Social media adoption in the workplace is harder than your traditional ERP implementation, here is why
Just about everyone is very familiar with social media nowadays. People using it are increasing by the millions. It was the same with books and television decades ago. Today, in a very short time, social media has become an intrinsic part of our daily life.
With that thought, will adopting social tools (that we are familiar with) in the workplace— be easier considering the people’s familiarity with social media?
The answer is no. Enterprise application of social media has been a serious challenge for those who have tried. Many companies have tried and failed. It is nothing like implementing (for example) an ERP system where you define the roles, processes, guidelines and then ask employees to follow. In this ERP system scenario, your focus is actions, compliance and results. If you have strong executive support, you will make it happen.
Adoption of social tools in the workplace setting requires more than compliance and a management mandate. It is about culture transformation from within and for everyone– nothing less. For example, today if an employee has an idea, he goes to his boss to discuss an idea or goes to the board to present it as a proposal, or send an idea narrative by email. Now, consider the alternative of posting ideas as wiki and letting everyone else read, comment and even change them.
The point is, social media adoption or enterprise 2.0 implementation is not easy because it is about changing how people interact, collaborate and work. It is about changing the organizational culture. It is nothing that can be mandated (otherwise, all you get is shallow compliance). For you to have a meaningful transformation that is sustainable you have to work at the level of people’s experiences to influence their beliefs and behaviors. Only then can you have them change how they act and work. Experiences foster beliefs, and if you have enough of those to change the mindset of your employees you will slowly see adoption happen.
My advice is grassroots adoption through structured learning experiences. The communication and implementation of the grassroots approach must be focused on the benefits to the users first and then promotion of the value creation for the company next. It is easier to convince employees to change the way they work if they understand that this will make their job easier. This approach is important. It will fuel slow but self-reinforcing transformation.
Photo courtesy of Ponsuwan
We have “known” for decades that telephones would eventually become portable, wireless and small enough to carry around just like a wallet. Do you recall the Communicator device in Star Trek? It resembles the current flip mobile phones. They were used for voice communication connecting individuals between Star Ships. Dr. Martin Cooper, inventor of the modern mobile phone, credits the TOS communicator as being his inspiration for the technology. Although the first “brick” mobile phones were much larger, modern flip phones strongly resemble the original series communicator.
For me, the development of mobile phone technology is kind of the same thing as the development of the Internet. Our generation has been fortunate to witness its exponential advancement. I remember the first time I used the Internet in the early 1990s. It was through the old Vax mainframe computers at the De La Salle University in Manila and later on, with the more user-friendly Netscape browser in Personal Computers (PCs). Computers at that time were exclusively housed in laboratories where they kept the temperature low to protect the equipment. Despite the tropical heat of the Philippines, we would wear sweaters if we planned to stay longer in the lab to survive the low temperature. I remember the web pages were simple, text-based, had limited contents and features. We were glad to just send emails and read static content that we found online. De La Salle University was one of the first Philippine schools to be connected to the Internet. By the time I graduated in 1997, the Internet had already gone through a series of major developments.
Today, we are in the midst of continuing development of the web fueled by advancements in the Internet and technology. The most notable application is “Social Media” which led to the inevitable creation of a vast content and knowledge base. There is an abundance of information and the size of social interaction has reached a colossal scale. We are in the age were ordinary people break the news. Just recently, CNN reported that “some of the first public accounts of the military operation that killed the terrorist leader (Osama bin Laden) came in the form of tweets from Sohaib Athar, an IT consultant in Abbottabad — the city where bin Laden was found.” This breaking news spread fast and made ecstatic fans at a game in Philadelphia hold up their mobile phones to show the news of Bin Laden’s death as they received messages from friends. Later on, President Obama announced the news to the world on mainstream TV. This shows that within a span of just one generation, the availability of information, capabilities to create and share, and our access to them has changed dramatically.
