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.

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!

    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.

    Cisco Will Prove the Model

    It’s about that time again when bloggers and pundits start thinking about predictions for the New Year.  I took a look at mine for 2009 and was pleased I was correct at least some of the time.  One that is coming true, albeit a little later than I had hoped, is this one: John Chambers

    John Chambers is talking and walking the talk.  BusinessWeek has a feature this week on “Cisco’s Extreme Ambitions.”  The story details how Cisco is leveraging non-traditional methods to turbo-charge its growth and deliver strong margins to Wall Street.  One of those innovative tactics is democratizing decision-making and using a variety of web-based tools to identify talent.

    ‘…John Chambers and Cisco’s entire leadership are focused on driving Cisco’s growth and business results.’ Chambers admits the council structure is unusual but argues it’s the only way a company Cisco’s size can move as fast as it needs to. He says the councils work and help identify talent throughout the company.

    Cisco is taking on a lot of risk and reinventing the company from the ground up driven by the  principles of 2.0 transformation.  Chambers said in his address at Cisco Live, “Organizational structures enabled by the network as a platform can change the speed and dynamics of a company.”

    This is what we talk about when we’re talking about transformational change and the reinvention of work.  The end game is market competitiveness.  BusinessWeek sums it up:

    In a sense, Chambers is bidding for a place in the history books. He’s trying to use the ambitious expansion and unconventional management strategy to demonstrate how a company the size of Cisco can remain fast-growing and nimble. If he succeeds, he may end up regarded as a business icon, along the lines of General Electric’s Jack Welch.

    Like Marc Benioff, Chambers is betting the business.   Perfect time, incidentally, for Andrew McAfee whose ideas are now seeding The Harvard Business Review, management book shelves, and The McKinsey Quarterly.

    As a Matter of Fact…

    Well, well, well.   Didn’t I relish that gushing endorsement of social computing last week by Marc BenioffYes. I did. As the conversation took off on Twitter, what was game-changing-significant was that a tech celeb– known very well in Enterprise circles, as well as the financial community– threw his Enterprise SaaS hat in the ring and announced the company’s, “Biggest breakthrough ever: Salesforce Chatter.”  Of course, Salesforce Chatter is the company’s answer to social computing.

    Sometimes it takes a celebrity to help a new technology cross the chasm.  But more often than not, however, the most influential catalyst is market acceptance.  So, whilst I welcome the newfound attention and consciousness-raising for 2.0 adoption in business, I’m eager to start publishing some of the factual data that supports the hype is not without merit.

    The 2.0 Adoption Council is now unveiling some of the research we’ve been collecting on our members.  The first synopsis report should be ready this week, available for download.   The survey reflects responses from over 70 of our members spanning over 17 industries, managing over $50M in budgets expressly dedicated to Enterprise 2.0 initiatives.

    Here are some quick data points that are proving interesting:

    adoption research

    In addition to our survey research, The Council has also released its first “how-to” report, “A Framework for 2.0 Adoption in the Enterprise.”  This report was written by Gil Yehuda after interviewing members who described a narrative on how rolling out an initiative worked at their large enterprise.  The paper tracks neatly through a logical iterative sequence and “Director’s Commentary” on how to successfully introduce 2.0 technology and practices to a diverse employee base.

    Picture 10

    The market survey results should be ready this week for download free (courtesy of OpenText who sponsored the study), but the “Framework” report is available now for $425 in our store.

    More good news coming from the Council includes the announcements of some strategic relationships, as well as a new web site currently in production.

    Stay tuned.


    Enterprise 2.0 is a Crock!!! says Dennis (the 2.0 Menace).

    Here’s who says it isn’t:


    Adidas Group+




    Alstom Power+



    Bell Canada+

    Booz Allen Hamilton+

    British Petroleum+


    Cardiff University (UK)+



    Compagnie de Saint Gobain+






    Deutsche Bank+

    The Disney Corporation+


    Electronic Arts+

    Eli Lilly+

    EMC Corp+

    European Central Bank+


    Ford Motor Company+

    GDF Suez+

    General Mills+

    General Motors+

    GlaxoSmithKline +

    Goldman Sachs+

    Hatch Associates+


    Honeywell International+




    Intel Corporation+

    International Paper+

    Johnson and Johnson+

    Juniper Networks+

    Lockheed Martin+

    Lowe’s Companies+

    Lyonnaise des Eux/Suez Environment+

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology+


    McKinsey & Company+

    Medtronic, Inc.+









    Penn State University+

    Pitney Bowes+

    Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne+


    Procter & Gamble+

    Progressive Insurance+


    Research in Motion+


    SAP BusinessObjects+



    SK Telecom+

    State of Maryland+

    Sun Microsystems (Oracle)+

    Swedish Armed Forces+

    Texas Instruments+

    The Washington Post+

    United Business Media+

    Wells Fargo+

    Wipro Technologies.

    And we’re just getting started…