How do we learn? Who’s responsible?

August 31, 2016

Today I’m working on the learning theme for the 2016 report. I’d like to share some data with you and see what you think.

The survey question asked respondents to indicate their agreement or disagreement (5-point scale) on these statements:

  • Our approach to training/learning is primarily experiential and is based on simulations, games and case studies, coaching and mentoring.
  • Our approach to training/learning is primarily delivered by experts/trainers explaining and giving talks either online or in a classroom.
  • When it comes to personal development, our organization’s philosophy is that people are primarily responsible for acquiring new skills and knowledge.
  • When it comes to personal development, our organization’s philosophy is that HR and managementare primarily responsible for ensuring that people acquire new skills and knowledge.Learning


Working out loud not yet the norm

August 29, 2016

For the first time, in this 10th year, I looked into working out loud.

Background: For those not familiar with the concept, you can read more here on my blog where there’s a brief list of early proponents. You can download a copy of Dennis Pearce’s thesis (University of Kentucky) Developing a Method for Measuring ‘Working Out Loud‘ (immediate pdf download) published in 2014. You read the blog of John Stepper, author of Working Out Loud (published in 2015). You can simply do a search on the internet “working out loud” or search Twitter using the hashtag #wol.

There’s lots of stuff out there, but I wanted to know what’s really happening. So I asked the following question on this year’s survey- The Organization in the Digital Age 2016.

workcharts Linkedin verified.001


Working out loud—risky, but worth it!

August 27, 2016

As you know, I’m working out loud this year as I prepare the 2016 report: The Organization in the Digital Age. Well, I’m embarrassed and very annoyed with myself that I made a significant mistake.  I was going too fast in my desire to share. I trust you to forgive me, and I promise to continue working out loud over the next weeks anyway!

Here’s the deal. This past week, I published 2 posts and charts here and here about the primary goals for digital transformation initiatives from the full survey viewpoint and the HR viewpoint. Unfortunately, they were based on an error in the database which has now been corrected.

Impact on the findings: Efficiency now at the top. Talent and new business models still at the bottom

transformation goals full survey


Transformation goals: Why not talent and recruitment?

August 25, 2016

Aug 26, 2016: This post has been updated based on correcting an error in the data base. More here about that.

I posted a chart a couple days ago showing the primary goals for digital transformation according to the 311 people who participated in the 2016 survey. Quite a few comments came back to me about the low position of “support talent management and recruitment” and one person asked about the profiles of the respondents.

So I ran the chart for the segment of people who reported having an HR function—25 out of 311—and found no major differences. In both cases,  “Support talent management and recruitment” is the lowest goal. (paragraph updated) transformation goals full vs HR

There are different ways to interpret this chart as well as the previous one. (more…)

Transformation goals: present beats future

August 22, 2016

Aug 26, 2016: This post has been updated based on correcting an error in the data base. More here about that.

The 2016 research involved 311 people from 27 countries. I’m now working full out on analyzing the data, writing and interviewing people for the case studies. That’s my excuse for being “offline” for the past weeks.

But, in the spirit of working out loud, I will be sharing pieces of information and analysis as I work through the data.

One of the first observations is that implementing fundamentally new business models is clearly on the back burner, as organizations are focusing on what needs to be improved today.  Surprised?

transformation goals full survey



Deadline extended to 30 June

June 12, 2016

I got a lot of requests at the end of last week for more time to do the 2016 survey: The Organization in the Digital Age. It made sense to extend the deadline, and it is now June 30th.

Get in touch if the new deadline makes it easier for you to participate!

Some useful links are:

Participation options

Topics covered

Sign up form

And, last but not least: Sponsorship opportunities




Sponsorship opportunities for the 2016 report

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.

Organization Digital Age Research Sponsorship Opportunities from Jane McConnell

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.


Does knowledge walk when people walk?

May 16, 2016

door two men 1017

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. 


Is going rogue the new normal?

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 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…)

‘Organization in the Digital Age’ Survey: How to Get the Full Picture

May 5, 2016

lenses by luigi andreola 700pxGetting 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