We live in a connected, collaborative economy driven by an always-on access to information at the tip of our fingers through our mobile devices and shared through social media. As MIT Sloan graduates Jaime Contreras and Tal Snir recently wrote: “Today the sharing economy – the peer-to-peer exchange of goods and services – is being called the next big trend in social commerce, and represents what some analysts say is a potential $110 billion market. Internet technology and access to information allow us to share our belongings with others more easily than ever before and wring value out of stuff we already own. That, coupled with many people’s desire to lead greener, less consumptive lives, is driving this trend.”
The sharing economy also has profound implications for changing our thinking on old economy “command and control” leadership models. According to work and learning consultant Harold Jarche, “those in leadership and management positions must find ways to nurture creativity and critical thinking. Too often there are organizational barriers that prevent this. The 21st century workplace is all about understanding networks, modeling network learning, and strengthening networks. Another guiding principle for modern organizational design is for loose hierarchies and strong networks.” Metcalf’s law continues to disrupt and transform our personal and business lives in ways that both confound and astound us.
Nowhere is this enlightened view of leadership more in action than at the world’s leading professional services organization, Deloitte, and its innovative Global CEO, Barry Salzberg. Barry refers to his leadership style as “connected leadership,” as he heads an organization of highly educated, high achievers.
“My job is to lead a group of leaders. We have around 10,000 partners and 200,000-plus employees who operate within 47 member firms across more than 150 countries generating over $32 billion in revenue. The only way to do that is to build a culture of collaboration. More importantly collaboration is essential to our business success as we work with companies and governments around the globe to help them succeed. It becomes the underpinning of everything we do,” says Salzberg.
“Outcomes like economic stability, public health and well-being, high-quality education, and protection of human rights are too far-reaching for any one organization, or even a whole sector, to bring about independently. So collaboration among institutions and groups to address these issues is essential,” continues Salzberg. Connected leadership also sits at the center of Salzberg’s agenda to drive organizational innovation through diversity of work force, talent acquisition and retention and humanitarian initiatives. “They are all connected,” says Salzberg.
Salzberg is himself the personification of the culture he has helped to build and shape at Deloitte. A consensus builder by nature, Barry rose through the organization by ensuring that his clients were connected to the best resources and talent within the organization to help them solve their problems. He was a lead client service partner and tax partner of the Deloitte U.S. member firm and became an acknowledged authority in personal and partnership tax matters. He was named a partner in 1985, U.S. Managing Partner in 2003 and served as the CEO of the U.S. Deloitte firm from2007 to 2011 prior to assuming his currently global role in June, 2011.
He also practices what he preaches when it comes to espousing the importance of humanitarian and philanthropic initiatives. He is particularly focused on education, building opportunities for tomorrow’s leaders and diversity in the workplace. A born and raised New Yorker, Salzberg serves as Chairman of the Board of College Summit, Chairman of the United Way Worldwide Board of Trustees and is Chair emeritus of the YMCA of Greater New York.
While very much a citizen of the world and a global leader of one of the most dynamic and largest professional services firms, he still applies his Brooklyn-born sense of tenacity and resilience to driving his connected leadership agenda to the betterment of those at Deloitte and its clients.
Bruce H. Rogers is the co-author of the recently published book Profitable Brilliance: How Professional Service Firms Become Thought Leaders now available on Amazon http://amzn.to/OETmMz
So let’s be clear on this…
Your colleague is not “informing you” of the latest happenings on the task by leaving a reply on the task object. eg “so I contacted IT, they did this for me, but it wasn’t right, so we did this instead, and it worked”. This is what we are used to, whether we hear it on the phone, read it in an email, or read it on a social software status update
Instead your colleague is executing the raw work (conversations) on the task object. And you witness the conversation unfold. You don’t need your colleague to report to you a bunch of stuff they did, cause you witnessed all those bits in that bunch as it happened.
There’s no need to report on what you’ve been doing, when we’ve seen you doing it.
So why do we need meetings anyway?
Forcing people back to the workplace is not the solution because too often when they are in the workplace they are either sitting in a meeting listening to endless presentations, or in a cubicle sending emails to each other. Neither of those activities is worth the cost in time or travel. The only reason to come together face-to-face is for people to be in conversation with each other! And real conversation happens all too infrequently in workplaces, as my own research has shown.
