Category Archives: Technology

Communication, Social Media And The Organizational Silo

Organizational Silo

 

One of the things learned by the smallest of children are ways to communicate with their parents and others. They learn this at a very young age and it evolves from non-verbal to verbal communication.  It is essential, because it allows children to effectively communicate their needs to parents and caregivers.  This is one of the most important things children learn, and it will be used everyday for the rest of their lives.  Although we use it in every waking moment of our lives, communication is something that we don’t actively think about very often, that is until something changes.

 

Communication, personal and organizational, has changed due to the growth of technology and online communication.   Theses changes are primarily due to our evolution into a much more social oriented world.  The days of non-communication within the siloed organizational structure can no longer survive if they want to move organizations from where they were pre-technology to our current technology driven world.

 

The first change that must be made to improve overall communication, is to move organizations beyond the non-communicative, Siloed structure because it is no longer effective, not that I believe it ever was. It is even LESS effective now due to the growth of social media and evolution of communication beyond the non-sharing structure, which is typically associated with the organizational silo.

 

Organizations with a Siloed structure have obstructions in their ability to communicate effectively between departments. This structure may have been effective during the industrial age but it is ineffective now, more so due to the individual AND the organizational need to be more team oriented, to accomplish organizational goals.

 

Social media has opened the Pandora’s box of communication for individuals and organizations that are willing to embrace the benefits of a team oriented work environment.  Most organizations that have benefitted from embracing a more social, teamwork oriented work environment and open communication style are technology/digital-focused organizations. Others are lagging behind substantially which will prove to create many challenges as we are moving toward an organizational structure that is more collaborative.

Communication

Organizational Silo is OUT Collaboration is IN

 

Gone are times when each department could work within their own little bubble. It is no longer the most productive way to do business and this is primarily because most organizations are heavily dependent up technology or will be in the not so distant future. In order to compete with competitors EVERY organization has to reorganize their siloed structure if they want to compete and thrive in an era where collaboration is imperative.

 

I have been in this industry for a while, long enough to see that there are some that have immediately recognized the shift in the world dynamic and others that are still just SO unaware. I say shift in the world dynamic, because this technology revolution is not just geared toward organizations but toward the entire world and has in fact changed the entire world.   I know that sounds dramatic, it even sounds dramatic as I am typing. However it is the truth, the world has really been altered, as a result of this drastic change in communication. Hence, the era when siloed organizations thrived is a thing of the past.   We must all embrace the changes, alter how we think, communicate and interact within the organization because WE have changed as individuals as well.

 

We all have literally changed HOW we communicate with friends, family, co-workers and colleagues.  How we interact with one another as individuals has changed every aspect of our daily lives.  We have moved so much beyond individual conversation, to the ability to participate in multiple levels of interaction within a social atmosphere.  The ability to become a part of the conversation by offering tiny tidbits or ourselves, images of our lives, video of our kids and or music dislikes and likes, our reading habit and so much more. These little bits of information that we’ve shared by way of social channels has slowly changed how we communicate with each other and changed how WE communicate within the organizational structure as well.  Siloed organizations no longer work.

 

So, as people change so must organizations, from the communication within those organizations to the very structure of the organization. How can organizations NOT change, when everyone around them has changed? The way we communicate has essentially changed us to the point that old school organizational communication is just NOT as effective as it once was. How can it be when the elements of the organization and the employees are no longer the same?

 

Communication

Open Communication Is The Only Way

We are now living in an era of open communication, sometimes a little too open, but open nevertheless.  Due to our much more social world we also share much more than in the past. These are two of the biggest factors that should propel organizations to utilize the change in people to move organizations away from the organizational silo, which embodies dysfunctional lack of communication.  We must make strides to moved into a much more open, teamwork driven organization, which would thrive in this new era of sharing, open communication and collaboration.

 

Digital Marketing and a much more social world has really shredded the structural foundation of a siloed organization, primarily due to the change in communication and HOW communication must be handled within an organization NOW.  Technology is responsible for people almost being FORCED to venture outside of their bubble. Don’t panic, THIS is the first sign of positive organizational change within any organization. Change is good!

 

Digital marketing touches every aspect of an organization now so people that would NOT have worked together many years ago are almost forced to do so now. The growth of this technology and evolution of traditional marketing are creating scenarios in which workers must develop more of a team dynamic if they want to see company growth.

 

No longer can there be an organizational separation of company and technology, because technology touches every aspect of the organizations no matter the perception. The evolution of the organization has started with the individuals that are within that organization and it will continue to evolve, ready or not. Companies must start to recognize these changes, adapt to the changes that have already taken place and that are beyond the control of the current organizational structure. Organizations must be willing to no only add technology in its minimal form but embrace ALL of the change that go along with the growth of this technology. Technology is NOT an afterthought and is not optional anymore.  Why, you ask?  Because technology growth is speeding up NOT slowing down, it is mandatory that organizations see beyond what was, to what is now and things to come in the future. This starts with addressing HOW individuals communicate within the organization and make immediate changes if the structure is out of sync with the individuals within the organization.

 

The take away:

It’s time to stop viewing technology as an organizational after thought and embrace all that it has to offer, even if it is change. Change is good!

I welcome your opinion, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. You can find me online so Circle me on Google+, Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

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#Yahoo: One Small Step Back Or One Large Leap Toward Jumping The Shark [Infographic & Video]

Yahoo Has Jumped The Shark

 

We are living in a quick-moving digital world with companies that are technology focused running to keep up with the growth. As Digital Marketers we see how fast things are moving and we recognize the players in the technology game, those that are not even in the game and those that are struggling to keep up.

 

Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google are huge innovators and players in the growth of different forms of technology. We will not mention Bing because although Microsoft spawned this mess called Bing we won’t hold it against them, ONLY because they have extremely cool Bing commercials.  That brings us to one of the other wannabe players in the game and that’s Yahoo. They may have been a player in the game, back in the days of Infoseek, Askjeeves and Looksmart but they have never really been on the grid with the real innovators in this technology game. I think one of the things that separates the companies that are innovators from those that just never seem to catch up are the employees that drive these companies.

 

Most companies are only as good as the team that drive them and the innovative companies like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google ALL have top caliber employees.  These companies have the vision to hire the best of the best because employees represent their brand. Innovative companies are expected to have the best!  Companies that are not technology focused usually fall short of employing the best of the best because they usually don’t have the same resources as the tech giants. So we tend to excuse their lack of technology focused employees and forward thinking vision.

 

Organizations that present themselves as technology focused like Yahoo is not one of the types of companies that we should excuse for the choices that they’ve recently made.  When companies that are not known to be innovative are embracing that technology has changed the traditional working onsite dynamic, Yahoo decides to take a step back with their descision to take away the work at home option from their employees.

 

Cloud computing, laptops, tablets, mobile devices, high speed Internet and most importantly a global world has made the cubed office for technology companies like Yahoo an option not a neccesity. Or I should say HAD made it an option until Yahoo Turned Back the Hands of Time ” Cue in Cher’s Song” Hit play below.

I digressed seriously, my bad. The point is that Yahoo has taken a HUGE step back when other companies are moving forward. Yahoo has always struggled to be at the head of the pack as far as innovation is concerned but now they have gone beyond a step back, they have jumped the shark.

 

I’m pretty sure that Yahoo has a huge staff of innovative and creative employees that are reeling. I am also quite sure that there are lots of companies circling like vultures to pick up the pieces of the employees that can no longer work from home. I see the vultures circling the Yahoo headquarters now, in hopes of grabbing some new blood for their employment pool! If I were a huge company in need of a few good men or women, I would be camped out at Yahoo headquarters like a techie for a new iPad.

 

Hey Yahoo, take a look at the Infographic Below….and Oh Yeah Watch out for that shark.

 

Yahoo Has Jumped The Shark

Hey Yahoo Watch Out For That Shark!

Higher Education Going Tech? Are You Ready For A Peek Of Higher Education in 2020? [Infographic]

TheFutureOfHigherEducation
By now we are ALL aware of how Digital Marketing has taken the world by storm.  We really don’t think about it because it was a process that happened so gradually. One minute we were flipping through the Fall Preview Guide of the TV Guide to see all of the next seasons shows and the next thing we know, we are viewing that edition ONLINE.

 

I was recently having a discussing about things and I mentioned to the person about the changes that have occured and how quickly. They gave me a puzzled look until I used the TV Guide Analogy.  We have really quite literally been taken over by Digital Media.  We use mobile phones for conversations, taking pictures, interacting with people and occasionally even talking on it. :-P  Although I prefer traditional paper books, the sales of traditionally books have been on a steady decline due to the increasing popularity of book readers like Nook, Kindle and iPad.   We have come a long way baby!

 

There will be NO industry left untouched by this historical growth of technology.  One of the industries that I would love to be enveloped, altered and changed for the better by this amazing Digital Technology boom is Education! I just had a conversation that started with politics and ended with education that detailed how education needs to be pulled from the manufacturing era into the technology era. Well, due to the growth of this technology era,  I believe it’s a possibility and I would LOVE to see how things could evolve.

 

Take a look at the infographic below that displays how education could benefit from a strong boost of the digital era.

Please include attribution to TheBestColleges.org with this graphic.

The Future of Higher Education

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SERIOUSLY, Walk Away From Your Gadgets [INFOGRAPHIC]

Walk Away From Your Gadgets

We are living in an increasingly Digital world which is really be an amazing thing, especially for those that are interested in having a constant source of news and information.  Content shared,  by way of online channels are accessed at a much quicker rate of speed than traditional online media due to social media.   This was very evident in the recent hurricane that hit the east coast and the political campaigns, both of which were sharing information online at a much quicker rated of speed than traditional online and radio media.  We are officially a connected world.

 

One of the things that we should be cognizant of is the benefits of allowing ourselves the opportunity to TUNE out the onslaught of the constant flow of digital content. As a Digital Marketer, this can be a challenge due to our need to be constantly tuned in.

 

About a year ago I was feeling close to the information overload stage due to being constantly plugged in to so much content. This is when I took a bit of a step back and disengaged from a few channels.   I stopped posting to many social media channels, removed myself from Klout and took a break from Empire Avenue. I took this time to think about the digital channels that I was engaged with and evaluate how I could best maximize my workflow without dedicating so much time to online channels and being constantly plugged in.  This time gave me an opportunity to evaluate how much time was needed to effectively manage all of my digital media channels and most importantly granted me the opportunity to realize the benefits of unplugging sometimes.  I’ve found that unplugging can be a good thing because it allows a fresh perspective.

 

The time away allowed me to organize my time more effectively, minimize some of the digital channels that were not beneficial to my brand and most importantly it presented the opportunity to turn off my brain to the constants onslaught of information. So, now I especially make a conscious choice to unplug at bedtime and it has allowed me  just enough time needed, to start the next day with a clear head minus the technology overload feeling.

 

I seems that more and more people are not utilizing time to step away from their gadgets, even at bedtime. Take a look at the infographic below to see exactly how much time is spent on computer gadgets, even at bedtime.

 

Please Include Attribution to OnlinePsychologyDegree.net With This Graphic Badgets in Bed Infographic

The Three T’s Of The New Workplace Organizational Structure: Technology, Teamwork and Time With [Infographic]

Anise Smith Marketing Teamwork

 

We are truly in new and unchartered lands when it comes to technology.  We are experiencing growth and change at a rate of speed in which I’ve never experiences due to the growth of technology primarily excelerated by the growth of smaller devices like tablets and smart phones. These technologies are now having a profound effect on how we live in our personal and business lives.  Technology in regard to our personal lives is a little bit easier to adapt to; however, technology growth within the workplace is a whole different animal.

