Thanks for visiting ME2: Monday Enterprise 2.0…my weekly foray into exploring professional and personal topics on the tip of my mind.
Can We Afford Not To?
As of late I chuckle when I read so much in the E2.0 world about the inherent struggles associated with making a business case and driving adoption of new capabilities. Don’t get me wrong, I am not discounting the validity of those challenges, nor that I have experienced them in the past and will definitely have to work very hard on each in the near future. But as of late, my work time seems to be consumed by the opposite problem…new people/teams/projects coming out of the woodwork every week yearning for improved ways to collaborate…and wanting on board with my efforts ASAP. It’s a good problem to have, but I am beginning to feel the aches in my neck that Hercules probably felt about 6 months into carrying the world on his shoulders.
The problem lies in the fact that most people discover my project through a colleague of a colleague of a colleague. In such a large organization (sans horizontally-effective collaboration tools) it is difficult to make everyone aware of “coming attractions.” So what happens when people are desperate and frustrated with what is available to them and no immediate hope on the horizon? They find their own way (unlike my beloved Colts). Sometimes their “own way” includes going through the proper channels to implement a collaboration tool for local use, not knowing that introducing disparate social collaboration tools would be detrimental to the critical mass benefits we want to achieve. Other times their “own way” is using external tools where the data security and control risks aren’t well explored or mitigated. I at least have the luxury of describing what is to come to subdue localized efforts or inappropriate use of external tools for the greater cause…but I worry about organizations that aren’t yet to the point of being able to answer “When will then be now?” with “Soon!”
Can they really afford to not be closing in on offering their enlightened employees Hope 2.0? (Sorry, couldn’t resist)
How long will intelligent and creative employees who are tired of wasting their time and energy with less efficient methods of collaboration wait idly by? It is way too easy now with the publicly available tools, many of which are free. And introducing corporate policies that “Just Say No” may work temporarily, but likely at the expense of employee engagement and ultimately productivity.
So back to the “driving adoption will be a struggle” concept…I am focused on it for sure because I understand that not everyone falls into the “already converted” camp that I describe above…but the reality has been for me that “herding the cats” has proven to be a huge time-consumer early in our E2.0 implementation efforts…and over time as we are able appease the self-converted with some capable tools…then our focus can shift to driving adoption for the next wave of employees via demonstration of real value and real business use cases identified not just by me, but also the people who showed some patience and afforded us the opportunity to deliver on the hope we promised.
Getting Real with E2.0 – My best example from the week of people using E2.0 to generate value in the work environment:
One of the most common themes I read from new internal bloggers is “I’m not sure anyone will read this or if anyone will care what I have to say.” Sometimes there is truth to that because we are all busy with our day jobs, but occasionally we all benefit from working out loud because of the potential for serendipity and ability to retrieve that conversation for future reference.
Just this week we had an example of an employee frustrated with how convoluted managing the security settings within a collaboration space had become. She blogged about her observations of the site (many security layers, individual items managed separately from the overall site, many people with admin controls applying different security strategy), how she was tasked with trying to fix it and asked if anyone had any advice on how to ease the pain and confusion.
In relatively short order a few people commented on her blog (including myself) with best practices on simplifying security management (like starting out more open than closed). She responded that the feedback was timely because she had a meeting coming up…she presented the suggested concepts to her director and team and they agreed to move in a similar direction. Benefits: 1) Quicker to learn from experience of others than reinvent the wheel yourself and 2) Easier to convince others your idea is a good one when based on the experience of others instead of developed from scratch.
And to top it off, that virtual conversation will live on as data and if anyone else ever poses a similar question, maybe they’ll find it via enterprise search or maybe they’ll ask a community with a member aware of this blog post…who can provide a link instead of reinventing the conversation all over again.
Top Reads of the Week:
- EMC Enterprise 2.0 Case Study Webinar – I’ve been a little link heavy on these webinars the last couple weeks, but it is warranted. There is great experiential data in these things that any practitioner should steal from shamelessly. Great job by Jamie.
- Critics Say Google Invades Privacy with New Service – If you haven’t been following the buzz on Google Buzz this week, this is a nice summary of the primary issues encountered. To Google’s credit, they have been quick to respond to these serious issues…probably faster than most would expect from a functional delivery standpoint. But it makes you think about speed vs. quality. Google is often used in case studies about how to deliver innovation quickly. And more often than not they have done so well. But examples such as this are what keep most of us operating more conservatively.
