Skip navigation

SEE YOU AT THE POOL

The Enterprise Business Collaboration conference (EBC for short) took place this year September 18-19 at Stadtbad Oderberger in Berlin- that’s right- attendees sat directly above a swimming pool. (Stadtbad means Public Swimming Hall in German) The swimming hall originally opened in 1902 and has since been renovated to include a retractable floor above the pool, so conferences and other events can take place in the grand hall. The location suited the theme of changing technology in age old businesses.

 

SOCIAL COLLABORATION PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

Attendees from mid-size to enterprise corporations gathered to discuss social collaboration. Day One kicked off with conference chair Dr. Michal Tsur, Co-Founder, President & CMO at Kaltura Inc., who shared some insightful comparisons between previous years and this year’s EBC.

  •    Titles have changed from including technology and tools used, to ones reflecting values- a strong sign that organisations are updating their views on those working with social collaboration tools.
  •    In the past the conference focused on the why’s of social collaboration, but now so many companies have started their digitisation journeys that they can share their how’s with experiences and best practices.

All of the conference attendees agree that social collaboration and the tools that enable it are of great value, but how do you convince major decision makers in your company? Christian Heraty, Senior Consultant, Infocentric / Switzerland advised avoiding what he calls “the ROI trap,” ROI is sometimes falsely focused on cash, but it is actually about value.  One way to help decision makers see this is to ask, “Would your employees miss the intranet if it was turned off?” Would you miss your desk if you came to work and it wasn’t there?  Though the intranet isn’t physical, you probably wouldn’t be able to work without it. And of course one should always remember what the decision makers are interested in, after all they have a lot of the same problems as everybody else. So, keep your deck to 6 slides or less because everyone values their time.

AN ECOSYSTEM OF CONNECTIVITY

Employees are continuously bombarded with tools like Sharepoint, Yammer, etc- which application do they use first, and how do they use it?Federico Casalegno Ph.D. Founder & Director at MIT Design Lab set the future scene in which services will live in an ecosystem of connectivity from day 1.  Take for example a Tesla car: the owner has an app on their smartphone which they can use to turn on the car, and ask it to pull out of the garage. Of course the garage door needs to be opened first, so the owner can purchase an add-on for the app that communicates with the garage. What does this have to do with social collaboration?  In a modern working environment tools should work harmoniously like the Tesla and the garage door.  The real ins and outs of several softwares working together simultaneously should be cleaned up and offered in a simple and clear interface. If we dream a little harder, employees would only need to sign on once, the oh so enviable SSO.Volker Mueller-Lausus, Vice President Workplace Services Telekom IT, Deutsche Telekom AG is working towards this dream for a multi-global company. Volker enables productivity by supporting digitization through a modern and mobile service portfolio. Though Telekom is streamlining their services, and using more functionalities from Office 365, Volker takes aBest of Breed approach on Telekom’s vendor strategy.  He looks for vendors that offer high quality of service, integrate with other services, and allow SSO (single sign-on) authentication.

ROADBLOCKS ON THE JOURNEY

Once an intranet or social collaboration tool like ((Jive or Sharepoint/link both))  is established, you’ll have to work even harder to achieve a high adoption rate. At the “How to Handle Adoption and Embedding of New Collaboration Tooling” Round Table lead by Paul Leemans, Global head of Collaboration, ASML Netherlands BV / The Netherlands we found that most companies at the conference were experiencing similar pains while rolling out social collaboration tools. Challenges discussed included:

  • Drop off after 15- 20% use
  • Sharepoint being used as a shared drive
  • Early adopters should support other users, but they don’t want to
  • Many employees don’t see why they need new tools when they are used to using the old ones
  • Employees are slow to adopt social learning
  • Learning tools aren’t embedded in the social collaboration tools or intranet

Richard Bloomfield, Transformation Communication Leader, GE Corporate helped his company transform from a vertical company to a horizontal one, and they went through enormous change all at once. He offered his experiences to the convention, and shared GE’s roadmap to transformation. In order to define their journey they set up 30/60/90 day “Pulse Surveys” to work with management to see the results of their efforts, and found that there are 4 elements crucial to creating collaboration:

  • Creating Watering Holes– your community will need resources where they can replenish and share knowledge
    • they use Yammer and Sourcing.ge.com (their intranet)
    • make sure to fill the watering hole with lots of content, and help
  • Find and Celebrate Role Models
  • Establish a Shared Operating Rhythm
  • Transparent Metrics
    • there should be a single source of truth where these can be found
    • give teams scores on their adoption

DOWNLOAD PDF for more results or check the Enterprise Business Collaboration website.

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

In a way, many of the conference goers were comforted that they weren’t the only ones struggling to roll out social collaboration tools. Through many great presentations and shared experiences some conclusions were reached on the best practices:

  • Find and use tools that integrate, so your employees can find everything in one place
  • Take care to onboard and train properly
  • Identify and reward early adopters, they’ll become your champions
  • Make sure resources and support are easily accessible
  • Define metrics that incentivise and prioritise using Social Collaboration

 

About the autor:
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.

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

Once a year, the company Pokeshot brings together all its employees together for their team event. After we went to Nuremberg last year, we wanted to go out into the nature this year and went to Storkow (Mark) Kummersorf in Brandenburg.

On Friday after breakfast, a 4-hour workshop was on the agenda, which was very productive.

     

   

A special highlight was the award ceremony of the SmarterPath video contest, which should complete the workshop. Background: All employees of Pokeshot were called before the team event to get together in double-teams to create their own short video about Pokeshot´s Social Learning Solution SmarterPath. There were no limits to the creativity and the winner team should receive a prize! At the end, a team of two colleagues from the marketing and development team won! Congratulations!

 

WATCH THE VIDEOS HERE.

