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Author: Esko Kilpi Category: Posted: September 30, 2011 1091 views _ Comments

The modern business enterprise is easily defined. It has two particular characteristics: it contains many separate operating units and a hierarchy of executives. As a social innovation the modern enterprise was born when the volume of economic activities reached a level that made administrative coordination more efficient and more lucrative than market coordination.

Before the rise of the modern firm, the activities of small, often personally owned enterprises were enabled and constrained by market and price mechanisms.

The important innovation of the modern firm was to “internalize” activities by bringing many discrete components under one roof and under a system of coordination. The modern multi-unit business corporation replaced the... Read the article
Author: Harold Jarche Category: Posted: September 30, 2011 2338 views _ Comments

I’ve been looking at ways to explain why social learning is so important for business today. It comes down to the fact that what we know and do inside our organizations is insufficient to address external complexity or to be innovative. In Leadership 2030, the Hay Group identifies six fairly obvious, but worth repeating, megatrends, all of which will require more innovative approaches to work:

  • The balance of power is shifting to the East
  • Climate change and scarcity of resources is a mounting problem
  • The war for talent rages on
  • Accommodating growing individualization, requiring more social workplaces
  • Embracing people who are digitally adept
  • Harnessing Nano-Info-Bio-Cogno technologies
Connecting the diversity of markets and society to the organization, instead of creating firewalls, is a major challenge for leadership today. How do you maintain the integrity of the organization while embracing the... Read the article
Author: Mark Fidelman Category: Posted: September 29, 2011 1552 views _ Comments

Friendly flight attendant

Want to know what it might feel like if an airline actually treated its customers like friends? Not a superficial, phony performance marked by fake smiles and fake actors (think the aviation version of the Truman Show). But an airline that runs its business by listening, supporting and doing what’s best for its customers.

Instead, we’re subjected to dysfunctional relationships in a system that supports regular and repeated conflicts, which has led to apathy. Onboard and emblematically, no one pushes the flight attendant button anymore because we’re either accustomed to being ignored, or we’re met with a look that says "What’s your problem?" No wonder why our relationship with airlines is filled with so much emotional baggage.


In all my years as a business traveler, I have learned there are only a few airlines that could pass the “we’ve-got-better-customer-service-than-the-Department-of- Motor-Vehicles” test. The remainder, under the mantra of public safety, keep us locked up for hours languishing on planes sitting on tarmacs, often ignore our... Read the article
Author: Luis Suarez Category: Posted: September 28, 2011 893 views _ Comments
Gran Canaria - Artenara Facing Roque Bentaiga and Roque NubloThis is not the first, nor the second time, and I am sure there will be a third time, and many more!, at some point, that I have either heard or read about something that I would think would make pretty upset all of those folks who work on the Internet or with technology in general. Yes, I am referring to the so-called Knowledge Web Workers. Specially, those folks who have made the Social Web their new home. Indeed, in a rather thought-provoking, butvery inspiring, article, Douglas Rushkoff comes to question whether we are witnessing the end of jobs as we have known them for centuries and whether we are pretty much experiencing the birth of a unknown need, till now, of a renewed model of jobs. In Are Jobs Obsolete? Douglas keeps questioning whether... Read the article
Author: Jacob Morgan Category: Posted: September 27, 2011 1242 views _ Comments

I’ve been doing a lot of research for the book I’m working on for McGraw Hill.  A part of that research isn’t just understanding emergent collaboration as it exists today in the era of all these new tools but also understanding collaboration at its core.  So, I’ve been researching and reading a lot about collaboration prior to the development of any of these tools to understand more of the human dynamics behind collaboration.  I graduated with a dual B.A. from UCSC and one of those B.A’s was in psychology so naturally understanding collaboration is both fun and interesting for me.

I wanted to share something I came across from a book called “Collaboration: What Makes It Work” by Paul W. Mattesich, Ph.D., Marta Murray-Close, B.A., Barbara R. Monsey, M.P.H, and the Wilder Research Center.

