Rebooting the Human Mindset - The Invisible Challenge

By Sanooj Kutty posted 07-13-2011 01:16



Google + brings about a renewed wave of energy in the Social Networking scene. 30% of my Twitter (another Social Networking phenomenon) now buzzes with Google + and related hash tags. With Mark Zuckerberg of Facebookhimself checking it out, how could I be left behind?

Dan O’Leary was kind enough to invite me and as I joined in, my initial excitement was vanquished by my inability to adapt to Google + easily. Perhaps, the lingering experience of Facebook was prompting me to find a Facebook in Google +. I created my account, click a couple of circles and I was out of there. It took me a lot of intention to come back 2 days later! And when I returned I had to reboot my mindset to explore and adopt Google +, a task not as easy as our favorite 3-finger salute; CTRL+ALT+DEL.

It’s been 4 days now and Google + has not connected me to anyone new; instead it’s synergized a selection of my Facebook contacts and Twitter followers into one. Only time will tell whether I enjoy this cohesion or not.

As an ECM-BPM cohesion advocate, this small experience was a reflection of the invisible challenge I have faced on a daily basis during the course of my humble career. As a non-technical resource in the information management world, it’s a difficult journey to meet the expectations of the business without upsetting the ability of the techies to deliver with the tools at their disposal.

Be it a Document Management System or a Records Management System or a Collaboration System or the conventional BPM or Social BPM or Adaptive Case Management or Dynamic Case Management, they are all a change to the business user from their interactions and experiences with their current systems and processes.

In spite of all these innovative solutions, why do we still see the email as the most prominent unstructured information communication and collaboration medium? It’s simple; the email did not change the behavior of communication; it merely changed the medium of communication. The snail mail approach was merely adapted to a digital medium.  The new solutions require the human to UNLEARN while emails kept it down to an acceptable minimum.

However, the completely anarchic nature of the E-mail began to pose other challenges to an enterprise in terms of security, storage and retrieval. The processes that were probably better controlled albeit at a much slower pace through a paper trail was now run through the chaotic freedom of emails.

Naturally, the world began to search for alternatives to control their content and processes resulting in a whole new gamut of information management solutions. However, the innovators in their excitement to lead the brat pack forgot that the human mind is not as excited to adopt changes as they desire to. A slow and steady release would have allowed the Average Joe to visualize, experiment, experience and then execute these solutions.

Today, within 4 days, as I start to crib about the unavailability of Google + on Blackberry, I must also be honest that I may not have appreciated too many features from Google + in one go. Just as I started on Facebook when it was not as feature rich as it is now and I had a natural growth into it.

As an ECM-BPM consultant, I take great efforts to restrain my excitement at releasing a plethora of features to the business user. The challenge of rebooting their mindset to unlearn the current and re-learn the future is more daunting that delivering exciting new features.

Unless, one gauges the organizational or departmental psyche towards unlearning, it is best advised to feed them one biscuit at a time and not the whole pack. The Invisible Challenge must be made visible before any ECM-BPM program is launched and to crack this code, I’m off to reading that greatest lesson ever – “Aesop’s The Hare and The Tortoise”.

Originally published in The Information Manager

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