This past Friday, I had the opportunity to speak to the local Chandler PMI chapter at the monthly meeting. My topic was around communication and some of the changes that I have been attempting to do within my work experience. I have wrote a couple of blog posts here and internally for work.
Overall the topic was pretty well received. Except for a couple of barking dogs (the meeting was held at Chandler Fashion – downstairs from the pet store). I discussed the changes that my team and I are attempting to do – we are moving to more of the enterprise 2.0 tools and capabilities.
We discussed some of the barriers that I have encountered along the way. Many of those were echoed by the folks that are trying as well. Barriers that I shared were:
- Company fears – just like everything new, there are fears that have to be addressed. Email, internet and IM all had to have their time in the hot seat. Social computing is now in the hot seat. Many feel that these capabilities could have a scary effect on the company culture. For me, I hope so – I hope that the company culture continues to evolve in a positive direction.
- Culture of sharing information – simple facts are you get what you reward. If I was rewarded for sharing my wisdom, knowledge and experiences – then I would share more and more… I get rewarded for what I do and what I know (sharing is not part of that). I don’t really care – I was to leave a mark when I am gone, the only way to do that is share!
- These capabilities seem generational in nature – just for the young folks. Well, I am here to dispute that, I am a grandfather, 30 years in the workplace. Sure there are plenty of the baby boomers in the workplace that just don’t want to learn something different or try these capabilities. There are some that do! I really enjoy them.
- I also brought up some of the barriers from my team’s standpoint. Using these capabilities has to somehow match up with the individuals work flow. Don’t ask for something special. Value needs to be proven to some folks. Many have that wait and see attitude towards trying something different. Why? You moved their cheese. Not a very popular thing, change. Lastly, with every new capability – there are more choices. Need to limit choices in order to insure that the team is focused.
After I was done, may folks came up to share their thoughts. Some challenged me – that this really was reducing workload. Others were knee deep in getting their management to at least look at these capabilities. I spent about 30 minutes afterwards talking and discussing whatever anyone had to say. It was definitely an exciting time for me. I was energized and ready to do it again!
Thanks to the Chandler PMI folks for letting me spend Friday morning with them.