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PR - External & ER - Internal

Blogs are the New Press Releases by Steve Rubel of Micro Persuasion offers his thoughts on press releases and wants to know yours. Judging by the comments on his post, I think Steve effectively demonstrates his third point on feedback.

1) RSS Will be Everywhere - By 2007 RSS will be considered an official disclosure point because you will instantaneously reach everyone at once. Today we all have a free wire distribution service on our desktops, thanks to RSS

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Because markets are changing faster than businesses

Today, your brand is being watched, augmented, and de-located. People are writing their own stories, thoughts, ideas, and developing new products and services using social media technologies. These simple social networking and web 2.0 technologies and services: Blogs, Wikis, Forums, Tagging, Podcasts, and RSS are connecting people and information in new ways, conversations, faster than you can say oh shit.

What, how, and where people are discovering new ideas.

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Lost Talent!

A Company Is Known By The People It Keeps, businesspundit - "Knowledge work should not be modeled after manufacturing work. Too many managers still don't get that." With social media technologies making it easier for anyone to publish their thoughts, ideas, etc. on the net, how long will it take before the jig is up on those companies that treat their people like shit?

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Blogging with Smarts and Guts

The ever generous and insightful Steve Rubel from Micro Persuasion offers the most down to earth advice for any business about who should be blogging for the company. Steve says, "Blog from the Gut of Your Company, " USA Today has a big story asking why CEOs aren't blogging in droves. I think they are making a bigger deal out of this than is warranted. Often the most interesting corporate blogs are the ones that are written by the rank and file. They come from the passionate "gut" of the company, not necessarily from the top."

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Enterprise Blogs For Employee Training

I came across three articles about employee training recently. The first one is an IBM PR piece, the second from Management Issues and the third is from CFO.com. Of course, the IBM solution fits in with there SOA (Service Oriented Architecture). However, I wonder if any content management system that supports XML, RSS, and webservices would serve the same purpose as a learning tool as well as fit into an open SOA - I think so.

SOA Goes to School, By Erin Joyce, from Jupiter   "In a global study of over 300 chief human resources offices, IBM (Quote, Chart) found over 60 percent of HR professionals operating in mature markets had difficulty identifying and developing the critical employee skills and talents that are vital to remain competitive.

The 2005 IBM Global Human Capital survey also said more than half of the CEOs surveyed believed their staffs do not have the skills to move into new markets and capture emerging growth opportunities. IBM calls the trend "The Menace of Maturity." The term suggests that companies a bit long in the tooth are likely to see atrophy in their ability to train employees swiftly."

Both of these studies focus on how to retain workers and get workers up to speed on new job requirements. Since I know the most about my own solution, I will give you my take. Ideascape offers the people in your organization a platform to create a gigantic learning and development environment securely on the Net. An interactive platform where more people, both inside and outside the business, can relate to each other; one where employees, instructors,  clients, customers, vendors, and partners inspire and challenge each other to improve and sustain the business. If your people are continually exposed to new thoughts and are discovering new ideas both within your organization as well as outside of it, they will continue to learn, to update their skills, to stay "fresh" to the changes that are happening.  The world is changing at an ever-faster pace; in order to keep up, you have to stay on top of what's happening!  So, if you want fresh ideas from your people,  Ideascape has everything you need to brainstorm, sketch, and develop ideas across the organization that will move people to action and get them ready to tackle new challenges.

Training the key in the war for talent, From Management Issues, "Britain's employers are embracing training as a way of retaining and getting the most out of employees in a tough labour market. Research from the journal IRS Employment Review has suggested training budgets are set to increase as employers struggle to ensure workers have the skills they need to do their jobs, and that managers can get the best out of them.

Its poll of 68 organisations found nearly nine out of ten said a key objective of training was to ensure that employee skills were up to scratch – a reflection of the difficulty employers have finding the right people in a tight labour market."

We have an enterprise blogging system that supports every type of media (rich text, rss, podcasts, and images) available. The system offers a great deal of interactivity using blogs, forums, and wikis, which gives everyone the opportunity to learn from instructors as well as each other. The simple nature of blogging applications keeps the learning material archived and updated since employees are blogging about it with instructors.

CFO.com offers ideas on meeting training needs using internet based exchanges.

Online trading hubs stage a comeback. But this time, there's a twist. From CFO.com, "When David Mroz, a manager at Shannon Precision Fastener, needed to buy a new LCD projector for a training class, he didn't head to Staples to hunt down a bargain. Nor did he go online to search out the best price on the product. Instead, the quality manager at the Madison Heights, Mich.-based Shannon put his prospective purchase up for bid on the Internet."

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Candor In The Workplace

Coordination Theory in a Flat World

Follow me here for my understanding of what this flat world business is about, and what we can do about it as individuals, employees, business founders, owners, stakeholders, and as managers.

