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Well Connected


It’s time corporate staff networks harnessed the awesome power of collective intelligence by using modern technology in innovative ways, argues Olakunle Babarinde


T


here is a new phenomenon emerging in corporate GB. Te global impact of social networking has already changed the way we engage each


other as private individuals. Now social enterprise technology is changing the way we work, and there are lessons to be learned for professional networks. Te internet at work is now way beyond the


Friday aſternoon joke-server. It’s the first place we look-up information, whether about our clients, colleagues or vendors. It’s our handy fast-cache for knowledge, with most of us going to an internet search engine more times per day than we would any industry reference book. However, the implications of the use and misuse of personal information have been


WE CAN FIND BETTERWAYS TO HELP EACH OTHER.


AS PROFESSIONAL TALENT POOLS GET CONNECTED,


well documented. And of course in this age of social media news sourcing, there are no more sacred cows. So, we all have to watch what we post, chat, or twitter, or there will be hell to pay. Tis is one of the key reasons why many experienced and senior professionals have an aversion to social networks. Te common sentiment is that it doesn’t go with the priorities of professional life, leaving that type of expertise to those of the younger generation. For me, having consciously ignored


the rapid rise in the workplace of online cloud- and social-enterprise technologies, head comfortably ensconced in sand like the proverbial ostrich, this year it finally hit


112 POWERLIST 2013 | WWW.POWERFUL-MEDIA.COM


me. I realised that my professional success is actually already totally dependent on these technologies. Tools like Jive, salesforce.com and yammer.com have suddenly become crucial for the way I manage my external and internal customers. I sat down and decided to completely


change key elements of my daily workflow. My virtual inboxes, how I referenced and updated contacts, how I coached and mentored, how I canvassed for and generated ideas. Tere was no other way but to embrace it. Te wave of social enterprise technology was just too powerful and I had to swim or be swept away. Having adopted this technology, the


professional world is making connections in completely different ways to what was considered leading-edge just five years ago. Our young professionals are changing the work arena as they migrate from academia, with the use of online forums that offer greater support than any classroom training. Tese message boards are not just about news and gossip, they’re about solving technical problems and offering tips and advice, infinitely increasing our collective intelligence, by offering 24-hour-a-day connectivity to global communities of like-minded folk, in obscure virtual chat-rooms. Twenty-first century professional networks


are experiencing a similar evolution. BAME Networks are tuning in to the power of the collective, innovatively collaborating and reaping the rewards of the resulting social capital. We are beginning to realise that there are pools of like-minded people who share day-to-day challenges and have similar learning curves in the workplace, and are keen to learn from each other. An interesting aspect of the Powerlist is


its power to surprise – every year the reader discovers amazing new individuals on the list, but they have actually been working in their tremendously exciting areas for many


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