Let Go and Let Talent

What is the most important leadership competency for the successful enterprise of the future?  According to a new study by IBM’s Institute for Business Value, CEO’s point to creativity as the engine for future growth.

Creative leaders are key to driving the kind of change large organizations require to wrestle with global complexity and information overload.  Open leadership coupled with inspiring creativity is the management mantra of this new decade.  It’s a far cry from the pop management themes of yesteryear which advocated tightly controlled hierarchies, silos, and re-engineered and structured processes that slashed costs, jobs, and produced routine outcomes.

One of the reasons I love working with the Council members is because their energy and passion is nearly limitless.  They all work in the sweet spot of this new corporate cultural revolution.  Selling transparency, collaboration, trust, and authenticity– they’re armed with the principles that will guide their organizations to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

As these corporate positions are relatively new, there is a lot of flexibility and opportunity for our members to express creativity to advance the state of adoption company-wide.   Along these lines, I want to highlight one of our members’ (Ted Hopton) efforts to inspire adoption of its socio-collaborative platform.  Called, “the Wiki” (although admittedly, much more than a wiki), UBM employees brainstormed fun and engaging ways to introduce its employees to Jive SBS 4.0’s new features.  As it turns out, employee Chris Harris (aka DJ $crilla) is an award-winning rapper.  He wrote the lyrics, performed, and directed the video.  The video was also filmed and edited by UBM employees.

And what did the CEO, David Levin, think of the creative execution?   He was the chief sponsor and appears in a cameo role.  Big ups, all around.

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.

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.

Fact-gathering on 2.0 Adoption

The recent acquisition of Headshift by the Dachis Group was largely celebrated in the e2.0 community. As I commented for RWW, it’s a testament to a growing, maturing market. Enterprise interest in incorporating 2.0 tools and practices has never been higher. With this stage of evolution comes the good stuff, the fact-based data that helps guide our understanding of where we are, what it takes to get this right, who’s behind Enterprise 2.0 initiatives, what expectations are for business results, how much money will move through the market, etc.

I was really excited to see McKinsey’s 2009 “How Companies are Benefiting from Web 2.0” report that came out this week. Having come from a large consulting background tracking the IT services sector, it’s a raw indicator that the 2.0 phenomenon is about to break out of the echo chamber when the large consulting firms start paying attention. Some of our best contributors in the Council are large consulting firms who are rolling out their own initiatives, and I expect these firms will leverage this intelligence to build their own practices at some point. During the first evolution of the web, a whole host of IT services firms cropped up to take advantage of the promise of enterprise transformation via the web. Most of those firms fell flat in the dotcom meltdown bringing down investors, customers, employees, and the echo chamber. I did a huge research report that profiled who those companies were and what dynamics were driving that sector. What did succeed, royally, from that era is the undeniable impact electronic commerce brought to the consumer and enterprise sectors. Seeing “what could be” drove the vision of many of those early firms, and even if their dreams crumbled under the weight of their own ambition (and hubris), they were correct about identifying the potential of the Internet to radically change business.

So, we’ve moved from e-business to social business in a decade. While the hype factor is still a little deafening, I’m thrilled to announce we will be kicking off the first in-depth exploration into the 2.0 adoption phenomenon to bring some clarity to the maturing market sector. To conduct this research, I’m pleased to announce the Council has signed a strategic partnership with Carl Frappaolo and Dan Keldsen of Information Architected to conduct a qualitative research study on the dynamics surrounding 2.0 adoption, as well as quantitative data on our members relative to industry, professional profiles (titles, organization), budgets, and other data points that present a portrait of who the early adopters really are. I’ve done some preliminary inquiries on our Council members and have already discovered a number of surprising findings that I would not have predicted. For instance, budgets for 2.0 are a lot higher than I would have guessed (if at all even established).

budget
Other interesting findings reveal that IT is not driving many of the decisions to implement a wide-scale enterprise 2.0 initiative. Lines of business comprise the lion’s share of our members.

One of the greatest goals for this research is to finally highlight salient case studies that explain the motivation behind the 2.0 effort as well as the expected business results.

