Liveblogging Enterprise 2.0: Keynote Panel Day Two

Joe Schueller (Procter & Gamble) For us it’s about finding the ways that these new trends – enterprise 2.0 or web 2.0 broadly – work within our enterprise to make us more effective as an overall organization. How do we fit these fundamentally social concepts of web 2.0 and map those to a hierarchical enterprise we have today as a legacy.

150 years of continued success leads to some long history and some deep pockets of legacy. We can’t just throw up wikis and blogs and say now we’re enterprise 2.0.

Don – how do we get started?

Ross – first, figure out what you’re already doing. We’ve had years of bottom up, and often there are experts inside the company already. What if you take the unofficial projects and bless them with official leadership – this can make it truly transformative. Share control in order to create value.

Joe – we’ve been very conscious about experimentation – about having multiple lines in the water. What are the upsides / downsides of suite products, or waiting for the large vendors to enter the space, versus best of breed or multiple best of breeeds. The idea is to make many small bets.

An experiment – social network. Yes, we want one – but the challenge is that people want to use the network to find experts but don’t necessarily want to be found as an expert. You have to also experiment with your culture, and how these tools and techniques will play in your environment.

Kim – I think about SpikeSource itself – a company really run by email, and getting not just the engineers to use the wiki but *all* the users. In order to participate in certain things you gotta do it via the wiki – carrot and stick.

Joe – Can I share a mistake? A mistake I made was to go after email – wow, wouldn’t you love to get rid of your email? It was painful coming down off the other side of that mountain. Even if that is your goal, keep that in small internal voice not as the primary goal.

Don – a plan with a client who wanted to start with the CEO and top 200 executives. Bad idea. Start with a pilot, with an easier barrier. In the case of the LA Times, don’t start with editorial – start with something like community activities – either there is a play at the local high school at 8pm or there isn’t – factually verifiable stuff would be an easier place to start.

Don – what about challenges? (Ross mentioned freeriders, Kim talked about enterprise barriers, Joe mentioned culture fit). What are the real challenges?

Ross – this room is full of real people dealing with this in a practical sense – PR team, legal team, brand police – a lot of the challenge is finding proof stories or success stories that are safe and difficult to disagree with, then building on those successes. Not that different than starting other kinds of projects, except that you’re going to get more volunteers. Maybe start with a quiet pilot.

Joe – And don’t deploy it. It is an adoption. Turn it on and set it free in the ecosystem, not deploy it enterprise-wide. You really have to find the right first project – you get this new shiny tool and man if everything doesn’t look like a nail when you’ve got that hammer. But you have to take time and go slow enough to locate the right opportunity.

Kim – In the last year it really seems to me this has settled in. When I’m talkign to executives the problem has shifted from “what is web 2.0” to “how do I get it working in my enterprise” – from “what is a wiki” to “lets talk about wiki proliferation and how I control that.”

Don – How do you collaborate with control – isn’t that an oxymoron?

Kim – it does sound like it but there are ways it works. Leveraging existing wikis by gradually moving people to a standard platform – it isn’t about shutting down the bottom up innovation which has occured but about bringing people together on a standard platform.

Ross – there is a shift in good IT departments that is moving from Control to Foster – it isn’t just about controlling and restraining innovation – it’s also about finding the right way that central IT can foster usage of these tools.

Joe – you’re right. It isn’t about standardize, simplify, shut down – its about making innovation possible, about supporting and enabling the enterprise to win. Part of that is helping people locate the right tool for the right purpose.

Audience question: We’ve heard a lot in the last few days about bottoms up adoption – but if there isn’t an enterprise strategy for this (involving IT, HR, Operations, and everyone) – it can’t be pure decentralization. This isn’t just IT’s concern but the Enterprise’s concern.

Don – good transition into a closing though. Leadership – you have to provide enough leadership to cause this to happen versus you have to get out of the way and let it happen – these two thoughts can be conflicting or cause cognitive dissonance.

Ross – I still think to a large extent IT’s role is to get out of the way and let users create business change through collaboration. You have to enable the employees for this to be powerful and empowering.

Kim – I agree, but at the same time you need central IT involved so that you don’t create islands of information. I’d like to see IT grow into the mode of leadership around these technologies, not reverting to the role of naysayer or the one who rejects these tools.

Joe – I definitely think there is a need for IT to get out of the way. Adopting standards based, lightweight, manageable and flexible tools – minimizes those problems of data islands and such – if each implementation is open and extensible it will be easier to connect them. We started with the IT group deliberately – here is our chance to stand up and be a shining example of what is possible.

Don- closing thought: there is a new paradigm emerging, centered on collaboration. This is going to happen and you need to be ready to lead it or be left behind.

[Full disclosure – Procter & Gamble are an Optaros client and SpikeSource is an Optaros partner]