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How to hang on to employee expertise when your workforce keeps changing. [Webinar]

Scania truck

Turbulent economic times (whether positive or negative) often result in drastic changes to a company’s labor force — unavoidable lay-offs or abrupt hiring booms can cause chaos in ways you might not expect. Unintended consequences of workforce upheaval include sudden and massive gaps in basic company functions and knowledge. Critically important activities that need to be done — ones that you usually take for granted — can now easily get dropped or fall through the cracks.  

That’s why it’s more important than ever before to have a system in place to constantly collect and retain all company information, even the seemingly rudimentary stuff. (continued…)

Peter Crosby

How to get more work from employees without making them work more.

Robot

Employee productivity is the key to increased company productivity, and the key to increased company profits, as well — at least, in theory. Because unlike machines and soulless robots, humans are generally incapable of performing at high levels for extended periods of time without breaking down, either mentally of physically.

So how do you increase human productivity in industries where the work can’t be done by tireless robotic automatons (who will one day rise up and enslave us all)? How do you get soft, squishy humans to produce more without turning them into human-hybrid cyborgs? The answer isn’t what you’d expect. (continued…)

Peter Crosby

New study shows what really makes people more collaborative.

thumbs-up Back in the 16th Century, Sir Francis Bacon (arguably) coined the now-famous Latin quip: “Scientia potentia est” (i.e., “Knowledge is power”). And while the phrase can have a very noble interpretation, it’s more often a justification for withholding information to gain an advantage over others.

For centuries, this approach was very effective against external enemies. But when this kind of “information hoarding” is used against people within a single organization or business — that is, people ostensibly on the same side— it can have far-ranging and negative repercussions for everyone involved.

Cooperation isn’t just for kindergarteners.

Restricting the free flow of information isolates people and teams, cutting off communications, fostering complacency, and destroying trust. (continued…)

Peter Crosby

How to get more departments more involved in more parts of your business.

Network

As an organizational business tool, “departments” are pretty much unavoidable. They’re a semi-logical way to categorize people by functionality and focus. But an unintended consequence of departments is that they tend to isolate people from the rest of the business. Categorization puts metaphorical blinders on people that, while helping them focus on their primary tasks and objectives, also prevents people from knowing what else is going on in other areas and needlessly limits their potential contributions.

Take Human Resources, as an example. Typically, HR people play three critical roles, that of administrative expert, employee advocate, and change agent. Yet, in recent Harvard Business Review blog post, “It’s Time to Split HR,” a business advisor/author argues that Human Resource’s skills and knowledge should benefit other areas of the business, too. (continued…)

Peter Crosby

The 3 things CMOs need to know about ESNs now.

Private-Social-Networks-in-20-Years

With the advent of the Internet, complexity in Marketing has increased logarithmically — there are now more moving parts in a marketing mix than ever before. And with so much to track and manage, seamless communication and easy collaboration are more important than ever.

The 3 things every marketer should know now:

1.) Everyone’s in Marketing now.

Regardless of their job function — from the executive offices to the retail floor — every customer-interacting employee should be delivering the same message in the exact same way. So when messaging get updated, everyone needs to know, now. And the best way to make sure people get the message is with an Enterprise Social Networking platform that can provide broadcast communications across offices, time-zones, and borders. (continued…)

Peter Crosby

KM system or wine cellar? The declining value of stored knowledge.

Wine Cellar

Most people believe that wine improves with age. Not surprisingly, they store it in dark, cool wine-cellars for long periods of time to “allow the tannins to soften and mellow” or some such thing. But, in reality, only the top 5% of red wines benefit from aging.

Most wines — the kind that normal humans can afford — are designed to be best enjoyed when relatively fresh, say, within 6 months to a year of purchase (look on the bottle).

Similarly, company knowledge has a “best used by” date, too. When expertise is stored in disparate databases for long periods of time, it quickly loses its relevance, accessibility, and in the process, its value to the company. (continued…)

Leandro Perez

Why corporate email is bad for your business, and how to escape it.

Business background with drawn ideas. Email concept

Regardless of what you call it — email overload, email fatigue, inbox clutter, or just plain email noise — corporate email is out of control. And if email is still the primary communication and collaboration tool in your organization, then your employees aren’t being as productive or innovative as they could be.

Here are 3 huge problems with email:

1.) Doing everything in email makes people dumb.

Undoubtedly, your employees are already drowning in a sea of CC’s, reply-to-alls, and endless email chains. Not to mention spam. Lots and lots of spam. It’s annoying, sure, but how bad is it really? (continued…)

Peter Crosby

How to bring everything you need for business travel and still pack light.

Airline travelers and passengers rush through the terminal to their flights with their baggage and l

Thanks to globalization, travel has become a big part of doing business. Unfortunately, increasing airport security and decreasing on-board storage is making travel more unpleasant. To help you out, we’ve created a list of tips to make business travel more tolerable.

Four tips for better business travel.

1.) Avoid flying Coach 

  • Seriously, don’t do it. It’s worse than you remember. Pay for the upgrade yourself if you have to.

2.) Pack your bag efficiently

  • Put socks inside shoes
  • Pack shoes first, inside shoe bags
  • Pack heaviest clothes next
  • Roll up shirts and pack in gaps
  • Fill other gaps with underwear
  • Double-bag toiletries to prevent leaks

3.) Only bring the hardware you need

  • SmartPhone/Tablet
  • Power convertors
  • Device chargers
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • Those dongle thingies

4.) Bring all your business apps

That’s it, you’re all set.

(continued…)
Peter Crosby

The critical difference between being busy and being productive.

Scoreboard

Since the adoption of the 40-hour work week, most workers have been expected to put in eight hours of work a day. But that time-based benchmark misses the point of why people are employed in the first place.

Work isn’t just all about working.

In his Inc.com article, Getting Things Done: It’s Not the Same as Being Busy, Paul B. Brown clarifies the mistaken virtue of hard work using tips garnered from John Wooden, a UCLA Basketball coach. Wooden points out that a good day shouldn’t be one when you were busy — a good day is when you accomplished something. (continued…)

Peter Crosby

5 telltale signs you need an Enterprise Social Network and how to get started.

You need an ESN
Is your business doing as well as it could be? Is your current technology really working as well as you think? Are your employees still hampered with a 20th Century workspace? If you’re not sure, then the answers to those questions are probably No.

A lot has changed technologically in recent years, and keeping up is a big part of staying competitive. Luckily, you can upgrade your current technology with an Enterprise Social Networking platform. Easily and quickly bring your employees into the modern era — you don’t even need to rip-and-replace your current systems.

Yet how can you be sure your company really needs an ESN platform? (continued…)