Key Speaker for Government’s “Women in Global Business” Conference

Emma is invited to speak and present a case study as to the key ingredients to achieving global success at the July

Women in Global Business Speaker Series.

Here are some of the details being shared to promote the event:

Australian women will have the opportunity to hear from prominent women who have succeeded internationally at the Women in Global Business Speaker Series in July and August.The annual event held in states and territories across the country will feature speakers from a variety of industry sectors, providing businesswomen with practical advice on venturing overseas.

Women in Global Business national program manager, Cynthia Balogh, believe the event is beneficial in helping women overcome international barriers, particularly those in the Middle East.

“The Middle East presents quite specific barriers for women; some of the Asian and South American markets can do the same,” she said.

Balogh told Dynamic Export the event offers business owners the opportunity to learn and network with like-minded people.

“It’s an opportunity to see their role models, who have often had quite tough journeys to expand their businesses into those market places, women often learn from seeing role models. It helps them overcome some confidence issues, whether it’s personal confidence or confidence in business,” Balogh said.

Digivizer CEO, Emma Lo Russo, who will be speaking at the Sydney event can relate to the personal challenges women face when growing their business.

Lo Russo believes the event will provide shared mentorship and allow women to learn from real-life experiences.  “Having real honest examples of what works, is quite empowering. Instead of feeling like you have to navigate the unknown or have a goal and do it alone”.

Details & registration for the event can be found here :

Thursday 26th July 2012

8.30am – 12.30pm

NSW Trade and Investment Centre, Level 47, MLC Centre, 19 Martin Place, Sydney

I’ll post more about my key points to achieving international success here soon.

Choosing the right mentor

carriergoodwill1

I was recently asked what someone should look for in a good mentor.

The first thing to do is to recognize the value in engaging a good mentor or coach to help you hold yourself accountable for developing yourself and taking your career to the next level.

The value of seeking a career mentor is in how they can help you bring clarity to your career goals over the near, medium and long term, to help you prioritize your next steps towards your goals, how to strategize and evaluate options in light of your goals and values, and to help you stay accountable to the path you wish to take.  Through formalizing this relationship with someone, it provides a regular, safe and confidential sounding board to bounce your fears, aspirations and future challenges.

Finding the right mentor is based on how inspirational they are to you, how experienced, how insightful and how good they are in facilitating the right discussions. High Emotional Intelligence would rate as the key characteristic of a great mentor and just as you would look for a great employee, you want in a great mentor someone who has demonstrated that they are smart, talented, have a history of delivering great results and have built many great relationships and people through their leadership and association.

Finding the right mentor is based on how inspirational they are to you, how experienced, how insightful and how good they are in facilitating the right discussions. High Emotional Intelligence would rate as the key characteristic of a great mentor and just as you would look for a great employee, you want in a great mentor someone who has demonstrated that they are smart, talented, have a history of delivering great results and have built many great relationships and people through their leadership and association.

In a busy working world, it is too easy to rationalize to ourselves what we do and why we do it.  Much harder to rationalize to someone else. Particularly if they are asking you the right questions and you are looking inside yourself to provide the right answers.

Both you and they will know when you are making excuses or seeing things through a narrow field of vision.

If you want to take your personal life or career to the next level, it may be time to engage a mentor. The benefits of having someone else push, question, strategize with you through mentoring can only lead to greater success.

Tips for leading successful negotiations

Make_me_an_offerOften in business or when supporting coaching clients, I am asked to prepare or help someone to lead a successful negotiation. Here I share my key tips for leading successful individual negotiations:

  1. Prepare in advance – understand the principles of bracketing. Plan for, and clearly know your high point, your low point and your mid point.  Your midpoint should be what you are happy to be paid, your low point is your walk away, and anything upside of your midpoint you should be delighted.  Think about your strategy in how you could move your first asking point greater then where it would otherwise be to help raise the midpoint.
  2. Try to avoid putting your price down first – no matter what.   Look to get the person you are negotiating with to state their position, their thinking, their decision-making criteria. You can look to set the agenda and ideal outcomes based on principles before a number or the details of the introduction gets introduced.
  3. Keep your cards close to you and actively listen to the other party to help you determine your approach and negotiation tactics.  To get the other person to state his or her position first assuming the status quo is fine with you and there is no pressure on you to make a move, be bold enough to say to the other side, “You approached me. The way things are, satisfies me. If you want to do this, you’ll have to make a proposal to me.”
  4. Hold to your position for as long as you can – see how far they will come to your point first without you budging or without you budging far.  Communicate all the time that you are prepared and ready to make the deal and find something that works for everyone.
  5. Understand all the influencers and decision makers – you must know  and work with the person authorized to make the deal.  Talk to the key decision maker. Spend time in researching, listening and understanding their drivers and frame of reference.
  6. Discussions should always begin with a clear understanding of the win-win-win.  How do they win, how do you win, how do you win together?  Much research has been done to support the approach of winning for everyone is a much better outcome and brings greater results (financial & emotional) then if you have win by screwing down the other party.  Negotiation is based on the foundations of inspiration and persuasion.  How can you make the other party see your point of view or vision for the future?
  7. Negotiation is not always about money – negotiation can be based on a number of factors. Think creatively and really understand your own drivers.  For instance, in salary negotiations you may be looking at any one of the following elements:  Base Salary, Added Benefits, Profit Share & other short &/or long term incentives, Working environment & flexibility in hours, Additional holiday periods, Job enrichment & satisfaction based on doing more of what you love.
  8. Avoid being the first to double bracket or to negotiate against yourself (you would be surprised at how many people do this – make an offer, then jump in with another based on the other person’s non-response).  Hold and wait until the other person makes their offer known.  Hold too on your final position and get them to talk about what they are thinking and what you can do to help them.  Reinforce their and the combined win in the win-win-win situation. Identify any potential barriers to bringing closure to the negotiations.  Think about how you can remove them or how else they could be viewed and change your tactics accordingly.
  9. There may be variables in a negotiation, understand what they are and be clear (first be clear to yourself) as to what is important to you – eg timing, breakdown, flexibility etc
  10. Consider the power of using time as a variable – what needs to be done by when and how flexible can you or the negotiating party be around that (and what is the value to you around that variability).  Gain a sense of urgency – if the other party is keen to bring closure to the negotiations you may in fact be able to use that urgency to your advantage by moving slowly and looking like you don’t care how long it takes.  However look to ensure the principles of having something that works for everyone remains a priority.
  11. Never negotiate when you are feeling emotional.  Try to keep a level head at all times.  If you need a break, request time to think about the offer until you can think straight again.  Talk out loud to someone else if you need some help in unraveling your emotions and to help reform the confidence and rationale in your approach and  position.
  12. Remember to celebrate the final result of your negotiations. It is important to ensure all parties feel good about the deal that was done.
  13. Once concluded, spend some time reflecting – could you have done things differently for next time? Any lessons learned?
  14. Finally, never let the other party know you were prepared to accept less or pay more in the negotiations.  They will feel bad, and you will lose any goodwill created by the win-win-win principle.

Each of us negotiates many things and many times in daily life and in business. By considering these simple strategies, you should obtain an outcome you are happy with.

For leading more complex negotiations, there are many resources available.  One book that I recommend reading is “Negotiation Genius – how to overcome obstacles and achieve brilliant results at the bargaining table and beyond” by Deepak Malhotra & Max H. Bazerman, Harvard Business School 2007

What have you found works for you?  Do you recommend any strategies or resources that have helped you?  What tips would you offer others who want to lead successful negotiations?

Growth in a connected world

Emma will be the key-note speaker at next week’s business conference “Growth in a connected world” where she will explore in greater detail the forces of change impacting your business, customer relationships and infrastructure.

Understand, Grow and Lead by embracing these changes.

Read Emma’s related post on Driving your own upturn

DETAILS OF CONFERENCE:

GROWTH IN A CONNECTED WORLD

Date:  Wednesday 23 March 2011

Time:  7.30am for an 8.00am start

Location:  Sydney Masonic Centre, Corner of Goulburn and Castlereagh Streets.

NB: Ample parking available close by.

RSVP:

Register your interest by emailing ned@greengoldit.com.au Or

Register online at www.ontrackaus.com Events Or

Call (02) 9261 5111 / (02) 9248 0162

Who Should Attend:

Business Owners, CEO’s, CFO’s, CIO’s and Senior Managers.

Event hosted by:

Green and Gold People to People & Ontrack Systems (AUS) Pty Ltd.

Supported by SAP and NETFIRA.

SAP Business One, is an affordable integrated business management solution for Small and mid-size businesses, turns your existing business assets into thriving resources.

NETFIRA is a B2B supply chain software solution for small and medium businesses, allowing them to buy and sell online without a need for the website or EDI.

Driving your own upturn

Screen shot 2011-03-17 at 9.20.12 PMThere is no more normal.  No back to normal. No creation of normal.  There is only readiness and the acceptance that certainty in business has been removed.

What is required is a nimbleness and a feeling of empowerment to quickly synthesize and work out the emerging opportunities and the dangers that can be found in the ever-changing markets, changing technology, and changing pressures that surround us.

An organization’s readiness to make decisions, to take risks, to learn along the way, to adjust, becomes the new standard. An organizational culture that supports, encourages, embraces and celebrates new information and innovation. One that equates change with opportunity and an exciting future.

Competition has never been greater.  Competition for talent, competition for resources, competition for your customers, competition to be heard and valued by the people who matter to you – your customers.

Choosing to compete on price is no win for anyone – you lose profits and someone, somewhere is likely to do it cheaper, followed by someone else offering it cheaper again.

Competing on first to market is also time-limited.  Someone will follow and offer the same, maybe more, maybe better and certainly followed by a number of others.

Competing with the product and services you serve today will not serve you tomorrow. They will be substituted by new, better, sexier and more personalized or smarter versions or something that supersedes them entirely.

To remain relevant and of interest to your customers, you can compete on one thing only – your ability to consistently evolve and differentiate and to create the best possible customer experience.

You need to implement a model that supports sustainable and continuous innovation.  To build an organization that supports innovation that supports the improvement of your customer’s lives in a way that is valued and meaningful to them.

And critically, an organization that allows your people to be free to innovate, to think, to create, to build, to serve, to deliver growth.

Who is going to be the hero?  The leader of change? The leader of innovation? The leader of your success and future? The leader of growth and upturn?

The answer is You. Yes, You.

You need to create the space in your organization to shine. You need to create space to allow your team to shine and enough to allow all your people to shine.

You need to get every non-differentiating system and innovation-roadblock, innovation-killer and time-wasting activity out of the way so you can spend time on:

  • Finding ways to introduce new products and services to existing customers.
  • Identifying new customer segments to target new, innovative, personalized and relevant offers.
  • Capitalizing on opportunities in emerging markets and enhancing your performance in existing markets.
  • Delighting your customer through their unique experience dealing with you

If you are not already finding this time, thinking or operating this way, then your time is already limited.  Either you will be replaced by others who are, or your organization’s ability to compete will be time-limited.

Tic toc tic toc.

Time is ticking.  Time for change. Time to do things differently. To think differently.

If you want growth and are under pressure to deliver numbers, then take ownership within your organization to drive your own upturn and success.

Socializing your organization…

We are all connected (Image Dimitri Vervitsios)Social Media is not just for the geeks, techos and the under 30’s. No manager can ignore the increasing power and influence of the social web.  People are connecting, sharing, listening, influencing, growing the relevance of their networks every day.

It is easy to see that as technology advances at such rapid rates, the rules of marketing, customer and employee engagement have changed and must continue to change.

Most managers accept you can’t ignore the social web.  The question really becomes for each of us:  “How can I add value to my organization in determining where and how the social web can be leveraged to deliver solid bottom line outcomes?”

Connecting the social web to organizational value:

Building your brand is largely based on how your brand is perceived by your customers.  You don’t own your brand  – your customers do! Your customers are already choosing to watch, connect, discuss and engage with your brand.   Aden Young of DigitalBuzz noted in his December post “that 67% of people on Twitter follow a brand (that they will purchase), in comparison to only 51% on Facebook. Yet on Facebook 40% of all people follow a brand in comparison to Twitter’s 25%.”

Easy to conclude that the social web should not be seen as an add-on channel, but rather an extension of your business, providing customer information and the means to engage that should integrate into every aspect of your business.

Opportunities include:

Screen shot 2011-02-09 at 7.02.47 AM

WHAT QUESTIONS CAN AND SHOULD YOU BE ASKING?

Here are just some of the questions you can be asking your organization.