"In the education arena, we will see more curricula as shareware and an increased emphasis on multi-perspective teamwork as the necessary skills for engaging in collaborative projects. Expert/amateur boundaries have already blurred to the point where individuals can acquire graduate-level knowledge through self-directed learning on the internet. (I often joke that I received an informal PH.D. from Joe University for all my advanced knowledge.) The notion of distance learning will become quaint as in-person and virtual learning weave seamlessly together in open collaborative research endeavors. Lifetime learning will be a necessity for adapting to turbulent changes in the workplace. And active pedagogy — learning by doing with real-world applications — will become the standard teaching model, itself an incarnation of open collaborative design."
"The social intelligence of the campsite-anchored prehumans evolved as a kind of non-stop game of chess. Today, at the terminus of this evolutionary process, our immense memory banks are smoothly activated across the past, present, and future. They allow us to evaluate the prospects and consequences variously of alliances, bonding, sexual contact, rivalries, domination, deception, loyalty and betrayal. We instinctively delight in the telling of countless stories about others as players upon the inner stage. The best of it is expressed in the creative arts, political theory, and other higher-level activities we have come to call the humanities.
The definitive part of the long creation story evidently began with the primitive Homo habilis (or a species closely related to it) two million years ago. Prior to the habilines the prehumans had been animals. Largely vegetarians, they had human-like bodies, but their cranial capacity remained chimpanzee-size, at or below 500 cubic centimeters. Starting with the habiline period the capacity grew precipitously: to 680 cubic centimeters in Homo habilis, 900 in Homo erectus, and about 1,400 in Homo sapiens. The expansion of the human brain was one of the most rapid episodes of evolution of complex organs in the history of life."
"I get to see first-hand how people who’ve never met (and may be working in different divisions in different locations holding different corporate titles) show a fondness for each other – and thus a much greater willingness to collaborate – than they ever would have done before we had a social platform.
A common comment is “I never met you but I feel I know you”, with some directly giving thanks for the platform “giving me the chance to connect with a great person whom I otherwise would have never known.”
Every firm is struggling to have their people break down silos and collaborate more. Creating a more human workplace – improving the propinquity, the kinship between people – isn’t just a nice to have. It’s better business.
But before you spend money on new offices, focus instead on implementing a social platform. And create an environment where people can come to know each other wherever they are."
"Other findings from the study include:
Almost 40 per cent of respondents indicated that they collaborate with external teams on every project
More than 56 per cent of respondents identified that collaboration tools are of critical importance for their businesses.
The top reason for using collaboration tools was to develop better products and services, followed by fostering better relationships with suppliers, and bringing products and services to market faster.
Ease of access to tools, low starting costs and ease of deployment were nominated as key considerations when selecting and using collaboration technologies."
"Lakshmi Balachandra's five rules of improv
1) "Yes, and." Accept a situation and then deal with it.
2) Avoid asking questions. In business that means being conscious of how continually asking questions makes other people do all the work.
3) Listening. In conversation people are often planning ahead rather than really listening, and at work it's easy to be distracted by computers or blackberries. Focused listening is a crucial skill.
4) Add information. You have to contribute if you want things to go where you want them to.
5) Eye contact. In the workplace it's important to pay attention to body language. Even on the phone you can pick up clues as to how the other person feels. "
"The following principles aim to spell out clearly the core architecture of collaboration. These principles define a framework, which applies equally to the technology and the culture. It is our experience that adoption of these principles is required if a culture of collaboration and openness is to develop. Through the creation of a culture of collaboration and openness we will be able to realise the value locked within the knowledge we create between us. The four core principles are:
Freedom. The easiest way to prevent collaboration from occurring is to impose overly burdensome control around how colleagues work. If collaboration is to flourish we need to trust colleagues and not impose rigid workflows, inappropriate approval processes (moderation), restriction on who can collaborate with whom (association) and have an open attitude towards sharing information.
