The latest information on business management, best practices, user tips, advanced administration and development for customer experience, digital transformation and the digital workplace, including Microsoft SharePoint, Dynamics CRM and Salesforce.com.
Wondering how much impact your digital workplace project will have? Will it truly be a transformation of what you do, or just an adaptation of what you’re already doing? Those two words sound similar, but they lead to entirely different destinations. Bear with me while I draw a couple of analogies to make my point.
Transformation, on the one hand, is analogous to the real change that occurs in the natural world when a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. It’s a multi-step process whereby one creature – a creepy, crawly caterpillar – is reborn as a completely new creature – a swift, agile, airborne butterfly. The butterfly that emerges from the cocoon bears no resemblance to its ancestral caterpillar.
It’s not just their physical appearance that changes. It’s also the way the two creatures move – the caterpillar crawls while the butterfly flies. And what they eat – caterpillars eat leaves and plant parts, while butterflies do not eat, but drink, feeding on nectar from plant flowers or tree sap, or on the sugars in rotting fruits. And finally, it’s how they impact the world around them. Caterpillars cause tremendous damage to plants and crops, while butterflies do no harm.
Adaptation, on the other hand, is analogous to the chameleon that changes color based on its environment. This color change results in protective camouflage. The chameleon has the ability to look different even though it’s still absolutely the same creature.
In times of rapid change, or disruption, adaptation alone can end in extinction.
Transform or be Disrupted
So take a hard look at what you’re actually doing in response to rapid changes in the ways that forward-thinking companies are doing business and the forces that are disrupting businesses of all types today. Are you transforming your business processes to remain competitive in a digital world? Or are you merely using a few new tools to do the same things in the same ways with just a slightly different color?
Effective digital transformation requires a great deal more than just moving documents from hard copy to soft copy. Hopefully, you accomplished that a decade ago or more, before digital transformation was even part of your lexicon. Then there’s “digitization” which is the conversion of analog data into a digital form. And that’s still a step away from “digitalization” which refers to the process of technologically-induced change. Once again, this reflects the difference between transformation and adaptation.
Technology pundits will tell you that companies that embrace digital transformation will be leaders in their industries, while companies that do not embrace digital transformation will struggle to remain competitive. Hopefully, you’ve embraced digital transformation. But how far along have you come on that journey? Far enough to maintain a competitive edge? Or are you still losing ground because you haven’t executed real caterpillar-to-butterfly business process change?
Digital connectivity and collaboration, which eliminate isolated silos of information, embody yet another step in the evolution toward ultimate digital transformation. But make no mistake, ultimate digital transformation itself is not even a fixed goal. Because it’s a moving target. Because business is being conducted in an era of rapid change where new and different disruptive forces are appearing on the horizon as we speak.
Our team put together a simple 1-page tool to rate your digital workplace plan. Click here to download the tool and determine if your plan will lead to transformation, or just to adaptation.
C5 Insight works with companies that are embracing digital transformation and require assistance to:
· assess their current capabilities and business processes
· rate their digital workplace project, and
· accelerate their digital journey
We provide cutting-edge intranet, content management, collaboration, and CRM (Customer Relationship Management), tools that are part of the fabric of digital transformation. Contact C5 Insight to learn more about the role we can play in your digital journey.
Many people have trouble keeping up with the latest trends and changes in technology, whether its computers, smartphones or TVs. This is also true if we look at most of the big software companies like Apple, Google and of course Microsoft. It’s even faster with certain Microsoft services like Power BI, Azure and of course their flagship collaboration service Office 365.
Office 365 is constantly changing, and it can be difficult to know what’s going on. I’ll show you 5 quick and easy ways to know what is happening in the Office 365 ecosystem.
Every time I read the news, it seems there is another organization rocked by scandal. And, like Mark Cuban, it is often a leader who may otherwise be ethical, but who is out of touch with what is really going on inside of their organization.
One thing is clear: the pace of business is increasing, putting pressure on everyone in organizations. And the pressure is creating a divide between business leaders and their teams. Organizations like Samsung, Wells Fargo, Volkswagon, Kobe Steel and now the Dallas Mavericks have all had some leaders who were well intentioned, but who were out of touch with their teams. And the results were devastating.
Intranets are the centralized communications tool for the hyper-fast paced competitive workplaces of this century. Here are ways that they might have minimized these scandals.
Intranets are for Listening
Most organizations already use SharePoint or some other intranet solution. But they tend to limit use to just sharing documents or, occasionally, for executives to share news in a traditional top-down style. That approach only broadens the gap between leaders and employees.
Here are some ways that businesses are using their intranets to find scandals before they are ever brought into the public eye:
Ask questions: Instead of just broadcasting leadership updates, ask your teams questions. What issues are they seeing? How do they feel about recent changes? Is the company staying true to its defined values? And, when they respond, engage with them to dig deeper. Let them know that you are listening. Modern intranets include social tools that make dialog easy.
Monitor and participate: Leaders also need to be a part of the conversations going on around the business. Monitor what is being said, comment occasionally. Let the team know that you’re not locked up in your ivory tower – but that you’re actively engaged with them.
Make it safe and easy to be a whistleblower: The risk of speaking truth to power is too much for most people. Your job as a leader is to make it safe and easy for team members to step forward with information. And your intranet can play a role in that by creating a safe place to report what they are experiencing (and also providing other easy options for those who may not be comfortable using the intranet for this purpose).
Analyze sentiment and engagement: Your intranet is full of buzz. The documents saved, messages posted, emails sent – they all contain hints at the current state of mind of the company. Most companies only track sentiment every year-or-two using employee satisfaction reporting. But with your intranet, you can see sentiment in real time, and answer questions like: Is sentiment trending upward or downward? Is one department becoming less connected to other departments? Are there specific terms being used more frequently that might be a red flag? This kind of social business intelligence analysis must always be anonymous, but it can give you insights that can then be used to ask questions and dig deeper.
Transparently Communicate the Plan
Using the above tools won’t eliminate scandals – but it will identify them much earlier. Once an issue is identified, your intranet can then become a part of the answer. Use it to share a plan with your team that helps you to handle the situation well, and turn the ship quickly. In many of the scandals I shared earlier, companies didn’t move quickly enough and the mixed messages the public received only deepened the scandal.
When you broadcast a plan, close the loop by continuing to listen. Inviting dialog not only helps to heal what has been broken, it also sends a cultural message that your organization will be one that respects its people – employees and customers.
Put it Into Action
How can an organization take the lessons of these scandals and put them into action? No matter where you are, 3 steps apply.
(Re)start an Intranet Project: If you don’t have an intranet solution, such as SharePoint, make it a priority to get one. If you do, but you’re not using it in the ways described in this article, then re-think and then re-launch the project.
Educate and Inspire the Team: The language of the workplace is changing – it is being rebuilt with digital tools. In today’s world, sending email is like painting pictures on cave walls. Organizations must embrace and adopt these tools to be equipped for the future. Make sure your team has adopted your intranet and sees it as an important path to the future.
Lead the Leaders: Leaders in most organizations aren’t familiar with digital workplace tools. The learning curve is uncomfortable, but the gaps in their skills are holding the entire organization back. Get your leaders a digital communications coach to put together a plan and to help them make the change in incremental steps.
If you are in a fast-paced, large, or geographically distributed workforce situation, your organization is more at risk of a scandal than most. Use your intranet to create a better workplace, and mitigate the risk of scandal.
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You're using Office 365, and you're wondering if you should use Outlook Groups, Yammer, Microsoft Teams - or all 3. Join the crowd! This article helps you to understand the differences between the options, and which option might be right for your team.
Has this ever happened to you? You are minding your own business when you need to remote to your SharePoint server desktop to fix the User Profile Service (who hasn’t?). You open Central Administration and go to the UPA and to your horror you can’t edit the profiles!
Enterprise social communities have enormous potential for sharing knowledge, discovering new innovations, and boosting productivity. But without proper governance, they can start strong and end in a confusing and overly-complex mess! In this article I explore some practical tips for social community governance.
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