4pm 21.07.2011 debate. The Murdoch Effect. Just desserts or Just a Blip?

Recent events in the UK have jeopardised Murdoch’s bid to control satellite TV. Relationships that have come to light between media, politicians and police have caused many questions to be asked. Click here to join us 4pm (UK time) July 21st.

In this month’s Thinking Tank we consider

  • Are these cosy arrangements inevitable or should we fight to expose them?
  • Does this decision signify a new era of transparency or is it just a one off?

Previous Thinking Tanks have often cited the media as the cause of the problem.

  • Is this a moment of truth for their role in our lives?
  • Or are they right when they blame consumers who buy the scandal and horror stories?

Don’t miss out. Have your say in this debate and let’s make the news for ourselves.

Click here to join us 4pm (UK time) July 21st.

Results: Is networking notworking?

Our June Thinking Tank reflected on the rights and wrongs and changing trends in networking – online and offline. More below…

Espresso summary

Online networking in particular is on balance seen more as a force for good, encouraging transparency, connectedness and egalitarianism.

  • benefits: Egypt
  • benefits: an online debate includes a much wider audience not just a handful behind closed doors
  • consequences: transparency will become a bigger issue. We must think about what we stand for and live with integrity
  • tools: certainly not Facebook. Too much info too easy to grab

Medium summary

USAGE: All participants network more now than 5 years ago, mostly much more. The additional networking is on-line though offline is still used – in a focused and contributory way.

  • online platforms are a great tools to get back in touch with people we somehow lost track of
  • more efficient use of my professional time, especially with respect to increased time pressure
  • Offline I am having more focussed conversations with people I largely know, making the most of relationships that are already solid

BEHAVIOUR: there is not a consensus on how personal behaviour changes online

  • I think I am more open, more human, online (SPLIT VOTE)
  • still weird to market yourselves almost as a product  this way (SPLIT VOTE)

TOOLS: most mentioned is LinkedIn. Feels safer and more professional for the group. Also useful for finding the right people to employ or collaborate with. Facebook seen as much more lightweight – entertainment and gossip, not serious business. Not much twitter yet for these senior managers.

  • those profiles on LinkedIn do help to stay in touch or to find people with specific qualifications
  • I find twitter the most efficient for developing contnections in a new sphere (SPLIT VOTE)

BENEFITS: The speed of communicating uncensored information has risks but is mostly seen as a benefit. There is a sense that conversations are more direct, fairer, more objective – more productive.

  • indeed there is much more social openness in groups on the net then in real life
  • Now an idea can gather support, be challenged, be improved, increase awareness and get implemented in a much shorter space of time
  • crowdsourcing to generate ideas in any possible fields
  • more people can participate.. it creates a new democratice force
  • you connect on the basis of shared needs / interests – which makes it easier to set a step towards ‘action’
  • more egalitarian in terms of rich/poor countries and individuals. Not just the CEOs and presidents who know the score.

RISKS: there is only half as much support for comments about risks – of course they exist, but they are not seen to be as important as the benefits. There was some concern of risk of fraud and manipulation but not widely supported.

  • lack of critical reflection
  • fragmentation of focus and shallow analysis
  • good people or organisations can get taken down by an online campaign that spreads like wildfire but is just malicious, not true

FUTURE: the majority think that online networking is a game changer and it will make a difference to how we work, how we present ourselves to the world and what we can achieve.

  • We are just a the beginning of learning how powerful we can be if we connect
  • Surprisingly it is in world of politics that we have witnessed impact the most so far, but this is very new, business will follow with some dramatic changes due to networking
  • Maybe the idea of work has to change to reconcile this! [networking/notworking]
  • I think we are in a new world: Egypt, Tunis, Libya, Syria are all examples of this new world.

And final word of advice from our posters to all our readers:

  • follow your values and don’t post crap

Grande summary

This pdf file contains all the 64 statements that made it to Synthetron (supported) status plus the results of the polls. Interesting to note that 36% of the Synthetrons were originally stated by the same participant – one of you has their finger on the pulse! 1106 The Thinking Tank Networking or Notworking full report

Does corruption matter? Thinking Tank 04.06.2009

A lively debate at a time when corruption—particularly among politicians and business leaders—is often in the media. The group debated personal and public corruption, and the difficulty of defining what is acceptable (according to personal circumstances and cultural norms). A key conclusion was the need to instil a clear sense of right and wrong in young people today so they can operate successfully in an environment where corruption is increasingly challenged.

Top Comments (60%+ endorsement)

Personal responsibility was a key theme

  • Don’t tolerate it. Be vocal. Be transparent where you can, and be consistent in saying no
  • The solution starts with us, not with the government
  • It is about personal integrity and doing job you are paid for, otherwise don’t take the job
  • I was encouraged by a supplier to pay in cash to avoid vat – I felt dirty and disappointed in myself for even considering it

And institutional corruption and its underlying causes

  • it is scandalous for politicians to be corrupt
  • there is some intrinsic corruption due to bonuses , share price and personal ambition that makes important business leaders corrupted and take decisions that are not in the interest of stakeholders, but of their own bonuses..
  • government are responsible for putting the framework into place and checking the rule of law is applied

Cultural differences were discussed and the difficulty of standing up to endemic corruption

  • corruption is not just monetary, it can also be about how relate to other people – needs to become more of guiding principle
  • there are a lot of good people including in governments in very corrupt countries who wish the system was different – but they need help as becoming an outcast often means no food on the table
  • there still is very little protection for company “whistleblowers” ; mafia bosses who repent get far better treatment and do not end up be being sacked by their employers !

Suggested personal and public actions to tackle corruption included

  • corruption is most effectively attacked by the individual who suffers it speaking out and exposing individuals by name through the media including the web
  • Transparency is the way forward. Make public everything you do and hear as a public officer. Secrecy is the key foundation of corruption
  • Start from the base, kids need to learn integrity
  • Ensure that score cards or compensations do not corrupt decision makers to neglect important value considerations for stakeholders
  • Get politicians on Thinking Tank sessions
  • Give back the extra change, point out when we’ve been overpaid, don’t lie
  • I’ll talk about this with my kids over dinner – I’m interested to see where their views differ from mine and if any guidance is needed (probably from them to me!)
  • This has been a useful reminder that the NORMAL thing is to say no to corruption. IT’s not weird or unreasonable. Quite the opposite.

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