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 – Surviving the Knowledge Economy – Part III

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From there onwards, and quite surprisingly, I must admit, Andrew kind of agreed with Tom’s comments mentioned in previous weblog posts, and, while I was listening to the replay, I just thought to myself: there it goes my expectation for a good debate! Pity.

"The potential to be transformative?" Excuse me? Those were the words mentioned by Andrew and I got to think: what about all of the work that a whole bunch of us have been doing in various corporations; introducing those different technologies in such a way that, over the course of the years, have helped transform organisations into becoming much more open, democratic, conversational (With business partners and customers), non-hierarchical, bottom-up, knowledge worker empowering, etc? What about that? Is that all potential? I am not sure how you would feel, but I certainly disagree with that statement. It may have well been a few years ago, but not now. Definitely, not now. And if not, take a look around and see how many, for instance, from the Fortune 500 companies have been tuning in already into social computing within the enterprise and beyond.

Andrew had a good point though, with the fact that all of these social computing technologies for the enterprise have got the potential of meeting a whole bunch of different needs from businesses. Yes, that is right, But again I wouldn’t call that potential, but more a reality. Those companies that are ready to transition from a labour based model to a knowledge based model (Yes, that knowledge economy that plenty of folks have been talking about) are the ones which are most receptive towards the adoption of those social software tools, and the ones that over time (Already starting, by the way) would have their needs not only met, but exceeded. And big time!

Yes, the bureaucracy in a whole bunch of businesses is right there. I am not going to deny it. We have seen it, we have experienced it, we have suffered from it. Yet, it is a well known fact that most of those businesses are the ones which are having a hard time letting go that command-and-control attitude and therefore not very keen on promoting social computing within the corporation. Those businesses will continue to exist for some time, I am sure but will they survive in the long run? Would a labour-based company survive in a knowledge economy where knowledge can travel way way faster than people and goods? I doubt it.

(To be continued …)

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