Want to be a legacy ? here’s the story of the return on involvement of my grandparents


return on involvement needs to come from yourselfToday is a special day to me. My grandparents have been married for 60 years, something that puts things in perspective. Something I am proud of and something that really wants me to run to the keyboard and write. What happened today reminds me of old school return on involvement – getting back from the community because you worked hard to make it better, because you just couldn’t help yourself.
My husband and I often had conversations about what we want in life. This thing we both spend an enormous amount of time on, trying to achieve something worthwhile each day.

I want to admit, being the firstborn grandchild in a family with a local legacy like ours hasn’t been easy. It has been hard at times coming from a city in Denmark where everybody, more or less, knows who you are and what family you come from, simply because my family has been living around here forever. However one of the things I want to achieve in life is to have my actions count up until I become a local legacy- like both my grandparents are.

I don’t think they did it on purpose, they did it because they couldn’t help themselves. They didn’t do it because of the branding effect.

They just acted,did their thing, what was right for them. My grandfather started his carpenter business in Elsinore because he wanted to try it out. My grandmother helped him besides her job as a teacher of languages.

They were entrepreneurs and they were actively involved in the local sports clubs where my grandfather chaired HIF (the local sports union) and my grandmother sat on the board while my uncle and dad played handball and football like maniacs. They ran a successful business and they gave back to their community because they just couldn’t help themselves. I call that Return on Involvement. You can facilitate it on social media, but you can also do it old school like my grandparents and actually get something back from something you gave. You might call it legacy as well.

Legacy is the “thank you” or the return on involvement from the local community

It feels like good karma.

Today, on their 60th wedding anniversary, they got mentioned on the front page of the local newspaper  and had a double- sided spread in the newspaper appraising them both and their work for the city. They got their standard letter from the queen and flowers from the mayor.

I think it rocks and it’s something I want as well – legacy.

Legacy as return on involvement.

I mean you just need to act, right?

Legacy as return on involvement is something I believe comes natural to doers. To the rest it’s something you should be strategic about.

Legacy is something I want because it’s impossible for me not to take actions on the things I am passionate about. I felt like the whole city said thank you to them today. It felt like gratitude.

It felt like they got the legacy as a “thank you” in return on involvement.

And I am so proud of them. They make me want to be and do more.

ps. if you want to see the picture of them from the newspaper – you can find it here.


What is Return on Involvement?

return on involvement remember that time on facebook

Return on Involvement is what you get back from involving people offline and online. Most of the time it’s value in the form of love, fame or business.

I started 2013 out in a great way. The term, well my term: “Return on Involvement” had made it to the mashable 2013 buzzword list. Involvement is what I breathe everyday. I guess involvement was my revolution against social media tools becoming mainstream. I felt like I needed to go above the buzzword bingo and clichees attached to social media and the fact that everybody suddently where a social media expert because they had created a facebook page back in the facebook hey-days.

Return on Involvement is a term I have been working with for the past 4 years and also the title of my danish book. It’s mention on the mashable buzzword list increased the traffic to and, my personal website and my business website dramatically. Now, I can’t say that I directly had a say in having them select Return on Involvement as a 2013 buzzword – However I have a slight feeling that my preaching to the choir had done it’s share of the work. That and the fact that I have been announcing that I am launching the second edition of my book “Return on Involvement – how to use the social web to create business unusual”, this time in english, summer 2013.

Return on Involvement is not rocket science. It is however something I consistently remind social media experts about when they start getting all social media tool geeky.

Why is Return on Involvement so important for social media ?


Social media tool geekyness is something we have build a whole media industry around. For me, this industry is the same as looking at a hammer and observing that people who invented the hammer keeps adding features to it. The hammer is important in itself, but do we need to hear everytime it has a new feature ? “Oh, you just added a flashlight to the hammer.” Good on you. It’s not the important part – not to me at least. I have added the stuff  I think is important around involvement in my involvement manifesto – which you can pick up on my website.

Has anybody ever said to you: “do you remember that time on facebook?”

And then told a great story around what you had experienced on facebook together?

Never happened to me. And I have been a lot on facebook.

