Here's a little conundrum: all project management and product development books will tell you top team sponsorship is essential for success. So why are all the Analysts saying that "enterprise 2.0 is under the radar", its "user generated", its wild-fire? Well, because that's what happened with Web2.0 Retail. Companies that spent a fortune gaining first position in their vertical were overcome by new 2.0 players, often within a 12-18 month time frame. (see UK real estate players for examples). But me-thinks Enterprise is a bit different.
Bill Ives on The FastForwardBlog says there are four business reasons for adopting enterprise 2.0 that got senior execs excited.
1. As company grew there was an increasing need to collaborate across time zones. This became apparent as they made more acquisitions and at first, had difficulty just going across one time zone. The enterprise 2.0 tools addressed this issue.
2. When they were a regional bank, the bank found that company events (picnics) and activities (softball league) helped build commitment. Now they saw the need to build a similar sense of community and commitment on a global basis with the new enterprise 2.0 tools.
3. Like many companies they have maturing workforce and were concerned with the lose of knowledge. Now with enterprise 2.0 tools they are capturing knowledge in the process of work through wikis, blogs, and similar means.
4. They saw the need to engage generation y workers. This caught imagination of senior executives when their research showed that generation y workers come with greater engagement but within a year they dropped to below average on engagement because there were no tools for engagement. The new employees were also driven down by the hierarchy. Enterprise 2.0 tools provide the means of engagement with tools they are used to using that allow for participation
So, Senior Management are concerned about Motivating and Retaining their young talent; they want to try to capture tacit knowledge, routines, and relationships; they want to build team spirit and feeling of "company belonging"; and they wanted to enable people to find others in their company, even across timezones. So far, so 1987.
More on The Adoption of Enterprise2.0 From Office 2.0
The Office2.0 Conference guys noticed 5 categories of barriers:
(1) Culture: resistance to change, resistance to new tools, familiarity with current environment, lack of rewards
(2) Awareness: lack of awareness of what the tools are. At client site, I was talking about twitter and a business problem we were working on, and using twitter to get some ideas. For the client, the firewall prevented them from using it. Most people know about LinkedIn and Facebook, but there is a lack of awareness beyond that.
(3) Technology: concerns about privacy, security, protection, particularly in financial services. Hospital argument — spend money in case someone might die. Same thing with security
(4) Security: privacy protection, etc.
(5) Generational differences: if the organization doesn’t have a lot of younger workers, there seems to be no acceptance. Many companies are not worried about the younger generation.
So again, Culture, Reward Structures for Desired Behaviors, Clear understanding of Security and Governance, i.e. who is in charge, and who is responsible for the implementation and its deliverables. Gosh, I sound so old school here.
(1) Get upper management to use tools themselves
(2) Show use one small tool to solve one problem (reduce complexity and make benefit clear).
(3) Build on successes. Let others see that their peers are having success and they will want to follow suit.
(4) Build group and let others see that others are using IT—peers using it
(5) Use new system in parallel with traditional collaboration processes so they can see the benefits Ex: email vs banned email
(6) Build support processes at the same time as introducing the new tool (remember individuals can change tools, but the organization changes very slowly).
(7) Build/engage culture where it's ok to experiment/take risks
(8) "Social media policy' you represent the company so 'be an adult'
(9) Use summer interns to bring in new technologies. Are you a “stock” or a “Bond” (or maybe an “option”)- let someone else take the risk
(10) Kill the old systems so the new system is the only option
(11) Provide “guide on the side” training environment. Staff the role of community manager with the right person to engage others and teach others and manage content to get networking site going
(12) Start by addressing a business problem, not just bring in the tool. When the business problem has been successfully addressed, then collaboration can be seen as a nice 'byproduct' of the solution.
From where I stand, this makes a lot of sense. And from where I stand if you had a plan to implement a "2.0" strategy and had a 12 step plan to overcome barriers to adoption, and you had worked out a clear business case for using it, well, you probably wouldn't have to use the phrase "2.0" at all.:)Update: Dion has a massive post on getting 2.0 into the enterpise. It takes a different tack to the "traditional approach", and its well worth the read. Dion's take (IMHO) is that you need to "break the china" and go big with the big commitment to 2.0.