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Thursday
Nov052009

Andrew McAfee's six ways to "snatch defeat from the jaws of victory" in Enterprise 2.0

I caught the stream of Andrew McAfee's talk at the just-finished Enterprise 2.0 conference, in which he says that we're in the midst of a "tipping point" of Enterprise 2.0 adoption, but that there are still ways to ruin a good thing.


(Watch the whole video on demand at E2TV.)

Here are my notes from his six ways to "snatch defeat from the jaws of victory" in Enterprise 2.0 adoption:

1. Declare war on "Enterprise 1.0"

  • Saying that all existing modes of management and collaboration are obsolete and will be swept away by E2.0 technologies
    • It's a horrible sales pitch — senior execs and managers won't jump at the chance to be "swept away" with all management heirarchies in favor of a new bottom-up, emergent structure.
    • It's just not true — it's a silly proposition to think that E2.0 will remove all need for command and control, or any organizational heirarchy.

2. Allow walled gardens to flourish

  • Mutually inaccessible walled gardens (i.e., lots of indiviual information repositories with various levels of employee access and no cross-repository navigation) do not allow emergence to happen

3. Accentuate the negative

  • We may have gone too far in disclosing the risks of Enterprise Social Software Platforms (ESSP) to management and other stakeholders
    • Truth is, the risks are all manageable
  • We should be sure to give equal time to the benefits
  • The risks are much more scary up front than they turn out to be after implementation

4. Try to replace email

  • Email isn't going anywhere anytime soon
    • Let's face it: it works well for many people
    • Especially senior execs
  • Senior execs will not easily support the replacement of their blackberries
  • Instead, we should focus on the applications of ESSP for problems for which email doesn't work well

5. Fall in love with Features

6. Overuse of the word "Social"

  • It's technically accurate — we want to empower and help people
  • But the word social has many negative connotations
    • wasting time
    • socializing
  • The practical manager's reaction might well be, "I'm not running a social club; I'm running a business."

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