Showing posts from August, 2012

From trees to networks

Just before the weekend I wanted to share this interesting 10 minute talk with you about hierarchies and networks. For one because it's just fascinating to watch how RSA visualizes this talk. Secondly because of the talk itself.
Manual Lima's talk about "The power of networks" is fascinating. He gives an overview of how we used to try to structure everything in hierarchies and trees, because we like order and simplicity. And how we now shift to using networks more because trees simply can't describe reality. Knowledge, species, bacteria, our brain, our body, societies, etc. are highly connected. He wraps up his talk by asking if there is a universal structure? Well, do you think there is one?

Of course there has been lots of thinking and talking about what this means for organizations, people and technology. The shift Lima describes is the shift 'social business' and 'enterprise 2.0' is describing. And it's the shift social technology is trying…

LinkedIn as your intranet?

“Why can't we use LinkedIn for our intranet? At least it works, our intranet doesn't.” Maybe you considered this or heard it in your organization. The question intrigues me and I think we will hear it more and more in the coming years. What do you say in response to this question as internal or external consultant, Communications or IT manager? I'd like to share my thoughts in this post.

Dissatisfied about IT
The intranet is changing rapidly. The internet provides all kinds of free tools, like Dropbox, Yammer and Google Drive. More and more people are getting used to sharing (versions of) documents, online collaboration, sharing short messages, setting up and maintaining a personal profile, etc. Employees are often dissatisfied about the internal IT-tools and content-focused intranets. These tools cannot compete with the functionality we have on the internet.

Free tools as intranet
More and more employees are openly, and sometimes secretly, using free internet tools to ge…

Difference between internal and external consulting: is there a question?

I used to work for a large organization. One of the things that intrigued me most when working for that company is how little questions were asked. It seems like everybody was looking for ways to create a need and get people to ask them a question.

The strange thing about looking for needs and questions is that I look for the ones that I can answer.

In my work as a consultant I experience the complete opposite. Working for an organization always starts with a need, a question. Often I have to help the organization articulate the need and detail the question, but the need and question is there.

As a consultant the big question is: do I or the organization I work for have what it takes to address the need and answer the question.

To me this is a huge difference. Does this relate to your experience as a consultant or employee working for an organization?

Responsible business before shareholder value

One of the podcasts I listen to regularly is HBR Ideacast. Recently Paul Polman, Unilever's CEO, was interviewed. I thought the interview was great and inspiration. You can find the podcast and transcript here.

There's lots of talk about social business lately. What does it mean? How can it be done? And how does it relate to new social tools? I like the way some are stressing social business as human business. Businesses consist of humans and should do what is good for humans inside and outside of the company.

The interview with Polman give a short insight into what a human business could or should be. A human business is a responsible business. It takes it's responsibility for the world, environment and humans in general. This has to do with how they produce products and services, the packaging they choose, the way they take care of employees and partners, etc. Polman went even further by stating that responsibility and sustainability comes before money and shareholder val…

Only an iPad for conference tweeting and blogging

I really enjoy going to conferences. Listening to other people’s or organization’s experiences helps me think. Good talks and breakout sessions inspire me and trigger me to try the approaches as well. Bad talks help me sort out what my convictions are and what my approach would be. Conferences are also great for meeting up with people I already know and meeting new, interesting people. In short, conferences help me learn.

One of the great use cases for social media is conferences. I really enjoy social media before, during and after conferences. Before conferences social media is great to find out who’s coming and what other people are expecting of the conference. Letting people know you’ll be at the conference gives people who couldn’t attend a way to experience the conference anyways by following your tweets and blogposts. After conferences social media is great to evaluate: thank the conference organization, provide feedback about the conference and thank participants.

Social me…

Social media is about finding our voice

Recently listened to this keynote by Euan Semple at the 'State of the Net' conference. I thought it was a very good and insightful talk. It puts social media into perspective and helps you think about the underlying concepts of the internet.

Semple basically starts out with the difference between the old(er) web 2.0 and new web 2.0 world. In other words: it started with blogging and now we have Facebook and Twitter. I like how he tells about how nervous he was when he published his first blogpost. (I can relate to that...) But goes on to stress how important it is for us personally and for organizations to find their voice (- remember the Cluetrain Manifesto?). We have to move away from the industrialization of our worklives.
On the other hand Semple acknowledges that asking people to say what they think, should never be underestimated. It's a big step for many.
Semple wraps his talk with a nice quote from David Weinberger: Love is what makes the internet hang together, th…