Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The five posts you liked most in 2012

I've been slack on the blogging front for a couple of months - for which I apologise.
I'd like to take the opportunity of wishing you all the Season's best for you and yours.
Here, in a lowest common denominator way, are the five most viewed posts I've published this year.
As the office parties kick in - take another look.

1. Google;s Skyscraper -
In which we consider the give-away signs of a business reaching its peak.
2. Create Value as If the World Exists -
In which we ask if any business can sustain if it isn't a fit with the best interests of the world it exists in
3. The 10 Principles of Open Business -
A summary of what we learned at 90:10 Group - and which is now the basis of a business book from a major publisher due in 2013.
4. The Distraction Web Fades as the Distruption Web Rises -
A discussion on our shift from entertaining ourselves with the web to making change with it
5. Facebook's journey to monopoly or bust -
The fear that Facebook is now such a big beast it can buy anything that challenges it

Monday, October 08, 2012

2 years and 7 months that persuaded the PM to join Twitter

The picture I took at Starbucks. And tweeted
Two years and seven months after I collared Prime Minister David Cameron on the subject of his position on Twitter ("Too Many Tweets Make a Twat, to quote from his Absolute Radio interview before the last election) he has finally taken the plunge and started his own account.

His opening tweet - for those who have lost the connection in the mists of time - is a reference to that very "Twat" faux pas.
"I'm starting Conference with this new Twitter feed about my role as Conservative Leader. I promise there won't be "too many tweets..."
When I bumped into Cameron in a London Starbucks he took the view that politicians should think before they speak - which makes Twitter risky.
Politicians, he said, needed to think about what they said, before they said it.

He worried that those who tweeted all the time were sharing a stream of consciousness.

I said politicians ought not think too hard before they speak, they should tweet their stream of consciousness. I'd prefer the direct honesty.
For the rest of the original post, (and some interesting issues about the realities of privacy in today's connected world), go here.

By co-incidence I was retelling the story of my chance encounter with the PM at one of the panel sessions of London Social Media Week a couple of week's back. Which has led to some confusion:

While it is perfectly possible that I set a small flame burning in Cameron's mind back in 2010 (the power of John Prescott's ability to disintermediate the media may have had growing resonance post the whole Murdoch melt-down) I cannot claim to be behind this latest sorte into social media. If I had been he'd be following more folk back than a handful of echo-chamber Tory MPs. And he wouldn't have an underscore in his Twitter handle (it's @david_cameron). I mean, have folk there never used an iPhone???

Also I'd have been making his move on to Twitter part of a much larger shift from centre to edge.

Inspired by my new connection, I wrote an Open Letter (with the emphasis on Open) to Mr Cameron after our meeting (and after he'd come to power). Given the 2 year 7 month delay between our Starbucks enounter and his Twitter account, it would be wonderful to think that he'll be acting on the contents of the Open Letter by Christmas... Here's hoping!

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Thursday, October 04, 2012

The fifth Principle of Open Business: Connectedness

Today - over at 90:10 Group - we've published the sixth post in our series on The 10 Principles of Open Business.

Principle Five is Connectedness.

Again, this is not a tactic - it's a design principle:
Connecting all employees internally to one another and externally through open social media

We've learned through experience that simply buying tools is not enough. Ever heard the expression: All The Gear But No Idea? That's where so many organisations find themselves having been sold on the tech - convinced by slick sales folk that there really is a button you can click to make you 'social'.

Sure, you need the gear. But first, get the idea. I guarantee you'll make better selections of the gear as a result.

Here's an excerpt. For the full post visit
"Rather than working against connectedness (usually out of fear), work with it. You’ll be working in the same direction as your teams.
Without our daily connectedness to others our ideas remain un-nurtured and un-tested, our understanding of the realities of the eco-system within which we all live, severely limited.
This eco-system, this market, is not something you can take a snapshot of once a year, it is ever changing, something you are part of and which must be listened and responded to in as close to real time as possible if you are to maintain a best possible fit with its needs.
Connectedness is an essential part of this. Connectedness scales the organisation’s ability to listen, respond and adapt to the market.
Connectedness provides an early warning system for changing need, for rising dissatisfaction, for new competitors.
But beyond all of this, connectedness humanises a businesses. It allows your customers and other stakeholders to interact with the living, breathing, passionate, caring people on whom your business depends. It takes down the walls."
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Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Judgment Call: Can You Be A Global Business and Idealistic?

The Problem
Once again I've been asked to contribute to The Financial Times' Judgment Call panel - alongside Harvard Business School's Sebastien S Kresge professor of marketing Rohit Deshpande and the CEO of Polar Mobile Kunal Gupta.
The issue our advice was sought on was: Can you be a global business and idealistic?
This follows from the detention of Google's most senior exec in Brazil when Google refused to take down a YouTube video which allegedly insulted a local politician.

