The Social Enterprise
Social Enterprise: Value co-creation putting people at the center
- Social collaboration that works
- Breaking down the walls of the Social Enterprise
- How Social Customer Service Pays Off in 45 Case Studies
- HR: The unwanted link in Social Business
- The slow transformation towards the digital workplace
- Andrew McAfee
- Bertrand Duperrin
- Charlene Li
- Dion Hinchcliffe
- Gil Yehuda
- Jeff Nolan
- Joshua Porter
- JP Rangaswami
- Lee Bryant
- Luis Suarez
- Oliver Marks
- Oliver Young
- Oscar Berg
- Rod Boothby
- Ross Mayfield
- Sameer Patel
- Stewart Mader
- Susan Scrupski
- The 7 Traits of the Social Employee
- How T-Mobile simplified information sharing for 60,000 using Jive
- Employee Engagement: Beyond Workplace Psychosis 2.0
- 4 Innovation Strategies From Big Companies That Act Like Startups
- The World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Retail
- Can A Big Old Hierarchical Bureaucracy Become A 21st Century Network?
- Millennials share some characteristics with boomers
- Technology Is Wiping Out Companies Faster than Ever
- thingamy: Tinkering with real world BRPs (Barely Repeatable Processes)
- No make-up selfie Cancer Research campaign donations soar to £2million
- Frost & Sullivan Looks at Enterprise Social Media Potential - Information Management Online Article
- Welcome to Center for Network Science (CNS)
- Decrease of Interest in Enterprise Social Software Signals a Shift from Tool to Behavior
- Economic Trends | Welcome to the New Normal of Talent Management | FT Press
- Best practice, Bticino_Diego Gianetti, "Sul campo" l'ambiente Web 2...
- Sales Teams And Value Of Social Software (IBM)
- Why Zappos Pays New Employees to Quit--And You Should Too - Bill Taylor - Harvard Business Review
- Bullish on digital: McKinsey Global Survey results
- BCG - Press Release - The Boston Consulting Group Launches BCG Digital Ventures, a Digital Innovation, Product Development, and Commercialization Firm
Pubblicato da Emanuele Quintarelli | in Enterprise 2.0
By now, many of you will have surely read the recent Drop the Pilot post in which Andrew McAfee, the Enterprise 2.0 father, manifested clear criticism against the way enterprise 2.0 projects are currently launched and cultivated by many experts in this domain. To say the truth, the position taken by Andrew is not completely original given that Michael Idinopulos of Socialtext had sustained the same point of view some time back, generating a lot of discussion in the community.
In the field of Enterprise 2.0, to me a pilot is
a method of co-design and adoption of new collaborative practices that follows an iterative, incremental and risk moderating approach to intentionally avoid organizational resistance
In other words, it is a strategy designed to reassure the management and especially to engage users by putting them at the center of a content and services co-design activity.
What are the main points addressed by Andrew?
- The number of people involved: pilots are usually limited to a small number of people (a percentage of the overall number of employees)
- The low diversity of participants: launching departmental or group confined pilots that operate in a well-defined physical and operational boundary means choosing strongly connected individuals, whose distinctive personal knowledge is marginal compared to the group’s one
Even more meaningful than the criteria for pilot selection is McAfee’s belief that Enterprise 2.0 is first and foremost a matter of serendipity:
The more I learn about and think about the value of emergent social software platforms, the more I suspect that the deep meta-benefit they provide is technology-enabled serendipity, defined as ‘good luck in making unexpected and fortunate discoveries.’ Serendipity is possible when we’re collaborating with our close colleagues on a well-defined project, but that’s probably when it occurs least often. It’s much more likely during wide forays and broad searches, the kind that are so easy to do with current technologies.
If Enterprise 2.0 was totally here, Andrew’s point would have been absolutely on the target and any pilots would not have been representative of critical mass needed to trigger and prove the exponential dynamics of interaction evident in online community . But, in my view, Enterprise 2.0 is not exclusively serendipity.
Looking at my Enterprise 2.0 Framework, developed from McAfee’s Bull’s Eye, it should be clear how more than the strength of ties between participants, what makes a difference are the goals and needs a project is launched for:
If collective intelligence or emergent non-codified expertise are certainly two of the most original contributions introduced by Enterprise 2.0, allowing people to connect, stay in touch, collaborate asynchronously, leaving traces of partial outcomes and maximizing the reusability of these assets over time, should not be ignored at all. In my experience these are among the most frequent scenarios in small and medium enterprises (most of the Italian and European markets).
That’s why I believe broadly discarding pilots as useless or not effective towards large-scale adoption may introduce major drawbacks:
- Losing sight of the relevant benefits Enterprise 2.0 provides at the team, group and department level (at least 50% of the diagram above)
- Introducing harmful fears and resistance among the management in terms of budget, risk, exposure to negative publicity
- Raising political and organizational problems even before showing the effectiveness of participative approaches, because if the project is not a pilot then all business functions must necessarily be involved from the very beginning
- Giving up the chance to start from the bottom up, identifying concrete problems in different parts of the organization and involving people as owners of the project.
All these risks could simply mean jeopardizing again that widespread adoption that we want to achieve avoiding pilots
So what is the most effective approach to launch and nurture an Enterprise 2.0 project that is targeted to the entire organization?
I believe a general answer simply does not exist and that the best way to go should depend on the objective (and type of need even before that) you want to address. If a small group is entirely appropriate if you look at collaboration, to address the other levels of the diagram you should actually reach critical mass but while for collective intelligence numbers are necessarily important, for the intermediate levels starting even with 30-50 people could be actually enough.
Much also depends on the severity of organizational, cultural, geographical barriers among participants in the pilot. Stronger the barriers, greater the value generated allowing people to work together. Additionally, much care should be put while considering the position and reputation of the people who are going to take part to the pilot. Intentionally selecting the right influencers, connectors and trusted sources of informal exchanges will dramatically facilitate how adoption is spread reducing both the time and effort needed.
Pilots or not? As you can see, guidelines, patterns and best practices are slowly emerging and we surely need to take them into consideration. On the contrary I believe it’s much better avoiding generalization here. So my answer is.. it depends!
This post is also available in: Italian