Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Viewing OpenSocial Applications Through a Virtual Organization Lens




Viewing OpenSocial Applications Through a Virtual Organization Lens
by Pierre Coupet



Time to Look Ahead

These are exciting times for social networks as the OpenSocial developer community continues to bloom and flourish. However, that being said, it's important to note that social networks are currently in the process of evolving to virtual organizations and, therefore, the focus of our veteran OpenSocial developers should be on the relevance of each application with respect to its usefulness, strategic importance, and vital contribution function in a virtual organization. I recently wrote an article titled "Evolution of Social Networks into Virtual Organizations" at ::  http://virtualorganizationinstitute.com/evolution-of-social-networks-into-virtual-organizations.pdf  :: which sheds a bit more light on that subject.

Does that mean we should stop developing those little cute and fancy widgets and gadgets that operate across other social networks? Not at all, what I am instead suggesting is that we include an additional layer of criterias in our thinking process as we begin to formulate the application development methodology. I know that some of you may say, "Why develop something that a vast majority of users will have no use for?" Well, a brief look at the history of the internet will tell you why and there are so many examples to choose from.

The Not So Distant Past

Let's select the evolution of the website as a good example:

Back in December 1993, when I started to build my first website which consisted of 2 words, "Hello World!", I thought to myself how every single company would one day embrace the internet and that just about everyone would one day have a website and be able to do business online and prosperity would spread around the globe. Obviously I was 90% correct in my assumptions, however, what I grossly miscalculated was the adoption rate and the demographics of the early adopters. Initially, I thought big business would be the early adopters since they have so much more capital AND human resources than us little peons; have all these Ivy League MBAs and Ph.D.s at their disposal and, therefore, so much smarter and knowledgeable than us regular folks. Instead, it turned out to be my kids and their friends, as well as millions of other kids throughout America and other parts of the world, followed by a slew of independent consultants, and small businesses -- all in that order -- who became the early adopters. It wasn't until 1997-1998 that mid-size and big businesses started to get on the web at a serious pace. Obviously, we all know what happened next and there is no need for anyone today to preach about the usefulness of a website to small-to-large businesses as well as to individuals and other organizations of all stripes and persuasions.

The Present

To fast forward to the present, my point is that you're seeing the same patterns all over again. Currently, social networks are all the rage and its initial adoption was fueled, in part, largely by kids all over the world. To digress a bit, we should all thank God for kids because they are so much smarter than we give them credit for and even though we eventually wind up following their lead. In any case, businesses--small to big--have begun to look differently at these social networks from a sales and marketing standpoint even though they are not all there yet. With respect to most businesses today, it's primarily an individual lone ranger effort by individuals within small-to-large organizations who take it upon themselves to employ this medium for business purposes. We really have to excuse these slow pokes. However, that being said, it's a good step in the right direction.

The Future

But the really good news is that this step is only the beginning of a process which will eventually lead to a full integration of social networks within their organization in a virtual environment. Therefore, these social networks will have no choice but to eventually evolve into virtual organizations since that is the only way you can maintain accountability.

VOMI Seal of Approval

In that regard, VOMI (Virtual Organization Management Institute) has instituted a VOMI Seal of Approval program for developers who would like to know whether or not their application meets the VO benchmarks we've set for not only OpenSocial applications but all other applications designed for use in a virtual environment. We will soon release additional information regarding the VOMI Seal of Approval program in order to provide you with some guidance and welcome your inquiries.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while you are having fun developing the latest gadgets and widgets, just keep in mind there are a lot of old guys and gals out there who are seriously looking at what you're doing and, as sure as I am that the sun will rise in the east and will set on the west, they will eventually wind up following your lead. Keep up the good work.







About Author:   Pierre Coupet, CEO & Q of Virtual Organization Management is the founder of Virtual Organization Management Institute (VOMI), VOMI Virtual Organization Academy, and Virtual Organization Recruiter:: founder of the modern virtual organization management and virtual organization recruitment disciplines pioneered since 1997:: founder of League of Extraordinary Virtual Organization Executives:: and Architect of THE NEW VIRTUAL ORGANIZATION WORLD Collection. Contact directly at chairman@virtualorganizationinstitute.com; or via CHAT.

Stock Photo: courtesy of Pixabay

Copyright 2007-2016.  Pierre Coupet.  VOMI. Virtual Organization Management Institute. VOMI Virtual Organization Academy.  Virtual Organization Recruiter.  All rights reserved.  Cannot be reproduced without permission.

H1-B Visas in the Midst of a Global Economic Meltdown: Talent Shortage or Cheap Labor?



H1-B Visas in the Midst of a Global Economic Meltdown: Talent Shortage or Cheap Labor?
by Pierre Coupet



With all due respect to Seagate CEO, Bill Watkins, and the rest of my colleagues---not just in Silicon Valley but also irrespective of where they may be located---I respectfully disagree with the notion that we should lift all caps on H1-B visas or any of the other insane proposals and suggestions they have been trumpeting over the years. Americans are suffering and we need to get our heads out of the sand.

Addictive Behavior

US employers are behaving like crackheads or heroin and nicotine addicts who think that the way to cure their illness and craving is to get more of it in some sort of sanitized version, e.g., methadone or a nicotine patch, instead of taking stock that they have a serious problem and the time has come to muster up the courage and willingness to QUIT. I know it will be hard and painful at first but there is no other way to really recover and avoid falling into a precipice.

