Cultural change and developing collaboration capabilities

Scott Anthony – president of Innosight (see some of my innovation related posts over at bmid) – compiles some of the drivers needed for organizational change, based on a panel discussion he moderated with CEOs from Dow Corning, Eastman Kodak, Procter & Gamble etc.:

  1. The need for a crisis or some kind of “burning platform” to motivate transformational change
  2. A clear vision and strategy … that allows room for iteration
  3. A recognition that transformation is a multi-year journey
  4. A need to put the customer or consumer in the center of the transformation equation
  5. The critical importance of demonstrating to skeptics that different actions can lead to different results
  6. The need to over-communicate to employees, customers, stakeholders, and shareholders

While I doubt that implementing social software in the enterprise profits much from a state of crisis (we need some careful planning and concepts which suffer from too much fuzz, social software doesn’t help turning the ship around quickly – at least not in financial terms, etc.), the other success factors make perfect sense. And they’re people centered success factors – highlighting communication, leadership and (customer) relations.

So it’s kind of disheartening when Susan Scrupski paints a bleak picture and perspective of the setting, the context and the understanding of organizational change for enterprise social software (“Corporate Antisocial Behavior: the Enemy is Us“):

I once heard from a Wall Street executive that he was no longer permitted to use the word “social” when describing 2.0 opportunities. It made senior management uncomfortable. Similarly, if there is more emphasis on social than networking, our clients raise the justifiable question of employee productivity. When we talk about collaboration and breaking down barriers with earnest information-sharing and knowledge harvesting, the conversation is more intriguing. But, realistically, can technologies engender cultural change? That is the $5 billion dollar question that will be answered over the next few years.

It’s 4,52 billion USD by Forresters account (btw, I’ve made a long german language comment arguing it’s actually a lot more). What stresses me out is this “being uncomfortable” – this is strange: Management is supposed to be people business, it is inherently social by all accounts.

Well, here’s my answer to Susan: It’s the social stuff that makes “Enterprise Social Software” projects both complex and worthwhile. Technology is easy to figure out, while it can effect interesting and complex changes. And some technologies can engender cultural change:

the way I see it is that social software is both a driver and an enabler (or infrastructure) of organizational change.

All the while this changing of work practices, routines etc. doesn’t come easily. So I’m glad I am a subscriber to the Anecdote newsletter, because I learned early that Shawn Callahan, Mark Schenk and Nancy White have published a new Anecdote Whitepaper entitled “Building a Collaborative Workplace” (pdf):

Today we all need to be collaboration superstars. The trouble is, collaboration is a skill and set of practices we are rarely taught. It’s something we learn on the job in a hit-or-miss fashion. Some people are naturals at it, but most of us are clueless.

Our challenge doesn’t stop there. An organisation’s ability to support collaboration is highly dependent on its own organisational culture. Some cultures foster collaboration while others stop it dead in its tracks.

To make matters worse, technology providers have convinced many organisations that they only need to purchase collaboration software to foster collaboration. There are many large organisations that have bought enterprise licences for products like IBM’s Collaboration Suite or Microsoft’s Solutions for Collaboration who are not getting good value for money, simply because people don’t know how to collaborate effectively or because their culture works against collaboration.

Of course technology plays an important role in effective collaboration. We are not anti-technology. Rather we want to help redress the balance and shift the emphasis from merely thinking about collaboration technology to thinking about collaboration skills, practices, technology and supporting culture. Technology makes things possible; people collaborating makes it happen.

This paper has three parts. We start by briefly exploring what we mean by collaboration and why organisations and individuals should build their collaboration capability. Then, based on that understanding, we lay out a series of steps for developing a collaboration capability. We finish the paper with a simple test of your current collaboration capability.

Looks like an interesting read for enterprise social software (who really need to understand change management deeply) consultants.

Social Software as Change Management infrastructure

The department of organizational design and behavior at the University of Stuttgart, Germany is currently conducting an online survey on “New Media in Change Management”.

New media like weblogs, internet-communities, wikis and web based trainings are not only fundamentally influencing operational business and communication structures within and between companies, but also strategic processes like innovation and time based competition. The question is if and how successfully these new media are able to support change projects. We want to analyze this “beyond hypes and fads” by an online expert survey.

I am sure that readers of this blog can answer these questions from a very knowledgeable position – at least, change management has been a recurring theme in this blog like here (and there as well) for long.

So if you have an understanding of the application and the potentials of social software in change processes, please take the time to answer the online questionnaire – it’s open until January 15th 2008.

Feel free to distribute the above link to your colleagues – and encourage them to take part in this survey.

Change Management

Die Einführung von Web 2.0 und Social Software-Werkzeugen in Unternehmen muss durch angepasstes Veränderungsmanagement begleitet werden.

