Serendipity Happensâ€¦ to Deliver Million$
“As the world turnsâ€¦ social, expect to be surprised by the fruits of serendipity. When large workforces embrace working socially, or as I love to call it â€“ in â€œsocialworkingâ€ mode, they discover new ways of solving problems and creating opportunities. Insights are revealed in the fluid web of connections and sharing. Weâ€™ve seen a dramatic mood swing toward all things social this year. Even the naysayers have been touting the benefits of working socially recently.
I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight just one example of how working in a truly social organization delivers benefits that could never have been predicted in an executive conference room undergoing the scrutiny of a hard-core ROI analysis.”
Loweâ€™s on-boarded 100% of its employee base to its collaborative platform, IBM Connections
last year. Thatâ€™s every executive, store manager, retail clerk, and stock boy on the payroll. The entire Loweâ€™s workforce of 289,000 employees have access to Connections
fter exhausting other traditional sources, the employee then turned to the Connections platform and asked â€œout loudâ€* if anyone knew how she could get more inventory. Funny thing happened. Although everyone felt her pain on the inventory shortage, they started replicating her paint mold/tray demo in their stores. And guess what? Suddenly other stores were selling out of the paint trays too. As interest in the thread and the display idea grew in popularity, sales skyrocketed.
When applied on an enterprise level, the unique display idea represented more than a million dollars in additional revenue
It was only after she circumvented the traditional sources and leveraged the power of pull within her employee base, did the company realize this unexpected windfall in revenue. Not because she was able to order more inventory (her original ask), but because she shared her clever merchandising technique with the employee base creating demand for her idea far beyond her single store.
Be sure not to overlook this important upside of working socially. In other words, â€œBe careful what you donâ€™t ask for, you just might get it.â€
Selling Is Not About Relationships
“Ask any sales leader how selling has changed in the past decade, and you’ll hear a lot of answers but only one recurring theme: It’s a lot harder. Yet even in these difficult times, every sales organization has a few stellar performers. Who are these people? How can we bottle their magic?”
Relationship Builders focus on developing strong personal and professional relationships and advocates across the customer organization. They are generous with their time, strive to meet customers’ every need, and work hard to resolve tensions in the commercial relationship.
- Challengers use their deep understanding of their customers’ business to push their thinking and take control of the sales conversation. They’re not afraid to share even potentially controversial views and are assertive â€” with both their customers and bosses.
We found that Challenger reps dominate the high-performer population, making up close to 40% of star reps in our study.
They focus the sales conversation not on features and benefits but on insight, bringing a unique (and typically provocative) perspective on the customer’s business
They have a finely tuned sense of individual customer objectives and value drivers and use this knowledge to effectively position their sales pitch to different types of customer stakeholders within the organization.
While not aggressive, they are certainly assertive. They are comfortable with tension and are unlikely to acquiesce to every customer demand.
At the end of the day, a conversation with a Relationship Builder is probably professional, even enjoyable, but it isn’t as effective because it doesn’t ultimately help customers make progress against their goals.
we find that Challengers absolutely dominate as selling gets more complex
Instead Of Just Eliminating Jobs, Automation Could Usher In A More Fair Economy
“As robots become smarter, they are replacing more and more jobs. Does that have to mean people are out of work? Or can it mean that people work better and safer? “
The history of our economy is ultimately a history of labor savings. Labor gets displaced from certain markets or sectors and re-distributed to others as innovation makes certain tasks obsolete. This is the march of history, from mechanized looms to mass production and modern automobile manufacturing. So while labor savings can be disruptive, it is also a core engine of technological progress. For those skeptics, the power of robots may well provide a humanizing touch to our economy. We can finally outsource work that doesnâ€™t match our human potential and capabilities.
Gamification, dashboards, search and enterprise failure
“I see gamification, dashboards and search as signs of enterprise failure!
There I said it, humbly.
They all signify a lack of process frameworks that can run the processes. And just to clarify, industrial processes are not the only processes, all we do is a process as in “steps of activities with a goal”, and that should cover all that we do in organisations, in business, in enterprises. And for a process to happen, for flows to flow, one needs a framework, structured, flexible or manual. Just like water requires a riverbed or a pipeline. But if the framework is manual (bucket passing anyone? Monday morning meetings, budgets and reporting anyone?) then the creative value-creation work will suffer.”
