IS YOUR BUSINESS SURVIVING OR THRIVING?

Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash

In New Zealand, we are known for our ‘number 8 wire’ mentality. We are great at survival. “She’ll be right, I can do that”.

What we tend to be is poor at thriving. Knowledge, as we all know, is a powerful thing. Unfortunately, a little knowledge can leave us vulnerable especially to competitors who use their smart thinking to engage people with exceptional knowledge to do tasks that are not “core business”.

The investment return of this approach is simple. Having smart people to call on in areas you are not exceptional is the entrepreneurial skill used by business owners to ensure their business thrives rather than just survives.

Yes, gain knowledge so at least you have the baseline to understand great from the good.

However, invest in knowledge and skills from specialists and significantly increase your business’s chances of thriving.

Spend your time learning your craft, and learning how to manage these assets, that is how to ensure you have the essential skills that build your personal brand and respect from your customers and staff. Forget about the ‘number 8 wire’ attitude and get great at what you do. hire resources that add to your skills and practice the same approach as you i.e. they focus on being great at what they do.

By adopting this tactic anyone who really wants to thrive will.

 

I hope you found this helpful.

Tony C
Personal Coach / Digital Marketing Specialist
e. hello@tonycuttingdigital.co.nz
m. https://m.me/tonycuttingdigital w. tonycuttingdigital.com
w. tonycutting.com

YES, Build your online footprint!

It has never been a more important time to develop an online footprint.

Whether you’re looking for business or looking for that next job you need to understand that being accessible online is becoming more and more crucial each day.  Most business people have understood this for a number of years, unfortunately for them, many business people fail to execute a decent online footprint.  These are the same people who talk about market downturns while their competitors who are taking advantage of the exposure and reach the online world provides us.  I also laugh at the number of business people who proudly say that get all their business from referrals, yet when you dig a little deeper they just don’t understand how to make the digital world work for them.

In terms of people who would rather be employed than take the ‘Risk’ of being self-employed or building a business.  Building your online presence is also extremely important.

WHY? 

The why? for people who want to be kept in mind for new employment opportunities is simple.  More and more employers & recruiters are using digital to search for, research and validate people they may wish to approach for an opportunity.  With websites like LinkedIn now dominating as online ‘talent pools’ or ‘marketplaces’ finding great people from all over the globe has just got easier.  Although we still apply for many jobs, over the next ten years I am picking that practice of advertising jobs is going to decline and search is going to increase.

Why? Because advertising creates more work and takes a lot longer especially when you can go online, and cherry-pick the talent you want, while also checking them out before you approach them.

LinkedIn is a must if you are serious about your career.  You also won’t be throwing away your CV and not applying for jobs yet.  However, there is something else looming that is even better than LinkedIn.  The web itself.  By either building your own personal website or working with someone like me through http://www.jobcafe.co.nz we can help you create an online footprint that anyone using Google (or any other search engine) can use to find you.  Unlike LinkedIn which requires you to be connected, invest a load of time building connections, doesn’t make sense to build an online profile which can be accessed easily.

Your personal online presence can be designed in such a way to make it really easy for that star employer to find you and all the details they need to validate you.  The easy it is for this to happen the better chance everyone has to make a connection. Simple. Advantage you.

As for contractors and business people, the same thing applies.  Build a responsive profile will help you win more business.  People do business with people so take advantage of the fact. Using blogs, write guests posts, articles thus improve your personal web ranking, your profile may just be the site that next client hits before checking out all your services on that business website you invested on years ago.

I set up Tony Cutting Digital to help both business people and those who would rather work for someone else take full advantage of what is happening online.

The world is so connected and the impossible is becoming more possible every day.  Why reduce your chances of landing that dream job? or unlikely business lead?

 

Hope you found this helpful.

 

 

 

Have a great day

Tony C
Personal Coach/Digital Marketing Expert
http://www.tonycutting.com
http://www.tonycuttingdigital.com

 

 

 

 

 

Develop your ‘search’ skills to find people who can help you succeed

How this all started.  I was recruited into the recruitment agency world in the early 90’s and this was my line of work in some shape or form for the next 25 years.  In fact, still today I use many of the skills learnt during this period to help me provided services to my clients and to grow my own business.  I was lucky as I was employed to recruit people with information technology skills.  My natural way of working is to get to know people really well and totally understand how I can help them.  This helped me to develop some great relationships with some very smart technical people, these relationships helped me to develop technical knowledge and skills that helped me be better at my job.  I built a career and then a very good business with these skills.

