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August 2, 2012 / Mervyn Dinnen

What I Talked About at The Drive Thru

Yesterday saw my first appearance on Bryan Wempen’s Drive Thru HR blog talk radio show. It was a wide ranging conversation covering everything from the Olympics to what topics am I so over.

If you’ve got some time then you can listen to the 30 minute show through this link. If you’re a bit time deficient then here’s what I was saying in a nutshell…

Get inspired, get determined, get good

Needless to say we started with chat about the Olympics. Luckily TeamGB had bagged a couple of gold medals earlier in the afternoon so I didn’t feel pressure under the weight of US gold medals. I talked about GBs first medal winner, Lizzie Armitstead, who won a silver cycling medal aged 23. What was so special about this? Well, she didn’t learn to ride a bicycle until she was 16. Her school got a visit from British Cycling’s Talent Team and it inspired her to take it up. Novice to silver Olympian in 7 years – shows what can happen when inspiration meets determination.

Before you go looking for new platforms get as good as you can be at the one’s you’re already using

Jay Kuhns posed a question on twitter in relation to my role as a social media manager – what did I see as the next platform after the ‘holy trinity’ (Bryan’s words) of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. I talked a bit about Google+ and how useful it was. I managed a shameless plug for this blog on Jobsite Insider in which my colleague Gary Elliott talks about the value of Google+. But then I did add that there was little point in looking for a new plaything if you haven’t mastered the ones you’ve already got. Too many businesses try to jump on new bandwagons before they’ve properly navigated the one they’re already riding. Get as good as you can be at the ‘Holy Trinity’.

Make it simple for people to get involved

I talked about an initiative that I was rolling out at work to encourage colleagues who are interested in finding out more about social media networks, how they can use them and how they can get started. I’ll write more about it in a future blog but suffice to say that my belief is you need to get your people comfortable about using it for themselves before you can ask them to use it for you. If you over encourage people to use the platforms before they are comfortable then they’ll use them badly.

I’m worried about the future

Who isn’t?? In particular employment opportunities for those who’ve left education over the last couple of years or will do in the next 4 or 5 years. The disappearance of so many entry level jobs and the creation of so many part time graduate positions for baristas and call centre operatives has me seriously worried about the skill mismatch. I wrote more about this in my blog on youth unemployment and my recent blog on future organisations, in which I discovered that UK is becoming a world leader in under-utilising the skills of its 25-29 year olds.

Stop talking start doing

Bryan asked me what I was so over. What conversations I hear now that are so 2010. I hadn’t prepared for this question so the answer was a bit of a stream of consciousness. Basically I’ve had enough of navel gazing and talking about seats at the table and the pros and cons of social media. Actions speak louder than words and it’s about time we stopped talking and started doing. Of course plenty are already doing, and there are others who need some kind of evidence to make a case. It’s up to those who are doing to share more of what they’re doing and how it’s working…then those who need some case studies will have them.

At the end I shared my contact details and admitted that I don’t have business cards…’cos I’m social media! 🙂 If people want to find me they’ve got to look for me. Thankfully they do…

…will I get invited back? Hope so, but then again I didn’t leave a business card…

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