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  1. Uniting Software Professionals Revolution Conference June 1st and 2nd 2017 Virginia Beach

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    DAYS | SPEAKERS

     

     

    Uniting Software Professionals

     

     

    ABOUT

    RevolutionConf is a two-day, platform and language agnostic, software development conference being held on June 1-2, 2017.  This year, we are taking over the beautiful Wyndam Virginia Beach Oceanfront. With 15,000 sq. ft of conference space, on the world famous North End of Virginia Beach, VA, we are hosting talks from regional, national, and international thought leaders.

    RevolutionConf is organized and supported by the board members of RevolutionVA, a 501c3 non-profit based in Norfolk, VA. The goal of RevolutionVA is to unite software developers in the mid-Atlantic region through conferences, and career and learning opportunities.

    Ready to get started? Email us at team@revolutionva.org

     There are sponsorship opportunities reach out to the organizers below for a Sponsorship Prospectus or click here to drop a note within the contact me.

    Our Organizers

    Kevin Griffin

    Independent Consultant
    Griffin Consulting

    Linda Nichols

    Software Engineer
    ETA

    Erik Olson

    CEO
    80/20

  2. Maybach Talent desires with a Plymouth Sundance checking account

    113 Comments

    freetouse-money1I understand standard of living is regional and even statewide, but when one state is 2.9% to 9.9% lower than another state and you put job postings out to pay 45% less you WILL NOT attract senior level great talent to your state! If you don’t believe me here is a recent job posting I received. Believe me this is not the first time this has happened. I was shocked when I moved to Norfolk-Virginia Beach two years ago. And after two years I have not seen any improvements. This is a problem we need to solve, asap!

    Take this position for instance.

    Project Manager – Agile experience 

    12-18 month contract opportunity in Norfolk, VA. If interested, please reply with an updated resume and I will follow up to discuss.

    $50/hr. (all-inclusive)

     12-18 months

    I need an experienced IT Project Manager for our Client in the financial services and banking industry. This includes the management of IT development, technology or non-technology efforts that have limited to moderate complexity. Candidate will work within a group of related software applications that provide a defined scope of functionality used to support business activities. Many of the platforms are Agile or have incorporated some Agile best practices. The PM leads the local effort and when it is completed then moves on to another platform to work on another local delivery effort. Candidate must have proven experience leading IT development or IT technology projects, a working knowledge of the IT development life cycle, proven ability to lead a team to desired outcome and establish working relationships with fellow team members, exposure to Agile methodology, familiarity with Clarity or similar project portfolio management tool, and proven ability to lead team matrixed from different internal groups.

    This is a pretty senior level job (at least in the job posting). Yet they are paying junior level contracting rates. Here is an example based on personal experience; Minneapolis-St.Paul to the Norfolk-Virginia Beach has a 2.9% to 9.9% differential in standard of living. Norfolk-Virginia Beach is 2.9% to 9.9% less to live in than Minneapolis-St.Paul.

    So I would expect 2.9 t0 9.9% (depending on living and working) less in contracting rates for senior level positions, a contractor here should be getting $90.00/hour all inclusive. As you can see this position is 45% less based on the contractor getting $50.00/hour. Now we all know the contractor is getting billed out at around $100 to $125.00 (I get that contracting firms are not a non-profit).  This contract gig in Minneapolis-St.Paul would be at least $125 at the low end and $135 at the top end to the contractor, which is more inline with the 2.9%-9.9% difference.

    Norfolk-Virginia Beach region is NOT going to attract top talent or even move top talent around (cross-pollination of talent is good for a region too) like we want and desire to happen. As a region if we don’t start paying to get talent, we will not get them, period! Wanting Maybach type talent and paying Plymouth Sundance prices will not get the job done! Ask company management, recruiters, and or human resource professionals in this area see what they say. Bet their first statement will be “We cannot attract talent at the wages this region has set within their budgets!” This is a top down and a bottom up solution driven problem.

     

    What do you think region needs to do to rectify this problem?

    If we don’t solve how will this affect this regions growth potential?

     

    Tell me what you think!

     

     

  3. Have an IT Organization, Try this Model on for Size

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    This post was inspired by another que from discussing a topic via twitter.  So it seems that most mid-size, large, and super large companies are struggling with getting how to get IT and business resources closer to adapt to the  rapid nature of the market changes that happen both in business as well as in technology.  From what I have seen and what I going to explain is the financial model has to support this interaction model as well.  For the most part how a company is paying for things is one component that is getting in the way! The model I am going to explain is based on working inside of the model and not creating the model itself.  I am no way shape or form taking credit for the creation.

