Spreading my wings

spread_my_wings_and_flyThis past month I’ve dedicated several hours each week to become more engaged on social media platforms.  For decades I’ve guided clients on how to engage with a broad spectrum of stakeholders.  Since Sept 2010, as Executive-in-Residence at IMD, I’ve taught participants in executive education programs comparable skills and written articles about it.  As I’ve always focused on the importance of connectedness and how to achieve it, I felt the need to spread my wings in this time of social networks and, as with all else of value, learning is in doing.  Just as I’ve “met” and now actively engage with interesting people since I’ve been on Twitter, I am discovering a whole new community on XeeMe and I am reconnecting to old friends on Facebook.  These platforms provide a new space for actual engaged relationships: I’m not advocating simply adding largest number of “friends”.  I encourage you to leap into this sphere if you haven’t yet: I believe you’ll find an exciting web of folks who care about what you do with whom you can engage.  And, as it’s extremely timely, I urge you to read my Huffington Post article about under-age sex traffic and also please take action to support passage of the Violence Against Women Act.

{ 17 comments… add one }

  • Phyllis Barr April 25, 2012, 6:25 pm

    Hi Nadine: I think it is very important to transmit the history & heritage of a company as part of telling its story via social media. Mining a company’s DNA is very important for customers and employees. This can be cone in a variety of ways which are NOT musty and dusty!!!

    It is particularly important at the time of an anniversary of a company, brand or non-profit.

    And it is particularly important at a time of economic difficulties as a part of “comfort” marketing. This year a lot of companies are telling their storeis as they celebrate anniverssities such as Orea and Starkist which has brought back Charlie the Tuna of whom I have fond memories.

  • Debbie Meyer April 26, 2012, 1:49 pm

    I have to run to swork, but thought this is an interesting thing to add about Nick Kristof’s birthday and social media:


  • kay koplovitz April 26, 2012, 2:01 pm

    Nadine: You are so right. One canread about social media all they wish, but there is no way to truly understand its impact without diving into yourself. The real currency is shared thoughts, ideas and exchange. Each new media entrant of size has its own value. Twitter is a real time barometer of the chatter that is occurring as each person joins in. Facebaook is a closed network for most to share more personal information with friends and acquaintances, Linked In is a vibrant network among business people, a giant collective contact database threaded through degrees of separation. The only way to know their power is to use them. Glad you’ve joined the conversation. Kay

  • David Israel-Rosen April 26, 2012, 2:56 pm

    China Social Commerce Group is a Chinese Start up focusing on Social Commerce abd a Chinese Flavor of CSR

  • Peter Cook April 26, 2012, 3:15 pm

    I think I do know quite a lot about this Nadine – 26 000 blog reads in less than 9 months, over 50% of my business comes through people I have never met etc.

    I just posted something on employee engagement more generally – see http://www.humandynamics.wordpress.com Might that be of interest.

    Best regards


  • Marita Roebkes April 26, 2012, 3:22 pm

    I always compare social networks with real life places where people meet and get together.

    Linkedin is the company cafeteria, a little bit watercooler, a business address you have to have your office.

    Twitter the big party, where you are strolling from one conversation to the next to listen to news,and some gossip but also get a lot of information and meeting new interesting people.

    FB is the place where you share personal topics with friends, cooking and laughing, deep discussions as also ‘virtual golfing” with business acquaintances.

    By the time we all develop some knowledge about “digital body language” and like in real world will meet and connect with great people.

    I feel very honored to be connected with you.


  • Christopher Burgess (@burgessct) April 26, 2012, 4:17 pm

    Engagement I have found to be the key to maintaining social media relationships – I wrote a piece a few years back on the topic –

  • Liliana Panic April 26, 2012, 4:53 pm

    Hi Nadine, what is the favorite platform for you so far and why?

    Funny you are not mentioning Linked In, although you are the member of several groups. I guess you forgot to, or perhaps not seeing any engagement or interaction there?

    How do participants of the courses you mention who are new to Social Networks react to it, do you find any resistance and what is the common concern (if any).

    Thanks and regards to all.

  • Robert Kesten April 29, 2012, 1:32 pm

    There is great utility in social media, but it, like so much else is also about the hype it generates, or even self-generates. These various “tools” demand time to be useful, or even dedicated staff to maintain them effectively. For most of us, not all, they are not useful in getting work, but certainly make more work…as work and social become more entwined, making demands of both ever so much greater. Overall, I remember the summers as a youth, thinking they lasted forever and what a wonderful feeling that was. Today’s young people, my children included, believe the summer flies by and there is no time for anything…social media, Internet and the constant stream of info-tainment has a great deal to do with this. We seem willing to give up a little of our humanity for all this “surface” connectedness, while many are far less connected where it matters most. Relationships are aplenty in this new age of “friends,” but depth leaves all too much at the table, where many of us eat alone.

  • Robert Kesten April 29, 2012, 1:35 pm

    And, just for the record, I remain a HUGE fan of Kay Koplowitz, whose career I have followed for at least 30+ years and always wished she had all the money she needed as her brilliant ideas and execution reached the public market place. If there was ever someone I wanted to work with…she is it!!!

  • Nadine B. Hack May 1, 2012, 9:14 am

    Debbie, Kay, David, Peter, Marita, Christopher, Liliana and Robert – thank you for your comments. I am not certain about the settings here and whether you will be alerted when I write this reply but I appreciate that each of you have shared your insights. I’ve also checked your websites and left comments where I can.

  • Tugba Gunn Sen May 4, 2012, 10:20 pm

    Hi Nadine. Social media tech. has enabled a mass collaboration and many views and comments has created a such community. They all come together for a purpose, for example via supporting a cause or view. One interesting point that was raised in a Financial times video was the benefit of centralizing social media in order to generate a collective and community focused interaction which is called ‘operational governance’. A business for instance can use social media to organize the community for one purpose outside business in general but which simultaneously adds value to the company.