For example, I conducted an interview this week with a very well known Wall Street investment bank. It was the audit and compliance global organization that drove an e20 solution to answer an age-old problem: high inefficiencies and underutilization. It’s an impressive global rollout that incorporates 5 financial center locations with approximately 200 of the firm’s subject matter experts in product, trading desk, regulatory, and banking. The initiative has yielded a “huge leap forward” according to the bank due to the transparency and visibility the firm has now as a result of breaking down the fiefdom walls that impeded the firm’s progress in years past. Greatest challenge? The people issues. It forces employees to communicate more. Additionally, the new processes expose the weak links in the firm and threaten job security/relevance. Greatest benefit? The initiative answers to the Board of Directors and provides predictable, reliable reporting that mitigates risk and ensures regulatory compliance. I asked my contact if the effort played any role in the financial recovery of this particular firm, he said not really because this was purely a cost-containment effort, yet he added, “The platform should, however, allow [the firm] to be more nimble in the face of increased regulatory scrutiny. Management can now see the effects of re-allocating resources to review areas of the firm with a higher perceived risk.”

All good stuff. There are so many exciting initiatives going on within the Council membership, I am thrilled to be able to bring them to light via our research. We will be presenting top-line findings of this research at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in San Francisco (Nov. 2 – 5). The Council has a number of initiatives going on at the conference, and I’ll be blogging about them in the upcoming weeks.

If you are a customer in the throes of adoption and would like to participate in the research, please simply request to join The 2.0 Adoption Council. Membership is free and you will receive a tremendous return on your (non) investment.

They’re Real, and They’re Spectacular

The 2.0 Adoption Council is off to a rockin’ start. We’re about 7 weeks into our new venture. I launched the Council on 6/26/09 on LinkedIn. We’ve sinced move our conversations to Socialcast (7/13/09) and the Jive SBS platform (7/15/09). We currently have about 50 members. During our weekly Council conference call last week, we discussed the size and scope of the Council. I mentioned that I’d like to get the Council to 100 members. I am in the process of considering various membership models, but my intention for this first 100 inaugural members is membership will always be free or very low-cost. I’m currently reading Chris Anderson’s “Free” and have taken away a number of great ideas from it already.

Anderson talks about the “is it worth it?” flag when making a decision. With free, “that flag never goes up and the decision is much easier.” In my opinion, having tracked Enterprise 2.0 for nearly three years now, the “market” is not about transactions, but about relationships. If you have a solid understanding of what drives the SocialWeb, you should appreciate why “Free” is the best pricing model for the Council startup.

Creating value in the Council is opt-in. The more members participate and share, network effects will amplify the value each member receives individually. We have the potential in this group to do much better than Jakob Nielson’s 90-9-1, considering each member only has to commit a fraction of their work week/personal time to participating in the Council. But considering all members are socialweb savvy, I expect contributions to grow steadily as more members draw greater utility from the conversations and connections.

Picture 10Take a look at the market leaders who comprise our Council. All of the members here have been personally vetted by me. Each is engaged in some facet of Enterprise 2.0, social media, or social computing. As far as I’m aware, nothing else like this exists on the planet. We got a nice endorsement from Andy McAfee this week too.

I took a quick snapshot of who the group is and what they’re currently budgeting for spend on Enterprise 2.0. About half of the members answered the survey already (in bold). The members come from all areas of the business: CIO/IT, Knowledge Management, CTO/Innovation, HR, and Marketing. In fact, it turns out that 64% of our surveyed members come from LOBs, not IT. Regarding spend, I found it extremely interesting that 36% of members are budgeted to spend $1 – $5M on their social computing strategy/execution. Another 40% are still in the planning stages, which I find to be very promising and a real boon to future spend coming from these market leaders.

I put up a simple web site this week at www.20AdoptionCouncil.com. I’ll be adding more content there over time. We are also working on an external community similar to what Jerry and Robin have done with Social Media Today. Please let me know if you’d like to be an inaugural blogger there. The invitation is extended to all regular readers of ITSinsider and, effectively, the entire Enterprise 2.0 Community. Our Council members will be blogging there as well, so you will have the opportunity to comment on their content and interact with them directly.

Very exciting times we are living in… Enterprise 2.0 is, indeed, real and spectacular.