Doc Searls has a provocative post, the "Long Tail" about his interview with Tom Friedman, author of The Flat World and the subsequent discussion with other bloggers about the ideas Mr. Friedman puts forth in his new book. Not many people can ignite such passion in people like Doc. Julie Leung, "Thanks to Doc Searls, I burned the soup..but it was worth it" Check it out:

"Later last night, while the pan was soaking and the kids were sleeping, I returned to read Getting Flat, Part 2 from Linux Journal. Doc's piece, with references to works by Thomas Friedman and John Taylor Gatto hit me with its truth immediately, in a way that soaks into the soul. Although I had other duties that needed to get done last night, I wanted to post on it ASAP. While I sorted through piles of papers and evaluated bills, Doc's words continued to cook in my mind..."

Ideas are exploding in the blogosphere around Friedman's, Doc's, Dan Gillmor's, Dave Pollard's, et al. Hugh, from gapingvoid has opened a pandora's box with his post on "Culture and Technology", which lead to this "new gapingvoid rule", and "What level of transparency can a company live with?" and now "more hamish". He is all over the place, but drives home several good points that jibe with the ideas in Friedman's book, Doc's discussion, as well as what we are trying to accomplish at Advancing Insights with Ideascape. 

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Ideascaping Business Processes

Never before has it been so fast and easy for anyone to find, discover, and share ideas, concepts, questions, answers, solutions. We can work together now using enterprise blogs, group chat, forums, and slick bookmarking systems like del.icio.us and Furl along with tagging systems like technorati. that were hardly imaginable a little over a year ago.

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Will You Still Respect Me In The Morning?

Don't you think it's interesting that we have books that directly tie corporate performance to employee morale? What gives? Did you ever read the Monk Story? A simple tale about treating people with respect.

"A monastery has fallen on hard times. It was once part of a great order which, as a result of religious persecution in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, lost all its branches. It was decimated to the extent that there were only five monks left in the mother house: the Abbot and four others, all of whom were over seventy. Clearly it was a dying order.

Deep in the woods surrounding the monastery was a little hut that the Rabbi from a nearby town occasionally used for a hermitage. One day, it occurred to the Abbot to visit the hermitage to see if the Rabbi could offer any advice that might save the monastery. The Rabbi welcomed the Abbot and commiserated. "I know how it is," he said, "the spirit has gone out of people. Almost no one comes to the synagogue anymore." So the old Rabbi and the old Abbot wept together, and they read parts of the Torah and spoke quietly of deep things.

The time came when the Abbot had to leave. They embraced. "It has been wonderful being with you," said the Abbot, "but I have failed in my purpose for coming. Have you no piece of advice that might save the monastery?" "No; I am sorry," the Rabbi responded, "I have no advice to give. The only thing I can tell you is that the Messiah is one of you."

When the other monks heard the Rabbi’s words, they wondered what possible significance they might have. "The Messiah is one of us? One of us, here, at the monastery? Do you suppose he meant the Abbot? Of course - it must be the Abbot, who has been our leader for so long. On the other hand, he might have meant Brother Thomas, who is undoubtedly a holy man. Certainly he couldn't have meant Brother Elrod - he's so crotchety. But then Elrod is very wise. Surely, he could not have meant Brother Phillip - he's too passive. ,But then, magically, he's always there when you need him. Of course he didn't mean me - yet supposing he did? Oh Lord, not me! I couldn't mean that much to you, could I?"

As they contemplated in this manner, the old monks began to treat each other with extraordinary respect, on the off chance that one of them might be the Messiah. And on the off off chance that each monk himself might be the Messiah, they began to treat themselves with extraordinary respect.

Because the forest in which it was situated was beautiful, people occasionally came to visit the monastery, to picnic or to wander along the old paths, most of which led to the dilapidated chapel. They sensed the aura of extraordinary respect that surrounded the five old monks, permeating the atmosphere. They began to come more frequently, bringing their friends, and their friends brought friends. Some of the younger men who came to visit began to engage in conversation with the monks. After a while, one asked if he might join. Then another, and another. Within a few years, the monastery became once again a thriving order, and - thanks to the Rabbi's gift - a vibrant, authentic community of light and love for the whole realm.

Author, M. Scott Peck

Simple idea! Treat people with respect. Now we have ample evidence that suggests that treating employees well pays dividends.

"Giving Employees What They Want: The Returns Are Huge" (reg req)

"David Sirota, co-author of The Enthusiastic Employee: How Companies Profit by Giving Workers What They Want (Wharton School Publishing), believes far too many managers stifle employee enthusiasm across the board by using bureaucratic or punitive techniques that should be reserved for a troublesome few."

Mr. Sirota studied 28 companies employing 920,000 people that lead to the following findings:

  •  14 of the 28 companies with high morale had a 16% increase vs. just 3% for low morale companies, Share prices in the respective industries was 6% overall,
  •  let employees take pride in their work - employees want a sense of achievement from work,
  •  treat fairly and respectfully - fair pay and benefits,
  •  camaraderie - to work as a team - giving people a say in how they do their jobs - they want to participate.

Sirota: "We are often asked how to motivate employees. Our response is, that's a silly question. The real question is: 'How do you keep management from destroying motivation?' When we look at the data we find that people coming to a new job are quite enthusiastic. Most of them are very happy to be there and looking forward to meeting their new coworkers. But as you study the data you find morale, or enthusiasm, declines precipitously after five or six months."

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