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  • Jeroen Sangers 9:00 am on April 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: company, , , ,   

    2 keys for group productivity 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Editor’s note: Today we would like to welcome a new author to our blog. 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.

    Any trainer of a sports team knows it: although the players may be stars, that does not guarantee that the team will win. You have surely seen how the biggest football teams that have spent millions of dollars to get the best players often finish the season with the worst results. In order for a team to work, more than just good individual results are needed.

    Personal productivity

    No one works alone. Although we try to do all our tasks as best as possible and with maximum efficiency, for many things we depend on our co-workers. The web developer needs the texts of the copywriter, the sales rep needs the brochures of the marketing department, the marketing director needs the production status of the new products, etc.

    We may work efficiently, but if our co-workers are chaotic, we can’t be productive.

    The truth is that personal productivity cannot be extrapolated to the efficiency of teams. What are the two keys for group productivity?

    1. Roles and responsibilities

    In my opinion, the most important thing for building a productive team is to know the other members of the group well. Each person is different and has their strong points, their weaknesses and their own manner. Like in the different positions in a football team, a team works better if there are various profiles of people. Each team needs a leader, a creative person, someone who looks after relations, someone who gets to work straight away, etc.

    In the 1970s, Dr. Meredith Belbin developed a model with 9 essential roles for each team. We can use this model to identify the roles of each member and find the skills that we are missing in our team.

    2. Internal communication

    The second key point for a team to be efficient is internal communication.

    The dilemma is that we want to know all our co-workers’ actions, projects, ideas and concerns, yet we don’t want to waste time with useless information.

    To do this, we need to establish the best way of communicating in each case. In many offices, when we have to ask a co-worker something, we usually get up and go to their desk. Obviously we are causing a major interruption.

    It is better to use a less intrusive communication medium, like for example, email, the intranet or an enterprise social network. Then we can agree on exceptions for specific situations: How do we communicate if we need an instant response? What communication medium do we have to talk about sensitive issues or emotions?

    There is no one solution. The key is knowing which communication media are available, knowing the benefits and the problems of each way of communicating, and establishing an internal communication protocol with the other members of the team.

    If you want to be part of a productive team and win the league, you need to know your team well and have a top-quality communication channel.

     
  • Patricia Fernandez Carrelo 9:00 am on October 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , company, , ,   

    And there was light… A business event for businesses 

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

    Today we would like to invite you to the first edition of the event “Y se hizo la luz…” by Zyncro.

    What is “Y se hizo la luz…”?

    It is an after-work event for businesses that will look at the innovative approaches in business transformation processes. In this first edition, we are delighted to include the participation of Alejandro Formanchuk, expert consultant in Internal Communication 2.0, leader in his field in Latin America.

    Where and when?

    This after-work event will take place on Tuesday, November 6 at Shifen’s Dluz, and will last approximately 2 hours, from 7pm to 9pm.

    How do I sign up?

    You can sign up through Eventbrite. We advise you to register asap, as although the event is free, there are limited places!

    Are you coming? Looking forward to seeing you on November 6 with @Formanchuk to discuss internal communication 2.0. Sign up! :-)

     

     
  • Juan Manuel Rodríguez 10:30 am on February 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: company, , , ,   

    Time, the last frontier 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Time for Success

    First of all, let me introduce myself: I’m Juan Manuel Rodríguez. As of today, I’m part of the team of contributors in Zyncro who help spread the idea of what enterprise social networks are and how they can help us be more productive.

    The greatest challenge in this crisis is going farther with the same… or even with less. The unquestionable challenge is efficiency. It can be interpreted in every imaginable way: reducing the costs in raw materials, personnel, infrastructure, etc. but we always come across a barrier, a structural obstacle that is difficult to overcome.

    Only by improving efficiency in our team and in our information management can we cross that last frontier and continue to be competitive. Because, if we don’t, our competition will get there before us. This is the prime reason behind the explosion of tools like Zyncro, which aim to notably improve efficiency.

    “Time is the last frontier. Information overload results in time starvation. Technology lets us consume the information we receive with increasing efficiency.”
    (Alfons Cornella, in Update7 in Infonomía, November 2011)

    A few examples we can all identify with:

    Email abuse

    How many times have we silently sweared at those chain emails with 15 or 20 people in copy that don’t say anything important or urgent but constantly interrupt us? Or who has mailed a report to everyone for fear that the document will sit on the intranet without anyone knowing it exists? Email abuse in recent years has led many companies to declare Fridays as “email-free days”, for example, achieving notably improved results! It gives us food for thought, doesn’t it?

