Who the smart organizations are

David Terrar writes a terrific post on the SOMESSO blog on the  gap between corporate culture and what he calls ‘Web 2.0 society.’

What especially resonates for me about David’s words are the simple truths he articulates on some people’s behaviours in organizations, particularly large ones, that erect hurdles and other obstacles to prevent the organization as a whole from being a connected organization.

But he offers some strong light at the end of a dark tunnel. See how this resonates with you:

[…] Those of us at the leading edge of this ‘web 2.0′ technology, irrespective of which generation we come from (and that includes all the speakers at the conference) are already using these tools in our day to day working lives. We use blogs and online news sites as information feeds and Wikipedia for research. We connect with friends on Facebook, and work colleagues using LinkedIn and Xing. We collaborate with wikis and in online workspaces. We use micro-blogging tools like Twitter to connect with our extended network, and as one of the key places to look for the ideas that are cool, interesting, and innovative. We share presentation material with Slideshare and photos with Flickr. For us the lines between friends and work colleagues are already beginning to blur and we are in contact with people all over the World on a regular basis. If we work for a company where the IT department has locked down what operates inside the firewall and restricted access to Facebook or Twitter, it doesn’t really bother us that much. We’ve got an iPhone or a Blackberry in our pocket, and we can still get at what we need.

The smart organizations are the ones that realize the power that these kinds of connections and collaboration tools can provide. Rather than putting up roadblocks, they are encouraging adoption of the tools to reduce costs, increase efficiency and make their teams work more effectively. They can see how they can liberate new ideas and get some real ROI. However, they also realize that an organization’s culture may need to change to allow this this kind of team working and cross collaboration to happen. You’ll hear plenty of anecdotes and case studies at the conference, but in my next post I will be offering some examples of banks and financial institutions that are already seeing the benefits of social media tools, as well as highlighting some of the information sources that you should be watching for ideas.

Wish I’d said that!

David’s post is part of the content being published on the SOMESSO blog that connects with the latest SOMESSO conference in Zurich, Switzerland, taking place today and tomorrow.

Shel and I discuss David Terrar’s post in a wide-ranging conversation on behaviours and organizations – which includes discussion on Olivier Blanchard’s post on Becoming P2P: Principal characteristics of the new Social Business – in today’s episode 497 of the FIR podcast that will be published tonight GMT.


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