I recently had the privilege of judging the national Telsta Businesswoman of the Year awards. Doing so allowed me to take a peek into the working and personal lives of some very accomplished women in Australian business. I was inspired, not only by their accomplishments, but by the organisations that gave them the opportunities, support, training, education and chances to excel…and to make mistakes.
The experience made me reflect on two things. First, that inspiring individuals rarely exist in a vacuum. Understanding the give and take of success is very important, especially the higher you soar.
And secondly, that my employer of fourteen years, and my manager (over over ten) are integral to my success. No one person, or organisation, is perfect. And certainly the greatest gift they have given me is recognising that in me. Not every endeavour leads to great results. But every failure, or mediocre result, is a step toward those things that work really well, that delight us, that make a difference to our bottom line, and to our overall mission.
All of the women’s entries I read had challenges, they all had support, and getting where they were was a group effort. I wish them all the best, as well as their organisations, and all of the people in their future whom they will help spur forward toward success.
I an so pleased to have my presentation on “Hacking as an Infinite Game” accepted to the Western Australian Hackers Conference (WAHKON). Although hacking tends to focus on computing activity, it is an umbrella term for people who are expert, innovative and have a joy for what they do. In casual parlance, the word “hacker” mistaken for criminal behaviour – but those are actually crackers – big difference. My talk is going to be about the metaphor of the infinite game is so suitable for describing the Hacker ethic. With the Australian government’s recent focus on technology and innovation, the kind of people coming to this conference are just fascinating. I am looking forward to being around them, learning from them, and allowing them to let me play their infinite game.
With the recent release of the new iPone, iPad and iWatch, Apple has made the news all over the world again. I was fortunate enough to be called upon by 6PR Perth for an interview on Apple and brand cults, one of my favourite topics.
West Australian press (newspaper and radio) enjoyed the point of view of Star Wars from a consumer culture perspective. Thanks to the ECU Public Relations team for their support in getting me in touch with reporters who gave air time to serious research about a subject that quite a few people take very seriously…
I am delighted to advise that my colleagues Jamie Murphy, Dick Mizerski, Hanna Glaebe and myself just had out book chapterIdentifying Customer Evangelists published in the Review of Marketing Research. This special edition, focusing on brand meaning and management, was edited by Deborah McInnes – a researcher on whose work much of mine is based. She is brilliant, and her work influential and important.
The book chapter takes the first step in formalising an approach to identifying customer evangelists in a quantitative way – which helps with the stronger push toward analytics and big data in marketing. The research demonstrates that it is possible to identify customer evangelists through key questions in a survey (as their buying behaviour may not differentiate them from other customers) and therefore, once identified, perhaps harness their word of mouth power for various brand-related activities.
This book chapter was also the final piece of research directly related to and incorporated in my doctoral thesis. All of my co-authors on this work not only were colleagues in this paper; they supported me in completing my PhD. I would like to acknowledge their support on both this paper and my research.
This month I will be presenting to HR practitioners and leaders in Perth about authenticity and organisational voice. The summary of the talk is below.
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Dr Nathalie Collins, Manager of Strategic Business Development, Edith Cowan University, will be presenting ‘Maintaining an Authentic Voice through difficult organisational change.’
HR professionals are often tasked with delivering communications and managing change which is directed at Executive level with an organisational voice. During this talk, Dr Nathalie Collins will draw relevant examples from her research into authenticity and management/messaging to stimulate discussions on effective ways to be perceived as authentic by your audience.
The positives of authenticity range from increasing the credibility of the message to reducing stress on workers who have to deliver corporate messaging. But authenticity is a slippery concept; what does it mean? And how can something so subjective still be applied?
Nathalie’s development of the 360 Degree Authenticity Framework attempts to address authenticity in a practical applied way, while still drawing from its basis in philosophy, psychology, anthropological, sociology and tourism.
For more information about the Institute visit their web site.
I received some exciting news this month, I have finally been formally recognised as completing all of the requirements of my PhD. That’s right, I have finished the program I commenced in 2008.
Getting a PhD was easier–and harder–than I thought. My undergraduate degree in Philosophy had given me a great foundation for research work. My ability to argue was also very well developed (some would say overdeveloped); so taking a position and then seeking to prove or disprove it was less of a challenge to me than it might have been to others.
The emotional journey, however, was harder than I anticipated. This was a long project as I worked full time while I encountered every beaurocratic frustration in my path. The hardest part of this was not the work. It was the stuff surrounding the work.
All the while though, my network of family, friends and colleagues spurred me on. Between now and September when I cross the stage, I will spend much of my time thanking them all individually. After that, my job is to pay it forward and support others. I am looking forward to that.
The article is part of a two part conceptual journey into consumer collectives. Also called Brand Communities, Consumer Tribes, Subcultures of Consumption and other such names, these communities have products at their centre and act a lot like religious communities. This article draws a comparison between religious communities (as it is defined by American James Carse) and these consumption communities. The comparison explores the tension between the Civitas (or producer/church) and the Communitas (congregation/consumer collective). The two groups do not have the same aims; rather their goals produce a social energy or “game” which generates meaning for all the players.
The contribution of this article is the development of a model of communal consumption behaviour which is mapped to a particular model of the way religion works. Parallels between consumption behaviour and religion have become increasingly common since Apple Computer introduced the approach in the mid 1980s. This article also highlights the work of James Carse, an American scholar of Philosophy and Religion.