The Age of Context comes to London in October

Age of ContextIf you’re a follower of trends in technologies and people’s behaviours – and that mashup between the two – an event in London next month will be of interest to you.

On October 28, Robert Scoble and Shel Israel will be in London as guests of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and their partner Precise to talk about the Age of Context – the title of their new book, out in November.

Age of Context is an embracing term to anchor five converging forces the two authors see as profoundly changing almost every aspect of work and life in the next decade: mobile, social media, data, sensors and location.

Age of Context is a follow-up to Naked Conversations that the two authors wrote in 2006. That book examined the then-emerging field of blogs and blogging and its disruptive effects on how businesses should communicate and engage with customers. (I reviewed it in Feb 2006.)

Naked Conversations is widely regarded as a seminal work that influenced opinion and corporate behaviours in many organizations in how people in those organizations communicate with customers and other stakeholders.

Seven years on and the landscape is very different and a more complex one than that described in 2006.

Where ‘blogging’ was ‘social media’ back then, today the latter term embraces a wide and deep spectrum of tools, networks, channels and behaviours across a huge social web that connects well over a quarter of the world’s population.

I’m thrilled to have been asked by the CIPR to facilitate the conversation, as it were, with Robert and Shel at the evening event in London on October 28 that takes place at Google’s new Campus London facility in the heart of Tech City in east London.

I’m sure this event will sell out fast – just look at how fast the official US book launch event in California on November 7 has sold out – so I suggest you get your London tickets now!

Register at Eventbrite

Everyone who comes will receive a free copy of Age of Context. And, the discussion with and between Robert and Shel and the audience (and those connected online via Twitter and other social media) will be recorded and published as a For Immediate Release Speakers and Speeches podcast.

Hope to see you there!

More information in the CIPR’s press release, issued today.

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You’ll enjoy #Attenzi: it’s far more than just a good read

AttenziPhilip Sheldrake‘s new business book Attenzi is published today. Earlier today, I published an FIR Book Review of it as I’d had the opportunity of reading it prior to formal publication.

I don’t do many book reviews these days – our FIR Book Reviews Editor, Bob LeDrew, does an admirable and far better job – and I wanted to prepare well for this one. So I wrote up my notes as a narrative and that’s what made it into the podcast.

As I have that narrative – in essence, the transcript of the podcast – I’m publishing it here as an additional review: the words on a screen that will show up in search results whereas audio yet cannot.

Think of it as bonus content, Philip!

Attenzi review notes

Hello, I’m Neville Hobson, co-host of the For Immediate Release podcast series, with a review of Attenzi – A Social Business Story, the new book by Philip Sheldrake published on May the 15th, 2013.

Attenzi is a business book with a huge difference – it’s not a business book, it’s a novel.

It tells a compelling and credible story of one man’s journey that, unbeknownst to him at the start, would help him and his leadership team “redefine the way we all think about our business and its place in the market and its place in the world.”

With Attenzi, Philip Sheldrake presents a sympathetic character in the story-teller Eli Appel, newly-installed CEO of Attenzi, a fictional international company that makes and sells top-range kitchen equipment and services.

Philip gives us a believable hero in Eli, a man who many readers will easily identify with in his desire to understand the shifting sands of contemporary consumer behaviours, the needs to respond to those changes in ways very different to old management and leadership preconceptions; and his endeavours to knit together a team of people that will be the driving force to enable Attenzi to make the jump to that next level.

As the tale unfolds, we see Eli and his colleagues consider aspects of organizational design, business performance management, marketing, public relations, branding, complexity, and the imminent empowerment of the individuals that make up all organizations.

The story also begins to explore the evolution of the customer-centric mindset that, Philip says, has dominated management thinking for the past two decades.

It’s good writing, good story development, credible characters all. It’s a highly probable storyline of individuals trying to understand the changes in their business world, and in their business itself, figuring out what it all means for them and their business, and working out what to do, who will do it, and when.

The kinds of things that business leaders face all the time in the real world.

Philip has done well in presenting business themes and topics that anyone really could grasp without getting lost or losing interest.

As Eli notes early on in the story, ‘social business’  is the kind of buzz word or buzz phrase you hear about at conferences yet have little belief that even those who bandy the words around have much real idea of what they mean to businesses.

I think Attenzi will make you really think about social business, probably in a way you might not have if you’ve thought about those two words before.

The thinking will be about the very things Eli Appel tells his story about – behaviours, engagement, influence, new ideas, organization culture, change, risks, rewards, and so on. It’s not about the tools and channels of social media.

That’s where I think Philip’s story works well. Yes it’s about social business. But unlike every  other business book on this topic, it’s not a business book – it’s story-telling, it’s a novel, a work of fiction.

In sum, it’s a surprisingly good read on a topic that doesn’t sound like it would be. Social business? That dry old thing?

