Tuesday, October 27, 2015

This is why you can't find my book on Amazon

People have asked me why they can’t find my book at Amazon.com. I usually answer that they can find it and buy it directly from the publisher. I also recommend them to read the publisher's “Publisher Manifesto”:
We at Intranätverk publish books that we like, we care about and we think will help you! We are on a mission to deliver valuable and useful knowledge.

As an independent publisher we care about the quality of our books, about our authors and our customer service.

We like to be in touch with everyone who reads the books we publish, because our authors and we care about what you think about the books, so please tell us! It is how we keep improving what we offer.

We love publishing books and we hope you love reading them. If you like our books, we would love you to buy them directly from us. If you do, all the money goes towards investing in new books and authors.

If you buy directly from us you will also get:
  • all the updates for the ebook you buy 
  • an ebook version included with every print version of the book
  • free shipping 
Not all books are written for commercial reasons. Some books are written out of pure passion, on subjects which are of interest only to a small audience. My book belongs to this category of books. I believe we need those books as well.

Furthermore, self-publishing is not for everybody. Publishing a high quality book still requires a wide range of competencies and contributions of several people. If you have that ambition, working with a publisher will make it achievable.

So, we need publishers that are willing to publish these books that might not sell in large volumes. To keep these publishers alive, we need to make sure that at as much of the earnings from each book goes back to them. The primary goal is to cover the costs. If it turns out that a book will sell ok and make some profit, it’s almost like a bonus. The important thing is that these books will get published.

This is why you won’t find my book on Amazon (well, you will eventually. But I still hope you will buy it directly from the publisher).

Anyhow, in case you buy my book I am eager to hear what you think about it. I am grateful that a lot of people have already shared their feedback, and I’d like to share some highlights from a few reviews of the book.

Martin White, intranet and search guru:
"This book is full of wisdom and diagrams, both of which are usually absent from books on collaboration...The wisdom comes from the nature of Oscar’s work as a consultant, where clearly he has stepped back at the end of each engagement to do a classic ‘lessons learned’ exercise. The diagrams are of great value as a tool to initiate discussions inside an organisation and can be downloaded from Flickr. A very generous offer...I can recommend this book very highly indeed. It sits alongside my two established favourites and I have reserved a space for Oscar’s next book on the subject." 
Read the full review here.

Martin Risgaard, Change catalyst in the Digital Workplace at Microsoft:
"A great overview of the tactical challenges that organisations face when it comes to collaboration today. Introduces some very useful frameworks for dealing with these challenges.

If I were to point at two key chapters, one would be “The 5 principles of collaborative collaboration” where Oscar introduces Openness, Transparency, Participation, Conversation, and Recognition as key for successful collaboration. This may not be ground breaking, but in my daily work I am time and again surprised how one or more of these aspects are overlooked and sometimes with devastating results. This simply cannot be repeated enough.

The other chapter that I find probably the most useful and that I personally would have liked to see elaborated even further is the Knowledge Work Capability Framework. The model and the 9 capabilities outlined here contain a lot of great thinking but maybe I would go as far as to say that this could warrant a book written on this topic alone tackling each of the capabilities with some live examples from companies that succeed with this. I will keep a close watch on Oscar’s blog to see how this framework expands in the future." 
Read the full review here.
Siobhan Fagan, community editor for Simpler Media Group writing for CMS Wire:
“The book’s strength lies in that it moves past the theory and explores collaboration in practice. Berg offers several models and frameworks, with clear explanations of each, for managers to use…For a business struggling with a failed or failing social initiative (perhaps due to a lack of grounding in the work at hand), or for managers looking to immerse themselves in the theory and practice of workplace collaboration, ’Collaborating in a Social Era’ will provide the a,b,c’s and tools to get you started." 
Read the full review here.
Samuel Driessen, Senior Consultant, intranet expert and senior consultant at Entopic:
”…many books you read about collaboration are theoretical. They give us general and more strategic things to think about. And these kinds of books have their own right. I enjoy them as well. On the other hand, after finishing those books, I can feel lost. What steps can or should I take? Oscar’s book is not about that. For one, it’s clear that Oscar is not only a consultant, but has done the stuff he’s preaching while working in (and for) organizations. There’s no simplistic 1-2-3 plan in the book. He gives the reader deeper, more philosophical insights in collaboration and work, but maintains a practical, basic focus to help the reader move forward.” 
Read the full review here

