New destination for my thoughts…just one click away

Dear Readers/Followers. It has been awfully silent on DesireIT. My apologies for that. If you have seen my announcement to join Infocentric you know the reason for this silence. The past 12 months have been the most exciting of my entire career and I am bursting with inspiration and ideas for stuff I want to share. It just was never the right moment. Since we have just recently relaunched our website I will now slowly but steadily pick up my sharing activities again and will publish the majority of my posts through this new channel. I will keep updating my personal blog as well if new stuff is available – just to keep you in the loop. If you follow me on Twitter (@for_desire_it) or LinkedIn you will receive updates on new publications anyway. Please don’t lose faith in me…I promise that even though my sharing activities will move to a corporate channel my views and thoughts will not turn into advertising blabla and viral marketing attempts. Sincerely / Philipp

Follow me on our new corporate channel here…

year end is #prediction time; here is my take for #socialbusiness in 2013; #socbiz #enterprise20 #e20

Summary: It looks like it’s part of the good manners for strategic thinkers to use the personal crystal ball and unveil the predictions for the coming year in December. Since I consider myself to be a strategic (though pragmatic) thinker when it comes to the new mechanics for information and knowledge work I don’t want to fall short here. So hold your breath and enjoy the read:

My top 6 for 2013

  1. Enterprise 2.0 will stand more for a different kind of working and less for the ‘network’
  2. The CIO department will become an interpreter & productivity enabler
  3. Social software growth will slow down
  4. If you’re not in the cloud you’re not digital
  5. Windows 8 will become a grown up workplace for early adopters
  6. Google+ will become a kick ass workplace for small & medium enterprises

Enterprise 2.0 will stand more for work and less for network

First it was the adaption of 2.0 – not even “social” – services in business context. Wikis, blogs, communities where the new way of capturing, developing and distributing content. With the stelar success of Facebook and Twitter came social software that promised unlocked potential through connected expertise, experts and a transparent dialogue.

My prediction is that 2013 will be the year in which “social” will be present in the context of productive work. First companies will lay the foundation for a new excellence in receiving, enriching and re-using information. This will not happen in the “I want to share this with all of you my beloved colleagues” mode but in the “after they got it done it simply became the DNA of our work and attached itself to similar challenges”. Social will stand for a “mode of connecting” intellectual assets – pro-actively and reactively. I believe that social will be an extension and node at the same time. We will see the first real development of socialised business IT.

See also: Is social maybe only the extension of existing assets?

The CIO department will become an interpreter & productivity enabler

Some say that with the introduction of cloud services the IT department will loose importance. I actually believe that the CIO department – like future editors in the media business – have to re-invent their role. It will be less about delivering on the requirements (or rather demands) of business stakeholders. It will be about coaching the business to ask the right questions and identify a set of solutions that will not just be beneficial to some.

The CIO department will coach the business to identify what prevents them from delivering on their objectives and promises. Together with the business they will find the right balance between proprietary and open solutions, between on premise and cloud, between customised and OOB.

I believe that – despite the continuously increasing savvyness of business stakeholders – synergetic, evolutionary and value focussed solution design requires expertise. Less in the bells and whistles of a particular solution than in the ability to quickly understand, evaluate and decide for the right thing.

Social software growth will slow down

It might be a bit bold but I actually believe that the corporate Facebooks and Twitters will – despite ramping up new bells & whistles and interfaces to ERP & Co – experience a slow down in growth. The “new platform” for a lot of new conversation and everything else as well does not sound good to me. I don’t want to mention names but all the clones of social media services will experience challenges in justifying their value for money. Because it’s taking the second step – connecting people with shared subjects – before the first one: connecting people with common goals (and enabling individuals to be efficient in day to day operations).

See also: Deliberately provocative – social software is only the echo of a trend

If you’re not in the cloud you’re not digital

Seriously… In 2010 a industrial manufacturing CIO said to me (and I quote): At some point the savings will compensate for the risk. That will be the day where 85% of our stuff will be in the cloud.

If a company does not embrace cloud based solutions it will not be able to profit from the substantial potential the “new way of working” has to offer:

  • proper mobility (and I don’t mean an iPad for everyone *yawn)
  • talent acquisition and retention with new work/life balance concepts
  • executing on the concept of “networked enterprises”
  • bridging the external and internal use of social mechanics

At this point I want to set one of my most naive statements with regards to security in stone: ‘If you ask yourself if major cloud service provides are secure ask yourself the question: how will the founders and investors feel about a forever and ever full stop for the business after a substantial security leak?’.

