Seeking the source of a specific statistic that I included in a talk? In followup to my list of websites with data relevant to social business, many people have asked for pointers to interesting data about social media, social business, and engagement. While itâ€™s easy to think of social business as social media-like tools for use inside of a company, I mean it to imply the larger opportunity to connect people, information, and actionable insights. That can begin within a company, and often stretches outside any one organizationâ€™s walls to connect with the people the business serves.”
“Some enterprise social software tools are implemented with little or zero budget, with an expectation that even if the return isnâ€™t measured it is expected to be positive. In part, this approach is driven by the difficultly of measuring the impact of social tools in the workplace.
Unfortunately this can create problems later down the track, such as:
Competing social and non-social tools exist and a decision to endorse one over any others is seen as necessary to support better adoption â€“ how do you determine which has the most impact rather than popularity? Social tools are perceived to be creating a negative impact on the business (e.g. information overload, fragmentation of corporate communication, risk, etc) â€“ how do you prove business value outweighs these concerns? After success with early adopters, the adoption ceiling is reached and a decision to invest in further support or technology needs to be made â€“ how much should be invested?”
Group or process specific KPIs â€“ Key performance indicators (KPIs) provide specific improvement measures for a workgroup or business activity (better performance, reduced effort, risk avoidance, etc). These are not likely to be global KPIs.
Qualitative examples & network measures â€“ Individually these measures provide evidence of specific examples of business value that the social business system provides. Network measures (of the user and information network the system supports) are used to demonstrate organisational cohesion and value flow between people.
User activity, trends & demographic data â€“ This basic data provides an overall picture of who is using the social business system, which can be used to support higher order measures.
Relatively speaking, KPIs will be far and few between but will provide the most important metric.
Qualitative examples (e.g. success stories or anecdotes) & network measures (using social network analysis) provide the most versatile measurements, although it may still be difficult to use them to demonstrate value to the satisfaction of all stakeholders
“In recent weeks, Amazon.com, Microsoft and Apple have all held splashy events to tout their newest tablets — the Kindle Fire HD, the Surface and the iPad Mini. But even as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos talked up the specs of the new Kindle Fire, he noted that the market is becoming less about the gadgets themselves, and more about how companies can make money off additional services and purchases that appeal to device users.
Technology companies now see the buying of a tablet as merely the beginning of a long relationship with a consumer — a relationship that will extend across multiple platforms and content types, with users periodically paying subscription fees or purchasing individual applications, music, movies and television shows. And if the firm is assured of a future payoff, it can offset the losses from charging less for the device.”
While consumer loyalty once resided solely with a particular piece of hardware, users today are much more likely to commit themselves to particular services or platforms. “These companies are trying to differentiate themselves and get people to their platforms at a lower cost,
The question these companies are trying to answer is: What’s the value of getting someone on your platform?”
The subscription model is very appealing,” he notes. “Whether it’s software, media or services, there’s a big push toward subscription fees,” which provide a steady source of revenue.
the choice for hardware firms is to either “become strong back-end suppliers of hardware to services firms … or to focus exclusively on enterprise markets.”
“Services mean something different in the enterprise context — more consulting than apps or content,”
But none of the major enterprise IT players is focusing on hardware as the key differentiator or revenue generator anymore.”
To stay in the consumer business, hardware vendors will have to build content libraries or partner with firms that have them,
Hardware companies could form strategic deals with [content] companies focused on subscription models. These models won’t work well without hardware.”
“While your ability to start a successful business still depends greatly on the place and situation of your birth (if you live in sub-Saharan Africa, for instance, youâ€™re probably out of luck), many of the barriers to getting ideas to market are disappearing. Weâ€™re in the midst of a new industrial revolution, which is cleaner, more efficient and more inclusive.”
Organizations were hierarchical, well suited for coordinating around a central plan. Companies built brands that imbued identity and trust to mass produced products.
The defining attribute of the information economy, however, is accelerating returns. We expect informational products to become cheaper and more powerful over time.
hile the impact of computers and the Internet has been substantial, it has also been limited. The vast majority of goods and services in our lives are still in the old economy of atoms.
The maker movement is mirroring the PC revolution in other ways as well. Just as people gathered in places like the Homebrew Computer Club in the 70â€™s, there are now dozens of fab labs scattered across the globe where hobbyists can meet and build prototypes.
Probably the greatest impact of the new economy for atoms will be on supply chains.
Now you can design your product with a global online community (closed or open) and those designs can be sent anywhere in the world instantly and without error, where they can be fabricated locally.