Family interaction platform…
It was not until a couple of years ago that my parents in the Philippines have started using the Internet, or a computer for that matter. I was determined to help them catch up with new trends and I knew introducing them to the use of computers and the Internet was something that could create value for them, personally and as well as in their retail business. On the other hand, my hidden agenda was to utilize another communication channel with my family that is effective and cheaper as compared to international calls. The last time that I visited home was December 2009 and one of my objectives then was to convince my father to invest in a laptop. To sweeten the deal, I would pay half of the cost and would stay a little longer so I could teach them how to use it. Teach them I did, starting with the basics of switching the computer on and off, use of the keyboard (comparing it with typewriters used during my parents’ time). Soon, we ventured off to the more fun stuff– the Internet. The first thing that we accomplished was to create an email account, then Windows Live for chat, Skype for video conferencing and then Facebook for social networking. Eventually, we ventured into Excel so that my father can use it to upgrade their process of recording daily sales (he usually just used paper notepads!). After I returned to the United States, in less than two months, they were adept in using their new-found tool. My parents processed their US visa application online, bought plane tickets (even helped friends buy tickets online) and they were also everywhere in social media. I could chat with them, video call using Skype with them, and send them blogs that I have written. A month ago, I was even able to share with them photos and videos of when my twins were born through Youtube and Facebook. The social media and the web have become our platform for family interaction.
Inevitable Future and Questions…
The Internet has enabled humans to develop new technologies and social structure that allow us to participate in content creation and dissemination (such as blogs and social networking sites). The advancement and innovation that has catapulted the Internet to ubiquity also reveal enormous use in business. Nowadays, users participate in solutions building through collaborative platforms. Internet has developed social structures that allow interaction without boundaries– thus making our small world even smaller.
In 10 years, humans and computers will join forces to create “collective intelligence”. Technology will evolve as such that the Internet (and information within it) will be accessible and available to everyone— this will exponentially increase the already massive data we exchange today. How we (and machines) will make sense of as well as analyze and synthesize this collective information, is what will bring us to Web 3.0 and beyond.
In closing, I leave you with some questions:
- How do you see the Internet impacting the world, business and human interaction in 10 years?
- Does the Internet in its generative form need new kinds of control to avoid problems in society and loss of opportunity?
- Are we looking at a prospect of a better world for our children with seemingly exponential cycle of innovation and growth of the Internet?
Photos courtesy of jscreationzs and Idea go.
“One attribute of true learning is a sense of curiosity and wonder. A second is an experience of openness to new possibilities. A third is that the process of searching for an answer is more important that having an answer. Finally, it is necessary to have an approach to one’s environment characterized by experimentation: accessing information, analyzing that information, and looking for connection and relationships.”- John W. Thompson
Blogging and Online Learning
Why do you maintain a blog? You seem to spend so much time making sure that there is a continuous flow of relevant contents- what do you get from it? These are common questions friends and colleagues ask me. For me, writing is all about sharing knowledge (even the little that I know in my profession) and learning in the process by interacting with my readers. We learn in all kinds of ways, whether through conversation, reading books, attending formal training, and even writing. By doing those things we are taking in and processing new ideas. If you are an Internet user who is accessing websites for your regular news, using social media to interact with friends, reading Wikipedia, doing routine searches– you are bombarded with tons of information. Whether you like it or not, you are already absorbing a lot of information online. You are learning in one way or another. Come to think of it, the jump to more formal learning – using online teaching platform with the latest computer applications – is not such a big leap. We are already familiar with finding, sharing and processing information online.
My former boss, mentor and friend Tony Molares – who recently joined Profexor.com, an online learning platform, as their CEO – talks passionately about his amazing opportunity, to lead a company that leverages technology to provide knowledge through web platforms. He explained to me that online learning tools, because they are so accessible and affordable now, eliminate barriers to learning. They improve the knowledge and competitiveness of people who use them. In the long run they contribute to a better learning society. Providing learning opportunities is the most important mission of Profexor.com — a company providing online training programs. The website caters to the Spanish-speaking market. Profexor.com brings together the knowledge of many professionals worldwide, including experts in computer media applications, process engineers, editors, web designers, marketers, and researchers. Profexor.com is current developing learning contents related to self improvements, leadership, and other competencies that will enable professionals to be competitive in the business environment. It is the company’s goal to offer via this alternative online educational platform an ongoing, rewarding personal experience that fosters growth, self improvement and innovation.
Social Responsibility by Providing Learning Platform
What’s so noteworthy about Profexor.com is its target audience—the Spanish-speaking market. I know most, if not all of the courses in Profexor.com are delivered in Spanish. I remember when Tony showed me the website; the first thing I asked him was, why not offer the courses in English as well? I thought that for sure they will have a wider reach and much larger customer segment. When Tony explained to me that one of the company’s purposes is to bring more learning opportunities to Spanish-speaking people and provide them access to information and more contents (otherwise available only in English), I understood right there that the company has a deeper mission. The individual’s ability to learn and innovate is a direct driver of his capability to compete and succeed. Tony is right, there are countless websites offering online courses in English but only handful that provide the same level of quality of content in Spanish and competitiveness in pricing as Profexor.com. I think it is very inspiring and remarkable for a start-up company to have that sense of social responsibility from the beginning.
