OF JANE McCONNELL
May 22, 2016
For the first time in 10 years of annual surveys and reports, I’ve decided to look for sponsors — people or organizations who want to support independent research about organizations in the digital age. The three sponsorship packages along with demographics and distribution information are described in the slide deck below. You can view it on SlideShare by clicking on the link below.
You can also download it in PDF format here: Organization Digital Age-Sponsorship Opportunities.
You can read more about the research here, as well as industry feedback here.
May 16, 2016
Most people believe that knowledge goes out the door when people leave their organization. In both my 2014 and the 2015 research results, fewer than 15% of the respondents felt very confident or relatively confident that knowledge stays in the organization when people leave. The vast majority expressed varying degrees of lack of confidence.
Knowledge is dynamic. It is not something you can store in a document so that others can find and use it. People often confuse knowledge for information, except when they really need it. Then they see that knowledge—information in context shared by people with experience—is radically different from information gleaned from reading a document.
Knowledge evolves over time. Knowledge that was considered authoritative yesterday may be out of date today. Even worse, we don’t know if something is still valid or not. How can we get around this dilemma? By making knowledge sharing part of the foundation of how we work today.
Forget tomorrow, and focus on today. Tomorrow will then take care of itself.
May 9, 2016
In the work world today, people often need to go rogue in order to get things done. The online urban dictionary defines going rogue as “To cease to follow orders; to act on one’s own, usually against expectation or instruction. To pursue one’s own interests.”
This may sound reckless and extreme—not following orders or instructions, acting on your own, pursuing your own interests versus those of others. But I interpret it to mean “daring to take initiatives that go against policy and doing what seems best from your point of view”.
This mindset was illustrated in research data that I shared in my article describing how “Bring your own technology is more prevalent in high-performing customer-oriented workforces than in the average company”. (Full article at HBR.org). Bringing your own technology is forbidden in many organizations. In spite of that, organizations with the highest performing customer-facing workforces are also those with the highest rates of BYO, forbidden or not. (more…)
May 5, 2016
Getting different perspectives
You can use the 2016 digital workplace survey to understand different perspectives and to trigger conversations in your organization:
- Get the perspective of your team by doing the survey together. Lots of discussion guaranteed!
- Get the views of people in your organization by distributing a customized link to business lines, country managers, sales people, R&D, HR, customer service, and so on. Diversity in the results guaranteed!
Putting it all together: the Customized Snapshot
March 29, 2016
A knowledge practitioner in a global insurance company asked me the following:
“Now that we’ve seen some maturity of social business platforms, and increased appetite for these type of interactions within companies, how would you characterize the interest and operationalization of more traditional content, document and knowledge management?
… Specifically, I have yet to see a social platform that adequately “manages” content with more advanced content services, so I’m of the mind – at least right now – that an intranet needs to be comprised of a “tool set”. Some tools will enable social business and collaboration activities, while others handle the more complex and disciplined content management needs. What are you seeing other companies doing, and what’s your opinion on the subject?”
The single magic solution is on the way out. Ecosystems are the longterm platform vision for digitally maturing companies.
Data show that most organizations are aiming for ecosystems of tools and platforms, and not trying to do everything with a single platform. (more…)
March 23, 2016
My March Briefing Note went out yesterday. If you’re not subscribed, you can read it here, along with the January and February editions.
- How do we get from bees to honey in the digital age? Or, in our case, from digital capabilities to meaningful change?
- Demographics and digital maturity. Is there a correlation?
- 7 Tips for working with a strategic consultant
- Recommended reading: MOOCs, platforms, and thought-provoking quotes.
- I finish with an article I wrote shortly after the terrorist attacks of November in Paris, and talk about my conversations a few days later with a couple taxi drivers.
You can click directly through to the full March Briefing Note here, and sign up here if you’d like to receive it each month.
March 16, 2016
- How easy is it for people to learn in the natural flow of work?
- How confident are you that knowledge and know-how of people will not walk out the door when people leave your organization?
- How easy is it for the customer-facing people to serve customers?
You can see the survey results on these questions from the 2015 report here, and you’ll see it’s not so positive.
February 3, 2016
How would you respond to the 4 questions below? They have been explored with several hundred organizations, first at the end of 2013 and then again at the end of 2014. The results were practically identical. (more…)
February 2, 2016
I’ve been asked at least a hundred times which countries are the strongest in digital workplace maturity. People always ask about their own country. Many assume that the US is more advanced than Europe, Northern Europe more than Southern Europe, and so on. I have always hesitated to give my opinion based on my firsthand experiences and decided it was time to look at some data and see if there are some answers or maybe just some points to think about. First I’ll start with some basics.
The larger the workforce, the more mature the digital workplace.
Organizations with a workforce of over 50,000 people have a much higher digital workplace score than those with fewer than 5,000 people.
The bigger you are, the more you need digital to reach and connect everyone. It is business critical.
I’ve seen this since the very first survey back in 2006.
The bigger the geographical footprint, the more mature the digital workplace.
The more countries the organization operates in, the more advanced the internal digital workplace is. This applies as well to smaller organizations with people located in many different countries. Again, how else can you connect?
Private beats public, sadly.
The private corporate sector has higher digital maturity than the non-private such as government and educational institutions. Unfortunately, education and government are least mature sectors in digital workplace matters. This may be because their focus is strongly towards external people — students, citizens, residents, etc. or there may be a deeper reason. Whatever the reason, it’s a sad state of affairs.
The very institutions that govern us and educate us (in theory) have fallen behind, digitally speaking.
January 26, 2016
I have worked as a strategy facilitator in the field of “internal digital work environments” for 17 years. In reality, I have never actually worked like a consultant.
My clients have often told me they work with me because “you’re not a consultant.”
Strategy consultants traditionally work in two steps: A. Interview, explore and investigate. B. Analyze and write a report with recommendations. That has never been my approach.
Here’s how I work
First I sell a one-day scoping workshop where we define the goals, approach, players, deliverables, etc. together. The client pays for this. The client is not committed to go any further. The outcome is a document, co-authored by them and myself. They are completely free to use it with another partner. They usually retain me at this point, but the freedom not to encourages them to take the first step quickly.
Then, assuming the scoping exercise has gone well, I do a proposal encouraging the client to play a leadership role in the activities — usually workshops and user needs research. My role is one of coaching the leader and facilitating the process. Positioning the client contact person as both project owner and project leader brings greater visibility and credibility to the outcome.
It’s no longer a consultant on a “hit and fly” mission — stepping in for the strategy development phase and leaving before it materializes (or not).