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Scaling Your Business with a Sphere of Innovation

Many a start-up or entrepreneur has faced the choice of going for specific verticals (targets within an industry) OR flattening out to embrace a variety of industry and needs. An evolution is occurring in that we no longer must make it an either/or scenario. Rather, we are experiencing an evolution towards creating a sphere of influence and skills. This sphere is broad enough to capture a variety of verticals, while not leaving yourself open to expansion beyond what’s comfortable. It’s the tactics, the experiences, and the innovation inherent in nimble, flexible organizations that will make them far more resilient in turbulent times than those who are married to the vertical vs. horizontal approach to business.

For example, when someone says, “Silicon Valley start-up,” you most likely have visions of tech-centered companies developing a new iPhone app or a funky gadget that will soon be all the rage. You almost certainly don’t think of the food industry, but that is exactly the new market that Silicon Valley has in its sights.  Many venture capitalists don’t find this new venture unusual, likening a food company to an energy company that promotes sustainability or fitness devices that contribute to health. Josh Tetrick, founder and chief executive of Hampton Creek Foods, says, “Part of the reason you’re seeing all these VCs get interested in this is the food industry is not only massive, but like the energy industry, it is terribly broken in terms of its impact on the environment, health and animals.” However, instead of leaving these issues for the food industry giants to solve, the tech industry is using their knowledge and skills to add innovative solutions and lead the way for change.

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Drew Dudley: Everyday Leadership

Drew Dudley starts this talk with a hard question, “How many of you are completely comfortable with calling yourselves a leader?” So many times in life and in business, I have seen great moments of brilliance, great moments of leadership from people on my team and from clients. Many of these people though would never call themselves leaders. We’ve come to a place where many of us equate leadership with a specific title: CEO, President, Vice President, etc. But the truth is that leadership can from anyone, anytime. In my business, I allow my employees to create their own job titles. This practice gives them the freedom to think and act outside the box and it gives them the powerful opportunity to acknowledge publicly what makes them so special.
In his talk, Dudley quotes Marianne Williamson who said, “Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, and not our darkness, that frightens us.” Dudley espouses, and I concur, that we need to recognize that leadership is often found in small moments that impact others, that change the way another person thinks or feels. Take a moment and think about how your life would change if you embraced your small moments of leadership.

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Finding Your Voice In Social Media With A Brand Ambassador

Man-using-megaphone

Twitter and Facebook were once dismissed as frivolous wastes of time, but are now critical tools in a company’s marketing campaign. Individuals can use their personal Facebook and Twitter accounts to speak directly to a company, or to voice their opinion on an experience with that company. As important as social media sites have become, companies often take a passive approach by merely setting up a Facebook or Twitter account, and assuming that the good feedback will just start rolling in. While accepting that having a social media presence is important, companies continue to believe that spending time on them is a waste of time. Instead of passivity, what these companies really need is a “Brand Ambassador.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Being First in Social Media Doesn’t Make You Right

sms_iconsIf we learned anything about journalism following the Boston Bombing coverage, it’s that it is no longer a spectator sport. Through the use of Twitter, Reddit and other social media sites, everyone these days is eager to be the first with breaking news. While CNN and Fox News were struggling to stay ahead of the manhunt coverage in Boston, most people turned to Twitter to get minute-by-minute updates from citizens on the ground.

Some people may have seen this as a positive. After all, since a private citizen doesn’t have to go through a rigorous fact-checking process, information can be transferred more freely and updates are more immediate. Especially in a crisis, the free movement of information can be useful, even groundbreaking. Just look at the Arab Spring or Trayvon Martin case – neither of these would have reached the large audience they did without social media. In fact, if left to traditional journalism outlets, we may never have heard of them at all. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tim Leberecht: 3 ways to (usefully) lose control of your brand

In this Ted Talk, Tim Leberecht states that “Companies are losing control.”  He goes on to say that, “At the end of the day, as hyperconnectivity and transparency expose companies’ behavior in broad daylight, staying true to their true selves is the only sustainable value proposition.”  This is a tenet that I keep at the forefront of my business. It is my belief that by strategically building my business around democracy in the workplace, and a pursuit for honest, intelligent design that I could create an environment for creative and technical geniuses to work, play and grow together. In doing so, our team is able to serve clients in a world-class manner in the field of design, consulting and website development and social media.  At Integritive, we constantly strive to be better ourselves and our interactions with our clients and to serve them with respect and integrity.