There have been a lot of great summaries of what was discussed at last week’s Enterprise 2.0 show in Boston. But for me, the most interesting topic was one that wasnot discussed: Culture.
That’s a big change.
Right up until a few months ago, Enterprise 2.0 discourse was dominated by a movement which I like to call the “Culture Crusade.” A collection of practitioners, analysts, consultants, and vendors alike have been saying that changing organizational culture is the key to successful deployment of enterprise social software. “If you don’t have a collaborative culture,” says the crusader, “all the tools in the world won’t help you.” The crusaders cited culture as the reason for failed implementations that led to the familiar phrase, “The tools were great, but we just don’t have the culture.” Consultants exhorted companies to make sure that their social software projects included a cultural change component.
Last week, the Enterprise 2.0 world turned a corner. Nobody pounded the table for cultural change. Nobody talked about incentives or change management. Nobody talked about transparency or modeling collaborative behavior.
Instead, people talked aboutprocess.
Eugene Lee focused his keynote on process. Mike Gotta and Marcia O’Conner talked about it in a breakout on microblogging. Rachel Happe, Dennis Howlett, Sameer Patel, and Ted Schaedler talked about it in our sidebar conversations and on blogs. The growing consensus: Social software delivers business value when it integrates with business process.