By John Sumser
There’s an enormous amount of work going on as people try to define influence. Networks, online and off are driven by their influencers. Various /component/option,com_jcalpro/Itemid,28/extmode,day/date,2010-12-27/”>cialis buy cialis online forms of social network analysis are being used to track government corruption, money laundering, credit card fraud, terrorist organizations and industry structure. There are a number of companies mining social network data to enrich marketing processes. There’s even some complex mining of social network data to generate contextual information about /component/option,com_jcalpro/Itemid,28/extmode,day/date,2010-12-27/”>cialis buy cialis online candidates.
The problem with a purely digital analysis of influence is that the world is not yet all online. Measures of online influence, now in their early forms, are biased towards people who have a high volume of friends and output. There’s little room in the current models for the kind of influence that changes the world with a whisper.
Increasingly, however, the digital analysis will be the thing that matters. As vast rivers of documentation flow in the wake of your online activities, the ability to understand who you are, what you like and how you are connected to whom is rapidly expanding.
Jessica Lee is the youngest of the Influencers to date. She’s a recruiter for APCO Worldwide, a blandly named Washington, DC public relations firm. The company, which works public policy issues is easily and often mistaken for a lobbying operation. The distinction is slim but important. Lobbyists are more regulated than the companies charged with shaping public opinion. APCO works with media and ideas to shape perception in the Washington scene.
As a recruiter, Jessica practices the most sophisticated form of the discipline. Much of her work involves informational interviews with her growing network. In DC, the difference between Recruiting and other active forms of networking is yet another nuance. The pipeline is filled with information and warm relationships. She gets close to her pipeline so that, when it’s time, the actual recruiting happens quickly.
Part social media maven, part Recruiter and part editor, Ms. Lee generates influence on a variety of fronts.
Rapidly becoming the in house social media guru, Jessica is helping position key players in the DC stratosphere in their social media contexts. She’s the editor of the highly regarded “Fistful of Talent“, a collection of bloggers published by Workforce. Combined with her high profile role at APCO Worldwide, she has reach, reputation and credibility beyond her years and junior position. This is what it looks like when you are on track to exercise a large role in the industry.
Whenever I talk with Jessica, the conversation jumps quickly from her world and accomplishments to the future of the industry. No phone call is complete without a sub conversation about the plight of new HR professionals in a rapidly changing field. Jessica fiercely peels back the layers of the onion as a subject is dissected. This is the same skill she brings to her editorial tasks.
She’s learning about influence in the world capital of influence. As the hierarchical organization continues its decline, influence is the way people will work together, be hired and get things done. An HR pro, deeply immersed in the details of a purely networked segment of the economy, is going to have a valuable edge.
You can see the impact in her work. She’s setting a model for ambitious HR pros for a balanced career that includes publishing, HR expertise, writing and direct strategic impact in the organization. Modest and generally unaware of the relative power of her voice, Lee applies herself to her work as if she didn’t have this interesting subset of skills.
She’s a harbinger of things to come. The future is the network. Jessica Lee is showing us what it will look like in real time.