What about “crowd sourcing”?

Posted in 1, collaboration, Community, Digital business, digital collaboration, IT and communication, Web 2.0 on December 15, 2012 by Geir Stene

15dec_imageLast year Crowd sourcing was a ‘hip’ word. This year it starts making sense. But what is crowd sourcing and how does it work?

There is plenty of literature, speeches and opinions on the subject to find on the net.


To ask your users or other crowds is a great way to get feedback, to help improve your services and products.

And it is really something people want to do: To help you!

Crowd sourcing can provide tremendous value for you, because you have access to potentially a lot of, very motivated and talented people.

Brainstorming and specific proposals can be produced in large numbers and very quickly. Problems can be resolved quickly and you have greater accuracy in terms of being ‘spot on’ market needs.

Innovation, research, entrepreneurial companies are just a few examples of who / how to use crowd sourcing for improving your business or other activities.

One pitfall is if people feel “used” by you instead of happy for being able to help out. My advice is to do your homework before you make your next project a crowd sourcing project.

It’s extremely important to  give proper feedback to all who contribute! Crowd sourcing project is all about you delivering more value to those who helped you, than the effort they gave you!

“The more you give, the more you get back”


Innovation: A stunt or a process?

Posted in Digital business, innovation, Web 2.0 on December 14, 2012 by Geir Stene

Bilde1A few years ago a business could develop a business strategy, print it and live by it for a decade? That is not an option in today’s world.

During our ongoing digital revolution the ability to innovate may be a “win or get lost” scenario. Yet, few businesses in Norway have established a structured innovative environment within their organization. Yes, “Innovation” has become a buzzword, but that is not enough.

However Innovation is not one thing! You should ask what kind of innovation and by that methodology you need to implement: Do you need a system that embraces continuous improvements, or does your business demand radical changes to survive the future? Is it in the product line or is it service innovation you need the most?

Most likely your organization  possess the skills, the ability and the will to produce the desired results of innovation processes. External expertise, support and coaching may help to exploit and fulfill the maximal potential.

“Innovation is not about to reinvent the wheel, it’s about using it in the right way, the right place and the right time”

Did you attend to a Workshop lately? – Or was it a “cover-up” for yet a meeting?

Posted in 1, Digital business, Web 2.0 on December 13, 2012 by Geir Stene

13 dec imageWhat is the difference between a meeting and a Workshop? One could argue that a effective meeting is about making decisions between known facts, whereas a workshop is to sort out what is the best options between many yet unknown.

I’m not at all sure if this is a precise enough distinction, you maybe have thought about this.

Workshop methodology is not about the “sticky notes”. There is nothing wrong with  Post It , but there are many more appropriate tools and techniques to bring out creative ideas and possible solutions to problems.

I’ve listed some workshop methods / techniques / exercises I have worked with (Far from  complete as a list, but to inspiration for some of you?)

Out of the box–  thinking ,moving viewpoint, discover new opportunities

Brainstorming workshop – get the diversity of ideas up on the table

Business process reengineering – finding alternative ways to deliver added value

Kaizen – building lasting change

Six Thinking Hats – challenge established thought patterns

SWOT – Analytical approach to a problem put in context

Benchmarking – comparisons and choices  in a “landscape”

Scenario Workshop – part of strategy development, where alternative routes are enabled

“The War Room” workshop – creating artificial crises to promote new decision opportunities

Incentive workshop – positive involvement and “carrot” principle to produce solutions

Lego Serious Play – depth understanding and complex problem solving

Taking a course in workshop management is a very good idea, because it is not a mechanical exercise to facilitate workshops. It requires pedagogical skills and that you love to help groups and diverse personalities. One needs to be able to reduce own ego and strengthen others self-esteem and confidence.

Know-how of workshop methodologies and expertise in facilitation of such is important in the context of digital strategy because digitization of most businesses is all about change.

“Several people create more together, than one by one”

When everything has become commodity, what’s next?

Posted in Digital business, Web 2.0 on December 13, 2012 by Geir Stene

12dec_imageWhen your products or services no longer have a competitive advantage it has become “commodity.” What will make your business is viable then?

This issue becomes very relevant in a digital world, because everything gets easier to get hold of, to compare and to copy by your competitors. How to stay “unique”?

One idea is to find out what you can do that others cannot easily copy. Its maybe not what  you provide, but how you do it that makes you shine?

“Deliver top quality and establish close relationships”


Nobody trust what the CEO says

Posted in Digital business, Web 2.0 on December 11, 2012 by Geir Stene

11.dec_imageWhen the boss is the only public face and the one that inform, comment and answer all kinds of topics concerning the firm, there might be a problem.

Research shows that the general public doesn’t trust the CEO’s all that much.

If you want customers, partners or the general public for that matter to listen to you, you should maybe let the experts within your firm be the one fronting the subject?

They know their profession better than anyone else in your company. They are also more likely to be enthusiastic and trustworthy about the job they know so well, in dialogue with others.

CEO’s should, of course be active and ‘walk the walk’, but a tip is to keep to subjects where the CEO is the expert –namely running the company!

“The digital reality is a transparent one, do as the market does: Trust your employees, dear CEO!”

The Web will not solve all your problems

Posted in Digital business, Web 2.0 on December 10, 2012 by Geir Stene

10.dec_imageOften, when talking about digital strategy, we think of the Internet and the Web. Front-end and “surface” gets a lot of attention. It’s a bit like judging a car by its body alone.

It is the technology that makes a car move and the driver’s decisions that determine where and how the journey ends. In the digital world it’s the same thing.

Behind any successful digital strategy business management, organizational management and development and implementations of correct technology is key.

E.g. when the public sector offer self-service solutions and application portals, they also have made changes in the organization and workflows. With a great interface and design ‘on top’ citizens experience a simplified contact with the officials.  The government on its side achieves a more efficient disposal of public funds.

Also, when, telecom companies heavily invest in infrastructure in a nation and by that enable all citizen equal opportunities to communicate, to do business, and get access to information and expertise it increases our society’s ability to compete in an international business world.

Yet another aspect; by using digital opportunities at the maximum, businesses can offer employees flexible working methods and attract expertise that was not previously possible.

“No one would think of putting a rubber band engine into a Ferrari!’

What the *** are you doing on facebook?

Posted in Basic, Digital business, IT and communication, Web 2.0 on December 9, 2012 by Geir Stene

9dec_imageSocial media is still “hot” but you know what you are doing there? Or are you there because people like me told you to?

In social media, you have to follow the rules, many of them unwritten. Social media is about relationships and dialogue. It is about taking conversations seriously. But in the end of the day you need to keep core of your business as guideline for  what and why you participate.

Various social media channels are good at different things. Make your priorities about where to participate wisely.

We are becoming used to be participants in social media; and not something special anymore. Personally I also believe that t is important to be integer, open and yourself, just like in all other relationships.

If you are new to using  social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, flickr, wordpress (and many others) you could benefit by listening to experienced people like ‘digital people’, not just consultants and suppliers, but also others who run businesses. They have made ​​mistakes your business does not need to repeat. They have more successes and you can learn from.

“Do not be one today, or yesterday, and something else in a year. Whatever you are, be it fully and completely, and not just partly and divided. “Ibsen