Top Five for Content Curators

Content Curation Pathways

Know Thy Tags – make sure that you are familiar with the key tags that your key audience is using to tag their content so that you can ensure that your analytics tools are providing you with the dashboard you need to monitor

Perform Health Checks – ensure you are spending time to monitor new content creation, modifications, tags, shares,  likes, dislikes, subscriptions, followers or changes.  In  other words, pattern monitoring.

Monitor Conversations – carve out time every day to scan questions, answers and knowledge sharing within your key product, service, or content areas so that you can dive into them to respond, augment, thank and/or connect to other areas within the tools or discussions.

Tend the Garden Pathway – it’s important that in your cultivation activities you invest time to review pathways so as to ensure that they are meeting the needs of your members.  This includes pulling inappropriate content, cross referencing relevant or simliar content, facilitate safe pathways or simply invest in time to fertilize or foster social learning as needed.  What I mean by that is that it is important to facilitate an answer to the community content,  watch for new content so t hat you can facilitate the conversation, answer, problem, complaint, etc.  Make sure that content is linked to appropriate other objects such as spaces, pages, videos, blogs, etc.

Practice Gratitude – throughout your daily process, you should spend time to pick up the phone, send a message, mail eCards, and regular cards, send gifts, insert video highlights into online photo booth or simply put names on a marquee.  Just make sure you are demonstrating
gratitude and thankfulness.

Community Cultivation Planning

Wild Northern Nevada Mustangs

Now that I have a community, a community manager and member –what’s next, they ask.  It all depends as one size doesn’t fit all.

I’ve been invited into many conversations regarding what to do once you have a community in place and what I’m consistently finding the
question that begs an answer is, “Do you have a cultivation plan?”  What are you doing as a community manager to tend and nurture your members?  Well, I’m spending time creating FAQs, facilitating webinars for training and answering support questions.  Those are all excellent activities and what I find in my client engagements is that you

need to customize your cultivation plans to the community charter and have
participation architecture in mind as you evolve this notion of a plan.

Here are some elements to consider:

  • Evaluate the health
  • Provide feedback
  • Give recognition
  • Foster cross community connections
  • Identify and develop community leaders
  • Consider  face to face element programs
  • Incorporate social responsibilities
  • Infuse notions of gamification
  • Send out personal thank you notes – yah I said it, use the old school post
  • Refresh your existing approach with on-boarding based based on analysis of members digital habitats
  • Consider cultivating a welcome wagon

These are all examples of things that could be part of your cultivation plan.  I encourage you to ensure that you are thinking about a myriad of approaches to tend and nurture your community as you do any garden.  Good luck and continue to reach out to me with your feedback and
questions.  There is no ‘right’ answer, rather it’s the journey, so consider it an adventure of how you can entice the wild horses to drink from a

Watch for Women

Looking for a great podcast on Global Talent, look no further as HBR has one featuring: Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Ripa Rashid of the Center for Work-Life Policy. These are authentic women sharing their research.  In fact,  their candor in discussing the growing achievement gap, developing markets and the blank slate phenomena was inspiring.  When you think about your organizational talent pool globally, or your recruitment programs, it’s no wonder you are left scratching your head when you think about legacy models that aren’t working to keep ambitious and committed women at large organizations.  It’s a must listen, reflect and learn.

Many of us are highly committed, ambitious and entrepreneurial in nature.  We seek meaningful work that allows us to unleash our gifts all the  while contributing to our local, global and physical communities.   We desire work that allows us to fly.

So thank you, to all the women in my positive conspiracies of change (deceased and/or alive) –as you have been and continue to be my mentors. I’ve forever grateful.  Don’t fret, I am too investing paying it forward through my circles of influence and look forward to continuing to build these bridges and opening these doors for generations to come.

Redefining the “People” Experience

Transparency, Trust and Authentic Communications are keys to the kingdom.  This was my take away with conversations that I’ve had with, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for the Disney/ABC Television Group (DATG) is that Steve Milovich is focused on refining the employee experience, from improving professional development, to growing strong capable leaders, and strengthening collaboration across DATG and The Walt Disney Company. The path to success, according to the DATG HR leader, “will be inspired in part by Disney/ABC’s achievements in connecting with and engaging consumers.“  Steve further states that, “This notion of collaborative approaches within the ecosystem of organizations is main stream in large organizations, which is exciting for those of us who understand that networks exist today.  There are collaborative people who are brokering informative actively today that we can help organizations really fly.  Sharing and transparency will help to broker and connect employees, partners, customers or prospects and lead to innovation and new product and service development.”

I’m honored to have had the opportunity to meet someone that is such a progressive leader within a world class organization that truly understands the importance of an
open and dynamic organizations – he truly is an example of the #futureofhr.