    @ElliotRoss' Request

    I do have experience seeing it work and work well and that is the perspective I am offering up. I have also seen many attempts to fix the financial problem at several companies since I have worked in this model and I have yet to seen anyone succeed. The major buzzwords that sometimes associate this financial model are transformation, matrixed organization, centers of excellence, and delivery centers.  The model we used had one concept: Internal Consulting Firm or Development Center to our own business.  The technology resources within the Development Center model were hired by the business to do a job, they do it, the business pays, and they move onto something else, period.

    A key ingredient to the  Development Center is that it reports directly to the CTO or CIO of the company.  There are basically three layers management.

    1. Director of the Development Center

    2. Discipline Community Managers

    3. Discipline Community Practitioners (BA, PM, Developers, UX, UI, IA, Data, DBA, Infrastructure Engineers, Engineers, etc)

    This flat organization is focused on getting work done and improving the enterprise. I do believe this was one of the key and essential ingredients to our success, but the main course of the feast was the financial model. This model actually facilitated partnering and sharing the responsibility of delivery for the enterprise (not in a buzzword in a powerpoint deck way either). Yes it sounds funny to say a financial model was a main course of delivering success, but it is true.

    I am going to dig into the financial model from a very high level. Before I start let me qualify what I mean by financial.  I mean financial by the concepts and not hardcore debits and credits, by no means am I a financial analyst or accounting specialist.  I would recommend if you do decide on this model find the people that love talking debits, credits, forecasting, and financial modeling and buy them lunch and coffee! This relationships will pay off huge (yes pun intended).


    Build a Development Center

    This is an organizational structure that houses all the disciplines within the development of technology.  The development center will have business analysts, project/program managers, engineers, data architects, technical architects, infrastructure architects, DBA’s, server technicians, developers, and one layer of management.  These development center resources are able to form a whole development team to partner with a business unit or multiple business units to build and implement technology. Once this technology is implemented the business unit takes over full support for the technology.

    This puts the technology and business unit resources really close together to maximize total cost of ownership, time to market, and technology making business more efficient.  The development center resources can perform staff augmentation to business units that don’t need a whole development team, as well.  They just need a couple resources to enhance a current technology.  The development team is there to partner with the business unit technology staff.  The us and them is not tolerated in this model.  This clearly divides support and maintenance from new development.  Ask any IT professional when you have resources trying to do both it never works.  This model works because the Development team needs the business unit IT’s expertise, experiences and partnership to deliver on the mark products to that business unit!


    Revenue and Expense

    The Development Center financial operational model is revenue expense.  What this means is this unit must operate at zero.  The Development Center resources are charged to a project just like hiring an external contractor or consultant.  So if the Development Center resource works 40 hours per week at $100 per hour, the business unit pays the Development Center $4,000 to their revenue.  On the expense side the Development Center must pay out their own expenses training, salary, bonus, computer, etc.  If the expenses total $1,000.00 the Development Center is now sitting on $3,000 in revenue…..got to get back to $0.00!

    Being that they are revenue expense they have to get back to money if they run a profit based on the resources billable hours.  How do they do this, you may be asking? Here is what we did. We called up the business that we technically over charged (I will get into why this is not a bad thing) and said “Hey we have $3,000 here we need to give back to you.” Business Unit: “Uh really, you want to give me money back?” DC: “Yes we do, it’s your money….we don’t sell anything so yeah we want to give it back.” Business Unit: “Oh wow this is awesome!” DC: “Should we set up some time to see what your next set of needs and problems there are to help with?” Business Unit: “Yes let’s do that I have a couple of ideas”  This sounds too good be true doesn’t it!  I was part of many of these conversations.  So how much the conversation changes if you are delivering expected results for your business!


    The Art of the Financial Model:

    The art of the financial model will start creating collaboration, sharing, and communities of practice! The  Business Unit and Development Center technology people proactively and reactively immerse themselves into communities to make each other better (this is not easy and you need some resources dedicated to making this happen).  There is no “us and them” there is just “we” deliver technology solutions for making the enterprise work well and in some cases gain competitive advantage in different markets whether that be talent acquisition or not bleeding talent, drive customers to purchase based on allowing the technology the get the consumer closer to the enterprise.  In most cases you can not train this, you hire for it if you do not have it.  This could mean a complete overhaul of resources.  I know that sounds painful, but how less painful and costly is your current model?


    Competitive Rates

    Yes the Development resources have bill rates just like the consultants and contractors outside the organization.  At the beginning of the year the Development Center is given a budget to cover the resources expenses; including assets, training, and overhead of management (they are not billable).  Each discipline was assigned a bill rate that was reflective of their role, skill set and experience.  The manager of that discipline was responsible for finding work for their resources and bill them out to cover the expense budget allotted to them at the beginning of the year.

    This part of the model was always the relationship building part with our business units.  At the beginning of the year we would have Service Fair.  All the business units would come in and meet all the resources from the Development Center.  The Business Units would explain the types of problems and initiatives they have needs for within that year and how much of each service they would like to buy to get these problems or initiatives implemented.

    At the end of the fair we would all get together and figure out how we get back to $0.00 with all the services we sold and just like clockwork, every year the answer was “Uh Oh we do not have enough services to cover our expenses!” It became quite comical because we would all freak out and think wow we run RED for 6 mos they are going to shut us down!  This is not a bad way of thinking, it keeps the fire burning trust me, a little pressure to perform is not a bad thing!  Low and behold by June we are typically $10 to $15 million in the BLACK.  This was not because of poor planning or estimating, it is just software development life-cycles realities.  Sometimes your on and sometimes your off, but with good partnerships and real collaborative financial efforts what is produced everyone wins.


    This model is a framework and not an end all be all to the solution.  This framework can be dropped into just about any company and any industry, but the art of the financial model comes from the people delivering and executing technology to make the business more efficient and some cases gain competitive advantage.

    Being that more and more companies are realizing Software as a Service and Platform as a Service is a more cost effective, secure and gets them back to running their business and not upgrades or a software factories (you should not be a software factory unless you are selling software). The Development Center financial model helps facilitate the implementation and management of these new ways businesses should be running their technology landscape.

    I think without this organizational and financial structure implementing the above mentioned technologies can and will run into many road blocks and cost overruns (I have seen it!).  Because of the flexibility the Development Center offers of tying project teams to solving a problem or innovating and not to an organizational structure, they can solve or innovate and move on.  A business unit does not have to pay for 50 people to build, implement, and support because they do not have to with this model.

    So next time you are wondering how can I solve my total cost of ownership of technology for my business, implement the  Development Center financial and resource model, your wallet, business, and investors will love you for it!

  4. The Social Business Swirling in my head

    6 Comments

    This will be somewhat of a shorter post for me. I know the novels are getting to be a bit much! So I was chatting away on twitter the other day and Bruce Kneuer and I bumped into each other and we started talking about the Social Business.  Now we only have a 140 characters so this is how the conversation went:

    @BKneuer Question

    @BKneuer Question















    So after thinking about the context that was swirling around in my head I responded with this 140 characters:


    @keithprivette response to @BKneuer

    @keithprivette response to @BKneuer


    So then Bruce kindly puts this request into me:


    The 140 That Sparked a Diagram
    The 140 That Sparked a Diagram


    So I decided to visualize Bruce’s question into a model so I can understand what is swirling around in my head.  This is a visualization to represent how much over lap we have with people, technology, and processes to interact internally and externally at the same time.  Our customers have a much much much better idea of what our companies are, how they are ran, and who is running them.

    People are curating information across the internet and basing decisions of where they place their focus, money and their time and they are not getting this information from your website or press releases…..Well enough about that! That could be another post, but no more novels in 2011, I promised Nicole Harrison.

    Here is the model that represents the ideas and what action could be taken based on interconnecting within the Social Business constructs.


    Social Business Ideas Swirling in My Head
    Social Business Ideas Swirling in My Head


    So Bruce thank you for prompting with your very though provoking question.  This is what I have so far.  It is basically a model to get the people, technology, and processes working together to solve and innovate. There is a ton of details that need to be filled in and I know that.  Just thought it would be  fun and educating to share and fulfill a request for information at the same time. Open to any and all comments.

    Please leave a comment below about what is missing, what you like, what you don’t like, where there is flaws, why is technology as big as the business, your cracked and stop doing this, anything!


  5. Ooops forgot the WHY!

    553 Comments

    So the previous post talks about WHY in the title and after reviewing the post I did not even scratch the surface or even answer the question of Why.  So this post is the follow up to Why you need a Social Business Analyst.  The Business Analyst has evolved to be a very intragel part of the software development lifecycle and plays a major role (yes this is a biased opinion) in keeping the worlds of business and technology synthesized.  The role has evolved to be a skilled and well positioned professional for a company, thinking about how to integrate the business’ strategy, process, technology, and implementation of a its Social Business architecture and operations.

    Just check out a google search on Social Business Jobs, you will notice many of the skill sets this implementation needs, now look at what a good Business Analyst comes with, now integrate their personal and professional social profile and BOOM the Social Business Analyst.

    Here is a diagram of the dynamic skill set of the Business Analyst:


    The Social Business Analyst

    The Social Business Analyst



    Here are some criteria to answer the question Why:

    1. We know how businesses work better with technology

    The Social Business Analyst is well versed at understanding what the business processes are and how they are made more efficient within technology.  This understanding is critical to implementing the Social Business, because about 70% of your business is run with technology.  The other 30% is run by people making decisions about the information coming from those technologies.  Scary, hey….not really technology has freed us up to actually have more conversations and better data for making decisions.

    If you look at the Enterprise2.o & “Social Media” landscape, technology plays a huge part in your ability to execute your strategy and operations.  People will say “It’s not about the technology, blah, blah, blah!”  I disagree!  It is about technology and technology from the perspective it helps make your Social Business run efficiently, effectively and in the most cost effective way.  A Social Business analyst must know how this ever changing world of social technologies (Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, Jive, SocialText, Crimson Hexagon, Radian6,  and operational technologies (SAP, PeopleSoft, Concur, Salesforce.com, SAS, POS, Sterling Commerce) must integrate to make the Social Business work.


    2. Organic nature of requirements gathering

    Yes, you heard me right requirements come to a project or initiative in very organic and dynamic nature.  There may be methodologies methodologies step by step processes, structured traceability, but how to get and gather requirements can be rather  organic.  This typically is the best way to design solutions that people will actually use.  When you become to robotic or “order takerish” with going to meeting, gather, document, ask questions, going to another meeting, gather, document, send email, meeting…..can you see how fast collaboration, organics, and innovation gets stifled in this process.  A good Social Business Analysts does not have to think “Oh what is my next step in this methodology”, we just think this way, to easily get, analyze, model, document, use, and communicate information for the betterment of the business.



    3. Document and model everything

    Yes almost to a fault….but isn’t this what is going on all over consumer technologies these days.  The Social Business Analyst document requirements in an organized fashion so people can actually use the information to make decisions.  You will never see me produce a laundry list of requirements!  We make pictures for all of our words in the form of process models, state change digrams, user interface process models, conceptual data models, and wireframes (yeah we like to mock up screens to get people talking).  This helps the widest audience use information to make decisions.  Managing this information in well architected, maintained, and open tools makes a project or initiative run soooooo much smoother.  If you run projects devoid of these tools or run your organization like the “cobbler that never provides his\her children with no shoes” it will be a painful thorn in your side. I have seen both and thorns hurt!



    4. We are  precocious 5 year olds when it comes to asking questions

    Why do you do that?  Why is that free form text?  Why is there so many hand offs?  Why don’t you make that required?  Why not a drop down there?  Why did you change for two days ago?  Why would a customer do that? What questions do you want to ask of your information? What market-share would you like to capture? What do you want to capture from the customer engagement? How many users will you have? How will you service these requests? Who will use this?  What do you think?

    See this is what we continually do when we receive information or produce it for people to talk about.  Typically the highlighted question is the one we use when we bring information to the table to discuss.  The questions we use come from a place of curiosity, fill in the blanks, connect the dots, validate the dots we have connected, and always wanting to make the business more efficient for their customers, employees, investors, and communities.



    5. We love figuring out how the ecosystem works together

    There are no silver bullets! We understand that to solve most business problems an ecosystem must be developed and implemented to help support the ecosystem that is the business.  Being that social, enterprise2.0, and cloud technologies are maturing everyday, businesses need people that have been maturing along with them, hence the need for the Social Business Analyst.  With the world of clouds, API’s, sharable on just about everything, consumer technology outpacing corp technology and most businesses needing to work internally and externally, a Social Business Analyst help gather, present, and make recommendations on a platform basis, not a silver bullet.



    6. We like data and finding new conversations for improving

    Yes based on using the information above you achieve good data in and good data out.  We continually think about the questions a business is going to have along the way once the information is being populated.  We understand the value of good data architecture, good information management, what a required field does to the process, what free form text fields vs structured data in drop downs gets you down the road.

    I personally love “geeking out” with data architectes to understand how we structure the data to get it back out to make good business decisions.  Once did a project in Mexico City where every data field was in english and in spanish behind the scenes so you could run reports in spanish and english.  This skill set comes in very handy with working with monitoring tools of the social landscape.  Having a solid understanding and the ability to speak with data and information geeks will make a Social Business Analyst vital to your team.



    7. Connecting the dots quickly is our DNA

    The dot connecting is really evident when you go back up and look at the Social Business Analyst cube.  See the solid and dotted lines intersecting all over the place.  Those are just the dots to connect the resources together.  Now image all the dots that need to be connected across your organization…..now think about the dots connecting the internal to the external…..now lets go really big the dots that are connecting all your costumers.  Got it mapped out? Well if not a Social Business Analyst kinda sees the language of the matrix when it comes to this.  The good part, with the skills above we model, decompose the information, organize it, and “bucketize” it for easier consumption and decision making.

    There is the WHY of putting this job description on the docket for 2011.   The WHY on hiring a Social Business Analyst in 2011, if you are heading down the “social” path (eventually it is the path, but that is another discussion). I do believe a the Social Business Analyst plays well in the Marketing, Advertising, Communication, Digital, Customer Service Call Center, Sales, and HR sandboxes.

    What are your thoughts?  What is missing?  What were your perceptions going into this information and now what are they? Look forward to hearing from you in the comments!  I want to thank Jessi Howard for emailing some feedback on the  Social Business Analyst Job Description post (see email is not dead!) and encouraging me to explain the WHY in a little more detail.  Thank you Jessi!

  6. Social Media+Technology+Outdoors misfits or fit

    612 Comments

    So you have seen me talk a lot about how Social Media, Technology, and the Outdoors lately so I wanted to write a post about these Misfits or Fit for connecting us as people. Yes I know you probably read that first sentence and said to yourself  “What? Are you kidding me I go to the outdoors to get away from all this wacky stuff!” Sorry to tell you, your data is calling your bluff.   Yes I would not be totally “transparent” (for my big word users) if I did not agree with that statement a little….but I am going to start a discussion that hopefully has a long tail for outdoor retailers, outdoorsy people, technology retailers, technology innovators, government agencies, non-profits and businesses that relay on people engaging and communicating with the tools and technologies in the outdoors.

    Ok here we go. I have been part of many outdoor activities since moving to Minnesota. I have duck hunted, deer hunted, fished, boated, hiked, canoed, motorcycled, rode bike, skied, ice fished, and my favorite RV camping. After reading that list were you like really? Yes the suit 5 days a week is my Clark Kent side. So living an outdoors lifestyle (and believe me there are people way more hardcore at this than I) as well as being involved in many online social communities I have been watching, listening and participating and discovering some patterns that I want to explore with people, companies, and organizations.

    I have thought through some initial ideas to get this conversation and action going on how social media+technology+outdoors are truly socially connecting us on and offline for good. I want to explore the data, social objects that people are putting out there, for deeper and richer connections between the people, their technologies, the outdoors, the brands that support these activities, the brands that support them, and how to create real return on investment (have a couple of real dollars in real dollars out ideas) by companies and consumers in this space. Yes, I know the initial reactions are “Keith you are crazy people go to the outdoors to get away from technology and especially social media” Well unfortunately, your data is telling a different story…..so you may want to have a talk with it!

    I have teamed up with the fine folks managing the Social Media Breakfast Minneapolis/St. Paul in particular Rick Mahn to leverage the rich social media savvy, technology curious, and experienced people in this community to bring this to light. I have also been in contact with many local providers of products and services within the outdoor space to participate in a the discussion as well to see where this conversation goes. Currently these fine folks have signed up for the first part of a two part plan to kick off the engagement, discussion, ideas, collaborations, co-creations, and real business that can be done based on this topic. The outdoor industry accounts for $5.075 billion dollars in 2009 that is just the retail side selling products and services.  Then when you couple in the resorts, campgrounds, guide businesses, hotels, rental shops, RV Boat ATV Dealerships, restaurants, technology services and social media tool side of that money and there are many many many systemic value points to listen, engage, make happy, service to convert into real dollar values.

