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Social Business Collaboration 2015 (Berlin): the summary of my World Café Session on “Stakeholder Management”.

Summary: Berlin, October 1st and 2nd 2015. The European practitioners for modern intranets, social business collaboration and the Digital Workplace gathered in Berlin to exchange on their experience and share insight & learning. As part of the conference I had the opportunity to host a “World Café” session on stakeholder management. This article captures the essence of our discussion.

The framing of the session

I used a little drawing to introduce my personal learning from the past years in the field. From my experience the key layout of stakeholders exists on three levels:

Stakeholder Map

It’s 2015 and the top management (c-level, board room) have bought into the fact that companies have to break up silos. Globalisation is reality and collaboration/communication has to bridge geographical and functional distance. Digital Business Agility (read about this in one of my previous posts) is essential in highly competitive markets.

The people in business operations drive from bottom up. They have a solid understanding on how connectedness and collaboration can improve business success. They are desperate for a more integrated world, improved information management and the ability to work independent from time, place or device – no matter if Generation Y or Silver Surfer.

Squeezed in-between is the middle management. They either get left out in the process from “let’s get connected” to “this is the new connected world” or they are not measured based on the new paradigms. Middle management happens in Excel and PowerPoint, in an abstraction of the real world and represents the “channel” TO the top management. In addition to that it’s a rough world. It’s competitive and not everyone (aka only a very very few) are willing to take risk and accountability for change. They are the ones that we have to really care for. They get caught in politics, games and objective struggles. “What’s in for me” gets more and more important on this particular level in the stakeholder map.

This will become particularly important if our ambition is to further increase the work and business criticality of intranet, Digital Workplace. Then accountability and governance have to be with the middle management. They will be in charge of making it work for the organisation. Therefore we need have to have middle management on board as of day one and make it theirs.

The conversation’s essence

Everyone agreed that more time has to be invested in understanding the real stakeholder map and how they stand with regards to the subject (supporter, promoter, opponent, neutral and/or allies)
Finding the right “value proposition” for the various stakeholder functions is key to get them on board and keep them on along the entire journey.

Executives and top management have to adjust success measurement and KPI to make “connectedness” and “networking of knowledge and people” part of the actual middle management scope of work. The fact that effectiveness will provide competitive edge has to start trumping the “just get it done” attitude.

We have to accept the fact that “business ownership” doesn’t come through a title when it comes to stakeholders for the Digital Workplace. A director is not in the middle of things. Field managers are. They are the ones that primarily seek enablement and support from digital services. We need to have them on board to ensure that “user centricity” is built into the project.

If you have opponents or “disbelievers” in the stakeholder center, get them close to you. Give them a key role, a key stake and the opportunity to shine with the project. Thereby you turn them through pure opportunism…and it’s WIN/WIN.

Pursuing something that has an impact through work criticality will lead to politics. And politics. And politics. Be prepared and don’t expect “yes” to mean “yes” or “I am in” to stand for “I will throw all necessary resource at you”. The future Digital Workplace is cultural and corporate change…and it’s political.

The conversation cards & transcript

We’ve collected a lot of angles on stakeholder management. Below the little moderation wall you can find a (more or less) transcript from the cards collected during the sessions (5 groups attended, approx. 50 participants in total).

World Cafe Wall

A little transcript of the World Cafe Wall

World Cafe Transcript

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We did it again! IntraNET.Reloaded 2015. 2 days full of inspiration, exchange & insight #intrelEU #digitalworkplace #intranet

Like every year the international community around intranets and the Digital Workplace gathered in Berlin to share experience and seek inspiration for the next step. This year was dominated by down to earth steps towards the future of information work. Migration & consolidation are in third gear. Relevance, personalisation & decluttering are key drivers of today’s initiatives. Social is still there…but we have learned a lot. In particular that we have to listen, understand and resonate on what’s going on in this new sphere of communication & collaboration. Plus: we have seen the first set of KPI that go beyond media metrics (aka traffic & volume). Thank you @DennisAgusi…

Let me start with my final comment as the chairman of day 2

I am proud and humble to be part of a community that never searches the lime light. We meet at in Berlin to exchange, to share, to inspire each other and to learn. Over 200 people have one guiding principle: make the life of our colleagues, the consumers of intranets and the Digital Workplace easier. Provide relief to their daily challenges and deliver everything they need to do their job with less effort and more fun.

We don’t go on stage to brag. We go on stage to share success, failure, progress and challenges.

It’s an amazing attitude.

Taking a massive leap the pragmatic way

This year’s IntraNET.Reloaded was kicked of by from Swiss travel company Kuoni. In a bold move they have banned the classic concept of navigation and real estate from their internal channel. Built on Colygon’s MatchPoint/Snow collaboration platform Kuoni has taken branding to a new level: color brush up and a logo. The rest of the service provided to its users comes pretty much out of the box. In addition to the fact that the team was able to get the project through the door in an almost inhumane time frame the users seem to love it! With that move Kuoni has even succeeded in merging collaboration and communication in one environment – something that is part of the releases yet to come in many companies.

Big. Bang.

Christophe RALITE (@CRALITE) from Nexans proudly reported on a big bang in which the organisation consolidated 85 intranets and various collaboration spaces into one SharePoint 2013 based first release on their journey to a full blown Digital Workplace.

Well, in all fairness: the big bang was more an experience for the users since they left the office shutting down the “old world” and were greeted by the “new world” the next day. Content and intranet owners had roughly 12 months to clean-up, de-rubbish and classify/tag their data before the migration.

Law unleashed.

Angela Rositter (@brightrossi) from Linklaters LLP provided an amazing insight into what it means to consolidate all internal channels and the (business critical) knowledge management into one central solution. I mean, is there another type of business that is more driven by secrecy, confidentiality and “closed shop” thinking than a law firm? However, the awareness that a key to future success and a growth in billable hours lies in the effective use of knowledge, experience and expertise was motivation enough to give it a change.

Intranet and digital veteran Angela passionately reported on her journey towards the new single source of truth for Linklater LLP’s lawyers around the world. On step being the consolidation of 145 top navigation items (crucial and must-have of course) into 5 pillars of content and substance.

Little Boxes & Content Marketing

Probably one of the most spot-on statements at this year’s IntraNET.Reloaded. Kathryn Everest (@everestk) from Jive complemented it with another very interesting angle: display advertising start losing ground to social and content marketing. Since our field has continuously been inspired by applications & performance in the internet we might want to pay attention to this development too. It might stand for the fact that contextual relevance and the monetisation of interaction and involvement are stronger than static content that keeps hammering onto the same target groups over and over again.

Governance. Governance. Governance.

The majority of the “challenge your peers” sessions seemed to hover around on of my favourite subjects. For the most attendants it has become crystal clear that continuity and consistency in user experience, content/document management and information architecture is an essential foundation for what we all ask for: de-clutter the internal channels!! Relevance and profile based information delivery is only possible if the ground work has been done and kept alive.

Awards for user focus, togetherness and relevance.

This year’s IntraNET.Reloaded awards (1st place) were given to KPN, Allianz Turkey and Roche.The fact that the user played a key role in all three solutions definitely was a driver for the votes.

What happens if you let a DATA SCIENTIST play the magic harp…

Dennis Agusi (@DennisAgusi) from Philips gave a 35 minute pitch for the beauty of data analytics for their intranet and social channel. I was and still am in awe. For the first time the crowd had the chance to look at KPI that went beyond classic traffic, volume and social interaction measures. In too many instances pride is taken in the thousands of participants and happiness is driven by thumbs up and sharing. Dennis gave an impressive example for what it means when you show publishers/authors deep insight on x-functional interaction or clear indicators on content quality and involvement.

What might have slipped one or the other attendant’s attention: Philips has unleashed this powerful steering tool based on a custom built application and has hired a data scientist (a SCIENTIST!!) to pull the right strings and make sense of big data.

