This is a request for help. My colleagues and I are working on an article that is the academic side plugged-in management -- what we call systems savvy. We are hoping to find current examples of people who do fabulous jobs integrating across the human, technical, and organizational dimensions of their work. In my book, The Plugged-In Manager: Get In Tune With Your People, Technology, And Organization to Thrive, I was able to share many examples of how being able to integrate across all your resources gives people and organizations a huge advantage. In the more recent work, my colleagues John Sawyer, and M. Scott Poole, and I are diving deep into the individual capacity of systems savvy and how you can test and train for it. But what we really need are some fabulous current examples.

Starter Examples

Sherry Smith, a software engineer and inventor of Bluetooth tracking devices/tags that work by creating a network of people and devices to locate things the tags are attached to. (An example product is the Tile Tracker.)

David Baker, and his colleagues, who saw that people would be willing and able to play a computer game folding proteins. The crowdsourced results have been credited with significant scientific discoveries.

Patrick Ross III, Deputy Director of Membership, Team Rubicon. He and his team adopted Cornerstone, a cloud software system, to redesign how logistical tasks are handled and enable the organization to quickly unite military veterans with first responders in emergency response teams. They were able to go from four hours to two minutes in volunteer recruiting, and the implementation of the change itself seems to have flowed smoothly.

Brad Katsuyama, chronicled in the book, Flash Boys. Brad, then lead of an electronic trading group for Royal Bank of Canada, and Rob Park, a financial trading platform coder, joined to create a team to dig into the human and technical details of high-frequency trading practices that some say rigged the stock market. Brad used his ability to understand systems, and people’s varying expertise across human, technical, and organizational systems, to eventually found a new stock exchange (IEX) promising a level playing field across traders.

Our Request

These people are inventors, change agents, or both. Who do you know of that we should add to this list of systems savvy/plugged-in managers? Many thanks for replying in the comments here or on The Plugged-In Manager Facebook page.

Business Research Themes