    Improductive meetings

    When it comes down to it, we all know that many follow-up meetings are a complete waste of time. Most of the time they cover things that could have been transmitted much sooner, in real time. We could have saved the valuable time of all those gathered there to do essentially nothing. Leave those face-to-face meetings for quick decision-making and not for communicating something that should be already known before you walk through the door.

    The key idea, the common factor in these examples and the great many more that we could give, is the challenge to assign the appropriate time and means for each type of information and interaction. If something is really important, pick up the phone and call. Or use instant messaging. For the rest of the information to flow with the appropriate priority (i.e. so that the team communicates efficiently), we need tools that enable us to readjust that balance between importance, the means for storing it and the time when we can be interrupted.

    Can you imagine a day where you’re only disturbed with really essential interruptions?
    Having all the information you need updated and sorted, available for when you decide to check it?

    This means creating a range of communication intervals, beyond the limited number we’re used to: email, telephone, chat, intranet and face-to-face meetings. If social networks outside the company’s walls have enabled those “grey” intervals, between the “white” of our friends who we talk to almost every day by telephone and the “black” of those who we don’t have time to even send an email every few months, a change in paradigm similar to that is occurring in companies for managing information.

    The enterprise social network Zyncro has been designed to achieve that rebalance, using an environment similar to that which users are familiar with for personal use, such as Facebook or Twittter, but that has been fully integrated and adapted to the needs and goals of the business environment. What’s more, these tools encourage all members of the team to participate in ways unknown until now and enables us to discover talent and intra-entrepreneurs who we may already have in our team… without even knowing it! But we’ll talk more about that in the next post! 😉

     

     
  • Marta Zaragoza 9:30 am on January 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , company, , ,   

    The golden rules for entrepreneurship 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    I started out on ZyncroBlog by commenting my ideas on what enterprising initiative means in a wider sense of the word. I encouraged you all to be enterprising and carry out all initiatives possible through a journey of constant learning that enables you to develop new and better skills and competences.

    Retaking the comparison we made of the entrepreneur’s journey with Snakes and Ladders, today I’ve got some golden rules to remember when traveling around the board to achieve your mission and vision.

    Golden rules that are essentially factors that affect any enterprising initiative:

    Firstly, our competences that represent our integrated set of knowledge, skills, aptitudes and attitudes that we put into play in any situation or activity.

     

    We need to identify our competence resources!!

     

    Both resources acquired in informal and formal contexts. The goal is to be able to design an improvement plan that will help us to achieve our objectives, while being sufficiently inspiring and motivating to encourage us to continue to develop our professional and enterprising competences.

    Secondly, values or beliefs that limit us or build barriers against our enterprising initiatives; some our own, others imposed by our surroundings.

    For greater comfort and quality of life, understood as the level of goods and services we’re capable of acquiring and consuming, we have adopted behavior and attitudes characterized by:

    • Wanting a stereotyped success, which brings us far from any initiative that involves going out and finding our own concept of success;
    • Seeing a job “for life” as the best option for us;
    • Believing that as employees we’re not paid to think, and less still to propose and even carry out our own initiatives, and:

    Being true inter-entrepreneurs!

     

    • Or simply, running from any situation that involves risk or failure, giving up on the only factor in life that involves true learning.

    All these beliefs have been fed, among others, by an authoritarian, hierarchical business culture and a “human resources” management model that doesn’t take into account that those resources are “people”.

     

    People with extraordinary competences waiting to be discovered…


    And willing to be promoted in order to contribute to the good progress of those companies, with initiative, independence and creativity.

    Thirdly, we should mention alignment with the environment. This involves being able to identify and analyze all information emerging from the surroundings, be they economic, socio-cultural, political, technological, environmental, etc. in order to prevent threats and design measures and leverage opportunities.

     

    Any successful initiative with vision for the future will have to watch for the wellbeing of its people and care for the environment.


    Last but not least, cooperation and online work. Working as a team with all the people involved and being able to commence shared projects in all areas. Undoubtedly here the role of Enterprise Social Networks for Enterprises, like Zyncro, is key, as they enable an optimum management of knowledge in the company, which in turn aids cooperation among and between teams.

    To conclude, I sincerely believe that the most interesting and exciting part of the journey is not reaching the end, but being able to develop our competences and share success and being in harmony with our own values and our surroundings.

