Showing posts from 2013

Contextual intranets by @roojwright #congressp

I recently posted my notes on the 1st masterclass of the SharePoint conference we organize. The 2nd masterclass of the SharePoint conference is by Andrew Wright. His talk is about ‘contextual intranet’. I'm sharing my summary of the masterclass below. I think I'll also post one or two more posts on the conference itself.
But first Andrew Wright's masterclass about 'contextual intranets'.

What is a contextual intranet? Wright’s definition is:
An intranet that facilitates the development of content – both qualified (signal) and unqualified (noise) – that supports continuous improvement, efficient operations and employee engagement and delivers this content in a meaningful context to the employee. Characteristics of the contextual intranet
The contextual intranet exists of the following elements:

Content developmentBusiness imperatives (continuous improvement, operations (tasks), employee engagement)Content delivery (context provided by meta data, like LinkedIn Today do…

What every SharePoint intranet should do? by @s2d_jamesr #congressp

Intranets have been around a long time, but not necessarily well loved. SharePoint brings huge opportunities for intranets. But new technology does not make problems go away.
So, how do we deliver SharePoint intranets that are really great? This is the question that James Robertson will answer in the 1st masterclass at the SharePoint conference 2013.
Great intranets in words
We start out with the question: what words describe great intranets? The audience says: connected, collaborative, accessible, social, information value, support daily work routines, usable, fast, mobile, task-based, updated, interactive, single-point of trust, attractive, innovative, easy to maintain and affordable.
Purposes James goes into five purposes of intranet: content, communication, collaboration, culture and activity. James shows many examples of intranets that fulfill these purposes.
Content We need to deliver usable and valuable information. We quite ‘good’ at this and we have way too much of this. There ar…


Work should be a mix of car and train, I wrote recently. But how do you make sure your work has the ‘car’ element, when you don’t travel by car?

I recently read this interesting article in which the big boss of LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner, explains how he makes time to listen and think. He basically underschedules. He deliberately has fixed time slots in which he has no meetings. These time slots are for walking around, talking to people and listening to them, sitting back and thinking everything through.

This is interesting. I’ve written about the concept of ‘slack’ before and how important it is for work in general and collaboration and networking (platforms) specifically. It’s important to me personally as well. I find I really need time throughout the week to restructure things in my head, generate some creative ideas for my clients, write things down for a blogpost or just to document things.

But I also know that in the society we live in ‘time is money’. ‘Billable hours’ are importan…

Work as a mix of car and train

Recently I had to travel to Brussels several times. That’s a 2-3 hour drive by car or train from the city I live in. I usually travel by train. But with our little baby popping up any day I thought it would be best to take the car.
The great thing about commuting by car is that it takes me from the front-door of my house to the front-door of my client. But that’s about it. I have to sit in the car for a long time and do practically nothing. It gets even worse when the commute is prolonged by 1+ hour because of traffic jams.
This got me wondering about commuting and productivity. The great thing about traveling by train is I can do things. I can read, work on documents and presentations, make some calls, etc. It costs me some extra travel time, but the work I can get done makes up for it. (Of course, there are environmental reasons to mention here as well, but I’ll leave them out of the post for now.) On the other had, what I hardly do in the train is sit back and think. Or listen to …

Not everything is a task

To me ‘Productivity’ is an interesting topic. There was a time that I was desperately looking for ways to be (more) productive. How do I manage my work as a knowledge worker? At the beginning of my working life I found I had a hard time structuring my work, showing progress, etc. I also found I was given little tools during university to help me be productive in my work life. I knew how to make sure I passed exams, but working on an open project with vague goals…?

What really helped me was David Allen’s book ‘Getting things done’. I love this book. His methodology gave me all the tools I need to get things done.

I still am a sucker for productivity tips and tools. And I’ll share things I find on productivity regularly.

As you know Allen’s advice is to make a task out of everything you need to get done. When you’ve captured your tasks, there’s room for flow. And this is true, it works for me.

But I have been wondering for years now: what’s the true productivity gain? Capturing and doing t…

Listening is Hard

Listening is hard. At least that's my experience and there's lots of research that correlates with my experience. I recently heard or read somewhere that we can only listen for 7 seconds without interrupting the speaker or having our thoughts drift off. I couldn't find where I read or heard this. Maybe some podcast? Maybe I forgot because I was already thinking about this blogpost before I finished listening to the article...

Anyway, I searched around a bit and found several posts that say we only listen 5-7 seconds and then start to think of something else or we start to think about interrupting. Another posts says it 18 or 23 seconds. Tom Peters says 18 seconds. And this post just doesn't know...

In any case listening is extremely important. Seth Godin wrote a nice post about this. Listening is "not a passive act" and needs "purpose". And Luis Suarez wrote about "active listening" and points to a lovely video about listening with Tom Pe…

Welcome David!

As I tweeted and G+-ed just a couple of days ago: my 3rd son was born on Sunday. His name is David John (Dutch: David Johannes). He's a healthy, big boy weighing 4386 gr and he's 56 cm long.

I'm happy to say the delivery went well. There were some complications, but we're doing fine now.

We're all enjoying little David and getting used to him. David's older brothers are extremely proud of him.

When new technologies become productive

Wired is my favorite work-related magazine by far. I read all editions from cover to cover (almost). Recently Wired celebrated its 20th anniversary with a special edition. Reading through that edition is a fascinating trip through history. And it's only been 20 years!

For their anniversary Wired also collected some of their most popular articles and bundled them into an ebook. One of the articles struck me. The article is titled: The Long Boom: A History of the Future, 1980 - 2020 and is written by Peter Schwartz and Peter Leyden. I'm a sucker for these kind of articles. But I found this one intriguing because it was written some time ago. I was curious how well they predicted what was going to happen in the time we are living in now. Of course they got things wrong, but many predictions are quite correct. Go ahead, read the article and see for yourself.

But there's one part in this article that I wanted to share with you. It relates to all the posts that have been written…

Neglecting my blog...

Remember me? I'm the guy who used to blog regularly here, but has been silent for some time. Man, what is going on?

Happy to say I wasn't silent on Twitter and Google+... But I must say not blogging feels bad. For some time I was wondering if I was out of ideas to share. I know this is not the case. I have many draft blogposts waiting to be finalized for publication. Bu the main reason for not publishing them is time. I never put blogging in my schedule. I would just blog whenever I felt like it and had time to think and write. But my working (and private) life has changed lately. Not just in the number of projects I'm doing, but also juggling them in my head. I think that's the most important reason for not blogging. I need time and brain cycles to churn out posts. And it was not there or I didn't make sure it was there. Maybe I need to underschedule more?

Anyway, I plan to blog more regularly. I'm simply inserting time to blog in my schedule and see if that w…

How to help others become digitally literate?

In my previous post I asked my readers how they help other’s understand the potential of new ways of working? How can we teach and show others what digital literacy is?

I wanted to share one idea I use to teach others to work out loud. What I always try to do is relate to the primary processes of the organization or, even better, to the primary work processes of the person I’m helping. He/she is working in a certain way and used to that. For instance, he uses email to send around documents and get feedback on them. Or he sends out an email to a group of people to get ideas about a certain topic. Starting there I ask that person what he/she likes about working that way. And what he/she dislikes about it. Then I ask how he/she thinks the dislikes could be solved. My experience is: most people don’t think they can be solved. They just cope with the issues and carry on. If this is the case, I show them how I do the same job with a certain tool. I tell them why I work in that way and why I…

Digital Illiteracy

Some time ago my friend Ana Silva wrote an interesting post about a very important topic: digital literacy. Please read her post (and the comments). The main point of her post is that we should not assume people get the internet or get social media and will start working out in the open by themselves. Some do, but many need to be helped. We have to teach them, step-by-step, to be digitally literate. This is hard work.
I’ve written about this topic quite a bit as well using a different term: ‘personal knowledge management’. How do we become more productive working out in the open and using the new (and old) social concepts and tools?
As I wrote in a comment on Ana’s post, this is not a small issue. Recently the Dutch newspaper I read ( ran an extra section of the newspaper about ‘searching in a smarter way on the internet’ (Dutch: Slimmer zoeken op internet’). Very interesting stuff with all kinds of tips & tricks to improve the way you use the internet. But what struck me …

Talks about gamification, money and the future of work #socialnow


Enterprise 2.0 tool vendors at SocialNow #socialnow

Now for some highlights from the vendor presentations in my second post about the SocialNow conference. 
Foulders has not been launched yet, but presented their concept and tool at the conference. They want to start where the users are: their email inbox. And most people have multiple inboxes. So they provide a super dashboard over all your inboxes and help you organize the tasks that come out of your email. They use language technology to help the user quickly and efficiently organize emails in tasks and folders.
Podio was at the conference for the second year. I didn’t hear anything new with respect to the product. There will be a big update to the product in the very near future. Podio is still an impressive product that wants to help us overcome email and make spreadsheets better. Spreadsheets can easily be turned into open and smart Podio apps to improve collaboration and communication around them.
Another new tool to SocialNow is Wordpress with the P2 extension. Wordpress isn’t a…

Notes and learnings from the SocialNow conference 2013 #socialnow

The 2nd edition of the SocialNow conference was held in the beautiful city of Lisbon. As you may remember SocialNow is a unique conference. The conference is organized by Ana Neves of KnowMan. The conference is about helping organizations compare and choose internal social tools. Several Enterprise 2.0 tool vendors have to present their tool relating to the situation of a fictitious company and its issues with collaborative project work and topic-based knowledge sharing. The program is complemented with keynotes from leading experts in the field. I really enjoyed this edition of SocialNow and thought it was even better than last year. I’ll share my notes and learnings from the conference in several posts. This is post nr 1. BTW: You can find a Storify by Paul Corney of day 1 and day 2 here.
Challenges Emanuele Quintarelli kicked off the conference with a talk about the challenges of the social enterprise. As with many experts in the fields his talk was not "happy clappy". Int…

Should Foursquare head into the CRM-market?

Some time ago I wrote about the usefulness of Foursquare. At that time I shared I use Foursquare for fun, but it’s not really useful to me.
Just recently something popped up that does show Foursquare is useful to me. Part of my work is to visit customers and potential customers. Some of the customers aren’t ready to do business with us at the time I visit them and ask me to come back later. So, after some time, I visit them again. Of course the company I work for has a CRM tool, but it’s a pain to go to that system before you visit the customer to check when you were there the last time and what you discussed. I usually just look up my notes stored somewhere on my iPad.
But it is useful to know when I was there the last time. When I arrive at a customer I check in to Foursquare. And what does it say? ‘Welcome back! Last time you were here was in <date>.’ The interesting thing is the conversation with the customer almost always starts with: ‘Good to have you back, when was the l…

A World without Email by @elsua #intra13

We started out the workshop with sharing who we are and how we cope with email. Surprisingly most says they cope with email quite well and don't experience email as a huge issue. But all would like to use email in a better way and get others to do so as well. All participants have some kind of collaboration tool inside their firewall (not saying it's used well or not).

Luis Suarez finds many high-level manager balk when they hear the word 'social', so he uses 'open' more. He stresses that email is a great way to share information. Which is true, says Luis. But you must add: in a silo. And his 'war' on email is not about killing email but repurposing it.

Luis asks why colleagues of the partipants are reluctant to use (internal) social/open tools:
timeno big valueloss of controlrelevance of informationconvenienceavailabilitysecurityresourcesgovernanceno famewhat's in it for me?over-sharingextra toolnot business criticaletc. So, why do people send email? …

Intranet as digital workplace by @markmorrell #intra13

First of all we should be clear what a digital workplace is. Mark’s definition of a digital workplace is: work is something you do not a place you go to. In a digital workplace you can:
work from any location or while mobile have the same or similar online experiencecollaborate, search, and complete tasks online choose what tools you can use to do this feel comfortable whenever you are using feel comfortable whenever you are using it be confident you can use it when you need tohave a better work/life balance The real difference between the intranet and the digital workplace is that you can get work done with a digital workplace. It's not just a content and publication platform, but a place where you can get work done. It's collaborative, it's task-focused. So, how do you develop a digital workplace strategy? Mark shares several points with us: it should align with your other strategiesis wider than an intranet strategyis for the short, medium, and long termhas a governance …

Innovatie in de 4de dimensie, de 4 ruimtes van KM door @pauliske #4ruimtes

Volgende spreker is Paul Iske over 'Innovatie in de 4de dimensie, de 4 ruimtes van kennismanagement'.
Net als de vorige spreker Pierre benadrukt Paul dat de wereld wordt steeds complexer. Hoe blijf je bestaan in de wereld? Hoe pak je een rol in deze wereld?
Het vraagt om Agility. Paul laat een leuk voorbeeld van agility zien aan de hand van dit filmpje.
Veel organisaties komen snel terecht in routines. Routines zijn een deel van leren; je kunt zo dingen sneller leren doen. Maar het kan ook beperken. Je mist dingen als je niet de moeite neemt om even buiten je routines te kijken.
In deze tijd wordt er van ons gevraagd om de snelheid van ons leren te verhogen. Want we leven in een tijd waarin de snelheid van het leren, sneller gaat dan de verandering.
Innovatie is dan het proces om (bestaande) kennis toe te passen in een markt/omgeving.
Een omgeving bestaat uit 4 ruimtes:
social spacevirtual spacephysical spaceprocess space Het klimaat is ook belangrijk voor innovatie. Leadbeate…

Ontwerpen van organisaties door Pierre van Amelsvoort #4ruimtes

Vandaag ben ik bij het lustrum congres van de DutchOpen KM. Het DutchOpen KM en een netwerk van kennismanagement ervaringsdeskundigen die regelmatig bij elkaar komen. Het netwerk bestaat 10 jaar en het leek ons goed om dit te vieren met een congres over de ‘4 ruimtes van kennis management’. Ik zal mijn notes van de dag delen in een aantal blogposts. Ik schrijf live, dus let graag niet teveel op de zinsbouw en typo’s.

