Wednesday, April 23, 2008

100% committed

When thinking about E2.o and social computing, the question we must ask is: Are we getting the most that we can from the people in our business and from its community? Do we have 100% of their energy and imagination? Mobilizing people and teams is the aim of E2.o.

Several articles/posts from the past few weeks push on this very topic. The McKinsey Quarterly (registration required) published an article on Innovation lessons from Pixar which highlights how Brad Bird, Pixar’s Oscar-winning director, motivates his people by including them in the dialog. Fast Company spoke with Gartner researcher, Tom Austin, about how IT’s Not about the Technology but rather information technology is about leveraging the people. And Susan Scrupski posted her comments in SocailMediaToday on Corporate Antisocial Behavior: the Enemy is Us.

Each of these articles pushes us, in one way or another, to focus on the key driver behind business success – motivated teams of people. People are paramount to making things happen. E2.o tools are technologies that magnify and broadcast the culture that empowers people.

I see three opportunities in E2.o
1) Get people talking about the business - E2.o can highlight and build conversation around the “social objects” of a business. In my last post, I spoke about social objects. These are the things that allow people to connect and be in dialog. In business, these objects are things like business goals, customer wants, or new innovations.
2) Get the facts to the people - E2.o can reduce what I call the perception gap between what you think is happening in the business and what is actually happening in the business. Once facts are clear, true dialog and problem solving begins to occur. E2.o tools can integrate business intelligence into the mainstream business conversations. These same tools can then be used to solve problems collaboratively by tapping both experts' thoughts and front line operators' experiences into creative solutions.
3) Equip people with a contextual understanding of the business - E2.o can provide a more holistic understanding of a business. Through these tools, people are exposed to and vicariously taught about tangential yet pertinent topics beyond their specialized skills. This broader knowledge gives these folks the insight to act or respond with a systems-thinking mindset that is coherent with the overall business. In this way, people are more naturally prepared to act in manner that supports and adapts the business the their changing marketplace.

All three of these benefits of E2.o foster a more pronounced business culture - good or bad.

Do you agree?

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