Monthly Archives: October 2012

3 Ways to Promote Your Employee Engagement and Increase Your Social Business Enterprise 2.0 Productivity

In an insightful TED presentation “Liberate your company”, Isaac Getz highlights  employees’ engagement as one of the most significant attributes a company workforce must display in order for business competitiveness to flourish. Leaders and entrepreneurs should ask themselves and their entourage, “what percentage of our workforce is actually showing up smiling every morning and looking forward to their job environment?”

According to Isaac Getz’s findings, 27% of workers are engaged and enthusiastic about their jobs. 59% are not engaged and basically trading work time for a paycheck. The most dramatic findings are the remaining 14% who actively resist and sabotage the work of the 27% who are engaged. Imagine for a moment a boat with 8 rowers and one of them is literally stroking in the opposite direction! What would you think? As you are reading these lines it is highly possible that in your very own company, right now, “black sheep” are rowing in the opposite direction. “Black sheep” are to be found at all levels of your organization, disengaging, stone walling and criticizing the work of highly motivated employees.  Honestly, I do not care how good these folks are or how much it would cost to fire them, but do your business a huge favor and get rid of them. Make room for great attitude and enthusiasm, trendsetters, visionaries and motivated employees!

1. Liberate your employees by creating a unique culture and working environment

Employee’s engagement will never be implemented by any management program. Personnel engagement is the result of a work force’s attitude and emotional reaction vis-à-vis its working environment, company culture and leadership style. Forget the useless annual surveys. Instead, ask your company employees, on a one-to-one basis, what their specific needs are. Particularly insist on what would motivate them to do a better job and what should be the ideal environment to promote their agility and creativity.

2. Co-create job descriptions with individual custom-tailored goals

After HR has defined and communicated employees’ job descriptions and established regular evaluation feedback, management should revive co-workers’ motivation by promoting team members’ ideas and initiatives.  This should automatically promote a “co-creative” work philosophy, clarify common goals and priorities, and personalize the traditional hierarchical to-do-list approach. Google has a policy that encourages employees to spend 80% of their time on core responsibilities and 20% on activities they are passionate about or interested in. Google positively energizes creativity, new product development and overall company performance. Don’t engaged employees mean healthier work ethics, better culture and bigger profits for company shareholders?

3. Respect your workforce and treat them like gold

Treat employees as the frontline customer force; create a positive work environment and get your workforce excited about coming to work every morning.  Energize them with a well defined company vision, mission and purpose. Give them the recognition they deserve and observe their passion and engagement grow. “Liberate your workforce” says Sophie Peters in her Tribune Hebdo article, and remember your workforce represents the core of your brand’s ambassadors. Give them validation and observe how “employee experience” will automatically pave the way to positive customer service, customer experience (CX) and customer satisfaction.  Did you know that the bulk of Zappos’ business is with repeat customers? 70-75% of purchases come from returning customers. Those returning customers order about 2.5 times more than a new customer. Don’t you think this is a fantastic return on Zappos’ employee investment?

Show pro-active leadership and grant your employees the required space for them to research (Google example) and create. Delegate, learn to trust their judgment and abilities while regularly asking them what their needs are. Allow them room to critique  and remember to remain “S.O.C.I.A.L.”: sincere, open, collaborative, interested, authentic and likeable.

How does your company promote employee engagement and how far are you on your social business journey? What are some of the biggest challenges you are facing? Let us know and we will include your ideas in upcoming posts.

Follow Bruno Gebarski on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrunoGebarski@brunogebarski or on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brunogebarski

Related posts to Social Business i.e. Enterprise 2.0:
Why Are People, Processes and Platforms the Three Fundamental P’s of Any Social Business Enterprise 2.0 transformation?
Why Company Culture is The Foundation to Any Social Business Enterperise 2.0
Understanding the 4 Fundamentals of a Social Business Enterprise 2.0
Humility, a Core Ingredient For Moving From Hierachy to Social Business Enterprise 2.0 Leadership (Part 1)
Humility, a Core Ingredient For Moving From Hierachy to Social Business Enterprise 2.0 Leadership (Part 2)   

Why Are People, Processes and Platforms the Three Fundamental P’s of Any Social Business Enterprise 2.0 transformation?