Monday, August 31, 2015

58 graphics from my book - free to download and use

My book "Collaborating in a Social Era" contains over 70 graphics - illustrations, diagrams and models. The majority (58) of these are now free to download and use under a CC International 4.0 Attribution license (attribute to Oscar Berg oscarberg.net).

Among these graphics you will find models such as:
  • The Knowledge Worker Productivity Venn
  • The Collaboration Pyramid
  • The Five Principles of Collaborative Communication
  • The Knowledge Work Capability Framework
  • The Long Tail of Information Needs
The above models are of course thoroughly explained in my book which you can buy here (as ebook or print).

I hope you will find the graphics useful. Please share as you see fit! Enjoy! :-)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

My book Collaborating in a Social Era is out!

For me, who have worked with this project for two years now, this is a big day: my book “Collaborating in a Social Era” is finally released. :-)

To start with, the book is available to purchase as ebook (PDF and ePub). The printed version will be released a couple of weeks from now, but you can preorder it now.

Please note that you can pre-order the printed version at a discounted price during a limited period of time. Although you will have to wait a couple of weeks to receive the printed version, you will get the ebook immediately as it is included in the price.

To get a taste of the book, you can download the first chapter of the book for free.

The presentation below will give you an idea what the book is about.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Book review: Digital Success or Digital Disaster

Governance. It is a word that commands respect. Perhaps this is why so many in the world of corporate communication shy away from it. I have none other explanation for the sorry state of most intranets I have seen. By doing so, they fail to realize that it's important to have a good governance framework in place to get adoption and ROI from a digital solution such as an intranet. Many intranet owners still to put their bets on the technology itself, hoping it will 'automagically' be adopted by the intended users and then be used by everyone in structured and organized ways. We all know it doesn't work that way. People don't work that way.

If you want to succeed with your intranet, or any digital solution, you will need to put an effective governance in place. An effective governance does essentially one thing: it helps people who develop or use the intranet make the right decisions, aligning with the strategy behind the intranet. As intranet pioneer Mark Morrell expresses it:
"One vital factor applies to all great intranets. It is having a strong governance framework that supports an intranet strategy, aligned with the organisation’s strategy."
This may sound like common sense, but a quote from the book "The Knowing-Doing Gap" (well worth a read) is relevant in this context:
"It is interesting how uncommon common sense is in its implementation" 
In his book "Digital Success or Digital Disaster", Mark Morrell shares a lot of insights and practical tips on intranet governance derived from his long experience from managing a large intranet at BT, and from advising other organizations on intranet governance. As the title suggests, he shares lessons learned which can help you avoid digital disaster and take the road to digital success instead.

If you are working with intranets, maybe as intranet product owner or intranet manager, I am you will find Mark's book useful. If you are new to intranet governance, you will probably appreciate the introduction Mark gives to intranet governance, covering important aspects such as what it is and why it is needed, what components an intranet governance framework must include, and what you should consider when creating one that fits your organization. If you already have a working intranet governance in place why not make a sanity check using Mark's 7 principles for creating a good governance framework? I am sure you will spot improvement opportunities that can make your intranet even more successful.

You can read more about the book and find out where to buy it on Mark's web site.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Upcoming Book: Collaborating in a Social Era

I am very happy to announce that my book "Collaborating in a Social Era" will be available for purchase as ebook and in print this September! 

