Enterprise 2.0: The Next Narrative

Enterprise 2.0 was launched in the spring of 2006 as a result of Andrew McAfee’s case study interviews in 2005 on Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (DrKW), an investment bank in London.  The story unfolded after he and his team studied the work of J.P. Rangaswami, who was then Global CIO of the bank.  It’s sometimes surprising to me when I realize how much has changed since those early days.   For starters, the technology foundation of the DrKW case study was wikis (Socialtext), blogs (b2evolution), and messaging software (MindAlign).  Of these three, only Socialtext is what I would consider top-of-mind in the E20 sector (and the company’s software has extended well beyond an enterprise wiki.)  J.P. Rangaswami even left DrKW and has successively mastered several positions at BT where he is now Chief Scientist.

In short, Enterprise 2.0 is maturing.  It’s high time for a new series of case studies.  This week, McAfee (today, speaking at SXSW) and I are announcing  The 2.0 Adoption Council and MIT’s Center for Digital Business will be co-producing a series of case studies that explore the modern dynamics driving the 2.0 phenomenon in a sampling of large enterprises.  We’ve identified the following themes that are present in most initiatives:

  • Innovation:  Leveraging collaboration and social activity to spur discovery, idea generation, and breakthroughs for the organization or customers
  • Time-to-Market: Accelerating the time to bring products/services to market by collapsing artificial silos/boundaries and time zones
  • Cultural Reinvention: Using the philosophies of 2.0 to reshape the organizational DNA, embracing transparency, collaboration, trust, and authenticity
  • Visibility: To provide a real-time view into operations and business process by connecting people and ideas.
  • Cost Reduction: Substituting more agile, lightweight tools for connecting and sharing that are easier to manage and significantly reduce operational cost.
  • Knowledge-sharing: Harvesting institutional knowledge of the enterprise for the purposes of retaining it, exposing it and providing easy access to it.
  • Expertise location: Indexing and surfacing hidden and known talent in the Enterprise.
  • Productivity improvement: Providing socio-collaborative tools to the workforce for measurable gains in productivity.
  • Talent Retention: Providing tools that add to workplace satisfaction and positive employee work experience, especially germane to retaining GenX and GenY talent.

Each case study, written in a detailed contextual narrative, will highlight at least one of these themes.  Our goal is to produce approximately a dozen solid case studies from different industry sectors.  We will be delving into the business rationale for each case, its particular adoption strategy and status, as well as the expected business results.   We hope to be able to discuss the progress on these case studies at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in mid-June.   As soon as I have secured our sponsor commitments, work will begin immediately.

If you have suggestions for the case study series, I’d love to hear them.

Where Business Process Meets 2.0

The 2.0 Adoption Council is experimenting with a range of new market ideas that leverage the power of the social web.   The 2.0 thinking surrounding network effects, scale, voluntary collaboration, free (as a business model), and social performance/productivity improvements are just a sample of some of the drivers that have made the Council thrive.  Much of these attributes are present in a new concept described recently by John Hagel and John Seely Brown as, “The Collaboration Curve.” Specifically the authors point out, “The more participants–and interactions between those participants–you add to a carefully designed and nurtured environment, the more the rate of performance improvement goes up.”  Hagel also describes on his Edge Perspectives blog the move away from a transaction-based economy to a trust-based relationship economy.   He refers to as this as a “passionate community.”  His words:

In sharp contrast, passion holds the key to creating and shaping relationships that will help us thrive in a rapidly changing world. It motivates even the shyest of us to reach out and connect with others in ways that become catalysts for creativity and growth. Passion fosters a uniquely strong and productive bond that provides both the stability and stimulus needed to continue to grow and succeed in a constantly changing world.

What Hagel is describing is present in the Council today.  Simply look no further than the comments from the members themselves on my LinkedIn profile and our testimonials.  With this passion, comes business opportunity.  The combined intelligence of our early adopter 2.0 membership has become a no-brainer target for vendors interested in harvesting the group wisdom of these world class customers.   To that end, we are proud to announce today we have entered into an innovative co-creation research relationship with SAP.  SAP announced its 12Sprints public beta today.  It’s important to note that 12Sprints is not typical social/collaboration software, but rather a a SaaS-based, goal-oriented, collaborative decision-making tool that incorporates social features such as activity streams, presence, and profile data.  The objective for 12Sprints is to draw enterprise data into a conversation where it can be discussed, analyzed, and openly decided upon by geographically dispersed team members.

