Groupthink: The company â€˜A-Holeâ€™ and why you need one
“Iâ€™m sure you all know one. That person thatâ€™s always trying to poke holes in your work, the one that never seems to be satisfied, the one that you get frustrated with because it seems like things are never good enough to escape their critique. Well, believe it or not, this person is a very important role inside of your company and more importantly inside your social networks to avoid a phenomenon called â€œGroupthinkâ€. Groupthink is a mode that a group of people gets into when they desire harmony in decision making without a realistic appraisal of alternatives and where there is a desire to minimize conflict.”
he defined Groupthink as â€œA mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive ingroup
, when the memberâ€™s strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of actionâ€.
Although, I prefer other labels such as; pot stirrer, corporate troublemaker, instigator and maverick. Recently I found perhaps the best label: Critical Evaluator.
- Leaders should assign the role of â€œcritical evaluatorâ€ to all group members
- Higher-ups should not express their opinion when assigning tasks to a group
- Have multiple groups look at the problem
- Look at all effective alternatives
- Each group member should discuss the challenge with people outside the group
- The group should bring in outside experts to the meetings/discussion
- Assign at least one Devilâ€™s Advocate. This should be a different person at each meeting
Perhaps in our new service based economy
, the pressure to â€œdo more with lessâ€ is so great that we are incapable of delivering the highest quality work in the timeframes required without groupthink
being challenged and working through alternatives take time and energy, and if not closely guarded can lead to another phenomenon called Analysis Paralysis
Future of organizational development: framing for a learning experience
If HR is to assume a leading role in the next generation, social, organization, it should lead the way in framing the working & learning environment that will allow the emergence of meaningful learning and working patterns within this organization.
This next generation, social, enterprise builds upon external trends, as it is now commonly admitted that the social web is opening new horizons for business organizations, from user experience (consumerization of IT) to new learning models (social learning). By understanding the inner workings of this social web and successfully adapting them to the specific goals and constraints of business organizations, HR has yet another opportunity to reinvent itself and the way it impacts organization and talent development.”
a world where technological tools are growing, imbricating with each other to form a new working and learning environment (social technologies, social enabled systems of records
, apps ecosystems, persistent user experience from desktop to mobile, …).
Today, the user perspective is an engaging, persistent, rich, social, mobile, collaborative, … experience. For HR, there is a challenge in translating this user experience into an Â«employee experienceÂ», that is not about Â«better performing HR tasksÂ». Itâ€™s, at the very least, about learning, collaborating, cooperating and curating.
ownership of the user experience probably translates into benefiting from the continued intellectual, emotional and physical focus of an employee on supporting the relationships that ultimately make the value of the business to its clients.
These environments are (or should be) centered on people, organized around social objects and focused on delivering meaningful relationships.
HR should be best suited to become this champion, but only if it evolves in four dimensions:
- what it learns;
- how it transforms its existing responsibilities;
- how it collaborates with other functions.
Up to this day, HR expertise has mainly been in organizational and talent development, personnal development, HR administration and labor relations.
- Should HR still be the owner of the people development processes ?
Should HR still manage training budgets and operations ?
Should HR only work on the professional profile aspect or the corporate social network ?
What do the changes at hand mean for job-definition and job grading
New Killer Star
“Social interactions continue to attract conversations, because they are introducing shifts the way people access information, communicate and work. This shift did happen due deregulation of the financial markets in the 80â€²s, driven by development of technological infrastructures (telecommunication and information systems), combined with computer power capable of the high speed algorithms processing required to handle the complexity of financial transactions, not because millennium generation and others want it and are eager to be connected.”
Itâ€™s useless to start you social journey if your social structure is not aligned with the process bandwidth played. But the process bandwidth should reflect the knowledge dimensions that should support the outcomes customers are willing to be achieved.
The first thing, as a manager you need to understand is the network type that exist inside of your company
Organizational charts, do not reflect the way people interact.
And flows (represented in social networks by arcs between nodes that represent the actors or process participants) are the activity sequence between participants. In order words you need to find the dominant social structure.
For social networks discovery itâ€™s necessary you define the discovery scope first (choose a process and start mining;
Social networks must be aligned with the process type played (structured, adaptive to emergency).
