When You Screw Up… Admit It and Fix It.

I’ve blogged once or twice on Social Media before, and I always preface my post with “I am NOT a social media expert.”   Today, I proved it.

The day started with an email from a friend on Facebook that read “Hello – check out Best.at.”  Thinking something great had happened for this friend, I followed the link and logged into Facebook.  Nothing happened – or so I thought.   The next thing I knew, I was seeing messages go out to MY Facebook Friends with a similar message.  Oh No – a worm!

Now,  realizing how dumb I was to fall for this scam,  I had to try to fix it.

Step 1.  Warn others!

Using Facebook and Twitter I immediately let my friends know there was a problem so it did not happen to them too.

Joan Koerber-WalkerJoan Koerber-Walker If you get a Facebook message from me or anyone else that reads _____.at, Don’t Open it. It is not from me. It’s a worm. I got one and it sent a message to my friends on Facebook!

Step 2.  Clean up  your mess!

Figure out how to fix your mistake.  Do some home work, call on experts, fix the problem so it does not keep happening.

Step 3.  Help others fix the problem!

Since I started this mess on Facebook, I used Facebook to send out the fix:

Joan Koerber-Walker

Joan Koerber-Walker  If you visit a website – “______.at” and it starts sending messages to your friend list on Facebook here is what you should do:

1. Immediately change your FB password.

2. Run a virus scan on your computer – just in case.

3. Post a message like this one on FB, Twitter etc,. telling folks not to open a website at “____.at” and if you do how to fix it.

4. Apologize, like I am doing now, for being dumb enough to do it.

While catching my mistake, cleaning up my mess, and helping others with the problem, I have heard from lots of my Facebook friends thanking me for letting them know before they got hacked .  Others said “thanks for sharing the fix.”  Many shared similar experiences or stories of mistakes they had made and how things turned out when they were proactive about fixing them.

So I learned a few lessons today –

1.  NEVER open a website ending in .AT or sign into Facebook or other sites unless I am SURE I know what they are.

2.  Everyone makes mistakes.  What matters is what you do next.

Thanks for checking in.   Stay tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

Spring into innovation.

Innovation has lots of definitions, but my favorite way to describe it is simple. Innovation is doing something in a new way to make life better for the people who matter.

BD19092_[1] Who matters is not the same for everyone and that’s the best part. It just spreads good stuff around that much further as we point our energies towards what we care about and others do the same some place else. Our new ideas and energy get spread around and just like fertilizer in the garden wonderful things start to spring up.

Innovative ideas are sometimes revolutionary, but more often that not, innovation is just a little thing – one new thing we can add or do to make a difference for ourselves or others.

A great example was sent to me this week by my friend Debra Johnson, CEO of Eco-Edge.  The company works with businesses to take their diesel fleet and industrial operations to new levels of profitability, performance and sustainability with Award-Winning Technologies for:

Improved Fuel Economy

Reduced Maintenance Costs

More Efficient & Effective Operations

Reduced Environmental Footprint

I first met Debra when she was starting her business in 2002 at the Arizona Venture Capital Conference.  We were both checking things out for the first time and got to chatting.  We’ve stayed in touch ever since and it has been so great to see her company move forward.  She’s progressed from an entrepreneur with an idea to national recognition as a finalist for last year’s Stevie Award.  Here is what she shared with me… and gave me permission to share with you.

j0400732[1]Do you know what many people believe may be the greatest invention of all time?

The lowly toothbrush!

One day long ago when someone said this toothbrush will improve your life – very few people responded with: “I must have that!”  Today, we can’t live without our toothbrush, and we know it can reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. The cell phone, the Internet and the CFL bulb all went through this process.  Many inventions did not, not because they weren’t good, but for whatever reason, they never gained broad acceptance.

Are you wondering why this is relevant from a company that helps fleets and industrial operationsimprove profits and reduce environmental impact?   Eco-Edge understands that not every company should be using every new product on the market. But companies willing to take those first bold steps with someone they trust recognize that once they have validated solutions, they reap early benefits and set the table for others to confidently join in.  Our process relies on customer advocacy to match the right innovative products to your goals and challenges, as well as to your requirements for assurance.  We do the due diligence on innovative eco-efficient products to ensure that, at the end of the day, you are 100% satisfied with your decision.

And, our job is to constantly look for innovative, best-in-class fleet and industrial products that will save you money and reduce your environmental impact – guaranteed.  To that end, new solutions we’ve added in the last few months can, at the very least, reduce your operating costs and cut accidents, all while making the world just a bit healthier.  We just celebrated our 7th year helping businesses like yours do just that.

