Friday, November 18, 2011

Enterprise 2.0 - Part 2.0

Earlier this week, I wrote of the mind meld that is Enterprise 2.0. The Santa Clara Convention Center and the Twitter back channel was filled with awesomeness this week. Consultants, Entrepreneurs and Community Advocates from Major Corporations gathered to contribute their Thought Leadership in development of a strategic approach to Social Media.

As a Social Media Evangelist, I can say this conference was equal parts inspiring and alarming. We are always trying to use technology to support our companies and customers in the best way possible. We want to keep up with trends while protecting our public reputation. It's tricky!

I pointed out the superstars of the convention earlier this week. Today I have a few take aways to challenge those who believe in the power of social media.

The Art of Presenting
I've been to a thousand conferences.....Human Resources, Training, Coaching, Sales, Music Industry....whatever. The thing that differentiates tech conferences like Dreamforce, Tech Crunch and E 2.0 from the others is the matter in which people present.

Two Things to Consider:
1. It seems a lot of the population in the tech industry are young entrepreneurs who are programmers by nature.
2. The Tech Crunch Ethos has created a very narrow window for presenting.

The aforementioned pre-qualifiers make for presentations that are either really good or really bad. The Great Aaron Levie of Box gave a super-charged keynote that included a plethora of information at rapid fire pace. He was focused, fluid, and passionate about the topic he presented. The Twitter back channel seemed lost in his pace of verbosity.....but I thought it was the perfect way to present.

A few things Presenters should be aware of:
1. Don't Product Dump!
2. Don't Tell Us About YOUR company exclusively
3. Act like you are actually interested in your topic
4. Deliver your message with passion

I would consider presenting at Enterprise 2.0 to be a pretty big deal. I was surprised how many people were unprepared. Just kind of reading slides. I understand that not everyone is comfortable presenting in front of people. All you need is a little humor, some energy, and a message that your audience can relate to.

At Dreamforce I saw an Executive from a Fortune 20 get in front of the audience and talk about her company...on and on and on.....The fact that this person is a Millionaire is disconcerting. If I am in the audience to improve my organizational strategy, I don't need a case study on YOUR company's success. I need you to tell me how your strategy can enhance my company. Show me the WHY not the WHAT.

The most heated back channel discussion at E 2.0 involved Gamification. There are emerging companies that are using game theory to engage their employees. The crowd of ferociously competitive young professionals seemed put off by the idea that "work" would be a "game". Gen Y stereotype dispelled!

Gamification is a slippery slope. I have no issue with adding a creative way of bringing employees into a forum to showcase their degree of engagement. We got a peek at VMware's Niko Niko, a single-touch daily employee feedback function. There are other concepts of Avatar driven virtual rewards that employees seem to view as a waste of time. As long as the metrics of the "game" attach business critical behaviors to organizational directives a little creative design never hurts.

You Are Welcome   
As evolved as Social Media has become, it can still be a good old boys/girls club. In participating in Social Media people also submit themselves to criticism. The attendees at E 2.0 seem to be aware of this and were thus massively supportive. In a Twitter back channel of thousands of posts, I saw very little negativity. People were also willing to have in-person discussions. The mood was profoundly upbeat. There was not a feeling of competition but a Community of Collaboration. It feels great to walk into a conference with the willingness to share without being judged. Thanks to everyone who made me feel at home in Santa Clara.

Parting Message:
Adoption is Social Media's greatest challenge. People are apprehensive to participate in social media for fear they will have their message misinterpreted, will be judged, and will ultimately have their reputation (and the reputation of their company) damaged.

For those who participate in social media forums.
* Judge Not!
* Try to see all sides
* Be Positive

For those on the I stated earlier this week, Social Media is no longer the elephant in the room ~ it is a Fire Breathing Dragon! It is not a fad, it is not going away, and it will be a pre-qualifier for your next job! It is very important to put your predisposition aside and get your feet wet.

Know this, your reputation will not be damaged if your intentions are good:
a. Share in the interest of everyone
b. Don't assume people think a certain way by researching their profile/company
c. Don't be an asshole!


Don't Forget to Remember!

- Dave Kovacovich

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