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Pokeshot

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There is no better predictor of employee performance than engagement.

Many of us are familiar with this point – whether in theory or in practice – as countless development programs and consulting services are based in part on the research done by Gallup regarding the relationship between employee engagement and on-the-job performance.

Using their proprietary Q12 instrument, Gallup has for years conducted research across tens of thousands of work groups and millions of employees. They have identified an irrefutable correlation between employees’ level of engagement and performance outcomes such as customer loyalty, profitability, productivity and quality. For example, using data from some of their latest studies, their 2016 report (Q12 Meta-Analysis Report) includes incredible insights like these:

  • Comparing business units in the top-quartile of engagement with those in the bottom-quartile resulted in median percentage differences of: 10% in customer loyalty/engagement, 21% in profitabilityand 20% in productivity
  • Top performing business/work units scoring in the top 1% of employee engagement quadruple their odds of successcompared with those in the bottom 1%

 

Simply put, higher engagement means better performance.

 

Along those same lines, a 2012 McKinsey report – The Social Economy – indicates “that by fully implementing social technologies, companies have an opportunity to raise the productivity of interaction workers by 20 to 25 percent.” Putting on my armchair researcher hat for a minute, it seems to me that the strengths of social business solutions line up pretty clearly with several of the Q12 criteria. In other words, the enhanced communication, collaboration and knowledge-sharing that result from the use of social business tools could be connected to higher ratings on at least the following Q12 items:

  • “At work I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.” (Q3) – connecting employees’ expertise with the projects they work on
  • “At work, my opinions seem to count.” (Q7) – being able to comment on, rate, share or otherwise contribute to conversations across the business
  • “My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.” (Q9) – “working out loud” brings a new level of transparency and authenticity
  • “I have a best friend at work.” (Q10) – relationships matter, whether they’re down the hall or half-way around the world

 

Perhaps Gallup and McKinsey have a joint project here, exploring the connection between employee engagement, use of social business solutions and the bottom line.

How would you characterize your fellow employee’s level of engagement? What impact do you think increased collaboration and communication would have on their engagement? Do you think software platforms can affect an organization’s internal culture? We welcome your comments below!

 

About the author

Stan’s first experience with instructional technology occurred in 1999 when he used SMART Boards to help employees learn how to use the Microsoft Office Suite. He then became an instructional designer and systems trainer for a variety of proprietary CRM software solutions. From there, Stan worked as a Training Manager and later as a Project Manager for an early leader in online education. As his experience with online learning grew, and as his understanding of the need to connect strategy with technology evolved, Stan began to focus on the relationship between blended learning and social business. It was these insights that attracted him to Jive and Pokeshot’s SmarterPath LMS the first time he saw it in 2012. Stan’s current role with the company not only allows him to support the sales, marketing, and product development teams, but it also allows him to work directly with customers as they implement SmarterPath. Prior to joining Pokeshot in October 2016, Stan spent several years working as a freelance consultant, successfully completing learning technology projects for such clients as Right Management, National University System and the U.S. Forest Service.

 

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Following on from my article “101 reverse mentoring – what is it and why do we need it?”, I now want to take a look at how reverse mentoring can help companies implement their specific objectives in the digital age. A key aspect here is to ensure that management staff receive the help and support they need to expand their professional skills and potential with regard to digital workplace collaboration. This includes learning how to increase their influence in the “social sphere” and how to strengthen contacts with clients and partners.

 

To strike the right balance between available skills and required learning effort (see chart below), individual mentoring programs can be designed with focuses and objectives that vary depending on the level of existing knowledge. At Merck, for example, the mentor role is filled by trainees. As these staff members do not yet have sufficient professional experience, the company opted for a basic Web 2.0 mentoring program. Companies like Bosch, on the other hand, use trained staff who can cover a wide range of topics relating to social media and even provide mentoring on digital workplace collaboration.

Reverse mentoring can assist in the implementation of various strategic goals and organizational development targets. In addition, many organizational development topics are so closely linked to a company’s change management processes that they almost always constitute a learning process for the mentee.

Here, the opposing considerations are the “change effort” required on the part of the company and the benefit it gains from this initiative. For the moment, we can map out five thematic blocks with varying learning objectives (see image above). These blocks are further divided into individual, succinct tutorials that the reverse mentoring pairs can use as a starting point in their sessions.

The content of the program helps the mentees enhance their skills in a variety of ways. The least change effort is required in the introductory operational block Insights into the Digital Workplace Platform. Examples of possible tutorials here include how to create a profile, how to build your own network, or how to find people and information.

Slightly more change effort is required for the insights gained in the Social Media & Digital Workplace block. The focus here is on strategic orientation, with tours of the company’s social media presence and the internal communities of the company’s social networks. Important topics in this area include employer branding and guidelines.

More demanding still is the Social Media Insights & Principles block. The operational orientation here is similar to that of the Digital Workplace Platform block, but the change effort required on the part of the mentees is far greater. They gain a better understanding of the theory behind social media and familiarize themselves with the terminology. They also gain a deeper understanding of blogs and external social networks (Xing, LinkedIn, Kununu, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube) through practical experience.

The Digital Workplace Collaboration Applications block is even more challenging. The goal here is to demonstrate how to implement new ways of working and, ideally, follow through with actual implementation. It addresses both the strategic and operational use of the new opportunities that enterprise social networks provide. The focus here is on processes such as finding experts, communicating with your own network, and finding, collecting, and combining new ideas and information.

