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

From the blog

Why Social? To Help Colleagues Work Together Much More Effectively

Gran Canaria - Roque Nublo in the WinterOne of my all time favourite social networking tools for informal learning, as well as information discovery, on a good range of interesting and relevant topics, and specially Enterprise 2.0 / Social Computing and Social Business as of late is Slideshare. I could spend hours and hours in there diving through slide deck after slide deck digesting some of the most amazing content people have been putting together over the course of time and never get tired of it! Can you imagine saying that about presentations? Goodness! That’s what I thought, too! Anyone on Presentation Zen?

I guess Slideshare has brought back to presentations, to some extent, the sexiness they once had, before we all got obsessed with them without remedy! No, seriously, you know what I mean, I even have got a lovely notepad text document where I keep filing some of these worth while slideshare links that I know at some point in time they would be having a mention, and a space, over here in this blog. That’s why today I would like to introduce to you a couple of them, in case you may not have seen them just yet: Why Social? and How Social Software Helps Get Work Done. Both of them would be worth while going through, for sure, as much as keeping them in mind whenever you would want to reuse them for your upcoming speaking gigs. Yes, indeed, they are both that good!

Both of them have been put together by a couple of really good friends who are very well versed on this whole topic of Social Business, Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing. The first one, Why Social?, was put together by Stu McIntyre and in it he covers, very successfully, the whole landscape behind Social Collaboration going from the problems it aims to address (Finding and connecting people, sharing information, contribute to the collective intelligence, informal serendipitous knowledge discoveries, etc. etc. pretty much the same ones traditional KM used to aim at back then), to the value / business benefits inherent to it (Business growth, deepening customer business relationships, innovation around both old and new ideas, a much more effective knowledge workforce, etc. etc.), to the implications of a collaborative organisation (And how to get there if you business is not that keen yet on true open collaboration).

The highly recommended part of Stu’s slides is coming towards the end where he shares a bunch of them around the topic of Where do you get started? No, don’t worry, I am not going to spoil it for you, you will have to go through the slides yourself to find out plenty more about it. But one key message you will see permeating through all of them is the confirmation of how we are finally shifting gears, making a huge leap forward, and leaving both technology and tools far behind us, focusing on the business, or, rather, the people behind the business! Yes, I know! About time, too!

The second Slideshare presentation I would want to share over here with you folks is coming from Alan Lepofsky and it is titled “How A New Generation of Software IS Helping Colleagues Work Together“. Another worth while deck where Alan covers some very interesting and relevant topics, like the evolution of collaboration, its inherent changes at work and some “best practices” (Ok, ok, we will forgive him this time around for using such *cough* old business school terminology *cough*). Instead, we would stick around with rather good practices or next practices. Anyway, moving on to some of the most thought-provoking slides he shared across. Let’s start with slide #6 that sets up nicely the landscape of the evolution of collaboration over the course of decades. Simple, easy to digest, straight to the point. Priceless!

From there onwards you will embark yourself on a rather enjoyable and pleasurable trip, with some excellent imagery used to illustrate plenty of great points and exploring the real impact these social technologies are having in the way we work, collaborate and share our knowledge with others. Very inspiring altogether as it then finishes off the presentation with plenty of reflections and helpful insights on those good / next practices.

However, the key remarkable thing you will notice as well from Alan’s deck is, once more, the confirmation, along with Stu’s presentation, of how the conversation has evolved from that rather tenuous and everlasting focus on tools and technology to try to address and fix all of our business problems to eventually focus on the business itself as the major driver for fixing those problems altogether. And that major driver? Yes, I know you know where I am going… Of course, once again, the people! Because businesses *are* people. People who, actually, *do*care!

Or like Seth Godin brilliantly put together just recently under “Caring“:

No organization cares about you. Organizations aren’t capable of this. […]  People, on the other hand, are perfectly capable of caring. It’s part of being a human

with one of the most amazing conclusions that I am going to shameless steal, errr, I mean, reuse and insert over here in this post, as I feel it’s spot on in helping us fully understand why social is now more important and critical than ever in helping us knowledge workers work together much more effectively and efficiently than ever before, and how every organisation or business that tries to put a stop to it and not embrace it, but neglect it will eventually suffer from it, sooner rather than later:

If you want to build a caring organization, you need to fill it with caring people and then get out of their way. When your organization punishes people for caring, don’t be surprised when people stop caring.

When you free your employees to act like people (as opposed to cogs in a profit-maximizing efficient machine) then the caring can’t help but happen

I think you would agree with me we are reaching that point where we would need to decide for ourselves, not for the business, but for us, people, whether we would eventually want to care … or not. And live by it. Doing so will help us transform, for the better, not only the organisations we work for, and with no way back, but also the way we conduct and do business in the 21st century. Doing so will help us, essentially, become better at what we already do naturally: Connect people to people (And people to (relevant) content) to do real, meaningful, responsible, sustainable good business. Ultimately, and, like usual, the choice is all ours.

Have you decided yet?

(I have…)

0 votes


  1. tag: Hippie 2.0 😉

    People *are* the business. ¡Por supuesto! If there were any place we could still use our hammers, it would be to drive home this point.

    I must hear mention of “business needs” 2-4 times a month. Oy vey. The business is people. The dichotomy of business vs. customers is no different than that of us vs. them, which isn’t too far off from racism, imo.

    We are ALL customers. Why is it we need to differentiate between business and customer?

    None of us exists in a vacuum. Those organizations which put people above all other metrics stand to dominate in the future. They will see the greatest market share, the most repeat business, and be powered by the most dynamic individuals.

    1. Amen to that sentiment, brother! Thanks a bunch, Brian, for sharing those thoughts and that feedback! I really like your commentary, with which I am 100% in agreement about business vs. customers, when it should be business AND customers; all part of an ecosystem with equal weight and relevance into the conversation nurturing each other’s interactions. I do hope that social networking tools would eventually help us democratise such interactions in a manner where we can move in the modus operandi of doing business where we consider all of us part of that healthy ecosystem of wanting to make a difference helping each other; for sure #hippie20 and wouldn’t have it any other way.

      We just have to see where we are following other models that clearly haven’t worked out just right or the way they were envisioned, perhaps because we used the wrong approach and focus in the first place 🙂

      Thanks, as always, for the feedback!

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