1. People and behavioral changes

People are at the core of any successful organizational and structural company change.  A technological fix vs. a behavioral change remains once and for all, an inane discussion. After companies have established their own “culture”, Enterprise 2.0 will dictate the necessary behavioral changes.  Employees’ motivation and engagement must first be stirred-up by HR and upper management, and then supported for any new collaborating technological implementation or change to flourish.  After a recent study led by the Dachis Group, Harold Jarche used the findings for his article “It Takes Time to be Social”, and rightly points out that “… when asked to assess the overall engagement of employees for the company, more than half responded that only 10-20% of its employees were active…”.  If a company wants its personnel to become more social, management should pave the way first.  They need to lead by collaborating and co-creating themselves otherwise the time and investment expended in a structural change could be entirely wasted.

Employees, teams and task-groups are the driving force inside any organization; they solve problems, create value and drive innovation.  On the other hand, organizational silos thwart collaboration and cut off departments and co-workers from each other. Silos isolate departments, locations and teams while preventing overall company motivation, engagement and higher achievement goals.  A corporate vision, code of conduct and established company culture are fundamental essentials if HR, Controlling and IT are to reach out to sales and marketing, while looking beyond their own responsibilities or department silos. The command-and-control frame of mind that IT traditionally has, will have to be reshaped to enable some sort of a revived technological door-opener (as opposed to the door-keeper) to co-create value to the people-centric enterprise that social business is striving to develop. HR must encourage and develop cross-functional team building if the silo-mentality is to be overcome, so that a genuine Enterprise 2.0 frame of mind can be established.

2. Processes and Business Process Management (BPM)

As Clay Shirky once said: “Process is an embedded reaction to prior stupidity.”!  Processes should then be proactive and not stifle employees’ creativity with a straitjacket-set of company rules and regulations.  Processes and policies ought to be defined and ratified in order to encourage communication and creativity to flourish. They should protect workers, promote products and services, and dismount company silos.

For new collaborative business processes to be implemented, HR and management should encourage and motivate personnel with the use of gamification; the art of applying game theory and procedures to non-gaming environments.  They ought to motivate, recognize and reward their employees for rethinking and putting forth more efforts into reshaping their own work behavior and modifying their daily routines.

3. Platforms i.e. technologies

In his recent article “Social Collaboration: It’s the people not the technology stupid!”, Steve Dale writes that “most collaboration strategies are treated as technology projects and not organizational development (OD) projects”, again showing that IT can be the troublesome door-keeper.  That’s why many of those projects will most likely fail to bring any social enterprise return on investment (ROI). Adoption rates are poor because again and again technologies and processes often fail to take into account the mandatory and necessary workforce behavioral changes which need to be attached to such implementations. Too many entrepreneurial 2.0 strategies and projects are perceived by employees as a behavioral straitjacket they are forced to put on. The resulting poor rate of adoption is irrefutably proving the fact that implementation is not as successful as the IT Project Managers would have expected it to be.

A company’s workforce is the most important “customer-base asset” it possesses. Traditionally, this workforce is a group of human beings resisting change (don’t we all!). Employees will reluctantly give up familiar territory and only bid farewell to old practices if motivation and rewards are attached to those changes. Technology should remain on the level of a helpful tool.  Its initial roll-out should be introduced mainly by a handful of hand-picked collaborative advocates and Enterprise 2.0 social stars.  The Chief Customer Officer and Community Manager should promote these advocates socially and create new leadership positions for them.  Their conviction, passion and gregarious approach cannot help but motivate and inspire the rest of the community i.e. workforce.  HR should rally all company employees to the cause of this entrepreneurial social project with the support and techniques of gamification, and then evangelize first the human benefits, and second the technological paybacks. Rewarding the early social adopters with incentive programs, bonuses and company perks, will give a new social project implementation its best chance to succeed and exceed the Dachis 10 to 20% average adoption rate!

