ChangeThis’ 50th Issue includes Social Capital Value Add

Here is a repost from the 800CEOread blog:

September 10, 2008

ChangeThis: Issue 50

That’s right folks, Issue number 50. For this landmark issue, we brought ChangeThis founder Seth Godin back to discuss Tribes, the opportunities now available to lead a tribe of one’s own, and what the Grateful Dead has to do with any of it. Next up, we have John Kotter, providing us with A Sense of Urgency while writing about its fundamental importance to organizational change programs. The third spot in the lineup is filled by Jonathan Salem Baskin–author of Branding Only Works on Cattle–with 10 Rules for Branding in a Post Branded World. Hitting cleanup is Vince Poscente, former olympic speed-skier and member of the Speaker Hall of Fame, with a manifesto on how to excel in this, The Age of Speed. And, bringing the issue home, we have Michael Cayley, discussing his “spin-out of brand management,” Social Capital Value Add, and Andrew Abela–author of Advanced Presentations by Design–who will show you how to give an effective presentation before a smaller audience (as most of your presentations probably are).

Snippets and links below. Happy reading everybody!


How to Sell a Book (or Any New Idea)(step 1 is the hard part) by Seth Godin

“My friend Fred has a new book coming out and he was trolling around for new marketing ideas. I think he’d be surprised at this:

Sell one.

Find one person who trusts you and sell him a copy. Does he love it? Is he excited about it? Excited enough to tell ten friends because it helps them, not because it helps you?

Tribes grow when people recruit other people. That’s how ideas spread as well. They don’t do it for you, of course. They do it for each other. Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work. If Fred’s book spreads, then he’s off to a great start. If it doesn’t, he needs a new book.

You don’t get to take step 2 if you can’t do step 1.”

Click here to visit the site.
Click here to download the PDF.

It All Starts With A Sense of Urgency by John P. Kotter

In a turbulent era, when new competitors or political problems might emerge at any time, when technology is changing everything, both the business-as-usual behavior associated with complacency and the running-in-circles behavior associated with a false sense of urgency are increasingly dangerous.

In bold contrast, a true sense of urgency is becoming immeasurably important. Real urgency is an essential asset that must be created, and re-created, and it can be.

Click here to visit the site.
Click here to download the PDF.

10 Rules for Branding In a Post Branded World by Jonathan Salem Baskin

“We live in the twilight of a branded world born over 100 years ago.

Most marketing remains blinded by the fading glare of its old, outdated promises.

Yet there is a new approach to brands ahead of us, based upon a definition that is less about static image and imagined identity, and more about real-time interaction and actual involvement between company and consumer.

This is your Manifesto for making branding work in a post-branded world.”

Click here to visit the site.
Click here to download the PDF.

The Age of Speed Manifesto by Vince Poncente

“In the following manifesto, we will explore our present relationship with speed and examine four behavior profiles that can help you determine if you (a) embrace speed and (b) harness the power of it. By the end, you just might discover that our 24/7, CrackBerry, more-faster-now world is not threatening to eat you alive, but rather, to set you free.”

Click here to visit the site.
Click here to download the PDF.

Social Capital Value Add: Value Based Management for the Networked Age by Michael Cayley

“The marketing/communications mix is completely different than it was before 2004. Broadcast’s monopoly on attention is dead. The symbolic brand, which has been the fastest growing source of corporate value for the last quarter century has reached its pinnacle. It is being absorbed and replaced by memetic brand. Technologies have evolved and mapped so tightly to the way humans transact, form relationships and create self-identity that it is time for business management to link the pioneering academic studies of social capital and social network analysis (SNA) to value based management and the priorities of marketers.

The transition required is no less abrupt than that moment when the search of Dorothy, the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion reaches confrontation with the Great Oz facade and the curtain is pulled back to reveal a mere mortal. The corporation is at risk of being the ‘humbug’ caught shouting into the loudspeakers and pulling at the mechanistic levers of the past.”

Click here to visit the site.
Click here to download the PDF.

Presenting to Small Audiences: Turn of the Projector! by Andrew Abela

“The typical presentation to a small group today is designed just as if it were being made to a large group in a big auditorium. We follow the same advice in creating our slides, and then we turn on the portable projector and inflict slide after deadening slide on our audience–vintage Death by PowerPoint.

Too much of this effort is wasted. There is ample research evidence that projecting lots of text and speaking at the same time is so distracting to your audience that it is less effective than projecting your slides and asking your audience to read them while you remain silent, or speaking with no slides at all!”

Click here to visit the site.
Click here to download the PDF.

