How to avoid collectively creating results nobody wants

While this article starts a little pessimistically, you’ll find it ends on a more optimistic proposition. Hang on in there and keep reading because you’ll find the article introduces you to very innovative methodology you can use to solve complex and undefined problems, including those that are social and economic in nature. This is Theory U as conceived by Otto Scharmer, the co-founder of the Presencing Institute and a Senior Lecturer at MIT.
What I’ve written here affects my own work profoundly in that it increasingly conditions the way in which BigName applies the principles of Design Thinking to professional innovation.

First of all, here are the pessimistic considerations.

Collectively, we create results that nobody wants.

I learned this from Otto and the words affected me profoundly.
We live in an age characterized by a massive institutional failure: stratospheric levels of public debt, uncertainly over globalization, rising unemployment, falling standards of education, a seemingly endless financial crisis, global warming, a rising tide of refugees, war in Syria, ever increasing levels of poverty, and, last but not least, the constant threat of terrorism. The news has spread: A mere 8 people in the world are as rich as 50% of the world’s overall population.
We are destroying communities, nature, life, and the foundations of health, social, economic and spiritual welfare.

Social field

According to Otto, underlying these phenomena is a lack of awareness of the mechanisms generating them.
Moreover, major media and the most prominent experts clearly failed to predict the crises of 2001 and 2008. Then there’s the “strongman” trend. Predominantly male personalities who are taking ever more power globally.

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My job is the impossibile and it must become yours

The main topic is… What is impossible?
Your main job is the impossible.
The impossible is my job: but has to become yours!
Gianni Degli Antoni (gda), professor, mentor, genius.

Enjoy his very own words and discover who gda really was in the brief video below (italian):

While the internet overflows with anecdotes, memories and gratitude, and while traditional media doesn’t give a damn, this is what I feel like writing after gda, my beloved professor, mentor and friend Gianni Degli Antoni, left us (Saturday April 9th 2016) .

Yes, gda, the father of Italian computer science. This is how many have defined him to be, and I can testify it to be true, actually it would be more appropriate to remember him as father of many Italian IT companies, his true obsession. Also because he did so much more, in so many other fields. For example, myself.
My father told me that the first time I “met” him I was only a few months old, as they both walked with their children in their strollers at the park in Piazza Leonardo da Vinci in Milan, between the Polytechnic Institute and the Mathematics faculty.
Yes, my father, who back then was a working student in mathematics, the same man who thirty years earlier developed his senior thesis with gda, thirty years before me, graduating in mathematics with a major in computer science.
The very same man who sent me to Gianni to help me with my “scholastic orientation”… at 17, when honestly I was “oriented” on a whole lot of anything but school.
I remember it as if it was yesterday, while I was waiting for my turn, he spoke calmly on the phone and at the end of the conversation he looked at me glowingly and said: “It was a super pissed off American soldier. He said that the guys of our department have hacked their system: it’s amazing!” [Read more…]

The Personal Branding Canvas back to Wired Next Fest

After the huge energy of last year edition, Wired wanted to propose again the format with the Personal Branding Canvas this Sunday, May 24 from 17:30 at the Museum of Natural History.

Canvas Job Edition

This year, however, I decided to dedicate the event to all those who in these difficult times are looking for a job or want to change it. I’m going to present, in fact, a version of the Personal Branding Canvas I created specifically for job search.

I designed this edition starting from the needs of hundreds of students I met at IULM University, Politecnico di Milano, Università Cattolica of Milan, Ca ‘Foscari University and IED. But also students of the Bocconi MBA, the brilliant innovators of Digital Academia and students of many Master of Business School of Il Sole 24 Ore.
[Read more…]

A poster for your SWOT Analysis

I’ve been invited as a judge for the project #SheFactor by my friend Francesca Parviero, a free initiative that leverages Personal Branding and Networking to enhance the online presence of women, in order to facilitate a better access to opportunities.

In the private group on Facebook #SheFactor tied to the project, I made the participants a question that is close to my heart: what does it mean for you to enhance your value? Well, 99% of the responses concerned the themes of knowing how to identify your strengths and weaknesses and opportunities.
That’s why, after testing it in my workshop with the Personal Branding Canvas, I thought to distribute a free PDF of Personal SWOT Matrix.

