Online collaboration is leading the way

Businesses and individuals are becoming exponentially more productive and efficient thanks to the innovations that connect them. Between email, Skype, and telecommuting, the landscape of business communication and collaboration is vastly different than it was even a few years ago. We will see just how many of these technologies are helping businesses today, and how quickly people are now able to collaborate and innovate together.

Our organizational structures are getting flatter every day. Technology is not making us less personal, we are getting more personal through technology. We buy less from companies every day and more from people.

Technology actually has evolved to a point that it is becoming anti-technology. The new business models are about communities and organizations must understand what makes them tick. In the book The Hyper-Social Organization: Eclipse Your Competition by Leveraging Social Media, the authors discuss the 4 pillars of Hyper-Sociality:

  1. Tribe vs. market segment
  2. Human-centricity vs. company centricity
  3. Network vs. channel
  4. Social messiness vs. process and hierarchy

The funny thing about all of this is that there will also be a rapid increase in exceptions,  more of the anti-technology stuff and more people interactions. This change has invaded both customer service and marketing. Traditional print media, PR and advertising are gradually fading out. Even referrals have shifted from word of mouth to more of a tribal type relationship. If your organization is not already part of the tribe you are overlooked.

Just having a great product is not enough. Sure Apple looks like they are banging out innovation after innovation. But are they? Or is it more of the “Apple Tribe” that devours each new innovation with Steve Jobs as the head of the kingdom.

The next facet of business to change will likely be innovation, if it has not already. Co-creation is upon us and as our tools get better there will be more and more interactivity with our customers. Those exceptions that many of us dread will even become more normal and part of everyday innovation.

Sound like a lot of fun! Learning to market and innovate through iterative cycles is what Lean Marketing is all about. Using Lean on a project to project basis to reduce waste and make marketing and innovation more efficient is hardly effective. Empowering our people for a more human approach within the tribes we choose to network or participate in is the differentiation Lean provides. Lean provides the structure we need to provide value to this social messiness.  Without, we lose our relevance and speed that is needed in the collaborative world that we are entering. I look forward to the great journey ahead.

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