“Yaniv Corem joined IBM Research â€“ Haifa in June 2010 after completing his undergraduate work at the Technion â€“ Israel Institute of Technology, and earning his masterâ€™s degree in architecture and computer science from MIT. Aside from his enthusiasm for rock climbing and bouldering, Yaniv is passionate about projects that use the “wisdom of the crowd” to solve difficult problems, complete tasks, gather data, and more.”
Gamification is the process of using game thinking and game mechanics in non-game applications to increase engagement. Game thinking can be used to make almost anything fun and encourage people to get involved.
Games bring out that sense of competition within a safe and fun environment, where learning takes place naturally
It’s not just competition that does the trick, but an entire set of attributes that make games such powerful tools for learning. Gamification creates a safe environment in which to experiment without suffering the consequences. It also brings in the aspects of new experiences, cooperation with other players, and just having fun.
Competition can be an extrinsic motivator, for example, for a student competing with other students for the best grade on a test. But competition can also be intrinsic, when people push themselves to achieve a certain goal.
It takes complex learning processes and breaks them up into smaller chunks called levels. At each level, a user/player is asked to perform specific tasks that help teach how to use the product. In return, the users are awarded points, badges, or titles.
An interesting byproduct of gamifying a community is the social analytics, such as finding the major contributors; the most helpful contributions; the interaction among community members, and more.
The report also notes that by 2014, a gamified service for consumer goods marketing and customer retention will become as important as Facebook, eBay, or Amazon, and more than 70 percent of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application.
“Iâ€™m often concerned by companies who try and re-invent themselves by focusing on or piloting an new initiative with Gen Y / Millennials. These are the digital natives, the logic goesâ€¦ the ones who have created a connected, always-on world. What better place to pilot our shiny new social engagement strategy?”
they are also the most over-targeted segment of our time. It seems that suddenly everyone wants to create Millennial super-fans who blog, tweet, answer support questions in a forum and create viral YouTube videos on the companyâ€™s behalf.
Their loyalty is extremely difficult to attain and on average their disposable incomes are relatively low, compared to other segments of the market.
it’s time to move beyond the Millenial hype and focus on demographic and monetary reality of an aging, cash-rich and increasingly time-rich population
People over 34 have become the largest segment using Facebook and much of te growth in social networking usage is being driven by people over 34
Millennials may seem like an attractive starting point but they are not the only game in town and they certainly arenâ€™t the only segment that has embraced digital
Consequently, one of the questions that seems to come up most often is this: What are the necessary moving parts in a social business strategy? What exactly needs to be included and what can be left out? While the short answer tends to be frustrating and uninformative, namely that it depends on what youâ€™re trying to do. The longer answer, fortunately, is more interesting.”
Therefore, most social business strategies, global or at the business function level, should address this as a first class citizen on their roadmaps and in their business case.
Social platform strategy.
The strategy should, when possible, account for how all this social technology should co-exist and where it should be consistent and integrated when they overlap. Functional overlap of social tools and platforms remains a major source of frustration, confusion and duplication in most organizations and needs to be dealt with pro-actively.
I find that the most effective social business strategies often call this something else entirely and plan from the beginning to address risk in simple, straightforward terms without making it a highlight of the effort.
Business process redesign
This means re-engineering business processes from the ground up to be inherently social, open, and participative. How to determine what the changes should be and the process to go about delivering on them must be a primary focus of the strategy effort.
In my view, org design is best split between the global strategy and the functional strategy, with a long-term plan in the former and more immediate changes in the latter. At first, this may just be the establishment of a central support unit for social business.
Communication plans should be multi-modal, compelling, and consist of education, workshops, just-in-time training, and outreach to areas that are having challenges.
“A Stanford Professor quit his job. But he doesn’t plan to go to another prestigious university. Nope. He, like others, has discovered the power of teaching online; in his case, he reached 160,000 students in a single online course on artificial intelligence. This is more than a story of online learning or mass dissemination. It proves a point: What once required a badge and a title within a centralized organization no longer does.
