Envisioning and shaping the future of work and business.

Friday, October 9, 2009

This week in links - week 41, 2009

11:42:00 AM Posted by Oscar Berg , , , , No comments
“Time management is the central skill of success. Your ability to manage your time, to focus and channel your energies on your highest value tasks, will determine your rewards and your level of accomplishment in life more than any other factor.” (Brian Tracy)
...we continue to have a narrow view of the 'intranet' concept - it is not treated like the Web inside the firewall, rather we continue to think of portals and Web-content management systems. Secondly, intranet managers need to stop benchmarking each other - if all you do is copy, what competitive advantage does your intranet provide (and so it it follows, you are treated like an overhead)? Finally, like any organisational change, introducing new work practices needs to be supported in a sustainable way - there is far too much emphasis on the wrong aspects of self-service and adopting technology without any assistance (self-service should empower users, not simply shift effort from above the line in one department to below the line by shifting it to individual employees).
Social media is significantly changing the role of marketing, Knox says [Dave Knox, corporate marketing brand manager for Digital Business Strategy at P&G]. The convergence of technology, marketing and social interaction is becoming more important every day, “but at the same time, it is a new skill set for many marketers to learn.” Only 10 years ago, the marketing toolkit for a brand manager was limited to four choices (TV, print, out of home and radio). “But today, new technology is emerging every day, offering new ways to serve and engage people more effectively. At work we aim to use these new digital tools to continue to be a leader and innovator in marketing and digital business.”

While Knox is immersed within one of the world’s largest companies, he finds that social media is a valuable tool for bringing in outside points of view as well.

“When working for a big corporation, you have an amazing amount of resources at your fingertips. And you are surrounded by incredibly smart people,” he points out. “But most of these people have a similar background to you and are trained to approach problems in the same way. My blog [hardknoxlife.com] has helped me by giving me access to people with different backgrounds and views on the business world. It is a way to connect with these people outside of my day to day work and really get a set of different viewpoints on what is going on with marketing.”

Knox says by staying active in social media through his blog and Twitter, he has been able to do his job better. “My external network has emerged as my business filter, allowing me to sort through the noise and keep on top of what is really important. While it might save time in the short-term to slow down in social media, I think it would hurt me in the long term in terms of personal growth and knowledge.”
We all get caught up in working hard and in the same way. On the other end of the spectrum, we often try implementing new tools or processes with lots of hoopla and effort. Changing habits is really difficult. By following this simple plan of changing one thing, you can achieve a positive result collaborating with your team or partners.

Here are some ideas:
  • Use a wiki page for all team status reports or meetings moving forward
  • Assign one note taker for all meetings and rotate so that every meeting is documented with discussion points, decisions, and next steps – no exceptions
  • Don’t ask any questions through emails – use a forum or other mechanism
  • Use file-based documents as a last resort or only if you have to send them out externally. Otherwise, use a sharable web document of some kind
If you do any of these things, you WILL see a positive result in productivity. The point is it doesn’t really matter as long as it is one thing and meaningful. What is the one thing you would change?
Deloitte LLP’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) practice has recently released the results of the 2009 Tribalization of Business Study, which evaluates the perceived potential of online communities* and identifies how enterprises believe they may better leverage them.

Survey results indicate that while enterprises are effectively using online tools to engage with customers, partners, and employees for brand discussion and idea generation, organizations are continuing to struggle with harnessing social media’s full potential.

"While we are seeing signs of maturation in this year's study, there are still plenty of companies who do not realize the power of communities, and others who have not yet figured out the proper approach for leveraging communities as part of their business," said Francois Gossieaux, partner with Beeline Labs and a senior fellow with the Society of New Communications Research. Businesses are truly become social again, and companies should look to leverage the collective wisdom of their employees, customers and partners in order to innovate faster, reduce costs, and bolster their bottom lines."

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