How much impact is made when an organization engages an E2.0 evangelist? Just as martial art's practitioners can kick and punch without a sensei, organizations can carry on with their collaborative and knowledge management activities, without their E2.0 advocate. The basic functions of E2.0 can continue to move along, but the most powerful "ah ha!" moments come about less frequently or in the worst case – not at all. Why is this the case?
Have you ever participated in a language class, sport or art class?
Generally it is not hard to grasp the basics – getting you 50% of the way there. The key is that further improvement does not progress in a linear fashion – to get significantly and jump to a higher level of proficiency needs to occur. This is generally only possible through instruction.
It is the difference between taking a taxi cab in Tokyo and managing to give the name of your hotel to the driver, who politely smiles and responds to you in English OR saying the name well enough because someone helped you refine it to have the driver politely smile and attempt to strike up a full conversation with you in Japanese (in which case you explain – "Nihongo Wakarimasen" or I don't understand and both laugh).
How is this related to E2.0?
Enterprise 2.0 strategy is a craft that contains a series of best practices and potential technical knowhow.
Minimal Effort – Maximum Results
Working with a mortgage company a few years ago an E2.0 evangelist within their organization was able to save the company 4 months of development effort using E2.0 tools to help the sales team report to executives through existing collaborative technology. Her knowhow exposed a path for the company to achieve great results with minimal effort. She demonstrated an excellent grasp of her craft – something that was developed through years of practice and collaboration with other evangelists fostered through community gatherings.
Without the Sensei 4 months development @ 2 resources @ 40 hrs / wk @ $100 / hr = $64,000
With Sensei 2 days with organization's in-house Sensei = $1,000
Constructs and Reuse
A large engineering firm wanted to put together a knowledge management system for their engineers around a particular process. The process had many steps and related materials throughout each step. The original project called for a Flash program to be created that walked the engineers through the stages and contained the related information. The company had a trusted Evangelist that they turned to who knew the project would be best served by a using an existing ECM solution and providing a slightly different user interface around it – mapping to the process. In 2 weeks the sensei created a solution that provided a flexible, repeatable framework on top of the ECM solution. The solution was quickly adopted for many additional processes in the organization, providing business users the ability to create and manage the solutions without IT.
Without the Sensei 2 months development in Flash @ 2 resources @ 40 hrs / wk @ $100 / hr = $32,000
With Sensei 2 weeks with organization's in-house Sensei = $20,000
The company can now use the solution across many additional needs without ever having to return for additional development
Power of Knowhow = Efficiency
Senseis provide knowhow that enables keen insight into strategies, methods and details unseen to a regular person's eye. Problems in the world of business and technology have many solutions and often times there are many "correct" answers. When it comes to overall cost, manageability and ease of use there are clear benefits to fostering and engaging E2.0 expertise, so that you too can have your own E2.0 sensei.