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Pokeshot

19 Posts authored by: Christopher Böckelmann

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.

 

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

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.

 

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

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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!

 

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

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!

Looking to enable your employees? Look at these Customer Success Stories: http://bit.ly/2vIDzXD #pokeshot #customersuccess #jivestory

 

Welcome on board! Pokeshot hires two new employees! Read more: http://bit.ly/2-new-employees #pokeshot #employees

 

Have you already checked our latest blogpost? Introducing new #SmarterPath features like advanced analytics and many more: http://bit.ly/sp-release-3_1

 

Our Learning Consultant Stan Jeffress speaks about a community that has meaningful business impacts: http://bit.ly/capital-C

#community

Our learning consultant Stan Jeffress speaks about „the last mile“ in a training context. Read more: http://bit.ly/1-mile #learning

 

The power of learning starts with you! Have a look at out review of JiveWorld17! http://bit.ly/jiveworld17-review #jiveworld17 #pokeshot #smarterpath

 

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In Multi-language communities language barriers can become a major obstacle in communication and collaboration.

 

You want to learn how to bring your linguistically diverse communities to collaborate together efficiently and break language barriers?

 

With the translation tools from Pokeshot///SMZ you will be able to:

 

  • Encourage Knowledge Sharing
  • Unleash Community Engagement
  • Enhance Jive User Experience

 

Please join us for a short and free webinar!

For more information and registration, please follow the link.


In Multi-language communities language barrier can become a major obstacle in communication and collaboration.

If you want to know how to

  • provide content/documents in different languages in real time
  • enhance Jive user experience in your multilingual communities
  • create efficient and effective work environment in your linguistically diverse communities

Please join us for a short webinar.

For more information and registration, please follow the link

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