Indie Thursday

Today is Independance Day in Turkmenistan:

Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, Turkmenistan declared its independence on October 27, 1991. Saparmurat Niyazov became the first president of the new republic and still remains the supreme decisionmaker. On December 28, 1999, Niyazov’s term was extended indefinitely by the Mejlis (parliament), which itself had taken office only a week earlier in elections that included only candidates hand-picked by President Niyazov; no opposition candidates were allowed.

Source: Wikipedia

If you happen to be in Turkmenistan it’s probably best to smile and look like you’re having a good time – everything I’ve read says President Niyazov isn’t big on dissention.

And here I thought we Canadians had a flag that was hard to draw (Those maple leaves are a heck of a lot harder to draw than you might imagine). My hand is cramping just thinking about all the poor primary schoolers in Turkmenistan who have to draw this:

Speaking With the World: Part I

One of the big challenges of taking a business to markets outside of your local geographical area is talking with, and selling to potential (and current) clients – especially when it comes to software applications. It’s certainly an obvious issue but until they try it, many companies don’t realize just how complicated it can be.

The reality is most opportunities aren’t big enough to justify flying out for a good old fashion face-to-face meeting. Worse still is for complicated sales cycles it often takes multiple meetings. Traditional conference call services are fine if more than two parties are involved – but how do you demo your software?

Over the past few weeks since launch I’ve encountered these hurdles on an endless basis. Over the next couple of days I’ll give a rundown on some of the technologies that we’ve had success with in various situations. Let’s start with the lowest hanging fruit:

MSN Messenger: Buried in MSN Messenger is the guts of what used to Microsoft NetMeeting. For one-to-one conversations a webcam and mic let you have face-to-face, streaming video and audio conversations. Additionally, “hidden” under the Activities tab you’ll find the Whiteboard and Application Sharing features. Through Application Sharing you can share applications on your desktop with the participant in your meeting – a perfect way to demo your software or secure areas of a website without having to give out licenses or passwords etc.

Messenger works best in one-to-one situations (Video and Audio chat will ONLY work in one-to-one) – when it works that is. I’ve found MSN to be very hit and miss when it comes to connecting to other contacts for any of the advanced features (ie. not chat).

Lastly the challenge I always had with it was the necessity of giving out your MSN screen name. While that particular MSN Account is used for work I don’t really want to share it with every prospect that we demo for – easily worked around by creating a generic account, but still a pain.

At the end of the day we use the Messenger app heavily for internal communications with our team both in and out of the office, but for client meetings and demos we’ve moved on. More tomorrow!

PROS: CONS:
– Free
– Readily accessible to everyone
– Practically limited to one-to-one meetings
– Connections can be hard to make, difficult to troubleshoot
– You have to give out your MSN Screen name
– Lacks the “image” of a polished professional organization

Mid-week Reasons to party

The world’s a big place, which means you’re hard pressed not to find something to celebrate every day.

Today in the world:

It’s National Day in Austria:

National Day, 26 October (1955) commemorates the State Treaty restoring national sovereignty and the end of occupation when the last WWII troops left Austria and the passage of the law on permanent neutrality. It has become a patriotic “fitness day”, as many people all over Austria take long walks. The Parlament building and all national museums are open and visits are free to the public. Stores are closed.

– Source: Virtual Vienna Net

Okay, so maybe not a reason to “party” but take it as a little extra motivation to get out of the office and go for a walk today.

Other Holidays today:

– National Gospel Day, Cook Islands

Blank Slate, Fresh Start

Well, this post finds me a little over a year after starting to put on the “Globalization” thinking cap and about 6 weeks past the official launch of a new venture called Clay Tablet Technologies.

I’ve learned a lot in this time, but most importantly I’ve learned that I’ve learned not nearly enough.

Turns out The Chevy “Nova” legend is just that (Snopes) and “Bite the wax tadpole” is only sort of true. (Snopes) but not to fear as companies are making even bigger mistakes everyday – just ask Buick about their recent blunder in Quebec with the “LaCrosse” (Automobile.com).

Regardless of truth, these legends & stories, are great examples of just how treacherous the waters can be as you wade out of your native tongue. What I hope to do with this blog is help shed some light on what is often a challenging and confusing space for people who, unitl recently had lived very English-speaking, North American centric lives.

In addition to general tidbits of information, resources and links I encounter on a daily basis, I’ll also share my experiences as we take a company from concept to a multi-national organization dedicated to helping make it easier for companies to take their message to new markets, whether around the corner, or around the world.

I hope you enjoy – and please, feel free to comment.

Ryan Coleman

Welcome

For over a decade, whether working within my own organization or with clients and partners I’ve worked to help others discover, acknowledge and apply the greater knowledge that exists within their business. I do this through a mix of group & visual facilitation techniques as well as consulting services where I can apply my own personal experience in building and growing businesses and communities.

I’m passionate about Visual Thinking, Facilitation, Innovation, Photography & Sustainability. I consume information voraciously and actively take experiences and learnings from seemingly unrelated spaces and generate new ideas – I’m a synthesist & design thinker and happily sit in the “Creative Generalist” category

I’m currently looking to work with innovative, responsible organizations who are looking to add something to the world. I’m available to work on contract on a per hour or project basis. Please feel free to contact me anytime