The Young Generation and an HR Executive share the stage.

Ruggero Crameri (@RCrameri) from Swisscom told me in the briefing for the introduction that they had been asking themselves the same question for years: “We keep talking about the new generation and executive stakeholders, but why are they never on stage?” As a consequence and – real representatives of the future of our corporate talent – and Dr. Hans Werner, Yasmin Ogi and Melanie Willhelm entered the stage.

Yasmin made it clear to the audience that “closed shop thinking” and “secrecy” do not fit with the attitude of the new generation at the workplace. “We are a generation of openness and sharing. It’s not about individual knowledge, it’s about collective power.” set the stage what came next.

Swisscom is literally re-inventing itself. A self governing environment and a crowd driven optimisation of content, knowledge and results is the framework of the new digital way of working at Switzerland’s leading telco. Dr. Hans Werner openly shared his initial challenge with the subject that it hasn’t been always easy to follow the radical path the internal project team decided to walk. But in the end it has paid off and his passion for the subject was obvious in the way he talked about the results that the new way of working delivers to the company.

In order to make a point even applied for a new job at Swisscom: “This year I will end my apprenticeship – wouldn’t it make sense if you had a seat for the Young Generation in the board?”.

Power. Scope. Politics.

I am not sure if it’s better to run a World Café session with 5 groups or to be part of the attendants and experience more than one subject. Well, this year I had no choice and moderated my session around “Managing the Digital Workplace in a distributed organisation”. In order to spark conversation I provided three angles and their “hidden reality” to the subject to the participants: How to balance local, regional and global needs & how to deal with power that derives from a strong economical position of e.g. a division or geography and their access to budget or decision makers? How to balance common value vs. closeness to the business logic & how to avoid a scope and/or complexity that turns smart projects into multi year ordeals? How to get commitment, resource and budget from business stakeholders & how to we make sure that the commitment doesn’t disappear with the next round of rough times ahead? The final result of 5 rounds of conversation and sharing looked like this…

 

IMG_0424

My personal favourites of sharing and input were…

Balancing Needs

  • If you want to balance needs you need to listen. A lot. Again. Again & again.
  • Asking for budget from a weak position in order to actually improve the position can be tricky…kind of a catch 22.
  • Allow yourself to build islands, if you have a solid concept on how to connect them later
  • Ask why five times. Then you really know what the requirement is about.

Common Value vs. Business Logic

  • It’s not that easy to evaluate potential of something that wasn’t used before…or hasn’t even existed before.
  • Build the case on the fact that “WE believe” (the strong coalition) not a single opinion or believe.
  • If you start to think like entrepreneurs you have a good chance to come up with solid arguments.

Commitment

  • It’s now always easy to pass the “front desk” or the “blockers” if you want to get access to the actual decision makers (aka the executive floor)
  • PowerPoint won’t get you cash. You need a proof for what you pitch.
  • Trust is key.
  • You might want to turn “blockers” into active or even leading parts of your initiative in order to suppress and neutralise their negative influence.
  • Find the right moment and tone to “pop the question”.

In addition to the conversation around the three angles all groups elaborated on the fact that it’s not the executive floor or the work force that prove to be challenging in change situations. It’s the middle management that is lead and therefore manages via Excel files. What is preached and asked for from the top doesn’t find it’s way into the objectives of the ones that have to carry the responsibility and help people through this process. That managers then are hesitant is more than natural.

So far so good.

Oh, by the way: my 30 mins on stage in slides and as a little sketching video (thanks WE CONECT!!)

The slides…

 

Now it’s another 6 months until I will attend the Social Business Collaboration…and I cannot wait to see what the folks that deliver the substance of that conference will bring to the table.

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My digest of the Enterprise 2.0 Summit, Paris (February 2015) #e20s #enterprise20 #socbiz #socialbusiness #digitalworkplace

Summary: I’ve spent the last 1.5 days with Digital Workplace practitioners and thought leaders discussing the connected enterprise and social media inspired ways of working. Once again I have left the venue inspired and with a lot of food for thought. However, I have to admit that there is a struggle with the transition to the next phase. Various conversations at the conference have confirmed this impression. We have definitely left the age of “technology driven” change (was there one…like ever?). Now we seem to be stuck in the phase of “awareness for the real drivers” of management buy-in, business value and strong business logic integration. Don’t get me wrong: there is momentum and the whole things feels like getting out of a really really tight jumper…you’re just waiting to finally pull it over your head and go: YEAH! AIR TO BREATHE!

My last two days were full of inspiration. A lot of it. In addition to the joy of listening to another of Jane McConnel’s (@netjmc) inspirational talks and her insight from her Digital Workplace research I finally had the honour of listening to one of Dion Hinchcliff’s (@dhinchcliffe) keynote. The two field (knowledge) heavy weights were complemented by practice and vendor presentations. Bayer Material Science’s CIO Laurie Miller’s (@lauriemiller44) presentation definitely stood out and her angle on connected experts has provided a new and strong value proposition to me that will come in handy in future conversations.

So let me start with this new value proposition as one of my key take aways:

The Personal Brand. Inside an Organization. Built on Expertise & Experience.

This one has struck me in a way that it’s quite annoying because it’s so obvious. Any industry that is in its core driven by IP (intellectual property) lives (sometimes even exclusively) of its talent. Looking back into my past in advertising in marketing I remember that client’s moved with their creative counterparts from agency to agency. About professional service firms (aka consultancies) we say that it’s “people business”. If expertise counts you don’t hire the firm, you hire (or rather borrow) the person and you will move the firm if the person moves, too From a corporate HR angle I really agree to the statement that “you don’t leave companies, you leave managers” – and they become known if it starts being a trend.

Athletes are brands due to their physical capabilities and performance. From a recent conversation I know that those brands are worth billions and nurture entire industries.

With the introduction of “social” to the mechanics of communication, collaboration & information flow within organizations we have changed the perspective from “outside” to “inside”. From a branding perspective we could – or actually should! – do the same thing when it comes to people brands.

As much as I believe that companies should measure collaborative success and joint value creation I also think (since today) that it would make sense to lead people towards creating their personal brand. Leading in terms of creating awareness, enablement and formal measurement, if we want to put the real beef to the bone.

If companies and their people managers are able to drive the profiling of high performers or subject matter wizards, we solve so many issues at the same time:

  • Capturing of intellectual assets and exposure to the organisation
  • Refinement and sharpening of people profiles as the foundation for relevance based delivery of information & communication
  • Improved retrieval of expert profiles (automated or manually)

My journey to find stakeholders and ambassadors for the “personal branding” business case starts today!

Social vs. Enterprise Collaboration

To be honest: I haven’t put much thought towards trying to actually separate the two. My strong belief is, that the fundamental business case (the organisational one) lies in the enablement of individuals and teams to successfully execute on core business processes and navigate through the company’s business logic. Well… with reference to the above I actually see the case for Social Collaboration as a separate thing. It derives from Enterprise Collaboration (EC) and is some kind of “spin off”. However, it’s not a layer but rather the glue between the protagonists of EC (and I am explicitly not calling it “foam” for the ones that were in Paris…).

Social Collaboration (SC) is a subject that has to be handled carefully because it’s not the free pass for the corporate Facebook (I’m not too keen to see it “at work” by the way) or the “social context will connect the dots” wild card. It will be the real art to make SC less “business” and more “people” but still have it sit on the same strong foundation (aka IA/taxonomy) and have a strong connection to the EC side of things in order to use assets that derive from SC in the context of the core business logic with ease (aka without media or UX break). Furthermore it has to be ensured that actual assets (e.g. documents) aren’t suddenly stored all over the place. This thought is definitely inspired by the slide @lauriemiller44 put up but maybe not 100% in-line with the content…

Anyway, this angle is food for thought for me…and I wanted to share it even though I haven’t digested it completely. Maybe someone else has something to share here as well.

