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« Six Helpful Topics From The Enterprise 2.0 Conference | Main | Some People Believe.......A Story of Enterprise 2.0 Adoption and Use »

July 08, 2009

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Viola Versicherungsvergleich

Thank you for you article, the images and impressions. I´m from Germany and like your style.

Best Regards,
Viola Versicherungsvergleich

Gil Yehuda

Barry,
What I like here is that you are suggesting that we address the topics of culture change and vision rather than skirting the issue. So bravo for tapping down one level deeper into the need and specifics of the conversations. The challenge I see here is one of language. I suggest that one would engage in the language of the "changee" not of the "changer".

Clients don’t want to adopt 2.0, they want to benefit from its adoption. (People don’t buy drills because they want to be drill-owners, they buy drills because they want holes. If they could by a box of holes, they would.) So I suggest alternate wording of the very questions themselves.

Rather than words like (I'm quoting from your 6 titles) "to effectively utilize Enterprise 2.0 tools", "using Enterprise 2.0 tools", "in an Enterprise 2.0 context" etc. I'd reorient the tone: 1. Discuss what specific cultural barriers are impeding business success. 2. Learn how others were able to make changes in their organizations. 3. Identify which mission performance metrics can be enhanced in an improved organization. 6. Share stories of successful cultural transformations. I believe that these conversations will be more productive if there is a focus on the benefit of change, not the agent of change. The role of the changer is to make that mapping for the client.

As to the question: can culture be changed? I believe it can -- in the long cycle of E2.0. But in the short cycle, E2.0 adoption is affected by culture more than it affects it (just my experience).

Thanks for getting the conversation framework started.

Barry Camson

Mel, The importance of conversations seems to be stressed these days by a number of people. In the past, it has been a challenge to have good conversations on a face to face basis. I do wonder what good conversations will look like in the future as we utilize Facebook, Twitter and blogging tools. How do we manage to engage with each other even as part of a larger network as opposed to just speaking into cyberspace?

Barry Camson

Paula, I must say that in several decades of consulting, I (luckily) never had a charter to just facilitate changing the culture of an organization. Charters were about changing the process, structure, systems, etc. of an organization with cultural change being a consequence or facet of the change. Ed Schein's early work on culture points out to me how embedded a culture can be. Having said all of this, it appears to me that success deploying Ent 2.0 approaches does require that behaviors, attitudes and values change. When we look at all of these together, we do end up talking about culture. However, we are not talking about changing the entire culture of an organization. We are talking about changing an aspect of it that relates to how people approach sharing knowledge, reaching out to one another, etc. I think that this does not reach the level of "tilting at windmills." As comments at the recent Ent 2.0 Conference and other writers have pointed out, there are ways to seamlessly redirect employees' use of technology to Ent 2.0 tools. My take on this is that though this is helpful, it will still not be sufficient to change underlying attitudes from, for example, a Need to Know to a Need to Share approach.

Barry Camson

Rob, Dealing with cultural issues in Ent. 2.0 deployment as you point out is not all that we have to deal with. We also have to deal with the power issues that you describe. These are the age old questions of who has not the power, who wants it (even as a consequence of trying to accomplish worthwhile goals) and who wants to keep it. Even the invention of the printing press created these challenges concerning people with vested interests and established job roles especially in organized religious institutions to name one example.

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