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Making Collaboration Sweet: Insights from Mars’ Head of Digital

Jon Chong

Mars, Incorporated is a company with a proud 100-year history and a strong corporate culture. As early adopters of open offices, phone and video conferencing, you might think that moving to digital collaboration would be easy for Mars – but they have many hard-earned lessons to share.

Jonathan Chong, Director – Digital Workplace & Corporate Systems at Mars shares his insights into the importance of collaboration for businesses of any size, and reveals how collaboration is giving them the competitive edge.

Q: Why does a successful company like Mars need to focus on collaboration?

Mars is doing very well, but the business environment, the geopolitical climate and the public competitive landscape is changing and it’s extremely challenging. So we have to look for every bit of advantage that we can, and collaboration is one of them.

We’re trying to absorb and digest acquisitions, we’re trying to expand into new geographies, and really making the most of people’s knowledge, connecting them to other people, helping them be quicker and make faster decisions, that’s the way we’re going to achieve those objectives.

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Filed under: Strategy

Losing Control and Other Myths About Enterprise Social Networking

1915431_167354600987_6393460_nIf you’re not already using social media or your organisation doesn’t value it, taking a leap into enterprise social could feel like jumping out of a plane for the first time.

Exciting and terrifying…

Ahead of her session at Enterprise Collaboration Innovation & Tech Fest 2017, Rita Zonius, Head of Internal Digital Communications for Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, enlightens us on the top reasons why people are fearful of social in the workplace and the real benefits of a good enterprise social network.

People’s concerns about enterprise social are rarely about learning how to use the technology and are more to do with their comfort levels in working openly and feeling in control of their work. It’s one thing to engage routinely with people you know in emails or meetings, but to pose a question or share your views openly for anyone from anywhere in your organisation to see and to comment on can make people feel vulnerable, even in positive environments where there’s really no good reason to fear speaking up. 

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Filed under: Social

In Digital Transformation, Culture Change Goes Hand in Hand with Tech Change

collaboration tech changeI’ve spent a lot of time in the last few years identifying the best approaches for that urgent enterprise topic of our time, digital transformation. When I first started, I often looked to top examples of organizations that have started the transition and made good progress (see sample case studies below.) More recently I’ve derived insights from my work directly with a number of organizations on their individual transformation journeys.

Ultimately, however, I have determined that the short answer is one that you might expect: There is no single blueprint for transformation that works well for everyone.

Instead, the right steps very much depend on the organization itself. We also know now that there are indeed common success factors we can apply, if we can adapt them to our organizations. Generally, I’ve found that the best method is to employ heuristics on an established framework that takes an organization’s industry traits, cultural inclinations, organizational strengths/weaknesses and uses a generative process to create a starting point for change.

The resulting adapted framework is informed by best practices and industry lessons learned so far. A good place to start for these is Perry Hewitt’s 10 best practices for digital transformation, which she developed when she was Chief Digital Officer at Harvard.

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Filed under: Collaboration Culture, Strategy

How Collaboration is Giving Mars the Competitive Edge

Collaboration at Mars

There’s no doubt that as a company Mars, Incorporated is doing very well. But the fact is, like all companies, we still need to be competitive. The business environment, the geopolitical climate and the public competitive landscape is changing, so we have to look for every bit of advantage that we can get.

We see enterprise collaboration as being one of the best ways to gain this competitive advantage. We have a huge number of employees (at Mars we call them Associates), over 80,000 people. We place a lot of investment and value in our people and in return we expect great things. We started with a very entrepreneurial culture, and we’re constantly looking at how we can maintain that while enabling growth.

Our answer to that challenge is collaboration.

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Filed under: Case Studies, Collaboration Culture

Collaboration Lessons from Keolis: How to Identify Your Value Proposition

Laurence Fourcade Enterprise Collaboration Tech Fest 2017We all know that social business collaboration is key in bringing efficiency and heightened engagement to middle and large organisations. Yet, few firms succeed in fully leveraging their online collaboration tools. Why? According to Laurence Fourcade, Vice-President of Knowledge Management and Online Collaboration for Keolis, it’s all about identifying your value proposition.

Laurence will share Keolis’ successful and ever expanding Knowledge Management and Collaboration approach at Enterprise Collaboration Innovation & Tech Fest 2017. She’ll help you understand how to frame collaboration within your company’s strategic objectives, and convince all stakeholders – top management and users alike – to invest into a full programme and actively take part.

Here she explains why your value proposition is make or break for enterprise collaboration projects, the challenges they overcame, and how she ended up in knowledge management.

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Filed under: Collaboration Culture, Enterprise Collaboration Tech Fest Speakers

Enterprise Collaboration Community Snapshot 2017

Enterprise Collaboration Community Snapshot 2017We recently conducted research roundtable groups in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland which welcomed 80 professionals driving collaboration programmes within their organisations.

Discussions focused on the technology, people and processes that are transforming the way collaboration is done at work.

To get your free copy of this report, fill in the form at the bottom of this page.




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Filed under: Industry Research

How to Get People to Adopt Change With Confidence

ChangeWith only a small percentage of technology implementations being deemed successful, we’re often left scratching our heads about where it all went wrong.

Greg Taylor, Change Management specialist, and speaker at Enterprise Collaboration Innovation & Tech Fest, says it’s all about getting your users to embrace change.

He shares with us his five Ps to help your users adopt change with confidence and give your collaboration technology implementation the best chance to succeed.Continue reading

Filed under: User Adoption

Do You Make These Three Common Governance Mistakes?

MistakeMost organisations understand that a good governance policy is essential for any technology deployment. So they create a governance plan. Done. Unfortunately that’s not the way it works. Governance is a complicated beast and many-a-plan has failed to be implemented because of lack of communication, over complication or producing an epic document that no one reads.

During her presentation at Enterprise Collaboration Innovation & Tech Fest, Knowledge Management expert Susan Hanley outlined three common mistakes people make with governance plans and shares her advice on how you can avoid making them.Continue reading

Filed under: GovernanceTagged with: ,

7 Steps to Developing an Office 365 Roadmap for Your Organisation

Collaboration_technology_roadmapThe importance of planning for an Office 365 implementation cannot be stressed enough- the time spent planning your roadmap could save you three times the effort you would eventually end up spending and cleaning up during implementation.

Confused as to where to start?

Here are seven steps to creating a high level Office 365 or online services roadmap for your organisation.

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Filed under: StrategyTagged with: , ,

Are You Asking the Right Governance Questions?

Cloud_QuestionIt’s been said that there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers. While this is not always true (check out these stupid questions out if you doubt that), there are definitely better questions than others you can be asking.

Knowledge management expert Susan Hanley, believes the trick with good governance is not about asking good or bad questions, it’s about asking the right questions.

Here’s why…

to understand what your governance policy should contain really depends on first understanding what’s important for the business, that is, your business objectives. Once you understand what your business is trying to achieve, you can then work out what needs to be in place to achieve these goals.Continue reading

Filed under: GovernanceTagged with: ,

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