Dealing With Seemingly Intractable Situations.


By Ian Sampson

Loneliness in decision making at the top is generally recognised as a phenomenon of modern business life. But support is rarely accessed when those at the top of an organisation feel they have to deal with complex matters, just relying on their own resources.

While CEO’s, Chairs, and senior executives spend their days with people, solving, representing, promoting, managing, creating and doing all the myriad of things that make up a busy day, they sometimes are faced with issues that they cannot discuss with colleagues, professional advisors or even within their families. This is a strange and often dangerous place to be: surrounded by others but unable to draw on their guidance and support because of the highly delicate nature of the issue. Sometimes the issues concern colleagues. Sometimes they are about a deeply personal dilemma. Sometimes they are highly sensitive and strategic.

Recently I worked on just such an issue with the CEO of an ASX listed company. We met away from the office and over four hours developed a plan to take up a $200m investment in a new area of activity and to do it in a way that also provided great personal satisfaction for the CEO. The complexity came from the interweaving of two goals. The solution emerged by decoupling them, working through the best solution for each and then recombining them into a coherent plan.

Often complex issues can be unravelled like this to make them more tractable. Sometimes they are so complex that ways have to be found to just cope with the mess until a solution emerges.

These kinds of conversations can be short or long. My shortest has been 15 minutes and we came up with an outcome that initially shocked the other person but then delighted them. On other occasions the time horizon of conversations can spread over many weeks or months as their complexity unfolds.

Einstein is credited with saying that “no problem was ever solved with the same consciousness that developed it”. Working with a trusted advisor can produce new insights and understandings that build creative solutions to seemingly intractable situations.

In each of these situations the aim is to create the conditions where transformational outcomes can emerge both in relation to the issue itself and often for the other person to experience for themselves. I have also learnt that this kind of specialised work requires various skills like deep listening, coaching and the ability to give careful and considered advice.

You may be a CEO struggling in your relationship with the Chairman of the Board. Perhaps you a Board Chairman confronted with a fellow director who is acting against the agreed business strategy. Or you could be a senior executive unable to flag a financial impropriety for fear it will bring down the organisation and your own career with it.

Sure issues such as these can be deeply worrying – but you don’t have to deal with them alone!

Ian is a Cause & Effective Associate. If you would like to have an exploratory chat to start unravelling your seemingly intractable problem email him here

Surviving Office Politics


By Sara Harrup

I’ve worked in and been involved with some great organizations in my life. Places where I felt so strongly about the cause I would have sold my soul for it. Places where my salary and conditions were so good my only financial worry was when I was getting my next pedicure. If I had to pick one main issue which detracted from the fantastic positives of these organisations I would say office politics every time. When I speak to people about what they love and don’t love about their jobs they will almost universally say it’s office politics.

So what do we mean when we say office politics? We are really just talking about the human side of work. When we go to work we have to interact with people, sometimes lots of them.  We don’t get to choose who we work with, unless you are the CEO and planning on clearing the decks, which is another blog altogether. When we put a bunch of people who may have nothing in common in close proximity to one another, sometimes bad things happen. People annoy each other. They talk about each other. They compete. They have different standards of work. They have different ideas about things. They make mistakes.

I could spend a whole day talking about how politics play out. I’ve seen my share and to be brutally honest I’ve been part of it. I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone who didn’t succumb at one point or another. The lessons you learn when get involved in office politics can be brutal, so don’t get involved. That in itself can be a challenge. I’ll share with you what works for me, in the hope it might work for you too.

  • Focus on yourself.

How many times have you asked someone how their work is and they launch off into stories about other people at their work. When you spend all your time focusing on other people you cannot focus on you, your work, what you want to achieve. If you find yourself ruminating on someone at work who you don’t gel with, refocus your attention on your own goals and desires.

  • Practice tolerance and acceptance

Most of the time people are doing the best they can for where they are at. We can assume that when people behave badly or in ways that we find difficult it is because they have ill-conceived motives, but this may not be the case and often isn’t the case. Extending tolerance and acceptance to those around us can help us to feel calmer and avoid us ascribing unflattering attributes to our coworkers.

  • Assume the best, not the worst

Once you get into the thick of office politics a certain level of paranoia develops. If you walk past someone who you don’t gel with and hear them giggle you may think they are giggling about you, when they may not have given you a thought. Always assume people are acting with good intentions. You may sometimes be disappointed but a lot of the time you won’t be.

