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15 Posts authored by: gialyons

pitfallsmountain.jpgIn 1982, before the advent of the PC, the Disney movie Tron introduced people to the idea of living inside of a computer. Nearly three and a half decades later, it’s not much of a leap to say that we actually do spend much of our days inside of computers.

 

In fact, most of us live our consumer lives immersed in technologies that were once the stuff of science fiction. Today, our digital experiences are pervasive, flexible, open, adaptive and mobile. At work it’s not too different—except, in the digital workplace, it can often seem as if we’re still locked in a mainframe straight out of 1982.

 

Today, most employees are stuck using a mishmash of email, rigid document-centric suites and shiny-yet-distracting teamware apps all bolted together on top of a legacy, my-way-or the highway intranet that has aged about as well as a GeoCities community circa 1996. The problem is that modern workers expect an empowering, people-centric workplace experience rather than a glorified bulletin board or reams of message threads where knowledge goes to die.

 

In my new article in CMSWire, I discuss the ways in which an interactive intranet solution can help businesses address the challenges and avoid the pitfalls of designing a new digital workplace. By putting people at the center of a virtual "WorkHub," companies can increase ROI and engagement by living up to employees’ high expectations.

 

To learn more about why interactive intranets should be the hub of your digital workplace strategy, read my article, Navigating Pitfalls in the New Digital Workplace.

red_dot_connected.jpgIn The Problem with Traditional Intranets, I explained that employees are hampered by their company's traditional communication and collaboration tools across five behaviors of high performers:

 

  1. Understand their organization's overall strategy, and how they contribute
  2. Informally learn from others in similar roles
  3. Find experts and their knowledge to improve work in progress
  4. Collaborate with others to create and deliver quality work products
  5. Share their knowledge with others

 

Let's explore how social technologies can address these obstacles to higher performance, starting with (4) Collaborate with others to create and deliver quality work, and (5) Share their knowledge with others.

 

 

What would you say you do here?

 

Forget about technology for a moment. What do people DO in your organization? Probably variations on the following:

 

  • Develop products
  • Develop campaigns
  • Update websites
  • Plan events
  • Launch products
  • Create client presentations
  • Write sales proposals
  • Manage client projects
  • Resolve customer issues

 

And what tools do you use to do these things? Perhaps one or more of these:

 

  • Email
  • Phone calls
  • Conference rooms
  • Web meetings
  • Chat messaging
  • Wikis
  • Microsoft Office
  • Google Docs
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Dropbox
  • Box
  • Basecamp
  • CRM
  • ERP

 

That's a lot of tools.

 

One of the biggest problems with using all of these disconnected tools is that you can’t keep track of actions needed or decisions made across all of them, and you have no idea about the context of the work done, weeks later. And forget about using some of them on a mobile device.

 

 

So, how can a social intranet help?

 

First, social isn’t a software stack. It’s a way of doing business that requires the seamless flow of information, context, and activity across different applications and business activities.

 

A social intranet:

  • is used from within your most common tools, such as MS Office, SharePoint, Lync, Google Docs, Google Drive, Box, Salesforce.com, etc.
  • consolidates within a single, searchable area the actions assigned, decisions made, and the conversation threads and activity streams happening across those tools
  • delivers all of these tools in the context of a specific process to your mobile devices


In short, a social intranet becomes the hub, the system of record for collaboration.

 

Here's an example.

 

Let's say an IT team is beginning to develop a new application for one of their business lines. They would likely follow a process like this:

 

  1. Gather requirements from the business people
  2. Develop solution that fits into the company's technology architecture
  3. Define use cases
  4. Build a prototype and present it to the business people for feedback
  5. Repeat until requirements stop moving, and technology architecture is feasible

 

And they'd likely use these tools to collaborate:

 

  • Microsoft Office/Google Docs
  • SharePoint/Google Drive
  • Email
  • Web meetings
  • Chat messaging
  • Source control repository
  • Bug tracking system

 

But, issues like these are abound:

 

Where is the latest Excel version of the requirements? I think someone emailed a new version yesterday.

