One of the core reasons for organizational clusterfucks is a lack of trust among the participants or groups of participants. Generally speaking, if there is no trust, there is limited communication (because, of course, refusing to talk to somebody can be a form of limited communication – right?). Even if two respective hierarchies mandate communication, if there is no trust, people on either side will be very crafty in interpreting rules so stringently so as to limit communication. Worse, distrust over years can become pervasive and infectious, like a plaque that builds up. We saw this in the years leading to Air India. Sometimes there is a legitimate incentivization for distrust. I won’t share competitive information with competitors out of[…]

I watched a wonderful Nature last night on PBS. It was about a bunch of baboons on the Serengeti. It was a pretty brutal hour and instructive. People in their own way are complex and they form complex systems with complex relationships and complex rituals. How hierarchies form and persist is something a few of us within the Toronto innovation community has been struggling with – especially around this relationship between ‘networks’ and ‘hierarchies’. Every so often – people can’t or won’t get a long, expectations aren’t communicated or registered, and our complex systems break down. The specific question is:  “What causes clusterfucks”? That’s the central question of the week.

A few very good discussions were had at Bar Wellington last night. It was really great to see Sascha back from London, even if it was only for an evening. We got into mobile analytics and I praised the recent of efforts of our Mia Umanos for working so hard with the Web Analytics Associations’ Research Committee and the mobile analytics project. Mobile analytics is not easy, but there are very large opportunities to demonstrate the value of the channel using the method. I ‘d like to see the ETL process for mobile analytics get better. I’d hope that those vendors would pick up where traditional web analytics companies have left off – and who knows, there might be a[…]

Six key steps in facilitation when you’re trying to heard a group through a problem: Opening: State why you’ve called the meeting, where we’ve come from before, what’s the goal of today’s discussion, and where you hope to go to next. Objective Questions: Ask about the facts and get them on the table. Everybody is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Reflective Questions: Ask what people are experiencing. Questions like: What ____________ are you experiencing when that happens? Everybody is entitled to feel how they want to feel. Interpretive Questions: The analytical portion of the discussion. Is X >Y? If so why, if not, why not? Decisions Questions: Which ones are high priority? Which are not[…]

I’m looking forward to paneling at IMC Vancouver on September 18th. The topic is social media for business. Naturally, I’ll be talking about social media analytics. The intersection of business strategy, quantitative methods, and online word of mouth (social media) has the capacity to be really powerful in the hands of somebody who understands that it’s actually a medium. There’s message, there response, there’s measurement of that response, there’s an opportunity to improve upon the next message. It’s also like any other medium too. You got to pay to play. It isn’t free. It isn’t free for your customers either. Social media still takes time and attention time: and that’s still a cost. But the difference is that it’s never[…]