Building Intelligent Organizations #e2conf

Sara Roberts (President/CEO, Roberts Golden Consulting, Inc.) and Dr. Margaret Schweer (Managing Principal and Researcher, Tammy Erickson & Associates) are the speakers. This session focused on some “deeply embedded organizational assumptions that are no longer valid …and why they are no longer relevant.” They also discussed how “organizations will need to evolve to become Intelligent Organizations.”

[These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2012 in Boston. Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, 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:

  • Assumption #1: The Purpose of Collaboration is Obvious. Not so much. There is business case for the organization, but we also must understand the individual’s view: in what ways does collaboration help me do my job? Remember that collaboration is a volutary activity so we need to give individuals a good reason to collaborate.
  • 10 Collaboration Intents. These are the situations in which collaboration makes most sense: Connecting previously unconnected ideas; co-creating products, services, experiences; engaging stakeholders (markets, communities, employees, partners); tapping people, expertise or other resources, as needed; coordinating in time and space; distributing work cost or risk; sensing emerging patterns (trends, opportunities, threats); pooling judgments; polling to gather input or determine group-wide preferences; coalescing around an emerging consensus, after debating multiple views.
  • Assumption #2: Bigger is Better. The rule is not necessarily go big or go home. Rather, understand that organizations have a rhythm, a pattern. Enrollment begins at the individual level, one person at a time. Initial deployments often start with small groups focused on accomplishing specific tasks. These initiatives can then be scaled up as they demonstrate value and gather a solid base of users capable of spreading the word about the technology.
  • Assumption #3: Build it and they will come. Not really. Collaboration is sustained not because of a whiz bang technology platform, but because it is nurtured at the level of the individual. Trust builds quality content, which in turn attracts more contributions. Community management is an important role to help nurture contribution and collaboration.
  • [They skipped Assumption #4 due to lack of time.]

  • Assumption #5: The Real Value in Collaboration is Connecting People to Content. No. We don’t want to create the “document mortuary.” We don’t want to simply digitize our physical workplace. Rather, we need to connect people to each other in new and meaningful ways, and then change the way we work together. The new way of working is “narrating your work.” What does this mean? [It can’t just be about explaining how you do what you do since we don’t always understand exactly what we do. See my earlier piece on Topspin and KM.] For people who are interested in learning more, the presenters suggest looking at Susan Ambrose’s work in the education area.
  • Collaboration Readiness Audit. You should assess your organization’s readiness for collaboration. This focuses on decision making, processes, diversity, culture, for example. If the organization does not value creativity, it may be difficult to foster collaboration.
  • HR and KM. One rich area for HR is in the knowledge space. HR knows the culture and can help with knowledge-sharing, transparency and collaboration initiatives.
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Collaboration Readiness #e2conf

Sara Roberts (Roberts Golden Consulting) moderates this session involving Lisa Bonner (AVP, Contemporary Work Practices, The Hartford Insurance Company), Erin Grotts (Director of Internal Communications and Collaboration, SUPERVALU) and Dan Pontefract (Head of Learning & Collaboration, Telus).

[These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2012 in Boston. Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, 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:

  • Start with Your Culture in Mind. Dan Pontefract believes that without culture, there’s no engagement, no collaboration or a shared single vision (panoptic view). “If we want to build a culture of collaboration, we do not want to implement a collaboration of cultures.” By contrast, Erin Grotts thinks that culture is a little overused. Rather than trying to manage the culture, she decided to build a place that amplified the things that people in the organization already liked about their corporate culture.
  • Treat Engagement as the GoalDon’t waste time on “busyness” metrics. It doesn’t matter how many times someone blogs. What matters is how engaged that person actually is. Telus uses surveys and benchmarks against Aon Hewitt data.
  • You Need a New Leadership Philosophy. Telus dumped the old competency models in favor of a new framework that promotes open, connected and transparent leadership. If you want collaboration to occur, you can’t just dump the toolset on your people. You need to create a leadership framework that supports the desired cultural change. To be successful, you need to straight talk, honesty.
  • The Organization has to put it’s money where it’s mouth is. If you want openness and transparency, you can’t censor. “If you muzzle, you risk irreparable damage.” Focus on the desired behavior, not the tools. In the experience of Telus, you can change the tools without disrupting collaboration provided the right behavior has been established and supported.
  • What Incentives Work? Don’t lead with money. Recognition that improves the “social street cred” of the individual will provide greater incentive. The talent war has already started. Hanging onto key people is critical. The Hartford is internally competitive. They posted a leader board and awarded badges for updates on customer calls. Interestingly, the pilot group participating in this badge program outperformed the sales personnel outside the pilot group. Gamification is a 21st century way of leading and thinking. You will stay longer and work harder when tackling a challenge in a group. SUPERVALU doesn’t use gamification. Rather, the CEO is active in Enterprise 2.0 and publicly recognizes the people who exhibit collaborative behaviors.
  • Leading Through ChangeTrust and respect are earned. Leaders need to understand that. They can earn trust and respect by doing what they say, delivering on their promises.
  • Embrace Lack of Control.Change management tactics are often another way of trying to maintain control of the organization. With Enterprise 2.0 deployments, tight control can choke the life out of collaboration. This will be a tough message for corporate leadership, so you’ll need to educate company leaders.
  • Legal Challenges.The Hartford is an SEC-regulated company. Therefore, they needed to involve the legal department early especially with respect to privacy and confidentiality concerns. However, Lisa Bonner believes that 100% of their employees are adults and 99% do not want to be fired. Their guiding principles are be professional and responsible. Don’t post anything online that you don’t want your mother or boss to read. This seems to be working fine for The Hartford.
  • What Analytics Do They Use? SUPERVALU maps internal social networking of an individual with that individual’s performance. Soon they will be able to do “mood analysis” of blogs. They also use employee surveys. At Telus they survey both employees and clients to determine performance. The key question to clients: would you recommend Telus?
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The Connected Enterprise and Microsoft #e2conf

Jared Spataro, Senior Director, SharePoint (Microsoft) and Rob Gubas, VP Global Marketing (Colliers International) are the speakers. Colliers is a commercial real estate company.

[These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2012 in Boston. Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, 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:

  • Key Technology Trends Connecting technologies (leading to a connected enterprise), social, mobile, cloud, cross-org collaboration. While each are interesting, combining them can be very powerful.
  • Connected Experiences + Single Platform.This is Microsoft’s vision. It applies to Office and, of course, SharePoint. Microsoft calls this “The Connected Enterprise.”
  • Social Collaboration at Colliers. They have a collaborative culture and wanted the technology to support this. Further, they work in a knowledge intensive industry and needed to share that knowledge efficiently. They also needed to facilitate growing mobility in how their people work. They wanted to connect people, connect people to client information, make data visible and introduce transparency.
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Management Hackathon #e2conf

This panel discussion involved Chris Gramms (Hackathon community manager), Mary Wolf (Yum! Brands), Nyla Reed (Educe), Dave Mason (Mozilla). They are involved with “Mix Management” that is focused on reinventing modern management.

[These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2012 in Boston. Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, 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:

  • The Management Hackathon This is a collaborative effort to reinvent management so that it works better in the age of the internet. They found 900 people around the world from a variety of organizations who were interested and then hosted the asynchronous conversations on a Saba platform over several months. They developed 20 full management hacks. They started by identifying everything that is wrong about management today. Then they identified what was right about the internet and asked what could be applied to modern management.
  • Hacks Must be Radical AND Practical. The hack needs to be radical to make a difference in the organization. However, it must also be practical and easy to implement. If it requires a huge change management program, it is much harder to implement. The beauty of hacks is that they let you chip away at a problem until you’ve made an impact.
  • Hacks Must be Simple. In the coding world, hacks were created by lazy coders. While this isn’t necessarily about rewarding laziness, management hacks should promote simple and easy improvements.
  • Hack:Embracing “Skills 2.0” How do you actually start developing the requisite organizational mindset? Are currect competency models structured to support the adoption of these technologies. They created a quick assessment (20 questions) that help particpants understand what E2.0 skill that already excel at and should use to improve your organization.
  • Hack: The Freedom/Accountability Swap. This is a “stealth” hack. It doesn’t require senior management approval to adopt it. Just start by initiating a conversation with your colleagues in which a manager and her subordinates identify places where they have high freedom, low freedom and then figure out what level of accountability is mutually acceptable.
  • Hack: Open Up Clip by Clip.Start by opening up processes within the organization. For example, begin with introducing transparency into how paperclips are procured and distributed. This is the type of process that most don’t find threatening and, therefore, should be willing to reform.
  • Why Points Trump Hierachy.This NOT a stealth hack. It’s principle is that no one receive rewards on thhe basis of past achievement, but rewards are given on the basis of points given for work curently done for the company and within the last year. This should eliminate outsize pay packages that don’t map to actual performance.
  • Hack: Leader Meter. This hack focuses on helping to uncover the natural leaders within the organizations, regardless of where they sit on the org chart. What’s key is for the organization to see them AND for the individual themselves to recognize their promise.
  • Hack: The Anonymous Hero.This hack focuses on allowing people to suggest innovations anonymously. This means that the idea rises or falls on the merits.And then the person proposing a good idea can be identified as the hero.
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Keynote: Jeff Schick and Wim de Gier #e2conf

