Is your organization digitally-enabled?

October 20, 2014

Find out where you are. See what others are doing.

Do you work in HR, IT, Communication, Marketing, Sales, Engineering, Finance, Legal, Organizational Strategy, Corporate Affairs…?

If so, you are certainly seeing the impact of digital on how people work, how you serve your customers and how your workforce collaborates.

Are you wondering what value the digital workplace brings to an organization?

You can find out what other organizations are thinking and doing by participating in the 2015 Digital Workplace survey.

Free copy of the 2015 Report

All survey participants get a free copy of the 2015 Digital Workplace Report.  The report includes data, charts, analysis, case studies and industry sector scorecards, letting you see how you compare to your peers. (The report is available to non-participants for 550 USD. See the 2014 table of contents.)

Your Digital Workplace Scorecard

You can also request to receive your Digital Workplace Scorecard showing where your digital workplace is today on a 5-level maturity scale. It’s based on the innovative Digital Workplace Framework designed by myself and the survey Advisory Boards of 2013 and 2014.

Choose how to do the survey

You can do the survey on your own, submit your answers as a team, or even invite different stakeholders in your organization to participate and get your Digital Workplace Collective Scorecard.

Last year over 300 organizations around the world participated. See reviews about last year’s report.  Join us this year: see where you stand and get your free copy of the 2015 Report.

Follow this link, read the instructions and start the survey!

Contact Jane McConnell for more information.

Download pdf:
Download PDF

Collective Digital Workplace Scorecard (Free)

October 19, 2014

What’s new in the 2015 Digital Workplace Survey ?

If you have several stakeholders that participate in the survey this year, you can request a Digital Workplace Collective Scorecard.

In addition to the Digital Workplace Scorecard based on your answers,  you and the other participants will receive a Collective Scorecard that consolidates the responses from all participants from the same organization. This is a free service and is explained here including instructions on how to benefit from this service.

DW Collective Scorecard (more…)

Download pdf:
Download PDF

The Digital Workplace in the Financial Sector

October 17, 2014

(See where your organization stands by participating in the Digital Workplace survey for 2015. You’ll receive a complimentary copy of the 2015 report and your customized scorecard. How to participate.)

The financial sector has led in providing a digital workplace for customers. It lags behind for its own workforce.

Two surprising statistics from the financial institutions participating in the 2014 Digital Workplace research:

  • Over 50 percent say their customer-facing workforce finds it “difficult” to access the information they need to serve their customers.
  • 70 percent say their workforce is not able to easily learn and develop their skills in the “natural flow of work”.

How can that be the case in a digitally-enabled sector?

The ATM revolution has freed many of us from standing in line in banks. The first ATMs appeared half a century ago. Online banking and insurance services let us handle our money in convenience of our homes. Online banking started 35 years ago. Insurance companies are technologically advanced using big data and algorithms as everyday business tools.

Both industries are experimenting at the edge of what technology can “bring” or “do” to people, depending on where you stand. The insurance industry is exploring predictive medicine which raises fundamental questions about individual responsibility versus mutual solidarity. The banking industry is figuring out the impact of bitcoins which raises issues about privacy, surveillance and illegal marketplaces.  So, both industries are at the forefront of the digital workplace, or, as I define it, “the intersection of people, organization and technology”.

Why is the financial sector not one of the top sectors in digital maturity for their own people?

Out of 314 organizations that participated in the 2014 Digital Workplace survey, 56 are in the financial sector. Out of this segment, there are 6 digital workplaces that show a high degree of maturity compared to the average. They range in size of workforce from under 5,000 to 50,000. They are headquartered in 6 different countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, UK.

What makes the top 6 digital workplaces in financial institutions different?

The chart below tells part of the story.


Download pdf:
Download PDF

Why “efficiency” is not the best driver for digital in your organization

October 12, 2014

Who’s against efficiency?

Henry Mintzberg tweeted: “Who could possible be against efficiency? Me for one.” He shared his thoughts here: What could possibly be wrong with “efficiency”? Plenty. (Via @jonhusband)

Mintzberg makes three points, and I quote:

  1. “Because costs are usually easier to measure than benefits, efficiency often reduces to economy: cutting measurable costs at the expense of less measurable benefits.”
  2. “Because economic costs are typically easier to measure than social costs, efficiency can actually result in an escalation of social costs.”
  3. “Because economic benefits are typically easier to measure than social benefits, efficiency drives us toward an economic mindset that can result in social degradation.”

Efficiency is not the top strategy driver in more mature digital workplaces

Based on the new digital workplace model, organizations that lead in maturity report “Organizational Intelligence” as their top strategic driver whereas the majority of organizations reported “Efficiency and cost savings” as number one.

Strat drivers Efficiency or Organizational Intelligence


Download pdf:
Download PDF

Looking for pilot testers for new Digital Workplace survey

September 22, 2014

I’m looking for a few volunteers to pilot test the survey this week.

The pilot will be available end of day today, Monday 22 Sept. I’m looking for digital practitioners organizations to do a test run of the new Digital Workplace survey.

I’m asking people to fill it out “for real” as if they were actually taking the survey,  to note their comments as they go in an email or text file, then to send me the feedback. I’ll integrate your answers into the final version so you do not have to do it twice. Or, if you prefer, you can do it again later. It’s up to you.

The deadline for getting the feedback to me is the end of the week, end of day Friday 26 September.

I’d estimate it to take about 60 minutes for the survey, plus a little more for the time spent noting your feedback.
Let me know if you are interested and if you have the time this week. I’ll need your email in order to send you the survey link, along with a few specific comments about the feedback. Please use your organizational email, not a gmail, hotmail, etc..

Interested practitioners can contact me using the form on this page.  Thank you.

Download pdf:
Download PDF

Business priorities and the digital workplace: your input please

September 12, 2014

I’m looking for input about an important indicator for this year’s digital workplace survey: business and enterprise priorities

(This is the long version of the question I have also posted on the Digital Workplace Facebook page and on my Google+ page.)

High-level strategic drivers for the digital workplace

Over the past few years, I’ve proposed a list of five high-level strategic drivers for the digital workplace. Participants were asked to indicate the top three for their organization.

  1. Efficiency and cost savings
  2. Business and operational performance
  3. Organizational intelligence
  4. Agility, flexibility and speed
  5. Engagement and belonging

(Full definitions at the bottom of this blog post)

This led to observations as follows, and I plan to maintain the same question this year to detect possible changes.

  • The Early Adopters indicated that “organizational intelligence” was their top strategic driver whereas the Majority selected “Efficiency and cost savings”.
  • The highest rated strategy drivers differed according to industry:
  • 80 % of both “Government/public services” and “Humanitarian” rated “Efficiency and cost-saving” as their top strategic driver.
  • 56% of the “Professional services” and “Chemicals” companies rated “Agility, flexibility, speed” at the top.
  • 83% of the “Construction, engineering” industry rated “Organizational intelligence” at the top.
  • For the “Consumer, retail” industry “Engagement and belonging” was the highest rated (55%).

Here’s an example of two digital workplace strategic driver profiles: “Construction / engineering” and “Government / public services”.

Strategic drivers for the digital workplace in the Construction/Engineering industry.


Strategic drivers for Government and Public Service organizations.

Looking for input on this list of business and organizational priorities

This year, I’m adding a more detailed question about enterprise and business priorities that exist independently of the digital workplace. I will ask the question twice: “for your whole organization” and “for your own area of work / team / department”.

Based on responses to numerous questions throughout the survey, I will be able to identify which features and dimensions in the digital workplace impact which specific enterprise/business goals.  The results can be analyzed functionally (sales, engineers, etc.) as well as by industry. They can also be analyzed in a macro way by taking all the responses for those who selected “engagement and belonging” as a top strategic driver, and see what specific enterprise and business goals they had, and which features in the digital workplace impacted them (or not). I can also see what organizations are doing in their digital workplace for a  specific business priority.