The implications for global education are huge, of course. And that would be interesting enough. But there are also implications for organizational design and talent management for firms of all sizes. “
Nimbleness model #1: Staffing with “concentric circles.”
Instead of organizing in a hierarchical way that focuses on “getting the right people on the bus,” this model is about building concentric circles of talent that flow and resize as needed.
A construct of circles rather than hierarchies allows an organization to tap into the so-called “freelance nation,” the global talent pool of the creative class.
Nimbleness model #2: Customer service outside the perimeter.
McAfee did something transformative to their service exchange by using social. McAfee formed a strong bond of commitment with the hundreds of unpaid technical experts in the larger marketplace who know (and like) McAfee’s platform of solutions. They invited these “McAfee Maniacs” to participate in much of McAfee’s web-based technical support. The most prolific Maniacs posted responses numbering in the thousands.
first line of defense of loyal, committed experts cooperating in the viability of the platform. Customer satisfaction didn’t decline. There is probably no better defense shield than passionate market experts co-opted with a company â€” and for free.
he point of these examples is what these organizations got, not what they cut. They gained fluidity and flexibility â€” important to the demands of the social era. But they also got, in the case of Singularity, the leading edge content people to come together to teach current ideas to what they believe are change-agents who will make the world better.
When you have shared purpose, it doesn’t matter how many people work “in the company” and how many work “with” the company or how many are serving as an army of volunteers who want to advance the mission.
But they will need an extremely clear purpose, and shared, decentralized power throughout. When a clear purpose is coupled with shared power, people can self-organize to reach the goal.
“HR departments are familiar with using LinkedIn, Twitter and external social networks for leveraging talent, but what benefits can they get from using an internal social network at work? I joined the HR department at TIBCOÂ® over a year ago, around the same time we were starting to use our internal social network tibbrÂ®. Since then, Iâ€™ve become quite a power user. Why? Here are my top five reasons (in no particular order):”
Our staffing team started using tibbr to post job openings within the company. Employees would subscribe to an â€œHR Recruitingâ€ subject to hear about the latest positions. We also created private subjects for collaborating with hiring managers and teams to find the specific talent they need.
tibbr made it easy to gather information about our competitorsâ€™ talent strongholds in the market and learn about pending layoffs and rising talent. With such information transparency, we donâ€™t miss out on key talent to hire.
Social intranet for new employee on-boarding
use tibbrâ€™s integrated directory and profiles to learn who their co-workers are; and post messages to introduce themselves and start to have a voice in the community.
Gathering company-wide feedback and information to improve our services
Rather than send out another corporate email and hope employees take the time to open it, we posted a poll to the community asking which training courses they would like to attend.
A new way of engaging employees through announcements
At TIBCO we created a â€œLoudspeakerâ€ subject on tibbr, where managers from each department can broadcast important announcements.
“BM Researchers Jennifer Thom, David R. Millen, and Joan DiMicco conducted an experiment in which they attempt to answer: â€œHow does the removal of gamification features affect user activity within an enterprise social networking service?â€ “
While the introduction of the incentive system â€œdramatically increased the overall levels of contentâ€, the paperâ€™s findings suggest that users who are engaged with gamification in these networks had more activity than those without it and that the removal of these same features resulted in about 50% less activity.
IBM is careful to mention that the study is done within the context of their own work environment and that the effects of gamification can vary among cultures.
Companies considering the integration of gamification into their social networks should understand if the introduction of game mechanics will be appropriate for the work environment it is going to be a part of.
; lâ€™interconnexion supplante le pouvoir traditionnel de la maitrise de lâ€™information. Jusque-lÃ pyramidale, lâ€™organisation de lâ€™information devient synaptique, que lâ€™entreprise le veuille ou non.
