One of the things people will get wrong when trying to determine how to make a more human-shaped web for their company is sharing. Sharing is something that was left out of the business books for the last forty or fifty years. Your company isn’t set up to share. It’s not in the genetics, and as such, the people responsible for figuring out how to collaborate and do something in this whole new web are going to run into a problem quickly.
We Share Everything
Why do these web tools make so much sense to digital natives? Because they have sharing built into the infrastructure. We use Flickr because it’s easy to share the photos. We use Del.icio.us because it lets us share bookmarks easier. We’re blogging, podcasting, mashing up, remixing, sharing files, sharing everything because it’s easier.
This is a key difference between new tech organizations and MBA-base 20th Century ones. Sharing and collaboration are in the DNA. The problems being attacked are too complex for any one group to control all the answers. But collaboration provides a method, leveraging human social networks in novel ways, whereby these barriers can be surmounted.
I won’ give the details but Shel Holtz has now twice shared with me business opportunities. He’s sent them through to me in such a way that the person contacting me makes me feel like Shel convinced him or her that I am the ultimate person ALIVE to do whatever they request of me.
Today’s request like that was to speak at a really great company. I couldn’ make the date, as I have a conference of my own during that time frame, so I did what Shel did. I shared. I passed the person on to a friend in Atlanta who would be able to do exactly what I would’ve done.
An organization that does not share will not be able to utilize the new online tools to their fullest. Web 2.0 is all about conversations. No one wants to have a conversation where one side only takes and does not give. Or one side only speaks and does not listen. Monologs are just not fruitful.
Collaborators will go elsewhere.