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

    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 …)

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

    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: , , collaborative environments, , , , ,   

    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 …)

     
  • Joan Alvares 9:00 am on May 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , collaborative environments, , , ,   

    Liquid teams for liquid times 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    There’s one question that is usually repeated when you get up to present your company: How many of you are there? At times I say there are three of us, others that there are thirty odd, according to the need to be impressed I see in my interlocutor. And in both cases, I’m telling the truth, because at Poko we work with a basic core of project managers and a liquid team that adapts according to each project.

    I’m one of those who thinks that to do something that makes sense, a team needs to be adapted to the project, not the opposite. Because when a company refuses to leave its comfort zone, when it doesn’t feel the need to involve external talent and explore beyond its own knowledge, normally it’s because it is doing something that already exists, more or less prescindible, that expires, easily Chinesed.

    Today the best restaurants in the world are just that because they had brought cusine closer to fields as diverse as art, science or industrial design; to do that they needed to involve the best professionals in these fields. A talent that a fixed structure surely could not have paid, and that would not make sense having permanently in a kitchen. Tomorrow’s project will be different to today’s, and it will force us to find collaboration with different professionals

    In a constantly changing world, the Internet enables us to build big companies without the need to be big structures. The idea is to create talent ecosystems, capable of detecting challenges in a project and capturing the best specialist to respond. The Internet invites us to discovery, disintermediation, cooperation among professionals with different talents that work in different parts of the world. It’s up to us to accept that invitation.

    In your organization, do you also use collaboration networks for different projects? When you collaborate with disperse team, you need great communication to ensure everything works like clockwork. How about using an Enterprise Social Network for this? Try Zyncro!

    Joan Alvares is founding partner of Poko and lecturer at the Istituto Europeo di Design

     

     
  • Ana Asuero 9:00 am on March 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , collaborative environments, , , ,   

    The 12 habits of collaborative organizations 

    Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

    Yesterday I read that Virginio Gallardo said on Facebook that “the Enterprise Social Network awakens sleeping talent in organizations”. Enterprise Social Networks open a direct and permanent communication channel and facilitate collaboration among your employees, making it easy to share knowledge, tips, doubts and ideas, and waking up personnel in your company.

    Eva Collado Durán replied to Virginio’s thread, pointing out that “they also awaken authentic opinion leaders who are far from higher hierarchical positions .” It’s true. Horizontal communication provided by Enterprise Social Networks places all employees in the same situation and gives them the same opportunities to share their valuable knowledge with colleagues.

    If you don’t share what you know for fear of losing your position, you’ll end up completely isolated. In a scenario where almost everyone is convinced that you work better and achieve goals faster and more easily by working in a team and sharing knowledge, whoever continues to jealously guard their knowledge will end up lagging behind.

    Companies that understand this new situation have become social companies, have implemented collaborative habits in their daily operation. But what are those habits? We’ll give you some of them here according to an interesting article posted by Jacob Morgan (@jacobm).

    1. Individual benefit is just as important as the overall corporate benefit (if not more important)

    Don’t focus on the overall corporate benefits when communicating collaboration with your employees. They also care about how collaboration will impact them on an individual basis. How will it make their jobs and lives easier?

    2. Strategy before technology

    Before rushing off to implement that new collaboration platform, focus on developing a strategy which will help you to understand the “why” before the “how” . Having a strategy is crucial for the success of any collaboration initiative. You don’t want to be in a position without understanding “why”.

    3. Listen to your employees

    We talk a lot about the importance of listening to customers but what about listening to your employees? If you are going to talk about collaboration, it is important you involve your employees from the outset. Listen to their ideas, needs, suggestions and incorporate their feedback in your strategy.

    4. Learn to get out of the way

    Learn to support and empower your employees and get out of their way. If you try to supervise everything, you’ll stifle collaboration in your organization. Give some guidelines and best practices, but let your employees do what they need to do.

    5. Lead by example

    If the leaders in your organization don’t use collaborative tools, why should employees? Leaders are a very powerful instrument for facilitating change and encouraging desired behaviors.

    6. Integrate collaboration in the work flow

    Collaboration should never be perceived as a task or an additional requirement for employees. Instead, it should be integrated naturally into their workflow.

    7. Reward teamwork

    If your organization focuses on rewarding employees for individual contributions as the driver of success, it will be quite hard to encourage employees to share and communicate with each other. There is nothing wrong with rewarding your employees for personal results, but it is equally important to recognize and reward collaboration and teamwork .

    8. Measure what matters

    There are a lot of things that an organization can measure, but that doesn’t mean that everything should be measured. Focus on the metrics that matter in your organization and analyze how you do there. Some focus on metrics like comments sent or groups created; others prefer to focus on the commitment and passion of their employees with the company and the task they perform.

    9. Persistence

    Converting your organization into a collaborative environment will take time and effort, but it is important to be convinced that that is the right direction and to go for it. No giving up, no going back.

    10. Adapt and evolve

    The need for collaboration in organizations is here to stay. This means that your organization must be able to adapt and evolve as tools and strategies demand. Being aware of what is happening in your industry and in your organization. This will also enable you to innovate and anticipate changes successfully.

    11. Employee collaboration also benefits the customer

    Your employees’ collaboration has a tremendous value for your customers. Your employees will be able to give the best support experience if they have the information, resources and experience of internal experts . A employee may not always have the reply the customer needs, but they will have access to the knowledge of the entire organization to resolve the problem .

    12. Collaboration can make the world a better place

    Perhaps the most important principle of collaboration is that it can make the world a better place. Sure, collaboration can make your employees more productive and also benefit your customers. It makes your employees to feel more connected with their co-workers, reduces stress, makes their job easier, gives them more freedom, and in general, makes them happier people, not just at work but at home too.

    And in your organization, what collaboration strategies have you put into action? What are your habits for becoming collaborative organizations? Tells us about it! :-)

     

     
  • Virginio Gallardo 9:00 am on February 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: collaborative environments, , , , , professional brand   

    The revolution is called ‘social networking’, not ‘personal branding’ 

    Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

    Editor’s note: Virginio Gallardo has allowed us to publish this article from his blog where he reflects on how social networks force us to reinvent ourselves professionally and become ‘social networkers.’ We wanted to post it since we share his ideas on how technology, and more specially, social networks transform environments and ways of working. At Zyncro we are prepared for this revolution, what about you?

    Many already understand that social networks bring the promise of a revolution without precedents in our work environment, but based on old paradigms, they basically think that it is a form of networking, a way of promoting their ‘personal brand’, more than a new professional environment. The revolution isn’t called ‘personal branding’, rather ‘social networking’.

    The social networks are perceived by many professionals as a medium that they must be present in to be found, to network and earn notoriety, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.

    The impact of social networks on our professional lives promises to be much deeper. They represent a new work environment where connectivity will be the equivalent to professional efficiency that will form part of our way of understanding work.

    Professional branding and the promotion showcase

    More than a decade and a half has passed since Tom Peters wrote his renowned The Brand Called You. Personal branding as a concept has spread and now is living its golden age with social networks.

    Linkedin was the first step for most professionals in approaching social networks from a professional point of view, seeking to be found, as a macro-agenda, and a tool for employability. However, they gradually heard of and included other social networks initially with the same purposes, but above all, seeking to increase ‘employability’ through personal branding.

    Silently, the Internet has been gradually filled with notoriety search engines. More and more professionals affirm in a loud voice that “if you aren’t on the net, you don’t exist” and basing themselves on the old Machiavellian quote: “Many see what you seem, few know what you are”, try to create themselves an image that “has a high engagement with the target audience.” They seek to become more notorious, more ‘employable’, known by customers/employers and build an ‘appearance’ in line with what is expected of ‘new professionals.’

    The new magic words that start to dominate are called Klout, promotion, impact, relevent benefit for our audience, emotional warmth in communication and conversation… Words that are confused with acronyms and Internet analysis software, with promises of going quicker in what seems to them to be a wacky race that lets them reach the clouds in ‘notoriety on the Internet.’

    The internet as an environment of professional evolution and reinvention

    There is another group of ‘professionals’ for whom the social networks is something deeper, a open door towards a new reality, a virtual reality that provides them with something more than just multiplying professional connections. It provides them with learning to create new forms of professional evolution, to share and reinvent themselves.

