Archive for the ‘MIT SDM’ Category

SDMs launch MIT Social Media Club

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

By Rafael Marañón-Abreu, SDM’10, and Azamat Abdymomunov, SDM’10. This article was published in the MIT SDM Pulse, Spring 2011

Editor’s note: Rafael Marañón-Abreu and Azamat Abdymomunov founded the MIT Social Media Club in September 2010. As of this writing, the club has 70 active members, including MIT students, faculty, and staff

MIT’s System Design and Management Program (SDM) has not only provided the advantages that we expected from a world-class program in engineering and management—it has also given us the opportunity tlearn about emerging technologies that can help people, corporations, and government work more effectively. Within this realm, social media stood out for us as an area worth further exploration.

Two members of SDM’s 2010 cohort, Rafael Marañón-Abreu, left, and Azamat Abdymomunov, teamed up to start the MIT Social Media Club

We cofounded the MIT Social Media Club to build connections with others at SDM and across the Institute and work collectively to understand the newest channels of communication—from communities such as Facebook and LinkedIn to blogs, Twitter feeds, and YouTube. As mid-career professionals returning to university, we believed that it was important to investigate social media and understand how to put them to work for individuals and organizations. We were surprised to learn that there was no social media club at MIT, so we decided to start one. We believed this could help us maximize our education and share past and present thoughts and experiences, while visualizing and creating our individual futures and simultaneously giving back to SDM and the MIT communities.

Founding the MIT Social Media Club was hard work, but applying many of the concepts we learned in our SDM courses helped us to execute this exciting startup. For example, our lessons from classes in system architecture, systems thinking, technology strategy, and project management helped us to look at how social media functions in the contemporary environment.

We discovered that social media is not only useful for job hunting, but can help us better understand the dynamics among talented people in an organization, as well as how learning teams are constituted and flourish. We believe it can offer a competitive advantage in global business, help governments reinvent themselves, and help academics expand and evolve their capacity for teaching and research.

In the MIT Social Media Club, we encourage our members—including PhD, master’s, and Sloan students, as well as others at MIT—to understand and get handson experience using social media tools and to explore how they can be used to close the gap between an organization’s senior leaders, front-line employees, partner companies, customers, and other stakeholders. In the same way, social media can be used to build bridges between faculty members and students, and among researchers from different universities and countries.

Already we have come up with a couple of frameworks that we used in teaching an Independent Activities Period course this past ESD.942 Social Media: Trust, Information Seeking & Systems Innovation in the Digital Age. January, ESD.942 Social Media: Trust, Information Seeking & Systems Innovation in the Digital Age. This class was sponsored by Dr. Joseph Coughlin, director of the MIT AgeLab, who led the first multidisciplinary research program created to understand the behavior of the 45+ population, including how the older population makes decisions using social media.

Although still very new, the MIT Social Media Club has held several successful events, including workshops on how to increase your digital footprint and how to use social media in a job search. This spring we’re planning a series of social media research tours, which will allow club members to visit different departments and labs at MIT and elsewhere to explore how social media are being used in the workplace.

Google & MIT Workshop on using social media in recruiting

We would like to extend an invitation to SDM industry partners to get involved. For more information, visit the MIT Social Media Club online at

to shape the future of social networks


Verizon and Coca-Cola Perspectives on Enterprise Transformation

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

This morning the MIT’s Center for Technology, Policy, and Industrial Development (CTPID),in collaboration with the new Journal of Enterprise Transformation (JET),  featured enterprise transformation thought leaders who shared their insights on leading and sustaining transformation efforts.

Keynote speakers Prof. Michael D. Oliff, Author of the Transformation In The Age of Turbulence, and Mr. Anthony J. (Tony) DiMaso, Vice President of Corporate Strategy & Development at Verizon, addressed a multidisciplinary audience at MIT’s Sloan School of Management on the topic of Enterprise Transformation.

Dr. Oliff delighted us with a very passionate speech on the importance of fostering a corporate “stretch culture” that supports taking big steps in culture change and business process improvement while maintaining a sense of customer satisfaction.  Next, Mr. Dimaso provided deep insight into Verizon’s corporate strategy for growth through value creation in the fast changing and highly competitive wireless market environment served by the Telecom industry. The dynamics associate with organic growth and talent management as part of the transformation process, sounds as an interesting topic that Mr. Dimaso pointed out during his participation on this event.