Although I’ve often been critical of SAP in the 2.0 arena, I’ve always marveled at the “engine” that drives global business on the SAP platform.  This first step toward bridging that gap between the core business processes that make the trains run on time and a front-end of 2.0 capability (including integration with various  popular 2.0 tools) is a welcome advancement in the maturation of the market.   Further, it’s particularly encouraging that SAP would choose the Council to partner on the co-development of this strategic new direction for its blue chip customer base.  It represents an unmistakable endorsement and recognition for our business model, the power of our membership, and the promise of innovative alliances to reshape how products get to market.

Below is a Skypecast I did informally last week with SAP SVP Marge Breya that discusses trends in 2.0 adoption and the nature of our relationship.

SAP’s Marge Breya discusses e20 with Susan Scrupski (aka ITSinsider) from susan scrupski on Vimeo.

Don’t Lose Yards in the E20 Super Bowl

It’s that time of year again and everyone in the USA has Super Bowl Sunday on their minds.  It occurred to me that common penalties in American football have a lot in common with penalties for rolling out an Enterprise 2.0 strategy and deployment.

Here’s a quick chalk talk for e20 evangelists everywhere who are trying to move the ball downfield in their organization.  Enjoy.

Enterprise 2.0 Chalktalk

Council members @bg1501, @greg2dot0, @rpetersen, @kevincrossman, @briantullis, and @thebryceswrite cheerfully collaborated on this presentation.

Kicking off the 5Ws of e20: Who, What, When, Why, and How?

Enterprise 2.0 is maturing, but most practitioners (even veteran players whom we could classify as “innovators”) agree that the opportunity for Enterprise 2.0 is still in its infancy.  I saw affirmation of that today on member Laurie Buscek‘s post this morning, “Enterprise 2.0 Candy Store.”

The good news is there are many, many more Enterprises moving forward with pilots, plans, strategic planning than ever before.  The Council is up to 148  members with a couple dozen more in the queue for on-ramping.  All members in the Council are in some stage of planning and/or roll out.   Because this group represents some of the most progressive early adopters on the planet, I am spending a lot of time this year exposing lessons learned from this collective intelligence.  In this way, everyone– customers, vendors, industry watchers and partners can benefit from the insights of these early pioneers.

In that spirit, we are launching our first public webinar series this week.  Sponsored by industry leader Newsgator, eight of our members will be presenting their particular experiences with 2.0 adoption strategy and deployment for their company.   These presentations are meant to inform and, in some ways, inspire others who are struggling with the difficulties of bringing such radical concepts and practices to traditional organizations.

We left a lot of time on the agenda for Q&A, so please attend the webinars and get your questions answered first hand from these expert practitioners.  Signup information for the webinar is here.  We already have over 300 signed up for our kickoff this Thursday, but I wanted to make sure the e20 community is aware of the webinar series, as well.

After each webinar concludes, we will post the deck on slideshare, as well as a recording of the webinar for the benefit of the community.  I hope to see you all online Thursday.

p.s. We launched our new web site this week. Tell us what you think!

The 2.0 Adoption Council – Social Computing Webinar Series

Dates – January 28th, February 4th, February 11th, February 18th at 12:00 p.m. ET

  • January 28th: Webinar #1: Social Computing Adoption in the Enterprise “the Before” – learn how to best develop the business case, gain buy-in, select technology and establish the team
  • February 4th: Webinar #2: Social Computing Adoption in the Enterprise “the After” –gather best practices on implementation, policy formation, training, and community management
  • February 11th: Webinar #3: EMC Enterprise 2.0 Case Study
  • February 18th: Webinar #4: Raytheon Enterprise 2.0 Case Study
  • p.s. We launched our new web site this week. Tell us what you think!

    If Social Media will be like Air, Enterprise 2.0 will be like Carbon

    The year I transferred from a small, liberal State college to the ginormous State University, I started the fall semester with a bevy of difficult subjects: Chemistry, Calculus, Introduction to Philosophy, and Abnormal Psychology.  When I showed up for my first day of Chemistry, little did I know I had entered the wrong classroom.  I was seated in an Organic Chemistry class, not beginner Chemistry.  Of course, I made a good show of it– nodding with the professor at different intervals, taking notes,  looking confident.  Meanwhile, I had no idea what he was talking about and wanted to run out of there screaming.  However, I now know that 40 minutes was not a waste.  I learned something day one at that class I never forgot.  That lesson is that all organic compounds (and all lifeforms on the planet) have one thing in carbon: Carbon.

    I was thinking of this random fact the last few days when I read somewhere that Social Media goddess @charleneli was recently quoted saying, “Social Media will be like air.” (Love that, actually.)  And also because there’s been a bit of to and fro from the business process stalwarts who have once again found the Enterprise 2.0 conversation to occupy their fancy.

    Because (admittedly) I have somewhat of an unfair 50-yard line view of the playing field for Enterprise 2.0 adoption in the work I do for The 2.0 Adoption Council, I feel relatively confident in saying, “If Social Media will be like Air, Enterprise 2.0 will be like Carbon.”  I commented to this effect on Zoli’s Enterprise Irregulars re-post of David Terrar’s @DT‘s blog post, although I’m not sure the EI blog is drawing traffic these days.

    This is a great post. Read it on @DT’s blog. Totally agree that the bridge between traditional enterprise systems/data/process is the “missing link” in the e20 evolutionary branch of life. Where social will be “like air” as @charleneli says, Enterprise 2.0 will be like Carbon (where Carbon compounds form the basis of all known life.)

    But looking at the enterprise through the process prism is not the right perspective, imho. The enterprise of the future will be a social web of connected individuals and teams– innovating, experimenting, verifying, discovering, deciding. The correct view is to analyze the social layer and align process to meet the demands of an ever more productive and innovative workforce.

    My friend @sameerpatel has just completed a report, “The Real-Time Enterprise.” Although I have not read this report, I’m fairly certain Sameer and I see the world through a similar lens. I highly recommend you check it out. Enterprise 2.0 is coming.  It’s analogous to trying to stop the Internet from encroaching on global trade in the late 90s.  In the decades to come, it will permeate every business process, every line of communication, every channel to every member of the eco-system of the Enterprise.  Count on it.

    Practical Advice for 2010 on 2.0 Adoption

    As a year-end wrap-up, I asked a few of The 2.0 Adoption Council members to contribute some random words of advice on succeeding with 2.0 adoption.

    Happy New Year from Alex McKnight, Bert SandieBob Singletary, Claire Flanagan, Dennis Pearce, Erik Britt-Webb, Greg Lowe, Greg Matthews, Jim Worth, Kevin Crossman, Kevin Jones, Mary Maida, Megan Murray, Rawn Shah, and Roy Wilsker. We all wish you tremendous success with your own 2.0 adoption in 2010!


    • There are leading edge companies who are and have done some advanced work in collaboration and social networking – talk to them!
    • Do your homework first… Don’t deploy ‘E2.0’ tech just because others are. Find out what the business need (yes this does mean talking to them) and then make sure you target that. Other uses will come out the woodwork later on their own.
    • Work on your requirements but focus on business needs rather than technical details. It may be impossible to find an off-the-shelf product that meets every specific technical requirement and you may spend millions customizing a platform for those specs. Meanwhile the business might well have been happy with getting 95% of their specs in an off-the-shelf product.
    • Provide a solution that meets the business needs – determine your companies/clients requirements, do not just start with some cool technology that worked at some other company
    • Trust is the currency of anything social. If there isn’t trust, there isn’t E2.0. HOWEVER, find where the trust is already and build upon that. You will have the greatest success there
    • Practice your elevator speech for executives: this isn’t about new-fangled technologies and trends, but about solving fundamental corporate issues – how to make employees more productive and innovative.
    • Be strategic in building your network of champions. Involve core groups early and help them begin to shift their messaging and engagement to your platform. Teach them to lead by example. –HR, Marketing & Comms, Legal, etc.
    • If you build it, they won’t necessarily come.
    • If they do come, they won’t necessarily use it the way you intended.
    • Communicate openly to your organization the lessons learned and the journey you’re on as your organization learns new ways to work socially.
    • Expand your perspective, enage key subject matter experts early.


    • Within your own enterprise, there are likely multiple or many people with expertise in the same or similar areas. Don’t try to limit e20 to have designated people per expertise area. Allow anyone to name themselves so; the real experts over time are the ones whose ideas people actually apply, not just read.


    • There’s no substitute for having your business leaders actively and visibly use their e20 systems. Leaders should be accessible.
    • Establish Sponsorship. Learn to talk ‘executive’. Know how to translate the jargon into something that ties back to your company’s business strategy and goals.
    • Don’t try to explain 2.0 to executives. They will either not get it or will panic. Try to “sneak” them into a 2.0 tool, preferably one that is gaining momentum in a business process.
    • Use e2.0 tools to show leaders how the work is really happening in their organization (deep down, they really believe that the org chart tells the whole story). Try and get them to understand that if they begin to organize and structure work to take advantage of the way it’s really happening, they’re going to unlock new levels of efficiency they never knew existed.


    • Don’t overlook defining your project requirements, in writing. This will be the criteria to which you will judge the project.
    • Don’t try to explain 2.0 to executives. They will either not get it or will panic. Try to “sneak” them into a 2.0 tool, preferably one that is gaining momentum in a business process.
    • Steer away from language that alludes to teenagers in Facebook, MySpace, etc. Many executives have teenagers at home who completely abuse those online environments. Why would they want their employees using them?!
    • Focus on making peoples’ jobs easier, not adoption. If you do that, you’ll get adoption.
    • Pay more attention to your corporate culture and your users than industry “experts”.
    • Politics – Manage your in-house critics (preferably through dialogue and involvement) This is significantly less risky if you have already identified the business need and have business support.
    • Think of the types of tasks the people do in their job role, and how they might use social software to do some of them. If you apply e20 in the flow of their normal tasks and behavior, e20 becomes much more relevant and impactful, and more likely to be adopted.
    • It’s okay to position the tool depending on the exec sponsor in question. Our Jive instance was a “collaboration tool” to one exec who had collaboration pain points and it was a “social networking” tool to someone who wanted to enhance employee connections.
    • Be careful about turning off features you think people won’t use or that you think are unimportant. You never know which feature becomes the “killer app” for your solution and it might not be the one you’re expecting. (yes, this contradicts the advice below)
    • Start small (i.e. do not turn on all of the features of day 1 for users as it may overwhelm) and move fast (i.e. ask you users each month/quarter what is working and what is not and modify the solution accordingly)
    • Pilot the site but don’t limit the audience or number of participants. If the pilot goes “viral” that’s a good sign you’re heading in the right direction.
      • Provide training and reference material
      • Provide outstanding and responsive support
      • Do some test content-migrations
        • Measure performance at the start of the pilot and also at the end. Has anything changed?
        • Have a visible, HR/Legal approved Terms of Use document available to calm any execs who fear this will be used for non-business purposes
      • Survey your users
        • Measure satisfaction with the pilot system
        • Ask for open-ended feedback (both good and bad)
        • Ask users to compare to internal or external tools they are familiar with
        • These numbers may be very compelling to present to management when you ask to move from pilot to production.
      • Be clear it is a pilot
      • Be clear when the pilot ends
      • Be clear what happens when the pilot ends
      • Treat the pilot as if this was a production implementation
        • Prepopulate with relevant content
      • Get some VIPs or thought-leaders to blog or otherwise use and evangelise the tool
    • Pilot the solution – find a pilot group internally who has a real business problem to solve (i.e. collaboration across multiple locations)
    • Enable the people and the content will happen.
    • E2.0 is not a new system or program you add to your old. It becomes part of your old – it is not separate, it is integrated into it. Don’t try to make a ‘another thing,’ make it part of ‘the thing.’
    • All objections are old ones reincarnate. How did they deal with the situation before? Deal with it the same way now.
    • There is nothing new about this. Take a splash of old fashioned communities, a dash of learning, a cup of trust, a spoonful of “let’s try this…” and a willing heart, and it will work.
    • Enjoy and publicly celebrate early successes, but set reasonable expectations – implementing Enterprise 2.0 is a exercise in changing corporate culture:
      • It will take time
      • It will take ongoing effort
      • It will take perseverance and managerial courage
    • Stay focused on the most enthusiastic and effective users – they’re your key to success. Help them continue to be successful.
    • Know your culture(s) and their challenges.
    • Never underestimate the power of one-on-one coaching for strategic users and teams.
    • Listen to your users feedback. Be ready to change, and perceptive enough to hear the difference between resistance and a real need for a shift in your approach.
    • The way they do use it won’t necessarily be worse than the way you intended, but it might not be better either. In any case, there should be someone in the organization responsible for figuring out which it is and what to do about it, if anything.
    • If they’re using it, but not in the best way, it’s better to nudge than to dictate where possible.
    • Emergence can be a good thing but it doesn’t always equal Efficiency (just look at evolutionary features like the human eye or spine as examples). The early adopters in a collaboration environment are like the early settlers who got to decide how the roads were laid out — you could end up with either Washington DC or Boston. Not saying that one is better than the other, but those who follow later will probably end up living with whatever is already there (anyone remember “The Calf Path“?) so a little up-front thought might be useful before deploying.
    • Help make your community leaders successful; give them attention and be ready with any questions they have. Keep the leaders connected and engaged with each other.
    • Accept issues will surface
    • Enterprises move slowly. Keep the end goal in mind. Know when you can move more quickly and when you can delay pieces of your project. Try piloting your project and defer larger integration projects if you can.
    • Engage advocates early. Show them. Train them. Let them be your global champion team.
    • Plan for adoption. Don’t start with an empty space. Think about use cases and communities that will take off in your enterprise. Seed your community with useful content and conversations. Leverage your advocates to help with this work.
    • Set up virtual ‘break rooms’. Don’t underestimate the value these type of spaces have in building strong bonds and relationships across your company.
    • Be flexible. Adapt as needed.