The book addresses the twenty success factors of... Read the article
Author: Brian Vellmure Category: Posted: September 27, 2011 1437 views _ Comments

Shifts in technology and human behavior are rapidly changing customer’s expectations of companies. Things are moving so fast, that most executives are not only trying to catch up with the changes, but identify what some of the changes are. Understanding what those changes mean to each business is a more complicated matter altogether.

Ross Dawson brilliantly lays out his observations of the mega trends happening around us in the charts below...

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Author: Bill Ives Category: Posted: September 26, 2011 1313 views _ Comments

My friend Luis Suarez pointed me to an excellent article by Irving Wladawsky-Berger, A New Style of Work. I met Irving at an IBM event around 2005 before he retired and was impressed with his thinking. In this blog post he refers to the post retirement phase of his life that has launched this new way to work for him. In another blog post on the topic, Tom Foremski, a journalist blogger commented, “In some ways, I see your post-retirement life as being somewhat futuristic, in that it will be the way many people will be working in the future.p It's what I call an "atomic" model - collaborating with others on specific tasks/projects and then dissolving those collaborations as you work with others on different projects. In some ways, this is the way Hollywood has been working for decades.p And it's also one that I increasingly see in Silicon Valley.”

This rang very true as I am now seven years into... Read the article
Author: Esko Kilpi Category: Posted: September 26, 2011 733 views _ Comments

In a start-up, the coordination of work takes place through the transparency of activities, close proximity of people working together and mostly informal, responsive, ongoing communication.

I have often wondered when and how the transformation to the world of formal reports and meetings takes place.

After closely studying several case companies, it seems to me that it is not at all the growth of the company that requires the development of formal communication systems. That takes place as a result of the managerial thinking that has evolved in response to growth.

The mainstream view of management science sees the organization as having a separate existence from individuals. In organizations, as in machines, the interchangeability of parts is thought to promote efficiency. This means that processes retained in workers´ interaction should be recorded in documents and passed back to govern work. The aim is to rise above the individual memory and to establish an organizational memory. This is what mainstream knowledge management was all about twenty years ago: “If only HP knew what HP knows”.

Industrial management has been about depersonalizing the workplace in the interest of efficiency, even up to the point of seeing people as (human) resources or (valuable) assets. Because of the strong desire to outdo the individuals, the communication habits of a “managed” company need...  Read the article
Author: Brian Vellmure Category: Posted: September 25, 2011 708 views _ Comments

I recently had the privilege to participate in the Sales 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 conferences inBoston, MA.

It was good to see old friends, meet new ones, and/or insert a handshake or hug into a previously only virtual relationship. The conference(s) also provided a great chance to check on the pulse of the industry, hear new stories, and generally get a broader and better sense for what’s going on the in the marketplace. 

Like a room full of toddlers, the industry is learning to walk. There have been starts, stops, over compensations, disparity amongst players in general understanding and development, and in some cases, the harsh realization that we’re just not quite ready to do what we want to do... Read the article
Author: Bill Ives Category: Posted: September 25, 2011 762 views _ Comments

I attended Forrester's Content & Collaboration Forum 2011. Forrester notes that in five years, almost half of US workers — about 63 million people — will work virtually. I am already one of them. This will change everything in workplace IT support from designing workplace information strategies for collaboration, to delivering content experiences to people across channels, to engaging the next-generation workforce to serve customers better. These notes are near real time so please excuse any typos.

The Forum explored the “current demand for more portable, social workplace experiences means for your workplace strategy.” It “shares the latest trends in technology adoption and how firms forge better business outcomes from a more mobile, social, and virtual workforce.” Sheila B. Jordan, Vice President, Communication and Collaboration IT, Cisco Systems presented a Key note: Enabling The New Collaborative Workspace. Here is the session description:

“Much of the end user value proposition behind “Enterprise 2.0” is an integrated, contextually aware experience that enables people to... Read the article