This diagram is work in progress with three of my clients who have asked me to help them evolve their â€œintranet+collaboration+socialâ€ online environments to a more coherent digital workplace. The slide has also evolved gradually thanks to input from workshops in Washington DC and Stockholm with participants in organizations with different cultures, and a range of experience from a few â€œwell on the wayâ€ to most â€œjust startingâ€ the digital workplace journey.”
“Radical levels of customer service, which account for an average of 75 percent all customer interactions, threaten to undermine the customer’s affinity for brands in 2012, according to Gartner, Inc. It is critical for customer service organizations to figure out how to harmonize customer service processes that sometimes happen with a human support agent, sometimes through self-service and sometimes by peer-to-peer community networks”
“Most employers still tell their employees when to come to work, when to leave, and how they’re expected to work when they’re there. Why not measure employees by the value they create, rather than by the number of hours they sit at a desk?
Too many companies continue to operate by the premise that their employees can’t be fully trusted, and so treat them as children, who must be continuously monitored. “
” some companies are taking drastic steps to help workers manage the number of messages they receive. The CEO of Atos, a British IT services company, has vowed to ban internal email by 2015. Volkswagen in Germany has agreed to stop sending emails to certain employees after work hours. If these companies are taking radical action, is it time for you to do the same to counter your own overload? “
Recognize it’s not really about email According to Allen, email overload is only a symptom of a larger issue: a lack of clear and effective protocols. If your organization has ambiguous decision-making processes and people don’t get what they need from their colleagues, they’ll flood the system with email and meeting requests.
Control your flow Another way to reduce the time you spend on email is to turn off the spigot of incoming messages. There are obvious practices that help, such as unsubscribing to e-newsletters or turning off notifications from Facebook or Twitte
Assume that the average manager is paid 3 times the average employee and you have 27% of total payroll cost as a “management tax”.
Still, the question remains; why would it be worth getting rid of management?
There are three good reasons, three negatives to shed:
The management tax
The killjoy effect
1. As a rule of thumb you need one manager per ten employees, invented 2000 years ago by the Roman army (remember dekurions and centurions?)
Be inspired by Rufer, Spolsky and Jobs, but for the alternative framework (Rufer’s seems rather cumbersome if you study it) make a request to your enterprise software vendor as follows:
He should change focus from efficiency to effectiveness, from “how we do things” to “what things we do”, from “making the old way faster” to “replace the old way”.
He should without delay create systems that can framework and run workflows even of the Barely Repeatable kind.
Note that it’s about “flows”, i.e. processes, so tell them not to come dragging with some process-less collaboration solution or social-whatever that they lifted from the consumer market, that won’t wash.
In short, the dual responsibilities of a “manager”; leadership and managing, are in fact two counter forces that should never be handled by the same person: While leadership is all about nurturing those three intrinsic rewards, any “management act” will ruin that important nurturing.
“Social Media; these interactions represent only 1% of company-customer interactions, and are expected to grow to 4% in five yearâ€™s time in France (Les Echos). In other words, 99% of interaction take place outside of Social Media! This to me leads to a very fundamental question about whether we are suffering from the Shiny Object Syndrome with regards to Social Media and customer engagement. Because we now have access to customers and prospects through these new channels, there is a real temptation to focus only on these without looking at why and how people are using these media in the first place, and where they fit into what I call the overall flow of getting to their desired outcomes.”
We get distracted from the bigger picture and go off in tangents â€“ â€œyou need to increase your Likes on FaceBookâ€, â€œcustomers expect answers on Twitterâ€ â€“ whilst at the same time neglecting the Contact Center experience or the in-store and post-sales ones (think Twelpforce and IRL stories).
you need to map your customersâ€™ journeys, identify the touchpoints and find out what customers need and expect at each of them to determine your service blueprint (Design Thinking and JTBD)
We should certainly not lose sight of the fact that there is a whole world out there beyond Social Media that impact the Customer Experience!
