is part three in a multi-part series on how Océ is implementing
Enterprise 2.0 within their organization. Part one covered the business drivers of Enterprise 2.0, and part two covered making the push for Enterprise 2.0
Today I will cover how Océ dealt with change management issues.
Océ was faced with how to deal with the current company culture.
Traditionally, employees were not encouraged to ask questions or be
open about personal doubts and ideas. Employees were oftentimes
perceived as being weak if they had doubts about something and as a
result, they refrained from asking questions or challenging ideas.
This was a difficult challenge to overcome and I commend Samuel and Jan
for being so open and honest about this. They overcame this culture of
closed communication by leading by example. This meant a few things;
the first is that Samuel and Jan had to show their peers that other
organizations have successfully adopted an open culture of sharing
ideas and expressing doubts and uncertainties. The second is that
Samuel and Jan had to “walk the talk” so to speak and lead by example.
They had to ask questions and openly express their doubts,
uncertainties, and need for help.
At one point, a small department called “The New Media Lab” was
formed to enable the use of social media while helping to implement new
social media tools and ideas. The “Lab” was comprised of a group of
employees that were interested in new tools, technologies, and
strategies. They tested everything on themselves first before deciding
to roll anything out. Unfortunately, over time everyone dropped out of
the Lab due to lack of interest, time, or understanding. The only two
people left to carry the Enterprise 2.0 torch were Samuel and Jan.
They were the two visionaries that continued to see the need for these
new tools and strategies.
Organizational structure shifts and technology adoption
If Océ really wanted to see success in Enterprise 2.0, then a
silo-ed structure (what they currently have) would not be able to deal
with these new tools and technologies. Océ knew that some of the
things they wanted to try with E2.0 were going to fail for various
reasons such as lack of adoption, bad timing, or perhaps not meshing
well with the existing culture. Océ admits they are still making baby
steps in making organizational structure shifts. Currently they are
trying to create a new department called the “Social Media Lab” that
can deal with both internal and external collaboration efforts. Océ
was very candid and admitted that currently their organization
structure has not changed much at all, which is making things a bit
difficult. This is becoming an issue not just with Enterprise 2.0 but
with their external facing social media efforts as well. There are
different Twitter accounts, various blogs, many wikipedia entries, and
bits and pieces of scattered information. This is a problem because
new things are happening but the organizational structure is not
adapting. There still needs to be alignment between new technology use
and strategies and how the organization is structured to support these
things. I’m hoping that over time Océ will start to see these changes
New technology adoption is never easy and in Océ’s case one of the
challenges was not simply getting people to use the new tools but
actually getting them to understand the concepts behind them such as
trust and transparency. The reality is that people are just fine with
using email and don’t want to share their conversations or activity
with the rest of the organization. As with Vistaprint, Océ observed
that it was challenging to get employees to use the wiki platform at
first (they used Mediawiki, the same platform used by Vistaprint). The
issue was mainly platform specific as the interface is not that simple
to use or intuitive. Yammer, on the other hand was adopted much more
easily and quickly. Samuel and Jan pointed out that not everyone is an
early adopter; it’s natural that some employees will lead the charge,
while others will follow. A normal adoption cycle exists and companies
need to remember that.
- Océ had an interesting cultural issue to deal with: the perception
of weakness and vulnerability. They overcame this by leading by
- New initiatives were first tested out on a small group of a
employees (just a handful) to ensure that they were viable and possible.
- Océ knew in advance that some things would fail and some would succeed. It was a natural part of how things work.
- No organizational shifts have happened up to this point, which is
starting to make things difficult for the organization. Eventually
this will force change.
- Companies must remember that adoption cycles for new tools and
technologies do exist. Some employees will always lead, others will
- It’s not only important to get people to use the technologies but
also to understand the concepts and ideas behind them, such as building
trust and transparency
(Cross-posted @ Social Media Globetrotter )