E2.0 – My Short Summary (and Struggles)

I have spent the past 3 days attending the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in San Francisco, CA. Where I work, we like to sit back and assess where we are (and of course, we like to lead – wherever possible). I plan on posting my complete assessment of the conference in another post…  But,  first a small tease of a blog post…

As I sit in SFO waiting on my 5:30pm flight (there was no earlier one for me), I thought why not post something to get the juices going. I think most companies can make a case that they love competition – and wanting to be  first in almost everything they do. When a challenge is put to the employee base that I work with  – they deliver, hands down and are very proud of that fact. In the area of internal usage of Enterprise 2.0 capabilities – well, in my humble opinion we are just okay.

The conference this time around (last year in Boston – it was more about getting started) – I was able to see many large enterprises stand up and discuss their successes in Enterprise 2.0 collaboration capabilities. Some outstanding results! Some definite struggles along the way. I spent plenty of time in sessions, in hallways, at dinner, in the bar and just standing outside at the conference – picking their brains. There is one thing that I walked away with – where I work – we are not too far behind, but does have some ways to go before we can stand up and be counted with the others. 

The key take-away(s) for me from them all are:

  • Great Management Support is not only necessary, but is key to success. Watching two companies senior leaders stand up and talk about their experiences and the resistance that they faced from their peers – and how they just plowed ahead… Wow, I felt jealous.
  • It is not about the technology – it is about the PEOPLE. Making it part of their workflow is the only way these capabilities are going to be around for a long time. Email – we can laugh now, but back in the day – it faced the same similar start-up issues. Look at it now, well don’t – I try not too.
  • Resistance is around every corner and it is not a generational resistance. Of course, the new employees coming into the workforce are used to some of the capabilities. As I walked around the conference – I saw plenty of the “other” generations using the capabilities and talking about them! For me, I was with my peeps. I was not the old fart sitting there!
  • Fear – seems like someone is afraid of something. What if’s can slow down everything that we do. Those folks that have plowed ahead – have documented the times that the fears have really come to the surface. Many of them reported out that they have had very little problems. Have people posted some stuff that was offensive – none. Has stuff be leaked outside of the enterprise that should not have – nothing more than what they have found in email or papers left in the trash. In fact – the comment was – since everything is inside the firewall – well, it was safer. A quote that got me from one of the senior folks was “I can’t stop you from being stupid, but I sure can point out how stupid you are.” Who is really hurt?
  • Adoption, Adoption and fostering success. Many of the companies are starting to see a need for community managers that this is their full time job to help teams with communications, collaboration and connecting to people and information. Some have tried the volunteer route only to see limited success.
  • Whatever you do, don’t take no for an answer! Personally, I don’t like that one. I see it as, I will take the no for now and come back later… There are so many opportunities and wasting my time on some of them – is only going to frustrate me. I don’t want to be frustrated. I will come back to that opportunity later!

There is much more that I want to write.. But, that will be coming early next week. I wanted to get something out that I think really sets a stage for our internal struggles.