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I’m picking up my blogging practice on LinkedIn

I’ve Moved!

Please visit me at my site Golden Insights.

Oscar Berg of The Content Economy, tweeted 10 insightful questions for knowledge workers this morning.  (Try this link to see directly in twitter.)  These 10 questions should be asked by anyone doing knowledge work or anyone helping knowledge workers do their work better.  Even though, these are questions we ask (or should ask) ourselves everyday, knowledge workers don’t necessarily have the tools to efficiently find the answers.

Case in point–Knowledge worker question #8: How do I keep, access and re-find information that I find potentially valuable? Most people I know keep their important documents and information in their outlook folders and are proud of the fact that they have over a Gig of emails in the pst files.  Some of these people actually find the information they need, but they waste half their days doing so.  Finding solutions to this problem on a organizational level saves hours upon hours of time and terrabytes of data.

See below for more:

knowledge worker questions

Why use twitter?

I just saw that Robert Scoble (Scobleizer) has warded off Twitter.  Apparently, Twitter is just too one minute ago.  In Scoble’s eyes, Twitter and Friendfeed are not effective agents for creating long term knowledge.

One thing is that knowledge is suffering [in Twitter]. See, [in the blogosphere], it is easy to find old blogs. Just go to Google and search. What would you like me to find? Chinese Earthquake? Google has it.

Now, quick, find the first 20 tweets or FriendFeed items about the Chinese Earthquake. It’s impossible. I’m an advanced searcher and I can’t find them, even using the cool Twitter Search engine.

This is a compelling arguement against using Twitter to share everything that’s on one’s mind–especially if you want your tweets to be found sometime in the future.  I’m not going to argue with Scoble about this.  In my estimation, he’s right, but that doesn’t mean I’m warding off Twitter too.

My interest lies mostly in the use of  Twitter, Yammer, SocialText, etc as communication tool within an organizational setting.  In the organization, being able to search for information is important, but Twitter’s strength is in being able to communicate ideas NOW.   Yes, Twitter may present problems with Search, but it is highly effective in other ways.

  • Twitter Answers Questions. Post a question, get an answer–and an answer–and yet another answer.  Allowing an open forum for answering questions provides a way for employees to get the information they need quickly.
  • Twitter Creates networks.  Everyone wants to be a part of a group and Twitter connects people.  Strengthening your company networks is key to efficient communication and innovation.
  • Twitter Provides an Avenue for Sharing. Read a useful book, blog, or magazine article?  Tell your peers.  Maybe they can use the information to make their own department/business unit/company even better.
  • Twitter lets Executives Jump into the Corporate Culture. Executives can’t talk to everyone, but they CAN dip into the Twitter stream to see what’s working and what’s not for employees.

I’m sure there are other benefits for using microbloging in the enterprise, but these are just a few.   Any others???

This is the first installment of “Process Alerts.”  Look out for more of these.  As I find interesting process changes in the news, I’ll post them on the blog as a “Process Alert.”  In the comments, please submit your predictions whether these changes will succeed or fail…

Instead of grinding coffee only in the morning, baristas will grind beans each time a new pot is brewed.

From “At Starbucks, It’s back to the grind” WSJ – June 17, 2009 (Subscription required)

Next month Starbucks will begin to make some changes they hope will bring customers back to their shops.  Along with changing their coffee grinding schedule, Starbucks will also change how they utilize their coffee brewers.  Today, they dedicate each brewer to one coffee variety.  Starting next month the coffee chain will begin to rotate the varieties through the brewers as necessary.

There are at least two reasons for these process changes–each having something to do with meeting customers’ expectations.

  • Reducing wait times for customers.  By rotating the coffee varieties through the brewers, Starbucks claims their is a better likelihood that all varieties will be available when ordered. Starbucks fears they are losing customers when they do not have all varieties available.
  • Revitalizing the customer experience.  By grinding coffee throughout the day, Starbucks hopes to increase the aroma in the stores and “restore some of the theater.”

Whether  or not the smell of coffee enhances the Starbucks experience and  impacts sales and market share remains to be seen, but the changes are compelling nonetheless.  This seems like an excellent example of changing a process with customer expectations in mind.  The process change most likely did not emerge from an exercise of capturing boxes, diamonds, and lines on a Visio diagram.

I’ve been away from the blogosphere for a while.  Life happens.  Lots has changed in my professional world, and I’m looking forward to shifting some of my writing towards some new”ish” interests including:

  • Social Networking and Media as productivity tools in the workplace,
  • The technology of public relations,
  • Solution development with technology, without the I.T. department.

I’ll be teasing out these ideas and revisiting some of my old themes such as business process management and innovation strategies.  I’m particularly excited about writing periodic posts that I will call “Process Alerts.”  These Process Alerts will focus on recent news regarding how businesses have changed their processes.

My goals for this blog are three-fold:

  1. To learn by writing.
  2. To develop a network (please comment on my posts).
  3. To share what I have learned.

Thanks for reading.  I look forward to providing my insights and reading yours…

Over the last several years, I have been the designated grocery shopper in the family.  I go to Trader Joe's for much of my shopping, but I will go to Fry's or Safeway for items that I either don't want to pay  the Trader Joe's premium or for items that they just don't have.

Although Fry's has the cheaper products,  Safeway is a bit more convenient and Safeway is the only place that sells the Quesidillas that my son loves.  He's sort of a picky eater, so I'd go out of my way to get these Quesidillas if I had to. 

Everytime I go to Safeway at around 9:00, they shut down their checkout lanes for approximately 5 minutes to do some backend system magic.  I'm not sure exactly what they are doing, but I do know that I'm already frustrated that I'm at the store at 9:00 at night after working all day, battling the traffic to get home for dinner, inhaling a quick dinner, helping with homework, putting down the kids, and finally realizing that I need to go out and get those damn quesidillas.  The five minute wait is not appreciated.

This is why I ONLY go to Safeway in the evening if I absolutely need to go.  One would think that Safeway would be able to find a way to keep the checkout lanes operational no matter the time of day.  Did they ever think about:
  • Doing their backend system magic at midnight?
  • Developing a technology that would allow them do their backend system magic while they were checking out customers? 

I'm guessing that I'm not the only customer that is frustrated by this inconvenenience.  I wonder how many other customers decide that Fry's or Trader Joe's may be a better choice than Safeway around 9:00?