Corporate Australia (finally) engages in Web 2.0 and virtual worlds


There was a good article in The Australian on Tuesday titled Taking residence in virtual worlds, which looked at what some of Australia’s leading companies are doing with Web 2.0 technologies. It quoted me:

“Almost all major Australian organisations have put this on their radar and begun trials,” Future Exploration Network chairman Ross Dawson says.

“Next year is when this will be a standard approach or framework to look at how organisations shift information architecture. In most cases it’s not a question of taking out existing tech but using complementary systems.”

I have spent much of the last month or so speaking to Australia’s leading companies, technology journalists, and thought leaders in the field in order to uncover the best examples of Enterprise 2.0 in Australia to showcase at Future Exploration Network’s Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum on 19 February 2008 in Sydney. More on what I have uncovered and the event itself shortly – there are many very exciting developments on the forum to share.

Certainly what I have found is that just about every major organization has at least a toe in the Enterprise 2.0 waters at least somewhere within the folds of its operations. One innovator in one of Australia’s largest organizations, with a larger international than domestic presence, told me of a number of interesting initiatives in one of its business units, then said, “but of course we’d be forced to shut it down if the senior executives found out about it.” In other cases initiatives are not deliberately hidden from executives, but they receive no support. However a good proportion of organizations are engaging in officially sanctioned pilots of wikis or blogs, taking steps to make social networking useful, or using other social media tools. The majority are pretty early stage, and not experiments they care to share externally. However we are getting to the point at which there are solid examples of corporates getting real value from Enterprise 2.0 approaches.

Read more

Corporate bloggers set up council to share and promote best practices


This is good. A new organization, the Blog Council, has just launched. To quote their release:

CHICAGO, December 6, 2007 — The Blog Council, a professional community of top global brands dedicated to promoting best practices in corporate blogging, officially launched today. Founding members include the leading companies from a diverse range of business sectors: AccuQuote, Cisco Systems, The Coca-Cola Company, Dell, Gemstar-TV Guide, General Motors, Kaiser Permanente, Microsoft, Nokia, SAP, and Wells Fargo.

The Blog Council exists as a forum for executives to meet one another in a private, vendor-free environment and share tactics, offer advice based on past experience, and develop standards-based best practices as a model for other corporate blogs.

Read more

Review of Day One of Enterprise 2.0 conference – Sydney 3 December


A quick review of Day One of IIR’s Enterprise 2.0 conference. After my opening keynote, including my six lessons on Enterprise 2.0, Steve Hodgkinson of Ovum addressed the question, ‘Does Your Organisation Need Enterprise 2.0?’ One of the great examples he used is, which allows individuals to submit work orders to their local council to fix things. While this is just a website someone has set up, councils are actively responding to the requests. Or at least some are, and it’s easy to find which councils are and aren’t responding to their constituents’ complaints. Steve also presented a useful framework on the relevance of Enterprise 2.0 to organizations, as below, which comes from an interesting Ovum report on Enterprise 2.0.


Factors that influence the extent to which an organization will need, or value, enterprise 2.0

Nigel Watson of Microsoft described the history of blogging at Microsoft, from the early days through to the breadth of blogging across the enterprise that there is today. While I’m familiar with the history, it was good to hear it again. I didn’t realize that Microsoft doesn’t have an explicit blogging policy, and that Microsoft’s general employee policies are seen as sufficient. One of Microsoft’s interesting internal social media channels is Academy Mobile, which uses mobile delivery for its online learning content.

Read more

Keynote: The Potential of Enterprise 2.0 – Six Lessons for Success


I will be doing the opening keynote at tomorrow’s Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Sydney. The slides are below for reference purposes for those who attended. As always, note that the slides are not very meaningful without the accompanying speech, explanations, and case studies.

While the slides are similar to the presentation I did at KMWorld in Silicon Valley a few weeks ago, the overall positioning and messages are quite different.

This is best reflected in the closing “Six Lessons for Enterprise 2.0” I will offer in tomorrow’s keynote, summarized below:

1. Make governance an enabler. The reason why most large organizations are slow to adopt Enterprise 2.0 tools is that senior executives are uncertain about the implications, and as a result cautious or worse. Governance needs to be in place to allay those fears, without stifling the emergent, participative nature of how the new tools create value for organizations.

2. Start from business applications, not tools. Far too often people want to implement blogs, wikis, tagging, or other tools. This is completely the wrong way around. The starting point has to be a specific business application, such as project management, product development, sales support or any number of functions that relate directly to business value.

Read more

Opening keynote/ video interview: IIR Enterprise 2.0 event – Sydney 3 December


Conference organizer IIR will be first off the block with a conference on Enterprise 2.0 in Australia, with their Enterprise 2.0 event on 3-5 December in Sydney. At Future Exploration Network we had originally planned to run our Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum that week, so we had to rethink when IIR set their conference dates to coincide with ours. What we ended up doing is that we rescheduled our event to 19 February, I agreed to do the opening keynote at the IIR conference, and we will be allowed to distribute information about our Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum at the IIR event.


My opening keynote at the IIR confernce will be on:

The Potential of Enterprise 2.0

* Applying Web 2.0 to the enterprise

* Understating the foundations of Enterprise 2.0

* Outstanding examples from Australia and internationally

* Understanding key implementation issues

* The Future of Enterprise 2.0

I’ll post more detailed notes and content from my keynote after the conference.

Aside from my keynote, there are a wealth of interesting presentations scheduled at the event, including from vendors such as Atlassian and Socialtext, case studies from companies including AGIMO, Telstra, Janssen-Cilag, Cochlear, Google, and NineMSN, and analysts such as Ovum and Ernst & Young. It will be a great kick-off for putting Enterprise 2.0 on the agenda for corporate Australia. The attendance fee is rather substantial compared to that for Future Exploration Network’s Executive Forum, though ours is a highly intense half-day event compared to the two days plus for the IIR event.

I did a video interview for IIR to help them promote the event, particularly in helping to explain to organizations why this is an important and relevant topic. The interview is below.

Successful Enterprise 2.0 and Social Media: Speech at KMWorld 2007


Today I am speaking at KMWorld 2007 in Silicon Valley on Successful Enterprise 2.0 and Social Media. The speech is based on Future Exploration Network’s Web 2.0 Framework, and how the framework can be applied to setting and implementing successful strategies for Enterprise 2.0.

I’ve provided the slideshow below, mainly for people who attend my presentation. As a speaker, I don’t believe in duplicating all the content of the speech in a presentation – slides should be visual cues to accompany what I am speaking about. So if you weren’t at the speech, don’t expect the presentation to make complete sense on its own, though you can get the general gist of the ideas and content by flipping through.

Alternatively download the slides as a pdf (2.9MB)

Here is a summary of the key points of the presentation:

Read more

The state of Enterprise 2.0: adoption has begun in earnest


Dion Hinchcliffe has written a very good piece titled The State of Enterprise 2.0 giving an overview of where we are. He says:

Increasing evidence abounds that Enterprise 2.0 adoption has begun in earnest with a typical example being Wells Fargo taking the plunge, having rolled out Enterprise 2.0 platforms to 160,000 workers. It has become clear that we’re moving out of the early pioneer phase to a broader acceptance phase. From the production side, a brand new analysis indicates that the business social software market will be nearly $1 billion strong this year and over $3.3 billion by 2011. In these and other ways, such as the growing collection of success stories, Enterprise 2.0 has arrived.

Dion goes on to list seven lessons on what we’ve learned on Enterprise 2.0. I have to wholeheartedly agree with every point, particularly the last one. I’ll expand more on this soon.

Go to the post for full details on each of the lessons.

Read more

Announcing Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum: Sydney, 19 February 2008


Future Exploration Network is running an Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum in Sydney on 19 February 2008. The event website is at

The official description and current speakers are below. I also thought it was worth providing a bit of background to the event.

The genesis was at our Web 2.0 in Australia event, which was such a big success that it was clear we should do more on related topics. The event was at complete capacity, and we had to turn away all applications for two weeks before the event. Having been deeply involved in the enterprise space for many years, including working extensively on corporate knowledge management strategies in the 1990s, writing about corporate blogging in 2002 in my book Living Networks, organizing the Collaboration in Financial Services conference in New York in 2003, and applying network analysis to organizations globally for many years now, Enterprise 2.0 was an obvious topic to move on to. For well over five years now I have closely followed the application of Web 2.0 and social media tools inside organizations. This is now not only a mainstream business topic, it is also a phenomenon that over the next years will help transform how organizations work.

Read more

Interview on Sky Business on Enterprise 2.0 and social networks in organizations


I will be interviewed on Sky Business tomorrow (Friday) evening on the use of Facebook and other social networks in organizations, and the emergence of Enterprise 2.0 as a driver of how companies function.

As soon as I find out what time the segment will be on I’ll post it here. I’ll also make a few notes on the interview. Good that these topics are getting finally more solid attention.

[Update:] Sky Business’s Business Report will air my interview between 8.30 and 9pm on Nov 2

Implementing Web 2.0 is critical for attracting talent to legal and professional firms


A recent article in Lawyers Weekly magazine titled Firms warned to embrace Web 2.0 opens as follows:

AUSTRALIAN LAW firms risk losing clients as well as talent if they don’t make use of Web 2.0 technologies, an expert warns.

Ross Dawson, chairman of Future Exploration Network, said that Australian firms are lagging far behind their US and UK counterparts, which are leading the way when it comes to adopting new web technologies.

“If you look at the corporate sector globally, the industry that has been one of the first to take up blogs has been the legal industry, primarily in the US and UK. So you’ve had a proliferation of blogs that are both external in terms of providing clients with information and internal ones used for a wide variety of means including project management, knowledge management, and effective internal communication,” Dawson said.

“One of the fundamental issues is that organisations in Australia tend to be conservative. And while it’s arguable the legal industry is also quite conservative in other countries, that can certainly be said about the Australian legal industry.”

Dawson, who specialises in assisting major global organisations to develop future strategies and innovation capabilities, said technologies such as blogs, wikis, social networks, RSS feeds and social bookmarking are of most direct relevance to information- and knowledge-centric organisations such as law firms.

“Ultimately [if you don’t embrace these technologies] you’ll lose to competitors in terms of their use of these tools and their ability to bring people together and collaborate. There is now a whole suite of technologies and tools and approaches for this purpose and if organisations don’t take that up they are not as competitive or effective as others.

Read more