Live blogging the Enterprise 2.0 Forum – part 2

Reporting the talk by Prof. Dr. Michael Koch, Universität der Bundeswehr München of the results of the SNS-Study (“Ergebnisse einer Best-Practice-Studie: Erfolgfaktoren bei Kooperationssystemen 2.0“) is hard. So I rather forward you to his blog, site and all. Anyway, for some instant information you can check out my writeup of the pre-conference interview (“Enterprise 2.0 implications and digital natives“).

Now it’s up to the most interesting part of the afternoon, see my (racy but tongue in cheek) tweet down below. But I guess this is really one thing conferences need to integrate to stay relevant (see the Sweettt podcast epsiode “Conversations as The Future of Conferences” for more on this):

Well, I’m in the track that’s collecting thoughts and ideas on management involvement in Enterprise 2.0 (well, how to convince your CxO). I am feeling a bit awkward as I don’t want to spoil the emerging ideas of the group with my views …

Well, anyway – some collected thoughts by the group, alas, these are only quick and brief notes:

Quick wins (or how to win management sponsorship quickly): We’fre not alone, there are cases, people in the know, consultants (hint …), it’s about time to act now and one of the best: arguing with usages for existing and pressing problems

Challenges (or what gets into the ways of our ambitions with Enterprise 2.0): fear in all flavours, seen (and dreaded) need to change management’s understanding and role – we don’t want to change and we fear democracy and transparency

Supporting lines (or the surefire ways to convince your CEO): Return on Investment (both in terms of more turnover and/or reduced costs), CxOs must act as role models, innovation and knowledge management benefits, competitive advantages, leveraging the distributed potentials of all our employees, …

The other groups tackled issues like e.g.

  • technology – no need to talk about this, all things Open-Source vs. Closed-Source et al.
  • implementation (well, rather early stages of getting Enterprise 2.0 out there)
  • motivation – or how to get employees to use these systems?
  • integration – how can be fit it into existing infrastructure (of any kind)
  • role of IT
  • role of moderation in Enterprise 2.0 (well, turned out that they dealt with nifty details of organizational culture in the context of E 2.0 at last, plus a collection of sensible roles and personas to have in E 2.0 projects)

Live blogging the Enterprise 2.0 forum – part 1

Some notes on the talks at the Enterprise 2.0 ForumKongressmedia put together a nice agenda and group of speakers. Check out some of the tagged and tracked tweets at Twemes. I and some others were microblogging too.

Suw Charman-Anderson started off the event, I can’t give a full report of her extensive talk, so just some tidbits. She offered sound advice (I am agreeing on all accounts, this is boring I know, but hey, I guess we’re just having “shared understanding”). And I really understand and value her effort to make things understandable, but not too easy at the same time.

  • provide the pilot group with gripping stories, let them become evangelists (“each user can become a trainer”, yes, we’ve reached a lot if we’re at this point )
  • on success factors for adoption: all in all it’s preferrable to focus on user-centric adoption (yes, evangelists, catalysts, whatever we call these pivotal people)
  • on the importance of leadership in E.0 projects (I guess that’s herding cats) – yes, leading by example is important (yes, I too talked in my workshop yesterday about the importance of having both method- and power-sponsorship)
  • Enterprise 2.0 change management needs to be in for the long haul, this is a long term engagement thing
  • nice metaphors too – “trojan (wiki) mouses” that sneak into corporations

Next up were Oliver Nitz and Rupert Petschina of Web Innovation Institute and Telekom Austria AG. They were presenting on the potentials of social software for making internal processes more effective. There was a nice metaphor and “storytelling hook” inside their presentation, i.e. the picture of a hen shed that reminded me too that I really need to blog about Lee Bryant’s “Free the Battery Humans” presentation at this year’s reboot and some thoughts I evolved since then.

Next up was JP Rangaswamy, again no full account of the talk, but some points. Suw did an extensive post (“Enterprise 2.0 Forum: JP Rangaswami“) on JP’s talk, extensive coverage and recommended. I guess typing on a whitey Mac goes a lot faster than on my dull PC box.

  • cost of repair and cost of damage as equation to look at while implementing wikis
  • nice story on Space Shuttle design limits that derive from long-ago decisions, i.e. designing the width of rail gauges
  • we’re in the middle of big shifts, like e.g. distributed ability and power to publish, Internet as a nice copy machine
  • my price for best quote goes to JP calling to “throw the policies away” (if they are restricting you to adapt to the changed contexts).” Yes, there’s no point in following out-dated modes, when we’re in disrupted mode
  • one central guiding principle for corporate wiki implementation: keep the cost of transmission and reproduction low

On organizational pathologies, JP showed a spy manual on how to interfere and disturb – and even when the audience was giggling we all know that these are timeless issues in corporations. What once was sabotage is now normal mode of work.

Then, it’s Alexander Warta from Bosch, talking about opportunities for corporate wikis and experiences at Bosch:

  • it’s not about nifty tools, rather it’s about a new paradigm (knowledge works needs to be self-driven and distributed)
  • What they did? Many things like e.g. supporting expert debriefings, international expert’s collaboration and much more
  • presented the results of an inter-company study on wiki use (done by the Bosch team).

Perceived Challenges? He’s systematizing it into seven fields of tension:

  • individual effort <-> social, collective benefit
  • awareness <-> privacy
  • current information <-> trustable, sound information
  • structure <-> freedom (and freeform emergence of structure)
  • usability <-> functionalities
  • participation <-> coherence
  • media boundaries <-> media integration (binding it all together)

BTW, I have asked Alexander to present these results and some of his experiences at the upcoming WikiWednesday Stuttgart. Come and join us if you’re close.

Next up, and last talk before lunch is by Matthias Büger of Deutsche Bank (I blogged about the pre-conference interview here: “Pre-Conference interview: dbWiki – building a Web 2.0 corporate knowledge base“) but he asked the audience not to tweet/blog/whatever his actual talk. OK, no problem. Now off to lunch and “networking d’enfer”

Web2Expo as rambling ecology

Yes, the Expo conferences are a buzzing, hot-spot of interesting ideas and people – some would call it mildly chaotic – but Judy Breck puts the Chaos (with a capital C) in perspective. As she introduces the New York City Web 2.0 Expo she writes

[…] the subject matter tracks of the show  […] are something of a jumble: landscape & strategy, design & user experience, development, media & marketing, finance, performance & scaling. The these tracks are all over the place. What is their umbrella theme?

then underlies it with a quote from Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organization, pp. 67-68:

Because social effects lag behind technological ones by decades, real revolutions don’t involve an orderly transition from point A to point B. Rather, they go through a long period of chaos and only then reach B. In that chaotic period, the old systems get broken long before the new ones become stable.

and concludes that this rumble jumble agenda is just perfectly normal:

[…] at the expo we can begin [to] experience the interrelationships of the many parts of the tracks into the ecology of our connected future.

Well, I guess so, still, some understanding and guidance is needed, and as that’s the most noble job of consultants I will try to shed a little light onto the program of the Web 2.0 Expo Berlin in one of my next posts (if it’s only for my own purposes and those readers who feel at home in this “ecology of our connected future”). Btw, in the past I wrote some posts on the greater topic of business ecosystems at my other blog. Brwose them if you like.

Web 2.0 Expo Europe 2008

Adoption patterns and best practices – now Twitter

Tonight I did a quite long comment on Björn’s post at the Enterprise2Open blog on “Microblogging as a Corporate Tool“). These are some thoughts, and essentially my take on the adoption issues with Twitter that are cross-linked and -influenced by the discussions at Centrestage, Communardo (and Cem Basman too).

