Above and Beyond KM

A discussion of knowledge management that goes above and beyond technology.

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This publication contains my personal views and not necessarily those of my clients. Since I am a lawyer, I do need to tell you that this publication is not intended as legal advice or as an advertisement for legal services.
  • As Enterprise 2.0 tools gain acceptance within organizations around the world, we are finding new ways to unearth and connect useful information. For some organizations, a key to this has been to create mash-ups between existing collections of data. The magic of mash-ups is quite wonderful — by joining two known things you can create a splendid something new.

    I haven’t thought hard enough about what the equivalent within the enterprise might be, but I wanted to share with you a new mash-up I discovered courtesy of Curt Hopkins at ReadWriteWeb. In his post, Mash Letter to the Past, he reports on several terrific mash-ups that marry mapping, photos, street views, video and documentary photographs from different times.  The results are marvelous.  For example,  take a look at this excerpt from There and Then, which shows New York City’s famous Flatiron building in 2010 and 1903.

    Now, here’s my manual mash-up starting with a brief clip of “What Happened on 23rd Street” in 1901:

    And here’s Google’s 2010 street view of 23rd street.

    As you probably can tell, I’ve had lots of fun playing with these before and after views of New York City.  Admittedly, I haven’t yet found a knowledge management angle on this, but give me time!  The most important thing I’m learning is that marrying information from different sources can provide an appreciation and more nuanced understanding of our present day reality.  Perhaps that, in and of itself, makes the mash-up effort worthwhile.

    No Comments
  • TMI

    “It’s only a teaspoonful,” I overheard the six-year old girl say in all seriousness as she explained to a boy in her class the nature of the contribution the male of the species makes to procreation. The look of horror on the boy’s face was positively comical as he reacted viscerally with the expression “TMI! TMI!”

    For those of you who haven’t heard it before, TMI is the acronym for “too much information.” It’s often used when people disclose private details that one would really rather not know about in the ordinary course.  I found myself saying “TMI” when I first read a terrific set of posts by Jim McGee, John Tropea and Jack Vinson regarding the benefits of information transparency among knowledge workers and the importance of making knowledge work more visible. Granted, I was “catastrophizing” as I imagined a workplace where every thought was expressed in writing before it could be edited for appropriateness or sense. I imagined my daily e-mail deluge multiplied many times over once I moved from messages directed at me to a stream messages directed to the entire firm.  I imagined a tsunami of triviality swamping me daily as I struggled to be productive. I imagined having to hide myself in a technology free cave in order to get any work done.

    I will confess that I love Twitter and use it daily.  In learning to love it, I’ve come to understand that I cannot and should not try to read everything.   Rather, I dip my toe in and out of the stream when I can.  An important part of this behavior is learning to let go of the need to read it all, and trust instead that the important things will rise to the surface repeatedly and capture my attention in due course.  That’s easier to do in your leisure life than at the office, where I (at least) feel obliged to read everything that my colleagues send me.  What happens when I start receiving a general flow of information rather than the current more limited (albeit sometimes overwhelming) targeted flow of e-mail information?  How do I protect myself from missing the important stuff while suffocating under the irrelevant?

    What’s your experience with activity streams work at work?  If you’re using them at your workplace, what can you tell us about how they improve or clog the arteries along which your information flows?  How do you find the important amongst the trivial?

    [Photo Credit: Fredshome]

    17 Comments
  • After four days at the 2010 Enterprise 2.0 Conference, I’m feeling my age.  It’s not just that the days were intense with tons of new ideas and useful information to absorb.  It’s also that I felt a bit too much at home.  What do I mean?  If you listen to some pundits, E2.0 is the province of the young and the hip.  As a Gen Xer, I assumed I was going to be among the older folks attending.  To my surprise, I wasn’t.  With few exceptions, most of the folks I met were older than 30 (and some were considerably north of 30).  The gap between perception and reality  became even more apparent when one of the LaunchPad finalists — a chipper 20-something — declared to the audience that he was there to prove that there were in fact some Millennials involved in E2.0.

    So what’s going on? Are the E2.0 conference attendee demographics an anomaly or should we just face facts that this is a technology — even a way of life — that now spans generational boundaries?  If it’s the latter, then I’m very optimistic about our ability to embed social tools in the enterprise. If you think we’re dealing with an anomaly, please do let me know what you think is really going on.

    [Photo Credit: xflickrx]

    No Comments
  • Dear Steve:

    Let me begin by thanking you and your team for organizing the 2010 Enterprise 2.0 Conference.  Others told me time and time again that the E2.0 Conference was something I had to attend, and now I understand why.  As a first-time participant, I was delighted to find in one place so many leading thinkers and practitioners of the art of E2.0.   By the end of the conference, I felt as if I had been immersed in a rich, interactive educational experience, and for that I am very grateful.

    My background is in knowledge management, which includes in its arsenal a key technique for knowledge sharing and education called the after action review.  (The purpose of the after action review is to examine an event while it is fresh in our minds so that we see what lessons can be learned.)  In that spirit, I offer the following:

    What worked well:

    • The people this conference attracts are phenomenal.  One of the greatest benefits of the conference is being able to hear first-hand from the leading thinkers and doers in this field.
    • The WIFI!!!!!  Thank you so much for taking the request for Wifi seriously.  It made a world of difference to those of us who were tweeting and live blogging the sessions.
    • The facilities accommodated the formal sessions well.  Better still, the scattered lounge areas ensured that the all-important hallway conference could take place in comfort.
    • Most of the sessions I attended were very good.  In particular, I’d mention the 2.0 Adoption Council‘s pre-conference workshop, which was terrific for its focus on the challenges of E2.0 adoption. (For more information, see my notes from the various 2.0 Adoption Council sessions I attended.)
    • There was a good range of sessions that covered a wide variety of interests and concerns.
    • Overall, the conference was very well organized.  I was unaware of any technical or scheduling glitches.
    • Thanks for making so many sessions free and open to all. The conference performs an important education and networking function, so it’s good to make its benefits available to as many as possible.

    What could be done better:

    • Please return to the true meaning of a “keynote” address: something notable, exciting, memorable.  JP Rangaswami delivered a phenomenal, thought-provoking talk that I’m still pondering.  That’s exactly what I come to a conference like this to hear.  Unfortunately, not all of the keynote addresses were notable.  Even though some were mercifully quickly forgotten, I couldn’t help thinking that it was a terrible waste of the time and energy of some of the most interesting people in social media.  On top of that, there is something troubling about asking people to pay for the privilege of listening to substandard talks and sales pitches.  Time and attention are finite resources that shouldn’t be wasted this way.
      • Update:  A reader pointed out via Twitter that the keynotes were sponsor presentations because sponsors had paid for the privilege.  That’s very true, but that leads to my question: did the sponsors get their money’s worth when so many people checked out, tuned out or stepped out during their presentations? If sponsors really want that limelight, then they should deliver thought-provoking, crowd-rousing talks. I assure them that this approach will keep them (and, incidentally, their products) in the forefront of our minds in the best possible way. A case in point? While I was initially skeptical when I heard that Microsoft had a keynote spot,  I’ve found myself thinking and telling others about Christian Finn’s demonstration of the power of simple tools (e.g,, flip cameras) and viral internal marketing to build an impressive knowledge base and connect colleagues.  That’s front and center in Enterprise 2.0 and his presentation provided a great case study without any sales pitch regarding Microsoft products.  Nice. And, effective.
    • A little more breathing time between sessions would be wonderful.  All moderators I saw did a superb job of keeping the trains on schedule, but there was inevitably insufficient time to follow-up with a speaker or another member of the audience before racing off to the next session.
    • Given the richness of the sessions and the limited time available, I felt under pressure to choose sessions carefully.  Unfortunately, I didn’t always choose correctly because I didn’t have the necessary information beforehand.  It would be great if the program could be more like a college course catalog, with information regarding the expected experience level of the target audience of each session and the level of complexity of the planned discussion.
    • Consider offering different tracks for different audiences: those still learning about E2.0, those in the throes of implementation and early adoption, those who have mature efforts that they want to kick up into a higher gear, those in small and medium enterprises, those in the non-profit or governmental sectors, etc.  Each of these groups has  different experience levels and concerns. Each deserves sessions explicitly dedicated to their needs.
    • There were liberal helpings of “E2.0 kool-aid” offered (e.g., build it and they will come, you can’t measure the value of being social, forget the bean counters and focus on the little people, etc.).  It would be good to offset this with even more hard-hitting critical thinking that arms conference attendees so that they can go back to their organizations and make arguments in favor of E2.0 that are more effective because they encompass both the quantitative and the qualitative.

    Once again, thank you for a terrific conference.  The high caliber of the people who participated is a testament to the great reputation this conference has earned.  I now understand perfectly why Thomas Vander Wal said  “It is one of the few conference I still won’t miss.”

