting prosperity begins not with bailouts, or stimulus packages, or better leadership, but buildership: building an updated set of institutions that are a better fit with a roiling, fragile 21st century.

So now what? How do we finally get started — right here, right now, in the real world?
Every once in a while, a book comes along that blows my mind, makes me gnash my teeth and say to myself, “Wow! That’s amazing.” The last one was Gary Hamel’s epic Future of Management. The latest is The Power of Pull, by John Hagel, John Seely Brown, and Lang Davison [Obligatory disclosure: both Johns blog for HBR.org. This review was my idea, and the opinions expressed here are, obviously, my own.] Here’s why. Leer más “The Power to Pull Prosperity”

Do Techies Make Good Leaders?

By Robert M. Fulmer and Byron Hanson

They can, but developing their skills definitely poses challenges

It’s hard to develop leaders in any industry. But people in the technology sector seem to believe it’s especially hard in their business.

So is it?

We put that theory to the test and concluded that tech people have a point: The speed of the industry’s growth, along with the type of workers it attracts—young and with backgrounds in engineering and science—does, indeed, lead to some unique challenges.

What follows are the key insights and lessons that emerged from our research, which involved surveys of technology companies and interviews with industry leaders. Although the focus of this study was the tech sector, our previous work suggests that these lessons could be useful to any company seeking to improve its leadership-development process.


By Robert M. Fulmer and Byron Hanson

They can, but developing their skills definitely poses challenges

It’s hard to develop leaders in any industry. But people in the technology sector seem to believe it’s especially hard in their business.

So is it?

We put that theory to the test and concluded that tech people have a point: The speed of the industry’s growth, along with the type of workers it attracts—young and with backgrounds in engineering and science—does, indeed, lead to some unique challenges.

What follows are the key insights and lessons that emerged from our research, which involved surveys of technology companies and interviews with industry leaders. Although the focus of this study was the tech sector, our previous work suggests that these lessons could be useful to any company seeking to improve its leadership-development process. Leer más “Do Techies Make Good Leaders?”

Executive Excess 2010: CEO Pay and the Great Recession

Will measures like these rein in excessive executive rewards? Will they begin to significantly narrow the corporate pay gap? That appears doubtful. The UK, for instance, has had a “say on pay” provision on the books since 2002, and that provision has not prevented a continuing executive pay spiral. Despite the recession, UK executive compensation sits substantially above pre-“say on pay” levels. To bring executive pay back down to mid-20th century levels, we need reforms that cut to the quick, that recognize the dangers banks and major corporations create when they dangle oversized rewards for executive “performance.” Some reforms that would move us in that direction are now pending in Congress. Others have yet to make their way onto the congressional docket.


By Sarah Anderson, Chuck Collins, Sam Pizzigati, Kevin Shih

The 17th annual executive compensation survey looks at how CEOs laid off thousands while raking in millions.

CEO pay 2010 coverAmerica’s CEOs had a terribly rough 2009. Or so the national and regional executive pay surveys released so far this year would suggest. “CEOs See Pay Fall Again,” blared one headline early this past spring. “CEO pay rankings dominated by large salary cuts,” read another in June. “Silicon Valley bosses,” summed up still another, “get pay cut.” Month after month, the headlines have pounded home a remarkably consistent message: Corporate executives, here in the Great Recession, are suffering, too.

Corporate executives, in reality, are not suffering at all. Their pay, to be sure, dipped on average in 2009 from 2008 levels, just as their pay in 2008, the first Great Recession year, dipped somewhat from 2007. But executive pay overall remains far above inflationadjusted levels of years past. In fact, after adjusting for inflation, CEO pay in 2009 more than doubled the CEO pay average for the decade of the 1990s, more than quadrupled the CEO pay average for the 1980s, and ran approximately eight times the CEO average for all the decades of the mid-20th century.

American workers, by contrast, are taking home less in real weekly wages than they took home in the 1970s. Back in those years, precious few top executives made over 30 times what their workers made. In 2009, we calculate in the 17th annual Executive Excess, CEOs of major U.S. corporations averaged 263 times the average compensation of American workers. CEOs are clearly not hurting. Leer más “Executive Excess 2010: CEO Pay and the Great Recession”

Want To Make A Lot Of Money As A CEO? Fire People

The 50 top CEO layoff leaders received $12 million on average in 2009, compared to the S&P 500 average of $8.5 million. Each of the corporations surveyed laid off at least 3,000 workers between November 2008 and April 2010. Seventy-two percent of the firms announced mass layoffs at a time of positive earnings reports.

At a time when we should be pulling together to strengthen our shared economic futures, CEOs should not be rewarded for slashing jobs,” says IPS Senior Scholar Chuck Collins. “Realigning the interests of CEOs with their employees and the rest of our country would be good for the economy and national morale.”

It’s disturbing that down-sizing CEOs have earned more recently, but it would be extremely disturbing if the government could control companies behavior in this regard.


investmentbankersandchampagne
CEOs who fire people tend to make more money. That’s been the trend recently, according to ‘CEO Pay and The Great Recession’ from the Institute for Policy Studies.

IPS:

The 50 top CEO layoff leaders received $12 million on average in 2009, compared to the S&P 500 average of $8.5 million. Each of the corporations surveyed laid off at least 3,000 workers between November 2008 and April 2010. Seventy-two percent of the firms announced mass layoffs at a time of positive earnings reports.

At a time when we should be pulling together to strengthen our shared economic futures, CEOs should not be rewarded for slashing jobs,” says IPS Senior Scholar Chuck Collins. “Realigning the interests of CEOs with their employees and the rest of our country would be good for the economy and national morale.” Leer más “Want To Make A Lot Of Money As A CEO? Fire People”

No Strategy – No Innovation

What kills innovation at the start, in the middle and at the end is the lack of a clearly defined, articulated and executed strategy. The reason is simple. If your firm can’t concisely define and communicate what it offers, and why it is different, than other firms, differentiation is almost impossible, and in some cases perhaps undesired. If it can’t define it’s position in the market, as a product innovator, or a service leader, or the operational excellence leader, then it isn’t a leader at all. Simply a follower who believes that “innovation” is quickly copying what other firms are doing. Trying to innovate in the absence of a clear strategy is like driving on a narrow, twisty road socked in with fog. Every turn is fraught with danger, and you move, if at all cautiously, continually testing the roadbed before committing.


by Jeffrey Phillips

No Strategy - No InnovationYou’d think with all the fawning press many companies and executives receive that defining a clear, concise corporate strategy would be a “no brainer”. After all, don’t we hire and pay executives exorbitant sums due to their vision and strategy? You’d think that with the hordes of “management consultants” available from a wide array of highly compensated consulting firms that well-conceived strategic plans would simply flow like water from these founts of knowledge. And let’s not forget the virtual library of books on corporate strategy, from the likes of Drucker, Porter, Hamel, Prahalad, and so forth. Clearly there is a wealth of information, advice and knowledge about corporate strategy. Or at least there is a good facsimile.

What kills innovation at the start, in the middle and at the end is the lack of a clearly defined, articulated and executed strategy. The reason is simple. If your firm can’t concisely define and communicate what it offers, and why it is different, than other firms, differentiation is almost impossible, and in some cases perhaps undesired. If it can’t define it’s position in the market, as a product innovator, or a service leader, or the operational excellence leader, then it isn’t a leader at all. Simply a follower who believes that “innovation” is quickly copying what other firms are doing. Trying to innovate in the absence of a clear strategy is like driving on a narrow, twisty road socked in with fog. Every turn is fraught with danger, and you move, if at all cautiously, continually testing the roadbed before committing. Leer más “No Strategy – No Innovation”

Some Thoughts on the McKinsey Global Innovation Survey

McKinsey have just released their 2010 innovation survey. It’s a very thought-provoking read and its based on a survey of over 2000 respondents from several industries. The survey can be found on McKinseyQuarterly.com and its free to get a subscription. Many of the survey results regarding the management of innovation as a process are consistent with a lot of things that we have been writing on the blog. According to McKinsey, these same management issues come up year after year, too.


McKinsey have just released their 2010 innovation survey. It’s a very thought-provoking read and its based on a survey of over 2000 respondents from several industries. The survey can be found on McKinseyQuarterly.com and its free to get a subscription. Many of the survey results regarding the management of innovation as a process are consistent with a lot of things that we have been writing on the blog. According to McKinsey, these same management issues come up year after year, too. Leer más “Some Thoughts on the McKinsey Global Innovation Survey”

Why Small Business Job Cuts Hurt More Than Big-Employer Layoffs

Troubling statistics have been rolling in lately about job losses. While the beginning of the recession saw the shedding of thousands of jobs en masse at major corporations, by the end of last year, job cuts were concentrated at small businesses. While financial aid aimed at small businesses continues to sit in the Senate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 62 percent of cuts were at firms with less than 50 workers — the kind that provide nearly one-third of all jobs.
And those cuts hurt that business, and the economy, in ways big-company layoffs never will.
Small businesses will often cut to the bone before laying off longtime workers. Some have done furloughs, voluntary sabbaticals, pay cuts, deferred maintenance, marketing reductions — anything but pink-slipping workers. For many entrepreneurs with small staffs, those people have become like family.


Downtown LA's office skyscrapers. Including th...
Image via Wikipedia
Troubling statistics have been rolling in lately about job losses. While the beginning of the recession saw the shedding of thousands of jobs en masse at major corporations, by the end of last year, job cuts were concentrated at small businesses. While financial aid aimed at small businesses continues to sit in the Senate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 62 percent of cuts were at firms with less than 50 workers — the kind that provide nearly one-third of all jobs.

And those cuts hurt that business, and the economy, in ways big-company layoffs never will.

Small businesses will often cut to the bone before laying off longtime workers. Some have done furloughs, voluntary sabbaticals, pay cuts, deferred maintenance, marketing reductions — anything but pink-slipping workers. For many entrepreneurs with small staffs, those people have become like family.  Leer más “Why Small Business Job Cuts Hurt More Than Big-Employer Layoffs”

Corporate Website Design: Creative and Beautiful Solutions

What do corporate websites have in common with other people’s children? Three things: they have their charm, like finger-paintings on the refrigerator; they can be useful, if infrequently; they are usually admired only by the people who created them.

While designers know that a user’s experience on a website has a large impact on the way that customer will interact with them, impressing that concept on the corporate establishment has taken a very long time. Trends in design are making their way into corporate web, albeit slowly; with patience and a little luck, businesses will soon start to consider carefully coded and appropriately functional design as important as their mission statement and recent sustainability reports.


What do corporate websites have in common with other people’s children? Three things: they have their charm, like finger-paintings on the refrigerator; they can be useful, if infrequently; they are usually admired only by the people who created them.

While designers know that a user’s experience on a website has a large impact on the way that customer will interact with them, impressing that concept on the corporate establishment has taken a very long time. Trends in design are making their way into corporate web, albeit slowly; with patience and a little luck, businesses will soon start to consider carefully coded and appropriately functional design as important as their mission statement and recent sustainability reports. Leer más “Corporate Website Design: Creative and Beautiful Solutions”

The Hard Truth about Fat-Cat CEO’s

Sometimes Recessionwire carries a certain bias, one that supports the out-of-worker and opposes the big, bad CEO. As a fair and balanced news source, we find it necessary to provide the reader a glimpse of both sides of the coin. What really goes on in the life of some of the world’s most powerful people? To find out, we get the perspective of the CEO of DASSCC (Dynamic Analysts and Synergetic Systems Consultants Corporation), Peter B. Gibbonsworth, in a segment we like to call: Myth…And Busted.
Myth I: All CEOs are chubby male WASPs.

…And Busted: This old rumor! I certainly understand where it comes from, but I do believe I serve as a fine counterexample. Yes I am a male. Yes I do pack on a few extra Krispy Kremes (shout out to CEO James Morgan!). And yes I am white and I happen to attend a Protestant church. But, as anyone can tell you, the Gibbonsworths are a quarter Dutch. I kid you not. Mom’s mom. The Janssens. Also I’m pretty sure the CEO of Nabisco, or Cisco, or some corporation is a woman. I think, might want to check that out though. Busted!
Myth II: We live unnecessarily opulent, luxurious lives…


businessman tie 200Sometimes Recessionwire carries a certain bias, one that supports the out-of-worker and opposes the big, bad CEO. As a fair and balanced news source, we find it necessary to provide the reader a glimpse of both sides of the coin. What really goes on in the life of some of the world’s most powerful people?  To find out, we get the perspective of the CEO of DASSCC (Dynamic Analysts and Synergetic Systems Consultants Corporation), Peter B. Gibbonsworth, in a segment we like to call: Myth…And Busted.

Myth I: All CEOs are chubby male WASPs.

And Busted: This old rumor! I certainly understand where it comes from, but I do believe I serve as a fine counterexample. Yes I am a male. Yes I do pack on a few extra Krispy Kremes (shout out to CEO James Morgan!). And yes I am white and I happen to attend a Protestant church. But, as anyone can tell you, the Gibbonsworths are a quarter Dutch. I kid you not. Mom’s mom. The Janssens. Also I’m pretty sure the CEO of Nabisco, or Cisco, or some corporation is a woman. I think, might want to check that out though. Busted!

