Monthly Archives: July 2011


The Google Profile, Google+ and my own personal brand

google plus

google plus (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

With the advent of Google+ and the new-prominance of my Google Profile within the tool, I figured it was time to give it a makeover to more truly reflect who I am today. I’ll be updating the language to highlight current assignments, projects, skills, obsessions. And who knows, maybe I’ll actually put into practice the grandaddy of all web writing principles — brevity.

The exercise will drive massaged Twitter and LinkedIn profiles as well, and perhaps even a few existential ruminations. Here’s one: In the rush to write off the social phenomenon as petty, narcissistic, and now-obsessed, perhaps we could all benefit from a meditative and brutally sincere approach to personal profile management. Done well, it could prove a centering ritual, and further motivate us to live and work up to our own hype.

So much for brevity…

Meantime, here’s the old Google Profile language for posterity’s sake:

I am a business writer first and a sales and marketing professional second.

My current focus is in the area of front-end business-to-business (B2B) sales operations—specifically on equipping reps in the field with the best possible materials to meet the requirements of their customers’ buying process. Sales document optimization is an outcomes-based process after all—and an outlet for my skills in information design and desktop publishing. But the area I find most gratifying is also the one in which I find sales organizations in the greatest need. It’s Sales Knowledge Management, it’s a technological and cultural enigma, and it’s a singular joy for a worker of my temperament.

Sales Knowledge Management is a systematic approach to collecting, synthesizing, and sharing critical corporate, market, and product insights throughout the sales team, and broadening the availability of that knowledge into multiple contexts—from sales letters and e-mail to proposals to online customer portals. With enhanced access to knowledge and easy-to-use assembly tools, reps can spend less time finding answers and creating materials—and spend more time selling. (For a more detailed discussion of SKM roles in B2B selling organizations, refer to my post on the Roles of Sales Knowledge Management.)

The contents of my blog are my own thoughts and observations—codified and organized to help me better think through problems, remember solutions, and maybe even help others experiencing the same issues in their work and their lives. I am interested in the phenomenon known as enterprise content management, and the structured communication processes necessary to move knowledge between producers and consumers.

While I understand that any discussion of knowledge management must go above and beyond technology, my training and background often compel me toward the tools and methods used by those involved in content creation and management. I’m influenced by Shaun Slattery’s work on Textual Coordination. (For my take, see my post Toward a Technological Repertoire in Mediated Writing.) Similarly, I’m intrigued by the use and benefits of social media and user-generated content in a professional environment—the so-named Enterprise 2.0 movement.

From time-to-time, I’ll post items I find interesting from my iPod, from around the internet, around town, or around the house I share with the best wife, two sons, and dog a guy could ask for.

Social Business

John Hagel defines the “Big Shift” in a series of from-to contrasts leading to e2.0 value structures

Given the magnitude, depth and far-reaching impact of the Big Shift, succinctness is a challenge.  At the highest level, we would characterize the Big Shift as moving from a world of push to a world of pull.  In other words, given the growing uncertainty in the world around us, we must master a new set of techniques required to access, attract and accumulate resources to unleash peer based learning in far more flexible ways than conventional push programs permit.

Hagel’s principles:

– From knowledge stocks to knowledge flows

– From knowledge transfer to knowledge creation

– From explicit knowledge to tacit knowledge

– From transactions to relationships.

– From zero sum to positive sum mindsets

– From push programs to pull platforms

– From institutions driven by scalable efficiency to institutions driven by scalable peer learning

– From stable environments to dynamic environments

Many of these are contextualized restatements of the idea of Flattening.

@dhinchcliffe on the Open Work concept: what it is, how it’s transformative, and how to get started in your organization.

One of the interesting side effects of the pervasiveness of technology today is that work in general is becoming so digital that it sometimes completely disappears from sight. By this I mean it’s trapped within our e-mail systems, IT systems, Web applications, SaaS, cloud services, document management tools, and so on. Thus the hard work we put into creating knowledge often isn’t as collaborative, sharable, or discoverable as it should be.

Another fantastic thought piece from the man stealing my best work before I have the chance to articulate it in my own mind.

And while there are plenty of E2.0 catch-phrases floating around out there, the concept of open work and the graphic accompanying Hinchcliffe’s post are simple enough for the most jaded to wrap their minds around.

Of course appropriate technology and governance are still essential components (I maintain that individual acts of sharing, like recycling, must be easier for the actor than the old ways).

@robpreston on the hazards of soft language in enterprise social pitches [InformationWeek]

Part of the reason social networking tools still aren’t mainstream at most organizations is because Enterprise 2.0 is still considered more of a “movement” than a business imperative. The movement’s evangelists employ the kumbaya language of community engagement rather than the more precise language of increasing sales, slashing costs, and reducing customer complaints. They yearn to empower employees, crowdsource ideas, facilitate storytelling, nurture advocacy, and unleash passion. It sometimes feels like an episode of Dr. Phil.

Points to an E2.0 keynote and other writings in support of hard business objectives for enterprise social initiatives. If you can’t speak to specific performance metrics and bottom line improvements, you’re unlikely to get buy-in or budget either.

Oracle WebCenter Focuses on the Complete Customer Experience

…Oracle is committed to helping customers deliver engaging experiences to their customers. Whether that’s Internal experiences that span Enterprise Applications, Intranets and Team spaces (enterprise collaboration), or External customer experiences, you can do it with Oracle WebCenter.

Looks like an integrated suite of social marketing, intenal collaboration, and back-end integration,

Add to (Chatter), SAP (Streamwork), and Epicor’s as-yet-unnamed social solution.