Whether you work for a nonprofit, for yourself, or a fast-growing startup, it’s a constant battle to stay focused and fight through the noise. We read, listen, throw away, and ignore so much content every day. How do organizations and leaders stand out, while making a difference for you, your team and everyone that interacts with your brand?

On DisrupTV last week, our guests shared their ideas, strategies, and digital techniques that shine light to their missions and craft brands that create signal among the noise.

Jay Ferro (@jayferro)

Ferro serves as CIO of the American Cancer Society, a nonprofit with a mission to eradicate cancer. Many nonprofits typically take their time to make disruptive decisions, but Jay leads a team with a life-saving mission that doesn’t have time to wait. With over 6,000 employees, 400+ locations, thousands of volunteers and even more individuals impacted by cancer, the American Cancer Society is a Fast Follower when it comes to digital programs and managing the content needed to provide 24/7 cancer information, research, volunteer opportunities, and supporting its numerous programs, including Relay for Life and Hope Lodges.

Volunteers and donors are key to nonprofits, and they can decide to take their “time, talent and treasure” to any organization. Why do they choose the American Cancer Society and continue to give? Jay says his organization focuses on transparent and trustworthy programs that provide high-value, fulfilling experiences, where volunteers are truly helping solve a life-saving problem. Jay applies a mix of disruptive technologies, such as mobile, data, and security, to support his mission. He drives all of these programs their community trusts and enables the nonprofit to stand out and support personal branding initiatives.

We also had the pleasure to chat with Dorie Clark (@DorieClark).

Clark is an award-winning author, speaker and professor. She has owned her own business for more than a decade. In her latest book, Stand Out, Lin and Dorie recommend becoming a true expert in your field by finding your passion and building content and credibility around that niche. There may be countless others doing “shades” of what you are doing, and you have to stay focused and convey a clear message. With everyone being pulled into a “million” directions, that’s really the only way to get noticed.

Dorie also suggests that you get your life in order and under control to be able to focus and do your best work. You need to work not only on your passion, but also on all the things that may impact who you are as a professional. Great advice from such a great influencer. (For her interview, go to 22:46.)

In our hot enterprise startup segment, we spoke with James Norwood (@JLNorwood).

Norwood is the Executive Vice President of Strategy and CMO at Episerver. His company has a solid product and offerings, but they are looking to create a strong brand over the next couple of years by focusing on digital commerce and digital experiences. He explains that digital transformation is not just for big companies; it’s for everyone. With changing digital models, you must master and leverage the trends - e.g., big data and IoT - while cutting through the noise. You need to deliver rich content in context to connect with people at the right time and in the right way. (For his interview, go to 40:36.)

The bottom line? Regardless of where you work, leaders must stay focused and relevant. Embrace new technologies to disrupt your programs and yourself. Why? Your personal disruption will help you cut through the clutter and make a real impact on your goals and passions.   

Be sure to follow Jay Farro (@JayFerro), Dorie Clark (@DorieClark) and James Norwood (@JLNorwood) on Twitter, and tune in for DisrupTV every Friday at 11 AM PT for more great advice and disruptive stories.


DisrupTV Episode 0021: Featuring Jay Ferro, Dorie Clark & James Norwood 6.24.16 from Constellation Research on Vimeo.