  1. Customer Journey – how is this being captured and managed from possible interest>engagement>purchase>repeat purchase>advocate>evangelist> influencers?
  2. Social CRM – how and where does (& can) the social media insights fit into the broader marketing and customer engagement, sales and support strategy?  Your communications strategy? How is this being integrated and implemented in real-time?
  3. Lead generation strategy – where and what is involved in leveraging the triggers provided within the social web in relation to your known customers and your ideal customer target markets?
  4. Employee Power – How does your digital strategy allow for you to grow, harness and leverage your employees? Your partners? Your franchisees? What is their role in this? How can they be involved in utilizing social media? What guidance and more importantly, permission and encouragement do you need to provide?
  5. E-Commerce – Thinking beyond “bricks and mortar” and your current go-to-market model, where and when will your e-commerce platform sit within this? Where and how do you drive traffic to and from this site?
  6. Retailing – How can you grow your online brand and customer engagement to drive traffic into store?
  7. Business Information – How are you overlaying the insights gained from the social web as it relates to your customers,markets and ideal new customers and markets?
  8. Measuring – How do you measure all the above?  Once you embark on a digital strategy that includes leveraging the social web, how can you be sure you are being successful?  What measures, insights and returns can you gain? How real-time is this?

These are just a few questions to start the ball rolling.   What else do you think should be added to this list?

How can you (the non-geek/non-social web expert) get involved in harnessing the social web and add even more value to your organization?

When One Business Just Isn’t Enough: How to run a portfolio Business

Emma was recently interviewed by Suzi Dafnis of Australian Businesswomen’s Network.  Here she introduces Emma to her network as:

“For many of us, running one business is more than enough. My guest today runs two businesses. Emma Lo Russo is an experienced innovator, organisation leader and marketer. She has brought together her experience gained from leadership positions across a broad spectrum of industries to two businesses.

Digivizer, a business that delivers the digital footprint of the people you know (i.e. your clients) and the people you should know. Digivizer looks at who you should connect to through social media and Validity Coaching, a collective of experienced executive coaches.

Emma joins me to talk about the pros and cons of running a portfolio business, that is, a collection of businesses. We look at:

  • Does running two businesses impact the effectiveness of one or more of the business?
  • How can a split focus help you get better business results?
  • What are the challenges of running more than one business, and how do you overcome them?

Enjoy this interview with Emma Lo Russo.”

http://www.abn.org.au/site/article/Video-When-One-Business-Just-Isnt-Enough-How-to-run-a-portfolio-business-Emma-Lo-Russo-interview

Compliance vs Engagement

goldfish-taking-actionDoing the basic job required of us, in most cases, is easy to do.  In fact we can often do much of what we do without having to really engage, invest and stretch ourselves. 

We learn from an early age to follow instructions. To have our creative thinking ordered with a set of pre-determined decisions to create structure, harmony and order. 

Certainly it helps to learn the consequences of taking actions that are outside of what is expected of us. However do we consider the dangers to progress if we merely look and teach others to comply?

How often do you hear “I do this because that is what is asked of me.”  Or “I don’t do this, because the rules say not to.”  In business we can often provide more processes, instructions and parameters to reduce risk and error margins, but what happens when it stops people from thinking or taking ownership all together?

In this past week, I saw two separate cases where perfectly intelligent and capable people were discussing a problem within their working environments.  In being challenged as to why they did not see those problems as ones they could solve, the dutiful responses were offered around it not being their job, it wasn’t done that way, there was red tape, a usual way to solve this etc.

In reality, they had become compliant.  Stopped thinking, stopped ownership, stopped engaging with the broader objectives and motivations for their companies and themselves.

It didn’t take long to unlock their thinking and to see alternate ways to own and solve the problems they were facing. 

Unfortunately once I started looking for examples of compliance over engagement elsewhere, I started to see it everywhere – in customer service across multiple businesses, in my children, and in me.  It has made for an interesting point for reflection.

Key to solving passive compliance is engagement ourselves and encouraging engagement in others.  It is not enough to just observe or be present.  Not enough to comply even if it gets you over the line and off the hook.  What is required of us is to really engage with a problem you see and view it as something you can own, influence and drive towards a solution. 

In these cases I refer to this week, by engaging with the problem didn’t mean these clients had to make the problem their own completely and feel the pressure to solve it on their own. 

In both cases it was enough to shift the thinking from it being someone else’s problem to being “our problem” to solve.  And to get them thinking about how they could lead and influence change.  To think about possible options and opportunities.  

