1. The Social Business Swirling in my head


    This will be somewhat of a shorter post for me. I know the novels are getting to be a bit much! So I was chatting away on twitter the other day and Bruce Kneuer and I bumped into each other and we started talking about the Social Business.  Now we only have a 140 characters so this is how the conversation went:

    @BKneuer Question

    @BKneuer Question

    So after thinking about the context that was swirling around in my head I responded with this 140 characters:

    @keithprivette response to @BKneuer

    @keithprivette response to @BKneuer

    So then Bruce kindly puts this request into me:

    The 140 That Sparked a Diagram
    The 140 That Sparked a Diagram

    So I decided to visualize Bruce’s question into a model so I can understand what is swirling around in my head.  This is a visualization to represent how much over lap we have with people, technology, and processes to interact internally and externally at the same time.  Our customers have a much much much better idea of what our companies are, how they are ran, and who is running them.

    People are curating information across the internet and basing decisions of where they place their focus, money and their time and they are not getting this information from your website or press releases…..Well enough about that! That could be another post, but no more novels in 2011, I promised Nicole Harrison.

    Here is the model that represents the ideas and what action could be taken based on interconnecting within the Social Business constructs.

    Social Business Ideas Swirling in My Head
    Social Business Ideas Swirling in My Head

    So Bruce thank you for prompting with your very though provoking question.  This is what I have so far.  It is basically a model to get the people, technology, and processes working together to solve and innovate. There is a ton of details that need to be filled in and I know that.  Just thought it would be  fun and educating to share and fulfill a request for information at the same time. Open to any and all comments.

    Please leave a comment below about what is missing, what you like, what you don’t like, where there is flaws, why is technology as big as the business, your cracked and stop doing this, anything!

  2. Your Org Chart is killing your Project Success, No really it IS!


    So I bet that headline grabbed you right!  Over the years I have been noticing the sheer mountain moving that has to be done to successfully move projects, initiatives, changes, and or innovations forward.  Ever tried moving a mountain before….talk about a workout!  There are two common areas I see being a root cause of these mountain moving activities

    1. Organizational Charts

    2. Manager responsibilities for developing People.

    Yes I said it managers developing people.  I also said organizational charts too.  I know this may offend some people right off the bat, but give me a chance to explain and present an alternate idea and you may want to change your business to actually get projects done.

    So before we begin I want to present a model for designing a new business model to actually solve the problem most businesses are having in the areas of getting projects done and developing people.  Below is said such model after the model I will explain the components that make up this model:

    Initiative Based Business Structure

    The People

    Now lets get into the good part the people development side of the problem.  The way our organizations are set up to day is that most managers are strapped with moving projects or initiatives forward as well as developing employees, the real backbone of your organization.  Most managers that are put in these positions are ill equipped  for the job.  Now I don’t place all the blame on the managers themselves, but more on the organization that  have put these managers into positions with very little initial or ongoing training to build up this hard and soft skill. Additionally there may be some issues with the  cultural and political factors of  moving up the ladder to manager, but we will leave that for another post.

    Mangers need to get back to moving initiatives forward!  This is really what this role is intended to be doing for your organization. Now to solve the void by removing people development from their job description you need to activate a whole group of people that have gone to school, received training, and have sharpen the people development skill down with art and science.  Who are these people you say, they are your Human Resources, Recruiters, Organizational Effectiveness, and Talent Management people.  Yes they have to be activated to begin the true transformation of getting your project work done and developing the people at the same time. Get the managers back to getting projects, initiatives, and innovations implemented and your “People” departments back to developing your people (or if you are a buzzword addict Talent). The model above shows that your People Developers are assigned 5-10 people to manage their development.  They are responsible for training programs, reviews, long and short goals, hard skill progression, and soft skill proficiency.

    Unfortunately, in today’s world we strap the manager with initiative implementation and people development.  Now don’t get me wrong about 10% of our managers can pull these feats off with eloquence and grace, but that does not seem like a high percentage for running an effective organization.  If we get the manager and workers back to delivering initiatives and people developers back to developing people, most organizations will be unstoppable around producing for their employee, customers and shareholders.

    The Organizational Chart

    Secondly, lets look at the organizational structures of most businesses.  Each focus area is usually placed into a macro-silo such as HR, Marketing, Customer Contact Centers, Product Sales, Legal, IT, etc. and within that macro-silo many micro-silos breakdown into smaller chunks of work.  I have even seen micro-silos within micro-silos.  Try this activity on to see if this perspective fits your company.  Take all your micro-silos for a particular macro-silo and place them along the top, then along the side place another macro-silo that you have to get projects or initiatives done with and it’s micro-silos. Now each box in the grid represents processes that need to get done.  Start picturing the grid below and this gives you the visualization of inputs to outputs of each intersecting box. You thought rush hour traffic in LA was bad, try gaining approval for adding a process or field to a screen…..

    Goal Achievement Grid-Lock

    Goal Achievement Grid-Lock

    Now that was two macro-silos for one project or initiative.  Multiply that by 10 to 14 times and you wonder why projects or initiatives take mountain moving efforts to get done.  That is just the structure I haven’t even sprinkled on top Goals, Objectives and Metrics for success. Typically each macro-silo is held to four or five of these, then each micro-silo is responsible for coming up with their own Goals, Objectives and Metrics for success that help accomplish the macro-silos Goals, Objectives and Metrics for everyone to receive their good review scores and bonuses.  Now in most cases one Macro-Silo’s Goals and Objectives are in direct conflict with another Macro-Silo’s Goals and Objectives.  This usually turns people development and initiative success into one big hot mess of  “Your Goals are not My Goals!”  This has to be solved!  The “Same Goal” circle is very rarely achieved and even rarer of intersecting that smooth within the current business structure.  Typically I see this happens on skunk works projects or proof of concepts, but usually are not scalable for success across a whole enterprise.

