My first post introduced the Enterprise 2.0 Summit, the social business topic in general and speakers at the event at ESCP Europe. This is my conference report. I’ll start by setting the scene with my impressions, then pick out highlights, draw some conclusions and finally link to the other Agile Elephant posts about the Summit.
- From where we were in 2006 at the Office 2.0 show or in 2007 at Open Knowledge’s first Enterprise 2.0 Forum in Varese, I could be depressed that we aren’t further forward with enterprise 2.0 and social business. However, that’s more to do with the fact that we are in the middle of a change in business behavior that may take 10-30 years.
- I’m incredibly optimistic about what is happening now. That’s why we just made a leap of faith and started Agile Elephant as a new social business consultancy a few weeks ago. The mood at the conference confirmed our feeling that this topic is poised to cross the chasm and go mainstream.
- Enterprise 2.0/Social Business is a complex topic. The elephant in the enterprise room. There is a definite divide in thinking between two camps. Those of us at the summit who want to get top down executive commitment and a focus on hard business numbers and real ROI, versus those that focus on the culture change required to move to a more sharing, open business combined with the structural change required to move companies to more networked rather than hierarchical organisational structures. Both of these are important. Both of these require new or different leadership thinking.
- Most of us attending the conference are somewhere at the leading edge of this topic. As a movement, we need to get organised to spread the word and break through to the average business person in the average company so they understand the benefits of social business.
Dan Pontefract of Telus opened the conference eloquently explaining his company’s journey in to social business. Key things he said or described:
- It’s not the tool it’s the behaviour
- It’s about collaborative behaviour aided and abetted by social tools
- A woman adding a 6 minute video to the community of her 10 coaching tips, it got 1000 hits and 62 comments, and she answered every one individually
- He used a metaphor of Canada geese flying in a scheme, a V formation, rotating the leadership – our orgs need to be like that
- There is potential energy in everyone, how do you convert that in to kinetic energy?
Jon Mell of IBM called out to me from the stage remembering Varese 2007 making the point we’ve been at this a long time. Some key things he said
- Think of the best manager and the worst manager you’ve had, and that their good/bad behaviours aren’t easily found on their CV
- That means when you’re hiring someone, how they might fit your culture can’t be see on a CV
- He explained how Caterpiller have seen that where employees are highly engaged, there are 3 times less accidents and that translates straight to the bottom line
- He talked about AMC – they focus on popcorn sales as a key metric – what makes great popcorn sellers, and good managers of popcorn sellers, how do we hire and attract them, share the learning – getting it right translated in to a 1.2% increase in profit per customer
The best case study at the summit was Joachim Heinz explaining Social Business @ Bosch. He explained how they have 300,000 associates, create more than 16 patents a day, have been taking Bosch to 2.0 and now have 60,000 people on boarded to their social platform. 80% of their communities are open – you have to apply for a private group. It’s called Bosch Connect – you can “go there, make a wiki and you’re done in 30 minutes”. They have created 13 different use cases and he explained they are:
- Shifting core processes in to social
- Using social to enable leadership
- Providing senior managers with Enterprise 2.0 mentoring using digital natives, but they are discovering that ideas are going both ways, it’s not a monologue
- And that the wake up call for Bosch management was the fact that Tesla could design a new car in 2 years, whereas BMW/Mercedes take 6 years – that’s digital disruption!
Emanuele Quinterelli of Ernst & Young, who I first met when he invited me to speak at that E2.0 Forum in Varese in 2007, set the scene for our panel discussion on Strategic Enablement. He presented the results of their survey of 300 Italian firms where 54% of them have between 10% and 30% adoption of social business. He presented the 6 key findings:
- Top down commitment – if top executives are on board, nobody in middle management can sabotage the shift to social business – a very tough but crucial message
- Strategy – a well structured roll out strategy is key, hybrid works, but top down is 2 times more successful in achieving adoption
- The people factor – laggards tended to have no-one in charge of collaboration, leadership of collaboration works
- Money where it matters – the leaders had budget balanced between strategy, tech and change management, and 50% more than others
- Measurement is important to steer and sell it – half of laggards have no measurement at all, 91% of leaders have measurement in place, top performers use business metrics 3 times more
- Social business is here already – leaders are engaging employees to engage customers, internally and externally – 23% of the top performers are planning end to end social business projects in the next 2 years
Martin Risgaard Rasmussen explained the Grundfos story, but also that he is in the process of leaving to join Yammer. Grundfos has been around since 1945, has 18,000 people and is the World’s biggest pump manufacturer – take a look at your central heating system next time you open the airing cupboard. They have deployed a program of culture change they call Global Working Culture run by HR. They are moving to social business to get more out of the work they already do. It’s all explained in a brilliant hard copy white paper called “Social Business Cooking at Grundfos”, there is more at socialbusinessjourney.com, and I’ll post a link to a PDF when I find one. Some of the things Martin said:
- Participation inequality, the 1-9-90 rule is real
- You need at least 1 designated community manager otherwise it won’t work
- He emphasised the importance of a clear purpose and finding use cases
- He explained how they integrate social into their business process
- They focus on culture
- He talked Simon Sinek’s Start with why (and we love that!)
- He explained how they looked at Chatter, Yammer, and Socialcast, but chose Yammer
Joachim Niemeyer of centrestage talked about leading the transformation required. He talked about needing the active support of top management, the need for a clearly defined target audience, about capability, having a clear vision, defined business objectives and a well developed roadmap. He highlighted the importance of use cases with high potential business value and a toolbox for systematic change. He was another one who emphasised integration in to business process.
On day 2, Lee Bryant of Postshift said a lot I could agree with, and some things I might argue with. He doesn’t agree that social business should be about process. He worries that some of us are adopting an approach that is all about a market for consulting services and software, that’s aligned to the way companies are used to buying. He worries that the approach is not about new business models or new types of organisation. He talked about killing the org chart with social tools. Some of the things he said:
- We’ve move beyond Taylorism – productivity has gone quantum
- He talked about the effectiveness of small co-ordinated, agile teams
- Knowledge sharing beats cascaded best practice
- He worried that so many companies have too many generic managers – they don’t have skills, they’re just politicians
- Communities and networks are the fabric of the organisation (right on!)
- He quoted our friend Dave Gray‘s The Connected Company – popular working needs an underpinning service, as well as about fractal structured organisations
- He went through a selection of companies that have adopted a completely different, often decentralised organisation and leadership approach – including Morning Star, Valve, Kyocera and one of my favourites WL Gore
- He talked Holacracy, Sociocracy, and the Kotter dual operation system
- He talked agile work group of 5-8, then Pod groups of 12, then group of pods totalling 140 (see Alan’s recent post on Dunbar numbers – there are more than one!)
- He mentioned how you need an influencer, a keeper of stories – like Marc Benioff who is brilliant at that
- He referenced the fantastic changes that the UK’s Cabinet Office have done reorganising government IT functions
- He said he wasn’t arguing for flat structures or the end of leadership, but for for the end of managers
- He also said it doesn’t matter what we call this topic with a slide full of socbiz and 2.0 hashtags (see thesis 9 of our Manifesto)
BernardMarie Chiquet of iGi Partners extended the discussion further in to Holacracy. He suggested we have to go to the motherboard of the organisation structure (I like that!). He talked about a move to “purpose driven” not “for profit or not for profit”. He argued that order doesn’t require bosses. He talked of needing a constitution for the organisation, like the king handing over power to a new form democracy enshrined in the constitution. He talked about organising the work, not the people. He wanted to break down the purpose in to functions and the functions in to roles – that being the basic brick, element where work needed to be done. He suggested:
- There are 3 dimensions – purpose, accountabilities, domains
- You need a governance process – but that might be a 2 hours meeting every 2 weeks
- It takes a village to raise an organisation with organisation, people and a purpose
At a about this point Jon Husband tweeted “The Holacracy tension a notion that comes from Robert Fritz’s concept of Structural tension, from OD world of the early to mid-90’s #e20s“. Jon clearly thinks that holacracy is 90s OD and other thinking re-presented for this new century. He joined the panel discussion, which was really entertaining. They talked more about the org chart being roles and not people. They talked about the time span of decision making and how far out you can look for strategic decision making. We now we live in a World where a few tweets can put your business in deep trouble – difficult to be strategic with change happening in near real time. Jon talked Transactional Analysis, the book “I’m OK, Your OK” and how the goal is to move from parent-child to adult-adult negotiations. He believes the next stage of social business is a deep movement, that is a 20-30 year process, but he characterised the stage we are at in the journey by the pilot coming on the intercom and saying:
“Buckle up your seatbelts, there’s turbulence ahead!”
Back in the main hall, Celine Schillinger of Sanofi-Pasteur told the inspirational story of her journey in to social business and being a change agent. She talked vision, openness, information and cultures. She explained how things changed for her when she sent an email to her CEO back in 2011 around the issue of gender diversity. That went viral, and triggered her creating a community on their internal social platform that has grown beyond 2,500 members in 50 countries, with concrete measures to achieve gender balance that changed her company. She went on to explain how Sanofi are using the same type of community approach to fight Dengue Fever, but lifting it beyond a company initiative to a global fight against the enemy/disease.
Dion Hinchcliffe of Dachis Group closed the formal presentations with a final keynote. He suggested we should let the network do the work. He asked if we can apply social business frameworks in most industry sectors, across different geographies, and even differing corporate cultures? Will they work, will they lower the risk, get faster results, get better results? He talked about T-mobile cutting customer defections in half. He talked of advocate programs becoming a major new element of organisation structure. He wondered who should own the social business topic? He explained that a framework is a pre-built approach with holes cut out for the details of your business. He used Rachel Happe’s Community Model as an example. He suggested that:
- It’s easier to add social rather than change the fundamentals of the existing systems
- Business models need to be updated
- The move to Social Business is inevitable, and a good thing
- We should take care as it is easy to be far too technology centric
So, it was a great conference full of good content, strong case studies and inspirational speakers (with only one low point). My key takeaways from the Summit:
- There is a shift happening. We may be in the middle of a 20-30 year change but as a community we can feel the rate of change accelerating and Social Business is set to cross the chasm and go mainstream.
- For Social Business projects to improve their chances of success we need top level executive commitment – a message that was repeated in many of the sessions.
- The way to get that commitment is to talk hard business numbers and real return on investment, picking up on the case study stories from Bosch, Grundfos, Caterpiller, T-Mobile and others mentioned at the show.
- The culture change required to move to a more sharing, open business model combined with the structural change required to move companies to more networked rather than hierarchical organisational structures is crucially important too.
- The frameworks, techniques and behaviours around community building are still vital to this topic.
- We’ve been talking social business around CRM for a while. The talk has shifted to leadership and employee engagement, bringing social business firmly inside the organisation.
- The enterprise 2.0/social business community needs to take the message to the wider business community. We need to talk less jargon and more business benefits. We need a clear message in an easily digestible format. Social business works and produces real business benefits – let’s get on with it!
OTHER AGILE ELEPHANT POSTS
E2.0 Summit Case Studies – Day 1
Agile Elephant goes Enterprise 2.0 in Paris
Key factors for Strategic Enablement
Day 2 Case Study Summary at Enterprise 2.0 Summit
Employee Engagement : The New Heart of Enterprise 2.0?
And don’t forget Jim Worth’s great wiki resource which lists everyone who tweeted at the event, their tweets, the posts the photos and more. See you next year?