Windows 8 will become a grown up workplace for all the early adopters

This one hurts…really. I’ve always been an Apple fanatic. The Apple store is my church and I still think that I am more productive on my MacBook Air than on a Lenovo whatever. BUT… Windows 8 is a revolution. It’s not an OS. It’s the introduction of a cross-device workspace. It will – in the long run – deliver information workers everything they’ve been asking for for so long:

  • transparency and easy capturing of “need for action”
  • convergence between me, us and private in one secure place
  • multi-tasking when it really makes sense
  • situation based information retrieval and management

Delivering value on Windows 8 will simply happen through the concept that was introduced by Apple with the apps on iPhone. Little containers that concentrate the users attention on just enough stuff – with the opportunity to dive in, switch or combine.

Good by heavy business applications. Hello light weight little productivity helpers.

Google+ will become a kick ass workplace for small & medium enterprises

I cannot help to add this here after Communities (or basically open and closed groups) were just recently introduced. I’ve been waiting for that for a long time. Despite the fact that there is no proper integration with Google Drive as a document/collaboration repository yet I think that this is it. If you run a small/medium sized company this is your place to work. Productive, connected and always available (online/offline is solved in Google Drive…). Full UCC suite in the cloud. Secure access to your stuff from any device.

Furthermore: with Google being the masters of search information work automation will sneak into that workplace sooner or later. To match relevant content and protagonists (in all directions) shouldn’t be rocket science for the scientists in the Silicon Valley.

So what do you think…what’s your take?

Part 3/3: my reflection on @Orgatec 2012 and #futurebizz in three parts #futureofwork #socbiz #socialbusiness #enterprise20 #coworking

In this last part of my series around my visit of the Orgatec 2012, Cologne, I want to elaborate on the results of the future_bizz initiative. They were the foundation of the student’s exhibits, the booth concept and the initial spark for almost all conversations. After discussing the needs/expectations of seven personas the team formulated five hypotheses on information work in 2030. Connected to these hypotheses were five key questions companies should ask themselves while getting ready for the new generation of information workers.

Since project and documentation are so far in German I have translated the content of the following illustration


(c) future_bizz 2012

I have added my take on the question as well. Enjoy the read.

Hypothesis #1
Creative information work will be a dominating success factor.

// resonating question
What ensures that a working environment is open for creative impulse and new, unexpected insights?

/// my take on this
I am slightly torn here. On the one hand I want to shout out what probably all evangelists for the social enterprise wish for: change in leadership, corporate and collaboration culture will be the foundation for the future of productivity and value creation. On the other hand I witness the obstacles and lack of agility in corporate development every single day. I am convinced that the future of work has to address “the I in team” first. Individuals have to be enabled to use all their potential to get their work done. Then collaboration and the use of all available intellectual assets can really happen. Nevertheless, I am totally convinced that we’re on the doorstep to a new age of leadership and management. “Presence = productivity” will have to make way for mobility concepts and objective based success measurement. The networked organization and swarm based work are valid and possible. We have only to make sure that we learn to walk before we try to run a marathon.

Hypothesis #2
Cross-company and project based working will replace the current way of working.

// resonating question
What does a workplace look like that supports people that spend most of their time working in networks and projects?

/// my take on this
It will be inspired by the mechanics for information logistics and communications that we find in today’s social and commercial media services. Relevance and situation based matching of people, data and communications will provide the relief that information workers have been waiting for for a long time. Work will happen idependent from time, situation and device – similar to the way consumers have been enabled to enjoy commercial offers with more or less no boundaries.

Hypothesis #3
Creative knowledge work will become virtual.

// resonating question
How will the physical workspace and established work tools change in a more and more virtual world?

/// my take on this
The next evolution of the work space has to be the convergence between the physical workplace and the virtual world. On the 2012 Orgatec too many concepts were only emphasizing the ability for teams that share the same physical space to change their situation from “individual” to “collaborative” to “spontaneously creative”. The fact that more and more teams are virtualized and need the respective support in the office and on the street wasn’t really addressed yet. The solutions of most vendors were merely an integration of existing “tools” into well designed “frames”. Some of them were a really nice step in the right direction. Convergence, however, isn’t happening yet 🙂

Hypothesis #4
The increase of information and the functionality richness of IT tools starts to become overwhelming.

// resonating question
How will the workplace change with IT tools that pro-actively conduct work, form their own character or have their own evolution?

Hypothesis #5
The increased dynamics of work start to destroy the concept of “home”.