Collaboration needs a meaning

@dhinchcliffe’s keynote was really inspiring and I could see so many things in there that I have stumbled across myself. What stood out for me was his recommendation to connect initiatives to business functions that can find value in the new ways of working quickly. (Right side of the following slide)

Essentially because the new opportunities that social and enterprise collaboration provide suddenly enable us to capture and enable things digitally that so far only existed outside of office, ERP and BPM.

To some extend this goes hand in hand with the search for purpose when it comes to “less formal” collaboration in the virtual space. @Judith_Will from BNP/Paribas Cardiff already said it in Berlin in 2014 at the INTRAnet.Reloaded conference: “What’s the project of your community?” I share her opinion that collaboration just for the collaboration’s sake doesn’t have much future in organisations that want to see some beef to the bone and ROI on their business productivity investments.

Another slide that Dion put up showed the potential evolution of collaboration (services) along the people or protagonist perspective:

Dion Hinchcliffe Evolution

It reminded me of one of my core (evangelizing) messages of the past few years. Because I believe that a lot of companies have jumped the stage of enabling “people with shared goals” in their approach towards the new ways of working. Inspired by impact and performance of Social Media in the outside world a lot of companies kicked of their enterprise 2.0 endeavors by connecting “people with shared interest & passion”.

evolution_along_people

That “interest & passion” however, weren’t the primary drivers for the majority’s work day was kind of forgotten in the process. I believe that this has been one of the reasons that enterprise 2.0 or social business initiatives haven’t delivered the substance in business impact.

A more general reflection on the content

Common denominators of almost all presentations – practitioner’s as well as vendor’s – were the following subjects:

  • Without executive buy-in enterprise 2.0 will be going nowhere.
  • We need change agents and ambassadors to drive and implement change.
  • Enterprise 2.0 isn’t a technology discussion. (Uhm…reality check: yes it is. In the end it always is. We just have to make sure that we have clarified the “why” and “what” before the CTO lets the “how” out of the box…pun intended).
  • We need to nurture conversation and exchange across silos and we need to break up closed space thinking.

So this leaves me with a major question:

What is preventing the actual digital transformation?

It was @dhinchcliffe again who might have put one essential piece to the puzzle on the screen: the transformation of business functions (and their processes) processes is essential in the enablement of the connected enterprises we’re so desperately seeking for.

In a recent article by McKinsey on “The seven traits of effective digital enterprises” the firm’s experts set out a guideline for the digital transformation of companies and seven essential building blocks. I’ve started to resonate on the article from an “inside the organization” perspective here. The seven building blocks are:

  • Be unreasonably inspirational
  • Acquire new capabilities
  • Ring fence and cultivate talent
  • Be quick and data driven
  • Challenge everything
  • Follow the money
  • Be obsessed with the customer

A lot of the guidance is more or less “disruptive” to the old world. It could definitely create tension, competition and awareness for change. So my question is: who is the actual stakeholder group that we have to form a coalition with in order to drive the internal transformation and introduce disruption to what we know as “established and working”?

So I am closing this article with a simple proposal:

With social collaboration and enterprise 2.0 initiatives we intend to nurture the corporate dialogue and connect experts and expertise more effectively. Let’s find a way to get the stakeholders of the actual digital transformation into a conversation to speed up the process until the next conference…

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My write-up of the Social Business Collaboration 2014 (#wcsocbiz) on the @infocentric blog

On September 29/30 I’ve attended the Social Business Collaboration conference in Berlin. I believe it’s one of the best gatherings of the intl. and European advanced intranet and digital workplace community. It was a pleasure to meet so many friends and new folks that shared valuable insight and learning from the past year in the field. The level of honesty and candid talking is so impressive. I can only recommend to join that community if you want to meet people that share your challenges and might be able to (in the culture of social collaboration) develop ideas together.

I’ve produced a little write-up of my conference impressions. It can be found on our corporate blog here: http://www.infocentric.ch/en/blog/2014/sbc2014-digest

I will be creating a little summary of the World Café sessions as well later next week.

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My digest of “#Social #Business #Collaboration 2013” (Berlin) #wcsocbiz #socbiz #enterprise20 #e20

Summary: On Sept 23 and 24 over 100 protagonists in the social business space had the opportunity to exchange their experience, opinion and expectations deriving from the endeavor towards a more social digital workplace. Similar to the IntraNET.Reloaded conference series in spring it’s literally possible to re-live the entire conference through Twitter at the #wcsocbiz hashtag. Nevertheless I will provide my digest of the conference. Essentially all organizations have left the experimental stage are now in the middle of connecting the ideology of “social” to the core business. Determining qualitative and/or quantitative business value (or even calculating a ROI) is not just part of the preaching anymore but brutal reality. Change management and the human factor has turned into an integrative element of all social strategies. Ask anyone and “simply rolling out a platform” simply isn’t enough anymore. At the same time platform providers are facing the challenge that “why you…what makes you so different?” is becoming a more and more frequent question. I could sense a certain fatigue towards always the same pitch around get connected, share stuff, follow topics”. I am actually very curious myself to see how the landscape of platform provides will be able to re-form the market in the coming years (or months?). Here we go…my digest (not cutting a long story short) and upfront apology that I will not elaborate on all presentations…

The power of VISUALIZING big data

I’ve just recently been confronted with the subject of establishing a data mining and reporting strategy in the finance industry. So it was extremely refreshing to see Nathan Bricklin (@socialbrick , Wells Fargo) talk about surfacing experts and expertise through the cloud of data that exists around them. In his point of view experts are

  • Self reported
  • Rated
  • Credible through seniority (if that’s applicable)

Imagining a 300+ thousand people company that is distributed around the globe one can imagine that the amount of data that is (or can be) collected and associated with specific people is vast. However, using the right approach it is possible to visualize connections between subject matters and people and thereby attach the right person to the right challenge. In Wells Fargo’s case even in the form of a career step and foundation of building new business. Being able to connect “the unusual” (in their case an intrinsic intrest in a certain subject) to their value proposition allowed the company to win business and to stand out in an RfP process (probably one of the best examples of a resonating value proposition I’ve ever seen).

Talking about influencers Nathan described them as connected with a well established reputation and open to content. In order to understand the impact there are certain indicators such as

  • title (not just the position)
  • number of followers (reach in the organisation)
  • (publication) frequency
  • content (type, format, comprehensiveness) and
  • geography

Why social enterprise matters…?

Nathan just boiled it down to the essence:

  • Differentiation
  • Participation
  • Access
  • Connections
  • Retention

It is probably the best foundation for a social enterprise mission statement I have ever seen (I am just making one up here!!):

We want to be different as an employer and business partner. We make it easy and tangible for people to participate and access experts and expertise independent from organizational, geographical or hierarchical location. We connect our intellectual assets and turn them into a continuous flow of value for our employees and clients – our foundation for retaining business and people.

His final recommendation was the one of a gateway drug. In Wells Fargo’s case it was the “digitalisation” of internal events and the connection of participants through internal social tools. The goal was simply to show the power of the mechanics in real life context.

Solving business challenges through a network

Linda Tinnert (@lindatinnert, IKEA) had her presentation built around one of IKEA’s core values:

Togetherness & enthusiasm

Besides the fact that their set of initiatives around social business have to meet clear business requirements such as

  • Networking
  • Communications
  • Planning & Organization
  • Manage Documentation
  • Accessing Documentation
  • Accessing Solutions

there is one key paradigm that she put on the screen and I just fell in love with it straight away:

Communication has to be trustworthy

This is probably THE game changer and shift within organisations. Because it makes game playing and corporate politics a lot harder (if not impossible).

Based on their solution IKEA has established three core areas in which the future of information and knowledge work is adding constant value to the company:

  • My IKEA product idea (innovation, entrepreneurship, dialogue)
  • Contact center Austria (updated, dialogue, speed & quality)
  • Virtual matrix meeting (sharing learning, cost & time saving)

Competence driven business

Wolfgang Jastrowski (@jaschi42, Swiss Re) gave a brief insight on how social enterprise is supporting a business model that is built on “risk” and very factual thinking. My essential of his presentation actually went straight into a tweet:

Capabilities are the functional building block of an enterprise at Swiss RE. Everything has to fall in one place.

My take: no matter if you are in professional services, finance or manufacturing. As soon as expertise is a key factor in creating value connecting it and surfacing it at the right time to the right people is KEY to winning the every day race.

Video to empower people and save time…for recipients.

BP’s Joe Little (@JoeLittle) gave a presentation that made probably half the media houses out their either cry or applaud – depending on their maturity in reaching out to their users.

Essentially Joe made the point that…

…it’s worth a lot to put a little more effort in the “sending” part because it will make receiving so much easier.

Walking the crowd through the treasure of BP’s corporate media platforms he showed everything from brand communication and marketing archives through educational videos to webcasts and training. Video has become an essential pillar in BP’s communication and knowledge exchange strategy.

I am still impressed…

Play a game with me…and win a badge (but not for everything)

Bryan Barringer (@collab_me, FedEx Services) delivered his presentation on employee engagement and unlocking knowledge (yes, I had to have the word game here as well). So far the standard “mental model” (believe how things work from good and bad experience) is

“I have knowledge and must control that intelligence in order to be valuable”

In the (not so far) future that mental model has to change. If companies want to unleash their potential that lies buried in today’s information and knowledge work they have to build the foundation and trust into the new version:

“I am valuable because I am knowledgeable and I am willing to share that knowledge”

Along that process and in order to catalyze the right pieces companies have to pay proper attention on what level and to what extend the model has changed already…

Gamification (engagement > adaption > viral growth) and badges (virtual rewards for certain actions) are two models that FedEx is introducing to their organization in order to drive and and motivate the change towards that mental model. However, Bryan made the important point that immunification can be one evolutionary phase of introducing playful business applications if literally the whole day is turned into a game.

Furthermore he made a clear statement:

So if you’re struggling with social how will you deal with gamification?

People still come to work in order to work – not to play. There will be a difference depending on who you’re approaching (FedEx is currently dealing with 5 generations in the workplace) but it’s good to really seek to understand before seeking to…give playful work a try.

Badges (like you can find them e.g. on foursquare.com) are one variant of gamification. The concept can for example be used as part of an education & training program: tell others you’ve improved your expertise

Eventually here are four (pretty good) don’ts on the roadmap to gamification:

  • Don’t lock down functionality (making them need a badge to access it…that will be the source for frustration)
  • Don’t assume to know your user base (you’ll make an ASS out of U and ME)
  • Don’t start with 300 badges and give badges for—breathing (literally…)
  • Don’t start a program if you don’t keep it going (that should be pretty obvious…but it rarely is)

Asia ahead of the game

Unfortunately I was not able to attend the full presentation of Deepak Bhosale (@db1904) but parts of the initiatives that Asia Paint Ltd. from India has in place are simply overwhelming. Imagine you’d publish drafts of HR policies in your company to get refinement from the cloud BEFORE they are put into force... I have to admit that I haven’t met one other company that could even do that.

Connecting sales organizations and creating customer centric solutions are only two further use cases Asia Paint Ltd. has put into place.

Global Voice & Online DNA

AkzoNobel’s Bram Kokke (@bramkokke) made me cheer when he mentioned that his company is aware that they need an Online DNA. It is one of the rare occasions where a company has obviously realized that “digital” has to be built straight into the company’s business strategy. Bram’s presentation motivated me to tweet (in the sense of…)

You don’t need one global language – you need one global voice.

So the conference has finally given me the spot-on recommendation if I am involved in “what language shall we use” discussions. It’s so simple, clear and comprehensive and it would solve so many challenges that global organisations are facing.

The social enterprise rockstars: Novozymes

At the IntraNET.Reloaded in April 2013 Frank Hatzack ( @frankhatzack) already rocked the stage with his insights into Novozymes approach towards social collaboration, networking and innovation management. He stuck to his principle, brought a Digital Native (@tillegreen) to the stage as well and kept rocking the crowd. Their way of telling stories that even contained references to significance of collaboration in an statistical (for real) context was as refreshing as always. At Novozymes (like at Wells Fargo) connecting the social sphere and power to real events and jams was one of the driving factors.

And even at Novozymes they said at some point “let’s get real” and started digging into the business value and potential of the newly surfaced ideas.

So what have I learned? Maybe I can put it into one statement:

Social Business has started its evolution from playful into powerful and essential. First steps are taken. First results are visible and measurable. Social is there to stay and change the way we work, achieve and balance. I can’t wait…

Please stay tuned…in my next blog post I will provide the summary on my World Café session on “Mobility in the context of social business collaboration“…

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my digest of #intra_reloaded 2012 #collaboration #networking #futureofwork #enterprise20 #socialbusiness

Summary: my take on 2 days at the conference ‘INTRA.reloaded – From communication to collaboration’ (April 17/18 2012, Berlin). In an increasing number of companies the ‘intranet’ is more and more seen as a potential starting point to create a operational workspace. Optimizing information access and transparency and motivating collaboration are the key drivers at the moment. Still: there is no blue print available yet. However, the thoughts and belief are moving in the right direction and the ones in charge become more persistent in their will to support employees in achieving their goals and improve their access to experts and expertise.

Bridging companies and customers
An increasing number of companies is rolling out services to connect their customers with the organization. Either for the purpose of service or for going after improvements and innovation the wall between corporation and customer seems to become less solid. Particularly successful seem to be the endeavors in which corporate leaders (aka C suite) are involved as sponsor and in which they acknowledge the multi-folded value of such an initiative.

Increase value and involvement with internal services
The tendendcy was clear: modern intranets have to be value adding workspaces, whereas today most portals still serve the purpose of information distribution and corporate communications. Servicing the right information at the right time to the right user in order create real work support is an endeavor some companies have startet to pursue. People in charge are much more conscious of the importance of (unfortunately rarely executed) rennovation work for information architecture and taxonomies. Otherwise the automation of digital services to become situation aware work tools will always experience data quality (= findability) as the major limitation. ‘Rubbish in, rubbish out’ is understood – at least my most protagonists.

Consciousness for active change management
Guiding employees through change with marketing style activities or dedicated advocates and community managers is really fashionable now. Just throwing a piece of IT at employees hoping that the majority of them will catch it and find some reason behind has been identified as a ‘no go’ – in particular by the reps of IT departments I was able to speak to. That management has to get involved and play an active part in the change and execution process is definitely perceived as a key success factor.

Asking the right questions
What’s still challenging is the way of figuring out the right starting point and how to bridge vision and reality. Throughout the conference I had the feeling that user and challenge centric thinking is still overruled by the quest for the right tool. It’s functionality (e.g. microblogging) that is introduced to employees – not a service that resonates to a particular challenge and thereby automatically makes its use obvious to employees. The tendency however, is definitely a move towards more user focussed approaches.

Summing it up: the future for information and knowledge workers looks brighter than three years ago. As soon as companies have overcome their internal blockage that only ERP projects can be funded with three digit millions the future will be even brighter. To unleash the potential that’s currently buried in the heads of talented people and network drives new ways for information distribution, retrieval and enrichment have to make their way into organizations. Getting some inspiration from social and commercial media seems to be a good idea because a lot of references at the conference were made in that direction.

I would like to close with the advise of our last speaker @d_ott: decentralize, simplify, advise & train…and be nice to your users.

I couldn’t agree more 🙂