Personal SWOT Matrix PDF poster

Why using it

The Personal SWOT Matrix is used to do a SWOT Analysis of yourself, considering your career as a real business.
SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, it is a tool that has dozens of years, but do not make the mistake of those who snub it only for this reason: it is still used by organizations to make some important assessments of assumptions and scenarios.
Looking at yourself using the structure of the SWOT helps to start the process to identify what distinguishes you, and to discover or develop further opportunities that otherwise you would not have thought to and that, above all, do not depend only on you but also on external factors.

Look Out!

The SWOT Analysis is not a thing to be taken lightly! You’d better to do it with someone else.
Everyone thinks that the difficulty lies in having to list the points of weakness, but I personally noticed that many people are struggling more to become aware of the strengths!
To enjoy the benefits of visual thinking, you must print the PDF minimum as A3, fill it with Post-it and use a marker to write the answers to the questions. So you can re-use it for multiple scenarios and maybe take a negative factor and move it in a positive quadrant simply by detaching and attaching the sticky note.
After all, sometimes we are convinced to have a deficiency when, with the right perspective, it is something that makes us interesting and memorable. We need to use all that nature has given us!
Go to the reserved page on the site for more instructions.

Where is the download?

Where is the download? On this page on the site …
The Personal SWOT Matrix is a prototype in continuous development, developed graphically with the valuable contribution of the designer Roberto Iadanza.
In short time it will come a version for Companies.
Have any suggestions on the text or any questions? Write to and I shall be grateful!
Have a good SWOT analysis.

Personal Branding for managers and executives? An interview to William Arruda

My 2015 started with a new book curation: the italian edition of the book “Ditch! Dare! Do!”, by William Arruda and Deb Dib, in collaboration with my publisher Hoepli!

Personal Branding per i manager di William Arruda e Deb Dib a cura di Luigi Centenaro edito da HoepliThe Italian title sounds like “Personal Branding for the Manager”, because the focus of the book is on how a Personal Branding strategy can help executives to achieve success for themselves and their company, but of course its content is really useful for anybody: I loved the book! In fact it is a practical instruction handbook, designed specifically to achieve maximum results with little time available.

I couldn’t be more happy since the book preface is by Enrico Pedretti, marketing manager of ManagerItalia (the Italian Association for Executives), honouring us with some good coverage on their media assets!

In occasion of the book release in fact, ManagerItalia interviewed William to get some other sparks on Personal Branding. Here below the original short interview in English:

William Arruda - Personal Branding StrategistWhat’s Personal Branding for you in 3 words?

Being your best self (OK that’s four words!)
How many managers are really developing a Personal Brand strategy in the USA?
Most Fortune 100 companies and many smaller companies have Personal Branding programs installed as part of their leadership development. When I started in the world of Personal Branding, few managers knew about it. Today most career minded leaders know what Personal Branding is and understand its importance to success.
Why should a manager do Personal Branding?
Because to make things happen, they need to influence a lot of people. Personal Branding helps you stand out from others and get people to want to work with you and to support you. People work with people they know, like and trust. Personal Branding helps managers lead authentically and builds strong bonds with all stakeholders.
Is Personal Branding useful for professionals too?
The line between the personal and professional is fading. The most successful people live authentically in work and personal situations. They days of having a persona for work and conforming are long gone. Business is a human endeavor and it requires that you be yourself – your best self – always.
Could you list 3 must do for a good Personal Branding strategy?
First: Understand your brand. What is authentic to you, differentiating from your peers and relevant and compelling to the people who are making decisions about you.
Second: Build a communication plan. That means writing a compelling bio and identifying the tools you will use to reach your target audience (Blogs, video, articles, public speaking, networking, etc.)
Third: Integrate your brand into everything you do. Put your mark on meetings. Make sure people know your contributions and the value associated with them. Rethink how you lead meetings, participate on conference calls, etc.
How could we evaluate our Personal Brand?
Measure it against your goals. Are you achieving your goals? Do more of the right people know you? Are opportunities coming to you without you having to pursue them? Are you happier at work?