What incentives and company perks are you giving or planning to give to your employees for the support of a successful roll-out of Enterprise 2.0 social technologies?

Follow Bruno Gebarski on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrunoGebarski or on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brunogebarski

Related posts to Social Business i.e. Enterprise 2.0:
Why Company Culture is The Foundation to Any Social Business Enterprise 2.0
Understanding the 4 Fundamentals of a Social Business Enterprise 2.0
Humility, a Core Ingredient For Moving From Hierachy to Social Business Enterprise 2.0 Leadership (Part 1)
Humility, a Core Ingredient For Moving From Hierachy to Social Business Enterprise 2.0 Leadership (Part 2)

Why Company Culture is The Foundation To Any Social Business Enterprise 2.0

A social business (Enterprise 2.0) should logically begin its journey with its own people, the backbone/foundation of any enterprise, because here is the potential to transform a workforce into effective “brand evangelists”.  Starbucks did this recently when it invited an effusive group of roughly 10,000 store managers to a 37,000 m² (400,000 square-foot) event in Houston, Texas.  What an experience this must have been to participate in! Starbucks is not known for running internet or television ad-campaigns. What it does do, and what makes this three-day event successful, is to mobilize its employees to become “brand evangelists”, the very sales force assisting caffeine-hungry customers on a daily basis, “the true ambassadors of our brand, the real merchants of romance and theater, and as such the primary catalysts for delighting customers”, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz wrote in his book, “Onward”.  Howard Schultz is literally marinating his team in a € 28 million (US$ 35 million) three-day event, motivating his store managers and baristas to drink in the Starbucks Coffee state of mind while fully impacting them with the company culture.

1. Creating a compelling company culture

I particularly like the evangelization campaign Howard Schultz is putting his personnel through, knowing that a well motivated group of managers will be much more eager to unleash this power and pass on this freshly acquired caffeine culture to their teams, and then to their customers.  One of the important keys to company culture is to convert employees and make them sincerely believe that their mission is a positive and rewarding one; the intrinsic feeling that they are genuinely needed, appreciated, wanted and cared for. Positive company culture unleashes the motivational and creative power of its people while granting them the purpose, the vision and the energy to bring passion and motivation to their daily work.

2. Employee engagement and creativity

In order to promote employee engagement and creativity, Angelo Fernando recommends hiring misfits and troublemakers, people who will purposely avoid doing things the way a company has always done them and who will tend to get “under your skin”.  Professor Robert Sutton adds: “In order to foster creativity we should hire misfits, goad them to fight and pay them to defy convention and undermine the prevailing culture.”  This ought to create healthy confrontations, shake the status-quo and bring in fresh and unconventional ideas to talk about and discuss.

 

Disruptive technologies give socially-minded enterprises the momentum to challenge the norms and search out cultural disruption and creativity. Those companies become employee-centric and create a company culture their co-workers want to identify with, believe in, but most importantly, represent and evangelize.

3. Turning your work force into brand evangelists

An evangelist is an individual who delivers something; a service-oriented person.  He or she could be, for example, the person delivering a Domino Pizza to your doorstep. Too many companies, however, forget the simple fact that the most likely people to represent a brand and carry out its message (i.e. culture) to the customers, is its own workforce.  If a genuine company culture does not exist, what should its work force then represent? What are the co-workers standing for? What should they believe in? What is their mission, purpose and how do they remain motivated? Doesn’t the Bible teach us about people perishing because of not having a vision?

