Posts tagged ‘diversity’

March 8, 2012

March 8th_International Women’s Day: 20 Best Marketing And Social Media Blogs By Women

I had this topic in my drafts since Jan, today seems like the right day to post it. Congratulations to all marketing and social media ladies. You are a source of inspiration.

Over the last year I have learned a great deal from women in the field of marketing, social media, branding and entrepreneurship. While there are many female thought leaders in the marketing industry that I may have missed, this list contains the women that have made a difference in my life or my viewpoint and continue to lead the way for women in business.

It’s up to each of us to find online content we find valuable to our growth and business needs, and then to consume and put into action the advice and tips from the experts. This list is full of women that I have found to be leaders, women who are consistently providing relevant and useful information to the marketing and social media industry. I appreciate each and every one of them and recommend these ladies as the Chicks Pick Best in Blog–Marketing and Social Media.

Conversation Agent, Valeria Maltoni, @ConversationAge–Valeria helps businesses understand how customers and communities have changed marketing, PR and communications–and how to bring value in this new environment. She also hosts the #kaizenblog Twitter chat on Fridays where other professional and aspiring conversationalists share their best tips.

Lipsticking, Yvonne DiVita, @Lipsticking–Yvonne heads up a very talented group of women bloggers including Lena West, Donna DeClemente, Mary Schmidt and Robbi Hess. These ladies bring a powerful female voice to the marketing world assisting many brands, agencies and not-for-profits in their marketing to women strategies. You’re sure to appreciate the honest and outspoken articles found on Lipsticking.

WonderBranding, Michele Miller@MicheleMiller–Wonder Branding brings you the latest news and views on marketing to women. Michele keeps us up to date on how brands are responding to the female customer. You can read the interviewwith Michele Miller that I conducted earlier this year here.

She Takes On The WorldNatalie MacNeil,@NatalieMacneil–Women entrepreneurs will come to find She Takes on the World a necessary add to their RSS reader. Natalie offers excellent articles focusing on building your business from the ground up and often brings in other female experts for her “In Her Heels” interviews.

Women On BusinessSusan Gunelius, @SusanGunelius–Find news and information you need to be successful in the business world from this network of female thought leaders. Articles focus on leadership, market trends and entrepreneurship.

V3 Integrated Marketing, Shelly Kramer@ShellyKramer–Shelly and Laura Lakes run the Kansas City based marketing company V3 and offer their best tips here on their blog in areas such as social media, blog marketing, public relations and traditional marketing for businesses. Shelly is a firecracker that has a knack for engaging with her community and immediately putting a smile on your face. A must follow on Twitter as well as her informative blog.

Client MagnetBernadette Doyle, @BernadetteDoyle–an amazing Web site that teaches how to attract Clients Like a Magnet, Bernadette teaches how to use attraction marketing to change your mindset to begin having clients seek you rather than you grasping after them. A very positive blog that is sure to have an impact on your business and your life.

Women Grow Business, Jill Foster, @JillFoster–As editor for Women Grow Business, Jill brings together a network of female entrepreneurs to discuss leadership, marketing, operations (especially in tough economic times), benefits of social cause partnership, talent retention, online presence, entrepreneurship, social technology, mentorship, failure and success. You will want to come back often.

SheconomyStephanie Holland, @Sheconomy–Stephanie takes pride in being able to reach a guy’s mind on marketing to women. Sheconomy is a great resource to come back to for statistics on women in the marketplace as well as getting a clearer perspective on WHY brands should be marketing to women.

ClickNewzLynn Terry@LynnTerry–Lynn has been in Internet marketing for years and knows how to give you the step by step process on how to recreate her success for yourself. You’ll find tips from article marketing to search engine optimization and everything in between. Lynn also has a forum community that is a great tool for getting quick answers.

Startup PrincessKelly King Anderson, @StartupPrincess–Kelly operates Startup Princess, an organization for women entrepreneurs everywhere to network, learn, share and mentor one another. Kelly and her Fairy Godmothers are always willing to help you grow your business., Connie Bensen, @cbensen–Connie Bensen is a leading authority on cultivating online communities. Her blog is an excellent resource to find mentorship and inspiration for others pursing a career in Community Management or for brands seeking to improve their community engagement strategies.

Beth’s Blog, Beth Kanter, @Kanter–Beth is the leading expert on cause marketing and using social media for nonprofits. A place to capture and share ideas, experiment with and exchange links and resources about the adoption challenges, strategy and ROI of nonprofits and social media.

Gwen BellGwen Bell, @GwenBell–Gwen knows social media and is the example of what a networker does to create connections across the world with seemingly no effort at all. Her posts will cause you to stop and think, not just hand feed you information. Perky, smart and a must read for those interested in anything Web 2.0.

HorsePigCow, Tara Hunt@MissRogue–specializes in community marketing–delighting and enchanting the people in the communities a company serves through product, communication and experience.

MarketingProfsAnn Handley, @MarketingProfs–For anyone interested in successful marketing of their business, Marketing Profs is not just a blog to follow, but a necessary tool in your marketing toolbox. You will find useful reports, statistics and viewpoints from many experts of both genders, but Ann and Beth Harte are the female voices behind Marketing Profs.

Outspoken Media, Rae Hoffman, @sugarrae–Rae is the CEO and cofounder of Outspoken Media along with Rhea Drysdale, and Lisa Barone, and these ladies don’t mess around. If you’re looking for advice in marketing, reputation management, SEO, link mapping and beyond, you’ll find a no-holds-barred approach with these exceptionally talented group. Outspoken indeed. If it hadn’t been for Rae’s outspoken self promo we may have missed this great resource, and you don’t want to do that.

Altitude Branding, Amber Naslund, @AmberCadabra–Amber is an upbeat breath of fresh air in the social media world. You’ll find a thought-provoking viewpoint that focuses on elevating brands through social media and communication.

IttyBiz, Naomi Dunford@IttyBiz–IttyBiz is a place to get tips, advice, motivation and support for your very small business. Naomi is a kick in the pants that shares her marketing expertise in a style only she can, loaded with wisdom, wit and an occasional F-bomb. A fun place to learn.

Diva Marketing Blog, Toby Bloomberg@TobyDiva–Toby has an accomplishment list a mile long from speaking at major new media conferences to sitting on the board for the American Marketing Association. On her blog she brings all her experience and offers it to us in a fun and bold voice that’s sure to bring you back for more.

Coree Silvera is thought leader in community management and social media marketing.

Share Your Favorites: Got a name or names you’d like to see on this list? We invite you to add your picks in our Comments section below.

January 18, 2012

Multicultural Leadership Starts from Within

In yesterday’s HBR blog:

The world is getting smaller. As new technologies in social media, transportation, and telecommunications bring us closer together, it’s more critical than ever for organizations to recruit, develop, and retain multicultural leaders who can skillfully navigate both the opportunities and challenges of a more connected world.

Multicultural leadership involves deep immersion within different cultures to understand their values and specific context. This immersion unlocks insight into how to best reach customers, inspire employees, and drive organizational performance in geographies outside one’s “home base.” Only through knowing other cultures deeply can a manager effectively connect the dots between them and highlight meaningful differences between cultures that impact business strategy.

When executed well, the results are astonishing. For example, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) built a leading 40% share of the Chinese fast food market through patiently tailoring its product offering to local tastes and building a strong team of local managers. Other consumer-focused companies such as IKEA and Starbucks are following in KFC’s footsteps, but the learning curve is both steep and long. And fortunes can reverse quickly if managers don’t progress their multicultural understanding as markets continue to evolve. Note the recent stumbles in China of French grocer Carrefour, which had previously dominated other supermarket retailers in the country. Indeed, multicultural organizational capabilities are becoming as significant a source of competitive advantage as other core elements of business strategy.

Though multicultural leadership is mostly associated with multinational corporations (MNCs) — an understandable phenomenon given the inherent cross-cultural challenges MNCs face in expanding outside their home countries — these principles also have a lot to offer “national companies,” companies with limited presence outside a particular country or subregion. Given the enormous cultural diversity within many countries’ own borders, taking a more deliberate approach to sourcing and developing talent across socioeconomic class, religion, academic field, and other backgrounds could be highly productive in driving product and service innovation.

Moreover, the increasing war for talent across borders suggests that national companies will need to do more to attract and retain the most promising talent for their existing operations, much less prepare for eventual expansion abroad with all the multicultural capabilities that such a strategy will require.

In order to build that multicultural and transnational talent, managers need to structure programs within their companies that expose promising talent to new geographies and cultures. Given the personal challenges of picking up and moving halfway around the world, such programs may need to draw on new technologies and models that allow more flexibility in cross-cultural collaboration.

So what can managers do to contribute their part?

  1. Focus recruiting efforts to bring diverse, multicultural candidates into the company. This might include adjusting employer branding messages, diversifying recruiting talent sources, or even adjusting selection criteria to reward multicultural experience and leadership capability. It may also entail hiring experts such as cultural anthropologists who can support a more targeted exploration of a specific culture.
  2. Make multicultural experiences an explicit part of career path conversations and performance reviews so that young managers can begin to treat view multicultural skill development more seriously.
  3. Build multicultural elements into management training programs, either by adjusting existing curricula or developing new materials. Launch structured mobility programs that bring rising managers to different cultures and geographies on both short-term projects and medium-term rotations. This will ensure that multicultural leadership development is embedded throughout an organization’s talent management processes.
  4. Integrate multicultural insights into business decisions and strategy. After all, the above interventions mean little if managers do not actively harness the insights that only multicultural leaders can bring to the table.

In an increasingly global age, the capacity of organizations to build multicultural and transnational leaders will be a critical competitive advantage. Is your organization prepared?

Jevan Soo


Jevan Soo is a management and human capital consultant in Boston. He formerly managed McKinsey & Company’s Asia-Pacific recruiting across twelve countries. Follow him on Twitter @jevansoo.

December 11, 2011

Innovation in the Boardroom – The Time is Now

Innovation.  Corporate Governance.  Two business concepts that are not often used together in the same sentence.  Maybe it is time for Innovation and Corporate Governance to have a ‘Reese’s Moment’ and for boards to ask: ‘Who put the Innovation in my Corporate Governance?”

While products, services and society have been rapidly and dramatically changing, the only changes that have occurred in the boardroom have been driven by legal and regulatory changes.

Boards Resist Change

My impression, which is most likely over-generalized, is that Corporate Boards resist change.  Here’s just one example that I’ve observed:

  • Board Books & Technology – Most organizations rely on providing their board members with materials in advance of the meeting to make sure that board members are informed of the agenda and have time to review and become current on financial and operational reports.  20 years ago, as a Financial Manager with the responsibility of making sure that board members had the information they needed, our team ran copies on 3-hole punched paper, created section dividers, assembled 3-ring binders and shipped them out to board members via over-night delivery.  Fast forward 20 years, despite a number of fantastic ‘on-line’ board room tools, email, intranet and internet options that allow electronic, efficient and less expensive solutions to deliver board materials, the majority of boards that I know  of still prepare and over-night hard copy board books. When I’ve seen organizations try to migrate to electronic board tools, board members create an unbelievable fuss.  Reactions I’ve personally heard: “It’s too hard”, “I can’t remember another password”, “my internet connection isn’t fast enough”, “the files are too large”, “I don’t know how to unzip the file”, “I don’t have a printer at my vacation home”…it goes on.  Seriously.

While this is an amusing anecdote on how boards resist change, there are many more serious examples of how change inside the boardroom has not kept pace with change in business and society.  The lack of change diminishes the board’s ability to provide strategic and valuable insight.

In the November 2011 issue of the Harvard Business Review, their Idea Watch: Vision Statement section highlighted an overview of how corporate boards have changed (or not) from 1987 to 2011 based on Spencer Stuart’s, an executive search firm, annual survey of proxy statements of the S&P 500.  Here are a few highlights of who is sitting in corporate board room:

    • In 2011, 37% of boards are comprised of board members with an average age over 64.  In 1987, only 3% of boards had an average age over 64.


    • In 2011, only 15.3% of board members on the top 200 companies are African-American, Hispanic or Asian.


  • In 2011, 16.2% of board members are women.

Conclusion?  Our board rooms remain largely homogenous and are dramatically aging.  These are not the ingredients for change.  One of the key responsibilities of boards is strategic oversight – if the board room does not represent current and diverse thinking, it is improbable that our corporations will be able to successfully compete in today’s ever-changing operating environment.

Impactful Innovation

I’m not an advocate of change for the sake of change; change is beneficial when it strengthens strategy, adds value and improves results.  There are a number of aspects of corporate governance that I believe are ripe for change and can add value to the organizations that they serve:

    • Board Composition – Who’s on your board?  Does your board represent a diversity of backgrounds, experiences and skill sets?  How does your board identify prospective new members?  Do you consider the strategic goals of the organization and the capabilities that will be required to succeed?  Can your board understand your customer base?  Is your board truly ‘independent’ of the organization and the CEO?  Has your board separated the Board Chair role from the CEO role?  What is the structure and role of your Committees?


    • Strategy & Strategic Risk – How is your board engaged in conversations about strategy and strategic risk.  How are new risks identified?  As the business grows (new products, new markets, new delivery methods, new regulations, technology changes, etc.), is the board’s discussion or risk keeping pace with the changes in your business model?


    • Annual Goals, Agendas and Performance – Is your board proactive about setting goals?  How does your board measure its success?  How does your board deal with conflict in the board room?  Is there conflict or are all votes ‘unanimous’?  What does a healthy debate look like in the board room?


    • Succession Planning – Is your board focusing on CEO succession planning?  Board succession planning?  How is the board insuring that the organization is sustainable beyond the current CEO and board?


  • Organizational Reports vs. Boardroom Discussion – Is your board spending the majority of its time listening to operational reports from the organization?  Are the majority of your board agendas devoted to presentation of materials that were provided in the board book?  Are you devoting your board meetings to meaningful strategic discussions?

It is time to start talking about innovation in the board room! This space will be devoted to a series of topics on innovation in the boardroom…including ideas on how to drive value-added changes in corporate governance and address the above questions.  I’d love to hear from you and learn how you’ve driven innovation in the board room…share your innovation!