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Marie - I think this is where communities play a huge role because they provide constant tiny nudges in the right direction vs. a big effort dropped in people's laps who are then asked to 'change'. People don't change in big ways all at once... they start doing something slightly different and over time realize that they have changed. I'm not giving up hope that our organizations can cultivate change - they just need to be restructured to support it and that starts with building communities (I'm biased but I do think I'm right!) Thanks for the comment - looking forward to more of your thoughts :)
It is interesting, categorizing and figuring out motivators - there are so many moving parts and such diversity of pressures exerted on us - I think it may be a large part of what is driving interest in meditation, yoga, retreats and the like - a chance to get away from as many external pressures as possible so we can actually listen to what is intrinsic to us. It's not easy and you may be right - it may ultimately mean you are right, that there is not an easy distinction. Maybe those then are not the right categories - not sure but it is worth a lot more collective exploration. Thank you Stephan - I've been relatively quiet here on my personal blog of late. Running The Community Roundtable and writing there ( is absorbing most of my time these days. Children are indeed fascinating creatures to observe.
Hi Tracy - Thank you for sharing your success with gamification tools. I wonder if there are not two different levels of conversation here: the gamification of current processes to improve their success (regardless of how they help/hinder overall motivation) and the gamification of work at a grander scale, which is where my concern lies mostly, but also a much more fundamental change to the employee/employer contract. That conversation might be irrelevant because most organizations or employees are not ready to change at that level. Not sure. On a practical level I have seen communities with hundreds of badges that users can earn and it makes me wonder what's too much - what's the tipping point where they are not meaningful. I don't know and have not seen data on that yet but it also seems like a risk.
That is a great point - Facebook is a crossroads of sorts. It is something I've always struggled with as a user because no where else do my worlds collide in quite the same way. Like most things, that's an opportunity and a challenge.
Toggle Commented Jun 5, 2012 on Facebook's Black Ice at The Social Organization
Great point David and I don't know where it's all going to end so I'm not necessarily trying to paint a doomsday scenario... there are just some troubling challenges facing Facebook that they will need to figure out. But you are right that $16B buys a lot of room to do that. It is interesting that so many organizations are now somewhat dependent on these third party platforms and beholden to how they approaching the problem, which can be both good and bad. It's hard to stay on top of and impossible to know where they are going which introduces an interesting risk too. Regardless, fascinating to watch it play out.
Toggle Commented Jun 4, 2012 on Facebook's Black Ice at The Social Organization
Thanks for the comment Adam - not only inequity in the size of brands that can afford it but it also allows crap content to get more exposure than quality content - the classic pay to play. It takes us two steps back in my opinion, not 1/2 a step forward. The technology that is more true to relationship building engagement vs transactional activity tends to be the white labeled solutions because that is what companies are paying for. I wonder if we won't see a swing back to dedicated communities for that reason. Certainly very interesting to watch.
Toggle Commented Jun 4, 2012 on Facebook's Black Ice at The Social Organization
Great comments and it does come down to people vs. the content because we are collectively always adapting and if people you trust suddenly become interested in something that you cannot predict, you would definitely miss something. Alison - the unconnected time is also really important. The perspective you get helps to re-prioritize and focus and that is definitely something technology will never be able to solve!
Thank you Gia! Kare - you are absolutely right and I didn't mean to leave the impression that it was either technology or people - just that their relative costs have flipped but they are absolutely intertwined.
Bryant - that is a perfect illustration of my point and it is very seductive if you are not self-aware of it. It's very easy to believe that it really is all about you. And it's not to say, we all suck and are no good, just that you need to take the wider view of why people are paying attention to you. Thanks for the comment! Rachel
Thank you! We'll see about Daily Mile - I don't consider myself to be 'running' yet, more of a ralk but when I get up to actually running, I'm more inclined to post progress :)
Thanks for the comments. I think that decision making at this point in history is a bit different and it's really difficult because everyone wants answers even if they don't exist so there is not a lot of empathy for leaders. I also think the face-to-face is critical - maybe particularly so because if you are asking for and supporting a decision that may not feel ideal, you really have to trust the other parties involved. It's an interesting time in the world and it's hard to find people both decisive enough and open enough to change that they can lead effectively.
I received the same in the form of "Everyone's reality is their own reality" from my high school history teacher. I didn't really appreciate how profound the statement was for a long time... but she knew how to make it stick, I think she must have repeated it every other day for a year. It was a good think to have stuck!
Wow - great comments. Apparently I shouldn't post and dive into a big project :) I realize that this construct leaves a lot yet to think about so thank you all for adding those things that struck you and Susan, to your point, I also don't know if many organizations can make a transition from very hierarchical to somewhat flat. The cultural barriers may just be too big. @David I think that organizations need some easy/guaranteed/verified 'employees' and on the opposite side, employees want some commitment as well. So hence the something between employee and contractor. That relationship would also cover proprietary IP. But you are right, the details would need to be sorted out on how that works in various contexts. @Neira - Please feel free to translate and thank you for asking. @Rich I see employee flexibility and control as the logical conclusion of an organization being more conversational. If you are really going to listen and hear what employees need, they need more flexibility and control over their jobs. So... in my mind they are very closely related, all part of a much more fluid set of relationships, as you speak to in your post.
Joe - They are interesting stats and I believe they are for women's colleges generally but I don't know that for a fact... I'd have to do some digging. It's a slightly strange phenomenon that I can't quite explain although I will say I took a class at Amherst while at Mount Holyoke and was a bit shocked by how domineering the men in the class were, and the complacency of the instructor - if that is what high end co-ed colleges are like generally, it would be tough for women to even find their public voice - never mind use it actively. But that is only one data point.
Jen, that is very cool - CV Harquail also shared this article about Bryn Mawr: Engineering programs are a start and one prong of the need but I also think it could be elevated to a cross-institute initiative on technology leadership that included placement of interns, management of technology, a tie to sociology & psychology, etc. Maggie - that was very much my annoyance with the article as well. Um, well, until women are reaping the benefits of all that spending on the other side they are really just providing all the economic juice but not getting the economic benefit. So how does that constitute 'ruling'. Even after having gone to a women's college is is hard for me to explain why they are SO instrumental in developing leadership although I will say taking a class at Amherst opened my eyes. Only two women spoke the entire semester (me and another women) and the other women got shot down repeatedly and the male professor did nothing to mediate. If every class I took had been like that, I probably would have become a lot less vocal too.
Mike - It was great to catch up... sounds like you've got your fingers in a lot of great pots!
Thanks Gary - some of this thinking comes from online advertising in fact. aQantive (now Microsoft) has algorithms that allow attribution back to a set of online ads rather than just the referring ad. Behavior advertising has helped online ad platforms measure the full cycle time of behavior more accurately. The underlying human behavior is the same - it takes a variety of touch points over time to change our behavior.
Hi Judi - thanks for stopping by and commenting. I wasn't thinking of any one particular type of influencing factor but sales people can certainly be one type. Influence comes from a variety of sources, some more personal than others. Hi Sherry - thanks for stopping by and I agree - sometimes the people we assume to be influencers are not really. I think it is very contextual though. If we are looking to be trendy, celebrities may influence us quite a lot on the other hand if we are looking for a home appliance, not sure they would make much of a difference to most of us.
Hi Steve - Thanks for stopping and commenting. Love the term and will have to dig in to some of your writing on the topic a bit more. Rachel
Thanks for stopping by Mike. Having discussions with a group of people outside of the space was a really good level set for me but also a great reminder of why I am passionate about bringing humanity back to our organizations.
Interesting... your theory about mainstream media trying to understand new media. The thought that occurred to me while reading is that the Hollywood set is just pissed because they were once the radicals, the revolutionaries that caused disruption. That happened long ago and the industry has gotten somewhat fat, happy and...mainstream...but they still hold on to that narrative. The drama kids in school that once were outcasts but then all found themselves together and finally the envy of others... but they've been displaced.
Claudia - thanks for spurring the conversation and for the comments. It's a really interesting model to look to (if not exactly copy) and consider what that model does well that maybe companies don't - and vise versa. And, yes - pausing to consider what current functions this approach might encompass, as Isaac suggests, is also interesting. Isaac - thanks for stopping by and commenting - glad it made you stop and think :) Don't know either whether it is really a perfect model to replicate but... it does do some things well that current business structures don't tend to.
Chris - Yes, it is partially a B2C/B2B issue but personally I think it is sometimes caused by a cultural resistance to wanting to know... but you are right because B2B has traditionally operated on smaller budgets, they've needed to make sure smaller budget items are accounted for more specifically. Simon - you raise some excellent observations because there is a way to track almost everything but it is often either not cost effective to do so (really complex and costly) or as you said, it can introduce odd incentives if not thought through really well. Your observation about non-profits is particularly interesting. Regardless of being able to attribute dollar value to every outcome, organizations still have to decide where to invest resources so... articulating value in some way is important to help with decision-making regarding where the money/effort/resources go. Derek - thanks for stopping by. I don't know much about the security field but sounds like a similar tension... measuring while not necessarily sure if it's exactly the right thing to measure.
Hi David - I thought the measurement was the key nugget in your rant and felt like because your rant was amusing, people missed that so thank you for adding some more specifics to the measurement piece of it.
Also - there is a much larger topic of how to model and measure behavioral dynamics... but that is a topic for a different post. The investment and returns on relationship and learning related initiatives is very off-set... and you can get at it through modeling and tracking but not in traditional modeling approaches. Much bigger topic.