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4/15/2010
01:36 PM
Ben Kepes
Ben Kepes
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Change the System, Not the technology

Cross posted on DiversityI saw a tweet the other day that heralded the fact that someone I know who runs a business support agency had begun using microblogging service Yammer. Great you might say... well maybe.I''ve had previous conversations with this particular individual (who shall remain nameless for obvious reasons). A year or so ago I was surprised (actually somewhat flabbergasted) to receive an email from his PA telling me that this person had been impressed by an article I''d recently written. The email was all of eight words long - and I can''t help but wonder how much more time it took this person to instruct his PA to write it than it would have done to write it himself.One thing I enjoy about the dealing with software companies directly is that (generally) no matter what level you sit within an organization, you''re a technologist at heart and hence embrace different communication technologies. I''d be shocked if any of the SaaS CEOs that I''m in regular contact with actually had a PA let alone had their PA write their emails.This is in contrast to another organization I''ve been involved with (and yes, I''d love to name and shame but I won''t) this organization is a multi billion dollar business involved in selling telecommunication products and services and alas, a large number of the workers within the organization seem unable to use the phone let alone email.But all of this isn''t merely an exasperated rant - rather it''s a cry to think about culture, not technology. All the microblogging, collaboration, e-this, i-that and mobile everything else technology in the world is of little effect if the people within the organization have a culture that doesn''t encourage responsiveness, dialogue and open-communications. So please people - focus on the system, not the technology....

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