GSJam11 (and prototyping very quickly)

Today I am jamming at the local Global Service Jam event in Böblingen, and blogging on a freshly-cooked temporary prototype blog platform. If you’re curious check out the site superherofinance (on the road to a better world, sometimes rolling with The Superbus) – already with a mission statement page and an initial post on the prototyping process that’s currently on the roll …

Actually this sounds more like a business model innovation design post, huh? You’re right but the prototyping method is dear to my heart and pretty close to recent real life consulting engagements of mine …

Be different …

… that’s what they say one needs for succeeding in the new business environment:

Right, so for a change I was really quiet here (a bit more action on Twitter, buzz and bmid as usual). This will change in the coming days as I am now packing my bags for Lotusphere 11 (one always needs to leave some extra room in them bags for all the gadgets and books one buys in the U.S. – stuff like thisthis and yes, this one are on my list this year).

After my bags are done I will get down to some real Lotusphere information, thoughts and links.

Cloud is the new black

It seems like that, anyway I thought it cool to collect some videos and slideshares. Small wonder I begin with a video courtesy of Simon Wardley, held at OSCON ’09 (will add the video of his talk at E20SUMMIT once it’s ready) …

… and continue with slides from James Governor I earmarked this week because of this stance: “There are three kinds of economics you can’t compete with. Opensource, the web and simplicity.” Sounds about right, still my inner skeptic has something to chew on …

Looking back at the E20SUMMIT, part 3: Books and reports

Yes, right – one of my small observations at the E20SUMMIT deals with “printed paper” – and it’s importance for the advancement of Enterprise 2.0.

Gil Yehuda said at the SUMMIT that we need to choose the right words and a common vocabulary when communicating (with the C-level I think especially). It’s probably a matter of media channel too …

51j8gUn2YoL._SL500_AA240_One of the books that was discussed quite a lot was Andrew McAfee’s book “Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools for your Organization’s Toughest Challenges” (Disclosure: I am going to write a detailed review soon, after all I was given the book by Andrew’s agent at HBS Publishing knowing that I’m a blogger and would probably write about it – no further arrangements have been made and I am writing my honest opinions anyway). Apparently he signed and sold hundreds of them at last weeks Enterprise 2.0 conference, the stacks look impressive for sure (see the photo by Dion Hinchcliffe who managed to be among the first in line …)

41tyESTxbUL._SL160_AA115_Next up with various recommendations from various people was Morton Hansen’s book “Collaboration: How Leaders Avoid the Traps, Build Common Ground, and Reap Big Results” – funny how everybody thinks this might be interesting for me 😉

I should probably check it out as well, but I may have to wait until my trip to the U.S. for Lotussphere to lay my hands upon one.

978-3-446-41800-4_299812157-86Frank Schoenefeld’s book “Praxisleitfaden Enterprise 2.0. Wettbewerbsfähig durch neue Formen der Zusammenarbeit, Kundenbindung und Innovation. Basiswissen zum erfolgreichen Einsatz von Web 2.0-Technologien” is one german language entry into this field, at the SUMMIT he said that there may be an english translation coming up … (Disclosure again: I was given the book by Frank Schoenefeld, all other rules and remarks stay the same as above …)

Last one in the list of “newly published” paperworks is the 20Adoption Council‘s first report on how to “roll out e20 in a large enterprise”. Sounds interesting too, and I should ask Susan or Gil about it sometime soon …

The 2.0 Adoption Council is conducting ground-breaking research on its members. As each member is screened for eligible membership in the Council, our data set is among the best in the business for early adoption of 2.0 technologies and practices.

[…] Who should buy this report?

  • CEOs, CIOs, and CFOs now engaged in or planning an 2.0 strategy and execution
  • Companies competing or partnering with 2.0 platform and solution vendors
  • IT managers charged with providing 2.0 capabilities to their enterprise workforce
  • Vendors developing community management strategies for their customers
  • KM, HR, R&D managers interested in how to leverage 2.0 for the enterprise
  • Venture capitalists, analysts, investment bankers, and advisors in the 2.0 consulting arena [this sounds pretty much like me, huh?].

PS. another meme I thought a bit present at the SUMMIT was “social business design”. One personal reason for this was the presentation by Jeff Dachis at the E2Conf in San Francisco I listened into the week before, another one Lee Bryant’s presentation on new forms of leadership in decentralized organizations (where he employed Dachis Group visualizations of social business design archetypes) and last reason’s Dion’s observation in both masterclass and closing note that it’s about competitive advantages (and those are the focus and goal of business model innovation and design) primarily when we deal with Enterprise 2.0.

That said I thought it cool to link to some more books on my reading list, as much from the design thinking as from the business model innovation sphere. Beginning with Design Thinking: Integrating Innovation, Customer Experience, and Brand Value by Thomas Lockwood which was recommended to me at the SUMMIT, then it’s A Fine Line: How Design Strategies Are Shaping the Future of Business by Hartmut Esslinger and Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and inspires Innovation by Tim Brown of Ideo up on the slate.

