Envisioning and shaping the future of work and business.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Interesting Enterprise 2.0 Readings - Week 53 2009 2010

"The Transformation Decade" by David Houle:
Think about all that is going on in your life and in the world. The way we communicate has and will continue to change in form, appearance (our gadgets are vastly different that even five years ago) and character (how many of you text or tweet regularly versus even three years ago). The shape of our relationships is changing. The shape of how we work, how we live and how and in what we travel are all changing. The economy and the workplace are changing and being reshaped.

In the next ten years there will be a level of transformation probably unmatched in human history:
  • Humanity’s relationship to communication technology is rapidly changing and will bring on-going transformation socially, culturally and economically.
  • Media will be completely different that it is today. We are only at the initial creative destruction phase of it now.
  • Economic metrics will need to be transformed, both on national and global levels
  • How countries define defense will be transformed given the shape changing nature of our enemies and the threats that face us.
  • Energy and energy use will be transformed from the 20th century ways we look at it and use it still today. Alternative and renewable energy development and use will create great new wealth and will transform landscapes and how we live.
  • Education is no longer serving the needs of people and society; it will be transformed.
  • The medical breakthroughs around the corner will make 2010-2020 the most transformative decade in medical history.
  • The workplace will be transformed as the place part becomes less and less relevant. Human beings will only need to be in the same place to collaborate, as work is increasingly defined as collaborative.
  • The Internet and our rapid fire use of mobile digital devices to access it has created a pulsing, synaptic place of unprecedented interactivity that on a global scale is starting to feel like a global brain.
  1. In every industry, there are huge swathes of critical knowledge that have been commoditized—and what hasn’t yet been commoditized soon will be.
  2. Given that, we have to wave goodbye to the “knowledge economy” and say hello to the “creative economy.”
  3. What matters today is how fast a company can generate new insights and build new knowledge—of the sort that enhances customer value.
  4. To escape the curse of commoditization, a company has to be a game-changer, and that requires employees who are proactive, inventive and zealous.
  5. Problem is, you can’t command people to be enthusiastic, creative and passionate.
  6. These critical ingredients for success in the creative economy are gifts that people will bring to work each day only if they’re truly engaged. (Eric Raymond made this point way back in 2001 when he argued that in the new economy, “enjoyment predicts productivity.”)
Today, no leader can afford to be indifferent to the challenge of engaging employees in the work of creating the future. Engagement may have been optional in the past, but it’s pretty much the whole game today.
Forrester reports, “Most enterprises at least try to offer usable online experiences to their prospects and customers — but continue to inflict user-hostile internal systems upon their employees.”

They also found that there are few incentives to change established work habits that night increase productive usage. Since IT is often in charge of the intranet they think in terms of IT-centric intranet teams such as reduced storage costs rather that helping workers do their job better. IT is not usually measured on this.

Forrester wrote that the “symptoms of an ailing intranet are not hard to recognize: poor adoption, irritated users, failed tasks, and ingenious (but unproductive) workarounds in order to avoid the intranet altogether.”
To what extent is an external customer community different from an internal employee community?

Think about it, they serve similar goals:
  • Drive efficiency across the company, whether that is time, people or money
  • Drive self-service to lower burden on support staff
  • Quicker access to expertise to solve your problem or answer your question
  • Create a feeling of bonding with other community members and the company
... and they often suffer from similar (potential) problems:
  • Low community participation
  • Cost of running the community is too high, compared with the benefits
  • Lack of attention from senior people in the company
So why is it then that we don't put the same effort and value in social software / community solutions for our employees as we do for clients? Why is it that we want to have the best for our own children, but not for our own employees?

As the very famous Cluetrain Manifesto states "business is fundamentally human", so we need to stop treating employees as "resources" and start seeing them as clients with their own interests, desires and drivers. Once we made this mind shift, perhaps making the business case for focusing on user experience for internal intranet tools is more easier to make...
Yes, it’s that time again: time for New Year’s resolutions. Whether you make lots of resolutions, or none, try this exercise. Make one little resolution – something you know you can do. Like what? Jump every day. Sing in the morning. Make your bed...start small! One very small change can be enough to launch your happiness project


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