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

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Behavioural Transition Strategies for E2.0 by Lee Bryant

Gran Canaria - Ayacata / The MonkEarlier on, over at "Enterprise 2.0 Conference Highlights – Day One", I mentioned how one of my absolute favourite presentations from the recent Enterprise 2.0 conference was the one that my good friend Lee Bryant did on the first day of the event, under the title "Behavioural Transition Strategies for E2.0 Adoption". Back then I mentioned how just this presentation was worth the over 50 hours I did in transit (Coming back and forth!) just to make it to the event itself! Yes, indeed, that good. If not even better!

Over the last few weeks I have been anxiously waiting for him to have a chance to blog about his experiences delivering the presentation, as well as perhaps share with us a copy of the slides. And yesterday he did just that! Go and have a look into "Behavioural transition strategies for E2.0" and get ready to go through an article, as well as the overall slide deck!, that will change your perception on Enterprise 2.0 and Social Software "Adoption". And how to "do it right!"

Here is one of the quotes from his blog post that I thought incredibly powerful and right on target as to what our challenge is for those folks who are doing social software evangelism:

"[…] What we really should be talking about is redesigning organisations and their networks to harness people power to get things done quicker, better and cheaper, and enabling businesses to scale in a better way. This, not tool use, is probably the goal of social business design and E20"

That, folks, is exactly *our* challenge! Nothing to do with the tools, whether we pick up the right choice or not, but quite the contrary! Figure out what issues are those within your organisation that you would want to help address and fix and start injecting what I have been calling "social software flavours" all over the place, that is, start figuring out whether enterprise social software may help you overcoming those issues and empower your knowledge workers to be more productive, doing more work with less effort (And, no, that’s not an oxymoron!).

Quite an inspiration, don’t you think? Well, that’s what you will find, following further up, on Lee’s deck available over at Slideshare. And plenty more! Go and have a look into "E20 Transition Strategies" and start flipping through the charts, digest them, learn them, internalise them, because, like I said, if you are doing social software evangelism / adoption in your company, you are going to find them an indispensable resource! For sure!

Check out, for instance, slides #9 ("Social networks + weak ties = organisational immune system" is a brilliant quote!), #21, #27 as examples of what you will find throughout the deck. As you will be able to see, Lee focuses on what most businesses haven’t even started to think about just yet: i.e. the second wave of early adopters. And that’s just what he covers on the second part of his presentation, although each and every single item discussed could very well apply to that first wave of early adopters, too, to be honest!

He just focuses not only on the adoption of social software tools per se, but how to improve the day to day productivity from knowledge workers by addressing the tasks they do and try to enhance them with various different social software elements. Typical examples like your email, your address book(s), your Intranet, idea generation, brainstorming, communicating with your customers and business partners, code of conduct at work, etc. etc. are just some of those different tasks we are involved with on a daily basis, yet, for most of them, we are not thinking about social software and how it could help us improve such experience and yet the opportunity is right there! At our fingertips!

And that’s what we need to start grasping, folks. Forget about focusing on the social tools themselves and figure out how you are going to engage your knowledge workers in them. Instead start working more towards helping identify tasks, preferably tasks and activities that you may be struggling with (Your pain points would do, too!), then put them together and start analysing what options within the social computing space you have got available to help out! Then a bit more of slide #21 and you will be on your way to a successful deployment of a Social Enterprise: your enterprise!

Now you can understand why I am so excited about Lee’s presentation, right? Well, in my own personal case, it gets even better. From a validation point of view, specially. Most of you folks know by now about the efforts of my own team (BlueIQ) on helping accelerate the adoption of social software inside IBM, right? Well, those efforts are still on-going, and rather strong too!, but funny enough about 18 months ago we realised that we needed to do the same shift, i.e. from a social tools focus into a tasks / activities one. And from that change onwards things have continued to go smoother by the day to the point that we helped identify those different tasks folks keep working on and slowly, but steadily, show them  how they themselves, with a little bit of help, support and facilitation can improve their own productivity executing those tasks using social software components.

Yes! The change is happening! Slower that you may be thinking about, perhaps, or, at least, not fast enough for you, but that doesn’t matter at this point anymore; what matters is that it is happening and as the time goes by, and more and more folks embark on it, the speed of it will be faster and faster, till it goes out of control reaching the tipping point (I think most of us are almost there!) and then we won’t have the opportunity to be able to go back! It’d be too late… Welcome to Enterprise 2.0!

(A big and special thanks to Lee, once again, for quite an inspiring session at the Enterprise 2.0 conference and for sharing along the blog post with the link to his excellent presentation!; it surely was worth while the trip to the other side of the pond! And back! Thanks much, Lee!)

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  1. Well, Luis, it’s been almost three months since you published this but, thanks to a minor disagreement I’m having with our Chief IT Architect at work, I felt the need to look for arguments pointing out what I consider to be the “sea change” E2.0 represents. This is really good stuff from Lee and, as always, your comments and analysis are enlightening and useful.

    I am becoming more and more convinced my industry, and certainly my company, are going to be among the trailers when it comes to adoption of E2.0 principles and practices. Part of this is driven by our customers (we presently have very few and two of them are major governmental agencies) and the length of our contracts with them (sometimes decades). This has resulted in a slow-moving, very conservative culture highly resistant to the discomfort change can bring. Throw in the tool-centric lens our IT people see the enterprise through (not to mention the imposition of CSC onto our organization thanks to our parent company), and we have what I think is the making of a lot of confusion and false starts.

    Hopefully, armed with the quality arguments you, Lee, and others are making for the adoption of E2.0, we will be able to accelerate the pace of change. The pressure is on; there is no doubt about that and, fortunately we have a new President who I believe understands the challenges and the need to change how we do business. However, he can’t be everywhere and he can’t just mandate the necessary changes. He can help lead them and I’m confident they will happen. Of course, they’re never as fast as we want are they? Thanks again for an enlightening, instructive post.


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