Joel Comm with Brian Fanzo on Being a Change Evangelist – SXSW

Last week we had New York Times best-selling author and social media expert Joel Comm interview some of the best and the brightest minds at SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas and first up was Brian Fanzo (@iSocialFanz) with cameo appearances by myself and Charlene Li.

Brian realized his passion was to help companies change how they operate in order to make technology work for them by discussing what he calls the ‘how’ and the ‘why:’ “[Companies] were usually asking the wrong questions, trying to leverage technology to fix culture and people problems,” Fanzo said. “Instead I teach them how to change their culture or thought process – If you understand the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ then the ‘what’ is easy to fix.”

Fanzo believes that technology can’t fix everything and realizing that is a key component to navigating relationships between different generations in the workplace. A change in culture, thought process, or operations needs to come first.

“It’s all about changing perceptions of millennials and changing the way that millennials engage with people … I try to live it myself as well.”
“Tools change, technology changes, embrace change!” Fanzo exclaimed. He went on to say that despite varying perceptions of millennials he wears the label with pride,

What can your business learn from Brian Fanzo?
Brian fully displayed his commitment to this philosophy during the conference, sporting a custom baseball cap that was designed to wear backwards.

On the front of the cap that rests on the back of Fanzo’s head it reads, “Are you Following Me? iSocialFanz” and on the other side is his motto: “Talk Fast, Tweet Faster.” He said he got the idea from talking to Social Media Influencer Ted Rubin, who told Fanzo that SXSW is BIG, and he needed to find a way to stand out. It’s proven to work well and Fanzo encourages all business owners and companies to be “all about the brand.”

If your company is trying to transition or looking for a change, you can use Brian’s thought process. Identify ‘how’ your company runs and ‘why’ it runs that way. Once you know these key components, you can successfully adjust to create the infrastructure to best work with technology. It might mean changing who you hire, how your company is structured, or how you manage your employees.

Fanzo also had advice for millennials: “If you want other people to change, you have to lead and help them, stop focusing on what they don’t have and focus on the how and the why they don’t have it,” said Fanzo. “Do some reverse mentoring.”

We’ve got more great advice from SXSW coming your way, so stay tuned!

Martin Jones

Martin Jones is a Senior Marketing Manager with the corporate Cox Communications social media team where he assists in leading strategy, campaign ideation and marketing execution for Cox Business social media & content marketing. Today, over 1 million fans engage with Cox Communications content, campaigns and Customer Care on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube. LinkedIn and Google+.