11 Replies Latest reply: Aug 10, 2009 3:29 AM by Russell Pearson RSS

    What is the core challenge for Enterprise 2.0 initiatives?

    Gia Lyons

      Dion Hinchcliffe, a noted thought leader in the social computing space, posits this notion in his Enterprise 2.0 Bootcamp course:

       

      Ultimately, the core challenge for an Enterprise 2.0 initiative is to transform the culture of an organization to use fewer non-social software tools, openly sharing more business information, and be knowledgeable about and effective in consuming worker-generated content. This must all be accomplished while still maintaining minimal disruption to business activities.

       

      What do you think?

        • Re: What is the core challenge for Enterprise 2.0 initiatives?

          In addition to the culture transformation that has to occur on an Enterprise level, there are a few additional challenges. Work flow management is tough. This is touched upon in the initial post, but worth a second mention. Changing how you work is difficult, but the transition creates a situation where workers have the new enterprise social platform, e-mail, meetings, calls, sharepoint sites, etc. etc. There are duplicate paths in the initial phases that create challenges in managing all of the "to do's" and learning how to leverage the new tools. Another challenge is the roll-out itself. My experience with an Enterprise launch was disjointed, which I am sure that is not uncommon. There were groups, spaces, both and duplicates all created around what should have been one topic. The beauty is the ability for users to create a folksonomy, but base e, guidelines and and an implementation plan beyond "go" is critical. Finally I think a core challenge is internal technical support of the platform. There is undoubtedly learning curve associated with internal IT groups working on the new platform in addition to their other baseline responsibilities. This part of the process can also be painful.

          • Re: What is the core challenge for Enterprise 2.0 initiatives?
            nnewcomer

            Definitely a core challenge is how to get people to add content that actually gets at the goal of knowledge capture. From the perspective of management, it's not just a way for employees to interact -- it's also a critical tool for avoiding brain drain when people leave the company.

             

            Otherwise, it's "one more thing" rather than an integrated tool that is part of workflow. Right now, we are stuck at one more thing and it's just a glorified intranet. We want it to be much more than that.

            • Re: What is the core challenge for Enterprise 2.0 initiatives?
              nnewcomer

              Oh! And our employees consistently say they have more trouble finding things in our internal version of SBS than they did in our old static intranet. Perhaps it's undue nostalgia, but a real hurdle in terms of user adoption.

              • Re: What is the core challenge for Enterprise 2.0 initiatives?
                Iain Colledge

                Ouch! We were lucky(?) in that for a big part of our business the Intranet had basically been abandoned and apart from a couple of departments anything anybody found tended to be at least a year and a half out of date. This has helped with our SBS installation looking more attractive.

                 

                Back on topic I have to agree that culture change is key. For example I was against private and secret groups on our SBS install but as Gia rightly pointed out it lets people get on platform and become used to it. Right now 2 months after launch the debate about private vs open is going strong within the user base and groups are starting to flip to becoming open as the wisdom of the crowd benefits overwhelm the desire to keep things secret from colleagues.

                 

                Raising awareness of problems in a public forum can upset people at first as lets face it as reports move up the chain of command the truth can bend a little, no one wants to tell their boss the bad news. Thus open discussion about problem areas can upset command and control types at first.

                 

                Even IT departments can be a problem, especially if they have been promoting say Sharepoint as the chosen collaboration platform which is just as good as SBS as 'it also has forums, wikis and blogs so what is the reason to use SBS?'.

                 

                The software is easy, people to it very well, the culture change that comes with these capabilities, that is the biggest challenge.

                • Re: What is the core challenge for Enterprise 2.0 initiatives?
                  Aaron Johnson

                  hi Nova Newcomer,

                   

                  Are there some specific instances that you can mention where users are having a hard time finding things? I'm assuming they're using the built-in search or is it that they expect to be able to browse for content and that's breaking down? Are you on 3.0? If so, have bookmarks come up as an option? How did users find things on the old intranet?

                   

                  AJ

                  • Re: What is the core challenge for Enterprise 2.0 initiatives?
                    Iain Colledge

                    We've had a similar query from people that come from the old school directory structure of an Intranet and the answer is always to tell them to think of Jive as the Internet. Use search to find anything and don't try and nav to it. Once they get that model they can find things easily.

