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Tales from The Brant Cave (Volume One in The Brant Cave series)


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Tales from The Brant Cave, by Robert Lavigne, Your Social Business Mentor.

Volume One in The Brant Cave series features insights from

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Are you struggling to formulate your Social Media Strategy?

Do you wish to understand how to become a Social Business?

Would a personal one-on-one mentoring session Help You Succeed?

Robert Lavigne, Your Social Business Mentor, is available for online mentoring sessions on the following topics using Skype, Google Hangout and even your Phone.

In person Life@42 Workshops, featuring Robert Lavigne, can also be scheduled for any group size and topics.

Contact Robert Lavigne,

Published in: Business, Technology

Tales from The Brant Cave (Volume One in The Brant Cave series)

  1. 1. Tales fromThe Brant Cave Second Edition by Robert Lavigne,Your Social Business Mentor
  2. 2. Volume Onein The Brant Cave Series
  3. 3. Dedicated to Karen,Therese and Marcel
  4. 4. Table of ContentsIntroduction Chapter ThreeRobert Lavigne, Your Social Do you feel like you are the RodneyBusiness Mentor Dangerfield of Social Media?Chapter One Chapter FourHow do you define Value in the Age The Age of the Yes Men is Dead.of Freemium and Prosumerism? Stop Enabling. Start Engaging. The Emperor is in Need of a New Tailor.Chapter TwoEnrich your Insights. Expand your Chapter FiveInfluence. Enhance your Exposure. Roses are Red. Violets are Blue. Its about your Shareholders. Its not about You.
  5. 5. Table of ContentsChapter Six Chapter EightRecycled Ideas. What is Old is New. A New Economy for a Brave NewWhat is New is Old. The Pendulum World. A World based on Prosperityof Commerce Often Requires a and Commerce on a Global Plane.Nudge of Innovation. Chapter NineChapter Seven What is your Password? SocialYour Key Inbound Marketing Infringement on your Privacy is theStrategy is Re-Purposed In-Flow latest HR Scam perpetuated byContent. Having a Strong Engaged Traditional Businesses.Tribe Doesnt Hurt Either.
  6. 6. Table of ContentsChapter Ten Chapter TwelveWhat does The Six Million Dollar Land the Sale! Why a "ContentMan and Knight Rider have to do Spiral Engagement Strategy" willwith Social Business? convert your Sales Funnel into a Sales Tornado.Chapter ElevenTo Blog or Not To Blog? It is not a Chapter ThirteenQuestion, but an Answer to your The Doubting Thomas. How anFundamental Identity as a Human Agilistic Operational Model canBeing. Convert the Unbelievers into Disciples and Saints.
  7. 7. Table of ContentsChapter Fourteen Social Media 101Titanic Social Business Lessons. A Social Business Hangout withWhat has 100 years taught us about Therese and Marcel Lavigne.Silos, Class Hierarchy, and Icebergs. We Love BrantfordChapter Fifteen A Social Business Hangout with JeffDont let that Needle Burst your and Jaime Thibodeau.Bubble. How to Ensure that yourTagged Drunken Picture becomes aNeedle in a Haystack. Downtown Brantford A Social Business Hangout with John Bradford.
  8. 8. Are you struggling toformulate your Social Media Strategy?
  9. 9. Do you wish to understand how tobecome a Social Business?
  10. 10. Would a personal one-on- one mentoring session Help You Succeed?
  11. 11. Contact @RLavigne42.comRobert Lavigne, Your SocialBusiness Mentor, is availablefor online mentoring sessionsusing Skype, GoogleHangout, and even yourPhone.In person, Life@42Workshops  featuring RobertLavigne, can also bescheduled for any group sizeand topics. 11
  12. 12. Chapter OneHow do you define Value in the Age of Freemium and Prosumerism? Return to Table of Contents
  13. 13. What is value? How is it defined?Is value something that is earned or established?
  14. 14. Chapter OneIn the Age of Freemium Economics andProducer/Consumer Markets, the definition ofvalue is often variant based on our own immersionand exposure to the Digital and Social Era. Robert Lavigne (, Your 14
  15. 15. Chapter OneIf we are flooded by freemium alternatives, thevalue we place on sparse physical goods is oftendevalued by the infinite supply of digital goods. Robert Lavigne (, Your 15
  16. 16. Chapter OneSimilarly, if we are both producing andconsuming as Prosumers, we often degrade ourlevel of dependence and acknowledgement of theonce high valued Professional. Robert Lavigne (, Your 16
  17. 17. Chapter OneIn the Age of Freemium and Prosumerism, theconcept of value is in a state of flux ravaged bythe concurrent state of collapse felt across allaspects of economical, social, and political eco-systems. Robert Lavigne (, Your 17
  18. 18. Chapter TwoEnrich your Insights. Expandyour Influence. Enhance your Exposure. Return to Table of Contents
  19. 19. What is the point of Social Networking?Why would you want tosurround yourself with Weak Ties?
