Five Elevator pitches for Enterprise 2.0 adoption

January 25, 2010

(c) Photo by Rob Ivman

I have been reading a lot of Scott Berkun lately, including his brilliant Confessions of a Public Speaker (french review available). A must read for any speaker, professional or not, to make sure you transmit clearly your ideas .

However, sometimes you just don’t have a dedicated room, with people ready to offer you 30 minutes of attention. You don’t have the slideware, you don’t have the projector or your laptop.

No. What you have is just a 30 seconds time frame, where you bump into some executive or very important people in the company. And what you want is to take advantage of this opportunity to pitch people into some Enterprise 2.0 basics.

Scott addresses this point in one of his many excellent blog posts : How to pitch an idea.

Now let’s see some elevator pitches to 5 key enterprise persona for 2.0 adoption …

Two things to keep in mind before getting into the detail. First, you obviously won’t be able to pitch people into Enterprise 2.0 adoption within 30 seconds. Second, executives are important people always thinking about thousand things. So what you want is them to pay attention and ignite their curiosity. And the best way to do so is to ask questions, painful questions.

1 – C.E.O.

Definition : A chief executive officer (CEO) or chief executive is one of the highest-ranking corporate officers (executives) or administrators

Role and responsibility : in charge of total management. The CEO responsibility is to align the company, internally and externally, with their strategic vision.

Background : For the last decade, CEOs have been through period of extreme transition. IT has costs him dear with many enterprise system implementation (ERP, SCM, CRM, etc …). They rather are defiant towards the prospect of any new enterprise wide system and million dollar implementation with dubious ROI.

How E2.0 can help : Productivity of course but more than everything : Innovation. Most CEOs surely want to make money but what they mostly take pride of is innovation and his company ability to make the world a better place.

Apprehension : Decreasing employees productivity. So make sure you never pronounce the S word.

Speech :

Would you rank amongst the 65% of the executive disappointed with the level of innovation in their company ?

Have you heard about {competitor’s name} implementation of a system that has improved innovation ?

My name is Joe Smith. May I invite you to a 45mns presentation on how we can foster collaboration, innovation, productivity and knowledge management in our organization ?

2 – Head of HR

Definition : Head of HR is responsible for human resources.

Role and responsibility : Recruiting and staffing, organizational and space planning;organization development;employee orientation, development, and training; etc …

Background : Most of HR people keep a closed look on social networks and how they could implemented behind the firewall. They could be your best support.

How E2.0 can help : Foster an enterprise wide culture, improve employees engagement so that they are happier and more productive

Apprehension : Decreasing employees engagement, mess around the organisation

Speech :

Hey I’ve heard that about 40 %of the workforce are either disengaged or disenchanted. What are we doing in our company about that ?

Is it true that people are unlikely to collaborate if they are more than 50 feet apart ?

My name is Joe Smith. May I invite you to a 45mns presentation (etc …)

3 – CIO

Definition : Chief Information Officer is a job title for the board-level head of information technology within an organization.

Role and responsibility : a CIO proposes the information technology needed by an enterprise to achieve its goals and then works within a budget to implement the plan.

Background : CIO has just spent the last decade implementing and deploying million-dollars project for Enterprise wide systems : ERP, CRM, SCM, KM … CIOs are the tough ones. Both Lee Provoost and Gilbert Cattoire even recommend to skip the CIO altogether and make the E2.0 project an HR one for a faster and easier implementation. Anyway, some tips to try your luck …

How E2.0 can help : A better general knowledge management within the company. As a result : a best overall ROI on IT systems.

Apprehension : 3 of them : Security, Security, Security

Speech :

Have you heard about this study showing that 46% of the people find what they’re looking for on their intranet while they are twice as much finding what they want on the internet  ?

Hey shall I invite you to a 45mns presentation on how CIA, NASA, Intel or VMWare fostered collaboration, innovation, productivity and knowledge management in their organization without compromising the security ?

4 – Middle Manager

Definition : Middle manager are basically in charge of the productive forces.

Role and responsibility : They are responsible for making sure that the teams produces what has been identified by top management and company strategy to make money. Quality, budget and productivity are their main concerns.

How E2.0 can help : : Knowledge Management. Technologies, process, methods : everything evolves as fast as hell and managers are bombarded with information. It is just no possible to keep up the pace.

Apprehension : Disintermediation. Losing control + command.

Strategy : Don’t talk about management radical changes but, rather, smooth shifts and how they align with standard principles of modern management. It is to show that their role may be just as important with Enterprise 2.0, but different. As Cristobal Conde puts it :

I think the role of the boss is to then work on those collaboration platforms, as opposed to being the one making the decisions. It’s more like the producer of the show, rather than being the lead.

Speech :

Hey how do you feel about the figures that managers spend 2 hours a day looking for data, with half the data they found is no value ? And spending 20% of the remaining time struggling with their e-mail box ?

My name is Joe Smith. May I invite you to a 45mns presentation (etc …)

5 – Experts

Definition : They’ve been in the company for ever. They’ve seen many different managers, policies, systems etc … Most of the time they are old fashion, not impress at all by the 2.0 buzz.

Role and responsibility : Know about everything on very specific topics. Quite often this knowledge is critical for the company.

How E2.0 can help : Collaborative platforms may help diffuse his knowledge on a company wide scale. This will give a lot of visibility on his work.

Apprehension : Get bored by a new process/system coming out of the void, imposed by top management and that will make it harder for him to get the job done.

Strategy : Expert usually are old school and still identify their knowledge as their job security. Insist on how the whole company could benefit more of their insight/knowledge

Speech :

Hey have you heard that knowledge workers spend 30%of their time looking for expertise such as yours ?

How do you think the whole enterprise could rip more benefit from your expertise ?

My name is Joe Smith. May I invite you to a 45mns presentation (etc …)

What is your elevator speech for Enterprise 2.0 adoption ? Who have you tried it with in your company ? Any supplementary trick you may recommend ? We’d love to know.

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6 Responses to “Five Elevator pitches for Enterprise 2.0 adoption”


  1. [...] a surprise yesterday to see that the New York Times online has published a long article about my 5 Elevator pitches for Enterprise 2.0 adoption article copy on [...]


  2. great feeds for E20 activists and a good example on how to write elevator pitches ! thanks for sharing.

  3. ceciiil Says:

    Excellent post by Lee Provost on the topic : How to Sell Social Media in your organization.

    Believe it or not, we published an article on the same topic on the same day ! Even spookier : there is a reference to another Lee Provost blog post in my post.

    http://www.headshift.com/blog/2010/01/how-to-sell-social-media-in-yo.php


  4. [...] is now an essential line of business to be developed and delivered.” Cecil Dijoux: “Five Elevator pitches for Enterprise 2.0 adoption“ [I just picked one of the elevator pitches, there are four additional ones you should read] [...]


  5. [...] Elevator pitch for E2.0 – this is old but good one. Five different audiences, five different pitches. [...]


  6. [...] Elevator pitch for E2.0 – this is old but good one. Five different audiences, five different pitches. [...]


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