The classic intrinsic rewards are “mastery, purpose and autonomy”. Basic, always worked, hugely powerful. But these three intrinsic rewards requires a flow- or process framework that can run the processes in the background, otherwise most of the effort will go into making the flow flow, non-value creation, and that kills all three with a vengeance.
And therein lies the issue, if there is no “automatic” process framework – and there is only manual frameworks for knowledge work today; meetings, hierarchies, budgets, reports – then the intrinsic rewards are hard to attain if at all.
Hence the claim that the need for extrinsic rewards as per most “gamification” efforts being a clear sign of no proper process framework, and hence of enterprise failure.
a dashboard only shows that it’s all manual and time and effort is wasted on making the flow flow. A proper process based system would have one button for the task at hand, and perhaps a few for reports/views and no need for a sorting desk, aka dashboard. A clear sign of lack of process framework and hence enterprise failure.
A proper process based system, or process framework would know what your task is and thus know what information to deliver you at the same time so search would be superfluous (not all the time of course, but mostly).
So when I see search then I see a lack of proper process framework again.
The myth of standardisation
“After reading the ERP paradox by Kailash Awati, I had that â€œOh yesâ€ feeling of recognition: someone was hitting the nail right on the head here.
Standardisation is a myth, especially when you go global. There are two simple reasons for that: customer demand and business supply”
The answer is easy: the closer we come to the end consumer, the wilder the diversification gets
Achieving Sustained Cost Reduction
“When companies go through boom times, they quite naturally take their eyes off costs. But to maintain profits when revenue goes downhill, most CEOs call for cost cutting. The scalpel comes out, and while it’s necessary, it usually comes at a huge cost to employee morale.”
Big rounds of layoffs demoralize employees, drive out critical expertise, and put the organization on a downward spiral. Going through the traumatic experience of seeing friends leave and fearing for their jobs, few remaining employees believe their hard work and strong performance will save them.
More insidiously, right sizing departmental silos usually doesn’t affect the cost structure permanently. Because the underlying work hasn’t gone away, the fat creeps back. The cost reductions last only until everyone goes back to their old ways in a few years.
Companies launch process improvement projects with hard financial targets. These projects get costs out, but a number of people have told me
that when the project leaders (“Black Belts”) leave and move on to their next project, the costs creep back. The quoted financial savings from Six Sigma projects, while valid, aren’t having long-term effects on their cost structure.
To perennially keep costs down companies need to change the way that work is accomplished â€” the business processes of the organization. By continually focusing on improving the experiences that customers have with the organization, the quality of offerings, and the time it takes to bring them to market, they will get cost effectiveness as a byproduct
The financial spreadsheet has become the focal point of top management’s attention â€” so much so that CEOs now view the organization almost entirely through the lens of financial (and other) quantities, nearly oblivious to the concrete operations from which the financial results emerge
The Time for Social Improvisation Is Over
“An important theme in the articles and blogs I’ve been reading recently is that it’s time for social to grow up and leave childish things behind. Childish things like individual departments within an enterprise improvising ideas for social in an uncoordinated, decentralized fashion, with the nominal center for social (Customer or Public Relations) carrying the can when it all goes wrong.”
The development of social analytics may not yet be mature, but it’s advanced enough that there’s a new buzzword for it: “socialytics.” The motivating theme across this emerging range of tools is that social should cease being based on intuition and guesswork. It’s possible, instead, to identify vectors of social activity which produce reliable ROI.
This is where “socialytics” come in, of course. As a baseline, it’s necessary to conceptualize success in social in more meaningful terms than merely reaching large numbers of customers and potential customers
In simple terms, the opinion-makers are the pundits whose voices are heard above the crowd and who have the ability to drive interest and — hopefully — sales. These individuals are desirable as brand advocates or merely as referrers — people who post influential reviews.
Many commercial social analytics platforms are now available. Good socialytics should be able to collect relevant data across the full range of social networks.
Increase Your Company’s Productivity With Social Media
“A growing number of companies talk about the benefits of adopting web 2.0 tools inside the organization, but the list is short for companies that are using them for increased business results.
Unisys, the 138-year old tech firm, has quickly made “going social” part of its culture. Here’s how they did it, and how they’re using social media tools to become more agile, to share knowledge, and to increase the speed of innovation.”
One of the biggest barriers to social collaboration is a disconnect between aspirations to become collaborative and the reality of being a closed organization. Unisys CEO Ed Coleman addressed this through leading by example
Gloria Burke, Director of Knowledge Strategy & Governance, along with co-directors John Knab and Rajiv Prasad, launched Inside Unisys, a social network internal to the firm. Coleman began blogging and soon his senior executives encouraged their teams to do so as well. Employees are automatically alerted to blog postings and microblog postings on the newsfeeds on Inside Unisys. Over time, Unisys sales people began using Inside Unisys to share information about recent wins as well as share lessons in losses.
Creating a social knowledge-sharing environment is not the responsibility of one department. “People support what they help to build,” says Burke. “And, once it is built, they have a stake in its success.” She set up an advisory council with senior leaders from across the company â€” business units, HR, IT, legal, finance, marketing, and more â€” to create a shared vision on how “going social” would improve employee and organizational productivity.
So when Unisys launched “My Site” to allow employees to build their personal credentials and network of colleagues, they built a feature called “Ask Me About” that allows Unisys employees to locate experts across the organization by creating hashtags
for their skills and key topics they want to collaborate on with other employees.
The key: start with innovators and early adopters and others will follow as they see experience the benefits of using social media in their work.
Social media literacy
is fast becoming a necessary skill. Knowing what to share and how to share will be a critical skill for the 2020 workplac
- Strategy: Be sure there is buy-in and engagement from senior executives who are willing to lead by example.
- Alignment: Get involvement from stakeholder groups across the company.
- Technology: Determine the right mix of tools and technologies.
- Pilot: Identify pilot groups like Unisys did with the sales team.
- Governance: Establish guidelines for governance.
- Communications: Develop a communications plan.
- Metrics: Identify hard business metrics like increasing speed to innovation or speed for winning new business.
- Implementation: Create process for enterprise wide implementation new skills needed for success like social media literacy.
CEOs Need a New Set of Beliefs
“In the past 25 years, CEOs of many major corporations have relied on a flawed set of beliefs to lead their organizations. This set has influenced them to place way too much emphasis on maximizing shareholder value and not enough on generating value for society. Today we are mired in the Great Recession, which was brought about by the near collapse of the financial system. This environment and the behavior produced by the prevailing set of beliefs to which CEOs subscribe have deepened a widespread public distrust of corporations and capitalism.
In this blog post, I will offer a new set of beliefs, which can renew and restore faith in corporations and capitalism. “
Shareholders benefit most when CEOs and boards maximize value for society and act as agents of society rather than shareholders.
The market favorably receives projects with long-term payoffs, particularly those in research and development.
Purpose, meaning, and recognition are more powerful motivators than economic self-interest, and large external rewards can reduce intrinsic motivation.
Actions to address societal issues should be an integral part of strategy, and operations and should not be isolated as a separate activity under the heading of corporate social responsibility.
The most successful CEOs, on balance, are those who are developed inside the company but manage to retain an outside perspective
Social Business Moves to Workflow, Manufacturing, and Money
“I receive e-mail frequently from PR people promoting the latest IT tools and new Web applications. These days a common thread I see is the addition of social features to software to make it easier for users to share information and collaborate with others. Personally, I believe itâ€™s largely beneficial to 1) find ways to take advantage of the social graphs that users have been building in recent years, and 2) add the techniques and channels of the social world to make traditional software more effective and usable in general.”
. So, while social impinging around the edges of enterprise applications is worth dealing with from a strategic perspective, itâ€™s going to happen largely whether organizations plan for it or not. As such, itâ€™s not likely to make a huge competitive or qualitative difference in the way most businesses perform. That is, unless they start the process of deliberate and strategic social business transformation,
Social business frequently focuses either on social engagement externally or internally on collaboration and social interaction between workers. This is a limiting view, but itâ€™s also where most of the activity and uptake is today.
