Enterprise 2.0: part 4 – how do we start?

The following article is also published through pharmaphorum and is the fourth in a series about Enterprise 2.0.

‘We want to start using Twitter professionally, but how do we do that?’ ‘I want to start a Facebook group, can you help me?’ Regularly I receive these requests. First thing I ask is ‘Why would you want to do this?’ And then it becomes silent.

It is very tempting to start using these new and innovative communication tools, but realise  that they are just tools. Tools that need a purpose and a plan for using them. Tools that have a new dynamism and are not without risk. But tools that should not be ignored but investigated and tried to get familiar with. As said earlier, using new and social media is not without risk. That’s why you need to start internally. This fourth episode of this series focuses on defining the basis for developing your social business. Where are you on your journey towards Enterprise 2.0?

  • Know your organisation
    Before using social collaboration tools within your organisation you need to really understand your organisation first. Who are you and why are you doing the things the way you do? What are your core values, your mission and vision and, more importantly, are you really living up to them? What is the attitude of the workforce towards the organisation? How strong is the connection between colleagues, departments and divisions. How ‘social’ are your staff?

The 7I network model, recently developed by Marco Derksen and Rachelle van der Linden, is a helpful tool for a good insight in your organisation. Although the model primarily was designed to understand where you are in the transformation to an external network-organisation (which certainly should be part of the goal for an Enterprise 2.0 company) the model is also very useful for the internal transformation towards social collaboration. It focuses on 7 critical aspects:

  1. Identity – why are you here?
    If you do not know why you are doing things, you will never become successful in them. Many organisations know what they do and how they do it, but there are only a few that really know why they do it. Those are the true innovators, the visionaries  and the market leaders. Simon Sinek calls this ‘The Golden Circle’ (click here for his inspiring TED talk).
  2. Internal organisation – are you able to empower?
    An E2.0 organisation is open, transparent and authentic. Management-style is more facilitative than directive. Are you able to loosen control and empower your people? How do you reward and motivate them? How loyal is your workforce and how can they manage empowerment?
  3. Insight and knowledge – do you know each-other?
    Many organisations are built in silos. How much insight is there in the competencies and activities of the various departments over the different silos? Do you know who knows what? And how broad within the organisation is the corporate strategy understood?
  4. Innovation – dare you go ‘out of the box’?
    Innovation is not exclusive to the R&D divisions of companies. Anyone, any team, any department and any company can innovate. But can you? Are you able to do things differently? Do you dare thinking outside-in? And are you able to share those ideas with others to make them even better?
  5. Inspiring network
    In order to collaborate you need a network. A network that inspires and improves ideas. Where experts across disciplines know how to find each-other. How does your internal network look like?
  6. Interaction
    Collaboration leads to better performance. But only if interaction is authentic, open and honest. You need a high level of trust between colleagues and in the organisation. Feedback may go all directions. Is this possible in your company?
  7. Instruments
    If your culture allows social collaboration, you need to match this with the proper technology. For that it is important to know what technology and what tools you currently use. Are they open or closed? Are they easy accessible and user-friendly? Does it allow collaboration? How is your IT department organised and what is their attitude towards the current changes in the industry? Take another look at the graph from the previous episode, representing the development of the intranet, this time indicating where the majority of companies are. Do you know where you are?
  • Strategic fit
    As said before, in order to understand the dynamism of social computing you need to experiment with it. Dare to connect, share information, collaborate, comment, review, rate and socialise. But when doing it, give it business value by finding a fit with the current strategic direction of the organisation.In general, four types of business strategies can be identified: strategies that aim on growth, innovation, cost reduction and transformation (source: Dachis Group).The project that you choose as pilot or experiment should clearly fit within this strategy.It will motivate people using the new platform as it is in line with their objectives and helps them fulfill their tasks efficiently. More important, it will increase the chances for support and approval from (senior) management. It will justify the investment, as it adds business value to the social experiment.

That said, don’t let ROI define the success of your project. Social collaboration cannot directly be translated into hard data. Yes, sales can increase as a result of Enterprise 2.0, but it’s only part of the success. Most of the benefits will be seen in the mid and long term and are not that straightforward and easily measurable. Benefits such as sharing of knowledge and experiences, fostering innovation, improving motivation and loyalty of employees and crowd-sourcing to name a few. Some can be measurable and calculated, others are more subjective. It is as one community manager explained to me once: ‘how much do you love your mother? And how much do you love your mother more than I love mine?’ This illustrates the difficulty many managers have with this new era. For decades, figures have ruled business. Top line, reduced costs, increased market share. But those cold figures say nothing about the real performance of people, nor if they’ve performed the best they can, with satisfaction, with the best motivation. And at the same time, these are the core elements of the long term success of an organisation and the result of human interaction. Ever heard a relation therapist say: after my counselling, your marriage will improve with 22.4%…

Look closely to yourself in the mirror, know who you are as an organisation, find the strategic fit and realise that the road ahead is bumpy but one that leads to successful collaboration and you’re ready for social business.

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The iPad and Pharma. A perfect marriage?

Disclaimer: Copy from original source here – PDF download (but it was too interesting not to share)

Pharmaceutical manufacturers face increasing pressure to refine their strategic and operational approach to sales and marketing. This need is motivated by a quickly changing industry landscape driven by healthcare reform (HCR) and an expanding web of strict government regulations. This includes gift ban laws, aggregate spend compliance/sunshine laws on both the state and the federal level, and diminishing physician availability because of HCR (i.e., 32 million new “covered” patients set to phase into the healthcare system).

In the primary care setting, physicians typically give a pharma sales rep less than 30 seconds per interaction, most of which is time spent signing for samples. In specialty therapeutic areas, sales reps receive much longer periods of time but still struggle with their ability to differentiate themselves through clear, concise, and interactive messaging delivered to each physician. With all of this further complicated by gift ban laws and aggregate spend, which may eliminate a significant portion of lunch/dinner meetings and make all related spend information publicly visible, pharmas’ challenge to increase sales force effectiveness is becoming ever more real by the day.

What’s Changing?
Generally speaking, companies typically identify a problem or a business process that needs enhancement and then perform due diligence and an in-depth technology assessment to choose IT to apply to that situation. Historically, this is what best practice would dictate. Well, say “hello” to the iPad, which is quickly turning this traditional wisdom on its head. While tablet PCs have been used in the field within pharma sales for quite some time to enable electronic signature capture and more interactive display of edetailing information, the explosion of next-generation tablet devices like the iPad has rocked the boat in this space.
The pharmaceutical sales community is now undergoing an enormous shift, with widespread interest in transitioning toward HTML5-based tablet devices like the iPad, as the industry seeks a quicker, lighter, and more attractive way of displaying drug-related information. Two things in particular make this trend interesting: the purchasing behavior of companies regarding these devices and the monopolistic iPad mindset prevailing in this space.

Purchasing Behavior
Despite conventional wisdom, several major pharmaceutical companies are putting the cart before the horse by purchasing iPads in large quantities prior to even owning a single application to run on the iPad. It is true that many existing Web-based SFA products delivered via a hosted or a SaaS model will run equally well in an iPad Web browser, but there is little incremental value over a traditional tablet PC with this scenario since no HTML5 capabilities are being utilized. Most SFA vendors servicing the pharmaceutical industry do have plans under way to launch an HTML5 version of their software, and a few already have, but these solutions are brand new and still immature.

During recent conversations with large pharmas, I have heard leadership at several companies make comments similar in nature to “we have not yet purchased an iPad-based SFA software product, but we know we will eventually, so we’re buying the devices now.” More than one company has told us they have already purchased iPads in significant volume and are storing them for later use. Although it is true that many companies are indeed planning to make the shift toward these devices, the unwavering excitement and investment certainty displayed by the industry for a technology that still has no proven ROI in the pharma setting over existing tablet PC-based approaches are certainly interesting.

An iPad State of Mind
I’m sure Billy Joel never expected his song to be used as a vehicle for explaining people’s love for the iPad, and while the general population probably still has greater affinity for New York than their iPad, that may not remain the case too much longer.
Beyond pharmas’ overwhelming interest in embracing HTML5-based tablets, what makes the phenomenon even more interesting is that most pharmas with plans to adopt these devices are planning to purchase the iPad, with little current interest in seriously evaluating competing devices from other vendors. Based on interviews recently conducted with more than 20 pharmaceutical companies regarding CRM and SFA planned investment, all stated they believe Apple will remain the lead innovator in the space and that deploying SFA on the iPad (rather than a competing tablet device) is safer long term because it will help ensure they keep up with the latest technology developments and innovations. Only 3 of 20 companies mentioned they planned to spend any significant time reviewing competing solutions.

Conclusion
Looking ahead, the verdict is that pharma is moving toward wide-scale deployment of HTML5-based tablet devices. Historically, Apple has had little presence in pharma, with the exception of iPhones in the ePRO space, but even that is a fairly recent development. With the skyrocketing adoption of iPads in pharma sales and marketing, Apple is now perfectly positioned to not only break into the sales and marketing side of the pharmaceutical industry but is likely to quickly become a dominant hardware vendor in the space.

S.O.S. Enterprise 2.0 needed!

We’ve been in the corporate world quite some time to see a thing or two about mismanagement, a misfit in culture and the lack of listening to employees by higher management. We always thought that we were the only one struggling with these issues, that we were just running out of luck. A bit naive, may be. But I guess also wishful thinking. There must be companies who just get it. Three years further down the road we know differently. In most companies something is going on. Wrong people on the best places (or best people on the wrong places), a huge gap between management and the real world, no sense of purpose other than empty shareholder value statements, and for sure no effective collaboration between employees, wanting to deliver the best of the best. It happens everywhere, and it seems the larger the organization, the bigger the misfit between the reality of the customer and the dream world of the shareholder value. Leading companies based on bonuses and other external -mostly financial- motivators has been proven to be ineffective a long time ago, as perfectly described in Pink’s Drive.

I might be exaggerating here a bit, or sounding pessimistic, so don’t feel insulted if your company has none of the issues above. Lucky for you. But for those of you who recognize a few of these shortcomings, read on.

A friend of mine once said that these mega companies with >100,000 people are dying dinosaurs, soon to be extinct if they don’t adapt to their new environment. I think he’s right. It may take 10, 15 years but they will be put to rest if they do not change. No collaboration, no motivation, no innovation, no products, no customers, no company. It’s as simple as that. Why don’t shareholders see this?

Want some proof? Today I ran into a piece on the internet what seems to be a genuine letter of a RIM (you know, maker of Blackberry) employee somewhere high in the commanding chain. It’s no secret that RIM’s *ss is being kicked by Apple, Google and soon Microsoft. Once the leader in enterprise mobility, now a fading star in the nightly sky. I always wondered why a company such as RIM can not change their course. Well, I guess the letter says it all. Shocking!

To the RIM Senior Management Team:

I have lost confidence.

While I hide it at work, my passion has been sapped. I know I am not alone – the sentiment is widespread and it includes people within your own teams.

Mike and Jim, please take the time to really absorb and digest the content of this letter because it reflects the feeling across a huge percentage of your employee base. You have many smart employees, many that have great ideas for the future, but unfortunately the culture at RIM does not allow us to speak openly without having to worry about the career-limiting effects.

Before I get into the meat of the matter, I will say I am not part of a large group of bitter employees wishing to embarrass us. Rather, I believe these points need to be heard and I desperately want RIM to regain its position as a successful industry leader. Our carriers, distributors, alliance partners, enterprise customers, and our loyal end users all want the same thing… for BlackBerry to once again be leading the pack.

We are in the middle of major “transition” and things have never been more chaotic. Almost every project is falling further and further behind schedule at a time when we absolutely must deliver great, solid products on time. We urge you to make bold decisions about our organisational structure, about our culture and most importantly our products.

While we anxiously wait to see the details of the streamlining plan, here are some suggestions:

1) Focus on the End User experience

Let’s obsess about what is best for the end user. We often make product decisions based on strategic alignment, partner requests or even legal advice – the end user doesn’t care. We simply have to admit that Apple is nailing this and it is one of the reasons they have people lining up overnight at stores around the world, and products sold out for months. These people aren’t hypnotized zombies, they simply love beautifully designed products that are user centric and work how they are supposed to work. Android has a major weakness – it will always lack the simplicity and elegance that comes with end-to-end device software, middleware and hardware control. We really have a great opportunity to build something new and “uniquely BlackBerry” with the QNX platform.

Let’s start an internal innovation revival with teams focused on what users will love instead of chasing “feature parity” and feature differentiation for no good reason (Adobe Flash being a major example). When was the last time we pushed out a significant new experience or feature that wasn’t already on other platforms?

Rather than constantly mocking iPhone and Android, we should encourage key decision makers across the board to use these products as their primary device for a week or so at a time – yes, on Exchange! This way we can understand why our users are switching and get inspiration as to how we can build our next-gen products even better! It’s incomprehensible that our top software engineers and executives aren’t using or deeply familiar with our competitor’s products.

2) Recruit Senior SW Leaders & enable decision-making

I’m going to say what everyone is thinking… We need some heavy hitters at RIM when it comes to software management. Teams still aren’t talking together properly, no one is making or can make critical decisions, all the while everyone is working crazy hours and still far behind. We are demotivated. Just look at who our major competitors are: Apple, Google & Microsoft. These are three of the biggest and most talented software companies on the planet. Then take a look at our software leadership teams in terms of what they have delivered and their past experience prior to RIM… It says everything.

3) Cut projects to the bone.

There is a serious need to consolidate our focus to just a handful of projects. Period.

We need to be disciplined here. We can’t afford any more initiatives based on carrier requests to squeeze out slightly more volume. Again, back to point #1, focus on the end users. They are the ones making both consumer & enterprise purchase decisions.

Strategy is often in the things you decide not to do.

On that note, we simply must stop shipping incomplete products that aren’t ready for the end user. It is hurting our brand tremendously. It takes guts to not allow a product to launch that may be 90% ready with a quarter end in sight, but it will pay off in the long term.

Look at Apple in 1997 for tips here. I really want you to watch this video because it has never been more relevant. It is our friend Steve Jobs in 97 and it may as well be you speaking to RIM employees and partners today.

Click here for the video

4) Developers, not Carriers can now make or break us

We urgently need to invest like we never have before in becoming developer friendly. The return will be worth every cent. There is no polite way to say this, but it’s true – BlackBerry smartphone apps suck. Even PlayBook, with all its glorious power, looks like a Fisher Price toy with its Adobe AIR/Flash apps.

Developing for BlackBerry is painful, and despite what you’ve been told, things haven’t really changed that much since Jamie Murai’s letter. Our SDK / development platform is like a rundown 1990’s Ford Explorer. Then there’s Apple, which has a shiny new BMW M3… just such a pleasure to drive. Developers want and need quality tools.

If we create great tools, we will see great work. Offer shit tools and we shouldn’t be surprised when we see shit apps.

The truth is, no one in RIM dares to tell management how bad our tools still are. Even our closest dev partners do their best to say it politely, but they will never bite the hand that feeds them. The solution? Recruit serious talent, buy SDK/API specialist companies, throw a truckload of money at it… Let’s do whatever it takes, and quickly!

5) Need for serious marketing punch to create end user desire

25 million iPad users don’t care that it doesn’t have Flash or true multitasking, so why make that a focus in our campaigns? I’ll answer that for you: it’s because that’s all that differentiates our products and its lazy marketing. I’ve never seen someone buy product B because it has something product A doesn’t have. People buy product B because they want and lust after product B.

Also an important note regarding our marketing: a product’s technical superiority does not equal desire, and therefore sales… How many Linux laptops are getting sold? How did Betamax go? My mother wants an iPad and iPhone because it is simple and appeals to her. Powerful multitasking doesn’t.

BlackBerry Messenger has been our standout, yet we wasted our marketing on strange stories from a barber shop to a horse wrangler. I promise you, this did nothing to help us in the mind of the average consumer.

We need an inventive and engaging campaign that focuses on what we are about. People buy into a brand / product not just because of features, but because of what it stands for and what it delivers to them. People don’t buy “what you do,” people buy “why you do it.” Take 3 minutes to watch the this video starting from the 2min mark:

Click here for video.

6) No Accountability – Canadians are too nice

RIM has a lot of people who underperform but still stay in their roles. No one is accountable. Where is the guy responsible for the 9530 software? Still with us, still running some important software initiative. We will never achieve excellence with this culture. Just because someone may have been a loyal RIM employee for 7 years, it doesn’t mean they are the best Manager / Director / VP for that role. It’s time to change the culture to deliver or move on and get out. We have far too many people in critical roles that fit this description. I can hear the cheers of my fellow employees now.

7) The press and analysts are pissing you off. Don’t snap. Now is the time for humility with a dash of paranoia.

The public’s questions about dual-CEOs are warranted. The partnership is not broken, but on the ground level, it is not efficient. Maybe we need our Eric Schmidt reign period.

Yes, four years ago we beat Microsoft when everyone said Windows Mobile with Direct Push in Exchange would kill us. It didn’t… in fact we grew stronger.

However, overconfidence clouds good decision-making. We missed not boldly reacting to the threat of iPhone when we saw it in January over four years ago. We laughed and said they are trying to put a computer on a phone, that it won’t work. We should have made the QNX-like transition then. We are now 3-4 years too late. That is the painful truth… it was a major strategic oversight and we know who is responsible.

Jim, in referring to our current transition recently said: “No other technology company other than Apple has successfully transitioned their platform. It’s almost never done, and it’s way harder than you realize. This transition is where tech companies go to die.”

To avoid this death, perhaps it is time to seriously consider a new, fresh thinking, experienced CEO. There is no shame in no longer being a CEO. Mike, you could focus on innovation. Jim, you could focus on our carriers/customers… They are our lifeblood.

8) Democratise. Engage and interact with your employees – please!

Reach out to all employees asking them on how we can make RIM better. Encourage input from ground-level teams – without repercussions – to seek out honest feedback and really absorb it.

Lastly, we’re all reading the news and many are extremely nervous, especially when we see people get fired. We need an injection of confidence: share your strategy and ask us for support. The headhunters have already started circling and we are at risk of losing our best people.

Now would be a great time to internally re-brand and re-energize the workplace. For example, rename the company to just “BlackBerry” to signify our new focus on one QNX product line. We should also address issues surrounding making RIM an enjoyable workplace. Some of our offices feel like Soviet-era government workplaces.

The timing is perfect to seriously evaluate at our position and make these major changes. We can do it!

Sincerely,

A RIM Employee

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