Friday, March 25, 2011

The 2015 intranet - Anywhen, Anywhere by Martin White @intranetfocus #intra11

I still have one more post from the Intranet Conference (Congres Intranet) for you! Martin White closed the conference with a talk about The 2015 Intranet - Anywhen, Anywhere.

White's talk can be easily summarized: Mobile First.
The internet is moving to mobile, the intranet is as well.

White has been researching this topic and has interesting (upcoming) reports about this topic. The number of users with mobile web access is astounding (refer to picture).

White also doesn't not believe in a future for mobile apps. He says develop for the mobile web, not apps. It's way too expensive to develop apps for all the different platforms.

The real value of mobile intranet will be in the area of business intelligence, says White. Mobile intranet supports the real-time enterprise.

IT needs to address this trend. Also with respect to security (lots of devices are left behind/lost).

Usability and mobile: speech, typing. Don't push you're whole intranet through the mobile. Your intranet may even turn out to be much smaller if you think mobile first.

Final thought: When reviewing the intranet, think information not content, think apps not pages.

That wraps up my posts/notes about the Intranet Conference. I hope they were useful. Comments and corrections are more than welcome.

The Liminal Zone #sbs2011

During the Social Business Summit we were also taken into the wonderful world of Jazz. Michael Gold of JazzImpact told us about creativity, innovation, leading and supporting in jazz. Here are some quotes from his talk. Of course he also showed us what he meant by playing wonderful pieces of jazz and getting us on our feet, out of our comfort zone...
Here are some quotes:
Lead and support are the two core roles in organizations and Jazz bands.

The Liminal Zone: threshold between what we know and don't know. Jazz constantly moves back and forth over that boundary.
Business should as well.

Elements of a good Jazz ensemble are:
A utonomy
P assion
R isk
I nnovation
L istening (listening is key)
UPDATE April 6, 2011 Added pictures, updated links and corrected text.

Social Business Intelligence: The Future of Data-Driven Business Performance by Lee Bryant @leebryant #sbs2011

This talk by Lee Bryant is about data and how it can lead to and improve social business intelligence.

The industrial age model is getting less and less productive. It's still being masked by financials. We also see the limits of the carrot and stick management methods and extrinsic motivation as a way of orchestrating work.

Process is an embedded responsive to prior stupidity (Shirky). It's the opposite of human endeavor which is about pattern matching, sense making, etc.
Social Business is becoming the new mainstream. You can see this happening on the streets (shops saying "follow us on Twitter").

Data should/can drive evolutionary improvement. Social business data and intelligence can create the conditions for businesses to evolve. API's are the sex organs of business evolution then data is the DNA.
Companies are sitting on loads of data. Of which just a small bit should remain confidential.
This is the starting point for social CRM. Eventually it will be just the other way around: customers will hold data about businesses instead of the other way around (VRM, Doc Searls).
This leads to services and models based on real-time analytics, like Klarna.

Data collection costs money, but can be turned into a source of value.

Lee relates to the Open Data movement. Use open data to drive organizational change. E.g. biofeedback, real-time feedback vs retrospective reporting (e.g. radicial transparency through social tools like wiki's) leads to self-management instead of waiting. Just by publicizing the numbers keeps people on-task and makes work game-like.

Vision Dachis/Headshift: Social experience design for network stimulation.

We need to help people cope with the abundance of data. Create data streams that people can capture/view.
Lee foresees apps in the enterprise, looking more like Flipboard than Tweetdeck. We need more of these. And when we got the client-side right, we need to create the filters.

This also implies social media monitoring should be improved heavily. Currently the monitoring tool are not very useful. And the results of monitoring should be turned into actionable insights. This is social analytics, focusing on people listening, understanding and making sense of data.

The future will be about evidence and data in the social business space. We need (more) Marketing Data Engineers.

And that rounds up the Social Business Summit 2011. Comments and corrections on my notes about the Summit are more than welcome.
I really enjoyed the conference. It was well-organized, great speakers, lots of networking and discussion during the breaks. A truly inspiring day.

UPDATE 6 April, 2011: Added picture and links, corrected text.

