This is your brain… this is your brain with tags…

After the blur of last night’s class and the jolt of this morning’s coffee, I actually think I am managing to muster a clear thought.  It goes something like this…

I spend a lot of time thinking about (and reading research on) how experts see the world; how they think, what they think about, and why they think about things that seem so “distant from” from what they are actually working on  – when solving problems.  I believe the notion of making thought processing explicit through tagging could really add value to understanding experts, how they associate seemingly dispirit information and draw analogies.

Part of the problem in this area of research has to do with experts’ inability to explicitly tell you the associations they are making; sometimes they don’t even know they are doing it.  Watching the tags of experts would allow us to travel the mindset of those people, and analyze (like google, Klout, and Amazon) what their NEXT thought, idea, preference or association might be.  I can see a lot of professional industrial application for this, especially as our workforce ages and the Millennial masses move in to replace the Baby Boomers.  How can we assist them in being successful?  I am wondering if tagging can help us with this…

Enterprise 2.0 – New tools for IT or cultural change agent for the industrial masses?

I have just read Putting Ent.2.o into Context by Andrew McAfee and there were some interesting comments some of which came from Laurie Buczek.  Ms. Buczek seems to be getting at the heart of the issue regarding Ent 2.0 and industrial adoption when she touches on the notion of culture. For sure, nothing will drive cultural change like a total upset in the corporate tool kit;  have you ever witnessed an ERP implementation?  Often you will hear how poorly these implementations go with harsh comments about the capability of the software, the usability of the reports, and the lack of adequate training.   I would argue however that it is rarely the ERP implementation that is to blame so much as it is the ERP system which forces the uncovering of all the rogue processes, unwritten corporate rules, and tribal knowledge that operate in a latent fashion until disturbed from its “natural state”.  To add insult to injury, the users feel subjected to the system design whims of the IT department that drive the radical operating changes.  

In reflecting on how  “Ent 1.0” implementations like this affect the corporate culture, it made me think about Ent. 2.o more deeply.  Ent 2.0 presents a bit of a paradox.  Consider for a second that in most firms the IT group/dept is the last bastion a silo’d organization that accepts little feedback or input; as a user -you are forced to take what they give you.  Imagine now the cultural change Ent. 2.0 represents for those who hold all the control (the IT Group).  Not only will they lose control, but worse yet… the users get to decide what to use, when and how to use it, and can change and reconfigure it on a whim!  How cruel this seems that the tools of the IT world could be turned against their very kind.  On the other hand, no longer can the masses blame the IT group for the lack of adequate tools, resistance to implement new options, or the absence of training.  The industrial USERS carry the burden to incite Ent. 2.0 use and make Ent. 2.0 effective within the business….(or not)….  not leadership, or heaven forbid the IT group.

So, Ms. Buczek I totally agree with your words, “Culture will change as a result of the pervasive use of social tools.  Lack of cultural change is not social business’s biggest failure.  The biggest failure is the lack of workflow integration to drive culture change.”   

Marketing – The Industrial low road in the land of Social Media

Ok, so I am the new one around this social media (SM)neck of the woods, but already in my brief scan of SM sites, you just can’t avoid the word “marketing”.  It has to be one of those words that really pops out in many tag clouds; yes – I have actually learned what this is and it is only day 2!

It makes me think about when I first lived in the city of Atlanta, every street seemed to begin or end with the word PEACH TREE…  Couldn’t anyone think of something a little more creative?

Let me give an example of what I am talking about.  In the article Jump on the social media bandwagon, the author suggests that industrial type firms can benefit from social media, but then fails to take the high road to suggest these “for good not evil” purposes, and slides back into only discussing the marketing benefits.

Surely there is a greater, deeper and richer connection between social media and industry than Ms. Van Wyk’s suggestion of making B2B connections through LinkedIn, right?  How about industrial based collaborative learning communities, R&D technical discussions, or perhaps networks of those interested in a particular industry?

Come forth citizens of social media land…  point me toward the HIGH road beyond SM as marketing.