Envisioning and shaping the future of work and business.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

This week in links - week 31, 2008

I came across a working paper called "Communication (and Coordination?) in a Modern, Complex Organization" by Adam M. Kleinbaum, Toby E. Stuart, and Michael L. Tushman from Harward Business School via Mike Gotta's Collaborative Thinking blog. Here are some glimpses from the paper:
The basic question we explore asks, what is the role of observable (to us) boundaries between individuals in structuring communications inside the firm?

...we find that women, mid- to highlevel executives, and members of the executive management, sales and marketing functions aremost likely to participate in cross-group communications. In effect, these individuals bridge the lacunae between distant groups in the company‘s social structure.

When we invert our perspective to focus on those who span the densely interacting groups within the firm, we were surprised to discover that women at BigCo are more likely to bridge the communication silos in the company. The available evidence suggests that this finding is neither an artifact of gendered sorting by job function, nor is it indicative of a gender difference in preference for communication media.

...one of our most surprising findings is the modest role that the firm‘s most senior executives seem to play in coordinating the activities of the enterprise.

You can download the full working paper here.

From James Dellow's blog I came across the article "10 Reasons Enterprises Aren’t Ready to Trust the Cloud" by Stacey Higginbotham:
Cloud computing could become as ubiquitous as personal computing, networked campuses or other big innovations in the way we work, but it’s not there yet...//...Here are 10 reasons enterprises aren’t ready to trust the cloud:
  1. It’s not secure.
  2. It can’t be logged.
  3. It’s not platform agnostic.
  4. Reliability is still an issue.
  5. Portability isn’t seamless.
  6. It’s not environmentally sustainable.
  7. Cloud computing still has to exist on physical servers.
  8. The need for speed still reigns at some firms.
  9. Large companies already have an internal cloud.
  10. Bureaucracy will cause the transition to take longer than building replacement housing in New Orleans.
A press release from HP:
The HP, Intel and Yahoo! Cloud Computing Test Bed will provide a globally distributed, Internet-scale testing environment designed to encourage research on the software, data center management and hardware issues associated with cloud computing at a larger scale than ever before. The initiative will also support research of cloud applications and services.
McKinsey have just published the article "Building the Web 2.0 Enterprise: McKinsey Global Survey Results". Here is what they see coming:

Almost 60 percent of the respondents satisfied with Web 2.0 initiatives (but only 42 percent of other respondents) see them as a driver of competitive advantage. Expect these companies to become more aggressive in the marketplace against rivals that are slower to get on board.

Satisfied or not, all companies plan to spend more on Web 2.0 tools—an opportunity for software developers.

There are few differences in size, region, or even tool use between companies that are satisfied with their Web 2.0 experience and those that are not. This suggests that today’s seemingly insurmountable barriers could be overcome through the adoption of managerial methods that satisfied companies use.

Successful companies already use Web 2.0 for business applications such as communicating with customers and suppliers; soon they may use it to drive innovation.


Finally, here's an interesting presentation by James Robertson at Step Two Designs "talking through a range of practical ideas for getting the most out of collaboration tools, while avoiding common pitfalls":

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