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  • Ana Asuero 9:00 am on September 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    How do you store your information in the cloud? 

    Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

    How do you store your information in the cloud?A few days ago I read an article by Enrique Dans, a regular contributor to this blog. The article was about Diogenes syndrome, a behavioral disorder that consists of hoarding large quantities of rubbish and objects that are largely useless.

    Applied to the digital world, we might think of a common syndrome that many of us have when it comes to emails or information that we hoard in the cloud. Enrique classified users in a much earlier article (2005, in spanish) based on their email storage behavior patterns, a classification I have reproduced below.

    Tell me how you store and I’ll tell you who you are

    1. The auditor:

    Everything ever received must be carefully filed… one never knows when somebody is going to be reminded that they sent such and such about such and such on such and such date, or when the corporate server will crash and the firm’s collective memory will have to be reconstructed from his or her files, thus converting him or her into some sort of corporate hero… At first glance, this person’s inbox looks clean and tidy, containing only emails waiting to be answered or processed. Everything else is carefully hidden away in folders. Every now and then, knowing that Outlook .pst archives become unstable once they get beyond a certain size, the auditor files them carefully, transfers them to CD, and starts again from the last three months… In reality, he or she has never ever had to consult one of those CDs filed neatly on the shelf, but every afternoon, when work is done, it’s a great feeling knowing that they are there…

    (More …)

     
  • Francisco Eguiza 9:00 am on September 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    SoMoClo, your company and its entire ecosystem always connected 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes SoMoClo, your company and its entire ecosystem always connected A couple of years ago, people were already talking about SoMoClo as a potent, exuberant and explosive trend, above all in the fields of digital marketing and innovation, allowing companies to reach a greater audience with a more precisely-defined target and even better results (i.e. using geolocation services to send catalogues, discounts, payment methods and calls to action to smartphones). However, in this article I’m NOT going to talk about SoMoClo in terms of marketing. I want to dedicate this space to looking at how this trend can be used to help your company or business, to help your organization. So…

    What is SoMoClo?

    Let’s start with the following premise — nowadays EVERYTHING is Social, EVERYTHING is Mobile and (almost) EVERYTHING is on the Cloud. SoMoClo is an acronym for Social Mobile Cloud. Given that the previous premise holds true (and I’m not the only one who says so), why not align your company with Social, Mobile and Cloud principles?

    In the strictly business sphere, the objective of SoMoClo can be summed up in a single phrase: “Your company and its entire ecosystem: available anytime, anywhere.”

    Imagine the impact on your company or organization by having all the relevant information available, NOT just on your team’s PCs, but in a secure, private repository where all you need is an internet connection to start working. Response times are reduced, information is expanded, feedback becomes a positive tool (that, after all, is why we talk about Social) and work teams are fully capable of acting and reacting via the Cloud. (More …)

     
  • Enrique Dans 9:00 am on July 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    We are what we share 

    Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

    Editor’s noteEnrique Dans (@edans) has let us republish this article from his blog where he talks about the importance of sharing. 

    We are what we shareMy column in Expansión, Spain’s leading financial daily, is called “You are what you share” (pdf in Spanish), and asks some questions about what lies behind a very common activity among consumers of online information, but is not so natural for people who have simply transferred their habits from the analogical world: sharing.

    Sharing information is a much more interesting and complex activity than one might at first imagine. More than a mere gesture, it is actually a different way of managing information in an environment within which managing information efficiently has become a major challenge. It’s a very simple thing to do, and really only involves installing a button on your navigation bar and then acquiring the habit of using it regularly, but it has enormous potential. In the first place, it marks a step from being a mere consumer of information to taking a more participative approach: from unidirectional to bidirectional. And it also marks a change in attitude toward being somebody who uses information efficiently, given that the habit of sharing involves creating an archive. In many cases, the reason for sharing is not simply to give something useful to those on the other side of the screen, but provide benefits to oneself in the form of feedback and information management.

    But something subtler is going on as well: what we share says a great deal about us. Somebody who only shares news about certain topics will inevitably become associated with them. Somebody who only shares jokes will be seen as jokey—or worse—depending on the quality and the quantity.

