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

In the News

Executing Enterprise 2.0: Dachis Group Acquires Headshift

I am sure that by now, if you are in the Enterprise 2.0 field, or are involved in some shape or form with social computing within the enterprise, you may have read about the tsunami of conversations that have been going on as a result of a rather thought-provoking and controversial article that Dennis Howlett has put together over at Irregular Enterprise under the now well known title "Enterprise 2.0: What a Crock" and which comes to question the validity of efforts behind such concept as that one of Enterprise 2.0.

I would think as well you have been reading further up on the huge number of reactions that Dennis’ article has generated in the last few days, so much so that you may think that almost everything may have been covered back and forth already with very little space to add some more into the conversations. Not to worry, from the very first moment I finished up reading Dennis’ article I decided there will not be another blog post on that subject where I will be trying to add my two cents. In fact, there is a good reason why I am not going to. And it’s not what you expect …

After having read through all of those links I have mentioned above, including Dennis’, I cannot help but recall how "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". Most of you folks know that I come from a traditional Knowledge Management and Collaboration background going as far back as 2000. If you were involved with KM around that time, and three or four years before, you would probably realise how this recent discussion is just exactly the same one we had back then! Except with a different label. Enterprise 2.0.

Well, if back then we got hold of the wrong end of the stick by focusing on everything, but what we really needed to focus on (Processes and technology, mainly, over the people, i.e. the knowledge workers themselves), it looks like we are back at it again. Making that very same mistake! Again!

Fast forward to 2002 … where you will find a very interesting paper (On the nonsense of Knowledge Management) that James Dellow quoted along in the current discussion as one of the very few folks who connected the dots across time between both discussions. So we are not having this discussion as something new. It’s been there over a decade, like I said, with a different label, but the same end-result, or, so it seems …

That’s why I decided, from the very beginning, not to get involved, and stay away, from a conversation that seems to be heading in that very same direction (The wrong one, by the way!) we eventually ended up over a decade ago! Instead, I would want to point what I feel (And that’s just my two cents, so take them with a pinch of salt please…) is a much more interesting direction…

And that’s the huge (And shocking!) great news we all got exposed to earlier on today that surely have been making the rounds on a delightful set of follow up conversations: Dachis Group expands internationally acquiring Headshift, LTD. Massive!

Indeed, earlier on today there has been a exciting uproar on what promises to be the news of the year in the field of Enterprise 2.0. ReadWriteEnterprise, eventually, put it very nicely under this headline: "Dachis Group Acquires Headshift: Say Hello to a Social Business Consulting Powerhouse".

Why is this acquisition so exciting, you may be wondering, right? Well, to be honest, for a good number of reasons, but basically because of each and everyone of the folks who are, combined, part of the new Dachis Group. If the group before the acquisition was already amazingly talented and gifted, the Headshift’s merger brings up that talent into new heights, consolidating that powerhouse I can tell you right now would be worth while watching for in the near future. And that’s an statement falling short big time!

If you don’t believe me, apart from reading further on through some of the links I have mentioned above already, have a look into the announcement article that Lee Bryant shared a few hours back and be prepared to be wowed with wonderful, and very revealing, quotes like this:

"We are ready to move beyond the experimental phase to create real business transformation. Leaving behind the niche world of enterprise 2.0, we are ready to work with businesses at a senior level to run change programmes aimed at bringing their processes, internal IT and communications into the Twenty-First Century. It has never been cheaper or easier to collaborate online. It has never been easier to harness people power to drive business performance. It has never been easier to engage with customers and business partners. Yet, as we know, most companies have come to accept an overly bureaucratic, process-heavy high-cost model of doing business as the norm. They need credible partners who can operate across technology, organisational design and business analysis to help meet this challenge, not just evangelists or technology vendors. That’s our role." (Emphasis mine)

To then wrap it up with my favourite precious gem, which clearly establishes the unprecedented (And exciting!) challenges and goals laying ahead for the group (And for all of us for that matter!):

"We see great potential for addressing simple but important use cases at each of these levels of operation, but the main challenge in the short-term is how we can help second wave adopters make sense of the new world of social tools and networks, and this is something that keeps our feet firmly on the ground."

I always knew that both the Dachis Group and Headshift would be doing just fine on their own. And for a good number of years. After today’s announcement, I am 100% sure (And time will prove me wrong… or not) that the new Dachis Group is embarking itself onto one of the greatest missions from the 21st century: change the way we work in the corporate world and, for once, make things right … from the start!

Congratulations everyone involved and keep leading the way before we all lose our own tracks talking about labels and use cases in our echo chambers … Hello Executing Enterprise 2.0!

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IBM’s Smart Work Global Jam – Towards the Smarter Enterprise

We are only just starting to savour the really good flavours left behind after the amazing IBM’s Lotus Knows IdeaJam (Which I talked about over here not long ago and which my fellow colleague, and good friend, Ed Brill, wrapped up quite nicely under "Thank you for participating in the Lotus Knows IdeaJam") that here we are again with IBM making its way into putting together the next massive online collaborative Jam event: Smart Work Global Jam.

Goodness! Indeed! No time for some breathing space and here we are again about to embark on what promises to be quite an event for 2009! There are already a number of conversations going on with regards to this subject and we are still a couple of weeks away from when it would kick off: 16th to 18th September 2009. You will find all of the various details over at the Smart Work Worldwide Videocast and Global Jam Web site and, as you may have noticed, the Jam itself will not be the only event taking place.

To kick things off, on September 16th, James Surowiecki (author of "The Wisdom of Crowds") and Jon Iwata (Chief Marketing Offer at IBM) will be doing a live videocast where they will be introducing the Jam itself with three thought-provoking statements that I am sure are going to create quite a stir. To name:

  • "A typical organization loses 5.3 hours per employee per week due to inefficient processes impacting how they work
  • The time we spend just looking for the right expertise and information to do our jobs adds up to two hours in a typical day
  • Two-thirds of people believe there are colleagues who can help them do their jobs better…but they don’t know how to find them"

Wrapping up the overall theme of that live videocast with this rather inspiring quote:

"Smart Work is about creating a collaborative and connected business environment that empowers people, embraces change and ultimately increases productivity"

Not sure what you would think folks, but that quote and the three statements mentioned above are clearly various pain points within the corporate world that more and more Enterprise 2.0 and social software are helping out address and fix quite nicely and certainly provoke that knowledge workers continue to work smarter and not necessarily harder.

As you may have seen already, I am pretty excited about the Smart Work Global Jam, not only because it will be another priceless opportunity to collaborate and share knowledge, i.e. bouncing ideas back and forth, with other knowledge workers on issues that surely affect the way we do business on a daily basis, but also because this time around that excitement is ever increasing from yours truly by reading further on what would be some of the various topics that will be explored in detail and which will include the following ones (I have highlighted in bold the ones I am surely looking forward to participate in accordingly and you will see what I mean, if you have been reading this blog long enough … ):

  • "Government – How can technology help government encourage broader participation and facilitate business growth?
  • Healthcare – What new possibilities to make health services more affordable, accessible, and personalized are taking shape as people, data, and processes become more connected?
  • How can collaboration help business process management evolve to drive optimization for all parties involved?
  • How do we maximize the talents of the @generation while transferring knowledge and optimizing our ways of working across generations?
  • What does the future of teamwork look like as teams become more global, virtual, dynamic, and comfortable with technology than ever before?
  • What will work look like in 2020? What ideas can we apply in surprising ways?
  • What opportunities will emerge as we harness newly possible input and output from mobile people beyond the traditional boundaries of our organizations?"

Not bad, eh? Like I mentioned above, if you come to think about some of the challenges, pain points, growing pains, issues that Enterprise 2.0 is currently facing within the corporate world, you would have to agree with me that some of those are very well represented on those themes that the Jam will be covering. And that’s why I just can’t wait for it to get started! There is just so much to share, discuss and learn from one another!

September 16th to 18th 2009 cannot come up soon enough in my opinion! If you are interested in participating, like I am sure I will be able to do myself, although perhaps not at the level I would hope for since that timeframe will collide with another business trip to mainland Spain, as well as a few days off on vacation (But I am sure I will find plenty of spare moments to chime in accordingly … hehe), you can do so by going ahead and registering for the event here. Further details on the Jam can be found, again, over at this link and I am surely looking forward to perhaps share some further details on the event as time goes by…

But, for now, how about if I go and throw this questions … Are you ready to jam? I surely am!

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Using IBM Lotus Connections 2.5

Gran Canaria - Ayacata / The MonkWhile everyone is anxiously awaiting for Snow Leopard to hit the shelves (Apples’ latest upgrade to OS X 10) later on today, if not already, my attention is actually elsewhere. For the time being, I am not planning on upgrading till a number of critical applications I use on a daily basis on my MacBook Pro are fully compatible with it. But, like I said, my attention today is going to be elsewhere.

A few details are coming along already on another major announcement that I have been waiting for months to take place! And it’s finally here! IBM’s Lotus Connections v2.5 is at last available for download! Yay!! My fellow colleague, and good friend, Luis Benitez, has already been sharing some details over at Lotus Connections 2.5 Is Now Available for Download. I am sure there will be plenty of other folks jumping in as well very shortly with more information related to today’s announcements. And relevant information resources are starting to become available for everyone as well, like the Lotus Connections v2.5 Information Center repository.

I am certain, at this point in time, that you may be wondering why I am so excited about the announcement of this release from Lotus Connections, right? Well, there are plenty of them! But the main one is that, finally, I will have a great opportunity to share with everyone out there, interested in the topic, how Lotus Connections v2.5 is *the* main Enterprise Social Software tool that I use rather heavily on a daily basis to help me escape corporate email and live "A World Without Email".

Yes, that’s right! Most of you folks know by now that I have been making use of a social software tools suite all along to help me diversify and fragment successfully my email Inbox to the point that over 90% of my daily interactions happen elsewhere than through email. And of the 90% of interactions a good chunk, around 70%, perhaps, happen through Lotus Connections v2.5 and its various different components.

I have been using all of the new features and enhancements that v2.5 has been putting together and making available for download today for a few months now in our internal deployment and from the very beginning I have been commenting several times how without this fundamental release taking place this year I probably wouldn’t have been as successful in giving up on corporate email as I have shown over the last few months (See yesterday’s post as an example, for instance).

Thus the exciting thing for me for today is not just the availability of Connections v2.5 for everyone to download or upgrade to, but more the fact that from today onwards I will have an opportunity to share with you all, and show you!, how I am living "A World Without Email" by making use of my primary Enterprise Social Software tool: Lotus Connections.

And that’s the main reason why I am titling this entry as "Using IBM Lotus Connections 2.5", because that’s what I will be doing over the next few weeks, every so often, and, perhaps, as part of the weekly progress reports themselves, more than anything else to show and share with everyone a good number of use cases that you can apply to your day to day tasks and activities, so that you can see how embedding social software into your daily workflow is not as tough and difficult to achieve as most people would think.

Should be quite an interesting and fun journey sharing with everyone out there how I eventually work on a daily basis, pretty much like the fascinating blog post that Stowe Boyd put together a few days back on "being an onfovore" and which I can surely relate to quite a bit (A must read, by the way, if you are into social networking and social software in general).

For now though I am going to leave you with a couple of teasers of what you may be expecting over the next few weeks. And that’s basically by sharing with you a couple of very interesting resources I am sure you are going to enjoy. The first one is a screencast, divided in multiple chunks of a just a few seconds each and making a total amount of nearly 42 minutes, and titled "Using IBM Lotus Connections 2.5" and which you can find over here. It’s one of those very helpful resources that will provide you with a good solid overview of what to expect from Connections and a good rundown of the various new features.

And while talking about general overviews, you may also want to have a look into this other resource, which I think you are going to find very relevant as well. It’s a YouTube video that features the one and only, the demo master, Ron Sebastian, who over the course of nearly 7 minutes he gets to explain some of the new features folks would be able to find in Lotus Connections v2.5, including a live demo with some snapshots. You would be able to get the direct link from here or, alternatively, check out the embedded version below:

And that would be it for now folks. Enough teasing. Can’t wait to share with everyone out there how if I have been able to reduce my incoming count of emails by over 90% perhaps you could, too! Why not? The choice is ours, don’t you think?

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Us Now Film Now Online!

Do you remember the blog post I shared over here a couple of days ago on "Us Now – On the Power of Mass Collaboration, Government and the Internet"? Well, it looks like there are some really good news available out there. The film is now online! Yes, indeed, over at Vimeo! I just got alerted about it by my good friend Steve Dale (Great thinker, prolific blogger and thought leader on Communities, Collaboration and Knowledge Management you should start following, if not already!) who earlier on put together a nice lovely article on the topic, available at US Now film now online, which included a short introduction on what to expect from the film:

"In a world in which information is like air, what happens to power? Us Now is a documentary film project about the power of mass collaboration, government and the Internet.

Us Now tells the stories of online networks that are challenging the existing notion of hierarchy. For the first time, it brings together the fore-most thinkers in the field of participative governance to describe the future of government."

My first reactions to the film, you may be wondering, right? Well, none at this point in time. I haven’t watched it just yet. Weekend is just around the corner and my brain & body decided to make other plans for what’s left of this Friday afternoon. So I guess I will be watching it over the weekend or early next week, and at that point I may be taking a few minutes to share with you folks what I thought about it, but seeing some of the already existing videos interviews I sense I am going to like it. And quite a lot!

So, here it is. Hope you enjoy it (I know I will! :-)). Have a good one everyone!

Us Now from Banyak Films on Vimeo.

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On Humanising Titans

After a pretty intensive and eventful weekend, from which things have started to settle in quite a bit already, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on something I witnessed on Sunday morning, local Canary time, which will be rather difficult, if not impossible to forget. Or, at least, I hope not!

This is an entry that doesn’t have anything to do with the topics I get to blog about over here on a regular basis, yet, somehow I feel it touches on some of the key points I am hoping are getting through to folks who may eventually bump into this blog, as regular visitors or casual Web surfers.

As most of you folks know already, over the last few years I have developed quite an avid interest around the fascinating world of tennis, and that mainly because of two main reasons: Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Yes, indeed, yesterday morning, Canary time, we witnessed one of those epic battles amongst two titans that surpasses perhaps any rivalry from our current times, at least, in the sports world!

Yesterday was just another proof of it! However, we also saw something else. Something rather unique and compelling that speaks about what these giants are capable of or, better said, made of: feelings. Emotions that would melt everyone even in the toughest situations. Just like you and me, they showed they are also human. Both Roger and Rafa demonstrated that they do have a common passion, a common sense to achieve a very specific goal: be on top and demonstrate their leadership in all courts / fronts!

And that’s just what they both did yesterday! They showed how insanely human their tremendous leadership has been all along and while, I am sure, most of us were sharing a tear or two, they have both won our respect for each of them, and for the game itself. Going to always remember them for that! In case you haven’t seen the finals of the Australian Open, I would strongly encourage you all to catch up with it! It will be worth while your time. I am certain!

Now, can you imagine the corporate world of the 21st century, the one we all feel social software is slowly, but steadily, humanising and shaking itself inside out, behaving in such powerful way? Can you imagine your business re-gaining that human side of things? Those feelings? Those emotions?

Congratulations, champs! It’s been an amazing thrill watching you and I am already looking forward to the next one! … Whatever the result. You have shown us all it doesn’t matter just as much anymore!

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Changes, Changes, Changes – Part III

Gran Canaria - Degollada de las YeguasContinuing further with the series of blog posts on the recent blog template changes that have taken place over at elsua.net (Parts I & II can be found here & here, respectively), I thought I would continue with one more blog post, which perhaps is going to have the highest impact on my overall blogging style and which I thought was a good time now (With the upgrade and everything) to go for it.

For a good number of months I am sure you may have noticed how all of the blogs I maintain at the moment have become a whole lot more focused and specific on a couple of topics which have dominated most of my blogging for 2008: first, the initial experiment, now reality, of giving up e-mail at work and divert most of the conversations into social software spaces and, secondly, the huge amount of travelling I have done in the last twelve months.

Well, now that the experiment has consolidated itself over time and there is no way back for me, and also seeing how this year seems to be paving out a lot easier on my travelling schedule I think it is time for me to go back to basics. Yes, indeed, I am going back to where I started with blogging! And about time, I think, too!

Ok, I know you may be wondering what my blogging style used to be at the beginning, right? After all, I am talking about five and a half years ago that I first starting blogging at my corporate blog behind the firewall. Well, to start with, I am going back to the main topics that sparked the creation of this blog: Knowledge Management, Collaboration, Communities & Community Building, Learning and Social Computing (Social Software or Enterprise 2.0, whichever term you would prefer). Yes, I will still continue to write the weekly progress reports on giving up on e-mail and also highlights from the reduced travelling I will be doing, but at the same time, it is a good time to go back to where I started, which is still what drives my passion in the corporate world: Knowledge Sharing, Collaboration and The Future of the Workplace with Enterprise 2.0.

Thus expect to see more blog posts around KM, around Collaboration & Communities and the blend of Learning and Knowledge, specially within the corporate world. But expect as well to have shorter blog posts, too! Yes, that is right! You know this one already! A couple of times I have mentioned in the past how I wanted to keep my verbosity on the short side and time and time again, I failed! Like in this very blog post I am putting together! 😀

Well, I think it is time for me to re-focus on my blogging style; to start writing shorter blog posts. to link more to other interesting bloggers on what’s in their minds; to share some further insights and my two cents on plenty of the stuff that’s going on in the areas I have just mentioned above; to comment back on previous blog posts I have put together and comment as well on other articles I bump into; in short, to be elsua again! Yes, the same elsua that over five years ago decided to take the plunge and join the blogosphere, and for that matter, the world of social software altogether! And let his passion about those topics drive his blogging…

Like I said, this is probably going to be the last blog post on the long side that I will be putting together, unless the odd one sneaks in here and there (Probably the ones related to highlights of particular events that I may have attended or plan to), but for the rest things are going to be a lot more dynamic, a lot faster for your folks to digest and dive into the conversation, but, hopefully, still keeping the same quality you are all used to. At least, I am going to try my hardest in making it happen and somehow I sense the new blog template upgrade is going to help with that! heh (Talking about an incentive, eh?)

As a result of that my other two blogs are going to be impact in pretty much the same way as well. So expect to see shorter blog posts, but perhaps much more frequent. Oh, and since I know that I am running into the dangerous road of perhaps sharing far too many entries in a single day (Back when I got started I used to blog 4 to 6 blog daily posts! -Oh, the good old times! heh), this is when the Lifestream of elsua.net will kick in, because I am about to start using a couple of other social networking tools to share some of those different insights and all of that content is going to come through that particular section.

Of course, I will write about it whenever I am ready with the launch of those couple of social tools. They are not new, they have been there for a while now, but I feel it is now time for me to start making use of them. One of which is one you know already: ma.gnolia. My favourite social bookmarking tool out there on the Internet (Dogear, of course, is my favourite one behind the firewall ;-)).

In it you would be able to see all of the links I have been sharing all along and, just recently, I restarted again to tag those articles, blog posts, interesting references where I have dropped a comment under a specific tag: commented, and since I have configured Lifestream to grab those shared links from ma.gnolia you would be able to keep up with where I have been (Oh, this particular section also includes my twitterings). Mainly, because there may be the odd day where I may not have a chance to put together a blog post, but that doesn’t mean I have been quiet that day. Head over to Lifestream and see what’s going on.

Oh, and when the second social software tool kicks in, things are about to get even much more interesting … But that would be the post for another day. For now, I think I have taken enough of your time for one last time and from here onwards it is all down to me to see where I can keep up with this new challenge for 2009: going back to basics! Yay!

Let’s do it!

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