This blog is still “in statu nascendi”, stimulated by the Enterprise 2.0 Summit in Frankfurt. What a great event, absolutely energizing and inspiring! I’ll try to share my thoughts and conclusions here, bit by bit. Let’s start with some key learnings:
- Enterprise 2.0 is not limited to applying Social Software to the enterprise. It’s a new way of doing business and managing a company.
- If Social Software is introduced to a company, usage patterns evolve: First people try the new tools, then they gradually modify their communication and interaction, until (if you’re successful) they finally integrate the software into their business processes.
- Integration of existing business processes is a key success factor for early adoption. If you do not achieve this, people will perceive your Social Software as “extra work coming on top” and – even if they use it – you will end up with more silos.
- After having successfully established some existing business processes to your social software, you can start facilitating the emergence of totally new ways of doing business – lightweight processes with human intelligence thrown in. This can transform the way we work and create even more value.
- Cultural or organizational change is seen as essential. I agree, that’s what will happen if we are successful. However, I would still not talk to people about change. Most of them do not care for change, it scares them. BUT: they care for improvement, so that’s what we should talk about.
- Convincing is not the right strategy for an Enterprise 2.0 Manager. If you feel people need convincing, just move on.
- Cultural differences need to be considered – but they can also be used as an excuse. You need to look carefully.
- There is no easy way around language barriers. You need to find the right balance between corporate “lingua franca” and local languages for local content.
- You should not, under any circumstances, underestimate the need for education and guidance. However, this will probably happen in the early phase of Enterprise 2.0 adoption. Due to the exploratory nature of the game, you cannot prepare everything in advance. Just don’t despair and develop it as you go.
- When it comes to information protection, we tend to overestimate the risks of new channels and underestimate the risks of the existing ones. If you empower people by education, you will find that a culture of trust is safer than a culture of control.
- After successful adoption inside the enterprise, the inclusion of partners and customers are logical next steps towards a more mature Enterprise 2.0.
Kudos to all the brilliant people at the Summit who helped me learn. This summary in particular was inspired by Richard Collin, Samuel Driessen, Frank Schoenefeld, Bertrand Duperrin, Luis Suarez, Oscar Berg, and Lee Bryant.