Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Enterprise 2.0 Conference, Day 2: Canadian Diplomacy and A Sense of Purpose

Deb Lavoy of OpenText spoke elequently about enteprise purpose. 

The ideal company no longer runs like a "well-oiled machine" but is a mesh of minds producing and learning.  They can predict failure of enterprise application deployment based solely on whether the group has a strong sense of purpose.
Among people with purpose "Their common cores are aligned to a magnetic north. Personal politics takes a back seat."
The very handsome Tyler Knowlton of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Canada told a great story about helping the G20.
One year ago--he was in Toronto working on G20 meeting, his team in charge of electronic / social communications.  Working with the G20 is challenging. The subject matter is complex. G20 has a rotating presidency. Each host / president starts from scratch. The lack of a central repository was frustrating. 

The central delegate was sick of dealing with long email chains, lists, versions, and so forth.  The delegate wanted to apply some of the thinking of Tyler's team to the problem.
He said that if they could come up with it in one month, and it worked, he'd pitch it to the other delegates. They had to switch gears to get tied into the G20 institution.
Email was just the pain point that got the delegate thinking. What they really needed was a system for multilateral negotations, communicating and collaborating.

Three things changed.
First, his team became much more ambitious. They felt that they were feeding into the "big picture." The more work they got, the bigger their contribution.

Second, they became confident and critical.

Third, they became very creative. They had artists, political strategists, web developers. He's learned that parameters foster creativity. Forced thinking about what they had to do, quickly.
They developed something relevant, but also exciting (I wish he had talked more about what they actually rolled out).
They dealt with Korea, and are now talking to France, and are alreading talking to Mexico. The other G20 office was disbanded, but their work is continuing to contribute to the G20 effort.

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