Björn asked about the requirements we’re seeing (and need to meet) when we want to introduce these tools towards organizations and assumed that “we need Twitter to succeed for the masses before micro blogging can be implemented in a substantial way”. I don’t think so and explain below, but he’s got a very good point in demanding more best-practices and enterprise success stories. Anyway, here’s a quote of what I commented:

I am divided if “understanding” is what we need to drive corporate adoption. Twitter and co. are basically easy to get applications. The way I see it, people don’t use it because they don’t understand and don’t see the altered mode of communication – as it’s so counterintuitive to what we all have learned for long.

Yes, telling and educating corporations about Microblogs won’t hurt (and adding a list of possible usage arenas is a good start too, @Dirk) but I propose to focus on the personal benefits of “ambient initimacy” for knowledge workers and explore usage potentials in project or innovation management from there.

People don’t really care about project documentation and “after action” knowledge reviews (and innovators despise processes and organizational boundaries) – hence, we must provide them with light-weight tools that don’t add much additional work load and that bring instant benefits. This is where Twit’ter, Yammer and co. are coming into play: they are making it easier to feel connected, to communicate and they allow for easy “drill-down” (at least three times: in terms of intensity of debate, in terms of private or public conversation, in terms of engaging into a conversation when I feel so and dropping out from it again when fit).

Now, Laura Fitton prefers “microsharing” to “microblogging” (yes, the latter is pretty common and already a kind of industry standard) and I can see the reasons. It’s not so much blogging, messaging, documenting or whatever. Twitter and co. are also means for sharing time, for caring about your colleagues and professional network.

So, as microsharing alters the patterns and ways of communication within an enterprise, we may need 1) an organizational culture that understands the need and value of “caring for your colleagues (and what are they up to in this d*** project”) and 2) we must understand that people need to use it personally some times to understand its benefits for them and their work.

Btw, somehow this reminds me of the initial reactions of people towards wikis. And with that said, I’ve seen it quite often that when people begin to use their intranet wiki, ideas where this nifty tool (and method to collaborate, dare I say) might be used too emerge quickly. I guess that might happen with enterprise microsharing platforms as well, so it’s more about building a versatile and adaptive platform than getting the usage scenarios right from the very start.

Networking the Web 2.0 Expo Europe Berlin

Now that I’ve fully entered the Web 2.0 Expo Europe blogger programme I wrote about some cute things are starting to happen.

One of the implicit goals of the program is to deepen the connections and relationships between European Web 2.0 (and Enterprise 2.0) bloggers and other enthusiasts. So it’s neat (and somehow all too clear) that among the first guys I found on the internal mailing list there were already people I know, respect and read since long. I guess this is a good sign, and promises a really cool week.

But it’s of course not about mingling and chatting with the people you already know, this would be only half the fun of the Expo (and yes, the preceeding international BarCampBerlin 3). It’s also about exchanging ideas, point of views and experiences with people you didn’t know before. So I am definitely looking forward to meeting all the people I will discover via this program.

OK then, go ahead, registration for the Web 2.0 Expo Berlin is here, and you can use this promo discount code to get a 35% discount: webeu08gr17

Web 2.0 Expo Europe 2008

Disclosure: Participants of the Blogger Program get a complimentary pass, so I don’t need to pay for my ticket. But hey, I would have gone to the Expo anyway (in fact, I booked my flight sometime early in June) and I tend to blog about stuff like that regularly (like last year’s expo posts).

Pre-Conference interview: dbWiki – building a Web 2.0 corporate knowledge base

There’s another pre-conference interview (”Fallbeispiel: dbWiki – Umsetzung eines unternehmensinternen Lexikons mit Web 2.0 Technologie“) at the Enterprise 2.0 Forum site. Again it’s german language only, so here’s a short english language summary and brief analysis of the key points discussed.

This time Joachim Niemeier spoke with Dr. Matthias Büger, Vice President, Group Technology and Operations and Jamil Ouaj, GTO Communications of Deutsche Bank AG.

