Proud on this list

Did you know we have a new home for our blog? Please redirect your RSS reader. Thx!

Today I found some time to update our Customer page with new customers with whom we worked together this year. It’s a bit early to reflect on 2011 (I’ll do that in a couple of weeks) but while busy working on the update I kind of felt a warm and fuzzy feeling. May be it’s because of the Christmas tree, but I realized that these are the companies that believe in DigiRedo and grant us their trust to make something great. Not to mention they pay my mortgage, among other things.

Sometimes it’s good to stand still and think about that.

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Enterprise 2.0: Dinosaurs or Multiresistent Germs?

We all know what happened to the dinosaurs. Due to a changing environment, supposedly caused by a few meteorites here and there, these large animals were not able to adapt and eventually changed into fossil construction parts for natural historical museums. Compared that to MRSA, or ‘Methicilline Resistente Staphylococcus aureus’. This germ, millions times smaller than the average brontosaur, rulez the way it adapts to the environment. It was smart enough to fool most antibiotics, unfortunately with lethal consequences for some people.

But what have dinos and germs to do with Enterprise 2.0 platforms? Well, quite a lot actually. We were at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston and explored the exhibition floor for dinos like Microsoft and IBM, and how they keep up with MRSAs like Podio and Blogtronix. Admittedly, these startups are way less lethal than an average MRSA-infection in a hospital, but bear with me here. It’s about the metaphore ‘adaptation’.

 

 

By now we should know the drill: use social media to conversate and engage and have a more loyal customer. Most companies realize the importance of this new communication channel and soon it will be as established as Kotller’s five P’s. But what about the employee? How do you connect and engage with your ‘most valuable asset’? The employee who 1) has become more tech-savvy due to the personal use of digital appliances in his/her daily life, and 2) will become more and more wanted in the market due to the aging working population. Small start-ups have specialized themselves in developing online services based on Web 2.0 technologies to help these employees to do their daily work better, and more efficient. Mind you, all based on services popular at consumer-level. Yammer for example plays nicely as an internal Twitter, and DoubleDutch has been looking closely to FourSquare for location-based status updates. We even saw a Facebook lookalike to be used within the firewalls.

The dinos have realized that Enterprise 2.0, also called ‘Social Business’, is booming and thus Big Business. Usually Big Business involves Big Bucks and that makes an average dino move faster than a Stegosaurus being chased by a Tyranosaurus. Now Enterprise 2.0 is getting mainstream (as we could witness at the conference with participants like Disney, Eli Lilly and Lowe’s) dinos also present online solutions that should make the employee a more productive and happier person during working hours. But the question remains if these big companies are smart enough to understand which functionalities of their platform can actually provide added value to the working process of the employee. And providing that in an intuitive way so that employees understand the tools and thus actually use it. With an average dino brain the size of a chestnut, it doesn’t look good. For example, this is what one of the dinos explained to us after we questioned him about the usability of their platform: “Well, employees can follow a training whereby we teach them how to utilize the functionalities in the best way possible.” Uhm.. since when did I have to follow a course to put a blog post in WordPress online, or share a picture on Facebook? Of all 650 million Facebook users, only a few I think. And that is exactly where I believe the meteor will be hitting the dino-heads: the modern employee is used to Facebook and Twitter interfaces, easy to use and almost no learning curve. This is the Golden Standard. Neglect it and feel the warm and fuzzy feeling of extraterrestrial rocks changing your habitat forever.

Of course, dinos do have one big advantage: they are already present for quite some time and everybody knows them. Especially IT-departments that have been trained and educated for years in dino-technology. ‘Nobody was ever fired for buying IBM’, was once a well-known saying in business. Small startups need to fight against the status quo, and that ain’t easy. Understandable in some way, because no doubt some startups won’t make it in the evolutionary digital battle and will cease to exist. That is a bummer if you’ve just transferred your entire company to this new cool technology, to say the least. Other startups will be acquired by the big boys, and yet another group will form partnerships with other startups and even with dinos, thus strengthening their value proposition. Quite a number of new platforms have interfaces with SharePoint because they realize this is the 800 pound gorilla in the field (or 30 tonnes Diplodocus). Not the most loved dino, SharePoint, by the way, given the fact that a spontaneous session was organized at the unconference titled: How To Make SharePoint Suck Less’ (note from author: no solution was found).

In my opinion innovation will still come from startups for a while. The big dinos are really trying, but seem to be stuck on terms like ‘User Interaction’ and ‘User Friendliness’. We’ll await the first dino that does understand this, and ducks for the meteorite. What’s your take on this? Do you believe the established platforms can innovate against the small guys and girls? Will corporations embrace these innovations? Share your thoughts, please, and let us know your ideas.

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

Out and about in Boston: Enterprise 2.0 conference

For people following us in Twitter and/or Facebook, you might have noticed that we have settled ourselves for a week of hefty intellectual knowledge absorption on the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston, USA. Two years ago we visited this conference for the first time, and it was an instant hit for us. Although we like the parties on SXSW, the E2.0 conference is just a different ball game. More serious, more business and more practical for DigiRedo. So this year we decided to spend our annual US trip to go to this conference instead.

The conference will kick off with a day of in-depth workshops. We have chosen to go to the ‘Black Belt Practitioner’s In-Depth Workshop’:

In this full-day lecture and interactive workshop, learn first hand from practitioners who have tackled adoption, architecture, change management, community management, education, governance, and the realities of living through an Enterprise 2.0 transformation. The workshop will cover the Social Business opportunity from inside out. Chock full of real-life anecdotes and time/money saving advice from Global 2000 companies who’ve been there, done that and are ready to share.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will be covered by thirteen (!) tracks, varying from Analytics & Metrics to Community Management, from Business Leadership to the Mobile Enterprise. See the full program here.

We have been doing quite a few Enterprise 2.0 implementation processes and learned along the way. What we found particularly interesting is not so much the technology (though we do remain geeks) but more the people who will be using the technology, and the environment created by enterprises to enroll in an E2.0 process. Way too often we see that the ‘human factor’ is not taken into account sufficiently,  thereby running the risk that the entire program is not adopted, or worse, sabotaged. We hope to be able to find answers during this week as to how to engage the audience and how to spark their enthusiasm to actually start using E2.0 platforms.

Furthermore we of course expect to see some new cool stuff and cutting-edge technologies in the field of Enterprise 2.0 platforms and to speak to a few industry leaders in this field. Armed with our camera and microphone we will be doing coverage for our bloggers, so stay tuned!

Enterprise 2.0: part 3 – the gap between employee and corporation

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

As with a lot of technological innovations, business is often behind adopting them compared to consumers.  This was the case with the telephone, with the adoption of email and today with new and social media. Now, when social computing is becoming mainstream, businesses are considering how to deal with this within their own organisation. The question therefore should not be if a company should adopt social computing (aka Enterprise 2.0), but more when.

As discussed in the previous episode of this series, many employees struggle in managing the enormous amount of information they have to process within their jobs. And the infrastructure that offers that information is not helping them in doing their jobs, on the contrary.

“Many employees struggle in managing the enormous amount

of information they have to process within their jobs”

Some facts:

Forty-two percent of our economy is based on ‘tacit interactions’, which means exchange of information and knowledge directly between knowledge-workers (source: McKinsey). Most of this information is in these people’s minds, and not recorded in a database. In other words, a lot of this information is not secured.

Twenty percent of their valuable time, knowledge workers are searching for information required to do their jobs. Indeed, searching, which does not imply that they always find what they need. Which makes sense, because part of that information is not available, as explained above.

Eighty-five of the current available IT infrastructures cannot be accessed by most knowledge-workers (source: Gartner). That means that if relevant information is available somewhere in the database, they do not have the permission to access it.

The gap between the adoption of new technology, in this case collaborative and social interactive media, between the corporate world and the consumer world has never been so apparent. Cloud computing, mobile, social media, we’re all familiar with it in our private lives. However, within our daily work, this is very often not the case. Cloud computing, for example, is by many organisations perceived a scary, insecure and non-compliant phenomenon.

This is what we call consumerization of technology. New (information) technology first emerges in the consumer market before it enters business organisations. And when it enters, it is in most cases received with scepticism and distrust. IT departments are frequently hesitant in adopting these new technologies, especially if it implies loss of control or, in other words, empowerment of the user. When I was still working in the pharma industry I was always surprised at the ‘glass-is-half-empty’ approach of IT, when proposing experimenting with new and social media. While I sincerely expected, maybe naive, that this technological revolution should ignite the passion of every IT-worker.

In fact we’ve reached a point of no return. More and more employees, especially the digital natives, expect free access to information, the ability to connect with co-workers andto share and exchange knowledge and experience, all online. As they are used in their personal lives with their friends and family. As long as the current IT infrastructures (i.e. the intranets and portals) don’t allow or facilitate this, they will take the initiative themselves to create that space. Already, employees ask their IT departments to give them access to their email and intranet through their personal mobile devices. Just because the company does not offer smartphones to all employees, but the sales force. These employees will get very frustrated if their request is not honoured. While the only reason for asking is helping them to do their job easier and better.

