Jack Welch gets Employee Engagement.

The reason GE was so successful under Jack Welch's leadership is because he gets employee engagement. I've been a big fan of his ever since reading his book "Winning". If you haven't read it, do so asap.

Well last night he was on Hannity on Fox News talking about this new "stimulus" (pork) package that was passed (by zero Rep) yesterday. And again I was reminded why I think this man is so smart. He gets it. Read the following transcript from a part of the interview:

WELCH: My complaint is about the way they've invested in companies. They're investors in the automotive industry, in the banks, over $100 million in AIG, and they're not acting like investors. They're acting like prosecutors. So what they've done is taken my money, your money, thrown it into these companies, and now they're saying you can't merge, you can't give bonuses, you can't do this, you can't go to the Super Bowl.
You can't do these things.

HANNITY: Let me ask you this because.

WELCH: They've got to be out rallying these employees.

HANNITY: You ran one of the biggest best companies in America. You had to make profits for you shareholders. You ought to be successful. Government has bankrupted Social Security, Medicare. They're going into huge debt here, they've destroyed our educational system.
Why should I have any faith the government can solve this economic problem? Why?

WELCH: Yes, but Sean, let's take this -- what I'm talking about. We spent the money, your money and my money. Now I don't want to just leave it there. It'd be like buying a house, and then because you didn't like your neighbors burning the house, not painting it, not doing anything with it.

Sean, we've got to take the AIG's and the banks and Detroit, and we've got to support -- if you don't like the CEOs, throw them out. If you don't like the -- throw him out. But you want to take care of the employees, bill those companies, and we get our money back.


I highlighted my favorite parts of the interview. Employee Engagement. Welch knows that the way for a company to be profitiable and to succeed is to support and reward the employees. He knows that if we invested in the employees, the high performers, we would all get our investment back from these businesses.

He talks a great deal about what he terms 'diversification' in his book Winning. And it makes such perfect sense to me. You reward the hard workers, the high performers, with bonuses, perks, etc. You give them training opportunities and development opportunities. Those high performers in return will work harder, be more engaged, pass up on an opportunity to leave to a competitor...

So when I saw Jack on Hannity last night, I was thrilled to see that once again he pushes for engaging employees - he understands that you can't just throw money at a company and expect it to turn around. It's about the employees - "take care of the employees". You take care of and engage employees, you get better customer service and better results overall.


Be Careful What You Post - Because tattlers lurk among us.

So recently I posted my thoughts on guidelines related to social media, and I talked about how frustrating it is when you have to constantly watch your actions online because someone will tell. Well today one of our leaders at work shared a blog posting with us that was passed along from another leader in our company. "Be Careful What You Post" is a recent (Jan. 15) blog post from Peter Shankman. It describes a recent event where an ad company employee who posted an update to Twitter upon arriving in Memphis, TN that he would "die if I had to live here". The problem was that the ad man was in Memphis to give a presentation to FedEx who is headquartered in Memphis - and evidently chock full of Memphis born and bred employees. A FedEx employee saw the tweet and emailed the ad man a letter defending Memphis.

Before I go further, let me first interject that this blog has nothing to do with any of the leaders in our company who read Shankman's post and passed it along. I'm not disagreeing with anyone or saying anyone is wrong - I'm just 'blogging' about a social media case study and providing my opinion - that.. is not in any way related to the opinions of my company, my co-workers, my bosses, my friends, my family, or my family cat. So now that I've gotten this disclaimer out of the way (rolling eyes), don't tattle on me for blogging about tattlers.

Ok, so back to the FedEx story... like I said, the FedEx employee emailed the ad man and defended Memphis, and described all the good work FedEx is doing in the communities of Memphis. I think this was a good move on the FedEx employee's part - defend your city, share the good things FedEx is doing, and ask ad man to no longer put poor Memphis down.


The FedEx employee did not just email the ad man... oh no, he couldn't just discuss one on one with the ad man - no, he wasn't satisfied unless he really made the ad man sweat (for only saying Memphis wasn't his favorite place). The FedEx employee CC'd the email to the FedEx Corporate Vice President, Vice President, Directors and all management of FedEx’s communication department AND the chain of command at Ketchum. Really?

Does anyone have a sense of humor anymore? Look, I understand that ad man should not have made a crack on Memphis while traveling to the city to meet with a customer who happens to be headquartered there. It was bad judgment. I get that. But at the same time, are we really going to glorify goody-two-shoes FedEx employee who makes a point to copy every higher up he can think of on a 'shame on you Mr. Ad man...we're watching you' email?

This all goes back to my frustrations with the old school way of thinking. Is it really such a big deal that ad man just didn't like Memphis? Is it really such a big deal that he expresses his opinion? Again, I get it... bad judgment from ad man since it was a business trip, but again, I just get really annoyed with the self righteous tattle tales that work among us. Like I said in my previous post, if I see a coworker's opinion online or a picture of them - I don't judge. I don't jump to assumptions. I don't tattle on them.

If I was the Fed-Ex employee, here is what I would have done: I would have sent the same exact letter defending the city and mentioning to the ad man to please be careful in the future. I would have MAYBE copied my direct boss and that would be it. It's not my place to judge other people and get them in trouble. If the ad man had tweeted, "FedEx is a horrible client..I can't wait until this project is over", then that is a reason to copy the higher ups - but copying VP's and Directors because of a 140 character sentence about a city?

