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!

    Planning

    • 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.

    Expertise

    • 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.

    Leadership

    • 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.

    Culture/Education/Adoption

    • 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

    • 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.

    Legal

    • 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.

    Secret Santa Surprise: Land of (not-so) Misfit e20 Toys

    Picture 8To close out 2009, I thought I’d write a wrap-up of some of my favorite Enterprise 2.0 platforms that for some unknown reason don’t have the visibility they may perhaps deserve in the broader landscape. If you’re shopping for Enterprise 2.0 platforms in 2010, please be sure to give a few of these a looksee.

    Picture 13

    1. Traction Software. Traction Teampage has been around since 1999 and was originally developed by the good folks who created hypertext journaling (like, orignally). As you can imagine, over ten years this product has grown to become one of the most versatile tools in the socio-collaborative arsenal. Traction has an A-list of great customers including many security-conscious Federal agencies (such as the Department of Justice). One of our members, Brian Tullis @briantullis (Alcoa), did an amazing job with his case study at Traction’s annual user group conference. You can watch that here.

    Picture 14 2. PBWorks. Similarly, born “PBWiki,” PBWorks has outgrown its wiki origins and has a full-featured platform that now includes voice, micro-blogging, live-editing and notifications, IM, and project management. (I probably left out a few.) This tool also has a very pleasing user interface and could win awards for ease of use. PBWorks seems to have hit a home run in the legal sector, but it’s truly a great platform for anyone interested in collaborating online. ITSinsider e20 trivia contest: First person who comments on the blog who knows what “PB” originally stood for wins a 2.0 Adoption Council coffee mug. (PBWorks employees– you can’t play. )

    Picture 153. ThoughtFarmer. Ah. Jevon McDonald @jevon (my brilliant, handsome fellow EI) introduced me to ThoughtFarmer. It was probably love at first site (pun, yes) with me and ThoughtFarmer. The first time I interviewed Chris McGrath, @thoughtfarmer I may have asked him to marry me as I was so swept away with the beauty of the software and its elegant design. The ThoughtFarmer story started like this: “A client hired us to design their SharePoint site. We hated it so much we decided to tear it apart and start from scratch building a product from the ground up.” Of course, I’m paraphrasing from my memory of the interview. What ThoughtFarmer did, however, was design a socio-collaborative platform starting with PEOPLE as the centerpiece. I think when I heard that, I popped the question to poor Chris. As I commented on the ThoughtFarmer blog last week, some of our best contributions in the Council come from ThoughtFarmer members. I look forward to many years of ThoughtFarmer success.

    Lotus Connections 4. Lotus Connections. Luis Benitez @lbenitez approached me at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in San Francisco and asked me why Connections is not getting more love from the e20 echo chamber. I told him I hadn’t heard a lot from the Connections team and would like to change that. Considering word on the street is that the SharePoint team calls the SharePoint v. Connections bake-off Mike Gotta held in 2008, “The Boston Massacre,” Connections has lost a little momentum over the past year, especially, as MSFT is now evangelizing SharePoint 2010. Connections is still a best-in-class enterprise alternative. Headshift’s Jon Mell @jonmell has some great experience and posts on Connections. Head there for more details.

    Picture 75. Socialcast. Socialcast continues to impress me. The latest redesign of the product is as elegant as it is functional. The platform’s ability to integrate legacy application data, its security provisions (behind the firewall as well as hosted), and the multitude of opportunities to feed external social content make it one of the most simple on-ramping e20 introductory tools available for businesses of every size. Socialcast is also free up to 50 for an unlimited number of users. Check ’em out.

    Of course, these are just a few of my favorite tools in the e20 space. I wish every vendor continued success in the category. The pace of innovation in this sector is part of the fun of being an engaged observer.

    What are your favorite tools/platforms?

    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.