owen at owengreaves dot com

Posts Tagged ‘Systems’

The Future Of Business – Self-Employment, The New JOB!

The Future Of Business – Self-Employment, The New JOB! A couple weeks ago I started a conversation on Twitter & FaceBook, I made the statement; There will not be enough jobs to fill the need of a growing population, how will we work?

A blog post from world renown Futurist Thomas Frey touched on the loss of 2 Billion jobs by 2030. His logic is sound and he does admit to not having time enough to provide solutions to his prophecy, but his argument has merit. Thomas provides lists of changes and which jobs they will effect, unfortunately he mostly talking about we will lose over how to solve the problem. Some jobs will be created through the dismantling of existing infrastructure, but they will be short-term free lance type contratcs. Not a bad thing just a perspective.

We are in for a world of hurt in so many areas, I’m not sure there are enough Futurists in the world to provide input on solutions. Given the fact we have a growing population, 7 Billion in 2011, it is predicted we will hit close to 9 Billion by 2025, depending on your source. Take your current unemployment rate and do the math out to 2025, it doesn’t really matter what the number is. The fact there is an unemployment rate or problem tells you we will never really achieve employment for all. The population growth is evidence enough we will have more unemployment. Why? I think we focus on the wrong business system, we are fighting hand over fist to keep and maintain our old Industrial age model. That way of doing business limits employment, everything has a cap, including salaries.

Our educational systems are changing, but ever so slowly, making course ware freely available is a baby step in the right direction though. I expect the school system to morph into a global virtual learning centre, where accreditation transfers well from country to country. This should open many doors for all, a doctor from India is still a doctor, no need for upgrading or telling respectful people they’re credentials don’t measure up. An Open & Free model with equal standards no matter where you are from. It sounds naive but smarter minds than myself have looked at this before and have done nothing to make it work (that’s speculation on my part).

So what is solution? If the numbers are true, world population is out growing the number of available jobs, teaching people to be useful self-employed members of any society seems plausible. That would make self-employment the new job. This should be the primary focus of educators to ensure the masses will be able to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. Continuing to force people to rely on a failing system, or systems, is not forward thinking, or acting in the best interest of mankind. Governments are still acting like King Richard, forcing the poor to pay more for something that wasn’t working. The Robin Hoods of the world, us here on the Internet are sharing our knowledge, we are even offering to help one another.

The numbers don’t lie, we need to embrace self-employment as a way of life. Waiting for an ailing business model to recover, repair itself, or be re-invented, is not good use of time and resources. It will be too late. But Self-employment alone won’t solve all our problems. If you are thinking of going down the self-employemnt track, there are some resources available in your communities. If you are not sure what type or kind of business to start, simply drive down main street and ask yourself what’s missing. Start there and expand on it, write a list of 40 ideas, but do something.

I know self-employment isn’t easy, it wasn’t meant to be, but it gives many a new way of providing for their families. Education and the likes of you & I helping each other, will make the world a better place.

The Future Of Business Is Self-employment.

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The Future Of Business – The Future Of Shopping With PayPal

Look at what PayPal is introducing in the future of shopping, when systems of this nature are implemented, over time, it’s usually impossible to go back to old ways of doing things. But it is fun to use new technologies and new ways of getting things done.

Hope you find this interesting, or at least eye opening, would you use PayPal’s new system?

Social Media & Blogs Are Broken

befuddledThe Internet is the new game changer in every possible way for business and individuals, it’s also a problem, because like the town you live in it brings out those looking to take advantage. Imagine a world with no law enforcement and I show you a day where everyone will try to take advantage, not to benefit others but to benefit themselves. It really isn’t much different than today, many don’t value human life the way we used too and we don’t help each other in the way that we should. We are self serving most of the time, we do things because there is something in it for us. Call me a cynic, but, human nature has proven time & time again we are predictable. We prove day in and day out there is good and evil, dumb & smart and there always has to be a winner and a loser.

The flattening of companies and now the world puts an old power in our hands, you & me!  Most of us aren’t equipped to handle this new old power, we will continue to take advantage of others with even more ease. Can we be trusted with this power? Probably not, all you have to do is look at the  history of mankind, how we consume everything in our path including people. We are doing the same thing with the Internet, with Social Media and Blogs, consuming and taking advantage.

The picture isn’t all black but it’s dark, I struggle as I’m sure you do with how the rules are being broken, how they are being changed. This new old power we have at our disposal is a double edged sword, it will work for us and against us.

One of the most disappointing and tiresome problems on the Internet today with Blogs and Social Media, is with the very thing we cherish the most, the content. There is a re-occurring problem that takes the joy out being a Blogger is, Social Media & Blogs are broken.

