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

From the blog

The Man Who Should Have Used Lotus Connections — Communities: The Driving Force of Enterprise 2.0

Gran Canaria - Roque Nublo & SurroundingsYesterday, at work, was one of those days where there were not enough hours in the day that would allow you to go through everything you had planned in the morning to achieve during the course of the day. Far too hectic, for sure. But this time around in a good sense. More than anything else, because, after a little while now, we finally had the opportunity to go through one of those experiences that one feels very reenergized about once it is done and over (even if you have been in meetings for most of the day!).

That’s right! Yesterday we had that unique opportunity of re-launching one of the oldest internal communities at IBM. A community that has been there for almost 10 years, on and off, but that it keeps coming back time and time again. Like a phoenix. So for the last couple of months a bunch of IBM colleagues, and old time good friends, Matt Simpson, Sandy Yarchin, Bill Chamberlin, Kathryn Munda and yours truly, have been working together towards preparing that re-launch.

And yesterday was the big day! We eventually had two different online events along with their corresponding conference calls, trying to cover as many countries as we possibly could. I am sure you can relate to how difficult it is to plan any kind of global events. Time zones are always an issue. Either way, the entire day was rather exciting. We have just had the opportunity to re-kick things off again with CommunityBuilders.

That’s the name of the community. And, as you may have guessed, it’s just that, a community of truly passionate community leaders / facilitators / managers (And all those folks who are interested in general in communities) getting together back again to continue learning from one another (through collaboration, knowledge sharing, storytelling, etc.) on the fine art of facilitating healthy communities.

CommunityBuilders has been one of my passions over the last eight years. Being able to tap into a community of several hundred facilitators (Of their own communities, of course) to share experiences, lessons learned, knowhow, community building techniques, and so forth, is a privilege that very few people can get exposed to in a lifetime. And I am one of those lucky people.

These re-launch events where incredibly re-energizing, as you may have guessed, confirming, once again, the key and crucial role of communities for any business. And I mean *any* business. It was just an amazing experience seeing how much energy and enthusiasm there was all over the place. Even our own community executive sponsors were incredibly jazzed up as well. And they kept everyone going on further even more! Just the perfect plot anyone would have hoped for any re-launch. Just brilliant!

I am sure I will have an opportunity to talk plenty more about this particular community of IBM CommunityBuilders and the kinds of activities they are involved in, since plenty of those activities are the very same ones that other community facilitators out there could relate to. So stay tuned for more to come.

Thus, at this point in time, you may be wondering why I’m sharing all of this in my external blog, right? After all, it’s an internal community. Well, more than anything else because this re-launch just came about with the perfect timing. That one of having strong and healthy communities that can help accelerate, tremendously, the adoption rate of social software within the enterprise.

Indeed, for a good number of years, I have been advocating that communities, or a fully grown program on community building, would always be the major drivers of social software adoption, pushing the limits where no one dares to go to. They will be the ones that will make your Enterprise 2.0 strategy, if you have one, a real success. And with a lot less effort than you can ever imagine.

Like I said, I will be talking plenty more around this topic of communities, community building techniques and their impact in businesses’ social computing strategies. But, for now, I would like to start showing you the tip of the iceberg of what communities can really do, not only for your company, but also for your knowledge workers.

I am very pleased, once again, to share with you the latest episode from the absolutely wonderful, and delightful!, series of video clips that my fellow IBM colleague, Jean Francois Chenier, has been putting together under the title "The Man Who Should Have Used Lotus Connections". We are now on episode four and, as you may have noticed from all the others, there have been some dramatic changes, and for the better! Way better, my goodness!! It’s a completely new way of demonstrating the business value of social software and communities within the enterprise, I tell you!

The video clip, this time around, lasts for a little bit over 4 1/2 minutes. Here is the direct link, and attached you will also find the embedded version. I am not going to say much more about the video itself and its contents, other than mentioning that, if you have being reading this blog for a while, as well as follow me in various different social networking sites, you will have a good laugh. A very loud one! In case you’re wondering, I, too, belong to that very same community featured in this episode four of "The Man Who Should Have Used Lotus Connections".

After having said all of that, there is very little that I would want to add, except, perhaps, highlighting the beautiful piece of work that Jean Francois has been doing, all along, with all of these videos. You could probably say that he has got a natural talent (He certainly does!), and I’m surely glad that he has been sharing it all along with all of us. Well done, Jean Francois! Another marvelous episode to add to an outstanding series. Thanks ever so much for sharing it across!

Have a good one everyone!

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  1. Wow – cool man! Love the video, made me laugh out loud!!!
    You are a man after my own heart. The power of a social business community and the collective intelligence potential it holds is highly under-rated (or not understood) and it’s a message i preach daily, twice daily, thrice daily…

    All our social media support or advice MUST go through our social business comunities, to share with others. We refuse to answer on a 1-2-1 via email or telephone if the answer can benefit others

    Really like your blog Luis, and the approach to educating socialnomics in your organisation. Good job!

  2. Thanks yet again for the kind words, Luis. I’m glad that the series continues to be useful, and the fact that you and others are using it in blogs, with clients, at events, etc is certainly great motivation to keep producing them, and keep thinking of new ways to express the value of the tool.

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