Enterprise 2.0 Conf – Notes

A number of really good talks this week at Enterprise 2.0 conference in Santa Clara.  I took notes at a few, and here are my *very* rough summaries.

Don Tapscott – Macrowikinomics: Rethinking the enterprise for the age of networked intelligence.

In 1991 he wrote a book “paradigm shift” where enterprise is shifting from hierarchical to network.  It seems like we are discussing the same thing today, while we are a lot more networked, we still have a ways to go.

Business processes are no longer structural, but instead molecular reconfigurable.  We live in the age of information liquidity.   The focus has changed: now relationships have become a form of capital.   One of the biggest focuses should be on how we create a positive customer experience.

Four key drivers: technology, economic, the net generation (digital natives are bathed in bits), social revolution (the rise of social networking, becoming social production).   Profoundly changing the deep structure. What does it tell us that the best selling business book was written by Scott Adams?

New operating system for the enterprise. We need to be constructing industrial strength social networks. We are seeing a new generation project tools — that enable people to work together in teams.  Mentioned collaborative decision management: what he calls support for deliberation.

In reference to the financial crisis of Sept 2008 he quoted Bob Dylan: “Because something is happening here; But you don’t know what it is.”   Who would imagine a few years ago that the big theme for business books would be “how to save capitalism“.

Our schools have the very best model of learning that the technology of 17th century can provide.

A trillion dollars of toxic assets are on the balance sheets of the big banks. Some call them the zombie banks. 21% youth unemployment rate.  80% of new jobs come from companies 5 years old or less.  One solution: put all the information about the toxic assets on line, open it up. Get a bunch of financial experts to review it, make a model, figure out the value, and get rid of them. Get them off the books, and then move ahead.

How about healthcare and research? It is designed around an industrial age model. I am a clinition, you are a patient, don’t ask anyone else for help.  Made a reference to “PatientsLikeMe” which is a social site for people with rare diseases to be able to help themselves.  There are a lot of these taking off like wildfire, having a big effect.

A large part of the drug industry will be hitting in the next couple years the pharma patent cliff. Need to move collaboration out to the internet and fix the industry. Place research and clinical trials into the public. The whole model of the industry is broken.

The music industry is collapsing. It inherited a bloated distribution model from a business model decades old based on shipping around things made of atoms.  The Internet eliminates the need for shipping atoms, but they refuse to adapt to this reality. The business model forces the industry to bets only on home-runs. They just need to change music from being a product to a service. Put all the music into a commons, and become a service to distribute and access this. Everyone in this room will pay $3/month for every song ever written streamed to their devices. The industry that brought you Elvis and the Beatles is now suing and hated by children.

Education and higher learning is broken.  Need to change the entire model of how we teach and learn.  Climate change is an issue as well that needs to be address.

Perhaps one model is the “open cities initiative“.  They opened up an internet site to list things that need to be done, and allowed people (politicians?) to say yes or no whether they would do that.  The citizens of Bogota produced 2K proposals for the mayor.

How can we best use collective activity for social change? Syria has hundreds of snipers killing people. Kids are using cell phones to triangulate where the snipers are and report them to others. London had their riots. The occupy movement spreading around the world. You can say what you want, but there is a deep deep sentiment that the system is broken. We need to make some very fundamental changes.  Leadership is everybody’s opportunity. It is you. You self selected to attend this event.

Can we learn from nature? Played a wonderful video of “murmuration” a behavior of starlings. It helps protects the birds and warms them up for the night. There is no one leader – they follow the crowd as a single big collaboration. Can we learn from this?  We are not in an information age, but an age of cranial intelligence.  Showed pictures of the Arab Spring, and stated that the kids in Egypt knew their collective power and used it.

Rachel Happe – Are You Getting Ahead, or Are You the Red Queen

The title comes from a Louis Carol quote where the red queen says that you have to run very fast just to stand still, and to get somewhere you need to run at least twice as fast.

People are the weakest link in our organizations.  In the past we have reorganized the company around, and focused on, transactions.  this made sense when comupters and equipment was very expensive and rare.  But now infrastructure (servers, networks, storage space) is cheap and plentiful.  People are now the scarce resource.  Need to optimize the performance of humans in a way we never have had to do before.  Labor used to be cheap (and still is some places) but here at home labor needs to be enhanced and supported.

The benefit of the early adopters of social are fading.  Problem is we can’t absorb all this technology.  Culture does not change quickly enough. So we need to be careful and thoughtful about what technology we select.

Culture is the competitive differentiator in the future.

She talked primarily about forming relationships with customers.   These soft things have hard returns for our businesses, but hard to measure.