Myth II: We live unnecessarily opulent, luxurious lives… Leer más “The Hard Truth about Fat-Cat CEO’s”

Are You Freelance or Self-Employed?

One of the great things about having a spouse that works in the corporate world is the support you may receive, financially and emotionally. One of the worst things about having a spouse in the corporate world is the support you may have to give, which sometimes includes being present at corporate social gatherings. And this is the situation I found myself in the other day.

I enjoy talking with people – whether they enjoy it as much as I do is irrelevant – but in a corporate environment, I don’t want to do or say anything that might cause my wife any discomfort at the office. So, I try and stay as quiet as possible. Usually there are plenty of snacks to keep my mouth busy, but on this particular event, her boss managed to catch me without a petit-four in sight.

After a bit of chit-chat, he asked about my current career. He wanted to know where I was working, and how business was there. I explained that I am a writer, and I that I write web copy, blog posts, newsletters, ebooks, and more. He listened for a moment, and then deduced that I am unhappily unemployed, but since my wife is a superstar in their company, perhaps he could find me a role within their corporation.


One of the great things about having a spouse that works in the corporate world is the support you may receive, financially and emotionally.  One of the worst things about having a spouse in the corporate world is the support you may have to give, which sometimes includes being present at corporate social gatherings.  And this is the situation I found myself in the other day.

I enjoy talking with people – whether they enjoy it as much as I do is irrelevant – but in a corporate environment, I don’t want to do or say anything that might cause my wife any discomfort at the office.  So, I try and stay as quiet as possible.  Usually there are plenty of snacks to keep my mouth busy, but on this particular event, her boss managed to catch me without a petit-four in sight.

After a bit of chit-chat, he asked about my current career.  He wanted to know where I was working, and how business was there.  I explained that I am a writer, and I that I write web copy, blog posts, newsletters, ebooks, and more.  He listened for a moment, and then deduced that I am unhappily unemployed, but since my wife is a superstar in their company, perhaps he could find me a role within their corporation. Leer más “Are You Freelance or Self-Employed?”

Innovation Dilemma: Open Up or Shut Up?


Science icon from Nuvola icon theme for KDE 3.x.
Image via Wikipedia

In a recent post, Where Big Companies Fail on Innovation, I argue that big companies fail to communicate well on their corporate innovation capabilities.

I believe this is a problem as most industries have begun adopting open innovation practices in which a key goal is to become the preferred partner of choice. This requires a significant higher visibility for corporate innovation departments.

Michael Fruhling and Kevin McFarthing contributed with comments in which they argue that companies can still do well with innovation – even open innovation – without communicating much about their efforts. Leer más “Innovation Dilemma: Open Up or Shut Up?”

Put Leadership Training on the Front Burner

The recession prompted corporations to cut leadership programs, and the deficiency will show up—in their bottom lines

By Lynn Taylor

When organizations worldwide took belt-tightening measures after the recession officially began in December 2007, training in general was on the chopping block—and along with it went leadership training. In a 2008 study conducted by learning service firm Expertus, 48 percent of the 84 corporate and government training professionals surveyed reported they were slashing their 2009 training budgets. That was up from 41 percent the previous year.

As the recession progressed, organizations continued cutting these programs. A 2009 article in The National Law Journal noted: “Leadership consultants said that firms are reducing leadership training, scaling back earlier training commitments.”

Now that the economy is showing signs of strength, it’s time to bring back leadership training.


Dance of the Sandpiper | Kokrebellur
Image by Jnarin via Flickr

The recession prompted corporations to cut leadership programs, and the deficiency will show up—in their bottom lines

By Lynn Taylor
When organizations worldwide took belt-tightening measures after the recession officially began in December 2007, training in general was on the chopping block—and along with it went leadership training. In a 2008 study conducted by learning service firm Expertus, 48 percent of the 84 corporate and government training professionals surveyed reported they were slashing their 2009 training budgets. That was up from 41 percent the previous year.

As the recession progressed, organizations continued cutting these programs. A 2009 article in The National Law Journal noted: “Leadership consultants said that firms are reducing leadership training, scaling back earlier training commitments.”

Now that the economy is showing signs of strength, it’s time to bring back leadership training. Leer más “Put Leadership Training on the Front Burner”