Just as the world has changed, so too has the platform for learning. I am not saying online learning tools like Profexor.com replaces the traditional and formal education provided in schools and universities. Also, I am not saying that blogs and other forms of online clutter should replace the traditional forms of knowledge media like journals, magazines and books. Both platforms: old and new, traditional and modern, are applicable to the learning process of today’s world. The great parallelism that I see between Profexor.com’s mission (be it the platform of learning for Spanish speakers) and my personal purpose for blogging (sharing knowledge) are the acts that benefit society at large—call it “Social Responsibility“.
Traducido al español por Alicia Palmero
“Una de las cualidades de un verdadero aprendizaje es provocar curiosidad y propiciar asombro; otra cualidad es abrir la puerta a nuevas posibilidades y una tercera es mostrar que el proceso para encontrar una respuesta es más importante que la respuesta en sí. Finalmente, se requiere disponer de un enfoque hacia el propio ambiente caracterizado por la experimentación y que conlleve a tener acceso a la información, analizarla y buscar posibles conexiones y relaciones.”- John W. Thompson
Los blogs y el aprendizaje en línea
¿Para qué mantener un blog? Parece que se dedicara demasiado tiempo en asegurar un flujo constante de contenido adecuado pero, ¿qué se obtiene a cambio? Son preguntas que con frecuencia me hacen amigos y colegas. Para mí, escribir es compartir conocimiento (incluso lo poco que conozco en mi profesión) y aprender en el proceso mientras interactúo con mis lectores. Nosotros aprendemos de muchas maneras: conversando, leyendo libros, participando en cursos formales de capacitación e, incluso, escribiendo. A través de todas esas actividades, tomamos y procesamos nuevas ideas. Un usuario de Internet, que entra en una página para enterarse de las noticias, interactuar con sus amigos en las redes sociales, leer Wikipedia o hacer búsquedas de rutina, es bombardeado con toneladas de información. Le guste o no, está absorbiendo ya una enorme cantidad de información en línea, y aprendiendo de una u otra forma. Si nos ponemos a pensar, de ahí a un aprendizaje más formal –por la vía de una plataforma de enseñanza en línea que haga uso de las más recientes aplicaciones tecnológicas– no hablamos de un salto muy grande. Por otra parte, ya estamos familiarizados buscando, compartiendo y procesando información en línea.
Mi ex jefe, mentor y amigo, Tony Molares, quien desde fecha reciente ocupa el puesto de CEO de Profexor.com, una plataforma de aprendizaje en línea, habla con genuino entusiasmo sobre la increíble oportunidad que tiene de dirigir esta compañía, la cual utiliza la tecnología para ofrecer conocimiento a través de plataformas en la red. Él me explicó que estas herramientas en línea han eliminado muchas barreras en el aprendizaje por el fácil acceso y bajo costo que tienen ahora; dichas herramientas incrementan, además, el conocimiento y la competitividad de la gente que hace uso de ellas, contribuyendo en el largo plazo a una sociedad con un nivel mucho más elevado de educación. La misión más importante de Profexor.com es brindar nuevas oportunidades de aprendizaje, para lo cual ofrece programas de capacitación en línea. Profexor.com sirve al público hispanoparlante y reúne el conocimiento de un gran número de profesionales de todo el mundo, incluyendo expertos en aplicaciones de computación, ingenieros en procesos, editores, diseñadores de sitios de Internet, especialistas en mercadeo e investigadores. Hoy en día, Profexor.com está desarrollando contenidos de aprendizaje relacionados con mejoramiento personal, liderazgo y otras destrezas que capacitan a los profesionales para ser competitivos en el ambiente de negocios. El objetivo de la compañía es ofrecer, a través de esta plataforma alternativa de educación en línea, una experiencia continua y gratificante que fomente el crecimiento, el mejoramiento personal y la innovación.
