Monthly Archives: June 2009

Getting more done in lean times

Last week I wrote an email that started off with “Sorry I’ve taken a while to get back to you, I have been swamped lately”.  Not the first time I have written those words lately, and I don’t reckon I’m an orphan either.  Because the GFC, like any garden variety recession, always seem to end up with you needing to get more done with less resources.

This isn’t news to most people, but the fact that there are courses you can do to make yourself more effective might be.  If you look up “Getting Things Done” on Google, there is a vast number of resources, courses, tools and plenty of philosophies.  Unfortunately I don’t really know much about them.  I do however have plenty of experience with how the Australian military gets more things done, so I thought I’d share some of them. Continue reading Getting more done in lean times

I vote for the generalist

Life rewards expertise.  Judges earn more than factory workers (mostly), society respects experts (we award them AO’s and AM’s simply for doing their job) and it appears to make sense to seek out experts to solve your problems  – who wants to use  GP, when you can have the ophthalmologist look at your eye problem.   Universities market expertise as the secret to success, and it appears they are right for individual careers.

However the question is: are experts good for society as a whole,  and your business?

Problem 1 – Experts are very good at arguing their point of view.  If you knew what they do,  it would be unlikely that you would speak to them.  However the same thing that makes them have value (the knowledge imbalance) is the same thing that makes them dangerous.  You see if you don’t understand their field, how can you judge whether they are giving you the best answer, let alone understand their argument?

Problem 2 – Experts specialise.  which means they learn more and more about less and less – and as they saying goes “eventually they know everything about nothing”.   Their point of view is inherently biased.  And the more expertise they have, the more their point of view is biased.

So why is this a real  problem? Continue reading I vote for the generalist

People in 3D

Once a month I have a “boys night out at the movies” with a group of other guys.  We normally have a quick drink, see a movie (I’m voting for Lesbian Vampire Killers next) then a quick discussion afterwards.

As the amateur film critic, I have developed a pattern of thought in where I ask myself “Are the characters in 3D?”.  By this I mean – not only do I understand a character’s choices, but I  understand why they are making those choices.  I don’t want the best mate character to just be goofy,  I want to appreciate the timeline that got him to the point where he is now the goofy side kick.

Why am I writing all this down?  Well I’ve been thinking about the endless discussion I tend to be involved in around innovation.  Continue reading People in 3D

Event Report – The Monetisation of Social Networks

From the Churchill Club Event of 11-Jun-09

So I had a panel answer a number of questions around monetising social networks, including:

  • Are there profitable social networks or “are we just hanging on till we get bought”
  • What are the winner and loser models
  • What are the KPI’s
  • Can you switch horses during the race?
  • What’s next?

The Panelists were:
Martin Hosking – Chairman of Red Bubble
Lisa Watts – CEO of Artshub
Peter Daams – Cofounder &  MD of Travellerspoint

With myself as the moderator.

Lesson 1 Understand your community

Most people will only ever belong to a couple of communities at one time as true membership requires passion, and you can’t be passionate about lots of things at the same time. (eg family, career, hobby – pick two only)

The internet is not the community, its simply a method of virtually connecting a real world community.

If you can dominate a niche and act like an industry association, membership of your social network will be a given.

Lesson 2 Before you start Continue reading Event Report – The Monetisation of Social Networks