Envisioning and shaping the future of work and business.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

This week in links - week 9, 2009

Massachusetts-based Forrester Consulting was recently commissioned by Adobe to analyze the current condition of knowledge workers in Europe.

In December 2008, they published Enabling The Future of Collaboration, which revealed several interesting findings.  While workers heavily favor integrating more efficient and tangibly productive collaborative methods into their workday, there is overwhelming evidence showing that they do not utilize these tools to anywhere near capacity. Though collaboration is an increasingly important aspect to workers, they “tend to favor established and familiar collaborative tools over newer alternatives.”  This is referring to phone conversations, emails, and face-to-face meetings as their primary source means to collaborate.  As for the usage of “instant messaging, Web conferencing, and team work sites”, only 13% of Europeans take advantage of these tools.  Moreover, people use newer web 2.0 tools, such as “wikis, blogs, and social networks,” even less at 5%.
The biggest barrier for implementing and adopting social media inside the organization (on the intranet) is not technology, but culture. Blogs and wikis are very simple technology, but educating executives and employees on the value of social media while promoting and motivating use requies significant change management and communications.

The real value of social media on the intranet are the relationships and connections that are built and enhanced for unlocking tacit knowledge and unleashing creativity and future potential.

And yet while most social media represent simple technology (and some like discussion forums and instant messaging have been around for more than 10 years), it is new enough that most employees have little experience using it (particularly older generations) or struggle with understanding the value it represents to the business.
"Reduce management costs with Enterprise 2.0" by Jon Mell:
I was with a customer the other day who very succinctly described their business motivation for delivering an Enterprise 2.0 intranet. "We're looking to expand, but without increasing management costs".

Employees who are efficiently networked don't need management making sure that they're talking to the right people, or introducing them to other members of the organisation.

They don't need to attend team meetings with the "enforced networking" sessions that invariably happen afterward.

They don't need to ask their manager who they need to ask about abc, or where they can find information about xyz.

They find that information from the flow that social software generates - their personal radar enables them to know who to ask and where to look
"8 Things You Need to Know About Making the Case for Document Management in a Recession -- #8" by John Mancini:
#8 of 8: Most organizations (86%) do not know what they do not know when it comes to information integrity; they are unconsciously incompetent when it comes to the effectiveness of their information management systems.

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