4. Happy Customers and resulting company profit 

We all have been to Starbucks. They brand our drinks with names their staff have been “smoothly” teaching us over the years as we patiently wait in line for our order. Going to one of their café’s is a bit of a ceremony, a coffee ritual connected to a willing sacrifice, providing us with the drink of our liking within the shortest time possible; a delightful way to start or finish the day depending on our coffee drinking habits!  The results? Howard Schultz’ company profit must be more than acceptable to allow his Group to invest in a 3-days € 28 million (US$ 35 million) event.  Well done Starbucks!  Carry on with the coffee flame and we will keep on sponsoring your services and products!

What are the creative (and possibly disruptive) ways your company incorporates in order to foster creativity, promote company culture and motivate personnel? We are certainly looking forward to your comments.

Follow Bruno Gebarski on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrunoGebarski@brunogebarski or on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brunogebarski

Understanding the 4 Fundamentals of a Social Business: Enterprise 2.0

Holistic management practices are a core component to Business Process Management (BPM). Holistic management promotes the alignment of all aspects of an organization with the wants and needs of its people and customers. In my opinion, the Wikipedia word “client” ought to be replaced with “co-workers” or “people”.  Holistic leadership should provide effectiveness, efficiency, innovation, flexibility and integration with technology, thus differentiating itself from the more traditional hierarchical management style.

I remember the Salesforce.com presentation I attended in Hamburg a few months ago. Salesforce showcased all their newest acquisitions and the customer-experience improvements it would bring, if companies would just be willing to transform their unconnected and unsocial CRM into a more connected and Social CRM (SCRM) infrastructure. Salesforce has adeptly adorned itself with a buffet of social attributes, transforming itself into a model Social CRM “software” trendsetter pursued and emulated by IBM and Oracle to name just a few.

 

In his excellent article “Employee Engagement and Control Don’t Mix”, Jamie Notter (@jamienotter) reminds us that hierarchical control can not and will not promote employee’s engagement. An employee’s commitment should be addressed as the most strategic channel of collaboration, contribution, promotion and distribution, influencing all areas within an organization. In his December 2011 article “Collaboration Is a Strategic Initiative” Kaijus Asteljoki (@KaijusAsteljoki) sums it up perfectly: To get collaboration right you need to do much more than just implement an IT solution such as an enterprise wide document sharing platform, instant messaging solution or business video environment...

Often marketers, technologists and IT-leaders forget the main component of an effective holistic leadership campaign. The fundamental key ingredient necessary for the successful roll-out and implementation of a technological project is the “buy in” of its people. The best of all tools could be thrown at the feet of any workforce with the highest holistic intentions, hopes and expectations but will be to no avail if the people (you and I) refuse to use it.  And here we are at the foundation of how it all starts; it starts with people and certainly not the technology. I refuse to implement content marketing and social media solutions if a client is not willing to first develop a company culture and learn to care for its employees! So let’s review the four necessary steps before considering rolling out any enterprise social technologies.

1. People

People are at the core of any enterprise architecture. They create the dynamics and are the true brand ambassadors representing and communicating the vision, mission and goals accompanying the company culture engraved in their heart! They are the Googlers and Zapposians employees proud to identify with their company’s vision and dreams.  They collaborate with each other, communicate and transport this message to their colleagues and customers on a daily basis. The sky is the limit for such companies having taken the time to develop a real company culture among their workforce.

2. Processes

It is much easier to establish processes, codes of conduct and ratify social media strategies once a company has identified its community leaders and empowered them with the enterprise culture, vision, and corporate goals. The physical act of creating processes should naturally derive from a peer collaboration-type of family spirit. It should facilitate the necessary ratifying of company codes of conduct and protocols. Document sharing should become the norm; “one-to-many” (email and telephone) will be replaced by “many-to-many” communication platforms thanks to enterprise social tools.

3. Information and Knowledge Management (KM)

Once the company social stars have been discovered and the process improvements identified, it should become easier to converse, remove silos and bridge departments fostering a genuine spirit of collaboration for ongoing context-based information sharing.

4. Technology

Last but not least, the technology choices. It is now time to identify the necessary tools and devices which will assist people, processes and information sharing. A vast array of technology is available: unified communications such as VoIP, text, instant messaging/chat, IP PBX, video-conferencing, screen sharing, BYOD and mobile integration are only a small part of what is technically possible. Having already identified the “People”, “Processes” and “Information”, it will be much easier for community leaders to choose and implement the appropriate technological tools to assist its people, the processes and information sharing.

Are you developing your company culture? Where are you on your journey to becoming a social enterprise 2.0? Give us your thoughts and we will include them in upcoming social business strategy articles.

Follow Bruno Gebarski on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrunoGebarski @brunogebarski or on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brunogebarski

Humility, a Core Ingredient For Moving From Hierarchy To Social Business Enterprise 2.0 Leadership (Part 2)

“Too many leaders willingly prefer “average” results they themselves achieve on their own or with their “preferred” group of people than to genuinely search and source out talents they might not feel emotionally attracted to! Their own insecurity, fear and grip on authority forbids them to try new ways and involve members and hidden leaders they feel awkward and uneasy dealing with”.

I have seen this pattern over and over with the various jobs I have held over the decades, including certain personalities that “buttered-up” to the company leader, and were thus rewarded with responsibilities that they were not really competent to handle. And in the end it caused the work that the leader was doing to become less effective, and even less respected by the other co-workers. That factor of not being emotionally attracted to competent and talented people, even if you might not “click” with them, can be a real challenge for any leader to overcome. Those traditional leaders are the hierarchical-types, for the most part in a direct line of authority “above us”; those are the ones who have the final word in what we may or may not do or say.

The great leaders are the ones who humbly inspire us, who compel us to do arduous tasks almost avoiding a direct request. They lead, not with a plan or a to-do list, but with an inner purpose, a conviction and a set of charismatic beliefs written all over their face which are consequently implemented by their actions! These are the women and men who touch our hearts with their inner vision, who help us understand the purpose and conviction behind their beliefs, and who inevitably assist us to build and develop our own set of convictions. They boldly motivate us to tackle impossible tasks while assisting us to deliver above and beyond.

Dr. Martin Luther King did not give a “to-do list”. He did not say “I have a plan” did he? Without emails, letters or pamphlets he managed to rally 250,000 people who travelled at length in order to listen while identifying with Dr. King’s famous “I have a dream” speech.

The leading companies are those who make some of us get up in the middle of the night and wait until the wee hours of the morning in order to get our hands on those brand new iPods, iPads or iPhones. These are the visionaries and trend setters shaking product status-quo and delivering beyond excellence, backed up by co-workers and products fulfilling our desires, needs and emotionally convincing us to join their cause, to buy their product and sponsor their vision.

A humble leader is the one who allows his team to rock the boat, and challenge the norms and the established expectations. The voices of the company misfits and annoyingly outspoken should be drawn out and listened to in order to search for better, smarter and more efficient ways to do things. An inspiring leader does not handle disagreements as a threat to his authority or as a potential conflict, but as an enriching experience allowing his community to search and aim for higher goals, achievements, results and consequently company profits.

In “Why Hiring People Who Annoy You Helps You Innovate”, Douglas Merrill reminds us that 66% of companies on the Fortune 100 list in 1990 are not on the list some twenty-odd years later! Douglas says hire people who annoy you. As long as you’re ensuring they are smart, the people who annoy you represent the diversity you and your company require”. Too many leaders unfortunately prefer yes-men/yes-women, the “cultural-fit” type of manager because they are so much easier to deal with. Those leaders however do not have the self-confidence and character to deal with the crazy, misfits, rebels and troublemakers; the round pegs in the square holes!

The team members who could become your most loyal co-workers and help you innovate, are not like a leading product development manager engineer I once heard saying: “the development of product-x is herewith finished”! Could you imagine for a moment Apple or Samsung saying this about their iPhone or Galaxy product-line?

