February 15, 2013 · Blog2031 · Posted by Jordan Frank
Over on Quora, Ben Lopatin @bennylope has a best-answer to a question on the best ways to incentivize people to use E2.0 knowledge management and collaboration. He starts by shunning external incentives (as I do in Need for Incentives, and other Innovation Myths) and works through a few key principles which I've seen work time and time again:
- Focus on the problem for which the tools are to be employed. Most people don't care about enterprise wikis, they care about being able to do their jobs,
- Provide people with a working demonstration of an existing business process.
- Actively help people figure out how their processes, tasks, etc, can be accomplished with the new tools
- Get people up the ladder using the new tools... if you want to achieve pan-organization adoption you need leadership to show that they're using it, too
- Be careful about overestimating how easy the tools are for everyone. And not just the interfaces, but changes in underlying concepts.
I wish I had an Blog1326: Emergineering! badge to put on this answer because it captures the essence of understanding the problem and underlying process, figuring out how to address it in a way that enhances productivity, and finally getting the organization around the new approach. That's just what's needed for folks to figure out how to turn "social software" into "social productivity software" and really start using these tools for more than very basic and fleeting conversation.
I'd also hand out the badge to Catherine Shinners @catshinners for amplifying the benefits of social process transformation.
In her notes from the E2.0 Innovate conference, she wrote:
There are specific benefits of a social business process:
- immediacy - better access to the information
- serendipity - enabling discovery of new information
- transparency - supporting honest and ethical behavior through openness
A business process does not become social simply because it's in a social network. Hughes called out the different types of social business processes
- unstructured processes – the opened ended “hey I've got a question does anyone know the answer” or easy invitational “why don't we?” kind of interactions
- semi-structured – direct queries to engage a constituency or cohort in a group conversation or comment about artifacts i.e., “please review or provide feedback”
- structured – business process workflow kinds of structure “approve my expenses - request time off”
Beyond simple productivity gains of moving process from email and the water cooler to E2.0 platforms, or flexibility achieved by moving them from structured but hard to manage custom systems, this outline offers a clear sense for why a social platform is not only more ethical, its more effective because its observable and encourages team participation.
November 27, 2012 · Blog2023 · Posted by Jordan Frank
Stan Przybylinski - @smprezbo - of CIM Data advised an audience at Social PLM 2012 on inevitable social side of product lifecycle management. In the talk (video on YouTube here), he identifies companies including Traction Software (Minute 9:06) whose platforms are being used by product teams for everything from building requirements, to managing risks and simply discussing product issues.
I particularly liked his slide on "How Things Actually Get Done - Can You Say Ball of Confusion?"
The essence of this is that traditional PLM offerings capture some but not all work in progress and don't support the communication loops around project communication or problem solving. Social platforms are filling the gap, and in many cases are actually supporting the whole PLM cycle.
TeamPage Action Tracking can help firms manage informal tasks, track issues or risks, and manage entire projects. TeamPage is also used to manage documentation or work-in-progress and discuss anything that's happening.
November 20, 2012 · Blog2022 · Posted by Jordan Frank
Bill Ives, @billives, points to Nathan Eddy's eWeek column titled Businesses Still Reliant on Email as Social Media Use Grows. The column reminds us that Email is still the dominant go-to application of choice and that's not changing any time soon. Rather than run away from email habits, social software in the enterprise has to embrace it. Back in 2004, I gave a presentation at the INBOX conference advocating for the use of Email as an on-ramp for collaboration and an off-ramp for notification.
Dennis McDonald, @ddmcd, in a comment, concurred in a comment and pointed to his post on Social Media Engagement Tips where he said "Email operates as an extended user interface for many applications."
In TeamPage, we've steadily enhanced support for email as an extended user interface with hooks for Publishing from email including the ability to post new articles, status posts, and tasks. You can also setup notifications on any kind of addition or change. Changes can include edits, tag changes, and assignee changes (for tasks). There's also iCal links to permission filtered server, space, project and personal calendars. You can also reply to comment on notifications, so that you don't have to shift your user experience from your email client or smart phone when a notification needing your immediate response is needed.
November 7, 2012 · Blog2018 · Posted by Jordan Frank
As we've put more attention to our cloud hosting (see Traction Software and Traction Software Japan) with free trials and an increasing hosted customer base, I'm seeing first hand how the customer relationship can become much closer, more interactive and more informed. In the last 24 hours, I was able to quickly help:
- a Global Logistics customer find a set of attachments which were removed when a page was edited 8 days ago.
- an IT / Management consulting customer determine the best way to setup a subcommittee dashboard where they can track issues, manage tasks, conduct discussion and share meeting agendas / outcomes.
This was possible to do asynchronously and quickly around our busy schedules because of a mutual bond of trust (so they allow me into their systems) and because their software is not buried behind a firewall.
Most customers still deploy software behind their firewall for a variety of good reasons. In those cases, we use web conferencing and issue tracking in TeamPage customer support spaces. This still works great, but I'm definitely seeing many cases where the cloud option opens up new opportunities for better support and better value for TeamPage software.
October 24, 2012 · Blog2012 · Posted by Jordan Frank
I gave the following presentation at the first ever meeting of the Boston Chapter of the Knowledge Management Association today. As this was a first meeting, I thought I'd raise the issue that "managing knowledge" is about as daunting a task as "herding cats."
After we pick apart components of knowledge and understanding how context is critical to understanding it, I offered a two step process to bring an organization to towards a KM and collaboration strategy that starts with asking How? and relies on Emergineering to work knowledge management and context into daily social processes on platforms like TeamPage.
October 17, 2012 · Blog2007 · Posted by Jordan Frank
In John Seeley Brown's KMWorld Keynote (live streamed 17 Oct 2012 at kmworld.com), he makes an important point about how knowledge has no boundaries. @johnseelybrown #KM12
He goes on to say that the way to manage knowledge in today's age is about capturing context along with content. That's the driving point around Traction TeamPage: Connected Work. It's the reason to build wiki style knowledge bases, integrated with blogs, discussion and tasking.
He goes on to talk about the futility of building profiles and managing inventories of skills by bringing up a case at SAP where the average time to ask and get an answer to a question is 17 minutes. He highlights another case at MITRE where social bookmarking exposes the knowledge and interest areas of each of the employees, while they work.
That's why we built the Social Enterprise Web module, to make social bookmarking easy and to enable discussion and tagging right into the context of enterprise systems.
In JSB's words - this helps meet a goal he states as the need "to build social and intellectual capital" by capturing the output of emergent processes.
He calls sharing in this way as intimate legitimate peripheral participation. PIt's a way to be intimate within working groups, but allow for social listening at scale.
Another terrific example he raises is how to cope when an ERP calls out an exception condition. A social process has to take over.
Employees have to raise, discuss and resolve the issue. Exception handling is a key issue brought up by his work at Deloitte. A system process issue becomes a social process issue to be handled and resolved. Knowledge about the decision is brought together, from content, context and active problem solving.
That's connected work, and why it matters. That's why connecting context with content is relevant and why we could "inherently want to share."
October 16, 2012 · Blog1996 · Posted by Greg Lloyd
Ada Lovelace Day celebrates the contributions of women in science and technology. This year I've chosen to write about Suni Williams, NASA Astronaut and US Navy Captain currently commanding Expedition 33 on the International Space Station. I hope young women reading about Ada Lovelace Day now are encouraged by her example to pursue their dreams where ever they may lead - here on Earth or as the first Earthling to set foot on Mars.
