Enterprise 2.0: What’s Next for Social Business?

Posted on 30. Jun, 2011 by tom in New Ways to Work

Would you like some process with your social business? And just to be clear before we dive in, I come not to bury the E 2.0 movement, but rather to suggest where we need to do more.

Ger and I spent some time last week at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston, and we had an extremely productive three days. The energy was great, and candidly, the Hynes was full of smart people who are passionate about making their organizations and themselves more productive and better able to take action on the information with which we’re surrounded today.

If you want a recap of the conference, please visit the blog of Cecil Dijoux. You won’t find a better recap – thank you Cecil and thanks to all who tweeted out his work. While there is plenty of skepticism surrounding the E2.0 movement, Cecil’s summary provides some real data points that indicate a real and grounded revolution.

Please remember this positive recap as you read on. Again, I’m not here to bury E 2.0, but I do think some important issues are still barely being surfaced. Namely, there’s such a focus on information – wikis, chats, document repositories, social media listening and data – that we sometimes forget that we actually have work to do. We have tasks, goals and objectives, and deliverables owed to our colleagues, our partners, and our customers.

This is not a technology challenge. In fact, one exhibiting vendor’s “social dashboard” looked like the modular (“widgets” anyone?) web dashboards we were offering consumers in 1996.

This is not a category challenge. The issue isn’t whether the focus needs to be aimed at CRM, KM, ECM, etc. Work today requires cross-functional dependencies more than ever, so a premium on communication and adaptive work processes is by definition critical. Denis Pombriant had a nice posting last week that touched on this issue.

I believe we have a perception challenge. There’s still a gulf between the tools and data we have at our disposal right now, and the processes by which organizations and people are going to use those tools and data. IBM or Oracle saying that they have social business covered through the use of repurposed command and control tools doesn’t mean that they do. And saying that we’re going to self organize and ignore structure and process isn’t going to work either.

It’s our humble view here at Goshido that we need a sharper focus on doing. And one way to sharpen this focus is to think about how we can make guided collaboration a reality. We need to be more agile too. Not agile with a capital “A” and a manifesto, but agile as it’s defined in the dictionary.

Enterprise 2.0 is here to stay, but we have a lot of work to do. I guess that’s not a bad thing, right?!

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