The real leader espouses two leadership attributes: “determination to create results and humility. He shifts the focus away from himself and continuously recognizes the contribution of others”. He is also the leader who accepts another respectfully standing up to him.  He promotes a “thinking” mentality among his team members, and respects the intelligence of his co-workers. The “shovel and shut-up” approach to personnel employment will never lead to long-term achievement and innovation; it is not a motivating factor compelling people to enthusiastically rally for a cause and a common purpose!  How many times have you heard people say “well I should say something but why bother, they won’t listen anyway”!

Hearing a leader saying the following words is unfortunately rare: “You are right”! What a shame, because it could transform communication and conversation to a different level and wipe away anxiety! We all know what anxiety is when in the core of our being we believe and know there is a better way but the company, church or association just won’t listen. They blindly leave us on the “imbecility back burner” track, failing to see that others in the team or community also have visions, beliefs, aspirations, hidden talents and ideas worth listening to! They utterly under-estimate the fact that so much creative power, momentum, innovation and motivation is being tread upon, quenched and emotionally “kicked in the chin”! If those leaders would just listen, and at least consider unleashing this power, channeling those ideas, nurturing these dreams, it could very well mean the very survival of an organisation down the line!

In part three we shall look at concrete ways to carry out a humble leadership-style among company leaders but in the meanwhile I wish you a relaxing Sunday.

Humility a Core Ingredient For Moving from Hierarchy To Social Business Enterprise 2.0 Leaderhip (Part 1)

In a Dreamforce keynote Marc Benioff (CEO of Salesforce.com) and Sir Richard Branson discuss, among other things, the concept of business. Sir Richard rightly insists upon the richness of the human element and the family spirit a business automatically creates. According to Sir Richard, letting employees go should only be considered in an extreme case, when a situation clearly becomes counter-productive to a company’s goals and purposes.
 
 
Treating people well is one of the keys to a 2.0 Enterprise philosophy. But regrettably too many companies, churches and associations rely on traditional hierarchy and do get things done within the traditional line of authority, while  ignoring talents, potential leaders and resources among their own people. They too often achieve mediocre and unsatisfactory results, which in turn trigger inconveniences, inadequacies and frustrations among its members, co-workers and partners. Much better results and savings could have been considered and probably achieved would those leaders have just been willing to  step  aside, listen and consider!
 
Humility is a trait many leaders are not acquainted with.  Many of them speak about it but few implement it in their own lives and responsibilities, preferring to rely on their own authority they themselves perceive as “skills and competencies”.  Often those leaders think of themselves as altruistically-minded but in reality they are completely oblivious to their naïve arrogance, ignorance and selfishness while remaining blind to the pool of talent they often have within their very own reach! In the meanwhile people in companies, associations and churches suffer and have to weather the storm of bad results attached to poor and inadequate decision making processes and leadership.
 
An incredible example of leadership humility is to be found in the Bible when God Himself had already decided to destroy ancient Israel because of idolatry: Exodus 32:8. Moses respectfully argued with God, daring to ask Him to turn away from His fierce wrath and repent of the evil He wanted to pour out upon His people! The result? God changed His mind and did repent of the evil, which He thought to bring upon His people: Exodus 32:14. The Creator of the Universe humbled Himself in front of His very own creation (Moses) and changed His mind while listening to one of “His employees”! What an amazing trait of humility and gentleness despite the fact that an idolatrous crowd was behaving contrary to what had previously been agreed upon.
 
Too many leaders willingly prefer “average” results they themselves achieve on their own or with their “preferred” group of people than to genuinely search and source out talents they might not feel emotionally attracted to! Their own insecurity, fear and grip on authority forbids them to try new ways and involve members and hidden leaders they feel awkward and uneasy dealing with. They willingly or unwillingly refuse to forsake their own personal leadership comfort-zone!  
 
