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As much as the industry talks about social business and the need for organizations to become more “people-centric”, our conversations too often focus on the merits of social applications and platforms. While technology plays a critical role in enabling new ways of working, those new practices should also be complimented by management and community-building strategies that encourage employee participation. Fostering a more participatory culture and work experience that motivates people to contribute beyond the minimum required of the job requires leadership teams to re-think the ways we engage and recognize employees.

At the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston, I moderated the “Organization Next” workshop that explored different tactics strategists can employ to close the participation gap that occurs when employees disengage from their jobs. Instructors and panelists explored a variety of topics, touching on issues related to motivation, behavior, culture, and the role of technology. The centerpiece of the discussion revolved around the pro’s and con’s of potential solutions such as “gamification”, social networking, and “in-flow of work” learning. Attendees left the workshop with recommendations on how/where to get started, common pitfalls to expect/avoid, and best practices to consider (based on the real-world experiences of instructors and guest panelists). Highlights from two sessions conducted by our instructors included:

Josh Greenbaum, Principal, Enterprise Applications Consulting (Instructor)

Julie LeMoine, CEO, 3D ICC (Instructor)

What’s next?

The workshop identified that even when done well, the current state of gamification and learning remains centered on the individual. IT organizations are experienced at designing and delivering systems that support well-known, structured business activities. Emergence of Enterprise 2.0 and social business is forcing us to expand that design focus from work that is driven by process and projects to work that is influenced by relationships and communities. Leveraging people’s relationships to bring about collective action to address business issues requires people to know how to cultivate and mobilize their social networks. In a future post (scheduled for early August), I’ll examine design considerations for enterprise social networking.

For a more detailed description of the workshop, Bill Ives posted a great summary here on his Portals and KM blog. For more information on the workshop, instructors, and panelists, you can check out the description here on the Enterprise 2.0 Boston conference site.

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  1. I would agree with the opinion of Julie LeMoine that “Immersive collaborative experiences can help make people “blissfully productive”. I agree to enhance productivity of employess we must be more innovative in our approach.


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