     
  • Sílvia Majó 10:30 am on January 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , company, , , ,   

    In 2012, communicate more than ever but with content 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Since this is my first post of 2012, allow me to wish you all a very Happy New Year! I joined the team of #ZyncroBlog contributors a few days ago with the desire to share with you my thoughts on communication. Among them, you’ll frequently find an unarguable mix between corporate and business communication, style and journalist routines. In short, what you will read in post-form will be, without a doubt, the result of many years, working towards reaching out to the audience, be it internal or external, always with content. So here we go!!

    Together with the Spanish tradition of eating 12 grapes on the 12 chimes on New Year’s Eve, which they suspect was done for the first time in 1909 by a group of farmers in Alicante and Murcia to use up an excess in production, there’s also the tradition of making nine new resolutions to coincide with the start of the year. Today’s topic is dedicated to what deserves to be a key resolution for all companies this 2012: communication, both internal and external.

    Looking at the various channels available for communicating, some people will this resolution has already been met. However, more often than not, the main distinction between companies that communicate and those that don’t is not the tools used —traditional communication media versus social networks and media from the web 2.0— but the content published through them.

    Nowadays, in the same way as we did before, we only talk about communication if the information being transmitted is something new, useful, powerful, curious and cumulative. In other words, we communicate when behind that attractive channel we’ve chosen for it there’s content that helps us in our decision-making, that feeds our know-how, that impacts us for being previously unpublished or that ensures greater commitment from the people in the company. In short, we communicate if our messages has and achieves a function.

    The dawn of the social media and networks, their ease in passing on pseudo-elaborate content, has led us to forget that communication in general, whether corporate or institutional, is only useful if it has content.

    Along these lines, there are key points to ensure this condition:

    Planning. Having communication plans that prioritize goals, design strategies and propose tactics are essential for those companies that want to create a better, closer relationship with what R. E. Freeman called stakeholders—suppliers, competitors, employees, clients, financial backers and society in general.

    Professionalization. Allow me to touch on corporatism a little. On this point, let me say that journalists —so-called source journalists— are a good guarantee of ensuring when we communicate, using whatever tool we want, we do it with content. Professionalizing corporate or institutional communication means working to ensure that what the audience knows about you is the same as what you want them to know about you.

    Adapting contents to the channel being used. Companies save time by communicating the same thing in the same way, regardless of the channel chosen. Well, we need to avoid the temptation of publishing the same thing on our 2.0 channels as on our enterprise social network or in press releases, for example. Each recipient deserves and expects a specific form to that content being received. You will only achieve your desired goal with that communication action if you have made an effort to adapt its content to the channel and the audience.

    Without a doubt, the list of key points for ensuring great corporate communication could go on and on… But since this is my first post and it should be brief, I’ll sum up. That being said, I promise there’ll be a second part that will talk about other, no less important points: knowing your audience, mastering the channel’s language, directing communication times… and much more!!

    Happy 2012 to everyone!!!

     
  • Yolanda Torres 10:00 am on November 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: company, ,   

    How can we become more competitive during times of crisis? Company liquidity 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    In the current and terribly difficult economic crisis where signs of improvement are bleak, “we all agree that the year 2011 is better than the 2012 to come”.  What can we do within our business in order to improve our results and face these hard times?

    The answer to this is TECHNOLOGY as a tool for growth, internationalization, communication, process improvement, transparency and collaboration.

    Organisational liquidity as opposed to solidity is already a topic for discussion, but what does it mean? In philosophical terms, it means flexibility and modernization when faced with a need for change and stagnation.  The father of the theory behind social liquidity, Bauman (who also speaks of society’s ability to adapt to a constantly changing environment) opens the door towards the modernization of business enterprise:

    • Flow
    • Transform itself
    • Adapt
    • Internationalize
    • Hypercommunicate
    • Save costs
    • Constantly innovate

    In technological terms, this involves adapting organizations to cloud computing.  If we could overcome the psychological barriers in IT departments and general management, it would be easy.

    Efficiency and effectiveness are two different yet united concepts for 21st century organizations.  The liquid company or cloud-computing business organization is key to business competitiveness in such an adverse environment and opens up the door to a business model change that will never be closed:

    • Cost-efficient tools
    • Flexible, adaptable tools
    • Usability
    • Maximum adaptation to the business environment
    • Constant training from suppliers

    Zyncro, worldwide leader for cloud computing business network or enterprise social networks, is a clear example of how a digital tool can speed up, modernize and guarantee a ROI for any company implementing it.