    Some of these professionals consider that it is a door of light as opposed to the darkness that their organizations and immediate environment live in, where their voices and concerns are not heard, hold no interest or where they don’t know who to talk to.

    If we learn to listen to the sound of the network, we can hear how the shout of many professionals from the loneliness is answered by kindred hearts often thousands of miles away, sometimes in other countries, sometimes in other languages, but from those you can really communicate with.

    It is another source of information with increasing importance and relevance that complements those that come from their traditional environment. It is a door that many cross without realizing, after having entered for reasons associated with searching for “employability” and notoriety.

    Social networks are the place where you can connect knowledge, ideas, intuition and emotions with those who share common interests or think professionally like you, something sociologists dub communities or tribes.

    For many, social networks ensure the expansion of your ideas. Innovation is ensuring that you form part of the change, that you form part of a community by sharing what moves and interests you.

    The revolution underway: socialnetworkers

    Although these phenomena are important, we imagine that the impact of the Internet will be so complex and deep that it will build a new work environment, a new way of understanding work.

    Social networks will give rise to a new phenomenon that we could call social networking. The socialnetworker uses the social networks to find clients, partners, suppliers, ‘employability’, efficiency, creativity, ideas, knowledge and personal development based on the philosophy of sharing, with their connectivity rather than their notoriety being a fundamental part of their value as a professional, as their resources are on the Internet and they work in networks.

    Although the future is difficult to predict, we can imagine how this new work environment will evolve by analyzing current phenomena like KnowmadsKnowmads, microbusinesspeople or freelancers are knowledge professionals and innovation instigators that are extremely flexible and concerned about their connections and personal development on the Internet, but what makes them real socialnetworkers is they work in networks.

    The socialnetworker uses their connections on social networks as a fundamental base for their work to create or improve goods or services, they use the social networks to optimize their work, as the Knowmads currently do, but in this case for their companies. Will this be our future use of the Internet?

    The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different. We know that it is no use looking with yesterday’s eyes at what will take place tomorrow, because it is not about finding old paths, it’s about creating them and knowing how it will affect us in moving forward or at least being prepared.

    Are you ready for the impact of the social networks?

    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.

     

     
  • Manel Alcalde 9:00 am on February 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , collaborative environments,   

    Creating environments for innovation 

    Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

    I don’t know about you, but I have the feeling that when I tune into one of the TV channels specialized in nature documentaries I get at home, 90% of the times I find myself faced with one animal gobbling up another or about to do so. Without a doubt, the aspect of the natural world that sells is the savage fight for survival and (at least when watching TV) what fascinates us about natural selection is the part of competition and not less so, adaptation. I won’t deny that the African savannah is a bloody place and somewhat horrifying, especially if you are a lame or somewhat unfit gazelle, but I’m a bit fed up with inners and corpses and I would prefer to think about the history of the natural world as a history of innovation, in which collaboration has given rise to the adaptive evolution of the species.

    Steven Johnson contemplated this idea a few years ago in his book “Where Good Ideas Come From” focusing on the ecosystem of the coral reefs, examples of what has been called the “Darwin paradox”: despite the reefs settling in nutrient-poor waters, they host an amazing number of species and forms of life. The paradox is due to the fact that these formations are environments in which there is great innovative connection among organisms, enabling reefs to overcome the theoretical sterility of the scenario, generating a rich ecosystem where one would not have thought could exist.

    The fundamental idea following Steven Johnson’s approach is that, like coral reefs, there are climates that stimulate the capacity to generate new ideas and they do so because they comply with a series of patterns that already exist in the natural world. I thought it interesting to draft a short list of tips based on the patterns identified by Steven Johnson. How can we, according to the author, build more innovative environments in our organizations and even in our personal lives?

