“I don’t believe you.” Stunned silence followed this comment, made by the CIO in a conference room at Nokia’s headquarters in Espoo, Finland. “We are Nokia, the mobility company. Yet you tell me that connecting people is not something we can do internally, even though we tell millions of people every day that we can and do?”
P4. “An Unhappy CIO”

Work Goes Mobile: Nokia's Lessons from the Leading Edge
ISBN: 9780470027523

Reading this opening paragraph already suggested to me this was no run-of-the-mill book that merely theorises and presents motherhood statements of how an organisation can ‘mobilise’ its business.

Useful book for any organisation considering implementing a “mobile workplace”.

A case study — descriptions of methods, approach, struggles and insights — of Nokia’s experience in implementing a mobile work culture (years 2001 – 2005). Doesn’t paint an overly romantic picture of going mobile. Early on in the book the authors were quick to point out the difficulties and issues in implementing a mobile workplace. Even Nokia employees were initially skeptics about the idea of conducting business in a “mobile” way.

Their message is that “business mobility” will work (Nokia is proof), if certain aspects are addressed: social/ culture, technology, business processes, people management, security, facilities, IT architecture, applications and tools, information systems. (P19.)

What I like is how the book addresses the social/ human aspects of work and of dealing with change.

P xi. “the authors emphasize Nokia’s most successful approach to achieving this vision began by understanding user needs and by examining business processes.”

The content pages would give readers an overview of what else should be considered, other than technology alone. The specific examples of how things are done, drawn from Nokia’s actual implementation, provides credibility.

I think those who have experienced some form of “working mobile” would find some of the concepts and principles self-evident. But I think therein lies the fallacy. What is self-evident tends to be upon hindsight. This book would be a useful reference at the planning stages.

p15. How mobility changes business.
– the way we work (e.g. From spending hours at work to keeping business running efficiently; increased reliance on collaborative infrastructures)
– the way we value work (e.g. Shift from place of work to knowledge of the worker)
– the way we manage work (less direct supervision; greater need for work objectives to be articulated; increased emphasis on trust)

P19. “not just a matter of providing a handheld device”. Components of a mobilized business: info Systems, Ppl mgt, business processes, security, facilities, IT architecture, applications and tools.

P25. Why many Nokia employees were skeptical of the concept of mobility: “the underlying issue was change. Generally people resist change because of the perception that it requires extra effort, that it is difficult, or that they have to unlearned a familiar or comfortable way of doing things. This perception makes the greatest challenge associated with mobility.”

P35. Intro of mobility creates short-term instability, bec it reveals more inadequacies (systs, process, ppl)/ ripple effect. e.g. sales ppl asking for devices to receive customer info on the fly. then discovered customer info was not regularly kept up to date. More changes needed.

P145. Social aspects of mobility. “If you are serious about mobilizing your business, start looking now for ways to remotely create the social interaction that occurs naturally in a corporate office.”

P146. “going mobile does not reduce the need for social interaction”

“if businesses do not establish and maintain a balance between work and personal life, their workers will — possibly in ways that are not mutually beneficial.”

– taking into account cultural and regional differences.
– “privacy must be ensured before adoption increases”

Guard against too much isolation and independence. P148. “if some mobile workers seem to have forgotten this, they may need a gentle reminder to come to their corporate office occasionally to maintain that connection.”