One of the key skills I developed was how to use ‘Forensic Search’.  On a basic level, most people know how to search Google and they may even have a LinkedIn account that enables them to reach several people every month.  You may even know how to do a basic Facebook search for people?

Using these skills, you can find people to help you in your business.  Whether that be to find great staff, clients or my favourite ‘collaborators’.

Collaborators understand the value of building large internet connections where they can either promote themselves and their work or do the same for their clients. Those that provide services for clients are often called ‘Digital Marketers’.

By working in partnership collaborators and/or digital marketers can create large networks that can be used to promote whatever the client is looking for.

However, for those who have another career they can use these tactics to develop personal networks, groups and connections that will help them advance their career.  This works by connecting with other people in your industry and setting up ‘groups’ and meetups where you and your collaborators can invite your networks to share their details with a group or even attend a meetup.  These meetups allow you to build relationships, some of which will be key contacts that help you build your career.

For those of us with advanced forensic search skills, we have the ability to reach into the internet and find anyone on any site simply using code that interrogates the website and brings up profiles that meet your search criteria.  A skill I use to promote client’s jobs directly to the people they may be looking for in a service I developed that promotes jobs rather than engages in direct recruitment.

For those of you interested more in the mechanics here is a great place to start https://www.lifewire.com/web-search-tricks-to-know-4046148

Of course, once you have mastered searching a site that is the first step.  The second is to master how to communicate with people when you find them.  That’s another skill which most of us Digital Marketer’s prefer to keep as our own IP (Intellectual Property).

Once you have these skills the world becomes a much more exciting place, you can use forensic search skills for a wide range of activities, but my favourite is helping people to build their business or develop a career network.

If you are interested in learning how to develop your search skills or your staffs’ search skills please feel free to contact me.

 

 

Tony Cutting
Personal Coach / Digital Marketer
m. +64 21 911 722
e. tony.cutting@peoplenet.co.nz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People do business with people.

Most business owners these days, understand the importance of a digital presence including social media and a strong website to be integral parts of their marketing strategy and success.

But what is more important these days is getting your customers to know YOU!

It is also often the best strategy to name a business after the owner.  Some will find that a bridge too far.

This also means understanding what it is to build your personal brand.  The same goes if you are looking to build your career, to get noticed you need to take the appropriate steps.

I always advise clients to get professional photos (portraits) and if you live where I do we have some excellent photographers who can help.  I have recently worked with the very talented Karolina Stus (Images examples below)

Business portrait (002)

Once you have your professional portrait up and online, often this will become the first contact people have with you, especially when we rely so heavily on our digital/social media presence these days. This helps create a personal association that many people want when making decisions about who to work with.

Of course, it also means being a lot more responsible with your personal image and you will have to be aware of what this means for both your personal social media accounts and professional ones.  This is a risk some people are not willing to take but if you truly want to succeed in your career or business, this is a great step, to get you going in the right direction.

I am fully aware that the prospect of being in front of the camera can be a daunting thought ( I personally find it very challenging). But don’t let that deter you from taking the steps needed to create a presence that reflects who you are either as a business owner or the perfect candidate for that next career move.

About that ‘Selfie’ we all know that, while it may be a great photo of you, you definitely need something more professional to promote yourself.  That is when you go ahead and take the plunge into letting a professional get to know you and create images that work to promote you, (your business) and your personal brand!  It is more than just a great photo.

As well as images you need a plan, written values and to fully understand the steps you are taking, which will include seeking some good advice.  That is where a personal coach can help.  Once you get your head around this, you will start to see how powerful personal branding can really be.

 

Hope you found this helpful

 

 

Tony Cutting
Personal Coach
M. +64 21 911 722

 

 

 

‘Kāore te kumara e kōrero mō tōna ake reka’

Kia ora Koutou,

I was raised on Hongoeka Marae.  One of the first things I learnt while growing up in my community is you get more respect being humble than you do ‘showing off’.

There is a famous Maori proverb “Kāore te kumara e kōrero mō tōna ake reka” translation – The kumara (sweet potato) does not say how sweet he is

This proverb accentuates the value of humbleness.

Maori and Pasifika people are extremely humble and I know as a fact they have missed out on opportunities because of this. In a previous life, I spent many years in recruitment and have sat on New Zealand recruitment panels both in government and private organisations and have been involved with selection processes (designed by so-called experts who do not have humility as a part of their culture) and witnessed Maori and Pasifika candidates being marked down ‘because they did not speak up or sell themselves”.

In my case, I have been able to point out the situation to people on the selection panels about the prejudice of this selection criteria.  However, given nearly 80% of all recruitment panels do not have people who truly understand this cultural difference, how many Maori and Pasifika are missing out on jobs, and for organisations how many great people have they missed out on due to these very common practices.

The scary thing is I have witnessed many HR and Recruitment people, even after I have pointed out what is happening, fervently state that if a person is not able ‘to stand up for themselves’ or ‘show leadership’ they should not be hired regardless of their culture.  This has to be stopped.

In a world that is rapidly demanding that people speak up and promote themselves both in person and in digital form, how do Maori & Pasifika deal with this dilemma?

  1.  They go against their own values and ‘become’ a self-promoting ‘pakeha’ when looking for a job or pitching their business.  Not an option for many.
  2. They work hard and hope that someone recognises this.  Not really a practical solution, given the current situation with recruitment processes and the global trend to grow your personal brand if you truly want to accelerate your success.

There are really only three real practical solutions.

  1. Education.  Organisations need to either train staff to better understand this situation (a difficult solution right now, given the amount of prejudice throughout New Zealand and the world).  So they must include people in the recruitment selection process who understand this and will ensure a fair playing field for all applicants.
  2. Consultants like myself are engaged to help with a recruitment or procurement process.
  3. Marketers like myself become champions for people who find it difficult to self-promote and help them work out how to do this while also remaining humble. Then executing a strategy that builds their brand using a third-party approach.

This issue is the reason I have adapted my consultancy services to help both employers and people who struggle in this world of self-promotion.  My goal is to help educate organisations in New Zealand on this serious problem while also teaching those who want to remain humble how to do this, and still build the dream life they deserve.

I hope you found this information helpful.

 

Nga mihi

Tony Cutting
Consultant/founder The Kumara Vine
www.kumaravine.co.nz

 

 

Build your personal brand to succeed

Kia ora Koutou

I live in New Zealand and people here generally do not like to promote themselves.  We like to be humble and there really is quite a tall poppy syndrome that goes on here.

Unfortunately, the world is changing so rapidly us Kiwi’s just need to start getting over it.  That does not mean we cannot be humble as you choose your brand and how you want to be seen, but it does mean putting yourself out there whether you like it or not.

The BIG game changer has obviously been social media which is creating more superstars every day than any other medium on the planet.

So whether you just want to snag your first job, or grow your career or accelerate the growth of your business, you will need to start thinking about building your PERSONAL brand.  Yes, you can build your business brand, but things will start accelerating when you realise it is your personal brand everyone is really interested in.

Yes, you can also choose to stay out of this game (and it is just that – a game, so have FUN).  Many people will make it big without social media.  However, thousands if not millions of people just like you will achieve their dreams much quicker by jumping in the deep end and going for it.

Where to start?

A great resource which will either inspire you or not is the book Crushing It by Gary Vaynerchuk.  The time to grab this book is now as you can download an audio copy for FREE from Amazon.  Once you have listened to this you may be like me and order the physical version and start using it to help you understand the nuances of the major platforms available to you today.

Secondly, signup to at least Facebook and Instagram and just start using them.

And finally, if you want support from a personal coach to guide you through getting started with either building your first resume or developing your career plan and/or build your dream business – contact me.

Nga mihi

Tony Cutting
Personal Coach, Personal Digital Marketing Consultant.

 

Building diversity into your organisation using Te ao Māori

First of all ‘Diversity’ is important because our country, increasingly consist of various cultural, racial, gender, people with a range of abilities and disabilities as well as many different ethnic groups. We can learn from one another, but first we must have a level of understanding about each other in order to facilitate collaboration and cooperation.  It also makes perfect sense economically to engage with people from all groups in your community.

A diverse organisation has more intellectual power, provided people can be ‘who they are’ at work.  This then allows them to share their culture, knowledge and skills, it makes them feel valued and they are more likely to repay their employer with loyalty and passion.

