Teemu Arina's Podcast

By Teemu Arina

About this podcast   English    United States

Teemu Arina specializes on understanding the role of social technologies in organizations. He speaks about the infinite possibilities of social media for organizational learning, leadership and knowledge work. This podcast is the text to speech version of the blog.
In this podcast

Teemu Arina

Machine generated. There may be errors. Report errors to us.
May 26, 2013
Quantified self is all about self quantification incorporating technology into data acquisition regarding inputs such as food, states such as mood, and performance such as mental and physical. These often combine wearable sensors, software interfaces and online communities. In a nutshell, it is self knowledge through numbers. Biohacking is to use systems thinking, science, biology, and self-experimentation to take control of and upgrade your body, your mind, and your life. It is the art and science of becoming superhuman (definition from David Asprey). You can find a presentation of mine on these topics on Slideshare. I’ve been organizing the Quantified Self & Biohacking meetups in Finland. We have around 200 enthusiastic and exceptional people from various areas of life participating in this community. If you are interested, head over to http://www.quantifiedself.fi and my new Finnish blog.
Nov. 12, 2011
I will discuss the idea I call Cloud Learning – universal access to learning by all through the fact that our learning environments, learning content, learning services an learning devices are becoming digitally distributed, context aware (as in physical location, physical environment and learners themselves) and will resemble more of a cloud than a cathedral. Cloud Learning takes a holistic approach in understanding how digitally distributed and transparent mobile technologies are shaping individual and organizational learning as a whole. Cloud Learning Devices Current trend on mobile and tablet computing points towards a future where the input and access devices we use are becoming paradoxically both context sensitive and location independent. Cloud learning on a mobile device matches distributed learning resources from human and non-human appliances to the context of use. We now know the location through GPS, owner through the services, environment through the sensors and network through the social connections. This enables the devices to be tailored to individual needs and content to be delivered in a contextual way. Applications such as Layar already show the potential of using the camera, accelerometer, location awareness and cloud-based content to augment human capabilities to a wholly new level. Learners will loose their backpacks as all the content they will ever need will be available on their mobiles and tablets on-demand in a similar way as any track of music can be readily available through Spotify without local storage. The future of a bookshelf is not going to be  a replica of the physical one: it will include the ability to bookmark, highlight annotate, share and filter any piece of content, article and page based on your social network graph. Learners will combine various applications on their mobile devices to form a personal cloud learning environment, consisting of interconnected software applications utilizing content and services available from the cloud for individual learning needs. This is something that is being now enabled through application and content stores. Cloud Learning Services There are good examples on how social technologies are enabling new modes of collaboration and learning. In general, social computing platforms often deploy a network of people connected on a planetary scale. Such networks are used to filter and display better and more focused information for learners based on their social connections, usage history and proclaimed interests. What is possible in open systems in terms of recommendation systems have major advantages over centralized and closed systems based on a limited content and user base. Crowdsourcing enables one to outsource certain key tasks through the internet to a large number of people in order to tap into the collective intelligence available. Services such as Quora provide means for asking questions and getting answers from skilled people all around the world, increasing the diversity of conversations. Cloud Learning Environments Talking about a learning environment as a separate entity points towards the distinction that learning could only happen in certain environments and not in others. It also points to an idea that one environment could be better designed for learning than another. The fact today is that learning environments surrounded by walls are a hindering factor to potential conversations, interactions and perspectives one could have. In other words the traditional model of a class room is outdated – it limits our access to other people, other content and other means of learning. Mobile is about to liberate us from the walls and single point of access to content and resources. The reason for centralized learning environments is obvious: during the age of analog media, one had to gather content (such as books) and resources (as in people) into a single physical location (a school) in order for learning to be efficient. Now in the