What Facebook and Google Taught us about Communications

What do you think is the most sought after resource on the planet? A resource so scarce and precious that countries spend billions of dollars to obtain it? One so valuable that entire IT staffs are devoted to protect at it all costs? Or one that the entrepreneurs who discovered how to best distribute it are now the richest people on the planet? It’s not oil, or natural gas, or plutonium.

I believe it’s simply information. We as human beings crave it. Information is what we use to make sense of our environment and our place within it. It’s what has made “Google” and “Facebook” not only into the two most popular web sites, but actually into verbs in our common vernacular.

And that should tell us something about effective communication. If you ask someone why they like Google, they’ll probably tell you that when they need to know any piece of information in the course of living their lives, they can have it literally in milliseconds regardless of where that piece of information is housed. And if you ask someone why they use Facebook, they’ll probably tell you that they can have direct interaction with almost anyone on the planet, whether it’s their 2nd grade classmate or third cousin. And that’s what people want. Vital information when they need it and personal interaction with those they need and want to interact with.

Now – simply take that same concept and shift it into your organization. Can you and your coworkers obtain the information necessary to do your job as quickly and simply as a Google search? Are the interactions between employees as diverse, interdepartmental, and non-linear as your Facebook friend list? If not, why not?

For most organizations, it’s because they simply haven’t been deliberate enough with their communications. Those same concepts that made Larry Page, Sergei Brin, and Mark Zuckerberg into gazillionaires could make your organization hum, and distribute that all-powerful, vital resource that your coworkers need – information.

It’s what makes the business world go around. It’s what the telecommunications industry is about. The truth is your employees probably aren’t asking for MPLS VPNs, cloud computing, innovative smart phone apps, SIP trunking, and video conferencing systems. They just want the Google and Facebook experience within your organization, and those systems are what enable it.

Who knows – with the latest technology and some innovative brainstorming with a Windstream representative, just like Facebook and Google, in the eyes of your grateful employees your department too might soon become a verb.