Latest book review of the book ‘Digital Leadership’

The Book Review by Susanna Stratton November 2013. Thank you!!

“Digital Leadership – How creativity in business can propel your brand and boost your results.” Sofie Sandell’s book on digital communications for business.

For this first book slot I’m reviewing a book written by a fellow member of the “Fabulous Women” network. Sofie Sandell is a trainer and speaker with a successful track record of helping organisations to expand their digital and social media strategies.

“Digital Leadership” has been described as a “common sense approach” to the subject matter and I agree. I am not a marketing person by background. I have never worked in the world of marketing or indeed a communications department. However I am passionate about leadership, creativity, collaboration and innovation. I also now run a business which means I have needed to get marketing and I love social media. I love how you can put a tweet out and people hear you and reply or even better retweet and you can connect with so many people. It’s magic. Can you imagine we didn’t have this stuff twenty years ago?

Like a lot of people however I often wonder if I could be doing better . I’ve gone to a few talks on the matter, looked up YouTube “how to” videos. You can learn how to do lots of things on YouTube but I’ve never read a book on the subject before. I found this book so easy to read.

There’s no jargon to frighten the complete beginner. I have a few friends who’ve never used social media ever and I’ve recommended this to them once they’ve registered and had a go.

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I have a lot of contacts in the NHS. I will be recommending it to them because the NHS definitely has untapped potential when it comes to social media. so many audiences and so many opportunities for health promotion.

I have contacts in education. Schools are often terrified of getting involved in digital communication. They fear their kids will be posting terrible things about the school. If kids are going to do that they’ll do it anyway. It’s up to the school to take the lead in what it communicates about itself and use media to help engage its kids. So don’t be afraid of social media and don’t be afraid of this book. It couldn’t be friendlier.

Sofie’s book is about a lot more than just digital communication. It talks about another one of my favourite subjects which is organisational culture. In particular the culture of creativity. Some cultures inadvertently have fostered a culture that sounds the death knell to new ideas as the words are out of someone’s mouth. It’s the “ Yes but….” culture. “ Yes but” basically means “NO!” and it takes only the strongest and most resilient pioneer to keep pushing with the idea until everyone can see that it works.

However these businesses are wasting opportunities for new ideas some of which could be the winner that brings in new clients and generates growth. So “Yes and…” opens up the conversation for new ideas to stretch and grow, get feedback, tweak, and problem solve, test and try and become the next big thing.

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Sofie captures these concepts with her stories from her own experience. Infact I’d say it’s her art of story telling that really sells some of these ideas.

The book also talks about the need for connection, collaboration and sharing. We don’t have the digital technology we have today by the thoughts of one man or woman or one company. Ideas need to be shared to grow colossally and change the world. Creativity needs connection and collaboration. In the old days competition could sometimes slow down creativity.

Some companies even went out of business because they refused to share their technology. However the younger companies have a new way of looking at the world. They want to compete but they want to collaborate too. They don’t act like soldiers going to war to fight their enemy to the death.

They behave playfully like a sports team going out to compete against the other team. We might lose this time but we’ll win next time and there’s always a next time. What’s more playing this way means the game keeps getting more interesting as we just all keep getting better, stronger and faster.

Sofie’s book is great advice for organisations that want to be more creative but also for individuals that want to be more creative and for leaders that want to foster creativity.

There’s lots of excellent practical advice on how to manage your image on line as a business, how to manage conflict, how to use positive language to encourage others amongst other things.

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Above all “Digital Leadership” walks the talk when it comes to thinking about how it communicates its message.

The book is well laid out and written in a very accessible way being very easy on the eye when you’re reading it. I’ve totally enjoyed reading it. On her website www.sofiesandell.com/bonus you can find extra resources. Her book is available on Amazon: www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1780356943

Read more about Susanna Stratton here: www.s-and-a-coaching.co.uk

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