 

I can't keep coding until I get an update from the Bangalore team, and they're asleep.

 

Who from the business side can make a decision on this new issue?

 

Why did the business people change the requirements again? Is it documented somewhere?

 

 

With a social intranet as the system of collaboration, all those emails and documents would automatically get posted and updated with the latest versions and replies to one place, no matter who sends them. The team can ask and answer one another's questions around the clock using email, the source control repository, and the bug tracking system, knowing that everything is streamed to their social intranet place, and made available on their most used mobile devices. The project manager can post project governance information, alerts, meeting notes, and designate decisions made and actions needed within conversation threads. Best of all: this team's work in progress would appear in the social intranet's streams and search results, get recommended to others across the company, and appear next to similar content (subject to view permissions).

 

That's how a social intranet helps people collaborate with others to create and deliver quality work, and share their knowledge with others while they're working. How do you use your social intranet to work better?


Learn more about how a social intranet can impact your business by downloading this Whitepaper.

Screen Shot 2013-02-11 at 12.42.34 PM.png

In order to be a high performer, a knowledge worker must always:

 

  • focus on the right tasks
  • have all the skills necessary for the role
  • work as efficiently as possible and work with others whenever appropriate

 

That means they must do five behaviors effectively:


  1. Understand their organization's overall strategy, and how they contribute
  2. Informally learn from others in similar roles
  3. Find experts and their knowledge to improve work in progress
  4. Collaborate with others to create and deliver quality work products
  5. Share their knowledge with others

 

Obstacles to Achieving Higher Performance

 

Unfortunately, traditional intranets, knowledge management and collaboration applications pose significant obstacles to achieving higher performance. Let's grade how they deliver in each of the five behaviors.

 

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 4.13.34 PM.png

 

1. Understand their organization's overall strategy, and how they contribute

 

Grade = C

 

How do most organizations communicate to employees about corporate strategy? Typically, Corporate Communications writes an article that appears on the intranet homepage, which is the default browser homepage. In many cases, executives are asked to cascade emails to their direct reports until it reaches everyone in the firm. So, as a knowledge worker, I'm responsible for paying attention to the intranet home page, even though it is not where I spend my time during the day. Or, if I get the thing as an email, here's to hoping I see it among all the other unread items, and that my immediate manager hasn't prefaced it with his or her own perceptions that could negatively influence my own.

 

And forget about asking for clarification, or even sharing my agreement or excitement. Even if I could do that in the intranet home page version, what are the chances that others will chime in, since they too, do not spend their day camped out in the intranet?

 

Screen Shot 2013-02-11 at 3.19.15 PM.pngWhy is feedback so important? According to McKinsey research, 55% of strategies do not include an effective and aligned execution plan. Gaining buy-in to a company's strategic direction is KEY to executing on it. A quick way to gain buy-in is to give your most expensive and skilled employees a voice in developing it.

 

 

2. Informally learn from others in similar roles


Grade = B


In a many intranet/collaboration/knowledge management environments, there are communities of practice dedicated to specific job functions. Many of these are thriving communities, both on and offline. But, consider how long it takes a newcomer - whether a new hire or newly acquired hire - to find these communities and start benefiting from them. Do their hiring managers introduce them? Do they find them weeks later through word-of-mouth? Or, is it part of their onboarding program? Does the intranet or KM system figure out who they are and recommend communities to join? Not likely.

 

 

3. Find experts and their knowledge to improve work in progress

 

Grade = C-


Take a look at your intranet, collaboration tools, and/or knowledge management systems. Do you have quick and easy access to your colleagues' work products, particularly the ones you don't know yet? Imagine if you could browse what people are working on to passively learn from them (i.e., you wouldn't need to interrupt them at all). Typically, you must ask a question - most likely through an email blast - and hope someone takes time to answer fast enough to make a difference in the thing you're working on right now.

 

Or, maybe you've got a micro-blogging tool or an HR app that helps folks find people with the knowledge you're looking for. What about their work in progress? What about their finished projects? Do people only log into that tool when they need to find someone, or have time on their hands to help others? The point is, you'll learn more from others by seeing what they've worked on (assuming you have access), versus reading their resume, or hoping they're online to answer your question.

