Work as most of us know it

How would you challenge default work tools as email, telephone, face to face interaction and saving ones documents on your local drive?

I’m a strong believer in the power of web 2.0 tools. They can offer leaders and workers the possibility of increased transparency in organisations, better transfer of knowledge and better products and services. Not to forget about revenues – o la la.

Transform the way we work, please

However, if you were to take on the challenge of transforming these fundamental ways of work, where would you start? Is it possible to change our ways of work as dramatically as I guess is necessary in order to change these four powerful streams of work routine? I’m not sure if it is necessary to get rid of them. However, alternative tools for cooperation and communication must prove more valuable in order to be viewed as relevant alternatives.

The reason I’m asking is that I’m currently involved in a project that is about to roll out a set of online collaborative tools that will hopefully alter the way we work across our company. I find it quite hard to actually believe that the majority of people will actually switch to sharing their work documents online, collaborating online, edit a common workspace (wikis, if you like), leave their email behind and unless it demonstrates quickly that it contributes financially or practically to improve the end product or service. I think this is the core challenge of social media: it hasn’t yet proven relevant to most of the people.

I’d be happy to listen to feedback and ideas on this.

Work as most of us know it

5 thoughts on “Work as most of us know it

  1. Jo Jordan says:

    Don’t start with the tools! Start with the organization’s purpose and define clearly how the tools reinforce that purpose and how you will track their contribution.

    I can list the generic questions step-by-step if you are intereste

  2. Lynn Sardonia says:

    Vegard & Jo: I am assisting an organization in this cultural shift of using web 2.0 tools in an HR group. There are a lot of concerns about inappropriate behavior and loss of control which reinforce the use of the traditional “four”. I am helping them map out their strategy for the change. Jo: I would like to see your suggested step-by-step.

    Thanks for your comments and helping to push the change forward. — Lynn

  3. Jo Jordan says:

    Great. Can you remind me after christmas or search my blog for SHRM or strategy?

  4. Hey, Jo and Lynn.

    Thanks a lot for your enthusiasm on this topic.

    Jo: Yes, indeed, it is crucial to start with the purpose of the organisation and not the tools. When I wrote this post I must admit I was somewhat frustrated exactly about the lack of organisational purpose and over emphasis on tools. Thus I’m glad you commented on this aspect. Also, since I posted this blog I’ve read Morten Hansen’s wonderful book ‘Collaboration’ (2009). He confirms this specific need of keeping the organisational objectives clear in mind when delving into collaboration initiatives.

    Lynn: In addition to Jo’s coaching on the topic, I believe you may find some interesting ideas on implementation of web 2.0 initiatives in companies. I’ve found McKinsey’s blog post on their segmentation of intranet users valuable for reflecting upon why implementing collaborative tools such as corporate intranets. Check it out:

  5. Trying to clear the decks before Christmas. I found a ‘systems view’ very useful in organizational consulting and I’ve learned a few hacks over the years.

    The SMEAC acronym of the military is also very useful.

    Until later!


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