Star networks: These kind of networks are useful, contrary of what you may think, but only on highly automated, repeated processes.
Multiple core networks: This is domain of knowledge intensive exchange. This is where complexity and unpredictability plays a role
- Loosely coupled networks These networks are found in Emergency or Chaotic process types.
If you are a manager and the dominant type a Start network and you need your knowledge flowing, not centralized, social technology is useless.
The three layers of social business
“Somehow it shows one of the areas Iâ€™m working with some companies regarding the three layers for social interaction. Social execution is not about having a social tech pallet or stack as most of analysts like to call.
Social interaction is still in early adoption steps. Adoption will increase as managers realize that customers are taking control of process execution. Those that does not make the sift will suffer from poor customer experience and will harm business.”
But this not enough. Again we ear all the time about social technologies that will make the change. On one hand is true that tech increases information flow speed making the organization more horizontal, improving communication, information exchange, building better, more participative teams; on the other hand you need alignment between these three layers:
1- The social practice, or the business process, instead of thinking about the typical process flow with activities, that donâ€™t have the granularity and the detail to express the dynamics of social interaction, think more about a conversation to achieve a process goal.
2- The organization layer, not the organizational structure with business units and departments and roles, but the social network, that shows the communication flow and how people are connected with.
3 â€“ The Technology layer, the applications people use to communicate and socialize. Some examples are activity streams, e-mail, wikis, instant messaging, whatever it fits their needs.
Process Evolution between Order (BPM) and Chaos (Social)
“Strangely enough there is nowhere near the debate on BPM versus Social, despite these being completely opposite perspectives on how businesses achieve their goals. But because Social isnâ€™t a direct threat to the BPM paradigm, it is being sold as an add-on to partially fill the huge functional holes. If you canâ€™t fight it, JOIN!”
Once everyone agrees that there is a right process, progress and innovation stops.
BPMS donâ€™t have goals defined and KPIs arenâ€™t goals
The only solution is to go real-time with the customer. Not real-time with empty social chit-chat, but about goals and outcomes.
The problem is not one of how quickly can you change, but WHO changes WHAT, HOW and WHY?
Not everything we do is a process â€“ as Michel Poulin says â€“ but we can look at everything as a process after it is completed,
But if we define that the perceived outcome is what process is about, then everything we do in business is a process!
Anatoly further suggests that if business users are empowered then they would rather create a comfort zone for themselves rather than improving things for the customer. That has nothing to do with technology, as it is purely a people management issue
BPM or ACM donâ€™t solve management weaknesses and if they are used this way they will fail. Peter Drucker said that management and technology must complement each other and CO-EVOLVE!
That enables a key ACM element that Social and most BPMS miss: GOAL-ORIENTATION.
Social simply provides the technology and hopes that emergence will do the rest. That is fine in the Internet but not necessarily within an enterprise.
If you implement an ACM platform and apply too much governance (design flows), you get BPM. If you donâ€™t govern at all (no strategy and architecture), you get Social with the risk of poor adoption
Evolution and self-organization happens ONLY on the border between order (BPM) and chaos (Social), but it needs the adaptive capability to succeed (Holland, Johnson, et.al.)
Dynamic enables the business user to create or change CURRENT process execution. ADAPTIVE means that the business user can also influence FUTURE execution by various means, because only that enables INNOVATION and evolution.
technology MUST NOT be used to restrict people, but it must be used to empower them.
BPMS support Taylor (the 1920s) and ACM supports Drucker (1970s)!
How Social Media Amps Up the Value of a Customer
“The other week my colleague Vinay Iyer posted a blog that looked at how a company might use social media to improve its relationships with their customers. Some companies are already doing this, but itâ€™s also clear that some companies also have a learning curve here about what constitutes a service that customers value and what constitutes stalking.
Stalking aside, this has led me rethink the question of the value of a customer. “
Once, when life was simpler and there was no such thing as social media, one could often calculate the value of a customer in a relatively straightforward manner: It was a matter of how often, in what volume, and for how long, might this or that customer purchase your product. Do the math, and that was what that particular customer was worth
If at some point your company begins to fail to deliver the service that the customer expects, that customer is going to become irritated. If that continues, the irritation will grow and sooner or later, as Vinayâ€™s experience attests, spill over into Facebook
+, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media venues.
