Quotes

What if we offered you stock options?

June 29, 2015
Silicon Valley

I worked one job and when I finally quit, they had the VP bring me in to ask why. I said, “Well, if you want me to be honest, I come in here on Monday and I’m completely miserable. I have no rapport with anybody. By the end of the day I want to shoot myself.” He looked at me and he said, “What if we offered you stock options?”

Awesome quote from Mike Judge (creator and executive producer of Silicon Valley)… If you haven’t caught the show yet, definitely recommended!

Social Business

The State of Community Management 2015

June 23, 2015
State of Community Management 2015

The Community RoundtableIn my line of work as a collaboration and community strategist, one of the key milestones each year is the early summer publication of the State of Community Management report by the The Community Roundtable group.  It tends to provide accurate measurement of the progress of online communities within organisations around the world, as well as offering terrific insight in terms of how one’s own customers and projects compare to the both the average and the very best communities elsewhere.

If you haven’t come across the The Community Roundtable before, you should really should read up on them and their activities. Founded by Rachel Happe and Jim Storre, they’ve been leading the way on research and analysis of online communities for a long time now:

In 2009, we noticed the adoption of social tools and technologies begin to skyrocket, but there was no corresponding attention being paid to community management. Our collective background in business operations and technology (Rachel) and community strategy and management (Jim) set off warning bells. We knew the use of social technologies would open a pandora’s box of implications and challenges for organizations. There were a few early community practitioners who understood what it would take to be successful and we knew that their tacit understanding would be critical to capture and share if the social media, community and social business disciplines were to grow. The Community Roundtable was our answer to this need.

Amongst other efforts such as salary surveys and maturity models, the The Community Roundtable publish the State of Community Management report on an annual basis.  The 2015 version was released a couple of weeks ago:

We are particularly pleased this year to be able to break down the markers of community management maturity into maturity stages, which allows you to see more detail about what initiatives are most prevalent in each stage of a community’s lifecycle. This data helps considerably in building community roadmaps and providing stakeholders with data that supports it. Other new analysis features this year include:

  • Reporting on ‘inactive’ populations in our engagement profile – critical for putting the other engagement categories into context.
  • Discussion of some of our ‘data dilemmas’ as we analyzed the data, which will give you some insight into areas of the research that are still immature or non-standard.

Ultimately our goal with this research is to provide data that helps you:

  • Plan and develop a roadmap
  • Prioritize resources effectively
  • Educate stakeholders
  • Increase your credibility
  • Demonstrating your value as a community professional

This year’s research is as interesting and insightful as usual.  I’ve been working through the key findings and recommendations this week, and have been delighted to see how closely the research aligns with Jive’s existing strategy and methodologies.  However, there’s a huge amount of great content in the report, presentation and recording, am so I’m still digesting what changes I’ll make to my own recommendations as a result of this year’s info.

If you’re interested in finding out more, here’s what you need:

If you’re either a community manager yourself, or else consult on topics in this area, I really do see this research as being an essential part of your arsenal. I couldn’t recommend it more highly.

IBM

Thank you IBM

June 19, 2015
IBM Champion gear

I was hugely honoured to once again be nominated as an IBM Champion back in December.

IBM describes Champions as:

IBM Champion definitionNon-IBMers who evangelize IBM solutions, share their knowledge and help grow the community of professionals who are focused on social business and IBM Collaboration Solutions. IBM Champions spend a considerable amount of their own time, energy and resources on community efforts — organizing and leading user group events, answering questions in forums, contributing wiki articles and applications, publishing podcasts, sharing instructional videos and more!

I was delighted on arriving at my office this morning to find out that today was the day that the branded IBM Champion merchandise has arrived:

IBM Champion gear boxes IBM Champion gear

Given my new role, I had to be a bit more careful this time in terms of the gear that I selected, but I have to say, I’m delighted with the quality and style of the luggage and drinks containers that I received.

Many thanks to Amanda, Oli and everyone else that works on the Champion program. I’m a big fan of brands recognising advocates in their external communities, so I applaud their continued efforts in this area.

Misc

Yahoo shutters Pipes

June 5, 2015
Yahoo-Pipes

Thank you for using Yahoo Pipes! To help focus our efforts on core Yahoo product experiences, users will no longer be able to create new Pipes starting August 30th 2015. The service will be put in read-only mode until we will discontinue Yahoo Pipes on September 30th 2015.

Yahoo Pipes screnshotWell that sucks big time.  Not altogether unsurprising given the lack of attention that Yahoo had paid to Pipes over the last few years (as an indicator, the last post on the Yahoo Pipes blog before the EoL notice was back in 2012), but even so, there are very few services around the net that provided such a comprehensive toolkit of feed and app integrations.  I’d used Pipes for at least half a decade, primarily for aggregating my many blogs into one consolidated feed, and had looked around for alternatives on at least three or four occasions, but had never found an alternative with the power and ease-of-use that Pipes offered. A sad day.

An aside: did Pipes ever actually make it out of beta?

Jive

It’s time to Chime!

April 29, 2015
Jive Chime logo

After many months of following the progress of Jive Chime, first as a partner and prospective customer, and then as a member of the Jive team, it’s exciting to be helping to get the word out about a brand spanking new social communication product!

Jive Chime logo

So what is Jive Chime?

Jive Chime is a messaging app that lets you quickly and securely connect with teammates on the go, to get the answers you need, when you need them.

Nothing revolutionary there I hear you say?  We already have (insert the name of your favourite tool here… Lync/Sametime/Jabber/Slack/HipChat/WhatsApp etc), why do we need something else?

What you’d be missing is just how light-weight, fast and dynamic the Chime service is to use:
Jive Chime One-sheeter InfographicThink of it as light-weight mobile and desktop messaging, with all the features you’d imagine – push notifications, 1:1 and group (public and private) chats, ability to name conversations, a vast palette of emojis, support for sending images, sync of conversation status across all devices, secure encryption, apps for iOS/Android/Mac and Windows etc etc.  It is beautiful to look and super easy to pick up and use for the first time.

chime-hero-lg

So far so good, yes?

But what’s the compelling reason for using Chime, I hear you ask?

Well for me there’s three significant points I’d pick out:

  1. Jive Chime is free to use for individuals and companies.
  2. Any users that register using your company’s email domain automatically get networked. This makes it super easy to get your company network up and running, and connected to your colleagues.
  3. If you need more control, there’s a plan for you. Just $2 per user per month enables users to be managed from a centralised console, plus the ability for administrators to create/edit/deactivate users and to populate and edit profile fields.  Therefore if you get great adoption of Chime (as we’re sure you will) across a department or location, then you can just move quickly and easily to a larger deployment with all the access and control you’d expect.

That sounds awesome, how do I get started?

Sign up at jivechime.com and download the apps today!

But hey Stuart, we know you’ve been a big fan of Sametime and Slack in the past, how does it really stack up?

I think it’s a stonking v1.0 release, that represents a truly enjoyable and flexible communication network.  It’s free to use, has an incredibly low barrier to entry – sign up, download the app, invite your colleagues, you’re done!

We’ve been using Chime internally as our primary communications channel since before I joined, and over 1 million messages have been sent.  It really does fulfil the IM and group communication needs of a small to medium-sized business incredibly well.

I would be the first to admit there’s a few features that I cannot wait to be added (editing of previous messages being one, an iPad native UI another), but the key features are all there, and are implemented in a very very sweet way.  Jive Software have more than a decade of experience helping businesses develop and enhance their collaborative cultures, and Chime is just the latest product to demonstrate that experience and thinking – this time in a way that means entire organisations can be up and running in a matter of hours.

What have you got to lose? It’s free to use, after all!

Give it a try, and let me know how you get on!

Social Business

Digitally-positive UK workforce let down by workplace tech

March 12, 2015
Empty Office

Fujitsu today published a study revealing a lack of digital services being provided by UK employers to their work force.

In the Fujitsu report, ‘Digital Inside Out‘, 73% of employees stated that digital is vital to the future success of their organisation, despite only 45% of employees feeling they are provided with access to the technology services and applications they need to do their job sufficiently.

A 29% of the working population admitted that their ability to do their job is being hindered due to poor digital services.

Michael Keegan, CEO at Fujitsu UK & Ireland, said: “Today’s employees are well informed and understand the benefits digital can bring to them in the workplace.”

The benefits digital brings to an organisation, and to the people working within it, were made clear by the employees surveyed.

Main advantages pointed by the respondents included the ability to work remotely (57%), real time access to information (50%) and time-saving (46%).

More >

Misc

Nasdaq Top 10 – 1999 and now…

March 7, 2015
Nasdaq

Nasdaq 1999 to 2015

Some observations:

  1. The almost unbelievable resurgence of Apple is probably the biggest story.
  2. Microsoft and Intel have both lost almost 50% of their value over the past 15 years.
  3. The appearance and stellar growth of Google, Amazon and Facebook.
  4. You’ve gotta think that the acquisition of Sun Microsystems in 2009 wasn’t their greatest move (though the fact that the acquisition only cost $5.6bn when the organisation was worth $117bn 10 years earlier suggests that the decline was well underway).
  5. IBM doesn’t appear in either list. Doh, IBM isn’t on the Nasdaq. Thanks Per!
Announcements, IBM, Jive

Time to learn a new dance…

March 6, 2015
Modern jive sketch

I love my job.

Seriously. I know that’s a cliché, but honestly, I love what I do.

Since early 2008 when I started Collaboration Matters (which morphed into Social 365 back in 2012), I’ve been privileged to have the opportunity to consult for some of the most insightful and forward-looking organisations around the globe.  7 straight years of helping companies improve the productivity of their workforces through using social technologies; working with not-for-profit agencies developing online communities (the real meaning of ‘social enterprise’); assisting 600-year old publishing houses to develop internal communications strategies that will take them forward into the next decade or more.

With these projects and many many more besides, I have been lucky enough to have almost constant work to take on, plenty of challenges to get my teeth into, and to be blunt, to continue to put food on my family’s table.  That’s not to mention the opportunity to blog, to podcast and even to start a user group that has now met in 8 different countries over the past 4 years.

From Collaboration to Enterprise2.0, through Social Business and ESNs, then onto Working Out Loud and Digital Transformation, the terminology may have changed in those 7 years, but here in 2015 I believe even more strongly in the value of these technologies and approaches to make a real impact on working practices and to help change organisational culture for the better.

I love doing my own thing, feeling as though there are no boundaries to what can be achieved through my own energy, drive and commitment.

So all that said… I’m giving it up.

Jive Software logoI am delighted to announce that later this month I will be joining Jive Software as a Senior Strategy Consultant in their Customer Success organisation.

If you’d have asked me 6 months ago whether I’d give up my company to go permanent again, I’d have said ‘no way!’, at least not for the foreseeable future.

However, there have been a few nudges along the way that have convinced me that this is the right next step in my career…

Firstly, at one of my most recent engagements, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to review and analyse more than 30 different platforms in order to create a short list for their procurement process, and then to take those solutions through to final selection.  There is no doubt in my mind (both objectively and subjectively) that Jiven emerged as by far the strongest offering in this marketplace.  Whilst the analysts might squabble about the final order of their leaders, they unanimously view Jive Software as one of the strongest and most focused vendors in this space. My own personal experience in past customer engagements, and again during this selection process, leave me with no doubt that this is almost certainly the most rounded offering out there, and if there are any weaknesses at all, that Jive Software are driven to resolve them at the first opportunity. In addition, rather than having one offering to fit all organisational scenarios,  I love Jive’s approach of having packaged solutions for internal and external communities, plus their focus on different work types and on new solutions for those organisations that need lighter and more mobile-driven apps.

Secondly, I’ve been hugely impressed by everyone I have met in the months since I was first approached.  Every single individual has been focused, insightful, passionate about their roles and hugely pumped up about the future of the company.  One review of the organisation on GlassDoor said the following:

Jive has flipped the typical corporate ratio of top performers to mediocre performers on its head. At most companies 90% of the workforce has middle of the road performance with 10% being top performers. Jive is just the opposite. 90% of the staff are top performers and 10% are middle of the road. This is truly the most competent and highly skilled group of colleagues I have ever worked with. It makes it a pleasure to come to work.

I’ve been honoured to work with some fantastically talented colleagues over the years, but I am genuinely excited to be joining my new team.

Thirdly, moving to Jive does not undermine the friendships I have built in the wonderfully unique Lotus/ICS community. I consider so many people in the community to be my very best friends in the world, and I will stay in touch with you however and whenever I can. However, this is the right time for me to take a different path, to switch gears, and to embark on a new adventure with an organisation that is 100% focused on making the social collaboration ideal a reality.

So, in summary, you’ll probably have realised that I am really pumped up and excited by this opportunity at Jive. It just feels that the environment, the timing and the role is right.  I have no doubt that I’ll miss some of what I have now, but boy, I can’t wait to see what else is out there!

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