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Do you work in a Sticky Organisation?

March 26, 2010 1 comment

In February I had the pleasure of listening to Dr. Daan Andriessen and Professor Victor Newman at the Henley KM Forum.

It’s took me a while to digest all the great stuff from the two days.  But these presentations really stood out for me and linked really well.

As everyone knows when a major change happens, such as the end of the industrial revolution, the Second World War and now the recession.

Things will change. The question how do we deal with change?

Over the last 100 years there have been some great inventions it has always led to innovation whether good or bad.

But what happens now, when we are coming out of the recession.

Daan Anderson summed it up in a very simple way using the Maslow Hierarchy of need

If you do not have the basics then knowledge is not shared.  Which really makes a mockery of the stuff that I do?

With organisation going through the recession, staff no longer feel safe, fell they no longer belong and so will not share.

Which could lead to the downfall of the organisation quicker than any other way that I can think off?

Daan used Kampen 2007 The neglected organisation statements to emphasise the point.

  1. High turnover among management
  2. Business processes never seem to function properly
  3. New plans die before they are executed
  4. The appointment of people in management positions always creates a lot of turmoil
  5. People that under perform in the main business processes are moved to support -staff positions
  6. A lot of complaining and cynicism on the work floor
  7. Group sentiments dominate the atmosphere on the work floor
  8. Roles, responsibilities and tasks remain unclear even though they have been put to paper
  9. Managers are never there when you need them
  10. Retribution happens secretly, you never know where it comes from…
  11. In some departments there is a despondent atmosphere
  12. People don’t stick to their roles. Everybody interferes with everything
  13. Every manager has his or her own little shop in the organisation. There is not much cooperation.
  14. Employee meetings are avoided by most employees
  15. Strange behaviour on the work floor is not noticed

So how many do you recognise?  If it’s 9 or more of the statements you probably work in a neglected organisation.

And this leads onto the stickyness

Victor Newman mentioned “It’s a truism that organisations recruit smart people and make them stupid.”

So have you seen this happen where experts are recruited only to leave in frustration because of the sticky organisation’s refusal to legitimise their role.

I love the consent and evade diagram he showed

And he told a great story about Frederick Winslow Taylor who was recruited to help bring new ideas into an organisation.  After a few months of Consent from the Senior Managers but Evasion from the middle managers he realised that he would never be able to do his job.

So during the management meeting he would practice his Golf Swing.  Finally someone asked him what he was doing.  And he simple said either let me do my job and give me the legitimacy or sack me.

He left shortly after, as he realised that the organisation was too sticky.

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Meet Tim

March 19, 2010 Leave a comment

This is something that I came up with a while ago but not added it to my wordpress

The idea behind Meet Tim is to tell a story of some of the benefits of become a member of a Community of Practice. Hope you like it.

Can you hook your members in 21 days?

March 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Supposedly it takes 21 days for something to become a habit. So if that’s the case, if you can keep new members of your community engaged for their first 21 days, they should become hooked.

And the Facilitation Now Conference attempted to explore this.

So if you think about it.  Casinos are designed to give people small early payouts.

Computer games consoles such as Xbox 360 and PS3 have achievements and awards that let people accelerate through the early levels quickly and pick up points.

I played a game the other day.  Win your first race. 15 Gamerscore award.  (I’ll be back for more)

So I know that I need to do it more and I’m guessing we all need to do it.  We need to spend more time on the newbie’s than on our regulars.

I have some ideas but could we as a community come up with a plan to keep our new members engaged for the first 21 days. Let’s turn those Lurkers into Participants.

So here are a few ideas

Achievement Unlocked

You may have seen the Everyone Love’s a Sharer campaign that we just started.  Or for some organisation it shows as Everyone ?’s a sharer.  Maybe that’s just a cultural issue.

Find a way to let new members achieve something with a limited amount of effort. Sign up to an event, welcome and introduce themselves.  Give them a pat on the back and thank them for participating.  Use what ever you have to reward them.  Invitation to a special event, a book, guidance document.  Or even chocolate.  It’s up to you.

New member of the month award.

Tell each member they’ve been entered for the new member of the month award. Create a hall of fame wiki and criteria to make it competitive. You can even come up with Employee of the month type pictures.

Buddy System


Having a buddy when I first joined the IDeA was great. So why not pair new members up with a buddy for their first 21 days? If they go missing, the buddy can chase them up.  So does anyone want to be a buddy?

Introduce new members to the group

Ask the new member what their interests are, then specifically introduce them to people with similar interests or the same region through the message system

What’s been happening?

Send all new members a quick overview of the hot topics in the community. Then invite them to offer their new perspective. Don’t forget to respond to their posts as this will get them caught in the discussion (which should keep them coming back!).

The Iron Man Challenge

They have stayed engaged for 21 days. You could give them an icon that could be added to their profile picture.  Or add them to a You have Met the Challenge wiki for all the members that have made it through the initiation.

Some of these are possible, some are ridiculous but I wanted to spark some of your ideas.

So what ideas do you have to keep members engaged?

Could Jackanory sell the story of Social Media?

March 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Last week I attended the London leg of localgovcamp. You can find the tweets at #localgovcamp

And a big thank you goes out to Steve Dale, Ingrid Koehler Dave Briggs, Anke Holst, Hadley Beeman and Charlotte Hayes for the great organisation of the day.

Considering I’ve been talking about the concept of the unconference for probably 3 or 4 years it’s the first one I have attended.  And it’s a great experience.  It’s a pity most of them take place on a Saturday.

Throughout the day I heard some great stories of how local authorities are trying out social media and there are some great success stories out there.  One example from Sarah Lay at Derbyshire CC about the use of social media to promote and share the results of the election.  Here the link to the story.

There so many stories out there they just need to be shared to a wider audience.  We need to break the fear factor of social media Local Government.

Another great story was about the use of Twitter during the snow over the last couple of months.

Walsall used twitter to update the public when the trucks where going out and members of the public where suggestion ideas of where the gritting needed to go, especially after a water main burst in the early hours of the morning. Check out Dan Slee’s blog Twitter Gritter

With the Knowledge Hub project moving forward, check out Steve Dale’s video for more info.

One of the key aspects of the knowledge Hub is changing the knowledge ecology of local government. A really tough task!  But I believe that we can do it and the telling of stories should be at the heart of it.

So if you have a story about how you have used social media or social networking to help you in your work, I would be interested in hearing from you.

Ingrid Koehler has started the process off with her blog Crying out for examples

So if you do have examples please contact me or Ingrid and we will get the ball rolling.

Categories: Social Media Tags: ,
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