Gartner Blog Network


The Month of Thinking Differently

by Carol Rozwell  |  August 30, 2012  |  1 Comment

This has been a month of thinking differently. I’ve been working a maverick research project with my colleague Deb Logan. We’ve been delving into the characteristics that epitomize a socially centered leader. We contend that only socially centered leaders can ensure sustainable business performance for the organizations they lead.

This is not about sprinkling social software tools across the organization, it’s about sensitizing leaders to the need for authenticity, transparency and generosity. Clients can read the complete research note due out later this year and join us in Orlando for a workshop on socially centered skills.

I’ve also been working with my colleagues Bill Gassman and Rita Sallam on social analytics. Talk about a different approach for gaining and using insight gathered and synthesized from social media. The use cases are varied, everything from product sentiment (pretty obvious) to crisis and reputation management (emerging as important capabilities).

It seems like every few days there is a new vendor asking for a briefing. You can tell it’s a new market because the have the most interesting names, many of them similar to each other. I found this to be the case during the early days of e-business, too. Lots of braggadocio – every one is “the world’s leading vendor . . . ” even if they are not yet turning a profit and their customers are still mostly in pilot mode.

Another special project is one being led by Nigel Raynor. With colleagues Chris Iervolino, Thomas Otter and Rita Sallam, we’ve been poking at what happens when capitalism goes social – when the 99% gain the power to change an organizations business in very significant ways. The thought of this happening should make some command-and-control types cringe in horror.

So where is this leading? If you buy the premise that social business is disruptive and inevitable, then organizations need to think differently about manager-employee relationships and about how they engage all the bright, enthusiastic people in the organization in a more timely, fact based approach to decision-making.

That’s going to require some of us to develop some new “skill muscles.” We will need to become comfortable admitting when we don’t know something and asking for help. We will have to learn how to quell our human biases such as rejecting information that does not support our mental models. And we’ll have to figure out what all those pretty data visualizations are trying to tell us.

Hang on, this should be a fun ride!

Additional Resources

View Free, Relevant Gartner Research

Gartner's research helps you cut through the complexity and deliver the knowledge you need to make the right decisions quickly, and with confidence.

Read Free Gartner Research

Category: change-management  collaboration  social-media  social-networks  social-software  strategic-planning  

Tags: change-management  collaboration  collaboration-dynamics  collective  community-of-practice  leadership  rewards  risk  social-analytics  social-media  social-networks  social-software  

Carol Rozwell
VP Distinguished Analyst
11 years at Gartner
21 years IT industry

Carol Rozwell is a vice president and distinguished analyst on Gartner's Digital Workplace team. Read Full Bio


Thoughts on The Month of Thinking Differently


  1. Claire says:

    We are finding internal social business ( Enterprise Social Networking) is helping us power through the normal challenges faced by acquisitions and the resulting changing culture. We are often suprised by just who does have the answers !



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.