Olivier Berard : the best approach is the one that will fit your organization and employees, not which works for your neighbor.

Olivier-berardAs a member of the #e20s Ambassador Team I had the chance to ask Olivier Berard (Blog / Twitter), consultant in the Social Business internal taskforce at Renault Consulting about his perception of the evolution of the social projects. The questions are in line with the other #e20s status-quo interviews.


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

A clear and specific goal related to the business strategy is missing in most cases. The “what’s the purpose?” question.


Many approaches aim to foster, develop or improve internal collaboration and promote cross-divisional activity (the brake silos mantra). But a common mistake is to consider that they are real businesses goals, ’cause they’re not. They only are a way to achieve businesses goals.


Consequence is that instead of focusing on deep transformation of managerial practices, lots of organizations have launched tools focused strategies which have failed because of a lack of meaning and business alignment.


That’s precisely this lack of meaning and business alignment which causes “resistance to change” of employees (and companies leader).

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

Two cases : “early adopter” projects and new projects.


“early adopter” projects which achieved expected objectives are facing a new challenge : they have to grow into a critical mass and involve all the company (most of social projects didn’t launch involoving all the company).


“early adopters” projets which haven’t achieved expected objectives are facing and other challenge : they have to regain employees and company’s leaders confidence. They need to learn from failures and find the appropriate pivot to make.


New projects are facing a different challenge : they have to ask to collaborators and managers the right questions, e.g. What social can bring as new opportunities? How to promote more the “environment” than the tools? and accept that those projects are sustainable only over the long term.


In all cases, one of the biggest issue is to encourage collaborators and managers to change their practices while the framework remains unchanged.

3) What are your suggestions / recommendations to advance the projects?
  • Plan your change management strategy before launching, not after
  • Think global, this transformation not only concerns the internal part of the company, but also the external one
  • Involve HR
  • Don’t forget the processes
  • A big part of this change is about behaviors, soft skills and fear. We’re human after all…
  • Offer a clear vision to the local management. They often find themself in an uncomfortable situation between opposite expectations
  • You’ve the right to fail and to experiment but you need to do it fast and to learn from your failures
  • Finally do not forget that the best approach is the one that will fit your organization and employees, not the one which works for your neighbor
4) How can the Enterprise 2.0 SUMMIT 2014 contribute to the progress of this evolution?

One of the main topics of the E20Summit 2014 is the integration of social in the business processes, which is often a missing element.


It will be a great opportunity:

  • to meet experienced and passionate practitioners (professionals or experts),
  • to learn from many attending companies their experiences in their way to digitalize their organization and who are at different stages of maturity,
  • to collect elements to lobby the top management for decision-making ,
  • and also to exchange and network with the everyday people involved in 2.0. daily change agents ….

Thank you for your answers.

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Fabien Grenet

Fabien Grenet

Fabien is an entrepreneur who is passionate about business and social innovation. He combines design thinking processes with a start-up attitude to help his clients create and launch innovative products and services into the market. He focuses on generating enough awareness and demand for the products to reach the critical mass necessary for their swift market penetration. Fabien also delivers social collaboration projects to businesses, to which he applies the same successful mechanisms. He is involved in the E20 movement and is also an Enterprise 2.0 Summit ambassador. linkedin - twitter - blog