Technology is rational, predictable, controllable. People aren’t.

This situation reminds me of those old movies we’ve all seen of people trying to fly in machines before the airplane was invented: machines that had flapping wings; machines that had big, circular, umbrella-like contraptions that moved up and down; machines that had four sets of wings, none of which was large enough to generate sufficient life… It didn’t matter how hard the pilots tried. It didn’t matter how imaginative or clever they were. It […] Read more »

Do you have an [enterprise] app for that?

Gartner predicts that by 2013, 40% of enterprise knowledge workers will have removed their desk phone, as illustrated in this great infographic on this history of the knowledge worker. I’m one of those 40%. I participate in online meetings while soaking up the sun on my deck. I’m drafting this blog post from the Sleepless Goat, a funky little cooperative café in Kingston Ontario where I spend one morning each week writing. I participate in […] Read more »

Applying the Switch framework to two change efforts

In  to succeed with change, tap into the power of the mind I summarized my takeaways from Switch. In this post, I’ll try applying the Switch framework to two very different types of change efforts. The first is a personal change effort many of us struggle with. The second is an organizational change effort. Losing weight Direct the rider: When it comes to losing weight, convincing the rider isn’t usually a problem. Rationally, we know being […] Read more »

To succeed with change, tap into the power of the mind

Ultimately, all change efforts boil down to the same mission: can you get people to start behaving in a new way? For individual’s behavior to change, you’ve got to influence not only their environment but their hearts and minds. – Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, Chip & Dan Heath In the past couple of years I’ve read widely in the area of behavioral economics.  Insights from this field can be applied […] Read more »

To err is human: apologizing brings the human side back into business

Apology is not just a social nicety. It is an important ritual, a way of showing respect and empathy for the wronged person. It is also a way of acknowledging an act that, if otherwise left unnoticed, might compromise the relationship. Apology has the ability to disarm others of their anger and to prevent further misunderstandings. While an apology cannot undo harmful past actions, if done sincerely and effectively, it can undo the negative effects […] Read more »

People are the heart of a conference experience: conversation by design

The family is shaped by the direction in which it points its conversation. It can focus on its memories and basically keep on saying: “this is the way we are, this is what the different members of the family have done and are doing.” Or it may treat itself as a base from which its members set out to explore the outside world, and to which they return with something new to say, so that […] Read more »

Visualizing the adoption experience

adoption experience cycle scaled

Earlier I blogged about visualizing the customer experience using customer experience journey maps. The experience I’m currently trying to understand and visualize is the experience people go through when adopting a new application at work. The challenge of people adopting of new applications in an organization is a much different challenge than the one of people adopting new applications in their personal lives. People don’t like being changed. Yet new applications force people to change their […] Read more »

Taking a people-centric approach to the design and deployment of enterprise software

There’s been a regrettable lack of discussion on the challenges of designing usable, engaging experiences for enterprise software. Often the business problems solved by B2B vendors were compelling enough that whether or not they were easy to use organizations were willing to put up with poor design. Companies purchasing the software have traditionally been more demanding of features rather than good GUI. The pace of change is also slower in organizations which means trends that […] Read more »

How to trigger an epidemic of good – the power of positive gossip

Last week when chatting with a customer who’s had tremendous success in accelerating adoption of ECM across her organization, she said something that really captured my attention. “We start all our meetings with positive gossip.” In other words, they start each meeting by sharing anecdotes and stories of what’s working. The key was that the anecdotes & stories were positive. Why does positive gossip matter? According to Tribal Leadership “Your organization shifts in the direction of […] Read more »