Transparent Office: Companies aren’t communities
« Companies aren’t communities. They aren’t forums.
Companies are companies.
Of course company life has a community aspect, but a lot of social software folks seem to forget that there’s a lot more to a company than community. They treat companies as if they were consumer communities or forums that all just happen to have their paychecks signed by the same person.
Why does the difference matter? The answer is in the numbers. Online communities and forums typically attract very small audiences relative to the total target population: Less than 1% adoption is typical, and 5% adoption would be a grand-slam. That’s fine for the consumer web, but those numbers inside the enterprise aren’t exactly a ringing endorsement. »
I’ve been saying for a few years now that companies achieve adoption and business value when they place social software in the flow of work. The tools achieve real benefit when people do their jobs–not their evenings-and-weekends jobs, but their actual « day » jobs in social software
That’s when it becomes woven into the fabric of a company’s business processes. Adoption is almost a foregone conclusion, because that’s where you do your work. Business impact is demonstrable because business processes are measurable.
In communities, there is no flow of work. That’s because most people don’t come to communities to do work. They come to get support help, to swap tips, to praise, to complain, to socialize. Even those people who come for professional reasons are casual, sporadic visitors. The only person who really works there day-in-day-out is the forum/community manager.
There are three groups of people who cling to the « company as community » concept: the « kumbayeros » who wish that companies were as open and democratic as communities, public community managers whose consumer-facing experience has shaped the way they view all online social interaction, and community software vendors who are looking to repurpose their consumer-oriented products for the internal market.
As Milton Friedman famously said, « The business of business is business. » Social software fails when it tries to turn businesses into communities. It succeeds when it turns businesses into better businesses.
Becoming A Social Business
« It’s not something that will happen overnight. It certainly won’t happen in a kickoff meeting. And without a total organizational commitment to being customer first, building trust, and setting the company on a path where the idea of connecting with customers in real-time is embraced, it’s not likely something that will ever happen. And for some industries that may be okay, it’s still way too early to tell.
But for those companies looking for some guidance and a framework, I’ve broken the social business evolution process into four stages: Birth, Childhood, Adolescence, and Adulthood. »
Becoming a social business is begun by defining what “Being Social” and “Open” means to your organization.
The first and probably most significant realization one needs to make in this evolution process is that there is no single definition of “being a social business.” Every business should (read will) have their own definition and move at their own pace in getting there.
Assess your existing culture.
How far off is your existing culture with what you defined in the “birth” stage? Chart the path ahead.
Learn the ropes.
While assessing your culture and working to gain buy-in (this could easily take months), begin surveying the social landscape and start participating where your customers, competitors, and colleagues can be found on the social web.
Be social internally.
Too many companies today are assigning social media to marketing and forgetting about it. It’s almost like it is being done to appease the marketing manager who keeps talking about it.
Pick one functional area of the business and go all in.
Whether it be marketing, customer support, HR €¦ we learn by doing. S
Create policies and procedures to define control and practices.
One of the biggest misconceptions about becoming a social business is that being social means losing “control.” Quite the contrary, the best run open, social businesses are just the opposite.Exceptionally well run businesses with defined ways of doing things.
The (Social) Road Ahead For Unified Communications, Video & Mobility
» Until now, the Enterprise 2.0 conference has been the primary community gathering for those interested in collaboration, communities, and social networking. While I have been a long-time advocate of the Enterprise 2.0 event, I am also enthusiastic about the topic covered at Enterprise Connect. An in-depth conversation regarding the synergies between Enterprise 2.0 with unified communications, video, and mobility is long overdue. »
However, our beliefs regarding how social tools can help organizations should not be constrained to asynchronous work. The industry has created an unfortunate perception that there is a divide between Enterprise 2.0 and synchronous work.
Micro-blogging and activity streams are examples of a near-time user experience for social tools that have synergies with unified communications. We can easily imagine how presence and click-to-(call / IM / conference) can be added to these experiences so we can immediately connect with someone. We can also imagine how a micro-blogging hashtag (e.g., #ciscocollab) might provide a great way to make “group chat” within a web conferencing event more public. And there’s more €“ the Instant Messaging “buddy list” is treated as a private list of colleagues we are following.
While Quad itself is not a unified communications or video solution, it represents a compelling framework for integrating and delivering those capabilities as part of an enterprise collaboration platform. Not only does Quad contain the expected features found in other social platforms on the market that focus on asynchronous interaction, it has been designed from the ground-up to include video and unified communications as a core architectural service.
We should not be heading down the same path as we’ve done so many times before and create additional technology silos. What attendees will learn at Enterprise Connect is how Cisco Quad enables them to bring unified communications, video, collaboration, and Enterprise 2.0 initiatives together within a common architectural framework that leverages existing investments and emerging IT standards (e.g., OpenSocial)
Three Lessons Watson Taught Us to Improve Customer Service
« It took IBM 25 scientists and four years to program the computer to understand the language used in jeopardy, select and store the necessary knowledge (if could not be connected to the Internet, federal regulations €” ever seen the movie “Quiz Show”), and have it learn the rules and regulations of the game €“ in addition to train it to play the game. Four years, 25 language scientists.
The problem to be solved is far larger than your customer service implementation, right? Right? Well, this is where the lessons learned come in €“ if you take the time to analyze the results€¦ »
Chose the knowledge you need to use wisely, and be very, very good at keeping that number small and manageable; trim unnecessary and add necessary swiftly. It is far worse to not find the one you need that to have 119,999 you don’t.
Now, think about the many decisions you as a human would have to make if you were playing Jeopardy, and the speed at which you would have to execute those actions. If you could simplify the process, reduce the number of steps, and focus on the core of what you are doing you’d be far ahead of the game. You can do this with your customer service setup: simplify the process, make sure that both customers and agents can get to THE answer faster and easier.
Learning from the successes and failures of your solution, whether automatically or not, is what is going to make your certainty increase, the right answers show up more often, and your knowledge base remain simple and effective. Virtually everywhere you read about Watson it says how he learned from playing, and it became better the more it learned.
Gary Hamel: Inventing Management 2.0
« To create organizations that are fit for the future, we need to dramatically retool the management systems and processes that govern . . .
* How strategies get created
* How opportunities get identified
* How decisions get made
* How resources get allocated
* How activities get coordinated
* How power gets exercised
* How teams get built
* How tasks and talent get matched up
* How performance gets measured
* How rewards get shared »
Management 1.0 was built to encourage reliability, predictability, discipline, alignment and control. These will always be important organizational virtues, but in most industries, getting better at these things won’t yield much of an upside
But even that is starting to change: Around the world, “ordinary” managers of all sorts are starting to resist their captors. Most of these renegades aren’t HR directors, CFOs or even EVPs. Yet they are experimenting boldly with new ways of motivating, organizing, compensating and goal setting. They are reaching out to peers, taking risks, and running small-scale pilots. They are acting first and asking permission later. Even more remarkable is the scope of their aspirations. They are not just hoping to become better leaders; they are hoping to build better organizations. They are the harbingers of Management 2.0.
Watson d’IBM : après le jeu, place au business
« IBM a donc brillamment relevé le défi de battre les champions du jeu télévisé américain Jeopardy avec un système informatique. Watson, c’est son nom donné en souvenir de deux prestigieux Pdg qui ont marqué la vie de la compagnie pendant plusieurs décennies, s’est largement imposé face à ses adversaires. Fort de ce succès médiatique, Big Blue peut désormais envisager de nombreuses applications commerciales ? Il a déjà conclu un partenariat avec les départements médecine des universités Columbia et du Maryland pour développer une solution de diagnostic médical. »
Avec des moyens informatiques avancés et des applications d’Analytics, nous pouvons injecter de l’intelligence dans les systèmes utilisés dans les entreprises ou dans les villes. »
Le supercalculateur Watson constitué de milliers de serveurs haut de gamme, absorbe le contenu de dizaines de millions de documents incluant des ouvrages aussi variés que des dictionnaires, des encyclopédies, des thésaurus, des encyclopédies, des taxonomies€¦ Pour jouer à Jeopardy, Watson n’est pas relié à Internet et utilise seulement le contenu stocké sur ses propres disques durs.
. Mais alors que Deep Blue constituait une énorme réalisation dans l’application de la puissance informatique brute à un jeu bien défini et limité informatiquement, Watson relève un défi plus complexe infiniment ouvert et surpasse les limites bien définies de formules mathématiques d’un jeu tel que les échecs. Watson est capable d’opérer dans l’ambiguà¯té, le domaine hautement contextuel, presque sans limite du langage et du savoir humain.
