Louis Richardson 120000HRWE firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  social-business social connections | 2 Comments | 1,936 Visits
As a kid playing basketball, it was quite common to toss a ball at a friend who wasn’t watching and then yell “Think fast!” The thing that made this work so well (for those tossing the ball) was the surprise effect on the recipient. Often it was unexpected or “out of nowhere”. I find that interesting…even kids know to respond to a new unexpected event requires fast thinking.
Oscar Robertson was a great basketball player. According to Wikipedia, he “was a twelve-time NBA All-Star, eleven-time member of the All-NBA Team, and one-time winner of the MVP award in fourteen professional seasons. He is the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double for an entire season.”
But it’s been said he had a particular advantage over most of the other players - Oscar Robinson had unbelievable peripheral vision. He was able to clearly see what was happening, not just in front of him, but around him…team mates that were open…threats that were approaching. This allowed him to predict, act more quickly and take advantage of his opponents who were expecting him to only focus on what was in front of him.
In the game that is our work, we often focus on what is in front of us. And it’s no wonder, even our education systems are built on focus (and measurement)…for every question, there is one answer…and it’s in the back of the book…and don’t ask anyone else…that’s cheating. In business we’re given an assignment and we “focus” on finding the answer.
Several of the things that focus us are email, status meetings and internal conference calls. How much time do you spend on these? And while you’re focused on these things, what’s happening around you…in your peripheral vision? How many times have you been “heads down” on some project and then discovered that your competitor did something totally unexpected which resulted in your work being for naught? Have you ever been aiming for one target, one customer, or one solution…only to find that you missed an opportunity on the fringe? If your head is in your in-box, or always focused on internal updates, then you’re not able to watch what’s going on around you.
Social business solutions, like IBM Connections allow you to lift your head and look around. You can maintain a direction (focus), but you don’t have to sacrifice your peripheral view of the world. When social is integrated into your daily business, you can “stay on task and stay in touch”. By building out your social network, you’re building out your business radar. People whom you trust become sentinels who look out for your interests and alert you to activities that might concern you.
Connected people (and companies) are observant to their surroundings. They are able to react more quickly. They see the broader picture and can spot the threat or new opportunity before others. They are agile. They survive. They “Think fast”…they “Think social!”
If you’re interested in knowing more, contact me or check out www.ibm.com/social.