26 May 2011
I just came across an excellent piece in the Harvard Business Review thanks to my colleague Larry Pixa. Published in 1999 by Stanford professors Pfeffer and Sutton, “The Smart-Talk Trap” (PDF) is even more pertinent in today’s new media world where user-generated content is ubiquitous. The key to success is action but the authors warn that we are increasingly “rewarded for talking—and the longer, louder, and more confusingly, the better.” This dynamic, which substitutes talk for action, is responsible for what Pfeffer and Sutton call the knowing-doing gap. The purpose of this blog post is to assess this gap in the context of social media and to offer potential solutions.
Phi Beta Iota: We would merely observe that this problem is characteristic of virtually every US Government element, and every major corporation including the so-called innovators like Facebook which could actually fold sometime soon as alternatives come out of the BRICS. What Brother Patrick does not address is the reality that in both government and in corporations, the rotation and retirement of people often destroys all accountability for their failure while in any specific office. The stovepiping of everything makes it even more difficult to address “true cost” information, or to measure effectiveness in context. We do not lack for money in this world, we lack for applied intelligence and the integrity to connect truth to product.