Digital Workplace Stakeholders: Key to Relevant Strategy

July 18, 2014

A digital workplace has 5 types of stakeholders, each with a unique perspective complementary to the others:

  1. People as individuals (throughout the workforce)
  2. Business, operational and customer-facing workforces
  3. Management
  4. Enterprise/group communities and shared services
  5. External customers (or users / citizens) served by the organization.

Your need input from all 5 stakeholder groups. This is fundamental to all digital workplace initiatives, workshops, focus groups and whatever other techniques you use to define your project. This slide deck explains why  the 5 stakeholder perspectives are all important and gives you ideas about how to approach them. It’s a starting point to be customized for your own context. (more…)

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“The Hole in the Wall” or “Let people get on with it”

June 20, 2014

One of my very first ever blog posts from May 2005 was about an experiment carried out by Sugata Mitra and reported in the BBC.   Mitra broke a hole in his office wall and made a computer available to children in a shanty town who had never seen a computer.

The noise goes down, a leader appears…


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3 Defining Moments in My Work Life

June 18, 2014

I have recently read some works that brought me to think about my work life and how it has evolved over the past years.  Most recently, it was John Stepper‘s Working Out Loud (early draft)  that I was privileged to review, where he describes the critical moment when his mind opened to new ways of working. (more…)

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“Working out Loud” week June 9 to 15

June 9, 2014

work out loud week

“Working out loud” is one of the most powerful steps you can take to begin to transform how your organization works.

Several of my co-members of ChangeAgentsWorldwide are “working out loud” pioneers.

See their tips on practical steps you can take. (Thank you @simongterry and @johnstepper.)

“Working out loud” is the title of one of the chapters in “The Digital Workplace in the Connected Organization“, the most recent report from the digital workplace survey (8th annual edition).

50 % discount on report purchases during “Working Out Loud” Week


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Business is the Missed Opportunity of the Digital Workplace

June 4, 2014

Top management is out of touch with the reality of how people work

Quick read:

My first annual survey, conducted with 100 global organizations in 2006, covered intranets, collaboration and what was then called “web 2.0” technologies. Survey results showed that top management in most companies was out of touch with the reality of how people worked. Top management tends to be focused on business, sales and the external world. They do not make the mental leap between how people work internally and how the organization serves their external customers.

Data from my latest survey of 314 organizations around the world (published in February) show three industry sectors that stand out because Business is one of their top three strategic drivers for their digital workplace. These 51 organizations report greater confidence in four specific business scenarios.

One of the 2006 survey questions  was: “How do the senior managers in your organization perceive the role of the intranet?” Thirteen percent of the participants reported that top management considered the intranet to be “business critical”. To the question “How soon would employees be disturbed in their work if the intranet ‘went down’?” 55 percent responded “in one to two hours”.

So the workforce in 55 percent of the companies used the intranet daily, if not hourly, in their work, yet senior management in only 13 percent considered it “business critical”?!

This was only the first of many indicators over the last 9 years of research showing that management in many organizations is out of touch with how people really work. These figures varied no more than 2 or 3 percentage points over five years, from 2006 through 2010. At this time I started asking people to identify their top three strategy drivers for the digital workplace. And things did not seem much better. (more…)

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HR stuck in the middle: management versus people

May 11, 2014

Today, it is clear that  HR, in most organizations, is not yet playing a strategic role of thinking about and preparing for the future workplace.  I asked 314 organizations around the world the following question:

“Which parts of your organization are thinking about and preparing for the future workplace?

This includes strategy and practical guidance. It covers new people skills such as online collaboration, leading virtual teams, participatory management, socially driven work practices. It also includes thinking about where people work, how to facilitate mobility, what is required in building facilities and services and so on.”

HR was identified as being involved in 50% (of the Majority of organizations) to 60% (in Early Adopter organizations). The image below is page 148 from “The Digital Workplace in the Connected Organization“.



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World Cafe in Berlin: The Digital Workplace Journey

April 8, 2014

If you are in Berlin between end of day Wed 9 April and Fri evening 11 April, get in touch. I’m going there tomorrow for Intranet Reloaded.

I’ll be running one table at the World Café on “evolving towards a digital workplace”. I plan to use my new model and deepen the work I did in Copenhagen at IntraTeamEvent and in Paris at IntraNetwork on “obstacles and how to overcome them”. The document below is an example of “working out loud” as it is unfinished and will continue to evolve through contributions made in future workshops.


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Employee engagement and the digital workplace

April 4, 2014

Employee engagement is low. Very low.

Gallup revealed this to the benefit of all of us.

Employee engagement Gallup

However, it was not a surprise to everyone. I presented the Gallup figures in a work session last week with 25 people in the room. Only 3 (myself included!) were over 30! The others were young professionals working in well-known global companies. When I displayed the slide, there was a loud gasp from one person. Who? An internal communication manager from a global company, and yes, she was well over 30.

I turned to the room and asked the other: “Does 13 % engaged surprise you?” There was a general shoulder-shrugging “no, not really”.

The digital workplace can help increase employee engagement.

I’ll write more about this later, but in the meantime here are the slides on my recent presentation: “Employee Engagement and the Digital Workplace.”

Employee engagement-digital-workplace from Jane McConnell
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Decrease of Interest in Enterprise Social Software Signals a Shift from Tool to Behavior

March 14, 2014

Recent news stories say fewer customers are buying and vendors are less interested in enterprise social software today. Why?

Data from the recent report The Digital Workplace in the Connected Organization 2014 tell the story:  Early Adopters have bought. They are now focused on learning to work in new ways. The Majority are in “wait and see” mode.

The Quick Read: Industry reports say that fewer customers are buying enterprise social software and that venture capitalists are less interested in ESN startups than in past years. Some people are surprised; others may conclude it is because social collaboration (or “social business” as some may call it) is dying.

I disagree with this analysis. Data shows that social collaboration is increasing in organizations, specifically in Early Adopters who have made their purchases and are now tackling the tough challenge of  how to change the way they work. On the other hand, the Majority of companies are in “wait and see” mode, some playing with pilots, but most observing what others are doing.

The risk the Majority are taking is that when they decide to move, they will have a lot of catching up to do. Going collaborative, however you do it, is a long journey and threatens traditional roles and ways of working in organizations. The business-value tipping point comes when business and business support functions get involved. And that’s  exactly what’s happening in Early Adopters today.
(Data from 2013 Q3 from 314 organizations worldwide: The Digital Workplace in the Connected Organization.)

Let’s start with two recent news stories….

“Customers aren’t as interested in social software for the enterprise as it seemed a few years ago.” (more…)

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Digital Workplace Scorecards: Update and Comments

February 23, 2014

The 2014 report “The Digital Workplace in the Connected Organization” has been sent to all participating organizations. Those who requested it have also received their individual Scorecards based on self-assessment, that’s to say their own answers to the survey questions. (Note that the full report is now available for purchase.)

I presented the Digital Workplace Model and Scorecard at the Enterprise 2.0 Summit in Paris a week ago. It was very well-received by this advanced level audience (which included a large number of consultants and thought-leaders).

The acid test is in the coming weeks as the participating organizations themselves study their individual Scorecards and reflect and react. I’m looking forward to questions and comments. I did get one email saying “This will help me show my manager easily and quickly where we are at.”

Here’s an example of the Scorecard showing the averages in all nine dimensions for Early Adopters (blue) and the Majority (gray).

EA and Maj SC


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