My advice, as regulars here will guess, was that not only should a global business remain idealistic - but that it must.
Here's the full (and only lightly edited for publication) response I supplied:
Organisations have to remain true to their fundamental beliefs - their purpose.
There may be a short term cost or loss from sticking to them but businesses built to succeed in today's Open Economy must take a longer view: Without consistency trust disappears; Without consistency believers stop believing; Without consistency supporters stop supporting.
My Advice: Top
Our connected world demands more than simple customer centricity, it requires customer partnership - and that is driven by belief.
Today's winners are Open Businesses - organisations which use their resources to create networks of people who care about the same things they do and who work with them to achieve shared goals.
This clearly relies on support from outside the org. It's this support, this willingness to participate, that delivers competitive advantage. They participate because they share your beliefs.
That is the bigger picture Google sees - and which no amount of local sabre-rattling is likely to make it relinquish.

This of course speaks to Principle One of the 10 Principles of Open Business - Purpose.
The outing in the FT this morning (October 3, 2012), also marks the first publication in print of the fact of our forthcoming book The 10 Principles of Open Business (see the end of my piece in the pictures accompanying this post). Though I have to say our potential publishers are suggesting that may, in the end, become a sub-heading. Will keep you posted, of course.
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Monday, October 01, 2012

Panel reports from Social Media Week London

Thanks to everyone who attended, tweeted, retweeted, blogged, liveblogged and storified the two panels I sat on in Social Media Week London for LikeMinds last week.

I opened up introducing the Truth & Trust event on Monday morning and closed by joining the Future of Being Social.

Both were very well attended and shared beyond the room.

The Live Blogs are as follows:
...and there is a Storify here: from the Truth and Trust event.

I'm indebted to Andrew Gerrard of Like Minds for pointing all this out to me.
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Truth and Trust in Social Media - report from the SMWLDN panel

Social Media Week London kicked off (for me at least) at 8:30am on Monday morning. That's when I joined with fellow panelists Jenny Afia – Schillings, Guy Stephens – CapGemini, Euan Semple  and Benjamin Ellis - Redcatco / Socialoptics at Like Minds opening event.
The topic at hand (to which I was afforded the luxury of providing the introductory scene and context setter) was Truth and Trust and why what you do matters in social media.
Thanks to all those who joined in from outside the room via the #smwldn or #likeminds hashtags on twitter.
I'm back at the same venue (Adam Street Club - just off the Strand in London) on Friday at 4pm for the final Like Minds event of the week on the future of being social.
In the meantime it's good to see Monday's early morning session was covered by way of a live blog - so if you missed it you can catch the summary here.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Social Media Week London: Truth, trust and the future of being social

I'm delighted to have been invited to take part in just about the best two panels of Social Media Week London (next week). Organisers Like Minds and myself would be delighted to see you there. 

The first is on Monday the 24th at 9am Truth, Trust and Why What You Do Matters in Social Media. I'm doing the intro on that one and themes I aim to raise include the value and impact of sousveillance, purpose, the challenge of truth versus privacy and the benefits for sustainability that our open economy not only delivers but demands. 

The second is on the Friday 28th at 4pm and is on the subject of The Future of Being Social. As you can imagine I have a thing or two to say about that - particularly around how the web changes the way we organise and what that means for society.

Both events are at The Adam St Club, just off The Strand. (more details in links)

Fellow panelists include Kred CEO Andrew Grill, authors Mark Earls (Herd), Alan Moore (No Straight Lines) and Euan Semple (Organisations Don't Tweet, People Do) and Dachis Group Europe MD Lee Bryant

Full details of other Like Minds events and registration are here: 

I hope you can join us?
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Open Business Principle 4: Sharability

As I add each new blogpost in the series on the 10 Principles of Open Business at the 90:10 Group site, I'm sharing the essence, a link, and a little background here on my personal blog.

Our fourth Principle of Open Business is one which would be easy to mistake for a simply tactical implementation: Sharability.
Packaging knowledge for easy and open sharing both internally and externally
Here's an excerpt:
...Sharability is as much an organisational design principle as Networked Organisation since there must be a cultural/philosophical recognition of the value of sharing over hoarding.

The antithesis of an organisation built on the principle of Sharability is one which is built on the principle of Secrecy.
It’s likely there will be one or two things about the way your organisation does or makes something which is unique, or at the very least so special that it gives you a perceived competitive advantage over rivals.
But, if you are honest, these very few special things are worthy only of pockets of secrecy – rather than the cultures of secrecy they are too often allowed to generate.
In such cultures the belief is that the competitive advantage is not in the best fit with the needs of the market, but in the delivery of the fastest first approximation. 

Cultures driven by the principle of Sharability are more likely to value best fit over first approximation.
At the turn of the last decade I wrote a post called 2020 Vision in which I conclude: "By 2020 a person's worth will be valued by what they share, not what they keep. That may be the most significant shift of all."

Being able to value sharing over hoarding is hard for many. It challenges long-cherished and assumed value centres such as 'ownership' tests the true value of 'intellectual property' and the often ingrained culture of 'not-invented-here'.

In Western business culture this aligns with a macho approach: I hunted it, I killed it, I eat it. But we know that isn't how we ever lived - and perhaps that tells us that its how we never should.
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The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?