19 08 2015
I was a journalist back in the 90s. At that moment, social media was not there yet. LinkedIn was launched in 2003, Facebook saw daylight in 2004, and Twitter was born in 2006. Because of social media, there’s no central authority in the press anymore. That decentralization becomes common: everybody can become important at once when the message is good.
Social media has a huge impact on our lives. But some people are still resistant. Vote for or against social media after reading the 5 remarks below.
Oh, it’s so tempting to use buzzwords. They make you look smart and hip. They get you additional attention. Your meaningless sentences suddenly get more depth. But hardly ever do buzzwords add value to a text. Or to the point you’re making.
At a recent workshop on writing for the web, we received an interesting question from a participant: “should you (not) use buzzwords?” We came up with the following answer: when you write for a website, or any other piece of content that is fairly static and that does not instigate much interactivity, it’s best to stay away from buzzwords. When you’re blogging or tweeting, it may be OK to use buzzwords to quickly draw attention.
15 06 2015
There is a huge misunderstanding in the way most people treat vulnerability. More specifically, there is a problem with how people show their own vulnerability. While many believe this is seen as a sign of weakness, I consider a balanced demonstration of strengths and weaknesses an indication of self-knowledge, self-confidence and true value.
Often I see people looking for shelter behind their laptop, or, even worse, behind their own back when giving presentations to prospective customers. They are looking at their screen or at the whiteboard most of the time, grasping hold on the content of their slides. Next to clearly showing their uncertainty, they miss out important, non-verbal feedback from their audience.
27 05 2015
We’ve heard it all before: storytelling is the way forward and so we all blog, tweet, and share like crazy. The result: there’s so much information and communication going on that our attention span has decreased to 8 seconds (less than a goldfish) and great stories simply don’t reach their audience anymore. It’s no different when it comes to communicating internally.
23 10 2014
Offshore development, we need it, but is it worth the pain?
When doing IT projects, the use of people in various locations across the world has become common practice for a number of reasons:
- Cost savings: this is often the main reason to look for team members in different regions where the people cost is lower. Doing certain tasks or even the majority of the work abroad helps you keep the budget under control.
- Scalability: sometimes there are just not enough people available locally and your team needs to be extended.
In Belgium we used to hear stories about blackouts in other parts of the world, e.g. in India in 2012, in California in the early 2000s, and in regions with extreme cold conditions. Here, however, we did not experience any big problems with the power supply in the past, except for the problem on November 4 2006. An incident in Germany had a domino effect on the whole of Europe. I remember this incident, as I happen to live in a city in a ‘rural area’ where the power was switched off as a preventative measure.
There are a lot of interpretations and definitions of change management. If you ask 10 people to describe what change management actually is, you will probably get 11 different answers. In the world of IT, change management is often defined as the management of change requests during a system implementation project. A lean expert, however, would situate his definition more in a context of process improvement. In our view, change management is none of the above and at the same time all of it.
25 03 2013
Do you remember the times when communication was either done face-to-face, by phone or by paper mail? When written communication only took place after thorough reflection and consideration? When students left on an international exchange program or friends expatriated and we didn’t hear from them for weeks on end? When companies used to rely on unidirectional communication, pushing their news, assuming everyone wanted to read what they had to say?