 

When planning a new technology strategy, there are so many things that have to be considered. Some of those things are how people will adapt to the introduction of new technology, training staff, how it will effect the budget and more. If a company is a B2B or B2C it can be that more difficult to adapt, change and embrace new technologies on an organizational level.  Of course for some organizations it can be an easier process but for some it can be a challenge. Companies that are involved with technology on a certain level will of course adapt better to change, but those that are totally removed from technology may struggle a bit more than those that work within the technology industry.

 

Although technology has grown at such a fast rate we are all still trying to catch up with all of the changes. I once said that at any given day you can feel like a n00b because of the super quick growth to technology, social media and digital marketing channels.  We are truly in a different work era now due to the the boom of technology and although technology can be used to streamline our processes, save time and make things easier often times that is not the case because we are all still learning to utilize those technologies within our workplace more effectively.

 

The first thing that we must do when planning to implement new technology within our organization,  is to realize that we are indeed in a different workplace era now due to the growth of technology and adapt accordingly.  That, I must say, will probably be the biggest challenge in the new technology focused workplace. We are now a part of a technology boom that is equivalent to the initial introduction of PC into the workplace.  So I cannot promise that the process will be easy and seamless.  We can use the technology that is growing so quickly as an asset to our organizations or allow it to be a burden. A few very basic things to keep in mind are the fundamentals and I call them the Three T’s Of the New Workplace Organizational Structure:

 

Technology:

We must first learn to embrace technology in general as time is not going to roll back to suit you in your need to hold on to the pre-technology days. Then we must discover the technologies that we deem to be appropriate for our business. Not all technology, social media and or digital media channels are appropiate for all businesses.  Exploring new technologies can be as easy or as hard as a company can make it. The first step would be to assign or hire a person that is familiar with a variety of technologies, that have embraced new technologies and can lead your company on the right path. After finding out what technologies and or digital marketing strategies work for your organization, implement a plan to integrate those technologies into your company organizational structure.

The implementation process is what will probably be the hardest challenge, and this is especially the case with older organizational structures.  The key is to have professional guidance and get started sooner rather than later because technology will never wait for you to catch up.

 

Teamwork: 

One of the greatest things about the growth of technology is that it presents organizations with an opportunity to take a look at their organizational structure and tweak it if needed to integrate more of a teamwork structure if it is conducive to the organization as a whole. Technology will almost force people within the organization to work as a team due to the huge effect that technology has on the entire organization. There is no aspect of an organization that will be exempt from the use of technology when its implemented so this will create more of a teamwork atmosphere.  Teamwork is great for employees, the workflow and the bottom line which is good for the entire company. You know what they say, there is no I in team.

 

Time:

As we utilize technology more effectively and implement a more team oriented workplace it can actually minimize the amount of time spent on task and streamline organizational workflow. This is of course contingent upon effective utilization and adaption of technology, increased teamwork and proper training of staff.

We are at a point in the workplace that we are NOT utilizing time effectively which minimizes productivity and maximizes the amount of time spent doing tasks. Consequently our days are longer, our workflow is not as effective as it should be and organizations are not running as smoothly as they could.  Take a look at the Infographic below which will give you an idea of exactly how ineffectively we are managing our time within the workplace.   A few tweaks to organizational structure to implement a teamwork dynamic and implementation of effective technologies could really change this slippery slope that we are on.

 

Bring Back the 40 Hour Work Week Infographic
Source: OnlineMBA.com

 

Ultimately the goal is to utilize technology strategies that are smart for the employees and organization as a unit in order to use time more effectively  while creating a teamwork inspired organizational structure. This is the new workplace organizational structure, embrace it!

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The Future Of Computing: This ROCKS Bring It On [Video]

TheFutureOfComputers

 

I am a huge fan of the future of technology and I am so looking forward to some of the things that technology has to offer us moving forward.  I am still waiting for the flying cars that were featured on The Jetsons back in the day.

