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Social Media Madness

Just as I typed the title above, a small sigh of weariness escaped me over the inescapable buzzword of ‘social media’. Despite the impressive leaps and bounds that have been made in social media to project it to its global (and lucrative) stage, I cannot help but think one too many tech-savvy entrepreneurs are jumping on the digital bandwagon.

As a ‘consumer’ of social media and networking sites, I’m not entirely convinced on whether I’d benefit from syncing my LinkedIn profile to my Twitter account that connects to my Pinterest page which links to my Facebook that features my blog that’s connected to Foursquare. If someone were to subscribe to all of these at once, they’d know where I’m working, what I’m doing, what I’m looking at, who my friends are, what I’m thinking and where I physically am ALL HOURS OF THE DAY.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is…is it all really necessary?

In some instances, I like the way in which new modes of social media is targeted to specific needs and has directed some traffic away from the likes of Facebook. For example, I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling irritated and bored when my Facebook friends forget to make their statuses interesting, and instead I receive hourly updates on their daily routine. ‘Walking the dog’, ‘Stubbed my toe. Ow’, ‘Excited for the weekend!’ have, thankfully, largely now made a shift to the Twitter-sphere. Likewise, I can’t say I care to have my Facebook feed bombarded with pictures of kittens showcasing a variety of fancy dress, sat in cardboard boxes. Pinterest came to the rescue and now obsessive cat-lovers can seek each other out and collectively indulge in cute, feline fluffiness. Foursqaure escapes me still. I don’t personally see the appeal in constantly alerting followers of my exact whereabouts. And as for Google +, I can’t even figure out how to use it, let alone understand what it’s for.

Perhaps my disillusion with social media stems from where I am now in my life. Having graduated only last year, it was not long ago that I fled to Facebook in the face of essay deadlines. Other forms of procrastination such as FitFinder (I still mourn its abrupt end) were very much welcomed. As a student, Facebook was an excellent way to organise events, tag photos from fancy dress socials and share our desperation as we updated each other on the position of the rising sun in relation to our word counts, the morning of deadline day.

Back then, I was less concerned with an apparent need to ‘cover all bases’. But now, as a consumer, I feel a sense of information overload from all directions and a little resentment over the increasing necessity to connect one form of social media to another. I’m not contesting the effectiveness of social media (not on this occasion anyway), I just wonder how alone I am in feeling that the novelty may be wearing off.

By the way, if any of the above mentioned names went over your head, here’s social media explained:http://s3-ak.buzzfed.com/static/imagebuzz/terminal01/2011/3/16/10/social-media-explained-2911-1300286039-2.jpg

Look out for links to this blog via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and maybe even a viral version on Youtube!

Leadership and football managers – what can we learn?

With the recent sacking of Andre Villas-Boas and Roman Abramovich looking for his eighth permanent manager since buying the club in 2003, what can we in the business and recruitment world learn from the saga?

*Money doesn’t necessarily bring you success – AVB spent £82m on buying new players this season! Deep pockets may help but are no guarantee of being the leader in your field.

*Don’t bite off more than you can chew – was AVB just too young and inexperienced for such a big job, despite the fact that he had won four trophies with Porto?

*Make sure you understand exactly the nature and influence the “man in the big chair “, your very own Roman Abramovich will have before you accept a job.

*What about the team you will join and or manage – as the Chelsea saga has indicated, no amount of talent will compensate if a team doesn’t work as a team and respect the manager.

Contrast the Chelsea situation with that of Martin O’Neill – he took over at Sunderland when they were 17th (out of 20) in the Premier League on Dec 6th and they have now moved out of the relegation zone and into 12th place. He must have some lessons for us all……..

In support of the “fat cats”

We hear a lot about “fat cats,” and the curbing of executive pay, pensions and bonus pots…..but in reality isn’t it fair to say that we need this business elite? In order for Britain to remain a strong economic power, we need the best business leaders to want to base their companies here. This business elite, directly and indirectly creates opportunities for all of us ….from the employment created to the money spent on goods and services not only by them but by those they employ.

I do take issue with executives being handsomely rewarded for failure, but for running successful, profitable businesses……then they should be well rewarded. The tax system should support this (so the 50% tax rate should go?) and we should allow the most talented business leaders to come to the UK (increasing visa restrictions will limit the leaders of tomorrow from coming to the UK to study and work).

Otherwise we are in danger of becoming seen as anti business. Some of our biggest companies will follow the lead of the Prudential which is reported to be considering relocating out of the UK in response to the restrictions imposed by Solvency II.

That’s not an attractive prospect for any of us.

BLT Win Again!

It’s not the winning, it’s the taking part that counts. But to be honest, we’re pleased to have won. Not the 100 yard dash, but the Top-Consultant readers poll for best management consultancy recruitment consultancy 2012, and Don’s individual management consultancy recruiter accolade.
A big thank you to everyone who voted. We appreciate it.

How businesses in Central London should be starting to prepare for travel disruptions during the 2012 Games

Business not as usual.

Don’t think that because your business is not in East London that you won’t be affected by the 2012 Games. There are a total of 22 competition venues in London and whilst many are based Stratford way, several events will take place in Central London; Hyde Park, Earl’s Court, Lords and the Horse Guards Parade for instance. Transport networks throughout London will be stretched to their limits. It is estimated that there will be an extra 3.3 million journeys taking place on the busiest days of the competition. The capital will be welcoming some 55,000 members of the Olympic family (athletes, officials, sponsors, the media etc.) and 8.8 million ticketed spectators – that’s a lot of people!

During the Games, the tubes, DLR and overground trains will run both more frequently and later. There’ll be an extra 200 buses on the roads and the Javelin Service will shuttle people from Kings Cross to Stratford in just 7 minutes. But this won’t be enough to keep London moving. Businesses should therefore be considering ways they can help alleviate the stress on the capital’s transport system. They should also be planning for severe disruptions to their supply chains during the nine weeks of the Games. If you don’t think your business’s supply chain will be affected, think again – what about those all important deliveries of tea, toilet roll and post?

According to Rose McArthur (part of the Travel Advice for Business Team), businesses should start preparing themselves now, so that they can work around peak times and busy competition days. They should think about flexible working: who can work at home on which days and can employees travel to work at a different time, for instance come in earlier and leave earlier? Individuals should be considering different routes to work – can they walk or cycle parts of their journey? According to McArthur, it’s all about ‘peak spreading’ – this will keep London moving during the Games, the biggest event a country can host.

For more information on what you can do as a business or an individual, visit:www.getaheadofthegames.co.uk

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