Build your Tribe with Pinterest

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  Hi all,

I have been working with Emmy Award winning entrepreneur Nick Nanton in the US and I thought it may be helpful for you to build your business tribes with these ideas about Pinterest. I used it but lost my way a little as it grew so much. With all social media tools, its important that you use them for a purpose, not just to get followers for ego (unless that is your purpose). These ego groups just dilute the business opportunities as they are not engaged and the good ones, those who could assist your business, by you assisting them, get lost in the background buzz. Have a look at see if this may assist you.

Tony Park

www.businesstribes.com.au 


Pinterest

Pinterest is one of the most popular social networking sites in the world, but many companies are still stumped on how to use it. Which is understandable, since it doesn’t work for everyone. However, if Pinterest is a good fit for your business (i.e. any business with a “lifestyle” theme), there are countless ways to make it work for you and your business.

Here some ideas to get you feeling inspired:

1)   Recipes. Recipes are one of the most re-pinned items on this social networking site, making it the ideal way to engage with users! Most recipes tend to be either very healthy or very unhealthy (Nutella is a popular theme …), so if you’re focused on health and wellness, this is the perfect in for you to post all the healthy recipes you have.

2)   Exercise Tips. Exercise tips are another popular category on Pinterest. You can either posts these as short videos (keep in mind that 3:30 is the most recommended length for online videos), or as an image guide (see this yoga diagram from Women’s Health as an example).

3)   Inspirational quotes. Whether it’s a quote you love or a quote from your book, pinners are always looking for things that inspire them. For example, if you’re a life or business coach, posting your favorite success quotes is the perfect thing to share on Pinterest. Since Pinterest is a very visual site, you’ll want to add the text over an image, but that’s really easy to do in everything from Powerpoint to Photoshop (and the many free apps in between, like Quozio). Just make sure it’s a good quality image, or your post won’t get noticed!

4)   DIY tips. There’s an entire “DIY & Crafts” section on Pinterest, but this does not have to be limited to just crafty items! This can be anything you want to advise your followers on, such as “Ten Ways to Detox Your Home”, or tips on how to make healthy food fun for kids.

5)   Your products. While all products don’t work as a standalone pin, and you definitely don’t want to overdo this, adding your own merchandise to a board is absolutely okay. And if you sell something like workout accessories, I highly recommend it!

6)   Tips. If you have a short catchy tip that works over an image, by all means post it! Pinterest is an aspirational site, and its users love anything that makes them feel like they can make their lives better in simple steps. If you give them those simple tips and tricks, they’ll love you. So a financial planner can add a short and sweet “Four Steps to a Happy Retirement” gif to a blog on your site, and then pin the image with a link back to your blog.

7)   Real estate. If you’re a real estate agent, you can use Pinterest to showcase your listings. If a home has a gorgeous kitchen or an impeccable view, post the picture with a few details about the house and a link back to your website.

8)   Videos. Aside from the exercise videos mentioned above, there’s a lot you can do with videos on Pinterest! The key is to keep it short, light and useful, whether it’s a recipe tutorial, a home tour, a video guide to filling out a tax return correctly, or an aromatherapy how-to guide.

9)   Repins. You want to make sure you’re pinning from other users and not just repining your own content, or you won’t look like you’re trying to be a part of the community (which is a no-no anywhere, but especially on Pinterest). Engagement is extremely important, so make sure you repin posts that fit with your brand! If you handle tax accounting or tax law, and another user posts a quote or statistic you agree with, repin it, and add your own commentary. If you disagree, it’s okay to politely say why as well.

10)  Anything you want! No, really! One of the goals about being on social media is to help people get to know you better. So make Pinterest something  you actually want to use. Pin the recipes you want to make, post crafts if you like crafting, or post home décor if you’re working on some updates to your home. Being authentic and sharing what you care about is what will help you gain followers on Pinterest! You don’t have to stick solely to retirement if you’re a financial planner, or only with health-oriented pins because you’re a doctor. Let people get to see all aspects of your personality and interests.

Post what you like, and don’t forget to have fun! It’s what Pinterest is all about!


Nick assisted me to write and publish my International Best Selling Book – Ignite Your Life and is available at

BOOK SALES – click for information.

Tony Park

How Tribes can hurt Companies

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Hi everyone, I have been really busy with my literature review for my PHD and will share some of these insights in the next little while, however it has been really exciting and some new insights for you to build your business or organisation. It the mean time I found this article from Robert Kovach in the Harvard Business Review, that I thought was really interesting on Tribes.

Tony Park


How Tribalism Hurts Companies, and What to Do About It

 A strange thing happens just before mile marker three in the London Marathon. With approximately 40,000 runners participating in one of the world’s largest charity fundraising events, crowd control necessitates that there be three different starting points. Just before the three-mile marker, these three different routes start to merge onto a single course.

jul17-25-538348459As the different routes start to converge most of the runners start to cheer as they are meeting comrades to join in what remains of the grueling, 26.2-mile journey. However, many of the runners start to boo the runners who are from a different color starting group. All are amateur runners participating in the same race and for fairly similar reasons. For a very short time only, and pretty much by random, they have been separated into different starting positions and assigned to a red, blue, or green group.

The competitive nature of some participants is so high that this random color assigned is enough to evoke an identity. We essentially become red, blue, or green tribes and, when meeting a group of the other color, we are encountering members of one of the other tribes. Hence, booing them makes sense as the others are not part of our tribe.

I have run this marathon several times and, surprising enough, the same thing happens every single time. It’s like something out of William Golding’s Lord of the FliesConsider for a moment how often this happens at work.

Tribes at Work

In the business world, even when we are in the same company, we often find ourselves at cross-purposes with our colleagues. Sales organizations want flexibility to meet changing customer demands while engineering and operations need stability to drive scale and efficiency. Offices in different countries or regions want solutions specific to their unique markets, while corporate headquarters requires all units to align to a single, clear strategy. Centers of expertise are set up to create long-range, big-picture, innovative strategies to assist client-facing, front-line employees who typically want immediate fixes for customer pain points.

Even though everyone is on the same team, the goals and needs are different. This environment sets the stage for functional units to adopt a mindset that is more “us vs. them” rather than “us vs. our competitors.” The functional groups stop communicating effectively with each other and that’s when things start to go tribal. In my experience, at this point you’ll start to see several red flags:

  1. Rock-throwing. Are teams blaming each other, unjustly criticizing the others’ work or continually throwing rocks at one another? This is a pretty clear sign. I had a client once where the disagreements between design, engineering, and marketing were so strong that the teams couldn’t work together without arguing. In fact, things became so bad that the executives in charge could barely speak to one another without HR in the room.
  2. Blaming the customer. Blaming the customer or end consumer occurs all too frequently, and can be another sign that inter-team rivalry is spiraling out of control. In fact, in the end, the only thing the team above could agree on was that it was the customer’s fault their new product had failed! Even when teams aren’t throwing rocks directly at each other, scapegoating the customer is a sign that something’s off. I sat in another, very amicable, meeting where sales, manufacturing and logistics absolved themselves completely and unequivocally agreed that the multi-million-dollar loss was because the consumer was not sophisticated enough to understand how they were supposed to consume their product.
  3. Pushkin did it.” In Russia, when you don’t know who did something it is common to say “Pushkin did it.” The Dutch have something similar with the saying, “It was the dwarves.” A lack of productive collaboration between teams is much more likely to be caused by clunky processes and structures, foggy communication, or misaligned incentives than to stem from from dwarves or Alexander Pushkin. Be on the lookout for missed deadlines or commitments where neither side understands or admits why.
  4. Refusal to work together. This is perhaps the most severe case of tribalism. When whole departments or organizations refuse to cooperate with one another. Can you imagine that: a culture of mistrust and rewarding the lack of cooperation between hundreds of people in the same company? When working together across departments to find a joint solution is seen to be collaborating with the enemy? In the early 2000s, many human resource organizations demarcated between centers of expertise (COEs) and client-facing groups. The COEs were to be the “professional experts” and the client-facing groups the “customer experts.”  It didn’t take long for turf wars about who owned the customer (i.e., business unit executive) to start. In some companies, this got so severe that the two groups refused to even speak with one another. Instead, initiatives would duplicate or triplicate across the corporation.  As you can imagine, this is a very expensive form of corporate tribalism.

What can you do?

Here are a few tips which have proven to be useful to other leaders in this situation:

  1. Manage the psychology. This is probably the most important. When there are conflicting goals in a competitive environment, you cannot let human nature run on autopilot. Deindividuation may begin to take place with battling departments starting to demonize one another. Amygdala hijacks, where one may emotionally overreact to the stimulus of the situation, is also a risk.
  2. Reframing. It’s the responsibility of the leader to frame the situation and environment for their followers.  Be careful with how you define the mission or goal for the teams that will be going after the goals. If collaboration or a new way of working is important, then say so.
  3. Break down silos. Companies in the 21st Century will need to be far less siloed then those in the 20th Century. Expertise, knowledge, and skills are widely distributed and it is imperative to break down information and data silos to be competitive.
  4. Manage executive egos. An old consulting rule of thumb is to spot where the problem is occurring and then look one level above. Are your senior leaders sending the right messages around collaboration and cooperation? Are they being rewarded to do so?  If your senior leadership isn’t displaying the behavior that is needed then it won’t happen at lower levels.

Actively managing the human dynamics at play will help your organization reap the benefits of having different specialty areas in your company, while at the same time mitigating the downsides of tribalism.


Robert Kovach, Ph.D., is the Director of Leader Success for Cisco’s Leadership and Team Intelligence Practice Area. He has been an advisor to leadership teams of Fortune 500, FTSE 100 and FTSE Global 500 companies on driving business strategy through executive leadership effectiveness and organizational agility. The opinions expressed here are his own and not those of Cisco.


Tony is a author, entrepreneur and mentor, PHD candidate at UTas, investigating Guanxi networks.

www.businesstribes.com.au 

From “Hope Selling” to “Creation Selling” (c)

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is yur sales model obselete

NEW WAY OF SELLING.

For millennium, sellers have been placing their goods and services in front of potential sellers and hoping to sell them “Hope Selling”, however with the Internet there is a new and better way to sell your products, “Creation Selling”. (c)

Background

Many business have been producing a product or service for many years and initially they may have been a solution to a problem or a need that was identified in the past. Over time new products and services may have been invented, potential consumers have more choices and even old methods have been shown to be inadequate to meet the current needs of potential consumers. A new method of selling is needed. to meet the changing needs of consumers created by the information overload created by the Internet and social media.

Hope Selling (c)

buy now

Just selling on price on the hope they will buy.

With limited communication with potential clients in the past, other than inadequate face to face feed back, there was no real incentive to change the products or serviced offered by the sellers. They thought they were the best for the potential sellers and just need to work on the price or presentation to sell more products.

So sellers just put them out into the market place to HOPE that potential consumers would come along to purchase. They would HOPE that the products and services were relevant to the potential consumers and HOPE that they could make a profit from the sale.

This HOPE has been long the basis of the selling experience in the world – until now.

Now we have CREATION Selling. (c)

new life old life

With the onset of the internet, a new way of selling has been able to be developed, CREATION Selling.

” CREATION selling is when the seller can take extra action to develop the environment for the potential purchaser to purchase the product and service – for a greater profit.”

The environment is created by ;

  • 2 way communication

So many businesses just present products and services they think will satisfy the potential purchaser, without information on what is their real problem they want solved. This can be overcome by communication and critically 2 way communication. Sharing problems and solutions between the sellers and potential consumers can develop relevant solutions to the problems by greater understanding by your business.

  • Understand the problem

With this 2 way communication there starts to become an understanding of the problem the consumer needs to satisfy, enabling solutions to be found to satisfy that problem. Many business seem to look to satisfy either their interpretation of the problem or a problem that was perceived a number of years ago, rather than having a mechanism to understand the current problems that are relevant to the potential purchasers. With that understanding you will not only potentially increase sales, but more importantly reduce costs and inventory by having old irrelevant business practices and product.

  • Relevancy

Once you have an understanding of the problem that your potential consumers and purchasers have, then you can have solutions to offer them that are potentially a higher potential to be sold. These products and services are now more relevant to the potential purchaser as they have been developed from information from them – creating that understanding of their problem. In some cases they may be a request for particular products or services that they may have information to satisfy their problem – but not available locally.

  • Solution

So your solutions become more “sale able” as they come from a process that is focused from the potential purchaser – not what you want to sell and hope they will buy. Your products and services are then seen as a solution to problems and your business as solution developers and providers for the long term – not short term “take my money and not care” you gain respect that you care about the outcome of potential purchasers.

  • Make a profitable sale.

This Createion Sale is focussed on maing you more profit an dit does that from a numbe rof methods.

  1. The first is to make a cultural system where you will sell more products as they will be relevant to satisfy the problem of the potentia purchaser.
  2. The focus is now away from the product and comparing products across firms just selling hope – to be one of solution focus, reducing the emphasis on price and allowing to sell at a higher price as you are now selling a solution – not a product.
  3. You can also decrease costs as your inventory of irrelevany products and extra costs in marketing are reduced.

All of these will increase your product.

  • Marketing solutions

To gain the greatest benefit from the changes in method of your selling in your business, there is a need to change selling you and the business as important. They are relevant and your brand is important to you – but it may not be to the potential purchaser. They are looking for solutions first and while you may (or now will after changing to Creation Selling) see it as important to you – you are not buying from yourself. Their focus is on solutions and your marketing should be based on that – relevant solutions that will inspire potential purchaser to buy.

  • Creating Business Tribes.

Once this system is in place, you can use the concepts of building business tribes to further turbocharge your business or organisation. You have created brand values of a leader in relevant solutions to your immediate tribes – consumer, employee and a range of other tribes. Direct Tribal members will inform other members of their tribes that you have solutions to shared problems, that you respect the potential purchasers and they should purchase from you, if they are after a solution to a similar problem. That’s turbocharging.

More information on development of Business Tribes is available from my co-authored book with International business guru Brian Tracy – a free download at “Ignite Your Life” .

And more broadly available with my new book – “Business Tribes. Turbocharge Your Circle of Influence, For Profit.” more information at Business Tribes Book.

Now I am not saying that changing years and years of Hope Selling will be easy, but the outcome is worth the effort.

Tony Park


Tony Park is an author, entrepreneur, speaker and academic.character print

Developer of businesses and not for profits all over the world from the last 40 years and author of an International Best Selling Book – “Ignite Your Life”

Tracy front cover

 

His concepts of Business Tribes is now a question of a PHD Candidate.

 

 

 

Anzacs – Still creating our Tribes.

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If you have read previous posts on how and why Business Tribes have been created, you will understand the power of those tribes to create businesses, organisations and communities. The word Anzacs has been one word that symbolises those Tribal feelings that has changed from those who were part of that Tribe, to now a symbol to create a whole country tribe.

veteran There have been many veterans who have served their country across many wars over the years. Some were fresh young kids who joined up for a thrill to see the world, others were conscripted to stand together to fight for what others saw as the safety of our country.

What ever the reason, these young men and women came together and created strong tribes, not just working together but with the understanding that firstly they were fighting to protect each other. The trust that is is generated in the challenge of war cannot be described or even told – only felt.

The sharing of being scared, living always thinking the next seconds could be your last – or the person next to you may be the last conversation. The sharing of the living conditions, being cold, hungry and not knowing what is going on. The expectation of doing what is ordered, no questions, no debate, with the understanding that people are making these orders for the best outcome for all.

These are some of the things that have created those feelings of Tribes of those people who have experienced those things. Not just directly in that particular conflict that created that Tribe – but also in every other conflict since (and maybe even before that in Boer War and others). Many people directly invollved with these veterans also tried to understand these bonds that were created at these times once these veterans returned home to their past tribes or family and work. However most found it difficult and without being part of that

All types of people were ANZACS

All types of people were ANZACS

veterans tribe, you were shut out and was difficult to see that your family tribe or work tribe was as important for their lives.

It is  interesting now as that initial tribe of the ANZACS have passed on, that the country does come together to share those tribal bonds. That these people who put their lives on the line for us, some who paid the ultimate sacrifice for what they thought was right at the time or returned with even greater challenges be venerated as being special for Australia.

Without taking away from those people who need to be put on the highest pedestal for those personal sacrifices then andmarching now, its the bonds between them that also need to be understood as a guide on all our activities we undertake today.

when our veterans march, do they march because they love war, love the sacrifices and hardships? I contend that they are marching to remember those sacrifices of friends, of people they knew and had bonds with. That they march to be with people who they have strong bonds too, who have shared challenges both during conflict and after.

So what doe’s that mean to other Australians. Why have more and more avanzac and flagerage Australians cheer on on those who march, or turn up to ceremonies to remember all those who sacrificed for us or have since died.  Its to share those bonds that these veterans have created together, to come together as a Country Tribe, to stand together with these veterans, these great Australians and to feel proud as an Australian.

With other challenges that we may perceive that we have in our lives, especially over years of drought, flood, Global Financial Crisis and other challenges that we think are in our lives, we can see that others have made greater challenges for us. This reduces our current challenges and gives us positive bonds to come together. This then gives us a foundation to look forward and build on those sacrifices to create a unified and positive country.

football anzac

These bonds are used by many to bring other tribes together, sporting and cultural under that banner of ANZACS. To use the feeling of those bonds that were created by those ANZACS to bring other Australians together for various reasons. Those strong bonds are what brings communities together and is really important for such a diverse community as Australia.

With increased immigration and the changing face of Australia away from the Anglo-Saxon culture, the bonds created in a time of a different Australia is being transferred to these new cultures. Not to say war is great or we (Anglo-Saxons) are “better”, but to say when needed, we Australians will stand up for other Australians, but more so we stand together to protect each others back.

Its the bonds that we have each others back that we can transfer into today’s Australia. Be it in sport, business, organisations or family. Its knowing that you are not alone, that if things get a bit sticky there arcross ad didgedooe people around you that you can rely on to be with you. That is the ANZAC spirit that binds communities, that Tribal feeling that will assist Australia to continue to create our future – together.

From time to time you see people trying to pull our community apart, the political process for many is an us and them, some Churches or spiritual groups also see their spiritual group being more important than others, even sporting groups cannot appreciate the sport – just the outcome for their team.  Its these ANZAC bonds that rebounds our country to work together.

So when we see these marches in our streets, to commemorate those sacrifices of many men and women over the years, we can be full of joy of those ANZAC bonds, how we as Australians do have bonds together built on those sacrifices of all who served – for us.

we will remember themTony Park

 


Tony Park is an Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur and Academic.character print

Published “Business Tribes. Turbocharge Your Circle of Influence, for Profit”. and co-authored “Ignite Your Life” with Brian Tracy.

He has a number of program sites ;

www.businessgardener.com.au

www.businesstribes.com.au

Contact ; tony@park.com.au

 

 

Business Tribes. Using EBooks to engage for profit. (infographic)

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Using EBooks to Build your Tribes.

Marketing your ebook

As an emerging author with a number of books, eBooks, blogs and published academic papers, I have some experiences with publishing. However I am still learning from great people like Natasa Denman and her 48hour Author process and  I thought the article below was a great one on eBooks. This is a growing niche market to add to an already published book – or some authors just do eBooks, with snippets of information to focus onto a web page.


Despite the multi-media temptations of Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube we still haven’t stopped wanting to consume a good book. It’s just that they come in digital formats as well as the old fashioned way…print!

Social media and multi-media hasn’t turned our minds to mush as some have predicted. It’s just changed how and what we read and where we consume it.

Want a book?… log onto the web and download a book from Amazon to your Kindle or use a Kindle app on your tablet and you have a book in 30 seconds.

Have a need to read that free ebook on your Apple iPhone or iPad, then download and save that ebook to your iBook app for consumption now or later.

Like the feel of the printed hardcover book in your hands, the smell of the paper? The instant convenience of satisfying my curiosity for what’s between the virtual covers makes ebooks compelling for me.

Ebooks have been with us for a long time with Angela Ruiz Robles (a teacher from Spain) patenting the “Mechanical Encyclopaedia“, the first ebook reader that was intended to reduce the number of books her students had to bring to school. A good idea at the time but the technology and the web to distribute the content wasn’t ready.

Ebooks sales are growing!

The increase in ebook sales is a disruptive trend that can’t be ignored and traditional publishers are racing to adapt. Figures from Yahoo indicate that ebook sales rose by over 4,400% from $68 million to $3 billion between 2008 and 2012 which is 25-30% of all book sales. But that is only the sales data from the big publishers.

It’s bigger than that.

Types of ebooks

Ebooks come in a variety of types and formats. Free and paid. Free ebooks are now the bloggers key tactic to capture email addresses. They can vary from 10-15 pages to 50 plus.