  • Customer loyalty is the savings of having to pay for a new customer acquisition.
  • Forgiveness is very valuable.
  • Relationships give you time .. something we feel we don’t have enough of.  A customer that trusts you will wait for the time to develop the right thing.
  • Peer support in external communities, same with mentoring inside communities.
  • Humans are good at recognizing others needs before those individual recognize themselves:  we can only specifically ask for a small part of our real needs.
  • If you are friends with your customers they are telling you exactly what they thing … so you get better.

These lead to Revenue:

  • If your customers are in your cultural sphere you will get lockout of competitors.
  • Patience for release scheduled.
  • You want all your customers to be advocates for you.
  • Authentic insights are better through friendship.

Relationships increase in value along the following step:

  • Encounter –  awareness
  • Recognition – resonance
  • Development – understanding of compatibility, interest, acknowledgement
  • Friendship – contextual trust, loyalty, advocacy
  • Partnership – forgiveness, advocacy, defense, trust, loyalty

Social media really helps with the first 2 or 3 three of these!  But it only gets you so far chit-chatting about content.    Community takes you the next step, and can get you to the friendship step.  If you want partnership, then get on a plane and spend a lot of time.  Direct engagement can get you through all the steps, but it is expensive and slow.

Do a gap analysis on the relationships that your organization has, and what do you want?

We get into trouble a lot because enterprises want results NOW.  Investment in a community can be quite long, before there is any return.  And, you need to carry through and continue to invest.  Some companies have outsourced their community effort. Seems strange given how critical it is for success.  Presented the “community maturity model”.  Mapping a community management approach to business management is going to be a big challenge.

My summary: She starts with a recognition that we are moving to a knowledge worker economy and i tis time to focus on support for people to do this.  One key support is for relationships, and she made an excellent case for the power of forming better relationships with customers.  To do this, you need to have a  longer term view, but the results are clear and significant.

Aaron Levy – Box.net

2011 was a good year. $630M spent on social business $21B on cloud buildup. Enterprise software just isn’t sexy.

  • 91% of enterprises think the high cost of ownership is a problem
  • 62% spend too much time on projects

most enterprises stuck on outdated systems.  They say “I can’t get to to my information; I can’t integrate my apps; I can’t share outside the org; I can’t see what is being done.”  All this really valuable data is stuck behind the firewall.

Before, IT had to manage all this. You had to buy storage, servers, software, applications, firewall, integrate it all, and maintain it all. All this had to be done by the IT group. Cost prohibitive in small to medium enterprise. The rainbow to value was not actually happening and things are beginning to fail. IT spends 80% of time, energy, resources on maintaining their current infrastructure.

The problem with most software is that it continues to propogate these problems. Silos, can’t share with each other. Mapped to technology and hierarrchy of organization. But enterprises are changing faster than the technology.  What do you do about the new workers joining?  The new workplace is all over the place. Need a new IT.

Information and people become more valuable at scale. As you have more teams, more data, this produces more value. Today it is the opposite. Smarter enterprise. Need technology that changes the way that we work. Faster decisions, more visibility, better speed. More social, so that anyone in the organization can see. Better intelligence on the information on the data and the people you are working with. Finally how is it all connected? (social, speed, connected, intelligence)

Last decade we had “on demand”. We can deliver over web/cloud. Now we can be smarter. What if we could start from the ground up?

Yesterday’s technology is far too stale. It does not “get” that people are the center of everything. (He showed a picture of SharePoint 2010 with a bunch of menus open, showing the complexity.)

Social must be pervasive in everything we do. Not just a single application. How do you lower the wall on what people are doing? How do you make sure that people are more connected? So we can ask questions: what content do I need? Like that project three years ago: how do I gain access to that instead of being locked up? Need visibility and exposure.

  • what content do I need?
  • what are people working on?
  • what client shoudl I talk to?
  • what is this project’s next step (instead of rigid workflow, how do you build workflow into the people network)

We are getting out of the dark ages. Way more visibility into what is going on.

How do we put compute in cloud computing. Let’s do interesting things with big data. Starting to see happen. How to find meaning all this data? How do you build systems that build better relevance.

Are we going from closed to open?

The cloud brings a new level of oppenness. Take content from all sorts of systems, and have them propogate. This is very different from enterprise software.

We need to balance security and simplicity. Locking down was the definition of security in the past. But we also need visibility. Need something more appropriate for users, not IT: balance.

  • speed,
  • social, bring down the walls, share with everyone
  • intelligence – better relevance
  • connected – apps, sharing

Comment from MC: Aaron should be an auctioneer.

