If an idea is a mind-virus that can transmitted from person to person like a contagion, can you spread it through an organisation as though you’re some kind of bio-weapon? If you do this, can you drive change through a large and complex organisation like EMC and beyond into customers and partners?
Not my usual topic area I know, but this is a question that was put to me earlier this week by one of the leaders here at EMC; well, not exactly, but almost. What the guy actually said was that our Service Provider team needs to be like a virus, spreading its ideas from person to person throughout the organisation and beyond until everyone is infected and thinks like us.
I thought this was a great concept and it stimulated a lot of ideas, some of which were crazy ideas. Has this guy infected me with a mind-virus himself, which is a kind of recursive concept in it’s own right? What’s the idea that we’re supposed to be spreading anyway? Well, I can answer the last question. The big idea is the fact that Service Provider partners are critical to the success of EMC, because customers are increasingly seeking to buy their IT as service offerings under consumption-based models rather than as products under capital-based models. This means that we need to lead a change in our organisation to to align it to this new reality. As were a small team relative to the behemoth-like scale of EMC, we need to use clever tactics to achieve this.
Being told that your number 1 focus is to drive change in an organisation like EMC is a daunting task, so what are the practical steps that you can take to spread the virus? Well, I don’t have all the answers to that one yet, but I’m going to be working hard on it over the next few weeks, so let’s see what I can come up with.