 

   

On Saturday, a very special experience was waiting for the staff: a boat trip (kayak and canoe) on the Storkower Canal directly adjacent to the apartment! Especially with this large group of 30 people or more, with some people having no experience in kayaking, this form of team building was a very special challenge! After initial difficulties with the control and coordination in the boats and some unwanted excursions into the reeds, however, we all arrived safely at our destination.

   

Three eventful days came to an end. Three days, in which we as a team got bit closer and got to strengthen the team spirit. Pokeshot rocks!

“The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf

What happens if you let your employees create their own videos to explain the values of your companies solution “SmarterPath“?
Exactly – A whole bunch of funny ideas and great stories! Take a closer look at the videos of our contestants and
give us a thumbs up on YouTube if you like them!


 

 

Rafal & Christopher explaining SmarterPath for Dummies

 

 

 

Sandra & Julia and the difference between Cycling up and upcycling

 

 

 

Sayoda & Stan with Loads of “Context + Content”

 

 

 

Marcus & Emanuel Taking SmarterPath on a whole other level

 


How do you train your employees when it comes to company-specific and interdisciplinary topics? How do you ensure that current knowledge is transformed into valuable learning content swiftly? We discussed these questions at the
Knowledge Camp session in Potsdam. The following blog post gives reasons for implementing the concept of “Learner as Creator.” We discuss the first ideas for organizational actions and changes necessary in companies in order to succeed.

 

The topics that companies must deal with nowadays are becoming more and more complex and hardly any particular expertise can be attributed. Collaboration across disciplines increases and routine work decreases. This leads to difficulties in standardized distribution of knowledge. The process for specific knowledge to be passed from one or even several experts to a third party can take months. The third party has to pack it, prepare it, collect feedback and then make it available online or offline. In the worst case, the training that has been created is already out of date at the time of completion. In addition, small and medium-sized enterprises often do not have the financial resources for costly professional training.

 

The knowledge of the processes, products and services of your core business is in the minds of your employees and thus in the company. Nowadays almost all knowledge workers have a smartphone or a laptop. So why not go directly to the source and enable employees to transform and share knowledge independently into valuable and sustainable learning content? Make learners become trainers and achieve better results in the language of the consumers. Like all new approaches, it also needs to be accompanied by appropriate change management.

 

It is essential for knowledge management and personnel development to work closely together. The challenges of knowledge management, like avoidance of knowledge silos and use of existing information must also be actively picked up by personnel developers. In the same way, knowledge management has to support the quick and easy preparation of high-level and dynamic knowledge. There should not be a strict separation, rather a fusion of both areas. Interdisciplinary problems need interdisciplinary solutions.

 

In order to enable knowledge workers to create high-quality learning content they must acquire a new skillset. This includes, among other things, the correct use of the software and preparation of knowledge into clear and memorable content. Existing training designers will turn into consultants for knowledge workers. Their task is to provide consistent and valuable trainings on the basis of best practices. Smaller companies that do not have internal training experts can identify multipliers, who act as contact people and supporters for the administration and preparation of learning content. A small policy or guide that is developed by a project group with different stakeholders can also help.

 

You may also hear from employees: “Another task? I don’t have time for that!”. This intelligible argument must be countered at a higher level. As for many organizational changes, company culture as well as values in terms of learning and knowledge play a decisive role. How does knowledge sharing get evaluated in your company, in your team? Is it seen as a waste of time or as added value? What do team members get appreciation for? Does anyone take the time to actually evaluate shared content and reuse it? In our blogpost about “Is Digitalization really digital” you can read further how other companies have adopted this change.
The cultural change that is needed for the concept “Learner as Creator” does not take place today or tomorrow or even by itself. Rather, a conscious decision must be taken actively and then controlled in a desired direction. The following framework conditions and measures can support change:

 

  • All stakeholders should be included and engaged to participate in the discussion early, where they can best see the benefits for themselves.
  • Time for the preparation and consumption of knowledge during working hours should be granted, e.g. 1h per week for each employee
  • Intrinsic incentives for sharing knowledge strengthened, e.g. through appreciation, recognition and praise for contributions
  • Additional extrinsic incentive systems for sharing knowledge are created, e.g. as a component of goal agreements or gamification approaches
  • Spaces and tools for exchanging current topics are provided, e.g. online and offline communities as well as learning software, that are at best integrated into the workplace and existing toolsets
  • Assistance in the implementation by experienced knowledge workers, e.g. by helping to create a video or blog post

 

In the open discussion on “Learner as Creator” at the Knowledge Camp in Potsdam, the fear of loss of quality was highly discussed. Of course it is more authentic if Joe Employee shoots a selfie video of himself assembling a machine, but if it is poorly directed no one will learn anything about the topic. It should be emphasized that the inclusion of employees in the preparation of learning materials in small steps is possible and meaningful. Not every employee has to design complete training courses but they should support those regarding their respective field of expertise: what needs to be learned, what is important to co-workers, what questions are frequently asked, where are the problems? Training developers can take this content and (if it is good) integrate it directly or upcycle it. In our blogpost about upcycling you can learn what you have to consider.

 

"Overview Learner as Creator", Pokeshot 2017

 

These are only a few suggestions from our side, on how the 70% practical experience as well as the 20% knowledge that we acquire in the professional environment can be transformed into 10% structured learning. Get familiar with the 70-20-10 method in our blogpost! SmarterPathsupports the concept of “Learner as Creator” by embedding it into the familiar work environment (Jive or O365), simple user guidance without complex software training and the possibility of re-using existing knowledge. In a following blog post you will get to know how we tested the concept at Pokeshot internally on a specific example using SmarterPath.

 

If you have any questions or need help with your internal change management, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
We are sure you have more ideas, please share them in the comments!

 

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