Tag - fortress

How Fortressy Are We?
Israel Trip Day 1

How Fortressy Are We?

I came across this wonderful quiz from Rich Harwood he developed for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (a notorious fortress!) The model highlights the difference between inward facing organizations and outward facing ones:

Certainly rings familiar to us folks who have been researching, writing, and talking for a few years on ways to help organizations transition from traditional command and control models to networks. It reminded of the Working Wikily model the Monitor Institute developed a few years ago of how networks work.

I’ve been thinking there might be a pre-step to Rich’s model. I was asked a few month’s ago whether I could develop a list of questions a group could ask itself to see how “fortressy” they were. So, here’s a start, I need to think more about how to score the answers to these questions, so open to help from you all on that.

How Fortressy Are We?

  • How comfortable is senior management with staff speaking as themselves on social media channels?

Not a chance! They’ll let one or two people speak for us. They’re starting to let more people communicate. We’re all on the channels.

  • How often do you hear the phrase, “That isn’t professional behavior” in your organization?

Every hour! Every day. Most days. Almost never. Absolutely never, but we don’t wear shoes, either.

  • Your communications about your organization focus on how unique and successful you are.

Of course, we have to raise money. Usually, our board expects it. Sometimes. Not often. Never.

  • How concerned are you in revealing your decision-making to the world?

Very concerned, somewhat, a little, not much, not at all.

  • What do we do when someone criticizes us?

Freak out! Call in the crisis management people. Spend a day worrying about it. Let the intern respond. Has someone criticized us?

  • Are your measures of success based largely on the number of people who participate in our efforts?

Of course! Largely. Evenly split with other measures. We never count heads or beds. Who measures success (don’t tell anyone)?

Let me know what you think of the questions/measures and what you would add or delete.




Israel Trip Day 1

Had a terrific first day talking to foundations and students here in Jerusalem. The day began with a presentation to foundation executives at the Avi Chai Foundation., a beautiful brand new building in downtown Jerusalem. Here is a picture of the building from the outside:

Gorgeous, state-of-the-art on the inside, and, yes, ironically, a bit fortress- looking on the outside!

I also spoke to several grantees of the foundation and about 70 students at Hebrew University.

Here are just a few of the lessons I learned today:

1. The foundation folks were very engaged during my presentation and our discussion. Not at all skeptical, even if they don’t appear to be fully engaged with social media as of yet. One fascinating development was that I raised the issue of the discomfort that a lot of non-digital natives have when the lines between public and private are blurred, and one Israeli woman said to me afterwards that there isn’t such a line for most Israelis. We’re all related, she said, we know everyone’s business already, there’s nothing to hide! I never expected that, in fact, I expected in a country so immersed in conversations about security that this issue would be of particular interest and concern. It was eye-opening for me to think about how contextually and culturally based, not just generationally based, the issue is.

2. Twitter is not yet widely used in Israel. The feeling by some folks I talked to was that the site was late to have a Hebrew translation, so adoption has not yet gotten traction. My theory is that keeping Israelis to 140 characters to say anything is impossible!!

3. I heard a great phrase today. Someone mentioned that there are people who inform on Twitter and there are others who “meform”.  In other words, some are sharing info and others are just talking about themselves. I thought that was a brilliant way of putting it.

4. The students at the university were absolutely fantastic. Engaged, idealistic, interested in working with NGOs either inside as staff people or outside as free agents. There questions are so smart and right on target, not about how to storm the fortress, but more about how to encourage organizations to open up. I was enormously impressed with them.

That’s it for Day 1 – it’s going to be hard to beat tomorrow!


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