It’s always a pleasure for me to attend an event where I don’t have to be “on” all the time. It’s delightful to sit back and listen to other people’s perspectives, to absorb a different set of attitudes about a topic. Last week, I attended Enterprise 2.0, or as it has now been renamed E2.0, in Boston. After reading Bill Ives’ recent blog, I was inspired to share some of my thoughts.
The title of this blog is a line from Richard Foo’s keynote. Richard is the Director of Collaboration at Nike and he shared some of the lessons he’s learned as Nike put in place a social platform. A strong undercurrent of his presentation is the inherent belief that the company’s strength lies in its diversity. With that in mind, they sought to organize a number of collaborative projects that were underway into a more consistent program, but still give employees the applications and personal productivity tools they need to get their work done. Some of the principles they adhere to:
- Mobile first, desktop second.
- Going to the system changes to the system coming to me.
- Focus on creating new connections instead of using existing connections.
How do they get people to work differently? Create compelling reasons why people want to change. Help people see the value of working in a new way. Explain it in meaningful but simple ways.
Bryan Barringer from FedEx used his keynote time to tell the audience about his experiences with gamification as a means of sharing knowledge. He used a little experiment with the audience to prove the point. He said he was thinking of a number between 1 and 100. He then asked the audience to call out the number they thought it was. When the guess was too low, he would give that feedback and someone else would shout out a higher number. If the next guess was too high, he would give that feedback and someone else would shout out a lower number. Within a few tries, someone got really close to the number he was thinking of – 52. He had illustrated our innate human desire to win the game by guessing the right number. He went on to describe how he used these principles to get people involved in collaboration. My tweetable phrase from his talk was: the more that knowledge is shared, the more relevant it becomes.
Another very interesting part of the keynote was the experiment Michael Wu from Lithium ran. He asked attendees to tweet their thoughts about his presentation using a specified hashtag. Then at the end of his talk, he presented a social network visualization of the people who had tweeted. Here is the image and link to the NodeXL Graph Gallery.
Two concepts were mentioned over and over again at the event: gamification and analytics. There is much misunderstanding about both. Gamification is more than putting games on top of work practices or simply enticing people with badges. It’s about understanding human motivation and encouraging people to keep trying, even against daunting odds. Analytics is more than just counting stuff and producing pretty reports. It’s about seeking meaningful insight and using that knowledge to make better decisions. Both of these topics will factor heavily in my research going forward.