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  • Carlos Muñoz García 9:00 am on November 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Gossip in the Enterprise 2.0 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    We all know that gossip, or ‘watercooler chatter’, exists in companies, despite the efforts conducted by internal communication to erradicate it. Because we also know that this phenomenon of informal communication is a natural part of a company since a company can brew the gossip. 

    There will always be those individuals who instead on focusing 100% of their time in their professional performance, they flood their time with rumors in each corridor of their work centers.

    The same happens in online social networks

    Whether they are professionals or personal email accounts, personal accounts on Facebook or Twitter. Rumors and gossip are practically innate in everyone, and they are not spared when we have the opportunity to hurt the company image or a specific person. Internal Communication is precisely the key department to banish from their ranks those gossip items that are detected generating misinformation, and not only in the physical space, but also in the virtual.   

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  • Denisse Caballero 9:00 am on October 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Enterprise Social Networks Facing the year 2014 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    We begin with facts. According to McKinsey, through the use of enterprise networks, employee productivity will increase by 25%, since presently they dedicate 28% of their time reading, writing and responding to emails, which is equivalent to about 13 hours a week.  Other activities in which company members invest more of their time are searching for information, communication, and internal collaboration.

    It is expected that by 2014, Enterprise Social Networks will be present in 20% of companies and they will sustain a rapid growth during the next years, whereby I will present some measurable benefits that they can bring to businesses:

    1. Higher productivity, collaboration and engagement (it is easy and fast to share photos, videos, files and much more without heavy problems)
    2. Focus on human talent (clients and employees)
    3. Cost reduction
    4. Internal communication improvement (put a face to email)
    5. Shared document creation
    6. Facilitate decision making
    7. Increase in teamwork and corporate culture improvement

    Frequently we find on the web great quantities of social networks that are used by companies to keep its employees abreast of important information, organizing meetings, sharing editable documents and even conversing. However, the use of such networks or even email as an organizational communication medium represents various disadvantages at the company level that throughout the company do not work, nor are effective. What will happen in 2014? Companies will probably wager to privacy.   (More …)

     
  • Luis Miguel Díaz 9:00 am on October 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Is your Company Ready for an Enterprise Social Network? 

    Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

    Editor’s note:  Today we are so happy to welcome a new collaborator for our blog.  Luis Miguel Díaz Meco is a communications expert, a field where he has more than 15 years of experience. Welcome, Luis Miguel!

    In internal communication, the current revolution that we live in has caught us off guard. No sooner has consolidation within the strategic priorities of businesses when it claims its use through new platforms, such as enterprise social networks.

    The qualitative jump that these tools offer seem indisputable, but it is advisable not to be dazzled by its shine and make a prior analysis about whether or not our company is ready to make the jump.

    If we have a well designed strategy, the support of leadership and the necessary attitude and motivation is the moment.

    But before we must make a simple test:

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  • Matthieu Pinauldt 9:00 am on October 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    The Differences between Facebook and a Private Social Network 

    Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

    The companies willing to start social communication channels with their clients look for the value of social tools to create commitment or entailment with their brand or product. The diffusion of innovations, promotions, clients attention, etc. through Public Social Networks are good in order to improve the brand image or sales. However, there is an area where public social networks demonstrate their limits: the creation of a community around a related area of interest with their company.

    We often hear that Private Social Networks  are like a ‘tailored Facebook’. But Private Social Networks are much more than that and they add various possibilities to your business.

    Besides the issues of security and confidentiality, a private social network can offer a company the necessary features to create a personalized community where its clients, current or potential, can be grouped around a specific topic in which they all share interest.

    It is important to know the differences between a public social environment like Facebook, and a space like a Private Social Network. The following table displays the differences between public social networks and private social networks.