Plenty of US Talent

I refuse to believe that we don't have enough Americans in the US who are smart or ingenious enough and willing to work; or that Americans just don't give a hoot about technology. As the former head of a national executive search firm for about 18 years, and up until my departure from the industry 15 years ago, we had talent up the ying yang who were just begging to go to work. But guess what? This talent consisted of native-born and naturalized Americans, the latter group I belong to, as well as "permanent resident" immigrants from every corner of the globe living in the US.

Plenty of Cheap Labor Overseas

The problem was, and still is today: they were just too darned expensive in comparison to our lower-paid colleagues from overseas on a H1-B visa who were just too happy to be in the US working for an American company and were willing to do whatever was required of them. Their level of dedication and enthusiasm is unsurpassed, and rightfully so, given the opportunity presented to them. And what do I mean by that? Well, for the most part, in most of these countries, they train them to learn and think like robots. By the way, I am from one of those countries. But once in the US, we train them how to build upon their basic knowledge and provide them with all the tools and support they need in order to "innovate." This is just too good a deal to pass up and I don't blame them one bit for taking us up on our generous offer. Whereas, in the US, we train our kids from day one to innovate but, for the most part, fail to adequately provide them with the requisite basic knowledge and support they need to succeed until they get to college. However, once in college, they have no problem at all excelling in whatever discipline they've chosen. The real question then becomes, "Which discipline are they steering toward that Corporate America needs in sufficiently large numbers?" That part is easy to resolve with a little bit of Yankee ingenuity.

Facts on the Ground Just Don’t Add Up

But we all know that's not what's really at play here because, if this were truly the case, we would have used the H1-B visa program on a temporary basis, and purely as a stopgap measure, during a period of approximately 4-8 years, while engaged in a parallel and concerted effort with academia to remedy the problem. But the H1-B program has a perpetual life and the request figures for new workers only get bigger and bigger year after year, instead of smaller and smaller. Just the way an alcoholic or crackhead or heroin addict wants more and more instead of less and less. Asking for less substance would indicate that some honest effort and equal amount of progress is being made toward some sort of recovery. Whereas, asking for more and more substance while claiming some attempt is being made toward a full recovery is, at best, a joke or just downright insulting to someone's intelligence.

Therefore, it's not really "specialized knowledge" that we're after, it's "cheaper labor." Call a spade a spade and let's dispense with all the smoke and mirrors about this artificial shortage. If we indeed had a "shortage" of talent in the United States, American companies would put in place the biggest "Brain Stimulus Project" known to mankind; pouring in droves into both our private AND public high schools and community colleges -- from coast-to-coast, in both the inner cities and the suburbs -- doling out a ton of money, sponsoring all kinds of technology outreach projects, providing mentors on a daily basis as well as part-time jobs and internships to kids who otherwise might fall through the crack. We already have something similar to that in the schools with respect to sports and entertainment. I don't see us importing Chinese, Japanese, or Indians in huge numbers for sports and entertainment.

Solution to Addiction

Even if we are to go along with their argument that there is a shortage, there is a solution to that. In fact, I propose that we adopt this solution whether or not we have a shortage. Here it is: Just imagine if each American company decided to put in a place a serious Strategic Marketing, Technology & Recruiting Plan that, at its core, would have the company adopt a particular high school or local community college in order to make a really concerted effort to help develop the sort of talent that this company needs. This must be a Joint internal effort between HR, Technology, and Marketing. Who knows, depending on the community and its location, you could wind up with more than one company adopting the same school. The more the better, however, I am sure one is enough to get the ball rolling in the right direction.

I am fully aware that you can't possibly get all the talent you need from one high school or community college, however, that being said, you would, as a member of this group of companies, be able to recruit talent from ALL the other adopted high schools and community colleges. The cost of doing so would be MUCH CHEAPER in both the short and long run. And you wouldn't need to wait to form a consortium prior to getting started. Go it alone for now and the herd mentality would kick into gear. Eventually, you could help organize this group of companies so they could share information on prospective talent out there, wherever in the US they may be. You'd be surprised at how quickly a "shortage" would turn into an "overabundance" of talent.

Just Do It!

I refuse to believe that our Chief Marketing Officers, Chief Technology Officers, and Chief Talent Officers are so brain dead that they lack the imagination and foresight to put in place such program. I believe it's only a matter of them choosing "the path of least resistance." It's much easier for them and much less complicated to just obtain some cheap labor from overseas, end of story. As my son used to tell me every time I would come up with some "not so brilliant or brilliant ideas" and try to bounce them off of him, he would say to me, looking somewhat irritated, "Papa, Just Do It!" Well, I've got the same refrain for my colleagues, Just Do it! Time is not on our side and we need to catch these kids while they are about to graduate from elementary school or starting high school, not after they've dropped out or graduated from high school with a mediocre education, at best. By that time---although it's never too late because our college students eventually get to catch up by the time they enter into their upper division phase of studies---they will definitely be starting from the back of the line at the very beginning because their counterparts in Europe and Asia are already way ahead of them in terms of both "basic technical" and "mental" preparation for the skills "you may need."

Yes We Can!

Such partnership effort can be almost painless and highly cost-effective---a stroke of genius, to say the least---with the right combination of Web 2.0 and Virtual Organization Management. As to the question of where the money would come from, it's already there, buried in your existing budget for HR, Advertising, Sales, Marketing, PR, R&D and any other department in your organization. Just call all your department heads, tell them their mission is to find ways to do things better within 1 week to 30 days because you need to reallocate some of this cash sitting in their budget, and tell them two other things, "Yes We Can" and "Just Do It!"

