Culture & Competency

WWPYCBW: Strategy and People (August 5, 2008)

Contents at a Glance
– Tomi on the Redefinition of Presence
– Is It Fair?
– Implementing Collaboration: Directions from Debbie

Tomi on the Redefinition of Presence
Tomi has been ruminating on the role of technology in changing our take on ‘presence’, and forecasts much greater usage of different technologies in the standard course of day-to-day living to be ‘present’ in many different places without travel. And he also (appropriately) talks about the splitting off of some forms of communication that currently rely on interactive communication into asynchronous communication and reporting tools.

What I think I’m saying is that ultimately, we are heading to a time when technology will become standard proxy (i.e. presence) for our reactions to predetermined event activities while the emergence of richer and richer media (e.g. holographs et al) will enable remote participation (i.e. telepresence) in distance events in ways that are just starting to begin.

Technology is creating many more opportunities for us to truly be present with remote people — listening, engaging and conversing — and also for us to fake being present by multi-tasking and dividing our focus. When you can’t travel to be somewhere because of other demands, you have a good reason for not using that time for being there, and for doing other things. When the possibility of being everywhere all through the day presents itself, it is going to open tremendous demands and challenges, forcing us to choose much more carefully where we place our focus and emphasis.

The technology is going to help in some situations, but it’s also carries the power to crush us, if we aren’t careful.

Is It Fair?
Ken says that teams generally miss a third crucial question — Does it feel fair? — when they review how well they are collaborating. Test one is “Is it working for us?” and Test two is “Is it working for me?”.

However even these 2-green collaborations can fail if there is a perception that one party has done a lot better than another.

So if A perceives that B has achieved b++ which is much greater than their a+ then it will cause resentment.

Yes my pie may be bigger by collaborating – but yours is enormous so I am not happy.

I am prepared to lose my benefits rather than see you taking more than your fair share.

So where all the parties also perceive fairness I call this a 3-greens collaboration.

Is this a question that you ask, or could ask when you evaluate how your team is going? Ken has some more ideas on this too … he offers some great resources.

Implementing Collaboration: Directions from Debbie
Debbie shares her best practice tips for implementing social media tools into organizations.

  • Take advantage of what you’ve got.
  • Don’t think the tool is going to make it happen.
  • Get HR on board.
  • Figure out your measurements of success.
  • … and more.

A good list of jumping-off points … really like most of them, and the ones I question will come down to interpretation and saying more about what they really mean. Eg, “Don’t think the tool is going to make it happen” … I agree to a degree, but the tool will make some things possible that were not there previously — so there’s a dynamic interplay at work between what’s possible and what the social group is capable of enacting. But then I’m sure Debbie would agree with that …

See my SharePoint for Business framework for a general approach to wrapping up some of Debbie’s key ideas in a set methodology.

Categories: Culture & Competency