Captain Williams graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1987 with a B.S. Degree in physical science and was designated a US Naval Aviator in 1989. She served as a helicopter combat support officer and officer in charge of a H-46 detachment for Hurricane Andrew Relief Operations before being selected for NASA's Astronaut Training program in 1998. She served as crew for on International Space Station Expedition 14, setting new records for female astronauts in space (195 days) and spacewalk EVAs.
On July 14 2012 Captain Williams launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome to join ISS Expedition 32 as Flight Engineer and Expedition 33 as Commander. On Aug 6, 2012 she and Flight Engineer Aki Hoshide completed a pair of spacewalks totaling more than fourteen hours to install a balky Main Bus Switching Unit, bringing her total EVA time for six spacewalks to over 44 hours. She is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and the Society of Flight Test Engineers. Read Captain Williams' Why Did I Become an Astronaut interview for her personal story. Follow @Astro_Suni on Twitter.
Ada icon by Sidney Padua: I strongly recommend that you download the thrilling adventures of Babbage & Lovelace for your iPad (free), and enjoy more of their adventures on author Sydney Padua's 2D Goggles Web page.
Ada Lovelace Day | Betts Wald, US Naval Research Lab 2011
Ada Lovelace Day | Fran Allen, IBM Fellow and A.M. Turing Award Winner 2010
Ada Lovelace Day | Professor Lee S. Sproull, Stern School, NYU 2009
September 6, 2012 · Blog1986 · Posted by Andy Keller
We're working on new features for the next release of TeamPage that allow people to create events on a calendar. For the edit event dialog, we needed date and time pickers that allow people across different time zones to edit the dates and times of events. We ended up creating new GWT controls and adding them to our open source gwt-traction library .
Edit Event Dialog
It seems easy enough to implement using our own secret sauce of HTML/XML/SDL, some GWT, and a bit of CSS to make it look nice. I had almost everything working in an hour or so. Most of the fields use widgets provided by GWT or controls we've already written ourselves. I saved the Start Date and End Date fields for last.
I've used a bunch of different calendar applications and looked around the web for inspiration. Could there be a time control that I could just use? I found a lot of people with similar questions and a few decent solutions. I found this question on Stack Overflow. Eventually I decided that I was on my own. Not a big deal. I've written widgets before and we like to share them with the GWT community, so everyone wins.
I'd need two fields: a date input and a time input that together specify a time, independent of timezone. On the server we store them as the number of milliseconds since January 1, 1970, 00:00:00 GMT, the same value used by the Java Date object.
There's a nice date picker control that is part of GWT called a DateBox.
However, we noticed that it doesn't handle time zones very well, so we created the UTCDateBox. It makes it so that whatever Date you choose, you get a Long value as midnight in UTC of the date selected. The GWT DateBox control returns Date values and they are different values depending on the TimeZone in which you select the date. In the places we choose dates, we want a date independent of timezone.
For example, New Years Day is always Jan 1st even though it's still Dec 31st in the US when people start celebrating it in Japan. So using the UTCDateBox, if I'm in JST (Japan) and choose Jan 1st 2013, that will be the same as choosing Jan 1st 2013 in EST (US Eastern). They'll both have the same selected value (midnight Jan 1st 2013 UTC), independent of the time zone in which they were selected. We're happy with this solution for Dates and have been using it for years.
Time however, cannot be specified independent of TimeZone. I can't just say let's meet at 2pm on Dec 2nd and expect people around the world to show up at the right time. A time like 2pm is only meaningful in an associated TimeZone.
Since 2003, TeamPage has allowed users to create and edit articles, comments, files, tasks, etc. in their own TimeZone and Locale. It can be a little tricky to make sure everything is properly parsed and formatted, but we're used to the issues involved. It's important to keep the data that you store in a normalized format that you can query and sort.
Here's the UTCTimeBox that I decided to build. It's a TextBox with some special parsing that allows time to be entered in the user's preferred time format or other common formats. It's pretty lenient about parsing, so 6 is 6:00 AM, 6p is 6:00 PM, 645pm is 6:45 PM, etc. When you click the box, you get a drop-down list of a possible times in 30 minute intervals, formatted in your Locale.
Even though we have two separate controls for date and time, we still store a single Long value on the server side as milliseconds since January 1, 1970, 00:00:00 GMT. Ideally, we'd just have a single composite widget with these two controls implementing HasValue<Long>. setValue would split the value into separate date and time values and set the value of each controls, getValue would combine them, and this would all work in the user's preferred TimeZone which might be different than the server or browser TimeZone.
Since we can't properly split a single Long value into date and time parts in the browser, we'll have to do it on the server. I decided that the UTCTimeBox would just edit a value of milliseconds since midnight, independent of time zone (e.g. 12am is 0, 12pm is 12*60*60*1000).
When a user submits the form, the server, which knows the user's time zone, creates the corresponding Date value. When we edit the form, the server will split the values into appropriate values for the user's time zone. Nice and symmetric and the client code is much simpler. We made the server-side processing code available here.
Now we can edit events and the value is properly stored on the server.
The final piece is creating some interaction between the start and end dates to make it easier to create and maintain proper ranges. When you move the start date forward, the end date should move forward, maintaining a fixed duration. When you move the end date, the duration should adjust unless you move it before the start date. In that case it should move the start date back and maintain duration. It's the kind of interaction that you don't really notice but appreciate. This behavior is implemented by the UTCDateTimeRangeController.
HTML5 date/time inputs for iOS
HTML5 has new inputs for date, time, month, datetime, and more. iOS has particularly nice controls for selecting dates and times. Using deferred binding in GWT, we created a separate HTML5 implementation of the UTCDateBox and UTCTimeBox widgets. Currently we only present these to versions of Safari that support the "datetime" input (which is currently only iOS). While Opera supports these inputs, we think our text based controls work better than their dedicated date and time inputs.
As a developer using the UTCDateBox and UTCTimeBox, you don't need to do anything special to use the HTML5 versions in iOS. They will be presented automatically and use the same Long values described above instead of the standard HTML5 values.
August 26, 2012 · Blog1964 · Posted by Greg Lloyd
"I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow." - Neil Armstrong, The Engineered Century. I was sad to hear about the death of Neil Armstrong on 25 August 2012. I'll always remember meeting Armstrong at an event for high school science students in the spring of 1966. He'll be remembered forever as the first person to set foot on the Moon on 29 July 1969. He coolly navigated the lunar lander to the surface despite computer alarms, avoiding rocks at the planned site, and landing with gauges showing about 20 seconds of fuel left. But that wasn't his only close call as an astronaut. In March 1966 Armstrong and David Scott successfully returned Gemini VIII to earth after a runaway thruster spun the Gemini and attached Agena target vehicle to a roll rate of about 300 degrees per second, making chances of recovery "very remote".
Armstrong and Scott were scheduled for a brief question and answer session at the Pennsylvania state science museum auditorium in Harrisburg - squeezed between astronaut meet and greet events for the Governor and state legislators a few blocks away. A handful of high school students and their science teachers from local schools were invited to the event on short notice. I was lucky to be selected by my high school physics teacher, who knew I was a space nut - before geek came into general use. There were a few hundred students, teachers, and a small number of reporters and photographers in the auditorium for the afternoon event.
A state official welcomed Armstrong and Scott, invited them to tell us about the Gemini VII mission, and cautioned that they'd only have a few minutes for questions before they had to move on to the next event. Armstrong and Scott thanked everyone for showing up on short notice, made a few brief remarks on the mission, and opened the floor for questions.
