The great technology take-up


Published on

How unified communications is changing the way we work

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

The great technology take-up

  1. 1. A special report on collaboration in the workplaceThe great technology take­­­-upHow unified communications is changing the way we workWith a foreword by Don Tapscott, one of the world’s leading business thinkersand co-author of Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything
  2. 2. Contents 03 Foreword by Don Tapscott 10 Are you a leader in unified 15 Keep on moving communications? How to be mobile and secure, 04 Executive summary you know how to use a Do by Christine Vincent 06 Which industries are best virtual whiteboard? Or unified 16 Can IT departments overcome at collaborative working? messaging? by Marcus Hickman the ‘wild west’ dilemma? Digital technology is 11 Let the dancing begin managers sneaking ahead Are changing the way we work, More flexible working of their own IT specialists? by Dave Madden can release new energies, by Marcus Hickman 07 Have you seen this? by David Dunbar 17 The story of mass collaboration: What you want in your digital 12 The perfect virtual workmate bringing down the hierarchy toolkit, by Andrew Small Which personalities will Exciting things can happen when 08 Leading the charge succeed in the new workplace, organisations look beyond their Why managers are the first to by Alex Fradera boundaries, by Lewis Dowling take up unified communications, 13 Getting to know you 18 Conclusion by Marcus Hickman How to build trust in a virtual 19 The big questions 09 Re-thinking leadership in a team, by Nicola Millard collaborative world 14 How the next generation works tips for the leaders of Top Fresh ideas from the ‘Digital tomorrow, by Dave Madden Natives’, by Alun Lewis Contributors Don Tapscott is Dave Madden Marcus Hickman is Alex Fradera Alun Lewis has Lewis Dowling is adjunct professor at is a specialist in director of Davies is a psycholo- been following a business writer, the Rotman School consulting business Hickman Partners, gist who edits telecommunica- technology boffin of Management, and technology an independent the Occupational tions trends as an and ex-reporter University of issues. He is the consumer research, Digest blog independent writer for the telecoms Toronto, and CEO of editor of theCon- marketing and for the British and consultant for insight site Total the think tank The, a service strategy Psychological 13 years, having Telecom. Tapscott Group. He forum for Europe’s consultancy. Society, which previously worked is the author of 14 management is all about the in the sector in books, most recently consultants, and is psychology of the PR and marketing (with Anthony a former editor of workplace. communications D. Williams) Computer Weekly. roles for major Macrowikinomics: companies. New Solutions for a Connected Planet. Twitter: @dtapscott2 The great technology take­­­-up
  3. 3. Forewordby Don Tapscott, one of the world’s leading thinkers on mass collaboration “ his is not an T information age. It’s an age of networked intelligence”O ur world is at a turning point. The challenges of sovereign debt, economicmalaise, youth unemployment, social applications. Instead of a digital newspaper, think of a shared canvas where every splash of paint contributed by one user provides a reach. Treated properly, Net Generation employees are ideally suited for today’s new corporation. They are savvy, confi-unrest, resource scarcity and other problems richer tapestry for the next user to modify dent, upbeat, open-minded, creative andare all connected. Many of the industrial or build on. Whether people are creating, independent, which makes them a chal-economy’s institutions are beginning to fail. sharing or socialising, the web is now about lenge to manage. To meet their demands forWe need to rethink and rebuild many of participating rather than passively receiving more learning opportunities and responsi-the organisations and industries that have information. bility, ownership, instant feedback, betterserved us well for decades, but reached the work-life balance and stronger workplace Goodbye behemoths, hello co-creationend of their life cycles. relationships, companies must alter their In yesterday’s industrial economy, large, At the same time the contours of new culture and management approaches. secretive, vertically integrated corporationsenterprises and industries are becoming Properly cultivated, this generation’s prevailed. Companies found it was moreclear. With the arrival of the internet, society attributes will be a critical source of inno- cost-effective to do as much as possiblenow has the most powerful platform ever vation and competitive advantage to the in-house. Not anymore. Many behemothsfor bringing together the people, skills and organisation. are losing market share to more suppleknowledge needed to ensure growth, social competitors. Digital technologies slash Turning danger into opportunitydevelopment and a just and sustainable transaction and collaboration costs. Smart From education and science to newworld. The web enables new approaches companies are making their boundaries approaches to citizen engagement andto almost every institution in society from porous, using the internet to harness knowl- democracy, sparkling new initiatives arethe corporation, government, media, edge, resources and capabilities outside the underway, embracing a new set of princi-healthcare and science to our energy grid, company. They set a context for innovation ples for the 21st century – collaboration,transportation systems and institutions for and then invite their customers, partners openness, sharing, interdependence andglobal problem solving. Like the printing and other third parties to co-create their integrity. Which is why I say this is not anpress centuries earlier, the internet is a new products and services. Among other things, ‘information’ age. It’s an age of ‘networkedcommunications medium that enables us to this means small entrepreneurial companies intelligence’. It’s about people and theirrethink and rebuild civilization for the better. can have most of the advantages of large capacity to think together, not about infor- A decade ago I likened the first itera- firms without the main drawbacks. mation, which is becoming a commodity.tion of the web to a traditional newspaper.You could read its information, but you Changing for the next generation If you look around it seems to be a timecouldn’t modify or interact with it. And This is all happening while a new generation of great danger and peril. But as we enterrarely could you communicate meaningfully of young people is entering the work- a new age it is foremost a time of greatwith its authors, apart from sending a letter force. Back in the 1990s, I named it the Net opportunity, not just for wealth creation,to the editor. The web was seen as a tool to Generation. These young people bring with economic development and social justicepublish information that users could then them a new ethic of openness, participa- but also for nothing less than the reinven-browse. Today’s social web is fundamen- tion and interactivity, and can’t imagine not tion of civilization.tally different in both its architecture and having Google or Facebook always within I hope you’ll join in. The great technology take­­­-up 3
