By terrymckenzie on Aug 13, 2007
In this week's issue of BusinessWeek, the cover story is all about managing multinationals. It's a fascinating read. I was especially taken by Peter Engardio's article, Managing the New Workforce.
He takes little time in painting a compelling picture of why social networking is moving from the play pen to the office, as he describes a global IBM team coming together through IM, Blackberrys, and cell phones to jump on a major opportunity in a matter of minutes. "Within minutes, Chiu had 18 chat windows open simultaneously on his laptop."
As knowledge, workers and stakeholders are increasingly spread around the globe (thus BusinessWeek's term, the Age of Diffusion), the ability to make connections in an instant goes from being interesting to being vital. If you had to pull together a team quickly, how long would it take you to reach the team members and organize a conversation? Precious seconds tick by while we're fooling around with people's schedules.
Look, it's no secret that speed, ideas, information and relationships fuel a successful business. As our workforce shifts out of the office, out of the campus and out of reach of "behind-the-firewall" technology, we need to be smart about how we pull these forces together. As fast as we're moving, I'm afraid we're still too slow. We need to go, go, go.
What further proof do we need that social networking is the foundation for the future? It has nothing to do with millenials. It has everything to do with business success and ability to win.