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Collaborative Technology Tools Organizations Utilize

Published May 8, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Galsworth’s (2005) research postulates that more organizations are committed to excellence. They strive to make the workplace safe, simple, more logical, standardized, fluid, linked and more cost effective from continual systematic upgrades.  He identifies this strategy as the “journey to lean.”  It constitutes a voyage of discovery that examines and then eliminates obstacles and barriers that lie in its critical path. In other words it is an excursion where material follows as it travels through the company and advances their value. When an organization takes on the work of a lean conversion, it establishes an environment that needs to change, improve or eliminate just about everything under the roof.  Organizations that choose to go lean do so to dramatically lower costs, simplify the production process, and produce a fundamentally safer environment (Galsworth, 2005).

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Bresciani and Eppler’s (2013) research purports that visualization is a relevant phenomenon that effects knowledge sharing. Their studies conclude that visualization techniques can increase productivity, recall, learning and other important measures (Bresciani & Eppler, 2009). Individuals that grew up as part of the Star Trek generation, for instance, evidence the impact of this visualization phenomenon by the advances in modern technology that were inspired by sci-fi shows like this. Cell phone designs, for example, that flip up were clearly inspired by the communication devices the officers operated on the show. In addition, computer terminals and intelligent systems that use female voice technology to communicate instructions are reminiscent of the of the computer systems from that series. Technological advances like these display the power of visualization that affected young impressionable minds that watched shows like Star Trek and were inspired to pursue a career in science and technology that led to some of these modern advances that most everyone of us now utilize in one form or another in our lives and organizations.

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The effective collaborative technologies some organizations rely on, like ours, support a virtual work space. In this virtual environment they create a comprehensive system that transforms traditional business organizations into cost effective enterprises where outcomes are not just repeatable but are also sustainable. For example, at one previous place of employment, we organized and maintained important client documentation in large filing cabinet systems. These large pieces of furniture occupied extensive office space. In addition, when cabinets became full, old files were removed and shipped to warehouses for storage. Today, the organization has incorporated flash storage devices and thumb drives to replace these archaic filing systems. This collaborative effort eliminated the need for bulking filing cabinets and allows access to documentation and information from remote locations. Significant data that was once stored in warehouses are now easily accessed, managed, shared, and stored quickly on small devices or from online storage facilities for a fee. In addition, email has replaced the traditional method of communication, letter writing, and other forms of correspondence in organizations. Advances in communication systems now allow individuals to work by communication through various portals, from remote regions to transmit larger volumes of information with services like Dropbox, social media networks like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as other systems designed to enhance the communication experience (Drucker & Bruckentstein, 2013). Production and systems can still be managed and operated so long as there is internet access that allows a company to maintain open frequencies. When it comes to what makes a virtual office profitable we have discovered it consists of the same components that makes a large corporation profitable, establishing and applying efficient systems that technology tools offer.

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References:

Bresciani, S., Eppler, M. (Writers), & Frei, G. (Director). (2009). Visualization for knowledge sharing: Experimental evidence [Motion Picture]. Galen University. Retrieved April 23, 2013, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsHlO8UXaLw

Drucker, D., & Bruckentstein, J. (2013). Technology tools for today’s high-margin practice. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Galsworth, G. (2005). Visual workplace visual thinking. Portland, OR: Visual-Lean Enterprise Press

Leveraging Resources

Published March 18, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Entrepreneurs are the headmasters of their organizations and the taskmasters that seek funding for their businesses, whether for initial start-up, to continue operations or to expand. While changes in banking have altered the financial landscape and closed a few doors to funding opportunities, innovative ideas have opened the doors to others. USA Today’s Small Business Columnist, Steven Strauss (2011) explains two kinds of financing: (a) debt financing; and (b) equity financing. Debt financing requires the entrepreneur take on debt to finance the business, whereas equity financing entails bartering or selling a portion of the venture in exchange for cash that does not have to be paid back (Strauss S. , 2011).

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In the meantime, contemporary business leaders use a combination of resources to fund their ventures. Some of these include more unorthodox methods of financing like: personal savings, retirement funds, credit cards, online grants, business plan competitions, peer-to-peer lending, a variety of loans including friends and family plans, as well as crowd funding and microloans. There also the more conventional methods available from traditional financial banking institutions and business oriented organizations like SBA.

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Some entrepreneurial organizations engage in a variety of strategies as leverage for resources. For instance, entrepreneurs that are in the storming and norming stages of their organizational venture, can invest personal capital in small increments from billable service profits. The pros of personal investment are: (a) interest free resources, (b) no approval is required from others for expenditures, and (c) there is no liability to others. On the other hand, some of the cons for using personal resources include: (a) the depletion of funds which may be required for a rainy day, and (b) it is not always enough. Strauss’s book, The Business Bible recommends a few other inexpensive ways to attract more business revenue with mobile marketing strategies and other social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. These are some of the innovative resources available that are great for free advertising as a cost effective way that can assist to further expose a company’s brand and services (Strauss S. , 2012). When an organization has cash flow challenges and are unable to secure more financing for budget expenses, capital and headcount, other services some entrepreneurs consider, is raising capital from short video ads on social media outlets like YouTube with the intent of making it go viral. A smart entrepreneur understands that in today’s marketplace, a viral video can become a capital resource game changer.

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References:

Strauss, S. (2011). Get your business funded: Creative methods for getting the money you need. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Publishing.

Strauss, S. (2012). The small business bible (3rd ed.). Hoboken NJ: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Social Change Analysis – Part II

Published February 20, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

Analysis and Overview

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Causes of Social Change

Humanity approaches an historical juncture that is prodding social change as the traditional methods of managing human affairs, at the interpersonal and international levels, are becoming less and less effective (Weinstein, 2010). To better comprehend causes of social change, experts study the where and how of material production as well as the distribution and consumption of goods and services significant to society. Studying the ancient past can be instrumental in facilitating homeostasis in the modern era. Without observation and analysis of the social sciences, causes and implications of change would be difficult to ascertain.

Experts also take into consideration demographic changes. In addition, researchers labor to comprehend the various natures of population transformations and the scale of a civilization’s interconnectedness that involves both the expansion and amplification of economic relationships (Dicken, 2011). Without sufficient knowledge of these components, all geographies of development can be disrupted.

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Conditions of Social Change

Researchers acquiesce that social change is brought on by transformational conditions that include: (a) significant events like invasions or earthquakes; (b) repeating cycles, patterns, and trends on a macroscopic level; and (c) from social activities that affect individuals (Chase-Dunn & Babones, 2006). In other words, barriers and obstacles that arise from causes like world events and behaviors of groups that seek basic human rights for example, are some of the elements that drive social change.

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Functioning Structures and Innovations

Social change can also influence the efficiency and functionality of nations.  Conflicts that occur extend opportunities for cultural evolution as a society interprets the variety of components that motivate action from them.  The conflict perspective theory of the social sciences, suggests cultural change evolves at a particular point in time when the availability of resources and opportunities alter as a result from collective action or reform.  The structural functionalism theory also known as the functionalist theory, looks at the interconnectedness of a society and how they function together to promote their system.  For example, scarcity of resources creates strain and conflict within a culture that disrupt functioning systems. Struggles with issues like inequality and ideology can also become engines of change (Weinstein, 2010).

Innovations occur as a result of the grievances and unrest that emerge in a society. These certain (often hidden) motivators emerge from a lack of an effective, efficient or equitable system (Cels & de Jong, 2012). There are four phases of the innovation stage: (a) a clear awareness of a challenge; (b) the setting, conditions, and the assembly of the elements involved; (c) a new meaning, configuration, or a eureka moment; and (d) a crucial upgrade or revision to an invention. These innovations are likely to succeed when a society is ready to adapt them.

