Friday, October 23, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gen F vs. Corporate Mentality

I think Gary Hamel has done a great job of  succinctly bringing forth principals that encourge knowledge sharing and genuine conversations within an organization.

http://blogs.wsj.com/management/2009/03/24/the-facebook-generation-vs-the-fortune-500/

Gary's 12 characteristics of work relevant online life are counter to what we generally see and experience in many (most?) organizations today:

  • HR departments run amuck - creating the grand parade of lifeless packaging, where every employee must be categorized, standardized, within a 'fair' range

  • Managers who reward behaviour that is counter to corporate "goals"

  • The status quo gets rewarded

  • Precieved "fairness" wins out over skill, aptitude, and working smarter

  • Value Networks exist but aren't recognised

  • Communication tends to be a one way street

Truths of Enterprise Social Interaction (Collaboration)


  1. Collaboration tools do not need to be complex, costly, or fully integrated into the organizations other business tools to provide value.

  2. The value of Collaborative technologies often cannot be quantified.

  3. The “mom test” should be applied to collaboration technologies.

    • David Coleman of Collaborative Strategies defines the mom test as: “…tool needs to be easy enough for my mom to use for it to be successful.”



  4. Collaboration doesn’t need to be managed, just fostered.

    • Provide people the freedom to share their thoughts, ideas and experiences in a way that can be applicable to the organization.

    • Collaboration will grow organically if it is left alone - free from management meddling.

    •  People must be given the ability to converse with limited constraints (within acceptable usage parameters).



  5. Trust is developed through genuine interaction not edict.

  6. Successful organizational collaboration is evidenced through cross-functional interactions.

  7. Collaborative technologies will expose the hidden networks within an organization.

  8. The hidden networks are where the real work of the organization takes place and value derived.

  9. Collaborative technologies empower individual contributors.

  10. Productivity enhancing collaboration does not always have to be 100% business focused.

  11. Context is a determining factor in the value derived from conversations.

  12. Self organization and policing occurs where collaboration is free of artificial constraints.

Doing things backwards

More times than I care to remember I have encountered collaborative technology that actually hinders collaboration and knowledge sharing.  Why?  Well I think David Coleman of Collaborative Strategies hits the reason in his post about how some of the least collaborative people in an organization are often the ones picking the technology.

It isn't that IT doesn't know what they are doing (when it comes to collaboration), but that they sometimes become disconnected from the people that could benefit most from their leadership.  Having a simple conversation with people about how they would like to use technology and then helping them understand what is available and then implementing unstructured pilots can help everyone understand the value proposition.  Of course there are extremes where no one does anything about collaboration tools because of a fear of failure or making things over complicated.

Collaboration isn't rocket science, we do it everyday.  When it comes to technology to collaborate we need to stop over thinking things and use simple methods and tools.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Customer Conversations Are Changing

"The long-held notion that companies control the conversation is being challenged by social media."

http://www.fastcompany.com/article/how-social-media-upending-enterprise

I couldn't have said it better myself.  This statement is true for both internal and external customers.  Organizations will need to let go of the conversation and be willing to address their constituents in the method of their choice.  Organizations will also need to manage and leverage the knowledge generated by these new conversation methods.

Knowledge to do what?

Can your organization answer the question; knowledge to do what?  That should be the starting point for any organization embarking on a new ...