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January 31, 2007

Technology Evangelist Study

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Frederic Lucas-Conwell conducted a study of Silicon Valley technical evangelists called “Technology Evangelists: A Leadership Survey.” Here is the abstract:

The purpose of this study was to gain a clearer understanding of the relatively new phenomenon known as the “technology evangelist.” By our exploration, we aim to help readers improve their management functions, and to understand how best to integrate “evangelists” within their organizations.

In order to do so, we analyzed the roles of those who hold this position and leadership styles. Our research included surveying and interviewing twenty-nine technical evangelists worldwide from a variety of cultures and organizations. Some general tendencies regarding the role did, indeed, emerge. However, we also discovered variable character, or personality, patterns among the participants. Therefore, we proceeded to examine the gap, between the role of the technology evangelist and the subject’s personal character.

We contrasted individual competencies with these character patterns, and created a grid to analyze their qualities of leadership. This paper includes our recommendations for recruiting, integrating, developing and managing the technology evangelists.

It provides good insights into what motivates evangelists and what makes them tick. If you want to learn about evangelists, check it out.


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Comments

thanks all...

This is the third time I visit your blog and I like your articles. If you guys love gadgets, please visit my blog at: http://www.funnygadget.com Thanks!

Excellent report. Now I fully understand my friend who's also into that field. He's so intent in promoting the essence of myspace marketing, but I just couldn't get it.

As a pastor who is addicted to people and addicted to technology as next-gen communication of LIFE I have found myself an evangelist for technology evangelism.

Thanks for sharing vision and info Guy.

Awesome report. I scanned through it and found it fascinating. I've downloaded a copy for complete reading later over coffee.

I have long suspected that I am a technology evangelist. I can now point to such things as being a "Technology Evangelist in Progress" and say, yes, that describes me well and point it out to others. No longer am I some random anomaly---I have a sort of official calling that I can explain to others (If only they will listen!).

The one overriding trait I possess in life is passion. Whether it's the spices I intend to use in a dish I'm cooking, hiking in the mountains, writing, brainstorming ideas, or romancing a future ex---passion is the one constant.

Now, I hope this report finds its way into the hands of every HR manager in the nation. That way, passionate idealists and evangelists like myself will better opportunities.

Another great post Guy.

The survey give me more insight about "evangelists". I thought they are group of pig headed guys (and gals) use what ever it takes to push a technology, which might be benefit the world (therefore, justify their existance on this planet). The chaps (geeks, or at least geekish type) can see the world with different light, different color...

Hopefully, evangelist not going to be one of the buzz words at the board meeting ("let's recruit 3 evangelist to meet next years sales target" would be very sad... can see the "willow type" fellow diluting the field with the same label).

In a world full of Marketing, advertising, PR, hunter salesman and “push the product” attitude do we really need an evangelist to persuade people in whatever they believe (no offence to anyone)? Do we really have to convince tool-head people that they need one more tool? Influence people to adopt a complex and costly solution to an already very complex scenario?

May be the evangelist should take a different approach and influence their own company instead to provide exactly what the customers want, when and where they want it, at the lowest possible cost and without wasting their time. But this is difficult, because it requires companies to be world-class and very lean in order to provide that level of capability.

Osvaldo

Interesting read... as a new real estate technology evangelist, I'm always thinking about how character and culture fit into presentation.

A very interesting study. Without getting into as much detail about it as the study did, wouldn't it really boil down to three things:

1. The genuine love for the product the evangelist has.
2. The enjoyment that the evangelist gets from talking to folks that share the same view(s).
3. The evangelist taking the time to talk to detractors as well? In other words, finding out what can be done to make the product(s) better from folks that don't share the same love?

This exploration of leadership qualities is very interesting. I would recommend Marshall Goldsmith's excellent new book ('What got you here won't get you there') as a resource for those wanting to make change. I believe that individuals and companies can become more flexible, lean, and better able to act their mantras. This applies to retraining CEOs as Dr. Goldsmith has (at the very largest of companies) as well as creating better companies (of any size). ALthough I have not connect to Dr. G, I do agree with his (and your) approach to changing the world.

What tools can we use today to have stronger companies tomorrow?

Am I correct in understanding that this n is 100% male? Guy, you and I exchanged some brief messages a couple of years ago regarding your comments about female intuition, which I agreed to and my wife called "reverse-sexism"... As many women tend to be brilliant communicators, where are the Evangelistas? Any thoughts?

*****************

I'm pretty sure this wasn't all male, but it sure wasn't 50/50. He could only interview who he could find, and if companies don't have female evangelists, then he couldn't make it 50/50/.

Guy

It's good to finally see this whole WOM/Brand Evangelist thing finally getting more traction in the mainstream world. Thanks for the heads-up. I know what I'll be reading tonight. :)

Hello Guy;
First of all, I want to thank you for having this blog. Since first reading it some weeks ago, it has made it into my frequent reading and your insights have been a large encouragement to me on just about everything.

Being a person who is always pushing mobile technology and community at some level in every group that I am in, reading this study on technology evangelists was timely and appropriate. I assume that many of your readers are in or near this place in their respective organizations, I am not. I am in that place where I am/was looking for what it is that I do that makes me tick and why I tick with the prosumer/innovative user segment of the population more than most others (aka, looking for a new job that maximizes my given talents and experiences). My writing and outlook on those things that meet at the intersection of faith and technology speak to much of what was written in this study.

An unanswered question from this study, and something that should probably be engaged in the minds of all technologists at some point in time is how the evolution of their skills in a respective technology does make them an evangelist and how to position themselves to be receptive when they start preaching (so to speak).

Thanks again for the insights and links. You have no idea how much you have helped me with this posting, but if I get a chance to meet you, I shall certainly thank you moreso than my words could here.

Very Interesting read !! Its about time that we all accept the important role of evangelists.

Thanks for pointing to this, Guy. I think you've simplified my next quarterly review: I'll just print this out, highlight key portions, and hand it to the higher-ups. :)

Guy, what would you say are the differences between PR and evangelism? I scanned the article. The role of the "technology evangelist" seems to be fall nicely within the realm of public relations, as described by Joe Marconi and Clarke L. Caywood.

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