Frederic Charles : Enteprise 2.0 is the new form of a more opened entreprise.

As a member of the #e20s Ambassador Team I had the chance to ask Frederic Charles about his perception of the evolution of the social projects. The questions are in line with the other #e20s status-quo interviews.


Frederic (Blog / Twitter) is an enterprise 2.0 evangelist passionate about business innovation. He is in charge of IT Strategy & Governance and head of Digital Relationship team and Applications at Lyonnaise des Eaux. Frederic is therefore a conference speaker of the Enterprise 2.0 SUMMIT.




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

The status quo is much stronger than imagined at the beginning when we started in 2009. It was thought that the number of people who would benefit in their daily work from social tools would be stronger. But the reality is that we remain in a minority ‘ evangelists ” who drives the train and a majority of employees is comfortably installed at the rear and enjoys the view. And in some companies, most employees are not in the train at all, because they are connected to any information systems during their work.


Under these conditions, the profound transformation of the business toward social business and the implementation of a social model in the enterprise, had difficulty to emerge. However, social networks as tools, on a limited perimeter are not questioned. Eg they are more efficient than the old “press review” that generates unnecessary photocopying. In the same way, social networks really help to lead projects or business experts community,stimulating creativity and more effective interactions.


For me, this status quo is explained by the “digital divide” that has not been crossed by a large number of company employees . Not that they reject computers, because they are increasingly required to access the information and deal with the administrative part of their jobs (communication, agenda, expenses, invoices, … ), but they were not incorporated as tools for personal development. So much of “employees 1.0”, which only use the digital to do their job, but that does not seek to learn more and discover new ways of working. In a world where IT is more and more complex and requires time to be dominated.

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

The main obstacle I see in a project of ” social transformation” which is launched today, is that it would be just a project. Not a transformation process. Something that has a beginning and an end, a budget, and is seen by those who are not in as an externality.


Social transformation must be pushed from the insideout and therefore put in main drivers of the company, whether the processes, tools , HR policies, management…


The open innovation, which is not something natural – go and share your innovation with others and even competitors -, managed to deliver the transformation from insideout of some companies around strategic themes the company has chosen. Why? Because from start we had the recognition that innovation could not only come from the company.

By analogy a social transformation project must recognize that the structures established as powerful as they are, will not address and resist all changes which are required to come to the company in the next few years. Starting with the digital transformation of the company requiring the creation of eco-systems, where startups are very goog at.


Then, once this recognized, the transformation will fall into place because it has a purpose and created a “sense of urgency”: the long-term survival of the company.

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

To my mind, hopes to change this situation come from two things:

  • Motivation for employees to have a greater involvement in their work. This situation may be an indicator of a certain “rupture” between the company and its employees that HR must address. Why should I do more than what I need, and invest in creating relationships in the enterprise, outside my office.
  • The availability of the social platform on employees personal mobile devices. There, the DSI has a role to play with leaves to treat security aspects specifically more assertive opening policy.
4) How can the Enterprise 2.0 SUMMIT 2014 contribute to the progress of this evolution?

The SUMMIT 2014 should be an opportunity for all participants to discuss the successes and failures in each of their companies and identify those “quick wins” areas where social transformation can germinate easily and effectively .


But this is only the start point. We need to highlight all the new approaches that seem initially marginal , and when we look closer, require the company to create internal and external communities. I’m talking about open innovation, “hackathons” , “barcamps” , fablabs , design with customers or suppliers, …


All these approaches require to leave the rigidity of the processes and management rules well long established, to create deliverables that would have never been produced within these established rules.


Enterprise 2.0 is the new form of a more opened entreprise.

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