Showing posts from August, 2011

The Tipping Point – My Review

I read ‘TheTipping Point’ a long time ago. Then I wrote a short, boring blogpost telling you I read it. Recently I thought: I’m going to write a longer book review about Malcolm Gladwell’s book. In this way I can remember its contents more easily and, if you haven’t read it, inspire you to read it.
Concepts‘The Tipping Point’ was my first Gladwell book. I wanted to read it because of my interest in social media and social networking (- later his take on the effect of social media in revolutions was highly debated…). The book is not about social media and social networking (tools). It’s about the underlying concepts of social media and networking. And, as I’ve said before, those concepts are important to understand.
TippingWhat is the book about? The subtitle of the book is: ‘How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference’. In his own words: “The Tipping Point is the biography of an idea, and the idea is very simple. … Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses …

Why is Intranet so Easy?

Recently I blogged about why intranet is so hard. This struck a cord, it seems, because it received several good comments!
At the end of that post I promised to write about the easiness of intranets as well. My post about intranets being hard didn't want to imply it's impossible or frustrating to develop, implement and maintain an intranet. The fact that it's hard intrigues me and keeps me interested in intranet.

However, intranet can also be easy I think. I'll explain why here. I'm really curious if you agree/disagree.

Intranet deployment is usually a complex exercise. Lots and lots of requirements from different people and roles are collected. And these are squeezed into one overall intranet concept. Then building and deployment begins.

But what is an intranet? It's a collection of webpages, containing content, linked together. Sometimes added with a couple of web applications, like a people finder. Yes, the Digital Workplace.
So, why don't we just give …

Are Millenials Really that Different? - My Review of Grown Up Digital

Are millennial really that different? Do they play, learn, communicate, work and create differently than their parents? Are they smarter or dumber? More or less social? And if so, what should we know about them? More importantly, what should management and companies know about them, because they are the future.
Lots has been written about the so called millennials or Generation Y. I've been following the news and research on them. When Don Tapscott wrote a book about being 'grown up digital' I thought I'd read it. At that time I was becoming more skeptical about the stories about Gen Y. In daily practice I was seeing older colleagues quickly picking up new ways of working, while young colleagues were very reluctant to use new media.

Technically I'm not a millennial. I don't belong to the 'Net Generation'. The generation that has been "bathed in bits". According to Tapscott someone's part of the Net Generation when you're born between 1…

How to Become Successful - My Review of Outliers

Malcolm Gladwell is a great story writer. I've enjoyed reading three of his books: The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers. (I'll review the first two later on.) I like the way he delves into topics that intrigue many of us and comes up with an answer you wouldn't expect.

Outliers is also such a book. In this book Gladwell wants to understand what success is. It's about men and women who do things that are out of the ordinary. They are 'outliers'. The book wants to show there is something wrong with the way we make sense of success. It's not (only) about personal qualities (passion, talent, hard work). Or what a successful person is like. It also depends on where and when a person grew up. In fact: "It is only by asking where they are from that we can unravel the logic behind who succeeds and who doesn't." (p.19)

Succes, Time & System
Gladwell shows that our notion it is the best and the brightest who effortlessly rise to the top is muc…

Macrowikinomics, Rebooting Business and the World - My Review

A while back I read Wikinomics, by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams. I really enjoyed it. So when they published a new book, Macrowikinomics. Rebooting Business and the World, I was curious, bought and read it.

The book Wikinomics was about the power of mass collaboration for business. But this new model of collaboration goes beyond a business or technology trend. It's a "more encompassing societal shift". So, this new book wants to show how wikinomics and its core principles can be applied to society and all of its institutions.

What are the wikinomics principles? The 6 principles summarized for you with a quote.
Collaboration - "... the collective knowledge, capability, and resources embodied within broad horizontal networks of participants can accomplish much more than one organization or one individual can acting alone. Of course, hierarchies won't disappear from the economy in the foreseeable future. Nor are we likely to see large top-down bureau…

Why is Intranet so Hard?

Why is intranet so hard to get right? It's one of the things I keep wondering about. Especially after reading the Global Intranet Trend reports, following discussions on LinkedIn groups and listening to talks at conferences. There definitely is progress in intranet deployment, but the steps are small.
I'd like to share my thoughts on why intranet is hard. As in all (my) blogposts I don't not claim to have all the answers and reasons. I'd love to hear from you why you think intranet is hard (or maybe I'm getting it all wrong: intranet is easy).

