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Follow Button.jpgif you are interested.
Track in inbox button.jpg

if you are responsible.


Following

Groups that you are interested in but just want to check out from time to time is the primary reason you would "follow" a group (You can also follow a person or piece of conent).  All of that followed content will show up in your activity stream and you can review it when you like.  You can't "work the stream" like you would a set of read/unread emails so you probably will miss a lot of content.  But your not responsible for the work in those groups (or from those people you are following).  You just want to have an easy way to check out a few posts from time to time as you have a general interest.  So, if it is not critical for you to see every single update and post, then this is a good option.  Conversely, if you must see every piece of content from a person (your manager) or a group that is related to your day job "following" is not enough...read on

 

Track in Inbox

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Inside every group, profile and piece of content is an "Action item" that looks like the above graphic (Track in Inbox).  Select this if you can not afford to

miss a post, update or comment.  It could be a manager, peer, subordinate or client.  Maybe a group that is for your department or project.  You want to be selective with what content you track in your inbox as you don't want to flood yourself.  Once you start tracking you will then see a number show up in the <Jive> header/banner as shown here.  This is an easy reminder that you have some items to review.  You get the chance to "work your <Jive> inbox" similar to email.  So you can keep items marked as "unread" and come back to them later if you like.,

 

Fine Tuning Your <Jive> Inbox

stop tracking button.jpgEvery now and then a piece of content will hit your <Jive> inbox that seems to take on a life of its own. Comment after comment that don't seem to stop.  Often it is a promotion announcement or life event (marriage, baby) that is followed by 100 "congrats" comments.  You want out!!  The way you can avoid this is when you decided you had enough, simply click on the content and select the "stop tracking" button found in the action bar.  It is in the same location as the "Track in inbox", meaning you will see just one of these button but never both so you can't make a mistake here.  If this piece of content is in a group you were tracking, you still will see all update and posts in your <Jive> inbox.  However, for this particular piece of content, you will not see another post.

 

Social Content has some similarities to managing email but there are many improvements and differences.  With a bit of trial and error you will find what works best for you to maximize business value and reduce the noise.

 

Note if you want to use this....

If you would like to leverage this tip for your own internal community, simply change out the <Jive> references and place your own jive community brand name.  You may also want to change the images if your theme has changed them.  Out of the box, the inbox is called "communications" or "What Matters: Communication" or "Track in Communications".  Many have followed Jive's lead and changed the word "communications" to "Inbox".  So as they say, your mileage may vary. 

 

See you all at Jive World.  Come visit our booth when you are there Social Edge Consulting | Corporate Collaboration


ID-10088727 - business guy with thumbs up.jpgSocial tools allow a company to create a corporate memory of institutional knowledge from the day to day work of their employees.  By posting conversations, notes, ideas, and work products, it is available to be leveraged by current and future employees.

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For the company, this is an incredible asset that helps breaks down silos as knowledge and best practices seamlessly flow from one division to the next.   It also allows employees to discover expertise they were unaware of and make connections across the organization.  Despite the benefits, this can be a cultural challenge for many employees.

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For decades, more senior employees felt their value was sourced, in part, from the depth of their experience.  This intellectual property was closely guarded and shared only when absolutely necessary.   If they shared this knowledge openly, they felt they would be expendable to the company.  Additionally, departments often were pitted against one another and management encouraged this internal competition to drive groups to stretch themselves.  This creates an environment where collaboration is “helping the opponent” and is not encouraged.

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As mentioned above, there is incredible value to the company if employees do share information.  So what can a company’s management team do about this conundrum?

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  • First, recognize the strategic value of this legacy information and make sure that the management team for your sphere of influence (your company, division, group etc...) values it as well.
  • Next, you need to reward those that share and collaborate, and penalize (or at least discourage) those that do not.  In the past, a bright employee who delivered would be rewarded with additional responsibilities and promotions with little regard to their methods. Coach and counsel those individuals that the expectation is that they collaborate to help themselves and their peers.  Hold back the accolades and rewards until they do so.
  • Highlight those individuals and teams (e.g. via video or intranet news story) that do collaborate and share their knowledge to demonstrate the desired behavior.  This is much more powerful than any speech or communication indicating company values.
  • Make collaboration part of the promotion and financial reward criteria.
  • Create more formal opportunities such as mentoring (traditional and virtual) so that knowledge and wisdom can pass down to more junior team members.

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By implementing these steps, you will send strong signals to your workforce that the management team values collaboration and knowledge sharing.  Savvy employees will begin to make the transition.

Most people naturally want to help colleagues across their team, or company.  Many also enjoy talking about their expertise and knowledge.  Create the right culture to reward this and your corporate memory will be available to build upon in the future.

