Abraham Lincoln - A Social Business Pioneer
Colleen Burns 120000C4RP firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  socialbusiness abraham_lincoln brandi_boatner ibmredbooks
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By Brandi Boatner
The world is inundated with tons of information on a daily basis often causing information overload. But before the Internet, Web 2.0, text messaging, and the 24-hour news cycle, significant game-changing, history-making information was present (even before words like petabyte existed). This information was critical to society, government, and history as we know it.
One such example is our 16th president Abraham Lincoln. History shows us that he was comfortable with and embraced a new technology – the telegraph. Despite his lack of expertise in military affairs, Lincoln studied books from the Library of Congress and devoured the telegraphic reports.
According to the Smithsonian, almost daily, and sometimes more often, Lincoln visited the War Department telegraph office across from the White House. By reviewing military telegrams, he gained insight into the strategic thinking of his generals and welcome or not, could insert himself into their decisions.
The constant flow of information allowed Lincoln to follow the War as it happened and to assert his leadership over the military as no president before him. He kept close tabs on all phases of the military effort, consulted with governors, and selected generals based on their past success.
President Lincoln used technology to get a full picture of a nation at war in order to help him engage and connect with his military personnel. The telegraph increased the speed at which information and communication could happen, it changed the world, it changed war, and it changed daily life.
In today’s digital era, social networks are a form of electronic communication. Social media has increased the speed at which communication happens, it has changed the world, and it has changed daily life.
With modern technology, businesses are using information in entirely new ways to improve performance and gain new insight about their business and the world around them.
By turning “what- if” into “what we know” and “what will be,” smart companies are gaining the insight required to improve productivity and properly fuel innovative 21st century growth thanks to the trailblazing efforts of one of the first presidential social business pioneers.
Brandi Boatneris a Communications Strategist for IBM in New York City where she is a member of the Global Business Services strategic communications team. Her roles and responsibilities include social business and digital strategies for IBM consulting division, working on IBM campaigns around business analytics, C-suite thought leadership studies, enterprise digital transformation, and smarter commerce. Boatner is extremely passionate about digital communications and considers herself a true "social butterfly."
Brandi is an IBM Redbooks Thought Leader