August 24, 2012 - FILED UNDER Mindjet
Fun Friday Links: Success Equals Failure, the Enterprise Social Road to Nowhere and Wearelucky
Welcome to Chelsi’s Number One Super Happy Fun Link Time, a weekly collection of cool discoveries from around the Web. Most times they’re links that aim to get you thinking differently about communication, collaboration, culture, and life in general. Other times, LOLCAT ATTACK! Submissions are welcome, and you can send them through one of the usual suspects.
Social Business has had it rough. Between privacy issues, slow adoption rates and a main point of distraction in the workplace, it comes as no surprise that it’s still struggling to find its place among enterprise tools. What are we doing wrong? In this article, Sameer Patel reveals a hard truth: We say it’s about the people but thats just not enough in the business world.
The people approach works for Facebook because we’re naturally motivated to stay connected to our friends. But in the enterprise, that same degree of motivation to connect and share isn’t nearly as organic. Writes Patel: “Content, as Dave [Winer] suggests for protocols, has a place in enterprise social networking. But only when the task context in which its presented is evident does it naturally create a reason to huddle. That context comes from data or an exception/ enrichment in process, or a project / task that needs to get done. Other wise, people to people connections becomes more like a directory where engagement is optional. And we already have LinkedIn for that.”
Winer, a widely-known software developer and writer, offers a great metaphor for how enterprise social networking is generally used:
“Think of a protocol like a road. You could have a wonderful road. Well paved. Wide lanes. Great rest areas. But if it goes from nowhere to nowhere, it’s not going to be very popular, no matter how nice it is.”
Success is a catalyst for failure. That’s the argument Greg McKeown makes in this article about why successful people/organizations don’t become very successful. Specifically, he says people tend to fall into the ”the clarity paradox,” which consists of four phases:
- Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success.
- Phase 2: When we have success, it leads to more options and opportunities.
- Phase 3: When we have increased options and opportunities, it leads to diffused efforts.
- Phase 4: Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place.
Essentially, the “undisciplined pursuit of more” spreads our focus too thin and our success rate levels off. In order to break the cycle, McKeown advocates the opposite: the disciplined pursuit of less. “Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials,” he says. There are a couple of really great examples in this article that make it more than worth the read, including the story of Enric Sala. In McKeown’s words:
“For years, Enric Sala was a professor at the prestigious Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. But he couldn’t kick the feeling that the career path he was on was just a close counterfeit for the path he should really be on. So, he left academia and went to work for National Geographic. With that success came new and intriguing opportunities in Washington D.C. that again left him feeling he was close to the right career path, but not quite there yet. His success had distracted him. After a couple of years, he changed gears again in order to be what he really wanted: an explorer-in-residence with National Geographic, spending a significant portion of his time diving in the most remote locations, using his strengths in science and communications to influence policy on a global scale. (Watch Enric Sala speak about his important work at TED). The price of his dream job was saying no to the many good, parallel paths he encountered.”
Wearelucky. Long story short: An anonymous person came into an abundance of cash, so they spent $400,000 on a Virgin Galactic space flight reservation– even though the extent of their space love was inspired by Star Wars, and not an actual affinity for the cosmos. After hearing what all of their friends would have done with the money instead, this person cancelled their trip and created wearelucky.com, a website that gives away 1,000 a day to one lucky person. The only ask is that the winner does something positive with the cash.
Writes the anonymous millionaire: “I’m still concerned about how Wearelucky is perceived but my hopes and intentions for the project are simple. Wearelucky is a sincere documentation of the memorable characters I’ve encountered, the impact of the money and the remarkable stories collected along the way.”
This, my friends, is some of the finest storytelling I’ve come across in a long time.