Category Archives: Press and media mentions

What is digital leadership? Interview with Mujic Consulting

Recently I was interviewed about digital leadership and what leaders have to consider now when everything has a digital angle to it.

I’ve been to plenty of conferences and workshops where we talked about opportunities and hurdles in digitalisation. Every time the conclusion is the same: everyone agrees that it’s culture and leadership that stops work from progressing as quickly as it should. It’s people that are the problem when going digital, not technology.

In digital leadership you sometimes talk about SMACI technologies, which are all part of making the world more digital.

Social media
Cloud computing
Internet of Things

All these technologies are affecting us hugely. Digital technology is nothing new, but it’s taken quite a long time for new technologies to go mainstream.

I started to talk about digital leadership in 2011 and I published my book Digital Leadership in 2013 (you can order it directly from me). I think I was the first to publish a book with that title. Now mainstream media is starting to talk about digital leadership and what is needed to make it happen.

There are many dimensions of digital leadership. My background is in sales and marketing, and I’ve been working in positions where we results must be measured all the time, both financial results and online engagement. I also happened to be an early adopter of social media, and it has become one of my specialities.

My passion for digital technology has helped me to learn more about all kind of digital topics, and my view is that anyone can become a digital leader by continually learn about new technologies, online engagement and digital strategies.

My digital philosophy is based on the theory that by knowing more about how creativity works you will be a better leader. If you know how people and creativity work together you will be better at collaborating when things are uncertain and new. When we are expanding our digital leadership knowledge we need to help and reassure each other that all these confusing digital things are going to be alright.

In a leadership book I read in 2008 there was a lovely metaphor saying‘jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down’. That is what digital leadership is about: learning by doing, because you can’t copy anyone else when something’s new.

For example, with big data, we have access to live information, and we can quickly respond to any changes in the market. But you have to be fast to be able to use it.

When we dare to make mistakes we are more creative. This is something I’ve pushed for years, but it’s so hard to implement. But by just being a bit more forgiving to ourselves we dare more.

When businesses and organisations are as complex as they are today we are constantly building new relationships and forming new collaborations. People who are developing their networking skills definitely benefit from this culture.

Many of us are also addicted to new inspiration and staying inspired. For organisations this is a problem as they know that they cannot inspire employees all the time. In that case, they need to find new ways to satisfy their employees so that they devote their energy to the company while they are at work.

Also, we are keen to know why a business has made a certain choice. Transparency and honesty is part of the digital age where everything is published immediately on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Having a hidden agenda is not productive today when news spreads in seconds on social media.

Anyone with the desire to expand their knowledge and experience can become a digital leader. The whole world is standing in front of a long project of getting services online, and we need to work on this together.

You can watch the whole recording on YouTube, and snippets on Mijic Consulting’s Facebook page:

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Fast Company – Worst Social Media Practices

The 5 Worst Social Media Practices Brands Should Avoid

In social media, as in humor, timing is everything. Experts weighed in on the best time NOT to post that pic or tweet.


No brand likes to be criticized on social media, but one thing brands should never do is remain quiet while one of their critics is being attacked by trolls, says Sofie Sandell, social media speaker and author of Digital Leadership.

Read the full article here


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My article about sexist fridge magnets got attention

I pointed out that the sexist fridge magnets are wrong to sell in an airport. I was shared all over Facebook, the magnets were removed a few days later. It’s just wrong to sell them in a government owned airport.



ETC:se Facebook

Det var författaren och föreläsaren Sofie Sandell som först reagerade mot försäljningen i en av souvenirbutikerna på Landvetter i Göteborg och skrev om det på sin blogg. Bland souvenirerna fanns två magneter föreställande bystiga kvinnor iklädda bikini med svenska flaggan. En av dem hade till och med studsande bröst som det gick att leka med.

Enligt Ulf Wallin, presschef på Swedavia, är magneterna nu borttagna ut sortimentet.

– Vi har pratat med butiken och de har tagits bort, säger han.

Han säger att det, så vitt han vet, bara är den uppmärksammade butiken på Landvetter som har sålt magneterna.

Men nu är de alltså slut med det.

– Vi vill ju inte att det ska säljas saker som kan upplevas som stötande för människor. När sådant här uppmärksammas ber vi butiken att ta bort produkten, säger han.

– Vi äger inte butikerna utan hyr ut platsen. I hyresavtalen regleras en del saker, som att man inte får framföra religiösa eller politiska budskap eftersom människor kan ta illa upp. Men vi kan inte reglera varje enskild sak som säljs. Men när det upptäcks agerar vi, ingenting ska bryta mot vår uppförandekod om allas lika värde, säger han.

Tycker du själv att magneterna är ett bra sätt att marknadsföra Sverige?

– I och med att vi valt att ta bort dem så är det inte så vi vill att Sverige ska framstå. Vi vill vara ett modernt och välkomnande företag. Ibland är det svårt att ha detaljkännedom om allting, men när det kommer till vår kännedom så agerar vi.