Erfolgreiches Change Management baut dabei u.a. auf der sorgfältigen Analyse und Dokumentation der

  • Einstellungen und Annahmen
  • Wissens- und Kommunikationsbeziehungen
  • Interdependenzen der internen und externen Kompetenzen

im Unternehmen auf.

Mehr zu Aspekten des Veränderungsmanagements

9. October 2006 | Posted in: | Comments Closed

Bookmarks for April 21st from 12:35 to 12:50

Social business pinboard links for April 21st, syndicated automagically:

  • Irving Wladawsky-Berger: Design Principles for Complex, Unpredictable, People Oriented Systems – I found the best explanation for the growing importance of design in a short, elegant article in The Economist, Design Takes Over, by Paola Antonelli, senior curator for architecture and design at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. “There are still people who believe that design is just about making things, people and places pretty.  In truth, design has spread like gas to almost all facets of human activity, from science and education to politics and policymaking.  For a simple reason: one of design’s most fundamental tasks is to help people deal with change.” “Designers stand between revolutions and everyday life.  When the internet happened, they created interfaces with buttons and hyperlinks that enabled us all to use it.  Designers make disruptive innovations manageable and approachable, so that they can be embraced and assimilated into life.  And they never forget functionality and elegance. . . Design is moving centre-stage in the eternal human quest to make beauty out of necessity.” Design principles are particularly applicable to problems that are socio-technical in nature, that is, they involve people and technology, having to deal both with complex technical, business and societal infrastructures and human behaviors.  They are critical for dealing with the Grand Challenge problems we are facing in the 21st century, including health care, urbanization, education, energy, finance, and job creation.   What do we mean by applying design principles to complex, unpredictable, people oriented systems and problems?  Let me discuss three such principles based on my personal experiences.
  • Innovating User Value – The Interrelations of Business Model Innovation, (Service) Design Thinking and the Production of Meaning | Service Design Network – Abstract
    We live in a hyper-competitive world, where whole industries either shift towards services or become obsolete due to new market entrants, technologies or even social practices. A world, where permanent interactions with customers, fast time-to-market, and the ability to innovate »right« (e.g. the right thing or value) are the key to corporate success. On that score the business sphere isn’t getting tired of emphasising the need for strategic innovation (which means »creating superior customer value«, business model innovations or even the disruption and creation of new markets). This paper uncovers some of the often overlooked links of design (design thinking, design-driven innovation and service design) to strategic innovation through the lens of »customer value«. It will do so by …   Disenchanting the big corporate rhetoric on above claims by showing that prevailing and too one-sided understandings of strategy and innovation, rather reinforce than escape old industry paradigms.   Examining designs still undervalued contributions to strategy-making by approaching business challenges with a user/value-centric and radical service logic.   Showing that every dimension of strategic innovation culminates in the concept of perceived user value and meaning, which gets reviewed in detail (dimensions, forms, properties), especially with regards to constructing value propositions.   Arguing that the current service design and business model innovation discourses cannot be negotiated separately, as they may be good methodological complements.   So when speaking about the innovation of value for the customer, the paper argues, the above stated and seemingly separated fields intersect. Therefore their most apparent systemic connections and the facilitation of value creation by design are outlined and discussed.

Bookmarks for April 18th from 21:27 to 21:42

Social business pinboard links for April 18th, syndicated automagically:

  • The Network Singularity: Organization Networks – Rather unbelievable how limited network comprehension is and how slow people gain a network mindset. it is a real problem. Changing the org chart, moving the nodes and connections, in an effort to improve performance, is primitive org/social network analysis (SNA). People are often dismissive of the org chart. However, organizational hub and spoke network configurations are critical for continuity, resource allocation, governance and so forth. Org charts are often the formal networks of the organization.
  • Get Your Team to Work Across Organizational Boundaries – Brad Power – Harvard Business Review – A social media platform like Handshake or a three-day process workshop are just tools to help build and maintain teams that work across organizational boundaries. These tools need to be complemented by new behaviors of the CEO and C-Suite, shared objectives and measures, and a governance structure and management processes to implement changes together and monitor and celebrate progress. These institutional changes are huge. Yet, as shown in the MITRE and patient journey examples, the best way to compete is to get everyone working together across boundaries to solve customer problems. Question: What experience have you had in building teamwork across organizational boundaries?
  • AIIM2012 Clay Shirky Keynote | Collaborative Planning & Social Business – The title of his talk was “To Make Sense of Data, First Make Sense of People“. His central theme is that for a business, knowledge management is not purely knowledge management, and is becoming more & more associated with people management.  Change is getting messier, more human, and more social.  New tools and techniques are needed, and are becoming available for problem solving.
  • AIIM2102 Dion Hinchcliffe Keynote | Collaborative Planning & Social Business – Dion Hinchcliffe has been a luminary in the social technology space, however with this talk “Mobility First: New Opportunities” he has shifted into being an evangelist for mobile computing.  For a very good reason: the shift to mobile computing is the most dramatic technology transition in history.  Ever.   What follows are my notes from the talk.

