Monthly Archives: February 2018

Clear messages and great stories shine through

Clear messages and great stories always shine through

There’s no world shortage of content – and yet quality content has never been scarcer. I have been, am and will always be unashamedly passionate about the value of great content for business. But you can – and must – pay lots of time and attention to it.

Why? It’s important because it sets the tone for everything that happens afterwards. The services that you sell are central to any successful business and the simple, clear and direct messages you send out about them is the way in which you let the world know.

Notice I wrote “messages” in that last sentence – not the “media” you use. The media we use to convey messages have changed greatly in recent years. They will change some more – media will come and media will go – but clear messages and great stories will outlast them all.

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Merriborn Media is a business dedicated to developing clever content, engaged online communities and effective collaborative working and learning for clients. Both Merriborn Media and its founder Trevor Merriden were ranked in the Top 3 of social learning evangelists for 2016 in a recent major study.

Do you know how to “stop” time?

Have you read “The Art of Stopping Time” by Pedram Shojai? I would encourage you to do so – I got it at Christmas and it’s been a revelation to me.

As we hurtle towards another weekend, thinking about the things we have or haven’t done, it’s easy to be too tired to think, too stressed to focus and less effective than we want to be. And if our work then encroaches into the weekend, we start to feel guilty about the time not spent with loved ones.

The book has a compelling premise – the need for a more positive perspective on the unforgiving flow of time. Without it we lack a real sense of enjoyable purpose, rather than a fear of deadlines and failure.”

Shojai’s goal, therefore, is to nudge us towards “time prosperity” – having the time to accomplish what you want without feeling compressed, stressed or hurried. If it sounds like mindfulness, then it is, except at the extreme practical end of that particular spectrum.

The book has 100 short essays which contain habits in which you literally learn to “stop” time. Some habits will stick, some won’t – and that’s OK. Just take the ones that mean something to you. I did and I feel it’s working well for me already. Have you read it – or do you have another book you swear by?

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Merriborn Media is a business dedicated to developing clever content, engaged online communities and effective collaborative working and learning for clients. Both Merriborn Media and its founder Trevor Merriden were ranked in the Top 3 of social learning evangelists for 2016 in a recent major study.

Optimism is a choice

A new week: Are you feeling optimistic – or pessimistic? How are you feeling right now, as you read this? It’s good to be aware of how you feel, but don’t become a slave to your view of the future. It creates the script for what will actually occur.

In truth we are all both optimists and pessimists several times a day, faced with different situations. Whenever something “happens to us” we have a choice to be one or the other. What is more interesting is the way we come to our perspectives. The brain invents a “counter fact” to events – an alternate scenario our brains create to help us evaluate and make sense of what happened. It could be “Well it could have been a lot worse” or “That’s pretty unlucky” – or anything in between.

This goes on to influence far more than one’s attitude to an individual event. Those who pick positive counter facts open their minds up to a whole range of subsequent perceived benefits to spur their motivation further. Research shows that people with positive counter facts have more successful careers, relationships and even live longer. For this reason alone my usual sense of optimism is deliberate and pragmatic, rather than wishful.

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Merriborn Media is a business dedicated to developing clever content, engaged online communities and effective collaborative working and learning for clients. Both Merriborn Media and its founder Trevor Merriden were ranked in the Top 3 of social learning evangelists for 2016 in a recent major study.

Better Collaboration = Greater Business Value. It’s an Equation, not a Coincidence.

Are your collaborative efforts with workplace colleagues all show and no substance? How good are you really at collaborating in the workplace? And what stops you from collaborating more? I’ve not met anyone who will tell me that collaboration is a “bad thing”, but they also tell me they and the businesses they work in struggle in going “further” with collaboration – or even understand why they should.

Humans have been collaborating with one another for many thousands of years – but in a very, very limited way. Now, technology – the key driver behind most of major recent changes in our daily lives – has become the reason “why” this will soon change. Technology’s march means that we miss many opportunities every single day to collaborate more closely in the way we work and learn from one another.

Everyone instinctively “gets” collaboration – but very few know how to talk about it or develop it in a workplace context. That’s also now changing – because it has become clear to me recently that those that do have enjoyed a rapid increase in extra business value. I know this, because I’ve been worked with highly collaborative teams that go on to do more, earn more – and enjoy themselves more.

Better Collaboration = Greater BusinessValue. It’s an Equation, not a Coincidence.

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Merriborn Media is a business dedicated to developing clever content, engaged online communities and effective collaborative working and learning for clients. Both Merriborn Media and its founder Trevor Merriden were ranked in the Top 3 of social learning evangelists for 2016 in a recent major study.

Are you missing the obvious?

This weekend, ask yourself this: Am I missing something really obvious? It can be really good to stop and think about this. Three things occurred to me the other day:-

  1. How little we stop and look at the things right in front of us. With the exception of our phones, how often do we stop and look twice at everyday objects, the buildings we pass every day – or even those we claim to hold dear?
  2. When we do something routinely, how often do we think about doing it in a different way? We are so often told we can’t do things well if we do it “that way”, but how can we know if we don’t allow ourselves the time to find out?
  3. And how often do we actually do things differently on an everyday basis? Whenever we do, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that we discover so many new and beneficial outcomes that we hadn’t previously even thought about.

So whether you take a different route in the car today, try out that new restaurant or stop and look around you – I urge you to go and do something – anything – differently today. And every day from now on. Time to take the blinkers off.

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Merriborn Media is a business dedicated to developing clever content, engaged online communities and effective collaborative working and learning for clients. Both Merriborn Media and its founder Trevor Merriden were ranked in the Top 3 of social learning evangelists for 2016 in a recent major study.