 

4. Collaborate with others to create and deliver quality work products

 

Grade = D

 

Employees are typically stuck using multiple disconnected, non-mobile collaboration apps, so it's rather difficult to keep track of decisions made or actions needed across tools. This is also true if all they use is email, meetings and conference calls. Now, if the work is document-centric, life is a bit easier with decent document management tools. But, what about all the conversations, action items, and decisions needed to create those documents? That's what I mean by "collaboration."


Take a moment and look at your inbox and calendar. We all are trying to use a 40-year-old tool to do things it was never intended to do.

 

5. Share their knowledge with others

 

Grade = C

 

Organizations with thriving knowledge management cultures do this the best, and likely deserve a better grade, but the majority of organizations out there don't have such a culture. There's the age-old problem of trying to get people to share what they know proactively, when the best knowledge transfer happens in the moment, in context. I don't know what I know until you ask a question, and I like you enough to answer. Which is why we use email so much, except that knowledge transfer will briefly live in someone's inbox, never to be seen by anyone else. How can this in-the-moment knowledge transfer scale, you ask? Stay tuned.

 

Fostering collaboration and innovation within your organization is not easy, download this resource kit to learn more


Does any of this happen in your organization? What other obstacles do you experience?


Note: In my next post, I'll share how social can be used to remedy these problems.


UPDATE: Part 2 - Why Your Intranet Should Be Seamlessly Social

Tell me if you've heard this song:

 

I show how #socbiz can change us, I give them studies and tales.

That seems to make them happy, but it all grows somewhat stale.

I don't know what they need now, I can't say that I'm sure,

But executives seem bent on asking for so much more.

 

I got the measurement blues.

Everybody knows I got the blues.

If I could give them ROI,

My blues would turn into good news.

 

(Don't worry. I won't quit my day job.)

 

It's all about benchmarking.

 

You can't measure whether something is making a difference or not, unless you know what the thing looked like before you tried to make that difference. And yes, so much of what #socbiz can reduce, replace, improve, or make newly possible is considered "soft dollar," but that's not even half of your measurement story.

 

Here's one way to figure out what you need to benchmark before implementing your #socbiz project

 

Once you've figured out which groups of people or business processes you want to start with, ask these questions:


1. How do you measure your group or process today? Typically, a group or process is measured in a very concrete way. For example, sales and dealers measure individual productivity (how much revenue they generate in a given time period), win rate; call centers measure the cost of a customer phone call, customer satisfaction; marketing measures number of lead conversions, brand awareness levels, web site traffic; professional services measure project delivery time and quality; operations measures customer support costs, employee on-boarding costs, M&A on-boarding costs; this list goes on.



2. What is your hypothesis about how #socbiz will positively affect those metrics? This is where you create a vision for your stakeholders. For example, using #socbiz behaviors and technologies can decrease employee on-boarding time by 25%, decrease customer support calls by 28%, and increase employee satisfaction by 30%, according to some reports. Just taking a fraction of these reported improvements might be enough to warrant further examination and investment in your project.


3. What data must you gather to benchmark your hypothesis? If you're betting that #socbiz can significantly decrease the time it takes to on-board a new or newly acquired employee in a specific job function, such as sales rep, customer service rep, or engineer, then you'll need to gather some numbers, including: average base salary within a particular job function, and the current time it takes for a new employee in that function to achieve 100% productivity. Then, you'll need to know how many of those types of employees are hired within a given month or quarter. With this kind of data, you can apply formulas to calculate the potential value of your #socbiz hypothesis. Do this for a a few more use cases or hypotheses with buzz-worthy groups or processes, and you'll have the beginnings of a data-driven business case.


4. Which senior executives care about this? Now that you've the potential value of your #socbiz project, find a senior executive who cares about your hypothesis, and even more importantly, is tasked with improving what you've identified. For example, the SVP Sales will care about on-boarding new sales reps faster, because that can potentially lead to that rep closing more deals earlier. You might want to shop for critical business initiatives in your company's annual report, if you've got one.


For more helpful social business tips, register for the JiveLive Tour (http://bit.ly/HGkfN7)

I once worked with a client who... well... freaked out because they were overwhelmed with trying to figure out how to start their social business project. After we all calmed down, though, we started.

 

Starting is the most important step you'll take.

 

StartNow.png

Where did we start? With whatever was keeping them up at night. For them, this was trying to choose the right groups of end users to start with. Because, let's face it - however you start, that's how you continue. Those first users end up setting the tone and examples that others will follow.

 

Do you want #socbiz to be something folks do only when they have the time? (FYI: they'll never have the time.) Or, do you want it to be a critical part of how things get done inside/outside your organization?

 



Start with the right groups and processes.

 

Here's one way to figure out which groups or processes to start with.


Ask these questions:


1. Which groups or processes are "buzz-worthy"? These are those groups or processes that, when you're successful injecting social business behaviors into them, everyone else in your organization will notice and want some for themselves. The best places to look for these are in sales, call centers, R&D, engineering, consulting - basically, any group or process that ultimately makes the firm money, saves money, innovates faster, or satisfies customers better.



2. How do they do a particular process today, and what problems exist? This is when you want to document the "before shot" prior to doing your Social Business Extreme Makeover, if you will. You want to ask the people who know the process the best about how they find, connect, and collaborate with other people and content in order to enact that process, or, if it's a process they're not even doing yet, why it's important for them to do it going forward. You want to make a list of all the applications and events they use (hint: it'll likely be email, conference calls, instant messaging, and some knowledge management, collaboration or document management system). You'll also want to know what the problems are. For example, ask how long it takes customers, or sales reps, or customer service reps to get answers to questions; or how marketing finds and grows the number of brand ambassadors; or how inefficient collaboration with partners and customers is; or how many quality ideas are generated and refined by employees, partners and customers.


3. How would you do that process, using social business behaviors and technologies? This is where you need to first understand the capabilities of #socbiz software, and help your stakeholders understand the potential new way of doing things. They will have no idea what is possible, other than what they've experienced in public consumer social networks, which promote usage "when I have the time." You know better. If you're trying to change the way your organization works with #socbiz, then you need to focus on using it "because it's critical to how I do my work." For example, instead of emailing 3 people with a question, a sales rep can ask 3,000 by simply posting their question in your community - they'll likely get an answer faster from people they don't even know, and the community will vet the answer for correctness. You never get that in an email! Or, perhaps a customer can read questions and answers in your community, and never even need to call your call center. Maybe your employees, partners and customers can submit ideas and refine one another's concepts, vote them up or down, thus better prioritizing what your engineering team should focus on.


Once you get answers to these questions, you'll have a better idea of who to start your #socbiz project with to get early success.


For more helpful tips, sign-up for the JiveLive Tour, coming to a city near you!


Marketing EnlightenmentWhat happens when your Marketing team is made up of folks at the corporate level, at the regional and local levels, all over the world? Or even just all over your office building? Mix in all the agency folks you work with, and you've got a recipe for a hot mess, coordination-wise.

 

If you're in Marketing, tell me if any of these sound familiar:

 

  • "Who just updated the XYZ section of our Facebook fan page?"
  • "I'm. So. Tired. Of using email to collaborate with our agencies."
  • "Which digital assets have been most effective in which markets?"
  • "Where are the damn passwords to our 14 Twitter accounts?"
  • "Can someone tell me where our last customer survey results are?"
  • "Oh heck. I didn't know our Brazilian marketing team scheduled that event."
  • "The term 'Integrated Marketing' sounds like an oxymoron right now."
  • "I need to collaborate with someone before responding to this nasty Facebook post, but I don't know who."
  • "We've got a PR crisis in Germany. Who's responsible for responding? Who do we need from Legal on this?"
  • "Why are our 27 brand managers not coordinating with our SoMe team?"

 

I could go on, but I'm getting depressed.

