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Harnessing Genius: A Tribute to Terrence Wing

My friend and mentor Terrence Wing always talked about harnessing the genius that exists in the workplace through social media, and I completely agreed with this approach. With the use of social media people can share ideas, experiences, and answers to problems, leading to innovation, efficiency, and a positive work experience for employees.

I started to think about the idea of harnessing genius in more depth. Can all companies harness genius? Does genius exist in every company? Could harnessing genius retain top talent and motivate employees?

I look at companies like Zappos, Google, and Whole Foods, where the workforce drives their success. They certainly harness their genius.

Here are the steps to make it happen.

  1. Hire the right people. Make sure they fit with your culture and can contribute to the company’s goals.

  2. Let people do their thing. If you give people the tools and motivation to accomplish their goals, they will.

  3. Encourage people share ideas and collaborate. People like to work together to create success.

  4. Yes, sometimes employees will say things you would be prefer they don’t, but the use of social media memorializes genius and allows other to build on great ideas. Don’t let a few unflattering comments keep you from embracing people connecting through technology.

  5. Allow everyone to use his or her strengths. The group’s product will be stronger than what individuals can do.
Terrence was always willing to share his genius with friends, colleagues, followers, and anyone who wanted to learn more about social learning or e-learning. Terrence was a social learning evangelist and, through his passions, mentored many of us to successful careers by sharing our genius and connecting with others.

Terrence passed away unexpectedly on December 1, 2011. However, because of his love of harnessing genius, his knowledge and inspiration will continue to touch people who believe in connecting with one another. Terrence’s vision was really about helping people make a difference through working together. Technology was just the vehicle to make it happen. Thank you, Terrence, for all that you have given us. You will be missed.



This tribute was written by Michelle Winkley and Colleen Longstreet of OPHRGroup.