age of digital media, the best content and the best people to teach, co-learn and share with are accessible on the network, making centralized models less efficient. Nobel laureate Ronald Coase wrote in his economic theory that high transaction costs lead to the foundation of centralized organizations. In the other hand, low transaction costs lead to a situation where economic activity happens increasingly in the open markets. We already see this happening in the media: the internet has lowered the transaction costs in distribution and production of news, therefore leading to a situation where the internet is replacing the printing press as a distribution channel and consumers have become the producers of news. If journalists want to be successful in the future, they need to focus on becoming curators of content, analysts and informants to their readers. Similarly school teachers are no longer the primary means to knowledge, but should act as a coaches or curators, rather than broadcasters. The internet is lowering the transaction costs of learning. This leads to a situation where learning happens more and more in the open markets, in a distributed and decentralized manner. It is obvious that the primary interface will be based on mobile, cloud-based devices. Some principles: Learning content: Content needs to be presented in various different forms and mediums from dynamic conversation-based streams to well thought out narratives and information visualization dashboards. Learning locations: Learning should take place in different locations during the day. Material under study would connect with the objects in the environment. Storage of learning content: a library larger than the library of Alexandria can already fit into a single device in your pocket. Content will be organized in an associative way through tagging and could potentially use the possibilities offered by the semantic web. Content that is based on physical objects will have location based information embedded within. Cloud computing will provide a distributed and efficient way to store and access this information. Organization of learning content: digital technologies free us from the limitations of physical organization. Metaphorically the same book could reside on multiple bookshelves at the same time. Social recommendation systems and new kind of search engines provide relevancy and accuracy for finding suitable content. From broadcast and consumption to collaboration and co-creation: the past was all about teachers acting as transmitters of content. In the future teachers and students are collaborators and students are considered part of the process of improving teaching. Teachers and facilitators will be available on-demand from anywhere in the world through the network. It is evident that digitally distributed learning environments through mobile devices will be more scalable, more effective, more comprehensive, more social and more immersive than traditional physical class rooms and centralized locations for schools. Cloud Assessment The question os assessment often arises in the context of learning taking place in non-formal, informal and distributed environments. How do we evaluate that learning has occured and how do we certify that learning? Traditional modes of assessment assumes that a set of questions should be answered in a specific way, demonstrating systemic understanding of the topic – the SAT scores are a good example of this. The questions are answered in isolation to the world to demonstrate memorization. Contemporary modes of assessment would assume that learning happens everywhere (in the cloud) and that the way how you demonstrate learning is to track how ones thinking has evolved over time through multiple channels. It also assumes that one does not learn or solve problems in isolation with the world but is effectively connected to the world to its maximum. There are effectively three levels of certification: 1st hand, 2nd hand and 3rd hand certification. 1st hand certification is what you say you know. In the old world you would describe your skills in a resume and leave it to the employer to evaluate if that holds true. In the new world you can make your work and learning processes visible as it happens, demonstrating progress and increasing the believability of your 1st hand descriptions. A simple blog (a log of thoughts) makes reflection visible  and demonstrates the evolution and iteration of thinking as it happens. 2nd hand certification is what others say about you. In the old world you would describe your references in a resume and leave it to the employer to call these references to evaluate if these people really value your work and learning. In the new world people accumulate links, likes and comments to the resources you produce on social networks. A Klout score on social media or a personal stock price based on social media activity on EmpireAvenue demonstrate your social capital through a simple metric. The question is, are you making an impact with your progress, enabling other people to build on top of your work through reflection and co-creation, or are you effectively invisible to others? 