    • Encouraging exploration. The most innovative environments are those that pose a number of components and encourage us to find ways of recombining them. We need to maximize the number of “doors” within our reach and encourage ourselves to open all of them. The limits of the “adjacent possible” will extend as we explore.
    • Becoming flexible. A good idea is not something isolated, generated by art of magic, rather a network of neurons that connect at a given moment and transform reality. It is important to promote liquid environments, which enable the circulation of ideas, and that, above all, are capable of adopting new forms when these enter into contact.
    • Feeding and connecting hunches. Most good ideas are simple hunches at start, which haven’t yet connected with their “other half”. That “other half” usually can be found in someone else’s head, also in the form of a hunch. Creative spaces with high connectivity are environments with high information density, which facilitates the emergence of those “proto-ideas”, the slow boiling of ideas and the meeting with the “missing part”.
    • Embracing organized chaos. When nature tries to innovate, it favors fortunate accidental connections. In the same way as when we dream, when our brain establishes connections that we would be incapable of performing awake (in “organized” mental state), open work environments with a certain chaos cause individuals to have more possibilities to leave the “immediate task” and find themselves in an associative state more inclined to creativity.
    • Valuing error. As Seth Godin says, “All the creativity books in the world won’t help you if you aren’t willing to have bad, lame and even dangerously bad ideas”. Being right is nice, but it won’t make us move forward. When we aren’t right, we don’t have any option other than to find new paths. Making mistakes is important and an innovative environment must be a free space where we can make fertile errors.
    • Letting others to build on our ideas. Ideas don’t come out of nowhere. We create from what others had created previously and the history of innovations is the history of a collective and progressive contribution to an emerging platform that grows continuously. This only happens when we see ideas not as physically independent or untouchable elements that must be protected, rather as links in a type of group and infinite “work in progress”.

    In short, ideas need to come into contact, mingle, reinvent themselves. To do this, they need a context full of stimulation, governed by free circulation and connectivity. The “secret to business inspiration”, as Johnson says, is to build information networks that allow individual intelligence and collective intelligence to meet, environments fertilized for innovation. Where do you think enterprise social networks fit in all this?

    Manel Alcalde is a creative writer, audiovisual producer and a digital communicator. In his personal blog, Nionnioff, he writes about creativity, communication and narrative.

     

     
  • Rafael Garcia-Parrado 9:00 am on January 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , collaborative environments,   

    Organizational capillarity: a new challenge 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    Many companies are interested in and progressively introducing collaborative processes into their business dynamic. Not for nothing is it said that we are immersed in the collaboration era, and this is why it’s interesting to establish an ecosystem for generating new knowledge. This is where capillarity is particularly relevant to the organizational momentum.

    As I’ve said on numerous occasions, the main challenge for organizations is adapting their business model and achieving the active construction of knowledge; to do this companies should pursue the increase of their collaborative coefficient. But, careful! Not only should we look within the organization, but open it up to the outside.

    Collaborative work pursues better productivity through collective intelligence, for which efficient communication must exist in the organization. This is where there is often confusion, because there is the belief that communication is a result of a good working environment, which is true the majority of the time, but not enough. Autonomy in people’s work should be encouraged looking to motivate their learning ability and entrepreneurial attitude as a background to innovation.

    When an organization is open, listens and allows interaction with the environment, it creates a series of business benefits:

    • Internal source of innovation
    • More autonomy
    • Improvement to the organizational climate
    • More productivity
    • Improvement to the monitoring of the environment

    In current times, uncertainty is an inherent characteristic of companies, which is why they must adapt to survive. Thanks to organizational capillarity, knowledge flows, providing the company with sources that allow contents to be updated. To this end, adequate space needs to be created for applying a methodology that allows interaction between collaborators, enabling the capture of knowledge that is useful for the business’s activity.

    It has always been said that information is power. Information, together with this adaptation to new times, will allow better dynamics and the creation of a structure that improves decision making, thanks to the increase in value of these interactions, therefore improving the organization’s monitoring system.

    Organizational capillarity refers to permeability, knowing how to listen to the environment in order to suitably adapt to change, such as the detection of new trends, that allows markets to be approached to discover consumer behavior. In short, for the change to be detected and the response facilitated.

    Individual talent is a basic requirement, but it is not enough in times when success belongs to collectivity.

    To sum up, the objective is to be a network company, which requires transparency, something that isn’t always easy, because it implies overcoming hierarchical structures and the reluctance of people to contribute.

    As Alfons Cornella says “Knowledge should be the nervous system of the whole company” :)

    Rafael García works as a consultant for Índize and has his own blog which we at Zyncro recommend: La Factoría Humana.


