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The Dark Arts of Content Leadership


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This is the Extended Edition version of the keynote presentation delivered at Lavacon 2015 in New Orleans. It tackles some key concepts and principles that will drive a grounded Content Strategy and its implementation.

Published in: Internet

The Dark Arts of Content Leadership

  1. 1. Joe Gollner @joegollner
  2. 2. Houston, We have a Problem! @joegollner 2
  3. 3. Commentary: Fundamental Information Problems Homer Simpson is quite happy with the information he is accessing on his tablet but whatever he is accessing is disconnected from the problems that are happening behind him. When the content processes in an organization break down, these types of mismatches become common.
  4. 4. Fragmented Content becomes more Fragmented @joegollner 4 Course Materials Documentation Specifications Collateral Requirements Uncoordinated ContentSilos Uncoordinated CustomerExperience Knowledge Base Proposals Training TechComm Engineering Marketing Product Mgt Support Sales
  5. 5. Magneto – Control Control has become a primary concern …the effects of which are ambiguous @joegollner 5
  6. 6. Control is a Double-Edged Sword – Cuts Both Ways Old adage with more than a little truth behind it You get what you measure Measurement is a vital management tool But the danger with measurement is the potential to become an end in itself & dissociated from reality including from ongoing changes @joegollner 6
  7. 7. Mystique - Misinformation The truth can become an early victim Spin becomes the norm @joegollner 7
  8. 8. The Truth about Information  Information  The meaningful organization of data that is communicated in a specific context and for a specific purpose  It can be mis-information  Framed with the intent of deceiving an audience  It is not always an asset  It can be a liability (e.g., evidence of deception) @joegollner 8
  9. 9. CONTENT INFORMATION The Truth about Content Content Is what we plan, design, create, reuse & manage so that we can deliver effective information transactions Content is potential information (an asset) Information is a transaction (an action) that contains & delivers Content @joegollner 9
  10. 10. Trask – Technophilia Organizations exhibit a strange love / hate relationship with technology The silver bullet typically wins! @joegollner 10
  11. 11. Technology as an Addiction Technology Acquisition  Is generally a weak point in organizations  Implementing requirements that are not understood  Generally hijacked by the most aggressive vendors  Silver bullets appear to offload responsibility Failure has a strong fan club  Information Technology groups find expanded work  Vendors get to sell replacements  Consultants get to perform more studies  People can stick to what they already know @joegollner 11
  12. 12. What is to be done? Learn from the Past @joegollner 12 Integrated Content
  13. 13. Commentary: Integrated Content For us, the most important thing about the early examples of double-entry book-keeping is the fact that the balancing entries are matched with textual explanations that provide the full context of the transaction. Enron would not have survived this under this accounting approach.
  14. 14. Case Study: Content on Top (Lavacon 2013) @joegollner 14 Example of a large organization that needed to re-integrate their financial data with explanatory content so that it would be: a) valid b) understandable c) authoritative d) legal
  15. 15. Professor X – Strategic Vision It’s the Content… Content is a core asset Like money, it connects all business activities @joegollner 15
  16. 16. Approach Content as Content @joegollner 16 Content Channels Data Expertise Goals Messaging Audiences Content is created by leveraging multiple inputs This is the daily challenge for professional communicators Content is therefore a complex composite Artifact The whole is greater than the sum of its parts
  17. 17. There is a Bi-directional Relationship @joegollner 17 Channels Data Expertise Goals Messaging Audiences Content Content provides the context that is typically missing in sources Poor content points to poor sources Content can change its sources for the better Poor content means that there is no way for sources to improve
  18. 18. Content tells you a lot about an Organization @joegollner 18 CONTENT STRATEGY Analyzing the Unconscious Organization
  19. 19. Commentary: Presentation from Confab 2012 This presentation, Content Strategy: A Dangerous Method, delved into what happens when you really start to peel back the information layers to see where the content really comes from and what business drivers it is related to. As with psychoanalysis, you can run into more than you bargained for.
