Intelligent Head Quarters http://www.intelligenthq.com Business intelligence innovation network for growth education change Sat, 25 Oct 2014 06:00:14 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 How To Use Instagram For Social Business http://www.intelligenthq.com/resources/instagram-for-social-business/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/resources/instagram-for-social-business/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 06:00:14 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=43852 instagram-art

While the giants of social media like Facebook and Twitter have been stealing all of the social networking thunder, Instagram has been rising up through the ranks and is becoming a widely accepted tool for …

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Instagram for Social Business

Instagram for Social Business

While the giants of social media like Facebook and Twitter have been stealing all of the social networking thunder, Instagram has been rising up through the ranks and is becoming a widely accepted tool for social business. This has led many businesses to start looking at how Instagram can be used to improve their marketing strategies.

According to Gabriel Hubert (2013) writing for Our Social Times there are very good reasons for this. That’s because photos considerably increase interest and interaction from people. As noted by Hubert, photo posts have been shown to up the interaction rate by 39% compared with other posts. This has led companies like Starbucks, MTV, Nike and Red Bull to start including Instagram in their marketing strategies to work on reaching a proportion of the 90 million monthly active users (as of 2013). If this was not enough to encourage businesses to get on board with Instagram, Prescient explains that 57% of users go into their accounts on a daily basis. As well as this, 43% of accounts post more than one time per day. Brands that have already started with Instagram post approximately 5.5 times each week, states Prescient, and: “The top 50 brands on Instagram have an average of 722,000 followers and around 1.5 million Instagram posts mention the top 50 brands.”

This is all very well, but some business owners wonder how Instagram should best be managed. Prescient advice argues for posting photos that are brand relevant for customers. An example provided of this is that Whole Foods Market posts photos about healthy food, but also of store events and their sustainability measures. It is also explained that just as with other forms of social media marketing it is necessary to engage with followers which means leaving comments on their photos and liking what they post. Prescient suggests that quality is better than quantity in terms of the number of followers that a business has, so it is important to focus on building up a base of people that are really interested in your business and posts.

Writing for Social Media Examiner, Brian Honigman (2014) explains that another step that businesses can take is making sure that they add videos. As highlighted by Honigman, as of 2014 only 4% of Fortune 500 companies had started using video on Instagram for social media marketing. By getting in there ahead of other companies, businesses have an opportunity to stand out from the crowds. Indeed, it is shown by Honigman that a Forever 21 video campaign had received hundreds of responses having only been posted for less than two weeks.

Introducing Video on Instagram from Instagram on Vimeo.

Honigman suggests that a consistent style is important in building up followers. This means determining what types of pictures or videos work and largely sticking to that approach in a manner that is consistent and recognisable so that followers are able to associate it with your brand. If Instagram used to be limited to the use of an iphone or smartphone, there are now various alternatives that let you use your computer such as gamblr. Gamblr will allow you to program and optimize your use of instagram as a branding/marketing resource for your social business.

On the subject of branding, making Instagram work for your business means understanding what you need to do from the perspective of your brand to grab attention. In this regard National Geographic is a good example. As this organisation could not have used mobile photo uploads to attract followers, given the focus of excellence in photography in its brand, so it has steered clear of this approach. Additionally it “takes advantage of the fact that Instagram captions don’t have a character limit.” Honigman explains that each caption is similar to a brief magazine commentary rather than a simple caption for a picture and that is consistent with what National Geographic followers might possibly expect from this brand. Meanwhile, Honigman also suggests asking for user generated photographs by carrying out activities such as the running of competitions to get people to interact with the brand.

Hubert (2013) argues that whatever you decide to do on Instagram you should track and monitor it. In particular this means monitoring areas such as follower statistics and interactions generated by different photos posted. This can lead businesses to improve what they do on Instagram to better prompt engagement by continuing with what works and dropping what doesn’t. Particular areas to track according to Hubert are Hashtags, volume of photos shared, likes and comments as well as reach.

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Is “Disruptive Innovation” A Devastating Machine Promoting A Perestroika Of Capitalism ? http://www.intelligenthq.com/innovation-management/the-disruption-machine/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/innovation-management/the-disruption-machine/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 06:00:04 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=43859 disruptive innovation

Article written by Maria Fonseca and Paula Fonseca The disruption advocates have become something of a machine. “Disruption is everywhere!” they tell us, driving fear into our hearts that everything we know and love is …

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disruptive innovation
Image by Dinis Guarda

Image by Dinis Guarda

Article written by Maria Fonseca and Paula Fonseca

The disruption advocates have become something of a machine. “Disruption is everywhere!” they tell us, driving fear into our hearts that everything we know and love is sure to transform beyond recognition. Disruption is driving change and bringing about new paradigms and ways of thinking, or so they say. But now people are starting to question this concept in its application to absolutely everything. For example, according to Jill Lepore (2014) reporting for The New Yorker the concept of disruptive innovation has been over baked by many. As she puts it:

“Disruptive innovation is a theory about why businesses fail. It’s not more than that. It doesn’t explain change. It’s not a law of nature… It makes a very poor prophet.”

In the view of Lepore and many others the concept of “disruptive innovation” has been used to explain how change occurs. This is as much asserted in business schools as everywhere else, she argues. And now these theories have been applied to other areas that have nothing to do with business or the goals of organisations. Actually, it is implied that in some cases disruptive innovation should not have been applied. For example, as Lepore explains, doctors need to meet their obligations to patients, teachers to students and journalists to readers. These are obligations, she purports, that have nothing to do with earnings. Doctors must provide a high standard of care, teachers a high standard of education, and journalists need to ensure to be factually correct. This is argued to be fundamentally different to the obligations that business managers have to staff.

Indeed, Lepore explains that disruptive innovation has been proposed as a theory of change both looking back at the past, and showing that disruption has caused change throughout time, as well as looking to the future, and showing that disruption will continue to drive change. Lepore argues that it has been suggested that many things that people own are the result of disruptive change. For example, smartphones and their apps have been shown to have created disruption for many industries such as in travel, transportation and music, among others. However, Lepore points out that not everything is suited to “disruptive innovation”, though disruption is called for by many advocates of it in all fields.

Clayton M. Christensen, a renowned scholar from Harvard, was one of the firsts to have written extensively on the subject of innovation and disruption.  Clayton wrote The Innovator´s Dilemma , which was first published in 1997. His book put forward the idea that companies place too much emphasis on customers’ current needs, when they should rather adopt new technology or business models to meet customers’ not yet stated or future needs. Christensen called this disruptive innovation. Christensen focused on the idea that disruptive innovation might lead an industry to the selling of a cheaper product with lower quality over focusing on their regular customers, and that this innovative new product would eventually “devour an entire industry”. According to Lepore, since Christensen’s book “The Innovator’s Dilemma” was published this has led to everyone jumping on a disruption bandwagon with the appearance of conferences about disruption, seminars on this topic and even consultants to help drive disruption.

The hype around disruption has led to an excessive focus on disruption, opines Lepore, who says that this implies that “the time has come to panic as you’ve never panicked before.” Indeed, she points out that some journalists have taken this to an all new level, arguing that disruptive innovation has now become “devastating innovation”. The concept behind this is that young, fresh start up companies are “ruthless and leaderless and unrestrained” and that such companies seem small and insignificant and the danger of them is not realised until it is way too late. In her own industry, Lepore compares the Times and BuzzFeed as examples of an established organisation threatened in this devastating manner by a new-ish start up applying “disruptive innovation” as a strategy.

Another way to read this phenomenon is through the eyes of Jeremy Rifkin’s latest book: The zero marginal cost society. In his book Rifkin traces a new type of economical system resulting from an abundance of goods and services that are increasingly cheap:

“This is the first new economical system to emerge since the advent of capitalism and socialism in the early nineteenth century. It is going to dramatically impact our lives. The precipitating agent, the trigger is something called : zero marginal cost.”

Marginal cost can be defined as the cost of producing additional units of a good or service, if fixed costs are not counted. While economists have always welcomed a reduction in marginal cost, they never anticipated the possibility of a technological revolution that might bring marginal costs to near zero, making goods and services priceless, nearly free, and abundant, and no longer subject to market forces. Could the phenomena of zero marginal cost, be the result of the entrepreneurial drive of looking for ways to make cheaper products, the result of the famous “disruptive innovation” that Christensen so well described premonitorily in 1997 ?

Fast forward to 2014, the “disruptive machine” has became so threatening to all that you can even take an online MOOC on surviving disruptive technologies. The course, offered by coursera, mentions how it aims to equip individuals and organizations with resources to survive ( based on a general model of survival) when confronted with disruptive technologies that threaten their current way of life.

Going back to Lepore’s article, the author argues that the concept of disruptive innovation has been jumped on and taken way too far, and this is problematic, given that it is grounded on evidence and assertions that she explains to be “dubious” in the first place. While Lepore’s arguments are sound and writing is engaging, it seems unlikely that her commentary will stop the incredible Disruption Machine that appears to have taken over the world. Given the extent to which people have embraced the ideals of disruption and its concepts as a driver of change, there is a lot further to go before people calm down about the idea of disruption and start searching for other alternative models.

It is important though to understand that what disruption brought to a certain extent was that it revolutionized a whole traditional way of doing business that focused on competition and profitability. The disruptive machine, turned into a devastating one, is now affecting both startups and corporations. If some are trying to cope by quickly learning “survival” techniques, others are embracing the reality that classical capitalism is undergoing a “perestroika” and it is redefining itself. “Capitalism is under attack” is the initial sentence of an article published last month (september 2014) by McKinsey and Company entitled : Redefining capitalism.

Some alternative models of doing business, are the ones described by Jeremy Rifkin, such as the ones that privilege collaboration, sharing and the collaborative commons. These, have already gained momentum. It will be interesting to see what will be left in the landscape of doing traditional business after the hurricane of disruption has calmed down.

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People Centered Economic Development http://www.intelligenthq.com/social-business-2/people-centered-economic-development/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/social-business-2/people-centered-economic-development/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:00:21 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=43848 P_CED

One of the buzz trends of our contemporary “business” days is the idea that people need to be the new focus, and centre of a business that entitles itself to be social. There is something …

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P_CED
People Centered Economic Development Image by Intelligenthq

People Centered Economic Development Image by Intelligenthq

One of the buzz trends of our contemporary “business” days is the idea that people need to be the new focus, and centre of a business that entitles itself to be social. There is something warming about the idea that people might actually be placed first in the process of economic development. It is important to remember that this idea didn’t just came up recently with the sudden use of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, that triggered an immense revolution on the way business is done.

To put people at the center of economic development is precisely what the concept of  People Centered Economic Development attempted to do, by considering people at the core of progress. The concept of People Centered Economic Development has been in operation for more than 15 years and while it began in the USA in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the organisation moved to the UK in 2004. Jeff Mowatt is one of the most important advocates of this concept and the director of the organization. P- CED is now a profit for purpose organisation in the UK, which allows it to be able to invest profits for social purpose as well as to conduct small business. Any money that is made is re-invested into purposes that the organisation’s management chooses.

On the core premise of people being central to economic development, the organisation asks a question that seems obvious: “At first glance it might seem redundant to emphasise people as the central focus of economics. After all, isn’t the purpose of economics as well as business, people?” But as the organization sees and we all have experienced, if people are to some degree automatically a core part of business and economic activities in other ways they are not. Clearly, it can be seen that the capitalist model does not lead to benefits for everyone. Definitely some people are rewarded with considerable benefits, however,  according to the “People Centered Economic Development” theory, in fact, the traditional capitalist system doesn’t bring benefits to all. After all, as it points out, more than one billion people are left hungry. This hardly puts people at the core of economic development if a very sizeable proportion of the world’s population does not have sufficient food to eat each day. We don’t even need to go that far: It’s a common discussion nowadays that the current generation is less better off than their parents one. Over the last decade wages stabilized while life costs have skyrocketed, particularly in cities like London or New York.

The premise of People Centered Economic Development,  and they were pioneers in raising these kinds of questions, is that it tries to figure out solutions. Problems like the ones highlighted previously are solvable by taking a slightly different approach and putting people central to the economic development approach.

People Centered Economic Development advocates for businesses to do things differently. It persists with the idea that businesses should operate for profit, but rather than creaming off that profit to make just a few people very rich it is proposed instead that a minimum of 50% of profits should be given to “stimulate a given local economy instead of going to private hands.” Legally there is nothing to stop businesses from doing this if their mandates and relationships with investors are set up accordingly to do so.

People Centered Economic Development argues that profits can and should be utilised more effectively than they are at the current time. Rather than targeting “traditional investment and profit outcomes” it is suggested that by giving half of their profits away to create dozens of new organisations, more jobs would be created. This, it argues would be beneficial for everyone, not just the few lucky individuals at the top of the chain. It is also opined that this would create a more equitable system that could work to reduce human misery and suffering through changing the flow of wealth and working to get rid of issues like poverty and hunger. This is essential, it argues, especially given that there are more than enough resources for everyone, but they are just not shared equitably.

Overall the focus is on long term and permanently sustainable solutions, putting the neediest people first in priority, rather than continuing to overlook or ignore them. The approach is considered to be bottom up. People Centered Economic Development practices what it preaches and does not expect other organisations to take steps that it is not prepared to take itself. With regard to social purposes, the organisation’s largest concern is poverty relief and child care reform in the countries that formerly comprised the USSR. This is achieved through creating ties based on friendship and common ground with countries that were part of the Soviet Union. It is the firm belief of People Centered Economic Development that an approach that it describes as “soft power” for pursuing international relations is the most optimal for building trust, understanding and peace, and the organisation has focused on this strategy right from its outset. As People Centered Economic Development puts it, “Peace is our business.” People Centered Economic Development specifically selected the former Soviet Union region to provide support to.

It seems like a long shot to change a system of profitability that is so embedded in the capitalist principle, but maybe through showing what can be done with sustained efforts People Centered Economic Development can achieve this.

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Studying Business At The University For Peace http://www.intelligenthq.com/business-education/the-university-for-peace/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/business-education/the-university-for-peace/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 06:29:23 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=43850 UPEACE-campus

There have been many initiatives to promote peace but perhaps none more inspiring and educational than the University for Peace. It seems only appropriate that such an institution is mandated by the United Nations and …

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UPEACE-campus
The University for Peace

The University for Peace

There have been many initiatives to promote peace but perhaps none more inspiring and educational than the University for Peace. It seems only appropriate that such an institution is mandated by the United Nations and located in Costa Rica, a country that does not have a permanently standing army. You may be imagining the University of People to be a new initiative, but actually the organisation has been running since late 1980, established as a treaty organisation by the UN General Assembly. The mission of the university in essence is:

“To provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, to stimulate cooperation.. and lessen obstacles and threats to world peace and progress…”

Despite being established by the United Nations, the organisation wanted to attain academic freedom and so it was set up with its own charter, with a view to not being subjected to the regulations of the UN, and consequently being able to achieve a greater level of innovation. Education, training and research are considered by the University for Peace to be paramount in developing a framework for peace and progress and reducing conflict. The University is funded by donor governments as well as foundations and institutions that wish to support the University in achieving its mission.

The University for Peace offers an interesting diversity of educational programmes primarily grounded in the central concept of peace. Some examples of courses offered include: Gender and Peace Building, Media, Peace and Conflict Studies, International Law and Human Rights, Urban Governance and Peace and Environment, Development and Peace. In the case of the latter it is possible to specialise in Environmental Security and Governance, Sustainable Natural Resource Management, Climate Change Policy or Sustainable Food Systems.  In addition to the masters programmes there are also various short term courses, such as Business and Human Rights and a doctoral programme that has a goal of offering its participants “a holistic and interdisciplinary understanding” of issues related to peace and conflict as well as strategies for driving peace. There are also online education options, study abroad programmes, an undergraduate credit building programme and partnership programmes in place, all with a perspective on and a view to working towards a peaceful world.

Getting accepted onto a University for Peace programme requires applicants to have already completed a four year undergraduate degree such as a BA or BSc. One commonality between all students accepted is that they are able to demonstrate an “outstanding” academic record of achievements. It is also preferable where possible that individuals that apply are motivated and hardworking and have a year of experience in a related field. Cross cultural experiences and a background of international studies is also considered helpful to get accepted to the university. If you want to go to the University for Peace to further your academic studies you can expect to have to complete an online application, provide transcripts that demonstrate academic achievement, send letters of recommendation and also demonstrate a good level of competence in the English Language in order to get accepted.

As a not for profit organisation the University for Peace has a limited ability to provide financial assistance to students, and this assistance, where offered is based on merit. The university has an “administrative fee” of $2,500 which is charged to all students, regardless of whether or not they receive financial support. Tuition fees for an MA programme sit at $17,000 for the academic year of 2014 to 2015, and it is expected that approximately half the fee is paid to confirm enrolment and the other half by October 2015. Of course, this does not include the mandatory administration fee. Some students get a tuition waiver if they come from countries of the UPEACE charter or if they have studied at a partner university. This includes a wide range of universities in countries from around the world, such as universities in Ethiopia, Turkey, the USA, Switzerland, Monaco, the Republic of Korea and Japan, among many others. UN employees, Costa Rican citizens, professors from partner universities and documented refugees benefit from a 50% tuition waiver.

If you want to advance a career in driving peace around the world, then what better place to start than the University for Peace in Ciudad Colon, San Jose?

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Little Guide to Online Reputation For Social Businesses http://www.intelligenthq.com/latest-news/little-guide-to-online-reputation-for-social-businesses/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/latest-news/little-guide-to-online-reputation-for-social-businesses/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 06:00:34 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=43743 guide to online reputation Intelligenthq

Everyone, even those that do not use the Internet all that much have an online reputation. That may be surprising for some to know. After all, maybe you keep your privacy levels at the highest …

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guide to online reputation Intelligenthq
guide to online reputation Intelligenthq

guide to online reputation Intelligenthq

Everyone, even those that do not use the Internet all that much have an online reputation. That may be surprising for some to know. After all, maybe you keep your privacy levels at the highest possible settings, and don’t allow your friends to tag you in pictures and so on. Nonetheless, you have an online reputation and it is well worth keeping it managed. That applies not just to organisations but also to individuals. That’s because if you go for an interview, your new employer will almost certainly check out what they can find out about you online. This means that keeping your online reputation under control is important.

If you are leading a social business, using various social media platforms, it is necessary to consider your online reputation, both the one of your business and the one of yourself as an individual.

According to David Amerland it is important to be able to verify your own identity in the semantic web. Information may be up there online about you and it may or may not be true. A picture of someone online and a name or a short profile are insufficient for the search engines to be able to determine trust. However, Amerland argues that it is better to build up a reputation over time through developing a profile based on activities and engagement. These activities can help to build up a reputation that is “hard to get and easy to lose” according to Amerland. Using a real name is one way that you can help to build up a reputation.

One activity that Google attempts to carry out is “reconciling identities across different social networks”. It does this for a number of reasons, perhaps the most important of which is data verification so that the organisation’s search engine is able to return trustworthy replies based on search queries entered. The more information that is available about you online, the easier this is for Google to do, and the more accurately it can return a useful search. Steering clear of spam is a third reason that Google does this. Google verifies identity in a variety of different ways. It looks at email addresses, writing styles, connections and sentiment profiles, among others.

Infographic little guide to online reputation

Little guide to online reputation

All of this means that information about your identity online is gained from a number of different sources. One, according to Amerland is “Influencers”. You may follow a person on one social network and another and Google may be able to tell this even if you use different names on the two social network profiles. Likes and dislikes are another way by which to identify you, as are email addresses, contacts and network connections. Many other data sources are used such as your IP address and location, devices used, comments posted, what you engage with online in terms of websites, contents, subject matters and interests and more.

Your online reputation is becoming increasingly important, as Amerland points out. For example, it is possible in the not-too-distant future that banks will use online reputation to determine who to lend money to, and job eligibility could be determined by online reputation. These are just two examples of how online reputation may gain importance in the months and years ahead. This means having an accurate and true online reputation that reflects reality is important.

Writing for Forbes, Jayson DeMers (2014) explains that it is necessary to understand what is being said about you online, and this is especially true for social businesses. There are some really helpful tools that DeMers suggests for doing this. These include Tagboard, Hastagify.me, SocialMention and TweetBinder. These tools provide the opportunity to search on social media networks and provide information on what is being said about you and your business. The long-running tool Google Alerts can also be useful for this. With this tool it is possible to set up regular notifications of when your name or your business name is published online, and these notifications are delivered to your email address.

DeMers also believes that it is necessary to respond to what is said about you online. However, as he puts it: “This is where you’ll want to tread very carefully.”

Where a response is appropriate it is recommended to do this quickly, to make sure that your view as well as the view of the author is taken into account by as many people as possible reading the information. Deleting the comments is not necessarily recommended as it can be seen as an admission of guilt or covering up a problem. Responding professionally is considered essential. In some cases this may involve contacting the author and asking them to remove the content.

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Positive Money : Explaining How “New Money” Is Made Through Debt http://www.intelligenthq.com/finance/positive-money-explaining-how-new-money-is-made-through-debt/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/finance/positive-money-explaining-how-new-money-is-made-through-debt/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 06:00:47 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=43752 still from video by positivemoney.org

Article written by Paula Newton and Maria Fonseca Where does money come from ? How does the system of money work ? What is money after all ?  Positive Money is a movement that tries …

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still from video by positivemoney.org
Positive Money : Explaining How "New money" Is Made Through Debt

Positive Money : Explaining How “New money” Is Made Through Debt

Article written by Paula Newton and Maria Fonseca

Where does money come from ? How does the system of money work ? What is money after all ?  Positive Money is a movement that tries to investigate some answers for these questions, and that searches for a money and banking system that works for society and not against it, which the organisation asserts that the current situation has the unfortunate disadvantage of doing. Positive Money suggests that the current financial system that we are in has left people with the worst debt levels through history, a level of inequality that is worsening and unaffordable housing. The organisation affiliated with sister organisations in almost 20 other countries and is, as it puts it:

 “…campaigning for the power to create money to be used in the public interest, in a democratic, transparent and accountable way, rather than by the same banks that caused the financial crisis.”

Positive Money has set itself up as a not for profit organisation, and it is currently based in London. The organization was founded by Ben Dyson in 2009, resulting from Ben Dyson´s disillusionment with mainstream economics. Ben decided to actively look for solutions, which lead him to campaign for a proper understanding of how money works as the first step in fixing a failed banking system. That was the reason who caused him to found positive money, as he explains in a podcast published in BBC 4.

Through Positive Money, Ben now spends his time working with MPs, think tanks, charities, academics and unions to promote a better understanding of the real issue with debt-based money and fractional reserve banking. Ben is a co-author of Modernising Money along with Andrew Jackson. He originally studied Development Economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS, University of London) before spending two years collaborating with other three people and growing a start-up business in the financial sector.

The way that the organisation sees it, money is created by banks who make loans in order to achieve this. This leads to a situation where the only way to get extra money into the economy is to rely on borrowing from banks, which has led to a situation where we are faced with mortgages and sizeable personal debt. When people get loans they spend the money that they took and this leads to the idea that the economy is doing well, meanwhile, debt is going up. Indeed Positive Money argues that if there is £100 in your bank account then someone else will be £100 in debt. Positive Money asserts that when debts are paid off money disappears. This has the consequence of leading to a recession, and an encouragement of personal debt in the economy to avoid this.

House prices are another major issue according to Positive Money. They explain that while this has partly been brought about by there being more people than houses, in fact house prices have also been elevated due to the new money that banks created in the run up to the financial crisis. House prices increased faster than wages. This leads to more people renting and those that are poor passing their money to those that are already richer. The winners in this situation according to Positive Money are the banks, since they will benefit from larger mortgages given over longer periods.

According to Positive Money, in the years prior to the financial crisis, banks created a lot of money by making loans, and in only seven years they doubled the amount of money and debt in the economy. This money was used to push up house prices (31% went to residential property and 20% to commercial real estate). Most of the rest went to the financial sector and to markets that imploded when the financial crisis hit. This led to the debts becoming unpayable and the financial crisis. Jobs are also affected. That is because according to Positive Money, when banks create money it leads to a boom, and people get jobs and feel as if they are getting richer due to credit and loans. This can lead to untenable levels of debt. At the same time, Positive Money argues that when banks are able to create the money of a nation everyone ends up paying higher taxes. The reason for this is that the proceeds from creating new money go to banks not taxpayers. Taxpayers end up in the position where they pay for the cost of the financial crises that banks cause.

What needs to be done ?

Positive Money seeks to change the growing gap between the richest and the poorest people in society. It also aims to reduce the destruction to the environment due to lower resource consumption. Fundamentally, allowing banks to create the nation’s money is considered to be un democratic by Positive Money. There are three steps proposed for Positive Money to be able to change this situation. The first is taking the money to create power away from banks and giving it back to a democratic, transparent and accountable process. The second is creating money free of debt.Positive Money’s proposal is that the state could create money, free of debt. Finally, the third is to put any new money created into the real economy and not back into financial markets and property bubbles. The following animated video explains these three proposals :

It is a valiant cause and it remains to be seen whether Positive Money is able to drive the change it seeks. If it does we could be in a very different financial situation, one that may just benefit us more than our current system.

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“The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms” by Nassin Nicholas Taleb http://www.intelligenthq.com/resources/the-bed-of-procrustes-philosophical-and-practical-aphorisms-by-nassin-nicholas-taleb/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/resources/the-bed-of-procrustes-philosophical-and-practical-aphorisms-by-nassin-nicholas-taleb/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 06:00:02 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=43783 Nassim Taleb Intelligenthq

“The Bed of Procrustes” is an excellent book written by Nassim Taleb. That doesn´t mean that most of the readers would like the book. However, I think you should take the risk of buying and …

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Nassim Taleb Intelligenthq
Nassim Taleb Intelligenthq

Nassim Taleb Intelligenthq

“The Bed of Procrustes” is an excellent book written by Nassim Taleb. That doesn´t mean that most of the readers would like the book. However, I think you should take the risk of buying and reading the book. Why? The book is well-written and has a lot of thought provoking “food” for our mind.

Dear reader, you probably know the author or, at least, some of his books. Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a Lebanese-American writer and scholar. He worked before as a hedge fund manager for more then two decades. Now, his work focuses on questions around randomness and uncertainty and he is author of well-known non-fiction books like the “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable” and “Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder”. His books were translate in more then 30 languages. Taleb is known to be thinker with sharp words and complex character, as can be accessed in the following video.

One of Taleb´s most influential book is “Black Swan”. “The Black Swan” is an opus magnum, a lengthy work that explores in depth one single idea: how the extreme impact of certain kinds of rare and unpredictable events trigger humans’ tendency to find simplistic explanations for these events retrospectively. The book is widely known all around the world .

“The Bed of Procrustes” on the other hand, is a relatively unknown book  with a few dozens of pages and approaching many subjects.The title refers to a violent stretcher from Greek mythology who abducted travelers and forced them to lie in a special bed.  In his own words the book “contrasts the classical values of courage, elegance, and erudition against the modern diseases of nerdiness, philistinism, and phoniness.” In his introductory essay, Taleb writes:

“We humans, facing limits of knowledge, and things we do not observe, the unseen and the unknown, resolve the tension by squeezing life and the world into crisp commoditized ideas, reductive categories, specific vocabularies, and prepackaged narratives, which, on the occasion, has explosive consequences.”

I believe that “The Bed of Procrustes” will divide readers between the ones who will love it or hate it.  Personally  I am very fascinated with this book that certainly can provoke intense emotions on his readers. He uses sarcasm and can seem arrogant, but whether we like it or not his books are thought provoking, and well researched. They will stay in print for a long long time.

“The Bed of Procrustes” is one of his less well-known books. It is a tiny book of aphorisms (aphorisms are a short form of writing that holds deep meaning) about subjects around chance, human behavior and life in general. The aphorisms challenge and entertain the readers at the same time. A great part of the aphorisms are about many of the ideas expressed in his longer books like “The Black Swan”. However Taleb also writes about subjects like love, ethics an friendship. Many of the aphorisms attacked some of my preconceived notions and, probably, of most of the readers of the book. One can even have one surprise or two and perhaps will be offended as sometimes the aphorisms aren´t very nice for the reader. Let me give you one example of what you can expect in the book: “The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary”. Most of  the readers of this article probably have a monthly salary like me. In a way, I think the  author is right. The monthly salary is a “carrot”. We trade our freedom, and search for ourselves and a desire to live with creativity, for security, which our recent times have already shown us that isn´t as “safe” as we would normally think so. Even if the trade-off is what we think, the phrase of  Nassim Nicholas Taleb makes us think about our options.

He says (from my point of view) a lot of things that we tend to forget like “I find it inconsistent (and corrupt) to dislike big government while favoring big business – but (alas) not the the reverse”. Many of the aphorisms are inconvenient to a lot of groups.  One of his favorite targets are university professors (I am one of them :) )  in particular, and academia, in general. Please, appreciate one of his “pearls”:

“Academia is to knowledge what prostitution is to love; close enough on the surface but, to the non-sucker, not exactly the same thing”.

Overall, it is an excellent  book that you can come back to many times. I believe that the reader can find different layers of interest with each new reading. “The Bed of Procrustes” can be seen as a very good and old red wine that we can enjoy slowly. I think it is worth the risk of reading it. Even though not all people like really good old wine,  I don´t think there is anything wrong about it for the rest of us – more red wine for the rest of us. :)

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How Social Media Reflects The levels Of Narcissism and Empathy in Society http://www.intelligenthq.com/social-media-posts/how-social-media-reflects-the-levels-of-narcissism-and-empathy-in-society/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/social-media-posts/how-social-media-reflects-the-levels-of-narcissism-and-empathy-in-society/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 06:00:10 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=43739 Nenufar. Photo by Dinis Guarda Intelligenhq

Do you use facebook ? If so what do you usually do ? The advent of social media and websites such as Facebook and Twitter have led many to question how online relationships have influenced …

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Nenufar. Photo by Dinis Guarda Intelligenhq
How Social Media Reflects The levels Of Narcissism and Empathy in Society

How Social Media Reflects The levels Of Narcissism and Empathy in Society

Do you use facebook ? If so what do you usually do ? The advent of social media and websites such as Facebook and Twitter have led many to question how online relationships have influenced offline relationships. It has also led to studies of self perception and the perception of others. One recent study along these lines was carried out by Dr. Tracy Alloway, an academic at the University of North Florida.

It was reported on in Science Daily in 2014. Alloway carried out a study into adult Facebook users between the ages of 18 and 50, and in total 400 were questioned on their use of the site. It was found that the use of some features was linked to selfishness, while other Facebook activities encouraged empathy.

Participants in the study were asked a variety of questions. These included the number of hours per day they used Facebook, how often they update their status and how they rate their own profile picture for attractiveness, cool, glamourous and fashionable. It transpired that most of the participants in the research were single and that they used Facebook on average two hours per day. Whether male or female they had 500 or so friends, and 89.5% were included in their own Facebook photographs.

Interestingly, narcissism was looked at as part of the study. The study’s participants were asked to complete a standard narcissism survey. Looking at this and comparing it with Facebook behaviour it was uncovered that for males, the photograph chosen for their profile picture was an indicator of narcissism. For females both the profile picture and the regularity of updating were considered to be indicators of levels of narcissism. As explained by the study, narcissists have an elevated opinion of their level of attractiveness and they aim to share this with the world. The profile picture allows people to draw attention to themselves. The Science Daily write up of the study explains that Alloway said:

“Every narcissist needs a reflecting pool. Just as Narcissus gazed into the pool to admire his beauty, social networking sites like Facebook, have become our modern day pool.”

Narcissism differences could be seen between people of different genders, according to Alloway. In particular, men showed that they were more narcissistic in the narcissism test. However, women were found to be more likely to say that their profile picture was more glamourous, cool and physically attractive. Women more commonly updated their profile picture more regularly than men. Women were found to do this once every two months, while men were likely to update their profile picture only once every three months. Alloway’s study indicated that this could mean that females that are narcissistic might be more likely to use Facebook as a “reflecting pool” than men who show narcissistic tendencies.

Empathy

The study did find that Facebook was not just a narcissistic reflecting pool however, and that other activities carried out had no links to narcissism. How often people posted photographs of themselves was not found to be tied to tendencies towards narcissism. Additionally the number of friends that participants had was not found to have a link to narcissism. This indicates that there is more to Facebook than it just being used as a tool for narcissism. Empathy could be seen by some participants using Facebook. For example, tendency to use Facebook for chat purposes was found to be linked to participants in the study that demonstrated “higher levels of Perspective Taking”. People that showed empathic concern were found to be more likely to use chat. In particular, males were found to be more likely to have an ability to put themselves in the position of another using empathy, while females achieved lower scores in this regard. The study did uncover some other interesting findings. One was that for women the watching of videos posted was linked with the extent to which they were able to identify with the distress of another person.

Empathy has been studied lately as an important aspect of the human nature. In the following video, an animation published by RSA Shorts, Dr Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are brave enough to really get in touch with our own fragilities.

Overall, the study determined that there were some traits of narcissism that could be identified by looking at how people use Facebook. To a lesser degree it was possible to see empathic tendencies linked with Facebook behaviour. However, in summary it was noted that social media is mostly just used as a tool for staying in touch with other people near and far, than for promoting oneself.

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Guide to Pinterest For Social Businesses Part Two http://www.intelligenthq.com/resources/guide-to-pinterest-part-two/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/resources/guide-to-pinterest-part-two/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:00:07 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=43747 Guide to Pinterest for social businesses part 2

Useful tools and tips for social businesses using Pinterest

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Guide to Pinterest for social businesses part 2
Guide to Pinterest for social businesses part 2

Guide to Pinterest for social businesses part 2

Pinterest is one of the most important social media websites for advertisers wanting to gain a respectable return on investment on their social media marketing campaigns, as we saw in part one of this series. In part two we will explore the tools and tips that experts have suggested for driving a successful Pinterest campaign that grabs and maintains the attention of Pinterest users.

Marla Tabaka (2014) of Inc makes some helpful suggestions that can be implemented into these campaigns. What are her most interesting tips ?

1. Make calls to action

One suggestion is to do everything possible to evoke emotions by using words that make the post seem enticing to others. Another great opportunity that can be taken on Pinterest is using tutorials that teach people how to do something. On Pinterest this can be done using video, checklists or infographics. A call to action can help to drive results, either by getting customers to repin, comment or “click here”. In fact, as Tabaka explains: “A call to action increases engagement by 80 percent.”

2. Use videos

Videos are particularly engaging according to Tabaka. Your videos should be short, and you should clearly describe what is the content of your videos. Never forget to add a “Pin Me” Notices in Video Outtros. Overall, tutorials are believed to have among the highest rates for click throughs.

3. Make sure to feel in your “About section”

Other helpful tips offered by another author, called Bunshoek are making sure that your “About” section includes keywords for your business. Pinterest also provides the useful option of allowing you to verify your website, explains Bunshoek, which assists with your ability to be seen in the search engine. Boards should also be named with Pinterest, and instead of using the titles that Pinterest will automatically suggest. If you use them you have an opportunity to increase your use of keywords. Popular boards being shown above the fold is another great tip offered by Bunshoek, as is using keywords in pin descriptions, meanwhile hashtags can also help to make your pins easier to find for users.

4. Schedule your pins

According to various writers it is important to schedule your pins so that they reach customers at the right time of day. Recent data suggests that  early in the morning and late at night and in particular on a Saturday morning are the best times to share your pins.

5. Use SEO

Krista Bunshoek of Wishpond argues a strong case for making sure that search engine optimisation (SEO) approaches are adopted on Pinterest as well. There is good reason for this since according to Bunshoek: “70% of people on Pinterest use it to get inspiration on what to buy. This compares with only 17% of Facebook users who do the same.”

Of course, getting people to buy products mean being able to get them found on the Pinterest website, and this is where SEO comes in very handy. This is particularly true given that according to Bunshoek the search box is one of the most used features of Pinterest. For this reason, people need to make sure that the search engines can find your products and services. For starters this means making sure that your privacy settings are set up in such a way that they are completely open making your pins easy to find by anyone.

6. Link your pins back to your site

Linking back to your own site is another tip that should not be forgotten.

As can be seen, while starting out on Pinterest may seem overwhelming to someone who has not used it before, there are many benefits of doing so and many opportunities to use tools to make it easier. Are you on Pinterest yet? If not you should now be equipped to get started.

 

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Guide to Pinterest For Social Business Part 1 http://www.intelligenthq.com/resources/guide-to-pinterest-for-social-business-part-1/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/resources/guide-to-pinterest-for-social-business-part-1/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 06:00:50 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=43745 guide to pinterest for social business part 1

Why Social Businesses Should not ignore Pinterest and how to get started

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guide to pinterest for social business part 1
Guide to Pinterest For Social Business Part 1

Guide to Pinterest For Social Business Part 1

Pinterest has rapidly risen up through the social media ranks and is now a major player among social networking websites. Businesses that first dismissed Pinterest as being yet another social media site that should just be ignored need to sit up and think again. And many organisations that have cast aside Pinterest as being a fad maybe need to look at the figures and reconsider. The website brings excellent potential for marketers to draw attention to businesses, and in addition the site is offering even greater potential for returns on investment than some of the bigger players. If you are running a social business, Pinterest can be an excellent resource. In fact, looking at the figures, Marla Tabaka (2014) of Inc reports that as discovered by Sprout Insights:

“Pinterest’s share of social media referrals soared from .68 percent to a whopping 26 percent in just one year, generating more than 400 percent more revenue per click than Twitter, and 27 percent more than Facebook.”

It is also worth knowing that as Tabaka (2014) explains, people that click through from Pinterest advertisements are considerably more likely to buy than those that click through from other social networking sites. Indeed, from Pinterest, 10 percent of shoppers referred are more likely to actually make a purchase. This means that Pinterest may have smaller numbers of users right now than the social media greats of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but advertising funds invested is money well spent.

As with all social media marketing activities, one of the challenges is that too many businesses take the approach of “pitching” to their Pinterest followers. This is an approach to be avoided. Other types of approaches should be used to gain engagement from potential customers. It is important to realise that unlike some other social media websites like, for example, LinkedIn, on Pinterest people are on the website for entertainment purposes. They are not interested in being sold to. Rather they want their attention to be grabbed by creative and educational pins. This means that businesses thinking of working with Pinterest need to make sure that fascinating facts, figures and also humour are all a very necessary part of marketing via Pinterest. Given the highly visual nature of this particular social media medium a certain level of visual appeal and an ability to “stimulate the imagination” is also important to gain the attention of followers. Otherwise they will be fickle and click away from your pins.

Guide To Pinterest For Social Business (part 1) Intelligenthq

Guide To Pinterest For Social Business (part 1) Intelligenthq

What are the main steps to be taken with Pinterest:

1. Open a business account

The first step to be taken with Pinterest is creating a business account. Some businesses made the mistake of creating a personal account when starting out on Pinterest, but this can easily changed to a business account, and there are good reasons for doing so. One such reason is the benefit of good analytics that help you to assess the success or otherwise of what you are doing on the site. Other business features are also provided specifically to help organisations to drive success via Pinterest. Another initial step that businesses need to take is that of downloading the Pinterest button from a page called “goodies” and putting it on your business website.

2. Plan a strategy on how to use pinterest

Before just going ahead and starting to pin anything up, it is best to have a game plan. Tabaka (2014) explains that some of the most interesting pins that businesses can post are those that inform about the industry in which they work. For example, infographics that outline consumer behaviour or about the particular product or service can be interesting for the users. Developing an infographic about a particular business problem such as time keeping might be an option. Checklists are also a good option to generate interest. An example provided is that of a company that provides products for new babies creating a helpful checklist that could be used by new parents that they could use. Another option might be a travel company providing a packing list for those considering going to certain destinations.

3. Think about being visually appealing

Being visually appealing is (almost) everything on Pinterest and Julia Campbell (2014) of Maximize Social Business explains how this can be done with either free tools, or some resources that are low cost. Campbell’s personal favourite is Canva.com which she argues is easy to use and offers good graphics. While some of the templates provided cost $1, most are free. This tool allows the creation of presentations, social media graphics and blogs, all of which can grab the attention of users. Quozio.com is another good option. This tool formats text that you put into it in an interesting and appealing way. There are many templates to choose from. Meanwhile Pinstamatic.com provides the chance to create good graphics, calendars, location maps and photos. Pinstamatic allow you, if you enter the URL of a website in the box provided and Pinstamatic, to take a snapshot of the website that can be pinned to whatever pin board you would like to use.

There are also many other tools. Pinwords.com provides beautiful text for images; UseChisel.com allows the ability to “write thoughts on photos”; Recitethis.com meanwhile provides the chance to “turn a quote into a masterpiece.

Besides the tools that Campbell recommends you can use your own imagination and photoshop, if you are considering when starting a Pinterest campaign.

You can use as well Pinterest´s helpful templates for free. It also offers infographic creators that can be helpful if you do not have the graphical skills to do this for yourself.

 

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HacKIDemia – Innovation and Social Change Through Play http://www.intelligenthq.com/innovation-management/hackidemia-innovation-and-social-change-through-play/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/innovation-management/hackidemia-innovation-and-social-change-through-play/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 06:00:52 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=43749 image from workshop organized by Hackidemia

Ever wanted to be a kid again, even for just one day? HacKIDemia is a ground breaking organisation that offers that chance to some degree, by helping you to encourage your kids to use play …

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image from workshop organized by Hackidemia
image from workshop organized by Hackidemia

image from workshop organized by Hackidemia

Ever wanted to be a kid again, even for just one day? HacKIDemia is a ground breaking organisation that offers that chance to some degree, by helping you to encourage your kids to use play to generate change. Highly interactive in nature, the HacKIDemia website offers workshops that allow the ability to learn by playing with robotics and electronics. There are videos that show the change and experience that the company is driving throughout the world, and in addition to this there are eve events where parents can come along with their children and meet like minded people. And why would they? Well, HacKIDemia claims to: “Design workshops and kits that help kids use curiosity, empathy and play to change the world.”

It has already achieved some considerable degree of success with HacKIDemia activities taking place globally. From the United States, to France, India and parts of Africa, to name just a few, HacKIDemia might be described as an organisation that is really taking off. Given that children love to play, the concept seems sound. Indeed, HacKIDemia states that:

“Learning by doing and playing comes natural to children as they have an innate curiosity. With HacKIDemia hands-on workshops we try to encourage and develop that curiosity and give them tools to transform their dreams into reality.”

As HacKIDemia puts it, the sooner they start the better. There is also no age limit so the fun can be had by “kids” of all ages. There is the possibility for children to order a HacKIDemia “Maker Box” to help with the creative process and drive learning forward. The kit includes electronic sensor guides as well as booklets that help with encouraging children to take part in science and telecommunication projects that stimulate their learning through the creative process. An array of wires, circuit boards and other gadgets are also included.

AfriMakers

Stefania Druga founded HacKIDemia convinced of the idea that change can be achieved by generating learning that is supported through doing and playing. Druga’s other enterprise is AfriMakers, a project that provides makers in the developing world the opportunity to be able to come up with solutions to their issues through creativity and collaboration. In this latter endeavour she has been to eight African nations, helping them to create and design prototypes for solutions that deal with local issues like access to clean water, information and electricity. She achieves this through training local teams of makers, and the solution is touted to “succeed where larger top-down schemes fail.”

One way that HacKIDemia achieves its goals is through speaking at specific conferences in the developed world to inspire change. Stafania Druga will speak soon at an event named “Meaning Conference”. Meaning is a annual event that started in 2012,  that addresses the challenges of 21st century economics, looking at ways in which debt free prosperity can be achieved, as well as social innovation through technology (or not). The conferences provide a chance to consider important development concepts such as conscious business, organisational democracy, purpose and vision and business that is genuinely driven by values. This conferences address the values that HacKIDemia believe are essential in 21st century leadership. According to HacKIDemia these include mindfulness, compassion, resilience and empathy. The conferences achieve their goals through driving inspiration, allowing people to make helpful connections and offering workshops that allow the time and space for the creativity needed to drive real change in organisations. Such conferences provide Druga a platform for her visionary views.