Emergence. No two collaborations are the same, each team/group will have different requirements and will develop different working practices. Given this then we need to allow patterns and structures to emerge as collaborations develop. This is not to say we should not stimulate behaviours we want or share experiences but rather we should accept this and recognise that we need to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach.
Clarity of purpose. In this case, colleagues are confused as they are presented with multiple tools, all of which seem to do the same task. In the case of Pfizer we have a plethora of different tools that enable various degrees of collaboration; Insight, Documentum, GDMS, SharePoint, eRooms, Pfizerpedia and so on. The lack of consistent advice around how and when to use these tools inevitably leads to adoption of Outlook for information management, fragmented silos of project data and a lack of any real KM processes.
Ease of use. Collaboration is about enabling conversations between people. It is not about technology. Therefore, it is critical that technology does not get in the way of collaboration. If a collaborative culture is to be enabled then it must be ensured that colleagues find the tools are intuitive and require minimal trainin"
Martin Mackay, President, R&D, at AstraZeneca, said: “The steady rise of drug-resistant bacteria is an imminent and urgent threat to public health, and without a reliable arsenal of effective antibiotics, modern medical care is not possible. Bacteria develop resistance as fast, or faster, than we can develop treatments and a combination of scientific, regulatory, and financial challenges have impeded new antibiotic development.
“It is time to tackle this issue in a different way, sharing information and expertise among public and private partners – collaboration of this type is critical if we are to speed up the discovery of these medicines to improve patient health.”
"Just three years ago, Halliburton ESG noted that electronic technicians were required on 80 per cent of fracturing jobs to ensure that the electronics performed flawlessly. Technicians were difficult resources to hire and train to meet the demand of customers at each well site. Halliburton’s knowledge-management group facilitated the creation of a small team of electronic technicians for a three-month period in late 2001 to help understand the business needs and design a solution that would improve pumping job-service quality, reduce non-productive time and decrease the need for electronic technicians to intervene at individual well sites.
"Together, the electronic technicians and KM group were able to design a knowledge-management solution. Essentially, electronic technicians needed to be connected to experts and to each other so that the experience of the entire group could be used to troubleshoot and solve problems, rather than relying on the limited knowledge of one individual isolated at a customer’s well site. The group therefore developed a collaborative, problem-solving community to provide 24/7 peer-to-peer training, troubleshooting and support.
"The team defined the community and processes required for the technicians to discuss issues and share good practices. The group developed an easy-to-use portal interface, which was designed around a collaboration tool that allows the community to share its knowledge and get answers to questions. The interface also provides access to vital documents and contact information for leading experts on various pieces of hardware to ensure immediate answers to urgent technical questions. The community was launched in December 2001 and today is a thriving knowledge-sharing network of more than 200 users in numerous locations around the world. Interestingly, the number of users is greater than the actual number of electronic technicians within the community.
"In 2003, individual instances of knowledge sharing generated, in one way or another, over $1.4m for Halliburton. In addition, electronic technicians report time savings of approximately 20 per cent due to the community. This has allowed the company to meet the demands of business growth without employing additional technicians. The technicians it currently has are also better trained and more effective than ever. They have reduced the number of repeat repairs, measured through SAP work orders, from 30 per cent to virtually zero".
The idea that social interactions underlie the evolution of intelligence has been around since the mid-70s, but support for this hypothesis has come largely from correlative studies where large brains were observed in more social animals. The authors of the current research provide the first evidence that mechanistically links decision making in social interactions with the evolution of intelligence. This study highlights the utility of evolutionary models of artificial intelligence in answering fundamental biological questions about our own origins.
“Our model differs in that we exploit the use of theoretical experimental evolution combined with artificial neural networks to actually prove that yes, there is an actual cause-and-effect link between needing a large brain to compete against and cooperate with your social group mates."
"Our extraordinary level of intelligence defines mankind and sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. It has given us the arts, science and language, and above all else the ability to question our very existence and ponder the origins of what makes us unique both as individuals and as a species," concluded PhD student and lead author Luke McNally.
Jacob provides a useful list of pros and cons for a CCO. I will not repeat them here and recommend you read his original post. I do want to emphasis one of these points, the need to look at “collaboration from a holistic big picture of how it impacts everyone.” I remember being at senior staff meeting of a P&C insurance company in the early 90s that was in serious trouble. The new CEO, who had been brought into save the company, said that it was important to share content and insights across business units. One leader for a vertical market asked why he needed to know what (another seemingly unrelated vertical market) is doing. The CEO looked at him and said that thinking is exactly what is wrong with this firm. The CEO went on to support the notion of shared learning as a strategic initiative and it was one of several reasons the company got turned around. Whether you call the person a CCO or some other title, the organizations that put someone in charge of collaboration and give this person the budget and staff to do their job will be the winners in our ever connected markets.
As business increasingly becomes either knowledge-or service-based, constant communication is necessary for employees to collaborate. Social platforms, or intranets, have emerged as the leading technology for information sharing at companies. Social intranets apply the cross-communication capability familiar to us from Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to internal communication and collaboration platforms.
"Social intranets encourage wide authorship and involvement among workers," says Chris McGrath, co-founder and vice-president, sales and marketing, for ThoughtFarmer, a social intranet supplier.
"Social intranets address pains such as poor communication, poor collaboration, employees not feeling 'connected' to head office, multiple and conflicting sources of information, and employees not feeling like they're being listened to or valued."
Social intranets do more than create happier employees. A Gallup survey of data from 152 companies showed significant differences between highly engaged and less engaged workforces. Companies with engaged workgroups scored better in productivity, profit-ability, safety incidents and absentee-ism, and had 3.9 times greater earnings per share growth.
Three types of virtual communities work together to form an ecosystem of interconnected communities:
Collaborative Innovation Networks (COIN) are cyberteams of self-motivated people with a collective vision, enabled by the Web to collaborate in achieving a common goal by sharing ideas, information and work. In a COIN, knowledge workers collaborate and share in internal transparency. They communicate directly rather than through hierarchies. And they innovate and work towards common goals in self-organization instead of being ordered to do so. Working this way is key to successful innovation, and it is no exaggeration to state that COINs are the most productive engines of innovation ever. COINs produced some of the most revolutionary drivers of change of the Internet age such as the Web and Linux.
Collaborative Interest Networks (CINs) comprise people who share the same interests but do little actual work together in a virtual team. The overwhelming majority of a CIN's population is made up of silent readers or information seekers - called "lurkers" in Internet language; the minority is a small group of active experts who share what they know with the lurkers, who silently visit a Web site without contributing any content.
Collaborative Learning Networks (CLNs) comprise people who come together in a community and share not only a common interest but also common knowledge and a common practice. People in these networks typically join the community to get to know and learn from like-minded people.
"We believe that collaboration has to be in the context of your business process. There's a lot of communication tools, but what's really valuable is when you take collaboration and you put it on top of the work you're actually doing - around an account, or maybe a customer service case. That's where the power of Chatter comes in... Silos of collaboration are really not very powerful," the Salesforce team leader remarks. "What's really powerful is when you take the social experience, and you marry it up with a process."
According to the paper, social networks likely contributed to the evolution of cooperation.
"The astonishing thing is that ancient human social networks so very much resemble what we see today," said Nicholas Christakis, professor of medical sociology and medicine at Harvard Medical School and professor of sociology in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and senior author on the study. "From the time we were around campfires and had words floating through the air, to today when we have digital packets floating through the ether, we've made networks of basically the same kind."
[Blog] The Soft Skills of Collaboration and The Social Enterprise - http://t.co/qKZdQ3q2 (Long post) #socenter #collaboration #e20
Social tools — social media and social networks — have swept through media and society like a tsunami, upsetting everything they touch. I expect that the impact of these tools on the world of business will be as large and as long-lasting as email was a generation ago.Work Media: social tools designed for the enterprise but based on the patterns of interaction, influence, and communication from social networks of the open web. Work media tools share a number of characteristics, most centrally the streaming metaphor of Twitter and Facebook, with short updates from a variety of sources cascade into each user's dashboard, from which each can derive a networked gestalt of the world. Work media is altering the DNA of business.This website is meant to be a compendium of short reviews of Work Media tools, as well as pointers to the best thinking about the impacts they have on business, and by extension, society. It is in perpetual beta.
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