At the Enterprise 2.0 Forum, during the Workshop on the Wednesday afternoon, Bertrand Duperrin proposed some Enterprise 2.0 definitions from both Andrew McAfee and himself. Bertrand insisted on the fact it was a moving definition, constantly evolving.
Regardless of how good these definitions were, I’m still not fully convinced. My concern is that they don’t address the management issue. And the more I think about Enterprise 2.0, the more I think it has a direct connection to management.Therefore, the definition should really focus on that point.
The definition should also stress the point that Enterprise 2.0 is just the enterprise adapting to the fast pace changing environment of interconnected people. This really stroke me in Gary Hamel‘s Future of Management and Chris Locke essay Internet Apocalypso from the Cluetrain Manifesto.
In my humble opinion, the most telling description of this changing world we live and work in remains Jon Husband‘s
We are passing from an era in which things were assumed to be controllable, able to be deconstructed and then assembled into a clear, linear, always replicable and thus static form, to an era characterized by a continuous flow of information.
So here is my definition : Enterprise 2.0 = a management toolkit for organisations in an interconnected world.
Management is considered here in its most generic sense. This includes management applied to people, managers, knowledge, innovation, business, customer relationship, IT, communication or human resources.
Managers of the 21st Century Unite !
I remember a general meeting we had in this company while we were going through tough times. When a colleague asked what we should expect in terms of motivation from the company, our young COO quoted the great man pictured above.
The CEO, a wiser man, admitted to us later that this was a bit of a clumsy statement in our situation.
Indeed it was. 21st century Managers unite and proclaim what you have to offer to knowledge workers : Blogs, Face(book) and Tweets.
“You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs – Victory in spite of all terrors – Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.” Wow. A lesson in entrepreneurship as well. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Cecil. Why do you think Churchill’s quote was clumsy?
I agree we’re not making the case as effectively as we can to senior executives. What you’re suggesting (the toolkit) is what I was trying to communicate with my “E20 will be like Carbon” post I did a few weeks ago.
Thanks for your comment.
I think it’s a great quote : nothing to offer other than blood, sweat and tears.
I’m just saying that in our situation, it was not such a great thing to say to people running out of motivation.
Cecil, how do networks, decentralization and increased individual agency fit into the “management toolkit” part of your definition?
Are you placing Enterprise 2.0 within the context of existing institutional structures?
If so, would you say that the McAfee’s concept has contracted in scope since 2005 (when the “Uncorporation” was a rival term for networked, coordinated labor)?
Supposing that “Enterprise 2.0” now has come to mean “coordinating and collaborating more efficiently in the enterprise through the use of social software” then we’ve reduced the scope quite a bit.
What, then, do we call the application of utility computing and networked labor outside corporate boundaries?
Thanks very much for your comment.
I definitely place Enterprise 2.0 within the context of institutions hence the “organisation” in the definition.
I wouldn’t say the scope has contracted, it’s just a matter of perspective I guess.
Again, in the definition, management is considered in its widest and most generic scope : any type of management involved in running a business or an organisation.
The point is that in an interconnected economy the way to run your business / organization has to be different than the way it used to be in pre web world.
Adopting all these tools to run your business is just making sure your organisation adapt to the 21st century.
What I miss in McAfee definition is the term management. Reading Gary Hamel’s book and discussing with Jon Husband made me realize this was a key issue, beyond.
Besides, McAfee definition (the use of social software platforms within companies or between companies and their partners or customers) does not refer to the changing environment, the fact that the web has completely changed the way people communicate and collaborate.
Why do we have to communicate and collaborate this way ? It’s not because these tools have appeared and are available. It’s because the world outside of the firewall has completely changed so as our customers, employees, markets etc … This is due to the fact that the whole economy is interconnected and knowledge is a flow of information. And managers need appropriate toolkit to run their business/organisations in such new and constantly changing environment.
Network labour outside corporate boundaries are unit of works that serve a larger purpose and need to be manage. So they definitely remain in the definition.