Formats come in two distinct flavours.

The ubiquitous PDF (Portable document format), which is the favourite free ebook file type and then you have the proprietary versions (some are supposedly open standards) with Amazon (which has 70-80% of the ebook market) using the MOBI (it’s version of mobipocket) format and Apple the EPUB. Of course Amazon’s Kindle doesn’t support the EPUB version.

Then there are a big variety of file types across the ebook market spectrum.

So why create an ebook?

There are a variety of reasons that you should write an ebook or even a book.

  • Build an email list
  • Position your brand (personal or corporate) as a thought leader or expert in its niche
  • Credibility. Being “published” and appearing on Amazon has an “authority” factor whether self published or through the traditional publishing channels
  • Make money. Some authors are doing very nicely
  • The fun of creating and putting your thoughts in a structured format

All of these are good enough reason on their own to just “start”

Creating tips

So where do you start and what are some tips for creating that ebook that your customers and prospective readers will love?

  1. Collect questions from your customers and target audience and provide answers. Books have been created just using that premise.
  2. Create customer personas so that you understand and get inside the mind of your potential readers
  3. Write an outline. This is where you get the structure organised and is worth spending time on
  4. Set aside a block of time where you just write. It maybe early morning or late at night where you have no distractions
  5. Repurpose your blog posts into a book. You maybe surprised by what you already have available
  6. Expand customer testimonials and stories into a series of case studies
  7. Conduct interviews. Many books are just a compilation of interviews. A good example is the “Eventual Millionaire
  8. Collaborate with someone else and you can halve the work
  9. Write a great title. Tim Ferriss the author of the New York Times best seller the  ”4 Hour Workweek” tested his own titles by using Google AdWords for a few hundred dollars
  10. Design an appealing cover. You can hire and outsource this to Elance or Freelancer. You can even crowd source the design like Michael Hyatt has just done.

Marketing tips

The social web has given everyone the platform to create and market their businesses and also their books. Self publishing is now a serious business and is the main source of income for many bloggers such as Darren Rowse from Problogger and the Digital Photography school. So how can you go about marketing your ebook?

Here are some tips that all of us can implement.

  1. To build marketing momentum and awareness give away some books for free. Guy Kawasaki gave away over 1,000 ebooks for a limited time
  2. Engage industry experts to provide a testimonial
  3. Create a Facebook “page” or custom tab just for the book
  4. Design a banner on your website or blog
  5. Create a landing page and menu tab where people can discover the benefits and read testimonials and comments about the book and then buy it straight from the blog. Also link it to a payment gateway so you can collect almost the the revenue (except for the small fee by Paypal or Selz).
  6. Put it into a MOBI format and publish it on Amazon
  7. Market it to your email list. This is why building an email list from day one when launching your blog is vital as this is part of “your” distribution network
  8. Create a Powerpoint presentation on the books main points or chapters and upload it to Slideshare
  9. Record a video about the book and upload it to YouTube
  10. Guest post on partner or influencer blogs

These are just some ideas. If you put your creativity hat on you will be surprised by what you can do!

But just “start”

For more tips check out the infographic below

guide-to-ebook-marketing 2

Source: Placester.com

What about you?

Have you written an ebook or book yet? What were your challenges? Would you do it again?

Are you thinking about writing a book whether it is free or a paid version?

Need to start?

Look forward to hearing your stories and insights in the comments below.


So some interesting information I thought.

I have my new book that I have co-authored with International business guru Brian Tracy launching on May 15th with a discounted prelaunch price at https://businesstribes.clickfunnels.com/tony-parkxsaxtr88 .

Frocharacter printm time to time will have blogs at www.businesstribes.com.au and at www.businessgardener.com.au and a new book launching at the start of June Business Tribes. Turbocharging your circle of influence, for profit.

Who is this Tony Park Author, Entrepreneur, Speaker, Academic   – check out www.park.com.au for more information and a range of programs at www.businessgardener.com.au

 

Contact me for any more info at tony@park.com.au and lets build your Business tribes.

 

Community Tribes can change the world – or just party.

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Community Tribes can change the world or just party.change the world

Background

There are a number of community organisations around the world that have come together as groups, in many cases shown leadership but for many, fall down as to creating that strong tribe to create positive change in their community.

Groups like Rotary, Lions, JCI (Jaycees) APEX, Kiwanis and others were created mainly to make positive change in their communities. Most of these organisations are over 100 years, many formed from the Midwest of the USA and they have all changed our communities for the better at a World, National and Local level. Be it specific projects to reduce polio, raising funds for individual nets to reduce malaria deaths or developing leadership in members and youth in their communities.

The positive feeling across members as they grow as individuals, as they complete projects that raise awareness or repair fences for farmers after a devastating bush fire, create those bonds that describe a Tribe. All are working together, as the community as part of that Tribe to make a better world. They do it in many cases at great cost to themselves, cost in time and financially for some at a detriment to their families.

They are looking to create a better world for themselves, their communities and longer term for their extended families and they have found that working together as a Tribe, so all members can feel they have contributed and all gain those positive feelings of change agents, creates a better organisation.

Tracy front coverWhat do I mean by Tribes. In my co-authored best selling book with business guru Brain Tracy – Ignite You Life and further expanded in my book – Business Tribes. Turbocharge Your Circle of Influence, for profit. these concepts are expanded. In my first blog What is a Business Tribe? they are outlined a little.They are groups that have progressed beyond the formation of teams, held together by stronger bonds that are created when ALL the members gain from that interaction. Individual members/actors /nodes may be people or things, and they in turn will be in different Tribes that are all interlinked together. By having these strong bonds, the subsequent Tribes of members will also be influenced or influence the initial Tribe, if those bonds are strong and based on respect and benefits of all tribal members. Sorry long winded but when understood is a powerful tool for any organisation or business.

Download free book at – Ignite Your Life with Business Tribes.

Challenge

However there are dark clouds on the horizon for all of these organisations and most are running around trying to find solutions for decreased membership, for lack of direction and reduced relevancy to the community that they are trying to work with to make positive change.

Observation at a local level, from push at Regional, National and International levels, is that BIG is good. The focus has seen to shift from what assistance as part of the community – or as the community as part of their Tribe, to Membership is great or we always need more members.  These groups in many areas of the world have be come membership creation organisations, rather than World Change Agents. True they still have being change Agents as part of their mantra and many individuals want to and work towards making change, but the focus of these groups at all levels seems to have shifted their priority to membership.

Membership numbers are critical and are needed to make the changes and activity to work with the community to assist that global change, however membership for membership growth is not a long term solution. To change the focus from having the community as part of the Tribe of the organisations, to understand the members of that community on why and hoMembership-Management-300w they need assistance to change – to being separate and fun and friendship as reason for joining the organisation, changes these organisations backward to teams and groups.

