Why Enterprise 2.0 Won’t Transform Organisations – And Why We May Have Gotten It Wrong Once More!

9 thoughts on “Why Enterprise 2.0 Won’t Transform Organisations – And Why We May Have Gotten It Wrong Once More!”

  1. And of course, while some try to push transformation through, the masses just put up with whatever comes from their bosses, and find was to live through another day. Just like these examples

  2. Yes, that may well be the case, indeed, but for how long? I mean, there is a time where if knowledge workers are not happy and content with their current workplace and the tasks they would need to carry out, then they will eventually be making a move to whatever other companies that will have started that transformation. And word of mouth is probably going to play an important role as well as more and more people will start trusting their relationships and working through them to help them find a way out to a place where they would feel more comfortable with their current environment.

    And something tells me that will just be one of the main factors that will help differentiate labour-based companies from knowledge-based companies. And people will need to make up their mind whether they would want to help provoke that transformation or just put up with whatever else while entertaining themselves in whatever other tasks.

    Thanks again for the feedback!

  3. Hola, Luis.

    I think Davenport’s article is just a rethorical, debate-starting question. “Web 2.0” won’t transform much; the ideas that drive its use (emergence, collaboration, transparency) on the other hand, might.

    Plus, web 2.0 technology trends such as wikis, use of standards (and thus mashups), group and project blogs et cetera are large steps forward in the spread of modern, practical knowledge management. Just as blogging enables personal online publishing, the whole set facilitates knowledge flow, sharing and collaboration. Within a forward-thinking corporation with participatory business practices, that may indeed amount to change.

    Finding how to better harness the productivity of knowledge workers is a corporate goal. Finding how to empower them is not (unless it is a requisite for the first). It’s a management shift that’s needed, not just a technology.


  4. Luis – Senior managers in companies go through phases of caring for their knowledge workers & then not caring very much at all. For example, just before I left IBM, a significant number of consultants in Australia were “let go”. People worry for their jobs & their ability to pay the mortgage. People suck up to their bosses. And not everyone sits at a desk with an internet connection.

    Tools & processes are not the causes of hierarchy but merely the instruments of it. Human societies are hierarchical by nature. Web 2.0 will not change that. The drive for power & control is ever-present.

    Despite the profusion of Web 2.0 technologies in the consumer space, our governments are not noticeably more representative than before.

    I agree with you that individuals are responsible for their own actions but I find the suggestion that blogs & wikis will change 500,000 years of human evolution incredibly naive. I am a Web 2.0 enthusiast & also very cynical.

  5. Here is another good take on the “disputed” views from the FASTforward blog

    My view which I posted over at my blog actually contextualises the dispute against a view of the future held by most visionaries and in certain cases is the correct approach and in others not and this is taken from The Visionary’s Handbook (Nine Paradoxes that will Shape the Future of your Business) by Watts Wacker and Jim Taylor.

    Essentially, the conclusion I draw (an intellectual mash-up) actually comes out of the Visionaries Handbook:
    Most “visionary” books (apply equally to McAfee/Davenport’s visions of the future) are failures of imagination and the more they ring of “truth”, the greater the failure they are. Why? Because that is the first paradox of the visionary: the closer your vision gets to a provable “truth”, the more you are simply describing the present in the future tense. Global connectivity, real-time information, and the other usual suspects of visionary business books won’t change the business world, they already are changing it, they have changed it in the past, and they’ve been on their way to changing it for more than three decades, ever since the Pentagon’s Advanced Research Projects Agency first successfully tested the ARPANET, the forerunner of today’s Internet.

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