Saturday, September 29, 2018

Delivering a new kind of training for high-stakes jobs

The Modern Workplace Means more 

The Microsoft Modern Workplace expands your capabilities to train and innovate by empowering more people to do more innovation and be trained faster and more individually, watch this short video to see how...



After you do, go to http://www.ion-modernworkplace.com to see how we can help you accomplish the same things.


Friday, September 28, 2018

Enterprise Problems solved by a Modern Workplace - COE

Enterprise Problems solved by a Modern Workplace - COE


Introduction

No single project will deliver an extraordinary modern workplace. Instead, the modern workplace is a journey, where capabilities and desires emerge over time. In a smaller organisation, it may be possible to run a series of modern workplace projects, coordinated (and potentially delivered) by a single central team. As technology matures, this is becoming easier.

Problem

In a large, complex or global organisation, a great modern workplace can’t be delivered by a single team. The sheer size of these organisations makes it impractical, let alone the difficulties of understanding and meeting the local needs of hundreds of individual business units, coupled with dispersed teams and departments or even divisions.

Solution

It’s tempting to believe that global intranets and modern workplaces are just bigger versions of ‘typical’ sites and platforms. They’re not.
In complex environments, both global and local needs must be met. The tangled and fluid nature of organisational needs also makes a linear approach difficult.
Global teams will be the owners of some top-down elements, such as the enterprise front door (global intranet homepage). They will also be providers of platforms such as content publishing, search and collaboration.
The most important roles for the global team, however, are as innovators and facilitators.
With these hats on, global teams should consider establishing a modern workplace centre of excellence.
The role of a modern workplace centre of excellence
There are many ways of forming centres of excellence, but all play similar roles:
  • Growing and spreading knowledge to all the distributed contributors to the modern workplace.
  • Fostering a community of modern workplace practitioners across the organisation, improving, coordinating and increasing knowledge sharing.
  • Engaging and informing senior leaders about the modern workplace, and what needs to be done throughout the organisation.
  • Supporting local projects with knowledge, expertise and resources.
  • Establishing new capabilities within the business, by centrally purchasing and deploying new solutions (or building them in-house).
  • Providing services to local business areas, such as content management or collaboration platforms.
  • Uncovering innovations at the edge of the business, and helping them to spread elsewhere.
  • Experimenting with leading-edge ideas, and therefore ‘breaking new ground’ within the business, allowing other areas to follow.
  • Connecting with other organisations, to benefit from the experience of the wider modern workplace industry.
  • Formalising governance around key areas of the digital workplace.

As a practical example, the global firm McKesson has shared how they established an enterprise mobility centre of excellence. This demonstrates how such a body can meaningfully balance structure and innovation, and how a central team can facilitate meeting many different local needs.
Establishing the centre of excellence
A global centre of excellence doesn’t just spring into existence fully formed, except in very rare instances when organisations make a sudden ‘big bet’ on the modern workplace.
Instead, an upward spiral approach should be taken. This uses early successes to build credibility and support, with flow-on benefits to funding and resources.
Global teams should also (gently) press senior leadership to establish robust governance around the modern workplace. The need for a central team to support the rest of the business should then quickly become apparent.
Creating a great modern workplace will be a multi-year, multi-strand journey that involves organisations at all levels. Only with the right knowledge and skills will the full benefits emerge. Having a strong digital workplace centre of excellence is a key element of this.

Conclusion

In a recent engagement with a local unnamed corporation, one of the senior executives said, "We don't want a Center of Excellence because all our people are excellent."  The COE went in anyway and was a success, but it does show that sometimes management needs to understand how things change and people, attitudes and belief systems need to change too.  Many of the largest Technology Companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, etc. have adopted the COE model as described above with very little differences.  If they have done it, don't you think you should follow their lead?

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Enterprise Problems solved by a Modern Workplace - Shared Culture

Enterprise Problems solved by a Modern Workplace - Shared Culture

Introduction

We like to talk to our customers about the challenges they face. And it’s interesting to learn that organizations of all sizes and in all industries share similar issues. Here are several common business challenges we’ve talked about with our customers and how using Workplace can help them to overcome.

Problem

Deloitte tells us that 69% of C-level executives believe company culture is a critical factor in realizing their company goals. But recognizing the need for a strong culture and actually building it are 2 very different things.

Solution

Organizations need to identify ways to hold company-wide conversations that include everyone. They need new methods to take the pulse of the organization and they need tools that allow two-way communication of shared values and identities. It’s one of the reasons we built Workplace.
“You need tools that allow two-way communication of shared values”
To enable better productivity and closer collaboration, and enhance culture by driving employee engagement and reducing the distance between people.
Microsoft has a paper on Modern Workplace Culture, here are some excerpts.
In ways large and small, our lives are being changed by digital technology. Ever-present mobile devices enable us to work from anywhere and stay in touch with the people we care about and the information we need from everywhere. From precision agriculture and automated manufacturing, to personalized medicine, autonomous vehicles, social media, and augmented reality games, every industry, every economy, and every aspect of how people manage their day-to-day lives is being reshaped.

We’ve never seen anything quite like what is happening right now. According to World Economic Forum, the speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent. Driven by the advent first of the steam engine, then electric power and the telephone, and now digital information, previous industrial revolutions gave rise to progress that moved at a linear pace. But transformation today is exponential. By some estimates, change today is happening 10 times faster and at 300 times the scale of the First Industrial Revolution. 
 As always, the real power of technology lies in its ability to enhance and amplify what humans can do.
For the first time in the history of the modern labor market, the workforce spans five generations—from the last of the Silent Generation through Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and now to Generation Z. Millennials have become the largest generational cohort in the labor force. By 2025, they will constitute 75 percent of the global workforce.iii Meanwhile, Generation Z is beginning to surge into the workforce as well.
Shrinking shelf life of information - While much has been said about information overload, the rate and speed at which new information is created drives an even greater sense of urgency for companies to rethink their information management strategies. 
 Growing impact of artificial intelligence - One of the hallmarks of the current era is how quickly artificial intelligence and machine learning is augmenting every aspect of business. It’s not just in manufacturing where robots are doing physical labor on the factory floor. AI systems are already preparing our taxes, helping doctors diagnose diseases, and enabling lawyers to search vast databases of legal decisions to pinpoint the precedent they need in seconds instead of days or weeks.
Making technology experiences simpler - As companies foster a new culture of work, IT organizations must embrace this culture change as well. Many IT departments today are moving to more agile, modern IT models that enable businesses to adopt new technologies at the speed of technology innovation. 
Expanding the Firstline frontier - These four areas represent exciting opportunities for businesses to foster the new culture of work and empower all workers—not just knowledge workers but also Firstline workers who greet customers in retail shops and hotels, operate machines on factory floors, work on construction sites, labor on farms, and more. The global workforce includes nearly 2 billion Firstline employees, representing about 80 percent of all workers. xxx They are core in almost every industry—the first to engage customers, the face of every brand, and the first to see a company’s products in action.  
 As you can see in the following chart the Modern Workplace as an Enterprise Strategy can yield positive outcomes in many areas.

Much of this is directly attributed to the improve Shared Culture
The new culture of work in action - As the nature of work is changing, the tools workers use in their jobs are evolving to meet new needs and provide new capabilities. At Microsoft, we’re working with customers to empower people and teams with modern solutions designed to help them seamlessly connect with one another, democratize data and analytics capabilities for everyone, and weigh important enterprise considerations like security and compliance. For companies taking advantage of these capabilities, the digital transformation is already having a significant positive impact on productivity, collaboration, innovation, and the bottom line. 

Conclusion

As the organization gets trained and the culture around those tools enable change and collaboration, the organization can and will improve well beyond the simple reduction in time needed to collaborate on a document.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Enterprise Problems solved by a Modern Workplace - Connecting disperse teams

Enterprise Problems solved by a Modern Workplace - Connecting disperse teams

Introduction

Joining everyone together is a challenge that resonates with many organizations we talk to. People who work in different locations or countries.

Problem

Employees who work for separate groups or entities within a business. Even those people who don’t have access to a professional email address. What tools can you use to make sure that everyone is part of the conversation wherever they work?

Solution

The answer to this lies in finding new digital platforms that are mobile-first. Mobile allows you to connect everyone across your organization, and give a voice to people who have been beyond the reach of traditional IT.

Azure has many services accessible from anywhere.

An example:
A globally dispersed financial team at Schneider Electric, based in Rueil-Malmaison, France, struggled to collaborate on quarterly business reviews. Team members were unable to coauthor documents and spent unproductive time searching for the latest versions of source files for financial reports. Now, they use Microsoft Teams to discuss, store, and find current files, and update them in real time. Workers save time locating documents, no longer losing up to 30 minutes each time they resume work on a project.
One of our mottos at Schneider is ‘Life is on,’ which refers to being energized, efficient, and connected. Teams enables this vision.

Rodolphe Aubin: Vice President, Financial Planning and Analysis
Schneider Electric 
Julie Issemann found herself sitting at her computer, waiting for a coworker to close a file so she could add the latest revenue figures to it. Issemann, a financial analyst at global energy management giant Schneider Electric, was used to working across time zones and geographies with the rest of her Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) team, which has contacts based across the globe. She was also used to feeling far away from the rest of her team.
“I wasn’t always sure I had the most current file—documents could end up in different systems, like email, file storage, or someone’s hard drive. I’d wonder where to find the document I needed, and which version of it I should use,” says Issemann. “When someone was working on a document that I needed to update, I had to call or email to find out when they’d be finished. Or I’d keep hitting refresh to see if the file was closed. After I finally got access, sometimes I’d find out the next day that a colleague had added new data to a previous version of it by mistake. We’d spend long hours before each big deadline waiting, searching, and sometimes redoing work.” 

Conclusion

Any organisation with dispersed teams or offices can benefit greatly from the Modern Workplace such as Microsoft Teams and Azure Cloud with Office 365.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Enterprise Problems solved by a Modern Workplace - Scaling Training

Enterprise Problems solved by a Modern Workplace - Scaling Training

Introduction

Every organization is unique—even if we’re in the same industry. We’re in different communities. We’re made up of different people. We have different priorities.
That said, the realities of modern business have introduced a new set of challenges that are often shared across companies and industries. Disruption is a constant. Agility is a requirement. Our employees’ ability to make the right decisions and constantly develop is a considerable differentiator.
As companies grow and roles become more complex, how do we enable our people to be the differentiators we need without radically increasing our training budgets? The answer: adaptive learning. In fact, an adaptive learning strategy can help you overcome 4 of the biggest challenges of the modern workplace.

Problem

Scaling your training

The perfect training strategy would be to provide every employee with a mentor who can personally help them with their development. But you can’t do that in an organization with 30,000 employees and only 30 people in the learning and development department. 

Solution

Adaptive learning helps you maximize your limited training resources by taking advantage of the immense data resources within your company. By pulling together data on what people know, what they’re doing on the job and what they are (or are not) achieving, adaptive learning technology can trigger the right training experiences and resources for every employee. Think of it like a personal digital mentor—at the scale of a global organization.

As with many modern workplace learning topics, a big part of the challenge is the fundamental definition. What is adaptive learning and, subsequently, what practices are required to bring it to life? When people start creating awkward and granular definitions to suit their specific application or product, the level of difficulty for general application rises. Therefore, rather than get bogged down with specific use cases or awkward analogies, I suggest we focus on the employee—the person we’re trying to help as we seek to solve business problems. With this mindset, adaptive learning is:
The purposeful use of data, technology, and content to provide the right support at the right time and help an individual employee improve his/her workplace performance.
You can do this! You can apply this definition to improve the learning experience and ultimate performance for your employees. But first you need to shift how you think about data, technology, and content in the context of workplace learning.
Microsoft Azure makes all training content/courses local anywhere in the world. 
There are many resources in the Microsoft Modern Workplace to be incorporated in your own scalable training system including resources on training for Microsoft Office 365 and more.

Conclusion

The Modern Workplace supports global organizational needs for a scalable system of learning and the current trend to adaptive learning fits perfectly.  The future articles in this series will expand on other complementary capabilities of the Modern Workplace.