Event: Saba Organizational Change Management – Friday November, 16, 1:00 PM (GMT -05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)

Managing Organizational Change effectively

Organizations growing through acquisitions, managing a large group of contingent workers or spread out in multiple geographic regions often struggle to see a holistic view of the entire workforce.
Without this functionnality:
1- key management information is extremely difficult and time consuming to compile
2- generation of accurate HR metrics is not achievable
making successful organizational change impossible.

HumanConcepts solutions enable enterprises to better manage organizational change of all types, including growth, rightsizing and reorganization.

Using HumanConcepts Organizational Planning Suite and Transition Manager, enterprises can more easily understand how they are organized, plan for the future through assigning the right person in the right job, hence helping them become more agile and more competitive.

Join us and learn how HumanConcepts can help you:
• Employ best practices that help you understand your workforce hierarchy
• Publish boardroom-quality org charts for meetings or presentations
• Overcome the challenges of centralizing data
• Gain insight into KPIs and important workforce data like headcount and span of control

We look forward to seeing you at our next Saba Demo Day!

To register, please fill out this form mentioning the title and date of the webinar that you wish to attend.

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Saba Social Demonstration Recording is available

The recording from the latest Saba Social demonstration is available at Saba Social Demonstration.

Saba Social is an award winning enterprise social networking solution that transforms the workplace by enabling rapid innovation, knowledge sharing, and highly connected communities of employees, partners and customers.

Saba Social uniquely, and securely, integrates social business software features such as ideas, discussion forums, questions, video channels, expert location and social bookmarking with online collaboration features like chat and integrated web conferencing with rich HD video and audio.

Saba’s social solutions help the most innovative organizations in the world transform their business by enabling:

  • • Rapid innovation to increase revenue and outpace the competition
  • • Highly connected customer communities to increase repeat business
  • • Informed partner communities to accelerate channel pipeline
  • • A social intranet that creates a culture of motivated and engaged employees
  • • Decreased support costs and increased customer loyalty by crowd sourcing
  • • Faster and smarter product development with direct feedback from customers
  • • Faster on-boarding with social mentoring, recommendations and virtual job shadowing.

See the Demo and Recording page for a complete list of recordings and upcoming live demonstrations.

Social Networking promotes recognition of KM participants

At the executive breakfast to which I referred in my previous posting, there was mention of another benefit of private social networks that I found interesting.

The ability of the system to track followers and their impressions of the people that they followed as well as the ability to specifically “+1″ on discussion comments, provides a new way for management to recognize people who are contributing useful ideas and providing help to others in the organization.

For those involved in knowledge management, this may be the first time that there is an easy means to recognize contributions outside the hierarchical structure.

Currently people tend to be measured by their contribution to their boss’s goals and achievements inside their own team.
In a social network, contributions across the organization are measurable and the influence of an individual on the organization’s overall success is tracked.

If management takes advantage of this, it provides an incentive for mentors and corporate “knowledge keepers” to take the time to help others, publish useful articles and to develop a reputation as a source of good advice.
Management can now see who the informal leaders are in the organization and may be pleasantly surprised to find people whose value as an organizational resource might be much higher than others with better managerial and political skills whose contributions are rewarded by promotion and increased managerial responsibility.

This could be a way to measure the value of the contribution of knowledge management practitioners at the individual level in conjunction with recognition of their contribution to projects’outcomes in which they are involved in.

It also helps the KM group to identify people that they should be recruiting or at least supporting.

If the knowledge management group is proactive in implementing and promoting social networking, it will have a measurable impact on the organization.
The growth of contributors with followers and the growth of articles and discussion threads can be a way to measure the effectiveness of the knowledge management group.

This may be very helpful in retaining a knowledge management momentum, if large initiatives can not be funded.

Social Networking as an On-Boarding Accelerator.

At the recent Saba executive breakfast in Montreal, there was an interesting discussion about how organizations can use private social networks to accelerate the on-boarding process.

