Showing posts from October, 2012

Event Hashtags: Practical Tips for Organizers and Attendees

One of the best ways to follow a conference or meeting you can't attend in person is through Twitter. You can find out who is there, what they are saying and what people think about it. For the people at home this gives near real-time to the highlights  for organizers it raises the profile of the event and maybe attracts a few more physical visitors to the next session. It also provides valuable feedback.

But the Twitter experience of any event can depend very much on how effectively the organizers and attendees use hashtags. If everyone uses the same hashtag then it is easy to find relevant tweets and much easier to monitor the activity, but to make that happen there are a few practical things you need to think about.


A HASHTAG FOR EVERY EVENT. You should define a conveniently short hashtag for every public event or meeting that you organize. It doesn't need to be a different hashtag every time. For major events like an international conference a hashtag …

Why Consensus Decision Making is Usually Most Effective

In some cultures consensus decision making is the norm. Others prefer the majority wins approach. Everyone else is somewhere in the middle, accepting majority decisions but at least trying to make this decision more acceptable to the others.

Proponents of the majority rule argue that it is the fastest way to reach a decision. Indeed it is. Yet there is a significant drawback: a decision taken quickly that is opposed by many will not be so quick to implement. The people who never agreed in the first place can delay and obstruct the implementation in every way possible, at least by a lack of enthusiasm.

This is one of the reasons I always preferred a consensus approach to decision making..Then I realized that it also has the advantage of being effective in a wider range of cultures making it especially useful for global organizations.

Now I learn  that there is another very compelling reason to prefer consensus decision making. Recent research at Brigham Young University and Princeton …

Office Politics: How to Become Credible in Your Workplace

One of the cornerstones of an influencing strategy is to establish your credibility in some area of competence; you have to convince people that you are an expert, or at least competent in the field.  Once you are recognized in this way people will listen when you talk about that topic. This sounds challenging but is actually much easier than you might imagine.

First of all you need to actually develop above-average knowledge of your chosen field  This is easier now that it has ever been thanks to the easier access to knowledge the world-wide web provides, but it takes some skill and experience to do this without spending an excessive amount of time on it.

Luckily there are some techniques for keeping up to date in any field that require only a modest effort. First of all you need to manage news sources efficiently so that you are always the first to know about new developments. Google's RSS reader is one essential tool, allowing you to scan headlines from many publications in on…

Attention to Details: How Police Academy Hurt Technology Demo

Recently Hitachi demonstrated a technology that allows data to be stored in blocks of glass that could last 100 million years. The concept was appealing and the demo very impressive. Up to a point. What undermined the entire event was the choice of sample data for the public technology demonstration. The data they chose to preserve for 100 million years was the entire series of Police Academy movies, in all their 1080p high-definition magnificence.

You might think that this choice might lead to some ridicule in the media and you would be right. Even the pro-business magazine Business Week mocked the choice in Live Blogging Hitachi's 100 Million Year Data Test in the 26 September 2012 issue.

Having worked in large organizations I can see how this could happen. First of all the people who arranged the demo might be technical experts who have a deep understanding of the technologies involved but understandably don't know how the media and other observers might view their efforts…