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Archive for the category “social media”

Breaking news – But who is putting them back together again?


Breaking news – But who is putting them back together again? pablo-5

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

Isn’t it amazing how fast we get news now? Social media made it possible. Wherever we go we get to know tons of information about anything ranging from gossip to disasters. Difficult part is that we consume this like fast food: Snag it, bag it, consume it, and move on. The more we hear the same stuff it becomes “fact”. But is that the Truth?

There are multiple issues with how we get news and how they are being prepared. For one, most events are oriented towards local and national acts of violence, only the most significant national and international events, and not to forget sports.

Then the reporting very rarely spends any significant time to review issues in depth. It tailors to ever so short attention spans. That is why I compare it to getting spoon fed with fast food: A brief rush that lasts about only as long as we get our next dose of it. Unfortunately, there seems to never be a shortage of rather useless news that TV and other print and online news sources jump on for our next dose.

What is especially sad is that it takes only a little effort to go after more useful information. Nothing new here – it is not impossible to get to better quality news. It is too bad that it does take a little more effort though. Are you willing though to make that little extra effort? In highly politicized times like this it is easier than ever to lose our bearing. What is really bad is that we no longer congregate in small or larger communities like we used to just 20 years ago.

I can only recommend a small habit change with a pretty big impact: Check out a few online and / or print resources every day that you that are quite a bit different from your usual sources. Give this a try at least once a week. Really cool are online sources like Deutsche Welle – DW, BBC or similar sources. Not only do you get a more international look at news, but you typically get a more in depth look at things that our media here do not take a close look at. It is all about getting a better – meaning broader – perspective.

Remember that just consuming raw news (I am including our social media updates here as well) is one thing, but allowing time for folks to better prepare them for you and for you taking the time to digest it properly is really where you should make the difference. Nothing is worse than to be un- or under informed; wait, perhaps outright incorrect information can be worse.

For printed resources perhaps Time, Wall Street Journal etc are best (even these guys have online presences too).

Bottom line is that you owe yourself a greater variety of news. The more you know, the better the decision you can make because of it. We have been given the most powerful tools on this planet by being human: We have the power of choice and the knowledge what is the right (or better) thing to do. Let’s put this to good use by starting with solid and correct information. Otherwise, we will fall victim to yet another case of garbage in-garbage out symptom. That can lead for you to become the next breaking news.

Ralf

The truth makes for short sentences


The truth makes for short sentences

Sharing this vital nugget with someone I consider a key mentor caused for him to mention how profound this is. To me it is a reality that I have aspired living to at work as well as in any social setting. Just look at any toxic work place and you will see that openness, transparency, and integrity are not easy to come by. Hidden agendas, jockeying for positions, everything is always portrayed to be a success, and so many other alarm signals should tell you to get out and away from an organization like it. Have you ever noticed that correspondence telling you why stuff went wrong is typically long and verbose?

Now look at examples in work and social settings are based on honest feedback and everyone has the courage to speak their truth no matter how inconvenient it may be. Makes for short conversations, right? Compare that to the #dieselgate nonsense that Volkswagen is going through right now. Explanations as to how this could have happened are long and complex. Remember the movie “A few good men” from which the above movie clip is from? Bottom line is that life is too short to get tangled up in stuff like this. It is stressful and no one comes out a true winner. Stick to the honest truth letting you meet every person at eye level. Enjoy the experience of creativity to just start flowing out of everyone.

Ralf

Would you give up YOUR gift? Have Kleenex handy


Would you give up YOUR gift? Have Kleenex handy Smaller FB

Christmas may be just over, but we are very lucky here as the next special days and further holidays are just around the corner. More gifts should be headed our way. Imagine you were asked what gift your heart desires and you would be presented with it. Then you are given the choice to either accept your gift or to give it up in favor of a present to someone of your family you dearly love. How would you decide?

Now grab a box of Kleenex (just to be on the safe side) and watch this recent 3-minute YouTube film (discover the film here). You will find yourself in good company with young children who faced the above tough decision: “Should I choose a present for myself? Should I pick a present for a loved one?” The results are heart warming.

It’s also a lesson in leadership. How so? It is one thing to give up something nice for a loved one. It is yet another thing to give it up for someone you do not like. Would you still decide the same way? This is where we can all grow: Do we have enough unconditional love for everyone whom we serve?

Ralf

Technology has made our world flat again


A few good reasons to embrace social media and internet technology Smaller FB

Ancient people used to believe that the Earth was flat and it was not until roughly 500 years ago that we acknowledged the concept of our Mothership Earth being a sphere and recognizing how huge it is. The technological tsunami that has been well on its way since the World Wide Web kicked into high gear in the mid Nineties. I has managed to flatten the world again without physically shrinking this place. As we keep surfing the Internet – we finally have a tool that has great potential for countries and people of any ethnic and religious background to participate in business globally without having to ever leave our houses.

There is not a week that goes by where businesses call or e-mail me offering their products and engineering services – from thousands of miles away. Not only does our technology finally offer opportunities to those of us who used to suffer from centuries of colonialism and its ugly repercussions, it also has proven itself by making business more transparent and thus fairer in general. The times are gone by when manufacturers tried to manipulate the quotation and buying process by controlling if not limiting information. Now we just need a browser and a good search engine and wealth of information opens itself up to us.

This type of trading makes the whole quotation and buying experience much fairer and provides unique business opportunities for producers that are sincere and genuine in what they offer to the market. The emergence of social marketing that at its root is basing a company’s success to think about inviting customers to buy instead of pushing themselves onto the customer and actively having to sell products or services.   What that means is that now a consumer has so many choices that what a seller offers had better be providing value to them. It should (I feel it is a must) be offered for customers to take at their free will without manipulation. The Web lowers the smoke screen that conventional sales and distribution outlets used to benefit from and raises the bar for us all to be honest.   Consultants are probably the only ones who could argue that there income are threatened by the free information made available on the Net. On the other hand, they also have a great chance to use the technology to their benefit. Even the Web cannot exist without relationships that are based on trust and commitment management. There still need to be people who need to work on answering Web based requests.

Of course then there is the rate of speed at which one can acquire knowledge and do business. It is fascinating to me that nowadays I have the opportunity to not travel to a job site any more because you I log on to the machinery controllers and “be there” without being there. Machinery troubleshooting is possible from wherever we have access to the Net. Even better, you are even alerted by the machine with an SMS or e-mail that it is on trouble. Can you imagine how much time, money and natural resources you – and therefore your customer – do not need to spend anymore? Plant managers have an opportunity assessing life cycle costs for product ranging from a small blower to high value assets such as kilns – phenomenal.

Finally, the Internet and social media afford everyone who can afford new age telephony and computer technology to open up their own businesses. No matter where you are today, there is typically a way how to access the internet and thus offer you the chance to offer your products and services to a global audience. It provides access to markets that used to be physically guarded and your entry into it was all but impossible.

I have trouble nowadays thinking back to a time when we did not have technological marvels such as E-Mail, Skype, Twitter, FB, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, WhatsApp, customer relationship databases, Intranets, cloud base technology, and so many more. It still comes with disadvantages such as leaving poor folks out who do not have the money to participate. The Internet has changed our lives forever and it has brought us humans closer together than ever before in history. It also will provide well for entities that use the technology in a way that is beneficial for all the stake and share holders – including the customer as well as our environment. Physically the Earth has not shrunk, but it is flat and technology has brought us closer together than ever before.

Ralf

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