“A strong culture is important, and for all the reasons Parr mentions: employee engagement, alignment, motivation, focus, and brand burnishing. But is it the most important element of company success, as the more ferocious of the culture warriors assert? Is long-term success, as Parr writes, â€œdependent on a culture that is nurtured and aliveâ€? If history is any guide, the answer to both questions is no.”
Certainly, Southwest Airlines has a great culture and funny flight attendants. Employees seem genuinely enthusiastic about their employer. But Southwest also has a great strategy: no-frills service, a young fleet with a limited number of planes flying mostly short-hops from formerly secondary airports, and inexpensive and flexible labor agreements relative to other airlines
Parr attributes the success of Zappos to a culture that is â€œinclusionary, encouraging, and empowering.â€ Customer service representatives write zany emails and company leaders have often affirmed their belief that if you get culture right, success follows. But Zappos also has fast delivery, deep inventory, a 365-day return policy, and free shipping both ways
Businesses are economic as well as human entities, and need to be built on a solid base of sustainable competitive advantage. Culture can reinforce strategy, as it does Zapposâ€™ strategy of customer convenience. But it canâ€™t prevail if a strategy is poorly conceived or the company faces competitors with superior strategies, resources, and positioning
The same goes for culture and strategy. You donâ€™t have to choose. Culture doesnâ€™t eat strategy, and the company that lets culture do so is likely to starve.
” Over the past few weeks I have participated in a suite of webinars and talks about online communities and their growing role in functional areas such as customer care. I have listened to, and debated with, countless community management specialists about community management best practices. Iâ€™ve heard a lot about keeping business strategy and community management aligned. Thereâ€™s no question this is a critical success factor for social business â€” but the issue is whether or not this responsibility is part of the charter for the online community manager role.”
Placing responsibility for business strategy on the community manager will ruin many a promising online community, with lasting negative consequences for the business, the brand and, most of all, community members and customers
Letâ€™s look at the role of online community strategy. It starts at the highest level, based on the organizationâ€™s mission and vision, and then proceeds to the business goals and business processes for the community itself. It is a line-of-business function led by an executive stakeholder responsible for strategic alignment based on the goals, metrics, measures and ROI.
The second role is that of online community management. The crucial task for this role is delivering value to the community participants â€“ the members. Full stop. If the community serves member needs and builds high-value customer/supplier/prospect relationships, it can achieve the strategic goals established by the business organization.
Adding business strategy leadership to the community managerâ€™s role renders them ineffective, unable to succeed at either task. Keep in mind the community manager is the voice of the members back into the organization, and is charged with serving member needs. Asking the community manager to view her community through the lenses of both the business and the members is a prescription for blurred insights, mixed messages and reduced trust on both sides.
The reasons for this separation of roles is primarily around skill sets.
“We live in a world of mounting performance pressure. Our Shift Index reveals that return on assets for all public companies in the US has eroded by 75% since 1965. Companies clearly are failing to respond effectively to these mounting pressures. If we hope to turn this around, we need to step back and take a systematic look at the performance levers that drive these results and question the approaches of the past. “
Most businesses can be understood as bundle of three core operating processes, each driven by a unique performance lever. These three operating processes are: customer relationship management, product innovation and commercialization and infrastructure operation
In most industries, customer loyalty is eroding, leading to a significant reduction of the average life of a customer. To make matters worse, margins are eroding as well, diminishing the profit generated per year of a customer relationship. In many industries, the cost of customer acquisition is also rising
Brand used to help a lot in charging a price premium, but the brand premiums are rapidly eroding in most industries. As if that is not bad enough, the cost of developing new products and services is also increasing in many industries.
Margin pressure reduces profit generated per year, accelerating technology and consumer preference changes diminish the average years of asset viability and cost of building/acquiring assets tends to increase.
it’s hard to manage these levers, if they are not even measured. I continue to be amazed at the number of companies that have yet to even systematically measure and monitor these levers
In fact, the Pareto principle is often missed by companies â€“ 20% of the customers, products and facilities usually generate 80% of the profits. But which 20%? Few companies can answer this with any assurance or precision.
