The issue is about the content on their site and to which level a company should control this content. Last week, two of the most popular discussions on Ingenuity Working had titles such as Soccer World Cup and Show Me Your Pets.
The big question is what Psion – and other “owners” of such communities – should do with this kind of content.
Psion has taken a very candid and open approach on their open innovation initiatives and it starts at the top of the company. So I was not surprised to see their CEO, John Conoley address this matter in a blog post. This is what he wrote:
OMG…it’s turning into a social networking site!
By John Conoley, CEO
There seems to be a lot of chat about world cup, other sports, recipes…how will that look to the outside world..??
Well pretty fine actually. Work is a social enterprise. When you come into the office do you only talk about work? Or…do you also talk about the game last night, the TV, funny or interesting things you hear? That does not stop us taking our work seriously.
When you meet a customer or partner…do you never talk to them about things outside work? Of course you do. If you did not…well you’d look pretty strange and unfriendly.
So why would you come into this community, which is part of our workplace, and never talk about other stuff? Why act differently here? OF course the main point is as a useful work tool: but it should be seamless to our working lives and workplace.
You have to laugh when you look at some other companies’ first attempts at this. BORING! BORING!
Now I don’t know for sure….but I reckon places like Apple and Google built a lot of their brand on the culture they created, and it was so NOT boring. And would you have liked to work in those cultures in the earlier days?
This is a key differentiator. Our competitors are boring. We are not. I’m going to get marketing on the phone and tell them that’s worth a campaign. ‘Psion Teklogix – so not boring’. Or ‘Motomeclogicxe – bet they wish they were more like PsionTeklogix’
Now…I was wrong when I said we are embracing Web 2.0…if we keep at it we will be in the land of Web 3.0 or Nick reckons Web 4.0. I don’t really know what that looks like, I just know we will be first in the world to go there. As I think Todd said, Columbus set out to GO somewhere…he did not know it would be America he found.
Building an exciting brand through an online community that the whole company can have a little hand in. WOW. Now that’s exciting.
I like this mindset and more importantly, I really like how the CEO himself addresses such matters. Now we can talk about top-level engagement and commitment…