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

From the blog

Lead Social Business Enabler for IBM’s w3 and www Connections – Job Role and Responsibilities

Gran Canaria - El Monje (Roque Nublo)Now that the word is out there, and since I have been in the new job for a couple of weeks already, I guess it’s a good time to reflect on what does the Lead Social Business Enabler for IBM’s w3 and www Connections do on a daily basis in terms of my job role and responsibilities. As a starting point, the novelty effect has been huge altogether, because in these first two weeks I have been in the IBM CIO Organisation there has been a growing trend that I am finding it quite fascinating, and rather intriguing, and, perhaps, somewhat rewarding, although totally unexpected: everyone seems to want to have a piece of me now, or, better said, everyone wants to grab my attention for one activity or another, whether it’s related to my day to day job, or not. Something that, funny enough, did not happen in the past, even though I have always been rather visible all along. Looks like the new job may have triggered a new, fresh interest in Social / Open Business for fellow colleagues, specially, when they are no longer pondering about the Why or the What but diving right into the How. And that is a good thing, that’s one of the many reasons why I got hired into this position in the first place: help Social / Open become the new fabric of how fellow knowledge workers get work done by becoming part of their collaboration DNA.

But I am sure at this point in time you are probably wondering about what does that mean exactly, right? Well, this is the blog post that will try to detail somewhat what my job role and responsibilities are in the new gig. It’d be the first time that I share publicly (Even outside of the firewall) what I will be measured upon in terms of my overall performance at the end of the year, what we call at IBM our Personal Business Commitment, but in that exercise of openness and transparency I am hoping it will help folks out there get a bit of clarity in terms of where my main focus areas will be. Over the course of time I am hoping to be able to share plenty more about each and everyone of those responsibilities and how they are working out over the course of the time. And perhaps expand even further on the wider implications of some of those tasks. 

So, for now, perhaps an initial introduction that I am sure would be good enough to help everyone understand what I will be involved with in the next few months (years), more than anything else because last week Friday I was doing an internal keynote talking about Social Business and Adoption in Madrid and the host didn’t know exactly how to present or introduce me (jokingly). Understandably so, since hardly anyone knows what I will be doing from here onwards. Thus I thought to help out with that clarity I would go ahead and share it over here. That way I can reference it much easier over the course of time, while at the same time it will help serve me as a good reminder for myself of what my main focus areas should be like, instead of jumping from initiative to initiative that may be, or may be not, related to my core tasks. So, without much further ado, here you have got the tasks and activities I will be heavily involved with in the new job: 

  • Overall Global Social Adoption & Enablement Lead: essentially, meaning that I’ll be leading the overall effort to transform the way employees work using social software as the core part of their work.
  • Drive enablement to increase successful adoption, leveraging the models established in the past by both BlueIQ and CommunityBuilders: meaning, basically, not to reinvent the wheel and leverage the huge mindset that both of those efforts, i.e. community driven social adoption initiatives through BlueIQ Ambassadors and CommunityBuilders have done over the course of the last 6 years and which, as of late, were a bit dormant. Time to wake them up and get down to work!
  • Support the specific goals of driving social adoption through the Innovation & Values Team 9 project of Expertise Locator and Client Collaboration Hub: where finding experts in an organisation of over 450k employees along with collaborating more effectively with customers and business partners outside the firewall have become two of the major use cases to help Social / Open Business blend with the day to day business operations, getting one step closer towards considering social networking just that: netWORKING.
  • Expand Outside CIO Interaction & Engagement: with a couple of efforts that I am truly excited about myself, because both of them do help out accomplish a common vision: build on the ecosystem around Social Business. To name: 

    — Create and consolidate a Social Board of Advisors to help improve the feedback mechanism for our very own Enterprise Social Software Solutions.

    — Establish an open source Connections social community for sharing extensions and customisations to Connections itself resulting in having the best of both worlds coming together: 2.0 practitioners and developers being part of the same ecosystem.

  • And, finally, evangelise our use of Social / Open both inside and outside of IBM, through client briefings, internal / external meetings, public speaking events, and various other social networking activities out there on the Social Web. I know, this is the one task that most of you out there would be familiar with all along, since I have been doing that for a few years now. Perhaps the twist though is that over the course of time I’m planning on writing about the usual themes I have written over here all along, but also share additional insights on how this new job role moves along in terms of what I learn, what I am working on, the challenges, the opportunities, the lessons learned, the mindset, the overall mission of showcasing IBM’s own journey into becoming a Socially Integrated Enterprise.

    That’s why, after the short hiatus I went through in the last couple of weeks, I am back now with my Big Three hoping to dive back into the Social Web to keep the conversations and the dialogue going… 

And that’s it! Those are essentially the main tasks and activities that I will be working on over the course of the next few months. Yes, I am excited, as you can imagine. Very much so! More than anything else, because of what I wrote down in a previous blog post in terms of why I took this job a few weeks back: “keep challenging the status quo of how certain things work in the business world in an effort to become much more open, transparent and sustainable. Indeed, an openly Socially Integrated Enterprise.” 