    The participants to kick off the discussion will be as follows:

    • Molly Solberg from Duluth Pack: Molly is the Director of Social Media and Business Development for Duluth Pack.  She is actively managing the twitter account as well as Duluth Pack Blog.  Molly has also initiated a Social Media Breakfast Duluth community also! She not only works for a 128 year outdoor company, but she lives and breathes the outdoor lifestyle in her personal life too.
    • Kim Opitz representing Crestliner as a vendor: Crestliner (twitter acct) celebrates 65 years as an innovator in the aluminum market; delivering a complete line of fishing, fish and ski, pontoon and jon boats to enthusiastic consumers across the United States and Canada. You can find them engaging their communities at Facebook, Flickr, Youtube, andVimeo
    • Adam Jochum from Crow River Coffee Company: Adam runs Crow River Coffee Company in Watertown, MN.  He has graciously offered up his studio that normally broadcasts Spacevidcast.com live.  His studio will allow us to have fully interactive discussion with a live feed of the social platforms as well as a livestreaming of the discussion.  This is cool! Adam and Crow River totally fits social media+technology+outdoors, because who doesn’t drink coffee in the outdoors.  It is a great themed back drop to the whole first part of this experience.
    • Rick Mahn from Social Media Breakfast Minneapolis St. Paul: Rick has an extensive IT background and understanding of infrastructure, Rick brings the knowledge and skill to help build your personal or professional network through years of exploration of social media, learning its strengths and weaknesses. His practical experience in the industry combined with his love of communication and team building have enabled him to bridge the gap between personal and professional networking with great success.  Rick is also one of the founding members of the Social Media Breakfast Minneapolis St. Paul.  Rick has established a community of well over 2,000+ community members here in Minneapolis St. Paul. We will have to confirm during our livestreaming discussion but I do believe he is the Social Media Title holder for most community members, longest consistently running SMB, and the SMB with the most sessions 29, to date.  We will ask him!

    So that is the first part of the plan.  Now for the meaty, juicy, slap some pepper jack cheese and big piece of bacon on part two of this plan. Rick and I have had several discussions about how we can take this discussion into the outdoors and really see if we can fully make the equation of social media+technology+outdoors come to life.  I do believe we have hit on a plan……now before I go any further you will have to wait a little for part two, but I think we will make it worth the wait, right Rick!

    So here is the plan a 2 day Social Media Breakfast camping experience at a campground.

    • The tentative agenda would look something like this:
    • Day 1 Arrive at the Campground, SMB’ers with or without families set up campsites and connect throughout the day.  Meet each other.  Meet sponsors. Meet each others families.  Maybe have some technology based contests.  Hopefully we have some vendors, retailers, service provides that would like to participate in their element.
    • Day 2 The regularly scheduled SMB would take place from 8am to 10am. This would be at a couple of the campsites sitting around the campfire ring (with or without fire….still deciding) with hopefully the same participants (maybe even some more based on the longtail discussion) from the livecast discussing what has happened since the livecast, what is on the near horizon, and what does the future look like. This would be a fully interactive discussion, hence in the circle around the campfire ring.This camping adventure would take place sometime in May or Jun 2011.

    The livecast of this discussion will take place on October 13th, 2010 starting at 7:30pm.  Yes we are doing a livecast with video, chat and twitter stream!  So start preparing questions or comments that are on your mind?  What areas would you like us to touch on?  I am really looking forward to this ongoing discussion.  Any person and business is welcomed to just jump in where ever.  I have even thought about starting a bi-weekly or monthly twitter chat under the #hashtag of #smtochat, but we will take 1st things first.  Lets see how the livecast goes!  Be on the look out for details and links to the live webcast!

    Additionally, I want this to be an ongoing discussion, so if want to continue the discussion after the livecast just use the hashtag #smoutside10.  At anytime we think that another livcast should take place with different participants, it is a ok too.  If anyone wants to give me a 2011Keystone Springdale 303BHSSR you could do that too (I am totally kidding……our beloved @pulling was totaled out in a hailstorm this year).  This is definitely going to be a community effort.  Leave some comments, we would love to hear from you!

  7. Cross Pollinating Verticals to avoid the Echo of the Chamber

    2 Comments

    So I bet you are asking yourself  “what the hell does cross pollinating verticals mean you crazy crazy person you?” I am going to explain how it came about and why it has become part of my idea to strategy to planning to action taking mantra.  Ok it did start out from a little snark and sass to address some of things I was seeing at conferences (mainly live feeds across the interwebs) and one off sessions with organizations across the web also.

    Because my day job is somewhat, well actually totally not related to social media, marketing, advertising, recruiting, communication or external customer service.  I take advantage of being connected to so many wonderful people that tweet out conference #hashtags, send livefeed links on their twitter, facebook, eventbrite, meetup and linkedin social feeds to get to some great information.

    I started to notice in presentations and presenters language many many many big words being used to explain very simple everyday actions. The word honest turned into trustworthy, be yourself turned into authenticity, people turned into human capital, and the best open turned into transparency. I do believe people sometimes think if they use big words they are more credible, believable, and intelligence.  I will agree it does show intelligence, but in a book smart way and not in a real world, street smart way.    So having a little moment of rebellion I figured if I want to be consider a thought leader I better start putting some big words in my arsenal.

    I know I know very 5th grade, but I thought let’s go with this and see where it goes.  So I was at lunch with a couple of people (probably at The Newsroom) out came “Cross Pollinating Verticals” during a conversation.   Of course I got the “What the hell does that mean?”, so I began explaining my perspective of what I was observing in presentations and conversations.   Cross Pollinating Verticals is really the basic action of talking, asking, or meeting with people that are not in your organizational, professional, or skill set vertical.   I do believe this also clearly articulates how I view my networking and professional development.  I do believe if this path was explored more and more by people, it could start creating the systemic market and people changes we need for the future (sorry no data just a gut feel).

    It seems that we spend too much time in our own industries and skill set or title.  This is not bad thing, because yes you need to keep up on the trends, people, topics, regulations, legislation, technologies, and processes.  The only drawback, focusing on your industry, you are only talking and interacting with people that agree or often have the same point of view as you.  Now with the explosion of the social platforms you have complete access to information, people, and technologies to other people’s industries! The beauty of majority of people from every industry continually sharing publicly anyone can share in the conversation.  This will only lead to enrich and enhance the conversation because you are getting it from the audience of your industry.

    For example I follow many recruiters and human resource people on twitter.  Many of the conversations are between people within the recruiter and human resource industry, which leads to many agreements and very little diversification of points of view.  Well enter a non-recruiter or non-human resource industry person, me. I am their audience, I am the people they are trying to help, I am the people they are gently trying to manage, I am a person they should hear from…..right?  This is unadulterated access to their constituency, right?  That is what every industry that has an audience wants!

    You can ask questions, have conversations, and beta new ideas, that is of course if they are interacting with their audience.  I just used Recruiter and Human Resource vertical as an example, I jump into many verticals marketing, PR, communications, etc. I even have followed a twitter chat for Student Affairs for colleges and universities!   So I encourage people while networking, viewing people to follow, having conversations, and posing questions look for people not within your industry, professional, or skill set vertical to really enhance your conversations, points of view, and “third box over” type thinking.  Being that I love finding people not like myself, it has led to finding some real and enriching conversations about problems to be solved.

    So next time when you are looking to follow a person, a conf hashtag, send request to someone on linkedin, or post a comment on a blog do it outside your designated vertical and see what happens!  What would be even better if you came back and drop a note on this post to show others real world examples of this!  That would mean you Cross Pollinated a Vertical!

     

  8. What does the C-Suite and other Senior Leaders value about a Business Analyst

    1 Comment

    Being that the Business Analysis discipline and role is becoming more standardized and consistent with the IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis), BABOK (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge®) and a Certification called the CBAP (Certified Business Analysis Professional™). What do senior executives and leadership feel about this discipline and role?   There is no right or wrong answers just starting a dialogue to find out the views and opinions that are out there within the Social Platforms community.

    Would also like to know how Business Analysts can play a vital role in the era of companies moving towards Social Business Architecture, Enterprise 2.0, Social Media, and Social Technology Platforms.

    I obviously have my biased opinions and views on the subject, but would really like to know other views.  Especially from the people that make strategic decisions about an organization.   They ultimately sign off on spending money on this discipline. I would love to get a cross section of senior leaders from the C-Suite to the Rank and File (which is where I am at on the ladder) to weigh in on this often overlooked or generalized role in most companies (believe me I have worked at many).

    The one main stereotype I am trying to break most of all is “Well anyone can be a BA, so just give them the title” Additionally, I am always interested in new ideas.

  9. Now that was a discussion Thank You caribouchat13

    3 Comments

    I had such a wonderful morning with a great group of people and  I wanted to share a LOT more than 140 characters.  I was invited to attend #caribouchat13 this morning thru a twitvite from Sarah Kay Hoffman.  She wanted to meet me IRL, so she made a point to make sure I got the invite (love these invites).  I don’t know how the other 12 went, but I had an absolute blast sharing, connecting, and meeting this group of people this morning.

    I would like to thank @gialyons  @asquibb  @warehousemedia  @socialnicole  @bobstanke  @sarahkayhoffman  @JasonSandquist  @joelecarlson and special guest appearance via Skype from the UK @mngurl1183 for putting the rest of my day on cloud nine and energizing me to tackle just about anything!

    The social dynamic was awesome! We did a little roundtable introducing ourselves, so people got to know who each one of us are aside from our twitter handles.  I have a greater appreciation for people’s perspective based on the live version of themselves versus the bio and link!  Then since we all have some way or another shared experiences, emotions, information, connection we started talking…..no real format, no real structure, no real rules. It equaled total awesomeness (I don’t know if that is even a word, who cares that is how I feel).

    • Justin Ware shared about his venture into freelancing work doing some cool things with media and video
    • Anna Squibb shared the awesome things she has going on at www.caringbridge.com (they are hiring!!!!)
    • Gia Lyons shared the awesome stories what she has going on at Jive Software www.jivesoftware.com (personally big fan especially for #scrm space)
    • Jason Sandquist shared about people looking for him via google and some search are quite funny!
    • Bob Stanke shared even though the commute not the best (same for Jason) would not trade because company works for www.lifetimefitness.com
    • Joel Carlson gave us some background about twitterviews and what his is in the market looking to do.
    • Nicole Harrison shared about consulting about social media to non-profits and challenges of teenagers and social media (you do have a permanent record)
    • Sarah Hoffman shared about some upcoming potential jobs and working on some studies about GenZ (kids that are 1 or 2 now or not even born what is tech and social going to affect how they see the world.  FASCINATING!)

    All of these introductions spurred some many different conversations about kids, family, work, RV’ing (Go figure), clients, who is using what, where and who is hiring, who I can connect you with.  All things in a group discussion that makes me happy.  The best part I felt there was going to be real action taken based on this conversation, that is the best part.  I know I am scheduling some lunches and connecting on some initiatives!

    There was such honesty and genuineness to our conversations it was like we had known each other for years.  That is one of the social dynamics I see flowing from online to offline is the genuine connectedness in our communication.  We share, we care, we understand, we listen, we communicate with no barriers.  The tail of the relationship is I feel much longer these days.  It is not just the every three to six month lunch, well it is that, but so much happens relationship wise in between there to stay connected based on being socially connected online as well.  I wish every meeting, every project, every problem could be solved and acted upon like this group came together this morning.

    The other thing I saw in our communication was the willingness to help connect people to jobs, so those doubters that say social media can’t find me a job, it is maybe true to a point, but it sure can help you find the people that can find you a job.  Four of the individuals were looking for a more permanent job solutions and right away without hesitation people started sharing their connections, it was about as fast as you can fire off 140 characters!  That was one of the best displays of human connectedness I had seen in a long time!  Give yourself a pat on the back for sharing and trying to help someone else out today (you know who you are!)

    So I just wanted to say thank you to all the folks above for truly making this a wonderful day! Thank you Sarah and Bob for having 12 of these and inviting me to the 13th.  I look forward to more and more of these #caribouchat meetings!  I also look forward to scheduling some one on one coffees or lunches with you also.  Clear your August I am taking a day!

    Thank you also to Katie Little @mngurl1183 that skyp’d in from the UK to join the discussion.  That was AWESOME! Distance be damned! I was able to use my new #evo with mifi and my laptop for a full livestream thru skype.  Thanks Sprint, HTC, Sony Vaio, and Skype for making that possible!

    ps We also ran into Sarah Smith @SarahResults! So nice to have these encounters happen also!

    pss.  This is my very 1st post on this website, been under construction for a while.  I just might become more than a microblogger and comment leaver!  We will see.  I do believe this will be more me and www.pullingtin.com will become more outdoors adventures…who knows, I want to keep it loose but with purpose to share, connect, discuss, or help!  Tell me what you think drop a comment.

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