3M ThinkTANK conference – getting down to social business

[Edited 7th October to embed the event video and move the slidestack to the end.]

I’ve been hosted by 3M today in Minneapolis St. Paul, and what great hosts too… a fantastic team and an incredible company heritage to boot. I could have spent a whole day exploring the Innovation Center, which is so well done I’m sure it brings out the geek in just about everyone.

Gregory Gerik is 3M’s transformation social media leader, and he led the design and delivery of the 3M ThinkTANK conference today. Kicked off beautifully with a keynote by Brian Solis, we’ve been provoked, informed and entertained by:

I had the honour of providing the closing keynote (video above and slidestack below). Greg asked me to give the delegates ‘something to really think about’ and I hope I did just that.

I’d like to thank everyone involved for making me feel so welcome.

The McKnight Principles

I’ll leave you with something to think about as you look at the question I ask on slide 33:

“Do you help all the individuals associated with your organization build worthwhile relationships with each other and others, coalescing by need and desire, knowledge and capability and shared values, to create shared value?”

Here’s what are known as the McKnight Principles, laid out in 1948 by William L. McKnight, 3M president from 1929 and then chairman of the board, 1949 to 1966. Just how beautifully do these principles apply in the coming age of social business?

“As our business grows, it becomes increasingly necessary to delegate responsibility and to encourage men and women to exercise their initiative. This requires considerable tolerance. Those men and women, to whom we delegate authority and responsibility, if they are good people, are going to want to do their jobs in their own way.

“Mistakes will be made. But if a person is essentially right, the mistakes he or she makes are not as serious in the long run as the mistakes management will make if it undertakes to tell those in authority exactly how they must do their jobs.

“Management that is destructively critical when mistakes are made kills initiative. And it’s essential that we have many people with initiative if we are to continue to grow.”

The stack

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Managing Partner, Euler Partners. Author, "The Business of Influence", and "Attenzi - a social business story". Chartered Engineer and Management Consultant. Main Board Director of techUK.

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