In the scenario that was discussed, new employees arrive at their desk and are shown how to log into the organization’s portal.
On login, their home page pops up with their formal training identified in one window and a pre-seeded list of “friends” and mentors in another with an welcoming introduction video in a third.
They are instructed to take the formal training that was prescribed for their job and to start following the mentors and “friends” in their network.
The selection of friends would likely include peers doing similar jobs in their own team or in other similar teams as well as people in other areas that can help them understand how to get things done.

They are also pre-registered in the forums that relate to their job function and have the ability to join additional forums as they determine their need for information and assistance.

The portal also included a search capability that would let them find documents that would help them learn their job and integrate into the corporate culture.

By connecting to those who their initial contacts connect to and by reading the same articles that their mentors read, it was hypothesized that new employees would more quickly discover the corporate knowledge that is encapsulated in the network of key people.

The formal on-boarding training plan gives the new employee the minimum formal knowledge that a new employee needs.
The pre-seeded network of mentors and peers, articles and forums, is designed to accelerate their discovery of the informal knowledge that is often the key to being successful.

Project TinCan

In the Spring of 2011, key developers from Artifact were interviewed by a researcher from Project Tin Can.
The results of this research is now being published.

Project Tin Can is sponsored by ADL, the Department of Defense’s group that is responsible for the SCORM standard. Tin Can’s goal is to create a specification that will replace the current SCORM standard with a more modern platform that solves a lot of the problems that plague SCORM.

The project is documented at the Project Tin Can web site.

The Tin Can Overview Presentation given by Mike Rustici at Harrisburg University is a 1 hour presentation that describes the current environment and standards such as SCORM, AICC, LETSI and IMS and gives an detailed overview of what Tin Can is and how the Tin Can framework works.

Quotes worth remembering

Three quotes from Andrew Carnagie

“Here is the prime condition of success: Concentrate your energy, thought and capital exclusively upon the business in which you are engaged. Having begun on one line, resolve to fight it out on that line, to lead in it, adopt every improvement, have the best machinery, and know the most about it.”

“The average person puts only 25% of his energy and ability into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50% of their capacity, and stands on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100%.”

“The only irreplaceable capital an organization possesses is the knowledge and ability of its people. The productivity of that capital depends on how effectively people share their competence with those who can use it.”

From George Box
“All models are wrong. Some are useful.”

From Zig Ziglar
“What’s worse than training your workers and losing them? Not training them and keeping them.”

From Mark Twain
“The trick is to glean from an experience exactly the knowledge that is
contained in it. A cat which sits down on a hot stove will never do it
again, but it will never sit on a cold stove again either.”

Empowered and transformative workplace through Saba People Cloud

An executive breakfast was held on Friday October 28th 2011 in Montreal.
It was hosted by Saba Software and Artifact Software.
More than 30 executives attended with great interest the enthralling presentations of Bobby Yazdani, CEO and Founder of Saba and Shad Smereka, Director of Learning & Development and Safety at Fountain Tire (Edmonton).

Mr Yazadani’s presentation focused on a fundamentally belief that social computing and cloud computing will steer a transformation of the workplace

It will impact the speed, quality, expectations and characteristics of how we work, communicate and engage. Content will be highly curated and personalized toreflect the way we wor and , interact with our employees, customers, partners and suppliers.

This will create significantly more transparency. It will increase the speed of business and will encourage the generating and sharing of more ideas and knowledge across their entire value chain. This will allow organizations to better mobilize the  collective wisdom of the “People Network.”

Consequently, the People-centric social computing and cloud-base applications will essentially destroy the “functional organization” that’s based on a model of hierarchy, and replace it with a fluid model that encourages the flow of knowledge,  recognizes and values individual contributions and  streamlines work processes, thus  yielding a more flexible, agile, efficient and effective organization.

Bobby presented his clear and disruptive vision of building a transformative workplace in which the profile of people (job information, roles, responsibilities, employment history, competencies, performance reviews, potential jobs, career interests, etc., as well as one’s essential internal and external professional network of stakeholders), is at the core of people-centered information systems.

Using people-centered information systems, a network of employees, partners and customers are enabled to yield operational, tactical and strategic outcomes in a more agile and effective fashion, engage in more intimate interactions and sharing of ideas and initiatives. Their enhanced interactions increase the rate of innovation and mobilize teams faster to seize new market opportunities, driving improved business performance.