Seeing the bigger picture and not being hamstrung by barriers – perceived or real, allows for progress. 

By engaging fully with what you are hoping to achieve and not the process of getting there, promotes critical thinking and creativity. It brings action and results.

Where do you need to switch gears and move from compliance to engagement to really generate progress?

Senior Women share the Benefits of Mentoring

women-and-businessRecently I was asked to support FITT’s Mentoring Program in the capacity of interviewer to help assess and match the right mentor to the mentee candidates. 

 FITT (Females in Information Technology and Telecommunications)  run a dedicated Mentor program connecting experienced and senior women with up and coming managers and executive women within the industry.  Mentors volunteer their time and range from CEOs, CIOs, COOs, Executive Directors and HR Directors to Senior Architects, Project Directors and Senior Business Analysts. These women are impressive – with significant achievements and scope of responsibilities and sit at the top of very well known top organizations in the technology and telecommunications space. 

Mentoring generally refers to a personal developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps a less experienced or less knowledgeable person.  It provides an informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support relevant to work, career, or to personal or professional development.

With huge gender representation divides in boards and senior management across all industries, this program provides a structured support process for these high-achieving women who are already at the top, to share their journeys, their experience and tips for overcoming any barriers with others still on their rising journey.

Ultimately it helps demystify the path, approach and strategies taken and is designed to help address gender imbalance and the question of “how do we get more women to the top”.

Although the mentees obtain great insight and knowledge through the program, the Mentor’s who operate in this capacity, also see the benefits. 

Here are the main benefits of mentoring shared by these inspiring women:

  • Rewarding – each Mentor recognized the great satisfaction and reward gained at a personal level when helping someone else learn, grow and develop their potential, their confidence and their skills.  There were many “proud” stories shared of helping others through promotions, major projects and major decisions.  Many previous mentor relationships had developed into friendships and mutually-rewarding business relationships where both parties felt they had learned much from each other and enjoyed the connection and history they had shared together immensely.
  • Recognition – each Mentor could share a story of how someone had helped mentor them along their path to the top.  They recognized the value in having a powerful role-model, someone to share their experience and wisdom and connected this to their own learning and support at critical times in their own career progressions.  Mentoring was seen as a gift for helping them and it was now time for the gift to be passed on or as a way “to give back”.**
  • Growing – each Mentor sees mentoring as an opportunity to grow themselves.  By taking time out to help someone else, they recognized that they would benefit from self-reflection, from learning about someone new and their different experiences, from the language and skills you use as a Mentor.  Often a mentee will push the mentor with their questions, suggestions and probing. These relationships were seen to be mutually sharing and beneficial.
  • Motivation – each already had a passion for developing people, however mentoring others was seen to be motivating and re-invigorating to themselves.  It helped them push themselves, to revisit their own strategies and challenges, to recognize the strengths in others and in making them more aware of their own strengths.  It helped them revisit and retap their own drivers of what makes someone successful and more importantly what makes them successful.  By taking time out to share experience and knowledge, it unlocked additional wisdom and energy to be applied in new ways.

Many of these women shared their challenges of being a woman in IT.  It is wonderful to see so many of these women now providing real employment opportunities, creating flexible and supportive work cultures and in actively helping other women break down barriers and stereotypes. 

I enjoyed the interview process immensely and commend these women for taking time out of their busy schedules to share their experience, knowledge and wisdom to help promote the next generation of women leaders.

There are real benefits in Mentoring others – and this is not just for women.  So if you see an opportunity to Mentor others outside of your direct report lines, I encourage you to take the opportunity up. 

Enjoy the growth, rewards and motivation that will be yours.

     

** You may be interested in reading this article on returning the gift of experience. Read more>

Speaker & Leadership Development Facilitator for NSW Red Cross

Emma will be keynote speaker and facilitator of an interactive leadership development session for NSW Red Cross Youth Advisory Committee.

Emma will be addressing “How to lead a project team to success” and will be looking at communication, negotiation and management strategies, skills and styles and how they can be applied to ensure solid engagement within project teams and the wider community, and how by applying focus you can achieve your desired outcomes.

The team will benefit from an interactive learning session which will be conducted Saturday 10th April 2010. 

For further information on Emma’s keynote speaking and leadership development modules and how they can enhance and progress your people and organization’s development and growth, contact Emma at emma@emmalorusso.com