All hands went up. A local science teacher was the first person recognized - not Mr. Sault my physics teacher. He asked how they as astronauts would justify the time and treasure that the US spent on the space program. His question was a long, slow, philosophical speech. All the kids groaned and mumbled. Armstrong diplomatically summarized NASA's mission and suggested that although as a citizen he enthusiastically supported NASA's mission, astronauts executed policy, but didn't make it.
The next question went to the pudgy kid with glasses and camera jumping up and down in the tenth row - me. Maybe it seemed like a safe bet. Before the talk I reviewed everything I could read and remember about the mission and had my question prepared. Most of us in the room remembered when the spin began at about 4pm the afternoon of the 19 March 1966 launch since the launch and significant events like the Agena docking were covered on live TV, and of course we watched. So: 1) What in your training and experience enabled you to diagnose and recover so quickly? 2) How far along was the mission debrief and investigation? 3) Could you share any insights on the thruster issue and changes to avoid similar problems?
I got a smile and a nod from Neil. Armstrong and Scott ran out the short time remaining on the clock with a crisp summary and discussion on the thruster problem, test pilot skills, and new training procedures, which they enjoyed as much as we did. When Armstrong and Aldrin ran into issues on Apollo descent and landing I felt confident it would work out.
On Saturday 25 Aug his family posted: "Neil was our loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend. Neil Armstrong was also a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job."
“While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.
“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.” - The family of Neil A. Armstrong, 25 Aug 2012
I hope this sky isn't cloudy, since I plan to spend some time looking at the moon. And winking.
A few links and references on the life and times of Neil Armstrong, including several that aren't so common. I strongly recommend his NASA Oral History project interview.
The Engineered Century - Neil Armstrong, National Academy of Engineering, Spring 2000, The Bridge, National Academy of Engineering. Edited version of remarks to the National Press Club, 20 Feb 2000
Neil A. Armstrong (1930 - 2012) - From the family of Neil Armstrong
Neil Armstrong | 1930 - 2012: Made 'Giant Leap' as First Man to Step on Moon - John Noble Witford's New York Times obituary, 25 Aug 2012
Gemini VIII Mission Summary - NASA Apollo Lunar Surface Journal
Apollo XI Mission Summary - NASA Apollo Lunar Surface Journal
Lunar Landing Guidance Equations - Part of the source code for the Lunar Module's (LM) Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC), for Apollo 11. From the Virtual AGC and AGS emulation project
Oral History Transcript Neil A. Armstrong, NASA Johnson Space Center Oral History Project. Interview by Dr. Stephen E. Ambrose and Dr. Douglas Brinkley, Houston, Texas - 19 Sep 2001 (pdf 106pp)
Catalog of NASA Oral History Collections - NASA Headquarters and Field Centers
July 19, 2012 · Blog1962 · Posted by Jordan Frank
In the Pharma Chatter session at the SLA 2012 (Special Librarians Association) conference, I had the opportunity to talk about gathering and managing intelligence from social media. I was joined by Craig McHenry (Pfizer), Lisa Orgren (Septagon Research Group), and Heather Bjella (Aurora WDC)
On the internet front, I focused on traps to avoid when monitoring and leveraging social media on the internet. Enterprise social media, by contrast, can be use case focused and highly valuable for intelligence, topic area communities, project teams and knowledge management.
After highlighting a set of use cases where my customers have found success, I outlined one specific case where a team and their limited community of <100 managers and executives have proven their leverage with over 84,000 reads and an average of 35 reads per page posted in a year. This demonstrates the continued value to be reaped from wiki style documentation and blog style communication in the enterprise. Please enjoy the slides:
July 17, 2012 · Blog1949 · Posted by Greg Lloyd
It's common to read about corporate culture as a big barrier to successful adoption and use of social software in business. It's easy to understand people's reluctance to change and adopt a new way of working. There are many good reasons to be wary of the promised benefits of change if you don't have relevant direct experience ("I've used this and it works"), clear examples, trust in your organization, and trust in your leadership. Books like Jacob Morgan's new The Collaborative Organization offer great practical guidance, examples, and answers to important questions. However, most social business advice makes a common and good-natured assumption that your organization is healthy - or at least has good intentions - but is just hard to convince. That's not always true.
The culture of some organizations ranges from ineffectual to poisonous, and it's difficult to turn such organizations around. I believe social software can be an amplifier of behavior - bad or good. A list of patterns of behavior to avoid comes from an interesting source: the January 1944 Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Simple Sabotage Field Manual No. 3 (declassified in 2008). I tip my hat to Michael Cooney for his July 13 2012 Network World story: CIA: Five particularly timeless tips from the Simple Sabotage Field Manual which includes Michael's own selection of quotes and a link to the newly released manual.
The purpose of the manual was to educate people in World War II occupied countries on techniques for simple sabotage, performed by ordinary citizens with no special training or equipment. In addition to physical sabotage, the manual offers suggestions on General Interference with Organizations and Production which should be read as an anti-pattern for Enterprise 2.0 behavior and methods.
Simple Sabotage Field Manual
OSS Field Manual No. 3
17 Jan 1944
a. The purpose of this paper is to characterize simple sabotage, to outline its possible effects, and to present suggestions for inciting and executing it.
b. Sabotage varies from highly technical coup de main acts that require detailed planning and the use of specially trained operatives, to innumerable simple acts which the ordinary individual citizen-saboteur can perform. This paper is primarily concerned with the latter type. Simple sabotage does not require specially prepared tools or equipment; it is executed by an ordinary citizen who may or may not act individually and without the necessity for active connection with an organized group; and it is carried out in such a way as to involve a minimum danger of injury, detection, and reprisal.
c. Where destruction is involved, the weapons of the citizen-saboteur are salt, nails, candles, pebbles, thread, or any other materials he might normally be expected to possess as a householder or as a worker in his particular occupation. His arsenal is the kitchen shelf, the trash pile, his own usual kit of tools and supplies. The targets of his sabotage are usually objects to which he has normal and inconspicuous access in everyday life.
d. A second type of simple sabotage requires no destructive tools whatsoever and produces physical damage, if any, by highly indirect means. It is based on universal opportunities to make faulty decisions, to adopt a non-cooperative attitude, and to induce others to follow suit. Making a faulty decision may be simply a matter of placing tools in one spot instead of another. A non-cooperative attitude may involve nothing more than creating an unpleasant situation among one's fellow workers, engaging in bickerings, or displaying surliness and stupidity.
11. General Interference with Organizations and Production
(a) Organizations and Conferences
(1) Insist on doing everything through "channels." Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.
(2) Make "speeches." Talk as frequently as possible and at great length. Illustrate your "points" by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences. Never hesitate to make a few appropriate "patriotic" comments.
(3) When possible, refer all matters to committees, for "further study and consideration." Attempt to make the committees as large as possible - never less than five.
(4) Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.
(5) Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, resolutions.
(6) Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to re-open the question of the advisability of that decision.
(7) Advocate "caution." Be "reasonable" and urge your fellow-conferees to be "reasonable" and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.
(8) Be worried about the propriety of any decision - raise the question of whether such action as is contemplated lies within the jurisdiction of the group or whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.
(b) Managers and Supervisors
(1) Demand written orders.
(2) "Misunderstand" orders. Ask endless questions or engage in long correspondence about such orders. Quibble over them when you can.
(3) Do everything possible to delay the delivery of orders. Even though parts of an order may be ready beforehand, don't deliver it until it is completely ready.
