Tags: Collaboration Loop, Larry Cannell, Enterprise 2.0, CTC, Collaborative Technologies Conference, Andrew McAfee, Cultural Change, Enterprise Computing, Social Computing, Social Software, Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, KM 2.0, Collaboration 2.0, Tacit Knowledge, Explicit Knowledge, Knowledge Management, KM, Collaboration
A few days ago, over at Collaboration Loop, Larry Cannell shared a very good weblog post around the subject of Enterprise 2.0: More Than Blogs and Wikis that I thought you folks would be interested in, specially if you would be into reading further about the impact of social software within the Enterprise. Larry gets to talk about how the Collaborative Technologies Conference will be changing its name to Enterprise 2.0 Conference in 2007 and how Enterprise 2.0 is not all about popular social software tools like weblogs or wikis alone. On the contrary, he actually proposes how Web 2.0 should be brought into the corporate world in such a way that it would need to go well and beyond what has happened within the consumer market. And he is right.
He mentions briefly some of the work that Andrew McAfee has already done in this space, and which I have weblogged about in the past already, and he actually proposes three new different areas to take into account for the Enterprise 2.0 Conference to shape up to the potential expectations raised:
"a. Social Computing cultural changes.
b. User-centric building blocks.
c. The future face of enterprise computing"
I must say that although I am still pondering whether I would be able to make it or not to the Enterprise 2.0 Conference event in 2007 (I would love to, but there are a number of items that I need to take care of first) there would be one particular aspect that I would be looking forward to and which Larry hasn’t mentioned in his article. And that is the fact that I would be looking forward to materials put together where the focus is not just on Enterprise 2.0 per se within the corporate environment, but more a combination of the two. What do I mean with that?
Well, after reading Larry’s weblog entry, I actually felt like he is thinking social software within the Enterprise, i.e. Enterprise 2.0, would actually be the main predominant area within corporations starting in a very short time, if it hasn’t already started, to spark some collaboration and I must say that I tend not to agree with that statement completely. It will not be the only focus area. I doubt the plenty of large businesses, and smaller ones as well, for that matter, would actually be giving up all those years of hard work and funding in building the mode traditional Knowledge Management and Collaboration systems to then dump them all as soon as social software arrives.
I think that it gets a bit more complicated than that. Knowledge workers will take some time before they would be adopting all those new tools. They do require a cultural change like Larry mentioned, but also knowledge workers would still want to make use of what they are using today because they already know how the workflow works. They are comfortable with it and they are happy with how things are going at the moment. Well, perhaps not all of them, but a good chunk of them would be.
So I am thinking that for the Enterprise 2.0 Conference to be truly successful it would have to bring forward something that hardly any other Enterprise 2.0 related conference has done thus far, which is provide a balanced approach towards dealing with the potential integration of the traditional KM and Collaboration systems and this next gen. of social software tools that are gaining more and more traction.
To me the biggest success from Enterprise 2.0 would not be how much, or how well, corporations get to adopt and deploy social software tools. It is actually a bit more complex than that. To me the biggest success of Enterprise 2.0 would be when corporations are able to find a balanced approach of putting together the best of both worlds: what works in the traditional KM and Collaboration space along with the next wave of collaboration and knowledge sharing: social computing. Yes, indeed, that balance that I have already talked about a few times and that is well known as the tacit and explicit knowledge exchange.
That, to me, is where the main challenge is and why I would certainly be looking forward to the Enterprise 2.0 Conference as I would expect that it would provide such balanced agenda that would try to cover both areas and lead the path on how they could work together in the corporate world. Social computing does not necessarily need to substitute what we already have. It can very well complement it. Augmenting it to such levels that it would provoke a new wave of knowledge sharing and collaboration amongst knowledge workers by empowering them to go well beyond the call of duty. We shall see what happens when the agenda gets published, but I do hope they would address some of that. Time will tell.