The Digital Workplace Collaboration for Management Staff topic block goes one step further, representing the most demanding reverse mentoring level to date. At this level, the management staff are familiar with the new technology and possibilities and, at best, are able to come up with their own strategic ideas. Examples of tutorials at this level are: “How can I get more involved in social media and digital workplace collaboration?” or “How can I promote the use of the digital workplace in my own area of responsibility?” Various ways of implementing digital workplace collaboration in the company are discussed, as well as topics taken directly from the mentee’s working environment.

All these learning processes can be positively influenced by introducing reverse mentoring as a way of supporting change management. In my next post, I will take a look at some feedback from mentees and mentors with regard to the 1:1 learning situation and how it offers flexibility in terms of content and time as well as other beneficial aspects.

 

About the author

profilbild-milos-2Milos Vujnovic, who studied technical oriented business economics at the University of Stuttgart, has worked as a social business consultant since 2010. He joined the Berlin-based social business consultancy and technology provider Pokeshot in September 2016, where he leverages his extensive social collaboration and user adoption expertise to consult organizations on how to optimize their change management and enable the usage of social collaboration tools and practices. He is also responsible for setting up and executing reverse mentoring programs for executives, enabling them for digital leadership. He further has deep insights into various studies regarding the current state of social business in general.

 

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Lately, I’ve been working intensively on the topic of knowledge management. Along with posts on content “upcycling” and “making knowledge visible”, this post is the third in this series.

 

What is it all about?

If we think about knowledge management, or “knowledge” in general, it is not something we “have.” After all, we can’t possess knowledge, so it’s hard for us to “manage” it. This is something we should remember. Instead, we are in a constant process of acquiring and disposing knowledge: if we don’t use or apply something, we tend to forget it – everyone is familiar with this. So how can we repeatedly turn new information into knowledge that can then be used directly?

Let’s tackle things one at a time. If you look at common models, e.g. the DIKW pyramid or the knowledge staircase proposed by Klaus North, it quickly becomes clear that it is not enough to merely impart new knowledge to employees. It is interesting to note that these models were already developed at the end of the 1980s and early 2000s, yet topics such as performance and 70:20:10 are only slowly beginning to find their way into companies now.

 

Information overload, the outcome and the underlying problem

One model I’ve given thought to in this context is the DIKW pyramid. DIKW stands for “data, information, knowledge and wisdom,” and in models from the 1980s, the difference between the data flowing in at the bottom and the outcome (wisdom, performance) is not significant. This made me reflect on things, because there seems to have been a massive shift in recent years. A huge gap has opened up between the amount of data that we are subjected to daily and the amount of knowledge we hold onto. Don’t you feel the same way? How much of the information you absorbed this morning could you now reproduce ad hoc?

Our daily business life has completely changed (enterprise social networks, instant communication, etc.), leading to a significant increase in the amount of data and information we are exposed to. Employees are bombarded with this flood, making it increasingly difficult to extract the necessary knowledge, let alone improve performance. Jumping to the conclusion that people should no longer share their knowledge in social networks would be premature at this point. Rather, the conclusion should be a rethinking toward more targeted content processing for all employees.

The DIKW pyramid in the 2000s and today

 

In my opinion, there are two connecting factors:

  1. Reducing the amount of data and information that affects employees
  2. Reinforcing the knowledge and performance base

What does this mean exactly?Businesses have to succeed in “transforming” the knowledge pyramid into a more targeted knowledge rectangle. The amount of data and information that is “thrown in” at the bottom should, at best, come out on top as wisdom among employees. To ensure this, not all data and information has to necessarily arrive with employees; what’s more, the knowledge that employees receive must lead more quickly to performance.


Shift toward a knowledge rectangle

 

A company can access a number of tools that can be assigned to the individual corners of the new rectangle. Here are a few of them.Reducing the amount of data and information:

  • Stemming the flood of information/building knowledge: knowledge upcycling:As described in my blog post on this topic, companies should enable their employees to reuse and/or restructure content, as necessary.
  • Stemming the flood of information/building knowledge: the domain expert as filter: Specialist departments frequently know best which contents may be relevant for a department or colleagues. In line with the “Learner as Creator” principle, companies should offer their staff the chance to provide knowledge as intelligent pathways. And not only for content within a platform, but also outside of it.
  • Building knowledge: artificial intelligence: It may sound pompous, but A.I. starts with simple things. Based on various parameters, a system should be able to show me contents I am interested in, without my having to look for them explicitly. In the best of all cases, of course, this happens fully automatically.
  • Promoting employee performance: 70:20:10: Nowadays, it’s no longer enough to simply send employees out on training courses. This should be clear to many companies – at the latest with the emergence of 70:20:10 models. Staff performance needs to be boosted, preferably by employees acquiring their own experiences. Modern tools like SmarterPath, Epilogue and UserLane support this.

 

Is this how you see it, too? I’d be happy to have an exchange of ideas on these topics with you. Feel free to write me a message by email, LinkedIn or Twitter. I’m looking forward to reading your comments!

 

About the author:

Sandra Brückner, who studied business informatics at the Technical University of Dresden, has worked as social business consultant since 2012. She joined the Berlin-based social business consultancy and technology provider Pokeshot in the beginning of 2014 and has served for more than two years as Chief Product Officer for all products.

 

 

 

 

 

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We are very pleased to introduce you to a new member of the Pokeshot family: Olli, welcome on board!

 

Olli, a 6-month-old Bodeguero half-breed, joined Pokeshot in March 2018 to support the office team. This is great news – both for him and for us – because at the beginning of his life it was not always easy for Olli. Born in Gibralta (Spain), he was found together with his mum and his 6 siblings in an abandoned area and taken to an animal shelter. From there, Olli stayed temporarily at a foster home where he was nursed back to health, but his future was completely uncertain at that time. Finally, the decisive contact with Charléne, our office manager, came about through the animal welfare association “Salva Hundehilfe.” Charléne immediately fell in love with Olli and took him in.

Since then, Olli has been in the Pokeshot Office on a regular basis to perform his new role as Chief Cuteness Officer. We are happy about our new member and give Olli a warm welcome.

 

Skill profile:
– Defend Pokeshot spaces from strangers
– Drive out DHL and Hermes couriers
– Sit
– Stay
– Shake
– Sleep without noise
– Daily cuddles

 

 

As a result of the expanding social business market, we plan to further increase the number of employees in 2018. Interested applicants will find up-to-date information about job opportunities on our Careers page. It’s definitely worth a look!

 

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In organizational development (OD) circles there’s a model called Appreciative Inquiry. When you’re looking to retool, restructure or reinvent – whether it’s teams or processes – this model essentially uses previous accomplishments and existing strengths as the springboard for doing things differently.

Whether at the individual, group or company level, we all know that change is hard. The thinking behind Appreciative Inquiry is that you’re more likely to succeed by identifying:

1. what’s already working and
2. what factors contributed to that higher level of performance.

Armed with these insights, existing capabilities are clearer and confidence is higher. Not only are you better able to tackle the new challenges when you’ve “inventoried” what you’re good at, but you have also essentially been “reminded” that past challenges have been overcome and future ones will likely be no different.

While there are of course all sorts of external, market-driven catalysts for change, improved/different performance only results when internal changes have been made. Appreciative Inquiry suggests that building up from the inside – as opposed to tearing down from the outside – is a more favorable path to reaching new goals. I don’t claim to be an expert in the change management principles that are a part of this model. What I do know, however, is that the “next level” lies within, the “killer app” will be developed down the hall and being a “game changer” starts with the playbook of past successes. Hidden in plain sight are the things we can do to be more efficient or effective, to be more successful.

Where do we go to get these performance-changing insights? How do we find those best practices where things are working well? Part of the answer requires that we focus on what’s going on inside the “four walls” of our organizations and that we are willing to learn from one another. Mining our own success stories also requires that we invest in solutions that enable us to surface what works. For example:

  • Implement collaborative solutions that allow you to leverage the combined knowledge of your co-workers
  • Create opportunities for peer-to-peer connections and relationship-building outside the lines of the org chart
  • Support innovation by also capturing the learning that occurs outside of an online course or a classroom

Like the seedling that boldly and vulnerably breaks through, successfully changing what we do or how we do it is all about creating an environment where the right combination of elements can interact.

What ingredients would you include in a “recipe for workplace success?” What tools do you and your team need in order to do your best work? We welcome your responses and comments below!

 

About the author

Stan’s first experience with instructional technology occurred in 1999 when he used SMART Boards to help employees learn how to use the Microsoft Office Suite. He then became an instructional designer and systems trainer for a variety of proprietary CRM software solutions. From there, Stan worked as a Training Manager and later as a Project Manager for an early leader in online education. As his experience with online learning grew, and as his understanding of the need to connect strategy with technology evolved, Stan began to focus on the relationship between blended learning and social business. It was these insights that attracted him to Jive and Pokeshot’s SmarterPath LMS the first time he saw it in 2012. Stan’s current role with the company not only allows him to support the sales, marketing, and product development teams, but it also allows him to work directly with customers as they implement SmarterPath. Prior to joining Pokeshot in October 2016, Stan spent several years working as a freelance consultant, successfully completing learning technology projects for such clients as Right Management, National University System and the U.S. Forest Service.

Connect with us on facebook | twitter | LinkedIn | YouTube – we will keep you posted!

A few years ago, our PO Sandra Brückner wrote about the 4 questions companies should ask themselves when thinking about introducing a social collaboration tool within their company. Today these questions are more relevant than ever, because, as Sandra pointed out, “a fool with a tool is still a fool”.

A question that companies often face today is not: What is social collaboration? But rather: what is the status of our efforts? Experience has shown that most companies know perfectly well what modern collaboration is. They are no longer asking: What is Web 2.0? What is a blog? What is social business all about? Instead, they are interested in the maturity level of their own collaboration initiatives. This concern is usually accompanied by questions such as:

Companies without a clear vision of what they are trying to accomplish and without a well-defined process framework will be unable to answer these questions in a way that furthers their aims. Thus they should first be well aware of the current state and know where they stand on the issue and know exactly where they want to go.

However, for some of the reasons noted below, many clients fail to ask these questions.

 

1. Starting point:

“Modern collaboration – at the level of a ‘social business’ – is not present in my company, so I’m starting from scratch.” Is this really the case? Informal systems of collaboration have developed in most companies over time as more and more Millennial employees have joined the workforce. Whether it’s WhatsApp or a Facebook group for an after-work beer or the use of an external chat client such as Skype for quick communication while working, modern collaboration exists in many different forms.