If you have appreciated my work and writings on this blog and elsewhere, such as CMS Wire, I am sure you will appreciate the book as well. 

I have stuffed the book with some of the best ideas, insights and models that I have collected or created over the years, including models such as The Collaboration Pyramid and The Knowledge Work Capability Framework. 

The book, which will be in color, will contain over 50 informative and useful illustrations. 

I have set up a Facebook page dedicated to the book where you will find news and information about the book, such as when and where it will be available. I also intend to use it to host a discussion about the subjects I cover in the book, as well as a feedback channel to help me improve on the book.

You will soon be able to download a free sample chapter from the book and pre-order the book at a discounted price from Intranätverk. Later this fall, the book will be available for purchase via Amazon and iTunes as well. 

So stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Introducing – The Digital Collaboration Canvas

There is plenty of waste hidden in knowledge work, much of which we have come to accept as “normal” ways of working. I am not just referring to inefficient meetings we attend and the time we waste on managing our email inboxes. As knowledge workers spend a lot of time on activities such as searching for information, trying to figure out what the colleagues are doing and when to contribute, re-creating information that already exists somewhere else, and so on. One might say that we are spending all this time just getting ready to work.

Although the tasks we need to perform come in all shapes and sizes, most rely on a number of basic capabilities such as finding information or locating expertise. The more interdependent our work becomes, the more important these capabilities become to us. If they are weak, our ability to collaborate and create value together as an organization becomes crippled. Therefore improving such capabilities can both reduce a lot of the waste in knowledge work and enable people to work smarter together.

Over the years I have developed a framework of 9 capabilities that are important for knowledge work in general and for collaboration efforts in particular. I use the framework to help clients understand their current ways of working, identify problems and opportunities for improvement, and to explore better ways of working – with digital tools. The framework is illustrated below, inspired by a model by Harold Jarche who combined Ian McCarthy’s honeycomb of social media with an early version of my capabilities framework.

When I work with clients of various sizes and in various industries to improve digital collaboration, I use my framework and a tool that I call “The Digital Collaboration Canvas”. It includes definitions of each capability and helps you to assess and improve these capabilities within a certain context, such as project collaboration or a specific business process.

You can download The Digital Collaboration Canvas as PDF and you are free to use it under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (see details at the bottom of this post).

If you are interested in learning more about how to use my framework and The Digital Collaboration Canvas, feel free to contact me. Please feel free to suggest any improvements.

Creative Commons LicenseThe Digital Collaboration Canvas by Oscar Berg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.oscarberg.net.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.oscarberg.net.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

New book about intranets released today

A new Swedish book about intranets was released today. It is not everyday that happens.

The title of the book is "Intranät som skapar värde", which can be translated to "Intranets that create value".

The book consists of a number of chapters written by Swedish intranet experts. Each chapter discusses intranets from a certain perspective. Taken together, they provide a comprehensive of what is needed for intranets to create value for organizations - today and in the future.

I myself have contributed with a chapter about what role an intranet can play in the digital transformation of an organization. These are the other contributors and their contributions:
The book is published by Intranätverk, with Kristian Norling as editor of the book. It can be purchased as an e-book starting today 9th of April. If want it in print, you will have to wait until May.

I personally really like the way the book came about. It started as an idea by Kristian Norling about a year ago. It really took off and turned into a project when Kristian started a community on Google+ and the first contributions were shared. Soon, more contributors joined the community and shared their contributions. The level of activity in the community increased the closer we got to the deadline. Sure, we pushed the deadline ahead a few times, but we were all dedicated to make the book happen.

Although we have been responsible for writing our own chapters, we have helped each other out in different ways, from providing feedback on the contents to proofreading.  We used Google Docs to write and review the chapters and shared our writings, discussed different things and coordinated the production in the Google+ community. Not only did it help us turn the idea into a finished product. Along the way we all probably got to know each other a bit better. At least we will have something more in common to discuss the next time we meet. :-)