Sunday, March 28, 2010

Andrew McFee's new book on Enterprise 2.0

I finish this new book written by Andrew McFee within 2 days Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools for Your Organization’s Toughest Challenges. It represents the culmination of research he has been doing since the spring of 2006, when he first coined the phrase “Enterprise 2.0″ in a Sloan Management Review article and started a blog. The book is about the business use and business impact of emergent social software platforms (ESSPs). These technologies, which include wikis, blogs, prediction markets, Facebook, and Twitter, have given rise to Web 2.0. Enterprise 2.0 relates how ESSPs are now being used within and between organizations, and are delivering novel capabilities and powerful results.

This is an easy book to read. I am familiar with E2.0 and read review that "there is nothing new for people who are in this area". I still find it enjoyable because it has given me new ideas how to introduce E2.0 to senior managers. As you know, if you start talking E2.0 or Web2.0 to senior executives, many of them find it a 'foreign language' and therefore I never use this phrase internally within my company, but I practice it by introducing it as new ways/tools to help our leaders address specific business needs.

I love the four case studies in this book, but I feel I want to read even more case studies. I especially like the chapter talking about the challenges for any enterprise to adopt E2.0 and they are related to leadership - which reinforce my own experience "to make Web2.0 work, we need Leadership 2.0".

He also talks about how difficult it is to get users to generate content regularly within an enterprise, because on the internet, there are many many more users, and even so, the active participants is a very small proportion of all the internet citizens.

My experience is telling me that aligning with business process/work process is key in terms of driving user-content contribution. Within an enterprise, I try to align the use of E2.0 with specific programs/campaigns which are time-bound. The leaders have to set a clear direction what kind of insight they want the staff to share, how they are going to use them, recognize contributors (not necessarily in monetary terms), and make the contribution part of the business process to deliver the program.

In other cases when voluntary contribution is called for, I noted that staff are busy, with a workforce of 3300 people, only 50 – 100 staff will actively contribute on a voluntary basis (and this rate has gone up from 10 – 30 people 3 years ago). This book has sparkled me to think of a couple of new ideas how to turn this situation around. I am going to experiment it. I do think more work needs to be done to allow emergence to happen.

5 comments:

Saqib Ali said...

Dr. Cheuk,

Would love to hear your ideas on turning the situation around. I'm in desperate need for ideas :)

Saqib

Bonnie Cheuk said...

To encourage staff to contribute, I keep thinking I have to find ways to make content contribution part of their day-to-day work process, and it has to be a meaningful exercise for the individual staff (not just doing it for the company or to benefit others).

I have not tried this myself, I imagine if you are in the HR/Organization Development function, if you want to promote continuous learning, can you invite all staff to adopt a 1-min reflection time at the end of each day (or each week). To support this initiative, you introduce 2.0 tools such as microblog or twitter type facilities and invite all staff to spend 1 minute max to put down their thoughts and share it on the knowledge sharing platform. You can then visualize their contributions using tag cloud. Will this provide a dynamic view of what staff are learning, and allow them to self-reflect as well as learning from one another?

What if this approach is applied to your sales team? Will this work? I love to hear your ideas. Leave me a comment here.

Saqib Ali said...

Interesting idea. But it kinda gets into the gray area of mandated participation.....

Bonnie Cheuk said...

Saqib, thanks for your question and comment. I would say 'encourage participation' but never make it mandatory. I would say thank you after people participate but not 'offer incentives if staff participate'. Subtle difference but demonstrate the values required for social computing to work. This is tricky and in this space, we need to be an artist to find the fine balance.

PierreJ_Goodell said...

I do like ur article~!!!...................................................