 




2. Goal definition:

“We know exactly where we want to go with our collaboration initiative.” Are you really well aware of everything that such an initiative entails? Have you examined questions such as: How do my employees communicate? Who are the stakeholders? Which IT systems do I use? It is important that you have sufficiently analyzed all aspects of what’s currently in place before taking further steps to implement a social business platform.

 

 

 



3. Employee collaboration:

“We know exactly how our employees collaborate.” Do you really know this or do you just think you do? Employees often find ways to communicate that circumvent corporate guidelines. Engage in dialogue with front-line employees in order to get to the bottom of such questions as: why do they bypass the rules? Why are other forms of communication better for them?

 

 



 

4. Technology:

“We have already decided to use a particular solution, so we don’t need to conduct a pre-implementation review.” Be sure to remember that “a fool with a tool is still a fool.” The right technology is a crucial factor in determining how frequently modern collaboration and social business tools will be used. Here usability and simplicity are key factors. How can you be certain that one solution  – out of all of the tools available – is the right one for your employees? Be sure to involve them in the decision-making process and familiarize yourself with how they currently collaborate.

 

 

 

 

You should find answers to all of these key questions before rolling out a modern collaboration and social business platform in your company. Through a so-called “collaboration review,” Pokeshot works closely with our clients to do just that. We support you in finding the right answers, identifying gaps in your strategy and providing you with a road map that allows you to successfully realize your modern collaboration initiative. Get in touch with us!

 

About the author:

Sandra Brückner, who studied business informatics at the Technical University of Dresden, has worked as social business consultant since 2012. She joined the Berlin-based social business consultancy and technology provider Pokeshot in the beginning of 2014 and has served for more than two years as Chief Product Officer for all products.

 

Connect with us on facebook | twitter | LinkedIn | YouTube – we will keep you posted!

There is widespread agreement that the Information Age will continue to see significant – if not exponential – growth in the volume of data that we create as employees (and consumers). Not only does this kind of increase create challenges related to storage and management, but it also creates a need for new positions to support these expanding environments. In addition to IT-related roles that administer the back-end functions and data analysts that help make sense of the data, roles such as user experience specialist and digital knowledge manager are projected to become more important to an organization’s success. For example, according to a recent Forbes posting:

“Digital knowledge management will emerge as one of marketing’s most important responsibilities. With the rise of more intelligent systems, the importance of ensuring your company’s information is accurate will be even more critical. Too many businesses have yet to make digital knowledge management a priority. There’s a lot of opportunity for improvement here.”

Another recent posting, this one via Entrepreneur, states:

“A Digital Knowledge Manager, or DKM, is first and foremost someone who can track down all the authoritative sources of knowledge about your brand, people, products, events and locations from within your organization.”

While the “digital knowledge management” explored in these postings is primarily related to marketing and not learning and development (L&D), knowledge is clearly an asset that requires our attention, regardless of functional area. A recent Time magazine posting supports this point. In the article, leaders at IBM and other large technology firms project that the future of the digital revolution will be about both social networks and knowledge. “The next phase is not about the network alone, but also about knowledge. That, she said, will depend on proprietary data, as well as the expertise in the hands of companies…” The author goes on to state “core expertise is more important and more relevant than ever” and that most of these companies “are either building, or participating in, platforms, which are vital to their future.”

What does all of this mean for the learning professional? I believe there are three key implications:

  • now is an unprecedented time for L&D to extend their reach and impact
    • seek out opportunities to collaborate with the DKM and other related roles
    • advocate and/or manage technologies that connect co-workers between departments and across locations
    • partner with operations teams to curate existing job aids, tip sheets, how-to manuals, etc. to help scale insights
  • the traditional “course” can’t be the only way to codify know-how
    • shifting our view of the learning function from something that is event-based or time/location-bound to more of a performance support approach allows us to see valuable content and meaningful interactions everywhere
  • the depth and breadth of the overlap between work and learning is essential to managing knowledge
    • through solving problems, making decisions, innovation, etc., day-to-day work is where expertise is demonstrated. This dynamic often occurs in one-to-one or small group contexts.
    • converting this expertise into organizational intelligence requires that the learning function act as the bridge to scale this dynamic into one-to-many contexts

 

What new roles do you expect to see in your organization over the next few years? Which departments in your organization would benefit from the insights and ideas of another department? Who or what do people turn to when they need to learn something quickly and correctly? We look forward to your comments below.

For more on the evolving role of learning and development please see one of our earlier posts: Using Social Technologies to Reshape L&D´s Role

 

About the author

Stan’s first experience with instructional technology occurred in 1999 when he used SMART Boards to help employees learn how to use the Microsoft Office Suite. He then became an instructional designer and systems trainer for a variety of proprietary CRM software solutions. From there, Stan worked as a Training Manager and later as a Project Manager for an early leader in online education. As his experience with online learning grew, and as his understanding of the need to connect strategy with technology evolved, Stan began to focus on the relationship between blended learning and social business. It was these insights that attracted him to Jive and Pokeshot’s SmarterPath LMS the first time he saw it in 2012. Stan’s current role with the company not only allows him to support the sales, marketing, and product development teams, but it also allows him to work directly with customers as they implement SmarterPath. Prior to joining Pokeshot in October 2016, Stan spent several years working as a freelance consultant, successfully completing learning technology projects for such clients as Right Management, National University System and the U.S. Forest Service.

 

Connect with us on facebook | twitter | LinkedIn | YouTube – we will keep you posted!

