Envisioning and shaping the future of work and business.

Friday, March 6, 2009

This week in links - week 10, 2009

"Is your Organization Talent Ready?" by Margaret Schweer, the Wikinomics blog:

In our practice we are seeing the current economy accelerate profound changes in the fundamental structure and operating principles of organizations. These changes are challenging people to behave in different ways . . . requiring new capabilities.

The very nature of work is changing. It is . . .

  • Project driven . . . based on roles not jobs.
  • Community based . . . the active use of collaboration tools to share information, create relationships, develop insights or create product is the work itself.
  • On demand . . . the style of work is ‘bursty’ meaning its discontinuous and done when required by the work not necessarily during ‘work hours.’
  • "Golocal" . . . requires that we simultaneously take a global and local approach and mindset to work and talent.

How we do work is also changing. Organizations are becoming more networked with a fluid structure and transparent processes. This means that:

  • Work is more horizontal and self organizing in nature
  • Peer oriented with less control being provided by the center of the organization
  • Supported by processes that are modular and can be assembled in a flexible repeatable way

The tools we leverage are changing. We are already seeing wonderful examples of web based tools that reside on responsive platforms . . . that are available on demand . . . instantly reconfigurable . . . agile and adaptive to circumstances.

"How Much Scale Is Needed in Enterprise 2.0 Employee Adoption?" by Hutch Carpenter:

Usually, all social software is lumped together under ‘Enterprise 2.0′ and there is a collective view that wide-scale adoption by employees is a necessity. It’s actually more nuanced than that.

The graphic below depicts the relative levels of participation required for different apps to “deliver value”:


"Wikis, “Opt-in Culture” Contribute to a Healthy Organization" by Bill Arconati, Atlassian:

One of the great things about working in a company that has fully adopted the wiki way of working is that it fosters what I call an opt-in culture. In an opt-in culture, employees contribute to conversations where they gain the most satisfaction and have the largest impact. They look beyond their tiny fiefdoms and seek out situations where they can add value and offer their expertise...//...In opt-in cultures, employees are more engaged and more productive leading the overall organization to greater success.

Perhaps the best way to understand and appreciate an opt-in culture is by contrasting it to an opt-OUT culture like email. Have you ever left work at the end of the day and thought to yourself, “All I did today was respond to emails?” In email-based companies you frequently spend your days knocking down emails like a bad game of Whac-A-Mole.

The main problem with email is that you have little control over what lands in your inbox. Most emails are either (i) people asking you to do something or (ii)conversations between two or three people (frequently executives) with a dozen innocent bystanders in the cc line. The only way to shut out the noise in an email culture is to opt-out and say “Take me off this thread!”

"Intranet trends" by Toby Ward:

Intranet and portal specialist Jane McConnell of NetStrategy highlights the latest trends identified in her Global Intranet Trends Report for 2009:

Important ingredients for a successful intranet:

  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Empowering employees
  • Optimizing activities & processes
  • Focusing on the needs of the customer (external)

Direction of intranets:

  • Portal concepts – aggregating content and tools into a single screen
  • Integration of applicatons – HR, business applications, collaboration spaces
  • Social media – user-generated content
  • Management awareness – senior management is slowly becoming aware of intranets

Changes in business:

  • Virtual teams (geographically dispersed)
  • New expectations
  • Tele-working (working remotely)
  • Smart phones (mobile access of the intranet)

The intranet is on the verge of breaking:

  • Today's typical intranet is not sustainable
  • Too top-down
  • Not business-oriented
  • Not people-oriented
  • Out-of-date
  • Arthritic – too hard to publish
  • Closed – limited to employees (closed to partners & contractors)
  • Sendetary – limited to office, PCs

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