Book Review: Decoding Evolutionary Roots of Human Social Behavior

Digital social networks give front row seats in many aspects of human dramas, but few companies or individuals have the understanding of human behavior to appreciate fully what they are seeing. Many executives of commercial and government enterprises perceive “social” behavior as frivolous and discourage employees’ activity in social networks. This exceptional book shows that the separation of “work” and “social” is dangerously out of place today because collaboration produces the lion’s share of business value. To succeed, leaders need to appreciate the importance of social activity in collaboration and productivity, and how digital social networks can increase productivity. […]

President Bill Clinton Asks IIT Alumni to Join in Crusade Against Inequality

President Bill Clinton challenged IIT alumni to use their ingenuity in the service to mankind: “Being a good citizen no longer means paying your taxes and depending on your government. We can use innovation to help the less fortunate directly.” His message fell on ready ears and was deeply appreciated by 2,500 graduates of the Indian Institutes of Technology at PanIIT, their annual global conference, which was held in Chicago, Illinois. […]

Economic Disruption: How to Benefit Your Company and Career

Why 2009’s economic disruption will prove more pervasive and protracted than many experts think—and how you can guide you company. Guidance on using social networks to become more competitive and enhance your survival. […]

2009 Predictions and Recommendations for Web 2.0 and Social Networks

Volatility, Uncertainly and Opportunity—Move Crisply while Competitors Are in Disarray

2008_PredctNow that the Year in Review 2008 has summarized key trends, we are in excellent position for 2009 prognostications, so welcome to Part II. As all experienced executives know, risk and reward are inseparable twins, and periods of disruption elevate both, so you will have much more opportunity to produce uncommon value than normal.

This is a high-stakes year in which we can expect surprises. Web 2.0 and social networks can help because they increase flexibility and adaptiveness. Alas, those who succeed will have to challenge conventional thinking considerably, which is not a trivial exercise in normal times. The volatility that many businesses face will make it more difficult because many of their clients and/or employees will be distracted. It will also make it easier because some of them will perceive that extensive change is afoot, and Web 2.0 will blend in with the cacaphony. Disruption produces unusual changes in markets, and the people that perceive the new patterns and react appropriately emerge as new leaders.

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Year in Review—2008: Social Media Out of the Gate and in Full Run

Editor’s Choice of the Global Human Capital Journal—Accelerating Disruption and Opportunity

csr3-med98What a year! When I wrote in the 2007 Year in Review that 2008 “would produce an unimaginable degree of change,” I had no idea how right that would prove to be. We saw major disruption in the global economy, and the U.S. presidential campaign closed the year with a major political upset, largely at the hand of social media. That said, I still believe that 2008 will prove to be a transitional year and that more profound change is on the way.

Look in any direction. From a macroeconomic perspective, the global economy is showing itself to be pervasively interdependent. The U.S. successfully exported its real estate finance crisis without even working up a sweat. I don’t believe that anyone really knows where all the bodies are buried yet, and central bank chairmen, national presidents and global organization leaders are still holding their breaths, even though they smile bravely on television. Barack Obama’s successful U.S. presidential campaign showed that a new era of politics is upon us; as we’ll discuss below, it […]

Web 2.0 Case Study: Barack Obama's Use of Social Media

Conventional Wisdom Scuttled—Disruption Preview—Business in the Batter’s Box

election2008_eecBarack Obama’s presidential campaign was more than a major social media milestone because it ushered in a new relationship model among leaders and their supporters. Due to social media, an unprecedented number of individuals had a new kind of active, direct role in Obama’s campaign; moreover, I predict that the Obama campaign and imminent administration will change citizens’ and consumers’ expectations of “leader” and “follower” roles in government and business. Amazon.com changed consumers’ expectations about retail in general—information on demand, reviews, unbelievable variety at low prices—and a significant portion of Obama supporters will want to continue their support to “make the change happen.” These supporters will bring their changed expectations of action and collaboration to their vendors. That means your company.