As Teams they are being challenged as the leaders who take it in turns to be the official leaders every year have less and less individuals to step up to be leaders to help them or to be future leaders. So older leaders are relied on to lead these followers to the ideals of the organisations – but they are getting older. The followers are either happy just to be a follower, not think too much and want to be part of the group or team, but they are retired and happy just to enjoy the companionship of the group. They feel positive when the group achieves things and will even help to achieve it, but feel its not their place to lead. Others are just happy to be part of the fellowship, to gain some friends, to have somewhere to go outside their home and feel part of a bigger picture.

Organisations then change the rules that created the strong tribal bonds in the initial development of these groups, so they can increase membership – not necessarily as strong or committed members and in some cases diluted those bonds that are critical to develop Community Tribes. Some organisational change was to suit the times and were forced on those organisations. Many organisations like Rotary, Lions and JCI were started just with males and later were forced or decided to admit ladies as full members. While being positive for many ladies, the organisations changed from the original concepts and different bonds had to be created. Some of those bonds were how outside Tribes, particularly family tribes and friend tribes then viewed this changed organisation.

Organisations like Rotary and Lions reduced the process of membership. These organisations brought together leaders in the community, people who had achieved, with experience and contacts so they could create activity and solutions for the community. They were leaders and were members of these organisations to change the community in a positive way.  However in the focus just to get members, they reduced the age and invited young people with little knowledge, little experience and little networking to boost the numbers. This process was not only bad for these organisations as it diluted the leadership it was poor for the young member as they could not learn and create networks with people in their own age life development.

Other organisations have been formed (Green Movements etc…) , while others have waned (Chambers of Commerce and some Industry groups). True many community Tribes have had to change to meet the changing needs of potential members, but also the community needs as a whole. Scouts also changed to allow girls to be members at all levels and changed dynamics for families, the boys and particularly the leaders. APEX increased membership age to 45, giving a spurt for a period

For organisations that have a time period to cease membership – Scouts, Rural Youth, APEX and JCI to name a few, there is little recognition of Alumni Tribes. This is a part of another blog and book, but this powerful resources for Community Tribes in many cases are ignored or the Alumni Tribe is negative influence on the Community Tribe, as they look to achievements in the past.

I am not making any judgement on these changes, just an observation that there are changes and the original bonds between nodes/actors or members have changed, creating a vacuum to create new relevant bonds and the resultant focus has been on these, rather than the ideals that formed these groups in the first place. Further, members think that the ceremonies and process are the things that created these bonds and these have become more important than the results at a macro level of the organisation. However these ceremonies and processes that were fine for the potential members in the past, may be a barrier for potential members in 2016.

Solution

New authored book

New authored book

In my new book, Business Tribes. Turbocharge Your Circle of Influence, for profit, I outline the concepts of Business Tribes and how you can use these solutions to gain members with Community Tribes. I will have a follow up book specifically for Organisations published on Amazon by September that has these steps in much more detail.

Step (1) Understand what Tribes these organisations are dealing with.

There are many Tribes that influence organisations, some directly and oters indirectly by influencing the members of those organisations. All of these tribes need to be understood if the Organisation is to become relevant to the lives of these particular members. One of the challenges of larger organisations is that they are trying to be a homogeneous entity that will satisfy the best fit for as many members it can and end up not satisfy many. A better solution may be to have many parts that better satisfy individual members  and potential members.

  • Current membership. These are the main Tribes that are seen by strategists within organisations. What can we do to make our organisation better for our members? In many ways a short sighted strategy as they fall into the trap that it is about people – but the people are the result of the relevancy of the product to meet the perceived problems of individuals who are or then want to become members. One member in that equaton is the community or the oveall reason for being of that organisaion. In a Tribe ALL members benefit, so there needs to be programs and activities so this occurs. Just partying or having good times may be fun, however not everyone has the same idea of fun or they can party with other friends elsewhere – and the community or other non member nodes in the tribe do not gain the benefits.

This Tribe needs to look at the 7 P’s of marketing as a guide to programs and processes.

7 P's of Marketing

7 P’s of Marketing

              Product   – Are the programs and activities right for the members and potential members. What are the problems that this organisation has solutions too. If the organisation is primarily concerned for training individuals for leadership in the community for the future i.e. Rover Scouts, Rural Youth, JCI, Leo’s, Rotaract etc… are they offering training or trying to “fit” them into mainstream organisations like Rotary or Lions just to bolster numbers or because the current members are older and not so active.

                Price            – Is the price to be a member too high. Not just in the form of money, but also in time and focus. The world is a different place than 30 years ago and potential members may be time poor and cannot afford the time or money to be members. Weekly meetings, plus activities on weekends may be difficult, especially for younger potential members concentrating on education, work and family development.

                  Place           – Is the location of these activities easy for tribal members to interact and develop strong bonds together. Is face to face meetings the only solution, can things be done online, across locations, even countries to bring people together. Are the face to face meetings in a location that enhances those bonds and brand values of the individuals or organisations – or is it a quick drink in a pub.

                 Promotion         –  Is the organisation telling the world that they have solutions to the problems of potential members. Are they using the most efficient media including online media to engage with potential members, are they romancing them, giving solutions before they “sign up”. In many cases organisations have a focus on short term signing a new member, rather than creating an atmosphere of showing and giving benefits. Have blogs and training online for everyone. Have activities for the community (they are a tribal members don’t forget) Show your solutions an din time they will sign up.

These are the major P’s and often referred to the 4 P’s of marketing, however there are 3 more that also need to be understood to create a strong organisational environment.

                 People                   – Often referred to the employment of employees working within your business, however in a membership organisation it is refers to the leadership of the group and the type of member that you are inviting to join your organisation. Many organisations have a One Year To Lead – leaders are around in positions for 1 year, however if managed correctly they are in leadership groups (or Tribes) for more than that, learning, leading and influencing the outcomes fo rthe Tribe. Understanding whom you wish to invite into the Tribe can influence the long term outcomes fo rthe Tribe. Do you invite anyone just to get numbers up this year to win an award, do you invite people you like because partying is really important or do you look to target individuals who will work and act to assist others and create new bonds between members – to develop the Tribe.

                   Physical Environment –  In a business sense its the location, the dress smart, the web presences, those things that portray your brand values to the world. Is it professional, does it show your brand as a solution to their problems, is it a group that they wish to stand their personal brand with – or is it a party group that just meets and looks to have a good time. Is the group filled with individuals who are just trying to sell things or find a partner, is the web presence professional and offering those things that potential members feel special about or a continual sell to become a member.

             Process     – In many organisations this is an area that is not understood as a barrier to membership as to current members, it is the organisation. The ritual that we did 300 years ago is what we are about (Masons), its tradition and potential members have to accept it. The Creed is the central core of our existence and must be recited at every meeting (JCI), developed only 40 odd yeas ago it could be said this organisation was about process rather than learning outcomes for future leaders. Drinking is part of our culture (Rural Youth) fun and friendship should be part of the formation of bonds – but having drinking as a central part of the culture reduces the opportunity of good members. Raising money by having a fine session (Skal, Lions and Rotary) may be a bit of fun, but can reduce those bonds as people are humiliated for a laugh and fund raising – not very professional. Just because a process has become part of the culture, does not mean its right for the times now.

