Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Steve Jobs: You're Doing It Wrong

Monday, June 28, 2010

Open Door Policy

Much like pushing envelopes and raising bars and thinking outside of squares, keeping doors open is something that every manager who has read a pop-management book claims to do.


I’m a big fan of open plan offices. I’m probably hugely annoying to work with as I tend to provide unwanted commentary on the days events and get up and down about 16 times to make my 16 times cups of coffee.  Moving around different offices you notice things. One thing I’m sure of, solo offices are a very bad thing and guaranteed to burn productivity.


Hot desks with lots of group spaces like little meeting rooms and coffee spots are the best. How to test my theory?


When you leave someone’s solo office after a meeting simply ask, “Would you like me to keep the door open, or should I close it?”


Solo office dweller will hesitate and say “ummm, yes..sure, open is fine” (because their pop-management books says that’s cool), wait till you leave and then quickly shut the door so they can keep looking at http://failblog.org


Peer pressure is a powerful thing. Every noticed how you jog much faster when you cross another person out jogging?  Open plan offices self-regulate and create a healthy, egalitarian environment that minimises your risk of evil Napoleon dictatorships. Open plan offices also ensure that manager’s see the good and bad of processes and workers so they are realistic about how long things take, challenges and who really does what in a team.


The only way to have true open door policy is to have no door.


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Sunday, June 27, 2010


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How to not spazz out when you're not making progress

Don’t go into a meeting like you’re going into battle or your head will explode and you’ll make a dick of yourself (see image)


Don’t back off and think your ideas are wrong because other people aren’t sold. Trust your instincts and explain your logic and position.
Just because you get something doesn’t mean that everybody else does. If you start to feel that creep of angry frustration just tell yourself “It’s my job to make them get it. I just need to explain it better, they will get this eventually”
Toys must stay in the cot at all times. It’s cool to be cool.
Try and find out what the objections are and where (or who) they are coming from.
One of my favourite quotes is by former GE CEO Jack Welch: “I was afraid of the internet... because I couldn't type.”

Don’t shoot the messenger. Often managers are ham-strung by their bosses. Empower managers to sell upstream. Offer a presentation to their manager, reports, documents, research or examples of previous work.  Generally, the bigger the organisation, the longer things take to get done and the more complexity you’ll have to wade through. Slow down and follow the process.

Beating your head against a brick wall very often results in a sore head but rate your ideas, tease out the objections, explain, explain, explain and you’ll crack through

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Friday, June 18, 2010

I'm shattered!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Facebook CEO Turns Into A Facecloth

If you are brave, watch the interview. You may want to clear all spillable liquids from your desk first. Close the door- you might scream. It's terrifying.

Now push play. Hit pause, look away, push play again, pause, look away.

I had to have about five goes at it.

It's a heart wrenching cringe worthy trainwreck. Worst than anything you might see on Dancing With The Stars.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg turns into a soggy facecloth.

Forget the Oscars, developer conference D8 2010 pulls the big cats with Steve Jobs' skivvy (Apple), Bill Gates' Coke glasses (Microsoft) and Jeffrey Katzenberg's shiny domehead (Dreamworks) all making an appearance.

Mark Zuckerberg has the iconic black hoodie. Like what hoodrats wear to steal stuff at your local supermarket.

Said hoodie betrayed him and sweated him into a puddle of gingerish vulnerability on the world stage with the most obnoxious tech trolls all parked up, watching and vlogging and tweeting and flickring.
Mark Zuckerberg was the main attraction and looked suitably nervous as he was jammed in a Star Trekish bright red leather evil dentist chair to be grilled by Pointy Beard Man reporter and Serious Eyebrows Woman reporter.

Things start off well with some pedestrian stuff about privacy settings (surprise!) and lots of use of the words 'misperception' and 'resonating'.

The seminal donkey kong sweats moment occurs around the three-minute spot when Serious Eyebrows Woman asks him how he's coping with all the attention and backlash .