    Best,
    Mary

    [Photo Credit: LarimdaME]

    5 Comments
  • Members of The 2.0 Adoption Council will discuss a host of issues from culture shock to data privacy.  This session will draw questions from the audience to drive relevant topics that may not have been addressed in previous conference sessions.

    ModeratorSusan Scrupski, Executive Director at The 2.0 Adoption Council, Dachis Group
    Panelist – Bart Schutte, Director, Web & Architecture, Saint Gobain
    PanelistJamie Pappas, E2.0 & Social Media Strategist, Evangelist, and Community Manager, EMC Corporation
    PanelistLee Bryant, Director, Headshift
    PanelistDennis Howlett, Industry Blogger
    PanelistMary Maida, Information Solutions Manager, Medtronic, Inc.

    Background:

    [These are my quick notes, complete with  (what I hope is no more than) the occasional typo and grammatical error.  Please excuse those. Thanks!

    From time to time, I'll insert my own editorial comments - exercising the prerogatives of the blogger.  I'll show those in brackets. ]

    Notes:

    • What was missing from the Enterprise 2.0 2010 Conference?
    • We need to have more conversation about the business value of E2.0 success stories, not just metrics about activity levels.
      • Lee Bryant: in a specific project that involved lots of groups/communities, the leadership team asked each group/community at the begin to define what success in this project would look like.  This led to both quantitative and qualitative measures, but identified in a way that is sensitive to each case.  If you don’t spend the time to identify success factors at the begin, you end up having a tougher time establishing the tough business case.
      • Bart Schutte: It can be difficult to identify metrics at the beginning that are relevant at the end. You may have to start with anecdotes.  In addition, with a new project you may have to focus on total cost of ownership rather overall ROI. If the TCO is low, then implementing the project is considered low risk.
      • Mary Maida: While focus on numbers is good, don’t underestimate the ability of executives to understand the softer factors – ability to work together more easily and effectively.
      • Lee Bryant: you need to calibrate your request carefully – some managers tend to focus entirely on the numbers. If you need to pitch to them, you’ll need to find some useful numbers that they can understand.  However, many business leaders absolutely understand the value of transformation and don’t take a bean-counter’s approach.
      • Claire Flanagan:  Executives in global companies can understand impact on strategy rather than just the impact on the bottom line.
      • Dennis Howlett: We are stuck with the current accounting system – you ignore it at your own peril.  Therefore, the more you can find useful numbers that make sense in the existing accounting system, the easier it will be to advocate for your E2.0 program and prove success.
      • Chris Slemp (Microsoft): we have gestures for liking, but do we need a gesture for indicating that something found via social media provoked an insight, a breakthrough moment.
      • Claire Flanagan:   You can get real value from going back to connect the dots between the success stories and the specific events that occurred via social media that led to the breakthrough moment.  Don’t miss this opportunity!
    • Cultural differences across countries and regions:
      • Bart Schutte: in a global company, a certain amount of homogeneity is inevitable.  As people rise through the company tend to adapt to the dominant national culture.
      • Jamie Pappas:  Members unilaterally decided to communicate in their native language.  Some others use the E2.0 tool to practice their English.  It would be great to have local champions who can encourage these types of behaviors.
      • Dennis Howlett: This is a horribly sensitive, complicated topic.  Be prepared to be offended (and possibly offend) when you tackle this issue.
      • Lee Bryant: There is no “national majority” in HeadShift. Rather than focusing on national stereotypes, consider whether you have a “corporate culture” that supercedes the national culture of any sub-group within the org.  Make sure that you make the tools sufficiently malleable so that people in different places can use the tools productively in different (but appropriate) ways.  If you can do this, you won’t need to get hung up on national and cultural analysis.

    No Comments
  • What this panel promises to cover: Today’s interaction models with customers are largely transactive in nature and typically begin and end with an individual promotion and sale. Enterprise 2.0 concepts offer the ability to build longer term relationships that can outlast each transaction and keep customers engaged over longer periods of times. This session will feature customers that have made the successful transition from a transactive model to a customer network approach and the benefits they see in the form of tangible revenue, cost reduction and overall customer satisfaction.

    Moderator – Sameer Patel, Partner, Sovos Group and blogger, PretzelLogic.org
    Panelist – Phil Gross, Marketing Manager, Intuit Quickbase
    Panelist – Paul Michelman, Director of New Products, Harvard Business Review Group
    Panelist – Jason Corsello, Vice President, KI OnDemand, Knowledge Infusion
    Panelist – Jim Storer, Co-founder, The Community Roundtable

    Background:

    [These are my quick notes, complete with  (what I hope is no more than) the occasional typo and grammatical error.  Please excuse those. Thanks!

