Likeminds keynote presentations: the ultimate recap

the lineup of Likeminds speakers in Exeter - Feb 2010 (Photo by Ben Ellis)

Likeminds was this extraordinary event which took place at the end of February in Exeter, UK with a great lineup of speakers (I’m talking about the other participants). The likeminds organisers have now completed the upload of all the videos for all the keynotes and they are now available at Here are short-cut links to the presentations in alphabetical order :

  • Jonathan Akwue on An Outsiders View of Social Media (Jonathan Akwue opens up Like Minds, February 2010, with a keynote on Social Media, mix tapes and saving lives)
  • Olivier Blanchard on Social Media Integration (Olivier Blanchard presents the master class of Social Media integration)
  • Chris Brogan on Making Social Media Useful (Chris Brogan delivers the last keynote at Like Minds, February 2010, on what it takes to make Social Media successful is to make it useful)
  • John Bell on the CMO’s Dilemma (John Bell, MD of Ogilvy 360° Digital Influence, discusses Social Media tokenism in what he calls ‘The CMO’s Dilemma’ at Like Minds 2010)
  • Yann Gourvennec on Building Outstanding Advocacy (Yann Gourvennec discusses how Orange have approached B2B advocacy) 
  • Joanne Jacobs on Emerging People-to-People Communication (Joanne Jacobs on the successes and failings of augmented reality technology)

The cherry on the cake:

  • Like Minds: In 4 Minutes (A 4 minute trailer to give you a little espresso of Like Minds) 

building outstanding brand advocacy with social media: a matter of hard-work!

Building outstanding brand advocacy with social media

Here is the video recording and synchronised slidecast of my presentation at Likeminds in Exeter at the end of February. My pitch was about “building outstanding brand advocacy with social media”.

I’m not too certain about the title, I would not like to be perceived as a smug b*****d who thinks he has succeeded and looks at his results, self satisfied and over assertive.

I like implementing innovation through trial and errors, and above everything, it’s hard-work that I value (I already mentioned a few things about that in my latest piece on Scott Berkun’s myths of innovation). This presentation, this story is just about that: hard-work. If there is one thing I should be entitled to be proud of it’s that one.

Now, you can watch it and enjoy!

why I chose to come to Likeminds and my key messages on Social Media

Here is a video clip about my keynote pitch at Likeminds in Exeter, courtesy of Devon Video Production. Their Website mentions that “[they]create exceptional digital video and communication resources” and I must admit that this video is really well produced. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed keynoting at Likeminds.

Don’t miss any of these other videos from Social Media leaders like Chris Brogan, Olivier Blanchard, John Bell, Joanne Jacobs, and Jonathan Akwue. I particularly liked Chris’s point about the fact that Social Media will soon be like a phone, like all these things we use and can’t even remember they are there … almost natual.

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My 10 Ingredients For Change Management

Some of the Likeminds Summit participants
some of the Likeminds Summit attendees

note: this post is the unabridged version of a piece which was written for of which I am a regular contributor

One of the interesting things happening after the Likeminds conference on 25 February in Exeter, was the Likeminds Summit which actually took place on the following day at Bovey Castle in Dartmoor. Obviously, there were a bunch of like-minded people around the table dealing with the issues of how to implement social media properly for businesses.

One of the recurring issues surrounding the implementation of social media was change management; a topic often touched on but rarely explained properly. For the benefit of our readers, I have put together a list of the 10 ingredients which I think are of the utmost importance when you want to set up change in your company. This list is based on my experience of implementing change at various companies throughout the world in the past 20 years:

  1. The serenity prayer: the first ingredient is to always know what you can change and what you cannot change, and to ensure that you always will be able to tell the difference,
  2. Think big, start small: obviously if you are trying to implement change it is because you have great ideas; but try and be reasonable and start small and then move on to bigger changes one step at a time,
  3. Choose the path of least resistance: avoid these people resisting change at all cost and try not to waste time convincing them. On the contrary, focus on these other people who are more favourable to your project and work with them all the way up (they are what one calls change agents),
  4. Ask your boss to set an example: when you want to change things, management has to show the way and to prove others that things can be done not only by ordering them around but by actually doing things by themselves,
  5. Don’t think top down: on the contrary, don’t believe that just because top management is going to send an e-mail to all, things are going to start changing by themselves. They simply won’t,
  6. Seek a mandate once (some) results have been proven. Or, if you already have a mandate, don’t show it until we have implemented a few results either. This will show people that you care about their opinion,
  7. Respect people: the human factor is one of the most important in change management. Don’t underestimate people and try and convince them humanly,
  8. Expect the best, but prepare for the worst: as always in project management, Murphy’s Law applies. Be prepared for the worst so that you can avoid it,
  9. Act swiftly: change is best implemented in my eyes in a 3 to 6 month period. If nothing has happened before then, chances are that nothing ever will,
  10. In times of trouble, don’t stop and speed up the change process on the contrary: times of chaos can be perceived as periods of danger by most people; yet, to most change managers they will be used as periods at which anything is possible. It’s mostly when things are uncertain that change is implemented and accepted, not the contrary.

