Social Business By Design – A Personal Summary (Chapter 11)

Chapter 11 – Workforce Engagement

Creating a Connected Company Using Social Business

1. The background of this comes from Professor Andrew McAfee’s work on Enterprise 2.0 which focus primary on the collaborative, team-based activities that took place between employees internally.

2. Definition of Social and Social Business

Social Graph

“This consists of a user profile that identifies a person and optionally (but typically), a list of everyone that person is connected with. In other words, it’s who a person is and those others he or she knows. “

Activity Stream

“This list the events taking place between the social graphs of users. These are typically status updates or other messages, such as pictures or other media, that a person posts and are then visible to everyone listed as a social graph connection. In other words, it’s a list of everything that’s ever happened in terms of sharing, communicating and collaborating socially.

The key difference between social media and tradditional point-to-point is that created value is shared as widely as possible by default, it enriches the entire community instead of a few narrowly defined interlocutors, based on network effects.

Social Business

“Open, shared participation that results in high levels of shared business value (the network effort).”

3. Functions of Workforce Collaboration

3a. Social Collaboration

  • This is known as Enterprise 2.0
  • One of the most frequent starting poitns for those who are setting out to improve the performance of knowledge workers in the enterprise.
  • Eg of collaboration tools range from Sharepoint, email, and unified communication suites.
  • Social collaboration tools put the social graph and activity streams into the center of work process, becoming a dashboard for collaboration.
  • Focus of Social Collaboration solutions
    • Horizontal Collaboration : applies to any type of internal team work
    • Process Specific Collaboration : Enabling a halo of conversation to form around routine business activities.
  • Making both work necessitates design into workflow and not requiring an extra system that users have to switch between.

3b. Social Intranet

  • Intranets are typically criticized for being frequently out of date, difficult for workers to add or update information.
  • The formal process of publishing and content management that is typically imposed on users do not work well the give-and-take of freeform collaboration.
  • Wikipedia as cited as an example how informal process would be more productive in terms of publishing article over Nupedia (Origin intent of a free online encyclopedia) that followed a formal process with a team of qualified team.
  • Corporate Intranet has the potential private Internet containing the sum of an organization’s tacit knowledge, on going work and useful reference information.

3c. Social Content and Document Management

  • Content and document management is a core activity of organization and one of the most frequent tasks of today’s information-intensive knowledge workers.
  • A generation of sophisticated and complex products have been created to address the needs and requirements of content generation and management.
  • Social CMS and DMS tools have emerged but they typically obey social business tenets.
  • They typically have rules and restriction that are overdone.

3d. Enterprise Social Networking

  • A employee-only, single-company version of Facebook like social network.

3e. Social Human Capital Management

  • HR tradditional concerns itself with hiring and firing and more recently has turned to cultivating the potential of a company’s workers.
  • The open environment of social business leave behind a wealth of knowledge available on the network for all to see, discover, analyze and learn.
  • Human capital management can benefit from social business and this include capturing and preserving subject manager experts, training programs creation, identification of educational and developmental needs.

3f. Unified Communication

  • Refers to a single identity and set of tightly connected and consistent communication methods and contact points.
  • This fell apart with the rise of social media.
  • Not yet a major issue for most large organizations, reconciling unified communications with internal social business will be a growing priority for most Fortune 1000 companies.

4. Key Benefits of Social Collaboration

These Key Benefits but not limited to these are :

  • Better sharing of Information
  • Better direct information flows
  • Collaboration across fiefdoms and silos
  • Increase focus on project outcomes

With reference to Figure 11.2 of the chapter illustrates the Tracking Cause-and-Effect Chains in the determination of Social Business Value

  • Direct Cause
    • Social Networking
    • Open Knowledge Management
    • Emergent Collaboration
  • 2nd Order Cause & Effect
    • Better discovery
    • Cultivating weak ties / cross pollination
    • Collective intelligence
    • Knowledge retention
  • 3rd Order Cause & Effect
    • Improved processes
    • Worker Efficiency
    • Human ingenuity
    • Collaborative problem solving
    • Superior decisions
  • 4th Order Cause & Effect
    • New Products and Services
    • Increase profitability
    • Higher Quality work results
    • Employee retention
    • More efficient operation
  • 3rd Order Cause & Effect
    • Improved processes
    • Worker Efficiency
    • Human ingenuity
    • Collaborative problem solving
    • Superior decisions

Personal Note :

a. During my time with the library, I was some direct experience with social collaboration with me playing the role of user admin for the enterprise wiki, Confluence.

b. At the division and team level, we found it most useful in coauthoring reports, tender documents etc. The social graph and activity streams give the team the necessary visual cues on who was editing the document and when they were doing it. This was extremely useful comparing to the days of sending emails for both coauthouring as well as  advising status of documents and things that were happening on projects. 

c. However, we are not able to roll it out only to segments of the organization early adopters. This remains one of my profession regrets that I was not given the opportunity to follow through. I am still a keen advocate of the use of wikis for team collaboration and would gladly take up any opportunities for me to advocate it and to develop myself as a community manager. It was very exciting to go around various business units to seek out their requirements and to see how I can setup their wikis so that they can work more efficiently.

d. On Social Intranet / Content and Document Management, I was worked under the environment of a not social and restrictive CMS and DMS systems.  Was not particularly motivated to check in on the intranet or to file any corporate documents.

e. On Enterprise Social network, while it is great to have a FB on the enterprise, the question would be what content and conversations should be included. I recall attending a vendor presentation on Sharepoint where the presenter selling how easy it was to update your interests, hobbies etc onto your profile. He got a telling from someone in the audience where she mentioned why on earth would want to spend time to put my interests and hobbies on Sharepoint. What relevance is this to my work.

f. Would be great if I can find examples of Social Human Capital Management case study in particular in Asia/Singapore. Personally, due to my past encounters with HR departments that I used to work in, I do not have a positive opinion of them. 

g. On Unified Communication, agree with current, this may not be a major issues with companies still struggling with the appropriate use of social media in the context of their respectively environment. I figured the likes of iGoogle could be a possible solution but another regret in my professional life. I managed to kick start with a wonderful team of people but were somewhat prevent from seeing it through. 



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