“If only most companies realised the treasure trove of expertise and information that their employees would be able to access if they encouraged the use of such services.”
– Shane Goldberg
Just bumped into Shane on Twitter. He also has a blog.
He has quite a few interesting blog posts, but the current one caught my eye in particular. Shane has found that Twitter: “is actually becoming an essential part of my information-sourcing activities, which are critical to my role.” So, for Shane, a public social networking tool is far from being a distraction from “real work”.
As Shane puts it:
“… many large companies are oblivious to the type of benefits that (open, publicly available) Web 2.0 services like Twitter can provide to their employees…
“These open systems allow employees to draw on the social networks they have created in the same way they use traditional internal informal networks that are always so beneficial to those who know how to use them.”
Read the full article at Shugg’s World.
[…] In addition to Twitter being an essential information-sourcing tool, and useful for people returning to work from an extended absence, it has also started to occur to me that I am finding it a great way to feel connected while working as a sole consultant. In much the same vein as the people using it on extended leave, it takes the place of the office chatter that you get used to when working in an office full of people. I guess it also needs the same discipline of knowing when to engage and disengage… […]
[…] Twitter as an important resource […]
Thanks for the comment and the link. Perhaps I should have qualified my post by indicating I am part of the “Executive Leadership” team: that is in my organisation, which is hierarchical, only the boss sits above me. He only answers to a couple of people who are remote from the organisation. I should also qualify the post by saying the organisation has a medical role.
I agree your comments on personal management. I have said elswhere on my blog that a missing component of knowledge management is discipline, and personal management is part of that discipline. My discipline involves block periods during the day set aside for administrative and reading tasks. As you suggest I regularly turn off all but one phone, but I don’t have the luxury of only having one phone. Nor do I have the luxury of only giving out one number, or one e-mail – they are on the corporate directory for all to see and use. My e-mail discipline uses a folder and rules approach – all CCs automatically go into a CCs folder, and working on the assumption they truly are for information they get read at the end of the day. I have a serial pest. Their email goes into another a “Pest” folder, and rarely is read. Still I am overwhelmed.
I have no use for Doppler Twitter or other devices they increase my connectivity. I don’t want to be more connected – I want to be less connected. I don’t want everyone coming to me all the time – I want them to make decisions and take responsibility for their own actions! Connectivity is paralysing me. Connectivity is enabling sloppy and lazy work practices, and it shifts a lot of decision making unnecessarily up the chain.
If Pavlov’s dog met Schrödinger’s Cat perhaps this problem would just disappear! 🙂
Finally responding to your comment. Interestingly, in the meantime I have found a couple of interesting posts on the benefits of Twitter. I have just summarised these here.
I resisted Twitter for a long time, for similar reasons to you; but I am now finding great benefits in using it. Yes, I am now a sole consultant, and no longer working as staff at a corporate; yet my consultancy keeps me in the corporate world.
Re the Pavlovian response – I understand your point, but I would say that this comes down to personal management. Both when I was working at a corporate, and still now, there are times when I turn off the BlackBerry (my only business phone now) or forward it to voice mail. At my corporate job, I only ever had one phone at a time – I only ever gave out the office number. When in the office, the mobile was forwarded to voice mail, and when out of the office, the desk phone was forwarded to the mobile, which was only unforwarded when I chose to be available. Never perfectly avoiding the Pavlovian response, but keeping it under control!
I wonder what would happen if Pavlov’s dog ever met Schrödinger’s Cat?
Hmm… I’ll have to have a read of that and get back to you…
I have a counter view – see my blog post called Connectivity Paralysis http://www.durantlaw.info/Connectivity+Paralysis . In my view connectivity is enabling a dangerous trend to Pavlovian work practices, particularly for senior executives.
Thanks for the kind words and link to my post. It seems there is a growing groundswell of support for using services like Twitter (and other social networking tools) to enhance the corporate intelligence of a business. My feeling is that this will be a focus area for many leading companies in the near future.