E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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[e2.0] Enterprise Live Debate: Andrew McAfee and Tom Davenport at Enterprise 2.0 – Debate? What Debate? – A Brief Introduction (Part I)

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I know that I may be coming a bit too late on to this one, but I must say that I couldn’t ignore it just like that, since I have been weblogging in the past about it and thought I would be sharing further a couple of thoughts after finally watching one of the main highlight events during the recent Enterprise 2.0 conference, held in Boston in June.

Yes, indeed, I am talking about the long awaited debate between Andrew McAfee and Tom Davenport where they got to discuss the value of Enterprise 2.0 within organisations. Dan Farber, the moderator of the debate, created, not so long ago, quite an interesting and relevant weblog post that I would strongly recommend everyone to read as well as it sets out, quite nicely, the overall background behind the actual debate.

I am sure that by now most of you folks out there may have listened to the replay of the debate which was video recorded and streamed live, but just in case you may not have had the chance to go through it, here is the link to the live recording. It lasts for about 49 minutes and it surely is worth while the time, to say the least.

From here onwards, I would like to spend some time going through some of the major key points that I thought would be worth while mentioning over here. I thought about creating a single weblog post on the subject, but then, while I was making different annotations, as I got through the replay, I thought that there is just too much stuff for a single weblog post, so instead, I am just going to split up the article in seven different articles which, I hope, would provide you a good sense about how I see this particular subject.

At the same time, and just realised about it, as I am writing the first article, it would allow me to provide you with some extended content while I am heading to Somers tomorrow morning to attend IBM’s Academy of Technology Collaboration 2.0 conference. I am not sure what my availability would be during the course of the next few days. I don’t even know if I would have the opportunity to be much online and do some live con-blogging, so, just in case, here is a series of seven weblog entries to keep you going. I have tried to keep them as short as possible and, hopefully, should not take too long to go through them. I will probably be publishing two at a time and see how that goes.

With them it would give me a good opportunity to indicate how I think that transformation of the workplace is well way under way! It has been for the last couple of years, at least! To get you going, my overall impression is that I was hoping the debate would have been much more of a debate. I mean, how can you have a debate if both parties agree to some extent on the main argument? I am not sure about you, but that is not the essence of a debate, is it? But let’s see some of that and how it paves out over the course of the next few articles. Here are some further thoughts on the event itself:

To get the debate going, Dan pointed out the main definition of Enterprise 2.0 that Andrew put together some time ago as the following one: "[Enterprise 2.0 is] the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers […]". From there onwards, he introduced Tom as being quite opposite, or skeptic, to the value of Enterprise 2.0 within the corporate world, since he feels it would not change drastically the way organisations still operate nowadays. If you would remember, this is some of what I have been talking about as well in the past. So we are now ready to debate.

Tom started mentioning something that I found quite enlightening and telling about blogs in general: "Blogs are well suited to opinion and are fun to read, socially interesting and perhaps useful". But from there onwards he mentioned how he doesn’t believe Enterprise 2.0 would change organisations, because he doesn’t know of any large business out there making a huge amount of money from it …

(To be continued…)

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