I once had a fabulous mentor, teacher and leader, who in his old age would not let go; he did not train and surround himself with potential next-generation leaders. With loving intention, he nonetheless passively refused to secure the future of his own responsibilities and insisted on “holding the reins” until his death, leaving behind a chaotic vacuum.
 
Often seniority can gently corrupt. Leaders mean well but their views of themselves can become distorted because of rank, power to make decisions, and authority. It creeps upon them unaware while they earnestly and genuinely strive to remain humble; meanwhile they claim and defend their competency and experience because of their seniority while remaining unaware of their inadequacies and shortcomings.  
 
Even good leaders can nonetheless remain selfish by not training and equipping the younger generation with the skills and wisdom they possess. Because of their notorious lack of patience, busy schedule, responsibilities and seniority they do not allow for appropriate training in order to equip and prepare the future generation, often jeopardizing an organisation’s future and its “family” members’ well-being. Similarly, where someone in authority fails to recognize the talents within the team, this unawareness motivates them to carry on with “business as usual”: after all “they have always done it this way”! What a waste of talent!
 
Are you a humble leader, passing on your skills to the younger ones?  Are you intimidated by the strengths and talents of someone in your team or do you openly seek to unearth them?
Let us know how you are proceeding; we would love to hear from you!

Get Real: Earn Every Follower You Have on Twitter: Earn Each and Every One of Them

I am still new to twitter with roughly 3200 followers and still learning to appreciate each and every single one of them! I block “riff-raff”, permissive stuff but particularly followers offering so many followers for a couple of dollars! Ladies and Gentlemen, I do not care what it takes to get followers on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook: JUST DO NOT DO IT!
I remember not too long ago Jon Jantsch @ducttape doing an experiment with the purchase of “fake followers” and having finally to manually un-follow every single one of them: Please do not sell your valuable name for a couple of dollars, it is absolutely not worth it!

I went through a short stretch where I was tempted: I admit it I was, considering the amount of followers some companies or accounts have, I was considering “taking short cuts” but I did not! I refused to do it the easy way: because each and every one of your followers has to be earned! Yes you are reading it right: every one of them has to be earned!

Imagine if suddenly you came to my account and saw 10.000 followers knowing that I am usually worth 3.000? What would you think: “for him -@brunogebarski- I am just a number”, he wants numbers not quality and I would most probably end up trading quality for quantity! I have fabulous mentors following me, and I started an excel table of my favorite ones. Depending on your interest, passion and priority lookup for specific twitter accounts and promote them! Please do yourself a favor and do promote others, do not worry about your count or how little followers you have: it takes time and effort for a twitter-stream to become a twitte-river don’t you think?

I tweet about Social Business: E20, content & social Marketing, Cloud computing, Social Media Strategy, and BYOD; there are plenty of fabulous people out there: use the proper tools to spot them! It is not difficult: spot the hash tags and look up Dan Zarella’s tool: tweetcharts.com: it is a fabulous tool and it will get you up and running on what is happening on Twitter: Twitter is an extraordinary tool, use it wisely and appreciate the people you meet: avoid the rubbish and I really mean it: you will meet lots of rubbish, but concentrate on the 5% out there worth getting to know! Some of them are writers and contributors to fabulous magazines such as Forbes: I can only think of Meghan M. Biro: @meghanMBiro or Mark Fidelman: @markfidelman to name just a few! David F Carr @davidfcarr is a writer who brings a tremendous contribution to the topic of Enterprise 2.0 as well as Dion Hinchcliffe: @dhinchcliffe. Find out what topic you are interested in and locate your mentors and the leaders you can learn from and start promoting them: do not worry about yourself and apply the biblical principle: do unto others as you would love people to do unto you! This is one of the fundamental of “crowd sourcing” and learning humility because as the bible rightly states: before honour there is humility!

Be humble and earn one tweet at a time every one of your followers by bringing a valuable contribution to the Twitter forum and not by taking short cuts and purchasing fake followers for a couple of dollars: remember your name is so much more worth than 10 or 20 US$