A great starting point for everyone (Employers, staff, prospective staff) can be to adopt the following Māori values;

  1. Manaakitanga
    One of the fundamental principles in Māori culture, manaakitanga is the enactment of mana-enhancing behaviour towards others. It is a measurement of people’s ability to extend kindness and generosity. The concept of manaakitanga includes understanding tapu sacredness and mana dignity. In our relationships, we are acutely aware of our mana and the mana of others.
  2. Whanaungatanga
    The people are our wealth. Whanaungatanga is about being part of a larger whole. Māori are related to all living things and thus express whanaungatanga with their surroundings. Whanaungatanga is about knowing you are not alone, but that you have a wider set of connections that provide support, assistance, nurturing, guidance and direction when needed. Understanding of roles and responsibilities are also part of whanaungatanga. Whanaungatanga embodies the ambitions of collectivism. Interdependence with each other rather than independence is the goal.
  3. Rangatiratanga
    Rangatiratanga describes the attributes of a rangatira leader and how these are given expression through humility, diplomacy, generosity, resilience and empowerment. We understand the importance of practicing what you preach, walking the talk, following through on commitments made, integrity and honesty.
  4. Kotahitanga
    Focused on developing and maintaining a unity of purpose and direction and avoiding approaches and decisions that lead to division and disharmony. A commitment through oneness of mind and action to achieving its vision emulates the practice of Kotahitanga. All are encouraged to make their contribution, to have their say. It is the consensus of the collective that determines what is best for the group.

There are many other values we could add, however I believe if an organisation truly adopts these values and nurture their staff to understand them fully, you then have the environment you will need to attract diverse talent and more importantly develop an environment where they most like to stay.

This is not about putting the values up on your wall, its about running masterclass sessions where the value is fully discussed and people are encourage to talk about this approach and how they feel about them.  Management needs to re-enforce these values and champions within the team should also be encouraged to help people understand WHY and how they are used.

So how do we build our Diverse team?

The majority of organisations will need to change the way they recruit by moving from a reactive ‘I hope people apply to my advert’ to a proactive environment where you build talent networks, marketing channels, talent pools, develop appropriate employment branding to use in these channels i.e. do not just post job adverts into them.

You will use different approaches to target the diverse audience you are looking for.  Essential if you want to build a true talent pool of diverse people, is to develop relationships with other organisations that are happy collectively working with you to build a pool for your group.  This concept is foreign for many organisations, yet collectiveness is such a powerful tool for finding talent, keeping the pool engaged and helping each other when looking for ‘hard to find talent’.

Get to know each other.

Once everyone truly understands the values above you can start to get to know each other in a ‘safe’ environment.  Simple staff activities can help with this process.  In the past I have found ‘pot luck’ lunches where people bring food they normally cook and share with each other and explain where the recipes came from etc.

Another approach is to have someone write staff stories which are shared across the team.  These stories bring people closer together as they see similar cuircumstances and find common ground to talk about.

When will you know you have a diverse organisation?

When your board, executive team and your workforce are full with diversity.  At this stage you will not only see a diverse workforce but you have the chance to create a great culture and high performing team who are able to tackle problems many different ways using ideas and solutions from a the range of different thinking people you have.

 

Hope you found this helpful.

 

 

Tony Cutting
Coach/Talent Management Consultant
M. 021 911 722
tonycutting.com

PS.  Yes, I am happy to work with organisations who are keen to adopt this approach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The future of recruitment – update Feb 2017

The Problem with today…

HR Managers try to stay up to date with the latest HR trends but seem to struggle to find ways to sell and create truly diverse teams within their organisation.  Yet they are the very people who have put in place the very systems and processes which make this even harder.

The majority of recruitment teams in New Zealand (And likely around the world) have taken a massive step backwards and we have lost many of the countries truly skilled recruiters due to the ridiculous processes, so-called solutions like the governments ‘AOG’ preventing any new solution from being looked at for long periods of time (Not a smart move in a world where technology and the re-engineering of processes are moving at breakneck speed).

Ironically recruitment in the 1980’s and early 1990’s was more efficient and effective than what is being used by most organisations today.  You see back then advertising was run by large newspapers who had staff with decades of knowledge, understanding the importance of branding and positioning – not a simple on-line job board that you post your current job to, then sit and wait for great talent to call.

