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  • María Teresa Farfán 9:00 am on June 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , collaboration networks, , , , , , ,   

    7 types of workers in the company 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    7 types of workers in the companyKnowing how our colleagues work enables us, as a company, to shepherd them towards attaining their objectives and to make full use of their contributions.

    It is important to ascertain which team members may have specific aptitudes for certain jobs, such as concentration, the ability to work for hours on end, to interact with others, etc. This allows each leader to know his or her team and to distribute the work as efficiently as possible.

    As a leader, have you ever asked yourself what your team’s skills are? In a recent e-book, PGI classified the most common types of remote employees: How do they behave? How do they perceive their work?

    This e-book recognises 7 different types of remote employees, which I list below. How can each one capitalise on the advantages of an Enterprise Social Network? 

    1. The 24/7 Worker:

    We all know someone who answers emails at whatever time of day. This worker is a highly-dedicated stress junkie, so he exploits the advantages of an internal social network more effectively, since it will allow him to communicate with his colleagues at any time.

    2. The Multitasker:

    He’s the one who always has more than one tab open on his browser, at the same time as he’s sharing information via his smartphone and checking tasks pending on his tablet. This type of worker has to be constantly on the go, so the benefits of a multi-platform enterprise social network will help him to attain his work goals and to focus on his setting.

    (More …)

     
  • Oscar Berg 11:34 am on January 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , collaboration networks, , , ,   

    The State and Future of Enterprise Collaboration 

    Editor’s note: Oscar Berg (@oscarberg) has let us republish this article from his blog where he talks about how can we use new tools to change the way we work?

    The “flying machine” consisting of 45 helium-filled weather balloons that was used by Lawrence Richard Walters, an American truck driver, when he took flight on July 2 1982, reaching an altitude of over 15,000 feet.

    More than a year ago, in an article for CMS Wire, I wrote that corporations are starting to ask themselves the following questions:

     ”Now that we all have the tools, what shall we do with them? How can we use them to change the way we work? And even if we see the use cases and want to change our ways of working, how do our work environments encourage and enable us to do this?“

    I think this pretty much sums up where a lot of corporations are today; they have implemented new communication and collaboration tools, but they still have a lot of work to do ahead to figure out how to use them to develop better ways of working, as well as how to create good conditions for information workers that supports the change process.

    Without a doubt, the importance and availability of social, mobile and cloud technologies will continue to increase. What will change is the focus; corporations will be shifting their focus from implementing tools to how they can make productive use of the tools and make change happen inside their organizations.

    As we are soon moving into 2014, it can be a good idea to take a look at some recent research related to Enterprise Collaboration. Below, I have put together links to some of the research studies I have come across recently, highlighting some findings from each piece of research that I found interesting. I hope you will as well. (More …)

     
  • Rafael Garcia-Parrado 9:00 am on November 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , collaboration networks, ,   

    Collaboration Must Guide Companies 

    Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

    In today’s business concept, there is one very clear thing and that is what worked yesterday does not serve today. Especially when we are in a volatile market where there is a compelling need for rapid reconfiguration.

    The time for change has arrived. Therefore, the division of labor must be relegated to the dark side. It is true that specialization is necessary. But the urgent need for collaboration exists so that the addition of individuality triumphs.

    It is not just a question of collective productivity, but also the fact that employees are conscientious of what they are doing and for what purpose their work serves. Ensuring that all members of the company know their act of faith, so that all of their actions are aimed at getting the best possible results, leaving autonomy in their attainment in order to elevate their motivation. Terms such as collective intelligence take a key role in counteracting the uncertainty that may surround decision making.

    Enterprise Social Networks can be the ideal excuse to promote communication and in turn collective learning to constantly improve, endowing a social dimension to it.

    But these new organizational units encountered in knowledge-based companies are still vital in some cases to facilitate production, playing a key role in parallel processing where the same formal organizations emerge and grow a collaborative community that transforms previous organizational culture .

    Hence, the collaboration formula with more formal structure must last in order to guarantee the productive continuity, as well as the organizational order. Using historical learning in actions executed so that the entire organization learns and finally commencement to new ways of performing tasks can begin.

    The resulting equation is: Formal Structure + Collaborative Community = Facilitate decision-making

    This is to allow and guarantee flexibility in work teams.  To be able to establish quantitative indicators, measurable objectives where valuing the organization of the production unit. Achieving the new business model, the agile business of the 21st century.