3rd hand certification is what an authority says about you. In the old world you would get a certificate on hand to add in your resume that you have demonstrated the ability to pass a specific rat test (a school). This doesn’t necessarily mean you have mastered all the topics involved, but it demonstrates that you have been capable of passing such tests under the supervision of an authority. In the new world a single test in isolation is not enough but your ability to solve problems in connection with others. A professor could go through your blog and certify that you have truly demonstrated learning, but this alone will not be sufficient. What it effectively means is that you have to demonstrate life-long learning, ability to switch jobs, be certified by multiple authorities and effectively becoming someone who evaluates the learning done by others. You have to master all three: 1st, 2nd and 3rd party certification to be a learner and worker of the future. The Mind as a Cloud Andy Clark and David J. Chalmers wrote about the idea of an “extended mind” in a paper on philosophy under the same title (1998). The starting point is that the mind, the body and the environment are interconnected and cannot be meaningfully separated. The tools and objects in our environment play a significant role in our cognitive processes. As the objects and information in the whole world (e.g. books) become coupled with our context through the mobiles, the external objects will effectively become part of our cognition. We move from just-in-case learning (memorization) to just-in-time learning (interaction), where the real-time web combined with a mobile link enables contextual information to be readily accessible. The whole world available in this manner through mobiles then becomes our 6th sense. Our mind is not separate from our environment and it no longer just uses external objects in our immediate physical environment. Through cloud-based mobile devices the global mind is effectively an extension of our minds – turning our minds from single brains to interconnected clouds. Universal Cloud Learning Assuming that we want to provide universal primary education to all, we first need to enable cloud learning for all. This requires that technology becomes embedded in our environment. In a similar way as pen and paper has partly enabled universal primary education in the old world, in the new world cloud-based mobile learning should be universally accessible. Consider what Mark Weiser, the former chief scientist at Xerox has said: “The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave  themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are  indistinguishable from it. “ We should stop looking at mobile technologies as technologies alone and start embedding them into our environment and eventually into our culture in order to make them indistinguishable from it. When that happens, the old world (including mobiles per se, folks) will disappear and a new world based on universal cloud learning will enable universal primary education to all: no single institutions, no single learning environments, no single devices or software, but a distributed learning environment – the world as it is.
Sept. 10, 2011
I’ve been working on a new startup, Meetin.gs for 9 months now. Meetin.gs is an internet service that makes it ridiculously easy to organize meetings – it is fast, integrated, and simple to use. Our main customers are busy business people, who do two things for a living: they go to meetings and they send [...] Click here to play
May 12, 2011
I have been working extensively with Sami Viitamäki on a new book we are writing: Cloud Company: Redesigning Strategy, Management, and Communications for the Digital Age (working title). We are glad to inform you that a free e-book outlining some of the key concepts regarding our upcoming book is now available for download. Get your free ebook from the Cloud Company website. The central argument of Cloud Company is that social technologies and distributed practices – utilized on the fields of strategy formation and leadership, work and management, as well as external communications and interactions – can make an organization infinitely more agile, intelligent, and responsive. Their usage thus enables an organization to anticipate, lead, and exploit changes in the environment, instead of being thrown at their mercy. Furthermore, the book sets out a practical framework for redesigning these essential functions of an organization to meet today’s needs.
Sept. 3, 2010
I wrote a new piece about Cloud Company, this time from the service design point of view: Internet dramatically lowers the coordination and transaction costs of cooperative action. As organizations decentralize elements of their infrastructure, service development, customer interaction, management, leadership and work related processes at the same time on the technological and cultural level, I would envision the emergence of a new form of organization: a kind of a Cloud Company. You can view the whole article at the Servicedesign.tv blog here. I’m currently writing a book in cooperation with Sami Viitamäki to explore these ideas more deeply.Our Cloud Company blog will open soon in the future, opening a window to what we are working on. More about this later. Until then, let me know if you know of any good case examples where both distributed and transparent culture & technology have merged as a new and interesting approach to to do business.
