My good friend and buzzword slayer Mike Riversdale, is in the habit of slaying the dragons of enterprise newspeak. He regularly bemoans organizations whose collaboration strategy is articulated (somewhat facetiously) by the title above – you know, the organization who pay lip service to collaboration and fully believe that it’s a technical issue rather than a cultural one.

It’s an issue I come to time and time again in two distinct fields – collaboration and social media.

In the social media space it generally rears its head in the form of a large business that wants to “do” social media – either because they see it happening in other business and want to play with the cool kids or (and sadly more often) because some “expert” preaches to them the need for social media (see the Social media Guru video below);

Generally these sorts of organization may implement the social media initiatives, but somehow forget the importance of enabling the initiatives through an organizational cultural shift.

At the recent Enterprise 2.0 conference in San Francisco, Bevin Hernandez from Penn State University gave a presentation looking at the success they’ve had rolling out ThoughtFarmer as a collaborative platform. She shared a cool video that showed some of the same issues, but in the collaboration area;

NEO from Bevin Hernandez on Vimeo.

It’s something my friends who practice in the Enterprise 2.0 space come up against time and time again – but we’re our own worst enemies. I walked the expo floor at Enterprise 2.0 and was depressed to overhear the conversations going on in the booths – everyone is declaring themselves a collaboration platform, focusing on the whiz-bang technology and forgetting all the things that actually matter – culture shift, migration easing, barriers to adoption.

It was discussed in the back channels at Enterprise 2.0 ad nauseum, the need to move away from technology and really find the value, look at the culture and ease the transition.

So yeah, collaboration huh, make mine a double… with cream


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Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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