Newspapers albeit too expensive pushed branding campaigns, stories and positioned your adverts so as to reach an audience who was actively seeking work as well as entice passive readers to consider working for your brand.  Their reach was phenomenal and they dominated the marketing landscape with loads of content that attracted a diverse range of people to pick up a paper and read.  Jobs for accountants were featured in the financial sections, IT jobs in the Infotech weekly section all filled with content that pulled in the right eyes and target community.

Today our employers seem to think we will just look them up on the web.  They may invest heavily in branding on their own website that really only reaches the people who care about these pages – themselves.  They spend little on pushing out the brand to the communities they want to attract. “But we put our job on Seek”

This is where I apologise to the small number of organisations who actually proactively brand their organisation and push out solid employment branding campaigns.  The challenge for them is finding the right media to be effective, there is just no one community like the old newspaper that does this job anymore.

Simply throwing and expensive video on each advert you place on Seek just does not cut it – sorry, you are still only pushing out to the desperate and dateless who need a job. What about the passive person, you know the one that would really help your organisation improve its diversity add that value you were really looking for?

The future – in my eyes

So what would be the best solution? One that combines the marketing power of the old newspapers (which gave you a  lot more than just news, the content appealed to a wide variety of people, solid branding campaigns, human interest stories, humour and sport, local events – great stuff).  I think on-line community “newspapers” will start to appear and take advantage of the proactive marketing principles those wise old newspaper people of the 1980’s knew all about, creating marketplaces that appeal to all facets of the community.  I have been playing with this idea with my projects kapitnow.co.nz and wellingtontoday.co.nz and the initial results have been outstanding.  However, it is not perfect – yet.

These will be helpful but will not for organisations who need skills and talent beyond the reach of these marketplaces.  This leads to where the future really lies for Recruitment and its been happening for awhile and we would already be there if the so-called ‘Strategic’ HR people had not slowed its progress through some pretty poor decision making (apologies to all my ‘Strategic’ HR friends).

You see for me the future is proactive recruitment.  Do not wait for the people you want to apply for jobs, find them, get to know them and hire them.  This immediately solves the diversity issue as you can target whatever person you want with this approach. Forget about “We must advertise to make it fair for everyone” a chef just is not right to develop your system’s code and these days unless you advertise on every site available, then you are just not being fair. Not everyone looks at Seek and the real talent certainly is not searching for a job, they are going to get tapped by someone like me searching a database.

LinkedIn has been leading the way in terms of real future based solutions that enable smart proactive recruitment, it just has some major financial flaws (It’s too expensive for most hiring managers to use).  About.me is also heading in the right direction but it does not appear to capture the data needed to allow for solid searches.  However, About.me will help those recruiters who become very familiar with advanced Google searches to find talent affordably.

So for me the ultimate future based recruitment system is one that allows you to market to the communities you want to find talent (branding, employment branding, organisational success stories) as well as uses simplified smart queries on all the ‘People’ databases being created around the world as well as the personal websites which will no doubt prolificate as people realise the advantage of having your very own website gives you for future employment, contracting and consulting.

Unfortunately, this will not apply to my system jobcafe.co.nz as our firewalls are effective enough to prevent these types of searches – but this may not be a good thing long term.

So the future is a smarter search engine that can interrogate all ‘talent pools’ on the web and the web itself,  the realisation we all should have great personal websites will become more obvious to people, so will joining communities that enhance their search ranking.  Smart employers will brand, and market themselves in marketplaces like our site

Smart employers will brand, and market themselves in marketplaces like our site kumaravine.co.nz celebrating Maori and Pasifika success or our other project possibility.net.nz targeting and promoting people with disabilities.  These are real communities that bring a significant diversity of thought to an organisation.however, this content will change, it may include job opportunities but is also likely to be more about brand activity, organisational success, culture and ‘why’ when the recruiter or hiring manager comes proactively calling you should connect with them.

Government Agencies may still be placing job adverts but most other organisations will realise this is a waste of money.  And the great news, real recruitment skills will return and processes will become sensible. Find, attract, engage,

Find, attract, engage, nurture and leverage your talent.

By the way, unless you own the business you’ll probably be a contractor or consultant.

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