    In this new model an organization’s macro-silos would turn more into a communities of practice.  With a community of practice individuals within these practice areas share role expertise, skills, and subject matter expertise.  When you center all these people together and sharing is the rule of the day and resources are rewarded for this activity, you have communities of resources that are activated for initiative or project work when their skills are needed! When Managers that need to get an initiative off the ground and implemented they go to these Communities and build the project or initiative implementation swat teams.

    These community members are 100% dedicated and are there from the start to implementation.  They bring their expertise as well as the expertise of the community. These individuals are there from start to finish and finish means transitional points to operations then support. The main problem it solves is the initiative or project team in dedicated to getting the initiative implemented for the organization and not in it for this macro-silo or that macro-silo and avoids the “Your Goals are not my Goals” gridlock! The teams are in it for making the organization successful for the employees as well as their customers.

    Now put all this together and these are big changes for your organization, but lets face it the last 50 years of the same structure has not really systemically harnessed all the potential intellectual horsepower people have,  that we definitely need going into the next 50 years.  I know this always sounds scary, but we have to completely revolutionize our markets, products and services. This structure will allow the right people doing the right things based on what needs to get done for the organization. This can work for any initiative marketing, HR, technology, operations, support, supply chain, consulting services, logistics, financial services, etc.

    The one area I am still investigating and gathering information are the areas of operations and support.  More of these types of organizational structures need to centrally focused and not moving around from initiative to initiative to initiative.  They are definitely vital to the initiative or project success to be involved from day or step one though.  They will provide information for transitioning, training, user acceptance, etc.  They are just not 100% dedicated because they have to be 100% dedicated to business operations and support.  More to come on this subject too.

    Please provide your thoughts, challenges, questions, and out right your Wrong comments below! Looking forward to see what happens.

  3. Cross Pollinating Verticals to avoid the Echo of the Chamber


    So I bet you are asking yourself  “what the hell does cross pollinating verticals mean you crazy crazy person you?” I am going to explain how it came about and why it has become part of my idea to strategy to planning to action taking mantra.  Ok it did start out from a little snark and sass to address some of things I was seeing at conferences (mainly live feeds across the interwebs) and one off sessions with organizations across the web also.

    Because my day job is somewhat, well actually totally not related to social media, marketing, advertising, recruiting, communication or external customer service.  I take advantage of being connected to so many wonderful people that tweet out conference #hashtags, send livefeed links on their twitter, facebook, eventbrite, meetup and linkedin social feeds to get to some great information.

    I started to notice in presentations and presenters language many many many big words being used to explain very simple everyday actions. The word honest turned into trustworthy, be yourself turned into authenticity, people turned into human capital, and the best open turned into transparency. I do believe people sometimes think if they use big words they are more credible, believable, and intelligence.  I will agree it does show intelligence, but in a book smart way and not in a real world, street smart way.    So having a little moment of rebellion I figured if I want to be consider a thought leader I better start putting some big words in my arsenal.

    I know I know very 5th grade, but I thought let’s go with this and see where it goes.  So I was at lunch with a couple of people (probably at The Newsroom) out came “Cross Pollinating Verticals” during a conversation.   Of course I got the “What the hell does that mean?”, so I began explaining my perspective of what I was observing in presentations and conversations.   Cross Pollinating Verticals is really the basic action of talking, asking, or meeting with people that are not in your organizational, professional, or skill set vertical.   I do believe this also clearly articulates how I view my networking and professional development.  I do believe if this path was explored more and more by people, it could start creating the systemic market and people changes we need for the future (sorry no data just a gut feel).

    It seems that we spend too much time in our own industries and skill set or title.  This is not bad thing, because yes you need to keep up on the trends, people, topics, regulations, legislation, technologies, and processes.  The only drawback, focusing on your industry, you are only talking and interacting with people that agree or often have the same point of view as you.  Now with the explosion of the social platforms you have complete access to information, people, and technologies to other people’s industries! The beauty of majority of people from every industry continually sharing publicly anyone can share in the conversation.  This will only lead to enrich and enhance the conversation because you are getting it from the audience of your industry.

    For example I follow many recruiters and human resource people on twitter.  Many of the conversations are between people within the recruiter and human resource industry, which leads to many agreements and very little diversification of points of view.  Well enter a non-recruiter or non-human resource industry person, me. I am their audience, I am the people they are trying to help, I am the people they are gently trying to manage, I am a person they should hear from…..right?  This is unadulterated access to their constituency, right?  That is what every industry that has an audience wants!

    You can ask questions, have conversations, and beta new ideas, that is of course if they are interacting with their audience.  I just used Recruiter and Human Resource vertical as an example, I jump into many verticals marketing, PR, communications, etc. I even have followed a twitter chat for Student Affairs for colleges and universities!   So I encourage people while networking, viewing people to follow, having conversations, and posing questions look for people not within your industry, professional, or skill set vertical to really enhance your conversations, points of view, and “third box over” type thinking.  Being that I love finding people not like myself, it has led to finding some real and enriching conversations about problems to be solved.

    So next time when you are looking to follow a person, a conf hashtag, send request to someone on linkedin, or post a comment on a blog do it outside your designated vertical and see what happens!  What would be even better if you came back and drop a note on this post to show others real world examples of this!  That would mean you Cross Pollinated a Vertical!


%d bloggers like this: