It’s five a.m. this morning. My eyes are glued to the page. I’m excited. I’m writing down ideas on my legal pad about how I can collaborate with clients and friends using social networking tools. I’m already using Twitter to learn from my social network. But as I dig deeper into this book, I realize I can learn more from my social network. And so can you. If you’re like me, this book will give you flashes of inspiration you can use in your small business.
The New Social Learning: Transforming Organizations Through Social Media includes pages and pages of examples about how the CIA, IBM, Intel and others are incorporating social learning into their organizations. Here’s one example.
“Josh Bancroft, technology evangelist and blogger at Intel, tells of an experience when one of the people he worked with needed to accomplish a task. To do so, she needed to use a piece of software no one in her group had ever heard of, let alone knew enough about to use. It would have taken months to learn the software and complete the task. Instead, she searched the organization’s internal wiki system and found someone who had done a project using the software. She contacted that person and asked for help. Within a matter of weeks the project was done. How many wiki pages was the efficiency gain worth? Add up not only the time saved by one person, but also the advantages of a quicker time to market for this project.”
In a smaller organization, you could do the same thing on Twitter. If someone in your business needs to learn how to solve an issue and no one else in your business knows how, then ask your network on Twitter. You’ll get answers with links in minutes.
The downside is that most examples featured in the book are from large organizations. But it doesn’t matter. The book mentions using blogging software and Wiki software. Both are free. Bulletin board software is free. Any web design firm can set-up this software quickly and easily for you. You’re also able to use Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to accomplish the same goals. But if you want something password protected, you’ll need to talk to a web design firm.
Here is another example from the book:
“Bob Picciano, general manager of IBM Software Sales, uses microsharing tools to narrate part of his work and share his whereabouts with various teams. When he posted on IBM’s internal microsharing tool that he was heading to a town where he hadn’t been before for an important customer meeting, within a few minutes an IBM sales rep asked if Picciano might have time to meet with another customer in the same city. Picciano met with both customers that day, helped close a sale he didn’t even know about when he woke up that morning, and established a new and now long-standing relationship with another part of his organization.”
If you’ve only thought about using social networking for marketing, you’re missing out. I recommend this book if you want to expand your thinking and grow your business through learning and collaboration.
“Giving You the Power to Fight the Big Boys!”