Metastorm now enables workers to engage in real collaborative process design, takes advantage of social profiles to locate needed expertise to plug workers into processes in essentially real-time, and has matching dashboards to provide BPM and social analytics
Putting social in the flow of work
in highly process-intensive environments should lead to some interesting outcomes
Iâ€™ve had manufacturers and assembly line managers come up to me to say that social tools have been moving into their area of the business, but itâ€™s mostly been horizontal tools or very focused niche solutions. Weâ€™re now seeing broader and more strategic use of social tools with the arrival of solutions such as the Kenandy
social manufacturing platform,
One of the more interesting and visionary topics at the conference was the subject of social currency, the transformation of the very concept of money in social world where reputation, trust, and openness are prized much more than information control, the latter which is how the financial industry is mostly structured to leverage for gain today.
In fact, peer-to-peer monetary systems such as Bitcoin
were a hot topic at Innotribe and for good reason, it represents a major shift of control in how banking, money transfer, and investment will work in the future.
Entre DSI et directions mÃ©tiers, le courant passe encore mal
“Le constat de Karim Bahloul, directeur des Ã©tudes et de la recherche chez IDC, Ã Paris, nâ€™est pas trÃ¨s brillant. Tout part dâ€™une Ã©tude sur la question de la transformation visant notamment Ã comprendre comment les directions mÃ©tiers et les DSI se comportent, ensemble. Pour mener cette Ã©tude, le cabinet a interrogÃ© indÃ©pendamment 83 directeurs mÃ©tiers et 83 DSI dâ€™entreprises de plus de 1000 salariÃ©s. RÃ©sultats : Â«les DSI sont trÃ¨s techno-centriques, pas du tout centrÃ©es sur les dÃ©sidÃ©ratas des directions mÃ©tiers.Â» DÃ¨s lors, la suite semble presque couler de source : les directions mÃ©tiers affichent Â« des niveaux de satisfaction relativement faibles sur un certain nombre de points comme la rÃ©activitÃ© de lâ€™IT par rapport Ã leurs besoins,”
divisions IT Â«ont un historique, une latence, une organisation interne qui peuvent Ãªtre un frein. Dans 60 Ã 65 % des entreprises, le niveau de satisfaction est relativement faible malgrÃ© une forte reconnaissance de la qualitÃ© de lâ€™offre technologique de lâ€™IT Â»
75 Ã 85 % des budgets IT sont dÃ©pensÃ©s pour lâ€™exploitation de lâ€™existant. Seuls les 15 Ã 25 % restants sont consacrÃ©s au dÃ©veloppement de nouvelles applications ou de projets innovants.Â»
Mais pour les deux tiers des entreprises qui les ont mis en place, les indicateurs de performance restent trÃ¨s liÃ©s Ã la technologie et peu intelligibles par des directions opÃ©rationnelles. Celles-ci commencent dâ€™ailleurs Ã rÃ©agir.Â»
39 % des directions mÃ©tiers nous disent que la DSI sâ€™est transformÃ©e ou se transforme en centre de services mais quâ€™il reste un dÃ©calage important.
Â«si les DSI veulent rester des acteurs incontournables, ils doivent penser mÃ©tiers et se concentrer sur les utilisateurs. Avant la technologie.Â»
Et si les filtres Internet dans les Ã©coles envoyaient le mauvais signal ?
“”Les gouvernements, les entreprises et les lieux citoyens s’adaptent Ã la rÃ©alitÃ© de l’omniprÃ©sence des nouveaux mÃ©dias de communication et en tirent parti. Pourquoi l’Ã©cole refuserait de prendre avantage des opportunitÃ©s que ces moyens offrent ?””
C’est que les Ã©tablissements scolaires bloquent plusieurs des sites Web utilisÃ©s par les jeunes pour interagir. Les responsables des rÃ©seaux informatiques considÃ¨rent qu’il vaut mieux interdire l’accÃ¨s Ã ces sites prisÃ©s par les jeunes plutÃ´t que de recrÃ©er Ã l’Ã©cole un environnement semblable Ã celui que les jeunes rencontrent hors de l’Ã©cole.
En crÃ©ant Ã l’intÃ©rieur des murs d’un lycÃ©e ou d’un collÃ¨ge un milieu diffÃ©rent de celui dans lequel un adolescent Ã©volue, on lui lance le dÃ©fi d’apprendre Ã contourner ces barriÃ¨res en plus de lui exprimer jusqu’Ã quel point on ne lui fait pas confiance dans sa capacitÃ© de discernement.
C’est parce que l’Ã©cole est encore dans un mode oÃ¹ toute la connaissance doit passer par la tÃªte d’un enseignant avant de transiter vers celle des Ã©lÃ¨ves que ce mythe tient solidement dans les rÃ©unions administratives des dÃ©cideurs scolaires.