The important part is how these social media tools gets you closer to people. Close enough to maintain an offline relation for sometime without seeing people all the time. I have people in the US (I live in Elsinore, Denmark) who I type (not talk) more with than my neighbour or people in my city. For better or worse. I have friends I don’t see anymore because we stopped talking and started a consistant social media relationship instead. The sort of relationship where we like each others updates a lot, but we don’t connect or meet. We don’t know each other anymore. Not in that way at least. I see a lot of her photos though. I also have a business that is facilitated by social media, so it’s a double-edged sword. But I encourage you to see it as a facilitator instead of the core of the relationship.


Typing isn’t the core of the relationship not personal or business wise.

Talking, meeting and hanging out is.” Ah those champagne nights in Stockholm”. “That one time we ran through the streets of London at 2 o clock in the morning”. “The food at that restaurant that we loved.” Business wise you can see these meetings as strategic dates. Generating stories together.  To know people. To have something in common that can’t be set as an “interest” of ours on social media. Those are the experiences we need to share in order to deepen our relationship. In order to get from know to like to trust- and to love.

That is why you need to use social media in addition to stories and use online involvement as a facilitator for offline involvement. In combination you can measure the return on involvement through hardcore online analytics tools.

So it’s not rocket science – but it is real sweet and smart, facilitated by social media.


Get on with it.






Return on Involvement made it to the 2013 buzzword list

return on involvement quote 1






Go Return on involvement! I’m so happy writing this! I hope you feel energized and ready to get going for 2013 – I sure do.

During my christmas + new year break I suddenly saw that the traffic to started to skyrocket – something that always gets an business avantgardist happy. It was because the term “return on involvement” had made it to Mashable’s buzzword list of 2013! – wowza! I have been writing and preaching return on involvement since 2008, so even though I can’t say I have directly influenced them to put “return on involvement” on their buzzword list. However I feel like it’s somewhat of an approval of my work and my danish book (entitled return on involvement). At least I pretend that it’s directly influenced by my work, and it inspires me like mad to keep going. The first thing that sprung to mind was that I have to finish the 2nd edition (and first english edition) of Return on Involvement.

So what is all this Return on Involvement fuzz about?

Return on Involvement, in it’s original danish form is a book that I decided to self-publish about social media, old structures, being epic, branding, rockbandism, “sorry I don’t do mainstream” – ness.
Written by yours truely in 2009 and now on it’s way to be published in english for it’s second version. I can safely say I am channeling my inner Naomi Klein, Eric Sclosser, Kalle Lasn and Banksy in the english version of the book.

It both has a positive business outlook for the future, but it also pinpoints some huge issues that the business world as we know today has – and it gives suggestions on how to deal with this as a CEO or a business owner.

Can’t wait to show it to you!

ps. you can read more about my process in “the Zen of Return on Involvement”


Rock your business karma- the Return on Involvement needs to come from yourself















Tomorrow I’m giving a talk at KEA about ROI=ROI – it’s a talk about return on involvement equals return on investment – or the other way around. I have been digging deeper into it this week. Oh! – I can reveal to you , that for the first time I’m going to be on stage without any presentation or notes – it’s just going to be me – on stage.. talking about Return on involvement and why I think it’s so important that Im re-writing my danish book in English – making it a 2nd edition and see if I can stir up some english waters as well =).

Anyway one of the things I have found over the last couple of days was that the Guru of New have published two articles that are a part of the pillars of his new e-book “how not to be an e-hole on twitter” entitled “want to an e-hero on twitter” and “Focus Group confessions: the real reason they retweet you“.

They came at the exact right time for me to put three fat lines under my statement “involvement needs to come from yourself”. I think you should head over on the three above links to see what his findings are=)

Anyway what I emphasize again and again in my talks is that content dies after a while. Just because you’re putting something up on the internet doesn’t mean you’ve launched it. Just because your app got accepted in the app store doesn’t mean it’s launched. Just because you’ve build it, doesn’t mean the traffic is going to be there. You need to keep feeding it repeatedly.

The same proactivity you have to show around involvement. share some love. On this blog – I can see the numbers rising at an incredible pace if I, during the day – is active on twitter as well – not just pushing messages but retweeting and talking.

So remember : Involvement needs to come from yourself – share some love, Likes and RT’s and the business karma will come back to you thousandfold.

O- to-the-m.