Jeff Schick (Vice-President, IBM Social Software) is one of the creators of IBM Connections. Wim de Gier is Senior Global Project Manager, Corporate Strategy and Development, LeasePlan Corporation.

[These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2012 in Boston. Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, 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:

  • The Corporate Brain As we expand social networking within the enterprise, we actually “grow” the corporate brain. As the network becomes smarter, individuals have access to the information they need to work better.
  • Challenges of E2.0 for an International Company. In an international company, you have to accommodate cultural differences, skepticism and language barriers. Further, transparency won’t happen overnight. It requires a shift in corporate culture over time.
  • Start with the Work. Rather than worrying about how to blog, focus on how to use the social technology to do your work better. In other words, can it answer the questions you have? Can it connect you easily to the experts you need? Can it accommodate your task list and projects?
  • Adoption. LeasePlan had a defined rollout plan. This included lots of explanatory material. They have support staff that walk the floors to help introduce the social technology and to help people get started.
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Art King Keynote:The Need for Highly Evolved Developers (Nike) #e2conf

Art King is Global Information Architecture Lead at Nike

[These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2012 in Boston. Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, 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:

  • Mobile IT Shift Everything must be intuitive, intuitive, intuitive. The customer wants the mobile experience of opening the app and watching magic happen.
  • Deployment is About Pull NOT Push IT can no longer push or demand. Now the customer must consent. Further, support tends to be self-service or offered by friends. Few look to IT. (Perhaps they have learned the shortcomings of IT support.) Another shift is that IT can no longer insist that certain functionality or apps be adopted. Instead, IT can only recommend that certain apps be adopted.
  • Evolution of Apps from Standardized to Role-Based. Now the IT departments are not setting the pace. Rather, they are racing to match the quality of products available in the consumer world. Everything needs to be intuitively easy to use. Developers need to have empathy so that they can put themselves in the shoes of their customers. The consumers experience must be “felt.”
  • The Impact of Consumerization. Should companies replace enterprise tools with consumer tools? This could have huge cost, support and security implications for companies.
  • IT must gracefully share control with customers. As you focus on solving business problems, you might be tempted to work around IT structures. This will only get worse as more functionality becomes available in the consumer world.
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Andrew McAfee Keynote: Our Computer Overlords #e2conf

Andrew McAfee is the principal research scientist at MIT.

[These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2012 in Boston. Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, 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:

  • The World is One Big Data ProblemThis has become an article of faith in silicon valley. A lot of start-ups are now exclusively focused on cracking the big data challenge. According to Google, they don’t have better algorithms than the rest of the world — they just have better data.
  • Computers are Getting Better IBM has produced a graph that shows how Watson has improved itself with respect to percent of questions answered and precision. Relentlessly, month by month, Watson got better. This was just one domain that computers mastered. Even very human functions such as writing prose can be done reasonably well. (McAfee showed a screenshot showing an article in Forbes regarding Apple. Interestingly, it was written by a computer based on algorithms. Narrative Science is the company that produced it.) Long-form journalism may be safe from computers for the time being, but the more anodyne wwriting is completely within the realm of the possible for computers. Even pathology is being mastered by computers. Once they built the relevant algorithms, they discovered that the computer was at least as good as a human pathologist at detecting breast cancer. Further, the computer was able to identify three things in the samples that humans were not yet trained to observe.
  • Is the Physical World Safe from Computers? It is conceivable that computer algorithms could master knowledge work, but can they master the physical world? Google’s autonomous car actually drives itself. McAfee and his co-author drove it down Route 101 in stop-and-go traffic. The computerized car did just fine.
  • Humans Were Never All That Good In every realm checked, we’re discovering that our mastery nearly isn’t as complete as we supposed. Take for example, the art of predicting good bordeaux wine. A computer programmer was able to create a program that could reliably predict which year’s bordeaux production would be best, based on agricultural data. In the legal domain, a computer beat the best legal minds at predicting Supreme Court decisions. With respect purchasing decisions, a fairly simple model will allow a computer do this better than humans with experience and expert judgment. In 136 man-vs-machine studies, in only 8 cases did the humans outperform the computers. The researchers attributed these 8 to either computational error or the fact that the computers lacked sufficient data. This problem will go away soon.
  • What Bad Strategies Could We Adopt? (1) Ignore the problem until the competition adopts the computers; (2) be a Luddite and destroy the machines.
  • Race with the Machines McAfee believes that partnering with computers is the best strategy for us to adopt. Deloitte’s Center for the Edge study shows that quality improved as a wiki as edited more. Further, Lynn Wu discovered that people who participate in Enterprise 2.0 social networks tend to survive rounds of layoffs.
  • I for one welcome our Computer Overlords. What about You?
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Social Learning: The Newest Evolution of Learning [#e2conf]

