The "Shadow IT Department": Do IT Staff Help or Hurt IT Use in Organizations?

I've been thinking lately about organizational barriers to Web 2.0 and one of the thoughts I had was that the IT department can get in the way of implementing a lot of social media and Web 2.0 tools. It appears that Ben Worthen of CIO Magazine is seeing this too, as he reports in a recent article, Users Who Know Too Much (And the CIOs who Fear Them). In the... Read more →

Why It's Critical to Map Your Work Processes

Last month I mentioned that Rallyfan of Random Thoughts on Life and Work is mapping work processes at his nonprofit. First they conducted surveys and now he's at the interview stage. He reports: Here is what I have discovered so far: One of our processes is tallied three different times. Many of the “exceptions” that we handle could have been dealt with before reaching us if technology was implemented differently.... Read more →

Why Nonprofits Should Reconsider Site-blocking Policies

A few weeks ago I wrote about organizational barriers to using Web 2.0 tools, citing Bev Trayner's and my experiences with clients as examples. We noted that many sites were blocked, that Skype couldn't be downloaded, etc. This morning I read this post from Lance Knobel who is working in Dubai: One of the issues raised with the company I’m working with here in Dubai is the need to improve... Read more →

"You Get What You Inspect, Not What You Expect"

Rallyfan of Random Thoughts on Life and Work is in the middle of a big process mapping project, looking at what his organization does, who's doing it and why. They've started to get back the results of some of their surveys and to his dismay (although not surprise), they are finding that a lot of paper is being pushed and not everyone is clear about why that is. He writes:... Read more →

Organizational Barriers to Using Web 2.0 Tools

Earlier this week I was reflecting on some of the challenges of technology stewardship in nonprofit and government agencies. I mentioned that I'd done training for a government client that blocked access to sites such as Google Mail and how this obviously impacts staff's ability to use many of the tools I talk about. (Fortunately the IT department had not been told to block access to Wetpaint or some of... Read more →

We Need More Passion for the Work, Not the Organization

Kathy Sierra, one of my favorite bloggers, posted the other day about passion at work. She argues that we shouldn't be asking employees to feel passionate about the organization they work for, but the work that they do. What does it mean for me to be passionate about my work, as opposed to passionate about my organization? A passion for work means that: I'm committed to principles of excellence and... Read more →

5 Reasons You Don't Need Training

When management finds that staff are not engaging in work behaviors desired by the organization, they often turn to training as the response for "fixing" the problem. But training frequently isn't the answer. In this post I want to share 5 situations that won't be resolved by training: 1. To Make Up for Poorly Designed Work Processes--Many organizations have poorly designed work processes and customer flow. These processes have often... Read more →

Web 2.0--The Separation of Form and Content and What that Means for Us

Kansas State University cultural anthropologist Michael Wesch has developed a nice video introduction to Web 2.0 in terms of how it's fundamentally changed our relationship to online information, forcing us to re-examine a few things: we’ll need to rethink copyright we’ll need to rethink authorship we’ll need to rethink identity we’ll need to rethink ethics we’ll need to rethink aesthetics we’ll need to rethink rhetoric we’ll need to rethink governance... Read more →

It's Not Just About "Good Enough," It's About Empowerment

My post earlier this week on disruptive innovations and "good enough" solutions sparked an interesting response from Niels Unis: "Bamboo gives the example of micro-lending which has changed many people’s lives. What is so effective about micro-lending, among other things, is that it empowers people to change their own lives finding solutions in situations that they know and understand. This empowerment, however, is a radical idea, and much more than... Read more →

You're Going to have to Participate in the Conversation Whether You Want to or Not

Seems like conversations are going to happen whether we like it or not . . . Earlier this week, I mentioned the New Zealand CYFSWatch blog that's raised an international ruckus because of its "name and shame" tactics, taking transparency and accountability to new levels. Since I made that post my traffic from searches fort that blog has increased significantly, adding further fuel to the fires of concern that the... Read more →