Together with a German college we are conducting a study on Enterprise 2.0. It is an exciting project. The students have prepared a first draft of the questionnaire. And they have done a pretty good job too. However, one of the first questions – obviously – is the definition of Enterprise 2.0.
Since a couple of years Enterprise 2.0 has been keeping me busy and I have read and talked a great deal about it. I still haven’t found the right definition though. Andrew McAfee, who coined the term Enterprise 2.0, defines it as:
Enterprise 2.0 is the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers.
While this may have been the case in 2006 I don’t think that this definition comprises the scope Enterprise 2.0 (should) have today. As I have already posted in my short post on the basics of Enterprise 2.0:
“Enterprise 2.0 is not about the tools, its about the culture” and “Enterprise 2.0 is really about the conversation, not the medium”.
Or to put this into other words: It is not about “what” tools you use, it is about “how” you use them. Having a blog does not make a company an Enterprise 2.0 company neither does having a Wiki.
Therefore, I was thinking of a definition somewhat along these lines:
Enterprise 2.0 is the use of web 2.0 concepts and technologies within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers.
Instead of concepts one could also write “mindsets” or “ideas”. With these mindsets I mean: credibility, authenticity, decentralization and openness.
What do you think? I would love to hear your suggestions for a good definition.
On Friday, during likemind CGN, I had an interesting discussion with a couple of guys. We started off, talking about the future of recruiting and soon had a controversial debate on corporate culture and new styles of work. Both topics I find hugely interesting.
Not only have I worked as a management consultant with corporations on enterprise 2.0 and change management topics. As an entrepreneur I have a huge impact on the corporate culture at talential.com myself. We are a decentralized – almost virtual – company, thus making it essential to establish new working styles, rules of interaction and cultural values.
I will try to post more about these subjects in the next months. Some of my most controversial arguments were
- fire (all) your managers
- employees should select their boss (aka “leadership is defined by followership”)
- employees should choose their own salary
- job titles are toxic
- virtual teams are more productive (aka “why each employee should have his own room”)
- trust is more important than control
- the illusion of growth
- planning is overrated (aka “nobody has a clue”)
- hire lazy employees
- perfection is the enemy (aka “good is good enough”)
- money is not a good motivator
- a business plan is worthless
see if I will write about these topics in German or English. I might even open up a new blog. Stay tuned…
Jurgen Apello gave an interesting presentation about agile project management at the “Agile Eastern Europe Conference” in Kiev. His approach is a mixture of complexity theory, agile best practices, some psychology and “soft skills”.
His 12 laws of software development are:
– Motivate People
– Empower Teams
– Align Results
– Optimize Communication
– Enforce Discipline
– Restrain Growth
– Reduce Risk
– Measure Performance
– Evaluate Feedback
– Acquire Knowledge
– Manage Uncertainty
– Evolve Practices
Those are not only valid for software development projects but for all projects with creative teams. His presentation is good, so check it out.
Dating is a process. So is losing weight, being a public company and building a brand.
On the other hand, putting up a trade show booth is an event. So are going public and having surgery.
Events are easier to manage, pay for and get excited about. Processes build results for the long haul.
This is one of the most fundamental things that organizations need to understand. A process requires persistence and patience. Two characteristics many organizations lack.
The decision for social media should always be a mid- to long-term decision. Of course it can/should be an iterative process and adjustments will be necessary. However, I believe the ROI of social media will show over time (and it might eventually show negative)…
Todays workforce is growing, mobilizing, connecting, aging and evolving. How will you manage?
E-Mail is (very often) not an efficient way of communicating: 10 Proposals for Fixing E-Mail (from NY Times)
1. Add reply buttons for YES, NO and MAYBE.
Some messages just don’t need a comprehensive reply. If someone e-mails me and asks if I’m available to attend a meeting, rather than take the time to write back with a detailed response, why can’t I just click a YES, NO, or MAYBE button? One click and the e-mail has been dealt with.
2. Use browsing history in a smart way.
When people send me news items or blog posts, my e-mail program could check my Web browser history to see if I’ve already been to this specific URL. If so, the message should skip my in-box.
3. Add the ability to take yourself out of the reply chain.
I regularly send messages to introduce friends or co-workers to each other. These introductions are usually the standard “Hi Jane, I’d like to introduce you to Bob.” After a connection is established, I’m often forced to sit on the sidelines getting a barrage of messages as Jane and Bob converse. It would be great if I could preemptively remove my address from these replies.
4. Crowdsource the problem.
O.K., I know this one is a stretch, but what about crowdsourcing my in-box — opening it up to the general public? Then, when I get that forwarded e-mail from a co-worker announcing that the government will start taxing people for every e-mail they send, someone else could respond explaining that, sadly, this is actually fake. This scheme would require correspondents to label personal or private notes that would then stay out of the crowdsourcing zone.
5. Eliminate the “reply-to-all” feature.
Ah, the reply-to-all e-mail faux pas: You’re invited to an event via a large group e-mail and one person responds to everyone with a pointless “Great, I’ll be there!” If a cold-blooded extermination of this feature is too radical, maybe we could require a stern CAUTION alert whenever someone attempts a reply-to-all.
6. If the e-mail is important, it will find me.
Real-time services like Twitter and FriendFeed illustrate the potential usefulness of a streaming interface. I don’t have to see all the tweets in my stream; if something is specifically important it will be re-tweeted by people in my network. The more this happens, the better the chance that I will eventually see it. What if we made e-mail into a stream? If a message is important, people can re-mail it, and it then moves back to the top of the list.
7. Cut off anything longer than 140 characters.
Speaking of Twitter, do we really need more than 140 characters for most messages? E-mail applications could add a button that would cut off all content longer than 140 characters.
8. E-mail software intelligence.
E-mail applications are essentially dumb clients. They don’t know much about you, or your e-mail, and if they do, they don’t use this data to help manage the content. There are people working on this problem and coming up with solutions like Kwaga, a semantic-language enhancement for your e-mail. But there could be other additions to these smart clients. For example, let’s say my e-mail application understands that I have an @nytimes.com address. During the day other @nytimes messages could receive higher levels of attention than mail from my wife or brother-in-law. In the evening, this rule could flip, placing work messages on the back burner.
9. Create an “Auto Filter” button.
Clay Shirky, author of the book “Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations,” believes that “we don’t have information overload; we have filter failure.” I completely agree with this, but creating filters can become a chore too. My solution would add a single-click button called Auto Filter. Once pressed, it would do its best to analyze the message and create a new filter, and then file future messages into this new category.
10. A monthly word limit.
We have limits on Internet bandwidth, and surcharges to limit the number of minutes we can talk on our cellphones. Why not limit the number of words an e-mail account can pump out each month? (If you go over, that new government e-mail tax kicks in …)
The Enterprise 2.0 vision implies that organizations are benefiting from new tools and behaviors inspired by new ways we create and share information using social-channels and emergent platforms. You could also say: Enterprise 2.0 is the evolution from Communication to Conversation to Collaboration on an Enterprise-wide scale.
- Enterprise 2.0 is not about the tools, its about the culture
- Enterprise 2.0 can have a profound impact on the organization, HR should be included quite early.
- Enterprise 2.0 is really about the conversation, not the medium.
- Every company is different: Not all companies have the same evolution, the same needs, or the vision for their 2.0
4 mindsets that can help implement Enterprise 2.0
Best practices are:
- agile implementation – it is a dynamic process
- employees as ambassadors on the web
- openness is the rule: closed areas only by request
- executive and employee blogs
- comments allowed