last post was about getting people to start changing work practices away from
the unproductive use of email for sending documents, towards driving users
towards centrally storing and collaborating on the actual knowledge record.
With studies from McKinsey Consulting Group
indicating in 2012 that 29% of emails had attachments, this single step goes a
long way towards moving people beyond email, towards more productive forms of
collaboration on document creation is but one aspect of social collaboration.
As many others can attest to, Communities of Interest provide exceptional
Return on Investment through facilitating the dissemination of expertise,
building a spirit of collaboration and developing the “esprit de corps” many
enterprises strive for.
articles, books and workshops have been developed on the subject of
Communities, how to develop them, manage and sustain them, encompassing
gamification technologies, crowdsourcing capabilities and numerous other
identifying and fostering communities within a corporation can be as easy as 1,
Step 1 – Analyze Existing internal email
again back to email as the basis for identification of where communities, not
only make the best sense, but where they will have the greatest chance of
acceptance and take-up by people. Analysis of unstructured data may not be
something that immediately springs to mind but it is very surprising what
results can be found. Consider the end result of analyzing your internal email
communication patterns obtained through your mail journals. Extract the
information on who is sending emails to who look at the frequency and represent
the outcome graphically.
following example, obtained through Trustsphere (www.trustsphere.com
), is indicative of
what can be discovered. Of particular interest are those groups of individuals in
the circles at the top right hand side of the illustration.
are people regularly communicating with each other via email, with the size of
the ‘circle’ representing the size of the group.
What better place to start
with an online community and begin to evolve people beyond email towards more
productive ways of collaboration.
Step 2 – Introduce key groups to the concept of communities
Step 3 – Monitor use, identify best practices and promote
those adopting productive change as heroes
(I will spend more time in later posts on my thoughts on #2 and #3)
As I said, easy as 1, 2 & 3.
But why stop there.
communication patterns with external users as well will highlight patterns
of email communication that would also benefit from Communities of practice.
Remember my focus.
Email is a
great tool, but it is not collaboration. Our focus should therefore be
upon looking at evolving beyond email towards more productive form of
collaboration, not just outsourcing the problem to the cloud.