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Is Email the Darth Vader of Modern Business Communications?

In a world where instant communications and engagement is rapidly becoming the norm, email is taking on all the traits of a dark lord in the making.

Electronic mail (e-mail) started out as a powerful and useful tool that brought speed and (for the most part) brevity to industrial and corporate communications. However, it is rapidly transforming into the disgruntled Jedi of communications.

Email is a dark art of the new wee. A 1.0 workplace solution. A habitual norm. Administratively heavy, it sucks previous time and resources from your everyday.

and yet… for all its operational inefficiencies it still seems to work for the majority.

Mobility has ensured access to the dark lord of ICT communications. Smartphones have ensured access to webmail a standard… in effect minimising the mobile digital divide, by giving cross-generational comfort on these new platforms and devices.

In this form, email is the connector. The access point for new media platforms and devices.

Convergence can only occur where comfort resides.

For the first decade of ‘social’ it has been email, but what’s next…? 

What’s able to fill the void? Is SMS or IM enough? or is non-regulation the biggest obstacle here…?

Non-regulation, poor regulation and the non-specific zones of the internet environment are our biggest foes.

Not just for business, but for governments and citizens as well.

There are no robust legal structures in place that currently nurture nor protect the individual online, let alone small business.

In over a decade there has been very little movement towards reform as monetising the internet remains the priority.

LinkedIn – the largest professional network where people have been putting their personal information for free for the last decade is now owned by a multinational corporation in Microsoft.

I find it strange that no one is questioning the personal cost of such a merger… perhaps for the majority of us, we’re not switching on to the reality of the evolution of the social networking platform that profiled, connected and enabled market transfers in human terms…. at what cost are we willing to earn a buck?

Let’s hope someday in the not too distant future we all start thinking about and directly addressing the cost of how we ‘settle’ the wild west of the internet.

What are we really willing to relinquish in order to earn a buck?

If so, what is the true cost to the individual, team or organisation… society?

Sadly, it’s a question very few are willing to articulate, let alone address with a view to answering

Why?

Because in order to do so, we’d have to acknowledge and address not only email as the Dark Lord of the internet, but the deeper, now embedded commercial practices of digital decadence and the new norm of dumbing down and relaxing acceptable standards of entertainment, operations and performance.

Let’s stop being happy with average and strive for great and the impossible again.

 

 

Why I’m Walking for Lifehouse

A healthy life not utilised, is wasted. 

Unhealthy is much more fun…

Until you’ve heard the words ‘It’s cancer’ from the mouths of family or friends.

Then healthy becomes the only thing you care about.

Three out of the five members of my immediate family have survived The Big C.

Selfishly, I’m doing the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse 28km Walk with Lifehouse Coastal Trek later this month because I’m an inaugural member of an amazing group of humans called Lyndal’s Pink Gems who also share a tenuous relationship with Cancer.

We’ve been ‘in training’ now for a couple of months (in between life’s many distractions).

We’re hoping to complete the course in about 5 hours or so, but we’re not as interested in time taken, as we are in time spent. Together.

My team: Lyndal’s Pink Gems

Captains extraordinaire Christie and JA will ensure everyone is together and supported as needs arise.

Jodie’s handbag will contain the essentials, and while a few will be orienting themselves with a camelbak for the first time, all will be focused on propelling each other towards successful conquering of an unknown terrain with a smile and a strong sense of purpose.

Much like everyone’s journey with The Big C.

We won’t have our wonderful support crew by our side on this particular venture, but we will have each other and that means more wonderful and memorable moments made and shared.

We do have 28 kilometres of Royal National Park to cover afterall!

Warning: This is where I ask you for your loose change

So….if you are able to support an amazing group of humans at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse treat people, not just cancer, please help us raise funds by DONATING HERE 

Every dollar makes sense.

Inside Out

This morning I was officially Inside Out.