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Andrew Kratz

Social Edge Consulting, LLC

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image provided by FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Intranet Tough Love 

Let’s have a frank discussion about your current Intranet.  It’s terrible!  You know it.  Your employees know it.  Your management team knows it.  If you are like most companies, there are probably only four features that are used on your Intranet:

 

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1)      Navigation to Static Content:  Numerous links to all of your company’s corporate content as well as Intranet sites for your business lines.  The information is almost always static and some portion of it is out of date keeping employees guessing if they should rely on it.  However, it is the best the company has to offer.

2)      Corporate Directory: A people search mainly used for phone numbers.  The profile is “name, rank and serial number” and not much more than that.

3)      Corporate News:  Five to seven top stories that are updated each week.  They are read occasionally.

4)      Stock Price:  Easy access to see how the company is doing in the stock market.

 

Nine times out of ten your users are just passing through your intranet to get to the website they really want need to access.  The only silver lining is that you are not falling behind most of your competitors, at least not yet.  Most companies would say something very similar regarding their intranet.  Corporate nation, we can do better!

 

Social + Intranet = Successful Collaboration Platform

 

What if you had an Intranet that was engaging and not static?  What if it was a mix of top down content (corporate news) plus the content people are actually reading and engaging with each day?  What if it was a launching point for “real work” and not just reference information a user needs from time to time?  Would that add business value to your users?

Switching to the social portion of the equation, let’s talk about your “social experiments” (executive blogs, wikis, file shares).  Are they off to the side, where only the socially savvy make the effort to check them out?  What if we placed them into the user’s day to day workflow?  Even users that are only launching a browser to go elsewhere would catch a glimpse of that executive blog or new document post and possibly spend a minute to take a look.

 

What if “Social” merged with “Intranet”?  Would this create a better Intranet?

 

Corporations that replace their Intranet home page with a social software solution are seeing better engagement by their staff.  I am seeing ten times (10x) the activity by employees who have a social Intranet versus stand-alone implementations at the clients I interact with each day.  This makes sense when you think about users who are too busy to do “yet another thing”.  If it is part of the workflow and IS your Intranet, it suddenly becomes part of the pre-morning or post lunch ritual where a user will spend a minute or two to catch up on what is going around in the company.   As users leverage the platform for their “day job” you have an integrated solution that will add incredible business value.

 

Andrew Kratz

Founder of Social Edge Consulting, LLC

 

 

 

Image provided by FreeDigitalPhoto.net

One of the amazing business benefits of a social collaboration platform is that it enables the discovery of otherwise unknown subject matter experts deep within your organization.  By making that knowledge and expertise available to the company, you can reduce costs, improve time to market, and streamline processes.

 

Discussing “finding experts” as a social use case it is a fairly vanilla conversation.  A user will type in keywords and the social tool will search content and profiles for matching individuals.  Alternatively, experts may find you by org-chart-image-300x199.jpgresponding to a question or commenting on a document you author.  But this description does not properly illustrate the incredible impact you can make across your company.  Consider this real world example.

 

On a recent social network implementation, there was a bright marketing professional named Julia.  She was about 25 years old and worked in one particular product area of this large company.  Although in the workforce for just a few years, Julia had spent considerable time working on what is known as “SEO” or Search Engine Optimization.  SEO is an important concept in marketing that consists of techniques and strategies to improve your website’s ranking in Google’s search results.  As we know, users rarely scroll beyond the first few results, so it is critical that your website ranks among the first. 

 

Julia was very good at her job, but because she was part of a large company with many layers, she was unknown outside of her group.  The company launched a social collaboration tool and Julia was part of the first group to quickly adopt and leverage the platform.  The company had many professionals who also focused on SEO for their product areas.  Each was an island with little interaction or awareness of each other.  These individuals quickly began to post SEO related questions, form groups and discuss techniques on the social platform.  Julia thrived in this environment.  She answers questions, posted best practices, and established herself as a SEO expert at the company.   Her efforts were not only benefiting the company, but Julia also benefited personally knowing her skills were helping others.


It is hard to say how many products and websites benefited from her expertise and techniques, but it was certainly many of them across the company.   Through her leadership she also was providing free training to others in the company to bring everyone up to the same level of expertise.  Imagine doing that for each functional area of your company!  To top it off, all of this occurred over a two month period.  It is an amazing story that is not unique to this company or this individual.  In a knowledge economy, countless numbers of rock stars exist at your company.  Social collaboration helps raise the profile of your subject matter experts, many of whom are hungry to make a difference by sharing what they know.

 

Andrew Kratz

Social Edge Consulting, LLC

www.socialedgeconsulting.com

 

Image provided by FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Andrew Kratz

Company Wisdom

Posted by Andrew Kratz Apr 2, 2012

How many people do you know at your company?  100, 500, 750, 1000?  If you were fortunate enough to be employed by a large company for a long period of time maybe you do know 500 people.   Maybe you moved around and held various positions in a number of locations and you know 750.  Let’s say that you are a natural “networker” as well and you know 1,000 people.  Wow!  That would be pretty amazing.  When a challenge confronts you or when you need to bounce around some ideas around you have this incredible internal network to leverage.  Lucky for you.

