Bob Goldman

(I'm not here to influence the Syndio Social folks, but may I suggest that in a future iteration, consider adding a feature that allows CEOs to double-click on a person or department that is not onboard with their latest brainstorms, and have that entity instantly fired. Or, if management has been sufficiently forward-thinking, the program could ignite ejection devices under the doubting employees' desk chairs and instantly fling them out of the building.)

Now, that's the way to build consensus.

While the denizens of Mahogany Row are gaga over the idea of harnessing the influence of the influencers, there is at least one person who questions the concept. Jerry Davis, a management professor at the University of Michigan's Stephen M. Ross School of Business, suggests that "companies could be rewarding the wrong thing if they put too much stock in the hubs of their social networks."

He's right, of course. Imagine you have two employees. One is a nerd, who keeps his nose to the grindstone, grinding out work, and the other is a node, who spends all her time as a social butterfly, flitting from one cube to another, spreading gossip and whatever other nonsense comes in -- and out -- of her brain. Do you reward the nerd because he is so productive, or do you reward the node who is hardly working because she is so busy being a busybody?

It's a decision I will leave to you, you influencer, you, but let's close with the case of a certified influencer, Andrea Bredow, who was discovered by Syndio Social at a Chicago company. Bredow describes herself as "an extrovert through and through," who "likes to stop by co-workers desks and plan group outings."

"It's just my personality," says the influential Ms. Bredow, and I'm sure that's true. If it were up to me, employees like this should immediately be promoted ... to another job ... at another company ... where they can plan group outings in the Nome, Alaska branch.

They will do a bang-up job influencing the polar bears. As for the rest of us, we can enjoy the peace and quiet.

Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at bob@bgplanning.com. To find out more about Bob Goldman, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.

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Bob Goldman

Bob Goldman is a business humor writer.

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