Author Topic: How do you operationalize a vision  (Read 3199 times)

Reyed Mia, Daffodil

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How do you operationalize a vision
« on: February 22, 2018, 10:57:50 PM »
How do you operationalize a vision?

- I mentioned earlier that we're doing some stuff at LinkedIn that I've never done before, which is trying to operationalize our vision, the dream, and historically for me, the vision is just that. It's true north, it's a dream, it's not something you actually do. And a few years ago, we recognized that we were growing our membership faster than we had anticipated, so we originally codified the mission to connect the world's professionals, we had 32 million members when I first joined, December 2008. We recently surpassed 400 million people signed up for LinkedIn, and a couple of years ago, it became clear, we were going to be on a trajectory to exceed the midway mark to that 780 million.

And at the time, granted once we've connected the world's professionals, making them more productive and successful, there's plenty of work to be done on that front. It's not just about connecting and signing people up. But we did start asking ourselves what would come next, and where we ended up was bringing our vision to life, this idea of creating economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce, all three billion people, not just knowledge workers and professionals or students, everyone. Everyone in the global workforce. And so the way in which we decided to go about that was by essentially digitally mapping the global economy across six dimensions.

Six dimensions that we believed LinkedIn was in a very unique position to execute against. So the economic graph would mean having a profile on LinkedIn for every member of the global workforce, all three billion plus people. It would mean having a presence for every company in the world. When you include small and medium sized businesses, there's about 60 to 70 million companies in the world. It would mean having a digital representation for every available job opportunity offered by those companies.

There's roughly, we estimate, on the order of 20 million jobs that would be digitally accessible that are open right now on a global basis. A digital representation for every skill required to obtain the jobs offered by those companies, tens upon tens of thousands of skills that you could access through standardized data. A digital presence for every university, higher education organization, and vocational training facility that would enable individuals to acquire the skills to get the jobs offered by those companies. And a publishing platform that would enable every individual, every company, and every university to share their professionally relevant knowledge to the extent they're interested in doing so.

And then we would want to take a step back and allow all forms of capital, intellectual capital, working capital, of course, human capital to flow to where it could best be leveraged, and in doing so, we're hoping we can lift and transform the global economy. So that's the economic graph. So when we originally started talking about that, it was a vision, and it to some extent, sounded like science fiction, and what happened was over time, it actually started to manifest itself. So we started investing the infrastructure, the people, teams, we made some acquisitions, and what changed for us was asking what it would take to operate at economic graph scale.

And I'll give you a perfect example. When I first joined the company, we had somewhere in the order of six to eight thousand jobs that were posted on LinkedIn. And at some point along the way, we identified and addressed full opportunity for professional jobs, high value, white collar jobs. There was roughly 350 thousand, and that grew to about half a million. That was the addressable. We hit about 300 plus thousand, and on our way to that number, I think we were rounding about 250 thousand, I had a meeting with the team responsible for that, and as I had mentioned on a number of different occasions, I said, "Don't forget, you got to start thinking "about how we can get all the jobs." 20 million.

And I turned to leave the room, and it occurred to me, and I had said it on multiple occasions with this specific team in this specific context. They just thought it was a platitude. They thought I was just kind of throwing it out there until I turned around and walked back in. I said, "You do realize I'm serious about this." And you could feel all, for whatever reason, in that moment, it finally sank into the team that I meant it, and so they went out and developed a strategy and a roadmap to do it. And we ended up acquiring a company called Bright, brilliant team, and we are now up to five million jobs that are on LinkedIn today available, and we have roughly two and a half times that amount that have been indexed, and we're just still thinking about the best way to offer those up in an index and make sure they're relevant and so forth and so on.

Scrubbing the data, deduping, all that stuff. And we're on our way to ultimately... The goal is to have 20 million jobs accessible on LinkedIn. You could do the exact same exercise with the number of members on LinkedIn, the number of companies on LinkedIn, in terms of the skillsets, it wasn't enough for us to just identify which skills people needed. We ultimately believe that we should offer up coursework so that people could learn the skills. We acquired a company called Lynda, which in my opinion was the last piece, fundamental piece of the building blocks that we needed for this puzzle, and the publishing platform started with 500 professional luminaries that we called influencers, and today, well north, it's probably north of 250 million people have the ability to publish in long form on LinkedIn, and months and months ago, we surpassed a million people that had actually taken the time to publish on LinkedIn in long form.

So that's, it's not just talking about it, it's actually coming to life, and really, the only thing preventing us from achieving that scale at this point is time.
Reyed Mia (BBA and MBA in Finance)
Assistant Director
Daffodil International University
Manager, Bangladesh Venture Capital Ltd.
102/1, Shukrabad, Dhanmondi, Dhaka-1207.
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