What do you think of this list? What to add? What to remove?

1.    Reduce costs
2.    Improve individual productivity, efficiency
3.    Improve operational efficiency
4.    Improve existing processes
5.    Reinvent the way we work, transform our organization
6.    Improve collaboration internally, reduce silo-thinking
7.    Enable mobile and remote workers to collaborate “as if in the office”
8.    Improve access to information: relevance, timeliness
9.    Improve knowledge-sharing across the organization
10.    Make our learning environment smarter, quicker and more relevant
11.    Attract, motivate, retain employees
12.    Strengthen our corporate/organizational brand internally, reinforce our sense of purpose
13.    Improve customer satisfaction
14.    Create new products/services
15.    Attract and retain new customers, open new markets
16.    Improve collaboration with clients, partners and other external people
17.    Strengthen our corporate/organizational brand externally
18.    Increase flexibility / responsiveness of the organization
19.    Build alliances with other enterprises/organizations
20.    Improve our sustainability from an environmental perspective
21.    Improve IT applications and infrastructure

These items need to be relevant to all types of organizations and all industries, yet more action-oriented and specific than the five strategic drivers listed at the top of this post. The list should cover most potential goals for most organizations! Not an easy task.  I look forward to your feedback on this list. Thank you!

Definitions for the five strategic drivers used in the last two annual surveys

Efficiency and cost savings: shared technologies, licenses, services, reduced reliance on email, increased productivity, reducing duplication of effort and of content, reducing travel costs, …
Business and operational performance: support/improve product or service development, improve/accelerate customer service, facilitate the work of our customer-facing people …
Organizational intelligence: increase/facilitate collaboration and teamwork, enable fast access to experts, stimulate the emergence of collective intellectual capital, facilitate innovation, …
Agility and speed: streamline core activity/business processes, accelerate communication flows, speed up decision-making, connect workers across teams and geographies, …
Engagement and belonging: help empower people, build trust across the organization, provide a place for people to “meet”, recognize accomplishments (of people and of the organization), …

Download pdf:
Download PDF

Embracing diversity brings decision-making challenges

August 20, 2014

The digital workplace is not a place. It is not a shared entry point. It is an ecosystem that is governed by a limited number of strategic principles that enable people throughout the organization to self-organize, work out loud, take ownership and assume accountability for their work. A successful digital workplace is participative.


dw diversity and beyond corp walls

Many people are impacted by an organization’s digital workplace and they all need to be consulted when defining a strategy and action plan. I’ve defined 5 stakeholder groups, each with different but complementary needs.

How can you make relevant and actionable decisions in this complex environment?


Download pdf:
Download PDF

What we can learn from a newspaper (and it’s not the news)

August 5, 2014

I recently read Play It Again, by Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian newspaper and website. The book triggered a new interest in The Guardian and it also got me back on the piano.

Alan Rusbridger’s yearlong journey to learn Chopin’s Ballade No.1 is the primary story line for this book. However for me, the background stories, illustrated by the following three examples, are more compelling:

  • Rusbridger describes the pivotal role of The Guardian in the WikiLeaks events and chronicles meetings with Assange and the difficult challenge of coordinating the major media supporters and Assange.
  • It is learned that one of the Guardian journalists is being held by Libyan rebels so Rusbridger and a colleague personally fly immediately to Libya and get him out just hours before the No Fly Zone takes place.
  • The Guardian journalists stood up to the Murdoch machine and were key to revealing the hacking scandal at News of the World.

In Play it Again, Rusbridger talks like a true leader – vision combined with humility. Vision for leading The Guardian into the digital age, and at the same time becoming a worldwide model for freedom of the press. Humility for describing how nervous he was, at many points, over the year as he went to piano camp, practiced in 15-minute segments a day, played for small audiences yet felt he would never reach his goal of mastering the Ballade.

Fulfilling purpose and going beyond the surface


Download pdf:
Download PDF

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…)

Download pdf:
Download PDF

“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…


Download pdf:
Download PDF