Debra makes some great points here – and sets an example we can all benefit from.  You see,  inventions do not become innovations until we use them to make a positive difference in our lives or our businesses. She addresses each question an adopter will be asking or thinking…

1.   How will this product or service benefit me?

2.  Is it to risky to change from what I do today?

3.  Can I get support to help me make this change?

And best of all, she promises to keep the innovations coming.

If you were telling your story – could you answer these questions as well as Debra did?

Spring is a great time to make a list and start to think about what YOU can do to make life better and how you can interest others in joining you on the journey.

A little innovation goes a long way.  Harness a little of that spring time energy and do something new.

Thanks for tuning in and please stay tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

Want to Share Your Message? Be Remarkable

Someone asked me the other day, what it meant to be a successful professional speaker and how do I become one.

Hmm, what to say.  I never not set out to be a “successful speaker”. My goal was to run a successful company. For me, speaking was a way to move my company’s mission forward towards our goal. Taking the platform was a way to bring our message out to a larger audience.

jkw big stageThe first part of the process (and the first step we still take today with any new program) is to ask – “What do I have to share – and who cares to hear it?” We all have lots of things to say, but if there is not an audience looking for that message – no one will stop to listen – let alone pay you for it.

The next step is to craft the message so others will remember it and want to share it with their friends and colleagues. In a word, be “remarkable.” Nothing is as powerful as someone who has heard you speak, read your article or blog, or seen you on TV or video and wants to share what they learned from you with others.

Step three is to walk your talk. Don’t just spout witty lines from the stage. Actions always speak louder than words. Do something to demonstrate your message.

· If you speak on how to grow businesses, be sure you are growing yours!

· If your message is to help others in the community – be an active volunteer.

· If you speak on Leadership – be a leader.

· If innovation is your gig – do something innovative.

Get the message? So, you may be asking…”That’s great, but does it work?” The answer is simple. Yes.

I’ve used this simple three step process and achieved what I set out to do. My business has grown and spawned other businesses. Today we have divisions in consulting and publishing. I even got to take two years off – while others ran the business for me – so I could take a two year sabbatical to pursue my personal passion for helping other businesses achieve their goals as CEO of the Arizona Small Business Association. With friends we have founded new ventures in social entrepreneurship, been asked to help lead new and exciting companies – and I’m getting ready to buy and grow another one. And through it all I have kept speaking. Whether the audience is a small group of 15 or a ballroom filled to capacity, following these three steps keeps people talking about what we say and do. It’s remarkable.

Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

My Momma Told Me…

It has been said that the difference between family and friends, is that you  get to pick your friends.  Well, when it comes to Mothers, I really lucked out.  My Mom is the type of friend anyone would be lucky to pick.  Here’s why…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTtSFSOkTSM]

Great friends are there when you need them.  They tell you the truth – even when you don’t want to hear it. And, if you are really lucky, they are people you can learn from by listening to them and watching what they do. 

mom and dad tightMy Mom is a pretty incredible lady.  She makes good choices in her life – and it shows!  She and my Dad are celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary this year.  My Dad he still thinks she its the best thing that ever happened to him.  They’ve raised five kids together and then after the kids were gone, took care of my Grandmother at home so that she could live out her final years in a loving environment with the best quality of life possible.   She is a valuable member of the team where she works and is a committed and active contributor in her church and her community.  She has lots of great friends – some of whom go all the way back to high school!

I’ve learned lots of important things from my Mom over the years, some that she’s told me and more that she’s demonstrated by just being who she is.  Here are a few things, that by her words and actions, my Momma told me…

If you believe in your self and are committed to do what it takes, you can do anything.

Be the best person you can be.  You have a responsibility to use the gifts God gave you.

Get an education – and never stop learning.

Check your work.  (She’s been know to even find typos in my blog posts.)

People have different skills and talents – learn to uncover them and treasure them.

You were not raised in a barn – don’t act like it.

If you want to get something done, find the busiest person you know.

Stand by your convictions – If you don’t, who will?

If it’s important to get the job done – sleep’s optional. 

Say I love you – often! 

You can have it all! 

At the end of the day, nothing is more important than family.

See, I really did luck  out in the Mommy Lottery.  So this Mother’s Day, I just want to say – Thanks Mom!  I love you.

Standing Together this May Day

It’s May Day today (May1, 2009).  In different cultures and different places, May Day has different meanings, but interestingly in one way or the other they link to a common theme.  In each face of May Day we see people coming together.

When I write these weekly wrap up blogs, I often add a song or video so you can listen along.  This one – Stand By Me by Playing for Change is a favorite of mine – I hope you enjoy it as you read on.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us-TVg40ExM]

So, back to May Day and its meanings…

For some, May Day is the celebration of Spring, with communities coming together to celebrate Spring in all its glory.  It is a time to look toward the future – to celebrate growth and new life.

In come countries, May Day is Labor Day or Labour Day while here in the United States, we celebrate it at the end of the month.  Around the world, May Day gatherings have not always been just joyous gathering and picnics.  May Day has long been a day of often marked worker protests, rallies for change, and calls for equality.  May Day became a significant rallying call for the Socialist Parties in many countries and in many cities around the U.S. this year there are gatherings about immigrant rights and issues.

May Day is also the internationally known distress call.  Not tied to May 1st, it’s origins come from the French phrase  m’aidez which translated means ‘help me’.  Only used in times of serious distress or danger, May Day calls are monitored 24/7 (on VHF channel 16, or HF 2182.0 KHz) so that help can be sent when needed.

Well on this May Day, some might say that we live in a time of distress calls.  War, unemployment, homelessness, business failures, and frauds mark the news daily.  Disease is on the rise from cancers, to autism, to the newest outbreak of swine flu around the globe.  But the good news is people and organizations continue to come together to do something about it.  Here are a few examples:

  • OTEF – The Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation – launched  Blueprint for Survival to help displaced workers through entrepreneurship skills.
  • The government continues to launch new programs daily to help on the Recovery. (Agree or disagree with the strategy and tactics as you may.)
  • New Global Citizens is teaching young people how to “be the change they see in the world” (Ghandi) while Playing for Change is is a multimedia movement created to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music.
  • SARRC reaches out to offer support and solutions to a growing population of families touched by autism.
  • AACR recently held it’s 100th Annual Meeting of Cancer Researchers where people from all over the world shared ideas and innovations.
  • RiboMed is imagining (and working towards) a future when getting a noninvasive, multi-disease diagnostic test at your annual medical exam is as routine as having your temperature or blood pressure taken. Imagine tests that can detect early biomarkers of cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, autism or heart disease long before symptoms present. Imagine that when disease is detected, doctors can prescribe a treatment plan designed specifically for you.

In spite of all the  challenges we face, for me this May Day means Hope.  You see, when people come together to build solutions, magic happens. 

Please leave a comment and share ways you have found or seen where people are coming together and making a difference.  Leave your mark this May Day! 

Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

Why going multi-profile on Twitter makes sense

Two weeks ago I started to experiment with multiple profiles on Twitter.  Some of my friends have tweeted with questions about why I am doing this, how it works, and is it worth it.  So instead of having multiple conversations, I thought I would put what I am learning right here and give you peak into how the experiment is going. 

I’m not a social media expert, just a business person learning to use it effectively with some really great coaches like @LonSafko, @Hardaway, @StevenGroves, and @jenn_ex.

I now have five twitter profiles. @joankw for an eclectic mix of things that I share with my friends on Facebook as well as with my twitter followers at the same time.  @CorePurpose is all business articles and tips. This links back to my profile on LinkedIn. Then I have three very specific profiles to have deeper conversations on the subjects I like the most @JKWinnovation@JKWgrowth@JKWleadership.

Reasons to do it

  1. If you Tweet consistently – and I do – linking to other platforms like Facebook, Plaxo, and Linked in can cause you to monopolize your friends feeds.  It’s like crying wolf – when you have something important to say – no one’s there to listen.
  2. Your profile is a brand component.  Multiple profiles allow you to keep your brand focused and consistent within each profile.  People follow the profiles that have the messages they want.
  3. It’s easier to have real conversations.  On the focused profiles, I follow publications and people who tweet on the subject – when we connect we have something to actually talk/tweet about.

Early mistakes

  1.  Don’t be a FEED HOG.  Unless it’s meaningful across profiles,don’t multi-tweet.  It’s annoying if your followers don’t have a tool like Seesmic that aggregates repeat messages.
  2. CHECK your spelling.  (My biggest failing.) People discount your message if it’s  full of typos.
  3. Find the right mix of tools.  It’s a bit of trial and error but the right tools for you are out there and more are coming daily. (More on tools below.)
  4. Let people know you are out there and what you have to say.  Thanks  to the folks at TwitStamp for these fun and interactive profile stamps.