La responsabilidad social a través de una plataforma de aprendizaje
Lo que cabe destacar respecto a Profexor.com es la audiencia en la que se ha enfocado: el mercado hispanoparlante. Tengo entendido que la mayoría, si no la totalidad, de los cursos disponibles en Profexor.com están en español. Recuerdo que cuando Tony me enseñó la página en Internet, lo primero que pregunté fue por qué no ofrecían también los cursos en inglés; pensé que así seguramente tendrían un mayor alcance y un segmento de mercado más amplio. Cuando me explicó que uno de los propósitos de la compañía es ofrecer más oportunidades de aprendizaje al público hispanoparlante, dando acceso a mayores contenidos de información –que, de otro modo, sólo estarían disponibles en inglés–, de inmediato entendí que la compañía tenía una misión más profunda. La capacidad individual para aprender e innovar es un impulsor directo de la capacidad para competir y ser exitoso. Tony tiene razón en afirmar que hay innumerables sitios en Internet que ofrecen cursos en línea en inglés pero sólo unos pocos que brinden el nivel de calidad en contenidos en español y los precios competitivos de Profexor.com. Es especialmente inspirador y digno de mencionar que una compañía tenga desde sus inicios tal sentido de responsabilidad social.
Igual que el mundo ha cambiado, así ha cambiado la plataforma para aprender. No estoy diciendo que las herramientas de aprendizaje en línea como Profexor.com puedan reemplazar la educación tradicional y formal impartida en escuelas y universidades. Tampoco estoy afirmando que los blogs y otras fuentes de información en línea deberían sustituir las formas tradicionales de difusión del conocimiento, como son las revistas y los libros. Ambas plataformas, las antiguas y las nuevas, las tradicionales y las modernas, pueden ser utilizadas hoy en día en el proceso de aprendizaje. El gran paralelismo que veo entre la misión de Profexor.com –ser la plataforma de aprendizaje para el público hispanoparlante– y el propósito que personalmente me motiva a mantener mi blog –que es compartir conocimiento– es que ambas son acciones que benefician a la sociedad en general; en otras palabras, hablamos de “Responsabilidad Social”.
On my article about Social Shared Services, I examined the possibilities of adopting social media practices and social collaboration toolsets as part of the shared services offering and communication channel. The “social media adoption model” I referred to does not apply only to shared services organizations but also to any other services organizations looking to harness social media.
If you read my article on Social Shared Services, I cited ”external collaborative research” as one of the six components of the social shared services model. It refers to the interaction of organization’s members with peers in other companies through “social” media and collaborative channels. This interaction results in collaborative research, benchmarking, enriched studies and shared best practices. This artcle aims to give a concrete example of how organizations can participate in forums and collaborate with external parties.
Peeriosity, an Example and Success Story
There are existing platforms in the internet that allows “social” or collaborative engagement using advanced Web 2.0 toolsets. Take for example, the website Peeriosity. It is already used by many shared services organizations and companies worldwide. Peeriosity uses innovative platforms to enable collaborative communities and facilitates the sharing of experiences and best practices. This type of collaboration brings together a broad number of individuals with different areas and levels of expertise. When collaborating with peers, you want a wide selection of qualified individuals to work with. This platform allows organizations to engage peers beyond their internal ecosystem and to participate in forums, webcasts and research. Each research area includes live webcasts featuring leading experts and recognized peers on key topics. Participants can actively ask questions and share their perspectives and experiences.
The tool in Peeriosity that I best like is iPolling. If you have an idea or a problem in your office environment, you typically look for co-workers within the company to discuss it. It is the same with iPolling except that you can confer not only with your co-workers but also your peers in other companies. With iPolling you can create your own poll in just a few minutes. Peeriosity then professional reviews it and distributes it to peers who have the most interest and experience in your specific topic. Poll results include a summary chart and the underlying detailed results. I think it’s a great way to get feedback from your peers about topics you care about and engage them in direct poll discussion and comments.
Benefits of Peer Networking and Collaboration:
Here are some benefits that I see for companies participating in cross-company and cross industry collaboration:
- Organizations can construct and enrich innovative ideas by leveraging the diverse and expansive expertise of the collaborative network.
- Attain benefits of scale through effective collaboration with peers across geographies and across industries concerning a topic of interest.
- Drive continuous learning in the organization by allowing its members to participate in webcasts and online forums.
- Maximize collaborative research efficiencies and reduce consulting costs.
- Drive employee engagement and performance by optimizing flow of good ideas.
