Alrik's Blog

A blog about Enterprise 2.0 and it's facets.

Enterprise 2.0 vs. Knowledge Management June 21, 2010

Filed under: Social Software — alrikd @ 23:37
Tags: ,

The present discussion about Entperise 2.0 – the Web 2.0 within the Enterprise is at the same state as the Knowledge Management discussion was about ten years ago. At that time the new concepts guaranteed a new World in Information and Knowledge Management, like Kolumbus or Magellan did with their expeditions.

But what happened? The concepts of knowledge management gaped a big hole between promises and really achievable goals. In 1996, Tapscott wrote a book about The Twelve Themes of the New Economy.

  1. Knowledge – the big theme in the upcoming evolution, from smart clothes to smart roads
  2. Virtual – Everything goes virtual, even Government, Shops or communication hot spots
  3. Digitization – new possibilities unfold in the changing environment of information storage and communication opportunities
  4. Molecularization – Enterprises are subject to change from monolithic and centralized organizations to virtual organizations with a flexible and highly educated workforce
  5. Internetworking – the growing clusters need powerful support by new technologies
  6. Disintermediation – digital networks destroy the barrier between costumers and companies
  7. Convergence – economic sectors which are creating knowledge and other virtual products are becoming increasinlgy important
  8. Innovation – break barriers to innovate first and faster than your competitor does
  9. Prosumption – the shifting importance of the tayloristic organized product consumption by the customers, costumers – consume, create and produce
  10. Immediacy – ad-hoc processes, lower number of pieces of each product line – individuality…
  11. Globalization – welcome to our daily life!
  12. Discordance – globalization and it’s ugly face, poverty, humanitarian dramas and the dramatic climate change

These predictions are pretty precise if you reflect the present developments. The globalization is an unstoppable movement. Web 2.0, Government 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 are well known buzz words in the present discussion. Companies allow their employees the access to social networks and other new communication platforms like Skype – Digitalization & Virtualization.

But the companies, as well as the discussion around the millennium, just see the new world with fully connected knowledge and information and a well educated knowledge worker within this environment. The organizations failed to adapt the other dimensions which came along with that change. Beside the technical challenges the culture and structure of the companies are on trail. The future of companies is beyond inflexible processes and rigid structures.
Companies are challenged with this development and asking themselves – How can we use the Web 2.0 technologies successfully and how is the Enterprise 2.0 defined in my case?
McAffee, father of Enterprise 2.0, did a reality check of Enterprise 2.0 – Enterprise 2.0: the academic reality check

In short: this is a journey around the world and there is no short cut by a hidden track or something similar.
Here is the fact:
Around 98 % of the people between 15 and 29 use the Social Web pretty naturally as a contact and information source. They’re fascinated by the open sharing and easy access to the omnipresent activity stream of their friends and information sources. If you do not agree with that behavior, it doesn’t matter those people are soon on your payroll.
Your Enterprise will be a continuously changing organism. McAfee describes the three main trends of Enterprise 2.0. You need open platforms for self-expression and emergent structures and processes. The two environmental changes lead to a smart order in the created chaos. Employees will be your guide in the information flood and they organize information like they need it and not as you would like.
The main difference between the promises of Knowledge Management and Enterprise 2.0 are the people. Enterprise 2.0 is strongly focused on the employees and their working behavior. A modern Enterprise 2.0 structure is highly flexible. The change processes are shifting from mainly employee-focused demands to a steady organizational change.

Make it happen!