Having a ‘real’ job helps you to define yourself. You might be a graphic designer, a chemical engineer, a nurse or gardner. But when you are a consultant, the question “Who are you” is largely up to you to define. This is the challenging (yet exciting!) situation I have placed myself in. Doing this for one main, steady company and doing other projects on the side (which is what I have been doing for years) is MUCH different than all contracting and consulting. What a fun time it has been so far!
When I talk to either one person or a large hall of people about what I do, I get so excited! The possibilities for them are HUGE! Most people, because they don’t understand all this, do not realize the impact and savings of time, money and other resources that they would see. And when they finally take the plunge it is wonderful to see their eyes light up and get just as excited as I am. It is even better when they experience, first hand, the effects and become a hero in their organizations. Maybe that is what I do – I create heros. Hmmm. I need to think about that more!
Selling myself, however, has never been my strongest attribute. I just want to get in, do a great job and show them how to make some real gains. My ‘proof in the pudding’ is my work, not a hyped up sense of self. BUT, I do realize that to be able to be a part of those projects I have to so some selling. So I have taken a stab at defining myself in a more generic way. I have decided to do it as a post instead of in a doc that I horde myself. Feel free to make any comments.
Where is my focus?
Primary focus: Using social media and social networking for performance improvement and customer communication.
Secondary Focus: Using social media for marketing; creating performance improvement solutions including learning environments and curriculum; creating and delivering the training (standup, eLearning, etc.).
What does the Primary Focus look like?
- Education on how social media / networking can drastically increase performance improvement and customer communications through keynotes, conference sessions, workshops, webinars, trainings, writings
- Setting strategy – Working with key stakeholders to identify
- Goals / objectives
- Culture which will help or hinder project
- Roles & responsibilities
- Skills and abilities of employees
- Current vs. future processes / procedures
- Timelines, milestones, tasks and measurements of success
- Managing the project
- Creating the environment culturally
- Creating the environment technically
- Educating all involved on all levels
- Marketing (internally & externally)
- Ongoing management and support
How have businesses benefited from this?
- Increase in
- time to ‘onboard’ a new employee
- innovation and idea creation
- the customer ‘working’ for the company for free
- finding and exploiting new and untapped markets and industry potential
- finding necessary information
- finding the experts in a given subject
- communication with and between employees
- communication with customers
- finding answers to questions
- brining out and storing the knowledge and wisdom of employees and customers
- working and more efficient processes
- focus on direction for employees and customers
- customers supporting themselves and each other
- customer feedback
- effectiveness of training
- Decrease in
- customer support instances and time/instance
- number of meetings and meeting time
- number of emails
- redundant tasks (duplication of efforts)
Current Side Projects
- Director of the Social Learning Special Interest Group for ASTD’s Cascadia chapter
- Co-Host of the Social Learning Strategies and Trends Podcast (iTunes link)
- Creator & co-administrator of the Social Learning Question of the Day on Twitter (@slqotd)
- Finishing a master’s of Instructional & Performance Technology from Boise State Universtiy with a thesis on using social media / networking as an EPSS (Electronic Performance Support System)
I am pretty blessed to work with some pretty smart people. Those in the industries of social media, search engine optimization and marketing (SEO / SEM), Learning and eLearning and hardware & software.
So, that is who I am – my self reflection.