Great posting from Bob Sutor. I in particular like this paragraph on HR and analytics:
Data augments, not replaces, good management
With all of this analysis and heat mapping, the question of “will a computer make HR decisions?” always comes up. In short: No. Employees aren’t going to be whittled down to a score. Employees are important resources and talent. A machine won’t give anyone an excuse for poor communication of what employees need to understand to do their jobs. Analytics for HR does not replace good management nor an understanding of the social and cultural aspects of a working environment.
And Bob quotes the creation of the IBM Social Business (previously Blogging) Guidelines as an example, how to engage influencers (instead of running to run the big analysis):
Social networks are not flat. Some employees create more content, and have more influence on their peers. So, rather than asking “what is the sum total of all employees’ thoughts” on some corporate message, the company may first ask the opinion of several of these influencers. …
For example, IBM’s first blogging guidelines for employees in 2005 came about because corporate communications asked a number of early employee bloggers to draft the policy. It was incredibly empowering at the time. These influencers said “Wow. They let us do this instead of just having some anonymous policy makers set some rules!” And the powers that be said “this seems reasonable. Let’s go with it.”
IBM chose those influencers for this work because they had really self-identified themselves because of their early and independent blogging. Their excitement to participate rendered results that then spread a belief and confidence in all employees that the rules were reasonable. What that group came up with also laid the foundation for what are now IBM’s social business guidelines.