On dreaming, On entrepreneurship

BYD, Changfeng, Brilliance, Tesla, Think or Volt?

All right folks, NAIAS is on! Are you lost? Yes, I am talking about cars! The above five are perhaps the cars of the future. Funny enough two of them have name from physical measuring units, however that is for nerds to beckon, and Chevrolet Volt is doomed from the beginning anyway.

GM’s Rick Wagoner was frightened by the show off from Warren Buffet-supported Chinese BYD E6 doing 400 km from fully charged, whilst Chevrolet Volt is doing ridiculously 64 km! Come on!

Tesla Roadster from California was recently presented on YouTube as the fastest accelerating electric vehicle. After all, that is an American vehicle, but not very much supported by GM or Ford. I like it very much, want to test, however not buy yet.

Ford formerly owned the Norwegian Think. They do not even say how far it goes on their sites. Maybe they have removed it when they saw BYD. Ford did not manage to make Think a profitable business, I think it is because the cars specs just isn’t good enough for people to buy it. Compared to a Volkswagen Golf your yearly spend is about the same, and when you want to visit auntie in far-away-city you are… going to, heaven forbid, invite her over instead! Think just got a round of capital and need to work hard to hang in there.

I just can’t wait till I can by a proper electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle “off the shelf”! I want one now, my old car is crappy and 13 years old! I believe car sales the last couple of months show that I am not alone, everybody is waiting for these cars to become mainstream available. So what the f#$@, is taking the manufacturers so long? Are the entire car industry corrupted by oil companies? Are their researchers just not good enough? Are they not the right people to innovate? This is going to be world histories greatest technology leap into the energy climate era and so far Toyota is the only formerly known car manufacturer that is nearly hanging in there with their hybrids!


On collaboration, On social media, On the IT Industry

The Magic Quadrant: Team collaboration and social software

Building on my post yesterday, defining a collaborative culture, a colleague notified me of the Gartner Quadrant from 2007 that already has made the connection between collaboration and social software. since someone already put it out, here it is again:

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Team Collaboration and Social Software 2007

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Team Collaboration and Social Software 2007

However this quadrant is now getting old, and it has also recieved some critics, for the fact that it does not take new players into the picture. I also guess Gartner has made a new one since then. 

However, the quadrant only resembles one actor at a time, but my personal favourite is the combination of Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007 and Atlassian Confluence with the Sharepoint connector. If you, in addition, include Office Communictaion Server to allow chat and unified communication, then you should be well on the way towards collaboration nirvana. Anyone there yet?

I must say I also look forward to explore some of the other tools that shows up everywhere for different niche features and processes.

By the way, anyone thought of when consolidation is going to happen in the IT industry? This is why I love the strategy Atlassian pursues with the Sharepoint Connector (the market leader above) and JAVA(the definite challenger to MS.net in programming languages), amazing combination that is going to blast competitors. When they in addition get a thriving community and crowdsource all their plugin developments, how can anything possibly beat them?

On changing the culture, On collaboration, On social media

Defining a collaborative culture

I have earlier blogged on social media and changing the culture. As social media is often about new forms of online collaboration, I now add collaboration (not as in collaborationism, but as in collaboration at work) as such to that mix. Every project manager ought to know that to create a culture for collaboration is vital for almost every projects success! However this turns out to be especially hard if the project is not co-located. Research shows that projects not co-located run a much higher risk of failure than those which are co-located.

But what is needed for good collaboration? I tried to read Wikipedia on collaboration, but did not get very much out of it in terms of required elements or actions to build a collaborative environment. (Thought of adding the fundamentals below in the article, so if they are there it means they have been added as a result of this post). Collaboration can be a fuzzy term. It refers more to a culture than to method. It requires something both of the structure and the organization, and both of the culture and the individuals. I googled it in Norwegian, (samhandling) and found a page referring to these five elements as especially important among politicians wanting to collaborate. I believe they are highly transferable to any project environment as well and I hereby refer to them as the five fundamental elements of good collaboration:

The need to trust each other and each other’s knowledge is necessary to build a good collaborative environment. This requires awareness of the roles on have in the collaborative setting, self awareness and openness. Lack of trust is a typical symptom in “e-mail-collaborative” projects where people do not meet physically.

The need to accept, appreciate and use that we are different and have different knowledge’s and fill different roles.

Motivation is fostered by having a common understanding of the goals, and a belief in that the team can pull it off together. Motivation results in team behavior.

Desire to collaborate is needed. Resistance towards collaboration could stem from many different reasons (power struggles, lack of incentives etc.). Lack of desire can ruin the entire project culture, and result in a failed project.

One needs to practice communicating with each other. Good communication skills are not something you are born with, but something you need to train to achieve.

Now, that is the five, they look simple enough but then come the art of massaging individuals into building the necessary level of these elements and deliver results in their teams. That is a whole other story.

On changing the culture

Answering the phone while VERY BUSY

Happy new year and all that. I hope you got to charge the batteries for 2009.

In the meantime, i just want to know one thing. We are more connected than ever before. You have more channels than ever to reach out to other people, including letting your cellphone forward to your voicemail. And yet, people keep taking their phone and telling me they are very busy, and need to call me back. Why??

PLEASE, let me give you a short notice on the voicemail as to why I called instead. And yeah, stop leaving me messages like “Hi, it is me, could you call me back soon”!