Enterprise 2.0 at Adidas – pre-conference interview

Here’s a short summary of the pre-conference interview (alas, german language) Joachim Niemeier did with Christian Kuhna, Head of Internal Communications of the adidas Group

The interview dealt with

  • usage areas of Enterprise 2.0 at Adidas
  • Adidas current intranet situation, and the aims and goals they are pursuing
  • who is engaged as an inner-company proponent of Enterprise 2.0
  • Mr.Kuhna’s expectations for the upcoming Enterprise 2.0 Forum
  • and more

Interesting stuff in there, some notes:

  • Mr. Kuhna’s professional background is in communication, he also has some experience in leveraging intranets and internal communities in M&A situations, i.e. the Daimler-Chrysler. Interestingly, he’s sometimes reminded by the “Enterprise 2.0 hot topics of today” of all the things that were envisioned before.
  • Adidas is aiming for a global intranet portal, which integrates a round of Web 2.0 ideas and technologies. Up to now they’re having a variety of heterogenuous intranets, which makes it hard for employees to find information, etc. Starting from this situation Adidas decided for a fresh start – and they’ve come far by now – during the next months the scattered solutions will be replaced by the new integrated intranet.
  • Adidas’ employees already have some experience with social networks and platforms (Xing, Facebook etc.) and the intranet team leveraged these competencies. He stressed the importance of easy participation, helping adoption off the ground. Yes, getting a voice on the intranet is getting easier and it’s no longer a monopoly of IT departments – we need to allow for easy, free-form, adaptive and emergent design of interaction and participation means. Now, we can be sure that this will also add considerable complexity …
  • How to explain the benefits of Enterprise 2.0 to senior executives? Mr. Kuhna recommends to start with demonstrating the changed nature of (internet based) communication and the emergence of communities. Sounds like a good idea – senior executive support is vital, complementing grass-roots adoption.
  • How will Enterprise 2.0 change organizations? Mr. Kuhna sees most of the changes as rather evolutionary, even when the actual speed of change is impressive. Yet I am not sure if I support this all the way, I guess it depends on how we define “most of the changes” – to me, some current changes in the context of 2.0 are going deep (well, whole industries are disrupted, but for Adidas it may yet be another thing)
  • One last thing that’s worth noting – one of Mr.Kuhna’s wishes for the future of Enterprise 2.0 at Adidas concerns „Budget“. Nothing new on that front obviously – awareness and understanding is nice, but budgets get the thing rolling …