Anthony Poncier: For Enterprise 2.0 change management is not an option, but a need!

Anthony Poncier (@aponcier) is the EMEA Social Business Director at MSLGROUP and a long time fellow in the European Enterprise 2.0 community. In the preparation for this year’s edition of Enterprise 2.0 SUMMIT we had sent him some questions on his evaluation of the evolution of social with the corporations that I am still happy to share. Especially as he is neatly in line with the overall call for change.

1) How do you evaluate the status-quo on the introduction and establishment of social initiatives in the workplace?

I think the main issue is that the top management doesn’t really accept that the company has to rework its internal processes (HR, business…) to make a real shift towards a social/digital company, instead of cousing on a collaborative tool which is more simple. What are we exactly talking about ? The use of new tools or the idea of ​​working differently ?
Of course it’s not easy. Change takes time, and must be brought step by step with all stakeholders (who do not necessarily have the same vision). Yes, a digital transformation can unsettle some employees and part of the management, but the actual situation is already unstable and won’t slow down. The issue is not about adding complexity, but focus on central points to spark a move.

2) What are the biggest challenges the projects are facing at the moment?

Today, C-suites are totally focused on the economic downturn. If social can be part of the answer, it’s a mid/long term view, not really a short one. But companies need to set up a long-term vision and strategy too. When they decide to set up a social project they need to get on board the HR team and understand that change management is not an option, but a need. Meaning too that 90% of the budget of the project can’t be dedicated only to the tool. Training is not enought and doesn’t create a wahoo
effect to engage people.

3) What are your suggestions / recommendations to advance the projects?

Project manager has to understand that it takes time, and it is not just about being at ease with a tool, but rather for employees to achieve their daily job in a simplified and more efficient way. It’s about changing work patterns, modes of interaction, management, organizational transformation it takes time, and it is not just about being at ease with a tool, but rather to achieve their mission in a simplified and more efficient way. So it’s about changing work patterns, modes of interaction. So think big (we are talking about transformation), start small (you need to prove with actions not only speeches) and move fast (you can’t go throught a tunnel effect). But even if you move fast, this is a marathon, not a hundred meters race to really transform an organization

4) How can the Enterprise 2.0 SUMMIT 2014 contribute to the progress of this evolution ?

Firstly, it shows that it works. Secondly, the audience will hear some good practices and understand how to dodge the main traps. Thirdly, people will understand that it is not about tool, but culture, change and business. Fourthly, if you run an enterprise 2.0 project, sometimes you can be despondent : at the enterprise 2.0 summit you’ll feel positive energy which will boost you for your project.
But the audience doesn’t have to forget that the knowledge of the experiments is not sufficient. As I often say it’s not by reading books that you will learn to swim. Ditto for enterprise 2.0.


We are very much looking forward to Anthony’s participation in the Enterprise 2.0 SUMMIT. He will be facilitating one of our interactive roundtables.

The following two tabs change content below.
Rogier Noort
I'm a Social Business addict coming from the technical depths of IT and rising from these dark ages, through web and social, to the enlightened field of Social Business. Also blogger, podcaster, talker and listener.