    • Analytics will be key as more and more Business cases require good statistics. Vendors will start to realize this in 2010 and work on improving their built in reporting
    • Define some base metrics that give you a HINT that there’s value. If you spend all of your time looking for value, chances are you are missing the point.
    • There is no single metric but different varieties that you use for different purposes, just as e20 can be applied in many different ways. Whatever the case, to executives, you still want to have one or two key metrics that you collect and report regularly and consistently over time. How do you know if it is a useful metric? At the minimum it should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Timely
    • Measuring contribution actions (of any kind: blog posts, comments, wiki edits, etc.) that is often attributable to individuals can be useful to find the top knowledge contributors. The real gem is trying to understand how and who consumes that knowledge. That’s how you know how the wealth (of knowledge) is being shared around and benefiting others in the enterprise.
    • The ROI for 2.0 tools is going to be defined – at least in part – by correlating network engagement with employee engagement (e.g., Gallup Q12) and consumer engagement.


    • Don’t overlook your legal, data privacy, data protection and security teams. Engage them early. Listen to them. Work with them to understand their concerns and mitigate risks as needed.
    • In a regulated industry the lawyers have a strong interest in ensuring compliance and keeping the company protected. Once you realize the E20 evangelist and the attorney both want what’s best for the company, you are on your way to making headway. Here are some pointers for making headway:
    1. Accept issues will surface.
    2. Set up a standing team of attorneys and compliance specialists to be prepared to address them
    3. Categorize each issue, document the risk, and prepare possible mitigation scenarios
    4. Bring the risk assessment along with mitigation plans to senior management for acceptance / approval.
    5. Document all agreements / approvals.
    6. As new issues / objections come up, check to see if they have already been addressed. If so, deal with them in the same manner. If it is a new subtlety or a new issue, go back to the mitigation approach above and move on.
    • Overall, legal / privacy / Intellectual Property / Compliance issues can derail a successful E20 implementation before it can be launched. Something at the enterprise level will surely catch the eye of a conservative legal team, and their easiest answer is “no”. The approach above takes it head on and is the only way to ensure success in converting opponents into powerful advocates of E20.

    Risk Management

    • Different job roles and cultures consider risks in different ways. Get input from people across different geographic cultures, job roles, ranks, and personalities. Balance out what risks are really important between the vocal majority (loudmouths) and others.

    UPDATE 1/4/10

    This post was pulled together from members who happened to be checking in over the holiday break.  Since that time, new members are pointing out that adoption is different for every company, and the advice will vary by company culture and organization structure.   Please view these suggestions as simply that, and do not construe these tips as universal for every company.  If you’re engaged in or considering a 2.0 rollout, we highly recommend you join the Council.  We’re certain you’ll find another organization that is similar in makeup to yours and will provide a great set of references to help you jump start your initiatives.