    Creating an archive to share information on the social networks or information management tools can become a way to establish a personal brand, a way of being associated with certain topics and trends. Information sharing can be a powerful tool, and although it is still misunderstood by many—who see it simply as a way of attracting attention—it has huge potential benefits. Below, the text in full.

    You are what you share

    Sharing is an inherent part of living in society. Considered a basic function associated with the development of language, sharing turns us into active entities in the way that we treat information: we don’t just “find ourselves with it” in some passive way, but instead we can consciously decide to circulate it, or at least to store it for later use.

    (More …)

     
  • Zyncro Blog 9:00 am on February 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    The value of #tags within Enterprise Social Networks 

    Estimated Reading time: 4 minutes

    Tags have democratised the Internet since the famous arrival of the Twitter hashtag. Their function is to contextualise and organise message and conversation content spread anywhere.  The value of tags within Enterprise Social Networks is equally interesting.  They allow the members of an organisation to clasify information, contextualise it and access it at a later time in a quick and easy manner in order to resolve specific issues.

    How do tags work?

    Within Zyncro, tags can be created in two different ways. When composing a message for your followers, within a specific group or sharing a document with the rest of the organisation, you can create a tag by using ‘#’ in front of the word with which you wish to classify the message or file or by filling in the ‘tag’ field which you can find under the text box in which you edit your messages.

    Once your message has been published, the created tags will be visible to the rest of the organisation and by clicking on them, you will be able to access all of the content stored under that term.

    In addition, the members of the Enterprise Social Network will be able to subscribe to tags or tag families they are interested in and will receive notifications of any new content within that area of interest.

    A highly valuable functionality for employees and management

    • Allowing for the creation of a unique experience for each Enterprise Social Network member: each user will be able to adequately organise the information they work with, subscribe to tags of interest to their role within the company and in this way, personalize the flow of information they receive.  By subscribing to a tag or family of tags, a salesperson would be able to follow what is being said within the company of a potential client, the technological progress of the project, its planned marketing activities or its designed sales strategy.
    • Facilitating and improving the search for useful information: If there is any one topic the collaborators of a company speak of recurrently, then it is likely that there will be a tag under which all relevant content is stored.  Finding and following popular tags guarantees finding relevant information about a topic shared amongst different teams.
    • Organised and accessible information for organisational analysis: for management, tags are a real goldmine of information about the company, its employees and its projects.

    (More …)

     
  • Sergio Ríos 9:00 am on January 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    How to Start Knowledge Management in an SME, Taking Advantage of Internal Knowledge and Knowledge that is Possible to Find on the Internet 

    Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

    Note from the Editor: Today we welcome to our blog a new author. Sergio Ríos is a Consultant, Trainer and Director at Biable, a consulting firm specialized in innovation in management. He begins a series of articles talking about how to construct effective knowledge management processes in businesses. Welcome Sergio!

    Knowledge management as an element within organizations diluted between a multitude of ideas, processes and concepts. Normally, it gets confused with innovation, creativity, document management, and even it can be inferred as merely a software tool.

    Managing the knowledge of an organization is a complex and delicate task, full of interactions and interpretations between internal processes. However it can be summarized into three phases: 

    1. Manage human capital talent: which is contained in the people who make the organization. It is necessary to know them, organize them, extract their talent and communicate with them.
    2. Manage the capital of the organization: this is the organization’s own knowledge, how they can be processed, work guidelines, documentation, libraries, good practices, etc.
    3. Manage relational capital: shared knowledge with other organizations, such as clients, suppliers and other interest groups. For example: conferences, current events or benchmarking activities.

    In this post, we will focus on what concepts are there to take account for and know, and how do you take advantage of technological means to give a push to knowledge management. In the next post, I will explain how the initial use of knowledge is coordinated, for a services start-up business, and how to supervise human capital from the beginning.

    (More …)

     
  • Jose Luis del Campo Villares 9:00 am on December 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Internal Communication 2.0 for Enterprise Social Networks 

    Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

    With the current fashion of labeling almost every position as “2.0”, why not also label internal communication the same?

