Friday, April 12, 2013

Talk to me about.... YOU

A few weeks ago Nilofer Merchant [@nilofer] posted a photo of Mitch Joel's [@mitchjoel] "Talk to me about" TED button. Mitch listed "you", "your art", "how I can help" in the provided spaces. The button captures a great spirt of generosity and collaboration. I replicated the thought on my laptop. We've gotten so focused on the digital we often miss opportunities to make a statement in the physical world.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Building culture: Take your timeline off the slide and put it on your wall...

Rackspace recently posted a Google Street View based tour of their headquarters, "The Castle", a former mall in San Antonio.

The first feature I noticed inside the main entrance was Rackspace's timeline - ten feet tall and sixty feet long. We've all seen dozens of these in corporate slide decks and I've made more than my share. Rackspace took theirs off the slide and put it in a prominent location, celebrating their history and progress for all to see. That is communicating leadership to their visitors and their team.

At a smaller scale this is fairly easy and relativity inexpensive to execute using a mix of techniques. In this case it appears Rackspace used printed vinyl for the year and data band at the bottom (you can see the white background) and cut vinyl for the upper elements.

Here is the Google map tour if you'd like to see the whole wall or visit other parts of the Castle. I recommend using the expand button in the upper right hand corner of the map viewer.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Called on to speak? Know how to stop talking...

As leaders we are expected to be able to make "off the cuff" remarks. Each of us needs to have a few pocket speeches and be ready to provide relevant context to the current conversation or situation.

Comfortable or not in these situations, it is important to know how to keep your extemporaneous comments short and finish strong. There is always a moment to stop talking and certainly a point at which you've gone on too long. When I consult with leaders about video I suggest having a strong, repeatable outro which includes a call to a higher purpose. The same holds for extemporaneous remarks. If you start to drift at all, hit your outro and be done.