I live in Columbia, SC. Defend it all you want, but it's not the best place to live. Wouldn't most of us rather be living on the beach in Charleston (don't lie)? When I first moved to Columbia, I hated it. Not only is this the hometown of the hateful gamecocks, but it's concrete everywhere. Homeless people and bad drivers. But after living here for almost four years, it's grown on me. I really like the company I work for and my co-workers (and no, I'm not just saying that because they may be watching me online). I love my house, and after yesterday and today's weather, I'm thankful I never moved to Minnesota (thank you, thank you, thank you). I'm a two hour drive from the beach...a two hour drive from Clemson...a two hour drive from Charlotte...and a three hour drive to Atlanta. Sure, I hate how truly awful the heat is here in the summer, but it's not so bad. BUT, if someone cracks on Columbia on Twitter - I'm not going to get up in arms...even if it is someone from an agency visiting us. Honestly, I'd laugh it off and say, "Yeah..but it grows on you" or "Yeah...it's hot as hades, but you should really visit the Riverwalk or hang out in the Vista...it might change your mind." Why not take ad man to your favorite Memphis restaurant, or take him sightseeing to local attractions - show him the Memphis you so strongly defend. I wouldn't chide the person and email the entire senior leadership at my company. I just feel like our CEO would email me back and say, "First of all, who are you? Secondly, why are you wasting my time? Thirdly, what the heck is Twitter?"

And before you say to me, "Well Christy, you didn't grow up in Columbia, you don't have that connection to defend it." Let me just tell you.. I grew up in Birmingham, AL ok.. and I can't tell you how many times I've heard "Hey, I drove through Birmingham on my way to [New Orleans, Texas, etc.] and wow, not much to see there." I've gotten the redneck thing, the marrying my cousin thing, the racist thing ("You're from Birmingham? Wow, I heard they are stuck in the 60's and schools are still segregated")... you name it, Birmingham is a pretty easy target. But I don't get upset if someone just doesn't like Birmingham... I shrug and let it roll off my shoulders...

So to make a long blog post short, I will state my opinion (imagine that) and say that I do agree that better judgment should be made when it comes to social media -- again, don't post something you don't want your mother to read. But I also think that there are people out there who just might look a little too hard for 'bad judgment' and then make a mountain out of what was really only a hill. A letter should have been sent to the ad man from Corporate Communications at FedEx, and then ad man could have apologized and of course state the obvious that he meant no offense to the client.

Bottom line is you just can't be too sensitive about things you see online because sarcasm, tone, etc. do not read well online. So, yes, be careful what you post - but also, be careful how you interpret and react to what you see in social media. Can't we all just get along?


christyweb now has video!

So I got a Flip Mino for Christmas. And while I still can't get the software to work on my stupid computer, it works on my work computer - so, I've created my own YouTube channel and will now start capturing video to go along with my infamous photography. I know you can barely contain your excitement, so I won't keep you waiting -- christyweb on YouTube. I've also added the link to my list of links - look to the right.

Keep in mind, I'm still an amateur when it comes to video shooting -- I'm pretty much a pro at capturing all my friends in their most embarrassing moments with digital photos, but my video skills are still shaky - but it will only be a matter of time before I'm an expert.

Here's a little preview... Jacksonville Landing on New Year's Eve on the stroke of midnight:


My New Year's Resolutions

I haven't updated my site in almost a month. The holidays were full of travel and I never had anything to write about. So I decided that it's about time to update and what better post to start the new year with than a post on my New Year's resolutions. I have a lot... but I'm not sure they will all come to mind right now, so this post might be a work in progress.

My New Year's Resolutions for 2009
  1. Lose 8 pounds, because 8 is my lucky number and me minus 8 pounds would be nice
  2. Quit smoking - I'm not a smoker, but I smoke...especially when alcohol is involved. None of my friends smoke anymore and none of the bars allow smoking. So unless I want to continue to be the reject who has to go outside and smoke, I need to quit.
  3. Start to let go of a lot of anger I hold onto for things that happened in the past - high school, college, grad school -- lots to let go of
  4. Pray more
  5. Get to bed earlier
  6. Get to work earlier
  7. Try not to let work stress me out, at the end of the day it's just a job
  8. Buy less clothes and wear more of the clothes I have
  9. Take more time to read more books
  10. Make more time for Mii -- on my Wii
  11. Get back into painting
  12. Work on my flexibility so my ponche stretch is 180 degrees like all the 16 and 17 yr. olds in my ballet class
  13. Come to terms with the fact that I'm not 16 or 17 anymore, so I can't expect my 27 yr old self to dance ballet like I did when I was 17 (but I sure as hell can keep trying)
  14. Take care of my house: sod my yards, fix up my bathrooms, fix my deck, and other landscaping to my yards
  15. Be more cautious about my finances, save more
  16. Work on hiding my frustrations when people get on my nerves
  17. Work on calming down my road rage
  18. Re-learn German with Bradley
  19. Do more active things on the weekends, less laying around
  20. Be better about staying in touch with family and friends -- force myself to talk on the phone, even though I avoid it
  21. Grow my hair out as long as I can get it, and when it fails because it's too thin (like it always does) invest in extensions - the Jessica Simpson affordable ones
  22. Try not to care so much about what other people think and at the same time try not to take things so personally
  23. In addition to resolution 3, stop asking Bradley if we are ok and stop constantly seeking validation -- leave the poor boy alone and let him love me
  24. Wash my car more - inside and out. It's seriously deprived.
  25. Spend as many weekends as possible in the summer in Charleston, on the beach.
  26. Get a puppy - a mutt with a little Chow in her

  27. Play the lottery.
  28. Work on my back posture, especially when sitting at my desk at work. I'm thinking of bringing in a balance ball...seriously.

  29. Find more resolutions...
Yes, I know that's a lot... but it's a new year and I'm ready for it.