I spent a great hour today with Jessica Strutt of ABC Perth Radio’s Focus program talking about Virtual Assistants with my colleague Jeff Volkheimer. The show is a forty-five-minute discussion of the technology along with texts in from listeners. Thanks so much for the opportunity Amber and Jess.
The Conversation is an international, non-profit publication of some repute in academic circles. Mainly because it takes research and knowledge from academic experts and applies it to contemporary issues in a relevant way. Jeff Volkheimer and I are pleased that they have published a recent article of ours on the film 2001: A Space Odyssey and its prophetic projection as it relates to voice assistants in consumer electronics and who they really work for. The upshot? Google Assistant, Siri, Alexa and that crowd aren’t working for you even though the companies make it look like they are.
The process of writing this article, and the editors at The Conversation (along with the internal ECU team) were so supportive and made writing this a pleasure. I look forward to more Conversation articles to come.
I am so pleased that the Australian Institute of Project Management Sydney 2018 conference rated this talk so highly. How do I know? I have been asked to reprise it via webinar. This time I am looping my research colleague Jeff Volkheimer in too. Though “project managers” are not in his title, like one the rest of us he is one anyway:
The good thing about the proliferation of project management as a technique of doing anything is that it allows us to break up this idea that you need to manage a person to manage a capability or resource. The problem, of course, is that the skills development – formal and informal – around this isn’t given the attention it requires. Especially not in the softer skills (communication, emotional intelligence, etc) space.
Projects are, by definition, discreet endeavours. They have a beginning and an end. Do they lend themselves to the infinite game? Sure they do. Because the relationships, capabilities, skills and resources in one project don’t necessarily disappear into the ether when you are done. Rather they are part of the invisible network that ties more and more people together and enriches all the subsequent projects we work on.
I was overwhelmed by the amount of interest in authenticity as a topic of thought and discussion during a recent public lecture I held at ECU’s Learning Hub on the main streets of Bunbury, Western Australia. People from all manner of business and walks of life attended and discussed what authenticity means, how culture plays into it (national and organisational) and how important knowing yourself is as part of the equation. Thank you to ECU for supporting the intellectual life of the CBD and making me feel so fortunate to have this opportunity in the South West.
I was recently interviewed by ABC Radio Goldfields and again by 6PR Perth – listen to the podcast here – about Halloween, its origins and the differences in the celebrations in the USA and Australia.
From a research perspective, one of the fascinating aspects of the holiday are the commercialisation and secularisation of religious holidays; and the communities of consumption that gather around them.
Halloween is only moderately successful in Australia and has no where near the reach as it does in North America. However, the creative outlet, community and social release of Halloween is expressed slightly differently at the same time, through the Australian obsession with the Melbourne Cup Race.
People dress up, they spoil themselves, they gather and the celebrate. Some might say the Melbourne Cup doesn’t have the religious basis of Halloween – but then those people might never have visited Melbourne, Victoria.
I was pleased to give a presentation at the Australian Institute of Project Management national conference in Sydney last week on the above topic. The theme was “People, Precision, Performance” and the focus of many presentations were the softer skills of management. Communication, support, leadership, influence and stakeholder management. What is becoming more apparent is that while project managers in various industries (construction, tech, business development, finance and so on) have the hard skills to do the job, managing the personalities and communities is a prized capability and one, not every project manager has. As an Institute I work with regularly in my role at ECU, I have found the AIPM staff do have those skills and are reaching out to further develop project managers in these areas regularly. If you’re down under, no matter which aspect of PM you are involved with, they are worth checking out.
I am pleased to be offering this workshop on Wednesday, 27 June in Manilla to a group of trusted and valued ECU Authorised Education Agents. This s the first opportunity to take this talk international, after its debut in the regional centre of Bunbury, Western Australia and then Sydney.
Based on the current research on Word of Mouth Marketing, Authentic Marketing and case studies on some empowering stories, this is a down-to-earth practical look on what managers can do today to stimulate WOM and more importantly, stop expending resources where it just might be wasted.
On Wednesday 18 July, I will be pleased to be presenting on the above topic at AMA Non-Profit Marketing Conference with a colleague, Mr Jeff Volkheimer of Duke Health. Jeff is the Director of Collaborative and Workforce Services. He is the kind of IT guy that works really well with people in my field – or maybe any field. We are collaborating on several research projects, and in the process of doing so mix it up as IT and marketing people tend to do. The idea for this presentation came from our ongoing discourse about the differing cultures of marketing and IT and how now, more than ever, they need to work together.
We have had a great time doing our anecdotal research. Talking to marketing people about IT and IT people about marketing has been fun. Can’t wait to watch the sparks fly at this presentation.
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.
I am proud to see that a book chapter I have been working on with Dr Jamie Murphy has been published. The chapter was inspired by our annoyance at the lack of technical terminology for the segmentation of fans in consumer communities. What is the difference, for example, between a maven and a geek? And why are they different? As we conducted research into this area I felt the need for the kind of characterisation that is so prevalent in other kinds of customer analyses.
I loved exploring the genesis of different terms and demonstrating examples. Working with Jamie is always an adventure, and I look forward to further collaborations with him. Jamie is a sharp editor and an enthusiast for research and life in general. I have so much gratitude for all the opportunities he has brought to me over the years – so thanks Jamie, for this and so many other things.
As for me personally – for some things I am a geek and for some a maven. Usually I am an evangelist – or hater! I saw myself in so many characters in this chapter which is part of what made it fun to write. I hope those who read it have a good time too.