There have been a whole bunch of other interesting and rather intriguing things that I have noticed as well in the last two weeks that I will be talking about and reflecting on over here, like the massive hard reset / reboot I have gone through with living “A World Without eMail“, taking me back to February 2008, but then again that would be another story for an upcoming blog post… 

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    1. Ciao Rob! Many many thanks, my friend, for the heads up and for the kind wishes! It’s greatly appreciated! Having a real blast with it so far and enjoying it quite a bit! 🙂

      Hope things are going all right with you as well! We must catch up some time soon, too!

  1. Hi Luis
    congratulations for the new role…Well deserved and i have to say, I am sure you’ll thrive in this role and take the team knowledge to the next level…

    Which is Open and connected…

    Also, your influence, knowledge and approach will benefit them immensely… enjoy the adventure…

    1. Hi Ralph! Thanks ever so much for the kind comments and for the props! Well, that’s the idea, for sure! I was hired into this job for my openness and for my transparency, understanding how there may be items I may just need to keep for myself, I am hoping to push the limits on those big time and see how far I can go. I am already starting to see the benefits of moving into the other side and get an idea of what they challenges and opportunities are in order to channel through that extra bit of energy and passion into getting the most out of it all. So far it’s going great!

      Specially, in the last couple of days where I have just been challenged about everything I have truly believed in the last 12 years and counting on social networking and it’s been quite an interesting exercise to see if I am ready to take such challenge… Once the conversations I am currently having in a forum fade away I can tell you whether I survived… or not 😉 hehe

      Thanks again for the wonderful feedback comments!

  2. Hi Luis

    Massive congratulations on your new job. It sounds amazing!

    What’s as amazing is this narration, sharing with us all how you are going about your work and what you’re thinking about in order to do it.

    What’s really fun though is that with the way you write about your work and how far you are letting us in makes me feel like I have a mentor (maybe you’ve invented MOOMs – massive online open mentoring), but does commenting on what you are doing mean I’m also appraising your performance? 😉

    Seriously though I really look forward to sharing your journey.

    1. Hi Casson, thanks a lot for dropping by and for the wonderful feedback comments! Gosh, I am blushing now as I keep writing these few words!! Much much appreciated every single one of those sentences! Thanks for that!

      Well, that’s what I am hoping to achieve myself. Like I said, feeling that this blog is going to turn more into my personal journey on how and what I learn about the new gig and what I get to do on a daily basis. It’s going to be an interesting experience because it’s going to help me reflect on what I will be bumping into along the way, in terms of challenges and opportunities, but surely starting to see why I was hired into this job. Fascinating experience so far!

      RE: MOOMS > Massive Online Open Mentoring, Whoaaahhhh!! LOVE IT!!! Thinking that while I may be acting as a mentor, I am the one who is going to be mentored by a good bunch of you folks and everything who take the time to read these writings and then come up with such wonderful and inspiring insights!

      Seriously, I heart that notion of MOOMS and when we make it worldwide famous I will remember where to give the credit for that inspiring concept! W00t!!

      RE: “does commenting on what you are doing mean I’m also appraising your performance?” < I actually did some of this last year where I collected what, at the time, I called #elsua360 where I was collecting 360 Feedback and the experience was just phenomenal! Like LinkedIn Public Endorsements but on steroids!! So this year, with the new adventure, I am aiming higher and expanding on that experiment I run last year. It will be fun and, not to worry, I will be blogging about it, too! 🙂 hehe Many thanks, once again, for taking the time to drop by and for the wonderful insights!

    1. Hi Keith, many many thanks, my friend, for the heads up and for the kind props! Yes, it’s been quite an interesting journey over the course of the last couple of weeks and judging from the interactions I have gone through so far, there is still *a lot of* work to get done! Even for myself in terms of having conversations with folks who keep challenging my own beliefs on Social / Open despite all of these years gone by!

      GREAT FUN!!

  3. Luis,
    this is so much fun to read about. I’ve followed your progress, don’t ask me how I came across you or your presences but I’ve enjoyed the journey.

    Now, congrats, this is so much fun as separate we might be I am really happy to hear this news and will continue to follow your progress but more, I want to follow your ideas and IBMs in this so important space.

    1. Hi Andrew! Thanks much for the heads up and for the kind wishes! Greatly appreciated! Happy to see we are finally conversing and getting to interact some more. Surely look forward to further insights and interactions and, once again, do appreciate the kind wishes! Thanks again!

  4. Congrats Luis;

    You have been an inspiration, taking a stand in 2001, to live social rather than just talk about it. That role as evangelist/rebel inspired many to take up the charge.

    I was humbled by your positive feedback to Timereaction at Connect 2013, and carry those words with me when the lows of an entrepreneur rear their ugly head. I am excited about what you can contribute to the social ecosystem , and am confident that the decision IBM took will reap profound benefits for all of us lucky enough to be associated with the IBM Brand.


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