I fully agree with Don Tapscott’s wikinomy concept. We’re not talking about the massive use of wikis but about the mass collaboration phenomenon.
The fact is there is more knowledge and innovation outside your company than inside. Some understand it, and among them few are taking benefit from it and many fear it. To make it simple some chose blogs and the innocentive way and some raised walls.
According to me the question is not about walls and frontiers between inside and outside but about enteprise’s structure and organization, HR, and…money of course.
The reason why enterprises became so huge is a matter of transaction costs. As it was more expensive to get something from the outside than having it home made, companies had to hire people to lower their costs. (To learn more about it, have a look at Coase‘s theories).
Today they can get informations identify experts outside for free or paying the “right price”, just when needed. Worse, the may also find this information inside but it’s harder, longer, and…more expensive. And as knowledge and information are becoming essential in value making….
Some should say enterprises will downsize in the upcomming years, parting from people they pay and can’t fully exploit, considering it’s better and more profitable to have outside partners.
Another way of seeing things would be to say that some “intensive thinking people” who feel underemployed and need more recognition will leave the enterprise. It’s not quite the same thing as the previous point : one is a corporate choice, the other is a situation imposed by employees to the enterprise.
A third aspect of the question would be to consider it at a macro scale, and think about balancing costs. The best way for companies not to decide to rely on the outside and for employees not to find that things are better outside is to make inside information as accessible as outside, and at the same costs.
This implies that enteprises have to adopt the same social dynamics as the web, share a part of its philosphy in their management, and provide people with the same tools to make it work.
People who only focus on numbered ROI should be interested by this approach of transaction costs…
Enterprise 2.0 ?