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.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Four Enterprise 2.0 Success Drivers: Connectivity (Part 4 of 4)

This is part 4 of a 4 part blog on the Success Drivers for Enterprise 2.0.

Desire, Capability, Opportunity relate to the individual contributor. Collaboration is about connecting the right people at the right time. In a previous post, I talked about my sense of wonder after watching ABC PrimeTime show on 6 degrees of separation. The thing that struck me was how they connected virtual strangers around the world and the potential that offered us. If any idea or creative thought anywhere in the world was only 6 steps away, think of the breakthroughs we could make by making the right connections. But therein lies the challenge... how do we make the connection? To address the challenge there are two methods, navigation and open disclosure both of which can yield results. If it's 6 degrees for the globe, certainly an organization must be even fewer steps.

Navigate the Network (Find the Path)
If you wanted to know who are the experts in any field, a simple query into Google will allow you to find those experts relatively quickly. The page rank systems employed by Google helps prioritize and identify relevancy by identifying sites that have the most connections and references. Prior to this concept search engine results were limited and could identify web sites but not necessarily the "most relevant" sites.

We can also look at this within an enterprise. In large organizations, how do you find the "expert". One possibility is to use a "page rank" type system based on employee contributions and discussions. Another means is the use of tagging, folksonomy and social bookmarking such as to allow us to identify the right person, based on their contributions and their perspectives.

Q&A forums such as Linkedin's Answers allow us to identify those who are "experts" based on the value of the answers they have historically provided. This allows us to get to the right people quicker! All of these approaches identify the right people in a way that is organic and continually improved.

Open Disclosure (Let the path find you)
The analogy here is that rather than researching and trying to find a new drummer for your band, you post an ad searching for one and let the drummer come to you. What makes this so difficult in an organization is the belief that only a small group of people can provide answers. Also when it comes to sensitive information, we tend not to share and post these details.
The GoldCorp story in Wikinomics, is another great story of being open. In this situation, GoldCorp, a mining company, is about to close it's major mining facility believing it had exhausted all the gold from the site. A last ditch effort was made, and a reward was provided to anyone in the world who could find gold. GoldCorp disclosed all of its confidential information and the payback was huge ultimately saving the company and launching it into a major success. The "right" people in this case came from outside the organization and from non-traditional sources.
The firm that becomes transparent, allows it's people to connect directly without having to understand the cloud of "organizational correctness" and bureaucracy will connect the right people.
I hope you've found this 4 part blog of some interest and value. By addressing desire, capability, opportunity and connectivity you are well on your way to deliver a valuable enterprise 2.0 environment.
What else would you add to ensure successful enterprise 2.0 implementations? Do you have examples in your organizations that relate to these areas? Certainly there is more that can be said, and I welcome your comments and additions to this blog on success drivers.