E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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IBM’s Lotusphere 2011 Highlights – People-Centric vs. Content-Centric by Louis Richardson

Lotusphere 2011 - Louis RichardsonContinuing further with the series of blog posts on highlights from IBM’s Lotusphere 2011 event in Orlando, FL, a couple of weeks back, I thought I would go ahead today and share with you folks what, to me, was one of the major highlights from the entire week, which is, basically, sharing some further insights from, what I thought, was *the* best presentation from all of the keynote & breakout sessions that I attended while in there. It was done by one of my fellow colleagues, and good friend, Louis Richardson under this rather inspiring title: “People-Centric vs. Content-Centric: A Copernican revolution needed to become a social business“. I tell you, if someone would ask me to pick up one of the sessions, just one of them, that they would need to watch and go through from #ls11 Louis’ would be it. Look no further. It’s that good!

Welcome to the successful transformation from a content-centric organisation to a people-centric one! That’s exactly what Louis’ session was all about. Setting up the stage, explaining where we are coming from, how we have always been reluctant to change (Even in the 15th century!), how eventually change took place for the better, how content is no longer king explaining what some of its main challenges are at the moment and how building trust worthy, lasting connections, personal business relationships is the way to go, specially since your people are your company. Not the content they produce. His example of what would happen if all of the content from an organisation would be gone versus the same scenario where it’s the people who are gone and not the content itself is just priceless! And such an eye opener!

It was one of those great presentations that makes you think about the daily challenges we all face when confronting work and our own productivity and how by shifting gears and opening up to social tools, we may find plenty of solutions to the problems we face today. So, eventually, Louis picked up some of the biggest pain points that every single knowledge worker faces at the moment and for each of them he provides a potential solution from the Enterprise 2.0 field, i.e. social computing and social software tools: building credibility and value, communities, tags, social bookmarks, open knowledge sharing spaces, profiles, activities, etc. etc.

The interesting thing about his presentation and speech was how, for the first time in a long while, the focus was not placed on technology nor processes, but on the people themselves helping them solve their day to day problems, their pain points, regarding finding experts, finding the right information, or inspiring an open knowledge sharing culture. Basically, the pragmatic approach; the one that works, the one that can certainly provide the highest impact on improving people’s productivity by addressing and fixing those onerous tasks that we all have to do every so often, but that we don’t enjoy much really. Yet, he did a wonderful job in helping attendees prepare themselves to come up with their own Personal Knowledge Management strategies by making use of social software tools. And he did a fantastic job with plenty of rather helpful examples of how it could work for people like you and me, i.e. people in the trenches, knowledge workers who know there are better ways out there to do smarter work with a whole lot less effort.Lotusphere 2011 - Louis Richardson

So when I saw that both his presentation and speech were available, I just couldn’t help putting together this entry to share the details with you folks on where you could go and find those resources and digest them yourself. They will be worth your time and effort to go through them; I can surely recommend them. Louis is a superb storyteller with plenty of first hand experience of what it is like injecting 2.0 flavours into one’s own productivity and become much much better at what they do as a result of that. He is one of those folks who walks the talk. And his knowledgeable experience on using all of these social tools constantly permeates throughout the entire presentation, again, with plenty of great practical tips on how to get things going.

As a starting point I would love to point you to a blog post he put together back in November 2010 under the heading “People-Centric vs. Content-Centric: The Copernican Revolution to become a Social Business“, where he is encouraging all of us to keep up with the conversation. A rather interesting and insightful read that would help you understand further where his #ls11 presentation is coming from. Then, from there onwards, you could check the full audio of the session, grab a copy of the slides by clicking over here, or you could also go to this other entry where he has shared a link to the recording of the presentation he did, as a video clip, which is now available for everyone to digest. Quite interesting were as well the good amount of live tweets that were shared during the course of that one hour he spent on the stage.

Now, for those of you folks who may not be capable of waiting and heading over to those resources, you can start going through some of that content over here as well. Indeed, his presentation is also shared in Slideshare (find it here) and the recording has been stored as well over at Vimeo. So I have taken the liberty of embedding them over here, hoping you can click on Play on both resources (Better if you start with the video recording, by the way!), sit back, while you are enjoying a cup of coffee or tea, and enjoy the show. It will be worth it every penny!

People-Centric vs. Content-Centric: A Copernican revolution needed to become a social business from louis richardson on Vimeo.



After going through it all, I am sure you would all agree with me that it certainly was a stunning presentation altogether, but the best part for me was the one where he also engaged the audience with multiple questions, interactions and conversations, finishing it up with a bit of homework for us all, which, so far, I am finding it really fascinating … Check out the Twitter hash tag #inv203fear where he basically asked the audience to tweet what would be the biggest fear for any organisation when trying to deploy and help accelerate the adoption of these social tools. Some of the answers are quite mind-boggling on their own and surely a sign of the good amount of work that we still have got to do ahead of us!

Thus we better keep working and help provoke the change that not everything is about content per se, but more about the people themselves, your knowledge workforce, your company… Now, where did I hear about that one before?

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