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March 24, 2008


Gia Lyons

Well said, and this is exactly what I explain to my customers. In fact, I open with three true stories about how social software inside IBM accelerated innovation (I connected a researcher with a development team an ocean apart), connected a new hire with a mentor faster (he was productive faster as a result), and got work done faster with an ad hoc group ("get connected faster" should really be the tagline for IBM Lotus Connections).

In fact, we have hundreds upon hundreds of anecdotes like you describe, ready to present.


It simply doesn't seem to be enough for the corporate IT folks with their annual corporate IT budget to spend. They STILL want the big boulders (love the sand analogy!).

So my question: what will it take to convince the boulder guys to start looking at the sand?


I think you hit a home run with this post: I used the term 'triangulation' a lot as a business benefit of joining thedots/connecting the silos in large orgnaizations. Connectivity and the ensuing collaboration can be hard to quantify as you discuss here, but the benefits accrue and are sometimes very visible on business process level. Eliminating duplication of effort in multiple silos that don't know each other is surely a no brainer in terms of cost savings from a 10,000 ft vantage point...
That said, this can also be a great way to promote paranoia and feifdom protection in middle managers, the enemy of collaboration...

John Prichard

In our company, the top and bottom seem to get that if the company was cross talking more in the "big conversation" then the outcome would be significant. The middle management could use a little justification to start their participation.

In our company, we have a steering team that has seen many examples of collaboration on the outside. Thus, they are enamored with the tools like FaceBook, Flickr, LinkedIn, wikis, blogs, etc. It really isn't about sharing pictures but passionate ideas. Social "grease" like pictures and knowing something about a person helps in lowering barriers to conversation but it isn't the end game. I can't get them to understand that we have a highly collaborative society around narrow topic mailing lists and that we should take some of these attributes and leverage them.

I can't get them to closely examine the principals of social engineering stated eloquently in this blog. And unfortunately I can't get them to read more than 3-4 pages of anything to start to learn what it will take to build the society that they want.

This is why I ask for help. How to take what has been presented for the last 6 months and package it into a knowledge capsule that can be swallowed in 3-4 pages.

I'm thinking something like a list of Social Engineering Guidlines, each with a rationale and then the results. Since we are at the beginning we are at the tool stage and yet most of the principles stated in this blog have not been about the tool but about engineering social change.

Chuck, you will have to send me your email since I haven't been able to locate it.

John Prichard
Texas Instruments

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