A recent conversation made me realize that 2010 was simply a BLUR of activity. I experienced and did so many different things, that it's difficult to even sit down and track how the year went. A few highlights stand out for me professionally. I'm proud of the fact that we launched and actively sustain what I consider to be a proof point of acting as a social business. With over 100 employees who have contributed on Edelmandigital.com and our digital embassies on Slideshare and Twitter, these remain healthy pilots which demonstrate that employees can act as corporate ambassadors when they generate perspectives and freely engage with our stakeholders. We've also been able to contribute meaningfully to both the idea and execution of community engagement and how this matters to brands and business. I was thrilled to see a call out from NBC network recently on the topic, knowing that we are influencing how they structure and deploy for public engagement. Outside of the digital world, it was exciting to see ourselves covered in print in the type of depth that a publication such as Contagious Magazine can offer.
In addition to working with some of the best people in the business at Edelman (you know who you are), I've been fortunate to work alongside some amazing clients who are really pushing the envelope one day at a time at very big organizations. Julie Haddon & Richard Brewer-Hay & Team from eBay, Brian Wallace, Michelle Kostya, Baldev Solank, Becky Caroll & team from BlackBerry/RIM, Lou Ragg & team from MGM, Katie O'brien and fellow "social media calendar man" Jay King of Ben & Jerry's... these are just a few I can recall but thanks to every client I've been able to work with this past year.
A few other highlights from 2010 include collaborating with the folks from Johnson & Johnson where we facilitated a high energy and engaging white boarding session at Blogworld. It really opened my eyes to the issues the health care world is facing due to social technology disruption and patient empowerment. I spent some time with old friends at events this past year and met new ones in places such as Portugal. In fact, travel became a bit of a full time job for me in 2010 whether it was surviving Heathrow snow induced madness in London or realizing that Seattle has one of the best social media communities in North America. I've gotten to know places like Toronto, Montreal, LA, San Francisco and Silicon Valley a little better and thanks to my wife, took some much needed time off in Barcelona to recharge the batteries. Another form of battery re-charge I've taken up is doing some artwork while I travel. It's therapeutic. :-)
While on the topic of travel, I have to express thanks to my family who has infinite patience in this area and while it's difficult they always make coming home worth it.
In short, 2010 was a blur of projects, people, connections, launching stuff, training staff and doing my best to keep some type of work/life balance. That has not been easy at all. But, the formula is simple really and what I will carry into 2011. I love what I do, which is helping business and brands act more human. I believe there will be HUGE benefits to the companies who can pull this off in the years to come because of social, economic and technology drivers.
Think about it: most of us are overworked, our home values (if we can even own one) is a fraction of what it once was and we've seen our friends and family members lose their jobs and struggle just to make it. We don't want to do business with faceless companies—in fact, we don't TRUST them. We demand more and we are empowered via social technologies to make these demands.
I believe all of this firmly. I believe there are tremendous opportunities, but it will require serious INTEGRATION. And that is the word I am going into 2011 with. I will continue to write periodically for the Harvard Business Review, and I am in the process of planning our annual SXSW event with Dell's Richard Binhammer (Allhat III). But most of all, I'll be very focused on the idea of integrating "social" in every part of my career, from how we work with clients to how we as Edelman and I as an individual move forward in the business world.
So THANK YOU everyone who has come along for the ride. The old friends I've re-connected with, the new friends I've made, the colleagues who challenge me daily and my family who remains my source of strength. Here's to 2011. Cheers.