How did this dog get in the boardroom?

A dog has been set loose in your boardroom to bark at you about how business management has changed since 2004.  The story of how it got there is a great little case study in how valuable ideas move from inception anywhere in the world to you in the networked age.

It started with a need and a Google search.

After slugging it out in the social media startup world for years, I was ready for a glass of wine.  So we packed up the family and headed to Paris.  I looked at my MBA program there as an opportunity to put to rest a nagging set of ideas about Web 2.0.  The way in which business value is created and defended has fundamentally changed, but most of the “conversation” about social media is not designed for investors and “C” level corporate management.  From an academic perspective, I was a relative amateur.

Enter a few Google searches …

I discovered a local conference on Social Networks.  Then found myself in a room of about 10 top social network theorists.  I was waaaaay out of my league, but fortunately I was able to connect with Olav Sorenson and Matt Jackson.

Olav took the time to direct my reading.  Google helped me discover additional key pieces.  Matt was encouraging and challenging.  When I finished the paper, I sent it to almost everyone whose work I had read during the formulation, looking for credible feedback.

I received encouraging notes back.  One from Al Ries, co-author of Positioning, which is a book most consider to be a marketing bible.  Top blogger Matt Ingram said the work was “valuable.”  Then Seth Godin, author of the world’s most popular marketing blog and the best selling business books over the last decade, suggested that I submit the idea to, a Digg-like site for ideas that he co-founded (but no longer runs).

The editorial board at ChangeThis selected the proposal and that is when its fate moved from the hands of a few key “influentials” into the “wild.”

To be published by ChangeThis, the idea had to compete against about a dozen others and be voted to the top.  Social Capital Value Add did not become the 8th most demanded proposal in ChangeThis history because I am a famous author.  I asked my friends and colleagues to support it.  Social capital went to work.  Through a combination of support from close connections and blog entries from looser links,  the idea gets a blast to 20,000 people who care about this sort of thing as part of the 50th issue of ChangeThis (along with the great ideas of John Kotter, Seth Godin, Andrew Abela, Vince Poscente and Jonathan Baskin).

At some point along the way, the momentum has changed.  I started out trying to take this idea as far as I could.  Now I am trying to keep up with it for as long as I can.

My search has changed how information flows around me.  After months of trying to find information, information finds me through connections far and wide. Four people on three different continents alerted me to Mike Arrington’s related post.  I have wandered or been invited into online groups like Seth’s “Triiibes” where Adam Helweh and dozens of others have instantly offered their help just as quick as I can ask.

Paul Wilmott has invited me to write something to introduce SCVA in his small but influential magazine that serves the quantitative finance community and I have connected with the right folks at Dell and Procter & Gamble about reporting on how the principals in SCVA are showing up in their businesses.  I am not sure how these initiatives are going to work out yet, but they are encouraging.

UPDATE: In February 2009, SCVA was selected as a finalist among almost 400 “game changing” ideas from 48 countries in the WeMedia/Ashoka Power of Us: Reimagine Media co-petition.

Social Capital Value Add (SCVA) is an idea that started in the social media startup trenches and was connected by a Google search to experts and influentials.  Wrapped up in a Wizard of Oz metaphor and signaled by a nameless dog, SCVA is powered by the social capital of a few concerned groups and now it has made its way to you from a trusted source.  It is a management and valuation approach that has been developed as a framework to help companies understand and track the impact that communications technology is having on their ability to create and defend value.  Woof, woof.

UPDATE: The SCVA ChangeThis manifesto has been released:

“Introducing Social Capital Value Add” is 8th most demanded proposal in ChangeThis history

Thank you to everyone who voted for the “Introducing Social Capital Value Add” proposal at and to the conference organisers, twemes, friends and connections who tolerated many appeals over the last month.

“Introducing Social Capital Value Add” topped the list for the month with 380 votes.  That is almost 200 more than the second place idea and it is the 8th most demanded manifesto proposal in ChangeThis history.

If everything goes well, the “Introducing Social Capital Value Add” ChangeThis manifesto should be released to over 20,0000 “influencers” in September.  Grab this blog’s RSS feed or subscribe by email (top right corner) to help develop SCVA thinking and get a copy of the manifesto upon release.

I had more than one person tell me that voting for the proposal felt a lot like voting in a national election, “I don’t really know what I am voting for, but I am voting because <insert name> told me to.”

Anywhoo, I am grateful for the support.  It ain’t like winning America Idol er somethin’, eh, so I don’t want to come off as makin’ too much fuss about this, but to be honest it does mean a lot to me.  From the moment I headed off to Paris last summer I have been dedicated to taking this idea as far as I can.  Now I am working to follow this idea as far as I can.

