Using Lenses to Right Fit Social & Collaboration #KMWorld

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Title and Description: Using Lenses to Right Fit Social & Collaboration

Organizations have been deploying new digital work platforms and services the past few years. Quite often we hear that the tools don’t matter that much, just get one and use it. Adding a community manager and digital transformation specialists helps, but the tools don’t seem to do what is needed. The question is constantly, “Do the tools fit our needs?” and also “We see value but it seems like it isn’t quite right.” Well, not only is getting the right help important, it is important to right fit the tools to the needs and uses. The uses and needs can be complex and diverse. This session helps break down the diversity, enabling the dimensions and their elements to be viewed properly so what is relevant for your organization can be seen through the use of social lenses. Using the lenses as a diagnostic tool to understand what works and fits and where there are gaps and needs helps bring clarity. But, greater clarity is provided when pairing the lenses to view different perspectives clearly.

This is particularly helpful for improving use and knowledge flows through the organization’s understanding of the right fit of tool(s) and services. Using the lenses to see the relevant dimensions and how they intersect not only helps organizations understand the needs for today, but works as a valuable method for framing an adaptive road map for the coming years. Having clarity to see the smaller actual pieces enables sensing their changes in order to adjust and adapt with more clarity of understanding.

Speaker: Thomas Vander Wal, Sr. Consultant, Adjuvi, LLC

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2016 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • Don’t Start with a Tool or Service First.  Most organizations end up with an enterprise-wide platform because it was bundled “free” with another tool. Often, the free tools and services do not quite fit the need. 
  • Start by Understanding Your Needs First.
    • Common, shared working spaces
    • Increasing knowledge sharing
  • Don’t Default to Closed Node System.
    • Top down
    • Approval-centric
    • Slow to spread
    • Slow to change
    • Knowledge is buried — it is hard to search, it is hard to find knowledge. Therefore, the focus is on training to help spread the knowledge
    • Email is the “poster child” of the closed node network
  • Open-Node Systems.
    • Emergent
    • Sharing-centric
    • Nimble and adaptive
    • Understand that things are constantly changing — this is both accepted and accommodated by the way we work
    • Knowledge is searchable and linked — even among disparate services or repositories. By having things in an open-node environment, the links among knowledge “light up the dark web inside your organization.”
    • Focus on helping rather than on training
    • Open digital conversation
    • Supports collaborative and collective living documents — they change to reflect current realities
    • All history and transitions are viewable and available
    • Conversations around objects occur with those objects in clear sight –e.g.,  connecting comments to the object that is being discussed
  • What’s the most valuable? While the final decision is good to know, it can be even more helpful to have access to the thinking that led to the decision. This allows a later pivot, without having to redo the entire decisionmaking process.
  • Social Progressions. This is how to develop and scale new ideas
    • Sparks — individual ideas that arise in disparate places and seem to be pointing to a useful pattern or direction.
    • Campfire — bring together the various disconnected items into a central place where a a group can discuss it “around the campfire”
    • Bonfire — add more fuel, bring in more people, widen the discussion in an open environment
    • Torch — safe, reliable, repeatable in different environments. This is what you have to create in order to share the ideas that emerged from the sparks to campfire to bonfire process.
    • Organizations with 1 social platform have a high probability of having two or more platforms.
  • Differing Perspectives.
    • Personal — in a social environment, people need to know what they are working on, information regarding who and what they need to know to get my job done are within easy reach.
    • Collective — getting into the open the information from individual understanding that now needs to be made available to others.
    • Cooperative — once the information is the open, allowing people to draw connections between those materials and themselves. (Example: seeing that someone else has an understanding of an issue that is similar to mine. We have a connection that might be worth exploring.) This operates at several scales:
      • Individual
      • Team
      • Group
      • Community
      • Network
    • Collaborative — this involves moving a disparate group of individuals into a single whole.
    • Social Working Array — you need to be able to see all of these perspectives as they occur across the platform and across the organization: Collective, Cooperative, Collaborative
  • Social Scaling.
    • Humans are mostly social by nature but often are not social at scale.  (See Reed’s Law.) People move up and down the scale. This needs to be accommodated by social platforms.
    • Most people are most comfortable interacting with a small group of others they know; their comfort decreases as group size grows.
    • Humans naturally build groups and clusters to ease interacting with large groups
  • Team Needs. The most frequently occuring group is the Team. They interact at the 70% level. (By contrast, Communities online tend to interact at the 30% level.) You need to understand the needs of a team as it operates:
    • tasks
    • status
    • process
    • progress
    • calendars
    • decisionmaking
  • Social Groups and Walled Gardens.
    • Closed groups (closed node) tend to have high adoption and activity rates as compared to open groups. This relates to a lack of comfort with sharing in a more open environment.
    • We need to create comfortable spaces with permeable walls. See Donald Appleyard’s “Livable Streets” for a similar approach in a physical (rather than digital) environment. Having front porches helped people in their houses feel more comfortable coming outside and hanging out on the street. Having front windows helped people on the street understand the people in the houses better.
  • How to Improve your online groups? Have a team that includes the following:
    • Community manager
    • Social interaction designer
    • Social scientists — they see strengths and gaps in the social interactions within the group
    • Knowledge manager
    • UX/User Research
    • Change Manager
    • IT Dev/ Integrator
  • Typical Problems.
    • Services go away — so plan redundancy/failovers
    • Change is constant — so plan to be nimble
    • Plan for continued security, privacy/permissions and changes in scaling as they occur
    • Plan for the many pieces that exist in your system — you need integration/interoperation, umbrella services, community managers/navigation

    • Selection & review — have a six-month tool review, understand the balance between change and stability and long-term assessments; keep your vendor assessments fresh
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