Monthly Archives: September 2017

Build your Tribe with Pinterest

Published by:

  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 


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

Published by:

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.