With 'get right' I mean having an intranet that really fits the needs and processes of a company, truly supports employee in their daily work, etc. It's an intranet with which the company is happy. It's a business critical 'tool'.

Reason 1: People and technology
To me the most important reason why it's hard to get intranet right is: people and technology don't fit. An organization is made …

Enterprise 2.0 Research

There's not too much fundamental research on Enterprise 2.0. Deloitte recently published interesting research done on enterprise 2.0 implementations and their return-on-investment. In the EU research has also done as well. Study is being done for the European Commission and it was carried out by Tech4i2, IDC and Headshift. What was the goal of the study?Goals of the studyTo provide a clear definition of Enterprise 2.0 is, describe the market and the positioning of EU industry, also in comparison with US and Asia;To analyze the take-up of Enterprise 2.0, the organizational requirements, and the role on the transition to a knowledge based low-carbon economy;To collect evidence on its macro-economic impact, as a market opportunity for the European Software industry and as a productivity tool for European business;To identify and analyse both the direct and contextual challenges, including the need for Next Generation Access and the legal barriers;To analyse and propose possible poli…

My Cluetrain Manifesto Notes

It's been years ago since I read 'The Cluetrain Manifesto'. I think I maybe only read parts of it, back in 2001 or so. After leaving Oce I didn't have a copy of The Cluetrain anymore, so I decided to buy my own copy and read through it from beginnning to end. Now there's a 10th anniversary edition making it even more interesting to do so.

Man, what a ride it was. This book is just great. And amazing for the fact they captured what is going on right now so well. This book is a must-read for a social media enthusiasts. But also for all who just started using social media and are trying to understand if this social-thing is a hype or a trend.

I'm not going to summarize the book for you. But I wanted to share some nuggets with you. If you haven't read the book, I hope this will trigger you to go and do so. Please let me know if you do!

Start here and read through the 95 theses! If you like these and want to know more, read the book."... everything that hap…

More Structure in Knowledge Work

A while back Thomas Davenport wrote an interesting McKinsey report 'Rethinking knowledge work: A strategic approach'. It's a thought-provoking piece. It goes against the trend to say knowledge workers should be left alone, they're smart and know what to do. Davenport says we should provide more structure to knowledge work. Providing knowledge workers "well-defined context of tasks and deliverables".
It's time for companies to develop a strategy for knowledge work - one that not only provides a clearer view of the types of information that workers need to do their jobs but also recognizes that the application of technology across the organization must vary considerably, according to the task different knowledge workers perform. Davenport clearly also looks at the down-side of the free-access model for knowledge work. Are all knowledge workers really up to their task? Davenport clearly says 'no'. There are different levels of knowledge work that we…

Safe to Fail, Blog to Fail

Learning is an interesting topic. It's one of the main reasons I blog. Failing is also an interesting topic. I've blogged about it before. And I wondered: Is failure also one of the reasons I blog. I think so. Blogging helps me fail. I write things down, get things wrong, get corrected by comments, etc. I'm learning!

Not too long ago Harvard Business Review published an interesting article about failure. It was written by Amy Edmondson and is titled 'Strategies For Learning From Failure' (April 2011). I'm not going to summarize the article for you (this time). But it's pack with great insights and learning points. For instance it explains how we are programmed to think that all failure is bad, what different types of failure there are (good and bad ones), how organizations can embrace failure and how leaders can build a safe environment for failure.

I found the last point most interesting. I think embracing failure is a personal decision. In this case you a…

Social Business Transformation: Why?

CapGemini is a company positioning itself as a social business expert. Recently they published a whitepaper about social business: 'Social Business Transformation. How customers change your enterprise DNA'. It was written by Rick Mans and Joel van Gogh.

The whitepaper is an interesting read. However, I left me with one big question. Why? In the management summary and in chapter 1 I read lots of things I agree with. But I think people will ask 'why?' after reading the paper. Why is this transformation to social business necessary? Why are customers interacting in different ways with businesses? Why are their expectations changing? Is social really a "new" way of interacting? And why is the decision process changing? Is it really?

I think this report would have been better if these answers were answered. I understand this first chapter, as the whole whitepaper, have to be "brief" as it says. But I'm also convinced the underlying concepts of social…