- What Really Motivates Workers? – “What’s my motivation?!!??” Progress. What’s my point? Read the first section of this blog post again.
Tweets of the Week:
- @cflanagan: “Proud of our fellow @20Adoption Council member @JamiePappas is doing a great job on the EMC case study #acweb3″ - Check out the #acweb3 stream for more great tidbits from this webinar. Reaction and feedback was very positive.
- @SameerPatel: “RT @labnol: stupid advice from entrepreneur.com ‘Don’t let family obligations become interruptions to ur biz success.’ http://bit.ly/96Lv1F“ – My bad advice of the day: “Don’t let Valentine’s Day get in the way of completing your Monday blog post :)”
- @gyehuda: “+1 RT @Gartenberg: If Microsoft released Buzz the the way Google did, the lawsuits would have already started” – I haven’t tried it yet and probably won’t. Just amazed at the amount of conversation that Buzz has created this week when I don’t really see it offering much that we don’t already have, just in a different place. Even without the security issues, I don’t get it. (Now I sound like my Facebook friends that say to me “I don’t get Twitter.”) Touche.
As disappointed as I was watching the Olympics opening ceremonies, I was equally riveted watching Apolo Ohno in short track skating the next evening. In his first heat he waited at the back of the pack for 12 laps putting you on the edge of your seat. Then like lightning he passed every other skater on the outside like they were on a leisurely Sunday evening stroll. I couldn’t tear myself away when he was on the rest of the night. During the medal run I actually jumped out of my seat for the last 3 laps like I was watching the last two minutes of a Colts game. It is such a fluky sport with the falls and pushing and jostling, but I can’t look away when it is on!
My whole life the Kentucky Derby has been the “most exciting 2 minutes in sports,” but it actually crossed my mind last night that a medal race in this event with Apolo in it might be better. It is so unpredictable, as evidenced by the two Koreans taking each other out in the last turn and handing Silver and Bronze to the two Americans, including Ohno. I want more.
I have to admit I have watched just about every season of Survivor since it debuted ten years ago. Although for the last few seasons I usually would watch while multi-tasking (translated as Tweeting, Facebooking, Reading news on my mobile) because it wasn’t holding my undivided attention. This season they have brought back some of the past contestants from other seasons and branded it “Heroes vs. Villains.” I couldn’t look away. They had great personalities and memorable people. I think there was only one person that I couldn’t directly recall from previous seasons. The rest of them left permanent imprints on my memory as interesting personalities or impressive players of the game. If you aren’t watching this one, I recommend you give it a shot. My favorite plot line: the budding love tryst between Coach the Dragon Slayer and Jerri the Black Widow. How could that not result in pure entertainment?
Top Reads of the Week:
- LOST Redux – For LOST fans, a recap of some key thoughts from LOST. I still want to blog on this myself when I can find a few minutes.
- Colts Past Doesn’t Matter, and That’s a Good Thing – Some closure on the Colts season.
- 14 Fantastic Free WordPress Themes – I’ve been meaning to check these out more closely but haven’t yet.
Tweets of the Week:
- @ApoloOhno: “Wow…historical night for me…I have absolutely NO REGRETS…thank you all for supporting me…I’m on cloud 9…skated a brutal hard race!”
- @MeganMurray: “RT @theresa_lauren: It’s okay, Canada. It happens to lots of host nations.”
- @SportsGuy33: “Serious question: Was ‘We Are The World 25′ an SNL Digital Short?”
Last evening my 3 year-old son was emptying anything he could find out of a closet in our computer room making a mess as is his norm. Well, one thing he pulled out caught my eye. It was a journal that I kept back in the mid-90′s while playing the Myst and Riven computer games (also remembering The 7th Guest and The 11th Hour as similar games). Anyone remember those? I was obsessed with trying to solve all the puzzles and mysteries in those games in late high-school / early college. I remember staying up into the wee hours of the night to play. My first entry was on New Year’s Eve in 1994. So it just goes to show how active my social life was back then!
Anyway, I bring this up for one reason…because of what I wrote in the final page of the journal back in March 1998 (college years): “I have now defeated Myst and Riven. I will play them again and document my results on my website this summer so I can share with my friends.” So I’ve been trying to find means to share my knowledge and learning for years!!??!…I was just meant to do this job I guess. Too bad I wasn’t creative enough back then to figure out better tools to do so!