Ideas@Work delivers digital strategies for workplace collaboration

Dec 05, 2012

A new workshop series geared for industry professionals enjoyed a successful launch at the Beedie School of Business, focusing on re-energizing organizations and employees with digital and social media vehicles.

Hosted by the Beedie School’s Executive Education, Ideas@Work delivers learning to managers and organizational leaders through research and collaboration.

The first event, playing to a sold-out audience, focused on engaging workforces with social media. Entitled “Creating an Innovative and Engaged Workplace – Twitter and Beyond”, the event was co-presented by two leaders in the social media space.

Beedie Assistant Professor Jan Kietzmann is an award-winning researcher whose article “Social Media? Get Serious!” was awarded the scholarly best paper prize for 2011 by Business Horizons. Dan Pontefract is a Senior Director of Learning and Collaboration at TELUS, as well as author of the forthcoming book “Flat Army: Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization”, which will be released on April 8, 2013.

Kietzmann outlined the building blocks of social media from the theoretical perspective of a honeycomb model – demonstrating how each social media achieves different goals. LinkedIn, for example, allows individuals and organizations to focus on identity, relationships and reputation, while a platform like YouTube is the optimal vehicle for sharing, conversations, groups and reputation.

Kietzmann also made the case for gamification within organizations to enhance organizational learning and collaboration. Gamification, he noted, fosters new dynamics around collaboration through competition and better understanding of individual behaviours and emotions.

Pontefract made the case for why leadership in organizations needs to move away from Draconian to collaborative and democratic.

A firm’s culture can result in either disengaged and siloed teams or an engaged and connneced company. To this end, he affirmed the meaning of “social” in social media simply doesn’t work in a culture of rigidity, isolation and command-control.

On the other hand a culture that values learning, leadership and collaboration among employees is perfectly suited to successfully integrating social media into a workforce’s culture.

Pontefract discussed a number of digital vehicles that firms can use to foster engagement among employees. These include wikis, video sharing spaces, company and employee blogs, and private social networking  sites like Webjam. He also pointed to the potential and opportunities for leading-edge technologies such as web-based virtual interactions.

Presentations by Pontefract and Kietzmann were followed by a collaborative section – featuring group and plenary discussions to share experiences from a wide range of industries — from health care and retail to gaming and consulting — and company sizes. The afternoon was followed by a networking reception.

Established in 1998, the Executive Education unit at SFU’s Beedie School of Business collaborates with organizations, associations and communities to implement strategic learning solutions that engage individuals and resonate with organizational learning requirements.

Learn more about Executive Education at Beedie and the Ideas@Work Series at: