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december 29, 2014

Changing behaviour, one tiny habit at a time

During my career I've given many workshops on new technology and getting employees to adopt it by changing their way of working. Even though the workshops were often succesful, and employees 'get it', often I would still not see a change in way of working happening afterwards. "I just didn't have the time", or "I simply forgot", or "I don't know why" were reasons given for not applying newly learned concepts and skills.
Why is it, that people don't change their behavior? I wondered.
It isn't 't just not being motivated enough, nor because they don't have the ability to do so. After all, they have the training, the right tools and seemed to be very motivated to get going.

Something's missing ...

We need more than training

Workshops are only a small part of all the adoption strategies available. Buidling on the concepts of great thinkers, researchers and writers such as Simon Sinek (Start with Why), Michael Sampson (User Adoption Strategies), Carl Jung (personality types), BJ Fogg (Behavior model) and Rogers (Innovation Adoption Curve) I work with the Silverside 3G Adoption model. 3G stands for Gevoel, Gedrag, Gereedschap, which parallels 'Why, How, What' by Simon Sinek. This model assures you impact the whole employee population (all personality types), with a broad spectrum of user adoption strategies that work for in all groups of the adoption cycle.

Silverside 3G adoption model

The biggest challenge in user adoption is about changing behavior: moving from ‘the way we work now’ to ‘the way we work new’, until that becomes so automatic and internalized that it again will be ‘the way we work now’. Particularly with a social platform employees can be dazzled with all the possibilities and the huge change it requires of them.

For such a transformation you need more than training ‘how’ to use a tool, or even ‘why’ to use it. Tooling is the technology-push that makes new ways of working possible, but it does not make me change my work habits. To effectively change or start behavior requires practice and we need to take small steps that are easy to do.

Making it real

That is why we've added a 4th layer to the 3G adoption model: Support, aligned with User Adoption Strategies to 'Make it real'. Quite simply this is done by 'on the job suport'. This could be by supporting people at their desk, or answering questions (online through FAQ or by helpdesk for example). It can also be accomplished by using gamification, as this will support employees while doing their job continuously, trying to get them to go further.

Another strategy for 'Making it real' is by doing a Tiny Habits program. This porgram is based on B.J. Fogg’s Behavior model and is used for a practical support program to change behavior.

The program is all about practicing new behavior. In small manageable steps, that are easy to do.
We need employees to get into the habit of doing new behavior. By practicing we need employees to get better applying their new behavior, so they will improve, step-by-step, from Newbie, to Regular to Enthusiast over time.

Practcing to get better at a new behavior

BJ Fogg's Behavior Model indicates that in order to achieve a new behavior 3 things need to be present at the same time: Motivation, Ability and Trigger. Most user adoption strategies will contribute to motivation (why) and ability (how). But the missing link seems to be the trigger.

Think of the trigger as an alarm, or a reminder.
To get into the habit, you put your new Tiny Habit after an existing habit, which we call an anchor. The anchor triggers the new tiny habit.

The program will guide employees for one week, practing 2 Tiny Habits. During the week they will get background info on the Behavior Model and feedback on their progress. The focus is not on doing it perfectly, but on practicing the skills on learning new habits.

It all starts with choosing good Tiny Habits.

A “Tiny Habit” is a behavior --
  • you do at least once a day
  • that takes you less than 30 seconds 
  • that requires little effort

Think of social collaboration habits such as:
  • Sharing information by posting statusupdates.
  • Setting your current availability status to provide information on my accessability.
  • Getting updates from my colleagues on the project we are collaborating on.
  • Tracking my team task progress.
These could be practiced by picking a good anchor:
After I ...
  • Start my computer in the morning
  • Get my first cup of coffee
  • Come back from lunch

And followed up by a tiny new behavior:
I will ...
  • Log in to Sametime and set my current Status and message that indicates my location, activities, best way of contact for now, or later (when?).
  • Will go to my project Community Recent Updates and read the latest contributions of my team.
  • Will go to My Updates page, and reply / like / comment on messages posted to me.

december 17, 2014

Beyond theory: Trials & tribulations in becoming a successful social business

It is quite common to hear customers or partners speak about their social business adoption strategy. Ranging from advertorials to true inspiring personal anecdotes, however interesting they are, these are always limited to just one point of view or just one's experience.

Then there are the theoretical books, whitepapers and presentations by user adoption or social business gurus. Based on scientific research or developed concepts they provide us with a good base to come up with user adoption strategies that make sense. But what if we do not want to hear just one's experience, or trust theory alone, but want to get insight into what works and what doesn't work for many others?

There seems to be a gap there.
Bridging the gap

What is missing is a good combination of the two: aligning many stories with a solid foundation in research.

Don't believe us, believe them!
Silverside interviewed 32 people from over 22 different organisations about their social business journey. We gathered a lot of insight about new ways of working (together) and knowledge sharing in a social business. Then we took the insights gathered about from these interviews and aligned them with prevalent theoretical concepts, such as Micheal Sampson's User Adoption Strategies, Roger's adoption curve, Simon Sinek's Start with Why, Cialdini's Influence, BJ Fogg's Behaviour Model, Daniel Pink's Drive, Stephen Covey's 7 habits of highy effective people - and the 8th habit, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, Insights Discovery and Carl Jung's personality types, and David Allen's Getting Things Done.

Business novel
What do you get when you analyse this pile of interviews and distil the essence of these organisations' experiences? A business novel (Samen schieten op resultaat), based on 2 concepts: A story about a fictional organisation called 'Target BV' in the style of 'The hero's journey' by Joseph Campbell. This makes the theoretical concepts and all the stories a pleasant read. Unfortunately at present the novel is only available in Dutch.

Presenting at IBM ConnectED
But you get a chance to hear about our insights into user adoption strategies!
Femke Goedhart and I are presenting at IBM ConnectED 2015, a session in the
Best Practices track, BP202 Beyond Theory: Trials and Tribulations in Becoming a Successful Social Business. We will present to you a mix of strategies to find the essence of social business adoption. Not just strategies that worked, but also some that didn't work! Because  there is so much to learn from both success and struggles!

You can register for IBM ConnectED 2015, on january 25-28, in Orlando Florida.

Find our session and add it to your calendar in the session planner.

augustus 13, 2014

Searching the web versus searching your company's collective intellgence

One of the key objectives of implementing a social business software tool is to help employees share knowledge and expertise.
I just stumbled upon a great tiny feature that will allow me to search my company's collective knowledge, right from my browser!

Social business software lets you find relevant and valued information

Often, without a social business tool, employees of different departments or countries are often re-inventing the wheel. Because they don not have the tool to work openly (share what they do and why) there is no way of finding information by colleagues that could be very useful to them.
Maybe these colleagues have done something similar or have been confronted with a similar challenge or issue. Maybe someone wrote exactly that kind of report or made a presentation you could re-use. Yet, without social software in place, how could you learn from them? How would you find that information? Or even know if the information is out there?

So they Google, to see if the internet can provide an answer.

Not that I don't like Google. It ususally helps me find things fast and good. BUT, there is also a lot o junk to go through. Google finds relevant stuff, but cannot put value on the content. How do I know if this information is up to date? Can I trust the source? Is it applicabe to our company?
When you're searching the web, in general, it takes a lot of time to find the gems, the truely useful information, vaued by my peers. How do I filter out the mass of information?

In comes the social business tool ...

Why not search within my company instead? Why not first try to find what my colleagues have found before me on this big internet? Find what my colleagues before me found useful, and saved in the tool, maybe even with comments, tips, and context (what project/issue/client they used it for). Find what our own matter experts have written down before. And be able to find the colleague behind the shared information to see their background in their Profile, to assess it's value, and possibly to get in touch if I need to know more.

What usually happens though

I see it time and again. There is a social software tool available, but our first instinct whenever we need to find information is to use Google search again. Not using the collective intelligence available in the company, waisting a lot of time searching and filtering.

Adding IBM Connections search to your browser

I just stumbled upon this tiny feature when reading the IBM Connections Knowledge Center wiki:
Add IBM® Connections to the list of search engines used by your web browser so that you can search IBM Connections content directly from the browser.
 When following the instructions for your browser (IE, Firefox, Chrome) provided in the article you will get your Connections search added to your bwoser search bar.

It's really easy to get Connections added to your Firefox search bar:
  1. Open the search page of your company's IBM Connections environment:
  2. Click on the arrow in your Search toolbar
  3. Click Add Connections

Wouldn't it be cool if we would have all employees' webbrowsers fitted with this Connections search instead of Google? I'm curious as to what would happen. Awareness? Confusion? Irritation? Joy?

For now, I'm putting this knowledge in our Connections platform.

juli 17, 2014

Yo for lunch

Today my colleague told me about Yo.
Yo? Yes Yo. Just Yo.
 Instantly we started installing the app, and all created a username. I guess you could say we are early adopters in the technology adoption lifecycle.

 Yo is the newest free social app, available for IOS and Android. 

And Yo takes simple to the extreme. Using ZERO characters to communicate. Just click a contact to say 'Yo'.

I remember the poke from Facebook. Which I never really got. What did it mean? But with Yo it all seems to fit. Yo is a word that can be used in many contexts. You just instantly know when a friend says 'yo' what that means.

Many will say that Yo is just a joke. But within just a few weeks time it reached the top of the download charts.

How does it work?

Sign up, create a username, and invite friends. Then tap their name to say Yo. 

Yo me for user adoption consultancy request
Here's what Yo says about Yo:
Yo is everything and anything, it all depends on you, the recipient and the time of the Yo.
Wanna say "good morning"? just Yo.
Wanna say "Baby I'm thinking about you"? - Yo.
"I've finished my meeting, come by my office" - Yo.
"Are you up?" - Yo.
The possibilities are endless.

Yo is the manifestation of the human need to communicate more efficient. Just like a car 'honk' to tell you to get outside and get in the car, or using a broom to bang on the ceiling to tell the upstairs neighbour to be quiet.

Doing the same with less resources (less effort, time, location, etc) is one of the passions of the human race.  Says Ofer Spiegel.

Creator and owner of Yo, Or Arbel, describes it this way:







Yo to sign up for tomorrow's lunch at Silverside

Yo is so great because of it's contextual power. Any Yo could mean anything. It's up to the group of friends to get a specific meaning. Between a group of people there is a context and they understand what Yo means.

At the Silverside office we found our first use case for Yo. Easily.

We just moved to a new office building. We are the very first tennants, and with only the Silverside crew there, lunch facilities are not fully matured yet. But we have a fantastic receptionist who prepares an awesome lunch table for us.

All we need to do is tell her we are in tomorrow, and would like to have lunch . We could send an email, ofcourse. But somehow that seems to be too much trouble. So we end up arriving at the office in the morning wondering if we could still get some lunch.

But now we have Yo. Within 5 minutes we arranged 'our Yo agreement'. Whenever she gets a Yo from any one of us, that colleague is signing up for lunch the next day.

It's that simple.

Yo is the notification, you and your team decide the context.

Interested? Yo me. I consider your Yo as 'Yes I'm interested to have a conversation to discuss user adoption strategies'.

juni 12, 2014

Get your work organised Kanban style!

I've been really looking forward to working with Kudos Boards, a visual, personalised and intuitive display of IBM Connections Activities. The past months I've tested the pre-releases, and on June 11th there was the announcement that Kudos Boards is now ready to go!

Kudos Boards offers Activities users a better way of getting your work organised.

Kanban style

I like the Kanban board style presentation of IBM Connections Activities. A Kanban board is used quite frequently in projects, but can be usefull for other purposes as well. The Kanban board shows steps in a process or list visually as cards.

There are some key principles for a Kanban Board:
  • Visualize workflow
    Cards make the workflow clearer.
  • Limit work-in-progress
    Visualisation and workflow immediately shows what still needs to be done, thus gets done !
  • Pull work from column to column
    Easily drag and drop cards to move tasks through the workflow process.


Kudos Boards 'fixes' some issues with Activities

  • Long lists of Activities
    When employees are using a lot of Activities, it gets hard to track which ones are most important. The only options you have to view your list, is by date or by priority. No personal views or ways to sort.
  • Content in Activities can become very long lists|
    Often all the content in an Activity doesn't fit on the page, and it is hard to see all the content at a glance.
  • Adding or editing content requires a lot of clicking
    To add an entry or todo, or to edit one, takes a few clicks, and content requires a lot of room.
  • Moving sections, entries or Todo's can be hard
    When using drag-and-drop employees need to have a very steady hand, and even then, moving can go terribly wrong!
  • Real-time views not possible
    Content edited/added by multiple employees working in an Activity at the same time isn't  displayed instantly. Employees need to refresh the page first before changes made by others are visible to all.
  • No way of drilling down to specific content in an Activity
    Sometimes you don't want to see all the content in an Activity, but just some that is relevant to you, or to you at a certain time or in a specific context. Activity content can not be filtered in any way.


What do Kanban Boards offer?

When you use the Kanban Boards view in IBM Conenctions Activities you get a much more visual way of working. Visualization is more than just another look&feel. It actually helps you recognizing things, allowing you to get to what you need faster, and easier.
It's not just another way of displaying Activities. On top of the visual display come some new features: Board categories and color coding, which in turn allow you to filter your Activities list or content in an Activity. Using Board categories and filters makes it possible to view the Activity much more to your personal preferences.

Some great advantages of Kudos Boards

Activities overview
When viewing you Boards, instead of Activities list:
  • Visual display of your Activities as tiles.
  • Tile colors to visually display different types of Activities.
  • Board categories to categorize Activities. Allowing you to filter your Activities by a category.
  • Pin Boards, and easily view your pinned boards (like favourites).
Within a specific Activity
  • Simply drag-and-drop cards, which moves them through sections, or within a section.
  • One-click editing of the Board settings. No more searching through Activity menus.
  • One-click editing of entries or todos, in a visual info card that easliy fits the screen.
  • One-click to add a new entry or todo.
  • Card colors to  categorize entries and todos , allowing you to filter on specific colors.
  • Filter Lists. A list is the same as a section, and with Kudos Boards you can filter to display specific sections (lists) only.
  • Real-time work in progress! Boards are synced automatically. Showing other people's work instantly!

I've worked with Kudos Boards for a while now, and I really love them!
I've also created some Activities / Kudos Boards templates that will help organisations get going fast:
  • Meeting
  • Sales pipeline
  • Product development
  • Organising an event
  • Creating a newsletter
  • Personal Getting Things Done system
  • Pomodori technique

All templates work on IBM Connections Activities, but really come to live with Kudos Boards, using the visual tiles and cards display, the color categories and Board categories, and filtering options.

View the extensive demo by Adam Brown on Youtube:

mei 20, 2014

I like this discussion!

'Liking' is a concept that is wildly used in social media. In a social business context a 'like' can mean lots of things: appreciation, support, saying 'yes' to something, or simply liking something. For business there is definatley value in using 'likes'. 
Through my likes count I can see if a certain blog post or file is popular, so it might encourage me to share more stuff like that.

Since the introduction of IBM Connections 4.5 you can also like a forum discussion, or a response to a topic or question.

You might think, "so what? That's just a tiny feature!" True, it doesn't seem to be a big thing.

What does this tiny feature mean for applicability to business?
Forum discussions can appear messy: long trees of responses, and the direction of the discussion can go sideways as it evolves. Very often without proper management it is actually going nowhere - or eveyrwhere. When forums are used as a business process for brainstorming, it is important to follow that process, evaluate and THEN: do something with it. The forum shouldn't be the end point, but should be the START of a new project or activities. But how do you keep an overview of what is being said, what wis most opular - or voted for - and which topics should be taken for next action?

A like for a topic gives direction to where the discussion is going. Just as in real life ~ when a discussion is taking place face-to-face ~ you can tell what contributions are accepted or endorsed by the group of people participating in the discussion.
Without 'likes' it may be unclear where the discussion is going, and it may be hard to 'end' the discussion. With likes it becomes clear what topics are generally supported by the people in the group. 

The same is true for topic responses. Likes on responses can stop unwanted directions (no likes), and stimulate the desired direction. A like can even be used as an RSVP: when posting a question like 'Who's interested in ...'.

So liking topics and responses can actually make a discussion more suited for a business process, where we can take some topics and move them on to next actions.

mei 17, 2014

Coachmarks: snelle tips voor nieuwe functies IBM Connections app

Sinds 16 mei 2014 is de IBM Connections mobiele app versie 4.7.0. uitgekomen.

Nieuw in versie 4.7.0 van de IBM Connections mobile app is Coachmarks.
Coachmarks, is een nieuwe functie, die voorziet in een context handleiding van nieuwe functies als je voor het eerst inlogt op een account. Coachmarks is een instructionale overlay voor apps. Door coachmarks in te zeten kun je gebruikers wat tips geven over bijvoorbeeld nieuwe functionaliteit, door instructies op het scherm te geven in de daadwerkelijke app. Coachmarks zijn handig. Ze geven de gebruiker net een zetje in de juiste richting. Zie het als een kleine visuele aansporing om nieuwe dingen te ontdekken.

Korte handige tips
Het is algemeen bekend dat gebruikers uitgebreide handleidingen niet lezen. Ze willen gewoon snel aan de slag, zonder eerst de UI te moeten aanleren. Dit is de paradox van de actieve gebruiker: die wil in zo'n kort mogelijk tijdsbestek en met zo min mogelijk inspanning, effectief geavanceerde functionaliteit leren gebruiken. De paradox zit hem in het feit dat juist het leren van en het correct gebruiken van deze geavanceerde functionaliteit de gebruiker nu juist tijd zal besparen!
De kunst van goede coachmarks is dat je niet teveel instructie geeft. Omdat je niet de overlay kunt lezen en tegelijkertijd de app gebruiken, zul je de hint of tip moeten onthouden, om dezelater toe te passen. Het korte-termijn geheugen kan niet heel veel onthouden, en de informatie zal na 20 seconden vervagen. Wanneer je de tips ook alleen geeft daar waar de gebruiker zich op een bepaald moment (voor de eerste keer) bevindt (in de context van het werk), en deze kort houdt, dan zal de coachmark het meest effectief zijn.
Coachmarks zijn dus geen uitgebreide handleiding, waarin je alles gaat uitleggen, maar korte tips die binnen een bepaalde context gegeven worden. Ze zijn daarom uitermate geschikt voor het tonen van 'What's new' informatie van apps.

Impressie van Coachmarks voor Connections Mobile app versie 4.7.0:

New IBM Connections app provides glimpse into Connections Next

On may 16 2014 IBM has released a new IBM Connections mobile app for iOS, Android and BlackBerry.

This new version 4.7.0. provides a glimpse into what is coming in Connections Next which will be released for Smartcloud may 21 2014!

iOS: Requires iOS 6.0 or higher. Compatibel with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. This app is optimised for iPhone 5.
Android: Requires Android 2.3.3 and higher.

Version 4.7.0 for iPhone and iPad
  • New iOS 7 Look and Feel
  • Coachmarks, are a new feature, which will provide in context tutorial of new features when you first login to an account.
  • New navigation model to provide easy and customizable access to your content:
    • The new History view allows you to easily see where you have been in the app.
    • Quickly access content that you use the most by adding it as a favorite
    • Reorder your Connections apps in the navigation to best meet your needs
  • Search and filter activity stream items
  • New Blogs look and layout!
    • Easily access and navigate your blogs in the new Blogboard
    • Want to read a blog entry but don't have time now? Mark it to read later.
    • Use the time line to easily scan through the entries in a blog
  • When you access a Community, see what's been happening. The updates view is now the default view shown.
  • Access events in a Community and set an alarm on the device for an event.
  • Copy a link to content so you can share it with others.

Here are some inpressions of the new Connections app for iPad:

Here are some inpressions of the new app for iPhone: 


NB! Note to our customers running iOS6: In a future update we will be requiring iOS 6.1 as the minimum iOS level to install new updates.

Version 4.7.0 for Android
  • New Look & Feel
  • New navigation for easy and customizable access to your content:
    • New History view to easily see where you have been
    • Access content you use most by adding it as a favorite
    • Reorder your apps in the navigation
    • Copy a link to content to share with others
  • Search & filter activity stream items
  • New Blogs look!
    • Access your blogs in the new Blogboard
    • Mark blog entries to save and read later
  • Multi-window support
  • Note: In a future update we will only support Android 4.0+

Here are some impressions of the new Connections app on Android phones:


januari 29, 2014

Super collaboration, super value!

With the current available tools in IBM Connections and some add-ons like Connections Content Manager (CCM) and IBM Docs, collaboration can really take a productivity flight!

Often clients wonder what tools they should be getting. When do we use Files, or should we use the CCM Libraries? What can we do with a Wiki? When is IBM Docs interesting? I tell them, it all depends on the business goals the organization has, or what collaboration needs their employees have to get their work done faster, more efficient and more efficient.

Talking about productivity… what are the productivity gains of new ways of collaborating with IBM Connections Files, Wikis, or IBM Docs versus old ways (file hares and email attachments)?

Comparing collaboration methods efficiency

Imagine you are collaborating on a piece of information with 3 others and you need to review each other’s work before you can finalize it.
What are the differences in using the different tools from a productivity perspective?

Collaborating on a file sent as email attachment

Let’s do a quick test:
How many files (copies) will you get when collaborating through e-mail with 3 others and 2 revision rounds?
a. 4
b. 10
c. 12
d. 52 
Tip: remember you need to save, send and receive copies every time a review is done.

Before you take a peek at the correct answer below, let me elaborate:
Collaborating on a file requires creating it, saving it to a folder, and sending it as an attachment in an email. Then the receivers get an email with the attachment, which they save in a folder, then start editing the file, and save it again (either as a new version copy, or overwrite the old one), then send it back through their email. The original creator gets 3 emails with attachments, and saves these to a folder, then needs to merge them into one new copy manually skipping through the contents. And for the second review round we repeat the whole process again!

Now for the answer: it’s 52 !
And this is why:

I could also work it out like this, try it for yourself by writing down each and every step. Count all the copies for all the steps in the process of working on a file and sending it through email: remember there is a file saved in a folder, a file send in an email, a file received in an email in every step by every person!

It becomes apparent that collaborating together on information through email attachments is not very efficient. In fact you could say the tipping point for effective email collaboration is with 2 people and only one revision round:

How can collaboration using Files, Wikis or IBM Docs improve efficiency so that employees can be more productive?

You could look at efficiency in the collaboration process: the total time spent: how much effort and time does it take to work together, and what is the turnaround (the time spent for a whole process of collaboration).

Collaborating using IBM Connections Files

With Files there are the following productivity gains:
  • Collaborating in one central place, with only one version and everyone can work with the latest version.
  • To prevent making changes at the same time people can lock the file before they edit it, and then unlock it for the next person to start their editing.
  • Every reviewer can see the work done by the previous one, so there are no duplicate efforts, and no merging is necessary
  • Apart from collaboration in the file (edit it), people can also use comments. Comments can be questions, tips or remarks about the content, instead of changing the content. Sometimes you want to give advice but not change the file itself.
  • Every reviewer can see the comments made by others so there are no duplicate efforts.
  • The owner of the file can easily take the comments and make changes to the file accordingly, without having to undo changes in the file, or remove the MS Word style comments.
  • Comments in Files remain, unlike comments in a Word file, after the file is finalized.
  • It’s easy to see all the different versions, and the owner can revert to an older version or even restore it.
All this together makes the total time spent on the file by the 4 people a lot less, and because there is no need to await emails with the changes the turnover is also much less.

Collaborating using an IBM Connections Wiki

If we would use a Wiki to do the same collaboration, there would even be more productivity gain, especially in turnover time.
Next to the automatic versioning, and comments Wikis allow people to work on their own peace of the puzzle, simultaneously, because each can work on their own pages, and afterwards a structure for the whole can be formed through wiki links and peer and child pages movement.
Another great thing about using a Wiki for documentation that is continuously updated, is that in order to change parts of the information only that particular page needs to be updates, and not the whole document as with a file). And it is immediately clear to readers which page was updated.

Collaborating using IBM Docs

Using IBM Docs for true co-creation of a file will result in the following productivity gains, on top of those with using IBM Connections Files: almost no turnover time.
True co-creation can occur, because all reviewers can work in the same file at the same time, resulting in almost no turnover time. It’s like sitting in the same room all writing on the whiteboard at the same time. There is no waiting on each other’s work, and on top of that the reviewers can communicate about their work using chat.

Fantastic collaboration analogy
Compare collaborating on a file in a sequential way - as with Email attachments – with collaborating on a file simultaneously – as with IBM Docs - with this analogy.

Musicians that each play an instrument in a song each record their part separately and sequential in a studio and finally it is all merged into a song. But suppose they would all play their instrument together. I mean, not as a band live show, but REALLY together:

Watch this: Walk of the Earth playing Gotye ‘s Somebody that I used to know.