I am not sure whether this blog post would eventually be classified as a highlight from the Enterprise 2.0 conference event in Boston or not, but certainly an annotation, or even an observation, on something that I thought was rather interesting and that struck me while I was participating from the various activities during the course of the entire week.
Last year, if you were able to follow up with plenty of the various conversations available all over the place, there were a number of different Enterprise 2.0 stars, i.e. businesses, organisations, etc. etc. that successfully deployed social software within the Enterprise and they decided to share their stories as case studies during the event. Quite a buzz, indeed! And certainly the path to follow, getting these folks to share their key learnings on how they have made it work for themselves.
So this year I was hoping to be able to hear about them once again; and see how one year later they were still going strong; how they may have moved into the next level of social software adoption; or how they may have helped (As well as influenced) some other businesses into following their steps; I was even hoping they would be there sharing their anecdotes and lessons learned on what worked and what didn’t during the course of that past year.
Alas, I didn’t see it. And this is what I found rather surprising; that the clear stars of the Enterprise 2.0 scene in 2008, one year later, we couldn’t see anything of them while at the event in Boston. That doesn’t happen every day. And I am sure that we would probably have an opportunity to find out from them what’s been going on so far. Well, believe it or not, I had that opportunity.
Towards the end of the event, through one of these serendipitous encounters one gets exposed to every now and then, I ended up waiting for a taxi at a long queue to then take me back to my hotel. And on that same waiting line I eventually bumped into Sean Dennehy, one of the folks who last year shared with his colleague Don Burke their story on perhaps one of the most successful Enterprise 2.0 case studies to date: their Intellipedia.
So we got talking and over the course of a few minutes I eventually got to find out how his organisation was not much different than the company I work for: the same excitement, they same movitation and inspiration to make an impact adopting social software by and large, the same obstacles, lessons learned, use cases, anecdotal evidence, success stories, etc. etc. Fascinating conversation. For sure!
The funny part was that, at the end of it, I just felt like I was getting an exclusive 1:1 private overview of what happened in that year timeframe. So what I thought was going to be something I would be missing big time, all of a sudden, I got it granted and certainly became one of the best conversations I had. Shorter than what I would have hoped for, but rather intense and with the right level of energy. Just wonderful! And all of that while waiting for a taxi!
Then my good friends Lee Bryant and Christoph joined us in the queue as they were heading to the airport (At least, Lee was, since he was on his way to Reboot #11 in Copenhagen, Denmark) and it all happened so suddenly that before they realised I put both Sean and Lee on the same taxi on their way to the airport, after a rather short introduction (Too funny, eh?)
When returning back home I pondered some more about that particular conversation I had with Sean and it soon became one of my highlights of the entire event for which serendipity did a great job, once again! And, funny enough, within the following few hours after arriving home, on my Twitter timeline there is this link to a wonderfully crafted, insightful and inspirational YouTube video, posted by Chris Rasmussen under the title Toward Living Intelligence that surely made my day.
Why? Because, in less than 5 minutes, it simply shows where such an amazing initiative as Intellipedia is heading. One year later. Fantastic! And if you don’t believe me here is the embedded video. Sit back, relax and enjoy it:
(So, there you have it; one of my key learnings from the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston this year: sometimes the best conversations happen naturally, in the most unexpected venues, totally unprepared and under some incredibly circumstances that not even one-self can control, or even should attempt to. Long live serendipitous (knowledge) encounters! One of the main key reasons why conference events are still worth while attending to)
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