Tag : wikis

BYOD Bring Your Own Device (to work!)

You may remember the good old days, when your company issued you a cell phone or a blackberry. The IT department helped you learn to use it and provided support when something went wrong. IT did this because they thought it was the way to insure security.

Today, the rapidly growing number of  digital devices is a nightmare for IT departments and a collaboration playground.

Digital natives (and those of us who are adapting) don’t think twice about using technology to share information. Working together in real time (Google Docs, Yammer ) is commonplace. Tools like wikis and social bookmarking make the job of co-working and co-creating easier than ever.

For those of us who think that “working harder” is the answer… that we “don’t have time” to learn all about these new gadgets and websites… we need to stop, look and listen.

Sticking our head in the sand will not help us, our city, our region or our country thrive. So the next time you see an iPad or someone mentions Google +, instead of declaring your ignorance, why not ask a question or two? Ask for some help in learning. You’ll be glad you did.

Photo credit: ZDnet.com

That Guy's An Idiot: Multigenerational Communication - Ugh

A communication breakdown is common. Sometimes it’s the transmitter and sometimes it’s the receiver. Lalalalalala…

According to a recent article,  people between the age of 18 and 30 (GenY or Millenials) send about 3,000 text messages a month. I send about 100 (I’m a Baby Boomer.)

So while email is the preferred method of communication for some, with 4 generations at work, we run the risk at work of having serious productivity problems if we don’t pay attention and reconcile these diverse communication styles.

To make things more interesting, by 2014, almost half the workforce in the US will be Millienials. The time to take action is now. Do you know what to do? Do you know how to help your team work through these challenges?

One is to get the age groups together and have them talk about the issues. Provide them with guidelines and rules for communication. Hold them accountable for deadlines and projects. Create reverse mentorship programs.

Instead of creating a battle of wills (“those older people won’t learn anything new”) (“those young people are phone obsessed”). Guess what, you also need to lead by example; how’s your iPad?

Photo credit: Sad and Useless.com

You've Got Email... Not!

I’m old enough to remember the world before the Internet. We didn’t use email because only the Internet removed the need for matching hardware and software –  so prior to the big “I” — electronic communication was largely an internal communication tool for large corporations.

I like to ask people if they find direct mail or email more intrusive and the answer is a resounding, “Email!” So in a couple of decades we went from no email to too much email and now we’re heading… according to some… back to less email.

Check out this article titled, “Tech Firm Implements Employee ‘Zero Email’ Policy, ” from ABC news. It describes how a European tech company is working to ban internal email and replace it with real time collaboration tools like … a “Wiki, which allows all employees to communicate by contributing or modifying online content, the company’s online chat system which allows video conferencing, and file and application sharing.”  They are not banning external email with customers just internal spam and nonsense.

Are you ready to collaborate in whole new ways? If you had to start work at a new company and they asked you to share your thoughts on a wiki, would you say, “Sure, no problem,” or would you stare blankly at your hiring manager.

What are some of the new collaboration tools? Check out Yammer. It is a free private social network (like twitter) that is used by over 100,000 companies worldwide. Little companies like Ford and LG.  And what about those wikis? Go into Google and search for almost anything and add wiki to the search. You may be surprised to see how companies are using this handy technology to develop everything from policies to tech road maps to employee on-boarding processes.

Whether or not email goes away entirely or not isn’t really the issue. How we adapt to new ways of communicating and collaborating is. The rules, tools and expected results are all changing folks. Get ready!

I have a friend who talks about the power of two. One person can make a huge difference in the lives of many people. However, 2 people, joined in purpose and intent, can move mountains.

I believe that the way that we work, play and innovate is undergoing a revolution and social media/web 2.0 are at the heart of it. Beyond Facebook, Twitter and Linked In are wikis, online communities, videos, ning groups, meet ups, blogs, podcasts and so many more cool ways to communicate that we have barely begun to scratch the surface.

Back in the mid-1990’s, we used altavista to search for information on the then new “world wide web.” Remember?  If we had to use a search tool like that today, we would be tearing our hair out. The tools we have for collaboration are similarly unsophisticated compared to what we’ll have at our fingertips in just a few short years. The ways we want to work together are already evolving faster than the toolkit.

I have started this blog to share ideas and get us thinking not only about tools for sharing ideas, but also how we work together. I came across a book called “The Power of Two” and from it, I took this excerpt;

Effective allies agree with these 3 statements:

  • We focus on each other’s strengths, not weaknesses.
  • We accept each other as we are and don’t try to change each other.
  • We are understanding of each other when one of us makes mistakes.

In those cases where you work with one other person, how effective are you as a partner? When we focus on the power we have to make great things happen, guess what; great things happen.