Mike Gotta – Architecting the Building Blocks of Enterprise Social Networking

He started by reminding us that almost all human interaction occur in a network context. The IT Department looks too much at an application view of things. Thinking of a transactional view is a potential pitfall.

People connect through activities. They connect through the artifacts that are created through those interactions. We need broaden our understanding of what social networks are and how they effect the workplace. He says that he “sees networks everywhere.”

The role of technology is interaction, but the role of culture is participation. These can’t be separate, but instead need to be blended. There are many different contexts for networking.

Business Value vs. Organizational Value. There is a lot of talk about focus shifting to be more purpose oriented, more activity and goal oriented, because it is hard to calculate ROI. Had to shift the positioning so it is not seen as a rebake of Knowledge Management. Instead apply social to our productivity applications.

Converged a bunch of things on a SNS (Social Network Site). Six things:

  • Traditional Collabortation,
  • E2.0
  • Semantic and Social Analyics
  • Visualization
  • ECM
  • UC

in the past we focused on “a place to go”, somthing like a corporate Facebook.  Now we are getting beyond the “collaboration site”. More of a platform approach. Not about social tools, but how those capabilities are embedded.

Activity streams are getting a lot of attention.


  • EA Role – organizational architect
  • IA Role – social insight
  • Solution Role – community management
  • Technology Role – social platform

Interested in both front stage, and back stage use.


Ascribed: Profiles – some see it as a directory, some as contact info. I see it as an identity. Employee number, department name. When we ask employees who they are, they are kind of shocked.

Claimed: Go beyond the identity that is given to them, and thinkg about interests, hobbies, tidbits. Scaffolding for people to connect. Claimed identity because we can’t prove it. This is difficult in a compliance world. Approved fields vs. freeform fields.

Performed: You perform you identity. If I see people working their identity, I am more likely to believe it. Platforms are being automatically attached now. (and want ability to say yes or no)

Reciprocated: others confirm and agree.

Mentioned Mark Smith, Social Roles, looking at people in email and discussion forums. In many cases people know that “John” is the person to go to, but only because they know him. Looking at new algorithms to be able to figure out that “John” is the person without having to explicitly specify in advance. We all perform roles that are not recognized by the organization. One idea is to track “My Questions and Answers”

Social Graph: we think of a very simplified model. Communities are a network. Teams are as well. Processes are role based networks. Management hierarchy is just a network based on reporting relationship.

Activity Streams: the “observable work”.  Then we need to filter. Vendors do not give you a lot of capability yet. Would like to taylor to the type of participation we would like to invite to help mediate latent ties.

  • Ask a qeustion
  • Follow a tag/topic – connect you to a community.
  • Exception handling for a task

Latent Ties: ties that are technically possible but not yet activated. I should know “Dan” but we just have never met yet. Activating latent ties will build healthier and more robust networks.

Curation of activity streams. Can we find patterns? Could be really interesting from a process improvement point of view. Activity stream coupled to analytics coupled to social graph. Doing that activates the network.

Social Object: what is it? Activity stream entry, the data in it. Parse that. Connect so that others can interact and reappropriate it. How to share it, put it into a community. Finally analytics. Build over time.

“Cultivating Social Resources” a lot of the chit-chat is improtant for building social relationships. Emails saying “great team!” May dismiss as having no business relevance, but it is important for relationships. Hard to argue ROI of this. Like “pay it forward”.

Teams are not just the team. There might be 8 people on the (official) team, but if you do the network analysis, you find there are 15 others networked in that nobody knows about.  Social maps are a form of inquiry, exploration. Explored the social map, and found significant number of teams are interacting and nobody knew it.

Change Management is a program, not a project. Need standing investment. Talk to Booz Allen – at one point 80% of their activity was change management. Need to think about succession planning: how do the stories get passed on to the next people who take over.

Social Psychology of change. Rear-view analytics can yield stories on how they saved money. Nothing that ever showed up on the forecast of what was to be accomplished. Unpredictable results.

Never found a pattern that says bottom up always wins, nor that top down never wins. It depends upon the specific organization. Must consider the culture of the people.

In conclusion:

  • Theory: when consideration of the organizational design constructs, you really should take a look at some of the theory. Don’t need a PhD, but become familiarity and understandign of some of the research, theory, and definitions.
  • Methods: there are many ways to tell stories. Use case scenarios help to put a persona into the description of the system.
  • Practices: have to create the feedback loop. Expect pushback. The complaints are the requirement. What happens when these systems are in place for 10 years. How will the timeline of the organization effect the design of the site.

1 thought on “Enterprise 2.0 Conf – Notes

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