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barney fife.jpgI would never tell you how to run your follow-strategy on Jive. Never.

 

Except that's what I'm about to do.  Yes, I am. And you are free to take my advice, or to leave it. You can roll your eyes, hit the back button, and ignore me altogether. Except I don't recommend that because this is gold right here - Gold. I promise.

 

I see how some of you do this Jive thing and I love you, truly, but you're doing it all wrong!

 

I get it - you are tied to your email. Shackled. You have a little Stockholm Syndrome going on - you think you love it.  You think you need it. You think it does something for you that nothing else can do. WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITHOUT YOUR EMAIL?

 

Well, if you're me, you'd breath a sigh of relief.  Ahhhhh,

 

Now, it's true, Jive empowers you to decide how you follow content, how you follow people.  You can follow them all in your main connections stream. You can set up custom streams to help segment and organize what and who you follow. You have the ol' Jive inbox where you will get notifications right on the platform. And at the bottom of the list - the LEAST desirable way - is by email notification. Yuck.  Blech.

 

This blog post is about right-sizing how you follow stuff in order to optimize effectiveness. These opinions are my own based on my experiences in what works best, but I am sure there are millions - maybe billions - of social media people who would stand behind me wearing sunglasses with their arms crossed defensively as if to say "Yeah, what SHE said."  I think I have the right of it (but bear in mind, I usually do think that.)

 

FOLLOWING PEOPLE

 

You should really follow people only in your connections streams.  My default follow of an individual is in my main connection stream.  That means I go to that connection stream to see and read what those people are up to.  It's a casual kind of follow - some weeks I can check in and some weeks I can't. When I have time to visit my connection stream, I often filter down to "status updates only" because that gives me a glimpse of what's going on with the people I follow.

 

You may want to make a custom stream for some people - maybe those in your department, your peers, those you manage, your boss. That would be OK. I'd support you in that. <nods affirmatively, gives you a pat on your head>  Good job!  There are other custom streams that may be of interest to you. Perhaps key stakeholders or customers. Keep in mind that your connections streams can be set to follow people as well as content (groups, blogs, etc.).

 

You don't want to follow people in your Jive Inbox or by email notification. My goodness, it makes me cringe to think that someone may be following me by email notification. That means every time I do something on the Jive platform (and let's face it - I do quite a bit) you get notified by email. If I knew who you were, I might think about taking out a restraining order. Nobody needs to follow anyone that closely. Seriously. Go turn off email notifications for any people you follow. For that matter, turn off Jive Inbox notifications too. Do it for me.

 

Now take a deep breath - it will settle in. You'll go through some withdrawals but you'll thank me in the end. Trust me. You got this.

 

FOLLOWING CONTENT

 

Following content is a little different. You might follow some content in your streams - either your main connection stream or your custom streams.  But here is where the Jive Inbox comes in handy.  If you want to be notified, choose Inbox. I can't force you to forgo email notifications, but I'm shaking my head disapprovingly if you make that choice. Are you sure? Think about it. Think hard. Don't make me beg.

 

Content is a broad term. You may follow whole groups, or you may zero in on specific content, down to an individual document.  For example, if you follow a whole group via your Inbox, that means you get notified when something is added or changed anywhere in that group. Perhaps some of you don't want to follow everything in the group so closely, but you want to be notified if an important document - maybe a policy or an issues list - changes. You might decide to follow the group in your connections stream, and the important document in your Jive Inbox. See how that works? Nicely, that's how.

 

Perhaps there are a few witty and urbane blogs you like. You might want to follow those more closely, such as via Jive Inbox. (Still not recommending email. I WILL NEVER RECOMMEND EMAIL.)  If there is a group you or your team manage, perhaps you do want to follow that group in your Jive Inbox just to be sure you don't miss anything. You get to make that call.

 

What I'm saying is you need a stratified content-follow strategy. For documents, blogs, or groups you want or need to follow closely, choose Jive Inbox.  If you have one little thing that is uber-critical, like if you missed an update to that group or document the world would quit spinning on its axis, then I will not judge you for following it via email notifications.  But if you are following ALL the content via email notifications, I will judge you so hard. I'll still be your friend - I promise. I'll just try to change you, that's all.

 

Why, Linda, why? You might be asking yourself. Why do you care so much? Mostly it's because I want you to optimize your effectiveness and efficiency regarding how you use this social-business platform. Secondary to that, I always think I'm right about everything and want people to do things my way - all toward my goal of world-domination. But let's not talk about that one for now.

 

Here is why.  I think people undermine their effectiveness by setting up email notifications for everything. They get inundated with email - and who isn't already inundated, right? So they will train themselves to ignore those Jive email notifications, maybe filter them over to a folder, maybe they just stop seeing them altogether. They probably promise themselves "I'll get to them later." but they never do, and the email notifications just keep piling up, exacerbating the problem. Eventually, they're so overwhelmed with notifications, we have to send a rescue team of volunteers in to dig them out. Please don't fall victim to this tragedy!

 

Maybe you're worried that you have too many notifications in your Jive inbox and you'll never catch up there. That's why you went to email notifications originally - to avoid the Jive Inbox. Who wants a 2nd inbox to manage, right?  But see - it's all connected. You need to look at it strategically. 90% of what you follow should probably be in your connection streams.  That would make what comes into your Jive Inbox very manageable and then you won't let the paranoia of missing something force you to resort to email notifications.  It's a thing of beauty, this holistic approach.

 

Perhaps you wonder why I prefer Jive Inbox notifications to email.  Well, first of all, it keeps a collaborative conversation all together. The message shows up once in my Jive Inbox notification list (with an indicator telling me how many new comments have been added since I last opened it). I can easily mark that one thread read, or scroll through and mark it all my Jive Inbox content read.  And I never have to reply "Please stop copying me in on this!"while trying to keep the murderous tone out of my voice - I can simply click "Hide new activity" for that particular item and - whoosh - I'm out. If I never want to see anything from that particular group or blog again, I can unfollow it or if I just don't want it to notify me, I can change my follow setting from Jive Inbox to connections stream.

 

I know, I know - you can mark things as read in your Outlook inbox, but you can't unsubscribe from a discussion without requiring other people to take you off their replies. And you can't easily shush a conversation in your inbox unless you're moving things to folders or setting up rules and filters.

 

OK, I'll stop now. It's too much already. I'm quite sure you fell asleep three paragraphs ago. (You didn't miss that part about my plan to dominate the world, did you? I'm kind of hoping you did - that was a little arrogant of me, plus it's supposed to be a secret plan.)

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

I know my way isn't the only way and there are a lot of good reasons to do it other ways that I've never even considered. The truth is I wouldn't be very good at world-domination anyway so it's not really a serious pursuit.  Having gotten all bossy up there, maybe the best way forward is to have some dialog - what tactics work for you on how you follow and manage messages on Jive?

 

Please share. I promise I'll listen with an open mind.

BLC_1403_Recreating Yesterdays Office Online.JPG.jpg

In today’s multi-national companies, meeting rooms and hallways are virtual.

 

An enterprise social network helps us recreate yesterday’s office online.  It allows us to continue to converse and collaborate in much the same fashion as we do in a physical office.  

 

If we take the comparison literally, what is your desk in an ESN?  The hallway?  The breakroom?

derived from:  Show Me Where the Meeting Room Is?

How does one measure the success of a social business platform? This is something companies usually want to know right after implementing such a solution. But there are no easy answers, since soft, difficult-to-quantify factors play a major role in the social software context – which is the logical consequence of a system that fosters better communication and interaction among employees. This blog post will provide insights into how companies might overcome the challenges of measuring social "ROI". 