 

Now how many people are at your company in total?   5,000, 10,000, 50,000, more?  So even though you know about as many people as a person possibly can, you might not have access to 90% of the company.  Their knowledge and wisdom is shut off from you.  This is where social networking can help.

 

By participating in groups focused on business, and posting your status (“what are you doing?”) you will be able to interact with the entire company.  You will be amazed how when you post a simple statement such as “Working on the ABC project, leveraging the XYZ tool” that out of no where people you never met will jump in.  “I worked on something similar to ABC, watch out for….”, or “I used XYZ tool, let me know if you need any help getting up to speed”.

 

You will see only flashes of this early on, because there is a real culture shift that needs to occur.  The staff at large corporations are not comfortable telling everyone about their challenges or even what they are working on.  We are conditioned to keep that “in the department”.  But this transparency can transform 100’s of departmental islands across the company that are trying to “figure it out on their own” into one company that is working together.   Social collaboration can help tap into the skills, talents and resources of a global workforce.

 

 

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by Andrew Kratz

Founder of Social Edge Consulting, LLC

An Interesting CIO article Forrester: Enterprise Social Software to Become a $6.4 Billion Market in 2016

 

Just one comment I wanted to expand on regarding application integration.   I think this one quote is the real key: 

 

"By creating a social layer between information workers and the applications and communications infrastructure, social enterprise apps will overcome the adoption malaise that has affected UC&C,", wrote Forrester analyst Henry Dewing.

 

 

In most shops, social tools are stand-alone.  Here at McGraw-Hill we have gone a step further and made it our intranet home page and our corporate directory so that gives it some additional stickiness and gets it into a users work-flow.  But I think the real value is yet to come.  When social becomes engrained into the business applications and workflow then we will be on to something here. 

 

As an example, I recall back in 2008, I was attendig Oracle OpenWorld and they were showing an early version of Fusion ERP (corporate books and records).  They showed a typical general ledger transaction, but on the end of it you had the ability to communicate with the originator of the journal entry.  You could instant message (where the context of the JE was pre-populated) or post a discussion.  They ran through the use case of instead of having to cut and paste or retype into an email to ask you question or play phone tag you could right there initiate the Q&A and possible get an instant answer.   A small example, but magnify that across the business process and we have some real "Social-Accounting"....cool stuff!

One of the early changes our legal team identified for McGraw-Hill was to change the name of these two group type,  We changed "Private" and "Secret" to  “Invitation Only” and “Unlisted” (after the You Tube term).   They cited case law that made its way up to the US Supreme Court regarding the 4th Amendment to the Bill of Rights.  They had concerns that by using the terms private and secret it could create a situation where it would be deemed illegal for the company to monitor activities in those groups.  As a regulated company (we own Standard & Poor's) we are required to archive and perform surveillance on electronic communications.

 

I’ll start by saying I am not an attorney and I don’t play one on TV either, however I’ll do my best to explain what our legal team is seeing. 

 

The 4thamendment deals with your rights regarding search and seizure. We normally think about it in the context of the police needing a warrant and reasonable cause to search your private spaces such as your home or car.  In the workplace it has applicability as well.  If you as an employee have a reasonable expectation of privacy then the company can not invade that privacy by using your words or actions against you.  There are lots of cases that have made their way through the courts regarding social media tools.  As an example, cases involving Facebook were cited.  Employees argue this is a private space and the company can’t take action against them as the company has no right to review that content even if it occurred during company time and on company equipment.  The employee had a “reasonable expectation” that their Facebook post to their friends is a private matter not to be recorded by their company.

 

Not all of these cases were ruled in favor of the employee, but the fact that so many work their way through the courts and that 4th amendment rights will trump any corporate policies one might sign, the legal team had concerns over the group names.  If a group is called “private” or “secret” they can easily foresee how someone may argue in the future that the company had no right to monitor or review the content in those groups because they gave the employee the “reasonable expectation of privacy”.   

 

So particularly for financial services firms that need to record all conversations such as these, it was easier to change the wording than take the chance.  Using the phrase changing feature in the admin console is the easy way to do it.  Although we found a couple of locations that did not change with this approach.  There is a more thorough approach by changing the web application text file that lists all labels in the system.  Your technology team or Jive Profesional Services could implement that.  This approach has proven to be very effective.   Additionally, we have made changes to "Private Discussions" and related labels.  We now call them "Direct Discussion" (we are on version Jive SBS 4.5.5.2).

 

Here is a product idea for Jive to review and add to a future release.

 

Please vote this up:  Group Types Private and Secret may have legal issues

 

Hope this is helpful.

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