In this chat, we discussed how to help leaders engage in social and the future of communications at work (#NewWayToWork), diving into the new IBM Verse, a complete re-imagination of email (+social + analytics + cloud +mobile +enterprise social collaboration + calendar + tasks).
We started off around discussing why it’s so important that leaders, particularly executive leaders, engage in digital; we then transitioned to tips and recommendations; and then transitioned into answering questions about IBM’s focus on a re-imagination of communications in today’s mobile, connected, social workplace.
The community was incredibly lively, with about 2,000 tweets, so it’s not feasible to capture the entire replay here….
I pulled out the questions and my responses below. The community had lots of fantastic inputs, tips and comments – you can see the full replay at https://www.hashtracking.com/reports/TakeOutTech/MediaChat/JimClaussen (click on the “Transcript’) tab.
I really want to thank Aaron for inviting me on and I want to thank the community for such incredibly smart inputs and contributions. I would encourage you to look through the full replay to see everyone’s shares.
Q1: Why should leaders, particularly executive leaders, engage in social?
Social media and social business platforms provide leaders the opportunity to reach more people and have a larger/deeper impact
Social provides a platform for leaders to engage their teams, their customers, their stakeholders directly
It’s about creating a sense of accessibility to build credibility and trust.
Engaging in social gives leaders the opportunity to listen for signals of unmet needs.
What’s great about social is that it’s a powerful way for leaders to shape (lead) both the culture & brand of their organization
Today, leaders (and their workforce) ARE the brand. It’s about leading by example and role modeling a path in today’s connected economy.
In social, leaders can share their purpose & mission. People want to align with values they believe in.
Q2: What recommendations would you give leaders or people coaching leaders to better engage in social?
It really starts with the mindset and a few key guiding principles, I call the Blue Unicorn roadmap…
A few key guides: have a point of view, be authentic, provide context, share mission & purpose, tell stories… say ‘thank you’
Start small and build. Schedule it on the calendar. Shift away from closed email comms to open interactive engagement.
I think of it this way… each step forward builds repetition. Repetition builds habit. Habit builds momentum.
Q3: Today, many leaders (and teams) tend to live in a world of email. How can leaders begin to shift into social collaboration environments?
Well, the first step is to be intentional about creating and nurturing a culture of collaboration, sharing and social.
Second step is to put in place a business social collaboration environment, like IBM Connections.
Third step is for leadership to lead their organization in small steps…. People model leadership behavior, role modeling is an accelerator
Shift newsletters into a blog = from a one directional bast to an interactive dialog of inclusion
Shift executive communications into more ‘social’ formats like video = builds personal connection & engagement
Shift brainstorming from closed rooms to chat forums = great ideas can come from anywhere & everyone can make great inputs
Shift attaching files to email to centralizing one master file inside a collaboration platform = always available, it’s always the current version
With a social collaboration environment, I’ve gone from 4 hrs of email/day to 4 hours of email/week and I get more done.
Q4: Recently, IBM launched a new email platform called IBM Verse. How is this a shift into the future of communication?
IBM Verse is amazing and as you can see, I’m not a fan of email. Verse is really a reimagination of communication = email+social.
Verse is about focusing on what matters, with the people that are most important to your work
It sounds cliche, but IBM Verse helps you work smarter because it uses analytics to help you prioritize and remove the clutter
We think of it as a #newwaytowork, in the cloud, mobile first, analytics powered – it works for you (not the other way around ;).
The future of communication is about exchanges between people, some interactions 1:1, some interactions open in social. All in one place.
IBM Verse integrates with IBM Connections so it’s less about sending/receiving & more about cooperation/collaboration.
Anyone can sign up for free access at ibm.com/verse
Q5: Looking at the people side of adopting new tools like IBM Verse, how can people help their organizations shift to this future of communication? That tips can you share?
Adoption starts with culture. Tools are easy. Changing behaviors and entrenched patterns is more challenging ;).
What I’ve seen is that you have to be very purposeful about change management & it has to start with the “why”
Help people understand ‘what’s in it for them personally’. From there, it grows.
It’s important to lead, then lead some more. Educate, train, support.
Look for early adopters and foster peer support. “Leaders” can come from all levels in an organization.
Q6: One cool feature of IBM Verse is ‘mute the thread.’ What email conversations do you wish you could mute?
Ha… all of the threads where the discussion is better supported in a social collaboration platform.
I’m sure the community here has some great personal examples currently filling their inbox.
Q7: Why is IBM so focused on rethinking email and communication? Why is this so important?
In product development, we have shifted to a Design Thinking approach which leads to a new way of looking at things
We engage with thousands of clients & have opportunity to observe what diminishes productivity…. email is high on that list.
We’ve also observed proliferation of multiple apps (email, text, chat, phones, social…). Verse pulls it all together.
For us, it’s about convergence of analytics, cloud, engagement, security in our on-the-go socially-connected world
It’s really about a focus on helping people take back their workday to focus on what really matters & make real impact
I would encourage people to go deeper at ibm.com/verse to really see what re-imagination looks like.
Q8: Getting tactical, when is email communication best and when is social collaboration communication best? Do you have some specific actionable tips?
Email is great for 1:1 or 1-to-few confidential direct asynchronous communications.
Email can also be appropriately used for alerts and triggers, to pull people into a social space, a community, a blog, a wiki, a forum.
Social collaboration communication is best for brainstorming, sharing strategy & guidance, interactive discussion, realtime exchange.
Because social collaboration is open, the unexpected possibilities of ‘serendipity’ surface better ideas & innovation.
What’s interesting inIBM Verse, is that the boundaries become seamless and integrated so you can communicate at your best
Q9: Finally, what trends are you seeing with leadership in social and the future of work? Where are we heading?
We are seeing that people want to work with & buy from brands with leaders who are in social articulating the brand’s culture & mission
For leaders, digital intelligence is the new emotional intelligence >> analytics & social savvy.
For future of work, social will connect teams with customers and crowdsourced ideation will drive new innovation, at speed.
For future of work, analytics will increasingly help us focus & uncover the right information at the right time
There are very interesting possibilities coming as we integrate IBM Watson into IBM Verse
As the workplace shifts to a flexible me-as-a-service agile structure, people will be increasingly connected, working from wherever they are.
Organizations that collaborate through social, led by digitally engaged executives, will have the connectedness to thrive.
For sure there are exciting times ahead for technology, but it will always be about people engaging with people H2H