June 12, 2008

Enterprise 2.0 Meets Reality

Doug Cornelius is one of the lucky ones who is attending the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston.  Luckily for the rest of us, Doug has been liveblogging from the conference.  Yesterday Doug reported on a panel focused on how and why the grand vision of Enterprise 2.0 hasn't taken hold in corporate America.  In his post Enterprise 2.0 Reality Check, Doug records some of the responses to the following question:  Why has Enterprise 2.0 not taken over your organization? Panelists from a wide-range of organizations (e.g., the CIA, Pfizer, SONY, Wachovia) all pointed to the same challenge:  It's the people in an organization that have been slowing down adoption of Enterprise 2.0.   Some of the issues are generational, some of the issues are about fear and control.  One panelist conceded that while there may be web 2.0 success (and hype) in the leisure/consumer space, that hasn't translated easily into the work space.  Apparently, we're prepared to live more transparently and collaboratively outside the office than inside the office.

In many ways, the challenges faced by Enterprise 2.0 are frighteningly similar to the challenges we've been facing for years in knowledge management.  And, if one of the panelists is to be believed, those challenges pale in comparison to the challenges faced by those of us brave enough to tackle law firm knowledge management.  According to this panelist, working with lawyers is "not a collaborative experience."

So, as I said in my very first post, it isn't enough to merely implement technology.  In some ways, that's the easy part and won't ensure success in your knowledge management or Enterprise 2.0 effort.  Much harder is the part that goes "above and beyond" technology.  It's when you have the whole-hearted support of your colleagues at work that knowledge management takes off.  Until they vote with their feet (and their mice), it doesn't really matter.  That's the reality facing knowledge management and Enterprise 2.0.

1 comment:

Lawrence Chen said...

Great post. It is interesting that people are more willing to use web 2.0 in non-work environments than in work environments. I think people just need to see more examples of how web 2.0 can totally transform and improve work before they decide to hop on the bandwagon. The more exposure they get, the more they will be willing to adopt it. You may be able to find more on this topic over at the Wikinomics blog @ www.wikinomics.com/blog.