I think you’ll enjoy Attenzi. It’s not just a good read, a passive activity, though. You could engage with the primary characters, each of which you can find on Twitter. You could add to the content, build on it, with chapters of your own that you can connect via the hashtag #attenzi.

After all, Eli concludes his tale with: “I’m finishing this first part of the new Attenzi story.” In the concluding words of Adam Pisoni, Microsoft Yammer co-founder and CTO, who wrote the foreword, addressing you the reader: “Perhaps you’ll even write the sequel?”

Philip has written this book to give away under a Creative Commons license. The more people who read it, the possibility increases that they’ll talk about it, hopefully favourably, attracting more interest and readers. Word of mouth in action.

You can download a copy of Attenzi free of charge in a variety of digital formats: HTML, PDF, ePub, Kindle, and iBooks. There’s also a version on Scribd.

All available right now from www.attenzi.com.

If you have comments or questions about this FIR Book Review, or suggestions for future reviews, please share them in the online FIR community on Google+. You can also email us at fircomments@gmail.com; and connect with us on Twitter: @FIRpodcast.

You can find more information about the For Immediate Release podcasts, including the weekly business show The Hobson and Holtz Report, at www.forimmediaterelease.biz.

Thanks for listening.

Philip’s set up the foundation for a community surrounding the book, and its broader concepts, on Google+. Well worth being part of that in developing, influencing and extending the conversation.

Related post:

FIR Book Review: Attenzi – A Social Business Story, by Philip Sheldrake

Attenzi - A Social Business StoryAttenzi – A Social Business Story is a novel that shines a light on social business that goes beyond the all too typical homages to social media. It’s a relatively short and easy read intended to help readers explore what social business means for their organization, marketplace, communities and career.

With Attenzi, author Philip Sheldrake presents a sympathetic hero in the story-teller Eli Appel, newly-installed CEO of Attenzi, a fictional international company that makes and sells top-range kitchen equipment and services.

The book tells a compelling and credible story of one man’s journey that, unbeknownst to him at the start, would help him and his leadership team “redefine the way we all think about our business and its place in the market and its place in the world.”

FIR co-host Neville Hobson reviews the Kindle edition of Attenzi and considers the power a work of fiction – a novel – can have in empowering the Eli Appels of our world with the clarity of vision and perspective to explore the evolution of the customer-centric mindset that has dominated management thinking for the past two decades.

As Eli says, “I hope it helps you develop your organization’s relevance, competitiveness and profitability. I hope it helps you forge your career and helps you bring your colleagues with you.”

Listen Now:

Get this podcast:

Attenzi – A Social Business Story by Philip Sheldrake.

Publisher: Philip Sheldrake
Digital formats (content equivalent to about 100 print pages)
Published: May 15, 2013
Price: Free under Creative Commons license.

Attenzi is available in HTML, PDF, ePub, Kindle, and iBooks formats at www.attenzi.com.

About the Author

Philip SheldrakePhilip Sheldrake is managing partner at Euler Partners, a London-based consulting firm.

He is a widely regarded consultant, author and speaker. He is a Chartered Engineer, a main board director of Intellect, the UK trade association for the technology industry, a board director of 6UK, a government backed non-profit promoting adoption of the new Internet protocol, and a founding partner of Meanwhile. He built and sold an award-winning public relations consultancy.

Philip wrote The Business of Influence in 2011 and was interviewed on FIR at the book’s launch.

Connect with Philip on Twitter: @sheldrake.

FIR online communities
Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future reviews, in the online FIR communities on Facebook, Friendfeed and Google+. You can also email us at fircomments@gmail.com; call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments; comment at Twitter: @FIRpodcast. You can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments, if you wish (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all For Immediate Release podcasts including the weekly Hobson and Holtz Report, subscribe to the full RSS feed.

This FIR Book Review podcast is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

FIR Book Review: Nice Companies Finish First, by Peter Shankman with Karen Kelly

nicecompaniesbookPeter Shankman applied his skills as a communicator and businessman to create Help A Reporter Out (HARO), an email service that connected journalists looking for people to interview with individuals with the experience or insights to meet the journalist’s needs.

The free service was based on sharing and collaboration, principles Shankman brings to the fore in his new book, Nice Companies Finish First: Why Cutthroat Management is Over – and Collaboration is In.

What does a “nice” company do?

In a Forbes interview, Shankman recounted this experience:

I was in a hotel and came back after a long day of meetings. I saw a note on my bathroom counter: Mr. Shankman, we noticed you left your toothpaste out. It’s running very low. We took the liberty of buying you a new tube. We know how busy you are.

I was shocked. I took a picture of it and posted it on Facebook. I found out two days later from the PR person that they could trace back at least two reservations that came from that story. The toothpaste probably cost 39 cents or less, because they buy it in bulk.

In this FIR podcast episode, Book Review Editor Bob LeDrew reviews Nice Companies Finish First.

Get this podcast:

Nice Companies Finish First: Why Cutthroat Management is Over – and Collaboration is In by Peter Shankman with Karen Kelly.

Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan
Ebook and paperback (256 pages) editions
Published in the US: April 2013
ISBN10: 0230341896
ISBN-13: 978-0230341890

Purchase the book online at:

Amazon US: Kindle | Print
Amazon UK: Kindle | Print
Amazon Canada: Kindle | Print
Google Play (US, UK, Canada, Australia)
Nook
iBook

FIR on Friendfeed
Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future shows, in the FIR FriendFeed Room. You can also email us at fircomments@gmail.com; call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments; comment at Twitter: twitter.com/FIRpodcast. You can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments, if you wish (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all For Immediate Release podcasts including the weekly Hobson & Holtz Report, subscribe to the full RSS feed.

This FIR Book Review is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

FIR Book Club #4: "Civility in the Digital Age" author Andrea Weckerle

Andrea Weckerle was the guest author for the third installment of the FIR Book Club on April 5, 2013, hosted by FIR Book Review Editor Bob LeDrew. Andrea is the author of Civility in the Digital Age.

Read the transcript of the live chat here.

Listen Now:

Andrea WeckerleAndrea Weckerle is an American attorney and the author of Civility in the Digital Age: How Companies and People Can Triumph over Haters, Trolls, Bullies and Other Jerks (2013). She earned her Juris Doctor at T.C. Williams School of Law, University of Richmond, where she also served on the Senior Staff of the Richmond Journal of Law & Technology, the first exclusively online, student-edited law journal in the U.S. In addition to her law degree, she underwent extensive mediation training, earning certificates in Commercial Mediation and Conflict Resolution Processes. She also holds a Master of Arts (MAIS) degree in Public Relations/Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University.

After law school, Andrea worked within the Legal Management Services division of the international professional services firm Ernst & Young, where she helped design, develop and implement comprehensive alternative dispute resolution systems for Fortune 500 companies. During her tenure at the firm, she served on the international team of a high-profile, politically sensitive investigatory review of World War II-era banking records for two international financial institutions and a U.S. state regulatory agency. Prior to founding CiviliNation, she ran her own boutique communications consultancy and also worked with national agencies, where her experience included legal and corporate communications, online communications and social media.

Andrea lived in Pakistan, Madagascar, Germany and the United States while growing up and now resides in the United States. She is bilingual in English and German.

Get this Podcast:

FIR online communities

Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future reviews, in the online FIR communities on Facebook, Friendfeed and Google+. You can also email us at fircomments@gmail.com; call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments; comment at Twitter: @FIRpodcast. You can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments, if you wish (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all For Immediate Release podcasts including the weekly Hobson & Holtz Report, subscribe to the full RSS feed.

This FIR Book Club podcast is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

Related post:

Andrea Weckerle will answer your questions at FIR’s April 5 Book Club session

Andrea Weckerle, author of Civility in the Digital Age, is set to take your questions during FIR’s next Book Club, which Book Review Editor Bob LeDrew will host.

Friday, April 5, 2013
9am PDT | 11am CDT | 12 pm EDT | 5pm BST
FIR Book Club at TalkShoe

Andrea WeckerleAndrea is also the founder and president of CiviliNation, a non-profit organization established to take a stand against online hostility, character assassination and adult cyberbullying. LeDrew’s review of Civility in the Digital Age was posted to FIR last week. Andrea also appeared in an FIR interview in January 2010 to discuss CiviliNation.

Andrea is an attorney licensed to practice law in Washington D.C. and New Jersey. She earned her Juris Doctor at T.C. Williams School of Law, University of Richmond, where she also served on the Senior Staff of the Richmond Journal of Law & Technology, the first exclusively online, student-edited law journal in the U.S. In addition to her law degree, she underwent extensive mediation training, earning certificates in Commercial Mediation, Conflict Resolution Processes, and Healthcare Mediation. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in Communications/Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University.

After law school, Andrea worked within the Legal Management Services division of an international professional services firm, where she helped design, develop and implement comprehensive alternative dispute resolution systems for Fortune 500 companies. During her tenure at the firm, she also served on the international team of a high-profile, politically sensitive investigatory review of World War II-era banking records for two international financial institutions and a U.S. state regulatory agency. Before founding CiviliNation, she ran her own boutique communications consultancy and worked with nationally-recognized agencies, where her experience included legal and corporate communications, as well as online communications and social media.

Andrea lived in Pakistan, Madagascar, Germany and the United States while growing up and now resides in the United States. She is bilingual in English and German.

Join Andrea for a lively chat with FIR Book Review Editor Bob LeDrew and participate in the conversation! Details are on the TalkShoe Book Club site.

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)