Social networks will turn business processes inside out

Work should be done in the medium where the information needed to do the work is present. But what does that mean for the users of products like Appian? It boils down to getting workflow folders of information and process state information relative to some routine, functional activity, like claims processing or engineering planning, into a social context, like an activity stream shared by claims processing folks or engineers.

Marissa Mayer talks about ‘no remote work’ edict

And doesn’t say much:

“There’s a theory I subscribe to: that people are more productive when they’re alone, but they’re more collaborative and innovative when they’re together.”

Successful organizations have very strong company cultures, said Mayer, so her goal after taking the helm of the stagnating company was “not to change the culture because [Yahoo!] has a tremendous culture already, but to amplify the culture,” she said.

And what are the basic tenets of that culture? Free lunch, so people don’t leave the office. No remote work, so people have to come to the office.  She doesn’t say much else, because the cultural foundation is work hard, the elite will decide all important issues, do what you’re told. Oh, and the nine figure rule: if an idea won’t generate $100 million in revenue or won’t add 100 million new users ‘then it’s probably not a big enough idea for us’. And everyone at Yahoo now shares their quarterly goals, but the subtext is you shouldn’t achieve them all: she expects a norm of around 70%, to indicate that people are aspiring to do immense things. And to accomplish 70% of them.

It all sounds like a bunch of platitudes, and not deep culture. And maybe that’s what she’s confronted with: the need to build some kind of a deep culture, and not enough time to do it. I can’t blame her for trying, I just wish she had gone for fast-and-loose instead of slow-and-tight.