  20. 20. Content Solutions as a Strategic Response @joegollner 20 Content Solution Technology Resources Control Metrics Knowledge Domains Business Strategy Product Branding Market Segments Lack of integration is the central challenge of the modern enterprise Content Solutions offer an attractive way to solve many integration problems
  21. 21. Content Solutions as an Agent of Change @joegollner 21 Technology Resources Control Metrics Knowledge Domains Business Strategy Product Branding Market Segments Content Solution Content Solutions put the pieces back together Adds a vital tool back into the enterprise integration tool box
  22. 22. Storm – Mobilization Assemble content specialists for the hard job of integrating data & expertise into persistent & reusable assets - Content @joegollner 22
  23. 23. A Content Lifecycle Model @joegollner 23 Content Acquisition Content Management Content Delivery Content Engagement How content is created, converted or licensed How content is selected, assembled & published How content is changed, controlled & protected How content is improved by user feedback
  24. 24. Content Strategy: A Plan of Action for Improvement @joegollner 24 Content Acquisition Content Management Content Delivery Content Engagement Content Strategy
  25. 25. The Content / Information Feedback Loop @joegollner 25 Content Acquisition Content Management Content Engagement Content Delivery Content Strategy Information Product User Task Guidance Feedback A managed store of content assets can be used to publish a variety of highly specific information events that specific users will apply in specific contexts
  26. 26. Rogue – Integration Integration is hard Very hard It calls for making connections across the enterprise It is also essential @joegollner 26
  27. 27. Reaching Out to Stakeholders Some Interesting Angles  The personal dimension  Relationship building  The tool dimension  Working at the same level  The exchange dimension  Making win-win deals  The Customer dimension  Making a difference to the product end users @joegollner 27 Content Team Information Technology Business Intelligence Engineering Sales & Marketing Support Training
  28. 28. Content is special @joegollner 28 Iron Man - Content Technology Content Channels Data Expertise Goals Messaging Audiences Complex Composite Artifact
  29. 29. Building Scalable & Sustainable Content Solutions @joegollner 29 Business Requirements Budget Realities Political Factors User Needs Demonstration Capability Model Implementation Production Deployment Continuous Improvement Content Technologies Content Standards Best Practices Open Source Tools Commercial Products Content Strategy Lean Principles Discover Design Develop Demonstrate Deploy Lean Content Processes Process Step Process Step Content Rules Validation & Analysis Content Assets Process Rules Anatomy of a Content Solution
  30. 30. Integrated Content Management @joegollner 30 Content Acquisition Content Management Content Delivery Content Engagement Content Strategy Information Resources Web Content Management Enterprise Content Management Learning Content Management Integated Content Management Would the real Content Management please stand up?
  31. 31. Commentary: Content Technologies While Content Technologies are only part of the overall story, they are an important part. There are many good content technologies and most organizations massively under utilize them. This means they are working too hard.
  32. 32. Wolverine - Implementation Touching content means changing many fundamental things It’s a bigger change than we ever expect @joegollner 32
  33. 33. Change Management calls for Genuine Leadership The Fundamental Challenge  Changing the way an organization creates, manages & leverages its content hits many organizational nerves  The responsibility for making these changes falls to the content team who have never had to deal with organizational pressures on this scale  The content team needs to change dramatically in order to effect the needed organizational changes This is your challenge @joegollner 33
  34. 34. Wolverine – Resilience Key is the ability to recover from set-backs …and there will be set-backs Persistence pays off @joegollner 34
  35. 35. Content Leadership @joegollner 35
  36. 36. Commentary: Content Leadership The story about the hard-nosed US Army Sargent who came to accept the fresh new Lieutenant tells us something about the true nature of leadership. It tells us that leadership is about accepting absolute responsibility and putting both the mission and the team before yourself.
  37. 37. Commentary: Content Leadership Content Leadership is therefore about tapping into the unique & special nature of content to help organizations do better at what they do and to serve their customers in better ways than they have. Focusing on the content helps organizations get back in touch with their real purpose.
  38. 38. Making Connections Joe Gollner Managing Director Gnostyx Research Inc. Twitter: @joegollner Blog: The Content Philosopher @joegollner 38