Category Archives: Thought Leadership

The 80/20 rule: A Digital Marketers reflections on the Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle has had an honored place in management theory since the 1960’s

In the early 20th Century, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto noticed something peculiar about the world that he lived in . 80% of the land in his country was owned by only 20% of its inhabitants. Similarly, only 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained some 80% of the peas. In 1941, Joseph Juran read Pareto’s work and expanded on it, realizing that in many situations 80% of the output was contributed by only 20% of the input. Calling what he termed the “vital few and the trivial many” the “Pareto Principle”.

The Pareto Principle has had an honored place in management theory since the 1960’s, with many seemingly strange correlations being noted. For example, it has been observed that 80% of decisions come from only 20% of meeting time, and that 20% of a sales force will produce 80% of the sales. Similarly, when applied to other areas of life the 80/20 principle still seems to hold. For example, anyone thinking back to school may recall that about 80% of the trouble in classrooms comes from only about 20% of the students.


Pareto, Pareto Principle, Digital Marketing

The Pareto Principle can also be thought of as applying to our personal lives as well. If we think about the people we know, it is often 20% of them that are giving us 80% of the most grief, while another 20% are giving us 80% of the most joy.

This has been extrapolated into the work day, where it is often said that only 20% of what you do will produce 80% of your results, so that when faced with multiple things to do, one should focus on those tasks and people that will the greatest benefit for the least input.

This means that we need to focus on what our goals are and how we can best move towards achieving those goals. Within many business settings, our goals will be fairly well defined by certain Key Performance Indicators, or by sales and production figures. Unfortunately a large number of small businesses don’t seem to have any goal beyond “stay financial” and as such, much time is wasted trying to do to much with too little. For example, in starting up a new restaurant, it is not sufficient to say that you want “everyone” to be your clients. Rather, you need to identify a niche and tailor your menu and marketing towards attracting that type of client.

Much of what passes as our work day is often taken up by fluff and things that aren’t really that important. Do your pens and paper clips really need to each have their own colour co-ordinated paper box on your desk? Or would you be better off spending the time getting on top of your accounts?

The key here is that we all need to identify those things that you can do and those things that other people can do and to focus everybody’s efforts on those tasks that value add, while putting those that don’t lower on the priority list.

We often can get caught up in trying to do everything ourselves, but need to remember we have been hired for a designated role, specifically for the unique skills that we bring to the equation. As such, we are often going to be at our most productive when we are engaged in those tasks that utilise our special skills and we would be better off delegating tasks that require lower levels of competancy. (Just don’t do what the US developer from Verizon did, I don’t recommend this approach.)

For example, the Australian Army once had all of its soldiers do work in the various messes. Given that your average tank soldier has no training in cookery, the jobs that they would do in the kitchens were unskilled and menial. This was an absolute waste of resources. Given that the Australian Army had spent tens of thousands of dollars training soldiers to crew armored vehicles, and pays them very well, it effectively had the most expensive bottle washers in the country doing work that they presented. Eventually, common sense prevailed and civilians were bought in on the award wage, thereby freeing hundreds of soldiers around the country to to what they were actually trained to do and saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process.

One of the best ways of implementing the 80/20 principle in the workplace Continue reading

The Right To Be Forgotten-Is It Really a Right?

Recently Google was ordered by the EU court to comply with all requests to remove content about individuals. Now there is a form available that concerned people can fill out and submit for any links, articles or content of any kind to be removed under these new laws. t the present the laws only apply toEuropean countries but even as we discuss this, there are many more countries undertaking the same course of action as Europe.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss the ‘right to be forgotten’.


Ian: Do you have a right to be forgotten?

Andrew: I don’t know.

Ian: Yeah I think so. If somebody posts something online that I don’t like should I have a right to have that deleted, if I contact Google or Facebook or Bing or Yahoo?

Andrew: I think we do.

Ian: What if I post something about myself that I can delete and I do delete it but in the mean time other people have copied it and put it somewhere else online. Do I have the write for all the search engines to forget that or am I liable because I put up the photo or information in the first place? …A can of worms!

Andrew: Why are we talking about this?

Ian: We are talking about this…

Andrew: I was ready for some more Google bashing, but obviously we’re going to do some Google praising.

Ian: I’m going to feel sorry for Google about this, because this is very controversial. If you’ve been hiding under a rock since January basically this has been talked about at various ways.The main issue here is that in Europe this ‘right to be forgotten’ law has come in, or rather an expansion of the previous law that’s come in and it’s basically giving people a right to have information, whether it’s a photo or a piece of data or it’s news, to be potentially taken down if it’s defamatory, or if they regret putting it up there and now we’re getting to a point where it’s very very grey I suppose as to what you taken down what you put up.

Andrew: Yeah see to me, if somebody writes an article that is defamatory against you I think you have the right to actually get them to take it down. Whether it’s true or not is irrelevant. However, like you said before if you put up some pictures of yourself that you may have taken when you were in your early twenties for example and might be a bit racey, and then it gets spread everywhere and you regret that decision well tough luck. The lesson there I think is never ever ever put up photos, write up articles or make comments that are anything you might regret later.

Ian: Well that’s the big thing you know we’ve been talking… since the internet began, about prevention, being vigilant with what you actually do post online. It’s been an education process and a pretty tough one. We’ve seen some of the most outstanding examples in regards to I guess bullying at schools and where people have unfortunately, you know because of it have made a terrible decision to end their life and that really put it on the radar as far as those sorts of things. So that obviously is something that is a very important thing to address and educate people about. However, we seem to have tipped the scale with this the other way now and we’re seeing you can almost delete… if you’ve got enough money and you’ve got the right lawyer, you can almost delete anything offline, in Europe anyway. Various different countries have different schools of thought on this.

Andrew: Well over in Europe now you don’t need a lawyer, you get Google to do it for you.

Ian: Yeah yes.

Andrew: I think that’s a great thing. You submit a form now…

Ian: Yeah which Google has put up, you submit a form to have that taken down and they’re obviously being forced to act on it.

Andrew: Yeah and I hope that it will be passed onto other countries as well and I mean it’s… I don’t know if Google’s going to step up to the plate and say well it’s not a bad thing let’s put it in place in other countries as well. I think something like America would be the ideal place, so many celebrities, so many people doing stupid things… no offence, but you if you’re a celebrity over there you’ve just got to look at somebody the wrong way and they put you on the front page!

Ian: Yes however we’ve seen this so many times where somebody’s doing a racey video and somebody else has put it up online and it hasn’t really been black and white about how that could be taken down about how that could be taken down or how easy that is to be taken down. If you do something in public it’s kind of your choice, you know it’s a very very grey area.

Andrew: It is, it is. If you’re a minor and stuff like that there’s no question it should be gone.

Ian: Well that’s the thing like anything previously that is obviously against the law offline is becoming talked about. You know victims names and criminals names whatever the case may be and if you want to get into the real nitty gritty detail there’s some great articles and we can put the links in the description below. Stanford Law Review which i’m holding here, have got a great summary of the main issues. It’s a pretty big developement.

Andrew: It’s huge!

Ian: One that can’t really be covered in one video so we’ll talk about this a lot more. I suppose different examples are going to come up and different precedence are going to have to be forthcoming.

Andrew: It’s one that can actually out a lot of online reputation management businesses out of business overnight.

Ian: That’s true too.

Andrew: You know you’re not going to need a company to help you make those things disappear you can do it yourself. Bang it’s gone!

Ian: That’s true that’s true. I think it’ll change the industry in that sense and Annabelle Crav actually had a great article on that last week which we’ll address in another video because it was very funny. I think that will just change things put will still put things up online themselves and that is a grey area as to whether that is something that can be taken down. Still this law doesn’t apply it’s strict form even though it’s on the agenda or it’s on the radar, it doesn’t apply to the strict radar in Australia, the UK or in America yet…

Andrew: Yet… Very serious topic there.

Ian:  Yes is it because they get up to more shenanigans in Europe or is it just…

Andrew: Nah I think shenanigans are worse in America than they are there.

Ian: I think there’s shenanigans all over the place.

Andrew: There is there is. Okay this thing needs to be forgotten.

Ian: This will not be forgotten this is very colourful.

Andrew: Why do I also get the pink straw?

Ian: Nah I don’t know that’s up to the barman…

Andrew: Ooops…

Ian: That barman might be insulted if you drop it. Look what the colour is. It’s just a rainbow concoction.

Andrew: Just a little tip, did you know if you take an aspo, one of those headache tablets that you dissolve in water. When you put it into water it dissolves really really quick, you put it in vinegar… very very slow and it won’t dissolve.

Ian: Wow i’ll have to have a chat to the guys in the lab about what they’re focusing their energies on.That wasn’t really on their task list today….

Andrew: Nah just to come up with this…

Ian:  That was just one of those lunch break things… Anyway speak soon and obviously lots and lots of different interesting developments happening so speak to you all soon.

Andrew: Bye.


F–k New Years Resolutions

Another year comes to a close and people across the world rabbit on about New Year’s resolutions. I say “F–k that!” The reason for the headline is not to be sensationalist but to make a valid point. Part of your life’s routine and as a way of systematically breaking out of habits and behaviour patterns is goal setting.

Yes the end of the year is about reflection, renewing and re-evaluating our promises to ourselves and each other, but this should not be limited to the beginning of a new year.

This past year for me has been a revelation. I have been reminded yet again — that regular goal setting, be it for a day, week, a quarter (whatever time period it needs to be) is crucial. Why? Because it’s science, psychology, creativity. It is how our minds work — our brains are the most sophisticated super computers in the known universe and we have a pretty good understanding now, at least at a basic level, of how they work.

So what happens inside our heads when we set goals?

Ownership of goals becomes an extension of not only mind but our body.
According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are — setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image. (The Science of Setting Goals)
The brain apparently can’t distinguish between what we want and what we already have and neurologically our brains treat the failure of achieving a goal as a loss of a valued possession. When goals or missions aren’t accomplished the brain keeps working to resolve the desired outcome, in some cases, re-routing or rewiring our thoughts and ambitions — driving us towards accomplishment. In some cases, depending on the type or size of the un-attained goal, the brain can respond to this loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish.

Read more Geeky stuff at Lifehack.

Tony Robbins on New Years Resolutions

Do you remember how big the turn of the century was? This classic interview on the Larry King Show gave Tony Robbins an opportunity to get across his take on New Year’s Resolutions.



KING: We’ll talk with Tony Robbins about dealing with the New Year, resolutions, whether those things work, a new millennium, this whole concept. Is it jazzed up? Can you really use it?

OK, does it make a difference? Can you use a new year, a new millennium, year 2000 to make yourself…

ROBBINS: You can use anything. You can use a birthday with a zero on the end of it.

KING: I know. But isn’t it fabricated?

ROBBINS: It’s all fabricated. But there’s nothing wrong with that, you know. You know, all it is, is finding what are the triggers that’ll get you to finally decide. And for a lot of people, a new year, a new millennium, a birthday with a zero in it is a chance to re-evaluate their lives, for them, to reassess the gap between where they are right now and where they want to be.

And, Larry, every healthy person has that gap. I mean, everybody’s got a higher level desire, a dream life that they have. And the ability to close that gap comes down to saying, where am I really, and not lying to yourself, because that gives you the hunger to change. And where am I committed to being, not interested in being. The problem with New Year’s resolutions is most people make them because it’s the new year. They’re really statements of interests; they’re not resolutions, where you’ve resolved there’s nothing else but this. And getting yourself to where it’s a must and not a should is a secret. Because if you look at people’s lives, they’re getting their musts, not their shoulds. They’re making what they must make, not what they want to make. They have the level of intimacy they must have. Or if they don’t have a relationship, they must never be in pain. Well, then they’ll never be in a relationship. There’s pain in relationships, along with love.

So changing your shoulds into musts is how you create a lasting…

KING: If you do it because it’s 2000, fine, in other words, whatever your reasoning is?

ROBBINS: Well, if you look at it for that reason, if you just do it because it’s 2000, it will be over in a few weeks, because that’ll wear off.

KING: Why don’t resolutions usually resolve?

ROBBINS: Because as I said, most of them are statements of interest, and also because most people do not get themselves in a state of mind when they resolve something that your brain gets it. It’s kind of like, people set a goal, and it goes into their conscious mind, and they reject it, as the brain says, I’ve always failed in the past, it never lasts, and they rationalize. The next time their under stress, they go back to the old behavior.

But if you can instead change that pattern, the pattern of changes that looks like this, pain, enough of it you finally say all right, I am not going eat anything for the next 10 days, I am going to go on water fast, but about noon the first day, you start going juice is good for you, and about 2:00, you’re going sandwiches are bad, and by midnight, it’s French fries are wonderful, you know. So the ability to make it not just pain driven, but to find something that pulls you — most people are using push, I have to do this — when you can find something you want more than the hamburger, more than the smoking, then you have something you can create lasting change for.

