Managing inherent uncertainty with Lean Startup and social business

Managing inherent uncertainty with Lean Startup and social businessWe live in a world full of uncertainty. If there was no uncertainty, waterfall would be an infallible project management method and a well-written business plan would be the key to success for any startup.

So, given that uncertainty exists, we face the question what to do about it. The traditional answer has been to reduce uncertainty and thus make things manageable, and there are still many advances that can be achieved in that field.

However, the more uncomfortable question is what do we do about things that remain uncertain? What if some of this uncertainty is inherent, something we are never able to remove? In such cases, we need to build systems to manage this uncertainty, even harness it, instead of merely attempting to reduce it.

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On the failed promise of social collaboration: reply to Boyd

On the failed promise of social collaborationStowe Boyd recently blogged about what he calls the failed promise of social collaboration, where social collaboration tools in fact reduce productivity and do not enhance it.

However, what he considers social collaboration is a concept that seems utterly alien to me and contrary to all the design principles I have applied when designing social collaboration. Yet, perhaps his take is what social collaboration means in most companies? This is an intriguing subject, so in this post, I will delve deeper into what social collaboration is all about, or should be all about.

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Why activity streams should not be filtered

Activity streams have established their position at the core of the social intranet. Some even consider them as the replacement of email. However, this is a dangerous interpretation to make, because activity streams are by their nature ill-suited to replace email in all the purposes it is used for. They are a very good replacement when it comes to purposes email was never particularly good for, but a full analogy is not very solid.

In this post, I will look into what activity streams are good for, and why that means that they should not be filtered.

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10 examples of serendipity in social business

One of the main reasons for an enterprise to embrace internal transparency and social collaboration tools is to create an environment where serendipity happens on a regular basis. But what does it really look like when it works? I’ll explain the phenomena in this post with a number of real-life examples I have personally witnessed at work.

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Morieux’s six simple rules to managing complexity, Lean, and social business

Morieux's six simple rules, Lean, and social businessYves Morieux’s and Peter Tollman’s Six Simple Rules: How to Manage Complexity without Getting Complicated is one of the most interesting books on designing and leading organizations published this year. Morieux has been refining the concept for the past few years, as the rules made their first appearance in his Harward Business Review article in 2011, and featured prominently in his TED talk in October 2013.

Morieux’s basic argument is that complexity is best managed by creating practices that promote autonomy and cooperation, and he advocates six rules, adherence to which results in fostering the correct behaviors for improved performance throughout the company.

In this post, I will examine Morieux’s six rules and compare them to Lean, because, even though Morieux does not mention Lean at all, and sometimes writes about processes in a negative manner, it seems obvious to me that there would be many similarities in companies guided by either set of principles. As a matter of fact, at least the Lego Group has utilized both Morieux’s guidance and Lean in practice.

I will also compare Morieux’s rules to social business, as that comparison will highlight some interesting potential development in the way work is organized.

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Design for serendipity: coworking at

Design for serendipity: coworking at Seats2meet.comCoworking is a form of work where people share a working environment without being employed by the same company. The idea originated in the USA, where the first coworking locations were opened in 2005. The most common coworking operation model is a paid membership model with personal desks for members and a limited number of drop-in seats available on an hourly rate for other people. started in coworking in the Netherlands in 2007, and their model is somewhat different from the basic coworking model in ways that place a more significant emphasis on serendipity. The story of the company is detailed in Sebastian Olma’s book The Serendipity Machine, which is really content marketing for the company, but offers a number of great insights, so it is content marketing done right. In this post, I will examine the insights that can be extracted from the book from a Lean social business point of view.

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