As the song goes, children are our future, and generating the depth of creativity to try to solve difficult problems that the world faces from an early age is admirable. It will be interesting to see if events like the recent Maker Camp in Berlin really do prompt an interest and desire in children to start to look at the world in a new way, perhaps leading to them growing into adults that are less profit focused as a hard and fast rule and who are more creative and considerably more aligned with the goals and ideals of social entrepreneurship. One thing is for sure – Stefania Druga is having considerable success in extending the HacKIDemia concept on a global scale. Maybe this can drive the change the world needs to really start to become more equitable for all.

 

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Degrowth: A Movement That Anticipated The World Of Today ? http://www.intelligenthq.com/social-business-2/degrowth-a-movement-that-anticipated-the-western-world-of-today/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/social-business-2/degrowth-a-movement-that-anticipated-the-western-world-of-today/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 06:00:23 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=43660 degrowth feat img

Article written by Maria Fonseca and Paula Newton It is no news to anyone that a growth-based economic and social system as the one we inherited from the past cannot and will not have a …

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degrowth feat img
degrowth feat img

How the “Degrowth” Movement Anticipated What We Are Experiencing In The World Today

Article written by Maria Fonseca and Paula Newton

It is no news to anyone that a growth-based economic and social system as the one we inherited from the past cannot and will not have a future anymore. Inequality, global warming and the destruction of nature are significantly on the rise. Businesses are also changing and in their transformations they evoke  innovative new social economical models that seek alternatives to the exclusive paradigm of material growth.

“Degrowth” is an interesting concept that pioneered the search for alternative economical systems. Degrowth was launched as an activist ideal in 2001, with the main concept being to challenge materialistic growth.

What is Degrowth and what can degrowth teach a social business ?

The word “degrowth” is taken from the French word “decroissance”, which literally means “reduction”. The concept is starting to take hold in academic literature and focuses on the re-politicising of discussion around socio-environmental issues. Degrowth is a subject discussed by Federico DeMaria, Francois Schneider, Filka Sekulova and Joan Martinez-Alier in 2013 in their paper: What is Degrowth? From an Activist Slogan to a Social Movement. The paper by DeMaria et al. has an aim of improving the definition and understanding of degrowth.

Explaining degrowth, the authors acknowledge how: “during its short life, degrowth has been subjected to diverging and often reductionist interpretations.” Eager to put this problem straight, the authors argue that while degrowth does share some commonalities with sustainable development, people advocating degrowth do not wish it to become taken on by supra national organisations such as the United Nations or the OECD. Rather, degrowth proponents initially wanted to drive radical change, specifically in the area of socio-ecological transformation.  According to the authors this makes degrowth “a critique of the current development hegemony”.

To better understand degrowth, the authors explain that commonly the subject is seen as trying to bring about the downscaling of production and consumption in industrialised countries. The reason for doing this is given to be achieving environmental sustainability as well as social justice and improving peoples’ well-being in society. It is considered to be a “noneconomic concept” which is difficult to understand in some ways, since reducing production and consumption would indeed be an economic concept.

However, degrowth is perceived as requiring the cutting back of energy and materials throughout to reduce the demand on natural resources and the ecosystem. At the same time, the concept aims to “challenge the omnipresence of market based relations in society”. According to those pushing for degrowth this would require a much more solid type of democracy which would deal with issues that are currently not addressed by democracies in societies.

Degrowth also requires a redistribution of money between north and south, as well as between present and future generations. There have been questions raised about how good Baby Boomers have had it, and how this has caused problems for upcoming generations that will be working much longer to support the aging population. Additionally, degrowth supports concepts such as that raised in Ecuador where there was a campaign to save the Yasuni area of the Amazon rainforest, where the president of the country asked for money from other countries and if this money was delivered then the oil would remain “in the soil”.

Degrowth is becoming attractive to a diverse range of people, argue DeMaria et al. (2013). This makes it able to generate a wide range of different ideas and provides it with the ability to come up with strategies at all levels. The usefulness of the concept is that it looks at areas as different as urban planning and housing, financial systems, food systems and agro ecology, climate justice, cooperatives, meaningful employment, alternative energy and international trade. It does not just focus on economic growth per se, and nor is it considered by the authors to be a simple suggestion to decrease GDP.

Degrowth is also appealing to many because it does not merely accept commonly held beliefs such as that which suggests that in order to pay back debts it is necessary to grow. Nor does it suggest that “everyone is in the same boat”. Rather it does hone in on the differences and conflicts between people and at different levels. Activists in this area are focusing on trying to get the issues back into the political arena to drive a new level of debate on the subject. Overall, DeMaria et al. see the subject as being innovative and coherent despite the widely varying strands of focus, because all of the areas of emphasis are compatible and complementary, in their view. The diversity of people interested in this area leads to debate that is constructive and able to drive continuous improvement both at the theoretical and practical level, in their opinion. They believe that the differences, diversity and conflict in the subject are what will keep it alive and continuously evolving into the future.

Millennials and meaningful employment

One of the main concepts of the degrowth movement when it first appeared in 2001, was the need to downscale the production and consumption in industrialised countries. One decade after its launch, that downscaling is not any more an empty concept, but a reality to many of us, particularly to the millennial generation. Recent data has already shown us how in the West, millennials, that form the major part of the working force nowadays, are less wealthy than their parents’ generation.

In an article published in 2013 in The New York Times, Annie Lowrie writes :


“The millennials’ relationship with money seems quite simple. They do not have a lot of it, and what they do have, they seem reluctant to spend. Millennials are buying fewer cars and houses, and despite their immersion in consumer culture, particularly electronics, they are not really spending beyond their limited means.”

As we all seem to be experiencing one way or another, we are already living “degrowth”. What is interesting  though, is that even though “material degrowth” comes as a painful reality to many of us, particularly the millennial generation, as Adam Smiley Poswolsky says, writing for fastcoexist  “millennials want to work- and despite being shackled by debt, recession, and the jobs crisis-they aren’t motivated by money”. As he says, “young people today want to do work with purpose”.

“Degrowth” and post developmental economical models

How to deal with this reality ? Nowadays it is important  to understand what kind of new economical possibilities are possible beyond the materialistic growth model of doing business. What the concept of “degrowth” brings us,  as Kristin Laufenberg has highlighted in an essay entitled “Degrowth through a Post-Development Lens” is that:

“degrowth is in direct contrast to economic systems such as capitalism or sustainable growth”. Degrowth, she writes, shares more common ground with a “post-development perspective in advocating for a fundamental transformation of society that will challenge the very notion of what an ‘economy’ is, as well as the dominant discourses which shape our perception of reality.”

 

quote about degrowth by Kristin Laufenberg Intelligenthq

quote about degrowth by Kristin Laufenberg Intelligenthq

Conclusions

What are the conclusions to be taken when appropriating the concepts of “degrowth” to the landscape of social businesses ?  The digital darwinist reality of the business world of nowadays, brought to us by the digital environment, is that no one will ever grow in the sense of before anymore. The business models that used to work in the past, have changed radically, particularly in the west. Social Businesses though, are operating in the real field, a field with a mixed reality where different economic models coexist.

A possible way to deal with this conundrum, is on one hand to find the true meaning behind your wish of doing “business” and on the other hand trying to innovate by experimenting with new models of doing business, that involve collaboration and sharing.

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How Millenials Bank Through Pictures http://www.intelligenthq.com/finance/how-millenials-bank-through-pictures/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/finance/how-millenials-bank-through-pictures/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 06:00:12 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=43654 How millenials bank

Millennials bank differently. It shouldn’t come as a great surprise. After all they are rarely seen without their smartphones. As Dan Kadlec (2014) of Time explains, they are using that smartphone not just for “Whatsapping” their …

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How Millenials Bank Intelligenthq

How Millenials Bank Intelligenthq

Millennials bank differently. It shouldn’t come as a great surprise. After all they are rarely seen without their smartphones. As Dan Kadlec (2014) of Time explains, they are using that smartphone not just for “Whatsapping” their friends or taking selfies to post on Facebook, but they are also using them to manage their lives without having to speak to people. And by using pictures. Indeed, according to Kadlec, the mobile generation would prefer to do everything with pictures rather than using words. This extends to their banking requirements and they would prefer to use pictures than words for depositing cheques and paying bills too. This is achieved by using the camera function of the camera. AS Kadlec explains:

“Nearly nine in 10 young adults are never without their smartphone, and a similar percentage say the camera function is among the most important features.”

And Kadlec argues that this has important implications for the banking industry. Millennials have high expectations of mobile from businesses and often this is not met. For example, opening up a bank account online is a tedious and time consuming process, and banks have been guilty of being particularly slow to improve what they do. As a result, Kadlec suggests that a bank that was to focus on using image technology for banking, such as using facial recognition or fingerprint identification, reducing the need for account numbers and passwords would be a “big winner”. This to is the case not just for younger generations but actually for others too, as mobile banking is proving popular. As explained by Kadlec, only 12 million people had used mobile banking in 2009, but as of 2014 that figure was scheduled to hit 45 million.

Mobile banking is catching on fast. In the American market, a study carried out by a Mitek survey of Millennials unearthed some interesting findings in this regard. Eighty percent of this group use a mobile banking app at least once a month, and 34% have deposited a cheque through taking a picture. As well, 54% would be open to paying for goods using their smartphone as a wallet rather than using credit cards. Meanwhile, 45% were found to be interested in paying bills by taking pictures if that technology was available, and 21% of those surveyed already do. More than a third had switched their bank account to a bank that had a mobile app rather than one that did not, and a staggering 60% of millennials were found to believe that in the upcoming five years everything will be done on mobile devices and most of it through the use of images rather than words.

In 2014, The Financial Brand reported on a study carried out into millennials and their retail banking habits by FICO which offers even more insights into how millennials do their banking. Importantly, millennials were found to be less loyal than other customers, and more open to switching to get their needs better met. Millennials are also more likely to bank with large banking corporations rather than other banks. It was found that in the USA 68% of millennials use a national bank. This figure is significantly lower for Generation X at 55% and at 43% for Baby Boomers. Millennials switch because they do not like issues that occur with ATMs where these may be inconveniently located. They also do not like high fees, and this was found to be an important reason for anger with banks.

Other findings about millennial banking reported on by The Financial Brand are that digital channel marketing is essential social media, direct mail and email. Television is also still an important marketing tool for attracting millennials. They are more likely also to use a mobile app than other generations, and if they do use a mobile app they were generally found to be more loyal and more satisfied with their bank overall. Interestingly they would like to be able to communicate more with their bank through texting, such as for situations where there are suspicious charges or for the purposes of credit limit warnings. The study found that use of text could be very good for banks being able to build brand. It perhaps should not come as a great surprise that when millennials are happy with their bank they will refer others to it.

Other sources though, say that millenials are increasingly uninterested in classical banks, and that the banking industry should be prepared for great disruptions as you can access in the following infographic, done by Scratch. In general, all the studies indicate that great disruptions will happen in the banking industry, both with millenials, and the next generation, generation Z.

