Webcom in review


Here are the key ideas I’d like to point out from the Webcom conference in Montreal.

Honor to whom honor is due, let’s start with Andrew McAfee. I’m not sure people who have been following him for years did really learn anything new. But those who just begin to try to get into the enterprise 2.0 must have had an excellent global overview of the new challenges their companies will have to face in the coming years.

Well, anyway there are some points I found interesting.

Perharps I’m being mistaken but it seems to me he improved if definition of enterprise 2.0 from “use of web 2.0 tools within the enterprise” to ” use of emergent social software within companies or between companies and their partners or customers”. I think it makles a lot of sense. First because “social” seems to be more relevant than “web 2.0 ” since they don’t define tools by their origin but by what they make possible. Second because including partners and clients is more realistic in a global context which force enterprise not to be standalone players anymore but make them a part a of global ecosystem.

I also liked his explaination on strong / weak /potential / none ties, showing the benefits of connecting people is inversely proportional to the intensity of ties between them. And only social software makes it possible.

Last, he talked about an “internal blogosphere where people where people are narating their work”. Of course won’t happen that easily, some practices will have to be adopted which will only make sense if companies learn how to use tacit knowledge for business purposes. But I’m convinced stimulating storytelling is key to harnessing tacit knowledge.

Later in the afternoon came what will remain for me the best keynote of the day : Jon Husband’s. There are so many things to say about it that I prefer ask you to visit his blog and dive deep into the wirearchy concept. Have also a look at this slides he showed us :

Ask yourselves what this sentence means to you

“management by bloging around”

I like his clear-headed approach to the link between organization and tools et the fact the halo effect on web 2.0 don’t prevent him to stay focused ont what matters : tools are to support an organization model and enterprise isn’t the web. If anybody has the slide where he compares management 2.0, hr 2.0 and culture 2.0 I’ll be happy to republish it here.

Then came the panel about “enterprise 2.0, myth, odyssey, reality ?”. To be honest, but perhaps it’s because I’ve been in this kind of thought for a few years but I think the debate has been over for months. Even if it means i’m stubbornly resistant to change, I think wondering about enterprise 2.0’s future is useless. The right question is : what are resistances to aligning tools and pratices on stakes and strategic goals. Stakes have to be indentified, then time will be needed to built a systemic solution (I’ll write about that in a few time…) and cascade the whole through the enterprise. At this time people won’t care about adopting web 2.0 tools, they’ll just adopt tools that make sense in their day to day job and are useful for them. I think that mix up between goals and means is prejudicial. Do you buy a car or an answer to a need for going from a place to another ? And what would you do with a car in your garage if you don’t need / want / know you have to move

That said I’ll quote Jon who was himself quoting I can’t remember who : It takes a long time for change to happen quickly.