In surfing, it's the 'tube' ride or 'cracking the barrel' that creates heroes. There's an aura around those who've mastered this skill and they say that words fail to describe the magnificence of the ocean and the ride.
In fact, tube riding is a super-advanced skill, and most surfers spend their lifetimes surfing without ever getting "tubed" (the term used for being inside the barrel of the wave).
Conditions have to be absolutely perfect for the wave to create the tube and for the surfer to be inside it.
I think about this when I read about the Facebook/social media bubble. Those busy wringing their hands are missing the point entirely. This is not a bubble. This is a wave, and if your company doesn't know that yet, then you're already missing the ride.
Business has changed. Communication has changed. The social-mobile-local-cloud (SoLoMoClo) is producing multi-billion dollar ecosystems that are changing how we communicate, collaborate, compensate, and coordinate resources and information.
Companies are leveraging the social business graph of their employees, suppliers, and other stakeholders to revolutionize how business is done. Security is also burgeoning with disruptive innovation as the value chain goes to the cloud.
This SoLoMoCLo business wave holds as much awesome power and strength of the Banzai Pipeline and is set to change the game forever. This is not an overstatement. And according to Wikipedia, "The extreme challenge posed to even the best athletes when Pipeline is breaking at full size cannot be overstated. Numerous surfers and photographers have been killed at Pipe... "
That's the task facing businesses today -- either you're on the wave or you're not. Think of the rich rewards for companies who can harness these new ecosystems and produce intelligence from sheer volume of real-time engagements swirling around the globe. IBM did, and they've launched a Social Business division. That in itself is telling -- IBM seldom makes 'risky' investments.
Piercing that cloud of global consumer velocity, sentiment, and connections will ultimately enable business visionaries to change education, healthcare, government, supply-chain management, payments systems, entertainment, advertising, and more.
Is your company nurturing theses 'tube riders' -- the next generation of super-skilled business ninjas? Or are you snickering about the 'bubble' and hoping everything goes 'back to normal'?
It's your choice. I hear Big Wave wipeouts are no fun -- even deadly.
Beverly Macy is the CEO of Gravity Summit LLC and the Co-Author of The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing. She consults with Fortune 500 executives on social media and social business and teaches Executive Global Marketing and Branding and Social Media Marketing for the UCLA Extension Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.