Unbelievable! I was on my way to the airport after our Collective Conference and I was trying to sort through the many ideas, emotions and impressions from the event and it came back to me over and over: unbelievable. I’ve hosted my fair share of user conferences and we had some good ones, believe me. But the Collective was different; it was personal; it was emotional; and it was unbelievable to see that level of energy and alignment behind our joint goal: We Make Social Real.
The Network Always Wins
In my keynote, I took you on a journey through the history of human productivity and how networks have been a major driver for humanity to get more efficient and lift ourselves up over and over. Starting with the Network of Hands during the Industrial Revolution that allowed us to overcome our physical limitations by using technology to sync hundreds of thousands of people's manual actions. Followed by the Network of Minds in the ongoing Digital Revolution that extended our individual mental capacity with a collective computerized memory leading to collective knowledge creation and unseen processing power.
Passion - The Final Frontier
And ultimately the Network of Hearts that allows us to capitalize on our extraordinary emotional capabilities and free them from physical limitations by applying them through social networks in our personal and professional lives. I am aware that the term Network of Hearts is not the language you'd use to layout the benefits of a social business strategy; but when you combine with the digitization of our daily activity, the emotions, and the heart we put into our jobs, that is what makes the difference. When asked, at SXSW this week, about the biggest mistake in his career, Elon Musk said that he should have chosen passion over talent more often when hiring. "I think it matters whether someone has a good heart." Hear, hear from the guy who built the first privately funded Spaceship!
Survival of the Social
If a Network of Hearts makes us fly to space, it certainly doesn't hurt to apply the same ideas to our terrestrial activities. And before you cry "socialism!" know this: if you do not buy into it, somebody else will — and will also take your job, your company, and your place in history. I have seen it during the re-engineering in the 80's, the automation of services and banking at the turn-of-the-century — and I see it already happening today. According to our friends at McKinsey, each major industry has the ability to improve its margins between 60-100% by leveraging social technologies. To illustrate this, for JPMorgan Chase, our wonderful customer, this offers a USD $12-21 million opportunity based on their recent SEC filing. You can simply not afford to ignore the Social Revolution; it is the only way your business can stay competitive!
It Makes Us a Better Company
The Collective also showed, in a wonderful way, the true power of our community. When you see a banker, someone from IT and a developer dance the Harlem Shake, you know that things are changing. I saw community managers show their latest social intranet designs with executives gathered around their laptops with their mouths wide open; and a banker from down-under getting standing ovations via Twitter while his team is in Australia celebrating the success and appreciation for their hard work. There was a lot of great energy at the Collective leading to real results — ranging from new product features straight from the hackathon, to a full blown adoption framework. The consensus about social business among all the people I had the privilege to talk to was: It makes us a better company.
We're Just Getting Started
Call me a dreamer, but I believe the Social Revolution has just started. The way we do business will never be the same and we at NewsGator are proudly paving the way to the Future of Work. We have a long-term view on how social is making us more productive and we have both the strategy and the power to execute on that. We could take the easy path and sing the cloud-chat-microblog-kumbaya, but that is not us. We go deep — and to places that might be painful to address — like processes, ecosystems, premise-cloud-hybrid, and secure mobile. But that's who we are: We Make Social Real.