Lately I've spent a lot of time describing the difference between the two social mammoths, Twitter and Facebook. Erin Ryan offers a fresh take when she says Twitter is the drive-through and Facebook is the sit-down restaurant. A great comparison. Of course, I like to say that Twitter is for the speechwriter while Facebook is for the PowerPoint junkie.
Deloitte, under the leadership of John Hagel III and John Seely Brown, earlier this year released what I believe is a landmark study: The 2009 Shift Index. "Measuring the forces of long-term change," this work uncovers a new way to think about shifts in business and society and absorb them to maximum benefit for the organization. What's more, the study illuminates the pressing need for business leaders to alter the way people interact inside the organization as well as with stakeholders, and it outlines a better way to measure performance. Beyond product and service, the distinguishing characteristic of corporate output will be the way the knowledge of its people is put to use in products, services and daily interaction. [And the study answers the question, "what is the big deal with Twitter."]
Hagel, a speaker at the upcoming Supernova conference, was interviewed recently by Cathy Brooks on The Social Media Hour. He pointed to what is being born out in recent news coverage of this recession: many jobs won't be coming back and the complacent view that upturn is inevitable will marginalize even the most sound companies. The good news: the organizations that harness the flow of knowledge among employees and with stakeholders will thrive.
- Digital technologies and long-term public public policy shifts are the key factors affecting the way companies perform and interact.
- The source of economic value is shifting from knowledge stocks to knowledge flows, making the ability to connect a key value driver.
- The economic playing field is fundamentally different from what we have assumed for decades; established practices are not working in public companies.
- We now have the capacity and potential to connect into knowledge flows in ways that can turn around deteriorating performance.
- Social media gives both individuals and enterprises a richer way to connect and share knowledge, making it a significant part of the solution to deteriorating performance, especially in terms of creating scale for knowledge flows. Over time, because we're still in the early stage, the social media revolution will increase the number of active contributors in the world's knowledge flow.
- The enterprise's most passionate people are often the most unsatisfied. They see the most potential but also feel the most constraint in the traditional corporate environment. As competition intensifies, companies need more passionate people, not clock punchers. Companies must learn to align passion with profession.
Those of us who already have concluded that this recession is actually a correction and the gateway to a truly magical intersection of society and business must take the data of The Shift Index and run with it. Armed with this information, we have before us the kind of opportunity that distinguishes one historical era from the next. A golden age? A gold standard? Knowledge is platinum for the people and organizations that welcome reality and appreciate the economic value of connecting in new ways to serve customers and society.
This post runs simultaneously on the Supernova Hub.
I've written about my days at Andersen Worldwide and my growing appreciation for the exposure I had to leading ideas and the people who share them. One of them, as I've mentioned, was Victor Millar, one of the firm's leaders at that time. First as his presentation producer [got his slides through the audiovisual department] and then as his junior speechwriter, I got exposed to a lot of good stuff. One of the concepts was what I called his ages — the progression he took you through on the way to the Information Age and what it would mean for business. As a result, I have a great interest in looking at what happens around us and the notion of how current events can integrate all our endeavors — not just business.
That's why I'm pleased to blog about Wharton's upcoming Supernova Conference in what its creator and chief brain Kevin Werbach calls the Network Age. For the next couple of months, I'll be commenting, from my perch on the contributor bench, about what we're seeing and hearing on the way to the conference and as it's happening.
In December, around 500 people from all over the place and every type of background will gather at Supernova in San Francisco to listen to some talks and engage with each other about all those technology things that fascinate, aggravate, confuse and challenge us. Until then, we'll also have the opportunity to spend an hour each week listening to interviews with some of the people who are speaking at the conference or whose work has some influence on the conference content.
Today, for example, we listened to Christopher Carfi talk with David Weinberger, a voice of the age who regularly helps both those in technology and those around it — meaning all of us, now — understand not only what is happening but what it all means. A co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto and solo author of Everything Is Miscellaneous, David is a fellow at Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Today's topic was whether or not the Web is exceptional and why. They covered a lot of ground and I believe made a good case that it is indeed exceptional now and while we can't predict why it will be in the future, it will. Beyond being networked so closely that many boundaries are slipping away — for good as well as for not so good — we have much to discover about the Web's impact. What's interesting is, we're doing the connecting and influencing ourselves, not just the discovering.
For more information about Supernova, visit http.supernovahub.com.