The Obama campaign is very instructive to business leaders because business customers are changing expectations of their leaders, as we’ll discuss in more detail below. As the Global Human Capital Journal is not primarily focused on politics, I am less interested in the fact that Obama was elected than how he was elected. Moreover, I’ll […]

The Nonpartisan Global Human Capital Journal Endorses Barack Obama for U.S. President

Cites International Mindset, Judgment and Flexibility—Ambiguity and Global Transformation Form the Backdrop

Obama_PresidentThe 2008 U.S. presidential election has been the most dramatic in recent history by any measure. Converging economic, cultural and political issues are increasing the level of discomfort among voters and raising the stakes. In endorsing Barack Obama, I have considered the candidates in several dimensions, but my primary perspective has been that of a management consultant. The United States is a client in crisis, and I have asked myself, “What kind of leader does the country need, given the challenges it faces?” Barack Obama is my prescription, although there may be unwelcome side effects. If circumstances were different, I might well have favored John McCain.

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Consumer Disruptors: Healthcare Web 2.0 Innovator Case Study

How Consumer-Generated Content Is Contributing to Transparency in Healthcare

Healthcare Social BusinessHealthcare systems worldwide are criticized for falling short of expectations, and countries like the U.S. which feature aging populations, are rapidly approaching a crisis. Demand and cost will grow, but the system as currently structured will certainly break down unless radical changes are made. Web 2.0’s disruptive potential can be part of the remedy: we need to introduce much more accountability and collaboration into all parts of the system. We need to change the paternalistic attitudes that pervade the system, treat patients as active participants and encourage everyone to be more accountable. This series introduces healthcare Web 2.0 innovators.

Business Drivers

Consumer-directed healthcare is an attempt to decrease U.S. healthcare costs by giving healthcare consumers (patients) a financial stake in the healthcare they access. At the consumer level, most programs consist of two parts, a high deductible health policy to protect against catastrophic expenses and a health savings account (HSA), which consumers use to pay the majority of their healthcare expenses. HSAs are tax-advantaged: in most cases, the consumer pays for healthcare cost […]

PatientsLikeMe: Healthcare Web 2.0 Innovator Case Study

How a “Facebook for Health Conditions” Is Redefining Privacy and Collaboration

patientslikemeHealthcare systems worldwide are criticized for falling short of expectations, and countries like the U.S., which feature aging populations, are rapidly approaching a crisis. Demand and cost will grow, but the system as currently structured will certainly break down unless radical changes are made. Web 2.0’s disruptive potential can be part of the remedy: we need to introduce much more accountability and collaboration into all parts of the system. We need to change the paternalistic attitudes that pervade the system, treat patients as active participants and encourage everyone to be more accountable. This series introduces healthcare Web 2.0 innovators.

Business Drivers

PatientsLikeMe is a digital social network where patients of chronic, life-changing diseases share detailed quantifiable information about themselves, their diseases and their treatments’ effectiveness. The goal of the site is to improve quality of life by sharing information.

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Pfizer: Healthcare Web 2.0 Innovator Case Study

How Blogs and Wikis Add Value in Global Organizations by Supplementing Enterprise IT—Contagious Grassroots Enthusiasm

pfizer_logoHealthcare systems worldwide are criticized for falling short of expectations, and countries like the U.S. which feature aging populations, are rapidly approaching a crisis. Demand and cost will grow, but the system as currently structured will certainly break down unless radical changes are made. Web 2.0’s disruptive potential can be part of the remedy: we need to introduce much more accountability and collaboration into all parts of the system. We need to change the paternalistic attitudes that pervade the system, treat patients as active participants and encourage everyone to be more accountable. This series introduces healthcare Web 2.0 innovators.

Business Drivers

Pfizer is the world’s largest pharmaceutical company by sales, having in its stable numerous bestselling drugs, from Lipitor, Lyrica and Diflucan to Zithromax and Viagra. It also has the industry’s largest R&D budget, a global workforce and a tremendous need for its people to collaborate seamlessly across boundaries.

All pharmaceutical companies are struggling to invent new drugs because much of the “low hanging fruit” has been harvested, and their R&D staffs need to try new things […]