    Company liquidity, technology, digitalization, enterprise social media are basic concepts that organizations can use to strengthen themselves through during these times of crisis and the changing environment in which we live.

    So…

    • Decide
    • Opt for the business cloud
    • Get digital
    • Transform your company
    • Adapt
    • Bring liquidity to part of your structure

    21st century business tools have already become available.

    Dare to compete, its truly fascinating…

     

     
  • Albert Sampietro 10:09 am on October 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , company, , , , projects,   

    What major companies can learn from the SMEs 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    A few weeks ago I decided to leave my position as Chief of Technology and Operations at Zyncro and join the 15th largest company worldwide in order to help implement its “digital strategy”.  Although it was a tough but exciting decision to make (given the many days and nights I have lived through with Zyncro and its great people), I leave satisfied with the work I have carried out. I’m sure that the new CTO, Susana Duran (with whom I have worked for the last 10 years) is the best guarantee for the continuity and growth of the company.

    Not a single day has gone by in the last 3 years at Grupo Inspirit (Spamina, Zyncro…) when I have not learned something new and now the time has come to put it to use within a multinational company where keeping freshness to ideas and the pace will be a whole new challenge.

    I don’t think Im wrong in saying that major corporations (and I have worked in one for 8 years) have a lot to learn from SMEs and startups.

    The way that large projects are handled is probably one of their weak points and where the small company has a lot more to offer and teach. On the whole, big strategies that involve hundreds of people from diverse departments and various external providers end up in chaos due to communication failure, a lack of involvement from key people and an excess in the documentation generated.

    … and it is at this point that Zyncro proves a winner. Imagine a major project within a multinational with its own web page, with a people directory of all of the people involved (50 or 100 or 200 or…), with its suppliers, with all of the information in a well-organized manner, accessible and with a “comments wall” that keeps us informed of all updates that arise when it comes to meetings, documentation, etc.  Imagine all of this and what’s more, the possibility of setting it up in less that a day, and paying for one service – giving savings on hardware, data centers, licenses and systems administration.

    If we consider the level of security, there is probably more protection and control in a cloud infrastructure than in a corporate data center where access to your information is no longer in the hands of your programmers and administrators. All you need is to leave behind your old prejudices and your great new project will begin to take off.

     

     
  • Patricia Fernandez Carrelo 10:05 am on September 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , company, ,   

    Being 2.0… without yet knowing its definition 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    A few months ago, I was having coffee with some good friends who asked, “Pat, but what exactly… what is all of this’2.0′ business about?  We’ve heard it mentioned all over the place, even on ‘This Morning’ but we’re still not entirely sure what it’s all about!”

    The girls, all very intelligent and with university degrees… were already 2.0 but just did not know it yet.

    It was actually a lot more difficult to articulate a non technical answer than it was for them to understand the actual concept but I think we got there in the end.

    The explanation included three basic concepts: one more on the sociological side of things, the notion of sharing, and the other two, technical: internet and social networks, with Facebook and Tuenti as paradigms (because although this group of friends are almost in their thirties, like myself, they live in the Basque Country where Tuenti is still predominant even in this age range).

    When I had conveyed the idea that the basic concept of “2.0″ is that of sharing, the possibility of generating content (without the need to be a company or somebody in the public eye) as well as being able to publish it, the explanation began to take shape for them.

    The fact that we refer to it as “2.0″ is because a second generation is involved.  Second generation in terms of internet in which content is no longer just created, published and spread by a few people or those who have chosen it as a profession, but by anybody who wishes to create and share.  Of course it runs the risk of being affected by “noise” but this new publication model offers the enrichment of information, points of view and opportunities.

    2.0 has required the generation of a series of technological solutions that have made it possible for all of the cybernauts to be able to generate, publish, share, collaborate and even co-create content.  These solutions are mainly blogs (like this one), wikis (with the Wikipedia as the main representative) or social networks.

    Alongside these solutions there are also concepts such as web development based on user experience, design minimalism (Google model), use of specific IT techniques (CSS, XHTML, AJAX, SaaS… which obviously, I did not go into detail about when I explained in layman’s terms basically: “and now you can have all of that content on the Internet without the need for saving anything locally” (the cloud could not go without a mention ;-)).