  4. 4. Executive summary The technology available to us is rapidly changing, but our management is struggling to keep pace. A n executive we interviewed for this report is going through her third revolu- tion in the past decade. We bet she’s a lot as you might expect, by the oft-discussed 20-somethings of the digital genera- tion, but by the elder statesmen of the you need to know about these changes and what they mean for you. And it’s not just about technology. Our IT capabilities have like you. leadership. changed faster than our styles of working Ten years ago she lived on a plane, and It could be because their time-poor, or of management. You need to understand in meetings. She’d spend long hours in meeting-rich lives appreciate anything that and integrate it all. between at offices, catching up on her to do gives them back a few minutes. But we Our special report brings together news list whenever she could get to a computer think it’s because they realise this is a game coverage on the leaders of today’s revolu- on the network. The introduction of the changer. And, if not adopted, an organisa- tion with opinions from BT experts. Given smart phone in 2007 started boosting tion killer. Because the people who really context by a recent survey that captures her mobility, growing capabilities in the understand unified communications … its what people like you are doing and cloud let her run ever more from her home potential, its scope, even its dangers … are thinking. Here’s a bit more detail on what’s office. Two years ago tablets hit the scene, going to be more successful than everyone inside. and unified communications technologies else. More efficient. More creative. More You’ve seen our foreword from one of started linking both her kit and her people. fulfilled. More profitable. the world’s leading business thinkers, Don Each development has transformed how she This special report explores that revolu- Tapscott. His ideas are bold, maybe too bold and her team work, and every change has tion and the changes that it will bring to the for some, but they show what an inter- come faster than the one before. workplace. connected world can be like. A world that As a senior executive, she’s on the barri- We know you want to be on the winning harnesses people’s talents and skills. cades of this revolution. That’s one key side once the world stops rocking. So we’ve Don Tapscott was inspired by the way finding of a recent BT survey you’ll read pulled together our best information and Wikipedia came together as a collabora- about in this report. The take up of the opinion to help you understand how to tion of experts, via the internet – hence the digital tools that comprise what we call do it. Private sector or public, domestic title of his best-selling book Wikinomics – unified communications isn’t being led, organisation or international, big or small, and you can read more about his ideas in4 The great technology take­­­-up
  5. 5. our piece The story of mass collaboration: a lot of time thinking about what this tech- What the world thinks – our new researchbringing down the hierarchy on page 17 nology can do and how best to deliver it. We also have the results of a special surveyby technology writer Lewis Dowling. Could They know the full range of collaboration commissioned from Davies Hickman by BTyour organisation be bold enough to throw tools first-hand and they know how they Global Services. Called ‘The Collaborationopen its frontiers? can help people work better. From instant Paradox’, it’s packed with insights into how messaging to virtual ‘white-boarding’, from executives are using unified communica-The joined-up world: how it’s evolving desktop sharing to telepresence. tions. And you’ll find statistics from theand the questions it poses Andrew Small relates how he was first survey scattered through the paper. Would you think of film making as one of impressed by UC when, during a work It’s all part of a vision of a world joinedthe most collaborative industries? Find out discussion, a business contact launched an up to make the most of its the movie world is leading the way in instant teleconference from his laptop to A world connecting for a better article by business writer Dave Madden resolve a problem. And – just as Don Tapscott said in hiswho also reveals how pharmaceutical David Dunbar shares his insights into the foreword – we hope you’ll join in.companies are teaming up to overcome the power of hot-desking. When he books aprohibitive costs of launching new drugs. desk online at a BT building he never knows(page 6 Which industries are best at collab-orative working?). who he’ll be sitting next to and makes sure “ he people who really T to add them to his contact list. In the new collaborative workplace, Emails are dead, says Nicola Millard, who understand unifiedworkers seem to want something differentfrom their leaders. Knowledge workers, who embraces IM and social media as ways of building trust in virtual teams. communications … itsare used to sharing their information andideas in online forums, won’t respond well And Christine Vincent is keeping up potential, its scope, even with trends in the world of mobile devicesto the old command-and-control model. and is excited about MAMs – that’s when its dangers … are going toSee what that means for your leader-ship style in Dave Madden’s second piece, organisations develop their own enterprise- be more successful than level applications specifically for their lineRe-thinking leadership in a collaborativeworld on page 9. of work. everyone else.” Then there’s psychologist Alex Fradera,who shares his thoughts on the person-ality types that will get ahead in the newcollaborative work environment. In Theperfect virtual workmate on page 12, hesays that the perfect team is made up ofpeople who are extroverted, emotionallystable, keen to cooperate and conscien-tious – which is a long way from the highlypolitical, combative organisations once thenorm. How close is your organisation to thenew model, and what can unified commu-nications help you do to get there? In parallel with the technology comesthe rise of the people who’ve grown upwith it. Technology writer Alun Lewis thinksabout the differences that the youngergeneration of ‘digital natives’ will bringto the workplace (page 14 How the nextgeneration works). Are you providing the right environmentfor Generation Y to flourish?Doing more, working smarterAlongside those trends, we talk about the The new generation doesn’t worry about where they are or what they’re working on, they just want totools. Our BT Global Services experts spend connect face-to-face. The great technology take­­­-up 5
  6. 6. Which industries are best at collaborative working? Organisations are learning from the film industry that collaboration works. It’s pragmatic, it spawns ideas and it can even save time, writes Dave Madden reality. It even provides lifelike manikins on which to try out new things. The way prod- ucts might fail, how they could be fixed and how they can be taken apart for disposal can also be modelled with the system. Then there’s the more traditional envi- ronment of car manufacturing. Next year should see the launch of The StreetScooter. It’s not actually a scooter at all, but a $7,000 German electronic car. DHL has already ordered 3,500 of them – but what’s most interesting about the vehicle is how it came to be designed and made. More ideas in less time It’s the product of collaboration between some 50 specialist parts suppliers, tech- nology companies and software developers. Geographically dispersed, they used product lifecycle management and CAD software as a substitute for the everyday coordination of a large, integrated company. The project F ilm making is now invariably a complex series of creative, technical and financial collaborations. uses the Windchill product development suite from PTC. T wenty-five to thirty-five years? Six feet tall? Male? Some martial arts experience? You could be the next Batman. Collaborative technologies brought together 50 Unusually, instead of one manufac- turer dictating its designs to suppliers, all the companies had equal status, and could How do I know this? It’s just one of the provide input. They were also all involved in roles on offer at the unfortunately named geographically dispersed the collaboration from the start, which, a network of inde- suppliers to create a is quite foreign to conventional manufac- pendent film collaborators. turing models. Film making has been an increasingly successful new car. The StreetScooter and its novel collaborative process since the demise of design and production process are the the studio system 50 years ago, and in an brainchild of Professor Achim Kampker, California in 2008, Tongal members have age of Computer Supported Cooperative of Aachen University. generated creative content for brands from Work (CSCW), of internet driven hyper- Each of the collaborators on the project Braun to The Beach Boys. specialisation, film making is now invariably were organised into a lead engineering a complex series of creative, technical and From movies to manufacturing group (LEG), made up of experts in each of financial collaborations. Film and advertising have a natural free- the vehicle’s components. “Everyone is on In fact Shootingpeople is just one of lance element and specialisation that lends a par with each other. Everyone can bring dozens of internet-based services built for itself to collaboration. But there are signs in ideas to radically try whatever makes film-making communities: Crews TV (for that more conventional businesses and sense,” said Kampker, and one result of this freelance film crews), Mandy (production production processes are being influenced collaborative process was that, perhaps jobs hub), Plotbot (a tool for scriptwriters to by CSCW too. counter-intuitively, the first physical proto- work together), IndieGoGo and Kickstarter The application of social media systems type of the car was built in “12 months (crowd-funding for film makers) … the list is is changing the way some technology firms rather than 12 years”. virtually endless, and endlessly virtual. function internally. The collaborative method in the Where film goes, the advertising industry Dassault Systèmes, a French software StreetScooter’s production is echoed in is rarely far behind, and this is true of firm, has allowed customers to actually the car’s design. It is a modular vehicle, internet-based collaboration too. take part in their production process. It has with parts that can be added, removed Tongal is a social media platform that, in created an online virtual environment in and reused. Even the batteries are leased essence, crowd-sources TV ads and videos which employees, suppliers and consumers separately so that fleets don’t have to deal through collaborative contests. Founded in can work together to turn new ideas into with maintenance.6 The great technology take­­­-up
  7. 7. The StreetScooter collaboration model “The main mission is to address bottle- As a result, the boundaries of precom-has a long way to go to overturn the global necks in pharma RD: for example, petitive research are moving andcar-manufacturing orthodoxy, but that knowledge fragmentation, insuffi- extending. An example is in collabora-is precisely what is happening in another cient understanding of diseases, lack of tions to run late-stage clinical trials, as infiercely competitive and famously discreet biomarkers,” Michael Goldman, NewDrugs4BadBugs, which is developingindustry, pharmaceuticals. executive director of IMI told delegates new treatments for antibiotic-resistant A deathly cocktail of RD costs, research at the Euroscience Open Forum in Dublin infections. Both GlaxoSmithKline andfailures and collapsing control of drug last month. AstraZeneca are putting in Phase IIrevenue streams is forcing big pharma to Goldman said it’s important to stress that compounds to be advanced throughchange its business culture in quite dramatic all the research is precompetitive. “This is further trials by the collaboration.ways – and seek collaborative ventures not non-competitive research on activities in New technology and new economicjust with academia and biotech, but with its which pharma companies that are normally pressures are making companies thinkhistorical enemies. strongly competitive agree to mutualise again about how they operate, and efforts and share risks,” he said. breeding a new climate of collaboration.When enemies become friendsOne of the most compelling examples of this Another key principle of IMI is that more than one pharma company must benew order is the EU’s $2.4 billion researchprogramme, the Innovative Medicines involved in each project and that external “E veryone is on aInitiative, IMI. partners are chosen through competitive, par with each other. So far, 37 IMI projects are up and peer-reviewed calls. “The pharma compa-running, with €600 million committed by nies and their partners work together in an Everyone can bring inindustry. Those involve 350 researchers from environment of open collaboration and open innovation, so there is a flow of ideas to radically try19 companies and 500 researchers fromacademia. In addition, four regulatory bodies knowledge between companies and part- whatever makes sense.”and seven learned societies are involved. ners,” Goldman said. Have you seen this? The idea of teams working together across continents used to be fantasy. Not anymore, says Andrew Small, vice president for unified communications at BT Global Services U nified communications marks the start of a new era. Before unified commu- nications there was a piecemeal approach work. I needed a product manager for one of our key unified communications products and I realised that the best person I’d talked to these products to people’s own devices. If you were using an iPad I could send you a web address for Cisco’s collaboration area, that just coped with each new technolog- about it was based in Singapore. Previously Webex, with a log-in and a password, and ical development as it came along. Now BT I’d have thought that their location would we could share a screen that way. Or you One can pull it all together. have made it impossible to link them up could download a Jabber app from the I’m in charge of BT One and I know with our development team in the US app store. that once you’ve seen them in action, you and our marketing team in the UK. But At BT we work with technology part- want to use them all the time. now it’s possible. ners like Cisco, Microsoft and Avaya, who I remember discussing a project with The team use instant messaging (IM) and provide the ‘middle bit’, and we make it all someone from Cisco, and he said he online presence to check each other’s avail- connect. So if you’re working on an iPad, needed to talk to someone in his office ability. They have audio conferences, and you’ll need to connect to a network and a about it. In the old days that could mean telepresence ones for larger group meetings of cloud, and out to me on another network. you were stalled for a day or more waiting six or more. And they can work together over We also know our customers have a for the answer. Instead he opened his the web by sharing documents during a call. mixture of technology, so we work with laptop and got