June 25, 2010
How social media and digital working environments are really changing management, collaboration and organizations? This is the question that is most interesting to me and I believe, very transformational in the long-term on how we relate to each other and how things get done. I was happy to work on this question for a Finnish telecom operator, Elisa together with their VP of Corporate Customers, Pasi Mäenpää. As we know, the traditional operator business of selling subscriptions and connectivity is commoditizing and many plans are going flat rate. The value has moved upwards to the actual applications of communication technologies in the enterprise. Understanding corporate customers and their true business requirements and opportunities is increasingly important. This leads us to ask the question, how is the business environment and practices of organizations truly changing? To grasp this question, together with my team we produced a video and a presentation on the future of organizations and management: On Youtube: Cloud Company – Change Happens (2010) The related slides “A New Era of Leadership – From Hierarchy to Network” are here. Cloud is the metaphor for the internet and Cloud Computing is the metaphor for a technological paradigm shift in the way how we utilize software and information. Google and Amazon particularly have been busy building the cloud. Practically it is an idea based on Technological Determinism, that technology would drive the development of society’s culture and social behavior. An opposite view would see culture as a dominating force in technological development. Neither is accurate, as technology and culture are rather intertwining. Media theorist Marshall McLuhan famously said that “We shape our tools. And then our tools shape us.” What the cloud is shaping is our forms of organization, intertwingled by technology and culture. The internet will dramatically lower the transaction costs of doing business. As companies decentralize various layers including infrastructure, R&D, marketing and sales, they eventually empower a new form of organization to emerge: the Cloud Company. Management = Communication x Coordination x Responsibility = Collaboration Management traditionally can be defined as effective communication, efficient coordination and someone taking responsibility of the actions. Manager communicates to subordinates, coordinates resources, supervises operations and takes (and gives) responsibility. This is mirroring the typical hierarchical thinking of organizations. What happens today in digitally distributed collaborative networks is that communication becomes the means between people, coordination is the distributed peer-production activities among the people and responsibility is something that people will have the ability to take because of transparency of activities and open information. Thus the idea is that in organizations today all effective communication, coordination and taking of responsibility needs to be digitally distributed in order to remain viable. There are two ideas on how effective organizations work. One that is based on complete centralization and the other based on complete decentralization. Most organizations are more or less different variations of the two. Centralizated Organizations A completely centralized organization is centrally planned and hierarchical in nature. The idea is that efficiency requires conscious coordination of resources and division of labor. Communication relationships and channels are pre-defined and planned – who reports to whom, what paper goes from here to there. This is the world dominated by bureaucracies, hierarchies, command & control and people as cogs in the machine. Lenin tried to run Soviet Union like a big factory, as a centrally planned economy (or command economy). It was the most Fordist and Taylorist system ever envisioned. Everything would be centrally coordinated. The problem of such big hierarchies is that internal coordination costs increase as the size of the organization increases. Over time it gets increasingly hard to predict the future and efficiently adapt to changing conditions. If internal coordination costs are higher than the value created and generated, the whole system collapses to its own absurdity. This economic calculation problem led to major problems in Soviet Union. Economic planners were not able to detect consumer preferences, shortages, and surpluses with sufficient accuracy. Resources were wasted and misallocated, eventually leading to the collapse of the whole house of cards. Just like Soviet Union, most companies today are miniature centrally planned economies facing the same problems of internal coordination problems as the size of the hierarchy increases. Decentralized Organizations The father of modern economics, Adam Smith wrote in 1776 a revolutionary book, The Wealth of Nations. During the time his work was concentrated on supporting the political agenda of Great Britain to dissipate mercantilism, the economic reality that dominated Western European economic policies at the time. Mercantilism was based on a protectionist ideology of controlling import and export of goods for the nation’s good. Adam Smith’s idea was that free market economy based on self-regulation would be more effective from the resource allocation point of view. Rational self-interest of individuals and companies in the short term would lead to common good in the long term. Competition and supply & demand in the context of rational self-interest would create economic balance. The question then becomes, when does economic activity take place on decentralized markets and when do centralized organizations form as a necessity? Lowering Transaction Costs In 1991 economist Ronald Coase received the Nobel’s price on his theory of transaction costs. For a reference, take a look at The Nature of The Firm (1937). . When transaction costs increase, centralized organizations form to take care of the necessary side activities to achieve the goal. As transaction costs drop, certain economic activities are increasingly done on the open markets. As an