Techies and Taciturns

Olivar Marks blogs about collaboration for ZDNet. He brings up an issue that I’ve been dealing with as I push for an enterprise social networking platform (Yammer) at our company.

“There seems to be a personality type that has a huge appetite for learning and using ever more frequent waves of new technology developments that is independent of any particular demographic, and who are eager to participate in group activities online or off.”

“These folks are often called “early adopters” and “techies” in companies and are leveraged in pilot try outs of new technologies. Their opposite –I call them the Taciturns (habitually reserved and uncommunicative)– are those who have limited interest (or competence and confidence) in collaborating, preferring instead to work solo and communicate on their own terms.”

Okay, I’m squarely in the first group. To the point of being annoying.

“Obviously some of the people who have created the workflows and body of knowledge inside a company through years of service resent the trivialization of their old fashioned ways of working, and some have been led to believe that they need to buck up their ideas and get with it on Twitter, micro/macro blogging, Facebook-in-the-enterprise and other forms of social engagement with their cohorts.”

…and I helped create some of those workflows and bodies of knowledge during the last quarter century but it’s time for some of them to go!

“The Taciturns of all ages generally speaking are laughing inwardly at all the teenage leadership stuff they hear being bandied about, and have often already decided they won’t be participating in any of that.”

What most managers -in my experience- really want is for every employee to immediately open, read and act on every email “from the top.” The notion of a social networking platform is less appealing because they now have to compete for attention with stuff (they consider) less important than theirs (usually everything).


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