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

From the blog

Enterprise 2.0 – A Joyful Definition

Tenerife - Garachico in the WinterIn previous blog posts I mentioned how, over the course of time, I would be putting together a bunch of articles on some of the major highlights from the recent Enterprise 2.0 Summit event that I attended in Paris by the beginning of February. And over time I am realising that most of those highlights are finding out their way in a multitude of different entries over here when talking about specific topics related to Enterprise 2.0 and Social Networking for Business. Except perhaps for this one that I would like to share with you folks today, which I think is pretty unique on its own, but quite remarkable altogether. What if Enterprise 2.0 was all about having fun while getting the job done? That sounds perhaps a little bit utopian don’t you think? But what if it were rather accurate? What if we would be capable of demonstrating that the Social Enterprise can be a fun place, while still getting work done? Sounds pretty much ideal, don’t you think? Well, Fabian Seewald has made it happen. And it’s just beautiful!

Over the course of the years I have bumped into a good number of different definitions and descriptions of both Enterprise 2.0 (and the Social Enterprise) from the original one coined by my good friend Andy McAfee in 2006 to a whole bunch of others. However, for the case of the Social Enterprise it’s rather interesting and noteworthy to acknowledge how, once again, we all keep bastardising original efforts, concepts and movements, along the same lines as we do on a regular basis with Social Business! Looks like we haven’t learned much in this regard. We seriously need to start thinking about something new that would fit in the right purpose without trumping efforts from other rather well established concepts. Not sure whether we would need to ditch altogether the wording of Social, but certainly we need to put a stop to taking over things that do not belong to us in the first place and then claim them as our own. We should probably smarten up a bit in that regard. For instance, David Cushman talks about Open Business and he surely strikes a chord with it. We surely need plenty more fresh thinking in that regard!

But then again, this is when folks like my good friend, and fellow IBM colleague, Fabian Seewald come to our rescue with a new refreshing approach of describing and defining what it is like becoming a social enterprise and how Enterprise 2.0 has been changing the game all along in the last few years. While we were in Paris at the Enterprise 2.0 Summit Fabian presented about Dundu, a collaborative research project that aims at helping teams become more effective around open knowledge sharing and collaboration. Really worth while checking it out, specially, if you would want to know what that is all about in the real physical world. But at the same time he also spent a bit of time putting together a short video clip where he described Enterprise 2.0 in a much more graphical and joyful manner: through juggling!

How cool is that? Actually how scary is that? I mean, how many times have we, folks heavily involved with Enterprise 2.0 and its adoption behind the firewall, been feeling we have been doing far too much juggling to make it all work altogether nicely and without losing our sanity along the way? How many times have we pondered about whether we could take just another ball to keep up with the juggling before it all collapses? Far too many, I am sure, don’t you think?

That’s why this absolutely delightful video would make your day probably in helping you describe what Enterprise 2.0 is all about and what you may have been doing for the last couple of years. It’s just priceless! Usually, I get to describe a little bit what the content is from the video links I get to share over here, but this time around I am going to make an exception and don’t spoil the fun. I would just ask you to pause for a minute, sit down, relax, press the play button on the embedded code below and watch this nearly 2 minute long video clip that would surely make you smile, but at the same time relay, pretty accurately, what becoming a Social Enterprise is all about. Just brilliant! And, if not, judge for yourselves:

Now, who can say again that Enterprise 2.0 cannot be plenty of good fun, entertaining, joyous AND rather enlightening and quite a learning experience altogether after watching that short video clip? Well, guess they would need to watch Fabian in action to realise what we are all about when trying to push gently the corporate world into becoming much more open, interconnected, networked, transparent, nimble, collaborative, knowledge sharing prone business leaving the silos behind (where appropriate) and realising that it’s all about provoking a shift, a change in our mindset, towards becoming much more effective at what we do at work, but thinking in terms of networks and communities getting the work done and not so much teams or structured, rigid hierarchies. Wirearchy anyone?

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  1. Great video (I always wanted to learn juggling but never did) but leaves me a bit puzzled. Virtually all of the text and video monologue talked about how things would be different in business as people realized that they could be more open, interconnected and collaborative across the entire “enterprise” (for which the definition is equally functional.) Given that focus on how things will function differently, I find myself wondering if the entire E-2.0 discussion isn’t about people learning to act differently in their working lives. Having been in the information industry for 45 years, I have seen that willing people working for willing leaders have always found ways to collaborate, share and be mutually support. In virtually every case where this did not happen, the problem was the humanity, not the tools or lack thereof. Indeed, entering the industry in the mid-60s, I saw examples of incredible collaboration and E-2.0 behavior even with that time’s nearly caveman level of technology.
    I would suggest therefore that E-2.0 focus, conferences, symposia and forums might better be focused on the task of developing a workforce willing as well as able to embrace what the new tools enable; and where this is not happening in organizations that have attempted to embrace E-2.0, to focus on upgrading attitudes, corporate citizenshiup and skills rather than technology.

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