    If something has been considered a lot in organizations until now with internal communication, above all in Spain, it has been the strength and importance informal communication has always had, or rather, rumors have had. That, plus the fact that many of those responsible for communication within organizations employ formal communication channels internally in an inadequate way, making organizations constantly having a weak point in the area of internal communication. 

    What indicators show that internal communication has been poorly managed until now?

    • Unmotivated employees who would say clearly that their opinions were neither heard nor much less taken into account.
    • Errors with messages transmitted between the initial and final message; there tended to be two or three steps that the message passed through and part of it got lost or distorted in the process.
    • Employees often indicated that they learned what was happening in their organization when it was over.
    • On many occasions informal communication, that is, rumors, was the best way to stay informed. 
    • Apathy towards the messages given by the organization with the question ‘why are they telling me this?’ Or the phrase ‘the same thing again’, demonstrates apathy from the recipients of the internal communication messages, bringing attention to the message is null and there are many other communication problems that can arise.

    How do you employ the new world 2.0 and its tools to be able to counteract existing bad internal communication?

    First, it should be made clear that an organization that establishes an internal enterprise social network is looking to socialize its behavior and organizational culture in every moment. What better way for employees to feel heard in a manner in which they can also freely express themselves through any channel and their opinion stays there and can be shared, refuted and valued? Enterprise Social Networks are the first that they establish; an environment of dialogue in which each member of the organization is accommodated. (More …)

     
  • Carlos Gonzalez Jardon 9:00 am on August 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    The importance of communication in project management 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    We already spoke about the benefits of using an Enterprise Social Network in project management. From a project manager, communication is one of the key skills you need to nurture and encourage. Communication represents an important part of our day-to-day and we need to give it the attention it deserves.

    What can we do for our communication?

    • Plan and prepare communication. We can’t leave communication to improvisation. We need to be clear about what we want to transmit, when, how to do it, what medium we will use, and who our interlocutors are. Limit improvisation as much as possible to avoid running the risk of saying what we shouldn’t.
    • Use simple language. This is very important in a highly specialized environment. Often we tend to use a language that we only understand in our scope of work (engineers, etc.). We need to communicate thinking in who receives the message, not who issues it.
    • Get feedback from the recipient. This point strengthens understanding of the message. We need to ensure that our interlocutor has understood what we want to transmit.
    • Establish multiple channels of communication. We need to define what the main lines of communication in our project are, and formalize/control them: reports, enterprise social networks, intranets, etc…
    • Determine the sensitivity of the recipient regarding the information to be transmitted.
    • In face-to-face communication, pay attention to the recipient’s body language. This will give us clues on whether the information is being received correctly.
    • Communicate at the right time, with the right format and means.
    • Strengthen words with actions. Avoid attitudes like “do what I say, not what I do”.
    • Listen actively. We need to listen and understand communication from the point of view of who is speaking.

    Carlos González Jardón (@cgjardon) is Consultant and Trainer in Project Management with more than 18 years’ experience in the IT sector. y Formador en Dirección de Proyectos con más de 18 años de experiencia en el sector TI. He holds a computer engineering degree from the Universidad de Vigo, an Executive Master’s from ICAI/ICADE and PMP certification from the Project Management Institute. He is currently consultant in Project Management at Tecnocom.


     
  • Jose Manuel Perez Marzabal 9:00 am on May 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: data protection, personal data protection   

    The future of data protection and how to adapt to it 

    Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

    The recently held #bigdataweek reminds us that monitoring data processing is a critical aspect of most strategic decisions and internet business models. We are faced with the widespread use of apps in mobile devices and in contexts with a major potential for data handling, such as the big data phenomenon, the Apache Hadoop software framework, or the emerging quantum computing.

    Against this backdrop, the European Commission presented its Proposal of the General Data Protection Regulation on January 25, regarding the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and the free movement of such data (henceforth “Regulation”), which will replace the current Directive 95/46/EC.

    The Regulation (as opposed to the current directive that requires a transposition process to make it applicable in national law of the Member States) will be directly applicable, will be hierarchically superior to Spanish law, and undoubtedly will have a major impact on the operations of the industry in general, and more specifically, on Internet companies and start-ups.

    Among the new general aspects incorporated, the Regulation includes the tightening of sanctions for non-compliance, the increase in the principle of transparency in companies, the need to reinforce the level of personal data protection, the right to data portability, and the principle of accountability.

    Aspects of the Regulation applicable to data processing in Internet companies

    1. On a conceptual level

    The Regulation designs a security architecture that takes into account both the technological process and the solutions offered for data protection by design –focus developed successfully by the Information and Privacy Commissioner, Ontario (Canada)- and by default. This new approach to data protection means that data protection is contemplated in the technology design phase of business models and risk analysis and management methodology are enhanced, as well as including the control panel for users as a privacy interface or other security technologies.

    2. At an authority level

    The new regulation introduces the key figure of the “data protection officer” with a wide spectrum of functions such as supervision, implementation and application of internal policies, auditing, information of the interested parties, and applications presented in exercising their rights, and monitoring document management.

    3. Regarding processes

    It establishes the impact assessment that must be carried out prior to data processing and proceeds to regulate the so-called “right to be forgotten”, both in search engines and digital footprint, in line with the Spanish ARCO rights. In other words, it specifies that public personal data on the Internet, such as hyperlinks or specific data, must be canceled by the controller when they are accessible in communication services that enable or facilitate their search or access.

    Similarly, it includes a contingency plan in the event of data breach, which establishes the obligation to notify a personal data security breach to the supervisory authority within a period of no greater than 24 hours and, where feasible, to the interested parties.

    Finally, mention should be given to other major developments introduced by the Regulation, such as the modification of the minimum age of minors to under 13 years of age regarding the direct offer of information society and social network services. On this point, it will be more important to sufficiently highlight the data protection and privacy policy on home pages and in registration forms in HTML format.

    Conclusion

    To sum up, I suspect that the legislator has once again made an assessment of data protection dissociated from the technological context, maintaining an asymetrical exchange between the fast technological evolution and legislation. In particular, regarding the evident tensions between regulation and the dynamics of the Web 2.0 that generate bilateral business models based on the exploitation of user data.

    Although aspects such as account release, privacy by design and default, and the assessment of impact encourages the IT security culture in companies and operational criteria focused on risk management and the implementation of compliance programs, it is yet to be seen how regulatory solutions will evolve and what technical innovations will be introduced in the future.

    Jose Manuel Pérez Marzabal (@jmperezmarzabal) is a lawyer who specializes in Internet and e-commerce at MTNProjects. Furthermore, he is a visiting professor at BES La Salle and a teaching consultant at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). He has a Master’s degree in International Law (LL.M) from WWU Münster and a Diploma in Advanced Studies in International Law and Economics from the University of Barcelona.

     
  • Carlos Gonzalez Jardon 9:00 am on May 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Enterprise Social Networks and Project Management 

    Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

    Editor’s note: Today we would like to welcome a new author to our blog. The clarity of his first post has surprised us, and that has made us even more delighted about him joining our group of contributors. Carlos González Jardón (@cgjardon) is consultant and trainer in project management. With more than 18 years’ experience in the IT sector, his activities revolve around IT project management and quality standards such as CMMi. He holds a computer engineering degree from the Universidad de Vigo, an Executive Master’s from ICAI/ICADE and PMP certification from the Project Management Institute. He is currently consultant in Project Management at Tecnocom. Welcome and thanks!

    We live in a society where access to information is no longer the privilege of a few and has been democratized. Nowdays, in a single click, we can access a wide range of data from multiple sources: search engines, online newspapers, blogs, social networks… The technology revolution is causing a social and professional evolution, in how we relate to our environment. Information continues to be important, but how we access/acquire that information is gaining relevance.

    In this environment, an enterprise social network can become a vital tool that enables us to strengthen some key aspects in our work:

    • Speed. Quick decision-making.
    • Reliability. Quality of the data.
    • Collaboration: Share information.
    • Acccessibility: A single data source, multiple devices to access it.

