Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Power of Introverts - TED Video

In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Crowd Funding: The 80-20 rule applies

Pareto’s Principle: The 80-20 rule

Definition: 80% of the results flow from 20% of the causes

This theory can be applied to
  • gardening – 20% of pea pods produce 80% of the peas
  • land owning – 20% of the population own 80% of the land
  • software – 20% of bugs create 80% of crashes
  • global wealth – 20% of the world’s population owns 80% of the wealth
pareto-principle 80-20
In business the theory would be;
  • 80% of your profits come from 20% of your customers
  • 80% of your complaints come from 20% of your customers
  • 80% of your profits come from 20% of the time you spend
  • 80% of your sales come from 20% of your products
  • 80% of your sales are made by 20% of your sales staff
Application to crowdfunding
The research shows that the majority of your donations come from your close social networks. 

If this theory is true, approximately 80% of your funds will come from 20% of donors, who will be well known to you.  

It may also be the case that only 20% of your entire social connections will be donors to your campaign.

It is your task to a) discover who are the 20% who are willing to support your campaign or invest in your business, b) map these people in your strategy, before you launch your product or service and c) involve your core supporters directly from the outset.

80-20 pareto
Be Aware your potential donors will be;
  • closely connected to the team
  • have a long history of connection
  • existing customers or service users
  • be passionate about the cause or idea
Be aware, the key 20% of all your social connections will show one or more of these characteristics. 

The ones who tick all the boxes are the ones you need to focus on. 

Once you have connected with these potential donors, bring them into the campaign early so they are fully engaged, believe in it and want it to succeed. 

Continue to engage them throughout. Focus 80% of your energies here. If they bring you 80% of the funds then the 20% is more likely to follow.

NB: Be Aware that 80% of your complaints and service issues will come from 20% of your supporters, but that's another discussion for another day!

Quote by Adam Smith: The great source of both the misery and disorde...

Adam Smith

“The great source of both the misery and disorders of human life, seems to arise from over-rating the difference between one permanent situation and another. Avarice over-rates the difference between poverty and riches: ambition, that between a private and a public station: vain-glory, that between obscurity and extensive reputation. The person under the influence of any of those extravagant passions, is not only miserable in his actual situation, but is often disposed to disturb the peace of society, in order to arrive at that which he so foolishly admires. The slightest observation, however, might satisfy him, that, in all the ordinary situations of human life, a well-disposed mind may be equally calm, equally cheerful, and equally contented. Some of those situations may, no doubt, deserve to be preferred to others: but none of them can deserve to be pursued with that passionate ardour which drives us to violate the rules either of prudence or of justice; or to corrupt the future tranquillity of our minds, either by shame from the remembrance of our own folly, or by remorse from the horror of our own injustice.”

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Ted: What Every Budding Social Entrepreneur Should Hear

Rachel Botsman The Currency of the Sharing Economy
Tony Robbins asks Why we do what we do
Hans Rosling shows the best stats you’ve ever seen
Arthur Benjamin does mathemagic
Jeff Han demos his breakthrough multi-touchscreen
Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing your genius
Dan Gilbert asks: Why are we happy?
Daniel Pink on the surprising science of motivation
Barry Schwartz on the paradox of choice
Simon Sinek on how great leaders inspire action

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bad Managers Create Disgruntled Employees

Set a clear path to bring disgruntled employees back into the fold.
  • Encourage me more. When we asked the unhappy 16% to name the skill they thought was most important for their boss to demonstrate, the top response was "Inspire and motivate others." Too often, managers take a negative tone with disgruntled employees. Expecting that efforts to motivate will be ignored, none are proffered, and the expectations become self-fulfilling but data suggest managers should take the opposite view: Work harder to inspire this group. Keep the conversation positive. Plan for, and expect the best, not the worst.
  • Trust me more. It's probably not surprising that both parties — unhappy employee and bosses alike — distrust each other. The key to restoring trust is to operate with the belief that the other party can change. We encourage the manager to make the first move (cause that's your job) by making the effort to understand the employee's problems. Then, as both parties work on their relationship, they must strive for consistency —that is, the manager must strive to treat all employees equally, and both parties must strive to simply do what they say they will do. Over time, trust will grow.
  • Take an interest in my development. If a person works hard and gets a pay check he has a job but if a person works hard, gets a pay check, and learns a new skill, she has a career. Career development should not be focused only on the high-potentials. As counterintuitive as it may seem, don't leave the underachievers out when distributing stretch assignments.
  • Keep me in the loop. Communication is fundamentally a core management function, so this responsibility rests squarely with the managers. Great communicators do three things well. First, they share information and keep everyone well informed. Second, they ask good questions, inviting the opinions and views from others — all others. Third, they listen to everyone, not just the people they like.
  • Be more honest with me. People want to know how they're really doing on the job — and the one's not in favour perhaps even more than the one's feeling the warm glow of approval. They want to know why they're falling short. They want a chance to improve. Too often, though, the bottom 16% feel their bosses are shirking their responsibility by not giving honest feedback, glossing over problems with comments like "You're coming along fine," when clearly they are not. Alarmingly, many reported promises being made ("if you finish this project on time then...") that were not kept. Honesty is the bedrock of good relationships.
  • Connect with me more. Anything managers can to do improve their relationship with the disgruntled employees will have a significant positive influence. Here's where favoritism takes on its most concrete form: managers go to lunch more with people they like, our data show; they talk with them more socially (about children, sports, etc); they know them more personally. This is natural (and unprofessional), but so are the feelings of exclusion it creates among the less favoured. A small effort by managers to spread their attention around more broadly can go a long way here.
As a bad leader, your knee-jerk reaction to unfavoured (and disgruntled) employees is often — "It's their own fault!" Research shows this is not the case and that it is the result of shallow and unprofessional management, which begs the question "Who's managing the managers?"

Before you settle for letting your dissatisfied people go and cost your organisation thousands in employee turnover, take a moment to consider how these performers need and should be treated.