Tags: Enterprise 2.0, Enterprise 2.0 Conference, e2.0, Collaboration Technologies, Social Computing, Social Networking, Social Software, Social Media, Web 2.0, Knowledge Management, KM, Knowledge Sharing, Personal Knowledge Management, PKM, Collaboration, Remote Collaboration, Social Networks, Communities, Learning, Tom Davenport, Andrew McAfee, Innovation, Org. Change, Business Transformation, Blogs, Blogging, Metablogging, Business Value, Blogging ROI, Corporate Culture, Conversations, Prosumers, User-Generated Content, Search Engines, Search 2.0, Dave Snowden, Participation
The conversation went on and at some point Tom mentioned the topic of finding the right content while making extensive use of social software and he actually proposed what would happen if a large company would have 20,000 employees, or even a larger number, weblogging away. Would that make things easier for the transfer of knowledge? He doubted it would.
My answer? You bet! Let me ask you folks something along those lines. Would you prefer 20,000 employees weblogging away about what they are passionate about from your business, sharing their expertise and knowledge and connecting with others, or would you rather have them continue to be a silo with their own computers not sharing even one half of what they know or have in their heads? Ever heard of that famous ratio where about roughly 20% of the Intellectual Capital generated is actually stored in knowledge repositories? Where is all the rest? Yes, indeed, in people’s heads and personal computers. Is that situation much better? I don’t think so…
There is no doubt that as more and more people get to produce more and more content one key single factor for the success in the adoption of these social software tools is to have very competent search engines that would allow you to search easily for that content, find it, re-use and share it with others, even if that would mean you would need to make use of metadata to process the search results. But for search engines to improve their search results we first need content and without knowledge workers producing content we haven’t got anything, do we? This is the main problem that social computing addresses and helps fix, but only as long as people would be willing to share what they know. Something that plenty of people seem to keep ignoring over and over again. Here is a quick reminder for us all:
"1. Knowledge will only ever be volunteered it can not be conscripted.
2. We only know what we know when we need to know it.
3. We always know more than we can tell and we will always tell more than we can write down." (Does it ring a bell? cf. Dave Snowden)
From there onwards there were a few more minutes of discussion, but I am going to leave it up to you to follow it up as you may see fit. What I found particular interesting is a quote from Andrew that I couldn’t have agreed more with it. Here it is:
"[With Web2.0] The Web has become spectacularly more useful and more interesting to me as more and more voices add to it"
I couldn’t have agreed more with that statement as perhaps one of the most representative ones that describes not only Enterprise 2.0, but the entire movement behind Web 2.0 as well. With it, things have gotten a whole lot more exciting and interesting, because, for the first time in many years, knowledge workers have got the opportunity to have a voice, an opinion, and share it with everyone else collaborating with others, exchanging knowledge, improve their social capital skills and their subject matter expertise and, as a result of that process, innovate at a higher rather than in the recent past. And all of that dealing with their own passion for whatever the topic!
That is why, to me, Enterprise 2.0 is not only revolutionalising the Enterprise, but also our own ways of life, because, after all, social computing is a philosophy, a way of life you breathe and learn to nurture, that inspires constant change that you rather embrace … or not. And at the end of the day, whether we like it or not, it would be a matter of choice to adopt it or not. And that choice is yours. And yours alone. So it would be up to you (And not higher up in the management chain), whether you would want to change your organisation or not, whether you would want to change your life or not. And if I were you, I would not wait for others to tell you about it… Make it happen!
Make it happen now!