Sunday, May 30, 2010

Finding the Pulse

It never ceases to amaze me how much time we spend on standard operating procedures, process mapping, documentation, flow charts and customer data entry only to find ourselves constantly supplementing it with human intervention to “fill-in the gaps” or to tell the “real story”. Now don’t get me wrong standardization and documentation is important (as long as it leads to greater efficiencies and greater quality control), rather it is the haphazard human intervention that I am pointing to as the problem.

We have struggled through many attempts at unlocking tribal knowledge within organizations and finding a mechanism to effectively enable inter- and intra-functional sharing of the valuable information and insights that exist within the craniums of our best and brightest. Within the enterprise we have witnessed a long line of mediocre and moderately successfully attempts ranging from intranets, chat/discussion boards, portals, email lists etc. And yet when employee surveys are undertaken communication and knowledge sharing always end up being highlighted as significant problems.

Of course the reality is that people mean information that is useful to them and communications that are relevant to them. This level of targeted information sharing and communication, however, has always been somewhat problematic even with the various iterations of personalization technology. Now that we live in world where we filter everything to the most granular level we can and are so used to placing our own explicit information needs and wants firmly at the epicenter of the communications flows we elect to participate in, our demand for instantaneous context and relevancy has become paramount. Everything from iPhone Apps to social media to multiple ways we can personalize the cars we drive in are feeding this desire to adapt the world to our circumstances and not vice versa.

Given this new reality, we face the challenge whether in sales or sales support or product development or any other discipline in an organization as to how we adapt our work practices to support the instant, filtered, personalized universe we now operate in as individuals. The good news is that the innovative use of social media by individuals has driven the next generation of enterprise application development and it is the grass roots if you like who are defining the product specs in a way seldom seen before (yes many organizations have claimed "end-user-driven" development but very few have really delivered on it).

Harnassing the power of professional networking and social media capabilities such a "friending, following, commenting and subscribing" to drive productivity, unlock tribal knowledge and create competitive advantage is not an easy proposition.

At Huthwaite we are delighted to announce Huthwaite Dealmaker 7 which incorporates Dealmaker Pulse, intelligent social networking for sales, with instant objective deal alerts. We believe Pulse will help organizations address the challenges of targeted, instant and relevant information flows and unlock the opportunities for speed, accuracy and execution that they provide.

There is a pulse and it is strong!

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