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Environmental Factors and Cycles

Catastrophic events like typhoons, earthquakes and landslides, present new problems that have consequential effects on a population and their migration.  Scientific research confirms that climate change has an effect on the environment. McNall (2011) purports that human impact of change on the global environment has effected the levels of CO2 on our planet that is higher now than at any time in the last 650,000 years. He cites this for one reason that everything frozen on the planet thawing (McNall, 2011).

Identifying patterns of change in the economic and political aspects of a society is essential in understanding developmental change.  An economic theory of politics (also known as public choice) applies a more rational look at cultural behavior. By studying linear, cyclical and dialectical models of change, experts can assess whether patterns will follow a linear before and after frame, or a cyclical pattern, by determining if it is capable of returning to the same point (Weinstein, 2010).

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Basic Strategies of Change

Fundamental strategies can assist in the delineation of change that outline characteristics and boundaries of a population or system. These strategies can facilitate challenges between leaders and factions (Weinstein, 2010). Some of these tactics involve education, persuasion, and power as well as violent and nonviolent action.  Leaders that are capable of identifying problems and needs are able to make effective changes.

External assistance can also be a factor for those open to receiving it. This is especially true when it instigates community improvement and active participation with focus on an end goal (Weinstein, 2010). In short, a variety of ideas that are substantially different from the status quo, whether as modifications, substitutions or mutations of materials, also play an important role in stimulating cultural movement and growth.

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Changes in Ideology

As a civilization evolves, a culture’s ideological beliefs also helps shape the development of humankind.  For example, politicians, artists, and social activitists garner the power of the market with innovative ideology.  They contend the ability to champion a better ideology, also referred to as cultural orthodoxy, is the key to creating a demand for a new culture (Holt & Cameron, 2010).  In the meantime, archeological and mythological records of early civilizations typically focused their energy on pleasing their Gods to attain favorable conditions.  This major component is a commonality that shaped earlier cultures.

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Invasions and War

Social change is also incurred from the hostilities that arise in groups due to: (a) sorrows and grievances; (b) the incompetence of leaders to manage challenges; (c) the difficulties in adapting to change; or (d) a shift or circulation of new radical concepts and ideologies.  These components offer a fertile breeding ground for conflict that can lead to revolution and battle. Social change scientists look at the interconnectedness of a culture with a scientific approach to the components that drive them on a macro level.  Bauer’s (2007) research concludes that the interconnectedness of governments, religion, the urban environment, social structure, and the economy of earlier civilizations, extends for millenia (Bauer, 2007). To illustrate these constructs we will examine man’s earliest civilization to better comprehend ours in our next post.

 To Be Continued … Part III – An Ancient World View

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References

Bauer, S. (2007). The history of the ancient world. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, LLC.

Cels, S., & de Jong, J. (2012). Agents of change: Strategy and tactics for social innovation. Harrisonburg, VA: R. R. Donnelley Publishing.

Chase-Dunn, C., & Babones, S. (2006). Global social change. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press.

Dicken, P. (2011). Global shift: Mapping the changing contours of the world economy. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

Holt, D., & Cameron, D. (2010). Cultural strategy: Using innovative ideologies to build breakthroughs. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

McNall, S. (2011). Rapid climate change: Causes, consequences, and solutions. New York, NY: Routledge Publishing.

Weinstein, J. (2010). Social change. Pymouth, UK: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Campaign for Change

Published January 25, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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As I continue my graduate course research in social change, an opportunity to participate in an online social movement opened and shortly thereafter became highly active in the organization’s efforts. As a social media producer, the entertainment industry is at the forefront of my focus. My vocation entails the authorship of blog posts, the production of video and audio products as well as maintaining social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for clients.  In short, I receive and process an enormous amount of online information.