De plus, si câ€™est vrai quâ€™il y a du contenu offensant Ã proscrire des salles de classe, lâ€™Ã©ducation par la responsabilisation demeure le moyen le plus efficace, Ã moyen terme de sâ€™assurer de remplir notre mission Ã©ducative.
Les filtres Internet dans les Ã©coles existeront-ils encore bien longtemps? Lâ€™Ã©cole doit se demander oÃ¹ rÃ©side sa responsabilitÃ©â€¦ Continuer dâ€™Ãªtre un lieu oÃ¹ elle illustre que ce nâ€™est quâ€™en apparence quâ€™elle montre Â«patte blancheÂ» ou devenir cette institution oÃ¹ des Ã©ducateurs ont suffisamment dâ€™ascendant sur les Ã©lÃ¨ves pour briser ce mur Â«coupe-feu intergÃ©nÃ©rationnelÂ»
What happens when all my customers realise that they can complain on Twitter? @ NixonMcInnes: Social media goodness. Translated. Created. Delivered.
“The rise of social media has meant that customer service has already undergone some scrutiny within most brands. Customers have a voice now and brands face a very public backlash if they donâ€™t service their customers well.
In fact this has been the driver for many brands to look at Twitter as a customer service medium in the first place, the argument being that if users are complaining online, it is better to engage and help them than leave them angry and vociferous.
But what has happened in many cases is that brands have seen this as the end point, they donâ€™t ask, â€œwhat next?â€. Well guess what? Setting up a customer service account on Twitter is not the end, itâ€™s just the beginningâ€¦”
At the moment people are complaining on social media because they get better service than they do on existing channels. Making the service they get on social media the same as the other channels is not a long-term solution!
The rise of social media has led to demands for better customer service and businesses have to adjust to this and meet this demand across all channels.
Integration and Connection To Work Are Central To Social Business Success
“I believe there’s a real chance to address some long-standing social business challenges if we can work through and address these issues better than we have up until now.
Unfortunately, any progress will require connecting some technology thinking with some business thinking, which is the quintessential oil and water of the information technology divide. However, I believe we can now do this better than we ever could in the recent past and that a major opportunity lies ahead.”
1. The requirement to connect social software with systems of record
, productivity applications, and the local intranet, etc. This puts social tools where the most important enterprise data is today, and;
2. The need to move social tools into the flow of work. The isolation of social business platforms from the key operational activities of the organization is increasingly understood as a root cause of slower adoption and lower relevance.
Unfortunately, another cause of the low interest in recent social integration advances is because attempts at defining Enterprise 2.0 software standards
and technologies have largely been a source of disappointment until recently.
While social integration and connecting social software to our work are NOT necessarily the same thing, primarily because you can connect social tools to some work processes without any integration, the fact is that much of the work we do today are in systems that are not connected to our social tools. This causes a myriad of problems in adoption and day-to-day use including manually copying data into our social environments, fragmented pictures of business processes that are otherwise narrated in social tools, yet the core context is separately stored in other systems entirely.
I now see good evidence that activity streams are becoming the hub of daily work; a consistent and centralized view of all communication and interaction. Therefore, social apps — and associated app stores to provide them — can enable line of business applications to contextually appear inside our activity streams, while embedding technologies are allowing us to project connected social experiences directly within our intranets, Web apps, other horizontal tools like ECM and DMS, and line of business applications like CRM, ERP, and so on.
Social apps – Wrap our existing business applications in a social envelope that allows them to live in and interact with us and our activity streams. This puts our fragmented systems of record into its full social context.
Social embedding – Going to where the work is, social embedding allows us to put sharing, social notifications, and threaded conversations inside existing systems of record. Embedding is a technology that has long been proven on the Web and is similar to what the Facebook Like button has achieved, near ubiquity through simplicity. Many social tools use this technique today, but it must be internalized as an enterprise capability.
Social integration – When a) wrapping enterprise software and placing it inside our social business platforms or b) embedding specific social experiences in our enterprise systems don’t cut it, the fall back option is traditional integration. This will often be more expensive and time-consuming but can be used when the first two won’t work for a given reason.