the person on the end of If I’m in the middle of an IM session with whatever they have. It’d be too expensive a high definition video call. It was like an someone – using Microsoft Lync or Cisco and confusing to rip it out and start again. instant meeting that I could take part in Jabber, for example – I can press a button to So how to spread the word about as well, and we solved the problem offer them the chance to see my screen. They unified communications? Well, people straight away. just click to accept and we can both work on a are getting used to the benefits of prod- It was better than a phone call, as I document or presentation together. ucts like Skype and FaceTime in their could join in instead of just listening to And the team learns to deal with the home lives, and they want to use them one half of a conversation. The video problems that time zone differences cause by at work too. So we know the word will quality is now so good in high definition working on the move or taking an early or late get out there. that I could see the person clearly and call from home. The old divide between work In the meantime, I’m just thinking pick up on their body language. And it and free-time is being eroded – people are just about an app that will display a tidy home was so speedy and easy to do. adapting to managing their own time. office behind me on the screen for when I That’s where technology has video-call my team. Show it’s easy and people will do it brought us. It’s making new ways of We’re focusing on making unified communica- working possible. tions simpler and more convenient. And that’s The growth of a global workforce not about adding more products, but about I’ll give you another example from my own making it all easier to use. So we’re extending The great technology take­­­-up 7
  8. 8. Leading the charge New research shows bosses are the early adopters when it comes to unified communications technology, reports Marcus Hickman in the first of three round-ups from our specially-commissioned survey D irectors and general managers are leading the way in the take-up of unified communications, and usage levels have soared, according to a survey commissioned by BT Global Services. The start of unified communications dates back to the 1980s but it’s now easier to use than ever, and it’s being seen as vital for business. Until recently take-up was slow, but finally the adoption rate has been transformed as executives around the world collaborate through IM, presence, cloud storage and video communica- tions. In fact, more than 50 per cent now agree that “real-time collaboration with colleagues using IM/chat is very beneficial to me”. Our survey of 1,042 executives working in large enterprises across Australia, Brazil, China, India, Italy, Germany, Spain, the UK and the USA shows a wave of enthusiasm for unified communications: 62 per cent would like integrated IM and email, while The survey suggests that deci­ ion makers are increasingly comfortable with having big conversations s 68 per cent would like cloud-based file outside the boardroom. storage, and 66 per cent are keen on ‘Bring Your Own Device’ – being able to access their corporate network from a personal Slow decision-making – Some 56 per cent of global business executives say slow “ razilian, Chinese and B smartphone or tablet. Almost as many executives (58 per cent) have two or more decision-making is a major problem at Indian executives are work, with another 41 per cent citing a lack conference calls each week as have formal of consultation and poor team working. enthusiastic adopters of meetings (65 per cent), suggesting deci- sion makers are increasingly comfortable Working globally, across cultures and time unified communications”. zones, relies on open communications. If with having big conversations outside manufacturing executives dialling in to a the boardroom. conference in the UK can make a decision ingly seeking to collaborate outside the Why bosses are biting after hours, it could give colleagues in Asia a organisation, with experts, customers and There are a number of factors driving this headstart, saving time and money. suppliers. Some 75 per cent of Chinese and strong take-up of unified communications: Gen Y – After much anticipation, the Indian executives want to work in this way, The new economic order – Brazilian, tech-savvy generation of people born since compared with an overall average of 60 Chinese and Indian executives are enthusi- 1980 are finally leading the workplace and per cent. astic adopters of unified communications, actively adopting new ways of working. Invisible time cost – Global business outshining their counterparts in the West, Some 23 per cent of under-35s use leaders say they waste more than two hours who tend to work in more traditional ways. Facebook for work, compared with 10 per a day on a range of communication difficul- For example, 73 per cent of Brazilian, cent of over-55s. At the same time, older ties. Nearly a third are still working after Chinese and Indian executives would like executives are trying to keep up with their 9pm, and 16 per cent are online before phone to video calls – a system where you younger competitors, and possibly even 7am. The average executive spends 38 can switch a phone call to a video call when learning from the children. minutes each day commuting and travelling you want – compared with 40 per cent of Outside-in collaboration – A total of for work. In India it’s over an hour each day. American and 38 per cent of German exec- 81 per cent of the business leaders in our All the more reason for them to welcome utives. This suggests decision makers in the survey do their work wholly or mainly in unified communications, which can get emerging economic superpowers are less teams and recognise the importance of round poor infrastructure, saving time and weighed down by organisational baggage collaboration. The growth of the network effort and keeping productivity up. and established ways of working. economy means executives are increas- Source: The Collaboration Paradox, 20128 The great technology take­­­-up
  9. 9. Re-thinking leadership in acollaborative worldThe more collaboration takes hold, the faster the role of business leadersevolves beyond the old command-and-control model, says Dave MaddenM att Black Systems, of Poole in Dorset, has been building specialist parts forthe aerospace industry since 1971. It’s your coming to expect, and are still overly fearful of taking risks and being creative.” The World Economic Forum, the meeting place of world business leaders, is taking this debate seriously. Last year it convened the Tomorrow’s leader: coach or delegator?archetypal engineering business, the sort of WEF Council on the Future of Leadershipfirm that used to be the bedrock of the British Or both? for the first time. Its mission statementmanufacturing economy. One way of reading the global financial crisis, is revealing: As the world’s aerospace giants moved the drawn-out death throes of the Euro, the “The scope and depth of the economicprogressively to more aggressive and lean LIBOR scandal, even the UK’s phone-hacking crisis that unfolded in 2008 reveals not only amanufacturing, Matt Black Systems found saga – is that as well as failures of public policy temporary economic cycle, but the need for aitself trapped in a spiral of reduced price and regulation, they all show failure of lead- profound structural transformation involvingcontracts and poor delivery performance ership. Add in internet-driven collaborative business, public organisations