Oliver Marks and Andrew McAfee at the Enterprise 2.0 conference

During the last two days I have spent the better part of my nights listening in to and participating in the discussion at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in San Francisco. This wasn’t only Twitter, quite some documenting took place in Google Wave too (that’s global collaboration, me and Dan editing the same blip while being literally thousands of miles away from each other, for #nirvana we only need to sort out the time zone problems). Some notes and thoughts are still forming and may end up in a frogpond- or enterprise2open-blog post soon …

Until then this video is a good thing to watch, Oliver Marks (who happens also to be one of the headliners at next week’s E20SUMMIT) talking with Andrew McAfee (new book here: Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools for Your Organization’s Toughest Challenges) about the conference, it’s target audience and about the current state of the discussion around Enterprise 2.0.

We discuss the strengths of the event – the evangelists and middle ranking employee success stories – but also note the need for impressing on senior ‘C’ suite decision makers in organizations the business value of these modern ideas and associated technologies.

There are at least two interesting things to notice in there, one: the discussion is evolving quickly and the experts have since long stopped to mull over questions of definition, why even of questioning RoI. The real topics are now the necessary steps we all should take to get the C-Suite from “being interested” to becoming active sponsors – and how to explain the tangible benefits of collaborative performance. Systems are ready and able, experienced consultants ditto and may work for the satisfaction of being the change you want to see money. Gentlemen, please let your projects start.

The other thing is the obervation I absolutely second that middle-level people aren’t the roadblock, in fact they are the necessary ingredient of Enterprise 2.0 success and make out most of the participants both at the Enterprise 2.0 conference and the upcoming E20SUMMIT. This isn’t by chance or “because they were told to go” but because they feel the need and the willingness to change with and by Enterprise 2.0.

Futureprise 2.0 – Erfolgsfaktoren der Beratung

Futureprise? Ein schöner Neologismus wie ich finde, entstanden als jemand den Sessionplan vom BarCamp-München Samstag vom handschriftlich editierten Open Grid abgetippt hat und so u.a. aus einem großen E ein F wurde … Aber man kann dann durchaus auf die Zusammenhänge zwischen Futureprise 2.0 und Enterprise 2.0 eingehen – da ist aus meiner Sicht Potenzial enthalten?

In jedem Fall waren die Trends und Aussichten von Enterprise 2.0 Thema meiner Session beim BarCamp München, mit speziellem Fokus auf die Beratung in diesem Kontext. Im Grunde entstand so eine Gesprächsrunde in der wir uns locker und informell über die Erfolsgfaktoren der Beratung zum Enterprise 2.0 ausgetauscht haben. Neben Björn und mir haben u.a. Sebastian, Ludwig und Karsten mitdiskutiert. Interessant, wir haben zwar nicht direkt Dions Ideen zum Pragmatic Enterprise 2.0 service offering diskutiert (“proactive risk monitoring and governance”) aber letztlich war doch das Fazit dass es eines pragmatischeren Beratungsansatzes bedarf. Björn hat Dion dazu interviewt, auf dem enterprise2open Blog stellt er uns die Frage ob das das fehlende Puzzlestück sein kann, um Enterprise 2.0-Projekte erfolgreich zu machen?

Im Gespräch mit Susan Scrupski haben wir das bereits am KnowledgeCamp in Karlsruhe diskutiert – speziell die Fragestellung wie man “organizational traction” schaffen kann, u.a. anhand der Frage wie man als Berater die richtigen Promotoren im Unternehmen finden kann, Promotoren die sowohl top-down Unterstützung geben können als auch mit den bottom-up Entwicklungen zurechtkommen.

Ich persönlich bin noch ein bisschen skeptisch was Dions Fokussierung angeht – andererseits vertraue ich ihm fachlich unbedingt, und auch die Mannschaft mit Michael Krigsman und Ross Mayfield passt. Aber wenn ich vorsichtig (und etwas pessimistisch) argumentiere könnte es ja auch sein dass die Frage nach “governance und risk management” nur eine nette Art ist “Nein” zu sagen. Aber wie gesagt, ich bin nur ein bisschen skeptisch, wenn diese Aspekte Schwierigkeiten bereiten tun wir gut daran sie anzugehen. Und wenn das Top-Management diese Aspekte behandelt haben möchte bevor es ein Commitment gibt, kein Problem.

Letztlich steckt dahinter auch bei Dion ein umfassendes Stakeholder- und Kontext-Management, welches davon ausgeht dass spezielle Einflußgruppen spezielle Argumente und Informationen benötigen. Ohnehin kommt es ja weniger darauf an wie man etwas benennt, sondern darauf was man macht (viele Enterprise 2.0 Projekte laufen in Deutschland denn auch unter anderem Namen).

logo_summitDem Thema Enterprise 2.0 tut etwas Realismus gut, insofern freue ich mich auch darauf dass wir in drei Wochen mit dem E20SUMMIT eine Gelegenheit bekommen, das Thema (mit Dion) innerhalb der E20-Beraterszene aber auch mit Praktikern (und interessierten “Noch-nicht-Anwendern” zu führen).

P.S. Wer von meinen Lesern an dieser Veranstaltung teilnehmen möchte, aber vom Preis abgeschreckt ist, kann sich bis Mitte nächster Woche noch bei mir melden um einen Ermäßigungscode zu bekommen.

Don’t go in with the answers

via socialedge.org

“Don’t go in with the answers. Answers need to be built with the people, even if they are not the answers you expected, and even if it’s not the best one”

Sometimes people are astonished when I describe my consulting approaches and methods – they are used to know-it-all types with predefined ideal “solutions” – moreover, questions aren’t the thing one expects when calling upon consultants.

Yet they are a cornerstone of successful implementations – even when they are not “the ideal one”.

Thanks to Stephan for poniting me to the video via “How to reach sustainable outcomes“.

Update: Jeffrey Phillips is asking the right questions too, recommended post.

Enterprise 2.0 – Join the bandwagon (and the rollercoaster …)

These are the slides I used yesterday at a workshop talk at T-Systems SI in Stuttgart. I got invited to talk about the potentials of Web 2.0 for corporate uses, Enterprise 2.0 and implementation. Turned out to be a great event with +30 people listening and discussing vividly – thanks.

Well, when I initially met with T-System SI’s Franz Binder and Marcus Dreher for arranging the get-together I promised (or threatened them …) a helter-skelter ride through the field. Now, after some fiddling it turned out to be both an invitation to join the bandwagon (and T-Systems they are, I wish the team all the best with QBase) and a half-joking warning about ill-fated past knowledge management efforts and some related implementation tasks (and pitfalls) to understand if one wants to enjoy the ride.

Slides can be downloaded at slideshare, or embedded like here:

Extended social media strategies (or is it “social business design”?)

I am currently preparing two in-house social media workshops (both will be borrowing heavily from the Enterprise 2.0 playbook as well). While one will lean a bit onto social media monitoring, the other one will focus on using social media instruments for internal knowledge dissemination in yet to be formed professional social networks.

Now, I am trying to pursue an open ended and flexible approach to both talks and was thus looking around for some nifty visualizations to provide some additional structuring without being too restrictive (yes, I was shortly pondering the use of wordles too) . Honestly, there are a lot of nice looking social media whatever visualizations – including David Armano’s take on social business design which I bookmarked then and which served me as kind of starting point:


Basically it’s a visualization that guides us onto good questions, and a lot of room for improvisation in an adaptive workshop setting too: What would businesses be like if they were truly social?:

Imagine if a company like GM, was at the core “social”. Not just participating in “social media”—but through every part of their business ecosystem, were connected—plugged into a collective consciousness made up of ALL their constituents, from employees to consumers to dealers, to assembly line work[er]s etc. What if big organizations worked the way individuals now do. We’re actively using cloud services, mobile, networks and applications that offer real time dynamic signals vs. inefficient and static e-mail exchanges. In short, imagine if what makes “Web.2.0″ revolutionary was applied to every facet of an organization transforming how we work, collaborate and communicate? We think this is possible. And we’re calling it “social business design“.

I really like that approach, for one it’s probably one small step closer to some kind of nice and “easy as it gets to explain” consultancy “products” (probably neede for the Enterprise 2.0 field to flourish, see comments #2 and#4 at the link, alas german language), second it’s incorporating a good part of the fuzzy social stuff we all know is important into the concept, while not talking tools:

[there are four] archetypes of Social Business Design:

Ecosystem – a community of connections
Hivemind – the socially calibrated mindset of individuals
Dynamic Signal – the constant multi-faceted means of collaboration
Metafilter– a method of finding signals in vast amounts of noise

Think informal social networks and their role for the real workings of organizations. Or think of the importance of “social capital”. So while some differentiation and clarification is still necessary, this may be an interesting social media (implementation) heuristic (aka “consultant’s product”).

OK, for posts on the concept see these interrelated posts (this seems to be the Dachis team together with David and Jeff Dachis, of course):

# Peter Kim: Reflections on Social Business
# Jevon MacDonald: Taking the Leap: Social Business Design

Peter Kim: Reflections on Social Business
Kate Niederhoffer: Social Business Design: a social psychologist’s take
Jevon MacDonald: Taking the Leap: Social Business Design

Especially Jevon is expanding on the intricate tasks that arise when companies become more (inter-)active, ie. matters of organization. Lately he’s been posting Understanding the role of Enterprise 2.0 and moving towards a Social Business and then Social Business Design and the Real Time Enterprise (now I get the underlying pattern behind all those scattered posts, Jevon – all the best for the dachis team).

Back from reboot, now onto blogging (again)

I am back from reboot 11, after basically two action-packed days on Thursday and Friday, and more socializing on the following weekend. Turned out to be a good idea to prolong the Copenhagen stay, not only was the weather very fine but got to meet some cool people too. And it sure helps the post-event wind down – happening when you have to retreat from the special reboot athmosphere into something more regular.

So I want to collect some takeaways based on me attending selected sessions (I was at nearly all of the keynotes) – yes, you only get a limited view of what was happening, but with sometimes five or six talks in parallel, and more longer-lasting side-projects running all of reboot time this is just the way it is. And of course it only is a part of my braindump mindmap …

My highlights included talks by (in no specific order) Matt Webb (check out his presentation), Lee Bryant and Bruce Sterling. That said, Bruce Sterling’s closing note was grappling, but some were supposing he’s making fun. I will leave that to your judgement, check out the video with him explaing his talk in short words:

Overall I learned a lot, not alone in the sessions but also in the many informal conversations happening around the conference. And while I am not feeling that much rebooted it inspired me to tackle some things anew, to refurbish some stalled mental investments and encouraged me to think about changing and tuning some of my approaches by giving me hints and inspiration (like “What does it mean to be an expert in social media?”, “How do I want to proceed with partnering, i.e. consulting in teams?” and more). Moreover, I decided to put more energy in my blogging once more, that is stepping up the frequency, together with being more flexible as to the ways it’s employed.

This was influenced in a way by Stowe‘s talk at reboot, which reminded me how lucky we are when we’ve got our own, self-designed venues to publish to the web. And while Twitter is cool (I think it’s way cooler than Facebook for that part), Friendfeed is great at managing (work)-lifestreams and other tools have their merits as well, blogging, that is putting up stuff with a permalink and means to comment, is still the difference between living a life of self-direction or dwelling in digital favelas. And I can still push all of what I want into the other feeds …

OSMB: Trendstudie Open Source im Unternehmen

Oliver Diederich von Heise open stellt die Ergebnisse der Trendstudie vor, die Heise open  im Herbst 2008 in Kooperation mit der Ulmer Wilken GmbH durchgeführt hat (zum Fragebogen). Ab nächster Woche soll die Studie verfügbar sein, dann werde ich sie hier verlinken. Grundsätzlich bleiben ein paar offene Fragen, insbesondere zur Methodik der Studie, Aufklärung hoffentlich in der Vollversion der Studie.

[…] was aktuell im Einsatz und was geplant ist, wo Vorbehalte und Hemmschuhe liegen, welche Hoffnungen man mit dem Open Source Einsatz verbindet, welche Erfahrungen man gemacht hat und welche Geschäftsmodelle den Unternehmen und Verwaltungen sinnvoll erscheinen.

Ein paar interessante Beobachtungen:

– die Zufriedenheit mit OpenSource ist tendenziell höher als mit vergleichbarer proprietärer Software, eine Rolle spielen hier sicher auch die oftmals wenig flexiblen Lizenzbedingungen die es schwer machen die Entscheidung für eine dann doch ungeeignete Software zu revidieren
– im CRM ist SugarCRM der “Platzhirsch”, andere – auch bekannte Projekte – wie Compiere landen weit abgeschlagen auf den Plätzen
– die Enterprise Server Varianten werden häufiger eingesetzt als Alternativprojekte wie bspw. CentOS
– im Groupwarebereich ist OpenXChange eine Marke, ebenso eGroupware

Ein interessantes Problem ist der in der Studie festgestellte Mangel an qualifiziertem Personal im OS-Umfeld, wobei der externe Support zeitgleich als gut bis sehr gut empfunden wird. Sprich – es gibt wenige Berater, aber die vorhandenen wissen wovon sie reden?