Interaction with an “extended” peer network can have a profound impact on creating a learning organization that can adapt, collaborate and innovate. I view new collaborative platforms like Peeriosity and other similar services online as an extension to collaborative channels already available to you. This is the same type of engagement you would experience when attending annual industry conventons and personally meet professionals in the same industry or practice. I personally don’t believe these types of platforms are possible replacements for traditional conventions, forums and training programs but instead, it allows you to continue the same level of meaningful interaction with your peers long after the event.
I will leave you with the following questions: Is it time for your organization to adopt social networking practices and tools? How can you build a more collaborative and innovative organization? How can you promote patterns of collaborations that will allow your organization to become more efficient, innovative and engaging?
Image courtesy of www.peeriosity.com
Traditionally, the development of a shared services group within an organization was a result of the need to achieve cost reduction through economies of scale, centralization and process standardization. Starting in the late 1980s, large, decentralized companies consolidated basic transactional processes — such as accounting, payroll, accounts payable and purchasing — and charged business units back at cost. As business units increasingly recognized the benefits of bringing together services in an internal service provider, the functions of shared services grew over time. Advancements in technology and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platforms enabled the shared services to link remote businesses and develop its end-to-end processes.
Businesses today drive even more value creation from shared services, through functions like process management, knowledge management, product and service innovation, project and portfolio management, and business performance solutions. This allows the business to focus on its core activities. Organizations that have a mature shared services group continually evaluate other services as to whether they fit a shared services model. The objective of this article is to examine the possibilities of adopting social media practices and social collaboration toolsets as part of the shared services offering and communication channel.
The exponential growth of social media has had a profound impact on the world’s businesses. Companies can no longer ignore the persistence and expansion of social media platforms. The growth of social networks and tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and others, has revolutionized the way we interact with our customers, peers and providers. But the question of value is often brought to the table when looking at these same social tools from the executive level — i.e. how can social tools be leveraged in a shared services organization?
Forward-looking companies have started to embrace Web 2.0 practices and technology to encourage innovation initiatives. Can organizations like shared services take advantage of similar developments so as to enable and improve their function as an internal service provider to the business? How can shared services leverage new collaboration tools and Web 2.0?
Shared Services — Four Adoption Points
I see four areas where shared services can utilize social media: (1) Engagement, (2) Knowledge Management, (3) Support, and (4) Internal Customer Relationship. If you are already thinking of implementing Web 2.0 practices in your organizations, here are possible adoption points:
- Engagement — Engagement means enabling a community for your internal customers where they can freely interact with you and with each other. We are used to linear and traditional engagement with our internal customers. We communicate with them through traditional media like email, phone or personal visits. Think about the advantages of being able to talk to your internal customers in community groups where the best way to engage them is to communicate with them openly. Your role becomes that of a facilitator, leading the community engagement, which, in turn, results in value-creating collaborative outputs.
- Knowledge Management — As shared services, we keep track of process documentation, how-to’s and training materials. We keep these documents in certain locations for easy deployment to our internal users. Sometimes we enable portals to publish them and they become directly accessible to internal customers. Knowledge Management, the “social” shared services approach, is ceding control of this documentation to power users and the users’ communities — much like Wikipedia allows us to change its content collectively. The role of shared services now is to ensure the quality of the updates, edit content when necessary, and provide feedback to the community.
- Support — This is not intended to replace existing support groups. ‘Social’ support is just opening up a collaborative support channel — the ‘community support services.’ When end-users have questions, they can post these in a community and anybody can answer. Additionally, shared services support personnel can engage these end-users directly. Expert users and even regular users who are members of the community can also assist by providing links to how-to’s and wikis already available in Knowledge Management. If the questions and the answers are worth documenting, someone will update the how-to’s and wikis so everyone can have access to the latest version.
- Customer Relationship — With social media, customer relationship management (CRM) becomes open and collaborative. Social CRM extends beyond traditional CRM by focusing on people and collaboration. Processes covered by traditional CRM and will not be replaced — social CRM in a way supports CRM by focusing on meaningful engagement, on content and conversations. For shared services, going social on CRM is equivalent to interacting with customers through communities, wikis and blogs; enabling customers to critique the services; encouraging customers to share ideas and creating platforms in partnership to improve value creation.
‘Social’ Shared Services Model — Six Components
‘Social’ shared services are existing shared services organizations that embrace social media practices and the Web 2.0 platform to increase the efficiency of the network’s value. An added principle of ‘social’ shared services is enabling the power of ‘participation’ and ‘people.’ The core function of shared services that go ‘social’ remains the same — to deliver transactional and other non-core services to the business units. The main differentiation is the culture and practice of open collaboration with internal and external entities using new collaborative Web 2.0 tools. ‘Social’ shared services enable the communities and facilitate conversations with business users, thereby creating new ‘interaction points.’
Six Components of the ‘Social’ Shared Services Model
Collaborative Shared Services Portfolio — New channels enabled during the implementation of the ‘social’ shared services model. In a way, these new channels facilitate new forms of service offerings —these are the shared services social CRM, business peer groups, knowledge and content management and facilitation services.
Enabling Technology — These are the Web 2.0 platform and applications available in the market that support collaboration, enterprise knowledge management and integration. Web 2.0 toolsets, including collaboration and productivity tools, use these technologies to help businesses deliver applications more flexibly and cost effectively.
Adoption Strategy — Implementing the Web 2.0 toolset is the easy part. The main challenge is the adoption process. Adopting social media in a business setting is a cultural change process. Not everyone is used to this way of working and the implied new collaboration practices. There should be a strong strategic principle that guides shared services through social media adoption and thereby ensures the chances of success. This adoption process does not have shortcuts; it can’t be forced upon employees.
Governance — Web 2.0 tools are equipped with powerful communication and dissemination technologies that may be difficult to control. To mitigate risk, the first thing that the organization should establish in this initiative is the governance strategy. Governance strives to bring order and sustainability to what would otherwise be a chaotic environment of ad hoc communication and information dissemination. This governance will include community policies, rules and regulations and community structures.
Performance — Similar to shared services’ traditional service offerings, ‘social’ services portfolios also need service level definitions. Examples include how a shared services staff member is expected to answer a support question in a community blog, the performance of shared services in community facilitation, etc. The objective is to measure the effectiveness of the new set of services. Part of the goal in performance monitoring is to draw up continuous improvement initiatives.
External Collaborative Research — Why do it alone when you can participate and collaborate with peers? Innovative platforms and collaborative communities leverage technology and facilitate sharing of experiences and best practices. This type of collaboration brings together a broad pool of individuals with different areas and levels of expertise. This is the component of the ‘social’ services model that branches out beyond the internal ecosystem of the service organization and the company.
The ‘human network’ is an adaptive entity and it is constantly learning. It is happening already in consumer communities — why can’t it work internally, in service organizations? Today’s service organizations are under pressure to give business users access to information on-demand. Internal customers are more fickle and demand a different kind of response: more flexibility, greater innovation, more attention, etc.
Social media and technology are rapidly changing today’s businesses. This creates pressure on organizations and on the people in them to constantly adopt. Is it time for shared services organizations to adopt social networking practices and tools? I think you can best answer that question. Some businesses have already started looking into Web 2.0 adoptions. I think it’s just a matter of time before social media practices and the Web 2.0 toolset becomes more prevalent in organizations globally. ‘Social’ shared services will be able to support and promote a globally integrated virtual enterprise and extend the discovery and use of expertise across an entire ecosystem. Web 2.0 technology will help shared services bring together interaction among people, information and data to drive new opportunities and to foster communities.
View full PDF version published in Shared Services and Outsourcing Network >> Social Shared Services.
“Self-organization, the most recent technology-fueled transformation. It’s employing technology to let people interact as they wish, with few or no workflows, rules, or hierarchy, then harvesting the good results that emerges.” – Andrew McAfee
Recently CEMEX was selected to participate in the Forrester Groundswell Awards for innovation in social media among employees. Learn more about what CEMEX is doing to leverage social tools for collaboration and its enabling platform called Shift. Participate in the Forrester Groundswell discussion online where you can vote, comment and learn more about Shift.
CEMEX has embraced this Collaborative Revolution. It shows the commitment of the company to continue innovating for its customers. It demonstrates how it values collaboration without boundaries. CEMEX has joined the Collaboration Revolution by introducing an internal collaboration platform called Shift, designed to innovate and help make the company more efficient and agile by letting employees or groups of employees with similar objectives share opinions, thoughts, information, experience, knowledge and best practices. Since its launch more than 200 communities have been created and employees are sharing best practices across all operative units. The collaboration platform is also helping CEMEX to create new value propositions in order to maintain and improve the company’s competitive edge.
