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  • Rodrigo Escobedo 9:00 am on January 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , collaborative management, , ,   

    Do You Set Goals for Your Business? Or Just Wishful Thinking? 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    We are in the era where we define and execute new goals in the new year. The question is: How many goals did you accomplish last year? The reality is that we are used to filling ourselves with “wishful thinking”, in our life and in our business, thus not fulfilling actual goals. And the sad thing is that new year resolutions become a list of actions or changes that take place the first week of January, and later, they end up throwing in the towel and going back to the same old habits.      

    If we want to accomplish these resolutions and not convert them into a list thrown into the trash as quickly as children throw wrapping paper from their presents away on the 25th of December; if we want to talk about true goals, key points to consider are:

    1. To be sufficiently specific, i.e., detail it as much as possible so that there is clarity (without the need to provide previous explanations) and both you as a business professional, as your work team, perfectly understand the goal to achieve. An Enterprise Social Network allows you to transfer the message in a clear and concise way.

    2. It must be measurable, i.e., have a quantifiable parameter that allows you to know how you are advancing with respect to the goal and time.

    3. It should be reachable. Beforehand, know that it is a challenge, but with this additional effort, you will be able to achieve the goal. If you obtain it without effort, then it is not a goal. It is only a task.

    4. Target a result. Let it be clear- why do I want to achieve this goal? What do I get when the goal is reached?

    5. Define a specific date to reach this goal, or a clear time mark. The act of it being reachable generally goes tied to this criterion. Then be realistic, yet bold in setting the date for this goal.

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  • Sergio Ríos 9:00 am on January 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: collaborative management, ,   

    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.

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

    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.

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  • Denisse Caballero 9:00 am on August 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: collaborative management, , , , , , , ,   

    5 recommendations to build engagement and loyalty in customers and teams 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    engagement y fidelizacionEngagement is becoming more relevant in the growth of a brand. Brands need not only to interact with customers, but also with contractors, suppliers, and employees in order to build loyalty, meaning collaboration and communication tools are essential.

    1. Generate interesting content. The main motor that drives consumers is interest and a way of motivating teams is ongoing learning. Keep your audience interested, be active and remember that attraction is key in deciding.
    2. Converse with your customers and employees; address their needs. Show empathy and respond to the needs of your audience, dialog. A satisfied customer can generate up to twenty-five new customers.
    3. Make them know they are part of the brand. Involve them and show your team the importance they hold within the company . Let them know you are committed to them, you share their achievements and give them as much information as possible regarding the brand’s objectives and goals.
    4. Reward and thank their commitment. Give them benefits, celebrate with them, allow them to have access to things that with another brand they couldn’t get; create loyalty programs.
    5. Don’t neglect your customers, and even less so your team. Assess their level of satisfaction and find possible faults to correct them. If you keep them up to date and follow up on their needs, you’ll have loyal consumers and employees. Remember a satisified customer will recount their positive experiences to an average of three other people, while a dissatisfied one tells nine.

    Denisse Caballero is Publisher Director at Soicos LATAM, managing campaigns for Telefónica MoviStar, Ford, Bayer and Adidas. With 10 years’ experience in Team Management and Planning, she constantly evolves finding new practices and actions for brands, customers, and teams.

    At Zyncro we know that loyalty is a key factor for your company. For this reason, we offer you all the collaboration and communication tools you need to communicate. Still haven’t tried Zyncro? What are you waiting?

     

     
  • Zyncro Blog 9:00 am on June 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: collaborative management, , , , , , , ,   

    Jesús Cepa, Director of Emite1TV: ‘We couldn’t work without an Enterprise Social Network. It’s like asking me if we could work without the Internet’ 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    Editor’s note: Jesús Cepa is Director of Emite1TV, an online television platform. They work with their own team located in several countries and with external contributors, which means task coordination and shared access to materials must be simple, practical and instant.

    How did the need that brought you to thinking about using an Enterprise Social Network arise?

    The Emite1 platform takes place in a digital environment and with a scattered team. We needed a comprehensive communication and coordination solution for the entire company, a tool that would fit in with the digital environment of our people and their equipment.

