The best job you will ever have, seriously.

I was recently invited to speak at the National Association for Prospective Student Advisors, Australia Conference. The convenors gave me carte blanche on what I could discuss, so I decided to talk about how recruiting students into Vocational and higher Education was  the best job someone could ever have. but just because it is the best job, doesn’t mean it’s easy. Like most jobs requiring emotional labour, it is rewarding, but taxing. My talk was actually about the different types of authenticity, and their effectiveness expressing a value proposition. However the theory was delivered through the lens of my experience as a recruiter. The video was taken on a iPhone, so it isn’t the best quality, but feel free to watch and share.

Honouring inspiring Australian Businesswomen

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.

Conference Presentation: WA Hackers Conference

I an so pleased to have my presentation on “Hacking as an Infinite Game” accepted to the Western Australian HWAHKONackers 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.

Keeping it real at ANZMAC 2011

I was fortunate to attend the Australia New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference 2011 in late November in Perth; bonus that it was sponsored by my very own Edith Cowan University. The papers I contributed about Authenticity and Quintessence were received well.

Authenticity is an emerging area of interest to academic marketing researchers. How to measure this subjective experience, and then how to use it in a way which is ethical and effective are all big questions. I am hoping to use some of the contacts at the conference to further this research agenda. Stay tuned!

The big takeaways from Auckland

Back from Auckland having met some pretty amazing people and thought some quite deep thoughts. Here are the highlights:

(1) Kaj Storbacka’s concepts about markets: do they exist before we conceive of them?

(2) Steve Vargo & Bob Lusch’s ideas about the Co-Creation of Value in a Management (not just marketing) context.

(3) Richard Varey’s point about why a good conceptual paper is hard to find in the marketing discipline

(4) Janet McColl-Kennedy’s ideas about the “7Cs” of Co-Creation of Value.

A big shout out to the organisers and participants of the Auckland Forum on S-D Logic, all of whom were friendly and supportive. The names in the field were huge; their willingness to help everyone was unlimited.

In terms of my own work on Brand Communities and Customer Evangelists I learned a few things:

(1) Have a good story and tell it well. It helps people understand what you’re on about;

(2) Religious Anthropology does have something to offer business in terms of modelling relationships and phenomena;

(3) The work of James Carse (and the infinite game) as well as concepts in his book the Religious Case Against Belief are an unusual basis with which to model marketing relationships but they seem like a good fit.

If you would like to receive an 8 minute, 11 MB video of my presentation at the conference, please request it by emailing me. Otherwise stay tuned for the paper!

ANZMAC was awesome

I recently attended ANZMAC, the academic marketing conference for Australia and New Zealand. It was great to be in rooms full of marketers talking about deep and meaningful marketing stuff while imbibing lots of champagne. I gave two papers there. One was on Service Dominant Logic and the Infinite Game and the other was on my main area of research, Customer Evangelists.

Some great people and scholars I met there: Elizabeth Dunlop (CSU), Professor Mark Uncles (UNSW), Professor Mark Laswon (U of Otago), Dr Chris Dubelaar (Bond), Associate Professor Francis Farrelly (Monash), Sabrina Mohd Rashid, John Turnbull, Kelly Choong and Trent Hennessey amongst others.