The 7-S Framework for Collaboration Platforms design PDF Print E-mail
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I decided to share my thoughts on product design of collaborative spaces, as I was looking into the practical application of the 7-S Framework of McKinsey. Briefly this framework aims to make your organization work better and it is the perfect tool to apply in the modelling of collaboration platforms for teams.

To go back to the beginning, the framework has been introduced in the early 1980s by two McKinsey & Company consultants - Tom Peters and Robert Waterman and has the basic premise to look at the critical role of coordination, rather than structure, in organizational effectiveness. This is achieved by addressing 7 internal aspects of an organization that need to be aligned if it is to be successful.

However, once you get more acquainted with the framework, you will realize it's not even just coordination, but rather balance of network interdependencies, which make the application of this model so promising.

Talking to different clients looking at introducing intranet solutions for their teams brought me to the main question of the concepts based behind these. Looking at all for equally important 6 external pillars within the McKinsey framework all centered around 1 key issue - the one of Shared Values - proved to be at the heart of a any successful collaborative space. It is not the just one of those elements which make such a platform unique, it's not a set of features or extras which makes it useful or interesting to use.

What is at the core of the success of a platform is it's Shared Value for Purpose. Do your colleagues have the same issue as you? Which would be the features and purposes in common to be used and hence shared by you and your colleagues? The 6 circles of McKinsey's framework could easily be translated in 6 product design pillars:

Strategy: the plan devised to maintain and build competitive advantage over the competition.
Visualize and constantly remind on your company strategy within the platform. Brand it's not only about visuals or packaging, it's also about company culture, shared visions (key part of this model as mentioned), shared responsibilities and opportunities. Make it clear to all what's going on with your company and where do you aim to be not only in the near but also long-term future.
Structure: the way the organization is structured and who reports to whom.
Create an internal network of influencers, allow people to know and learn from each other both professionally and socially. Does this network look the same as the yerarchy you have in-house? Put faces to people across the ocean, who you're working with you.
Systems: the daily activities and procedures that staff members engage in to get the job done.
Trace where and how the work has been done. Do you use 5 different systems, 10 procedures and spend even more time on figuring the new ones...? Why not mashing-up the perfect toolkit to integrate in a one-stop-shop solution and increase efficiency by lowering costs as well?
Style: the style of leadership adopted.
Company culture has to be integrated also in the tools you use. Do you dress always casually for work or grab after work drinks in a local pub together? Could you apply this to your communications and open up some gates? How do you welcome newcomers to your team or adress  communication problems?
Staff: the employees and their general capabilities.
It's all about the people. Make them realize that THEY are key asset of the platform, not the tools integrated there.
Skills: the actual skills and competencies of the employees working for the company. Improve people's skills all the time, listen to proactive feedback, learn from competitors. Make this the place to be critical, curios and transperant. But that's not only about people's skills. It's also about company features. Does your company has capacities to see itself in the top 5 companies in its industry within 5-10 years?

Good luck!

e-Progress of Bulgaria vs Belgium 2011-2012 PDF Print E-mail
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Sad but true...


Mobile, Digital & Lobbying = ? PDF Print E-mail
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Lately, I've been having lots of discussions with all types of communications' colleagues from the public affairs domain. Very specific, and for those of you who are not sure what those guys exactly do under the tentatively fluffy names "Policy advisor" it's usually lobbying on behalf of a group of industries; group of other groups; or only maybe one industry or maybe even just one company to make their voice heard on the political agenda when it comes to writing a new or changing an old legislation. In other words - influencing decision-makers, selling the specific interests of a group/organization in order for the client to be happy about his next year's profit when a new regulation has been accepted/rejected...

The problem, however, is that as fun as some industry topics could be, most of the time the way the important messages are being communicated is veeeeeery old school - sending press releases, old-fashioned html newsletters, creating modest 398-paged print booklets, which just few people (incl. the editor) read...Not to mention how complex some issues are and being such, they become way too technical for both the people making the big decisions and for those communicating to them.

NFCme: SOLOMO as a business model PDF Print E-mail
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The world of digital changes. What sells today is the value of connectivity and mobility.

The importance of mobile, social and location is gradually growing towards a such multitude of business configurations that is transforming the classic format of strategic partnerships into an interconnected ecosystem of products, services and people.

On March the 30th I'd have the pleasure to focus on a particular part of the mobile domain: NFC in relation to the SOLOMO model, which just now began to be largely explored by both start-ups and large multinationals. I'd be happy to see you in beautiful Prague on NFCme and discuss how can you have fun on the web and still make a difference.

Overchoice kills Choice. We can change that PDF Print E-mail
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When we speak about the Overchoice as a threat, because
…consumers may prefer not to choose anything or they just can't
…consumers may want somebody else to choose for them
…consumers may make worse choices
...consumers doesn't understand their options

we undoubtedly face the importance of
A) being their advisers or

B) to create them a secure environment of peer advice, empowering them to demonstrate that They (and not anybody else) made their (right) choice.

Solution: location-based services + social networks + mobile

What do you think?


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