(4) Don't order new working materials until your current stocks have been virtually exhausted, so that the slightest delay in filling your order will mean a shutdown.
(5) Order high-quality materials which are hard to get. If you don't get them argue about it. Warn that inferior materials will mean inferior work.
(6) In making work assignments, always sign out the unimportant jobs first. See that the important jobs are assigned to inefficient workers of poor machines.
(7) Insist on perfect work in relatively unimportant products; send back for refinishing those which have the least fiaw. Approve other defective parts whose fiaws are not visible to the naked eye.
(8) Make mistakes in routing so that parts and materials will be sent to the wrong place in the plant.
(9) When training new workers, give incomplete or misleading instructions.
(10) To lower morale and with it, production, be pleasant to inefficient workers; give them undeserved promotions. Discriminate against efficient workers; complain unjustly about their work.
(11) Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.
(12) Multiply paper work in plausible ways. Start duplicate files.
(13) Multiply the procedures and clearances involved in issuing instructions, pay checks, and so on. See that three people have to approve everything where one would do.
(14) Apply all regulations to the last letter.
(c) Office Workers
(1) Make mistakes in quantities of material when you are copying orders. Confuse similar names. Use wrong addresses.
(2) Prolong correspondence with government bureaus.
(3) Misfile essential documents.
(4) In making carbon copies, make one too few, so that an extra copying job will have to be done.
(5) Tell important callers the boss is busy or talking on another telephone.
(6) Hold up mail until the next collection.
(7) Spread disturbing rumors that sound like inside dope.
(1) Work slowly. Think out ways to increase the number of movements necessary on your job: use a light hammer instead of a heavy one, try to make a small wrench do when a big one is necessary, use little force where considerable force is needed, and so on.
(2) Contrive as many interruptions to your work as you can: when changing the material on which you are working, as you would on a lath or punch, take needless time to do it. If you are cutting, shaping or doing other measured work, measure dimensions twice as often as you need to. When you go to the lavatory, spend a longer time there than is necessary. Forget tools so that you will have to go back after them.
(3) Even it you understand the language, pretend not to understand instructions in a foreign tongue.
(4) Pretend that instructions are hard to understand, and ask to have them repeated more than once. Or pretend that you are particularly anxious to do your work, and pester the foreman with unnecessary questions.
(5) Do your work poorly and blame it on bad tools, machinery, or equipment. Complain that these things are preventing you from doing your job right.
(6) Never pass on your skill and experience to a new or less skillful worker.
(7) Snarl up administration in every possible way. Fill out forms illegibly so, that they will have to be done over; make mistakes or omit requested information in forms.
(8) If possible, join or help organize a group for presenting employee problems to the management. See that the procedures adopted are as inconvenient as possible for the management, involving the presence of a large number of employees at each presentation, entailing more than one meeting for each grievance, bringing up problems which are largely imaginary, and so on.
(9) Misroute materials.
(10) Mix good parts with unusable scrap and rejected parts.
12. General Devices for Lowering Morale and Creating Confusion
(a) Give lengthy and incomprehensible explanations when questioned.
(b) Report imaginary spies or danger to the Gestapo or police.
(c) Act stupid.
(d) Be as irritable and quarrelsome as possible without getting yourself into trouble.
(e) Misunderstand all sorts of regulations concerning such matters as rationing, transportation, traffic regulations.
(f) Complain against ersatz materials.
(g) In public treat axis nationals or quislings coldly.
(h) Stop all conversation when axis nationals or quislings enter a cafe.
(i) Cry and sob hysterically at every occasion, especially when confronted by government clerks.
(j) Boycott all movies, entertainments, concerts, newspapers which are in any way connected with the quisling authorities.
(k) Do not cooperate in salvage schemes.
Strategic Services Field Manual No. 3
17 January 1944
OSS William J. Donovan Director
Declassified 2 April 2008
Download the full manual (.pdf) from the CIA.gov unclassified news archive.
July 11, 2012 · Blog1933 · Posted by Greg Lloyd
"All of this has led me to believe that something is terribly wrong with e-mail. What’s more, I don’t believe it can be fixed," writes New York Times columnist Nick Bilton - not pictured on right - in his July 8, 2012 Bits column, Disruptions: Life's Too Short for So Much Email. He's cranky just because he received 6,000 emails this month, not including spam and daily deals. Nick says: "With all those messages, I have no desire to respond to even a fraction of them. I can just picture my tombstone: Here lies Nick Bilton, who responded to thousands of e-mails a month. May he rest in peace."
Nick continues: "Last year, Royal Pingdom, which monitors Internet usage, said that in 2010, 107 trillion e-mails were sent. A report this year from the Radicati Group, a market research firm, found that in 2011, there were 3.1 billion active e-mail accounts in the world. The report noted that, on average, corporate employees sent and received 105 e-mails a day. Sure, some of those e-mails are important. But 105 a day?" Please read his entire column for a lively piece of Nick's mind on the subject.
Email is OK for incoming introductions and disposible notifications, but when you try to use email for collaboration, multiple To: addresses turn it into something like the stateroom scene in the Marx Brothers A Night at the Opera.
Add the Cc: line and give up all hope! In 2008 Google engineer Kevin Marks referred to email as a "strange legacy idea" for the younger generation. I call it tragicomically inept for collaboration.
In 2003 Clay Shirky said: "All enterprises have more knowledge in their employees as a group than any one person, even (especially?) the CEO. The worst case is where one person has a problem and another knows a solution, but neither knows the other – or that the other knows. Despite e-mail’s advantages for communication, it falls down as a close collaboration tool on complex projects: E-mail makes it hard to keep everything related to a particular project in one place; e-mailed attachments can lead to version-control nightmares; and it’s almost impossible to get the Cc:line right. If the Cc:line is too broad, it creates “occupational spam” – messages from co-workers that don’t matter to everyone addressed. If the Cc:line is too narrow, the activity becomes opaque to management or partners."
From my 2008 blog post Email isn't dead - It's only sleeping
See Clay Shirky, Social Software: A New Generation of Tools by Clay Shirky, Release 1.0 Vol 21, No. 5, 20 May 2003 (pdf)
Caroline McCarthy, The future of Web apps will see the death of e-mail, CNet.com, Feb 29, 2008
Modern social software is now being widely adopted as an alterative to email collaboration, based on a pattern that Doug Engelbart recognized long ago, see Flip Test 1971 | Email versus Journal.
May I suggest Traction TeamPage?
July 7, 2012 · Blog1925 · Posted by Greg Lloyd
Mathew Ingram recently wrote Why links matter: Linking is the lifeblood of the web. He makes a strong case for the value of open linking - giving credit to original sources - as an ethical imperative. He also points out the collective benefit, quoting Om Malik:
"Links were and are the currency of the collaborative web, that started with blogs and since then has spread to everything from Twitter to Facebook to Tumblr. Links are the essence of the new remix culture. It is how you show that you respect someone’s work and efforts. It is also indicative that you are part of a community."
Despite the success of Facebook and mobile apps that attempt to maximize value from walled gardens (where your attention is the product being sold), I remain optimistic that the Web and behavior that rewards linking will continue to win.
And I believe that the same open link and search model will win for work and serendipitous discovery in the realm of Enterprise 2.0 (or Social Business if you prefer).
See Intertwingled Work, my two cents on why links matter in E2.0 - from 2010.