The Millenial disruption index. Infographic done by Scratch

The Millenial disruption index. Infographic done by Scratch

 

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quote by Seth Godin http://www.intelligenthq.com/latest-news/quote-by-seth-godin-6/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/latest-news/quote-by-seth-godin-6/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/latest-news/quote-by-seth-godin-6/ The post quote by Seth Godin appeared first on Intelligent Head Quarters.

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4 Stories of Social Businesses That Are Revolutionising The World http://www.intelligenthq.com/social-business-2/4-stories-of-social-businesses-that-are-revolutionising-the-world/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/social-business-2/4-stories-of-social-businesses-that-are-revolutionising-the-world/#comments Sun, 12 Oct 2014 18:47:12 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=43708 4 stories of social businesses Intelligenthq

Social Businesses are revolutionizing the world. But what is a social business and what is it that distinguishes it from a common business ? A Social Business was first defined by Muhammad Yunus, as a businesses that is …

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4 stories of social businesses Intelligenthq
4 stories of social businesses Intelligenthq

4 stories of social businesses Intelligenthq

Social Businesses are revolutionizing the world. But what is a social business and what is it that distinguishes it from a common business ? A Social Business was first defined by Muhammad Yunus, as a businesses that is created and designed to address a social problem and bring benefit to society overall. Throughout the world,  young entrepreneurs are truly transforming our planet right now, bringing innovation, creativity and the will to address society´s problems with innovative ideas. In this article we let you know about four projects that are truly transforming our world:

1.Transforming the world through play, empathy and education

Stefania Draga is bringing technology and education to places without proper training, educating kids all over the world to dare to invent ways to solve the problems of the world. Stefania is a former Googler and graduated from an international Erasmus Mundus master of Media Engineering. In 2012, she launched Hackidemia: a global network that designs workshops and kits enabling kids to use curiosity, play, and empathy to solve global challenges.

Stefania Draga

Stefania Draga

In Nigeria in a workshop called Hackidemia Afrimakers, hackipedia trained 300 children to make energy with waste.

Workshop in Nigeria done by Hackipedia

Workshop in Nigeria done by Hackipedia

2. Inventing technology that revolutionizes governments

David Gorodyansky invented in 2005 AnchorFree. AnchorFree is the creator of Hotspot Shield, a virtual private network provider that is commonly used for Wi-Fi security, Internet privacy and circumventing censorship.

David Gorodyansky

David Gorodyansky

Egyptian revolution of 2011

Egyptian revolution of 2011

In 2011, AnchorFree’s Hotspot Shield was used extensively by protesters during the Arab Spring when Middle Eastern governments began blocking access to video sharing and social media websites. It was used by more than one million users during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.

3. Transforming the healthcare sector

As a teenager Elizabeth Holmes was terribly frightened of blood tests. Holmes dropped out of Stanford at 19 with a convicted mission to transform healthcare. She started her own startup, called Theranos and invented a test that uses  just a single blood drop.

 Elizabeth Holmes

Elizabeth Holmes

The test gives results more quickly and cost a lot less then the conventional ones.

Theranos single drop blood test

Theranos single drop blood test

4. Bringing light to the world

Sam Goldman and Ned Tozun met when taking a Stanford cross-disciplinary course called Design for Extreme Affordability. In 2007, they founded D.light Design, a company specializing in affordable off-grid lighting. D.light designs, manufactures and distribute solar light and power products throughout the developing world. They aim to empower the lives of at least 100 million people by 2020.

Sam Goldman and Ned Tozun

Sam Goldman and Ned Tozun

Their lamps bring light and hope to millions of people throughout the world.

D.light´s lamps

D.light´s lamps

 

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Five Things That M-Pesa´s Success Can Teach A Social Business http://www.intelligenthq.com/social-business-2/five-things-that-m-pesas-mobile-money-can-teach-a-social-business/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/social-business-2/five-things-that-m-pesas-mobile-money-can-teach-a-social-business/#comments Sat, 11 Oct 2014 06:00:39 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=43653 mpesa

Mobile is the new revolution, everyone says so. But what does it mean , this so called “revolution” we are all talking about ?  A revolution is something that transforms the status quo, and introduces a …

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How The Example of Mobile Money Can Be Used In A Social Business

How The Example of Mobile Money Can Be Used In A Social Business

Mobile is the new revolution, everyone says so. But what does it mean , this so called “revolution” we are all talking about ?  A revolution is something that transforms the status quo, and introduces a new paradigm in society. Where we can now see the truly transformative effect of mobile technologies is actually in developing countries, that embraced them with contagious enthusiasm. Amazing things are happening in countries like Kenya, Tanzania and India. From apps to mobile money, young entrepreneurs are bringing change and improvement to their communities.

In Nairobi you can now pay for a coffee with M-pesas using your mobile phone, when socializing at the iHub 

In Nairobi, there is place called iHub that is bringing together people looking for change and connection.The iHub is located in a loft with high windows, wooden floors, long tables, and a table football, where young women and men hang around, chatting or siting in front of their laptops. They are students, bloggers, web designers and programmers. They all gather in that place, by climbing to the fourth floor of the Bishop Magua Centre on Ngong Road.  IHub is now considered now to be the cutting-edge tech and hype spot of Nairobi.

IHub started in 2010, through the effort of Erik Hersman, a renowned blogger, TED fellow and entrepreneur. The iHub not only provides a space where young entrepreneurial members can access internet connectivity, but a place where they can receive mentorship and the possibility of venture funding through connections with the international venture capital community.

The IHub in Nairobi

The IHub in Nairobi

If you ask for a coffe at the ihub, you can pay with your mobile, by using a payment called M-Pesa. The “M” stands for “mobile” and “pesa” means “money” in the local language of Swahili. M-Pesa turns a mobile phone into a bank account, credit card and wallet all in one. Developed by Vodaphone for Safaricom and Vodacom, M-pesa was launched in 2007 in Kenya and Tanzania. The system is now used in nearly all developing nations. These days, a third of Kenya’s economy is conducted via M-Pesa. The attractiveness of M-Pesa is that it is a service, meaning that it is designed to enable users to complete basic banking transactions without visiting a bank branch.

What to learn with iHub and M-pesa

In the developed world, mobile´s impact on people´s lives has been already widely documented: from educational apps to all ages, to public transport apps such as Hailo to archival ones such as Evernote, the benefits of mobile technology for people are widely acknowledged. But in terms of business, the west still tends to look at mobile, just as another medium of communication with whom to interact with distracted customers “on the move”.

The question one should ask to oneself, if one runs as social business is a different one : How can one take advantage of the mobile era, as developing countries did, as a way to effectively bring more social benefit and real transformation to the community where one is involved ?  Social businesses which are focused on delivering social impact, should definitely embrace the opportunities presented by mobile technology.

5 ways to do it are the following:

1. Social Media is about Media,  Social Business is about social

Most people “on the move” use their mobile phones as a way to access their social media platforms. It is therefore important to be sure that your social business uses the social media channels you find more appropriate to your field in a meaningful way. Let´s be honest here: everybody is using social media nowadays. The fundamental question you have to ask now is: if you are a social business, what is your purpose ? What is it that you want to bring to others with your use of social media ?

2. Campaign outreach

When you are crystal clear about your purpose, you probably will need to create various business communications plans for a specific campaign around an event or to fund your project.  One thought provoking statistic is the fact that 90 percent of text messages either get read within 3 minutes of delivery or get lost in the ocean of information which is our life nowadays. It is therefore important to design a campaign that includes mobile users and that is aware of the way mobile works.

3. Dedicated app

Depending on the focus of the social business you can think about creating a specific app to foster more engagement. In order to do so you will need funds for the creation of the app and a clear goal about what you want to achieve with it.

4. Responsive designs

If you aim to reach as much people as possible with your project you would benefit from ensuring that your website uses responsive design. This is an approach that means there are different versions of the website depending on whether the site is accessed from a desktop, tablet, iPhone or android phone etc.

5. Track your effort
It is now possible to track the results of your efforts and campaigns and there is now various tools that let you do it. For example, in 2014, Facebook launched Atlas which is a tool with the ability to help marketers keep track of campaigns and monitor progress across different devices such as smartphones, tablets and desktops. These various tools can make you optimize your use of mobile to foster your campaigns and social business marketing strategies.

 

 

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Pinterest: The Driving Force in Social Business http://www.intelligenthq.com/resources/pinterest-the-driving-force-in-business/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/resources/pinterest-the-driving-force-in-business/#comments Fri, 10 Oct 2014 06:00:29 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=43603 pinterest

Social media has become a key component in every business and it’s growing at a rapid rate. Pinterest is just one of many social platforms that has emerged and has seen their following increase to …

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Pinterest: The Driving Force in Business

Pinterest: The Driving Force in Business

Social media has become a key component in every business and it’s growing at a rapid rate. Pinterest is just one of many social platforms that has emerged and has seen their following increase to huge amounts with a recorded 70 million users worldwide. Pinterest completed their development in late 2009 and launched their BETA version in early 2010. Nine months after launch they welcomed 10,000 users to the tool and from then have grown into a competitive force in the market. The appeal of Pinterest surfaced in March 2011 with the launch of its IPhone app which brought in a more than expected number of downloads.

Also, the user demographic is a dominant department in the Pinterest world with 80% of users being women. This statistic is not a surprising one as the nature and format of the platform falls to the liking of the female gender. The platform enables users to create their own boards and categorise their favorite topics and in the process allows users to connect with other users by ‘pinning’. With the public adopting Pinterest as a platform to satisfy their social needs, businesses are capitalising on the tool and have utilised it effectively.

If you are interested on social business and you own a small business, chances are you’re already on Facebook and possibly Twitter—but don’t make the mistake of ignoring other popular social media networks. One that may really be able to take your business planning to the next level is Pinterest. It may be famous for wedding planning and recipe sharing, but this website is used by far more than simply brides-to-be and aspiring gourmet chefs, and it’s a powerful tool for reaching your target audiences in new and unique ways. Here are a few ways Pinterest can take your small business social media marketing to the next level.

Photos Sell

You can share photos on Facebook, but it’s primarily a text-based medium. Pinterest, on the other hand, allows for a greater variety of visual content. Images catch our eyes, so attractive and compelling photographs will likely translate to more sales You can also directly designate a pin as a product, add a price to it, and provide click-through links to your online store to simplify the purchasing process.

Fresh Ideas Are a Pinboard Away

If you’re running out of ideas for new products to add to your lineup or different and exciting ways to use the ones you have, all you have to do is check on your followers and see what they’re interested in! They like your business, so they probably like content and products similar to what you offer too. See what your followers are re-pinning, and chances are you’ll get brand new ideas for how best to reach them.

Content is Easy to Organize

On Twitter, your business has one newsfeed where it posts everything. Same with Facebook—you can create photo albums, but every new post shows up on the same page. If your followers or fans want to access information about a specific topic relating to your business, they have to wade through lots of content they may not really want to see. Pinterest makes information incredibly simple to organize by allowing users to create and maintain different pinboards, each relating to a different topic or a more specific sub-category of a topic. If you own a clothing business, you can make one board for women’s formal and one board for men’s casual, as well as boards for everything in between, so customers have the option to find exactly what they want.

