Obama and Business… Lessons on Social Media

Posted on November 21, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

My Chairman here at Mzinga (here in a lovely cyan blue) recently wrote this article.  You like?

From Mass High Tech:

View it here

Blue Barry from Mzinga

Blue Barry from Mzinga

It’s been two weeks since President-elect Barack Obama won his bid for the presidency. Much has already been written about the unprecedented fundraising techniques and precision campaign tactics that led to that history-making moment.

But what stands out most to me is the truly new type of leader that emerged before us — one who embraces change, attacks age-old challenges with bold new solutions, and recognizes that leadership is as much about listening and collaborating with people than it is about making hard decisions.

The overwhelmingly positive response to Obama’s leadership style is also a reflection of our increasingly social world. Through this election, it came across loud and clear that we expect our leaders to be more socially conscious, connected and transparent if they want to gain our support and trust.

And if you look closely, there are lessons in that for all leaders, particularly within the business world:

• Start with the idea of change that people can believe in

At the outset, Obama’s campaign team faced many of the challenges businesses face today — limited budgets, unknown brand, and strong competition. They also understood that the old way of doing things wasn’t working for the “business” of government, so they became agents of change in executing their strategies.

• Embrace social software to connect and foster your audience

Early on, Obama’s team recognized the sheer power that online and social technologies could offer in helping organize their operations, gain insight from their supporters, and extend their market reach to draw in more voters. Yet, many businesses today are hesitant to use these technologies. Embracing them can, and will, help expand your business potential.

• Engage your community in ongoing conversations and critical matters

It may be cliché, but people truly are the power behind any thriving business, whether they are the employees who run your operations or the customers and partners who invest in your products and services. Empowering and engaging your constituencies to participate in your business processes can only sharpen your competitive edge.

In a time where one out of five employees will leave your company, and a looming economic crisis has virtually every corporate budget bootstrapped, businesses are facing similarly daunting challenges as those faced by our government. We can keep doing what we’ve always done and hope for the best outcome. Or we can draw from the leadership lessons of our new president-elect, and increase our chances of winning against the odds.
Barry Libert is chairman of Mzinga, the leader in business social media and learning solutions for the workplace, marketplace and extended enterprise. He can be reached at barry@mzinga.com or he can be found on Twitter at @blibert.

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We are smarter than Me… continued…

Posted on September 13, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

This is a little user generated content piece I did in one day to show some folks the power of a simpler story (although this is way too complex!).  This is the mzinga story in under 5 minutes.

I did it on a  Saturday.  You can too.  Here’s how it came to be:

7AM – Woke up.  Brushed teeth and opened Powerpoint.
8AM – Blank PPT stinks.. started playing with pics I had laying around.
9AM – Went to Starbucks. Brought Mac.   Free AT&T access for me.
9:10AM – Decided I was going to do a flash piece, not just PPT
10AM – Finished script and latte #2 (Caramel, my favorite)
10:30AM — Searched Google for “24 hour turnaround voice-over work”
10:31AM — Found http://voice123.com/ – a community-of-sorts for VO talent
10:45AM – Uploaded script
12PM – had first audition in high quality MP3 format (ended up with 20 respondents!)
1PM – Paid $500 to voice dude (great guy!) for 5 minutes of audio via PAYPAL
1-3PM – Fought with PPT and stupid Microsoft products to do simple tasks
4PM – Had final script recorded, edited (also got a female voice as well) and got file via www.box.net (these guys are great)
7-10pm – Ended up using Jing http://www.jingproject.com/ to do a poor-mans screen capture video, with audio playing from itunes.  Sounds like crap, but is effective.
10pm – swore my head off, cursed a bunch and spilled my diet green tea bottle on my Mac.  Then said, “you know what, this is good enough.”
Sunday AM — Posted it on Screencast.com (they rock, and have relationship with Jing, mentioned above)
Sunday — Sent file to Barry sooner rather than waiting for my traditional PowerPoint to be finished.  Still haven’t totally finished.

This version was tweaked by Dan and Jeff at mzinga — my original version was not quite as polished, but you get the idea.  Now, of course I wish I could re-do it, clean it up, and make it better — but hope it gives you an idea.  Its NOT MEANT TO BE MIND BLOWING FLASH — its UGC after all.  (I am a user, not a flash pro!)

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Back to Boston

Posted on August 30, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

In college I was in a band that sounded a bit like the Beastie Boys and a bit like A Tribe Called Quest. (or at least did to me!).  Yes, it was a white guy, boston-based rap band.  Anyway, we had a song named “Back to Boston.”  It was an anthem (of sorts) about our hometown.  How appropriate, considering I am now moving from San Jose to return to Boston to take on the most exciting opportunity of my career:  to be the Chief Marketing Officer for Mzinga — a gloriously wonderful company dedicated to building a kick-butt social media platform.  I created a new blog to share my experiences during this transition from Cisco and WebEx (where I was a Sr Director, Marketing) to join these studs of the social media world.  //patrick

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