  • Don’t talk about people, talk with them

We often avoid the hard conversations. Many of us find it difficult to talk to people about issues which have affected us. It’s not something that comes naturally to us. As hard as it is, it is always better to talk to people about issues rather than talk about them.

  • Be aware of your ego

Our egos can get us into all sorts of trouble. They can be sneaky creatures and there is, in my view, often a delay between when your ego starts leading and you realize its dominating your actions and behavior.

  • Just notice, don’t judge

Sometimes people do behave badly at work. Try to just notice their behaviour without judging it (unless it breaches legislation).

  • Look for positives

If you spend your time looking for positives in your co-workers you will be much happier. A word of warning. When you first start it feels contrived and uncomfortable. It seems much easier to find the negatives. Don’t give up. Keep doing it until it comes naturally.

Sara is a Cause & Effective Associate and a highly experienced not for profit Senior Executive and Board Member.


No Need to Hit The Panic Button When a CEO Decides to Leave


By Chris Gandy

If you have been a Director of a not for profit, I am sure you can relate to this.

I received a call recently from a Board Member of a mid-sized cause-based organisation and the conversation went roughly like this:

“Heard you are back in Executive Recruitment” she said

“Well yes, kind of, but it involves…” was all I could get out before she jumped in with…

“Great our CEO has just walked and we need to replace him, like tomorrow. Can you help?”

“Hold on, hold on”, I said. “Not only can we help you recruit a replacement but show you how to transform your organisation at the same time. How does that sound?”

This stopped her in her tracks. “What do you mean?” she asked.

We arranged to meet the next day with the Chair of her Board and it appeared the high emotion was continuing. I had a copy of the CEO’s Position Description (which was over 4 years old) thrust in my hand and was asked to get the position listed on social media Job Boards by that evening. The Chair then started to describe the veil of doom they could foresee descending on the organisation if we didn’t snare a new CEO immediately.

Admittedly the organisation was in some strife and the CEO’s exit was adding to the misery. But I desperately needed a circuit breaker in this one-way conversation so started to calmly rip the PD into little pieces and threw them into a nearby bin.

When asked what in goodness name I was doing I explained that if I was to help we would need a totally new PD. I wasn’t so much interested in where the organisation had been but where it was going – because that would tell us about the person we will need to help get it there.

I had their attention and started to explain that I my view Leadership Recruitment in the not for profit sector needed to adopt a new more considered approach. The days of Board’s muddling through a recruitment process or at best using a local Recruiter to find a clone of the previous CEO needed to end – for the sake of the sector and the millions of people who rely on the services it provides.

Sure the exit of a CEO can be stressful and time consuming for a Board and an unsettling period for staff and stakeholders. But it also presents a unique opportunity for change and growth – and we need to seize the opportunity fully. And at Cause & Effective we have developed an approach called the Leadership Transition Program (LTP) to do just that.

While it can be modified to suit each organisation the basic features of the LTP are:

  • The swift appointment of an Interim CEO. Depending upon the organisation this may be an external appointee or a member of the existing leadership team who is elevated to the role. This move is important as it conveys a message of “business as normal” to staff and stakeholders and helps avoid the dreaded “limbo period” where no decisions are made.
  • Together with the Interim CEO, the Board, staff and other stakeholders we then take stock. This involves a “warts and all” review of where the organisation now stands and is heading if no significant change occurs. Immediate management needs are identified and addressed.
  • We then move into the reframing phase as the organisation is now in a place to chart a new strategic direction or reconfirm the previous goals with renewed verve. It is a great opportunity to explore identity and direction.
  • When all are in agreement on the organisation’s future path, we craft a skill profile of the person who is going to guide us along it.
  • Incremental operational changes flowing from the earlier steps begin to occur. Organisational capacity begins to turn for the better. Any legacy issues that might hinder the success of the incoming leader are identified and addressed. A thorough search and recruitment process now commences with enthusiasm based on the knowledge the organisation now has a renewed and realistic view of the future and the type of leader they will need to help them do this.
  • Only then do we start the Leadership Search phase backed by a Board that is reenergised and excited by the possibilities presented by the organisation’s new vision.
  • This new enthusiasm will have an impact on the market and it is likely to draw the attention of candidates who previously wouldn’t have given the organisation’s recruitment campaign a second look.
  • The new leader is engaged with clear performance priorities and an agreed monitoring, support and evaluation process in place.
  • The organisation is in a great position to flourish – capacity issues have been addressed, a firm direction has been determined and a new leader with the appropriate skills, energy and desire has been engaged to guide the organisation forward.

And how did the Chair react after I explained all this. Well you won’t be disappointed to learn that the response was “That’s great and I can really see the benefits but we could never afford a Program like that”

Their mood changed when I told them that we tailor the Program to ensure it costs the organisation no more than the CEO would have been renumerated had they have stayed on.

The conversation then swung to When can you start?”

If you think your organisation or one in your network could benefit from having a chat about our Leadership Transition Program please give me a call here

Also, if you are a former or current not for profit CEO and interested in helping us deliver the LTP in your area drop me a line as well.

About Chris – Chris Gandy is the founder and a Director of Cause & Effective. They are on a mission to get all not for profit Boards to question whether they should adopt a Leadership Transition Program when their CEO decides to move on 

Ask For Advice Before Asking For Help


By Patrick McFadden

Anyone that’s heard me speak or read my ebooks knows that I believe marketing strategy is far more important to organisations than marketing tactics.

I also believe that asking for advice before asking for help is far more important for any business especially small to midsize businesses.

You thought you knew what your business needed. You may have hired a specialist company to create it for you. Then once it was complete and operating you discovered it wasn’t what you really needed. Then what you really discovered is you’re not as clear about your needs as you thought.

Where Did You Go Wrong?

Many leaders discover it’s not always best to hire a specialist who gives you what you asked for. It’s often more helpful to start by hiring people who will ask you good questions, to help you determine what you really need.

We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know.

The solution is simple. Ask for advice before asking for help. Hire a strategist or an advisor before you hire a specialist. A strategist will challenge your assumptions and create clarity on needs and priorities before everyone leaps into action. I’m not saying there’s no room for specialists. I’m just tired of tactics first and strategy to the rescue.

A Specialist’s Job Is To Skillfully Do What You Ask

Specialists often assume you know what you need. It’s not their job to second guess you, even though you may be:

  • making decisions based on assumptions
  • unclear on requirements and options
  • unsure about the order of operations
  • unfamiliar with how to direct your specialists
  • unable to evaluate their work, or
  • unaware of the long-term costs and implications of your project

A Strategist’s Job, By Contrast, Is To Ask Why

Job one for a strategist is to understand your situation, constraints, needs and success criteria. They challenge assumptions, clarify requirements, help decide the order of operations, direct specialists, evaluate success and work within the context of long-term costs and plans.

It’s obvious why we hire specialists to complete tasks and projects. There is immediate gratification and the perception of progress. Strategists are likely to challenge assumptions and send us back to a point we thought we were past, potentially delaying our progress.  Strategists can be frustrating to deal with as they tend to make us think before we act and make choices based on information and facts over emotion and desire. They can be annoyingly dispassionate, logical and methodical. Which is exactly why you should consider hiring them and how they create value.

Measure Twice And Cut Once

Think about it. “if you hardly have the means to invest in a solution once, where will you find the resources to do it again?”

I’ve come to see strategists as insurance against impulsiveness and inexperience. I also find their fees typically add between 10 and 20% to my project costs, in exchange for saving me the lost time and expense of starting over. The more often I repeat the mistake of leaping into action, the more often I seek consulting before I invest in new initiatives. I hope you will do the same and take advantage of a group like Cause & Effective

We take the time to understand your strategy THEN introduce you to the right  specialist who can help you implement it.

About Patrick:  Patrick McFadden is a Cause & Effective Associate and the owner and marketing consultant at Indispensable Marketing, a strategic marketing firm in Virginia, USA. He helps organisations create marketing plans and growth processes that maximise social impact.

Making Exceptional Chairs Common


By Chris Gandy

Most of us will have stories to tell about how people find themselves being appointed Chairs of not for profit organisations:

“Guess what happened, I couldn’t make the AGM and ended up getting elected as the Chair” or “When they called for nominations everyone took a step back and I was too slow”.

Amusing stuff, if only it wasn’t true.

The rather limited body of research into the effectiveness of Board Chairs seems to suggest that these sorts of selection practices in the sector has led to a position where an exceptional Chair is an exception.

Clearly for our sector to be highly effective we can’t continue to tolerate this situation and we need to urgently develop or search for people with the right characteristics to lead our cause-based organisations through increasingly difficult times.

OK, so our Causes need and deserve to led by exceptional people, but what do they look like? What characteristics do they have that make them so exceptional?

To me we should be looking to the Corporate sector for guidance here. Fundamentally the governance requirements in both sectors are the same so an outstanding Chair of an ASX Company should also be an outstanding Chair of a not for profit.

Fortunately, also, there is a relative mountain of good research data in the corporate sector to give us a hand in this regard. One recent paper that caught my eye that I would like to share with you is by Alvarez & Marsal.

They identified 8 characteristics that caused exceptional chairs to standout from their peers. These were:

  1. Understanding the Business – Exceptional Chairs make it their job to develop a profound understanding of their organisation’s

    market, operations, values and stakeholder expectations. They know the needs and issues of the business. This depth of understanding also helps them quickly identify threats and, importantly, opportunities as they arise.

  2.  Future Focused - Exceptional Chairs are proactive and forward- thinking. They develop a clear template for the future which gives the board a sound framework for discussions and decision making.

  3. Build & Get the Best From the Board – Exceptional Chairs know and understand that they can do little without an effective board. They know how to attract and retain the best people for their board. Beyond this, they know how to mould them into a team and to get the maximum value from each member.

  4. Relationship with the CEO -The relationship between the Chair and CEO is pivotal to a successful board. Although the Chair is very much in command, they are not a dominating force but create an environment where open debate thrives. Once satisfied that the right CEO is in place, an exceptional Chair openly backs them.

  5. Providing Air Cover – (Love this one!)  Though they trust the CEO’s abilities and rely on the CEO to carry out the strategy for change, an exceptional Chair also recognises the need to provide support. They know when to enter the fray and when to pull back a provide backroom help. Always hovering to assist when appropriate.

  6. Taking Tough Decisions – An exceptional Chair can cut through complex issues and reach clear and correct decisions. They are quite prepared to place their own reputation on the line by making the big calls that are in the best interests of the organisation’s Cause.

  7. Setting the Cultural Tone – The Chair is responsible for developing and embedding values as well as encouraging performance. They bring vigour and energy to the board. They create a ‘can-do’ mentality among their fellow Board Members, the Senior Leadership Team and right through the organisation.

  8. Communicating With Stakeholders – An exceptional Chair understands that effectively communicating the mission and strategy gives stakeholders confidence in the organisations future direction. This is critical for ongoing support. They don’t, however,  allow themselves to become the centre of attention. They never undermine their CEO, nor lose sight of the organisation’s mission.

    You may have other characteristics of an Exceptional Chair that you wish to add to the mix. But I am sure you would agree that if as a sector we collectively made an effort to support our Board Members to develop and hone these characteristics, exceptional Chairs will become commonplace.

    Chris is the founder and a Director of Cause and Effective. If you are not there yet we can help you along the path to becoming an exceptional Chair of a cause-based organisation.


The Great Candour Robbery


By Joe Moore

Where has all the candour gone?

Most of us like being surrounded by people who agree with us and tell us how bright we are and how easy we are to get along with. It’s easy to get confused when this happens.

Are people agreeing with your strategy because they think it is a valuable strategy – or because you’re the boss? You may find yourself isolated from useful information as those around you neglect to let you know what their experience and research tells, and what they feel.

We may pay twice when we are robbed of candour.

The price we pay when those around us filter their important conversations with us – choosing harmony over speaking out. Important issues go unresolved.

We pay again because those same employees are likely to not hold each other accountable for each other’s behaviour and performance.

But the person who is willing to look us in the eye as the supervisor or manager and say “No” to a poor business idea or to poor behaviour is worth a thousand who say “Yes” or nothing. Who at work is regularly exposed to your day-to-day behaviour and lets you know about things you really don’t want to hear – and need to hear?

What – no-one? Perhaps as the decision-maker you are being robbed of the candid information you need to have in order to make different decisions about your behaviour and performance.

Two suggestions for increasing open and honest conversations about ideas, behaviour and performance in your work place.

Re-read the story about the Princess and the Pea, to check if your response to constructive criticism is too thin-skinned…and actively discourages any response other than flattery.

Secondly, set the expectation, and go looking for evidence that people meet your expectation, about giving and taking feedback with you and with each other on ideas, behaviour and performance. Ask your direct reports for their explicit suggestions on how you could go about things differently.

When you allow your team to rob you and each other of candour, you also allow yourself to be robbed of trust and accountability.

You don’t expect people to be disagreeable – expect them to disagree.

Joe is the founder and principal of Kimber Moore & Associates. He and his team are highly skilled in helping leaders and staff deal with uncertainty, change, complexity and conflicts. You can contact him here

Confidence, Power and Possibility in Leading.


By Ian Sampson

If you are a TED fan it is quite likely you are one of the 6.5 million people who has seen Ben Zender give his talk on Music and Passion (Zender is, amongst other things, the Conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra).

The talk is a wonderfully inspiring piece about classical music. It also has some real gems about the work of a true leader.

Three statements in the talk jumped out at me:

  1. Good leaders have no doubt about the capacity of the people they are leading to realise whatever they are dreaming. That’s confidence in leading.
  2. Conductors are leaders. They lead the musicians through the making of the sounds of the music and conveying this to the listener. But a conductor doesn’t make a sound. They rely on personal power to make others powerful. That’s power in leading
  3. Zander said at one point: ”My job is to make possibility in other people. If their eyes are shining you know they see possibility. If their eyes are not shining my job is to ask:  ‘Who am I being, that their eyes aren’t shining?’”  That’s possibility in leading.

If you have a desire to deepen your confidence, power and possibility as a leader talk with us at Cause and Effective. We want to help you be a great leader.

Ian is a Cause & Effective Associate. He helps Board Members and Executives be more effective leaders. Contact him here

Currently Buying Nothing New


People support Causes in all manner of ways. This being Buy Nothing New Month, Lily Ray decided to show her support by posting a blog about the Cause each day of the month.  Here is one of Lily’s early posts on why she is currently buying nothing new and why we should seriously think about joining in as well.

I wrote a column in the Newcastle Herald about why I’m buying nothing new. Go there to have your say about it, or read it below.

No matter how much effort you put into buying the right type of toothpaste, it still comes in a foil and plastic tube.

Clothes that won’t break the bank (and even some that will) are made in sweatshops.

Eggs advertised as free range are often laid by chooks with their beaks and wings clipped.

It’s impossible to consume with a clean conscience.

What seems to be healthy, kind to animals and eco-friendly is usually so expensive that it’s unrealistic and unsustainable for the average person’s regular consumption.

The obvious, but rarely acknowledged, answer is to simply not buy things, with the exception of food and other necessaries.

A few weeks ago, I started feeling particularly suffocated and decided I needed to make a change.

I bought a book, All You Need is Less, about greening the household (and yes, I can appreciate the irony) with recipes for home-made, eco-friendly dishwashing detergent, shampoo and conditioner and all manner of other ‘‘essentials’’.

The author, Madeleine Somerville, pointed out there was an ugly duckling in the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle mantra.  The first ‘‘R’’ gets very little attention.

You can’t boast to a friend that you avoided buying a large soy latte that morning because you didn’t want to waste a cup (or $5.50).

Making reduction something to boast about is the idea of the Buy Nothing New October campaign.

The name doesn’t have the same ring to it as Dry July or Movember, but it’s got an excellent message.

A 2005 Australian Institute study found Australians spend $10billion every year on things we don’t even use, let alone need. Twenty-milliontonnes of that stuff ends up in landfill.

I recently moved house, and packing the boxes was an embarrassing nightmare, not just because the dust triggered hay fever. The number of objects was astonishing.

As the Buy Nothing New crew are quick to point out, the idea is not to starve yourself, say ‘‘maybe next time’’ to essential medication, or offend others with your lack of deodorant.

It’s about thinking about what you’re buying. Some helpful questions from Somerville you could ask yourself are:

Do I really need this? Do I have room for it? What is it made of? Who made it? How will I dispose of it when I’m finished?

I’m the kind of person who experiences consumer guilt over a weekly train ticket, but also the kind who thinks ‘‘well, I’ve already bought a thing, so I’ve ruined everything anyway and might as well just keep buying things’’.

That could be symptomatic of a consumption disorder, but I’m going to try to get it together.

I started Buy Nothing New October yesterday, and  at the time of writing hadn’t bought a thing.

I mailed a parcel to a friend in Sydney from the Adamstown Post Office, but I don’t think that counts.

Visit for details.

