Social capital RoI – preserving collaborative networks and work-life balance

I am in the midst of collecting interesting thoughts and remarks from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference this week in San Francisco (while preparing for the Enterprise 2.0 SUMMIT this week in Frankfurt) and this one caught my eye. Noticed this too during the life video stream from the conference, but it was only a side-remark then, and it’s more interesting in terms of RoI and “collaborative performance” than one sees at first sight. During a panel Booz Allen Hamilton VP Art Fritzson and senior associate Walton Smith shared their experiences integrating social and collaborative software into the BAH consulting business and argued like this (via Thomas Claburn at Information Week):

Enterprise 2.0, properly implemented, can create a barrier to exit.

[...] it can help companies retain valuable knowledge workers by weaving social bonds into the fabric of the workplace.

“People think twice about leaving and giving up all that”

Sounds a bit like “silk bondage” replacing the iron cask of lifetime-employment – but I wouldn’t be so negative, would I? It’s probably more about designing a workplace people enjoy and allowing the growth of employee’s social capital is good business practice with (hard to calculate but substantial) side benefits. Preserving functioning teams (and collaborative networks) by keeping people from leaving for good is one good benefit, OK.

Yet I wonder how this ties in with a caring for work-life balance – nurturing human-relations to colleagues, partners and bosses is vital, but this isn’t the social life of people alone. Entertaining a campus cafeteria, pet barber shop and sports facilities might be good for people with work-related friends mostly, but this is worrying me a bit. What’s your take, am I too negative and “german” again?

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reboot11 – recapping day 2 and wrapping it all up

Time for a wrap-up, huh? Blogged about day 1 here, now onto the remainders, which included favourite talks by Lee Bryant, Euan Semple, JP Rangaswamy, Stowe Boyd and Bruce Sterling (interview here).

And with favouriote speakers on stage I am a bit hesitating to see it like Anders who writes:

[...] the slightly holier-than-thou tech-savvy social media web crowd in the hall. And the ribbing was needed, in my opinion, since the first keynotes of the day – Lee Bryant and Evan Semple – had been gagfests of we-know-what-it-is-about-and-they-do-not-comments on enterprises and old media, entertaining and insightful though they were.

I don’t think this was only for the converted, the smart guys who get it – talks like these provide us with inspiration and things to think about. Granted, from the outside “cyberutopianism and activism” look very much like a sick insider’s joke, yet it’s more mainstream than one assumes at first. The changes are underway, both in social media as whole and in the enterprise.  And the topics of this year’s reboot are probably more mainstream than we realize, like we can see e.g. in the race for the colonization of social media. As Stowe Boyd demands:

[...] we are not online for money, principally. We have created the web to happen to ourselves: to shape a new culture and build a better, more resilient world. And we need better media tools than we have at present, to make that a reality.

So reboot11 was a success in my mind – giving us stories and storylines (or shall we say a Reboot mythology) to proceed. And some nifty action projects like the solar bike went live too (the rebike in fact turned out to offer better wifi than the regular reboot one, watch the video …). After all you can’t fit everything into two days, sometimes you just have to be content with what you’ve got, it’s like Casper says:

[...] a lot of friendly people and generally the conference went beyond my expectations for a reasonably small tech (not in the real sense anyways) get-together as this was. I hope to join next year as well.

To close, my short video interview with Ton Zijlstra, talking about what makes reboot so special (and yes, some systems work best when they’re not stable):

ps. reboot presentations get collected on slideshare, tagged with ‘reboot11′ and then probably added to the reboot group on slideshare

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Social capital theory – nicely explained

Via Bill Sherman I stumbled upon a CommonCraft video, that I missed upon at first sight.

Social capital theory nicely explained, that is, citing Bill:

Dr. Nan Lin,  professor of Sociology at Duke University, defines social capital as the ability to locate and mobilize resources within your network. It’s not just who you know, it’s who will actually invest effort to help you towards your goals.

In this video, Common Craft teaches the basics of social capital theory. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear aspects of Nan Lin’s social capital model, Ronald Burt’s structural holes theory, and Mark Granovetter’s “strength of weak ties.” [...]

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How to build vibrant communities …

Found via Bertrand Duperrin (“Enterprise 2.0 according to SUN“) – this presentation by Peter Reiser (“Risk Management and Community“). I like the strategy and “why”-parts but am a bit hesitant in liking the Community Equity Model (measuring the various elements of equity seems hard). But well, if that’s what is needed for getting organizational support and buy-in …

Royal Bank of Scotland is holding their International Risk Congress in Edinburgh this week. The theme is “join the conversation” and it is all about communities, Web 2.0, sharing and participation.

[Peter Reiser] had the pleasure to lead a workshop with RBS on how to build vibrant communities.

It is a great sign that large enterprises like RBS are really getting serious about Web 2.0 and Communities. It is fascinating to see how a bank can differentiate and distinguish themselves by applying communities to their existing business processes. And yes – building a community value system as part of strategy is very important to drive active participation and contribution – and our Community Equity model fits very well

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