The New Social Business

Strategic Competitiveness - Social Capital

Monday, 17 December 2007

Leadership and Social Acumen

As I posted on my People Business blog at HR Circles last week, social networks are important in helping HR deal with global people management challenges. They provide significant benefits to other business leaders too.

One of the most provoking blog posts I’ve read this month is Gill Corkindale's Harvard Business blog on the leadership crisis in the UK. Looking at the prime minister, the chancellor and the government, the Bank of England and its governor, and a couple of football managers (you can probably guess which ones), Corkindale notes a long string of leadership failures. Most of them, to me, see to have developed through these leaders being too remote from their organisations – a lack of social connection.


Continued at: http://blog.social-advantage.com/2007/12/leadership-and-social-acumen.html

 

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Saturday, 15 December 2007

Carly Fiorina: People aren't the soft stuff

I've been attending (and presenting at) HR.com's VIEW conference (see my HCM blog for details). Carly Fiorina provided the opening keynote, and one of her points caught my attention. She said that people aren't the soft stuff - they're the software, ie the clever stuff.


I agree with her on people not being the soft stuff, and you'll find plenty on my HCM blog about this to. I also recommend Scott McArthur's blog, particularly this post.


However, in this post, I wanted to extend on Fiorina's point about people being the software. You could see:

  • Human capital as the software sitting on each individual PC

  • Organisation capital as the hardware - particularly the computer networks linking different PCs together

  • Social capital as the intra and inter net, including web 2.0.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Social capital in Second Life

From my HCM blog:

I hope you like my new avatars (digital characters) on the right hand column of this blog - I suspect experienced bloggers will find them extremely annoying, but I hope I'm forgiven as a newbie for a bit of experimentation. I've also been doing a bit more playing around in Second Life (SL).

For those that don't know, SL is a three-dimensional, virtual reality world where you can meet interesting people, do amazing things, and live out your fantasies.


Continued at: http://blog.social-advantage.com/2007/12/social-capital-in-second-life.html

 

  • Consulting  - Research - Speaking  -  Training -  Writing
  • Strategy   -  Team development  -  Web 2.0  -  Change
  • Contact  me to  create  more  value  for  your  business
  • jon [dot] ingham [at] social [dash] advantage [dot] com

.

Mintzberg on social capital

From my HCM blog:

I've already mentioned that one of Mintzberg's remedies for short termism is to get the analysts of the backs of the corporation. Others are to:

  • Take corporate governance seriously
  • Keep the mercenaries out of the executive suites.


But I think Mintzberg's last suggestion is potentially the most valuable.This is:

  • Treat the enterprise as a community of engaged members, not a collection of free agents. We can start, for example, with compensation systems that encourage co-operative effort. Corporations are social institutions, which function best when committed human beings (not human "resources") collaborate in relationships based on trust and respect. Destroy this and the whole institution of business collapses.

Flooding and social capital

From my HCM Blog:

I came across an interesting article on the floods across the UK recently: "When the waters clear". The articles notes that flooding destroys organisational but not social capital:


"Floods and other disaster destroy physical and financial capital. But not relations between people and their networks - what's often called social capital.

Even truckloads of goodwill can't offset the trauma of being flooded. Indeed, unlike any other form of capital - social capital can actually increase at a time of crisis. People who come together learn the importance of appreciating the value of neighbourly support, often act with greater community spirit in the aftermath of a disaster. All of us can help by encouraging the victims of the flood to look for solutions that will improve their lives instead of looking for someone to blame. Blaming often weakens social capital and undermines the return to "normalcy". Instead of looking for a hidden meaning behind the flood we ought to be focusing on learning the lessons. We now know that floods are normal part of our life. What we have to figure out is how much of our resources we are prepared to devote to minimising their destructive impact on our lives."



Ie it is our reactions to crises like floods, not the floods themselves, that can damage us most.
I guess the same is true in organisations as well. It is a rare organisation that thinks about how it will react to challenges and particular failures in a way that will increase its social capital.