Category Archives: enterprise2.0

Talking about Enterprise 2.0 and knowledge management

UPDATE: Fixed Wikipatterns URL

UPDATE:

I’m giving a lecture on Enterprise 2.0 and knowledge management at the Schulich School of Business (York University). There’s so much to talk about, but I’d like students to walk away with:

  • an understanding of how this is personally relevant to them, and
  • an understanding of the cultural and technological changes,
  • some resources they can check out for their paper,
  • concrete next actions they can take to learn more and make the most of the opportunities.

What I’ll discuss

Enterprise 2.0 encompasses many things. For this talk, I’ll focus on how emerging tools help us organize and share ideas, information, and experiences. I won’t dwell on emerging tools for communication, collaboration, or other aspects of Enterprise 2.0, although as you’ll see in a bit, those capabilities are difficult to separate from knowledge-work. I’m looking forward to finding out what tools class members are familiar with, and which they participate in: blogs, wikis, social networks, asset repositories, and things like that.

Relevance

Let’s start with why it matters. Why should these MBA students care about Enterprise 2.0 and what I have to say about it, and why do I care that they care?

The first and most immediate reason is that their professor has assigned them (or will be assigning them) a paper on knowledge management and Enterprise 2.0, and my lecture can help them find out about resources and understand some of the key concepts.

The second and much more valuable reason is that if they start applying these concepts now, they can deepen their knowledge, broaden their network, and strengthen their reputation – helping them differentiate themselves from other applicants when they look for a job, or helping them differentiate themselves from other companies when they start their own. These ideas can also help them share even if they’re not experts, make a difference even as newcomers, and create value on a scale that was difficult to do before.

The third and most far-reaching reason is that if these MBA students graduate and go into companies with a deeper understanding of what Enterprise 2.0 is like, then eventually, these seeds can grow into the bottom-up and top-down support that can really change the way we work. In Enterprise 2.0, many companies look to new recruits and fresh graduates for a deeper, almost instinctive understanding of new tools and concepts. If these students understand the ideas and tools behind Enterprise 2.0, then they can help their companies move forward.

That’s why I care, and I hope to help them learn more about why they should care too.

Cultural and technological changes

On the surface, it’s easy to talk about tools. E-mail, blogs, wikis, asset repositories, shared drives, group websites… All those tools have different capabilities, and each has advantages and disadvantages. If you search the Net, it’s easy to find examples of companies using any of these tools for knowledge management.

What I’m really interested in, however, is culture. Mindset. Attitude. And I’m interested in that at the individual, team, community, network, organization, and ecosystem level.

So I came up with a list of interesting contrasts. The core idea is still the same (“Knowledge is power”), but there are all sorts of aspects around it.

Document, person, or interaction? What is “managed” under knowledge management? What does knowledge management really mean? Is knowledge all about documents that need to be organized, categorized, and stored? Does it live it people’s heads, so the “killer app” is an expertise locator? Does it come out in the interactions between people and other people, resources, and situations? I want to call their attention to different ways of thinking about knowledge, so that they can be aware of their perspective and they can recognize the perspectives taken by the different papers and resources they’ll come across.
Hoard or share? Is knowledge something to be hoarded and kept secret so that you can gain power by controlling access, or is it something that you share widely so that you can gain power that way? The difference between these two mindsets is one of the key challenges of adoption.
Formal/structured or informal/unstructured? (or the spectrum) Is your end-goal a neat repository of cleaned-up documents, or a platform for ongoing work? In the past, most knowledge management initiatives focused on formalized assets. With Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0, we’re finding that making it easy to share ongoing work can create a lot of value and get better participation. That brings in its own challenges, too, like finding things. Taxonomies vs folksonomies also come into play.
Experts or novices? Do you want contributions only from experts, or can you get value from the work of novices and amateurs? This has implications for learning and search.
One place or many? Are you looking for just one tool for storing, organizing, and searching all the knowledge, or are you looking at ways to integrate many tools with each other? It’s a mess either way. The mix of mindsets adds conflict and tension to adoption, so watch out for that.
Knowledge management or knowledge creation? Do you see KM as the end-point of a process, or as something done throughout a process? This affects adoption, culture, and lots of other things.
Inside or outside? Is the knowledge and experience you’re looking for entirely within your organizational unit, or can you find a way of engaging and learning from people outside?

Hmm, I think Wikipedia would be a good example to use, because they’re probably familiar with it, and I can also talk about corporate use. I’d like to talk about blogs as well, because that’s something they can take away.

Resources

  • Check out del.icio.us bookmarks: enterprise2.0 + km
  • Search for Web 2.0 or Enterprise 2.0, knowledge management (anything recent probably talks about Web 2.0 as well), or specific technologies such as blogs and wikis
  • Read analysts such as Forrester and Gartner
  • Find research papers
  • Read books like Influencer and Generation Blend
  • Check out Bill Ives’ blog (link is to KM posts) and other blogs about knowledge management
  • Find case studies on Cases2.
  • Look for Enterprise 2.0 and KM-related conferences, and look for related speakers and bloggers.
  • Check out Wiki Patterns for adoption tips and ideas about the challenges people face when introducing KM tools into real-world groups. (UPDATE: Fixed URL, thanks!)

Next actions

If people want to try these ideas out, they don’t have to wait until they graduate and join a company with Enterprise 2.0 tools.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Set up a blog. Share your experiences and your lessons learned. Share what you’re learning. Share what you’re good at, and share what you want to get better at. Teach people along the way. This will help you learn even more and connect with more people. It’ll help you when you’re looking for a job, too – it’s a public portfolio of how you communicate and how you think. If you’re intimidated by the idea of writing in public, give yourself permission to figure things out, and just get started.
  • Organize and share what you know. You’ll probably come across lots of resources while reading. Bookmark them and share them with others. You’ll all benefit in the process.
  • Read a lot. Look for blogs related to your passions and career interests, and add those blogs to your feed reader. Find other resources related to your interests, too. You’ll learn a lot, you’ll pick up the vocabulary and jargon of an area, and you’ll get a better sense of what’s going on.
  • Experiment. Try things out. Curious about wikis? Find out how other people use wikis, then make one. Bonus points if you explore group knowledge management tools with other people, because then you’ll also learn along the way about the challenges of adoption and how to deal with them.

I don’t feel anywhere near ready, but I do feel as if I have something to share, so that’s good. =)

ROI for public speaking and Web 2.0; graph and case study

Amy Shuen inspired me to prepare a spreadsheet for estimating the value created by my talks. (You can open the spreadsheet in OpenOffice.org or Lotus Symphony, both free office suites.) She’ll be including some of the numbers in tomorrow’s IBM Web 2.0 for Business community call on ROI of Web 2.0 at Work. I thought I’d make the numbers a little easier to grasp, so I spent an hour and a half making this:

Full-size images at public-speaking-1.png and public-speaking-2.png.

My Enterprise 2.0 blogroll

A few weeks ago, Jeff Widman asked me what I do to learn more about Enterprise 2.0. I told him that there aren’t that many bloggers looking at how companies can use Web 2.0 internally, and that much of what I learn comes from my day-to-day interactions within IBM and the consulting I do for our clients. There are a number of blogs I read, though. Here’s the list from my Google Reader:


To read them on a neatly aggregated page, check out my Enterprise 2.0 page on Google Reader.

I just stumbled across that feature by checking out the Manage Subscriptions page, clicking on Folders and Tabs, and changing the sharing. Interesting…

The Orange Chair » Social networking and innovation in a large company

This is more of a work-day topic, but you might be interested in it anyway. Here’s an excerpt from my latest post on our team blog:

Whether social networks were built using traditional means or by using new social technologies, these networks can make a difference in the success of a project. Without ways to tap into the broader social networks in the company, innovators may find themselves working on a project alone, or with a few people who have similar interests and skills. With a wide, diverse network such as the ones facilitated by corporate social networking platforms, innovators can reach out, find people with similar passions and complementary skills, and help make things happen. Innovators can discover similar initiatives in the early stages of development, reducing duplicated effort and allowing people to accomplish more.

Sacha Chua, The Orange Chair » Social networking and innovation in a large company

Slidecast: New Media, New Generation

new media, new generation
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: enterprise2.0 web2.0)

I gave a panel presentation entitled “New Media, New Generation” at the Corporate Voices meeting in Washington DC on September 9, 2008. Around 40 director- and partner-level people (many in HR) attended from private corporations and nonprofit organizations. On the panel with me were Paull Young (Senior Account Executive, Converseon) and John Wolf (Senior Director, PR, Marriott). Things that went well:

  • People loved the informal style of my hand-drawn presentation. They told me that the stick figures were both clear and engaging.
  • People also really appreciated my energy, enthusiasm, and passion.
  • I met lots of people and gave them tips on social media.
  • I enjoyed figuring out a good structure for the presentation. The symmetric structure (new media = social media, new generation = net generation, and a 2×2 matrix) was easy to remember, and I figured out how to make the topics flow into each other.
  • I told stories as part of my presentation, and those stories were easy to remember as well.
  • Joining people for dinner beforehand and listening to a number of the other presentations gave me not only a sense of what people were interested in, but enough rapport with people so that I felt comfortable chatting.
  • I remembered to record audio and video, and to ask someone to pay attention to the video camera. Most of the talk was captured on video – hooray! I’ve added the recorded audio to my presentation on Slideshare (see above), and I’ve synchronized it with the slides.

Things I can do even better next time:

  • I can update my Talks page before heading to the presentation.
  • I can ask the organizers for an attendee list so that I can get a better sense of who the audience members are.
  • With a little more polish, I can make the presentation handout a good opportunity for more branding and help.
  • I can work on pausing instead of using filler words like “right?”
  • A proper video camera set up on a tripod near the front would give me better-quality video recordings.
  • I can ask the organizers for tips on which airport I should use.
  • I can ask my frequent-flyer friends how they make the most of travel time. Two hours is too short to really get into code. Maybe I should go earlier? Maybe those frequent flyer clubs are useful for something after all. Maple Leaf Club Worldwide (Air Canada) is CA$599/year. How much would I need to travel in order to make something like that worthwhile, and do I want to travel that much?
  • I can bring a phone that isn’t on the fritz. =)

New presentation: “New media, New generation”

I’ll be in Washington, DC from Monday to Wednesday next week to participate in a panel on new media. It’ll also be my first presentation using the nifty new Cintiq! I thought I’d put it up on Slideshare and share it with all you folks… =) The current version’s designed for in-person delivery, so some of the slides might look a little obscure. (If all else fails, you can do Powerpoint Karaoke.) I hope I can put up an audiocast after the event.

new media, new generation
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: web2.0 enterprise2.0)

This was fun. It took me a while to figure it out, though. The presentation hinges on two pairs of pairs: the first set is new media = social media and new generation = net generation, and the second set is the 2×2 matrix. I only came across that while ironing handkerchiefs and playing with my speech topic out loud. Once that pattern floated up, everything else fell into place.

Part of the fun of making presentations is figuring out a natural pattern for the topic… =)