Is your target audience using social media?

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By Janine Lloyd, Grey Hair Consulting Partner

Is your target audience using social media?
Time and again I hear people saying “you have to be in social media” or “if you are not embracing social media you will be left behind”. I admit to having said that myself in the early days of the social media craze. Now with more experience under my belt, with successes and a few failures in the digital world, I can safely say that if your target market is not using social media don’t bother.

Implementing a proper social media plan is time consuming, resource heavy and requires dedication, consistency and a lot of upfront thinking. However, it is critical that you do the upfront strategic thinking and analysis, because you will soon see where and why your market is using social media or where they are not. Rather be clear and certain that your target audiences are either on or not on social media – this way your strategy and plan is informed by analysis and not guess work.

So, how can you identify whether your target audiences/stakeholders are using social media?

Read more: Is your target audience using social media?

The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) is law – So where to from here?

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Do you remember the old story about how to get things moving? That’s right, the one about the stick and the carrot! Well now we have something new to focus our attention on: Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act No.4 of 2013 (POPI Act).

So where is the “stick and carrot” for POPI?

Think about how broad the definition of “personal information” can be: customers, employees, suppliers, in fact anyone we interact with as a business.  The POPI Act was signed into law in November 2013 and is expected to become effective in the next few months.  Organisations will then have twelve months to become fully compliant or face the prospect of some potentially stiff penalties (including fines of up to R10 million) or worse reputational damage and loss of customers. That’s the “stick” part of the deal.

Read more: The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) is law – So where to from here?

The Creative CIO

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By Ken Jarvis, co-founder of Grey Hair Consulting – published in the April 2014 issue of ITWeb Brainstorm magazine.
 
CIOs are expected to have excellent operational performance and still add 'value' to the business. What this means is that CIOs need to be both in control of and let go of processes. Let's take cloud computing as an example: it can be the CIO's worst nightmare or biggest value-creator for business. Allowing business the freedom to do what it wants is critical. However, it's vital that governance and the architecture are adhered to.

If CIOs continue to be controlling, they will be isolated and bypassed, which is why they have to be creative to succeed.

Creativity is a mindset, an intentional way of thinking and doing things. Creativity can be balanced with the logic or analytical thinking that many CIOs and IT teams possess. This is what's called whole-brained thinking: where the balance of logic and creativity work together symbiotically.

CIOs need to ask probing questions and experiment with new possibilities. They need to create and consistently drive innovation by allowing their teams to be more creative. This doesn't mean forcing IT teams that are more analytical to give up this skill; it means fostering an environment of whole-brained thinking.

Read more: The Creative CIO