 

National Instruments marketing organization figured out how to use Social Business Software to eliminate these pains and even win a Forrester Groundswell award.

 

Sure, it took time to get there, but it was worth the journey.

 

How would YOU use Social Business Software to coordinate your organization's marketing efforts?

Screen shot 2011-07-04 at 1.33.36 PM.pngEarlier this year, I participated in a social business conference the new-fashioned way -- remotely, via the Twitter stream. And I remember watching a compelling discussion about how human resource departments leverage emerging social business practices and the software that enables them.

 

It wasn't anything my customers haven't already shared, but it got me thinking:

 

In this world of recruiting, hiring, and rewarding individual contributors, how will HR need to change those practices to drive  social business behaviors across the enterprise?

 

What do you think?

Screen shot 2011-07-04 at 1.33.30 PM.pngOne of my former colleagues always said that good collaboration software should be present wherever people's eyeballs already are.

 

I'd say the same goes for internal corporate communications messages. And I'm not talking about emailing the entire organization.

 

For many of our customers, Jive has become that place.  Jive communities are often the single place where employees go, not only to get work done or find experts-- some call this employee-to-employee interaction--but also to stay connected to the company, or business-to-employee interaction. And that's because their Internal Communications team knows to put their messages where people are already hanging out.

 

Heck, Jive has become the entire intranet in some corporations!

 

One of my favorite examples is how Bupa, a healthcare and insurance services company with more than 52k employees, uses Jive to deliver Bupa World Magazine to their organization, as well as provide collaboration and networking capabilities.

 

Through their annual employee survey, Bupa found that employees who use Jive are 10% more satisfied and more engaged with the company, than those who don't use it. According to Gallup, more engaged employees lead to better business performance. No wonder Bupa won Corp Comms 2010 award for best use of digital media in internal communciations.

 

How is your organization making the transition from traditional internal communications practices to embrace Social Business?

Screen shot 2011-07-04 at 1.32.48 PM.png(Attribution to Duff Goldman from Food Network's Ace of Cakes for using his trademark slogan in our title. Thanks, Duff!)

 

What does it take to come up with a good idea? Sometimes, all you need is a good night's sleep and time to think. But for companies who live or die based on their ability to innovate, it takes much more, and on a grander scale.

 

Using Social Business Software, some of our customers have figured out how to scale their innovative efforts beyond traditional R&D teams, knowledge management systems, and customer focus groups.

 

They've recognized that:

 

* Innovation can happen anywhere, by anyone, not just in R&D;

* Innovative conversations get stuck in people's Sent Mail folder, lost to the ether after hanging up the phone, or never written down after a meeting; and

* People sometimes don't know what they know until someone asks them the right question (or, to quote one of my KM friends, "It's about the interaction, stupid.")

 

Companies using Social Business Software are able to cast a wider net for innovative ideas, not only among employees, but also with partners, customers, industry thought leaders, and more.

 

Take, for example, what Joe Bush from Cerner, a healthcare innovator, says:

 

A majority of our members, clinicians and IT staffers, simply want a  valuable way to connect, learn, and share with others like them.  The ER  physician in Seattle wants to know how he can decrease wait times for his patients through advanced queuing.  An ER physician in Tampa has done just that.  uCern [powered by Jive] helps establish that relationship as well as provide a community where that process can be shared with the physician in Seattle, as well as with thousands of other physicians in uCern.  uCern is not only Jive SBS technology, it is a highly connected web of  interactions across Cerner, our clients, and the complex healthcare environment, with information and relationships at the core.

 

How is your organization using Social Business Software to amplify innovation?

http://www.jivesoftware.com/static/images/jw10-communitypromo.pngThere are several reasons Jive Software has been positioned as a Leader in three of Gartner's Magic Quadrants, including the "Magic Quadrant for Externally Focused Social Software, 2010,” (1) the “Magic Quadrant for Social CRM, 2010(2) and the "Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace, 2009" (3). My favorite reason is the success of our customers.

 

Again this year, some of our largest and most successful customers will share their real-life case studies, tips and techniques at JiveWorld10 (#jw10) September 14 - 16, at the InterContinental Hotel in San Francisco, CA. Over 30 customers presented at last year's sold-out JiveWorld, and we're on track to surpass that number this year. We had a 50+ waiting list for JiveWorld09, so be sure you don't miss JiveWorld10!

 

Summer discount rates end July 31, so sign up today.


JiveWorld10 Customer Speakers so far...

 

Industry
Company
Speakers
High TechSAP

Mark Finnern, Chief Community Evangelist

Ken Hamel, SVP, Solutions and Pre-sales

High TechAlcatel-LucentGreg Lowe, Social Media Architect
ReinsuranceSwiss Re

Wolfgang Jastrowski, Head of Unite Communications & Collaboration

Andreas Meier, Knowledge Management Consultant

Wolfgang Jastrowski, Head of Unite Communications & Collaboration

High TechEMC CorporationLen Devanna, Director of Digital Strategy
Health and WellnessLife Time FitnessJennifer Hidding, Director of Interactive Channels
ElectronicsPremier Farnell
Dianne Kibbey, Global Head of Communities, Portals, and eProcurement
Health CareCerner Innovation CampusBrice Jewell, Program Manager
SecurityArcsightTrisha Liu, Enterprise Community Manager
Vehicle RemarketingManheimJennifer Bouani, Director of Interactive Communications
SecurityVeriSignAngelique Finan, Program Manager
MediaUnited Business MediaTed Hopton, Wiki Community Manager
High TechIntelScott Palmer, Worldwide Channel Web Strategy
FinanceCharles SchwabStephen Maiello, Sr. Manager Client Experience

 


(1) Gartner. Inc. “Magic Quadrant for Externally Facing Social Software” by Jeffrey Mann et al., Jul. 5, 2010

(2) Gartner, Inc. “Magic Quadrant for Social CRM” by Adam Sarner et al., Jun. 29, 2010

(3) Gartner, Inc. "Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace" by Nikos Drakos et al., Oct. 22, 2009

Jive customers are setting and exceeding standards - and high bars for their competition - when it comes to social business transformation. Fortunately, customers such as Intel, CSC, EMC and Yum! Brands are more than willing to walk the social business walk by sharing their successful practices, lessons learned, and results.

 

 

Yum! Brands, Intel, and Forrester Research share real-world social business strategies during Social Business Leadership Roundtable

 

When Jive Strategy Consulting first began working with Cindy Costa, Senior Marketing Manager at Yum! Brands (parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and more) over a year ago, I thought the goal of connecting several thousand restaurant and corporate employees for innovation's sake seemed a tall order. But, as I watched Cindy's master plan unfold to launch and sustain iCHING, Yum! Brand's Know-How and Innovation employee community powered by Jive SBS, I knew it was just a matter of time before Yum! Brands became yet another standard-setter in the corporate world's movement towards enterprise-wide social business practices.

 

Cindy and other standard-setting Jive customers will share their strategies in tomorrow's webcast with Intel, Yum! Brands, and Forrester Research, during which Jive CEO Tony Zingale will moderate a roundtable discussion on real-world tactics and market trends. I hope you can join us!

 

 

CSC shared how they differentiate themselves as an innovative leader during Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston

 

I had the pleasure of listening to Lem Lasher, CSC Chief Innovation Officer, during his keynote at Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston a few weeks ago. Lem said that the challenge in becoming a true innovative leader is to figure out how to effectively translate great ideas into practical solutions. He said that, "really good management of an organization will invariably kill innovation," and that, "employees are not the problem - they're being suffocated by management."

 

He then shared how CSC has journeyed toward becoming a socially collaborative and innovative industry standard setter by embracing C3, CSC's enterprise-class global social networking platform powered by Jive SBS. Remarking on the speed with which CSCers adopted the use of C3, Lem said, "Jive has been simply stunning. C3 is the de facto standard for how we collaborate. It's the language of the company."

