I'm a Partner at Human 1.0, serving as the enterprise client services expert, supporting the innovation and insights team, spending significant time focused on collaboration, innovation and social strategies.
Human 1.0 is a customer strategy firm that helps companies innovate business programs, practices and organizational culture to realize the benefits of social media and Web 2.0 both inside and outside their organization, end-to-end. Through extensive research and first hand client engagement projects, we have found that companies that are successful in leveraging social media and communities do so by turning their business processes into social processes â" at Human 1.0, that's what we do, we help clients turn their customer-facing processes into social processes.
Prior to joining Human 1.0 this year, I was the co-founder of a consulting company, Information Architected from 2008-2011, the co-founder of AIIM.org's Market Intelligence research division, and spent 13 years at Delphi Group/Perot Systems in IT, as an industry analyst/researcher, consultant and instructor.
At Delphi Group, in 2003, I was the first analyst to begin discussing wikis, blogs and other technologies now rolled under the term "Enterprise 2.0." At the time, we (and all firms like us at the time) were talking about classic Enterprise Content Management and Knowledge Management systems. But it was becoming clear that bigger, more expensive, and more complicated systems were not the answer.
I remember suggesting at Delphi Group that we should cover wikis et al in 2003, and was literally laughed out of the main conference room by my fellow analysts. That didn't stop me from covering the topic however, and it created a rapid way for us to get into the space despite my internal opposition. Recognition from the outside helped to pull the rest of the company along with my "crazy" idea about the next wave that was coming along.
It's hard to pin down a single core concept of Enterprise 2.0 - which I see as a strength of the term rather than a weakness.
I find Enterprise 2.0 one of the most usefully flexible terms I've encountered in this portion of the high-tech industry, as compared to say, Intranets. It is often mistakenly seen as a technology category, and while technology can and often does play a role, to me, Enterprise 2.0 is about rethinking the nature of what an enterprise even is - and how to best empower the humans within every Enterprise, as well as their clients, customers, partners, suppliers, etc., to be much more effective and empowered than the vast majority of enterprises have allowed until recently.
To me, Enterprise 2.0 is about putting a more human-oriented culture and philosophy around how enterprises are created, putting people first, and tightly aligning what the company does to those connection points to their own employees and customers. And with the appropriate technologies, that can be done better, faster, cheaper and more effectively now than ever before.
As a disciple of Lean (from manufacturing and Toyota, primarily) I see the primary potential of Enterprise 2.0 is to enable smooth flow, and to eliminate the wastes, that we've both purposefully and inadvertently created in most enterprises.
What do I mean by that?
Employees should not have to weave through a complicated internal maze of politics and siloed applications to get their jobs done, and neither should customers. And importantly, any barriers, political, technological, or otherwise, that stand between the inside and outside of the company, should also be aimed at removing or modifying. It doesn't matter to me what timeline that happens on, but companies have put barriers in place that helped THEM (maybe) to organize themselves as a company, that in many ways, has harmed all the people involved in actually delivering value to their customers.
People seem to see Enterprise 2.0 as an "all in" or "do nothing" experience. While there are some of us (and I'm one of them) who like to jump into the deep end of a new trend and see what it's all about, there a plenty who would rather wait for the 2nd, 3rd and further waves of "proof" to come along to show them that there is something real and useful for them. There's nothing wrong with that, although it can be frustrating if you're an innovator caught in a laggard enterprise (to use Geoffrey Moore's "Chasm" language).
Common stumbling points:
- "This technology is too new and weird" - well, wikis have been available for over 15 years now. How old does something "new" have to be before it's no longer new?
- "We're not ready for radical transparency" - great, so start with better transparency in your supply chain, or for customers to see the actual status of a help ticket without having to pick up the phone - self-service and real-time notifications. Or better transparency internally for employees, while you set the stage to become more transparent with customers
- "We don't have time for people to be Twittering around in the Enterprise" - you can "waste time" on the phone, in email, in meetings, sending faxes, etc.. It's not the technology - it's what you do with it. Find a situation where information takes too long to come back, and start having people post short status updates with what's going on in their area of the business.
The list goes on, but there is always an entry point, and you don't have to go "all in" to begin to get comfortable with any of the changes implied within Enterprise 2.0.
Humanist - collaborative - innovator