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The 80/20 rule for Social Media

Yesterday I had a very nice discussion on the application of the 80/20 rule (aka the Pareto Principle) on social media. The nicest application of this rule is by Timothy Ferriss in the 4 Hour Workweek. He states that 20% of your customers take up 80% of your time. So you need to lose these customers to save 80% of your time. Social Media is all about conversations, this will mean that 20% of your network will take up 80% of your time on social media. Unlike the example of the 4 Hour Workweek, this is a good thing. In social media you want to engage with as much of your network as possible. Hopefully the 90-9-1 rule which segments your visitors in 90% ‘lurkers’, 9% contributors and 1% creator is a low estimate and 80/20 is more applicable!

What do you think?

(the elderly gentleman in the picture is Vilfredo Pareto, courtesy to wikipedia for the nice picture)


The New World of Work and EIM

Today I talked about the information barriers that need to be taken to really take full advantage of the New World of Work

[slideshare id=7207042&w=427&h=356&sc=no]

HNW event from Robbert Homburg
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The New World of Work is so much more

than the inevitable working from home! Fueled by a lot of buzz, the New World of Work (NWOW) or in dutch “Het Nieuwe Werken” (HNW) is gaining more momentum every day. In a few weeks there will be a NWOW Week where workers will be challenged apply the New World of Work for themselves.

Trouble is that 99% will try to work from home and wonder where all the fuzz is about. Working from home does not boost your productivity ceteris paribus and chances are already doing it in some form or the other. Or you just do not want to work from home (as I do for half of the week)!

Catalyst for this narrow view are general remarks like: NWOW has shortened traffic jams, we are “applying” NWOW at our company or NWOW is working anytime or place you want. The numerous folks that are working on NWOW projects are either defining projects to narrow or way to big. NWOW is not IT. NWOW is not working from home. NWOW is not confined to a subset of the workingclass like the VKbanen argued a few weeks ago. NWOW does not discriminate workers nor work it self!  NWOW is not entrepreneurship nor innovation. When reading the twitter feed on #hnw you will see an impression on where talk is about.

the WOW is about innovating the way people work to increase productivity on the long run. It is not about a single factor of work, it is about a disruptive change that makes improvements on a large scale covers all factors of work. Innovation on the way you work requires out of the box rethinking of your processes, procedures and individual workstyles. This means looking at the individual, teams and the organization as a whole and taking into account all facilitators of work: the physical, technology and the human aspect of work. What will the role of the office be in your WOW? How will you manage employees that make their own choices in work? Does your technology enable flexibility but avoid certain risks?

The World of Work is so much more than just flexibility in working hours and locations, it is a big puzzle with a lot of pieces. This puzzle is different for each organization and even for each individual. Only if all the pieces are there and placed at the right spot your NWOW will make you more productive. There are a lot of people on the puzzle board: you, your boss, your IT departement, your Real Estate / Facilities departement, your HR departement and your CEO/Management Team. These guys have a lot of puzzles to solve but your WOW has to be one of them!

What is your opinion on all the fuzz about (N)WOW or HNW?

PS notice that I dropped the New piece on The (New) World of Work because the ‘new’ word predicts an end state but renewal is continuous! (N)WOW projects do not finish they only start.

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The Week of the New World of Work is Announced

Yesterday at the Smart Work and Smart Travel Experience in Utrecht the campagne was launched on the Week of The New World of Work. The title of this campagne (“Het Nieuwe Werken doe je zelf“) actually does not translate very nice in Eglish but an interpretation would be “It is You New World of Work”. The hey take-away here is that you as an employee can change the way you work yourself, bottom up!

This campagne is a coproduction of a number of public and private organizations and, I guess, unique in the world. Their aim is to promote The New World of Work and really make a change the way we work in The Netherlands. Primary objectives here in The Netherlands are to boost our knowledge economy and to reduce traffic.

The Week of The New World of Work starts on November 8th and lasts until the 14th. During this week a lot of promotion on the topic will be made. You can visit a number of locations to see the New World of Work in action, among those locations are (this can’t come as a surprise) YNNO, Youmeet and CreativeValley. A lot of companies will be hosting workshops and other activities to share knowledge and to spread the word on new ways of working. We will be announcing our program for that week shortly!

Next thursday (September 16th) we will host the official launch party of our building! During this party we will also launch our new online platform on “The Way We Work”. If your interested in coming you can register on linkedin.

If you have great ideas for this week or if you want to visit CreativeValley earlier please let me know!

