It's spring in New York. The world is visibly changing with damaging winter storms given way to the joy and promise of blossoms and green.
Based on conversations at April events ranging from a party celebrating the launch of John Hagel, John Seely Brown and Lang Davison 's "The Power of Pull" book, to Stowe Boyd's Social Business Edge and Jeff Pulver's 140 Character Conference at the 92nd Street Y, more than seasonal transition is in the air.
A tide of irreversible, technology and edge driven transformation of how businesses need to operate is underway, not just in the surrounding Manhattan offices, but in every office around the globe where individuals are connected.Photo: John Hagel & John Seely Brown at "Power of Pull" Celebration, NYC, April 12
1. The Power of Pull
Distinguishing "The Power of Pull"--beyond book blurbs from Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich and Eric Schmidt (among others)--is the deep research and credentials of authors John Hagel 11I, John Seely Brown, and Lang Davison based on their work with Xerox Parc, McKinsey and Deloitte's Center for the Edge, and prior publications: Net Gain, Networth and The Social Life of Information.
Building from their deep experience, the authors explain the essential mindset change--from "Push" to "Pull"--needed to operate businesses in a world where:
"... information now flows like water, and we must learn to tap into the stream. Individuals and companies can no longer rely on the stocks of knowledge that they have carefully built up and stored away. But many of us remain stuck in old practices.." (Inside cover)
2. Social Business Edge
April 19 at Fleishman Hillard, Stowe Boyd--who coined the term "social tools" in 1999-- hosted "Social Business Edge" on the premise that:
" we are at the start of something much larger than a retake on marketing. We are seeing a rethinking of work, collaboration, and the role of management in a changing world, where the principles and tools of the web are transforming society, media, and business. The mainstays of business theory — like innovation, competitive advantage, marketing, production, and strategic planning — need to be reconsidered and rebalanced in the context of a changing world."Riches in Stowe's event came from the blend of established industry leaders (including "Power of Pull" author John Hagel, Jay Rosen, Euan Semple, Lee Bryant, Dion Hinchcliffe and Adina Levin ) with new faces representing the next generation (Amanda Mooney (Edelman Digital), Venessa Miemis (NYU, Emergent By Design) and Deanna Zandt (Change This!)
3. #140 Character Conference
Convened by communications industry doyen Jeff Pulver, #140conf assembles those:
Appropriately #140conf provided broad access through UStream to the diverse array of presenters and topics in fast paced, abbreviated, Twitter style short talks with few slides. The cast of characters--starting with RSS feed developer and information sharing enabler Dave Winer--painted the landscape of the real time Internet's impact on business and life. A constantly changing piece of art built, from #140conf Tweeter photos, reflected the dynamic conference activity.
"interested in the effects of the real-time Internet on both business and “we” the people."
4. What does The Power of Pull + Social Business Edge + #140 Character Conference = ?
Beyond bringing people together to celebrate "The Power of Pull", explore "The Social Business Edge" and assemble characters concerned about effects of the real-time Internet, what do we know when the event crowds have dispersed and Twitter streams turned to other topics?
Here are my 3 take-aways:
i. "No is Not an Option Anymore" ~John Bernier, Best Buy
A #140conf highlight was a serendipitous discussion with @bernierjohn (John Bernier), Best Buy's Manager- Social & Emerging Media. Our exchange included John's attention getting observation that "No is Not an Option Anymore".
John's explanation of Twelpforce, and how Best Buy came to it, point to the practical realities and path companies must pursue to operate effectively in the world of changed customer, partner and employee expectations in a social technology driven world.
Twelpforce is Best Buy's latest initiative to provide technical support through Twitter. Self selecting Best Buy staff answer questions that are posted through a proprietary platform allowing:
a) All questions and responses to flow through one identity @Twelpforce AND
b) The answers and activity to be gathered as internal knowledge and business intelligence.
By participating and sharing Best Buy staff's expertise openly in Twitter, consumers generally benefit and through the value provided, the brand is strengthened and new customers emerges.
ii. Not to be Ignored
In April 2010 the reality of social technology's impact cannot be ignored. No matter where you are in an organization "not participating" to understand what it takes to conduct your business on the real time web is "not an option".
iii. Network Mindsets, Business and Organizational Models Required
Colleague Victoria Axelrod and I have been writing together here about creating "21st Century Organizations" since 2006 so in no way underestimate the challenge of:
- Changing mindsets
- Creating new business models and organizational structures to operate in the stream
- Engage customers and stakeholders to innovate and co-create in an open world.
Victoria's 2006 Emerging 21st Century Organization Models and Methods presentation explains what's required and our Open net∞WORKing Organizations where to begin.
Since the earliest days of commerce in village markets it's clear that business is social and success depends on relationships. The open social web exposes that reality and throws down the gauntlet to organizations to adapt. Speakers at each of the conferences provided clues.
Moving to a world where business value creation is measured less by ROI and more by Return on Attention (as described in "The Power of Pull"), or Return on Relationships (advocated by Kodak's CMO Jeffrey Hayzlett at #140conf) is, yes, HARD, but the cost of not doing so is potentially your business's sustainability.
Please take a moment to share your answer to:
The Power of Pull + Social Business Edge + 140 Character Conference= ?
~ Jenny Ambrozek
Go to http://hashtagart.com/ and scroll over the NYC Taxi Cub pic to see the #140conf characters whose images (representing their conference Tweets) bring the image to life.