Google to Earth

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Marketing for Peace Builders, Old Posts
The most difficult skill set to master, even in our current post-social age, is the skill of managing other people.
The recent changes and departures at Google serve as an example of this.  No matter how “whiz-bang” the technology, people will always be at the core of a company’s focus, growth, and competency.
Three points to consider:
  • Managing people is only going to become more complicated, not less, as individuals make life choices that serve to set up their existences around concepts of shared individuality, rather than enforced commonality.
  • Emotional intelligence, virtue ethics, patience, religious belief, recovery from failure, grit, and perseverance are all learned discrete skills and traits that groups can advocate and promulgate, but that individuals have to practice and internalize. Unfortunately, these skills are often “taken for granted” rather than “trained into” people.
  • Training implements skills at the lowest level, coaching reinforces learned skills at the next highest level, and education—learned skills actively practiced and then passed onto others—happens at the highest level. This is the path for learning and absorbing, the discrete skills to be able to handle other people, as well as oneself.

What Are You Doing Next Saturday?

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Old Posts
What Are You Doing Next Saturday?

6th Annual Conference on Applied Ethics:
Technology and Ethics
April 4-5 2014 at SUNY Broome Community College
  • What are the ethics of data mining, genetic screening and hydrofracking?
  • What is the significance and future of neuroethics?
  • Can there be ethical guidelines for the production and use of chimeras?
  • Is there a right to technological connectivity?
Keynote speaker for this year’s conference will be Dr. David Sloan Wilson, Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University. He is a prolific author and frequent speaker at conferences around the world. His address on Friday, April 4th at 7pm will be on, “Ethics, Technology and Evolution.”

All That Happens Must Be Known

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Old Posts

Given revelations of internet data surveillance what concerns should be raised about the possibility of brain monitoring devices?

All this week on the HSCT Communication Blog, we are answering questions put forth by the folks running the at the upcoming Suny-Broome 6th Annual Interdisciplinary Conference being held on April 4thand 5th at Suny-Broome Community College.
This week’s question was posed by the plot of David Eggers’ most recent novel, The Circle, and was not definitively answered by the end of the book.
Well, we here at HSCT have three primary concerns about brain monitoring devices. And the NSA didn’t make the top three.
  • The first is around marketing and the idea of “opting-out” rather than a mandatory “opt-in.”
The most annoying moment on the internet or social media is waiting for the commercial at the front of a YouTube video to load, with the countdown going before the viewer can “skip this ad.”

As the customer (you and I) have gained more control over blocking being sold to, marketers and advertisers have had to come up with more clever (and blunt) ways to compel our valuable time and attention, with confusing and frustrating results for all parties involved.

Now imagine if marketers had access to the most intimate space on the planet: Your private brain space. There would be no “option to opt-out,” even though all the legalese would say that there would be.

Which gets us to point number 2…

  • The second concern that we have is that increasingly, the desire to not participate in social communication is seen as a sign of social ineptitude at best and dangerous at worst.
Case in point: Whenever a school shooting happens, the first thing that the media does is breathlessly report whether or not the perpetrator possessed a social media account.
If he (and it’s usually a ‘he’) does, then there is breathless data mining that goes on in a search for pathology, motive, and aberration.

In other words, the nature of the aberrant act itself is no longer enough to create outrage; the lack of social participation is the driver for primary outraged responses. This leads to concern number 3…

  • The third concern is that we have long sought—as individuals, societies, and cultures—to control people under the guise of freeing them from Plato’s Cave.

Brain monitoring devices won’t be used to give us freedom, collaboration, and connection. Instead, they will be used to take away freedom, encourage and inflame false fracturing and individualization, and destroy connections between people.

In other words, criminalization of thought will happen using the same powerful social sanctioning to illegality continuum that has banned smoking from restaurants, trans fats from NY City restaurants, and has gotten the White House cook to quit.
The inevitability of technological progress demands that we think about the ramifications of power and control, not only from government and corporations but also by and from each other.
So, HSCT’s conflict engagement consultant,  Jesan Sorrells, will be presenting on the issue of online reputation maintenance in a world where virtue and ethics are not often addressed.
Register for this FREE event here and stay for the day.
We would love to see you there!
opt in networking

Opt-In Networking

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Marketing for Peace Builders, Old Posts

From banner ads that boast a .01% click-through rate to YouTube videos that offer the opportunity to “Skip This Ad” in 5…4…3…2…1…, interruptive marketing is becoming more and more desperate to get eyeballs onto content that isn’t interesting, engaging or intriguing.

OPT-IN NETWORKINGHow does that fact tie in with stalled job searches in a country with a labor force participation rate at around 60% and 92 million people not working?

Well, the bad news is that employers have HR departments made up of people and even they are becoming wiser to the interruptive tricks of the job search trade.

So, networking becomes more about developing relationships and seemingly menial work done well, rather than about being interruptive with a resume, cover letter, and references.

How do you develop relationships with employers before they want to hire you?

You don’t.

You develop yourself first.

You volunteer at the local soup kitchen.

You shovel the old lady’s driveway next door.

You get up off the couch and start a blog, a Twitter account, or a really interesting YouTube channel.

You take the part-time job that is “below you,” for minimum wage and perform at it like it’s the greatest full-time work you’ve ever had.

In a world where the hidden “opt-out” is becoming increasingly the “norm,” allowing others—particularly others with jobs, cash, and referrals to throw around—to “opt-in” to you, by showcasing what you do, is the only way to go to get to where you want to be.

Otherwise, your resume is going in the HR trash bin faster than you can click on the “Skip Ad” now button on the bottom right-hand side of your favorite YouTube video.