Don't chuckle or laugh out loud if you're thinking that I must live on some other planet and that just isn't the way things are done in your organization. Why? Well, if someone had told you a year ago that Obama would be elected president of the US and that the web would be his secret weapon, you surely would have thought that "this person was on crack." Therefore, it's really only a question of them taking the time to figure out how to be more efficient with respect to existing business processes, re-examining priorities, and the proper reallocation of resources. Skip all the high-powered consultants, year-long studies, etc., because your department heads are smart enough and already have most of the answers. They are just too afraid to step forward, rock the boat and ruin their careers--in respective order. After all, who wants their colleagues and bosses to think that they are on crack or are some sort of nut job.


What Next: Drastic Action or Status Quo?

On the other hand, if Corporate America believes that the shortage problem is really not that serious---it doesn't really rise to the level of a national crisis---then it would really have no valid or compelling reason to take such drastic action and it could opt to maintain the status quo and continue to do business as usual. So which is it?

Conclusion

In conclusion, even though I know this message will fall mostly on deaf ears, I still intend to continue to shout it out from the top of my lungs in the hope that some day we might begin to reverse this perilous course that we've been on for the past 20 years.







About Author:   Pierre Coupet, CEO & Q of Virtual Organization Management is the founder of Virtual Organization Management Institute (VOMI), VOMI Virtual Organization Academy, and Virtual Organization Recruiter:: founder of the modern virtual organization management and virtual organization recruitment disciplines pioneered since 1997:: founder of League of Extraordinary Virtual Organization Executives:: and Architect of THE NEW VIRTUAL ORGANIZATION WORLD Collection. Contact directly at chairman@virtualorganizationinstitute.com; or via CHAT.

Stock Photo: courtesy of Pixabay

Copyright 2007-2016.  Pierre Coupet.  VOMI. Virtual Organization Management Institute. VOMI Virtual Organization Academy.  Virtual Organization Recruiter.  All rights reserved.  Cannot be reproduced without permission.

Job Losses at Their Highest Level: Virtual Organize Your Social Network Now!



Job Losses at Their Highest Level: Virtual Organize Your Social Network Now!
by Pierre Coupet

What Next?

What will happen next to all these people who are being laid-off? Will they ever get back a similar or better paying job? If so, when? If not, do they have transferable skills that could allow them to make a successful transition to another occupation that offers equivalent or better pay and, therefore, allow them to maintain or restore their previous standard of living? Or will these individuals be relegated to a permanent underclass or incognito status?

What about those individuals who have been notified that they will be laid-off in the near future? What about those who no longer feel secure about their jobs? Even the sacred cows aren't so secure anymore; the vegetarian employers are turning into carnivores these days and that sacred cow is beginning to look more and more like some good old, tasty red meat.

Getting Closer to Sunlight

In light of these questions and observation, a maxim I came up with as a result of my previous trials and tribulations came to mind: "the darker it gets, the closer to sunlight you're getting." After all, you don't get to live on this planet for 53 years without having gone through your share of trials and tribulations.

Although I am clearly aware of the fact that no one who is currently going through their own nightmare is thinking about, or can see, that sunlight right now. Their only interest is to survive as best they can; although, for some, they will think it's the end of their world and give up without a hard fight.

Virtual Organize your Social Network Now!

But I can assure you that this sunlight is there waiting for you if you know--or learn--How to Virtual Organize Your Social Network. Thanks to Web 2.0, there is no need to feel completely isolated or drowning in a whirlpool of disaster, however, you will need to shed old ways of thinking and adapt to new ways of doing things "very quickly" because you won't be able to continue doing business as usual.

Here is a link to an article I wrote on that subject titled "Social Networks: Virtual Organize It, Stupid!":

http://virtualorganizationinstitute.com/social-networks-virtual-organize-it-stupid.pdf

Virtual organizing your social network allows you to take control of your life and is a better alternative to just waiting for an economic recovery to take place. Hopefully, you will be part of that group of people who have made possible the economic recovery. Best of luck to all.







About Author:   Pierre Coupet, CEO & Q of Virtual Organization Management is the founder of Virtual Organization Management Institute (VOMI), VOMI Virtual Organization Academy, and Virtual Organization Recruiter:: founder of the modern virtual organization management and virtual organization recruitment disciplines pioneered since 1997:: founder of League of Extraordinary Virtual Organization Executives:: and Architect of THE NEW VIRTUAL ORGANIZATION WORLD Collection. Contact directly at chairman@virtualorganizationinstitute.com; or via CHAT.

Stock Photo: courtesy of Pixabay

Copyright 2007-2016.  Pierre Coupet.  VOMI. Virtual Organization Management Institute. VOMI Virtual Organization Academy.  Virtual Organization Recruiter.  All rights reserved.  Cannot be reproduced without permission.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

How to Virtual Organize Your Social Network



How to Virtual Organize Your Social Network
by Pierre Coupet


This is an excerpt of a white paper I just published which is receiving rave reviews worldwide:


.........
Now that you've built a huge network of contacts on your favorite social networks, where do you go from here? What kind of returns, economic or otherwise, are you looking to obtain--or should be able to generate--from your huge investment of time, effort, and resources in developing these contacts and how do you go about it?

The simple answer is, "Virtual Organize It!" However, that being said, very few of us understand the meaning of the words, "virtual organize." So without any further ado, here is our official definition of "virtual organize": to organize using virtual organization management best-next practices, policies and procedures for operating in an environment that has no physical boundaries.

Warning: it is a combination of time-consuming, hard, smart and highly rewarding work. So if you are not ready for the task, then virtual organizing your network may not be such a good idea. On the other hand, if you are ready for the challenge and the rewards that come with it, then let us proceed full steam ahead.

So how do you go about virtual organizing your social network?

STEP I. INTROSPECTION

Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach, you need to start out by asking yourself these most basic and fundamental questions:

Click here to continue reading this excerpt **

** White Paper Code: vomi-vomblog-111808




Social Networks: Virtual Organize It, Stupid!



Social Networks: Virtual Organize It, Stupid!
by Pierre Coupet


No doubt you've heard of the tongue-in-cheek expressions, "Keep it simple, stupid!" and "It's the economy, stupid!" However, in today's day and age, the appropriate mantra for those who belong to social networks should be, "Virtual organize it, stupid!". Let me tell you why:

Great Investment of Time & Effort

You spend a great deal of time joining social networks, reviewing the background of other interesting individuals, and inviting them to become a contact and part of your personal network. In certain cases, you go through the additional effort of setting up and administering your own group, write comments and articles and, in some cases, prepare and send out a periodic newsletter. In no time at all, you reach a major milestone, having developed a network of hundreds to thousands of contacts. You are very excited and proud of your achievements and, in some cases, send out a major announcement to everyone in your network trumpeting the good news regarding the surge in your group's membership total and how great it is.

The Big Question

And then you ask yourself the big question, "Where do I go from here?" You feel like you've reached a dead end and, if you're like most, you try to engage your contacts; ask them to actively participate and contribute content, etc. And, if you are an exception to the rule, you schedule some local, face-to-face, paid or free networking or business events. At the end of the day, after all has been said and done, all you're left with, at best, from your social networking efforts are mediocre or meager results relative to the astounding amount of available opportunities that the virtual environment-internet-Web 2.0 has to offer--that is, of course, assuming you're one of the extraordinary social networkers out there; and, if you are like most others, all you are left with are downright disappointing results. And, unfortunately, that's where it all ends.

The Bigger Question

Which brings us to the bigger question, "Whatever happened to the promise of the Web and Web 2.0?" Never before in the history of mankind have we been so interconnected. We are no longer limited by time, distance, geography, human and capital resources, and collaboration tools. The sky is the limit! We are only limited by our efforts and imagination; the extent of our willingness to break down the natural walls of resistance to change; and our willingness to explore new thoughts and concepts before they are widely accepted. And yet, the most that we attempt to make out of the tools and resources that have been made available to us is to try to set up local face-to-face meetings.

The Ultimate Question

Which now leaves us with the ultimate question, "So what is the missing link?" However, that being said, this one question opens up a pandora box of related questions such as: What else can we do, or should be doing, in order to take advantage of the almost limitless amount of opportunities that are available to us in this wonderful and absolutely amazing era? Are there any currently available solutions? Are there any emerging schools of thought on that subject?

The Ultimate Answer: Virtual Organize It!

Well, the ultimate answer lies within the virtual organization management discipline. Virtual organization management provides you with a series of best-next practices, policies and procedures for operating in a virtual environment and for managing a virtual organization. Virtual organization management is highly flexible, being that you can virtual organize at any of the following levels of an organizational structure: (1) an individual level, (2) a team level, (3) a group level, (4) a department level, (5) a division level, (6) a social network level and, last but not least, (7) an organization level. With respect to an organization, it can be either of the following: (i) any free standing organization, (ii) a joint venture, (iii) an association, (iv) a consortium or (v) a partnership.

Although social networks provide you with one wing -- which is: the tools you need to effortlessly interconnect on a global scale -- what is sorely needed is the other wing -- which is: virtual organization management -- that you must have in order to fly and soar high up above in this sky of limitless opportunities. So what are you waiting for? Virtual Organize It!




ABOUT AUTHOR: Pierre Coupet is the Founder, Chairman, CEO & Doctor of Virtual Organization Management at Virtual Organization Management Institute; the founder of the modern virtual organization management discipline pioneered since 1997; and also the author of the best-selling white paper, "How To Virtual Organize Your Social Network." To contact the author, send email directly to chairman@virtualorganizationinstitute.com

Copyright 2008-2009. Pierre Coupet and Virtual Organization Management Institute. Cannot be reproduced or distributed in whole or in part without permission. All rights are reserved.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Evolution of Social Networks into Virtual Organizations




Although modern social networks such as MySpace.com, FaceBook.com, Orkutt, LinkedIn, and XING are enjoying a great deal of notoriety and success these days due to their popularity with--and wild embrace by--today's youth and the business community, their roots can be directly traced to Classmates.com and SixDegrees.com, both of which were formed in 1995 and 1997 respectively. In other words, it took 13 years for modern social networks to finally reach their peak--become ascendant--instead of some spontaneous explosion in popularity. Therefore, contrary to the idea that this is some sort of new Web 2.0 phenomena, this ascendant position most resembles the supernova stage of social networks and the beginning or emergence of a new phenomena.

The question now before us is: What is this new phenomena and where do we go from here? But before we can even attempt to answer that question, a brief evaluation of the usefulness of social networks and related user trends must be conducted with respect to the the following user groups: (1) The Personal User, (2) The Business User, (3) The Government User, and (4) The NGO User.