Social Media is forcing transparency, honesty and do the right thing mentality, this is good right? This by itself is extremely powerful and we will all feel the benefit, but there is a dark side too, some will manipulate and try to take advantage of this very power. Let’s take Blogs for a spin here, there are some incredibly talented people out there writing amazing content and truly have something of value to share with all of us. They write for hours a day, sculpting and carving a message that is meant just for you. You have been hunting for this content, but sometimes, you find it in the most unusual places. Then there are Blogs that don’t write one letter of original content, they claim to be a the best resource on the Internet and all they do is pilfer news sources that auto post to a these Blogs. In essence, gaming the business of Blogging.

The gaming of Social Media has the same issues, Twitter is a great network for connecting with like-minded individuals. You also will find the same links and content posted by millions over and over again, each one thinking they reported it first creating a wall of noise beyond anything you seen or heard before. Every Social Media Network has the same problem and I have to hear of a good solution to solving it. I realize I can’t do much about these problems by myself but I can speak against them and encourage you to do the right thing for you and your business. I to post links to information with the intent that it actually matters to you, not to be the first one to break the story and then watch 250 million others do the same, it defeats the purpose of having a Blog or using Social Media Networks the way they were intended.

I have found that the most common thing being delivered on the Internet is how to make money and get rich by using (buying) someones system, claiming to have done it, only to find out they don’t have a clue how to run a business. They are just doing what someone sold them to do, there are no short cuts my friends so be prepared to pay some kind of price no matter what you do. Don’t get me wrong, we all want to earn a living, but if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

A tip for you. There is a gap between knowing how to do the work of a business and knowing how to run a business. You may not be equipped to be both business owner (Entrepreneur) and the worker (technician), most aren’t.

My point is this, If you are serious about Blogging or being part of media, stop trying to be like mainstream media, report from your part of the world not everyone else’s world. Write about what’s happening to you and your interests. We already get bombarded by the same content over and over through normal news services. Gaming something rarely is a long lasting venture of success, you rarely get or sustain credibility by doing it. If you must use someone else’s work, ask them to help you, ask them to be a guest Blogger or get permission to use their material, have integrity and be known for it. Your original content, your voice, will eventually be heard because no one can write or deliver it the way you can. Whatever it is you are passionate about, do that, be that with all you can muster up to be it and let the quality and sound of your voice be the difference. Don’t set up systems that fail to present your personality and desire to help others. Only you can do that by participating first hand with your blood, sweat and tears. Let us know who you are and see the passion of your heart by being transparent, honest and real. We are waiting for you.

Are The Words "Social Media" Missing From Your Business Vocabulary?

business-group-standing-around-water-cooler.-thumb2042587This question has been nagging at me these past few weeks like I was being pecked to death by a chicken, could it be that these words are not computing with local business owners? It’s like your smallest child learning how to read an can’t pronounce a word, they end up creating a new word because they can’t say what they are reading. No it’s not a learning disability, it’s an understanding of what those words actually mean and how to use it in this new age and environment of marketing. It’s changed, or has it? Anytime you have the word ” Social ” attached to a phrase or sentence, people think less formal, beach party, BBQ or relaxing on the deck with friends. Yes, that is a form of being social and it is somewhat related to the term in business circles as well. The problem isn’t the word, it’s the thinking that is attached to the words, and small business owners can’t seem to break how they feel or think about the word. It’s not that they can’t, they just don’t know how and it’s embarrassing enough that they won’t ask for help on the topic for fear of looking stupid. I mean come on, it’s the words ” Social Media ” how could I not know what that means! So rather than find out, they think, let’s not go there and or I’ll avoid the conversation all together. Worse yet, I’ll ask my kids. Small to medium business, all business for that matter needs to educate themselves on the tidal wave before them and how to ride that wave without being wiped out.

In my corner of the world here in Western Canada, a very small group of people participate in the formal sense of the words social media. This group is comprised of mostly people from chat rooms or FaceBook and the like, not a many are business owners trying to add this environment into their marketing mix or even their support systems. I say this because I’ve been coming up against this lack of understanding everyday and this uncomfortable feeling when you try to share with them, to help them understand what it is or could be for their business. It’s like the words Social Media aren’t even in their vocabulary or business language, it’s completely missing, and if it is there, it’s a picture of people standing around a water cooler. So in light of that, I am posting the Wiki definition of Social Media here for all the world to see.


Social Media Definition

Social media is online content created by people using highly accessible and scalable publishing technologies. At its most basic sense, social media is a shift in how people discover, read and share news, information and content. It’s a fusion of sociology and technology, transforming monologues (one to many) into dialogues (many to many) and is the democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into publishers. Social media has become extremely popular because it allows people to connect in the online world to form relationships for personal, political and business use.

Distinction from Industrial Media

Social media are distinct from industrial media, such as newspapers, television, and film. While social media are relatively inexpensive and accessible tools that enable anyone (even private individuals) to publish or access information, industrial media generally require significant resources to publish information. Examples of industrial media issues include a printing press or a government-granted spectrum license.

