Something peripheral, perhaps ...


As I've noted previously, one of the challenges I have with writing The Job Stalker is that I'm not a "job industry pro", just a guy who's had a lot of employers go out of business, leaving me "pounding the pavement" in search of the next pro gig.  I bring this up here because I'm featuring another book that is fairly peripheral to the job search, although (as spun below in the interview), it can have bearings there ... a book that I would have been fairly unlikely to have read if it were not for wanting to have books to feature in these Monday posts.  So yes, it's your fault!

This week's feature is The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways To Use Social Media to Drive Social Change by the husband-and-wife team of Andy Smith and Jennifer Aaker (and others), who are marketers with an interest in "Social Change".  What, you ask, does this have to do with you finding a job?  Well, there are tools in here which can be applicable to one's personal job search, even if the over-all thrust of the book is in a wholly different direction.

I asked the publicist for Jossey-Bass (the publishers who'd sent me a review copy) to have the authors make a stab of "framing" their work in a context that would be helpful to The Job Stalker audience, and what follows (after the break) is their response to the e-mail interview:

Q:  Briefly, what's your background?

A:  An experienced tech marketer, Andy Smith is a Principal of Vonavona Ventures where he advises and bootstraps technical and social ventures with guidance in marketing, customer strategy and operations. Over the past 20 years, he has served as an executive in the high tech industry leading teams at Dolby Labs, BIGWORDS, LiquidWit, Intel, Analysis Group, Polaroid, Integral Inc. and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Jennifer Aaker is the General Atlantic Professor of Marketing at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University where her focus is on studies of the psychology of time, money, happiness and brands.

Q:  Have you had notable job-transition experiences?  

A:  Yes.  Most of the personal experiences have been focused on moving from a career or job where earning a salary is a priority, to a career path that cultivates meaning and profit.  Where we spend time on activities that have a clear goal, one that is connected to social good creation as well as profit creation.  

Q:  What is "The Dragonfly Effect"

A:  The Dragonfly Effect is a model that taps concepts from social media, marketing strategy and consumer psychology to help people achieve a single, concrete goal. We named it after the only insect that can move swiftly in any direction, and even hover, when its four wings are beating in harmony. The four "wings" of the model work together to help readers produce the change they seek, and that desired change can take many forms: social good, employee morale or customer loyalty, among many others.

Q:  Why write a book about it?

A:  The reason we wrote the Dragonfly Effect was because of Andy's interest in social media and brands, my research on time, money and happiness (what you think drives happiness is not often what in fact drives happiness), and a story told to us by a friend, Robert Chatwani.  It was a story of Robert's best friend, Sameer Bhatia, who was diagnosed with leukemia at age 32.  Harnessing social media, Robert and Sameer's friends and family banked 24,611 South East Asians in the National Bone Marrow Registry in 11 short weeks, and found a perfect match for Sameer.  The story was so inspirational, that it changed the way we thought about social media: from something scattered, noisy and ego-centric to a collective resource that could effectively create social good with little no resources.  It also lead to a class at Stanford Graduate School of Business, which seeks to teach students what happens when you coordinate four small activities to produce big results quickly, effectively, and powerfully.  

Q:  How might somebody "between jobs" apply this?

A:  Look for companies/people who are building brands where creating social good is more important (and aligned with business model and brand), customers and employees are empowered to spread the brand (and management supports it because the goal is clear, focused and measurable), and design thinking, creative processes and rapid prototyping are embraced

Q:  If you had just ONE piece of advice for today's job searcher, what would that be?

A:  Think about what really makes you happy; what provides deep meaning.  

Q:  Aside from your book, what resources do you recommend?

A:  These books: How of Happiness, The Networked Nonprofit, Switch and The Upside of Irrationality.

There is a website for the book, at where you can get a better sense of what's going on with it, and, of course, there's my review.  As is, unfortunately, often the case, I'll end up reading something because of its "social media" angle (which is, of course, one of my areas of specialization, and where I'm looking for work!), and feature it here when the subject might be the furthest thing from your job search, but that's what you get from having "the unemployed" writing a blog about trying to not be unemployed!  Hopefully some more "focused" stuff will come in over the transom in the next few weeks!



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