Tuesday, 7 February 2012

#E20S: Shouldn’t we talk about HR 2.0 instead of Enterprise 2.0?


   I’m at the Enterprise 2.0 Summit in Paris today – you can see my posts on the conference at Social Advantage, these include, so far:


I’ve been attending some of the most technically oriented sessions rather than the organisational ones, so initially missed one called ‘Maximising Social Work Mindset’.  However, I started to see lots of tweets about HR 2.0, and as I hadn’t been tweeting from my own session (a good sign that I’m not getting much out of it) I decided to move.

Actually, I didn’t find the session itself that exciting, but the twitter stream was particularly good, and included the tweet in the above picture: “shouldn’t we talk about HR 2.0 rather than Enterprise 2.0”.  The basis for this was that if we’re talking about people then HR should have prominence in the move to the social business – obviously something which resonates for me.

Nevertheless, I don’t agree that these are the same thing.  I’ve shown the following slide on here before, taken from a webinar I ran last year:



The diagram attempts to show that there are a number of things we do in an organisation (activities) around managing people, facilitating connection, and developing an enabling organisation – including use of Enterprise 2.0 technology.

From this perspective, HR 2.0 (the use of social media in HR – for recruiting, learning, performance management etc) and Enterprise 2.0 don’t have much to do with each other – other than they use basically the same technologies and approaches (eg the role of communities) and so doing one makes it easier and more appropriate to do the other too.


But there are also three critical capabilities we need to create in an organisation, namely human, social and organisational capital.  Each of these can be supported by the three groups of activities identified above.

Eg I write here mainly about human capital, and although HR – including HR 2.0 - approaches will be the main part of a strategy to create human capital (hence HCM), social and organisational activities will also play a role (eg through creating communities of practice to share knowledge and build capability, or by creating organisational structures which make it easier to contribute and hence raise engagement).

But our focus here is on social capital, or the social business / enterprise (the theme of the Enterprise 2.0 Summit is ‘Designing and the Social Business Excellence’.

Social capital / the social business can also be developed through HR activities (eg managing team performance or introducing pay transparency) and organisational ones (eg creating structures which break down silos and get people collaborating).  So HR and ‘enterprise’ activities are certainly both key parts of a social business strategy.

Both HR 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 technologies and approaches can also be used to build social capital / the social business, so again, from this angle there is an additional overlap.

However, the most critical enabler for social business are just social activities, whether these are:

  • Face to face – eg just getting people talking to each other, or playing with DUNDU dolls which we’ve just been doing here, or



  • Virtual – eg using a social networking system to support management of a community.


So perhaps, rather than HR 2.0 or Enterprise 2.0, we should talk about Social 2.0 instead?  But I’d prefer us just to focus on the social business / enterprise (outcomes vs activities).

(Actually I think social organisation is the best name for this, but again, that’s another whole other blog post, and I suspect you’ve probably had enough!).



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