Jim Whitehurst, President and CEO of Red Hat: Competing as a 21st century Enterprise among 20th century Giants
James F. McCaffrey on Leadership in a Technology Disrupted Organization

Leading the Next Generation of Workers and Customers: Leveraging the Social Network

Today I'm attending the third day and last day of the Fuqua School of Business & Coach K Leadership Conference. 

I thought I would post my notes.  Disclaimer.  These are not exact transcription or exact quotes but rather just my rough notes. 

See also on Twitter:


10:15 AM - 11:30 AM

Geneen Auditorium
Leading the Next Generation of Workers and Customers � Leveraging the Social Network

IIieva Ageenko, Senior Vice President, eCommerce Channel Executive, Bank of America
Sandy Carter, Vice President, Software Group Channels, IBM Corporation
Tammy Johns, Senior Vice President, Global Workforce Strategy, Manpower, Inc.

Moderated by Tony O'Driscoll, Professor of the Practice, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University


Tony O’Driscoll: Introduction

Talking about Web 2.0 Digital Natives. 

The growth of Facebook, Wikipedia, Twitter and YouTube. 

Marketing Adoption Acceleration: Social media spending expected to grow by 300% in next five years. 

Invites people to use #coackkconference hashtag

Question 1: How did you first become exposed to Web 2.0/Social Networking technologies and what convinced you that they might add value to the business area(s) you lead?

Tammy: We are trend watchers at Manpower.  We had inkling social networking would change world of work.  Talking to IBM--how games would change world of work.  I convinced Manpower that we need to be on Second Life on a research mission.  We created a space for newbies, avatar, get clothes that look cool, etc. 

Ilieva: At first I did not see business value of Web 2.0.  I started on LinkedIn.  My son always went to Wikipedia.  How do you know if that information is good?  I could see blogs and wiki’s were valuable. 

Sandy (by telephone): I was always a geek.  I was one of the first bloggers at IBM.  Then Second Life—we bought a couple islands.  Now, I love Twitter. 

Question 2: Could you share some examples of how you applied Web 2.0/Social Networking in your organization and what results have you achieved from doing so? 

Sandy [Tony said she has written a book about this]: At IBM, I have been able to experiment.  We have lots of virtual events.  An event on Second Life where people have an avatar and walk around to a conference.  How many people came to conferences from Twitter—about 10% more than if we had not gone there and response rate is higher.  4,000 comments of feedback on a blog about a product.  When we released the product, many people were already using it and loving it.  When developers were asked to stand up, 1000 people stood up. 

Tammy:  Recruitment.  We employ 4.5 million per year.  We have explored Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.  How will work be conducted in the future?  Mypath.com  Our hope is to create communities where people will help one another.  Leverage the knowledge we have to give.  That is our biggest step recently.  200,000 have found it without us.  We were concerned we would find on Second Life just virtual bartenders but that is not what we found.  These people are very proud of how they connect with and the work they do. 

Ilieva: We took “test and learn” approach.  3 pilots.  Two were with employees.  1 with customers.  (1) Employees would submit topics.   (2) Second Life.  Are our avatars going to open checking accounts?  No, let’s use this for collaboration.  (3) Twitter is kind of a buzzword.  It was brand new territory.  Legal compliance questions, etc. hindered us.  People wanted to quit.  One employee who was 22—I put him in charge of twitter.  We won best practice award for corporations working with twitter.   

Question 3: From where you set, how do you see the adoption and application of these technologies evolving over the next five years with the enterprise? 

Illieva: Something for legacy applications.  Providing access to external social collaboration tools. 

Sandy:  Almost everyone has a cell phone today.  In Egypt, many had cell phones.  Mobile computing is the future.  Will there even be a reason to have a computer?  Probably not.  I was in Tokyo and a coupon came to my mobile phone.  It will be 3-D in the future—an experience.  Trying on clothes on your computer just like in a store. 

Tony: not internet but “immernet.”

Tammy: Technology available broadly.  Tremendous changes needed in work practices.  Collaboration is all about trust.  Build and develop the workforce for the future.  Why we went to Second Life: who is in virtual worlds?  Our kids. 

Tony: Tom Peters quote: “We have been at this for a long time.  But we are still confused.  But we are confused about more important things at higher level.”

Audience Question and Answer Period

a. I am confused.  How is what we are talking about complement the old way?

Illieva:  When we introduced Twitter, we asked, how are we going to communicate to our customers?  By being personal there, we were able to deliver to our customers. 

Sandy: It is all based on trust.  In blogosphere, there are unwritten rules and if you are rude, you will get kicked out.  There is no replacement for face to face relationships—social media is an avenue to form those.  I just got tweets from people there.  But I wonder whether the next generation will try to replace it.  Example: my kids texting me from downstairs.  Not one or the other but both. 

Tammy: Board of directors questioned my sanity.  This is the reason we went to Second Life.  How do you build and manage your reputation?  When I am at home with my neighbors and my work website and my second life Avatar—they are all my reputation.  Manage your reputation carefully.  That is behavior and practices not so much the technology.  It is built on trust. 

Tony: I studied leadership inside these environments.  What does leadership look like?  If you’re not authentic, you get busted. 

b. I refuse to use instant messenging because I was always getting interrupted.  Attention span and focus.  My kids get hundreds of messages.  Focus.  My second question is around security.  Do you feel comfortable about the danger of phishing? 

Sandy: IBM is a very conservative company and so before we freed people to do this on work time, we did a survey with 2000 people.  We found that people who kept in contact with social media friends, generated more revenue for the company.  $6000 more per employee.  So we found it is worth “getting interrupted.”  Ways so it is not interrupting me such as alerts on dashboards. 

Tammy: We at Manpower study what makes people good at doing their job.  Young people are wired differently than boomers.  They have been using the internet since they could play with keyboards.  The term multi-tasking is important because they can just do it faster.  But it is important to think about what someone is doing—a heart surgeon shouldn’t be checking their twitter but someone looking over brand should have access to information.  Technology is becoming more pervasive. 

Questioner: So you are saying I’m slow. 

Tammy: I’m saying you have a different skill set. 

Tony: Coach K: “I don’t have rules, I have standards and the team sets the standards.” 

Illieva: There is nothing to prevent people from getting to see who else you know.  You should use privacy settings on Facebook.  Restrict who sees party photos. 

Sandy: Your company knows lots about you—your voice, where you go on your Blackberry.  The technology drives this everywhere.

Tammy: On Second Life, read the rules carefully.  Get the benefit of the technology and be safe. 

Tony: IBM person: “Privacy is not always good. If I faint, I want someone to have my doctor’s records.”

c. A person could do your brand or company real harm.   

Tammy: You have to trust your employees.  Step up communication with people.  Don’t underestimate how you treat people.  It is a small world.  Continue to communicate your message. 

Illieva:  Our associates and our customers are our most important advocates.  Continue to provide a high quality service. 

Sandy: Create a digital disaster plan.  How can you represent what is really going on?  A restaurateur: cheese up their nose making pizza and it took them three days to get word out how they were dealing with it.  On myspace, people wrote “I love this brand” and I was thrilled.  Then there was “I hate this brand” and I was devastated.  It took us months but we listened and tried to address the concerns of that person. 

Illieva: We used to only put out positive news on our company website.  Now we put out both positive and not so positive about IBM because employees could find the information elsewhere on the news.  It has increased trust.