Suddenly, that single Irritated Customer, whose value may come to $2,400 under the old models of calculation, may have discouraged tens of thousands of your potential customers from considering your service. Ten thousand potential customers lost, at $2,400 per contract, is $24 million in lost revenue over the course of two years.
Management is not a science. IT IS ART!
“Over the last few weeks I had several meetings and discussions with C-level management of financial institutions, mostly CEO and CIO, but some LOB execs as well. The core subject was in all cases how IT could help to clearly define a business strategy and translate it into operational execution. We talked Balanced Scorecard (BSC), capability maps, strategy maps, process management and other popular concepts. The related approaches around software portfolio management were of nearly no interest. They felt that software was dramatically lagging and it was impossible for them to wait for IT to follow through. That is a substantial problem for enterprises that utterly depend on IT to execute”
They all agreed that their IT systems provided a lot of data, substantially less information, and absolutely no ACTIONABLE knowledge.
Automated processes do not improve a business, they just freeze it a pseudo-optimal state. Business is improved where decisions are being made.
all decisions are emotionally intuitive and much less rational and intelligent than we like to believe.
Filling the Void between BPM and Social Media
“In this post I will shed light on many of the fuzzy areas of ACM that have come up again over the last few weeks. Some of it relates to similarities and overlap with both BPMS products on the one end and Social Media and Enterprise 2.0 products on the other. I see ACM filling the huge gap between BPMS and Social Media. ACM uses elements of both and links to both as required. Yes, my kind of ACM can also replace a BPMS in a cinch and provide a customer focused, homogenous Information Workplace.”
. Do you want to put your people and business into a flowcharted straightjacket or not? Yes, go for BPMS flowcharts. No? You need something that empowers the business user for goals and outcomes, but not just in theoretical Balanced Scorecards and Powerpoints and then monitor some disconnected KPIs. Real-world, real-time, real product!
One of the key distinctions to BPMS: â€˜Process Design and Process Execution are separate entities.â€™
In ACM however, you DESIGN while you EXECUTE and it is not the same as Social BPM design that is also before execution
The principal concept of ADAPTIVE is that knowledge from execution can be fed back into the templates. In ACM you also optimize during execution as you look at goals and metrics in real-time
AGILE BPM needs the governance bureaucracy to manage design before and optimization after execution.
â€˜Reporting, Simulation, Forms GUI, Emails, Documents, Roll-back â€¦â€™ arenâ€™t considered in BPMN during design.
Adaptive Case Management is also about CONTENT AND PROCESS! Once again, there is no process without content and content without process is irrelevant
Social Media is CHAOTIC and only if there is a learning capability it could be emergent to new knowledge. BPM is not learning because the governance is totalitarian.
Do Social Media solve the same problems that ACM solves? Absolutely not. They create new ones!
A social interaction that is not tightly linked into a process (as it is in ACM) does not produce value
Social interaction implies unstructuredness and unpredictable behavior so it would be a lot worse than the email mess we already have. ACM can embed Social because it has no restrictive flow
Empowerment is not about Social media, but about authority, goals and means.
You can certainly put a lot of BPM governance bureaucracy in place to manage the analysis and design BEFORE execution and the monitoring and optimization AFTER execution, but what it really needs is that BOTH are moved INTO EXECUTION.
Vers lâ€™entreprise 3.0 : lâ€™Ã©cosystÃ¨me de compÃ©tences
“Les modÃ¨les du passÃ© ne sont plus valides : câ€™est une structure de dÃ©veloppement nouvelle des entreprises quâ€™il faut installer en Europe. On assiste au rÃ©veil du consommateur, qui ose maintenant sâ€™imposer. Ce changement crÃ©e une pression sur nos structures traditionnelles. Ce phÃ©nomÃ¨ne exige des acteurs Ã©conomiques rÃ©activitÃ© et adaptation aux demandes des clients, collaborateurs et fournisseurs.”
