Clay Shirky on the credit crunch and social solutions


Yet again I find myself endorsing the words and wisdom of Clay Shirky! I know I should be on a retainer but he hasn’t responded to my begging emails…yet.

Lessons from a thoroughly modern thinker about getting back to (banking) basics, ideally, within a community environment! If you think he is mad and his thinking must be 50 years out of date it is YOU who is missing out on the possibilities that Enterprise 2.0 offers us NOW!

So, if it’s that glaring why isn’t everyone and every major organisation clamouring headlong to make use? Why do so many stand on the sidelines and scoff?

WELL I suspect that a big part of that is down to ignorance. But it is also because, to get the best out of Enterprise 2.0 you need to be open to collaborate. Share information and ideas with customers, peers and suppliers. I don’t know about you but that is pretty rare, in my experience, within the insurance industry. Even if it weren’t then a lack of trust, respect, values and an aversion to transparency mean that there is an opportunity for the more enlightened amongst us to steal a significant march on insurers, direct writers, consolidators and aggregators.

Let me know what you think. Let’s have some discussion on the subject.

LET ME KNOW I AM NOT ALONE OUT HERE 

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Talking about YouTube – Clay Shirky on the credit crunch and social solutions
  

AIG: How the mighty…


Not so very long ago AIG were the biggest and one of the most respected insurers on the planet. Having been "outed" as greed-mongers, or at least preferred insurer by greed-mongers, you would think that the time would be right to demonstrate some humility and quietly get on with restoring credibility…BUT NO!
 
It appears that they are so ME orientated and lacking in direction that they are intent on wasting the $ billions pumped into them to keep going!!! I will be interested to see how Corporate America reacts.
 
Will it be the level of revulsion that is due?
 
Will they vote with their feet or stay to suffer, potentially terminal reputational damage?
 
Only time will tell but follow the link to a "tongue-in-cheek" graphic: http://www.creditloan.com/infographics/aig-bailout-pisses-off-world/  

Organising toward an economy of cooperation and solidarity


The concept of working within a collaborative framework is not new. It is merely that the case has been strengthened by the excesses within the global economy, the immediate and longer term impact of consumerism and greed upon individuals and businesses.
 
The following article first appeared in 2006 and, if anything has greater relevance today because of the events of the last year and, with the impact of web 2.0, the virtual removal of historic communication barriers: http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2006/0706emiller.html
 

Everybody loves SME’s…


…but when it comes down to it that is really just about the size of the UK market and the reality that even 1% is more money than most of us would need for a lifetime let alone as a business opportunity!
 
When it comes to b2b it’s nothing to do with "love". Relationships, "yes". But it’s about little more than maintaining existing accounts OR attempting to plunder a huge market using tried and tested marketing routines to make sure your products or services remain or become the SME’s preferred choice.
 
PRICING
Always a sensitive area and the standard "trick" is to pitch a price or rate that is as much as it can be without losing the business or as cheap as it needs to be win without failing to deliver!
 
SURVIVAL or INNOVATION?
SME’s can be very well served by their closest advisors, Govt. agencies and trade associations. Each is there to help but each has their own issues or agenda and, with SME concerns about cost and competition, they can be viewed, by busy leaders (who are working hard merely to survive), as being obstacles to development and innovation. In which case keeping on doing what you do and know (the staus quo) is the order of the day. As a result there is, at very least, a perceived cost barrier to embracing new technologies, or pursuing new ideas.
 
In such a difficult economic climate the financial and time costs associated with the process of accessing, early stage, cost effective, professional guidance to help identify, research, develop and market opportunities can effectively stifle innovation.
 
OUR JOINT FUTURE
I believe that we have the means to remove this blockage and to promote innovation and trade amongst SME’s. There have been historic barriers to collaboration but web 2.0 technology provides a means to overcome these problems. Providing a connected support infrastrucutre with the ability for an enlightended business community to break free of the financial (and reputational…in the case of banking & insurance) burdens of institutional structure also creates a means to share and trade with each other AND directly benefit the wider community.
 
IDEAS & PARTICIPANTS
The solution has been a long time in the forming but, to date, every individual and company has responded favourably to the outline of the concept and I am currently working toeard pulling some of the partners together.
 
I would be very interested to hear from other like-minded people who are keen to collaborate and develop the idea further for rollout during 2009. 
 

No risk of mince overload here!


For the sake of those of you who actually read what’s on my "space" and are friends, colleagues acquaintances, clients, etc. (whether past or present), I felt compelled just to let you know that I have not had a nasty bump on the head, finally lost "it" or become hooked on books about business management and theory!
 
This article from The Times illustrates WHY you cannot get too immersed in the kind of business speak that made Drop the Dead Donkey required viewing in the 80’s!
 

Goodbye to glib gurus and their gobbledegook

Although I would always recommend opening your mind to the experiences of others keen enough to share through their writings I MUST urge you to look at whether: it makes sense to you or helps you make sense of something that you have always "kinda gone along with"; there is a need and scope for practical application within your environment; the potential benefits (significantly in the current climate) outweigh the costs.

 
My babblings can be solely attributed to the final realisation that, rather than "fight the good fight" [for quality, value, loyalty, reward, sustainability and service in insurance] against industry-damaging advertising, fickle institutions and broker inertia by myself, I should make use of the technology that can help us address so many of the problems.
 
So don’t worry about me losing it but be afraid, very afraid that I have found a platform to garner support and the determination to communicate with like-minded individuals to make sure I can implement THE new collaborative model that has been in development in recent years.
 
The time is nigh!!!
 
David