Notes from Andrew McAfee on What Corporate America Thinks of Enterprise 2.0 from SXSW

Sorry, I got there about 30 minutes late, and so I have only partial notes for this session.


Andrew McAfee
What Corporate America Thinks about Enterprise 2.0
#corpamericathink
  • How to talk to your bosses about technology
    • Use before and after comparisons instead of demos
      • example: search using MIT’s internal search, versus Google search
        • when i want to find the MIT search site, I use Google
        • “strength weak ties”
        • “granovetter weak ties”
        • 49 search results from MIT research, but not one was the right one
        • use Google Scholar
          • granovetter weak ties
          • first result: the right paper, can download the full text, the list of citations, etc.
      • google scholar put together in someone’s spare time over a few months
    • Present theories and frameworks, not jargon
      • grounded in bullet-proof previous work
      • example: a knowledge worker’s view of the enterprise
        • concentric circles
          • none -> potential -> weak -> strong ties
        • then explain how facebook helps build, strengthen, manage the weak ties
    • Present data, case studies, narratives
      • Not about Google, Amazon, etc.
      • “I make dog food for a living, literally, my company is 60 years old, not 10, college students aren’t running to work here, I’m not Google”
      • Examples:
        • Internal Uses Case Study
          • Access to Knowledge (68% report 30% improvement)
        • “We can’t do it because we have security concerns” --> Really, because the CIA is doing it, and they have some serious security
        • “If only HP knew what HP knows, we would be three times more productive” - Lew Platt, Former Hewlett-Packard CEO
    • Activate Peer effects
    • Anticipate and allay concerns
      • don’t wait for the questions, and don’t appear to be some dewy-eyed technologist. 
    • Show that you understand their problems is very important
    • Don’t treat business colleagues like geeks, or dopes
      • Very few are geeks
      • None like to be talked down to
      • Don’t talk to them like they are part of the problem
  • 2.0 Adoption Council - http://www.20adoptioncouncil.com 
    • Helps people get 2.0 stuff adopted inside corporate organizations
  • Questions
    • How does Enterprise 2.0 related to new leadership inside organizations?
      • The job of a leader is to find the spark of genius inside an organization -- Nelson Mandela
      • So many times I have found people inside an organization saying “Yes, I have that data you’re looking for, no one here is interested in”. 
      • The technology toolkit to find these sparks of genius has gone from zero to 60 in just a few years
    • Age demographics of workers
      • The default mode of working has switched from working in private to working in public -- at a certain age group
      • It’s a really important shift, and many older knowledge workers have a had time adapting to that.
      • “The world can benefit from some of our point-to-point interactions if they are done in public.” -- some undergrads explained to McAfee
      • “Why would I wait until my work is done to share it? Then it is too late to get any help.”
    • Forward thinking executives now understand customer service has shifted, the expectations have shifted. The corporation is no longer driving the customer message.
      • it takes time
      • a technology revolution does not immediately create an organizational revolution
      • the organization needs to get the message from the top. if they think it is just another flavor of the month, then they’ll wait it
    • what about organizations in the public sector: governments, academia, etc. seem slow to adopt.
      • there are more similarities than differences, but one key thing is that business is in competition, and if they don’t keep up, they will fail. government doesn’t have that pressure. 
    • what about the cluetrain manifesto
      • it is very focused on the marketing communication...how to deal with current and prospective customers
      • the marketshare of old things versus new things is shifting, but not as apocalyptic as they described
    • tried to implement yammer in organization, and it failed miserably. now i am afraid to try anything else.
      • if you are a believer, try to address a different part of the organization or a different need.
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