    From time to time, I'll insert my own editorial comments - exercising the prerogatives of the blogger.  I'll show those in brackets. ]

    Notes:

    • This session is about moving moving beyond a transaction-based approach to understanding customers to actually engaging with them through an ongoing process.
    • One question to consider: how well do you know what your customers are thinking? If not, Enterprise 2.0 tools can help provide channels for conversation and relationship with customers.
    • Phil Gross: there is value in having a company to customer channel. However, there can be an even greater value in creating a channel that lets customers engage with other customers.  Intuit Quickbase has found that this alternate channel has been a huge marketing advantage.
    • In a consulting practice, having these customer networks allow the enterprise to stay in touch with customers between engagements (cementing the relationship).  In addition, customers like these channels to learn what other customers are doing.
    • Jim Storer: why did ComCast cares really take off? Not necessarily because ComCast was broken, rather because their customers didn’t have a great way of communicating with ComCast.
    • Phil Gross: Engaging with your customer is not new.  Before web 2.0, it was mainly about a one-way marketing campaign, coupled with one-to-one relationships that weren’t scalable. Now social media provides a scalable way to reach and engage with all your customers without breaking the bank.
    • Jason Corsello told a personal story of his experience of ComCast cares. When his home service was interrupted, he found that the folks at ComCast cares responded quickly and effectively.  However, he later received a service charge for this on his bill even though this charge had not been previously disclosed.  He gave this as an example of the customer-facing part not being integrated with/reflected in the back-end processes.
    • How do you ensure that you have an integrated approach that passes through and supports all the benefits and innovations of  these new web-based customer networks?
      • Phil Gross: You need a strategy to ensure that the internal communications and actions support the customer-facing channel.  Throughout, keep the focus on the customer.
      • Paul Michelman: There are two questions – internal buy-in and execution.  Assume the best: that your employees will do try their hardest to meet customer needs to the best of their abilities.
    • Sameer Patel: How do create and sustain the right business infrastructure to support these customer network initiatives?
      • Jim Storer: Start by taking an honest look at your corporate culture.  Most are too siloed and inward facing to support engagement outside the company.  The best tactic is to pursue a very specific, clear-cut use case around which you can rally forces and efforts internally.
      • Jim Storer: You can create a customer support community for a specific purpose, but understand that it’s ultimately the customer that decides what that community is for. The company then has to be able to adapt to and support that.
      • Jim Storer: If there are pre-existing communities, you need to “fish where the fish are.” However, if you can provide a brand-specific community, make sure your strategy for this manages the transition from the pre-existing community to yours.
      • Jason Corsello: In addition to knowing your customers, you need to know how to “feed” them. If you have a customer base that is focused on confidentiality (e.g., the HR community), don’t expect them to share online. Instead, his firm provides periodic opportunities for members of the community to meet in person and off the record.
      • Paul Michelman: If there is a pre-existing community, you can start there, but you should figure out if and how you can provide something of greater value.
      • Paul Michelman: No company actually “owns’ their customer community.  It’s the customer who owns the community.  An enterprise forgets this at their own peril.
      • Jim Storer: The companies that have the most successful community strategies employ mult-disciplinary teams that can move the program forward together.
      • Phil Gross: Having an internal “owner” of the community is important for accountability.  Usually, the worst answer is to make IT the owner. The better choices (in his opinion) are Marketing or Support.
    • An audience member reports that she has recommended to her company that they form a separate unit to own the initiative and acts “as Switzerland” internally to ensure that all the relevant constituencies (IT, Marketing, Communications, HR, Legal, etc.) are well-represented.
      • Paul Michelman: The group that own and starts the program doesn’t need to own it for ever. If you have a fight about ownership, you probably have a successful program that many want to own.  That’s a good thing.
    • Sameer Patel:  Back to the E2.0 aspects – what are you doing internally to support your external efforts?
      • Jason Corsello: Create an expertise locator to ensure customer questions get to the experts and are answered quickly. He reports that JetBlue intends that within 3 years every member of the staff will be able to respond to customer requests directly and will be trained how to refer (appropriately) questions that fall outside their expertise.
      • Phil Gross: Internal microblogging can be a great way to locate expertise.
      • Paul Michelman: Analyze the questions – they tend to come in particular buckets.  Once you’ve identified the main types of questions, you can craft work flow to ensure the questions are directed to the right internal experts.
    • Sameer Patel: What metrics can you use that REALLY help illuminate how your customer network efforts advances your business strategy?
      • Phil Gross: They look at kind of use (how are customers using it? what questions are they asking?) as well as frequency of use and the patterns surrounding that.  They track these things numerically and via anecdotes.  They have seen that their communities have greater use than their support functions. They have been able to collect hard numbers to show the number of new customers who come to the company via the community and referrals from existing customers.
      • Paul Michelman: when you start, you can’t really know what you can deliver from a business perspective.  However, you can and should establish learning goals when you start. This will provide good directional information. From that you can build to more “hard-core” traditional business metrics.
      • Jim Storer; when you are thinking about ROI for community, don’t think about this in traditional terms.
      • Jason Corsello:  Some businesses (like his) have been able to derive useful data regarding customer satisfaction, revenue due to renewals, etc.
    • Jim Storer: The whole concept of crisis management via social media (consider United Breaks Guitars).  He commends Ford for using social media channels to clarify their situation for the publicly before the bailout issue rose to the level of a crisis that needed to be manage.
    • Phil Gross: If you don’t have enough customers to “seed” a community, you get a bunch of “tumbleweeds.”
    • What’s the value of engaged customers?
      • Jim Storer mentioned a study of eBay that found that engaged customers tended to produce much more revenue for eBay.
      • Paul Michelman concurs, saying that they’ve seen the same phenomenon at their organization.
    • Sameer Patel: What’s the right end goal? Should the inherent value of the community supersede the incremental benefits with respect discrete business units (e.g.,  marketing, support, etc.). Can the customer network outgrow and outlive the short-term business goals?
    • Jim Storer: SAP is a great example of this.  Their community is practically a product in and of itself and has provided great value and insight to SAP. They have been able to save money on headcount.
    • Paul Michelman: publishing absolutely needs their customer networks to grow beyond and outlive the single book sale.  This ongoing dialogue and engagement with the customer will help the publisher understand how to cope and flourish in a rapidly changing market.
    No Comments
  • This session looks within three major enterprise 2.0 deployments, each implementing E2.0 strategies with different goals, and each achieving unexpected results that fundamentally changed how the organization fosters innovation. These organization used tactics like crowd sourcing, social networks, intranets and user generated content as part of the larger enterprise 2.0 strategies. Finally, they will discuss how the ROI is exponentially paying off through on-going innovation.

