It’s often not what you know, but who you know that counts

I’ve mentioned this in the past, but today it happened again.

I travel quite a bit and enjoy being socially connected to a lot of very smart people. One such gentleman in Sweden posted a question to me on my Profile Board (part of IBM Connections). Today, I’m in the US and there is a 6 hour time difference…so his post came in at 3:27am my local time. I was traveling this morning and saw his question at 9:30am. I also saw that it was already answered by one of the other “smart” people in my network…an coworker from Denmark. Interesting as well, he asked in English…she answered in Swedish and provided a link to the materials he was seeking.

He got his question answered before I even was aware that he had asked. She provided a great service by providing the answer (which I would have had to look for…albeit quite easy in our social system).

The beauty of this is the power of an “open conversation”. It’s like we were at a coffee house and he asked me while I’m sitting at a table with all my “smart” friends. I may not know the question, but it’s likely someone at that table would know. If IBM wasn’t a social business, he would have sent me an email (or voice mail)…I would not have known of the question until 6 hours later…then I would have done the research and if it meant finding someone who did know…I’d start sending emails and leaving voice mails until I found the answer…to finally get back to him. You know the drill…you do it all the time.

Instead, he asked the question…maybe even knowing that I didn’t know, but knowing that I knew someone who would know. And if he just asked in our open conversation setting, someone “smart” would answer…and she did!

Being around smart people is great. Having open access to their creativity and brilliance is even better. One of my co-workers once told me, “I love working for IBM, because we are a social business and I can be as smart as anyone else…just 5 minutes later.”

Be creative…get social…share your ideas and knowledge! There are questions out there to which you are the answer. It would be a shame to waste “you”.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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