Well Corning is working on some amazing advancements in the future of technology by way of using Glass! Prepare yourself for awesome sauce!  Take a look at the videos below to give you and idea of how awesome this technology is and what role it will play in our very near future.


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#Technology and #Entrepreneurship: The Answer To The Recession?? [Infographic]

entrepreneurship

 

We are in a recession, no doubt about that and it is tough. However recession and a tough economy can bring out the entrepreneur spirit in many people.  In tough times people are almost forced to step it up.   Some of the greatest companies in the world were created during tough economic times.  There are many, one of those companies is Apple, can you believe that?

 

 

Amazing stuff!  It seems that due to our own economic downturn we could very well be in the middle of our own entrepreneurship boom and I think a lot of that is fueled by the super quick growth of technology.  Take a look at the infographic below to give you an idea of where innovation is happening:

 


social management blog

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Technology Growth: Look Beyond Silicon Valley For Your Next GIG [Infographic]

SiliconValleyvsSiliconAlley

As we all know technology has grown and I am hearing that there may be a challenge for companies to find workers in this industry due to the big boom.  I am definitely all for a consult in the Philadelphia area anytime and I’m sure lots of other people are looking for that next consult or even gig.  The people in my circles always have room for another consult (cha-ching…that’s my catch phrase…seriously)

So what’s a person to do, head out to Silicon?  Umm yeah, as glamorous as that seems, the average person just can’t pick up and leave, family, kids, good cheesesteaks. Yeah did I say Cheesesteaks?  Well there may be at least one other option. Take a look at the infographic below to give you an idea of where you could start.

 

Silicon Valley & Alley - MBA@UNC

Via MBA@UNC: Online MBA

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#Google+ Just WENT #SocialSearch: You’d Better Reach OUT and Grasp This Platform

GooglePlus

I have been speaking of the newness of Social Media as we know it now, all of the Social Media Channels that we should be using and how we should be rocking our blogs .  These are definitely channels that all business owner should have been using for a while and that we should be comfortable with by now. However we all do know that  its not the case because there are still many companies that have not reached out to grasp this new and exiting age of social media.  You all know the companies that I speak of, the ones that are still heavily depended on their fax machines, the companies that are still using AOL and that have absolutely no social media presence .

Not all companies have been totally lax in their grasp of technologies, some are a bit more up to speed on things. There are plenty of companies that have been utilizing SEO strategies and doing quite well.  Well now here comes the kicker, companies that are using SEO exlusively and companies that are not using social media or SEO at all, are about to have the rug pulled out from under them in the form of Google+

I know there is a huge back and forth about Google+ and its importance, blah, blah, blah..Google just changed the game for Internet Marketing, SEO and Social Media with the integration of Social Media by way of Google+ into search.  This is a game changer for those that are social media savvy, heavily involved with technology and SEO masters.  So those that are not, are beyond being behind the eight ball.  The introduction of Social Search by way of Google+  has turned the Digital Divide into a Grand Canyon sized Chasm. I predicted this last year with the introduction of Google+, in my post Google+ IS Social Search. 

The Game has changed, so I’d advise grabbing your thinking caps and putting them on folks.  There is an even steeper curve to climb now, some will conquer it and some will be collateral damage. Either way, please know that the Game has Changed.

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3 Things That YOUR #SocialMedia Marketer WILL NOT do.

3Things

There’s a lot of misconceptions about Internet Marketers and Social Media Experts and that is primarily due to people not really having a firm understanding of the industry. This industry is still growing and those that have been in technology related fields although they may be experts, they are still learning.   Social Media in particular as we are experiencing it now is still pretty new, hence we all are getting acclimated to viral videos, word of mouth marketing, content sharing and more.

