Enterprise 2.0- Communication Tools

Enterprise 2.0 Communication Tools

So you have your hammer, otherwise known as email, and now it’s time to fill out your toolbox and get the right systems in place to solve your task-oriented communication problems. Today I am going to look at some of the available communication and information-sharing systems popularized by the social media movement.

My discussion so far has been very tactical in nature- identify a problem, then pick the right solution. But before I dive into the strengths of these communication tools, I want to briefly digress and share another approach to Enterprise 2.0.

Andrew McAfee, in his book Enterprise 2.0, defines Enterprise 2.0 as “the use of emergent social software platforms by organizations in pursuit of their goals.”

This is a great book, and I highly recommend it. McAfee considers the emergent aspect of these systems- how the benefits increase as more people use them, and the social aspect of these systems- how people are linked to one another. Throughout the book he remains grounded in the realities of corporate life, using four case studies to illustrate problems and solutions. » Read more..

Enterprise 2.0- Communication

Enterprise 2.0 Communication

In my introductory post, What Is Enterprise 2.0?, I outlined three areas to target with Enterprise 2.0. In order of increasing complexity, they are:

  1. Communication:  Task-oriented focus
  2. Collaboration:  Process-oriented focus
  3. Comprehension:  Analysis-oriented focus

Today I am going to look at the first stage of Enterprise 2.0 adoption: Communication.

To recap- Enterprise 2.0 is the incorporation of systems popularized and used in the Social Media movement into the day-to-day corporate environment. This is not about the branding and marketing uses of social media, so much as it is about improving the ways in which people perform their daily work.

When we look at bringing an Enterprise 2.0 bundle of communication methods and technologies into the corporate environment, we want to look at two questions- they’re obvious, but too often they’re not really examined-

  • What do we want to accomplish? (What business problems are we trying to solve?)
  • What are the drawbacks with the current solutions?

In the context of the corporate world, let’s first posit a broad definition of communication- sharing information.

What do we want to accomplish?

In general, the business problem that we are trying to solve is to identify and enable the best methods for people to share information effectively.

These methods will vary depending on the type of information shared, the purpose for sharing, the culture of the corporation, the proximity of employees to one another, and the resources available.

What are the drawbacks with the current solutions?

» Read more..

Really? A Concussion?

It’s Monday morning and we’ve just received a call with the verdict- yes, your daughter definitely has a concussion from her soccer game on Saturday.

Really?  A concussion?

Actually, by this time the diagnosis was not really a surprise. After the game my daughter complained of a mild headache which continued to come and go all weekend.  On Sunday, when she was trying to do her homework on the computer, it got bad enough that she really couldn’t work.  When my wife volunteered to type for her, she had problems concentrating and would repeat herself.  This last bit in particular was enough to think that maybe she had been concussed.

My daughter is fortunate enough to go to a school that administers ImPACT  (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) and has a detailed policy for working with students after a concussion.  All the students take the ImPACT test in the fall, which provides a baseline for later comparison.  So this morning, she went to the school nurse to take the test again.  The results of this test were compared with her baseline results from the first test.  Concussion.  Now she’s home for a couple of days to rest.  No schoolwork.  No reading.  No TV or computer.  No soccer tomorrow, this weekend, and maybe the rest of the season. No crew for the rest of the season.  (And, the school nurse told her, depending on how things progress, maybe no final exams!  She’s not too disappointed about that one…)

The scary thing was how easy this would have been to miss.

Why didn’t her coach pick up on this at the game?  Oh, wait.  I’m her coach.

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What is Enterprise 2.0?

So is Enterprise 2.0 just this social media thing brought into the corporate world?

Well… yes and no.  Or more precisely, no and yes.

First, what do we mean by ‘social media’?
Social media is a label that encompasses a number of software technologies, services, and products which allow people to remotely interact with one another in a one-to-many or many-to-many fashion.  You know the list- blogs, forums, list-serves, MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo, YouTube, Twitter…

When most people talk about social media and business, they talk primarily about branding and marketing.  But that is not really Enterprise 2.0.  This is not to say that the social media movement hasn’t had an enormous affect on corporate marketing- it most definitely has!  Marketing has gone from a push model to a pull model virtually overnight.  Viral is in.  Consumers have gained an enormous amount of power due to the internet, and the connectivity and subsequent services it provides.  Customers have gained more control over branding than many companies hold.  The focus is now on influence rather than assertion.

But this is not Enterprise 2.0.

Enterprise 2.0, to my mind, is bringing the types of interaction and communication seen in social media systems into the enterprise, into the day to day workflow, into the B2B world.

» Read more..