The zen of Return on Involvement

In these days of over-hyped social media, where everyone is grasping to digital as the next new goldmine, and everybody is a social media consultant or expert or whatever. There’s often two words that comes to mind: SLOW DOWN. Seriously. Slow down.

I could write some buzzline here saying “it’s not about me it’s about we” here, but I wont. It seems like we’re constantly searching for the next piece of content, our 5 seconds of fame on twitter.

The golden link that other people can’t resist, so they’ll retweet it and you get more twitter fame, for a split second – and then they are on to the next link, or next conversation. One thing I see is missing is the art of acknowledging that people don’t care about your product, people don’t care about your brand.

BBut the trick is, to take them from ignoring you, to turning you into the lovemark of the century in their minds. They should love you! but do you really love them back ?

Return on involvement has become quite a iconic book in danish business circles over the last 2 1/2 years, but as where people they get the part where they’re supposed to be on facebook and gain likes from their community, they are not really giving anything back to the people who helped them with gaining a bit of that 5 seconds momentum by supplying that inspiration. Something like dropping a comment on a pin on pinterest. or writing a comment on a blog. In my business world I always call that proactivity, and I say that if you want to build a brand you need to at least do 2/3’s proactivity OUT THERE – instead of hanging on to your facebook page and twitter account and posting links there like crazy.

You need to be in the interactions. The interactions are everything. Mihaly chechekmihaly (I don’t even want to look up his name because everybody spells it wrong) got it totally right when he said that creativity lies in the interaction between people – given the circumstances of the world around them.

It’s not you who decides whether or not you are seen creative, it depends on the community. It depends on Return on Involvement.

The same with trust and branding. It’s not you who decides if people trust you or love you or like you. It’s the community. And a lot don’t give anything back, unless it’s on your  own playing field. Well guess what. As I preach and write in Return on Involvement. The involvement you want so bad ?

The buzzword of the decade that you’re dying to implement: Return on Involvement – needs to come from yourself.

It’s not about dumping links in linkedin groups. It’s about building trust by interacting with people where they are, and normally they are not on your twitterstream or your facebook page. Slow down! get the eagle eye going. Spot the places of interacting with the community (normally the interaction part, takes part in the commentfield – even if you’re just repining their pin on pinterest – you can write a comment)… Every social media out there- has “call for interaction” and that rockers, is where the battlefield is. Not your facebook page. Very zen right ? Slow down. please =) aum.

Conferences Creativity

Creativity is my homeboy and I love him to pieces

Next week Media Evolution The Conferenceone of the coolest digital creativity conferences, is taking place in Malmø. Yesterday, the always awesome Joakim Jardenberg wrote  the first piece in a blog relay to put focus on some of the conference sessions, today it’s my turn (yay!) and  tomorrow I’m handing the baton to Helen Alfvegren.

creativity is my homeboy


I’m looking forward to attend The Conference both because the speaker list looks amazing, but also because conferences in general are my favorite playing field. And I think the 3 different themes for the conference are übercool and relevant. They’ve asked me to write something for their blog relay, and even though I wanted to pick something else, I can’t help but to choose to write about creativity or “New business opportunities with disruptive thinking” (as one of the talks is called).

However I’ve decided to change that around a bit and write this instead Because that’s totally allowed on the internet. On your own website. In my own Henriette Weber social media, word-of-mouth, creativity La-la-land that I’ve created, where I’m the law, the rockn’roll queen and I make the rules. Hey Facebook! I can even hold a competition here without making an app and you can’t shut me down If I don’t abide the rules or can’t figure out the terms of use. I look so much forward to see you in Malmø.

Creativity is my homeboy and I love him to pieces.

Now, Inspiration is a big thing in my network, I work every day with creating value, inspiration, creativity and happiness for my blogreaders, my newsletter subscribers (both here and on toothless and helping my clients to create value for their clients and prospects. Mainly in an advice-based how-to form. I think inspiration and creativity go hand in hand on the social web these days, sometimes it even seems like inspiration overload. I mean if I spend 10 minutes on, I have enough DIY projects to make with my daugther for the next month. If I visit a persons webpage or blog, there are 100 things I can download, read, share and be inspired by. It’s. All. Creativity.

Breaking the normal boundaries for doing business

One of the things we tend to forget is that everytime this happens and people they decide to create something that gives value to their surroundings, they are breaking the normal boundaries for doing business. They are adding to their brand and identity with creativity. And this is a crucial and important thing for businesses because it shows that the boundaries for “when you can do what” in business has changed tremendiously. We literally have all the tools, now we just need to look within and find out what we should be creating and for whom.

That rocks doesn’t it ? It’s one of the things that makes me get out of bed every morning, mostly because when people they notice this, they also find out that they can basically make anything on the internet! Yay! It’s a cool great world out there for creativity these days. The internet is so filled with inspiration you can dig into.

My biggest problem with all of this? The fear. The fear of people not liking you. The fear of people saying that something you’ve created isn’t good enough or doesn’t meet their extremely high standards. I have a secret to reveal to you: Last night when I was reading in my ton of books beside my bed (a couple of  nights a week I curl up in bed and I become smarter.. i LOVE books). I read Twyla Tharps “the creative habit” in preparation for this blogpost. I don’t know what it was, but something was triggered inside of me and when it was time to go to bed I used 20 minutes to write my translator and tell him that we where translating my danish book (Return on Involvement – how to use the social web to create business unusual) published in aug 2009 in Denmark to english in it’s original format.

Now I’ve changed my mind a gazillion time about this but the reason I do this, as a part of the creative process is that Im so afraid I will fail. And my standards are too high. Even though the book was very very well recieved in Denmark, I think I needed to change it into something that Seth Godin, or Brian Solis or Danielle Laporte could write. And I don’t have to anymore, because it needs to be something that I could write. And I already did. And it’s perfect with it’s imperfections and totally not tailored for the english market. It’s short, it’s filled with strategic recipes and it’s written in my own tone of voice. But I need to give it a shot, I need to change the market out there by seeing if it will survive in english. It’s a piece of art and creativity to and of me and I hope you will all love it.

So I’m holding my breath here and I’ll be brave, because that is one of the most important things that creativity is to me. Boldness. Difference. And totally in the hands of the person creating.

So what are you waiting for ? Execute those cool ideas, don’t let the fear get you down and start creating.

Books Community Identity + purpose Social media

The story of Henriette Webers involvement manifesto

Yesterday I launched the involvement manifesto – again. I’ve launched it already once – but I don’t believe that my homemade design skills did it justice. Therefore I let Amelie from play around with it and here’s what she came up with :

The involvement manifestoI absolutely adore it.


How to get your version of the involvement manifesto

You can go ahead and download the involvement manifesto over on Toothless Tiger press – my publishing house.

Anyway I decided to put it up here on the blog as well.

I want to touch upon how important it is to take large pieces of content and break it up and make it digestable.

The involvement manifesto is a digestible way of reading a part of danish book “return on involvement”, it’s a mini teaser for the english one as well. There are so many ways to break down large pieces of content – and it’s one of the things I love to do the most because it makes you feel so creative.

Have you done something huge?

And have you thought about breaking it down into small pieces of involvement content and spread it out like little snippets of you and your messages? It’s truely important to not only work around your business plans with HUGE books and all these things that makes your brand – because you need small snippets of freebies and information that travels fast. Like fragments of epic shit building the empire of me.

One of the things that I would actually love, was if just one person in the world thought that this was an utterly amazing manifesto, and put it up on the wall in the office and start using it. Believing so much in my thoughts about business unusual that the person would print it out and read through it occasionally. That’s my ambition for this manifesto. However I must say – I will print on canvas and put it up in the Toothless Tiger office. Because to me that poster is a stunner – the essence of the book.


ROI tip 51: finding your strengths and using them in your work

Featuring the incredible Mads Qwist. You can see more of the fantastic Return on involvement videos on the facebook page


Return on involvement video no. 50

Because I got a new webdesign today (hurry! go look and give me some feedback) + I have made 50 return on involvement tips on video during the last 1.5 years – I decided to post this… no tips, just me and my endearing laugh… =)


Return on Involvement tip 49: Entrepreneurship is pretty easy and simple

If you’re committed and proactive about it – I mean, as Danielle Laporte says: who has ever told you that it’s supposed to be hard ? We’re just sure it’s hard from the beginning. Well no more. It’s a piece of cake. I laugh at the face of hard! it’s easy. =)