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Social Business, Social Enterprise News, Analysis

When 'Work Like a Network' Won't Work

Social Business, 2014-12-August-Godzilla-Swim.jpgHierarchy has become the bogeyman of the "future of work" movement. Listen to some commentators, and it sounds as if the honest worker in the corporation is being oppressed by power-crazed managers, hoarding information like Gollum with a hangover. Presumably some of these managers were promoted from honest worker level, so does hierarchy bestow power, which immediately corrupts?

Not so fast. There are definitely bad hierarchies, but like all organizational forms, they can be done well or done poorly. Hierarchy still has a role, especially in larger, more established businesses, and some scenarios exist where a networked approach would be detrimental.

Business Relies on the Strength of Networks

Social Business, 2014-11-August-Helping-Hand.jpgNot too long ago it was possible for a company to make long-term detailed plans and then execute those plans over a period of several years. They could -- with fairly good accuracy -- predict the demand of their products or services over years, and match supply accordingly. Consumers remained fairly stable in their attitudes and behaviors towards products and services. Everybody needed to buy a new fridge, car or television set every 10 years or so. Since the needs didn’t change that much over the years, neither did the products -- all that was required were some new features and an updated design.

A hierarchy of managers made sure that plans were followed and executed. The role of management was to execute the business model as efficiently as possible, focusing on cutting cost in order to increase market share through competitive pricing and increase profits and returns to shareholders. Management created and refined policies and procedures to make sure that operations ran like a well-oiled machine, and all measures of success and incentive systems were geared towards efficient execution.

Needless to say, today's business environment is very different.

Week in Review: End of the Mobile App + Big Data, Big Insights

Goodbye Mobile Apps?
The mobile and web applications space will see a dramatic shift in how things are designed and built.

Meet the Empowered CMO 
The age of the customer may also turn out to be the age of the chief marketing officer.

Take that, Google 
Where last week Google Docs got better at collaborating, Microsoft this week made key upgrades to Office for the iPad.

Strength in Silos
Work silos, when bridged, can actually bring us enterprise fortune

EMC, Documentum Shakeup?
What happens to Documentum if Elliott Management breaks up EMC?

Show Me the Insights
So we’ve got the big data and the interest in it. What’s the problem? 

Understand the 3 Stages of Digital Marketing Maturity
How modern marketing organizations should operate at each stage
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Where User Experience Should Fit in SharePoint's Roadmap

SharePoint, 2014-08-August-Jigsaw-Puzzle.jpgMany people have singled out SharePoint's user experience (UX) as one of the main culprits in lagging adoption and engagement numbers since the launch of the platform. Arguably it wasn't until the 2010 version that Microsoft took targeted steps to remedy this, adding important usability improvements and social capabilities. It was also during the SharePoint 2010 release timeframe that the partner ecosystem grew to support design and UX. This expansion introduced new options for customers, as well as provided feedback and direction for Microsoft, leading to further enhancements in the SharePoint 2013 release, including mobile enhancements and the support of device channels.

But even with SharePoint 2013's focus on the presentation layer and ongoing UX developments inside of Office 365 -- such as deeper integration with Yammer, PowerBI and the Delve (formerly Codename Oslo) interface -- has it been enough to improve adoption and engagement?

Adobe Boosts Web Conferencing With Connect 9.3

Adobe has released the latest version of its web conference platform including enhancements in screen sharing, its virtual whiteboard, social media integration and compatablity with Salesforce.com and Microsoft Lync 2013. 

Adobe Connect 9.3 will debut early this fall.

Rocky Mitarai, senior product marketing manager for Adobe, told CMSWire the company's offering goes beyond the standard meeting experience because it's an end-to-end solution that includes capabilities in meetings, elearning and webinars. 

It's an easy-to-use solution ("immediately jump into it without any downloads") that offers robust security options for clients such as the US Department of Defense. It also, he said, easily integrates into existing infrastructure and lets users easily build custom apps.

The Barriers to Working like a Network in Office 365

2014-07-August-Road-Block.jpgIt is frustrating to see the potential of technology and not have it realized. The solution is there but, as they say in New England, “you can’t get there from here.” Such is Office 365.

A Vision of Wearable Tech in the Workplace

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Wearable tech has been hot this year, with a lot of companies emerging as players in the wearable space. Everything from activity monitors to wearable cameras to smart watches have popped into the Internet of Things (IoT) market, some making more impact than others. And while the implications on the consumer market are clear, the enterprise market remains wide open and ripe for disruption.

There are some obvious use cases for wearables in the workplace like employee monitoring, health and safety monitoring, and access control. Hitachi, for example, has already introduced what looks like an elaborate employee ID badge embedded with sensors that track who employees talk to — as well as where and how actively. "A manager can monitor who speaks up at meetings and who spends more time at the coffee machine than their desk," Forbes reported this week.

More devices like Hitachi's will come along at their own pace and not really change the way businesses run.

The area that I expect wearables to have the largest impact and disruptive force is in helping to manage and augment our everyday interactions with both people and things.

Q3/Q4 Planning: Top Marketing Technology, Social Business Conferences & Events (6-Aug-14)

Our industry event planner gives you the heads-up on what key industry events are coming around the corner. If we've missed something, don't hesitate to add your event to the list. (You can also view the full calendar here.)

You're Invited: How to Personalize Website Content

Join CMSWire and Clickability on August 21. In this one-hour webinar, learn how to take effective steps to target content to individual website visitors.
 

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How Social Is Your Supply Chain (and Who Really Cares)?

2014-05-August-Life-of-the-Party.jpgForget sharing your results from all those surveys on Facebook. You know the ones: they determine where you should actually live, or which character you would be in Downton Abbey, or even how bitchy you are (New York, Matthew Crawley and none of your business). Business leaders now appreciate that social in the workplace isn't about any of this. What it comes down to is being able to collaborate to make better decisions.

While every industry can benefit from social technology, there are some distinct differences in the patterns of adoption. Many early adopter stories we share are about marketing leveraging social media, but social technologies are also becoming more of an operational tool and that makes them interesting for the supply chain.

Embrace the Shift: Become a Responsive Organization

2014-05-August-Traffic.jpgAs shown by the rise and fall of giants such as Blockbuster and AOL, even the largest organizations can face demise -- and it can happen swiftly. Why do these behemoths of the business world fall from grace? In simple terms, they were unable to keep up with the hyper-connectivity of today’s society.

IBM Focuses on 'Talent and Change'

Tools or no tools, we've been talking about people and talent being a hot commodity. IBM believes it has tools that can lead to the right people -- and keep those people happy

The Armonk, N.Y.-based software giant just released cloud-based software and a new "talent and change" consulting practice. IBM's goal is to help organizations use analytics and behavioral science to identify top talent.  

Part of the IBM Kenexa software offering, it is delivered through the IBM Smarter Workforce initiative.

"The offering bundles bring together new and existing software and services from across IBM's Smarter Workforce portfolio including our social collaboration, analytics, workforce science, digital experience, consulting and of course Kenexa's talent assessment and recruitment capabilities," said Zahir Ladhani, ‎IBM's vice president of its Smarter Workforce. "Delivered through the cloud and supported by the new Talent and Change consulting practice, they're designed to make it faster and easier for clients to implement and scale workforce solutions across the organization."

Silos Divide Us, But Could Make Us Stronger

Social Business, 2014-04-August-Separation.jpgTalent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships. -- Michael Jordan

A silo is something that divides us from others. It is a set of people that is disconnected from other parts of the organization.

A functioning organization has a purpose and a mission to achieve. When people – increasingly recognized as the lifeblood of an organization, more critical than physical resources, commercial assets, intellectual property and such -- when people are divided, they lack a common focus and the intellectual, professional and personal empathy that allows them to act like a team.

How to Build Company Culture - and Keep Great Employees

2014-4-August-crowd-of-people.jpgRazor Suleman knew he had a problem when he lost 40 percent of his employees in rapid succession. "I dramatically threw my keys on the desk of my second in command and tried to quit," he recalled. 

That was back in 2006, before Suleman transformed what he describes as "one of the worst places to work" to one of the best.

Nothing like a mass exodus of talent to force senior leadership to confront the obvious: You can't buy cool, you can't fake happy and a company can't survive without great employees. Just ask Suleman, founder of Achievers, a Toronto, Ontario- based employee success platform.

Achievers boasts that its cloud-based software helps companies "engage, align and recognize their employees, resulting in higher retention and improved business results." Engaged employees lead to happy customers, which are the key to continued revenue growth and profits, Suleman said.

Social Enterprise Collaboration: It's More than Technology

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SAN FRANCISCO – In the city of technology innovation, I learned the best tech lesson.

It’s not always about the technology. And this is especially true when it comes to social collaboration in the enterprise.

You see, we had our first company meet-up at our San Francisco headquarters this past week (me, and colleague Anton, left, are pictured here). Not a conference call. Not an email. A collaborative chain.  

None of that.

It was human-to-human, the kind of connection where you shake someone’s hand and look them in the eye. Remember that?

We’ve met before in person, but not with our new-faced, growing, awesome team.

5 Technical Keys for Employee Engagement

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By now, we understand that employee engagement is one of the keys to corporate success. It allows us to reduce our employee acquisition and replacement costs. It provides additional discretionary effort from our best employees. It helps create a culture where companies are able to focus employee efforts on key strategic goals.

Everybody loves the idea of having better employee engagement within their own organizations. But are companies truly willing to make the investments necessary to actually improve?

The employee engagement problem is readily apparent. Gallup shows that the vast majority of employees are disinterested drudges simply working for a paycheck or for another hour of overtime rather than truly inspired employees who are creative, helpful, and true advocates for the company.

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