Ways to make work it without going crazy

  1. There are some great tools for those of us with multiple profiles.  None are perfect, but my toolset includes Seesmic – great visual interface – and Hootsuite which allows me to ‘tweet later’ and manage the follow.  It these two platforms would just merge into one, I would be in Twitter Heaven.
  2. Tweet Later – a great way to spread your messages across the day with out being tied to your computer.  Early each morning I schedule a few messages for each profile to tweet later using Hootsuite.  Then I log in later via Seesmic to read the feed, reply to conversations, or share more ‘in the moment’ thoughts.
  3. Set aside a specific time to do this then turn it off.  It’s easy to get sucked into all the goings on and not get other important things done.
  4. Less can be More – I share and follow based on good content.  So when someone follows me – I follow them.  If it turns out to be spam or just noise – I un-follow later.  That way I can find interesting new people and still get through all the messages in a reasonable amount of time.

How’s it going?

So far, so good.  I have met some great new people, found interesting articles and blogs, gotten asked to be on a couple of radio shows to share ideas on topics I care about, and, wonder of wonders, found a customer or two in the process.  Who knows, I may also find what I really want – the opportunity to lead and grow another really cool company.  Not a bad start.

Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

It’s the real thing…How will you deliver your message?

A TV commercial came out when I was in elementary school that I remember to this day. We lived in a different time.  The 1960’s had ended and we were at the start of a new decade.  It was 1971.  People were protesting the war (in Vietnam this time).  Richard Nixon was President, Chairman Mao had declared the Cultural Revolution was ended (1969) and the door to China was slowly opening to the West. New technologies in semiconductor science and computing were evolving and a new environmental movement via Greenpeace was born.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mOEU87SBTU]

A commercial came out in the fall of 1971 that captured the people’s mood and helped embed a brand – Coca-Cola – in the hearts and minds of a generation. (See video from YouTube above.)   The story of the how the now famous “Hilltop” ad came to be is a good one and a legend in the ad industry.  Two top 20 Hits came out after the commercial, one by The Hillside Singers and the other later by the New Seekers.  You can hear and see their version here.

At the Great Wall copyright Joan Koerber-Walker 2001Fast forward 30 years – and my husband Chris and I were in China seeing the sights.  It was just weeks after 9-11 and the world was still reeling in shock.  It was not a time of global love and trust.  One sunny morning, we made a visit to the Great Wall of China.  As we made our way up the wall, I watched a man helping a little girl climb step by step.  We stopped, as they did, along the way to take a break.  I took a Coke out of my backpack and caught the Dad’s eye and pointed at his little girl.  After he nodded yes, I turned to offer it to her.  She did not speak English, but her eyes lit up as she giggled and sang out “Coca-Cola!”  Perhaps they did teach the world to sing after all.

How will you build your brand?

Most of us can not afford the $250K Coca-Cola spent just to create the famous ad in 1971. (That’s $1.3M+ in 2009 dollars and without airtime!)  But, that’s OK.  You see, they learned the most important secret of business growth and branding. 

It’s not what you say about your company that matters.  What matters is what others say about you.  Especially in times like these – times of challenge and change -actions speak louder than words. 

It does not matter how big or small your company is.  Your decisions can make or break your brand.   The next time you have a business decision to make – ask yourself, “How will others see this – and what will THEY remember?” 

People have long memories, and you never know who might be writing about YOU thirty days or thirty years from now.

Stay Tuned…

-Joan Koerber-Walker

What’s next? Where will you go from here?

2Grandma

From the time I was a little girl, one of my favorite questions has always been “what’s next?”  I want a new challenge, a new opportunity, a new friend.  I’m always looking around the corner for the What’s Next.   I’ve never been satisfied with the status quo, with sitting quietly, or staying where I’m put.  This probably drove my parents a bit crazy at times.  My Mom would lament that I was the busiest child of her five – the one who was into everything.  (Those of you who know me well are probably thinking – some things never change.) Lord knows what they had to bribe me with to get me to sit still long enough to get my picture taken with Grandma Marie.  (Yes, she’s the one in the hat.  I’m the one whose feet don’t touch the floor.)

When I left ASBA last December, many of my friends called and emailed, asking “What’s Next?”  They’d seen the press release or the news articles stating my intention to “focus on new opportunities in 2009 including “a more active role at RiboMed Biotechnologies, Inc. where she has served on the board of directors since 2007.”  (BTW – when we talk about What’s Next – there is not a better example with all the break through that are happening there as they are developing new tests and tools for early cancer detection!)

cmark

So, I have spent the last few months doing just that – focusing on new opportunities and I am glad to report they are all around us.  The trick is to recognize them when they occur and to make the most of them. 

To do this, I am trying to practice what we preach at CorePurpose, Inc.   So many times, I have stood in front of an audience and gone through the focusing drill.  Helping them to find their CorePurpose® by linking what they are passionate about – to what they are great at – identifying the linkages people will actually pay them for – and then tying it all back to the values they will employ as they pursue their goals.  Now it was my turn to do just that.

Step One required some introspection, some observation, and some questioning of those around me.  Great coaches like Lillian Coury are helping me answer the question while talented friends like Mark Dallmeier have shared insights and instruments to help me recognize the right growth opportunities to match my skills, talents, and aspirations.

Step Two was answering the questions:

  1. What am I passionate about?    Helping companies and people Grow and making a difference in my professional and private life. 
  2. What am I really good at?  Motivating people.  Building high potential, innovative solutions with existing resources.  Finding new resources when needed.  Connecting with people, developing them, and building teams. 
  3. What will people pay me for?  (Sometimes I hate this one, but if you can not monetize it in some way it’s a hobby, not a business.)   Speaking, Consulting, Leadership inside their company or organization.
  4. What are my valuesPeople matter, Acceleration – nothing happens when you are standing still, Promises – keep them, Excellence – If you are not the best – find out who is and get them on board, Results – you can’t succeed without them.

So tying them all together.  What’s next? 

For me, the perfect What’s Next is to acquire or join a company that’s poised to grow.  A leadership position where my skills and talents will take the team where they want to go – or better yet beyond it.  I’m still looking.  But in between, I’m having a blast exploring all the exciting opportunities that are around us.  Speaking to audiences, growing my company, helping others realize their goals, and sharing ideas about how we can innovate, seize opportunities, and turn things around. 

If you are still reading at this point – I have a challenge for you.  Go through the same exercise yourself.  Answer the four questions then tie them together to determine “What’s next?” for you.  And if you would – post a comment and let me know.

That’s all for now,

Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

CorePurpose® is a registered trademark of CorePurpose, Inc.

The Social Media Bible is a Fabulous New Tool

The Social Media Bible is here! Finally, an entirely comprehensive, all-in-one guide for any business looking to engage in any social media related initiatives.  Virtually every business can use social media to increase sales and profits.  Learning how to transform your business into a social media-enabled enterprise where customers, employees, and prospects connect, collaborate and champion your products, your services and your way of doing business will take your company to the next level.  “It was such an honor to be asked to collaborate with Lon Safko and David K. Brake on this project. They did not just rest on their laurels as Social Media Experts. They reached out across the community to get all the latest input from Social Media users at every level of expertise,” shared Joan Koerber-Walker, chairman of CorePurpose.  “These guys really get it! Social Media is a collaborative platform – so they collaborated with the whole community.”  The Social Media Bible shares the best ideas and practicles from leading social media expertsand corporate gurus, as well as New York Times bestselling authors nationwide.  The result is a content-rich, must have resource that will help businesses increase revenues, improve profitability, and ensure relevance and competitiveness.”  The Social Media Bible outlines just what social media is. But more importantly, it show the reader how to harness its power to achieve a measurable competitive advantage in rapidly changing markets.  “If you are a corporate enterprise, small business, or nonprofit and want to grow your business, you have to stay connected to your stakeholders,” shared Koerber-Walker. “The Social Media Bible will show you how to capture the collective wisdom and viral value of your stakeholders and stay ahead of your competition.”

To learn more and to order your copy, visit (www.TheSocialMediaBible.com)

For article reprints, Please visit our contact page and include the name of the article desired.

CorePurpose and the Fourth Annual Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference

“Entrepreneurship is never easy, but when you have faced major challenges in your life, it can seem impossible.” stated Joan Koerber-Walker, chairman and founder of CorePurpose, Inc. “That’s why, for the 4th year in a row, we are proud to support the Opportunity for Entrepreneurship Foundation(OTEF) in their valuable service to our community.”  Founded in 2006, OTEF provides entrepreneurial training and support to at-risk populations allowing them to build the skills and confidence needed to start businesses. (http://www.otef.org)  OTEF’s major fundraiser is the the Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference, an annual event that brings together nationally known experts, including Michael Gerber, Robert Scoble, Matt Mullenweg, and Pat Sullivan, and local CEOS to share insights with entreprenuers and business leaders from across Arizona. All proceeds from the conference then are applied to funding OTEF programs throughout the year.

For more information on this year’s conference – being held November 12, 2009 in Tempe, Arizona, visit (http://www.AZEntrepreneurship.com).

For article reprints, Please visit our contact page and include the name of the article desired.