We have a wide range of experiences with executive support relative to adoption of 2.0 in the Enterprise. Some of our members are ecstatic when their CEO blogs on an internal platform without first going through PR; some try to keep the initiative under the radar of the leading executives. We’ve seen it all.
This video by member @ted_hopton‘s company, UBM, is the new standard-bearer. For all of you battling for executive support, watch it and weep. 🙂
Of course, we all hate the fact UBM calls its socio-collaborative platform a Wiki, but we’ll take it.
With all my dedicated passion for the social web and its inspirational, world-changing promise, people often wonder why I’ve chosen to focus on the enterprise. My answer is: because it’s hard and #ifnotyouthenwho? One of the last bastions of resistance to embrace the tenets of 2.0 philosophy is found in the large corporate culture. It also happens to be an area where I feel I can do the most good and leverage my career relationships to inspire individuals to start thinking and acting a different (read: better) way.
That said, the “2.0 for the enterprise” community is small. It is a mere fraction of the worldwide tech population. Consider the Enterprise 2.0 Conference brings out maybe 1500 people. Compare that to, say a tech conference like Oracle OpenWorld, which will draw over 40K people to San Francisco alone next week. Even if you layer on the explosion taking place with social media, social CRM, and online communities, it’s still a relatively new phenomenon even here in the USA where professionals are still just now signing up for LinkedIn and Facebook. The #newTwitter will arrive as the only Twitter for the millions of people who have not been Twitter enthusiasts from the beginning. There will come a time when social media will be like air, but that is still a time in the future.
Considering where we are in the evolution of making a difference, today’s mission should focus squarely on inspiration, not perspiration. It’s that 1% of spark of genius that will ignite a revolution in our time. Last week, I tracked JiveWorld 2010 via Twitter (#JW10). I so now regret not going. My hat is off to Jive for inspiring its customers to go beyond, to literally encourage and support them in their mission to change the world of work. So many of our members who are Jive customers are having career-changing, life-changing experiences as a result of this newfound freedom and empowerment. Take Council member Bart Schutte, for instance, who blogged passionately,
“As someone who has been in the IT industry for 28 years… together we have the opportunity to define this new revolution…I can’t remember being more pumped up about my work. Nothing that I have done over the last three decades will have as big an impact as what I am doing now.”
And it’s not only Jive customers who feel this excitement. Whether our members are working with SharePoint, Lotus Connections, ThoughtFarmer, or the so-called Frankenstein suites that have been integrated to meet the needs of the large enterprise, customers who are in the driver’s seat of this transformation all share a similar desire to create change. My hope is all vendors will inspire their customers to get as charged up as Jive’s customers are. In a small market, it’s easy to get drawn into religious wars over platforms and persuasions, but petty in-fighting is counter-productive to the larger task at hand. That task is expanding the small pie sliver that now comprises the social business movement, so real change can occur on a grand scale.
To the uninspired that are not feelin’ the passion, I feel compelled to address the principle argument against embracing working socially: what’s the ROI? Management theorists have posited that employee engagement leads to business outcomes for years. There are books, lectures, MBA courses that even pre-date the 2.0 enterprise movement that validate this premise. I am not worried there are no formulaic guarantees on social business successes yet. “If you do x, you’ll get y.” Personally, I wish we could change ROI to become Return on Inspiration. The fact remains, large companies who are experimenting and rolling out these massive deployments are still in the early stages. I’m certain the proof positive is coming, but ask yourself: are we measuring the right indicators? Are we (only) looking for evidence under the spotlight of things we know?
Which brings us to the job of the Internal Evangelist. We call them evangelists because they are preaching a foreign gospel in their large organizations. I’ve done this, it’s tough. It’s a thankless and oftentimes painful job. We are researching salaries for internal evangelists in the Council at present. Although I’ve been pleased to see we have fairly high level managers responsible for driving this change, it occurred to me that our members should receive “combat pay” bonuses as part of their compensation package. The career risks our members take every day on the front lines of change, should be rewarded in every way possible. The members come to the Council for refuge, to get support when they are faced with skepticism and setbacks. Yet, we rejoice a lot more than we complain. In fact, we have a running tag in the Council: #clang. We ring a bell for every victory. This tag is by far one of our most popular tags.
Don’t hate the playa; hate the game.
So to all those who wish to derail the conversation away from what is needed right now– passion– I offer this video interview with Seth Godin and dedicate it to the hard-working folks who are doing this every day.
If you don’t have time to watch the whole video, here are some nuggets:
“The heart of what’s going on here; the heart of the shift in our economy is this at the core. You don’t have to be [famous] to do this.”
“It’s not about permission; it’s about the passion and the decision to make an impact.”
“…highlighting and talking about the good stuff and giving those people a platform to succeed.”
“If you’re going to have an impact, you’re going to have to find out where the fear is. What tricks do you have available to you to overturn that resistance to change?”
“Happiness’ best friend is kindness.”
“Passion’s best friend is generosity.”
“Give people the emotional gift of connection and meeting them in ways that matter.”
Indeed, a Quiet Riot is percolating in the heretofore boring ERP sector. I spotted Josh Greenbaum‘s post on “Enterprise Relationship Planning” this afternoon. In the Council, we have dredged up a 90s label– The Extended Enterprise— to categorize discussions about how our members are architecting their socio-collaborative initiatives to span partners in their supplier, distributor, and delivery chains. Included here is the massive momentum around Social CRM that is touching the customer in personal ways as well and reinventing what it means to be proactive and responsive to existing and potential buyers. One of our largest members recently made a platform selection choice based nearly exclusively on the chosen vendor’s ability to bridge to external collaborators while retaining the ability to keep the conversation secure behind the firewall. All of our members are somewhere in the adoption phase of evaluating these options. The confluence of all SaaS and enterprise legacy systems and social is coming… It’s not if, it’s when.
The unique thread that links the revitalization of all these mechanical, cumbersome, process-driven software “systems” is people. People with intelligence, with tacit knowledge, with “exceptions” expertise. We had a fantastic Council guru Q&A last week with Socialtext’s Ross Mayfield. Socialtext cites a whopping statistic that turns traditional ERP on its head, “An estimated 60 to 80% of an organization’s work is ‘exception’ oriented.” Squeezing the life (variability) out of a process is passe and will be replaced or supplementing with social data to improve its effectiveness, not detract from it. This is a revolutionary idea.
This sentiment is expressed by one of our members, Todd Weidman, who was discussing the rigidity of the Six Sigma process:
“In my experience in financial services, it’s used as a framework to eliminate as much process variation as possible. The processes become repeatable, follow a strict pattern, and ideally you reduce the cost of any transaction (and make it predictable, standard, and outsourcable). That’s fine if your building something to spec (manufacturing), but in any service-based industry, client needs demand many different types of solutions – think financial planning – there may be a number of different inputs for a customized solution. That, of course, requires collaboration between participants.”
Indeed, the future is about relationships. And relationships are about people, not stuff.
It’s that time again. Last year was our inaugural celebration awarding a Council member, “Internal Evangelist of the Year.” (#IEoY09)
We created this award to recognize an individual who has gone above and beyond the #dayjob requirements and truly has been an inspiration for the company leading a radical (and most often) difficult transformation of the large enterprise.
As I said last year, the same is true this year:
“…the job of the internal evangelist is far, far more difficult. These folks toggle between fighting the good fight every day and then slipping uneasily into a sort of DMZ where they can peek out into the broader community for support and the rejuvenation they need to go on fighting another day. It’s often a thankless job with no clear roadmap for advancement, yet the majority of them do it because they believe in the principles of the 2.0 movement. I celebrate them!”
Interestingly enough, last year’s award winner, Claire Flanagan, was promoted to Social Collaboration Director at the Boston E20 conference. Hence, she created her own roadmap for advancement and was publicly and privately recognized for it by her employer. We’ve all had an amazing year. When I posted about the IEoY09 last year, we had just 40 members in the Council. We now have 6x that number and the percentage of our “heavy users/most engaged” far surpassed 40 a long while ago. Even with the natural churn (members coming, going, new jobs, etc.), we are consistently growing and individual members have the accretive value of every new node’s contribution to the group intelligence.
So, this year’s winner will be harder to choose than ever. The final selection will weigh heavily on the member’s recommendations from colleagues in the company, but we are considering all nominations including self-nominations. Do not be shy! Vote for your favorite Council member. It’s good for the member to be recognized for achievements and career advancement; it’s good for the company in that it reinforces how critical the social business effort is to the organization; and it’s good for the sector as it validates the passion and enthusiasm this particular trend brings to the landscape for business reinvention.
Here are the rules/instructions:
1. The nominee must be a member of The 2.0 Adoption Council. If you would like to recognize someone who is deserving of the award and is leading a social business transformation at your company (or any company), please simply ask them to join the Council. The Council is free to join for qualified members.
2. We are looking for that extra something. How did the member sway opinion in the company or in the industry at large? Did the member demonstrably take a risk that paid off? Are there any success metrics you have regarding adoption or transformative change in the organization you can tout due to the members’ efforts? Has the business realized any measurable gains specific to the 2.0 effort? In other words, the IEoY award is not a popularity contest. It’s an achievement reward.
3. Where to vote:
– We have two forms for nominations. My preferred form is the same one we used last year on Google. You can access it here.
– We have a duplicate of the original form on SurveyGizmo. You an access it here. We needed an alternative web address, as many of our members cannot access Google apps behind the firewall. Please only use this form if you do not or do not wish to use the Google form.
4. Deadline for submissions is October 22, 2010.
5. The Twitter hashtag for this year’s award is #IEoY10. Most of the Council members can be found on Twitter. Jamie Pappas has a list, and the @20adoption account follows members on Twitter.