Enterprise 2.0 Summit; more than just a conference! – #e20s

e20s_680In 2014 it will be the third time the Summit is held in Paris, and it’s the foremost European gathering of experts & practitioners on new forms of communication & collaboration. However, it has been in existence since 2008. Giving its organisers plenty of experience and reputation. Which, in turn, provides us with an excellent event with great speakers and cases.

Meetups and Talks

It’s also more than just a conference. The sharing of knowledge starts way before the actual conference.

Meetups are organised in various cities across Europe, Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt and Zurich. The aim is to exchange information and discuss the upcoming conference. Various topics are covered, like the format of talks, or which case studies should make an appearance.
And besides talking, it’s a good chance to reacquaint contacts and meet new ones.

The Expert Talks are a different matter, these are carefully organised by Kongress Media, with a fixed topic and 4 to 6 experts. The discussions are interesting, to say the least. If you want to catch up with the talks, visit Kongress media’s YouTube channel.., there’s a ton of stuff there.


Next to the pre-conference events and the conference itself, there is the hashtag #e20s. By now it’s a year round tag which signifies so much more than just the conference. It is used throughout the year in many tweets about social business, enterprise 2.0 and many other related topics.
Of course, the closer we get to the actual conference, the more the tag will appear on the Interwebs.

The Conference

You might have noticed that, lately, I talk/write a lot about the Summit. This is because I was asked to be a supporter, an ambassador of the conference. I was honoured to be asked, so, of course, I said yes.
Besides that, I attended the conference early this year, in Paris, and enjoyed it tremendously. The collective knowledge present during those 2 days was breathtaking. The people were truly social and the presentations enlightening.

So yes, I can say I’m a fan.

e20s_panelWell.., the 2014 edition promises to be no less of a thrill.

Getting Social Enterprise Ready!

Late Adopters

By now, for a large part, we may assume that the necessity for social business is more or less apparent. People are starting to get it. But, a truly successful change can only be had when everybody participates. Only then can you claim the title of “Social Business”.
In very broad strokes; The first 20% is relatively easy, the next 60% will come around given time. However, the last 20% is where the true challenge lies. The 2014 edition of the Summit shall focus on the late adopters in the field.

Because so many projects get stuck in the middle, the conference aims to provide hands-on and how-to information to get unstuck, and get things moving again.

Mind you, this is not just useful for social business conversions, but can also help with many larger projects where change is at the core.

Finally, the business impact will pass the revue. After all.., we can’t make any significant change without real and measurable business results.

Master Classes

The conference is, in actuality, a three day event. On the 10th Februari Kongress Media presents no less than three Master Classes.

These will be lead by, well, masters within the field and the subjects, as they are announced at the moment are:

  • Putting the Business back into Social with Bertrand Duperrin
  • Defining the Internal Engagement & Community Management by Rachel Happe
  • Social Business Leadership – Concepts and Practices by Dion Hinchcliffe

The keywords for the other two days, of the conference proper, are; Enabling, Engagement and Adoption

And yes.., also for this year.., there will be Lego.

Let me know if you’ll be attending too (in the comments or via Twitter), I already know some of you will.

And, let’s meet up.

Challenges for the Adoption & Change Management Stage

station_largeLast Friday, at an acceptable European time, I really enjoyed the first #E20S Expert talk. The topic is one that ought to keep the practitioners, or those directly responsible for change and adoption quite busy.

The experienced and smart panel was led by Björn Negelmann into a discussion with some surprises for me, and a lot of good advice. There was plenty covered in this hour, so I’ll get to it.


This gets mentioned more and more. An inevitable realisation that comes with the years. Even though I practised various forms of social business throughout my career, I never did it under the umbrella of “Social Business”, or “Enterprise 2.0”, or “Office 2.0”. Nor did I do my work at one company, it is the nature of an IT Consultant. Besides all that, I never did see much progress.

A lot of ideas past the revue, and some got implemented, most died slowly in obscurity.

David Terrar expressed his concern about the time it takes to change an enterprise into a social business. Already going at it in 2006, he states “if you’d told me we would have made this little progress by 2013 I would have been deeply depressed”.

Luckily, David is an optimist and things are moving a bit faster than they did 7 years ago. We are are slowly hitting the mainstream.

For those of us who are relative new to SocBiz, we have to tip our hats to those who’ve been laying the foundations so vigorously.

The Trough of Disillusionment

However, there are signs we’re heading towards the Slope of Enlightenment. Knowledge and expertise is accumulated more rapidly, the trade is becoming more recognized and the necessity to change more accepted.

With companies like IBM leading the charge, others are waking up to the reality that we are passing into a new age of business.

Open Business

Another term that sneaked through the ether was a potential replacement for Social Business.

Mind you, like stated above, this would mean we’ve moved from Office 2.0, to Enterprise 2.0, to Social Business and ending up with Open Business.

Now, I have agree that this might be a better description. And it also might differentiate ‘Social Business’ better. One issue I come across a lot is people instantly associating Social Business with Social Media. And that’s far to simplistic a way to look at it.

Open Business might just trigger better questions and more enthusiasm.

On The Right Track

Despite ‘it’ taking a long time, and despite the challenges we face with adoption and change management.., we are on the right track. We are moving forward, faster and faster, stronger and stronger.

If you, or your business isn’t looking into adapting to these changes, you probably soon will.

During this Expert Talk a couple of problems (i.e. Challenges) are identified and solutions for finding more traction are given.

There is simply to much to write down in this article, a transcript would be nice to have.

