Using Twitter to solve the “hotel lobby” problem

Situation Analysis:

Asian Chinese business people meeting in hotel lobbyIn my many years in Asia, I always had an IBM host meet me in my hotel lobby on the first day of the project.  I did this to get briefed by the host while spending one hour in a car doing 15 km/hour.  The traffic in Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo is simply horrifying.  Traffic in Singapore is actually not that bad.  Many times I’m not sure who has been “assigned” to babysit me.  Not only do I not know his name; I don’t know what he looks like.  I have a phone number, but my “contact” (not the same as “host”) is not answering his phone.  I know the rendezvous point and the time.  That’s it.  To make things more complicated let’s assume my original host was diverted for personal reasons and now I’m suppose to meet a substitute host in the lobby.

Problem Statements:

  1. Lack of basic situational knowledge.  This creates anxiety and diverts mental focus to the mundane vs. the project.
  2. Even if all logistic details are known and well planned, things change!  –> flight schedules, meeting times, rendezvous points and HOSTS.  This creates extra workload on the immediate parties and extended parties (i.e. the CLIENT).
  3. Lack of feedback!  No realtime feedback loop on the situation.  This creates anxiety and diverts mental focus to the mundane vs. the project.
  4. Hours upon hours of “chasing our tails” are exhausted to fix a mundane problem.  These hours could have been used to further the value proposition.  Also, the entangled relationships trying to solve this mundane problem begin to RESENT each other for the ludicrous waste of time.

Solution Statement:

  1. Situational knowledge is no longer a concern.  A “landing code” is provided upon deployment.  This simple code “White Elephant on 6” reduces stress, cost, time and workload simultaneously.
  2. Regardless of changes to schedules, substitutions, rendezvous point or agenda, no member of the immediate or extended team need to panic and exhaust energy worrying about the “hostee” (ME!)
  3. Feedback loop is inherent once the “landing code” is initiated on Twitter.  The feedback loop is real time.  This allows all associated parties (even the lunch caterer) to flex and breathe without much anxiety.
  4. Regardless of how I consume and distribute pertinent information inside my organization, I can integrate my internal systems with the external Twitter feed.
  5. BONUS BENEFIT! –> I’m well rested the next morning although my biological clock is off by 13 hours.  My mind was at rest because of a white elephant.

To-Be Social Business Model for Fortune 500 Consultants using Twitter:

Email from my boss: “Rector, I need you in Singapore in 72 hours.  Project file attached.  Your landing code is “White Elephant on 6″ and your hashtag is #H314b.  Let me know when you land.  Thanks.”

I begin by telling my woman, “Sorry, I’m due in Singapore in 72 hours, where’s my suit?”.  I text my secretary that I need to arrive in Singapore in 72 hours (local time which includes an international dateline).  She’s online.  She’s not happy.  It’s 4:30pm.  She does it anyway.  I get to the airport the next afternoon for a flight from Newark to Singapore.  DIRECT.  19 hours in the air btw.  I text my woman my landing code just prior to departure.  I arrive at the airport in Singapore 19 hours later.  While waiting on my bags to arrive on the carousel I simply TWEET “WHITE ELEPHANT ON 6”.

Because I tweeted “White elephant on 6” and entire ecosystem of butterfly effects begin. . .

Notice I did NOT specify a Twitter handle.  Not my concern.  The next morning I get into the shower WITHOUT checking my phone.  In said shower I’m thinking about the project, how to win, how to convey our advantages, my competitors weaknesses.  I’m NOT thinking about who, what, where, when minutia.  I’m thinking about what is important.

Since I tweeted “white elephant on 6” last night upon arrival in the airport, several IBMers (and my woman btw) became aware of my situation.  Rather the times change, the agenda changes, substitutions occur, etc., I begin to receive my FEEDBACK.  My PUBLIC feedback loop looks something like this:

HOST TWEET: “John, My name is Jungmee Lee.  You can call me “Sunny”.  I will meet you at R1 in 30 minutes.  I’ll find you. #H314b”.

MY TWEET REPLY (the next morning): “See you soon Sunny #H314b”

HOST TWEET: “John, Traffic very busy, make it 40 minutes #H314b”.

MY TWEET REPLY “I understand #H314b”


All subscribers (boss, wife, competitor, primary contact, customer, business partner(s), translators, support staff, caterers, etc.) to #H314b and “White Elephant on 6” are able to receive real time updates and/or notifications on their glass (phone, pad, monitor).

NOTE: Public tweets never die btw.  They live forever in the Library of Congress for future generations to analyze.

This simple example changes everything.  It changes how we prioritize workload.  It changes how we perceive each other (etiquette).  It changes YOUR reputation.

This social business process design is optimized for short term projects (days) with many moving parts and a low retention rate.

John Rector is the President of Mind Media Group, LLC and the Creative Director for Social Media Target, LLC.  He lives at the intersection of Business Process Management (BPM) and Social Media.  You can reach him at +1-843-327-6008 or jsrector@gmail.com

Author: John Rector

John Rector is a highly accomplished entrepreneur and consultant with a successful track record in multiple industries. He is a former IBM executive who co-founded the globally recognized companies e2open and Social Media Target. He is also a co-owner of Rainbow Packaging Corporation and the owner of Mind Media Group. John not only operates his own businesses, but also provides implementation services for other companies and teaches courses in art and AI at his Mt. Pleasant, SC office. He offers customized consulting services on an hourly or monthly basis and is available for in-person meetings at his Charleston, SC office, or over the phone. To schedule a consultation, simply purchase an hour of his time using the button on the "Pay Online" menu option.

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