  20. 20. Chapter TwoMuch has been said about the value of aFacebook Friend, a Twitter Follower, a LinkedInConnection, an Empire Avenue Shareholder, or aGoogle+ Engager.  You caught that right?  I usedthe word Engager to describe those I sociallynetwork with on Google+. Robert Lavigne (, Your 20
  21. 21. Chapter TwoThat was not always the case and I want to sharewith you a brief story to explain why. Robert Lavigne (, Your 21
  22. 22. Chapter TwoI was one of the very few people to receive aninvitation on Google+. There were between 2,000and 5,000 people on the network when Ijoined.  But then something happened, themembers grew larger, grew wider, and grew morediverse everyday. No longer was Google+ just aplace for the "Google Fan Boys", "Tech Geeks",and "Early Adopters". Robert Lavigne (, Your 22
  23. 23. Chapter TwoMany came, many left, and many becamedormant during that growth.  As a result of myearly forage into Google+, I quickly hit the 5,000maximum number of people I could have in mycombined Circles.  I would struggle weekly toremove a few dead accounts to make way for newlive accounts. Robert Lavigne (, Your 23
  24. 24. Chapter TwoAnd then something happened that would foreverchange how I viewed my 5,000 limit. Robert Lavigne (, Your 24
  25. 25. Chapter TwoSomeone curated a group of Empire Avenuemembers on Google+ and proceeded to share thatCircle so that others could benefit from it. Iattempted to add that much valued Circle and washalted yet again with the Google+ 5,000 Limit. Robert Lavigne (, Your 25
  26. 26. Chapter TwoNow for those unaware about Empire Avenue, letme tell you this in no uncertain terms. EmpireAvenue is the most engaging Social Network Ihave come across. The gaming dynamics rewardengagement and has been the source of themajority of my Likes, ReTweet, Shares,Comments and most importantly newconnections. Robert Lavigne (, Your 26
  27. 27. Chapter TwoSo on that day I weighed my options. What wasmore important, 5,000 Strangers or 500Engagers? Robert Lavigne (, Your 27
  28. 28. Chapter TwoThe answer was clear, for my Google+ Network tohave meaning for me, it required an infusion ofengagement. So I purged my Following Circle andonly kept those in my Recent Interactions,Collaborators, Acquaintances and Friends Circles.I then proudly added this new shared EmpireAvenue Circle to my fold. Robert Lavigne (, Your 28
  29. 29. Chapter TwoFor a Social Network to have value, it needs tohave a high engagement factor. To achieve this,you need to constantly widen your horizons andbring in new voices, opinions and insights. Youneed to constantly identify the Engagers andpurge the Strangers. For only by engaging will youever be able to collaborate, and collaboration isthe ultimate goal of Social Networking. Robert Lavigne (, Your 29
  30. 30. Chapter Three Do you feel like you are theRodney Dangerfield of Social Media? Return to Table of Contents
  31. 31. Do you get no respect? Does your hard work go unnoticed?Do you fail to get your just desserts? 
  32. 32. Chapter ThreeAll the world is a stage and we are merely players.Whether this makes you think of Rush or WilliamShakespeare, the end goal remains the same. Bothbecame masters of their art through diligent hardwork, constant experimentation, and an undyingpassion for what they held true. Robert Lavigne (, Your 32
  33. 33. Chapter ThreeWe all start as infants and traverse clumsilythrough childhood. Demanding respect duringthese years is often responded to with contemptand ridicule. Social Media is still young and manyare wielding it like a toy expecting immediateparental attention. Robert Lavigne (, Your 33
  34. 34. Chapter ThreeThose who carry forward have love for what theydo and soldier on past disillusionment andrepeated failures. During these stages, they acquirea personal brand solidifying their true personaand actual accomplishments. Social Media cannotbe viewed as a lone animal amongst the fold. Robert Lavigne (, Your 34
  35. 35. Chapter ThreeFor respect comes with the justice of wisdom.Steadfast experience in ones field accomplishesmuch power and position. The world is made upof firm institutions and constructs powered bythose clinging to their last vestige of isolation.Social Media must flow through the cracks ofthese factory silos. Robert Lavigne (, Your 35
  36. 36. Chapter ThreeFor with every age of man, the cycle must eithercome to an end or be reborn anew. Those who failto adapt and learn will quickly lose the respectearned after their initial 10,000 hours. SocialMedia is in an ongoing state of evolutionrequiring adaptable spirits leading the charge. Robert Lavigne (, Your 36
  37. 37. Chapter ThreeThe world is your stage. While the script may notbe under your control, how you act and portrayyour role is entirely under your direction. SocialMedia has opened up the world to your business.How will you choose to showcase your talent andpassion? How will you choose to leverage yourrespect and position of influence? Robert Lavigne (, Your 37
  38. 38. Chapter FourThe Age of the Yes Men is Dead. Stop Enabling. Start Engaging. The Emperor is in Need of a New Tailor. Return to Table of Contents
  39. 39. Do you surround yourself with Yes Men?Do you forsake those who would actually Engage?
  40. 40. Chapter FourMany once respected brands have fallen intodisrepute due to hubris.  Many once innovativeorganizations have fallen into mediocrity dueto  echo chambers.  Many once valued idols havefallen into the afterlife due to enablers. Robert Lavigne (, Your 40
  41. 41. Chapter FourWhat did they all have in common? What was thecause of their downfall? What went so terriblywrong? They all surrounded themselves with "YesMen" at the expense of those willing to expressthe truth.  When you surround yourself withenablers, you give up the single source ofsustainment - FEEDBACK. Robert Lavigne (, Your 41
  42. 42. Chapter FourWhat is that magical element that will keep youyoung, volatile, charismatic, and influential? Whatis that success formula that will bring youprosperity, growth, innovation and market share?The answer is clear to anyone willing to listen to achild pointing out the obvious - FEEDBACK. Robert Lavigne (, Your 42
  43. 43. Chapter FourMuch like the child proclaiming that the Emperorwas in need of a new tailor, those who fail to listenare doomed to walk the streets exposed andunaware. Engagement outside of one’s comfortzone and circle of influence is the only way toavoid falling prey to the promise weavers.  Tomodel your business on hierarchy and silos willonly bring you the disillusionment that your are asocial business. Robert Lavigne (, Your 43
  44. 44. Chapter FourA modern organization cannot be led by thoseunwilling to listen to the wisdom of the crowd.Nor can an organization prosper in these socialtimes when they are unwilling to listen to theircustomers and employees. To simply isolateyourself from reality in the hope of maintainingyour cone of silence is an invitation for failure. Robert Lavigne (, Your 44
  45. 45. Chapter FiveRoses are Red. Violets are Blue.Its about your Shareholders. Its not about You. Return to Table of Contents
  46. 46. What is on your mind? Whats happening? Whats new? YOU DECIDE!
