Destroyers, Financial Storms, Obama: a Web 2.0 Beacon

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

My latest customer e-gram. About to complete my second year of such musings. Would like to move to blog solely; not sure my adult, executive, corporate audience is in the habit to follow such a means of dialogue.

While serving in the US Navy, our destroyer miscalculated the severity, course & speed of a typhoon. Compounding our misery was the decision to seek safety in port moored outboard a cruiser. For three days the winds pounded us into that cruiser puncturing her hull at the water line. Incredible was it to witness a warship at general quarters while sinking at her own pier.

The mood, behavior and weather of the prevailing financial crisis recalls that
weekend in Subic Bay.

Here’s what we could do to take advantage of the indecision and relative inaction of others: head for open water- meaning the environment where we are constructed to perform our best. Let’s ensure that everyone across the extended organization, inside and outside of the firewall, understands what are our near-term intentions. This is not a recommendation for heroics or reckless behavior, but an opportunity for leadership and the beginning of the campaign to reinforce trustworthy relationships across our value chain of employees, shareholders, partners and customers.

While others are standing still or meandering waiting for the unpredictable market storms to pass, a 10{915b2618a7c304f461205894c34b2284541042d3c677679407e2f30838792dcd} improvement in our performances could result in a 30{915b2618a7c304f461205894c34b2284541042d3c677679407e2f30838792dcd} increase in relative advantage (distance from the pack).

Where’s the web 2.0 component? Although I am eager to talk about the continuing progress in the mobile space with Microsoft’s bid to be the search engine of choice in the Verizon mobile network (search, as Google knows, = advertising $$); the introduction of Blackberry (Storm); and the launch of the Google phone; let’s benefit from the victor’s example in the U.S. presidential campaign.

Senator O’Bama
maneuvered from not-yet-ready to the presidency, amassing an historic war chest in the process, by inspiring participation to build his financial network. His opponents throughout the extended contest waged a campaign of message control, the Web 1.0 publishing model.

There is a wide-range of Web 2.0 tools & principles to get us started and the first audience to engage may be within our own firewalls. Moving from Publication to Participation will help to build an extended culture of innovative and necessary change.

P.S. the USS Fox did not sink at that pier in Subic. And for the remainder of our deployment in the South China Sea, whenever there was more than the threat of a rainstorm, the USS Joseph Strauss lit-off her 4 boilers and got underway.