During the panel discussion, moderated by John S. Carroll, Co-Director Lean Advancement Initiative (LAI), we were inspired by Mr. John Oehlke, Vice President of Business Transformation at Coca-Cola North America. Mr. Oehlke related an early goal of Coca-Cola company, to keep Coke “within an arm’s reach of desire.”  While expanding internationally in early of 20th century, Coca-Cola company strove to allow US troops to keep enjoying the soda while on missions abroad.  Now, in order to keep on the leadership of the market, the company experienced important transformation while maintaining that same core mission of easy access to their myriad product line. However, in my opinion, the same value persists of delighting their customers, whether with Coke or with bottled water.

Providing academic insights to the panel, Prof. Deborah Nightingale, Director Center for Technology, Policy and Industrial Development (CTPID) at MIT, spoke on the utility that a framework based on -ilities (very similar to the one we study in our course 16.855/ESD.38 Enterprise Architecting) brings to execution of concept generation and selection of the potential change targets in a enterprise transformation process.  All of which begins with corporate strategy in a transformation in order to avoid diminishing return.

Keeping customers satisfaction high while their values are constantly changing is a challenge for many organizations. The ability to architect the change by having a proper assessment of the current view, by projecting the desired goal and evaluating potential options is something that corporations must practice in order to keep their business units constantly learning.

I am very interested to keep learning about how Enterprise Architecture can enable companies to capitalize on opportunities during recession.  Definitely I am still exploring how system dynamics and a better understanding of social media tools empowers employees, customers, and transformation leaders to facilitate the enterprise transformation.

– Thanks to Victor Piper for the edition of this blog post. Check Victor’s blog for his comments about the event.




Prof. John Carroll Co-Director Lean Advancement Initiative (LAI)


Anthony J. (Tony) DiMaso Vice President Corporate Strategy & Development Verizon

John Oehlke Vice President Business Transformation Coca-Cola North America

Prof. Michael D. Oliff Author Transformation In The Age of Turbulence

Prof. Deborah Nightingale Director Center for Technology, Policy and Industrial Development (CTPID)

Date: Thursday, March 10, 2011 Time: 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Loca on: E51-­‐325

20 Lessons in Social Media from MIT

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

Yesterday we finalized a MIT course ESD.942 Social Media: Trust, Information Seeking & Systems Innovation in the Digital Age. During past 2 weeks Joseph Coughlin, Azamat Abdymomunov and myself have been teaching during 20 hours at MIT an introduction to social media in different domains (Healthcare, Finance, Organization Development and Collaboration) and using a specific framework (Influence, Check and Balance and Trust).

ESD.942 class

Focusing mainly on class discussion, lecture and workshop, a group of 15 participants in this course had the opportunity to establish an open dialog about what is new with web 2.0 and why is affecting our life, business and profession faster than any other media technology before. Beside analyzing several topics such as why social media users share knowledge in the Internet with unknown people, what is the criteria we use in order to validate results in our Google search when seeking relevant information about our health, or how to cope with so overwhelming amount of information and technology platform.
Below are some of the  lessons in social media we came up after 5 days of intensive discussion on social media. In following days I will extend some of these take away of the course and illustrate with some of the examples and survey results.
  1. Local-Global symbiosis. If you’re big, act small. If you’re small act big.
  2. Give-more-than-you-receive
  3. Experiment! Learn-by-doing
  4. Be-inclusive
  5. Honesty (get naked?)
  6. Architect/plan your social-media-strategy
  7. Start with something you’re passionate about (have a PURPOSE)
  8. Empathy. Show-that-you-care
  9. Consistency, passion
  10. Patience
  11. Good enough is good enough.
  12. Persuasion – find overlap of interests between you and your audience
  13. Listen before speaking, learning before teaching
  14. Humor
  15. Past, Present, Future – analyze and feedback
  16. Iterative-learning-process
  17. Asking first
  18. Content-technology balance
  19. Accountability-to-oneself-and-others
  20. Consistency and commitment

You can download the slides of the course on Course Material. Lecture’s videos will be posted soon.

Rafael Marañón giving a lecture on Organization Development using Social Media

Lessons in Social Media

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