Après avoir fait la démonstration des capacités de compréhension d’analyse et de jugement de son système, IBM va désormais se lancer dans la confection de système d’aide à la décision dans différentes spécialités. IBM a annoncé un partenariat avec la société Nuance Communications (spécialisée dans la reconnaissance du langage naturel) et les écoles de médecine des universités de Columbia et du Maryland pour développer un système d’aide au diagnostic et au choix du traitement.
IBM serait aussi en discussion à un distributeur de produits d’électronique grands publics pour développer une version de Watson lui permettant d’interagir avec les consommateurs sur de très nombreux sujets comme les décisions d’achats ou le support technique
The Many Faces of Enterprise 2.0
Enterprise activity stream – email conversations with externals staying threaded in the stream
« Imagine an enterprise version of friendfeed as your social network/microblogging/activity stream eg. Socialcast
Firstly, let’s get this out of the way€¦when having a discussion, and you need to write an extended reply, you don’t need to use email as the enterprise activity stream allows more than 140 characters€¦which is good as this doesn’t split up the conversation.
Now imagine if an enterprise activity stream allowed you to follow your email client (of course no-one else could do this for privacy reasons). »
look at that a conversation thread where each element may have happened on different products.
Same when replying to an Outlook email from the enterprise activity stream ie. when in the enterprise activity stream you send a reply to Outlook and it can also be made public in the activity stream
This way your co-workers know what is happening on your leg of the task ie. you don’t have to tell them (report back to base), or narrate your work€¦in this instance, there is no such thing as an “update”, as they “observing” you work in the open.
But what if you were in Outlook and sent the supplier an email and also chose for it to post in the enterprise activity stream as well€¦.or perhaps you are in the enterprise activity stream and choose to create an email which becomes a post as well (or create an email which becomes a comment within a post)€¦this is sending the Outlook email from within the microblogging app itself so it instantly becomes a post or a comment.
Voila, your co-workers know exactly what stage you are at. They don’t have to ask you how you are going with the supplier, they already know, as you cross-posted the email you sent the supplier as a comment under the task post in the stream€¦this didn’t have to happen after the fact, this cross-posting can happen at the time you are sending the email (keeping in mind the email can be sent from Outlook or from within the stream).
Process Integration : putting Social into the Business flow
« Anyway, this post aims to discuss the issue of Process Integration using Social software as this looks like a great opportunity for both parties. Solving the Business Process Management equation thanks to Social Software agillity on one hand and putting Enterprise 2.0 into the flow of business processes. »
I’ve attended BPM training in 2007 where the expert could not name a successful implementation of an Enterprise Service Bus
(the backbone component of SOA). He conceded that the solution is not worth considering unless your target is above 500 users. Below that limit, you won’t get your money back.
Beyond Social BPM, with the likes of IBM acquiring Lombardi solution
to offer such solution in the cloud (BlueWorks Live
), we now see and a move towards Enterprise Social Messaging.
TIBCO the expert of Enterprise Application Integration
has launched tibbr
which allow to mix people, projects and systems activity streams on a micro-blogging platform.
Both tools aims to answer critical questions : how can we leverage social software best practices to streamline business processes ? And how can we integrate these tools into the daily routine of knowledge workers in order to contribute and generate business value ?
I saw the future of analytics last night, and that future was fast.
» I saw the future of analytics last night, and that future was fast.
Fast enough for Watson to jump ahead by a few thousand dollars, before Brad Rutter (and the audience) caught their breath and finally caught up.
Watson doesn’t “know” anything €“ at least not in the same way that we know things. But we can feed it raw data from our own vast stores of knowledge and experience.
With every advance in technology comes a corresponding advance in our own capabilities. Watson can reveal insights about our business and our world that we can’t arrive at on our own
We’ve already outsourced long division, spelling and much of our highway navigation to machines. Now we’ll look to them more and more to dig through mountains of data and come up with answers for us. This should free us up to do what remains uniquely human, at least for now: generating fresh ideas.