I am developing SCVA case studies with publicly traded corporations.  If your company or client is interested in collaborating on this please get in touch.

The fact that many of the votes came through personal connections is a very pure illustration of the value of social capital.

At the same time, getting to the right metrics to measure social media and social network valuation are very hot topics right now.  Technology’s most influential blogger, Mike Arrington, made a post over at TechCrunch a few days ago entitled, “Modelling the Real Market Value of Social Networks” and has received over 160 comments.  There are hundreds of messages flying around on these topics in the list serves and forums that I visit and at least part of the support for my proposal may evolve out of a need for corporations to get a handle on the risks to earnings associated with social media and a general desire to make the corporate form more socially motivated.

So we shall see where this all goes …

Again, I hope that I am not coming across as making too much of all of this.  If you want to do something really meaningful please hit this link and click up a few votes on the Harvard Business Review List of Breakthrough Ideas for 2008 in support of “Sick Transit Gloria”.  Mark Kuznicki, Eli Singer, and Jay Goldman have evangelized the “camp” approach to collaboration that started here in Toronto.  You can read more about that here.  It is working to improve the transit experience in Toronto and can be applied to any challenge.
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Web 2.0 Swan Song?

If you are reading this post you likely already understand that social media is “game changing”. The challenge ahead is to make this case to seasoned decision makers in boardrooms globally.

Perhaps it is because I watched as the public relations profession worked over the last 20 years to attempt to tune the corporation into being more socially motivated. Perhaps it is the lingering fear of the first Internet bubble. But every time I read a blog post about what is better Twitter or Plurk or see a debate raging about whether one has to be a blogger to “get” social media, I hear Johnny Depp as Hunter S. Thompson and this song in my head (sorry – not every time and minus the first 51 seconds, heh, heh).

I don’t want this second wave of the internet coming to crest before crashing through the boardroom door. The prospect of changing the dialog about Web 2.0 and social media is what prompted me to start down the the path of writing “Introducing Social Capital Value Add” last May.

SCVA is a management method rooted in accepted financial theory that connects the pioneering intellectual enterprises of social capital and social network analysis to value based management and the priorities of marketers. SCVA proposes that we establish the link between social media and corporate valuation, in a way similar to the connection made between brand and corporate value in the late 1980s.

Investors and managers need to access the risks to future earnings and stock value associated with social media. When we evangelize Web 2.0 and social media in these terms … risk, future earnings and stock value … the focus will change from saving a few thousand dollars on a web campaign and the quest for that elusive viral story. This is the opportunity to stress the commitment, investment and special management methods required to develop the social capital that underwrites long term success in the networked age.

Over the last month many people have joined in to support the idea of “Introducing Social Capital Value Add” at Thank you very much. It is not over yet. Voting closes sometime, probably end of day, June 19th. It might not come together tomorrow.

UPDATE 1:  Social Capital Value Add ended up being the 8th most demanded proposal in ChangeThis history and it was published in September 2008 as a ChangeThis manifesto along with new releases from Seth Godin, Jonathan Salem Baskin & Harvard Change expert John Kotter.

UPDATE 2: In March 2009, SCVA was a finalist among almost 400 entries from 48 countries in Ashoka’s The Power of Us: Reimagine Media competition.

The odds are against this prospect of changing the dialog. I must admit though, the process of engaging as many people as I can about these issues and the response has been inspiring.

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Thank You Canadian Marketing Association

A post went up today on the Canadian Marketing Association blog covering ChangeThis and making an appeal in favour of “Introducing Social Capital Value Add”.

Thank you to Jennifer Morozowich and to CMA for your support.

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Vote at

The “Introducing Social Capital Value Add” proposal is now posted at:

Please click the yes button and share the link …

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Pls vote for proposal

A few weeks ago, after receiving a reviewer’s draft of my “Introducing Social Capital Value Add”, one of the founders of advised me to submit SCVA as a manifesto.

I just received confirmation that the Editorial Board has accepted my proposal and that it will appear on their site beginning May 20. 

Now I need anyone who believes that we need to figure out how to measure social media in a meaningful way to vote for the proposal.  It would be a great way to get the conversation into a higher gear.  Tom Peters, Chris Anderson, Gladwell, Richard Florida, Seth Godin and many more have instigated some great ideas through

Please go to and vote for the “Introducing Social Capital Value Add” proposal and forward the proposal or this blog post to all like minded individuals.

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