Skilful Minds

Business Exceptions Are Not Always What They Seem

Skilful Minds

Common wisdom among thought leaders who examine learning in organizations notes that most of the learning that occurs is done informally, or socially. However, informal learning has its own limitations that we all need to keep in mind as we think through the ways in which it adds value to business processes. Collaboration Customer Experience e-Learning 2.0

Design and “Gamification At Work”

Skilful Minds

The Interaction Design Foundation is publishing Gamification At Work by Jankaki Kumar and Mario Herger for the public tomorrow. I just finished reading the book and taking notes thinking I might review it. However, rather than do a simple review of the book’s content, I decided to situate the major points from the book into a post on […].

Collaboration, Empathy, and Language in Global Teams

Skilful Minds

The trade-offs in deciding whether to implement a lingua franca policy are pretty well known. Pressure from other global players such as suppliers, customers, partners, and competitors who increasingly use English is one. Diversification of organizational tasks across departments in different countries creates bottlenecks without a lingua franca, increasing inefficiencies. A third reason relates to making mergers and acquisitions among global companies smoother in organizational terms.

Podular Organization and Edge Businesses

Skilful Minds

My last post, Institutional Innovation and Podular Design, noted a number of insights from the Aspen Institute''s report, Institutional Innovation: Oxymoron or Imperative? One insight which I did not discuss is relevant to understanding the changing way teams work together in organizations and, by implication, in a Connected Company.

How to Price and Package Customer Training

To charge or not to charge? That is the question many customer training teams are facing today. The answer, however, is not always a straightforward yes or no. Download this guide to learn more.

Institutional Innovation and Podular Design

Skilful Minds

In Social is the plural of personal JP Rangaswami contends that institutional innovation is required to achieve the potential that social software offers organizations in general, and for-profit companies in particular. JP's voice is one of several important contributions to current thinking about innovation. Change Management Collaboration Experience Design Innovation Social Business Design Social Media Social Networks Web 2.0

Socializing Big Data through BRPs

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BRPs result in business exceptions and take up almost all of the time employees spend at work. Interestingly, much of the writing I see on Big Data is about making ERPs more efficient or making guesses about when to expect occurrences of a BRP. In other words, both goals are really about making coordination of organizational efforts more efficient and/or effective. Big Data Collaboration Ethnography Innovation Social Business Design Ubiquitous Computing Web 2.0

Siloed Social Conversations Impede Shared Experience

Skilful Minds

The Altimeter Group’s report from earlier this year, The Evolution of Social Business: Six Stages of Social Business Transformation, offers the above graphic to exemplify the way social networking develops as the social activities of businesses mature. I tend to feel skeptical about many developmental models in social business simply because markets differ, sometimes in fundamental ways, […].

Revisiting the Great Innovation Debate

Skilful Minds

An early Skilful Minds post introduced The Great Innovation Debate, focusing on the distinctions between Tom Friedland's conception that when it comes to innovation the world is flat, and the alternative point of view espoused by Richard Florida that the world is spiky. Meaning that the aggregation of creative people in cities, in proximity to one another, largely drives innovation and economic growth.

Seven Simple Secrets to Off-the-Shelf Course Success

Off-the-shelf elearning is applicable for a wide audience, but it won’t address your organization’s unique situations or distinctive content. So are these courses all that helpful? For sure! Read on for 7 secrets to make off-the-self learning your own.

Social Media Robots, Personas, and Narrative Gaps in Qualitative Research

Skilful Minds

Back in 2006 I read the following point on Hugh Mcleod's blog, Gapingvoid: "If people like buying your product, it’s because its story helps fill in the narrative gaps in their own lives." At the time I thought it conveyed nicely the point made by Gerald Zaltman in How Customers Think that "companies should define customer segments ont he basis of similarities in their reasoning or thinking processes" (p. 152) rather than the conventional constructs related to demographics.

Social Learning and Exception Handling

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We know that most learning in the workplace is informal. Most observers put it at around 80%. Recently, John Hagel and John Seeley Brown contended that "as much as two-thirds of headcount time in major enterprise functions like marketing, manufacturing and supply chain management is spent on exception handling."

Gossip, Collaboration, and Performance in Distributed Teams

Skilful Minds

What do you think the typical manager might say if you told them their employees don't gossip and engage one another in non-work related tasks enough? Most managers have heard of the watercooler effect without ever having the meaning of the concept sink in to their understanding of how it relates to performance and collaboration. A couple of studies released this summer dealing with performance and collaboration in teams merit consideration.

Customer Competencies, Co-Creation, and Brand Communities

Skilful Minds

Word of mouth communities and networks using social software are increasingly spread over regional, national, and international borders, making them much more important to those who market branded products and services, online and off. The recent buzz around the concept of social business points to the growing importance of social networks and communities to the evolution of business practice.

State of the Front-Line Manager

It's no secret that front-line managers are essential to your organization's success. They form the base of your leadership development funnel and, most likely, account for over half of all your organization's leaders. Improving how front-line managers perform yields mouthwatering increases in how individual contributors perform.

SharePoint is not Enterprise 2.0 or Social Networking " Skilful Minds

Skilful Minds

The title for this post is drawn from a recent assessment of SharePoint 2007 offered on Thomas Vander Wal's bog, Personal InfoCloud. Thomas' post, as always, offers a unique point of view on what Enterprise 2.0 consists and, specifically, how SharePoint measures up.

Using Social Network Analysis in Social Business Design

Skilful Minds

My previous post discussed the Open/Closed culture fallacy in social business design. I contended that leaders of large corporations are typically unable to answer the key strategic questions posed by David Armano in an important post recently. In this post I'll continue that line of thinking by considering a combination of David's third and fourth questions in light of the open/closed culture fallacy.

On the Roots of Social Computing

Skilful Minds

I recently received an invitation from Mads Soegaard, Editor-in-Chief at to offer those who read this blog an early view of a new chapter on Social Computing in their encyclopedia. I’m a little late on this writing for you to get a pre-publication view of the chapter but I wanted to make sure and point it out for [.]. Collaboration e-Learning 2.0 Enterprise 2.0 Innovation Social Business Design Web 2.0

A Learnability and Experience Design Update

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One of my earlier posts discussed the learnability of a service as a key challenge for experience design. Today I ran across this early video from Don Norman on learnability and product design. I thought I would share it. Experience Design Innovation Learning Experience Service Design Social Business Design User Experience Collaboration Customer Experience learnability learnable social learning user experience

Your Guide to Creating a Customer Onboarding Program

Even if you don’t have a formal program in place, customer onboarding is already happening at your organization. The question is, are you dictating it and guaranteeing a great experience? If not, this guide can help help.

Video Analysis for Experience Design: The Video Card Family Game

Skilful Minds

Digital ethnography is an increasingly feasible research technique as smartphones decrease in cost and more people carry them around. The photographic capability of smartphones is an important resource in making digital research ubiquitous, giving people the ability to capture images and record observations as they go about their everyday lives, and characterize those observations for ethnographers.

Social Flow and the Paradox of Exception Handling in ACM

Skilful Minds

There is nothing like an exception to the way things are done to highlight the need to increase knowledge sharing, especially if the exception is one instance of a pattern that results in bad experiences for customers. As Jay Cross recently noted, people learning at work rely on social, or informal learning, around 80% of the time.

Social Learning, Collaboration, and Team Identity

Skilful Minds

One of my earlier posts asked the question, Who's on Your Team? Its focus was on the importance of social software applications in the Enterprise to the ability of distributed project team members to recognize who is on their team at any point in time, and who isn't. Organizational analysts refer to the challenge as a boundary definition problem for teams, when members are spread across large distances whether geographic or cultural in nature.

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Social Flow in Gameful Design

Skilful Minds

Don't Gamify Wild Bill discussed the importance of designing for voluntary play in serious games. Play is the baseline requirement for any game designed to provide useful indicators for gauging individual and organizational successes over time. Specifically, my point is that those interested in gamifying employee engagement in social business, and who also aim to effectively use collaboration, must optimally design for emergence not just competition and cooperation as guiding principles.

The Secret to Getting Learning Results May Not Be What You Think

Do you struggle to achieve measurable results with your learning solutions? If so, you’re not alone. According to CEB, traditional training only creates 37% learning transfer. This guide explores the causes of poor transfer and concrete steps to achieving better outcomes.

Don’t Gamify Wild Bill

Skilful Minds

There is a lot, actually a whole lot, of buzz over the past year about the gamification of business, specifically marketing, training, customer service. Much of it misses the simple point that it is the experience with it, the playfulness of it, that makes a game. Not the scoring system, or the rewards, or anything else can make up for a game that participants (customers or employees) don't experience as play.

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Exploring the Usefulness of Chartjunk at STLUX’11

Skilful Minds

At the end of February I co-presented at STL UX 2011 with Dave Gray. Our presentation was called Exploring the Usefulness of Chartjunk. The collaboration behind the presentation started as an exchange between the two of us on Twitter regarding whether the whole concept of Chartjunk is a myth.

Dialogue Strategy and Social CRM: A Customer Experience with XO

Skilful Minds

On several occasions I've discussed dialogue in relationship to organizational self-orientation, open innovation, brand strategy, and learning.

Finding the Social Core of Facebook Friends: Revisiting the Dunbar Number

Skilful Minds

A recent Economist article discusses the relevance of Dunbar’s Number to friending in Facebook, and its relation to the size of social networks, especially networks of close friends. The article addresses a similar issue outlined in an earlier post here on the influence of influentials on Twitter, which focused on findings of a recent study by members [.]. Social Networks social media facebook friends social core social media marketing social network social networking twitter Web 2.0

2018 Customer Training Goals

Are your customer training goals actually achievable? Or will they be cast aside as your team gets caught up in their daily tasks? If you’re not sure, this guide can help.

Empathy and Collaboration in Social Business Design

Skilful Minds

To get to the main point quickly, let's do what few people offering thoughts about collaboration actually do. Let's explicitly discuss what it is. First off, collaboration isn't just about people sharing information to achieve common goals. Collaboration is about people working with other people to achieve common goals. Advocates of Enterprise 2.0

Talking about Flatland as Visualized by Carl Sagan

Skilful Minds

I first read Edwin Abbot's Flatland several decades ago. It is considered the first science fiction novel, after all, since its first printing in 1885. I must say though, the simplicity of the story never really hit me until I watched the following Carl Sagan interpretation of it recently.

Ethnography and Ubiquitous Digital Research

Skilful Minds

I've discussed ethnography several times before, the first taking note of the trend toward virtual anthropology and the next talking about the significance of Tom Boellstorff's ethnography of Second Life, followed by a couple of posts about ethnography in relation to empathy and globalization. Indeed, Cheskin's Davis Masten and Tim Plowman characterized digital ethnography as the next wave in understanding the consumer experience in a Design Management Journal article as early as 2003.

Social Business Design: Insights from HP’s WaterCooler

Skilful Minds

So, here social media sits, between fear and faith. Needless to say, the truth about social media's implications for business design lies somewhere in the middle. The fact of the matter, as Todd Defren tells us, is that we need to begin seriously discussing "how Social Media Thinking will impact the greater whole of the company.". Customer Experience Enterprise 2.0 Experience Design social business design social media socialCRM

Living up to the Promise of eLearning: Closing the Learning-Doing Gap

It’s well documented that people leave managers – not companies. Download this guide to learn how to shift the perspective from event to journey and how to take learners through Proficiency Journeys to get results.

Failing to See Money Hiding in Plain Sight

Skilful Minds

I've discussed ethnography, especially digital ethnography, several times taking note that, whether we use ethnography in marketing or design research remains irrelevant to the methods employed. What matters is whether we develop the research questions around the assumption that sociocultural practices provide the data source for answers. Ethnographers research settings, situations, and actions, with the discovery of surprising relationships as their most basic goal.

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What are the Organizational Limits to Analytics in SCRM?

Skilful Minds

Recent studies, one by Sentiment360 and the other by FreshMinds, contend that social media monitoring tools aren't very accurate in measuring sentiment, much less influence. The insight isn't a new one and speaks to the now well-known issue of whether social media engagement is scalable.

The Fallacy of Open/Closed Culture in Social Business Design

Skilful Minds

Think about a closed business culture. Try to visualize what it looks like. Now, think about an open business culture. Try to visualize it. What image comes to mind in each thought? Does the former image looks something like a pyramid? Does the latter one look something like a spider web turned on its side? If you think about it in a comparative way however, these two images exhibit very similar relationships between their parts.

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Social Media is a Compound Noun

Skilful Minds

Social media is not a noun (media) accompanied by an adjective (social). In fact, as long as we think of it that way social media can only fail to achieve what the thought leaders who advocate its use believe it capable of doing. Social media is, in fact, a compound noun. Neither term is sufficent to describe what is done by those using it unless we consider it as part of the other. social business design social media

Content Planning Map: A Template for Training Teams

Are you delivering disjointed feature-based training? Rather than looking at small tasks, focus training content on goals that you want your students to achieve. Download the template to learn how!