It seems that more and more people agree on the point that the enterprise cannot be formal or informal but has to use those two levers in aan integrated global schema. Following that direction I read attentively this note from Bill Ives who synthetized various thought on that topic.
Globally it’s full of good sense : tools have to make sens regarding to people’s day to day practices, projects have to start where those practices are needed by both those who produce and those who decide…and don’t believe that the levers that were key in web 2.0 success outside the enterprise will be key inside the enterprise. As Dion Hinchcliffe said “enterprise is not the web”.
And why is enterprise different from the web ?
Simply because people’s motivations are different : people change paradigms as soon as go through their companie’s door (whether we find ir relevant or not), then because their environment and the companie’s context in general make them acculturate (whether we find it positive or not).
In order to adapt to each environment, the individual will chose adequate criterias to legitimate his behaviors.
Besides the technological part, web 2.0 sucess is mainly a question of…pleasure. Because people take pleasure in exchanging, interacting, in “playing” the one with the others through friendly and easy to use platforms, in surprising their friends by showing a different part of their own, in getting back in touch whith former friends and colleagues, in finding people who are interested in the same things as them and discuss with them.
And, las but not least: “I can’t stop when I want”. (The addicitive effect is so often neglected..).
It’s easy to understand we can’t use the same levers inside a company. In this context, people are only looking for “the right informations and the right people to get the job done”. Even if pleasure could be felt in making new links and working differently with new tools, it’s not an argument they will verbalize upfront, because it’s supposed not to have any business value. I know some managers who told me “such web 2.0 suite we adopted in my company really changed my life”…but they’re very few to assume it.
That’s not quite a bad thing : in order to convince those who decide, the “tools to have the job done” effect is more efficient than the “pleasure” effect.
One more thing : once people are involved in such dynamics inside the enterprise they can’t go back and say “I don’t want to play the game anymore”. It’s a more engaging choice than outside the enterprse.
But some hope still remains for the tenants of the “qualitive” arguments : once links between 2.0 tools and day to day job will be set, pleasure will be key in making the tools adopted and developping the practices. But unofficially only…
Moreover some people really think about the effect of qualitative levers on business, pleasure at work (that means engagement and productivity), in using tools (using rate = ROI), in feeling the positive effects of belonging to a group, a community (motivation, less turnover). Perharps those people will talk to those who organize the enterprise and decide which tools have to be used.
But, untill that time, we have to keep in mind that’s social tools won’t be adopted for the same reasons in the enterprise as they were outside.