Envisioning and shaping the future of work and business.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Interesting Enterprise 2.0 Readings - Week 1 2010

11:15:00 PM Posted by Oscar Berg , , No comments
Twitter is a communication platform that's comprised of just about 100 million people located around the world. And unlike any other network, when you're on Twitter, you're in the same room with every other person on Twitter. It's like a pulse of what people are collectively thinking about, and so in some ways, becoming a kind of global consciousness. We're connecting with peers around the globe and exchanging tips for business practices. We're connecting with educators and researchers and scientists and discovering new ways of teaching and learning. We're being exposed to each other's perspectives on the world, and our capacity for empathy is expanding.

Sure there's misinformation, spam, and useless junk too. Just like anywhere. It just means our ability to scan information and critically evaluate its validity will grow to be an ever more important skill.

If you're using social media as part of a new vision for your organization (social business design, social CRM) or as an addition to your personal learning network (PLN) or to empower people or to build and spread ideas, you get it. We're growing into a global human network, and we're able to begin constructing our own reality. 'The way things work' isn't set in stone, it's a social agreement. So many aspects of the way we work, the way we live, and the way we relate to each other are products of the systems that are currently in place. When we start experimenting with new ideas put together in new ways by new groups of people (and failing often), eventually we'll figure it out - it's how innovation happens. At so many levels, as a species, we are at a pivotal time in history where we can collectively design a new future.

Employees shouldn’t waste too much time on the intranet; social media wastes time; the Internet is a productivity drain. These are common refrains and concerns expressed by many executives, albeit the less educated ones, generally of an older generation, nearing or past retirement.

The exact same concerns were made about employee bathroom breaks, mealtimes, telephone use, etc. General Motors, that great stalwart of financial prudence, used to hire people to time employees when they used the bathroom.

“With Web 2.0 applications creeping into the enterprise — with or without IT approval — it's obvious that ingenious information workers will find tools to help them accomplish their work no matter where those tools come from,” says IDC.

...job satisfaction is just one return a company gets from networked employees. Zappos encourages its employees to network on the job, resulting in a reputation for stellar customer service. Employees engaged in their social networks can also reduce the cost and improve the quality of recruiting. It can surface issues the company needs to address. It can generate ideas for new products and services. It improves employee productivity.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased in the third quarter of 2009 by 8.1%. That’s a far more credible number than the back-of-the-envelope calculations Pandora, Websense and other monitoring-and-blocking companies use in their scare campaigns. In fact, it reveals the productivity claims by these companies as an outright lie.

Yet these tactics continue to influence managers, as evidenced by the fact that most companies block access despite the fact that blocking is contrary to their own self interests.

Leaders need to realize that organizations that encourage their employees to network during work—guided by clear policies and improved business literacy—will experience success that eclipses that of organizations that block access.

It’s not a question of employee entitlements. It’s a question of smart business practices.

"5 ways towards more fun at work" by Gustav Jonsson:
1. Colleagues / People

The people you surround yourself with are always important. There's a difference between work and private life here; you don't always get to choose your colleagues the same way you choose your friends. But for me, the people around me is the single most important fun factor.

2. Openness

To have the "official" permission to speak ones mind is something that is concidered pretty obvious in society (democracy and such...), but how is the situation inside Your Corporation Walls? By allowing people to speak their minds it's my strong opinion that these open companies will innovate and ellaborate a whole lot more than others.

3. Extra curricular activities

To do stuff that is not directly work-related at work has always existed; anyone for teambuilding? But it does the job of bringing colleagues closer together, to talk about other stuff for a while.

4. Freedom with responsibilities

The above is a classic mantra from my upbringing in the Swedish school system. However I like it a lot. The individual can choose how to complete a task as long at it is done and in time. I am given huge freedom, but at the same time I have responsibilities. At work as well in society.

5. The right tools to get the work done

This is important from anyone from a construction worker to a webmaster. If you're not given great tools your capacity will suffer. In my off-work life I have a wide array of "tools" at my disposal to get my evenings and weekends to be as much fun as possible.

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