1. People, Priorities, and Wee-Early-Hours Finishes

    November 11, 2008 by admin

    Sat here in my usual apparent stupor, mouth open, eyes fixed – in between bursts of soft tap tap tapping on the keyboard – I am fiercely concentrating on the inside.  Its 2.17am according to my laptop. As usual I am working towards one of many regular weekly deadlines, any of which, if I miss, will affect people; individuals.  These take priority in my life over less personal deadlines that may in fact affect the company bottom line more significantly.  Why do I prioritise so?  And why do I place my own work-life balance, and even health, at so much risk on their behalf?   Thinking about this takes me back to an incident on eBay a couple of years ago when I invoked a ‘gentlemen’s rule’.  An item I had received was not as per the description advertised.  It was a mistake; nothing devious.  The seller, Jared, agreed to take back the item and pay for the postage too – both ways.  He ended up paying more in postage than the worth of the item he had intended to sell.   He said, in an email, “people before money, mate” when I thanked him for being so gracious.  

    Jared’s comment has stayed with me ever since.   He was right of course and is one of the ‘good guys’, but the point I want to make is that, increasingly, business is becoming more about individuals and relationships than about supply and demand.  The arrival of Web 2.0 and networking concepts referred to in previous posts here, and our deliberate move to orientate the BPIR resource towards a more personal relationship-based approach, is part of the natural evolution in our society.  Looking back, this change started to build up steam a couple of decades ago when terms such as ‘internal customer’,‘supplier-relationship’, and ‘customer-supplier partnership’ became new buzz-words in contemporary management jargon.  Mergers and Acquisitions gave way to Strategic Partnerships and Alliances, Collaborative Projects, and Joint Ventures.  The reality of these brave new concepts is of course that they were built around trust and strong relationships between the leaders of the participant organizations.  The coincidence of relationship-based enabling technologies and the ‘survival’ need for businesses to become more sharing, open to alliances and partnerships, and to identify and nurture Human Capital has forced an almost quantum leap in a few short years.  I have always believed that every business is a ‘people business’, but recognition of this is only now growing strongly.

    Well, I’d better crack on.  I just thought I’d share those thoughts with you since they derailed me from my work. It’s now almost 3am and I’d like to accomplish a few more tasks before bed. 

    Nitey-nite

    Steve

    General dog’s body, grafter, and MD of BPIR.com Limited  ” A boss with no humor is like a job that is no fun”


  2. Benchmarking and Social Networking

    by admin

    Hello all

    I thought I would share with you our next phase of development for the BPIR.com and hopefully get some feedback from you.

    Currently the BPIR.com is an information resource. It contains one of the largest collections of best practices, benchmarks, self-assessment tools etc on the web.. However, with recent developments in web technology and the growing interest in social networking we are now planning to introduce the 2nd phase of development. This will transform the BPIR into an information and networking resource.

    I recently attended the 3rd International Benchmarking Conference in Hungary, www.bestpracticeconference.com. Much of the talk here was to do with how technology can support benchmarking. One of the most interesting presentations was by Aad Streng, Corporate Quality, Philips.   Philips found that few people will implement a good idea without first consulting the owner of the idea/best practice. Hence, Aad emphasised that it is at least as important to connect people to people than to connect people to information. Aad then talked about how Philips through its profiling/social networking tools was encouraging its employees to network and learn from each other – with over 130,000 employees worldwide it was essential that knowledge was transferred effectively company-wide and social networking technology had a key role in this.

    Moving back to the BPIR… By May 2009 all our members will be able to develop their own personal and organisational profiles, share best practices, benchmarks and information on the tools they use. Members will be able to search and contact others to find information and collaborate on benchmarking projects. We will also be encouraging this sharing through providing a number of best practice awards to those organisations/people that share their best practices with others. All in all we want to make the BPIR the No.1 website for sharing best practices so that if you have a certain problem or issue you can raise it with our membership and obtain good ideas on how to move forward.

    For further information on social networking and the use of technology I have provided links to three interesting articles:

    Overview on Web 2.0 and social software – This is a short paper written by the Global Benchmarking Network that provides a simple introduction and explanation of Web 2.0 technology. Read full article: Overview of Web 2.0 and Social Software

    Social networking sites good for business – Good news for workers addicted to Facebook, Bebo and MySpace, a British think-tank says bosses should not stop their staff using social networking sites because they could actually benefit their firms.  The report by Demos said encouraging employees to use networking technologies to build relationships and closer links with colleagues and customers could help businesses rather than damage them. Click here for full article.

    Towards NHS 2.0 –  This white paper discusses the changes in the UK’s National Health Service. It draws parellels between the changes from a Web 1.0 (being fed generic information) to a Web 2.0 (networking and personalised information) environment and a Health 1.0 and Health 2.0 environment. It discusses what this means for patients and clinicians. Read full article: Towards NHS 2.0

    So, how can you help the BPIR? Please let me know what functionality you would like in the BPIR from a social networking perspective? How can we best help you to build up your networks and learn from other organisations? What service would help you the most?

    Looking forward to hearing from you,  Robin

    (Dr Robin Mann, Commercial Director and Part-Owner, BPIR.com Limited).