The simple truth is that - something significant is happening in the corporate worldAnd it would be remiss of me not to share this with you today even if I run the risk of falling foul of the dreaded industry hype I am so keen to avoid Bear with me I believe the breaking news I want to share with you is beyond the standard hype - but you be the judge of that
Why? According to its CEO and chair Thierry Breton, what we are talking about is information pollution - and just as we cleaned up a lot of the older stuff when we shut down our smokestack industries, now is the time to remove the "unsustainable" load we've imposed on ourselves with all this.
So why the big move? Because email is not helping any more, basically. "The volume of emails we send and receive is unsustainable for business, with managers spending between 5 and 20 hours a week reading and writing emails... We are producing data on a massive scale that is fast polluting our working environments and also encroaching into our personal lives. [So] we are taking action now to reverse this trend, just as organisations took measures to reduce environmental pollution after the industrial revolution."
Make no mistake it really is going to be as difficult as this image suggests to wean 49,000 ee’s off email
Let’s pause for a moment and reflect. Let’s try to imagine a world without email - do we think its even possible? Could you personally give it up? Would you want to? And if you did how long do you think you would need to do it?
Who is this man? His name is Luis Suarez (obviously not that Luis Suarez who plays for Liverpool). He is a Social Computing Evangelist.Feb 2008 - the day he decided to give up using email Immediate responses from his colleagues varied from - “you’ll be sacked in 2 weeks” to “ finally someone with the balls to tell the company to not use email”Why did he do it - he decided that email was making everyone else productive except him How did he do it ? I’ll come back to that in a momentWho does he work for? - go to next slide
What’s driving all of this? Well I call it ‘The Facebook factor’
We all know how to do it
And everyone’s doing it - not just the kids
And its not just trivial knowledge
But in reality this is where most companies are at - a group of people - who have to be organised in some sort of way in order for a business to operate
They are quite likely to be organised like this - some form of centrally controlled and managed entity – where people in certain groups or divisions cannot directly interact with people in some other groups other than via the central layer But for Collaboration to work this is what really has to change – this silo based thinking and attendant structures have to go For mature established companies like Atos and IBM it will be a gradual process and is likely to follow steps like this … (next slide)
Although this structure is not yet the perfect shape for Collaboration to flourish - it represents a step in the right direction Central command and control appears to have disappeared (or at least lessened) and although their appears to be some sort of hierarchy (indicated by the colours) It is possible for a person or entity to engage with another person or entity without having to go through a formal linear managerial processAlso more importantly there isn't just one single route to navigate your way around - this is an important feature of a collaborative workspace
This is even better - here the hierarchy in terms of knowledge share appears to be flatter and more democratic - there is still however some limitation in terms of being able to directly interact with the best person in the company to solve your problem
And this is the nirvana of Collaboration the unstructured corporate structure if you will – where knowledge, expertise and solutions flow freely, they operate in an open transparent environment and people interact freely based on business needs rather than pre-determined structures that users have to struggle to work with to solve their business problems Imagine on boarding at a company like this - when many of us started out even if we knew who the key person in an organisation was we would be obliged to wait months maybe even years to be permitted to engage and interact with them - pick their brains and maybe impress them With a collaborative platform a new started can immediately search and find the experts (like Louis Suarez and Thierry Breton) in their organisation, they can follow the thought processes of these people via their profiles and blogs - get inside their heads and learn so much without disturbing them in the slightest – email scores a big fat F grade in this respectAnd then when the time is right, when they feel comfortable and confident they can begin tp share their thought and ideas on the collaborative platform and if these ideas have merit they will attract comments and even a following Cream is allowed to rise to the top and everyone not only sees the cream rising they are actually the reason why it risesSo in an Engineering company it might be that a new bright brilliant engineer has a bigger following for his or her ideas than say a more established engineer. Or a junior lawyer might be able to assist a senior team just because they happened to have covered a particular point or approach to an issue in their previous firm.
And every night that knowledge walks out the door
Rooven Pakkiri Head of Social Business Collaboration Culture (The Social Business Imperative)
Something significant is happening in the corporate world A major change of direction is taking place
On 7th Feb 2011 The CEO of Thierry Breton 49,000ee Euro 5bn Global IT Said ……
Why is he doing this? Industrial Pollution Information Pollution
How bad is it ? Managers are spending between 5-20 hours a week reading and writing emails
It’s bad and it’s getting worse 13% of people are getting more than 250 e-mails per day 18% of daily email is spam 56% of people think they're spending too long on e-mail
The Atos motivation 1) Altruistic - ‘ we are concerned about employee health and well being’ 2) Less Altruistic - drive efficiency and productivity 5 hrs x 48weeks x 49,000 = 11m man hours saved p.a. 3) Cynical – driven by profit motive 11m man hours saved = 5880 headcount reduction Bottom line is there are powerful reasons that are driving this change
So how do they plan to do this ? I’ll come back to this in a moment, but first …
Imagine a world without email How long would it take you? Could you do it? Don’t forget there once was a world before email
Who is this man? “sacked in 2 weeks” Feb 2008 Why did he do it? “somebody with the balls..” How did he do it? What was the outcome? Who does he work for?
Not a exactly a hip funky start-up Actually an email driven, highly distributed company Lives: Gran Canarias Works: IBM Netherlands Reports : IBM US
What’s driving all of this? Agreed Not the thing itself But rather what it represents ….
Free Fast No training needed No training offered Few Rules Lots of Freedom “the standard for usability must be high. The best consumer interfaces must be the model to follow, not other enterprise software applications.” (Jeff Schick- IBM)
By the numbers, Facebook is well over 500 million members strong If you compare Facebook to the populations of the largest countries around the world it would rank 3rd behind China and India Irrefutable proof that people like collaborating
Irrefutable proof that people are collaborating and not just in a social context
So how did Luis Suarez do it? And how does Thierry Breton plan to do it?
What is Social Business ? “just facebook inside the organisation” WRONG ANSWER “more like Linkedin inside an organisation” WRONG ANSWER (but closer) “uses Social Networking tools and collaboration culture to solve business problems” CORRECT ANSWER
This is not Rocket Science If employees are more connected Then it becomes easier to find the right person and the right answer in an organisation This leads to greater efficiency and effectiveness This in turn leads to better customer service Which in turn leads to better business results And the indications and early adopter results confirm this….
Massive Potential ROI USD15 million p.a. saved from sharing operational lessons learned USD 700 million over 2 yrs through communities of practise USD 100 million is uncovering new markets & 20 million is cost avoidance through enterprise collaboration
The Challenge People are the most valued asset of any organisation BUT 80% of a company's knowledge are in the heads of its employees
The really big payoff is creation of an institutional memory and a playbook The Prize
You have to find ways to bring the whole organisation with you Each of these people has a valuable piece of the puzzle Otherwise it is just a technology platform and it will fail to deliver meaningful ROI
Over 70% of HR Directors say their company is poor at Collaboration (IBM study – Oct 2010)