Friday, 27 January 2012

Enterprise 2.0 in Europe (and the Enterprise 2.0 Summit)


   I didn’t manage to attend either of the Enterprise 2.0 Conferences (Boston or Santa Clara) last year, though I did get to the Social Business Summit in Milan.  As I’ve posted previously, that’s partly because I think work on E2.0 here is catching up with E2.0 there, and so there’s not the same need to travel.

But this post on the forthcoming Enterprise 2.0 Summit in Paris did get me thinking about the differences between in E2.0 adoption between the US and Europe, and within the countries here.

In this post, Bjoern Negelmann suggests that German preference for decentralisation leads to a focus on knowledge sharing between co-workers as the basis for their enterprise 2.0 activities.  In France however, the preference is for social networking leading to a focus on relationships (“the indirect / network effects of being interconnected”).

I think there’s something to this.  Negelmann mentions Hofstede, but you can also see the impacts in the research of Laurent, Trompenaars / Hampden-Turner and the more recent GLOBE study.  For example, the greatest differences in cultural practices between Germany and France in in this, are:

In Group Collectivism Germany 4.0 – France 4.4

Assertiveness Germany 4.6 – France 4.1

  • I think you can see from these differences that there will be a preference for relating to enhance collaboration in France (note GLOBE’s assertiveness score is also about confrontation and aggressiveness in relationships).


Uncertainty Avoidance Germany 5.2 – France 4.4

Future Orientation Germany 4.3 – France 3.5

  • And here, I think you can see that there will be a preference for managing knowledge to mitigate risk in Germany.


Negelmann is also correct in suggesting that you can also see the indirect results of these differences, eg through the positive and negative impacts of the France cadre system.

It’s more difficult to work through how Europe differs from the US however.  The US’ scores for in group collectivism are similar to France and its assertiveness more like Germany.  Its scores for uncertainty avoidance are similar to France and its future orientation to Germany.  I’m not sure how this supports differences I’ve seen between Europe and the US, but then I’m not too sure how I’d describe these differences anyway – other than perhaps that the benefits US companies are after seem less clear, or less strategic – eg focusing on saving travel expenses.  It doesn’t help, of course, that, as the differences between France and Germany show, there’s not really any such thing as Europe anyway (leading to Euan Semple to talk about the mystical continent of Yurop at last years’ HR Technology Europe conference).

I wonder if there are more obvious factors at work here, eg the higher proportion of enterprise 2.0 case studies in the US being technology companies than in Europe.  Or compare the costs involved in firing an employee: US – 0 weeks, (UK – 22 weeks,) France – 32 weeks, Germany – 69 weeks.  How do these differences affect the uptake of enterprise 2.0?


I’ll have the opportunity to reflect further on these differences at the Enterprise 2.0 Summit in Paris on  - and particularly in this session on social adoption strategies.

Scheduled for: 07.02.2012 / 11:30 - 12:20 Uhr

  • Adoption patterns for different scopes, maturity levels and stakeholders
  • Challenges along the maturity cycle

In this session social adoption experts discuss the latest insights on successful strategies. The key idea of this session is to distinguish the different adoption patterns for different scopes, maturity levels and stakeholders of the initiative and to give implication on how to successfully realize them.

As introduction note a conclusion of the E20 Meetup on “Implications for the Adoption Strategy” will be presented.


I’ll be blogging live from the summit here.


In the meantime, you can find videos with speakers at the summit here.

To register, visit here, and use the booking code 20ambassadorji for a 10% discount on the current registration fee.  There are still also some reduced, special prices for ‘consultants’, defined as freelancers and staff members of consulting firms with 20 employees or less.


Picture credit: Jason Corsello

Technorati Tags: Enterprise 2.0,social business,Bjoern Negelmann,Summit,Paris,culture,adoption,France,Germany,Europe,Yurop


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