Posts Tagged ‘knowledge’

Last year I wrote about motivation and Daniel Pink’s Ted video in which he revealed the blatant discrepancy between what science knows and what business does. I was puzzled because I, too, had been lulled into believing in sticks and carrots – so-called extrinsic motivation, which just doesn’t work and in many cases might even be counter-productive.

I promised myself to start looking for evidence of Pink’s assertions and, man, did I find it. My guess is I have had at least 100 conversations about motivation since then: With business leaders, parents, colleagues, my wife, my kids and teachers. I also recently finished reading Daniel Pink’s new book “Drive” and I was pleased to discover that it’s truly an abundance of wisdom about motivation – what motivates, what doesn’t, toolkits, suggested readings and a whole lot more. Highly recommended.

Here’s a 40-minute video in which Pink talks about intrinsic motivation based on “Drive”. Please let me know what you think motivates.

I’m a firm believer that Enterprise 2.0 is all about communications. It may be a bland statement, but it also emphasizes the fact that Enterprise 2.0 is first and foremost defined by an organizational culture in which communication in the form of dialogue flows freely and without constraints. That’s the very basic concept. It defines itself through organizations whose management understands that information is not power if kept to the chosen few, but if dispersed and enriched as a premise for collaboration. Another core premise for a true Enterprise 2.0 culture is that it’s actively endorsed, supported, sponsored (call it whatever you want) by top management (preferably the CEO).

Meanwhile, we are now blessed with software and services, which can actually make the Enterprise 2.0 dream come true. Now, I have worked with knowledge management software since 1999 (when one of my customers accidentally fell in love with a very rudimentary learning system from SAP and wanted to use it for sharing of general company knowledge) and things have changed very dramatically since then. Back then we all had rather wet dreams about collaboration, but the whole culture of sharing, voting, rating, commenting, blogging and microblogging was still not around. A lot of the services which are now possible, wouldn’t have been possible, simply because people (employees) weren’t culturally and mentally ready for the leap. Web 2.0 helped change all that. A friend of mine recently said that we used to be inspired by software used at work and would introduce it onto our private computers, but now the trend has reversed and we are increasingly far more innovative privately and push to get the same software and services at work.

Jive’s product video below illustrates this point quite well. It addresses itself to the average guy who wants the social aspect back into his work life…

We really have a lot to thank the likes of Facebook, MySpace, Friends Reunited and LinkedIn for. Without them paving the way we wouldn’t be anywhere near the push and adoption rates we’re looking at right now. I recently took part in a conference about corporate social media and a speaker representing a company having introduced some elements of Enterprise 2.0 said the major push had come from the employees. Amazing – imagine if that had happened back in the old ERP days. That was when the mere mention of an ERP implementation was enough to make people quit and flee the company :-)

Anyway, I’m drifting and my intention in this blog post was to talk about the “app side of Enterprise 2.0”. Now that we have established that Enterprise 2.0 isn’t *just* a software suite you can roll out and, Bob’s your uncle, you have a communicative and collaborative company, we can move on to talk about those types of applications which can help fulfill the dream.

I generally categorize Enterprise 2.0 apps into these categories (but that’s just my slant on it – I’d love to hear your views):

  • Microblogs
  • Blogs (written and video)
  • Wikis
  • Chat/instant messaging
  • Collaborative tagging (folksonomy) of all internal and external content
  • Rating and commenting capabilities (for blogs, links, documents, images, people)
  • Profile pages (personal and skills content)
  • Merit awards/levels
  • Collaborative development of content
  • Groups
  • Network sharing (internal follow and view external contacts)

There are some really good narrow services like Yammer for microblogging, which are very widely adopted. And then there are whole suites incorporating more areas. At this stage I generally find that the narrow services are more cutting edge, but the downside is that you have to start looking at several point solutions.

Now that everything is electronic and all apps and services are internet-based (Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, Flickr, YouTube, Google Docs and what not) I feel more certain than ever that I won’t lose my “stuff”. I guess most of my e-stuff from the 90s is gone by now. I probably had some of it on some 3.5″ back-up disks or old computers, but now – it’s gone. Disappeared. Disparu.

It got me thinking the other day when I was looking for an old Facebook wall chat- it wasn’t old old, just a couple of months – and I realized it was almost impossible to find. Whose wall was it on? Was it mine? Who was in it? Anyway, it took me well over half an hour to locate it scrolling through 40-50 pages (the one shown here is another one I decided to keep). It was really good, it made me laugh all over again and I decided I wanted to keep it. But then I found that the only way to really keep it, was to screen-shoot it and save it in my Dropbox. Now, how old-fashioned is that? And what if, in 5 years time, I want to find something from today… I would take me weeks to find it.

It begs the question: How far back do Facebook, MySpace, Twitter et al keep their records?

It also begs the plea: Can someone please launch the service “My Social Stuff”! What I want is something like this: When I read a wall chat I want a little icon next to it that I can hit and it’ll save that chat to my social stuff. The same thing with pictures, tweets, links – basically everything from social cyberspace that I want to keep.

In My Social Stuff I want a powerful Google type search engine, so I can find everything. Folksonomy so I (and my friends) can tag a chat “wedding speech” or “joke” for later reference.

Above all I want a virtual time capsule where I can keep and safeguard all my social stuff for many many years.

I recently watched this video with Daniel Pink. And since then I have been thinking about the real impact of what he’s saying, which is basically this: If your job involves a minimum of cognitive skills, most performance management methods, systems and approaches don’t work. There’s a mismatch between what science knows and what businesses do. Mind-buggling and it really calls for action (or corrective action as we consultants like to call it). Go ahead and watch it. Trust me – it’s worth investing a little time in.

My promise: I intend to find out to what extent this is true, to what extent corporation know about this and to what extent they intend to do something about it.

Until then… these are the 3 motivational words to remember: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.

I went to a speech yesterday by Morten Bay about Homo Conexus, the Network Man (go buy the book). Totally inspiring. One of his many points was, “don’t protect your content, spread it!”. Well, Morten, you took the words right out of my mouth (-:  For quite a while I have been helping knowledge-based companies (consulting, media, advisory, accounting, legal) understand how they maximize on social media.

All these companies are fully aware that what they sell is knowledge, brainware, information, experience, methodology, know-how… Call it whatever you want. It’s all immaterial and can’t be put in a warehouse. It can’t be stored and every hour you don’t bill, is a lost hour. These are the hard facts. Still, traditionally knowledge-based companies have treated their “products” (their knowledge, their intellectual property) as a secret. Their bills-of-material are called CVs or resumes and are usually kept in the company vault, written in Word (often anonymized) and stored on a hard-to-find network drive. Usually out-of-date, unless a client needs it, in which case the CV is pulled out and updated in a flash. Recognize the scenario?

This begs the question: Why? Well, if you ask most company executives they will tell you that they have to protect their valuable assets against predatory headhunters. If they didn’t, they’d lose their best employees in no time. True or false? The following story may help shed some light on the issue. I met with an innovative consulting firm, Init, now Gavdi, a couple of years ago. At that time they were up-and-coming, focusing exclusively on SAP Human Resources. Their MD at the time, Lars Kramer, showed me a full-page ad they’d just put into the leading Danish business newspaper, Børsen. It featured all their top consultants, with a picture and a brief resume. Wow! Lars said he was a bit nervous about this move, but he felt it was the best way to expose their skills. And boy was he right. In this bold move they accomplished many things in one strike: Customers knew exactly who they were, who’d they be buying (full transparency = maximum credibility), so it generated lots of new business. Their consultants were proud to be exposed in a national newspaper, which boosted their value, their self-esteem and their employer loyalty. And it attracted other consultants, who wanted to be part of this group of top-notch consultants. The headhunters? Well, they all thought this would be a perfect hunting ground, but because the consultants now had maximum employer loyalty, nobody was tempted to accept any other offers (at least during that time).

Back to my point: Don’t protect your intellectual property (when it comes to CVs/resumes). Flash them, publish them, social-network them. Get maximum return on your employee investment. My advice is this: Forget about Word CVs/resumes – go straight to LinkedIn and maximize your use of all its capabilities. Trust me – it’ll do wonders for your business (-: