The "initiative" challenge

I am going to be doing a keynote at the Enterprise 2.0 Summit London at the end of the month. It is increasingly unusual for me to speak at a conference with those words in the title, or social business, or social anything for that matter. For some time I have preferred to talk at conferences focussed on specific aspects of doing business, or specific professions. Conferences that aren't all about social.

I am doing this one because it is being run by good folks and will give me a chance to catch up, but I am going to base my keynote on why I feel uncomfortable with the whole E2.0, social business thing. I guess I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about initiatives. Probably a result of the number of times I had them done to me while at the BBC. It is also because I believe passionately that real change happens one person at a time and for their reasons not yours. Initiatives are done to them rather than by them.

I guess this is the old problem of how do you encourage things to happen, encourage people to behave differently, make it more likely that change makes a positive difference, without reverting to the conventional management techniques and processes that are part of the problem we are trying to solve!