Lily Ray is a Journalist at the Newcastle Herald, a part-time pub musician and currently buying nothing new. Follow Lily’s daily blog about the trials and tribulations of reducing her consumption during October here

Successfully Surfing the Waves of Change


By Chris Gandy
Change is everywhere. It is constantly spoken about, written about, and thought about. So much so that it seems almost passe’ to be writing this blog post about it – but at the risk of boring you and hitting the delete button here goes.
To me dealing with change is like surfing.  There are waves of change coming at us. As leaders of organisations our challenge is in which wave to pick. The wrong ones at best will sap a lot of energy for no return or a worst dump us with and almost lethal wipeout. The right one though will take us on an exhilarating ride where we can show to the world our creativity and skill.
In the not for profit sector here are three waves I think it might be worth waxing your surfboard to try to catch.
WAVE 1 – Big Data
As Meghan H Biro noted in a recent Forbes article:
‘Here’s a mind-blowing fact … research from IBM shows that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. I find this fascinating. It means that companies have access to an unprecedented amount of information: insights, intelligence, trends, future-casting … it’s a gold mine of Big Data.’
From a not for profit perspective so much information is now there in realtime to tell us how our stakeholders are thinking, feeling, wanting, needing. Monitor this and respond in a measured way. Your Cause is bound to benefit tremendously!
WAVE 2 – Workforce Flexibility
Work patterns, organisational structures and the labour market are changing dramatically – and here’s the thing, they will not go back to the way they were!  The era of the “Independent Expert” is dawning. The corporate sector is grabbing hold of this development with both hands by perfecting their supply chain management skills. Not for profits seem to be lagging behind in this area and it is something that needs to be addressed – and quickly. Already we are seeing large corporates take giant strides in the areas of Employment Services, Health Care and Aged Care. If the sector fails to take advantage of this wave it will continue to lose the talent battles and eventually the war.
WAVE 3 – Community Attitudes Towards Giving
 There is more and more evidence being provided to demonstrate that our approach to supporting the sector is changing. Just two weeks ago The Economist published a report examining how Generations X and Y (those born between 1966 – 1994) are transforming the landscape. They enunciate “a strong desire to have a measurable, enduring impact”. Also they are “focussed on data, measurement and demonstrable results. More than any other generation, they want to check facts, know all the information ahead of time and ensure that they are well informed at every stage of the process”.  Are you setting up your organisation’s programs and communication strategy to take advantage of this wave? Can you clearly show the social impact that flows from your programs? If not you had better do something about it. The people who are judging you are interested in facts not rhetoric.
So it is a long weekend coming up in this part of the world. The weather is great, the surf is up, so go and catch some good waves. Enjoy the thrill and at the same time think about the other waves you can catch to take your cause to another level and not dump it on the rocks.


Chris is the founder and a director of Cause and Effective – an organisation dedicated to helping cause-based organisations maximise their social impact.


What is the ROI of Social Networking?


By Patrick McFadden

I have conversations on a daily basis with leaders about marketing and unavoidably this question always comes up, “What is the ROI of social networking?” I get emails from frustrated marketers who want to get more active with social networking, but can’t convince their manager that it’s worth it.

My response to the Return On Investment (ROI) roadblock is this:

“How does your manager measure the ROI of attending local Chamber of Commerce events, participating in Industry Associations, and dropping in on networking luncheons?”

Done correctly, social networking on sites like LinkedIn is really no different – you don’t measure participation based on direct sales, you measure success based on:

  • identifying one potential strategic partner,
  • acquiring one actionable bit of advice, or
  • striking up a conversation or two that may eventually lead to developing a new customer.

That sounds like a set of solid networking objectives doesn’t it?

Of course this thought process assumes that you have identified a set of objectives for your offline networking, which often is not the case. I’ve talked about this time and time again,“marketing without goals is the noise before the failure” and networking is a function of marketing.

But, with all that being said, my primary point here is that you need to align online networking with face-to-face networking and then create a set of objectives and subsequent strategies and tactics to get the most from both. But, job one is to get your mind around social networking as, just that, networking.

Now, with job one out of the way, you’ve also got to tackle something I mentioned earlier –“done correctly, social networking on sites like LinkedIn is really no different” – this is where managers are  really coming from when they say there’s no Return On Investment. So many people see social networking as a 24/7, hang out all day excuse for a job – and it can easily become that if you don’t identify and state objectives. On the other hand, you could as easily hang out at every networking event or meetup, join unrelated trade groups, and sponsor the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention club. (which would only be good if you sell pet weight loss services or products)

By identifying and clearly stating your objectives for social network participation (objectives not unlike those of participating in your local Chamber) you can more easily identify the networks that make sense, the type of engagement you need to create, and, most importantly, how much time and energy you can afford to invest to reach your objectives.

When you take a strategic approach to all forms of networking the Return On Investment allusion becomes much clearer.

About Patrick : Patrick McFadden is a Cause & Effective Associate and the owner and marketing consultant at Indispensable Marketing. He helps organisations create marketing action plans and growth processes that lead to greater social impact.

Effectively assisting people doing good to do it even better


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