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? Here are the top-five telltale signs:

1.) Your productivity isn’t keeping up with competitors.

Today’s technology is amazing and can help your people do more work with less time and effort. But if you’ve just installed new systems and your employee productivity curve still isn’t arcing up, your technology may be more of a hindrance than a help. Fortunately, you don’t have to scrap it all and start over. Discover how the tibbr platform can increase your workforce productivity » 

2.) Your R&D department is hurting your P&L.

Are you not getting enough innovation from your innovators? (continued…)

Peter Crosby

A simple test to tell if your HR department is needlessly wasting money.

Every year — often at the request of corporate HR managers —  an estimated 2 million people take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test. It’s reported that 89 of the Fortune 100 still use it to determine the personality “types” of current and future employees so they can be assigned appropriate training and responsibilities.

Okay, so here’s the test: Are you giving your employees the Myers-Briggs test? If you answered Yes, then you’re wasting money. And here’s why.

When a scientific test isn’t exactly scientific.

Back in 1921, Carl Jung suggested that humans broke down into several distinct personality types (based on his own personal observations). But he never tested his theory in a controlled setting, and even admitted to the idea’s huge, inherent flaws.

Regardless, in 1942 his theory was adapted by Isabel Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs to create their now-famous test.

The basic idea is that knowing your personality type, and those of others, will help you interact more effectively with colleagues.

Unfortunately, while the two Americans were astute observers of human behavior, neither had any formal education in psychology. So no scientific rigor was ever applied to prove the test’s effectiveness.

Thousands of professional psychologists have evaluated the century-old Myers-Briggs, [and] found it to be inaccurate and arbitrary…

Not surprisingly, the test has since been widely discredited by the scientific community. (continued…)

Peter Crosby

Here’s why you should stop trying to predict the future of your business.

Joi Ito Who wouldn’t want to know what the future holds? Especially in business, where inventing the Next Big Thing could mean market-share domination for decades.

Yet predicting the future is all but impossible (unless the Next Big Thing you come up with is a time machine). Despite the best efforts of psychics, astrologers, and scientists, nothing has ever consistently worked — crystal balls and studying the past are no more effective than a blindfolded monkey throwing darts. In short, you have absolutely no hope of predicting the future.

On the bright side, neither does anyone else. In fact, when it comes to determining the future, it’s a pretty level playing field. Every company in the same boat regardless of size — larger companies have more resources but are slower, while smaller companies have fewer resources but are more nimble.

But, for all practical purposes, there’s really only one way to know for certain where the industry is headed.

Don’t try to predict the future, invent it yourself.

That’s right. Instead of waiting and reacting to competitors’ innovations, you have to disrupt your own industry yourself.

In this recent TED talk, Joi Ito, head of the MIT Media Lab, spoke about how the Internet has democratized innovation in every field. (continued…)

Peter Crosby

How to succeed in business without being an obnoxious blowhard.

Obnoxious Blowhard

A lot of business advice in recent years centered on people branding themselves to get ahead. The Internet, they argue, offers everyone the same opportunity to “promote themselves as well as celebrities and large corporations, even without a multi-million dollar marketing budget.

That’s all well and good, but what about those who’d rather do less branding and just do a good job instead? What if those people could get promotions and succeed in their career without having to toot their own horn 24/7?

A recent book from David Zweig suggests that it’s entirely possible. Invisibles: The Power of Anonymous Work in an Age of Relentless Self-Promotion profiles successful individuals who succeeded without always showing off.

They’re highly skilled individuals whose work is critical to whatever enterprise they’re a part of, but who generally go unnoticed…

Workers who operate “under the radar” and typically keep their heads down can be some of a company’s most critical employees.

Low profile doesn’t mean low importance.

neilpeart
It’s what I call “drummer syndrome.” Much like Zweig’s “Invisibles,” drummers have the critically important task of keeping the beat. And, barring the occasional Neil Peart solo, it’s a thankless job that people often forget about…well, at least until the drummer screws up.  (continued…)

Peter Crosby

Four things every business must have to create a modern digital workspace.

Manager Working In The Office

Often lauded as the starting point of people’s day, typical corporate intranets have been perpetually disappointing, never really living up to businesses’ expectations. Newer social intranets — while somewhat better — are just as often homogeneous, monolithic software stacks locked into one vendor’s view of the world.

So how do companies provide the kind of modern workspace that will increase employee efficiency and productivity? The following are 4 minimum tenets of a modern, effective enterprise social networking platform:

1. An open, agnostic architecture.

Illustration Of A Manager Working In The OfficeEven in 2014, there are still companies pushing a “their way or the highway” business model. Yet companies need to think holistically about how to make an Enterprise Social Network a successful work tool. An ESN shouldn’t care where your data lives, so insisting on one particular development framework, or pushing cloud-only versus on-premises ignores all the nuances in between the two. And sure, open web standards and RESTful APIs go a long way towards making a single-vendor approach sound appealing, but the reality is, the APIs alone won’t work — companies also need a strong integration framework that can incorporate custom business processes.

2. A broad, business process platform.

To make your ESN a place where people get work done, it isn’t enough to pull events into a feed via a REST API or integrate over OpenSocial. (continued…)

Peter Crosby

Do social networks just encourage people to brag about their accomplishments?

social network bragging

Do social networks encourage coworkers, friends, and family to brag about their accomplishments? While it’s probably true that social networks do encourage some bragging, I’d argue that “sharing positive news about yourself” isn’t limited to social networks.

