Tag Archives: klout

The one with the rarefied air

If accounting has it’s big 4, law has the magic circle then the firm I met with yesterday are the recruiting equivalent – what is sometimes referred to as a top-tier search firm. My objectives for the meeting were several-fold – obviously getting a job was the first, but given my ambition has a slightly longer term it was about building a relationship, understanding the levers and building their general awareness of me.

It was a very interesting and informative meeting with someone who ‘knows their onions’ had some interesting views on the market and how it feels at the moment and some very useful advice.

During our conversation we discussed several individuals with whom I’ve worked and what became clear to me was considerable intelligence was gathered and retained on people considered ‘high potential’ that may form future targets for searches. What was more interesting was the time scale over which this information was gathered and the focus on verifying information that would form the support to any shortlisting decision – we’re talking 5-10 years.

What appeared completely absent was any form of ‘social’ awareness – whether the individual was active on any form of social network, whether they contributed to any networking or forum, any blogging (micro or macro) and measurement of influence was based on delivery and reputation not on an algorithm (Klout, Kred etc)

Given their approach there are two ways to look at this (well broadly two):

1. Their approach is dated and needs to evolve

2. Their approach is valid for what they do

I’m not sure on the answer and I suppose only time will really tell but it did cause me to reflect and left me with one lingering question: the reputations and impact made online are they only made online? In other words does the impact we have “on here” really only impact those who play and in the ‘real world’ is the measure of reputation far more impactful than anyone with a high klout score would choose to acknowledge?

For my part I am going to play both sides of the fence, because in all honesty, why not?

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The one with the influential list

I have a confession to make….

I don’t really ‘get’ the lists of influencers that get published by various organisations at various times. Not that I don’t understand them but I don’t get how they are compiled, what they are based on or how they quantify or qualify the individuals named.

Actually, that’s not completely fair some of them make sense, like the Thinkers 50, as those people are changing the world around us and whether we want to be influenced by them is not really optional. I am talking more about the functional lists…

If I was to write a list of the people who have most influenced me it wouldn’t include the former HRD of a major supermarket gone on to lead the HR function of a major public body, it wouldn’t include one management consultant and it definitely wouldn’t include anyone who has 30,000 Twitter followers or a high Klout score.

The list would look something like this (and in no particular order):

  • My parents
  • My brother
  • My best friend
  • My closest friends
  • My first manager
  • My last two managers
  • Several people who have worked with me and for me
  • A coach I have worked with on and off for some time
  • A board colleague from a not-for-profit business I was involved with
  • People who have taught me and some I have studied with
  • The people I have met along the way who share with me and challenge me

It may sound naive to say I don’t get the lists as the chances are that some people on my list have been influenced by people who’ve been influenced by people etc but I can qualify and quantify why the people listed above are those I consider influential.

All of that being said rather than just confessing that I don’t get the lists I was trying to think constructively and to think of the actions and behaviours of those who I have seen be very effective influencers in an organisational context….

So, to steal a tried and tested format, here is MY (subjective) list of the 7 habits of great influencers…

1. They have convictions but are not blinkered

They will have a clear and likely strong view but will be open to hearing alternatives and understanding the pros and cons of alternative

2. They are clear in their reasoning

Their conviction is backed up by thorough logical thought and not based on a single whim/set of data/conversation. They are able to explain their view and why they came to it

3. The outcome is more important than the credit

The best influencers I have seen are those that are wedded to the change or the outcome not those who are all about seeking the glory of leading a decision. The downside of this is often they don’t get credit or recognition whilst ‘false idols’ do…

4. They play the long game

The best people I have observed realise that Rome truly wasn’t built in a day and that to change things they are going to have to build support, build influence sometimes from the bottom up and that isn’t achieved in one conversation or meeting

5. They see the whole board

It’s a line cribbed from “The West Wing” where the President is playing Chess against one of his advisors and a global diplomatic situation is evolving. Those I admire approach influencing like chess and see all the players involved and do number 4 (the long game)

6. They know the hills to die on

Some situations/meetings will not go your way, some will make what you are trying to do seem impossible. From experience it’s knowing when to deploy your full influence/argument and when to hold off, retreat and rebuild through building

7. They know the price

Influencing requires many things but one of them it appears to me is credibility or maybe more directly organisational collateral. The masters know what it’s worth, how much they’ve got and to point 6 when to spend it. To use a poker analogy – sometimes they fold, sometimes they go all in but they know the value of the bet and of their hand.

That’s my list. Agree, disagree or have an 8th point then I love to hear them. In the meantime I’m off to lobby for a place on the list of “influential bloggers who have worked in L&D and studied organisational behaviour” it’s a small list but our lobby is very powerful 😉

Afterword: having just reread that I think I may get 3 points and a fine for overuse of cliche!

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