True story: I received a phone call from a marketing manager who works at a large engineering business that is headquarted in the US but has offices in NYC where several of upper management work. Nice guy, we had a great talk about social software - enterprise blogging mainly, and supporting services like technorati, furl, pubsub, del.icio.us et al. I shared with him some of the information I found from a search on technorati (mostly bad stuff). So, I mapped our methodology for implementing a large scale blogging system since the company employs 10k plus. The guy knew his stuff and was really impressed and could see the rich rewards of connecting all the employees, suppliers, et al. using an enterprise blogging system. What happened next was startling.
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He brought up our discussion to the VP in charge of corporate communications and another senior manager, where he learned that they've decided to use the "wait and see" approach to blogging. When he said that he's been keeping his finger on the pulse of the blogosphere because things can get out of control, virulent quickly, they responded with, yes, that's the problem, there's no control over them. Funny thing is, this company has a problem with employee attrition; so much so that in the past 2 years they have doubled the "finders fee" for anyone bringing in a new employee.
Thank you Scobleizer for the heads up on Blogging@IBM.
The caveat in IBM's guidelines re: don't forget your day job has validity, as employees do have jobs to perform, and we, as a company are cognizant of that. However, if a company has decided to employ blogging in it's business practice, they should also allow for time spent blogging and researching blog posts.
I came across three articles about employee training recently. The first one is an IBM PR piece, the second from Management Issues and the third is from CFO.com. Of course, the IBM solution fits in with there SOA (Service Oriented Architecture). However, I wonder if any content management system that supports XML, RSS, and webservices would serve the same purpose as a learning tool as well as fit into an open SOA - I think so.
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SOA Goes to School, By Erin Joyce, from Jupiter "In a global study of over 300 chief human resources offices, IBM (Quote, Chart) found over 60 percent of HR professionals operating in mature markets had difficulty identifying and developing the critical employee skills and talents that are vital to remain competitive.
The 2005 IBM Global Human Capital survey also said more than half of the CEOs surveyed believed their staffs do not have the skills to move into new markets and capture emerging growth opportunities. IBM calls the trend "The Menace of Maturity." The term suggests that companies a bit long in the tooth are likely to see atrophy in their ability to train employees swiftly."
Both of these studies focus on how to retain workers and get workers up to speed on new job requirements. Since I know the most about my own solution, I will give you my take. Ideascape offers the people in your organization a platform to create a gigantic learning and development environment securely on the Net. An interactive platform where more people, both inside and outside the business, can relate to each other; one where employees, instructors, clients, customers, vendors, and partners inspire and challenge each other to improve and sustain the business. If your people are continually exposed to new thoughts and are discovering new ideas both within your organization as well as outside of it, they will continue to learn, to update their skills, to stay "fresh" to the changes that are happening. The world is changing at an ever-faster pace; in order to keep up, you have to stay on top of what's happening! So, if you want fresh ideas from your people, Ideascape has everything you need to brainstorm, sketch, and develop ideas across the organization that will move people to action and get them ready to tackle new challenges.
Training the key in the war for talent, From Management Issues, "Britain's employers are embracing training as a way of retaining and getting the most out of employees in a tough labour market. Research from the journal IRS Employment Review has suggested training budgets are set to increase as employers struggle to ensure workers have the skills they need to do their jobs, and that managers can get the best out of them.
Its poll of 68 organisations found nearly nine out of ten said a key objective of training was to ensure that employee skills were up to scratch – a reflection of the difficulty employers have finding the right people in a tight labour market."
We have an enterprise blogging system that supports every type of media (rich text, rss, podcasts, and images) available. The system offers a great deal of interactivity using blogs, forums, and wikis, which gives everyone the opportunity to learn from instructors as well as each other. The simple nature of blogging applications keeps the learning material archived and updated since employees are blogging about it with instructors.
CFO.com offers ideas on meeting training needs using internet based exchanges.
Online trading hubs stage a comeback. But this time, there's a twist. From CFO.com, "When David Mroz, a manager at Shannon Precision Fastener, needed to buy a new LCD projector for a training class, he didn't head to Staples to hunt down a bargain. Nor did he go online to search out the best price on the product. Instead, the quality manager at the Madison Heights, Mich.-based Shannon put his prospective purchase up for bid on the Internet."