Do french companies really understand nothing to web 2.0 ?


A recent Jemm Research survey made upon IBM request [fr] shows that french companies can’t identify web 2.0 tools and their benefits. Do we have to worry about that ?

According to me the way things are asked introduces a bias in the answer, most of because they took the issue wrong side up. What are the benefits of social networks, blogs, wikis, in a top-down organization, where whitholding information means power, and where a taylorian work model applied to activities that are not made for it make people not waste time to help others ? A first sight : None !

In the other hand, if we think about working differently in order to maximize the use of knowledge, expertise, if we don’t want to spend thousands hours to reinvent the weel, then tools make sense.

In short, if people are asked what they think of new tools since they are formated to work and see things through an old paradigm, the answer is obvious. If they were asked “wouldn’t it be more efficient to work this way ?….and in this case are those tools relevant ?”, perhaps the answer wouldn’t have been the same.

12 000 people surveyed. I would have liked a distribution by function. Daily, we can see the difference between top management which identifies new organizational issues et find web 2.0 tools make sense and the average employee who is swamped by his day to day constraints (the top down flow I wrote about here) and who have many others things to do than wondering if doing things differently would be better and which tools may help. Anyway they are not those who decide the way they work, neither the tools to use, which shows one more time that enterprise 2.0 isn’t web 2.0

This conclusion is confirment by another point of the survey : the existence of a continuum between personal and professional life. People see the benefits of the tools in their private life but can’t retranscribe them in their professional live because they are not able to reproduce the same kind of interactions in the way theyr’e presently asked to work.

In short, the point is not companies can’t identify tools but employees who can’t position them in their present paradigm. Furthermore, tools have always been considered as processing machines and it’s still hard to realize they can be the extension of people, support the way they behave, they can serve human capital and not only processes.

It’s only a matter of paradigim and the proof that tools’ issue have to be taken from the above, wondering :

1°) What are my issues

2°) How must people work to meet them

3°) Which is the appropriate organization to make it possible

4°) Which tools can support this kind of organization.