Weâ€™re increasingly living in the world of the visceral abstract, where the power of an idea is no longer dependent on the one who has it, but can be implemented by anyone, anywhere
“What better way to honor the great democratic tradition of election day than to answer the one question that nobody ever seems to come up with an adequate response to: Should executives run companies more democratically? Likewise, does that help them operate more effectively and attract better talent? “
Organizations are simple, really. You have a boss. She has a boss. And so on until you get to the chief executive or president
Decision-making is also relatively simple in that kind of organizational structure. Contrary to popular belief, everyone has a say. That’s right, we all do. The catch is that bosses don’t have to listen.
Also contrary to popular wisdom, CEOs don’t run companies. Management teams do. Each executive is generally responsible for her organization.
And even if companies were run like true democracies, employees wouldn’t have the right to vote, as most people envision. Employees are really nothing more than hired help. The workers.
To further complicate things, when corporate governance meets government regulation, that combination doesn’t really work very well.
I’ve worked with hundreds of companies, big and small, and the management teams of the best-run companies have common goals and operate in a relatively transparent way. That’s because it’s actually in everyone’s best interest to work together toward business prosperity.
I’ve seen plenty of companies where employees are as empowered and engaged as you can imagine. But unless the management team is effective and makes reasonably smart decisions, it’s still bad news for everyone, including employees. Which is why companies have corporate culture, organizational structure and management systems. They operate more effectively that way.
can companies be run democratically? Sure. I don’t see why not. But if you’re proposing a pure democracy where everyone is the same and everyone has an equal vote and every decision is made based on majority rules, I would vote “no.”
That’s why even our “democratic” government has management structure, checks and balances, and decisions made by leaders on behalf of stakeholders. Imperfect as that may be, that’s how organizations work best in the real world.
“In todayâ€™s connected society we often find ourselves busier than ever at work and in our personal lives. The internet and smartphones keep us connected 24/7 to friends, family and co-workers, creating new levels of expectations when it comes to sharing information, making plans and staying in touch in real time. Anthropologically, society was built on our ability to work together, but even in todayâ€™s closely connected world the way in which we work together to completing a project is often fraught with complications, frustrations and poor communications. Collaboration â€“ especially with those daily, casual activities and projects â€“ should be helpful, not complicated, so where does it most often go wrong?”
However, all of these tools are fragmented and accessed through multiple services, rather than being integrated into a single platform.
Successful collaboration management is built on a common purpose, involves a variety of functions and requires significant interpersonal interaction. Here are six starting points to consider before you take on your next collaborative project with friends, social groups and family:
Find a common context.
Ensure that everyone working together understands the overall objective and context for the project.
Designate a central online space
The ubiquity of todayâ€™s Internet allows for all kinds of information to be shared in real-time. It also means that information can get scattered quickly into email strings, and individual sites for sharing documents, photos and files. Find a place online to centralize your activities, allowing the team to have a single source for information-sharing regardless of content and format type.
Remember collaboration is about people â€“ keep it interactive.
While technological sources certainly can certainly help keep a project on track, donâ€™t forget that the best collaboration efforts come from a meeting of minds.
Donâ€™t forget the clock
Time is especially important in collaboration efforts with so many people working on elements of the project all at once. In developing or researching a central online source for capturing all the key project details, ensure that the project updates can be â€“ and are â€“ managed in real-time,
Explore emerging tools designed for casual collaboration projects
There are lots of products and solutions available on the web, designed to support collaborative projects. Some are more tailored to specific activities, others offer extensive tool-sets designed for large, complex corporate projects.
“â€œâ€˜Does it scale up?â€™ is the perennial question that investors ask of engineers who are creating new technology and infrastructure,â€ says Professor Garrett van Ryzin, who for the last few years has been team-teaching a course on the business of sustainable energy with Klaus Lackner of Columbia Universityâ€™s School of Engineering and Applied Science. â€œHearing that question again and again got Klaus thinking about whether it is really necessary to scale up.â€ The two colleaguesâ€™ conversations on that question soon turned into a full-fledged framework for determining the feasibility of moving from large (in size) scale industrial infrastructure to large (in number) but small-in-size scale industrial infrastructure. “
Economies of scale have dominated industrial practice and investment decisions for so long because they have made sense â€” and profits â€” in the face of human and technological limitations
But automation and communication technology have evolved to the point that a large number of small units may be better, cheaper, or more efficient than a small number of large units.
The flexibility of small-scale infrastructure is attractive because it gives firms the ability to deploy investments gradually over time, which further reduces cost and risk.
The most significant hurdle may be convincing engineers, designers, investors, policy makers, and firms to rethink the â€œscale, scale, scaleâ€ mantra theyâ€™ve been taught and have embraced for decades.
“Here are a number of examples of how people and organisations are using social media for social learning â€“ both INTERNALLY and EXTERNALLY â€“ in order to improve job, team and business performance and productivity. These examples are listed in reverse chronological order, i.e. most recent first.”