Other Tribes that are needed to be understood of current and potential members include ; Family Tribes, Friends Tribes, Alumni Tribes, Work Tribes,  and Community Group Tribes – all individual papers in future blogs. Alumni Tribes especially can be a positive resource for an organisation, or a barrier to new members and change and renewal of the same organisation.

Step (2) ENGAGE with these Tribes.

With an understanding of what Tribes are and the individual Tribes an Organisation and members are dealing with, there can be a plan to engage with those Tribes. It should be long term, as if you are romancing them – not a quick one night stand, not just to get hem to sign on the dotted line for 1 year membership. Its about long term engagement and solutions for all the challenges of all the Tribal members, especially those of community or other organisations. It should be in a form of excitement and in a manner that they are not being stalked or just a number. You need to GIVE more than you ask for – could be free training, free activities, look at personal development of individuals BEFORE you ask them to join. Should be in a manner that is convenient for the potential new person – not the editor. Blogs, online forums, newsletters, ebooks are all easy to manage programs that give to make the potential members feel important. 2 way communication is critical, have a process so they can communicate back, ask questions have input in a safe way. From that strong bond will come a new member, a long term member.

Step (3) Maintain these Tribes.

Once you have your member the process does not stop there. You need to continue programs and processes that enhance their membership, that continually engages and have a 2 way communication. Like any marriage you don’t stop the romancing once you are married – continually make them feel special and they will reciprocate. That’s the development of tribal bonds, then the focus will become on those members like the community who will gain the benefit of the Tribe. Don’t become a “Lets get membership” organisation. Membership is an outcome of good organisations and relevant programs – not continuing to ask new people to join.

Step (4) Profit from the tribal process or how to gain members.

From the creating of Tribal bonds and being relevant in a way that develops long term relationships between members, people will join. When organisations can show that they appreciate members, that the outcome of the organisation is the solutions to members and potential members problems, they will join. When barriers to membership are appreciated from membership of other Tribes, i.e. Family, Work and friend Tribes and solutions to membership that take these other bonds into account, they will join. When you are seen as a dynamic organisation that understands WHY you are here and not just a try hard to get membership organisation, they will join.

Step (5) How to Turbo Charge your organisation

This is the exciting bit. Once your members understand that the focus of the organisation is on them, the outcomes of solutions to their problems and they are respected, they will become advocates for your organisation. Not just to their family and friend tribes, but to other tribes of work tribes, could be School tribes, Parent and Friend Tribes and other community group Tribes. The last one could be critical as with an understanding that your organisation is a positive one that is their for the betterment of the tribal members – individuals and community, can lead to other organisations supporting their members to join yours – from theirs. Rover Scouts, Leo’s, Rotaract, Rural Youth (I was a member of most of these) all have an age out age. If they moved directly into say Rotary and Lions, not only does it change the dynamics of the original meaning of the organisation (Using leaders to make change in the community) but it is not fair on the young person looking to develop themselves, develop their networks and tribes who are going through the same challenges they are – work, family, relationships, education.

If there is a relationships between Community Tribes, these young people can be part of Tribes that offer relevant programs and Tribal Bonds that assist these members to develop themselves. Groups like JCI, APEX and others have programs for  persons in these age groups, aging out at 40 and 45 respectively. This gives them a time to develop those persona, leadership and community skills to be greater effective members for those later groups – Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis etc… and not only become members in a natural flow of “groupies” but longer term and much more effective members.  That in turn creates an better and more effective organisation, with long term benefits for the community.

“That’s the power of tribes – strong bonds in your tribe, create advocates into other tribes, that become customers/members of your tribe.”

Tony Park

What if organisations don’t change.

As been shown above these types of organisations are dying around the world. Those organisations that have not changed to suit the change in consumers and purchasers, that think that the organisation is about scrabbling around just to get members, that past processes and ceremonies are the core of the business and that new members have to conform to us, will continue to close.

Those that use these organisations to Party Party Party, that think that organisations main outcome to find friends and have fun (while important) and only want to engage people with their idea of organisation (they are joining us) will continue to close as people find other ways to engage each other.

As organisations are controlled and managed by the current members, they are not a business that have shareholders and Directors with a focus on the expected outcomes of the reason for the business, they will continue to die if outside forces are not listened to. These forces may be members of the community, may be some Alumni Tribe – however others in Alumni Tribe may be happy for it to die, or other organisations or ways to engage people are created.

People don’t care how much you know

until they know how much you care.

  • Its having members that care about the future of our communities rather then the organisations themselves.
  • Having Alumni that don’t dwell in the past or control the future – but use their current knowledge and influence within their tribes to assist the current members.
  • Its having understanding of the power of tribes – all organisations working together to help each other, to help our communities long term and not just focusing in on themselves.

Work Together

For the community as a whole, whether Rotary, Lions, JCI or others survive for another 50 or a 100 years is not critical for them, unless they are relevant for positive change for them. There needs to be leadership for long term strategies for organisations, how it operates and is linked to other tribes in the community and the most important thing is the development of strong bonds between members.

Objective discussion for solutions for these organisations is imperative, some of those discussions should be between them, with the understanding that they are tribes together, working for their communities. Some may be seen as natural progressions – Scouts/Rural Youth?Leos/Rotaract => APEX, JCI => Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, Chambers of Commerce etc… Together creating knowledge, experiences and tribal creation for the time line of the members. This way the winners are the members, the winners are these organisations and the winners are the community.

Tony Park


I was a member of Scouts Australia for over 30 years as a Youth member and later as a leader and Branch Vice President. Also a member of Rural Youth and JCI (Jaycees) National President for Australia character print (1996) and World Vice President (1997) Awarded Most Outstanding National President of the World with a positive increase in numbers for JCI Australia in 1996, the first in over 20 years. Member of many other organisations, Chambers of Commerce at State, National and International level  etc… and Senator of JCI #566666 – information at www.park.com.au and www.businessgardener.com.au

I have written a co-authored a best selling book with business guru Brian Tracy (Ignite Your Life) and will have a new book published in May 2016 (Business Tribes. Turbocharge your circle of influence, for profit) More information on business tribes can be found at www.businesstribes.com.au 

Tony Park

Working together there are no competitors. Competitor Tribes.

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Competitor Tribes : Working together there are no competitors.

ACCIMany business owners think they are in competition with others who are trying to sell products and services in the same market and then create some form of war with these competitors that they think they are competing with. They normally fight over price tending to reduce margins to try to gain market share.

Their focus is on each other what can they do to beat the competition, can we market better, can we offer something cheaper, how can we offer a cheaper price. In all of this fighting and refocus on each other, the main people who are forgotten in this war is the customer.

We talk about customer/consumer tribes in a later blog, however a better focus on product and people, will gain a much better outcome for these consumers and the business over time. Most war’s are a waste of time, money and effort with everyone losing – a competitor war is the same and while a business may feel they are winning, they can win in a much easier way.

Below is one story I found that gives some background to these concepts;


corn farmerThere was a farmer who grew excellent quality corn. Every year he won the award for the best grown corn. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors. “How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.

