Enterprise 2.0 : what’s the missing link ?

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Knowing why enterprise 2.0 sometimes failed to deliver its promises is now a maintream issue. I’m talking about turning the promise into results because the question of knowing whether the promise is well-founded or not has already been answered. Many examples, such as Cisco‘s, show that it’s possible and that it actually works. But some other, with the same technologies used for the same purposes, show that the results are hard to bring. What may imply that the success factor has to be found in the context.

I’m currently working on a deeper reflection but I’d like to share my first impressions. What seems to be lacking most of times is :

• Visualization : people, staff, even managers, don’t “visualize” what they are expected to, they can’t imagine and “see” themselves in the future context. Neither in terms of behaviors nor in terms of using tools.

• Listening and understanding : as paradoxical as it may seem, although we’re talking about “people-centrism”, it seems that staff can’t express their feeling toward the current situation, the way they understand the “promised future” and the questions that come to their mind, at any time.

• The first step : even if everyone agree on the targeted goals and the way to achieve them, it seems that the “first step” is often lacking. It’s about the approach that starts, not from standard starting point but to each staff member’s proper situation. Not those who explain how “any people in any company” achieves a successful transition but those who explain how M. Smith, working at BigCorp inc. can do it, taking into account his job’s context, the corporate culture etc…

This takes me to the final question : how many companies try :

1°) To exactly understand what they’re aiming at, what’s the state of the art, what’s been done elswhere.

2°) To take over it and translate it into their context, into each function, job description instead of making a cut & paste of what the others are doing or starting without any idea of what the concrete result will be. If this is not done, enterprise 2.0 is launched disconnected from the real enterprise just when what matters is the “real enterprise”, everything 2.0 having to merge into the global schema.

3°) To make a real diagnosis of the current situation, to identify the desired and undesired consequences of change in order to make the first possible and prevent the others from happening.

Recently, Harold Jarche told me that the missing link was management. Even if  it can sound provocate, I’d say it’s people (paradoxical, isn’t it ?). The the one is the consequence of the other…

More about this later…