Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ethics and Collaboration: Is Fear Killing Your Collaborative Opportunities?

A subject that seems to puzzle the masses, but plays such a significant role in the integrity of business overall, and life in general, for that matter. David Kramer says it well in The Lost Art of Ethics and Collaboration: Where Did We Go Wrong? (2004), “In spite of clear and convincing evidence that ethical behavior and collaboration generate better results than dishonest and adversarial negotiations, these best practices are rare in the world of human interaction.” In a world that becomes ever more social on a daily basis, the practice of ethical behavior becomes increasingly important.

So what constitutes ethical behavior? (specifically in terms of business and collaboration). This is an issue that has been at the forefront of my mind recently, especially with the movement of business to social media, and sharing of contacts across various different mediums. It is extremely easy for competitors to see exactly who you are meeting with, connected to, and currently in negotiations with. I’ve spent the majority of my 28-year career working in the nonprofit sector, where ethics and collaboration are key elements in nonprofit effectiveness; so I understand the subject well. However, in the “dog” eat “dog” world of business, the term takes on a whole new meaning.

In my business, I have various collaborative partners. These are companies that provide specific services that my clients want, but that I do not currently provide in-house. I can choose to hire in-house expertise to provide these services, or work with a company that provides such services within a collaborative framework. This happens in business all the time, yet the key to a long-term positive working relationship with the collaborative partner often falls on ethics; something few companies truly understand. For example, if I’m working with a collaborative partner and I introduce that partner to a client or potential client. Is it ethical for that partner to then contact my client directly, share pricing information with my client, or vice-versa? If that collaborative partner offers services that are in direct competition with services that I provide, is it ethical for them to offer those services directly to my client? These questions and the answers seem logical enough for most; yet, this line gets crossed often.

In a conversation recently with a potential collaborative partner, I faced the challenge of explaining this exact dilemma. The potential partner is a young entrepreneur who offers a range of very specific services that I would like to offer my clients, along with other services that may or may not be in direct competition with services that I offer. I have considered working with this particular company, based on a recommendation from a much respected mutual associate, and my own instinctive desire to help others.

Is this a service that I could easily perform or provide myself? Yes, however; I believe we are given opportunities to help others through our knowledge and I’m a firm believer that we all have a responsibility to give back to the community that supports our endeavors. I met with this potential collaborative partner on two different occasions. Upon the second meeting, the partner was briefly exposed to a friend and potential client. Within a week or so, the partner made direct contact with the other company and asked for a meeting. In my mind, this is a direct conflict to my idea of ethical behavior from a collaborative partner. I immediately called the dilemma to the attention of the potential partner.

This brought another question to light. So how do you know who is “off limits”? In my mind, if a collaborative partner is meeting with or appears to be in negotiations with a company, then I consider that company “off limits”. I would not approach the company or try to solicit their work. If I had any question, whatsoever, as to whether or not the collaborative partner was working with the company I would contact the partner directly. Whether or not a contractual engagement is in place, is of no consequence to me. This strikes a visual in my mind: I would no more try to solicit the work of a collaborative partner’s client or potential client, than I would reach out and grab hold of them physically as they stood next to the collaborative partner, and try to pull the client away from them. I believe the ethics of each scenario to be the same.

Ethical dilemmas are not simply “right” or “wrong” answers; but are often ambiguous. I found six basic moral principles based on the Ethical Decision Making Model (Cooper, 1998), that I believe can be applied to most situations:
  • Autonomy: to promote self-determination, or the freedom of clients/collaborative partners to choose their own direction;
  • Nonmaleficence: to avoid doing harm, which includes refraining from actions that risk hurting clients/collaborative partners;
  • Beneficence: to promote good for others;
  • Justice: to provide equal treatment to all people;
  • Fidelity: to make honest promises and honor their commitments to those they serve;
  • Veracity: truthfulness;

A few additional things to consider when evaluating ethical business practices as they relate specifically to Marketing and/or Social Media, based on the work of Laczniak (1983) are:
  • Does the practice violate the law?
  • Does the practice go against the moral duty to honesty and exactitude?
  • To gratitude?
  • To justice?
  • To not place the health and safety of others in danger?
  • Is the intention of the practice bad?
  • Could the practice generate harmful or negative consequences?
  • Did the company consciously reject a practice which would have engendered the same advantages while at the same time generating fewer harmful or negative consequences?

It is the fear of unethical business practices that kill most collaborative opportunities before they even get started. I understand that it is a very competitive marketplace out there. However, if we can find ways to collaborate with one another, share best practices and follow a basic code of ethical behavior, I believe the potential for what we can accomplish together is limitless. I highly recommend reading “The Lost Art of Ethics and Collaboration: Where Did We Go Wrong?” by David Kramer of the Center for Business Ethics at Bentley College (2004), for more on information on Ethics and Collaboration.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Barbara Daniels named a finalist in the Social Media AZ Awards (SMAZZIES)!

Congratulations! You are a finalist in the Social Media AZ Awards (SMAZZIES)!

The SMAZZIES are part of the Social Media AZ (SMAZ) conference, and celebrate the new and exciting things going on around Arizona in the online world. You were nominated in one of our categories by someone who thinks you're doing something pretty exciting, and we're thrilled to help share that exciting work.

The SMAZ conference is happening on September 9th at the MADCAP Theaters in Tempe. The final voting is happening via a panel of independent judges, and winners will be announced that night. As a finalist, you receive a pair of tickets to the conference so you and a guest can spend the day meeting local news media professionals, enjoy the great sessions we have planned, and attend the award ceremony.

You can learn more about SMAZ at and more about the SMAZZIES at We hope to see you at SMAZ, and thank you for all your great work representing Arizona online!

The SMAZZIES Team - Jennifer Maggiore, Jeff Moriarty and Fred Von Graf


Must Follow – The blog, twitter, or online presence you can’t get enough of
  • Arizona Highway Patrol Association
  • WeBuildYourSocialMedia
  • Museum Association of Arizona
Business That Gets It – Non-industry company (not a social media/marketing entity) who demonstrates creative and proficient use of social media
  • The Farm at South Mountain
  • Eric Neitzel
  • Lumension
  • KOLD News 13
  • Liberty Market
  • Mesa Historical Museum
Most Social Use Of Social Media – Best/most innovative use of technology to connect to people in person
  • The Heard Museum
  • Rustler’s Rooste
  • Katie Fox
  • Liberty Market
Trailblazer – Out there doing cutting edge things, changing the way people work or think in the social media space
Up and Coming – Most notable freelance individual or agency that is notably improving its offering
  • Cesar Gamez
  • Blue Sky Interactive Group, LLC
  • Ashley Oakes
  • Villageous LLC
Homegrown Can Of Awesome – Most interesting / promising start up business, technology or tool from right here in AZ
  • Phoenix Zoo
  • Twestival Phoenix
  • Lily Wang & Braden Andreas
  • Eric Neitzel
  • Bulbstorm
  • Michael Tucker

Monday, August 30, 2010

So You Want To Hire a Social Media Expert?

I've found that most social media practitioners don't like to be called "Experts"; but rather, prefer being referred to as professionals, strategists, practitioners and maybe, on occasion, a "Guru" is kind of an endearing term.  These individuals or companies understand social media and know how to use the tools of social media strategically to help others expand their presence, enhance their brand, and understand their market. We are seekers of best practices. We love to share news, facts and information about ourselves and others who are doing exciting, innovative and positive things in business and our communities. We are collaborators, conveners and researchers. People like to follow us because we contribute information that they find valuable and interesting - because we connect, engage and collaborate.

In Chris Brogan's book, Social Media 101, he explains a few things to look for in a good social media practitioner:
  • They may not know every social network that was ever built, or every podcast currently or formerly in production, but they should know more than a few.
  • Social media types probably should be making media of some kind themselves.
  • They should have some length of experience under their belt, in some form or another. 
  • They should be relatively "known."
  • They should be able to make something happen by way of the media they create; in other words, their efforts should be somewhat impactful.
  • They shouldn't be afraid of transparency, and definitely should welcome criticism and debate.
In addition to Brogan's recommendations, you might want to consider a few other criteria in your search for the right social media strategist, such as: What are their credentials? Is their primary career something other than social media? i.e., are they a realtor, public speaker, meeting planner, etc., etc.  Did they just recently decide one day, "Hey, I'm going to practice social media, or I'm going to teach a Facebook class."? ...if so, they might not be a good choice for your business.

There's a lot to consider when it comes to learning the different facets that comprise the world of social media, according to Liana "Li" Evans, author of Social Media Marketing. It isn't simply just Facebook or Twitter, and the Facebooks of today will be the Friendsters and MySpaces of tomorrow. Social media is constantly changing and requires a strategic approach to be effective. You need a social media practitioner that is not only experienced and respected in the industry, but also one who practices ethically. You can hurt your business more than help it, if you choose to align yourself with the wrong company or practitioner.

One of the best ways I feel you can find a good, solid social media practitioner is by listening in the social web. What are they saying?  Are they social?  How do they interact with others?  Do they contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way?  Do they practice what they preach?  Are they strategic?  Can they produce results?  What do others think of them? ...say about them?  Do they share their knowledge?  Do they re-share and edify others who are contributing to the conversation and the industry?  Is practicing social media for business their primary career?  What methodologies do they use?  Take a look at their website, their blog, and their overall presence and following in the social sphere.

If, after listening for some time, you find that you are inspired by them, then you may want to think about scheduling an appointment to see if there's an opportunity to work together. A good practitioner will be able to tailor a strategy to achieve your specific goals, track the results, and re-adjust the plan as you go along.

Enjoy the conversation!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

78 Ways To Know If You Drink Too Much Coffee

  1. You answer the door before people knock.
  2. Juan Valdez named his donkey after you.
  3. The only kitchen appliances you own are made by Mr. Coffee. 
  4. You ski uphill. 
  5. You get a tax cut for all the coffee you bought. 
  6. You get a speeding ticket even when you're parked. 
  7. You speed walk in your sleep. 
  8. You have a bumper sticker that says: "Coffee drinkers are good in the sack." 
  9. You haven't blinked since the last lunar eclipse. 
  10. You just completed another sweater and you don't know how to knit. 
  11. You grind your coffee beans in your mouth. 
  12. The nurse needs a scientific calculator to take your pulse. 
  13. You sleep with your eyes open. 
  14. When you open your dish cabinet, and there is only mugs. 
  15. You have to watch videos in fast-forward. 
  16. The only time you're standing still is during an earthquake. 
  17. You can take a picture of yourself from ten feet away without using the timer. 
  18. You lick your coffeepot clean. 
  19. You spend every vacation visiting "Maxwell House." 
  20. You're the employee of the month at the local coffeehouse and you don't even work there. 
  21. You've worn out your third pair of tennis shoes this week. 
  22. Your eyes stay open when you sneeze. 
  23. Your coffee cake, must have coffee in it. 
  24. You chew on other people's fingernails. 
  25. Your T-shirt says, "Decaffeinated coffee is the devil's blend." 
  26. You're so jittery that people use your hands to blend their margaritas. 
  27. You can type sixty words per minute... with your feet. 
  28. The only gift you get for Valentines Day you get chocolate covered beans. 
  29. You can jump-start your car without cables. 
  30. All your kids are named "Joe". 
  31. Your only source of nutrition comes from "Sweet & Low." 
  32. You don't sweat, you percolate. 
  33. You buy 1/2 & 1/2 by the barrel. 
  34. You've worn out the handle on your favorite mug. 
  35. You go to AA meetings just for the free coffee. 
  36. You walk twenty miles on your treadmill before you realize it's not plugged in. 
  37. You forget to unwrap candy bars before eating them. 
  38. Charles Manson thinks you need to calm down. 
  39. Every shirt or blouse you own has a coffee stain on it. 
  40. You've built a miniature city out of little plastic stirrers. 
  41. People get dizzy just watching you. 
  42. You've worn the finish off your coffee table. 
  43. The Taster's Choice couple wants to adopt you. 
  44. Starbucks owns the mortgage on your house. 
  45. You're so wired, you pick up AM radio and people test their batteries in your ears. 
  46. Your life's goal is to amount to a hill of beans. 
  47. Instant coffee takes too long. 
  48. When someone says. "How are you?", you say, "Good to the last drop." 
  49. You want to be cremated just so you can spend the rest of eternity in a coffee can. 
  50. You want to come back as a coffee mug in your next life. 
  51. Your birthday is a national holiday in Brazil. 
  52. Your hand is permanently shaped to hold your mug. 
  53. You'd be willing to spend time in a Turkish prison. 
  54. You go to sleep just so you can wake up and smell the coffee. 
  55. You're offended when people use the word "brew" to mean beer. 
  56. You name your cats "Cream" and "Sugar." 
  57. You get drunk just so you can sober up. 
  58. You speak perfect Arabic without ever taking a lesson. 
  59. Your lips are permanently stuck in the sipping position. 
  60. You have a picture of your coffee mug on your coffee mug. 
  61. You can outlast the Energizer bunny. 
  62. You can jump to the moon. 
  63. You short out motion detectors. 
  64. You have a conniption over spilled milk. 
  65. You don't even wait for the water to boil anymore. 
  66. Your nervous twitch registers on the Richter scale. 
  67. You think being called a "drip" is a compliment. 
  68. You don't tan, you roast. 
  69. You don't get mad, you get steamed. 
  70. Your three favorite things in life are before, coffee during and coffee after.
  71. Your lover uses soft lights, romantic music, and a glass of iced coffee to get you in the mood. 
  72. You can't even remember your second cup. 
  73. You help your dog chase its tail. 
  74. You soak your dentures in coffee overnight. 
  75. Your coffee mug is insured by Lloyds of London. 
  76. You introduce your spouse as your coffeemate. 
  77. You think CPR stands for "Coffee Provides Resuscitation." 
  78. Your first-aid kit contains two pints of coffee with an I.V. hookup.
Originally posted by The Light Side of Coffee at:

So funny, I just had to repost!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Connecting is in our DNA

Someone asked me the other day, what is it that I love about Social Media? Well, I guess I love the connecting part to start off with - it's in our DNA. I've always been a networker, and I enjoy meeting new people. I've tried to make a point of staying connected with people I've had the opportunity to collaborate with over the years, which is probably why my social network is so large. I also like the engagement aspect of Social Media. I enjoy listening to the conversations that go on in the social web and the opportunities that are created for engagement in the conversation. I find people fascinating and I think it's great how openly they share their passion with others in online discussions. I also like the opportunities for collaboration that Social Media presents in both our personal lives as well as in business. The sharing of best practices, ideas and energy between people is phenomenal. People are more willing to share their successes and failures now more than ever before. The educational value from this alone, is tremendous. Consider the hundreds of thousands of dollars that companies have paid to consultants over the years, to tell them what their customers will tell them now for free, all they have to do is listen. This is the power of Social Media.

I believe that together, we can achieve more than any one could achieve alone; therefore, only by working together, can we produce the best possible results. Social Media is simply a set of tools that creates the possibility to get there. I love it!

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed the post.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

JOB ALERT - Are you an Arizona Web Developer looking to excel at an amazing company?

Metro Studios is seeking an individual who will be instrumental in the growth and success of our Phoenix, Arizona web operations.
This opportunity is aimed at the person who takes pride in a quality product by providing intense problem solving skills and thrives when working closely with great clients.
As a full-time position in our Phoenix, Arizona office, we seek the candidate with 3+ years of experience in Web Development, with advanced knowledge of PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, CSS and XHTML.
Your professional approach with our valued customers and your creative ideas will be valued by all of us at Metro Studios.
Email Resume to Kirk Hayden, VP/Co-Owner, Metro Studios:

Little things to do every day - just keeping it fun!

Have you you added your social media profiles to your email signature?  Do you use it when you comment on blogs?  Have you added video to your website?  ...your Facebook?  ...your blog?  Do you upload and share your latest presentations?  Did you remember to tweet about them?  There are tons of little things you can do every day to enhance your presence in the social web.  Developing routines can help make the day-to-day challenges of keeping up in the social web a little easier, while leaving you more time to just have fun making connections and keeping them.

A tool I really love that helps keep me organized is XeeSM. It allows me to keep all of my Social Media profiles stored in one easily accessible place.  I just use my personal XeeSM url to direct my connections to a single place to find me. It is an amazing time-saver!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

2010 Recruitment Strategies for Success hosted by

Social Networking for Today's Phoenix Employment Marketers
Wednesday, April 28th, 2010
8:00am - 5:00pm

With over 350 million active users on Facebook and Twitter growing exponentially, social media and its power as a recruiting tool has become too large to ignore. Although creating a recruitment strategy that incorporates these new tools can seem like a daunting task, we've compiled the most experienced professionals in social media to ensure that you succeed in this process. Integrating Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms into your recruitment process can seem overwhelming.
Join fellow Phoenix industry leaders at the Social Networking for Today's Phoenix Employment Marketers Recruitment Symposium to learn:
  • How-to Use Social Media to build relationships and recruit top talent
  • The importance of online employment marketing and branding to your recruitment strategies
  • How to monitor and manage online conversations
  • Current recruitment and employment marketing trends in Phoenix
In Phoenix's competitive recruitment world, any advantage could mean the difference between finding a perfect candidate in a timely fashion and spending months sifting through unqualified resumes. You can't afford to miss this local and cost effective opportunity to learn from local professionals, leaders and experts in your community about social networking and how to make it a successful and measurable tool to find great local talent.

Keynote Speaker

Jeff Hunter
Vice President of HR Solutions, Dolby Laboratories - BOSE

Jeff Hunter is an award-winning technologist, strategist, author, and entrepreneur. He currently serves as the vice president of HR Solutions at Dolby... (more...)