You Can Add Personality

People like to know who they’re dealing with—the faces behind the scenes. Pinterest makes it easy to show them! Create a pinboard devoted to photos of employees and their families, along with brief quotes or Q and As about the things they value and their thoughts about the company. Customers are far more likely to be engaged when they feel connected to the people running your business. It makes it less like a mere buy-and-sell transaction and more like a friendly community business.

With user numbers in the millions and rapid growth showing no signs of slowing, Pinterest is not just the “next big thing” in social media—it’s already a big thing! Companies such as The Pink Group are already demonstrating how well it can compliment a marketing campaign, check out their Social Media Cheat Sheet and you’ll see that they’ve received hundreds of shares from account holders, which has opened up their company to leads that they would’ve otherwise never been able to reach. The sooner your business can get involved, the better.

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Managing People from Five Generations in a Social Business http://www.intelligenthq.com/social-business-2/managing-people-from-five-generations-in-a-social-business/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/social-business-2/managing-people-from-five-generations-in-a-social-business/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 06:00:14 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=43656 BusinessPeople-Multi-Generation-and-Diverse_s

People are living longer and they are also working for longer, and this is leading to a situation that is unique in history to date, where five generations will be working alongside one another. This …

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Managing People from Five Generations Intelligenthq

Managing People from Five Generations Intelligenthq

People are living longer and they are also working for longer, and this is leading to a situation that is unique in history to date, where five generations will be working alongside one another. This is the subject of a recent article by Rebecca Knight (2014) for the Harvard Business Review blog. In theory this situation could bring with it all kinds of management and leadership challenges associated with productivity, challenge, stress, happiness and overall engagement. Yet Knight suggests that it is the role of the boss to work effectively with these different groups to create a workforce that is productive and motivated, and to get everyone working well together.

This may not always be as easy as managers may hope. There are all kinds of tensions that can emerge in the workplace. For example, as Knight explains, in the past there was a different structure in the workforce and people moved upwards as they got older and developed more experience. However, with flatter organisations, the situation commonly arises where a younger person is managing an older one. This can be stressful for both parties, with the younger person baffled as to how they should manage the older person, and the older one wondering how they ended up being managed by a younger one, given their wealth of experience.

These tensions are something that managers should be aware of and should be able to diffuse. Knight points out that there are many stereotypes of different generations that simply are not accurate. Outlining the stereotypes, Knight points out that common ideas about the different groups are that they are like this: “The Boomer mystified by Facebook; the Millennial who wears flip flops in the office; the Traditionalist (born prior to 1946) who seemingly won’t ever retire; the cynical Gen Xer who’s only out for himself and the Gen 2020er – born after 1997 – who appears surgically attached to her smartphone”.

However, in reality people are people, and managers of today are little different than they were a generation ago, at least based on stereotypes. If one focus on the differences between generations is not particularly helpful, so its best if managers get to know their employees individually and understand each one in that way. Knight suggests that getting into debates that focus on conversations like “people of my age think this way about it” is a waste of time, as people are very different in reality. In terms of the difficult issue of managing someone that is older and maybe has more experience, the suggestion of Knight is to focus on an approach of collaboration. By seeing that person as a partner, it is possible to benefit from their extensive experience and help them to feel included.

6 principles to manage different generations

6 principles to manage different generations

This approach is argued to also be highly effective for workers that are in their 20s. They have been used to discussing and debating different concepts throughout school and university and they want to feel included and valued. Ultimately, the manager is in charge and still makes the final decision but getting different viewpoints can be helpful in driving innovation and coming up with better ideas, as many minds work on the same problem.

One great opportunity in cross generational teams according to Knight is mentoring. There can be the regular kind of mentoring where older, more experienced people mentor those that are younger and with less experience. However, with so many different generations in a team it is also possible to put in place reverse mentoring. This is used in such a way that younger people that have never known a time without the internet and who are highly adept with social media and mobile are able to teach older people how to use social media to achieve business success. This can have many advantages.

Finally, Knight suggests that in managing people from many generations it is helpful to consider their needs. People at different life stages will be looking for different things from their work. For example, those that are younger have few obligations outside of work, but as people get older they may have children and may be in need of a bit more flexibility and a bit more money too. Later on people may not care as much about training but they will want a good work life balance. Using this information to be able to assign work to people can be helpful in leading an effective team.

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Seven Ways To Create Meaningful Content For Social Businesses http://www.intelligenthq.com/social-business-2/seven-ways-to-create-meaningful-content-for-social-businesses/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/social-business-2/seven-ways-to-create-meaningful-content-for-social-businesses/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 06:00:09 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=43663 social business content strategies

by Paula Newton and Maria Fonseca The internet has grown and bloomed. Everywhere, all around the world, content marketers have been adding massive amounts of content to the internet in an attempt to draw people …

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Seven Ways To Create Meaningful Content For Social Businesses Intelligenthq

Seven Ways To Create Meaningful Content For Social Businesses Intelligenthq

by Paula Newton and Maria Fonseca

The internet has grown and bloomed. Everywhere, all around the world, content marketers have been adding massive amounts of content to the internet in an attempt to draw people to their businesses.  As Greg Satell (2014) of Digital Tonto points out up until the time before the internet there was a limited number of people out there that were able to publish content. Now pretty much anyone can do it and is doing it. The internet has changed a lot over the last years. It is now a “lean forward and participate” medium. All of us participate in it, in an active way. We both create and quickly look for information, and in a snap of a second we decide whether it is interesting or not.  But who reads what we write ? If you run a social business or sharing economy enterprise you might be scratching your head right now, pondering why is it that no one is reading what you write.

There are various strategies that can help you create good readable content that still engages others into actually read the content you created.

1. Be clear about your purpose

First and foremost, as a social business or a sharing economy enterprise, you have to be clear about what is your purpose and the reason why you are producing content. Why do you want to tell stories to others ? What kind of facts are the ones you want to share ? Be aware that your field is relatively recent, so it is important to figure out ways to promote your product/ideas to new publics, that might not quite understand them at first. Communication is key.

2. Lead new conversations with your content 

In his article about content marketing in general, Satell writes about how important it is that rather than content marketers, simply joining the conversation that is already going on about a subject matter, it is more important to lead new conversations. This is what really stands out and gets noticed. People want to learn something new, and they want value from content marketers. They want to be made to sit up and take notice. This means, according to Satell, having something to say that is of value to people. If you are working in the field of social business or a sharing economy enterprise, your product/company is offering a purpose that goes beyond profit. What new conversations around your product can you lead, that sustain and contribute to your purpose ?

3. Balance creativity with communication

A trap that content marketers all too commonly fall into according to Satell, is putting creativity before clarity. That’s because many marketers want to be seen as and think of themselves as fine, creative and original types. To be creative is always good but never forget that your content’s main purpose is to communicate with others. Put yourself in your readers’ shoes. What is it that they know about your subject ?  Good strategies that you can implement is to use the inverted pyramid style. This means stating your conclusion first, then supporting it with the sentences that follow. This helps readers to quickly get it and move from point to point, and decide where they’d like to dive in deeper. Another strategy could be acting as a copycat: identify between three to five products that have a similar mission. Study them and see what they are doing. How can you adapt their model to your social business enterprise ? A third possibility is to create infographics. You can use new platforms such as Visme, or create your own infographics with the hep of various tools.

4. Grab and hold the attention by being consistent

Another problem that content marketers face is how to hold the attention that you first grabbed. How can your content get the attention in the first place but also make your reader hold onto it ? The answer is to find a proven structure that works. A good strategy might be for example Marvel´s storytelling strategies. Michael Schein studied Marvel´s storytelling format and discovered that: “The key to coming up with great content is creating a system for producing it, and then sticking to that system every time.”  Consistency is expected from the readers and if they understand the format,  it will easier for them to follow the story.

Seven Ways To Create Meaningful Content For Social Businesses Infographic by Maria Fonseca for Intelligenthq

Seven Ways To Create Meaningful Content For Social Businesses Infographic by Maria Fonseca for Intelligenthq

5. Publishing is Key

Remember: The web is a linking medium. If content used to be King, we are living now in a new type of web world highly shaped  by social media and semantic search. And guess what: semantic means “meaning.” The key here is to learn how to publish your content and actively participate in the right forums for you.  In the following guide done by Robbie RIchards, the author explains how to promote your content by using various strategies and new tools that allow you to use content curation. One of these is snip.ly. Check it out!

6. Build relationships by engaging with the content of others

Beaware though that social media, is just a way to become more social. As David Armano says: “Media itself is not social. But people are social.”  A “social business” needs to engage in meaningful relationships with others. Virtually all of us produce web content nowadays, so it is very important to engage with the content of others, particularly the ones in your field. When researching for your next piece, ask questions, email people that share similar ideas to yours, engage in conversations with influencers. LinkedIn is a fantastic platform to do that.

7. Don’t create “content” create dreams and stories

A great story told by Satell in his post makes us go back to our college days, when studying journalism or film. As young students our heads were back then filled with dreams,  but those dreams were not the ones of being one day producing meaningless content to get “more traffic”. People do not walk out of the cinema saying “Great content!” because “content” is just a receptacle of something. To succeed in writing meaningful content, one needs to venture herself to become a storyteller. This means not just being gimmicky but really understanding what works well with publishing and what does not, and focusing on being consistent with that and with your purpose. Dare to be bold by becoming the storyteller of your social business.

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The Four Ways Of Total Leadership http://www.intelligenthq.com/resources/the-four-ways-of-total-leadership/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/resources/the-four-ways-of-total-leadership/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 06:00:05 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=43622 total leadership 1

Ever wondered how to manage all of the different areas of your life more effectively? Total Leadership might just have the answers that you’ve been looking for. Total Leadership is an organisation that aims to help …

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The Four Ways Of Total Leadership Intelligenthq

The Four Ways Of Total Leadership Intelligenthq

Ever wondered how to manage all of the different areas of your life more effectively? Total Leadership might just have the answers that you’ve been looking for. Total Leadership is an organisation that aims to help people to improve in all areas of their lives. It is the belief of Total Leadership that by focusing on improvement in the areas of work, home, community and self and by working to develop mutual value between the different areas, leaders can be more successful. The concept has arisen from the fact that life and work have become more integrated, and so determining ways to get better at handling the different areas will lead to improved leadership overall. It is a holistic approach that aims to drive sustainable change in leaders.

The concept of Total Leadership has been driven from an idea that pursuing balance is insufficient, because this requires a lot of compromise between work and life. Consequently, Total Leadership instead strives for what it describes as “four way wins” where work, home, community and self all benefit from the leadership approach that is taken. According to the organisation, this approach also provides greater meaning to life overall. Total Leadership states:

“When you look at it this way [four way wins] you see that your actions as a leader serve a larger purpose, making the world better. You feel part of something that’s bigger than your own life.”

The concept of Total Leadership was created by Stew Friedman who was the founding director of the Wharton School’s Leadership Programmes as well as the university’s Work/Life Integration Project. He was also previously the head of the leadership development centre at Ford Motors. Four-way wins, according to Total Leadership are achieved by following three fundamental principles. The first is to be real. This means acting with authenticity and clarifying what is important. The second is to be whole. This means acting with integrity and respecting the whole person. The third meanwhile is to be innovative, which means acting with creativity and continually seeking to experiment. The proponents of Total Leadership believe that by following these three core principles leaders are able to have richer lives, create better results for their business, generally feel less stressed overall, have clearer goals, contribute to causes that are important to them, drive more support for change and also feel more connected to the most important people in their lives. Total Leadership is differentiated from other leadership concepts and ideas because it has a focus on the whole life experience rather than just emphasising the working life, which business based programmes tend to do. And unlike self-help approaches it focuses sufficiently on work needs, which self-help frequently does not, sufficiently.

Total leadership:  infographic done by Maria Fonseca for Intelligenthq

Total leadership: infographic done by Maria Fonseca for Intelligenthq

Total Leadership has a five step approach that it utilises to help leaders to improve. At the outset, the first stage is to define clear goals for the process so that the leader understands what they want to get from the experience. The leader then looks at being “real”. In this part of the process the leader works on understanding what is most important. This is achieved by focusing on your background and how your values were formed, as well as then looking at the importance of the four different areas in your life to you, and how satisfied you are with them at the outset. The reason for focusing on all of this is getting to the bottom of what really matters to you. The third stage looks at being whole. During this stage Total Leadership participants are expected to understand their own expectations of others, and to comprehend what others expect of them. This means looking at how all the different parts and people in your life fit together. This part can be quite difficult, but it leads to the person gaining considerable insight on what matters to the most important people in their lives. At the fourth stage of being innovative, the person is encouraged to follow nine types of leadership experiments to create better life results. Meaningful and sustainable change is encouraged at this step. Finally leaders evaluate their experiments and look at how they helped or hindered performance. And then the person starts all over again.

Total Leadership offers a fresh perspective and approach in times where life and work are integrated more closely than they ever were in the past. The four wins is likely to create lasting change in leaders that are open to it, helping them to better navigate the challenges of leading today.

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Guerilla Marketing Examples That Will Make You Famous http://www.intelligenthq.com/resources/guerilla-marketing-examples-that-will-make-you-famous/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/resources/guerilla-marketing-examples-that-will-make-you-famous/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 14:00:58 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=43607 Taekwondo headquarters

Guerilla marketing, at its best, surprises people and potential customers in a positive way. It meshes human emotion and marketing strategy to raise awareness about a product or service at the right moment, at the …

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Taekwondo headquarters
Kukkiwon World Taekwondo Headquarters

Kukkiwon World Taekwondo Headquarters

Guerilla marketing, at its best, surprises people and potential customers in a positive way. It meshes human emotion and marketing strategy to raise awareness about a product or service at the right moment, at the right time.

Think about Coca-Cola’s Happiness Machine, Swiss Skydive or Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, and consider the extraordinary impact they had on consumers, viewers and fans. The idea is not to break your advertising budget, but to come up with innovative, funny or catchy content and scenarios that can wow the public.

Here are our top 10 guerilla marketing examples you can mimic to make yourself or your business famous.

1. Raise Awareness About a Health Subject

There are many health hazards we face nowadays, and you reach stardom if you can uncannily draw people’s attention to a serious health problem. For inspiration, see Fitness First’s viral guerilla marketing campaign. Make sure the subject, content and scenario all are in sync with your personality, business or the needs of the specific demographic you are targeting.

2. Talk About an Important Social Issue

People respond well if you talk about an important social issue, not in the conventional “you have to watch out” way, but in a manner that ties your subject to the public’s priority.For example, if child obesity is near and dear to your heart, find a way to present the topic in a refreshingly surprising way. For example, you could show an overweight but healthy child who actively takes part in sport and leads a normal life. Right somewhere in the scenario, you might still say that “although overweight can be healthy, being normal weight is better… or something along those lines.” For inspiration, see UNICEF’s brilliant “dirty water campaign”.

3. Show Your Company’s Products Where People Expect It

With guerilla marketing, the idea is to surprise people but not distance yourself or your company’s products too far from your conceptual niche – in other words, what consumers expect from you or your company. For inspiration, see Duracell’s moments of warmth or Bounty paper towel guerilla promotion.

4. Create Good Feelings, Memorable Moments

Everyone loves good feelings, especially when you share memorable moments with loved ones, at familiar places. Experts have not found the recipe for the perfect viral content, but suffice it to say that previous viral hits somewhat comprise a moment of bliss, whether it is personal happiness or collective enthusiasm. To make yourself or your brand famous, create a scenario or video that makes people feel good, just as the Coca Cola’s Happiness Machine or Tyskie Beer campaign.

5. Talk About Yourself, Your Work or Your Company

Some of us, if not all of us, think we have an amazing job or provide awesome services. If that is your case, show it in a catchy script or video and share it with millions around. Here the inspiration is deep. You can choose to explain how long it takes to do your job, as National Geographic brilliantly did in their museum ad, or as Parkinson’s Victoria did to show how Parkinson’s disease makes easy things difficult.

10 guerrilla marketing advices Intelligenthq

10 guerrilla marketing advices Intelligenthq

6. Turn a Negative Into a Positive

You can ride on a wave of negativity, say, a social phenomenon like hardcore crime or petty theft, to educate people and, maybe, turn them into potential customers. The trick is to find the right balance between selling your products or services and not scaring people away. Vodafone Phone Insurance did a compelling job here, by hiring “well-meant thieves” to steal people’s phones and convincing customers that buying phone insurance is a good investment.

7. Embed Your Content in Everyday Life

Again, we think the best guerilla marketing campaigns try to embed the content or scenario in people’s everyday life. Look at McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it” boardwalk, which placed the ad in the normal scenery of a big city. By so doing, the ad became part of the scenery yet remained outstanding because it shows the colors and logo of the brand.

8. Penetrate The Workplace

A good way to make your content go viral is to insert it at workplaces. A good portion of the adult population works and spends most of their day at work. So embedding your scenario within an occupational setting is an effective ploy, especially when you make it in high-traffic areas, such as lobbies, pantries and bathrooms. The idea, again, is to raise awareness about your brand or yourself but make it seamlessly part of the environment. For inspiration, see Vampire Diaries “blood” dispenser, and how the hit TV drama series adeptly managed to gain publicity and make viewers thirsty for more episodes.

9. Make People Dream, Escape Their Daily Routine

If you can make people dream, your content will be known. If you can make them escape their daily routine in a humorous yet realistic way, your content will be viral. And that virality comes with higher conversions and sales as well as repeat business. No matter what business you are in, you still can craft content that nicely ties to your sector yet appeals to consumers’ vacation mood or oneiric mindset. For inspiration, check out Beau Rivage Resort Casino’s airport marketing campaign.

10. Impress Your Audience

When it comes to impressing, there is no limit of ideas, scenarios or content. But the most important thing is to be creative, presenting an original script. People like it when you talk about yourself or your brand in a quirky way, differentiating yourself from others. For inspiration, see Copenhagen Zoo’s original guerrilla ad or the announcement for the 2012 movie.

Synopsis

Guerilla marketing can be a bit controversial, but most experts agree it is an effective way to raise awareness about a brand. You can also use a guerilla tactic to become famous, but remember there have been many marketing flops in the past decade. All you can do is create highly relevant, funny and catchy content and scripts, and hope that the public likes it so much that it goes viral.

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The Science Behind Social Media Marketing Is… Big Data Analytics http://www.intelligenthq.com/social-media-posts/the-science-behind-social-media-marketing-is-big-data-analytics/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/social-media-posts/the-science-behind-social-media-marketing-is-big-data-analytics/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 06:00:39 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=43620 social media big data analytics

We’re all being told that we can’t get away from social media marketing as a marketing strategy for success. People that do not leap on the bandwagon are being considered to be Luddites, avoiding necessary …

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 The Science Behind Social Media Marketing Is... Big Data Analytics  Intelligenthq

The Science Behind Social Media Marketing Is… Big Data Analytics Intelligenthq

We’re all being told that we can’t get away from social media marketing as a marketing strategy for success. People that do not leap on the bandwagon are being considered to be Luddites, avoiding necessary technological change, the stuff of the future. However, while some companies have experienced some successes with social media others have failed, wasting time and money. This has led many to question whether it is a viable approach and to wonder:  is there a science behind social media marketing? IBM has been researching this and thinks it has some of the answers, which it published in a white paper in 2013.

One of the findings isn’t so great of a step away from traditional marketing. In strategic marketing theory it is understood that the marketer should understand the customer in as much detail as possible. That’s equally true when it comes to social media marketing. Indeed, as IBM explains:

 “The more comprehensive the profile, the greater your ability to craft a successful marketing programme and the more personal your personalized offers can be.”

This shouldn’t be news to any experienced and knowledgeable marketer. It’s a well-established fact that understanding customers well means having a better idea of what they want and being better able to convert them into sales. Tools within social media can help with this, providing a clearer picture of customers and helping to more carefully target the most appropriate customers for a particular business. This allows organizations to be better able to offer discounts, coupons or sales that are more likely to bring the customer on board with the products or services.

According to IBM social media tools bring about the opportunity to enhance customer profiles. It is possible for customers to be segmented in a manner that is richer than in the past, and by understanding customers in greater depth, organizations can micro-target them with product offers they are more likely to be interested in, securing better results for the business. This information can also be used to analyse campaign performance more effectively and to “foster deeper, more mutually beneficial customer relationships,” according to IBM. Ultimately the goal of all of this is to be able to monetize social media and drive campaigns that are more individualised to achieve greater results. Social media, according to IBM facilitates all of this by allowing a greater understanding to be obtained about individual consumer preferences.

IBM has worked to develop tools that can help to drive all of this for organisations It has developed “IBM Social Media Analytics” and these tools help, describes IBM with:

“Making sense of the vast outpouring of comment and opinion on social networking websites.”

The tool is analytical in nature and is scalable. IBM argues that it has the ability to analyse “billions of blog posts and hundreds and thousands of forums and discussion groups.” It is able to take this information and pull out helpful trends or patterns relating to the products and services that organisations offer. This is clearly vastly more efficient than a human being scrolling through comments every day and trying to find themes and patterns in what is being said. Such an approach would be flawed because it would be hard for the person to find all of the comments in the first place and make sure that they were included, and because such a manual approach would be time consuming and subjective in nature. This tool helps organisations to understand the conversations that are being had about them, at least, so argues IBM.

The company has also produced IBM SPSS Modeller and IBM SPSS Text Analytics for Surveys. These tools offer data mining to build predictive models which also help marketers to be able to uncover patterns and themes. These tools also help by enabling marketers to model the different possible business outcomes of different scenarios. This enables the mitigation of risk and the ability to take advantage of opportunities. The Analytics for Surveys tool also helps with better understanding responses that are given to open ended questions to better comprehend customers and what they want. As well as these handy tools, there is also the IBM Unica Campaign tool, designed to help organisations to better to be able to build campaigns and understand their success levels. Meanwhile, IBM Coremetrics helps to convert website customers into repeat purchasers. All in all, IBM has a range of tools designed to help with all of the difficult challenges that social media marketers face, while adding science into the equation through excellence in technology.

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