    What Zyncro function do you find the most useful for your organization? Why?

    Our work required major synchronization and communication among everyone. The work of some is dependent on finishing the previous tasks on time.

    It is also very useful for the exchange of large files among us. We work with video and we need an integrated medium to transport and store files in the cloud of considerable dimensions

    What impact has implementing an Enterprise Social Network had on the day-to-day in your organization?

    I think that without the enterprise social network we wouldn’t have made progress. The problems experienced initially in the project were sufficient to know our total dependence on this tool.

    Two weeks of chaos with emails and files circulating computers across the world was sufficient to make the leap.

    Imagine that you stopped using Zyncro tomorrow. What do you do now that you couldn’t do if this happened?

    We couldn’t work without an enterprise social network. It’s like asking me if we could work without the Internet. Simply Emite1 wouldn’t exist.

    And you, have you thought about how you can improve processes in your company using an Enterprise Social Network? Try Zyncro and discover the benefits of being a social business.

     
  • Carlos Gonzalez Jardon 9:00 am on May 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: collaborative management, , , , , ,   

    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.

     

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

    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! :-)

     

     
  • Rafael Garcia-Parrado 9:00 am on March 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , collaborative management, , cooperation, ,   

    The need for cooperation in new companies 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    The continuous changes which organizations undergo due to technology advances have become a key trend that generates uncertainties regarding the function of HR in organizations. The function of HR is at a crucial situation as the backbone of the organization and a promoter of change. Market requirements, the wave of constant change, short-lived trends… are some of the reasons for new organizational structures that allow organizational adaptability in the new way of understanding relations in companies.

    The vision of HR as a static or hermetic department must become a thing of the past, transforming it into the first line of internal contact in companies, guiding employees towards opportunity, and supporting intra-entrepreneur figures to ensure the success of the change.

    Cooperation must be a shared pattern throughout the company and therefore requires employees’ involvement to favor a collective constructivism that improves efficiency. And to favor that cooperation, we need to facilitate decision-making and do away with hierarchical structures, because imposed hierarchy can prevent the conversion of ideas emerging from the heart of the organization. By removing this hierarchy, companies will be able to escape from the standardization and the bureaucratization of processes.

    But who said that drawing together all that knowledge was easy? Leading the change, being the organizational glue, requires HR having a method to ensure success. Let’s look at some aspects that need to be taken into account:

    • Organizational transparency, a suitable communication must be the shared pattern throughout the organization.
    • The use of tools 2.0 will enable reinvention in the new scenario, guaranteeing a sensitivity towards new trends and advances to bring organizations closer to the external customer.
    • Learning as a goal of the organization for constant improvement of the production processes, enabling a moldability that guarantees survival over time.
    • Transmission of the business strategy to the entire organization, which helps focus all activities towards achieving the main act of faith or raison d’etre of the organization.

    In short, companies become liquid to adapt to the new changing scenario that prevails in the market and to its requirements, and new organizational structures emerge. But despite the wave of constant change that invades business today, we need to remember that adapting the organization to change is not immediate, rather for large companies, a major investment of resources and time is required. But thanks to those necessary changes, collaboration will become a key base for companies and will enable them to assume the challenge of the new organizational capillarity required for success in the new scenario.

    Rafael García works as a consultant at the company Índize and writes his own blog, which at Zyncro we highly recommend: La Factoría Humana.

     

     
  • Ignasi Alcalde 9:00 am on February 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , collaborative intelligence, collaborative management, ,   

    Collaborative intelligence: Beyond collective intelligence 

    Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

    Editor’s note: Ignasi Alcalde has given us permission to use this article from his blog in which he reflects on the path towards collaborative intelligence. We wanted to post it as we share his interest in technologies 2.0 as tools for working the collaborative and horizontal side of communication. At Zyncro we believe that enterprise social networks encourage creativity and shared learning and we see them as the best opportunity for collaboration and exchange. What do you think?

    A few days ago I read in La Contra an interview with Jeremy Riffkin in which he made some curious comments about electricity. He said “what is revolutionary is its combination with the internet: the network brain. Authority will no longer be vertical, but distributive. The true revolution will spark when energy is transmitted by network and collective intelligence regulates its use.” When I read it, I instantly though of a quote by José Ortega y Gasset: “a civilization only endures if many contribute in the effort. If everyone prefers to enjoy the fruit, civilization collapses.”

    According Wikipedia, collective intelligence is a form of intelligence that emerges from the collaboration and competition of many individuals or living beings of the same species, which is a term generalized by cyberculture or the knowledge society. In fact, he sees it as consensus decision-making, as it has been done effectively in the past by bacteria, small animals and insects like bees or ants… and it is framed academically within the field of Sociology, IT science and behavior of the multitudes, a field that studies the collective behavior at quark level to bacteria, plants, animals and human society.

    Extrapolated to people, Tom Atlee describes that collective intelligence can be encouraged “to overcome ‘groupthink’ and individual cognitive bias to allow a collective to cooperate on one process while reaching a higher intellectual performance” and George Pór defined the phenomenon of collective intelligence as the capacity of communities to evolve towards higher order complexity and harmony, through such innovation mechanisms as differentiation and integration, competition and collaboration.

    For me, a difference should be made between collaborative intelligence and collective intelligence, which represents a specific case. In collective intelligence, a final product emerges from actions of a group of persons who do not interact among themselves. Collaborative intelligence looks after problems where individual experience and different interpretations of several experts are critical for solving problems.

    A clear example of this application are practice communities, where professional groups and interested collectives exchange knowledge to develop a specialized knowledge, sharing learning based on shared reflection on practical experiences. Both types of intelligence are intimately related with the so-called Web 2.0 and more specifically, with some applications such as Management 2.0, E-Learning 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0.

    On the other hand, in both types of intelligence, there is a series of nuances clearly expressed through the concept “Power Law of Participation” from Ross Mayfield. Mayfield lists a series of activities through which the transition from collective intelligence to collaborative intelligence is made, characterized by greater involvement. These activities include: read, tag content, comment, subscribe, share, network, write, refactor, collaborate, and lead. Wikipedia represents the most paradigmatic example that illustrates collaborative intelligence.

    Collaborative intelligence also can be classified according to the degree and type of collaboration that individuals give to the end product. There are many modes of collaboration. For example, the “fusion mode” where each individual contributes something to the end product where that contribution is fusioned (as is the case of collective writing of articles in a Wiki system). Also there is the “molecular mode”, used in a book written by several authors where each contribution is maintained in its relative entirety within the bigger entity; the “collection mode” where each contribution is made to a greater whole that may be open (as is the case with YouTube, Flickr or blog systems like Blogger or WordPress); or a “agregator mode” , the most simple case being comments on a post in a blog, or on articles on news sites.

    As Ramón Sangüesa and Irene Lapuente from Co-Creating Cultures point out, technologies 2.0 enable you to work the most collaborative side or horizontality of communication as experts and non-experts can coexist on the Internet. They also say “the Internet has provided an opportunity for mass collaborative exchange, but it is also true that over time, we are witnessing an inflation in purely commercial applications in the social media. What we are interested in is the initial value of a part of this collaborative technology and what we do is hybrid this collaborative work impulse, with participative design methods, to create a learning opportunity. This new reality can be brought to other levels and start knowledge exchange projects and the capacity for reflection and empowerment, giving many people a voice, and enhancing the capacity for creativity and learning”.

    To do this, Design Thinking is a concept that is becoming more widespread in the business world, and more specially, in the areas of competitivity. It is linked with the way in which professional designers think, approach problems and reach solutions. It is an attitude towards problems and the challenges that the limits impose in problem solving.

    Ignasi Alcalde (@ignasialcalde) is a Graduate in Multimedia from the UOC and holds a Master’s degree in the Information and Knowledge Society. He is consultant in IA and teaching consultant at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. He shares his thoughts on collaborative work on his blog and his twitter feed.

     
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