What is Great Communications? How do we achieve it? And what will it do for business?
This post is about how physical and digital human communications can complement each other. By utilizing latest web2.0 developments, we are in fact able to mirror more closely how humans communicate physically into the digital space, which gives us some interesting new possibilities.
Peter O’Kelly of Burton Group introduced in 2006 the idea of how interactive, compound documents will replace the print-centric documents we’re used to. He argues that this is simply ….
……. a better form-follows-function fit (than print-centric approaches) for the way people actually think and work. Compound documents facilitate focusing more on information work than on disparate technologies and tools, and foster more effective content management. Interactive document models are used to automatically and unobtrusively offer supplemental resources and actions in context, providing opportunities to more effectively leverage tools and metadata without disruptive context shifts.
View this illustration. We have:
Synchronous communication: All communicators present at the same time. When synchronous communication is in the physical space all human senses (see, hear, smell, body language, etc.) may be utilized for communication purposes. All have to be present in the same room which may require traveling. It also requires synchronous agendas/schedules. Video conferencing can alleviate traveling to the expense of poorer human sense utilization. Telephone calls and chats are usually ad-hoc, non-scheduled one-to-one communications. Telephone calls utilize the hearing sense to a degree. Chats may be recorded for later reference. For all synchronous communication the moment of communication is NOW, all exchanges and expressions have to be in the moment of the meeting, any other communication has to wait for the next meeting.
Asynchronous communication: Communicators are not present at the same time. Can give communicator more time to consider right responses. No need for synchronized time schedules. Notice, there are no alternatives for asynchronous communication in the physical space. This is the quadrant where indeed digital communication can improve/complement physical communication. And as Peter O’Kelly says, it is only now in the Web2.0 era, when true interactive spaces are available that we can achieve real asynchronous communication.
In fact with this type of communication we can achieve a more comprehensive information management, where digital abilities will improve physical communication and we can record and gather all information and communications pertaining to a case in one connected container – that is all documents, all illustrations, all data, all conversations, related people involved , and so on.
(Up until now the majority of asynchronous communication have been carried out in “email conversations”, which is unfortunate since “… email is neither a suitable container nor carrier of information – it was never designed for that purpose, even though it is (mis-)used that way …” and left us with a bit of an Information Management chaos – see Information – some guiding principles and definitions that states: “There is no need to carry information only reference it.” Now we have the means to treat this information the right way.)
The way in which digital conversations can mirror/improve/compliment physical conversation – some possible benefits are listed at the end of Common Understanding. Why don’t you try it yourself, to see how it works. Then you can add to the list as you discover more benefits ….
Welcome to the world of Great Communications
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