In fact recently during a conversation with Jay Galbraith, he reminded members at Executive Networks the importance of implementing an organization that builds alignment using his methodology of the star, which emphasizes strategy, structure, process, rewards and people.  He has found in his work over the years that good matrix organizational structures have strong networks and emphasize social capital.  They not only reward but also recruit the best people.

Overall, the trend line continues to emphasize the importance of authentic people who can help communities, organizations and families realize new heights.  We continue to have opportunities abound and I do hope you will join this important effort of “people” whether they are on during offsites at a luxury hotel, canvassaing for an election or within an organization.

Turn Negative Intent into New Possibilities

One of my pet peeves is assuming negative intent.  I find people that are in the business of constantly pointing out failure without desire to collaborate quite irritating, like a bee that just buzzes around your head and all you want to do is swat it.  In the community business, these can be your colleagues, sales people or even your customers.

According to Marshall Goldsmiths’ book MOJO , we just have to accept and focus our energies on the short and long term activities that we enjoy.  Easier said than done sometimes when we are in the call queue and waiting to take another brutal call about a well documented service bulletin that is suppose to repair a really critical product issue.  Nonetheless, what we need to do as community managers is turn our energies toward what may feel negative or impossible and use this as an opportunity to find ways to bring these individuals them into the fold.  It can be challenging – but sometimes these dissenters really do have great ideas and good things to propose – they want to be heard, but they may not have any leadership, collaborative skills to do that – so we have to find ways that we can listen and be the advocate on their behalf.

In reading David Armano article on “Anatomy of the Movement” on the HBR Blog, relevant to this conversation true for us to think more about; “Movements can be desirable weapons in the war to influence behavior, but you need to understand how they work.” 

Perhaps if we spent more time visiting understanding or visiting our customers, we could really get to understand why?  Why we feel they have negative intent?  Why they are calling us so often with complaints?  Or what we can do about it?

We can be the advocate on their behalf and turn what appear to be negative situations into new possibilities.

Chilean Miner Story Inspires Communities to Connect through New Media

These men that are getting shuttled up out of the earth in the Phoenix 2 exemplify heroes in Chile.  Truly they have demonstrated strength, faith, leadership and humanity in their perilous experience being trapped under ground for over two months.

This rescue is a great example of transparency in communications and new forms of partnering.   This really is unprecedented partnering across governments, countries, private sector, broadcast journalism and new media.  Just check out the hash tag, Chilean Miner or fuerzamineros, it’s trending on Twitter, clogging email boxes and causing slow load times in comment sections on major on-line news agencies. 

An impossible hole to drill they were told.   However, the drillers didn’t allow that concept to stop them, rather they persevered despite the insurmountable odds.  They were able to talk to experts around the globe, while communicating with the trapped miners and Chilean authors together to problem solve.  Now that is community!

Imagine if we as community leaders had two months to be trapped in a dark living room to re think our approaches to day to day work.    How would we begin to ‘change’ our behavior to open up our hearts and minds to new approaches to interacting with our customers, members and supply chain?  This story is a call to action for each of us as community leaders to think about each day taking a step in a direction that is unknown, unprecedented and unfamiliar with the faith in others around us to partner to take us on a learning journey. 

Communities of Practice often find themselves successful in organizations as they tend to solve business problems.  But what about opening up our Employee to Employee Communities to connect with our Business to Community Channels and consider using these as new forums to truly solve business problems.   I have been talking to many organizations and can’t seem to find any yet doing this work, but I’m very interested to talk to be a part of this learning journey.

Communities with extreme characters and characteristics

Nevada Box Canyon Poppy

There is a private collection on loan at the Nevada Museum of Art where I explored the Baroque World of Fernando Botero which inspired this post.

Botero finds interconnectedness of realities.  He is able to convey his awareness of the distinctions between traditional and modern life.  I found the personal connection as a community composer to my work which I attempt to outline with a story.

I live most of my days in vibrant on-line communities with bold individuals who have amazing stories of changing lives through their passions, deeds and discreet weavings.  I’m a member of a community of parents who connect around the life and death experiences we share every day with our children who suffer from life threatening food allergies.  This community is serious, yet heartfelt.  We see boldness in our children who are taunted for being different if they cannot drink milk out of a carton.  We watch them go through teenage years where they are afraid to inject themselves with medicine to save their lives due to peer pressure.  We watch them turn colors, cough all the while we are hoping, praying and injecting these helpless creatures with steroids.  We console them in the emergency room, while  we listen to the ‘tick tock’ of the clock hoping that it will all just go away.  We live these paintings that are bold, rich and convincing, but in a real life frame.  This is why we are good community weavers, because we are able to interconnect realities.   Not only are we vibrant like this Nevada canyon poppy, but we have brutal lives as depicted in Botero’s paintings.

