Broadcast or communicate?

Broadcast or communicate?

Summary: When the Czarist autocracy was overthrown in the 1917 Russian revolution, fundamental changes in Russian society under the new political structure occurred.A fascinating example for me is that while most of the world was busy building out telephone communications infrastructure, the Soviets chose to focus on installing loudspeakers everywhere.

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When the Czarist autocracy was overthrown in the 1917 Russian revolution, fundamental changes in Russian society under the new political structure occurred. A fascinating example for me is that while most of the world was busy building out telephone communications infrastructure, the Soviets chose to focus on installing loudspeakers everywhere.

The goal of course was to tell the proletariat what to think; telephony throughout the old Soviet block era was limited and frequently bugged.

Later in the last century email swept the world, creating another wave of huge change in the way we communicate.

Email in the enterprise is closely monitored and lives forever – the ‘paper trail’ it leaves is valuable for legal discovery and disciplinary action.

However, in large enterprises many people believe their email is being read or bugged by management.

The result, whether management is eavesdropping or not, is that people are very careful what they say in large companies and avoid communicating contentious information by email, even speaking in code words.

It is therefore increasingly questionable how much useful information can be retrieved if the searchable content is bland and noncommittal.

The more cautious the formal communication, the more powerful the ad hoc ‘offline’ collaboration circles become.

One of the major challenges of implementing modern collaboration technologies inside the enterprise is enabling transparency that brings these circles back into the center.

Clearly some proprietary information should be tightly controlled and guarded, and providing satisfactory legal access to events and evidence should be carefully thought through.

However, another revolution has swept the world, making it flat.

A key enabler of globalization is communication and collaboration; exponential digital revolution technical advances increase the pace of change at an ever faster rate.

Utilizing the collective wisdom of employees is fundamental to the success of the enterprise. Providing the sophisticated tools young employees grew up with and expect to use for their work, and capturing the invaluable repositories of information from employees nearing retirement is increasingly essential to remain competitive.

For those organizations that chose to engage in arguing between silos while broadcasting information at their employees, a very uncertain future awaits.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Collaboration, Software

About

Oliver Marks leads the Global Digital Enterprise Team at HP, having previously provided seasoned independent consulting guidance to companies on effective planning of business strategy, tactics, technology decisions, roll out and enduring use models that make best use of modern collaborative and social networking tools to achieve their business goals.

These are Oliver's views and not those of his employer HP.

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2 comments
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  • communication and collaboration requires coordination

    Right on article but globalization isn't the correct focus. There are three C's. perhaps the article might stress coordination rather than globalization. Communication, Collaboration and Coordination. Alternately, Quality might be emphasized. Take a manufacturing firm operating on a just in time philosophy. If the firms vendor's are smart then they know when to deliver more material and they know this through access to the firms IT systems or by golfing with those in charge. The latter will not do in the USA.

    Communication in the USA is more direct than in other countries where you are expected to "get it" by feeling around for hours to reach agreement and build relationships and have empathy. That approach usually results mediocrity.

    In other counties you can not just say I think your product lacks quality. That is considered a relationship killer and a no no and rude. You are expected to dance around until that conclusion is reached by those whoe's relationship is important to you. In the USA direct communication such as that has been the reason for productivity improvements and an economy that had been the envy of the world and quality that no one had questioned until Enron. Direct communication in the USA hasn't been a relationship killer in the USA Think

    Direct communication lends itself to electronic communication but not necessarily to email. Email itself is a silo because it is one to one or one to a group but is not shared or open (unless proxy rights are granted freely)

    Anyway lots to think about in the article and it is especially exciting as IT is so involved in changes that will better the world economy.

    Frank L. Mighetto CCP
    US Citizen
    mighetto
  • RE: Broadcast or communicate?

    "...tools young employees grew up with and expect to use for their work, and capturing the invaluable repositories of information from employees nearing retirement..." = 'The Learning Organization'; will see the most impact in healthcare.
    crc2008