Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Inside #the5 Tuesday - thorough

Good morning, let's go inside #the today and see what we can glean from the links

2011 Business Book Club  @ takes the book group up a notch! let's use some books, see if they work
I have signed up for the Human Business Works newsletter (you saw a full copy of a recent issue here last week). Chris Brogan, a good buddy of mine, will be using the newsletter and community it comprises to take the book club to the next level. Some of the books will be parceled out for folks to actually try some of the advice and report back on how well it does or doesn't work. Cool!

Michelle Obama Might Have It Wrong on Childhood Obesity  me: definitely focus on the parents on this 
Single focus on a complex problem? Sometimes it works if the problem has been simplified (i.e. reduced to its likely cause). If it hasn't then there is an opportunity as Lisa lets us know about here. A study has already been done that apparently shows it to be more cost effective to target the parents to tackle obesity. Food for thought (no pun intended!).

Buy The Gift of Education For a Charity This Season  me: now that's an idea for the @ 
A good idea, combine a charitable contribution and really help a non-profit by allowing them to take part in the 501 Mission Place. I have joined this but haven't had time (yet) to get into the forums and see what's happening for myself. I will be making time for this. The opportunity is too good to miss.

Is Trust Trending?  "a new willingness to take seriously some complex issues of trust" 
If it is, this is a good thing. We need more respectful and trusting relationships. Period!

Career Poll: What Single Job Search Change Tends to Help Most?  "the best way to preserve YOUR leverage" 
Interesting survey results with even better insights from Matt Youngquist. Recognize your value, take the time to think it through. Be open to discuss it with the company. If they truly want you, you'll have started a good relationship in a good way.

What one word can summarize today? 'Think it through' I think is the phrase. Let's reduce it to "thorough"

What would you summarize the word for today as?

What have you learned that you can share?

Mastering story telling

After posting insights to #the5 yesterday, I followed another link and found this well worth watching and sharing:

Thanks to Charles Green for the tip to this link

Monday, November 29, 2010

Inside #the5 Monday - adjacent possible

Good morning, time to go inside #the5

20+ Free Nonprofit Webinars for December 2010  me: free is great for a good start to ROI! 
Yes, indeed free is a great start to a good ROI. With 20 plus webinars to choose from, one or more will fit your need.

Why Facebook is more important than your house  "the cost of switching to something else will be too high" 
The cost of switching is a factor to be considered. For a switch to be considered, the switch much present some compelling arguments. Gowalla seems to be a good location service, but very few folks are there. Hence Foursquare is leading this game.

Awareness and Bridging  me: this sounds like the 'adjacent possible' from @ 
Only when awareness is present can you begin to make a bridge to bring about a change or some action. One of the major issues with Franklin is many folks are simply unaware of the issues facing the Town. They commute to work, get their trash picked up, have their tax bill paid as part of the mortgage escrow process, and likely have no kids. Unless they travel and require a passport, there is very little regular interaction with the Town for services. If they have kids, they should be aware but then they also need to be aware that some information they may be obtaining from their neighbors or other parents at their kids activities may be incorrect or incomplete.

What Does Technology Want? - Radiolab  via @ me: more on the 'adjacent possible' 
If you haven't heard of the 'adjacent possible', this 25 minute audio will help to present the idea in a good way.

Feelings first  "being grammatical and logical in one's communication is woefully inadequate" 
One way I know I need to work on is to make my writing more emotional, hitting some better cords. I tend to be too logical appealing to reason when emotions can dominant or color the reason. A tough line to walk. I won't roll in the mud to make a point.

What will you learn and share today?

Improving work by avoiding m&m's

How can you improve the workplace so work can actually get done. Jason Fried has some suggestions:

What do you think about these ideas?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Beef Stew

One of the best parts about doing a beef stew in the bag is the no fuss, no mess clean up.

I don't mind cooking as I do like to eat well. I don't mind clean up but some meals can certainly be messier than others.

This one is easy to put together. About 15 minutes to prepare the potatoes, carrots, onion and other ingredients for the bag. Then about 90 minutes to cook. About 5 minutes to rest before opening the bag and enjoying a good tasting meal.

What is one of your easy to cook meals? Please share.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

How Do You Grow - from Chris Brogan

human business works update


How Do You Grow?

Hi Steve --

Last week, I was asked how I have managed to grow my businesses, and I thought that might be a useful topic for this newsletter. The thing is, I had a lot of thoughts on my mind, and didn't want to write you a super long email. So, I recorded an audio for you.

In it, I share with you my thoughts on which type of person helps you grow, about how I set about finding the right type of people to partner with, and through my own experiences, I tell you about how building a strong and useful network was the core to this.

It's just a conversation between you and me, but hopefully, it'll help you understand some of what goes into growth.

The recording is HERE. It's about 10 minutes or less, and it's an MP3 file. If you want to download it to your computer, or drag it to your iPod or whatever, just right click (or control click on a Mac) and do "save as."

I hope that helps. If you have other questions after that, just let me know, and I'll gladly help. Hit reply to the email and ask away. Good?

A Holiday Season Request

In the US, we're about to celebrate Thanksgiving. Elsewhere, it's just November something-or-other. In either case, we're getting into a season where we think more about giving than most other times in the year.

One charity I support and love is Skip1. The premise is simple: "skip a handbag, feed hungry children." You go to the site and then just donate some money instead of purchasing something. Make sense? So, instead of buying an extra DVD for yourself this week, give that $20 to feed a half dozen kids.

As you're thinking of going out to Black Friday or buying on Cyber Monday, please consider Skipping $20 - 30 of the money you'll save on that new flat screen TV, and feeding hungry kids. It just feels darned good to do so.

http://skip1.org is the place. Swing by. I'll be there. And thanks!

Small Business Series

In the coming weeks, I'm lining up more and more resources for small businesses. Over at 501 Mission Place, I got Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith (authors of the Dragonfly Effect) to talk about how nonprofits can improve their campaigns. Here, in the newsletter, as we gear up to launch Kitchen Table Companies, you'll get some great stuff from various people on the topic of business finance, on the topic of growth, on the topic of marketing and marketing tools, and on the topics of leadership and management with heart.

If you think this might appeal to some others, please consider forwarding this to a friend. 


I love our time together. I'm grateful for any ideas you give me. If you want me to cover other topics, just reply and let me know.


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Friday, November 26, 2010

National Day of Listening

StoryCorp's National Day of Listening is today.

If you are out and about shopping, listen to what is going on around you. Identify someone you would want to interview, even for a few minutes. Make their day better!

If you are with family, this is a good time to find out what happened in the 'old days', how they did it when they were growing up, etc.

The Story Corp publishes a free guide to this listening project with great tips on how to do the interview:

  • Listen closely. Look your storyteller in the eyes. Smile. Stay engaged.
  • Stick with the good stuff. Try to keep to the topics that move you. If the current topic isn’t what you wanted to put on tape, gently steer the conversation in another direction.
  • Ask emotional questions. Asking “How does this make you feel?” often elicits interesting responses. Don’t be afraid to ask.
  • Respect your subject. If there is a topic that your interview partner doesn’t want to talk about, respect his or her wishes and move on.
  • Take notes during the interview. Write down questions or stories you might want to return to later.
  • Be curious and honest, and keep an open heart. Great things will happen.

Who will you listen to today?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Thanksgiving Tradition

One of our family traditions on Thanksgiving is to listen to this on our way to the family gathering.

If you're traveling, drive safely.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Thanks to WriterJax for the link to the video

This was also crossposted to Franklin Matters

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Inside #the5 Wednesday - chance

Use of the internet in higher-income households  me: no real surprise here, those with more have more 
The interesting thing about this report is that the data came from three other collections and note one specifically for this topic. This shows a good re-use of data in the warehouse. What else can you do with the data in yours?

"changing the world through expressing gratitude"  launches again – with an epic message!  
An appropriate topic as we get into Thanksgiving. There is so much I have to be thankful for.

10 Reasons Why People Follow On Twitter  me: a good summary, with job search focus 
You are only as good as your network. Who knows what your skills and talents are? How do they know?

"We used to be bound by geography and circumstance" The Personal ROI of Social Media  
Yes, we used to be bound by geography. With Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media tools, those days are gone. You can more easily find people who you would want to be with, who share common interests, who can help you!

"go above and beyond, and to give someone a chance"  a new series to share good stories 
Once upon a time, one of my groups had an ABCD award. To recognize going Above and Beyond the Call of Duty. Do you have one? Maybe you should?

What can you share today?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Inside #the5 Monday

Good morning, time to provide some insights to #the5 for today

And before we get into #the5, for those who may not be aware of what #the5 is Christopher S Penn started this earlier this year (actually Dec 2009) when he wrote this. I have long been sharing items like this (recall the Hitchhiker's Guide now in hibernation). The same idea has now adapted to use Twitter. Thanks Chris!

As I like to add value to what I do, I started Twitter Bingo. Do #the5, then at the end of the day, see who else has come up with the same item. Or as a recent add to this, see who has retweeted it which is almost the same thing.

Sharing, making new connections, this is life long learning!

So here we go:

How To Win Friends And Influence People (On Twitter) the next podcast from @ 
One of my drive time regular podcasts is Mitch Joel's Twist Image. I will admit to skipping the ones with Joseph Jaffe (after the first couple, there was nothing new in their discussion) but all his others are excellent.

Perception is reality  dressing for success on a tight budget for the job search  
A real nice combination, dressing for success, a non-profit helping to foster this in Orange County, CA and an opportunity for some one (like you, maybe!) to replicate this for your area.

The Best Movie You Haven't Heard Of: Inside Job hmm, why is this so? 
Since the recession is the real news story that has bee unending, this movie is now on the 'must see' listing.

In Appreciation Of... Appreciation  "looking at the literal world in a positive way"   thx 2 @
This is more goodness from my SOBCon friend, Terry Starbucker.

Making The Most Of My Drive Time  thoughts on running out of time from @ 
Tim Milburn shares his thoughts on making the most of his drive time. Which brings up back around to driving, being effective and efficient.

What can you share today?

What makes the right way, right?

I like the idea that Jeff Jarvis raises here when he writes:

A group of Danish academics say we are passing through the other side of what they wonderfully call the Gutenberg Parenthesis, leaving the structured, serial, permanent, authored, controlled era of text and returning, perhaps, to what came before the press: a time when communication and content cross, when process dominates product, when knowledge is distributed by people passing it around, when we remix it along the way, when we are more oral and aural.
That’s what makes me think that RFB&D’s clients may end up with a leg up. They understand better than the textually oriented among us how to learn through hearing. Rather than being seen as the people who need extra help, perhaps they will be in the position to give the rest of us help.
This brings me back to the Fire Circle Story

What do you think about this?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Finally, maybe, we can say goodbye to the woodpecker

Yes, the pin wheels seem to be working.

Pin wheels, what are they doing on the side of the house?

Keeping the woodpecker away!

You can see my prior attempts to fill in his holes didn't prevent him from returning. The sheet of plastic kelt him away from that section and enticed him to go higher.

The pin wheels went up last weekend. I filled in all the holes and inspection this morning in good light shows no sign of any new holes.

We also haven't heard him but since we're both working, we would only hear him on the weekend. So far so good!

One on the other end of the house seems to be doing the trick there too!

Friday, November 19, 2010

inside #the5 Friday - realization

good morning, time for  - "characters have to figure it out for themselves" 5 Rules of Young Adult Fiction 
Good message in this quote for me today. Struggling with getting a group to see something so obvious you wonder why they can't see it. They can't because of their blinders for one. They can't because they don't want to listen to someone they are discounting automatically for two. So I could continue to beat my head on the wall and it would do no good. The other path is to create "the show" rather than "the tell". Therein lies a possibility.

To Yell or Not to Yell, That Is The Question (And 5 Things To Think About Before You Answer It)  
Yelling  and anger never really solves a problem. In fact, I usually find that it creates more of a problem. Digs you deeper into the hole that you are trying to get out of. Terry Starbucker has a good summary here on when it might be a good tool to use. It can not be a tool you use regularly or its value is lost.

How Real Are Your Social Media Contacts  Are You Leveraging Them To Move Your Job Search Forward?  
The #HireFriday hashtag on Twitter is moving to a new level of utilization of Twitter with this new tag, #HRChat. With this tag they are creating a chat session to provide real-time Q&A for the participants. If you are looking for work, or can help someone, this would be a good thing to watch and participate in.

Turning Internships into Jobs  "internships can lead to a full time position if" 
My daughter is currently working on her last co-op at Northeastern before graduating next May. This is one thing she is looking at seriously. Since she already has a good working experience with this company, can she leverage it to move to a permanent position after graduation. I know she will be successful. The only question I have is where it will be a good fit for her. Sounds like this one is a great one to start with. And given the giganomics trend, start here, who knows where it will take you.

The Great Faith Revival  "Faith in the future embraces potential and shines a light"  from @
Faith in yourself is a great place to start. If you don't have that, your job search is so much more difficult. You have to deal with the little voices, the doubts, the questions... I love Jason's quote which I include here. There is light in the future. There is hope in the future. Starting with that faith, you can do what you want.

How Connecting Your LinkedIn Contacts Builds Social Influence  me: creating value 4 your connections - bonus 
The bonus for Friday to close out this week. Some good advice laying out a step by step process to help you connect your contacts with each other so they can get the help they need and you can build or reinforce your value add.

So is there a theme to connect #the5 today? I think so. Without stretching too much, we can work backward from the bonus where we were connecting the dots; to start with faith in yourself and your future, to understand how to use what is around you (internship or HRChat) to help make connections and find a good opportunity to use the tools you have when appropriate (i.e. yelling as one tool of many) to finally setting up an environment where someone will come to the realization on their own without having to be told. If we can do that, we will be successful.

One final quote, one of my favorites to summarize this all:
"There are only two things of importance. One is the customer, and the other is the product. If you take care of customers, they come back. If you take care of your product, it doesn't come back. It's just that simple. And it's just that difficult." -- Stanley Marcus

What can you share today?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Insights from #the5 - Thursday - priority

good morning, time for ! Be aware of 'sidejacking' when using free wifi - Wi-Fi Warning 
I did pick up on 'sidejacking' last week but finally got around to sharing about this here. I don't do much in free wifi but this will be something to look out for when I do.

Editing your Google Docs on the go  me: indeed, I can hardly wait to try this on my Droid.
Working behind a firewall presents a challenge. Granted in the 8 hours working, I shouldn't be doing anything outside the firewall anyway, and that is true. There are occasions (breaks, lunch) when it would be nice to do something quick to get it off the listing and save time home for other priorities. Maybe with the phone becoming more 'powerful' in this way, I can try. How practical the editing will be is what I am interested in. If it takes me longer to do it on the phone than on a desktop, won't be much use except for those real emergency times.

great news from Lynn, MA: The Food Project Will Be Staying at the Ingalls School  -  truth beats lies yea, yea!
The garden in Lynn apparently will remain in place, final negotiations still must be completed but the lies of the opposition seemed to have been turned back. A good example of what I was advocating to the School Committee and Town Council the past two evenings. If they don't start the conversation, the void will be filled in by others and it maybe hard to turn the tide in the right way.

Professional Video Tips that Won’t Break the Bank , keep getting the urge to go video, maybe someday soon
I am very comfortable with audio podcasts for Franklin Matters. I would like to go video to help get the possible extra reach that can provide but... the time and learning curve is a factor. I don't have much time to play these days. The fact that I am comfortable is also urging me to move from the comfort zone. So the internal debate continues. Stay tuned!

What Is Brave New Talent?  "a workforce with the right skills they need for the new world of work"  
A favorite topic of mine, life long learning is what really needs to become the practice, the way. You can't just graduate and expect that to be the last time you open a book. Don't work that way, maybe never did but it is more so now.

How I Prioritize  a bonus  (if I counted right 2day) from @ - good short video "eyes on the prize"
Good buddy, Chris Brogan has a good short video showing how he sets up his office (workspace) with visual aids to keep his eyes on the prize. The video clip is sharable so you won't need to follow the link to view it. Stay here and enjoy!

What can you share?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Inside #the5 Wednesday - listen

Good morning, time for #the5

first thing I need to do is slow down and check my typing to avoid mistakes on Twitter. Made one last night and another this morning. Not good!

Online Fundraising Lessons From Campaign 2010  you can learn from other's lessons 
I took a couple of minutes to make three recommendations to the School Committee last evening, they don't receive comments well although they claim to be open. I'll have the link up when the video on demand is ready. You'll be able to watch for yourself and see how welcoming they are. The longer version of my comments can be found in the Franklin Matters Weekly podcast

From Farm to Table (Without Leaving the Farm)  me: - a great idea, maybe next year @ 
This is not the season for this idea yet it should be early enough to start planning for something like this next year. To foster locally grown food, holding a big raiser on a farm with the local produce featured in the meal cooked by a celebrity chef. That should be a good challenge and great event (as long as the weather holds for the time period selected).

Big Ideas for Associations Navigating the Social Web  for those willing to listen, good ideas 
For those willing to listen and learn, there are opportunities for change and doing things different. Hint, hint!

Not a Joke: McDonald's, KFC, and Pepsi to Draft UK Health Policy  hmm, sounds like fox in hen house? 
Gee this doesn't sound too good, anyone hear of conflict of interest?

"Be creative when the job calls for it." How UnMarketing Can Help You Find A Job  
I think execution is more important than creativity. If you spend a lot of time being creative and get nothing done, that won't help the cause. Spend more time executing and bring creativity in as necessary to solve the BHAG problems and set yourself up as distinct!

What can you share today?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

morning shadows

Winter in New England, the sun is lower on the horizon as it is further away from us. The morning shadows cast can stretch long across the lawn. The shadows pose multiple questions for me. I don't have the answers. Well, I do have 'an' answer. Is it the right one? I don't know. Your answer may be better for you than for someone else. So let's discuss the answers to these questions.

How far does your shadow stretch?

What is your reach? Is it within your skills to handle that reach?

Do you help some of your network friends make the connection?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Southern New England Media Makers - Nov 21

Get inspired!

Meet Interesting People:

If you are interested in meeting people who are working with audio and video on the web, this is a great meeting to attend. We will have podcasters, videobloggers, filmmakers, artists, writers, PR, marketing and Social Media people.
Everyone is welcome. Bring a friend.

We will gather around the table and answer the question, “What are you doing?” or, Do you have a question concerning "New Media". It's fun and the breakfast is great! Connect with people with the same interests you have.

Spread the buzz:
If you’re attending (or even if you can’t), be sure to use the Twitter hashtag #SNEMM and link to our Twitter page.

You can register (for free) on Eventbrite   http://snemm.eventbrite.com/