Reflections on the Enterprise 2.0 Summit 2012 in Paris

If you asked me for one key takeaway from the Enterprise 2.0 Summit that happened this week in Paris, this would probably be it:

 “Our understanding of the sophistication of Enterprise 2.0 has grown. There is no one way of doing Enterprise 2.0”

Rawn Shah

I know what you’re thinking: this quote has in itself more questions and possibilities than answers and certainties. But that’s exactly it! That’s where we – those trying to transform the way our businesses work and connect on the inside and outside – stand: with more experimentation ahead, no best practices (*winks at Luis Suarez*) to tell us the way (only good practices that we could try to replicate in our own organizations and see how things go), and a whole lot to learn and make sense of by discussing together our doubts, concerns, questions and worries. And this is where I was expecting more from the Summit.

I know that expectations are a pain but I had them. When you see renowned experts raising awareness around the need to integrate social software into the flow of work, around the importance of social software to address pain points and impact business performance and around the connection between systems of records and systems of engagement, and when you see teasers such as this one about the connection of content management & social, a very important topic especially in document-centric organizations, you somehow expect to see these topics handled and discussed not in smaller parallel sessions but in the main stage of the Summit.

I put the emphasis on discussing because let’s be honest: if an event such as the Enterprise 2.0 Summit is not the place to have the difficult matters discussed, trying to collectively make sense of them , then where should we do it? I would have liked to see us handle together these issues as we handled the Dundu puppet in the photo.

Please do not think that I undervalue the success stories shared at the Summit, on the contrary! I like to see that more and more organizations (Danone, Alcatel-Lucent, JC Decaux, Saint-Gobain) are embracing a new way of collaborating and connecting their employees. It’s just that in the end I have to seek my own success stories but I could benefit much more from knowing the “dark side” of those that have been embarking on this adventure for some time now. Maybe that’s why the presentation of Alcatel-Lucent by Jerome Colombe resonated so much with me.

Apart from some expectations unmet, Enterprise 2.0 was, as expected, a great opportunity to catch up with good folks such as Samuel Driessen, Cordelia Krooß, Daniel Pankatz, Lee Provoost, Luis Suarez, David Demetrius, Emanuele Quintarelli, Richard Collin and Jenny Ambrozek, and to meet some new cool people such as Rawn Shah, Mark Masterson, Jean-Yes Huwart and many many more. And I had the special privilege of sharing this experience with friend and partner in side projects Ana Neves!

The Summit ended in beauty with the inspirational keynote of Dion Hinchcliffe, someone I greatly admire and whose work I follow closely because I always learn so much!

The Enterprise 2.0 crowd is definitely a great one and I just hope we keep meeting and moving the discussion on the future of work & businesses forward!

If you want to check some summaries of the different sessions of the Summit you should read this and this blog. For me it is time to do that myself, go back to my own notes, and have time to reflect on the learnings of the conference.

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7 thoughts on “Reflections on the Enterprise 2.0 Summit 2012 in Paris

  1. Hi Ana, Good to read your reflections on the Summit. Hope to post mine soon!
    I agree with you: we need more discussions during the Summit. And/or we need more detail in the cases. What was really done, what went right and wrong (pitfalls!), etc. I think by discussing the cases in detail we can help each other move forward and learn the subtle and hard work it takes to get social in the enterprise right.
    Another thing I also saw is the huge gap between the experienced and the starters. There’s a small group of experience e2.0-ers and a large group of participants that have just started. Bridging this gap in a conference is challenging.

    And thanks for the mention(s). It was great meeting you too! :-)

    • Thank you for the comment Samuel! Agree with on “Bridging this gap in a conference is challenging”, it sure is! Hope to see you again soon :)

  2. Good on ya for keep’n it real. What you’re suggesting is a lot of what goes on behind the walled garden here in the Council. When the Council was first formed, the e20 sector was just blossoming. Now that e20 is widely in “production” (whatever that is) around the world, we are opening up the conversation much more widely to embrace everyone who’s facing the challenges and opportunities presented, as e20 grows. Very soon, we will be able to bring all our alumni back (including Samuel!), as well as encourage smart e20 folks like yourself to join in on the unfolding conversation. So, stay tuned. Not that we all want to focus on “the dark side,” but the slips and stumbles provide a great (risk-free) learning environment for all members.

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