Thursday, June 11, 2009

Notable + Quotable: Communication failures, juggling jobs, social media strategy, and Web apps

Quotes from an interesting article from The App Gap, a Work 2.0 blog. I've highlighted my quotes in bold:

Seven Communication Mistakes Managers Make
Management Essentials gives practical tips on the finer points of dealing with people inside the office. One such point: “3. Ignoring the realities of power. Surprised that you never hear bad news until it’s too late? Don’t be. The more power you have, the less you’ll hear about problems. It’s human nature: problems are filtered and softened as they ascend the corporate hierarchy, with each messenger seeking to soften the blow. If you want an honest assessment of a problem, seek out bad news. Welcome it. And when it comes, show your appreciation.”

Moonlighting Can Pay, but Consider the Costs
Eileen Zimmerman looks, in this New York Times piece, at the pros and cons of juggling multiple jobs at a time. “Although a second job may seem like a logical option when your finances are strained, it will require personal — and possibly professional — sacrifices. ‘Ask yourself what tradeoff you are willing to make for that second income in terms of lost personal time, performance at your primary job and your stress level,’ said Eileen Blumenthal, a coach and managing partner of Rocket Science Coaching and Consulting in San Francisco.”

Social Media Strategy: Do You Hire, Outsource, or DIY?
JD Rucker of Social Computing Journal lays out the good and the bad for each social media campaign method. “Hire a Social Media Strategy Firm. Pros: Leaving it to the experts – A few social media strategy firms really know what they’re doing. They’ve accumulated the resources, accounts, profiles and contacts to take campaigns to the top, to properly build company-related social media properties, and to get the buzz heading in the right direction. Cost – It’s normally less expensive to hire a firm to do social media marketing compared to hiring an individual or team to work exclusively for a company. Set goals and monitor result – For most companies, the convenience of being able to set the direction, sit back, and wait for results is extremely appealing.”

Management Theory: Mostly Bunk
Another New York Times article turns a critical eye on management theory with interesting comments on the topic. One critic calls it: “‘…at its core a collection of quasi-religious dicta on the virtue of being good at what you do, ensconced in a protective bubble of parables (otherwise known as case studies)’ — which are often fudged to produce desired outcomes.”

How to Frame Your Messages for Maximum Impact
Melissa Raffoni of Management Essentials explains why few people do it well, and what you can do to be a more effective communicator. “What exactly does it mean to ‘frame’ or ‘reframe’ an issue? Think about the metaphor behind the concept. A frame focuses attention on the painting it surrounds. Different frames draw out different aspects of the work. Putting a painting in a red frame brings out the red in the work; putting the same painting in a blue frame brings out the blue. How someone frames an issue influences how others see it and focuses their attention on particular aspects of it. Framing is the essence of targeting a communication to a specific audience.”

Enterprise Social Media Usage Policies and Guidelines
For those who’d like to draft their own, Laurel Papworth made an exhaustive list of links to existing company policies on social media on SCJ. “Kinda cool that companies are now posting internal policies publicly. Not surprising – it goes a long way to protect the company from fallout if/when staff do ignore the social media guidelines in place.”

LinkedIn Recommendations: Five Ways to Make The Most of Them
C.G. Lynch returns on CIO to offer advice on how to use LinkedIn to communicate your value to prospective employers. “Who to ask for a recommendation? Look above, below and sideways. While you should have a recommendation in which your boss praises your abilities and how your work helped drive good business results, don’t stop there, says Phil Rosenberg, president of reCareered (a career consultancy). “If you want to demonstrate that you were a team player, having your peers say in a recommendation that you go the extra mile or help mentor people can help shape your image with a potential employer,” Rosenberg says. You also might want to look externally to clients and internally to your direct reports, says Kirsten Dixson, a reputation management and online identity expert.”

The Difference Between Enterprise 2.0 and Social Media
Andrea Baker of Social Computing Journal breaks down the nuances of these two categories and ponders what it takes to make business applications successful. “I think organizations should think internally before claiming they get it on the Internet. You may look cool by having a social media presence to get new recruits and new hires. But if you do not have a productive and collaborative environment behind the firewall, you are NOT going to retain the young bright minds to take your organization into the future.”

There are Web apps and then there are Web apps
Not all web apps are created equal. Roger King of IT Knowledge Exchange looks at several of them and their different web capabilities. “So, what characteristics do we see in applications that are powerful, and have native, complete Web interfaces? They are likely to store data persistently in a serverized database management system like MySQL, and present the user with web forms to fill in, and return to the user dynamic Web pages populated from the database. A website that we might be willing to label “Web 2.0? would be one that is highly responsive and manages large amounts of data.”

Enterprises Want Social Computing, Not Just Another Facebook
Barb Mosher talks about social media in the enterprise, and its distinction from consumer counterparts due to specific business objectives. “In most cases there is a need to transform the culture rapidly — although it can be for different reasons. For example, social computing solutions enable employees to easily jump into curated communities that are related to their day to day activities. By having employees complete all their work activities within communities, an enterprise can drive open collaboration as a primary way of working, getting rid of stove pipe organizational silos and reducing costs related to travel and video conferencing. Holston says there is a view that communities democratize organizations and thus enable innovation and happier employees overall.”

SLA’s and the Real World
The strategic use of Service Level Agreements is needed to guard enterprise interests like quality and reliability, writes Oliver Marks in Collaboration on 2.0. “Technology will play a supporting role in this transformation and IT governance will give a lot of ‘risk versus reward’ presentations as they point out the tactical insecurities of the ‘new way’. No one wants to be responsible when someone slips up in full view of the crowd, so their SLA’s will be adjusted accordingly.”

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