June 18, 2012 · Blog1907 · Posted by Greg Lloyd
If you're attending E20 Boston 2012, please drop by Traction Software's booth 418 to say hi and learn what Traction TeamPage can do. If you're interested in social task management, integrating systems of record and systems of engagement - or just using social software in the context of work, talk the folk at Traction Software who know how to help you succeed. That's where we started and that's our enduring goal.
TeamPage in the Cloud Jordan and I can answer questions about TeamPage's new Cloud options, starting at less than $2.50 per user per month for 25 user accounts - or see for yourself.
You can see TeamPage improvements introduced over the past year, including:
New streamlined Proteus interface makes summary awareness, status, task tracking, and coordinated activity fast and easy.
Unified search in the header makes looking up people, spaces, tasks or projects quick and easy. You see suggested matches based on name, email address and other content as you type, with a Show All choice if you want to browse more. Unified search also matches names and descriptions of all preferences and setup controls and takes you to the right spot in all setup and administration views.
Autosave and "finish later" saves your work in progress if you want to take a break - or if you accidentally click away from or close a browser window!
iPad and mobile access Monitor the pulse of your organization, stay informed, and work securely from the beach or mountains with your iPad, iPhone, or Android tablet. "I'd rather be sailing" isn't an mutually exclusive choice any more - ask Chris!
If you're early in line Tuesday or Wednesday, you can also pick up free, signed, pre-release copy of Jacob Morgan's excellent new book The Collaborative Organization.
If you're too late to pick up a free copy, you can still pick up a bookmark as a reminder of what Enterprise 2.0 is about - at least for me:
See Enterprise 2.0 Schism
The Future of Work Platforms: Like Jazz
Extending the fabric of work, or How to Be Emergent
20 June 2005 | Supernova | Why Can't a Business Work More Like the Web?
Traction Roots - Doug Engelbart
June 13, 2012 · Blog1887 · Posted by Greg Lloyd
I've read an advance copy of Jacob Morgan's upcoming book, The Collaborative Organization: A Strategic Guide to Solving Your Internal Business Challenges Using Emerging Social and Collaborative Tools. I'm very happy that we decided to give Enterprise 2.0 Boston folk a chance to meet Jacob and get their own free, signed copy at Traction Software Booth 418 next week. Jacob says: "The purpose of this book is to act as a guide for executives, decision makers, and those involved with collaborative initiatives at their organizations". I believe he hits the mark with a book of lasting value, as do reviewers including Vivek Kundra, former Chief Information Officer of the United States; Erik Brynjolf, MIT Center for Digital Business Director, and others.
Jacob organizes his book into three parts: The Opening, The Middle Game, and The End Game. The Opening chapters talk to people in organizations who are just getting started with their initiatives. It covers business drivers, case studies, evaluating risk, and getting the right people involved. The Middle Game chapters cover topics including defining goals to match your business, developing a strategy, vendor evaluation, dealing with resistance, rolling out a platform, and developing governance. The End Game chapters talk about strategies for sustaining and maintaining these initiatives in the long term, including a bonus chapter on Enterprise 2.0 with Andrew McAfee.
Jacob's book is based on his own analysis and research, including interviews, case studies and survey responses from 234 individuals around the world, working for companies ranging from 1,000 to over 100,000 employees, with responsibilities ranging from mid-level to C-level executives. The Collaborative Organization is vendor neutral, involving actual practitioners who are implementing collaborative tools and strategies for their organizations - not vendors or consultants.
Each chapter includes analysis, examples and a well-written Summary and Action items section, with actionable advice that you'll turn to often. Chapters include case studies, examples and results drawn from practitioner experience, not hand-wavy fluff.
It's a handbook you'll have on your desk for the next few years. I particularly like:
- Chapter 2 - The First Step to Recovery is Admitting You have a Problem on business drivers and problems (20 pages)
- Chapter 7 - The Adaptive Emergent Collaboration Framework practical advice on choosing and adapting approaches to match your business goals and culture (27 pages)
- Chapter 8 - Resistance is Futile on barriers to success (13 pages)
- Chapter 12 - Measures of Success, practical advice on measuring soft benefits, hard benefits, and defining business value (19 pages)
Traction Software is the only source for full hardbound copies before the book's official ship date in July 2012! Show up in person at Traction Software's booth 418 during E20 Boston 2012 Showcase Exhibit hours. Follow @TractionTeam on Twitter for times when Jacob will be available for signing and to talk with him about business challenges using emerging social and collaborative tools.
Free copies are limited. I'll post rules for an online Enterprise 2.0 Twitter quiz you can use to put yourself first in line for a copy. You must show up in person to claim a book, but the Twitter quiz should be fun too!
Update: See E2.0 Boston 2012 Twitter Pop-Quiz for rules and quiz highlights.
Update: Thanks to the @e2conf staff and everyone who dropped by booth 418 to talk, and pick up a free copy of Jacob's book. After you read it, please post a review on Amazon to let others know what you think. Here's my Amazon review.
Also, after visiting us at Booth 418, don’t miss Robert Morison (@rfmorison), author of Analytics at Work: Smarter Decisions, Better Results at Talent Analytics Booth 232.
See 19-20 Jun 2012 | Traction Software Enterprise 2.0 Boston
The Future of Work Platforms: Like Jazz
Extending the fabric of work, or How to Be Emergent
May 10, 2012 · Blog1883 · Posted by Jordan Frank
I really like how Kashya Kompella from the Real Story Group offered a great dose of context for his E2.0 Marketplace Analysis Q2 2012: "Slightly modifying what the ancient Greeks said, you cannot dip your finger twice in the same (activity) stream." Simply said, there is not a lot of room for risk when an enterprise makes an attempt at an E2.0 effort, whether they are trying to build knowledge in a wiki, approach project management from a perspective managers actually like, or wrap up the whole effort with blogs, discussion, and a social networking layer on top.
In his 4D chart below, Kompella grades market players based on vendor business and product risk. Unlike most quadrant analyses, this is a case where being high upper right is not good.
By way of example, perhaps he grades Newsgator as low vendor and high product risk because they've been around a long time (vendor stability) but their product focus has changed entirely three times (from RSS client to RSS Server to Social layer on SharePoint).
The Vendor and Product risk appears general as the color of the circle also demonstrates an area of risk based on the vendor's focus on the E2.0 market. Oracle is the lowest rated on product risk, but they are colored white to indicate a very low focus on E2.0. So, perhaps Oracle is a good choice for your next database, but don't hold your breath if you are counting on them for your E2.0 platform.
Traction Software and our product Traction TeamPage show up low and to the left (low product and vendor risk) in a cluster with Microsoft and Oracle. However, we also show a Black circle (compared to White for Oracle and Purple for Microsoft) demonstrating laser focus on the Enterprise 2.0 market - as has been our focus since our founding and long track record.
Of course, none of this matters if the platform isn't any good. This chart doesn't say much about the product itself except for its focus and the rate at which its being overhauled, which can be a sign of innovation (good) but it also may warn of a sloppy underlying platform or poor vision as new capabilities are added. Traction TeamPage was built from the start as a journaling and editing system - which laid ground for every E2.0 "feature phase" starting with Blogs and then leading to Wiki, MicroBlogging, Discussion, Social Bookmarking, RSS, Project Management and User Profiles / Social Networking.
To gauge quality, there are ample analysts who've weighed in on that matter, showing TeamPage has a stable platform upon which we've been able to innovate successfully over the last decade. Here are a few recent indicators:
- Forbes.com contributor Haydn Shaughnessey says: "Traction, for my money, is the best conceived collaboration suite for companies that have a technical development requirement." He cites Traction Software as an example of a business that successfully competes with large companies like IBM by retaining: "... close attention to client needs, a personal desire to explore changes in the work environment, and a desire to see those reflected in the platform."
