I'm a Web 2.0 expert, and I provide advice and consulting for companies interested in improving collaboration and communication within their business.
I've been working as a Web 2.0 consultant for over four years, and I have focused much of my attention on understanding how and why some people adopt social tools, and others don't. Social software is 'elective', so people can choose whether or not they want to use a blog or a wiki, so how do we introduce these tools in such a way that people are drawn to them? It's an important question to address if social software is to be a success in business.
For me, Enterprise 2.0 is really about mending some fundamentally flawed business management ideas and practices. For decades, there's been this idea that competition between teams and departments increases production, but instead it can cause unhealthy competitive behaviour that damages the not just the company's profits, but also creates an unpleasant working environment. Co-operation and collaboration, on the other hand, can both help businesses become more efficient and productive, and can create a more collegial atmosphere which is more enjoyable to work in.
The careful application of Web 2.0 tools to the enterprise is a challenge, but companies that do so successfully can reap many rewards, including:
- reduce the duplication of effort by ensuring teams working on similar projects are talking to each other
- capture knowledge and wisdom through people's natural desire to communicate, thus helping new starters get up to speed more quickly and ameliorating loss of knowledge when people leave
- easily share that knowledge across teams, departments and countries
- form tighter, more loyal teams by improving interpersonal relationships
- decrease the amount of email being sent by moving communications on to more appropriate tools
- improve collaboration by providing better environments for working together
- make data more findable, and re-findable, thus decreasing the amount of time wasted looking for information
There are many benefits to Enterprise 2.0, some of which can be realised very quickly and easily, but all of which can help create long-lasting positive change.
The main potential of the Enterprise 2.0 idea is something that I have touched on above briefly as well, which is capability to disrupt the traditional corporate space, bringing into the game concepts like corporate responsibility, ownership, accountability, trust, openness, flexibility in such a way that every single knowledge worker has got the opportunity to build further up on their passion for whatever the subject matter by reaching out, connecting and collaborating with other peers, in an environment where openness & transparency are key to help nurture a trustworthy environment where innovation is the main beneficiary. That's the potential that Enterprise 2.0 has been having all along. Nothing to do with the tools, nor the processes. Just the people
Adoption can be a real challenge. The technology is cheap and easy to install, but unless some thought is given to what the tools are going to be used for, and by whom, they can end up languishing on the intranet, unused. Companies are happy to spend money on servers, software and licences, but are often reluctant to spend on the one thing that all Enterprise 2.0 projects rely on - people. I always recommend that companies start thinking about implementation, roll-out and adoption even before they have decided on what tools they are going to install. They have to have a comprehensive strategy that is focused on the users and how the tools are going to help them do their job on a daily basis.
collaborative, creative, curious
[[http://suw.org.uk/2007/06/27/google-tech-talk-scary-monsters-does-social-software-have-fangs/">Google Tech Talk]]
[[http://strange.corante.com/archives/2006/03/05/an_adoption_strategy_for_social_software_in_enterprise.php">Adoption Strategy for Social Media]]
[[http://strange.corante.com/archives/2008/04/29/the_importance_of_pigheadedness.php">The Importance of Pigheadedness]]
[[http://blog.enterprise2open.com/2009/02/20/experts-profile-euan-semple/">Euan Semple]] [[http://blog.enterprise2open.com/2009/04/13/experts-profile-stephanie-booth/">Stephanie Booth]] Kevin Anderson (my husband, so I'm a bit biased, but he's done some truly ground-breaking work in the field of Journalism 2.0)