“Cloud computing, for example, is by many organisations

perceived a scary, insecure and non-compliant phenomenon.”

Talking about the employee, what is motivating him (or her)? What really drives him to do his upmost to fulfil his tasks? What makes him get up in the morning? Is that salary? Is that a large bonus if mission is accomplished? Or is it something else?

Since the middle of last century behavioural scientists have investigated human motivation. Before that it was thought there were basically two main motivators: biological motivators(hunger, thirst, sleep, sex) and extrinsic motivators (reward and punishment). An interesting experiment by Harry Harlow and Edward Deci with monkeys demonstrated there is a third motivator: intrinsic motivation through joy, happiness and passion. This is the motivator for us humans for playing the piano, for photography and oldtimers. For developing software, which we are so proud of the we’re willing to give it away for free. We’re willing to spend hours of our free time and willing to spend significant amounts of money in these activities because of the satisfaction it gives us. Interesting enough, ever since the industrial revolution, businesses have only adopted extrinsic motivators, such as salary increases and bonuses and never really explored the possibilities of intrinsic motivators. While more than forty years of behavioural research has demonstrated that this is not the way to motivate people. Although the carrot-and-stick approach worked successfully in the 20th century, it has become obsolete in motivating people in the current changed environment. This brings us back to the conclusion we made in the previous episode. Create an environment where employees can excel and improve their skills, where they can choose the path to fulfil their tasks and goals as long as it also serves a higher purpose. Also known as as the three elements of true motivation: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose (source: Daniel Pink – Drive, the surprising truth about what motivates us)

 “IT departments are frequently hesitant in adopting these new

technologies, especially if it implies loss of control or, in other

words, empowerment of the user.”

So now the urge is clear. Business organisations need to change, significantly. In the way they communicate with their employees, how they are motivated, in the way their workforce is empowered and in the way they are organised online. But where to start? That’s what I will discuss in the following episodes. First I want to ask you to take a look at your own organisation. How are you organised online? What functionalities does your intranet offer? Is it interactive and does it allow collaboration between co-workers. The figure below comes from the congress Intranet 2011, which was held in March recently Utrecht, The Netherlands. It represents the development of the intranet from a one-directional information source to a social operating system that contains all kinds of collaborative applications which drive internal and external work. Can you indicate where your company’s intranet is?

Enterprise 2.0: part 2 – the world around us has changed, forever.

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

The digital revolution has changed the world we live in. During the first wave of the revolution, back in the nineties, we gained access to an incredible amount of information. During the second wave, which started in the early 2000’s, we were able to add information ourselves –  our experiences, opinions, thoughts, comments, ratings and reviews about products and services. Today, the digital revolution has become mobile, where we hold the internet in the palm of our hand with smart-phones and iPads.

Many companies, especially B2C, jumped on the bandwagon of interactive communication, where they saw great opportunities for their marketing activities. But, as discussed in part one of this series, it’s more than just the additional marketing channel that makes the revolution. It has an impact on the way we are organised as a business,  and this goes as deep as our blueprint, our DNA and our identity. This revolution is cultural.

Looking more closely at the changes around us we can identify six trends. These trends reveal the need for companies to prepare themselves for a major change: to reorganise themselves from Enterprise 1.0 to Enterprise 2.0. Let’s take a closer look at these six trends.

“…it’s more than just the additional marketing channel that makes the revolution.”

1. Information overload

As a result of the digital revolution, the amount of information that we have to manage is increasing at an almost daily level. Information that frequently is difficult to find on our intranets. In addition, managing our email is a continuous struggle for many. Who doesn’t have a sort of love-hate relationship with their inbox? The amount of energy wasted within companies with data management is enormous. Although interactions costs (e.g. real life meetings) go down, the volume of interactions is headed towards infinity, leading to unproductive complexity, frustration within the workforce, increased bureaucracy and unmanageable communication (Fig 1, electronic survey McKinsey Quarterly 2005).


Fig 1: Struggle with communication complexity (based on survey McKinsey Quarterly, July 2005)

*80% of those reporting “communication unmanageable” admit having difficulty fulfilling their key responsibilities.

2. Limited access to interactive technologies 

At home, we are used to fast internet connections, enabling us to upload, download and consume video, connect to our friends and family through social networks and talk real-time with each other via Skype. Coming to work, many of us still experience something different: websites such as YouTube and Facebook are blocked as non-productive sites, Flash videos cannot be viewed as the flash player cannot be installed and if you’re lucky to access online video, then frequently bandwidth is the limiting factor of a smooth experience. And that’s not all, the hardware available to the average workforce (computers, mobile phones) are very often seen as costly devices pressing on the annual budgets, rather than devices that improve people’s performance. Back home, the workforce emits sighs of relief, setting themselves behind their brand new and beloved iMac.

3. Cloud computing

More and more services are offered through ‘the Cloud’, which means that databases, file services, email and applications are available through external online servers. No software is required to be installed on the user’s computer, other than a web-browser. Examples of Cloud applications are Hotmail, Google Docs and Salesforce.com. Advantages of cloud computing are that the  applications are accessible anywhere at anytime from any platform (desktop, laptop, smartphone) with the latest versions of the software available. Moving from the comfortable, ‘behind the firewall’ applications to cloud services that are out in the ‘big bad world’ is a tough choice to make for many organisations. Again, the loss of control is bothersome to them, while it may serve the employee’s productivity and in the end can lead to significant cost savings on license fees and service contracts.

“As a result of the digital revolution, the amount of information that we have to manage is increasing at an almost daily level.”

4. Generation gap 

As a result of the digital revolution we can divide the current population into two generations: digital immigrants and digital natives. A digital native is someone who is born after the introduction of digital technologies, let’s say around 1980. A digital immigrant is someone born before the introduction of digital technology. The difference between these two groups is the way they adopt these technologies and integrate them in their lives. With the speed of technological developments increasing, more and more digital immigrants struggle keeping up, leading to conflicts between managers and supervisors (DI’s) and the younger workforce (DN’s).

5. Social, social, social 

Social networking has surpassed email both in number of users and in time spent (Morgan Stanley, Internet Trends, June 2010). This means that people prefer social interaction through online networks over the rather one-dimensional and more impersonal email. But a Facebook group or a Twitter account is no guarantee for successful participation in the communities of your customers. To achieve that you need to do more. “You need to socialise”, according to Brian Solis, Principal at Futureworks and one of the prominent thought leaders in social media.“As a company or as a brand you need to participate in the conversations in such a manner that you’re not only of added value, but that you also involve your customers in your marketing and service activities.” Because of that social media will have an enormous impact in the organisational structure of a company. “Any division within an organisation that is effected by outside influence is going to have to socialise”.  Eventually social media instruments will become as mainstream as email is today, but before that organisations will need to go through a process of cultural change.

6. The Network Society 

Modern society is in a process of becoming a network society. Through the internet we’re constantly connected and becoming less dependent on face to face communication. It’s as Jan van Dijk describes in his book The Network Society that the internet brings interpersonal, organisational and mass communication together. This means we’re moving from centrally and hierarchically organised companies (e.g. Sony, Microsoft, Shell) to true network organisations (e.g. Facebook, Google, Amazon). The main difference between the two extremes is that in the latter the user is more in control and wants to be involved and engaged. This is illustrated by the development in the music industry over the last decade. Music is booming, and artists and consumers have taken over control from big corporations.

These six trends are disruptive to any industry, including pharma. These trends scare CEO’s and management teams. Losing control over their employees and the way they work gives them nightmares. But is that justified? Can we allow ourselves to perform ‘ostrich politics’ by sticking our heads in the sand, hoping it will all pass in a few years? Or is now the time to pick up the challenge and start redesigning our organisations?

“…the volume of interactions is headed towards infinity, leading to unproductive complexity, frustration within the workforce, increasedbureaucracy and unmanageable communication”

Most companies still have an organisational structure designed for the 20th century: hierarchical, directive, silo-structured and sales-driven (aka Enterprise 1.0). Especially in our ‘knowledge-intensive companies’ we need to mobilize the minds of our workforce in such way that we offer them freedom to do their jobs, give them access to information, provide them with a network that enables them to connect with peers and the likeminded and stimulate collaboration and co-creation (aka Enterprise 2.0). Not only will such company create an environment that motivates people and retains talent, it also will lead to an increase in net income per employee.

So the challenge is the organisational redesign of our companies. Moving from Enterprise 1.0 to Enterprise 2.0. The key is the employee. Because, as with the music artist and the music lover, that’s where the power is. Create an environment where your employees can excel, where they feel empowered and acknowledged. Give them autonomy to reach (and surpass) their goals, allow them to master their skills and give purpose to what they do. With that you’ll give your workforce the drive to get up in the morning and go to work, motivated.

What do you think is key to establishing Enterprise 2.0?


Social Business Innovation – So True…

Wow! Stumbled upon this video. This is so what we believe in at DigiRedo. It’s our core thinking, it’s the reason we started, 4 years ago. We remain dedicated to evangelize this way of doing business. It’s Enterprise 2.0 firing on all cylinders.

More info about the company who made this video here, a blog worth reading.

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