Starting 2010 with a Bias for Action

It’s the New Year, and there’s no time like the present to embrace all the things we spent 2009 talking about. Trouble is, there was lots of talk in 2009. Talk full of buzz words. Some claim that we’ve begun talking in circles. Maybe so. But in the process, we’ve laid an important foundation.

Look at it like this:

Meaningful, sustainable change starts with an informed conversation. Together, it’s easier to frame the future, to find the best path forward.

In 2009, via blogs and chats, we began to frame that future.

In many ways, 2009 had to happen. It’s not entirely clear how, but we survived it. We realigned our cost structures, built our networks, and learned how to interact using social media.

Now, with scarcely time for a breath, the hard work begins anew. Let’s start 2010 with a clear mindset. Here are four key themes, resolutions to guide our collaboration efforts:

  1. Bias for action. The key step in breaking the talk cycle.
  2. Bias for engagement. Moving away from the Web 1.0 broadcast model of communicating, toward a more valuable 1:1 exchange that builds relationships.
  3. Bias for learning and discovery. I’ve posted on the need for a learning culture, not only increased higher priority for education, but renewed focus on critical thinking and semantic clarity. If we succeed, the prize is a knowledge renaissance.
  4. Bias for change. None of the above will matter if we continue to cling to the past. Our risk-averse cultures are often biased to resist change. To move forward, we need to embrace it.

What does action-oriented collaboration look like? Here are some case studies in virtual community that seek to use engagement and discovery to drive new solutions:

  1. Look for some immediate changes at #smchat. Building on insights from 2009, we’re brainstorming how we can drive even more value for members. Thought leadership and emergent insight have been the core of our value stream. How can we leverage that?
  2. We’re at an inflection point for exciting things w/ #ecosys, our pilot project on public engagement to drive social innovation.
  3. Take a look at what’s happening at govloop. Over 20,000 voices from across government are self-organizing. Ideas are everywhere.

Let me know if you know of others.

2010 will be a time of culture change and new paradigms. We don’t have much choice. So strap in and hold on. We’ve got some work to do.

6 thoughts on “Starting 2010 with a Bias for Action

  1. I think you’re on target here, Chris. Have you considered submitting an abstract to share and apply these ideas at the Open Gov and Innovations conference? We need new voices to spur the movement.

    Also, thanks for the govloop mention!

  2. You’re absolutely moving in the right direction – especially with your “bias for engagement.” I’m so tired of being talked at and not talked to!

    All the social media hype has been intereseting, but too often people confuse tweeting (or friending, or whatever) with actual 1:1 communciation. They equate having thousands of followers with having a huge personal network, and they’re not the same thing.

    I look forward to following your posts and seeing where 2010 takes us – or where we take it!

    • Thanks for the kind words of support, Michael, chatter fatigue had definitely begun to set in. Was it bad form for me to rant and set resolutions in the same post?

      And yes, agree, its where WE are going to take it .. 2010 is along for the ride.

      More to come, these are just the warm-ups .. stay in touch.

  3. Why is it acceptable to use acronyms not locally defined and buzzwords in an effort that seeks to broaden communication?

    Language that requires prior specialized knowledge might bring brevity and comfort to members of a circle, but it tends to close the circle, to limit it to those already present. Language that is self-explanatory tends to open the circle, to include more participants. Isn’t the latter what you want?

    • Yes Robert, we should limit buzzwords and acronyms in our writing, especially when we blog. Trouble is, some of the new terms have become so heavily used online that I’ve lost some visibility on this. If you’d be so kind to list the offending verbiage, I’ll be happy to provide alternate text or inline definitions.

      In the fast-moving online space, semantics are key, as I’ve posted here.

      Thanks for your input.


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