Usefulness of Social Network to The Personal User

From a personal user standpoint, the social network is useful to 3 segments of personal users:

1. The Magical Personal User. The social network is a great safety net (or curtain to hide behind of) for those who are introverted and afraid, unable, or unwilling to easily enter into new relationships or form new friendships. Through the social network, this individual can--as if it were magic--instantly achieve the dream and illusion of having hundreds or thousands of "friends" with just a few computer keystrokes and mouse clicks. There are no risks of being turned down and no embarassments to suffer from. The person making the "friendship" request will never receive a "turned down" message, only good news that the request has been approved, which is usually the case.

Magical Personal User Trends:
a. Social-Network-Hop. The magical user tends to engage in social-network-hop by enrolling in as many social networks as possible and accumulating as many "friends" as time will allow.
b. Lack of Active Social Interaction. Outside of making the initial contact, very little time is spent toward nurturing any sort of friendship with any member of their group. In fact, our survey of social network members indicates that up to 99.5% of the initial contacts made by a member never result in any additional communication beyond the friendship-request-approved stage.
c. Ghost Membership. Once a number of friends have been accumulated, boredom sets in, resulting in very little to no additional footprint on the network.
d. Excited by New Gadgets. The magical user gets excited at the introduction of new gadgets that facilitate the making of new "friends"; that is, of course, until the novelty eventually wears off.

2. The Practical Personal User. The social network is a godsend for those who are extroverted, outgoing, charming, and charismatic; those who see this medium as an ideal avenue for easily entering into new relationships as well as forming new friendships for social or career enhancement purposes. This individual is not just content on accumulating a list of "friends", but will actually go through the effort of trying to make contact with as many like-minded group members at a meaningful level and in some fashion or another. This could be in the form of phone calls, emails, videoconferences, face-to-face meetings at a local level, or a combination thereof. This individual--a practical personal user--is not afraid to take risks and is very comfortable in his/her own skin.

Practical Personal User Trends:
a. Limited Number of Social Networks. The practical user belongs to a few social networks and accumulates a "manageable" number of "friends."
b. Active Social Interaction. In addition to making the initial contact, a significant amount of time is spent toward developing and nurturing a "limited" number of new and "bona fide friendships" in anticipation of real payoffs from these interactions.
c. Active Membership. The practical user is not only actively engaged in developing relationships but also has an interest in the overall development and success of the social network. Their footprint on the network extends way beyond their individual group.
d. Excited by Practical Gadgets. The practical user gets excited at the introduction of "practical" gadgets that enhance the "relationship building" experience.

3. The Rarefied Personal User. The social network has very little appeal to those who, in general, are (1) more or less very static in terms of personal relationships, (2) indifferent to new technology and normally fall in the "late adopters" category, and (3) more or less maintain a very or sufficiently active brick and mortar lifestyle; which leaves them very little time for fiddling on the internet. Therefore, these individuals don't really feel the need to belong to a network. This individual--a rarefied user--is quite content to belong to one network with only a "handful" of "friends" that he/she will most likely never get a chance to communicate with.

Rarefied Personal User Trends:
a. One or Two Social Networks. The rarefied user belongs to one or possibly two social networks and accumulates only a handful of "friends."
b. Total Lack of Active Social Interaction. Outside of making the initial contact, no time is spent developing or nurturing any sort of friendships or relationships.
c. Ghost Membership. Outside of making the initial contact, additional footprint on the network ranges from nil to none.
d. No Interest in New or Practical Gadgets. The rare user is neither impressed with, and nor cares about, new or practical gadgets.


Usefulness of Social Network to The Business User


From a business user standpoint, the social network is useful to 3 segments of business users:

1. The Baffled Business User. The social network is a very complex and confusing landscape to those who are aware of its potential benefits but nonetheless are baffled as to how they can tap into this powerful medium to increase revenues. They are intimidated by social network rules and regulations; are afraid of being accused of spamming or engaging in advertising and "self-promotion." Just as parenting is something that one learns on the job and no parental training courses are required in order to have children, so it is for the baffled user who aspires to be a "social network marketer."

Baffled Business User Trends:
a. Social-Network-Hop. The baffled user tends to hop from one social network to another without any clear sense of direction or business strategy. Their motto is "make friends and let's see what happens."
b. Lone Ranger Effort with No Corporate Buy-in. Typically an individual effort and not part of an organization's business development strategy and budget allocation.
c. Engage in Useless and Idle Chatter. The baffled user believes in the Network Contributor Myth which espouses that your primary reason for becoming a member of a social network is to freely contribute your knowledge and expertise and that any business communication which falls outside that scope may be considered spam, advertising or self-promotion. As a result, the baffled user is left with no choice but to engage in a lot of useless and idle chatter that makes no business sense whatsoever.
d. Reluctance to Seriously Engage. Outside of making the initial contact, very little time is spent toward nurturing any sort of "serious business relationship" with any member of their personal network due to a genuine fear of being labeled a spammer, advertiser, and self-promoter. But, most importantly, the reluctance is due to the fact that the baffled user does not really know how to organize their personal network and where to begin. In fact, our survey of social network members indicates that up to 99.8% of the initial contacts made by a baffled business user never result in any "serious business communication" beyond the friendship-request-approved stage.
e. Ghost Membership. Once a number of friends have been accumulated and the baffled user is left with disappointing results in terms of both time spent and financial results, boredom and the resignation of failure sets in, resulting in very little to no additional footprint on the network.
f. Excited by New Gadgets. The baffled user gets excited at the introduction of new gadgets that facilitate the making of new "friends"; that is, of course, until the novelty eventually wears off and the typical wasted time and disappointing financial results set in.