     
  • Nuno Bernardes 9:00 am on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: collaborative environments, , , , ,   

    The collaborative work revolution is here: Zyncro at Social Now 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    I know of a country of navigators that has been pioneer in discovering new routes of collaboration and communication between countries and cultures. A country that has taught the world that “peaceful” revolutions can also be effective in the change process.

    At Zyncro, in collaboration with Knowman, we are proud to make our first visit to this country, participating in the event Social Now. We want to show our contribution to this collaborative work revolution in businesses.

    Olá Portugal! Let’s zyncronize? :-)

    What is Social Now 2012?

    Social Now is an international event with a unique format, conceived to provide the exclusive insight of world-known professionals who have extensive experience in creating, using, and adopting collaborative tools in business. Representatives from some of these organizations (including Zyncro) will present their tools as a response to business cases defined by the organizers. Furthermore, a panel of independent experts will share their experience and knowledge of the major trends in this field, and will highlight the strategic decisions required to adopt these tools in businesses.

    Where and when is it happening?

    Social Now takes place on June 27 & 28 at Hotel Holiday Inn Porto-Gaía Oporto, Portugal.

    Who is it aimed at?

    Mainly at executives and middle management (from Europe to Brazil) who are interested in discovering the current trends in social collaborative tools, sharing their opinions and solving their doubts with the best professionals in the sector, as well as being a meeting point for networking.

    What will be discussed?

    This congress will discuss issues like:

    Key factors in decision-making when choosing a collaborative tool

    • The social organization

    • The modes of social collaboration tools

    • And there’ll be demonstrations of the tools based on corporate environment scenarios: innovation in companies, collaborative projects, and knowledge management

    For more information, here you have the full schedule of Social Now 2012.

    Join Zyncro at a unique event where we show the use of our enterprise social network as a collaborative tool for your business. Sign up now! Aguardamos a tua presença!

     

     
  • Manel Alcalde 9:00 am on June 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , collaborative environments,   

    Collaborative networks: overcoming the “PowerPoint thinking” 

    Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

    Editor’s note: Firstly, at Zyncro, we would like to welcome our new blog contributor, Manel Alcalde, creative writer, audiovisual producer and, as he says himself, a wannabe digital communicator. In his personal blog, Nionnioff, he writes about creativity, communication and narrative. He himself says that he’s delighted to zyncronize with our readers and we’re sure you’ll enjoy many of his articles. Thanks, Manel, and welcome to Zyncro Blog 😉

    I had never thought about it: PowerPoint arose as the first digital tool for collaborative work in companies. I read it in the book by Franck Frommer, “How PowerPoint Makes You Stupid: The Faulty Causality, Sloppy Logic, Decontextualized Data and Seductive Showmanship that Have Taken Over Our Thinking”, which beyond criticizing the communicative style created by one of the most used IT programs in the world, I believe questions a certain work and cooperation model in the corporate world. Frommer’s vision perhaps may seem a little exaggerated to more than a few, or even antiquated (PowerPoint is clearly a 1.0 product), but I think reading this book can remind us of some of the aspects of business collaboration dynamics that new technology solutions and the 2.0 culture can and should help us to improve.

    What can we do to end the “PowerPoint thinking”?

    1. Promote continuous exchange of information and productive discussions

    According to Franck Frommer, the Power Point age was the era of meeting-shows, in which communication between employees was given essentially done against a sales-style presentation backdrop, in which it demanded getting to the point, highlighting key concepts (those “bullet lists”), and encouraging action without losing too much time in discussion. “The idea of collective work, with thinking based on debate and the exchange of views, became difficult, because it was less efficient, not fast enough therefore not profitable, and in the end, old-fashioned. PowerPoint definitively transformed the work meeting into a spectacle”. In the age of enterprise social networks, where interaction between employees is virtualized and made easier and where exchange and discussion no longer have to take place within the framework of the “meeting”, it seems that this black spot has been overcome. The fact that collaboration is a process integrated in daily life and not an “event” seems to allow us to work with more detailed information and less simplified points, while encouraging a rich, authentic discussion in a more flexible environment.