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Maak TEDxAmsterdam mee @ Youmeet

This post is in Dutch because this is about a dutch event hosted at Youmeet. For more info or a translation please contact me!

Dinsdag 30 november aanstaande is het zover: de tweede editie van TEDxAmsterdam! Deze wordt gehouden in de Stadsschouwburg in Amsterdam. Bij Youmeet willen we deze gelegenheid aangrijpen om live mee te kijken met TEDxAmsterdam EN een levendige discussie te voeren over science and fiction en Het Nieuwe Werken. Dus kan jij er niet live bij zijn in Amsterdam en heb jij interesse voor Het Nieuwe Werken of werk in het algemeen, meld je snel aan!

TED is een jaarlijkse conferentie over Technology, Entertainment and Design. Tijdens deze conferentie komt een select gezelschap bijeen om over de trends te praten ruim voordat deze ontstaan. Passie, energie en creativiteit zijn tijdens deze conference de toverwoorden.

TEDxAmsterdam is een onafhankelijk georganiseerd TED evenement volgens hetzelfde concept als TED maar dan in Amsterdam. TEDxAmsterdam staat dit jaar in het teken van ‘Science and Fiction’ en belooft een groot spektakel te worden.

Youmeet is een innovatief vergaderconcept bedacht en gecreëerd door YNNO. Als protest tegen de suffe saaie locaties waar iedereen vergadert. Youmeet is onderdeel van Creative Valley in Utrecht, een van de meest spraakmakende kantoorgebouwen van dit moment.

Rondom de simulcast vanuit het concertgebouw willen wij graag met elkaar discussiëren over dit fantastische thema! Het definitieve programma volgt.

  • Datum: 30 november 2010
  • Locatie: Youmeet, Orteliuslaan 11 in Utrecht
  • Tijdstip: vanaf 8:00 ben je welkom om de hele dag het programma te volgen
  • Kosten: toegang is gratis maar we vragen een kleine vergoeding voor eten en drinken van €15. Over het diner en de borrel zijn we nog niet uit. Suggesties zijn welkom!
  • Aanmelden: stuur een email of een DM naar Robbert met jouw gegevens en waarom je TEDxAmsterdam@Youmeet. wil bijwonen! Let op we hebben beperkte ruimte dus meld je snel aan.

Tot ziens op de 30ste!

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The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Intranet?

In an interesting article, Chris Anderson and Michael Wolf argue the decease of the Web. Mostly the article covers the commercial end of the Web. My question would be if the stuff they describe in their article is applicable inside the firewall. The consumer world is setting the trend for technology inside organizations these days as it once was the other way around. This would imply that at least some if not all of the article will apply to organizations some time in the future.

The mayor paradigm shift Chris Anderson is describing means that apps are taking over the position of the browser. This shifts was accelerated by the introduction of the iPhone and iPad recently. The total amount of traffic of websites will get smaller and smaller the coming years.

Would this mean that the intranet as we know it will move away from the browser? At the moment workers predominantly use PC’s and laptops for work, either at home or at the office. Smartphones are on the rise and are already taking over as a primary email client. The characteristics of apps is that they offer a closed and limited set of functionalities. The intranet has to be cut into small pieces of homogenous functionalities and be fitted to app size.

We are starting these discussions with our clients with success. Because the examples in the consumer world are ubiquitous (for instance LinkedIn for iPhone or Twitter for Blackberry), everybody can imagine how this will look like. The idea of a peoplefinder like functionality on your smartphone has added value because when you are on your way to a meeting you generally speaking only have access to your smartphone. There are already apps to use your SharePoint intranet available. If Chris is right than we will see this paradigm shift as-well inside the firewall. The primary catalyst will be be shift away from the normal screen and towards iPad or Tablet like hardware.

What do you think? Can you share an example of an app that offers intranet functionality? Would be great to hear and share ideas!

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Conversations at Work: Lessons from the Cluetrain

As promised this post will cover my reading of the 10th anniversary edition of The Cluetrain Manifesto. What a great book and I feel a bit embarrassed that I didn’t read this book 10 years ago. This book is entertaining, insightfull and still ahead of it’s time. A lot of things the authors talk about is taking place in some organizations but is still a long way for most organizations.  

Obviously the first lessons is that “markets are conversations” and as Jake McGee outlines it is very hard to fully understand this thesis and truthfully apply it. How can you have real conversations? What is your voice, what is your opinion? How can I start a conversation? With whom?