    What I would like to see is how public and private organizations can use social media in a smart and well-considered way so that they can take collective decisions with stakeholders and not just as a marketing tool. It is going to be interesting to see how this will move forward and what role executives are going to take to lead this ‘collaboration’ to enable real transformation via engagement.

  • Reony Tonneyck May 9, 2012, 3:53 pm

    Well, here is an interesting take on this, compared to most of you I guess.

    I’m in the “younger” generation where social media became part of our childhood early on. It has always been like 2nd nature to me, to connect to other people and make new friends online.

    One of my biggest hobbies is playing video games, especially online. No, I’m not one of those kids who sits around for half a day and plays World of Warcraft till he falls asleep at his desk. But I do play quite a lot when I get the chance, aside from married life and just taking care of myself in general. Since I’ve started playing games online, I have met some really amazing and wonderful people. If you look a popular game long enough, you will find out that there are “communities” that people become a part of and join. This way, they can play with the same people usually, get to know each other, and make friends.

    I’ve been a part of a gaming community since 2007, and it has been fantastic. I’ve met people from all over the world, and some of them I consider close friends. Some of us have even reached out to each other on Facebook. When you’re playing a game, with a great community, people not only talk about the game. In case you’re wondering, we use headsets with mics on them. This way we can just talk while playing, instead of typing in chat. Another form of communication we use for the community is a voice client called, Ventrilo. It’s basically a voice chat program, where the server you are on, can create different rooms and people can join and just talk to each other. It’s actually the first thing I do before I start up my game. Just to catch up with friends, talk about our days and see how people are doing. Its also a nice way to talk more privately, so you don’t talk too much in the game itself.

    Of course, it takes a physical server and money to run this whole community. So the owner of the server puts in a lot of money to run it. But the nice thing is that many people donate money to him. For myself, I even do a monthly donation though Paypal. Since this is an important place of friendship and lots of fun, people are glad to donate to the server/community.

    Finally, we also have a website, where we use to post announcements, have a birthday calendar and even have a place for people to post fun stuff to share with everyone (videos, pictures, websites, etc.). Once in while, we even have fun events that the admins will setup. We’ll do fun things in the game, that you normally wouldn’t do for holidays, or something other special day. When its someone’s birthday we turn on “party mode”. This changes the characters in the game to wear party hats. Instead of things exploding or breaking into their usual forms, they explode into gift boxes, confetti, and other party related things. One particular event, that was very special and personal to me and our community happened a couple months ago…

    One of our main admins, who went by the name of “Moofie”, was an Australian, amazing and hilarious man. He was one of the most generous and thoughtful people many of us knew. He was so welcoming to anyone new, and always made funny and cheesy jokes that make everyone laugh. One of his signature jokes was like so; “This team is worse than George’s meatloaf!” He contributed a lot to the community, and in donations as well. One day, he started to not show up as much as he used to. He was in contact with some other admins in real life every now and then, and word got out that he became very sick with something. He eventually came back on the server to play for a little while, but couldn’t speak. He would only type in chat. He told us he was getting treatments for something, but no one knew exactly what. It sounded serious… Eventually some of us got word that he was diagnosed with something very serious… some terminal illness that was life threatening. No one knew if he would make it or not.

    Then, one day, his wife or sister (not sure really) posted on our website. It was a message from Moofie, to the community. It was his last farewell to all of us. By the time we had gotten the message, he was gone… He expressed a lot of love for everyone in the community and how he didn’t want anyone to be sad. Of course, he had to throw in his silly and cheesy jokes in there. That post, eventually became a MASSIVE thread where everyone wrote back their goodbyes and last messages to him. The woman that was related to him, and posted initially, sent all the message back to the family and was greatly appreciative of them. A little later that week, we planned a date for as many people as possible to show up (in game) for a memorial ceremony. Some people recorded it from their desktop, for those who were unfortunate to miss it. There was a moment of silence and everything… In case you are curious about how this whole thing looks and happened, you can watch the youtube video that was posted here: http://youtu.be/QuV6FOWV-MA

    Writing and reliving this moment, makes me a bit emotional, but he was an important part of my life. He will be greatly missed… So, coming back to Social Networking, you can see how it has been a part of my life. There are so many different form factors of it. This is just one way that it’s enriched my life.

    (Sorry for the long post, but I couldn’t help myself :) )

  • Scott May 10, 2012, 4:28 pm

    Hi Nadine;

    Thanks for including me on your blog post; I’m struggling with similar issues – which social media, how much time to dedicate, and to what end? In the end, I’m following your example and jumping in and trying a few, most recently twitter. I haven’t got to blogging yet, the amount of writing – and responding should that occur – seems daunting to me at this stage.

    But your thinking is, as always, provocative and insightful, so I’ll be sure to return and peruse!


  • Etali GenesisAkwaji June 2, 2012, 6:53 am

    Hi Nadine,

    Some of us are novices to exploiting the social media and we by so doing cannot get exposure to great supporters,,,,,nevertheless, I believe through beCause we can get linked to people who support our causes,,,,

    I wish through this forum I can get connected to followers who can share their expertise, resources, etc I need to learn what it takes to be successful in development endeavors, who to seek and at what time,,,,,,

    Thank you

  • Claudia September 3, 2012, 10:37 am

    We have so many more opportunites to connect with eachother via social media and other channels. But we need to make sure we don’t just spread widely but also take the time to go deep. Fewer and better connections may be better than many shallow ones.

  • Reza October 21, 2012, 7:55 am

    Hi Nadine,
    Very Interesting and lovely article,and very Informative

    Many thanks


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