So very true... great insight:
Breaking Cliques with Enterprise Micro-Blogging
While we did also engage in chat rooms (and actual rooms) on occasion, I never successfully got the entire team to engage on IM once we exceeded five or so members. Instead of analyzing this, I fell back on the natural tendency towards hierarchy and power laws within social networks and unwittingly began to alienate the people I was treating as “lesser” members. In doing this, I missed out on business value and the opportunity to enable contributions from across my team on an equal basis. Much later, I heard casual comments to a “clique” within my team, but by then I had already shaped behaviors by my communications style. Who knows what contributions were missed, as team members declined to volunteer their knowledge?
Using micro-blogging, I am learning to appreciate fragments and ideas from across thousands of voices. If I had micro-blogging for my team back then, I may have posed questions and listened to the “small cloud” rather than calling on the “best and brightest.” In doing so, I may have led an even more successful team as we would have been able to make use of all the voices to address the team’s challenges and opportunities. I still have a smaller network of people I engage on a more frequent basis, but I can hear also and talk with people on the fringe of my network. More importantly, I can hear people who are simply talking about things about which I care who are not remotely in my network/culture/continent.
Even for smaller teams, we move from point-to-point communications, which (sometimes arrogantly) presupposes you know who has “the answer,” to discovery. In fact, presuming you know who has your answer can be very limiting. Likewise, presuming you know precisely the right question to ask in all circumstances helps you to thwart serendipity. Have you memorized the resumes of your colleagues? Do you know how to unlock all the potentially useful information that flows across their interpersonal networks?