One way to start improving performance dramatically is to ask two questions. First, what are the characteristics of the 20% that generate the 80% of the profitability and is there anything that can be done to increase the share of these highly profitable parts of the business? Second, is there a compelling reason to retain the other 80% of customers, products and facilities given their low contribution to profitability and, if so, what can be done to increase their profit contribution?
Measurement is just the beginning. The key is: what actions can managers take to improve the overall performance of these operating levers? Unfortunately, the prevalent instinct of executives as they focus on these operating levers is to cut costs.
cutting costs is a diminishing returns proposition. The more costs are cut, the harder and harder it will be to achieve the next increment of cost reduction.
What if we viewed the ideal customer relationship as one where I, the vendor, seek to build an expanding platform to help customers connect more effectively with the resources that are most valuable to them individually?
What if we began to re-conceive products and services as platforms that would invite and support third parties to add customized modules and extensions to the functionality available in the core platform?
we might explore ways to make it available to third parties so that we can increase utilization of the resource and generate more profitability from our investment.
I explored this option in a Harvard Business Review article â€“ Unbundling the Corporation â€“ which has gotten a lot of attention from executives around the world. The article had a provocative proposition â€“ companies will ultimately have to choose one of three business types to focus on and shed the other two.
“The last few months have seen a spate of end of year surveys and forward-looking prediction reports that examine the workplace â€˜digital transformationâ€™ to a more collaborative work environment with greater worker mobility. Below, I have captured some of the report highlights, providing links to the studies that can be accessed online.”
88% of executives report employees are using their personal devices for business purposes today.
Very few executives (just 20%) believe that allowing personal computing technologies in the workplace will benefit recruitment and retention efforts for younger workers.
By 2015, 35% of enterprise IT expenditures for most organizations will be managed outside the IT department’s budget.
The three top reasons why companies are finding it hard to implement tools like analystics, mobile technology, and social media for business are: missing skills (77%), cultural issues (55%), and ineffective IT (50%).
People and process drive the social intranet â€“ governance and content make it sing.
The first ingredient to a social intranet is of course people: executives, managers and front-line employees who depend on social media to communicate and collaborate with each other on a daily or weekly basis. Unfortunately, executives arenâ€™t quite pulling their weight when it comes to contributing regularly to Intranet 2.0 tools, stifling many organizationsâ€™ attempts at turning their intranet into a social intranet:
Giving employees free reign of Intranet 2.0 tools doesnâ€™t come without risk. To mitigate that risk, you need to plan accordingly and support the tools with the proper governance, standards and policies before rolling out these tools and giving employees full access.
The best social intranets comprise a consortium of social intranet tools: blogs, wikis, user commenting, tagging and forums, to name a few. The results of the Social Intranet Study show a wide range of Intranet 2.0 tools being used in organizations today. The top three are:
“The problem was that I was talking about what I had instead of talking about what they needed. They didnâ€™t want yet another tool or thing to do. They wanted help.
So I started over.
â€œOur goal is to make things easier for you. Easier to find answers and experts. Easier to share better ways of working with people who do what you do. Easier to coordinate work in your group and across groups.
If we make all of that easier, weâ€™ll make your jobs better while we unlock tremendous value for our company.â€”
Sometimes, you need to go to a place â€“ a destination â€“ to get things done. It could be the latest information on a project or about a client or a product. Itâ€™s just a website, but a website with some modern advantages
And the tools themselves are convenient and engaging. That means iPad and iPhone access, for example. It means consolidating several of the tools we have into one place. And it means integration with our email system, Outlook.
The second way we make things easier is with a Facebook-like stream. It lets you follow things you care about â€“ people, groups, documents, websites â€“ and get notified in real-time. The things that matter to you are delivered in a way thatâ€™s easy to skim quickly but that also allows for comments and other feedback.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.