Before you get in the car, you need a driver and a map.

October 5th, 2002

Matt Mower comments on my altruism as a cultivated resource comments:

I listened to a Geoffrey Moore webcast recently titled “Provocation Selling: Making quota in a downmarket” (via Rick Klau’s site) and it was very interesting. Basically he says the only way to sell software to large corps today is to fix “leaky pipes.” So knowledge logging must become a wrench.

My current angle is that internal communications and awareness is the “leaky pipe.”

I am trying to develop a line that sells business weblogging as a way to make corporations more responsive to internal changes and data “at the edge.”

The difficuly with providing technology solutions to this particular leaky pipe is that it’s not a technical problem. It’s a problem of an entrenched culture of insecurity that results in hoarding of knowledge and attempts to steer personal and corporate destinies by controlling knowledge flow.

Everyone’s standing around knee-deep in water, leaky pipes all around, but either unwilling to recognize that the excess moisture is what’s bogging their company down, or unwilling to act and possibly become a casualty to the process.

The only lasting solution is to promote a culture of openness and sharing, as Phil Windley is doing, and through hard work and small wins, build a grassroots awakening to the power of altruism. The technology is just the wheels to transport us there – the entire trip has to be mapped out and deftly navigated by enlightened management.

Our problem is that we’re trying to sell sets of fancy wheels to people who don’t know how or why to drive, let alone have a map of where they’re going. They get in, crash into the first obstacle they find, get out and slam the door, muttering about how this damn car can’t drive straight.

We as wheels providers will have to team up with business analysts who have the ear of the executive layer and can teach them how to drive and map a path towards enlightenment. They will have to, like Windley, lead by example, at which point we can ride in their wake and spread knowledge tools and concepts.

I firmly believe that the way out of the mess of corporate untrustworthiness that’s miring this dark economy is for organizations to become visibly approachable and believable in the best Cluetrain fashion.

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