Some organisations see a necessity to roadblock attempts to introduce social computing, others climb aboard the Enterprise 2.0 steamroller and enjoy the ride.
My established position on Enterprise 2.0 adoption is well known — that doing so demonstrably benefits business from a number of places, including (in no particular order, and certainly not exhaustive):
- better knowledge sharing and collaboration
- employee enablement and empowerment
- opening of communication channels between business and its clients (internal and external)
- opening of communication channels between employess at all levels and their management
- encouragement of a sense of community
This is set to be core subject matter for two upcoming presentations I’m doing — at the next Canberra WSG Meeting on 26 July and at the Institute for Information Management National Conference on 16 August.
Then, sometimes, I get a little sad when I have conversations like I had today. In essence, I was told about an influential manager at an organisation that I’ve worked for whose attitude was that their organisation would not adopt Enterprise 2.0 tools any time in the foreseeable future even inside the wall because they could not trust their staff not to be stupid and post incorrect information on blogs and wikis and that it was critical that control remained tightly on the process of creation and dissemination of information. As far as I understand, there is a pretty strict policy around this at this organisation and use of these tools is strictly banned.
This attitude is demonstrably blinkered, especially given the research and other material that’s appearing ever thicker and faster. Just a few examples include:
- SAP’s widespread adoption of social computing and the measurable significant benefits being realised as a result
- the keynote by Marthin De Beer (Senior VP at Cisco Systems) at Enterprise 2.0 a couple of weeks ago discussing the emergence and expectations of Gen-Y workers around social computing in the workplace (also covered in InformationWeek)
- Thomas Vander Wal’s presentation on enterprise tagging benefits — also at Enterprise 2.0
- Accenture’s adoption of social computing as a way to improve information discoverability
At organisations like these, alongside the top-down, command and control attitude, they’re obviously not doing any reading of recent literature. If they were, they’d realise how far behind the eight-ball they’re getting and they’d be trying to do something about it.
This attitude is more common than you’d think.