I admit, I have always been a little impatient with technology.  Somehow I was born with the “when” gene not the “if”.  It has served me well in deciding where to live, what path to choose and the methodology to get there.  As one friend so aptly told me, “you are one of those people that has to swim across the river with the rope to determine where the bridge will be placed.”  I admit, there were times, when the current was too strong and I swam back to safety in order to survive. I realize I have had the luxury of a safe shore to return to.  For the most part, my tenacity (others might call me “stubborn”) eventually got me to the other side.  What it takes most of the time is neither the tenacity/stubborness nor the strength, but rather the belief in the path and the result.  Often this takes a leap of faith, but that is part of the process of acceptance of the result. I have always been determined to conquer my “what if’s.”

So enough of metaphorically speaking, as there is much to be said there, but may risk being “fluffy.”  After a nice off-line break in which I had the opportunity to catch up on much overdue reading and sleep, I found myself excited for many things in 2011.  This is what I wish to share with you.  You can call them predictions, you can call them wishes, you can call them dreams.  I will do whatever I can in my power to help them come to fruition.

The MERGING of TECHNOLOGIES  and PEOPLE is finally being realized.  What I mean by this is simply, six years ago user-experience was focused on the graphic interface as the extent of understanding the human component of the Internet.  In the last few month, I finally get the impression (outside of the social strategy community) that comprehension is settling in as to the “user” as a person with a life, networks, communities, career, opinions, ideas, knowledge, passions and opinions.  Therefore understanding all the touch points: the tools, products, networks, places, products, and people that this person interacts with will create enormous mutual benefit in the “user-experience”.

The population is more MOBILE and the tools must accommodate that. Tools like the iPad give us the gift of an entire library, entertainment and communication at our hands on the go, and the ability to share it, manipulate it and more.  It is not just about consumption of content, it is about the creation, the interaction, the sharing, the discovery and the learning.  And yet, with connectivity still limited in many areas of the world, and certainly in most cases en-route, we must have ways to still interact with our content and others when off-line. Hybrid solutions are on the rise and will continue to grow (download to host locally, update when return to connectivity).  We will see this with everything from games to magazines to more.  Integration or aggregation of tools will improve as well as the filtering so the necessity to hop from app to app will diminish.

LEADERSHIP in the new SOCIAL paradigm will continue to evolve to develop new authentic leaders and draw from the existing leadership who dares to change.  Management programs will require a human development component that produces leaders that can compete and succeed in the new paradigm, while growing their businesses and their industries.  We are not talking soft leadership, we are talking inspiring and engaging leadership that is done with authenticity.  No more hiding in the corner office.

STRATEGY will be approached with new eyes, understanding where efficiencies can be gained and goals can be achieved by utilizing the greatest resources: PEOPLE, knowledge and passion.  Creating the value added in social comes from putting a purpose behind it.  Whether I am working with social strategy for a global furniture company, a CRM software company, or cable provider, the value added in people and their engagement and how to influence it and LEARN from it is at the core.

Very important and not to be forgotten, as I have learned in my time off, we will re-learn the power of “PLAY.”  Through games and play we are learning how to engage, interact, and most importantly smile and react.  It is a beautiful thing, that took some time off and a tenacious 9 year old son to teach me.  I am learning to walk the talk, as I teach interactively and interactivity through games and such. It is about time to learn through playing myself and enjoy the process.  This is why I am determined to have a game component in the second release of “the Art of Social Strategy”.  Who ever said learning can’t be fun and add value?  Happy 2011!

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