KING: One of the definitions of insanity, the true definition is, repeating the same thing, expecting a different result.


KING: But yet, under that definition, there’s a lot of nutty people walking around, because we do that a lot, right? Yet that’s a definition of…

ROBBINS: I know.

KING: … repeating something again and again, expecting a different result. Why do we do that?

ROBBINS: Because we’re creatures of patterns, and because our patterns give us our needs.

KING: Even if the results are bad from the pattern.

ROBBINS: But you know, one of the things we get, even though you say it’s bad. Let’s say a person sets a goal then they don’t follow through and they feel bad about it, and they don’t follow through, and they — four or five times, they don’t want to feel bad, and so they say, I’m a procrastinator. And what they get by that is certainty. Because, Larry, if you look at people’s lives, the quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with. If you’re not allowing yourself to be uncertain, you can’t grow, you can’t try to new things, you can’t start a career, you can’t go meet a new relationship, you can’t offer yourself anything that’s possible.

And a lot of times, people that achieve, in the beginning, they’re risk takers. I see this in a lot of 50, 60-year-old men, for example, and women who’ve made it, but once they made it they hang on to this, and they lost their hunger, and so now, they don’t take the same kinds of risks and so they don’t have the same excitement in life. They don’t find their passion. It’s in the realm of the uncertainty that you find all the passion in life. That’s where all the juice is.

And if you keep trying to do everything the same way to hang on to what you’ve got, you have no life.

KING: Are there — do you believe some people enjoy misfortune?

ROBBINS: Yes, because when you feel bad, what you do is connect with yourself. I believe there are six human needs that all human beings have. I’ve been now, fortunately, with about three million people in seminars, and I’ve been with God knows how many people beyond that in many forums. And I don’t care what country you go to, we have different beliefs, different values, same needs. We need certainty, so we work hard to get it. Some do it by controlling everybody. Some do it by operating from a frame of reference, saying you’re wrong, and I’m right, I don’t care what anybody says. We need uncertainty. We need to have surprise. We need to have variety. These two go in conflict. We need a feeling that our lives are significant and important.

We also need to feel unique. We also need to feel connected. We need to grow, and we need to contribute. And whatever people do, whether they take out a gun and shoot kids in Columbine or whether they visit with the president or whether they do a talk show, they’re doing it for a reason, one or more of these reasons. They’re getting something. They’re getting a connection of love. They’re getting a sense of significance. Their life has meaning. They’re getting some sense of variety, of surprise in their life. They’re getting a sense of certainty that, hey, they can make things happen. Maybe their growing, maybe their contributing. The more needs you meet, the more you do it. Smoking can meet those needs. Joining a gang could meet those needs. Going out and helping people in your community could meet those needs. It’s all choices…”

End of Transcript

Commit to Change, Commit to Mastery – Get A Coach

Common Threads

If you read and listen to enough thought leadership materials*, eventually you begin to see a pattern. The overarching themes that are covered give advice on how to have a more fulfilling life and be more successful in business. Now there’s several consistent mantras, or themes if you like, that occur throughout these motivational resources:seo marketing experts

  1. You are the cause of the way your life is right now, external forces and people around you can not be blamed

  2. Be grateful for what you have not bitter for what you don’t

  3. Write clear goals and have a road map for your life and business

  4. Manage your time by being very focussed on the most important actions and

  5. steps that will move you closer to these goals

  6. Always be mindful of the 80/20 rule. There are many applications of this but the most popular being in sales where 20% of the clients or customers will contribute to 80% of the profits. Therefore spending 80% of your time on the 20% will heed big dividends.

  7. Develop self discipline and be relentless with doing the right things at the right times.

  8. You are what you think. Consume a diet of positive information and dedicate time to improving and learning.

  9. Build a strong base at home with family relationships that are nurturing and increase your sense of well being.

  10. Take regular time out. Have mini-retirements where you completely switch off.

  11. Exercise regularly and be a student of nutrition.

  12. Give to charity and be an integral part of building real community around you.

  13. Selflessly help your friends and colleagues to succeed in life and business.

  14. Mentor or teach your experience and knowledge to family, friends, and colleagues when given the opportunity

This is very much a hit list, obviously each of these points is a book in itself, I guess it’s no wonder at least one new mainstream success book comes out every week!

*In this instance I’m specifically referring to many of the motivational and success coaches books as opposed to businesses or organisations.

What is Thought Leadership?

According to a recent Forbes article “It’s a truism that thought leaders tend to be the most successful individuals or firms in their respective fields.”  These individuals or companies have many different ways of becoming recognised as Thought Leaders, as well as number of different motives.

“What we’ve found is that some people take a very expansive view of the term, wrapping internal strategy and corporate culture into their definition. Other individuals are more constrained in their definition. Bluntly, there are many definitions of the term.”

I tend to think of thought leaders to be individuals (not so much companies) who inspire us and motive us to be better and improve who we are, what we do,  how we live our lives, and most importantly to have a positive impact on how we give to our relationships and the world.

Big stuff. A massive responsibility for a thought leader isn’t it? Not that they are responsible for our actions or liable, but good guidance and mentoring particularly in this day and age is golden. The Forbes article goes on to cynically imply that entrenched with in any thought leaders’ ambitions is to make a lot of money out of it! It more or less states that making money is intrinsic with thought leadership. I think this might be a little one dimensional. Some thought leaders have been categorised by others because they are particularly inspiring in their field of business philosophy, I’m not sure you can definitively say they all are out to make money out of it.

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What is a Thought Leader, Really?

According to Wikipedia, a Thought Leader is business jargon.

“The term was coined in 1994 by Joel Kurtzman, editor-in-chief of the Booz Allen Hamilton magazine, Strategy & Business. “Thought leader” was used to designate interview subjects for that magazine who had business ideas that merited attention.”

Is this still the definition? Does it just apply to business? Or does it also cover areas such as motivational speaking and life coaching?

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I love Wikipedia but I’m not sure this subject is canvassed enough on their page, perhaps

it’s time to do some updating when I’m finished this post or go across and have a look yourself if you have something to add.

I have to admit I’m a recent addition to the corporate world, although I consider myself to be far from a robot in a suit which is often the cliched imagery behind working for a fortune 500. Like the next person though, I see so many exceptions to that classic take on ‘corporate’ every single day. OK, it seems I just dislike the word ‘corporate’ and all the baggage it comes with, perhaps I spent too long in the music industry, or want so much to be a die hard entrepreneur of the likes of Timothy Ferris of ‘The Four Hour Work Week‘ fame. What I’m getting to is I have always been adamant on improving my situation in life from a very early age; whether listening and analysing the words of authority figures or reading esteemed spiritual leaders like Deepak Choprah. The term ‘Thought Leader’ has really only entered my life since the time of my departure from the throws of the music industry in Los Angeles in 2009. I had to go through an arduous reinvention process. The decisions were big grown-up ones and I needed solid guidance and inspiring words, so I turned to legendary Thought Leaders Jim Rohn and Brian Tracy. More on these guys later. If you haven’t heard of them I implore you to add them to your reading list, hell put them at the top! I must warn you though collectively these Thought Leaders or Business Philosophers have over 100 books between them.

Anyway, back to the definition. Forbes discusses the many takes on Thought Leadership.

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Thought Leadership: Who Decides?

Thought Leaders give us inspiration. They put things into words that we inherently know but are unable to express ourselves. They quote great thinkers and philosophers of the past and seem to be very educated and learned individuals. A great Thought Leader is also a motivational speaker providing presentations that pack a positive punch.

Common Threads,Ian Hopkinson,Mad Scientist Digital,Motivational Speaker,Thought Leader,What is a thought leader, seo companyTheir speeches push the boundaries of our everyday thinking and they make practical suggestions to improve the quality of our relationships, work, lifestyle, peace of mind & environment. One thing I’ve always wondered though is who decides that this person is a ‘Thought Lead

I could write that I am a Thought Leader on my Linked-in profile and many people who don’t know me particularly well may stumble over it and accept it as gospel even though I have given myself this label of’? Is there an independent body somewhere that votes them into this exclusive club?

Some people would say it’s our personal barometer that measures a Thought Leaders worth. Do I find what this person has to say inspirational and useful? Is my life better because of them? Just because millions of people have bought a book or gone to a seminar does that mean its worthy to be called Thought Leadership? Or does it just require the herd to say ‘that’s great!’ and hey presto in an instant a new and exciting Thought Leader is born. Sounds simple, but is it?

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