iRise Fusion ‘07-Barry Libert and the Power of “We”

Barry Libert, CEO of Shared Insights, kicked off the final day of the Fusion User conference with a presentation titled “Putting the Power of ‘We’ into Your Career and Your Business”. All participants also received a copy of a new book called We Are Smarter Than Methat was just released last week. Barry was the lead editor on this new collaborative book about the power of we.

Before Barry could get started, 3 members from Stomp worked up and woke up the crowd with a couple minutes of vigorous drumming on buckets and other assorted implements.

Barry’s overall message is that building community works and emotive feelings are coming to business. For example, 36% of American adults use Wikipedia but nobody uses Encyclopedia Brittanica anymore, 85.9 million people blog, there are more podcasters than radio stations and more than 250 million pieces of tagged social media. There are now more than 35 million Facebookers and it is growing at more than 65,000 members per week.

Experts agree, WE is cool. Gartner says that community development is the single most critical success faction in the enterprise. Another analyst say that enterprise social software will be the biggest new workplace technology

Business are communitizing – why? Customers know better than companies what is important; customers are experts, they understand the products and their requirements; and customers are a crowd committed to your success.

Businesses are communitizing in many different areas, including customer service, market research, employee training, and product innovation.

We can Innovate
Example, Dell Idea Storm is outsourcing product innovation to their customers.

We can Service Ourselves
Example, user forums help others solve problems.

We can Sell Products
Example, eBay. More people make their business on eBay than work at Wall-Mart. The bottom line is that everyone who could be your customer could be your sales person

We can Finance You
Example, Prosper.com. We can ’show you the money’ all in the spirit of community transparency just like the old-fashioned ‘community’ bank by matching savers with borrowers.

We can Simulate Us
Example, Catalyze which is ‘Facebook’ for your business analysts and usability professionals. We are all a community of WE. Community will be important to insure the success of you, your group, your team, your boss and your company.

Leaders are becoming We Companies
Example, the Person of the year for Time Magazine last year was “us” or “we”. Community is not just true for kids, students – but for companies.

Did you know, we can Write a book too. For example, in writing the We Are Smarter Than Me book, there were more than 4500 contributors, 750 discussion forums, 100 bloggers and 50 podcasts.

Barry left us with 7 rules for We Success:

  1. think big, start small
  2. its not about the tools
  3. form a club of like-minded people
  4. communities require moderation (not self-service portals)
  5. give up control – communities don’t like it when you take control, if you abuse them even once, they will make their voices known
  6. don’t forget the content (content is king, queen and every other member of the royal content; content will include blogs, discussions, podcasts, resources and webcasts)
  7. good community takes time – community is built on relationships not on transactions

Welcome to the World of We – it’s happening faster than anyone imagined.

A PDF of his presentation can be found here.

[Barry Libert can also be contacted at blibert@sharedinsights.com or 1-781-995-4709.]

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