Posts Tagged ‘Credibility Gap’

Cell C : social media blunder or genius?!

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Cell C recently made tsunami sized social media waves with their Trevor Noah social media campaign. The jist of which is that Trevor Noah, the South African comedian, wrote to his Twitter fans that Cell C was the worst network ever and that they needed to change their attitude or lose him as a client forever! Cell C CEO (the real CEO, Lars Reichelt) then placed a HUGE full page advert in the Sunday Times written directly to Trevor Noah asking for an open conversation as to how they can solve his problem.

Now from the outset, this seems like case study territory. This, wow, the CEO (the real one) of Cell C took the time to realise the power that is Trevor N……. I mean social media and respond to it, repairing the relationship and making Cell C a real social media powerhouse!

This was then followed by Trevor, seemingly, agreeing to be the face of Cell C’s social media campaign and within days (nay hours) you could not turn on the tv or the radio or drive down the street without seeing Trevor’s smiling mug as their new CEO (customer Experience Officer).  This was a onslaught of offline media driving hard at online, pushing people to go online and connect, to respond and to get involved in making Cell C the best cellular provider in the country.

Unfortunately the honesty and openness that is social media has been corrupt. Cell C staged the entire thing. Trevor was approached before the tweet went out! The domains were registered, the campaign planned, the logo changed (nice move that) and the (Im sure lucrative) deal with Trevor was signed and sealed.

Is this what social media has become..?

A place where large brands who have capital (read : cash) clout can monopolise the landsccape once more and write the story before we get to say if it is a story that we want to even read or not?! Are our delicate sensibilities yet again going to be plundered by large corporates?! (I’ll stop with the rhetorical questions now).

I personally believe that this is not the future of social media. This is an example of a large corporate who has based their social campaign on an offline strategy. Some say it is genius, others say it is ludicrous. Whatever your take on it, you have to admit it worked!  Whether it will have legs to continue being so prolific in the media and with consumers is another story which we will have to wait to find out.

The Learning Organisation

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

In June 2009, we were challenged with the idea of putting our team through a program that would change our working dynamics forever. To be honest, when the idea was first presented to me, I was not convinced; in fact I believed it would be a total waste of our time. Little did I realise the impact that following this program would have on our business.

And so our journey down the road of self-discovery began…

openroadThe initial program started off with a 2-hour session in which we did the DOPE test. I still remember having flashbacks to my colourful past of experimentation, but fortunately that wasn’t the type of ‘dope’ being referred to here. The concept rather revolves around the concept that we all belong to one of 4 primary bird groups, namely Dove, Owl, Peacock or Eagle. At first, this seemed rather silly to me, but once we had all completed the various questionnaires, plotted the graphs, and finally reviewed the characteristics of the respective groups we belonged to, I found myself immensely intrigued, and all of a sudden I wanted to know more.

Before I knew it, we had signed up for the full workshop and were on our way down the path to self-discovery.

The program consisted of five full day sessions, each focusing on the five main aspects of The Learning Organisation, namely:

Personal Mastery covered the aspects of being and developing oneself as a leader.  A critical aspect of this is the understanding that as long as one is in the proverbial comfort zone, there is very little chance for growth. It is only when one moves into the zone of discomfort that the opportunity for growth really presents itself.  This discomfort is brought about by being introduced to what one is missing from one’s life as a leader.

We then explored the aspect of values, each of us being given a list containing up to 30 different values. We had to identify with and highlight our top ten values. To test our true commitment to these values, we were run through a series of tests to see how true and committed we were to these. Through this process, we filtered down to our true values. What I found exceptionally interesting was how quickly one’s values change based upon the situation one finds oneself in.

Next we explored the Drivers for Change, mapped against the Sigmoid curve – the principle being that if you’re not growing you are dying. These drivers are either desperation, aspiration or anticipation. If you’re not moving up the curve, then you are rapidly moving down the curve.

Mental Models demonstrated how a team of 15 people, given exactly the same information, deduced totally different findings and how, based upon our upbringing, experiences and beliefs, built ideas that shaped the way we look at things and made decisions long before we’ve explored all the evidence.

We then moved on to Team Learning, which explores the Credibility Gap – the difference between what you say and what you do – and how this difference impacts on the picture people have of you.  We were taught how to be aware of it and make adjustments to it so that this gap could be closed, bringing about a “whole” view of oneself in the eyes of other people.

We also explored the Johari Window. Through honest responses to a structured questionnaire, we were shown where, depending on the situation we find ourselves in, we may be saying too little or not asking anything versus saying or asking too much. The Johari Window breaks us into either the Oyster, Interviewer, Lecturer or Fully Engaged, the latter being the one to strive for. Once this was been explored, we launched into the next phase where, through a series of breakaway sessions, we tested and understood the true tools of engagement: high quality advocacy and inquiry.

Systems Thinking clarified that in order to handle any situation, one needs to look beneath the surface. Just as only 10% of an iceberg is seen from above the water line, it is only by being aware of what is going on underneath that one can start addressing a situation effectively.

In the final session, Shared Vision – in my opinion, the overall purpose of the program – we learned the importance of shared, or sharing vision. Any organisation looking to create a vision for itself can either do so from the top down – where the company tells its employees what the company’s vision is, or for better results, through understanding of what each person in the organisation wants to achieve for themselves and that through sharing, the people that make up a company can work together to combine their individual visions into a combined company vision.

Although Friday the 12th of March was our last session, it was really only the beginning for our company. Through the initiatives that we have started as part of this program- such as weekly R&D sessions where our entire team takes time out to research the latest trends and develop new, innovative solutions – we have already seen many amazing developments unfold within our company.mountaintop

We now find ourselves at an interesting point in our careers, where the opportunities of the marketplace and the passion of our team unite to take us to a level not yet defined.

The sky right now is, quite literally, the limit, and it is on this note that I would like to say thank you to my incredible team and, as Zig Ziglar once said, “See you at the top!”

Ceri James, Sales and Marketing Director, JD Internet Consulting

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