The group of participants was really nice. It always wonderful to be together with people from the knowledge management (or, in this case, more specifically, the Enterprise2.0 community) and openly talk to and share with each other. These people love to tell all!
About FWS project
We started with a short presentation about the FWS project by Robert Slagter. More information can be found here.
Showcase Enterprise Social software IBM
Then Erik Krischan of IBM gave an overview of what IBM is doing internally with social media. If you follow Luis Suarez, e.g., you already know they’re doing A LOT in this area. It was nice to get an overview of this from Erik. Here’s my notes:
He wanted to give a brief introduction and flavor of what we are doing in E2.0 at IBM.
Erik starts by showing their intranet (- he opened it in Firefox by the way!).
Primarily they are using e2.0 for corporate integration. They use it primarily to become a globally integrated company. Their intranet is focused on this goal. It’s intended as the extension of your workoffice, your electronic workplace. The intranet landing page shows your communications on the left hand side. If their Sales reps would go to the intranet it would show a portlet to the CRM system.
They integrated ‘2.0’ as much as possible in their daily work.
IBM Bluepages is their Facebook. Whoiswho plus ‘recommended social path’, tabs with additional information about experience, etc., search on profile (not only people you already know). It allows you to connect to people you never knew via personal contacts.
News items are published with video and links to experts on the topic. Also a relation to communities (of practice) is given, if they exist.
Articles can be rated. They RSS-ify the content and provide a feedreader (called 'Spectacular!').
Erik goes on to show IBM Whisper: it is an automatically generated list of people you know and/or subjects you are interested in. It comes up with suggestions for documents etc that you might find interesting.
He shows tagging in their intranet. Search gives regular search results and, separately shows tagged pages. Also provides separate list of blogs, wiki’s and communities. It also gives a list of experts on the topic and shows the social network to connect to them (this network is used to build trust, Erik says). Also searches in (internal and external) webpages that IBM people bookmarked with their internal ‘delicious’, Dogear. You can look up the people that also tagged the page. It also generates a folksonomy. Tagging is also linked to communities.
Erik shows Social Network Analysis tool they have. They track email communication. Employees can choose to opt in or not. Type in a word you want to see the network for. The tools comes up with a diagram and/or map with connections between people on it.
E2.0 has changed their way of working and their culture. Changed the way people look for information. From ‘ask Manager and direct colleagues’ to ‘ask Manager and search the intranet’.
E2.0 was adopted via their Technology Adoption Program. Connect, Innovate, Discover. This program facilitates innovation. There’s a program/workflow behind it to get funding etc. Via this program they experiment with web 2.0.
They also just started Twittering internally.
A very important reason why all this works at IBM has to do with the buy in of their previous CEO, who used these kind of initiatives to turn IBM into an integrated company.
Another company also presented their E2.0 initiatives, but I’m not allowed to blog on it.
Introduction Knowledge Café
Mireille Jansma of ING introduced those that were new to ‘Knowledge Café’ (KC) to the concept.
In a KC a group of people talk together about a subject of mutual interest. The goal is to talk, not to define an action plan, etc.
Based on the input of ‘things to discuss’, she clustered the topics into 3 categories:
- governance and security
- selection and integration/architecture
The possible topics to talk about have been mentioned above. In our group we mostly talked about topic 1, Governance and Security. I’ll share with you what was said about this topic.
You cannot conduct enterprise social media initiatives only from bottom-up. You need top-down, corporate support. Make sure you get support at departmental level at least.
Employees (people in general) love to share knowledge. They do that ‘at will’. But you need management to the knowledge sharing contribute to corporate goals.
One participant tells how they introduced wiki’s in their organization. First, there was huge resistance, because a wiki was not standard IT technology and due to IP issues. Slowly is was accepted. The explicitness of the information on the wiki as acknowledged and not it is accepted by management. The contribution to the wiki is mostly done by some agents from one location though.
One company shared the idea to give departmental presentations about enterprise 2.0 to raise awareness.
When applying social media tools it should have a mix of features (needed functionality), organizational relevance and fun.
How to start using a social media tool?
- start with an agent/moderator that has a concern and understands the potential of the tool. He will give it a spin.
- When things are up and running, look for improvement of and integration in processes (e.g. publish minutes on wiki’s)
- Grow participation.
- besides functional need, also address other things, such as fun
- recognition by employees, management
- find people with a shared concern
- offer interesting, unique content
- because they are practice-related
- because they are social-related
- because of involvement in formal organization.
The adoption of these kind of tools should be compared to the adoption of email. (Anyone have nice article on the adoption of email, by the way?)
Someone mentioned an interesting distinction: hedonic and utilitarian information systems. The first is about games. The second is your corporate collaboration tool. It seems these two distinct worlds are mixing.
‘Scale’ was an issue that was mentioned. Talking to a small group is easier than talking to a large, undefined one. Therefore it was advised to start with a small group, when rolling out these kind of tools.
There seems to be a fundamental mismatch between hierarchy and social media, someone mentioned. Another said, the real problem is when personal power differences are applied.
Measurement of the effectiveness of enterprise social media should not be done in the traditional way (ROI, etc). Measure number of search, the number of people using the tool, etc. And ask how the manager has fostered collaboration.
We might set up a community to help each other adopt e2.0 in the companies we work for.
I want to thank all the participants. I had an inspiring time and hope to meet you soon somewhere!
By the way, I'll add blog posts about this workshop when they pop up. Tom Verhoeve twittered about the workshop.
UPDATE 20-9-2008: As promised I would add other blog posts on this workshop as soon as they popped up. Here's Ton Zijlstra's take of the workshop.