Gisteren was bij Tegenlicht een mooie reportage hoe wereldwijde ondernemingen onder andere via Nederland op grote schaal belasting ontlopen. Mooi onderwerp zo vlak voor 1 april en in het licht van de stress op Cyprus. Vooral de beelden van een onderzoekscommissie in Engeland zijn mooi om te kijken!
Biking on the Galibier
Really scarry stuff!
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/59996430 w=500&h=281]
Seabase – Galibier from &SÖHNE on Vimeo.
Social Media Fatigue?
Do I suffer from Social Media Fatigue? Returning back from holiday I looked at a number of new followers on Twitter and they are all companies. They are following me to sell me stuff but I cannot imagine they will ever make a sale. How is it possible to be interested in the lives of more that 500 followers, where does one find the time to read all these tweets? It is common knowledge that people on Facebook want to depict themselves as uber-happy and successful. Sharing a location on foursquare has not brought me any value but only costed me time. Not to mention the nice integration between social media platforms causing the same small post to appear in a number of timelines at once. In the end there are some tweets, wall posts or others that add value but ask yourself:
Is the percentage of consumed social media information that add value higher than 1%?
Why not direct your energy away from social media and towards a rewarding goal?
I like to believe that if we would have directed all the the human energy used at Social Media worldwide, we might have realized at least one of the Millennium Goals of the United Nations.
Today I read a nice post by Sander Duivestein on Frankwatching titled “The Future of Information: realtime becomes right time”. Providing information at the right time has always been more important than realtime information. Relevancy is the third barrier to information productivity and organizations are coming closer to this barrier. These organizations have made information available (barrier #1) and accessible (barrier #2).
Sander argues that time and attention are scarce goods and that today technology is aware of our context. Well the first argument has been the case since the beginning of time itself. No matter how hard we try there will only be 24 hours in a day of which we can be engaged for maybe 10 to 12 hours maximum. The same can be said for attention. Our brain can focus on one activity or a number of activities. When we are focussed on one activity we ignore everything else. When we focus on a number of activities the quality of all activities will decline. The more activities we try to do the less quality we will produce. The Monkey Business Illusion offers great insight in attention.
The second argument is that technology is finally aware of our context. Of course the world is not black and white and technology was already partly aware of our context, personalization has been part of technology for a number of years. What has changed is that technology is moving tot a 1 on 1 personalization and is combining all available input. This enables algorithms to assess what a person is doing each time of the day. The most promising initiatives at the moment, Siri and Google Now & Glass, are all aimed at the consumer market. Is there a need for an initiative in the consumer market or will consumerization of IT take these consumer initiatives to the office?
For a feel of the power of Google Now and Glass, take a look!
Three Forms of Transparency
I think there are three forms of transparency: forced, active and passive. The first, forced transparency, is well know because of cases like Enron and Wikileaks. Legislatorsand society force organizations to be open about the way they operate. Organizations are forced to be accountable and more importantly to do the right thing. In to many cases organizations were doing wrong and nobody could see until it was to late. People have lost their lifesavings or a in dept for the rest of their lives no matter how hard they work because of the lack of transparency by some organizations.
The second form is active transparency were companies open up to supplies and customers to directly create value. Logistics companies offer a permanent view on their process to track and trace deliveries. Car manufacturers offer their customers the possibility to change features of a car while it is build. A parts manufacturer has direct access into inventory levels of their customer to know how much and when they need to ship new parts. An insurance agent can get quotes from insurance companies in realtime to advise their clients better.
The third form of transparency is passive. An organizations can only create value indirect with this form and does not play an active role. Consumers around the globe are rating all sorts of products and services on the internet. They rate the quality of a medical doctor or a book, they rate a company or a movie. If there is no platform (ie a comparison site or a forum) to do so, it is very easy to create one or just go to Facebook. These ratings are made whether an organization likes it or not. Potential customers make choices based on these ratings. Not the organization itself is transparant but the perceived environment of the organization.
What do you think?
Processes and EIM
The world of processes and information is a world closely linked. The reason to manage your information is that it has value in the processes of your organization. If this is not the case why bother? Let’s look at the sorts of information that have value in the world of processes.
Describing the process is the first step. This can be done in either simple Word document or in a structured way like BPMN. The biggest challenge is to ensure that descriptions are as close to reallity as possible. There is a trade-off between ease of use and integration capabilities between using a corporate Word template (being far more easy and flexible) and using BPMN (because implementing a process from a technical point of view becomes far more easy).
Input and output of a process can be pieces of information. A client filling out a request form for an insurance is an input to a process. A newspaper is an output of a process. It is imperative that these pieces of information are tightly managed to ensure quality and stay inside the magic, six sigma objective of 3.4 DPMO (defects per million opportunities).
Exhaust information that enables analysis of process performance. Each time a process is executed, it generates information. This information is used in a business intelligence (BI) and/or business analytics environment to diagnose the flow of processes and enables improvement.
During a process actors communicate with each other about the product and process. This communication adds value and should be stored for future benefit. The information that is generated during communicating, like emails or IM discussions, is important because it shows how value is added in a process.
The four barriers for information productivity of course all apply to all four types of information in BPM. Let’s focus on process descriptions. If descriptions are not available to the people working on the process how can they execute the process as designed? If the workers are not able to retrieve the descriptions when they are available the same problem applies. If the descriptions are not relevant they are not adding value for the people working on the process. If the people that are working on the process cannot interpret the descriptions they will make the wrong decisions even if they have read the description. The consequence is that the highest levels of business performance are only possible if all barriers of information are removed.
Post Holiday Energy
This week I returned from my holiday and started working again. About 2 months ago I started my training for the Amsterdam Half Marathon and the last two weeks I ran a lot. At the moment my energy levels are great and still growing. This is a wonderful feeling that I van recommend to every one. Now the key is to focus energy on work again and to spare some energy for the last quarter of the year.
This morning I came across this nice blog from the guys from Social Cast on The Future of Work. If you have some time to spare take a look. They have some nice blogposts and infographics on the site. I added a part of this nice infographic on the 8 hour workday.
Being the first of the month all business activities are concerned with updating the administration. First was the VLC Advisory administration. This was the first time and we are in a transition of systems. The consequence was that it took a while and needed some manual corrections because of the transition. I had to take some time to get to know the systems and the rationale behind the numbers. On top of that we are sharing some of the financials with the complete Advisory team so I also prepared those numbers. When the accountant verifies it all, these will be shared so everyone can take a look at their performance. We want to be transparant about this and show were we can help each other.
Up to now I was busy with the financials of NZwijn.nl. Making a number of invoices and updating the administration. My wine administration is a lot more simple but it gets the job done. But the most important things is that it enables me to make the smart choices for the future!
In both systems improvements can be made but that is the case for almost all IT systems. For my wine company that is a lot easier and actually only time and Excel are limiting my options here. One thing they both have in common that changes of the systems need some time and the people that are using them have to learn to use the system. At first working with these systems takes much longer than before but after a while it will get much faster. Actually this will be true for all changes within organizations and IT systems.
Credits for the photo is to Chris JL!
Three out of five!
Today I started of at the wrong VLC office ;-( A mixup in the appointment forced myself and a colleague to drive to Rotterdam. The meeting started to late but had a very good result. We discussed our internal change management training. We made a decision about group size, subjects and the case we will discuss during our three nights. The subjects we will discuss will cover the basics and go deeper discussing organizational perspective and personal perspective.
When we were finished I tried to get out but a “nice” neighbor of VLC Rotterdam prevented me to drive away… Very very childish and I will never ever do business with these guys again! But I am also a nice guy so I will not mention their name here but if you want to know please contact me! The VLC colleagues enjoying the standoff in front of the window in Rotterdam also know 😉
In Utrecht the place was packed! I shared one desk with two others… I worked on a standard text we can add to our proposals, knowing that for each proposal we need to align the text with the client situation. The rest of the day I spend some time working on our infographic. Also I worked on the outline of the change management training and searched for the articles we will add to a reader for the training.
Tomorrow management of VLC will have a 24 hour training in a real hotel. Everybody was in good spirit and wondered what we would be doing. Speculations ran high and even the clothing advise was discussed big time. Saturday will start of very early so I think everybody will be tired like never before.
This means I visited three out of the five VLC offices today. Maybe not very “New World of Work” but sometimes face to face gets a lot more done! Hopefully I will visit VLC Santander in the near future to complete my travels to all VLC branches!
Sales and Change for VLC
Yesterday I was busy working on a number of leads, this is always exciting and nice to do. Sometimes we figure out that we cannot help the customer and sometimes we can! The questions from (potential) customers often vary a lot, which is nice to see because this means strategic variation.
Within VLC we are working hard to enhance our change management capabilities. We are conducting an internal training on change management. A lot of colleagues have registered for the training so this means we are even more engaged to change. We are discussing this subject with our customers to ensure the technologies we are implementing are also implemented at an organizational level. The objective here is to help our customers get even more value out of information.
When I got home my sons nephew and nice were visiting so this means complete chaos (much like the photo, thanks Aditya Bhelke) and fun. I went running when they all sat down for dinner and we all were really tired so I did not get a chance to write my post yesterday.