Enterprise 2.0 reads – April 2011

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It’s been a busy busy month! But it’s also been a delight to finally see the Social Media Club Casablanca Chapter become a reality. And I’m sure it’s just the start of a long and enriching adventure.  On the local scene, Earth Hour Morocco, Café 2.0, Startup weekend Casablanca and Ignite Ingénieur were the highlights of this April. Another highlight was waking up to find many website down because of Amazon’s cloud crash! A real life example of how failure of Hubs in power-law networks can turn disastrous in no time. But I’m sure I’ll need another post if I kept listing every remarkable event, there are just so many! So, with no further ado, I here present, the most interesting reads I crossed this last month.  

By the way, Jim Worth does a great job curating his monthly tweets even though they fairly need any curation if you ask me. You can catch them here to find out more interesting reads of April.

IBM Says Merge your Email into the Activity Stream By Barb Mosher

Some say email is over and done. Others say it’s the platform of the future. IBM says put email into context — into the activity stream.

[Activity stream is] a real-time feed of various events that happen in the workplace. That could be changes to documents, status messages from users and so on. It’s one of the most talked about features of social software today.

IBM says we need to move the content out of our inbox and into the activity stream too. Not everything, because that would be a nightmare and a waste of time. But only those emails that are relevant to the work we are doing, things that are actionable by us.

 

The future is podular by Dave Gray


If you want an adaptive company, you will need to unleash the creative forces in your organization, so people have the freedom to deliver value to customers and respond to their needs more dynamically. One way to do this is by enabling small, autonomous units that can act and react quickly and easily, without fear of disrupting other business activities – pods.

 A chain, as the saying goes, is only as strong as its weakest link. Break one link and the whole chain fails. A podular system is like a net… If one strand breaks, the system can still carry the load…

 For a podular system to work, cultural and technical standards are imperative… This kind of system needs a strong platform that clearly articulates those standards and provides a mechanism for evolving them when necessary… What’s most important about platform decisions is that they focus on the connections between pods rather than within pods

 Pods don’t answer every business problem. Like any other strategic decision, the choice to go podular involves inherent risks and tradeoffs… The benefit, though, is that you unleash people to bring more of their intelligence, passion, creative energy and expertise to their work.

 

Enterprise 2.0: Why All Business Software Must Go Social by Eric Savitz

 

it is increasingly evident that the prevailing wisdom on the subject has changed; having an enterprise social network is no longer a fascination of early adopters. It is now an essential component of the enterprise.

 Enter Enterprise 2.0, a new management paradigm based on enterprise social networking. It is the platform of engagement for all constituents across and beyond the enterprise, empowering them to be more engaged by staying connected with the people and activities around them…. any successful adoption requires a cultural, behavioral and habitual transformation for the entire organization.

 Like any change, this is a classic chicken-and-egg problem: you need enough stuff in it for enough people to get it; you need enough people who have already got it to generate enough stuff. That’s the bad news.

 

Companies aren’t communities By Michael Idinopulos

 

Companies aren’t communities. They aren’t forums. Companies are companies.

 Companies, by very definition, have reporting structures, established workflows, shared systems and processes, defined roles and responsibilities, and closely managed performance. Those are assets we don’t have in communities and forums

 Companies achieve adoption and business value when they place social software in the flow of work. The tools achieve real benefit when people do … their actual “day” jobs in social software.

 Social software fails when it tries to turn businesses into communities. It succeeds when it turns businesses into better businesses.

 

The cultural imperative for a social business by Maria Ogneva

How does one become social internally? Just launch an internal social network like Yammer of course, and wait for magic to happen? Not so fast! … Culture is the hardest element of success, because it’s 1) hard to define, 2) takes a long time to change, and 3) there are serious disincentives to changing it…The better you can anticipate resistance and channel it into positive energy, the higher the chances of success.

There are certain common elements of organizations that do well with these types of initiatives. Charlene Li sums it up best: “be open, be transparent, be authentic”

There are some serious barriers to this type of culture, some of which are:

  • Command and control mindset: This is starting to change drastically, as teams are now acting as fluid organisms vs. machines.
  • Functional silos: cross-functional collaboration is absolutely key to exchanging ideas, doing a better job, making better decisions and avoiding work duplication.
  • Rigid hierarchies: democratization of information is definitely putting the emphasis back on leadership style, and not access to information, as a competitive advantage.
  • Wrong things are measured: we need to make sure we are also incentivizing behaviors that will help us succeed in the long-term, and measuring their effect.

 

Lamia Ben.

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Enterprise 2.0 reads – December 2010

Beside the usual prediction posts that have become part of December’s landscape, I have come across some interesting reads that discuss issues at the heart of the socializing organizations. Here is a taste of articles that can’t afford to be missed in my sense.

Enterprise 2.0 and culture : change or do with it ? By Bernard Duperrin

If enterprise 2.0 needs a specific culture so let’s change the corporate culture before starting! On this point, I agree with Lee Bryant : we can’t mandate culture…We need approaches that co-build cultures and work models.

…The paradox of the cultural question is that no one has the answer, and that there are many chances no answer exist. The only certainty is that we can’t discuss the existence of such concerns and that even a strong corporate culture won’t be enough to override it. Then, dealing with the issue will be nothing but dosage and feeling.

Creating a culture of collaboration By Oscar Berg   

What makes building a culture of collaboration hard is that it requires constant work and awareness. You have to consciously think about and practice collaboration in every situation where it benefits the individual and/or the group until the collaborative behavior in that kind of situation happens "naturally" in the sense that we have programmed ourselves how to behave and do not need to spend mental energy – the collaboration auto-pilot is on.

A key lesson to make when trying to achieve this in a business context is that if you leave out the fun, autonomy, trust, creativity, the sense of engagement, then not much more than extrinsic motivators such as monetary rewards exist to build a culture of collaboration – and then you are on the road to failure for sure. 

Management at the time of social media By Esko Kilpi Oy

That is the way we have seen it: managers inspire, motivate and control employees who need to be inspired, motivated and controlled. These dynamics create the system of management and justify its continuation.

For the first time in history it is not profitable to simply think that managers manage and workers work… Top-down, one-way communication or separating thinking and acting don’t produce results any more…Now we know that intentions arise as much in the actions and outcomes cannot be fully known in advance. This is why a new, different, view of management is required to serve the creative, learning-intensive economy.

Social Business gets seal of approval By Christoph Schmaltz

In its latest Web 2.0 survey management consulting firm McKinsey gave its seal of approval to what is emerging to be known as social business.

According to McKinsey a networked enterprise is one that uses collaborative Web 2.0 technologies intensively to connect the internal efforts of employees and to extend the organization's reach to customers, partners, and suppliers. 

All in all, the McKinsey report does not provide any new revelations for social business practioners. However, McKinsey's seal of approval (and not to forget Gartner's) will hopefully be the catalyst for getting the social business engine started properly in 2011. Bring it on! 

Enterprise 2.0 Roll-up: You Can Hate it, but You Can't Kill Email By Chelsi Nakano

"Just as video did not kill the radio star, social media will not kill e-mail," wrote Phil Green, CTO at Inmagic… Google Wave is, of course, a primary example of why we're just not ready for the level of collaboration we think we are. 

Green points out that e-mail’s strength lies in connecting, not collaborating. "People will connect when there is context, because they have a shared reference point, a reason to connect. At some point, bringing that connection (or connections) into a collaborative environment is necessary to address problem solving because the socially connected people have a basis for their discussion."

The point: We're not going to see the end of e-mail in 2011, but we're probably going to see a big dent in its user base.

 

Lamia Ben.