 

And then came a highlight of the conference for me, which is best described by Nigel Fenwick's post in his Forrester's CIO blog, Ten Tips from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference:

CSC showed how they have driven greater collaboration across 49,000 of their employees in just 18 months, with a strategy focused on connect, communicate and collaborate. (Those of us in the audience even witnessed the in-field promotion of Claire Flanagan, CSC senior manager for knowledge management and enterprise social collaboration, to director – congratulations Claire!)

 

I've been fortunate to have worked with Claire since September 2008 on her overall strategy for CSC's social collaboration efforts, and couldn't be prouder of her accomplishments. Congratulations indeed, Claire!

 

 

EMC shared their inside-out approach to social business practices at the Jive Get Social Tour in Boston

 

The very next day after the Enterprise 2.0 Conference wrapped up, I enjoyed hearing Jamie Pappas, EMC Social Media Strategy Manager, share a peek into EMC's social business journey at Jive's Get Social Tour in Boston. While many audience members drank Bloody Marys to commiserate over the Celtics championship game loss the night before, Jamie kept them quite engaged with invaluable tips and techniques to leading an enterprise toward a social business transformation. Here are a few of my favorites:

 

  • Identify experts and advocates, and leverage their influence and expertise
  • Value proposition and use cases will vary from group to group, so it's important to tailor the "what's in it for me" message for each
  • Employees will find ways to collaborate, whether or not you provide the tools

 

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Ever wish you could find someone working on social media or Enterprise 2.0 efforts at other companies, same as you? Wish you could pick their brain about how the heck they justified the implementation cost? Found that elusive ROI? Tricks to get employees to use it? Best way to communicate your new online community to your brand fanbase?

 

Ever wish you could do this without all of we pesky software vendors trying to market to you the whole time?

 

Well, now you can.

 

Jive Software (your favorite pesky software vendor) is proud to announce the new Clearstep business community (register today - it's free!).

 

There's already quite a bit of activity in Clearstep. It's segmented into two areas:

 

 

ClearstepOnline.png

 

Online Communities

Build, manage, and measure your community successfully

 

Social media folks focused on external-facing communities will be most interested in these discussions, tips and tricks. Current hot topics include (requires registration):

 

  Engagement with Social Media: Personal vs. Business purposes?

Why Most Online Communities Fail

Recommendations for human moderation vendor?

What are community metrics that you measure?

 

 

 

ClearstepInternal.png

 

Internal Collaboration

Discover best practices in leveraging enterprise social software

 

Enterprise 2.0 advocates focused on internal social networking and collaboration will be most interested in this area. Current hot topics include:

 

Do reputation points help or hurt?

What's your Governance Model Look Like?

Enterprise 2.0 Use Cases

How do you select your pilot groups?

 

Want to know the best part about this community? It is completely vendor-agnostic. That's right. There are folks discussing solutions from Microsoft, Jive (obviously), IBM, Atlassian, etc. The community managers are absolutely committed to keeping this place vendor-agnostic and marketing-free so that the truly valuable conversations can be had.

 

And last I checked, the majority of participants work at very recognizable Fortune 500 companies.

 

Makes you wonder if the old customer reference requests are a thing of the past. You can now just participate in Clearstep, and ask your peers yourself.

 

Register today!

Our software engineers have been diligently working on Jive Clearspace 2.5 (formerly known as 2.1) over the past several weeks, and we've been putting it through its paces inside Jive. Many have blogged and videoed (?) about it:

 

Sneak @ one super-tiny Clearspace 2.5 feature

 

Does your wiki have the Q&A blues?

 

 

One other thing we've been working on is the brand-new, not-even-announced-yet, Clearstep business community. This community is already rockin' with both Jive and non-Jive customers. They're sharing good and bad practices about implementing social software inside their organizations. They're sharing about how to roll out thriving online communities, too. The best thing about that community is that it's designed to be vendor-agnostic.

 

For me, though, I'm most excited about something we'll be offering our customers starting in August, as part of pilot engagements. We will go beyond the software, and really tackle the hard part of any social software implementation: user adoption.

