An Interview with Louis Richardson - IBM Social Media Evangelist
Janelle_Floresca 270005MCFS Comment (1) Visits (2998)
Cesar and I were fortunate enough to get the chance to speak with several guest speakers at the recent E2Conf event. One of the guest speakers, Louis Richardson (Social Business Evangelist for IBM) spoke about how we are currently experiencing a creativity crisis in our society. In this session, Richardson mentioned that our “industrial-like” structure used in schools dampens our ability to be creative. He stated that this poor education structure prevents students from thinking out of the box and being innovative. Instead, society is taught to value productivity higher than creativity.
If people dare to venture outside of the “industrial line” they face the probability and fear of failure. One of the significant points that Richardson pointed out is that we have the most valuable learning experiences from these failures that we may not have learned if we stayed within the “industrial line”. Additionally, Richardson mentioned that IBM’s Enterprise Social Software is a helpful business tool that can be used to enhance and boost creativity. In fact, more than one third of the Fortune 100 use IBM social business software and over 400,000 IBMers use the company’s social platform to connect and collaborate.
Furthermore, Cesar and I also had to opportunity to ask Richardson a few questions:
1) Being creative can be scary because you don't know the outcome. How can we encourage people to make mistakes?
This is a cultural change, it is something that should be led by high authority (lead by example)
Inside organizations, training recipients to be sensitive and embrace questions instead of saying “WRONG” so you can get the best idea next time
“I am not valued by the one statement I make, I am valued by the totality that I do.”
If you have a question just ask, and then move on and be productive
2) Students nowadays have to rush through school in order to graduate on time they don't have a lot of time to be creative. How do we foster more creativity in college?
In Singapore & UK etc. – We take social learning and connect to businesses outside (oracle) to be a mentor to you (something in your field), to build knowledge and special credibility.
3) Would having a main newsfeed do a better job of reaching a wider range of company employees?
Yes, it can help gage who and what you want to see.
4) How do you encourage people to collaborate and contribute?
Put an idea out there and see how people respond.
5) What would you change in IBM connections?
We need to simplify it more. The same strategy is applied to our products. The simplest stuff needs to be simpler.
We need to be better at removing barriers of entry.
We are really grateful for Mr. Richardson going out of his way to further discuss social business with us. His session about the creativity crisis we are facing was really insightful, especially since we’re both students currently in the “industrial line” that can personally relate to the issue.
Janelle Floresca is a Senior-Year student at San Jose State University.