Investissement technologique et rationalisation aux dÃ©pens de lâ€™humain ne sont plus des facteurs de succÃ¨s: le plus profitable pour lâ€™entreprise et ses managers est de structurer une organisation Ã partir des talents et compÃ©tences des collaborateurs internes et externes
Au 21Ã¨me le succÃ¨s se garantit par la crÃ©ation dâ€™Ã©quipes disposant de machines et systÃ¨mes Ã leur service. Au lieu dâ€™investir dans lâ€™automatisation, les entreprises doivent dÃ©sormais se concentrer sur la construction de petites Ã©quipes travaillant de maniÃ¨re croisÃ©e et interdÃ©pendante
SAPâ€™s Social Layer: Making Collaboration Real
“Our group of bloggers and digital influencers received a briefing from Sameer Patel, someone I consider to be a great friend, and who is also SAPâ€™s new Global Vice President and GM, Enterprise Social and Collaborative Software. What that fairly long-winded title means is that Sameer is in a newly-created role, in charge of something called Project Robus â€“ an effort to weave together SAPâ€™s â€œcollaboration layerâ€ at the product level, with particular emphasis on the notion of helping bring social business to life by allowing users to have access to the same collaboration workstream, regardless of which SAP application they happen to be using.”
. He feels that part of the reason thereâ€™s been a lag in the adoption of truly effective collaboration at scale inside most organizations is that efforts to date have been largely tool-driven, rather than focused on the why.
the first steps of listening to and understanding what your consumers want from you are forgotten in the mad rush to the next â€œitâ€ platform. This frenzy leaves in its wake abandoned tools and profiles, wasted resources, and a nagging suspicion that the whole thing might be nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
â€œMany [executives] are still looking for that bridge that practically takes them from a world designed around structured process to one that gets them to blend collaboration at every step of business tasks and processes, and in a way that drives revenue and margin, lowers cost and mitigates risk.â€
The social enterprise could be a reality
“As I pondered the research and video, I wondered how criteria related directly to motivation could be applied to the LinkedIn poll. At first blush it’s quite hard because those types of question were not asked although the question could have been rephrased to say: What motivates you to stay in the job you currently hold? Choosing the same answers would likely have led to the same results. And therein lies a problem. As I said to my colleague, academics don’t always get it right and in any event much depends on who you ask, what questions are presented and in what context. Academics will argue this is not a scientific poll and can be disregarded. Sometimes you just can’t win. “
. One of the inferences is that these products would not have existed if it had not been for employees’ ability to do anything that takes their fancy. The problem with that is the examples used in the video are very specific to a creative kind of enterprise – software development.
Can the principles that underpin the social enterprise (i.e. openness, learning as a core principle, valuing the conversation) be applied to any business? That is a huge unknown.
The second phase of social will require a mature appreciation for process, data, content and yes, people. I’m not denying that its a challange however, I think the problem with enterprise social 1.0 has precicely been this: jamming a dumb social layer into the organization and assuming that people will shift to this new work space just cause it looks more approachable
content without contexst in process is meaningless but with the added twist of requiring the active participation of people
You simply cannot get any corporation let alone a large company to change broad patterns of behavior in a short space of time unless there is a clear motivation for them to do so. In other words you cannot run before you can walk
In that context people need to feel safe and secure in their jobs.
I believe that when data, knowledge and expertise from all of humanity is instantly available, the way we work and live can fundamentally change, and improve, in ways that are only limited by our own imagination
I encourage you to take a look at this creation of our teamâ€™s collective imagination. A depiction of how work, life, commerce, problem-solving, purpose and other human endeavors, might be eased by more human technology, purposeful technology.
The trick is execution in a world that is driven by quarterly reporting and a dehumainsed view of corporate life.
Social Business Platform Elevator Pitchâ€¦ for LOB
“Last week I shared my definition for a social business platform, or at least the definition that I use with the IT folks tasked with building or deploying a social platform within the enterprise. Much as I love the technical mumbo-jumbo, its not particularly interesting for the folks in line of business, so here is an attempt to peak their interest.”