41l9ZH-gCdL._SL500_AA240_And last but not least it’s The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the next competitive advantage by Roger Martin where it’s time to add another disclaimer: I am going to write a detailed review soon, after all I was given the book by Roger’s agent at HBS Publishing knowing that I’m a blogger and would probably write about it – no further arrangements have been made and I am writing my honest opinions anyway (be it at my other blog Business Model Innovation and Design or here).

Well, after I’ve finished my little series on E20SUMMIT learnings, part 4 coming soon.

The Impending Enterprise 2.0 Software Market Consolidation – what to watch out for

I believe that much of the functionality we see in Enterprise 2.0 software today will eventually be integrated into other enterprise applications. In fact, I would not be surprised to see that beginning to happen in 2010, as the effects of the recession continue to gnaw at the business climate, making it more difficult for many vendors of stand-alone E2.0 software tools and applications to survive, much less grow.

Smart questioning in this thought-provoking piece on the Enterprise 2.0 software market by Larry Hawes. My take has two perspectives:

One is technology-related – while I assume that the shake-out will take longer than he predicts, the eventual outcome will be indeed in favor of systems with open APIs, standard-adherent mode of interconnectivity etc. It’s a good time for open source players thus too, making the situation more complex than if we were to look at “vendors” alone. But why will it take longer? Reasons include everything from vendor lock-in, a tough time for budgeting for yet another switch of systems and a general fear of “having to go through all that integration hassle” again.

Second perspective is a bit more strategically, ie. factual market consolidation will be highly dependant of how the big players proceed. Big players like Oracle, SAP and Microsoft. Yes, I am speaking of elephants in the living-room. It will be interesting to see how they (and their acquisitions) will deal with the need for integration and interplay that are emerging as needs. I guess that the winners in that bigger race have to find a way to integrate various and diverse Enterprise 2.0 software application suites into their systems. This will also mean that they have to tweak their understanding of “integrated suite” as well. Thus, E2.0 may be the virus that changes the workings and DNA of its host (in a stealthy und unexpected way?) …

BarCamp München 2009 – Be the Wave with you

Hier mein etwas verspäteter Rückblick auf letztes Wochenende, ganz kurz: schön war es beim BarCamp München. Dem Orgateam darf man Komplimente machen – eine Veranstaltung dieser Größe auf die Beine zu stellen ist arbeitsintensiv, und nicht alles ist direkt sichtbar. Dank geht auch an die Sponsoren, die es uns allen ermöglicht haben zwei Tage ungezwungen voneinander zu lernen, miteinander zu arbeiten (und gemeinsam auch etwas zu feiern).


Und hier der lange Rückblick, auf BarCamp-Samstag und -Sonntag. Zuerst, es hat es sich (wieder einmal) bestätigt, dass der Sonntag der qualitativ bessere der beiden ist – ich vermute weil man sich dann schon etwas gefunden hat, aber auch weil die Teilnehmeranzahl etwas geringer ist. Die alte Diskussion über No-Shows soll hier gar nicht aufgewärmt werden, es langt vielleicht auch zu sagen dass die, die nicht dabei waren etwas verpasst haben (was ein BarCamp so besonders macht erklären dieses Mal Fiona und Sebastian sehr lesenswert). Unter anderem haben die No-Shows am Sonntag eine intensive Blog-Analyse von Oliver verpasst, einer der Gründe warum ich meine beiden Blogs einer sanften (hier im frogpond-Blog) bzw. einer radikalen Frischzellenkur (dort im BMID-blog) unterzogen habe. Diese Redesigns waren schon lange geplant, aber den Anstoß hat mir letztlich das BarCamp München gegeben (nein, nicht die SEO-Session mit Patrick).

Meine Highlights waren neben der Kaffeesession der Black Pirate Coffee Crew, den Webtrends 2010 mit Björn und den 7 Todsünden der Monetarisierung von Start-ups die Google Wave Diskussion u.a. mit Oliver und Siegfried (Heinz Wittenbrink hat hier live mitgeschrieben). Ohnehin war Wave der Star des Wochenendes, nicht alle Anwesenden hatten bereits einen Zugang und so wurden die “Besitzenden” von den Aspiranten immer wieder neidisch beäugt bzw. mussten indiskrete Blicke über die Schulter ertragen. Tobias, der zusammen mit mir fleißig in den Sessions wavete, hat es so ausgedrückt:

Last Saturday (searching for words) I’ve got the Force — or something else that feels like it. I don’t know if it’s the dark or the good side or the Force, but it’s there. Somebody opened a new public wave and people started to post related stuff: The session board, cited feedback from a session and that what makes Google Wave so powerful in my opinion — links to related Waves there were created for single sessions or topics.

Some Wave users sitting together in a sessions collect[ing] stuff in it, together, at the same time. Amazing, it’s sounds so easy but it needs a tool like weave to encourage users to collaborate and to share their ideas and meanings.

Auf meine eigene Session zu Erfolgsfaktoren der Enterprise 2.0 Beratung gehe ich gleich im nächsten Post ein, davor aber muss noch dringend gezeigt werden was passiert wenn Geeks mit Polstermöbeln spielen:

Collaboration is the recipe for market-dominating speed and scale

Some days ago I posted David Terrars keynote slides about community building in the Enterprise at the enterprise 2 open blog.

Being the community manager for the E2.0 SUMMIT I am perfectly fine when you click on through and continue there, all the while my posts are spliced into the regular frogpond feed too.

Whatever, I wanted to expand into something David mentioned in his talk – a video of Cisco’s John Chambers and see where it gets me. Interesting hooks make me follow trails (plus I have observed Cisco moves and Chamber’s video already before, see below for some pointers to past posts and there was this neat article about Cisco in Fast Company too) so the tagline “shifting from command and control management to collaboration and teamwork” made me investigate.

Let’s start with the Harvard Business School video of John Chambers David mentions (seen also at Oliver Marks):

[…] he envisions a Web 2.0 premised on collaboration and social networking that will similarly transfigure all business life. Since 2001, he’s been positioning Cisco to catch this massive market transition, and indeed, is “betting the company’s future on it.”

[…] Web 2.0 will also bring “effective collaboration,” by which Chambers means network-enabled visual tools, which will make “working together for a common goal truly possible.” Expect much faster business processes and revved up productivity, says Chambers.

Sounds much like an argument for “improving collaborative performance”, heh? Yes, but democratizing decision making by using Enterprise 2.0 technologies (eating dog food and walking the talk, you know …), pursuing a vision of a more innovative and competitive company, of future work styles – that’s the success story and archetypical vision that keeps me and others in the surrounding Enterprise 2.0 consulting space motivated.

See also this video from a presentation and Q&A he carried out at the MIT Sloan School of Management:

Based on Cisco’s own experience in the past several years, organizations will [need to] completely restructure around these new capabilities. Indeed, he offers up his company as a paradigm of this vision. Once a hierarchical, command and control-based organization, Cisco is now much flatter, a company running “off of social networking groups.” Councils with cross-functional responsibilities suggest and take on many more projects (from emerging markets, to video, and smart grid boards); from one to two major ventures per year, to this year’s 26 launches. The next generation company is “built around the visual.” Cisco employees do non-stop teleconferencing with collaborators around the world. The company hosts 2500 such virtual meetings per week. It also employs Webex, Wikis and blogging to move work along.

With this kind of communication and carefully managed process to match, “operations can be turned on a head,” says Chambers. It’s the recipe for market-dominating speed and scale. Chambers is “loading the pipeline” with projects that assume other companies will want what Cisco has and makes. “If we’re right, we’re developing a huge wave of revenue opportunity.” Perhaps this is one reason why he’s “an optimist on global productivity, global economy and our ability to handle the challenges.”

That’s the thing: Enterprise 2.0 can be a way for speed and scale, both depending on and promoting changed decision making processes (“Web 2.0 changing decision making processes within organizations“):

[…] Chambers emphasized that social networks are changing businesses making them less hierarchical and more network oriented.

[…] decision making can be accelerated (and be more distributed, democratized, deconstructed, diversified, …). In fact, the main change effect is not acceleration (but the change effects in brackets …)

Repeat with me: the main change effect is not accelerationbut we may be tempted to measure this first in our efforts to calculate ROIs.

Moreover, with the Cisco focus on video and teleconferencing I am not convinced, see what I blogged about another speech of Chambers in May 2007, noting that

[…] Intel [is] calling for businesses to increase knowledge worker productivity by implementing Web 2.0 social software but also by fostering mashups and virtual conferencing.

[…] I am reserved whether video is really the killer application among the collaboration tools. Requiring synchronous presence of distributed collaborators is both costly and unnecessary most of the time (think more meetings …) whereas tools for virtual distributed collaboration like wikis are a low-cost approach that can be tailored to the actual needs (think more flexibility and serendipidity …).

So my observation that Cisco might not be much of a role model (and that results may vary …), especially when naively imitating Ciscos approaches:

[…] social networking in the enterprise is not “easy”. One reason is that this is not a technology problem (with some kind of tech answer), but a people problem. Supplementing organizational hierarchies and “command and control” decision structures with free-form collaboration and teamwork approaches needs some serious thinking before “kicking-off these projects”, taking into account that this calls for broad implementation approaches, lead and energized by skillful managers, and more …

Anyway, I ended on a very positive note (that now, in 2009, may finally hit it big time):

[when] we employ freeform social software and enterprise 2.0 concepts we can ease implementation, like when we leverage bottom-up mechanisms that are already in place, and allow for the emergence of usage and networking patterns that reflect and support the actual informal networks that exist in the organization anyway.

Social software may enter the corporate world quite naturally in the end …

What do you think? Have we seen a sort of tipping point now that McKinsey has published yet another piece?