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30 Oct 12

"Kevin and his team felt they could tap into that knowledge and expertise in something other than a traditional knowledge management approach where people dump their information in a giant database that nobody reads. They created an environment where they did peer-to-peer collaboration.
Kevin and the team at Xilinx initially built very small collaborative tools that enabled their design engineers to start the collaboration process and to get experience in understanding what it means. They had successes build upon other successes in terms of how engineers worked with each other as well as with their customers. And they’ve been able to progressively expand their collaborative capability to the point that they’ve raised engineer productivity by about 25%. It’s a great example of how we define the social organization, which is the repeated ability to use mass collaboration to tackle strategic issues and opportunities — as opposed to it just being a one-shot deal."

06 Sep 12

"A major challenge for organizations that are considering internal social media initiatives is that a business case including a financial justification is frequently required.

To be frank, I think ROI calculations for social initiatives are in most cases a waste of time, because so many of the benefits and costs are unknowable before the initiative. A leap of faith is required, after which calculations using real data can be done to help refine strategies.

However if the organization requires a financial case, then those seeing the opportunity need to do what they can to create the case."

10 May 12

KM practitioners are often criticised for running initiatives that cannot easily be assessed in traditional business terms, such as return on investment. However, in this case the results were almost immediate and quantifiable.

The KM team could point to a steady increase in the customer satisfaction figures in the months after the community system was put in place, increasing from 69 per cent to 76 per cent. This was a remarkable achievement in such a short space of time and primarily attributed, in the company, to the change in coaching style.

Other internal figures also improved including first-time fix rates, speed to answer and queue size.

However, we did not simply stop there. An interview technique was deployed based on a method documented by KM consultants Skyrme1 to capture the relationship between the improved knowledge flow and how it had influenced corporate key performance indicators (KPIs).

The results are mapped out in the benefits tree illustration. The community style approach helped coaches to properly understand their role; they understand what the customers need to know. They are sharing ideas with each other, transferring their improved understanding across the call centre and validating to ensure that change has the desired impact. This is helping staff to reach their potential more quickly, speeding up problem solving and these proven approaches are also being shared across the company much more easily than before.

The organisation has also benefited from a concomitant reduction in staff turnover, which is a major challenge in call centres the world over. The initiative has improved morale because staff feel better able to serve the customers, and single contact resolution rates – the number of calls dealt with successfully first time – have increased. The customers are receiving better service, they feel that they are getting a more responsive and empathetic response from the representatives and they feel more satisfied with Orange as a result.

29 Feb 12

“What’s the point?”

The problem was that I was talking about what I had instead of talking about what they needed. They didn’t want yet another tool or thing to do. They wanted help.

So I started over.

“Our goal is to make things easier for you. Easier to find answers and experts. Easier to share better ways of working with people who do what you do. Easier to coordinate work in your group and across groups.

If we make all of that easier, we’ll make your jobs better while we unlock tremendous value for our company.”

28 Jan 12

PC: When do companies get to the point that they start thinking about adoption more seriously?  What do you recommend?

JH: I am a contrarian.  People talk about measuring the ROI.  But the reality is that who ever controls the underlying assumptions can deliver whatever ROI they want.  I have yet to see any enterprise that has gone back to look at the ROI to see if it materializes.   It is better to focus on operating metrics.  If your issue is lead time to get a bus on the road … you can track that on a daily basis.  Then refine the approach.  In many case studies on companies, very few had gone back and measured whether they actually achieved the projected success.

17 Jan 12

Before I get into specific examples and illustrations of where I think the list fails, let me give you four basic problems I have with it as it stands today:

1. Many of the examples on it could potentially show positive ROI but – as presented – only reference selective gains from social activity and not actual, factual, empirical ROI. If that made no sense, that’s okay. Let me explain:

For something to be ROI, you need two ingredients: The cost of the activity and the gain from that activity. (That cost is the investment. The gain is either revenue or cost savings.) It’s math. Really really really simple math. ROI is an equation and it generally looks like this:

($ Gain – $ Cost) ÷ $ Cost = ROI


($ Revenue – $ Investment) ÷ $ Investment = ROI

(You can also multiply the result by 100 to get yourself out of the decimals, but that’s a personal choice. You can do that in your head.)

Anything that isn’t the result of the ROI equation is not ROI.

Note that a gain is just a gain,like cost is just a cost. Neither gain nor cost is ROI on its own. Ever. Not in any known universe.

Put another way, bread and ham  may individually be part of the ham sandwich equation but ham alone is not a ham sandwich. Ham is just ham. The problem we face today: This list pretty much mistakes ham for a ham sandwich. Good thing it was free or we would all be asking for a refund (or a word with the chef).

11 Jan 12

A few years ago, I put together a list of social media marketing examples. The list contains 324 examples of brands putting social media to use and at that point in the social media industry's evolution, it was the best of what was around (and still might be).

Now that initiatives have been in market, any reasonable business manager would expect to see program results. However, quantified results in social business and brands willing to stand behind them are difficult to find. But the truth is out there...

...and here are 101 examples of social business return on investment, roughly 60% revenue generation and 40% cost reduction. Each example lists brand, activity, and source + year.

