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

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Social Business Forum 2011 – On Collaboration by Luis Suarez

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June is just around the corner and, once again, that can only mean that one of my favourite times of the year for conference events is about to kick off as well. Yes, that’s right! Once more, and like every year, the Enterprise 2.0 event in Boston is approaching really fast and before you know it it’s already here! Mark your calendars for June 20th to 23rd, because this time around it looks like it’s going to rock more than ever! Yes, you can see how excited I am about going there in just a few weeks from now. But first things first. Before #e2conf there will be another one of my favourite Enterprise 2.0 and Social Business events taking place in Milan, Italy, on June 8th. Indeed, mark your calendars as well for the Social Business Forum 2011. I will be there as well! … And you?

That’s right! The Enterprise 2.0 Forum in Milan, now transformed into the Social Business Forum, is moving along nicely from year to year into consolidating itself as one of the most relevant Enterprise 2.0, Social Computing and Social Business events in Europe, along with the Enterprise 2.0 Summit in both Paris and Frankfurt, and, once again, it’s a great pleasure, for me, to be invited by the always insightful and rather resourceful Emanuele Quintarelli, along with the smart folks from Open Knowledge, to participate in such a wonderful and refreshing event on all things related to Social Computing within the enterprise.

It’s going to be a true honour to share the stage with an amazing array of inspirational speakers as this year’s edition, and taking a look into the extensive Agenda one can only conclude what an interesting event it surely is going to be, since there will be a bit of everything for everyone! Ohhh, and did I mention how the conference is free for everyone to attend? Yes, free, as in free, the real free!

One of the many reasons why I’ll be looking forward to attending and presenting at the Social Business Forum 2011 is, as usual, the networking part of such events, specially, when in this case I’ll be meeting in the flesh, for the first time in many years, folks who I have been following in the KM, Learning, Online Communities and Social Computing / Business fields such as George Siemens or Esteban Kolsky, or meet up, once again, with a nice bunch of good old friends, as it’s been quite long already since last time we met! So looking forward to that as well! Not to mention the rather impressive agenda as well!

Either way, my session is going to be a new one I have been contemplating already for a while on the topic of “The Hybrid Organisation” where I will cover the role of traditional organisations, structures and hierarchies and how they would compare to new ways of working around networks and communities. I will be covering how we have been using such hybrid approach at IBM with BlueIQ of combining both top-down and bottom-up social software adoption to the point where we all feel that it’s probably one of the most comprehensive and empowering approaches towards adoption of social tools: instead of split and replace go more for augment and empower! Yes, indeed, combining the best of both worlds! Why not, right? I will be sharing plenty of experiences, lessons learned, know-how, on what worked and what didn’t and why.

Either way, I will probably have an opportunity later on, before the event kicks-off, to talk more about the event itself and everything, but for now I thought I would go ahead and leave you with a teaser interview I did last week with Roberto Cobianchi, who kindly invited me to participate in a rather interesting Skype interview where he asked a bunch of questions on the topic of the Social Enterprise and Collaboration and I just shared my ¢2 cents of the conversation on those topics; yes, you know, they are still some of my favourite ones from the last few years… So we did the interview and decided to split it up on two parts.

Part I is readily available over at “On collaboration: Interview with Luis Suarez (first part)” and here is the initial set of questions we cover, so you could have a glimpse of what to expect from some of my answers hehe :

  • A little bit of an introduction of yours truly: for those folks who may not know me… Yes, I’m still that crazy weird guy who is living “A World Without Email” and who is very much long overdue an update on progress! (Coming up shortly!)
  • Can we, knowledge workers, collaborate effectively even while working remotely?: My answer was pretty much along the lines where we may not have a choice any longer in today’s distributed and rather virtual working environment… or do we?
  • How far does culture help influence how collaborative and social a certain business can / will be?: Picking up further on the theme of how critical having the right corporate culture is in order to help boost your online existing collaboration with social tools, and how cumbersome it may well all become, if your organisation still lives by the “Knowledge is power” mantra.
  • Of course, we had to talk about it as well… what is it like working AND living “A World Without Email in a corporate environment where email stats seem to indicate there’s a huge increase day in day out? Will social networking tools replace email any time soon? (I ventured to give out a time when that would happen for most organisations, by the way!)
  • In another interesting question that Rob asked we talked about the costs of Enterprise 2.0 and which focus area would be, in my opinion, the one grabbing most of the traction and additional interest; it’s not technology, by the way…

And that would be it for Part I, folks; in a couple of days, Roberto will be sharing Part II, which I will probably be referencing it as well to add a few more thoughts on it and the overall Social Business Forum 2011. For now, I would want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Roberto for the lovely conversations we had and for hosting the interview and to all of you folks out there who will be in Milan, on June 8th, attending the event live, come and drop by to say “Hi!“. It will be a great pleasure, as usual, catching up in real life, too! 🙂

See you there!!

(Pssstt, remember … it’s free for everyone to attend! Bring your friends, customers, business partners, too!, and start living social!)

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