CNet recently launched BNet - an absolutely gorgeous e-zine for business. Nate was recently interviewed by one of their reporters and we were mentioned in a special feature about How to use Web 2.0 inside your company
One of our clients, Erickson Retirement Communities, a billion dollar privately held company that has retirement communities around the United States, was also interviewed. Mark Erickson, the CEO, discussed how Inkling has given them insights in to issues that wouldn't have normally come to the forefront which helps them make better management decisions and breaks down organizational silos.
Here's the snippet:
At Erickson Retirement Communities, which builds and manages senior housing and healthcare facilities, one recurring headache is choosing sites for new facilities. In addition to housing, each of the company's campuses offers restaurants, medical services, insurance, and transportation, so the site-selection process can take years. "It's a challenge to access all the necessary data because of information silos in our organization," CEO Mark Erickson says.
Now, Erickson uses a Web 2.0 prediction tool called Inkling that lets his planning staffers bet on the probability of each potential site to reach completion. Inkling works like a stock market, but each stock is a proposition, such as, "The facility in Madison, Wisconsin, will be completed in May 2009." Employees working on the project use virtual currency to buy and sell shares in the idea anonymously; if no one's putting their money behind the Madison project, it's probably a loser. Inkling didn't fundamentally change any business forecasts, Erickson says, but it has helped the company focus attention on specific questions. "We struggle with having more information than we can use, categorize, or process," he says. "This not only gave people access to information they may not have been looking at, it provided a context for why it was important."