High Impact Social Business: Stories and New Perspectives by Dion Hinchcliffe @dhinchcliffe #sbs2011

Dion Hinchcliffe's presentation starts with the drivers for next-generation business:
  • pervasive global connectivity
  • new frictionless interaction
  • next-generation mobility
  • focus on network effects
  • information superabundance
  • inherent transparency, openness and broadcast
  • the rise of social capital
The current customer engagement landscape consists of traditional and digital (internet) channels. We tend to approach these two in the same way.
Channel fragmentation is now the norm (networks and devices). Customers have moved and companies have fallen behind. And this will get worse.

The most important channels where your social business takes place are:
  • Mobile
  • Social networks
  • Search (the rest of the web)
Dion went on to give a list of results social business can give:
  • Radical reduction of costs (he mentioned 30% cost decrease in support costs)
  • Customer satisfaction increases
  • Real-time response to customer needs
  • More profitable in general (relates to McKinsey 2010 study)
So where did social business come from anyway:
  • Open source software – anyone can contribute and the result is often superior
  • Recaptcha – makes sure that you’re human, but also taps into the collective intelligence of humans (by implicitly doing OCR work)
  • The search by Steve Fosset – Amazon Mechanical Turk, split satellite pictures to search for crashed airplanes
  • Innocentive – crowdsourced innovation
  • AOL – used Documentum to do compliance (lots of work, quality of work was low, very expensive tool). Replaced it by MediaWiki. Led to more contributions with better quality, richer data on a cheaper platform.
  • CIA & A-space – Intellipedia (refer to McAfee’s book Enterprise 2.0 for description of this case)
UPDATE April 6, 2011: Added pictures and links, corrected text.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The connected company by Dave Gray @davegray #sbs2011

What is social business? What does it look like? Dave Gray shares his view in napkin sketches.

Life expectancy of a S&P 500 company is getting shorter. It's 15 years now.

Companies are complex systems (shown by complex hierarchies). There are companies that make sense of other companies because they are so complex. Think Microsoft and government.

For every extra employee your profit goes down. For every 3 employees your profit per employee goes down. It is increasing, but by less and less. Or: diminishing returns.

However productivity goes up in cities when population grows. Why?

We think about companies as machines (stable, little relation to environment), but should start to think about them as organisms. That adapt to the environment.

Companies are made out of people. But they don't live long and can be less productive the larger they get.
Dave refers to Arie de Geus' book The Living Company. His findings are long-living companies are:
  • decentralized. Porous boudaries, eccentric edges
  • strong identity. Values, culture, beliefs
  • active listening. Identify and jump on opportunities
Shouldn't we design the organization for connection (flocking) instead of division of labor (territory)? We should connect the core with the periphery.
It's the same in work. We split work into separate tasks in processes (dogma). We should design for learning by defining standard protocols and shared services.

Lessons from urban design for social business:
  • think at the level of the street & start small, spaces need owners (think community manager), every person needs a place (public/private), jumping off points
  • design for emergence & watch, listen, adjust, adapt (lots of small changes)
  • manage growth
UPDATE April 6, 2011: Added links and picture, corrected text.

Share to connect: Inside Nokia's Program to Connect Customer Insight with Business Performance by Ming Kwan @mingk #sbs2011

Share to Connect is about aligning our organization, Nokia, and the way we work with what we promise as a brand, says Ming Kwan. Their objective was to maximize the brand's productivity by turning it into a conversational brand. Transparency, listening and coordination will enable the organization to gain momentum in an era of exchange.
Share to Connect consists of 3 main elements:
  • organizational optimization
  • workforce collaboration
  • customer participation
The main issue they are trying to deal with is information overload. They collect lots and lots of information. Their big issue is generating insights from all the information.

So they have this idea/pilot called Socializer. An aggregation and analysis platform connecting the streams from the (social) internet to the organization.
Socializer is a social action framework (with semantic analysis), it's internal and external, it's focused on actionable insights, it's real-time and employees can claim actions.