Change is a constant feature in our lives. In both the professional and private sphere, it’s important to be able to adapt, welcome new things, make mistakes, and learn from them. I always ask myself the question: Why is change so important for us and why do we need change? I can’t and wouldn’t want to attempt to answer this question in its entirety, as there are so many facets that one could write entire volumes of books on the subject. Instead, I will focus solely on the topic of business culture.

Let’s begin by saying that cultural development in general – and a business’s cultural development in particular – is never complete. Anyone who entertains the idea that the process of change can be complete and thus believes it to be so is setting themselves up for failure. Change is a living process that never ends. It’s like music – music is never simply “done;” it continues to evolve, as it should, in various directions. It’s important to keep one eye on the future as we carry out our daily work in order to anticipate risks, develop measures to counter these risks, and introduce these measures as early as possible. This may sound like an impossible task – and I admit it’s a very difficult one – but it nevertheless applies, to a greater or lesser extent, to each and every one of us.

So let’s return to the initial question. I want to try to answer this question by introducing you to the hugely inspiring book “Who moved my cheese” by Dr. Spencer Johnson. This allegorical tale focuses on four characters and their different ways of dealing with change. Sniff and Scurry are two mice who set off to hunt for cheese together after discovering that Cheese Station C has run out. They were prepared for this task as they had already noticed the dwindling supplies and knew that they would inevitably have to find more cheese one day. The other two characters are Hem and Haw – two little people who are very surprised when they find Cheese Station C empty. Initially, Hem and Haw are both angry and annoyed. Even in this desperate situation, Hem stubbornly dismisses Haw’s suggestion to go in search of new cheese. He is too firmly stuck in his routine and is scared of the unknown. Meanwhile, Haw decides to take his chances and enters the maze to find new cheese. Is he successful? What happens to Hem?! You can find out by reading the book or watching the film: Who moved my Cheese The Movie by Dr Spencer Johnson.

Quelle: https://quiwho.com/2016/11/11/who-moved-my-cheese/

The story of your company features far more than four characters – and each one of them is likely to respond to change in a different way. There are people like Haw, who are afraid of change initially but are likely to come around once they’ve had time to think and understand why it’s necessary. But you will also have characters like Hem, who are not willing to change at all. These people require even more time and attention. Thankfully, there will also be people like Sniff and Scurry, who are always ready and willing to change. Now it’s up to you: Do you understand the need for change? Do you know your organization and all its various stakeholders? Are you aware that the change management process can take months, years or even decades? And most importantly: Do you and the people in your organization accept the fact that change is necessary for personal development? If so, you’re on the right track – keep it up!

 

About the author

Patrick graduated with a master’s degree in business informatics at the beginning of 2013 and then spent a half-year-long stint working as a social business consultant at a large digital solutions agency in the UK. He has returned to Berlin to strengthen the Pokeshot///SMZ team as a Junior Consultant for Social Business Strategy.

 

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Stan Jeffress Sr Learning Consultant, and I have been working on a variety of use cases with different organisations across multiple industries. Not that long time ago we had an internal discussion around main drivers for a successful digital learning project. And why some projects fail or don't achieve the desired goals.

 

In our experience most if not all digital learning projects begin (and, unfortunately, end!) with a focus on the long list of "requirements." This is partly because it can be an efficient way to compare features and functionalities one-to-one between the large number of tools available on the market. Vendors of course recognize this and many of them charge additional fees for certain features.

However, what's often missing in this kind of assessment is how the features would be applied to your needs.

 

In addition, marketing & sales teams (), professional associations, consultants (like Stan ), etc. regularly use buzzwords, describe trends, cite research, etc. as a way to keep you informed about - and buying - what's next.

 

With the promise of outstanding results - which can easily be presented as a substitute for your goals and objectives - your organization makes its decision.

And after the successful implementation the "honeymoon" is quickly over and soon everyone is focused on what the tool doesn't do. You're left with a multi-year contract and the continued need to push learning content through the platform to upskill your co-workers and help them achieve the best results.

 

Does this sound familiar? Did you - as many of us have - migrate from one solution only to find that you traded one set of challenges for another?

 

If you have ever had a moth syndrom or accidentally got distracted by a shiny tool, then join us for a 30 min webinar on March 5 @ 8:30 a.m. PST.

We would like to share not just best practices, but real-life examples of what's imporatant for the success of your digital learning project.

 

No doubt that technology is everywhere and increasingly valuable. Honestly, it is still just a tool. In the right hands and for the right purposes it can be exactly what we need!

 

For more info and registration, please click here.

 

We look forward to talking with you on the 5th.

 

Happy Learning!

 

Warm regards,

 

Stan & Sayoda

 

 

Pokeshot Team

If you want to be successful in your business you have to create the right mindset in terms of change. But how is it possible to win when the only certainly is change?! It is quite difficult to answer but it is reality. A couple of weeks ago I read the book “Velocity” by Ajad Ahmez and Stefan Orlander. It inspired me because it is about the perspective on a world gone digital and more social. The things and the whole world have changed in the last years so have the employees, customers and partners. They have become more and more social – in their private life as well as in their working life. They obviously know what Facebook, Google and Wikipedia are because they grew up and know how to use those to get the right information. But now every company has to work towards a Social Business to be well prepared in a world of CHANGE.

 

Within the book Ajaz & Stefan introduced “The seven laws for a world gone digital” and again more SOCIAL.

 

1. A Smith & Wesson beats four aces

You can be the best in your area but try to imagine you are in a saloon playing poker and have a hand of four aces. You feel safe, not beatable but suddenly someone comes into the saloon with a gun. That changes everything. He will pick up the money you will loose the game – with four aces. The gunman can be anybody – an existing competitor, a new player on the market. When you are well connected within your company and in the market it is easier for you to identify these gunman’s and pull your weapon first.

 

2. It is easier done than said

Get going. Then get better. You have to stop debating the perfect solution you have to start executing and create a culture away from saying through to doing. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have to think about what you’re doing. It means: Be iterative, be agile, be quick. In a Social Business it is pretty easy to generate new ideas but then you need develop things further with the tools which are given.

 

3. The best advertising isn’t advertising

Make meaningful connections is the motto. The aim is it to create connections to your costumers to get their loyalty. But how is it possible to get this?! “The magic is in the product, the values and the spirit of the brand”. Look at the tools of the digital world to provide your message to your customers and keep it brief by focussing on relevant benefits. One of these tools are external communities to engage your customers or your partners. They are not distracted by other brands because it is your own environment. You can share all relevant information about your products an services without loosing the focus on your brand and create a useful channel for all target groups.

 

4. Convenient is the enemy of right

“Beware the lollipop of mediocrity; lick it once and you’ll suck forever.” This quote of Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys hits the nail on the head. By creating structure and get stuck into detail doesn’t mean that the product is not interesting it means that you’ll spot problems before someone will notice them. Use your internal workforce and let them collaborating when you develop e.g. a new product. Set up an internal social group, discussions or even a poll. You will see there is no space for convenience. Everybody who is interested in this will participate in this discussion and is going to contribute useful content and information of what you even wouldn’t think about.

 

5. Respect human nature

It is not all about technology, it is more about to understand the environment and the need of the technology. Technology is a mean to make things in the social or digital world easier but also more complex. It is necessary to make things Useful, Usable, Delightful because the digital touch points to your brand are fast growing and you need to be good by providing quality and excellence over these points. And don’t forget: “at the far side of an app, a Tweet, an anything, there’s a person.” Furthermore human beings are the major element of Social Business. It doesn’t work only to give them a social tool and let them collaborate. Engage them and take your time by doing this.

 

6. No good joke survives a committee of six

Very often someone have to make a decision to press ahead with the business. But is the decision based on the consensus always the right decision?! It is not clear. Decision maker should listen to all options and should sometimes trust their intuition. You can’t be everybody’s and the good thing is that you have not to. It is necessary to use filters to avoid subjectivity in your decisions. By creating the right filters you depoliticize the decision-making process and send the right signals to your co-workers. This is about mindset of change, social business and a new culture in terms of decision-making. “Filters free up the people in your team to discover strengths they didn’t know they had, creating a Velocity-ready hunger for change and challenge to make the end result better.”

 

7. Have a purpose larger than yourself

It is essential that you love what you do. If you are not sure if you really love it then maybe you don’t. When you not love your own products or services or if you are not profoundly convinced then you won’t sell it with commitment to your costumers. Be curios, be motivated, be enthusiastic, have dreams. “It is not about ‘big ideas’ or ‘small ideas’, it’s about good ideas. If you use the technology which is give to make your dreams come true you will find yourself and find or convince others because of range of social business tools. This is what makes the difference in the world of Social Business. In this connection is only one more thing to say – The Sky is the Limit!

 

About the author

Patrick graduated with a master’s degree in business informatics at the beginning of 2013 and then spent a half-year-long stint working as a social business consultant at a large digital solutions agency in the UK. He has returned to Berlin to strengthen the Pokeshot///SMZ team as a Junior Consultant for Social Business Strategy.

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Have you already read Christian Müllers article The Learning JEDI vs. the “Bogan”?

We think working in the L&D sector often feels exactly like you are fighting against windmills. Müller is describing that working in the L&D market focused on workplace integrated digital learning, he sometimes feels like a JEDI. He needs all his power to avoid companies to have their employees and partners be torn to the “dark side of the force”, or as it is called “Bogan” in Wookieepedia.

He also writes: “The dark side of the force in L&D is for instance represented by the “let us do training and teach employees like it was done in school”. The addiction and hanging on to traditional Learning Management Systems (LMS) with the focus on “managing training and resources” is another way I feel the dark force negatively influences the performance. It is top-down and enforced most of the time and plans to “clone” employees to match job profile, just like the Galactic Empire cloning warriors. Talking about clones: Most of standard eLearnings are built to be done by clones and their effect on real individual humans is close to zero and the “likes” are often below zero.”

Read the whole article here.

 

Christian Müller then initiated a group on LinkedIn and Xing which is called “The Learning J.E.D.I.” where everyoe is invited to “Just Engaging Development Ideas” to help each other benefit from the “light side of the force”.

I his group description he writes “As learning in the workplace continuously changes, strongly depends on learning from each other and learning by doing. “The Learning J.E.D.I.” believe in fun, interactive, impactful and also, where needed, disruptive ideas and performance driving methods to make the daily work more effective and less stressful.”

 

So, join the Learning Rebels and fight “the dark side of the force” in the “Galaxy of Learning Stagnation” and exchange “rebellish” ideas!

