Collaborative Technologies Conference: Day 2

My reaction to yesterday and today is that my Amazon purchases are going to leap after this conference…there are about five books I’m going to buy based on people I’ve been exposed to here.

One thing that has been delightful about being here is how much thought leadership can influence, inform and guide ones thinking. It sure has for me. So much of what I’m involved in centers around materially changing human engagement in a virtual way: collaborating online, synchronous and asynchronous communication (online hubs for managing projects, having discussions, jointly working on tasks) and perspectives gained here are being added to many, many others. All of this input is giving me a depth, texture and nuanced feel for what online offerings must deliver in order to achieve success with an acceleratingly diverse set of users.

Linda Stone kicked today off with her talk on continuous partial attention. I always find it useful to hear this again…probably because I’ve always paid partial attention to her talk in the past.  😉

Stowe Boyd, John Beck (author, Got Game) and Jim Ware, Exec Producer Work Design Collaborative.

Sound bites from these guys (look at their presentations to view more). Jim was up first and mentioned:

  • Discussed the shifts in the US in demographics. By 2010, there will be 10 million jobs unfilled
  • The type of worker is shifting. The emergent workers (youth with new organizational and work attitudes) will be >70% of the work force by 2007
  • By 2006, 50% of US Federal government workers are eligible for retirement
  • Be prepared for major talent shortages
  • Learn to manage generational diversity
  • Become a next generation company.

Next up was the passionate, ebullient and engaging John Beck…

Beck talked about capturing the hearts and minds of the gamer generation (near-n-dear to my heart for lots of reasons…none the least of which is my 11 year old son who is at ID Tech Camp right now taking a week long, immersive “Video Game Creation” session:

  • By 2008, there will be 126 million Gamers in the US alone
  • The Gamers are a bigger slice of the US population than the Boomers
  • But it is not just a US phenomena…

Jim and his partner did a survey that started off with a question asking — of business leaders 50-ish — “Did you grow up playing video games”…which materially impacted ALL the other results from that one question (mostly attitudes from business).

  • Games command attention better than most other types of interfaces
  • Games valid way to experience and learn
  • Games change response to incentives and risk and absorb new concepts
  • Games provide an outlet for creativity and problem solving
  • Gamers are more global in their thinking
  • Gamers are right in the middle of decisionmaking
  • Are Gamers less connected to their companies? Gamers care more about their organizations than non-gamers
  • Are Gamers more sociable? They prefer working with others vs. working alone…and they find people more stimulating than being alone.
  • Do Gamers come across as self-important? Oh yeah….they consider themselves a deep expert in the work they do for their company. They also want to be paid for performance!
  • Gamers believe more in luck. “When I get what I want, it is usually because I am lucky.”
  • Gamers “get” the algorithim. What I took away from this was that “Gamers learn how to game the system”. Learn the rules, figure them out and determine how to win.

Linda joined Jim and John on the panel. Thought I’d start off with a question about the fact that collaborative software and technologies NOW needs to span an extraordinarily diverse span from extreme comfort with technology to, perhaps, extreme discomfort with it on the part of the aging babby boomers. How to span both?

By the way, many of the presentations are online here.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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