The Power of a Question, Asked Online

The power of a question to spark imagination, challenge bias or entrenched thinking, or simply to help solve a problem has been long recognised. Life coach Tony Robbins talks about the ability to ask empowering questions as “a critical skill that will ultimately shape the meanings you create, and therefore the quality of your life”. Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen, author of best seller “The Innovator’s Dilemma”, bemoans the fact that business schools train managers to provide answers, rather than asking good questions. Yet, we have seen the power of employee engagement a CEO can gain by simply demonstrating vulnerability by asking staff for help. At SWOOP we have been able to capture that…

The Dying Art of Conversation

I started out composing this blog post with the intent of informing on how to start and sustain a good online conversation. As part of my research for the article I came across MIT Professor Sherry Turkle’s book on ‘Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age’. There is substantial material available for helping us conduct more effective online conversations. However, if you are like me, there is always that nagging doubt about whether online conversations ever achieve the level of fidelity and depth that a face to face conversation can take. Turkle’s book turned this nagging doubt…

Five Ways for CEOs to enhance Staff Engagement

Enterprise Social Networking (ESN) is starting to impact how staff at all levels of the organization behave and interact with each other. In particular, we are starting to see progressive CEOs and their senior executive teams looking to ESN to sidestep the traditional top down communication cascades and engage directly with ‘shop floor’ level staff, to build staff engagement overall. We first reported on this trend more than 18 months ago when we interviewed former Telstra CEO David Thodey, the head of Australia’s largest telecommunications company. Thodey stated that his driving enthusiasm for ESN was the way it enabled him…

Real Time Talent Identification

There is something seriously wrong with how organizations are going about identifying talent in their organizations. Substantially, most organizations today treat their staff as objects sitting on the warehouse shelves waiting to be picked off. The HR department will have devised capability characteristics that can be assigned to each individual using some tenuous process, so that they can be placed in the right shelf with similarly categorised staff. Some specially classified staff may merit a shelf of their own and therefore may be especially attractive to those fortunate enough to have been picked off the shelves earlier. Some of the…

Facilitating Organizational Change with SWOOP

Just take a moment and think about the last 2 or 3 major organizational change programs that you have been party to (or a victim of). Invariably the change will have something to do with wanting to change the way people work and interact with each other in your organization. Perhaps it was triggered by a significant structural change, a merger, or acquisition. Perhaps it was around  a major technology refresh. Or perhaps even a significant change in company strategy, triggered by a disruptive change in the marketplace. Whatever the reason, invariably you will be asked to adapt your behavior…

How Healthy is your Enterprise Social Network?

At the heart of any Enterprise Social Network (ESN) are the groups or communities formed within them. Understanding the health and productivity of these groups should therefore be front of mind. For ESNs we can look again to the more mature experiences with consumer and external customer communities for guidance. We have written previously about the need to take care when translating consumer network metrics to the Enterprise. But in the case of community health, we believe the mapping from external community to internal community can be fairly close. What can we learn from consumer and customer networks? Arguably the…