Tuesday, April 20, 2010

DigitalNow Breakout Session Notes - 2

Here Comes the Immernet was a session that explored the idea of immersive virtual environments expanding beyond games and becoming the main style of internet interaction. (bye bye website) My favorite quote from this session was "We're drowning in information, grasping for knowledge and devoid of wisdom." Knowledge management is now an oxymoron.

Web 1.0 allows us to connect to the web. Web 2.0 allows us to connect through the web. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gmP4nk0EOE

The Immernet democratizes participation and allows us to connect within the web.

The web has caused fundamental changes in the way digital natives (DNs) function as compared to previous generations. DNs have different goals, different ways of learning and working, fit into teams better and compete less. DNs are most effective at using immernet tools.

Information = currency, interaction = transfer, insight = outcome, individuals = transport

Caution: What we do when we see a new technology is we use it to fit the forms we already know. e.g. the first websites were brochures, roads are the width of a 2-horse cart. This next generation of the Internet should take it outside of fitting the forms we already know.

As we become so comfortable with virtual social worlds that we can use them for business and learning we are getting closer to using the Internet not as fitting an existing form but in an entirely new and effective way.

Strategic Planning over the Internet was a session that outlined how one association used web-based tools to improve on its strategic planning process.
  1. Reach out to everyone - the association establised a permanent email address for strategy-related discussions. The actual planning committee is limited and meets remotely several times per year. In addition strategy issues are occasionally sent to the entire membership. Strategic planning is also handled at the association's annual meeting and final board meeting of each year. The strategic plan is periodically sent out to members and made continuously available online.
  2. Be concise and clear - the old style strategic plan is 20-plus pages of goals, objectives, vision, mission and gobbledygook that nobody reads after the document is completed. Instead limit the strategic plan to a single, 2-sided page. Include no more than 5 or 6 goals.
    Length of plan? 1 year to 500 days. It should follow some logical cycle. "Continuously updated" doesn't necessarily work because it typically doesn't, in fact, get continuously updated.
    BHAGs? If you list them, show your progress along the path of achieving them.
  3. Emphasize the outcomes not the process - Members get involved in making goals a reality not in simply making goals.
  4. Be transparent - publish the plan where members and the public can see it. If your plan contains tactical or competitive information you may want to limit access to those pieces, but the overall goals should be visible to everyone.
  5. Communicate the plan constantly to staff and volunteers - obtain buy-in from staff and use staff and committee member enthusiasm to inspire buy-in from members. Tailor messages to constituents.
  6. Prioritize- While always checking that the plan reflects current priorities, be sure that competing goal structures don't arise. Reduce skunk-works reports and projects by relating everything to the strategic plan.
    Implement a program review advisory group that evaluates every program against the strategic plan.
    Get members to talk about what they're getting and keep your finger on the memberships' pulse. Survey and hold focus groups both in-person and online. Also, because your board is not typical of your membership, videotape the focus groups and show segments to your board when explaining strategy.
    Answer: What are the outcomes this organization will create in the world?
  7. Don't let the process overwhelm the results - As Jim Collins said, "Vision without execution is hallucination." The purpose of strategy is to ensure that the entire organization is accomplishing things together. Also, the budget cycle and the planning cycle should synch.

My thoughts... The Immernet presentation seemed pretty-out there as far as practically implementing immersive technologies with our members. Gaming is not typical among our membership and they are still most accustomed to mass-media type communications. I don't think this is something I need to try to anticipate and budget for this year.

The strategic planning presentation was interesting. The association that presented was able to afford staff devoting significant time to strategic planning and web implementation of online strategy projects. I really like the idea of a published, 1-page, shorter-term strategic plan that attempts to involve the full membership in the process.

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