Social CRM Changes the Definition of Customer Relationship Management
« Social CRM, he said, is a philosophy and a business strategy, supported by a technology platform, business rules, workflow, processes and social characteristics. It is designed to engage the customer in a collaborative conversation in order to provide mutually beneficial value in a trusted and transparent business environment. «
« CRM is no longer just a model for managing customers, but one of customer engagement,
Social CRM is the company’s programmatic response to the customer’s ownership of the conversation
ales, marketing, customer service, operational, transactional and customer databases should underpin CRM while social applications extend that functionality.
To his mind, CRM is typically an internal-facing system providing employees the information they need about a customer, whereas Social CRM is fundamentally an external-facing system where employees engage with customers, but also where customers engage with each other.
o some people, social CRM is nothing more than talking to customers on Facebook and Twitter. While that might be a crucial part of it €” go where your customers are €” social CRM is much more than that.
If a business doesn’t provide a place for customers to exchange their views, the internet provides plenty of other sites for them to do it
What is possible: how the social enterprise drives differentiation
« One of the additional perspectives that I am focusing on more these days, and I am finding resonates strongly with large organizations, is building flexibility. It has become a truism that in our turbulent times, the more flexible the organization, the more able it is to succeed. A process-bound organization is by definition not flexible. One that functions by tapping the most relevant resources and social connections is able to adapt and respond to circumstances and condtions.
A related issue is the ability to gather and respond to feedback. «
A company needs to be engaged in external social media in order to pick up relevant signals from the marketplace, but it also needs to use internal social media to interpret these and facilitate rapid response. Few companies are yet good at integrating the internal and external social media initiatives.
Finding talented people, attracting them to a company that is dynamic and responsive, and fully engaging them in the strategy and meaning of the organization are all strongly supported by the effective implementation of the social enterprise
These and other points come back to what needs to be the real focus of building the social enterprise: creating an organization that does better than its competitors in a way that feeds on itself and cannot be replicated
Why LinkedIn is More Valuable than Facebook
« Investors started the year excited, then disappointed, about the potential of a Facebook IPO and a $50B valuation. But fortunately, the upcoming LinkedIn IPO and its $2B valuation gives them an opportunity to get in the game and cash in on the much talked-about “social network” trend.
The LinkedIn IPO is indeed exciting, but if you are an executive, you should spend more than just your money on LinkedIn €“ you should spend time understanding how the social network works, and how its model can help you build better applications for your organization. »
While Facebook’s drive towards advertising dollars might justify the importance of the €˜time in app’ metric (you might have noticed Facebook’s recent advertising addition to your photos?) €“ LinkedIn focuses on productivity for its members (LinkedIn makes money via ads, but member services and enterprise hiring services are also part of its business model
Don’t be drawn to the overly satisfying measurement of “time in app” unless your business model is driven by ads; your company gets more value by optimizing your employees’ time.
Facebook is not particularly regarded for its ability to give its members value back on their own data. While it’s very easy to get data into Facebook, it’s very difficult to get data out and in a meaningful way.
Beyond suggesting new friends, Facebook does little to share back with the community the incredible insights it gathers about its users.
The LinkedIn Analytics team has been hard at work understanding your data trail, and they are not shy to share these analytics with you. My favorites include LinkedIn’s “Signal,” “Career Explorer,” “InMaps” or “Skills” which launched most recently.
Your organization is sitting on latent data that, if used, can return incredible value to your employees and bottom line. Think throug
h the data your applications hold and the tasks that could be automated or suggested. Take
As I argued in my recent keynote at Predictive Analytics World, our world is becoming more analytical. And in this regard, LinkedIn is light years ahead of Facebook.
The connected company
« Surprisingly short, it turns out. In a recent talk, John Hagel pointed out that the average life expectancy of a company in the S&P 500 has dropped precipitously, from 75 years (in 1937) to 15 years in a more recent study. Why is the life expectancy of a company so low? And why is it dropping? »
It’s time to think about what companies really are, and to design with that in mind. Companies are not so much machines as complex, dynamic, growing systems. As they get larger, acquiring smaller companies, entering into joint ventures and partnerships, and expanding overseas, they become “systems of systems” that rival nation-states in scale and reach.
Ecosystems: Long-lived companies were decentralized. They tolerated “eccentric activities at the margins.”
Strong identity: Although the organization was loosely controlled, long-lived companies were connected by a strong, shared culture
Active listening: Long-lived companies had their eyes and ears focused on the world around them and were constantly seeking opportunitie
As the number of employees grows, the profit per employee shrinks. It’s a game of diminishing returns. Efficiencies of scale are balanced out by the burdens of bureaucracy. Divisions become silos, disconnected from each other. Overhead costs increase with size. The resulting need for control, and the inability to achieve it at a reasonable cost, is what eventually kills a business.
You can’t control a complex system, but you can manage its growth, and there are a lot of things you can do that will position it for success. Here are a few of those emerging practices that signal excellence in design by connection:
Before you can start your path to the connected company, you need to understand the culture (or cultures) that are already there, so you can look for ways to enhance and strengthen that shared identity.
As you initiate social programs, think of them as if you are designing a city street. A successful street is filled with people. The last thing you want is a whole bunch of large, urban areas with no people in them. In a city, big, open, empty spaces feel unsafe and unloved. So start small.
Again, think of the city street: every business or building has an owner. The sidewalks have owners €“ typically every business at street level “polices” their stretch of sidewalk.
s you build your social business, make sure that every single person has a place where they can put, and see, their stuff: their projects, the links they want to get back to, the documents they have created, their role, qualifications, expertise and so on.
As you design for connection, think about how you might create those unexpected, but delightful, surprises. Every time someone visits an online space, there’s a chance to offer them something new
Design by connection is not a top-down activity so much as bottom-up. Complex systems just don’t work that way. In a complex system, you need to pay attention to small things and make little adjustments along the way.
« Le management à la française doit accepter la société en réseau(x) » | News – Portail de l’intelligence économique
« Nicolas Moinet, Directeur du Master Intelligence Economique et Communication Stratégique de l’ICOMTEC, présente dans un article du Monde sa vision du management « à la française », et revient sur le bouleversement introduit par les technologies de l’information et de la communication dans la gestion des entreprises.
« Le management « à la française » est encore trop marqué par sa vision taylorienne du travail et il doit accepter les grandes ruptures induites par les technologies de l’information et de la communication. »
la globalisation devant nous conduire à cesser de penser en binaire dès lors qu’elle nous fait entrer dans une économie de la relation (les liens permanents et fluctuants d’une pensée complexe) ;
les nouvelles technologies de l’information et de la communication (ntic) faisant éclater les unités de temps, de territoire, de fonction, de direction qui avaient structuré notre histoire et elles en redessinent la signification ;
une rupture quantitative basée sur une abondance qui, d’une part, permet de moins en moins à l’individu de faire des choix de type « info-comparatifs » l’obligeant à faire confiance et à déléguer cette responsabilité à un tiers
nous fait sortir chaque jour davantage d’une logique industrielle de la production pour passer à une logique de la solution, de l’usage et de la pertinence
rupture qualitative due à une économie de l’immatériel dont le fonctionnement est à l’opposé de celui de l’économie matérielle (qualitatif versus quantitatif),
SharePoint: The World’s Most Impersonal Network – SharePoint Expert Blog
« What we value most about social networks isn’t the number of friends, invites, reconnects, or diversions from the dullness of rote tasks. It’s more basic that that.
It’s that we know where they stand — they’re either vibrant and flowing or they die. There are no static forms of social media. They’re either teeming with news and gossip or they lose their social life.
Not true in our ECM fortresses. Our firewalled networks have a forced look to them. The implicit agreement that we honor our employment contracts by showering our intranets with the nuggets from our C:\ stretches boundaries few are willing to cross — if your ancestoral home is architected in SharePoint. »
The same software company that made personal computing possible would be responsible for the world’s most impersonal network. That’s because the actual interest stories are buried in the haste of a lumbering, kludgy, one-way conversation labeled « document uploads to SharePoint. »
But the actual reasons behind why this disembodied document leads a double-life on the SharePoint server seems more relevant to the sleuth-work of knowledge forensics than …
* to the details that divulge the context of the material
* to the larger objective it served in the life of the project
* to the deliberations of the team that drafted it.
Without it all documents are equal before the eyes of SharePoint and that’s an injustice to our users. That’s the kind of equality guaranteed to bring little understanding, participation, and even less personality to the world’s most impersonal network.