Posts Tagged ‘ilikeucoz’

Positively Playful

June 26, 2009

‘Play me I’m yours’ were the words stenciled on the side of the well worn upright piano leaning against a tree on a grassy patch in Moorgate.  So we rolled up and gave it a go.  And just like that, we got a little boost. Playing the piano under a tree in the centre of London is certainly not something you experience every day, but it is certainly something that makes you smile and think, ‘What a great city! Life is good.’ This is just another example of random happenings in London designed to bring happiness and spontaneity into our lives. The pianos are brought to us by www.streetpianos.co.uk and can be seen and played all over London until July 13th when the well worn ivories will be donated to schools and community groups. Want to give it a go – click here for a map of where to find the street pianos.

It is positive initiatives like this and ilikeucoz – and countless other activities – that are making the world a happier place one click (or plink) at a time.

Dave playing streetpianos.co.uk

Dave playing streetpianos.co.uk

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ilikeucoz at Kindival – a video

June 4, 2009

Thanks to Tom and thegogooderarmy for this short video interview at Kindival:

Engagement is the buzzword in recession

May 29, 2009

It happens that here at the ilikeucoz HQ (which is virtual of course) we never stop thinking about how to develop the service and the corporate environment is something that fascinates us (can’t say more at the moment).

Yesterday 2 articles caught my eyes and they confirm what we’ve been hearing for quite some time now: in recession all that matters is engagement. Let me explain it better… Companies are struggling to attract and – most of all – retain talents and depite the economic doom and gloom there are shortages for staff and skills in some areas. In this scenario job insecurity isn’t and can’t be a sufficient strategy for smart companies. What is required to successful companies and their managers is to engage employees in order to have them motivated, productive and loyal. Not only, because engaged employees are empowered people, which are very likely to initiate ideas and make change happen quickly. With all the inertia typical of the big corporations, agility is and will be increasingly important (in fact it’s why small start ups can beat the Goliaths of business quite often – at least in niche segments) and it can make a difference between success and failure.

Patents are important, technology is important, but people after all are the beating heart of each organization and therefore must be regarded as the top priority at the moment. Some entrepreneurs already got it clear and are building their business around talent recruitment and retention, for example BraveNewTalent. I’m ready to bet this is going to be another victory of David against the Goliath of recruitment.

Cheers,
Fabio

PS: there’s a very interesting article about “How David beats Goliath” by Malcolm Gladwell – a bit long but worth the time.

The Power of the Possiblity

May 13, 2009
Benjamin Zander - radiating possibility

Benjamin Zander - radiating possibility

I’m inspired. I was optimistic before, but now I’m really optimistic.

I went to an amazing event last night: Deutche Bank’s Women in European Business conference, a gathering of some 2,000 women (and a few men). One of the speakers was Boston Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor Benjamin Zander. He is one of the most sought after speakers on the subject of leadership in the world, appearing recently at the World Economic Forum in Davos, TED and, several years ago, he received the UN’s ‘Caring Citizen of the Humanities Award’. At first I was a bit confused as to why the closing speaker at an event celebrating European business women was a man…but once he started talking I knew why…

Ben is a sprightly, older gentleman. British. Tufty white hair. He has a boundless energy and gift for storytelling and motivation. He and his wife Rosamund have recently authored a book called ‘The Art of Possibility’. Ben talked excitedly last night about awakening possibility in other people. He spoke of how many people are caught in a downward spiral rather than radiating possibility – especially today. All it takes is a slight change in outlook and attitude, he said, to change everything. “My job is to remind people what the rhythm of transformation is,” Ben said. He described to us the grading system for the classes he teaches. Most unusually, he gives each student an ‘A’ grade on day one of class, provided they write him a letter describing the person they will be at the end of the term who is deserving of these top marks. He says, “When you give an ‘A’, the relationship is transformed. We treat the person we give an ‘A’ to totally different than the person we give a ‘C minus‘ to.” How true this is! If we just give people encouragement, a boost, a bit of confidence… it goes such a long way.

To underscore this point, I’ll also share a quote Fabio posted on Twitter the other day from Voltaire: “Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” Seems the world’s leading thinkers have really figured it out! We could all learn a few things from them for sure.

The illustrious conductor in closing, quoted his wife Ros, saying, “Possibility is always only one sentence away.”

So what are you waiting for… appreciate someone today! www.ilikeucoz.com

Kindival wrapped up in 300″

May 1, 2009

Tom from TheDoGooderArmy (and main organizer of the event) posted a very nice video which shows all the activities, projects, art and kindness shared at Kindival.

ILIKEUCOZ is 3:55 minutes in 🙂

It’s hard to say what I enjoyed the most (and perhaps a bit unfair too) but I can’t help but saying how much I loved the pink bananas from Joanna Stanford! The rule was: either you take a picture of the bananas or you give one as a gift to someone, which is what I did. Next step is to eat the banana before it’s too late and take a picture of the peel (which the guys over at London Bananas should love!).

Art student Jo - gone bananas

Art student Jo - gone bananas

One of a Kind-ival

April 27, 2009

In the words of Dave from The Kindness Offensive, “We are stuck in a positive upward spiral.” What a cool concept. I like it. This is really what Kindival was all about on Saturday – spreading positivity and simply just being kind. kindivalposters3

And ilikeucoz was there, along with some amazing students from the Chelsea College of Art & Design who were painting bananas pink, creating indoor-outdoor daydreaming spaces and generally entertaining the crowds, as well as Christian Steel, comedian and actor, Louise Burfitt-Dons of The World Kindness Movement and others who came along to ‘fight’ the corner of kindness.

Here are some photos from the event:

Kindness is Contagious

April 24, 2009

The sun is shining. It’s Friday. Kindness is running rampant in London.

Since ilikeucoz was founded, we’ve had our eyes peeled for other ‘feel-good’ initiatives going on out there. And what we’ve found lately is that there is clearly a kindness movement afoot in Britain. Yes, it’s true! This week alone, kindness runneth over.

First, there’s the Absolut Kindness initiative sponsored by Absolut Vodka – where they’ve been promoting their vision that cash can be replaced by acts of kindness in an ‘Absolut World’. So all around London this week, cinema tickets, coffee, fruit and veg and — you guessed it — vodka drinks (in some Shorditch and Soho bars last night), were sold for energetic whoops and kind greetings instead of cash. Great idea! And who doesn’t like free stuff? Makes me smile.

Then, on Saturday (tomorrow, don’t miss it!), Kindival is the event to go to if you want to continue the good vibes. It’s a first-time event sponsored by Channel 4s Battlefront initiative, and it’s dedicated to promoting Random Acts of Kindness, championed by student campaigner Tom Robbins. kindival londonAnd the best part is that Kindival organisers love ilikeucoz and have invited us to exhibit at the event and introduce people to what we’re doing to make Britain (and the world) a place where people feel free to give spontaneous compliments to one another. Exciting isn’t it? Fabio and I will be down at Chelsea School of Art and Design at Kindival all day showing off ilikeucoz and spreading the love. If you’re milling around town, stop in and say hello (it’s free to attend).

Also – if you come across other ‘kind’ initiatives happening in London or around the world, please let us know at info[AT]ilikeucoz[DOT]com

With the great weather this week putting huge smiles on people’s faces, you can practically feel the kindness spreading across London. We definitely think there’s a trend developing here and ilikeucoz is loving being at the forefront of it. It is definitely contagious.

To close, enjoy the slick video from Absolut to promote their Absolut Kindness campaign.

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ilikeucoz, OpenSoho & men eating cakes

April 17, 2009

Last night ilikeucoz sponsored OpenSoho and had a great night of networking, talking incessantly about ilikeucoz and eating fabulous ilikeucoz branded cupcakes.

If enjoyment of the cakes (kindly provided by Shoreditch-based bakery www.tshirtpatisserie.co.uk – Thank You!) is an indication of how much everyone enjoys ilikeucoz – then we are definitely onto something sweet!

There was networking. There was cake eating. There were great ideas. There were ilikeucoz evangelists… (hooray to Swanny, BobFromHuddle, TikiChris, danwtmoon and others). And… there were photos:

ilikeucoz cakes compliments of tshirtpatisserie.co.uk

ilikeucoz cakes compliments of tshirtpatisserie.co.uk

To see more photos from OpenSoho ilikeucoz fest click here and here (courtesy of tikichris).

If you need great cakes or t-shirts, please visit tshirtpatisserie.co.uk
If you need to send a compliment, please visit ilikeucoz.com

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Creating a Compliment Culture

April 8, 2009

I was inspired to write this blog post after an enlightening conversation with Bernie Muir, co-editor of FeminineZone about how important – and often scarce – compliments are amongst families, especially during stressful times.

It’s a tough time in households with kids of 13-18 at the moment, Bernie told me. “A lot of parents are very vocal when [children] do something wrong, but not as vocal if they do something right,” she said. It is “also important to teach your kids to make compliments.” This is an important observation from a woman who has spent the past 9 years editing an online magazine dedicated to discussing the ‘real’ issues of what is going on between men and women, especially as they age.

Bernie’s view on the importance of compliments: “If you’ve got teenagers who are full of hormones and awash with self esteem…often what you do is tell them off…parents should find a way to compliment the youngsters especially during exam season and mock season. Add to that, it is likely that the parents are losing their jobs or have retained their jobs but are doing more…so the likelihood of having at the top of your mind to give out compliments is not there.” Additionally, they are probably not getting the recognition they need at work, making the importance of receiving compliments at home even more acute. So it seems that creating a compliment culture needs to begin at home.

She also told me a bit about the differences in complimenting behaviour and needs for men vs. women. “Men need appreciation for the things they do. It’s anthropological. A woman doesn’t need praise every time she fills the dishwasher, but a man does,” Bernie said. “He is doing something useful and wants to be noticed for it. Women need praise in different areas…such as kind gestures.” Because men and women need different types of compliments, one or the other may always be falling short Bernie told me.

“It’s one of the biggest bugbears of most relationships,” Bernie says, “because people don’t say things that relate to what the other partner needs. With so much negative stuff in the air – there’s no hope of it happening.”

This is why the idea behind ilikeucoz is so powerful and yet so simple. “You could be the only site thinking about this!” Bernie told me. Well, we hope that as word gets out about our appreciation engine, ilikeucoz, it will catch on and create a compliment culture just when we need it the most. And its half term, so why not take a pause and compliment the important people in your life – especially your children and your partner.

Author:  Diane Perlman (twitter | ilikeucoz)

The power of a positive Post-it

April 3, 2009

I never felt the urge to write a post like this morning when I read this article Gianluca pointed out to me and the rest of the ILUC team. And my way to thank him is here – warning: shameless promotion 🙂

So, why did I get so excited? Because it sounds like that article was written by one of us – one of the great guys joining me in this project – as it speaks precisely about things we’re working on at ILUC.

From the article:

Frode Heimen discovered the power of a Post-it pat on the back when he decided to write a short personal note to each of his employees, beginning with the words “I appreciate you because…” [note: sounds familiar, doesn’t it?]

“I thought this was a fun thing to do at the office and I hoped it would make them smile for a while. This evening I was walking around at the office and noticed that several notes were hanging at their partition wall. And I started to realize that this really meant a lot for some of them.”

Well, to me that sounds exactly like the kind of feelings and spontaneous expressions that ILUC is putting on the table and is trying to foster in our society. There’s a long way to go but we’re excited about the journey.

Through the BNet site I discovered another article, as juicy as the first (in spite of the abysmal ads displayed on the page) and the overview really caught my eye:

Don’t ever underestimate the power of positive feedback. We are quick to point out to someone when they make a mistake. Sometimes we forget to acknowledge them when they do something right. Giving positive feedback can be a powerful tool for employee motivation.

Wow! This is one the most important pillars on which the whole ILUC project is based and it’s always encouraging to read articles addressing this topic.

Last week I gave a presentation of ILUC and one of the points about why it’s unique was: “the web is rife with places to have a rant or give negative feedback – ilikeucoz puts positivity in the spotlight”. Now, could anyone possibly argue with this? I guess not.

Last but not least, this morning I was reading Michael Arrington’s post about Twitter’s possible acquisition by Google (link) and one of the reasons for Twitter to be so interesting caught my eye again:

More and more people are starting to use Twitter to talk about brands in real time as they interact with them. And those brands want to know all about it, whether to respond individually (The W Hotel pestered me until I told them to just leave me alone), or simply gather the information to see what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong.

In full honesty, I’m quite glad to see that Twitter isn’t only used to give negative feedback to brands, products, services, etc. but users often express positive feelings and feedback about these things. I’m glad because it’s so much easier to give negative feedback and Twitter could be vulnerable to this kind of behaviour because when you can write whatever you want and lots of people – depending on the cases – will get to see it… well, what a perfect occasion for a fool to show their foolishness! So let’s hope that the fools won’t stick around longer and that some more positivity of sentiments will spread among the web and our society overall. Like we say at ILUC, today, more than ever, everyone needs a bit of a boost. So go on, make someone’s day! ILUC is a good place to start doing it! 🙂

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