I just finished interviewing Bevin Hernandez who led the Penn State University enterprise collaboration project. During our discussions she shared an interesting bit of insight. Bevin stated that not having an in-depth strategy is a strategy in and of itself; instead it is more important to be adaptable. A similar sentiment was also echoed by other organizations that I have interviewed and have been speaking with. In fact I can’t really recall an organization telling me that they developed an in-depth enterprise collaboration strategy at all.
Is Planning Necessary?
I’m not implying or suggesting that organizations close their eyes, select a collaboration platform and then wish upon a star. However there is something to be said for “doing” rather than planning. Organizations need to understand and be prepared for the bit of uncharted territory that is going to come from these new emergent collaboration initiatives.
Failure to some degree is inevitable but just as we don’t give up on a baby learning to walk we also shouldn’t give up on an organization seeking to evolve. When Vistaprint first started their collaboration initiatives they used Mediawiki and had to put together a 15 person wiki mark-up team to help train the rest of the organization (this of course was unforeseen during the initial discussions but Vistaprint adapted). When Intuit first developed and launched into their E2.0 initiatives they had no idea that their time to market would decrease by over 60%.
The point is that organizations seeking to involve themselves in Enterprise 2.0 need to understand that there is going to be a large “black box” effect that just cannot be predicted, but that’s really that big of a deal. We never know what tomorrow brings yet we wake up and adjust to what comes our way, employees never really know how secure their jobs are yet they go in every day and work. The same is true for E2.0.
If an In-depth Strategy Isn’t the Answer Then What Is?
I believe the best approach to start is by addressing a series of considerations that key stakeholders need to discuss. Organizations seeking to implement Enterprise 2.0 need to consider the following talking points: