Yesterday I attended a keynote session on a fascinating subject of interpersonal communication, presenting a new book: “The 3 Energies Behind Sales Success”, stating: “Effective Communication is Excellence, and Excellence Always Precedes Real Success”
The Preface of the book reads: “Business is more personal than most people admit. In fact let’s just get it out in the open right away; business is personal. And in spite of all effort we’ve put into making it impersonal, objective and stripped of emotions, business still is and always will remain a hearty matter”.
I’m deeply interested in all research, science and theories on how humans communicate, how we converse or talk together, how we influence and how we achieve common understanding. It’s imperative in business as in any society of humans.
I’ve touched on the subject of Effective communications to achieve increased Productivity utilizing good digital Talking together tools. This also calls for a focus on the value of conversational data , and taking good care of them. While I don’t believe we can achieve such advanced level of communication and connection in digital conversations as we can in physical and visual conversations, I’m intrigued how these two forms of communication can complement and improve each other, and would like to explore this further.
In line with the book’s thinking, business has (can) advanced to realize the importance of Social Process Reengineering to complement/improve Business Process Reengineering (BPR). In later years Business Process Management (BPM) has gained major support, but BPM is now accused of focusing on technology and disregarding the people aspects of change. This is a golden opportunity. We can now design a social or connected enterprise into the more rigid BPM regime, standing a better chance of creating a model closer to the real world scenario.
I’m sure there’s ample research on this subject and will search for it and welcome any tips/input from you.
In parenthesis – while tools are not primary in this process, I still feel the need (due to vendors claiming to deliver E2.0 tools that are not Enterprise 2.0 environments or only partly there) to stress the use of proper/whole/mature Enterprise 2.0 tools that treat conversational data and the conversational process the right way. This goes beyond the basic use of blogs and wikis and comments. You have to achieve proper collective intelligence development.
The rest of this post might seem like an anti-climax, for I will just list some (that might seem trivial) points from my experience of digital conversations, the pleasantness of them, what could be their advantages and the way it could compliment, improve and prepare physical conversations and meetings. I dealt with this partly in Talking together systems – wishlist and Effective communications. To make it clear, we talk here about asynchronous conversations first of all (ie. not chat or video calls, etc.). Again I would stress the importance of proper tools, both to make the conversational process pleasant and to value conversational data (proper treatment of them). Also with proper conversational tools we stand a better chance of mirroring physical communication into the digital world, which is always a good design criteria for success.
The way digital conversation can mirror/improve/compliment physical conversation:
- schedule-independent meetings (no need to find synchronized time slots for meetings)
- time to think when formulating a thought/idea
- time to think when formulating a comment/response
- you can edit/redo/improve your own words
- you can even converse/comment with yourself (see some examples/clips below)
- collaboratively developing ideas/intelligence – it’s an emerging process
- ask questions is a good form of communication – urge you to listen
- you can choose to (listen)/read properly before you answer
- you can talk/write when the thoughts come to you – physical meetings/conversations get the thoughts/ideas you have at that moment which are never complete.
- The physical meeting is just an extension of the electronic meeting place going on all the time –> see this interview with Stewart Mader – author of “Wikipatterns“
- there’s more points here – be my guest – you get the idea…?
Illustrations of digital conversations/developments: