E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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Open Enterprise 2009 – Dion Hinchcliffe Interviewed by Stowe Boyd

Gran Canaria - AyacataI tell you, it is starting to become some sort of an unstoppable addiction checking out all of these wonderful various interviews that both Oliver Marks and Stowe Boyd continue to carry out for their on-going Open Enterprise 2.0 initiative whose results and final outcome(s) they will be presenting at the upcoming Enterprise 2.0 conference event in Boston in June 2009.

Latest one that I have been enjoying quite a bit has been the one that Stowe Boyd did just a few hours ago with the always engaging Dion Hinchcliffe where they get to discuss a number of various topics around Enterprise 2.0, social software adoption, case studies (Dion actually mentions quite a few examples to check out further!), Return On Investment, the impact of the current econolypse we are going through, etc. etc. Some really good and insightful stuff! For sure.

However, there are a number of other relevant topics that I thought I would share over here as well, since I feel rather identified with them. I have been sharing very similar thoughts all along since I started getting involved with the area of Social Computing a few years back. So here you have a few other interesting nuggets both Dion and Stowe covered under Open Enterprise 2009: Dion Hinchcliffe Interview:

  • The role of Success Stories: … in the adoption of social software, that is; something that a few of us have been saying all along; sometimes it is much more powerful and compelling to collect anecdotal evidence through storytelling or narrative than trying to figure out hard, tangible metrics of the intangible to try establish the ROI of social software. Putting Stories to Work anyone?
  • Best Practices: This was one of my favourite parts from the entire interview! How many times have you been asked “Do you have any best practices for social software for my business?”; or, better, “I love this Enterprise 2.0 stuff; how do I get on with it? What are the best practices for social software adoption?” It sounds all too familiar, right? Well, Dion’s answer to those questions would be the same one I have been advocating for time and time again: there aren’t ANY best practices on social software adoption! Main reason being? “Organizations are unique, and operate in very different ways” and therefore what may work for one business may not work for another. So next time someone comes to you and asks you about Best Practices for social software point them to this interview. Priceless!
  • Tearing down the firewall: This is something that most companies haven’t event started to comprehend, yet, it is happening more and more often as time goes by. This is a thought I have started to grow very fond of a little while ago, perhaps over two years ago, when I first heard Dave Snowden saying something along the lines the the firewall has got its days numbered with more and more knowledge workers wanting to “go outside” and taste the lovely waters of ad-hoc collaboration, knowledge sharing and co-creation with their own customers and business partners and other thought leaders from the industry. Yes, I know, those hard assets, Intellectual Capital, IP Law and Copyrighted materials would still need to be stored in a protected environment behind the firewall, but the rest of the interactions and conversations will be happening elsewhere. Eventually they already are! Even between employees of the same company outside of the boundaries of that original firewall!
  • Changing to a culture of sharing: This specific topic of the conversation between both of them was also amongst my favourites, because it surely touches on a subject that has been around for a long long while, way before Social Computing entered the enterprise. It is a subject very much related to the well known motto “Knowledge is power” where knowledge workers, for a good number of years have been hoarding their knowledge, because that gives them a (false) sense of becoming indispensable, when eventually we are all starting to come to terms with the fact that it is actually quite the opposite: “Knowledge SHARED is power“.

    How long can you remain the gatekeeper of the knowledge you have, before it is widely spread throughout your networks? Do you still think you are in control? Do you think you have always been in control of your knowledge?

Those are some of the rather thought-provoking and enlightening conversations that transpire throughout the entire interview on what are some of the remaining challenges left for Enterprise 2.0 to take over. And, much more importantly, what are some of the tremendous opportunities awaiting out there those businesses who are willing to dive into a new world of interactions amongst knowledge workers to help them increase their own productivity and, as a result of that, become smarter at what they do: share their knowledge and collaborate.

Like I said, if you have a bit over 17 minutes to spare, this would be one interview you would not want to miss out! So much to learn, absorb, apply … and enjoy. I surely did!

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