Being Ruthless 2.0

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Mark Nash proposes a nice little social media triaging system (Critical > Delayed > Rejected).

It reminds me that I blogged about being ruthless with RSS feeds back in 2007, but since that time the volume and access to different information and activity streams has definitely grown. Unfortunately it is also a reminder that our personal information practices that ultimately define our ability to control information overload continue to lag.

I wrote another piece about living with email, touching on similar issues. While the technologies are different, the common themes are:

  • Information overload is as much a result of poor information managament practices as it is about the volume of information created by the technology.
  • Individuals can’t deal with information overload on their own, it requires collective effort (there are a number of dimensions to this).

Unfortunately, at least in an organisational context, until we start taking information work more seriously I think many people will continue to find information overload an issue.

In the meantime, remember that its ok to be ruthless with your social activity consumption.

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Enterprise microblogging: Not just mindless chatter

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My blog friend, Samuel Driessen, was quoted in this Economist piece looking at the value of enterprise social networking, particularly enterprise microblogging. He talks about the practical benefits of enterprise microblogging to his company:

“the messaging system has helped the firm spot where work is in danger of being duplicated and share information about sales prospects.”

The rest of the article is well worth reading, before you forward it to your boss 🙂

This reminds me of another great case study I came across recently, this time from Social Text (who are also quoted in the Economist) – it describes the value a manufacturing company gets from using Social Text’s integrated enterprise wiki and microblogging system:

“Signals allows all that communication to be searchable and discoverable later,” [the company’s Knowledge and Information Manager] says. “The more stuff we’ve normally done in e-mail that we can pull into a Signals is a victory as far I’m concerned.”

As these examples demonstrate, enterprise microblogging is more than mindless chatter.

Enterprise 2.0 software: Measure twice, cut once – is it freeform, frictionless and emergent?

I usually dodge questions about specific vendors and their offerings, and instead answer how I’d look at any particular deployment of collaboration software to see if it met my definition of Enterprise 2.0.

I find this pretty easy to do. I check to see if the environment meets three criteria: Is it freeform? How frictionless is contribution? And is it emergent?

It worth considering Andew McAfee’s criteria for Enterprise 2.0 software – particularly as we get excited about the potential for Sharepoint 2010 for example. However, we actually need to apply this criteria twice. Once to determine if the software’s architecture is able to support an Enterprise 2.0 use case, the second to determine if the organisation will actually deploy it in a way that allows those capabilities to be utilised.

Hat tip to Martin Koser.

The 2.0 Adoption Council’s Social Computing Webinar Series

Dates – January 28th, February 4th, February 11th, February 18th at 12:00 p.m. ET

  • January 28th: Webinar #1: Social Computing Adoption in the Enterprise “the Before” – learn how to best develop the business case, gain buy-in, select technology and establish the team
  • February 4th: Webinar #2: Social Computing Adoption in the Enterprise “the After” –gather best practices on implementation, policy formation, training, and community management
  • February 11th: Webinar #3: EMC Enterprise 2.0 Case Study
  • February 18th: Webinar #4: Raytheon Enterprise 2.0 Case Study
  • Unfortunately 12pm E(S)T is something like 4am in the morning here on Australia’s east coast, however they will be posting the deck from each Webinar on slideshare.

    A radically different model for the IT and business relationship?

    Business Information Managers

    Twenty percent of business managers rated the information that they get from IT as poor, according to the Gartner Business Pulse survey conducted from June through August 2009*. “Information management has never been an explicit job role: IT manages the technology, business manages the domain, but who manages the information?” said Ms Logan. “Companies have allowed a huge gap to open up, and consequently, everyone has been the manager of their own information.”

    There will be an increasing trend to combine business and information management expertise in a single role, carried out by a single person, rather than a “business and IT partnership” with two people, two hierarchies and two sets of reporting relationships. One company already taking this approach achieved all its objectives including a cost reduction for the department of 10 percent in the first year. Gartner expects 20 percent of companies to employ business information managers by 2013, compared with 5 percent in 2009.

    Of the four roles (the other three: Legal and IT Hybrids, Digital Archivists and Enterprise Information Architects) I think this is one of the most important. The role is actually very familiar to me and I’m not sure if its a new role as such, but more of a recognition that IT serves a direct purpose in an organisation.

    Its also interesting to think about it in the context of this CIO magazine article, which challenges the typical service orientation of the IT department:

    “The alternatives begin with a radically different model of the relationship between IT and the rest of the business — that IT must be integrated into the heart of the enterprise, and everyone in IT must collaborate as a peer with those in the business who need what they do.”

    I wonder what impact such a role would have on the adoption of Web 2.0 inside and outside the firewall?

    Hat tip to Michael.

    Enterprise 2.0 for Breakfast this morning #e20forbreakfastsyd

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    Thanks to everyone who joined us for our Enterprise 2.0 meet up this morning, here in Sydney. One of the main themes in the conversation this morning was discussing our own experiences of the different organisational factors – such as internal politics, perceptions of productivity in the workplace, information security concerns and generational change – that get in the way of effectively introducing enterprise social computing.

    Unfortunately, due a sporting injury, Alex wasn’t was able to make it this time but hopefully he’ll be recovered for our next meet up. If you couldn’t make today either but would like to be invited to future meet ups, please get in touch with your twitter or email details so I can ‘ping’ you when we schedule our next event.

    From NYTimes.com: Interview with Cristóbal Conde, president & CEO of SunGard

    Q. What are your thoughts on collaborative versus top-down management?

    A. Collaboration is one of the most difficult challenges in management. I think top-down organizations got started because the bosses either knew more or they had access to more information. None of that applies now. Everybody has access to identical amounts of information.

    Q. Why did that shift occur?

    A. I would say two things. One is just the massive information revolution. But equally important is the fact that before, while there were global companies, they were really just a collection of very local businesses operating independently from each other. Now a global company means a company composed of teams that are themselves dispersed. So every team can be global in many senses, not just the company.

    But with the explosion of information, and flattening technologies starting with e-mail, I think that a C.E.O. needs to focus more on the platform that enables collaboration, because employees already have all the data. They have access to everything.

    You have to work on the structure of collaboration. How do people get recognized? How do you establish a meritocracy in a highly dispersed environment?

    The answer is to allow employees to develop a name for themselves that is irrespective of their organizational ranking or where they sit in the org chart. And it actually is not a question about monetary incentives. They do it because recognition from their peers is, I think, an extremely strong motivating factor, and something that is broadly unused in modern management.

    Q. How do you create that culture?

    A. One thing we use is a Twitter-like system on our intranet called Yammer.

    Timely interview considering my comments about virtual teams just now, although there is more to this that just enterprise microblogging!

    Hat tip to Andrew McAfee, who also highlights some key points if you want the abridged version of this interview.