 

You see, Jive created a cross-functional research team back in April 2008. They visited ten of our largest F500 customers to figure out what was working and what wasn't with their internal Clearspace deployments. They spoke to over 100 business professionals at the executive, mid-level management, and end user levels, and brought back what became over 100 pages of raw, qualitative data (I'm on page 56 at the moment).

 

The resulting report, which we gave to those customers who participated, highlighted some very compelling patterns across every organization. One of them was that much help was needed to figure out good practices for getting more people to "migrate" their work behavior to be more transparent and sharing.

 

Now, the next "version" of that research team (that would be Derek DeMoro and I) have put together what we hope is an answer to those needs:

 

nextsteps_pic.png

 

 

This program is still being formulated, but watch for more information about it and about Jive Clearspace 2.5 very soon!

The Enterprise 2.0 Conference community site is running on Jive Clearspace 2.0. Wait until you see what’s coming in 2.1 in a few weeks.

Go join and enjoy!

The idea of social data portability - "the option to use your personal data between trusted applications and vendors" - has been around for some time now. The DataPortability Project is focused on consumer-oriented sites, and not corporate internal use. The Project people even say so.

Perhaps it's time, though, to change that. Let me tell you a story.

I recently got a new job. I decided to "go new" on many things, including a new hairdo (it's swingy!). Then, I thought, "I know! I'll update my profile picture!" That's when I got irritated. See, I belong to... (counting, hang on)... well, damn. I have profiles that include my photo on these social sites:

 

  • Jive Brewspace (internal deployment of Clearspace)

  • Jivespace (external deployment of Clearspace Community for developers)

  • Clearstep (another external deployment of Jive Clearspace Community for user adoption and other business practices)

  • Wordpress

  • LinkedIn

  • Facebook

  • Last.fm

  • Picasa

  • Twitter

  • Friendfeed

  • GTalk


Ask me how long it took to update my photo across all these sites. Now, think about how I also had to change my place of work, email address, maybe a mobile phone number, etc. Yeah. Now you understand the need for social data portability. But really, that's just the surface.

So, what's the data portability picture for the enterprise?

 

Data portability for the enterprise means blurring even more the lines between enterprise and consumer personal data, and more importantly, making folks more aware of who and what people know, both inside and outside the enterprise.

 

Let me explain.

 

Think about all the bits and pieces of your worklife, strewn about all those different systems: HR systems, skills databases, LDAP directories, employee whitepages, LinkedIn, etc. Wouldn't it be great if you could manage all that personal data from a single spot? It can live where it lives – I would call it data transparency, though, not data portability. This can already be accomplished by using data mapping tools in market today, but it takes some serious customization muscles to pull off, not to mention many lunches and cocktails to woo the czars in charge of all of those internal systems so they play nice.

 

At least with the consumer sites, this becomes easier when enterprise social software systems support data portability. For example, we announced today that we're supporting the DataPortability Project, alongside LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, and others. This means that, if you're using Jive Clearspace inside your enterprise, or Jive Clearspace Community in an external customer and/or business partner environment, your people will eventually be able to plop their LinkedIn or Facebook or other consumer profile information into their Clearspace profile, hopefully with ease and aplomb.


And then, think about all the relationships you've created, not only inside your organization, but on all those consumer sites. With everyone supporting the DataPortability Project, I'll be able to display (not port) all the people I'm connected to out of Facebook, FriendFeed, Twitter, etc., in my intranet and extranet profiles. That way, my colleagues and customers can more easily see who I know, and more importantly, in what context I know them. Context is critical to understanding the nature of a given relationship. Without that understanding, it's kinda useless to know that I know someone.

Let's take this idea a step further: Why on earth would anyone I work with want to see who's music I listen to on last.fm? Because, those folks might actually be valuable contacts within a different context. And, my Jive colleagues might be able to begin a trusted relationship with them based solely on similar music tastes. This is a wonderful way to tap the voices of thousands over time, especially if creating innovative products is your thing.

 

Imagine what could eventually result from a conversation about how much two people love the Dixie Chicks, for example.

 

Now, to take this idea another step even further, read Sam's take on data portability.

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