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Euler Partners getting co-operative to build ‘tech we trust’

We help organizations work better. It’s not often however we get the opportunity to work with a blank page. In theory, a blank page should be a wondrous thing – no intertia, no existing culture, no change, just fresh thinking, fresh design, and fresh execution. I emphasise should be, although we are intent on creating something special so we’re hardly taking it easy.

The opportunity is too fascinating (and necessary) to pass up, even if it’s not a paying gig. Let me explain.

As I wrote in Attenzi (chapter 35), branding has come a long way since it originally meant burning one’s mark onto livestock to assert ownership. It’s even moving beyond its 20th Century function of quality (re)assurance. Whereas during the best part of the 20th Century quality was a differentiator, it is now a qualifier. The discerning customer can now look beyond the immediacy of the product or service they’re consuming. They can and do ask: “Do I like this company’s attitude towards the environment / sourcing / equal opportunities / etc.?” And: “What’s their wider contribution to society?”

In other words:

Morning fog in Dubai – picjumbo

How astute are smart cities? Reimagining municipal infrastructure in our digital world

Are legacy governance structures able to produce the results smart cities promise? Christina Bowen and Anish Mohammed elaborate on the future of smart cities and on how they might connect to the Blockchain and decentralized infrastructures.

Cities provide infrastructure and governance to allow millions of people within a specific geographic area to live and work within a multitude of coordinated, civilized patterns. People and things need to move in, out and within the city.  Water needs to arrive; garbage and sewage must go away.  Communications must occur at the right time and reach the right people. Energy must be delivered when and where it is needed, and in a form capable of doing the work being demanded of it.  All this must happen with the minimum possible waste and harmful effects on the environment.  And it must happen safely, at a reasonable price, and equitably.

Cities have striven to meet this challenge for centuries but the complexities that come with population size and diversity, as well as technological and economic change continue to up the ante.  As the UN World Urbanization Prospects report notes:

Over half the world’s population already lives in cities: by 2050, 66% of the world’s population are expected to live in urban areas, with nearly 90% of that increase in Asia and Africa.

Now, it appears possible that technology could serve as an opportunity as well as a challenge, making the job and outcomes of municipal design easier, not more complicated. How could this happen? What makes a city smart? How might our cities apply these new technologies in a way that increases our ability to solve today’s challenges together? And what does that mean for our everyday decisions?

New York

Social business and the future of organization

Our Philip Sheldrake has created a new presentation on the future of organization to help stimulate debate amongst the Future of Work and Responsive Org communities and further afield. This future is made possible by social media and related technologies, but the technologies are by no means sufficient.

Perhaps most fundamentally, the new competitiveness is facilitated by addressing the compromises we all know riddle typical hierarchical command-and-control organization structures. New forms of organization need not be superior in many significant ways; rather, they only have to be slightly better at adapting to inevitable change in order to out-perform the 20th Century laggard.

Here’s the Slideshare, with clickable hyperlinks, and the video is available on both Vimeo and YouTube.


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Sandy Pentland

How big data can transform society for the better

Scientific American cover Oct 2013Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland directs MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory and the MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program, and co-leads the World Economic Forum Big Data and Personal Data initiatives. We’ve just found his October 2013 article published in Scientific American, How Big Data Can Transform Society for the Better.

It’s a fascinating read, and the following four quotes leapt out at us given our focus here at Euler on the Six Influence Flows and the Influence Scorecard as a way to redesign organizations for social business.

patterns of idea flow … are directly related to productivity growth and creative output

… The relationship between engagement and productivity is simple: high levels of engagement predict high group productivity, almost no matter what that group is working on or what kinds of personalities its members have.

… exploration – a mathematical measure of the extent to which the members of a group bring in new ideas from outside. Exploration is a good predictor of both innovation and creative output.

… Increasing engagement is not a magic bullet. … we found that at a certain point people become so interconnected that the flow of ideas is dominated by feedback loops. Sure, everyone is trading ideas—but they are the same ideas over and over.


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Dell Social Media Predictions 2013

Dell Social Media Predictions

Dell has published a small ebook with social media advice for its SMB customers. The advice comes from fourteen individuals including yours truly, and you can find it embedded below.

A couple of my favourite quotes are from Lee Hopkins and Michael Brito respectively:

Connecting with your audience is not something that happens overnight, or can be achieved in a short series of funny status updates. It is achieved through the consistent communication of values, insights, discoveries and experiences of organisations over time.

… the best way to appear ‘human’ from a brand standpoint is to ‘be human’.

Michael’s phrase reminds me of one of my own, albeit a little longer. If you want to be perceived to be a great organisation, as having great products, as being a great employer and great custodian of the planet, the only way to be perceived as such is to be as much.

 

The ebook quotes each of us from fuller responses to Dell’s questions. Here’s my full response.

social media apps

Social Media Management Buyer’s Guide

Econsultancy Social Media Management Buyer's Guide 2013We kicked off our New Year speaking with the eConsultancy team about the upcoming update to their successful Social Media Management Buyer’s Guide 2011. Here’s a rundown of the questions Amy Rodgers put to us and our responses.

UPDATE 13th Feb 2013: The guide is now published and available to purchase from eConsultancy.

1) What are the most important trends occurring in this market?

Maintaining one system for external social media management and workflow, and another system for “buzz monitoring”, and another system for enterprise social networking looks increasingly disjointed. We have media to communicate, and we communicate to influence, and influence flows are the lifeblood of mutual understanding, knowledge building and decision-making. Maintaining technological islands for influence flows with one group of stakeholders (eg, customers) distinct from another island for influence flows with another group of stakeholders (eg, employees) effectively ‘misses the trick’. It fails to recognise that today’s organisations must strive to be more than the sum of the payroll.

2) Where are the biggest opportunities for growth within the social media management technologies market?

Integration. This market is maturing from product to platform with unprecedented speed.

Oakland Bay Bridge

Influence: Socializing the Enterprise – my presentation at Dreamforce 2011

Salesforce.com’s CEO Marc Benioff is excited that there are 45,000 delegates registed for this week’s Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. It sure is one helluva a show, and I particularly appreciated the Metallica and Will.i.am gig last night.

The theme for this year’s conference is the socialization of the enterprise and the reason for my invitation to present to the Executive Summit yesterday and delegates at large today. [Disclosure: Salesforce.com is paying me to be here.]

There can be no doubt that Salesforce.com is on a mission to help its customers make the social transition with as much emphasis placed on increasing the social exchange with employees and partners as customers and prospects, and this mission entailed the acquisition of Radian6 earlier this year.

When I spoke at the Radian6 Social2011 conference in April, I felt the excitement at the opportunity to meld the Radian6 and Salesforce.com worlds, but I hadn’t appreciated how fast this integration would take place. Simply gobsmacking.