The Enterprise 2.0 conference is over and it was all worth it. I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere, the talks and above all meeting so many people whose work I value and follow. And Boston as a town is fun too, I am now sitting in the lovely Coop Bookstore at Harvard place, hooked up on the Wi-Fi to see how Denmark is doing against Cameroon and to blog and tweet. So what’s the score for Enterprise 2.0, now that another important event has passed?
Well, I think it’s still a field under construction, all systems normal – but it’s also promising and rapidly evolving. This industry is forward-looking and the value of the field is now validated (not by numbers or cases – 1.500 attendees are pretty impressive still, as are the numbers of exhibitors – but rather by the quality and matureness of the talks and discussions and by the case studies and experiences of those engaged in it). It’s now necessary to really show and tell companies how to leverage it (less complicated for tools, way more complex in terms of Enterprise 2.0 paradigms, principles and methods) to improve business performance, processes and overall company fitness. Now, more companies begin to make significant investments in Enterprise 2.0 platforms, following the early adopters. And they all know that they are in this for the long haul (and plan for a longer journey without shortcuts, avoid cargo cult imitation and thus may head for sustainable success).
Some of my other learnings include:
– I like this town, its systems of public transportation and the attitude of its people, though there are times when you wonder a bit. I don’t like that you have to pay the equivalent of 6€ for a regular beer, on the other hand this is probably a good thing too …
– a new acronym – HiPPOs – the Highest Paid Person in the Organization via Andrew McAfee’s keynote (on the four tensions of Enterprise 2.0). I like funny metaphors.
– live-waving and -documenting during a conference is demanding (I either need more collaborators on this or a time-machine, hint). Some more thoughts on this later.
– interesting that both sessions I probably enjoyed the most were kind of “sandwiching” the actual conference, ie. the Monday all-day workshop of the 2.0 Adoption Council and Thursday’s Enterprise 2.0 townhall meeting. This mustn’t worry the people in between like the keynote speakers – the format of discussing in a smaller group like on Monday is very hard to beat.
In the townhall meeting (acting as both “time to look back and review” and forum) we agreed that integration, processes, (organizational) culture and finally metrics and the corresponding approaches to (understand) the measuring of success must be topics to watch more, as they were spared a bit from this year.
Besides this, what was missing from the mix at #e2conf that can be dealt with next time? Legal and technocratic aspects of Enterprise 2.0 (or they were sailing out of my sight, hmm, I heard some small mentioning of compliance). Dealing with the technological underpinnings (good thing). And more interestingly: Tackling the complexities of organizational psychology and the changing nature of leadership in a social web world. Organizational development and its established and able set of methods and tools (this one really should be a natural fit as its paradigms and principles are very fitting to those of Enterprise 2.0 and it may inform and help us dealing with that big, hairy thing called culture).
So I am now planning for the next #e2conf planned for Santa Clara in November (the call for papers is open). I would love to be there again and am thus thinking of handing in a proposal (there’s an idea that emerged between the european crowd in a pause outside the Westin, it needs some flesh but it sounds interesting so far 😉
ps. Yes, visiting the refurbished frogpond has to wait till next time in Boston. Above the sad reality of my trip there on Friday, all empty and no ducks or frogs in sight. But construction work is necessary at times, and it helps in building a nicer environment for us all …