In the latest Socialtext webinar, Social Transformation: Accelerating Industry at the Pace of Social, we sat down with esteemed author and principal MIT research scientist, Andrew McAfee. We also had the pleasure of bringing in the President of Industrial Mold and Machine (IMM), Wendy Wloszek, accompanied by Head of IT, Larry Housel. This session addressed the impact of social collaboration and communications technologies on the modern industrial landscape, and an exciting illustration of its successes with an in-depth testimony from Industrial Mold.
As one of most influential IT innovators, and recent author of The Race Against The Machine, Andrew McAfee took the time to dive into how the regime change to Enterprise 2.0 alleviates a deep knowledge problem that has held companies back. According to McAfee, “Up until the 2.0 era, there was not a lot of headway on solving this problem.” Technologies in place were too structured, centered around documents rather than people. Enterprise 2.0 was designed to accommodate a simple yet effective alternative for business needs, enabling easy navigation and attractive usability for employees to get work done.
“Humans are deeply social creatures, and should use technology to build a digital glue among people. Changing the philosophies of the workplace, and views of a knowledge worker to be more social and mobile, is very powerful and shows significantly better business results. “
Companies now have the ability to work outside of the cubicle and, although physically distant, have a platform to be more connected than ever and share knowledge with everyone in a simple way. As McAfee states, this allows workers to “draw on the strengths of everyone,” as well as “convert tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge through dialogue and sharing original experience.”
IMM shared their story about how they leveraged Socialtext to address and improve core communication issues on the production floor, validating the viewpoint shared by Andrew McAfee and all of us at Socialtext; that social collaboration works!
The challenge at IMM was keeping IT simple for the workers, allowing apprentices to connect with their experienced leaders and facilitating teamwork with digital collaboration. This video shot by the team at IMM shows just how immersed in the production process social software has become.
Additionally, the platform provides the infrastructure for IMM to train the next generation of apprentices, which is nothing short of imperative in this line of work. According to President Wendy Wloszek:
Collaboration is how you turn an underperforming employee into a companies’ asset, creating a system where everyone can be a winner within. We always try to view the uninformed or unskilled as a challenge to create an environment where they can be successful. Converting the expertise of industry veterans into information that can be redistributed to others in need of it has been area that we have had success since implementing Socialtext.
Overall it’s a fascinating story of how enterprise 2.0 technologies can be used to move the needle for industry and workers outside of office buildings and on the shop floor. Watch the webinar and hear for yourself by registering here.