Envisioning and shaping the future of work and business.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Enterprise 2.0 adoption tactics

7:27:00 PM Posted by Oscar Berg 1 comment
Here are a few adoption tactics which you might want to consider if your organization is planning an Enterprise 2.0 initiative, such as building and launching a social collaboration platform (or social intranet, if you like). I would appreciate your comments.

1. Make the effort to change as small as possible, but not smaller

Design and introduce your solutions and new practices in small steps, allowing people to make one small change at the time. Make the effort to change as small as possible, but not smaller - it must be a change that makes a real improvement in some area. In other words, design and implement for adoption, not a fully realized vision from the start. Beware of vendors advising you to do big bang implementations. They want to sell you their biggest most expensive product, while you want to deliver business value. Focus on getting the platform and key features in place first. Build from the ground up at the same time as you focus efforts on key use cases where small changes in existing practices can make a big difference.

2. Avoid expressing your vision as a solution design

Express and communicate a vision (with executive commitment) of what you want to achieve and why in the long term, but don't express it in terms of a solution design. Instead, describe and visualize a possible future work environment and what kind of business (and individual) results can be created by people working in such an environment. If you express your vision as a solution (UX) design, chances are people won't be able to take it in. Quite likely, such a design will likely also be something you will laugh at in just a couple of years as technologies and design preferences have evolved further.

3. Focus change efforts to typical situations where you want to change a behavior

Work with changing typical situations where unwanted behaviors occur and making the desired new behaviors visible. Point out the next practices leaders, make good examples visible to everybody, and share success stories. Also share real horror stories showing how inefficient, error-prone or simply stupid existing practices can be.

4. Recognize the people who change

Reward people who change their behaviors by making sure they are being properly recognized in the face of their peers. Make sure the platform has mechanisms which allow coworkers to see and recognize each other's contributions and behaviors. Peer perception is key. If your peers change their behaviors, chances are you will to.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Classifying Enterprise 2.0 use cases

1:27:00 PM Posted by Oscar Berg 1 comment
Almost a year ago, Bjoern Negelman shared an excellent model for classifying Enterprise 2.0 use cases, building on ideas from Larry Hawes and Lee Bryant. I find it very usable when discussing the purpose of Enterprise 2.0 and different use cases. Below is a variation of his model that I use (with credit to Bjoern) when helping customers to identify Enterprise 2.0 use cases. You can download Bjoern's models from his account at Flickr.

[update: I've split the model into three versions]

Monday, September 27, 2010

Great quotes about business, leadership and learning

4:39:00 PM Posted by Oscar Berg No comments

“The single biggest reason companies fail is that they overinvest in what is, as opposed to what might be.”
Gary Hamel

As soon as fun becomes part of a corporate strategy it ceases to be fun.”
The Economist

Insanity is thinking that you’ll get different results doing the same things over and over again.”
Elena Benitoruiz

If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.”
Mario Andretti

...culture isn't just one aspect of the game - it IS the game.”
Lou Gerstner, former IBM CEO

Success hides problems...you don't need to address problems.”
Ed Catmull, Pixar


“The essence of leadership is building bonds of trust in your organization.”
Colin Powell

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”
Peter F. Drucker

“Great leaders are driven by an unbending purpose. As a result, they are willing to take personal risks.”
Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones

This era doesn't call for better management. It calls for a renaissance of self-direction.”
Daniel H. Pink (from "Drive")

“The best way to destroy a relationship is to try to manage what the other person does.”
Allan Mitchell

“Control leads to compliance; autonomy leads to engagement.”
Daniel H. Pink (from "Drive")

“If you put fences around people, you get sheep. Give people the room they need. Hire good people, and leave them alone.”
William L. McKnight, president and chairman of 3M in 1930/40s


“The empires of the future will be empires of the mind.”
Winston Churchill

“If birth is your login to this world, your passions are your password.”
Being Bruce, @BruceBrownNC

“Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

I am always doing things I can't do — that's how I get to do them.”
Pablo Picasso

Everything is hard before it is easy.”
Carol Dweck

Everything can look like a failure in the middle.”
Rosabeth Moss Kanter, professor at Harvard Business School

“To be prepared against surprise is to be trained. To be prepared for surprise is to be educated.”
James Carse

“To avoid situations in which you might make mistakes may be the biggest mistake of all.”
Peter McWilliams

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A new infrastructure for work

8:43:00 PM Posted by Oscar Berg 1 comment
For more and more people, work is not a place anymore. It is something we do. We've left the factories and assembly lines. Sometimes we need to do that work at a specific place, but a lot of the work we do is independent from, or at least loosely coupled to, physical locations. In that sense, we don't go to work anymore. We just work. Increasingly, we work together with other people. From anywhere. At any time. What matters is not where we work, but with whom and how we can get that work done. In such a environment, we need an infrastructure that ties us together, one that does make it easy to work together across time, locations and organizations. It's as simple as that.

The key idea with an enterprise collaboration platform (or enterprise social software platform) is to shrink the distance between people, as well as between people and information. It makes it easier for enterprises to tap into the full potential of both people and information - internal as well as external to an organization. That is primarily done by enabling connections and frequent and rich interactions between people. In this sense, the people are the platform. The other stuff - the content and the tools uses to interact with both content and people - provides the glue that brings and holds the platform (people) together.

An enterprise collaboration platform is the infrastructure you need to efficiently and effectively operate and manage an enterprise. Today's prevailing infrastructure - email, telephony and face-to-face meetings - simply isn't allowing enterprises to function in sufficient way in challenging business environment. It's messy, insecure, opaque and inefficient. It doesn't scale very well, and - above all - it's not very fit for collaboration.

A key feature of the new infrastructure is that it allows people, content and services to be accessed from any application and any device. Social software should be the heart of such an infrastructure, because people are the platform and their relationships and interactions provide the fabric of trust that collaborative work rests upon.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Great resources for understanding the social workplace

9:07:00 AM Posted by Oscar Berg , 1 comment






Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Celebrating 3 years on Twitter

9:41:00 AM Posted by Oscar Berg 2 comments
I signed up for Twitter 3 years ago today, 21st of September 2007. I remember my first impression and the question that immediately popped up in my mind: "What the h-ll should I use this for?"
After a while I eventually found out, and how that happened you can read in my blog post "Why 2009 was the year of Twitter" (the truth is I've only been an active Twitter user for little more than 2 of these 3 years).

Anyway, 21st of September 2007 now marks an important point in my personal and professional development. It needs to be celebrated in some way. Besides following the advice of @CoBPEZ to drink some champagne later tonight (now I have a reason for opening one of the bottles I bought yesterday), I decided to celebrate by writing this blog post.

What then is it that I'm actually celebrating?

To me, the answer is quite simple; I'm celebrating all the people on Twitter who make using Twitter such an enriching and rewarding experience. I am truly grateful for that. So, to all my friends on Twitter: CHEERS!

I'd just like to mention some of the things I'm grateful for:

First of all, I've made many new friends, several of which I've also had the fortune to meet in "real" life. I am sure that I will meet many more in time to come. The power of Twitter becomes truly apparent when you experience this connection between virtual meetings and "real" face-to-face meetings. It reminds me that what’s happening on Twitter is actually REAL, despite that communicating online can sometimes feel a little bit abstract and ambiguous. On Twitter, real people are having real conversations across time, geography, organizations, cultures, demographics, professions, positions, ideologies... Twitter gives you a sense of how it is to live in Arthur C. Clarkes vision of the non-existing city (see video below).

The second thing I’d like to mention is how Twitter provides me with easy access to so many great minds from all over the world - people who are not only willing to share their insights and ideas with me and others, but who are also willing to listen and respond to things that I and other people share with them and anyone else who might be interested...I shouldn't need to explain how important these things are when it comes to learning and growing both as a person and in your profession. As an example, many of my blog posts during the last couple of years have been sparked in discussions that I had on Twitter, and my daily morning routine is now to browse through the Flipboard magazine on my iPad - an interactive and social magazine that my friends on Twitter have put together just for me (that's the feeling, although it's not exactly true) The content is fresh, relevant and personal. But beyond that, and even more important, it's REAL.

So once again: CHEERS!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Don't start with the tools

9:25:00 AM Posted by Oscar Berg 2 comments
"We're going to do something with social media, probably start a Facebook group, and would like to discuss how to do that. We're just waiting for a Go-decision from our top management to start [the Facebook group]. As we still have some work to do to convince them, we'd like to know what you've done for other organizations like ours that we can show to them."

The reasoning above is no joke. I've heard it many times.

My advice to any organization that approaches social media this way is simple: Don't.

Always start with understanding your own business - where you are and where you're heading. Then, build an understanding of the paradigm shift in communications that we're experiencing right now and try to find out how it will or might impact your business. What are the risks and opportunities for your business? How can you use your understanding of this paradigm shift to your advantage?

When you have a clear picture of these things, then you have a pretty good idea about where you might find use cases where social technologies can create value for your business and help you achieve strategic objectives.

Don't start with the tools. A fool with a tool is still a fool.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Information (and knowledge) exists only in your head

7:34:00 PM Posted by Oscar Berg No comments
I was digging in my blog archive and found these "old" posts that try to define key concepts such as information and knowledge. Here are links to the posts with some excerpts - I hope you'll find them useful.

"Information? Only In Your Head"
"Think of information as something that is created in your head, by cognitive processes in your brain, when you consume content. By content I mean a message that is encoded as text, images, sound etc. To be able to interpret and understand what the content (the message) is about, you must already know a lot about the concepts that it refers to. If you don't, then the content will mean little or nothing to you. You will make no sense out of it."
"A train of thought"

"Information is the result of a successful communication process. Technically speaking, a message has been sent from a sender to a receiver who has interpreted it successfully. A communication process can also transmit experiences (compare a time table vs an artwork). It can of course transmit both information and an experience."
"Back to Basics - Defining Data, Content, Experience, Information And Knowledge"
"There are often logical inconsistencies between key concepts such as data, content, information and knowledge, which cause confusion and complicate discussions and analysis. It often helps to go back to basic definitions and to try to sort them out.

  • Data: Data is content that has been structured so hard (in order to be stored and accessed in an efficient way) that it does not provide enough context to the user to be usable on its own. It needs to be aggregated, formatted and described to be usable. 

  • Content: Content is something that is indented to communicate a message from a sender to one or several receivers e.g. a diagram, a document or a digital asset such as picture or movie. The purpose of the message (e.g. the communication process) can be to inform the receiver about something or to create an experience. Digitized content is formatted and described in a way that it can easily be managed and delivered to the user with information technology. 

  • Experience: The receiver (user) always gets some kind of experience when he/she interacts with digital content via some kind of device and software user interface. The sender might see the experience as a means to communicate the message to the user more efficiently, or the experience might be the actual message. 

  • Information: When perceiving and interpreting content that is intended to inform the user about something, the user will hopefully understand the message. In other words, the content is transformed into meaningful information by cognitive processes in the user's head. 

  • Knowledge: When the user reflects and applies the information, it can be transformed into knowledge."
"More About Content, Experiences and Information"
"Acknowledging that information and knowledge cannot be managed with technology is important. The main reason is that it allows us to put our focus and efforts on what we actually can manage with technology; how knowledge and information is encoded into various forms of content and how that content is then managed and delivered to the right user in an efficient way"