Clearly, 'Bookface PR Inc' messaged him up the wazoo about privacy and forgot the fact that it must suck having the whole world hate you and that Zuck is a person and actually has 'feelings'.

Mr 26 shrinks back to Mister 6. You can see his neck go bright red and a wave of emotional sweat + tears juice rush for his eyeballs and forehead. The tap turns on and he turns in a soggy facecloth.

The worst part is the stall.

You can see his whole world stand still for a microsecond. It's quite disturbing. It would be Oscar worthy if it wasn't real.

Serious Eyebrows Woman suddenly goes all Mumsy and asks if he wants to remove the omnipresent hoodie (then throws in a stupid comment about 'for the girls in the audience ..hahhaha' as a bit of a lifeline). Frazzled by the offer he initially declines ( I mean- Steve would never remove the black skivvy) then admits to himself that he's running as hot as an Icelandic volcano and that his mental CPU is getting fried. Water is pouring down his chin...drip..drip.

Mumsy Serious Eyebrows woman the ask him if he wants help with his hoodie in much the same way you would help a three-year old pull down their dungarees to go pee-pee. At this point I would just like to remind everyone that Zuck is the most powerful man/boy in the global media business.

It gets weirder. Serious Eyebrows Woman helps him out of the hoodie then shockingly reveals its Facebook official blue silky capping-gown lining complete with bizarre Illuminati graphics. (Very hard to describe..Google it.)

Serious Eyebrow's Woman “It's like a cult!” exclamation probably didn't help.

Industry pundits went nuts. Calling for Zuck's resignation and holding his sweaty facecloth wobble up as evidence that he should step down and that he needs to be wearing long pants if he's going to run the company. Others called it a 'Nixon moment' or one of 'the most important moments in Internet history'. Not quite.

After five attempts and much breathing into a brown paper bag I finally made it through to the end of the clip. I actually think it's quite awesome.

Through the stammers and frustration he was trying to get across that he was just a kid at uni and they invented this program and then his life went all Dr Who and that he doesn't have all the answers. And if he does need to step down and put in a 'proper CEO' (whatever the hell that is) who would you suggest? AOL's Tim Armstrong who's just had to bail out of the $800 million invested in Bebo? Telecom's Paul Reynolds might look good in a hoodie. His arms might be a bit long though. We could do it like Chatroulette and each Facebook user could have a week at running it. I like hoodies and imagine how cool your status updates would be: Courtney is ...”selling your browsing data suckers! Lolz :)”.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

PODCAST: BP Oil, Quit Facebook Day & Tweeting Journos

Mornings » Courtney Lambert - New media consultant Courtney Lambert talks to Mornings host Ed Swift about Facebook privacy mistakes, BP parody Twitter accounts Mike McRoberts and John Campbell
More at

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Jake & Amir: Conchords Interview

Well actually it's just Jake but then you wouldn't know what I was on about. 

Two of my favourite things ---'Jake and Amir' and 'Flight of the Conchords'

