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Showing posts from 2015

The Internet of Things and the Segment of One

The Internet of Things (IoT) is inspiring some new (and some not so new) lines of marketing speak. Notable is Segment of One. What does that mean? Simply, knowing vast amounts about your spending patterns, marketing effort is so tightly targeted on your needs, aspirations and requirements, it’s like a homing pigeon bullet, straight to the heart of your wallet. So, I am talking to you, Segment of One! Where can this kind of use of big data go wrong? Once again, simply, in the delivery! Personal Story As a child growing up I lived in the seaside village of Muizenberg. Everybody knew everybody, we went to the same schools, shopped at the same stores, sat on the beach over the weekend, and if you didn’t know somebody, there was always a connection.  It was literally one degree of separation. If I popped into Raad’s, the local greengrocer, he would greet me warmly, and send me home with a watermelon that was just the kind my dad liked. At the pharmacy, they would give me my mom’s meds witho…

Humble Bragging - the new false modesty...

Having met many perfectionists in my years of interviewing, I loved the Harvard Business Review article on Humblebragging. So did everybody I shared it with. Of course, when you get asked what your strengths and weaknesses are, everybody wants to present themselves in the best light, so humblebragging seems a subtle way of doing this. Unfortunately, HR people have heard it all before, so they are very much aware of the difference between highlighting your strengths and false modesty. True Story Don “I am a little controlling, and somewhat of a perfectionist, which I realised was disempowering my staff, so I worked very hard at delegating.  I was so successful that I have delegated my way out of a job, which is why I am now looking for new opportunities” When you are actively looking for work, how do you shine a light on your skills and accomplishments in a way that the interviewer finds appealing? Self awareness is not a trait a lot of people have.   We all believe we do, but it’s a …

Being busy is not an achievement...

Nor is it a skill, or a sign of success. And yet, we all compete with each other for levels of busyness.   As if the busier we are the more successful, popular and cutting edge we must be. No time for family or friends?   Very busy doing important stuff. No time for holidays or relaxation? Even more busy doing mission critical work. And so it goes on! Women are particularly hard hit in this area, because there is a fair amount for the average working woman to do at home, too! While do-it-yourself men also do a great deal around the home, these are often projects with a beginning, a middle and an end.   Women’s home work is extremely repetitive to say the least, although I have heard that mindful dish washing is very relaxing.  (See link to article below). However, for me, this topic transcends gender.   There is always another meeting to go to, frequently a crisis that only you can manage, so when is there time to be a strategic leader? Leaders need thinking time.   It’s as simple as…

Success in the 21st Century - Gender differences?

If you speak to successful people, there are those who tell you: they had a plan from day one  (organised)they were just in the right place at the right time (lucky)they worked hard and were recognised (dedicated)they continued to grow their skill set (life long learning)they saw an opportunity and grabbed it (opportunistic) andthey are well connected (networkers) All work individually, and, in combination, could make you unstoppable.   Of course, there are other factors, too - the economy, changing business requirements, to mention just two. And then you have to define success. Every person I speak to has a different definition, so for the purposes of this little article, I have tied it down to a few key areas that matter to me: Having a fulfilling purposeHaving choicesFinancial independenceSuccessful integration of work and homeIt is important to note that I have made the decision to no longer talk about work/life balance because it has been pointed out to me (thank you, Mr Adrian Sc…

Is gender mainstreaming working?

Or to be more specific, is it having a real effect on the workplace? As a concept, it’s been around for 30 years.   Every time I mention it, though, I have to explain what it is! Personal Case Study Some years ago I was the president of a mostly male IT Association.  (I believe I am still the only female president they have had since 1934).  We needed to hire a new Executive Director.   As a member of the ManCo, we interviewed a number of candidates, shortlisted them to three (two men, one woman) and conducted final interviews. Two were particularly strong (one man, one woman).   I liked both, but felt the male candidate was a better fit for the position.   My three male colleagues disagreed, and we hired the woman. At our next Executive meeting, we announced the appointment, to a flurry of comments and jokes that, of course we hired the female candidate, Teryl was on the selection panel! We, equally light heartedly, informed them they were wrong.   However, it was a great decision, she was…