Enterprise 2.0 reads – October 2010

October was a very exciting month. Thanks to Twitter and Justin.tv, I was able to follow The Enterprise 2.0 Summit in Frankfurt and Startup school, Both amazingly enriching. Although I can’t hide, I would’ve died to physically be there! I also had the chance to be part of Blog Action Day (this year’s theme was: water), Ignite Casablanca and the 350.org event in Rabat. 

Anyway, I’ll leave you with the reads that steered the most conversation around Enterprise 2.0 this month and some goodies at the end. Enjoy!

While businesses are still coming to terms with how social affects their business… the discussion has turned increasingly serious in recent years about whether there actually needs to be a Chief Community Officer or Chief Collaboration Officer.

there are many solid bulwarks within an organization’s hierarchy from which to actively drive improvements in communication and collaboration using social software….
It really takes a village, or more properly, an forward-looking organization that is trying to recalibrate itself around the way that the way that the world seems to be shifting.

While it is critical to have collaboration leadership articulated and demonstrated at the senior executive level, the responsibility for enterprise collaboration cannot rest on one person, especially one who is already extremely busy and most likely does not have the nurturing and coaching skills needed for the job.
There is only one person (or many, depending on your perspective) for the job of actively collaborating – YOU! Ultimately, each individual in the organization is responsible for collaboration. 

In brief I see the evolutions within the Enterprise 2.0 sphere very much in relation towards the “dissemination of a virus” – not yet fully spreaded but highly contagious to slowly infiltrate the whole organisation, corporation, industry and economy….

for the bigger parts of the corporations we are in a situation where E20 is not only faced with the problem of “siloed” information management to be solved by E20 but even with the problem of “siloed” expert languages to hinder E20 even get started right.

Is your organization a process (several operational steps to get things done) or a network (smart knowledge workers connecting to get things done)? Or is it both?
People with a certain passion and expertise connect and collaborate to get work done. Of course there are operational processes in companies. And if they can be automated, we should do this quickly. However the amount of time and money being put into these operational improvements is, to me, disproportional to the amount of time being spent by knowledge workers on non-operational work.

Conclusions are the same than those I made about the ROI of enterprise 2.0:

– technology has no value by itslelf

– technology should allow to to things that couldn’t be done before

– rules were set to accomote the limits of previous technogies. The new technology has no value is old rules are not replaced with new ones adapted to the new potential that can now be harnessed.

Enterprise 2.0 Summit in Frankfurt A Wiki with major takeaways from the event.
Startup school Videos from Startup School 2010

Lamia Ben

Intrapreneurs and Enterprise 2.0 adoption



Photo courtesy: noulakaz.net

While reading Guy Kawasaki’s compelling book: Art of the Start, I can’t help but think that adoption of any new paradigm (Enterprise 2.0 for instance) would be far less problematic if piloted by intrapreneurs.


What’s an intrapreneur?

“Intrapreneurship is the act of behaving like an entrepreneur, except within a larger organization.

Intrapreneurship refers to employee initiatives in organizations to undertake something new, without being asked to do so”

– Wikipedia


Intrapreneurship for better enterprise 2.0 adoption?

Gawasaki made a list of recommendations for employees to become internal entrepreneurs, here are the ones I found most relevant to Enterprise 2.0 adoption:

Put the company first: every enterprise 2.0 evangelist knows that getting a large number of employees support depends on his motives. “They will support you if you’re doing it for the company, but not if it’s for your personal gain”.  Enterprise 2.0 adoption lies basically on a bottom up approach, so such support is essential.

Stay under the radar: mainly off top management’s radar, at least at the very beginning.  “You want to be left alone until either your project is too far along to ignore or the rest of the company realizes that it’s needed”. So you can mainly decrease the resistance to change, especially from people with the power to block your project.

Find a Godfather: godfathers are figures that “are relatively untouchable, and usually have the attention and respect of top management”. Getting the support of a Godfather can ensure you advice, insight and sometimes protection.

Give hope to the hopeful: launching an enterprise 2.0 project is about getting beyond deployment into adoption and participation. It’s about changing the culture. And that would only get much easier if you reach out to the “idealist” within every employee. “Your goal is to advance these people from wanting to see innovation happen to helping you make it happen”.

Build on what exists: You may be surprised to find how many teams are already using Enterprise 2.0 tools; maybe they just don’t know it yet. Building on existent infrastructures (human or technical) will “not only garner resources, but also make friends as other employees begin to feel as if they’re part of your team”.

Let the vice presidents come to you: Staying under the radar will have to ensue into an intentional yet, accidental discovery of your project by a vice president (or anyone in Top management with enough power to back- up the initiative). You need to ensure he “makes the discovery when the time is right, but this is not the same as seeking permission to get started”

Reboot your brain: E20 practionners can’t say this enough: It’s not about technology. It’s about culture. So in order to be an intrapreneur and launch an Enterprise 2.0 initiative you need to begin by rebooting your brain. “The reality is that starting something within an existing company requires adopting new patterns of behavior”. Try finding a niche and dominate it rather than positioning as “All things to all people”.  Instead of recruiting the big shots in the company, you need to suck in the people who “get it”. Think just like a start-up but never forget the context of your organization.


