CxOs and Enterprise 2.0

Via 7 days and more, this article in Digit:

Company leaders are being urged to embrace blogs and other “Web 2.0” technologies to improve their businesses, but some executives say it’s easier said than done.
“This is the next major shift in technology. It will last 15 years —
but it’s the next five years that will decide which enterprises will thrive and take advantage of the new tools”

The concerns CEOs voice are for real, yet they should not stop thinking, experimenting and probing this space, even when there’s strict compliance and governance regulations and a need for tight security:

“If you think first about regulations, you’ll never do anything,”

IBMs Innovation Factory

Via Golem:

IBM startet unter dem Namen “Innovation Factory” eine Web-2.0-Lösung, die neue Ideen, Produkte und Dienstleistungen hervorbringen soll. Unternehmen sollen hier neue Ideen ersinnen und neue Produkte sowie Dienste testen, um damit schneller auf den Markt zu kommen.
[…] Dabei sollen Mitarbeiter ebenso einbezogen werden können wie Partner, Software-Entwickler und Mitglieder von Online-Communitys.

[…] Dabei bringt IBMs Lösung Techniken wie Blogs, Wikis, Social Tagging und Umfragen zusammen. So sollen sich Ideen schnell testen, eine Dokumentation aufsetzen und Support bei ersten Tests abwickeln sowie Feedback aufnehmen lassen.

Interessant, IBM ist ein Vorreiter beim Einsatz von Web 2.0-Konzepten (nicht nur im Innovationsmanagement, wenn ich mehr erfahre werde ich berichten …

Intranet Innovation Awards

Patrick Lambe of Straits Knowledge points to the Intranet Innovation Awards, that are searching for new ideas and approaches to the design and delivery of intranets.

I think he’s right to ask for innovation in the right places – tweaking and optimizing overcome work processes won’t help. And yes, corporate intranets are more important than most CxOs realize:

Intranets are – where they work well – environments that service a variety of working practices and activities, attract participation, and foster coordination and collaboration across the enterprise.
Since work focus, work patterns, coordination needs and organisation structure change on an increasingly frequent basis, big, highly integrated homogeneous environments are just not adaptive or nimble enough. Intranets are increasingly becoming more flexible, evolving environments, becoming much more like an interdependent ecology of open applications talking to each other – whether they be workflow applications, calendaring, web content publishing, document management, blogs, wikis, media libraries, podcasting, staff directories, you name it. Some areas of the intranet will be quite stable and structured, some will be much more experimental, some will provide current awareness and content marketing on a daily basis.

Still, I wonder why effective collaboration with partners outside the corporation (and thus outside the “intranet”) is seemingly no issue. This does not feel right, when we know that distributed work processes (in virtual networks, business ecosystems, extended value nets etc.) become yet more important. For me, “tuning” and supplementing internal oriented intranets with more outward-oriented (corporate) social software like wikis is a smart move, that should be pondered in intranet innovation projects …

Wiki Workplace

Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams in BusinessWeeks wikinomics series on the “Wiki Workplace”, i.e. online collaboration and decentralized knowledge collection, refinement and distribution. Besides, the article notes some examples of good corporate use, e.g. by companies like Xerox, IBM (see here for more on Innovation Jams) and (again) Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein.

Thanks in part to younger workers, more companies are using social computing tools to aid collaboration and to foster innovation and growth.
The information and communication technologies that are transforming media, culture, and the economy are also reshaping how companies and employees function. New social computing tools such as wikis and blogs put unprecedented communication power in the hands of employees.

I would hold that this is no question of age, but of disposition, i.e. willingness to participate, to share and to commit ourselves, it’s a people issue from the start, it’s a big task, yet the goal is worthwhile:

Clear goals, structure, discipline, and leadership in the organization will remain as important as ever and perhaps more so as self-organization and peer production emerge as organizing principles for the workplace. The difference today is that these qualities can emerge organically as employees seize the new tools to collaborate across departmental and organizational boundaries, and, yes, “the power of human capital” can be unleashed.

Web 2.0 and business model innovation crossposts

Again, it’s time to note some posts in my business model innovation and design (BMID) blog that are frogpond-relevant, i.e. Web 2.0 or innovation related:

Amazons services and business model innovations

Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software

Crowdsourcing Innovation Principles

Tuning Innovation DNA

Business Insight @ Sloan Management Review

IBM ShortCuts Podcast: What is Web 2.0

“Science sharing” and tuning R&D

Social Networking’s Next Phase

The innovation fad is over (not yet …)

and some posts on the CNBC Business of Innovation special (here, here and here)

Podcast on Motorolas wiki use

Dan Bricklin writeups a podcast (mp3) with Toby Redshaw of Motorola on their continued wiki use. Sound quality is not that good, it’s a telephone call recording after all, but it’s OK for me.

We learn about Motorola’s internal usage of wikis and blogs, the ways of implementation, actual usage in the organization, the role and usefulness of wiki gardeners and yet more on success factors :

They prune old and unused content, sometimes having a blog that lasts just a very short time. They work hard to keep it all fresh and up to date. They have knowledge champions in various areas who help do this. He feels these “domain owners” are an important part of facilitating the “quality” of the information and its organization. This is internally oriented, which has everybody with the same mission of advancing the company’s goals and under the same governance to keep out bad behavior, etc. This is not Wikipedia on the public web.

I also like this take on the further ways of Enterprise 2.0 concepts as they make inroads into all corporate environments (given that Motorola has probably a high geek-factor in its workforce anyway):

Toby sees an evolution towards “enterprise mashups” with business process management, enterprise information management systems, structured data management systems, data warehouses, and wikis. Process management data that shows a choke point or other problem in a process can link back automatically to a search of wiki data to find prior material relating to that situation and even identify individuals to be called in. They are trying to use both structured and unstructured information.

And there’s more interesting stuff, worthy 45 minutes.

Web 2.0 Works Better in the Enterprise …

… so why do we feel that there’s a shortage of innovative start-ups (or innovative incumbents for a change), Dan Farber’s got it right, this is no easy sell:

Anything social networking or bookmarking or tagging is not an easy sell in the enterprise, but these two companies are at least attempting to build some awareness and businesses based on the benefits of Web 2.0 applied to large company productivity.

In the meantime Ann All says it ain’t so, partly because some enterprising enterprise (no pun intended) software companies are starting off, e.g. by leveraging new ways of deployment:

Vendors are expanding their definition of innovation beyond new product features to encompass new and Web-enabled methods of development and delivery. They are also turning to their customers more than ever before, as a source of innovative ideas.

These are some interesting business model innovations, and they aren’t fully exploited yet. So if you’re interested in exploring this innovation space, you may be also interested in my BMID blog.