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Man Behind @BPGlobalPR

Dearest Media,
My name is Leroy Stick and I am the man behind @BPGlobalPR.  First, let me begin by explaining my name.
When I was growing up, there was a dog that lived on my block named Leroy.  Leroy was a big dog with a disdain for leashes and a thirst for blood.  He made a habit of running around our block attacking anything he saw, biting my dad and my dogs basically whenever he had the chance.  He chased me a few times, but I always escaped because I was/am an amazing tree climber.
Anyhoos, after Leroy’s second or third attack on my dogs, it became clear that the police and Leroy’s owner weren’t going to do anything to stop him, so my dad took matters into his own hands and came up with a brilliant invention: the Leroy stick.
The Leroy stick was, you guessed it, a stick.  My dad carried an axe handle and I carried a plunger handle.  My dad told me two things about carrying the Leroy stick.  First, if Leroy came near me or the dogs, I should hit him.  Second, if I hit Leroy with my stick, I would not get in trouble.  Was it legal?  Probably not.  Was it right?  It sure felt like it.  We set the example and soon a lot of our neighbors started carrying Leroy sticks as well.  Soon enough, Leroy and his owner saw everyone carrying sticks and Leroy didn’t run free anymore.
If you think the point of this story is to beat dogs with sticks, then I’m guessing you probably still think I work for BP as well.
The point of this story is that if someone is terrorizing your neighborhood, sometimes it’s alright to grab a stick and take a swing. Social media, and in this particular case Twitter, has given average people like me the ability to use and invent all sorts of brand new sticks.
I started @BPGlobalPR, because the oil spill had been going on for almost a month and all BP had to offer were bullshit PR statements.  No solutions, no urgency, no sincerity, no nothing.  That’s why I decided to relate to the public for them.  I started off just making jokes at their expense with a few friends, but now it has turned into something of a movement.  As I write this, we have 100,000 followers and counting.  People are sharing billboards, music, graphic art, videos and most importantly information.
Why has this caught on?  I think it’s because people can smell the bullshit and sometimes laughing at it feels better than getting angry or depressed over it.  At the very least, it’s a welcome break from that routine.  The reason @BPGlobalPR continues to grow is because BP continues to spew their bullshit.
I’ve read a bunch of articles and blogs about this whole situation by publicists and marketing folk wondering what BP should do to save their brand from @BPGlobalPR.  First of all, who cares?  Second of all, what kind of business are you in?  I’m trashing a company that is literally trashing the ocean, and these idiots are trying to figure out how to protect that company?  One pickledick actually suggested that BP approach me and try to incorporate me into their actual PR outreach.  That has got to be the dumbest, most head-up-the-ass solution anyone could possibly offer.
Do you want to know what BP should do about me?  Do you want to know what their PR strategy should be?  They should fire everyone in their joke of a PR department, starting with all-star Anne Womack-Kolto and focus on actually fixing the problems at hand.  Honestly, Cheney’s publicist?  That’s too easy.
BP seems to only care about maintaining their image so they can keep making money, two things we have blatantly avoided.  I don’t have an image and I’m not making any money AT ALL for myself.  Every penny we make from the t-shirts goes to the Gulf Restoration Network.  Just a few hours ago, we made our first official $10,000 donation to healthygulf.org from the money we’ve made selling free “bp cares” t-shirts in one week.
So what is the point of all this?  The point is, FORGET YOUR BRAND.  You don’t own it because it is literally nothing.  You can spend all sorts of time and money trying to manufacture public opinion, but ultimately, that’s up to the public, now isn’t it?
You know the best way to get the public to respect your brand?  Have a respectable brand.  Offer a great, innovative product and make responsible, ethical business decisions.  Lead the pack!  Evolve!  Don’t send hundreds of temp workers to the gulf to put on a show for the President.  Hire those workers to actually work!  Don’t dump toxic dispersant into the ocean just so the surface looks better.  Collect the oil and get it out of the water!  Don’t tell your employees that they can’t wear respirators while they work because it makes for a bad picture.  Take a picture of those employees working safely to fix the problem.  Lastly, don’t keep the press and the people trying to help you away from the disaster, open it up so people can see it and help fix it.  This isn’t just your disaster, this is a human tragedy.  Allow us to mourn so that we can stop being angry.
In the meantime, if you are angry, speak up.  Don’t let people forget what has happened here.  Don’t let the prolonged nature of this tragedy numb you to its severity.  Re-branding doesn’t work if we don’t let it, so let’s hold BP’s feet to the fire.  Let’s make them own up to and fix their mistakes NOW and most importantly, let’s make sure we don’t let them do this again.
Right now, PR is all about brand protection.  All I’m suggesting is that we use that energy to work on human progression.  Until then, I guess we’ve still got jokes.
Leroy Stick (aka a guy in his boxer shorts)

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