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Tuesday, November 11, 2003

7 Habits of Highly Effective Scoblization

As you probably know, Robert Scoble is a Microsoft employee who has effectively put a human face on a huge corporation through his Scobleizer Weblog. I have been cross-blogging with Robert the past few weeks to understand and possibly have some microscopic influence on Microsoft's forthcoming software development platform. To be effective in this effort, I have discovered the "7 Habits of Highly Effective Scoblization" which is a guide to effective human-to-corporate conversation in the blogosphere.

1) Be Proactive.
It is possible that the reality of imposing the corporate will on businesses, consumers and developers is coming to an end for companies like Microsoft. We should come to the realization that we have some control over our destiny and must take an active role in influencing software direction. One of the proactive approaches is to blog your compliments, complaints, concerns and criticisms.

2) Begin With the End of Mind.
Clarify what would be the best possible outcomes of your blog entry. In my case possible outcomes include Microsoft stopping/reducing the continuous technological churn, continuing to enhance the state of browser-based development, reducing/eliminating coding of common database application tasks and allowing me to focus on solving the business problems of my customers.

3) Put First Things First.
Of all the possible outcomes, prioritize the most important ones. Focus your blogging and emailing on these priorities.

4) Think Win-Win.
How will Microsoft win by achieving your outcomes. If there is no big win for them, there is no-chance that they will even consider your suggestions. You must clearly show how adopting your suggestions will help Microsoft achieve their goals.

5) Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.
You must truly see the world, from Microsoft's point of view. Since corporations often hide their true concerns to avoid scaring off investors, you must spend a decent amount of time deducing their positions from a variety of information sources. One understanding to keep in mind is that Microsoft is first and foremost and public corporation with an obligation to provide return to their investors. All their other obligations have to sit alongside this prime directive.

6) Synergize
Synergy results from valuing the different perspectives of the corporation, the developer and end-user and coming up with solutions that take into account all these perspectives. It goes beyond pleasing or appeasing and can only work when win-win and seeking to understand have been integrated into the thought process.

7) Sharpen the Saw.
You must continually evaluate your thought and blogging patterns to insure that you are heading towards a possible successful outcome. If you feel that you are at either end of a war of word, regardless of its intensity, then you need to step back and re-evaluate your application of the first 6 steps and adjust your blogging accordingly.

I have aggregated a lot of posts to continue this discussion, but I have already exceeded the 96 seconds or 22 sentence average blog-attention span limit. So for the next few weeks, I will blarf-up some blog entries on Thursdays, in addition to Tuesdays. See you then.