Objectives for Socializer are:
  • create transparency around conversations
  • build employee morale
  • provide visibility to management
  • increase adoption and use of social tools
What's the business value to Nokia? They're developing kpi's for the project based on Jeremiah Owyang's ROI pyramid. They distinguish business metrics, social media analytics and engagement data.

Success factors:
  • nudges to guide people and drive behavior change
  • social experience design: human to computer to human interaction
  • socialize data to get data in the hands for interpretation
  • transparency to empower people to act
  • measurement to track progress and measure impact on KPIs
UPDATE April 6, 2011: Corrected text, added picture and links.

Social Marketing to Millenials by Charles Hull @charleshull #sbs2011

Charles Hull leads the company Archrival. They connect brands to youth culture. And study how young adults think, process and consume.

His talk is about millennials. Some numbers:
Gen X: 40 milion in US
Gen Y: 70 million in US

Millennial themes:
  • life tracking: millennials leverage technology to collect, categorize and diagram personal stats to better understand themselves. E.g. patientslikeme.com, mint.com. mon.thly.info.
  • Middle class of fame: the 15 minutes of fame ideology has gone from an aspiration to an expectation.
  • Digidentity: Youth use their social channels to establish their identities and demonstrate their social currency.
  • Tech-eyed view: Millenials see the world through a social media lens making every moment sharable.
Just to show how different millennials are, take a look at what they answered to the following question.What would you rather give up? Give up internet or sex? 33% would rather give up sex than the internet...

The implications
What are the opportunties for marketeers?
  • lifetrack - provide fun ways to do that
  • fame - give them opportunities to be publicly recognized
  • digidentity - give them ways to share their achievements
  • techeyed - give them the tools to entertain, assist and inform
Charles wraps us his presentation by giving us insight in how they developped a successful social game around a Redbull event.

UPDATE April 6, 2011: Corrected text, added pictures and links.

From Jam to Action. Enabling Organizational Transformation with Social Busines by Stuart J. McRae @smcrae #sbs2011

Stuart McRae's talk will be about IBM's experiences with internal jams. Jams were started in 2001. In 2003 they did a value jam.

What's a Jam? An online forum on which people can post ideas, discuss them, etc. They learned that what happens on the backend is essential for the success of the jam. It makes the results richer.
Jams leverage the collective wisdom of the organization.
They have real-time metrics running in the background, visualized to see who's participating, what are the themes, etc.

What happens after the jam? Sometimes it's easy. With the Jam about values the values were the result. But sometimes it's more complex.

Elements of the Jam are:
  • vision, strategy, purpose
  • Jam!
  • Analysis (e.g. understand why people comment)
  • Champions & Leaders workshop (about 100 employees, face to face networking related to themes)
  • Work streams to turn ideas into action
The most important thing after a Jam is to continue the conversation out in the open. (They did this wrong in the UK Jam, Stuart says.)

Stuart went on to talk about the results of one jam. The core result was: we need better collaboration tools to be more productive. For instance, how do we reduce information overload? By stop sending email. It's about discoverability. So when you need the information you'll be able to find it instead of bugging someone with an email when he/she doesn't need it. This is a fundamental change.

Another way to reduce information overload is to break down organizational silos. They are important (Sales, IT, etc are about different things). However the challenge is how to make the boundaries permeable.
The ultimate silo is your firewall, which has implications for social business. Because the goal of Social Business is to engage customers in a conversation with their employees (while protecting information that you can't share).

Final thought: is social software an aspirine or a vitamine? Does it give you a headache or make you better/healthy? Your employees are your biggest differentiator. Social businesses use them better by being transparent, ensuring employees are engaged and thus becoming nimble. This creates business value.
IBM's social business agenda approach:
  • align organizational goals and culture
  • gain 'friends' through social trust
  • engage through experiences
  • network your business processes
  • design for reputation and risk management
  • analyze your data
"Business is not about being social, it is about doing business. Use social to do it better."

UPDATE April 6, 2011: Added picture and made small corrections to post.

Cascading Change: Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things into Motion by John Hagel @jhagel #sbs2011

Next talk (no slides!) by John Hagel about Cascading Change: Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things into Motion.

We are moving to a world of increasing returns. This world is very different from the world we were in, the world of decreasing returns.
This movement can be typified by moving from business as stock to flows. Stocks was about: build up knowledge, protect it aggressively and capitalize on it. But in a world of excelerating change, these knowledge stocks rapidly diminish in value. (Except for companies like Coca Cola.) New opportunities are in the area of knowledge flows. And this is where social tools come into place. Not only used insides companies but also over institutions. There are even more values between institutions than inside them.

Some say we should move fast here. But Hagel's approach is: move slowly so they trigger cascades and are sustainable over time.
Social software adoption approaches:
  • bottom-up, starting in teams
  • deploy it in a section of the business
  • massive deployment, social software for everyone (it's a must-have item)
What's missing here? The systematic link to metrics that matter. If we roll out social tools in a more targetted way, it will really matter to the organization as a whole. (Hagel doesn't imply the above-mentioned adoption approaches should never happen. His point relates to what will matter on the long run.) This usually also changes how social media is seen (as most think it's not for business and purely for fun).

Hagel also stresses current and future business will be about exception handling. And social tools fit better on exceptions than other IT.

He points to the idea, implementation and effect of the SAP Developper networks as a good example of what he means. Sustained performance improvement by reputation and relationship development.
Relating to this example, it was started at the edge of the enterprise. That's where new stuff begins and has growth potential. That's where social software can have the greatest impact. It can be used as a change catalyst. Social software is more than technology.
They also focused on metrics that matter. For instance the number of calls they got to the call center. So they tracked those numbers. Pace of adoption of the SAP software was also a metric.

Finally Hagel also states social software unleases passion. Social software integrates passion in profession.

UPDATE April 6, 2011 Added pictures, updated links and corrected text.

Nature doesn't do SLA's @jobsworth #sbs2011

Jeff Dachis and Lee Bryant kicked off the Social Business Summit 2011.

JP Rangaswami takes the stage with the first talk titled: Nature doesn't do SLAs.
It's a shame that we live in a world in which we need a term as social business. It's tautological. We are rediscovering something we lost.
The Cluetrain Manifesto helped him see this again. We lost something and need to refind it.
His talk was built around three concepts: change, context and conflict.

Change
Work is changing: "Historical businesses were hierarchies of products and customers." We have been overlaying the industrial age model on knowledge workers. We did the same for healthcare and education, he remarks. And we now see this doesn't work and is generating problems. Knowledge work is not linear, not repeatable, not a process.
Knowledge work is lumpy. And the good thing is the tools are changing rapidly as well.
Change is a constant. He illustrates this with the touch innovation. And voice, talking to and with devices.
We are moving from process to pattern. We are spending more time dealing with the exceptions instead of the rule. We need tools and people that helps us identify these patterns. In this context failure is essential. Failure is future proofing. Really try to understand why things work and why things did not work. There's valuable learning there.

Conflict
There's conflict between sharing and not sharing. We are still finding out where openness is fitting and where it isn't. When we should keep things private and when to share the information. The interesting thing about the young is they work seamlessly in this new open world. There use of tools and security features is more granular. Their concept of ownership is also different and not the same as the older generation. This relates to the second conflict between personal and collective.
He also mentions two other conflicts shortly: between static and dynamic and between linear and nonlinear.

This is an exciting time because it's a kind of a renaissance. We are refinding something we have lost.

UPDATE April 6, 2011: Corrected text, added picture and links.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Successful Intranet Search by Martin White @intranetfocus #intra11

Search has been a hot topic in the intranet space for a long time. Why can’t I find what I’m looking for inside the company, just like with Google on the Internet. Martin White’s breakout at the Intranet Conference (Congres Intranet) was about this topic and want to help us improve intranet search.

White started out by asking which search engine we used. A long list of search platforms is mentioned, ranging from open source search technology to Sharepoint search. Not many participants have the same engine.
This illustrates one of the points White wanted to make. Search isn’t easy. It not easy on the internet, and it’s hard on the intranet as well. He shows how different the search results are. This is not helpful for users and it makes search unnessissararily complex. This is one of the reasons user go for the easiest route on the internet: just use Google.

