In my last post I pointed at the fact employees could not be considered as normal people since they operate in a rationalized and constrained context that prevent them for being in the worplace the people they are when they're outside. This consideration is far from trivial when any organization has to understand on which levers to rely on to make people adopt new ways of work and to new tools to get their work done.
At the time I posted it I did not imagine how accurate it would become a few weeks later.
These last days I attended the famous Enterprise 2.0 conference and my experience was like a learning journey since, from the first to the last day, I have the impression to have traveled from the "it's about people" world to the "people are employees" one.
To make it short, my very first session was a brilliant workshop about best practices in E20 adoption led by the 2.0 adoption council and the last was a session also ran by the Council where attendees could express which of their expectations were not met by the conference agenda. And what do you think did happen in this last one ? There was a very massive demand for tackling business processes, metrics and cultural issues.
I'm not saying that a process driven approach is needed to replace the engagement, enthusiasm and passion driven one but that both are needed, each one being a side of a comprehensive transformation strategy. It helps to deal with three things :
- cultural issues that force to find a rational entry point to bring new behaviors and tools in the workplace for people who are distrustful and suspicious about the organization, don't want to over-engage or over-expose themselves.
- the schizophrenia of organizations that are trying to take the most out their human capital in a knowledge based economy and want to rely on known and measurable processes to remain manageable (what does not mean some of these processes should not be fixed or lightened), and are looking for a way to make both approaches compatible.
- the need for measurable and tangible business results beyond tools related metrics that never proves that social activity has been turned into business value.
Dealing with these issues will be key to enterprise 2.0 maturity and will determine the ability to build value driven cases and methodologies that will both rely on adoption (employees side) and integration (business side). And then only we'll be able to say that enterprise 2.0 is a mainstream new way of doing business more efficiently that is relevant and senseful to both people and organizations.