// resonating question
Which work environment allows individuals, teams and the new companies to keep an identity of themselves?

 

The future of information work is exciting. I am happy to have a stake in shaping it.

PART 1
My reflection on the trade show and what the future of work looks like from a ‘physical’ workspace perspective.

PART 2
My reflection on two panel discussions: ‘Enterprise 2.0′ and ‘Open Office Plans.

#digitalnatives will be the new #consumers and #employees. be prepared! #e20 #enterprise20

Got this video fwded by a colleague and even though it might be a bit over drawn I tend to agree: things will change significantly. Not with the first generation of digital natives but with the second one that won't know e-mail as the digital communication standard or mobile phones with buttons on it. sticking to my passion for the future of work I have to add that these kids will be running parts of your business… and they won't be running it based on what we consider to be a digital workplace ;)) Enjoy:

#deloitte: #roi of #e20 thru #efficiency in solving issues (reposting #andrewmcafee.org)

Since I’ve been moaning about the ROI perspective this morning I’ve stumbled across a post of my colleague in our internal knowledge exchange stream; he’s been refering to a post on http://andrewmcafee.org/: /2011/02/deloitte-report-enterprise20-data/

Check our figure 18 (end of page). That’s something measurable. Due to the fact that it’s more or less happening in the context of task work (pls refer to my previous post) there is a benchmark available.

#ROI of going #enterprise20; quantification obsession is a killer; pls discuss #e20

Mckquaterly-web20payday

Today I am posting out of frustration 🙂 I've heard of a company that seems to be interested in approaching the enterprise 2.0 way of working. However, their first decision point is to calculate a business case (in this case an excel file) for the return on investment of the approach. Of course there is no progress in the project because no partner – not even the technology folks that are so keen on getting their licenses sold – were able to provide the quantified forecast of business contribution (side note: what company would share methodology or numbers on an internal evaluation in that field as a use case??).

Surprised?

I am not surprised. I am rather frustrated. Why hasn't it sunk in with all corporations that the ideology behind enterprise 2.0 (motivating employees to behave in the same agile, pro-active and networked way as they do it in social media) is obviously the key to unlock all the potential that lies within their best assets: their people and the intelectual property that's driving value creation.

Yes, yes, yes. Contribution IS measurable. Improvement of productivity and work efficiency CAN be quantified. Measuring sales acceleration and innovation speed (go to market) IS possible. Sure. I am only challenging the sense in spending hundreds of thousands of Euros in creating benchmarks, driving people nuts by analyzing their daily work and somehow raising the suspicion that there's something going on that might affect corporate headcount… Since I am quite close to the guys in our Customer Interaction business (contact centers) and their project around task work I am aware of the fact that there are methodologies and ways of measuring work place performance. When it comes to taks work and the key indicator of throughput I even agree that initiating projects requires some kind of quantified trigger. Information and knowledge work, where the main goal is to follow the (yaawn) old marketing rule of 1+1=3 shouldn't be approached in that way.

If you disagree of if you have a strong opinion here please(!!!) respond to this post by Twitter, commenting, DesireIT-Group or sending me an email to philipp.rosenthal (at) gmail.com. I am so keen on sparring my thinking with others that have experience in this field. And if you have experience in the actually conducing studies and evaluations in the information worker productivity and networked knowledge field: please share it with me :)) I am eager to learn!

Discuss with me online!!
Please submit some comments, ideas and thoughts at: http://goo.gl/8H6MZ – I am really really keen on getting more beef to the bone of ROI calculations!

Here some background information and source of my inspiration when it comes to my thinking around enterprise 2.0 and its add value:

Networked enterprise finds its payday (by McKinsey)
The graphic attached to this post was taken out of the article posted by McKinsey in December 2010. What I would really like to know if the respondents have actually (methodologically) measured the stated improvements or if a more qualitative study was conducted with employees to get their feedback on how they perceive and experience the change…

Six ways to make web 2.0 work (by McKinsey)

http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Six_ways_to_make_Web_20_work_2294

Even though I consider it pretty common sense I'd like to share  the 6 ways McKinsey has stated in their report that contribute to potential success of the transformation towards a web 2.0 inspired corporation: 

1. The transformation to a bottom-up culture needs help from the top.
2. The best uses come from users—but they require help to scale.
3. What’s in the workflow is what gets used.
4. Appeal to the participants’ egos and needs—not just their wallets.
5. The right solution comes from the right participants.
6. Balance the top-down and self-management of risk.