The newness of this industry, has really caused a bit of a panic and unrealistic expectation with organizations in regard to Social Media Marketers and Internet Marketers.  Since it is relatively new and still evolving every day we are all still learning, growing and evolving with the industry.

Social Media Marketing, New Media Marketers and Internet Marketers specialize in marketing YOUR company by way of online strategies.

They Will NOT

  • Know everything about your particular industry:  No Social Media Marketer will be 100% versed on every industry, just as traditional marketers are not. They are marketers not magicians so they will perform research about your company, clients, demographics, competitors etc.  <sidenote> I do think the Social Media Gurus, may be versed on every industry, because they are Gurus and have 10 plus years of social media experience. :-P </sidenote>  Seriously though, would you rather a person be a master of your industry or a master of their industry and have the talent to MARKET your industry using the most cutting edge online techniques?  I’m pretty sure most people have current employees that have mastered their organization, that doesn’t help with the need to hire someone to USE the information that they’ve mastered about social media to help THE ORGANIZATION. I know the answer, so this is rhetorical.
  • Be your own personal Miracle worker: Social Media is not a magic bullet, so if there are organizational issues, social media or any kind of marketing for that matter, will probably not rescue it.
  • Use Old School Marketing Techniques: Many companies are interested in being a part of the social media revolution, yet have not given up their old ways of doing business or altered their technique since 1965. Most Internet Marketers or Social Media experts will not spam your marketing message across social media channels. This would do damage to their reputation as a legitimate Internet Marketer.

There is so much misinformation about social media which is causing a bit of mass hysteria, especially in the more old school traditional workplaces. We all have to take a deep breath, think clearly and honestly stop TRIPPING.

When searching for a person to handle your companies Internet Marketing and or Social Media needs you should search for some essential qualifications.

They Should:

  • Have a firm grasp of Social Media Optimization:   Working with Facebook and Twitter is NOT enough because although these two channels are huge, they are not the ONLY social media channels needed to optimize your social media strategy. Optimizing your social media channels should be based on your individual company needs and the marketer hired should know how to analyze those needs and proceed accordingly
  • Have the ability to create a social media strategy: This strategy should be geared toward your individual company needs. All strategies don’t work for every company. Most companies have individual needs and the marketer hired should have the ability to create a custom strategy based on these needs.
  • A strong online brand for themselves:  That is  indication of the kind of strategy that they can create for you. You should ALWAYS Google the people that you are interested in hiring. If they DO NOT have a strong presence for their brand they may not have the ability to create a strong brand for your organization either.
  • Preferably have some formal education: Formal education or extensive training in Internet Marketing Strategies, is a definite plus because it helps with social media strategy creation. Formal education in the way of some kind of Internet Marketing classes, training or comprehensive on the job training will allow the marketer to be more strategic in planning your social media strategy.
  • Writing Skills: A huge part of an effective social media strategy is the ability to blog.  I can not express how important blogging is to any successful social media strategy. It allows brand building, engagement opportunities and serious Google Juice.

Some things that are a definite plus

  • Video Creation: YouTube is huge and the #2 utilized search platform. If you marketer can create video, thats For The Win.
  • Slide Show Creation: Slide shows are awesome, brand building and great for increasing brand exposure.
  • SEO: Should be an essential part of every social media strategy and could be very powerful if used in conjunction with an effective social media optimization strategy.
  • Analytics: If you create an online presence you should have the ability to monitor its effectiveness. Analytics is an essential part of any social media and or online strategy, although some do not recognize or utilize it.
  • Adsense: If you have a blog you want to monetize it.
  • Affiliate Marketing:  Monetize again.
  • Photo Editing: Photo editing even just basics are a great addition, it allows creation of original and eye catching graphics for blogs and social media posts.
  • WordPress: Is THE blogging platform of choice and gives blogs more Google juice than any other blog platform than I’ve worked with and I’ve worked with them all.

I’m sure these things will change especially since things are continuing to evolve and we are all continuing to grow and learn in this industry. However, this is a great start..

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