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Impact

Communal Literacy

by Randall Craig on July 13, 2011

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Presentations, Social Media

Tagged as: , , ,

Chances are that you know how to drive, but cannot fix the engine. Eighty-five years ago, however, the answer would have been different.

Motoring enthusiasts back in the 1930’s and 1940’s had to know the basics of automotive repair and troubleshooting, as the “newfangled” cars often broke down, needed constant tune-ups, and were not quite as reliable as cars today. At a certain point, however, cars became more reliable; they became more technically sophisticated, and car repair became more specialized knowledge.  You were either a Driver, or an Auto Mechanic.

Today, social media has reached a similar tipping point. The knowledge of how Social Media is wired behind the scenes, how to integrate them, and how they should be properly bound to a corporate strategy is fast becoming specialist knowledge.  Yet, at the same time, there is also an expectation of a minimal communal literacy:  “people” know how to drive the car, use the phone… and use YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Despite the incredible number of users, it is dangerous to assume they are comfortable with these new tools, let alone engaged with them.  Communal literacy assumes everyone – and every group – is at the same level.  The reality is that different groups may have vastly different levels of understanding:  older users might not have knowledge of LinkedIn; newcomers may be familiar with sites more prevalent back home; smaller communities might use the same tools but in different ways.  To “Drive” your message home – and engage your audience – requires an approach that recognizes that communal literacy doesn’t mean complete literacy.  Every group – and every individual – is different.

This week’s action plan:

You probably have an area of specialty that has taken a career to learn.  The next time you present  your ideas to a group, consider whether the audience needs to be auto mechanics, or merely drivers to understand what you say.  In other words, what is the communal literacy of the group?  You’ll generate buy-in when you’re neither patronizing nor overly complex.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com

www.108ideaspace
.com
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com

 

Intellectual Health Food

by Randall Craig on August 19, 2009

Filed in: Blog, Learning, Make It Happen Tipsheet,

Tagged as: , , ,

Where did you pick up your current attitude to learning? The quick answer is your friends, family, school, and work colleagues. Looking more widely, you probably were influenced by TV, movies, your favorite author, and the culture in general.

Too often, it is mindless TV shows, complaining friends and family, and your day-to-day work responsibilities. What type of intellectual nutrition are you currently eating? You can’t change what you are, but you can change what you become. Here are some “health food” ideas for your mind:

  • Read a challenging non-fiction book. It can be history, science, philosophy, or a business best-seller. Even better, join a book club where the books are discussed with others.
  • Attend a lecture (or lecture series): This can be on any particular topic, so long as it challenges you to think.
  • Widen your perspective: Visit the local museum or art gallery, and book a guided tour.
  • Travel to another country on vacation, instead of the usual spots
  • Learn another language.
  • Sign up for a personal interest course or a professional certification.

While these types of activities can have a profound impact on you as an individual, they will also impact your work performance – and your personal relationships.

This week’s action item: We always consider “Junk food” as undesirable, yet we often feed our mind with nothing better. This week, swap the bad for the good. Add one (good) thing to your list of to-do’s, and choose one (bad) thing to drop.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com

www.108ideaspace
.com
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com

Quantify your Impact

by Randall Craig October 21, 2008

For the best investors, each investment requires a prospectus or annual report. For the best business managers, each new initiative requires a business case. For the best project managers, each project requires a project charter. The purpose of these documents is to list the benefits, identify the costs, define the scope of activity, and possibly […]

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One Phone Call

by Randall Craig March 25, 2008

If you could make one – and only one – phone call to move your career forward, who would it be to? And what would you say? If you could arrange one – and only one – meeting to move your career forward, who would you call? And what would you say? Would the call […]

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Starting a job before you start

by Randall Craig November 13, 2007

When was the last time that you started a new project, role, or job? Did you ever think about what you should do before you actually assumed your new responsibilities? While it may come as a surprise, what you do just beforehand will often have a great impact on your success as you start. Here […]

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