    2. Encourage honest and healthy collaboration

    Frommer talks about a paradox, collaboration based on narcissism and control. The communicative proactivity that arrived in the business world with the rise in the multidisciplinary approach and the birth of PowerPoint was adopted by employees, according to the author, in a sort of exhibitionism, designed to achieve that their activity was visible and valued. In “presentation” companies, PowerPoint worked as a test and justification of the work done. Each employee became both controlled and the controller of others in the de-hierarchized company. Or as Frommer says, for “an autonomous and creative ‘collaborator’ who likes to work in a team and knows how to communicate, but is constantly subject to the gaze and the judgment of others in the context of meetings and presentations that operate as so many trial scenes and sites for evaluation”. What is “collaboration” based on in an organization 2.0? Is it a philosophy that seeks to achieve common goals or is it essentially an instrument used for business control and personal promotion?

    I think that, without a doubt, collaborative work in our era should be based on honest participation in a corporate project, and not just on a culture of “monitoring” or the narcissistic exposition of talents and individual achievements.

    3. Find more quality in content and form

    In creative worker companies, says Frommer, the need to generate contents continuously encourages the copy-paste culture and provokes a dynamic wheregenerating noise” is more commonplace than producing useful content. This question, inherited from the “PowerPoint age”, not only concerns enterprise networks nowadays, but social networks in general. What volume of valuable contribution and of noise is there in our activity 2.0? I believe it’s a good question to ask ourselves, as collaboration needs to be focused on the common goal and stimulate the contribution of value above and beyond the frequency, priming quality above quantity. On the other hand, if the birth of PowerPoint involves an increase in the linguistic dimension of work, in the Web 2.0 world, this has doubled. As employees, we all become content generators, through multiple platforms and formats, but…what happens to our communicative abilities? PowerPoint, according to Frommer, transforms language into “an institutional, bureaucratic and administrative idiom in which ready-made formulas and all-purpose expressions flourish”, and in a form of “infantile communication”. We may disagree with this point of view, but perhaps we should ask ourselves how we should look at the issue of communicative abilities in the employee in an age of maximum expressive democracy. In a business world that starts to encourage its employees to participate by co-creating contents that the company shares through the web, I think a certain pedagogic gap needs to be overcome on the issue of redaction inherited from the “PowerPoint age”.

    4. Abandon “the infinitive”

    “PowerPoint implies an idea of exchange and debate, interactivity, whereas all its language, fragmented and elliptical, encourages only slogans, commands, and authority. The software is also supposed to enable the individual to express creativity and affirm autonomy, but this goal is hindered by an extremely formalized framework in which the effacement of the speaker is manifest and the neutrality of the statements transforms personal expression into all-purpose language that has always already been legitimated”. In other words, although PowerPoint started in the middle 80s to serve the new ideology regarding creativity in the company, for Frommer, it is a unidirectional and poor framework and way of communicating and organizing thinking. It is not an authentic tool for exchange and collective creation, rather an instrument for the transmission of knowledge, in which knowledge is simply presented and staged in an almost propagandistic way, without giving option to participate. One of the typical traits of the program, according to the author, is it “imposes under the appearance of freeing”. In this sense, Frommer’s arguments remind me of those of Jaron Lanier in his book “You Are Not A Gadget”, in which he talks about social networks as tools that claim to stimulate but in reality limit the creativity of the individual by imposing closed environments with pre-established rules. Obviously, Lanier’s argument can be used to question the point to which enterprise social networks give the employee creative freedom, but in any case, it seems to me that “the infinitive” of PowerPoint thinking is more than overcome in the Web 2.0 world that, as we said before, it ends the dynamic of the “presentation” and becomes definitively something collaborative in a process and a space for participation.

    In short, I believe what is important is not finding the flaws in the software (whether it’s PowerPoint or “X” social network), rather to continue questioning the issues in depth. If we promote a “real” collaborative culture, in which apart from implementing “environments” the habit of discussion, exchange and co-creation are encouraged and employees are trained to improve their communicative skills, we can work beyond the limitations that the tools, imperfect, are always going to impose on us.

    Related article on ZyncroBlog: The Challenges of Collaborative Environments

     

     
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