“Why sir,” said the farmer, “Didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”

So is with our lives… Those who want to live meaningfully and well must help enrich the lives of others, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all…
-Call it power of collectivity…
-Call it a principle of success…
-Call it a law of life.
The fact is, none of us truly wins, until we all win!!


In  most industry sectors a much better outcome is when the industry leaders work together. It may be in developing a better business environment, workers wages and conditions, taxation, etc. Could be education, encouragement of immigration or increased population or conservation of resources, climate change, water, power generation etc.

 Understanding these critical competitor tribes and how working together can make much better businesses sense. In the past groups like Chambers of Commerce, Industry organisations like Property Council, Tourism Council, Law Council, etc… have brought people together to share ideas, exchange challenges and solutions to make a better outcome for all.

They work when ALL competitors come together – working in a positive way to create foundations for the community. This then focuses this combined thought power to the problems that the consumers have, that this industry can create products and services to satisfy. A focus onto problem satisfaction should be the basis for any business trying to achieve positive outcomes firstly for their consumer tribes, then for themselves.

This is another Tribe that with understanding and management can make huge opportunities to turbo charge your business. They are described in my new book Business Tribes. Turbocharge your circle of influence, for profit and a co-authored book with Brian Tracy – Ignite Your Life.

character print

Tony Park

www.businesstribes.com.au

www.businessgardener.com.au

Its critical to engage your Employee Tribe.

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Its critical to engage your Employee Tribe.

Understanding Employee Tribes will help you and your business to be much more efficient and save you real money, however if you get it wrong it can become so acidic for your business that it could lead to real challenges to its survival.

InImage result for "business tribe" my new book – “Business tribes. Turbo charge your circle of Influence, for profit” I outline some ideas on why and
how you can Understand, Engage and Maintain your tribes, including employee tribes.
As business grow, this is one tribe that sometimes is left behind as the owners think that all the people working with them have the same passion for the business as they do. They cannot understand that people have their own particular life challenges and personal goals that sometimes align with the business – but sometimes they don’t.

Communication, Understanding and Joint Goals are 3 strategies that combine to understand your employee tribe and what they can do for you and your business. 

Below is a a reflection by Liz Ryan a contibutor to Forbes, on a great business Zappos that had developed itself into one of the leading companies that could empowered and engaged their employees, truly creating a Tribe atmosphere that turbo charged their business.

However a change of management made greater challenges as they TOOK AWAY those things that made that Tribe a Tribe and not only made the employees look for a new job, but is putting the whole business into jeopardy.


 

What’s Causing Zappos To ‘Hemorrhage’ Talent?

This NYT story tells the sad tale of Zappos, long known as a great place to work, now losing employees at an alarming rate — but why? It’s because Zappos, revered for its friendly and open culture for years, adopted a radical new management approach that is driving employees out the doors.

What went wrong? “Holacracy,” the non-hierarchical, non-structured approach the company is in the process of installing, obviously isn’t every team member’s cup of tea, but the story goes deeper than that.

Zappos’ new leadership philosophy was designed to give its employees latitude, but it’s actually sending them away in droves. According to a Zappos executive quoted in the story above, 18 percent of its workforce has bailed since last March. That’s 260 employees out the door.

That is what you’d have to expect when you tell your employees “You’re going to have all the latitude you want — but only the kind of latitude we want you to have!”

Zappos now risks killing the goose that laid golden eggs for its customers and parent corporation Amazon for years. You can’t make a workplace better by shoving an executive team’s favorite version of self-directed leadership down its employees’ throats.

If the Zappos management team really cared about its employees’ level of latitude, they would have asked the employees how to lead the company rather than forcing “Holacracy” on them.

Telling people exactly how the company is going to work is the opposite of giving people latitude, and Zappos’ leaders should have known that.

In a Human Workplace you ask your brilliant teammates how they want to be led. You don’t push enormous changes on them in a huge social experiment and do them the extra injury of telling them that they’re going to simply love the new system if they just give it a chance!

 

When people are marginalized, it’s very hard to get them excited. It’s beyond ironic that Zappos wants its employees to get excited about losing hierarchy in the operation when the hierarchical structure is exactly what allowed the leadership to force “Holacracy” into place.

The message comes through strongly: “Get in line or get out!” Does that sound like latitude to you?

Liz Ryan

Contributor to Forbes.


A once great business, now with a range of tribal challenges – a major one being Employee Tribes, that may be critical for the ongoing survival of the business. Not understanding Tribes in general or employee tribes in particular is a little understood business skill that is not taught in your standard MBA course – but without it your business will have ongoing challenges that will hinder and may be critical for its future survival.

Tony Parkcharacter print

 

 

www.businesstribes.com.au  and www.businessgardener.com.au 

 

Tony has written a co-authored book with Brian Tracy ; Ignite your life and his new book, Business Tribes. Turbocharge your circle of influence, for profit – out in May.

 

How to manage your Face Book Tribe

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facebook tribe

How to manage your Face Book Tribe

Facebook has become embedded into the social and business activity of a large percentage of the western world. A challenge to that growth has been the ability to engage and manage those tribal members and the greater the tribe, the reduced ability to have a two way engagement – one of the keys to the development of a tribe.

A post by Damon Beres in the Huffington Post, describes some actions you can do to manage those people in your Facebook group, that you wish to convert into a tribe. You cannot engage in a two way relationship with all of them, however it is possible to be an effective communicator to the ones that you wish to be most engaged with.

It is limited directly to the top 30 to engage, so you have to manage this process so that your Tribe withing your Face Book group are the ones you wish to work/engage as a priority, however there are a number of other tools and methods to use Face Book analytic’s to engage with many more. Subject of another post.


How To Choose Which Facebook Posts You See First – It’s simpler than you’d think.

Damon Beres
Tech Editor, The Huffington Post
You may not realize it, but Facebook doesn’t show you a chronological series of the latest posts from your friends and “liked” pages when you visit News Feed. Instead, the social network uses an algorithm to determine what it thinks you’ll want to see and shows you that.

If you’d like to exert a bit more control, there’s a somewhat hidden way to make sure your favorite people and pages always appear at the top of your feed. You can do it on your computer or your smartphone.

On A Computer

To select which Facebook posts you see first on a computer, first go to a friend’s profile. You’ll see a button that says “Following” next to their name and at the bottom of their cover photo. Click on that, then select “See first.”

If you want to see posts from “liked” brands at the top of your feed, there are a couple more steps. Go to the page you’re interested in, then click the button that says “Liked.” Then, click “Posts in News Feed.” From there, select “See First” and save your changes. Posts from your brand of choice will now surface at the top of your News Feed. Congratulations: You just made a social media editor very, very happy.

Posts from people and pages you’ve asked to “See First” should now surface at the top of your News Feed at facebook.com with a little blue star next to them.

On A Smartphone Or Tablet

Selecting which Facebook posts to see first is actually even simpler on a mobile device. Open the Facebook app, go to your friend’s page, tap “Following” and select the “See First” option on the window that pops up.