    Facebook Company Pages Private Social Network
    Personalized Design MEDIUM. Depending on Facebook design codes. COMPLETE. It is important to create an exclusive customization using the codes from the company.
    Retention Views LOW. In Facebook the users are not only exposed to main content, but also advertising, recommendations, third party sponsored links, etc., that distracts attention and increases indifference. HIGH in the case of an active and vibrant community. The links can direct members to products and services.
    Attraction of New Members HIGH. Thanks to publicity and timeline interactions, Facebook allows its pages to go viral. Although, they are always limited to Facebook members. HIGH. A Private Social Network platform must be capable of interacting with main social networks. With Zyncro, for example, you can publish important messages directly to Twitter or Facebook.
    Data Confidentiality LOW. Shared information belongs to Facebook. HIGH. Data always belongs to the company, the platform is hosted in a cloud or on site.
    Member Information VARIABLE. Depending on the level of privacy.  Sometimes, rather than seeking real interactions, users snoop or browse around. SPECIFIC. The community members can determine their profile and privacy depending on the use they want to give to the private network.
    Interactions between members of the community MEDIUM. In general, comments between members are reduced and interactions are closely related to members’ private lives. STRONG. The members are more engaged as they are grouped around specific common interests. The private sphere is not part of the community.
    Interactions between members of the company Low participation.  To connect with colleagues on Facebook is perceived as an invasion of privacy. The conversations between members are not usually about company issues. VARIABLE. The company can decide whether or not to include its employees in the conversations and answers with clients.
    Privileged access to the community LOW. Any Facebook user can set up a company page. Those groups constructed in Facebook are not appropriate for professional communities. STRONG. The communities are only open to company clients, subscribers, etc.
    Loyalty and retention capacity of the public HIGH. A Facebook page is an activation leverage of undeniable communication. VERY HIGH. A private community is high value service offered by a company to its clients that allows interaction with other consumers and members of the company.
    Analysis HIGH. Facebook can fully evaluate the impact of each message and the generation of social actions (likes, comments, actions) HIGH. Private Social Networks allow you to know everything about your community: what the most active groups are, who are the ambassadors of your brand, how to increase membership, what is the impact of each piece of news published, etc.

    Facebook and Private Social Networks are not in competition. The role of Private Social Networks  makes sense from the point that public networks are inadequate. Together they can form a great team to help you shape your community: Facebook will help you attract your Private Social Network members, a Private social Network will help you develop a close relationship with them.

    If after revising this information, you are convinced of the benefits a Private Social Network can have for you clients, we still have more data to show you. And if you are already convinced, try Zyncro now for free or request a demonstration and let us show you everything that you can do with your community.

    Matthieu Pinauldt (@mattpinauldt) is the Marketing Manager at Zyncro France. After various experience in big companies and converting into a businessman,  he joined Zyncro’s team in order to help develop Zyncro at an international level.  He has a Master in Innovation Management from the University París Dauphine, ENS Cachan and Mines Paritech. He is an expert in Social Networks and issues related to innovation.

     

     
  • Oscar Berg 9:00 am on October 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    The 6 Pillars of The Digital Workplace 

    Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

    Editor’s note: Oscar Berg (@oscarberg) has let us republish this article from his blog where he talks about the 6 main pillars of The Digital Workplace. We’re sure you’ll enjoy it :-) If you want to read more about the future of knowledge work, we encourage you to read his blog ‘The content Economy‘.

    The business environment that knowledge-intense businesses operate in is anything but static – it’s changing faster and faster, and in new ways. It’s becoming more and more unpredictable. This means that businesses can’t do long-term planning the way they used to. Instead they have to be prepared for change, becoming agile enough to quickly adapt to new conditions and situations.

    At the same time knowledge work and the contributions of knowledge workers are becoming increasingly important for businesses. There is also a big potential in improving the productivity of knowledge work that they have to address. Yet there is a tension, and often conflict, between agility and productivity. How do we as knowledge workers remain productive, or even increase productivity, when we need to adapt to new conditions all the time? We often find ourselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. Workload and complexity at work is increasing, while we at the same time are expected to be more productive. Add to this that we need to adapt to new conditions. Not only that, we are expected to be creative and innovative as well.

    The greatest enemy here spells c-o-m-p-l-e-x-i-t-y. Not only does it hamper knowledge worker productivity, but it is also causing exceptions to happen more frequently; exceptions that are both costly and hard to deal with. No manual or procedure can help us deal with these as each exception is different from the other and needs to be treated in its own special way. To deal with it we have to improvise.  Collaborate. Think outside of the box. The problem is that our organizations haven’t been designed for this reality. Most organizations have been designed for efficiency and economies of scale, not for enabling collaboration, creativity and personal responsibility. Too often, we are just cogs in a big machinery.  Even if we know what is wrong, and what can be done about it, there simply isn’t any support from the organization to help us act.

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  • Ignasi Alcalde 9:00 am on October 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Smart Collaboration: The Growth of the Collaborative Enterprise 

    Estimated Reading time: 6 minutes

    Note from the Editor: Ignasi Alcalde has given us permission to use this article that was published in his blog, in which he talks about how collaboration has converted into a key aspect in organizations. What consequences does collaboration have in the definition of work relationships in a corporation?

    We are immersed in a “new economy” in which has begun to predominate more  non-conventional work relationships, and where effective collaboration is consolidating itself as a key point. In his book Sustaining the New Economy: Work, Family, and Community in the Information Age, Martín Carnoy draws the foundation of the scene of work relationships in the “new economy” with the comment: “Work is not disappearing but rather it is suffering a profound change. The two key elements of the transformation are the flexibility of the work process and the interconnection in company networks and the individuals inside those companies.”

    But let’s go a little deeper into the core concept of the “new economy”. While many academics and economists have tried to define it, it’s interesting to note David Neumark’s point of view in his article Employment Relationships in the New Economy where in place of finding a definition of the new economy, he explores its consequences and analyses what the new economy produces as “new”.

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  • Raúl González García 9:00 am on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Three occupational competences that mark the difference between the 20th and 21st centuries 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    Three occupational competences that mark the difference between the 20th and 21st centuriesThree e-competences that still haven’t been learnt at many universities but that are still in great demand in many organizations:

    1. From the individual we have gone towards the team, and from the team we are going towards the network.

    If the capacity to work in a team was one of the most sought-after competences in the last decades of the 20th century, today it has been joined by the ability to work in networks.

    An omnipresent job, without the usual physical barriers and more flexible relationships, requires the ability to adapt and collaborate openly with all types of environment and people. From the traditional workplace, we are in the transition towards the virtual work environment, in which individuals work connected with different projects, new people and different work structures.

    (More …)

     
  • Juan Ignacio Barenys 9:00 am on July 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , public speaking   

    The Manager and oral communication: five premises for good public speaking 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    It is increasingly important in Management positions that professionals’ skills include knowing how to speak well. A manager spends half of his time carrying out tasks that involve speaking. To achieve that goal of speaking well, there are five premises that must be considered.

    1. We always have an audience. Speaking in public is not necessarily just a task for professional public speakers or for exceptional occasions. When we speak it is because there is someone there to hear our words and we still need to look after the content and the form of the speech although the discourse may not be given in a room packed with people, rather in a routine business meeting with a small team of colleagues.

    2. Public speaking is a skill that is trained and learned. It is often thought that public speaking is a gift that some people are lucky to be born with and others are denied. That’s not true. When we speak, we learn. Handling the elements of speech, knowing words and their meanings, and acquiring the structures of language is not an innate phenomenon generated spontaneously, rather a progressive process throughout our lives which never ends. By practicing, we can become capable of giving long, brilliant speeches with the right content.

    3. Choose the right level of competency that you want to achieve. In Management positions, we generally are not referring to professional speakers, but people who, according to Whitmore’s model, must achieve a conscious level of competence. In other words, a level at which the task can be performed with notable elegance but in order to do that, the individual must focus their attention and time on suitably intense training directed towards the objective.

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  • Chris Preston 9:00 am on June 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: personalization, , , ,   

    Our Pride and Delight in ‘I Made This’ 

    Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

    A news item caught my eye this week. Some clever individual has noticed that someone at the picture-sharing site Flickr has hidden a small message in its website’s code. It’s a ‘We’re Hiring’ notice designed to weed out the people that are REALLY interested in how the site works.

    I think it’s a great example of what I call ‘micro-personalization’ – the small ways in which people can put their mark on what they make or do, without affecting the overall integrity of the output.

    It’s not a new idea, and has long been used as a mark of quality – buy a V12 Mercedes and you’ll see a signature of the engine’s maker proudly displayed on a prominent plaque. On a more safety-related note, when you pull the ripcord on a parachute, you do so with the certainty that a qualified individual has packed it to an exacting standard, as their signature and seal are featured in its log book. For the record, I’ve not done, nor will do, either of these things.

    Technology is offering a new way for micro-personalization to add value, create interest, and…well… have fun. For years technology enthusiasts have hunted down ‘Easter Eggs’ in software. These hidden extras can be as simple as a cheat in a game, or, as the case with Photoshop, feature a comprehensive flight simulation over a landscape that displayed the developers’ names.

    Website developers have long hidden messages and images in their code, such as the recent HMV site change, that celebrated the chain’s revival with a hidden picture of Nipper the dog in the HTML.

    A few years ago you may remember the phenomenon of Felix the Cat. It was a free piece of software that placed a small black and white cat on your desktop, which chased your cursor, put paw prints on your screen and a range of other cat antics. It was designed to mimic the unpopular Paperclip helper (and also make you buy a certain brand of cat food).  It was charming, pointless, and also the holder of a strange secret…

    One day, bored, I put the Felix programme through a Hex Decoder (I’d recently read about the phenomenon of Slag Text where computers ‘tidy up’ programs and fill left-over memory space with random content – sometimes with embarrassing consequences). The Decoder showed me all of the program’s coding… and a rather beautiful, unfathomable piece of philosophy that clearly articulated the developer’s state of mind on the day he made it.

    This discovery delighted me, but also I’m sure, delighted the developer. It’s that second part that I think is so important.

    I talked in my last blog about the need for people to see the meaning in what they were doing, and I believe micro-personalization is a crucial part of this. The ability for an individual to make something ‘theirs’ is hugely powerful, costs very little, and adds so much for the recipient.

    I recently worked with a very successful medical devices company that makes complex wound care products. The cutting floor workers will hand-cut the most difficult ones, and then sign the side of the box. Their manager told me of one new worker who questioned why they did this – he shared with them the reams of thank you letters he had from people that had written in to specifically thank the individuals for making their products. He never got the question again.

    We are so quick to label things as ‘mass produced’ and rarely think about the small ways that we can utilize to make it more personal to the maker, and more meaningful for the purchaser. Clearly signing every tin of beans that rushes past you on the production line won’t work, but that doesn’t mean everything that is made in bulk cannot be personalized. I, doubtless like many, always smile when I see a packing note saying ‘inspected by Sanjay’, rather than the impersonal ‘Inspected by 1467’. It’s good to know that a person has put their name to something, and it makes me happier to have bought it.

    For those doing the making, having a sense of care, pride, and ownership is a win-win situation.  They will be happier, more aligned with their work and the company will be guaranteed a higher quality product. Letting people personalize what they make is a powerful way of achieving this.

    So here’s my challenge – look at what you do, what you make, what you service – and ask yourself the question ‘how can I make this mine?’  Or, if you’re a manager, ask the question ‘how can I help my team make it theirs?’

    Think small, what are the additions that a person could add to something that makes it theirs? How could they bring in their own style or approach? What is the value of giving your customers something that’s more bespoke?

    We are at our happiest when we see our work as our craft, when we want to sign what we’ve done, and tell people, ‘I made this’.  (This article, in case you didn’t know, was written by a Mr Christopher Preston).

    Chris Preston (@Trimprop) is a Psychology graduate and specializes in internal communication and team development. He currently is Director at The Culture Builders.

     
  • Sandra Bravo Ivorra 9:00 am on June 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Active listening as a tool for continuous learning 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    The art of conversation is being replaced by personal broadcasting. I first heard that expression in a TED Talk by Julian Treasure on the importance of active listening, and I couldn’t agree more.

    We communicate constantly but we rarely listen. Listening goes beyond just lending an ear. Listening is investing time in others, changing the focus of attention to those that surround us.

    They are both the messages and interferences that we receive that are difficult to distinguish. It is demonstrated that we filter contents according to our culture and all this marks a difference between what we hear and what we pay attention to.

    Attitude and beliefs are key factors in communication. Our predisposition towards our interlocutors is an essential condition. Flexibility too, the ability to leave aside our ‘repertoire’ of beliefs to give way to new hypotheses.

    Active listening is the best tool for constant learning. If we don’t train that skill, we will end up shut away in our limiting tenets.

    Four basic aspects of active listening:

    1. Receiving, taking in what they tell us, paying attention
    2. Valuation, appreciating the words of our interloctors as something with an intrinsic value
    3. Recapitulating, we will only be capable of synthetizing something that we are willing to ‘receive’
    4. Asking, after assimilating information, this will generate doubts that will enable us to continue enrich ourselves

    Listening facilitates our daily lives. It’s economical, it saves us having to listen twice to the same message that we didn’t pay attention to in the first place. It’s practical, it will help us to discern what is really important. And it’s efficient, listening not only will be learn, but we will make others want to listen to us and learn about our points of view.

    Sandra Bravo (@Sandra_BI) is founding partner of BraveSpinDoctors, a strategic communication and political marketing consultancy.

    At Zyncro, we believe listening is fundamental for companies. We explain it in this whitepaper about the value of employees’ contributions for the company. In your organization, how do you listen to employees? At Zyncro we help you do it with an Enterprise Social Network. Try it.

     

     
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