Page 148 - Are you ready for this one? Sit down. The idea of boarder jumping and benchmarking you describe, where companies break down walls internally and externally in exchange for free-form communities, is catching on. I blogged a shout-out to my own employer eariler for the new feature added to our global Intranet that lets us regular guys start our own 'communities' -- unrestricted gathering places of our choosing -- on topics we think matter. And that's what makes it a bold move on their part. It's topics we think matter. Imagine... What community might I start? What might I join? We'll, let me hang with a bunch of writers--especially semi-psychotic mom writers who work from home (I know I'm not alone?)--and I'll be a happy camper. See, it doesn't take much. I'm not high maintenance.
Now, add on the capabilities to invite clients into these communities (yes, we can) and think of the possibilities. Immediately, I'm bonded with every other mom client because I know, through this community, her kids' names, what sports they play, that they were just diagnosed with asthma--and I say, "hey, mine too, and have you heard of Singulair, ya it's great, they take it once a day... And what nebby do you use... And the mask is better than the pipe at that age... And don't forget to put dust covers on her pillow..." Suddenly, I evolve from agency person to f-r-i-e-n-d.
Why should anyone care? Because agencies you shed. Friends you don't.
Bingo, bango... there you have it.
So, as digitally delayed companies begin to get this picture, hopefully they too will unleash and encourage their employees to build business this way... through good old fashioned chatting and gabbing. Note to monolithic enterprises: Don't be afraid to show your people off as the assets you claim them to be. You are gonna keel over when you see how smart some of them are.