But in the business world, where our actions need to be justified, usually with a dollar figure, it is simply easier to do. It is easier for us to have nice, orderly, process-driven business lives. There's just one problem. Businesses are full of people. Social people, imperfect people, obnoxious people, human people. People that live lives full of intangibles, and we have seen many stupendous failures and staggering success stories where intuition and social pressures played a far larger part than the logic of the situation.
Enterprise 2.0 technologies are designed to take advantage of the social nature of the people who work in our businesses. It allows them to connect, interact, and exploit the knowledge within (and sometimes without) the business in a more effective ways than could have been imagined by the promoters of scientific management 50-odd years ago at the boom of the industrial era.
We still live with the vestiges of the industrial era and in some sectors many of the lessons learnt are still relevant and valuable. However. As Drucker pointed out:
“Every knowledge worker in modern organization is an "executive" if, by virtue of his position or knowledge, he is responsible for a contribution that materially affects the capacity of the organization to perform and to obtain results.”So when implementing E2.0 solutions, the intangibles need to be taken into account. Not just in the initial justification for expenditure, but more importantly in the selection and implementation of these tools.
Source: The Effective Executive - 1966
There are several people talking about this at the moment.
- Matt Hodgson has been doing some wonderful thinking about organisational culture and it's impact on the implementation of E2.0. You can find then both at AppGap and on his personal blog.
- Stephen Collins quoted myself and Matt's discussions in this blog post and recently added these great thoughts to the mixing pot,
- John Tropea has posted a few excellent articles forming around E2.0 and emergent collaboration. Broad thinking and good reading if you are thinking about E2.0 being for your business.
- James Dellow of Chieftech has been posting recently on his thoughts about "Intranet 2.0" and how E2.0 may or may not contribute to this vision.
Matt's work on the two-domain model has been exiciting to watch and encourages me to finish my thesis so I can enjoy putting it to use by building the implementation programs and principles that Stephen Collins says are so necessary. Matt initially moved away from my focus of "Participation" and it's two forms, Mandated and Spontaneous, however in his last post he used instead the term "Interaction". I like this term. It speaks at a higher level than participation, and also includes the concept of reciprical involvement between human and technology that my data seems to indicate is going on.
Patrick suggested last night that I consider instead a layered model where the intangible and tangible domains overlap the same space. This is a nice idea and I am already thinking about how I can visualise that to better display the interactions in the data.
Finally, I discovered a new idea while writing about how the wikis were used in SMEs yesterday. I share it here in the hope I will get some feedback, either critical or helpful, I don't mind. It's a new thought for me and I want to sound it out here before expanding on it in the thesis in the hope it will be more rigorous for the exposure.
The quote looks at another possibility when implementing E2.0 tools. Often we hear the catch-cry: match the tools to the culture of the business. My question: is this entirely correct?
It should be noted that many of the uses were only successful within individual divisions of the companies, and suited the cultural constraints of those divisions. This suggests that it may be the business use itself that needs to be aligned with the local group’s culture, rather than the tool.Please post your replies written on the back of $100 notes! I'm going to have to do something pretty special for my poor wife after all this to convince her I'm not just a part of the office furniture :-)