The FASTForward blog offers interesting perspectives on a variety of topics related to "Enterprise 2.0". This post caught my eye. My five tips would be:
- Define what Enterprise 2.0 means for you: I often feel like we're back in the nineties debating what Knowledge Management is or is not. To overstate the issue - it really doesn't matter what I think E2.0 is or what some other pundit, expert or analyst thinks it is -- or is not. What matters most is for an organization to take ownership of the term and define for itself what Enterprise 2.0 means based on its own structural dynamics, culture, institutions, market pressures, human capital needs and so on. There is no universal truth here (perhaps some common scaffolding but no complete right or wrong). By taking ownership of the term, it allows people within an organization to put Enterprise 2.0 into a context that they can understand and relate to it in terms of change management, transformation complexity, risks and opportunities and so forth.
- Prioritize the organizational over the technological: Much of what seems to be at the core of Enterprise 2.0 is people-related. The organizational issues are far more important to deal with than the tools. Throwing blogs, wikis at employees does not make them more engaged if you have just had a reduction in force, are reducing benefits, have a command-control management style, are outsourcing large parts of the company and/or have little in the way of development programs or career paths and such. Dealing with leadership, communication, governance and other aspects of community-building are essential components that compliment any need for new technologies.
- Anchor any effort around people, groups and networks: Again, to me at least, Enterprise 2.0 is not so much about process and information management. It's about tapping into the informal interactions and social connections that are pervasive within and across work activities (see Do People Matter?). We need to develop new analytical skills and competencies in this area as well. I've often talked about the skills and competencies IT groups will need to help facilitate the design of socially-oriented systems.
- Identify which business activities are the best candidates: To get started, we need to have some sense of purpose (what is it that we what to improve). There are certain business activities that are likely to be better candidates than others (perhaps its product R&D or competitive intelligence or an organizational development target). Depending how an organization defines Enterprise 2.0 for itself, gauges its own readiness and identifies where people-centric solutions might be best adopted, then they can define a balanced collection of projects. My hope is that these projects would not be called "Enterprise 2.0"-anything. As with KM, Enterprise 2.0 is more of a means to an end -- additive to the organization and not a holy grail in and of itself.
- Balance "edge" and "core" needs when it comes to technology: Finally, when we do get to specific technologies, we need avoid "Repeating History 2.0". There are some parts of our IT systems that are formal, structured and change at a slower rate than others. This foundational systems are at the "core". "Edge" systems are those that change rapidly, allow users to construct their own environments, may be discarded over time, and may not need the heaviness in terms of security and such as core systems (although some basics are likely to be imposed). The challenge is how we connect systems with different rates of change and how we transition applications and infrastructure across those change rates.
In any case, that's a brief contribution to the discussion. From the FASTForward Blog:
David Robertson has issued a challenge to other FASTForward blogger's to come up with five tips to accelerate the adoption of Enterprise 2.0. I’ll play. Here are my thoughts:
Social media will start at the grassroots level–marketing, communications, research–and gradually insinuate themselves into the fabric of large organizations as they prove their usefulness and top executives learn that they are valuable and can be controlled. Sure, there will be resistance from the top but it will fade over time. There is a whole new generation of executives coming up who grew up on the internet. Social media tools will be as familiar to them as spreadsheets are to today’s generation.