Even without social networks, we’d still find some way to put our best foot forward — in conversation, email, TPS reports, and even on blogs like this. It’s just human nature to want to make yourself look good to others — heck, it may even be Darwinian — but we realize that still doesn’t make it right.

We’d never stoop to blatant self-promotion.

forrester-logoFor example, when Forrester Research recently reassessed the ESN industry for both Social Platforms and Activity Streams, we tastefully posted:

Forrester names tibbr ESN leader! Totes crushin’ it, yo!

info-tech-awardsAnd when Info-Tech Research Group named tibbr the category Champion, Innovator, and Best Value, we casually shared it:

tibbr takes home the Info-Tech Triple Crown! #believe #YOLO

tibbr-blog-forester-report1Naturally, when Forrester Consulting published the results of their six-month study examining the ROI of tibbr, we took the high-road:

Forrester shows tibbr ROI in FIVE areas!!! #justsaying #humblebrag 

badge-biz-winner-2013aAnd when our tablet app was awarded “Best IT/Business Tool” in the 2013 “Tabby” awards, we barely mentioned our victory:

tibbr Mobile just took home a Tabby!

(continued…)

Peter Crosby

What’s wrong with your conference room, and how to fix it.

Empty Conference Room

Nobody likes conference rooms; the fluorescent lights cause headaches, the projector never has the right dongle, the catered sandwiches taste like plastic, and there are never enough of the “good” chairs. And don’t get me started on those conference call phones…

Thankfully, conference rooms are on their way out. More and more work is being done in disparate global offices, while traveling to those office, or while working from somewhere else entirely. As a result, employees are finding that IRL conference rooms simply aren’t the best way to pull together the right colleagues, content, and conversations around a topic anymore.

Enter tibbr Subjects: It’s a virtual workspace for the 21st Century that lets people collaborate more efficiently. It’s accessible from both the office and the road, and available on both desktops and smart devices. So now, no one needs to be in the same physical space to be part of a discussion.

In the recent 5.1 upgrade, we did more than just refresh the look (but we did that, too). Check out this list of upgrades we made to make tibbr Subjects even more useful:

  • Easily access everything from the new toolbar — jump to Wall Posts, People, Links, Files, Bookmarks, and Trends.
  • (continued…)

Peter Crosby

How lengthy emails damage your business, and how to put a stop to them.

Hands Typing Email Novels.

I stumbled across a nice blog post the other day suggesting that there’s a simple solution to the problem of email killing employee productivity, and it’s basically this: “Keep emails short.”

While that may seem obvious and self-evident, it’s nevertheless something nobody seems to be able to do — far too many people write emails as if they were authoring the next great novel or a dissertation on the meaning of existence under the mistaken impression that more words are better.

But when it comes to email — as Robert Browning taught us all in his 1855 dramatic monologue, Andrea del Sarto (Called “The Faultless Painter”) — less is more.

The email window itself may be at fault — its wide-open textual expanse all but cries out for logorrheic verbosity. Like the mythical siren’s call, it incites our childhood passion and unrealized dream of being a best-selling author of pompous word-smithery!

Or…it could be that people just can’t cut to the chase.

Regardless of the cause, shorter messages are better messages for one, simple reason:

Short messages get read.

no-email_smallThat’s right. Short messages get read while long emails — even the most carefully crafted ones — get skimmed at best, if not ignored altogether. (continued…)

Leandro Perez

tibbr named a leader in Enterprise Social Platforms by an independent research firm.

Forrester

Recently, the folks over at Forrester Research reassessed the current ESN market to see how the vendors stacked up against one another. In all, they evaluated 13 of the market’s most significant players against 65 different criteria and two different perspectives:

  • 1.) Social Platforms as an overall offering, and
  • 2.) Activity Streams as a subset of social platforms

When it was over, The Forrester Wave™ report (Q2/2014) recognized tibbr as a leader in both segments, nabbing the highest scores in the Social Platform’s “Current Offering” as well as Activity Streams’ “Market Presence.” (And since you’re no doubt about to ask, “Market Presence” rates the vendor’s financial performance, installed base, integration partners, professional services, number of employees, and technology partners.)

Beyond its complete, robust, and mature product, Forrester liked tibbr’s long history of integration which extends its value across different apps and systems.

VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, Rob Koplowitz, wrote: “Enterprise Social does not live in isolation. It thrives with business-specific horizontal and vertical extensions,” adding “[tibbr] has grown to become a much more robust enterprise social platform, particularly when paired with pre-integrated offerings…”

These days, the Enterprise Social market is moving towards app-agnostic, business integration and that’s where tibbr really shines. (continued…)

Leandro Perez

How tibbr helps groups of people work more effectively together.

Working together

After I explain what tibbr is, I usually get the follow-up question: “So, what’s tibbr for?” Well, that’s a deceptively complicated question that doesn’t have a simple or short answer — if you want the “elevator pitch,” we’d better be in a very tall skyscraper.

That’s because the tibbr platform was designed to address the different needs of all types of organizations. As a result, tibbr is used by a broad range of organizations for a broad range of organizational needs — everything from global change management to assisting first-responders collaborate to save lives, and everything in between.

As an Enterprise Social Networking platform, tibbr has the functional capacity to help with almost every aspect of human endeavor (even sports like Rugby!), yet most customers generally benefit from the following set of tibbr characteristics:

  • Situational awareness. Employees learn where they fit in the organization as well as what things affect them, their work and their productivity.
  • Vocational mobility. They get a world-class mobile experience with access on any device, anywhere, any time — today’s mobile workforce mantra.
  • Increased agility. Companies increase the flow of information to become small again because of the inverse relationship between size and agility.
  • (continued…)