    Rafael García (@rafagparrado) works as a consultant at Índize and has his own blog, which at Zyncro we highly recommend: La Factoría Humana.

    Do you want to transform your business and open it to collaboration? You need an enterprise communication tool that can help you with this tool. Download Zyncro’s whitepaper where we explain 10 reasons why your organization needs an Enterprise Social Network. And if you are already convinced, you can begin to try Zyncro for free.

     

     
  • Manel Alcalde 9:00 am on October 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , collaboration networks, , , ,   

    Collaborative Environments and Brand Management: All in one 

    Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

    Lately, for work issues, I attend some meetings with multinational companies. I am a witness to how the biggest companies attempt to communicate their strategies and sales pitches to their global brand teams looking for opinion uniformity. I think a great job of internal marketing is when in just a few hours, it is intended that all team members from teams in different countries, become aware of what their company has done differently and its products from the competition.  It is also, I believe, an important storytelling task: It is vital that these employees listen, understand, enjoy themselves and share the story that the brand wants to explain about itself in order to clearly move it and get their clients passionate about it.

    However, management of a worldwide brand is a complex issue that is not resolved in occasional hotel meetings. Looking for all to go to one, and at the same time respecting the specifics of each market, the biggest companies know that it is necessary to create synergies and collective work environments that facilitate the design of global strategies to work in one coordinated way. In this sense, the constant exchange of information and experiences are very important, as is to establish the means to be able to carry out common planning processes. Having an accessible business communication system, interactive and agile is basic: it can function as a global knowledge bank and at the same time as a permanent meeting place which ensures that objectives, positioning, strategy, identity, vision, mission, etc. are shared by the company’s employees.

    (More …)

     
  • Ana Asuero 9:00 am on October 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , collaboration networks, , , , , ,   

    6 Characteristics of a Collaborative Leader 

    Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

    In a time when the need to continually repeat existing collaboration among employees in companies, it is more necessary than ever to be clear about the fundamental pillars to correctively build this collaborative work environment. I spoke once before of what the good habits are of collaborative organizations. And today I would like to dwell on the role of those who lead these organizations.

    For the success of collaborative work models, the first thing that should exist is the conviction about the benefits of those who lead them. It is imperative that they have clear what the characteristics they should care for are in order for collaboration to take the  form of triumphant work.

    1. Define and pursue a common objective. A team is a group of people that works together with a common goal. Without this shared goal, there is no team. Without a goal, the group will not have motivation, nor a meaning.

    (More …)

     
  • Rafael Garcia-Parrado 9:00 am on July 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , collaboration networks, ,   

    Organizational permeability as a source of innovation 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    There’s a lot of talk about the need to innovate in HR. The change required in Human Resources must enable in companies new ways of doing things to be implemented.

    Usually, open innovation models are referred to when making allusions to the company’s relationships with the exterior. An organization open to market or consumers’ concerns can revolve around the search for a better alternative in terms of competitiveness . This means that we have to understand the benefit that this permeability to the exterior represents, enabling innovation resulting from relationships to be incorporated.

    However, many companies see innovation from an endogenous model, making the acquisition of innovation somewhat expensive and slow, reducing its competitive potential. This is where their error lies, seeking to maintain the organizational structures of the past by limiting relationships to bureaucratic paperwork and rejecting the option to leverage openness as a channel for allowing new ideas or ways of doing things to seep in.

    Open and participative innovation is required, but it means organizations must understand the benefit of involving third parties with new ideas in their processes and the need to stimulate collective intelligence, promoting the figure of the intrapreneur who alone can favor the creation of value.

    This change towards permeable organizations that opt for forms of open innovation represents a challenge for HR. Its function will be to position themselves as facilitators who need to manage the organizational horizontal alignment, encourage change management towards new models, favor continuous learning, and permit autonomy in people’s work.

    ICTs will play an important role in accelerating innovation through collective construction. This will require companies to optimize their communication channels with the external agents who participate in their processes. In this sense, Enterprise Social Networks as a facilitator of communication and team coordination are a major competitive advantage.

    Rafael García (@rafagparrado) works as a consultant at Índize and has his own blog, which at Zyncro we highly recommend: La Factoría Humana.


     
  • Ana Fernández 9:00 am on July 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , collaboration networks,   

    Networked society: the power lies with whoever knows how to share and locate knowledge 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    The Internet has revolutionized our way of communicating and connecting. Before we only could connect with people who were physically close to us; now distances no longer matter. We changed towards a networked society.

    Connectivism emerges as a theory to explain the changes that originate in technology in society. The theory as such tends to disappear and now what matters is where information is and who has that information.

    Connected information sets mean our knowledge increases on a global scale. From there, the need not to learn but to classify information and finding criteria to differentiate what is important from what is necessary emerges.

    With the Internet, we can access all that information. Knowledge becomes global and collaboration becomes a requirement.

    The term networked society stops short, a new meaning of Collaborationism has arisen.

    (More …)

     
  • Carlos Zapater 9:00 am on May 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , collaboration networks, , , ,   

    Once upon a time… there were social networks 

    Estimated reading time + video: 4 minutes

    Humans are social beings. Communication is a need to relate to others that we carry in our DNA. That need for communication applied to the business world is what has made us evolve from closed, boring and unparticipative ways to the new Social Networks that have emerged thanks to the Internet.

    But how did we make that journey from the birth of the Internet to current collaboration, management and shared knowledge tools of the social web? Discover with Zyncro the history of the Social Networks and their evolution up to the present day. We tell you all about it in this video.

    The new communication tools have transformed our way of working and have demonstrated that being social works! Want to start to work socially in your company? Try Zyncro and tell us about your experience.

     
  • Jeroen Sangers 9:00 am on May 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , collaboration networks, , , , , , ,   

    Working out loud 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    I’m a freelancer working from home. A large part of my day, I don’t have anyone near, but I don’t work alone. On a daily basis, I’m in contact with my clients, my providers, and my partners with whom I collaborate on various projects.

    However, at times I miss the office’s coffee machine, where I could comment the latest news and laugh with my co-workers. These co-workers were also a major source of feedback related to my work.

    But there are also things that I don’t miss, like weekly meetings to discuss the status of projects.

    Now I only have my partner to have coffee with and comment the news. The rest of my communication has gone digital.

    Collaboration 2.0

    Nowadays, there are many tools to collaborate without needing to be in the same location, from email and Twitter—I still remember the interface at the beginning that went: “What are you doing?”—to complete platforms like Zyncro.

    When partners and co-workers aren’t in the same location, internal communication becomes even more important to generate results.

    Whenever I collaborate in projects remotely, I apply two habits that Bryce Williams identified in his post When will we Work Out Loud? Soon!

    Working out loud = Observable work + Narrating your work

    Observable Work

    This concept simply implies that the intermediate result of my work can be accessed by my co-workers. Instead of saving the document I’m writing in the folder My Documents on my computer, I use online platforms where my partners can see and comment on the progress and even edit the document.

    Based on this feedback, I can correct the focus of my work as soon as possible, and get better results in a shorter time.

    Modern collaboration platforms display in real time what each member of the team is working on. Each time I edit a document, my colleagues can see a notification in the system, even a summary with the changes made. What’s more, all the material is centralized and indexed in order to find the required information quickly.

    Narrate Your Work

    Similarly, I keep a public diary (blog or micro-blog) where I explain openly what I’m doing, what problems I encounter, what solutions I have found, and how I feel. I also share relevant articles I have found and obviously there is space for a joke once in a while.

    Finally, when working on a big project, I try to communicate each day at least these points:

    1. What I have done today
    2. What I have been unable to do
    3. What are the risks I have identified that will affect the project planning
    4. What my plans are for tomorrow

    During the day I keep a document open where I gradually answer these points. At the end of the day, I just have to publish it.

    If everyone in the team narrated their work openly, we wouldn’t need any meetings to assess project status and we would gain a lot of time.

    People who are already familiar with collaboration tools perfectly understand the benefits of working out loud. Others simply need to try it for a while to learn that they can collaborate efficiently remotely.

    Jeroen Sangers (@JeroenSangers) is personal productivity consultant and author of the blog El Canasto. He specializes in modern techniques to manage time, actions and attention, and provides training, consulting, and keynotes on a more intelligent way to work and live.

    If you want to enjoy the benefits that collaborating has for your productivity too, why not try Zyncro free?

     
  • Jose Miguel Bolívar 9:00 am on May 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , collaboration networks, , , ,   

    Knowledge Networks: Life After the Organizational Chart 

    Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

    Editor’s note: The new ways of the enterprise 2.0 transform companies and mean a change that affects even hierarchies and organizational charts. Today we’d like to share with you this post that José Miguel Bolívar posted a few days ago on his blog which we think is highly interesting. Thank you, José Miguel, for letting us share it.

