The Domino Project: Start. Now!

Slides from my 5min Ignite presentation first delivered at the Codeworks Connect ‘Think and a Drink’ event at the Vermont Hotel, Newcastle upon Tyne on Thursday 29th September 2011.

Barriers to 'Great Work'

‘Barriers’ stopping people from producing ‘Great Work’ and achieving their dreams in Newcastle. (I got people to write them down on a piece of paper, scrunch them up into a ball, and throw them at a target on stage during my ‘Ignite’ presentation at the Codeworks Connect ‘Think and a Drink’ on 29th September 2011.

Contact me via @plandigitaluk, @lordlancaster, plandigital@live.co.uk or call +44(0)7734 722 716 if you’d like to know more or get me to deliver this presentation again for you.

‘End Malaria Day’ – help save lives by helping yourself

If you’re a fan of Seth Godin and other motivational, inspirational writers then you will find the new book from The Domino Project ‘End Malaria‘ a real treat.

Packed full of short essays, tips and insights from over 60 of the world’s leading thinkers and business brains, the purpose of this book is not only to inspire and engage the reader to bigger and better things in their own life but to actually participate in a much higher purpose by saving the lives of others.

Released on 7th September 2011 as part of ‘End Malaria Day‘ – $20 dollars (around £12 GBP) from each physical copy sold (and the full amount of each Kindle version) will be donated to ‘Malaria No More‘, an international advocacy organisation on a mission to end malaria-related deaths by 2015.

The money raised will be used to pay for mosquito nets which are proven to be one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce deaths and increase life expectancy in malaria-ridden countries. (Watch Bill Gates’ legendary TED talk from 2009 below in which he announced his campaign to end malaria).

Please buy this book and play your part in saving lives today. To find out more about the project and people behind ‘End Malaria Day’ watch the video below and visit: http://endmalariaday.com

‘Read This Before Our Next Meeting’ by Al Pittampalli

How many meetings do you have at work where you leave thinking ‘what a complete waste of time and effort’?

If the answer is ‘a lot’ or ‘most of them’ then you really must read Al Pittampalli’s excellent new book ‘Read This Before Our Next Meeting‘.

Read This Before Our Next Meeting

The latest title from The Domino Project, Al’s book highlights all that is wrong with the ‘traditional meeting’ and suggests a better, more productive way to do business through the ‘Modern Meeting‘.

Describing Microsoft Office email Appointments as ‘weapons of mass interruption’, Al hits the nail on the head when he says that it’s far too easy for people to call team meetings with little care or thought for the impact they might have on the recipients that have to sit through ‘another bad meeting’.

Furthermore, he points out how meetings have become stalling tactics and havens for complacency and collective indecision in too many organisations around the world. Too many meetings with too many people (or the wrong ones) leads to inaction, compromise and mediocrity. ‘Less talk, more action’ should be the new mantra.

Some of the key themes and ideas I took from the book which I will be trying to implement in future include;

  • Thinking really, really carefully before calling a meeting and who you should invite. (Sounds obvious but is a very important point to make).
  • Taking your time to circulate reading materials before the meeting and INSISTING that all attendees read them beforehand. If they turn up for the meeting without reading, then you are perfectly within your rights to ask them to leave. Time is precious and you certainly don’t have time to go through the background info at the beginning. These types of ‘informaional meetings’ are a big waste of your and everyone else’s time.
  • Simply turning up for a meeting isn’t enough. All attendees should be expected to ‘turn up’ in mind and spirit and contribute something to the meeting. Make it clear that they must add some value to proceedings (asking questions, sharing insight, offering to take on tasks) otherwise they aren’t welcome or necessary and won’t be invited to future meetings.
  • Make sure that all meetings have a clear purpose, clear objective(s) and end on time. Put a big visual countdown timer on display so people know that you mean business.
  • Ensure that someone makes good and proper notes from the meeting which are circulated soon after with clear action points for all attendees. I would actually suggest that if it’s important, the person calling the meeting should also take their own notes and follow things up personally. Ideally, all attendees should be making their own notes too and taking responsibility for actions in the actual meeting (far too many do neither and then can’t remember what was agreed to).

Like all Domino Project titles, this highly useful book is deliberately fast-paced and designed to be read in around 1hr (I read mine via Kindle App on my Windows Phone on the bus journey home from work).

So, if you’re sick of feeling like your time is being wasted by pointless meetings or are simply looking for ways to improve your professional capacity and productivity at work, then I highly recommend you grab hold of a copy. Even better if you can share it with your colleagues too so they can understand where you are coming from.

Perhaps you could even hold a ‘Modern Meeting’ to discuss how to roll them out across the organisation?

Buy it from Amazon
Kindle version here or
Hardcover version here

7 little videos you will love [by Derek Sivers]

Received this email from Derek Sivers this morning about some cool animated videos he did to promote ‘Anything You Want’. Brilliant stuff and well worth a look 🙂

Paul –

If you haven’t seen these already, they are definitely worth a few minutes of your time. An animator made a little 1-to-3-minute animation for some of my articles.  They’re really well-done.

A Real Person, a Lot Like You

Obvious to You. Amazing to Others

Hell Yeah or No

If it’s not a hit, switch

I Miss the Mob

Don’t punish everyone for one person’s mistake

Start now. No funding needed

Feel free to download, copy, share, edit, alter, broadcast, or anything else.

Enjoy!
Derek
http://sivers.org/

Thinking Digital Conference 2011 – Summary of Gerd Leonhard Presentation

“Everything is moving online into ‘The Cloud’ but we still need to work out how to monetise products and services that can’t be replicated digitally.”

Read below for my summary (and personal comments) of the fantastic presentation delivered by Gerd Leonhard (www.mediafuturist.com) on Day 1 of the Thinking Digital Conference @ Sage Gateshead on 25th May 2011.

‘The People of the Cloud’ / ‘People of the Screen’ expect things to be digital first, physical next.

You can no longer ‘force’ people to buy – you now need to ‘attract’ people to buy/upgrade from the free version once they’ve used and grown to love/need it (a classic Freemium model like LinkedIn).

“When copies are free, you need to sell things that can’t be copied”, Kewing Kelly (Better Than Free).

If people expect digital copies to be free (or very low cost), it’s down to you the ‘content creator’ to work out how to sell things that can’t be replicated or copied digitally. For example, although video footage can be streamed live or broadcast after an event, you can’t digitally recreate the actual physical experience (sights, sounds, smell and touch) of being at a live music gig, conference or training session and all the feelings of excitement and interactions before, during and after which take place.

‘360o Deals’ in the Music Industry

As physical record sales continue to fall, they are increasingly seen as merely a ‘calling card’ or marketing tool for artists and bands. At the same time, live music gigs and festivals are on the up. Therefore, record labels now seek to sign new artists and bands up to ‘360o Deals’ which means that they make money on live performance fees, merchandise, advertising endorsements, mobile ringtones, tv and movie deals , not just physical and digital download record sales. People can now even pay for a recording of a live gig immediately after a gig has ended.

Authors like Seth Godin understand this. They realise that some people want exclusive, advance copies of the latest titles sent directly to their Kindle or other eReader device (either for free in return for writing reviews, helping to spread the word and creating a buzz, or for a fee which ensures they get it quicker than all ‘normal people’ (see my earlier post about ‘The Domino Project’ and ‘Rise of the Information Jockey (IJ)‘.

Meanwhile, others will still prefer the look and feel of a physical book (hardcover or paperback which both have a different cost and speed at which they can be obtained/delivered. Further still, ‘superfans’ will happily pay much higher prices for limited editions which offer something unique and special. It’s all about offering choice and giving the user/consumer what they want.

Can you divide your products or services into digital, hardcover, paperback or limited edition-type versions?

Locking stuff behind a paywall or asking them to pay upfront is a deathwish online. It doesn’t work or make any money (or as much as you want). Sharing is the default mindset of the digital generation and if you don’t share you will be toast! Spotify rocks but their latest move (limiting the number of times people can listen to music for free) could signal the end.

“Data is the New Oil”

“Data is the new Oil” says Gerd  – a more succinct version of the original quote by Meglena Kuneva (EU Consumer Affairs Commissioner) in Brussels on 31st March 2009 in which she said “Personal data is the new oil of the Internet and the new currency of the digital world”

Both are great quotes which perfectly sum up the way things are heading (or have already headed) in the digital world. However, just like oil, the true value (and money) only comes from the myriad of products and services that can be derived from the raw material!

Social networks are broadcasters spreading news and information faster than traditional media channels. For example, “It takes roughly 41 seconds for ‘old media’ (i.e. tv) to report a breaking news story but just 28 seconds on Twitter!” New media then has the added bonus of being instantly ‘shareable’ – passing along far wider and more random patterns around the world.

We are moving away from providing digital copies which people can download and keep (MP3s, PDFs) to content they can stream so long as they continue to use the service (like the aforementioned Spotify).

The Future?

The future is all about;

• Bundling (content provided pre-loaded onto hardware devices like mobile phones)
• Freemium
• Up-selling
• Streaming

3 ways for creatives (or creators) to get paid;

• I pay (as a creator, you can get others to write a blog entry about you in return for payment)
• They pay (consumers are forced to watch adverts before accessing the content, i.e. at the beginning of a music video or computer game)
• You pay (consumers pay a subscription to access premium content & unlock additional features – classic Freemium model)

Find Out More / Discuss Further

If you’d like to read more from Gerd Leonhard (@gleonhard), visit www.mediafuturist.com where you can download free ebooks (the hope being that you will appreciate his work so much that you will go on to pay for a physical copy).