Connection In Isolation

Down in Invercargill, the southernmost city in New Zealand and one of the most isolated in the world, there are three employees running a busy car rental branch. Rarely do they work together as a team. Mostly it’s a passing update and a quick “hello” during a shift changeover. Yet, these three workers are some of the best-connected employees in their multi-national company of thousands. Each day, the team at Thrifty Car Rental in Invercargill stay connected with what’s happening at every other Thrifty branch across NZ through their Enterprise Social Network (ESN). If there’s a new Thrifty employee up…

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…

Why Workplace is Changing the Way Retail is Conducted

The world’s largest private employer, Walmart, has signed up with Workplace by Facebook. It means 2.3 million employees are now able to connect and collaborate across the entire organization. Why did the king of retail align itself with Workplace, Facebook’s relatively new venture into enterprise social networking? Because the retail industry is being disrupted and its only defense is to disrupt itself. Traditionally, retail has been one of the major employers globally. It’s now one of the most affected by digital disruptions, including online shopping and virtual supply chains. The pressure for the retail sector to innovate and change has…

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…

What does AI have to say about the Trump vs Turnbull Leak?

Our weekend papers were filled with transcripts of the ‘robust’ conversation had between President Trump and Australian Prime Minister Turnbull on the issue of refugees. Some commentators were concerned about how ‘leaky’ the Trump administration had become. Others welcomed the transparency afforded by the transcripts, allowing the public to see beneath the public personas that many leaders are adept at maintaining. One thing is clear however, increased digitisation is providing us with at least the technical capability to track virtually everything anyone says to each other over digital channels. Stopping the leaks through purely governance mechanisms alone is like pushing…

Stanford Peace Innovation Lab values SWOOP Insights

SWOOP Chief Scientist Dr Laurence Lock Lee recently met with Mark Nelson, who co-directs the Stanford Peace Innovation lab at Stanford University with behavior designer, social entrepreneur and mentor capitalist, Margarita Quihuis. Mark identified SWOOP’s ability to surface operational insights from interactions conducted in social networking platforms like Workplace by Facebook and Yammer, to enable a whole new level of research potential. Their current focus is on gender diversity, a big issue in Silicon Valley. He noted that many current gender diversity policies are doing more harm than good. This is where SWOOP operational data can be used to truly…