    The subject is rather extensive, but we will look briefly at how an enterprise social network can help us in executing projects.

    Projects and Enterprise Social Networks

    In project management, communication is a critical factor. But what do we understand communication to be in a project?

    According to the PMBok® Guide (project management knowledge base), one of the leading references for any project leader, managing communication involves all processes required to ensure timely and appropriate generation, collection, distribution, storage, retrieval and ultimate disposition of project information.

    In other words, the project manager needs to ensure that all project stakeholders have or have access to, at the right moment, the information required using suitable and efficient means. This is extremely relevant as poor management of communication and information in a project could cause the time that the project manager devotes to communicate, distribute, share and access the information to sky-rocket, and even bring the project to the brink of disaster.

    In order for the project manager to have the right information at each stage, they need to interact with their team, the customers, suppliers, and the ‘closer’ they are to the task being done, the better the information. Basically, the project manager needs to beSOCIAL with all those stakeholders in the project. It is not enough to have social skills based on ‘face-to-face’ interaction. We need to seek support from the tools that enable us to manage online or virtually multi-disciplinary and multi-site teams.

    In this scenario, an enterprise social network can play a differential role. If we share aspects of our daily lives, why shouldn’t members of a project team share, through an enterprise social network, their problems, doubts, concerns regarding the activities being performed in the project? This activity is already being done in the corridors, on the phone, but it is difficult to have a document support with the conclusions reached. Using collaborative tools can help to flourish and document information that would be lost otherwise. In those project-focused organizations, an enterprise social network can provide major value by sharing and accessing data easily and quickly.

    Benefits of Enterprise Social Networks in Project Management

    Although I’m sure there are many more, these are some of the benefits they can provide:

    Quick access to one of the best sources of knowledge: the team’s experience.

    The senior profiles are an excellent source of knowledge and that knowledge can be used to resolve different situations that we face daily in a project. Coaching, mentoring, tutoring, training or resolving of doubts can be done dynamically through an enterprise social network.

    Repository of project information and documents.

    Although this point has already been solved by many other tools, an enterprise social network can be the main point of access to shared resources. It means converting the current static or one-directional intranet (always focused from the company to the employee) into a social and collaborative environment ‘company-employee’ and ‘employee-employee’ (beyond a simple question-response network).

    Reduce “meetingitis”.

    In many organizations, there are too many inefficient meetings. Often we finish the day with the feeling that we haven’t done anything “productive”. Simple meetings to exchange information and update everyone can be replaced by short virtual meetings (e-meetings): for example, the status of our project, clarification of doubts, etc. These e-meetings will not replace face-to-face meetings, rather they will complement them and reduce them to the essential ones, as the cost, both economically speaking and cost-opportunity (what I don’t get done) is very high.

    Simplify management in multi-site environments.

    In environments where the team is located at different sites in the company or in the client (or even in teleworking situations), the social network will help us enormously with that task of “sharing”, reducing, or even eliminating problems resulting from not all being in the one place.

    Neglected management.

    On many occasions, we experience many short interruptions that break our usual work rate. Enterprise Social Networks mean that those short interruptions can be channelled through it to be answered at a later stage; or even they could be resolved by other members of the team collaboratively, leaving evidence of their resolution in the “social environment” itself.

    Our value lies not in what we know, rather how quickly we can “update” (learn what we don’t know, acquire knowledge) and how we share it with our co-workers.

    In this scenario, an enterprise social network can become a perfect work environment where different stakeholders in our project can interact according to their role, regardless of their physical location and time zone.

    The work environment is a clearly social activity in most cases, so why not use enterprise social networks? This way sharing knowledge among the project team can be more agile, although to achieve it, a cultural change is required in organizations.

     

     
  • Virginio Gallardo 9:00 am on April 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    The future of training will be social in communities 

    Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

    Editor’s note: Virginio Gallardo has let us post this article from his blog where he talks about what the new social learning environments in communities will be like. At Zyncro we are prepared for this revolution, what about you?

    We create much knowledge with a high expiration and this forces companies and professionals to reinvent knowledge management, training and business development processes.

    There are things from the past that we should bury in the past forever, because they block new ways of seeing the future. This is especially true in all things associated with what we know of education and training.

    We must learn to live with new concepts like personal learning environments, “gamification”, socialization of learning… although for many these terms are strange and unknown.

    However from all these new ways of learning, I suggest you reflect on the role of Communities, new organizational structures that are not mostly created with educational purposes, but that are the major source of learning in our professional future.

    Social learning, in communities

    In the company, learning in classrooms, memoristic, conceptual, separated from the reality, cognitive, disciplined learning… is disappearing. However, the classroom continues as the basis of business training. We must make the effort to forget this way of undersating education in companies, as the future has little to do with this reality.

    The new ways of learning will be often informal, outside the classroom, without programs, “serendipity”, ubiquitous (in any time and space), cooperative (social, in groups via conversations), participative or inclusive, where we are not just recipients, but also creators of content and ideas (prosumidors).

    Learning will be integrated in our company’s behavior and values as an on-going and collective phenomenon that will affect all us professionals constantly. For this reason, from the company we must ask and help our professionals to create their own personal social learning environments, which in some cases will be closely connected with the company, but on other occasions will be connected with external professionals or systems and educational institutions. The professionals that survive in the future will be socialnetworkers, experts in developing themselves in networks.

    Of all these new phenomena, the most revolutionary way of learning is that you learn with others in collaborative work environments: communities. Usually in technological environments where you connect, share, analyze, question, apply, share, analyze…

    The communities designed for learning are the so-called communities of practice. They are the most well-known: groups created with the purpose of developing a specialized knowledge, sharing learning based on the reflection on practical experiences. This type of community will be created in all companies and in all business environments (commercial, production, management, etc.)

    Many workers will be present in external communities of practice. Faced with the complexity and specificity of the knowledge of many of their workers, they will be trained with external resources, resulting in socially intelligent workers. And this will be done with external academic institutions and platforms, many on the Internet or in external informal groups. Many employees will create their own social learning space on which their professional success will depend.

    However, intelligent organizations will create, above all, another type of community. Communities that are not just used to share internal knowledge, but to resolve business problems, with the knowledge of employees being used to do this. Intelligent organizations will ensure their employees are connected in the network with other professionals, especially within the company.

    More efficient social environments for learning are not environments created to learn

    The most relevent learning theory for the digital era is connectivism, which according to George Siemens establishes that learning starts from the diversity that emerges from connecting people (nodes) and the quality of their connections, where decision-making is itself a learning process.

    The new ways of learning give increasing importance to action and real or simulated decision-making within the network learning process. The communities designed to improve processes, to reduce costs, to increase sales, to analyze new products, will be the communities where the professionals learn the most.

    The learning that will extend in the future will not separate learning and work, it will not separate theoretical learning and real decision-making, it will not separate between communities to learn and those used for decision-making. Communities where the most will be learned, those that will be most used in the future are the communities whose goals are associated with business: communities for improvement, innovation, creation, systemized…

    The goal of these communities is not to develop applied knowledge; the goal is change, the transformation or achievement of goals. They will be created to innovate, although they will be the greatest source of learning for new workers in the digital era.

    These communities will have many characteristics of the communities of practice, but proactivity and distributed leadership and the creation process of ideas to implementation (the so-called idea trip) will be the new bases of success. These communities will be the most mutable and flexible organizational structures, in which there will be roles and decision-making that require the management of complex knowledge thanks to the participation of diverse specialists.

    No, we won’t separate work from learning again. And this will make us think that perhaps there are memories from our childhood that we should not bury in the past forever and that we should remember school and how we learnt there… in the school yard. We will learn like we learnt when we were kids, experimenting, sharing and creating collaboratively, making mistakes and correcting ourselves, to achieve goals.

    Virginio Gallardo is Director of Humannova, a HR consultancy specialized in helping lead innovation in companies and manage the organizational transformation. He is author of the book “Liderazgo transformacional” and coordinator of “Liderazgo e Innovación 2.0”. This post was originally published on “Supervivencia Directiva“, where you can follow his thoughts.

     
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