Tag Archives: Enterprise 2.0

Notes from Twitter and Microblogging – part 3. 10 April

Uses and risks of micro-blogging in organisations by Soureh Latif Shabgahi from Sheffield University

The research focused on SMEs as these may be more receptive to business improvement interventions. However, initial research found larger organisations as early adopters of enterprise micro-bloggers (EMB).

Found little research on EMB, especially in the UK. Research has tended to focus on communications and narrating work . From the literature:

  • Found EMB used in relationship development; discussions; sharing knowledge; recording; knowledge management and knowledge sharing; communication and awareness raising. Strong focus on communication as providing work-related updates that enhanced awareness of each other and hence increased sense of community. Also EMB stimulated discussions either using EMB or face-to-face.
  • Risks associated with EMB included risks associated with limit of 140 characters; difficulty of using the platform; security and privacy risks; time taken in learning about and using the tools; noise to value ratio including information overload. [Some risks could be seen as closer to resource costs?]

Looked at Yammer as a micro-blogging platform inside the firewall as well as Twitter

Research involved interviews, observation and questionnaires involving 20 SMEs in South Yorkshire.

Interviews cited positive aspects of EMB included: speed of thought; customer and employee communication; mobility and immediacy and being able to communicate at a large-scale. Interviews also identified risks including ease of upsetting/ offend someone either internally or externally (with reputational damage); fear around security as confidential information passed around via Yammer.

One interviewee had a more negative perspective on Twitter as an enterprise tool as, eg, private information had ended up in public domain, reputational damage eg, of poor spelling [??] and alienating older employees [??]

Future research to further develop the model of uses and risks of EMB to inform effective interventions and support for enterprises.

Q&A indicates lack of research on legal risks – although there is more research on legal risks of, eg, blogging.

Possible for extending the research to include less IT savvy organisations and how they may use EMB. Again, finding the breakdown of the dichotomy between private micro-blogging use and public micro-blogging and how that relates to the reputational risks for the company.


Social Learning Business (?) linkage [03092012]

A few interesting links and snippets:

New free 27-page book from @jaycross – Learning is Business – a short, succinct and good read

A good summary here on communities of practice in organisations-as-networks – ie, social business (not social enterprise and without getting all humpty dumpty, I enjoyed this:

Take ‘social business’, a term I regularly use on this blog. Social business was in fact coined by Bangladeshi Nobel Peace Prize laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus to describe his work developing non-loss, non-dividend companies designed to address a social objective through capitalism. However, in the past year or so, the term has been hijacked by US companies such as Cisco, IBM and Dachis Group to describe businesses using social technologies to transform how they work from within. It was quickly adopted by agencies and brands across Europe and has now firmly planted itself in the UK. What must Professor Yunus think?

And the problem is not limited to this piece of linguistic thievery. Before ‘social business’ there was a phenomenon called ‘enterprise 2.0’, purporting to describe the same sort of collaborative organisation but with a greater focus on the platforms themselves. There has been heated debate between the two camps, with the enterprise 2.0 guys accusing the social business kids – with their grand claims towards transforming culture and process as well as technology – of simply repackaging old ideas. But no solution has been found. The term ‘2.0’, for example, has by now long been so baggy and ubiquitous as to make it equally fraught.

It all depends on who has mastery “that is all”.

More monkeys with typewriters

I completed Jemima Gibbon‘s book Monkeys with Typewriters just before Christmas. As I mentioned in my comments on the first chapter here, I enjoyed the span of sources drawn on such as Arie de Geus and his book, The Living Company to de Moivre on distribution curves to Charles Darwin. As such, I found the “novelistic approach” of the book a powerful way of making-sense at different levels of social media at work and so is a useful companion to Andrew McAfee‘s book on Enterprise 2.0. What also comes through very strongly through the six chapters is the diversity and warmth of relations between people facilitated by but not limited to social software. Technology may enable and extend relationships but does not replace more traditional notions of friendships, acquaintances and collegiality – the limitations of an fb ‘friend’ are well understood.
The chapter titles: ‘co-creation’; ‘learning’; ‘openess’; ‘passion’; ‘listening’ and ‘generosity’ reflect the importance of attitude and ethos in really gaining the benefits of social media and, to some extend, the culture of the organisations that understand the potential in the medium. The Tuttle Club is an obvious hero here – and team Tuttle pointing the way to how alternative organsiation forms are more feasible on the back of social media.
A good and timely book.

Monkeys with typewriters

I’ve received mt copy of Monkeys with Typewriters by Jemima Gibbons. The book launch event has a good write-up here.