example, in the newspaper industry a photographer needs to take the pictures, journalist needs to write the story, an editor lays out the text, the printing press produces the publication and then someone takes care of the logistics of delivery. In the context of these activities there are other costs such as legal, marketing and administrative costs. All of these activities include high transaction costs that make it impossible to deliver such a product reliably without centralized coordination and organization. As we know, Internet has enabled new forms of organization such as the Wikipedia or Huffington Post to emerge in the publication industry. Internet has radically reduced transaction costs involved in producing resources like an encyclopedia or a newspaper. According to Harward Law School Professor Yochai Benkler, digitally distributed collaborative environments have enabled a new form of organization to emerge between the traditional nation state and the private company, based on the logic of commons-based peer-production. In the open markets, people and organizations improve the common resources, eventually gaining more than their individual contribution is worth. As companies thrive for higher value creation and move up in the economic food chain, it is impossible to do so today without lowering the transaction costs involved in producing these goods and services. Therefore all effective organizations today will utilize digitally distributed collaboration and management environments and practices, because of lowered transaction costs. The Emergence of the Cloud Company The next stage in running successful organizations is to understand that effective organizations today are operating closer to the logic of the open free markets. This means that companies thriving for higher value will decentralize many core layers that were traditionally centralized, including infrastructure, information storage and processing, collaboration, services, sales and customer service. This stage will be driven by cloud computing, crowdsourcing, digital mass-customization (such as the iTunes App Store where each person actually creates the end product through individual customization), commons-based peer-production and other emerging decentralized models for carrying out work in the digital business ecosystem: therefore the name Cloud Company. Here is how one company might look like, where certain organizational functions have been supported with internet-enabled decentralized models and technologies: A Cloud Company (or real Enterprise 2.0) will be much more effective than its more or less centralized competitors, because it’s capable of distributing certain organizational activities on the market, operate in a much more customer-oriented and centered way, changes dynamically the costs of running the business, is capable of lowering transaction and internal coordination costs and utilizes latest social media and collaboration environments for digitally distributed communication, coordination and wide taking of responsibility. My colleague Esko Kilpi writes: Today, with social media, we stand on the threshold of an economy where the fundamental processes of communication and coordination are being transformed.  Familiar economic entities are becoming increasingly irrelevant as the Internet, not the traditional organization, becomes the most efficient means to communicate, coordinate and exchange value. That’s the future of organizations in the digital age. Thanks to: Esko Kilpi, Pasi Mäenpää
April 28, 2010
The traditional sales funnel worked in a world where we had limited number of channels reaching a wide number of eyeballs. The advent of the internet has brought forward a myriad number of alternative channels. As a result if you ask someone on the street, a random TV advertisement today is remembered by far less number of people than what the same advertisement would have gathered in the 60s. Traditional Sales Funnel (ref: Forrester Research) Someone walking with a mobile phone in a shopping mall is no longer in the shopping mall, but impulsively dodging things that come by as the mind is somewhere else than in the physical realm. Someone scanning Twitter on a mobile phone while in a restaurant is no longer in the restaurant either, but lured into an endless flow of retweets. “What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.” – Social Scientist Herbert Simon (1971) Due to blogs, Twitter, Facebook, podcasts, information aggregators, news radars etc. our attention is now highly fragmented. Traditional mass media channels no longer have the same control as they used to have. Attention Economy is an economy where our attention has become scarce and fragmented, unfocused and disoriented, something Linda Stone calls Continuous Partial Attention (CPA): we only pay partially attention to what goes on around ourselves as we scan different channels for new opportunities, barely paying attention to things around us. It is no surprise that the AIDA model (Attention + Interest, Desire + Action) from the end of 19th century is no longer as relevant as it used to be. In 2007 Forrester Research suggested that engagement is the new metric. They said that the traditional sales funnel based on awareness is broken and no longer works in digital media. In place they suggested a labyrinth depicted below, showing contributors as one potential outcome: The New Funnel According to Forrester Research The complexity of this picture sure doesn’t look very welcoming to managers who want command and control, predictability and assurance for their marketing euros. What ever may be the case, the reality is that customers on the internet now have a wide variety of opportunities and low threshold to gain second hand opinion. The labyrinth can be understood in many ways. Here is mine: Non-linear Inverted Funnel (ref: Teemu Arina) Shifting from company perspective to customer perspective, things get highly non-linear and could go towards any path, not just the one the company depicted to be their sales funnel in the first place. From this perspective many sales funnels companies employ are delusional and grounded in false belief systems regarding the linearity of the purchase process and miss the beauty of the complexity involved in decision making.  Taking the point of view of the customer reveals insightful details about the process: Searching & Browsing: over 80% of browser sessions start with a search. Over 90% of people search online while considering a major investment like a digital camera, a trip or a car. Search is the primary means through which people start browsing the web. Recommendations & Persuasion: As soon as one fires a search, conversation appears. Forums full of second hand advice start to influence our decisions. Some people out there have a vast amount of knowledge and their opinions persuade our own opinions. Reinforcement & Sacrification: New information enforces our expectations but makes us also sacrifice initial assumptions, as new information emerges from the conversation. Usage & Value Creation: One decides to get involved with a solution or product. Usage reveals new requirements and reveals non-predetermined unexpected benefits. Value is created through the way how a solution is actually used, not what it appeared to be in the first place. Value Recognition & Self Expression: One starts to recognize the true, deep and hidden value the solution represents. You may as well call it wisdom in the context of using the product. Self expression leads to recommending and persuading the decisions of others: fancy details and complex reviews are being revealed to others on internet forums. A friend of mine, Anssi Mäkelä from Nokia did a little mystery shopper experiment. As an avid Nike fan, he was looking to buy a pair of running shoes from the internet and took a screenshot of each website he visited in the process. Out of the around 180 screenshots only two were from websites owned by Nike. He only went to their website to have a feel of the products, as is the case with high-definition digital advertising. The word engagement is so deep that it has even made itself to the values of Nokia. In their lobby I saw a banner reading “engaging consumers“. the same words insisted by a marketing person from Louis Vuitton in a conference talking about social media and how it relates to their brand. What this is to me is an oxymoron: active engagement and passive consumption do not go into the same sentence without a logical conflict. “56% of American consumers feel both a stronger connection with, and better served by, companies when they can interact with them in a social media environment.” – Center for Media Research (2008) The potential buyer no longer comes through the front door to be lured through various steps to become a customer. Because of Google, he is entering through any door he wants instead – even a window or a backdoor – armed with the opinions of his peers carried over from the conversations along the road. As he starts to use the product, he starts to speak to other customers about the true benefits and deficits of the product: even dodging manuals to hack the product to make it what one wants, as has happened at Ikeafans.com. From this perspective, the word consumer describing passive behavior is no longer valid. Alternatives have been suggested for the new era of participation, such as produsage and prosumerism. In any case what we are actually talking about is empowerment. The customer is not just engaged, but in an ideal situation is empowered to go beyond the product: rate, comment, converse, feed forward, troubleshoot and hack the product in the context of other empowered customers. Give a man a fish and he is engaged. Give a man a fishing rod and he is empowered. Smart companies know how to leverage co-creativity. Such is the case with MyStarbucksIdea.com, understanding the importance of customers as active participants in product and service development processes. The value thus is created in interaction and not embedded in the product and production processes alone. This is what Esko Kilpi talks about in his blog about interactive value creation. Sales funnel is a selfish concept utilized by companies who are mainly interested in themselves. Words like “capturing leads”, “lead acquisition”, “customer retention” and “engaging consumers” are concepts emerging from looking inside-out from oneself as a company, rather than outside-in. Smart companies switch off their corp-ego-centric world view and make customer-centricity a true value evident in their tactics in practice, not just an empty shell in their mission statement. To push the boundaries a little bit, attention and awareness are also selfish concepts. The true currency is not attention but the intention of your customers: intent to do something, not just attention to marketing messages. In an Intention Economy,  customers are empowered participants. “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com
April 27, 2010
5 years ago a small group including me and Teemu Leinonen formed the Finnish Association of Free, Libre and Open Source Software in Education (FLOSSE). Although we did some great things the effort didn’t last because the people involved were not that interested in running a traditional association. As in Robert Putnam’s book Bowling Alone: [...] Click here to play
April 19, 2010
Six Thinking Hats is a well known brainstorming method designed by Dr. Edward de Bono. Six Hats aims to help a group to think more effectively. The idea is to use different hats symbolically, in order to take different productive points of view to a conversation such as positive thinking, information & fact driven argumentation [...] Click here to play
April 18, 2010
I had to skip a flight to Lapland for giving a presentation due to the volcano eruption in Iceland – first force majeure for me. Due to curiosity, I’ve been keeping an eye on the phenomena from the social media point of view. It is obvious that once again social media is playing an important [...] Click here to play
Disclaimer: The podcast and artwork embedded on this page are from Teemu Arina, which is the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by Listen Notes, Inc.