13 Dec 11

Andy said the social media behind the firewall is not an application that people should be required to use such as a payroll system. You need an culture of opt in. He added that you cannot measure value of social media by counting stuff. ROI is not the issue. Make sure you are measuring the right thing. It is change in performance. Measure outcomes. They needed a difference type of performance at Lowe’s and social media enabled it. Companies who are successful will not look at social media as an IT project, but a business project. You will not get 100% engagement but they do have 90% participation at Lowe’s.

25 Nov 11

Companies are improving their mastery of social technologies, using them to enhance operations and exploit new market opportunities—key findings of our fifth annual survey on these tools and technologies, in which we asked more than 4,200 global executives how organizations deploy them and the benefits they confer.1 When adopted at scale across an emerging type of networked enterprise and integrated into the work processes of employees, social technologies can boost a company’s financial performance and market share, respondents say, confirming last year’s survey results.

12 Aug 11

We call such practices "mutualism." It involves measuring workers not against revenue or other numerical goals, which we have observed to be ineffective as motivational tools, but against qualitative values such as trust, responsibility, and innovation. And it implies that leaders don't dictate vision or strategy; instead, they enable employees to create a common vision through, for example, off-sites for discussion of strategic issues and regular feedback and education. Hitting numerical goals has been the natural outcome.

16 Jul 11

Listen up! This is a compelling presentation on many levels. There’s a hell of a lot of content packed into a 4 1/2 minute presentation. The message itself is compelling: listen up, Mr. Executive, you could have your own United Breaks Guitars nightmare. And the presentation is captivating; I couldn’t take my eyes off it.

08 May 11

The lifespan of its products is limited to a few years, possibly even months. Products have to be greatly improved or changed fairly often
Customers have many alternatives to choose from. Low-cost alternatives with the same or similar benefits emerge all the time all over the place
Complete lack of tradition is the most important reason why customers stick to the brand - it is sexy, shiny, fresh
The buying decisions of customers are hardly influenced by the marketing efforts or what other people in their close proximity think of a specific product. Instead, they are connected to and influenced by other customers than those who can be found among their neighbors, family and friends in close proximity, or colleagues at the same unit or location
It is easy for other businesses to copy the products as well as the processes which are required to produce and sell the products
Only a small minority of the workforce is doing highly repeatable and formalized industrial work - the vast part is handling barely repeatable people processes
How work is done changes often. Interruptions and failures which require speedy problem solving happen all the time
Employees aren't motivated by having a work to go to - their joy is in helping people and achieving results every single day. Their employers can hardly replace them with someone else, and if so that usually is at a higher level of compensation
Processes and routines differ greatly everywhere with very many local variations. They couldn't possibly be implemented in the exact same way across locations and units
The business environment is dynamic and heterogeneous, preventing top management from defining, planning and implementing all decisions in a one-size-fits-all manner across the enterprise
Strategies as well as local execution can't be defined and commanded top down - these are highly diverse
Very little, if any, of the know-how required to do the job can be obtained via formal training, reading instructions and peer-to-peer (master-apprentice) knowledge transfer at the s

04 May 11

At the Enterprise 2.0 conference last month, I spoke on a panel about measuring the ROI of E2.0 from an HR perspective.  After listening to questions from the audience, I realized that community mangers are looking for more detailed guide of how to measure the benefits of E2.0 software.  Calculating ROI can be a daunting and overwhelming task, but given advanced analytics it is definitely possible.   I would suggest starting small, selecting one area to focus on and then building upon that.  Perhaps the best place to start is by picking an area that most closely resonates with your company’s current pain point. After you finish your calculations, you will quickly see that with an industry average list price of $3- $5 per user, per month, and low implementation costs, very minimal changes in key performance indicators (KPIs) are required to produce significant ROI (see infographic). Here are a few examples of important business drivers that can be improved and quantified by using enterprise social media.

20 Apr 11

Jack's "Top Ten" Evidence of Knowledge Management

Projects are finishing faster and with higher quality. Shared experience is credited with the improvements.
People seek out (and can find) others who have done similar work before embarking on new efforts.
People happily help one another within their areas of expertise and interest.
People have time in their schedules to focus and get work done with the understanding that they won't be interrupted.
Colleagues understand boundaries and the need to focus: They don't expect immediate answers when they call for assistance.
People continually look for ways to learn from their own experience and that of others. They wish to improve their own performance.
People are aware of one another's projects / struggles / successes in a general sense, and they have mechanisms to learn more quickly.
People can easily find materials (created by others) that they need to do their work.
People can easily find their own materials.
Making one's materials available to others is easy and painless.

16 Mar 11

Social media are an influence on markets. The market of conversations can be used to improve an organizations system and its ability to serve a market. That is of course if we understand the “system and all the interrelated parts”.

Most organizations are failing at social media because:

It is being used in silos
The current measures are not relevant to systemic improvements
It is disconnected from the organizations people, processes and systemic improvements
Use is isolated in marketing and advertising processes
It is not designed around people’s intents or relational objectives
The advancement and improvement of any organization starts and ends with alignment of people, processes and communications. Not leveraging social technology systemically means the organization will be out of alignment.

02 Mar 09

Clearly an even "somewhat" acceptable method for calculating marketing ROI doesn't exist. And that is actually OK. Is there a ROI for bookkeeping? No. Is there a ROI for facilities management? No. Is there a ROI on producing business cards or creating a l

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