Before going deeper into some points I mentioned on my first post on the conference, I’d like to sum some things up about the last two days and the conclusion of the event.
The conference was, in my opinion, doing in a peaceful way, with good and useful contents but nothing really impressive. The cause may be the fast spreading of best practices and adoption methodologies (mostly thanks to the Council) that increased the number of successful projects while making them all look a little bit alike. This is quite a good thing : we can’t be deceived to see that success is becoming more and more the norm and less an excpetion. So, no spectacular new case but many interesting things from a qualitive standpoint, like MITRE or Sony that are a good evidences of the more and more bluring nature of the organization borders.
I wanted to focus on sessions about “measure and value”. The result was a mixed feeling. Many interesting and insightful things but I felt there were many hesitations : the often used “over the flow” approach needs some time to deliver operational results while a “in the flow / business process” driven one, even if more “technical” and hard to implement, may bring some measurable things faster.
Then came what is, my opinion, the major teachings of this event. We had to wait for the very last session to get it. People were ask to list the issues they would have liked to be more addressed in the conference. The result was eloquent :
- integration with business processes
- local culture issues
In my opinion these points have been, for many reasons, overlooked too often for years, but they can’t be swept aside anymore if we want to, first, demonstrate that enterprise 2.0 is a major improvement to organizational models and not only a “nice to have” and, second, address the most reluctant and mistrustful businesses that only pay attention to rational approaches.
I’ve been writing and focusing a lot on these issues for the last twelve months what makes me say that the fact these three issues come together is not a coincidence.
- enteprises create value through business processes, so overlooking them is the best way not to impact value creation. I don’t mean all these processes are efficient or useful and that a cleaning session is not needed. Anyway, this issue must be dealt with as a priority.
- when the goal is to improve a business process, it’s not difficult to find the right indicators since they are those that apply to the process in question. THat said, it’s obvious that new ones can also be introduced and some irrelevant one removed.
- multination companies realize that they can’t use the same adoption model in every country and have to customize it according to local cultures. Most of all, the adoption council that gathers many organizations from all around the world, alerted the enterprise 2.0 ecosystem on that. Seen from my european and french viewpoint, cultural and business process issues are tied. When it comes to address less open but sceptical and change averse cultures, involving people who fear overexposing themselves and engaging too much, the best way to bring both organizations and people to adopt new behaviors and tools is to take them by their lowest common denominator, that is reassuring and less sensitive on a human point of view. This point of entry is business processes.
In short, it’s about adding to adoption strategies (a word I’ve often found restrictive) that often focus on affect, enthusiasm and not enough on delivery, the sense and alignment that are key to any successful transformation.
These three issues are the pillars of the work that has to be done in the upcoming month in order to build comprehensive corporate strategies and this message is a strong signal for those who are starting their social media journey and only see it under an informal viewpoint, disconnected from day to day operations.
Lots of work to do. But lot of promising things for organizations too.