  47. 47. Chapter FiveShareholders are your best source for dialogue.Unlike casual customers, they have a long terminvestment in your growth and success. How youinteract with your shareholders says as muchabout your company as it does about them.  Robert Lavigne (, Your 47
  48. 48. Chapter FiveIf you broadcast and they merely consume, youhave a disengaged relationship. If you inquire andthey opt to ignore, you have a disengagedrelationship. If you get them involved and theyrespond in kind, you have an engagedrelationship. Robert Lavigne (, Your 48
  49. 49. Chapter FiveMost shareholder mail provides insight to yourshareholders on the status of your company andthe direction it is going. In a recent shareholdermail, I opted to throw a twist into the mix. Themessage was simple and to the point. Send a tweetand carbon copy me so I could see it. The topic ofsaid tweet you may ask? It was for them to decide. Robert Lavigne (, Your 49
  50. 50. Chapter FiveThey could tell me what they were eating(cashews) or drinking (beer). They could promotetheir Facebook fan page or their cause. Theycould let me know where they were in the worldand how beautiful of a day it was (Adelaide. 25degree C). They could tell me a joke about thedyslexic Satanist, who sold his soul to Santa. Robert Lavigne (, Your 50
  51. 51. Chapter FiveThey could offer up a few quotes about "...worrying is as effective as trying to solve analgebra equation by chewing bubblegum." Theycould remind me to make today count and let thegenerosity flow. They could simply share, share,and share what was important to them with me. Robert Lavigne (, Your 51
  52. 52. Chapter FiveIt cost me currency to send this request. It cost menothing to focus on my shareholders instead ofmyself. The gain was a night long discussionacross multiple tweets. The purpose was to reachout and engage with those who choose to engagewith me. The end result, I got to know thembetter and in the end that is what CustomerService is all about. Robert Lavigne (, Your 52
  53. 53. Chapter SixRecycled Ideas. What is Old isNew. What is New is Old. The Pendulum of Commerce OftenRequires a Nudge of Innovation. Return to Table of Contents
  54. 54. What is Innovation?What makes an Idea Great?What is your Eureka Moment?
  55. 55. Chapter SixWe are always looking for that next big wave. Theone that will sweep in the rush of financialsuccess. The one that will wash away the remnantsof past failures. We are always looking forsomething new to replace the old. Robert Lavigne (, Your 55
  56. 56. Chapter SixThe reality in life is that very few things are trulynew. We are a society built upon recycled ideas,t h o u g h t s,  m a n n e r i s m s  a n d ex p re s s i o n s.Organizations do not tend to radically innovate.Marketing has a tendency to enhance previousconcepts. Commerce tends to reward tweaks toexisting business models. Robert Lavigne (, Your 56
  57. 57. Chapter SixWhile we have seen massive changes in ourgenerational growth, most of what surrounds us ismore evolutionary in nature than revolutionary.While technology has masked what we once heldas gospel, the core behind it all still retains thepurity of production, distribution, andcommunication. Robert Lavigne (, Your 57
  58. 58. Chapter SixYou see an idea is like the mass (bob) of apendulum. It is attached to a string of thoughtinfluenced by the strength of its gravity. It movesfrom one extreme to the next. As the concept getstoo complex, we find ways to make it simpler. Asthe fashion becomes bland, we dress it up andmake it flashy again. Robert Lavigne (, Your 58
  59. 59. Chapter SixWe are constantly adjusting to account for theshift of the pendulum.  Those who are able toaccount for the direction and amplitude are bestpositioned for mass adoption. Robert Lavigne (, Your 59
  60. 60. Chapter SixIn time, the pendulum will come to rest if left toits mechanical expression (Q factor). That timehas come for organizations who have made ab u s i n e s s o u t o f r e c y c l e d i d e a s . Fo rthe  pendulum  to remain in motion, an externalinfluence is required. A secondary mechanismmust exist to keep the business from becomingdormant. Consider this your nudge. Robert Lavigne (, Your 60
  61. 61. Chapter Seven Your Key Inbound MarketingStrategy is Re-Purposed In-Flow Content. Having a Strong Engaged Tribe Doesnt Hurt Either. Return to Table of Contents
  62. 62. What is Marketing?Who controls the Funnel? What drives the Flow?
  63. 63. Chapter SevenI have said it before and I am making it clearagain. The KEY to a successful InboundMarketing strategy is Re-Purposed In-FlowContent. Robert Lavigne (, Your 63
  64. 64. Chapter SevenYes, consistency, quality, value, and addressing"Whats in it for me?" are all important elementsto your marketing strategy. These elements havebeen in place in Traditional Marketing since thedawn of time. But in the Digital Age, the key, theelement that makes it all work, is Re-Purposed In-Flow Content. Robert Lavigne (, Your 64
  65. 65. Chapter SevenThe Digital Age allows for us to fully integratewhat we do during our "in-flow" activities andincorporate it into a much wider spectrum that isInbound Marketing. Once re-purposed, thecontent is allowed to spread through your networktiers to those who will be drawn to your business. Robert Lavigne (, Your 65
  66. 66. Chapter SevenI have heard great things about HubSpot frompeople who use it. As for myself, I do not use it. Ihave opted to leverage Empire Avenue for mytribe to "prime the pump" on my content.Fundamentally, that is what sites like HubSpot,Triberr, etc are all about. They are prepackaged"tribes" to use the Seth Godin analogy. Robert Lavigne (, Your 66
  67. 67. Chapter SevenAt the end of the day, anytime you can leveragean existing community to spread the first round ofyour word, the better.  If the content is worthy, thesecond tier and third tier will pick it up and runwith in. Robert Lavigne (, Your 67
  68. 68. Chapter SevenThat pretty much sums up the traffic equation ofInbound Marketing. On the content side, I havealways been partial to video as a key element toany Inbound Marketing efforts. The nice thingwith video, is that it can also be extracted as audio(two birds as it were). Go one step further and youcan transcribe it as a blog entry (third bird, samestone). Robert Lavigne (, Your 68
  69. 69. Chapter SevenThe key here is consistent re-purposed in-flowcontent that targets what is on the mind of youraudience. Robert Lavigne (, Your 69
  70. 70. Chapter SevenThe days of static websites with high link backschemes are over. The key is for any website tohave consistently updated content that allows forsocial interactions, which at the end of the daymeets the new SEO algorithms, as well as providesa reason for people to consistently come back toyour website. Robert Lavigne (, Your 70
  71. 71. Chapter SevenFor my own company, I make use of a weeklypodcast as the Inbound Marketing strategy for mystudio website. This site is 100% tumblr, has zeroHTML coding, has full capacity to have freshcontent on the left pane while providing for staticcall to action content on the right pane. The newmodel for Inbound Marketing and websitedevelopment in my opinion. Robert Lavigne (, Your 71
  72. 72. Chapter SevenTo prove my point about the key to InboundMarketing being Re-Purposed In-Flow Content,80% of this chapter is a direct copy of a reply toan e-mail I wrote this morning. When are yougoing to stop thinking as Marketing as a division,and start thinking of your entire business as ameans of generating buzz for your company? Robert Lavigne (, Your 72
  73. 73. Chapter Eight A New Economy for a BraveNew World. A World based onProsperity and Commerce on a Global Plane. Return to Table of Contents
  74. 74. Who is your Customer?Where are they Located?What is their Demand?How will you Supply it?
  75. 75. Chapter EightThe world as we know it, is not new. It is made upof elements of our fathers, grand-fathers, andfore-fathers. It is the culmination of valuesimparted upon us by our mothers, matriarchs, andthe earth who is mother to us all.  While the pasthas defined our present, the future is ours todefine. Robert Lavigne (, Your 75
  76. 76. Chapter EightThe basic building blocks of a successful economyhas a known formula. The equation for profit is tosell a product or service at a higher cost than whatit costs to produce. This profit is reinvested backinto society to ensure that new elements areformulated to drive commerce. Robert Lavigne (, Your 76
  77. 77. Chapter EightCommerce seeks to match those who demandwith those who wish to supply. When demandexceeds supply, new players emerge in the marketdriving down prices and restricting profit margins. Robert Lavigne (, Your 77
  78. 78. Chapter EightThose who succeed shift their business models tolower expenses or create new demands for higherrevenues. The ebbs and flows of commercerequire keen insight of future trends and historicalpatterns. For every winner there is often manylosers, but "the spice must flow" to ensure thesurvival of the fragile ecosystem that inhabits thisplanet. Robert Lavigne (, Your 78
  79. 79. Chapter EightWhile some regions lay barren to waste, others areflush with the green of  capitalistic  wealth.  Thismodel, often flawed by the index of greed thatcorrupts it, has been a mainstay of society sincethe age of man. Very little has changed other thanthose who would claim King of the Mountain.UNTIL NOW! Robert Lavigne (, Your 79
  80. 80. Chapter EightWe now live in a world, where the once powerfulelite are hampered by inefficiencies of scale. Whatwas once considered an economy of scale, nolonger equates. Office Politics, DisengagedCultures, and Organic Distrust now plague theirwell adorned towers. Robert Lavigne (, Your 80
  81. 81. Chapter EightThey are unable to innovate to meet new demandand prefer to litigate to hamper competitivesupply. They are incapable of retaining the brightminds that once gave vision to darkened futures. Robert Lavigne (, Your 81
  82. 82. Chapter EightWe are shifting to an age of micro-engagements,of a tele-commuting workforce, of freemium-based information technology, and of socialprofiles based on transparency of action, insights,and intentions. Robert Lavigne (, Your 82
  83. 83. Chapter EightThe cost savings models have shifted from fulltime, part time, consulting, outsourced, nearshore, offshore, to a model that embraces all ofthese elements as one. A model that is based onthe expenses of a human being working out oftheir basement studio incurring the revenues thata global market can present to one meeting theunique character they exhibit. Robert Lavigne (, Your 83
  84. 84. Chapter NineWhat is your Password? SocialInfringement on your Privacy isthe latest HR Scam perpetuated by Traditional Businesses. Return to Table of Contents
  85. 85. What is your Sexual Orientation?What is your Religious Belief ?What is your Facebook Password?
  86. 86. Chapter NineImagine this if you will. You are unemployed in adownturn economy. You have a spouse, 3 kids, 2dogs and a ballooning mortgage. You come acrossa job listing you are qualified for. You are asked tolog into the job site using Facebook for easyaccess. You submit your resume and await the callwhile the system scans your social profile. Robert Lavigne (, Your 86
  87. 87. Chapter NineA few days later, the phone rings and you set upan interview for the following week. You arrive forthe interview in your fanciest suit with a newhaircut that could have put food on the table andgas in your car. You are excited and thrilled to beconsidered for a position in a company that youhighly value. Robert Lavigne (, Your 87
  88. 88. Chapter NineThe interview goes well. You responded to alltheir questions honestly and accurately. You addedin some insights that would earmark you as aunique and preferred candidate. You think it wentwell and that the job is almost yours. Yourfinancial woes are soon to be over and life willreturn to normal. Robert Lavigne (, Your 88
  89. 89. Chapter NineThe HR manager, who legally could not ask youabout your sexual orientation or religious beliefs,does the unthinkable. They ask you to hand overyour Facebook account and password for furtherscreening. Faced with the thought of continuedunemployment, you agree out of fear andcohersion. Robert Lavigne (, Your 89
  90. 90. Chapter NineAs they scan your friends, uploaded pictures,status updates both public and private, you sitthere is complete disbelief at what is happening. Robert Lavigne (, Your 90
  91. 91. Chapter NineUpon review you are deemed to not be apedophile, a state terrorist, an escaped felon or asoapbox lunatic. You are handed an offer letterwith firm contractual obligations. Robert Lavigne (, Your 91
  92. 92. Chapter NineYou are required to friend your immediatesupervisor and the head of HR on Facebook. Youare not to post any negative status updates aboutyour lengthy commute, your work habits, yourcorporate concerns, or your annoying co-workers.You must like the companys Facebook page. Youmust share PR material issued by the company onyour personal profile. Robert Lavigne (, Your 92
  93. 93. Chapter NineUpon termination, you must unfriend any currentemployees and cease communicating with them. Robert Lavigne (, Your 93
  94. 94. Chapter NineSounds  farfetched, but this is happening rightnow.  These HR policies and corporate mindsetsgo against everything that is Social Business. Mostjob seekers unfortunately will simply accept thesenew terms without any resort or retort. Well, I ammaking it clear right here and now. I will not workfor any company who would promote or allow thisform of social privacy invasion and social profilehijacking. Robert Lavigne (, Your 94
  95. 95. Chapter NineA Social Business is one that recognizes thatsuccessful relationships are based on implied trust.A Social Business is one that values the opinions ofits employees and customers whether positive ornegative. Robert Lavigne (, Your 95
  96. 96. Chapter NineA Social Business is one that understands thatfocussing on being a great company will makepeople want to spread the word across their socialgraph. A Social Business respects your privacy andembraces your transparency. A Social Businesswould never ask you for your Facebook password. Robert Lavigne (, Your 96
  97. 97. Chapter Ten What does The Six Million Dollar Man and Knight Riderhave to do with Social Business? Return to Table of Contents
  98. 98. You have the Money!You have the Technology! You have the Means!Do you have the Culture?
  99. 99. Chapter TenIn the opening segment of the popular 1974-1978TV Series, The Six Million Dollar Man, OscarGoldman recites these famous words. "Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make theworlds first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better...stronger...faster." Robert Lavigne (, Your 99
  100. 100. Chapter TenFor those of you born later, allow me to useanother example. In the opening segment of thepopular 1982-1986 TV Series, Knight Rider, weare introduced to a man who does not exist. Thecrusading organization needed a man to pair withthe  Knight Industries Two Thousand (KITT),Michael Knight would become that man. Robert Lavigne (, Your 100
  101. 101. Chapter TenWhat do these two shows have in common. Theyare both examples of organizations who put theirfaith behind the pairing of technology and ahuman being. Robert Lavigne (, Your 101
  102. 102. Chapter TenIn The Six Billion Dollar Man, the Office ofScientific Intelligence (OSI) invested millions torebuild a former astronaut with bionic implants.In Knight Rider,  the Foundation for Law andGover nment (FLAG) g ave a man anew  identity  and paired him with a high-tech  Pontiac Trans Am controlled by a computerwith artificial intelligence. Robert Lavigne (, Your 102
  103. 103. Chapter TenBoth shows dealt with the introduction of state ofthe art technology of their era. Both shows wenton to become pop culture icons spawningnumerous copy cat shows, spin offs, andmerchandize gold mines. Robert Lavigne (, Your 103
  104. 104. Chapter TenBoth shows also understood what manyorganizations fail to comprehend when it comes tothe latest gizmo, gadget, tool, platform, or SocialMedia Enterprise Collaboration and CommunityWonderkit (aka Sharepoint, Jive, Salesforce, etc). Robert Lavigne (, Your 104
  105. 105. Chapter TenIn 1966, Abraham Maslow was quoted as saying,"I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you haveis a hammer, to treat everything as if it were anail." Sadly, for most, this is exactly how they reactto new technology and newoperational paradigms. Robert Lavigne (, Your 105
  106. 106. Chapter TenAn organization spends millions of dollarsinvesting in a new collaboration platform, simplyto see its users still using it as a file storagemechanism. A company invests in brand newtablets with real time capabilities, only to finds itsemployees still sending e-mails and attachingdocuments in a reply-all apocalypse. Robert Lavigne (, Your 106
  107. 107. Chapter TenThe organizations that become successful atintegrating new technology, do exactly that, theyintegrate it. These organizations realize that themost  sophisticated  car needs the human elementto interact and gauge the subtleties of theenvironment. These companies realize that thekeenest eyesight, fastest legs, and strongest armsare not an advantage without the insight todetermine friend or foe, and flee or fight. Robert Lavigne (, Your 107
  108. 108. Chapter TenOrganizations who wish to invest in technologiesto enhance their competitive advantage, need torealize that this investment requires a humanelement. They must ensure that the right peopleare  chosen  to wield the power that have beenawarded to them. They must provide them withthe  autonomy to reach out and test the limits oftheir new found devices. Robert Lavigne (, Your 108
  109. 109. Chapter TenThey must outline the goal of the technology andnot just the operational elements outlined in themanual. Robert Lavigne (, Your 109
  110. 110. Chapter TenThese companies should remember that all thesuccessful examples of technological advancementcame with the pairing of human beings. Thehuman element must share the mission, embracethe ideals, and comprehend the technology theynow possess. Technology that is not integratedwith the human element is destined to fall apart atthe seams, rust in a scrap yard, or suffer an earlycancellation. Robert Lavigne (, Your 110
  111. 111. Chapter ElevenTo Blog or Not To Blog? It is not a Question, but an Answer to your Fundamental Identity as a Human Being. Return to Table of Contents
  112. 112. Why should you Blog? What will you write About?Who do you want to Become?