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Pictured left to right: Guinevere, King Arthur, Merlin, Morgana and Uther Pendragon

I recently discovered a Facebook post asking for assistance in saving a popular BBC television series called Merlin. The final episode aired Christmas Eve of 2012 in the UK and began airing in the US territory a few weeks ago on the SyFy Channel. The abrupt cancellation has stirred great passion in the viewer’s leaving many deeply saddened by the decision of its cancellation. Not thinking twice, I subscribed to their Facebook page and began a dialog. Within a few days we began to implement ideas and strategies.

Enthusiastic and inspired I offered my social media services to assist with marketing efforts. The focus and drive of the coordinator was impressive. His charismatic charm as a leader was immediately revealed and his organizational skills were impressive. He had already implemented the distribution and scheduling of specific instructions and daily tasks. This was an integral component for my motivation in joining. The timing was right. I presented a short video for promotion as a sample. The idea of the video was to serve as a tool to attract recruits and assist in spreading the word.

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King Arthur and Merlin

Headquarters is based in the UK. The international time difference did not allow for instant feedback. The video was uploaded on YouTube at the end of the evening and included images and a score from the show for enhanced effectiveness. The end credit included recruitment contact information and was temporarily assigned a movement name. The following day the positive response received from the movement’s leader was overwhelming. It was selected as the organization’s official video (link posted below) and a temporary name (The Merlinian Movement) took shape.  It is still in the early storming and norming stages as the collective continues with its organizing and strategic planning.

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Knights of the round table: (left) Sir Leon, Sir Gawain, Sir Lancelot, King Arthur, Sir Elyan, Sir Percival

Gilbert and Gilbert (1992) have identified what they describe as “the togetherness force.”  They postulate that this force is responsible for urging individuals to band together comparing it to the activities commonly observed in a herd.  Herds function as an emotional entity causing unified movement at the sign of danger.  This togetherness force can be observed in humans that coalesce, organize and move together as a unit from the perceived dangers that rally their efforts to become champions and agents of change (Gilbert & Gilbert, 1992).  Although this particular social movement centers on wholesome family entertainment, rather than a topic that involves human rights, it is equally important to the collective.  The passions from this class of social herd are invoked from what Storm (2005) suggests is a missing hybrid from society based on the nature of viewers’ appetite for mythology and good story telling.  Myths are important because they give us an intuitive explanation as to why things appear and happen.  They have the ability to broaden a rational understanding of our world and provide a common ground that allows us to experience both heroes and villains (sometimes as the same character).  In an environment of evolving moral issues, many aspects of our reality are called into question.  Mythology is a kind of source code that helps us gage our own moral compass (Storm, 2005).

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Camelot

This peaceful movement consists of diverse individuals located worldwide.  The love of mythology and the retelling of the ancient Arthurian tale uplift and touch the soul.  There are no sit-ins, protests, or picketing involved in this movement.  The participants in just a few short weeks have created a solid global network in a virtual environment to pursue their passion.  Through the use of the internet and social media outlets the organization continues to expand and coalesce.  The intent is to urge producers at the BBC (or rally interest from other networks like the SyFy Channel) to resurrect the program.  The SyFy Channel was responsible for the resurgence of the popular series Stargate SG-1.  This strategic move was a key component that elevated the status of the SyFy Channel.  They went on to enjoy success as a major player in the television network arena and the Stargate franchise achieved unprecedented success that included several spin-off series.  This is the model that gives the organization credence and incentive to rally together and focus their efforts to achieve success

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The Merlin

For More information join us  on Facebook or Twitter:

Merlin2return or Twitter: @merlin2return.

The Official Movement videohttp://youtu.be/xiheKr9zOew

References:

Gilbert, R., & Gilbert, R. M. (1992). Extraordinary relationships: A new way of thinking about human interactions. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Storm, J. (2005).  Approaching the possible: The world of Stargate SG-1. Toronto, Canada: BCW Press.