Waiting for E2.0

Posted on February 28, 2012 by


When Andrew McAfee wrote Enterprise 2.0 in 2009, many let out a sigh of relief.  At last, someone with business sense – a research scientist and professor at MIT, no less – had written a book explaining the benefits of social media for the enterprise.  By all regards, it is an excellent analysis of the subject, unpacking the collaborative capabilities and all the untapped potential.  Both the CIA and Google had stories to tell.

Sadly, that was over 2 years ago.  In the interim Microsoft SharePoint 2010 has made a good showing.  But not much else has changed.

Many, like me, continue to ask: why are we still waiting?

McAfee points to research by Harvard marketing prof John Gourville who concluded that the adoption cycles for major platform changes seem to require 9X jump in perceived capability/benefits over the status quo.  In the business world, the incumbent technology is e-mail.  Does e2.0 truly need to be 9X better? The number might be debated but I think that, directionally, that lack of “critical mass” could help explain what’s kept previous, “e1.0” collaboration solutions like Groupware and KM solutions from transforming the mainstream.

Social Media faces little or no resistance in open spaces.  Is the delta all organizational?

McAfee acknowledges people factors in e2.0 resistance, including organizational psychology around fear of change, adherence to the status quo, and mindset.  I think all are relevant.  He and I agree strongly on how the semantics of “social” work against adoption inside the firewall.  I’ve called it fear of ‘party planning’ (Nov 2009 post) while he refers to focus on ’football pools’ but our concerns are similar.

For a more strategic frame, here’s my recent E20 post on the CIBER blog.

So what can learn about e2.0 in early 2012, as we wait (or in some cases, brush up on our evangelizing play book)?

Let’s discuss at #SMCHAT WEDS 2/29, 1pET with several key points to consider:

 Q1. Is E2.0 blocked by silo thinking? Org culture? Or something else?

Q2. Is “collaboration” a better semantic frame for Enterprise KM & Social (a new E2.0 entry point)?

Q3. What capabilities inside the firewall are most important for E2.0? (see smchat post from November for some initial inputs, to get you thinking; see also McAfee’s “SLATES” frame ..)

Q4. Reverse the question:  Is  the Social world ready for the Enterprise? (we didn’t get to this Q, as we wanted to keep our business focus; but we’ll tee it up again in the future)

This is an important topic for most us, as we grapple with social media in the enterprise setting.  Plus 2/29 is a leap chat.  Let’s make it rock.

Posted in: Collaboration, Trends