I’ve only read the first chapter so far but find the writing style really engaging – I could have stayed up and read a whole lot more …. What I particularly appreciated was the discussion of the drivers for web 2.0/ enterprise 2.0 adoption being based in notions of the learning organisation and particularly de Geusliving company book. I think this is the key potential for web2.0 as enabling those adaptive and autopietic organisations to become a realisable possibility. I also believe that the potential for autopeosis is far greater than realised – not just for small organisations/ teams, etc… but only for some. What often gets missed from many of these discussions is the requirement for more regulated, ‘boring’ and routinised work proactices and organisations to enable the more free-form organisational formats to operate. The cafes need to be open (and supplied), IT infrastructure support, snail mail needs to work blah, blah. So this 2.0 stuff is perhaps mainly applicable for those ‘higher value’ knowledge based occupations, etc. reinforcing occupational/ social divides and creating new ones. Will being an office working a sign of lower status compared to being able to say “I work anywhere”.

Anyway, this is an interesting book – inspiring in only its first chapter (motivated me to get blogging again).

roundup of interesting stuff: edupunk and social business

More on edupunk/ hacking the education “system” here Although I think there is a conflation of two issues here: (a) the brand recognition and market value of possessing a recognised degree (preferably from a prestigious university and (b) the power of the www to enable lifelong learning. So one is concerned with the confirmation that I have understanding of a particular body of knowledge in a form that others will recognise, the other is about learning and reflection in pursuit of my own interests, to be more productive/ innovative, etc. at work

This post overlaps many of the issues highlighted in the notion of the business as a social environment. If the ability to learn is key to competitive advantage then designing organsiational forms and practices around learning – social, informal, serendipitous – becomes an organisational imperative which is so much of what enterprise2.0 is about.

informality 2.0

A very interesting post from Dan Pontefract on the integration of corporate learning and development and enterprise 2.0 in to learnerprise 2.0. Obviously, the concept needs further development but makes a useful point that too much L&D provision is focused on formalised learning and this is exacerbated in the context of much e-learning which relies on linear learning pathways decontextualised from the work situation where it (might) be applied. I think this may be part of the issue in relation to the VLE is dead debate, whereby the nature of VLEs steers towards formal learning that is institutionally bound but other web 2.0 type approaches, such as PLEs emphasise informal learning but also can migrate with the learner. Most of my on-line learning activities take place within Netvibes and have been integral to how I’ve approached my personal professional development in three different and demanding jobs. Of course, this is not new and is being done in some companies (see the presentation here, especially slide 114 onwards)

riding the Google Wave

… well technically more like watching someone else ride the Wave. Anyway, a very clear and helpful post on Google Wave from Dion Hinchcliffe here. The potential of Wave in terms as [tacit/ social] knowledge ‘management’, collaboration and learning is immense [or will be a big disappointment – assuming, of course, that organisations have the leadership and vision to embrace that potential.

What this post and others on Wave really bring home to me is the extent we in higher education are or are not preparing future talent to live, work and change things in this sort of environment. I feel, but would be delighted to be wrong, that too many Programmes are no where near understanding the implications of all this. Understandably to a degree – if learning is social, networked, experiential and collaborative, then what is the point of a “lecturer”?

web/ enterprise 2.0 – mindset and culture

Interesting post from Penny Edwards here on the recognition that enterprise 2.0 adoption is a mind-set, and therefore, cultural, issue rather than a technology one. In particular, to be truly effective, it requires a different conceptualisation of management as being something focused on motivation, empowerment, support and co-ordination rather than organising, controlling, commanding and (possibly) even leading.

change management and social media

An interesting post from Leandro Herrero on change in organisations and the use of social media. He states:

I was interviewed recently by Sean Dodson at The Guardian and we got talking about social media as a disruptive technology. I hadn’t given the subject much thought at the time, but I have done since. I have no doubt that social media channels – blogs, wikis, social networking sites, etc – can be used to trigger deep and fundamental change inside organisations. They can bypass the hierarchy, boost transparency, stimulate grassroots conversations, identify issues, give the silent a voice, reduce email traffic, trigger action. What’s more, if adopted and championed by those all-important change agents, these tools could help spread the virus of change at lightening speed.

I would place an emphasis on the word can here as social media tools are just that, tools and mechanisms. As I’ve said before (here and here) its all about the culture – give or take issues of physical proximity and access, anyone can walk up to a CEO (they’re only human and at some point in their lives had their parents buy their underwear for them) and discuss any work issues, however, many/ most organisations have a culture/ norms that do not allow that sort of behaviour. Social media may make such a discussion easier but if the culture and norms do not allow it then it ain’t going to happen whether there’s in-house social media or not.

Having said that, how much better do you think most organisations would operate if they had an encouraged that openess as a cultural norm?

web 2.0 [links]

A new report has been published by the CIPD on web 2.0 in organisations/ enterprise 2.0 – the download is available here (at least to members anyway). The research is largely empirical and coming from a management innovation slant (as the researchers are from the Management Lab at London Business School). No surprises in the findings – more lip service than delivery, innovative potential of the technology undermined by managerial preoccupation with command and control, organisations still operate on one-way communication flows (broadcast not dialogue). It will be interesting to see how this research will ‘fit’ with the more qualitative (and larger scale) research on HR and web 2.0 by Graeme Martin, aso commissioned by the CIPD.