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So you think you can manel? Times of India

All-male panels may soon be a thing of the past. Now, feminists are calling out organisers who turn the dais into a manference

Over a year ago David Hasselhoff, the alpha male once-lifeguard from Baywatch, found himself a new (uninvited) career as the mascot of the ‘manel’ – the all-male panel. He appeared on a Tumblr called All Male Panels, started in Feb last year by Finnish feminist researcher Dr Saara Sarma. The Tumblr wanted to highlight the gender lopsidedness of discussion panels and other high altars of expertise and experience, like say, state cabinets and boardrooms. Sarma invited people to send in flyers or pictures of all-male events and seminars, which received Hasselhoff’s virile stamp of approval: ‘Congrats, you have an all male panel!’

The manel is being named and shamed worldwide, with memes, online petitions, boycotts and even spoken word poetry slamming it. ‘Group thinking turns into brain shrinking; humans seeking meaning and development, male-only panels are such an embarrassment’ raps Sofie Sandell, professional speaker and digital leader on YouTube. In India too, the stew’s beginning to simmer.

Last year, Sairee Chahal, founder of Sheroes and Fleximoms — career communities for women — was invited to a top tech conference in Bangalore. “It has typically been a bro affair, but the organisers wanted to do an all-women panel for the first time, alongside their regular all-male sessions, Chahal recalls, “They had no context for the panel – the organisers asked me to identify women panelists and a suitable subject. We didn’t do it eventually because the four other women I’d approached from tech felt there was no purpose to the panel.”

Companies and conference organisers who are inviting a lone woman to a male-heavy dais simply to avoid the label of sexism are now being called out. Ashwini Asokan, co-founder and CEO of the Artificial Intelligence company, Mad Street Den, has been challenging sexism in the tech industry and got trolled for it. In fact, sexist putdowns are often what hold women back from taking the stage. “Several women started conversations on Twitter saying they lacked the confidence because of bullies and trolls,” says Asokan.

She points out that India has more female engineering and computer science graduates than most countries (30- 40% of college seats), giving the lie to the specious claim that suitable women experts simply cannot be found. “It’s why I pick up the phone, find them and push them to these panels,” Asokan says.

Read the full article here.

times of india manel article

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Supporting Richmond council and the rugby cup

I was supporting my friend Helen Astrid who’s an opera singer and singing teacher at her event in Richmond, West London. We sang songs from all countries participating in the Rugby World Cup. How fun!

Richmond council made a short video of me 🙂

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The Chartered Institute of Marketing blog

Better instincts – Relationship marketing and social marketing compared – how well do they work together?

When many of today’s marketing directors began their careers there was no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn available to influence consumer behaviour.

The focus was on medium- to long-term relationship marketing, and developing emotional connections with brands in the hope of building customer loyalty and engagement.

Word of mouth recommendations, for example, would generate leads as marketers realised that effective relationship marketing was the best way to retain those valuable customers the business had worked so hard to attract.

Relationship marketing is still essential in 2015, of course, but today every marketer must also have a social media footprint. For every brand, social marketing is both a sustainable and largely cost-effective option to reach different target audiences.

Sofie Sandell, a social media expert and author of the book Digital Leadership: How Creativity in Business Can Propel Your Brand and Boost Your Results is a fan of both relationship and social media marketing. She believes the two must co-exist within a wider CRM strategy, but points out that each has its strengths and weaknesses.

“When it comes to social marketing the message must be authentic because people have a bullshit detector when they see messages from brands. Also, what might be regarded as personalisation can be perceived as creepy,” says Sandell. “There is an example of a woman who Tweeted that she liked cake and shoes and when she arrived at a major hotel chain they presented her with a cake shaped like a shoe. That is scary.”

She adds: “Smart marketers know how to build a relationship with a consumer without delving too much into his or her personal life.”

Of course, the impact from some relationship marketing activity is invisible and its effectiveness difficult to measure. For instance, you cannot track a great conversation with a consumer at an event as easily as you can tally up retweets or Facebook ‘likes’.

Successful relationship marketing will, however, persuade customers to keep buying your product or service and, in an ideal world, increase the amount they spend. The danger is that marketers can take it too far by contacting someone too often or taking their loyalty for granted, or failing to incentivise and reward someone’s ongoing loyalty.

Brands wanting to succeed in relationship marketing must also be prepared to play a long game to create a lasting bond with consumers. This means interacting with them in an informative, entertaining, relevant and engaging way on an on-going basis, alongside any tactical and immediate social marketing they do.

Low engagement on social media can be a sign that a brand has taken its eye off the ball when it comes to relationship marketing.

One way to boost engagement on social media is to ensure consumers are listened to as well as talked to. If marketers are aware of what is interesting their target audience at a particular time the content produced or the activity devised is more likely to be relevant, topical and to generate interest.

Read the article in CIM’s website

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Plusnet online community

Slides, Robots and Hammocks: Room by Room Breakdown of the Office of the Future

Meeting Rooms

For workplaces globally, holograms and telepresence robots will become the norm in meetings. Digital Leadership expert Sofie Sandell adds: “We are going to use 3D holograms in more meetings and phone conversations. It’s better in that way that you can see more of the person’s body language.” These holograms will be beamed into the meeting room as if they are sat attending themselves.

For those actually wanting to impose themselves in a meeting in near physical format, telepresence robots with a monitor on a wheeled pedestal and controlled by the internet are another option. These robots will even be able to leave the room and accompany colleagues to the kitchen to continue their chats!


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Social Media Q&A

Do you have any questions about life in relation to social media?

Send an email with your question to Sofie Sandell for a chance to get it published here.

Blog Archive

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