Unlike the desktop version of Facebook, the process is exactly the same for pages you like: Go to the page, tap “Following” and select “See First.”

Why Bother?

If you’re ever frustrated that your News Feed seems like a glut of nonsense from people and pages you don’t really care about, it’s worth taking the time to manually select what you “See First.” You won’t miss it when your friends post something, and the top of your feed will theoretically be filled with the stuff you want to spend time with. Facebook allows you to choose up to 30 people or pages to “See First,” so go nuts.

Remember, though, that the social network will still keep track of what you interact with in hopes of distilling your behavior down to a science. You can help it understand what you care about, but you’re still feeding it more precious data about yourself. Enjoy!  Damon.


Take control of your Facebook tribe.

So you can take control of Face Book – create your tribe within your Facebook group to get a more interactive experience to engage and manage that tribe. We will have some information on how you may be able to enage a larger part of your facebook group – to convert some of them into your facebook tribe, to turbo charge your business and life.

character print

Tony Park

Author, speaker, entrepreneur, academic

Co-author of “Ignite your Life” with Brian Tracy

and pending book “Business Tribes. Turbo charge your circle of influence, for profit”

www.businessgardener.com.au

www.businesstribes.com.au

 

Using social capital to create Employee Tribes

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Using Social Capital to create employee Tribes

social capital

Hi all,

Below is a great article on a particular Business Tribe, that of employee tribes. A group of people that are critical for all businesses.
Some employers think that the people who work for the are just another supply input and that they can be controlled like any other supply process. However research has shown (and common sense) that engaged and respected employees perform better for the business and themselves .
Clare Edwards in her latest article in LinkedIn, outlines some ideas for this tribal group – using some basics of RESPECT and ENGAGEMENT that I have outlined in my soon to be published book, Business Tribes. Turbocharge you Circle of Influence, for profit – soon to be published in March.

The Key to Building a Tribe from a Team through Social Capital

We are tribal in Nature

As the earliest human beings, we slept, lived and hunted in groups. If one person were to be cast out of the tribe they didn’t last long before becoming lunch. Our brains are wired to connect with other humans, even before we had language to communicate we could read nonverbal cues such as friendship, danger, love, (dis)approval and act on them.

Connection is Key

David Rock, the founder of the Neuroleadership movement, based on the work of neuroscientist Matthew Liebermann, identified 5 core social needs that drive human behaviour and, when not met, can result in high levels of stress. One of these needs is belonging (called relatedness in his model) – the desire, nay, need to be in the ‘in-tribe’. Regardless of our levels of extraversion or introversion we have an innate need to belong, to be accepted and to be consulted.

How then do we facilitate this level of connection in the workplace?

It’s not so much what you communicate as how you communicate

Professor Sandy Pentland runs the Connection Science and Human Dynamics labs at MIT and, through the creation of ‘sociometric’ badges that monitor how we communicate, has been able to help us unravel the good vs great team conundrum.

Working with team members from a diverse set of industries and functions (healthcare, banking, call centres, back office operations) the badges were worn by team members and recorded elements of communication such as tone of voice, body language, levels of energy and empathy. The badges did not record content at all.

So what are the dynamics that Pentland picked up on the separates the wheat from the chaff when it comes to high performing teams?

  1. Patterns of communication are the most important predictor of a team’s success. In particular the communication that happens outside of formal meetings and interaction
  2. Face to face communication is critical to understanding and responding to subtle social cues and enhances team spirit. There is also an energy in peoples’ gestures when they interact with one another
  3. Communication with other teams enhances productivity as some team embers go out ‘exploring’ and come back with new ideas and information to feed into their ‘tribe’
  4. It’s not about talent and stars, rather it’s about engagement, contribution and respect

Armed with this new knowledge and data after team members in a banking call centre wore the badges for six weeks, results included reduced average handling time of 20% amongst the lower performing members and a $15 million increase in productivity forecast. Oh and employee satisfaction has risen by 10%.

How did they do this? They scheduled coffee breaks for each team at the same time.

They enabled social connectivity outside of formal interactions. They facilitated the building of social capital.

Building Social Capital

Pentland’s research and subsequent findings support the work of entrepreneur and brilliant TED talk presenter Margaret Heffernan and her findings on social capital which she defines as the trust, knowledge, reciprocity and shared norms that create quality of life and make a group resilient.

The Difference that Makes a Difference – traits that make a Team a Tribe

  1. Equal time and attention – no one person dominates or holds back, this is a natural process, not contrived 
  2. Social Sensitivity – the ability to tune into one another and notice subtle shifts in mood and demeanour, the ability to truly empathise and feel from the perspective of the other 
  3. Diversity makes a difference – teams with more women* perform better than homogeneous teams

*I will write another post on this shortly. The work of Heidi Grant Halvorson and Valerie Purdie-Vaughns of the University of Columbia is validating that diverse teams perform better in creativity, problem-solving and innovation. This extends further than gender to include ethnicity and minorities.

Strategies for creating a High Performing Tribe

  1. Encourage cross communication – rather than expecting people to stay in their area, encourage the explorers to go out, seek, find out and report back 
  2. All hail the water cooler – some companies are embracing this and installing more water coolers; rather than frowning on ‘non-work banter’, allow and encourage it 
  3. You don’t have to spend a fortune on teambuilding – badge data from a software company proved that out of work ‘beer meets’ made no difference but lengthening the table in the lunchroom did! 
  4. Ban lunch (and drinks) at the desk – let people gather for meals, we’ve been doing this since we were sitting around camp fires and our brains are wired to receive doses of dopamine and serotonin (happy hormones) from such gatherings 
  5. Teach empathy – in her TED article Heffernan shares the story of Carol Vallone who, when taking over a new company, had department heads argue the case for the budget of a different department resulting in the leadership team deeply understanding the needs and challenges of their peers 
  6. Encourage more face to face exchanges – it’s harder to build empathy with someone we can’t see, this is of particular importance when building a virtual team. Invest the money in bringing them together as often as possible and aim to replace email and text with video conferencing at the least 
  7. Don’t aim for harmony – high performing tribes are often found to be in conflict. The difference is that they feel comfortable enough to challenge one another and to have the necessary courageous conversations 

Making the Soft Stuff Hard

Far from being ‘touchy feely’ or ‘gone soft’ strategies, the building of social capital builds robust and resilient organisations by bringing out the best in people. This results in higher productivity, lower turnover and a deeper level of engagement.

Clare Edwards is Principal of BrainSmart enabling people to lead effectively, think smarter and develop their resilience to thrive in change by engaging their amazing brains. Social media – beingbrainsmart

 Written by Clare Edwards


New authored book

New authored book

From this article and information from my co-authored book with Brian Tracy and pending authored book, the basics of engagement of employees is critical to the effectiveness of the business.

This can be enhanced by respectful engagement of ALL the employees in the Tribe, at a level that reduces hierarchy for that engagement and creates an opportunity to then engage and use the tribes of your new engaged employee tribes. To use these to make money for your business – the books will be available soon.