Tag Archives: Twitter

Using knowledge networks to shift the way business absorbs change

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.


Players: Observations on the bailout

This morning, as I work, I listen to the Senate hearings on the bailout, I check Twitter commentary, I look at a few blogs.  Here's what I think We the People must consider when we put the parameters around the $700 billion bailout.

  1. My experience in providing client service to investment banker types — people with investment bank backgrounds — is that they look out for Number One in ways that most of us would never imagine.  Investment bankers do not follow rules, whether we're talking business practices or good manners.  Investment bankers are animalsAs a group, the only thing that keeps them in line is a big stick.  Congress MUST put strict parameters around these guys we are putting in charge of the $700 billion.  And we MUST go after the executive compensation packages
  2. How did we respond to the Enron mess?  By neutering the accounting profession.  That, folks, was a bone that Wall Street and its cronies in Washington threw to the American public.  And it was a predictor that this mess would happen to us.  The destruction of Arthur Andersen was a major sign that these guys are all about finding a scapegoat to take the hit for their own sloppy, self-serving business practices.  Not changing the way they did business — not learning from the Enron debacle — not interested in hearing from those with expertise that they don't have but that is germane to their activities.  Now, we are left with no watchdogs, either in the private sector or the public, to tell us when the cronies have concocted a risk-laden, byzantine set of financial instruments.  It is unconscionable that not one person in a leadership position in industry, government or academia did not look at this maze and tell us what they're telling us now:  that this confluence of financial instruments was not nor ever was sustainable.
  3. The reason I turned on CNBC in the first place this morning was to wait for a segment on a client that was taped three weeks ago.  Instead, my attention, by necessity, had to be diverted to the dirty job of fixing a problem created by an elite few — most of whom have never invented anything or bought and sold anything you could hold in your hands.  Elitists who never had a summer job on a farm or in a factory, who, with their fancy pedigrees, dictate to the rest of us what is success.  This mess is not only something we must clean up, it is sucking the air out of one of the stars of the American way:  real business, based on real relationships and transactions.  Let's get the mess cleaned up and let's make sure it doesn't deplete us or distract us professionally or emotionally.

Email, call, SHOUT at your representatives in Washington.  Yes, we want transparency.  But we want punishment.  Consequences for bad actions, whether they were intentional or not.  Do we let people off a murder charge just because they didn't intend to do it?  No.  The deviant brains who mixed this cocktail of financial instruments need to go to Man Jail.  Their property confiscated.  Their cash appropriated to the bailout.  I want heads to roll.

Good social media blogs

Trying to keep up with how to use social media to market your company can be a job in itself.  Here are some people who make it easier for you.


Social Media Today

Chris Brogan

Andrew Chen

Twitter Handbook

Data — or is it content? — bouncing around the blogosphere

Well, all the goings-on related to data this week have been exhilarating.  And exhausting.

Read Chris Saad, one of the founders of the DataPortability Project, for his personal take on the actions of the goliath players this week.

And thank you, David Recordon, for pointing your Twitter followers to Dan Farber's column about whether Google, MySpace and Facebook are really making their platforms more open.

As much as I'm an active laborer in the DataPortability Project, after reviewing the comments of a beta user in a startup, it hit me that I'm not satisfied that we know everything we need to know.

Aren't we taking it for granted that the mainstream Internet user wants an open ID that takes him from site to site — or the ability to move her data from one site to another?

And aren't we being just a little too tough on the goliaths? 

OK, maybe they are jumping on the data portability bandwagon purely to protect their market share.  But isn't it at all possible that there is something we can learn from how they choose to wade into these waters?

I know we're inventing marvelous ways to make things open and movable — shameless plug here for foldier — but it was one of foldier's beta testers that made me stop and remember that we really need to think about the user when we're inventing stuff.

"Privacy is a big deal – I read the terms of service for the sites I use, and if one said my data could go anywhere without my knowledge or consent – I don't care what the benefit; I'm not using it."

Maybe the goliaths know something we don't.

Then again, maybe they are eating Wall Street's dogfood by now.

Data portability has captured the attention of the tech world and is emerging as an area of interest in mainstream business.  For good reason — it's where technology and engineers have taken us so far.

Still, it's a good time for all of us to check our assumptions. 

And to be clear about what we really know.