Executing Enterprise 2.0: Dachis Group Acquires Headshift

I am sure that by now, if you are in the Enterprise 2.0 field, or are involved in some shape or form with social computing within the enterprise, you may have read about the tsunami of conversations that have been going on as a result of a rather thought-provoking and controversial article that Dennis Howlett has put together over at Irregular Enterprise under the now well known title "Enterprise 2.0: What a Crock" and which comes to question the validity of efforts behind such concept as that one of Enterprise 2.0.

I would think as well you have been reading further up on the huge number of reactions that Dennis’ article has generated in the last few days, so much so that you may think that almost everything may have been covered back and forth already with very little space to add some more into the conversations. Not to worry, from the very first moment I finished up reading Dennis’ article I decided there will not be another blog post on that subject where I will be trying to add my two cents. In fact, there is a good reason why I am not going to. And it’s not what you expect …

After having read through all of those links I have mentioned above, including Dennis’, I cannot help but recall how "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". Most of you folks know that I come from a traditional Knowledge Management and Collaboration background going as far back as 2000. If you were involved with KM around that time, and three or four years before, you would probably realise how this recent discussion is just exactly the same one we had back then! Except with a different label. Enterprise 2.0.

Well, if back then we got hold of the wrong end of the stick by focusing on everything, but what we really needed to focus on (Processes and technology, mainly, over the people, i.e. the knowledge workers themselves), it looks like we are back at it again. Making that very same mistake! Again!

Fast forward to 2002 … where you will find a very interesting paper (On the nonsense of Knowledge Management) that James Dellow quoted along in the current discussion as one of the very few folks who connected the dots across time between both discussions. So we are not having this discussion as something new. It’s been there over a decade, like I said, with a different label, but the same end-result, or, so it seems …

That’s why I decided, from the very beginning, not to get involved, and stay away, from a conversation that seems to be heading in that very same direction (The wrong one, by the way!) we eventually ended up over a decade ago! Instead, I would want to point what I feel (And that’s just my two cents, so take them with a pinch of salt please…) is a much more interesting direction…

And that’s the huge (And shocking!) great news we all got exposed to earlier on today that surely have been making the rounds on a delightful set of follow up conversations: Dachis Group expands internationally acquiring Headshift, LTD. Massive!

Indeed, earlier on today there has been a exciting uproar on what promises to be the news of the year in the field of Enterprise 2.0. ReadWriteEnterprise, eventually, put it very nicely under this headline: "Dachis Group Acquires Headshift: Say Hello to a Social Business Consulting Powerhouse".

Why is this acquisition so exciting, you may be wondering, right? Well, to be honest, for a good number of reasons, but basically because of each and everyone of the folks who are, combined, part of the new Dachis Group. If the group before the acquisition was already amazingly talented and gifted, the Headshift’s merger brings up that talent into new heights, consolidating that powerhouse I can tell you right now would be worth while watching for in the near future. And that’s an statement falling short big time!

If you don’t believe me, apart from reading further on through some of the links I have mentioned above already, have a look into the announcement article that Lee Bryant shared a few hours back and be prepared to be wowed with wonderful, and very revealing, quotes like this:

"We are ready to move beyond the experimental phase to create real business transformation. Leaving behind the niche world of enterprise 2.0, we are ready to work with businesses at a senior level to run change programmes aimed at bringing their processes, internal IT and communications into the Twenty-First Century. It has never been cheaper or easier to collaborate online. It has never been easier to harness people power to drive business performance. It has never been easier to engage with customers and business partners. Yet, as we know, most companies have come to accept an overly bureaucratic, process-heavy high-cost model of doing business as the norm. They need credible partners who can operate across technology, organisational design and business analysis to help meet this challenge, not just evangelists or technology vendors. That’s our role." (Emphasis mine)

To then wrap it up with my favourite precious gem, which clearly establishes the unprecedented (And exciting!) challenges and goals laying ahead for the group (And for all of us for that matter!):

"We see great potential for addressing simple but important use cases at each of these levels of operation, but the main challenge in the short-term is how we can help second wave adopters make sense of the new world of social tools and networks, and this is something that keeps our feet firmly on the ground."