Lastly, adhering to these 10 simple rules might not guarantee success but overlooking them will certainly mean failure.

Likeminds 2010 gathers like-minded people in beautiful Exeter

photo by Katrina

Last week, I was invited by Andrew Ellis and Scott Gould to attend the Likeminds 2010 conference in Exeter, Devon. Not only was it my first time at the Likeminds, but it was also my first time in Devon and in Exeter in particular. Scott and Andrew were kind enough to invite me to keynote at Likeminds so as to present what we have done in terms of using social media to backup our Internet strategy and Orange Business Services.

The Likeminds conference was a great success in terms of attendance with more than 350 attendees and that’s without taking into account the fact that some tickets were sold for the morning and afternoon sessions so that we had different kinds of people  at both periods of the day;  notwithstanding, the room was packed at all times. One of the most amazing things about Likeminds 2010 is that it was organised in less than six months and that’s extraordinary considering the fact that most Britons seem to be unaware of Exeter and its surroundings, which is a shame given the quality of life in this town and the beauty of its surroundings (OK, I’m a Kelt so I am a little biased, it’s true that we in Brittany originate from these areas).

the Lord Mayor of Exeter in his welcome speech to the Likeminds people – Photo Yann Gourvennec

Among the beauties of Exeter let us mention the magnificent Cathedral, one of the finest examples of  the Decorated Gothic style (and not Perpendicular Gothic,  which is a later version of that style) very much similar to St George’s Chapel in Windsor, only 10 times bigger.

We were lucky enough – courtesy of messieurs Gould and Ellis – to be welcomed by the lord Mayor of Exeter in the chapter room next to the Cathedral (see picture above).

Likeminds-2010-speakers – Photo by Ben Ellis

This in itself,  the sheer speed at which Scott and Andrew brought this crowd of like-minded people together for that conference, is enough to show the power of social media, mostly when it comes to organising events. You don’t need to be in New York, London or Paris, to be able to organise a meeting like this. But the quality of Likeminds was not only due to its audience, but mostly to its presenters; here are a few bullet points with things that should be remembered about their presentations:

  • Jonathan Akwue from Digital Public made an astounding presentation demonstrating that “technology does not always make things better” and drawing an analogy between hip-hop and social media, describing the fact that hip-hop sold its soul to business and therefore disappeared in the minds of its supporters. This is a clear warning sent to all those want to jump on the bandwagon, that social media should not lose its soul and sell itself to the devil,
  • Ogilvy’s John Bell presented the social media practice within the leading US advertising agency and showed the importance of training, by introducing the notion of “belts” as in martial arts, with the “black belts” being the uppermost qualification in social media understanding and mastery. This is similar to what was done for 6 sigma for instance; very clever and much needed too,
  • Joanne Jacobs, the sole representative of Australia on stage and probably in the audience, made an astounding performance on the subject of augmented reality, and how it can change our lives, and mostly when: Joanne spent quite a bit of time explaining the Gartner hype cycle and how augmented reality fits in, as well as the good old Crossing the chasm diagram. Joanne’s training as an actor actually showed in that amazing performance of hers, which was greatly appreciated by the public,
  • Olivier Blanchard, who was kind enough to recommend me to Scott and Andrew for this conference, made a great presentation about how and why companies have to shy away from tactics and make a strategic move with regard to their implementation of social media,
  • Next was my presentation which is now available from Ustream in video format,
  • Last but not least was Chris Brogan’s pitch. No need to introduce Chris, he is our favourite and I have been a long time admirer of his blog, one of the best in the blogosphere. He didn’t bother to put together a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation (actually I think he is right, we are more and more slaves to these tools and we need to rediscover the human factor) but he delivered a high quality and impressive pitch about why social media has to be human again and he made fun of these people boasting about the number of followers they have on their twitter accounts as if when mobile phones came in people had bragged about how many phone numbers they had in their address books. Chris Brogan’s Likeminds 2010 presentation can be seen and heard at this url.
Bovey Castle interior – Photo by Yann Gourvennec

That’s not all though. The Likeminds conference which took place on a Friday was followed by an amazing and fruitful weekend session entitled the Likeminds Summit on the following Saturday in beautiful Bovey Castle in Dartmoor (in actual fact not really a Castle, but more of a neo-gothic mansion from the early 20th century built by WhSmith’s heir).

read on about Likeminds at:

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