Bert Sandie Keynote: The Biggest Challenge is Culture [#e2conf]

Bertie Sandie (Electronic Arts) says that the biggest challenge for Enterprise 2.0 is creating and maintaining a culture of collaboration. He asks is we have a roadmap for creating a culture of collaboration.

[These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2011 in Boston.  Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error.  Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]


  • What can be done to foster collaboration?Give them virtual and physcial places to share and then acknowledge their contribution. (Electronic Arts copies the contributor’s supervisor on the acknowledgement in order to provide positive reinforcement.) You also need to create an environment that stimulates collaboration. EA actually has physical spaces that encourage people to gather and share ideas (complete with comfortable seats and whiteboards). They remove barriers and move people in order to ensure lots of cross-fertilization.
  • Organizaton Affects Collaboration. How are your people organized? In pods, teams, divisions, business units? Is each level of the organization optimized for collaboration? Each level will have a different culture of collaboration and one culture may not transfer easily to another part of the organization. Nonetheless, it is possible to improve culture in real-time by well-designed team building exercises.
  • Change Management is Hard.Sandie cautions us that most change management and culture change efforts fail. There are a variety of models (see John Kotter), but you will need to develop a model that works well in your environment. At EA they focus on Heads, Hearts and Hands. This means changing how people think, feel and act. Sandie works in corporate learning and leads workshops to help lead change.