Let’s start with some basic ideas: Performance indicators provide useful insights into isolated aspects of a social business platform. But to be able to evaluate the totality of information, one has to view performance indicators from a number of perspectives and merge them with other data. On one hand, there are certain quantifiable metrics that give us feedback about how the system is being used. Some of these are very easy to calculate because today’s social business programs come with out-of-the-box capabilities for generating usage statistics. On the other, one quickly runs into the limits of what information can be collected on soft factors because, as mentioned above, such data is difficult or impossible to quantify. The two approaches to data collection – the purely objective and the purely subjective – have their distinctive pros and cons. It is necessary, however, to mix the two types of data and present the information in a unified way in order to gain a better understanding of the big picture and get actionable takeaways that will help your company reach the next level. Experience from previous social business projects has shown that the balanced scorecard is an effective tool for accomplishing these objectives.

 

The balanced scorecard in a nutshell

A balanced scorecard is a concept used to measure performance that moves beyond a simple set of performance indicators. It ties together the different viewpoints that go into determining the indicators in a strategic manner. Striking a balance between the varying perspectives, the approach provides a complete picture of performance on an easy-to-interpret scorecard. The original version of this balanced scorecard consists of four perspectives that can be adapted according to the specific business context:  

 

  • The customer perspective that assesses the satisfaction level of customers.
  • The financial perspective that brings together financial data to evaluate fiscal performance.
  • The internal business process perspective that appraises how well business processes are meeting objectives such as a certain level of efficiency or effectiveness.
  • The learning and growth perspective that collects and analyzes data on both employee and organizational self-improvement.


How can companies use the balanced scorecard to measure success?
To get started with your own balanced scorecard, simply follow the steps below. This is a procedure that has proved effective at Pokeshot///SMZ time and again.

  1. Define performance objectives2997473310_2246053915_o.png
  2. Develop performance indicators and determine the measurement method
  3. Identify the perspectives
  4. Assign the performance indicators to the different perspectives
  5. Describe both specific connections (between the indicators) and generic connections (between the perspectives)
  6. Set target values
  7. Make recommendations for action based on performance analysis
  8. Critically assess perspectives, performance indicators and connections and realign where necessary


It is evident that this approach places a high value on the connections between performance indicators (see point No. 5). This works to the strength of the balanced scorecard and enables actionable insights to be derived in areas like usability, duration and frequency of use, level of awareness and information source preferences.
To make everything as clear as possible, let’s take a look at a real-life example. A company collected data on a number of performance indicators to measure the success of its newly launched social intranet. The indicator “unique user” indicated that 9 out of 10 employees regularly visited the new tool. There is nothing negative about this figure at first glance. But managers at the company became suspicious when results came in later that said only 3 out of 10 employees were “satisfied with the new tool.” Because of our extensive experience in this area, we at Pokeshot///SMZ were able to assist the client with this issue. We recommended visualizing the performance indicators in a balanced scorecard, while also assigning the indicators to perspectives and describing any interconnections. Suddenly it was possible to draw more far-reaching conclusions. These new insights helped to explain the initial finding through a critical assessment of the “unique user” indicator. An answer was also found to the question, Why do 9 out of 10 employees use the social intranet if most of them are not satisfied with it? It turned out that there was no alternative to the intranet within the company; employees had to work with this tool. Without bringing together quantitative and qualitative data in an easy-to-understand format it would not have been possible to gain this insight.      


Summary


To make measuring success a reality, it is important to remember a few points:

  • Social business platforms foster better communication and interaction among employees.
  • Soft factors play a major role in measuring performance.
  • The collection of purely objective or purely subjective data will not achieve the desired objectives.
  • The balanced scorecard is a tool that combines the strengths of both of these types of data collection.
  • The specific performance indicators must be in line with the overall social business strategy.

 

We will explore the topic of performance measurement in greater detail in the future and hope to have interesting discussions with you on this important subject. You will also have an opportunity to learn more about performance measurement on March 10, 2014 in Hanover, Germany, where Pokeshot///SMZ will be taking part in the expert panel “Determining the value of social collaboration ROI" at the CeBit’s Social Business Arena. Come by and let’s continue the conversation after the panel. I look forward to seeing you!

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