How to trigger E2.0 genetic mutation in a 1.0 organization?

The question “How to trigger E2.0 genetic mutation in a 1.0 Organization?” posed by Stefano Masciocchi in LinkedIn inspired my reply below. Thought it worth re-publishing as a blog post:

• Hmm, good question, it says on one of my recommendations on LinkedIn that I am expert on E2.0 and cultural change, thanks to my current E2.0 software partner, so I’ll try ang give an expert answer;-)
• I first must say that my previous role I brought in lighweight web 2.0 tools such as Im amd wikis and they helped improve the efficency of communication for offices worldwide, but that was not planned with ROI savings in mind.
• In current role again looking at it from purely ROI point of view I can’t really add anything if you are talking genetic mutation, as that’s an ambitious context. But looking at the question and leaving ROI out for now what I can say is of course it’s extremely difficult, even when money is no object, to achieve such a change.
• So what you really I think are trying to do is two things. Convince the boss using ROI that it’s worth the investment; and use ROI as the key to implement the plan which is effective with staff. In other words at every step the boss will ask ‘what the benefit to the business bottom line’ and the staff will ask ‘what the benefit to me?’. In both cases you are selling the benefits, with ROI at the core.
• I would have thought the best way to accomplish this is to start with where people are already. Thus to go back to my previous example you could argue for corporate wide use of internal messaging to improve effciency and reduce email overload. The cost is small so the boss likes it; you have to come up with a way of proving the ROI. Beware that with implementation you need a policy in place on proper use of IM, restricting personal use for example.
• If you are using new kit like wikis to improve collaboration for heaven sake don’t get hung up on calling it a ‘wiki’ in other words leave out the jargon. It may sound cool, but it puts a lot of people off.
• With something like a wiki along the same lines, start off with all the bells and whistles stripped out, it costs more and the ROI can drive extra functionality as and when it proves its value. Scalability in other words.

Stefano’s response is also worth quoting, “Thanks Stuart, some of your comments sound familiar. In fact, lots of us internal resources are already familiary with major social platforms, use IM even from desk-to-desk (sometimes I wonder what “social tools” really mean, huh?) and, even if most of them are unaware, they are probably willing to be part of a true holistic agency.

“But, as you wisely pointed out, there’s an ogre in almost every tale. Since some of our working processes are already travelling in a 2.0 fashion, best politics is to underline the advantages, trying also to evolve this DIY way into something more company-integrated, proceeding step by step and, eventually, discover that ROI can turn from ogre to friend. Or, at least, a known face.”