    In a recent post, Ximo Salas asked himself where is my organizational chart? and, among other things, he stated that “organizational charts haven’t died” and suggested the need to invent an organizational chart 2.0. Unfortunately, it’s true that organizational charts aren’t dead… Yet.

    However, without knowing exactly what Ximo understands as being “organizational chart 2.0” and what type of organizations need one, I think the concept “organizational chart”, or at least in its traditional sense, has no place in the type of organizations we talk about and that we undoubtedly will become, no matter how slow we are in becoming one or how far away they seem at present.

    On the other hand, the death, present or future, of the organizational chart is not a new topic. Much has been written, and well done at that. Like for example this post by Manel Muntada and this other one from Pedro Muro.

    However, apart from the above, the big question for me continues to be: are organizational charts necessary or not in post-industrial organizations or, as I prefer to call them, in knowledge organizations?

    The model used by organizations in the Industrial Era as the backbone is the hierarchy, in other words, a structure that arranges its elements according to criteria of superiority or subordination between people.

    This structure starts from a model, bureaucratic administration, that assumes the division of work as its principle of efficiency, expressed as the division of roles and responsibilities and that hence, seeks as its primordial objective to optimize the transmission and execution of orders or instructions.

    If we think about the traditional assembly line, the model makes sense. There are people whose responsibility is to think, assess the alternatives, find solutions, assess the risks and propose options. Other people are responsible for making decisions and taking risks. Others are responsible for transmitting those decisions quickly and effectively and supervising that they are carried out to the letter. And others, finally, are responsible for carrying out those instructions.

    What’s more, to make it easier, the information travels in a single direction, without return.

    But what happens when, apart from “doing”, all people in the organization must also “think” and “decide”? What happens when we want the information to travel in multiple directions and in real time?

    In these circumstances, the organizational chart is not only no longer useful, but it becomes one of the main obstacles for organizational performance.

    Anyone who knows how a knowledge organization works “from the inside” knows that nowadays the organizational chart has become a decorative and costly element; an organizational relic serving the ego of a few; a bastion of the paradigm of control that perpetuates mediocrity and hinders innovation.

    Today, having a specific position on an organizational chart does not indicate how much you know nor how valuable you are as a professional. It only indicates how much you can manage to bother the rest of the organization if you set your mind to it.

    Organizational charts today are Snow White’s looking glass of a management class in the process of extinction. The carrot of “some day this will all be yours” for too ambitious newbies. And little more.

    The future is going elsewhere. In a world with an overabundance of information, of knowledge in transit, organizations will become progressively more complex while, paradoxically, more flexible and dynamic.

    After some years “leveling out” the organizational charts, it turns out that the organizational future is multi-dimensional. Knowledge networks that cross over and superimpose each other, in constant mutation over time.

    Knowledge networks that are generated from a shared interest, like for example learning (sharing and generating knowledge) or a project (applied knowledge). What’s more, a single person can play not only one but many roles and these roles can be the same or change according to the network. Different roles in different networks… The antithesis of the organizational chart. And of course, all in constant change.

    I’m talking about a future focused on people and not on structures, unlike current organizations, in which people are dependent on the structures (and the processes and technology).

    A not-too-distant future in which the most important thing is not how much power you have, rather what you know (you personally and also through your networks), and above all, what you know how to do with all that knowledge and how you are demonstrating it.

    In that future, and the need for tools that help tonavigate knowledge networks fluidly becomes evident.

    Be it a profile directory, a social search engine, or any other technology solution, we need tools that tell us in real time what people know about a specific subject, in which networks they are operating, on what projects they are working, and how to contact themto in turn weave new networks.

    An image that produces vertigo in anyone allergic to change, in organizational zombies, in those addicted to the predictable. But that’s life. Diverse, complex, unpredictable, and constantly evolving.

    Fortunately, there is much life after the organizational chart. What’s more, I’d say that the future is ahead of us…

    Jose Miguel Bolivar (@jmbolivar) is Artisan Consultant, ICF coach, lecturer, researcher, speaker and author of the blog Óptima Infinito, in which he has been writing about Innovation in Productivity and GTD methodology since 2008. With a degree in Social Psychology and Political Analysis from the UCM, a master’s in HR from the Centro de Estudios Garrigues, José Miguel has extensive experience as an executive in highly competitive environments such as HP or Life Technologies. Currently, as Artisan Consultant and Coach, he works to increase competitiveness in organizations, improving individual and collective productivity of its employees.

     
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