There are over a billion users of social media sites on the Internet. Between Facebook and Twitter alone there are more than to 700 million unique user accounts. Companies have stepped up to leverage these new social tools to enable self organization teams in the business with the objective of encouraging more collaboration, information sharing and innovation. One of the defining principles of social media is collaboration. Groups of people and even virtual teams with members from different geographic locations and organizational levels can work together in a project. These new collaborative tools are designed to change the way we collaborate with our extended network. It is designed to provide less structure, simple mechanics, and allows users to lead the way. This approach requires employees to communicate, to share, to interact and to generate contents and value output.
Again, you can join in the ongoing Forrester Groundswell discussion online where you can read more about Shift, comment and submit your rating.
Our old alma mater is the only Catholic school in the small and quiet city of Catbalogan (Philippines) of around 90,000 people. Just like me, most of my classmates hail from Catbalogan and other surrounding small towns and barrios. Most of us spent our formative years together— a year in kindergarten, six years in elementary and four years in high school. We knew that our high school graduation was sort of our break-off point. From there, each one of us headed our separate ways, chased separate dreams. I went to Manila, the nation’s capital. It was common for people like us who grew up in the province to move to the big city to study and then work. A few would return home. I attended university at De La Salle University. Some chose to stay in Catbalogan and many of them now work and serve our hometown. I am proud of what we’ve accomplished individually. We are now successful accountants, engineers, doctors, nurses, pilots, educators, judge (youngest in the country), businessmen, politicians (vice mayor of Catbalogan) and many other professionals.
Our Ultimate Social Media Guy
It is seldom that someone brings together 30 or more friends from 20 years back to reminisce the years spent together. That was what Gerry Dasco managed to accomplish for us, his high school batch mates of ‘93 from Sacred Heart College (now called St. Mary’s College). I see updates from classmates and old friends in Facebook almost everyday. I am often just browsing and curious about what they do now and how their families are. From time to time I look at their pictures and am amazed at how older and mature we’ve become and how fate have brought us to different journeys. On a few occasions, when I am able to, I greet classmates on their birthdays and congratulate them on their triumphs. It was always limited, sporadic chance encounters and more often without frills, without conversations… until Gerry brought us together!
I remember Gerry as being a shy, quiet, simple gentleman in school. He was definitely not the type to gather folks together for a party with the promise of conversations, dancing and beer. Gerry waited for his moment and he did the most amazing thing— something most of us wouldn’t dare do or couldn’t do for many years now.
He orchestrated an event conceived so creatively. How he managed it with simplicity amazes me. First, Gerry posted old scanned pictures from his high school photo album in Facebook. He then tagged everyone, wittingly and knowingly inviting us to look.
That started the flow of conversations, sharing, questions, and remembrance. He didn’t stop there; Gerry made a collage of old photos and new photos (picked from Facebook) put them side by side – kind of showing the before and after photo of each one of us. The collage brought even more friends and classmates into Gerry’s organized (virtual) high school reunion. The beauty of it was that he even got us to take it to the next level… all the way to how we would organization the hosting of the alumni homecoming event in 2017.
It’s amazing! A lot of us thanked Gerry for what he did; he clearly gets this social media thing that many of us are still just starting to grasp. Gerry is my ultimate social media guy! He understood that the key to successful social-networking and reunion is to be deliberate.
He understood that the simple concept of Web 2.0 and social media revolves around the convergence and interconnectivity between links, users, and information.
He transformed interactions between his batch mates from just sharing meaningless frivolity to being purposeful and it naturally led to real-time conversations. Gerry was focused and thought about how to capture what is important from the network, and organized our interactions accordingly. Most of all, he created for us our own social space.
Thanks again, Gerry!
“We know what we are, but we know not what we may become” – Shakespeare
The ancient Chinese curse or saying — “May you live in interesting times.” — is upon us. We are in the midst of a new revolution fueled by advancements in the Internet and technology. Currently, there is an abundance of information and the size of social interaction has reached a colossal scale. Within a span of just one generation, the availability of information and our access to them has changed dramatically from scarcity to surplus. What humans will do or try to do with such powerful surplus of information will be the main topic of this article. First, let’s understand what brought us to this current state.
Past and Present (Web 1.0 and Web 2.0)
The best way to explain what Web 2.0 is to compare it to Web 1.0, its earlier version. Web 1.0 is a general reference to the World Wide Web before the developments of advanced Internet collaborative applications. This was the period when the Internet was dominated by companies maintaining heavy and static sites for promotions and marketing. At that time, it was difficult to maintain personal websites.
Afterwards, there was a sudden shift to Web 2.0. Web 2.0 is what many commonly refer to as the Social Web. It is the portion of the Internet that is developed continuously and interactively by participating Internet users. It is commonly associated with web development and web design that facilitates interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design. Web 2.0 is a catch-all term used to illustrate a variety of developments on the web and a perceived shift in the way the web is utilized. This has been characterized as the evolution of web use from passive consumption of content to more active participation, creation and sharing – to what is sometimes called the read/write web.
Fast Forward to 10 Years from Now (Web 3.0 and beyond)
In 10 years, humans and computers will join forces to create “collective intelligence”. Technology will evolve as such that the Internet (and information within it) will be accessible and available to everyone— this will exponentially increase the already massive data we exchange today. How we (and machines) will make sense of as well as analyze and synthesize this collective information, is what will bring us to Web 3.0 and beyond.
Let’s focus on the resulting element — the “collective intelligence”. Think about it as billions of human brains working using future super computers as a platform. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor Srini Devadas described “collective intelligence” as consisting of two pillars: cloud computing and crowd computing. Cloud computing is using the Internet as a platform and making access to information available to everyone. Crowd computing, according to him, involves the analysis of information into “collective intelligence” far beyond what we have today.
Please refer to the following diagram where I illustrate how man and machines will achieve such an amazing accomplishment. This involves the process of filtering, synthesis, validation and application that will result into “collective intelligence”.
- The “Web 2.0 clutter” – the surplus of information – is the raw material for “collective intelligence”.
- Web 3.0 is essentially the high-quality content resulting from the Web 2.0 mash ups using Web 2.0 technologies as an enabling platform.
- In the future, more effective “Web 3.0 Filter Services” will allow us to mine billions of gigabytes of information and organize them into sets of knowledge-based containers for synthesis and development.
- The next filter is the human element- the “facilitators”. This is the cult of experts and gurus. The “future philosophers” in the “future universities”. I believe they will be highly organized and moderated.
- They will organize the results (the branch of new thinking) into highly specialized information silos. This output is what I call “new things” or “collective intelligence”. New Information, New Technologies, New Discoveries, New Knowledge, New Inventions, New Philosophy — New things!
Obviously this is part thought-experiment and part prophesy. I meant to write this to explain how we got to the present state and where it will lead us in a decade. I am encouraging more conversations about the topic. Feel free to comment and post your ideas.
Top Posts & Pages
- Incremental Change vs. Radical Improvement
- The Helpdesk Model – What It Means to Put Helpdesk to Work and Improve
- Work-life Lessons 7: Choose a good attitude
- The New York City and Facebook Analogy
- Three Reasons Why You Need a Project Management Office (PMO)
- Work-life Lesson 3: Set your performance standards high and never give in to “good enough”. Be your own toughest critic.
- Imagine How Social Media Can Transform Your Company
- Facets of High Quality IT Services (Branding IT Organization Part 3)
- Business Lesson 2: If You Don’t Know, Say “I Don’t Know”
- What Prioritization and Planning Can Do for You
- Exactly the breakdown that Pop needed and still win, now he has something coach about going to Memphis. #gospursgo 17 hours ago
- TD was right to predict this is going to be a series of ugly basketball, did not expect it's going to be this ugly. #nba 20 hours ago
- Those teachers in Oklahoma are real heroes, God bless them! 21 hours ago
- 89,616 views
- January 2013 (1)
- October 2012 (1)
- September 2012 (2)
- August 2012 (2)
- June 2012 (2)
- April 2012 (2)
- March 2012 (1)
- December 2011 (1)
- October 2011 (2)
- September 2011 (2)
- July 2011 (1)
- June 2011 (3)
- May 2011 (1)
- April 2011 (1)
- March 2011 (3)
- February 2011 (5)
- January 2011 (5)
- December 2010 (1)
- November 2010 (2)
- October 2010 (3)
- September 2010 (4)
- August 2010 (2)
- July 2010 (2)
- June 2010 (2)
- May 2010 (4)
- April 2010 (2)
- March 2010 (1)
- February 2010 (2)
- January 2010 (2)
- December 2009 (1)
- November 2009 (2)
- October 2009 (3)
- September 2009 (4)
- August 2009 (6)
Brings over 14 years of experience in IT management. Possesses extensive expertise in business process and application management, technology services, organizational transformation and project management. Significant experience in large scale IT project development and execution. Has numerous international experience, having participated in projects in Asia Pacific, Europe, Mexico and United States.