In speaking about education, Tom Foremski urges business to consider schools education as an extremely important element of how this medium can make a huge difference:
…your organization has to have a strong social enterprise focus because people don’t want it all to be about money. There is a tremendous amount of juice in being involved in ventures that have ambitions for creating a lot of positive social value.
It is not enough for a company to offer money and options–there has to be a bigger picture, there has to be a better story. Microsoft is finding out that it can be difficult to retain people if you don’t have a big pitch.
By having a strong social enterprise vision–a company has a higher motivated workforce–which makes it more effective in its social enterprise role–and its commercial role. And if you need a social enterprise project I urge you to pick education. Get involved in your local schools.
Given that I am convinced the MySpace generation is tomorrow’s talent pool, this makes a lot of sense to me.
Nick Carr is unlikely to agree as he seems to think ‘free’ must have an accounting. I understand Nick’s argument though I think it is misplaced becase it doesn’t recognise there are factors that influence decisions that are often nothing to do with money. Example – with 2 potential hires, both demonstrating identical educational, technical and employment backgrounds, which one do you choose? The person everyone agrees will fit in with the prevailing culture or whom most people like. It’s not very scientific but it is what we do.
We’re only at the beginning of this stuff. There’s much to understand. In many cases, the business models are difficult to express and understand. But if we don’t engage with those teenagers who do understand social computing’s impact and who expect much of what they use to be readily accessible and pretty much at zero cost, then it should not be a surprise when they take a look at what you’re offering and say ‘no thanks’ to what are basically 19th century business models.