The second lesson for me is a construct of the following theses:

8 In both a internetworked markets and amoung intranetworked employees, people are speaking to each other in a powerful new way

53 There are two conversations going on. One inside the company. One with the market.

56 These two conversations want to talk to each other. They are speaking in the same language. They recognize each other’s voices.

57 Smart companies will get out of the way and help the inevitable to happen sooner.   

For me the lesson is about the conversations between comployees is equally important than conversations in the market and the conversation between employees and the market is even more important. If you understand that there are more smart people working outside your company than inside, the only smart think to do is to enable conversations between employees and the markt. This lesson is also about the changing role of the organization, embodied mostly by the communications department. Your role has to change to get out of the way and help the inevitable happen sooner. That is you need to facilitate conversations and not be the one that talks to the customer and the employee. Your work needs to move up one level and you need to think about ways to improve conversations that you cannot  manage.

The third important lesson is quoted from Dan Gilmore “The ultimate [journalistic] tool is the human brain: our ability to learn, absorb and adapt. In a conversational mode, we do all of the more effectively. And what is the first rule or a conversation? To listen” Listening is also the most difficult part, that we all have forgotten how to do. Being generally interested in one and other and taking the time to focus on the other. This means to forget about your iPhone or blackberry for 10 minutes! Stop all these interruptions and focus! For a nice article on interruptions and attention look at this post form Nick Carr (thanks to @driessen).

For a great explanation of listening, watch the TEDtalk by Evelyn Glennie!

What were your important lessons from the Cluetrain?


The Cluetrain Manifesto, the 10th anniversary edition

June 30 this year was the release date of the revised edition of The Cluetrain Manifesto. This book was written by four gentlemen: Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls and David Weinberger. Here I must admit the I have only read the start of this book on it’s first release 10 years ago. So I am going to make it up to myself actually and I am going to read it now. Bonus for not having read the first edition that in this edition some commentary is added by Jake McGee, J.P. Rangaswami and Dan Gilmor. I have added their blogs to the digital workspace blogroll on the left side. With one exception: the blog of Rick, Seth Ellis Chocolatier (sorry), the blog tells the story of founding a small chocolate manufacturer!

Later on this year I will blog about the revised edition of The Cluetrain Manifesto!

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Three types of social media inside your organization

When you look at a definition of social media I came across in a research paper that was made for Kennisnet by Mark Schoondorp of Winkwaves. The definition Mark used is “Social Media facilitates organized forms to act together”. I interpret acting together as to add value together in a work setting.  When you think of social media as channels or platforms that can be used to facilitate adding value together, you might come up with the following three types of channels: digital channels, physical channels and organizational channels.

Digital channels are the usual suspect. Tools like twitter, blogs and wikis can be used to add value together at work. These tools get a lot of attention at the moment. But physical channels or platforms can be a great accelerator for adding value. A office design that is inspiring will add value. A layout can enable the right social connections. Even the organization itself can be a channel. Can organizing get-togethers to tell stories or a off-site teambuilding session be social media?

I my opinion these three types of social media need to be aligned for the best results. If you interact with someone on twitter you only enter a new level of trust if you have met offline. Storytelling events in the company restaurant will have a bigger impact if they are continued online. Standalone will work and facilitate your efforts but a new level of performance will more likely be reached when all social media types are aligned.

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Schools and the Physical Workplace

Before my holidays I had a session on the new world of learning. During my preparation I spent a lot of time surfing the web, checking out examples on new and innovative school buildings. There is a lot of great stuff out there! Great examples of complete new buildings like a college in Kopenhagen and some great classroomsetups from the US.

In The Netherlands the New World of Work has hit mainstream and a lot of companies are thinking about new ways of working that integrates IT, Buildings and the way work is organized. More and more organizations are grasping the fact that a new way of working has to facilitated in a number of ways and that a integrated approach will ensure a better result in the end. Education has also been looking for new ways of learning stimulated by new legislation. For schools and universities in the Netherlands an institute that is called ‘Kennisnet’ is making a great effort to stimulate the use of innovative technologies.

What struck me is that a great institution like ‘Kennisnet‘ could be of great help to other sectors like healthcare but also general business. But also education could be helped a great deal by a institution that is stimulating the use of innovative building and teaching facilities. There is a lot happening in The Netherlands as well on innovative new building concepts for schools. Examples are the Niekee School in Roemond and ROC Leiden. A institute specialized on innovative school buildings would be able to gather and spread important lessons learned and be a collector of knowledge on this subject!