    But the strangest thing about the conversation was that the girls already had knowledge about and were practicing the 2.0 style without actually knowing that it was 2.0.  The first installment of Generation Y within this group of friends…

    • Dinners are no longer organised via e-mail or SMS, but via events on Facebook
    • Group event (birthdays, parties, outings…), photos are classified into 2 groups: Facebook photo / not Facebook
    • Holidays are planned by reading blogs
    • Information is looked up in Wikipedia when unknown
    • Current informative news or topics surrounding specific people within the public eye can be read on the Twitter timeline
    • Products or services liked by one person can be useful for others by means of sharing recommendations on Facebook pages
    • E-mail is no longer used between friends or colleagues, when you write to somebody, you do so via the Facebook wall or messages
    • For job hunting you should have a good LinkedIn profile by having a good number of contacts and belong to lots of groups
    • YouTube is logged on to at least once a month for the viewing of videos and sharing of them if liked
    • You need to have a Gmail account (a bit more professional) though on a personal level, Hotmail is still used for newsletters and other promotions

    I could go on making this an endless list…  but I would rather not prolong this post preferring to end with a reflection.  And it is that this new generation that is 2.0, but that does not need know that it is just that, has it all built in already that has available to it a new way of relating to others, of interacting and even working in a completely different way to precedent generations.   It is due to this that having 2.0 tools within organisations is the best way of cultivating loyalty amongst the members of this generation, of motivating them and in addition, maximising potential resulting beneficial to both company and employee.

    Try incorporating this new trend within your organisation and see its positive results.  Your employees are awaiting this.


     
  • Tatiana Nascimendo 9:15 am on August 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: company, , ,   

    Working in the age of 2.0 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    You study, you graduate, you join a company and hope to stay there your entire life whilst building “a career” for yourself.  So you get up early every day, go to work and spend the whole day there.  Many hierarchies exist within the company and processes go through many stages and in general, you do not have autonomy to make decisions.  You may have many ideas for improvement but you feel insecure as to sharing them because amongst other things, you cannot find a suitable space in which to share them.

    This old model no longer works.  Internet has changed the market and its processes which leads to the requirement of a new professional model. In this new scenario, work is no longer confined to the office and the line between personal and professional life is being shifted constantly.

    In the new company there is less hierarchy, we are all connected and collaboration is the norm.  Employees must be self sufficient, be up to date with new trends as well as be innovative.

    The time worked cannot be calculated in detail.  Answering a call, sharing an interesting link or taking part in a field event also contributes hours towards work.

    The concept of what is considered a “successful career” has also changed.  The change within business and the specialisation in different sectors is now considered an added value rather than a shaky career path.  Many professionals are independent workers or consultants who share their knowledge in different places.

    Mobile devices have also revolutionized our way of working.  We are online from any place and at anytime.  And one of the great allies to mobile technology is the multi-tasking platform, that allows you to take the office with you, essential for a working system based increasingly on collaboration and on which work requirements, or even inspiration can reach you at any moment.

    This is the 2.0 style and the market has converted itself to it. What about you?  Will you be staying behind?

     

     
  • Tatiana Nascimendo 10:56 am on June 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , company, , , , , ,   

    When email becomes a contaminating nuisance 

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

    Collaboration from Tatiana Nascimendo from ZyncroBlog Brasil!

    In the same way businesses take measures in order to reduce environmental pollution by means of recycling waste or rationalizing production until the company becomes sustainable, why don’t we propose to reduce contamination from the information piling into our inboxes?

    Studies carried out by the agency MT Criativa show that 59,61% of directors within the technological sector receive more than 50 e-mails per day and 90,38% get upto 50 emails per day. In addition amongst them, 77% of them send less than 10 personal e-mails per day.

    E-mail has become the main form of business communication but the volume of traffic generated by the exchange of this type of message is a huge amount of work ordeal as well as being detrimental and can lead to the loss of information.

    Many businesses have recognised this reality and are trying to develop new and more effective ways of communicating and on many occasions have implemented costly and time consuming solutions that do not always meet the initial expectations.  Instead of giving way for the development of a system, why not try using one that meets business needs?  Intranet 2.0 is an innovative solution that:

    • eliminates unnecessary e-mail from our inboxes,
    • optimizes communication,
    • promotes collaboration,
    • encourages participation.

    In order to recycle ideas and fight against the contamination of corporate communications… try Zyncro!

     

     
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