However inside companies one often cannot easily choose this route . On the internet you mostly know what you are looking for. It’s there. And the search engine helps you refind it. And most users are just happy with the results that the search engine provides anyway.

In this context it is surprising to see that most organizations don’t have a person responsible for search. About 3 of the 70 in the audience could say they are the owner of search. All have a search engine, but nobody’s responsible for improving search based on user requirements.

Low quality search results are hardly ever due to the search technology itself. The source of the problems is the organization around search and the fact that there is no budget reserved to improve search results.

So how do we improve search? White advises us to focus on what employees can’t find. Don’t focus on ‘hits’ (which is defined by White as: How Idiots Track Success). Focus on stories users tell about their search experiences.
Make sure you have a good search team. It should consist of the following people: an IT specialist, someone who researches the search logs, someone from business and a search manager. So you need 4 people to make search successful. Nobody in the audience could say they have such a team.

At the end of the breakout someone asked: Should we stop improving the search engine and start supporting people search? If we find the person, he/she will point us to the right information. White agrees with this approach. But someone else said: What to do when someone has left the company? Don’t we need search then? Yes, we do, says White. That’s why we need to focus on getting intranet search right.

Martin White also gave a keynote talk about mobile intranet. I’ll blog about that soon!

Principles and government models for Intranet by Jane McConnell @netjmc #intra11

Jane McConnell was just as surprised as many in the audience. The number of participants in the breakout about governance was huge! Jane’s breakout continued on the theme of her keynote: how do we govern the intranet in the social era? What are governance principles and models? Her post about the breakout can be found here.

As Jane said in her keynote, a holistic approach to intranet governance is essential. As is its embeddedness in the organization. This breakout explained more deeply what she meant with this means.
Governance in general is very complex. There are 3 reasons why this is so:

  • Different groups make conflicting decisions
  • The right people are not looped in from the beginning when decisions are made
  • Decisions that are made have no relatedness with reality and are theoretic
Jane proposes a holistic approach to governance through 1. organization and 2. 'technology'. Governance relates to ownership of the intranet platform, the principles of the intranet and not its content.

About governance and organization. There is a difference between governance and management. The former has to do with decision relating to the intranet, its scope, principles, etc. Often these terms are mixed which lead to very long discussions and documents. Make sure you keep them apart!
Jane remarked that leaders in the intranet space always link their intranet to organizational change.

Three governance models can be distinguished:
- Representative model (someone represents part of the organization)
- Designated (someone has been assigned to make decisions)
- Informal (decisions wrt. the intranet just happen)
Jane showed how existing companies organized their governance.

Now for the second part: governance related to 'technology'. 'Technology' does not imply technology, but is related to it. This is about questions like: Should there be one entry point to the intranet for all users? Should content be shown based on a user's profile? What's on the opening page and manages the content? Jane told us she runs workshops that run for several days, addressing this topic. This isn't strange because the answers to 'technology' questions have everything to do with influence in the company.

It is extremetly important to define the fundamental principles of your intranet. This is not easy. Examples of principles are: The intranet is structured according to user's requirements. Or: The intranet also has collaboration spaces and tools.

The breakout finished off with the question how to revive the topic of governance and how to keep it alive? Jane mentioned a few concrete steps:

  • Start a community to discuss about governance
  • Organize workshops about governance
  • Start a project blog (to support moving towards governance, governance in place and the continuation of governance)

In short: create dialogue about governance. Then you'll experience what people think about goverance and who's thinking about it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Intranet Leadership by Jane McConnell @netjmc #intra11

Next keynote at the Intranet Conference (Congres Intranet) was Jane McConnell. Her interesting talk was about how the social intranet should be governed. Or shouldn't it be managed at all?

Jane's central statement was: Lead, don't manage your new intranet!
But she started out by asking the audience to raise their hands when asked who owned the intranet. HR is clearly the missing player in the intranet. Hardly any of the audience could say HR is the owner or one of the owners of the intranet. In most cases (76%) Communications is the owner (with IT in second place). But a surprisingly large number could says the have a holistic team (10%). Meaning the intranet is owner by at least Business, IT and Comms.
But these departments are losing control due to social tool deployment.