These people-centric applications; Social Computing, Learning Management System, Virtual Learning Environment, Goals and Objectives Management, Performance Management, Succession Planning and Assessment, using prescriptive rules and collaborative processes, significantly enhance users’performance because all private and public connections, on a global and local basis, enable on-demand profile and context-based information sharing, communications, processes, tools, learning and stakeholders’ contacts.

Following Mr. Yazdani, Shad Smereka, Director of Learning & Development and Safety at Fountain Tire, discussed his own experience with transforming their workplace. He presented how his Learning & Development team is supporting the expansion of Fountain Tire stores throughout Canada using Saba’s People Cloud Learning Management System. The LMS, along with Goals and Objectives Management and Performance Management modules, will swiftly and effectively enable new store managers to achieve high levels of competenance and performance. The store managers are the initial focus of attention but the process will extended to all employees in the future.

Biographies of the speakers

Bobby Yazdani is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Saba. He was an industry pioneer in creating the Human Capital Management category in 1997, and has grown Saba into a $100 million+ profitable enterprise software business providing premier software and service solutions for people management and collaboration.

Saba’s People platform enables enterprise learning, performance and compensation management, succession planning, and workforce planning that align, engage, develop, mobilize, and foster collaboration across employees, customers, suppliers and partners. The company has been recognized by leading industry analysts for excellence and innovation in unified people management, collaboration, and social networking, and serves a roster of over 1,400 customers with more than 19 million users across 150 countries. Saba’s solutions are available on-premise or on-demand.

Shad Smereka is Director of Learning & Development and Safety at Fountain Tire a
provider of tires, tire services, and automotive services. It has a chain of owner managed stores across western Canada and is entering a strong growth period

Stay tuned for further informative events on the transformative workplace.

Skillsoft acquires Element K

In the news article Skillsoft acquires Element K, Skillsoft describes the financial aspects of the acquisition of Element K.

As we have clients using courses from both companies, we look forward to more details about how the catalogues will be integrated.

Some strategic ideas on choosing an LMS

This article was prompted by a LinkedIn discussion about chosing an LMS.

There are a lot of choices for LMS solutions that range from open source to the top-of-the-line commercial products.

To make the right choice, you need to look at a lot of factors.

Price used to be a big factor but with SaaS hosting offerings becoming the norm, the cost per student is well within the budget of almost any organization.
Implementation is still an issue for small organizations but as the top systems get to be more user-configuarble it becomes easier to develop an implementation path that is rapid and cost-effective while leaving the door open for tweaking and turning on new features after the system is up and running.

I would suggest looking at the use case first.
Is it for a one-off training event or is it the start of a project that will lead to an integrated L&D program that covers training, assessment, certification, talent management and succession planning?

Do you only need to support a small catalog of on-line activities or do you need to support a full catalog that includes blended learning course where a course consists of a number of resources such as books, downloads, WBT, webinars, classroom offerings, on-the-job training or mentoring and manager/mentor assessments.

Do you need to syncronize with an HRIS system?
Do you need to feed data back to a workforce planning/scheduling system?

Do you need to support people who are off-line when training is most convenient?
Do you need to support mobile devices?

It is also important to look at the vendor’s ability to support your regulatory and industry environment.
These will have an important impact on your choice of an LMS.

Do you have industry-specific regulatory requirements that require excellent audit trails with electronic signatures for all activities including L&D?
Do you need to track course versions and version-specific certification to implement certification policies?

Do you have IP or privacy concerns and need a hosted solution that is EU Safe Habour or SAS-70 certified.

If you are looking for an LMS, you should find out if your organization (usually IT department) has a subscription to any of the research companies such as Gartner, since they have feature checklists, RFP templates and product analysis documents that can be very helpful. More specialised HR research firms such as Bersin can also be a source of useful information and checklists.

Artifact has been at the forefront of LMS implementation in the small organization and can help organizations get the solution that fits their needs, at a total price that makes sense for their situation.