Join the LinkedIn Group   VISIT GROUP

 

 

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For any organization-wide initiative that requires the integration of new technologies we all know that in order to secure budgetary approval there is at the very least a requirement to estimate the return on investment (ROI). When it comes to social business solutions, aka enterprise social networks (ESN), ROI calculations can be challenging. According to Laurence Lock Lee: “The business rhetoric around ‘show me the ROI’ on collaboration is problematic. Few of us work in jobs that have a direct and measurable cost/benefit result.”

What then can IT and business leaders look to when evaluating the dollars and sense associated with technology initiatives, especially those that have the potential to significantly transform how organizations work? In this posting we will suggest several approaches that can be used to assess progress toward the so-called digital workplace. As you review them we ask that you consider the following guidance from The Community Roundtable, the leading community management organization, when referring to their ROI calculator that is described below: “[L]ike any ROI model, it is best used as a piece of strategy development and discussion, not just as an output.”

 

6 Stages of Digital Workplace Maturity
“To me, a successful digital workplace is one that helps us get jobs done.” So begins Mr. Lee’s May, 2017 article “The 6 Stages of Digital Workplace Maturity.” Recognizing of course that as-is this outcome is hard to measure, Lee goes on to summarize several stages in the evolution of a digital workplace and the suggested criteria/data points that can be used to evaluate progress.

 

StageMeasure AMeasure B
Social MediaRate of Adoption (Active users)Content created & consumed
Social NetworkingNetwork ConnectionsPublic vs Private communication
Job FulfillmentProblem solving (answered questions)Innovation (ideation)

 

Success Measures
Jive Software, a leading provider of ESN solutions, suggests a success model that also uses three categories. While there is clearly some alignment with Lee’s approach, Jive has already built in the analytics / reporting functions to give community managers and other stakeholders easy access to the specific measures noted below. (Further insights are of course possible via integrations with third-party CRM, BPM, BI, etc. solutions.)

 

StageMeasure AMeasure B
VitalityAdoption (active/participating/contributing users)Quantity of content (by type)
Perceived ValueContent (average daily views/likes/responses/revisions/creates)Questions (with responses/with helpful answers/with correct answers)
Business ImpactKPIs from operational functions (direct use of social business tools for customer service, sales/marketing, product development, etc.)

 

ROI Calculator
The Community Roundtable (TheCR), an essential resource for any social business-related initiative, approaches ROI from both quantitative and qualitative perspectives. Similar to what Mr. Lee and Jive outline in their progressive, stage-based methods, The Community Roundtable has developed a comprehensive series of research-based models and frameworks. For example, their Community Maturity Model shown below, takes a holistic view of the successful evolution of an ESN.

Source: https://communityroundtable.com/what-we-do/research/community-maturity-model/

In addition, they have developed a ROI Calculator that focuses on two specific data points – metrics that both Jive and Lee also include – in order to evaluate success. According to their website:

“The premise of TheCR’s ROI Calculator is that almost all communities rely on dialog and the asking and answering of questions. As such, if you can determine the value of those answers, you can capture the lion’s share of community value – and calculate ROI.”

 

Summary
Regardless of the size or scope of your organization’s social business initiative, it is clear from these three approaches that success is not accidental. Creating an enterprise social network is an evolutionary process that involves accounting for the incremental steps forward towards the larger goal of a digital workplace, an environment where the tools that are invested in meet the needs of those getting work done.

What success measures will you use / are you using in your organization?

 

About the author

Stan’s first experience with instructional technology occurred in 1999 when he used SMART Boards to help employees learn how to use the Microsoft Office Suite. He then became an instructional designer and systems trainer for a variety of proprietary CRM software solutions. From there, Stan worked as a Training Manager and later as a Project Manager for an early leader in online education. As his experience with online learning grew, and as his understanding of the need to connect strategy with technology evolved, Stan began to focus on the relationship between blended learning and social business. It was these insights that attracted him to Jive and Pokeshot’s SmarterPath LMS the first time he saw it in 2012. Stan’s current role with the company not only allows him to support the sales, marketing, and product development teams, but it also allows him to work directly with customers as they implement SmarterPath. Prior to joining Pokeshot in October 2016, Stan spent several years working as a freelance consultant, successfully completing learning technology projects for such clients as Right Management, National University System and the U.S. Forest Service.

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As we head for the new year, and reflect on the past, we want to say thanks. With your partnership we’ve served over 1 million employees in 19 different industries. Together, we’re climbing towards Digitalisation faster than ever, as companies we work with see up to 70% increased productivity. We can’t help but look to the stars next – SmarterPath for Office 365 is just one of many new things on the horizon.

And since the festive season is just around the corner, our team has created the perfect holiday playlist for baking cookies, decorating the house or spending time with your whole family. Whether it is Johnny Cash, Mariah Carey oder Frank Sinatra – we collected all the greatest german, english and even polish holiday hits. And don’t worry, of course “Last Christmas” from Wham! is also on board and will bring the festive mood to all grouches out there. Or what about some christmassy heavy metal for headbanging away all of the holiday pounds? The playlist ist just one click away.

 

Holiday Playlist on Spotify: Pokeshot wishes you Happy Holidays on Spotify

Holiday Playlist on Youtube


The future is looking bright with you by our side. We want to wish you and your family all the the best for the upcoming holiday season.

Cheers to a successful 2018!

Your Pokeshot Team

I guess the one advantage of having no WiFi on the long train journey from Dresden to Berlin (thank you, Deutsche Bahn) is that it gives you plenty of time to think.