and civil society,that threatened its very existence. working, and the spotlight on leadership has a deep shift that places the human being never been hotter. and humanitarian values at the core of theA challenge to top-down management new model. Hence current and future leadersAnd its response was.... to remove all “Many current leaders would need to redefine their values andmanagement. I’ll repeat that. The response to crisis by are not prepared for the behaviours as well as the tools they have at their disposal to help them to align their visionthis essentially traditional manufacturingbusiness was to abandon its management openness and authenticity with the organisations and people they lead so that the necessary individual, corporate andhierarchy, and cull the management, admin- that employees are coming societal transformation can take place.”istrative and “leadership” roles that went withit. Jobs that added demonstrable value, such to expect.” “On the operational front, the world today is far more interconnected and dynamic, asas production activities, were retained, and Some executives see the role of leadership well as increasingly complex and globalised.the individuals doing them now operate as changing from a task-based, command-and- These changing parameters require newcollaborative virtual “micro businesses”, with control model to a coaching and facilitating thinking about how leaders operate intheir own personal profit and loss accounts role. Others see the focus shifting to a more complex and flexible ecosystems, beyondand balance sheets. dynamic collective leadership, to leadership as traditional models such as matrixes or hierar- Matt Black Systems is thriving and it says a process distributed over members of a team. chical structures.”that this radical new model is key to its returnto productivity and profit. And whilst it would be absurd to arguethat its strategy could be replicated easily, itdoes throw an imaginative and provocativestraw into the leadership wind. It is axiomatic that in an age of internet-driven collaborative working, traditionalmanagement structures, styles and attitudesmust change too. The question is, how? “Over the coming decade, we can expectwork to become more complex, global andtask-oriented,” says Lynda Gratton, professorof management practice at London BusinessSchool and head of the Future of WorkConsortium. “As a consequence, we canexpect the value of collaboration to becomea crucial consideration in business strategy.This will require a more human approach toleadership, with a shift away from command-and-control and towards authentic horizontalrelationships. “What is clear is that many current leadersare not fully prepared for the deep level ofopenness and authenticity that employees are Some executives see the role of leadership changing from a task-based, command-and-control model to a coaching and facilitating role. The great technology take­­­-up 9
  10. 10. Framing the debate 2. he capacity of social media and tech- T lence, but they show how leaders can Ahead of the council’s first meeting it agreed nology to join up the world at speed and manage diverse communities and indeed a framework for this leadership debate: with an extraordinary transparency of create inner calm in times of great stress. 1. he demographic shift, and in particular T ideas and data. This has implications for Globalisation is causing ecosystems to the increasing importance of Gen Y, who traditional command-and-control lead- emerge where value is distributed rather seem to want a different way of living and ership (as many rather than few have than held within a single company. It’s working that’s increasingly clashing with access to knowledge). It also brings a also pushing leaders into increasingly old models of hierarchy and authority. level of transparency that creates real complex decision-making environments Leaders are perceived as curators of opportunities to demonstrate and reveal where focus and attention as well as self- knowledge and information, projecting authenticity. And it will shift the focus awareness and mindfulness will be key if authority and command through their of leaders increasingly to influencing they’re to succeed. expertise and not their position. The and shaping virtual communities and The implication of these forces – as the importance of Gen Y is also putting more building alliances. council says – is that our notions of ‘the emphasis on the role of followers as 3. he forces of globalisation have created T leader’ are in the midst of a profound review opposed to leaders. complex interdependencies and turbu- as traditional models feel the heat. Are you a leader in unified communications? UNINVOLVED 8% UC technology not available at work Profile of Executives The keener executives are on unified communications, the more • Older, 55% over 45 years old sophisticated the technology they use. Marcus Hickman explains • More in Australia and Italy • More in smaller enterprises, operations our Collaboration Index and support services • More likely to work by themselves Our research shows that general managers cloud services for accessing and storing data. INACTIVE 12% and directors of large enterprises are the Behind them is the ‘Adopter’ group, which UC available at work, but not fastest adopters of unified communica- uses level 1 tools like desktop sharing and personally used tions. One reason is that one-third of this instant messaging. And bringing up the rear Profile of Executives group travels overseas at least once a month are the ‘Inactive’ who have the tools but • Older, 47% over 45 and they need to stay in touch. As well as don’t use them, and the ‘Uninvolved’, who • More in the US and working in support services that, some 74 per cent of them say working together form just over a quarter of • 16% use a tablet computer at work collaboratively with people and teams in the sample. other parts of the business means a great deal Each group has different characteristics of effort, so they appreciate anything that and uses unified communications technology ADOPTER 12% makes it easier, whether it’s live meetings or in different ways. Personally use at least one of the easiest video conferences. These people make up the Our survey found that leaders are more to adopt UC technologies ‘Leader’ group in our ‘Collaboration Index’ likely to use video communication, with 58 Profile of Executives of unified communications take-up, using per cent of general managers and direc- • Average age, only 35% over 45 a classic S-curve for adoption. This is based tors making more than one video call per • More in Brazil and Germany on a scale dividing unified communications week on average. Although they have a • 25% use Instant Messaging and 2% use Presence according to how difficult they are to adopt, heavier communication and collaboration • 25% use a tablet computer at work with level 3 being the toughest. load, leaders and followers waste less time, Next comes the ‘Follower’ group, who which could save the average large enterprise make up some 38 per cent of the total. They millions of dollars. FOLLOWER 38% use tools ranging from online presence to Source: The Collaboration Paradox, 2012 Personally use at least one of the easiest and one of the second most difficult to adopt UC technologies Profile of Executives • Younger, 63% under 44 • More work in sales and IT • 43% use Instant Messaging and 31% use Presence • 39% use a tablet computer for work • 17% use web conferencing • 17% use Facebook for work, 11% Twitter LEADERS 24% Use all three levels of UC technologies, including one of the most difficult to adopt Profile of Executives • 76% under 44 • More in China and India • More are GMs/Directors and IT • More working collaboratively or in teams • 63% use Instant Messaging and 51% use Presence • 94% use a tablet computer at work • 39% use web conferencing It’s the company’s responsibility to let employees use the technology they’re most comfortable • 41% use Facebook for work, 31% Twitter with so they can be at their most productive.10 The great technology take­­­-up
