The expanding investments in people and the retracting investments in people precede the economic business cycle of boom or bust. In other words, when companies begin to re-invest in people, productivity increases, creativity soars, new products appear and new customers are engaged. When companies pull back on people investments, sales start to sag, productivity declines, product introductions slow to a trickle and soon the business falters. The faltering of business is usually obfuscated initially by the drive for efficiency and financial engineering of the books but the employees reflect the dropping corporate barometric pressure. Rumors fly, people begin to hang out at the water cooler to commiserate and speculate about what is going on. High Read more
Advice and opinion on improving collaboration and making teams successful.
In my “Cutter Predicts…” post for 2013, I briefly made the point that a picture/image of an asset is merely one form of representing a physical asset. With services like Instagram, The Fancy and Wisemarkit drawing our attention these days, it is natural to think in terms of photos and/or photo streams. However, I contended: The nature of the phenomenon we are examining here is not restricted to photos/images. Rather, it is generic. Regardless of the nature of your company’s assets, any information about them that flows through the “pipes” of your company is potentially a productive asset. It can be utilized (once an API is exposed) through an app store that mines the information Read more
Crowd sourcing, through various social media sites as well as commercial sites such as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, has become a common form of collectively gathering knowledge. Though forms of professional collaboration, commonly known as concurrent engineering or concurrent collaboration, have been around for years, an emerging trend for both public- and private-sector businesses deviates from that concept in that knowledge is shared across corporate and business unit barriers and into an individual’s personal/professional network and beyond. Blogs and even message boards have been a basis for some of this activity; however more global efforts for specific problem solving approaches are taking place with amazing results. Consider Foldit. Foldit is a website developed to attract individuals Read more
Due to the uncertainty of our times, I’m going to make two predictions. First, the world will come to an end on December 21st, exactly as the Mayans DID NOT predict hundreds of years ago. Granted, the Mayan calendar runs out on the 21st but to be quite frank my calendar runs out every year on December 31st and the world has still gone on despite of that dire prediction. The Mayan calendar myth dates back to the mid-1970s, a time when we were seeing Sasquatches in every forest, aliens eviscerating cows in every farm field, and chariots of the gods in the skies of South America. At that time we were also doing prodigious Read more
Just as the monster Frankenstein was put together from pieces and parts of many people, so are some of the enterprise collaboration vendors. For example, Jive just acquired Meetings.io, and Producteev to add videoconferencing and task management. Salesforce.com is another vendor that is building a collaborative Frankenstein, as is VMware, and others. The idea is that as these vendors acquire smaller companies and fold them into their framework, they begin to add more and more collaborative functionality: IM, activity streams, integration with social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), audio/video/data conferencing, online meetings (permanent or temporary). As each piece is added to the framework, unfortunately, the tools and the overall suites tend to become more complex, and require Read more
“Several cracks have appeared in patent systems worldwide,” wrote Claude Baudoin in his Cutter IT Journal Call for Papers on IP, Innovation, and Collaboration. At the heart of the issue, he says, is the argument that the patent system discourages collaborative innovation among partners, and that in some domains this is hurting scientific, technical, economic and societal progress. (If you’re curious about some examples of such partnerships, check out Claude’s recent blog post.) Do you agree that the patent system is crumbling? Disagree? Have you had success — or failure — with IP sharing in cases where you’ve collaborated with a partner? How do you protect sensitive information while jointly innovating? The September 2012 issue of Cutter Read more
The argument that the current patent system discourages collaborative innovation among partners — hurting scientific, technical, economic, and societal progress — is gaining steam. At the core of this is the swift emergence of, “open innovation,” described by Henry Chesbrough in 2003 [Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology. Harvard Business School Press]. In a concise and compelling 2010 paper, Prof. Bronwyn Hall of UC Berkeley and United Nations University in Maastricht, described how the open innovation movement has influenced some large companies, including IBM and Microsoft, to change how they handle the protection and sharing of intellectual property. She concluded by showing that in the leading-edge world of social media, Read more