2. The Transformative Business User. The social network is a godsend for those who: (1) are intelligent, forward-looking, astute, bold, daring, outgoing, charming, and charismatic; (2) understand the power of this medium to transform lives, businesses and industries; and (3) see it as an ideal avenue for easily entering into new and lucrative business partnerships and alliances, as well as form powerful friendships. This individual--the transformative user--is not only content with accumulating a list of "friends", but will actually go through the effort of mining all contact data for strategic research and business development purposes; as well as initiate appropriate contact with targeted group members at a meaningful level and in some fashion or another. This could be in the form of phone calls, emails, videoconferences, face-to-face meetings at a local level, or a combination thereof. This individual is (1) not intimidated by arcane or nonsensical network rules, (2) is not afraid to "sell", (3) is willing to take acceptable risks, and (4) is very comfortable in his/her own skin.

Transformative Business User Trends:
a. Limited Number of Social Networks. The transformative user belongs to a few social networks and accumulates a "manageable" number of "serious and bona fide friends."
b. Part of a Coordinated Business Strategy with Corporate Buy-in. The transformative user is able to evangelize the benefits of the social network to the powers that be and able to secure social network marketing as a line item in the overall marketing budget.
c. Active Social and Business Interaction. In addition to making the initial contact, a significant amount of time is spent toward developing and nurturing a "limited" and "qualitative" number of new and "bona fide friendships" for both short-term and long-term economic benefits.
d. Focus on Organizing Group or Personal Network. The transformative user focuses on implementing a coordinated and concentrated effort to organize their group or personal network for business development purposes. Primary means of interaction include audio or web-based teleconferences and local face-to-face events.
e. Active Membership. The transformative user is not only actively engaged in developing relationships but also has an interest in the overall development and success of the social network. Their footprint on the network extends way beyond their individual group or personal network.
f. Excited by Practical Gadgets. The transformative user gets excited at the introduction of "practical" gadgets that enhance the "relationship building" experience.

3. The Reluctant Business User. The social network has very little appeal to those who, in general, are (1) entrenched in the old tried and true ways of doing business and are currently relatively successful or star performers; (2) are technology agnostic or indifferent to new technology and normally fall in the "late adopters" category; (3) more or less maintain a relatively fast-paced to very hectic brick and mortar schedule which leaves very little time for experimenting on the internet; and (4) are reluctant to take risks which could impact their careers. This individual is quite content to belong to one or two networks with only a "handful" of "friends."

Reluctant Business User Trends:
a. One or Two Social Networks. The rare user belongs to one or possibly two social networks and accumulates only a handful of "friends."
b. Total Lack of Active Social Interaction. Outside of making the initial contact, no time is spent developing or nurturing any sort of friendships or relationships.
c. Ghost Membership. Outside of making the initial contact, additional footprint on the network ranges from nil to none.
d. No Interest in New or Practical Gadgets. The reluctant user is neither impressed with, and nor cares about, new gadgets.

Usefulness of Social Network to The Government User

From a government user standpoint, the social network is useful to 2 segments of government users:

1. The Information-Centric Government User. The social network is a magnet for government administrators and members who are primarily interested in either sharing, disseminating, or obtaining info among and across related groups or silos of interest.

Information-Centric Government User Trends:
a. One or Two Social Networks. The information user belongs to one or two social networks; is more interested in being part of a group instead of accumulating a long list of "friends."
b. Moderate Social Interaction. A moderate amount of time is spent toward developing a "limited" but "qualitative" number of contacts for information sharing purposes.
c. Active Membership. The information user is actively engaged in either obtaining, sharing, or disseminating info on the network.
d. Interest in New and Practical Gadgets.

2. The Organizational Government User. The social network is a bedrock of innovation for technologists, a Shangri-La for policy makers and administrators dealing with and seeking solutions to complex issues.

Organizational User Trends:
a. One Corporate Social Network. The organizational user belongs to one corporate social network acting as an internal "think tank"; is primarily interested in leveraging the corporate social network for organization-related needs.
b. Part of a Coordinated Organizational Strategy. The organizational user has a specific mandate from the powers that be to leverage the power of the social network in an organized fashion in order to attain organizational goals.
c. Extensive Social Interaction. An extensive amount of time is spent toward developing a "qualitative" number of contacts in order to achieve organizational objectives.
d. Active Membership. The organizational user is an active and integral member of a team with clear and well-defined objectives; a sort of collegial body.
e. Interest in New and Practical Gadgets.


Usefulness of Social Network to The NGO User

From an NGO (non-profit organization) standpoint, the social network is useful to 2 segments of non-profit users:

1. The Information-Centric NGO User. The social network is a magnet for NGO administrators and members who are primarily interested in sharing information with their members and donor base as well as the facilitation of a flow and exchange of information between donors and management.

Information-Centric NGO User Trends:
a. One or Two Social Networks. The information user belongs to one or two social networks; is more interested in being part of a group instead of accumulating a long list of "friends."
b. Moderate Social Interaction. A moderate amount of time is spent toward developing a "limited" but "qualitative" number of contacts for information sharing purposes.
c. Active Membership. The information user is actively engaged in either obtaining, sharing, or disseminating info on the network.
d. Interest in New and Practical Gadgets.

2. The Fundraising NGO User. The social network is the holy grail for fundraisers seeking to establish and maintain an active and loyal donor base via instant and interactive online communication.

Fundraising NGO User Trends:
a. Issue-Oriented Social Networks. The fundraising user belongs to a limited number of issue-oriented social networks and is very interested in accumulating a long list of "friends."
b. Active Social Interaction. A significant amount of time is spent toward developing an qualitative list of contacts for fundraising purposes.
c. Active Membership. The fundraising user is actively engaged in either obtaining, sharing, or disseminating info on the network.
d. Interest in New and Practical Gadgets. The fundraising user is particularly interested in tools that will advance donor database collection, donor giving and donor loyalty.

The New Phenomena: Virtual Organizations

So what is this new phenomena we speak of and why is it so important in the overall scheme of things? This new phenomena is a trend toward organizing these social networks in such a way that they begin to slowly take on the characteristics of a virtual organization, which we'll discuss later in greater detail. What is more surprising is the fact that this trend flows from both directions: the social network and the user. However, that being said, this trend is only applicable to a certain segment of personal, business, government, and NGO users--as described above--and they are as follows: (1) The Practical Personal User, (2) The Transformative Business User, (3) The Organizational Government User, and (4) The Fundraising NGO User.

Now, that we know who these virtual organization trendsetters are, let's talk briefly about 3 of the 5 main characteristics of a virtual organization that they are beginning to exhibit, albeit in some crude fashion or another: (1) Structure, (2) Discipline, and (3) Communication.

STRUCTURE. With respect to structure, we're beginning to see the formation of a rudimentary organizational structure--a GlobaLocal structure--within some of these social networks, social network groups and personal networks of individual members. Let's review examples of 3 different types of GlobaLocal structures:

The GlobaLocal Network Structure:

The GlobaLocal Network Structure is an organizational structure setup at the social network "corporate" level that is designed to directly benefit the organization as a whole. For example, XING, a social business network based in Hamburg, Germany, has in place an Ambassador program which establishes "official" XING groups at the local level in major cities worldwide; for the primary purpose of organizing "official" offline events designed to plant solid physical roots--as well as to promote the XING brand--at the local level. It is a formal relationship with rules, regulations and performance criteria.

The GlobaLocal Group Structure:

The GlobaLocal Group Structure is an organizational structure set up at the social network "group" level that is designed to benefit a particular group within the social network. In this particular example, SICU (Synergy Integrated - Connects the Unconnected)--a group within XING--has formed a rudimentary version of a virtual organization titled "SICU SSG" (SICU Synergy Solutions Group) so that members of the group can effectively form highly dynamic "think tanks" and "service cluster teams" that allow them to (1) develop a shared strategy; (2) make use of their combined resources, core competencies, creativity, and connectivity; and (3) rely heavily on each other in order to accomplish their mission and stated business goals.

GlobaLocal Personal Network Structure:

The GlobaLocal Personal Network Structure is an organizational structure set up at the "personal network" level of an individual member that is designed to primarily benefit that member. This personal network consists of "friends", whether or not they belong to any group on the network, who have requested to be connected to that individual member and become part of their "personal network." In this example, Jane Doe (fictitious name of a real person) seeks to establish weekly and monthly online and offline meetings with certain members of her personal network on XING in order to energize her base of contacts and generate mutually beneficial opportunities. These meetings are consistent; highly organized; have a clear agenda; and are focused on performance and results.

DISCIPLINE. No organization can exist without discipline. In all three (3) previously cited examples of structure, they all seem to strive, more or less,
toward the adoption or maintenance of some level of discipline although they are not really sure on how far they can go and how much to impose. Discipline--whether
it is self-imposed or externally imposed; or online vs. in a brick and mortar environment--is a necessity for any type of organization.

COMMUNICATION. Effective and consistent communication, as well as the proper means of delivery, are a "must" in a virtual environment. Again, as noted in all previously cited examples of structure, today's available tools (i.e. free or very cheap long distance phone service, free teleconference, free web-collaboration tools, 'e.g., Skype, GoogleDocs, Yugma, Microsoft SharedView') are more than enough to facilitate communication and cooperation between all parties. All that remains to complete the circle is an effective communicator with excellent verbal, written, and oratory communication skills.

We will not attempt to cover the two (2) remaining main characteristics of a virtual organization since they fall outside the scope of this discussion, however, more information regarding virtual organization management can be obtained at http://www.virtualorganizationinstitute.com

So Where Do We Go From Here?

Without a doubt, social networks are on a slow march toward an inexorable quest to virtual organize out of practical and financial necessity. Although this march is currently being spearheaded by an elite group of networks and users, as well as the leading virtual organization management education provider, Virtual Organization Institute, the next five (5) years portend to be an exciting period of growth and maturation for social networks and the virtual organization industry as a whole as these networks metamorphose and evolve into virtual organizations. This period of maturation will lead to a broad acceptance and adoption of virtual organizations by all existing and new social networks and all classes of users within the next 8-10 years. History is being made and it's really an exciting time for all.







About Author:   Pierre Coupet, CEO & Q of Virtual Organization Management is the founder of Virtual Organization Management Institute (VOMI), VOMI Virtual Organization Academy, and Virtual Organization Recruiter:: founder of the modern virtual organization management and virtual organization recruitment disciplines pioneered since 1997:: founder of League of Extraordinary Virtual Organization Executives:: and Architect of THE NEW VIRTUAL ORGANIZATION WORLD Collection. Contact directly at chairman@virtualorganizationinstitute.com; or via CHAT.

Stock Photo: courtesy of Pixabay

Copyright 2007-2016.  Pierre Coupet.  VOMI. Virtual Organization Management Institute. VOMI Virtual Organization Academy.  Virtual Organization Recruiter.  All rights reserved.  Cannot be reproduced without permission.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

From Web 2.0 to Web Infinity with Virtual Organization Management





Virtual Organization Management exponentially accelerates the evolution of the Web by leaps and bounds. Although we're already in Web 3.0 stage---the processes and procedures tinkering stage---many of our colleagues are still talking Web 2.0--the social network stage. Nonetheless, regardless of which numeric [x.x] we attach at the end of the word "Web", we will never be able to truly tap into the FULL power and potential of the Web, which I call "Infinity", until we first understand and adopt the virtual organization management concept.

I guess the first thing that most likely comes to the mind of many is, "Wow, that's a really loaded statement!" To make my point, let me take that initial statement a bit further with the following Precious Water and Glass-Container analogy:

All that the Web has to offer is equivalent to that PRECIOUS WATER we use to not only quench our thirst but also for a countless number of other uses and applications. But Virtual Organization Management is the GLASS or CONTAINER we use to hold that precious water. Without that glass or container, we will never really be able to harness the full power, potential, and benefits of that water.

Right now, we're currently in the midst of a transition--a serious disruption--that no one is quite sure how to deal with. After all, what the HELL is a virtual organization or a virtual environment and why do we need virtual organization management? Almost everyone seems to understand the meaning of the words "Technology, Web Technology, the Internet, Blog, etc.," however, most of us are not quite sure as to where this is really headed, hence, the confusion about what to do and what sort of new processes should be put in place in order to adapt to and set the stage for this new world; a new world that is rapidly evolving right there in front of our eyes, with no end in sight. As you can see, this uncertainty keeps us in a state of limbo, without any sense of urgency, even though the alarm bells are ringing all over and everyone is talking "globalization" and "adaptation."

Our view is that there is NO uncertainty with respect to where the world is headed. At the risk of sounding INSANE, it is clear on our end that we are heading toward a near 100% virtual world. A revolution of gigantic proportions--a transformation unlike anything the world has ever experienced---and a paradigm shift from the way we are accustomed to doing things.

That's right, with the exception of construction, manufacturing, transportation, hospitality, and other industries which require hard boots on the ground and a brick and mortar presence, these huge tower buildings will one day become relics of the past--architectural landmarks. A lot of them will be transformed into virtual data centers, although most new data centers will be built underground in highly secure, fire-proof and blast-protected bunkers.

Homes will have to be redesigned differently in order to adjust to the realities of the new workforce. Shopping centers will radically be transformed into entertainment centers. After all, form follows function. Employment and tax laws and benefits will have to be revised or be entirely scrapped off the books. Compensation and benefits formulas will require drastic overhauls. There will be a Global Virtualization-eCommerce Renaissance and prosperity shall flourish and abound in every corner of the globe. Our entire way of life will be affected.

Today's methods of warfare will seem so archaic and primitive. Wars will no longer be fought on the battleground resulting in lost lives and limbs and destruction of physical infrastructure. Rather, they will be fought in a virtual environment between virtual networks with crippling and deadly accuracy. The first such world war will be called Virtual Network Apocalypse I.

Children will be taught about virtual organization management during pre-school and kindergarten in order to prepare them for the new world, just the way we begin to prepare them today at that age for today's brick and mortar world. We see a future whereby the morning and afternoon rush hour traffic congestion is a THING OF THE PAST, some distant memory.

This future, my friends, is, relatively speaking, all possible within a short number of years with Virtual Organization Management--NOT Virtual Team Consulting--and those who begin to prepare for it TODAY will reap huge rewards and fortunes that are unimaginable by today's standards.

At the risk of sounding alarmist, the ramifications for our entire global civilization are huge and astounding across the board. The adoption of Virtual Organization Management will generate not only tidal waves-but also huge tsunamis-of changes that will engulf and wash away those who refused to heed the call to prepare for the changes coming our way.

For additional information regarding Virtual Organization Management, go to: http://www.virtualorganizationinstitute.com/

Happy Hyperthinking!

Pierre Coupet
Founder, CEO & Q of Virtual Organization Management
Virtual Organization Management Institute
http://www.virtualorganizationinstitute.com/







About Author:   Pierre Coupet, CEO & Q of Virtual Organization Management is the founder of Virtual Organization Management Institute (VOMI), VOMI Virtual Organization Academy, and Virtual Organization Recruiter:: founder of the modern virtual organization management and virtual organization recruitment disciplines pioneered since 1997:: founder of League of Extraordinary Virtual Organization Executives:: and Architect of THE NEW VIRTUAL ORGANIZATION WORLD Collection. Contact directly at chairman@virtualorganizationinstitute.com; or via CHAT.

Stock Photo: courtesy of Pixabay

Copyright 2007-2016.  Pierre Coupet.  VOMI. Virtual Organization Management Institute. VOMI Virtual Organization Academy.  Virtual Organization Recruiter.  All rights reserved.  Cannot be reproduced without permission.