Keith Myerson (Director, Learning & Development, Neiman Marcus Group Services) discussed how social learning (i.e., “sLearning”) will change the way L&D professionals see themselves, promote learning in their organizations and prevent brain drain from the “impending war for talent.” He may be contacted at Keith_Myerson@neimanmarcus.com or on Twitter @KeithMyerson.

[These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2012 in Boston. Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, 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:

  • What’s Social Learning? sLearning isn’t just another form of electronic learning (eLearning) or mobile learning (mLearning). It harnesses the power of social technology to help employees find the information and training they need at the moment of need by connecting with their colleagues. At Neiman Marcus they have deployed a social platform that allows employees to share learning, particularly through focused discussion threads.
  • Social Tools Don’t Meet Every Training Need. L&D professionals need to think creatively and dispassionately about appropriate uses of social technology. While a Q&A might be well suited to a social platform, training on improved customer service that involves observing tone and body language is better suited to face to face sessions.
  • Tie sLearning Initiative to Business Metrics. It can be a challenge to establish ROI on social technology projects, so plan early to collect meaningful data. In the case of Neiman Marcus, they were able to establish that their sLearning initiative led to demonstrable (and quantifiable) improvements in customer satisfaction. Given that each one percent increase in customer satisfaction results in a specific dollar amount in improved revenues, they could connect sLearning efforts to better financial results. This is a great outcome for an Enterprise 2.0 project. It is also very different from the traditional approach of providing a training session and then pretending to measure impact through “smile sheets” (i.e., questionnaires that request trainee views on the session) that don’t typically connect to business performance.
  • The Impending Talent War. For years, people had been predicting an enormous brain drain when the Baby Boomers retire from the work force. In Keith Myerson’s view, most organizations have dodged a bullet since the economic downturn has forced many Boomers to remain employed. Similarly, some younger high-performing individuals have elected to stay put with their current employers until the economy improves. This means that once economic good times return, organizations should expect a mass exodus of Boomers and younger high-performers. This will result in a brain drain and the “impending war for talent.” Until that happens, however, organizations have an opportunity to foster knowledge transfer and hone their succession planning. Social technology and sLearning can help with this.
  • What Does sLearning Mean for Knowledge Management? The Neiman Marcus sLearning initiative has created a dynamic collection of current know-how that is quite different from the static intranet or portal collections. In fact, users are driving change by asking that their content be moved from the intranet/portal to the sLearning platform. [The implications of this for traditional knowledge management should not be ignored. Clearly L&D and KM professionals should be cooperating to ensure that an organization’s knowledge base is as current and complete as possible. Creating yet another disconnected silo of information is not helpful for the individual employee or for the organization as a whole.]
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Enterprise 2.0 and Social Networking’s Influences on Human Resources [#e2conf]

Oliver Marks moderated this session involving representatives from Newsgator, Neudesic, Yammer and Ultimate Software.

[These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2012 in Boston. Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, 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:

  • Using Social Tools to Augment HR Data.Lisa Sterling, Head of People Engagement at Ultimate Software, reports that her HR group gathers HR-related information from their Yammer implementation to provide timely performance data. For example, rather than treating performance reviews as an annual event, they find status updates in Yammer in which colleagues praise the work of other colleagues and use that current information on individual performance.
  • The Alternative to the Document-Centric Approach of HR. Newsgator uses a social layer to surface HR-related information in the place where people are working — not in a separate HR system of record. A Neudesic customer is using an auto-follow function in Neudesic Pulse during the onboarding process to provide new employees with a group of early connections to help their integration into the organization.
  • What’s the Impact of Individual Social Activities on Our Work Life? When Ultimate rolled out Yammer, they didn’t provide warnings about forbidden activities. Rather, they helped employees understand the benefits of microblogging. They haven’t had an issue with self-promotion or improper reciprocity (e.g., if you praise me, I’ll praise you). Ann Lee reiterates that before you implement a social tool, be sure you’re clear about the business benefits. Don’t focus merely on the “coolness” of the tools (or the dangers of the tools).
  • What’s the Value of Adding Social? Neudesic estimates that organizations will save initially $1500 per employee from implementing their product. However, if a social tool fosters a connection that leads to a business process improvement or a product innovation, then you’re looking at a much bigger return on your social investment.
  • How to Filter Information in these Systems? Information overload can be a major problem with social platforms. Yammer enables you to structure the data dynamically to help surface relevant information, aggregated by topics that are pushed to users.
  • Should HR be Involved in Social Media Implementation? HR needs to be sure that the social platforms are supported by appropriate staffing outside IT (eg., from knowledge management, etc.). These new tools will surface new roles such as content curation and community management. HR is a key stakeholder that is commonly overlooked in these projects that typically are viewed as primarily technology projects. HR’s role shouldn’t be limited to sanctioning employees for using Facebook at work. HR should be involved in deployments to leverage its extensive knowledge of the organization’s culture and work force.
  • Success Stories Newsgator reports that Deloitte views their social tools as a key part of their overall talent management effort. They look at “the whole arc” of the relationship between an individual and their organization and see how social tools foster that relationship. Ultimate Software realized that with the influx of millennials, Facebook (and similar sites) had rich collections of data on Ultimate because their millennials were posting there. Ultimate wanted to give those millennials an internal place to post that valuable information. When Neudesic integrated their own product (Neudesic Pulse) with their HR system, they found that by strategic use by HR, they were able to make the onboarding process quicker and more effective. One of Yammer’s retail clients uses Yammer to share best practices and market information in real time across the organization.
  • Collaboration is a People Problem, Not Just a Technology Problem. If a company views HR solely as a cost center, that organization is unlikely to give HR a seat at the table. If a company views collaboration as a performance challenge, then you have to involve the talent management team.
  • The Consumarization of HR Just like we’ve experienced the consumarization of IT, employees are asserting more individual approaches to their training and career development. They want to learn in a manner that suits their personal style and they want to take that learning with them. Social technology can help tailor HR offerings to the need of the individual.
  • Social Flattens the Organization By its very nature, social technology tends to sidestep hierarchy, thereby flattening the organization. It also surfaces talent. HR needs to be aware of this and needs to be able to shape this and deal with the consequences. HR could also exploit this for leadership development and successsion planning purposes.
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Keynote: Bryan Barringer (FedEx) [#e2conf]

Bryan Barringer is manager of enterprise collaboration implementation at FedEx Services. He is focusing his talk on gamification, but he says it’s really about unlocking knowledge by changing mental models.

[These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2012 in Boston. Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, 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:

  • Why Gamify?You need engagement, which comes from adoption, which comes from viral growth. How to get viral growth? You need to provide incentives. Gamification helps unlock knowledge. When that knowledge is shared, the more relevant the resource is to users. Gamification also allows you to gather key analytics. For example, they have the statistics to prove that they have been able to reduce email usage by 20%.
  • You must know your CultureUse an approach and language that fits neatly with your organization’s culture. Be careful about focusing on the play aspects if your corporate culture is not open to it. In addition, be aware of the average age of your organization’s workforce. That will provide clues as to the right approach. Another great way to investigate culture is to send out carefully crafted surveys. They can help reveal the prevalent mental models.
  • The FedEx Program They use a badge program to unlock knowledge. For example, you must blog five times in order to get a badge. Other badges are awarded for following others and for being followed (this is how connections are made). Badges also highlight professional training and certificates, as well as special awards and recognition and compliance activities.
  • Some Pitfalls(1) Don’t create barriers to using the tool. Therefore, don’t make a certain number of badges mandatory before a person can have access to key functionality. These sorts of barriers to entry create unnecessary frustration and disengagement. (2) Don’t assume you actually understand your user base — survey widely. (3) Involve Legal and HR early. (4) Use the badge program as a carrot, not a stick. Don’t award a “Scarlet A” for bad behavior.
  • There are lots of Gamification ResourcesFor example, check out gamification.org. Or follow Bryan on twitter.
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