I just came back this evening from Boston’s local Mobile Monday event. I love these events because it’s a great way to not only meet people interested in mobility, but to collectively see what is going on locally in the general mobility space. Tonight was a very interesting event because the headliner was none other than the Honorable Mayor Thomas M. (Mumbles) Menino.
So why do I have “Mumbles” in parentheses here? If you have ever heard Mayor Menino do a speech, you would be convinced that at the very least, he was speaking with a mouthful of marbles…It’s pretty bad.
In any case, Mayor Menino came to speak about the next version of Boston’s “Citizens Connect” mobile application. Citizens Connect is a mobile application that allows citizens of the city of Boston to provide feedback to City Hall. It works today on the iPhone, and will soon be available on Android and BlackBerry. Specifically:
The Citizens Connect mobile app is part of Mayor Menino’s and the City of Boston’s strategy for Citizen-to-City transactions called Citizens Connect. The Citizens Connect app is targeted at enlisting Boston residents and visitors to make Boston neighborhoods even better by reporting problems, such as potholes, to City government. (We refer to this approach as Citizen Sourcing.) There are versions of this app for both Andriod phone and iPhones.
Notice, by the way, how they misspelled Android.
So back to Mayor Menino. He spoke for about 7 minutes, total. Two of those minutes were spent thanking random people and the usual politicking that occurs at these kinds of things. In the other whopping five minutes, Mayor Menino talked about how the new version of the application would allow users to see what people were talking about with regards to the city on “Tweeter….uhm, I mean Twitter.”
So random factoid. For those of you NOT from Boston, “Tweeter” was a high end audio/video store that went out of business a few years ago because of the likes of big box stores including Best Buy. For the record, he also confuses members of the Red Sox and the New England Patriots, but I digress….
My point is that, while I absolutely applaud the efforts of the City of Boston to “mobilize” itself by developing such mobile B2C crowd sourcing applications, I can’t help but think how much more effective they would be if the “CEO” of the the City of Boston (a.k.a. YOUR company) understood the importance and the implications of such a mobility deployment. (For the record, about 100 other cities have contacted the Mayor’s Office to learn more about the Citizens Connect app).
I have often spoken about the need for a cross-functional mobility team within an organization, but by the same token I have also emphasized the need for executive support of these initiatives. I think it’s time to take it one step further….it’s not just about executive support, but executive stewardship. The CEO of your organization needs to not only appreciate, but understand and DRIVE the mobile strategy of his/her organization. The CEO of the future MUST have mobility within his/her DNA. Sadly, when the “CEO” of the City of Boston confuses a defunct audio/video retail chain with a global social media company, you’ve just gotta wonder (with no disrespect to his IT team).
So my question to you is this. Does your CEO understand mobility and its impact on your business?