Here are some of the reads I really enjoyed this November. The biggest highlight of the month is of course Santa Clara’s Enterprise 2.0 Conference which brought out a rather heated debate on Enterprise 2.0 vs Social business. I’m not going to go there, I’ll just leave you instead with what Larry Hawes wrote about it: Enterprise 2.0 or Social Business: Who Cares?!
A thorough coverage of the conference is available thanks to Jim Worth’s: wiki page.
Want Value From Social? Add Structure. by Tom Davenport on HBR
Many managers these days face a social dilemma. They want to use social media because they know that an organization’s judgment is improved if its ideation and decision processes incorporate insights from multiple perspectives. But they can’t bring themselves to let employees use social media at work, because they fear too much social activity will hinder productivity.
I’m becoming convinced that the way to gain value is to combine computer-based sociality with computer-based structure.
…the combination of the social and structuring aspects of technology ensures that online social activities are oriented to getting work done. The addition of structure makes everyone more conscious of the work tasks at hand, which limits the desire for purely social interaction.
Purely social applications are too social, and purely structured applications provide too much structure. Combinations of the two are where the work gets done fastest and most effectively.
Time to socialize your business processes? by Oscar Berg
The main reason why I am interested in social software is that I believe we can use the reach, immediacy, richness and interactivity that these technologies bring to shrink large organizations and make them more agile and collaborative.
…If someone asks me how social software-powered communication and collaboration ties into business processes (without being specific about their processes), I can give them quite distinct answers:
· They help you to improve existing processes by connecting different teams, or actually the people and their ideas, across organizational and geographical borders
· They help you to fix broken processes by allowing anyone who might have an idea for how to solve it, or even a solution ready, to get involved in the problem solving-process
· They help you ensure that the information resources you need to do your job are supplied, accessible and findable by involving everyone in the challenging tasks of information management instead of just a few select people.
The State of Learning in the Workplace Today by Sumeet Moghe
The traditional approach to workplace learning has been about managing and controlling the learning experience, keeping it really top down…We need a shift. …Three practical steps towards the new era of workplace learning:
· We need to encourage people and support individuals and teams to address their own learning and performance problems.
· Provide performance consulting services.
· We need to provide advice on appropriate tools and systems.
All of us are better than one of us: thoughts on collaboration by Edward Boches
Want to get better at collaboration, as a company and an individual? Here are some thoughts.
Become a collaborative company: For starters, get rid of walls and departments and silos. Mix people up. Put technology in the creative or marketing department.Second, change the teams. If you once started the process with a writer and art director, mix it up. Include UX or social or mobile.Third, consider changing your incentive and compensation programs to reward the kind of behavior you want to encourage. People follow leaders. But they also follow the money.
Become a collaborative partner: Step one is to embrace a mindset of contribution versus control. Two, try and align yourself with companies that think the same way.Finally, if you’re the lead, get the other parties involved at the beginning before everything’s figured out. Only then will everyone feel truly invested.
Become a collaborator: Get yourself in the room before all the decisions are made, even if you have to push your way in. Learn how to make other people’s ideas better and at the same time make sure they know what you can add.
A Sea Change? by Andrew McAfee
To motivate the business case and convey why pragmatic, skeptical executives should be interested in [the strength of weak ties, open innovation and emergent expertise..], I used former Hewlett-Packard CEO Lew Platt’s great quote that “If only HP knew what HP knows, we’d be three times more productive.”
As I listened, I realized that a fundamental shift had taken place: these executives were no longer talking mainly about their concerns, hesitations, or reasons for caution around Enterprise 2.0; instead, they were talking about their frustrations that their companies weren’t moving faster toward it.
In short, it felt like a sea change had taken place… So I inferred from our discussion that Enterprise 2.0 is no longer perceived as a wild new idea. The CIOs I was talking with apparently considered it just a good idea, and one whose time had come.
I find this very good news, and wanted to share it.