All comments posted on this blog do not reflect the opinions of any organization that I am affiliated with. These are my personal perspectives only.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Four Enterprise 2.0 Success Drivers: Capability (Part 2 of 4)

This is part 2 of a 4 part blog on the Success Drivers for Enterprise 2.0.
The last post talked about individual desire to collaborate as a necessary pre-requisite to driving success from an Enterprise 2.0 deployment. This post talks about feeding that desire with capability. When I speak of capability it's really in two areas: Technology & Skills.

This is the most widely discussed area of enterprise 2.0. Perhaps the best model that explains the technology is the SLATES (search, links, authorship, tags, extensions) framework by Andrew McAffee. I think the following summary by Dion Hinchcliffe is pretty good.

"SLATES describes the combined use of effective enterprise search and discovery, using links to connect information together into a meaningful information ecosystem using the model of the Web, providing low-barrier social tools for public authorship of enterprise content, tags to let users create emergent organizational structure, extensions to spontaneously provide intelligent content suggestions similar to Amazon's recommendation system, and signals to let users know when enterprise information they care about has been published or updated, such as when a corporate RSS feed of interest changes. "

This technology allows us to collaborate in ways that we previously were not able to do. IBM for example has been a prime example through their World Jam that was able to connect IBM employees around the world within a 72 hour window to collaborate. We could never have brought 50,000 people to collaborate effectively in any other medium.
Providing these tools such as wiki's, RSS, blogs, etc.. provides the starting point. The second part however is making sure people know how to collaborate with these tools and have the right skills.
Collaboration is definitely not a "new" word. There has been so much learned in the art and science of collaboration. The whole organization itself is an attempt to create a collaborative environment. However simply putting out tools, or creating an organization will not just result in capability. We need to teach our people how to properly collaborate.
This ranges from etiquette, to psychology, to simple best practices in communication. Although I have previously emphasized the importance of "extreme simplicity", we need to also train our people on how to collaborate and use the tools. This isn't just about how to use the technology but how to communicate in a collaborative fashion. Sure depending on the complexity of the technology in question (i.e. mashup technology vs wiki) we may need to spend time on training people on the technology but far more important is training people on how to collaborate.
Together, technology and skills provide us capability. The next blog will discuss the third pre-requisite... Opportunity

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