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  • Billie Lou Sastre 9:00 am on April 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Tips for improving your email productivity 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Recently on our Mexico Facebook channel, we posed a simple question that generated several responses, many of which surprised me and made me rethink about how we manage our email. Is it the master of our time?

    Having an empty inbox is not something we need to impose, but managing our inbox so that email doesn’t dominate our working day is essential. Let me share a few tips with you that can help you to achieve it.

    Managing your inbox with the 3 folder technique.

    It’s a simple method that aims to ensure that we spend the least amount of time on archiving our emails. How long each day do you spend archiving your emails? There are people who create folders by topic, by departments, by projects, and add subfolders to those folders… the list is endless and often you don’t know where to save an email because it probably complies with the requirements to go in more than one of those folders. The 3-folder system I propose is:

    1. Follow-up: Those emails you need to manage during the day without anyone else’s intervention.
    2. Hold: Those emails that you need the reply or supervision of someone else to be managed.
    3. Archive: All answered emails go in this folder

    Thanks to powerful search engines in the leading mail managers, you can find your emails quickly without losing 20% of your time archiving.

    Short, concise emails addressed to the right person.

    There are various currents of thought that seek to improve email effectiveness, like the one of the 3 sentences in which they assure that with 3 short paragraphs you can transmit the message, improving productivity and effectiveness for both the one writing and of course, the person receiving it. As Albert Einstein said, “Everything must be as simple as possible, not just simple.”

    If an email becomes an unending conversation, change the font!

    Emails are meant to transmit important messages, from one person to another. When it involves too many people in “email chains” or when it becomes more a conversation rather than a transmitted message, maybe it’s time you question whether it’s the right channel. For that, an Enterprise Social Network is the solution.

    Reduce notifications and email subscriptions as far as possible

    Your email shouldn’t be saturated with notifications from other social networks or subscriptions you read. The most important thing is to not become saturated, we should use email intelligently so it doesn’t become the only task that dominates our day, rather we can spend our time on our daily tasks. Don’t fill it with mails that you delete without reading.

    Compose the message subject properly

    The email subject is the way to communicate the topic you are going to discuss with the recipient, it’s the first impression and what will make the recipient decide when to open it. A good option is to write the subject after composing the email, include the topic you cover, try to use keywords.

    You can improve your productivity and enhance your work performance by managing your email properly. Let me close with a quote from Berto Pena: “Email isn’t a place to be. It’s a place to act. Read, process, decide, assign, and exit as quickly as possible so you can DO.”

     
  • Billie Lou Sastre 9:00 am on April 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    3 ways an Enterprise Social Network can change your company 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    Possible

    Most companies face the challenge of implementing an Enterprise Social Network from a technology perspective and can fall into the error of understanding that when they incorporate this new work system they are creating new social relationships, and that this will bring the great value to be business. We must think about the approach to follow when rolling out Enterprise Social Network projects, as this should be based on the four pillars that will really help to create value for your business:

    1. Encourage people to share.
    2. Capture knowledge in your organization
    3. Allow members to take actions, make decisions
    4. Give greater importance to the employees

    Having an Enterprise Social Network means that operations and processes within your company also start to change. This happens when the day-to-day processes change because your Enterprise Social Network allows your organization to establish new relationships, new behaviors in employees and key groups in your company.

    Here we have 3 ways in which an Enterprise Social Network like Zyncro can change the way you work in your company:

    1. Resolve problems faster and more efficiently. In your Enterprise Social Network, knowledge in your organization is captured, and it also enables you to find that knowledge easily, as we already told you in a previous post on how to perform searches in Zyncro. Over time and proper implementation, employees discover that they can resolve their queries and doubts in the Enterprise Social Network itself, breaking down language and geographical barriers.

    2. Involve external people in your organization. How many times have you heard that a project you are working on or leading is being held back because you don’t have fast, up-to-date feedback from your suppliers or customers? This problem can be solved by creating specific work groups for each project and inviting your suppliers, customers, stakeholders, providing access to up-to-date documentation and real-time feedback. Inviting people outside your company to certain work groups enables you to work in a completely innovative manner with your stakeholders.

    3. All the information in the same place. Many processes and operations work perfectly well in some companies, but when that is not the case, they usually generate an endless number of emails, calls, meetings, etc. Your Enterprise Social Network can help you to improve these processes by keeping all documentation centralized in one place, converting it into an “object” with an Activity Stream, going from chaos to order. You can check out our Activity Stream infographic and discover all the information you can manage in your Enterprise Social Network.

    Thought of any more? Are you working in an Enterprise 2.0? You can try Zyncro free and enhance productivity and knowledge in your company.

     

     
  • Billie Lou Sastre 11:09 am on March 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    ‘We want to implement Zyncro for our more than 4,500 partners (employees) at Starbucks’ 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    Diana González StarbucksToday we have the pleasure of presenting our interview section where we speak with companies that have already implemented an Enterprise Social Network successfully. Here we have our interview with Diana González, Organizational Development Manager at Starbucks Mexico. Diana is responsible for personnel development processes, working environment, and the Starbucks enterprise social network communication project called “PARTNET”.

    How did the need to implement an enterprise social network arise?

    It emerged from the need to have an interactive communication medium that could reach across the entire organization uniformly, migrating unidirectional communication media to bidirectional media for more than 4,500 partners (employees).

    How did use of Zyncro start at Starbucks? What projection do you see for it in the organization?

    We started with a pilot group of directors and middle managers totaling approximately 50 people, communicating formal and informal information about their daily activities between them. Today we have almost 600 users: directors, executives and middle managers. Our aim for 2013 is to reach more than 4,500 partners (employees) in the organization within 6 months.

    Starbucks-Partnet-Start

    Of all the functionalities in Zyncro, which one would you highlight?

    The versatility to generate formal and information communication: “Corporate news”, “personal news”, “groups”

    What benefits did Zyncro bring Starbucks? In what way are you encouraging the use of the Enterprise Social Network?

    We are encouraging employees by:

    • Providing a calendar of cultural activities where they can share their experiences and facts about their work spaces.
    • Creating groups with formal information – Organizational communications.
    • Creating groups with informal information – Bidirectional communications to share experiences and best practices.

    What has Zyncro meant for managing internal communication at Starbucks?

    It has resulted in a change in the communication method in the company. Now we have a bidirectional communication channel, currently targeting middle management in the operation.

    “The goal of implementing an Enterprise Social Network at Starbucks is to establish a dynamic bidirectional communication channel that reaches the entire organization, including operational positions.”

    And what about you? Have you tried Zyncro? Did you know you can start to use it free and work collaboratively in your company?

    Try it free here!

     

     
  • Billie Lou Sastre 9:00 am on November 8, 2012 Permalink
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    Social business, the change lies with the people 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Editor’s note: Today we’d like to introduce a new Zyncro Blog author, Billie Lou Sastre; we’re really delighted to have her on the team… Billie specializes in social media and in implementing 2.0 strategies. During her career in MRW as Social Media Manager among other responsibilities, she decided to create her own project, Par de Dos, a consultancy that helps companies to develop social media strategies integrated with their existing marketing plan. Welcome onboard, Billie 😉

    The social revolution started some years ago with more evolved businesses adapting to the social business model, defined as:

    “An organization that has put in place the strategy, technology and processes to systematically engage all individuals of its ecosystem (employees, customers, partners, suppliers) to maximize the co-created value”

    An organizational change in the social media is essentially a challenge of leadership and business management, and not just about implementing technology; technology is the medium. To order to make a company social, you need to create mass collaboration processes that bring value to all stakeholders.

    But are we truly prepared to be social companies? To be one, we need to:

     

    1. Serve the individual (internal and external). In others, really be aware of all the people who have contact with our company when preparing our strategic plan.
    2. Listen (inside and out). It is not enough to just remember them when defining our strategic plan, we need to learn to listen on all levels. To do that, social tools are extremely useful.
    3. Respond. It is another step forward; if we know how to listen, we gather all our stakeholders’ concerns, ideas, and contributions, we reply to them and start dialog, we can generate more value.
    4. Learn and evolve. Through active dialog with individuals, we can get important feedback on where we are and what we can do to improve. We need to demonstrate that active listening can be used to innovate.
    5. Become social. This entire process is optimized when we learn to become social companies, collaborate and co-create.

    “A change that must be led by the company’s director and supported by all the managers”

    Until now, many directors didnt understand the power of social media. They know that the company needs to be there, but they don’t know why, they don’t incorporate it into their business strategies.

    We often hear of businesspeople who aren’t on the social networks through fear of expressing themselves openly. Others see them more as a sales and communication tool (generally unidirectional) in which they transfer their offline communication to online without any guide and with the sole purpose to increase sales or brand presence. Most of these companies do not have internal social structures and I can tell you that there is no one who has a social profile among the executive positions

    Evolution towards a social business model is a long path. Few companies have adopted it fully as we go from an industrial culture to a post-industrial one. However, it is the future. When companies know how to feed off the enormous value of their contributors, employees, providers and customers, they will find themselves at a stage capable of generating inmeasurable value.

    “Running a social company has a much deeper meaning. It requires a fundamental cultural change throughout the organization.

    To be a social business, a business must be sincerely interested in listening to customers and empowering employees to have an open conversation with them. In this new business model, strict hierarchies are no longer valid. We cannot avoid “innovative spirits” and attitudes in all aspects of the organization, and of course, knowledge must flow in all directions and be driven by all people in this new company.

    Social networks are only tools to interact with individuals, tools with an infinite power to transform relationships with customers, providers, employees and stakeholders, but if the company is not culturally prepared and does not incorporate this new philosophy within its business strategies, it is unlikely that these tools can be used for innovation and creating business value.

     
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