Social Business is not a new concept. Businesses have always been social, its why we have expressions like â€œIts not what you know, but who you knowâ€ or â€œPeople buy from people, not from companiesâ€. The only thing that has changed is the breadth of social. Historically people have only been able to build relationships from face-to-face interactions; chatting around the water cooler, grabbing a coffee, walking around the shop talking with customers or around the office getting to know your staff. It was all personal. Even today if you attend a conference most people will admit that the greatest value is realized from those impromptu meetings that happen in corridors.
Today the world has become smaller, businesses global, competition fierce, communication digital, and all the while people are increasingly trying to regain the voice that they have lost in the last two decades of globalization. We no longer know our bank managers personally, are on first name basis with the local shop owner, or have any allegiance to the products we buy or even the companies we work for. They are all faceless global corporations. And its this increasing sense of alienation that a social business platform trys to address.
Helps people share information and build relationships across communities that are globally distributed.
Helps the business understand whatâ€™s happening across the enterprise.
Improves business productivity at both individual and organizational level.
The social enterprise is a myth
“Contrary to everything that social enterprise wonks tell us, salary and career progression come out way above other factors for this group. Should that surprise? No.”
I get a multitude of answers but they almost always center around the idea that somehow, people want to replicate their private lives through access to social tools, they want drop dead simple solutions with which to do their job all wrapped up in a great company culture that values ongoing learning. I argue this is the wrong answer.
Instead, I argue that new hires want exactly what I see in this chart – a great salary and the opportunity to progress (i’e. enhance position and paycheck.)
The answer was not surprising. ‘You find ways to work around the 50 odd clicks needed to get something done.’ I asked whether a better system would be welcome. That question had never occurred to him and again it doesn’t surprise.
the vast majority of people go to work to get paid and hopefully advance their careers. They’re not sitting around pondering how much better the workplace could be if only they had the latest shiny new social toy.
The ongoing debate about the effectiveness of ‘social everything’ seems to have skewed in favor of those who seek to maximise the impact on the final consumer. In other words, it has become another marketing tool
I believe that in order for any business to become social in the way that many suggest, you have to start from the inside. You have to think about developing behaviors which encourage the taking on of social with the obvious rider that there has to be something in it for the person tasked to behave in a more social manner.
. I am suggesting that despite the rallying cry of the ‘social everything’ crowd, the results jibe with the past. In other words, nothing much has changed, even for those who can be regarded as social in the sense they have a LinkedIn profile and are active enough that they want to know the answer to the question posed.
Keep IT Simple â€¦
“Despite my apparent opposing stance, I do promote the concept of organizing a business through processes. I believe in goal- and outcome-oriented processes that are auto-discovered and adaptive. What I oppose is the short-sighted ideas of cost cutting and simplifying processes by flowchart-automating them. There is enough solid scientific theory to show that one canâ€™t turn a business into a predictable engine due to the social complexity in itself and of the economy. There is no proof that current BPM methodology guarantees long-term business benefits. It is actually utterly boring having to keep repeating it, so I wondered why it is so hard to gain traction with my holistic, systems-thinking based approach.”
Both simplicity and complexity can always be found in the construct, function or the process of a thing depending on your approach.
Our resulting behavior is really one of conformity to common desires and adhering to simple algorithms of survival. The apparent success of that makes us conclude that the more rules we create the simpler the complexity we see will become. Simplification is important, but you canâ€™t control the complex by creating simple rules and algorithms.
Those who promote simple solutions have hidden motives and count on limited intelligence and ignorance. Neither simple nor complex views allow us to accurately predict the outcome of our actions. You
Simplification is for understanding and communication and not for prediction, control, or problem solving.
You can build a model of a process and instantiate the process most accurately for years to come and it will have nothing to do with the REALITY of its social complexity context.
Unfortunately many ACM Adaptive Case Management named offerings are only usable for unstructured and unpredictable lists of activities that have little in common with processes.
a full ACM solution in my book can handle the most rigid processes with ease and can auto-discover them too through social performer/process owner/customer interaction
When you look at the Gartner Hype Cycle for BPM with 30-odd approaches you must realize that there isnâ€™t the slightest agreement as to what BPM is about and what technology could actually work.
Analysts are the pain of science. They add nothing new and create confusion with useless classifications of things.â€™
Trends in CRM, Customer Experience Management and Social CRM