So for the past year I've been pretty deep into content management and collaboration strategy, and over the past month or so I've really locked in on an idea that I'm energized about. I'm into my 15th year of consulting, and by now I've been in over 75 companies and have seen a lot of the same problems over and over. These days, far more than in the good old dot com days, problems are generally not technology problems. More and more they are people problems, or more specifically, challenges in which you need to build comprehensive plans to build and launch content management and collaboration solutions. All of the Forrester and Harvard Business Review articles are really starting to come true at this point, that the boundaries of company walls are breaking down and the focus is on projects and teams. We are managing ourselves as brands, and things like companies and geographies matter less and less.
For me the interesting part in all this is defining strategies that will work, and for a strategy to work it has to be focused more on people than on technology when it comes to content management and collaboration. The key elements are as follows:
- Game Theory
- Organizational Change Management
Only when you integrate these elements into your strategy will you have a chance at success. Really it comes down to a few simple questions around new or expanded solutions, all of which take some form of "why should I bother using XYZ?" Fail to sell on that point and you won't have much hope of implementing change and innovation, because you'll have no adoption.
The diagram below is a quick summary of where I'm headed over the next year:
All of this may seem obvious, but I can tell you it is an area of solution development that is sorely lacking when it comes to a lot of consulting work these days. It takes a lot of effort, and a different sort of effort, to think about motivation and behavior, the reasons why people use one solution and not another.
And so begins my new personal development plan going into 2012, to expand core consulting methodologies for content and collaboration solutions and start to build strategies that really work, not just idealistic recommendations in a pretty PowerPoint deck.