I’d managed to get Mini Me dressed and fed. Do my own hair and makeup (not always a given these days), answer some new client enquiries, get casually caffeinated and have a smiling child at school drop off.

I was feeling very proud of my calm yet productive morning routine when I realised…

…my dress was inside out!

When the teacher at school told me my dress was inside out, I simply shrugged.

“I guess that sums up my morning’ I said proud of myself for getting a lot of stuff done so early, but knowing I’d also tried to do too much.

Too much?

Yes. Too much to be able to get the basics right.

Irrespective of how many self-help, time-management, efficiency reviews we undertake the baseline comms is always: make a list, prioritise that list and tick things off as you go.

If you work in ‘corporate’ certain dress codes are expected to be maintained. Something, sadly nurtured through business schools the world over and reiterated by the marketplace hellbent on maintaining ‘best practice’ norms.

Yes that’s right gentlemen, you will not be able to present professionally without your 20th century noose, sorry I mean silk tie.

Best practice has meant conditioning ourselves and our peers into roles. Roles for which we are not always best suited for the simple reason that throughout the course of the days, weeks, months and years our ability to ‘do’ ebbs and flows.

This is neither a criticism nor a fact. Merely an observation that ‘life’ kicks through at variant speeds.

Like the seas, we too are impacted by the conditions of the world around us – be it naturally occurring phenomenon or man-made and shrouded in company policy/ community norms.

People’s gut response to a quick glimpse at my list is (rightfully) incredulously laughter.

And that pretty much sums up life.

Just when we think we’ve got it together, we realise we’re still toddler-like in our silent struggle to get the basics right.

More often than not, we’re Inside Out and (when brave enough to admit it Upside Down.

Life – at the best of times – is nothing short of crazy.

That’s our fault.

We’ve conditioned ourselves to be these dynamic ‘dooers’ of ‘stuff’ – whether for ourselves or by corporate command.

We actually pride (and dare I say define) ourselves by the stuff we (and others) do.

We can’t help ourselves and (sub)consciously rate our (and others) success and failure on the ‘stuff’ we ‘do’.

Why is that?

Today’s lesson: Get Inside Out more often.

Why? By acknowledging that I was inside out, I was able to take the time to stop and breathe.

This enabled me to laugh (releasing much-needed healing pheromones), centre and refocus my efforts for the day.

 

 

 

 

 

Say No, Think Know

When you find yourself on the treadmill of life, finding the time to stop and reflect is elusive at best.

More often than not, it’s only the bone-crunching tackle that ‘Life’ blindsides us with that throws us into a lumpy, tangled mess and makes us STOP before taking a good hard look at and around ourselves.

Our physiological core –  we have to exercise, stabilise, celebrate and show it off every now and then.

Our emotional core – arguably our most important and directive – requires consistency and commitment to ensure contribution.

Because only then, are we able to confidently and consistently enhance and enable those around us.

Why?

Our brains and our hearts comprise a core where all the things that complement, enhance function.

Looking after ourselves, so we complement our communities (blood and others) in our everyday disposition, actions, outputs and impacts is our role.

However, with all the tricks and traits of a modern, tech-savvy society we get distracted. Repeatedly and Unashamedly.

So when are we going to stop swivelling from distraction to distraction and instead focus on genuine and organic human evolution?

We need to feed our brain the questions and information it craves…

Hasn’t it dined out on the sexual exploits of the likes of the Trash-dashians for long enough?

When are we going to face up to the vacuous, plastic-fantastic mediated realm we’ve adopted as our ideal over time and re-focus our daily intent towards growing our contributions to ourselves and our communities?

Sadly, we’re not. Not anytime soon.

However, imagine if we did…

Imagine just for one moment if we stood up collectively and said ‘No’ (while thinking ‘Know’).

How fabulous would THAT world –  created in independent thinking and unique knowledge pods of life’s experiences – look, sound and feel…

Genuine and Innovative is my guess.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Tis the Season for Christmas Ads

In the US Super Bowl advertising can make and break careers.

In the UK, the advertising heavyweights concentrate their efforts (and a large percentage of spend) on Christmas.

This year Marks & Spencer (or M&S as it is more commonly referred) released their contribution to the corporate advertising ‘Christmas cheer’… and it’s an absolute winner.

Not only is it beautifully shot, its originality is decidedly refreshing… and VERY clever.

Don’t take my word for it though, judge for yourselves… and enjoy:

#UrWelcome

Trumped

This week we were all Trumped.

What I keep hearing is: I can’t (believe it), I didn’t think (he’d win) and How do I (explain this to my daughter?)

A new president of the United States of America is elected and the default response starts with ‘I’…?

Think about that for a moment. It might just explain what really happened at #election2016

What we learn from language

The Constitution for the United States of America starts with a preamble (how fitting):

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

In the modern day context, the campaign is the pre-preamble. It starts with ‘I’ the citizen of the United States and ‘you’ the electorate.

Only when there is a President-elect can both sides talk about what the founding fathers were referring to: The unification of these united states and use the pronoun ‘We’.

#Election2016

Perhaps the outcome of #Election2016 is a wake up call to the realities of what western democracy in US terms really looks like.

240 years showing progress and stagnation in equal parts – depending on which side of the political spectrum you swing.

In a traditional system, be it democracy or dictatorship there are roles, responsibilities and procedures to governance.

Trump’s ascendence to ‘Leader of the Free World’ is merely a reflection of the current US system, people and procedures.

The US System

Over 70 million American’s FAILED to participate. That’s nearly 3 x the population of Australia, were disengaged from the process – one assumes for personal reasons.

Of those that did vote, exit polls indicate some lied and therefore skewed election ‘forecasting’. The effect? Trump’s ascendence appearing nothing short of catastrophic to those who form their opinions through the rumination of the popular press.

I confess my feminist and academic sensibilities were HIGHLY offended initially by the result.

I witnessed the diatribe of intelligent, articulate men and women in my personal newsfeed.

I couldn’t for the life of me work out how a man who hadn’t worked a day in public service ever, could beat out someone who has done more in public service both personally and professionally than anyone, ever.

48 hours later however, I’ve realised a few things:

When you introduce the ‘I’ pronoun into politics, you discount the importance of the public in preference of the personal. Subsequently missing the point entirely.

 

Politics is a mongrel sport and Trump played hard – not smart (although that is yet to be seen).

Republican Nominee for President , Mr Donald Trump has finished his grassroots ‘club’ game and now having been picked by the selectors is preparing himself for the international competition.

His locker room antics reflective of his place and campaign objectives at the time.

President-elect Trump, however, is a more measured, presence already.

The thing that is scary, yet brilliant is that no-one knows what a Trump Presidency is going to look like, let alone act.

It’s his unpredictability that is so unnerving – for EVERYONE… and therein lies its brilliance.

Systemic change takes time and eight years just wasn’t long enough for Obama to achieve this…although predictably he tried.

The Anomaly of Society and Change

Real societal change has only been achieved in the West through innovation.

That being said, even digital disruption is going to be a long road to haul.

The Roadshow Design

US Presidential Campaigns are a roadshow of personality designed to mobilise an apathetic public, to engage and legitimise political process.

The system design is based on tactics of persuasion and rhetoric, a solid foundation prone to perversion of message, intent and free will.

Distance does not provide immunity. In Australia, the leadership ‘Spills’ of the past five years were our version of the cult of the political personality.

The roadshow of Man Vs Woman, Entrepreneur Vs Public Servant for President of the United States was in the end, polarising.

So it is little surprise, the result has also proven to be.

What needs to be remembered is not what the result was, but how the Presidency evolves.

After all, there was a reason the Founding Fathers put in the checks and balances they did.

They knew no matter which side won, the President elect was always going to be human.

… and with that comes high emotion.