I first explained this model in a blog entry that I wrote some two years ago on the way back from Learntec. At that time, it was virtually an unknown concept. Fortunately, however, attitudes towards learning in the workplace have changed. I have recently been hearing more and more of this model being brought into the learning environment, and the first customers have already asked us for assistance. So I think it’s time to delve a little deeper into the topic: What is the 70:20:10 model and how can SmarterPath help me to implement it?

 

 

THE 10% – LEARNING THROUGH STRUCTURED, FORMAL TRAINING PROGRAMS

Creating an intelligent learning path in SmarterPath is simple, and allows you to incorporate all possible types of learning content: documents, videos, quizzes, SCORMS, etc. Linked together, this content forms a “smarter path” that can be used for in-house training purposes in areas such as quality assurance, compliance, or fire safety. You can also integrate blended learning elements such as live trainings (ILTs).

So what sets it apart from other applications? SmarterPath isn’t the sort of app that floats around outside the employees’ familiar working environment. It is fully integrated into popular enterprise social networks such as Microsoft Office 365 and Jive, so that users searching for information find a pre-prepared collection (keyword: content upcycling) of information and knowledge compiled into a compact smarter path. It is precisely this integration that sets SmarterPath apart and allows it to support both the 20% and the 70% of the learning model.

 

THE 20% – LEARNING THROUGH OTHERS

To be able to learn from others, employees must first know that these people exist. This involves establishing a network of experts. To help achieve this, SmarterPath also allows intelligent pathways to be assigned to people and places: “This is your trainer,” “This is a place you can exchange ideas with your team,” “This is your supervisor,” “This is the expert on topic X,” etc.

  • SmarterPath enables discussions and collaborations on content and topics that employees can continue and develop further even after the training session itself has ended. The opportunity to share ideas about the pathways enables employees to gain new input from other perspectives.

Have you thought about user-generated content (UGC)? My colleague Linda Werner recently wrote a very interesting blog article on this topic. She explains that the creation of UGC is not confined to specific departments. Thanks to the simple usability of SmarterPath (select the content, create an intelligent pathway), every employee can, in principle, create content. Each and every member of staff is capable of building smarter paths and sharing these paths with their colleagues. Learning through others – it’s as simple as that!

 

THE 70 % – LEARNING THROUGH EXPERIENCE

SmarterPath provides everyone in the community with the opportunity to learn from first-hand experience. Its intelligent learning pathways can be integrated wherever there is a need for information – links can be inserted into documents, blog entries, and group discussions, and discussions can be created on each individual pathway. The paths can also feature various calls-to action (CTAs), ranging from live training sessions to “Complete this” or “Do that” tasks. Embedded in the community itself, SmarterPath accompanies the learner from the initial information through to the independent implementation of training activities. Most people find the distinction between the 70%, 20%, and 10% a fluid one, as in principle learning from others also involves personal experience.

 

SmarterPath is particularly good when it comes to presenting new employees with training scenarios (onboarding) – whether they are new to a particular tool (e.g. Microsoft Office 365) or have just joined the company and would require a great deal of time and resources to be trained up if it weren’t for SmarterPath. With these first intelligent learning pathways, you acquire all the knowledge you need, find the right contact partner, exchange ideas, and gain your first experiences – this is the SmarterPath solution!

 

SUMMARY


But don’t forget that SmarterPath alone is not enough! A use case such as this should be well thought through. An independent onboarding community can help in this regard, as can involving training instructors as moderators of this group. Otherwise, the only advice I can give you is: give it a go! Your employees’ knowledge is right there in their minds. Create your own intelligent pathways or take the content created by your employees and compile this into smarter paths (content upcycling). Learning has no limits, and neither does SmarterPath.

 

About the author:

Sandra Brückner, who studied business informatics at the Technical University of Dresden, has worked as social business consultant since 2012. She joined the Berlin-based social business consultancy and technology provider Pokeshot in the beginning of 2014 and has served for more than two years as Chief Product Officer for all products.

 

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Global markets constantly change. Companies seek to handle information overload and subsidaries and teams working together with Social Intranets. But what happens, if language is the barrier? Pokeshots Prime Program is the solution.

 

CONNECTING EMPLOYEES ACROSS CONTINENTS AND CULTURES

It’s not collaboration if you’re separating your groups and places by language. Make your workplace truly international with Multi-Language Contentand Automated Translation so your employees can engage with each other in whichever language they prefer. Add the UI-Editor to easily manage UI text, edit labels and interface elements on the frontend to stay on top of different language versions.

LIGHT THE WAY

Furthermore many companies fail to realise the adoption rates they hope to see for their social intranets and costly new productivity tools because employees don’t know how to use them, or simply don’t want to learn.  SmarterPath guides your employees through new processes while utilising familiar documents that are easily embedded into a course or Path. Combine SmarterPath and Translation Management suite so no one is in the dark.

The Pokeshot Prime Program targets multiple challanges for international companies – leverage the program to activate your community and save some of your company’s budget for more important things, like a pizza party or a raise!

GET IN TOUCH WITH US

Marisa Llamas
Customer Success Consultant
ml@pokeshot.com

Marisa joined Pokeshot in September 2017 to support the sales team. Her main activities include: expanding Pokeshot’s footprint in the Jive community, promoting SmarterPath in the German market and creating demand with new customers in Europe. Before Marisa joined Pokeshot, she completed her studies at UC San Diego focusing on Visual Arts and Management Science. Outside of the office, you can find Marisa performing weekly in improvisational theatre groups and occasionally as a stand-up comedian.

 

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