The Transparency of the Networked Age

 Don Tapscott (CEO of the Tapscott Group) speaks of how we are moving from a business model of opacity to transparency which allows companies to turn customers into prosumers and cooperate in vast networks allowing for a new way of developing products. These networks are becoming material and a huge force in building a better world.

The Air Force Collaboratory

The Air Force has launched a great new website, The Air Force Collaboratory, designed to crowdsource solutions to research projects.  As noted in an FCW article: “The first-level purpose of the site is to involve young people, in a collaborative way, in dealing with a tough technical challenge for the government.  This is not a contest; there are no prizes.  Instead, the site appeals both to a desire to excel and a desire to serve, both important themes for the Air Force.”

Its first three projects include:

  • Search and Rescue 2.0 – Develop new technologies through rapid prototyping to save lives trapped in collapsed structures
  • Mind of a Quadrotor – Build a system that allows a quadrotor to navigate its surroundings with minimal human interaction
  • Launch of GPS IIF – Target the precise coordinates within the GPS Constellation to launch our newest GPS satellite.

Kudos to the Air Force for leaning forward with another digital collaboration site reaching beyond its traditional enterprise.

Radical Openness

radical-openness-coverDon Tapscott and Anthony Williams are brilliant thought leaders on how business, government, and society in the 21st Century can leverage technologies to achieve exciting new opportunities. Radical Openness is the latest in a series of books filled with real world examples to convey an insightful vision of the future. This quick read is broken into four parts:

  1. Why smart organizations embrace transparency with customers, stakeholders, and society to foster trust and accelerate business progress.
  2. Innovative and successful companies are dissolving corporate boundaries.
  3. How companies who tightly guarded their IP transition to a shared IP model, managed like a mutual fund portfolio.
  4. How the proliferation of global freedom and justice movements are shaking up the global balance of power.

They describe how digital technologies slash transition and collaboration costs allowing new ecosystems of companies and organizations to work together in new ways and tap a global pool of talent. Enabling users to participate in innovation improves company success rates and customer satisfaction. Focusing on dynamic platforms to provide opportunities for partners to contribute and collaboratively innovate. The advancement of IT in the Digital Age provides societies powerful insight into massive amounts of information. This access enables freedom, openness, integrity, and collaboration where everyone can participate in a sustainable global economy.

Radical Openness is a great read for those who want to develop strategies and leverage digital technology to effective lead an innovative enterprise.

DoD Power Point 2.0 – SlideShare

SlideShare should be an integral tool in the DoD Strategic Communications portfolio to convey leadership’s vision, strategies, initiatives, and success stories.  Every program, project, or organization would benefit by leveraging SlideShare for their *PUBLIC* briefings.  DoD has a SlideShare account, with some strategies and social media guidance posted.

SlideShare enables you to communicate your message to a wide array of stakeholders by empowering them to share your briefing via multiple forums.  Major public briefings today are either emailed to a limited group, posted to a website, or simply not shared.  By uploading the same briefing to SlideShare, it allows others to embed it into their websites and blogs (like the slides below) or download.  Users can also share your slides via email, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

The comments section allows readers to offer feedback, share best practices and lessons learned, and pose questions to the author or community.  This transitions from the limited, one-way communication to a more dynamic collaboration across the community.  The site allows users to subscribe to posts from an individual or organization, find related presentations and documents, and see your colleague’s favorite presentations.  You can also see the number of views and downloads a presentation has received to understand how much interest and attention it has received.

Federal Government SlideShare accounts include: The White HouseNASAUS Army Social Media, US Navy Social Media, GovLoop, and Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

Some must read SlideShares include: Death by Powerpoint, Shift Happens, 100 Things to Watch in 2011, and You Suck at Power Point.

When DoD leadership announces its Defense Strategic Guidance, Budget Decisions, Strategic Management Plan, or National Military Strategy, their staffs post SECDEF SpeechesDoD Publications, and News Transcripts to  They should also post the slides and documents to SlideShare.

DoD leaders frequently speak at conferences and other public forums. While the conference organizers may want to limit access to the slides to the paid attendees, many post them on their website for all to see.  AFCEA has a SlideShare page and started to share some presentations, videos, and documents.

As Power Point is the leading tool for DoD personnel to communicate with each other, SlideShare would enable a broader and deeper communication network to convey your message and collaborate with others to achieve your mission.

Phase 2 of DoD adoption of SlideShare is to examine leveraging the site (or a competing one) inside DoD’s firewalls for the thousands of briefings created annually across the DoD.  Sites like SlideShare can rapidly promulgate knowledge, strategies, training, and strengthen the professional network to maximize collaboration.

Innovation Booth in Action

In September, I shared a random idea I had on Innovation Booths to leverage a white board and projector at a conference expo to brainstorm and crowdsource ideas.  It generated some great discussions with conference and event coordinators.


One of them, Michelle Bruno just sent me a photo of an Innovation Booth in action. Cartoonist and blogger Jessica Hagy had a brainstorming booth with Pepsi Co at SXSW.

While I doubt Pepsi and Jessica developed the booth based on my blog post idea, I’m interested in hearing how successful the booth was.  It would be great to hear from Pepsi Co., Jessica, or any SXSW attendees that can share feedback or success stories.  Jessica’s blog Indexed has some great concepts conveyed via simple diagrams.