  11. 11. Let the dancing beginBT learned a lot when it brought in flexible working. Now it’s sharing the knowledge, saysDavid Dunbar, general manager of BT Flexible Working Services at BT Global ServicesW hen I meet a new customer to intro- duce my area of work I’m reallyintroducing them to a state of mind. and how they are interacting with others and adding to the organisation. In other words, the What and the How. sition to Internet Protocol version 6, which is replacing version 4. I know that some of my products need to be IPv6 compatible With flexible working and unified For example, my team is very diverse and and the wiki page gave me a good overviewcommunications you can introduce the includes developers, salespeople and product of what’s happening as well as contribu-tools but you also need the culture to managers. For them, I have several metrics tions from BT people in other areas sayingsupport them, and this reaches really deep based on revenue and margin, as well as ways of what they had done to deal with the changeinto the way your organisation is set up. valuing their proposition development, market and what the areas of contention are. To put it another way, the tools are the influence, contract negotiations, and entrance Dare 2 Share encourages people to postdance floor, but it’s the people that are into new market areas. Each person has six or videos of a skill or bit of knowledge theydoing the dancing, and it’s up to the lead- seven headline objectives. A bigger goal such have. Then there’s Blog Central, whereership to give them the permission to dance as “I want five sales of this proposition in the some employees have developed a tremen-the best they can. Benelux market,” drives a whole stack of objec- dous following. And Podcast Central, which We’ve seen this at BT GS – which tives behind it. is mainly work-related material.certainly isn’t unique as a company, but has As a result BT has become a very project- All this activity means that instead of agone a long way down the route of flexible based, virtual company. The management is few people in the centre generating contentand more collaborative working. much more diffuse than it used to be, and updating it once a year, our employees and the company flows a lot more. I’ve watched are constantly contributing useful material.From home-working to hot-desking people at headquarters moving from oneWhen I joined the company in the 1980s And new talents are being released. meeting to the next and it’s quiteit was going through some big changes, a lively dance! Power to the peopleshedding 100,000 employees within After introducing flexible working at BT, We don’t moderate our intranet – it’s18 months and reducing its property we now offer it as a managed service to our self-policing. Some people think thatsignificantly. The company promoted customers so they can gain from our expe- letting employees post information onhome-working early on and built up riences. We help with the processes and their company intranet without modera-that ethos. procedures, HR, risk assessment and property tion is scary. But we rationalised it. First, Since then, the emphasis has changed issues that crop up. We also manage the transi- if you’re worried about factual accuracy,with just as much focus on what happens tion process and support the culture change. We there’s space for people to comment andinside our offices as on more traditional worked with the Greater Manchester Police, for straighten out any points. It becomeshome and mobile working, to make sure example, to introduce flexible working and now an open, informed, debate with the realthat everyone is working flexibly – not just only 3 per cent of their employees at headquar- experts forming the content. Second, ifcoming in to a set seat, in a set depart- ters have a fixed desk. someone’s saying something inappropriatement, every day. That way we can break I’m a homeworker, but I often go into BT then at least it’s online, it’s out in the opendown some of the barriers between func- buildings to work and I can book a desk online in and it’s not anonymous. People know howtions. Often an HR person only sits with HR any one of 122 BT buildings around the world. they should behave, and if they behavepeople or a finance person only sits with When I arrive at the desk I’ve booked, I never inappropriately then our existing proce-finance people. It’s like a salesman who know who I’ll be sitting next to, but saying hello dures are more than adequate, with thenever meets his customers! And it blocks to them means I get to build up a huge network added advantage of an audit trail.organisations. of contacts in the company – people I might For years, management thinkers have Clearly technology has progressed at need in the future. been analysing the best ways of sharinga tremendous pace during this time and So somewhat perversely, flexible working information and managing knowledge inenabled much greater flexibility. We can log produces stronger teams that are driven more companies. But we’ve found that with newon to any of our internal systems anywhere by their output, as they are not as internally technology, one way is to sit back and let itand with any device. I’ve just been working focused as before. From the top down the manage itself.from home and updating my team’s half- message is loud and clear – there are huge At BT, we also use our intranet foryearly appraisals. We can order a car or advantages from working flexibly, focusing on e-learning – people from across thefile expenses from an office hot-desk, an objectives and getting involved. company use courses that are available anyinternet café or an iPad at home. Letting the talent out time. We deliver this for our customers too, But the biggest change is in the culture. To encourage that last point, we’ve also devel- and we’ve supplied one of the the biggestIn the last decade, BT has driven relentlessly oped our corporate social network to encourage learning platforms in Europe for the UK’stowards an objective-based management new ways of getting involved and sharing Ministry of Defence.culture. It’s moved away from “manage- ideas. Our intranet has blogs, wikis and even As I said, BT is by no means unique inment by presence” to “performance podcasts – all generated by our employees. So doing all this, but it is true that there aremanagement”, and it’s about enabling and on the discussion group on our main homepage nowhere near enough large organisa-empowering people. I can see a piece about VAT from someone in tions embracing this more flexible culture.Work as an activity, not a location one of our finance teams, and I can also find a The tools, the technology, the spaces forWith that came the necessity to measure comment headed “28 years and still not grown collaboration underpin it, but what makespeople’s output because if you can’t see up”, which is both personal and funny. All life it work is how people are encouraged tothem at their desk, how do you know they is here. work together, how they are motivated toare working? There are two broad areas Our BTpedia is a company-wide wiki with make use of the tools, and how the culturefor appraising performance. First in terms entries on products, processes, structures, is communicated.of what’s being achieved. And second by departments and projects. I used it recently to That’s the way to really make youranalysing how people are doing their job check how colleagues are dealing with the tran- organisation dance! The great technology take­­­-up 11