“Industrial media” are commonly referred to as “traditional”, “broadcast” or “mass” media.

One characteristic shared by both social media and industrial media is the capability to reach small or large audiences; for example, either a blog post or a television show may reach zero people or millions of people. The properties that help describe the differences between social media and industrial media depend on the study. Some of these properties are:

1. Reach – both industrial and social media technologies provide scale and enable anyone to reach a global audience.

2. Accessibility – the means of production for industrial media are typically owned privately or by government; social media tools are generally available to anyone at little or no cost.

3. Usability – industrial media production typically requires specialized skills and training. Most social media do not, or in some cases reinvent skills, so anyone can operate the means of production.

4. Recency – the time lag between communications produced by industrial media can be long (days, weeks, or even months) compared to social media (which can be capable of virtually instantaneous responses; only the participants determine any delay in response). As industrial media are currently adopting social media tools, this feature may well not be distinctive anymore in some time.

5. Permanence – industrial media, once created, cannot be altered (once a magazine article is printed and distributed changes cannot be made to that same article) whereas social media can be altered almost instantaneously by comments or editing.

Community media constitute an interesting hybrid of industrial and social media. Though community-owned, some community radios, TV and newspapers are run by professionals and some by amateurs. They use both social and industrial media frameworks.

Here is the link from the above: Social Media Definition


The real issue isn’t what the words mean, it’s how a consultant or media firm explains them, provides a case study that reflects that a business can derive an ROI from Social Media. Thus, giving the term value and a new way of marketing and communicating with their customers, by building a deeper, richer relationship that builds a new kind of loyalty. More importantly it provides a forum where you the business owners actually cares about what your clientele think about your products and services. A place where you can give them and even better experience of dealing with you.

Another challenge for these words and business owner’s; there are people out there claiming to be knowledgeable and understand social media that just plain don’t. These individuals land high positions in large organizations, they get the position and then scramble around to figure out how to do the job when they have no business being there in the first place. A great rant on this topic is from my friend Olivier Blanchard of The Brand Builder, his video entitled, “Is your Social Media Director qualified?”, it articulates far better than I Olivier’s frustration and concern with these individuals in one short video. Take the time to view it.

As you can tell there is alot of work to be done, an educational track that needs to be articulated in a way that business owners can connect the dots, connect the words to a real opportunity and value they have not considered before. Each business owner needs to bone up and learn that the term Social Media is a new marketing environment but also a relationship they have avoided in the past. You can no longer avoid it because it is the new word of mouth, it can be your best friend or your worst enemy. You have to decide which it will be.

I.T. Decisions – Who Makes Them In Your Organization?

executives

How are I.T. Decisions made in your business or organization? Who makes those decisions? One of the challenges with non-technical upper management decision makers getting involved is, it’s usually about them wanting a particular toy or functionality. I.T. decisions are based on one or a select group of people because they are the bosses and get what they want or it’s in the name of getting something done. I have found that making technology decisions in that fashion usually cripples your ability to shift gears down the road, you end up implementing the wrong solution and you spend two to three times the dollars fixing the problem later. What you do today matters, do all you can to prevent it and do the painful work of finding a more rational solution if you can. Oh ya, whenever possible avoid database conversions as it will add to the scope of the project(s).

On your journey to make things easier for you, collect and database all business processes in your organization and weight them for measurement, then consult all subject matter experts in the organization to ensure by-in before you go off finding a solution. Remember, it’s not who wants it or what kind of technology that’s the issue, what’s paramount is knowing what your organization needs. Which means you have a good understanding of the company you work for and it’s systems.

Another thing to consider, what is the perceived value your business or organization has on Information Technology and the Systems it uses to organize data. If your new prospect or management team doesn’t understand the value of technology, you now have an educational task on your hands.

Another challenge business owners have is discerning who they should trust, there are so many EXPERTS out there confusing and complicating the problem. There are key questions that can be asked to qualify the said consultant to assist you and your organization with technology strategies but that’s another article.

The point is, organizations handcuff themselves by allowing only non-technology people to make long term technology decisions. That’s not all bad but it’s not wise to have 100% of all I.T. decisions made by them in isolation. In most cases they will invest in something and then hand it off to the I.T. department with a note attached, ” Make this work with our systems”. They know what they want the system to do and or what they want to have happen. They don’t understand how existing systems work and what they will or won’t work with, at the core, non-technology people are unable to see and know where technology is going, what may solve problems in 3-5 years…don’t worry most of us don’t, but, technology people know how and where to find out. They understand the order in which you should proceed, they understand what you have and what you should look for in solutions.

If you have questions feel free to contact me at: owen@owengreaves.com