How boring most people think governance is, it is the key to a successful intranet and also to successful change of the intranet. Governance does not imply control, but leadership. Without governance your intranet will become or is irrelevant.

Intranet users mostly have two big issues: I can't find what I need. And, where should I put my team place/information? (I blogged about this last topic some time ago.)

According to Jane's research the top internal social tools are blogs, wiki's, commenting and social networking/microblogging.

Jane advises us to move towards a new governance model: holistic. The development of the intranet is conducted by representatives of the organization instead of just Comms and IT. And the governance should be embedded in the organization. Set up a minimal number of rules or recommendations for intranet definition and improvement.
A good idea she mentioned was to be clear about the level of experimentation that his allowed wrt. the intranet. Provide a process for managing experimentation spaces. This is important because we all are still learning what the social intranet will be and how it is best governed and led. Therefore room to try and fail is important. "We haven't cracked it", Jane says.

Jane also gave a breakout on this topic. I'll blog about that session soon.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Humanize through Social by Tony Byrne @tonybyrne #intra11

What is the future of intranet technology? Looking at the cheap social tools, what should intranet teams invest in? And what does mobile mean for the intranet? These were just some of the questions Tony Byrne addressed in his keynote at the Intranet Conference (Congres Intranet).

Byrne advised the audience to focus on a light-weight application architecture for the intranet. Lots will change in the coming years and is changing. Making the architecture lighter will give room to respond to new technology, changing business and user needs. One central intranet platform is not (going to be) enough. Make sure the elements and functionality of the intranet can be clicked together and mixed. Organize for mashups.
Another theme in Byrne’s talk is the social layer. We should add a social layer to the intranet. Make the technology more human through social. Integrate the elements of social everywhere in your intranet, like tagging, commenting, social networking, location, etc.

Byrne also addressed the trend that more and more companies are allowing employees to bring their own devices to work. BYOB, ‘bring your own beer’. He warned this could lead to a lot of complexity for companies in the IT services area. How do you manage the combination of all the devices and the different corporate applications. This is even more the case if companies are trying to develop their own mobile applications, are rolling them out and would like to maintain them. If you want to develop for mobile devices go for the web (use HTML5). The web will win, says Byrne.

Social First by Dion Hinchcliffe @dhinchcliffe #intra11

After Peter Hinssen opened the Intranet Conference, Dion Hinchcliffe of the Dachis Group took the stage. His talk was about Social Intranet in the context of social business (- you can get his slides here).

Dion's work rotates around what the implications of the new web are for the workplace, for business. How is the internet and social media impacting the way we do business and organize businesses? For some time this field was called 'enterprise 2.0', but Dion says, it's called 'social business' now. (A large part of the insights Dion gets, come from the 2.0 Adoption Council, by the way.)

The audience is challenged to rethink the intranet as a social workplace.

What are the drivers for next-generation business, according to Hinchcliffe:
  • pervasive global connectivity
  • frictionless interactive platforms
  • network effects
70% of the content on the internet is generated by social tools. The usage of social networking tools has overtaken email usage on the internet. Not many businesses see this. Businesses should focus on social capital. And the great thing is the social tools are cheap (no large investment needed) and sometimes even open source.

Open should be the default inside companies. Free the content on your intranet: open it up to all. Too much information is stored in silo's like file shares and email.

Social should come first (instead of content). People and relationships are at the core of the intranet. The intranet used to be the welcome page, it is now there to support change of behavior and be the social operating system of companies. The new intranet is about social networking, rich user profiles, activity streams and microsharing. A social intranet should support 3 types of work: ad hoc (most of our work is ad hoc), process and content-oriented work.

It is important to put social in the flow of business. Social tools should be connected to the flow of the business, it's business processes.

Two interesting remarks Dion made:
  • The 50 foot rule (by Kraut). Being 50 foot apart from each other is a barrier for collaboration.
  • Knowledge workers spend 1 dag a week on searching for the information they need. This is old news, but being remembered of this fact is useful.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Intranet Conference Notes (Congres Intranet) #intra11

You may have noticed the Intranet Conference 2011 (Dutch: Congres Intranet) was held this week. Last year I was able to live-blog the conference and get the posts out right away. Now that I'm working for the company organizing the conference this wasn't possible. Tweeting during the conference wasn't a problem, but publishing blogposts was just a bit too much work. But I'll post my notes on the keynotes and breakouts in the coming days!

The posts will be about:
- the keynotes by Dion Hinchcliffe about social business and intranet, Jane McConnell about governance in the 'social' world, Tony Byrne about the future of intranet technologies and Martin White about mobile and intranet
- the two breakouts I joined by Jane McConnell and Martin White

Please refer to #intra11 for all the tweets about the conference. Lots more than last year! And check out the official Dutch blog about the Conference with summary videos, blogposts about lots of the talks and the slides of the keynotes and breakouts. Also refer to the first two Dutch posts from visitors.

I captured the tweet log here for future reading and reference (because Twitter search is still horrible...).

LinkedIn Skills

Looked at LinkedIn Skills. Interesting extension to Linkedin. Although it isn't really new functionality. All users could already fill in the expertise they (think they) have based on their work experience. To me this is one of the limitations of LinkedIn. Isn't it much more interesting to hear what others think of you? What expertise do they think you have? Who is the go-to person when you need someone with skill x? LinkedIn Skills basically only says: I think I'm the person you're looking for.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Information: What is the Internet doing to us?

Something great to read for the weekend (- you'll need some time to read it -) if you're interested in the web and what the effect of the web is on the way we live and think. This great pieces triggered me because I ran into an interview about a new book, 'The Information'. I thought this article was also about it, but it is and it isn't. This article is about the thesis that the internet is changing the way we think and our brain itself. Or isn't it? Well, find out by reading the article. Highly recommended! Great food-for-thought and input for lengthy discussion.
Thoughts are bigger than the things that deliver them. Our contraptions may shape our consciousness, but it is our consciousness that makes our credos, and we mostly live by those.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

No Reply

Maybe I shouldn't depend on email as much as I do, like Luis Suarez is telling us. But there's something about email that surprises me. When I send emails to people, ending with a clear question and deadline, many don't reply at all. Why is this? A week or a month later I have to get back to them and ask them again (yes, I keep track of the emails I need to get a reply on). Then they usually send a reply back right away... So it is possible to get a reply back quickly.
I know people are busy. I am too. And I don't assume everyone will be waiting for my email and send back a reply in less than a day. I don't mind if I have to wait. As long as you know the reply/answer will come around sooner or later. Walking up to the person or calling him/her helps of course, if possible.

So, how do I handle email? I basically apply the Getting Things Done rules: if I can answer within 2 minutes, I reply right away. Most email fits in this category... If it takes longer I plan it in my calendar and tell the sender when I'm going to answer. You can do that in 2 minutes as well.

How do you handle this? Do you recognize it?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Being a Member of the 2.0 Adoption Council

This post should have been posted a long time ago...
Being part of a big company was great. One of the great things it brought me was being a member of the 2.0 Adoption Council. The 2.0 Adoption Council is a group of Enterprise 2.0 practitioners working for large companies. I was a member of the Council for a couple of years. It was a great source of inspiration for my work. Lots of smart people are in the Council.
Actually I was humbled to be part of a group of enterprise 2.0 practitioners that are seen as the leaders in this space. Some had many more years experience than I did. You wonder what they get from the Council? Well, that's one of the great things about these communities: we're all in it to learn and help each other. And that's exactly what happened. Even though some have been in this space for a long time, we're all still just getting started.
To cultivate interaction we used Jive, Yammer and Socialcast. And email of course. Even more important were the meetups around conferences. It was great to meet many of the Council at the Enterprise 2.0 Summit in Frankfurt.
One special thing I'll remember is the Council giving me the opportunity to experiment with a prediction market. I don't see many companies using them yet, but I'm sure they will be in the (near) future.

So, if you're working for a large(r) company and experimenting or responsible for enterprise 2.0 roll-outs, I wholehartedly advise you to join the Council. Information about joining can be found on the Council's website.