Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Finding virtue in simplicity when complexity becomes problematical, and vice versa 11

Posted in social networking and business by Timothy Platt on May 17, 2018

This is my 11th installment to a series on simplicity and complexity in business communications, and on carrying out and evaluating the results of business processes, tasks and projects (see Social Networking and Business 2), postings 257 and loosely following for Parts 1-10.)

I have been at least relatively systematically discussing Information Technology help desk systems in this series since Part 7, with a focus on identifying and tapping into the right types of expertise that would be needed to resolve rarer long-tail problems, and disruptively new and novel ones. And in the course of that narrative thread, and certainly in Part 9 and Part 10, I have focused on using more openly connecting interactive channels such as version 2.0 intranets in an organization, to facilitate finding and bringing together the right people with the right skills sets and experience, to both better understand and better resolve these nonstandard challenges.

Think of this line of discussion as paralleling an approach that I offer and discuss for better managing the proactively facing challenges of innovation and disruptive innovation in a business, where a largely similar approach can also be used in the often more reactive arena of problem identification and correction, and with a goal of offering both immediate here-and-now remediation and longer-term recurrence prevention capabilities. I cite this perhaps more ancillary detail here, because my overall goal in this narrative is to offer a more generally applicable single approach that would apply across a business organization as a whole, in making it more robustly effective and competitively agile. And with this noted, I return to the context that I have been exploring here, and help desk-based problem remediation.

I stated at the end of Part 10 that I would continue its discussion with a focus on developing resources that would:

• Facilitate greater business systems efficiencies, with lean and agile businesses and lean and agile supply chain and other value chain collaborations made possible from that.

And I added that after addressing that complex of issues, and with my discussion as offered in Part 10 in mind, I will also consider how the issues raised there would be shaped for their management and resolution by:

• Focused regulatory law and its implementation level frameworks, and other outside factors.

But before delving into that topics area, and with the first of these to-address bullet points in mind, I am going to at least briefly address what in most cases would have to qualify as the key enabler technology that would have to go into any large and complex business’ version 2.0 interactive, community-involving intranet, if it is to actually offer practical, usable value: a local use search engine. And for a major corporation certainly, but for larger businesses in general, this means developing and offering, or acquiring from a third party source such as Google, an easy to use search engine user interface, backed by an effective big data search, sort and filter capability.

I find myself thinking of a company such as IBM as I write that, with its roughly 380,000 employees, counting employees at wholly owned subsidiaries, as of late 2017. I have offered the possibility of businesses offering internally facing professional social networking tools through their intranets, counterpart to a publically facing internet site such as LinkedIn. Let’s assume a business that large in which only a third of all employees actually set up a professional profile in such a system, and with enough content to offer real value for anyone using it for networking purposes. That would still mean anyone seeking to search through it, facing over 125,000 possible candidates to start with, for any targeted search that they would make. And while IBM has a large headcount, it is not by any means the largest single business that I could cite here by way of example. (See this IBM background reference for more a more detailed discussion of this business and who works there.) And to highlight the geographic spread of a company such as IBM, as of September, 2017, that company has more employees in its operations in India than it does in the United States (see this September 28, 2017 news piece: IBM Now Has More Employees in India Than in the U.S.)

• Making a business and its systems lean and agile and efficient in its outwardly facing supply chain and other value chain collaborations, can only be possible if it is lean and agile and efficient in its internal and within-business operations and strategy.
• If it cannot function effectively internally and within its own systems, it is essentially inevitable that it will prove unable to benefit from possible efficiencies that might be offered to it through its larger business-to-business collaborative contexts.
• And it will find itself unable to sustain any such relationships because it will not be in a position to offer positive value to partner businesses in return for what it is offered, either.
• So addressing the first of the two to-address bullet points offered at the top of this posting, has to begin in-house. And that has to be information and communications driven. And that brings me precisely back to the issues and challenges that I have been addressing here in this series, and certainly since its Part 7.

My goal for the next installment to this series is to at least briefly discuss the issues of bringing a business’ own house into order through improved communications and information sharing, of the type under discussion here. And I will continue to pursue help desk systems as at least one possible source of working examples there. Then, I will turn outward to explicitly bring business-to-business collaborations into this narrative. And then I will delve into at least some of the issues of larger contexts that businesses in general have to be able to function in: regulatory law and its implementation included.

Meanwhile, you can find this and related material at Social Networking and Business and its Page 2 continuation. And also see my series: Communicating More Effectively as a Job and Career Skill Set, for its more generally applicable discussion of focused message best practices per se. I initially offered that with a specific case in point jobs and careers focus, but the approaches raised and discussed there are more generally applicable. You can find that series at Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development – 3, as its postings 342-358.

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