However, I’ll give you a couple of bullet points of advice given to advance the adoption and change (in random order, without credit and paraphrased):

  • Let people realize things can be done differently
  • Go to the top, you cannot be effective from 3rd level management
  • Connect with like minded people. Ideas come easier that way
  • Redesign the workplace, allow for serendipity
  • Get physical, teach networking and sharing with real live events (not just virtual)
  • Use broader communication streams, do not limit yourself to the Digital Village
  • Experiment, it’s OK to fail and let things get out of control
  • Find support, there is safety in numbers
  • Give credit to the company, openly, this encourages executive support
  • Let employees figure out how they can best use the tools provided
  • Trust employees
  • Do not focus on ROI alone
  • Dare to change the plan and the outcome

Well, I nice list I would say, there is a lot more to listen to so, I encourage you to watch the video below and join Björn Negelmann, Celine Schillinger, Joachim Stroh, Thierry de Baillon, David Terrar and Simon Dueckert in what I believe is a very rich hour.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhwAnsHo4C8?rel=0]

Social Business done right. Valuable Lessons Learned.

louvre_smallI was going through some photo’s of 2013’s Enterprise 2.0 Summit, for my previous post, and came across this little gem. No, not the louvre, but a slide of Van Marcke’s Phillipe Borremans.

Last March, in Paris (hence the image above), he gave a talk about the social business journey he choreographed for Van Marcke. This particular slide is his “Lessons Learned” slide, a mandatory slide to have I’d say. I enjoyed Philippe’s talk a lot, it was down to earth, realistic and not just theoretical.

These lessons learned are a product of that (now) clear path, and I wanted to share them with you, and dissect their meaning.

lessons_learnedLessons Learned


Audit the situation before you start makes perfect sense (as do most points on this list). You have to know what you’re up against. You have to know what assets you have, what you can work with. What are the problems (if any, but usually they’re plenty of them, once you start digging).

Creating an inventory of assets and problems will lay the foundation for the rest of the journey. You can create a map of where you want to go and how you plan to get there.

The C-Suite

You can have change without C-level support. But, you have to start as a disruptor, at the bottom and in obscurity. Fight your way up and into the light. As an individual you might be able to change your way of working, and maybe even your team or department. However, changing the company is almost entirely impossible.

Besides, the changes and plans we’re talking about can only begin at the absolute top. Top management needs to want this change, they need to give the green light, provide you with the necessary means. Meaning time, people, money and other assets.

Plus, they have to engage. Just getting a Go from the CEO is not enough, he or she needs to be part of the change, all the way. I wrote about what happens if they don’t on {grow}.

Long Term Commitment

Social business is not a fad, a trend or a buzz-word. It is inevitable and quite permanent. The sooner you (we, CEO’s) realize this, the better.

Therefore, we plan for the long haul. We plan for the ongoing education and transformation. New employees get trained right away into the new ways, and the process of getting everybody within the company ‘on board’ will be an ongoing process until all have joined.

It sounds diabolical, new world order-ish, but this is the scope we’re dealing with.


Social is a custom business. Also something we need to get out of the way. All business are created unequal. There are no two alike. There are simply to many variables to consider in any one company.

Yes, we can have best practises and a set of ground rules, like Dion Hinchecliffe’s Ten Tenets. But, they are just that, ground rules, a guide. Something you can shape your transformation around. When taking the first point (Audit) into consideration, you can imagine that what you find during an audit is different within every company. Heck, it’s even different if you audit that same company a year later.

This is a challenge for SocBiz professionals too, every time they come to a new business, they have to start from scratch. A broad experience in different cultures, disciplines and industries is almost a must.

Generation Y

An often brought up topic. I bring them up often enough. We (on a company level) have to prepare ourselves for the inevitable coming of this generation. They’ve grown up with the Internet, it’s always been there (when I was young we 2 channels black & white TV, just to put things in perspective).

But, Gen.Y will not drive the change we seek. They’ll make use of it, they’ll expect it, but they can’t spearhead the change itself. According to Philippe’s findings, you need experience to lead the change, to be the change.

People are your most valuable asset (without them there is no change, or a company for that matter), and your champions are the most valuable people. They are the ones others look to for leadership and guidance. They are the Trojan Mice you plant throughout the company to work from within.

IT No Longer Rules

Traditionally there has always been a huge gap between IT and The Business. Communicating needs and wants between the two has always been difficult. Simply because both speak a different language and see the world in a different light.

There was a time where IT (or ICT) ruled the world. The techies knew and had it all. Heck, when I was an IT Professional it was fun. We practically did what we wanted, ran our own servers and had our won sub networks and proper Internet speeds. Nobody knew, because nobody had a clue as to what we did. As long as their data was available and the PC’s and printers worked, no questions were asked.

And when new software (which we picked) had to be implemented we had the mandate to do it, employees just had to give up their PC and we changed or updated it, put it back and wished them a nice day.

This is no longer the case. ICT supports the business, it puts them in a though spot, but it is the right place to be.

Instead of asking IT what software we need to do a certain job, we now find the software to solve a set of very specific issues. It is completely supportive to the business and it’s employees. The business goals are the mandate, not the perceived reality of a department less in touch with the business.

Good Lessons

As I said, these are a few very good lessons learned. When you think about them, they seem very obvious, but they are not. Many a business just jumps into the fray. Like with Social Media, ticking of the boxes on a list they found on the Web, or having an intern just do their social. Social business is something most will want, they might even understand why they want it.

But many will make exactly those mistakes we try to avoid.

Don’t waste your time and money. When you choose to start your Social Business journey. Do it right.