  113. 113. Chapter ElevenSome days I stare at this blank canvas and wonderwhat text I will contribute to the Googlerepository. The question is never should I blog orshould I not. The answer is clear, blogging hasbecome a core element of my Digital Footprint. Ihave no less than ten blogs that I contributecontent to. Robert Lavigne (, Your 113
  114. 114. Chapter ElevenThe concept of writers block is not foreign toanybody who has decided to put thoughts towords. What cures this ill is the act of writingitself. Robert Lavigne (, Your 114
  115. 115. Chapter ElevenThe very act of putting thoughts to words allowswords to inspire new thoughts. Some refer to thisas free writing or stream-of-consciousness writing.The very act of writing will allow you to formulatewhat you are struggling to take form in the firstplace. You may have an idea in your mind as towhere you wish to go, but the goal is to allowyourself to go where your fingers take you. Robert Lavigne (, Your 115
  116. 116. Chapter ElevenWhich brings me to a famous quote by DouglasAdams.“I may not have gone where I intended to go, butI think I have ended up where I intended to be.” Robert Lavigne (, Your 116
  117. 117. Chapter ElevenThose of you who also follow my writings atLife@42: A Leadership Social Novel are alreadyaware of the importance of 42 to my philosophyof life and business. The very nature of my quote"Content is Free. Context is where the Value is."stems from the inner study of the great equationof life, the universe, and everything. Robert Lavigne (, Your 117
  118. 118. Chapter ElevenSo it should not be a surprise that another quoteby Douglas Adams should manifest itself in thisblog post on the very nature of blogging itself.The ability to outline your thoughts for the worldto see is a very powerful thing. The very act ofwriting them out is not only therapeutic, but alsoone of identity. Robert Lavigne (, Your 118
  119. 119. Chapter ElevenMost organizations and individuals keep theirthoughts to themselves. It is not that they areunable to write. This very post is proof that simplytyping without concern can lead to a core artifactand perhaps inspirational call to arms. Theproblem stems in their fear of being public ortransparent in a society which often frowns uponthose who seek to break the mold and display theiruniqueness. Robert Lavigne (, Your 119
  120. 120. Chapter ElevenIt is mindsets like this that have caused mostorganizations to be filled with mindlessautomatons better suited for the factory floor ofrobotics and well timed execution of repetitivetasks. The problem of course is that as more andmore elements become automated, we lose trackof the human element that make our productsand services desirable in the first place. Robert Lavigne (, Your 120
  121. 121. Chapter ElevenWe have spent the better part of the last centurycoding systems and proceduralizing processes.This has left us with stale cultures and risk-adverseLuddites. As systems become more and moreforeign to the human dimensions, we simplydisconnect from ourselves and our compatriots. Robert Lavigne (, Your 121
  122. 122. Chapter ElevenWhile technology is at the very foundation of thisblog, its thoughts, expressions, sentiments are veryhuman. At the end of the day, our businesses needto become more human and blogging is a coreelement in ensuring that those who choose toengage do so with another human.  Robert Lavigne (, Your 122
  123. 123. Chapter Twelve Land the Sale! Why a "ContentSpiral Engagement Strategy" will convert your Sales Funnel into a Sales Tornado. Return to Table of Contents
  124. 124. What is your Inbound Marketing Strategy?What platforms does it Target?What customers does it Support?
  125. 125. Chapter TwelveWe have all been there. A thought leaderannounces that they will be participating in awebinar on a topic you are passionate about. Youfollow the link and register for the event. At theappointed date and time, you log in and enjoytheir insights after a brief intro by the sponsor. Anhour later, you resume your daily grind fueled bynewly acquired wisdom. Robert Lavigne (, Your 125
  126. 126. Chapter TwelveA week later the phone rings daily, multiplemessages are left, and your inbox is flooded bysales requests. You dont even recall who thesponsor was, let alone why you would beinterested in their product and services.  Simplyput, you arrived, you listened, and you left satisfiedwith the intent of your purpose. Mistakingly, theact of attending the webinar deemed you a"qualified lead" for the sponsors sales funnel. Robert Lavigne (, Your 126
  127. 127. Chapter TwelveThe biggest problem facing most organizations isthe gap between a lead and a sale. All marketingefforts and CRM campaigns are geared towardsnarrowing this gap. However, the gap exists for areason as does the process of lead qualification. Robert Lavigne (, Your 127
  128. 128. Chapter TwelveTo simply compress the sales funnel by auto-qualifying leads is an all too commonpractice. The end result is a disgruntled potentialcustomer, a frustrated sales agent and anotherscheduled webinar to backfill the now depletedsales funnel. Robert Lavigne (, Your 128
  129. 129. Chapter TwelveOrganizations who adopt a "Content SpiralEngagement Strategy" understand that the salesfunnel has evolved in the Social Era. The verynature of Inbound Marketing is to pre-qualifyyour leads before you start engaging the salesdepartment.  Robert Lavigne (, Your 129
  130. 130. Chapter TwelveThe purpose of the Content Spiral is to allowyour content to self-navigate the lead through thesales funnel. Each piece of content is cross linkedacross platforms and draws the lead further intothe engagement process. Robert Lavigne (, Your 130
  131. 131. Chapter TwelveDigital content distributed in a spiral pattern notonly layers downwards but also  propagatesoutwards. As the lead self-navigates down thefunnel, the content is shared across theirlandscape.   It is the very dual nature of theContent Spiral that allows the funnel to touch theground and become a tornado.  Robert Lavigne (, Your 131
  132. 132. Chapter TwelveThe intensity of intent becomes far reaching. Theintent of action becomes absolute. The action oftransaction become status worthy. The sales funnelre-populates itself with self-qualifying leads. Robert Lavigne (, Your 132
  133. 133. Chapter ThirteenThe Doubting Thomas. How anAgilistic Operational Model can Convert the Unbelievers into Disciples and Saints. Return to Table of Contents
  134. 134. Does your anger fuel your Belief ?Does your belief fuel your Anger?Can you simply Believe?
  135. 135. Chapter ThirteenAt the gates of Heaven, the mortal was askingadmittance to his eternal life. When asked of hispast deeds and future aspirations, their admittancewas denied outright. When the mortal asked why,the response was brisk and blunt. "It is my beliefthat you would be the most loyal of my followers,if you believed in me. It is also my belief that youwould be my strongest opponent, if you did notbelieve in me." Robert Lavigne (, Your 135
  136. 136. Chapter ThirteenEvery organization has them. They often sit intheir office with their door open and their mindshut. They feel the change all around them andyet cannot imagine the possibilities. Theirimagination is curtailed by their inability toe nv i s i o n a m a n i f e s t e d o u t c o m e. E ve r yorganization has The Doubting Thomas. Robert Lavigne (, Your 136
  137. 137. Chapter ThirteenThey are the ones who demand proof beforetaking action. They tender others to formalizetheir beliefs through RFPs, RFQs, RFIs, andRFHs. They model extensive ROI equationsbased on false numbers only they choose tobelieve in. They prefer to spend millions on whatothers do not want in fear of believing in thevision of others. They are the ones who fail totrust until they see it with their own eyes. Robert Lavigne (, Your 137
  138. 138. Chapter ThirteenIn their mind, they are the gatekeepers of truth,equality, logic, and wisdom. To change theirbeliefs often requires a miracle founded oncrushed ideals and diluted principles. To them,you are the embodiment of something that cannotbe and your proposal less so. They are often thebottleneck of progress and the dead end ofinspiration. They can bury an organization underrubble of distrust and inaction. Robert Lavigne (, Your 138
  139. 139. Chapter ThirteenWhile every organization has The DoubtingThomas, not every organization is hampered bythem. The ability to generate proof of conceptand actionable results dispels their mistrust. Byadopting an Agilistic Operational Model, anorganization can find success through incrementalresults. Robert Lavigne (, Your 139
  140. 140. Chapter ThirteenOnly through proof of outcome will progress bemade in their eyes. The Doubting Thomas caneventually become a believer and as a result yourstrongest proponent. Robert Lavigne (, Your 140
  141. 141. Chapter FourteenTitanic Social Business Lessons. What has 100 years taught usabout Silos, Class Hierarchy, and Icebergs. Return to Table of Contents
  142. 142. Is your business Sinking? Are you navigating commercial Hazards?Is your hierarchy poorly Engineered?
  143. 143. Chapter FourteenTo many Generation Y, Titanic was a movie basedon fictional characters and a tragic tale of lostlives and lost love (now in 3D). If you dont believeme, simply search the word Titanic on Twitter tosee some of the surreal statements being made onthe 100th anniversary of its sinking. For those whoknow better, it was a milestone in engineering anda chapter in our history that should never beforgotten. Robert Lavigne (, Your 143
  144. 144. Chapter FourteenThere is an old saying that states that history isdoomed to repeat itself if we dont learn from it.Education and awareness play a large role inensuring that this does not happen. Re-engineering and re-tooling play a far larger role inensuring that we learn and adapt from thoselessons. Robert Lavigne (, Your 144
  145. 145. Chapter FourteenSo what have we learned in the last 100 yearsfrom the sinking of Titanic? More importantly,how can your business implement changes basedon those lessons that will ensure that it will live totell the tale another day. Robert Lavigne (, Your 145
  146. 146. Chapter FourteenA lot will be said about the unsinkable design ofthe Titanic. It was engineered to seal off wateracross verticals silos. It would stay afloat if thedamage was limited to the four silos in the front ortwo silos in the rear. The sheer bulk of the Titanicwould balance the added weight in thosecompartments and stay afloat. Robert Lavigne (, Your 146
  147. 147. Chapter FourteenHistory will remember that more than four siloswere flooded causing the ship to dip forward, snapin half, and sink to the depth at an alarming pace. Robert Lavigne (, Your 147
  148. 148. Chapter FourteenA lot will be said about the  historical  classstructure of the era. The very fabric of societyensured that only the richest and fairest wouldbenefit from the perks the Titanic offered. Womanand children first and the Captain will sink withthe ship were popular mantras of the era. Robert Lavigne (, Your 148
  149. 149. Chapter FourteenWhat was also very popular was thecompartmentalization of classes. While themisconception is that the classes were structuredhorizontally across the Titanic, they were actuallyvertical silos spread across multiple decks. Eventhough different classes shared the same deck,they never intermingled or communicated untildisaster struck. Robert Lavigne (, Your 149
  150. 150. Chapter FourteenA lot will be said about the Iceberg that theTitanic failed to navigate successfully. The Titanicwas a massive ship, but the Iceberg that sunk itwas 80% larger in size than what was visible. TheTitanic was a fast ship, but the propellers suddenlyput into reverse made it a sitting duck. Robert Lavigne (, Your 150
  151. 151. Chapter FourteenThe Titanic was an extravagant cruise liner, but itdidnt have the luxury of timeor  maneuverability  that cold night. The Titanichad shifted from open waters to treacherous alleysrequiring foresight, insight, and communication tonavigate the hazards. Robert Lavigne (, Your 151
  152. 152. Chapter FourteenT h e Titanic sunk bec aus e of multiplefailures cumulating in what was a perfect storm ona clear night. The spotters didnt have thebinoculars needed to see the details awaitingthem. The Captain used reaction techniques farmore in line with smaller vessels. Robert Lavigne (, Your 152
  153. 153. Chapter FourteenThe new Marconi radio was not fully integratedinto the framework of the command structure.Chaos ensued when multiple class structures brokedown their gates and flailed to survive. Whileengineered to handle the rush of water, the shipwas not designed to spread the load across thevessel causing a disastrous silo effect. Robert Lavigne (, Your 153
  154. 154. Chapter FourteenYour business is currently in dangerous waters.The economic reality requires you to re-examinewhat is a luxury. The growth of Social Mediarequires you to re-envision what iscommunication. The bureaucracy of OfficePolitics requires you to re-model what is anorganization.   The speed of change requires youto re-think what is standard procedure. Robert Lavigne (, Your 154
  155. 155. Chapter FourteenThe unseen portion of the Iceberg can doom youto the depths of a watery grave, or be the missingelement that will re-define what it means to be anAgile Organization. Robert Lavigne (, Your 155
  156. 156. Chapter FifteenDont let that Needle Burst yourBubble. How to Ensure that yourTagged Drunken Picture becomes a Needle in a Haystack. Return to Table of Contents
  157. 157. Are you Anonymous? Are you Infamous?Are you Mysterious?Are you a Needle in a Haystack?
  158. 158. Chapter FifteenI have a friend. Lets call him Nick. Nick wentpartying last month. Some would call it a bender,other would call it legen...wait for it...dary. Nick isoften the life of the party. After a few drinks, Nickbecomes the center of his own universe and yours.Nick is, well, Nick is Nick. Robert Lavigne (, Your 158
  159. 159. Chapter FifteenLast week, I got a call from Nick. You could hearthe fear in his voice. The sheer pleas ofdesperation were quite familiar to me. Nickbecame the latest victim of a well knownphenomena in the Social Era. Nicks high spiritedparty antics were captured and tagged for all tosee. When you searched for Nick, that nightsdrunken picture graced the top results. Nick wasforever branded as a drunken fool for all to see. Robert Lavigne (, Your 159
  160. 160. Chapter Fifteen"You gotta help me bro", Nick was pleading, "Iam applying for a new job and if they search myname, this is the only thing they will find." Nicksdrunken photo represents what I often refer to asthe needle of your Digital Footprint. The needlein this case is not something you wish people tofind. This needle will quite literally burst yourbubble. Robert Lavigne (, Your 160
  161. 161. Chapter FifteenNick desperately wanted to have that pictureremoved from the Internet. While he removed theoriginal image, the reference to his legendarynight would not  disappear. It had been shared,cached, copied, and tagged beyond his control.No matter what Nick did, he could not escape theimagery of that night. Or so that is what Nickthought. Robert Lavigne (, Your 161
  162. 162. Chapter FifteenThere are many services that will help you dealwith your reputation management. They willscour the Internet and remove anything that canbe damaging to your personal brand. If Nick wasto reach out to them, they could "fix" his problem.I am sure that when people searched for himonline, they would no longer see that picture.They would actually see nothing at all, and that isthe problem that Nick really has. Robert Lavigne (, Your 162
  163. 163. Chapter FifteenThe issue is not that this image comes up whenyou search for Nick. The issue is that this image isthe ONLY thing that comes up when you searchfor Nick. This is the case with the vast majority ofindividuals who fear having their instances of joybecome moments of infamy. Robert Lavigne (, Your 163
  164. 164. Chapter FifteenIn the Social Era, we are all potential victims ofthe  paparazzi,  aka our friends tagging us onFacebook. To combat this new transparency,requires even more transparency. Robert Lavigne (, Your 164
  165. 165. Chapter FifteenWhat Nick needs to do is build a haystack tocompliment his existing needle. The goal is not asmuch to hide the needle, but to provide additionalcontent to further define who he is. Robert Lavigne (, Your 165
  166. 166. Chapter FifteenNick didnt have a Linkedin profile  extolling hisaccomplishments and experience. Nick didnt havea blog providing context for his views on businessleadership. Nick didnt have a YouTube channelcapturing insightful moments from the manyconferences he attended. Nick didnt have aTwitter account engaging with those who sharedhis ideals and aspirations. Nick didnt have awebsite curating his haystack. Robert Lavigne (, Your 166
  167. 167. Chapter FifteenNick only had a needle. Robert Lavigne (, Your 167
  168. 168. Social Media 101A Social Business Hangout withRobert Lavigne, Therese Lavigne, and Marcel Lavigne. Return to Table of Contents
  169. 169. Social Media 101#StayTuned Robert Lavigne (, Your 169
  170. 170. We Love BrantfordA Social Business Hangout withRobert Lavigne, Jeff Thibodeau, and Jaime Thibodeau. Return to Table of Contents
  171. 171. We Love Brantford#StayTuned Robert Lavigne (, Your 171
  172. 172. DowntownBrantfordA Social Business Hangout with Robert Lavigne and John Bradford. Return to Table of Contents
  173. 173. Downtown Brantford#StayTuned Robert Lavigne (, Your 173
  174. 174. Social Business Mentor
  175. 175. Coming Soon...
  176. 176. Lessons fromThe Brant Cave Special Edition by Robert Lavigne,Your Social Business Mentor
  177. 177. Volume Twoin The Brant Cave Series
  178. 178. #StayTuned
  179. 179. Contact @RLavigne42.comRobert Lavigne, Your SocialBusiness Mentor, is availablefor online mentoring sessionsusing Skype, GoogleHangout, and even yourPhone.In person, Life@42Workshops  featuring RobertLavigne, can also bescheduled for any group sizeand topics.