- The 9th Annual MIT Sloan CIO Symposium has announced Traction Software as one of ten finalists for the 2012 Innovation Showcase as its Traction TeamPage product represents a cutting edge B2B solution that combines the strong value and innovation to enterprise IT.
- CTOLabs adds Traction Software to its companies of note list, "firms we believe enterprise technologists should track":
- Jacob Morgan from Chess Media Group says: I’ve seen the Traction product a few times now I have to say that I really like it and not just for small and medium size businesses. Traction offers an amazing search integration feature which many large vendors can’t even come close to replicating."
So, if you want a platform that rocks and remains cutting edge in the E2.0 marketplace, all without introducing vendor and product risk, Get Traction! And do it risk free as we just introduced new hosting options and the opportunity to try it free for 30 days, then pay monthly. Check it out.
April 19, 2012 · Blog1871 · Posted by Greg Lloyd
Thanks to Jacob Morgan, Chess Media Group for his Tweet this afternoon while we were chatting on the phone. Last October Jacob reviewed Traction TeamPage in his Emergent Collaboration Vendor series, and liked what he saw, including TeamPage pricing. He said: "I had the pricing explained to me so I understand it but I think it would be helpful if they made it easier to understand for all site visitors because it really does make sense." We agree on both points! In updating the Buy page, Chris Nuzum used Apple Store product configuration pages as benchmarks for clarity and ease of use.
We followed Jacob's price comparison model, providing interactive feedback on per user per month pricing as well as an annual roll-up and clear option pricing. Cloud-hosted TeamPage is featured front and center - with hosted TeamPage free for your first month, at $1.87 per person per month for 100 people. All TeamPage products include integrated action tracking for project and case management that works like jazz, not something out of 1984.
Pricing options includes cloud-hosted Attivio premium search and Social Enterprise Web, choices of workgroup or full TeamPage configurations, flexible pricing based on the number of named accounts, and easy upgrades when you want them. Cloud-hosted TeamPage is great for small to mid-size organizations who want to punch well above their weight without hiring or adding IT staff.
I'd change Jacob's probably the coolest and say the coolest, no doubt! Thanks Chris! Go to the Buy page and see for yourself.
April 4, 2012 · Blog1869 · Posted by Jordan Frank
With Dartmouth President Jim Kim's recent nomination to the World Bank, I pulled out my copy of Mountains beyond Mountains to find the Kim quote that I found most inspiring for my day to day work.
From page 294:
"And," he says, "another secret: a reluctance to do scut work is why a lot of my peers don't stick with this kind of work." In public health projects in difficult locales, theory often outruns practice. Individual patients get forgotten, and what seems like a small problem gets ignored, until it grows large, like MDR. "If you focus on individual patients," Jim Kim says, "you can't get sloppy."
Sure, guiding customers on their social software use cases (one of many things I do in a day) seems somewhat insignificant compared to eradicating Tuberculosis in Haiti (one of Jim Kim's missions when founding Partner's in Health with Paul Farmer) though we do have the occasional case such as the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative where software is being used to combat a plant disease which, unabated, would cause a great deal of starvation.
Nonetheless, there is useful wisdom in the focus on the individual patient which, in my case, is the software user, their business need and corresponding use case. A very current example is a customer we are working with this week in an effort to make TeamPage meet some very particular project management reporting needs. We've provided Q&A support over the course of a few months, but not until we took the a "journey to the sick" (a practice of Kim's PIH partner Paul Farmer, where he takes routine hikes to patients in hard to reach towns) did we understand the process fully enough to prescribe an approach and technical solution.
While most folks get up and running perfectly well TeamPage, there are various that could do things better. This was one of those cases where the customer did OK for months but wanted to improve their use case prior to an all out replacement of a custom built project management system.
Another case was an energy company that tracked issues with Wiki pages because that was the first thing they tried. It worked for years so they didn't even consider using Tasks for each issue - an immediate recommendation we made when we finally saw what they were up to.
All too often, RFPs and their corresponding software requirements roll up a set of user needs into a list of features that you check off to qualify. But underneath all those checks are some very specific processes and quirks that a feature list alone will never support.
You can't just solve a software problem in the abstract any better than you can solve a health problem without seeing the patient, their living conditions and even the political environment in which they live. It's crucial to take the long journey to visit (by foot or by web meeting, of course) the user to see the content, examine legacy systems and understand the skills and challenges facing people involved.
Jim Kim did great things for Dartmouth and I wish him luck in getting the position at the World Bank. For anyone that doubts his credentials, I suggest a read of the World Bank's strategic themes- most of which refer to basic clean water, nutrition and infectious disease issues which devastate the poor countries that the Bank is trying to assist. These are the issues Kim faced very directly at PIH.
February 15, 2012 · Blog1862 · Posted by Greg Lloyd
From Nora Ephron speaking at Brown University, President's Lecture series, "Adventures in Screenwriting" April 24, 1997. Paraphrased notes by Greg Lloyd: I took my first journalism course in high school. The fellow who taught it left after two years and opened a hardware store in LA. I think I was the only person he taught who went on to work as a journalist.
We learned the basics of story writing - who, what, when, where - and then learned how to write a lede. One day, the teacher wrote something like this on the board:
Mr. Charles Fenwick, principal of the Broadmoor High School, and his staff will attend the regional educator's conference in Wilmington on Thursday April 25th. Dr. Raymond White, state Secretary of Education, will keynote the conference, which will also feature an address by Dr. Marsha Newman, High School teacher of the year.
He said, "Write the lede." We sat at our desks and wrote, Dr. White to keynote educator's conference, Fenwick to lead teachers on trip to Wilmington and so on.
We turned them in. The teacher looked them over and said "No. What's the point?
"Your lede is, No School Thursday"
At that instant, I thought "What's the point? What a wonderful question!"
Feb 15, 2012 Reading John E. McIntyre's excellent blog post The Things Editors Do reminded of a point that tickled me in Nora Ephon's talk. Her story seems particularly apt in the age of Twitter, activity streams, and social software.
Happily I had a record of my notes posted in Traction Software's TeamPage server automatically carried forward from pre-release version of TeamPage, and still as easily findable and quotable as my latest post. - grl
"If what you write does not relate to the point, it may be good, but it will likely end up on the cutting room floor." ~ Nora Ephron, Adventures in Screenwriting, April 24, 1997.
January 30, 2012 · Blog1849 · Posted by Greg Lloyd
Happy Birthday Doug! A perfect gentle knight of technology as well as a pioneer and great inventor. Doug Engelbart's 87th birthday - today - is a fine day to watch the video of Doug's talk "The Strategic Pursuit of Collective IQ" embedded below. And a great day to (re) read Doug's "Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework" 1962, see DougEngelbart.org. My favorite Doug quotes and links, see Doug Engelbart | 85th Birthday Jan 30, 2010 from two years ago.
Update Remembering Doug Engelbart, 30 January 1925 - 2 July 2013
[from archive.com] "The Strategic Pursuit of Collective IQ" - Doug Engelbart's presentation at the The Brown/MIT Vannevar Bush Symposium in 1995, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Bush's groundbreaking article "As We May Think". Introduced by host and long-time friend Andy van Dam, Doug recounts his discovery of Vannevar's work, briefly describes the unfolding of his own work and what's next using hisBootstrap "Paradigm Map", and shares his wish that, had he only known that Vannevar was still alive in 1968, he would have sent him the film of his 1968 demo. See Doug's Abstract and Bio for this talk. Presentation: 50 minutes; Q&A 10 minutes.
See the Video Archives - Bush Symposium page at the Doug Engelbart Institute website for links to all 11 sessions of this Symposium.
This movie is part of the collection: Doug Engelbart Video Archives
November 29, 2011 · Blog1846 · Posted by Jordan Frank
At the Enterprise 2.0conference two weeks ago, Tony Byrne (President, the Real Story Group) and Rob Koplowitz (VP and Principal Analyst, Forrester Research) were joined for the SharePoint Analyst Panel. David Carr's Information Week column Does SharePoint Have Future As A Social Platform frames the debate as lopsided with a simple conclusion: No.
IT Managers across the globe are deploying SharePoint in hopes that it will form the basis of their collaboration and social strategy, but SharePoint's ability to check off the feature lists (yes, it has a notion of profiles, pages, tagging, discussion, tasking) belies the actual outcome.
Koplowitz said: "it's a lot better portal than it is a social platform." (I am not convinced that this implies it's a good portal)
Byrne said: "They've built a decent platform for lightweight file-oriented collaboration... But SharePoint only provides two of the 10 or 11 key applications enterprises are looking for" in a social platform.
Byrne said: "the dirty little secret of SharePoint is that the vast majority of its usage is for very basic file sharing."
Koplowitz said: "If you're going to take on this beast--if you're going to take the buffalo down--you'd better be prepared to consume every part of it."
Not very promising.
An easy way to handle basic file sharing or even construct a basic portal may be an important part of an information strategy but isn't worth the true cost of SharePoint and doesn't merit the upside down 3 to 1 (by a conservative estimate) services to licensing cost ratio that any company should be ready to swallow if they want to tune and customize SharePoint to do more than what it's good at out of the box (some portal and lightweight file oriented collaboration activities). Following that path is expensive and led Thomas vander Wal to write SharePoint: Gateway Drug to Enterprise Social Tools.
If you don't have SharePoint, Koplowitz' fair warning is you better be ready to take the buffalo down. But the good news if you already have SharePoint is twofold:
1) It is OK at short term, small team oriented file collaboration and always will be.
2) You can break down the workspace and content type silo problem and make that locked up content more findable, social and valuable by adding TeamPage to the mix. For far less than it would cost to re-engineer "social" into SharePoint or even upgrade it to the 9s to run their FAST Search, you can unlock it's silos and socialize around it with TeamPage Attivio Plus Search and Social Enterprise Web.
Why stop with a social wrapper around or inside SharePoint. By making Connected Workpossible with TeamPage, you can also engage across all your other enterprise systems, content, and even the entire web.
November 9, 2011 · Blog1839 · Posted by Greg Lloyd
I just joined the Nov 2011 W3C Social Business Jam and added a discussion topic: Seamless integration can work like the Web. I'm on deadline for Enterprise 2.0 next week in Santa Clara [ see you there ! ] but will try to steal time to jump in to a live IBM Jam while it's open (through Nov 10, 2011 8pm EST).
The description for Seamless Integration begins: Are there effective ways to combine legacy applications with new social technologies to help foster or encourage greater use in the company? If so, can it be done incrementally?
... integration of social software (now "systems of engagement") and transactional systems where work gets done (now "systems of record"), using the same W3C protocols and layers over W3C protocols that make the public Web successful: Web-standard content delivery, links, and link-aware search."
The world inside a social business differs from the public Web in many significant ways: a) it's much smaller; b) it's very link-deprived compared to the public Web; c) there's a lot of redundant content (think of all of the copies of the same slide deck distributed in email); d) some highly valuable content isn't linkable at all (think legacy systems of record); e) finer-grain permissioned access rules are much more important when you want to open up the most of what the business does, and what people in the business know. On the plus side, social business activity adds valuable context.
This bring issues like consistent and reliable identity, consistent and reliable access controls (over W3C protocols), representation of context, and permission aware search to the top of the queue. I believe these issues can be addressed by system architecture and layering of services over base level W3C protocols, which may eventually lead to extension or additional layers of W3C protocols.
Then use Doug Engelbart's model linking Knowledge Product (systems of record), Dialog (systems of engagement), External Intelligence (email, public Web, other social businesses) as examples. And Traction TeamPage. Published in the Jam with with links of course!
See Seamless integration can work like the Web - in the W3C Social Business Jam.
Reinventing the Web
Extending the fabric of work, or How to Be Emergent
Fixing Enterprise Search
Introducing Online Workplaces - Greg's notes on Larry Cannell's July 2011 Webinar
20 June 2005 | Supernova | Why Can't a Business Work More Like the Web?
October 8, 2011 · Blog1828 · Posted by Greg Lloyd
Ada Lovelace Day celebrates the contributions of women in science and technology. I've chosen to write about Betts Wald who was a branch chief in the Communications Science division of the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) when I first met her. I joined NRL in 1974 as my first real job - after serving in the US Army when I was drafted as a graduate student at Brown. It was a great experience. NRL was full of wildly talented, energetic and brilliant managers who knew how to get impossible things done in engineering and government, and taught that skill to their teams. Betts was one of the best: leading and inspiring her team, running interference, providing just enough technical guidance (i.e. to avoid permanent damage) while constantly encouraging and developing her team's talents. Women in science and technology should be encouraged to consider career paths as leaders as well as individual contributors: Betts is a great role model. Although I never heard Betts shout: "To the difference engine!", except for the pipe it would be in character. And I'm not certain about the pipe.
Ada icon by Sidney Padua: I strongly recommend that you download the thrilling adventures of Babbage & Lovelace for your iPad, and see author Sydney Padua's excellent 2D Goggles site.
September 4, 2011 · Blog1816 · Posted by Greg Lloyd
Hat tip to Professor +Andrew McAfee for pointing out Do Happier People Work Harder? my nomination for Required Reading of the Day (#RRD). Teresa Amabile, a professor at Harvard Business School, and Steven Kramer an independent researcher wrote a great New York Times Labor Day opinion column. They cite sobering results from a Gallup-Healthways poll of 1,000 adults every day since Jan 2008: "People of all ages, and across income levels, are unhappy with their supervisors, apathetic about their organizations and detached from what they do." They also suggest that the problem is manageable - by what I would define as great enterprises.
Over the past half-decade Amabile and Kramer researched micro-level causes behind this problem, collecting nearly 12,000 electronic diary entries from 238 professionals in seven different companies. The results support three important conclusions:
1) "... inner work life has a profound impact on workers’ creativity, productivity, commitment and collegiality... Conventional wisdom suggests that pressure enhances performance; our real-time data, however, shows that workers perform better when they are happily engaged in what they do."
2) "Gallup estimates the cost of America’s disengagement crisis at a staggering $300 billion in lost productivity annually. When people don’t care about their jobs or their employers, they don’t show up consistently, they produce less, or their work quality suffers."
3) Managers can help insure that people are happily engaged at work - I believe Peter Drucker would claim that's the primary responsibility of management. And doing so isn't expensive.
Amabile and Kramer say:
"Workers’ well-being depends, in large part, on managers’ ability and willingness to facilitate workers’ accomplishments — by removing obstacles, providing help and acknowledging strong effort. A clear pattern emerged when we analyzed the 64,000 specific workday events reported in the diaries: of all the events that engage people at work, the single most important — by far — is simply making progress in meaningful work..."
"Most managers don’t understand the negative consequences of this struggle. When we asked 669 managers from companies around the world to rank five employee motivators in terms of importance, they ranked “supporting progress” dead last. Fully 95 percent of these managers failed to recognize that progress in meaningful work is the primary motivator, well ahead of traditional incentives like raises and bonuses."
"This failure reflects a common experience inside organizations. Of the seven companies we studied, just one had managers who consistently supplied the catalysts — worker autonomy, sufficient resources and learning from problems — that enabled progress. Not coincidentally, that company was the only one to achieve a technological breakthrough in the months we studied it."
That's good news - but not really news. An enterprise that makes great use of the creative talents, enthusiasm and unique expertise of its people can gain a sustainable competitive advantage and be a great magnet for attracting and maintaining talent. Look at Apple among others.
Technology can't create a great enterprise, but it can open the door for innovation in how any enterprise operates - from micro to macro scale - including how it operates with external stakeholders, customers and suppliers. This opens the door to another form of strategic as well as operational advantage.
I've persistently said that the 2.0 of Enterprise 2.0 should refer to a conscious rethinking of how an enterprise can work more effectively and creatively, using Web technology to enable "action at a distance" and connections spanning barriers of space and time. Web technology is necessary but not sufficient for this kind of innovation at scale, although Doug Engelbart's work clearly called this shot decades before the Web.
I'm no sociologist, but Amabile and Kramer seem to support the view that socialization in the context of everyday work - rather than as a separate "social" duty while at work - may be best. I don't think people know how to "be emergent", but people are very good at discovering and developing unexpected relationships in a context where many values and norms are shared - at work.
Repeating points from Enterprise 2.0 Schism in 2009: 1) It's not just the technology; 2) It's not just the people; 3) An effective organization is a social invention that is created or shaped to serve extraordinary ends, and that may be the most valuable invention of all.
"The purpose of an organization is to enable ordinary humans beings to do extraordinary things." ~ Peter Drucker, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices (1974)
See Amabile and Kramer's New York Times column, and read their July 2011 book The Progress Principle (Forbes interview).
Do Happier People Work Harder? By Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer New York Times Sunday Review, September 4, 2011
G+ discussion on +David McRaney's The Illusion of Asymmetric Insight and how emergent behavior is not all unicorns and rainbows. Think Lord of the Flies
Need for Incentives, and other Innovation Myths - The most powerful incentives are intrinsic, not "pay to share" games.
Enterprise 2.0 Schism - Why Doug Engelbart and Peter Drucker should be declared Patron Saints of E2.0
Peter Drucker and Enterprise 2.0 - Drucker Centenary Nov 2009
Doug Engelbart | 85th Birthday Jan 20, 2010
See G+ for original post and discussion
Enterprise photo courtesy US Navy. Strictly speaking CVN-65 is Enterprise 8.0 - the eighth US Navy ship to bear that name see enterprise.navy.m…
I don't know what a picture of an "Enterprise 2.0" might look like, and don't want to use any of the stock photos of smiling folk around a laptop that are about as convincing as socialist realism posters of smiling tractor factory workers. And all the good Star Trek Enterprise photos are Paramount's copyright.
August 24, 2011 · Blog1798 · Posted by Greg Lloyd
I enjoyed reading Dion Hincliffe's Putting Social Business to Work and G+ discussion led by Luis Suarez on Laurie Buczek's The Big Failure of Enterprise 2.0 Social Business. I agree that top down - and isolated - Social Business parallels the faults of top down - and isolated - Knowledge Management. I like Laurie's analysis and recommendations, including her top level: "Make social tools part of the collaborative workflow." This is good for both social business and knowledge management. The question is: how to extend the fabric of work?
An edict from management or prayer from internal evangelist to "be social" is often translated: "how many hours a week?" and "instead of doing what?" A top down Knowledge Management edict: "share what you know" turns into a empty Friday afternoon exercise that's soon abandoned.
In both cases bottom-up capture of conversations, actions, responses to routine or exceptional issues, and human actions in context is a much better way to deliver what knowledge management and social business promise.
This includes free-form accidental discoveries and introductions to folk throughout the organization who aren't usually involved or aware of what others are doing. In my opinion, emergent and unpredictable value that advocates of Enterprise 2.0 promise is an outgrowth of making work more open, observable and discoverable. It's also critical to make work easier, more effective and more enjoyable. Build on that rather than adding overhead and waiting for people to jump into an activity they see as optional and divorced from their contribution to the success of their business.
Enterprise 2.0 systems like Traction TeamPage are really good at capturing conversation in context, tracking action and linking what people do or say to their profiles and vice versa. But it's difficult to make work done within siloed systems of record - document repositories, ERP, CRM - visible and actionable. Opening up siloed discussion in each system of record makes matters worse, not better.
Sharing activity streams across systems of record is one way to avoid the siloed discussion trap. But limiting visibility of work to activity streams opens a new problems: activity stream overload. If you think following hundreds or thousands of people on Twitter can be frustrating, wait until you hear what you get from raw streams from line of business applications. A stream of "What I had for lunch" tweets is thrilling compared to a stream of Documentum check-in notices and decontextualized status.
I believe that the best solution will include permission-aware search than spans activity streams and systems of record to make documents, individual email messages, SQL database records from CAD/CAE or other line of business systems actionable, social objects. What's important is the ability to connect people, records, conversation and action in the context of core business activities like product development, sales, support, and coordinated work with customers, suppliers and partners. This should include daily routine, exceptions, and new discoveries.
At E2.0 Boston, Traction Software announced and showed TeamPage and Attivio's Social Enterprise Web technology used to search, discuss, tag, task, and share live structured data or unstructured content in external systems of record including Microsoft SharePoint, EMC Documentum, Microsoft Exchange, File servers, SQL databases, intranets, and the public Web.
A question found in a customer email stored in Exchange, an issue with a new drug application filed in Documentum, a fact in a legacy document stored in SharePoint or a File server S: drive, a record in an SQL database can all be discovered, discussed, tagged, and tasked for follow-up action in TeamPage without converting or importing data from its original source. Systems of record look and act like they are part of the same permission-aware TeamPage fabric used for collaboration, communication, and action tracking in the flow of daily work.
Large companies have enormous IT teams promising enterprise-wide search and collaboration with roadmaps stretching years into the future and budgets of seven to ten figures or more. Traction TeamPage and Social Enterprise Web capabilities are packaged and priced to make deep, permission aware search and collaboration crossing many sources simple to deploy, manage, and use. This is a game changer for small to mid-size businesses who don't find complex, multilayered enterprise architectures manageable or affordable. This is also a great option for teams in large companies who want to get their work done now, working over existing systems of record.
You'll hear more about this soon [or contact us to learn more now]. Making systems of record look and act more like the Web - including scalable, permission aware search - extends the fabric of work in context for external and internal stakeholders.
21 Jun 2011 | Traction Software Introduces Social Enterprise Web
Alcoa Fastening Systems - Groundswell 2011 Award Nomination for Collaboration
Introducing Online Workplaces - Greg's notes on Larry Cannell's July 2011 Webinar - Online workplace
Fixing Enterprise Search - spanning systems of record
Intertwingled Work - connecting work across multiple sources
Knowledge Fishing vs. Knowledge Farming - Grass roots knowledge management
20 June 2005 | Supernova | Why Can't a Business Work More Like the Web?
On G+ see
Luis Suarez - 24 Aug 2011
Dion Hinchcliffe - 24 Aug 2011
Greg Lloyd - 24 Aug 2011