Five Emergent Strategies for Improving Social Business Performance
“Yet, though C-level involvement is one of the single most effective ways to gain approval for the needed resources, functional cohesion, and organizational priority, it’s also a good recipe for bottling up internal social media in a manner that ends up moving it through the traditional IT project machine. This oft-careworn process is usually a well-established — and largely well-intentioned — “sausage maker” for repeatably fielding new IT solutions in a linear and highly structured fashion (though it’s showing serious signs of age.)”
The nature of open-ended
in this discussion is vital and nuanced. Social media finally thrived, most arguably through the rise of RSS, which created a sort of “Unix pipe”
for the social world. This allowed the fragmented conversations of blogs to be perceived externally as single albeit decentralized conversations
As Enterprise 2.0 grows up, there’s a growing understanding
that our old systems of record cannot remain isolated from our new systems of engagement.
I’ve been exploring
the potential of connecting agile processes to social business recently because because of these issues, and because the two subjects have much in common. Both fields are major transitions in the way work is accomplished and have had significant headwind despite making real and sustained progress.
1. Be liberal in accepting forms of participation. While many Enterprise 2.0 products or projects are actually disabling many types of rich media and embedded applications, I believe that is a serious mistake.
2. Assume and support new modes of use. If a blog, wiki, or social network ends up becoming a vital part of a business process, be ready to support it to the level that part of the business requires.
3. “New modes of use” means deep connection between all systems, all audiences. Do not proceed in your work that Enterprise 2.0 is about self-contained systems. Like the Web, it consists of deeply linked systems of systems. Sometimes this connection is by simple links, but increasingly it’s by direct integration of data.
4. Enable social discovery.
While many manifestations of social media, such as activity streams, naturally make on-the-fly discovery of knowledge and information easier, spontaneous, and even serendipitous, it’s not nearly enough by itself to enable widespread emergent reuse. I’ve argued
for years that federated search
across all enterprise social “silos” based on the same algorithms that drive the Web is one of the primary solutions to ensure the open work of Enterprise 2.0
is findable, reusable, and has high leverage
5. Open your social data.
Everything should be syndicated. Most social functionality should be wrapped in OpenSocial so it can be exported across the enterprise and embedded on the intranet
and elsewhere. Your Enterprise 2.0 systems should have good, well supported APIs
with good documentation.
Connecting Employees to Social Media: New Possibilities
“Recently Iâ€™ve been exploring the best ways for companies to establish their workers successfully in the use of social media, both internally and externally to their organizations. Driving adoption and effective uptake of social tools varies rather widely in how easy and quickly it is to for a given business to realize. For example, this process is the most challenging for regulated industries as I deconstructed at length on ZDNet this week. Yet itâ€™s the same issue for all firms: How do we quickly and effectively deal with issues surrounding risk, control, and trust so that we can get to the good part and reap the rewards of social media engagement?”
Social media policy is usually not perceived as an exciting topic, yet at this stage of the industry nothing could be further from the truth. It should now be considered a primary enabler as enterprises develop â€” or update â€” their social business strategies. Because of this perception, one of the more powerful and transformative tools in the social business arsenal will be left to languish unmodernized by many, making the organization do too much work, assume too much downside, and ignore important upsides.
But an infrequently revised and non-operational social media policy means that 1) most of the potential value that it could provide fails to be seized and 2) it misses a major opportunity to become a place to communicate, realize strategic vision, and enable on-the-ground change across the company in a surprisingly concrete way.
When it comes to the strategies that drive social business performance
, we find that social media works best when its users are set free to create the collaborative patterns, structures, and processes they need to work together, inside, outside, or between companies. When they have a safety net that ensures they can act with confidence, the results will correspondingly improve.
The modern social media policy should be contained in a blog post, wiki page, or some other social artifact so it can be revised quickly and easily, as well as commented on and discussed
The social media policy should be communicated via training, clearly articulated goals and incentives (real-life examples of which Iâ€™ll explore as soon as possible), and executive outreach including leading through example
When it comes to social media, the best way to reduce concerns about risk and liability while simultaneously ensuring safety and widespread participation is to trust, but verify. The latest social media compliance tools can be used to literally embody the social media policy as a real, participatory actor in the system, creating secure narrative logs for regulators and internal audit, while monitoring conversations, detecting policy violations quickly, and interceding automatically if necessary.