I HEART the Enterprise – making large companies human again

When I use to think of the word ‘Enterprise’ I couldn’t help but think of Star Trek and Spock’s pointy ears, and somehow the milky white blood of the android dude in Alien would get in there also. It’s to do with the inhumanity of the large company I think. In the last two decades they have managed, through terrible one-size fits all broadcast communications, to make me feel a complete lack of respect and empathy towards them. And it seemed up until now they didn’t care. But then along comes social, and now boy do they care!

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Silos eh! Nothing is connected together!

I have also changed in that time. I have moved from a creative agency to a digital consultancy and now  find myself working more and more with said Enterprise. And I love it.

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But what is an Enterprise? Wikipedia defines it as:

A business
A company
Entrepreneurship, the practice of starting new organizations, particularly new businesses

I would define it more like a large mother ship with a very small turning circle i.e a business large enough to have to implement a complex 2 year ‘change program’ in order to upgrade IE6 to IE7.

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Captain, this version of the hyper drive is not compatible with IE6!

Basically, an enterprise is a large complex pondering multifaceted intelligent organism. And the fascinating thing about these organisms is that, with the on-coming digital revolution, they need to and want to change into more agile and responsive beings.

Unfortunately change of this magnitude – from culture to technology to processes to products and services offered – is impossible to do internally. It would be something akin to performing your own colonic irrigation – messy, painful and rather amateurish.

So tada! this is where we digital strategists come in with our big briefcase of experience and rucksack full of digital best practice models to help digitally redefine their processes, reenergise their people and completely rip out the old selotaped together systems they have been clinging on to for dear life (and help them put something collaborative and secure in its place).

We also help them define who they are as interactive brands i.e human beings, so they can ‘socialise’ with their customers with more confidence. Like an awkward slightly nerdy cousin who has never had a girlfriend and nervously drinks a litre of coke at your birthday party only to be sick on the dance floor while trying to impress the girl of his dreams, Enterprises struggle with the concept of a ‘social’ media and the need to act spontaneously (normal). They try to pretend social is just another channel through which to shout messages at their customers, partners and employees. Unfortunately the days of broadcasting the product experience and waiting for the orders to roll in are over.

The now is all about transparent, authentic, collaborative and trustworthy engagement within the heart of the enterprise’s ecosystem where employees, partners and customers together and form an alliance to create and build better organisations and better more relevant products and services for the future!! Amen!

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The Enterprise must evolve and develop intelligent customer data analytics, nimble effective processes
& technology, and great constantly evolving customer experiences.

What is most exciting about digital consultancy for me is the opportunities to take user experience design, social tools and mobile technologies into areas where they have never been in order to transform working practises and thus add some design joy & light into the dark damp corners of that mother ship.

And while we are at it we like to root out any of those cold milk blooded androids who are said to inhabit certain parts of the Enterprise. Their days are numbered!

As Captain Kirk aptly said
‘We have them just where they want us.’

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‘Take me to your CTO/CIO/CEO – whoever is in charge of Social Media! Who? John from Maintenance? Oh ok. Take me to him then!’

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