                     

                    Iain

                    • Re: What is the core challenge for Enterprise 2.0 initiatives?
                      nnewcomer

                      I hate to be the naysayer, but I have to say that the idea of getting people to think differently in any significant way seems to be an uphill battle not worth fighting. I don't think the job of a community manager is to get people to think differently. It should be to provide them with the tools and information that helps them get their job done. The tool, whether it be SBS or another tool, needs to be able to cater to all different learning styles.

                       

                      Yes, newer and younger employees are going to catch onto this stuff earlier, but from everything I have read, the boomers are in the workforce to stay for a while -- we need to make sure they are on board with the tools we provide for information.

                       

                      Having a communication background, if employees can't find information, I don't fault the employee for not knowing how to find it or not thinking in my model. Instead, I see it as the responsibility of the communicator to deliver information in ways that it can be absorbed by people who think and learn differently -- as we all do.

                       

                       

                      Nova Newcomer

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                      • Re: What is the core challenge for Enterprise 2.0 initiatives?
                        Iain Colledge

                        I totally see your point but here's the thing. Social Business Software is not a website. Its a social application like Facebook rather than the traditional hierarchical Intranet that people had before. Most of the action (for us at Bupa) takes place in Groups, and there is no hierarchy associated with Groups. Just like Facebook or Wikipedia for example the way to find information or people is search (of course following links is an option but is better for surfing rather than find it right now). Jive is the same as the hierarchy or rather the tagging is determined by the crowd rather than a central command and control.

                         

                        With Social Business Software search is the way to find what you want and that is the best way as applications like Jive allow the capture of unstructured information in an organisation which tends to be where all the good stuff happens. How much decision making process is tied up and lost in email or collaboration buried in personal folders in word documents that have been passed back and forth amongst a group? SBS documents and discussions allow this to be captured and findable and being unstructured it doesn't necessarily fit into an existing structure. Sure we have a hierarchy of spaces which is the comms channel for our Internal comms but the action takes place in the unstructured parts of Bupa Live and the only way to get there is to hunt it down like you would something ok Wikipedia.

                         

                        Getting this message out we're making part of training as much as learning how and what a blog is or discussion and when to use them etc.

                         

                        Hope this helps.

                        • Re: What is the core challenge for Enterprise 2.0 initiatives?
                          nnewcomer

                          You make good points, Iain. This thread is about the core challenges for Enterprise 2.0. I would say one of the core challenges is the idea that people should think differently. Certainly, I am moving my community along the spectrum from hierarchical information to well-organized, searchable information. However, the perspective you present is very tool-oriented. And I think that may be the difference between our approaches. I don't believe that any tool should dictate how people communicate. People communicate and tools help facilitate that. There are certainly a lot of things going for Social Business Software, but I think there is a lot of improvement around visual organization of information. I can search every individual home on Google Maps, but the result that is returned puts it in a visual context for me to see what's around it. I think there is work to be done on providing better tools for presenting/aggregating information on SBS. Not everyone knows exactly what document they are looking for and not everyone wants to wade through search results to find it. I just went through a 20 hour audit including interviews and focus groups and the issue of how information is organized on our SBS instance was the most common thread. I believe Search is only a component of the SBS experience. What did Facebook and MySpace do differently -- Facebook standardized the visual presentation, while MySpace allowed individual page customization -- both to varying results and opinions. Just because it's a social application doesn't mean that the interface and presentation of information doesn't matter or is obsolete. Certainly, training employees on how to customize their personal view and pull in the content that they want to access regularly is a good way to solve some of these issues and we are working on this.

                           

                           

                          Nova Newcomer

                          COMMUNITY MANAGER

                           

                          DIR           503-575-4109

                          • Re: What is the core challenge for Enterprise 2.0 initiatives?
                            employees to learn new behaviours...
                            • Re: What is the core challenge for Enterprise 2.0 initiatives?
                              Russell Pearson
                              This is the conundrum of upgrading the engine while running at full-speed. How to do it without losing momentum, or direction? As with any technological and social shift the business drive is what defines how and when this takes place. Social technologies offer the potential of far reaching productive advantage in the way they can help an enterprise improve the ways it innovates and goes to market via enhanced collaboration and knowledge sharing. The business transformation happens when this type of culture becomes part of the way the enterprise operates in terms of both its internal interactions and with customers, partners and even competitors - the 'frenemies' syndrome. The biggest challenge will be for those companies that do not embrace this shift, or who operate with reified technologies and practices and who find themselves unable to change.