Bookmarks for April 11th from 08:49 to 10:43

Social business pinboard links for April 11th, syndicated automagically:

  • CSCW — Institut für Psychologie – Der Begriff Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), auch genannt Rechnergestützte Gruppenarbeit, beschreibt ein Forschungsgebiet der Psychologie, Soziologie, Informatik und weiteren Fachgebieten. Es beschäftigt sich damit, Gruppenarbeit zu erforschen und grundlegende Methoden zur ihrer Verbesserung zu finden, um dadurch technische Systeme zu entwickeln zu können, die Gruppenarbeit unterstützen. Eng damit verbunden und oft auch synonym gebraucht ist der Begriff Groupware, unter den die technischen Systeme fallen, die entworfen wurden, um die soziale Interaktion zwischen Benutzern zu erleichtern. Die Art der Interaktion kann dabei räumlich wie zeitlich verteilt sein.
  • changeX: So sieht die Neue Arbeit aus – Die zehn meistgewählten Begriffe waren: 1. Netzwerk 2. dezentrales Arbeiten 3. Agilität 4. Selbstorganisation 5. Coworking 6. Begeisterung 7. Social Media 8. Sinn 9. Selbstbestimmung 10. Freiheit   Diese Top Ten zeichnen ein positives, von Kollaboration getragenes Bild der Zukunft der Arbeit. Diese Auswahl lasse darauf schließen, so Patrick Scheuerer, "dass für die meisten Teilnehmer die Neue Arbeit vor allem mit der Art und Weise der Zusammenarbeit zu tun hat. Zwar sind mit Sinn und Kreativität auch Begriffe vertreten, welche durchaus stark mit den Arbeitsinhalten in Verbindung stehen. Der klare Fokus liegt jedoch auf dem Arbeitskontext: dezentrale Arbeit in Netzwerken, bevorzugt in Coworking Spaces und selbst organisiert."
  • McGee’s Musings : Rethinking organizational functions and components in a freelance economy – Two interesting questions come to mind: How will the application and profile process evolve? We are all social animals. We also have a pretty solid understanding of what differentiates successful groups and successful teams. As freelancers and as potential co-workers, will we become more mindful about how we manage our associations? Grind is testing the hypothesis that there is value in filtering the freelancers who will have access to their space. Is this a leading indicator that the physical, social, psychological, and economic functions of the organization can be effectively decomposed and rearranged in new formats? It’s certainly time to reread Ronald Coase’s The Nature of the Firm. I might also take a look at Jay Galbraith’s Designing Organizations and Bob Keidel’s Seeing Organizational Patterns.
  • It’s 2012 and We Are Still Working on Process « Word of Pie – As cool as the Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, and Social are, fixing processes in an organization seems to be the gateway to having time to innovate. People are still trying to get over the hurdle and they are still trying to learn the best way to do it. Luckily, these new technologies actually help and don’t just clutter the picture. Cloud eases deployment and makes broad collaboration easy as the firewall is no longer a productivity wall Mobile allows people a new way to review content while they aren’t at their desk and cameras on everyone’s phones can replace many scanners Big Data allows for predictive analysis, helping organizations set themselves up to handle changes to their process or volume before it becomes a problem. Social improves the ease of working together over the more traditional collaboration tools. Let’s face it, many processes are the same over and over, but there are a lot of exceptions out there that have to be managed.

patterns as a way of making sense of group behaviour (and I’d say emergent phenomena…

patterns as a way of making sense of group behaviour (and I’d say emergent phenomena galore)

Reshared post from +<a href=’https://plus.google.com/103404136100035905482′>Martin Koser

snip: “

great teams:

Communicate frequently. In a typical project team a dozen or so communication exchanges per working hour may turn out to be optimum; but more or less than that and team performance can decline.
Talk and listen in equal measure, equally among members. Lower performing teams have dominant members, teams within teams, and members who talk or listen but don’t do both.
Engage in frequent informal communication. The best teams spend about half their time communicating outside of formal meetings or as “asides” during team meetings, and increasing opportunities for informal communication tends to increase team performance.
Explore for ideas and information outside the group. The best teams periodically connect with many different outside sources and bring what they learn back to the team.”

powerful patterns of communication #ftw

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The Hard Science of Teamwork
Like many people, I’ve encountered teams that are “clicking.” I’ve experienced the “buzz” of a group that’s blazing away with new ideas in a way that makes it seem they can read each others’ minds. We…

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