Topics of the conversation included:

  • the understanding of Enterprise 2.0 at Deutsche Bank, i.e. the focus of E 2.0 efforts – these include supporting collaboration between employees, and enhancing the social capital inside the company and in relation to partners and customers.
  • perceived benefits of Enterprise 2.0 – basically, leveraging and effectively using knowledge in social networks and communities. They pointed out that contributors can build up authority and expand their personal network in the bank, strengthening the employer (well, rather community of colleagues)-employee relationship. Well, I think that rationale is a little bit awkward. While I certainly can see the point I guess that for employees it’s important that their professional networks aren’t confined by the narrow limits of one organization (they’re no life-timers, are they?). And I am seeing more and more “natural optimizers of personal professional value” – these people value and master relationships no matter what company the other nodes are in, companies need to loosen up their borders anyway and they’re doing it in other places too (see bullet point #1 above)
  • Organizational barriers of Enterprise 2.0 (namely a lack of willingness, motivation and preparedness, like e.g. overly bureaucratic structures) and how to deal with them. Yes, it’s about fitting an ambitious concept into a context that’s not ready. Their basic advice is sound – fitting Enterprise 2.0 initiatives into the overall strategic setting. I found it more interesting that he called for a more rigorous project management than usual, but that’s probably due to the nature of the beast. Banks they put so much attention on risk management, governance and diligence that it seems hard to approach things differently. See, while I hold project management dear, I also like the light-weight aspects of Enterprise 2.0 and the swiftness it brings. Hence I would rather argue for the creativity and agility of “planned and controlled experimentation” than the security of coordination meetings, processes and all (“Abstimmungsrunden und Teilprozessen”).
  • finally, their wishes for the upcoming conference. This is something I fully join in: “let’s discuss this space, but leave the hype behind”

Entered the Web 2.0 Expo Europe blogging program

I’ve entered myself into te Web 2.0 Expo Europe blogging program and as I detailed the language of this blog to be english and german, sollte ich vielleicht besser auf deutsch weiterschreiben …

Worum geht es? Vom 21 bis 23. Oktober findet in Berlin die zweite Auflage der Web 2.0 Expo Europe (das zentrale Treffen der Web 2.0 und Enterprise 2.0 Experten, nicht nur aus Europa) statt. Richtig, das ist (wie letztes Jahr) in der Woche nach dem Barcamp Berlin 3. Die BarCamp-Anmeldung ist für internationale Gäste weiterhin offen, deutsche Interessenten müssen aber mittlerweile auf die Warteliste.

Nicole, Suw und Stephanie laden nun für O’Reilly und Techweb europäische Blogger dazu ein, wobei aber ein paar Spielregeln gelten:

The way the blogging programme will work is that we’ll ask participants to do these few things between now and 6th October:

  • publish at least 4 Web 2.0 Expo-related blog posts, podcast episodes or videocasts, e.g. announcement of the event, speaker information, speaker interviews, or any other event-related stuff
  • encourage readers, friends, and/or community to register for the event
  • display the Web 2.0 Expo logo on their blog, with a link to the registration page, until the day of the conference

Nun ja, die Punkte 2 und 3 hatte ich bereits frühzeitig und ohne besondere Anreize erledigt, und auch dieses Jahr werde ich sicher wieder von der Expo bloggen (hier sind meine Posts von der Expo 2007 bzw. vom BarCamp Berlin 2).

Andererseits ist es sehr verlockend, dass Expo Blogger auch einen 35% Discount an Leser, Kollegen, Freunde (ja, Kunden auch) weitergeben können und u.U. leichter Zugang zu interessanten Interview- und Gesprächspartner bekommen:

  • access to information about the event suitable for re-blogging, such as announcements and speaker information/interviews (when possible)

Dass man evtl. auch in die “offizielle Blogroll” aufgenommen wird, ist da nur noch ein kleiner Extra-Anreiz. Also, die Frage hier und in folgenden Posts ist: “how can we use the power of Web 2.0 (in the Enterprise)”

Web 2.0 Expo Europe 2008