Marcia Conner

Category 'collaboration'

Socially Awkward Networks

Last night I went to my high school’s 30th reunion. It was wonderful in ways I couldn’t have imagined and showed me that time (and perspective) can heal even wounds once made on tender hearts. 5 short years ago I wouldn’t have been ready to look back with such a giddy goofy grin. Proof...

came when I found a post I’d written for Fast Company in 2008, before our last reunion, which I didn’t attend. It’s about a classmate who wasn’t at this year’s reunion but who I might have felt differently about had she been there. Might. Here’s a reposting of that piece, not as a way to call out... [read more]

Socially Awkward Networks

Working Hard Amid The Stars

My dad, Bob, was the hardest working person I’ve ever known. The son of immigrants, his dad died when my dad was very young. When his much older brother and sister left home, he grew up in the rooms behind a grocery store. His mom made his clothes, and he learned that the way...

to improve your situation was to work. When I was born, my dad was a school teacher in Chicago’s inner city. He saw that work as a way to improve the situation of the bright, hopeful kids in that school. Then his father-in-law, my grandfather Nathan, suggested he could assist in other ways too. When we moved... [read more]

Working Hard Amid The Stars

Turning Words Into Swords

Douglas Rushkoff’s critical editorial in the pages of GOOD Summer 2013 coaxed me out of my head and onto my keyboard. He wrote, “Reading a copy of GOOD provokes both inspiration and inferiority….While I like to think of myself as doing good, when I am confronted by a cadre of folks doing magazine-layout-worthy good,...

I am at once motivated and paralyzed.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. More pointedly, I didn’t. For years I have described myself as a good but slow writer. The good part comes from decades of painstaking practice as a book writer and magazine editor–jobs that require my trademark vision and persistence. Their deadlines and... [read more]

Turning Words Into Swords

Listen vs. Hear

The phrase “Customer Listening” or its partner-in-crime “Voice of the Customer” always elicits my twitch. Perhaps that’s because it sounds so dang phony, so “I serve people–perhaps I should learn their modern communication ways.” As if that should be followed by, “Surprise!” and accompanied by a photo of a fellow donning a Captain Underpants...

outfit over his worsted-wool suit. “I have supreme confidence I know it all!” might be what he said the day before. I’m not against organizations engaging directly with people buying their wares. Nor am I insulted when companies distill from social media fresh insights on how people feel. If you’re doing one or both of those... [read more]

Listen vs. Hear

Freestyle Learning

In 2009, Coca Cola set out to refresh the way soda was dispensed at restaurants such as McDonalds and Moe’s. It aimed to put choice in customers’ hands. It intended to empower its customer with the act of artistry. Designed with the automaker Ferrari, Coca Cola introduced Freestyle; a sleek new approach to do...

more than serve soda. Freestyle is a drink machine that can mix over 100 different kinds of Coca Cola products including soda pop, power drinks, and flavored waters. In a modern twist on the 1950s soda-shop float, Freestyle brings choice and collaboration to customers’ fingertips. Strangers and groups of diners alike, standing in front of this... [read more]

Freestyle Learning

Tools I Use

Yesterday I participated in two fabulous webinars, each with a different focus, yet both with social learning themes. During each I was asked about some of the tools I use personally to get the most from social media–and ultimately learn as much as I can. Because the names flew by fast, here’s a recap...

of the tools that I use personally and some additions I didn’t have a chance to mention. [I’ve made bold links to the primary social tools that I use. The other links are either not quite as popular or they are tools supporting those main ones.] Twitter - A commercially available microsharing tool full of short bursts of information... [read more]

Tools I Use

Resolution: This Year Create a Stronger, Smarter Organization

With this new year, you may be looking frantically for a new way to improve your organization’s competitiveness, talent, staying power, and smarts. You’re not alone. When senior leaders of a giant materials manufacturer realized their people were not innovating as quickly as the market demanded–and slower than competitors–they assumed replacing several hundred people was a...

logical next step. They brought me in to reimagine their recruiting, talent management, and leadership development program. They anticipated needing dramatically different approaches than those they’d relied on for almost a century. Before we started, I spent time learning about their organizational culture, wanting to ensure new team members would be able to excel where the... [read more]

Resolution: This Year Create a Stronger, Smarter Organization
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