October 20, 2010

What Westfield, Mark McInnes and you have in common

Westfield's electronic monitoring system makes it far easier to find a free parking spot and will no doubt allow for better traffic management. It also makes it easier to track shoplifters and other criminals. Another nail in the coffin of personal privacy.

Welcome to the public age. We are all celebrities in our own way with very little privacy left over from the dark ages before the rise of the internet and social media.

It is a painful lesson which Mark McInnes recently learned. If you think you can get away with half the stuff you could a few years ago, you are dreaming.

Police are even using Facebook to serve summons when they can't reach the individual in person.

In the US, a recent story illustrates the power of social media and serves as a lesson for anyone behaving badly. You will get caught.

Ivanna left her phone in a New York cab one day. When her phone company transferred the data onto her new phone, she was able to trace her old phone to a teenager named Sasha in Queens who had used it to take photos of herself and her friends.

When Sasha refused to return the phone, Ivanna's friend, Evan, set up a web page with Sasha's photo and a description of what happened. He sent the link to his friends, who passed it on and on. Someone found a photo of Sasha's boyfriend through MySpace, another made a video of her house. Both were posted on the site.

The news filter Digg picked up the story, which was eventually followed by millions of people sending up to 10 emails a minute to Evan, and posting stories to the site which crashed under the volume of traffic. The New York Police, who initially filed the incident under "lost, bowed to public pressure and reclassified it as "stolen". Sasha was arrested and the phone recovered.

Bet she wasn't expecting that response.

That old adage of dance like no one is watching - act like they are.

October 14, 2010

Being Leader Full

The inspirational Chilean miners story is a great lesson in the value of investing in a leader-full team.

People above and below ground worked together to ensure the operation was successful. Former NASA astronauts and submariners were consulted on the effects of prolonged living in small enclosures. Other experts were called in to manage physical and mental well being.

The men set up living quarters and created a sense of social structure and order. They were given razors, clean clothes, cots to sleep on, etc., all of which were sent down a small bore hole and assembled below. Entertainment was tailored to bolster positive mental states. Notes from family members helped keep them connected to their world above.

What an inspirational story of human ingenuity! What can you learn from it?

The Chilean Miners story is an excellent reminder of what can go extremely right when teams engage in critical thinking, and when leaders invest in their people to bring out the best in them. Mountains of evidence prove the investment pays off many times over.

Act now! Don't wait until the mine collapses.