Asana and Yammer: Working the Way Humans Should Work

Today’s note is for those most curious about the future of internal business communication. If your company hasn’t adopted new systems in the past couple years, you may have noticed that the “collaborative applications” you’re using aren’t really all that collaborative. Different systems don’t speak to one another well, if at all. Document routing doesn’t exactly flow and is often held hostage to whomever is either sitting on your request for approval or hasn’t seen it because it’s buried 200 messages down in their inbox.

It’s a business fact that many people are buried in email and don’t have strategies to avoid being part of internal corporate communication gridlock. Perhaps your company tries to lubricate the wheels of collaboration via the seemingly endless time-suck that is “the conference call.” How’s that working for you?

If you’re frustrated such things at work, has it struck you yet that the openness of social apps and sites exist in stark contrast with the rigidity of business communication software? Well, I’m here to tell you that all is not doom and gloom. There is a bright horizon! You may not feel it yet, but the seeds are already planted that will bust through the concrete of the old ways. Soon,  your company must take a more social approach to its internal communications because the best and brightest won’t want to come to work for companies that have internal communication structures that turn people into drones and fail to tap into the vast repository of knowledge and wisdom that each employee represents.

Here are a few:

Yammer – What You Need to Know

Yammer provides a more practical method to enterprise-wide communication versus the mass “boil the ocean” email approach that in the past have failed. Especially in large organizations where information silos exist.

Beyond Yammer, when your company gets serious about getting over its old-school control-freakishness, there’s this:

Asana: Dustin and Justin’s Quest for Flow – Businessweek

Asana is meant to supply that: a single place where people can see every project colleagues are working on, answer questions, and get instant updates about how the work is progressing. As people spend less time dealing with day-to-day functions, according to the Dustin and Justin theory of productivity, they have more time for things they care about. They get clearer minds too, says Rosenstein, which puts them closer to perfect focus. “It’s that state you get into when you’re working, when you’re doing something creative, where you lose track of time, you forget who you are,” he says. “You’re just in the zone working on that one thing.”

So, the future for actually breaking our corporate drone shells looks very bright.  However, it is going to require a little patience… and nudging by colleagues who are fearless of expanding the envelope on their own.
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