  12. 12. The perfect virtual workmate Plenty has been written about the personalities that make up the perfect team. But what if the team members never meet face to face? Alex Fradera introduces the psychology behind virtual groups W hat makes collaboration possible? Social psychologists agree that harmo- nious groups are made up of people who think they’re similar to each other. While early research focused on surface-level similarities, like age or gender, recent research suggests it’s more important to share deeper features, such as values. Wanted: stable, agreeable, conscientious extroverts But there are also certain personality traits that make effective collaboration with others easier. Teams perform better when their members are more extroverted (social, talkative), emotionally stable (less inclined to worry), agreeable (keen to cooperate, not boss others about), and conscientious (disci- plined and organised). Managers need to allow their virtual workforces the time to bond and build trust as though they were in the same office. And it helps if the group shares these qualities. Specifically, teams tend to do worse when members vary wildly in agreeableness tion can compensate for absent cues like body collaboration in two more ways. First, people and conscientiousness. This is understand- language, and keep interactions rich enough have differing appetites for new technology. able, as these reflect fundamental differences to sustain close-working teams. Moreover, This is partly down to confidence in their own in how people treat each other and deliver technology can be an equaliser in discus- proficiency, but also influenced by personal shared objectives – differences not easily sions, giving more introverted people space reactions: computer anxiety on the one hand, put aside. to contribute and offering back channels so and on the other, computer playfulness, the For other traits such as extroversion, information can flow in parallel to the main readiness to use a new system for its own meanwhile, variety doesn’t appear to harm conversation. sake. Finding systems intrinsically enjoyable groups. And for creative activities, team helps people over learning bumps so they Can I trust you, virtual colleague? diversity may actually be an advantage. engage more deeply. However, it can be hard to develop full trust Openness to experience – denoting curious Finally, people differ in how they share in collaborators you haven’t met. Trustability and imaginative qualities – is generally asso- knowledge. Those willing to share see it as is key, rather than capacity to trust. A trust- ciated with more creative results. Yet studies an obligation that helps meet group goals. able person may win over a suspicious one, suggest that teams that are best at creative They’re dutiful, sharing information when whereas even a trusting soul may keep a tasks contain at least one person who is less specifically asked to, and expect others to suspect individual at bay. Trustability emerges open to experience, who can contain and do the same. Those who are eager to share from seeing someone as competent, which shape the wilder ideas. feel allegiance to the subject matter, not we can glean from virtual interactions, and the group. They’re enthusiasts, geeks even, “Openness to experience also benevolent, putting the best interests of sharing information proactively, whether others first – something hard to get a sense of solicited or not, and looking for acknowl- – denoting curious and in virtual situations. edgement from their peers plus heightened Trust matters, as geographically separated imaginative qualities – is teams are more prone to misunderstandings. reputation. People with these different atti- tudes to sharing knowledge will interact with generally associated with It’s been seen that conflict can come from a mass-collaborative, wikinomic world in very behaviour that seems unremarkable when more creative results.” witnessed, but from afar seems puzzling and different ways. From a psychological point of view, all gets attributed to false motives. Trust also When collaboration went virtual, sacri- these factors – how we collaborate, how we lets members ask for help when they need ficing face-to-face contact to connect communicate, how we’re trusted by others it, without worrying about being judged for people over distances, researchers initially and how we share information – are differ- revealing their vulnerabilities. thought it would impoverish communica- ences that feed into a virtual collaborative tion. Yet subsequent work shows that over Different strokes for different collaborators environment. time, teams relying on virtual communica- Personality interacts with technology-assisted12 The great technology take­­­-up
  13. 13. Getting to know youWorking with people we don’t meet messes with our human programming.So the tools we use have to help replace social glue, says Dr Nicola Millard,customer experience futurologist at BT Global ServicesF or collaboration to happen, trust is vital. So I’m investigating how the tools we have can create a kind of ‘fast trust’. How we can “ e do at least have a W We’re used to building trust with collaborate better given that we can’t physically range of tools opencolleagues by seeing them in meetings or get together. How we can develop the kind ofchatting to them in the canteen or round social glue that we need to work well with other to us – audio, video,the water cooler. Yet many of our work people.trends are pulling away from these tradi- Collaborative tools vary in how much they social media and real-tional trust-building situations – peoplework from home, projects are run online can help create that social glue. An audio call can be good but an audio conference can time instant messaging,and you may work with people you’ve nevermet who are in another part of be too task focused to develop relationships which let you have and many participants don’t get a say. Also,the world. without body language you can get misun- a conversation with And there are contradictory forces here. derstandings. Video conferences might seemFor example, we know that if you want to like the obvious answer and they can certainly someone.”get innovative ideas then the last thing you be a great tool, but some people can feel self-want is to sit in a room with people you see conscious of what the camera is picking up or So while it can often be impractical to meetevery day, who know each other well and find it intrusive. up face-to-face in today’s world, we do athave the same world view. But as soon as I have a colleague who used to do two least have a range of tools open to us – audio,we’re in a diverse group with mixed ages, regular calls with his team each week – one was video, social media and real-time instantcultures and disciplines, our brains are chal- task-related, the other was for a chat about messaging, which let you have a conversationlenged. They’ve evolved to work in tribes what they were all doing in their free time, just with someone.and to trust the people we see every day to build up that social glue.and who look similar to us. If we can’t see Email – the collaboration killer Social media is not that rich a tool for rela-someone and don’t know them, then it’s The one thing that I think makes a terrible tionship building, but it can be a good way toeasier for our brain to stereotype them. collaboration tool is email. give people a bit more idea of what someone is like. If you have a page that gives your photo, Email is so ingrained in most corporateCreating fast trust and social glue shows what you’ve studied and worked on, and cultures but it is full of problems. I’ve limitedToday’s working world of short, sharp what your interests are, then it will really help my email time to half an hour in the morningprojects with global virtual teams goesagainst our natural human programming. people relate to you. and half an hour in the evening to avoid the Then there are companies’ own social endless to and fro of cc’ing on emails. It can networks with forums and discussion groups also be easy to misread the tone of what’s“ oday’s working world T that let people ask questions to a wider written in an email, causing endless misunder- group, beyond their team or department and standings. And if you want to brainstorm a new of short, sharp projects the conventional silos. Some managers still project, sending a message out on social media with global virtual teams see these forums as ‘time wasting’ so there needs to be a willingness in management to will get you far more responses than sending an email round to your old list of names. goes against our natural create communities where people talk and to So we need to get to know the tools and encourage it. And that kind of collaboration get to know each other, and start building that human programming.” needs to be rewarded. social glue that we all need. The great technology take­­­-up 13
  14. 14. How the next generation works Technology comes naturally to Generation Y. They grew up with it. But can organisations and their leaders cope with the mindset that goes with the tech-savvy, asks Alun Lewis T here’s now a group of people in the work- place who are different. For all the difficulties surrounding Generation Y-er and a commentator and consultant on next generation leadership. In a piece for ForbesWoman earlier this year, “ o work successfully in T a collaborative way, comparisons between generations and the she wrote: “Consider my own experience: stereotyping it creates, there’s no doubt that Last Friday, I had two work-related Skype digital youth also need people born after 1980 – variously dubbed calls, one to Nassau and another to England, to be able to connect ‘Generation Y’, ‘Digital Natives’ during my Amtrak train ride from Boston to and ‘Millennials’ – were part of the first New York. For my work, I use Dropbox for and communicate generation to grow up with computers in online shared folders, Evernote to store and their homes. categorize information, and Skype videocon- with others in the well- Also, they’re completely at one with ferencing or iPhone’s FaceTime application to tried-and-tested art digital technology and – more recently – connect with my colleagues across the world.” social media. That’s a change in mindset from the of conversation.” generation who grew up thinking that work The first always-connected generation only happened under supervision, in an also been studying. “Power and respect in A Pew Research Center report in 2010 office. Of course there are counter exam- the workplace have to be earned in [millen- described them as “history’s first ‘always ples. There are plenty of young people who nials’] eyes,” he comments. “Interestingly, connected’ generation”. More than eight out long for a nine-to-five job, which in today’s they’re also far more critical of organisations of ten told the researchers that they sleep difficult economic climate can be hard to find. and quickly see through empty mission state- with their mobile next to their bed. Three- But digital technology has made new things ments and corporate hype.” quarters have created a profile on a social possible, and this generation is ready to play networking site. And one in five have posted Don’t forget conversation with those options. a video of themselves online. Millennials, says But out there in the business world, there Then there’s the impact of social media. the report, are also more likely than older are still ways of doing things that can’t be These online communities are a flurry of adults to say technology makes life easier and overturned overnight. Dee Gibbs is MD at messages, trends, ideas and proposals. Young brings family and friends closer together. a leading high-tech PR company Liberty people have got used to sharing informa- Business analysts have drawn lots of Communications. She is wary of the way tion and communicating across groups, and conclusions about what this will mean for computers can breed isolation for young this throws up new ideas for collaborative the workplace – the way this generation people: “While they’re actively engaging with working. works with others, the way they respond to others in real time, they’re doing it in front management, their goals and aspirations – Can your CEO be your peer? of a screen – and never having to physically and clearly this is an ongoing process. But What you need is a company that is recep- communicate in face-to-face conversations there are some interesting insights into the tive to your ideas and that’s not always easy, at all. To work successfully in a collabora- directions this could lead. as Tammy Erickson, management thinker tive way, digital youth also need to be able to and author of Plugged In: The Generation Y connect and communicate with others in the From Skype to Dropbox to FaceTime in a day Guide to Thriving at Work, describes. “They’ve well-tried-and-tested art of conversation. As For a start, being good at the technology grown up in a peer-to-peer world, so they’re with everything, it’s about choosing the most brings a whole new flexibility to working used to sending information to peers based appropriate tool.” anytime, anywhere. Erica Dhawan is a on their perception of who can use the infor- Technology doesn’t change everything, mation, where it would provide the most but it does provide new opportunities. And value, and they come into a corporate envi- overall, given the world of peak oil, peak food “For my work, I use Dropbox ronment with that same set of assumptions,” and peak population that this generation is for online shared folders, she said in an interview with Harvard Business going to inherit, they’re going to need the Digital. “So if they have an idea that they best tools available to survive economically, Evernote to store and think could benefit you, I don’t care who you let alone thrive individually. categorize information, and are – CEO, head of marketing – if they’ve got an idea, chances are they are going to share it Meanwhile, there is one other interesting characteristic that has been assigned to Skype videoconferencing or with you.” Generation Y: “They expect work to That might challenge some of the hier- be ‘fun’,” adds Dr Karsten Jonsen. “They iPhone’s FaceTime application archical ideas of the way companies are want instant recognition and they don’t to connect with my colleagues managed, something that Dr Karsten Jonsen, want to have to wait for a formal career research fellow at the IMD Business School in reward structure.” across the world.” Geneva and a specialist in team working, has Oldies, you have been warned.14 The great technology take­­­-up