I always knew that both the Dachis Group and Headshift would be doing just fine on their own. And for a good number of years. After today’s announcement, I am 100% sure (And time will prove me wrong… or not) that the new Dachis Group is embarking itself onto one of the greatest missions from the 21st century: change the way we work in the corporate world and, for once, make things right … from the start!

Congratulations everyone involved and keep leading the way before we all lose our own tracks talking about labels and use cases in our echo chambers … Hello Executing Enterprise 2.0!

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7 Comments »

  • Thanks so much Luis – your excitement and positive forecast mean so much, coming from someone who’s been so immersed in KM and collaboration for so long. Out of respect, I’m not checking the notification option above (re: followup via email) and will come back to discuss anything further here!

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    • Luis Suarez says:

      Hi Kate! You are most welcome! Thanks a lot for the kind feedback and for dropping by! I have been quiet over the last couple of days since I have posted this entry, more than anything else, because I have been doing plenty of reading on the various reactions this acquisition has sparked and I am really excited about it all, because generally speaking they are all very positive indicating how the game has changed for good in this space of 2.0.

      And just simply getting things moving along already with a new wave of thinking moving away from traditional labels like Enterprise 2.0 into Social Business Design, which, imo, is right on the money: i.e. changing the way businesses operate by helping them become human again while getting the job done!

      Like I said, placing the focus where it should have been all along… Not on the tools, not on the processes, although both of them are important as well, but on the people themselves as the main drivers of that transformational corporate change. Can’t wait!!

      Congratulations once again and surely look forward to further conversations with you all!

      (PS. Amazing to see how many folks of the new Dachis Group, after Headshift’s acquisition, I have been following all along! … Privileged!)

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  • Ruchi Bhatia says:

    Hi Luis..really like the quote ” Yet, as we know, most companies have come to accept an overly bureaucratic, process-heavy high-cost model of doing business as the norm. They need credible partners who can operate across technology, organisational design and business analysis to help meet this challenge, not just evangelists or technology vendors. That’s our role.”
    May be on Blue IQ CALLS,we can emphasize on this role bit further. It is a profound statement to be in the role of a credible buisness partner operating across Technology, OD and business analysis.. ! it would be nice to do some education in Blue IQ around this. Your thoughts ?

    Thanks !
    Ruchi Bhatia

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    • Luis Suarez says:

      Hi Ruchi! Appreciated the great commentary and the follow up! Yes, I agree with you that it would be quite an interesting uptake for BlueIQ to follow that road and, funny enough, it’s happening already by partnering with a number of different parts of the org. dealing right into the details of shaping up our business relationships with our clients, but also internally with different connections established and well under way, amongst them the CIO group… As more details become available, I will surely be sharing further insights… For now check the internal BlueIQ Media Library space and look at the call replay for August. Right on target of what you have just mentioned above :-)

      Thanks again for dropping by and for the feedback comments! Greatly appreciated!

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  • [...] (@leebryant) also shares an interesting perspective on the merging of web 2.0 and enterprise 2.0. These two big announcements have created a lot of buzz and posts by Luis Suarez, Jason Falls, Shel [...]

  • Great post Luis! I especially love the quote for Lee Bryant. It continues to boggle my mind that seasoned business executives stumble into the same traps and are slow to embrace a critical transformational opportunity. It is time to leap into the 21st century or risk being left in the dust. Companies will not be able to survive the future without solid collaboration both inside & outside its four walls.

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  • [...] (@leebryant) also shares an interesting perspective on the merging of web 2.0 and enterprise 2.0. These two big announcements have created a lot of buzz and posts by Luis Suarez, Jason Falls, Shel [...]

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