Ever since the first time Andrew McAfee coined the term, the definition of Enterprise 2.0 has constantly evolved.
Arguably, the most appropriate has been : “The use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers.”
Regardless of how good these definitions have been, none of them has given enough credit to a) the tight relationship between Enterprise 2.0 and Management and b) the reason why we need to adopt these social platforms.
This is a critical dimension since while importing social platforms from the Internet into the workplace, we also import an underlying electronic culture that profoundly impact the workplace organization.
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.
(Jon Husband – Will Enterprise 2.0 drive management innovation)
In The Future Of Management, Gary Hamel (the most influential business thinker according to The Wall Street Journal) asks how relevant it is in the 21st century to use the same management techniques as the ones we used a century ago.
How appropriate these techniques are in a world where changes have never been so fast nor happening to such large a scale, where barriers of entry have never been so low, where strategy cycles are shrinking, and, last but not least, where customers and employees have never been so informed and interconnected.
In the conclusion of this book, Gary Hamel states that a) to survive in such an interconnected economy, companies have to be extremely adaptable and b) adaptable eco-systems are not reduced to mere vertical top bottom flow of information and processes but are peer-to-peer democratized flat systems.
Gary Hamel conclusion : Internet is the best metaphor for 21st century management.
The Internet happens to be the foundation of our interconnected world and Social Platforms have naturally emerged as the best way to connect people and get things done on the web.
This is the very reason why we HAVE to import these tools behind the firewall.
It is not because they are new, trendy or because our competitors have implemented it. It is because they have proved on the web to be the most appropriate tools to leverage a continuous flow of information in order to create value.
Hence the proposed Enterprise 2.0 definition : the management toolkit for organizations in an interconnected world.