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Archive for the ‘productivity’ Category

We humans are programmed to be cooperative. When we’re not, it’s often an indication of that something isn’t right. To start off – buildings and rooms should talk the language of “collaboration”. How?

Open area in the middle – often a stove place in old cottages.

Social areas that are designed for meetings – like coffee machines

Paper and crayons – nothing talks to our creative and collaborative mind as drawing and sketching

Being a freelancer, mostly at my customers site, I gave up having an office years ago. I now reside mostly at cafes and hotel lobbys. Hotels bring something more: fresh ideas from the outside. More on that in another post…

What’s your take on this?

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This is a continued story from part 2.
Here’s part 1
this is part 2

More!

Cross-Feed w groups
Use other groups and let them use you too. Cross-events revitalised many groups as new ideas poured in. Prerepquisits for this is of course a group or environment where we feel safe – still trilled to do something new.

Visualize – see individuals
Observise what happens. Most people think that they are activing “wild and crazy” but from the outside we see there’s a lot more to release. Do it! Present people with great ideas – present each other. Break patterns.
(This is a skill especially important i times of change and change management)

Visualize – results, relations and More
Yes, everything we do: visualise. Graphs and tables are ok – but video and other visualizing. Look at Hans Rosling: (a bit old, but still very fun!) Never ever think statistics is boring!

Create New goals
When you reach your goals – celebrate! And… get going some plans… What’s possible to achieve? Why not challenge top managers in video or some other social tool?

Meet often
Regular meetings are key to keep a community together. Rather shorter meetings more often than the other way around.

Update norms
All groups working together need a common set of rules and frames.
I gave a few basic rules (visual of course!) when I started the groups. From time to time we had to adjust rules and directions, but only marginally. In those days cafe owners were not used to huge groups and long staying – and we weren’t either. We shop more nowadays. Lesson learned!

People have different needs
We didn’t get as far as with mapping of personalities, communication styles. At work it may recommended. Have a look or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator – or any other. You will find that although we have common pieces in our personality – but also a lot that is very different! Roughly: Do you like alternatives and freedom – or structure and boxes to check off?

We have different plans and goals
People’s plans (preferably acces To consultant profile – or à system where these Are Open. Several organizations are using fullfledged intranets where all staff is present – but the active person will most likely benefit.

Learning styles are essential
Knowledge in personal learning & communicating skills will help any Community Manager with respect again to understand differences and make the best of them!

Interpersonal skills
Understanding discussions and conflicts. Not all coflicts need to be held down. They may be very agile in solving the situation. Check, be present but let the members act. Understanding that we together really resolved the conflict.

Fingertip sense & Coaching skills
I REALLY  recommend coaching as means of leading a Community. More about this in Part 4 of this series. I’ll open a few doors to the LUCK Concept and let’s see what conclusions we can draw with some distance.

Feel free to comment, retweet and more!!!

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OK, here for the second part of the Community Management (four parts are planned).
My previous post tried to focus mostly on WHAT. What was it? Who ran it? Who were involved? I’ll return to that and possibly with some interviews… (It would be very interesting to see what CMs made of their skill!)

So, today it’s about HOW. How did we do it all? How do you know if your action will succeed. Well, you don’t. There was a lot of trial-and-error! Lycky thing: We CM’s were noobs, rookies and so was our members. A kind of Klondyke (in the positive aspect). And yes, I had a feeling “this is good stuff to learn” – i didn’t really know why, but in some way all this we did for fun would sooner or later make their way into organisations.

We off on a straight path into the unknown. Yes! We were thrilled! Time was perfect, as needed “collagues” to talk to – being new as consultant wasn’t all that ease in a recession. So, Social Media made a perfect entre. I ran seven groups in total but will focus on the group “Cafe life”.  That was my main goal: to gather in groups and for discussion at cafes, preferably covering work. I was not alone – less than a month later we were 100+ and we peaked at 670 members in 2006.  Then came Facebook 🙂 Nah, not really true. A number of changes to the platform struck our groups heavily. Parallel to this other networks like Yahoo, Jaiku took its tooll. In Sweden “Lunarstorm” was huge as well. I guess that’s true everywhere – we all started in national communities – and now we’re attracted to huge networks.

Goals?
Dialog. Coffee. Great cafe’s. It’s easy to forget when you’re part of a development. In parts of town we had very few cafes – let alone even fewer wifi’s.

Intentions?
My hope was to encourage, empower and breathe for more air. Cross-functionality with other groups. Especially the groups “Skärgårdsaktiviteter” (The Archipelago Group) and a few others.

Purpose?
Nutcracking. Philosophy. Engineering. Blogs, sites and more. Bring your stuff and tell us. We’ll figure something out. And it’s amazing – most groups do! Trust the process, trust the group.

Channels to communicate?
This is probably one of my clearest views ever. After my first meeting at Shortcut I grasped the pen and signed in. The fantastic this case was the hazzle-free communication – almost no problem if you don’t attend. (Well, some – these were still the days of on-off. Not calledup modems, but we did disconnect from the service from time to time. Would you do that with your electric connection?

The tremendous change was – if you attended a meeting but didn’t manage to talk to all – you could continue on the community. It’s easy to forget the importance of this!

Communicare
The first and the last – the most important in Communities are the same as always: First expressions last. I’ve seen many communities and they treat their members in different manners. The care you share with your members are immediately and over time reflected to you. Here’s probably one of the most important skills!

Critical level
All groups of people need critival levels. How? People are funny. Watch gatherings of people. Some people love it – some not so much. We’ve found events to be slow in start if they start from zero (or one). We people have at sticking surface. Attract more and it will grow. We co-operated cross-borderwise – all arrangements then start with a number of REAL people, participating. For a “fika-paus” (coffee break in Swedish) 2 – 4 may be enough. Travelling to an island in the archipelago probably would need 8-10 people.

Welcoming new members
No matter our volume as a group – we all appreciate being welcomed! Nowadays my community management is limited to our showgroups’ “Club Jambalaya – new group”. We still welcome new members as often as we can. I attended other Communities but no matter how much you offer – if the heart is not there the community will die. It’s hard to fake passion. And I believe a CM should have a lot of that – still not dominating.

Restart after breaks
I realised during the first year or so how important a little extra spin on the wheel is needed in summertime and over  Christmas and New Year. On the second year we gained so much speed that we made it past those phases of lower activity. It’s also extremely important to level this with member’s activities (see below)

Invite others To act (delegate)
Under the first year of “Cafe life” (and the six other communities incl Gardening, Freelancing and four more) the number of arrangers grew steadily. It takes some guts to arrange something in a fastgrowing group. This may be just the same in an organisation. Who’s the one kick-starting projects? To grow and prosper a lot of people need to act – release them!

I’ll stop here. More very soon!

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I’m still in Boston to grasp all inputs and insights of the “Enterprise 2.0” Conference. I arrived a few days early to get through jetlag. One evening a gentleman working for the fire dept pulled my LUCK Book out of my hands as he realised a lot was applicable in his line of work. A pity, since I didn’t bring any more books. I didn’t expect interest in a book in a foreign language.

Ever since that evening we’ve discussed whether it makes sense to scan a foreign book, OCR it (optical character recognition) and let Google Translate have a go with it. Then, as Andrew McAcfee ran an excellent presentation on racing the machine – how fast automation is developing (The Google Car, Jeopardy, Chess).

So – is my “LUCK Book on Sustainable Leadership” understandable or not? And if it is, would it be embarrasing, moderate, good or even excellent? You may be the judge. I’ve altered nothing from the Swedish version.

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Now a day after the completion of the Enterprise 2.0 conference (from now on “E2”) things are slowly coming to a level possible to grasp. Some of the areas I will cover the next couple of days include:

Race against the Machine
Reverse Mentoring
The meaning of Big Data – even for the sole entrepreneur
Visualization of Big Data
Game Dynamics and Gamification

I’m looking forward to interacting with you on this!

Johan – currently in Boston, MA

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Some say, avtually quite a lot of people 🙂 that the iPad is only for reading and consuming on-line data. I agree, its a great tool for all of that, not to mention all graphical interfaces for location-based services,
But – I think it’s great tool for prodiåutivity as well! As a writer I regularly get into writers blocking. Procrastinating, low on energy are common states when this occurs. Part of the blocking being expectations and demands, the iPad comes in handy.
To my brain, it speaks another language in creating: while the Mac says “come on, be productive! These are office hours! The iPad’s like that kid screaming “come play!”
And that’s exactly what I do to release my blockings.

Write: either a plan email that I addreas to my Evernote folder.
Sketches: simpler ones – Drawing Pad – finer in details- Paper
Video: built in camera – or Movie360 – preferably using the Sketch filter

I’m not alone: Check Martha Stuart’s work: http://gigaom.com/apple/ipad-not-for-creation-martha-stewart-disagrees/?utm_source=General+Users&utm_campaign=93d9deb5e9-c%3Aapl+d%3A06-22&utm_medium=email

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Wow! Only about an hour after I released part 1 there was a request for part 2. OK, let’s live this in full:

* Make sure top manangement REALLY got it! Unless you have top management support – don’t do it. You are in every detail extremely dependant on support from upper management. Action: Ask for “mentality to match the methods”, if this doesn’t work you MAY go for second best: An Agile mentality and methodology on your own level. This refers to the “Greenhouse Model” – creating a local culture that lasts as long as you are allowed to.

* Make sure everybody else got it! My most common question when I meet for training/consulting sessions with my customers is “Why are we doing this? WHY LEAN?” Since the coaching mentality is key in my LUCK concept, I need to live, sleep, eat and use that mentality, basically meaning “I am not gonna tell you – you will tell me”. And I’m not looking for a rehearsed story – I want everyone to be transparent. If there’s resistance, let’s meet it. If they hate “Lean” then lets look for what details don’t work in this workplace. One very common misstake is believing it’s a “one size fits all” model. It’s not – it needs refining on the level of work. Dialogue, and often referring to goals, means to reach them and, if needed cash flow and other key numbers of leadership. We are all here to create results!

* VOC – Listen to the “voice of the customer” Haven’t we heard it just tooo often? “Customer is king”, “let’s put the customer first”. Yeah RIGHT! You know what often happened… In Lean in general – and in LUCK in particular – let’s make our processes transparent enough to be on the David Letterman show! Most renowned restaurants have an open wall policy allowing all customers to watch all processes in detail. Now, that didn’t happen without resistance! Some chefs vigourusly fought this. “We can’t do that!!! Customers just don’t wanna see our filthy….” So. No Blame. Clean it up. Tear down the wall. Even SMILE! Tell your customers of your secrets. And what happened to chefs standards, average salary, even media? Transparency is here to stay. Don’t fight it – embrace it!

End of part two.

What’s your take on this?

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