Sweettt.com – Episode 12 – Sources of Quality

After a long hiatus, the Sweettt.com discussions continue.  In this episode, Matt Simpson & Luis Suarez focus on:

  1. Flaming excuses for not posting our discussions for the past year (bonus – clean the inside of your computer screen!)
  2. The iPad experience, and what it takes to achieve quality (bonus – a cartoon!)
  3. Web Filtering – pros, cons, goods, and evils
  4. Employee happiness as a source of quality and productivity
  5. And then… Luis turns into a Robot.

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  1. Noooooooooooo!

    (But it is good to hear you guys again.)

    • LOL! Thanks, Doug. I thought you’d get a kick out of that. :-)

      I’ll be eventually catching up with the backlog and posting it. And we’ll get to the discussion that you, me, and Jen Okimoto had.

  2. […] point in time, if you were a regular listener of the podcast, you may be wondering what were the topics we discussed on our welcome back, right? Well, not going to reveal much of it for now, since you can start listening to (Or […]

  3. Hi guys,

    Just responding to your plea for comments in the podcast!

    Firstly, let me say that, having only recently discovered sweettt.com through one of Luis’ tweets and I’ve spent the last few days working my way through your back catalogue. I have to say that, despite the earlier discussions about the need to break up the longer podcasts into smaller episodes, I actually prefer the longer, uncut format. I like the way the conversation flows, and I don’t find the length to be a barrier to enjoyment at all!

    In this latest conversation you were discussing Web filtering in the workplace and differing approaches to this by organisations. I’d be interested to hear your opinions on company policies relating to social networking/use of social software in particular. Do you think there should be distinct guidance for the use of things such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook in the workplace, or should this just be covered as part of a general internet usage policy? I’ve heard whispers lately of a social networking policy being developed by our HR department, but nothing has materialised as yet. Personally I think that a move towards restricting or monitoring access to such sites could be counterproductive for reasons you have discussed, such as showing a lack of trust in the workforce, stifling creativity and removing access to professional support networks. [Luis, I see that you have since addressed this in more detail over at elsua.net – great post!]

    This leads me on to HR attitudes towards social networking. I’ve seen some headlines in HR publications hyping the “fact” that large amounts of man hours are “wasted” on social networking activity in the work place every year. But what do they class as “wasting time”? How is this being measured (is it being measured?), or is there just an assumption that all social interactions online are valueless to the organisation – surely an insane position to take! Is this just a branch of HR that seems to have its head stuck in a 20th century mindset, or is there a wider issue of focussing too much on the medium used for engagement, rather than the engagement itself and the subsequent outcomes? After all, thousands of emails fly backwards and forwards every day [I think I hear Luis sighing!] and no-one bats an eyelid!

    The other issue that you raised that I would like to comment on is the idea of pigeonholing people’s propensity to change working methods and use new technologies by their age or generation. I have also experienced what Matt identified – colleagues younger than I am (many in their twenties) who are resistant to change and reluctant to try new ways of working, and older colleagues who are more than happy to try new things and adapt working styles when new products or methods come to light. So, we evidently can’t pigeonhole by generation…

    Equally, we can’t necessarily relate behaviours to seniority of position within the organisation. Some more junior staff are (in my experience) less open to change than senior managers, so the myth about some senior managers not wanting to cut down the greasy pole they’ve just climbed doesn’t always fit either.

    So, is it a combination of age/seniority and immersion/indoctrination in existing organisational processes and culture that causes either inhibition or the embracing of the new, does genetic/learned caution play a part, and to what degree? It would certainly be an interesting study!

    Anyway, thanks once again for sharing your very enjoyable discussions by podcast – I’m looking forward to the next one.

    Oh, and Luis, I’m with you – trash Flash and let the iPad rule 😉
    .-= knihovnik2000´s last blog ..knihovnik2000: The Memoirs of Hector Berlioz http://ow.ly/1sNbl @jothelibrarian Poll: Best book you read for a college course. Go. (Answer & RT please) =-.

    • Hi there! Thanks much for the wonderful and extensive comments! They are fantastic additions to the conversations and I surely agree with plenty of the good points you have raised. Here are a couple of thoughts to add into the mix:

      – Web Filtering & Social Networking Guidelines: I think your proposal to have Internet guidelines be applicable to social networking may not be rather applicable, since we are talking about a couple of different things: consuming Web content vs. producing Web content; I think they would follow different types of guidelines. At IBM, for instance, we have been having the Social Computing Guidelines (http://www.ibm.com/blogs/zz/en/guidelines.html) since May 2005 and all along they have “set the rules & guidelines” of how IBMers would be making use of all social tools. They have done an exceedingly great job at it, because in all of those years I have yet to see the first, serious, issue of an IBMer violating them.

      I think they do work rather nice because, amongst several other things, the company trusts that its employees would be making good use of resources available to them, but also in a rather professional set of terms, which is basically what the guidelines do. Highlight that professional flavour of the employee workforce and let them do the rest.

      Having a Web Filtering initiative would certainly hinder such trust from employer to employees, but vice versa as well, and not sure companies would want to go that road; mainly, because, like I said in the podcasting episode, if you have got issues with trusting your employees to do the right thing, you have got a bigger, larger and much more serious problem with your HR department on hiring the right people in the first place, and I suppose not many folks are willing to go that way and fix it accordingly.

      I am sure we would have an opportunity to discuss this topic more in detail soon enough. For certain!

      With regards to your comments on the generations and their different ways of behaving and trying to avoid the pigeonholing, hang in there, I’m in the process of putting together a blog post on a recent talk I gave to a business of students of a local business school over here and my findings from such event were such an eye opener to demonstrate that younger generations, in general, do behave differently within the corporate than older generations, although there would always be exceptions, because otherwise we wouldn’t be here in the first place conversing on this topic, right? :-)

      Again, thanks ever so much for the great comments and look forward to the next episode!
      .-= Luis Suarez´s last blog ..Are You Ready for the 21st Century? – Rupture! =-.

  4. As I said on Twitter: good stuff, and keep up the good work. I enjoy listening to you. The discussion is long, but as you said: it can easily be paused and restarted whenever I want.
    Good idea to talk about filtering the web. To me is very easy: Trust your employees or fire them.
    The pc profile thing is interesting as well. We have them too. I understand why they’re their, relating to IT. But I would never want a strict pc profile. My pc is my productivity tool! I use it to get things done. So I have to be able to tweak it by installing new tools. If I’m not allowed to I’m dead.
    I blog about topics that you discuss. I’m willing to join a podcast. If you find topics on my blog interesting to discuss, just say so!
    .-= Samuel Driessen´s last blog ..Do You Have an Asking Problem? =-.

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