    Moderator – Aaron Fulkerson, CEO, MindTouch
    Panelist – Snehith Peddiraju, AXA Insurance
    Panelist – Lisa Underkoffler, Principal Product Manager, Adobe
    Panelist – John Benfield, Program & Portfolio Management, Metlife

    Background:

    [These are my quick notes, complete with  (what I hope is no more than) the occasional typo and grammatical error.  Please excuse those. Thanks!

    From time to time, I'll insert my own editorial comments - exercising the prerogatives of the blogger.  I'll show those in brackets. ]

    Notes:

    • AXA looked at several products, but found many were too complex in relation to the needs of their company.  They were looking for flexibility, ease of use, speed of deployment.  They liked MindTouch because it allows them to do more than just identify new ideas. They can also use it to help colleagues better understand the competitive environment.  This helped employees offer better ideas that had greater impact on AXA’s ability to compete.
    • AXA noticed through their innovation tool that one of their call centers was getting a very high volume of calls from an external partner. As a result a participant in the innovation program recommended that AXA deploy the system in question to the external partner. As a result the end-user calls went directly to the partner and were handled even more quickly than before.  They estimate that this eliminated hundreds of calls to the AXA center every mohnth.
    • AXA also has a wiki-based portal, which seem to be large-scale game changing ideas (rather than micro-changes).  They estimate that about 20% of the ideas show great promise.
    • Adobe put up an external Portal (using BrightIdeas) to increase their rate of innovation. However, initially, the site seemed to collect customer support requests.
    • Take aways from Adobe’s experience:
      • Be part of the conversation – users want to hear from the company, not just provide an idea and leave; asl for clarification; get use cases and success stories; experiment
      • Monitor the comments – you’ll learn surprising things.
      • Start small – the key is to experiment, update, adapt to what’s going on
    • Metlife: Innovate ITG
      • Their innovation initiative isabout 18 months old.
      • They deployed Spiggot for the intformation Technology Group (about 10% of the workforce), which is a globally distributed group with diverse skills and experience.
      • They implemented a formalized process, however, they are beginning to move away from the formal process
      • The formal process tended to herd people along a particular path, which led to similar ROI discussions.
      • Employees at all points on the line are participating.
      • There is no anonymity. As a result, there has been real accountability and no worries about inappropriate behavior.
      • Their system allows idea suggestion, commenting and voting on ideas.  They also allow participants to earn adn redeem rewards (e.g., various products).  However, most people participate because they are passionate about their ideas, not just because they want a reward.
      • They have generated a significant number of ideas that are patentable.  What’s remarkable is that through their innovation process/tool, members of the technology group have for the first time an opportunity to share their ideas with employees in other parts of the business.  In this case, technologists have suggested new insurance products.
      • MetLife had to integrate their innovation tool with their legacy systems (e.g., KM and SharePoint platform) to ensure easy access and full participation.
      • They had to focus on cultural issues
      • Helping people provide and receive constructive criticism
      • Keeping all the communications regarding innovation within the Tool
      • Learning the importance of Feedback – it doesn’t eliminate risk, but it does help mitigate it.
      • They started by just gathering ideas.  Now they use the tool for problem-solving
    2 Comments
  • This session focuses on using data to understand how social networks work within the enterprise and how to optimize their activities.

    ModeratorOliver Marks, Blogger, Sovos Group, ZDNet
    SpeakerRob Howard, Founder and CTO, Telligent
    PanelistSameer Patel, Partner, Sovos Group and blogger, PretzelLogic.org
    PanelistTim Young, Founder & CEO, Socialcast
    PanelistLeslie Fine, Chief Scientist, Crowdcast

    Background:

    [These are my quick notes, complete with  (what I hope is no more than) the occasional typo and grammatical error.  Please excuse those. Thanks!

    From time to time, I'll insert my own editorial comments - exercising the prerogatives of the blogger.  I'll show those in brackets. ]

    Notes:

    • Rob Howard: This session isn’t just about collecting metrics.  It’s also about superimposing a human layer over the data. The purpose is to help people find the information they need much more quickly.  This creates very efficient collaborative filtering.
    • Rob Howard: Currently, each system/silo has its own analytics.  However, the enterprise needs to interconnect these systems and then analyze performance across the enterprise.
    • Sameer Patel: The problem with metrics is that we gather information after the fact, when we can’t do anything about it.  It’s better to get data in real time and be able to do course corrections before it is too late.
    • Tim Young: Socialcast thinks that the future lies in understanding a company’s social graph/ informal organization NOT in understanding your official org chart.
    • Social network analysis is new.  Unfortunately, the old business intelligence systems can’t gather and analyze network information.
    • Rob Howard: In the past, we had little or no useful data.  Now we have a flood of data and organizations are struggling to find the best way to understand that data.
    • Audience Q: This shift from analyzing systems to looking at individuals is a little creepy.  What are the privacy implications of this?
      • Leslie Fine: They set up the system so that they look at individual information only to the extent it is given voluntarily.
      • Sameer Patel: Ideally, you’d have a global opt-in model. The organization analyses what you choose to do on the system.
      • Rob Howard: The privacy issues are still in flux. Vendors are watching Facebook carefully, as well as European privacy law developments. There are two different types of data that can be collected:
          • Explicit data – e.g. the content I contribute
          • Inferred data – e.g. when do I sign in and out; where do I work, etc.
      • Leslie Fine: Users need to get value out of it.  The key value is that users believe that these tools now give them a better way for them to communicate with management. When front-line employees feel like they have a voice that is heard by management, that is enormously powerful.
      • What’s easy and what’s hard about analytics?
        • Rob Howard:  It’s now very easy to gather metrics.  The hard part is analyzing the collected data.
        • Tim Young; We started by using simplistic success metrics (e.g., how many visits, how many activities occurred, etc.) but the more useful information is in using the social graph to measure IMPACT.
        • Sameer Patel: The difficult problem is that there is a lot of bad news that we don’t know how to surface, discuss and resolve.  Currently, the current approach to analyze and resolve is ad hoc – you sense a problem, form a committee and make recommendations. However, since data is so dynamic, these stodgy systems don’t respond fast enough or effectively.
        • Leslie Fine: We can’t create a system that acts as “a digital gotcha.”  This isn’t about focusing problems, but rather about getting to solutions faster.
      • Audience Q: How do you bridge the gap between executives who are used to judging the value of a tool based on basic web analytics (e.g., page views, number of visits, etc.) and the new social analytics (e.g., who visited, what did they think about, what did they do, etc.)
        • Rob Howard: The social analytics help you understand individual behaviors (especially the behaviors of influencers within the network) and then build strategies for expanding or modifying the behaviors of users.
        • Tim Young: One of his media customers uses social analytics to identify what their own employees are discussing, what topics are surfacing and where.  They then can help share solutions from one part of the enterprise with another.
      • Audience Q: What’s the difference between collecting data this way versus the data that is collected when we use loyalty cards from grocery stores or drugstores.
        • Oliver Marks:  The difference lies in the nature of the implied contract between the store and the customer.  In that case, the customer voluntarily provides information on their purchasing habits in exchange for promised discounts. By contrast, within the enterprise, the stakes seem much higher.  Your job could be on the line!
      • Leslie Fine: One frequent complaint is that enterprises have more data than insight.  We need to find ways to help enterprises to achieve insight.
      • Rob Howard: These analytics don’t work in just one direction. It isn’t only for the benefit of the executives. Users can benefit from the data to understand what behaviors work within the network and how to find what they need.
      • Where do you start with social data?
        • Tim Young: There needs to be some level of social activity of a decent period of time 9eg. 60-90 days) before you have enough data to analyze.  If you don’t have an explicit strategic concern, it could be interesting to see what mysteries the data expose.
        • Leslie Fine: The idea isn’t to look at the raw data and then figure out what to do. You need to start with a business problem/strategy and then mine the data for answers.
      • What are the big challenges for the next 5 years?
        • Sameer Patel: The big issue will be agility.  This includes the ability to answer customer concerns and fluid market conditions very quickly.  There needs to be more support for faster and better decisionmaking. He says that today this whole area is high stress, but soon it will be so common that it will be considered a utility.
        • Leslie Fine: With more time and data, we’ll be able to solve problems faster.
        • Rob Howard: A key to the future is to use analytics as a tool to unlock certain behavior patterns: information hoarding,network habits.  The business value is that this will help us bring information to us rather than having to go out to find information.
        • Tim Young: There two possible future paths.  If you are in a B2B enterprise, you’ll tend to operate more collaboratively.  If you are in a B2C enterprise with lots of customers, you need to focus on the coordinated network.  You’ll fiind the most value in using traditional BI to find more quickly the answers customers need.
      • Audience Q: Please give some concrete examples of companies using social analytics.
        • Leslie Fine: A particular game manufacturer knows that there’s no point in marketing great games (because they sell themselves) or rotten games (because no amount of lipstick will improve a pig).  However,  clever marketing can improve the sales of games in the middle.  This manufacturer used social analytics to identify what games really fell in that middle category and what type of marketing would be most effective.
        • Tim Young: A major retailer used social analytics to obtain insights from their employees — a small group of employees in the midwest were talking about a particular book (the Twilight series) and bought the book distribution rights before Walmart and the others.  They won exclusive rights for the first two quarters.  This translated to a huge financial win.  And this trend data came from internal social analytics, not external marketing trend data.
        • Rob Howard: The national breast cancer society uses social analytics to understand the conversations within their community to target the application of their limited resources to the problems that are most pressing to their community.
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    • Evolution of E2.0 at IBM: The Frustrations and the Glory

      SpeakerRawn Shah, Practices Lead Social Software Enablement, IBM

      SpeakerJeanne Murray, Program Manager, Social Software Adoption, IBM

      Background:

      [These are my quick notes, complete with  (what I hope is no more than) the occasional typo and grammatical error.  Please excuse those. Thanks!

      From time to time, I'll insert my own editorial comments - exercising the prerogatives of the blogger.  I'll show those in brackets. ]

      Notes:

      • The details of the IBM process are in a white paper they have written and posted online as a PDF:  Nurturing BlueIQ: Enterprise 2.0 Adoption in IBM
      • They target specific communities to mentor to high levels of social interaction within iBM
      • They “reverse mentor” executives to give them the support needed to use the technology
      • Stage 1: SEE THE VALUE – show that there are practical business uses for the social tools; demonstrate that there is a business need for these tools
        • Frustrations: the tools aren’t always ready for prime time; there are unreasonable loyalties to legacy systems and methods; audience is dismissive of tools and resistant to change.
      • Stage 2: RECOGNIZE BUSINESS CASE – connecting to people, ideas and expertise was a key business driver. As a result the networks are becoming more open and permit cross-border knowledge sharing.
        • Frustrations:  there are a multiplicity of tools that don’t always work together; the streams of information can be overwhelming; while serendipity is great, the info stream feels random and leads to worry that key items/issues are getting missed or lost all together.
      • Stage 3: MOVING BEYOND THE EARLY ADOPTERS  – this requires a simplified structure and better tools so that people use the same tool for similar activities
        • Frustrations: while there were higher levels of adoption, many of the early adopters were talking among themselves and not involving newcomers; there were multiple tools for similar tasks and some of these tools were outside the workflow; when people are doing things “socially” and in the “old way” it feels like they are doing duplicate work.
      • Stage 4: INTEGRATE WORKFLOWS – Integrating tools within workflows can take years — especially in a large organization.  These requires better processes in order to transform enterprise-wide systems.  The impact then is on everyone, not just the early adopters. Consider whether your organization is ready to handle such fundamental change.  If done right, the tools/systems become standardized across the enterprise and reshape the workflows.
        • Frustrations: The new business processes and workflows don’t necessarily mean that people have adopted new ways of thinking – they may operate according to the old way reflexively.
      • Stage 5: SHIFT PERSPECTIVE – the challenge is to change the mindset.  This means moving to thinking about sharing and abundance rather than hoarding and scarcity. People move from individual knowledge to network knowledge. How do you train people to rely on network memory rather than individual memory? How do you train people to work in such a way that optimizes the abilities and capacities of the network? However, these shifts can can be challenging because people aren’t capable of changing a lot or changing quickly.
        • Frustrations:  What do we do about uneven participation? Should we care about this? What to do about duplication or redundancy in the network? How do you help people remember to “work out loud” within the network rather than doing work and having conversations offline? How do you move things online?
      • Maturation Across the Stages:
        • Remember that parts of your organization may be at different stages of E2.0 maturation at the same time. Therefore, the leadership team needs to handle all of this simultaneously.
        • Develop guidelines and governance
        • Adoption moves from ad hoc (word of mouth) to more formal adoption methods
        • Metrics need to change over time – first track what people are doing and the analyze what this means. Move from task-specific activity to understanding behaviors, attitudes and sentiment. Real-time reporting can provide some interesting insights – but remember too much data is not a good thing. Figure out what really matters (and to whom), then focus on the metrics that deliver answers to those questions.
        • infrastructure – this whole process started as  an experiment, an innovation space.  Now it has to move to an official system, with service levels that are scaled for a global company.
      • The road ahead: once the users/network get a little further along the path, the users/network become smarter than the adoption leadership team.  At that point, you need to be sure that you can funnel ideas back from the users to the adoption team.
      • The role of the adoption leadership team is to codify best/next practices; provide support to early adopters and lonely adopters; help provide ideas rather than doing operational work or tools deployment.
      • The process requires constant and diverse education of users.
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    • Vinnie Mirchandani is the author of The New Polymath.  This book is about enterprises that are able to put together a variety of disciplines and technologies to generate innovative solutions.

      Background:

      [These are my quick notes, complete with  (what I hope is no more than) the occasional typo and grammatical error.  Please excuse those. Thanks!

      From time to time, I'll insert my own editorial comments - exercising the prerogatives of the blogger.  I'll show those in brackets. ]

      Notes:

      • Polymaths are renaissance people (e.g., da Vinci) – people who seemingly effortlessly master and combine knowledge of many disciplines (e.g., art, science, philosophy, etc.)
      • The new polymaths are companies that are able to bring to gather a wider variety of expertise
      • Traits of the E2.0 Community
        • Ambitious group focused on grand challenges
        • People rather than machine centric
        • Early adopters of social networks
        • Well connected
        • Ethical – advocates for transparency
        • Very media savvy
      • 5 Challenges for the E2.0 Community:
        • Facilitating And NOT or = enabling the polymath approach of incorporating many talents and communities. Moving beyond the historical source of talent (employees and contractors). Use social media and networks to find the right people for a particular project.
        • Monetize the Social Customer traditional CRM is about the lifetime value of the customer. Social CRM focuses on the the “referral” value of the customer. Early social CRM successes: Avon Mark, Starbucks, Pepsi, etc.
        • Help enterprises navigate not-so-flat earth = there are rapid infrastructure changes and social impact – we need to assess the social patterns that emerge from changes in infrastructure.
        • Help enterprises understand changing talent pools – e.g., in the US jobs that used to go offshore are now going to smaller US areas (rural sourcing)
        • Ethics – Focus beyond transparency. There are some many issues that are not getting the attention they deserve. For example the food/fuel trade off = what’s the energy cost of producing food?
        • We can’t seem to get past privacy. Other critical ethical issues are being ignored. The E2.0 community needs to be able to convene an “ethics committee” to help us to thoughtfully consider the ethical issues surrounding technology.  We can follow the model of ethics committees in hospitals.
        • We should be building doomsday “BlackSwan” PR scenarios for our enterprises. BP is struggling to stay on top of the social media impact of the Gulf Spill.
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