Envisioning and shaping the future of work and business.

Friday, May 8, 2009

This week in links - week 19, 2009

"Collaboration Anti-Culture: Can It Get Any Worse?" by Michael Sampson:

Culture is really important for collaboration technology to work in a group or organization. If the culture isn't right, "collaboration" as a human process expressed through various communication and collaboration technologies can't take root. I met with a new client earlier this week to talk about a senior management attempt to encourage "collaboration", but the stories the two people I met with told about the organizational culture made me write the following back to them:

  • "Collaboration" will fail at your firm, because of lack of trust. Eg, the remote offices mistrust head office, which means there are some major interpersonal issues to overcome.
  • "Collaboration" will fail at your firm, because of lack of freedom. Eg, you two are hand-slapped for going to talk to other people at head office (talk!). Collaborative activity doesn't flourish in tightly controlled environments / dictatorships.
  • "Collaboration" will fail at your firm, because of lack of two-way communication channels. Eg, you aren't allowed to talk to or engage with the remote offices (the very people who you are supposed to be helping to "collaborate").
  • I didn't add it at the time, but I should have also said: "Collaboration" will fail at your firm, because you are scared about being overheard by other people. Eg, during the meeting, both people lowered their voice when they were telling stories about how way things worked at the firm.

"Second-wave adopters are coming. Are you prepared? Part 1 / 3" by Christoph Schmaltz:

In the previous post we looked in more detail at barriers to user adoption and identified the following as key to be addressed to get second-wave adopters on board:

  1. applications not part of user's workflow
  2. time effort > personal value
  3. complex applications

Since a lot of people live in their inbox, we should be looking at ways to interact with a company's wiki, blogs, forums, social network and even microblogging engine using an email client. I specifically say 'email client', by which I mean not the 'email inbox'. The inbox should be for private information only. All other content (e.g. updates from blogs, wikis, newsletters, RSS feeds) should be received in different folders within the email client.

New behaviors will emerge, but it won't happen over night. That's why enthusiasts need to acknowledge that most skeptics will continue to follow the path of least resistance and reject tools that are not part of their workflow, are too difficult learn and use or don't yield an immediate personal benefit. If you ignore that, the success of your Enterprise 2.0 initiative may be in danger and the skeptics may prevail in the end.

"5 Predictions for the Future of Collaboration - #2" by Padmasree Warrior:

Yesterday I shared my first prediction regarding the future of collaboration. Here’s my second prediction:

Prediction #2:

It is not about “on-premise” versus “on-demand”, it will be all about the User Experience.

In the technology industry we tend to focus a lot on the underlying computing model and how best to deliver functionality and value. That makes sense, because it’s core to what we do. But as an industry need to move beyond this conversation. Ultimately User Experience is what matters.

We need to provide an experience that’s consistent and seamless, with easy access to the services you care about, regardless of your location or device.

To enable this seamless experience, applications must be hosted and delivered through a combination of on-premise and on-demand networks working together. Bottom line, there will always be a combination of different types of applications – some that are local and others that are in the cloud.

"Oracle Prepping Broad-based Social-networking Suite" by Farruq Ahmed:

Oracle is developing an enterprise social-networking suite that employs technologies initially developed for internal use by the Oracle Asia Research and Development Center, according to a pair of official company documents.

The technology, titled Oracle Social Suite, has apparently not been formally announced by Oracle. It combines a wide range of social-networking features, according to an internal case study produced in September.

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