Eerste keynote spreker is Pierre van Amelsvoort. Zijn keynote gaat over ‘Ontwerpen van organisaties’.
Pierre neemt ons mee in de veranderende wereld van organisaties. We bewegen van de focus op efficiency naar kwaliteit, flexibiliteit, innovativiteit en nu service/duurzaamheid. Dit is niet en-en-en. Dit wil niet zeggen dat jouw organisatie alle deze stappen moet zetten.
Belangrijk om naar organisaties te kijken vanuit het begrip 'regimes'.
Een grote ziekte in organisaties is het opknippen van organisaties in functies/fragmenten. En dat groot perse beter zou zijn.

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Is working from home always better?

There's been lots of talk in the blogosphere about Marissa Mayers decision to tell Yahoo! employees to stop working from home. Hey, even Yahoo! employees were/are discussing it on the web.
James Robertson wrote up a nice post about this decision and also pointed to the fact that Google seems to be like-minded to Yahoo! when it comes to working from home. Also interesting is what he says about the implications of this kind of news for 'the digital workplace'.

One of the things I like about the discussion is that we have to rethink why we like/dislike working from home. And that's one of the things I miss in the discussion about tele-work. Of course commenters rightly wonder what this Yahoo! statement means with respect to trusting employees to decide for themselves where they can get their work done.
However, isn't it also OK to discuss what the pro's and con's of tele-work are. Is working from home always the best way to go?
In my experience with working fr…

Reasons to come to the Intranet Conference 2013 #intra13

On March 18 and 19, 2013 the next edition of the Dutch Intranet Conference will be held. We hope to meet you there! But let me give you some idea of the program and main topic of the conference.

In the intranet space lots of discussion is about choosing the right technology and selecting and providing the right features for your organization. Also, we talk about intranet governance. What is the right governance model for my organization? How can we keep our intranet interesting and vibrant?

Soft skills
What I hardly hear is the skills intranet-related people need to do intranet right? What skills does an intranet manager or owner need? For this reason we thought we’d focus the keynotes on this topic: the skills of the intranet manager and more specifically, the knowledge worker. Because that’s what most modern intranets are for: to support knowledge workers in their daily work.

We invited 3 keynote speakers to give their view on this topic. These are:
Euan Semple: The interne…

Under pressure

How do you feel when you’re under pressure? Can you get things done then? Can you think? I was wondering how you cope with pressure, because I’ve been very busy lately. So busy, I hardly have time to blog (and tweet)… Which is not good.
In the past I’ve written about how important slack is for work in general and specifically for social stuff, like blogging. We need time to reflect and think things over. Time is needed to write things down and publish blogposts about what we do and think. What I find is that when slack leaves my time schedule, I have a hard time keeping up blogging. However important I find blogging, it’s one of the first things I stop doing. So, how important to me is it really, I wonder? Should it be part of my weekly time schedule?
However, on the more positive side,  you may know, I use the ‘Getting Things Done’ methodology to stay efficient and effective. I’ve been under pressure many times, but I never let go of GTD. It really helps me plan my tasks, get my tas…

6 years of blogging

Wow, time flies when you're having fun, right? I was planning to blog about my blog's 6th birthday, but simply forgot because of some interesting (and more important?) work I had to do.
Six years ago I decided to start blogging! I remember the first time I clicked on 'Publish'. Man, was I anxious/curious/scared what would happen next. Actually, I still feel those sensations every time I blog. It is scary to share your ideas publicly and have them read, reviewed and scrutinized out in the open. But, in my experience, it has also always been great fun. I met lots of new people via my blog, I learned  a lot from all the interactions on and around my blog, and it's a great way to structure my thoughts.
So, expect me to continue blogging in 2013! Last year the number of posts I published went down. You decide if that's good or bad. And if it says something about the quality of the posts. A big reason for less posts is the job I have. I've been very busy (and I&#…