Compassionate community communications

At the heart of our communications, what we intend to do is connect each other to our passion, compassion and self.  As weavers, we are natural givers yet we are empowered to give on behalf of our network, community or organization, it’s a great career.  In fact, we don’t give out of fear, guilt, shame or a desire to gain – but rather that is our passion, our nature.  If your members feel safe, appreciated, respected and important through your authentic conversations, they will stay, get engaged and be loyal. 

Compassionate communications start with individuals that have been trained to understand different approaches and styles.   You can train community weavers around communication templates, techniques and methods in order to hold authentic conversation and speak and act out of compassion.   

Community weavers are natural observers, they sense, they listen and  translate this information into a possibility, which is in the air that they consider and wait for the opportunity to present itself so that they can request of a member something that will ultimately benefit not only the member, but more importantly, the community itself.

I’ve been weaving for a while, and what I often find the most interesting is this idea or sense that we are paid to complete calls, complete cases or convert memberships.  It’s the ROI chase.    It becomes mission impossible really if we don’t allow our community weavers to give of themselves and express themselves in a way that doesn’t necessarily equate to quantity or ROI.  Rather – we are authentic in our approach with individuals and often through being empowered, we are able to not just ‘give’ or ‘complete calls’ but actually increase engagement through requesting our members to be accountable for what they say they want in being a member of a community.  If a customer is frustrated with service that they have received, we ask of them to make sure that the next interaction with a client they are calm and share their feelings and request of the agent that they are respectful of their needs and perhaps even ask them to reiterate back what they heard.  I often ask members of a network to ‘give’ or ‘do’ something to ‘give’ in return to the network.  Ask them to host an informal luncheon, a coffee, welcome a new member, etc. 

Being compassionate, authentic and honest is cornerstone to any successful relationship.    We don’t want a member to feel like our interaction is “staged” or “temporary”, but rather are setting the stage for a solid beginning foundation of great possibilities.    Because at the end of the day, this notion of compassion is community and connection.

Transparency, culture, communities, and human nature

Lauren's reciprocation and sharing

Thanks to Leader Networks, Vanessa DiMauro, who connected me with @Ashley Quincey with Awareness Networks, as I’m searching around to find people in my personal network who are working with large organizations that are doing pioneering work with consumer product communities and CoPs for a member of Executive Networks.   What I’m finding in the pursuit of this knowledge, is that although I feel I have a strong set of advisors, sometimes the type of knowledge you seek, is really not yet widely available and you want to harness the most creative minds to come together to talk further with individuals that are in a position to invest in entrepreneurial thinking, breaking down silos, new paradigms, etc. 

What I’m really speaking about is this notion of transparency within, across and outside of large corporations.    There has been a lot of talk about social media marketing, new channels and new communications and one concern that Ashley and I discussed was around this notion of point solutions and technology. 

The question we asked ourselves is how are large organizations collaborating within their structures, such as (People, IT and Marketing) so that they aren’t creating silos, so they are walking the talk and so that they become walking role models of how leadership, transformation and transparency really can transform cultures, societies and lead to greatness.

Ashley shared that “some small businesses start without a business plan, finding success in a breakthrough product or service early on and building upon that success organically. However, it’s inevitable that the venture will need to have a structured business plan put in place at some point if the business is expected to scale, expand and ultimately thrive.”  She pointed me to a social business planning process that I’ve since shared with several members of one of my networks to consider as they approach their 2011 planning process.

We would love to hear examples of businesses that are having these conversations around what is working and making a difference.

Trust Your Journey with a hum, buzz and click

Today the REAL WOMEN of the BLC (Biggest Little City) ventured up 36 flights of stairs committed not only to the American Lung Association of Nevada’s 2nd Annual Stair climb, but inspiring our children, families and onlookers to consider having faith to trust they could realize the unattainable, in this case 36 flights of stairs.  These women depict the essence of the blog I posted several weeks ago about what it takes to be a community weaver.  These women are involved with non-profits, they are tireless in their support for education and the physical community in Reno.  So, it was fitting to sport these comfortable organic T-shirts from Trust Your Journey as women who are a tribute to women that care about what make communities hum, buzz and click.    We took time out of our busy lives today to commit yet again to the community that we live in through humming to the DJ, buzzing about to broker a few connections between people who hadn’t yet met, or listening to the clicks in our brains, taking it all in and wondering how we can incorporate the feeling we are all having during this monumental day into other events in the future.