A colleague emailed me this NYT article titled, "Apple's Obsession With Secrecy Grows Stronger."
It reeked of old world thinking to me. I truly hope it isn't true ... because up until reading this I've had a secret professional crush on Steve Jobs. Let's face it, he's charming and the products his vision and his team create either make you smile, or woo you with their beauty.
Contrast the "lock it down, speak nothing, tweet nothing" culture, as depicted in this article, with what EMC has going on.
While we take confidentiality seriously, we're also moving at warp speed to the model that leverages more connections, more collaboration, more sharing, and everything else 2.0. (Kudos to EMC leaders like Board Member, Jack Egan; Division President, Mark Lewis; HR EVP, Jack Mollen; and CTO, Jeff Nick; Marketing VP & CTO Chuck Hollis; and the influence of folks who joined us from RSA Security like Dr. Burt Kaliski, for "getting this" early on and encouraging EMC to learn new skills to unlock the business magic within 2.0 management and behavior models.)
The evolved EMC culture is a mecca for empowered Intrapreneurs, for people who like to be treated like adults, who enjoy the riches of connections and collaboration, and who have an abundance of gifts to share which, when harnessed, can fast-forward growth of nifty things like revenue, profit, markets, market share, brands, life-saving efforts, market value, awards, and customer appreciation of game-changing strategies.
Earlier today, I wrote a comment on another blog which discussed how one might position the value of a 2.0 model to companies looking for ROI. My reply is intimately related to this discussion of workplace cultures -- and the business value of that culture model decision. It follows.
"Yesterday I presented my thoughts on the next wave of social media to an audience of business leaders for the TARA Exchange. I found myself using the analogy of a Triangle to show the value.
Imagine the top of the triangle as the "normal" top down driven way of getting information out and engaging audiences. This is the typical command-and-control world.
Now look at the relative size of the bottom of the triangle. Consider the backdrop of today's global business world where things change in a flash, and companies are looking for "strategic agility" to get growth, growth and more growth.
Would you like to have just the precious few engaging the world with your mission -- the top? Or everybody? Will “just the top” get you there fast enough?
Entrust your people. (99% will do the right thing; they really do want to help your business rather than hurt it.)
Allow them to practice these new skills. (Try an internal social network first. Ensure that the environment is supportive, and people understand that mistakes will happen – this is good. This is the place to learn. Encourage peer mentors in these new skills.)
Provide them with some guidelines. (Be genuine yet positive; Connect & Engage as well as promote; Be careful to share only 'public' information; Mentor your peers with external tools as well and look out for one another; invest your time wisely; etc.)
And watch them become the most powerful and engaged organic brand managers you've ever seen! They'll do it for free, willingly, on their own time even ... and have a blast as they see the needle moving as a result of their efforts! They are a new type of leader in the 2.0 world. Here, leaders emerge at every level and pay-grade … and they come with faithful followers.
By leveraging the other side of the triangle, everyone is working with you to achieve growth, growth and more growth.
Look again at your triangle.
You know what else it represents? Think 'Delta,' the symbol of 'Change.'"
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I like to think that when the triangle is turned upside down, it really makes music ... for your shareholders, your business results, and the happiness of your really engaged people.