Although Enterprise 2.0 is considered to be “the next big thing”, it is still in its early days. Don’t be surprised, as you’re working on your initiative, to realize that it’s too soon, or that it would rather necessitates a top-down approach to reach adoption. It’s okay to give up than pursue a doomed venture. At least you know that a more pressing initiative needs to be undertaken: “readying the mindsets”.

Lamia Ben

Enterprise 2.0 reads – June/July 2010

    Due to some extreme reasons, I had to combine one post for both June and July. Here are the articles I've read and found to be really interesting, arranged by their common subjects. Enjoy!

Enterprise 2.0 adoption:

My Enterprise 2.0 Rollout: 4 Keys to Success
Early this year, executives at Philips,…initiated talks on selecting and deploying an enterprise 2.0 suite for its 100,000 employees worldwide….De Vries attributes Philips' success to four guiding factors, which he recommends to others considering a deployment of an enterprise 2.0 suite.

1. Begin with a clear strategy.
2. Partner with the business. "You have to realize that these are not IT initiatives, these are IT and business initiatives,"
3. Lead by example and learn from others "When you see active involvement in the leadership, we saw it take off virally"
4. Loosen the reins

Enterprise 2.0 adoption : it’s about comfort
The challenge is both simple and complex at the same time. It’s about bringing new ways to collaborate in the workplace, positionning and articulating them with what’s existing, while taking the software side into consideration.
We often think in terms of know-how, want-to-do, being able to do…and work hard on these levers. But we often forget the invisible relationship that links these levers together : comfort… it’s about how people feel when they face a given situation. If they are in their “comfort zone”, where they feel well, they don’t fear anything, don’t fear doing a mistake, understand how things work and interact. They know what to do, when to do it, how to do it and can anticipate the effects of their actions, of the others’ actions. In this context everything is fine.

Enterprise 2.0 Conference (the official website)

Reflections on the Enterprise 2.0 Conference Boston 2010
Here were some of the largest take-aways for me and what I saw at the event:
– Designing Enterprises for Loss of Control: While we’re still learning exactly what it means to design for loss of control, particularly in the enterprise, it’s readily in the spirit of social software with its general lack of barriers to participation or preconceptions about how people should come together and build value on the network.

Enterprises Are Going Social: While most organizations worldwide now have social software in some form, at least departmentally, the deeper and wider use of Enterprise 2.0 strategically, across all stakeholders (customers, partners, and workers) is still emerging in most organizations.

What I learned this week at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston
I wanted to share the biggest thing I learned at this conference: No matter what anyone tells you, no one really has a clue how to “do” social in the enterprise.
Here’s why I say that:
– There is way too much posturing and selling from vendors
– No one is talking about practical ways to architect social solutions
What I’d like to see…
I’d like to see a Web 2.0 conference for practioners. I want to get down in the weeds about psychology, ethonography, sociology, APIs, build vs buy, customize vs wait for a platform change, etc. I want these technical details to be able to make more informed decisions.
I’m hoping part of this open movement is having vendors be open about their roadmaps and inter-operability with other business applications.

Enterprise 2.0 and processes

Enterprise 2.0: Why process matters
Many Enterprise 2.0 vendors and practitioners focus on improved collaboration, rather than business value, as an end goal. These folks forget that vague promises of performance improvement are not a substitute for concrete, definable business results.
Enterprise 2.0 and Social CRM will eventually merge as highly complementary components of a broader change in how organizations handle cross-boundary work relationships. Collaboration is a support for better business processes, but it is not an end in itself. ~Mike Fauscette

Enterprise 2.0 and processes : what are we talking about ? (and why…)
If we defined processes are a sequence of tasks with variable flexibility depending on their object aiming at turning raw material (even intangible) into a product or service, maybe the concept would become more reputable….enterprise 2.0 may help with ERPs –The Easily Repeatable Process- (at least in an ongoing improvement process) and is the best way to run BRPs –The Barely Repeatable Process-, which will become more and more essential in the workplace.
In one sentence and to be done with this misunderstanding, when we talk about processes and enterprise 2.0, it’s not necesarily about processes as they are but as they should be.

Enterprise 2.0 is much more than process enrichment as well as it’s much more than random community dynamics driven by a kind of invisible hand,…it’s logical that businesses start to work on the lower ‘in the flow” layer to create synergies between both and help enterprise 2.0 to deliver its full potential…and not only through “process socialization”.

And I'll conclude with a delicious treat 🙂 Elsua's : Forget Social Strategy, Think Social Philosophy: Hippie 2.0

We need to stop thinking about social strategy and push more along the lines of social philosophy.
Because, after all, who wants to live in a world like today’s…? Would you like your children to inherit such unsustainable world? I am not sure about you, but I wouldn’t…And, for sure, I would want to see a better picture than what we have today! … Now, can social computing help achieve that?
What if through the usage and adoption of social software we would have an unprecedented opportunity to change the world we live in? Wouldn’t we want to seize that opportunity and make it happen?

Are you ready? Will you join the Hippie 2.0 movement?

Lamia Ben