I have just attended part of this annual event, mainly to hear Karl Kruszelnicki speak on Collective Intelligence.
In 2011 The Collective Intelligence Event opened with a panel discussion led by Dr Karl Kruszelnicki on the key issue of productivity growth, or more specifically on Addressing Australia's Productivity Deficit. Very entertaining but perhaps not as original as in past presentations. The highlight was his presentation of a statistical analysis of grandmother death rates and students sitting exams.
After this I attended the Businessphere track - featuring presentations on key CHRO (Chief Human Resource Officer) workforce imperatives, how you can combine business intelligence with social software, and productivity success stories from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the Department of Justice and the Land and Property Management Authority.
So here's how the sessions played out.
Panel Session: Addressing Australia's Productivity Deficit
Moderator: Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki
Panelists were IBMers: Iggy Pintado, Director of Marketing, Sustainability & Innovation at UXC Connect, Heidi Ambler, IBM Program Director, Social Software and Mac McIntosh, Associate Partner, Strategy - Collaborative Networks.
The panel was very 'marketing' oriented but the live polling of the audience (live and online with a simulwebcast) was interesting. The majority of time was spent talking about social business / media. Sounds like we should all be looking at how ants organize themselves. There was little said in relation to productivity declines in Australia (-2.7% in recent years) except to say that the fact that Australia avoided the worst of the GFC has slowed the adoption of social business practices. The implication being that the social tools unlock productivity gains. This sounds right, but no evidence was presented to back the assertion. Of course the counter argument could be that Australia is avoiding the high cost of early adoption?
"Forget the content, context is king" was advocated by panelist Iggy Pintado. In my opinion, this is simply wrong as any casual reader of bloggers and tweeters today knows. Yes context enriches content enormously but garbage remains garbage. Take a look at what is being blogged and tweeted out there.
The old example of the 3M company was given. This is where research staff in the US are allowed to spend 17% of their time on their 'own' projects. Products originated from these 'private' projects now generates 50% of their revenue.
2010 IBM Global CHRO Study
Presented insights into what Chief Human Resource Officer leaders in Australia & across the globe say are their most important workforce imperative. Presented by Mac McIntosh, IBM Associate Partner, Strategy - Collaborative Networks
The study was conducted last year, polling 707 executives globally. Two goals emerged as overtaking today's top goal of improving operational efficiency:
- New product development
- Moving into new markets.
Another message was that leaders (defined by financial outperformance) are 64% more likely to be using advanced supply/demand analytics. The most damming statistic was that 78% of respondents were ineffective at fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing. A close second was that only 21% have recently increased investments in these areas.
The study goes on to look at leadership development, creativity and collaboration. The study is available online here (registration required) in a variety of languages including Chinese, Korean and Japanese.
Creating an Exceptional Work Experience
ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) - Steve Wellington, Assistant Director of Internet Services
"Whether it's enabling employees to interact in self-forming, distributed teams from peers through to customers and constituents - anytime, anywhere any place. ABS demonstrated how they're reducing the friction of work to increase productivity".
The ABS invested in LotusLive and Lotus Connections software to help their staff work towards an integrated collaboration workspace 'where staff don't need to think about tools and can just be productive'.
There followed some insights into collaboration in ABS:
- Recently they have found that being focused on having all key staff based in Canberra is no longer sustainable. Virtual teams are a reality as more key staff are based regionally. This is driven by the low unemployment rates making for a very competitive market for graduates.
- Team based email for vital teams leads to siloing of information. People work in multiple work groups and the challenge has been to make information more accessible and how to link into external partners. ABS turned to social software. The main source of resistance was by people saying "why? We already have lotus notes." the result is 'coupling' notes with social software.
- Content is crucial to kick-starting social collaboration. People already blogging, etc.
- Two examples:
- A senior manager based in Hobart blogging, etc.
- To most of their team in Canberra Communities of practice such as java developers.
Externally, ABS is also:
- Collaborating with international partners (other statistics organisations) using the cloud but sticking with the same tools. This led to using LotusLive. The cloud is lower cost and also (statistics organisation) independent.
- The core data (census) is not in the cloud.
Results so far are that about 50% have accessed social computing A blurring between internal and external Social Analytics is only just emerging. Processing other big data sets is still in it's infancy Because graduates know how the social tools work so training has moved from 'how' to 'why'. This has led to a "better quality learning outcome".
Interesting discussions and a useful update on local practices and a networking opportunity. More annoyingly, I wonder how IBM can hold an event on social business and not provide free wifi? Luckily the iPad has 3G but half the links from the event homepage gave errors!
Hopefully I have not been too negative in this post. Kudos to IBM for holding the event. It was worth participating, professionally done and there should be more events like it.
Due to other commitments I did leave before the last sessions:
Creating an Exceptional Web Experience - Land and Property Management Authority
"Creating a Web presence that engages customers and constituents with your brand, will assist in driving brand awareness, preference & revenue growth".
Forrester Report: CMO Must Connect the dots of online brand
Social Analytics - Connecting People and Information Together "Utilising the power of Business Intelligence and Social software helps groups streamline and improve decision-making by providing capabilities for forming communities, capturing annotations and opinions, and sharing insights with others around the information itself".