So­cial Cir­cles

No man is an is­land, en­tire of it­self — John Donne

Business Traveler (USA) - - TALKING POINT -

else go­ing on out­side the frame of this weird lit­tle tableau; peo­ple are com­mu­ni­cat­ing with each other in new, ex­cit­ing and of­ten pro­duc­tive ways. That’s the find­ing of this month’s spe­cial re­port on The So­cial En­ter­prise (page 26). As the re­search shows, com­pa­nies are us­ing so­cial net­works to bring em­ploy­ees to­gether in new ways, to tame the in­for­ma­tion su­per­storm and solve big prob­lems. Ef­fec­tively, it’s the 21st cen­tury way to build ad hoc com­mu­ni­ties within com­pa­nies, to get like­minded in­di­vid­u­als to­gether, to share in­for­ma­tion and put it to work.

As we point out in the story, it’s the vir­tual equiv­a­lent of the old of­fice wa­ter cooler, where you get to know the peo­ple you work with and de­cide whether you can be a team. The re­search also points out that, just as with the wa­ter cooler tribe, how peo­ple re­spond in the vir­tual world de­ter­mines how much so­cial cap­i­tal they have with their co­work­ers – how‘popular’or‘easy to work with’they are.

In­ter­est­ingly, the study found that peo­ple who have lots of so­cial cap­i­tal are more val­ued, and there­fore less likely to get laid, off than peo­ple whose in­ter­ac­tions in so­cial me­dia are more limited. The con­clu­sion: whether it’s an en­ter­prise so­cial net­work or the com­pany pic­nic, how well you work and play with oth­ers is still im­por­tant. The camp­fire may change, but the rules of the tribe are very much the same.

So maybe it’s time to put down the hand­held, take out the ear­buds and con­sider your fel­low trav­el­ers – those in­di­vid­u­als around you with whom you share a few brief mo­ments locked in a metal tube hurtling through space. Make eye con­tact. Smile.

Who knows? You might find a friend. BT

— Dan Booth Ed­i­to­rial Direc­tor

sign up for the Busi­ness Trav­eler weekly newsletter at www.busi­nesstrav­

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.